“Expressiv MIDI Guitar: Real MIDI. Real Guitar. Real Control.” says the tagline at Expressiv. And it is certainly looks…….striking.
The history of midi guitars is 30 years of not….quite…getting …there, but Expressiv have high hopes for this Kickstarter project (if not for their spelling).
As they say…..
Existing MIDI systems for real guitars track the pitch from the sound of the string which results in latency and annoying tracking problems.
Expressiv is the first and only system that uses a smart fretboard scanner to know which notes you are pressing, the same way that keyboardists get a note when they press a key.
This leaves your strumming hand free to control any parameters such as pitch bend, modulation and octave shift using the onboard touchpad, joystick and buttons. With the flick of a switch, you can change from synthesizer control to standard guitarfunctionality.
Now guitarists of all levels have access to the sounds that until now were only available to keyboard players, and whats more, at an affordable price.
The Plug and Play functionality means you only have to plug a standard USB cable directly into your computer with no hardware, driver or power supply required and you are ready to play awesome sounds.
Just plug in and play!
The original idea for Expressiv was to create a MIDI guitar that lets you play synth sounds or control effects – or any MIDI device – while still being able to use the instrument you know and love – your guitar.
We felt there was always a trade-off, something missing, for guitar players who wanted to create and express themselves using the technology available to keyboard players and DJs for years.
We asked if could we make a guitar that had real MIDI, real guitar playability and real control that lets guitar players create expressively using the instrument they know best.
After three years of development and testing we have reached the stage where we can say that we have solved this problem, and produced a system that we know guitar players at all levels of ability will love.
Expressiv: MIDI Guitar System is MIDI class compliant which means it works with any MIDI software or device.
Plug the guitar into any MIDI synth or computer via USB or 5-pin MIDI, and have access to limitless possibilities to create new sounds.
Smart fret scanning technology senses which note you play and instantly sends out a MIDI signal, similar to playing a keyboard or tapping a drum pad.
Mix sounds, sequence songs, record, compose, and perform music using any hardware or virtual MIDI compatible device. And works with any MIDI software, such as Ableton Live, Reason, Cubase, ProTools, MainStage, Garageband, DAW’s, and more!
Expressiv: MIDI Guitar System controls the fretboard and strings to give you the same control normally only experienced on keyboards.
Touching the string on the fret creates a note event that tells the external synth which sounds to trigger.
So now, you can have all the power of technology at your fingertips without having to sacrifice your playing style, or your guitar!
Flick a switch to play through regular guitar outputs to your amp or to MIDI.
Take your playing to a whole new level!
Expressiv: MIDI Guitar System has 3 Play Modes:
Touch Pad Mode: Press the string and touch the touchpad to output the note. Moving your finger on the touchpad can bend notes, adjust note volume or control other assignable parameters
Tap Mode: Tap the frets to output notes; super-fast tracking allows you to play with two hands!
Guitar Mode: Standard guitar output from single coil pickups.
Expressiv: MIDI Guitar System controls can be assigned to any MIDI parameter for total flexibility.
- X-Y Touchpad gives you total control over your sounds.
- Assign pitch-bend, volume, pan, filters or whatever you like, giving you ultimate on-the-fly control.
- 4-way joystick allows control over a number of parameters. 6 assignable buttons Octave up/down
ROR EXPRESSIV MIDI GUITAR
The ROR Expressiv MIDI Guitar with Expressiv MIDI Guitar System features high quality components, and is suited to the player who demands the more hi-tech performance and recording capabilities that can only be achieved using the latest MIDI technologies.
The ROR Expressiv MIDI Guitar allows recording and performance through your computer, while still providing a standard guitar output to play through your regular amp. You get the best of both worlds!
ROR Expressiv MIDI Guitar is equipped with the Expressiv MIDI Guitar System and also regular guitar pickups – which output both digital and electric guitar signals. With the flick of a switch, the ROR Expressiv MIDI Guitar selects between digital and regular guitar ssignals. Connect the ROR Expressiv MIDI Guitar to your computer to via USB, or effects units, synths, and external hardware devices via 5-pin MIDI. Also equipped with two high output Wilkinson single coil pickups.
- Scale Length: 648 mm;
- Weight: 3.25 kg;
- Maximum Length: 1030 mm Maximum Width: 254 mm;
- No. of Frets: 22;
- Hardware: 6 rear locking tuners for quick string change and stable tuning; fully adjustable Tune-O-Matic bridge; adjustable trussrod;
- Fingerboard Material: High grade maple fingerboard with ultra-tough white lacquer and non-chip binding and black edge fingerboard position dots;
- Neck Material: Maple bolt-on neck with smooth easy-slide matt black finish;
- Pickup Type: Wilkinson WVSB (bridge) and VSM (middle) single coils;
- Switches/Controls: 3 way pickup toggle selector switch; 1/4″ out, USB out, MIDI out; X-Y Touchpad; Joystick control and 6 assignable MIDI control buttons; MIDI Guitar: Expressiv MIDI Guitar System;
- Circuitry Type: Volume, 3-way mini-toggle pickup selector;
- Body Style: Matt black laminate wood frame w/ infinity mirror in clear acrylic centre;
- Strings: 010-046 D’Addario;
- Included: 3 Dunlop plectrums, Chequered strap, 3 adjusting allen keys, polishing cloth;
Standard ROR Expressiv MIDI Guitar model is RIGHT-HAND. Also available in LEFT-HAND models – let us know when you pledge if you want a LEFT-HAND guitar. Each guitar is individually tested and fully set-up for optimum playability before it is shipped from our workshop.
Looking at the digital tools available keyboard players, drummers and DJ’s for years, I always wondered why guitar players didn’t have the same options. I wanted to use digital sounds for playing live and recording with my band, but my keyboard skills aren’t up to much. And I didn’t want to have to buy more gear either. So, as an electronic engineer and guitar player, I thought it would be cool to try to bring digital and electric sound together on a guitar…easy huh?
Testing some Expressiv features on the first working prototype in the lab!
Three years later(!) and a lot of hours spent with our research and development team in the University of Limerick, we are now at the stage where the system is ready for production. We have been testing a working prototype over the last few months, and are now ready to finalise the design and get production started on the PCB and other components.
Because the product development is at an advanced stage, we only need to fund production of the electronic components. We already have a manufacturing process with RORGuitars to supply guitars.
We also want to make this technology available to guitar makers to install into their own guitar designs. We already tested Expressiv MIDI Guitar System in several popular guitar models, with great results.
Good luck guys!