MidiGuitar software - by JamOrigion

I gave up on these a long time ago. The Roland one that’s been out now for…10 years?..tracked rather well, but in my opinion they aren’t worth the hassle unless you’re using it live to provide synth or horn parts as backup in a small band.

But I also believe that it’s probably better to purchase Cantabile Performer and a cheap MIDI controller (or a Roland PK-5a) and use that to trigger samples and/or sequences instead.

This review from Sound on Sound has piqued my interest.


About 15% of the cost of the Starr Labs.

There is a trial version of the MIDI Guitar software for both Win/Mac
Both as a standalone with some default piano patch and a VST.
It’s a *.DLL you can plop into your VSTPlugins folder or a subfolder from that.
Run it as an insert on a Audio Track and run your guitar through that.
Then on a MIDI track as the input you’ll get an extra MIDI input from that Audio Track.
It’s Beta 0.6 but there is hope … when it tracks it feels like an extenstion of the guitar!
Even the pitchbend kind of works.
But it’s far from glitchfree, lot’s of mistriggered and hanging notes, and some sour semi bent notes.
It’s exactly a Beta 0.6!!! Far from production ready!
I don’t know if those last bits is a case of the law of diminishing returns or not?
Maybe it’s harder than you think to get rid of some the bum notes for whatever reason?
Trying it out is frustrating …

… still … very promising!
I really wish them to succeed.
I like it and I’ll keep an eye at it! :sunglasses:

Unpredictable is a good description. It’s fun to try the thing out and it can work for very good for a while and then you get into a cloud of unpredictabilities (if that’s a word haha).
Bottom line: It obviously CAN work, but really it doesn’t, still it’s fun :slight_smile:

The Keytar is the poor legacy of the original Synthaxe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SynthAxe
You might however also want to check out the You Rock Guitar
Personally I use a Roland GR-20 with a GK-3 pickup mounted on a Variax-300 into a POD XTL for my more exotic endeavours.

I use an Axon AX 50 system on a 79 anniv Strat. Had visions of doing keyboard parts with this but but its worked out to be best for basslines, especially paired with Trilian. Tracking is pretty good but lots of editing is inevitable

The best complete hardware systems so far seems to be Roland’s stuff?
Check out “Roland” and “Robert Marcello” for some state of the art demos of their stuff.
Although he looks and sounds kinda neo-classical he seems to be able to play most styles convincing enough!

Midi Guitar is great. Steinberg should take a listen. It tracks as well as a Vg99 well set up, I’m amazed.
It could had a setting with no dynamics playing to accommodate organs, clavinets, bass and other instruments. Nevertheless, it does it better in real time than variaudio or ableton track to midi thing offline.
Nice addition to any sequencer.

http://www.fishman.com/tripleplay I bet this one could be the ticket, wireless. I don’t know how does it track.
The Roland system has a lot of options and needs to be properly setup, very time consuming and
heartbreak until it begins to deliver.
I wish Steinberg/YAMAHA took an interest on the MIDI guitar guy. He is really close to something
unique on the software realm. Amazing.

I have a Roland hex pickup and GR MIDI interface. It works … sort of. I’d never brave using one live. No way. But in a DAW environment, especially if you have abundant time to edit/correct all the glitches, it can provide serviceable results.

I’ve also used Melodyne to convert monophonic audio tracks to MIDI. That can be a lot of fun, and lead to some very interesting results. Time consuming though.

Yes, both Steinberg and ableton, ceremony does it too, convert audio to midi. I think Steinberg does only melodic stuff, while the others can do harmony.
@Swamptone, you can use Roland live with confidence as long as you set it to accommodate your playing style and the instrument at use.
I have a gk setting on the vg99 where pickup sensitivity is set to zero, so it works well. Zero is a starting point, never go past 5 or you will head into trouble, the sound from the resonating string will make the others vibrate and it will be picked up, hence the erroneous playing. So I have two settings, one for guitar the other for MIDI. It works.
Check the video tutorials from Roland.ca on YouTube. They restored my faith on the Roland gear.


If they’re still around, check out the Casio Dg-20 guitar. I bought one on eBay about 3 years ago that works for about $22.00. It seems to resemble the Starlab but way less regarding cost. As a guitar player it will but a smile on your face. I have no idea how these slack nylon strings tune but the thing works fine. It’s like one of those things that you try it and get it out of your system. And for $20 bucks, you realize that even the greatest midi guitar is not something you’ll want to spend big money on. When the urge strikes again, it’s there in the corner waiting for you.
Just have your D batteries ready. :smiley: yes, it can use a transformer too …check this out or search for yourself



Another entry in the midi guitar quest. Uses infrared to detect fingering, a 24 fret version is rumored for next year.


Video: http://youtu.be/jkd-IywG-60

It’s definitely aimed at iPads and Macs but it says it supports coremidi. rptMidi, a free download provides coremidi to Windows. No idea if it would work for this demoed but not actually for sale product. Doubt any midi controller handles a pre-bend double stop bend down pull off.

About 10 years ago I saw Jeff Beck with Jennifer Batten. Great show! She pulled off some amazing leads with what I think was a Les Paulish looking Godin. They probably had custom engineered gear.

I gave up on these a long time ago. The Roland one that’s been out now for…10 years?

Try 36 years. First one was introduced in 1977. Scary, aint it?

That would be a pity. My GR20 will definitely play back midi.
:bulb: If I were you, and interested in the 55, I’d download the PDF manual for the unit, then you’ll know for sure.

No, I think the GR55 is like the GR20 in that it can not be used as a standalone MIDI synth being triggered by external midi. The only thing that triggers the module’s inbuilt sounds is the hex guitar pickup that you fix to your guitar (or in the case of Godin guitars that comes built in to your guitar).

Thr GR55, like the GR20, will send midi information to e.g. a DAW or another synth module.

The difference between the GR55 and the GR20 is that the newer GR55 also uses the hex pickup for generating modelled sounds (i.e. no latency).


I assure you the GR-20 can play MIDI either from another keyboard or from a recorded MIDI track of a sequencer!
I know! I do it!
In fact it can do it from both simultaneously with different patches or from six different tracks when you know how.
Furthermore, check this out:
http://cms.rolandus.com/assets/media/pdf/GR20WS03.pdf :wink:

Thanks Brihar, I stand corrected (I never knew this was possible and I used to use a GR20) :blush: