MIDI drums for Guitar Hero and Rock Band

Embedded above is [egyokeo]‘s solution for using MIDI drums with Guitar Hero. He’s playing a DrumKAT MIDI kit. It connects to a PC running his MIDI Hero software, which handles timing and multinote combinations. The PC uses a USB ToolStick microcontroller to send commands to the console using an FPS adapter or soldered into the instrument. It’s a fairly good solution if you’re building a generic controller and need to modify the signaling.

When Rock Band was first released, modders sought to adapt their MIDI drum kits for use with the game. The easiest solution they found was Highly Liquid’s MSA-P. It’s a photorelay based MIDI decoder. You need to solder directly to the brain in the Rock Band drums. If you’re planning on modding any instrument, check the compatibility matrix first. Hopefully you’ll end up with something that can be used across multiple games.

[via Gizmodo]


  1. matt says:

    I remember seeing egyokeo’s work before, coulda sworn it was here. Nice update on the work, anyways. :P

    Just a note — it’s my understanding that the drum kit for Guitar Hero WT’s midi port on the back *can* accept an input (I saw it in an interview), as well as be used for an output. I don’t have the hardware to confirm this, but this could be used as a bridge for the drum aspect of the project (the kit works in RB as well, I believe), though it wouldn’t allow drums to play as guitars (as the featured project shows). Just throwing it out there, I haven’t honestly seen much experimentation in the area.


  2. sp00nix says:

    My mind = BLOWN!

  3. roshamboe says:

    either i really suck or that guy is insane.

  4. chromeboy says:

    that was freakin crazy!

  5. MattieShoes says:

    I know I suck at this game, but now I’m wondering if I’d suck less with the drumkit or the guitar… :-P

  6. M4CGYV3R says:

    Holy shit, I may never use this hack but the video was worth it. He frickin’ BEASTED Dragonforce with that setup.

  7. d1nk3r says:


  8. Greg says:

    OMFG! How is that even possible? The only thing more impressive would be if he did it Rick Allen style.

  9. killas says:

    he totally plays quads, or was in a drum and bugle core.

  10. James says:

    WTF did he film this from inside the Matrix?

  11. JB says:

    Wow, this guy is good!
    Great hack too!

  12. nolife says:

    that guy needs to get a life

  13. Ben says:

    Damn could you imagine seein him play on a real set?

  14. marc d says:

    i think i just crapped my pantaloons !

  15. kyle says:

    you could argue he was using a preprogramed midi sequence and miming the hits but that was a almost flawless performance and he made some mistakes so hey i doubt it was fak good to him

  16. lee says:

    maybe what i see is not real

  17. na says:
  18. Troy says:

    WOW, that is some awesome pad mashing!

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