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1984 | The Synth Axe: Overview

Intro The SynthAxe is a fretted guitar-like MIDI controller that uses electronic synthesizers to produce sound.  The SynthAxe itself has no internal sound source. It is purely a controller and needs synthesizers to produce sound. There are two independent sets of strings. One set on the fretboard and another set for picking. Who Used It? Allan Holdsworth, the phenomenally talented Fusion Jazz guitar player, was the most prominent user of the Synth Axe. He used it for both live performance and extensively on his 1986 album Atavachron and his 1987 album Sand. Michael Jacksons Bad tour famously featured Christopher Currell performing with a Synth Axe. Chris used it to control sounds on the Synclavier which was an early digital synthesizer, polyphonic digital sampling system and...

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What is MIDI and why is it great for Guitar

What is MIDI? MIDI is an electronic language that allows musical instruments to talk to each other with a digital signal. MIDI is most often used to allow a digital instrument to control a  synthesiser - hence the name MIDI Controller! A synthesiser can be considered any electronic sound producing module. In the 1970’s, various instrument manufacturers had different music languages. In 1983, a team of industry representatives standardised one digital language and named MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface). MIDI now allows all digital instruments from different manufacturers to communicate together in the same language. Example of MIDI in use A MIDI controller is connected to a synthesiser (which can include and Digital Audio Workstation) with a USB or 5pin...

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