[chuck-users] Rock Band Wireless Keyboard: is it any good?

Kassen signal.automatique at gmail.com
Tue May 10 15:38:14 EDT 2011

Hey Lucas,

On 10 May 2011 18:12, Lucas Zawacki <lfzawacki at gmail.com> wrote:

> Has any of you experimented with this device
> http://www.amazon.com/Rock-Band-Wireless-Keyboard-PlayStation-3/dp/B003RRTXLA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1305042292&sr=8-4
> ?
Not personally, but I've kept a eye on the developments there as I'm a big
fan of adopting and adapting game interfaces.

> It looks interesting and packs a lot of punch for a $60 device.

Agreed. Certainly cheaper than other key-tars which have been garnering some
cult status and commanding matching prices second hand.

> It has
> a midi interface, a lot of neat buttons and a touch sensitive bar! It
> would be especially cool if the computer could recognize it and all
> the keys as a joystick device so one could use it in a true wireless
> fashion without worrying about the midi adapter.

Here you go;

So that's "yes" on all counts with the exception of the wireless bit where
it's "maybe if you do some work".

> I'm seriously thinking about buying one, but don't want to risk
> getting one just to find out that it won't work or has lot's of
> limitations...
Based on that article from the ever informative Peter Kirn I'd say there are
remarkably few limitations. I believe it should simply work (including the
game buttons) assuming you have a MIDI input on your PC. One of the nice
things about MIDI is that it's a standard.

I -of course- can't guarantee a thing but I'd be surprised if it didn't
work. The guitars also look very nice for the price-point;
not aware of many other ready-made MIDI controllers with tilt sensors. The
"pro" one is especially remarkable in that it's also a "real" guitar
(presumably in addition to signal analysis). Guitars with a MIDI output are
quite rare and I'm not sure more "serious" models use Harmonic's strategy of
having sensors in the neck. Hopefully that would get around some of the
issues in the notoriously hard task of converting guitar notes into MIDI
ones with low latency yet accurate pitch. I'm not sure any of the
professional alternatives do that, it sounds clever to me.

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