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  #1  
Old 03-03-2021, 05:01 AM
domen domen is offline
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Default Emerald's MIDI pickup

Hi everyone, does anyone have direct experience with the midi pickup installed by Emerald?
I would like to know your opinions and what external hardware you use to connect the guitar (13 pins) to the DAW or other via MIDI 5 pins or USB MIDI.
Are there any flaws or limitations that you have experienced? thank you
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2021, 06:03 AM
Strumalot Strumalot is offline
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Domen, I don't have any "direct" experience with the new X10 (I have an older one), but when the new X10 came out with "MIDI" capabilities I was very interested.

So I checked out the pickup with Graphtec, the manufacture...

https://graphtech.com/pages/ghost-pickup-systems

...and the flaw is, it isn't really a MIDI pickup, it's analog output and you need a pitch-to-midi converter to make it work.

As far as I know, the only one available is the Roland GR 55 which sells for around $800.

What I ended up getting was another guitar made in Ireland that actually does plug-into-your-DAW midi (and a lot of other cool stuff, plus carbon fiber rods in the neck)...

https://www.rorguitars.com/products/expressiv-midi-pro

Also keep in mind that if you play live with the X10 through the GR55, unless you crank up the amp, your GR55 sound always will be mixed with your acoustic X10 sound.
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Old 03-05-2021, 09:38 PM
jwellsy jwellsy is offline
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I'd like to hear some Tubular Bells covers with this setup.
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2021, 07:47 AM
domen domen is offline
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Thanks @Strumalot,

surely having a guitar dedicated exclusively to MIDI is the best solution for those who want to take advantage of the potential of a controller with which you feel comfortable, when you are not a keyboard expert. Surely having a MIDI pickup on an acoustic guitar, as you rightly point out, is not an optimal solution for those who do live performances playing non-acoustic sounds, obviously the acoustic sound cannot be muted. With regard to recording in a home studio, on the other hand, it is sufficient to play with headphones, so there would be no major problems.

The Expressiv MIDI Pro 2 you mention is a really great option, even if it comes at a high cost.

Regarding the use of a guitar with a 13 pin midi output I would like to add that there is not only the GR-55, there are several options from Roland, among which the cheap but no longer in production Gi-10 or 20 and the excellent GP-10. None of these is a synth like those of the GR series, which in addition to the 55 also features other synths.

So the Graphtech pickup that mounts the Emerald works by receiving an analog acoustic signal and transforms it into a midi signal, pitch-to-midi, as a microphone-to-midi (there are those too I could read!). But also your rorguitar, right? and also the pickups of the Roland, GK series work the same way, or am I wrong? if so your doubts about Graphtech pickups should be extended to this technology in general. Searching for a while on the web I read that the Graphtech flaw can be rather on reproducing more rustle than Roland pickups. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

With some probability of ending up off topic I also ask you for an opinion on the Jamstik Studio (not the stick for the exercises, but the version that looks like a real guitar) which has a certainly more accessible price.

I am still curious to see if there are any friends here on AGF who own an Emerald with a MIDI pickup and how they use it...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Strumalot View Post
Domen, I don't have any "direct" experience with the new X10 (I have an older one), but when the new X10 came out with "MIDI" capabilities I was very interested.

So I checked out the pickup with Graphtec, the manufacture...

https://graphtech.com/pages/ghost-pickup-systems

...and the flaw is, it isn't really a MIDI pickup, it's analog output and you need a pitch-to-midi converter to make it work.

As far as I know, the only one available is the Roland GR 55 which sells for around $800.

What I ended up getting was another guitar made in Ireland that actually does plug-into-your-DAW midi (and a lot of other cool stuff, plus carbon fiber rods in the neck)...

https://www.rorguitars.com/products/expressiv-midi-pro

Also keep in mind that if you play live with the X10 through the GR55, unless you crank up the amp, your GR55 sound always will be mixed with your acoustic X10 sound.
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2021, 08:29 AM
Strumalot Strumalot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domen View Post
So the Graphtech pickup that mounts the Emerald works by receiving an analog acoustic signal and transforms it into a midi signal, pitch-to-midi, as a microphone-to-midi (there are those too I could read!). But also your rorguitar, right? and also the pickups of the Roland, GK series work the same way, or am I wrong? if so your doubts about Graphtech pickups should be extended to this technology in general. Searching for a while on the web I read that the Graphtech flaw can be rather on reproducing more rustle than Roland pickups. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

With some probability of ending up off topic I also ask you for an opinion on the Jamstik Studio (not the stick for the exercises, but the version that looks like a real guitar) which has a certainly more accessible price.

I am still curious to see if there are any friends here on AGF who own an Emerald with a MIDI pickup and how they use it...
The ROR Midi Pro2 works differently than the other MIDI guitar solutions I am aware of. The neck, frets, and bridge are hard-wired with the signal being fed into an onboard controller instead of being monitored with a traditional analog pickup and then converted to digital.

This reduces latency to near zero and increases accuracy.
Latency is a problem I have encountered with other MIDI guitar solutions. There can be a noticeable delay between what you play and what you hear. Inability of systems to react fast enough to what you're playing is also limiting because it makes you play slow and deliberately.
The MIDI Pro outputs fully compliant MIDI into a DAW (I use Cubase) via a USB port on the guitar. You can also connect the guitar to audio interfaces and control other MIDI devices via 5-pin MIDI.

There is also a standard 1/4 inch guitar jack for the (great sounding!) Seymour Duncan HotRodded Humbuckers, and the built-in Graphtec Ghost pickup can make it sound like a plugged-in acoustic (sort of).

If I am recording, I will often simultaneously record both the MIDI output and the analog output from the 1/4 jack on separate tracks.

I have not tried the Jamstik. When I was first looking at MIDI guitars a few years ago, I looked into it. There seemed to be problems with latency and reaction speed. Maybe the analog (Jamstick uses a magnetic pickup) to MIDI systems are better now.

The Graphtec/Roland solution might be better, too, however, I would be concerned about a system that depends on a company (Roland) that has a history of discontinuing product lines.

Another solution to get MIDI out of a guitar might be to use a MIDI conversion feature in your DAW. I think Cubase has that built-in, however, I use Melodyne Studio (from within Cubase) for that. Not always accurate, but interesting results, and once you have the MIDI data, it's endless what you can do with it.
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Old 03-23-2021, 08:26 AM
domen domen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strumalot View Post
The ROR Midi Pro2 works differently than the other MIDI guitar solutions I am aware of. The neck, frets, and bridge are hard-wired with the signal being fed into an onboard controller instead of being monitored with a traditional analog pickup and then converted to digital.

This reduces latency to near zero and increases accuracy.
ok it's wired but anyway there must be an analog to digital conversion, even if wired and not coming from a traditional pickup, how does it really happen? the magic, i mean..

the fact that this conversion takes place onboard is certainly an advantage vs this Graphtech/Roland MIDI pickup+ext unit but this also happens with other less expensive guitars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strumalot View Post
Latency is a problem I have encountered with other MIDI guitar solutions. There can be a noticeable delay between what you play and what you hear. Inability of systems to react fast enough to what you're playing is also limiting because it makes you play slow and deliberately.
As far as I know the latency will mainly be determined by your own set of PC / MAC, sound card and DAW. Every set will have different latency values, right?

In any case, after our exchange of views and some additional research, I have decided to remove every pickup from my Emerald order

Apparently the ROR you mention is the only real reliable option related to MIDI control via strings and I would like to at least try it but after this Emerald purchase I will not be able to afford a ROR as well, maybe much later or else I will try something like the Jamstik Studio, which will certainly not be the technological marvel represented by ROR but has a more accessible price (on reverb there are also the b-stocks)
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  #7  
Old 05-08-2021, 05:36 PM
martinngibson martinngibson is offline
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So, Iíve ordered an X20 just a few days ago with the ghost piezo pickup and the Hexpander midi system. I was going to start looking for the GR55 Roland in the meantime which is all they said I would need except for cables.

Iím 69, not real tech savvy but when I heard the strings behind the demo on the x10 I thought I could use that type of pickup when I play soloís in Church. They said they could install it in the x20 of course.

Am I throwing money away after reading about latency , I think it was called?

Can anyone break this down into bits and pieces and tell me if Iím making a mistake? Kevin at Emerald wouldnít have a problem Iím sure if I changed anything on the order as he said lead times are 4 months but theyíre still on a minimal work schedule, so Iíd be pleasantly shocked if I got the invoice of the guitar ready for shipment in 4 months.

Thanks to any and all that can assist me with their input.
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2021, 04:52 AM
Strumalot Strumalot is offline
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I would ask Graph Tech about that. They were very responsive when I was researching the X10 setup; even gave me the voltage output specs of the pickup.

My guess is, if you just want to add strings to your acoustic guitar sound you'll be fine... and would deliver an impressive performance.

If you want to do some "shred licks" and make it sound like you're playing a flute, there may be some issues with the system's ability to keep up with your playing speed and isolating the MIDI instrument sound from the acoustic guitar sound.

Hopefully, someone with hands-on experience with the Graph Tech / GR55 combo will check in here with a better answer for you.
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:36 AM
martinngibson martinngibson is offline
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Thank you Strumalot, I appreciate your input. I will contact graph tech and pick their mind , but I do hope that someone that has an X10 that has used the midi can sound off as well with proís and cons. Thanks
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2019 000-28 Modern Deluxe
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1962 LG2 Gibson
1998 Gibson Chet Atkins CG
2016 Gretsch G6122T-59 CG
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  #10  
Old 05-27-2021, 02:27 PM
Joel_man Joel_man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinngibson View Post
Thank you Strumalot, I appreciate your input. I will contact graph tech and pick their mind , but I do hope that someone that has an X10 that has used the midi can sound off as well with proís and cons. Thanks
I have the X10 with MIDI and use it to drive a BOSS GP-10. Where this thing shines are using the MIDI for filling out and adding depth to the guitar pickups. For the most part I don't lead with MIDI, I use it for backup and fill out as a complement to the guitar sound.
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