So I play guitar (a little) and I used to play Guitar Hero on PS2 from time to time. Last year, for Christmas we got an XBox 360 and it was my intention all along to get Guitar Hero World Tour or Rock Band to try the drums. Little did I know where it would take me. I played passionately for a year, every week end. I made it pretty far in Rock Band 2 playing in Hard or Expert mode and I finished the awesome Rock Band the Beatles in expert mode. I survived the war declared by my neighbors and totally abandoned my plastic guitar.


A year later, my Christmas present was a real electronic drum kit. I picked the Yamaha DTXplorer. I understand it isn’t the best instrument on the planet (neither am I the best drummer) but it is a complete, well built kit. It is a good price and a great way to learn to play for real. I got the drums and look forward to taking some lessons though my weeks are a bit too busy at the moment for me to insert that in my schedule. So, in the meantime, I work on my own thanks to a couple of learning DVDs.

Still, sometimes, I want to plug the drum kit to the game(s) to get some help as to what to try and play. I like the Beatles beats lessons in the Rock Band training mode. Whenever I can, I plug the drum to the game and practice away with the metronome.

How to Do It ?

So, if any of you out there are in the same situation (you like the game, you have a real kit) and you are wondering if they can be used together : they can. They are several solutions on how to achieve this (depending on your drum model, your console and your plastic rock gear). So, let’s get some solutions out of the way:

  1. If you have a PS2, I understand you need to upgrade your console, sorry
  2. If you have a WII or a PS3, a hardware solution exists for you to make this a little bit easier though the solution I will describe here will work for you, too
  3. If you have a drum kit that allows midi remapping, the whole setup is a lot easier for you, you can skip the computer part
  4. Solutions on the web describe how you can tweak your drum kit (taking the sensors off the plastic rock kit and placing them on the real one) or tearing up the plastic kit and hooking wires to it. I decided to not take any chances with my electronic skills and not build/destroy anything. Some solutions involve soldiering either on the plastic rock kit or on the real drums themselves. There was no way I’d touch the new kit πŸ˜‰

For more infos on these other solutions, run a little search for “DTXPlorer” or “real drums” on the Rock Band forums for example

What do you need ?

The solution described in this post works for both Guitar Hero and Rock Band.

  1. A real electronic drum kit
  2. A midi cable
  3. A computer
  4. A Guitar Hero drum kit or at least, the best part of it

When I bought my plastic rock game, I checked out the instrument compatibility matrix for Xbox and got the Guitar Hero World Tour pack because the Guitar Hero instruments would allow me to play all the games I could ever buy on Xbox anyway. Then, I bought the Rock Band games alone. Okay, later on, I gave in and traded the guitar hero guitar for the Rock Band George Harrison Gretsch. Actually, Derrick done that for me and I got the good looking Gretsch for Christmas, too.


Anyway, the point is, because Xbox uses a closed source system to communication between the controllers and the console, it can not be reproduced by any home made hardware (as it is possible for PS3). The great thing about the GH drums, though, is that it has a MIDI In plug. It allows you to do just what we want, plug a real electronic kit to the GH kit and let the GH kit send the signal to the console. So, what if you don’t have the GH kit ? Well, that’s where you can tweak your RB kit with a soldiering gun or buy this little GH drum kit “module” online. Personally, I sold my GH drum kit on ebay for 50 euros and bought the little GH box online for 60 dollars and came out even (quick shipping, great product).

So, all you gotta do is plug the DTXPlorer to that box and start rocking… Well, yes and no. The game expects some basic information: yellow, red, orange, blue or green. The real kit, on the other hand, has more notes to offer. So we need to map these notes and describe which is yellow, which is red, etc… If your module allows you to map the notes, everything is simple. If not (and the DTXplorer doesn’t) you need to add a computer in the mix to tackle the job. I use a MacBook running Midi Pipe to do that but I heard of a similar software for PC. As for the midi cable, I suppose you can use any which one. Here is a link to mine (Prodipe Midi USB 1i10).

The remapping

Again, if your drum kit enables midi remapping, you can skip this step altogether and you do not need a computer to connect your kit to the game. If not, here we go.

A little theory

Rock Band and Guitar Hero try to be compatible with each others instrument controllers which is great news for users like me. I don’t think I would have spent the money to get two plastic drum sets and I know for a fact my living room couldn’t hold another of these bulky controllers. That’s why I bought the Guitar Hero Pack. The Guitar Hero controller was an obvious choice since it has the “Orange” pad needed to play GH:WT while allowing to play Rock Band. What I didn’t know at the time was that the GH:WT would prove to be an even better choice because it has the MIDI IN plug.

Midi is a standard protocol that enables musical instruments (such as keyboards, electronic drums) and computers to communicate and control each other. Midi data is not an audio signal or media, it refers to “event messages” such as the pitch and intensity of musical notes to play, control signals for parameters such as volume, vibrato and panning, cues, and clock signals to set the tempo. (more about Midi on Wikipedia)

So, the Guitar Hero controller understands Midi and is the bridge between the signal sent by your drum kit (Midi) and the signal expected by the XBox (some wireless Microsoft proprietary protocol). IfΒ  GH:WT input is midi note 38, the signal sent to each box will be “the red button has been pressed” just as if you had pressed the red button on the regular XBox controller or hit the red pad on the GH:WT drum kit.

The games use 5 (Rock Band) or 6 colors. Their Midi equivalences are noted below:

  • RED: MIDI Note 38
  • YELLOW– MIDI Note 46
  • BLUE– MIDI Note 48
  • GREEN– MIDI Note 45
  • ORANGE– Midi Note 49
  • KICK– MIDI Note 36

The Yamaha drum kit on the other hand, is more subtle. It acknowledges a difference between hitting the center of the snare or its rim, it plays a different sound if you play the center or edge of the clash and ride and offers more toms. Each of these actions also have a matching Midi note that the drum kit can send out to a computer using the Midi out plug.

Yamaha download center offers the DTXPlorer drumkit user guide which lists the notes sent out by each pad.


In order to play the games with the DTXplorer we simply need to map what each pad on the DTXPlorer should trigger in the GH:WT module. For example, the DTXplorer snare sends out the midi note 31. I want it to control the “red” pad in the game. So I must transform the midi note 31 sent out into a 38 for the game to register the hit. That’s what the computer will do for us.

Snare 31 G# 2 Red 38 D 3
Snare open rim 34 A# 2 Red 38 D 3
Snare close rim 37 C# 3 Red 38 D 3
Hi Tom 48 C 4 Blue 48 C 4
Mid Tom 47 B 3 Blue 48 C 4
Low Tom 43 G 3 Green 45 A 3
Ride 51 D# 4 Orange 49 C# 4
Ride edge 52 E 4 Orange 49 C# 4
Clash 49 C# 4 Yellow 46 A# 3
Clash edge 57 A 4 Yellow 46 A# 3
Hi Hat Open 46 A# 3 Yellow 46 A# 3
Hi Hat Close 42 F# 3 Yellow 46 A# 3
Kick 33 A 2 Purple 36 C 3

Setting up Midi Pipe (Mac OS X)

Midi Pipe is a Mac OS X software that allows to do just that. It reads the Midi In, alters it (if necessary) and sends it back out. A PC alternative exists, it is called eDrum Midi Mapper.

Once your drum kit is successfully connected to your Mac (see Troubleshooting section below for help on that) launch Midi Pipes.

You will have a tool list on the left and a pipe list on the right. Start by dragging the Midi In to the right and click ‘Hijack’. The hijack option will allow us to trick the signal before it is send out. Then, add the Keyboard and check the ‘highlight’ box in order to visualize the signal as you hit your drums. Finally, add the Midi out and uncheck the ‘pass through’ to send out the tweaked signal.


Now it’s all a matter of adding Key Mappers for each note that needs to be remapped to its GH:WT equivalent. Add a keymapper element to the pipes and select the drum kit note of a given pad on the left and the matching note for the games on the right. Below is the example for the snare which we map from midi note 31 to midi note 38 (red) in the game.

You can now name your pipe and save your setup. Next time, all you have to do is launch Midi Pipe and load your configuration back.

Warning: the order is important. As you can see from the table above, for example, we map the 49 into a 46 (clash) and the 51 into a 49 (ride). Make sure to remap the the clash to a 46 first and the ride second or you ride will remap to 46 (yellow).

If you don’t want to create your own configuration, just download mine (see diagram below for color codes)

You are free to assign the pads you want to any of the colors you want in the game. It is possible also to have a set of different Midi Pipe configuration to use for different songs in the game as well. Below is a diagram showing the color repartition I chose.

Getting it all together

  1. Plug your Midi In to the DTXplorer
  2. Plug the USB to the computer
  3. Enable the remapping
  4. Plug the Midi Out to the GH box
  5. Turn everything on… You Rock! (Do not let your mac go to sleep while you play or eventually you’ll loose the connection between the kit and the game)



Trouble Shoot

I hit the “green” on the real drum kit and nothing happens in the game.

Two possibilities: the signal doesn’t make it to the computer or the signal doesn’t make it to the GH box. On Mac OS X, you can make sure that the signal at least gets to the computer by running Garage Band. If Garage Band sees your drum kit and allows you to record yourself, the signal makes it that far and the problem is with your GH box. Check the connections. If Garage Band doesn’t see your drum kit, you have a midi connection problem which I usually solve by launching the Audio Midi Setup application. Go in Window and click onΒ  “show MIDI window”. The Prodipe Midi USB appears.Β  I then click on Default (in the configuration section) and select “Create New Configuration). I name it Prodipe and it usually somehow turns the MIDI on.

I was rocking and suddenly when I hit the pads, nothing happens in the game

Don’t let your computer go to sleep. At least, with my MacBook, the midi signal is not sent out anymore when the Mac enter sleep mode. If you are using a laptop, you might just be out of battery, too. That would never happen to me though, I’ll get shot by the neighbors if I ever played long enough to exhaust my battery.

When I play, some hits don’t seem to register in the game

Electronic kits try to emulate real (acoustic) kits. Some of them will handle two or more signals for the same pad depending on where you hit it (center, side, etc). If you want all these to register with the game you must map these extra notes as well. The hi-hat for example needs to be mapped whether it’s hit when closed or open. You can refer to your kit user guide to get a full list of the notes it uses. I have included the one for the DTXplorer earlier in this post.

Some links

I read a lot (more than a lot) about plugging a real drum kit to the games before I bought mine for Christmas. As much as I wanted to play the real thing, I knew being able to play the games would be important to me to access the training mode or just jam with the Beatles. So I read until I was sure it was possible to plug the real drum in the game. When I was reading, I came across several links of interests. Here they are:

Filed under: Drums, Mac OS X, music, XBox 360

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Posts related to Yamaha DTXPlorer Kit with Rock Band (or Guitar Hero) on Xbox 360

71 Comments to "Yamaha DTXPlorer Kit with Rock Band (or Guitar Hero) on Xbox 360"

  1. Trackback on samantha on January 24, 2010 at 12:39 am

    New blog post: Yamaha DTXPlorer Kit with Rock Band (or Guitar Hero) on Xbox 360: So I play guitar (a little) and I…

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  3. Trackback on Jimmy Page on January 24, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Yamaha DTXPlorer Kit with Rock Band (or Guitar Hero) on Xbox 360 …: Still, sometimes, I want to plug the drum ki…

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    Yamaha DTXPlorer and Rock Band/Guitar Hero on XBox 360: #drums #plasticrock #xbox

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  6. Comment by Gianfranco on January 26, 2010 at 10:43 pm Reply

    Hi Samantha,
    I’m trying to connect my DTXplorer to my GHWT Drum Kit through an M-Audio 2×2 Annyversary Edition.
    I’m using the MidiPipe SW and downloaded your config file but nothing happens….

    I’m stuck!

    Could you please give me help??

    Many thanks

  7. Comment by shalfon on January 27, 2010 at 12:00 am Reply

    You must make sure that the signal arrives to your computer by running either Garage Band or Midi Pipe. With Garage Band, simply go to the preferences and see if you have a Midi Input detected (if you do, it is most likely your drum kit and you should be able to record it). Another way to make sure is by running Midi Pipe, selecting the Midi In Tool and the Keyboard tool (check highlight) and see if drum hits appear on the keyboard. If the answer to any of these tests is yes, you drum signal makes it to the Mac.
    Let me know if that’s the case…

  8. Comment by Gianfranco on February 1, 2010 at 2:19 pm Reply

    Hi Samantha,
    first of all I want to thank you for your kind and fast reply!
    I fixed the issue using MidiPipe, your precious guide and my macbook pro. The problem was in my M-Audio 2×2 Midi Device and after a few tries i finally had success!

    The final result is pretty nice (to me of course…). I expanded the aluminum rack of mine DTXplorer with a few shelves and installed a 22″ High Res TFT Screen right in front of me, an Asus Eee PC 701 with eDrum Midi Mapper on my right and finally the Xbox 360 controller on the left.

    I’m now waiting for an MSA-P controller in order remove the PC…

    Thanks again and best regards

    • Comment by shalfon on February 22, 2010 at 10:41 pm Reply

      I’m glad to know that it worked for you, too. I hope you enjoy the game even more with the setup. Thanks for sharing the information about the MSA-P controller, that sounds pretty interesting.
      Do you have any photo of your setup?

      Happy drumming!

      • Comment by Gianfranco on February 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm

        The game now is really GREAT!

        In the meantime I’ve changed my DTXplorer with a DTXtreme IIs with a few more “accessories” and I’ll be very happy to post some photos asap.

        Happy drumming to you too…

  9. Trackback on samantha on February 9, 2010 at 8:02 am

    @RockBand @rbcommunity How to play Rock Band or Guitar Hero with a real drumkit: on XBox 360

  10. Trackback on alessio serra on February 18, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    RT @samo9789: Yamaha DTXPlorer Kit with Rock Band (or Guitar Hero) on Xbox 360

  11. Comment by Andy on February 22, 2010 at 3:43 am Reply

    I’ve got a DTXplorer running through the Band Hero drums on PS3, and it looks like these notes are one too high. For example, the snare is D2 instead of D3. Thanks for the head start though!

    • Comment by shalfon on February 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm Reply

      Strange, are you using Midi Pipe? If so, does my configuration work for you? I’d be interested in sharing a working PS3 configuration file if you have one. Enjoy the game

  12. Comment by Chris on March 19, 2010 at 11:19 pm Reply

    Hi there,

    thanks for this detailed instructions, I will try this soon. My “drumming career” is exactly the same as yours. Bought myself a Band Hero Kit for the XBOX 360 for Christmas 2009. After playing at least 1 hour each day ever since I finally got my DT Explorer Kit last week. Looking for a good teacher right now, I guess I will start taking lessons in the next few weeks. IΒ΄m looking forward to rock Band Hero on my drumset, this is so much fun I really wonder why I never played any instrument in my life before.

    Happy Drumming …

    • Comment by shalfon on March 19, 2010 at 11:29 pm Reply

      Glad to help fellow new comers to drumming! Looking forward to my Saturday drumming session tomorrow.
      Let me know if you have any problem setting all this up (you can find all my contact info on the main page
      If you are using Windows, please post any info you can share about the software to use ; I’ll do my best to update the post for other Windows drummers.
      Good luck and happy drumming

  13. Comment by Chris on March 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm Reply

    Hi there,

    I finally got everything plugged together using an old Notebook and Edrum Midi Mapper. When setting up the Software I also found that all the Octave Numbers you list above seem to be one Octave to high. The Midimapper accepts only Notevalues (e.g. C2) as inputs. However you can simply strike a pad to enter the value. Doing this with my Band Hero Controller and my Drumset i now got a mapping that works fine.

    However, it is at first totally different to play on the drumset, especially the kicks really give me trouble. I dropped from > 97% hits on my favorite songs (hard difficulty) to below 90%. But it is tremendous fun to rock on a “real” set. Regular drumming lessons will start next wednesday πŸ™‚ …

    • Comment by shalfon on March 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm Reply

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for posting the details on your setup and confirming that EDrum Midi Mapper works for Windows users. I’ll have to double check on these note values next time I hook my kit to the MacBook.
      I agree than switching to a real set adds a lot of fun to the game but that it must be harder cause my score also went down a notch when I switched. I wouldn’t go back for anything, though!
      Good luck with your lessons πŸ˜‰

  14. Trackback on Carlos R Maldonado on April 2, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Yamaha DTXPlorer Kit with Rock Band on Xbox360

  15. Comment by Chris on April 5, 2010 at 8:03 pm Reply

    Me again,

    I finally found the reason for my abysmal scores when playing Band Hero with the Yamaha Kit. The multizone pads for the snare and the cymbals send multiple hits to the Xbox. When you have to play a red note (snare) most of the time you play two or three notes in rapid succesion as long as the notes for “snare open rim” and “snare close rim” are still assigned to the midi value for red. So you hit the red note (good for the percentage) but at the same time play an extra note, which instantly kills your multiplier.
    After switching of the additional zones on the pads by assigning midi notes not supported by the game my score and hit percentage increased to the values IΒ΄m used to.
    Strangely it doesnΒ΄t matter where I hit the snare or the cymbals after switching of the zones, they still register in the game.
    Anyway, I spend much more time now practicing my drum lessons than playing Band Hero πŸ˜‰

    Hit it …

    • Comment by shalfon on June 27, 2010 at 9:05 am Reply


      I still wasn’t able to start real lessons though I sometimes play along Drumless Tracks. I might have the same problem with the snare, recently, I have lost the multiplier a lot when hitting it (and thought I was off). I’ll try that for sure next time I get to play. Another thing that got me was that somehow, my kick pedal sensitivity changed. I had to hit it a lot harder for the hit to register. It was getting worse every time I’d play when finally I realized there is a setting for that. Much better now. Have fun with your lessons!

  16. Comment by Rian on June 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm Reply

    i am using the Alesis dm6 to do this, and the ghwt brain only recognizes four of the pads i mapped. it recognizes from the high-hat to the second tom. i am wondering what i could do to fix this. if u need any more info, please let me know.

    thanks for your help,


    • Comment by shalfon on June 27, 2010 at 9:01 am Reply

      Hi Rian,

      Could you have the wrong info in your remapping? Are you going through a computer, if so, are you using MidiPipes on Mac OS? I would try to plug the drumkit to a computer and find out what note is actually sent when I hit the third tom to have the right data to put in the remapping. If you are using MidiPipes, it’s easy, just add the keyboard pipe and click on ‘highlight’. When you hit a tom, it will highlight the note on the keyboard so you can know what number it is. Another possibility would be to double check your midi connection. Good luck πŸ˜‰

  17. Comment by joe on July 15, 2010 at 4:26 am Reply

    hey just a quick question do i need to keep the mapping program on while i play?

    • Comment by shalfon on July 15, 2010 at 6:36 am Reply

      Yes, you do. And depending on how the mapping software behaves when your computer goes in sleep mode, you might even want to prevent that from happening. Enjoy!

      • Comment by joe on July 16, 2010 at 1:06 am


  18. Comment by Manu on July 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm Reply

    Hello i’m french,

    Very good job, but it’s don’t work for me :'(

    I’ve just that in my MAC OS X :

    Is it good ???

    Sorry i don’t speak englsih very well πŸ™

    • Comment by shalfon on July 19, 2010 at 10:08 pm Reply

      Bonjour, je vais te repondre en francais alors.
      Il m’arrive de devoir bidouiller un peu pour obtenir une connection entre la batterie et le mac. En general, je commence par fermer Midi Pipes. Je vais dans Audio Midi Setup et je detruis la configuration prodipe et je la recreer. Ensuite, je lance MidiPipes, j’ouvre ma configuration et j’edite l’entree Midi in. Je passe de usb a n’importe quel autre choix puis je remets usb. Je fais pareil pour le midi out… Ensuite, a chaque fois, ca fonctionne. Etrange procede mais ca a le merite de marcher a chaque fois. Bonne chance.

      • Comment by Manolo on July 21, 2010 at 9:36 am


        Thanks for your answer.

        I found ma stupid mistake -_-‘

        I connected the MIDI out on the DTX’s MIDI out :-S

        I’m very stupid guy …

        All is alright now !!! Thanks a lot for all your works πŸ˜‰


  19. Comment by shalfon on July 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm Reply

    Just glad you got it working. Enjoy

  20. Comment by Stefan on July 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm Reply

    So I might be leaving this issue up to a faulty midi cable I got 2 days ago online, but it says my midi device is offline which it isn’t. both drum kits are turned on an I can’t figure out what to do. Help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Comment by shalfon on July 24, 2010 at 9:39 am Reply

      Looks like you should turn off Midi Pipes, open the Audio Midi Setup and create a new configuration. That’s usually what I have to do to (re)enable the USB midi connection. Read the first entry in the troubleshoot section at the end of the post for more details. Good luck to you and happy drumming

  21. Comment by lewis on August 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm Reply

    hey i use a pc and im using the edrum midi mapper and i have “mapped” the snare hi-hat ect and when i try to play none of the pads work in game please help

    • Comment by shalfon on August 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm Reply

      Unfortunately, I don’t know of any way to make sure that the signal from the PC is received by the guitar hero controller MIDI IN. I would verify two things in your case to try and see where the problem is… Are you sure the signal from the drumkit makes it to your PC (did you try it with a midi app on your PC). If so, verify your settings as to what your MIDI out is set to in eDrums. Hope you get it to work.

  22. Comment by rob on August 14, 2010 at 4:46 pm Reply

    Hi guys, i’m having trouble connecting my dtxplorer to my pc? i’ve picked up a midi to usb cable from maplin, instaled edrum-mapper, but not sure what else to do?

    what i’m after is getting my drum kit to work with the xbox 360, i’ve got a GHWT controller but as everyone knows you don’t get to use the second tom, crash and hi-hat foot pedal with it. I’d like to be able to play along with mates on the xbox but to be able to play as i noramally do and not have to use ride when i should be on crash and tapping hi-hat when i should be using the foot pedal.

    Any idiots step by step would help.

    Cheers in advance.

  23. Comment by James Horan on November 18, 2010 at 10:26 pm Reply

    im confused on the wiring, what wire do you need and how do you set them up (if u choose to reply to this, do u mind give me a link of the sort of midi cable(s) i need)

  24. Comment by James Horan on January 19, 2011 at 7:50 pm Reply


    i just noticed, you said somthing about a hardware soulition for ps3 user. what is it and where can i get it?

    cheers >:)

  25. Comment by Fredrik Myhre on February 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm Reply

    Thank you so much for this post, I almost thought I had wasted 1000 bucks for nothing, (yes, i only bought it for guitar hero :P)

  26. […] got very interested in drumming and wanted to experience the real thing. The first challenge was to connect a real Midi drumkit to the game, since I couldn’t play anything without the games guidance. Throught the comments I realized […]

  27. Comment by James Horan on March 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm Reply

    i finally got the yamaha connected but it only registers a few at a time, and never 2 drums at once, and as i am writing it. it is just now playing some of the notes, any help?

    • Comment by Fredrik on April 5, 2011 at 9:46 pm Reply

      hi James, I had the same problem…
      i figured out that it was because i had 2 note changes on the MIDI program,
      worked after that

      • Comment by Fredrik on April 10, 2011 at 9:19 pm

        2 of the same*

      • Comment by Adrian Sosa on June 16, 2011 at 1:35 am

        Hello Fredrik
        can you explain this please.

        DTXplorer could connect the modulator to the PC, all my senses pads, but I detected several hits in a row I have to wait a while for me to recognize another blow. know how I can fix this?
        I’m using Midi Mapper Edrum

  28. Comment by Shan on April 12, 2011 at 3:01 am Reply

    I have just got a DTXplorer drum kit, and want to be able to use it to play GHWT on PS3. I don’t want to have to buy the whole GH drum kit for the sake of connectivity. I can get hold of a brain module only. But I have been told all sorts, that as well as the GH brain module, that I also need the MIDI port from GH drum kit, and drum circuit board, and of course the drum dongle.
    Is the MIDI port not fixed into the brain module? Can’t I just buy this?$%28KGrHqZ,!gwE06JERsKkBN%28WPCNot!~~0_3.JPG
    If I were to get one of these, I could then just use the info in your blog to remap the MIDI via my MacBook right? Or alternatively, if I were to get a drum kit with MIDI mapping capability, I wouldn’t even need to go via my Mac.
    Is that right? Or do I really need all the extra circuitry they suggest?
    Hope you can help, thanks πŸ™‚

    • Comment by shalfon on April 15, 2011 at 4:38 am Reply


      My setup for playing GH:WT with my DTXPlorer requires only the brain module that you linked above, a USB-Midi cable and a computer (in my case I run Mac OS though a Windows solution exists). Still, this setup might be outdated with the release of the Rock Band 3 Pro-Midi Adatper… I say might as I’ve not yet tested it with GH:WT and Rock Band 2. This is on my agenda for this week end.
      To answer your second question, that’s correct, either you get a drum kit with mapping abilities or you need to go through the Mac Book to do the mapping. I heard a new brain module with mapping possibilities exist for the DTXPlorer but I didn’t upgrade my kit myself.

      If you can wait a few more days, I should be able to post a follow up to this article testing the new Pro Adapter with older games…
      Enjoy your kit

  29. Comment by hzac on April 18, 2011 at 7:16 am Reply


    First off im so glad to see this page and comments is still active. And this Tutorial has helped immensely. Although i Do have quite a large problem.

    My brother has the DTXplorer and a Mac 24″ connected via usb midi cable.. He downloaded midipipe and the notes registered in keyboard from the patch provided. everything was working well. then.. for no reason The midi input for the usb midi cable went to offline. showing up in the midi in but sayin it is [offline: usbmidi cable] in the drop down box and not registering any notes in keyboard.

    We have not altered anything in anyway and we are curious if you know what might of happened and why the usb midi no longer says online or working.
    I have a suspicion is a mac driver issue because i tested it on my pc laptop with edrum and everything worked perfectly.. he was able to play guitar hero with remapped keys without a problem. however i cant lend him it all the time.

    So do any solutions or ideas come to mind?

    I appreciate any help you have to offer


    • Comment by shalfon on April 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm Reply


      As it turned out I have encountered the same problem and found a (somewhat annoying) turn around. Actually, it came to the point where I would never turn off the MacBook anymore and always let MidiPipes running in the background so I wouldn’t have to do the following steps below every time I wanted to drum. Though it’s not that bad really.
      Here’s what I do :
      – turn off midi pipes (cmd+Q)
      – launch Audio Midi Setup (using spotlight or whatever launcher you use)
      – go to window, click on view Midi window
      – you should have a drop down list with default, add and edit configuration.
      – you should see your USB midi wire in the window listed (mine is listed a prodipe for example)
      – hit the drop down and say new configuration and name it something.
      – do not close Audio Midi Setup (I don’t until I’m done drumming)
      – launch Midi Pipes
      – load the configuration you downloaded from this blog
      – go to the keyword pipe (the one before last in the list on the right) and make sure highlight is checked
      – hit a pad on your kit, a key should highlight on the keyword. Meaning: the signal makes it to the Mac.
      – at this point, if the game don’t register yet, go to the output pipe (the last in the list on the right)
      – in the device list, select something else than the USB midi device. Then select again the USB midi device.
      – at this point, it ALWAYS works for me

      One more thing, if that works for you… Next time you use this trick, when you arrive in Audio Midi Setup, you’ll see the configuration you created this time around. You need to delete it. And recreate it. And do the rest of the steps and it’ll work again. I do not know if the problem comes from my MacBook (it’s an old one updated to Snow Leopard), if it’s an Apple issue or a problem with either my USB midi wire or my kit. I messed around trying to reinstall MidiPipes and such, nothing helped but this solution always worked.

      Be on the lookout, in the next few days, for a major follow up to this drumming post as I now have Rock Band III working in Pro Mode.

      Take care,

  30. […] is a follow up to my most active post ever about connecting my Yamaha DTXPlorer kit to Rock Band and Guitar Hero running on XBox 360. About a year after this post was published, I finally got Rock Band 3 but it took me until […]

  31. Comment by Fredrik on June 15, 2011 at 6:48 pm Reply

    First I wanna thank you for this great guide, helped me alot

    So my issue is: sometimes when i play on guitar hero, the drumset or something gets shut off for about 6 seconds, so no pads on the DTXplorer reaches my xbox. It isn’t the Guitar Hero brain, and I don’t think it’s the cable either … Must be the computer or its eDrum program. I’ve tried to increase the program’s priority to the processor, but it still lags …

    Any ideas how I can fix this? Maybe I have to buy a Mac o.O? πŸ˜›

    Fredrik πŸ™‚

  32. Comment by fredrik on August 5, 2011 at 4:36 pm Reply

    Hi again,
    no response? πŸ™‚ I still have problems with my disconnection. About every 5 minutes I get disconnected for some seconds which is very annoying, and I figured that it isnt my computer. Anyone else has this problem? Or any solutions? πŸ™‚


    • Comment by shalfon on November 23, 2011 at 10:25 am Reply

      I would try a different cable or a different usb port and try and narrow down the possible causes of the problem

  33. Comment by Rob McGregor on November 23, 2011 at 12:02 am Reply

    OK SO, NONE of what I see posted here has worked for me. I have tried every software package suggested. multiple cables. and still I can’t get this to work… I have tried with the MAC and a PC laptop. I am starting to think that everyone who says they make this work is not being truthful about it. Folks… is any of this for real???? I have tried for over a year now…

  34. Comment by Rob McGregor on November 23, 2011 at 12:04 am Reply

    Is Anyone using edrum midimapper. Has anyone saved their kit that they wouldn’t mind sharing. Maybe if I can start there? I really want this to work.

  35. Comment by xbox 360 problems on February 4, 2012 at 12:21 am Reply

    You actually make it appear so easy along with your presentation however I find this matter to be really something which I believe I might by no means understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely wide for me. I am having a look forward in your subsequent post, I’ll attempt to get the cling of it!

  36. Comment by Jaxson on April 9, 2012 at 1:07 am Reply

    Any way to use the Hi Hat Control Pedal as a second bass pedal?

  37. Comment by Foreverbodytransformationreview.Info on December 17, 2012 at 11:24 pm Reply

    Hi, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing
    facts, that’s genuinely excellent, keep up writing.

  38. Comment by Sir Anthony on March 23, 2013 at 12:46 am Reply

    So it turns out I’ve got everything you have Shalfon, but can I use it for my PS2?
    Thanks, Sir Anthony the greatness.

    • Comment by shalfon on March 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm Reply

      Yes it should work just as well

  39. Comment by Sir Anthony on March 30, 2013 at 5:20 am Reply

    Thankyou πŸ™‚

  40. Comment by Sir Anthony on April 7, 2013 at 2:41 am Reply

    Sorry Samantha, but can DTXplorer’s remap MIDI?

    If it doesn’t, I guess I’ll be getting that MidiPipe thing for my Mac πŸ™‚

    • Comment by shalfon on April 7, 2013 at 7:29 am Reply

      No, the DTXplorer does not remap so the whole computer in the middle trick is necessary. The drumkit is compatible with the Rock Band 3 game adapter though.

  41. Comment by Sir Anthony on April 26, 2013 at 8:04 pm Reply

    Thanks again, I’ll stop annoying you now! πŸ˜€

    • Comment by shalfon on April 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm Reply

      No annoyances

  42. Comment by James o Toole on July 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm Reply

    My midipipe setting aren’t setting when I quit Midipipe, I’ll have to do them again!

    Why aren’t they saving?

  43. Comment by Alex on March 7, 2016 at 7:55 pm Reply

    You are the best man alive! I have dd501 alesis drum kit which send midi signal, but it doesn’t have a midi output, USB is used instead, I bought a simple usb to midi cable, and used your tutorial (i only didn’t have to remap the signal code). It works even better than the original guitar hero drum controller. Thank you very, VERY, much!!

    • Comment by shalfon on May 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm Reply

      Glad it helped ! This is a very old post but I still enjoy my setup often. By the way, if anyone tried the latest games, Rock Band 4 and up, I’d love to know how it works for you, I’m stil playing Rock Band 2 and Beatles and Guitar Hero Metallica.

  44. Comment by Alexis on May 20, 2017 at 7:07 pm Reply

    Hello I have a Yamaha dtx 450 and it doesn’t have a built in midi so how do I connect them to rock band. It would be lovely if you guys could give me step by step there for I’ll just go buying the things I need

    • Comment by shalfon on May 20, 2017 at 10:04 pm Reply

      You really need midi out only, do you have that ?

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  • About Me

    photo of Samantha Halfon Samantha Halfon
    Software Engineer
    blueKiwi software
    Paris, France
    I enjoy playing with my computer(s), listening to Bob Dylan (and related artists) and watching movies (especially if they were directed by Martin Scorsese or John Cassavetes). Sometimes, I play a little guitar... If not doing any of the above, I am either riding a small red bike around Paris, or, making videos. About my videomaking please check out World Wide Angle and its blog.