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Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? #3014072 10/29/19 12:58 AM
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I ask because someone wanted to know if I was interested in heading up a discussion on MIDI guitar. After all these years, I gotta say, I just can't warm up to it. I tried the TriplePlay - I know it works for a lot of people, and maybe I just have it installed on the wrong guitar, but I don't have much luck with the tracking. The YouRock guitar is toylike, but I always found it at least functional...but although I'm not the best keyboard player in the world, I play keyboard better than I play MIDI guitar smile

I should probably give it another go and try with some new synths and create some patches optimized for MIDI guitar, but I dunno…

How many of you are successfully using MIDI guitar? How many want to check it out? How many have given up? Is Jam Origin as good as people say it is? Inquiring minds want to know.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014081 10/29/19 02:31 AM
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I got the original Triple Play when it was still fairly new. I've had it on 2 guitars and it's always triggered well overall. FWIW, I am not good on keyboards, it isn't my thing and isn't going to be, ever. I have an Akai MPK25 and a little X-Key ($10 on craigslist!) that I fire up once in a great while. Sometimes I want a note to sustain forever, a string eventually stops vibrating. Other keyboards have come and gone, I don't want them sitting here.

The time I used Triple Play to play an entire drum track in one take using Studio Drummer was a beautiful disaster, I could tell that it was possible but I had lots of false triggers - probably just poor technique on my part. The work-around there would be to go into the drum mixer and turn almost everything all the way down. Multiple takes.

At risk of being obvious, we've become accustomed to hearing piano played in a way that would be difficult or impossible to mimic on a guitar. Sort of like listening to many keyboardists trying to sound like a guitarist. It might be cool, it might be good music but it still rings false.

For me it is also difficult to adapt to triggering an instrument like the piano with a guitar. I instinctively want to stretch the strings and that creates weird chromatic runs in the tempered scale if you are lucky or just a mess. I did spend some time tryng to make that into a "style", it was amusing but failed to satisfy.

I liked it for riffing with a Hammond sound. I like it for some synth patches that can track pitches continuously rather than incrementally, that is probably my favorite application.

I like it for bells or choirs or other bits that decorate. I like it for huge bassy pads. I find it useful but my expectations were never high. I've seen the videos where somebody is whizzing around with all these sounds and I don't care how you trigger them, there is just something profoundly dull and uninteresting about samples. A local venue has a well tuned Steinway baby grand in a great sounding room and some of my friends can make incredible, gorgeous music on that thing but I've never felt that same richness with any of the ultra-super-just-like-real virtual pianos I've heard.

I see it as more "the fins on the Cadillac", without it you can still drive on down the road. Since I never expected it to do anything more than make it easier to play some simple parts with different sounds, it has not disappointed me. I may get flamed but I've never been happy pushing down the keys on a keyboard. There is something profound about having your fingers directly on the source of the tone/pitch that speaks to me. I've always been drawn to strings, flutes, hand drums, etc.

I recently posted this in one of your threads (I think?), this is several years old now. There are some real guitars, both electric and acoustic, Korg Wavedrum, bass guitar and all the weird stuff at the end was done with a Triple Play. I especially like the "anguished small animal sound" that pans and modulates - representing the demise of all marsupials. :- D That is the sort of thing I think the Triple Play can provide that is most useful to a non-adept keybungler like me. And yeah, I should remix it (but probably won't)...

https://www.reverbnation.com/opossumapocalypse/song/25501208-opossum-apocalypse

I have no answers for your other questions, we have a small Guitar Center here with very limited inventory and I hate driving in Seattle so I haven't seen the latest and greatest.


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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014082 10/29/19 02:45 AM
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I sure don't.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014085 10/29/19 02:53 AM
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Still have a Roland GM-70 that I haven't used in years. Fiddled with MIDI guitar and didn't find it inspiring. One trick that worked is Nashville tuning - bottom strings are octave higher, MIDI conversion is quicker, just transpose the octave strings after the conversion.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014102 10/29/19 11:15 AM
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I have a Casio MIDI guitar, and earlier this year I finally got it working again after a long illness (the guitar's, not mine). I'm not a keyboard player, so I thought it might help me get more interested in using MIDI, but I'm not an electric guitar player either, and I was never sufficiently inspired by what I could do with it to try to get better at playing it. That said, it's a lesson in latency, though if need be, I can fake a back-up bass part with it, or play horn stabs. It's fun to take out and play for 15 or 20 minutes before I realize that I'm not doing anything constructive.

I believe it was Dick Rossmini who strung one (not a Casio, something else) with the same string gauge across the guitar and tuned to the same pitch, so each string would take the same amount of time to figure out what note was being played. Each string had its own pickup output so he just set up the instrument to transpose each string to the correct pitch. Joni Mitchell used a Roland like that for a while, using the MIDI smarts to transpose the string pitch into that of the off-brand tuning she was using.

So, I guess for those who find a good use that works for them, they have a place.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Mike Rivers] #3014110 10/29/19 02:59 PM
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Have you tried programming any sounds that track better with the way you play? Even the most responsive Guitar-to-MIDI systems require a bit of adjustment in your playing technique. If you're trying to play quickly on a patch with a slow attack, the Synth will never keep up, and notes, even entire phrases, can drop out. Try a Piano patch instead of a Horn patch, and see if the response is any better.

I remember the Casio MG & PG series MIDI Guitars, which were really cutting-edge at the time. Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead used a Casio PG-380 for years. While I don't see many Guitars with true MIDI Outs, Guitar-to-Synth systems are still out there.

I use two different Guitars with hex pickups, a Godin Freeway SA, and a Brian Moore iGuitar 20.13. While they're not true MIDI Guitars, they're made to drive the Roland GR-series Guitar Synths, which double as MIDI Converters. The Godin is my main Guitar for performing with Novparolo, the Brian Moore is more of a back-up.

A lot of players who are more dedicated to the soft-Synth world use the Fishman Tripleplay, a wireless USB-to-MIDI Pickup that lets you play virtual Instruments within your computer; there's also a converter that lets you control hardware MIDI gear, as well.

When the first Guitar-to-MIDI systems came out, I remember more than one player stringing an entire Guitar with .010's tuned to "E", then transposing within the Synth engine, to avoid tracking errors. Gratefully, I've never had to do that.

BTW, it seems that when Joni Mitchell first got her Roland VG rig, she didn't know what to do with it, because the Roland box was made to track a Guitar in Standard tuning, which Joni didn't use. Apparently, it took a good bit of customer support from Roland, to get her set up, and sadly, once she'd finished the project, "Taming the Tiger" was one of her least successful albums.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Winston Psmith] #3014118 10/29/19 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Winston Psmith
Have you tried programming any sounds that track better with the way you play?


Absolutely, I find three aspects are essential:

* Mono mode so each string goes to its own channel
* 1 voice per channel (no polyphony), so it acts like a real string where you can't have more than one note play at a time
* Legato mode so you can do more natural gestures, like slides

The biggest problem I have with MIDI guitar is tracking pitch bend nuances, and the cleanup you have to do after recording a track - notes with low velocities, double triggers, etc.

It also seems the guitar matters a lot. A guitar with a "live" unamplified sound (e.g., PRS) rejects MIDI guitar like a foreign body. A deader guitar, like a Strat, seems to work best.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014119 10/29/19 04:03 PM
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I always thought an area where MIDI guitar could have real potential would be NOT using it to play notes, but to control effects. In other words, effects parameters could change depending on which notes you played, note velocities, and bending. Just having EQ track notes could be pretty cool, and varying LFO speeds for choruses and such, or delays for doubling, with velocity...you get the idea.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014134 10/29/19 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
[
It also seems the guitar matters a lot. A guitar with a "live" unamplified sound (e.g., PRS) rejects MIDI guitar like a foreign body. A deader guitar, like a Strat, seems to work best.


I am not quibbling but perhaps we use the words "live" and "deader" differently.
I am also very much at risk of being obvious to at least some of you, I can live with that. :-) 40+ years of guitar tech and luthier, sharing what I've learned (and what most of you may already know).
Bear with me, I will be describing a potential problem (or more) in just a bit.

For MIDI, ideally, you want an even response. Resonance ("live"?) is by it's very nature, uneven. What you are hearing is energy being transferred from the string to other parts of the guitar, usually the wood of the body or "fugitive" threads in an archaic bridge design. Energy transfer drains the string's energy. That changes the response of the string since random resonance is by it's nature - uneven in frequency response.

As an extreme to make the point, consider the difference between a banjo and a Les Paul. The banjo transfers the energy of the strings directly to the head, it sucks the sustain right out of the string and the head does not have the clear, even frequency response of a string so you hear the tone of the head as driven by the string. Banjos would make terrible MIDI instruments!!!!

As to a Strat being "dead", I am first going to make the assumption that the vibrato is locked down for all MIDI guitars as the vast majority of vibrato mechanisms raise the height of the string as the pitch is lowered, that compromises the ability of the MIDI pickup to accurately parse the note being played. Bigsby and the old Kahler vibratos are an exceptions but neither would work well for MIDI since they both are very resonant and rob considerable string energy.

As with all factory goods, some Strats are quite lively and others sound like a wet log. LOTS of variable can affect the tone of a Strat. The most common one that I've dealt with over and over is the pickup height. Those magnets are STRONG!!! But the output of a single coil is pretty low compared to a humbucker. If you raise the pickups up on a passive pickup strat to increase the output, you are creating a magnetic "drag" on that end of the string. I've adjusted many strats that the owner attempted to increase the output by raising the pickups and then the guitar could not be played in tune in the higher registers.

The reason is that one side of the string cannot vibrate freely, that would be the side that is over the MIDI pickup. At it's worst, it creates "wolf tones", really a weird and unpleasant tone. How is a MIDI pickup supposed to parse that? There are multiple, varying frequencies.

The Noiseless pickups in particular have very strong magnets. This magnetic field also affects the sustain.

Note that many humbuckers also have very strong magnets, check your PRS for that and lower them. It might make a big difference.

One of the reasons I switched to EMG pickups (besides not getting shocked back in the old days!!!) is the low magnetic field allows a more natural string tone, better intonation and sustain. The Lace Sensors are also very good in this regard.

I've had my Triple Play on a Strat and now a Tele, both Frankencasters, both with EMG pickups, no vibrato, 10-46 guage strings, Triple Play installed to spec and they do trigger well. My technique is now the major reason I have any glitching. That and some plugins just don't respond well to the waveforms generated by a string over the duration of a note.

Picking technique is also a factor. A light, even touch is going to produce better results than striking the string with force.

When all is said and done, I consider my Strat and Tele to be very lively guitars when plugged in, even though they are not acoustically resonant. It is intentional, I don't want resonance. I want an even response, to be colored by my playing techniques. I call this "battle" String Tone vs Body Tone.

Lots of variables, some of them subtle. Adjustments can be made.

Hope any of this is useful to somebody!!!!
Cheers,
Kuru


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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014145 10/29/19 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I always thought an area where MIDI guitar could have real potential would be NOT using it to play notes, but to control effects. In other words, effects parameters could change depending on which notes you played, note velocities, and bending. Just having EQ track notes could be pretty cool, and varying LFO speeds for choruses and such, or delays for doubling, with velocity...you get the idea.


Ah, now you have me thinking about how to manage some of this! MIDI Note# to PC# or CC#? How to generate MIDI Channel Pressure or Aftertouch from a conventional Guitar as a Controller? Good thing I don't have enough hair to pull out.

I can easily see setting up one of those Starr Lab Z-Tar Controllers to accomplish all of this, and very likely the TriplePlay, since it's all within the virtual realm, but how to manage it with what I have on hand. There goes my afternoon . . .


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014177 10/29/19 11:03 PM
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Winston -
No, I haven't tried programming or editing any sounds. I'm not that smart and don't care enough to to learn. It's a good thought, though. I see where you're heading with that.

I only tried recording a MIDI track in a sequencer with it a time or two and saw so many extraneous notes that I decided that it was more trouble than it's worth to fool with. About the only time I use it is when I want some MIDI data to try out something that needs it. The most I used it for recently was when I wrote a review of MODO Bass. I figured I could pretend I was a bass player with it and experiment with how the program reacted to (mostly exaggerated) playing dynamics.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014194 10/30/19 01:07 AM
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As a strict keyboard player, I do care about it, because it hasn't even remotely caught on as I'd hoped years ago. It requires three or four layers of discipline at once in a unique way. I saw a guy playing an early Roland GR with strings assigned to four different sounds and he was utterly melded with it. I was floored, but I've rarely heard the like since then. Guitar is a natural partner for a synth because of the immense fluidity it offers, but all the tracking mojo in the world means squat if you're not fired up by the broad options. You'll never really get it up to the proper autobahn speeds. I think the same issue applies to alternate controllers: the time & focus required to reach even basic competence. I have a good friend who is both a capable keyboard player and a serious guitar player, yet he admits to hitting the wall when programming the GR. The promise and the roadblocks both recall Robert Fripp's comment about Brian Eno playing the synthesizer "with his ears rather than his fingers." That's the part that "bugs" me the most, but its also the most fun: trying to find the best Venn spot I can muster between the two. Verdict still TBD. smirk


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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Mike Rivers] #3014233 10/30/19 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Winston -
No, I haven't tried programming or editing any sounds. I'm not that smart and don't care enough to to learn. It's a good thought, though. I see where you're heading with that.

I only tried recording a MIDI track in a sequencer with it a time or two and saw so many extraneous notes that I decided that it was more trouble than it's worth to fool with. About the only time I use it is when I want some MIDI data to try out something that needs it. The most I used it for recently was when I wrote a review of MODO Bass. I figured I could pretend I was a bass player with it and experiment with how the program reacted to (mostly exaggerated) playing dynamics.


MIDI Guitars trigger an enormous amount of extraneous data, when hooked up to Sequencers, or Music Transcription software. John McLaughlin settled on a Godin with a hex pickup to help transcribe his DVD series, and still had to edit out a lot of garbage. Not sure if I would put up with that either, but I'm not trying to use mine for that application.

I've found that programming my own sounds, and setting up the Sensitivity within the GR units, is essential. It's the digital version of doing your own re-string, set-up & intonation; you tweak the system so it responds best to your playing style. It becomes even more critical when I'm using the MIDI Out to control other Synths. OTOH, I get some amazing sounds in return for my efforts.

FWIW, programming the Roland GR series is a pain. It's more like a simplified ROMpler than anything else, where you essentially layer two sampled sounds, add a little bit of AR Envelope control, some on-board String Transposition, and some effects. It's not an intuitive process, but once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad, at least until you get to the GR-55, which is a hybrid of Roland's GR Guitar Synths, their VG Virtual Guitars, and their GT Guitar Effects Processors. You have multiple layers of programming in that unit, and if you're not sure which one you're working in, its easy to get lost.


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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: KuruPrionz] #3014239 10/30/19 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Hope any of this is useful to somebody!!!!


Very much so. I'm totally aware of pickup height/string drag etc., but haven't experimented with it and MIDI guitar that much...it could make a difference.

Then again, I use a thick thumbpick instead of a thin flatpick, so maybe I'm doomed anyway smile

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014274 10/30/19 06:26 PM
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Picks can be controlled, I use a 2mm Dunlop Gator. That is very thick. It has taken some slogging it out in the trenches (Paid Practice Program!!!) but I've gotten to the point that I can play lead and accompaniment simply by adjusting the force of the pick strike. This makes me happy, the last thing I want to do when I am in "The Zone" playing music is deal with knobs and such!

I am certain you've noticed that with some tempered scale plugins, even a slight accidental (or habitual!) stretch of a note will cause a glitch.
We've all noticed that some of our strings go sharper than others briefly when using an electronic tuner. The strike force is a factor, it is faster to tune a guitar with a gentle picking action than with a vigorous one.

So subtle changes can cause glitches. Some of the pitch artifacts caused by magnetic fields are subtle enough to go unnoticed (or be tolerated) by our ears but pitch detection devices can be adjusted to fine tolerances that do not abide variation. A MIDI keyboard can be tuned to work in ths realm, a string is another matter entirely.

The ultimate guitar for using a TriplePlay would not have any other pickups on it, possible exception being saddle pickups.
It would also be a non-resonant structure along the string path.

We can't get there with our beloved axes but we can get "close enough"!!!!!


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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014318 10/30/19 11:34 PM
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I tried one, luckily without having to purchase...

JMHO - MIDI guitars are for guitarists who want to play synth sounds and cannot play keys. Fine for filling the stage with sound. But synth played from a MIDI guitar will never be as expressive as the guitar can be, and the synth will not be as controllable as it would be if a keyboardist was sitting at a knobby synth. Too much compromise for me, but yet, I can see the use for a working musician who only plays guitar.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: RABid] #3014320 10/30/19 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RABid
I tried one, luckily without having to purchase...

JMHO - MIDI guitars are for guitarists who want to play synth sounds and cannot play keys. Fine for filling the stage with sound. But synth played from a MIDI guitar will never be as expressive as the guitar can be, and the synth will not be as controllable as it would be if a keyboardist was sitting at a knobby synth. Too much compromise for me, but yet, I can see the use for a working musician who only plays guitar.


A fair assessment, I cannot dispute it. I've never considered using mine live, I like a really simple live rig.

I only use mine when I am recording. I have keyboard MIDI controllers but I am not good at keys.
If I need a sustained note/chord I will use the keys, if not I may attempt it with my Triple Play rig.


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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014323 10/31/19 12:30 AM
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Actually being a keyboard player with experience in MIDI and a rhythm guitar player as 3rd instrument, my goal with MIDI guitar was to simulate acoustic guitar. My Kurzweil 1000-GX ROMpler has excellent acoustic guitar samples. I never liked the icepick tinny sound of a piezo pickup on an acoustic guitar. Simulating the strumming is impossible using a keyboard, so I experimented using MIDI guitar. It triggered fine but still did not sound like a genuine strummed acoustic guitar. I don't need MIDI guitar for synth/keyboard sounds so the MIDI guitar got sidelined. I may resume that experiment with a different guitar using input I read here.

My 2nd instrument is drums/percussion. I have a MIDI drum kit with a hodge podge of pads. That works pretty well for sounding like a drummer. If I want to sound like a drum machine sequence I'll just use the keyboard, if I want to sound like a drummer I'll use the drum kit.

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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014340 10/31/19 05:04 AM
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I used to, though I never owned a setup for it. I learned my first guitar at camp as teenager, which was when I just made my own synthesizer, and after a while I got interested in the staticity of the keyboard based sounds compared to a well used guitar. Later, I found the actual sound of the guitar lends itself to all the poppy things guitars were used for in music, and guitar synths were more tools for guitar players without keyboard skills. Then, I got interested in the converse: guitar sound simulation, to get warmer digital synthesis, which can be played by keyboard. Of course, there is a certain characteristic expressive power you could get from a guitar simulation by using a guitar like controller, but to me it's a nice application now.

Now, I'd think the solution is more in the production, especially digital ones.

TV

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Theo Verelst] #3014346 10/31/19 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Theo Verelst
IThen, I got interested in the converse: guitar sound simulation, to get warmer digital synthesis, which can be played by keyboard. Of course, there is a certain characteristic expressive power you could get from a guitar simulation by using a guitar like controller, but to me it's a nice application now.

Now, I'd think the solution is more in the production, especially digital ones.

TV


I think one reason keyboards do not accurately simulate actual guitarists is the difference in conditioning. As a guitarist, it has not been uncommon that I will find myself singing on stage and noticing that one of my strings is just a bit (or quite a bit!!) flat or sharp. Often, I can simply avoid that string while I play accompaniment for my vocals but then my guitar solo comes and it isn't a convenient moment to tune my guitar so I must compensate physically. An exposure to micro-tones. This has led to a study of them, they are very common in blues on guitar, vocals, harmonica but not so much on keyboards which tend to be pretty rigidly set to the tempered scale. Muddy Waters was not just a wild man with his slide, he repeats the same "out of tune" notes too often. So does Billie Holiday, I've heard many claim she sings flat because on occasion she swoops down below a tempered note, very intentionally and very consistently.

With modern keyboards, players could easily go to these micro-tones and sound much more like guitarists but generally speaking they have not been afflicted by an errant sector on the board and have not pursued that area of study. There is a Casio keyboard for playing Middle Eastern and Asian music, it can be set to play micro-tones. I think that's great.

And I do think it could be done but most of the time when I listen to keyboard solos I do not hear it.

Here is a great example of the spontaneous expressiveness of a guitar, including micro-tones. I would love to hear samples of keyboards doing something similar if you have any. As it stands, I am skeptical that production is the answer unless the musician/producer is aware, experienced and intentional to that aspect of melody.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiFcxilb30A


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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: KuruPrionz] #3014471 10/31/19 08:58 PM
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When B.B. King went from the flatted seventh to the tonic, I don't think he ever actually hit the tonic once before he died smile It seemed he always stopped just a bit short, to emphasize the "tension" in the tension/release part of the equation.

I use the pitch bend wheel A LOT. You can't hit the pitch dead on that way, and it sounds a lot better to my ears.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014476 10/31/19 09:22 PM
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Coming into this discussion late and haven't read everything.

The fact that you can assign different sounds to each string lends itself to voicings in different layers that are difficult to pull of on the keyboard - like having one note of a chord be a string sound. Sometimes a simple keyboard split can't achieve that. So in a live performance context with one keyboard player trying to cover many parts, the idea of a guitar player also being able to layer in some parts is attractive to me.

For soloing, the problem has always been fast and accurate tracking. Way back in the early 90s I saw a live band and the guitar player was playing Flute solos to Jethro Tull on his guitar, and it sounded phenomenal. I think it may have been an Axon rackmount unit.

Aside from MIDI, the Line6 variation guitars were pretty cool for doing things like 12 string acoustic, banjo, etc. without having to switch guitars, as well as alternate tunings.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014479 10/31/19 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
When B.B. King went from the flatted seventh to the tonic, I don't think he ever actually hit the tonic once before he died smile It seemed he always stopped just a bit short, to emphasize the "tension" in the tension/release part of the equation.

I use the pitch bend wheel A LOT. You can't hit the pitch dead on that way, and it sounds a lot better to my ears.


Truth! I was lucky to see BB King, great storyteller, great band and very influential early electric guitarist. He knew his "blue notes".
I often start my flatted 7th one fret lower and stretch up towards either the flatted 7th or the tonic. Same with the minor 3rd although on my scalloped board may run it up to the 4th or thereabouts.

This is a clear explanation of the differences between the tempered scale and the just scale. https://pages.mtu.edu/~suits/scales.html

Since blues has roots in African music and African music has roots in Middle Eastern music, different pitches may apply that neither the just nor tempered scales contain.
From this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scale_(music)

"Through the introduction of blue notes, jazz and blues employ scale intervals smaller than a semitone. The blue note is an interval that is technically neither major nor minor but "in the middle", giving it a characteristic flavour. A regular piano cannot play blue notes, but with electric guitar, saxophone, trombone and trumpet, performers can "bend" notes a fraction of a tone sharp or flat to create blue notes. For instance, in the key of E, the blue note would be either a note between G and G♯ or a note moving between both.

In blues, a pentatonic scale is often used. In jazz, many different modes and scales are used, often within the same piece of music. Chromatic scales are common, especially in modern jazz."

I will add that the semi tones near the flatted 7th are also "blue notes". It is interesting to me that the blues scales are often imposed over a major chord, that is a huge part of the blues sound.
Those subtleties cannot be expressed on an acoustic piano, which is why I mentioned conditioning. If early music training was piano lessons, that is an imprint of "correct" pitches. It is certainly possible to overcome it but one must be aware of it first.

All of this is so much fun!!!!! :-)


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Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014506 11/01/19 02:02 AM
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Something that makes a real guitar special is the 6 strings, each capable of having its own slight variant on tone and tune, being affected by the sound coming from the amp, and even affected individually by placement of the fingers on the fretboard. I don't know if this will ever be obtainable digitally in my lifetime. Not with a system that tries to capture the playing with a guitar pickup and convert it to MIDI data.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014543 11/01/19 04:03 PM
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Now simulating overdriven power chord guitar on synths... that's not easy. I never liked samples, too monotonous. Power chord guitar is so dynamic. I've gotten the best results using analog synths with key velocity routed to timbre modulation; but works better when played in unison with a guitar player, standalone not as good. Besides modulating filter cutoff with key velocity, you need to alter EG transients to simulate the dynamics of muting/picking. Andromeda works pretty well and includes distortion effects. In my current 70s/80s classic rock band we have a primary guitar player; I double on rhythm guitar but for those times my hands are busy on keyboards I have to double rhythm guitar on synths.

Fingerpicking is easy on a keyboard. I used to pull off Fleetwood Mac "Landslide".

I think simulating overdriven guitar solos is easier. I dialed up a pretty good one on my Moog Voyager (including muting from key velocity), and my Oberheim OBX can get screaming guitar solos. ARP ProSoloist is hard to beat but is missing pitch bend (which I now accomplished using Bob Greig's MIDI interface).

But slightly distorted guitar solos, ala old school country rock is even harder than power chord guitar I don't even attempt it. Some things are just better left to a real guitar.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: RABid] #3014546 11/01/19 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RABid
Something that makes a real guitar special is the 6 strings, each capable of having its own slight variant on tone and tune, being affected by the sound coming from the amp, and even affected individually by placement of the fingers on the fretboard. I don't know if this will ever be obtainable digitally in my lifetime. Not with a system that tries to capture the playing with a guitar pickup and convert it to MIDI data.


The old Roland GR-300, which I still think was the best guitar synth ever made because it didn't use MIDI, was really cool because it processed the strings to create sawtooth waves. However, the sawtooth wave duration didn't change. So at lower pitches, it was more like a pulse wave, and became more sawtooth-like as you went up the neck:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

That made for a timbral difference that felt VERY guitar-like. When Roland was going to introduce MIDI for guitar, I said to Mr. Kakehashi that I felt that was going in the wrong direction, and further development of the GR-300 would be the way to go. He didn't agree smile But I guess the SY-300 is kind of like that.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: The Real MC] #3014547 11/01/19 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Now simulating overdriven power chord guitar on synths... that's not easy.


Of course I can play power chords on guitar, but sometimes I want more of a synth vibe. What works for me is sampling unprocessed guitar strings, and running the output through an amp sim. I'm working on a song at the moment that isn't quite ready for prime time, but I think I've managed to get a keyboard sound with the same kind of power as guitar power chords, although not exactly the same sound.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014590 11/01/19 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by RABid
Something that makes a real guitar special is the 6 strings, each capable of having its own slight variant on tone and tune, being affected by the sound coming from the amp, and even affected individually by placement of the fingers on the fretboard. I don't know if this will ever be obtainable digitally in my lifetime. Not with a system that tries to capture the playing with a guitar pickup and convert it to MIDI data.


The old Roland GR-300, which I still think was the best guitar synth ever made because it didn't use MIDI, was really cool because it processed the strings to create sawtooth waves. However, the sawtooth wave duration didn't change. So at lower pitches, it was more like a pulse wave, and became more sawtooth-like as you went up the neck:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

That made for a timbral difference that felt VERY guitar-like. When Roland was going to introduce MIDI for guitar, I said to Mr. Kakehashi that I felt that was going in the wrong direction, and further development of the GR-300 would be the way to go. He didn't agree smile But I guess the SY-300 is kind of like that.


As a seasoned sound designer, I find that very intriguing. Thanks!

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: Anderton] #3014591 11/01/19 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by The Real MC
Now simulating overdriven power chord guitar on synths... that's not easy.


Of course I can play power chords on guitar, but sometimes I want more of a synth vibe. What works for me is sampling unprocessed guitar strings, and running the output through an amp sim. I'm working on a song at the moment that isn't quite ready for prime time, but I think I've managed to get a keyboard sound with the same kind of power as guitar power chords, although not exactly the same sound.


Another thing to take into consideration is the far from perfect guitar pickups. For barre chords I find that forming the chord from sampled unprocessed guitar strings doesn't sound the same as the same chord going through the pickup. I suspect that the pickup is distorting the timbre of the chord in a way that doesn't happen by using samples. I can hear the difference but I don't think anybody has analyzed why.

Amp sims can make a difference, no doubt. Heck I have some decent guitar amps here that I'm not afraid to put my Rhodes through.

Re: Does Anyone Care About MIDI Guitar? [Re: The Real MC] #3014603 11/01/19 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by The Real MC
Now simulating overdriven power chord guitar on synths... that's not easy.


Of course I can play power chords on guitar, but sometimes I want more of a synth vibe. What works for me is sampling unprocessed guitar strings, and running the output through an amp sim. I'm working on a song at the moment that isn't quite ready for prime time, but I think I've managed to get a keyboard sound with the same kind of power as guitar power chords, although not exactly the same sound.


Another thing to take into consideration is the far from perfect guitar pickups. For barre chords I find that forming the chord from sampled unprocessed guitar strings doesn't sound the same as the same chord going through the pickup. I suspect that the pickup is distorting the timbre of the chord in a way that doesn't happen by using samples. I can hear the difference but I don't think anybody has analyzed why.

Amp sims can make a difference, no doubt. Heck I have some decent guitar amps here that I'm not afraid to put my Rhodes through.


9th post down in this thread I discuss ways that pickups can affect the tone/pitch of strings.

There is much more to your question than what I've posted above. Pickups do change the timbre of the sound coming from the strings. There are many types of pickups, guitarists are obsessed with them and discussions of "This vs That" are abundant on the internet. The type of magnet, the guage of wire used to wind the coil. the warp and woof of the winding, the resistance of the coil(s), the difference between single coils and humbuckers, the configuration of the humbuckers, the location on the string path of the pickups and the controls on the guitar all change the timbre. The amp used, the speaker used, the tubes used (if there are tubes) all contribute. Guitar cords can even change the timbre, depending on the pickups, the length of the cord and the quality of the sheilded wire used.

To further complicate things, there are many different types of strings. All of them will sound different depending on how they are plucked and what they are plucked with. Many of use use a picking technique sometimes where the pick strikes the string and the flesh of the finger/thumb/hand quickly contacts the string and creates a harmonic.

But wait, it gets worse!!!! A Fender guitar with a maple neck and ash body will make the strings sound different than a Fender guitar with a rosewood fingerboard and an alder body. It is a minor difference but it can be heard and felt. Start factoring in mahogany guitars, semi hollow guitars, hollow guitars, solid woods vs laminated woods, composite guitars and there is another, much larger set of differences.

So, no matter how you sampled your strings, there are umpty bajillion different ways to do it and they will sound different.
Many of these differences can be expressed by a guitarist on the fly, in an instant, simply by using their pick or fingers differently to express what they are feeling or switching from the neck pickup to the bridge. All of this is to say nothing of the techniques available to the fretting hand to modify pitches (often only one pitch is moved when 3 notes are played) and other fun stuffs.

That is why I made a post above regarding the relatively un-complex sound of a keyboard emulating a guitar. You may be able to play a part the passes for a guitar in your mind or the mind of many but some of us feel that this is not the strong point of keyboards. Granted, keyboards can do many things guitars cannot. It is really apples and oranges, taking into acount that apples and oranges are both good!

Simply sampling a string is like putting a stone on the ground and wishing it was a mountain.


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