Jump to content

Why has guitar innovation lagged behind everything else?


ichasedx
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello to all,

  I've been resisting the temptation to write this, but my first attempt to connect external pedals via midi, prompted this post. Yeah, I know, for all you savy tech guys it's elementary. Im 61 and spent the last year and a half, (covid), setting aside my amps, and learning most of the Helix's functions, except of course the Midi thing!  Now my rant... why is the technology of guitar players lagging so far behind most every other instrument? When was the last time a keyboard player had to deal with a Moog monophonic synth with tons of patch cables? Look at the technology at some new keyboards.. awesome. But here were are, programming our equipment like it's a Realistic TRS-80, or and IBM XT back in the 80's? I do appreciate the Helix for what it is... but compared to almost every single thing we come in contact with on a daily basis, the technology we are using, should go the way of rotary dial phones! I have seen posts where, after a software update, users are doing verbal cartwheels in praise of a mediocre addition. I appreciate this site and Line 6 for it's customer support, this forum is a real jewel, and I thank you all for your assistance. I'll figure out midi, ( I never used the command center either, so it's another bump in the road), but here we are in the days of asking "Alexa" and turning our lights on with a verbal command, but my beloved guitar rig comparatively is in the dark...

Mike

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1136353129_Oldmanyellsatclouds.jpg.e4840536d274a79dcdd30496e7e2718d.jpg

 

FWIW - I'm 72 and it bugs the hell out of me when people use age as an excuse for - whatever.

 

There are two main schools of thought in the guitar amps/fx world.

 

ANALOG RULES!

 

and

 

Whatever sound best to YOU!

 

The first group wants nothing to do with digital anything and considers MIDI to be the devil's work.

 

The second group uses what sounds best and isn't afraid to try new things.

 

The fact that you can still buy tube amps and analog pedals and can also buy a Helix and a Catalyst digital amp speaks to the fact that our industry caters to both groups.

 

To summarize: The technology available to guitar players is IN NO WAY lagging. If anything, it's only restricted by the available digital tech (chips) available at a marketable price point, and the ability of users to incorporate the tech.

 

Final thoughts:

NOTE: The following is not directed at you!

The more I hang out on forums the more I realize that there are many guitar players who try to embrace the digital world, but who really can't handle anything more technical than "connect wire A from output 1 to input 1". If using digital devices gives you agita, then use analog! No shame! Playing music should be FUN! Use what makes you happy and inspires you to PLAY! If a person is spending more time struggling to learn and configure their digital wonder boxes than they're spending PLAYING, they're doing it WRONG!

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what you're expecting.  Certainly the options for keyboards are considerably greater than for a guitar, but the same can be said for any stringed instrument simply because they're stringed instruments and not a keyboard which is, by definition, is a note based instrument.  The same can be said of horns and woodwinds.

There are, of course some obvious alternative such a Variax guitar which has a method of providing more of a note based alternative for input and therefore is able to provide better note control for doing things like special tuning, stringed instrument simulation or even direct MIDI input and even some MIDI based guitars.  But MIDI was based on keyboards and therefore MIDI will always be more advanced and readily available in a keyboard design.

But it could also be said that you're only seeing the things you're used to seeing in your specific area of music interest and not truly seeing the wide range of MIDI options in the marketplace that have exalted MIDI well beyond any other technology out there.  For example are you aware there are a number of guitar sample library plugins for your studio DAW that can be used with a simple keyboard to produce a note perfect simulation and/or MIDI notation of any type of guitar riff or chord in any style or technique by simply playing it on a keyboard?  Because they're produced by meticulously recording the response of different guitars in a studio they literally duplicate the sound made by a classic guitar, acoustic guitar, les paul guitar, tele, strat, gretsch...any thing you would like to record.  These are NOT synthesized sounds, but actual recorded sounds and are available for almost any instrument you can imagine.  For example I have such libraries that produce both sound and correct playing techniques for a 40 piece orchestra, a pedal steel guitar, a country fiddle, a hammond B3 organ, a harmonica, a jazz horn quartet and many others.

The 21st century options are out there if you're willing to expand your horizons.

By the way, I'm 69 and it's certainly not constraining me in approaching these flashy new things....

 

Kontakt guitar sample library

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 2:37 PM, rd2rk said:

WIW - I'm 72 and it bugs the hell out of me when people use age as an excuse for - whatever.

I didn't use my age to handicap myself, if I would have said I was 16, how much value would you place on my life, music experience.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 2:52 PM, DunedinDragon said:

not truly seeing the wide range of MIDI options

respectfully, if I have to go into sub-menus, change perimeters, assign values..blah, blah, blah... it's to my point. I expect people who revel in this technology to embrace it, and defend it. How can you compare other stringed instruments or woodwinds to guitar signal processing and amplification? Apples and oranges.. we are not discussing the instrument itself, but the peripherals, which none of them share.

Mike

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 3:02 PM, pianoguyy said:

I disagree with the entire premise. 

 

 

 

That's funny - I wrote, but deleted, this big long diatribe. Because I didn't want to be 'that guy' (again). And then when I click enter, I see that others have posted their own BLDs as I was typing. 

 

 

 

And here's a hum dinger... I have been a full time professional musician for 37 years. 

But I am not yet 50. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 3:08 PM, ichasedx said:

respectfully, if I have to go into sub-menus, change perimeters, assign values..blah, blah, blah...

but that is what MIDI is 

 

Keyboards have what is known as General Midi, which is used as a standard set of values used for electronic instruments. But the guitar is not an electronic instrument. Nor is a MFX utilizing the functions that GM was designed for. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 2:52 PM, DunedinDragon said:

For example are you aware there are a number of guitar sample library plugins for your studio DAW that can be used with a simple keyboard to produce a note perfect simulation and/or MIDI notation of any type of guitar riff or chord in any style or technique by simply playing it on a keyboard?

Im focusing on the hardware setup, not software. I guess I'm not making my point well enough...If you have to "hardwire" voice activation to every switch and outlet to make it work...yes., the software is impressive, but at the expense, time wise of the work involved?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 3:13 PM, pianoguyy said:

but that is what MIDI is 

yeah, you have "state of the art "digital sampling, transferred via a protocol that rivals Morse code!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 1:08 PM, ichasedx said:

respectfully, if I have to go into sub-menus, change perimeters, assign values..blah, blah, blah... it's to my point. I expect people who revel in this technology to embrace it, and defend it. How can you compare other stringed instruments or woodwinds to guitar signal processing and amplification? Apples and oranges.. we are not discussing the instrument itself, but the peripherals, which none of them share.

Mike

 

 

I guess I don't get your point. Someday we'll all have chips implanted in our heads that can automatically configure any tech we encounter to any needs we happen to imagine. Helix will automatically create "the sound in our heads". No more messy menus and parameters to set. 

 

If you think programming presets in a guitar multifx is complicated, you've never looked at the manuals for any pro-grade synth. Analog synth patching was a piece of cake compared to programming a modern synth!

 

Right now, you can play a guitar part and have it translated to MIDI, then play back the part using any instrument sound, SAMPLED for realism. No keyboard required. In the mix, you'd never guess the part was played on guitar. And the biggest limitation to playing those parts LIVE (which, IIRC, is what @DunedinDragondoes) is tracking (how quickly the synth translates the guitar signal into synthesized sound), a function of the actual chip tech that I mentioned previously.

 

You're right, we're not discussing the instruments themselves. We're noting that modern guitar modeling and MIDI tech is coming closer and closer to eliminating the NEED for other instruments in any but the highest levels of performance in an acoustic environment (symphony orchestras, jazz in intimate settings, etc). And you're saying that guitar tech is behind the times?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ironically, monophonic synths with patch cables have kind of had something of a renaissance over the last 10 years or so. There’s been a ton of new analog synths released. There’s probably a lot more available now than in the synth heyday.

 

I think most people want electric guitars to sound like electric guitars. There’s an expected tonality of the instrument. That varies from genre to genre, but on some level, it’s like if you hire a cellist… You don’t hire them because you want them to sound like a saxophone. You want the sound of a cello. So for most things, people want the sound of an electric guitar. I think as far as controlling rigs and effects and all that, we’ve come s long way in the last decade or so. Stuff that was only available to pros at astronomical prices is available to anyone now. To get something like the Helix snapshot feature, for instance, would have required some pretty specialized gear even 15 years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MIDI's framework is almost 40 years old. Fortunately, it was designed for a long life, which is why people haven't had to replace their MIDI 1.0 gear, and their synthesizer from over three decades ago can talk to a 2022 model DAW. In the world of computer standards, that's nothing short of miraculous. The early speed limitations no longer exist for devices that use MIDI over USB (or other computer protocols) instead of the original 5-pin DIN connectors. However, you can even get DIN <> USB adapters.

 

The MIDI 2.0 spec has been approved, but it will take a while before gear rolls out that implements its features. Apple includes MIDI 2.0 support in their current operating system, which is great, because people can code things that can talk to it. I'm sure Microsoft isn't too far behind.

 

Much of MIDI 2.0 is about making gear easier to use. MIDI 1.0 was a monologue - instruments could either talk or receive. MIDI 2.0 is a dialogue, so gear can query other gear about its capabilities, and configure itself accordingly. That is a HUGE difference. For example, if you plug a MIDI 2.0 guitar into a MIDI 2.0 tone module, the tone module would recognize a MIDI device, inquire about its capabilities, find out it was a guitar (maybe even one from a specific manufacturer with specific features), and configure itself where each string went to its own voice, assigned pitch bend to individual strings, initiated legato mode, etc. - sort of "MIDI guitar's greatest hits." Of course, there would be options if you wanted to dig deeper. A control surface could control a mixer once it knew it was controlling a mixer, or control a virtual instrument once it knew it was controlling a virtual instrument. Or, a computer can ask a synthesizer what its parameters are, and display them onscreen. This would eliminate the need for editor/librarian software.

 

When will this happen? I don't know. There are a lot of moving parts that all need to talk to each other. I've seen prototypes of some gear with MIDI 2.0 functionality. Probably what will happen first is MIDI 2.0 features being retrofitted to MIDI 1.0 gear as firmware updates.

 

Also remember that MIDI 2.0 is completely backward-compatible with MIDI 1.0. Before someone chimes in with "yeah, sure, I've heard that before," here's why. MIDI is a language, and MIDI 2.0 simply increases its vocabulary. The first thing a MIDI 2.0 piece of gear does is ask connected gear whether it's MIDI 2.0 or not. If yes, it speaks MIDI 2.0. If not, it falls back to speaking MIDI 1.0.

 

Anyway, it's also possible the "guitar of the future" might not be a guitar per se, but due to advances in sensors and materials, would feel and respond like a guitar, and use the same muscle memory so you wouldn't have to learn new techniques if you didn't want to. But it could track better, never go out of tune, and who knows...it might be able to do something like respond to how hard you press on a "string" after fretting it.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 3:45 PM, rd2rk said:

MIDI tech is coming closer and closer to eliminating the NEED for other instruments in any but the highest levels of performance in an acoustic environment

It seems to me I recall hearing those points made in the 80's when synth players claimed the same! Just prior to EVH!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 4:58 PM, craiganderton said:

For example, if you plug a MIDI 2.0 guitar into a MIDI 2.0 tone module, the tone module would recognize a MIDI device, inquire about its capabilities, find out it was a guitar (maybe even one from a specific manufacturer with specific features), and configure itself

Thank you...that's the technical leap that I was wondering about. Not specifically MIDI 2.0, I have no knowledge of that, but a seamless transfer of data regarding function, compatibility, setup, perimeters, etc. But by the sound of it, it's a ways away.

Thanks

Mike

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 4:30 PM, ichasedx said:

It seems to me I recall hearing those points made in the 80's when synth players claimed the same! Just prior to EVH!!

 

A lot has happened since the 80's, and nobody here is claiming (nor did anyone EVER claim) that anything is going to replace a virtuoso on ANY instrument.

Ever hear Jan Hammer? 80's synth virtuoso made VERY convincing guitar noises (including incorporating guitar TECHNIQUE) with a synth.

Didn't replace guitar players. All of which is quite beside the point.

We're talking about guitar TECHNOLOGY.

I don't mean to get on your case, but I'm starting to think that I have no clue what YOU'RE talking about...

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 4:45 PM, ichasedx said:

Thank you...that's the technical leap that I was wondering about. Not specifically MIDI 2.0, I have no knowledge of that, but a seamless transfer of data regarding function, compatibility, setup, perimeters, etc. But by the sound of it, it's a ways away.

Thanks

Mike

 

 

MIDI 2.0 still doesn't eliminate the necessity for you, as the performer, to tweak all of those settings, it just makes them visible and tweakable in the same way that HX Edit or BTS does. There'll still be preset providers for them that hate tweaking and preset haters who'll tweak their hearts out!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 6:56 PM, rd2rk said:

but I'm starting to think that I have no clue what YOU'RE talking about...

I think you're right! I don't want to belabor the point, I appreciate your input as always. Maybe someone who understands what I'm asking, can state it more clearly than I can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 5:30 PM, ichasedx said:

It seems to me I recall hearing those points made in the 80's when synth players claimed the same! Just prior to EVH!!

 

 

FYI: EVH first appeared to the masses in 1978... 3 years before MIDI showed up on paper & 5 years before MIDI showed up for it's very first demonstration.  It then took a couple more years to become common. 

 

On 3/28/2022 at 5:45 PM, ichasedx said:

Thank you...that's the technical leap that I was wondering about. Not specifically MIDI 2.0, I have no knowledge of that, but a seamless transfer of data regarding function, compatibility, setup, perimeters, etc. But by the sound of it, it's a ways away.


I think the point is.... guitar technology is not "behind" in this regard. It works the same way keyboards do, or any other MIDI device does. The difference is that keyboard players have more experience in programming MIDI while guitar players are somewhat newer to it. It's not a hard language to learn... and it's worth the time. 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 7:53 PM, ichasedx said:

I think you're right! I don't want to belabor the point, I appreciate your input as always. Maybe someone who understands what I'm asking, can state it more clearly than I can.

 

In short, you want to know why using your modeler isn't as easy as pushing a picture of french fries at the McDonald's cash register. 

  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 8:13 PM, codamedia said:

guitar technology is not "behind" in this regard. It works the same way keyboards do, or any other MIDI device does.

 

On 3/28/2022 at 8:48 PM, pianoguyy said:

modeler isn't as easy as pushing a picture of french fries

 

I'll try one more time...

My issue is with MIDI protocol and hardware interface, not the "tweaking"!! Realistically, what guitar player has ever used an effect without painstakingly changing every knob and button on it to hear the effect on his tone? If thats not clear enough, I give up!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 7:19 PM, ichasedx said:

 

 

I'll try one more time...

My issue is with MIDI protocol and hardware interface, not the "tweaking"!! Realistically, what guitar player has ever used an effect without painstakingly changing every knob and button on it to hear the effect on his tone? If thats not clear enough, I give up!

 

So, the complexity of plugging a cable from MIDI IN to MIDI OUT? 

That two MIDI devices have to agree on which MIDI channel they're communicating on?

The confusing concept that you use PC (Program Change) messages to change presets, and CC (Control Change) messages to control parameters (the knobs you mentioned) within presets?

 

Yes, there's more to it, but not a lot. It's REALLY not rocket science, and none of that will change in MIDI 2.0.

 

Again, I don't want to seem like I'm getting all up in your face about this.

 

The Helix is a very powerful MIDI controller, and with power comes a level of complexity. With ANY technology.

 

If you have ANY questions about using MIDI with Helix, feel free to ask them on this forum. I do MIDI, and I'm always happy to help!

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once I was consulting to Sony, and they asked me to explain how to transfer a finished file from Acid to their MP3 player using Windows, so they could publish it online. They said "you can do it in 3 steps, it will take only a few minutes to write it up."

 

I submitted a document with 20+ steps. They were really upset. "We said to keep it short!!"

 

So I said, "Tell me what steps I can take out, and I'll revise it. No charge." Of course, every step was required.

 

As soon as you get a computer involved - yes, Mac or Windows - matters get complicated. Although I agree all this stuff isn't rocket science, and with a little time spent learning how the MIDI protocol works, it becomes clear. But, matters could be simplified considerably. This is something where AI may be invaluable. 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 6:02 PM, rd2rk said:

 

MIDI 2.0 still doesn't eliminate the necessity for you, as the performer, to tweak all of those settings, it just makes them visible and tweakable in the same way that HX Edit or BTS does. There'll still be preset providers for them that hate tweaking and preset haters who'll tweak their hearts out!

 

A good analogy is cars. These days, you turn the key, press the accelerator, it starts, and then where it goes is up to you. But you no longer have to get out your feeler gauge, adjust the points, set the valve clearance, rotate the carburetor to optimize the timing, check the oil, and then decide where you want to go.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay....finally after re-reading all the responses in this thread about 10 times I think I may be closing in on what the OP might be distressed about...so bear with me.

No one in the world would ever argue that MIDI is not an arcane protocol.  That doesn't mean it's not useful and quite powerful in what it can accomplish.  I think it's safe to say that those defending MIDI here long ago encountered and mastered an understanding of this arcane protocol, but a new user's viewpoint is probably not overly different than what we all thought when we first encountered it, or even when we first tried to understand the MIDI implementation used in the Helix, which I will agree is somewhat confusing when compared to the rest of the MIDI world.

Let's take one example.  Many DAWs and many peripheral MIDI controller units have incorporated a way that a DAW can, through the process of discovery, configure itself to respond to a specific MIDI command being sent to it.  For example, yesterday morning I was working with a Kontakt sample library for a pedal steel guitar I had configured on a track in Ableton Live.  On that Kontakt interface I right clicked on the pedal steel volume knob on the screen and it gave me the option of setting which control on my Launchkey MIDI controller I wanted to use to control the MIDI value for the pedal steel volume parameter in the DAW.  I turned the knob back and forth a few times and voila..that was configured so that I could manage that parameter when recording and playing back that MIDI track in the DAW.  Ableton Live itself does most of it's configuration in the same way when dealing with controllers or input sources.  So it's really not so much about the MIDI protocol as it is about the configuration of how those MIDI configuration interactions are handled.

Is it possible the Helix could have a similar way of discovering how to control or respond to a peripheral unit?  Probably.  My guess is it would take a fairly serious commitment on the part of Line 6 to do such a thing, but it's not something that's out of the range of what the Helix or any modeler is capable of.  It just hasn't been a priority in the guitar modeling world.  It's been much easier to just implement in the old way of a human being doing the research and keying it all in because that's pretty much the way it's always been done.  Even if it was nothing more than maintaining a dictionary of MIDI commands for various common peripheral equipment you can simply pick from to configure it in the same way as Morningstar MIDI controllers do, that would still be a major step forward.

Certainly MIDI 2.0 will simplify this type of interaction, but it is, in fact, in use today through some fancy interface trickery.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"LEARN", while not implemented in a consistent fashion, has been around for a long time.

I don't see L6 making the effort to implement it though.

There's a problem with NOTEs that's been around for ages.

Who knows, though. They sometimes surprise us with small fixes and improvements that don't even get mentioned in the update notes.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/29/2022 at 3:43 AM, DunedinDragon said:

So it's really not so much about the MIDI protocol as it is about the configuration of how those MIDI configuration interactions are handled.

Thank you

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I just got hung up on the title of this thread... "why has guitar innovation lagged behind everything else".

I just don't see it that way at all. Guitar innovation shares the same pain as other "hardware".... nobody is running away with simplicity when it comes to the original MIDI spec. 

 

It's MIDI that has lagged behind and Craig has addressed that already in this thread with the discussion of MIDI 2.0

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 8:33 PM, rd2rk said:

Well, memory might be one thing you can blame on age - I sort of remember 1978... I was in California and... and...

Well...that's a bit better than me.  I remember 1972. my first year in college, as one long session of black light posters and lava lamps.....

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/29/2022 at 9:39 AM, DunedinDragon said:

Well...that's a bit better than me.  I remember 1972. my first year in college, as one long session of black light posters and lava lamps.....

My first year in college was 1969 and I barely remember anything. As they say, if you remember the '60s you weren't really there......

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/29/2022 at 1:33 AM, rd2rk said:

Well, memory might be one thing you can blame on age - I sort of remember 1978... I was in California and... and...

 

I was an art student in 1968 - it's all a blur to me now, but I do remember discovering open tunings... Oh, and then I dropped out (typical).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 12:10 PM, pianoguyy said:

 

 

And here's a hum dinger... I have been a full time professional musician for 37 years. 

But I am not yet 50. 

 

 

Well let's see, 50 - 37 = 13. If that is true, it would mean you've been playing professionally, full time, since you were 12 years old if not earlier. It also means you are not who I thought you were.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Traditionally, guitarists don't like change. I'll keep the reasons why to myself, suffice to say, the Fender Jaguar was "too complicated" for the first 35 years of it's existence for most.

I've been using a MIDI controlled, rack mounted rig since the early '90s, which still scares my mates.

All that's actually changed since then, is the new stuff is quieter and you don't get back ache editing presets.

 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/29/2022 at 11:52 AM, brue58ski said:

 

Well let's see, 50 - 37 = 13. If that is true, it would mean you've been playing professionally, full time, since you were 12 years old if not earlier. It also means you are not who I thought you were.

 

Who'd you think he was?...;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 1:32 PM, ichasedx said:

Hello to all,

  I've been resisting the temptation to write this, but my first attempt to connect external pedals via midi, prompted this post. Yeah, I know, for all you savy tech guys it's elementary. Im 61 and spent the last year and a half, (covid), setting aside my amps, and learning most of the Helix's functions, except of course the Midi thing!  Now my rant... why is the technology of guitar players lagging so far behind most every other instrument? When was the last time a keyboard player had to deal with a Moog monophonic synth with tons of patch cables? Look at the technology at some new keyboards.. awesome. But here were are, programming our equipment like it's a Realistic TRS-80, or and IBM XT back in the 80's? I do appreciate the Helix for what it is... but compared to almost every single thing we come in contact with on a daily basis, the technology we are using, should go the way of rotary dial phones! I have seen posts where, after a software update, users are doing verbal cartwheels in praise of a mediocre addition. I appreciate this site and Line 6 for it's customer support, this forum is a real jewel, and I thank you all for your assistance. I'll figure out midi, ( I never used the command center either, so it's another bump in the road), but here we are in the days of asking "Alexa" and turning our lights on with a verbal command, but my beloved guitar rig comparatively is in the dark...

Mike

 

I don't like programing midi that much. I have been doing it since the 1980s, so it's not a big deal, but it can be a lot of grunt work on some stuff....I really like Source Audio pedals for this...the neural hub makes setting those things up quite a bit easier than traditional stuff...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/28/2022 at 12:45 PM, rd2rk said:

MIDI tech is coming closer and closer to eliminating the NEED for other instruments in any but the highest levels of performance in an acoustic environment (symphony orchestras, jazz in intimate settings, etc)

I don't think Midi (through the din connector) has improved or changed much since its inception.  Instruments that use midi have simply started to take advantage of the unused controller data that was left fallow for many many years. Truly advanced guitar synth products have completely sidestepped midi altogether to avoid its relatively low speed. It's fine for triggering sampled instruments telling the instrument which sample to play at what velocity, channel, duration and what controllers are being sent.  Get too many of those controllers going to the instrument and the whole transmission system bogs down. So even if some new keyboard is capable of receiving lots of control messages to make it more expressive, midi itself throws a wrench in the works.  I do wonder what trickery Seaboard is using on their instruments to make them to be so expressive. The Roli Seaboard instruments are not normal midi instruments though.  I'm not sure they even have midi ports - just USB.

 

As for the Helix and technologies like it, I don't think it's all that easy to map out and replicate ALL of the tactile things that happen between a guitar and an amp.  I think it is still a "work in progress".  I gotta say though, I recently got a NuX MG30 and right out of the box, its tactile response feels better than the Helix.  I liked the Fender, Vox, Marshall and Dr. Z models immediately with very minimal tweaking. I'm getting bright but non-fizzy amp sounds that I didn't really have to work too hard to get.  It's giving me some of the sounds that I've been struggling to get from the Helix. I find its EQs and compressors more effective and its effects more pleasant to hear. 

 

I'm keeping the Helix because it still does things that the MG30 can't at its price range and size limits.  But if NuX builds something akin to the Helix in size and capability...

I'm not saying this last bit to cause trouble. This is simply my current experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure I quite get this. Although I've never messed with midi for guitar pedals, using a midi floor controller etc. I use midi a lot though as I also play synths, mostly analogue  and use virtual drums. Everything has its place I guess.

 

It's pretty cool the Helix can send midi commands though.

 

At some point I aim to get the Zivix Jamstick Studio so I can play string instrument patches with guitar style articulation.

 

Midi 2.0 will eventually find its way into hardware but I've not really got a use case in mind for it as of now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/29/2022 at 3:43 AM, DunedinDragon said:

Even if it was nothing more than maintaining a dictionary of MIDI commands for various common peripheral equipment you can simply pick from to configure it in the same way as Morningstar MIDI controllers do, that would still be a major step forward.

My initial thought was implementing something similar to the way we used to have to add printers, modems etc to our computers years ago. Why not in the Helix, have under the "Midi" menu an option to add a device, then, ( since we are connected to the computer via HXedit,) visit the devices website to download  the correct, Midi driver, commands. A thumbnail view.

Thanks again for understanding

Mike

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/30/2022 at 9:48 AM, ichasedx said:

My initial thought was implementing something similar to the way we used to have to add printers, modems etc to our computers years ago. Why not in the Helix, have under the "Midi" menu an option to add a device, then, ( since we are connected to the computer via HXedit,) visit the devices website to download  the correct, Midi driver, commands. A thumbnail view.

Thanks again for understanding

Mike

 

Unfortunately there's really no such thing as a "MIDI driver"...they're just different definitions for  what a device is capable of and there's no real standard there in order to import it.  But it can be managed as a MIDI dictionary that's compiled and maintained as part of the Helix firmware or separately as data in HX Edit.

 

I think the most ideal situation for the Helix would be similar to the way things are implemented in the Morningstar series of MIDI controllers.  You would pre-configure in global settings what MIDI devices you want to control and what channels they're on.  When you select a MIDI action in Helix you would have the option of selecting the action you want it to perform from a drop down menu in which you select the the device, and the specific action to perform then you simply enter the appropriate value.  Unfortunately the Helix's MIDI implementation is very rudimentary so it doesn't really allow multiple commands in a single action.  So there's still a lot of room for improvement in the Helix for being a viable, full-fledged MIDI controller.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...