Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

  1. #1

    Default eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Hello, Dear MandoCafe members,

    Please excuse me, if this concern was already addressed, but using the search feature didn't help so far.

    I have an 8 string eMando (alongside my acoustic, in which I started the mandolin journey)

    My question is, is there anyway to use the eMando as a Midi Controller?

    I looked at pickups like Fishman TriplePlay, but the company told me that it wouldn't really work on a Mandolin.

    I can remove 4 strings, of course. But I would like to know if anyone has been successful in finding a setup that let us use the mando as a controller.

    Thanks and Regards
    Krishnan

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,720

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    I’ve wondered about using a Roland GK-3 with my Mandostrat and GR-55 synth. I think your first problem will be using paired strings. Any slight differences in tuning are likely to confuse things.

  3. The following members say thank you to Ray(T) for this post:


  4. #3
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,907

    Question Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    I have a 4 string I added RMC in bridge pickups to it , RMC Supplies Godin..

    instrument has an 8 conductor patch cable (6 guitar pickup signals + 2 extras
    to 'Polydrive 2' .. that RMC made Black Box has 1/4" out , preamp from the in-bridge pieces,
    with a 13pin Roland Guitar synth socket for that cable..

    the guitar synth pedalboard has the 2_5 pin MIDI connectors ...

    with that you can also use the sounds and amp-speakers in a MIDI enabled keyboard..


    Have a 5 string I never play .. anymore.. similarly equipped ..

    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  5. The following members say thank you to mandroid for this post:


  6. #4

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    The main challenge might be finding a poly pickup where the poles lie under your courses. Of course, you can find one where the pitch is larger than yours and install it on a diagonal.

    The next big challenge is the pitch range, but that's more a matter of the software than the pickup per se.

    Making it 4 string might well make it trigger more reliably, but might not be an issue so I'd try it with all 8 at first, unless this particular mando will be dedicated solely as a MIDI device.

    Did they say why the Fishman wouldn't work?

  7. #5

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Thank you for your response!

    Hello again-

    Tripleplay was designed for 6 string guitar. So each magnet on the pickup is designed to be spaced centered directly under each string....I suppose if you really wanted to try it on mandolin you could? But I really don't think it is going to perform well. You have double strings on a mandolin, which would likely result in double and ghost midi notes....string spacing would not match etc. I might suggest getting a cheap Squier or similar to install it on instead?

    We do not have any plans currently for a mandolin version of Tripleplay., but we appreciate your interest!


    This was the message I recieved from them.

  8. #6

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    This is okay, I can remove 4 strings. I want to use my GDAE knowledge to play other sounds, that was my main goal.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    I’ve wondered about using a Roland GK-3 with my Mandostrat and GR-55 synth. I think your first problem will be using paired strings. Any slight differences in tuning are likely to confuse things.
    This is okay, I can remove 4 strings. I want to use my GDAE knowledge to play other sounds, that was my main goal.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffLearman View Post
    The main challenge might be finding a poly pickup where the poles lie under your courses. Of course, you can find one where the pitch is larger than yours and install it on a diagonal.

    The next big challenge is the pitch range, but that's more a matter of the software than the pickup per se.

    Making it 4 string might well make it trigger more reliably, but might not be an issue so I'd try it with all 8 at first, unless this particular mando will be dedicated solely as a MIDI device.

    Did they say why the Fishman wouldn't work?
    Thank you for your response!

    Hello again-

    Tripleplay was designed for 6 string guitar. So each magnet on the pickup is designed to be spaced centered directly under each string....I suppose if you really wanted to try it on mandolin you could? But I really don't think it is going to perform well. You have double strings on a mandolin, which would likely result in double and ghost midi notes....string spacing would not match etc. I might suggest getting a cheap Squier or similar to install it on instead?

    We do not have any plans currently for a mandolin version of Tripleplay., but we appreciate your interest!


    This was the message I recieved from them.

  9. #7
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,907

    Post Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    here is my 5 string

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20201029_122559_001.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	367.0 KB 
ID:	200898
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  10. #8
    Registered User jefflester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,409

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Looks like this Mosritrosity may be MIDI ready :-)
    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...ctric-Mandolin

  11. #9
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Posts
    2,309

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Maybe Zeta Violins can help, www.zetaviolins.com.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow Jazzbo
    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Gibson F5L
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  12. #10

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by krishnanpc View Post
    Thank you for your response!

    Hello again-

    Tripleplay was designed for 6 string guitar. So each magnet on the pickup is designed to be spaced centered directly under each string....I suppose if you really wanted to try it on mandolin you could? But I really don't think it is going to perform well. You have double strings on a mandolin, which would likely result in double and ghost midi notes....string spacing would not match etc. I might suggest getting a cheap Squier or similar to install it on instead?

    We do not have any plans currently for a mandolin version of Tripleplay., but we appreciate your interest!


    This was the message I recieved from them.
    So, if the distance between courses on your mando is smaller than their pickup's, just angle the pickup. So, measure yours and ask them what the spacing is.

    It's a bit silly because guitars aren't all the same either.

    You said you're willing to remove 4 strings, but for myself I'd try it both ways and see. Most likely 4-string would work better, but then you never know, and if you also play it miked or acoustically, 8 strings is nice.

  13. #11

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    FYI on keeping the extra courses or not.

    I have a GK pickup on my Dano 12-string. IME they work just as well, if not better, than single course. 2 strings in unison gives a stronger fundamental for the pitch-to-midi to work with. While not a mandolin, the same principles apply.
    VerneAndru.com | oKee.ComX

    - ---==< V >==--- -

  14. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,720

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    FYI on keeping the extra courses or not.

    I have a GK pickup on my Dano 12-string. IME they work just as well, if not better, than single course. 2 strings in unison gives a stronger fundamental for the pitch-to-midi to work with. While not a mandolin, the same principles apply.
    How does the GK cope with slight mistunings between strings in a course?

  15. #13
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,907

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Often thought rewiring the Godin A8 to divide the 4 bridge Piezos which are 2 strings per pickup, had possibilities .
    as produced all 4 are combined, in the preamp/tone & volume .

    4 single notch in bridge RMC pickups go to the 8 pin patch cord connector to RMC black box Polydrive 2

    on a 4 string solid body modification , done long ago ..

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Biller_small.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	8.0 KB 
ID:	201019

    For performance, string guide near bridge was needed for adequate downforce across bridge pickups .

    a custom tailpiece for an acoustic would be a thing to do that since its not a solid block ..

    I had an A8 , I kept dislodging the upper G string from its perch in a shallow notch ..

    It needed more downward pressure there..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  16. #14

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray(T) View Post
    How does the GK cope with slight mistunings between strings in a course?
    All the GK does is pickup the string vibration which it passes along to the processor that's responsible for doing the pitch-to-midi conversion. During that phase the processor averages the frequencies it gets and tries to match as closely as possible. As noted above, I found there is a stronger fundamental coming from 2 courses even with slight mistunings so the tracking is a little bit better than single course. I never tried with widely mistuned courses. Regardless there will still be lots of ghost and missed notes as this tech is far from perfect. MIDI 2 is now final and out so I'm looking forward to a new generation of processors at some point in the near future.
    VerneAndru.com | oKee.ComX

    - ---==< V >==--- -

  17. The following members say thank you to Verne Andru for this post:

    Ray(T) 

  18. #15
    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    South of France
    Posts
    1,875

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    When I was living in California in the ‘90’s I had a friend who was designing something that sat under a guitar bridge and worked out notes with something to do with the resistance changes on each string each time the strings were fretted.

    Virtual fretboards might work if you had some sort of clear moulded plastic fretboard thing that you stick on a flat screen?

  19. #16

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon DS View Post
    When I was living in California in the 90s I had a friend who was designing something that sat under a guitar bridge and worked out notes with something to do with the resistance changes on each string each time the strings were fretted.
    To prevent mixed/crossed signalling, one wohld need each string's fret sections separate from the others, like the Guitorgan's cut-and-wired frets. The fretboard acted like a standard music keyboard's diode matrix. I imagine that pitch/sound generation would be triggered by some pluck/strike detector, similar to the Casio DG-10 digital guitar.

    There was an alternate scheme used for the Beetle Quantar and the Yamaha GC-10 (which I owned), where ultrasound traveled up the strings and detected where they were bent against a fret. That pitch information was then sent when a pluck was detected. Since the pitch detection was continuous, there was no delay incurred in detecting the pitch *after* a pluck.

    -----

    Skipping special pickups entirely when using a mandola or something pitched even deeper, Boss now has a few SY-series guitar effects which do polyphonic synthesis and timbre shaping just with any standard undivided pickup which has enough juice/signal.

    There are also excellent effect boxes from Electro-Harmonix which do polyphonic effects and emulations including the POG-HOG gear (of which I currently own the HOG2 and POG2) and the X9 series boxes (with the latter group's Mel9 being my favorite of the series, with its surprisingly good Mellotron emulations). One can combine them by, for example, using the POG/HOG stuff to shift pitch ranges around before the Mel9.

  20. #17

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    I seem to recall someone mentioning in a different thread (a long time ago) that the issue with using a Mandolin as a MIDI controller is most MIDI processors run out of notes/range before the Mandolin runs out of high notes. This could probably be sorted out with some remapping, but poses a barrier at the outset.

    I suspect MIDI 2 is going to be a game changer. MIDI 1 is limited to an 8-bit word size and speed restrictions; MIDI 2 is 32-bit and can be implemented on any modern transport back-bone like USB, Ethernet, Thunderbolt, and etc. MIDI 2 hardware is 100% backward compatible with MIDI 1 meaning current gear, like MIDI and GK pickups, will still work going forward.

    Read about it here -> MIDI Association - Details about MIDI 2.0

    In real-terms the different word size translates to - currently changes in volume, and etc. must be done in 128 / 256 increments (depending on signed/unsigned word value) because that's the largest number an 8-bit register can hold and process. 32-bit word sizes put those values in the billions (2,147,483,647 signed / 4,294,967,295 unsigned) which means smoother parameter changes which should make for more natural sounds.

    Current processors, like Roland's GR and VG series, are due for an upgrade to the new MIDI spec. If Roland's techs, who have been part of the team defining MIDI 2, put their minds to it we should see some pretty exciting advances coming in the not too distant future.

    I have 2 MIDI enabled guitars which I use for recording. I particularly like capturing the MIDI notes as I'm playing (and recording the audio) which I use for such things as song composition, transposition, harmonies and assigning to other instruments. I can make MIDI 1 work, but it would sure be nice to see some of the bugs ironed out.
    VerneAndru.com | oKee.ComX

    - ---==< V >==--- -

  21. #18
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,907

    Default Re: eMando as midi controller using Polyphonic Pickup

    Well the detected string vibration Pitch to Midi Guitar synths from Roland, do , so CGDA viola/mandola is a better range..

    but if that is hooked up to a Piano Module via their MIDI interconnection , maybe not..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •