stack the stair axes

Posted by on Oct 13, 2009 in DIY, excitement, gigs, music, video, video games, vj

axis screenshot

i know i haven’t been gigging very much this year. and i could forgive you for thinking i’ve not been doing much on the live music front but you’d be wrong. so very wrong. i don’t want to make you feel bad or anything, it’s just the truth. this is my new guitar hero to midi max app i’ve been working on. it turns the guitar into a playable instrument while keeping all the control functionality of my previous patch. here’s the hastily thrown together blurb i slapped up on my youtube.

An app i’m working on called AXIS. it enables an xbox usb guitar hero controller to output midi to control ableton or any other software or hardware that eats midi.

it has two modes – play and control.

in control mode the buttons, whammy and 3 tilt sensors send out midi messages. this is intended for interfacing with software.

in play mode any musical scale can be superimposed over a guitar hero scale built on the first four buttons. the up pick can be offset to allow rapid playing of fifths or whatnot. the orange button acts as a modifier key allowing change of key and offset on the fly. the D-pad changes scale and the back and start keys change volume (velocity). the three tilt sensors and whammy send out MIDI CCs to control what ever. the tilt sensors on this guitar are particularly awesome, they sit on three different axes and you can make the guitar really expressive.

there’s a little HUD you can sit on top of what ever you’re controlling to monitor mode, key, volume, offset and scale.

i’m sorting out some documentation and then i’ll release it as a stand alone mac app. if a max-head out there want’s to help me port it over to windows that’d be ace. mac and windows interpret the guitar controller differently. once finished, i’ll release the source so people can modify it for other system’s guitars too. I went for an xbox guitar because it’s usb and the tilt sensors and whammy work which is a problem for ps2 guitars/adapters.

at the moment i’m building up my new live show utilizing the guitar to simultaneously shred, trigger samples and effects, control the rest of the track and control the accompanying video. see, i have been busy! and not just on this.  i’ve got a whole album of new material which i’ll be relentlessly plugging through out the near future.

this post is little a bit of a tease, now i think of it. perhaps this video might make it appear more substantial.

…perhaps not.


  1. Jacob Simionato
    October 13, 2009

    That’s awesome man! Can’t wait to see it in action! Max is so inspiring…

  2. bob
    October 15, 2009

    thanks man. yeah, it’ll be up on stage soon enough. just need to glue the set together with visuals and masses of midi mapping… and then max for live will be out and i’ll have to do it all over again! :P