UK-based developers Sonuus have developed a name for themselves in providing unique music devices in a market that seems to be awash with ‘me too’ products. In fact, if you ever have one of those, “I wonder if I can do that?” moments, the team at Sonuus has probably already thought about it and come up with a device to help you achieve your sound. That’s why I was pleased to see these two boxes land on my desk this month. The G2M and i2M are reminiscent of the older days of MIDI conversion and thru boxes where all manner of possibilities could be achieved with the addition of a clever little box to your signal chain. These two, however, offer something rather different to a conventional thru box. They are very much worth having a look at.
G2M Universal MIDI Converter
This device is one of those little boxes of magic that can really change how you look at your guitar setup. The G2M is small enough to slip into your signal chain and make the most of what it offers on the side. The through port means you can still run your analogue guitar signal to your pedals and amp, but the sidechain output is where it gets really exciting.
The five-pin DIN connection sends MIDI note data from what you play on your guitar, bass, wind instrument or even a banjo with an audio pickup. It captures the note data on its way through and sends it out for use with a keyboard or synth engine of your choosing, generating pretty smart tracking results too. This is only a monophonic conversion for individual notes, not chords, but it allows you to really expand your sonic capabilities and bring all sorts of new life to your guitar or banjo–playing.
The smaller of these two devices has a whole lot to offer, such as CD-quality audio conversion for a high impedance signal like a guitar or bass, ready to run into any DAW. Plus, it offers audio to MIDI conversion for both guitar and bass in a variety of modes. This is a true ‘plug and play’ device, with drivers sorting themselves out in moments. It’s easy to set the mode for MIDI data capture depending on what you are doing, and tracks fairly well for single note playing.
Of course, like the G2M, it tracks monophonic MIDI notes and doesn’t chart out your chords for you. If you want that, you’ll need a divided MIDI pickup on your guitar to separate each and every note within a chord. With that said, what the i2M offers is amazing. All USB-powered and compact enough to live on your keyring, this is the take-anywhere
Hits and Misses
Simple and cost effective audio to MIDI data for guitarists
Compact, go-anywhere units
Fast monophonic tracking
They turned up 20 years later than I would have liked