? MIDI BASS demo & tutorials

Hi everyone,
as far as you know, are there demos of MIDI bass working properly and/or some trustable tutorials or does this software still need to mature?

Thanks in advance,
best
ET

if the software is not performing as you’d like, please share the types of problems you’re experiencing and a description of what you’re trying to achieve.

i had a friend over a couple of weeks ago, bass player extraordinaire, but with no midi experience. he was happily triggering flutes and horns from his bass in a matter of minutes.

if we have some time at our next session i’ll record a bit of video.

in terms of software maturity, if you’re finding specific bugs you should post them. i find both midi guitar and midi bass to be very stable. they play well with others. they have very low cpu usage. i have no conflicts as i do with software i would describe as ‘immature’.

what is the software missing? i can’t think of anything. you plug your bass in and play. that’s all there is to it.

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MG’s built-in Help provides a basic understanding of how the various parts of the software work, enabling you to use it straight away.
If you are unfamiliar with any of the terms or functions described in this help, you can find explanations by doing specific research on the Internet.
The subject is too vast to be described in a manual specific to any software.

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My question arose from the fact that today it is usually possible to find a lot of videos online, indeed it is an opportunity for content creators to be able to talk about interesting software like this.
So for clarity, I think that anyone who plays pop, electronic pop, can have enormous advantages in changing the timbre of their instrument on the fly, from song to song during a live performance, even just to reproduce the choices made on a record.
So I think it’s a piece of software that anyone could use, not just someone who has embarked on “art music research”.
I see bass players tend to have a separate synth that they play like keyboard players.
The only advantage I see playing the synth with the keyboard is that you have one hand free to move the rotary knobs, if needed…
here an example: https://youtu.be/VronettmNRI?si=Cu5Xn1ZdbLX4RAKF&t=872

I’m just trying to figure out why it’s not so prevalent in the world of popular music.

I add that I haven’t tried it yet, and I’m not the bass player… I’m trying to introduce elctronic sounds into my musical project and I’m looking around to understand what could be an effective way.

thanks for the replies!

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It would be nice if you can!

I understand your approach and MG users will certainly be able to discuss it with you.

Personally, my approach is not at all the same, I do not feel confortable with making videos and presentation tutorials, it iss a world that does not interest me, any more than playing covers of music so I would not be of much help to you on that subject.
But I I can show you one of the possible approaches to MG and how to manage the possibilities of using it live.

My passion and investment is in research and creation, musical composition and the elaboration of textures and ambiances that are destined for live performances where I accompany a poet-writer at public readings.

For me, MG is purely an audio-to-midi converter that I integrate into a plugins host software (Gig Performer), enabling me to play audio+midi guitar while modifying my sounds, parameters, loop recordings/playbacks, etc.

To do this, I build chains of plugins in virtual racks:

then I create racks front made up of the virtual knobs, faders and pedals I need to control the changes:

and finally I use a hardware pedalboard made up of footswitches and expression pedals assigned to the virtual parameters I want to trigger or modify:

This allows me to keep both hands on the guitar at all times to play guitar and/or synth, as many effects as I want (wah, fuzz, delay, etc.), record loops and launch them, trigger audio backing tracks or midi files, samples, morph between several racks with foot-controlled fade in/fade out times, and a thousand other things that are limited only by the imagination.

A great challenge with the tools that make it possible. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I see bass players tend to have a separate synth that they play like keyboard players.

i see that as a copycat/trend thing rather than a musical choice.

also electric bass driven synth options are pretty limited, especially in terms of the tonal palette.

guitar players have been gravitating towards computer based amp models and so are more likely to consider using a pc onstage than bass players.

but i think that’ll change once the bass players find that ‘it’s a piece of software anyone can use’.

as far as mod wheels and filters go, as herold’s rig shows, those are easily accommodated by pedals. the one keyboard synth feature which is hard to replicate with your feet is pitchbend.

this is my approach to solving that issue:

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Your approach seems extremely customized, I would gladly listen to the result, I’m a big fan of ambient music. If I may ask

Thank you for the clarifications!

You can listen to our work on souncloud, but the texts read are in French…
Nevertheless, you can browse here and there to listen to the musical and sound parts (there are 3 hours of listening time :wink: ).

All of these works are played live as is, with “solo” passages improvised according to the context of the performance.

For ambient-oriented parts, I recommend the following titles:
Le Ciel Du Dessous
Trans’Hôtel Express
Ma Chambre Etait Un Bateau

Jean Azarel & Hérold Yvard

headphone listening recommended.

Nice setup, is that a picture of your guitar?

that is my guitar. it’s got an arduino inside, plus about $50 worth of parts (force-sensitive resistors, potentiometers, buttons).

the arduino is running ‘opendeck’, a free software package which allows you to create custom midi control configurations.

i’m also working on a pedalboard w/3 expression pedals and a keyboard style sustain pedal. and soon i’ll have a button matrix added to my bass.

your control of the many disparate elements is very impressive.

whenever i try to do something like this i end up with dozens of rough edges, where things don’t blend quite like i had intended.

it seems to me that you’ve gotten to the point where you are completely aware of where you are and what’s just happened and what is about to happen.

i’ve listened to all three and i will listen again. the synth choices, the jazzier guitar, the rockier guitar (with super long sustain), the hammond work and the seamless looping are all quite quite fine.

it would be great to be in the room when this is going down.

your guitar seems to be particularly well intonated.

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@kimyo Thank you for your comment, which I am very pleased about because the work done upstream to obtain this result is sometimes complex and tedious: choosing from several configuration methods, matching with midi controllers, methodical organisation of mappings and their interactions to trigger actions using ergonomic and simplified manipulations, etc.

But this work could not be done without Gig Performer, which offers reliable and stable solutions for every type of situation.
It is a tool created by musicians who are also excellent developers. What is more, the user community is very active and not a day goes by without seeing improvements, innovations and solutions for every situation.

Once my work of programming the “rackspaces” (=Patches in MG) has been done, it is a matter of acquiring the automatisms to then offer the public a palette of music and sounds that come naturally and with just as much pleasure to play with the guitar as with the controllers.

But I could never do what I do live without this software, and of course MG, which is the starting point for all these audio and midi plug-in chains.

You mentioned sustain: I am an avid user of the Deep Expressor in MG, which for me is the best sustainer I know of, whether in software or hardware (I like it especially with clean sound).

Apart from that, I play a left-handed Steinberger guitar that costs less than 400 € :wink:

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I am both very impressed and very interested by the improvements you have made to your guitar, and I’m currently considering various solutions for integrating controllers into the guitar as well.

For pitch bend (and various CCs) I am currently testing a Roland EV-5 pedal on which my son inserted a spring at the front and one at the back, releasing the pedal returns it to the middle position (=64). You can see the spring on the rear of the pedal in this photo.

ev5-mod

The current problem is that the pedal is made of thin, light plastic, which does not allow high-compression springs to be fitted, so the return to the centre position is not precise enough for my liking, as the springs are too soft.
So my son is planning to print me a 3D expression pedal that is strong enough to fit the right springs.

Guitar Volume/Expression Pedal

Another alternative that interests me would be to integrate controllers on the guitar, as you do.
The breath controller is a system that does not really appeal to me, so I would rather insert 2 mini joysticks on the guitar in order to have 2 controllers on each of them (1 per axis: X and Y).
The idea would be to control expression + modulation on the first joystick, for example, and other parameters on the second joystick (i.e. delay speed + dry/wet).
All this on a mobile 3D support that would make it easy to move from one guitar to another.

What a story! But firstly I do not know anything about programming, secondly I am not at all a tinkerer and thirdly English is not my mother tongue, which complicates the possible development of such a project.

My son, who is an engineer, a tinkerer, has a 3D printer and has already built interfaces on Arduino , is ready to embark on this project: the only problem is that he knows nothing about music software and hardware or MIDI. So there is still some learning to do.

The idea for these joystick controllers came to me when I looked at this page:

Mini Pitchbend Joystick

those steinbergers are great guitars.

i’ll have to load gig performer and give it a whirl. my ableton set for onstage mg2/looping is pretty functional but it’s approaching 30+ tracks and can be hard to navigate.

the work done upstream to obtain this result is sometimes complex and tedious

your results encourage me to invest the time required to hone all of my currently unruly patch/routing/effect settings.

i listened again to trans-hotel express and i feel that the vocal is too present in the mix. i’m listening on a pair of monitor speakers. it’s easy to get lost in the words at a certain volume. but i would also like to get lost in the music.

i find i keep bumping up the volume for the instrumental parts, only to find that the vocal is too loud when it comes back in.

(this is a most minor criticism, the work itself is stellar.)

would rather insert 2 mini joysticks on the guitar in order to have 2 controllers on each of them

these worked well for pitchbend in terms of accurately returning to zero. reliably/repeatedly bending to a particular interval however is not a result i could obtain.

i also removed the springs from a couple, intending to use them as xy controllers for korg/u-he style synths. this was not productive, they don’t reach into the corners, and they do drift as you move the guitar about.

ribbon
these did not work for pitchbend, they weren’t accurate enough, and i don’t think they’re intended to be held down for more than a second or two, i’ve fried at least two of them.

i also looked at the type of joysticks found on drone remote controls. these seem to be accurate enough, and the return to center shouldn’t be an issue. but they are too large to fit on a typical guitar without removing a bunch of material. some will probably still have the issue of never being able to hit 0,0, 0,100, 100,0 or 100,100 unless the operating window is narrowed.

please do share your experience with your son’s 3d printed expression pedal.

if i was going for a spring-loaded pedal option, i would use two pedals, one for pitch up and another for pitch down. i think centering back on zero would be easier to achieve and more reliable this way.

I would like to try these mini joysticks.
Could you provide me with some documentation on how to connect, program and configure them? And where to get them?

I think this can be easily set up in Gig Performer by configuring several specific action curves that can be switched in variation changes in the same “patch” (= “rackspace” in Gig Performer).

It is still in the planning stage and may not happen straight away as my son will be moving house soon, but the day it does I willl be happy to share the experience… and the component references + 3D files.

If the springs are strong and precise enough to return to a release position, a single pedal is enough.
Otherwise I would also use a single pedal method, reversing the pitch direction with a footswitch (I have got enough on the pedalboard to dedicate one).

i hadn’t thought of using action curves to fine tune the pitch bend output, i believe that will be very effective. (i haven’t tried them yet, but that chart of curves you posted elsewhere looks very useful)

and i really like your idea of using a single pedal for both up and down.

on joysticks, the psp3000’s are nice, they don’t get in the way. the analog 2-axis thumb joysticks are very similar to game controller joysticks. they’re kind of too tall for a mobile 3d support but they work well.

the joycon style ones look pretty good, but i haven’t tried them yet.

in general, you’ll need to connect four wires, the ground, voltage, the x out and the y out. some joysticks also send a button press when clicked down, this requires one more wire.

programming the board is very easy, there is a web-based configuration tool where you assign joystick-x or joystick-y or button1 etc. to your desired cc or pitchbend or pc.

selecting the right board and loading the binary onto it is a little trickier. of the smaller boards listed on the opendeck site the teensy and the itsybitsy have enough inputs for two or more joysticks. either should fit into a typical guitar cavity, maybe even your steinberger’s.

Thank you for all, I will transmit to my son as soon as he has time to look it all over. :grinning: