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.