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Some midi pickup questions.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Benjamin Strange, Oct 21, 2004.


  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I want to put a midi pickup on my bass so I can use a VBass and various synths, but I don't have enough room on my instrument between my bridge pickup and the bridge to fit the Roland pickup in there. I don't think I can install a piezo midi system either, as the string rests on a roller where it makes contact with the bridge. Can I put a midi pickup closer to the middle of the bass, or will it not trigger well that way? Are there any other options for midi-fying my instrument?
     
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    the gk-2k docs insist that you install it close to the bridge. The pole pieces are aligned for bridge string spacing.
    If not that, then the other option I know of is the piezo system you can't install. Or a new bass? jondog has a beater bass he has a gk pickup mounted on, purely for that purpose.
     
  3. what about the ghost system? would that work? you'd have to replace your bridge though...
     
  4. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Replace my super rare Steinberger TransTrem?! NevARR!!!
     
  5. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    How about mounting the Roland pup over the strings, since there is no room under them near the bridge?
     
  6. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Huh?
     
  7. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    GAH! It's official - the Roland won't fit. I called them today about their new, smaller GK3B, and it's still too big by almost a 1/4". Poop.

    I wonder if RMC would do their magic on a TransTrem... :meh:
     
  8. KeithPas

    KeithPas

    May 16, 2000
    Poulsbo,Wa
    I think Yamaha makes a midi pickup that works for four, five or six string basses. I have read that they track well and are easy to install (no cutting on or screwing things into your bass).
     
  9. my bad, you only need to replace the saddles...i don't know how the TT saddles are though...
     
  10. elros

    elros

    Apr 24, 2004
    Norway
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    :smug:

    Well you know, the normal magnetic pickups are "under" the strings, in relation to where your hand is when playing. So I was thinking, put this new pickup over the strings instead - unless of course it will be in your way then...?
     
  11. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Problem with that is the pickup is radiused - I'd have to set up my bass to be unplayable just to get it to trigger correctly.

    Not sure if the peizos will work either - the point where the strings actually make contact is a roller. I don't know if RMC would be able to put one on a moving part. I'll call them and ask, but I'm not holding my breath.
     
  12. The RMC system is based on their Pwr Bass SS pups that are designed to replace the bridge. There is a separate pup for each string that feeds to the electronics. To get MIDI as well as piezo you need to go with their Poly-drive's. The Poly-drive I is ultra -small and will fit into any existing electronic compartment.

    The good news with the RMC stuff is it is the absolute best MIDI tracking you're going to get. Far superior to the Roland add-ons. The bad news is you will need a luthier to replace your bridge and drill out extra holes for the pots and switches. The Poly-drive can be wired so it mixes the piezo and your existing mags - as long as they are passive mags - providing you with an active mag system, piezo and MIDIl. It's pretty sweet.

    A word of caution. I have a Godin multiac with the RMC system and, since I record DI, I found it has an excessive amount of hiss. After a dialog with RMC [nice people] it turns out the culprit is the op-amps they are using. There is a different set of that don't have this problem, but they drop battery life from 3000 to 50 hours. If you're using it through an external processor, like the VG-88, power is provided via the 13-pin, so battery life isn't an issue. He wouldn't sell a board with the different op-amps, but did sell me one with sockets so I can put in whichever op amps I want. I've got the board wired and ready to go, but am still trying to track down the op-amps to see if they will solve the hissing problem.

    I'm also looking to add piezo and midi to my bass and have had a similar discussion with him about the op-amps in the Poly-drive I but he isn't as willing to accomodate better op-amps on that one, recommending I buy it as-is and hire a tech to pull the unit apart to swap them out. His position is that only 1 in 5000 people find it an issue, so it isn't worth his while to accomodate them. If you're playing through an amp, there is so much other noise introduced that the hissing gets lost in the mix. But if you record DI, the problem slaps you in the face.

    Best of luck.
     
  13. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    My YoKramer is a beater?! :eek:

    I bought an internal GK pup to put in my 5 string, but was reluctant to pay a lot of $ to have someone install it. I was waiting to get up the guts (and some time off) to do it myself, but last Friday my singer dropped my 5er and snapped the headstock right off! I won't be able to replace the neck easily because it's a Vaccaro w/ an aluminum neck.

    This just reinforces my midi pup on beater philosophy. I need to buy a new 5 this week for my gigs next weekend, it'll either be an SX or Brice from Rondo or maybe something off of ebay. Then I won't be afraid of messing up w/ the router when I have time to install the GK.

    My gigging gear takes a decent amount of abuse, usually from me being a klutz (or sometimes drunk :) ). If I had an Alembic or something, I would've cried. Ben, are you sure you want to modify a Steinberger? They're pretty collectible now.