Make your own
By Owen Grace
The author unleashes
“plastic bundles of
It’s all fun and games until someone turns those plastic Guitar Hero axes into
real instruments. What musical possibilities lie hidden beneath those five
Within a few years of the video game’s launch in
2005, millions of its guitar-shaped controllers were
manufactured. Sadly, many are collecting dust in
closets across the globe. In my closet was one such
controller, leaning awkwardly between some dirty
hiking boots and a deflated soccer ball. In 2007,
I pondered the depressing fate of this plastic bundle
of star power. I sensed untapped potential, and
I noticed how my acoustic guitar got plenty of my
attention, unlike my sad old controller. What if
the Guitar Hero controller could make music?
I knew it was possible and I saw a means to make it Read about Owen Grace and the Guitar Zeros in the profile
happen. After months of programming, I successfully on page 54.
Photograph by Sam Murphy
repurposed the controller as a musical instrument.
No hardware modifications were made — it all happens with software running on my laptop. I formed a
band with friends, called the Guitar Zeros. We’ve got
a singer and a drummer, and the other two of us use
Guitar Hero controllers — one for guitar sounds and
one for bass.
Here’s how to make music with your own Guitar
Hero controller using the software I designed.
56 Make: Volume 15