A new version of Rock Band (for Wii) means still more ways to turn these game controllers into musical or visual performance instruments. Jordan Balagot writes with some hands-on experience using junXion, a wonderful tool for adapting game controllers to MIDI or OpenSoundControl. (junXion also works with Wiimotes and nunchucks, audio inputs and pitch sensors, joysticks and standard USB devices, and much more, so even if this bores you, you’ve probably got some use for it.)

Jordan says:

I tried plugging in the Rockband for Wii guitar and drums into my mac and Junxion recognized them perfectly. This seems to be the easiest solution for turning the rockband instruments into real instruments because it has low latency and the Wii instruments are already USB.

Full instructions at his blog:
Turn Wii Rock Band Instruments into Real Instruments with Junxion

junXion is wonderful, though that EUR75 stings here thanks to the weak US dollar and the fact that we have fewer grants and have to pay for health insurance and hospital visits and whatnot. (Especially any Wii-related injuries.) There are other ways of getting at this data, as it’s USB HID — try Osculator on Mac or GlovePIE on Windows, not to mention HID input in Max/MSP and Pd. That said, junXion remains a very powerful option and worth a look.

Other Rock Band controller tips?

We’re still anxiously awaiting what our friend David Lublin of VJ app developer vidvox does with his — as pictured below. (He was searching through createdigitalmusic looking for tips, so, erm, I’ll be sure to update the site with whatever he finds!) Expect some drum kits triggering videos. (Photo by Todd Thille.)