Wii remote as music controller

The Wii remote as music controller is gradually going from being a novelty to being standard equipment.

Deckadance, the DJ software from Fruity Loops creators Image Line, has only just come out and already has its first update. 1.10 is a big jump. Updates to the Ms. Pinky SDK support means it can now support absolute mode timecode (so you can needle drop anywhere you like), not only for Ms. Pinky vinyl but also M-Audio Torq and PCDJ, both of which are based on Ms. Pinky. There’s also an adjusted interface and updated playlist, among other bugfixes and enhancements.

The most interesting addition, though: it now natively supports the Wii remote from Nintendo. WiiJ, anyone?

Of course, you don’t need Deckadance to DJ with a Wii remote. On Windows, you can use GlovePIE, allowing for custom scripting. And on Mac, the most elegant solution is probably OSCulator, which translates to OpenSoundControl data, MIDI, and keystrokes. (Traktor, for one, supports both OSC and MIDI, though I haven’t yet tried OSCulator with it; I did have some issues using NI’s OSC implementation in Reaktor when I tried it. Update: you could use OSCulator and MIDI if OSC isn’t your cup of tea — more below.) For MIDI compatibility only, there’s also WiitoMIDI.

But I think built-in support in Deckadance is an interesting development. I’ve heard rumblings about Wii controller support showing up in other applications, as well, including VJ software. That means the Wii remote won’t be so much of a novelty in performance — meaning we’ll all have to actually learn to play with the thing skillfully. But maybe that’s a very good thing.

Thanks to Alexandre Guillet in Paris for the tip!

Updated: OSCulator the best choice for Mac MIDI, too? I erroneously implied OSCulator was for OSC only and not MIDI; if you’re on the Mac and wanting to use a Wii remote, see my separate note about OSCulator.

As for the Deckadance implementation itself, Wiij.com isn’t so impressed. I hope Image Line takes him up on his offer of help.

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