Jam Origin – Review

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by

Greg Domeier

I have been toying with the idea of getting a midi guitar to add to my music creating arsenal. Even though I have a midi keyboard, I am primarily a guitar player. Any keyboarding I do is slow and not very accomplished.

The Roland GR-55 ($799 street) was at the top of my list, but it had two things working against it. I have various amp modeling plugins as well as a JTV Variax, so most of its features were duplicating stuff I already had.

While surfing the net I heard about the Fishman TriplePlay ($399 street) Wireless midi pickup. It looks very good and the linked youtube demo impressed me. Even though some of the software included duplicates other software I already have, it doesn’t include all the GR-55 hardware I didn’t want. The tracking looks excellent as well. I actually just preordered one from Sweetwater.

While looking for a user guide on the TriplePlay, I stumbled upon a software only solution called Jam Origin ($99). I went to their website and downloaded the demo. The demo is fully working, it just mutes after several minutes. The install and configuration was simple and painless, taking only a couple minutes. My DAW is FL Studio and the Jam Origin webpage had instructions on how to set it up.

Once setup in FL, I was off and running. I have only been demoing the software for a short time, so I haven’t gotten too deep into configuring it. With that in mind, I will say the tracking is hit or miss (thankfully mostly hit). I suspect given more time tweaking sensitivity and what not, I will be able to improve tracking. That being said, part of the tracking issue is my needing to change pick and fingering techniques to suite keyboard playing vs guitar playing.

As it stands, it tracks simple chords and slow to moderate single notes fine. Where I am struggling is with softer finger style playing and arpeggios as well as faster single notes. Not all notes track as I expect. One nice thing though, it is very simple to edit the recorded midi information in my DAW to remove errant notes and make other corrections.

It’s amazing to me that this is all done via a software plugin. No external hardware is required. The midi notes I recorded were just my regular electric guitar plugged directly into FL Studio. The midi detection is all done via the Jam Origin plugin.

Here are two samples I made. The first is a piano plugin I have called Addictive Keys. The second is a synth called Harmor from Image Line.
https://soundcloud.com/project-dome/midi-guitar-addictive-keys
https://soundcloud.com/project-dome/midi-guitar-lead-line-demo

I am keeping my order for the TriplePlay and will review that when it arrives.