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New BOSS SY-1000. The Hex-pickup is not dead. Long live the 13-pin plug!

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
Vendor
My problems with the Roland 13 pin synth boxes are as follows:
  • Gorgeous internal patches are only accessible via the 13 pin pickup input.
  • If you use a sequencer to record your MIDI performance, quantize it, and want to use the sequence track to drive the Roland box to produce audio, you don't have the same patches available. Instead, you have partial patches available for midi driven audio.
  • Setting up GK pickup tracking really requires a 2nd person to operate the sliders to adjust sensitivity, while you play and listen to glitches.
  • To really get the most out of the GK pickup, you need to change up your technique in a way that feels unnatural to many guitarists.

Some of these things are easily solved by changing some hardware design choices.
 

Piing

Power User
My problems with the Roland 13 pin synth boxes are as follows:
  • Gorgeous internal patches are only accessible via the 13 pin pickup input.
  • If you use a sequencer to record your MIDI performance, quantize it, and want to use the sequence track to drive the Roland box to produce audio, you don't have the same patches available. Instead, you have partial patches available for midi driven audio.
  • Setting up GK pickup tracking really requires a 2nd person to operate the sliders to adjust sensitivity, while you play and listen to glitches.
  • To really get the most out of the GK pickup, you need to change up your technique in a way that feels unnatural to many guitarists.

Some of these things are easily solved by changing some hardware design choices.
Issues 2 and 3 are solved. Now you can record the 6 raw audio tracks (from the 6 strings) separately on your DAW, through the USB, for reamping (you do not record MIDI). That feature was already available at the GP-10
Issue 4 is not a problem, because it is not a picth to MIDI converter. It is a modeler. No need to adapt. It is like playing with the Axe-FX or any other modeler
 
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pauliusmm

Fractal Fanatic
Ever try the Fishman TriplePlay? It tracks as fast as you can play, pitch bends are super fine, and wireless
Tried that, tracking speed is not an issue anymore these days, but the problem is a lot of artifacts and every little string noise interpreted as a random note. Maybe it depends on a guitar you can get better or worse results. But on guitar some noises are unavoidable its not a perfect instrument and midi pickup tries to capture all that. At least on Jam Origin Midi Guitar app there is a gate setting that helps to combat that, and get rid of these false notes.
sometimes when your finger leaves a string theres a tiny noise or if you want to stop a chord by touching the strings with your right hand theres a tiny noise or simply when you stop playing a note - midi pickup will often drop the pitch by a semitone when you lift a finger.
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
Ever try the Fishman TriplePlay? It tracks as fast as you can play, pitch bends are super fine, and wireless
got a bunch of them and love em, ,including that rare Fender TP Strat that had it built in, recent updates have helped, but I would be reticent to try to
use it live.....
my SY 1000 is also incoming tomorow from Sweetwater........
 

hippietim

Fractal Fanatic
got a bunch of them and love em, ,including that rare Fender TP Strat that had it built in, recent updates have helped, but I would be reticent to try to
use it live.....
my SY 1000 is also incoming tomorow from Sweetwater........
We definitely need to sync up on this.
 

hippietim

Fractal Fanatic
Mine came last night. So far, so good. I plugged in my Gibson Music City Junior with a B-bender - it's got a GK-3 on it - and just had a blast with presets for a few hours last night. Some initial impressions:
  • There's much more in here than Ghostbusters. In fact, there's some really good presets in the unit. Very good pads, fun synth lead - there's a mono synth lead that's a blast.
  • Acoustic models are appreciably better than any past unit. You can actually strum freely with acoustics without too much fear of weird artifacts.
  • Alternate tunings do not suffer from the warble - at least not in the presets I tried. Open G electric/acoustic, DADGAD 12-string, and a really cool Baritone patch were among some good ones.
  • The normal guitar pickup with the Boutique or Natural amp model sounds really good and they sit really nicely on top of a lot of the pads.
  • Patch 4 in just about every bank is some over the top sequenced or arpeggiated thing that started to seem silly after a while.
  • The amp models sound like the GT-1000 - so basically they're pretty darn good
  • The electric guitar models are really good. There's a smokey bluesy Strat patch that is loads of run.
  • I didn't try any of the dynamic synth stuff with just the 1/4" in - I was having too much fun with the GK patches.
  • The effects are of course quite good.
  • If you've ever used a recent Roland GT product or the SY-300, moving around on the device and the effects grid is pretty familiar.
  • The electric pianos are pretty convincing - I found myself trying to figure out how to play Zeppelin's No Quarter. Petty's Breakdown sounded cool.
  • The organs are really good - decent Leslie too.
  • There was even a flute patch that would be a passable sound for the beginning of Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer.
The box is very well constructed - feels really solid.

The text on the SY-1000 is pretty small and the screen is pretty low resolution - it's got a bit of 286 with a CGA graphics card vibe about it. After using the Axe-Fx III, HX Stomp, and Helix - the display and UX visuals are pretty weak, even the much maligned Fractal green screen is a superior display in terms of legibility and clarity.

So my GP-10, GR-55, remaining EHX '9' series pedals, and SY-300 are going to the great yard sale in the sky. I haven't tried bass with it yet but I suspect my V-Bass will be going too.
 

Sleestak

Power User
I was a big Roland synth guitar user in the 90s and 00s. The GK3 pickups were very difficult to set up for great tracking. The best results I ever had were with the factory-installed Roland pickups that were built into Strats. I still have one, and sadly, I almost never use it. I keep thinking I should sell it, as it would pair nicely with this kind of system.
 

ChristThePhone

Fractal Fanatic
I was a big Roland synth guitar user in the 90s and 00s. The GK3 pickups were very difficult to set up for great tracking. The best results I ever had were with the factory-installed Roland pickups that were built into Strats. I still have one, and sadly, I almost never use it. I keep thinking I should sell it, as it would pair nicely with this kind of system.
Those Roland GC1 strats are practically non-existent on the used market. You should be able to achieve a nice price.
 

CurvedLight

Inspired
This thread was a very interesting read for me .....

I have been in and out of Midi Guitar/VG through the years ....
1990's .....Started with and Ibanez built Casio Guitar that had a 5 pin Midi Out on the guitar to drive a Emu Proteus
late 90's - early 2000's Had a VG8/VG 99 / Gr30 using a GK2 and eventually a Brian Moore iGuitar with 13 Pin built in.
last few years - picked up Jam Origin Midi Guitar 2 and use it with Soft synths
Last week picked up a used Fishman Triple Play with foot controller to check it out

What I experienced ....
Back in the 90s tracking was really bad - so I just used the synth Live for a few things (sax solos, string pads etc). While recording lets say I got pretty good at MIDI editing in my DAW - but still was better then my crappy keyboard playing

Last few years with Guitar2Midi - Its a great $100 step into guitar synth using VSTi and lots of "fun" . But I would never gig with it due to is tendency to produce extra false notes . And I really had to change my playing style to get a somewhat clean MIDI track when recording - and yes my DAW Midi editing skills became almost ninja like.

This brings me to the last couple of weeks - I saw a great deal in the Fishman Triple play system ($240 for what goes for $599 new) So I thought I would give it try. Here is my experience so far ...
  • Software Installs were a bit tedious and the latest Triple Play software is OK and serviceable. I have found better CPU utilization using the VSTi in standalone mode and just using the TriplePlay as Midi In bypassing the Fishman Host Software.
  • Triple Play comes with some softsynths - (Mostly neutered versions of Sampletank, Kontact and East West) Ok but not extensive . I have a full version of Sample Tank, Omnisphere, Analog Lab, Pigments, and a few others) I have so many sounds I will never hear them all in my lifetime :)
  • I LOVE that the Triple play is wireless -- as I have soldiered and replaced many 13 pin cables over the years.
  • Tracking seems to be very good and being able to adjust each strings sensitivity I have almost eliminated glitch notes and can really dial in the velocity sensitivity for each string ( this is my biggest complaint about the Midi Guitar 2 is that the adjustments are global, not per string).
  • FYI: The Fishman Foot Controller allows you to use the fishman WITHOUT a laptop if you want to control a HW synth via 5Pin Midi. I just snagged a Roland VX5050 off of reverb for a great price. I am curious to pair it with the Fishman once I get it.

I am getting ready to record with the Fishman+ soft Synths and will experiment with the HW synth + Fishman with foot controller for live use in the next few months ... I am hoping that I can have both a gig-able solution and stable recording setup using the Fishman Triple play as my source of Midi Conversion . In the meantime I am holding on to my 13pin iGuitar and GR30 just in case. Just like I still kept my Mesa MkV:25 and cab after Getting my Axe FX.
 
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WITELITE

Experienced
So my GP-10, GR-55, remaining EHX '9' series pedals, and SY-300 are going to the great yard sale in the sky. I haven't tried bass with it yet but I suspect my V-Bass will be going too.
Let me know what you think of the Guitar to Midi. I enabled it and tried to run some Kontakt patches with it and it was nowhere near as good as the tracking with the GR55 to the onboard PCM sounds. I know that's not the intent of this unit but it has the capability and for me won't replace the GR55 without it.

MM
 

hippietim

Fractal Fanatic
Let me know what you think of the Guitar to Midi. I enabled it and tried to run some Kontakt patches with it and it was nowhere near as good as the tracking with the GR55 to the onboard PCM sounds. I know that's not the intent of this unit but it has the capability and for me won't replace the GR55 without it.

MM
I will. I've got some hardware synths to try it with.
 
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