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

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 !

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 !

LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25 on Ubuntu Studio 12.04

As I was looking for a new (smaller) MIDI keyboard for my home studio, my eyes fell in love with the “basic” looking LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25. Reading the specs this could easily be my next big studio love… The next question popped up, would the LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25 be compatible with my Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)!?

The specifications read compatibility with IOS, MAC and PC. OK that sounds promising, but my DAW is built around an Apple Mac Book 5.1 running Ubuntu Studio 10.04. Searching the web I couldn’t find any answers… So I decided to give it a shot. As we just passed the new Ubuntu mile stone, I also decided to take a look at the latest version of Ubuntu Studio. So I ordered the LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25 online and downloaded Ubuntu Studio 12.04. To my surprise I found out that Ubuntu Studio 12.04 is a very nice LIVE CD (a complete bootable computer operating system which runs in the computer’s memory, rather than loading from the hard disk drive) which runs perfectly on the Apple Mac Book 5.1. I spent the weekend replacing my Ubuntu Studio 10.04 LTS with Ubuntu Studio 12.04 and making it mine (installing loads of extra software / packages). Yesterday when I came home from work I found a big box on my desk containing my new LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25 MIDI keyboard. After unpacking the kit I was pleasantly surprised by the solid feeling of the keys, knobs and wheels. At first I hooked it up to OSX, as one could have guessed it worked as a charm. Next up was booting to Ubuntu Studio… (tune into the melody of Jaws here 😉 I started Jack (JACK Audio Connection Kit) hooked up my Mobile Keys 25 and TADA a new device popped up in my connections list. After connecting the Mobile Keys 25 to Qsynth in Jack I was ready to play and man it felt good!!! After that I disconnected Qsynth and started Yoshimi (alternate version of ZynAddSubFX) and with a little help of a2jmidid (you can start a2jmidid from a terminal window by typing a2jmidi_bridge) I was able to hookup the Mobile Keys 25 to Yoshimi and play it away. After that it was time to connect my Mobile Keys 25 to my iPad (read the manual and install the free MIDI app from LINE 6) the first message I got was that there was a new firmware update for my new Mobile Keys 25. The updating process was dead easy, so I updated my Mobile Keys 25 with the latest greatest firmware. Conclusion the LINE 6 Mobile Keys 25 is a well build product (thank you guys at LINE 6) which works perfectly an Apple Mac Book 5.1 running Ubuntu Studio 12.04.

 

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