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  • Rock Band & Guitar Hero with Real Drums – Part 1: the discovery

    Posted on January 26th, 2009 Shawn 4 comments

    This is Part 1 of a multi-part series.
    Part 1: the discovery
    Part 2: intro and shopping
    Part 3: basic setup
    Part 4: pro setup

    Alright, ready for this? My Rock Band 1 kit is not working. The red pad is dead. I’ve tried doing that solder modification (and using the Highly Liquid MSA-P) a bunch of times to get my real electric drums to work. Everytime I try, I fail. I do not know how to solder.

    It’s killing me not being able to play RB on drums, or use the e-drum kit that I put together last year.

    So, I did some research today. I learned that the GHWT drums has a MIDI-IN port, which I could likely plug my Yamaha/Roland kit into the GHWT kit and play through it. I’m going to go to a local store tomorrow and pick up the GHWT drums.
    If that works, I’ll be able to let my kids use the GHWT drums and plug my real kit into the MIDI-IN port when I want to play.

    I’ll keep you posted.

    If you have any info on the MIDI capabilities of the GHWT kit, or any other similar modifications, let me know in comments.

    UPDATE #1: I just got back from Circuit City where I picked up Guitar Hero World Tour (Complete Band) for $151.99, 20% off the original $189.99.  That comes with the game, a guitar, and drums (of course).  I’m going to setup the drums tonight and first confirm the GHWT kit works with Rock Band 2.  Assuming that works fine, I will then test out the MIDI port on the kit to see if I can get my Roland/Yamaha kit to pass though the GHWT kit and work with Rock Band 2.

    Since my receipt says “Final Sale“, if it doesn’t work, I will probably just sell the whole GHWT package on eBay.  Fingers crossed that I just solved my ongoing drumming dilemna. Oh, I have no interest in keeping the Guitar Hero game or guitar…unless someone gives me a reason to keep them, they will be up on eBay by the end of the week.  Stay tuned for an update tomorrow.


    3 responses to “Rock Band & Guitar Hero with Real Drums – Part 1: the discovery” RSS icon

    • Hey I saw your link to my MSA-P mod and thought I might be able to point you in the right direction.

      Whether or not the Guitar Hero: World Tour kit’s MIDI in option will work for you depends entirely on what electronic drum brain you are using.

      See this FAQ below at Section 3.4 for a compatibility table.

      For example, the GH:WT MIDI option would NOT work for me and my old DTXplorer brain (because that brain does not support MIDI mapping). So I bought a used Alesis DM5 brain which is compatible. Good luck.


    • Flash,

      I didn’t know that Doc had a mod of the GH:WT brain. What’s he charging? It would be nice to keep my GH:WT kit separate for the kids to use, and just have a brain mounted on my Roland rack.

      BTW, I’m using a Yamaha TMX (circa 1994) as my drum brain. I used to use it in the ’90s to trigger my acoustic drums for recording and live. I was glad to be able to wipe off the cobwebs and put it back to use. It’s fully MIDI mappable, and works like a charm with Roland pads and cymbals. If anyone can find one, I bet it would be very cheap, and has all the capabilities needed for Rock Band and professional use.

    • If you’re a member of Doc’s forum, check out the members-only Gear and Parts Trader section. I think he still is giving members a good deal on his box. Around $100 I think. Worth every penny, IMO.


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