MIDI Kit Support

reverserreverser Unsigned
edited July 2007 in Rock Band
I just wanted to voice my strong desire for compatibility with MIDI drumsets. I am the peripheral provided will be very cool and usable, but as a real drummer nothing can compare to a real kit. It seems like it would not involve much time to incorporate such functionality in game and it is something that would really make or break the deal for me. I'm sure there are many other drummers like me, so PLEASE support MIDI drum kits.

Thanks, I look forward to your awesome game.


  • edited June 2007
    I'm sure getting it right involves much more time than we can actually imagine (pretty simple things can become huge tasks when coding's involved), but I agree it would be a great feature.. might even convince some of the more flush gamers out there to spring for a real (well more real) drum kit if they're really into it.

    We know they're actively considering it from the IGN interview, so whether or not it happens I'd say is all going to come down to how much trouble it'll be to implement it.
  • ManuKatcheManuKatche Unsigned
    edited June 2007
    I think this would be feasible, but expensive. Someone would have to develop a midi interface for the 360 and then the software (or the 360 hardware) would have to transcribe the data.
    Surely this could work, but i forsee some updates for it to work.

    I would love to hook up my V-drums and play on the 360. It wouldn't be any different than playing to sequences, though. But it would be a GREAT teaching tool for timing.
  • relic81relic81 Unsigned
    edited June 2007
    is it cheaper??? anything to save a buck LOL
  • reverserreverser Unsigned
    edited June 2007
    Hmm, no it won't be cheaper. I paid about $5000 dollars for my roland TD-20 kit, but the realism is unsurpassed.

    Here is the actual kit, think how awesome it would be to play with this:


    Please Harmonix, if Konami could do it in Drummania, I am positive you can do it with very little effort. All you need is a driver to support a USB > Midi interface. This will be a deal sealer for me, and many other drummers like myself.

  • vichnaievvichnaiev Opening Act
    edited June 2007
    Drummania was not on xbox360 or any other MS console, so you can't say "Konami did it you have to do it also" cause MS has some really dumb rules about 3rd party controllers.
    As for the PS3 and Wii versions, I doubt hmx would include MIDI support on a console and deny it to the others.
  • reverserreverser Unsigned
    edited June 2007
    Any others with MIDI kits out there? Voice your desire for support! Surely the Harmonix supplied drum kit will be very usuable, but it can not compete with the authentic feel of a real setup. Let's let Harmonix know this is something that we would really like to see!
  • ZenZenZenZen Unsigned
    edited June 2007
    It's funny- I played drums years ago but sold my acoustic kit once I had kids, needed the room, and was tired of pissing off my neighbors.

    GH2 actually got me interested in playing again so now that I have more space, kids are older (and INTERESTED!), etc etc- I bought a electronic kit not too long ago.
    Absolutely LOVE it!

    When I heard about RockBand coming out I was really stoked. Especially when I had read somewhere that HMX played around with a MIDI kit while developing the game.

    I do have an electronics/electrical background and if HMX (or MS) decides not to put out a MIDI interface, I can 100% guarantee I will tear apart the drum controller and see how possible it is to intercept the wiring or circuit board traces and reroute them to the pads on my kit.

    Maybe it is possible, Maybe it isnt but wow- I can't imagine a cooler way to play.

    What would be just freakin awesome is if HMX set things up so that they could produce a "MIDI expansion Module" that required the RockBand drum kit to use. Then people who dont have a MIDI kit can use the regular licensed controller, but those of us with MIDI kits could use our kits we all know and love PLUS have the RockBand kit to use as additional pads maybe.

    Think about it- they still sell the drum kit and recoup their R&D and manufacturing costs PLUS give us MIDI kit drummers the option to use our existing gear AND at the same time HMX gives themselves just a ton of options for future drum based games and the incorporation of different audio based effects in their games.

    Not to mention- we then have an extra pad available for "Don't Fear the Reaper". Yep- I got a fever, and the only prescription is MORE COWBELL!!!!!

    Too cool........
  • ZenZenZenZen Unsigned
    edited June 2007
  • reverserreverser Unsigned
    edited July 2007
    Sorry for the late reply on this one ZenZen. I'm 100% with ya. Although, rather than having to homebrew an interface it would be so much more convenient for them to just include MIDI support out of the box. Contrary to what others say, (PS I have a with a highly hardware oriented technical background), I can say that incorporating a driver into the game for 1 MIDI interface of their choice is not much of a task for them at all. I cannot see how they could justify NOT including it. For those that speak to the Microsoft hardware DRM issues, that is a valid point, but it just a reason for them to develop and charge us for a proprietary MIDI interface (with M$ DRM included). I'm happy to pay extra to get my E-Kit to work. Please RB devs, make this happen!
  • newwaytodienewwaytodie Road Warrior
    edited July 2007
    What a great thread!

    I hope Harmonix is reading.
  • ZenZenZenZen Unsigned
    edited July 2007
    Thats what I'm talkin about! Maybe a 1/8" or 1/4" jack on the back of the drum controller going to each individual pad or even better a MIDI IN jack (8 pin or whatever it is- too lazy to go look).

    Of course there IS a dark side to the whole MIDI kit idea. I don't even want to mention here though. The devs know what it is, and I only hope that they don't let it get in the way of what could be an incredible addition to Rockband.

    An added bonus for HMX is that like they already said, "You can take someone who plays drums in this game on Medium or Hard, put them on a real kit and they can start playing for real.." Thats something really positive to shove in the faces of all the critics who claim all video games do is promote violence and "train" psychos to be Columbine wanna-be's.

    What game out there now can claim something even remotely as cool as teaching people a fine art while having a great time?
  • WildWalkerWildWalker Opening Act
    edited July 2007
    Midi data is serial data, well, it is data that is transferred one bit after another, although it does not follow the RS232 standard.

    With a few components you can convert MIDI to RS232. Or you can buy a MIDI/RS232 adapter.

    You can also buy RS232/USB adapters and I would expect with some hunting you could get MIDI / USB adapters too.

    I am guessing the guitar/drum peripherals just emulate the basic controller buttons, so GH is just waiting for the correct key press from the controller. You could connect the guitar to a PC (there is a usb driver for the guitar on the internet) and while I have not tried it, if you used some software to read the usb device address you could read the bit values for each key/button.

    Once you know that you could make your own MIDI/USB interface for GH and use any MIDI device.

    As I don't have a flashy MIDI keyboard I will use the HMX one, but for those of you that want to really use your MIDI stuff I sugges you start your own forum (or maybe HMX will give you a thread here) and work on your own.

    Don't know what potential licensing issues this would throw up, I know connecting stuff to the XBOX (that you are going to sell) is probably going to require a license deal with MS. Stuff you make for personal use probably breaches some part of the MS EULA, but hey, Rock Bands don't care about that anyway, right :)

  • ZenZenZenZen Unsigned
    edited July 2007
    you are quite right regarding what MIDI actually is. It's really nothing special and in the whole scheme of things would be fairly easy to implement.

    The problem with the whole thing, in my mind, is what M$ would say about using a MIDI interface while playing on Xbox Live. Think Leaderboards......
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