I used one in the past (a Yamaha setup) but I didn't find it very useful as it wasn't precise and had problems of latency. As I am a guitarist more than a keyboard player I thought a midi guitar would have allowed me to create more "humanized" and realistic tracks, expecially with string sounds but for my experience I can say that a guitar synth isn't a precise instrument and even if you are a guitar hero you'll obtain better results using a keyboard.
How long ago did you use one. I have heard that the new Roland box GI-20? tracks much better with latency undetectable on the mid-high notes; slightly so on the lower notes.. I was thinking of checking out midi guitar again. Hmmm.
[QUOTE=aplanchard]How long ago did you use one. [QUOTE]
I used a Yamaha G50, the forerunner of the GI-20 I guess...maybe the new one is better, but from my experience I'll never buy again a guitar synth and I don't feel to suggest it to nobody.
I payed it a lot and I was very disappointed by the results or maybe my expectations was too high! I thought I could use my skills on guitar, much more than on keyboard, to reproduce realistic string passages but I think it's impossible to do it with a midi guitar (maybe it's now possible with the GI-20, bt I won't be the one to test it
I recently ran across this thread. Although it has been awhile since the last post I felt that in case you are still interested in midi-guitar I should add my own experiences.
I have a midi-guitar and converter box (a present from my wife) and I consider them to be a very valuable part of my setup. The music I create when I record is different from the music I create when I enter notes into a score. And although I can pick out stuff on a keyboard that I am not ashamed of, I am not fluent with a keyboard like I am fluent with a guitar. Recording a guitar directly to audio has many advantages but it does not permit the use of midi-editing tools. So for my purposes I find midi-guitar extremely useful and in fact enjoy it very much. But…
Because my converter (a Roland GR-33) becomes confused fairly easily, there are a lot of glitches when recording midi-guitar and this means a lot of note editing.
There are several things that can be done to minimize glitches. The most common advice is to change your playing style, to play more precisely. Other advice includes: to be careful with the setup of the converter box, to be sure your guitar is in tune, to use a midi-guitar rather than attaching a midi-pickup to an exiting guitar, to use the deglitching tools included in some sequencers, to purchase the best quality converter box that you can afford (at the time that I did my research the Axon box--which cost about three times the price of the GR-33--was highly regarded but I can’t speak of it from personal experience), and to select the least glitch prone patches. This advice is good as far as it goes but in my experience even after following it there are still a lot of glitches to edit.
One thing that I’d like to elaborate on is tuning. It was not mentioned explicitly in any of the midi-guitar advice I’ve read, but being in tune also encompasses the intonation of the guitar. You can have the open strings in perfect tune but if the notes in other positions are out of tune the converter box may still become confused. Another thing that I suspect can confuse a converter box is the overtones, the resonances that are one of the delights of the sound of natural acoustic and electric guitars.
In any case, to illustrate the point regarding intonation I’ve constructed a chart. It shows the degree a note is sharp or flat for the low E string at various frets. I attempted to maintain an even pressure on the string with respect to each note. High (or low) pressure can shift the pitch 2 or more units higher (or lower). I don’t know what unit of pitch the GR-33 uses in its tuning mode but the difference between moderate pressure and my highest pressure was sufficient to take some notes from slightly sharp to the next note in the 12-tone scale as measured by the GR-33’s tuner. There are two discrepancy columns on the chart because the discrepancy in pitch is different between when the string is initially picked and when it has had a chance to settle down.
Note Initial Eventual
E 0 0
F +2 +1
F# +2 +1
G +2 +1
G# +1 0
A +1 0
A# 0 -1
B 0 -1
C +1 0
C# +1 0
D 0 -1
D# 0 -1
E 0 -1
I get similar results for other strings even though my guitar is in pretty good shape as far as intonation goes. The implications with respect glitches are fairly obvious. It would take an extremely smart converter box to reliably record a midi-guitar. Of course if I had my guitar refretted by a master luthier I might get more reliable midi recordings. Then again, the intonation seems pretty good to me and there might be little or no improvement.
I think that it is easy to see that the amount of effort required to work with at least some midi-converter boxes is more than many guitarists would wish to devote to the project (a decision I entirely understand). It is more work than I would prefer but, since I get things of a quality that I couldn’t otherwise get, to me it is more than worth it, I wouldn’t be without it.
I would say that it all depends on what you want the midi guitar to do ...
If you are a good guitar player, and want to do keyboard riffs, or other horn riff's , of whatever riffs, and you think you can pull them off better by using a guitar , then a midi guitar would be in order....There are latency, and other issues to deal with ....bend's are not all that clean, tracking can be a problem, etc ...
If you are basically looking for guitar type sounds, I would much rather go with some of the guitar emulaton box's that are out there ...There are a number of different preamps, and emulation boxes, etc to choose from .. For acoustic guitar you can use just about any of the acoustic pickups, and go direct and get a 1/2 way decent sound, and throw a couple of mic's on the Ac. Guitar and also record them , and then mix the results to taste....
Like I said earlier ...It all depends on what you want to do with midi guitar..Jim