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MIDI Guitar & MIDI Bass user forum

What kind Guitar and/or pickup works for you? Will any old guitar work with MIDI Guitar?

**Hi! How about we (anyone interested) list some setups we have actually working for us as a resource and a counterweight to there almost exclusively being questions in relation to stuff not working? With” setups” we can be as detailed as we want to, of course, but I am thinking of a kind of guitar - solid body, chambered, hollow body, acoustic, steel-string, nylon string, 6-string, 12-string, bass, fretless. And I am also thinking it would be great for people starting out to see if there is diversity, or perhaps more of a consensus as to what kind of pickups and/or microphones work better - single coils, humbucker, piezo, hexaphonic, transducer, or condenser. That kind of stuff. I’m thinking it would be awesome for people coming in with questions about a ”best” setup to have access to something like a compiled list of tried and tested setups, as I am pretty sure there is going to be some considerable diversity displayed there. And such diversity could perhaps encourage people to dare try their own existing setup first, instead of starting out chasing ”the right” one?

How about a post per instrument for the sake of overview?**

Acoustic/Electric with Shadow transducer pickup

I have this old Kramer Ferrington, an Acoustic with an electric guitar neck and a Shadow transducer piezo pickup. Volume and treble on max! Terrible natural sound, and hardly any sustain (as compared to any ordinary Steele stringed acoustic), but work just fine with MIDI Guitar 2. See video.


For a very long time I only used MG with solid bodies electrics, mostly single coil types (Strat/ Tele ). The ones that work the best have been set for a slightly higher action than nornal, to eliminate all fret buzz, which I find to be the biggest culprit causing tracking problems. However , I recently tried my Takamine acoustic guitar ( with under saddle piezo Pickup) and onboard preamp). I have also changed this guitar’s strings to have nylon strings on the bottom E,A and D ,a wound metal G string and steel high B and E strings.( I love the warmer sound of the nylon bass strings). I was amazed at how well this worked with MG2, with excellent tracking and flawless triggering of all my virtual instruments in Garage Band and Logic. I believe this perfection is due to the inherent “damping” which the nylon strings naturally possess. I would love to know if other people find the same.

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This post has given me food for thought ! I own quite a few different guitars. My last experiment was with a home made lapsteel which has a John Birch pickup, which looks like a humbucker, but I am not sure. I did not think that MG would be able to track the slide nature of playing this, but so far I am really impressed, especially with orchestral "strings"and synth sounds. The sound of sliding chords with reverb and delay is mind blowing. I still don’t know how this is possible by the nature of the sampling in MG2. Also using midi bass I can almost get it sounding like two different instruments playing together by selecting a bass sound on a separate track in Garage band.

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My next experiment, later today will be with my electric 12 string which is fitted with two incredible multi tapped humbuckers, which give this guitar a multitude of sounds. I have a feeling MG2 may have some problems tracking this instrument, but you never know !!

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This is exactly the kind of stuff I hoped for with this thread; result from actual experiments, empirical data, stuff you perhaps not necessarily would expect work that works just fine - and of course the opposite as well. What didn’t work- equally important! My guess is that since seeing is believing, for most, videos, pics or soundclips would be of great assistance, but just getting to know of a half-and-half set of nylon/electric set working is really interesting in itself too. If you get a lapsteel triggering convincingly polyphonically I would be truly excited. Love to see/hear what you come up with! :grinning: :+1:

The less noise the better so hotter or humbucker pickups make the most sense.
I have mostly Semour Duncan Hot Stacks in my strats but the other pickups work fine. I can’t recommend any particular pickup over another. Just try to stand in a spot where there is the least noise if you don’t have humbuckers or high level pickups. If you are using a synth with no straight guitar you could add some straight guitar for reference temporarily to check the noise level.
I always find ceiling fans tend to add noise so if you have one in the room turn it off.
I haven’t really noticed any problems but then noise thru a synth may end up as something else that you can’t explain like distortion or a speaker rattle.

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I have to apologise for some mis-information I posted here. When I went back to use my lapsteel with MG2, I soon found out that the program was not tracking the slides. I was using an orchestral “strings” sound in Garage Band, but had been playing the strings during and after the slides, up to one octave or so. I had so much reverb and other effects on it that I thought I was hearing the strings follow my slides. I was wondering if this is possible at all? It seems as if the initial strum creates the string chord, but further strums are required as you move up and down the neck. This was using bends enabled 12 and almost no noise gate. By scraping my slide sideways, like a bow would act, I could almost get it to track the changes. An E-bow might work.?

Well, I have tried my 12 string electric and it seems to work just as well as my 6 stringers do. One thing left to try with this guitar is tuning it to have the B and E top strings very slightly out of unison, which I normally do to create a chorusy /thicker effect. It is very difficult to tell what is going on with this guitar as the program is having to “read” 12 notes created even if they are octaves ?

Well, I can imagine a scenario in which it does track slides, and that would be with one note at a time. I use my fretless guitar like that. But there is a restriction on polyphony and bends together that would make it hard to imagine. I say “hard to imagine” just to not deter from experimenting. I myself have come across some of those circumstances where I have just “figured something out”, and been told it is impossible (ex post facto), and I would very much like to NOT be part of that. So I’ll try and keep an open mind, and if you say you want to try something, I say: by all means, do! And please tell us how you did afterward, good OR bad. We can all learn from each other too.

Hi again, Yesterday I also tried my fretless bass in Midibass, and I had the same effect. Instead of a fretless “slide” the guitar just produced a series of chromatic notes, actually quite well. The one interesting thing about that was that I could play my fretless bass and have it sound like a picked bass with only the scale notes present. Quite a strange experience, but made the playing very accurate. I have also realised ,after further experiments .that setting bends to 12 on my 6 string lapsteel does not help the tracking. Thinking about this a bit more, I also realised that trying to make orchestral strings follow a slide is not how any orchestra could actually play. Bowing an instrument and trying to slide the note around is probably not a technique used much. It also seems to me that Midiguitar and Midibass only reproduces notes of fixed scale intervals, not even 1/4 tones. i always tune my instruments to the program’s built in tuner, I do not know how it performs if you tuned a quarter tone out from standard.

Well, with MIDI Guitar 2 I can certainly “bend” an octave on fretless guitar. You have to match the bend range between the MG2 software and the played instrument though. But if you are feeling a little creative you can also use mismatched bend ranges to your advantage:

And yes, I would assume that MIDI Guitar doesn’t detect and discriminate in anything smaller units than semitones. Anything after that is up to the pitch wheel function. So it does absolute wonders for anyone starting out on a fretless in terms of appeared intonation. We are kind of assisted to the nearest semitone before we start bending!
If you tune your instrument exactly a quartertone high or low, you will probably maximize loss of reliability in note choice output with the added bonus of more latency. You can get that effect by deliberately try playing at a quartertone off on your fretless too of course.

I just tried it: tuned a quarter tone up or down, the rendered midi note will remain on a single 1/2 tone of the chromatic scale.
The latency does not seem to be affected but the accuracy of the note is effectively impossible to maintain. :grimacing:

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Exactly! And perhaps the latency doesn’t appear affected, but I would not be surprised to hear of any minuscule differences between completely tuned and say a “1/4 tone detuned” guitar. But that is pure speculation on my part :nerd_face:

Yes bends are possible if you pick from the MG2 “Bends” options on the left side of the MG2 screen. If you want a slide tracker for a synth etc. just make the synth do that.
I can usually get 2-3 semitones of bend reliably with just about any synth in MG2 .
You may also have to alter your synth settings/controls to allow this.
Also I forgot to mention in my previous reply that for example changing for neck to bridge pickups on the fly can make a difference to the brightness and response when controlling a synth. I use the pickup change to get different sounds from a synth but it’s not much.
Also don’t forget to adjust the noise gate control on the left side of MG2 screen to get more or less response from your pickups. If it’s too low you may get a bit of weird clicks or clunky sounds from your guitar when not playing anything ( synth rendition of guitar sloppy no picking - just noises). I find that it’s a fine adjustment to allow things like hammer ons to work because if it’s too high you will not be able to do hammer ons very well and if it’s too low you will get weird open string noises.

I have used a bunch of different semi-hollow arch tops with MG2. I have, tbh, yet to find one that works poorly. That said, I find i get the best and most accurate results using the bridge pickup and splitting the coils so that it’s basically a single coil. Either that or, one of my guitars has piezos built into the bridge saddles and those seem to work really well for chord work. But really, as I said at the top. i have yet to find an instrument on which MG2 works poorly.

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Awesome! That’s so great to hear. The general consensus would otherwise seem to suggest that it (semi-hollows) wouldn’t work that great. So I am happy to hear of anyone that can report on a different experience. If nothing else, just for those newcomers we all once were, unsure of what is needed “for real” to get this MIDI Guitar stuff to actually work. :+1:

I’m using with lap steel guitar, 6, 8 and 10 strings. It’s really working out just having to make adjustments to my technique, understandably. I’m trying to stay away from cliches and working inside of a DAW in a loop-based environment. It’s the most fun I’ve had in years. I want to take this out and on the road.

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Hi Mike! This application of MIDI Guitar is really fascinating, and I believe there are a lot of guys in here that would love to see and hear this in practice. I’m sure even the shortest of videos would have a huge educational value, if you could be persuaded to share any your findings? :grinning: :pray:

Leif, you’ve been very helpful to me and I’d be happy to share some rudimentary examples. I use it in improvisational settings with looping and so it really offers me myriad possibilities. This video I’m linking is probably the first few thing I did once I understood how to use MG2. The improvised string trio was actually the first thing.

I post short videos on Instagram when I get a chance. Like I said, I’m still working through the basics and also trying to learn how to use Cantabile 3, which is the DAW, so there are quite a few things on my plate.