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Author Topic: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly  (Read 2638 times)

Offline paulramon1992

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Considering the Parker MIDI Fly
« on: September 12, 2015, 02:27:25 AM »
Hey everyone. This is my first post here. I have joined to inquire about the Parker MIDI Fly. Online, I managed to find the Sound on Sound review, but that aside, there wasn't much info on the guitar as far as user reviews go. I am trying to get a guitar that I can use as a MIDI controller for live synth parts in my band, but I'm not too keen on the Roland GR series. They sound a bit too off to my liking, plus the fact that if I ever want to use it as a MIDI controller, I need to lug the pedal around. The Parker MIDI Fly seems like an ideal answer, seeing as I can get one for fairly cheap (a bit less than $1400 US) and also because it would be a backup guitar as well (If it works out like I hope, it might become my main guitar!)

My problem is I'm somewhat of an underpants gnome; I like to gather as much information as possible, then rarely act on it in a meaningful way. Here, there's just so little information that I'm not 100% if this is right for me. Rather than try to convince me one way or the other, I was hoping I could ask of you a few questions:

Has anyone here ever owned or used a MIDI Fly? What is the weight on one of these? Is the build quality good? I've never owned a Parker guitar, so what can I look forward to in terms of build quality, sound, fit and finish, etc? Are the stock magnetic pickups any good? Does it track well?

Any relevant (and sometimes irrelevant) answers will be much appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

-paulramon1992

Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 09:24:32 AM »
I'm far from an expert on the subject... but when I briefly considered the MidiFly years ago, some serious drawbacks became apparent, and two of them are referenced in that review:

1. 'The cable from the MIDI Out socket must be attached to the small (7 x 5 x 2cm) MidiAxe junction box supplied with the guitar. The MIDI Out from the junction box can then be sent to your synth or sequencer.'

Make sure you can find a MidiAxe to go with the guitar.

2. 'The guitar's MIDI In socket serves two functions. First, it allows the user with a suitable Windows PC (no Mac version of the software is currently available) to run the supplied MidiAxe Utilities software for configuration of the MIDI converter system.'

Make sure you can find the MidiAxe utilities as well. Then make sure you have an old Windows computer to run them on, because they won't work with newer versions of Windows.

3. If you have the requirements above in order to make the guitar work, don't necessarily expect it to work well. What I recall of reports from actual users is that the tracking and latency performance, although possibly considered good at the time, are much inferior to the MIDI systems on the market today.

But - let's see what others have to say.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2015, 09:51:47 AM »
Actually, there's a thread right here where a bunch of specific detail is offered...

http://forums.parkerguitars.com/index.php?topic=14999.0

So I guess Windows 7 is okay as long as you can find the MidiAxe.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly

Offline jb63

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Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2015, 04:50:22 PM »
The smart move with the Midifly is to use all that space inside and modify it with up-to-date electronics.
Unfortunately there was only a period of about 2 years where the Midiaxe software was viable before technology made it obsolete.
But its basically a Nitefly with an extra carved cavity for a lot of circuit boards that could be replaced with more current (read: serviceable) circuit boards.
I thought very seriously about doing that, but my Nitefly with a GK2 already strapped to it is cheaper.

The unique part of the Midifly over the Nitefly is that it has 2 holes factory cut for the 5-pin midi in and out next to the stereo 1/4" jack. Sou you could conceivably make it a double midi device and have a 13-pin out from your piezos and a 13-pin out from your (to be installed) GK pickup.



There was a pair forever at a guitar center in Pennsylvania with all the accessories, and finally they had to drop the price of one to $799 to sell it.

You should find the other one and offer them $799 pointing out that its been floating around for over a year and that's what the last one finally went for and you could probably get that kind of price. Then you can mod the thing! The hardest part is done already!

Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly

Offline paulramon1992

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Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2015, 07:14:50 PM »
Thanks for the replies. What would you recommend as the best conversion from guitar to MIDI?

Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly

Offline sybersitizen

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Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2015, 07:35:35 PM »
What would you recommend as the best conversion from guitar to MIDI?

Depends on what constitutes 'best' for you. For me, it would be the Fishman TriplePlay - for which no special guitar is needed.
'01 Fly Deluxe|'69 SG Standard|'69 EB-3|Pignose Strat|Savannah SGO-16CE|Fishman Aura Spectrum|Roland Amplifiers

Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly

Offline jb63

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Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2015, 10:26:30 PM »
The triple play should be awesome by now. What is it? 2 years in?
It's all software after that. So if you need to plug into a computer, have no background with any of this, go the triple play route!

Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly

Offline paulramon1992

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Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2015, 10:40:03 PM »
About the Tripleplay

I've looked into this. Mostly what I'm looking for is live use, and I don't want to use a computer as a MIDI controller live.

My goal is an instrument that I can use as an electric guitar and MIDI controller for blended sounds live. I also want the ability to use any synth that has MIDI capabilities, not just guitar synths.

About modifying the MIDI system on board, the only thing I could see doing would be getting a graphtech Hexaphonic pickup, then modifying a GI 10 or Axon AX 50 to fit in the control cavity. If I could jerryrig that, then it might work, however that would take some skill I don't have.

For now, I am thinking about getting the MIDI Fly, seeing how it works for what I want, and then modifying it accordingly.

Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly

Offline Piplodocus

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Re: Considering the Parker MIDI Fly
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 09:51:46 AM »
I have a midifly. I swapped it's innards as I specifically wanted to use it with a computer.

Much as I recommend the midifly as a beautiful instrument if that's the main thing putting you off the triple play you can now get a floor box with midi ports it plugs into to give you just direct midi out ports. I can't remember what it's called but try google for it.
2004 Fly Mojo Flame (TTBB), 2014 Fly Mojo Flame (TBB), 2001 Customized Midifly (w/Tripleplay), 2001 HSS Swamp Ash Nitefly SA (NFVSA/SB), 2000 Mahogany Nitefly (NFVM/TR), 2007 Southern Nitefly (BS), mostly all modded, Bareknuckle pickups, and also a "needs work" shagged 97 Maple Nitefly...