Piezo Vs. Magnetic Pickups

I am always intrigued in how things developed. How did the guitar develop to what it is today? How do our views change on what constitutes good tone? Those kind of questions keep me occupied during the slow moments of a day, and one day I was asking myself the question: why do we, as electric guitar players, predominantly use sound systems based on electromagnetism and not on piezo-electrics?

Guitar Synthesizers and the Use of Hex Pickups

Mention the idea of ‘midi guitar’ to most guitarists and the image that springs to mind is most likely an ’80s cover band with skinny ties where the guitarist has to cover the keyboard parts to ‘Jump’ and ‘Safety Dance.’ That is, if you don’t get the outright dismissal of the use of guitar synth…

The Difficulties In Amplifying An Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic guitars have always presented a problem when playing at higher volumes. Back in the day (as the kids say), if you wanted a louder acoustic guitar, you bought a bigger acoustic guitar. Bigger bodies = more volume, as there is more wood to vibrate and project the sound towards the listener. But what if you have to play a big club or theater with hundreds or thousands of people? Huh? HUH? You could get a guitar the size of the stage itself, but I bet you wouldn’t like how it sounded! This article will explain some of the difficulties that acoustic guitarists face when wanting just to be heard.

What’s the Difference between a Pickup and a Microphone?

Magnetic guitar pickups and microphones seem to do the same job: they turn the sounds we’re making into electrical signals, which we then either record, or amplify and use to drive speakers (or both). They’re the first thing in a chain that takes a quiet sound and makes it louder. But can we say  that…

How To Use Autotune For The Forces Of Good

I’m sure we’ve all glared at our keyboardist friends with envy at the sheer volume of sounds they’re able to call up at will while we’re happily stuck within the confines of what a guitar, effect and amp setup can naturally do. And not to get all ‘infomercial’ about it, but synth/MIDI guitar can be pretty expensive to implement. You need a guitar with a suitable pickup for capturing the basic information from each individual string, and this can take the form of a special hex pickup or piezo elements linked into an electronic brain. You need an interface to turn that information into MIDI data. And then you need a MIDI sound module to turn that data into music again.

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