Those of you who listened to my new album probably noticed my extensive use of guitar synthesizer on it. That was using my Godin Freeway SA guitar and a Roland GR-33 guitar synth module that I got a nice package deal on last year at Atomic Music up in Maryland. As you can probably tell from the recordings, the GR-33 has high latency and mediocre tracking but can be used creatively if you work at it.
Since I really have the guitar synth bug now, I decided to upgrade to the Axon AX100 Mk II MIDI guitar converter. Folks, this thing is WAY better than the effing Roland. 1000% better. The slight amount of latency is not enough to be a problem even with fast picking, and the tracking is incredibly better once you tinker with the settings. There are still a few ghost notes and missed notes on the low E and A strings, but even those strings are usable for most things. which is not true with the Roland. You still have to play with much more precise technique than on regular guitar, and you can't just cut loose and forget about the gear. But this is an actual, usable piece of gear.
I can't wait to start collecting interesting synth modules to use with it. I'm looking to pick up an old Roland JD-990 to use for analog-style leads and pads, with maybe one of the Roland ROMplers also, such as the XV-5080. I've already got a Yamaha Motif ES keyboard, and I'm sure I'll be using it with the Axon, but it's not all that great for 'synthesized' sounds and its strong point is acoustic and electric pianos--which are still better played through actual keyboards. Guitar voicings sound kind of bizarre through piano sounds, though single note lines are fun. Accurate tracking is also more difficult with highly percussive sounds like piano.
Anyway, I recorded a "violin" solo using the cheezy built-in sounds on the Axon, and it still turned out pretty killer. It has a sustain pedal that activates a string pad 'zone' in this particular patch to use for backing. Take a listen:
SoundClick artist: Council of One - page with MP3 music downloads
Ok, that is indeed pretty damn cool. You are not helping my desire to get one of these to screw around with