Properly trigger piano sounds

Hi everyone. This is the first time I’m posting to this forum, but I’m not new to MIDI GUITAR, as a matter of fact I am one of the beta testers who helped the developing of this unique and amazing software since version 1.0.

This topic is something that I have been dealing with since so many years ago from the era of the old Roland GR1 which I still own. The thing is that I have nott been able to properly trigger piano sounds and some many other percussive sounds without glitches and erratic triggering, no matter what I do software or hardware wise but I cannot get rid of ghost and double notes that both platforms produce. I first thought that it was kind of normal since the nature of this sounds but I’ve seen people achieving this with not too much problem, I’ve seen demos and videos in Youtube.

What I’m asking from you guys MIDI GUITAR USERS is any tip, advise, technique, etc… that could help me in getting some satisfactory results.

Thanks in advance.

The answer is not that simple, there are mulitple parameters used by the people who seemingly effortlessly play piano on guitar:

  1. keep polyphony at max 3-4 voices at a time, use a sustain pedal for the bigger voicings.
  2. don’t listen to your dry guitar, play softly so as to forget your actual fingerplucks.
  3. set the noise gate to a level where you have a connected feel between fingerpluck action and pianosound. Doing this will help you forget the physical pluck, and learn you to play on the virtual pluck.
  4. Velocity is a bit tricky: the curve knob can adjust this a bit.
  5. For more and harder control than the buildin noise gate and curve, there is a midimachine here on the forum. It also has a retrigger filter. See Custom_Gate: A hard midi startgate and retrigger blocker
  6. Others have used a compressor in front of MG to make pianoplaying more smooth, I didnt test this my self.
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Hi Paul. Thanks for your reply. I never thought about keeping synth polyphony to a few voices, that makes a lot of sense. i always set MG noise gate around 80 ( I know this depends on guitar input) but this setting allows me to play in a normal way, not too soft not too hard, just in a natural way. I sometimes tweak velocity to adjust the sound and feel to my needs, it works, this tip is helpful too, I have used compressor in front of MG in many ocassions and this helps to nail the sound, the feel and specially how MG reacts to the guitar input. This was discussed on the beta testers forum when MG was being developed and many of us stated that MG’s noise gate is a sort of compressor that controls the threshold of the input sensitivity. This also makes sense. I didn’t know about the retrigger filter you mention, I will take a look and try it, it is probably a very helpful tool

Thanks a lot Paul, your tips are very welcome and helpful, I really appreciated it.

BTW How do I implement the rettriger filter wich is in a .lua file format?

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you’re welcome!
The lua script can be copied into the midimachines directory.
Look here for instructions: About the MIDI Machines category

Thanks I just integrated it to MG

I use Cubase and there is a very useful function that allows you to delete all notes below a selected size. It certainly saves a lot of editing. There must be a similar function in other DAWs?

Midi > Functions > Delete Notes

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most big DAW’s have such a function indeed.
But it is nice to have less cluther to start with, so I’d recommend the Custom_gate midi machine script nonetheless.

are there any sustain pedals that work with usb that are recommended. I would love to integrate one with midi guitar but dont know where to start.

If you want a “standalone” function sustain pedal, you might want to check out the solution from TEControl I use here. Link in the description. (With “standalone” I mean, not having to go through a keyboard with sustain pedal jack).


Have a look at Midi Expression by Audiofront: Midi Expression

I use the Quattro including 4 inputs available for any TRS device (expression pedal, footswitches, etc).
Another model includes also standard midi I/O.

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I am a massive fan. Thanks for the response!

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Will have to add this to my list. Thank you for your suggestion

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I struggled a lot with piano sounds - it really is a lot to do with clean playing and adjusting settings to fit your style of play. I have a line 6 shuriken guitar - the nice thing with that is the possibility to change the volume per string (i find that i have a lot less velocity on the high e so this enables me to mitigate that problem easier) also I use the automatic tuning which seems to be a lot cleaner when I look at the midi output. Here is my latest effort:

See my experiences and recommendations here: Experiences how to improve virtual piano playing with Midi Guitar 2