A better way to do audio/midi conversion (BOSS SY1000 and REAPER)

Started by jeanlouppecquais, November 10, 2022, 04:08:10 AM

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Hello there,

Since last January I'm discovering the world of synth guitar through the BOSS SY-1000. I must say it is a very mixed impression of "that's amazingly great" and "that does not work". Thanks to this forum I've manage to gather many information for better tracking experience. Also the last couple updates improves things, at least in my case.

Still, the audio to MIDI algorithm in the BOSS SY-1000 is... well let's just say it does not work. So we are left with one synth that does not function properly (OSC synth), and the possiblity to control external synths (hardware or plug-ins) is also severly compromise.

Except that we have an USB output. An USB output that can send the six raw string microphones. How convenient is that? Well I don't know if I'm reinventing the wheel here, but if we can send the six separate strings to a DAW, we could fix this audio to MIDI issue.

So here is a REAPER session to do just that (I'll link the session in the attachment files) :

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I have 6 tracks, each one of them is listening to one string. Then I have some filtering, some gating and the ReaTune plug-in to do the audio to midi conversion. Then I send each one of these tracks to a seventh one which host a Surge synth plug-in (free and open source).

I've just spent 15-20 minutes to set this up and it actually work much better than the algorithm of the BOSS SY-1000! This also means that there is certainly many room for improvements.
Also, the nice thing about REAPER is that it can run on linux, and it should run on a raspberry pi ! If I remember correctly, I've managed to use the SY-1000 as an audio interface on a linux laptop. I did not test this part, but there's hope for an elegant (and cheap) solution to complement what the BOSS SY1000 can do!

I encourage you to test the REAPER project. REAPER has a very permissive trial licence (and is quite cheap too), and the Surge synth is, as I mentionned before, free to use.
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Hope you find this interesting!

PS : I did not have the time to do a proper demo right now, but I'll try to !


This is a brilliant idea - I'm going to give it a try as soon as can. Thanks for posting!


Thanks chrissie_c !
You may have to change the settings of the threshold of the gates. I don't know how consistent the level is between each hexaphonic pickup. Certainly not very much because of the string height variation.

Let me know how it goes !


I can see a "JS: Audio Stream" plugin mentioned on your tracks - I don't have this though I can still make it work without. Does this do what I hope it does ... read audio from a device that's not the usual input device .. and if so, where did you get it from?


It seems to work pretty well - certainly better than the built-in SY-1000! One thing I am experimenting with is using the MeldaProduction MTuner plugin. It works similar to ReaTune but can emit pitch bend messages too. It needs a bit of tweaking to work well, but I'm getting there :)




chrissie_c, oh I forgot to remove my audio stream plugin. It is just something for my scripts library in REAPER, is does not even touch the audio, so no need to worry about it being absent from the session ;)
I'll check the melda tuner !! I'm glad you've find this useful ! There's some tweaking needed, but I'm sure it can work well.

I'm also setuping a raspberry pi to see how it can go with it. The good news is that I can see the BOSS SY1000 as an audio interface !

admin, The Zebra strategy seems great, but, as far as I understand, it means one plug-in per string channel, which may cause two issues :
+ CPU consuption (depends on the computer of course)
+ Find a way to link the six instances.

Pfantom Pfoton

Very interesting. What are other known Roland/Boss devices with USB that can send six separate signals to a DAW? I know the Boss GP-10 can, and I think the GI-20 can as well, but I wonder if there are other (cheaper) options. I wish there was a way to do this with my VG-88.



I think Lofileif has a similar setup using a GP-10, Ableton and Jamorigin

I have it working. Uptil now used it for reamping after cleaning the sound up with a gate and filters. Would love to DSP the strings into synthi sound, which I think to prefer over midi. For now I'm experimenting with the GP-10. So many options and so little time...
Gibson L5 CES, Ibanez 2630 Artist + GK-3, Fender Am Strat, Ibanez ST-300, Aria Nylon, Fina steelstring, GT-10, GP-10, Ableton.