Today’s review covers a product that is likely quite niche. If you’ve even heard of Clone Hero for PC, you may be one in a hundred. So a product that works in tandem with it is likely even more niche. But let me give you the skinny. Clone Hero is a Guitar Hero clone designed for the PC that allows you to play with a computer keyboard by default. However, any guitar controller you can connect to your PC can be mapped and used as well. Today’s product is just one of many types that turn a current guitar controller into a Clone Hero controller. Let’s rock!
Using a Raspberry Pi Pico clone, this adapter lets you easily connect your PlayStation 2 guitar hero controller directly to your PC to play Clone Hero! The adapter is 3D printed, assembled, and tested before being sent out. Tilt and Whammy are both supported with this adapter, however, you will need to initially configure your whammy bar in clone hero the first time you use the adapter. This only needs to be done once though! It will show how to do this on the instructions that come with the adapter.
- “Slightly smaller in size than version 1 (if you have version 1, only you would notice a difference).
- Uses USB C now instead of Micro USB.
- This adapter wouldn’t have been possible without Sanjay’s software, donate now. “
Cost. Super inexpensive to turn your old, unused GH PS2 controller into something you’ll use again. This is compared to trying to find a Wii controller and buying it and then buying an adapter from HSMods. Or trying to find an XBOX360 USB model. The cost sits nicely at $30 for the board, USB cord, and the 3D-printed shell around it. You can save some money if you ditch the 3D-printed shell and only spend $25. And if you already have a USB cord at home, you can buy just the assembled board for $20. Not to mention that Clone Hero is entirely free! So you can get in on Clone Hero for just $20 if you have a PS2 guitar and a USB-C cord laying around!
Variations. They carry not just PS2 to PC adapters, but other guitar adapters as well. As of the writing of this, I’m unsure if the items that HSMods sells on their Etsy page are all that they sell, so more may pop up later on their page. Or it could be all that they ever sell, but it’s still a good lineup. Anyway, I want to discuss the products that are on there as well as this PS2 to PC Guitar Hero adapter.
The second item in his lineup is what is called the Black Wiidow Mini. If you need a small in size Wii Guitar Adapter for Clone Hero on PC, that is what you should buy. With all of the fixin’s it clocks in at only $18.50. The third item is also for the Wii Guitar Hero controller. It’s the full-sized Black Wiidow adapter. The difference in size has to do with the fact that you can have built-in tilt support. There are built-in tilt sensors for star power activation. This is because the Wii usually uses the Wii Remote’s sensor for detecting tilt. This adapter is up to $31 if you get all of the bells and whistles. If you are okay with pressing the Star Power button on the guitar instead, then you can buy the Mini.
Simplicity. There’s not much to talk about here, I just want to sing the praises of the ease of use. You simply plug it in and Windows recognizes it without needing to go into the OS settings for controllers. You can update it as well if you want, more on that soon. Then all you need to do is map it within Clone Hero and you’re off to the races. You can seriously be playing within 2 minutes of plugging in your guitar. I’m guesstimating that if you’re still playing Frets on Fire that you’ll be able to use it there as well, though I can’t confirm that.
Modern. I feel that this is a product that is not only modern but sensible in a number of ways. The cost is great because they use inexpensive 3D printing as opposed to using injection molding of plastic. They also have the PCB made, likely from an affordable manufacturer similar to PCBWay. And they have a Raspberry Pi 2040 mounted inside, complete with the USB-C. Finally ditching the microUSB cord of it all. I don’t personally care about microUSB on something that I’m going to leave connected like this, but I do find that USB-C stays snapped together better than microUSB cords do. Overall, I love how it is so well produced but has a fun DIY, homebrewed feel to it. It reminds me of the early days of Krikzz’s products and that is a massive compliment.
Updating. I have found that updating the Blue Indigo is quite simple. The person who created the original idea and concept has a way to update existing models, no matter the manufacturer of the adapter. So if you buy a Guitar Hero adapter from HSMods or make one yourself, you’ll follow the same instructions.
First, simply download the guitar configurator from Sanjay9000’s Github. It has a Linux, Mac, and Windows versions so you can do it from your favorite computer. Install the program on your computer and it will be set for good. Then, assuming your controller is plugged in, the app itself will recognize it and then you can follow the prompts from there. If you want a more detail set of instructions, I’ll have a follow-up article going up soon. I will update this with the link once it is live.
Happenstance. A nice aside here is that you can actually extend the length of your cabling so that you can stand back and play without having to be so close. I mean to say that you already have the full length of the Guitar Hero PS2 cord, but if you add in a long USB-C cord, you have much more distance. At that point, you can stand at whatever point is most comfortable for you. I’m thinking of a scenario in which you’re running Clone Hero on a laptop plugged into the TV over HDMI and you need to stand back from the large screen.
Size/Weight. Unlike the Wii version that tucks nicely into the Wii Remote slot, this one just kind of hangs out on your floor or wherever you tuck the box. It may not matter to most, but I certainly think that unless you mount it somewhere, you may find weight in the middle of the cabling a distraction. I would love to see a scenario where the box is printed with a clip on the back of it to clip onto your strap ala the ones that real guitarists have for their audio packs. See the picture below.
I’m actually going to use this part of the review to include a few notes from HSMods. I think you get my full thoughts from everything above, so we can toss in some extra pieces of the pie that you should know. HSMods first wants you to know that the cases are 3D printed and may have slight cosmetic imperfections but this does not affect the functionality of the adapter. HSMods also thinks you should be aware now that the tilt functionality that was not supported on Mac is finally remedied. So if you were holding off on buying a Black Wiidow with the tilt sensor, you can finally do so!