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Trombone Champ Modders Hilariously Bring The Game Full Circle

"Trombone Champ," the trombone-based rhythm game on Steam, has taken the world by storm. The goofy title sets players up with a Mii-like character as they play along to several different songs — and there's even the option to play the game in freestyle mode. The silly nature of "Trombone Champ" has only been made more entertaining by people using the gyro controls on Steam Deck and searching to uncover the true meaning behind the baboons in the game. That said, it was only a matter of time before players took things to the next level.

As a game about trying to keep pace with a digital trombone, it seems only natural that players want to play the game with a real instrument. Some Twitter users, like Greig Stewart and Jason, have built basic trombones out of PVC and other materials to use as controllers. The controllers are shown in action in their respective videos, with the slide on the physical trombone moving the in-game reticle. Rudeism, best known for making unique and bizarre controllers that work in-game, built his own trombone controller that requires not only slide movement but also must be blown into like an authentic trombone. While his first attempt doesn't give the slide as much range as a real trombone, Rudeism said he would improve it with his second attempt on the controller. But someone may have already one-upped him, as they've modified a real trombone to work with "Trombone Champ."

Playing Trombone Champ with a real trombone

YouTube creator Hung Truong took this modding trend to its feasible end, modifying a real trombone to work as the controller for "Trombone Champ." In the introduction to his video, Truong compared his idea to wanting to play a racing game in an arcade set up with a steering wheel and pedals, so naturally, "Trombone Champ" should be more enjoyable with a trombone. Truong used a slide trumpet for his instrument, which operates like a trombone but is smaller. Truong added a sensor to the instrument's mouthpiece so that it could register the action as a click on the computer. He also added a distance sensor to the slide to track his movements and make the whole package feel more realistic.

With his controller ready, Truong played the "Star Spangled Banner." While his controller wasn't as accurate as he would have liked, hearing a real trombone play (poorly) alongside the video game music is quite funny. Truong concluded by stating that he believed the distance sensor was likely defective or not accurate enough to work correctly. That said, Truong didn't consider the project a failure, as creating hardware like this is often an iterative process.

Now that fans have gotten a real trombone to work in "Trombone Champ," the door is open for all sorts of other wacky controller possibilities.