Guitar Hero Without The Console

If you thought your Guitar Hero controller was only good for pretending to play music, think again. Yeah, lots of people have hacked the controller to achieve perfect scores, but what can you do that doesn’t require a console. Look after the break for some more creative ways of making music with a Guitar Hero controller.

You can start expanding your controller’s repertoire by playing any song of your choice in an open source version of Guitar Hero, called Frets on Fire. The software is available for Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD and Windows. It’s written in Python and designed to be played with a regular keyboard, but supports Guitar Hero controllers with the applicable drivers.

If you’d like to go bit deeper, try GHX. We saw developer [Thom Robertson]’s presentation at Notacon, where he showed off his GHX arpeggiator software playing real music using an Xbox X-plorer controller. All the heavy lifting has already been done in GHX, the only thing you’ll need is a controller and about $20 to buy it. Sweet deal, considering you can get a full refund “if it sux.”

If you want to go even farther, you can convert your GH controller into a midi controller. Many such mods (like this one) require a computer to do the actual work, but one of the most recent projects to hit the scene uses the Wii version of the guitar to create a MIDI instrument. All of these projects are great; just don’t expect to get any cred from “real” guitar players.

9 thoughts on “Guitar Hero Without The Console

  1. I knew it was going to use the tilt sensors somehow. Now it needs to use the accelerometers to detect the “rockstar jump”, “knee slide” and “van halen wailing” moves :)

    On a slightly more serious note, perhaps rotating the neck towards and away from you (ie rotate around the Z axis) could do pitch bend? Then you can do pretty much everything else with pedals.

  2. What do you mean “real” guitar players, As a teacher I am worried that we are dumbing down the guitar with guitar hero. I have students ask if guitar hero will make them a better player, I tell them its the same way mortal combat will make you a ninja.

  3. unfortunately the wii guitar hero controller doesn’t have an accelerometer. I was dissapointed when i opened it up. The accelerometer used is the one in the wii-mote, which isnt included in my project. Otherwise it would be able to tell the windmill from the duckwalk and tone would change accordingly…

  4. I had an idea like Auto-Guitar Hero for beatmania IIDX. Back when I first played the American version (“beatmania”), I thought it could be a fun project. I think it’s awesome to see someone do about what I did, except way more hardcore.

    Instead of a FPGA, I figure it’d use a capture card, but it’d basically read the notes coming down, and the BPM counter, and then act accordingly. That, or read the notes at the red line, negating the need for reading the BPM counter. Guitar Hero’s loose judgement timing would allow for some leniency, but it’d be hard to get all Just Greats, well, maybe with some tweaking.

    It’d be simpler to do this for IIDX than implementing this for Guitar Hero, since the interface is simple and doesn’t shake or anything.

    Then I’d enter my scores on, as 2DXBOT. Hehe.

  5. The great thing about guitar playing is that there are so many different styles of playing. In fact new ways are being invented all the time. With each new style of playing, there is a door opened for interpretation by millions of guitarists all over the world. What does this all really mean though?? I’ll tell you what it means. It means anybody anywhere can
    learn how to find a way to express themselves uniquely with a guitar! I mean, when you really think about it, the guitar is the only instrument that can boast such versatility!!!!

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