RB3 Wireless MIDI Keyboard Driver
This is a user-mode "driver" for the Harmonix Rock Band 3 wireless MIDI keyboard ("keytar") in wireless mode.
So far, it has only been tested with the Wii version of the keytar, although I see no reason in principle why most functionality should not work with the other versions.
Please see the bottom of this document for licensing and disclaimers.
What is the keytar?
The keytar is a 2-octave (25-key) keyboard with full-size spring-loaded velocity-sensitive keys, octave shift and program change buttons, a footswitch/modulation pedal jack, and a dual-function modulation/pitch-bend touch panel. It comes with a USB dongle that communicates wirelessly with the keytar. It also has a standard MIDI out (DIN) jack.
What is this driver supposed to do?
Using this driver (although I make no representation that it will work for you), you can use the keytar to send MIDI messages wirelessly to your computer using the dongle that comes with the device.
The dongle does not support standard USB-MIDI, so this driver converts the dongle's USB packets into MIDI and sends the messages to a MIDI output interface of your choosing.
To use the driver's output as input to another program, you need some way of patching the MIDI "Out" of this program to the MIDI "In" of the other program. On Windows, this can be done using MIDI Yoke (http://www.midiox.com). On Linux or Mac OS X, you can probably use Jack (and I believe Jack 2 supports Windows as well). However, so far I haven't tried it with anything apart from MIDI Yoke.
If you do use MIDI Yoke (on Windows), bear in mind that you do not need to manually create a patch using MIDI-OX. In fact, if you do this, it will not work properly. [I found this out the hard way. :-)] Simply use the MIDI Yoke "Out" and "In" devices with corresponding numbers, and it should work.
Do I need to install it / is it complicated to use?
No, it's just a normal program. The simplest way to use it (on Windows) is just to expand the zip file to a folder, then double-click "rb3_driver" in the folder. You will be presented with a numbered list of MIDI output devices. Just type the number of your chosen output device, and press the Enter key on your keyboard. If something goes wrong, the program will display an error message, then exit automatically after a few seconds. To close the program at any time, just close the window. While in use, you can minimise the program in the normal way if you want to avoid cluttering up your screen.
It should automatically detect the correct USB (input) device, provided that the keytar dongle is plugged in.
Most systems will have at least one built-in MIDI output device that corresponds to your sound card's or operating system's built-in MIDI synthesizer. However, this will usually be of low quality, and you will probably want to connect it to something else. If you install MIDI Yoke on Windows, it provides a set of 8 virtual MIDI output devices that send all their data to the corresponding virtual MIDI input device (which has the same number but "In" instead of "Out"). This works exactly like a digital patch cable. You can set up your synthesizer or sequencer program to use this as its input.
What are the dependencies / how do I compile it?
If you are using Windows, the good news is that you don't have to compile it yourself. A ready-compiled version of the program (with dependencies included) is available from https://github.com/martinjos/rb3_driver/releases
So far, I have only compiled it under MinGW32/MSYS. However, it should in principle work just as well on Linux or even (possibly) Mac OS X.
Once you have those in place (and your C compiler/build system obviously!), just type "make". (I think this may require GNU make - if it doesn't work, it should be simple enough to adapt the Makefile.)
How much of the keytar's functionality is implemented?
At the moment, the keys themselves (including velocity), octave & program change buttons, the modulation/pitch-bend touch panel, drum split, all foot pedal features (including stomp and mode change), and the sequencer control buttons, are fully implemented. (Let me know if you find any bugs or missing features.)
Note that drum split requires a General MIDI-compliant synthesizer program. If your synthesizer program is not General MIDI compliant, it may output either nothing at all, or a confusing array of jumbled up notes, when drum split is active and the drum keys (i.e. the lower 12) are pressed.
Also note that the velocity-sensitivity is limited to at most 5 simultaneous keys - if 5 keys are held down and you strike another, it will register as having a velocity of exactly 64 (50% of the maximum value), regardless of the actual velocity. This is an unavoidable limitation of the keytar's USB packet format.
LED output is so far not implemented.
Copyright (c) 2015 Martin Sidaway
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
Additional legal disclaimers
The author can not be held responsible for the content, safety, security, freeness from bugs or viruses, or fitness-for-purpose of websites mentioned/linked to from this file/this repository, nor of the third-party programs and libraries mentioned here or anywhere in this repository (even those mentioned as dependencies). If you download, install, or otherwise use any of these programs and libraries, or visit any of the websites, you do so entirely at your own risk.
The author of this software is not associated or affiliated with Harmonix Music Systems, Inc., or Nintendo Co., Ltd. and this software is not in any way endorsed or approved by those companies or their subsidiaries/associates.
The author takes no responsibility for any attempt to use this software with Harmonix and/or Nintendo products, and provides no guarantee or affirmation that it is legal to do so in your jurisdiction.
Harmonix and Rock Band are trademarks of Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. Nintendo and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo Co., Ltd. The author does not claim any rights over those trademarks.