Guitar-to-MIDI Interfaces Shootout!

Welcome to the Fishman TriplePlay, Roland GR-55 and Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 64 shootout. I really wanted to know which Guitar-to-MIDI interface is the fastest. With the arrival of the Fishman it was time for a comparison. So I set up a speed test on Logic Pro X. Curious about the results?

Hang on a little while, let me run you through my test environment setup first.

The test environment

I took a Godin Freeway SA equipped with Graph Tech Ghost technology and fitted the Fishman TriplePlay pickup onto this guitar. Then I connected the normal guitar output directly to the audio interface (Focusrite Saffire 24 Pro DSP, firewire). The Fishman sent wireless radio waves to the USB receiver, and the 13-pin cable was connected to the GR-55.

From the GR-55 I ran a cable from Guitar Out into the audio interface with just the plain, unprocessed guitar signal. Another cable connected the Left/Mono Output of the GR-55 with the audio interface with just a synth signal on it. The USB cable was connected from the GR-55 to the computer providing the MIDI signal for MIDI recording.

On the computer, a MacBook Pro, additionally to the hardware setup,I had Jam Origin’s MIDI Guitar 64 running with the lowest possible latency of 128 samples, fed from the direct guitar signal to create MIDI data.

This setup allowed my now to record six independent tracks simultaneously into Logic Pro X by just hitting one single string. First track was the reference signal. The synthesiser sound on the GR-55 was set to drums to get a fast rising signal.

Then it was time to press the record button in Logic Pro.

And here is the result

The discussion is over for now: the fastest Guitar-to-MIDI device on earth at this time is the Fishman TriplePlay!!

Actually, I wasn’t surprised at all. When I first tried out the Fishman I couldn’t believe how fast it was tracking. And this is a wireless device! And everyone who said that MIDI Guitar 64 has the fastest tracking ever has never tried a GR-55 or tried it without setting it up properly.

Is this the end of the story?

Will we all have to sell our Roland VG-99’s and GR-55’s and uninstall MIDI Guitar from our hard drives now? No. In my opinion the Fishman TriplePlay is not really in competition with the Roland gear. I won’t use the Fishman with a computer on stage but I will use the GR-55 on stage! But when it comes to recording I love to wirelessly connect to the DAW and play drums and other sounds that require fast tracking with my TriplePlay guitar. And when I am travelling with my notebook and some electric guitar in my bag I use MIDI Guitar to quickly get some MIDI into my notebook.

Now, each device has its own strengths and application area. I love them all!