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Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Nuk3m, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Nuk3m


    Sep 18, 2004
    Down Under
    Hey guys,

    I hope this is the right place to put this...

    But i have a possible colaboration on my hands but the guy is keen on me having a midi set up for my bass.

    As in my bass playing a midi sound or a sample. I know of the roland set up but i am wondering if there is just something out there that i can just plug into, rather then sticking things to my bass:meh:

    PS, did a search, didnt come up with much.

    Thanks for your time,

  2. no you would need a polyphonic pickup to pickup each string vibration, so it can send it to the box where it is converted to a midi signal, and then the sound is applied...if you aren't a fan of external pickups, you could look into the internal midi pickups that fit on your bridge in the saddles and do the midi pickup thing...its a bit cleaner than the external pickup imo
  3. Nuk3m


    Sep 18, 2004
    Down Under
    I have a 6 string Cort with MK1 barts , would that be a problem for the internal PU?

    Also any model or brand names you can throw at me?

    Sorry to be a bother but is there any really versatile sample midi boxes specifically for bass midi set ups? And would i need a specific one for this internal pick up?
  4. Nuk3m


    Sep 18, 2004
    Down Under
  5. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    As was already mentioned you need a hexaphonic pickup. Axxion, Yamaha, or Roland GK-2B or Roland GK-3B. Or a Graphtech or RMC piezo system in a suitable bridge. And the output of any of those goes to a 13-pin V-Bass style connector. Better start doing the homework, because it's different than the typical magnetics already on a bass.

    Then if it's midi you actually want, you need a 13-pin pitch-to-midi convertor, like Roland's. Or you could just get a V-Bass - which isn't midi but has none of the tracking, triggering, and conversion delay issues, and still expands the bass's sonic capabilities while playing like a bass.

    If it was specifically for bass it wouldn't be so versatile. Any decent synth module can do bass sounds, but that's just a subset of what versatility is. Most guys who get into midi are doing it to get a wider palette. If it was me I'd be getting something that had a lot of programming breadth because to really make midi sing with an alternate controller you need to get your hands dirty (and learn a lot too).

    It doesn't matter, since you need a pitch-to-midi convertor before the midi synth/sampler anyway, and it'll give you your midi connectors. You plug the 13-pin cable from the bass into the convertor, and then plug a midid cable from the convertor into whatever synth/sampler module(s).
  6. BassMan Biff

    BassMan Biff

    Nov 16, 2005
    What are you and the fellow that you may have a "possible colaboration" with trying to achieve?

    I only meantion this because MIDI and electric bass are hard bedfellows- not impossible, mind you...just difficult. It CAN be done, but it's gonna take some capital, patience, and a bit of schooling to get things right...and even then, you might be in for some small dissapointments here and there.

    MIDI doesn't like bass strings, especially the low E and B strings. The others are OK, but that's it.:ninja:

    You have to have a pickup that can differentiate the different strings when dealing with MIDI- reasons being is because you can't hit two notes with one string simultaneously: MIDI hates this and will freak out, not knowing which note is the right one. As with any multi-string instument, you will hit mutipule notes at the same time, even for a fraction of a second. If you were to plug your bass with normal pickups into a MIDI board, it would freak out over A.) no constant gain/volume of the string B.) no constant tone of the string C.) unfamiliar octaves. The other reason is that MIDI NEEDS the string to string processing power to handle a bass's strings. More power dedicated to one string, the less tracking issues.

    So, it really depends on what you (and your friend) are looking to get out of such a setup. If you're looking to do some really cool effects but don't wish to delve too deep into it, a Vbass is the way to go. If you want more options, then a GK or other pickup examples that GreenBoy has meantioned will work with other type of 13-pin readers. If you wanna go all the way and hook your bass to a synthesizer, then you'll need some good stuff (including a mounted pickup or a more expensive bass with said pickup already installed), an interface, and a synth. BUT, be prepaired to find out that anything faster than "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in 4/4 time is gonna choke the synth for most tones....not all, but most...

  7. Nuk3m


    Sep 18, 2004
    Down Under
    Its a producer im looking at colaborating with.

    Hes a DnB producer.

    He wants midi because he has his own set up with sounds and samples but not rig and no bassist.

    Personally id like to set up something with midi anyways because ive been interested in some synths and sample triggering. It seems you can do more with a midi signal.

    Midi doesnt like bass because bass waves are bigger, so it takes longer for a complete phase or cycle so its hard to process it.

    Im thinking a piezo set up bridge (the individual string set up) with the midi pre amp stuff inside the bass and a roland GI 20 will do the job.

    What do you guys think?
  8. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I think there will be some surprises for the producer. Sounds that may be very good sounds indeed when triggered and controlled by keyboard - or even guitar or wind driver - need majore tweakage to be expressive or sometimes even usable, when driven by bass. Frankly, midi-to-pitch on bass is a turn off, and I think one would be better off with even a Peavey Cyberbass since it doesn't USE p-to-m to output a midi stream. Or guitar, or keyboard, or even wind driver if you have any wind instrument experience in your past.

    But. For you own use, midi may be fun and more (with some frustration involved as well). I did it ages and ages ago with saxes and guitar just a couple years after midi first came out, and later continued it with a Yamaha WX-series wind driver. But when it came to bass, I stuck with multieffects after trying a few things, and then got a V-Bass shortly after it hit the market. Much more expressive of bassist technique and still offering some great sonic twists.

    Realize you have to really learn a lot about midi and synth programming to get the best out of alternative controller use. Or you have to settle for a small subset of sounds within the factory presets that will actually sound decent when no0t keyboard driven.
  9. Nuk3m


    Sep 18, 2004
    Down Under

    Im starting to think that have a GHOST Hexpander™ Modular Pre-amp...

    With GHOST Saddle Pickups...

    And a V-Bass from Roland...

    This being that i would be able to use all my strings...(im guessing) and it would track alot better...and faster
    because it would be a hexaphonic signal?

    Also less hastle?

    Sorry guys im just trying to figure out whats best and how it all works

    http://www.graphtech.com/prodghost.htm < for anyone not familiar with the GHOST products
  10. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Yeah, really the V-Bass (with the exception of one COSM model that use a built-in oscillator module) doesn't NEED to track - doesn't need to do pitch conversion. It simply samples the incoming audio for each string and runs it through whatever models and effects settings are called for in a preset, just as instananeous as any good effects processor. And it all responds to the player's nuances of hand technique.
  11. If you are looking at a fitting an onboard MIDI driver then you are on the right track with the GHOST stuff. Graphtech and Hipshot are producing a collaboration by making Hipshot bridges with the piezos built in, ready to plug in to the Hexpander. There is also the potential to rip the guts out of a Roland GK and make it internal, still using the Roland hex pickup. Not as neat looking as the Hipshot, but about 25% od the cost. I priced the Graphtech/Hipshot and it was almost $600 for the bridge and the hexpander. Feel free to check with retailers and see if you can find a better deal.

    Otherwise, find a decent beater bass and install the Roland GK unit on it and save yourself a lot of hassle and expense.
  12. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    The Graphtech however is a superior solution. Practically non-existant crosstalk between strings (not true of GKs) and no GK pickup by the bridge, easilly replaceable contol stuff, and the option to also use an Acoustiphonic preamp (though the V-Bass already has good EBG/piezo/upright models anyway).

    Also, if you already have a Hipshot bridge you can just buy the piezo barrels, the Hexpander, the 13-pin jack, and whichever controls you want.
  13. If you're serious about controling midi in a bass format I would consider a controller from Starr Labs.

  14. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Learn to play keyboards.....
  15. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    This is what I did, and I LOVE it! I no longer have GAS!!! It's a very odd feeling to have your GAS cured -- I still like gear and look at the pics and even buy a toy now and again, but nothing else compares and I have no intention of using anything but my GK SX 5 for as long as I can imagine. I also have a B1D YoKramer 4 and that's fun too.

    Roland's internal kit works great, but I might try the 'dissect an external GK' idea because you can get them used for about the cost of a set of quality pups.

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