Use the Wii Nunchuck as a MIDI controller

Some weeks ago Wolfgang Gaube (a composer, musician and and sound designer) wrote me an email asking me, because I had some experience with the Wii and MIDI, whether it would be possible to use the Wii Nunchuck as a MIDI controller (hardware or software which generates and transmits MIDI data to MIDI-enabled devices). That’s how our cooperation started, we exchanged gear and setup details and started to work. Some research, scripting, trail and error resulted in a slick script for GlovePie…

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)
    • Wii Nunchuck (Its appearance when attached to the Wii Remote resembles the nunchaku, hence the name)
  • 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)
    • WiiNunChuck2Midi GlovePie script (a script that converts Nunchuck movements to MIDI controller information)

 

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 the Wii Nunchuck movements to MIDI controller information and sends the MIDI signals via the “MIDI Yoke: 1”  to MIDI-OX, MIDI-OX on its turn sends the MIDI signals to ZynAddSubFX via “MIDI Yoke: 2”.  ZynAddSubFX converts the MIDI signal into a sound effect (Wii Nunchuck movements >> GlovePie >> MIDI Yoke: 1 >> MIDI-OX >> MIDI Yoke: 2 >> ZynAddSubFX >> Sound effect).

 

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 Wii Nunchuck movements to MIDI controller events. So I wrote a script called Wii Nunchuck to MIDI (WiiNunChuck2MIDI), download the WiiNunChuck2MIDI GlovePie script and extract it to the “GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder (In our case the “C:\Program Files\GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder).

Check this update : Wii2MIDI including NunChuck MIDI control

 

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 your Wii Remote to Windows
  • Hookup your Wii Nunchuck to your Wii Remote
  • Start GlovePie
  • Load and start the WiiNunChuck2MIDI script
  • Play notes with you (virtual) keyboard and start controlling your sounds with Nunchuck movements 🙂
  • Have fun !!!

 

 

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

Guitar Hero World Tour Drums to MIDI

Last month I received a couple of e-mails from readers asking me whether I had a script to hook up their Guitar Hero World Tour Drums (GHWT) to MIDI. Although willing to help, I wasn’t able to pull this one of myself as I don’t own (such) a drum kit. So I wrote them back that I was willing to help, but that I needed their help as well. Happily someone called Fonz replied to my request, willing to help me write a script. So I wrote several scripts and Fonz would test the scripts whether they were working or not. This collaboration payed of… Although the scripts are not completely finished (work in progress), the results are MIDI recordable :-))

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)
    • Guitar Hero World Tour Drums (GHWT) (compatible) drum kit
  • Software
    • GlovePie version 0.30 !!! (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)
    • WiiDrums2MIDIZynAdd GlovePie script (or the General MIDI version WiiDrums2GMMIDI script) (a script that converts drum pads being hit on the Drum Kit to MIDI note on / off information)

 

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 drum pads being hit on the Drum Kit 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 (Drum pads being hit on the Drum Kit >> 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 version 0.30 and install it (it’s very important to use version 0.30 !!!). 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 drum pads being hit on the Drum Kit to MIDI note on/off events. So I wrote a script called Wii Drums to MIDI for ZynAddSubFX (WiiDrums2MIDIZynAdd), download the WiiDrums2MIDIZynAddGlovePie script (or the General MIDI version WiiDrums2GMMIDI script) and extract it to the “GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder (In our case the “C:\Program Files\GlovePie\WiimoteScripts” folder).

 

 

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 “Drums” and select “1. Drums Kit1”.
  • Start MIDI-OX
  • Connect Wii
  • Start GlovePie
  • Load and start the Wii Drums to MIDI (WiiDrums2MIDIZynAdd.PIE) script.
  • Have fun !!!

 

A big word of THANKS for Fonz as I couldn’t do this without him!!!

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

Using the KORG nanoKONTROL 2 in Qtractor

As a musician and part time audio engineer I recently bought myself a bright white KORG nanoKONTROL 2 USB controller as an addition to my mobile Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) setup. Setting it up and running it within OSX went smoothly, but I prefer Ubuntu Studio as Qtractor is my DAW of choice. So I connected the nanoKONTROL to Qtractor using Jack. I clearly saw midi events coming in, but nothing happened. This is where I started my search for enabling the nanoKONTROL in Qtractor. After reading many articles and blogs (special thanks to Jeremy!) I was able to reconstruct a working Qtractor control file (a .qtc file :-).

In this article I’ll try to explain the steps I took, what works, and what I still need to figure out… Reading the articles and blogs I learned that it is possible to assign Midi Machine Control (MMC) and MIDI Control Change (MIDI CC) messages to certain functions within Qtractor. The “only thing” I had to do is, connect the right CC messages to the right functions (knobs and sliders) in Qtractor. That sounds simple, but it took me some trail and error before I had it working! So the first thing I needed to do was figuring out what my nanoKONTROL was sending (in other words – how it was configured).

 

 

So, first of all I headed over to the Korg Kontrol Editor to figure out, how the nanoKONTROL was configured (It’s nice to know that you can run the Korg Kontrol Editor within Linux using Wine!).

And even more important…

 

After that I figured I had to write a Qtractor control file, so I started to analyze its logic (Jeremy you are the man, thanks!). Using gedit I had the first knobs and sliders working in no-time 🙂 The only problem I had was that my buttons for soloing, muting and recording tracks only worked as long as I kept them pressed. So I headed back to my Korg Kontrol Editor and changed the function of those knobs to “Toggle” mode.

You can download my Qtractor control file here.

You can download my tutorial control file here.

 

And you can configure / import the Qtractor control file by starting up Qtractor, go to “View”, select “Controllers”.

 

There you’ll find an “Import” button with which you can import the Qtractor control file.

 

So what is working and what needs to be fixed? Currently working are TrackSolo, TrackMute, TrackRecord, TrackPanning and TrackGain buttons and sliders. What I still need to figure out, are all the other knobs like the transport functions (play, record, rewind, fast forward, etc.). So if you happen to know how that works, then please send me an email!

 

PS. Don’t forget to link your KORG nanoKONTROL 2 to Qtractor, because otherwise it won’t work!!!

 

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