Played A Midi Keyboard In Rock Band 3

“You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...”
John Lennon

Ever since
Rock Band 3 came out last October, I had been wanting to try two things on it: play the keyboard and play the pro guitar mode with the custom Squier Stratocaster they announced for it.  I still haven’t mustered the courage to pay $279 for the guitar yet, but today, I was able to finally play the keyboard.

When the game was released, they also released a keytar at the same time.

I love Rock Band, so I have to admit that I have way too many plastic peripherals in my living room, from guitars to the drum set to the DJ Hero turntable.  On top of that, I already had a midi keyboard (an M-Audio Keystation 49e- it works well with Garage Band by the way) for the computer stashed away for a rainy day.  It was collecting a little dust.

I heard MadCatz was planning on releasing a midi adapter for the XBox, and I decided to wait for it so I could hook my keyboard up to the game.  I read it was supposed to come out, then it got delayed until after Christmas, and when that time came around, I couldn’t find it on Amazon, New Egg, or Best Buy.  I would check back periodically but to no avail.  No luck, until I looked today.  I noticed that Best Buy’s website listed some in both San Francisco stores.  J and I ran out to Geary Best Buy and picked one up.

I also needed a midi cable.  It doesn’t come with it.

Once I got everything set up, the game recognized that login as a piano attachment, which is kind of cool because this adapter can be used for other instruments as well.

This is what the midi adapter looks like up close.

I played the training mode first because I’m not a pianist by any stretch of the imagination.  I thought it was pretty awesome that they start you off with simple notes and then move to scales.

I didn’t get to the chord section yet because I wanted to start playing a few songs.

J sang and I played the keyboard on Easy for the John Lennon classic “Imagine”.  We did pretty well.  The keyboard was awkward but it was nice playing a whole song.

After completing a song on Pro Keyboards, the game rewarded me with an XBox Achievement “Pro Keys To The Max”.

My first attempt on Medium did not go so well.  I guess I’ll have to go back to the training mode later.  I would have failed had it not been for J’s singing.

Overall, I think Harmonix did a great job getting the playing to feel appropriate and like learning to play piano, it’s going to take some time to actually get good at it.  I hope to put in a little time here and there so I get better.  I’d like to finish going through the lessons.

Related Items:
Rock Band 3
Rock Band 3 Keytar
Rock Band 3 Midi Pro Adapter
M-Audio Keystation 49e Keyboard
Apple iLife ’11 (with Garage Band)
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