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Tech: far-out MIDI 8-string??

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by hhelland, Aug 13, 2000.

  1. hhelland


    Aug 9, 2000
    Hi Steve and Michael & all,

    I'm playing both bass (4 fretless) and Warr guitar.
    I've been thinking of putting MIDI on'em, first and
    foremost on the Warr, which is an 8 stringed istrument
    tuned B E A D G C F Bb. Now, getting a piezo bridge
    is easy, Mark Warr offers them directly. But are not
    most guitar->midi boxes restricted to six strings?
    I would need eight strings..... it would be too much
    of a compromise to only midi six of the eight, don't
    you think? And I would probably need two boxes to
    midi all eight.... which would cost twice as much,
    and I would have to bother with midi merging and all
    that comes with it... or have two midi sound sources.

    So I was basically wondering if there is any way around?
    Can I somewhere get an 8 string MIDI converter box?
    Or modify a regular one?
    I was in touch with the AXON guy, he basically said
    "get two".... but I am not there financially yet :-(

    any suggestions?

    Hallgeir (Norway)
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Hallgeir,

    I think the Axon guy is right, MIDI-ing all 8 isn't really possible at the moment - it would require a whole different brain system as each string is processed and 'read' differently. Most of the MIDI touch style players that I know use stereo 10s or 12s and have only one side MIDI - that's the most popular Stick option. With the 8 string, you might want to get the highest 6 done, as the lower ones wil track slower anyway...

    Good luck with the Warr - let me know if you record anything with it!

  3. hhelland


    Aug 9, 2000
    Ah, I was afraid of that. Thanks Steve.

    I probably won't do it them, at least not yet. Having MIDI on only six of the eight strings is for me not an option. I deem it would be too much of a limitation.
    But we'll see what the future may bring!

    As for recording, I am just done assembling a live CD set from the choir where I played bass, Evlogia, and will try and have some of the tunes up at the CB radio station at mp3.com: http://stations.mp3s.com/stations/77/churchbass.html
    And I actually recorded the first tune I learned on the Warr, one month after I got it: http://www.netpower.no/~roarh/bach.htm

    And thanks for the reply!
  4. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK

    I've had an idea - Michael will probably know more about this that I - the Roland VG8 and VG88 Virtual Guitar system might be an option - I don't think that this requires a hexaphonic pickup, and isn't strictly a 'midi' set-up - it's a virtual modelling processor. The Roland web-site will give you more info, and I'm sure that when Michael has time he'll share his experiences with the VG8...

    I have to add though, there's so much that can be done to the sound of a bass or warr guitar with 'normal' processing, that MIDI almost seems like the 'easy' option :oops:) - check out the Lexicon MPX-G2, which is what I used for all the strange noises on my solo album - there are so many sounds in there that give you a sound that is uniquely shaped by the tone of your instrument, but still gets you away from the 'clean' sound of the Warr guitar.


  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey steve

    hope you don't mind me chiming in here. my 8 string conklins are midi on the top 6 strings, and my 7's are in the process of becoming so as well, all using the rmc piezo system, which works great.

    the one problem with roland guitar-synth products is that they don't track below the C on the A string on a bass. this includes the vg8 and the gr1, both of which use the 13-pin input - i've used both. i have no experience with the vg88. any notes below C on the A string will be swapped up an octave higher, _if_ they can be tracked at all, at least in my experience.

    just my bit o'experience

  6. hhelland


    Aug 9, 2000
    Hi John and Steve and all,

    No I haven't tried the Roland VG thingy. I've actually never considered it. Perhaps I will one of these days.... but I cannot imagine that the VG machine will satisfy if it does not need a poly pickup. Because how should it then track chords? And if it can't track chords, what is the point? You see, my original intention was to be able to have for example a flute sound on the melody strings and bowed upright on the bass strings, to give the Bach arrangements a new dimension. Primarily, I'm not really into "space" sounds and far-out effects, at least not yet. I can do that on my analog synthesizers anyway.

    But - perhaps I'll MIDI my four string fretless first. I always wanted to play trombone.


    "The important point is that the electron-photon interaction of special relativity is
    separated into a faster-than-light instantaneous longitudinal polarized non-radiative
    near-field and a transverse radiative far-field in every frame of reference".

    - Richard P. Feynman
  7. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the vg8 uses the polyphonic pickup. instead of that pickup, though, i use the rmc piezo pickup, which tracks much better.

    sorry, back to you guys.

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