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Guitar sounds in IOS - which way to go?

Hi guys,

I love this forum for all the useful advice and feedback I have received so far, but this is only the second time I dare to make an own topic. So:

I started my iOS music making one and a half years ago with Korg Gadget. After trying almost every imaginable genre, and loving the possibilities, I've finally come back to my "origins", rock music:

Made completely in Gadget, with a bit of Grand Finale treatment.

So, I'd like to to more rock music from now on. But rock music, let's face it, is guitar music... Obviously, here is where my problem starts: As you can hear, if you bother to do so, there are two "borrowed" guitar loops in the piece, and a lead "guitar" which is of course a synth (iMonoPoly). So, the possibilities in Gadget are a bit limited here. I'm thinking about changing to a different DAW. Cubasis would be my choice at the moment, but that is not set in stone.

So, here is my question, or my humble request for advice: How do I play / produce legit guitar sounds on iOS, considering that I don't have a guitar, and I can't play it (I'm only a crappy keyboard noodler)?
Is there one app, or several apps, which you guys can recommend? For strumming, picking, leads, the whole package? Which ways do you go to get guitar sounds (except playing a real one, of course)? I would love to get some tips from you guys. Thanks a lot!

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Comments

  • Nice track, I enjoyed listening to it.

    The best lead guitar sounds I've heard are from the Stadium Rock IAP pack in Roli Noise, you can use them in GarageBand or Cubasis with the Roli MPE virtual keyboard (which is nicely expressive) for some pretty convincing leads and solos. Geoshred is also pretty good though (although for me the Roli app sounds more convincing).

    Rhythm guitar is bit harder to do convincingly, I've heard people get some good results with Jam Maestro though. Otherwise the SessionBand apps have some decent loops that can be time-stretched. There's also Guitarism, but that's more for acoustic than rock guitar. Also ChordBot has lots of rhythm guitar patterns that can be exported as audio or MIDI for mangling or distorting elsewhere.

  • This track has a mixture of real guitars and virtual ones, most of the guitars are real recorded guitar parts sampled and sequenced in NS2, but the solo that comes in at 2'30" is from the Roli Noise app:

  • edited June 26

    I recommend buying some cheap guitar and learning to play it at least a bit. You can get away with a lot as a beginner when you record short loops over and over again till you get them to sound good. You could also record some guitar noises or maybe sample single notes, where you dont really need to know how to play it properly to get some fun/use out of it. You could find some good enough starter guitar used for under a 100€ and you could use ios amp simulators, so you dont really even need an amp, just some way to input guitar to ipad

  • Guitarism is pretty neat. It has this 3 part midi output that can be a lot of fun with a few synths to back up your guitar part.

  • Nice track! There is the guitar in Garage band that can do some preset riff with the auto play feature.

  • Famous 'guitar on keyboard' fakers: Jan Hammer, Infected Mushroom
    The trick is to get some idea about the guitar 'expression' - but not to try to play guitar on keyboards (which doesn't work out of course).

    Powerchord like sounds may be simplyfied by setting 4th, 5th and octaves in the voicing by midi. Play a single note and the other parts are added by midi automatically.

    Don't mind guitar samples, but use a typical guitar amp/cabinet simulation.
    Simple FM-synth sounds work great (and quite convincing) with overdriven amp stages.
    (you pick FM sounds with attack and release values similiar to a plucked string and possibly add some 'noise' to fake the string hit)
    In case you know Snap's 'I got the Power': the main 'guitar riff' is a (tweaked) General Midi sound from a very early Roland midi device (MT32 afaik).

  • As you are in Gadget, do you have, and have you tried Madrid played in the upper octaves ?

  • @LeonKowalski said:
    Hi guys,

    I love this forum for all the useful advice and feedback I have received so far, but this is only the second time I dare to make an own topic. So:

    I started my iOS music making one and a half years ago with Korg Gadget. After trying almost every imaginable genre, and loving the possibilities, I've finally come back to my "origins", rock music:

    Made completely in Gadget, with a bit of Grand Finale treatment.

    So, I'd like to to more rock music from now on. But rock music, let's face it, is guitar music... Obviously, here is where my problem starts: As you can hear, if you bother to do so, there are two "borrowed" guitar loops in the piece, and a lead "guitar" which is of course a synth (iMonoPoly). So, the possibilities in Gadget are a bit limited here. I'm thinking about changing to a different DAW. Cubasis would be my choice at the moment, but that is not set in stone.

    So, here is my question, or my humble request for advice: How do I play / produce legit guitar sounds on iOS, considering that I don't have a guitar, and I can't play it (I'm only a crappy keyboard noodler)?
    Is there one app, or several apps, which you guys can recommend? For strumming, picking, leads, the whole package? Which ways do you go to get guitar sounds (except playing a real one, of course)? I would love to get some tips from you guys. Thanks a lot!

    I actually did a new style jam today with Steel Guitar and GeoShred.

    Geoshred power chords triggered by Circuit and played the Steel app while drums came from Circuit and Bass from Mono Station and a bass drone sample from Mode Audio.

    Sounded good.

    Guitarscaper is a fun beautiful app for ambient stuff.

  • @LeonKowalski said:
    Hi guys,

    I love this forum for all the useful advice and feedback I have received so far, but this is only the second time I dare to make an own topic. So:

    I started my iOS music making one and a half years ago with Korg Gadget. After trying almost every imaginable genre, and loving the possibilities, I've finally come back to my "origins", rock music:

    Made completely in Gadget, with a bit of Grand Finale treatment.

    So, I'd like to to more rock music from now on. But rock music, let's face it, is guitar music... Obviously, here is where my problem starts: As you can hear, if you bother to do so, there are two "borrowed" guitar loops in the piece, and a lead "guitar" which is of course a synth (iMonoPoly). So, the possibilities in Gadget are a bit limited here. I'm thinking about changing to a different DAW. Cubasis would be my choice at the moment, but that is not set in stone.

    So, here is my question, or my humble request for advice: How do I play / produce legit guitar sounds on iOS, considering that I don't have a guitar, and I can't play it (I'm only a crappy keyboard noodler)?
    Is there one app, or several apps, which you guys can recommend? For strumming, picking, leads, the whole package? Which ways do you go to get guitar sounds (except playing a real one, of course)? I would love to get some tips from you guys. Thanks a lot!

    You can stay inside Gadget when using Stockholm and a good collection of REX guitar loops. Always more real sounding than almost any guitar sample library. With short riffs extracted from a loop, a lot can be done, including re-pitching and giving it a different rhythm.

  • @LeonKowalski and @richardyot
    These are both beautiful songs! I've enjoyed listening.

  • In answer your query Leon I haven't a clue but I'll tell you about my mother!

  • I agree with @ToMess and even a relatively cheap guitar (if you can afford it) is really worth considering. I was super surprised at how legit it could sound just chopping and tweaking my ham fisted guitar plunks and blats. If I were to go down on a similar path on iOS I would try sampling with BM3 with my own recorded guitar.

    The track sounds really inspired and I could imagine rad doll simulated goats being launched out of cannons etc.

  • I recall back in BM2 days Ryan Hemeon built an awesome sample set of (his?) Yamaha Pacifica... It would render good results...
    Add to that steel guitar, Geoshred, and to add to the FM synthesis suggestion, some karplus strong (STRNG, Caustic) synthesis.

    Oh... Echo Guitar has some awesome strumming and fingering patterns:
    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/echo-guitar-pro/id467568511

    Here's an old demo of Ryan playing BM2 using Guitarism:

  • Also,... get a decent inexpensive guitar (like a squier classic vibe or similar) and start practicing. Never too late. Even if it takes you 2 years to get decent those two years will fly by regardless.

    I’m mainly a keyboardist but have dabbled in guitars forever, rhythm only, and started really plugging away 2-3 months ago and even though i’m light years from where i want to be i have improved greatly and am more obsessed.

  • @LeonKowalski : the guitar instruments in GarageBand can be effective for some things.

  • edited June 26

    First of all: Thanks so much, guys, for all the great feedback! Much more than I ever expected!

    So, seems that there is no simple solution that I just have overlooked so far, but a lot of ideas to explore...

  • @richardyot said:
    Nice track, I enjoyed listening to it.

    Thank you, great to read that!

    The best lead guitar sounds I've heard are from the Stadium Rock IAP pack in Roli Noise, you can use them in GarageBand or Cubasis with the Roli MPE virtual keyboard (which is nicely expressive) for some pretty convincing leads and solos. Geoshred is also pretty good though (although for me the Roli app sounds more convincing).

    Rhythm guitar is bit harder to do convincingly, I've heard people get some good results with Jam Maestro though. Otherwise the SessionBand apps have some decent loops that can be time-stretched. There's also Guitarism, but that's more for acoustic than rock guitar. Also ChordBot has lots of rhythm guitar patterns that can be exported as audio or MIDI for mangling or distorting elsewhere.

    So, obviously there are no single apps to do it all, but lots of ideas. At least nothing to just program into some kind of piano roll, which has been my modus operandi so far...

    Admittedly I own almost all of these apps. Even the Stadium Rock IAP in Noise. Just revisited it. Seems like I might get some good solo lines out of it. Guitarism, I used it with my phone to shred the "Highway to hell" and "Hocus Pocus" riffs (good party fun for older people like me). Maybe I can learn it a bit better and play some proper rhythm lines. I got some nice sounds out of Klevgrs "Stark", so the combination might sound well. I assume that the purists will say that it sounds too "digital", but whatever... Time to also revisit Chordbot, which I mainly used for piano stuff so far.

    So, thanks again!

  • @ToMess said:
    I recommend buying some cheap guitar and learning to play it at least a bit. You can get away with a lot as a beginner when you record short loops over and over again till you get them to sound good. You could also record some guitar noises or maybe sample single notes, where you dont really need to know how to play it properly to get some fun/use out of it. You could find some good enough starter guitar used for under a 100€ and you could use ios amp simulators, so you dont really even need an amp, just some way to input guitar to ipad

    Thanks a lot! I feared that someone might propose that... 😁 It's obviously the best advice, but I don't know if I'll ever find the time to learn another instrument...

  • @Telefunky said:
    Famous 'guitar on keyboard' fakers: Jan Hammer, Infected Mushroom
    The trick is to get some idea about the guitar 'expression' - but not to try to play guitar on keyboards (which doesn't work out of course).

    Powerchord like sounds may be simplyfied by setting 4th, 5th and octaves in the voicing by midi. Play a single note and the other parts are added by midi automatically.

    Don't mind guitar samples, but use a typical guitar amp/cabinet simulation.
    Simple FM-synth sounds work great (and quite convincing) with overdriven amp stages.
    (you pick FM sounds with attack and release values similiar to a plucked string and possibly add some 'noise' to fake the string hit)
    In case you know Snap's 'I got the Power': the main 'guitar riff' is a (tweaked) General Midi sound from a very early Roland midi device (MT32 afaik).

    Great tips, thanks a lot! I just tried some FM sounds with "Stark" and got some nice picking arpeggio and guitar solo sounds. With the power chord shredding, I'm not quite there (actually I know how to play them with two fingers... easier for me than all the midi stuff...😊😬)

  • @AndyPlankton said:
    As you are in Gadget, do you have, and have you tried Madrid played in the upper octaves ?

    Yup, right now. Some interesting stuff, never thought of it, thank you!

  • I actually did a new style jam today with Steel Guitar and GeoShred.

    Geoshred power chords triggered by Circuit and played the Steel app while drums came from Circuit and Bass from Mono Station and a bass drone sample from Mode Audio.

    Sounded good.

    Guitarscaper is a fun beautiful app for ambient stuff.

    Thanks very much! I know Geoshred and Guitarscaper, but with the former I couldn't get comfortable, and the latter doesn't fit what I'm aiming for (also it's very nice). I don't know the other stuff. Not iOS, I assume?

  • @rs2000 said:
    @LeonKowalski and @richardyot
    These are both beautiful songs! I've enjoyed listening.

    Thanks a lot!

    About Stockholm, it's the only gadget I haven't purchased so far. Had no idea how to use it, and that there are rex files with guitar loops out there. I might have to take another look.

  • @DJK said:
    In answer your query Leon I haven't a clue but I'll tell you about my mother!

    😆

  • @AudioGus said:
    I agree with @ToMess and even a relatively cheap guitar (if you can afford it) is really worth considering. I was super surprised at how legit it could sound just chopping and tweaking my ham fisted guitar plunks and blats. If I were to go down on a similar path on iOS I would try sampling with BM3 with my own recorded guitar.

    The track sounds really inspired and I could imagine rad doll simulated goats being launched out of cannons etc.

    Thanks man. Another advice to learn to really play guitar? If only one more guy tells me to do that, I might seriously have to consider it...

  • @stemshade said:
    Also,... get a decent inexpensive guitar (like a squier classic vibe or similar) and start practicing. Never too late. Even if it takes you 2 years to get decent those two years will fly by regardless.

    I’m mainly a keyboardist but have dabbled in guitars forever, rhythm only, and started really plugging away 2-3 months ago and even though i’m light years from where i want to be i have improved greatly and am more obsessed.

    Uh-oh....

    😆

  • @senhorlampada said:
    I recall back in BM2 days Ryan Hemeon built an awesome sample set of (his?) Yamaha Pacifica... It would render good results...
    Add to that steel guitar, Geoshred, and to add to the FM synthesis suggestion, some karplus strong (STRNG, Caustic) synthesis.

    Oh... Echo Guitar has some awesome strumming and fingering patterns:
    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/echo-guitar-pro/id467568511

    Here's an old demo of Ryan playing BM2 using Guitarism:

    Thanks a lot! Now I'm really looking forward to revisiting Guitarism!

  • @LeonKowalski said:

    @rs2000 said:
    @LeonKowalski and @richardyot
    These are both beautiful songs! I've enjoyed listening.

    Thanks a lot!

    About Stockholm, it's the only gadget I haven't purchased so far. Had no idea how to use it, and that there are rex files with guitar loops out there. I might have to take another look.

    It's one of the few IAPs that I've purchased actually. Creating your own REX files requires a Mac or Win machine with the ReCycle app, otherwise search for "REX Guitar Loops" and you'll find loads of libraries and free stuff for download. Stockholm is also the only gadget that remotely reminds me of what I would call a sampler (or better, a sample player with a synth-like engine) in Gadget.

  • @ecou, @BroCoast, @espiegel123:

    Also thanks a lot, guys!

  • @LeonKowalski said:

    @AudioGus said:
    I agree with @ToMess and even a relatively cheap guitar (if you can afford it) is really worth considering. I was super surprised at how legit it could sound just chopping and tweaking my ham fisted guitar plunks and blats. If I were to go down on a similar path on iOS I would try sampling with BM3 with my own recorded guitar.

    The track sounds really inspired and I could imagine rad doll simulated goats being launched out of cannons etc.

    Thanks man. Another advice to learn to really play guitar? If only one more guy tells me to do that, I might seriously have to consider it...

    I am saying you can just make sounds with the guitar and then slice and dice it to fit. No need to 'really' play. :)

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