Wiitar: Combining the Wiimote, MAX/MSP and Mainstage

For the final year of my degree, I was required to create an Experimental System Design. At the time, I was heavily involved with a live version of  The Red Attack which was my electronic music played with instruments rather than computers.

My set up consisted of an electric guitar running through Logic’s MainStage which was a theoretical amp. This allowed me to apply effects to the guitar sound, which would have been a very expensive pedal board!

To complement this set up, I wanted a method of altering the effect parameters while playing.  I was after a hands-free method, which could be controlled with simple gestures of the guitar. That’s where the Wiimote steps in. Using OSCulator, I was able to access the accelerometers and motion sensors, convert them into MIDI using MAX/MSP, which was then taken into MainStage.

The Wiitar (Wiimote & Guitar) and Mainstage makes a brand new instrument, with a brand new way of playing. Its takes a while getting used to but it is worth it. Your playing will never be the same!

Now fully developed, the MAX patch is hugely versatile. It can be used by a singer, by a drummer or by a piano player. Any instrument or sound, which can be fed into MainStage, can be effected with the Wii remote.

The MAX/MSP patch, in reality, is just sending out MIDI messages, so the patch can be used with Cubase, Logic, Ableton or any other sequencer.

For my project I had to create an example video of it in use, below is that video. I apologise for the awful playing but you get the idea!

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Mike Street

Written by Mike Street

Mike is a front-end developer from Brighton, UK. He spends his time writing, cycling and coding. You can find Mike on Twitter.