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Change Guitar sound into different instruments


montezume

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Hi there,

 

I saw this seminar on apple.com about guitarists and mac.

In this video he uses his guitar and logic pro to change the normal guitar sound to strings, trumpets, etc etc.

 

I am only able to change the sound with an amp effect, for example tremolo, reverb etc etc.

 

I searched around alot but i can't seem to figrue it out.

can you guys help me with this?

 

kind regards,

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You're talking about using a guitar to generate MIDI code, which can then be used to trigger different instruments. Most MIDI controllers are keyboards, which makes MIDI easy for keyboard players. No such luck for guitar players. You've got to go the extra mile to make it happen.

 

You can buy a guitar with a MIDI pickup pre-installed, or you can install one on your own guitar. Besides the pickup you'll need a MIDI generator to convert the pickup's output into MIDI code. Once they're setup, you can use your guitar to run a software synthesizer in Logic or another sequencer. You can also trigger a hardware synth, a sound module, or whatever else you have that accepts MIDI input. MIDI is MIDI, regardless of where it originates.

 

I'm happy using a Roland GK-3 and GR-20 Guitar Synthesizer. There are other units available, though. VariAxe and Axon come to mind. It takes a little practice and a mental-shift to play your guitar as a piano or woodwind player, for example, would play the same notes, but it's not especially difficult.

 

A larger music store would probably let you demo such a setup if you're interested. There's no cheap way to create a guitar-MIDI system, but it's totally doable. And once you've got one, you open up a new world of possibilities involving an audio sequencer like Logic.

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You don't have to modify a guitar to add a MIDI pickup. One could be added to a semi-acoustic without much trouble. The Roland GK-3 transducer is quite thin and, unless your bridge is extraordinarily low, would fit under the strings next to the bridge. Any of the on-line music sites will have pictures and info. I'd also direct you to GuitarNuts as a place for info on just about any guitar modification you can imagine.

 

Can't speak about MIDI units that use inputs other than string cycles, though.

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On topic again:

 

so there is no way to make a semi akoustic guitar into a midi controlled device? that's really a bummer :(

 

Are you jumping to conclusions w/o doing any research?

Or do you wanna be spoon fed everything?

 

Sometimes I like to be spoon fed.

 

Now back off topic....

 

What strong freq do you all think this big kick rings @?

j/k

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On topic again:

 

so there is no way to make a semi akoustic guitar into a midi controlled device? that's really a bummer :(

 

Are you jumping to conclusions w/o doing any research?

Or do you wanna be spoon fed everything?

 

Sometimes I like to be spoon fed.

 

Now back off topic....

 

What strong freq do you all think this big kick rings @?

j/k

 

Im a student and i want to buy a new guitar. but you are suggestig a device which cocsts 400euros, and then i need to get a midi output from my guitar to.

 

that's why im drawing a conclusion that there isnt a cheap ro easy way to chnage your guitar's sound...

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I stated that in my first reply, Montezume. There is no cheap way to do this, and believe me, I looked for one. A pickup is around 150USD, a MIDI generator is around 400USD, and a full-blown guitar synth is around 700USD.

 

You're not changing your guitar's sound, though, not at all. You're adding a completely new capability to it.

 

If you don't need it, then you don't need it.

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On topic again:

 

so there is no way to make a semi akoustic guitar into a midi controlled device? that's really a bummer :(

 

Are you jumping to conclusions w/o doing any research?

Or do you wanna be spoon fed everything?

 

Sometimes I like to be spoon fed.

 

Now back off topic....

 

What strong freq do you all think this big kick rings @?

j/k

 

Im a student and i want to buy a new guitar. but you are suggestig a device which cocsts 400euros, and then i need to get a midi output from my guitar to.

 

that's why im drawing a conclusion that there isnt a cheap ro easy way to chnage your guitar's sound...

 

That's not what you said. You said that there was no way to make it....

Not... is there any cheaper way.

I'm sure if you want it bad enough, you'll work and save for it.

Then the pay-off will be even better, from your struggle.

No instant gratification.

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Isn't there a way to do this through modelling (ie s/w).

 

If you look at how the VG8 works, there's no MIDI, just modelling. Admittedly it uses the GK pickup, but that's just for string separation.

 

If the recorded guitar was a single melody line for example, why couldn't modelling s/w give some close approximation to some of the sounds that you get from a VG8???

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I don't own one, so I can't say authoritatively, but judging from info on Roland's site, the VG series requires a GK pickup and appears to use it in producing MIDI code, just as do other Roland-guitar devices. I don't think a VG could function without first translating the pickup's signals into MIDI.

 

Cool piece of gear. I'd like to spend some time messing with it. At $1200, however, I won't be getting one anytime soon.

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I don't own one, so I can't say authoritatively, but judging from info on Roland's site, the VG series requires a GK pickup and appears to use it in producing MIDI code, just as do other Roland-guitar devices. I don't think a VG could function without first translating the pickup's signals into MIDI.

 

Cool piece of gear. I'd like to spend some time messing with it. At $1200, however, I won't be getting one anytime soon.

 

The VG8 does NOT use MIDI, it use the analogue signal from the pickups. I do own one, and the biggest difference is that there is no delay because it doesn't have to go through the conversion process. It can't of course sound as close as a MIDI controlled device can.

I was not suggesting to buy one, I was suggesting that because this is done through modeling, then it should be possible to do it with a plug-in, right?

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As I said, I'm hardly an authority on VG. Nonetheless, it seems that whatever the technology behind it, it requires a transducer, the output of which is processed somehow and thereafter used to trigger modeled instruments. Given the cost of the VG devices, as well as Roland's other transducer-interpreting products, it follows that this intermediate processing is substantial, whatever its technical nature.

 

In theory I doubt there's anything to prevent a VG system being emulated in software, so I'm confident it's possible. And in the words of a famous McDonnell-Douglas aerospace engineer, "If you put a big enough engine on it, a brick can be made to fly." I'm equally confident a plug-in that provided a comparable level of translation/simulation would impose a major CPU cost. Not being a software engineer, I don't know how complex it would be or how long it would take. Therefore, I can't say if it'd be practical, or if its cost would rival that of VG hardware. I doubt, however, that Roland would have undertaken and sustained that hardware's development if it thought a viable software competitor were likely to emerge. Of course, digital technology changes faster than most things, so this could also change.

 

As for translating a single melody line, Melodyne Studio already distills MIDI code pretty well from single-voice audio files, so I'm reasonably sure that processing similar to a VG's intermediate step could be performed on the same data. OTOH, I can't remember the last time I heard a guitar player produce a single melody line outside of a lesson-room - or a piano player, or anybody who plays a polyphonic instrument, for that matter; so I have my doubts that modeling software with a single-line capability would be realistically marketable. But I'm sure it'd be possible.

 

I didn't imply that you suggested buying a VG. I merely stated that it's price is high enough to keep me from considering one in the near future. But it's still an intriguing piece of gear.

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