Using the Squier® by Fender® Stratocaster® Guitar and Controller as a MIDI Controller

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Can I use the Squier® by Fender® Stratocaster® Guitar and Controller as a MIDI instrument?
In addition to Rock Band™ 3 gameplay capability, the Squier® by Fender® Stratocaster® Guitar and Controller is also a guitar to MIDI controller, which means that it can be connected to MIDI synthesizers and that it can be used for recording on a computer.  When using the Squier® by Fender® Stratocaster® Guitar and Controller as a MIDI controller, the velocity of notes played is determined by the velocity of the last strummed note.  

NOTE:  In order to use the Squier® by Fender® Stratocaster® Guitar and Controller as a MIDI controller with your computer, you must have a MIDI interface.  


There are two modes of operation for MIDI use—NORMAL and SYNTH. You can toggle between these two modes using the Start button, located near the volume knob and closest to the strings.  

Normal Mode

In NORMAL mode, the Squier® by Fender® Stratocaster® Guitar and Controller generates what are called “MIDI note-on events,” which means that a signal is produced when the strings are strummed. NORMAL mode use is indicated by the steady illumination of the first of the four LEDs on the pickguard.

1st LED ON


Synth Mode

In SYNTH mode, the Squier® by Fender® Stratocaster® Guitar and Controller generates what are called “MIDI note-on/offs,” which means that a signal is produced when the strings are fretted and released (rather than strummed). SYNTH mode use is indicated by the blinking of the first of the four LEDs on the pickguard.

1st LED BLINKING



MIDI Program Changes and Octave Changes

The Green and Red buttons on the pickguard are used to send “program change up/down”messages in order to change sounds or patches on your synth. On startup, the default program is “27,” which is the general MIDI program for “Electric Guitar (clean).

The Yellow and Blue buttons on the pickguard are used to transpose MIDI notes up or down by one octave. On startup, the low E string is set to E2 by default.


MIDI Pitchbend

To toggle the MIDI pitchbend, first press and hold the Back Button and then press the Yellow Button. The third of the 4 LEDs will illuminate to indicate Pitchbend is enabled. 

PRESS + YELLOW WHEN 3rd LED IS ON

Pitchbend is controlled by the angle of the neck of the guitar. Holding the neck at normal position will not affect the pitch. Holding the neck straight out or holding the neck upright will result in the pitch of the notes being bent. See diagrams below:

NECK STRAIGHT OUT (CC Value = 0) NECK AT NORMAL POSITION (CC Value = 64)
NECK UP (CC Value = 127)



MIDI Expression Control

To toggle the MIDI expression control, first press and hold the Back Button and then press the Blue Button. The fourth of the 4 LEDs will illuminate to indicate Expression Control is enabled.

PRESS  + BLUE WHEN 4th LED IS ON


Expression output is controlled by the angle of the guitar's body. Holding the guitar in the standard position won't send any MIDI expression messages. Holding the guitar with the pickup down towards the ground will result in a MIDI Control Change #0 message, while holding the guitar with the pickup facing up will result in a CC #127 being sent. See diagrams below:

PICKUP DOWN (CC Value = 0) PICKUP PARALLEL TO PLAYER (CC Value = 64)
PICKUP UP (CC Value = 127)


MIDI Panic

Simultaneously pressing the Start and Back buttons on the Squier® by Fender® Stratocaster® Guitar and Controller cancels all notes being sent out of the MIDI port.

PRESS  +  SIMULTANEOUSLY