Variax Workbench

The software/hardware combination – Variax Workbench – is finally being released. So. How long is it going to take for us to cave in and buy it?

I’ve not been playing much recently, but I think we’ll both want to have a play with this. It lets you design your own custom guitar, with whatever body parts and electronics you choose. It works out what that would sound like, and feeds the data through a cable to the Variax guitar (Not included 😉 ) so you can play your creation.

5 thoughts on “Variax Workbench

  1. Got mine this week. Definitely worth it – back of the packaging says ‘enhanced acoustic models’ and indeed the first thing you have to do is upgrade your Variax’s firmware. Mine is a new Variax 300 and even its firmware was quite old. With the new firmware comes the new patches – something’s definitely been done to the acoustic models, particularly the 12-string that had too much delay on the octave strings before.

    Other differences are that some of the custom slots have examples of open tunings in them after you’ve finished updating. The open tuning system works brilliantly. Retune to DADGAD or anything you like by selecting one of your custom slots. You can even change the percentage volume of the octave strings on the 12-string models. I don’t use my custom slots much, so I think I might even use up a whole bank based on the Jumbo Acoustic model and configured for those times when I can’t remember what I did with that capo…

    Cave in! Buy it! Great fun and you get a proper cable for when you decide to go for a PodXT Live or Vetta II in the future.

  2. Thanks for the detailed info, Brian. I think we’ll be caving in as soon as we recover from buying this tablet PC 🙂 Do you mind if I use your comment as a starting point for an article on the Workbench on our Wiki?

  3. Go ahead. One or two more comments from me as well – not convinced about the position-4 12-string any more. As you’ll see in Workbench the extra strings in the 12-string models can be ‘detuned’ to give a more authentic sound. However, the ac/4 sound is just off. Actually need to retune the guitar a bit to make it work right, which makes quick-switching between it and other models impossible. On the plus side, the most important bit they’ve got rid of in the new patches is the nasty piezo ‘slap’ noise when a string is picked. Maybe they’ll iron out the tuning in the next revision. Oh, and reso/1 and the banjo are now just awesome. They’ve really improved. Not much change in the electric models.

    Next gripe is that there’s no way to use open tuning on the sitar. Maybe it can’t be done as the drone strings might use that functionality already, but it would be nice.

    I’m also getting a bit of strange warbling, but only on models with pitch shift (12s and the sitar), and only on 2nd fret, D string. Odd. Only thing I can think of is that I fixed the intonation – maybe the action needs to go up now to get better contact between string and saddle. I’ll keep playing around with it until I get it right, but I can live with it anyway.

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