Midi Guitar Pickup Reviews: Guide to the best midi pickups / converters (converts your guitar into a midi controller) that lets you integrate your guitar with a complete music recording setup
Table of Contents
Keyboard vs Guitar Controller
Here are some facts about midi controllers:
Lot of musicians do use a Keyboard controller to get their musical ideas into their sequencer, because of the ease with which you can capture notes, pitch, velocity and other information.
But then if you are not a pianist / keyboardist, it can still be difficult to use. That is where you can use non-keyboard based controllers, such as a Guitar-based MIDI controller.
How do the MIDI Guitar Pickups Work?
The most common form consists of a pickup that is attached to the guitar. It provides a means of converting the pitch of a plucked string into a particular voltage, and from that, into a MIDI note.
Another reason for its popularity is that these are quite inexpensive and can easily be mounted onto a standard or bass guitar.
Here are the salient features of a MIDI Guitar pickup (guitar to MIDI converter):
Midi Guitar Pickup Reviews
You can use these pickups to make your guitar midi enabled. along with the appropriate software and sound samples, you can use your guitar to compose music with several tonal options, switch between instruments or play multiple instruments at the same time, easily share music arrangements with your band, teach or learn faster with accurate notation, create video soundtracks, mix your own samples, beats, loops and tracks.
Here are some of the popular choices for guitar players:
Roland GK-3 Divided Pickup for Guitar
The Roland GK-3 pickup is compact in size, easy to install on any guitar, and turns your guitar into a MIDI controller that can operate any synthesizer or MIDI-enabled device. The GK-3 is a hexaphonic pickup (each guitar string has its own pickup). This pickup easily attaches to any steel-stringed electric (no drilling required) and delivers accurate performance data to guitar synthesizers (GK compatible devices). A “Select Switch” lets you change from synth, to normal guitar tone, or use both of them together.
Fishman TriplePlay Wireless Guitar Controller
Revolutionary design (wireless control) makes it perfect for composing, performing and recording.
It comes equipped with a wireless controller, hexaphonic pickup, and wireless USB receiver, the controller and pickup can be quickly installed or removed on virtually any electric guitar without needing any permanent installation. It comes bundled with a full version software from PreSonus (StudioOne Artist), Native Instruments (Kontakt Elements and GuitarRig LE), IK Multimedia (SampleTank and Amplitude Custom Shop) and Notion Music (PROGRESSION 2).
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IK Multimedia iRig Series Guitar Interfaces
Plug in your guitar and enjoy killer tone on mobile devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or Samsung Professional Audio device.
IK Multimedia iRig Guitar Interfaces on zZounds
You Need to Get Used To It
When you use it initially, most of the times, the result can often be somewhat less than musical. This is because any unintended vibrations will also be translated into some sort of MIDI information.
This is one of the reasons that most musicians prefer the ‘note-on, note-off’ mechanism of a keyboard (expensive compared to pickups).
So, you need to exercise care while playing, to have more control over the MIDI module.
Also, the better the quality of the pickup, the better will be the ‘pitch-to-voltage’ conversion. On the cheaper ones, there can be a noticeable delay between hitting the string and hearing the generated MIDI note.
The good thing is that, there are several new designs of guitar pickups (especially the wireless ones) that has the potential to get rid of most of these flaws.
Another thing to keep in mind when using the guitar interface to play flutes, horns, piano or any other instrument, is to remember to use the dynamics that are commonly used with that particular musical instrument, to make it sound realistic.
Here are some cool videos that show the potential of midi converters.