Forums > MaxMSP

Rock Band Drum Controller

Oct 12 2008 | 7:42 pm

Hello everyone,

I apologize if something like this has been posted before, and if it has please post the link so I won’t have to take up more of the boards.

I am in a Music Technology class, and we are learning Max/MSP. We have gone through the basics of Max, and my interest in it has lead me to an idea for my final project. I would like to try to turn my Rock Band drum controller into a kind of electric drum set, with each pad triggering a drum sound so that it can be played like a drum set (basically).

The controller can connect through a USB, but because it is not a MIDI controller will I have to learn more about open sound control to be able to use it within Max? The patch will be fairly simple, but getting the controller to register seems to be the hard part.

Any information at all would be great. Thanks in advance for your help.


Oct 12 2008 | 11:05 pm


Couple of days ago I saw that topic in the forum, I suppose it’s a class project. If yes, be careful that your professor may hang around :) (some students has been busted)

All you need to do is first receive the Drum set’s signals, probably it generates midi, check with ctlin object after booting the drum pads. (Double click on ctlin shows you the all midi controllers)

Second step is scaling the signals from real world, need math to do it.

Third step, you have to prepare kind of sample bank, play~ object can be used.

I suggest you to check all the help files (can be reached from Alt-Click) of the objects. Few hints are, ctlin, route, funnel, play, *, and so on.

I hope it helps,



Oct 12 2008 | 11:09 pm

Many times if an object can connect through a USB port you can utilize the HI (Human Interface) object. You populate a menu of items and based on that you can retrieve the device’s broadcast ID to use for initialization. The output is tagged with IDs so you can rename them based on what’s coming in.


Oct 12 2008 | 11:53 pm

I’m pretty sure my professor is around here. I’m not trying to cheat or anything, I’m going to build this all on my own, but just trying to get some help with the actual connection of the controller to Max.

Thanks for the help, though. I will look into everything you both have said.

Oct 13 2008 | 3:57 pm

Even though your device has a USB plug you are still going to need drivers for the Controller before the [hi] object will recognize the device. Since it’s USB I assume the controller is for an XBox 360.

So now, are you on a Mac or PC?

XBox 360 controller drivers for OSX:

If you are on Windows you’ll have to brave the MS site for XBox Controller drivers, I’m not so helpful that I’m willing to do *that* for you. :P

Also, here is a nice tutorial by andrew benson regarding [hi] and game controllers:

That should get your data into Max the rest is going to be up to you. :)

Good luck,

Oct 13 2008 | 8:56 pm

As far as I remember the USB XBox controllers work fine on Windows without any drivers.

Slight hi-jack of the thread but,

I wanted to use OCZ’s new Neural Impulse Actuator (Crazy headband that takes brainwaves and can do mouse/keyboard controls, i.e. Shooting in an FPS game by blinking.) with Max,

but I’ve read on the OCZ forum that there seems to be problems with the [hi] object and the NIA

would I need to install the windows drivers (only ones available) and use the PC version of Max?

Oct 15 2008 | 7:13 pm

I am actually using the PS3 drum controller, and using Max on my MacBook.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

Forums > MaxMSP