Combining the WiiMote with GlovePie to make MIDI music

After the first article on using the Wii Remote in Windows XP I tried to take it one step further, taking it to the next level using the WiiMote to make MIDI music.

Prerequisites (what you need to get it working):

  • Hardware
    • Computer
    • Bluetooth adapter (an adapter for using an open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances).
    • Wii Remote (also known as a wiimote, the primary controller for Nintendo’s Wii console)
  • Software
    • GlovePie(is a free Programmable Input Emulator, originally for the Essential Reality P5 Virtual Reality Glove, which now supports a huge range of input devices, especially the Nintendo Wii Remote (Wiimote))
    • MIDI Yoke (allows you to connect the MIDI output from one program to the MIDI input of a different program)
    • MIDI-OX (is a 32 bit multi-purpose tool: it is both a diagnostic tool and a System Exclusive librarian. It can perform filtering and mapping of MIDI data streams. It displays incoming MIDI streams, and passes the data to a MIDI output driver or the MIDI Mapper.)
    • ZynAddSubFX (is a open source software synthesizer capable of making a countless number of instruments, from some common heard from expensive hardware to interesting sounds that you’ll boost to an amazing universe of sounds)
    • Wii2MIDI GlovePie script (a script that converts buttons being pressed on the Wii Remote to MIDI note on / off information (there are multiple GlovePie scripts for download in this article))

Let’s get going:

Where possible I provided links to the necessary download locations.

Download MIDI Yoke and install it.

Press Close and REBOOT your computer.

Configuring MIDI ports in Windows

Configure your MIDI ports in Windows by accessing the control panel (Start / Control Panel) and select “Sounds and Audio Devices”.

Go to the “Audio” TAB and select “Out to MIDI Yoke: 1”  as MIDI music playback device and click “OK”.

Download MIDI-OX and install it.

Configuring MIDI-OX

Now we have to configure MIDI-OX to pass the MIDI signal from MIDI Yoke: 1 to MIDI Yoke: 2

What is really happening:

GlovePie converts buttons being pressed on the Wii Remote to MIDI note on / off information and sends the MIDI note on/off signal via the “MIDI Yoke: 1”  to MIDI-OX, MIDI-OX on its turn sends the MIDI note on/off signals to ZynAddSubFX via “MIDI Yoke: 2”.  ZynAddSubFX converts the MIDI signal into a sound (Buttons pressed on WiiMote >> GlovePie >> MIDI Yoke: 1 >> MIDI-OX >> MIDI Yoke: 2 >> ZynAddSubFX >> Sound).

Start MIDI-OX go to “Options” and select “”MIDI devices”.

Now select “In From MIDI Yoke: 1” as input and select “Out To MIDI Yoke: 2” as output and click OK.

Download ZynAddSubFX and install it.

Configuring MIDI ports in ZynAddSubFX

Go to “File” and select “Settings”.

In the right bottom corner select “In From MIDI Yoke: 2” as MIDI-in device, and click “Close”.

Download GlovePie and install it. GlovePie doesn’t come with an installer so you have to create a folder and extract the zip file into the folder. In my case I created a folder called “C:\Program Files\GlovePie”. I also created a shortcut to my desktop (right click “GlovePIE.exe”, send to, shortcut to desktop).

Configuring GlovePie

After the installation of GlovePie we need a script that actually converts the buttons that are being pressed on the WiiMote to MIDI note on/off events. So I wrote a script called Wii to MIDI (Wii2MIDI), download the Wii2MIDI GlovePie script (or the newer script v1.1) and extract it to the “GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder (In our case the “C:\Program Files\GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder). OK, I’ve just updated the Wii to MIDI script (again) so it can play the whole range of MIDI notes (octave 1 till octave 8), basically it sets you of with having a full blown MIDI keyboard within your reach (download Wii2MIDI v1.3 here). If you want to use your WiiMotes as drumsticks you could also try this GlovePie script called Wii to MIDI whacker, it triggers MIDI notes while whacking your WiiMote and pressing buttons. Like the Wii to MIDI script version 1.3 it also enables octave scaling using the plus and minus buttons on your Wii Remote (you can actually scale octaves for each separate WiiRemote).

Connecting the Wii Remote to Windows

Connect WiiMote to Windows by accessing the control panel (Start / Control Panel) and select “Bluetooth Devices”.

Click the “Add” button.

Select “My Device is set up and ready to be found”, press 1+2 on your WiiMote and click “Next”.

Select the found Nintendo device and click “Next”.

Select don’t use passkey and click “Next” then click “Finish”.

Now let’s Rock and Roll !

  • Start ZynAddSybFX select an instrument by going to “Instrument” and select “Show instrument bank” use the drop down box in the upper left corner and choose something you like (you can change instruments later while everything is up and running).
  • Start MIDI-OX
  • Connect Wii
  • Start GlovePie
  • Load and start the Wii2MIDI script.
  • Have fun !!!

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line !