How to Use a PS3 Guitar Controller As MIDI

Written by john jordan
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How to Use a PS3 Guitar Controller As MIDI
Guitar controllers offer a fun introduction to music performance. (Guitar Hero Afro image by Infs from

Guitar games have been popular with music lovers for years, and with the right software a musician can take this controller to a new level by connecting it with PC-based music software. Doing so can not only be a fun novelty but also an inexpensive way to record and perform using MIDI software without needing an expensive midi keyboard. Whether you want to strut your stuff with a "guitar" or simply repurpose something you already have, setting up the PS3 Guitar controller as a MIDI input device can be done in a matter of minutes.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • PS3 Guitar Controller
  • SIXAXIS Guitar Hero Driver (PC)
  • Tattiebogle Guitar Hero Driver (Mac)
  • MIDItar Hero Software (Mac + PC)
  • Max/MSP Runtime (Mac + PC)

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  1. 1

    Plug in PS3 guitar controller cable to the computer's USB port. At the end of the PS3 guitar controller cable there is a USB plug. Plug this into your computer's USB port. On most computers, there are ports in the back of the computer, while some have both the front and back. Laptops may have them on the left or right side. Consult your owners manual for your computer if you need specific directions in finding it.

  2. 2

    Install PS3 Guitar controller drivers. Use the SIXAXIS Guitar Driver for the PC and the Tattiebogle Guitar Driver for the Mac (see Resources). Follow the instructions on screen. The default settings are sufficient.

  3. 3

    Install the MAX/MSP Runtime. (see Resources) This is required for both Macs and PCs. Again, the default settings are sufficient.

  4. 4

    Run MIDItar software. This software is a MAX/MSP file and will run when you double-click on it, once you have installed the MAX/MSP runtime. Select "Easy" for the settings to start with. The "Normal" setting allows you to play more notes, but it is also more difficult and complex.

  5. 5

    Select your controller from the menu and you are ready to use the PS3 Guitar Hero controller as a MIDI device with your favourite software.

Tips and warnings

  • Your music software may automatically see and use this device, but many have their own set-up for MIDI devices. If you are not hearing any sounds, you might need to configure your software for this new device.

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