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Re: MIDI Tuba

At 3:00 PM -0400 6/15/07, Bill Fox wrote:
>Sorry Richard,
>The hex pickup you mention is an electric guitar pickup that depends 
>upon a metal string vibrating.  It won't work otherwise.  However, I 
>would suggest to Richard that he get a contact mic and feed it to a 
>pitch-to-MIDI converter.  I don't know what devices are out there 
>these days.  The Roland VP-70 from the '80s might work although it 
>is meant for voice input.  Considering the low register of a tuba, 
>you might be plagued by excessive conversion times.

Bill's spot on with his write-up.

What might also be an interesting experiment, though, would be to 
wire up a contact mic/piezo element to one terminal on a 13-pin cord, 
then try running the signal into a modelling processor like the 
Roland V-Bass, which is tuned to handle low-frequency content.

The GK pickups are designed to split each string into its own 
individual signal.  As Bill pointed out, these pickups -- just as 
conventional guitar pickups -- are dependent upon a vibrating metal 
string.  However, we know other sources can work.  There are 
GK-compatible piezos, for instance, that work fine for nylon-string 

Since you'd just be sending a single signal, figure out which one of 
the 4 - 6 bass strings most closely matches the range of a tuba, then 
wire a cheap contact into that pin of the 13-pin plug.  Since it's an 
experiment, you'll most likely want to borrow a V-Bass for an 
afternoon, but I'd bet you'd get some interesting results.

Oh, and I'd probably stick with physical modelling technology and 
stay away from MIDI.  Even if you manage to get decent tracking 
(well, a tuba is a monophonic signal) the long wavelengths being 
processed by a "pitch-to-glitch" converter are likely to cause an 
irritatingly long delay.

Otherwise, I've heard good things about the IVL PitchTrack (hard to 
find) as well as the old Fairlight (impossible to find) 
pitch-tracking unit.

"I want to keep you alive so there is always the possibility of 
murder... later"