Synths And Strings

Anyone with a laptop and a DAW now has access to a huge array of synthesised sounds; however, not everyone wants to use a keyboard to perform them…

Changing The System

The concept of the guitar synthesiser has been around for quite some time (Ron Hoag has been working on this since 1968), but somehow it never quite made it to the mainstream (or even into many bedroom studios).

In principle, using a stringed instrument to control a synth has many advantages – if it’s sensitive and responsive enough, it can open up a whole range of style and expression that simply isn’t achievable through a standard keyboard (manual tremolo and glissando, for example).

I have a Roland GR-33 guitar synth which works quite well in this regard (requiring a MIDI pickup fitted to a standard guitar), but now a new Irish company is looking to bring a more advanced integrated MIDI guitar to musicians everywhere.

Hear the ROR

Rob O’Reilly Guitars have developed the Expressiv MIDI guitar, which is MIDI class-compliant – meaning that you can plug it straight into your MIDI port and it will register automatically with your DAW, allowing you to use it to play sounds from your MIDI instrument of choice just as you would with a keyboard.

Not only that, it can be used as a normal guitar as well, and comes with some fairly strident lighting effects to boot… check it out on their website here.


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