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Guitar and Synth question


(@rosafa)
New Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

Hello,
Sorry if this is not the place to ask this question.
I want to note that I am not here to troll or disrespect the guitar instrument, I am just curious about something I was thinking about.

I'll just cut to the point - Why should we need a guitar(any kind) if a keyboard synthesizer can achieve the same sound of every instrument and has pretty much endless options.
Is there any aspect/sound/technique that a normal guitar can achieve that a synth can't?
I even saw people playing a synth and thanks to technology are able to vibrate their finger on the key board and achieve a vibrato effect like on the guitar.
Again, I am not asking this to disrespect the guitar instrument, on the contrary, I really want to get back to playing my guitar and it's something that bugged me.

Thanks


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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 5468
 

If you ever tried playing flute or brass on a keyboard, you find that the attack, the method of producing the notes, the color, the timbre are all lacking on a keyboard. I'm sure with enough practice you could get a pretty close approximation, but it isn't close to the same. Find a keyboard and try it, I guarantee you it doesn't sound like anything you can do on a guitar.

When I play my guitar synth I have the same problem in reverse.


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(@notes_norton)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1497
 

I play sax, guitar and flute.

No synth reproduces them exactly -- yet. It's difficult to reproduce all the nuances that the 'real thing' (for lack of a better term) creates.

The closest is physical modeling, here are a couple of examples of me playing a wind controller (Yamaha WX5) through a Yamaha VL70m physical modeling synth.

http://www.nortonmusic.com/mp3/_sunshinesax.mp3

http://www.nortonmusic.com/mp3/_capecodsax.mp3

http://www.nortonmusic.com/mp3/_oldtimeguitar.mp3

http://www.nortonmusic.com/mp3/_personalchoice.mp3

So then you might ask, why even try to emulate a guitar or sax on a synth if you can play guitar or synth?

Not for what they can do like a guitar or sax, but for the differences. Just as a piano player might switch from a grand to an upright or a Rhodes, I switch from sax, flute, and guitar to synth. They aren't quite like the real thing, they can't do everything the real thing does, they do some things differently from what the real thing does, and they do some things the real thing cannot do.

You asked: "I'll just cut to the point - Why should we need a guitar(any kind) if a keyboard synthesizer can achieve the same sound of every instrument and has pretty much endless options."

Answer, the same sound can be reproduced but not all the nuances. Take guitar, since this is a guitar forum, there are various picking techniques that change the tone of the guitar, from picking near the neck to near the bridge, picking hard while holding the pick stiff, picking softly holding the pick loosely, picking the string at an angle or parallel, muting while picking some notes, using fingers and thumb between flat picking, and so on. Synths may have all those attacks, but it can be very difficult to switch from one to another and may even require a different guitar patch for different articulations.

You asked: Is there any aspect/sound/technique that a normal guitar can achieve that a synth can't?

See above: Add guitar strings are often not in tune with each other. Press the string behind the fret and the string is stretched. Combine that with an open string and the two will beat on each other. Or intentionally stretch one string but not another you are playing. I suppose you could get a synth to do this, but in real time it would be difficult. There are other aspects too. But then there are things the synth can do that the guitar cannot.

You asked: "I even saw people playing a synth and thanks to technology are able to vibrate their finger on the key board and achieve a vibrato effect like on the guitar."

Yes and no. When you bend a string on the guitar, you get subtle changes of tone. Also the pitch deviation is not linear, while it is on synths.

I play sax and belong to a wind synthesizer group. The person with what we call "Home Instrument Bias" who plays both the acoustic or acoustic/electric and synth usually immediately knows what the synth patch cannot do that his/her acoustic instrument can do. It takes longer to find out what the synth can do that the home instrument cannot do.

I have a friend who can tell the difference between a recording of a real B-3 organ and the best synthesized B-3 sound. I can't. He plays B-3, that's why. He knows every nuance of the instrument, I just like the music it makes.

I suppose acoustic pianos with thousands of hours on a piano can tell the difference between the 'real thing' and the simulation.

Synths are wonderful in their own right, and can come close to emulating other instruments, but they are different machines and should be played in part for those differences.

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com Add-on Styles for Band-in-a-Box and Microsoft SongSmith

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<


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(@leander07marvin)
Active Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 13
 

As simple as a man holding a guitar doing a Godlike guitar solo is better than any synth out there.

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies".

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQYJol3YUbGdeNTj8Et7XJg


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