This is the weekend of rhythm gaming hardware badassery.
FIrst, I rewired my beloved Les Paul controller. Les Pauls are easily the best controllers EVER for Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but they have one major flaw: the way the removable neck connects to the body means that eventually, the fret buttons become unreliable. That means that even if you play a song perfectly, some notes just…. don’t happen.
Well, some clever folks have rewired theirs and Twon found me a tutorial, so today I busted out the toolbox and the wires Twon had found at Fry’s, and set to work. The process basically consists of opening the controller up, removing the connectors between the neck and base of the guitar, and hardwiring them together, then reassembling the controller. I managed not only to do it, but to do it right the first time! Woo!
The other item today was a bit more complicated.
See, there’s this achievement in one of the Guitar Hero games which requires you to play “Raining Blood” on drums on Expert-Plus, a difficulty in which you have to play every bass pedal note. And you have to get five stars. There are a LOT of bass notes. Like, a LOT. You can see what the song looks like here. Hardcore folks get the adaptor that lets you use two pedals on your drum kit.
Twon went one step further, and hacked up a busted Les Paul controller to make what is essentially a strummable bass pedal. When he strums up or down on the guitar, it triggers the bass pedal. It’s a bit tetchy and he has to hold the circuit board that has the triggers on it in just the right way, so he hasn’t been able to put the back of the guitar on again.
It seemed to work great, so when our buddy Tim came over today to work on achievements, they broke it out. However, it turns out that the strummable bass pedal doesn’t work properly with the ION drumkit we use, it only works when it’s plugged into the slightly crappy Rock Band Portable Drumkit.
I had a brilliant idea: tape the portable kit’s pads over the ION pads. I am a GENIUS, because it totally worked. They ran through the song a few times and were able to get 4.5 stars! Just a bit of practice and they should be able to land it fine.
The rest of the evening has been spent getting random achievements. At the moment, Twon and Tim are playing online (Tim brought his XBox, and it’s hooked up to my new huge flat-panel monitor, which is on the coffee table) and working toward the “win X games online” achievements in various games. It’s a thrill a minute, I tell you.