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midi guitar?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by paniak17, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. i was watching a beck version of "A day in the life" and there was a person on a "midi guitar", what is it? it came out as an orchestra, im asuming it works like a keyboard. Can someone explain to me what it is, and how much they cost, also where to buy them. Thanks.
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It's just a regular guitar with some extra electronics that transmit midi data to trigger external devices, like synth modules, sequencers etc. There's a number of different ways to do this, but most midi guitars just use a hexaphonic pickup, i.e. a pickup with individual elements for each string, that senses velocity, pitch and note duration. NOTE: there aren't that many MIDI midi guitars anymore. Most use Roland's proprietary 13-pin system; you need to buy a converter to turn the signal from the 13-pin system into a standard MIDI signal.

    You can do a lot of cool things with midi guitars, like play synth leads, trigger samples or fill in for other instruments.

    You can also do a lot of not so cool things with them - a lot of people don't like them because they're not quite ok with modifying their guitar-like phrasing in order to pass off their midi guitar as another instrument. It's also easy to go overboard and use the inappropriately when the song doesn't need, say, a guitar solo played via orchestra hits.

    Midi guitars either come with the electronics built in, or you can modify a stock guitar with aftermarket electronics. The ready made ones that come to mind are the Godin LGX-ST and Brian Moore i13 series - available for around 1000-1500. There are a bunch of aftermarket systems too, by brands such as Axon, Roland and Yamaha. Roland makes a synth pickup and plastic stompbox synth that sells for 600: the GR-20. Prices go up from there.