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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

Blast From The Past: Garage Hero! by Chris Peterson SM '13

Turn your Guitar Hero controller into a MIDI Garageband device.

In the old days, when I was in college – when dinosaurs roamed the earth, or at the very least when Facebook didn’t yet offer photos or groups as features and you couldn’t friend folks at other schools and it was still called TheFacebook – this was a better time, a time when Facebook didn’t suck – where was I – ah yes – in the old days, when I was in college, I was an Apple Campus Rep. It was basically a marketing and evangelism position for Apple, which was easy to do, because I was already a Mac geek who loved throwing events, and now I got paid for it.

Back when I was a Rep, Apple was trying to generate some new ideas for projects. Thing that we could do on campus to get students excited about Apple. We all had Macs, we all could borrow Guitar Hero rigs, and that got me thinking.

So I spent the better part of a month trying to figure out how to make my Guitar Hero guitar work as a MIDI controller, just like a MIDI keyboard or something else. The idea was that anyone can play a Guitar Hero guitar (that’s the point of Guitar Hero), and if anyone can play it, and you could set the buttons to play certain notes in a key, literally anyone can play a (simple) set of chords and solos!

I pitched this to Apple, but the folks running the ACR program really didn’t get it, and they didn’t do anything with it, even though I’d already created a package, tutorial, setup, etc.

The other day someone randomly emailed my old student account asking if I’d ever gotten it working. The entire project had literally escaped my memory, but thankfully, not YouTube!

So if you’re bored, and you want to screw around with something kinda fun this weekend, here’s the YouTube tutorial I made a few years ago:

You’ll need a Mac, a USB Guitar Hero controller, GamePad Companion, and the XBox 360 Controller Driver to make this work.

If you install GPC and X360C, just install them. GPC will be added as a preference pane, and you should be able to follow my instructions from there.


2 responses to “Blast From The Past: Garage Hero!”

  1. Anirban Shaw says:

    FIRST FIRST FIRST!!!! smile

    tho i am an Apple fan but unfortunately my dad wudnt buy me a new mac… i work on my 5 yr old PC…..sighh!!! raspberry
    bt i do hv an ipod touch-a gift from me uncle on me 17th bday
    it ROCKZZ!!!!
    n a real Gibson s so much better than guitar hero… :D

  2. genius ('18) says:

    Wow… so if they had listened to you they would not only have created the ipod, but gituar hero as well? Amazing.