Roland Gi-20 & Roland Gk-3 Review

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Roland Gi-20
Roland Gi-20


General Information

Original Author: Trond Vold

Weapons: Roland Gi-20

Make: Roland

Model: Gi-20

Price: $315 (from eBay)

It's basically a box that translates guitar-notes to midi-signales and lets you play whatever sound you have at your disposal on a guitar.

Latency and Tracking

The latency and tracking is quite good actually, but i noticed that it works alot better through a midi-interface rather then using the integrated USB-connection. Not really sure why, but it just feels more smooth and error-free this way. The tracking is still not completely error-free though as it picks up some unwanted tones here and there, but this might be due to sloppy playing aswell You can select different sensitivity profiles which makes it possible to track tapping and finger playing aswell.

One thing it's missing though, is the option to assign different channels to parts of the fretboard and not just by different strings. The Terratec AX-50 has this option, but in return it's a bit more pricey. 8/10

Ease of Use

Setting it up and making presets is not as easy as it could be, and the interface is not intuitive at all. If you dont have a manual ready then your pretty much lost at first. But once you get the hang of it, then you quickly memorise what each option does. But connecting it to your PC and getting it up and running was remarkably easy. 6/10

Value and Overall Impression

This is a seriously fun toy! Especially if you have a lot of VST instruments or sound modules available to you. The possibilities are endless and there's just something really cool about using your guitar to play pianos, strings, doo-voices, bagpipes, flutes and whatnot It's not an expensive unit either. Retail is about 400$, but you can find one new on eBay for 300-350$. 9/10

Roland Gk-3
Roland Gk-3

General Information

Original Author: Trond Vold

Weapons: Roland Gk-3

Make: Roland

Model: Gk-3

Price: $150 (from a norwegian shop)

You have to have a GK-3 or a GK-2A pickup to use the GI-20. It's the device that converts the notes played to signals the GI-20 can interpret.


The GK-3 is alot easier to install than the previous GK pickups. It comes with 3 installation possibilities: Either by drilling holes in your guitar body (not likely!), connecting it with a pickup-holder on the bridge or with double-sided tape. I went with the double-sided tape option. The box that is connected to the pickup where you plug in the cables is installed in the strap-holder plug. 8/10

Usage and Overall Impression

The GK-3 can also transmit your normal guitar-sound. You plug your jack-cable into it from your guitar, and it gets sent to the GI-20 that has an output you can then connect to your amp. This to save having 2 long cables to avoid stepping on The GK-3 have 2 buttons (up and down) for patch-selecting on the GI-20, and a slider switch for selecting just the GK, a mix, or just the guitar and also a volume button.

It does what it's supposed to do and does it well. 8/10

In short; There's alot of fun to be had with these toys. It might seem a bit complicated at first, but there's nothing the manuals cant solve. Definetly recommended. And just as a reminder: This box doesnt have any sounds at all. It is useless if you dont have access to VST's or sound modules!

Here's a little Mp3 of me testing the GI-20 with Phaedra and Trilogy.