WII WILL ROCK YOU
Play real air guitar (or keys) with the
wireless game remote. By Bill Byrne
I grew up in the 80s with a Commodore 64, Game
Boy, and Nintendo Entertainment System, and
I feel more comfortable with an NES game pad
than a TV remote.
Photograph by Bill Byrne
Many years later, the NES game pad has evolved
into a monster: the Wii Remote wireless game
controller, affectionately known as the Wiimote.
My wife, Suzanne, and I also perform and record
electronic music in a band called the Painful Leg
Injuries. I’ve played with numerous MIDI controllers,
but despite my years of childhood piano lessons,
nothing feels as natural to me as the Wiimote.
Blame it on all those hours with Tetris and Mario.
Here, I’ve written up 4 of the setups I’m using
to control music with this thereminesque, ether-bending joystick.
1. Loop Machine
Mac laptop, Bluetooth wireless-enabled
Nintendo Wii Remote controller just the controller,
you don’t need the full Wii system
Wii Nunchuk attachment (optional) well worth it
Loop Machine version 2.0 $20, or Wii Loop Machine
version 1. 1. 1, free, from theamazingrolo.net/wii
Yann Seznec’s Loop Machine (Figure A, following
page) is a great way to start warping sounds. It has
3 channels you can load audio samples into, and an
additional channel that functions as a basic synth.
The Wiimote’s buttons switch among the channels