"I have always found doing conversions to be SO hard when you can't listen to the original arranger, to get a feel for what you should be shooting for. Drum assignments have strayed a LONG way from the early GM/GS days, and more and more arrangers are using non-standard sounds where, in the past, all was straightforward and standardized.
Just recently, Roland introduced a new OS for the GW-8 that finally allowed editing and saving the Internal ROM styles. Most of its' styles are quite new and fresh, so this represents the first large increase in new Roland styles for quite a while. This is a brand new product, a brand new synth engine (based on the Sonic Cell module), and unfortunately, is NOT set up for compatibility with legacy Roland arrangers. So far, I don't think EMC have released a module to convert GW-8 styles, so until that happens, it is up to us to do the necessary revoicing.
Now, you could do it the geeky way, and spend a lot of time poring over the GW-8 patch list, figuring out what the sounds are (sometimes hard to tell from some of the cryptic names!) and laboriously trying to find a G/E equivalent. But, in my opinion, a listen is worth a thousand patch charts! So I have been loaned a GW-8 from a friend, and while I create some Performances for him, I am recording audio snippets of all the basic ROM styles. I have so far decided to not do the World section, as it relies heavily on custom drum sets and sounds not in any other Roland arranger, consequently almost impossible to translate well. But, maybe if I have some success with a few of them (no luck so far) I may change my mind. Here is the first installment, all the Rock and Pop styles, all 56 of them!
I am recording the same basic structure on all these recordings: Intro4 (the complex one) Var1 Fill1 Var2 Fill2 Var3 Fill3 Var4 Fill4 (forgot this one on a few of the lower numbered styles) and Ending4 (the complex one. All in the key of Cmaj. (If you are interested, I recorded these direct to my Zoom H2 at 128kbps MP3 - sorry they are not better fidelity, but I wanted to keep the file sizes down).
Now, the styles are available from here.
You can transfer them into your arranger, select one, and hit play. It is going to sound TERRIBLE! Nothing like the original. But, if you solo each Part in the Makeup Tools, and then listen to the style's audio here, it will quickly be apparent what each Part is supposed to be. You can now go through your patch selection and select the most appropriate sound that works like the audio part does. Work your way through all the different Parts (GW-8, AFAIK, only has the basic Bass, Drums and six ACC Parts, unlike E/G series, that can have multiple sounds on one Part - as long as they don't sound at the same time - so that simplifies things a BIT!), and soon enough you have something FAR more usable.
Next are the drum sounds. Compare the GW-8's basic drum kits with the G/E series, you will find a LOT in common. But there is the occasional clunker. Have a good listen, and you will likely pick out what kind of sound it is. With any luck, you can substitute another sound from the G/E kit, and if not, simply press MUTE for that drum sound.
One thing to take into consideration is that the GW-8 can have an MFX on one of its' Style Parts. For the E80, this presents no problem (other than tracking down what it is and duplicating it) as it has Style MFX's. E50/60 unfortunately loses this. Your ears will have to be the judge if you are getting close enough or not. G70 needs my IFX mod to gain this 'MFX' on a style Part ability.
So.... here's a perfect opportunity for you to hone your Makeup Tools skills, and gain a fairly large selection of new style to add to your collection, all with that wonderful Roland sound. I hope you try some of these out.
The Jazz/Latin and Traditional sections are coming soon... Enjoy!"
Listen to some of the GW-8 styles below:
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