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Guitar Zero! A programmable circuit created with the purpose of recording, saving, sharing, and replaying Guitar Hero / Rock Band songs

 Summary

Guitar Zero! A programmable circuit created with the explicit purpose of recording, saving, sharing, and replaying Guitar Hero / Rock Band song tracks. AKA: a self-playing Xbox 360 game controller to wow your friends and woo your mate. Finish those songs, earn those achievements, beat that game.

Assembled Prototype Circuit Card
Assembled Prototype Circuit Card

We have built a working prototype, but further work needs to be done to grow this technology into the "DIY Hobbyist Kit" we want it to be. It has the potential to work on every Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and similar game + hardware.

We need your ideas, suggestions, and funding to turn this one-off prototype into a DIY Kit available for purchase. Thanks for your interest!

Guitar Zero Installed Into Les Paul Controller
Guitar Zero Installed Into Les Paul Controller

 What's my money going towards?

1. Motivation. Is this an idea that anyone likes? Kickstarter, you are my test market.

2. Refine the design. Work down the cost, work out any (unforseen) bugs, build the documentation that makes this reproducible. 

3. Purchase and build the necessary hardware and equipment to reliably manufacture, assemble, install, and test this circuitry.

4. Economy of scale: The more of these I buy components for, the cheaper each component is. It's hella-expensive to build just one of anything.

5. Did you pre-order a kit? Your money bought you a kit! At a pretty sweet "in before he knows what it's worth" discount!

6. Ya done good, kid! You're bringing a cool idea to fruition and sharing the love. Kickin' that Starter Forward, as it were. Rock on. Virtually and otherwise.

 What is this "bahdink.com" referenced in the rewards?

It is a achievement-related gaming website I am helping develop. It'll include the expected features of 'cheevo tracking, user forums, guides, etc... but it'll allow for some online achievement-based challenges and competitions between users or groups of users.

We're gearing up for an alpha test of the database and want to extend a special invitation to the Kickstarters who help get the Guitar Zero off the ground. Thanks!

Additionally, when the Kickstarter campaign concludes (successfully), bahdink.com is where you'll be able to find more information about- and purchase the finished Guitar Zero.

What games/songs does this kit support RIGHT NOW:

  • Band Hero
  • Guitar Hero 2
  • Guitar Hero 3
  • Guitar Hero: World Tour
  • Guitar Hero 5
  • Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
  • Guitar Hero: Metallica
  • Guitar Hero: Smash Hits
  • Guitar Hero: Van Halen
  • Guitar Hero: Warrior of Rock
  • Lego Rock Band
  • Rock Band
  • Rock Band 2
  • Rock Band: The Beatles

For each of these games, each song on Expert for both Guitar and Bass (or Rhythm Guitar) have track files available, and a whole host of DLC songs and track packs beyond that. It's like 1900 or 2000 songs in full, obviously including your favorites:

  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia
  • Eruption
  • Hangar 18
  • Jordan
  • Raining Blood
  • Satch Boogie
  • Sudden Death
  • Through the Fire and Flames

Not only that, the chip is re-programmable with a TTL Serial to USB cable to either a Windows or Mac PC. This means that when the NEXT game comes out, you can download some new files and power through any tricky songs there.

Who are you?

We are a team of three gamers by nature. One mechanical engineer, one electrical engineer, and one web developer. Our interests and our skills have come together to fuel the Guitar Zero development.

What's the status of the prototype?

We've built and programmed a prototype board and used it to power the video footage you see above as well as the following demonstrations of its power:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Does the Guitar Zero support "Pro Guitar" in Rock Band 3?
A: No, this modification only supports the classic, 5-button guitars.

Q: Is every song a 100%, Full-Combo?
A: No. Most song files are direct conversions from the actual game file, but sometimes errors occur. The guitar will incorporate a "Play Thru" mode... where you will be able to add in a note missing from the track file as you are playing the song.

Q: What guitars work with the chipset?
A: Xplorer (GH2) and Les Paul (GH3). We have plans to expand to the Stratocaster immediately, but you can help guide which controllers we incorporate next with some higher donation levels.

Q: How difficult is the installation?
A: If you're handy with a soldering iron, that's all the experience you'll need. We'll provide detailed instructions on what to solder where. We're exploring options now to minimize the amount of soldering end-users will need to do by utilizing pin/socket interfaces rather than soldering discrete wires.

You will need the following:
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Discrete wire (xx ga, xx" total length)
  • T10 Torx driver (Les Paul guitar disassembly)
  • Wire cutters
  • Electrical tape

Q: What exactly comes with the "kit"?
A: The Guitar Zero CCA (pre-assembled and pre-programmed) and complete and detailed instructions and demonstration videos showing exactly where to mount and how to tie it into the guitar.

Q: I live in <non United States country>, can I have one?
A: Sure! Add +$10 to your donation for international shipping on the kit or +$15 per guitar.

Q: Can Star Power or Overdrive be activated?
A: Yep! Neither the whammy bar nor the tilt sensor are actuated by the Guitar Zero circuitry, so any use (or extra generation) of SP/OD must be handled manually.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    The Wall Flower: "Interesting project... I'd like to see it go somewhere. Here's a dollar."

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    The Sound Guy: One kit, pre-installed (and tested) into a guitar shipped to you. The guitar shall be of your choice. These additional funds go towards tweaking the modification kit to support this different configuration. Use this reward to tell us which guitar controller to design for!

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