The wireless, Bluetooth-based Wii controller is fast becoming the music control hardware of choice. The latest addition: Yann Seznec’s Wii Loop Machine, a free, Wii-controller looper for Macs. The software is built in Max/MSP using my current favorite way to interface with the Wii controllers, the free aka.wiiremote external for Max. Load in any samples you want, boot up any Mac with Bluetooth, grab your Wii controller, and you can sync, control, manipulate, and muck with loops.
Here’s Yan in action:
Thanks to adcbicycle, who finds this over on the em411 community where Yann has been able to get some feedback.
Nifty ideas here, and as always, you can use tools like Max to come up with something entirely different. Game developers themselves seem undecided how to use the wealth of sensors on the Wii hardware — tilt and acceleration on multiple axes on two connected pieces of hardware (nunchuck and remote), plus lots of buttons = nearly unlimited possibilities. So, at this point, I’ll repeat my plea. I love these experiments, but I’d also like to see more interactive instruments and not just more looper/DJ tools. I’m not surprised; building an expressive instrument (just like building game depth) is a bigger challenge. But the payoff should be greater variety.
Speaking of alternative applications of the Wii controller, Jaymis has been experimenting with the Wiimote and the Windows-based VJ app Resolume. Sure enough, he’s come across some great resources (and hopefully will share his own approach soon):
Lots of additional Wii goodness has been coming our way; here are still more resources (especially if you’re on the Mac and have felt left out by all the focus on the excellent but Windows-only gaming interface GlovePIE):
WiiToMIDI lets you translate from Wii input to MIDI messages without requiring Max/MSP/Jitter, so you can input to any MIDI-compatible Mac app.
Alternatively, for PC users, the French site has recently translated into English its comprehensive Wii-to-MIDI VJing tutorial. It’s worth a read even if you’re on Mac and/or not a VJ. Naturally, this is on our visualist sister site, Create Digital Motion:
I’ve been working with Max and VDMX on Mac and will someday write a tutorial — well, once I feel satisfied I’ve got it working as well as possible!
In case you want to leave your sensor bar atop your home TV, Nyko now makes a third-party sensor bar, as reviewed by Gizmodo. I have yet to see one in a store, but I believe them.
Of course, a sensor bar isn’t nearly as cool as two candles. IGN has a good explanation of what the sensor bar does and how.
WiiDi is full of videos working with Wii and MIDI, and promises an upcoming “Wii gestures” project. All Mac-based.
No need for Max-ers to have all the fun. Tommitytom has a Reaktor-based beat chopper-upper-synth; here’s a demo via Matrixsynth.
Lastly, if you want to get really deep into using this hardware, your first and last stop is likely to be the wiki Wiili.org. They’ve massively beefed up the technical documentation of the sensors, data, and how the whole thing works. See:
You could probably write your own drivers based on the material there.
More Wii madness soon. Got any requests for tutorials / demos / examples, now that we have to compete with the rest of the Interwebs working on these things? Any questions from your own Wii experiments? Or are you too busy playing Zelda?