Guitar Synthesizer. Any experience with them?

I’d really love a Synthesizer guitar, one thing I’ve been looking at is the Roland Boss GK-3.

I think it’s what Roy Marchbank uses to get such clean tones while still shedding really fast. If not the roland at least some form of synth pickup.

They are so expensive tho, any alternatives?

Does it have to be a guitar or would you be willing to go the real route?

A piano? lol

I am really interested in learning a piano or synth

Because I am unsure how powerful the guitar synth are compared to a real analog synth.

I would say if you only have so much funds, try to get one of those deepmind 12 desktop units used. if you are on a very extreme budget. this is because you will probably want to do the polyphony thing, and this is a great intro synth into that realm. you cannot beat this price, and it comes with tc electroniks built in digital effects that you can route however you want. the synth is a powerhouse for an insanely low price.

can you put your guitar into it? I’m looking on google and it’s saying like 600 pounds. Am I looking at the right thing?

no that is the downside, if you need this there are some, and i am not too experienced here. i have two that i think can do this, but i have never really done it because the synth itself is just so much better lmao! gosh i cant believe i am saying i enjoy synth over guitar right now, but thats just the way my ears here things. analog mono bass synths are amazing!

Man I love raw guitar, but synths have their own magic to them, most 80’s music has that sound and I love it.

listen to this, it is showcasing the afx patch on the novation bass station 2 synth. this is just a collector aphex twin skinned synth of the bass station 2. but each key can be programmed separately with the afx update so you can have 25 different patches for each key! turn it into some crazy alien drum machine. all bass station 2 synths can use the afx update, doesnt require this specific skinned version. and this one can do line in i have seen videos of real drummers using it which i thought was bonkers! doing frequency sweeps.

just when you thought music couldn’t get any harder huh? lmao! you aint seen nothing yet a moog 1 can layer 3 analog poly synths LMAO

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How much are these tho man? I’ve be happy spending like 150, 200 at most, those look really expensive lol

hard to say what you are after really. i get your reasoning for the guitar synth thing, but what i am concerned with is you might get something that just sounds weak compared to a true analog bass synth. because a guitar signal isn’t a bass signal, so the amp speaker itself won’t be able to sound it out like with monitor speakers & a sub with a analog bass synth. i have no experience with the roland guitar synth stuff. you will need to see if you can output the roland guitar synth stuff to an audio interface if you can still retain some sweet bass.

do your research, and hands on is best hear it before you buy it. i would suggest to try real analog mono and poly synths then compare to the roland guitar one.

if only we were rich lmao!

I think you need a hex pickup to get each string individually, followed by pitch-to-MIDI conversion.

Once you have MIDI, your pedal or laptop can play the appropriate sound.

I have the new BOSS guitar synth but have not tried it yet; I am told that any problems always involve the first step, pitch-to-MIDI.

do you lose expression though like bending and vibrato? i know how to gain this back for a more key oriented perspective you can with a touche pedal or the way more expensive option the osmose both by expressive e. does that roland guitar thing have an expression pedal port on it?

have you tried the data corrupter effect pedal?

This video is wonderful; and while the hardware is old, the ideas still apply.

I had a GR55 that I used both with guitar and Chapman Stick. Words cannot describe the contempt I had for that thing…

simple, convenient, cheap ($260), limited:

flexible, less convenient, cheap ($150), less limited:

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Tell me more!! Was the tracking bad?

I haven’t used my GM-800 yet, so I’m watching this in the background as I work on other things:

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The tracking was good, on guitar I used it with a godin and there were a lot of sounds in it that were quite useful, especially if blended with a guitar sound. The looper was cool, and there was a “dry out” that I could run to my actual guitar rig and have a more… “real” guitar sound.

Here’s where the problem was; my picking wouldn’t track. It was glitchy and I didn’t like it.

Glitchy, because of me and my technique. I know now that I tend to swipe (a lot) and my pickstrokes are trapped. So any note that bleeds into the next, even slightly- causes a glitch. And that’s fine for slower playing, but when I want to play fast… well… legato stuff worked well, so did tapping. Chord playing could be…. Intermittently successful depending on the patch/synth. Lol again, my technique or lack thereof exposed. The other reason that I got a GR55 was that I thought I could connect to Logic or guitarpro and just record what I play via midi. You know, make it easier to record a bass line, or unison keyboard lines etc. Not efficient.

Also, tracking drums. Jeeeeeez it is beyond terrible. Heh I already play drums so it’s much easier to just jump on a kit and play, or do finger drumming via keyboard or lightpad!

Actually, having a gr55 really exposed my picking deficiencies to me at the time! So much in fact that I bought a Chapman Stick and decided to be a tapper for, like 7 years. It turns out tapped articulations on the stick were glitchy also. Also, as it turns out I found the Stick to be extremely limiting in a lot of respects, that’s a different story though lol

Plus I have Logic Pro. It comes with every synth I could ever want. Then I got NI Komplete and that has all of the synths that I never knew I wanted! Let the guitar be the guitar I say…

Positives = I learned how to tap, really got into looping and reinforced my love for instruments as-is. Guitar synth is great for those who like it, but it’s not for me.

PS I also bought the fishman pickup. It was ummm ok.


Yeah I think this is probably the best route, since most modern computers I believe are more similar to a true analog synth sound compared to their sub par sound back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Since if you go the true route what you will encounter is if you want to wire it altogether for that tactile music making feel, you are going to quickly find out the price shoots way up. Now unless you get one of those sampler/music creation devices (these are becoming more common, basically just a computer in a small form factor box with pads) where it is almost all in one unit, even these can be quite expensive, you will be forced to get the mixer which you will need at the least about 5 to 6 channels for each separate device:

1:vocal effects/vocal
3:drum machine
4:mono bass synth
6:additional slot possibly guitar

And these mixers are becoming more rare to spot at guitar centers from the last few years I have been going.

Then you need the monitor speakers, or headphones, all the cables to wire it all up, possibly a subwoofer not necessary.

Scottulus is spot on go the computer vst and samples route LOL

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And of course, that synth music thing is it’s own rabbit hole; just not my thing really (All the Dio, VH and Iron Maiden Music I suppose).

Some guys are hardcore into having the actual synths and doing all the wiring and midi and stuff on the fly and that’s very cool, just not me! I like to occasionally make music that sounds like my old Atari 2600 and the 'ole Logic pro Daw scratches that itch! hahaha


if you can get something from zzounds they offer a payment plan that is quite nice. if you can’t quite put up the money, you could make smaller monthly payments over some months. not affliated i have just used them before when i purchased my deepmind 12 keys.

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