As a guitar, the Rock Band 3 Mustang is a bit unusual – there are strings, but an array of buttons replaces the frets, and it is intended as a game controller. But with all those buttons, strings, and sensors, it makes a remarkably flexible, surprisingly inexpensive controller. Our friend nay-seven puts it to good use with Sensomusic Usine. And talk about a budget-minded setup – one that could put platforms like the iPad to shame. Usine costs just EUR90 for a full license, with discounted educational pricing and a version you can try for free. The Mustang runs just over US$100, which could put it in the category of must-buy for anyone who loves experimenting with alternative controllers – guitarist or not. Add an inexpensive Windows laptop and audio interface, and you’ve got a pretty terrific setup.

Previously, with the help of Harmonix engineers, we documented how the MIDI spec works:
Exclusive Details: How the Rock Band 3 Fender Mustang Works as a MIDI Guitar

nay-seven writes:

I’ve discover this guitar with this article Peter, so thanks for this ! it’s a quiet cool guitar and cheap for the possibilities . I’ve made a little patch in Usine to add some features like open tuning, x/y visualization, and you can also use most of the buttons to run effects or samples.

Your mileage may vary, but it sure looks promising. Keep in mind, this is the cheaper Rock Band controller with buttons. As such, it’s a good choice for people wanting some cheap experimentation and people who aren’t guitarists. As for the real guitar controller for Rock Band 3, the Fender Squier Rock Band Controller, I have a writer working on documenting its more advanced MIDI features. It’s more complicated, and I can’t endorse it just yet – wait for the full review and details.