#1
Hey guys,

Does anyone know of an app that lets you manipulate your guitar tuning without actually tuning your guitar?

For example I'm in drop C and I want to play in drop A#, so I use the app and without actually retuning it plays out on my computer in drop A#?

You can get apps to alter a songs pitch, so is there one for a guitar? I would save an absolute fortune on strings cause the amount I break is rather ridiculous!

Cheers!
#3
I don't know of any amps that do that (yet). The alternatives for on the fly tuning changes are the Peavey AT-200 guitar or the Line 6 Variax, or as mentioned the Digitech Drop pedal.
#4
Well shit.

I've literally just bought a digitech drop pedal.

My follow up question would be this...

Why in the world don't professional bands use them? It would save so much hassle in between sets swapping guitars and what have you... You can just keep the same one for the whole set!

Brilliant and cheers fellas.
#5
If you were in a professional band, would you prefer to swap guitars, like you do often between songs anyway, or would you use a pedal that doesn't quite sound right, doesn't always track properly, and doesn't give you the option of different feel, tone, or visual cue that a separate instrument does?

The hassle of switching instruments is minor and the "drop" type pedals still don't track well enough, in my experience, to be considered as equal alternatives. Some of the new integrated software instruments are definitely good enough, but the pedals can't tell what string you're on, which impairs their ability to change tunings as effectively.
#6
Where's dspellman?

I think what you want is a Line 6 Variax guitar. As I recall, you can change your tuning without actually changing string tension.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
Quote by jon180
Well shit.

I've literally just bought a digitech drop pedal.

My follow up question would be this...

Why in the world don't professional bands use them? It would save so much hassle in between sets swapping guitars and what have you... You can just keep the same one for the whole set!

Brilliant and cheers fellas.
Because, although the Drop does a good job, it is not the same as having a proper down-tuned guitar. I think it tracks pretty darn well myself. It kind of has a bit of high-end roll off slightly noticeable with cleans, not much noticeable with distortion.
#9
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Where's dspellman?

I think what you want is a Line 6 Variax guitar. As I recall, you can change your tuning without actually changing string tension.

It does. It works quite well, and it sounds good doing it.

For digital tuning manipulation you really need individual string sensing for a complete product. A pedal getting a mono signal just cannot discern what string you're on, so it's fine when the manipulation is uniform (i.e. half step down, where it just transposes every note equally) but when you want something like DADGAD or drop C or open G, the software (at least the current stuff) cannot keep up.

On the other hand, the price and commitment difference between a Drop pedal and a Variax guitar is significant, so if you don't need the whole hog the pedal might be a fine substitute.
#10
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Where's dspellman?

I think what you want is a Line 6 Variax guitar. As I recall, you can change your tuning without actually changing string tension.


That's what I was told when I inquired along similar lines.
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.

justinguitar.com is the answer
#11
A MIDI-based guitar will work (because each individual string has its own pickup).

A Variax, however, is the obvious solution. The guitar is maintained in a single tuning (say, standard) and the Variax electronics allow the alternate tuning to be nearly anything and tracking really isn't an issue.

Aside from tracking problems, the Digitech Drop drops everything the same amount. If the guitar is tuned in E Standard, your choices are the same tuning dropped up to an octave. It won't tune a Drop D from that same E standard, for example. A Variax, on the other hand, can tune the bottom two strings an octave down and leave the top four in standard and then switch to Drop Db an instant later. The Variax will also allow you to operate in tunings that take everything UP rather than down, and you can play in Blues G one bar and DADGAD in another.

You can also run the Variax on a wireless, working well away from a pedal, and still change tunings on the guitar.
#12
Take your time, why don't you, d? I got Beetlejuice, Bloody Mary and The Candyman to show up before you did.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#13
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Take your time, why don't you, d? I got Beetlejuice, Bloody Mary and The Candyman to show up before you did.


I was in the Bahamas covering for The Flying Doucheman.
#14
Quote by dspellman
I was in the Bahamas covering for The Flying Doucheman.

I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#15
So then if it changes the output signal of your guitar without doing anything to the strings, won't the strings still be in Standard Tuning or whatever, while your signal outputs... say, DADGAD?

That would mean you'd still hear your guitar acoustically, but a compeltely different sound is coming from the amp. Isn't that weird?
#16
Yes.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#19
Quote by Silky90
So then if it changes the output signal of your guitar without doing anything to the strings, won't the strings still be in Standard Tuning or whatever, while your signal outputs... say, DADGAD?

That would mean you'd still hear your guitar acoustically, but a compeltely different sound is coming from the amp. Isn't that weird?


Yup. Not only that, but since the Variax stuff runs off a set of piezo saddles and there are also a set of magnetic pickups on the guitar, it's possible to have the mags outputting in standard while the Variax firmware is putting out an alternate tuning.

In practice, of course, you just make sure you're listening to the signal output (run the amp a bit louder or wear a pair of headphones) rather than the acoustics. That took me about 30 seconds to figure out with my first Variax (I've currently got four).

You don't *normally* run both the magnetic pickups and the Variax output together, but it can be interesting to do so occasionally.

In the case of the JTV-89F, Variax has modeled the 89F's pickups as well as the rest of the guitars it models, and that means that you can alternate tune while having the guitar sound the same as it does with the mag pickups engaged.
#21
Quote by Tony Done
OK, how does it work, and how does that differ from midi?



Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Apr 4, 2016,
#23
The original engineers at Line 6 came from Oberheim, then Alesis (keyboard technology, mostly) and started developing DSP-based products for guitarists. The processing that produces the sounds involves firmware that runs the DSP.

MIDI is a completely separate protocol/standard that allows a wide variety of electronics devices/musical instruments to communicate with one another.

For example, my Korg Kronos keyboard is a complete sound machine unto itself. There's a computer in there, plus some sound-specific bits, and some input/output and recording bits, and that's it. I can plug it into headphones or a set of powered speakers and it will do very well.

I can connect it to a computer using a USB interface and I can connect it to other instruments using a MIDI interface. But I don't need a MIDI interface or any MIDI pieces at all to produce any of the sounds that the keyboard is capable of, just as I don't need USB ports, Firewire, Thunderbolt, HDMI, etc.

A MIDI "controller" is generally a fairly dumb piece of gear that doesn't, in and of itself, produce any sound. What it does is send MIDI information, and what the MIDI-capable receiver of that information does with it can vary widely. That receiver might be a musical instrument, piece of random electronic gear or it could be a lighting switcher.

The Variax guitars don't have MIDI capabilities and don't need it. They *do* have internal processing capabilities (like my keyboard), but as far as I know, they don't communicate with anything else via MIDI.
#24
D, don't you have a video you like to post showing off the Variax's capabilities? Perfect time for it.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#25
OK, so is it basically a similar function with different technology? - That is, a sensor the produces an analog signal, that then goes through a digital processing chain? I read up a bit o midi yesterday, I hadn't realised it refers to a specific protocol. - When I mentioned "Midi" in my first post, the first thing that came to mind mistakenly, was the Variax.

Can you do bends and/or slides on a variax or midi type device?