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Topic: Guitar synths & soft-synth programs

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  1. #1

  2. #2

    Re: Guitar synths & soft-synth programs

    The only solution that I found for what you're describing is the ZTAR. I only use it for recording as an alternative to keyboard. I have an Axon Mk11 which does not work well with soft synths and is no good for me, way to many ghost notes. Maybe live it's ok, I never tried it cause I don't like the internal sounds.

  3. #3

    Re: Guitar synths & soft-synth programs

    I haven't tried playing synth guitar into a softsynth, however Omnisphere is making me want to give it a try. However I have used guitar synths for many years in many contexts.

    The problem is usually that the converter is sending out midi notes for every sound you make on the guitar. For example, if you take your finger off a string, it is virtually impossible not to make some noise on that string (especially in warm weather as it will stick to your finger slightly) - many converters will output this tiny noise as a midi note. The sound made by sliding up a wound string is another example. Those incidental noises are part of the instrument's natural sound, but are usually sent out either as a note or a controller message.

    I think dedicated guitar synths may have some suppressing software that ignore some of the small incidental sounds any player inevitably makes. I think they may also interpret some of incidental sounds as attack envelope information for the synth patch.

    When you plug into an external synth (hardware or software) you get the raw midi signal - ie every tiny sound is sent as a midi note or controller message - no software interpretation. This is where the problem lies in my experience. So if I play the guitar synth's internal sound, its relatively glitch free, but if I plug into another hardware synth, there are always a lot more glitches and ghost notes.

    There a few things that might help, depending on how you play. I worked very hard on reducing all incidental noises when playing guitar synth, and stopping notes from ringing when removing your finger from a string or changing position. This allows me to play relatively glitch free, but it takes a lot of work. In fact if I don't play guitar synth for a few months and concentrate on normal playing and then go back to the synth its glitchy as hell... it then takes me some days to get my "synth chops" back. Its a different way of playing.

    Some people find that using heavier gauge strings helps. It might help to lower the pickup so the signal is less hot. Or lower the string sensitivity on the converter so its less sensitive. You can also try these things: Turn off all controller messages in the converter and or the soft synth. Turn off pitch bend if you are playing chords. All these things will require that you adjust your playing to some degree and that adjustment may be part of the process of getting a clean output.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4

    Re: Guitar synths & soft-synth programs

    Quote Originally Posted by Antiphones View Post
    The problem is usually that the converter is sending out midi notes for every sound you make on the guitar. For example, if you take your finger off a string, it is virtually impossible not to make some noise on that string (especially in warm weather as it will stick to your finger slightly) - many converters will output this tiny noise as a midi note. The sound made by sliding up a wound string is another example. Those incidental noises are part of the instrument's natural sound, but are usually sent out either as a note or a controller message.
    I've got a Roland VG-99 and it has a setting called "PC Mask" which - for my playing - pretty much de-glitches everything.

    I used an AXON50 USB unit for a while and it had a software based interface to modify settings. I also had it working pretty well, after tweaking it through the software. As I recall though, you have to keep the software app open whenever you're using it, which was no big deal for me, but might be something to be aware of.
    Kyle
    www.NineVoltAudio.com
    info@NineVoltAudio.com
    Loop libraries designed for users of Stylus RMX, Reason and other REX format players

  5. #5

    Re: Guitar synths & soft-synth programs

    Depending on what DAW is hosting your softsynths, you can put a midi filter between the output from the GI 20 and the input of the softsynth. I put a midi filter in using Cubase, and set it to not pass through low velocity and/or very short duration notes, which is what the glitches usually are. That cleans things up considerably. I have the graphtech on a godin freeway with axon 100, and I use softsynths instead of the internal sounds in the axon.

    Teg

  6. #6

    Re: Guitar synths & soft-synth programs

    Interesting thread guys...my kind of stuff. What MIDI filter do you use tegman? I am very curious about that, it seems the perfect solution.

    I too have a Freeway SA into an Axon AX100MkII. My soft synths are Omnisphere, Sonik Synth 2, Reason 4, Miroslav Orchestra, GPO, J&BB, Xpand and some soft samplers. I also have Sibelius 5.

    I work with Pro Tools...7.4 in my studio and Tools 8 in my laptop.

    I have that same issue.....ghost notes, glitches etc.

    Playing long held pads is not a problem but any sort of single note stuff, latency is a huge problem. So I have to set the hardware buffer size down to 256 or even 128. This of course stresses out the CPU and I get error messages.

    So I have to record the MIDI pass with a low draw synth and then assign it to Omnisphere after the fact...have the MIDI track play it.

    But for piano's and stuff ,writing into Sibelius...that filter seems a great idea to avoid the glitchy stuff that is lower in velocity.

    So tegman I would ove to get more info on that and if it works with Pro Tools or what I need to look for to use one.

    Thanks.

    RSP2RSP2 I get respectable performance with some things and poor with others. I have been wondering if the problem is Pro Tools because Eric Persing told me at an Omnisphere clinic that the RTAS environment is not as kind to Omnisphere as is Native...he said Logic would be better.

    But I notice even going into Sibelius it does not always input exactly accurately.... something that of course is critical. I hate having to go find all the bad notes in Edit.

    What is hard is piano sounds. You can pick a chord and hold it and it can be okay- sustaining nicely....and then even though you do not move your fingers, shift your hand or anything...it triggers notes all of a sudden. Very annoying.

    I have the Ghost Modular Piezo's as well and yes the sounds in the Axon are awful.

    What I hear is Proteus modules work well but these sounds are dated also no?

    The MUSE Receptor might be a good one..I am curious also about what an earlier poster said about the Axon not playing nice with hardware though.

    I am MUCH happier with my Freeway SA and the Axon than with my Yamaha G1-D pickup and G50 converter. I could NEVER get that to work well.

    I have resigned myself to pads and slower parts with some effort required for faster passages. It sucks because key controllers work so much better but I cannot play keys. I can input some stuff with my keyboard but basically I am just not a keyboard player.

    Amazing how much better Omnisphere plays with keys though...many times more expressive than with the guitar controller.

    I have been looking at the ZTAR for years. It may eventually be a solution for me.

    What everybody else said is much what I find also.

    What synth guitar do you have? I have been thinking about the GI-20.....I think John McLaughlin uses that.
    2.66GHz MacPro Quad|6GB RAM|OSX10.6.4| 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro|4GB RAM|OSX 10.6.4|Pro Tools 9 w/CPTK|Digi 002R, Eleven Rack, MBox2 Mini|Garritan-GPO4, J&BB| Reason 4|Spectrasonics-Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian|Drumcore3, Discrete Drums|Toontrack-Superior Drummer, EZ Drummer|Sibelius 6|Izotope-Ozone4, RX2|String Studio|EastWest-Silk, VOP, Symphonic Choirs, RA, Gypsy, Stormdrum2, Fab Four|Reaper|

  7. #7

    Re: Guitar synths & soft-synth programs

    Lister,

    I don't have any recommendations for protools, but in cubase there's a midi insert function and a midi modifier called "Transformer" that can be programed to modify the midi data. I set that up to filter velocities under 10-20 and durations under 20 or so from the incoming midi stream. I would imagine there's be a similar function in protools, or a third party plugin that will function similarly in protools. Low latency is a must for me to play with groove.

    Good luck,
    Teg

  8. #8

    Re: Guitar synths & soft-synth programs

    LOL Teg I thought at first it was a hardware filter that you plug into...hey someone should make one...like a noise gate for MIDI.

    Thanks man...I will take a look. I am better than I was a couple years ago but I am still MIDI challenged compared to most guys that came up on it.

    Lister.
    2.66GHz MacPro Quad|6GB RAM|OSX10.6.4| 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro|4GB RAM|OSX 10.6.4|Pro Tools 9 w/CPTK|Digi 002R, Eleven Rack, MBox2 Mini|Garritan-GPO4, J&BB| Reason 4|Spectrasonics-Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian|Drumcore3, Discrete Drums|Toontrack-Superior Drummer, EZ Drummer|Sibelius 6|Izotope-Ozone4, RX2|String Studio|EastWest-Silk, VOP, Symphonic Choirs, RA, Gypsy, Stormdrum2, Fab Four|Reaper|

  9. #9

    Re: Guitar synths & soft-synth programs

    I use Godin Guitars with an Axon AX50 into Ableton Live with Omni, and various free synths and Ableton's Instruments.
    The Axon is very fast, but noisy (guitar signal). Glitches and ghost notes will always happen to some extent. The trick is to play very clean and have a few of Axon presets ready for different sounds. For instance, Piano sounds tend to require less sensitive settings, while electronic settings are more forgiving.
    I find higher action results in less glitches. Also heavier strings.
    The one thing I will tell you is guitar synth is a very different thing than keyboard controllers. If you expect to be as accurate as a keyboard, you will pull your hair out. Its very much an imperfect solution.
    But mixing a guitar sound with Omni's Modern Hybrid sounds or the Psycoacoustic stuff is incredibly rewarding and very beautiful.

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