Any MIDI guitar specific synthesizers on iOS?

edited January 2016 in General Vote Up0

I was wondering if anybody's using a guitar with a midi pickup to play the soft synths on their iPads?

One of the oddities about the feel of guitar synthesizers, is how it feels very wrong to play a sound with a long release, and have the sound decay over another note played on the same string. Subconsciously one knows that each string is monophonic, but expects to be able to play chords.

The ideal thing is a multitimbral synthesizer, with 6 monophonic voices, on their own midi channel, and you'd go to the trouble of setting up the guitar midi pickup box to output each string on a separate midi channel (probably 1-6). This adds that you can use pitch bend on each string. Has anyone done this with iOS?

One of the catches is that if you made 6 versions of an AU synth, if you wanted to edit the sound, you'd then have to update all 6 instances, not ideal.

I could see making something like this in Analog Kit, or one of the other modular synth programs, but wondered if there was anything that exists like this already?

Comments

  • 20 Comments sorted by Date Votes
  • If you have separate channels per string, shouldn't it be possible to make a midiflow patch for that?

  • I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing you're after because I'm not knowledgeable enough in this field to know or understand but "MIDI Guitar V2" was released today. It's free as well with a couple of IAPs. There's a review on the Music App Blog. Can't seem to link it for you.

  • Thumbjam has some MIDI magic going on. I imagine you could set up 6 channels each to listen to a different string's MIDI data. Thumbjam's synths are just samples though... not terribly tweakable.

    I would love to know if Auria could be set up to handle this, using 6 instances of the new synths. Now that would be phenomenal :)

  • I have a Fishman Triple Play midi pickup. I have not tried this, but it should be possible. When started in "hardware mode" (hold down the up key on d-pad when powering up) the FTP will send each string on an individual channel. You could use a midi player such as the BS16i which has 16 channels and allows each string to be assigned to a separate channel. This could also work with the Korg iM1.

  • If I'm reading the OP right - the ones I have that could receive on 6 channels are Soundcanvas and Thumbjam. Sample Tank can receive on 4 channels.

  • NanoStudio can be setup to receive on 6 discreet midi channels. You'd have to manually set the polyphony of each Eden instance to "1" though.

    @SecretBaseDesign probably has better answers for you though.

  • I use a TriplePlay live through my Ipad. Only use one channel to keep things simple, but I'm always mixing my guitar synth tone (through either Eden Synth or Magellan) with my normal guitar tone. The blend in dynamics, sometimes with longer releases that only trigger with heavier velocity, allows for some incredible, complex tones.

    The Triple play should allow you to run separate channels for each string, and Eden Synth is probably the best candidate, as Syrupcore mentionef, since it can handle 6 instances efficiently.

    Might need to try it, though Poly and Pitch Bend works just fine in a single channel with the triple play. Can't think of too many times that I'd need separate pitch bend increments on separate strings at the same time.

  • ThumbJam accepts multichannel midi input to control the main instrument without any configuration other than setting input channel to Omni. Other apps that support this include the PPG ones, Arctic Pro, SampleWiz, and hopefully a bunch more once people start implementing MPE support.

  • Thanks for the responses, seems like it's the kind of thing that either requires a tailor made app, or an app that has deep midi features (more likely).

    @Rubooch , Korg iM1 seems promising! I don't have it, but looked at the manual, and it has 8 channel multi-timbrality, and you can assign each voice to be monophonic, under Osc. Basic > Assign > Mono. It also responds to program change messages and CC's. It seems possible some kind of midi controller (possibly with a helper like MIDI flow) could be used to edit the sound in the six voices simultaneously.
    What could be really slick is if it sends MIDI CC's, so say you turn a knob on voice 1, if you use some trickery to loop that midi back into voices 2-6, to essentially slave them to voice 1?
    I will look at the sound canvas app too. Those two are interesting, because they are samplers.

    @syrupcore by any chance can Nanostudio be set up to slave editing of the voices to the first one, or accept program changes?

    @sonosaurus said:
    ThumbJam accepts multichannel midi input to control the main instrument without any configuration other than setting input channel to Omni. Other apps that support this include the PPG ones, Arctic Pro, SampleWiz, and hopefully a bunch more once people start implementing MPE support.

    Omni alone might not solve any of the nuances of MIDI guitar, since most Guitar > MIDI converters, like the Roland systems, or @rad3d 's Triple Play pickup, can happily put out MIDI from all of the strings on a single channel. I remember in the manual for the Roland GI-20 it suggested the multi-channel scenario as being superior, if your sound module (synth/sampler) had advanced enough features to take the separate channels as separate voices. I think that's where the idea of multiple monophonic voices, on a separate MIDI channel for each string came from, so you don't get decaying notes over notes you play on one string, and have pitch bend for each string, so you can do slides and bends.

    It is not a dissimilar problem, to people wanting to use animoog as a MIDI controller, because they like the nuances of the touchscreen keyboard, but run into it not sending separate CC's on separate channels for each key. Same thing with Ondes, it has the theremin like interface, but I think it doesn't work great as a MIDI controller, because you want to be able to use chords, but be able to bend pitch independently, on each of the notes, so it has to put out the different touch points as different midi notes on different midi channels, so that each can have its own pitch bend information attached to it.

  • I understand the distinction, ThumbJam respects the pitchbend and CCs on each channel, it isn't the usual dumb Omni (it's just the setting you need in TJ prefs). The other apps I mention respect them too. As for mono mode, that depends on the patch you choose, although it may or may not work as it should with TJ.

  • @sonosaurus said:
    I understand the distinction, ThumbJam respects the pitchbend and CCs on each channel, it isn't the usual dumb Omni (it's just the setting you need in TJ prefs). The other apps I mention respect them too. As for mono mode, that depends on the patch you choose, although it may or may not work as it should with TJ.

    ThumbJam is still the best midi controller in general for iOS i think. A kind of MPE switch on/off like some synths offers (Equator, Aalto and Kaivo f.e.) would be a nice option.
    When ThumbJam now would add 3D touch and would have assignable midi cc´s for all the axis it would be the virtual seaboard, linnstrument etc. of iOS. I doubt Roli will add midi out for their app because it eaten in their seaboard marge maybe thena bit.
    I still hope for an iPad with 3D touch because this will open maybe developers interest in such things.
    Maybe it will also bring up more tools like the above mentioned Eqautor synth (or the little Noise 5D port).
    Those things are THE future..... at least for me. I mean when proramming sound for those tools it can get easy out of control because you can change so many parameters with one finger but once you get used to it it´s like magic and i never want to go back to a "static" modulation.
    Think of Animoog makes a child with Alchemy and the child got some gamma rays on top.......

  • Couldn't agree more about the midi controller power of TJ... I think the quality of the samples and the "gee whiz" first experience sometimes obscures the deep power lurking under the surface. TJ is a shoo-in IOS Hall of Fame app on the first ballot.

  • @Processaurus said: @syrupcore by any chance can Nanostudio be set up to slave editing of the voices to the first one, or accept program changes?

    It can't be set up to slave editing of the voices but yes it accepts standard program changes.

  • @sonosaurus said:
    I understand the distinction, ThumbJam respects the pitchbend and CCs on each channel, it isn't the usual dumb Omni (it's just the setting you need in TJ prefs). The other apps I mention respect them too. As for mono mode, that depends on the patch you choose, although it may or may not work as it should with TJ.

    interesting, about the "smart omni". I have sample wiz, and just tried it with Ondes, outputting multiple channels for each note/finger, and it worked great, for pitch bend on individual notes in a chord.

    Doesn't do anything for the same string monophonic voices, but could still work nice, with sounds with a short release. Possibly something like polyphonic legato (a rare feature) could take the place of a distinct monophonic voice per string/per midi channel.

  • edited March 21 Vote Up0

    Haven't gotten it yet, but Layr is looking like it has all of the fixings to be a great guitar synth. Because it is multi timbral, you could set up a synth per string, on their own midi channel, and make them each monophonic with legato.

    The special thing layr has, that the others don't, out of the box, is that it can gang the controls for the stack of synths, so you can edit all the strings synths at once, as a group, or individually.

  • @Processaurus said:
    Haven't gotten it yet, but Layr is looking like it has all of the fixings to be a great guitar synth. Because it is multi timbral, you could set up a synth per string, on their own midi channel, and make them each monophonic with legato.

    The special thing layr has, that the others don't, out of the box, is that it can gang the controls for the stack of synths, so you can edit all the strings synths at once, as a group, or individually.

    I mentioned this to LayR dev, who was intrigued by the thought but also concluded that indeed LayR would be a great match for midi guitar. He also added:

    "...a little known LayR feature, is that Pitch Bend only affects the notes that are currently held down. This enables you to ring out sounds with long releases and continue to play with pitch bend without affecting the notes that are still ringing but not actually being played."

    That in turn had my mind rushing both when it comes to general possibilities within LayR, but also when it comes to how I can set up both pitchbends and an MPE like setup within AUM or similar already today, for midi guitar. Need to do some experimenting now. :smiley:

  • @hellquist said:

    @Processaurus said:
    Haven't gotten it yet, but Layr is looking like it has all of the fixings to be a great guitar synth. Because it is multi timbral, you could set up a synth per string, on their own midi channel, and make them each monophonic with legato.

    The special thing layr has, that the others don't, out of the box, is that it can gang the controls for the stack of synths, so you can edit all the strings synths at once, as a group, or individually.

    I mentioned this to LayR dev, who was intrigued by the thought but also concluded that indeed LayR would be a great match for midi guitar. He also added:

    "...a little known LayR feature, is that Pitch Bend only affects the notes that are currently held down. This enables you to ring out sounds with long releases and continue to play with pitch bend without affecting the notes that are still ringing but not actually being played."

    That in turn had my mind rushing both when it comes to general possibilities within LayR, but also when it comes to how I can set up both pitchbends and an MPE like setup within AUM or similar already today, for midi guitar. Need to do some experimenting now. :smiley:

    Are you going to us

  • Sorry - -

    @hellquist

    Meant to ask "use s MIDI pickup or an app like MIDI Guitar 2.." to drive LayR?

  • @heybail said:
    Sorry - -

    @hellquist

    Meant to ask "use s MIDI pickup or an app like MIDI Guitar 2.." to drive LayR?

    Midi Guitar 2 in my case. I wonder when they will push out the update with the new stuff that has gone into the desktop version. When I asked them on FB they said iOS would get an update with "most" of the new stuff.

  • @hellquist

    Thanks .. I finally got MIDI Guitar2 after balking at the price for a long time .. it may be pricy in relation to other apps, but for what it does .. and in comparison to any hardware solution ; seems a good deal after using it for just a day.
    Had success with Animoog, Model 15 .. and various Gadgets. Don't have LayR ..

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