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GH 3 Guitar as a Real Instrument?

fearsomepiratefearsomepirate I ate a pickle once.Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Games and Technology
I thought it was weird that Tycho thinks that the GH guitar, with its five buttons, could make a serviceable instrument. Problem is, you have 13 notes in an octave, and I assume you wouldn't be using hammer-ons and pull-offs to make different notes on the scale, as that would be grossly counter-intuitive. 5 buttons for 13 notes just isn't going to work. Using button combos for different notes (which would give you just over two octaves--a 24-fret guitar has has four) would be extremely unwieldy.

5 buttons with hammer-ons, pull-offs, and both down and up-picking might sound like a lot of combinations (you could model that as 7 states per button including the off state, and that gives you 2401 states), but when you consider that a real electric guitar has as many as 120 fret positions with even more possibilities per fret when you include bends, barre chords, finger and sweep picking, palm muting, and so on, a real instrument offers many orders of magnitude more possibilities.

I'm not one of those snobs who thinks people who play GH should take guitar lessons any more than people who play Burnout should drive race cars. Just don't kid yourself that playing Guitar Hero is any closer to the real thing than Burnout is.

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Posts

  • FoodFood Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yeah, I really don't think you could make the guitar hero guitar into a really viable instrument. Add 7 or 8 more buttons on there and it would be better, but still very limited.

  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited December 2007
    Wow.

    You do realize that he wasn't saying that Guitar Hero is "playing an instrument," he was saying that such devices could have the capability of being instruments, in which case he is totally correct. People didn't think turntables were instruments once upon a time.

    Anyways, this could have easily been in the Rock band or GH threads, and Gabe / tycho generally don't read these forums.

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  • GenericFanGenericFan Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Maybe you could rotate the whammy bar around, and the different angles would determine the pitch of the notes, then when you're playing long notes you could still get the 'whammy' noise by moving it up and down as per usual.

    It would limit the range of notes you could play in succession unless you 'mapped' octave or not changes onto the d-pad or something.

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  • Speed RacerSpeed Racer I'm Speed Racer and I drive real fast. I drive real fast, I'm gonna last.Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If I ever started a world-famous rock group, we would totally just do perfect runs of all of our songs on Rock Band when we did concerts.

    speedsig2_zps388d2098.jpg
  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm not one of those snobs...

    Just don't kid yourself that playing Guitar Hero is any closer to the real thing

    Yes you are, and you totally missed Tycho's point.

    Circuit bending is a way of producing music. So is banging on pots and pans. Using the guitar controller with appropriate software could absolutely be.

  • Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    this thread wasn't done already or anything.

  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User
    edited December 2007
    I thought of a way last night this could work, if it is a bit obtuse.

    Each of the five colored buttons represent a different 3-note chord (perhaps I, IV, V, and either ii or vi in a given key, or maybe some arrangement that allows for all 12 notes to be hit). While you are holding down a button, a note is playing. One of the three notes in the given chord is played based on the state of the strum bar (up, neutral, or down).

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  • Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You could also press each button play a single note in a scale and use the strum bar to shift up and down octaves. The trem bar could be used for doing real bends.

    Or you could do the MIDI thing and program different combinations of buttons/strums/tremolo to do all sorts of different things w/ a sequencer.

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Sure it can. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLWw1OpDrpI

    Although I think that's a Guitar Freaks controller, but the point stands.

    8t2qhu8l050f.jpg
  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    A diatonic harmonica has 20 possible notes. A drum has 1 possible note. They're still instruments.

    Just because he said the controller is an 'instrument' doesn't mean he said it was a 'guitar equivalent', or even a 'guitar' at all. He said it was an instrument. Which is true - or, it CAN be true.

  • slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    We talked about this in pretty good depth in the other "Guitar Heroics" thread

  • HearthjawHearthjaw Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    slash000 wrote: »
    We talked about this in pretty good depth in the other "Guitar Heroics" thread

    Indeed, there's already a thread for this topic, should probably be locked.

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  • slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    RE: This thread

    go here,

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=43524



    RE: the controller as an instrument, discussion started around this page:

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=43524&page=5


    There ya go.

    Thread solved.

  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA
    edited December 2007
    Actually, interesting note:
    Macs/PCs with Bluetooth can communicate with the Wiimotes. The Wii GH3 then must also be capable of acting as an input device for a Mac/PC.

    There are a number of Mac and PC soft-synths that are playable using either MIDI controllers OR the keyboard on the computer. In fact every one I've ever seen has supported programming by "playing" the computer keyboard.

    So if you use the Wii GH3 controller as a HID and boot up a soft synth, it IS an instrument.

    Someone with Wii GH3 needs to try this. If I had it, I'd be playing with the possibility right now.

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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    360 GH2 guitar works with Windows out of the box. If I had my Windows installation working I would be able to cook up a quicky program.

  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    syndalis wrote: »
    You do realize that he wasn't saying that Guitar Hero is "playing an instrument," he was saying that such devices could have the capability of being instruments, in which case he is totally correct. People didn't think turntables were instruments once upon a time.

    Of course, you are missing the slight flaw in the argument. Once turntables were recognised as instruments, they were still turntables. Then they became more advanced turntables, and so on. At the moment, a GH controller isn't an instrument. At the point that it becomes an instrument (possible), it will be...er, an electronic guitar of some kind. Never seen those before.

    I rarely if ever comment here or on frontsite newsposts which tend to be amusing enough, but that really was a load of utter bollocks. Democratization of music? Please oh please be irony. If not, I have to assume that Tycho somehow isn't aware that real guitars are actually already available & affordable (might even cost less than a copy of GH), and has missed the past 20 years of increasingly mass-market recording equipment and software.

  • nothingmonothingmo __BANNED USERS
    edited December 2007
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    360 GH2 guitar works with Windows out of the box. If I had my Windows installation working I would be able to cook up a quicky program.

    me too. ha

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    syndalis wrote: »
    You do realize that he wasn't saying that Guitar Hero is "playing an instrument," he was saying that such devices could have the capability of being instruments, in which case he is totally correct. People didn't think turntables were instruments once upon a time.

    Of course, you are missing the slight flaw in the argument. Once turntables were recognised as instruments, they were still turntables. Then they became more advanced turntables, and so on. At the moment, a GH controller isn't an instrument. At the point that it becomes an instrument (possible), it will be...er, an electronic guitar of some kind. Never seen those before.

    I rarely if ever comment here or on frontsite newsposts which tend to be amusing enough, but that really was a load of utter bollocks. Democratization of music? Please oh please be irony. If not, I have to assume that Tycho somehow isn't aware that real guitars are actually already available & affordable (might even cost less than a copy of GH), and has missed the past 20 years of increasingly mass-market recording equipment and software.

    I agree. Like I said on the other thread, what everyone is talking about it basically turning the GH controller into a funnily-shaped harder-to-use synthesizer.

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If I were going to be using a "gimmick" controller as a synthesizer, I would think the Beatmania controller would do better than the Guitar Hero controller...

    optimusighsig.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • NorayNoray Registered User
    edited December 2007
    syndalis wrote: »
    You do realize that he wasn't saying that Guitar Hero is "playing an instrument," he was saying that such devices could have the capability of being instruments, in which case he is totally correct. People didn't think turntables were instruments once upon a time.

    Of course, you are missing the slight flaw in the argument. Once turntables were recognised as instruments, they were still turntables. Then they became more advanced turntables, and so on. At the moment, a GH controller isn't an instrument. At the point that it becomes an instrument (possible), it will be...er, an electronic guitar of some kind. Never seen those before.

    I rarely if ever comment here or on frontsite newsposts which tend to be amusing enough, but that really was a load of utter bollocks. Democratization of music? Please oh please be irony. If not, I have to assume that Tycho somehow isn't aware that real guitars are actually already available & affordable (might even cost less than a copy of GH), and has missed the past 20 years of increasingly mass-market recording equipment and software.

    YEah I made the same point in the other thread. It's pretentious bullshit.

  • ZeonZeon Registered User
    edited December 2007
    syndalis wrote: »
    You do realize that he wasn't saying that Guitar Hero is "playing an instrument," he was saying that such devices could have the capability of being instruments, in which case he is totally correct. People didn't think turntables were instruments once upon a time.

    Of course, you are missing the slight flaw in the argument. Once turntables were recognised as instruments, they were still turntables. Then they became more advanced turntables, and so on. At the moment, a GH controller isn't an instrument. At the point that it becomes an instrument (possible), it will be...er, an electronic guitar of some kind. Never seen those before.

    Youre kidding right? I believe its casio that makes something almost similar to a GH controller, albeit somewhat more advanced, with a synth built right in.

    Here it is right here actually:

    http://musicthing.blogspot.com/2007/09/1983-casio-dg-20-electric-guitar.html

    There are other ones too, that are basically midi controllers, that do nothing unless theyre hooked up to a synth of some sort. That one actually will make noise plugged right into an amp.

    So suggesting that the GH controller could be used as an actually instrument is not far fetched at all, infact im surprised this thread isnt already filled with links to people using them as such. Even suggesting that it will be something new is somewhat flawed as there are already tons of similar things available, albeit those things were not video game peripherals at one point in their lives.

    I think the most analogous thing has already been posted though, using a keyboard as a midi controller. Keyboards were not originally intended to be a functioning instrument when they were designed, built, and marketed. But people have transformed them into fully functioning instruments through the use of software.

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  • Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Read. Understand. Then maek poast.

    The point is that it would simply imitate (badly) something that already exists. It wouldn't be a 'real' instrument, in that it wouldn't be anything new, just like a Casio keyboard is a shitty Casio keyboard, not a piano. The turntables example was a bad one because ironically turntables provided a new sound capability (though I question whether they are really an instrument). Synthesisers don't do that - they are simply an electronic mechanism to play pre-created sounds. You can twang a guitar in an infinite number of different ways; you can't do that by pressing a synth button.

    Yes, it would be a functioning instrument that you can make sounds on, but then so is my desktop. Bang bing boom slap. See?

  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    The turntables example was a bad one because ironically turntables provided a new sound capability (though I question whether they are really an instrument).

    Oh, it is, it is.

    optimusighsig.png
    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Read. Understand. Then maek poast.

    The point is that it would simply imitate (badly) something that already exists. It wouldn't be a 'real' instrument, in that it wouldn't be anything new, just like a Casio keyboard is a shitty Casio keyboard, not a piano. The turntables example was a bad one because ironically turntables provided a new sound capability (though I question whether they are really an instrument). Synthesisers don't do that - they are simply an electronic mechanism to play pre-created sounds. You can twang a guitar in an infinite number of different ways; you can't do that by pressing a synth button.

    Yes, it would be a functioning instrument that you can make sounds on, but then so is my desktop. Bang bing boom slap. See?

    I agree. Using a GH controller to play music doesn't make them a new instrument. It's just another synthesizer. Albeit a funnily shaped one.

  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited December 2007
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    The turntables example was a bad one because ironically turntables provided a new sound capability (though I question whether they are really an instrument).

    Oh, it is, it is.


    Turntable is an instrument, and thanks for posting that. It reminds me of the "hello nasty" infomercial. Such awesome and hilarious stuff.

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  • GrimReaperGrimReaper Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    If I ever started a world-famous rock group, we would totally just do perfect runs of all of our songs on Rock Band when we did concerts.

    Mushroom Pie has won this thread, consider anything else added as needlessly pointless including this post.

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  • APZonerunnerAPZonerunner Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Guitar Hero Controller turned into Instrument:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw_1U4m8oUM

    Also, check out this dudes band. VG Metal covers at their very very best.

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  • BoilerbirdBoilerbird Registered User
    edited December 2007
    The reason the GH guitar isn't an instrument, per se, is because it doesn't allow for creativity on behalf of the performer. The player is limited to just playing the notes on the screen, plus the effects of the whammy bar (and the screetches for wrong notes). It has nothing to do with the amount of notes he can play - look at a bass drum as an example of an instrument with an extremely limited range. He isn't allowed improvisation or the performance of new work. I think Tycho went into this in his post as a software limitation.

    I know people have already adapted the wiimote as a computer input device; the Wii version of Guitar Hero just plugs the "guitar" into the wiimote's expansion slot. An interesting idea would be the development of the "guitar" as a midi input device in some way. But then again, that would make the "guitar" only as much of an instrument as a computer mouse is right now.

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  • Inglorious CoyoteInglorious Coyote Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Boilerbird wrote: »
    The reason the GH guitar isn't an instrument, per se, is because it doesn't allow for creativity on behalf of the performer.
    I should note however, that the Rock Band drums do have sections where no notes are given to you, and you're free to play whatever you want. Which does let you bring a little creativity to a song.

    So that's not so much a limitation of the equipment but one of the software, and IIR Harmonix has said they'd like to eventually have a way to make your own songs in their game.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Goddamimt, can we combine these threads?

    Anyway, it IS a limitation of the hardware, not the software. Because the software is the actual instrument. That's what's making the sound. The controller is just that, a controller. It's as much an instrument as my Wiimote. Using the GH guitar is just mapping keys from a synthesizer onto a different piece of plastic with buttons.

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