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Hands On: Fishman TriplePlay Pickup

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Like many guitar players, I’m totally obsessed with my instrument. But I can’t help it if my eyes and ears wander when I’m in the presence of a sexy synthesizer — if only my guitar could make those sounds! The quest to connect a guitar to a synth has been going on for decades, and there are a number of solutions that work quite well. But now, Fishman has brought something new to the table: the TriplePlay, a wireless system that connects to your computer — so you don’t have to buy a synth or sound module — and can drive any virtual instrument, soft synth, DAW, or notation program you choose.

The TriplePlay consists of a hexaphonic pickup (which generates a separate signal for each string), a guitar-mounted control box/transmitter, and a wireless receiver that connects to your computer’s USB port — it looks exactly like a USB thumb drive. The TriplePlay comes with a wide variety of mounting hardware, making it compatible with just about any guitar, including steel-string acoustics and electrics with flat and carved tops and with most styles of bridge hardware. The system installs very easily. I’d estimate it took 10 minutes from cracking the seal on the box to plugging the receiver into the computer. A suite of software is included, comprising a version of Native Instruments Komplete, IK Multimedia SampleTank XT, PreSonus Studio One, Notion Progression, and more, so you have everything from software instruments to a DAW to a notation program. You’re good to go, right out of the box.

Not only does the TriplePlay install easily, it’s a breeze to set up as well. The included TriplePlay application allows you to calibrate the pickup and to load and play virtual instruments. The system tracks extremely well. I didn’t have to modify my technique at all. Fingerstyle, pick style, TriplePlay is happy with either. The tracking is fast and clean, with no delay.

If you’re looking to get into synth guitar, then check out the Fishman TriplePlay. It’s affordable, easy to install and use, and it simply works. I love it!

Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
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