yeah, that's right, you read correctly.

I have a NES Power Pad plugged into my machine through a USB adapter on my machine. I have ubuntu 12.04 studio running a lot of audio software, but I have not dealt with USB device customization before.

Can anyone recommend a good package that can give me info on what USB data is being read and perhaps one that can get me started on mapping to MIDI commands? One scenario would be: read input from Power Pad USB adapter-mount virtual MIDI device-translate USB inputs to MIDI device-read MIDI device with virtual synth.

If you can see the ultimate goal of what I'm attempting, you will understand how deeply this could change the course of human history.