The GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer with GK-3 Pickup from Roland is a fast reacting and accurate guitar synthesizer for use with the included GK3 pickup attached to any type of electric guitar. Guitars are not normally thought of as synthesizer controllers, but the company has been pursuing this concept for many years. When paired with the GK-3 pickup, any electric guitar can trigger the sounds of the tone module with imperceptible latency, a huge consideration when playing live. Pitch detection is also very accurate.
The triple-core generator houses an array of virtual guitars, basses, amplifiers, and synthesizer voices, delivered by two PCM synthesizers containing over 900 tones, along with COSM guitar modeling. Using the simple category buttons, the onboard ready-to-use presets (270, plus 297 user) can easily be auditioned, either on stage or in the studio.
The GR-55 connects the guitarist to desktop music production with two USB ports. The rear-panel port can be used for MIDI/audio data communication, while the side-panel port is dedicated to real-time playback of audio files from a USB memory device (sold separately). Foot control of USB audio playback is available, so that hands never need to leave the guitar.
The GK-3 Divided Pickup attaches to any steel-stringed electric (no drilling necessary) and delivers accurate performance data to the GR-55, sending individual signals from each guitar string to the device. The pickup's slim-line design enables ideal placement on the guitar, while a big and smooth GK knob and Select Switch allow for changing from synthesizer, to normal guitar tone, or using both mixed together.