Rock Band Opening Up (Slightly) For Indie Musicians

from the it's-a-step... dept

While some record labels and groups like ASCAP are telling musicians they should hold their music back from video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero without larger upfront payments, most smart musicians recognize that getting their music out on these popular platforms is a great way to build up a much bigger (and more loyal) following. But, of course, the process to get into these games has been pretty difficult. So it's neat to see an effort from Harmonix and MTV Games to make it easier for independent artists to get their music into the games, if in a somewhat limited fashion. It still involves something of a hassle, but opening up the platform further is a good idea. You would think that one of these games would one day go fully open and trump the other by having a much wider selection of content -- with plenty of bands focusing on that provider, rather than the more limited one.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 5:24am

    I would suspect that most users are more interesting in playing with music they know (popular music) rather than obscure bands, regional bands, or artists they know nothing of.

    Can you imagine the rock band commercial, get rid of "highway star" and replace it with something from Amanda f-cking palmer? Wouldn't that be attractive. Wait, it wouldn't happen, because she would complain that the cartoon image of herself in the ad wasn't fat enough. :)

     

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    Nick Stevens (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 5:48am

    Re:

    You might be right, i definatly would want a bunch of songs I know first, but there are a bunch of songs which i didn't know on Guitar Hero that I know think are awesome, If someone released a game with a bunch of well known songs and a huge selection of unknown arists.. i think i'd totally head that way.

    alas my problem is I have a wii... and I can't play rockband without rebuying the guitars and drums... if someone was to make a game with all the indie bands... i hope they would make the controllers compatable with ones already on the market as well (Just planting seeds.... :P)

     

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  3.  
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    DS, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re:

    All guitar hero instruments for the Wii will work in Rock Band.

     

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  4.  
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    harknell, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:21am

    This concept was a no brainer from the start. Let's see, open up the dev tools to others, have them do all of the work, then get a "free" cut of the money for being the host. I'm shocked this didn't happen sooner. I can only imagine that maybe the creation tools weren't very user friendly at first and are now finally not so bad.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:39am

    Another idea

    Based on what I've seen on Youtube there is some of this already going on, but I'd like to see the developers release a tool to bands that would make it REALLY easy to put their own songs in the game, along with custom button scripts, etc. The bands could then release them on their websites, as giveaways at concerts, or find some way to charge for them, etc.

    I have a couple of local bands I follow that I would be stoked to play in Rock Band or GH.

     

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  6.  
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    Gunnar (profile), Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:47am

    "I would suspect that most users are more interesting in playing with music they know (popular music) rather than obscure bands, regional bands, or artists they know nothing of."

    And as a listener of obscure, regional bands, I do want to play music I know. Most of the songs I like to play on rock band aren't bad, but I'd never go out of my way to listen to them. Highway Star is as obscure to me as 1-800-ALARM-ME probably is to you.

     

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  7.  
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    hegemon13, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 6:59am

    An open platform already exists

    "You would think that one of these games would one day go fully open and trump the other by having a much wider selection of content -- with plenty of bands focusing on that provider, rather than the more limited one."

    One already did. It's called Frets on Fire, and it is open source freeware available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has a forum with monthly "fretting" and "drum fretting" competitions and literally thousands of available songs. Lots of the songs are certainly illegal, but there are also a lot of independent songs posted there officially. The game ships includes independent music at download, and they have official featured bands on their Web site.

    Being open source, it of course won't have the advertising that the commercial titles do, but it's out there, and it works great.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 8:40am

    I think this will be as close to fully open as you will see either the Guitar Hero or the Rockband platform get. Part of the problem with these two games is there is a band construct on screen that has to be programmed to sync with the music. This initiative from Rockband will probably be as easy as it will get for this generation of consoles. Rockband is supposed to release a program called Magma that will simplify the programming process in combination with Reaper, a $60 to $225 Digital Audio Workstation/MIDI editor.

     

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