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Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 Review (Worth It?)
Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 might be the best software for guitar-to-MIDI, or guitar MIDI controller right now. Available in both your DAW and as standalone software, Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 can be used both as a live guitar synthesizer or recording software.
Ease of Use
Value For Money
Barely any latency
Able to use all VST instruments
Attractive interface with lots of control over audio
Affordable price compared to hardware
Might not be good as hardware MIDI guitar synths for live settings
One of the big problems that guitar players face when dealing with MIDI, is that guitar players aren’t usually the best keyboard players or at least not as comfortable on the keyboard as they are on the guitar.
That’s where guitar to midi software comes in, which allows you to control any virtual instruments using your guitar as a controller.
Since the introduction of Roland GR-1 in the early 1990s, there has been an evolution of guitar synthesizers from Roland GR-33 to the introduction of the MIDI Guitar VST.
This software works by taking the audio signals from the guitar’s pickups and converts them into MIDI data.
Produced by the Danish company Jam Origin in Denmark, they have really pushed the envelope when it comes to the usability and tracking accuracy of guitar to MIDI software.
With this technology, the electric guitar becomes more than just a guitar, it becomes a controller for any VST software that can receive MIDI input.
Now one of the main problems with using a guitar as a MIDI controller was the latency, and as guitar players, we know how annoying it is to deal with latency when recording our guitar.
The latency was a major turnoff for guitar players when it came to guitar-to-MIDI, but Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 barely has any latency.
With Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2, the time from when a note is played on the guitar to when a MIDI note is triggered is almost instant, you can even play fast lines with a good amount of accuracy.
Another great feature is that it’s even able to track the input of your guitar polyphonically. Which if you remember the old Roland GK pickups they would have 6 individual mini pickups in order to detect each string.
A true testament to how far tracking software has come is that it can do this accurately only using the magnetic pickup of the guitar.
So let’s take a deeper dive into the world of Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 and find out what it’s all about.
Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 might be the best software for guitar-to-MIDI right now.
Available both as VST/AU and as standalone software, Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 can be used in both live or recording environments.
The user interface
Looking at the main UI of the Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2, a lot is going on, but the labels and the menus aren’t too difficult to understand once you spend a bit of time with the software.
After all, if you are like me who just needs to use your guitar as a MIDI controller, all you need to pay attention to is the Audio Interface section.
The Audio Interface section includes menus like input, output, channel, latency, and input gain, and connecting my guitar was a very easy process.
Then there is also the MIDI Interfacesection, where you can check your audio interface settings and do things like pick your midi channel
Other than that, the rest of the interface is there for using Jam Origin’s built-in patches and effects.
The Patch menu can be used to access the factory patches and there are great presets from various pianos to synthesizers.
Although the primary use of this software is to access your library of virtual instruments, let’s take a quick look at some features within the factory sounds.
Each factory patch has these 7 separate modules: Tracking, Articulation, MIDI Velocity, MIDI Machines, Instrument, Guitar, and Mixer.
You can simply think of controls inside a MIDI virtual instrument. But one of the modules that sets this apart is the MIDI Machines option, where you can control the modulators of the MIDI data that is being created with your guitar.
In other words, the MIDI Machines module will allow you to control how the guitar audio signal will be processed in MIDI.
With features like a harmonizer and scale filter, there is even a tab called palm mute dynamics where the MIDI will respond to the intensity of your palm muting to adjust a parameter of your instrument. This works fantastic when tied to something like a filter which can open up as you are also ‘opening’ your palm mute more.
All in all, the built-in factory presets and the interface itself will give you plenty of sounds to explore and mess around with, and you can do a lot of detailed sound design with the MIDI Guitar 2 interface.
Connecting to other virtual instruments
Now to the real reason why most people use this software, let’s find out what it’s like to control all your favorite software synths using MIDI guitar 2.
This is the most important aspect that guitarists look for in this software because guitar players are much more comfortable making music with their guitar than on a keyboard.
Setting up isn’t as simple as just plugging your MIDI keyboard straight into your computer and into your DAW, but it’s close. Here’s a simple way to do it:
Set your MIDI Output to “Virtual MIDI Output” and set the Channel to “1”.
Create a software instrument track
Make sure the software instrument that you created is listening to MIDI Channel 1 (by sending the track to a bus)
Another simple alternative is to record the MIDI data first by playing your guitar, then modify and replace it with any of your favorite virtual instrument software.
For more delicate and detailed recording or polyphonic recording, this way will deliver more accurate results.
What does Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 sound like?
Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 was surprisingly responsive, and for playing string instruments or wind instruments virtually, the experience of using MIDI Guitar 2 was actually better than using a MIDI keyboard.
Because with guitar, the bending and vibrato come naturally, wind instruments like saxophone or string instruments like a violin were much more expressive with a guitar MIDI controller.
Both monophonic and polyphonic playingis possible with the MIDI Guitar 2, but we recommend the Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 for more monophonic uses than polyphonic.
With polyphonic playing (playing multiple notes at the same time i.e. chords), make sure to go into the MIDI file and clean up the details and make sure all your desired notes were selected.
Because as good as polyphonic tracking has gotten, it still needs a little TLC and clean up afterward.
With monophonic playing (playing single notes), you won’t run into nearly as many problems once you get the right trigger threshold setup for your guitar.
To use this with minimal latency, make sure you set the DAW buffer size to 128 or when lower than 128, especially when working at 44.1 or 48 kHz.
But just like how latency works with a regular MIDI keyboard, the amount will ultimately depend on how many plugins and other tracks you have on your project.
We tested the Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 with various VSTs ranging from Arturia Analog Lab, the vast Native Instruments Kontakt Library, and many wind instruments.
The Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 was easy to use and we didn’t run into any problems using any of these virtual instruments.
How does Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 compare to Jammy?
Another popular choice for guitar MIDI controller is Jammy (check out our full review here). The Jammy Guitar is much like the controller for Guitar Hero, except it is almost like the real guitar with up to 15 frets.
Jammy Guitar is a very portable device that you can carry around and play through any MIDI instrument on your computer.
It is very handy for composers and producers, and this device also has almost no latency.
So how does the Jammy compare with the Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2?
Well, although the two products both serve as a guitar MIDI controllers, the MIDI Guitar 2 is software, and the Jammy is hardware.
They are both amazing in what they do, but Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 is much more affordable, and you can use your own guitars which will usually result in a better performance from you, the player.
The Jammy is a lot more expensive ($350 and higher), and it’s another guitar that you have to purchase.
Therefore, Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 is great for guitarists who want to use their guitars to access MIDI from time to time, while the Jammy is a great investment for guitar players who frequently use MIDI for all their writing, recording, and practicing.
In this Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 Review, we’ve uncovered what it is like to use and play through the Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 software and talked about its practicality as both a musical instrument and as a MIDI controller.
Jam Origin MIDI Guitar 2 is current as good as a guitar MIDI controller can get, and you can use your guitars to access virtually any sound in your VST library.
It’s truly groundbreaking software for guitar players, and now guitar players don’t need to muscle their way through playing parts on a keyboard anymore!