A few years ago Fishman introduced a guitar-to-MIDI system called TriplePlay (aka FTP), which is now widely regarded as the very “best” guitar-to-MIDI system ever made. Since then, they made it pretty clear that there had no interest at all in making a solution available for the people who have been using Roland GK or other compatible 13-pin systems for many years. You just had to have it their way or the highway.
Now… that’s just not very nice, is it? Never mind the fact that this probably alienates a considerable chunk of such a tiny, niche market but hey ho!
The good news is that, thanks to some clever chaps at VGuitar Forums throwing some ideas around, a couple of people came up with a couple of very simple (and totally reversible!) mods that basically allows any GK equipped guitar to use the FTP. In essence, the idea is to replace the FTP’s built-in pickup with the output from an existing 13-pin system. It’s important to note that, depending on the 13-pin system, you might need to attenuate the strings signal before hitting the FTP’s input to make it work well. Since my guitar is equipped with a standard Roland GK internal kit that includes a preamp, I had to add six individual tiny pots to each string’s signal path to bring their level down to something that the FTP would be happy with. It’s really simple and it works a treat! 🙂
I decided to put mine into a Hammond 1590A aluminium box to try and make sure I wouldn’t get any problems with interference or anything else that could compromise the signal before it was turned into MIDI and sent wirelessly to my computer. It also seemed a lot more sturdy and I don’t feel like anything is going to fall apart or cause me trouble any time soon.
Next, I will be posting some guitar-to-MIDI tracking comparisons between the TriplePlay, the BOSS GP-10 and what had now been my favourite guitar-to-MIDI solution for years: the old Roland GI-20. You might be surprised by some of the results!