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The MIDI Forum

  Thursday, 09 December 2021
  5 Replies
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Hi new to the forum and have tried various midi pickups and the sonuus g2m midi converter but they are not really good enough. I use an archtop guitar so the pickups dont work all that well. I am looking at the empress zoia but its £400 and im not sure it will do it any better.
can someone build me a guitar to midi converter monophonic is fine or polyphonic that I can plug the guitar jack into one end and have midi out on the other. Im happy to pay a good amount of money. Any help would be much appreciated, cheers
5 months ago
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#12600
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When you say 'not good enough', what do you mean? And what are you hoping to do with the midi information that is generated? This sort of information would be a massive help.

You might be trying to extract more information from the guitar than midi can handle. You might be needing controllers that are not invented yet. Maybe the Midi 2 spec might help? When it becomes real as opposed to vapour-ware.

Maybe the midi data you have now is better than you think it is, but what you're doing with the data isn't up to your expectations.

Geoff
5 months ago
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#12603
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Hi many thanks for your reply and comment, its much appreciated :) well the issue I had with the gk3 was that it was picking up vibrations from the top of the guitar and the strings were uneven in response despite altering the sensitivity. There were a few issues with the fishman triple play but the main issues were software ( I have an old pc) all of the plugins wouldnt load except the synth master and the fact that the pickup itself stuck out about an inch which was right were I have my wrist. also the lead from the pickup was very short so I would have had to stick the controller on the top of my guitar between the tailpiece and saddle. I also felt the micro usb connection was very fragile.
I have been using the sonuus g2m and its really quite good. I feel the latency is great but the tracking not so good as I do play fast lines with alternate picking yet in some videos on youtube it seems ok. Its the best option so far but still not good enough to use for performance.
I now have two options. The empress zoia which I have been told tracks better and I have just come across the rcm pickup that lee ritenour and john mclaughlin use the only problem is the pickup is in the usa and im in the uk and might struggle to find someone to fit it and im not sure about modifying my expensive archtop.
Its a bummer. I found the roland guitar synths sounds were not very good. Maybe three usable sounds out of the whole lot whereas the korg minilogue has over 40 great sounds. Nearly all are usable so I do hope I can find a way of doing it.
many thank for your time cheers :)
5 months ago
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#12628
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Please attach a pic of your guitar with the GK3 attached. I've seen a pic on the web (on a Roland site ?) showing this, but this does not seem to bear any relationship with your comments/problems.

Yes, if you are picking up various sorts of non-guitar sounds, and these are being received by the G2M and converted into midi (the G2M would not know any better) then this will be causing major problems.

The pic I refer to above shows the GK3 attached at the very base of the guitar, about as far from the strings, and where your wrist might be, as possible.

Very little of the problems you refer to relate to midi as such. Some are more to do with the mechanics of the pickup, and maybe settings connected with it. Other problems relate to the overall system, the number/complexity of connections between pickup, the converter, cables, computer (performance, drivers, etc).

I would make no comment regarding the relative merits of the Roland or Korg units that are producing the final sound - this is a matter of your taste. I assume that some people DO like the Roland unit?

I'm not sure I believe in this thing called 'latency', I've never experienced it myself. I'm not sure it's anything to do with midi. What I hear about is caused by the complexity of the system as noted above. A faster computer can help, more important will be to make sure that your computer is doing NOTHING ELSE other than processing your music data, yes, I know that this is a BIG problem for WinDoze, which seems to be OFTEN inclined to do other things as well, whether you want it or not, but that's WinDoze for you.

I suspect that you could improve things a lot by sorting out the problems with the initial pickup (that produces the initial data) and then sorting any problems with the overall system (incl the PC).

Oh, just an aside, but I'm in the UK as well. Makes a difference regarding the timing of messages and replies.

Another aside, long ago I got a Roland CP-40 unit to experiment with, I was using a mic for input but I think you could plug a guitar into it. Yes, it worked. It produced midi data from the noises I was making, but it was too prone to make too much data, and really the data produced needed a LOT of work afterwards. I assume the extra noises you refer to are causing you similar problems?

Geoff
5 months ago
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#12663
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Hi sorry for the late response and thanks for your comment and info. The main problem I had with the gk3 was that the response was uneven from the strings. Some were louder than others despite adjusting the sensitivity and there were a lot of miss triggers. Someone said on another forum that they can be problematic with archtops and I did try a gk3 on a different archtop a few years back and had the same issue.
The sonuus g2m doesnt have any issues with miss triggers and is clear if im playing slow and usig single lines, its just when I play fast say quavers at 200bpm it trips up but I have seen other users on youtube using the sonuus without any issues.
I have decided to try the empress zoia there is a specific patch I have downloaded that is for a guitar to midi converter so im really hoping it will be better. A rep from zoia said it does this very well and someone on another forum said it tracks better than the sonuus so fingers crossed.
If it doesn't work there are two final options. The rmc pickup which comes with a polydrive unit at £700 from Canada and will require some drilling on the top of the guitar or a graphtec pickup where you get a bridge and saddle for an archtop that has been wired up and requires less modification and is about £180 and requires less modification but im assuming il need some kid of unit to go between the graphtec and synth but not sure what and the other issue is if I can find someone to fit it reasonable nearby.
I did own an axe fx ii and downloaded a ton of synth presets from the simeon harris website and that was really good but i only used three sounds from it and they are around £850 secondhand :) triggs 1.jpg
5 months ago
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#12667
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Hmm? Your picture here shows something completely different to what I saw on the web site I was looking at re the GK3. Are there different sorts of GK3?

If there are problems in the rest of your setup, you may still have them even if you change the initial stage, i.e. the bit that attches to the guitar.

Best of luck.

Geoff
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