Guitar synthesis

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by guidedbyechoes, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. guidedbyechoes

    guidedbyechoes Member

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    If anyone can answer this much thanks. I was looking at the GI 20 and it is supposed to be a midi interface. I was wondering basically I need a gk pickup, the GI 20 and some sort of sound module such as a MO Phat keyboard module and I have my own specialized guitar synth or do I still need to by a Gr-33 or such to control it still?
     
  2. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    GI 20 + a MIDI MODULE + GK PICKUP is all you need.
    But if you want to spend a bit more$$ check out the AXON AX 100 midi converter, in my opinion the only one worth using, if you want to control midi modules.
    E.B.
     
  3. guidedbyechoes

    guidedbyechoes Member

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    What makes this a superior unit? Better tracking? Also how much is a bit?
     
  4. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    Much better/faster tracking, especially when using external modules for the sound source.
    I had the Blue Chip AXON AX100, but now there is a new version and they're owned by TERRATEC, check out these sites more more info:
    www.terratec.com
    and also: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/midiguitar

    E.B.
     
  5. guidedbyechoes

    guidedbyechoes Member

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    wow better tracking? I tried a gr-33 and I thought it had excellent tracking the only problem with it was it costs too much and wouldn't be as versitle as a sound module. Also could I use the GI or axon to trigger vst's or do I need to buy pro tools on top of that. I'm trying to go the cheapest route right now since I don't know if I will like it enough to justify spending more on the synth sounds than my amp.:cool:
     
  6. LarryOM

    LarryOM Guest

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    The GI-20 with a midi synth module will not track as well as a dedicated guitar synth like the GR-33 or even the GR-9, and will also have more delay (latency). The dedicated guitar synths don't have to convert to MIDI and back since they directly control the sound sources so that string bending and dynamics are more accurate. I've never tried the AXXON.
     
  7. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    The Axon has the ability to send control info, and program change info based on where you pick a string.

    What that means is, you can create extreamly expressive lines by picking in different areas of the string, just like a real stringed instrument. You can have a moog tone and slowly open a filter based on where you pick, or change draw bars on a B-3 etc...

    You could also assign different instruments to different regions as well as different strings.

    What that means is... you could have a B-3 tone when you pick over the neck pickup and a trombone over the middle, and violin over the bridge. Or perhaps an upright bass down an octave on the E and A strings and a Rhodes on the 4th,3rd,2nd,1st

    I play a B-3 tone and control the leslie based on where I pick

    There are so many more possibilities with the Axon than the Roland. I have both.

    Be warned that the Axon is pretty deep and takes a while to learn, not to mention the manual sucks and there is little to no support from the company (but there is a great users group on Yahoo). Where the Roland is simple to use, but offers your basic midi fare in terms of parameters.

    The Axon does translate faster, but I find that if you simply pick very light you will get most to track better. The initial attack of a pick is a noise not a pitch, so most midi converters hesitate till the pitch is stable.

    I have been using Midi guitars since, well... before Midi existed in the mid 70's with the ARP Avitar and 360 systems Oberheim as well as most that came out in between.

    Just about all of the tracks on my site were played with the Axon or older Roland GM-70.

    Harry Jacobson
    www.harryj.net
     
  8. guidedbyechoes

    guidedbyechoes Member

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    how does it compare to the gr-33 in terms of sound quality? Does it sound like a real violin or a 80s keyboard?
     
  9. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    In my opinion this is where so many make an error in judgment.

    I never use the internal tones. To my ear, the internal preset sounds in both the GR-33 and the crappy Yamaha soundboard in the Axon sound pretty cheesy. I can't remember the last time I was content with any preset sound, program or anything for that matter.

    I try to educate myself to see what a particular device is capable of producing in terms of editing parameters, not what some programer has come up with.

    But If I had to judge just the preset internal sounds between the GR-33 and Axon, I would say the GR-33 had more useful tones.

    The internal synth of the GR-33 is kind of a scaled down version of their JV-1010. Roland saved money by using less memory in the GR, as a result each sample is shorter and of lower resolution. This mostly affects tones like acoustic piano and stringed instruments. Some patches don't really need the higher quality samples to sound descent, like a flute or pad. Some may feel the internal tones are great... well until you hear a real module.

    Once you use something like the Axon into a rack of good modules, there is no turning back. Actually, you don't even need the super high end stuff, I think the older (and super cheap) Roland JV 1010 has the ability to produce some great tones after you get in there and edit the hell out of the patches.

    My small rack has the following:

    Axon (1 space)
    Roland JV-1010 (1/2 space)
    Alesis S4 + (1 space)
    Yamaha VL70 M (1/2 space)
    MX-8 Midi patch bay (1 space)

    I have yet to find a single module where every tone is great, but once again I'm picky. I feel that each module has certain tones that shine.

    The Alesis, has a Rhodes sample that absolutely kills... makes the Roland sound like a toy. Other patches like acoustic pianos and horns are great on the Roland.

    When I design a tone, I sometimes use both modules to create a super patch. I have one that uses the S4 Rhodes, then I use the Roland simply to add a great tines tone when I pick harder.

    The Yamaha VL-70 is in a class by itself. It uses a totally different technology. This is a monophonic (only 1 note) synth that creates some of the most realistic horns, flutes, and even some killer saxes.

    Anyway. To simplify....

    Roland GR for the novice, or person who wants ultra simplicity. Personally, I feel that Roland thinks all guitarists have limited interest in synthesis anyway. Are they wrong?

    Axon and modules for the serious synthesist interested in creating the more expressive sounds.

    By all means don't forget the Roland VG-8 and VG-88 as incredible tools! Once again the internal patches of the VG-8 are kinna lame. But after edits, it kills!

    Harry Jacobson
    www.harryj.net
     
  10. StompboxMan

    StompboxMan Member

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    The GI-20 has no onboard sounds. The GI-20 has a USB out to hook up to your computer for playing a soft synth like Reason. It will play a sound module or keyboard via Midi. You will need a GK PU to trigger the GI-20.

    The GR-33 or 30 are more portable with onboard sounds and lots of realtime control. If your going to be playing live the floor models are the way to go.

    Having AB'ed Roland and Axon guitar synths I prefer Roland sounds to Axon. IMO the Axon does not track any faster then a Roland GR-30 synth. BTW-Internal GR sounds track milliseconds faster then outboard module sounds.
    I prefer the Roland floor guitar synth to the Axon 19' rack guitar synth. I just saw a Roland GI-20, box and manual at the Brea California Guitar Center for $100. 714-672-0103 ask for Accessories.
     
  11. DigitalTube

    DigitalTube Member

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    I was using my AXON with software synths too, and it tracked really well when set up, but like a few people already mentioned, it's not the easiest midi converter to set up, and yes i agree that the manual sucks.
    I used it with the NI B4 hammond imitation, Arturia MOOG modular, NI FM 7, and with a MACH 5 sampler,( AU versions on a MAC )and had really good results, but all those soft synths and audio cards/interfaces have their own latency, so I'd try the VST synths you plan to use, to see if you can deal with the total delay/latency.
    E.B.
     
  12. guidedbyechoes

    guidedbyechoes Member

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    I tried a gr-33 recently and I thought it tracked dead on, but I was using a synth enabled fender guitar. I would also like to know how they respond to alternate tunings such as drop D and C and so on. After trying some stuff out I just want something that sounds good but I can tweak to sound better, I had a magic stomp once and I spent more time editing patches than playing but man was it rewarding when I got that sucker to work. I had a gr-100 I think the rack one and it did not get the same awesome sounds as the gr-33, but I sold all of my pedals but my phaser to get a tube amp and now I'm gonna upgrade that too. More time to shop. :dude
     
  13. mudd

    mudd Member

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    I just picked up the roland gr-20, yeah there is a latency but only when playing super fast... but it really makes you have to play super clean or you get a lot of other crap notes. if your technique is pretty good then you should have no prob.

    the best app for it IMO is to mix the synth with the guitar natural sound.
     
  14. JamonGrande

    JamonGrande Supporting Member

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    Another option would be the older vg-8. not crazy about using it for modelling tones, but the synthesis side can get more unusual textures with less latency than all of the above.

    on the other hand, it is not sample based, so you can only approximate other instruments, and they don't sound anything as close as a sample. having the gr-9 back in the day, i really noticed the latency with both fast playing and drum patches, so no drum circle action there. haven't tried the newer gr's however. I would say if your going for flexibility, the axon is way hip. the newer gr units are cheaper and more compact.

    joe
     

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