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MIDI Guitar & MIDI Bass user forum

Making the jump from a GR55?

Hey guys. I have been playing MIDI guitar for 20+ years and have used a GR55 for the last 10 of them. I bought Midi Guitar 2 and for the first time believe that I may be able to swap out my GR55 rig for this amazing piece of software.

I would like to be able to use it Live so it will need to Rock Solid (Im assuming M! and MainStage) so know it may be a bit before I can get there.

Here’s a band sample of Billy Joel’s Billy the Kid which uses Strings, horns and harmonica. The initial horn sustains ALL notes that follow which I assume this will do.

Here are a few things for some that may have been in a similar boat

  • The GR55 Hold function enable a Hold that you can play over the same synth sound WITHOUT the follow on notes sustaining. Is this possible??

  • Has anyone gone MainStage for the entire Rig? (Im thinking THU and SampleTank as the sound plug in) Others have thoughts?

  • And preferred floor controller to accomplish this (I’m thinking MeloAudio. Others have thoughts.

Thanks. For the first time I think this could be possible…

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Hello, welcome here :slight_smile:

I started Midi Guitar in the early 80’ with Shadow System and had all the different MIDI hardware systems released until today and now I only use MG2.

  • There is a script called Sustain that you can load in one of the Midi Machine slots.
    There are three options, one of which is called “hold instrument, switch to guitar” that allows holding a synth note or chord and playing over it. You can choose the MIDI CC number to trig it with the appropriate foot controller.

  • As I use a Windows PC, I play live with Gig Performer. It contains all my audio and MIDI instruments and effects plugins, as well as audio and MIDI players, a high-level scripting environment, plus a lot of functions that I do not use ( Songs and Setlists, OSC support, Ableton link, Chord Pro support, etc).
    It includes THU-Essentials package and some keyboard plugins from “Lost in 70s”.

  • Floor controllers are essentials for live. I used to use a ROLAND FC-300 that is very complete but heavy and cumbersome.
    I now use an LINE 6 FBV Express MKII which is compact and light.
    I add 3 expression pedals and 4 other footswitches interfaced in MIDI thanks to a USB converter hub AUDIOFRONT MIDI Expression

Thanks Harold. Very informative and the Audiofront Idea is one I will definitely use. Since you’ve already done the experimentation allow me to ask two other questions?

  • What Audio Card are you using? The Line 6 looks like a MIDI controller and Iwould think you’d need a low latency audio card to get the MIDI instruments and THU sounds out? That’s why I was thinking Meloaudio as it could serve as both

Regarding the Hold here are the 4 functions of the GR55. I think the system naturally does 4 and you are describing 2. Does it also support 3?

Thanks so much!


Notes that were sounding when you pressed the pedal will be
held, and successive notes that are played while you continue
holding down the pedal will also be held. This differs from
“HOLD TYPE 4” in that if a note is already sounding on the
same string, the previous note will be silenced, and the note
newly played on that string will take its place. This allows you
to play without a break even if the note is on a distant fret.

Notes that were sounding when you pressed the pedal will
be held as long as you continue holding down the pedal.
Notes played after you started holding down the pedal will
not sound.

Notes that were sounding when you pressed the pedal will be
held as long as you continue holding down the pedal. Notes
played after you started holding down the pedal will sound,
but will not be held.

Notes that were sounding when you pressed the pedal will be
held, and successive notes that are played while you continue
holding down the pedal will also be held.

With MG2, there are 3 modes:
piano sustain – like a piano pedal
hold instrument – current notes on hold, switch to guitar. no further midi is send
forward cc64 to instrument – the standard pianopedal is send to the synth

The one I mentioned before (2 in MG2) is the hold type 2 in the GR55.

Regarding the audio interface, everyone will find this or that system more convenient and better suited to them.
Personally, I don’t recommend an audio card integrated in a controller, firstly because it is less scalable: if you want to change the controller, you also have to change the card, and secondly because if it breaks down, everything breaks down.

Finally, while the controller remains an accessory that can change according to the context and the evolution of the equipment, an audio interface is the heart of an audio equipment: it is the one that prevails in the choice of its characteristics according to the requirements that one has, it is the central element that can be used for years without needing to replace it (I speak for quality equipment).

The main qualities of an audio interface are its reliability and especially its stability, hence my mistrust of “all-in-one” devices. I use a proven RME Babyface Pro that I can rely on.

Latency is a problem that comes afterwards. All quality audio interfaces handle latency very well.
I use in live simultaneously several instances of my plugin host, including 2, sometimes 3 virtual amps (S-GEAR and Nembrini BG Extasy) in parallel, more than ten effects and processing plugins, several virtual synths, audio and midi players for background ambiences or synth loops, 1 or 2 loopers . I don’t encounter any latency problems or audio artifacts.

Of course, this is only of interest and value if all the hardware and software equipment are also configured and optimized for increased performance, giving priority to stability, hence the need to dedicate a computer solely to audio applications by removing unnecessary programs and functions and configuring all services, sub-services, routines, extensions, etc. to ensure maximum stability. This is the only way to be able to play on stage with complete peace of mind and to devote yourself solely to your art.

And MG2 is a very stable software that deserves to be used in a stable environment.

Excellent response and thanks providing that level of detail. It makes total sense. I’ve relied on Fractal and GR55 for years so it makes sense to go with something with a similar level of quality.

And with Apple announcing (hopefully) new M! macs, Im hoping to jump there though it seems that MG2 is not yet M! NAtive. I’m sure it is coming.

Appreciate it and thanks again!!


Enjoy MG2 ! Feeling so comfortable when playing, and cherry on the cake, you can use any guitar, very practical especially when you break a string. :wink:

Reread your post. So much good info here.

As you run those guitar based plug ins what do you use as a host. Do you use midi guitar as a host or plug in. What have you found to be the best In Terms of stability and latency. I was thinking of fractal as the guitar source and using its usb for the synth stuff but intrigued about going all conputer based so curious as to how you run the setup in terms of hosts plug ins etc.

Many thanks


When I started using MG2, I was using it as a plugin host, so in a very simple configuration.
Then the desire to add more effects and synths led me to use a dedicated stage software.
I chose Gig Performer for several reasons: it is designed by top level developers (25 years of research at IBM) but who are also live musicians. This software is therefore designed by musicians and is extremely stable.
In Gig Performer, MG2 is the plugin at the root of all my configurations for 2 reasons: it allows me to use any synths or MIDI plugins I want, and for the audio part I use almost all the time the Deep Expressor which suits my style of playing expression.
So I gave up all the hardware audio equipment and went all virtual. My current big pedalboard consists of 5 expression pedals and 9 footswitches that can be used separately to avoid always having a huge pedalboard even if you only need a few controllers.


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Wow. Gig Performer is great. Much better than MainStage for the intended use. Great recommendation.

…Which does not prevent me from sometimes using only the standalone version of MG2 on stage for performances that do not require complex configurations. :wink: