Christopher Willits using midi pickup and Live.

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Spackled Bat
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Christopher Willits using midi pickup and Live.

Post by Spackled Bat » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:00 pm

I've always been curious about MIDI pickups for guitars/basses.
I found this little video pretty interesting.

http://www.xlr8r.com/tv/52

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:09 pm

cool contributions he's making, I haven't heard him so down to earth before.

-1 on his setup. I've played Roland ready Strats which is what he has except the pickup is built in rather than taped on. the latency on the low E string is pretty much unplayable. notice that he quantizes to 1/4 notes, but he's got a good ear for composition.

the latency on that, just from guitar to the GR20 through an amp was about the length of a pic click, IOW I could hit the string, hear the pick hit the string, make a 'click' noise then the sound would emerge. the GR20 has some well thought out presets but even then (drones on the low E are an instrument to back a different instrument on the other strings.)

I hate it when people fanboy their own rigs, but...
find a store that sells guitars with Piezo midi pickups, it's a mechanical rather than magnetic system. I have an RMC pickup
http://www.rmcpickup.com/
which also makes a *nice* acoustic tone. I run that through a Terratec box rather than Roland, it tracks great.


really fun stuff though. I had the guitar playing father in law over during the weekend, I had him speak into the microphone, all he could think to say was <something something> "isn't it weird", so I dropped "isn't it weird" into a Simpler, handed him the guitar and his eyes popped out of his head (he's like 58, had no idea this could be done.)

I saved up a while, got a Brian Moore i9.13, love that thing. center tapped humbuckers, piezo acoustic tone, midi, maple top, swiss army knife of guitars.

\m/
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

OvertoneZero
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Post by OvertoneZero » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:19 am

+1 on the Axon USB interface - the way to go!

I hear those Graphtech Ghost pickups are pretty niiice

landrvr1
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Post by landrvr1 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:34 am

Tone Deft wrote:cool contributions he's making, I haven't heard him so down to earth before.
Yeah, you were pretty down on this guy before. Regardless of any artistic pretentions he may or may not have, I think the guy's the real deal. He might forever wax poetic on MAX/MSP, but it's pretty cool that he's made these 3 short vids that are really there to help people out.

DrXparaMental
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Post by DrXparaMental » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:33 am

Tone Deft wrote:cool contributions he's making, I haven't heard him so down to earth before.

-1 on his setup. I've played Roland ready Strats which is what he has except the pickup is built in rather than taped on. the latency on the low E string is pretty much unplayable. notice that he quantizes to 1/4 notes, but he's got a good ear for composition.

the latency on that, just from guitar to the GR20 through an amp was about the length of a pic click, IOW I could hit the string, hear the pick hit the string, make a 'click' noise then the sound would emerge. the GR20 has some well thought out presets but even then (drones on the low E are an instrument to back a different instrument on the other strings.)

I hate it when people fanboy their own rigs, but...
find a store that sells guitars with Piezo midi pickups, it's a mechanical rather than magnetic system. I have an RMC pickup
http://www.rmcpickup.com/
which also makes a *nice* acoustic tone. I run that through a Terratec box rather than Roland, it tracks great.


really fun stuff though. I had the guitar playing father in law over during the weekend, I had him speak into the microphone, all he could think to say was <something something> "isn't it weird", so I dropped "isn't it weird" into a Simpler, handed him the guitar and his eyes popped out of his head (he's like 58, had no idea this could be done.)

I saved up a while, got a Brian Moore i9.13, love that thing. center tapped humbuckers, piezo acoustic tone, midi, maple top, swiss army knife of guitars.

\m/
TD
Do you know if it's possible to write midi via the midi output of a Roland V System for guitar/bass? I tried figuring out how to do that once and gave up after attempting to do so and getting no where.

When you wrote about using your axe to send midi signals via your RMC, are you referring to one midi assigned trigger per string or can you actually somehow send individual notes to trigger your sampler? I can't see how the latter could be done but there are MANY things I can't "see".

thanx

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:24 am

Rover- watching these videos I noticed he stepped away from max/msp, which is what he got caught up in before. looking back it's hard to describe a max creation, seems like a multitap delay kind of thing. anyway, his Frankenstein max thing, you'd have to go through it to get the madness, he says something like "it looks complicated, but it's not", sure not after all the time, tweaking and swearing, getting close to the subject. still, quarter note quantization, meh, not that I'm working on soundtracks or touring with mine.



DrX - don't really catch the question.
Do you know if it's possible to write midi via the midi output of a Roland V System for guitar/bass?
watch the video, it shows him capturing midi notes. what did you try?
When you wrote about using your axe to send midi signals via your RMC, are you referring to one midi assigned trigger per string or can you actually somehow send individual notes to trigger your sampler? I can't see how the latter could be done but there are MANY things I can't "see".
it's exactly the same as a midi keyboard, I have 6 strings, each has 22 notes along its length.

this is a video on the guitar, mine doesn't have the USB connection, that would be the same thing as a www.stealthplug.com built into the guitar.
http://media.jlsc.com/schedule/2005/vie ... guitar.mp4
I use a Pod XT instead.

you need a midi guitar to use a midi converter box. the converter can pick out every single note on each string as separate notes.

make sense?


edit - actually what he needs to do is play the pickups on the Strat and write jitter patches to visually accompany him. put color organs to shame.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

gp23
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Post by gp23 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:43 am

DrXparaMental wrote: Do you know if it's possible to write midi via the midi output of a Roland V System for guitar/bass? I tried figuring out how to do that once and gave up after attempting to do so and getting no where.
If you mean a Roland VG-8, then no. It doesn't convert pitch to MIDI. I'm quite sure the VG-88 and V-Bass are the same. But the new VG-99 does have a MIDI converter built-in.

I have a Roland GI-10 for MIDI guitar and it's excellent. Very low latency on the low notes. I've found in the past that the Roland GR range (the ones with built-in sounds) have higher latency with external sounds via MIDI output than dedicated MIDI-only converters. With their internal sounds, they're very quick, but there must be an extra layer of conversion for the MIDI out which does give them an annoying delay.

kristoffer1989
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Post by kristoffer1989 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:13 pm

This dude is really one creative guy! I wish i was doing something noone had done before..

It sounds really nice to=)

I want a midi pickup BAD!

DrXparaMental
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Post by DrXparaMental » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:06 pm

gp23 wrote:
DrXparaMental wrote: Do you know if it's possible to write midi via the midi output of a Roland V System for guitar/bass? I tried figuring out how to do that once and gave up after attempting to do so and getting no where.
If you mean a Roland VG-8, then no. It doesn't convert pitch to MIDI. I'm quite sure the VG-88 and V-Bass are the same. But the new VG-99 does have a MIDI converter built-in.

I have a Roland GI-10 for MIDI guitar and it's excellent. Very low latency on the low notes. I've found in the past that the Roland GR range (the ones with built-in sounds) have higher latency with external sounds via MIDI output than dedicated MIDI-only converters. With their internal sounds, they're very quick, but there must be an extra layer of conversion for the MIDI out which does give them an annoying delay.
Yep, I have a V-Bass system. The latency is not bad at all, practical non existent. That, or I have just gotten used to it. I have been using it since it came out about 5 years ago. I wonder if the pickups themselves could send midi to some type of 13 pin receptacle other than Roland products?

...Holy Shit!!!! I just got done doing a little research and it APPEARS that all I need is the GI20 to make this a reality. Is that so?? Extremely manic minds needz to know. NOW!!! :lol:

mbenigni
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Post by mbenigni » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:13 pm

As of about two weeks ago, I'm convinced that MIDI pickups are dead. You can get the job done with a plain old audio signal these days. Read here: http://www.decrementia.com/MeansBlog.htm#p030608

JJarvis
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Post by JJarvis » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:24 pm

I'm actually thinking about taking one of his classes that he teaches at the Bay Area Video Collective.
Logic Studio, Live 7, Max 5, Monome 64, and Desktop Evolver

gp23
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Post by gp23 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:31 pm

DrXparaMental wrote:Yep, I have a V-Bass system. The latency is not bad at all, practical non existent. That, or I have just gotten used to it. I have been using it since it came out about 5 years ago. I wonder if the pickups themselves could send midi to some type of 13 pin receptacle other than Roland products?

...Holy Shit!!!! I just got done doing a little research and it APPEARS that all I need is the GI20 to make this a reality. Is that so?? Extremely manic minds needz to know. NOW!!! :lol:
There is practically no latency on the V-guitar systems because they aren't converting pitch to MIDI. They are processing the actual audio output of the pickup.

The pickups don't send MIDI themselves, rather the guitar synth or MIDI converter takes the individual audio outputs of the hex pickup and converts those pitches into MIDI data.

A GI-20 will do the job well. As far as Roland goes, you will need one of the newer units if you are using a Bass.

OvertoneZero
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Post by OvertoneZero » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:35 pm

mbenigni wrote:As of about two weeks ago, I'm convinced that MIDI pickups are dead. You can get the job done with a plain old audio signal these days. Read here: http://www.decrementia.com/MeansBlog.htm#p030608

Cool, good info here. Here's something similar for OS X:

http://www.widisoft.com/english/widi-au ... di-au.html

Haven't tried it, but I will today!

DrXparaMental
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Post by DrXparaMental » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:08 pm

gp23 wrote:
DrXparaMental wrote:Yep, I have a V-Bass system. The latency is not bad at all, practical non existent. That, or I have just gotten used to it. I have been using it since it came out about 5 years ago. I wonder if the pickups themselves could send midi to some type of 13 pin receptacle other than Roland products?

...Holy Shit!!!! I just got done doing a little research and it APPEARS that all I need is the GI20 to make this a reality. Is that so?? Extremely manic minds needz to know. NOW!!! :lol:
There is practically no latency on the V-guitar systems because they aren't converting pitch to MIDI. They are processing the actual audio output of the pickup.

The pickups don't send MIDI themselves, rather the guitar synth or MIDI converter takes the individual audio outputs of the hex pickup and converts those pitches into MIDI data.

A GI-20 will do the job well. As far as Roland goes, you will need one of the newer units if you are using a Bass.
Thank You!

PS. Did you read the blog that mbenigni (huge thank you!) offered up? That is some of the most AMAZING information I have read in a LONG time and it's older(ish) stuff. When I stopped reading that blog I felt like I was dreaming. Like I would wake up any moment realizing, ah, I was just dreaming. Damn!

What shocks me is that it's virtually unknown, or worse, ignored. I am stunned.

I can't help but imagine this: If a noob like myself is completely blown away by this type of 4-5 year old technological revelation, one of two possibilities must sum up what this means.

1) It is TRULY mind blowing technology and is something that is going to create a paradigm shift in axe (or whatever audio producing device that can be recorded digitally as an audio file) synthesis.

or...

2) The REAL experienced tech heads have known this for several years now and are aware of some inherent "flaw" in the system that prevents it from being the wet dream I imagine it as being.

only one thing I can do. get busy.

OvertoneZero
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Post by OvertoneZero » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:53 pm

OvertoneZero wrote:

Cool, good info here. Here's something similar for OS X:

http://www.widisoft.com/english/widi-au ... di-au.html

Haven't tried it, but I will today!

Well, 30 minutes later.. the plugin was very easy to setup... but... the tracking on a DI electric guitar signal was horrible and there was a significant processing (or perhaps IAC?) delay. I tried single notes all over the guitar, I messed with the settings a fair bit, not so much the EQ, but if this is the way it is I wouldn't be able to use it in real-time.

Let me know if you have better results with the tracking, it seemed *really* bad to me...

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