Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

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Jupiter
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Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by Jupiter »

Hi, I am looking for the most trouble-free/best tracking solution for guitar synth.

I've owned the GK3/GR20 twice in my life, I've dealt with several tracking issues (and glitches, dying mice sounds and the such), spent a lot of time setting the GK3 on four different guitars with different setups. I did some recordings but on one hand it was just a PITA, on the other I came across so many limitations, I had to take a different approach (by recording multiple tracks with less dense playing etc).

Truth to be told, I need a guitar synth system for my recordings (pianos, violins, french horns etc) and if I knew or at least were comforable playing the piano, I would have gone the piano midi controller route and I would be just fine. But that's not the case here.

So, after a few years of not having a synth guitar system, I bought the GK5/GM800 combo. Better tracking than the GK3/GR20 combo for sure, but still far from being trouble-free for me. I installed and tested it with the GK5 installed on 3 different guitars, tried different setups, string gauges etc.

I need something better than this.

At first I searched for non pitch-to-MIDI solutions like Instrument 1. It's not available anywhere in the EU (out of stock) and I doubt I could use it with the GM800. Checked the Ztar, not available, expensive (I found one locally for 700eur) and again I am not sure if I would be able to use it with the GM800.

Then I started looking for solutions like Graphtech Ghost pickups + Hexpander, hoping that this pitch-to-MIDI solution might be better than the hec pickups. Good thing is that they have saddles for narrow spacing guitars (like my Fender MIJ/CIJ Stratocasters).

So, what's your experience?

Any suggestions?


Thanks in advance,

Nick
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Patzag
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

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Jupiter
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by Jupiter »

Patzag wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 7:53 am Tried Jam?

https://www.jamorigin.com/
Yes, recently, not for me (a few years back I had also tried their Midi Guitar V1 and the Bass equivalent).

But I am looking for a hardware approach, I don;t want to depend on PCs, VSTs, software etc.

You know, grab the guitar, fire up some gizmo (GM800 in my case) and do your thang...
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jb63
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by jb63 »

You are looking for the fisherman tripleplay.
Do some searches and let jennifer batten lead you down that road.

Alternately, there's a big learning curve to the other options. The big thing is that it will change the WAY you play: less sloppy and more classical technique to avoid ghost notes. you will not be disappointed in whatever you choose as long as you understand that its learning a new instrument and will take some dedication and practice. also, they keep coming up with new ones! so there's a lot to choose from and more learning about technical stuff once you go down that path.

just try to think of it as signal processing!
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mmmguitar
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by mmmguitar »

Are you active on the vguitarforums, @Jupiter? They're always on the bleeding edge of guitar synth tech, with very objective and critical reviews of the latest stuff as they put it through its paces.

My meager contribution to the topic is that the whole guitar synth scene seems to be a matter of "pick your poison." Though I haven't tried the Fishman TriplePlay or GK5, every owner I've asked have reported that the gear still isn't developed to that point you want them to be (i.e., still a matter of trial and error in adjusting input settings and constraining your technique to whatever seems to cause the fewest tracking errors).

My personal experience has been that the best for tracking and dynamics has been GK3, then RMC, then Graph Tech. I use all three on my Flys, with different input setting presets on my GR-55 for each. To add to @jb63's sentiment, we're all dealing with "Garbage in; garbage out" with the signal processing of these toys.
Summary of the Parker Guitars speculator market from 2020 onward: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
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Jupiter
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by Jupiter »

@mmmguitar I wouldn't say I am active, I am a member there and I made a thread just to get some opinions. Tripleplay was suggested but I don't think I'll go that route.

@jb63 I am with you brother, but as I wrote, this is not my first rodeo. No, I am not the cleanest guitar player in the world (on the contrary) but the pitch-to-MIDI is my problem here...no matter how clean you play, you will experience some delay on the thicker strings and that has nothing to do with the playing itself. Of course it depends on the sound/preset/scene/whatever you want to call it, but that's my experience.

I think the best solution for me is non-string (therefore non pitch-to-MIDI) solutions like the gizmos I mentioned in my first post, but there are getting rarer and rarer to find...

Thanks for the insight guys, for the time being I'll stick with the GK5/GM800...

;)
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by mmmguitar »

Jupiter wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:47 pm @mmmguitar I wouldn't say I am active, I am a member there and I made a thread just to get some opinions. Tripleplay was suggested but I don't think I'll go that route.
I found your thread after posting - If Elantric says the TriplePlay is the best bet, then I agree with staying with the GK5 for now. I would enjoy reading any subsequent impressions you have of it and the GM800 - We're all in the same uphill battle with this stuff.
Summary of the Parker Guitars speculator market from 2020 onward: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by Augustonian »

I've have two systems currently (triple play & a rmc poly drive -> gp10.) The latter is in a fly and the former a godin. The GP10 is nice since I can run each of the string channels into my daw and do pitch to midi in jam origin per string, or use the onboard midi from the gp10. There's always delay but for more lice settings I blend a signal from the gp10 into the synth and that does me pretty well. If you're trying to write midi for a recording I'd recommend another route (the linnstrument seems nice for those who are guitar brained - I use pads on a machine plus)

If you have questions on either I'd be happy to run tests or whathaveyou if you've got questions. I will say I'm pretty satisfied on the fly setup I have. I typically use it to control my hydrasynth, opsix or various plugins.
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Jupiter
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by Jupiter »

Wow guys, thank you so much for your insight!

@mmmguitar I agree...the moment Elentric suggested the TriplePlay, I knew that chances were there wasn't anything "better" in terms of tracking...honestly, I think for the time being I'll stick with the GK5 while at the same time I'll be looking for an Instrument 1 (knowing that I'll only be able to use it with PC/VSTs). Funny thing, yesterday I contacted two EU ebay sellers for the Instrument 1...the first said it was already sold (which doesn't make any sense since the auction is still open) and the other said "I am not sure I can ship to Greece" (lol, why?)...oh, well...

@Augustonian Thank you for the infos! Actually, the fact you own a TriplePlay alone says a lot.

Got to do some thinking and some searching (aaaand some praying, lol)...

Thank you guys!

:)
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by jb63 »

I've actually gotten the AX-100 rackmaount unit to track as well as the tripleplay, but YMMV. Its old, but not as old as me.
The newer stuff will always be supported longer, but eventually this will pass. It really just depends upon what you want to do with it.

I ended up going with the GK3 > GR55 for some things and the RMC > GR55 for other things, but basically, just for live work, not for studio stuff.
In the studio you can get away with a lot more things that don't work perfect every time.

NOTHING beat the VG99 with the FC300 for live work.
But here's one cheap:

https://reverb.com/item/67678187-roland ... ller-stand?

so you can see that there are more options than players for this stuff.

(now I want to go buy that VG99 and I already HAVE one! Jeez!)
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by mmmguitar »

Having sold two guitars in the past week means that I am very much fighting the urge to buy that VG99 setup; and am hoping to continue telling myself that it would be redundant to the GR-55/SY-1000/Axe FX rig I've had in mind.
Summary of the Parker Guitars speculator market from 2020 onward: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_fool_theory
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Jupiter
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by Jupiter »

This just came in guys...
viber_image_2024-03-01_15-19-52-692.jpg
I need to charge it, fiddled with it a little bit, piano VST, there are things indeed I can do with the Instrument 1 that can't be done with the Gk5/GM800 (not by me anyway).

There are plenty of settings I will have to spend some time to make it "compatible" with my playing, but, yeah, this will be a very useful tool.

All good!

;)
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Re: Most trouble-free solution (tracking-wise) for guitar synth?

Post by Augustonian »

Jupiter wrote: Fri Mar 01, 2024 8:31 am This just came in guys...

There are plenty of settings I will have to spend some time to make it "compatible" with my playing, but, yeah, this will be a very useful tool.
Very cool!

Yeah I think for any guitarist getting into midi there are some compromises you have to make (learning piano, learning a pad controller, latency, tracking, different play style, etc ). I've always been pretty happy with my pad controllers but I'd be curious to hear what you had to adjust to make this work for you.

If you think guitar players are idiosyncratic, I feel like midi guitar players are exponentially so! (Me included)
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