Xbox 360 RBN DLC for 11/2

With all the Rock Band 3 madness going on over the last week, there has been some confusion over what songs have been officially released on the RBN. Some of these songs were released last week, so we’re counting this as a catch up post for any that may have been missed. With this and the next two posts, we should be up to date on what songs have been released for the RBN.

  • After the Burial – Berzerker (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • All That Remains – Hold On (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • All That Remains – The Waiting One (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Amberian Dawn – Fate of the Maiden (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Between the Buried and Me – Obfuscation (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Bluefusion – Industrialized (80 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Chaotrope – Baptized by Fire (80 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Cliff Lin – The Countdown (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Converge – Dark Horse (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Graveyard BBQ – Ride the Stache (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • GWAR – Let Us Slay (80 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Kay Hanley – Think Bad Thoughts (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Ludicra – Veils (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Lyrics for Monday – Runaway (80 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Madlife – Tantrums of a Giant (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Mike Belotti & Theo Christensen – Vacation (80 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Nations Afire – Curtain Call (80 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Nonpoint – Bullet With a Name (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Riverboat Gamblers – Robots May Break Your Heart (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Robby Suavé – Bean (80 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • The Asbestos – Jack and the Harlots (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • The Roman Line – Worst Case Ontario (160 MSP) – Full | Trial
  • Ween – Gabrielle (160 MSP) – Full | Trial

Harmonix Responds to Lack of Rock Band 3 Stage Kit Support

As I’m sure many faithful to this site remember, way back at E3, I had a chance to sit down with Dan Teasdale, Lead Designer for Rock Band 3. While Dan left Harmonix shortly thereafter, it didn’t make his answers any less valid. The first question I asked Dan was about the inclusion of the Rock Band Stage Kit within Rock Band 3, to which Dan responded that it would be supported in the forthcoming title. While I treated his answer as sacrosanct, it appears that upon my playthrough of the game prior to launch, changes to the game after Dan’s departure ended up removing the Stage Kit functionality.

This, understandably, ended up being a thorn in the lion’s paw of the Rock Band community, who may have invested upwards of the full retail price of $100 when the Stage Kit was initially released. With the game being released less than one week ago, Harmonix has been busy squashing bugs, relaunching sites, and gearing up for another impending game launch, but Harmonix community manager @HMXHenry was able to inform us of the following over on the official site:

As for confirming this thread specifically, the PDP Rock Band Stage Kit — a third-party licensed accessory that is no longer in production –does not work with Rock Band 3. With the major leaps forward within Rock Band 3 we determined that, as with The Beatles: Rock Band, it was not feasible to support the Stage Kit within the new title.  As noted on the PDP Stage Kit packaging, it is still compatible with Rock Band and Rock Band2. We apologize for any confusion on this.

OK, sports fans, what do you think? I know there will be the inevitable “THIS RUINS THE FRANCHISE!!!1!” comments below, but is this as big of an issue as some are making it out to be? Drop your response in the poll and leave your comments below.

[RockBand.com]

Rock Band 3 Keyboard Makes an Impressive MIDI Instrument

Joystiq ran across some digital music experts over at CreateDigitalMusic.com who took the new Rock Band 3 keyboard peripheral for a spin. While the keyboard is obviously designed with Rock Band 3 in mind, the fact that it is also MIDI-out capable means that it may also be used in the actual creation of real digital music. Here’s a few excerpts from what the folks at Create Digital Music had to say.

I have to admit: I was very surprised by the quality of the keyboard. You could easily put this alongside so-called “pro” unweighted keyboards in the sub-$200 range and, blindfolded, no one would ever guess this was a game keyboard.

Bottom line is, this thing is a joy for controlling computer synths or hardware, and may have just become my portable keyboard of choice, just because it’s fun to strap on. Of course, if you don’t care about the “keytar” form factor, any number of inexpensive keyboards will give you real pitch and mod wheels and some knobs. But if you want to play a keytar, this game controller has become, bizarrely, a must-buy.

Make sure to head over to their reviews of the keyboard, because they give a VERY thorough review from a musician’s standpoint.

[CreateDigitalMusic.com via Joystiq]

Future Titles to Include “Composition and Improvisation?”

Ryan from the Wall Street Journal recently had a chance to ask Greg LoPiccolo, the Senior VP of Product Development at Harmonix, a few questions about the latest title and where the franchise goes from here. Included below are some of the questions asked, along with bold added for emphasis.

WSJ: Unlike traditional ways of learning to play, in Rock Band the music and audience come first and your input comes second. This is a kind of reversal of music making. Do you think Rock Band can encourage players to compose music and find a personal style?

LoPiccolo: The biggest musical benefit of Rock Band Pro is that it motivates beginning musicians to stick with the basics, and evaluates their progress, so they can develop the dexterity and muscle memory to express themselves outside the game. Most beginning musicians never get past this stage, so this is the area in which we hope to really help new players. Once they have some skills, other avenues of self-expression can open up for them. In the future, we’d love to try to tackle composition and improvisation as gameplay experiences, but those are very difficult problems to solve.

WSJ: How close is Rock Band 3 to meeting the company’s ambition of what a music game can accomplish? Where can you go from here?

LoPiccolo: Rock Band 3 is a significant step for us, but we ultimately hope to erase the boundary between “gamer” and “musician.” We have a long way to go in pursuit of that goal.

Head on over to the Wall Street Journal article to read the rest of the interview, but now that we have real instruments, is this the next step in the evolution of rhythm gaming?

[Wall Street Journal via PlasticAxe]

The Doors’ Ray Manzarek Talks Rock Band 3

As we all are aware of at this point, Rock Band 3 introduced a brand new instrument peripheral into the mix, the keyboard. While not as essential to the “rock formula” as say guitar or drums, it is a prevalent instrument nonetheless. Game Hunters (via USAToday) recently had a chance to talk with a keyboard player from one of the most iconic bands in rock music, the Doors’ Ray Manzarek, who has recently seen a whopping 13 songs added to the Rock Band library. Below are a few choice quotes from the interview, so be sure to head on over to USAToday to check out the rest of the interview.

Game Hunter: What’s it like to introduce a new generation to your music?

Ray Manzarek: It’s great. It’s a new way to approach Doors songs. Kids who might not know the Doors songs can eventually play along. And once they get the top 12 or so down — Love Her Madly, Love Me Two Times, Peace Frog, People Are Strange, Roadhouse Blues — there’s a whole bunch of other Doors songs to explore, and I think they’re gonna like them.

Game Hunter: What do you think of music-based games such as Rock Band?

Ray Manzarek: I think they’re great, because what it does is it takes somebody who may not be able to play an instrument and lets them fool around musically for the first time. Then, if you really enjoy it, you can actually move on from (the game) to playing a real instrument. I think it’s opening the doors of perception to playing a real instrument.

[USAToday]

Diary of the Inexperienced – Pro Keys (Part I)

Hello fellow Rock Band addicts!

I’ve arranged with Tommy to bring you all a number of articles detailing my ventures into the new Pro modes.  The audience I expect to have are those on the fence about picking up one of the new instruments (keyboard or Pro guitar), those that are just starting out on them and looking for tips or motivation or support throughout the learning process, or those that have no musical background and are wondering if the instrument(s) would be worth the cost of entry.  If that sounds like you, or if you’re just generally interested in the new Pro modes, feel free to keep reading!

Read the rest of this entry »