Rock Band 3 to Add Keyboards; No Idea How it Works, Great News for RB Network

This’ll work great! (Artist rendering; final product may differ.) Bach manuscript image (CC-BY-SA) Nathan Siemers. Mock-up created by the createdigitalmusic.com Future Prediction Department… intern. Kotaku notes that Rock Band 3‘s icons tease something we’ve been awaiting a long time — keys. It’s ironic that in order to make guitars playable in games, they were effectively made into keyboards, yet it’s taken this long to actually get keyboards. Oh, wait — yeah, there is that whole problem of having as many as 88 keys, two hands, and no convenient way to fit the staff notation into the descending gems view. Not …

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Music Game Revolution, Now Indie Friendly, as Rock Band Network Goes Live

They are the robots: Flight of the Conchords. Now, you are the robots, too, as Rock Band Network opens the indie floodgates to the music-distribution-as-game model. (And yes, you’ll get to sing along with the Conchords, too.) Photo (CC-BY-SA) kris krüg. Music games Rock Band and Guitar Hero are simple enough in terms of gameplay, but testifying to the power of people’s passion for music, their impact has been staggering. At a time when purchasing recorded music has waned from a 90s peak, downloads for games are proving surprising growth, despite pundits predicting the segment would cool off. The talents …

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Inside the Rock Band Network, as Harmonix Gives Interactive Music its Game-Changer

There’s a lot of hype around the latest schemes for changing how artists get their music to fans, but not actually a whole lot of news. (It always seems to boil down to a website with some unpronounceable name.) Well, this is news: Harmonix is opening up Rock Band to anyone who wants their music in it, and giving you the same sophistication of tools they use themselves. That’s a real game-changer – literally. And I don’t mean just for the actual game Rock Band. Sure, Harmonix was the house that made music games a phenomenon in the US. They …

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“Music Simulation” Patent Unsuccessful, Gibson Mucks Up Own Case

Simulated guitar? Gibson gets carried away, but the law wins. Photo/bento creation (CC) Sakurako Kitsa.(Yup, this is a Fender Strat, but this is my kind of simulation of a musical instrument – in cheese form!) Gibson, the guitar company, has been on an utterly absurd campaign against music games, bringing lawsuits against the developers of both Guitar Hero and Rock Band and even against retailers. In the latest illustration of how screwed up patent law is, and just how over-litigious it has made technology in this country, the patent was based on a Gibson patent for a “System and method …

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Beatles, Harmonix Collaborate on New Game; Let’s Hope it’s a Real Trip

We all live … here. Photo: “DJ” Dave Whelan. It’s official: we had heard rumblings that game maker Harmonix was about to announce something, and it’s here. It’s a collaboration directly with the Beatles to make something that isn’t Rock Band or Guitar Hero — something completely new. And something completely new is exactly what’s needed. Before Guitar Hero and Rock Band, before being purchased by MTV/Viacom, game developer Harmonix were a very different creative house. Co-founders Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy were MIT friends whose first project was an application that let you play guitar with a joystick. (Sounds …

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Wii Rock Band Controllers + Mac: Use junXion, Game-to-MIDI Controller Tool

A new version of Rock Band (for Wii) means still more ways to turn these game controllers into musical or visual performance instruments. Jordan Balagot writes with some hands-on experience using junXion, a wonderful tool for adapting game controllers to MIDI or OpenSoundControl. (junXion also works with Wiimotes and nunchucks, audio inputs and pitch sensors, joysticks and standard USB devices, and much more, so even if this bores you, you’ve probably got some use for it.) Jordan says: I tried plugging in the Rockband for Wii guitar and drums into my mac and Junxion recognized them perfectly. This seems to …

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The Onion on Gibson’s Guitar Hero – Rock Band Lawsuits

American voices respond. “Finally, the name Gibson will be synonymous with fake guitars.” Gibson Sues Over Guitar Hero Thanks, Patrick.

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Gibson Guitar Loses Mind, Sues Entire Planet (But Wii Rock Band Should Be Fun)

Gibson headquarters. I’m sure some rational thought is going on in there, but search me to tell you what the (*&$# that thought is. Photo via mmwm Gibson Guitar may require a new column here on CDM, titled something like “what the $&*((*&$ can you possibly be thinking??!” Sure, it was strange enough when Gibson started a patent dispute with Guitar Hero game developer Activision because it claimed to own the patent for anything “simulating a musical concert experience.” (Jeez, I’m glad Gibson hasn’t been to a couple of my gigs.) Never mind that their patent involved pre-recorded concert footage …

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Guitar Hero on C64: The Music Game for 8-Bit Lovers

They’ve gone about as fer as they can go … Yes, just when you thought you’d seen every conceivable take on mods, customizations, clones, homages, robots, artistic reinterpretations, and other cultural artifacts inspired by Guitar Hero, there’s this — a Guitar Hero clone on Commodore 64. There’s a lot of chatting at the beginning, but jump about five minutes in for the payoff: the Legend of Zelda Overworld theme with deliciously low-fi graphics. (All due respects to Harmonix and new Guitar Hero developers Activision, but I might point out the interface actually doesn’t need an Xbox 360.) We’re mixing 8-bit …

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