Melodics is like Guitar Hero for learning pad drumming

You’ve watched in awe as artists dazzle on hardware like Ableton Push, Maschine, and the MPC. But maybe your fingers just haven’t been as nimble, haven’t been as quick. Now, that might change. In a love child of Guitar Hero and a drum lesson, Melodics is here to save your pad-drumming chops.


Turn a Rock Band Keytar Into a Mellotron, And More Standalone Instruments

Lurking in the bargain bins of game shops is a surprisingly well-built keyboard. The Rock Band “keytar” controller may have been made for games, but the keybed is solid, the thing is light, and it can run on batteries. So why not turn it into a standalone instrument? That’s what Jamie Robertson has done with his, and he shows you how. The magic here is something he calls the WAV Trigger. Without naming any names, while there are a lot of cool Arduino shields and the like out there, a lot of them are pretty functionally limited. They’re cool to …


gTar, Digital Guitar that Scales from Easy Mode Up; Now Does Ableton Control, Too

Music games like Guitar Hero introduced the notion of musical instruments that scale digitally to the masses. By the time Harmonix introduced the latest version of Rock Band, complete with MIDI controllers, you are able to go from something that’s a toy to simply playing the instrument in a conventional way. The idea of scalability isn’t even new in instrument design – from capos to an instrument like the Autoharp to the very invention of frets, instrument builders have always designed instruments in ways to make them easier to play. In a digital/software realm, though, the plasticity of an instrument …


Music Gaming Franchises Face Difficulties, But Here’s Why It’s Not Game Over Yet

These drums need a new hit. Photo (CC-BY) Nathan Forget. There’s no more brutal opponent than elevated expectations. At least, that’s one explanation for the recent meltdown of the triple-A music gaming franchises. Harmonix, company that gave birth to the modern instrument genre saw both of its creations hit hard times in recent weeks. Activision gave Guitar Hero the axe [Wired], terminating the division, its employees, and a future game in the franchise Harmonix originally created. Harmonix got an extra life, at least, but it wasn’t pretty: the LA Times reports that Viacom unloaded the company – and some $100 …


Kids Making Music: Interactive Music Box Draws Experience from Games

Ten minutes. Four or five kids (or adults). Make a song. Go. That’s the idea behind the Youth Music Box, developed by Silent Studios and Chris O’Shea. (Our friend Chris you may recall from various interactive projects and the blog pixelsumo; he sends this project our way.) The software is build in openFrameworks, the C++-based creative coding environment for artists. With keys, drums, and yes, even a scratching DJ-style interface, the music box brings together kids for quick music making, inspired by the phenomenon of musical games. The experience is guided by genre, with some effort to make sure whatever …


REAPER v3: From MIDI to Automation to Guitar Hero Control, the Alt DAW Improves

Welcome to the alt-DAW scene. Last week, not only did Renoise continue its rebirth of the forgotten “tracker” genre of music making software with ReWire support, but we saw a big new version of REAPER, the beloved lightweight audio production tool from the original creator of Winamp. What makes an “alt DAW”, or “indie” production software? To me, it’s: small development teams of a few people tightly-integrated communities directly involved in feature requests trusting users instead of adding significant DRM, returning to the traditional “shareware” business model of old affordable pricing That’s not to take away from some of the …


“Music Simulation” Patent Unsuccessful, Gibson Mucks Up Own Case

Simulated guitar? Gibson gets carried away, but the law wins. Photo/bento creation (CC) Sakurako Kitsa.(Yup, this is a Fender Strat, but this is my kind of simulation of a musical instrument – in cheese form!) Gibson, the guitar company, has been on an utterly absurd campaign against music games, bringing lawsuits against the developers of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band and even against retailers. In the latest illustration of how screwed up patent law is, and just how over-litigious it has made technology in this country, the patent was based on a Gibson patent for a “System and method …


OSCulator, Magic Bullet for Mac Alternative Controllers, Updated

Want to hook that joystick / Wii remote / Guitar Hero controller / something odd to your music software? If you’re on Mac, OSCulator is the do-everything solution. It’s pay-what-you-like software ($19 minimum for PayPal), and it just got a big update: Announcement: OSCulator 2.6 [Unidentified Sound Object, as seen in our sound design round-up] Download page, with changelog [] There’s a lot new in release 2.6; highlights include: Preset management Graphical OSC routing editor Wii Guitar Hero support (preliminary) Hook up more: up to 2 virtual HID joysticks, up to 8 Wiimote (does anyone own that many?) Make keyboard …


The Onion on Gibson’s Guitar Hero – Rock Band Lawsuits

American voices respond. “Finally, the name Gibson will be synonymous with fake guitars.” Gibson Sues Over Guitar Hero Thanks, Patrick.


Gibson Guitar to Guitar Hero Maker: We Own All Digital Musical Reality

Wannabe musicians: now the exclusive legal domain of Gibson Guitar? Photo: Unhindered by Talent. Are you making music without real acoustic instruments? You know, in, like, virtual reality? Then you may have stepped into a strange, alternate dimension. Let’s call it, for the sake of argument, The Gibson Zone. They control the horizontal. They control the vertical. They invented what you’re doing … right now. Or, at least, that seems to be the message sent by a recent patent dispute between Gibson Guitar Corporation and Guitar Hero developer Activision. (Harmonix, the original Guitar Hero developer, has moved on to Rock …