December 2018
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Introduction
Kontakt 5
Roland SR-JV80-04

Playing the Roland GR-300 with MIDI

Introduction

If you are a keyboard player and you want to access the sound of the classic Roland GR-300 guitar synthesizer, you have a couple of options open to you.

Both the vintage GR-300, and the current COSM modeled GR-300, available in synths like the Roland GR-55, require a guitar signal to drive the synthesis engine, so you will be using a sample playback source.

Native Instruments Kontakt 5 - Custom Patch

Download Kontakt 5 GR-300
Emulation (573KB)

I have done my best to recreate Scott Summer's excellent 'Pat's GR-300' patch in Native Instruments Kontakt 5 with samples I recorded, using the audio out from my Roland XV-5080 synth.

Use the link above to download a zip file with both the Kontakt patch, and the two samples I used. If you want to create your own version, you can start with mine, or load in the two GR-300 samples and start from scratch.

Roland SR-JV80-04 Vintage Synth - Roland SRX-07 Ultimate Keys

Well, couple of decades ago Scott Summers of the Roland Corporation developed a very convincing GR-300 patch by sampling his own GR-300. You can find this patch in the Roland SR-JV80-04 Vintage Synth card. Look for patch 144: Pats GR - 300. This is a monophonic patch that really captures the sound of Pat Metheny’s GR-300 solos.

Below is a demo I recorded using the SR-JV80-04 hosted by the Roland JD-990. My playing was inspired by Pat’s solo on the tune ‘Offramp’ from the album ‘Offramp’.

I think this is a pretty great patch that reflects on the outstanding job Scott Summers did really maximizing the Roland PCM synth engine to recreate the flavor of Pat’s solo, and he did this with only two samples across the entire keyboard.

Also, you can also find a variation on this patch on the Roland SRX-07 Ultimate Keys card, and in the Roland INTEGRA-7. Look for patch ‘315: The Real Pat’. This is not the same patch as found on the SR-JV80-04, however, when I owned a Roland XV-5080, and used the Roland SRX-07 Ultimate Keys, the card included a CD-ROM with data that allowed me to access the original SR-JV patches with my Roland XV-5080, so I was able to load the original the Roland SR-JV80-04 patch 144: Pats GR – 300 in my Roland XV-5080. I do not know if these information is currently available on Roland’s website, and I could not find the equivalent data for the INTEGRA-7.

More Info:

Note on the Roland JD-990:

Most people probably use the SR-JV80-04 with a Roland JV80 synth, or one of its siblings, like the JV-1080, etc. If you can also find a Roland JD-990, you are really in luck, as Roland developed an alternative set of 256 patches for the JD-990. The JD-900 is the only synth that can use these alternative patches, that utilize features like true oscillator sync and the additional effects available only on the JD-900. The combination makes for some awesome analog synth tones. As far as I can tell, the JD-990 was the last PCM synth that Roland made that used oscillator sync.