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Analog to Midi?!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by nonohmic, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Hey All,
    Been playing clean for a few years now and looking to start playing some drum and bass or breaks etc. Had a look at pedals etc but the general consesus out there is to spend the money on putting the bass through a laptop and utilising plugins.
    Where do I begin? I have a laptop but it may not be powerful enough.
    What is the minimum power I'll need to get over latency/ tracking problems?
    What is good software to use?
    Etc etc etc etc etc etc.
    Any help would be brilliant,

  2. Tomass


    Nov 1, 2005
    http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ is a great free program that i got about 20 minutes ago. As for interfacing though im not quite sure how you would work it out, Creative have some note book products that may connect to usb or another interface. I been thinking about doing the same mate, altough im in a band so we want to make a demo soon so were going to have to find a way to record onto computer, at the moment i use my iRiver H320 as its got a high-fidelity mike that records mp3 at 320kbs so its pretty good recording one person.
  3. are you talking about using realtime effects with a computer or just recording?

    if you are talking about realtime effect, then i would suggest a program called guitarFX...its free so its good for people looking to get a start in using their computer for effects. otherwise i have heard good thing about NI's GuitarRig...
    or, going by the title, if you want to convert your bass to a MIDI signal, i guess Axion makes the best converter, Roland makes a good one, and i believe yamaha has one too, but you need the GK pickup for that as well :)
  4. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004

    What are your objectives ? I know this an unfair comparision but I tried a bass MIDI converter in 1986 and was unimpressed at the tracking. Yes, I'm sure technology has improved but the problem is that bass strings vibrate slower than guitar (as pitch results from the cycles per second of the vibration.) which makes for tracking difficulty.

    For the sake of arguement lets say you get a clean MIDI signal and process it thru your computer. What then ? Becuase you say a laptop, I assume it's for live use. Does that mean you are converting it back to analog for amplification ? Then there better be a good reason for the MIDI voice.

    This was done really well by Chapman Stick player Nick Beggs (who was the bassist in '80's band Kanjagoogo) when he was on tour with John Paul Jones (who was bassist with another band from the '70's...)

    Nick ran the low strings of his Stick through a bass amp system, the high strings through a guitar amp system and the MIDI pickup through a MIDI processor and into another amp system.

    With this set up he could make his stick sound like an overdriven guitar one moment, a string section the next, ect...

    It worked in that setting as John Paul Jones was alternating primarily between bass, keyboards, and a pedal steel style slide guitar and Nick could change roles in a flash.

    That said, I question how that would work for bass guitar in a more conventional setting. Again, it depends on your objectives.
  5. nonohmic

    nonohmic Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2005
    ABQ, NM.
    Cheers for the replies. Its a start. I want to play live drum and bass so basically want to have freedom with effects and not be locked into a pedal board but have the versatility of software.
    So I need real time tracking, and i guess will be going back into my analog amp.
    I really dont know much at the moment so any kind of suggection is appreciated.
  6. ok, i am pretty sure thats not MIDI, but you are on the right track...i think native instruments' Guitar rig might be something to check out...i remember reading in BP magizine about a bass player who does the same thing, but i can't remember what band he was in or what he used...all i remember is him saying that he had 3 GB worth of bass tone in his laptop...Groove syndicate or something like that for the band name maybe?
  7. Karn


    Nov 28, 2005
    i remember that guy too...but he said his sounds were played with a keyboard linked to the laptop...the bass was stright to the amp if i'm right...don't remember very well...
    to run a bass through plugins you'll need a very powerful laptop...or instead you have to be prepared to the sad experience of "freezing pc"....
    this was an idea of mine too...but i preferred the yamaha midi system...yes...a slight delay exists...but it's very very little and only on certain sounds and on b and e strings...again if you own a powerful laptop you're able to minimize it...
    i use it to shape new sounds and not to clone a trumpet...
    so i often mix the sinth with the straight bass signal...you eliminate the delays this way and the sound is good...
    i suggest propellerheads reason(2.5 or 3 version)...fast program and really good sounds,not to mention the mighty cool rack interface...and trilogy...loads of bass sounds...of every kind...but a bit heavy on the pc(got to own basically a 2800 processor or a 3000 better to hear it in full shine...and a giga of ram...but the more the better you know...)....
  8. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    The Boss GT-6B (I own one) works great for MIDI. When using a computer for FX, I would suggest you get a separate MIDI converter and get something like the E-MU 1212 card, or its laptop equivilant.
  9. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    The GT-6B is not a midi converter, but you can use it to send midi patch change data to other processors.

    The Roland V-Bass is also not a midi converter. It runs digital processing algorithms on the signal coming from a GK-2 hex pickup. It can also send midi patch change data, but not pitch data. Tracking is fast because it's processing, not converting into midi. This is what I use for live work now, it is a floorboard unit. There are many good bass and synth tones you can get.

    Axon, Roland, and Yamaha make interfaces that convert to midi if you really want to drive a keyboard or soft-synth. I've been told the tracking isn't the greatest because of the forementioned low frequency recognition issue -- low notes take more time to develop so the interface is slow to figure out what pitch your playing.

    If you find a simple way to just plug into a laptop and go, let me know!
  10. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    One way to get around this is to play an octave higher for better pitch recognition and then have the MIDI voice lower it an octave.