Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rock On - Garage Band Style!



Well, we did it. Rock Band instruments work just fine while hooked up to Garage Band for the Mac. It was not too terribly hard to hook them up and set them up. I downloaded a quick little program called Game Pad Companion (as recommended here). Then it was as simple as configuring the buttons to match keys on the keyboard. We then used the musical typing tool in Garage Band. It really was quite easy, and it sounds pretty realistic. The video I have up above is of my classroom neighbor (and his students) messing around with it. There are tons of instrument sounds to choose from - but the lead electric guitar is definately the best.

One problem is that we have not found a way to use two or more instruments simultaneously. You have to record each track and instrument separately (otherwise the instruments fight over the musical keyboard). In the video you can see the girl at the drums waiting for her turn to record a drum track.

Hooking the Rock Band instruments up to the Mac is a neat trick but in reality you can achieve more with a Midi keyboard - or even just working directly from the computer keyboard. The advantage is using the student's kinisthetic learning. They are used to the shape and feel of the guitar - many of them play real guitars (and even more play Rock Band or Guitar Hero). The touch is familiar to them.

Too bad we didn't actually have any musical talent.

1 comment:

Gary Ball said...

Sorry, I know the music is kinda painful to listen too. When the students create something worth listening to I will post it up. Until then this was a quick video just to show that it could be done.