Frequently Asked Questions

How long does my custom MIDI instrument take to build?

Your instrument is hand built with passion in the South West of Ireland and currently has a lead time of 6 to 12 months from the time of first payment. A 10% deposit will reserve your place in the queue.

Do you have payment options?

We are flexible with our payment options and will do our best to suit your needs, just let us know what works for you. However, our normal payment structure is: 

  1. A 10% (€299) deposit to secure your place in the waiting list. 
  2. A second deposit of 30% when your instrument begins its production journey.
  3. A 20% deposit when your instrument is ready for electronics installation and final testing.
  4. The final balance prior to shipment when your instrument is ready to ship.
Payments can be made by any of the following options: 
  1. Electronic bank transfer - full bank details can be provided. 
  2. PayPal - we can send you a payment request to your email account 
  3. Online store - accepts payment deposits. 
  4. You can provide us with your credit card details and we can process the agreed deposit amount. 

Is there a guarantee?

We offer a lifetime guarantee that covers the parts in your guitar for normal functioning. We use only professional spec components and your instrument is built to last a lifetime.

We are so confident you will love the experience your MIDI Instrument brings that we offer a money back guarantee within 14 days of receiving your instrument. Our MIDI system offers unparalleled performance so you can be assured that you have the leading technology in guitar.

What if I don’t like my MIDI guitar when it arrives?

We are so confident that you will love your MIDI Pro 2 Guitar, if you don’t we will refund your money and pay for a pitch to MIDI Pickup system that can be installed into your existing guitar!

Is there a MIDI latency?

Picked notes are sent in under 10 milliSeconds. That's the time it takes a sound to travel to your ear from an amplifier only 3 meters away (ie. 10 feet). It doesn't get faster than that!

How so fast? Before you even pick a note, the processor knows what notes you are fretting through the electrical contact between the string and the fret. Tiny electronic signals are sent down every string 500 times every second accurately scanning what notes you are fretting. So you get as close to an immersive realtime experience than is physically possible.  For live performance, hardware synthesisers give faster sounds, normally sounding a note within around 2.5milliSeconds after receiving the MIDI signal from your MIDI guitar. Laptops and software synthesisers may also be very fast, but can also add extra processing delays often something like 15milliSeconds.

Is it compatible with my synthesizer, DAW / Laptop?

All of our MIDI instruments are Plug & Play with virtually any laptop or synthesizer. We have an industry standard USB output (that uses a standard USB cable the same as a printer) and we have a 5 Pin DIN MIDI output which will connect to virtually any hardware synthesizer. 

A few DAW's include:

  • Ableton Live | Ableton
  • Logic Pro X | Apple
  • MainStage | Apple
  • GarageBand | Apple
  • Reason | PropellerHead
  • Pro Tools | Avid
  • Sonar | Cakewalk
  • Cubase pro | Steinberg
  • Studio One | PreSonus

How much taxes do I have to pay on my instrument?

Ship to EU Countries:

  • If you have a registered EU VAT number, then you are eligible for a 0% VAT rate. In this case, your instrument must be delivered to the registered company address.
  • If you do not have a registered EU VAT number, the standard Irish VAT rate of 23% must be added to the total cost of your instrument

Ship to USA, Asia, Australia, North America, South America, Africa (and all Countries outside the European Union)

  • All orders delivered to countries outside the European Union have 0% EU VAT but are eligible for local taxes in the delivery country

Ship to Ireland:

  • A VAT rate of 23% must be added to the total cost of your instrument.
  • Customers with a registered EU VAT number normally claim back the VAT after the order is received

    Can the Expressiv MIDI system be used wirelessly?

    Yes. You need a separate wireless MIDI or USB system which will plug directly into your guitar. For professional use, we recommend MIDIjet Pro ( which transmits to a range of 500 ft.

    How is Expressiv Powered?

    Expressiv can be powered from 3 options:

    1. When plugged in with a single standard USB cable, it powers the system from any USB power source including a computer or standard USB power adapter 
    2. There is a built in 3000mAH Li-Ion battery which continuously recharges (when the system is switched on or off) when plugged in from the USB cable. This may be upgraded to 6000mAH or more, (your guitar can take any 2 Samsung 18650 rechargeable batteries).
    3. There is an optional power source which allows you to power the system through the 5pin DIN MIDI connector. (Option C is not standard as it requires an external interface box).

    Can I have a custom designed headstock on the MIDI Pro guitar model?

    You can get a custom shaped headstock. Each Expressiv MIDI Pro guitar is custom built in Ireland. This will need to be discussed individually at the time of order.

    Do you ship the guitar with a hard shell case?

    We can ship your guitar in a Hard Shell Case. It is made of an durable ABS plastic with lockable fasteners, an interior foam padding along with an accessory pocket. Of course it provides extra security for your new MIDI guitar during shipping and is also great for safe and secure storage afterwards.

    Can I play synthesizer sounds and the normal pickups at the same time?

    You can play both MIDI and Normal pickups at the same time. In fact you can play all of the four outputs at the same time (including the standard electric guitar output, the piezo acoustic output, the 5pinDin MIDI and the USB MIDI output). There is an individual volume for each output and it allows you to blend and transition between each.

    What is Expressiv ?

    Expressiv is a MIDI guitar system which brings un-compromised control over synthesizers from guitar. It instantly tracks which musical notes you press on your fretboard, similar to pressing a key in a keyboard while following most other parameters of how you play. The 16MHz controller sends all this information to the synthesizer with incredible speed giving you, the musician, a fully, immersive synthesizer experience.

    Who developed the Expressiv MIDI guitar system?

    The Expressiv technology has been developed over the past 4 years in the University of Limerick in Ireland by Phil Samways and Rob O'Reilly. Phil has over 40 years of electronic engineering and digital design experience, and has lectured in the Faculty of Science & Engineering for over 30 years. Rob has a Bachalor of Engineering in Electronic Engineering and has many years of guitar building and music production experience. 

    What kind of sounds can I get?

    Expressiv is a MIDI controller, meaning it does not have onboard sounds. You can play anything that can be controlled with a MIDI keyboard i.e. hardware synthesizers, software synthesizers, DAW's (digital Audio Workstations) and everything with a MIDI-over-USB or regular MIDI input. Think of a MIDI keyboard functions in the form of a guitar. It also has an analog output jack from the pickups, just like a normal electric guitar.

    Is Expressiv really the worlds best MIDI guitar system?

    Expressiv is guaranteed to work as the worlds best MIDI guitar controller. 

    Is Expressiv another MIDI guitar pickup?

    Our guitars do not have MIDI pickups. There is NO pitch detection to send the MIDI signals. Our instruments use an electronic system that senses the frets you press on the fretboard and sends the corresponding notes.

    Why is Expressiv better than a MIDI pickup?

    Our system has many advantages

    • you can play tapping since there is no need to pluck (but there is a pluck mode that tracks velocity also)
    • There is no latency and it's fully polyphonic
    • Lower strings are tracked as well as high strings
    • You have a regular MIDI output directly from the guitar, there is no need for a dedicated pedalboard
    • With the track pad, you can control MIDI CC (control changes) while you play with your left hand
    • You can play vibrato and bendings

    Can you ship to my country?

    • USA: We ship to any location in the USA using UPS express tracked service. 
    • Europe / EU: We ship to  any location in Europe using GLS Express tracked service.
    • Rest of the World: Any other location outside the USA and the EU is a special delivery and has shipping rates. Please contact us via our contact page with your delivery address and we can confirm details there.

    What Digital Audio Workstations does Expressiv work with?

    Expressiv is a plug and play controller with virtaully any DAW including:

    • Ableton Live | Ableton
    • Logic Pro X | Apple
    • MainStage | Apple
    • GarageBand | Apple
    • Reason | PropellerHead
    • Pro Tools | Avid
    • Sonar | Cakewalk
    • Cubase pro | Steinberg
    • Studio One | PreSonus

    Can Expressiv be used with any Hardware Synth?

    Yes. All of our Expressiv MIDI guitars have a five-pin DIN MIDI output. This has been the industry standard MIDI connection for over 30 years which means that you can plug Expressiv directly into almost any synthesizer on the market from companies like Korg, Alesis, Roland, Moog, Yamaha amongst many others.

    Is the MIDI Bass available?

    Yes, but because we are only producing and delivering the first models now, the build time is quite slow.

    Do I need multiple cables? IE (JACK and MIDI)

    As standard, it requires a separate MIDI or USB cable along with a standard guitar cable to play at one time. But there is an optional power source which allows you to power the system through the 5pin DIN MIDI connector and also play guitar at the same time from a single cable. This is not standard as it requires an external interface box).

    How much does shipping cost?

    Shipping varies from different options and depending on which country you are from. Any countries within the EU has an €49 charge for GLS tracked courier. USA as standard has a FedEx Express option of €149 which is a very fast and reliable service normally taking approximately 3-5 working days to arrive from the shipping date.

    Can you customise the setup? Eg change control changes and other features?

    There is a menu which appears on the LCD screen when the joystick is held pressed. The octave and toggle buttons allow you to easily navigate through the options. From there you can change many parameters such as control changes and MIDI channels etc. All of the parameters can be stored to memory which allows you change the default settings.

    Does the guitar need drivers or extra interface?

    All of our instruments are plug & play with any Hardware synthesizer, DAW or computer/laptop. They have both a USB and 5pin MIDI output along with a standard guitar jack. This means that you can plug directly into any computer or synthesizer without extra drivers, interfaces or other equipment. All you need is a standard cable.

    What String Types do you have?

    We always build with Ernie Ball Strings regular slinky strings (10-46 gauge) and recommend them for optimum performance with our Expressiv MIDI system.