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RE: AW: Roland VG8

> --- Tony Douglas <TonyIsYourPal@netscape.net> wrote:
> I think what we're trying to say is that we've found
> the compromises you make with MIDI guitars and synth
> guitars aren't worth it... to us.  I'm not saying the
> "keyboard" is THE electronic instrument interface...
> it just happens to be easily obtainable at an
> inexpensive price.  The thing about MIDI/Synth guitars
> that bothered me the most was when you tried to do
> something like create a drone chord while playing
> notes over it.  Not easily done when those strings
> stop vibrating and you get a really glitchy end of
> notes in your chord.  Also, I wanted it to really
> nicely track things like bends and hammer-ons and I
> seemed to be able to get it right about 50% of the
> time if I played it really cleanly.  Anyway, I could
> go on but the deal is I was never satisfied... but I
> wanted those synth sounds.  (BTW, I'm all for the
> mutilation of a guitar sound to become something
> different, I just don't like traditional Synth/MIDI
> guitar setups.  Truth is I never tried a VG8 but it
> looks cool)

I think guitar synths CAN be done well, but for the most part haven't been.
The best guitar synth I know of in terms of tracking and expressiveness is
the Roland GR-300. I like it so much I did a lot of hacking on it and put
up a web page about it:


The analog pitch tracking on this thing is as fast as you could 
ever want (the exception is the low strings, which you can't get a fast
attack out of, but even that could be cured by using a better envelope
follower). I never did understand why Roland invented the best pitch
tracker in history and then threw it away for other designs. The tracking
scheme here can be implemented digitally. I don't understand why every
guitar synth since 1980 hasn't been based on this!

Anyway, enough of my ranting...I just want to say that the guitar is
potentially a great synth controller and that the potential hasn't been
realized for the most part because implementing it is so difficult.

I played a Peavey MIDI Bass one time and was suprised that it didn't
feel any faster than my GR-50. I think the reason there is that with
wired frets you get glitching from fret buzz rather than from 
pitch tracking errors. 

Of course, I think the ULTIMATE synth controller is the Continuum
Fingerboard, but then I'm kind of biased.


You can do a lot of guitar stuff on it. At NAMM I was doing 
Eddie Van Halen tapping, great fun.

Mark Smart