The world is off and running with the Nintendo Wii Remote for music. You’ll recall I hoped publicly on CDM this device would work for music from the day of Nintendo’s announcement (like many of you), and I’m pleasantly surprised to say everything got a whole lot easier as Nintendo chose a commonly-used Bluetooth chip for their device! (Apparently overwhelmed with demand, the documentation site Wiili is down at the moment; hopefully will be back soon.) I’ll have complete details of how to hook up the Wii to various software for music and motion — hopefully written in friendly terms — within the next few days, provided I can find a controller and bring it home! As a teaser, though, here are examples using the Wii remote as a drum controller and general-purpose timbre controller.

Wiimote Control [theoreticalplayground, excellent physical-computing site!]

WiiMote Music Controller Nord Lead
Another video with some basic instructions:

Updated: Bob’s back; wiili project is still down — more soon.

Full project details:

Wii Drum Machine [The Bobcast]

And in other news, I managed to track down a Wii controller and will be firing up some programs this weekend!

Updated: Some first success and mirror site links, plus a new forum thread where we can ask each other dumb questions about making this work.

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  • gbc02

    Shiggy stole the idea from Buchla.

    He figured a Lighting you can play games on would be a good idea.

    I hope someone buys Don a Wii this Christmas!

  • In fairness, the Buchla used primarily IR positioning and photosensors, whereas the Wii emphasizes the accelerometer controls (which I think are more reliable and more sensitive). But Don Buchla's device was very significant (along with some other ideas), and you can bet Nintendo has been paying attention to controller design.

    Buy one Buchla 200e and that should give Don enough take-home for a Wii *and* a PS3. 😉

    I look at it this way: we've been using MIDI keyboards and mod wheels for decades and we're still coming up with new uses for them. So I think stuff like the Wii could be used nearly endlessly.

  • Gnostic

    good god, the poor guy….is using a set of X-530 speakers :'(

  • Dan

    If in the interim, anybody wants to send us the docs we would be happy to host or redirect the site on the server. We could handle the traffic. Contact me asap if you would like.

  • He's back, Dan.

    CDM has also just updated our capacity in a big way and have an additional server as backup. So anyone suffering from traffic, we can also host any music-related material — and you know we're into this stuff.

    I don't think that's the issue, though, as Wiili is the one that seems totally dead. They're an open source project, so they may be able to find someone large who does OS hosting. (Maybe they have already and I just don't know where to look? Anyone heard?)

  • Dan

    Cool, can't wait to see the coverage. I actually waited outside in the cold to get a Wii and I am super psyched that the Wii remote will be open to homebrew stuff. I'm currently working to get my DS to work as a controller as well.



  • Tim

    Is it possible to use two Wiimotes to have TWO drum sticks??


  • I have the nunchuck working for two drum sticks here:


    check it out 🙂

  • Wiimote to midi complete tutorial available in franch (with sources) here:

    Nice vid by the way !

  • All cool ideas but for drums looks a whole lot less useful than er….drums. Or pads, or sticks with sensors on, or a keyboard or nearly anything actually.

    Would be much more interesting as an effects/synth, theremin etc. controller. So that's what I'm going to look for now!

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  • juan

    ok is great but , configurate in ableton live ?

    i dont no configurate in ableton thnks