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Roland GP-8

Postby Von Junzt » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:52 pm

Hi folks,

I recently purchased a Roland GP-8 preamp/ effects unit. It is a fun unit that is rather cheaply available, and will give you those wonderful 80s guitar sounds in a box. It is also a rather cost effective way to get several Boss stompboxes.

One question though - the Roland FB-300 MIDI-controller has a "RRC2" connector - is there some sort of RRC to RRC2 connector available? Or do I need the FB-100? Or has anyone been using it with a regular MIDI floorboard?

Apart from that, does anyone know of any albums featuring the GP-8?
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Wonks » Wed Feb 12, 2020 3:48 pm

The cable seems to be just a way of getting the GP-8 to power the floor controller and provide a MIDI connection at the same time. I can't find any reference to an RCC to an RCC2 cable nor how to make one (or even if it's possible). If no-one else knows of such a cable, I'd just connect using two standard MIDI leads and power the FC-300 from a PSU (or batteries if pushed).
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby BigRedX » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:39 pm

That's interesting. As an ex-owner of both a GP8 and an FB-100 as well as various MIDI footswitches I'd always assumed that the RRC and MIDI connections on the back of the GP8 used completely different protocols, especially since there was a switch that only allowed one of the connectors to be used at a time.

However it appears that the RRC connector is essentially an non-optoisloated MIDI connector plus a power supply to drive the FC-100 footswitch. Have a look at this page for more details.

The GP8 works perfectly well (within the MIDI limitations of the device itself) with any MIDI footswitch. After my FC-100 died I swapped to an FC-200. The only down-sides are the fact that the patches are arranged in banks of 8 on the GP8 whilst most modern Footswitches work in banks of 10 which made remembering the program numbering differences between the two somewhat challenging, also the need for a separate PSU wasn't ideal, but I found that the FC-200 used up batteries too quickly for that to be a serious option.

However that fact that you could connect the footswtich via cheap and easily obtainable MIDi cables instead of the expensive and rare RRC cable was a definite plus.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Von Junzt » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:10 pm

Thanks guys, that basically answers my question regarding the floorboard. I somehow thought RRC was an odd implementation of MIDI. So I can use any other floorboard and select patches with it.

Being a bit of a gear snob and owning a vintage amp, I always avoided Boss and went for boutique gear. Having moved abroad, I find it quite a lot easier to use a unit like the GP-8, which is several Boss pedals in a box, plus a digital delay and chorus. I am having quite a lot of fun using it, and the distortion is even good for some metal applications (no, not Djent).
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:22 am

Man, I used to gig all over with that in a Jazz Fusion band.

Don't forget about the fact that the whole point is to recall your setting for all you stomp boxes at once!


What I am waiting for (anyone reading this can have my idea for free cause I just want it), is stomp boxes that have a universal interface so that they can all be controlled and set up from a master controller.

So let's say you have 10 stomp boxes. Classic stuff. Sounds good man!

But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.

Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.

Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.


I love my Gain Changer, Boss Octaver, Philospher's stone, EH Electric Mistress, etc.

It would be cool to be able to preset settings and recall them.

Just like the GTR rack in Waves but with real stomp boxes.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby desmond » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:00 am

DC-Choppah wrote:But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.
Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.
Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.

So you have like little motorised grabbers that snap onto the knobs and turn them under processor control to change settings?
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby blinddrew » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:01 am

desmond wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.
Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.
Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.

So you have like little motorised grabbers that snap onto the knobs and turn them under processor control to change settings?
I would go to a gig just to watch someone use such a device! :)
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Wonks » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:12 am

But there would be so much kit on top of the stomp boxes that you wouldn't be able to see anything. And the boxes would be out of the way with just a preset controller in front of the guitarist.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Von Junzt » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:04 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:Man, I used to gig all over with that in a Jazz Fusion band.

Don't forget about the fact that the whole point is to recall your setting for all you stomp boxes at once!


What I am waiting for (anyone reading this can have my idea for free cause I just want it), is stomp boxes that have a universal interface so that they can all be controlled and set up from a master controller.

So let's say you have 10 stomp boxes. Classic stuff. Sounds good man!

But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.

Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.

Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.


I love my Gain Changer, Boss Octaver, Philospher's stone, EH Electric Mistress, etc.

It would be cool to be able to preset settings and recall them.

Just like the GTR rack in Waves but with real stomp boxes.

Wouldn't the Kemper be an idea?
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Wonks » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:20 pm

Von Junzt wrote:Wouldn't the Kemper be an idea?
The Kemper can't profile time-based effects, so for compression, chorus, echo, flange. phase and reverb you'd have to use the supplied Kemper ones. It can do drives and distortions, though I have no idea how easy it is to do and how many knobs and switches you can add in for each effect.

You'd probably get further with the Line 6 Helix stuff, where you have a much wider selection of modelled (not profiled) effects available. But you still probably won't get anywhere near your preferred mix of stomp boxes as there are just too many of those available now. E.g. Andertons currently stock 444 types of drive pedals - and that's certainly not all that are available.

Just counted all the pedals that Andertons currently sell that change the sound in some way (excluding tuners, volume and looper pedals) and there are 1485 different pedals - and I'm sure that number keeps growing by the day.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:52 pm

Wonks wrote:Just counted all the pedals that Andertons currently sell that change the sound in some way (excluding tuners, volume and looper pedals) and there are 1485 different pedals - and I'm sure that number keeps growing by the day.

You need to get out more (and not just to guitar shops......) :bouncy:
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Wonks » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:15 pm

I only had to add up the numbers listed at the top of each pedal type section, rather than count them individually. :D
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:32 pm

:frown: Disappointed now, I had visualised you counting them on the shelves in the shop.......
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Wonks » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:33 pm

But a lot are kept in their warehouse.... :(
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:34 pm

Well, that shouldn't be a problem for you in 'cloak mode' :D
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby arkieboy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:00 pm

Wonks wrote:You'd probably get further with the Line 6 Helix stuff, where you have a much wider selection of modelled (not profiled) effects available. But you still probably won't get anywhere near your preferred mix of stomp boxes as there are just too many of those available now. E.g. Andertons currently stock 444 types of drive pedals - and that's certainly not all that are available.

But as with the nature of these things, lots of those designs essentially cluster around a few classics, and Line 6 have done a brilliant job of covering those bases I think. I have 29 different boost/drive/fuzz box emulations in my Helix from the Dallas Rangemaster through Analogue Man King of Tone to the Zvex Fuzz Factory. The kind of thing we're missing are emulations of the ambient time-based stuff by Strymon - Line 6 have form and a some good takes on ambient delays and reverbs, but you won't get exactly the same thing - and things like EHX Hog/Pog and their synth range which may be incoming judging on the jobs L6 have been advertising.

I don't really touch the sides of some of this - I like the Maxxon take on the TS and the Prince/King of Tone emulations, I'll use the Rangemaster if I'm feeling 70s and the Rat if I want some fuzz. But I love having the choice and its a lot of fun to play with all of this gear I could never afford to own at once.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby DC-Choppah » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:02 am

desmond wrote:
DC-Choppah wrote:But they all interconnect together with some new cable that runs between them all.
Then you can have this master box that can store the presets for all of them.
Like the GP-8 with all the custom presets, but works across anybody's custom stomp box.

So you have like little motorised grabbers that snap onto the knobs and turn them under processor control to change settings?

No no no :headbang:

When the controller cable is plugged in, the settings on the knob are overrided. Only the setting from the controller sets the controls. Unplug the cable and the setting snap back to the knob.

I would also like a little light that shows me where the current setting has the knobs pointed on the controller. If I align the knobs with the light, then when I unplug the cable the sound is the same.

get it!

I turn in my old stomp boxes. The new ones sound the same, but have this feature. Stomp boxes for the 21st century.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:51 am

Cool Idea. A number of the newer stomp boxes from the smaller shops have some serious midi control being built in. So much so that you can’t connect enough foot controllers to match the number of parameters. Some form of universal controller would work. But that would still leave many less midi endowed pedals uncontrolled unless your system was invented.
An add on to the midi spec we could call Pedal Midi could work if all pedal makers jumped on board.
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby adrian_k » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:59 am

ManFromGlass wrote:... jumped on board.

See what you did there :bouncy:
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Re: Roland GP-8

Postby DC-Choppah » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:20 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:Cool Idea. A number of the newer stomp boxes from the smaller shops have some serious midi control being built in. So much so that you can’t connect enough foot controllers to match the number of parameters. Some form of universal controller would work. But that would still leave many less midi endowed pedals uncontrolled unless your system was invented.
An add on to the midi spec we could call Pedal Midi could work if all pedal makers jumped on board.

Right. But I am talking about the classic stuff. So you get the exact same stomp box and sound, but it has the ability to store presets for a gig.

Everyone would re-issue their stomp boxes with the ability to use the controller. Digital control of analog. That's the future man!


Analog sounds better
Digital is better for controls and storing presets
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