A new version of Rock Band (for Wii) means still more ways to turn these game controllers into musical or visual performance instruments. Jordan Balagot writes with some hands-on experience using junXion, a wonderful tool for adapting game controllers to MIDI or OpenSoundControl. (junXion also works with Wiimotes and nunchucks, audio inputs and pitch sensors, joysticks and standard USB devices, and much more, so even if this bores you, you’ve probably got some use for it.)

Jordan says:

I tried plugging in the Rockband for Wii guitar and drums into my mac and Junxion recognized them perfectly. This seems to be the easiest solution for turning the rockband instruments into real instruments because it has low latency and the Wii instruments are already USB.

Full instructions at his blog:
Turn Wii Rock Band Instruments into Real Instruments with Junxion

junXion is wonderful, though that EUR75 stings here thanks to the weak US dollar and the fact that we have fewer grants and have to pay for health insurance and hospital visits and whatnot. (Especially any Wii-related injuries.) There are other ways of getting at this data, as it’s USB HID — try Osculator on Mac or GlovePIE on Windows, not to mention HID input in Max/MSP and Pd. That said, junXion remains a very powerful option and worth a look.

Other Rock Band controller tips?

We’re still anxiously awaiting what our friend David Lublin of VJ app developer vidvox does with his — as pictured below. (He was searching through createdigitalmusic looking for tips, so, erm, I’ll be sure to update the site with whatever he finds!) Expect some drum kits triggering videos. (Photo by Todd Thille.)

  • Mark

    Or you can use the human-interface object in MaxMSP to get info into MIDI!

  • http://nickseaver.net Nick

    I use two of the PS Rock Band kits with the HID object in max to convert to MIDI. Since the foot pedals are lousy for drumming anyway, I made them act as toggles to activate separate sound banks so two kits give you 36 different drums and even more counting the control buttons.

    Since they're not velocity sensitive, I just use them to trigger other samples, and am planning on hooking up an expression pedal to give me some volume control. Perks of doing it in Max are being able to set really complicated dependencies between the drums (like hitting drum B after hitting drum A gives a different sound than hitting it after drum C or twice in a row).

    Apparently the new Guitar Hero drum control will be velocity sensitive, so I have a bit of buyer's remorse. Oh well.

  • http://www.zacislost.blogspot.com Zac Darko

    HA!

    So that is what our illustrious VDMX leader looks like =)

    Great pic.

    I look forward to the next beta with the "Rock Band" plugin, right beneath the wiimote one

  • mike

    Junxion, by STEIM is a fantastic tool and much more than a simple Hid to Midi mapper. with support of multiple wireless usb gamepads and up to two Wii remotes plus Nunchuks you get an affordable and ultra flexible wireless Midicontroller system perfectly suited for live performance. for each of the Wii's Sensoroutput you can adjust a threshold to avoid permanent trigerring of controller data .works like a charm with Ableton live too.

  • the_woof

    VMidiJoy also works for people on windows–I used it with my PS3 drums. I remember that the latency was a little bit of a problem, so Max is probably better for that.

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