TriplePlay Tracking vs. Brand X

TriplePlay vs BrandX

I cracked a huge smile at this picture a customer emailed me.  He already had a popular brand (this brand X stuff is really reminding me of the instant coffee and laundry detergent commercials from when I was a kid) of MIDI guitar pickup installed on his guitar.  It was a MIDI guitar pickup, and installed close to the bridge, in the proper location.  To compare TriplePlay, he also installed our product on the guitar.  It was installed further from the bridge (because the optimal position was already taken), in a location that would give the TriplePlay less accurate tracking.  He then tracked both MIDI pickups to two different computers running the same notation software.

The results show TriplePlay accurately tracking what he played on the left hand side, and Brand X with a couple of extra measures worth of notes he never played on the right hand side.  Same performance, but look at the difference in tracking accuracy!  9 out of 10 people I know, in my informal survey, recommend TriplePlay guitar controllers for their friends who use guitar controllers.  🙂


One way to connect TriplePlay to MIDI hardware modules through a computer and a DAW

Some folks have written and asked how they can get MIDI information from TriplePlay through their computer and back out to a hardware MIDI device.  As with most setups, there are several ways to do it, but I thought I’d go over one method I used recently with a customer who contacted me.  The customer had a USB audio interface, which also had a MIDI input and output.  He wanted to use this MIDI output to get TriplePlay from his computer, back out to a 5-pin MIDI hardware device (in his case, a sound module, but a keyboard or any other MIDI device with a 5-pin input would be equally applicable).

This could be done with MIDI routing hardware (such as MIDIPIPE on the Mac) but I thought it would be easiest to do this with a DAW.  The fella wanted TriplePlay’s full possible MONO mode output, or, in other words, he wanted to be able to send the six strings as six separate MIDI channels, one for each of the two split regions available in the tripleplay software (purple and blue – the two regions that split the fingerboard by fret, rather than by string).  I suggested he could use the TriplePlay plug-in, with no actual instruments loaded, to create this fingerboard split and control settings such as string bends for each region.

Here is what we did:

1. We used StudioOne, because it was provided with the TriplePlay software and the customer did not have another DAW, but most digital audio workstations that can allow vst plug-ins would allow you to do something very similar.  So, open StudioOne.

2. Under StudioOne in the pull-down menus, go to options and click on the header External Devices.

3. Click on Add and highlight New Instrument.  Name the device, to avoid confusion.  Click on ALL so all MIDI channels are highlighted.  Select MIDI input and output device (in our case, an AudioBox USB device).  Click OK.

Step 3

4. Click on Add again, and highlight new Keyboard.  Create a new keyboard that receives from TriplePlay (or TriplePlay guitar – not the 2nd TriplePlay channel, which has control information) as the input, and set the output to none.   When you are done, click OK and OK to leave the external device windows.  Make sure split channels is selected.

5. Start a new empty song in StudioOne, under File, New Song and choose the empty song format.

6. Go to Track in the pull-down menus and add tracks, once the song is open.

Step 6

7. Set type to Instrument.  Set count to 16 and make sure pack folder is selected.  Set Input to the triple play new keyboard you created and named (in my case, I named it TriplePlay controller).  Make sure ascending is selected.  Set Output to Existing and select the instrument you created (in my case, I named it AudioBox MIDI).  Once again, make sure you have selected ascending.  Hit okay when you are sure you’ve gotten everything right.  This will take your TriplePlay signal in, and send it out to your MIDI output device.  Hit OK.

8. Make sure the track is record and monitor enabled, by pressing the red and blue buttons at the top of the track.  You can collapse the track to its folder by clicking on the folder icon.

Step 8

9. Now, we created a new set of MIDI tracks to allow the TriplePlay plug-in to set how the TriplePlay data was sent from your MIDI output.  Create a track as above, with the Input also set to TriplePlay Controller, BUT the output set to New Instrument, Tripleplay.

Step 9

10. Make sure this is also record enabled.  Click on the keyboard icon in one of the midi channels to expose the TriplePlay plug-in.

11. Remember the customer wanted to split his fingerboard at the 12th fret.  He wanted the purple region to be sent for the full length of the fingerboard and the blue region to be everything above the 12th fret.  For this setup, it means that everything in purple (the whole fingerboard) will go out to MIDI channels 1-6 and everything played above the 12th fret, in blue, will also go to channels 11-16. This is done by creating a fret split and clicking the show splits button at the bottom.

Step 11

12. Now click and hold for the synth regions where you want to work and load a Hardware Synth (in newer software releases this may be called External Synth).   Note that you must only use MONO rather than POLY, if you want fingerboard splits to work.  You could also use splits for synth 2 and 4 regions, if you want their settings to be different (pitch bends, etc.)

13. When you create a hardware synth setting for the channel, you can adjust the Parameter settings to the left of the dialog window, and these settings will translate through to your MIDI output device.  In this case, the customer has selected to transpose up 5 semi-tones and set his pitchbend for Smooth in the purple region.  This is a patch you’re creating, so if these settings are useful to you in the future, consider saving the patch to your user patches.

14. You should be done.  MIDI from your TriplePlay hardware is now being routed through the DAW and out to the AudioBox.  It is being altered by the settings you have created here.  Note that you could also load virtual instruments in these channels.  But, realize that any of the parameter settings you create will be carried forward to those MIDI channels being outputted to your hardware device.

What is the deal with GuitarRig?

I can’t remember the last time I read a user guide for any product I’ve bought.  I mean, I have to be really desperate to pull that thing out.  My wife thinks I’m nuts, but I just like to poke around and figure out how something works on my own.  That’s how I learn.  So, I’m not surprised there are new TriplePlay users who can’t figure out why they’re not hearing anything coming out of the audio channel on TriplePlay.  This is the first channel in the TriplePlay software, to the left of the synth channels, which has GuitarRig loaded in many of our Fishman factory patches (the sounds that come with TriplePlay if you install our partner software).  Another related question is, “Why do I get a screaming high pitched feedback whenever I go to certain patches?”

TriplePlay Preferences Setup For Traditional Guitar

In our TriplePlay literature we call the sound that comes from your magnetic pickups on your electric guitar “traditional guitar” audio.  That is what this first mixer channel in your TriplePlay software is for.  But, this audio is not transferred from your guitar to the TP software with the wireless setup. That wireless tripleplay transmitter and receiver are only for MIDI information.  If you want to get traditional audio into your computer, you need to do it by plugging your guitar’s traditional output into an input on your computer.  What should you use for an input?  Well, for best sound, I’d suggest some type of analog to computer audio interface.  If you hope to record more than MIDI and guitar on your computer, consider a small interface like these ones that allow you to plug in a microphone, as well.

Once you have an audio interface (and you could just plug into your computer’s input port -usually 1/8″- with an adapter if you didn’t want to spring for a $100 interface), you can plug your guitar into the computer.  Go to preferences in the pull-down menus and specify which input you want to use for your traditional guitar audio.  This is where the screaming feedback question comes in from above.  The default input for your traditional guitar audio, especially on many laptops, may be set as the internal microphone in your computer.  So, you have a microphone going through a bunch of guitar effects and outputting through a speaker right next to the microphone.  Anyone who has stuck a vocal mic in front of a monitor speaker knows what that sound like.  Ouch.

So, if you’re not using traditional audio input, either because you’re only interested in MIDI, or because you’re plugging into a terrestrial guitar amp on stage, then just turn off the audio input in your preferences so you don’t have to worry about feedback on any of the patches where the audio channel is active and unmuted.

If you want to know more about it, and don’t want to poke around in the user guide, we have a specific tutorial that relates to setting up your traditional guitar audio:Tutorial #2.  It is worth checking out all the tutorials.  They can be found along with the rest of the TriplePlay documentation here: TriplePlay tutorials, FAQ and documentation


TriplePlay Tele Installation

TriplePlay Tele Installation

A customer sent a really clever Tele installation.  Tele owners putting on a TriplePlay pickup may notice the product doesn’t fit really easily on these types of bridges.  The pickup mount sticks to part of the bridge and the rest floats out in space over the edge.  Worse yet, there is a tendency to put your palm right on the pickup levering off the part that is actually sticking to the instrument.  The method here is to cut and use two different height pickup mounts, the thin one for the bridge itself, and the thicker portion to go on the guitar.  The installer figured out where the pickup mounted, and then made a mark on the pickup mount where it needed to cut short of the edge of the bridge.  They then cut the other side of the pickup from the thicker mounting bracket, using the first cut as a template.

Now, stick the thinner mount to the bridge hardware where you’ve measured it will go.  Slide the thick portion of the mount onto the pickup itself and remove its adhesive.  This, I thought, is the cleverest part:  slide the pickup into the thin bracket portion on the bridge so it is in the correct position, with the pickup and its thick bracket portion, hanging off the side of the bridge and slightly off the top of the guitar.  Then, using our pickup height adjustment tool, use that adjustment to lower the thicker bracket portion to the body of the guitar until it touches.  Once it touches, you can press down on the pickup to make sure the thicker side is stuck.  Then, carefully slide the pickup out of its mounts (you can kind of hold the pickup mounting bracket (especially the thicker portion) to the guitar to keep it from sliding around as you take the pickup off the guitar).  Now, with the pickup removed, but the brackets in place, burnish and set the pickup brackets so they are secure.  I tried this on my own tele and it worked like a charm (although I did end up reinforcing the mounting sticky stuff on the short portion to something more substantial).  All props to Jeff Donaldson who wrote in with the suggestion.  Anybody with other suggestions or tips should feel free to drop an email to us through our website: Email Fishman TriplePlay Support.


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