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ROR Guitars Expressiv MIDI Pro 2

ROR Guitars Expressiv MIDI Pro 2. Is MIDI guitar finally ready for real expressive playing?  ·  Source: ROR Guitars

I have dabbled with MIDI and guitars on and off my whole life and I’ve often found it a disappointing experience. My main gripes have been using expression as well as tracking issues. But watching the recent Paul Davids YouTube video about the Rob O’Reilly Expressiv MIDI Pro 2 model and its fretboard scanning technology, it feels like things are about to change.

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As a language allowing communication between synths, sequencers and effects, MIDI has been invaluable to me throughout my musical career, especially in the studio. But it has never been good for guitar work, as it often tracks erratically and cannot handle bends very well.

Rob OReilly Expressiv MIDI Pro 2

ROR Guitars Expressiv MIDI Pro 2

Expressive Playing

For me, Paul Davids’ video (see below) sparked some hope for MIDI guitar. ROR Guitars’ Expressiv MIDI Pro 2 model appears to improve MIDI tracking with a bespoke fretboard scanning technology that seems to overcome a lot of the old issues that plagued previous MIDI guitar systems.

ROR Guitars Expressiv MIDI Pro 2

ROR Guitars Expressiv MIDI Pro 2

MIDI Guitar: How precisely can you play?

Despite the advances that ROR Guitars may have made here, you will still be at an advantage if you can play cleanly. MIDI isn’t very good at handling data other than note on or off, so funky muted lines and sloppy playing techniques won’t translate very well. But if you can play with precision, it looks like MIDI guitar has finally come of age.

 Expressiv MIDI Pro 2 with 32 character illuminated LCD

Expressiv MIDI Pro 2 with 32 character illuminated LCD

Putting the work in

Working with MIDI in the guitar world isn’t simple. Even given the possibilities of individual string gains and XY mapping or various play modes you still have to map everything to your guitar. That involves assigning parameters of your effects and synths to controls on your guitar. Luckily, the Expressiv MIDI Pro 2 guitar comes with a 32-character illuminated LCD to make it easier to see what you’re doing. Plus, you have an XY control pad and a set of tap buttons you can assign to control practically anything you like. I suspect that’s where the fun really starts.

I highly recommend taking a few minutes to watch Paul Davids taking this guitar through its paces. MIDI guitar has made a leap forwards in 2021.

More Information about Expressiv MIDI Pro 2

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by Jef
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8 responses to “MIDI guitar takes a big leap forward: ROR Guitars Expressiv MIDI Pro 2”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Would love to hear about midi velocity. It sounds like it is being tracked but you never mention it. Is it only sending a midi note on/off or is velocity also being tracked?

    • Yadrichik Chaya says:

      Hey Jeremy, I think my comment got deleted with an example of the Jamstik (it’s all good gearnews – no worries hehe) but all in all the Jamstik Studio Midi Guitar is way cheaper and can do piano patches in 220 bpm with zero glitching or any mistriggers….it is velocity sensitive.

    • Jef says:

      They state on their site that MIDI velocity is tracked. So that would be a yes it can.

  2. Yadrichik Chaya says:

    Hey! The Jamstik Studio Midi Guitar is way cheaper and I can do really fast picking with a piano patch in 220 BPM or even faster. Zero glitching & no mistriggers. I can even do the funky stuff not possible in the video above… Here is me playing piano in 200 bpm with the Jamstik, no quantize: https://soundcloud.com/user-414219875/fast-picking-of-a-piano-sound-in-200-bpm-with-the-jamstik-midi-guitar-no-quantize

  3. Steve ignelzi says:

    Yes!!! I have been looking to access midi with guitar and gave up do to bad tracking. Super frustrating because the way that I play guitar sounds great on key patches and I want to creat orchestration!

    Steve. Boulder CO

    • Jef says:

      It would appear that MIDI and guitar is finally becoming properly viable for us guitar players, after years of sub-standard tracking and poor pitch recognition. Things are looking up!

  4. Nicos says:

    Hi. Very nice demo. I am new to midi technology but am intrigued by its possibities. Would you please provide some more details about how you produced some of the sounds you showcased like, for example, the piano. Is this a built in feature or is it a midi device or pedal? Also the tapping sounds awesome. Is this just swirched on as needed. Finally does the midi guitar handle double stops well. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  5. Nicos says:

    Hi. Very nice demo. I am new to midi technology but am intrigued by its possibities. Would you please provide some more details about how you produced some of the sounds you showcased like, for example, the piano. Is this a built in feature or is it a midi device or pedal? Also the tapping sounds awesome. Is this just switched on as needed. Finally does the midi guitar handle double stops well. Thanks and keep up the great work!

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