A Minneapolis guitar company with a unique technology focus has matured into a major contender in the music production industry.
The following article was developed with Zivix, a proud partner of DMN.
Zivix started as a small team, relying on crowdfunding campaigns to bring most of its previous products to market. For a product like the original Jamstik guitar, crowdfunding was the perfect environment to capture the attention of future guitar enthusiasts and technology lovers.
The team has enjoyed success and built a community around its educational guitars, but in 2018 it was time to expand. The team decided to focus on creating a full 24-fret electric guitar dubbed the Jamstik Studio MIDI Guitar. Zivix says it has revolutionized music production by creating a modern MIDI guitar, capable of simultaneous analog and digital recording – greatly expanding guitarists’ creative potential.
The Studio MIDI Guitar was released in 2020, as a reward to backers in Zivix’s latest crowdfunding efforts. The Studio MIDI Guitar has received rave reviews from both customers and musicians alike. Zivix has continued to evolve the guitar with major software and firmware updates.
Zivix is no stranger to software development, having released multiple Jamstik applications for iOS. Jamstik Creator – the newest companion software – is the culmination of those efforts for the Studio MIDI Guitar.
Jamstik Creator is custom built for the high-end MIDI guitar and serves as both a utility application for adjusting settings – and a full-fledged sound development studio. The software is loaded with 150+ MPE presets across professionally sampled and synthesized sounds. New features have been consistently added across the board, and the company will introduce downloadable sound packs and more this holiday season.
The Jamstik Studio is the first MIDI Guitar Controller equipped with MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE). That means the instrument can assign each string of the guitar to independent MIDI channels, giving each string its own line of communication with digital audio workstations (DAW).
The Jamstik utilizes MPE through measuring the string amplitude, tracking the envelopes of the notes, and then making that data as expression and ‘pitch bend’ information to accurately map vibrato.
New guitars now ship with firmware 3.0+ and the included Jamstik Creator software is now a few iterations beyond 1.0. Jamstik recently released a new Orange Matte version of the Studio MIDI Guitar – but it’s also available in black, white, and blue colorways.
Jamstik Studio MIDI Guitar – What Is It?
The Jamstik Studio MIDI guitar was built for producers, guitarists, and songwriters alike. It’s a 24-fret electric guitar, low-latency MIDI controller, and a portable travel guitar all-in-one. Zivix says it’s an instrument that bridges the gap between guitar and music production. Players can even adjust their settings from within their DAW of choice using the Jamstik Creator software as an Auv3 or VST3 plugin.
As an electric guitar, it has two humbuckers, a coil tap switch, a three-way switch, and a standard ¼” out. MIDI out options include USB-C, and a 3.5mm TRS-MIDI output for controlling analog gear with no computer required. It also features Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, just like the Jamstik+. This makes it simple for producers using mobile music creation apps like GarageBand and BandLab.
Ready to see the Studio MIDI Guitar in action? This demo shows producer and YouTuber Taetro building a lo-fi track using only the Studio MIDI Guitar and Ableton Live, using plugins like Serum, Guitar Rig, Kontakt, and more along the way to record everything from drums and guitar to synths and violins.
The Studio MIDI Guitar is the Swiss Army Knife of guitars. It’s a MIDI controller that works with an existing setup. It has a ¾ body size and the headless design allowed the team at Zivix to fit 24 standard scale-length frets in a portable form factor. That means the guitar fits efficiently in a studio and can be packed away for the road with the included premium gig case.
How is it different from other MIDI guitar pickups?
With the Studio MIDI Guitar, there’s no setup required. The electric guitar features a precision mounted hex MIDI pickup which sends the signal to powerful onboard processors inside the guitar.
These processors perform algorithmic pitch analysis and MIDI conversion in near real-time. These dedicated on-board processors mean the Jamstik doesn’t introduce CPU load on your computer. With a wired USB connection, latency ranges between 6 to 15 milliseconds.
“I can’t emphasize this enough, Jamstik has nailed it!”
– Noah Itman, Digital Music News
Zivix says its team spent countless hours developing algorithms for analyzing and interpreting picking and playing data. These algorithms allow the device to accurately detect and translate the guitar nuances and articulations that make the instrument so unique – including polyphonic bends, slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, tapping, velocity, muting, palm muting, and more techniques.
Ready to learn more about the Studio MIDI Guitar?