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Rockapella to Do It on the RBN
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Rockapella to Do It on the RBN

My fellow Gen X’ers out there who lacked basic cable and were forced to entertain themselves with quality programming from PBS may remember the show “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” which not only frustrated us with obscure geographical locations, but also introduced us to an acapella band named Rockapella (I see what you did there). Fast forward a number of years and now Fairwood Studios is brining one of Rockapella’s most recent singles to the RBN. Rockapella has gained a vast following in their 24 years as a group, earning a fan base in Japan and with celebrities ranging from Whoopi Goldberg to Matt Lauer. The title track from their newest album, “Bang“, will be the first track in Rock Band to feature full, four-instrument gameplay with no live or synthesized instruments; all sounds on the track are provided solely by the voices and appendages of Rockapella.

“Everyone here has very high opinions of Rockapella’s work, both their old material and their newest album,” said Robert Witko, owner of Fairwood Studios. “So we’re very excited to work with them, especially on a project that’s so unconventional and unique. It’s something we love to do, and it’s even better to do it with a group we all enjoy.”

As for whether this song may be a pre-cursor to a RBN appearance of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego,” in my opinion, this is a good start.

This song is planned for release prior to RBN 2.0, which would have included harmonies. Robert commented that “the reason is, it would either be harmonies but no guitar, or guitar but no harmonies. The project was started way back in the summer, and we didn’t expect things to cut so close to 2.0, but from the beginning it was going to be just one vocalist with harmonies on guitar, and at least for this one we’re not deviating from that. Plus, we wanna include RB2 players in the whole thing.”

A sample of Rockapella’s “Bang” is directly below, and will be released this winter through the Rock Band Network for $1.99 (160 MSP).

For more info, check out Fairwood Studio’s announcement.

22 Responses to “Rockapella to Do It on the RBN”

  • izzy2287 says:

    I had the “Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego?” song stuck in my head the other day. I hope that makes it to RBN.

    • T says:

      I have a feeling that will go the way of the original Power Rangers theme song. Buried in licensing hell.

      • Rob@Fairwood says:

        The biggest hang-up is confusion, nobody’s 100% sure who controls what. (It’s more complicated than you might think.) The investment to figure it out would just be too large, though it’s definitely not impossible yet…

  • SexyWolfen says:


  • MagicMurderBag7 says:

    acapella in the RBN, what will they think of next.

    I hope this leads to getting Friends by Flight of the Conchords

  • T says:

    I suggested A-Capella a LONG time ago with this in mind. Harmonies will make it even better. I will buy this on the principle of it more than anything. Gotta love studios that take chances!

  • Dorkmaster Flek says:

    This is officially one of the most awesome things I have ever seen. 😀 The single vocal line makes sense. You’ve got five voices total, and four instruments plus one singer. It matches up perfectly. Maybe if you had extra vocal lines layered on top or something you could have harmonies in RBN 2.0 but if it’s only ever five voices, it makes sense to have all the instruments involved. Now get us the gorram Carmen Sandiego theme song! 😀

  • non_zero says:

    I can’t figure out what they’re charting for guitar.

    • non_zero says:

      Oh, harmonies. I don’t think it works very well like that, should’ve waited for RBN2 in my opinion.

      • Rob@Fairwood says:

        It works pretty well, actually. It’s strange, of course, you can feel the connection between strums and voices but that’s not an association you naturally make. It’s fun, but bizarre, but we’re all in favor of that sorta thing.

        If we do future a cappella tracks, they’ll be RBN2.0, and we’ll be revisiting our approach.

        • Ospero says:

          Yay! I was just listening to this:


          the other day and thought how hilarious it would be to play a vox-based guitar solo. Love a cappella, very much looking forward to this.

        • KateWisdom says:

          That’s encouraging. I originally bought Guitar Hero (*gasp*), but all the while I was bemoaning that I couldn’t play any Rockapella on it. I’ll be buying Rock Band now. Thank you so much Rob@Fairwood; I’m too excited, you’ve given me the beginnings of everything I could want out of a band game!

  • MajorRedbeard says:

    This game engine is perfect for stuff like this – I just wish they’d support more than 3 voices for harmonies!

    I sing 4-part harmony every week, and it’s amazing to have people over and enjoy singing harmony in RB, the Beatles stuff and otherwise – it’d be great if there were up to 5 or 6 vocal parts. At the very least 4.

    Great to see this happening, though!

    I’d love to see the game struggle with Just Intonation 😛

  • kitlerc says:

    I always wondered how they would do acapella in instrument form. Always thought it would be fun/funny. Can’t wait for this!

  • Skydog says:

    Very different lol.
    They are very talented though.. that bass is pretty sweet too.

    *Ps. is there going to be charted bass solos (if any) in RBN2.0?

  • Mark says:

    I’m asking here as the Green Day article seems to be closed to comments. Is there a reason (I’m sure there is I’m just wondering) that you haven’t made a giveaway for solely the PS3 since December 2009?

    • RockBandAide says:

      The Green Day comments were closed because the contest was over, the winners had been chosen, and the codes were given out.

      1. The code giveaways are provided to me from Harmonix. They request codes for all three consoles from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Microsoft is MUCH better at providing promotional content that either Sony or Nintendo. If you want PS3 code giveaways, start putting pressure on Sony, not myself or Harmonix.

      2. I have had plenty of giveaways for PS3-specific content since December 2009 (example): http://www.rockbandaide.com/6888/swag-week-on-rockbandaide/

      3. A number of contests/giveaways I do are console-neutral to keep it fair (example): http://www.rockbandaide.com/9363/rock-band-3-mustang-pro-guitar-giveaway/

      4. Don’t complain about giveaways (especially the “lack” of giveaways on the PS3) or I won’t have them.

      5. There’s no conspiracy against the players on the PS3 or Wii. Stop making yourselves out to be victims. The simple matter is that the Xbox 360 has more Rock Band players than the other two consoles combined, so a reasonable person would obviously cater to the bigger fan base. That’s typical of many cross-console titles, as well.

      • Mark says:

        Wow. I was just asking, I asked for a reason and you gave it in the first point. I didn’t put pressure on you or Harmonix, I just asked. 2. I didn’t count Swag week since it was just a general thing where you got a load of stuff and not “Green Day Rock Band 360 giveaway” nor was it solely for the PS3 (which is what I said). 4. I wasn’t complaining, I even stated I wasn’t, I was just wondering. 5. I never said there was a conspiracy nor did I make myself a victim, it was a simple question which you seemed to take offence to.

  • KateWisdom says:

    I’m new to RB, and I really want to avoid compatibility issues. Which RB will I need to get to play Bang?

  • Kuiosikle says:

    I’m glad one of the active authoring groups got on this. Looks fun! I played around with the idea last winter: http://www.kuiosikle.com/rbn/A_Capella but never got anywhere after that test.