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Guitar Synthesis


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First off, hey to all.


I recently picked up one of those keytars that Roland makes. I already had an XV-5050 with the SRX-07 card & I midi'd the keytar into this. I'm kind of interested in doing some electric guitar synthesis using this thing. Problem is, I've gone through all of the different guitar tones on both the synth and the exp. card, and they all sound mediocre at best. The tone I'm looking for is somewhat akin to a Knopfler-ish strat tone - real expressive, moody stuff.


So I was wondering if anyone had any input on which tones to use, what synth, etc. I feel I might be fighting a losing battle here trying to replicate guitar tones on a synth, but I figured I'd have a little faith in digital synthesis before giving up and learning guitar. =)


Comments apprectiated. Thanks.

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Hey Snakebite.


Welcome. I don't think you would be satisfied with any synth, trying to emulate a guitar tone. At least not as a solo instrument. There is always the possibility of playing a few guitar licks. into the background of a track and many synths will do that creditably. However being "a guitar without strings" is a losing proposition in my view. Stop before you start.


Think about what you are trying to achieve. What is it about Knopfler's tone that you like. (I like it too.) Is the gentle chorusing, the bite he sometimes creates, the genetle bends, etc. If you think you can list many more of these specific attributes ... pick up the guitar and master it.


At the other end of the spectrum, you may love Knofler's phrasing generally. His way of communicating ideas. His way of "commenting" on the vocal line. If all you are looking for is a means of expressing yourself in a lead voice ... you can design a synth sound that will be effective with "certain" audiences. Typically not classic rock audiences. I don't know if that would bother you.


Getting a usable, responsive lead voice can take a lifetime to master on a keyboard, just it does on a guitar. Samples won't cut it, you will have to control synthesis "circuitry" to get the tonal control. Think about it before you begin. Study other synthesists to see if there is one of them who's tone you might like. (Jens Johannsen is someone you might like) If you continue to have faith in digital synthesis after that, you will likely end up with some great lead sounds that won't necessarily sound like a guitar.


Based on what you've said ... I think you should take up the guitar.



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Good advice Jerry,


Take it from a former guitar player. If you want to sound like a "real" Fender Strat through a twin reverb .You should have a real Fender Strat and twin reverb.

You think keyboarders are bad for looking for good tone? You should watch a guitarist ,try all kinds of set ups, equipment trades and switchs. They are in constant search for thier Holy Grail tone.


Guitarist are far more prone to live in the the vintage world .

A keyboard player lives for the future,a guitarist lives for the past, equipment wise that is. Of course a lot of that is more of a weight per gig issue than sound.

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