Frequently Asked Questions about Expressiv


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 50 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. 

Does Expressiv have latency issues?

Just like any keyboard, Expressiv does not have latency issues. When you press a string against a fret, it acts much like pressing a key in a keyboard, essentially making your fretboard a matrix of 132 unique switches. The system instantly knows which note you are playing and can send a note almost instantly.

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. We are so sure of it's performance that we offer a 100% money back guarantee if you decide that it does not meet the performance level you expect. Once you receive your guitar, you have 15 days to decide and without quibbles, UPS will collect your guitar (for USA and EU only) and we will refund 100% of your money. For custom build guitars, this covers only the standard features.

Do your guitars have a guarantee?

We only use quality components and build our products to last a lifetime. We offer a 3 year limited warrantee which covers all the parts in the guitar for normal functioning. Aside from this, we also have our 15 day no quibbles money back guarantee.

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

Are there effect pedals that do the same stuff?

There are not. There are some interesting analog effects available but they don't convert your guitar into a MIDI controller, they simply apply effects to your guitar's analog sound with all the unavoidable limitations.

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.

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 (www.MIDIjet.com) which transmits to a range of 500 ft.

How long will it take to deliver a MIDI guitar from order?

Each Expressiv MIDI guitar is hand built in Ireland. Building each guitar to our high standards is very time intensive and currently, our production is extremely busy. From placing a standard order to shipping is approximately 6 weeks. However, each order is an individual case and this timing needs to be confirmed.

Is the Infinity MIDI Guitar available with Humbucker Pickups?

Yes, we offer our Infinity guitar model with customized option of humbucker pickups, DiMarzio DP182 and DP184. We include a 3 way pickup selector switch along with a 3 way single coil | humbucker | Kill switch. Our MIDI pro model is built as standard with a set of Seymour Duncan hand built humbucker pickups.