The Guitar as a Synthesizer


Alex Marenga approached to systems that allow guitarists to play synthesizers from the appearance of the first systems by Roland.
Alex has always liked guitarists as John McLaughlin, Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Paolo Tofani (Area), Allan Holdsworth and Pat Metheny and he has ever followed their experiments with these kind of intruments.
One of the ways that still he uses to connect guitar to monophonic synthesizers is the circuit pitch-to-cv on Korg MS20.



In the 80s he used Roland GR and Casio PG systems with hexaphonic pickup.
He also used the monophonic synthesizer for guitar by Electro-Harmonix Microsynthesizer and synth emulations and filters on Line6 FM4 .

As a small portable system has also used the Sonuus G2M
Today as hexaphonic system he uses the Fishman Triple Play on his Godin Custom Session , which has an excellent response.


In recent years it has experienced some MIDI controllers, after the innovations in this field and cost containment.

Alex used the system Misa Digital Kitara, now discontinued , appreciating the idea of the touchscreen display .

But the real turning point was the innovative system YouRockGuitar , which uses sensors that allow a guitarist revolutionary performances previously unthinkable .
Today Alex is among the endorsers of this system that uses so prevalent.


Alex usually connects YRG controller to the computer (Ableton or Cubase) or to hardware synthesizers.
In live performances he uses various analog and virtual synthesizers as Waldorf Blofeld , Novation X25 , Arturia Microbrute , Moog Slim Phatty , Waldorf Rocket, Korg Volca Keys.

pix by Marco Bulgarelli

pix by Marco Bulgarelli

Alex also follows a different approach to the electronic applications of the guitar.
He’s filtering the sound from the traditional guitar pick-ups through effects (shimmer, loopers), modules for modular synthesizers (grainshift, makenoise phonogene, echophon) , software plugins and Ableton Live.



for more infos about YouRockGuitar:




Electric and midi Guitars

Fender Stratocaster
Fender Telecaster
Godin Session Custom with Fishman Triple Play
YRG gen 2
Ovation acoustic
G&L basses

Epiphone Joe Pass
The Heritage guitars
Spirit Steinberger Amptek Custom Set HSH
Misa Digital Kitara


AMPTEK uses three pedalboard chains for analogic guitar sounds:

  • Virtual Effects through Ableton Plug-ins with GuitaWing controller
  • Analog Effects: Effettidiclara, Catalinbread Csidman, Red Panda Particle, ZVex Fuzzfactory, Meris Ottobit, Pro-co RATT, Moer LoFi, Digitech Synth, Soviet by Giudis Pedals, Electro-Harmonix Super Ego, Alesis Philtre, Zoom CDR70, Jamman and Viscous Vibe.
  • Modular Eurorack effects Audio Damage, Mutable Instruments, Doepfer

On top every configuration he uses Whammy Wha & Digitech Impossibile Pedal or Zoom G3 Multieffect.