Rock Band Kick Pedal


[Raphael] sent us this nice kick pedal mod for Guitar Hero: World Tour. After breaking his kick pedal repeatedly, he decided to build something a bit more robust. He went to the music store intending to pick up a cheap kick pedal to start with and happened to start a conversation with an employee who had a practice pad to get rid of. [Raphael] relieved him of his practice pad and promptly made a base to hold it in position. After attaching his piezo sensor to the back of it, he had a very robust kick pedal. we can’t imagine him breaking this one any time soon.

25 thoughts on “Rock Band Kick Pedal

  1. Nice. I might do something like that myself (I’ver already had to repair my pedal once and I’ve only had it a week :s).

    @joe57005 Thats already been done, and is relativelly easy, especially with the PS3 version. The PS3/PS2 version shows up in windows (and presumably in other OSes, I havn’t tried) as a standard game controller (openness for the win!). The 360 version is a little more difficult, as it requires the Microsoft wireless reciever thingy, and a short hack. I don’t know about the Wii version (that’s shown) but I would guess it’s just like other wiimote add-ons, which require a bluetooth dongle and a program called glovepie (under windows anyway). Once you have it working like that it’s really not that hard to make a program which interprets the hits and plays either a sampled drum sound or the correct midi note (By midi I meen the “music” format not the instrument connection standard).

  2. Technically, you can, the drum set for World Tour has a Midi interface, though I don’t have a control unit to test it. Though this mod is nothing new really, people had this type of mod and mods for a double bass pedal for the original Rock Band ^_^ Though, I do have to say good job ^_^

  3. hmm one of my friends has a broken rock band kick pedal… I might try building one of these, it sounds like it would work much better than the standard pedal…

    The title is misleading though, because it says “rock band” and this was built for guitar hero world tour. As the article states they use different methods to detect a bass drum hit and the author believes that this method wont work on Rock Band, though I think it might.

    I’m also not so sure that you’d even need to use, the practice pad. You could have the pedal hit against a small block of wood with the sensor and it would probably work just as well.

    And joe57005, your comment is about as creative as pretending to play music… seriously the whole “learn to play a real instrument” insult is played out. There’s a lot of people out there who would rather drop a small amount of money on a game like this and have a few hours of fun with their friends who aren’t at all interested in spending a large amount of money and several years learning to play a real instrument.

  4. @ryan the midi interface is in only and cannot be used to make the controller into a midi drumkit as-is. You might be able hack the hardware to so, but TBH it would be easier to it in software.

  5. ah, that’s right, I got mixed up with something else I’m working on >.< Oh, and the bass pedal for Rock Band is a simple ON/OFF operation, so if you want to use a piezoelectric sensor you have to convert it to that. Since all the base pedal does is connect a pin on the micro controller to ground.

  6. joe57005 – I wrote a max/msp patch called miditar hero to do exactly that. It works with any rock band or guitar hero guitar or drum set that can be connected via USB. it’s extremely easy to use, and only requires the max/msp runtime, the necessary controller drivers, and the miditar hero software.

  7. @twistedsymphony: Article writer here. I actually did exactly what you’re describing for my neighbor’s Rock Band 1 pedal, and I’m going to put up a tutorial shortly with full details.

    Basically, it’s a cheap magnetic switch like what you’d find in an alarm circuit. Bob (my partner-in-crime) and I simply took a piece of wood, strapped it to the front of the pedal, attached the wired portion of the sensor, and covered it in carpeting to dampen the sound. I turned the beater around to thump against the sensor, and embedded a magnet into the beater itself. Very easy and portable (but only compatible with Rock Band).

    The practice pad simply gives you a nice muffled surface to attach a sensor to. It does a great job, but it’s not technically required.

    To those of you who want me to end world hunger or hack the pentagon, who do you think I am? Bob Geldof? Kevin Mitnick?

    Oh, and I never claimed I came up with this stuff; people have been making this stuff for GH:WT and Rock Band for awhile, and real musicians have been using stuff like this for years. The reason I put this up is that fixing up broken GH / RB controllers is much easier than most people think!

  8. @alphathon: Nobody seems to have made a driver for the GH:WT drums on the Wii. I don’t know what’s keeping things from moving forward, but GlovePIE doesn’t see any input coming from the drums, only from the Wiimote itself. If you or anybody else comes up with a working solution, I’d love to hear about it.

  9. Well I’m sure it’ll come along eventually. It took rather a long time for support for the GH3 guitar to come out, and that is essentially a classic controller as far as glovepie is concerned (if told to use a classic controller buttons and a guitar controller is there, it’ll still work). I would imagine it would take a while longer for the drum kit, but it should come along eventually. Of cource it wouldn’t be impossible to do it from scratch, but that would require writing software to interface with the wii remote, which would probably take longer than setting the drums up in glovepie. Its a shame its not open source.

  10. @alphathon: That’s what I’m hoping too, but GlovePIE seems to be out of development. I did try a few times to get things working with various libraries, but apparently there’s some sort of addressing issue preventing people from getting it working. The drums don’t seem to register as a controller extension like the nunchuk or other extensions. I did get Glovepie working with Frets on Fire and a GH3 guitar, and it’s great for ‘map x to y’ stuff… but I’d really need to find a working interface of some sort for the drums, whether it’s an entire app or a library.

  11. @rschmidt: Really? I do hope not, it’s a great piece of software, and it would be really sad if it wasn’t in development anymore. Hope it’s not for the same reason as PPJoy (nobody emailed him saying “this software is great” so he gave up). What do you meen by it doesn’t register as one? Surely it must or it wouldn’t work (or am I missing something, like it being specifically programmed into GH:WT how to handle it rather than using the standards set by nintendo. I just hate it when developers do that.) I suppose the guitar would have to work like that as the GH3 one did and it would need to be the same for backward compatability (of both the game with the GH3 one and GH3 with the new guitar) but is usppose drums wouldn’t have the same restrictions (Harmonix didn’t even use wiimote add-ons for their periferals, so i suppose it could be worse)

  12. @alphathon: Yeah, Carl Kenner hasn’t updated anything on his site in a long time, but he never specifically said he was stopping development. The post on the latest update of Glovepie, 0.3.0, says it’s got some wiimote calibration / IR bugs but that a patch should be out ‘shortly’. It never actually came out, at least to my knowledge.

    However… as far as the ‘not registering’ stuff goes, what I meant to say was that GlovePIE doesn’t see it as a connected extension, and can’t initialize the device because it doesn’t know what it is or whether it’s plugged in properly. Using the ‘detect input’ tool in GlovePIE doesn’t do anything because the drum kit is still waiting for something. However… good news, you can always count on the Frets On Fire community to hack the everliving crap out of something.

    Check this thread out:

    Apparently, it works, but I haven’t had the chance to try it yet. I’ll blog it up if I do, of course.

    I don’t think this is exactly a case of the developers specifically making it hard for us; it’s just that without a little bit of knowledge about how it works (where it writes in the Wiimote memory, for example) it’s a question of dumping all the bluetooth traffic and figuring things out by hand.

    The Wii itself makes things a bit harder than the other platforms, I think. As far as standards go, I just bought RB2, and the GH:WT drums work flawlessly, so there’s definitely no secret magic going on.

    Anyway, if you try this and it works, let me know!

  13. @Rschmidt: Thats good news! anyway, I can’t try it myself as I have the PS3 version so mine just works as-is (minus velocity sensitivity, which makes it just a little unresponsive)

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