Roland GP-8 guitar FX for keys / TB MIDI Stuff real-time controller

Recently I bought a Roland GP-8 guitar processor to use as an FX box for keys and other stuff. It only accepts Hi-Z instrument signal, so you’ll need a Lo-Z to Hi-Z converter (I use a Radial X-amp re-amper). Real-time editing isn’t what it should be when using the alpha dial on the Roland, so I built a real-time controller in the TB MIDI Stuff app. Roland sysex has been hard to program, in my experience, but it was really straightforward in the TB MIDI Stuff app.
The Roland GP-8 (1987) is like having 8 BOSS pedals in one rackspace. 6 Of them are analog (dynamic filter, compressor, overdrive, distortion, phaser and EQ) , the delay and chorus are digital. What strikes me the most when you compare it with guitar oriented plug-ins like NI Guitar Rig, is that the GP-8 has much more punch/attack in it’s tone and has a more dense sound. The great thing is that these boxes are really cheap (I bought mine for €50,-)! They sound absolutely great!! My experience with Roland gear from the 80-ties is that they just keep on working, built quality is very good.
For GP-8 / TB MIDI stuff users out there, here’s the template:

GP-8 controller.tbms

Here’s a short demo:

 

Mac G5 Quad back from the dead

My G5 Quad is about 6 years old and still is a great machine, until a couple of weeks ago, when it froze on startup. Led no. 7 burned, which means that your processor’s dead or you logic board. In my case, it was the latter. Brought it to a Mac repair shop, they couldn’t help me, but had to pay €140,- for the check they did. A bit of Googling around learned that if you heat the logic board with a hair dryer, sometimes the machine could be brought back to life. I had nothing to lose, so gave it a try. Yes, it worked…. for a couple of hours. The feared LED#7 burned, the machine froze, fans going full power. I did the hair dryer treatment again, a bit longer than before, and it powered up fine, ran for about 12 hrs, so I thought that the problem was solved. Next day same problem on startup, I gave up hope…..

A few days ago I talked to a computer repair guy and he told me that instead of using a hair dryer or heat gun, you should remove the logic board and put it in an oven, he told that I should google on “reflow”, and yes, several Youtube video’s showed brave people putting the guts of their G5 machines into grills and ovens. I gave it a shot, desperate as I was, and after 8 minutes at 190˚C (375˚F) the apples were grilled. Did it work? Until now, YES!!! I ran the AHT (Apple Hardware Test), logic board OK, no other problems. Even after rebooting a couple of times, no LED’s burning:-)

Hopefully I can work another year on it before moving to a new Mac Pro (I was actually waiting for the Sandy bridge model that expect to arrive Q1 2012), but I read that the 2nd gen Sandy Bridge processors will be far more powerful than the ones that arrive in january, so I hope the logic board was “well done”…..

Of course, when the G5 dies again, I’ll let you know.

Update: april 3rd 2012. It died (again)…….

Update: november 7th 2012: after using an iMac 2008 I bought an Mac Pro 2,8 Ghz 8 core. I didn’t wan’t to wait for the 2013 Mac Pro to come out, the iMac was too limited for me in terms of processing and connectivity, that’s why I bought the 2nd hand Mac Pro. Great machine, put in an SSD HD, very fast and a lot quieter than the G5 Quad, which is a nice thing in a recording studio:-)

 

Video inside studio

Here’s a video of my studio. Enjoy!

New studio: construction

Finally, after months of hard work rebuilding the loft in our new house into a studio, it’s ready to rock! Here’s a photo report:

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