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YouHero – Making an Expressive Concert Instrument from the GuitarHero Controller

Conference paper
Authors Palle Dahlstedt
Patrik Karlsson
Katarina Widell
Tony Blomdahl
Published in Proceedings of the Internation Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, NIME 2014
Pages 403-406
ISBN 978-1-906897-29-1
ISSN 2220-4792
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Academy of Music and Drama
Pages 403-406
Language en
Keywords gestural interface, guitar hero, mapping, synthesis, music pedagogy, performance, improvisation
Subject categories Human Computer Interaction, Media and Communication Technology, Music


The idea behind the YouHero was two-fold. First, to make an expressive instrument out of the computer game toy guitar controller from the famous game GuitarHero. With its limited amount of control parameters, this was a challenge. Second, through this instrument we wanted to provide an alternative to the view that you become a hero by perfect imitation of your idols. Instead, play yourself. You are the hero. In this paper, we describe the design of the instrument, including its novel mapping approach based on switched timbre vectors scaled by accellerometer data, unconventional sound engines and the sound and mapping editing features, including manual editing of individual vectors. The instrument is evaluated through its practical applications during the whole project, with workshops with teenagers, a set of state-funded commissions from professional composers, and the development of considerable skill by the key performers.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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