" THE ZERO GUIDE "
Now available: the always titillating "FRETBUZZ" software! **NEW**
Now for the biggest leap in this whole process. Ya gotta get the GH controller button states, as detected by your computer, translated into some kind of musical output. The options are many, and none are trivial, but there are some clearly formidable approaches.
The best option that I know of is to use the very powerful and flexible programming environment called Max/MSP.
UPDATE 6/3/2007 - I have zipped up my Max/MSP work and have made it available for download. The software is called FRETBUZZ, baby. It is free, free, freeee and open-source. Follow the link below, read the instructions, and you can start jamming out TODAY:
Hey programmers, if you're interested, download FRETBUZZ above, then feel free to modify what I've done so far. You'll need to buy the full version of Max/MSP, though. Max is a very unique and fun programming environment, designed for MIDI and audio signal processing... but the learning curve is steep. I think it's fun to learn if you've got the drive. It's highly mathematical and visual, and it's unlike most programming languages. If you really want to make your GH controller scream, Max/MSP for teh win. It is not inexpensive software, but you can poke at it using the 30-day free trial period that you get when you download Max/MSP. It is available for OSX and Windows.
***BTW, the background image is a sideways screenshot from Max. Notice the visual nature of the boxes and the connecting lines? That's what it's like. It's pretty fun - not your typical programming text-based syntax.
OK, say you're not up for the challenge of learning Max. This is OK - you still have other options, although they are less flexible.
I would look into using Ableton Live, as it may provide some interesting sample-playback and loop-layering mechanisms that could be triggered by the buttons. Also look into Reaktor by Native Instruments. It is a flexible sound synthesis interface and could be used quite cleverly to synthesize sound in real-time.
Both of these software packages, I believe, will require you to turn your Game Controller input into MIDI signals FIRST, then employ the audio software to generate sound in response to the MIDI signals created by the controller. The following section will introduce some lightweight GameController-to-MIDI programs I found while exploring this "MIDI approach".
***If you have a hardware sampler or synthesizer that you'd like to control with the GH controller, you'll need to use MIDI, too. Check out the next chapter.
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