How to Connect the PS3 "Rock Band" Drums to a PC

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Physically connecting a PS3 Rock Band drum set to a PC is as easy as plugging the drum set's USB dongle into the PC. However, actually getting your PC to recognize and work with the Rock Band drum set is another matter. Even if the Rock Band drum set is physically connected to the PC, without the right type of software installed on your PC the drums will not work. Fortunately there are a few all-in-one applications on the market designed to allow you to play Rock Band drums on a PC. It's also possible to turn the Rock Band drums into a MIDI controller.

Things You'll Need

  • Drum Machine software
  • DrumIt software

Use All-In-One Software

  1. Download and install an application designed to allow you to play a Rock Band drum set through your PC such as Andrew Rudson's "Drum Machine" software or the "DrumIt" emulator application (see Resources).

  2. Plug the rock band drum's USB dongle into an unused USB port on the computer.

  3. Turn on the rock band drums set.

  4. Launch the Rock Band drum compatible program on your PC.

Turn Rock Band Drums Into MIDI Controller

  1. Plug the rock band drum's USB dongle into an unused USB port on the computer.

  2. Download and install a program application designed to convert game controller signals into MIDI signals such as the "Rejoice" program developed by Avis (see Resources).

  3. Install a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) MIDI application onto your computer such as "Anvil Studio" or "ACID Xpress 7" (see Resources).

  4. Install a virtual MIDI cable software onto your computer such as "MIDI Yoke," "LoopBe1" or "Hubi's LoopBack Device" (See Resources), The game controller to MIDI signal conversion application is used to assign different drum sounds to the Rock Band drum pads using the virtual MIDI cable software. The job of the virtual MIDI cable software is to transfer MIDI signal data between the Rock Band drums and DAW MIDI devices.

  5. Refer to the help instructions included with the game controller to MIDI signal conversion software you are using for specific details on how to use the application to assign sounds to the Rock Band drum set. Once the sounds are assigned you can play the Rock Bands drums on the PC and record drum tracks in the DAW.

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