This Megatron robot is not actually playing these drums. But knowing the hacker community on the Web, he may be soon. Photo: punkjr.

That didn’t take long. Just days after the games’ release, someone is already using controllers for the Harmonix game Rock Band with their computer software. Cyrus Thomas-Walker writes us:

Looks like someone thought outside the box with their Rock Band drum set. Hacking the little kit could prove to be a cheap way to set up a little midi drum studio if someone happens to already own the game and interested in hooking the hardware up to some software.

Xbox 360 Rock Band drums on Windows [dxprog blog]

dxprog has also posted custom software developed in .NET/XNA for Windows. Also for Windows: MidiJoys, joystick-to-MIDI conversion software, apparently works, as well.

What about Mac? It seems the PS3 controller works out of the box with the Mac — presumably standards-compliant hardware (which would also mean you could have luck with Linux). No confirmed reports, though.

The controller itself is pretty simple: think single piezo triggers in each pad, though having the mount and the pedal is awfully convenient and, compared to other controllers, affordable.

In case you’re wondering why you’d want to do this in the first place, it comes down to either a) you’ve got the hardware and want it to do double duty as a performance kit, or b) you’re interested in playing indie games on your PC, not just the official Rock Band game. Or, c) you want Rock Band and now you have additional rationalization. The PlayStation 2 game is on its way out; I’d guess those controllers would be even easier to work with on Mac and PC — and you can get your Rock Band on for a lower price.

If anyone can make this work on the Mac, it’s the readers of this site. So if anyone’s got it down, let us know!

We’ve got our answer: PS3 + Mac = success. Xbox 360 + Mac = could work, though not fully tested yet:

How to Use Rock Band Controllers (And More) with GarageBand, Mac