I just wanna play trumpet on my bass.
November 11, 2007 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Can I get a digital bass guitar pickup?

I note that I can buy a Gibson digital guitar, as well as digital guitar pickups from Roland (I believe they're called Hex). Does anybody make a digital pickup for the bass? Ideally, I'd like the Hex-style one-channel-per-string design.

Alternatively, is there a small, front-end (near pickup) digitizer available?

Or, is my best option just to run "clean" analog pickups straight into an ADC with custom logic?
posted by Netzapper to Technology (4 answers total)
posted by Reggie Digest at 6:53 PM on November 11, 2007

Erm, Roland.
posted by Reggie Digest at 6:54 PM on November 11, 2007

As Reggie Digest says, Roland makes the GK-3B for the bass. It hooks into their GR-20 or any other standard guitar-to-midi box. I've got the GK-3B on my bass and it works.

It works best on the G string and less well as you go lower in tone. Something no-one tells you until AFTER you've bought the unit is that the lower vibrational frequencies of the bass aren't picked up as readily as the higher vibrational frequencies of the guitar. On the E string there is a noticeable latency.

That said, even it it doesn't work perfectly it is a LOT of fun.

The GK-3B does transmit, through the GR-20, one channel per string or all string data on a single channel, but that's a function of the GR-20, not the GK-3B. You will need a box that can translate the signal your pickup generates, because the pickup, by itself, won't do anything useful.
posted by lekvar at 8:24 PM on November 11, 2007

Nothing particular digital about the GK-3B. It's just sending individual analog signals for each string to another unit (guitar synth, pedal, roland v-guitar stuff, etc). So you still need the ADC's if you want digital audio.

If you just want MIDI output, the GK-3B and a guitar synth will do it. There's a few other systems for doing it (the old Peavey SynthBass comes to mind), but Gk-3B/guitar synth is probably the easiest to get ahold of.
posted by alikins at 12:49 PM on November 12, 2007

« Older Help me make something for money!   |   How can I safely shop for auto insurance? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.