What is MIDItar Hero?
MIDItar Hero is a program designed to let you use a Guitar Hero or Rock Band instrument as a MIDI controller. You can use MIDItar Hero to control synthesized sounds within an application that uses MIDI, such as GarageBand, Reason, or Live, or through an external device (synthesizer, keyboard, drum machine, etc.) if you have a MIDI interface hooked up to your computer. MIDItar Hero was created using Max/MSP.


What can MIDItar Hero do?

  • Runs under Windows XP/Vista, Mac OS X
  • Supports nearly all Rock Band and Guitar Hero controllers (Guitar or Drums) for every gaming system (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2)
  • Can be used with any application that supports software instrument playback through MIDI input (Reason, Live, GarageBand, Mixcraft, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Audition, Sonar, many more)
  • Can be used with external MIDI devices (keyboards, drum machines, synthesizers)
  • Use the default two-and-a-half octave scale or a custom scale pattern in Normal Mode
  • Select a key and scale to play power, major, minor, diminished, and 7th chords in Easy Mode
  • Use the Rock Band or Guitar Hero: World Tour Drum Set in Drum Mode
  • Play and manipulate .wav or .aiff audio samples in Sample Mode

How do I use MIDItar Hero?
If you’re new to MIDItar Hero, the best place to start is to download and read the Documentation:
MIDItar Hero Documentation

What do I need to run MIDItar Hero?
A list of the required programs and drivers can be found on the Download page. You will need the Max/MSP Runtime, the proper drivers for your controller, and the MIDItar Hero software. Of course, you’ll need a Guitar Hero or Rock Band instrument to properly use MIDItar Hero, but technically any USB device can be used with the program.

How much does MIDItar Hero cost?
MIDItar Hero is free to use.

Really? Awesome! But how can I help support MIDItar Hero?
If you enjoy using MIDItar Hero and want to help support the program:

How do I make guitar or drum sounds?
MIDItar Hero does not create sounds – all it does is produce MIDI information that can be sent outside of the program to control sounds elsewhere. The default setting when you open MIDItar Hero is to send MIDI output to your computer’s built-in synthesizer, which is that piano sound you’re probably sick of by now. If you want to make anything other than that sound, you need a program or external MIDI device capable of playing software instruments through MIDI input.
If you’re running Windows and you want to use a software synthesizer from a digital audio workstation such as Mixcraft or FL Studio, you will need to download a virtual MIDI driver to send MIDI information from MIDItar Hero to your chosen program. I recommend using Maple Virtual MIDI Cable or LoopBe1 as your virtual MIDI driver.
Once the virtual MIDI driver is installed and set up, you can link MIDItar Hero and your chosen program by setting the MIDI output within MIDItar Hero and the MIDI input within your chosen program to the same virtual MIDI port created by the virtual MIDI driver.
If you’re using Mac OS X, you do not need a virtual MIDI driver, as CoreAudio already supports virtual MIDI. Select “From Max/MSP” as your MIDI Output and Input to link MIDItar Hero with the other program.

How was MIDItar Hero created?
MIDItar Hero was created using Max/MSP, a graphical development environment created by Cycling ’74.


68 Responses to About

  1. Daniel Towns says:

    How do you det it working with windows

  2. bwestplaysdrums says:

    The MIDItar Hero.mxf file opens in both the Windows and OS X versions of the Max/MSP Runtime.

  3. Daniel Towns says:

    thnx dude

  4. Fox says:

    Just wondering – I read that many PS2toUSB controllers don’t work with the Whammy bar of the Guitar Hero controler. How did you fix that problem?

    I have like 3 adapters, and none of them recognize the whammy bar as analog stick.

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      Normal PS2 controllers have that “Analog” button to turn on the joysticks… since the GH controller doesn’t have one, there’s no way to turn it on (if it was plugged into a PS2 it automatically turns on the analog). Unfortunately I don’t know of any easy way around this… I vaguely recall someone soldering on their own analog button to the board on the controller, but that seems like way too much trouble.
      You can pick up a 360 Xplorer guitar for extremely cheap ($15 to $25) now anyway.

  5. Zach W. says:

    hey! I’m looking to use a guitar hero/rock band guitar for my live music set,,, I want to connect the guitar buttons to my ableton live midi mapping… is this possible? which guitar (preferably wireless) would work best with your program as far as versatility and reliability? wii guitar hero? xbox 360?
    thanks in advance!

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      Hey, I thought I emailed you back the other day, but I forgot to send it. My bad.
      The best option for you would to buy an Xbox 360 guitar controller (check out the Rock Band 2 Wireless Strat, that’s my personal favorite), and then the Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows (it will also work on OS X).

      • Zach W. says:

        awesome!! thank you!!
        and what about the wii one,, just thru bluetooth?
        I may have found one for cheap.
        any differences in performance or useability?

      • bwestplaysdrums says:

        The Wii Guitar Hero controllers for the don’t work yet because they use the Wiimote, and any drivers out there that use the Wiimote simply map the buttons to keyboard keys rather than reading it as an HID device… that won’t work for MH. However, the Wii Rock Band instruments that use a USB dongle to connect will work with MH.

      • Zach W. says:

        thank you very much for your help!

  6. Zach W. says:

    can I use a wireless guitar with this?
    other than wii?

    • 10gu says:

      Yeah, i think if you use a dongle for the XBox 360 Wireless controllers you can, err just get a wireless receiver for the controller.

  7. Daniel M. says:

    Whats the mediafire password?

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      The password protected file is only for people testing new features… just download the one without a password.

  8. VampireCowboy says:

    Dude, this is so awesome!
    Just the other day I was wondering if it’d be possible to make a synth-type instrument from a GH guitar, and you already figured it out!!!

    Just out of general curiosity, would you be able to use a regular game controller with this?

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      You could use a regular game controller… it’d work fine with Drum Mode, but in either of the Guitar Modes you’d have to use the d-pad up and down to strum (unless you turn on Solo Mode).

  9. Gideon Bridgman says:

    I have a problem, when i load the .mxf file into max runtime it says that there is error -1 making directory.
    How do i fix this?

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      Someone else mentioned that error before, and I’m not totally sure what the cause of it is, but it sounds like either the Max Runtime or MH is in a read-only folder or drive and it doesn’t like that.

  10. Randomman says:

    I was playing with this earlier and I noticed it didn’t have (not sure if this is the right term) hammer ons like frettbuzz does.
    Is there a setting I can change?
    Or is it just not part of the program?

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      MH doesn’t have hammer-ons as of right now. I’ve considered it before but I don’t think it makes sense when used with the binary scale pattern – in some instances if you wanted to hammer-on a specific note you would have to push two or even three buttons at the same time. However, you can toggle on Solo Mode, which lets you play without strumming – you get the same sort of effect but there’s no timing window involved.

  11. Daniel Towns says:

    how do you get sample mode to work

  12. Lance says:

    I have not been able to get your program to work yet, but I have to say it looks awesome! Thanks.

  13. JaK says:

    I’m using windows with this, and I would like to know how to get it to sound like an actual guitar instead of the default windows synth program.

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      Check the bottom of the main page… there’s a whole section on what you need to do to get actual guitar or drum sounds.
      It’s also in the Readme file.

      • JaK says:

        Well I downloaded LoopBe1, and I set the input on FL Studio as LoopBe, and the output on MIDItar Hero to LoopBe, I just don’t understand what to do next…

      • bwestplaysdrums says:

        You should be all set then… just make a software instrument in FL Studio and you’re good to go.

  14. Erik says:

    Any news on getting the Ps3 version of the drums for Guitar hero world tour to work? or is this gonna take some time?

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      You can get the PS3 GH drums working using the custom controller option if you’re on OS X… if you’re on Windows they should be working.

  15. Tyler P. says:

    A few questions:
    How does this support drums,and how do I get it set up for it
    How do I get it to start picking up my guitar,for some reason its not picking it up.
    Thank you for your help

  16. Human_Tragedy says:

    how can i use 2 GH controllers in MIDItar hero???

  17. Gr33z3 says:

    Okay, finally, I found it. After so many attempts, I can say I’m using my GH controller as guitar for free. Every part of the software is free, without cracks or shareware. This is the list:

    -MIDItar Hero
    -LoopBe1 (http://nerds.de/en/download.html)
    -DarkWave Studio (http://www.experimentalscene.com/software/darkwave-studio/)
    -DVS Guitar (http://www.dreamvortex.co.uk/instruments/)
    -And SimulAnalog Guitar Suite (http://www.simulanalog.org/guitarsuite.htm) for making the guitar a bit more… perfect. The DVS guitar is really basic.

    But after all, it sounds great.

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      Awesome. An alternative to DarkWave Studio that I’ve been using lately is Reaper (http://reaper.fm) – it’s shareware, but there’s no limitations to the software even after the 30 day trial. A personal license is only $40 or so as well.

    • cmart says:

      can you explain how you set it up please. I’m lost

      • bwestplaysdrums says:

        Read the Help file available on the Download page.

      • cmart says:

        I mean like with the programs listed above. and with someone that has windows. i had it working like the beginning of this year with acid xpress but then I’ve been trying and trying to do it again but I have a real bad memory haha. so I’m trying to do it a simpler way and with the ability of vst. I’ve tried with fl also but I just get lost. I do what It says but I don’t hear anything and I know its not the program because I get piano sound perfect

      • cmart says:

        ok sorry for being all mentally retarded or something but I just found out that in Darkwave Studio you have to connect or link the vst with master and midi input. but here I go again being noob at this stuff. how should I link them? is it midi input(out)——>(in)DVS Guitar(out)——–>(in)Master. then in Miditar Hero I have xplorer. 360 windows controller. normal. output loopbe1. but Dont hear anything. in miditar hero when i go under file then midi setup the input is checked loopbe1 and output checked is microsoft gs waveable synth but loopbe1 isnt checked. is that ok?

      • bwestplaysdrums says:

        I think LoopBe1 should be checked on the output. Other than that your setup sounds right.

        Make sure that in Darkwave Studio you have LoopBe1 set up as your MIDI input… the MIDI input box won’t just read LoopBe1 automatically, you have to configure that. There should be some way to make sure that MIDI signal is coming through into Darkwave Studio with that MIDI input box.

      • cmart says:

        still no sound. here’s my setup. I’ve also already tried it without checking microsoft gs waveable synth on midi setup

      • bwestplaysdrums says:

        Are you sure DVS guitar is a MIDI instrument? From looking at its settings it seems like it just looks like a guitar distortion effect. You need to link ES MIDI Input into a guitar sound, and then the guitar sound into that distortion.

  18. Jiri says:

    Hi,will you work in future on preset for PS3 guitar hero wireless controller for OSX? Is it possible to map it completely in custom setup? What is exactly problem with this instrument? BTW – big fan of your work. You rock man!!!

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      I think the PS3 GH controllers should be working fine on OS X now… the only problem (which was just pointed out to me today) is that I may have the Yellow and Blue buttons switched on certain PS3 controllers because there seems to be a difference between the GH3 and GH:WT controllers. I’ll have to check it in more detail though.

  19. Radg says:

    great app…
    RockBand guitar working fine on Cubase 5 whit any VST even drum machines…


  20. danceswithmuppets says:

    one question: you said that this was compatible for garageband as well, right? well how might one get that to work? the input devices in references of garageband do not pick up the midi interface. i download everything that it needed as well

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      Yeah, all you should need to do is select “From Max/MSP Runtime” as your MIDI output in MH. GarageBand accepts all MIDI input on every channel, and will recognize a MIDI input coming from the Runtime.

      • danceswithmuppets says:

        i downloaded the 360 controller pad from tattieboogle.net and thats where the problem is. its not receiving any midi signal at all

      • bwestplaysdrums says:

        If the driver is working correctly, one of the green lights around the Xbox button on your controller should be lit up. I can’t really help much if the controller and driver aren’t working yet. Try reinstalling, installing a different or newer version of the driver, and just restarting your computer.

  21. stephen says:

    having a problem with it changing keys randomly…i start by making sure i am playing the correct note by cross referencing with an online guitar tuner(e, on the controller to e on the tuner for instance)…then at random times the guitar changes keys…am i accidentaly doing this by hitting some setting???

  22. miditarist says:

    How can I get a Nyko Frontman to work with Miditar Hero?

  23. D Towns says:

    hey brian, can you help me again.i installed max 5.0.8 and got the newest version miditar hero, and when i tried opening it this is the message it give me bout 20 times( The procedure entry point class_parameter_register_default_color could not be located in the dynamic link libary MaxAPI.dll). plz help

  24. Faris Shidqi says:

    I have a problem, when i run MIDItar Hero it can’t run on the Normal mode.It just run on the Easy mode. My guitar controller is PS2 Guitar Hero Controller and i using Logic Pro8 and Garage Band.

    Can i fix it?

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      Not sure what could be causing this problem, since Normal Mode and Easy Mode are essentially the same thing… also, I haven’t made any changes to either in quite a while. I’ll take a look at it though.

  25. D3V457473 says:

    thanks for writing this prog. dude. i’m a laptop dj and the last few gigs were great using my GH controller to trigger samples ‘nd play sum 8bit tunes through the tracks. i’m also in a metalcore band, i’m so glad i can rawk out w/ the guys on stage instead of headbanging behind the turntables…thx again dude

  26. Matt says:

    Hey, thanks for the great program! I was wondering if you can help me out with a problem i’m having with…. I’m having issues getting the velocity sensing to work correctly.

    I’m running Windows 7, using the GHWT 360 drum set with the xbox 360 usb wireless receiver. I;m then using LoopBe1 to get the Midi data into Ableton Live 8

    midi data is coming through and trigger sounds correctly in Ableton, but when i turn on velocity sensative drums in miditar hero the velocity data seems to not be coming through, all the hits register with very very low velocity with the occasional higher hit. I have tried playing around with the max velocity and velocity variation numbers in MH, but nothing seems to make a difference. when watching the ‘current velocity’ number in MH though it does seem to be registering the velocity data correctly there though, just doesn;t seem to be coming through to ableton

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      Hey, no problem 🙂
      Unfortunately I don’t have much of answer for you, other than that the velocity stuff is most likely screwed up and I probably just need to rework it entirely. I’m sort of working on an entire cleanup and rewrite of MH right now, but velocity-related stuff will be the first thing I work on after that.

  27. Rog says:

    Miditar Hero does not work with Wii Band Hero drums, although it works with Wii Rock Band. Would it be possible to create an update to Miditar to work with Wii Band Hero???

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      No, because the Wii Guitar Hero/Band Hero drums connect through the Wiimote, which connects through Bluetooth rather than USB. If you can find a Wiimote driver that reads the controller as an HID device let me know and I’ll add support for it.

  28. Kevin says:

    Hi. I’m using the latest MIDItar software (1.07) but can’t get my GH drums for PS3 to work on mac OSX. Under the PS3 control type for OSX it says (unsupported) after it. Reading on your website it looks like it should be supported. All the programs seem to have been loaded correctly, but I don’t get any sound at all. I’m using garageband BTW. Thanks for any help. I really want to get this working!

  29. PaulMitch says:


    Great Program! I got it working through reason and cubase with the PS3 Band Hero drums on mac snow leopard

    its so cool to finally be able to do this! thanks a lot!

  30. Zark says:

    I really like MIDItar Hero, but I can’t get the presets to save and load. I’ve got 1.06 and followed the instructions. It allows me to save a preset, but when I try and load it next time, it won’t load like as if it didn’t save properly… or didn’t load properly. It sucks because it’s only thing holding it back from being really usable.

    • bwestplaysdrums says:

      Yeaaah, Max’s preset object kinda sucks and unfortunately it’s not that reliable for saving and loading presets.

      • Zark says:

        That’s a shame. That would really make things easier for performing live with it.

        Another thing I’m having trouble with is the whammy bar. Doesn’t seem to work for me, regardless of which guitar I use. I’d really like to use that feature. I even tried the custom guitar settings and couldn’t set up the whammy.

        Great work btw. Hope you keep developing it.

      • Zark says:

        I used it live and it worked great. The only annoying thing is the presets not working. Do you think a future release of Max or something will fix this problem. Are you developing this software any further?

        I can’t get the whammy bar to work either, and it would be cool to be able use the touch pad part (the solo notes strip)

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