Summer NAMM 2014: Fishman TriplePlay Demo

The world of MIDI guitar and guitar synth has always been prohibitive to me, in that it never seemed like the response was good enough, the tracking fast enough, or the interface simple enough to make it worth the investment. There was always some converter you needed, some other thing to buy, or a whole guitar-esque but not quite a guitar interface that never was as good as advertised.

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In response to these fears, the Fishman TriplePlay is a breath of fresh, accessible air. In probably the coolest demo I saw at this year’s Summer NAMM in Nashville, Fishman’s Burr Johnson demonstrates how useful and functional the TriplePlay is, with no lag or fuss. He uses the wireless MIDI pickup to control everything from synth leads, to drums, to organs, all with excellent tracking. Combined with the ability to divide the fretboard into zones with different sounds (!) the live performance options are limitless.

But that wasn’t even the kicker for me. As a guitar teacher for many years, I struggled with the time it took me to tab out things for my students, while they waited in boredom and fidgeted. Burr shows us in the video how easy it is to create accurate tab and notation simply by playing it into the provided notation software. It knows what fret and string you are on, making the tabs correct and bypassing that annoying redundancy of the notes on the guitar. Imagine being able to write charts for your whole band by just playing the song you wrote along to a click. Or skip having a band entirely and just record all the parts yourself using the provided library of sounds.

The name of the game for this is ACCESS. The TriplePlay unlocks the world of MIDI for guitar players in a big way, for about $400.

Keyboard players have been sampling guitars for years now, trying to put us out of work. Let’s turn the tables on them.

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As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.