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Old 2013-04-08, 00:31
lesfradkin's Avatar
lesfradkin lesfradkin is offline
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 2
Ztar Midi Guitar with Reason

I come to this forum with 30 years experience with Midi Guitar dating back to pioneering Midi Guitar in TV, Jingles and recordings in 1983. I have owned: SynthAxe, Roland GR-1, GR-50, GR-33, GI-20, GM-70, GR-700, Yamaha G-10/G-10C, and the New England Digital Synclavier. I have tried Axon, Gus, and others. I have a YouRock Guitar (a toy) and have played a Misa Kitara. The best of that bunch was the SynthAxe and Synclavier combination, although it was unwieldy to tour with.

Currently, and since 2007, I play the Starr Labs Ztar Z7S exclusively with Ableton Live and Reason 6.5. It has NO LATENCY. For those who doubt this claim, check out my videos of "Lift Off" and "Warp Drive" and ask yourself if what you see could be possible with a Pitch to Midi System. I assure you, it can not. Not only because there is no "tracking" delay, but because the Ztar has 8 nested multi tuning maps, which allow me to divide the neck into 32 zones and discard the chromatic scale to place sound anywhere on or across the neck, as comfort and convenience allows. This also allows me unique use of Reason's Combinators which can be heard/seen in my Ztar videos. And because I can tap individual sections of the neck (like a Chapman Stick), Midi Mono Mode is Unnecessary.

Strictly speaking, the Ztar is NOT for everybody. It is not for the impatient. It is not for those who won't let go of their traditional guitar. But after years of struggling with edits to get rid of ghost notes, this instrument was shown to me and it did more than open up the Midi guitar door. It changed my approach to playing music ENTIRELY. It allows me to perform music that can not be played on ANY other instrument, Midi Guitar or midi keyboard. And it has deepened my musicality to the point where it continues to provide this musician, an ideal platform for personal expression, without apologies for latency, tracking delay, or features. And as a platform for entering data into Reason, it's unbeatable.

And that is the Ztar's greatest "secret": there is no one right way to play it. But I can assure one and all, that it is the future (well, my future).

FWIW, as a result of my use of the Ztar, I've just been nominated for the Indie Music Channel Awards Best Classical Artist of 2013.


Les Fradkin
New Media Artist / Composer

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