MIDI (The Grid®)

21 October 04 - Pete Gonzales (AZ), to Stickwire:
I recently received my oak Stick back from SE. I had a GK2A installed along with fret and detail work. The action is great, the pickup installation looks great. What a difference a properly set up Stick can make. I swear that even the bass side sounds richer/fuller. I also purchased the new Roland GR20. Patch #1 under Synth bank "Guitar Attack" is a dead ringer of Pat Metheny/Lyle Mayes sound that really, really sounds great! Although I'll need to play with sensitivity and "play style" etc., this seems to be a great unit. If I get bored with the 450 presets and 99 user patches, I can always plug into my Alesis Qs7. Wow, this is like sensory overload! Overall I thought that this is a great unit that tracks really fast and coupled with Emmett's setup magic, I'm one happy man!

17 May 04 - Micah Ball (CA) to Sticknews:
As someone who has used the GK pickup on the Stick and on guitar, it's a world of difference. Because of the flat radius and the super low action, and the relatively small movement of the strings, you can get a GK pickup setup much more precisely on the Stick than on guitar. The "Strat" radius is not an issue because SE gets custom pickups made by Roland that are completely flat.

19 June 03 - Joe Zymonas (IL) to Sticknews:
Many of us have been asked, "Is that a sitar?" One time I guessed an approaching audience member would ask. I quickly lowered my GK-2A-equipped Stick's volume them called up a sitar patch on my tone module.
"Is that a sitar?"
"Why, yes it is."
Apologies to Emmett. Couldn't resist!

16 June 03 - Glenn Poorman (MI), to Stickwire:
In an effort to clear out some of my own floor units, I recently picked up one of each of these units (GI-20 and XV-2020) to create the "synth twin rack pack." Both are housed in the same sleek silver half-rack chassis. Side by side, they look like a single rack-mounted synthesizer unit. Aesthetics aside however, I was unpreapared for the performance I would get out of this combo. I love the sound control and find the software very easy to use. Combining this package with a nice MIDI foot controller that allows control of multiple devices, you get a tidy yet very powerful package.

21 May 03 - Steve Adelson (NY), to Stickwire:
The GK pickup, as alluded to, is the way to go. I hardly ever use the treble side of my Stick pickup. The GK into a VG-88 gives me all the sound possibilities I ever need. Piezo, wah, nylon, jazz, distorted, whatever. I little tweak here and there and you're in.

28 December 01 - Jaap Kramer (The Netherlands), to Stickwire
To add some info about the GK-2A pickups: not only is the Stick variant flat instead of arched, the string distance is smaller, too. So the Stick GK-2As are REALLY special. As said, tracking of a Stick is better than any guitar because tapping gives a "cleaner" attack than picking. Even older guitar-MIDI-converters, like my Roland GI-10 track very fast on The Stick. In my opinion, The Stick is a great MIDI instrument.

27 December 01 - Kevin Keith (CA), to Stickwire:
I have both sides of my 10-string MIDI retrofitted and I love it!

27 December 01 - Steve Adelson (NY), to Stickwire:
I just purchased my second MIDI Stick. I love both of them (as well as my other Sticks). The tracking through the VG88 is not a factor. It's not a synth. On my GR-30, there's a "play feel" setting that you can set to tap, which makes the tracking superb for The Stick. The sonic possibilities are fantastic. I use the VG-88 throughout on my latest CD, and various MIDI sounds from the GR-30 particularly on the free improv. The multiple sounds helped give the sessions a creative life.

6 October 01 - Pete Gilbert (MI), to Stickwire:
I have had the GR-33 for a month or so, and I like it very much. The "lead synth" sounds and pads are quite wonderful. All of the units that I have played do a good job of tracking vibrato, slides and bends. This is a point where you need to match technique to the sound: pianos don't normally bend, and this will sound out of place. The great advantage of adding MIDI is in layering sounds. A clean Stick tone with a beautiful pad flowing beneath is another thing that every player should experience.

5 October 01 - Steve Adelson (NY), to Stickwire:
I'm using my MIDI Stick almost exclusively now. I marvel at the possibilities. I use the GR-30 and the VG-88. The simulators (guitar and amp) of the VG-88 are great. Add that to the synths of the GR-30 and you have all the sound variations you can imagine. Main tweaking comes in the synth. There's a parameter for play feel. Set it to Tap and enjoy the tracking. Very exciting for your creative spirit.

29 December 00 - Virna Splendore (Italy), interview with Nick Beggs (UK), to Sticknews:
Beggs: The MIDI side of The Stick is an extension of an already highly expressive musical tool. As for what I think about it, well I'm able to charge for three men's' jobs. Bass, lead guitar and synth player. Thanks Emmett, you tripled my income.

18 December 00 - Pete Francz (NY), to Sticknews:
Yuta and Emmett set me up with a custom GK-2A pickup for the Grand Stick at a very reasonable cost and complete instructions, plus verbal discussions and coaching on the installation. Everything went off perfectly. SE's strict attention to detail and infinite patience is most appreciated. What a great OEM, I really enjoy working with Emmett and Yuta. They really stand behind their instruments. RESULTS: The result is a Grand Stick with MIDI on the melody side that was very easy to install at reasonable cost, and easy to learn. Do it sooner, not later, close your eyes and play, you can imagine any instrument with all the sounds at your disposal. The sound is awesome, and inspiring. The installation is easy with Emmett's instructions, the cost is very reasonable. The Stick blows other MIDI-string instruments off the charts. The possibilities are almost endless with the MIDI pickup on board.

20 November 00 - Kevin Keith (CA), to Stickwire:
My primary Stick was fitted by Emmett with two GK-2A pickups and I use it with a lot of MIDI modules and a Roland VG8. My gear is fairly up to date but there are tiny delays on the MIDI side (the VG8 tracks instantly). The delays are really small so the system is still very useful. To hear a sample of my MIDIfied Stick you can go to my Website (www.kevinkeith.com) and in the music page there is an mp3 demo called "Believe".

20 November 00 - Brian McCully (WA), to Sticknews:
Stick Enterprises was kind enough to recently transform my maple Grand (in record time, yeehaw!) to a bass and melody MIDI'd (all 12 strings) Stick. The tuning possibilities are endless, and the typical sound is like playing 4 instruments at once. SE offers a trade-in for the pickup and will retro for a reasonable price, plus Emmett's super setup tweaking. The MIDI pickup is snug right in between The Stick pickup housing and the lower bridge. The GK-2A housings are arranged in 69 on the back side of The Stick, and I just leave them with volume up on the full synth setting (no guitar mix).

22 October 00 - Pete Gilbert (MI), to Stickwire:
Be sure to try mixing and matching the synth sounds and your other sounds (either clean or processed). The clean Stick sound sounds magnificent with strings or choir behind it. If you layer your already processed sounds with the guitar synth, you can make even more unbelievable textures.

14 April 00 - Nick Beggs (England), interview posted to Sticknews:
With that extra MIDI'd output you can play any instrument you want, even drums and percussion. Certain synth presets respond better than others but the triggering is very fast. Now that I'm putting my own solo work together, I'm using the sounds of a piano as well as brass and other synth presets. In many ways, the MIDI'd Stick enables you to think like any other instrument player.

5 March, 00 - Steve Adeleson (NY), to Sticknews:
My playing has changed over the last 1/2 year or so. After using my MIDI Stick with piano sounds or Metheny sounds, my "straight" Stick sound ideas have been affected. My phrasing and way of thinking and hearing has changed. I think it's a large step in musical growth.

February 00 - Cliff Suttle, Feature writer with Harmony Central:
The Stick has an optional MIDI controller that is built right in to the instrument's pickup system that sends quick and accurate MIDI information. The Stick has ten guitar-like strings (5 guitar/5 bass) and is excellent for producing both rhythm, lead, and solo performances. I got a chance to hear many fine Stick players at the NAMM show and what can be done with this instrument is nothing short of amazing. As a MIDI controller, the Stick performs much like a keyboard.

28 October 99 - Steve Adeleson (NY), to Stickwire:
With proper tweaking and a balance between MIDI and natural sounds, the setup performs wonderfully. You'll have to adjust your playing style and perhaps techniques and vocabulary, but the audio result of the MIDI Stick is phenomenal! I'm totally satisfied with MIDI response time and the sonic possibilities are simply mind-boggling. Right now it's my instrument of choice. It's been killer on gigs.

27 October 99 - Greg Howard (VA), to Stickwire:
The Stick is actually a very good MIDI controller because the notes attack on pitch instead on having to settle down from the sharpness caused by picking or plucking a string with more force. All of the folks I know who have MIDI Sticks love the way they track.

19 July 96 - Dave Haan (OH), to Stickwire:
I received my new Stick about five months ago. It is truly an incredible instrument. #1021, 10-string purple heart with MIDI. I am to the point now where I can actually play it coherently. The MIDI tracks better than any MIDI guitar I have ever owned. I find with slight vibrato I can achieve infinite sustain out of the Roland sound source. With The Stick, I'm doing things I could never dream of doing on guitar.

29 November 95 - Jim Speer (PA), to Stickwire:
MIDI: Yes! I got the MIDI pickup on the six highest melody strings (which leaves the lowest melody string un-MIDI-ed). I got the Roland GR-10 converter box from Stick Enterprises with that. In short, I would wholeheartedly second the review comments of Francesco Puddu a couple of months ago. The note tracking is close to perfect, with only a few pickup-sensitivity adjustments and little getting-used-to required.