Roland-Ready 7 String... - Anyone ever seen one?? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Roland-Ready 7 String... - Anyone ever seen one??

I've seen at least three guitar manufacturers now producing six-string electrics with piezo and 13-pin Roland outputs (Dean, Godin, Brian Moore) but I've yet to see a 7 string with the same output combinations. *Has anyone seen or heard of such a beast??
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 04:54 AM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

I have absolutely THOUROUGHLY researched this, and the answer is... no. No one makes a Roland 13 pin DIN MIDI 7-string guitar. The problem is in how the string outputs are routed through the 13 pin connector. Since each string has it's own independent pickup, in effect, each pickup's signal must be routed through the DIN. 1-6 are used for routing each string's signal, the other pins are either blank, used to send program info, or used for phantom power. No biggie. You can use pin 7 for the 7th string... go figure! The problem is that the Roland 13 pin DIN ready synth modules (like the VG-8, etc.) only recognize, you guessed it, pins 1 through 6 as valid signals. It's a LOOOONG complicated process, but it's one I plan on having done someday (READ- when I have LOTS o' money, 'cause it will be expensive.) The good news is, to go about it would require a better solution than the Roland type MIDI driver. It would use actual piezo-electric saddles, similar to the other piezo-equipped electrics. RMC pickups make the best saddles of this type, and they consistently perform better than the Roland synth module (or so I've heard), because they track much better, being in contact with the strings. However, it would require adaptation from the internal DIN preamp/mixer to recognize the 7th string, then a special roland signal splitter to route the now non-standard signal into 2 synth devices... ya see? A LOT of work. Check out RMC pickups and they'll let ya know some info if ya bug 'em. The word is, (esp. with 7's on the decline) no 7-string ready products from Roland forthcoming...

Hope this helps!
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 11:47 AM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

the few 7 string midi gutiarists i know of, including the metal band Aghora, just put the Roland pickup under the top 6 strings. *it tracks much better on smaller gauge strings, which is why Allan Holdsworth strings his Synthaxe with all .008s. *the low B doesn't track well, so it's an easy one to leave out if you want to use a stock Roland pickup.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 12:24 PM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

The other issue is that you'd have to reprogram your pitch-to-MIDI convertor to work with seven strings instead of six. Getting the hardware to work is one thing, but the software is another issue altogether.

Rather than pursuing Roland, you might consider contacting IVL, who made Pitchrider pitch-to-MIDI systems years ago.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

Thanks for all of the feedback. *Being a naive non-techie person, I wrongly assumed I could simply retrofit an existing fixed bridge with RMC's saddle/pups but it sounds like my GR-33 wouldn't recognize the 7th string anyway. *

Next question:
What's the typical cost to have a Roland GK-2AH professionally installed on a guitar? *I'm thinking about buying a used Carvin DC727 fixed bridge guitar and "Frankenstiening" it. *I'd like to add synth abilities along with two single coils so that I have H-S-S configuration.

Thanks again.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 03:11 AM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

Well, Roland does make a version of the GK-2A pickup that mount in your guitar. *You can get it for aroun $220 and then have it installed. *I see them on ebay quite a bit.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 03:27 AM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

Going the software route is rather er... futile, or at the very least, a helluva lot of work and expense. Roland makes a 13 pin splitter already, that would route whatever strings you would want (say for instance the 3 bass strings routed through the DIN to one signal path, the 4 treble strings routed to the other) to say 2 independent synth modules. The RMC pickups alos have minimal tracking problems for whatever gauge string.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2002, 12:52 PM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

The reason for the SynthAxe having .008 strings all across the board has really nothing to do with triggering/tracking sensitivity. The SynthAxe determines the pitch by sending a weak current through the strings and tracking where it stops (e.g. where it touches a fret -- all of which are all of equal width, BTW). In fact, all strings are tuned at the same pitch for playability reasons. You don't strum the actual strings, triggering is done by 6 other strings or with the 6 trigger keys.

And oh yeah, if anyone here has a SynthAxe, send it to me immediately#"%%#"!

(Edited by Tsorovan at 5:54 pm on Feb. 19, 2002)
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2002, 10:24 PM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

Yeah, SynthAxe's are pretty cool looking. *I saw a music instruction video for all instruments (basically for forming a band) and they demonstrated a SynthAxe, kinda neat stuff.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-18-2002, 05:25 PM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

There's apparently a work-around for using Roland V-gear and synth gear with a 7-string that may or may not meet your needs. *Apparently, according to a guy named John who plays custom Conklin extended-range basses for a band called "Lord Only" <> <>, if you simply wire two strings to 1 input on the Roland gear, if you don't play double-stops, but only play one of the two ganged strings at a time, there's no problem. *Of course, you'd have to play around the limitation, but it would still add some utility. *The wiring took place at Bill Conklin's shop, so someone there is apparently familiar with the details although I haven't talked to them since learning this from John.

There's something I hope you guys can help me with in my own quest for a midified Ibanez baritone with piezos and 13-pin output: I need the dimensions of the 1017XL bridge saddles, ideally a good diagram, but I would welcome partial information, even the approximate length and width as measured while installed in a guitar with a finely-marked ruler. This would start me on the parth to finding some piezo saddles that might be modified to fit the 1017XL.

Another piece of information that would help would be from someone familiar with both the 1017XL and other models with a similar bridge: do the saddles on the baritones appear to have the same dimensions as the saddles on the other models? *If so, perhaps I could at least track down an instrument with the saddles as used on the 1017XL at a local dealer so I can get a close look and measure for myself.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2002, 02:32 AM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

hey, wow!

yeah, bill conklin has had success with wiring together the lower strings in a midi setup on an extended range (7+ strings) instrument, both bass and guitar - both of my 8 strings and a few of my 7's have rmc piezo/synth pickups in them, and the only drawback is, like bob1 said, you can't play synth chords on the lowest strings - it won't track both strings, just one or the other. *still, though, when the synth glitches, it sometimes makes for some interesting effects, at least on bass.

an aside, at the namm show, bill conklin and his electronics guy mike were telling me of an 8 string guitar that they just finished with a custom made 8 string piezo/rmc-synth equipped whammy . *i'll see if i can get some pics - i figured some of you guys might like to see that .
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2002, 02:52 AM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

See, John, you're famous! *Yeah, it'd be neat to see what they did on that instrument.

I'm wondering if I should be looking for a Strat-style 7-string and trying to get someone to make me a 27" baritone neck for it. *Then at least it seems likely that some of the aftermarket piezos would fit the bridge. *Then I could presumably pick the frets, scalloping, shape, and materials on the neck, and there'd be none of those damn sharp points on the guitar that way, either.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-20-2002, 05:01 AM
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Roland-Ready 7 String...

well, this isn't it, but it's pretty cool nonetheless...

midi equipped 8 with middle 4 strings on a custom whammy and fanned frets.
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allan holdsworth , brian moore , bridge saddles , fanned fret , fanned frets , fixed bridge , fixed bridge guitar , gauge strings , lower strings

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