Check out these trombone controller mods to make you the real Trombone Champ

Rudeism's trombone champ controller
(Image credit: Rudeism)
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Trombone Champ is an indie rhythm game that just keeps blowing us all away (opens in new tab). When Chris Livingston first started posting videos of his attempts at the game, the PC Gamer chat was full of laughter. Those hilarious bad notes coupled with his over enthusiastic avatar and a screen that flashes up 'NASTY' to mock your attempts is simple comedy brass.

But of course it gets better. We're by far not the first people to fall bell over slide for Trombone Champ as fans have been getting in on the action. Recently, one skillful fan showed off their VR implementation (opens in new tab) which really looks like it takes the game to the next level. Naturally, a trombone peripheral would be the next step here, and once again the ingenuity of people delivers.

You may have heard of Rudeism, the hardware madlad who loves to play games in unconventional ways. We've seen him stream his way through Sifu with punching controls (opens in new tab), played Untitled Goose Game as a goose (opens in new tab), beat Hades with a pomegranate (opens in new tab), and just heaps more. He's the king of controller shenanigans, and he's working on the next step in Trombone Champ's natural evolution.

Rudeism posted video of his trombone controller working on Twitter (opens in new tab), explaining that an ultrasonic sensor controls the slide part of the trombone, while the microphone controls the toots. Normally this would be moving the mouse for the slide, and clicking or pushing a keyboard button for the toots, so you can see how this translated across.

Virtual reality

(Image credit: Valve)

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He also explains that the slide doesn't move as far as it should, and that's super true. In the video you can see he can't extend it beyond the bell. Tromboners will know that this isn't near enough, and only gets you to about third position on the slide, if that from the video. That's only three out of seven. Of course cool tromboners like me, also won't care.

But it turns out Rudeism isn't the only one putting their hands to the grindbone. Trombone Champ's developer Twitter account (opens in new tab) has been sharing shots of all sorts of fan made peripherals. 

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There's a tiny controller made by ThereminHero on Twitter, (opens in new tab) which is super cute. It uses arduino controls and a mic trigger to power a trombone that looks about as big as a laptop from the video. Scaling the build down probably helped with the distant issues Rudeism was having on the slide. Plus with that username, I'm just happy to see more theremin love out there. (opens in new tab)

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Another great effort is by TheNoochGoodler (opens in new tab). This is another arduino build, but looks a lot more DIY friendly in what it's made out of. Another example of a great working slide that also seems to be having difficulty with the distance options. TheNoochGoodler also did us the goodler service of posting their project to github (opens in new tab), so feel free to check it out if you're wanting to improve your own Trombone Champ setup. 

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There's something wonderful about a charming indie darling skyrocketing into virality. Especially when it's a game as weird and hilarious as Trombone Champ. With all these people already on it, we're sure the V2 round of trombone controllers will be even better. Nothing quite sparks creativity in the community like the challenge to make something amazing, just that little bit sillier. 

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast (opens in new tab) right here.

No, she’s not kidding.