Guitar with MIDI OUT feature

In a recent internet voyage I stumbled across this item. It appears to be a MIDI command spewing guitar. There is no reference to it on any Fender webpage. While it is promoted as being for a Rock Band 3 game, it’s DIN-5 plug makes it look like it could be used with software like Cantabile.

Anybody know anything about this guitar?

This from the site you referenced:

" got this from the guy who did the vid. i appreciated the info and thought i would pass it along:

in the normal mode (where picking the string generates a “note on”), sliding to another fret will turn off the note. so you can’t slide up and down the fretboard. there is another mode that it has where just fretting a note generates a “note on” event (no picking necessary, like a hammer-on) where you can slide around but i find it to be a bit weird to play…it sort of treats the fretboard like a keyboard.

there is no editor (as far as i know), and it will only generate like standard midi note information… this does not prevent you from using an external device (like a computer or synth) to translate those notes into an alternate tuning, but the guitar will just spit out standard midi. put another way, because it does not use the audio to figure out which notes you are playing (it just electronically detects which fret you are pressing) even if you completely detune the strings, it will still send out midi notes as if the guitar were in perfect, standard tune…

i have not had too much problem with double triggers and ghost notes so long as i am using a pick with the string mute up. when i first got the guitar, it was so poorly set up that wherever you would fret the strings would bounce on other frets (and make the guitar think that you were actually playing those other frets) and that produced a pretty horrible result. but setting the neck at the right angle and i suppose generally raising the saddles fixes the problem… if you finger pick with just your bare fingers, you will get multiple notes per pluck, which is what is going on with the bass sound in the second video - it is not “horrible” but it does sound sloppy.

finally, you will notice that there is a different technique required when playing “open strings.” typically, the guitar knows to turn off a note when you leave the fret where you started the note. with open strings, the guitar will just let the note play indefinitely until you fret something else on particular string. so it’s sort of like “muting a string” but you actually have to make contact with a fret. it is weird but something you can get used to…"

If you play guitar already, it will not respond like a real guitar, so I would think it would be really awkward. There are already VST type pedals that create synth sounds thru real guitar audio. This is mostly a toy. and IMHO I do well to send MIDI commands from a keyboard controller than try to use a small toy to do it. But, if it floats your boat…

Of course, there is always Keytar



Thanks, Corky. Without a doubt, a MIDI keyboard would out perform a MIDI guitar. The guitar format has the advantage of putting the player out in front – keyboards and drummers get ignored hiding behind their instruments. That’s why several attempts have been made at a guitar-like keyboard. As to bending and volume, there are pedals for that.

But as you can see, the current state-of-the-art is still unsettled. Ghost notes are essentially unintended Hammer Offs. Double triggers – I call it stuttering – occurs when the string has not settled on the fret; Adding the pluck features allows the string to settle down before the note is started. I was surprised to hear that the plucked feature was not able to do slurs. That could just be a program deficiency.

Anyways, it – a MIDI Guitar – is going to happen. That’s how I discovered Cantabile. I am not a keyboard-ist. Plus, if I was thinking along those line, others are too.

You might have better results with something like this:

Our guitar player had one and you can do some very cool things with it, especially for pads and the like.

David Gilmour creates pads with a volume pedal and two amps and delay…no need for MIDI controller. Just saying… :laughing:

Yes, very nice but let’s see him do a piano like that :wink: Or any of about another 100,000 sounds :smiley:

LOL. If anyone were able, he certainly could. I’ll ask him for you. :sunglasses:

Then there is always this thing. Very nice piano.

Right, but you’re getting into a high-dollar system at that point (at least for accurate pitch tracking on a real guitar that’s been my experience). The original post was about a piece of gear that cost about $150 and could potentially be a cheap, simple guitar-to-MIDI controller and I’m just saying the Yamaha can do that probably a bit more solidly for the same amount or less. Obviously you could go with a Synth-Axe or the like to do it right but I figured $13,000 maybe wasn’t the price tag he was looking for :smiley:

The guitar to MIDI program Migic is $39.95 and has a free demo. If you were discussing Gilmour, I created that effect on my amp sim. Brother, I know cheap! :rofl:

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Yeah, I think I have tried most of the software stuff available for download. The MIDI generated at the guitar will always outperform the string sampling software. Always. It’s an inherent quality. I’ve attempted to build my own (the patents expired years ago). It’s okay. I’m in the process of adding the don’t-play-till-plucked feature. Maybe after the holidays. Here are some pics. Extremely labor intensive!

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Very cool Ron !


Wow, that’s very cool! (Both of those :wink: ) Gotta look into that.

There is this weird bass that does midi

Thanks, y’all (that’s the plural of “you” here in Texas USA). With Cantabile, the notes can sound like anything I want them to sound like. Since the 3rd string’s 4th fret is the same note, B, as the 2nd string’s 0 fret, I set it to toggle playing a Karaoke song. Then I can play the lead with the rest of the strings / frets. Given a sample of the weird base that Herman linked to, my MIDI-AXE (for lack of a better name) could sound exactly like that. 'wonders why Yamaha dropped the project – 'guessing production costs. – Ron

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I wouldn’t dare use “y’all” here in Memphis. HEHE !

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In my neck of the forest it’s you’ins and them’ins … lol but I know they mean Y’all

Dave, you forgot us’uns. My Mother was from St Louis, and my Dad said it took her a long time to stop using the “uns” and start saying y’all when she moved to Arkansas with him. AND, that’s all I have to say about that Y’ALL !!

Hijacked another thread…didn’t we?


Wow! Now this guy could sell guitars! Thanks for posting it. bbob (at no time did his fingers leave his hands!)