Jamstik studio guitar


I just got a Jamstik studio guitar and to any guitar players that are asking themselves If it works smoothly as pitch and gate controller then the answer is YES. works great including the pitch shifting! Hammer ons and pull offs are a bit tricky and need to be played in a robotic perfect way to work properly and you do need to set the latency pretty low (Black size of 64 works ok, 32 is better) but it’s great! No more Env Follower chains that only kinda get it done. Just in case someone is thinking if to buy it or not…


It’s a good piece of kit. I supported them during the initial Kickstarter campaign and waited over a year for it. Of course, now I hardly every play it anymore as my piano skills got better :upside_down_face:


Totally agree, I might need to get mine out and dust it off, I had the same reaction when I first got it. Far better than any other midi guitar I’ve played.


That’s good to know, thanks. It’s one of the products I’m interested in and does get good reviews. For the time being, I’ve decided not to invest in any MIDI guitar solution, and just concentrate on using VCV for effects processing the regular guitar sound. I’m not sure I like the sound of analogue style synths played from a guitar, while it’s a nice idea in theory it never seems quite right. Maybe physical modelling stuff like Elements/Rings etc would work better (Elements is great fun played with the V/Oct out from Entrian Follower, but the pitch tracking isn’t quite there yet). Using a stable MIDI trigger to add some synths to a guitar FX patch would be ace.

Having said that, as a gate controller it would be really useful. I’ve got a patch where the guitar triggers Rings, and also a S&H so that each time you play it generates a different note, like a kind of generative auto-accompaniment. I’ve tried a few envelope followers to generate the gates, but there’s always a slight delay which is just big enough to be annoying. Also it doesn’t re-trigger properly, so you don’t always get a different pitch.

Do any of the Jamstick users here have examples of music you’ve made combining it with VCV? I’d be interested in what you can do with it.




That’s a good challenge prompt. Good excuse for me to try getting back into guitar. Somehow I’ve never been able to wed my guitar playing with computer music, it’s like they’re just two different mental spaces for me. Getting a Linnstrument was a big breakthrough for me, but in a way it was helpful to discover that the jamstik didn’t break my guitar/computer block.

But I should give it another shot!

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Exactly this! I’m the same. I usually use VCV either for effects and live looping, making a whole piece with just guitar, or for electronic pieces with sequencers and no guitar at all. Sometimes for ambient stuff I’ll create textures with guitar effects, sample it and trigger a few bits alongside regular pads but generally I find it really hard combining guitar and synth sounds.


That’s cool if Jamstik works this well for most players. I spent the day yesterday playing with my "You Rock Guitar-Gen2’ MIDI guitar and my Roland GK-2A MIDI pickup and GR-55 MIDI Guitar Synth. Neither one can be played without modifying my guitar playing techniques. The YRG has strings for plucking, but raised fret-board lines for fretting. I can get some decent chords out of it in VCV Rack. The GR-55 (2011 vintage) has pages and pages of hardware menus, parameters and settings. It is overwhelming trying to find the sweet spot to just reliably play the note I fret. Right now it is too sensitive to string tension pitch shifts when notes are fretted.

Today I am going to let MIDI rest and use my Strat and GR-55 as an audio effects pedal and send the audio to Rack for modular manipulation.

Edit: Actually, today I am using the GK-2A pickup to MIDI trigger the GR-55 over the proprietary 13 pin cable and just sending the synthesized guitar audio to Rack. That works pretty well.

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I also have the Roland system. The Jamstick is significantly better. That being said, I love using the GR-55. You just have to accept its limitations.


Yeah, it looks like the problems I am having in Rack by sending the Roland MIDI signals to Rack may be due to too much MIDI info being sent such that slight fretting pressure changes make it into the MIDI stream, which Rack attempts to play. I probably need to thin down the MIDI data stream being sent into Rack.

Here’s an interesting tidbit of info. I just picked up the guitar after probably six months of inactivity (judging by the dust) and it’s still perfectly in tune! The Grover tuners on my Martin acoustic aren’t even that good.

You gave me an excuse to dust off the guitar, update the firmware, and record a short example. I used VCV Pro running as a plugin in Reaper because that’s my normal setup but there is no guitar in the mix, just the simple synth in Rack being controlled by the Jamstick.



That sounds very good. I duplicated your patch and tried it with my Roland MIDI guitar. I can’t get it to sound anything close to yours. What is sending the MIDI->CV “PW” pitch wheel info from your guitar? What do you set your MIDI-CV Polyphony channels and Polyphony mode to? I have mine set to 6 and Rotate.

I am using polyphony 4 channels and retrigger. The jamstick is set to MPE and the PW output is just bending the string…

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Ah, MPE is probably key to the Jamstick’s playability. My Roland system does not support MPE as it is 2011 vintage. Using MIDI to send string bend info without MPE is extremely difficult, IMHO. The Roland can send the expression pedal data as MIDI CC, but I do not think it can send string bend as CC. But, I will play with it to see.

I’m curious why use you 4 channel polyphony rather than 6.

Thanks for the info.

After watching several Jamstick videos, I’m spoiled now :wink: I don’t think I could ever get my Roland MIDI guitar to sound this good. I’ve tried several MIDI guitars over the years and the Jamstick appears to be hands-down the most capable, due to MPE capabilities.

I am considering buying a Jamstick Studio and retiring all of my current MIDI guitar equipment. Well, almost. My Roland MIDI pickup is mounted on my Stratocaster and does not affect the native playability of the Strat in any way.

My only reel complaint about the guitar is that you need to keep it charged up because it won’t charge while plugged into the computer.

I was wondering about that. I have placed my order :grinning:

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Nice. I’m curious to know what you think.

I also just noticed that I wrote ‘reel’ instead of ‘real’…folk nerd that I am, I had a chuckle at that :upside_down_face:


That’s impressive, really smooth pitch tracking and triggering. I’m not sure how much I’d use it but I kind of want one anyway now! I should probably start using my synth pedal again, that tracks quite well, I just don’t like the sounds. Maybe I’ll drown it in effects and do some guitar synth ambient looping…but imagine playing VCV synths on top of that with a Jamstick…hmmm.

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