I’ve been using Roland and BOSS equipment for a long time, especially the GR line of guitar synths. I’ve owned a GR-1, a GR-09, a GR-30, and now I’m using the GR-55. I’m also using a BOSS ME-70 as my main guitar effects pedal. In my home studio, the centerpiece of my recording equipment is the Roland STUDIO-CAPTURE interface.
I’ve programmed each of the left footswitch settings in my GR-55 user setups to sound like a Fender Jazz Bass using the V-Guitar sounds, since I like to have that octave below in the background to make my sound heavier, similar to Leslie West of Mountain. This is a big part of my live sound, but I have also used it in the studio. Another of my favourite sounds in the GR-55 is the Hammond Organ, like Jon Lord’s of Deep Purple. I’ve also programmed various pad sounds, and an orchestral sound with a nice bass on my lower three strings (you can program each string individually with the GR-55, a nice feature!) as well as a solo cello.
Another of my favourites is a V-Guitar Les Paul downtuned to B. You can actually tune your guitar any way you want on the V-Guitar section for some really original chordings! I use a Godin xtSA three-way output guitar to run three different channels; acoustic and the 13-pin output to the GR-55 through a Yorkville keyboard amp, and my electric guitar output through the BOSS ME-70 into a Marshall. I get a really huge sound live that way.
As for recording, sometimes I run the output of my Marshall line out, or sometimes straight out from my ME-70 into a DI into the STUDIO-CAPTURE. I use a lot of the different COSM amps and the preamp on the ME-70, my two favourites being the tweed and the stack. I also use the chorus a lot and the wah pedal is very good too. I use the compressor (COMP) and overdrive (OD-1) mainly for leads – excellent sustain without breaking up.
What I really like about the STUDIO-CAPTURE is the Auto-Sens feature, which can adjust the levels of the preamps automatically to save you a lot of time and hassle. I have used it on a drum kit with seven channels at a time, and that feature performs amazingly well. I just select the channels I am going to use, then press the Auto-Sens button while having the player perform at their loudest possible level on all these selected channels. The Auto-Sens does it all for me in one go. I use the built-in compressors too, especially when recording voice and bass. The controls on the STUDIO-CAPTURE are nice and intuitive and easy to understand even for beginners, and there are a plenty of different inputs and outputs to work with on this nice piece of equipment. It also tracks with extremely low latency in my DAW.
I’m continuing my adventures with my Roland and BOSS equipment all the time, and loving every minute of it while recording this new album! You can listen to some of the sounds I’ve done with my Roland and BOSS equipment at www.arapacis.com/music.htm.
Jerry Fielden is the guitarist for Montreal-based hard rock/metal band AraPacis. They have released four albums as well as an EP, and have had guests like Guy LeBlanc of Camel, and Don Airey of Deep Purple playing on their material. AraPacis is currently working on their fifth album.