How To Play EDM On Your Guitar

Reader Jesse Gilsbach (3rd Earth) made this video to demonstrate how guitarists can play EDM and other of electronic music, using a standard guitar.

Gilsbach uses a Roland GK-3 pickup, connected to a Roland GR-55 guitar synthesizer. This is connected via USB to his computer, running Ableton Live 8.


27 thoughts on “How To Play EDM On Your Guitar

  1. I wonder if there’s polyphonic audio to midi converter as VST plugin..? Ditching the Roland gear would save worth Mopho keyboard.

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    • I used to play with TS-AudiotoMidi, but I don’t know if its still supported.

      I have tryed many others like Widi, Midi Mic, Guitar Synth, Midikonv, Musiciendoz, Junction, Audiotomidi, but I did not find them as great (most of the time because of lag).

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  2. The thing with this midi converters is, the tracking is so bad that you may as well use a keyboard, even if you are a lousy keyboarder like me, it’s still easier than to fiddle with the tracking.

    btw. I found the ipad midi guitar app better for tracking than the hardware roland pickup/converter options. But it still sucks.

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  3. It s unreal to play fast parts via midi. Gr55 sounds are playable I have one. I can record the same guitar to daw vid But I wonder his playing without latency.

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  4. I have 3 friends who play GRs; if I was a guitarist, I’d do likewise. The strengths far outweigh the lacks. Only a brave few like David Torn, Adrian Belew and Michael Brook seem to have explored it much. EDM should be easy to manage with a system that can stretch in pretty much any direction you like, from orchestral strings to robot indigestion.

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  5. I dont get it.. starting samples is so much easier by using a keyboard then running on one guitar site up and down…

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    • Just showing it can be done Qtron, everyone has their own ways my friend.

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  6. Although I not play around ith the guitarist find this video inspiring and clearly presented. I enjoyed watching it. It is so cool what we can accomplish when we take the time to explore our gear. For instance, I gave my 2 & half yr. old daughter a little cheap yamaha keyboard and I need up concocting some cool riffs while playing it upside down. Anyway, I thought the video was funny when the guy said he was playing with massive, that massive came with 3000 presets, and from what I understood, he went ahead and got the trance and related sound sets…I just can’t get enough, I just can’t get enough! Love it!

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  7. I’m the developer of one of the iPhone apps that does audio to midi (Audio MIDI Connect). There’s also MIDI Guitar, noted above, and I expect a few others in the app store that I don’t know about. Thumbjam can also do pitch detection. I’ve tried a few VSTs, but have not been thrilled by any of them.

    The killer in any app like this is the latency; for a guitar note, it takes a fraction of a second before the pitch becomes stable enough for accurate detection — you can either guess (and be wrong some of the time), or have lag. The apps all “work” for playing at moderate speed; I use the app primarily for transcribing. When I record, I can compensate for the lag in the DAW (I don’t listen to the synth live, as it would screw up my timing). On a keyboard, when a relay closes, there’s not question about which key was pressed; for audio processing, you need a couple of full waves first before you have any chance of knowing the pitch (and woe to you if there are lots of harmonics in the audio, and the note is getting bent).

    There are a number of hardware solutions, which are all better if you can afford them. I had a chance to buy a Roland G-303 back in the late 1980s, and like a fool, I passed on that. There’s not any piece of gear I regret more than that (well, ok, there was an early Paul Reed Smith before Paul Reed Smith became well known; I should have sold my car and gotten that). I’ve played the newer GK-3 setups, and I find them to be very impressive; pricey, but with very fast tracking and few glitches.

    I’ve got a Yamaha EZ-AG, which I pull out every once in a while. The chicklet style fret board is not comfortable or very expressive, but it works as a mid-range solution. I’ve got a friend who very much likes his YouRock guitar; I have not played it myself, though.

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  8. I’m looking forward to trying the pitch to midi stuff in Ableton 9 for converting expressive guitar lines. If it accurately tracks pitch bends it will open up some awesome opportunities

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    • Never mind. I see its a roland g55. Does it come with 3000 presets? And how much am i looking at price wise?

      Thanks man

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      • Just realized this was posted here. Ben, I actually don’t use the GR-55 sounds, only VST’s or create MIDI tracks and scroll through all my Synths to find the sound I want. Native Instruments “Massive” was the plugin, I bought it around Christmas and bought a bunch of other sound sets, plus check out DanceMidiSamples.com for more third party sound presets.
        I’ll prove the tracking is awesome soon. Let me create a full track for you guys, building layers live playing with drum and bass tracks.

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  9. Actually, the tracking has come a long way. I wouldn’t of bought it other wise. I will say if you are a new player and make a lot of mistakes, you will trigger bad notes. The GR-55 has a sensitivity meter for each string that you can adjust, plus you can create separate patches with alternate tunings.

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  10. I am grateful to find this convo but the last reply was about a year ago. Ia m wondering if any of you guys have found a polyphonic audio to MIDI software solution that works best. I am a week or so away from possibly buying the FIshman Triple Play physical pickup but am hoping to find a software solution that works just as good.. no.. BETTER.. Why not? I had a convo with a developer at Melodyne and asked about the possibility of a real time polyphonic audio to MIDI release and he said nothing was in sight. I am REALLY not wanting to throw down $400 only to find the obvious, software solution, come upon us in a month.. ANy ideas gents??

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