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Put a Hex on Your Music East Greenwich RI

Hex setups allow doing split and layering techniques formerly reserved for keyboardists. Read on and get more information.

Lydecker And Co. Llc
(401) 884-1170
138 Love Lane Lydecker And Co. Llc
Warwick, RI
 
Robert Saglio Design
(401) 364-0474
PO Box 99
Carolina, RI
 
Innovative Home Systems. Inc.
(401) 841-9433
307 Oliphant Lane Unit #26
Middletown, RI
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Mulholland Audio and Video
(508) 336-6464
1448 Fall River Avenue
Seekonk, MA
 
Sound FX
(401) 826-2626
339 Quaker Lane
West Warwick, RI
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Home theater and electronics
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Speakercraft, Sonos, Control4,

Magnolia Home Theater
(401) 826-7007
24 UNIVERSAL BLVD
Warwick, RI
 
Flint Audio Video
77 East Main Road
Middletown, RI
 
Magnolia Home Theater
(508) 336-1391
41 COMMERCE WAY
Seekonk, MA
 
Home Genius
(508) 324-1810
376 Milford Road Home Genius
Swansea, MA
 
Robert Saglio Audio/Video Design, Inc.
(401) 364-0474
Carolina Back Road
Carolina, RI
 

Put a Hex on Your Music

For decades, the conventional guitar pickup with its mono output hasserved us well. But today, hex pickups that generate a separate outputfor each string are starting to crawl out of their guitar-to-MIDIc onversion ghetto—they’re not only in Roland guitar synth products, but also in the Line 6 Variax, Roland/Fender VG Strat, and others. Andwhile sending hex outputs directly into a mixer or recorder remains rare, that’s starting to change too. Gibson’s Digital Les Paul and DarkFire guitars output the six strings individually as audio; and Keith McMillen Instruments’ StringPort processes the audio outputs from aRoland synth-compatible guitar.

0.EQ0509_Tec_Guitar_HexGETTING STARTED

Dark Fire conveniently uses a standard stereo (TRS) cable to plug in to a custom FireWire interface. The interface provides individual string outs (as well as a mono magnetic pickup out and mono piezo pickup out) to your host program. If you’re a DIYer and want to pull out the individual strings from a Roland 13-pin connector, pin 1 is the first string output, pin 2 the second string, and so on up to pin 6; pin 12 is +7V and pin 13 is -7V. But regardless of what kind of hex system you use, here are some ways to take advantage of all those outs.

SPLITS AND LAYERS

Hex setups allow doing split and layering techniques formerly reserved for keyboardists. Check out the setup in Figure 1:

• Each of the bottom three strings goes through its own octave divider to give massive bass lines.
• The top four strings feed an aux bus with a chorus.
• The mono magnetic pickup output for all strings goes through heavy distortion.

This produces a huge guitar sound, with thundering bass, shimmering highs from the chorusing, and an overall layer of distorted guitar.

PSEUDO-BASS LINES

Octave-dividing each of the guitar’s strings gives bass sounds that are quite different compared to a traditional bass; mixing in some of the fundamental string sound produces an “eight-string bass” effect.

“CLEAN” DISTORTION

Feeding each string through its own distortion plug-in avoids the intermodulation distortion of conventional fuzz. The sound is almost synthesizerlike because each note of a chord, although distorted, sounds distinct. With Guitar Rig 3, I often follow the distortion with the Pro Filter lowpass synth filter module, and trigger its cutoff from the string’s envelope. It doesn’t sound like a Minimoog . . . but it doesn’t quite sound like a guitar, either.

THE GORGEOUS CHORUS

Applying a chorus effect to each string can produce a lush, shimmering sound (try using a random LFO waveform) that’s more intricate than just putting the overall guitar output through a chorus unit.

POLYPHONIC PHUNK

Having a separate envelope follower on each string goes beyond the usual “funky filter” effect, as each note has its own separate, filtered attack. Strumming a chord while you hear all those filters rippling and popping is very cool.

PERVERSE PANNING

While I’m not too much into panning strings in the ...

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