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Bass Synthesisers/Synthesizers/MIDI pickups

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Googly, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Googly


    Sep 21, 2008
    Has anyone got a bass synthesiser, that is a special pickup connected to a synth box that converts a normal bass into midi?

    As I would like to record midi from my bass rather than having to learn to play keyboards.

    I've done a bit of research on the internet to find that the pickup to do this will got about £80, which isn;t too much, but the main interface costs around £260. e.g. http://www.thomann.de/gb/roland_gi20_midiinterface_fuer_gitarre_bass.htm

    I was wondering if there is a way of recording a real bass as midi, without having to spend £260 on a interface that has too many features. As i wouldn't want to use this in a live situation just for compostion

  2. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    MIDI is only data not sound so you need a pickup and interface to covert to MIDI data. FYI that is only a converter it has no sounds you still need either a hardware or software sound module to make sound out of the MIDI data.
  3. Contra(Band)


    Apr 11, 2008
    I think that's about as cheap as bass MIDI will get right now. I didn't think the GI-20 had that many features anyway.
  4. Googly


    Sep 21, 2008
    damn that sucks,
    I dont really want to shell out £300, but it would be pretty useful to be able to use my bass as a midi controller.

    Any decent WAV to MIDI programs that you guys use?

    Or am i just being lazy and should either learn keyboards for MIDI composing or use guitar pro to put ideas into MIDI.
  5. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Learn keyboards. Or rather the button accordion (with MIDI) - it makes way more sense.

    But the Roland system works fairly well. And there's a nice little USB Axon interface too that you might like.
  6. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I have a GI20 and hex pickup interface ( the graph tech piezo kit )

    It is not practical for bass , there is still too much latency to do a tight groove in a band setting.
    The latency between the bass sound and a MIDI pitch outputting the GI20 is around 70ms on a E (41hz)
    Subdivise by two for each octave up , playing in the upper register is doable but not practical.
  7. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Maybe the next version of Roland's V-bass is gonna be better.
    2001 is the last version.....
  8. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Playing MIDI takes real good technique too, any slopponess and you get false triggered notes and other MIDI noise. In long run use a keyboard not only will it be cheaper, but knowing how to play keyboard is an necessary skill for all musicians. In today world many sessions want KB bass so many bass player are doubling on KB bass to get the gig ($$$) and at least the lines still have BG groove to them.
  9. Googly


    Sep 21, 2008
    i was thinking of learning keyboards anyway, and it would be much cheaper. But maybe in a few years time there might be an advance in MIDI basses that results in a huge price drop.

    Cheers for the help
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Learning some KB is a good idea. There's always going to be quality low cost KB controllers. I don't think there's much interest from the bass community for a bass controller. For Guitars there is a lot of interest, but they track better.

    If you're looking for "recorded only" bass midi sound you can record your bass track then use something like Melodyne to convert it to midi , and then run a midi synth from this. You'll have to tweak a few notes. It may not be as gratifying as real time playing a synth, but with a little tweaking you can get some good sounding parts.
  11. gre107


    Dec 25, 2005
    I use a Roland GR-20 synth with the Roland GK-3B pickup and run the midi out from the synth to my computer to trigger software synths.

    I have this setup on my six string bass which tracks great and it covers a great tonal range.

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