Tag Archive: roland gr-1


I’ve been into MIDI guitar for nearly 20 years now and when a viewer asked me to talk about the guitars in my collection, I thought it would be more interesting to talk about MIDI guitar and the various internal MIDI conversions I have performed over the years.

Click here for HD quality

As I have a terrible cold, I can’t really make any YouTube videos at the moment (unless you want to watch me sniffle and snort my way through them, of course). So I decided to grab my camera and make this little abstract number to accompany the very first piece of ambient music I ever recorded.

The track is called “Angel’s Tears” and it was recorded in 1994/1995 – I am not sure exactly when – and it features the Roland GR-1 guitar synthesiser. This was before looping or delay pedals were added to my sonic arsenal and so it is just me using long sustained pad sounds and lead lines. There might be one layer of overdubbing. I can’t remember. I doubt it because it was recorded using my Yamaha MT4X four-track cassette recorder – so I would imagine I recorded it as live as possible.

Click here for 720p HD Quality

You can buy this track here: http://music.darrenlock.com/track/angels-tears

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This is a track I recorded a decade ago and I have made a little video to accompany it. Season’s greeting to all those who come here and follow me and I hope you have a prosperous New Year.

Watch in glorious 1080p HD video

Silent Night EP cover

Festive ambient drones from yours truly...

I have released this track as part of an EP, which includes two versions of the song and a digital download of the video in HD resolution. You can purchase said EP from the link below:

BUY THE SILENT EP HERE

This set of recordings were committed to hard drive between April and September 1999. At that moment in time, I’d only dipped my toe in the water of “ambient” music and was taking my cue from Robert Fripp, Brian Eno and Terry Riley. I remember that these recordings were put down quickly and it being quite a fraught, yet exhilerating process as it was really seat-of-the-pants stuff. One mistake or duff note and the take would be ruined, so you had to keep focus and really concentrate on the process. However, that rush of adrenalin was the key, I believe, to these recordings.

In terms of equipment, I was only using my Fender Fat Strat guitar and my Roland GR-1 guitar synth – there were no delay pedals in my collection at that time. The really good thing about the GR-1 was that you could modify the sounds so that had a slow decay, so you could trigger a note and it would resonate for a long while, allowing you to move your fingers to another note or chord. So you could create these big smears of sound and create a veritable audio soup without the need for looping or delay pedals. The sound would then decay slowly allowing you to consider your next move…or not.

I don’t know if this is particularly good or not – I have a great fondness for it because I was moving off the map – but here it is cleaned up for the 21st century and available as a free download too.

So this is the album “Blue” and it represents my first steps into ambient music.

Enjoy!