How to Use Yamaha Electronic Drums With "Rock Band 2"

Written by andrew mikael
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How to Use Yamaha Electronic Drums With "Rock Band 2"
Electronic drums bring the "Rock Band" experience one step closer to professional drumming. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

While the drum kit created specifically for use with Harmonix's "Rock Band 2" provides a passable drumming experience, it can't compete with a more professional set-up. Some Yamaha electronic drum sets can play "Rock Band 2" through their MIDI output feature. Getting the drums to work requires a third-party MIDI translator to interpret the drum set's signal. The process works with Yamaha's DTXpress and DTXreme lines, but not the DTXplorer drum sets.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Find a MIDI translator compatible with your game console. Devices such as the MIDI Rocker LX come in several versions for different consoles and games, while products such as the GHWT Xbox 360 MIDI Controller or MIDI Pro Adapter work with only one system.

  2. 2

    Connect the MIDI output on the Yamaha electronic drum kit to the input on the translator using a MIDI cable. Some systems also require a modified official "Rock Band" drum kit, usually available with the purchase of the translator. If your system requires this additional device, connect it to the translator's output using a second MIDI cable.

  3. 3

    Set the MIDI notes on the Yamaha kit to the appropriate MIDI notes. To change a note, press "Voice," and then press "Page" five times to show "Note#" on the display. Hit the pad you wish to customise, and then press the "+" and "-" keys to specify a note. Each translator uses different notes. The GHWT device, for example, uses notes 36, 38, 45, 46 and 48 for the "Rock Band" orange, red, green, yellow and blue notes, respectively. Some MIDI adaptors are configured for a specific system and do not require MIDI mapping. See your translator's literature for specific information.

  4. 4

    Connect the translator or modified "Rock Band" kit to the console. Turn the console on and insert the "Rock Band 2" disc. Use the buttons on the translator or a connected game controller to navigate the menu. Start a song with drums active to use the Yamaha kit.

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