Midi guitar?

Discussion in 'General Sequencing' started by shaft99, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. shaft99

    shaft99 New Member

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    Has anybody used a midi guitar to make midis? I've been thinging about getting one to make the bass sound more natural. Any opinions or experience?

    Thanks,
    Steve
  2. saxmidiman

    saxmidiman Member

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    I use a Roland GR1 to make alot of the bass and guitar stuff for my midis. It's much better than a keyboard for any stringed instrument. I wanna get a Yamaha wind driver for the brass and woodwind parts of my midi for the same reason. It works really well once you tweak them a little.
  3. grayb47

    grayb47 New Member

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    I had the first roland midi guitar that came out over 20 years ago. At that time the sound flow was too slow and the sound was also slow developing. Was impossible to use in sequencing. Newer versions have improved a lot but still a delay there so you may have to shift the track after you complete it.
  4. saxmidiman

    saxmidiman Member

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    I've been playing my GR1 for quite a while and learned to work slightly ahead of the beat. It's only off a fraction. Still gives a better result than keyboards on bass or guitar for the most part.
  5. mookate

    mookate New Member

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    those roland v-bass things are quite impressive, i had a go on one and don't recall any delay.

    they're really fancy and expensive though...full on bass modelling.
  6. BrandonChand

    BrandonChand New Member

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    My friend used the Roland GR-01 too... he wasn't too good with it and it always sounded terrible... I honestly don't know why he bought the thing
  7. saxmidiman

    saxmidiman Member

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    A GR-1 is as good as the player for the most part. It needs to be set for the player in terms of sensitivity and such. The pickup has to be mounted on the guitar a certain way or it just does not function properly at all. It these precautions are taken, then the synth sounds pretty good.

    Sloppy technique will also cause some terrible sounds from the synth. If you hit all the strings causing a "chuk" sound, the pickup will register this and send out a pitch. If you use improper picking hand technique, you may get all sorts of problems.

    Just set the thing up as best as you can and really refine your technique. Eric Johnson uses a GR-1, as well as Santana. These guys don't complain about it.
  8. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    Yes.

    Ermmm.... you want to use midi guitar to make a bass sound more natural. That has to be one of the oddest statements of the year! Wouldn't you be better off using a bass?

    Yes - I can give some pointers.

    Firstly, if you have never used midi guitar before, be prepared for a whole new learning experience. Sloppy playing technique (and we're all guilty of that) will result in sloppy midi files. Things you might get away with on stage, in a 'live' situation, simply won't hold water in a recording environment.

    Modelling systems are far easier to come to terms with - but they don't produce midi files, of course.

    I speak from bitter experience. I have fiddled around with midi guitar for years, on and off. However, although fine on stage, I found it was much better to use a keyboard as the controller when using the system to actually put together midi files. Unless you want a 'guitar sound' - when you might just as well use a real guitar, since it will be more convincing anyway - most of the other voices you will be attempting are far easier to control with a keyboard than any guitar and it's easier to play the right chord voicings.

    Problems with technique, unreliable pitch to voltage conversion, tracking delays, etc., etc. will conspire against you for much of the time and you will spend more time fixing the finished file than you ever did recording it in the first place.

    There's one exception I know of - the Ztar controller (www.starrlabs.com). This is, essentially, a guitar shaped keyboard - although there is really a lot more to it than that statement implies, it's complete instrument in its own right. Very useful, if you already play guitar and not keys, since you can use a lot of your existing knowledge and it will not take you very long to start using it in anger. I bought one of these a few months ago and really has opened up a whole new area for me.

    The downside is they are not cheap (but then, neither is a good master keyboard controller) and they are custom built, so don't expect to get one off the local music store shelf.

    If you get seriously interested in one of these things, your best bet is to write to the company and ask if they have an owner living somewhere local to you and go and talk to him/her. Be prepared for a thorough indoctrination - Ztar players know they have an extraordinary device at their command and will do their very best to convince you to buy one :) .
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2004
  9. kuerbo

    kuerbo New Member

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    I used a Casio Midi guitar. It sucked big time!
  10. kuerbo

    kuerbo New Member

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    I forgot to mention, one of the worst things about it was the feel of the plastic strings!!!

    Haven't tried a newer model or another brand though...
  11. saxmidiman

    saxmidiman Member

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    I've used guitars on a good percentage of my midi's. I've used filters to help with getting rid of useless info from my guitar synth. Or I will just use a scrub on a piano roll to erase the five million little pitch changes (being very careful not to erase the big pitch bends I want to keep. It's not as hard as it seems.
  12. robindegen

    robindegen New Member

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    i have a normal electric guitar, with V-Amp 2, which has midi support. But it doesnt sound that well on the pc. If you throw it through a good software seqencer, (or even hardware if you have it) it sounds ok.
  13. Graeme

    Graeme New Member

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    I fail to see the relevance of this comment to the question - which was about midi guitars.

    The V-Amp is a modelling device, with some midi control - but it will not produce midi files from the output of the instrument. For that sort of thing you need a pitch to midi convertor (such as the Roland GI 20 or the Axxon).

    Now, I'm even more confused - since there is no midi output in the first place, how can you use it in conjunction with a sequencer?

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