Frequently Asked Questions

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This sections answers some commonly asked questions about Armchair Guitarist.

Frequently Asked Questions

On the following pages you will find frequently asked questions concerning Armchair Guitarist.

Please feel free to add more questions through the comments!

I can't find the .exe file- how do I make it work? And what's a VST Plugin?

The easiest answer to this question is to point to the associated tutorial- Lesson 1: Installation- which answers this question in detail.

Armchair Guitarist is a VST Plugin, rather than a standalone application- rather than run a seperate .exe file yourself, it is a .dll that is run inside another program, called a VST Host, which is usually a form of Digital Audio Workstation.

There are many programs capable of running VST Plugins- the format was originally invented by Steinberg for its flagship product, Cubase, but they also run in Reaper, Energy XT, Ableton LIVE, and many, many others.

When I play notes, no sound comes out of my speakers- how do I get it to make noise?

As with the previous question, this is answered in detail inĀ Lesson 1: Installation.

Armchair Guitarist is a pure MIDI instrument- instead of sending audio data, it sends instructions to play particular notes, and leaves the sounds made by those notes up to the hosting Digital Audio Workstation. By using MIDI instead of an audio format such as mp3 or wav, Armchair Guitarist can be used to reproduce any instrument, rather than just a guitar.

How do I get the plugin to work with a guitar controller for the Nintendo Wii?

The Wii controller is a problem, as it connects via Bluetooth rather than USB, and completely bypasses Direct Input, which is needed for Armchair Guitarist to access the hardware. To the best of my knowledge, there is not yet an interface for the Wii controller for Direct Input- if anyone finds one, please let me know!

How do I get the plugin to work with a guitar controller for the Playstation 2?

In order to use one of the original guitar controllers for the PS2, you'll need to use a PS2 -> USB converter. There are a few of these on the market- an internet search, or EBay, is your friend here. Note that I haven't tried this myself yet- your mileage may vary.

Will this always be free?

There will always be a free version of Armchair Guitarist, and any improvements on the current features will be included in it. However, for some of the cooler features I've got planned for the future, it will depend on how the donations thing goes as to whether I put everything into the free version, or create a paid "Pro" version.

Are you planning to implement features from specific controllers, like the Solo Buttons or the Slide Bar? What about chords?

These are planned features for the future, although I'm still sorting out the best way to use them.

My top priorities for development, aside from bug fixes, are ways to make the instrument easier to play, and this includes other means for moving the Fret Bar, quick ways of switching between related groups of notes, and the includsion of a chord generator / arpeggiator.

I'm also planning the implementation of other hardware, such as the Drum Kit, Turntable Controller and Dance Mats made for some other games. Whereas the Dance Mat is planned for integration into Armchair Guitarist, however (as foot pedals), the Drum Kit and Turntable will more likely be seperate applications. I'll be implementing them as and when I have time

You don't provide a very extensive list of controllers that this will work with... What's up with that?

Unfortunately I can only test with the controllers I have access to, and in New Zealand that's a short list- games that require special hardware take longer to reach us than luckier people in other countries, and the cost of importing them massively inflates their shelf price.

I am always looking for people to help me test- I personally have access only to Rock Band, The Beatles: Rock Band, Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero Metallica on the XBox360, and Guitar Hero 5 on the Playstation 3. If you have instruments for platforms other than those, then I am very interested in hearing from you- please leave a comment describing how well the software works with your hardware.

What's the point of all this, anyway? Why not just play a real guitar?

Short version: 'Cos not everyone can. Deal with it.

Long version: A particular group I had in mind when designing this was people who have some sort of disability preventing them from using a real guitar (I've received at least one email that indicates that this may have actually worked!). I'm in this category myself, which is why I decided to build it in the first place.

Think of it as the guitarist's equivalent of Stephen Hawking's voice box, if it makes you feel any better about it.

Besides, it's pretty fun to mess with, even if you can play a real instrument :)

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