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Subject: Re: SynthAxe? ( 3 of 7 )
Posted by Douglas Adams

I looked into SynthAxes a few years ago. The problem was that I am left handed and the SynthAxe is (was) extremely non-symmetrical. They offered to make me a left handed one for an unholy amount of money. I passed.
Guitar MIDI controllers are tricky. Each string is sampled separately for pitch, this is then converted to MIDI and the MIDI data is then transmitted on six channels. The accuracy and speed of response varies with pitch, because you have to wait for a whole waveform to go by before you can tell what the pitch is, and the lower the pitch, the long it takes for a wave to go by. They are notoriously hard to play cleanly and accurately.
The thing about the SynthAxe was that it didn't do pitch-to-MIDI conversion. Instead it had two completely different sets of strings, one of you plucked, and the other of which you fretted. There were electronic sensors on all the strings and on all the frets. It ignored actual pitch (so you could use any strings you like and have them at any tension you liked) and deduced the notes you were playing from what your fingers were doing. It was apparently much, much more accurate, but I never got to try one properly because of being left-handed.
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