How to use midi guitar for live performance

I am just beginning and would like some guidance as to how to use Midi Guitar in a live situation. Sorry for being so basic, but maybe there are some previous posts you could point me to.

Hi Manitoulin
I have the same doubt.
The main page say to use a MIDI pedalboard, but a detailed explanation is missing.

Hey guys, using a MIDI controller is not mandatory – it simply expands the functionality of the software. Take any MIDI controller and read the manual to understand its capabilities and how to program it. That should get you going. Make sure the controller is connected to your computer and select it in the ‘External MIDI Control’ selector in MG2 (I can’t remember if that’s the exact name right now because my computer is turned off but it’s in the bottom left corner of the GUI). Then, on the MG2 GUI there is an option to select MIDI-controllable parameters which can ‘learn’ from an active MIDI signal. It’s pretty straightforward. I’m sure there are plenty of people around here who can help if you have more specific questions. Hope this helps.

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Here is the simplest explanation I can give you. You’ll have to do some reading beyond this as each Midi pedalboard is somewhat different in how you program it, but this should get you going as they all do the basics I’ll mention here.

  1. A midi pedalboard does two primary things. (1) it sends Program Change (PC) messages to select presets and (2) it sends Continuous Controller data (CC) to change the value of different variables in the preset.

  2. Typically, the process while playing live is to select a preset (using a PC message) and then use CC data to change things in that preset as you play. A simple example might be that you select a preset which gives you a violin voice (using a PC message) and then you adjust the volume of the violin using CC data from an expression pedal attached to your pedalboard.

  3. Read #2 again

  4. Your first goal is to get whichever midi pedalboard you buy attached to your computer and selected in Midi Guitar 2. Then MG2 can receive the PC and CC messages you send to it.

  5. Go about learning all of this in steps. First, after you get your pedalboard connected to your computer, learn how to send Program Change messages so you can switch presets. Secondly, learn to control the master volume of the preset using CC data. Then third, learn to control other parameters in the preset (things like filter cutoffs, sustain pedals, etc. etc.)

If you are just starting to play Midi Guitar live, my number one piece of advice is to start simple and build up from there. Create a few presets with some “meat and potato” voices (a nice synth pad, and good synth lead voice, nice synth bass voice etc) and set up your midi pedalboard so you can select those voices and control the volume. Try that in a live situation and as you gain experience, add other CC controllers to manipulate the presets in the ways you want.

MG2 is a FANTASTIC piece of software, but the world of playing midi guitar live is deep. There are nearly endless things you “can” do (and will learn to do over time), but as a new player, it’s easy to bite off more than you can handle when you’re in a live music setting. Master these basics and go from there.

Hope this helps.

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Thank you very much to Vaultaemsae and Karma. This really helps a lot. I have played guitar for a long time, (50 years) but I am new at MG2. I really do appreciate the help.

Do you have a midi controler suggestion?

For someone new to this, I think the Keith McMillen Softstep 2 could be a good choice because the editor software is very straight forward. Others will have to weigh in though as I’ve not used one personally.

I personally used the ever popular Ground Control Pro for years. Built like a tank and easy to program (on the unit… no software editor).

Hopefully, others will chime in here… These days I use a combination of Fractal Audio gear and an Arduino based custom controller I built for my specific needs, so I’m not the best person to ask by any means.

Good. Thanks a lot everybody.

KMI Softstep 2 is not all that easy to setup. It can be quite complex…as complex as you need it to be and with complexity comes potential problems. I suppose if you use it in Basic Mode it would be OK for a beginner. I’d probably just get some MIDI transmitting app for your smartphone and learn to use it and then do some research to find a suitable physical floor controller. Different controllers have different features. Some will suit you better than others depending on your needs. Some are horrifically expensive.

hi, you also need to have the audio interface right? so, how do you output the sound?

Yes, you also need an audio interface. The audio interface gets sound into your computer (in this case your guitar going to Midi Guitar 2) and out of your computer (in this case the sound the instruments you are driving with Midi Guitar 2). A midi foot controller just controls software inside your computer (i.e MG2, software instruments, the host program, etc. ).

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