Using Godin Synth Access Guitars


David Mash

Vice President for Information Technology
Berklee College of Music

David Mash playing the Godin LGX-SA

Many of Godin's guitars feature Synth Access, which allows us to use these fine instruments to control synthesized sounds and to connect to computers so that we may use powerful music production tools such as sequencers, multi-track audio recorders, and music notation software to realize our music. These guitars use the GK-standard 13-pin connectror to pass audio from the hexaphonic pickup to a device that can convert the audio into control signals, usually in the form of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) commands. You can find links to these instruments under the "Synth Access" heading. These instruments have been designed from the ground up with synth access in mind and are, simply put, the best guitar controllers available today!

This short lesson will show you a simple way to connect and configure your Godin guitar to access the power of electronic synthesizers, either in live performance or in the personal studio. For this lesson we'll use Roland's GI-20 guitar-to-MIDI converter and USB interface, and an Apple Powerbook laptop computer with Logic Pro software. The steps listed here are fairly generic, and may be used with other devices, computers, and software as well. In this lesson we'll cover the following topics:

  1. Making the connections: How to hook up all the gear to make it work most effectively
  2. Setting up the guitar: A few key things to maximize the effective control of synthesizers
  3. Setting up the interface: Matching the interface to the guitar
  4. Using software instruments: Playing software (or virtual) synthesizers
  5. Recording and processing the guitar audio: The complete digital guitar studio.