Guitar synths, based off of actual electric guitars with some sort of hexaphonic pickup.....are a very quirky thing. They always seem to end up being almost a one trick pony or something. Even though you can call up all these cool sounds and stuff.....what do you do with that? You are not replacing the keyboard player in the band, that's for sure.
A keyboard player, can do all sorts of things on his controller that a guitar player will have lot's of difficulty pulling off.....simply because two hands are not required, say to keep notes going, like on a guitar. Okay there are expression pedals. hold. vol etc etc. But it is not the same. Like changing patches, filters etc or using the mod wheel etc. All this stuff requires a lot of work to perfect but I don't know if that is anywhere near as easy as it would be on a keyboard. Also..... as a string's velocity or oscillation slows after being plucked......it cannot sustain the necessary amount to keep triggering the synth. This can lead to glitches as well as the loss of the note sounding prematurely.
I have two different, actual MIDI guitar setups. The first one I got many years ago is a Yamaha G50 MIDI Converter with the Yamaha G1D divided pickup, which I tried on a couple guitars. This is most like the Roland setups. I worked with this and while I was frustrated with it, I was also encouraged to look deeper into guitar synthesis.
This led me to the Axon AX-100 MkII Guitar to MIDI interface which was streets ahead of what Roland could pull off. Only thing was.....the first company that made them...Blue Chip.....went out of business. A German company, Terratec.....bought the company and redesigned it. Then they too either went out of business or they dropped the product.
Anyway....for a controller I got a Godin Freeway SA with the Ghost pickup system. Here, each saddle on the bridge is a completely separate hexaphonic pickup.......as opposed to the Roland and Yamaha divided pickups where each of the pickup 'segments' can be influenced by the oscillation of the strings on either side. The Ghost system is way better and each string is much more isolated to that saddle and it's hex pickup.
I gotta tell ya......one of my main goals was to be able to play passages on the Godin.....have it run through the Axon Ax-100 MkII.....and into Sibelius in my computer....or into Pro Tools.....and have it perform as flawlessly as is humanly possible putting MIDI note information where it needed to be, as played. Never did happen. It will get some of it and the rest is garbled garbage.
Along with really finicky setup things.....it requires having an excellent technique to trigger a guitar synth accurately etc......which I feel mine is as good as it needs to be and a bit better. So it is super frustrating to embark on such a journey and put in so much work.....for the feeble results it gave. Consider though that I am critical to the extreme.......your mileage may vary.
Then I came across almost a miracle. And the damn thing is made by a South African here in Simi Valley, California just about a few miles from my house!! I was an early adopter of the YouRock Guitar. I spied it at a music shop.....the individual boxes were still all held together with packing strapping waiting for whoever to get them into stock and on display etc. The I asked about them, all they knew was they were for those rock video games to use as controllers rather than the shitty one's that came with the game. Rock Band...yeah?
I looked at the specs and pictures on the box of the In's and Out's etc MIDI yada yada.....and I reckoned it might make a good synth controller. For $199 or so I was willing to take the chance. Later I picked another up at a garage sale....$25 or so. So I got me two.
Truth be told.......I veered sharply away from composing, recording, my studio etc etc because I'm pushing retirement and need to crank out a good few years....go past retirement age even. Music wasn't bringing home the bacon anymore.....like my day job was. Priorities change........much to my utter disbelief and disgust.
However........recently that all changed. Right about Coronavirus time I picked up a stellar, fantastic, super duper sounding recording interface and I am in the process of doing a full reboot in and of the studio. So hopefully in the not too distant future.......I will drag out the YouRock again....fire up some Omnisphere II or a jazz library, some samples from an orchestral library, Project SAM Symphobia etc etc and just have a freakin blast.
I have no idea how good this video is....but it should give an idea.