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  Can Game Controllers ‘Make Awesome Music’?  
 
 
Posted 2007-10-18 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
A plastic guitar or drum set might be an obvious choice for a music-game controller, but not everyone's ready to shell out for one-shot items ultimately destined for landfill. A smarter play might be to design music games for standard controllers instead--the challenge for users here is to squeeze great music out of an unfamiliar instrument.

My brother Joel has started doing some practical R&D towards the goal of "allowing anyone to pick up a game controller and make awesome music with it." A newcomer to game development but an experienced musician and audio engineer, Joel's got a great sense play, a brain for making things work, and a passion for sound. He's posted his first YouTube video. In it, he's using a PS2 controller as a MIDI device (musical instrument), triggering sounds and breakbeats through a combination of audio programs. Wild stuff. Can't wait to follow Joel's adventures in game development, but of course I'm biased :)

 
     
 
   
 
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  5 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Secureplay
October 18, 2007 @ 12:16 pm
     
 
How about a Wii Theremin?
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by n0wak
October 19, 2007 @ 3:05 am
     
 
This is precisely how "Harmonix" got its start -- trying to let people create music with the controller.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by qDot
October 19, 2007 @ 3:26 am
     
 
Reminds me of the old MixMan interface right now, basically an on the fly sequencer that brings you in on the beat no matter what.

People have been going crazy with the wiimote, there's even people "WiiJ"ing now, which is basically just using gesture controls to trigger sequencers or effects.

I've been playing with Max/MSP lately to do some audio stuff with game controllers, got the NovInt Falcon working through it (as well as the Lightstone, which I mentioned on here a couple of days ago). Having 3 DOF feedback on your music is kinda neat (if less than accurate at the moment, I'm still working on the position finding).
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
October 19, 2007 @ 8:43 am
     
 
Hey, great comments! Thanks for the ideas and additional info. Love the idea of a Wii theramin. Actually I love the idea of a Wii theramin game...
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by studio13
October 20, 2007 @ 10:42 am
     
 
Wii controller funkin' out ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ToaN7vTqtU
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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