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MIDI Guitar & MIDI Bass user forum

Poor man's Fishman Triple Play using simple wireless guitar?

I bought a Martin Backpacker guitar at a thrift shop this week, and it almost begs to have a Fishman system. But no… I’m way happy with the tracking of MIDI Guitar and also I might prefer a piezo pickup or something. I also seriously dislike any hex pickup’s clumsy wire right where my trained hand is doing its business.

Wireless guitar systems have been around forever and offer zero latency travel during that part of the signal’s journey, and I like the idea the computer does the heavy processing.

Now, how convenient for me would it be to pick up my Backpacker, hit a button that turns the pickup/transmitter and have it so fast?

Some of you are well known for innovating ideas, to the point it would not surprise me you know of the perfect interface that’s so righteous we all get one and MIDIGuitar is considered wireless from then on :-). No offense against Fishman, but a $50 guitar with a $400 pickup would be lopsided anyway and my nightmares filled with my ancestors screaming at me I’m good at peeing money away while not good enough at the guitar! :crazy_face:

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You definitely make sense!

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I’ve had a few midi guitar systems including a FTP and I’ve moved over to MG2 about a year ago and couldn’t be happier.

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Just out of curiosity, what do YOU think is better with the MG2 setup, compared to the FTP? :face_with_monocle:

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Hmm, that’s tough because some of it feels very subjective. There is, of course, the obvious stuff such as no pickup needed. Overall, I feel like it tracks better with less misfired notes(on PC). I know that may seem counter intuitive with the FTP hex pickup. MG2 on iOS seemed slightly worse than FTP, but I finally bought a new laptop about a year ago and moved to the PC version of MG2, partly to get the ability to set the midi input channel in MG2. My current setup with MG2, laptop and Line 6 Helix just works so well together over a single USB cable(audio and MIDI), that I’m much happier. I need to look deeper into PC optimization since I do get many CPU alerts(!) in MG2 which sometimes causes an audio glitch. With an new-ish i7 based laptop, I think I have plenty of horsepower(CPU, RAM, etc.).

Love your SWAM videos, BTW.

Mark Long


Yes, it is indeed subjective, and that’s the reason for the emphasis on YOU. I really am interested in the personal experience in this case. I’ve tried the FTP a few times, but never got it to work as well as I did the MG2 setup. But that can come down to a thousand different reasons. I didn’t give it enough time, and I haven’t optimized my playing style for it as I have MG2. But just fresh of the Roland 13-pin system, I felt intuitively a tighter connection to the out coming audio with MG2 and whatever software I had after it compared to any other setup I’ve tried so far. That’s why I’m interested in other people’s experiences too. I hear a lot of talk of the FTP’s obvious better tracking, but I (personally) have never experienced that. But I never tried the Axxon setup either. I’m sure that was great.
Yeah, you absolutely shouldn’t have any problems running MG2 on any newish i7 computer. I’m sure it is something in the settings. I guess you have checked the buffer size and sample rate settings?
Thanks for checking my stuff out. Much appreciated!


Agree. I never felt that FTP was better tracking, except when using the iOS version of MG2. For me, I’ve never looked back once I went to MG2. It was fairly costly though. Buying a new laptop for music only, additional and better soft synths and MG2 is also more on PC/Mac. The iOS ecosystem is so affordable and I have a lot of great iOS synths and have even bought a couple of the iOS SWAM instruments, but overall the PC based is so much better all the way around.

Mark Long

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Hi Vxboogie and hi LoFiLeiF (I enjoy your videos a lot).
@Vxboogie : would you mind elaborating on how you use MG2 with the Line 6 Helix through both audio and MIDI? I don’t fully understand this : “single USB cable (audio and MIDI)”… And also, do you find that your method improves the tracking compared to an audio connection only? I plug the guitar directly into my audio interface but only in audio and don’t use the Helix for that in order to have the cleanest signal possible… But even though I have benefited greatly from all the advices given by LoFiLeiF, I still have a little trouble with tracking when it comes to recording with a click… I’m therefore very interested to know how you handle it with the Helix.
Thanks a lot!

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Hi Yervil, this method doesn’t help or change tracking at all. The Helix has an 8 channel USB audio interface built in. One channel is an unaffected(same as guitar input) signal over USB channel 7(re-amp). For me, that is my audio input channel for MG2. I then send the audio output from MG2 to USB audio channels 3/4 into a separate path in my Helix(which is configurable in Helix). That gives me a separate path that I can add effects, adjust tone & volume, turn on/off, etc. Its also sends midi over USB so that sends, PC messages, sustain & expression(from a MIDI Baby pedal that plugs into the MIDI in(5-pin DIN)) on my Helix . I could also send the midi from the MIDI Baby over USB, but I’ve had some issues once I introduce a MIDI hub into that part of the system. Hope that explanation helps.!

Bottom path in attached image is for synth.

It does help indeed and opens up new territories.
Thanks a lot.

I use a VST Host (Gig Performer) on an old laptop (year 2012) with i5 processor and 8 Go of RAM. It includes MG2, 2 amp simulators, several VSTi and numerous FX, all at the same time, and my cpu never exceeds 60%.

You need to optimize your system for sure! This is what I did by following this excellent guide (applying to all audio applications):

It is rather long to achieve but it is worth it.

By using a strongly powered hub, you will not encounter any problem (i.e. 4 ports USB3 with 3A power adapter).

Hi Vxboogie,
Could you please send me the .hlx file you posted a picture from, or just place it here as a reply? it would give me an easy starting point :wink:
(see my post:)
Helix & midi guitar2: use pedal to switch between dry guitar and synth
Thanks in advance!

Btw, just looked into the Line6 CustomTone: maybe there’s something for MG2

EverySynth C24.pdf (32.1 KB) Hi Chris - here is the .hlx. The input on MG2 is set to channel 7(dry re-amp) and the output is set to 3/4. you’ll have to set the volume for the guitar path and synth path(bottom) for how much you want of each. the synth volume can vary a lot depending on the MG2 settings and the synth volume. Let me know if you have questions. I had to rename to .pdf so that it would be allowed. Just rename the extension once you download

Tnx a lot Boogie!

I’m going to try that later :wink: in this way, it makes it easier (for me) to start to understand things…

Again: tnx!