SoundworldA.D. wrote:Ah the age old debate on whether Jan Hammer could really out-do Jeff Beck on sounding like a “real” guitar! Well of course he couldn’t! No matter how much pitch bending prowess was displayed, I went for the Beckster’s lead runs every time!
First and foremost, I am by trade a guitarist. I played guitar in Rock bands in my younger years and only got interested in the electronic music thing after hearing Richard Burmer’s “Bhakti Point” and David Arkenstone’s “Valley in the Clouds” back in the late 80’s.
But your comment was too open-ended to pass up. First, IT IS THE SOUND OF A REAL GUITAR coming from the keyboard. Albeit sampled but still real guitar sounds…not “mimicked” like in the old days.
I will grant that there is not velocity switching available on our keyboards that can mimic what a real guitarist can do with all of the damping, muting and switch-picking in real time across all six strings. But the technology has progressed to a point where the keyboard-based guitar sounds are better than ever.
So what then? The question becomes not so much “does it sound exactly like a real guitar”, but “HOW DOES IT SOUND?” And for those who love the sound of a good lead guitar but either can’t afford to buy all of the gear necessary or are just are too lazy to hook it all up (my example as I still have all of my guitars, amps and stompers) we have the next best thing which are samples and all of the articulations and modulations that technology has provided us.
So when I hear those lead guitar runs that PauloF does on “The Clan”, I’m left thinking not “is that a real guitar?” Instead, it’s “man, that sounds bleedin’ awesome!” Same goes for Nishiwaki-san’s work on both the V-Synth GT and his “Great Red Spot” guitar work on the Jupiter-80.
You said it was futile…no, resistance is futile! You will be assimilated! ;-)
with lots of patience and experimenting, we can get very convincing Lead guitar sounds from the V-Synth XT, yes... and I'll post some sounds soon to show you as soon as I return from this trip.
Undercoverman wrote:I've come up against this a few times - the idea that you cannot get a realistic-sounding guitar performance out of a synthesizer... And it all comes down to what sort of a performance you're looking to capture, what sort of guitar sound you're hoping to achieve, the 'source' sound (i.e. what you're playing), which amp/cab simulation you're using, whether you're mixing it correctly (probably ITB) and - most importantly - whether you're playing it live.
I maintain that with a well produced and exhaustive enough sampled sound set, with all of the tricks (round robin, subtle modulation of each sound, articulation morphing, guitar body simulation, fretboard intelligence etc.) you could sit and program a guitar part indistinguishable from a real performance in ANY genre. Assuming you're the kind of person who doesn't mind programming their music instead of playing it, and you're patient... It may take you the best part of an entire day in some cases, but it is achievable.
For a live performance? For soloing? You're extremely limited. First of all, you'll need a powerful enough system/DAW to access a large sample set and play it all in real time with low latency, as well as your amp/fx setup. No workstation hardware synth has this at the moment, you'll need a DAW. With an extensive knowledge of key switches, mastery of the mod bar (a ribbon of some description is practically required) and enough practice to know what a guitarist would be unlikely to do in virtue of the difference between a keyboard and the fretboard, you can get there, but only with certain types of guitar sound. Rhythm of all varieties is certainly possible - but truly dynamic play, with all of the subtleties that only a string instrument can provide you with? No.
The reason I learned how to play piano/keyboard before any other type of instrument was because I thought, in my naivety, that I would be able to emulate all others with enough practice and dedication - and for lots of instruments, I can. However, there's a reason why I'm learning to play guitar. It's hard work sometimes, but for actually playing and not programming a sequence, nothing sounds like a real guitar... especially not a Les Paul with a Bigsby! Playing keys, I've got pitch and mod wheels, aftertouch, expression pedals, all manner of faders and knobs to twiddle... But nothing matches the immediacy of the fretboard for expressive guitar play.
Maybe most people won't notice, and most people would be satisfied with a close approximation - and I'm not saying that you can't get close. It's relatively easy to get something 'close'. But I notice when it's not real and played live, and I think most musicians would. It's up to you, really.
I'm not saying the situation will never change - who knows, there might be some system of playing a sampled guitar live, or even a sufficiently convincing physically modeled one, that allows us to get there. But not right now, and certainly not with the Jupiter 80. In hindsight, I wish that I'd spent the amount of time I dedicated to trying to get a convincing guitar sound from a synth as time spent practicing guitar instead. I'd have bought one a lot sooner knowing what I do now.
PauloF wrote:All to say that I really know a guitar sounds, and I agree that it is quite difficult, not to say almost impossible to actually sound exactly like a guitar, but on these Amp simulated Distortion Lead guitars, I think the Synths are really doing a very good job and it is very difficult to distinguish from a real guitar, specially if we use all the tricks a synth is capable of (Aftertouch, etc) together with own performance techniques.
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