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Yamaha G50

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by lwleaver, Sep 27, 2002.


  1. lwleaver

    lwleaver Something cute and clever.

    Apr 10, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    I want to be able to get sounds like steel drums, horns, etc. from my bass. I have been looking at the Yamaha G50 and was told that I can achieve these sounds with the unit and a B1D pickup. First, is this true? Or do I need some external unit other than these to get the sounds? Also, I believe I read you can interchange midi pickups? Is this true. I know the MIDI is based on the 13 pin cable. I am very very new to this and want to make sure I have my facts straight before I spend the cash. Any help would be great.
     
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    The G50 is only an analog-to-MIDI converter, you will also need a sound generator. This could be any synth, sample player or sampler that you can control with MIDI messages. When I got the G50 it was bundled with Yamaha's MU100R sound generator, but any synth will do.

    The pickup is interchangeable with others that use the same 13 pin standard, I have used the pickup that comes with the Roland V-Bass unit and that works fine.
     
  3. lwleaver

    lwleaver Something cute and clever.

    Apr 10, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    So, I need an external sound generator to get the sounds I want? Damn, I am really showing my lack of knowledge on this one.
     
  4. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    If at all possible you should try to find one to try out before buying. The G50 is perhaps one of the better affordable bass-to-MIDI converters but it still suffers the usual problems. The conversion is based on sampling the frequency of the note you play and laws of physics make that detection take some time. The result is a distinct delay between plucking a string to the time you hear a sound. It gets worse the lower the note you play. If you're not aware of this behaviour you will most likely be a bit disappointed. More expensive systems use things like basses with wired necks that can detect at which fret you're depressing the string, to eliminate or minimize the tracking delay.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't buy the G50/B1D, it's quite fun if you want to explore bass-to-MIDI, just be aware of the shortcomings.

    I played with it for a while, and it comes out of the closet now and then, but after I bought the V-Bass I will most likely let it rest. I mostly use synth bass sounds anyway, and the V-Bass can do that much better. It does on the other hand not have any of the sounds you want, and no MIDI output, so they are not comparable.

    One thing I will keep using it for though is as an input device to a note transcription program, it's handy to play a bass line and see it as printed sheet music on the PC.