Creating Songs in Rock Band Network Could Take 20-40 Hours

Creating Songs in Rock Band Network Could Take 20-40 Hours

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Harmonix and MTV Games' self-publishing tool for Rock Band songs is no joke. Judging from reports of impressions of the service, the Rock Band Network is a serious tool for professional use.

The idea of the Rock Band Network might give rise to images of amateur musicians simply booting up a program, hitting a few keys and then selling their songs on the Rock Band Network store, but unfortunately (or fortunately), it's not going to be as easy as that. Judging from Joystiq's impressions of the service, this is a serious tool for professional musicians, and if not that, just people who are really dedicated to distributing their music in games, to use.

By Harmonix's estimate, first-time users could take 20-40 hours just to craft a single song from start to finish. That's not altogether surprising when you consider that the company says that the Rock Band Network tools are essentially what Harmonix themselves use at their home office.

Here's how it works, in a nutshell. You start off using a Rock Band specific plug-in for audio production suite Reaper (if you're already knowledgeable in producing music you'll need to learn this too, I'm guessing). In the Reaper interface you lay out note tracks for every difficulty, and the note sequences will show up in a chart and on a mock-up of the in-game screen in the top right.

Once you've laid down the tracks, you can add audio manipulation effects with splicing, mixing and sampling, or use some pre-made scripts to add certain qualities to your song, like a script that makes the playable parts of a song more easy to hear when playing.

Next you import the song into Magma, which will turn your data into a playable track, add things like camera angles and lip syncing, and let you add information about the track (title, artist, etc). From there you're good to go (if you're not on a Mac that is, Magma is PC-only) and the song can be uploaded onto the Network servers and be played and tweaked in Audition mode.

Once your tune goes on sale, it has to reach a certain amount of sales before MTV starts sending you checks. Once those checks do start coming, they'll be made up of 30% of the revenue you pull in through sales - the rest will go to Harmonix and the platform holders.

So there you go: if you're really serious about getting music onto Rock Band, that's how it'll go. Rock Band Network is in closed beta at the moment and will head into an open beta this fall.

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As I have no musical talent at all Im not going to be using this as a second job anytime soon.
Unless I use my mates band, steal their songs and reap the rewards :)

At least with the time and effort these songs will take to put on the network, it'll stop talentless people like me from making god awful music.

Its good news that its time and money consuming, it will mean the network won't be crowded with useless crap created by people with no talent.

I hope someone gets on with making Frank Zappa songs available.

But why on earth would I spend money on some unknown band when there are so many already proven, famous bands, in which I can download their songs. Unless it shows you the entire song, or gives you one free playhrough, there is no way to tell if the song is going to be good or not. Also, how does the screening process go? Does Harmonix have to sift through it all and make sure the songs don't blow? Or do they all go up, and thats that?

super_smash_jesus:
But why on earth would I spend money on some unknown band when there are so many already proven, famous bands, in which I can download their songs. Unless it shows you the entire song, or gives you one free playhrough, there is no way to tell if the song is going to be good or not. Also, how does the screening process go? Does Harmonix have to sift through it all and make sure the songs don't blow? Or do they all go up, and thats that?

I'd imagine that the band would provide a link to their site and works on Youtube in the Song Description.

This'll be great. I've got a lot of free-time on my hands, and since we've already recorded a few original songs (only a few that I consider recordable)... this might be a useful tool to learn.

super_smash_jesus:
But why on earth would I spend money on some unknown band when there are so many already proven, famous bands, in which I can download their songs. Unless it shows you the entire song, or gives you one free playhrough, there is no way to tell if the song is going to be good or not. Also, how does the screening process go? Does Harmonix have to sift through it all and make sure the songs don't blow? Or do they all go up, and thats that?

The screening process as I look at it is going to make sure that only content that has a place being on the marketplace gets put up ( it is for actual money after all ). I just look at this as a way for us ( the people who don't do this stuff ) to get a lot more content should we want to buy it along with the songs that Harmonix themeselves put up. No one is forcing you to to buy music made by people using this means. People are also going to be able to use licensed music for custom charts with proper permission so we'll get more music from multiple sources in the end. Overall, it's a good thing that's just gonna equal to users getting more content.

Cliff_m85:
I hope someone gets on with making Frank Zappa songs available.

We can dream, but Gail Zappa will eat them alive :(

Yes, I'm going to buy this now :D

...and I'm an Australian. Yeah.

Good.

Sweat for your art, you bastard!

I just want Music 2000 to be remade for the pc, but with a few gigs of samples instead of about eight songs worth. That would make me the happiest man on earth.

 

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