Rock Band 3 Keys Wishlist

Image from Joystiq.com

I’m Josh and I’ll be covering the “Keys” content on RockBandAide. As a Rock Band enthusiast, I thought that the idea of adding keyboard support was a joke. I was very skeptical at first because, as a musician myself, I couldn’t see Rock Band taking that next step to actually teach its players about playing “real” music. It’s one thing to have a fully functional guitar that plays every note within a music game; it’s a totally different story to have a keyboard. If you learn how to play music on a keyboard or piano, you can pretty much pick up any instrument and learn it in no time. Keyboards and pianos have been fused into rock music for decades and now they will be joined in music video game matrimony in Rock Band 3.

Well, in anticipation of Keys showing up in Rock Band 3, here is my wish list for Keyboard/Piano songs in Rock Band 3 and DLC. Feel free to comment on my selection or add your own contributions in the comments below. Read the rest of this entry »

15 Things We’ve Learned at E3 about Rock Band 3

If I really tried to quantify it, I’m sure there’s MUCH more than 15 things we’ve learned, but let’s start with this. If you’ve been following along closely on the site and on Twitter, I don’t think any of this should come as a surprise to you, but I want to make sure we’re all on the same page before we move on.

  1. The video we saw at the beginning of the Rock Band 3 E3 demo is probably the opening cinematic for the game. Gone is the CG car dueling characters, and with new REAL instruments comes a more sophisticated, realistic opening to the game with a powerful, iconic song highlighting some of the new features from the game.
  2. The new “overshell” lets players drop in, drop out, change difficulty, and from what I’ve been told, even advance songs in a playlist on the fly. (Source)
  3. Improved scoring system keeps track of individual scores even while playing in a band. (Source)
  4. Incredible song sorting and filtering by categories such as Song Difficulties, Number of Vocal Parts, Song Lengths, Song Location, Song Ratings, Decades, Genres, Pro Guitar Support, and Keys Support. You can also rate songs via the lighter system added in with the Rock Band Network. Once rated, you can filter you library on your own ratings. (Details)
  5. By launch, the Rock Band library (including RBN) is expected to be over 2,000 songs! (Source)
  6. The game comes with default setlists (such as “Drummer’s Delight,” “Your Secret Shames,” and “Endless Setlist 3″) similar to those in previous games, but you can also create and save your own setlists based on the song sorting/filtering options. Once created, you can share with your friends. You will also have the ability to create and save your setlists online on RockBand.com and play them on your console. (Source)
  7. Party Shuffle mode starts playing random songs in Rock Band, and let’s you jump in/out as you wish, as well as let’s you skip to the next track (sounds like a de facto “Jukebox Mode”). (Source)
  8. Pro Guitar and Pro Bass both in Rock Band 3 using the Mustang and Squier controllers. (Source)
  9. In addition to the 22 songs already announced, Yes – Roundabout will also be finding it’s way into the game. (Source)
  10. Stage Kit will be supported. (Source)
  11. ION Drum Rocker will be compatible with Pro Drums. (Source)
  12. “Shaky arrow glitch” and “strum limit” have been fixed. (Source)
  13. DLC with Pro features, harmonies, and Keys will start when the game is released. (Source)
  14. Bladder of Steel won’t be back, but will have a “spiritual successor.” (Source)
  15. Rock Band Country Track Pack 2 is coming, presumably before the release of Rock Band 3 (due to it’s lack of Keys icon). (Source)
Anything big that I missed?! Add it in the comments!

And since you’ve been so good and read until the end, here’s a FREE DLC code for the PS3: MQAH-JGB8-BRJT. More PSN and XBL codes to come! Codes courtesy of Harmonix and @thebeststeph! Thanks!

Rock Band 3 DS Hands-On… Oh, and Yes is in Rock Band 3!

In case you may have missed this from last week, the band Yes makes their music gaming debut in Rock Band 3 with their song “Roundabout.” I probably would have skipped over this were it not for a tweet from @deliciousbees (Dan Teasdale) tweeting out the following:

Also, day 2 and nobody has found the secret song announcement in the DS build. Maybe you guys should check out RB3 DS for a surprise?

I think this makes quite a few people other there happy, Yes?

Also, if you want some hands on video of the DS gameplay, check out the footage that I captured below. As you can see, my exposure to the DS is quite limited. The gameplay looks very similar to the Rock Band: Unplugged on the PSP and LEGO Rock Band on the DS.

Ministry Coming Soon to Rock Band DLC?

There were rumblings back in April about Ministry being licensed for Rock Band, but according to a commercial on MTV:U and RockBand.com forum poster “dustinisrated_r,” it looks like it may be sooner than we think. Apparently, the Rock Band DLC commercial advertising the Miley Cyrus DLC showed off a few songs from Ministry that have yet to make it into the Rock Band library. Songs include:

  • Cuz U R Next (Yes, I now realize this is already in Rock Band… sorry)
  • Jesus Built My Hotrod
  • Stigmata

Only time will tell when these land in Rock Band as DLC, but based on this, I’m expecting them relatively soon.

[RockBand.com via @toymachinesh]

RBN DLC for 6/21

  • Demon Hunter – The World is a Thorn (160 MSP)
  • Free Electric State – Six Is One (80 MSP)
  • Jonathan Coulton – Mandelbrot Set (160 MSP)
  • Kiev – Crooked Strings (80 MSP)
  • Made Avail – Bury You Slowly (160 MSP)
  • Meshuggah – Bleed (160 MSP)
  • Rebelution – Bright Side of Life (160 MSP)
  • RX Bandits – Bled To Be Free (The Operation) (160 MSP)
  • Steel Train – Turnpike Ghost (160 MSP)
  • The Raspberry Ants – Janie (80 MSP)
  • Todd Thibaud – Three Words (80 MSP)
  • XTT – Cookie Monster (160 MSP)

Rock Band 3 Lead Designer Dan Teasdale Answers Your Questions

Dan as seen in his HMX environment

I’m finally getting around to catching up on all the E3 madness, and this is one of the things I wanted to pull together most for you guys. After going to both PAX East and E3, I learned that they are two completely different animals. PAX East is put on for fans of the games, who usually know what to expect from their favorite franchises. E3 on the other hand, has its hardcore fans in attendance, but also has to cater to business people that may not be familiar with storied franchises and video game companies, so they have to go much farther to leave an impression on people. Throughout all the madness and press that was going on, I considered myself EXTREMELY lucky to both get hands-on time with the new Rock Band 3 peripherals (details coming!) and to have a chance to sit down with Rock Band 3 Lead Designer Dan Teasdale (@delicousbees) and ask him the questions you asked.

And yes, for future reference, I will be getting an audio recorder so I can transcribe future conversations with Harmonix staff for the site, but to be honest, with all the surrounding noise at E3, I doubt it would have captured much of our conversation. I’ve didn’t ask him questions that have already been confirmed elsewhere (I’ll have post summarizing all the new Rock Band 3 features soon), as well as removed the questions that he can’t comment about (Jukebox mode, Pearl Jam, easy/medium charting changes).

So check out the Q&A I had with Dan, and let me know if there are any other questions you may have about the game. I’ll see what I can do to get them answered in the future!

Will there be support for the Stage Kit in Rock Band 3?

Yes.

Will the ION Drum Rocker be compatible with Pro mode in Rock Band 3, and will Lefty Flip be possible?

Yes and yes.

Any options for real guitar interfacing through the MIDI controller?

As it currently exists, the only available options for Pro Guitar/Bass are using the Mustang and Squier controllers, however we are looking to seeing if this is feasible.

Will there be a strum limit in Rock Band 3?

There will be no strum limit. Rock Band 3 will feature smarter strum detection due to an increased familiarity with and a deeper understanding of consistency issues with both new and existing hardware.

Will the “shaky arrow vocals glitch” be fixed?

Yes.

Will there be a vocals practice trainer?

Yes, it will be similar to the vocal trainer / practice mode in the Beatles game.

Will multiple vocal players be available over Xbox Live or PSN?

No. Latency issues makes this impossible, unfortunately.

Are there harmonies in the DLC we’ve gotten so far?

With the exception of Green Day, currently existing DLC does not have included harmonies due to the rights reserved during the licensing process.

Will the keyboard work with the tracks that have piano in Green Day: Rock Band if you export to Rock Band 3?

Harmonies are included and compatible with Rock Band 3, however the Green Day content technically counts as Rock Band 2 DLC, so there are no keyboards charts.

When will we start seeing Pro Keys compatible DLC?

DLC with Pro Keys charting will come out day and date of Rock Band 3, not before.

Is there a Pro Keys mode that doesn’t scroll?

Easy and Medium do not scroll. Hard and Expert do.

Lefty flip with Pro Keys?

Yes. It works the same as vocal lefty flip. ;)

Will each instrument lane have their own speed based on their difficulty?

By default, all lanes will move at the same speed, as in Rock Band 2, however there will be a modifier that you can enable to have different lanes move at different speeds.

Will there be an Endless Setlist 3?

Yes.

Will there be a “Bladder of Steel” achievement/trophy?

Not specifically, but there will be a “spiritual successor” to it.

Can we ever expect to see Metallica tracks in Rock Band again?

Artists that have their own titles such as Aerosmith, Metallica, and Van Halen are not exclusive to any franchise. Eventually we may see more DLC from these artists in Rock Band.

“Try again with the Beatles: Will we have DLC? After enough times they’re sure to give in!”

“This is not one of those times.”

Will there ever be a resource to let us know what bands are more than likely never going to be on the Rock Band platform so we can stop requesting them?

There is no “blacklist” for songs coming to the library, so request away!

Will harmonies and keyboards be integrated into the RBN?

I can’t comment on future RBN features, but there will be more announcements concerning an RBN 2.0 later.

Will the RBN be finding it’s way on to the PS3/Wii/unsupported countries?

The limitations of independent developer programs on the other consoles and unsupported countries with Xbox 360 are issues that lie with Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, and very little we can do about.

Will the Wii support SDHC cards in Rock Band 3? Will we be able to export songs on the Wii?

Details soon.

Will Rock Band 2 export require a unique code to do?

Details on Rock Band 2 export have not been announced yet, as the possibility of export is still in process.

Will we be able to import our scores from Rock Band 2 to Rock Band 3?

The scoring system has been rewritten from a programming standpoint, so your scores will not carryover.