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When's Roland gonna wake up to bassists?


g.

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When's Roland gonna wake up to bassists?

 

They think they are awake. But where's my V-Bass editor/librarian? Where's firmware upgrades? Where's 13-pin passthrough on either the GR-20 synth module, or the V-Bass. I don't need another clunky router box in my rig, thank you.

 

For that matter, where's a a GR-30 or beyond level BASS ORIENTED EQUIVALENT with Yamaha-style synth modeling? C'mon, give up the good stuff! You could rule the world if we could only get the parts!

 

I mean, what's with a cube for the guitar that puts out 60 watts, and the bass cube only does 100? That's like backline discrimination. Try 500 watts and maybe you could be taken seriously as a rig provider.

 

Well, with the GK-3B I see you addressed some of the dumbass stuff on the GK-2B pickup (for 13-pin use) - though I don't see any talk of improved string isolation. At least there are a few different ways to hook the unit on a bass and it eats less real estate in the case, and got rid of the dumb mini-jack for the bass connection.

 

YOU NEED ME, ROLAND! Evidently the people who work for you aren't telling you the whole story. Either that, or like so many giants, your ears are too far from the ground level to hear the little people well.

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Thanks, J.

 

The market for guitars however, is big. But it also has a gazillion more products. The demand for variation, and the will to attempt to grab every available niche, has product R&D always threshing and refreshing there.

 

Guitar also attracts a lot of young consumers who end up blowing big chunks of change on "toys" and many of those toys finance R&D that upsells to those emerging players later in their evolution.

 

Bass is really rather staid, comparatively. For every music listener/watcher who sees a band or artist and actually says I'D LIKE TO BE MAKING THOSE LOW SOUNDS with a fifties-looking bass there are 9 others who would rather be the guitarist because at the surface it seems like it has a payoff in excitement of one type or another. I'm not judging wrong or right here, but bass could be a way bigger draw.

 

Some of the incredible players out there, and the main place most non-bassists would actually get a thrill from hearing/seeing them bring out the top stuff is at NAMM shows or bass seminars. That's just preaching to the converted on one hand, and being a novelty to industry people on the other. But we know the bass is every bit the instumental voice and can play just as wide a role as any other.

 

So let the toys and tools reflect that!*

 

 

* no offense intended to the groundbreakers INCLUDING Roland, and the cab/rig builders and luthiers who are doing things that are a little more daring than P or J clones.

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Originally posted by greenboy:

When's Roland gonna wake up to bassists?

The only way that Bassists are going to get the respect they deserve from Roland is if they stop using trickle-down technology from guitar r & d.

 

This problem is most evident with tracking. If guitars played a low B (or even the E above it), you'd see tracking so tight that you couldn't fit a pick in the latency gap...even edgewise. :)

 

As anyone can guess, the same occurs over at Line 6. Despite the fact that the engines are identical, they are much more responsive to Vetta II/Pod XT owners than Bass Pod owners.

 

EDIT: Sorry for the redundancy...I had started this post earlier today.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Tracking in the V-Bass is not dependent on pitch to midi BTW. In fact, it's not even an issue until you look at VG-series synths or whatever. The V-Bass response is instananeous inasmuch as any bass can be said to be instananeous. There is no wandering latency, no triggering, no glitching.

 

And in terms of sound quality for modeling and for effects, I hate to say it, but the only reason the Pod is even on the map is because on the surface the V-Bass seems like a different animal due to involving BASS modeling (and a 13 pin feeding system) as well as AMP/RIG modeling. It is ALL THAT as far as sonic organic depth and more.

 

Roland got a lot right. They just need to keep it moving.

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For me the one I initially don't like about the V-Bass is that it sits on the floor. If it could be rack mounted up where I need it to be to control volume and other parameters. I just don't like having to bend over with a bass strapped to me to make adjustments.
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For me it's an issue only when designing presets, solved by putting it up on a small typing table or open-front crate here, where I can sit in front of it in comfort. I rarely if ever need to touch anything at gigs save for with my feet.

 

In the past I've favored non-floor rack units, but to use them fully in performance they always require footcontrollers anyway. This saves a lot of wieght and bulk - and the unit is very well constructed.

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There's a volume knob. Also, a global page with output level and global EQ and reverb levels. I might touch that page at setup time/soundcheck, but usually with the type of rig I have nothing needs tweaking once the patches are designed right. I can always reach over to the power amp and turn the input gain up or down if I'm severely under or over represented, but realize that the GK-2B or GK3B give a lot of ptach and volume control too, and the hands of course can always do incredible things with dynamics when a system is turned up and has scads of headroom.
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A little OT, but, I went to see (and hear) Alain Caron a couple of weeks ago. And, frankly, after hearing all that he can do with that thing (besides his incredible chops - of course) I can't see why somebody would not want to have that tool. (And BTW he uses two Roland Bass Amps, the DB-900 I think)

I guess that this point to something, however: the fact that bass players are not usually in front of the band, or the mix, and therefore , the versatility and the possibilities tha a V-Bass could open for them are not "advertised" as it has been the case for similar guitar tools.

 

In any case, after I get my amp, I am starting saving up for a V-Bass. Hope they will still be making them when I have enough cash to afford one...

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Or something supposedly better.

 

...Unfortunately many companies ditch essentially cool features as they permutate their intellectual property, while simultaneously upgrading the audio performance or improving some other features. It's a shell game.

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For once I have to agree. A company smart enough to master sampling and come up with great sounds, yet builds a dead-end system that's impossible to upgrade. And down the road, in the same country/geo-area, there's all this technology (USB, firewire, smart-media, digital wireless) that would allow this to be modular and to evolve without expecting us to toss our old units aside every two years and buy new toys.

 

I'm holding out until the next AES convention back east (NYC, October 2005) where I'm sure a lot of similar manufacturers will be hawking their high-end digital whatzits. NAMM might be OK, but AES is less-known and has more engineering types prowling the lounges. Let me near the Roland techs, and I'll spell it out for them what we need to make digital bass modeling marketable AND upgradeable.

 

end-of-rant.

 

:wave:

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I'm with ya. Line6 has the guitar modeler in a pedal form now...will the BassPOD follow? I should hope so? Not a chance of them doing a BassPOD first of course!

 

When I first started on the path of playing in church, I was really searching for a tube preamp and maybe combined effects processor all in a pedalboard. I ended up with an MXR M80, which is certainly great, but I was quite disappointed to find that there's not a single mfg (that I've found) that makes an all-in-one tube preamp and effects unit in a floorbox. The BOSS GT-6B probably comes very close, but no cigar. That said, I just snagged a used Digitech BP-8 (tube preamp and effects processor in pedal form!) off Ebay. I just can't believe nobody makes anything currently like this.

 

At least there seem to be companies who are really innovating on the bass cabinets side (like Acme, Accugroove, did anyone go check out the www.philjonesbass.com link? those 5x16 cabs are very interesting!) and some on the preamp/amp side (like thunderfunk, aguilar, etc.) It is quite disappointing though that much of the technology trickles down from guitar...explains why many of the inexpensive bass effects processors suck.

 

Not only do we tend to get the trickle down technology, bass gear is also considerably more expensive on the average than guitar gear. Obviously that's part of the same problem...the lower volume doesn't reach the economies of scale that guitar stuff does.

 

Anyway, it's really, really nice to see some fresh innovation in bass gear. Not surprisingly, most of that innovation comes from the small companies, not the big ones. The big ones just seem to follow trends that someone else has set.

 

OK, off my soap box!

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Originally posted by greenboy:

Or something supposedly better.

 

...Unfortunately many companies ditch essentially cool features as they permutate their intellectual property, while simultaneously upgrading the audio performance or improving some other features. It's a shell game.

Planned obsolence--just like the Detroit automakers thought back in the 1970's... Look where it got them...

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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Definitely more bassists seem to be aware and acceptiong and even drooling over luthier stuff. As progressive as effects use has been in guitar land, the penchant for vintage tube amps and vintage[like] guitars has probably not made luthiers feel, in general, as appreciated.
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I recently purchased a Bass PODxt. I'm still trying to decide whether to keep it or take it back. I went with the POD largely for budget reasons and the recent price drop. However, to really make it work, I need the shortboard or maybe the Behringer ( :( ) midi pedal. I like the POD with a lot of reservations. Most of the effects are useless in my opinion, and if you look at the list, they're relying on vintage stomp boxes that were originally designed for guitar. Buying this was a compromise because I really wanted the V Bass....I think.

 

Marketing for the V Bass, I feel, was very half-hearted. I wanted to demo one at GC but they couldn't do that because they would have to modify a bass in inventory and policy prevents that. Too bad, they probably would have sold lots of units if they were willing to slap the pickup on an old used bass. By the same token, I didn't see Roland providing GK ready basses to demo with. That would be a minor investment on Roland's part.

 

I agree that most effects are trickled down from guitar technology, hence the crappy and corny sounds they come up with. I still haven't heard an effect that makes me truly drool. Truthfully, I can't honestly say that I know what I'm looking for. But I'll know it when I hear it.

 

As far as support and expandabiliy is concerned, Line6 finally came up with an editor for the Bass PODxt, but there is still no file sharing support for bass on their website. How hard can that be? Also, I've been keeping track of V Bass support from Roland and so far have seen nothing. At the same time, I'm not aware of any independent sites for Bass PODxt users or V Bass users, but they are probably out there. (If anyone knows of any, please post a link)

 

All that said, I can see the manufacturers' point of view to a point. Bass players tend to be more traditionally minded and tend to be slow to embrace effects and synthesis. If I were a manufacturer, I'd look at developing bass products as a passion or side interest because the numbers probably don't add up from a profit perspective.

L Tucker

Nice, nice, very nice.

So many people in the same device.

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Originally posted by TuckLM:

All that said, I can see the manufacturers' point of view to a point. Bass players tend to be more traditionally minded and tend to be slow to embrace effects and synthesis. If I were a manufacturer, I'd look at developing bass products as a passion or side interest because the numbers probably don't add up from a profit perspective.

I agree. Well said. How many of us refuse to give up the big cab and 1000 watt head? The Bass Pod and V-Bass could have perfect modeling and people would still be tentative about using them. I know it depends on the gig and band, but I have yet to need more than my 1X12 and QSC PLX 1202.
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The market was created for guitarists, and it can be created for bassists. Yes, as I said at the top of the thread, there are less bassists. But there is also way less market split, less competetion for the space. It can be just as lucrative if not more lucrative.

 

One thing about marketing: build the products, and if the need isn't already there, create a percieved need. How many bassists have I seen that blow GAS for just about anything they've been Pavlovian'd to respond to? Just have to extend that droooling brainlessness into new territory.

 

Get your tribbles today!

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That bit of cynical observance done with, the Roland V-Bass is an incredible concept that actually works, sounds incredible, and performs with sensual depth - unless the host bass has the feel of a broom it will be fun and satisfying to get the hands wrapped around.

 

If a threshold of acceptance is reached the rest will come a lot easier. As I mentioned ages ago, Roland would do well to foster relationships with bass builders and feature Roland Ready basses on their site. They had momementum (remember the buzz back then?), and they expended it. Time to get that back.

 

Before Line 6 actually gets THEIR product for bass modeling (not just amp/rig modeling) attractive.

 

Good thoughts there BTW, Tuck. I just don't think that a feeling of resignation is what makes things go forward however. When cool new things happen its because people don't know they are licked, that things are impossible.

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Originally posted by TuckLM:

All that said, I can see the manufacturers' point of view to a point. Bass players tend to be more traditionally minded and tend to be slow to embrace effects and synthesis. If I were a manufacturer, I'd look at developing bass products as a passion or side interest because the numbers probably don't add up from a profit perspective.

I agree. Well said. How many of us refuse to give up the big cab and 1000 watt head? The Bass Pod and V-Bass could have perfect modeling and people would still be tentative about using them. I know it depends on the gig and band, but I have yet to need more than my 1X12 and QSC PLX 1202.
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Much wisdom from the Green One. In a lot of respects, I admit to being part of the problem. I'm 51 and I've been playing since I was 13. I started out with a Hagstrom I and a Bassman and since, I've been thru a lot gear. The only effects I've ever used has been a chorus and a Mutron. Everything else seemed to interfere from my function in the band. So all these newfangled, digitalized, computerized, super-sized, super down-sized gizmos are new territory for me.

 

The possibilities right now are very exciting for a geezer like me. Along with modeling, if I want to add a piano line parallel to the bass, or play a tuba part or play a cello solo, the tech is there. While the traditional role of bass is always there, I've noticed on the Line6 forum, bassists are clamoring for true recognition and support.

 

I don't think there is so much resignation as much as frustration. Bass players have as much vision and creativity as anyone else. Given the tools, so much more can be done. The biggest problem I see is retreating to the background and righteously justifying it.

L Tucker

Nice, nice, very nice.

So many people in the same device.

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The other issue for many of us is price. New pickup and V-Bass unit = $$$. For me it would be nice to have, but the current cost is almost as much as my custom bass.

 

So we need to follow greenboy into the muck, demanding better products and continued development. Once the improvements are there, there will be a larger market. With a larger market (and market potential), the stuff can be priced more attractively.

 

I may be missing something, but it seems to me that the Lightwave pickup wuold be a great source for something like the V-Bass. Especially since it's own tone wasn't popular...

 

Skelly - can you forward the link to this thread to someone at Roland?

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally posted by greenboy:

... unless the host bass has the feel of a broom it will be fun and satisfying to get the hands wrapped around.

 

Are you suggesting that basses aren't meant to be used for a rousing game of Quidditch?

 

(My apologies for the brief interruption of what really is a very thoughtful thread.)

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Tom Capasso: The other issue for many of us is price. New pickup and V-Bass unit = $$$. For me it would be nice to have, but the current cost is almost as much as my custom bass.
What? You paid less than $800 for a luthier bass? I don't think so.

 

I looked at it like this: I could go on to stage with one bass that would sound like a lot of different basses (and rigs too!) - truly! - and I figured the maintenance costs were lower (I'm not that fond of having a lot of stuff around and taking care of it). Then, it did all the effects well - actually better than a lot of standalones - and made it easy to keep that fluid and under live control. No knob tweaking but still variety and great for orchestrating in a small combo context (kinda supplementing a three piece with a ghost player as well as doing the bass role).

 

It ended up being cheaper than any combination of tools that would sound as good, and gave me way more flexbility and less cartage.

 

As I said before, Roland doesn't necessarily need to BUILD Roland Ready basses - but they need to make sure others are, in several price tiers and up to SIX STRINGS. They also need to LINK THOSE PRODUCTS on their sites, give them suitable prominence, and even hook their dealer network up.

 

Lastly, Roland should not just be reading this thread. They should be talking to me. I know the beta testing game, but unlike some I actually see the big picture, and provide ideas and critique... Yeah - that's right - I'm a PITA ; }

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Originally posted by greenboy:

As I said before, Roland doesn't necessarily need to BUILD Roland Ready basses - but they need to make sure others are, in several price tiers and up to SIX STRINGS. They also need to LINK THOSE PRODUCTS on their sites, give them suitable prominence, and even hook their dealer network up.

 

Relatedly, I think it's important to note that Roland shared their booth at the Bass Player Live event with Brian Moore Guitars. Moore makes guitars and basses with 13-pin jacks already installed and ready to roll.

 

That said, I wasn't as impressed as I would've liked to have been with the feel of the Moore bass I played w/ the V-Bass unit on display.

 

How many custom luthiers would be willing to throw some V-Bass-ready features into their instruments? At what cost to the client? Several already put XLRs in (like Overwater and Wal across the pond).

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Originally posted by greenboy:

What? You paid less than $800 for a luthier bass? I don't think so.

Oops - I stand (well, sit at the moment) corrected. I was remembering some of the initial list pricing I'd seen. Musician's Fiend has the V-Bass and pickup for $899. This is still more money than I want to spend given my needs. Thanks for the correction.

 

Fine - let Roland talk to you. I've talked to you, and it left no permanent scars ;) It's clear your technical ability, playing/SR experience, and use of the product would be useful to them.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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