Guitar Players: Why Not Guitar Synth?

Guitar Synthesizers have been around for years. I remember seeing a picture of Pete Townsend of The Who back in the early/mid-seventies with an ARP.

Since then it has come a long way and still needs tweaking but it is usable.

The technology is there. Use it. If you do not, you are missing a lot.

Checkout Pat Metheny and others.

You can’t just plug your guitar’s output into a box and get great synth sounds. You need a 13-pin connection. This is achieved by using a specially designed hex pickup that attaches to your guitar (Roland, Axon) or use a guitar that has it built -in already. The guitar option also comes in two versions-Hex pickups or piezo. The hex pickup is the same as the external pickups. The piezo version has piezo transducers in the bridge. The piezo built -in version is better, more accurate. It will also gives you an acoustic sound via the piezo transducers. This is a great option to have because you can have an acoustic sound through an amp without bringing an extra guitar to the gig or rehearsal and you can combine this sound with the electric tones and synth sounds. This is huge sound on stage!

Coming from the pickup is a 13-pin din cable that plugs into a converter box. Again, Roland and Axon are the main companies with Axon being on the cutting edge for midi conversion

Depending on the box, you can get some with sounds, without sounds or USB connection for computer recording.

Once you have this setup, you would have to tweak the settings in the box to how you play. Each guitar player is different. Each guitar is different. One guitar player could use different techniques (finger picking, hard picking, very soft picking, tapping, etc). Sensitivity, tuning, feel/picking are some of the settings to look at.

Imagine recording a guitar track, then adding piano, bass, drums, strings, sax and more right from the guitar. Using a 13-pin guitar to access synth or samples sounds opens a whole world for expression, composing, recording, inspiration and more. It allows you to control software sounds in your computer that you already have but can’t use unless you play keyboard. A lot of guitar players do not want to play keyboard! You can input notes into tab or notation. Play it back and print it out. A great tool for teaching!

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