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Pitch to MIDI schematic needed

10/26/2002 6:36 PM
Gilles C
Pitch to MIDI schematic needed
I don't think that I will be able to buy a Casio midi guitar, even if I now know 2 people who owns one...  
But now, I'm hooked. I would like to have one.  
I began searching on the net for a pitch2midi schematic, and realised that there is not a lot available. Or I wasn't lucky.  
So what I think I will do from now on is try to find a used hex pickup somewhere, and experiment with PICs to make myself a midi guitar.  
Unless I find a schematic before that.  
--->If anybody find anything related to that on the net, PLEASE let me know... I would appreciate that.  
But first, I need to find an hex pickup...  
Humm, I remember a pawn shop that had one for sale a while ago...  
10/27/2002 2:42 AM
Mark Hammer

You can find one just like Harry Bissell was using on e-bay. In fact, someone in Montreal has one right now for $30. If it is gone, just keep looking for G-Vox.  
G-Vox is a hex-pickup system that is intended to interface with a computer and be used with guitar learning software. The hex pickup will let the computer keep track of what you play and tell you if you are doing it right. Apparently this package was not as popular as the G-Vox people thought it would be. Now that Line 6's Guitar Port package has been so well received, G-Vox will be even less popular.  
If you look for it on e-bay you will see a handful. I just missed one the other day that went for a little over $10US.  
Another thing to look for is the IVL Pitchrider. This was a basic guitar-to-midi convertor, made in Victoria BC about 15 years ago. Kramer bought out IVL (and a number of the IVL employees branched out to become Electrix from what I understand) and focussed on the wind instrument and voice market, but continued to make pitchriders for a little while. I see Pitchriders 2nd hand from time to time. There is also an Ibanez rackmount unit that shows up in second hand places now and then.  
If you can bear to pay market prices, I am sure there are add-on guitar to MIDI units out there that will simply stick onto an existing guitar and plug directly into a midi tone generator. The FB-01 that Pete brought with his Casio guitar can be easily had for well under $100 second hand, along with a number of other first generation midi modules like the MT-32, TZ-816 (?) and others.
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10/27/2002 3:38 AM
Gilles C

Thanks for the info on the G-Vox, I wasn't sure if it was really was Harry was using. I thought the G-Vox was more like a monophonic add-on pick-up than a real hex one.  
I'll check for one on the net.  
I don't want to pay the big bucks for a new one. If so, I would be tempted by a GK2A. But I don't really have the need.  
After what I heard from Harry's guitar, you convinced me that a G-Vox would do it.  
In the while, I found this project that looks interesting.  
I could build 6 of them for a polyphonic circuit.  
$25.00 US for a pre-programmed PIC. Hummm, interesting.  
I already have a FB-01 and a DX-100 from my synth years. So all I need now is the interface.  
10/27/2002 4:01 AM
Gilles C
Theramin MIDI
Oh, and he also has a MIDI Theramin project, for those interested.  
10/29/2002 2:40 AM
Peter Snow
Re: Pitch to MIDI schematic needed
Hi Gilles & Mark,  
I have the service manual for the CASIO MG-510 (the model I have) which I originally got here:  
Sadly when I logged in just now I found the file missing. Some other interesting info there though.  
I will email the schematics and other relevant parts to you Gilles. But don't get too excited, the quality is very poor and anyway, most of the magic appears to be done by a PD78C10G micro processor.  
Here is another link to a Yahoo chat group where these and the CASIO PG-380(?) are sometimes the subject of discussion. Occasionally one comes up for sale there too.  
If you ever have the chance to buy one, you should be aware that there is an issue with caps on some units and you may be looking at some extensive re-capping if you get a bad one.  
I know there are many alternatives, but one that I have personal experience with is the Roland CP-40. These units used to be very cheap, but may be difficult to find these days. I have never seen another one locally since I bought mine 6-7 years ago. This takes any audio input and converts it to a MIDI data stream that you can plug into a noise maker of your choice. You can even plug in a mic and whistle into it if you want.  
The advantage (& disadvantage) is that it requires no hex pickup 'cos it's mono (single note input) only. This is not necessarily a drawback depending on what you want to control. It works great for single note instrument sounds such as flute, trumpet, etc. It tracks well but requires the usual tight playing when using guitar as an input, to avoid glitches.  
Next time you are in Ottawa, come over and try it & the CASIO at your leisure - maybe try the IBANEZ XIMG too.  
10/29/2002 6:04 AM
Gilles C

>>>Sadly when I logged in just now I found the file missing. Some other interesting info there though.<<<  
I also found that very good site when I was searching on info on the Casio guitars. And as you said, the service manual is not available anymore. But I learned a lot on that site.  
Thanks for sending me the infos, it could put me on the track for an homemade interface for a start. But with a PIC.  
Today, I saw a GK2A pickup with a G-10 module for sale at $500.00 CAN. I couldn't get the dealer to sell me only the pick-up. :-(  
But I'm not ready to pay that.  
...And I really like the Casio.  
>>>Next time you are in Ottawa, come over and try it & the CASIO at your leisure - maybe try the IBANEZ XIMG too.<<<  
Humm, very tempting :-)  
See you,  
10/30/2002 1:49 AM
Peter Snow

Good luck Gilles.
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