From the downloads page select the software for you
system. Once downloaded follow the onscreen instructions to complete the install
of both Xtractor and Analyser.
All you need in order to learn with Gigajam is an instrument and your computer.
The two do not have to be connected. Xtractor can be used to play along with and
the course can be read and worked through step by step.
However, if you want to use the recording features and feedback of Xtractor/Analyser
then you will need a MIDI instrument and a MIDI interface to connect your instrument
to your computer.
If you do not have MIDI then just jump to the Beginning
to Learn section.
Nowadays, most electronic keyboards are MIDI enabled. Look for sockets like these
on the back.
MIDI IN and OUT sockets.
Often, you will also see this logo on your keyboard somewhere.
GM MIDI logo
The same goes for electronic drums as for keyboards, look for the same sockets and
Acoustic drums can produce MIDI with the addition of drum triggers; small microphones
that connect to each drum and then into some hardware that turns the drum hits into
Unlike keyboard and drums, your average electric guitar or bass does not have MIDI
MIDI has to be added to a guitar. This is usually achieved through the addition
of an extra pickup: a six-way pickup that generates a separate signal for each string.
These six signals are then fed into a box of electronics that converts the pitch
of the signals into siz channels of MIDI data. These are often referred to as ‘pitch-to-MIDI
These solutions can be expensive. There is a cheaper alternative. The Yamaha EZ-AG
guitar is a modern MIDI controller device.
Guitar MIDI Controller
Despite its unusual appearance, the EZ-AG plays and feels like a guitar. It has
MIDI sockets and a synthesizer built in. It is the electronic keyboard equivalent
of a guitar. There are some things you cannot do with this instrument, such as bend
strings. However, it is a great platform to start learning on. It also works better
with MIDI than the pitch-to-MIDI solutions.
Modern MIDI interfaces tend to be USB based devices, the usually look a bit like
USB MIDI interface
They consist of a USB plug for the computer, two MIDI plugs for the instrument,
and a box in the middle of the cable containing the hardware.
Get the latest drivers from your manufacturer and follow their instructions for
installation. For some interfaces this is just a matter of plugging in the USB and
letting your computer automatically recognise it.
Next, plug the interface into your instrument. Make sure that all the ‘ins’
and ‘outs’ are connected properly. MIDI is a two way street, each device
will send data out of its ‘MIDI OUT’ and listen for data on its ‘MIDI
Think of it as a river-like flow of data. Connect the MIDI OUT of your instrument
to the MIDI IN of your computer and the MIDI OUT of the computer to the MIDI IN
of the instrument.
First, make sure that on your instrument you turn ON the ‘External Clock’
(sometimes this might be referenced as turning OFF the ‘Internal Clock’).
Search for either of these things in your instrument’s manual and follow the
instructions there. It is usually a simple menu choice somewhere or a combination
Once that is done, load the Xtractor of your choice. It'll look like this, or similar
if you chose something other than guitar.
Click the button in the bottom right, as marked on the picture. You will now have
an expanded Xtractor.
Now right down at the bottom is "Your performance" and a little volume
meter. Play your instrument and if everything is working the bar graph will light
You might not hear what you play though. Click the setup button and select where
Xtractor should send its MIDI output.
You should usually select the interface that you have plugged the instrument into
so that the backing band goes back to the instrument and plays with its voices.
If your guitar is connected with a pitch-to-MIDI solution then you will have no
GM MIDI voices on the hardware. You will have to use another MIDI device for playback.
Your system may have a built in device such as Microsoft GS Wavetable or Quicktime
MIDI. On the Apple Mac, Quicktime works well with no noticeable latency. On a Windows
PC, a soundcard that supports General MIDI is required as the Microsoft GS Wavetable
Synth produces too much audible latency for playingalong and accurate analysis.
Go to the first lesson on the website. Read through the notes carefully. If you
wish to, you can listen to the notes by clicking the play button next to each paragraph.
Sooner or later you will come to a practice session such as this one.
We recommend you watch the video first, you will then see and hear exactly what
it is you will be doing.
Once you have watched the video, click the Xtractor button. Your browser will download
a small file and open Xtractor. Click play in Xtractor
and play along.
When you are happy with your performance and want to know how well you are doing
then move on to recording (if you have a MIDI enabled instrument connected to your
Click the record button in Xtractor
and play the exercise.
When you are finished, click the Analyser button This
graphical analysis will show:
- Top line: What you should have played.
- Bottom line: What you did play (with coloured feedback for how
well you did).
At the bottom of the analysis is your total percentage score.
Close Analyser, rewind Xtractor, hit record and try again. Practise to improve on
the points highlighted by the analysis.
When you are done – analyse again.
Repeat this process to improve your performance. When you are happy with your result
you can save it for evidence
and move onto the next part of the lesson.
If you have any specific problems then see the support