Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH USA
All you need is:
1) guitar with hex pickup (GK2)
2) guitar synth unit (GR33 or whatever)--usually these are pedalboards
3) amp or PA to plug the guitar synth into
Optionally, you can plug the guitar synth into other sound modules (keyboards or rack gear) via MIDI, which will allow you to play the sounds from those devices using your guitar. But it's not necessary to use external sound modules with most guitar synths--it just gives you more sounds to choose from.
The difference between the GR and VG... the GR uses the hex pickup to convert your guitar's tone into MIDI, which is then passed to sound modules to generate the tone. During this process, the guitar synth receives signals from each string through the GK2 pickup--the synth determines what note you played and how hard you played it, and then passes that data on to the sound module to generate the appropriate sound.The sound modules could use waveform samples (e.g., sampled pianos, strings, etc) or could use waveform modeling (like old analog synths) to create the tone. Because the synth knows what note you played and how hard you hit it, it can send that information via MIDI to other keyboards and sound modules to generate other tones. If you want your guitar to sound like a piano, organ, violin, sax, etc, this is what you want to use.
The VG on the other hand never converts the guitar's signal to MIDI. It does however know what note you play and how hard you play it. It then uses this data, along with a ton of information on virtually modeled amps, guitars, pickups, and FX, to calculate how what you played would sound like through the selected amp/guitar/pickup/FX combination. It's really less about working with samples and more about understanding the physical and electronic characteristics of all the possible types of guitars/amps/pickups/FX. So with the VG, you could make your Jem sound like a strat, or an acoustic guitar, or a banjo, or a dobro, or a twelve string. You can experiment with different tunings without physically retuning your guitar. You can see what your guitar would sound like if the pickup was half way up the neck. Very cool, but very different from a guitar synth.