Lets rock! – MIDI game guitars FTW

I have to admit not really a musician, but I do like guitars. I know a little of the lead blues scale and a few chords. I also love playing Rockband. I have dabbled with plugging my old electric guitar into the usb port of the Mac but the socket in the guitar has a bit of a loose connection so its always a crackly affair.
Getting the MadKatz Rockband 3 guitar for christmas and seeing the midi connector on it I thought it was time to try and plug that into the Mac. I ordered a MIDI to USB which just arrived and … well it just worked.
Rockband 3 midi guitar
It got easier to play it than in Rockband 3 as you obviously play what you want, so it was much quicker to get comfortable with it. Rockband 3 could do with a free jam mode like it has with the drums for this purpose.
Garageband does things nice and simply but it is very easy to record and playback then change instruments or add tracks.
What was interesting was that the effects combined with my playing errors come together to sound not too bad. In this video I just played a sequence of C F and G chords and picked a few instruments to render that with.

I also discovered (as I am not sure its documented but if it is I have lost the instructions) that the start button on the Xbox guitar switches the guitar to a no strum mode. Simply pressing and golding the fret buttons creates the note and sustain. The X and B buttons step the instrument up or down octaves. I am not sure if the others do anything. As there is no Whammy bar you cant do any odd effects. Also the thing missing from buttons is string bend which is a pity but otherwise this all feels great fun and you can make proper music.
I also plugged the keyboard in, they slider effect worked nicely on that, but as I know even less keyboard I went back to the guitar.
I have been sitting noodling around the scales making up little tunes, playing blues lead on top of a few tracks etc. Every time I go back to metal strings on the real guitar, as I don’t play enough, the blisters are pretty bad. These buttons are not having any such side effect.
It’s great fun.
When I tweeted about this I got sent this link to an even flashier midi guitar by @mummabear, check this one out, the Misa digital kitara

5 thoughts on “Lets rock! – MIDI game guitars FTW

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Lets rock! – MIDI game guitars FTW « Life at the Feeding Edge -- Topsy.com

  2. Hey, very nice. A couple of questions for you:

    What MIDI interface are you using to connect the Mustang to your Mac, and where did you get it? Have you had to deal with any latency issues?

  3. hi friend can you connected to the ipad 2 with the usb adapter, and connected the midi and used with garage band for ipad.

  4. That’s very cool. I was just playing around with the Rocksmith cable and garageband (not had much success yet)

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