#1
I've been researching things like the Roland GK-2a and GR-33 guitar synth units.. and it all just seems really confusing. Can anyone shed some light on how exactly all of this works? And what is the best equipment for this crazy stuff? Or maybe there is already a thread on here that I haven't found about it?

Really I would just like some info on..

Basics on how it all works.

Different equipment/setup choices.


Thanks for any help!
#2
I'm no expert but I think you pretty much make your guitar sound like anything you want.
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#3
Yeah I know that.. I just want to know the inner workings of the whole process and how to properly do it.
#4
Go try one out. They seem like fairly complex pieces of equipment.
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#5
Yeah they do.. and there is just so many different things out there that I don't know what I would even need to try! There has got to be someone around these forums who is a guru on this type of thing haha.. there is one for everything else at least.
#6
I'm pretty sure that for most of them you have to install a certain kind of pickup into your guitar.
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#7
Yeah I know that you have to install a midi pickup into your guitar like the Roland GK-2a. And then I think you synth your guitar tones with something like the GR-33 or whatever millions of different kinds of models are out there. I just wanted to see what people thought about all this.. it seems pretty cool to me. And if anyone knows how it all works in detail.
#8
it works off this thing called a Midi pick up, the midi pick up tells the synth exactly what note or notes you are playing, then it uses digital sounds of each note to recreate it. I hope you can understand that haha its so hard to explain.

What you hear, isn't actually the guitar, think of your guitar as a keyboard. You press a key on the keyboard it makes a nose, you can then make the keyboard sound like drums or a violin.

Say you have the synth set to a violin. You hit a B on your guitar, the midi pick up tells the synth that a B note was just hit, it looks through its banks and gets a violin playing B.

Idk how to explain it better.
#9
Yeah I know all that, thanks though. I just want to hear about the technical aspects of it I guess. I dunno.. it's really hard to even know what I'm trying to ask.
#10
ahh guitar synths...

the basis is that it takes a synthesizer and puts in a medium that a guitar player can relate to. The signal is harvested from a special hexaphonic pickup (a guitar pickup with six isolated magnets.) This pickup sends MIDI signals to a synth unit (usually something like a multi-fx stompbox looking thing). This synth unit then can trigger different patches. Like pianos, flutes, even whole string sections with the help of an octaver and smart use of chords. Most modern guitar synths come in the form of an extra pickup that is added right in front of the bridge. Although older ones have the special hexaphonic pickups built in! Carvin has a line of guitars with traditional and hexaphonic pickups so you can play the piano and the guitar at the same time. Just an example of course.

In review:

Its a synthesizer placed in a medium that a guitar player can relate to. Uses MIDI cables and signals. Behaves almost exactly like a keyboard synth. They can really add depth and variety to yopur playing, and especially help if your band lacks a keyboardist, or has an extra guitarist looking to fill a niche.

For more info, look up guitar synth on wikipedia.
#11
Thanks JM that was insightful. Now is there anyone out there that knows about different models and the nitty-gritty behind the whole process? You slap the hexaphonic pickup onto your guitar and you can switch it on and off from MIDI to normal guitar.. or both. And from there you manipulate your guitar tone with the stomp box type of deal (like a Roland GR-33).

Is that basically it?
#12
you have to see that, the synth is not altering your sound, its making a new one. The guitar is just there to say "this is a B note which is held this long" and the synth pulls up a Trumpet playing B
#13
basically the hexaphonic uses a MIDI 13-pin cable (at least mine does) but some use different ones. This pickup is usually run in conjunction the regular guitar sounds, or one at a time. The instrument cable goes out to your stomps to your racks to your amp. The MIDI cable goes from your hexaphonic to your synthbox thing to another input from your amp, or to a different amp.

You basically got it. You manipulate your tone with the stompbox type thing, scrolling between patches on the readout. You can also run the MIDI out from your synthbox to a laptop and use some soft synths to get some really interesting sound combinations.

Its pretty simple. It just seems complex on the surface.

Woodsballplayer is right. It basically just makes a completely new sound that you can blend with your original signal or run it solo.