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Guitar Synth advice please.

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Re: Guitar Synth advice please.

Postby Wonks » Wed May 07, 2008 8:36 pm

I can't help but think that unless you want to improvise what you play every time, you'd be better off recording some backing tracks.

Recording guitar sounds to a looper and playing along to what you've done is one thing. Most of the audience will understand what's going on but very few understand what a guitar synthesiser is and will still think you're playing to a backing track - so you might as well record a good backing track.
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Re: Guitar Synth advice please.

Postby Stew H » Thu May 08, 2008 12:13 am

Thanks everyone for the advice so far. In answer to the need for more info, I'll lay it out for you.

I do a lot of guitar teaching and am looking at doing this as an excercise to show just how versatile my 6 string friend can be. This excercise would be carried out as part of a school assembly. The idea was to use a guitar synth such as one of the Roland ones currently available.

I wanted to program a simple beat with the guitar and then have that repeat itself whilst adding other sounds to form a backing track. I hadnt thought of using it to trigger samples though, and that could indeed be a viable option.

As for my curent live rig, I have two main guitars. The first is an old Ibanez RG550 with a floyd rose trem which I understand would not be the best choice. The other is a customised Westone Thunder 1A. This has active pickups (Not sure if that will be an issue?) and a fixed bridge.

My effects unit is an old Zoom 9050 (a half rack unit affair). This is controlled by an ART X15 MIDI controller. This then goes through my Mesa Boogie DC5 amp. I also use a couple of other effects pedals but they don't use MIDI. The processor currently sits in a 6u rack case along with a wireless system I use on occasion.

I'm open to the idea of using a laptop with some form of sequencing software. Is Ableton Live the only suitable software or would any sequencer do? In fact I'm intrigued about the amp sim software route as well.

I do have a Samson mixpad mini mixer which has 8 channels which can be incorporated into the set up.

Phew! :tongue:
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Re: Guitar Synth advice please.

Postby Hewesy » Thu May 08, 2008 8:43 am

OK, thanks for the reply.

Well, you can certainly do what you want, if the Zoom offers amp sim you could use the mixer to connect everything up and feed the school PA (presuming they have one of course!).

Depending what school age your teaching they may already know Ableton, and you'd have to faff around with an LCD projector to make sure they could see the on screen action.

Personally I'd stick to the pedal looper, it's more "traditional guitar" and would make things seem more accesible to the kids (especially one of the cheaper loopers like the RC2 or Headrush).

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Re: Guitar Synth advice please.

Postby Shingles » Thu May 08, 2008 9:30 pm

One of the earlier Roland 13-pin compatible units could do all this for you. The GR-1 I think.
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Re: Guitar Synth advice please.

Postby Stew H » Thu May 08, 2008 11:31 pm

I have access to a PA system that I can take with. It's a bit easier than relying on various school p.a. systems in unknown and various conditions. The Zoom does offer amp simulation as well.
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Re: Guitar Synth advice please.

Postby Jaicen » Wed May 14, 2008 7:21 pm

My advice would be to get yourself a Roland GR-20 and a GK-3. It really is a BIG step forward in terms of tracking and playability, and once you tweak the presets to match your style, the results can be superb. I will NEVER part with mine, and that's not something you could say about a lot of gear. It's not perfect, but then what is ;)
After that, i'd look at getting a Boss RC-20 looper for the guitar stuff, and some sort of MIDI sequencer. I can't say I have any experience of commercial MIDI gear, but if you're handy with a soldering iron, check out the Midibox MB-Seq project. It's a homebrew sequencer based on a PIC microcontroller, very customisable and has a lot of modes or operation, including sequencing on the fly. There's also a couple of MB synths, a SID based synth (C64 sound chip) and a really good FM chip synth (Similar sounds to a TX81z).
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