Game Day: Play Drums, MIDI, Guitar with a Wii Controller, Free

Bless Nintendo for making the Wii controller: inexpensive, lots of internal sensor data (motion sensing, tilt sensing, buttons), elegant design, and standard Bluetooth support allowing it to be used with Mac, Windows, and Linux. Now there’s free and open source software for making the most of your Wiimote as a musical instrument. First up: Wiinstrument, a multi-purpose percussion instrument, now available for all three operating systems (a Windows version was recently added). Plays percussion / drums with gestures Use an (in-development) internal sampler with WAV files, or trigger other software via MIDI Use tilt for control changes Supports tilt, velocity …

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Game Day: Make Your Game Boy Color a MIDI Synthesizer with Pushpin

Hardware MIDI control, full-blown synthesizer, all from a Game Boy Color. Christmas lights not included. Want that vintage-y goodness of a real Game Boy’s sound, but want new-fangled color and MIDI? Pushpin is for you. First introduced seven years ago, it’s finally been released. Brian Whitman writes: Hi, thought you’d like to know that Noah and I have finally released Pushpin, which turns your Game Boy Color into a fully controllable MIDI synthesizer. It’s a ROM download and parts list to build the cable. We first finished it in September 2000 but are finally getting around to releasing it, open …

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Game Day: Why Rock Band Demonstrates Musicians Need Friends

There’s been various speculation about whether the advent of the video game Rock Band will inspire real-world musicians. It certainly isn’t just a Simon-style button masher. Queue up Rush, crank up the difficulty level, grab real drum sticks, and you’d better actually have a sense of timing. But maybe the real message of Rock Band’s success is that musicians need some friends to jam with. Witness what happens to MTV Multiplayer blogger Tracey John when she tries to play all four instruments at once: ‘Rock Band’ Challenge — One Woman, Four Instruments, At The Same Time [MTV Multiplayer] Funny, this …

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