Guitar Synths

audio v midi output for recording

I dug out my old GR-1 guitar synth last week and managed to find the pickup about a week later and set it all up for the first time in about 8 or 10 years.

Listening to the synth sounds via the audio outs sounds pretty good.
It tracks the notes well and quickly and manages to capture bends etc fine.

The place where it does fall down (and I think why it ended up just gathering dust in a cupboard for so long) is the translation to midi and trying to record the midi output from it.

If I record the audio output and the midi output at the same time then play them back the audio sounds like what I heard as I was playing.
the midi track though has mised notes, missed bends, extra notes, notes not held as long as the audio track etc.

Does anyone else experience this with their guitar synths?
Maybe I just don’t have the midi side of things set up properly…I’ve tried setting the guitar synth to mono and also poly mode in the midi section…

Even with the audio out there are still afew unwanted notes or harmonics that get triggered on held notes so being able to record the midi accurately would be great for editing those out and then converting that midi track to a wav.
But at the moment the midi track hardly resembles the audio track at all…
So audio is probably what I’ll be recording for the itme being…

Just hoping someone out there has been through this and knows some little trick or setting to get the midi to match the audio



I think this is a common problem. Especially if you are playing complicated parts. I don’t know if the newer rolands are any better but you might want to try and borrow one and see. Another thing to compare is one of the Brian Moore guitars. They have been made in models with thirteen pin roland output but also in other models with direct midi output from the guitar.

In the past, I have used the Roland’s (gr30 I think) midi output to run a monophonic bass synth from my guitar but I have not done anything complicated or polyphonic on the midi output.

If I have the same problems that you are having, I guess I will be recording mostly audio too 8(.

Good Luck,

I’ve got a GR-50 with a GK-2 pickup. It never worked right. I got it cheap because it didn’t work right. It wasn’t until I actually started playing with it did I figure out that it was working perfectly, but it was simply not a very good system.

The latency was bad and the tracking sucked. It was playable when doing simple stuff, or for someone that used patches that didn’t really require quick attacks, like having some kind of fill sounds going behind the regular guitar out.

Then the pickup started going bad. It lost two strings, then two more. I boxed it up and it’s still there. It might be worth pulling out if I could find a replacment pickup, but it would have to be pretty cheap. Maybe if I was a guitar player doing it all by myself live I could have found some use for it…but I’m a drummer and a not very good guitar player. :)

I bought one of the casio midi guitars when they first came out. Its actually not the worst guitar and the midi tracking was not too bad. I remember back in the day I used to track just the top notes of the horn or synth parts I wanted then hand input the notes I wanted. This way it really fit the part and sounded very natural rhythm wise.

BTW: I did try one of the Brian Moore I-guitars with the 13 pin output into a roland Gr-3x series synth. It did track better than my strat with the Gk-2a bolted on. Sadly, the music store I was trying it in did not have the gear for me to check the actual midi output of the Roland.


Sly, isn’t that the model J.J. Cale used to play?

I’ve had a Shadow SH 27 for years: it’s a pedal shaped unit, with a hex pickup that connects via standard TRS plug cable. It’s a bit slow, as most of the older units, mis-triggers a lot, but I guess if I’d like to use it for performances, I could learn to play so it’d work pretty well. A friend of mine uses a newer Shadow unit - a calculator-shaped one attached to the guitar - and I’ve seen him play it live without any problems.

Me, I learned soon enough that if I wanted to play basslines with the midied guitar, I better slap a capo to the 12th fret and transpose down two octaves with the sequencer.

Has anybody done any experimenting with different types of strings? In theory, heavy flatwounds (with less harmonics) might cause less mis-triggering than thin roundwounds.


Thanks all.

Well I’ve managed to set mine up so that it tracks well for playing the internal sounds back and listening via the audio outs (can play reasonably fast runs as long as you play them clean, tracks bends, hammer ons/offs and slides - works well for things like the clarinet and violin sounds as well as the slower organ or pad type sounds), its just the midi that seems to be the problem…

ONe thing with the GK-2A pickup that I found was that in the instructions they tell you to leave a 1mm gap between the strings and the pickup in the middle of the pickup.
I used the screws and springs to attach mine and found it tracks better if its up higher so the middle strings almost touch the pickup.

In fact sometimes teh strings actually hit teh pickup if you pick hard but it still seems to produce the right note and not a weird harmonic. And still sustains ok.
I don’t use the guitar signal so it doesn’t bother me that that would produce a weird note.

might try another midi sequencer to see if it works better, but n_track records midi from my JW-50 keyboard fine…