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Faking guitar strumming on MIDI - any tips? And is it worth it?

Over the last few months, I've been spending more time in the MIDI-only world.

Having played guitar for too many years to count, it sounds like virtual guitars are getting better. But to my ears, virtual guitars sound less convincing than most other categories of instruments. (Not counting vocals.)

I recently got the impulse to fake MIDI chord strumming using arpeggiators, piano rolls, and a clean virtual guitar.

Any tips? And is the juice worth the squeeze?

Thanks

Comments

  • Well nothing ever sounds as real as an actual guitar, but 4pockets MIDI Strummer can doa decent job:

  • If you are going in to battle with standard arps and midi editors the on the whole I’d say you are in for a a lot of work for not much return… assuming you are trying for a real guitar sound.
    As mentioned 4 Pockets Strummer is worth you time and money.
    Or Guitarism lets you strum / tap with your fingers and sounds very good. It has a selection of acoustic and electric guitars. You just have to record the audio… and not expect to get too fancy with the rhythms!
    I’ve managed decent guitar backing with it many times.
    Works in iOS 16… still! But it’s not being developed afaik.

    It has MIDI out … but no MIDI in.

    OMGuitar is still around too… it has some strumming patterns and MIDI in and out.Doesn’t sound quite as good as Guitarism though.

    And that’s about it IMO. Guitars have become virtually extinct in iOS land. There’s Jam Maestro for working with Tabs, and the Yonac Steel Guitar ( ie a lap - slide guitar which is great for that kind of thing )… and of course GeoShred which is a more of a synth/control surface.

    I wish Yonac would would give a standard guitar a shot!

    Probably easier and quicker to plug in an actual guitar. Lol

  • Drambo has one but Im not sure if I should mention it in this thread. Im no guitarist but it is a nice alternative to chords in Drambo. Anyway Ill stop mentioning Drambo now.
    I remember Guitar Capo being neat too, just to change the subject from the D app

  • edited November 23

    @ltf3 said:
    If you are going in to battle with standard arps and midi editors the on the whole I’d say you are in for a a lot of work for not much return… assuming you are trying for a real guitar sound.
    As mentioned 4 Pockets Strummer is worth you time and money.
    Or Guitarism lets you strum / tap with your fingers and sounds very good. It has a selection of acoustic and electric guitars. You just have to record the audio… and not expect to get too fancy with the rhythms!
    I’ve managed decent guitar backing with it many times.
    Works in iOS 16… still! But it’s not being developed afaik.

    It has MIDI out … but no MIDI in.

    OMGuitar is still around too… it has some strumming patterns and MIDI in and out.Doesn’t sound quite as good as Guitarism though.

    And that’s about it IMO. Guitars have become virtually extinct in iOS land. There’s Jam Maestro for working with Tabs, and the Yonac Steel Guitar ( ie a lap - slide guitar which is great for that kind of thing )… and of course GeoShred which is a more of a synth/control surface.

    I wish Yonac would would give a standard guitar a shot!

    Probably easier and quicker to plug in an actual guitar. Lol

    Keep in mind the new Steel Guitar Pro is now MIDI driven so it’s possible to use a keyboard to perform the plucking and then switch to the app itself for strumming and slide guitar. Multiple recording passes on a single track works wonders for simulating a traditional guitar performance.

  • I just picked up GuitarCapo+ the other day and I’m pretty impressed at how playable it is on screen.. especially fingerpicking patterns.. flip the interface so that the guitar strings + sound hole are on the right hand side (for rightys) and shrink the space between the strings.. you can then choose your chords with the left hand (including custom chords) and strum/fingerpick with the right hand.. very naturally.. I like it..
    You can send the midi out to other apps in AUM or AudioBus etc.. great for playing guitar voicings on say a piano..

    There’s also MidiGuitar2 in which you actually play your guitar and it converts it to midi in real time.. tons of fun.. 😁

    Doug’s demo of GuitarCapo+ from 7 years ago.. yes it’s been that long since an update but it works great on my iPad 6 running 16.1.1

  • What platform? iOS only, or other platforms too?

  • FM synth, obviously fake is imo opinion the best way to do it. Can’t get on board with any other way.

  • There’s also ChordUp which lets you strum or fingerpick midi chords. I used to play around with that and it was pretty good. Would probably work well with steel guitar pro.

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/chordup-play-chords/id1058553903

  • Guitarism

  • @richardyot said:
    Well nothing ever sounds as real as an actual guitar, but 4pockets MIDI Strummer can doa decent job:

    Definitely cool for some finger picking stuff, and also GarageBand has some pretty decent strumming options too.

  • I've looked at every option for this kind of functionality. MIDI Strummer is very good but I find the virtual strings too small to be directly playable. By far the best and most playable App for this on IOS is Tonality. It's customisable, genuinely playable and works as an AU Midi effect.

    https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/tonality-music-theory/id1467552236

    Has loads of additional functionality too. Highly recommended👍

  • If you are into hardware the LaunchKeys have a strum feature that utilizes the mod wheel/strip.

  • I hear that the KeyStep has a strum feature. But I have a KeyStep Pro, and last time I checked, it did not have that strum feature.

  • edited November 24

    One of the best simulated guitar apps on iPad used to be the app called "Pearl Guitar", but that one stopped getting updated after it was sold off to an app aggregator company. A shame, because it had some great UI touches which made it unique. For example, it actually had the squeaks you really hear when you change chord shapes on the fretboard and when you slide your finger along the strings. It was a subtle thing, but it really increased the realism.

    Also, I think you're only looking for iOS solutions here, but I bought the modeled guitar app called "Strum GS-2" for macOS desktop (made by AAS) and it has been a pretty good solution for my purposes. My only complaint about it is that it has a limited range on the fretboard, so you can't always get precisely what you want, but in "Keyboard" mode, you actually have the full range of notes available to you so you can work around the limitations.

    https://www.applied-acoustics.com/strum-gs-2/

    And here it is in action:

  • Scaler 2 isn’t to shabby if you set guitar voicing and set a proper performance, along with some velocity/timing randomization.

  • Tonality has a strum feature for playing the pads, either to to record the midi into something , or to play it live.

    Mozaic has a couple good strummer patches

  • @royor said:
    I just picked up GuitarCapo+ the other day and I’m pretty impressed at how playable it is on screen.. especially fingerpicking patterns.. flip the interface so that the guitar strings + sound hole are on the right hand side (for rightys) and shrink the space between the strings.. you can then choose your chords with the left hand (including custom chords) and strum/fingerpick with the right hand.. very naturally.. I like it..
    You can send the midi out to other apps in AUM or AudioBus etc.. great for playing guitar voicings on say a piano..

    There’s also MidiGuitar2 in which you actually play your guitar and it converts it to midi in real time.. tons of fun.. 😁

    Doug’s demo of GuitarCapo+ from 7 years ago.. yes it’s been that long since an update but it works great on my iPad 6 running 16.1.1

    I’ve always liked this app, had it forever, I just wish it had more recent updates.

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