[chuck-users] Synth for use with guitar hex pickup

Stefan Blixt stefan.blixt at gmail.com
Sat Mar 23 10:22:19 EDT 2013

I haven't actually tried sending mono MIDI from the VG99. I don't think it
would make much of a difference, except possibly if strings disturb each

I've tried using one-channel MIDI and omni (six channels), and the actual
midi data transmits just as well, except the obvious problem when the same
note is struck simultaneously on different strings. That's what omni mode

Getting the MIDI data right is a struggle - I can't play too fast and I
need to make sure I press the strings down firmly and strike them cleanly,
and still some notes go wrong or get lost. There are a bunch of different
settings for sensitivity on the VG99 that can be tweaked, I haven't gotten
it nailed down which one works best yet. Still, the result is ok enough
that it can be used with e.g. this ChucK synth I posted. If I record midi
data into a DAW I can quantize and move stuff around afterwards - I can
still benefit from using the guitar as I get different kinds of ideas and a
different playing style than when I use a keyboard or program it.

MIDI aside, using a hex pickup with a gadget like the VG99 has its pros and
cons compared to monophonic guitar synths like stuff you can find in a
Line6 POD or other computer programs that detect pitch. Monophonic handling
feels more stable, but polyphonic handling gives you loads of possibilities
for messing around with the sound. I've been thinking about getting an RMC
fanout box, which gives you six outputs that you could send into a
soundcard and ChucK or other things.


On Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 7:52 AM, <ryguasu at gmail.com> wrote:

> That sounds like a good idea, though I haven't bought any sort of MIDI
> guitar yet. Can you describe the difference in sound you get with
> monophonic vs polyphonic? Does it make the sound more accurately reflect
> what you were actually playing on the guitar?
> -----Original Message-----
> [chuck-users] Synth for use with guitar hex pickup
> From: *Stefan Blixt <stefan.blixt at gmail.com>*
> To: ChucK Users Mailing List <chuck-users at lists.cs.princeton.edu>
> Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 1:23PM
>  This is pretty basic stuff, but it still worked well enough that I think
> it may be worth posting, for any ChucK addict with a hex pickup and
> hex/MIDI converter (yeah, maybe not that many) hasn't tried this yet.
> Also to anyone is making polyponic synths: include an omni mode that
> supports this kind of setup!
> So basically this is a simple polyphonic synth using a single BlitSaw for
> sound. It listen on six channels, treating each channel as its own mono
> synth, which suits the output from my Roland VG99 perfectly.
> /Stefan
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> chuck-users at lists.cs.princeton.edu
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