Toccata in D minor(J.S Bach)-Ketil Strand-AXON guitar synth





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Published on Jun 14, 2008

You can download a new version of this track (without guitar synth, just plain electric guitar), or buy my complete solo album "Axe-Files" here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ketilstrand
plus on several other digital music download sites.

This is the "Toccata" part of the great J.S.Bach organ composition "Toccata and Fugue in D minor". The Fugue part is far more intricate, so I left that out for now, but I'm hoping to make a full version later, including the Fugue.
I used to play this Toccata on electric guitar over 20 years ago, but hadn't been playing it for a long time. But when my daughter heard me noodling around with the opening theme on my AXON guitar synth with the "Church Organ" preset, she suggested I should record a video for this. Thanks for the idea, Synne!
I've heard many versions of this piece on electric guitar, unfortunately some of these don't treat Bach's masterpiece very well.. I wanted to do justice to the great composer and stay as true to the original as possible, this piece is marvellously written and there's no reason to change anything. Most of the guitarists I've heard playing this (including myself before), have fallen into temptation of using a lot of distortion which may sound good on the single-note parts, but makes the chords and harmonies sound muddy and undefined. With the guitar synth, all the chord and harmony details shine through.
Yeah, I know this isn't exactly the best organ sound on the planet (real church organ purists should maybe stay away..), but I hope you can live with that.
And I guess this also can be an interesting demo of my "Terratec Producer Axon AX100mkII Guitar to Midi Controller". It tracks quite well, but like all guitar synths you have to play VERY accurately to avoid accidental "glitches".
The guitar I'm using here is a bit special; It's an old Roland (!) G505 synth controller guitar. (built for Roland by Ibanez, I think; it's quite similar to the old Ibanez "Blazer" model). It actually has a built-in hexaphonic guitar synth pickup which can be used to control Roland's old GR series analog guitar synths. But this was made before Midi became standard, and is not compatible with today's guitar synth systems, so I've mounted a new GK-3 pickup on it next to the old one.
I'm also using a few effects in addition to the AXON; a Boss PS-5 Harmonizer for adding an octave down on some parts, and for the 6th down harmony on 1:58-2:13 (I'm using an expression pedal to change the pitch). And I used some T.C. Chorus, Boss RV-5 Reverb, and a capo.. All recorded in one take with Cubase (no editing; WYSIWYH..)
Hope you enjoy it!

Website: www.ketilstrand.com

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