B2M and Roland GR-20

The B2M™ Universal Bass to MIDI Converter.

B2M and Roland GR-20

Postby swpyne » Thu Apr 09, 2015 11:01 pm

I have been using this combination for about a year now. There are two issues that I'm having and I would love to figure out how to get them resolved.

The first is that sometimes the B2M just quits working. I have to unplug the cable going into it from my bass and then plug it back in to get the B2M to respond properly again. As you might imagine, this is most annoying when I'm playing live. I have not been able to make any correlations as to why it happens. I have tried different cables, different basses as well as a fresh battery but it still happens.

The second issues is that the volume level of a given patch that I'm using often times decreases by itself. For example, I am using a string patch and I've got it nicely balanced with my bass guitar output. I'll be playing along and for no apparent reason the level of the GR-20's output drops by maybe 40 to 50 percent. Even if I push the pedal all the way down it won't get any louder. What I have discovered is that if I unplug my cable from the B2M and then plug it back in again, the output level of the GR-20 returns to the hotter original output level. Also it seems that I can sometimes get the volume back if I switch to a different patch and then switch back. This doesn't always work but some of the time it does.

I have been wondering if maybe my B2M is defective. Any thoughts or ideas on what might be causing these issues and how I might go about resolving them would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks is advance for any assistance!
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Re: B2M and Roland GR-20

Postby james » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:51 am

The first is that sometimes the B2M just quits working. I have to unplug the cable going into it from my bass and then plug it back in to get the B2M to respond properly again. As you might imagine, this is most annoying when I'm playing live. I have not been able to make any correlations as to why it happens. I have tried different cables, different basses as well as a fresh battery but it still happens.


The B2M (and the G2M) have an auto-power-off to guard against accidentally leaving it connected and draining the battery. If the B2M doesn't see a signal for 30 minutes, it will power-down. As long as it sees a signal, it should stay on.

There is also a low-battery shut-down. This should only happen if the low-battery LED is lit. The LED lights to show the battery is low, and the power-down will only happen when it is "really low"... usually some hours after the LED first lights.

The second issues is that the volume level of a given patch that I'm using often times decreases by itself. For example, I am using a string patch and I've got it nicely balanced with my bass guitar output. I'll be playing along and for no apparent reason the level of the GR-20's output drops by maybe 40 to 50 percent. Even if I push the pedal all the way down it won't get any louder. What I have discovered is that if I unplug my cable from the B2M and then plug it back in again, the output level of the GR-20 returns to the hotter original output level. Also it seems that I can sometimes get the volume back if I switch to a different patch and then switch back. This doesn't always work but some of the time it does.


The B2M automatically adjusts its sensitivity based on what you play so that it can work with instruments with different output levels. If you put in a big signal, that will reset these levels and subsequent notes could then appear quieter than expected.

Are you switching the signal into the B2M? I am wondering if you are and the B2M shuts down because it's been idle for 30 minutes. Switching the signal back to the B2M could cause a click/pop that causes the velocity sensitivity to be reset.

Please let me know more info about your setup.
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Re: B2M and Roland GR-20

Postby swpyne » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:52 pm

Thanks for your reply.

The B2M that I'm using has been modified so that it runs off of a OneSpot 9volt AC power supply. I'm thinking that because it's AC powered, the low-battery shut-down feature should not engage.

I don't use a switcher so the auto-power-off feature shouldn't kick in either. My bass is always connected directly into the B2M.

I take the midi out from the B2m and run it directly into the GR-20 and I take the 1/4" thru output from the B2M and put it directly into the input of my pedal board. My pedal board starts with a Peterson StroboStomp, then goes into a Tech21 VT-Bass preamp, a TC Helicon HOF reverb and a TC Helicon Corona chorus. The output from the pedal board goes back into the "Guitar Input" on the GR-20. Then I run the mono output from the GR-20 into my amp. By running the pedal board "through" the GR-20 I am able to get a single "summed" output that has both the bass signal and the GR-20's midi synth signal mixed together.

Here are some photos of my actually setup.

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swpyne
 
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Re: B2M and Roland GR-20

Postby james » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:46 am

Sorry for the delay in replying. We've been discussing various ideas here...

We think it could be one of the following:

(1) A bad PSU connection. Maybe the connection to the power can be interrupted sometimes. If this interruption is very short, maybe it could cause the unit to reset (and you see a change in velocity), or cause it to lock-up (so it enters the low power state). This isn't something I've seen before. I would expect a bad power connection to cause the unit to power down and restart, but simply reconnecting the bass lead wouldn't get it running again. Have you checked the power connection is very secure?

(2) EMC/ESD. Perhaps some interference (EMC), or static discharge (ESD) is getting into the B2M. This can cause the processor to reset. In most cases, it will reset and you won't notice, but it is possible you could see a change in velocity. In some cases, it is possible for this to "kill" the processor, so that you need to restart it (unplug/replug the jack). There is protection against this, but it can't always be 100% successful. Sticking some ferrite beads onto the input leads should help with any EMC problems. I'd start with power cable first.

Can't think of anything else at the moment. The fact that it always recovers when you repower the unit, suggests the B2M is working and doesn't have any internal problem (e.g., an intermittent connection).
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Re: B2M and Roland GR-20

Postby swpyne » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:11 pm

So I am still using the B2M with my GR-20 and I continue to have the same issues as previously described. I even purchased a second B2M but it has the same problem. I'm wondering if your new version of the G2M has a way to turn off sleep mode as well as the input sensing algorithm (which seem to be my problem). It has become so frustrating to use the B2M that I am considering giving up the whole idea. I can play a song and trigger a very nice string patch using the GR-20 but if I keep using it, it will become softer and softer until I can't hear the GR-20 patch. If I unplug my bass's input cable from the B2M and then plug it back it, everything resets and it works fine again for a little while. HELP, this is making me crazy!!!
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Re: B2M and Roland GR-20

Postby james » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:34 am

The new G2M V3 has the ability to turn off sleep mode (when using battery power). When using a 9V power supply, sleep is automatically disabled.

Also, the pitch-detection algorithms have been significantly updated in the G2MV3, so you'll also notice an improvement in performance.
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