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Rock Band 3 To Include MIDI Keyboard

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the hey-guys-let's-get-some-of-that-innovation-in-here dept.

Music 107

xbeefsupreme writes with news that Harmonix has officially demonstrated Rock Band 3's 25-key MIDI keyboard. From USA Today: "During the game, green, red, blue, yellow or orange keys flow on a 'stream' representing the notes to be played on five corresponding keyboard keys. In a new authentic Pro mode meant to help players segue to actual instruments, all 25 keys are used; the streams shifts left and right to cover the correct keys. The keyboard also works as a MIDI keyboard that can be connected to a computer. 'This is a real instrument and a real device,' says senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky." The game will also support more advanced "real" guitar controllers, which have six actual strings you can strum. Hit the link below to see the keyboard in use.

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Question (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526406)

I can't read the article due to work filter, but since the game will come with a "real" midi controller, can I use my own with the game? I have an M-Audio Axiom 25.

Re:Question (4, Informative)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526978)

Highly likely, given it's possible to use real midi drums/controllers as replacement for the drum controller already.

Re:Question (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 3 years ago | (#32527344)

It's only the Guitar Hero drums which have a MIDI input, not the ones made by Harmonix.

No information yet on if they will allow generic MIDI devices as input to the game, although they did confirm the game keyboard will have a MIDI out.

Re:Question (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528144)

I can't read the article due to work filter, but since the game will come with a "real" midi controller, can I use my own with the game? I have an M-Audio Axiom 25.

Probably. I already use my Roland TD4 drum set through a Guitar Hero World Tour drum kit via the midi interface. Can't stand that POS drum set that they sell with the games.

Re:Question (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32528736)

You'd be better off playing Synthesia [synthesiagame.com] .

Re:Question (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 3 years ago | (#32535142)

Actually, turns out it's a yes [kotaku.com] :

The good news for actual musicians? If you already have a MIDI keyboard or MIDI drum set, you can opt for the Rock Band 3 MIDI Pro Adapter Box. The device will convert MIDI messages into console controller data and includes on-board console navigation buttons that will let players navigate the game's menus.

theories on how guitars with strings will work (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526408)

Please post them. I'm curious how it will register the notes without constantly making sure the guitar is perfectly in tune? Robotic autotuning?

Re:theories on how guitars with strings will work (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526450)

If it's anything like PowerGig [arstechnica.com] , there will be a little bumper that you can raise up against the strings while using it as a guitar controller. That will go a long way to keeping it in tune. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a tuner built into the guitar accessible through the game as well.

Re:theories on how guitars with strings will work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32526498)

From the summary: "more advanced "real" guitar controllers". As I read it, they're not supporting real guitars, they're making their fake guitars slightly more realistic. Why would you expect strumming a fake guitar's string to even make a sound? (Well - other than the lame "click click click" sounds - that's not what I'm talking about.)

Re:theories on how guitars with strings will work (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526566)

How will it detect different notes? It can't just be a simple mapping of one string to one color, because then the fretboard becomes useless. Maybe there are sensors in the fretboard?

Re:theories on how guitars with strings will work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32526730)

it is actually a real guitar, able to be plugged into an amp and played. details of exactly how it works have not yet been released.

That's a rather old thing (4, Informative)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 3 years ago | (#32527116)

Guitars able to produce midi signals are rather common in music business. There are two basic technologies: - Normal guitar with a kind of plug to read the string - MIDI controller with guitar like input I don't know if they use either of these, but technical details can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIDI_guitar [wikipedia.org]

Re:That's a rather old thing (1)

Wumpus (9548) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528182)

I don't know if I would call them "common." I have one of those beasts, and it's a lot of fun to play with, but not quite as much fun to play, if you get my drift.

The main problem with the ones that use a 6-way pickup to analyze each string's pitch and convert that to a MIDI signal is that they have a noticeable delay. Until you learn how to compensate for that in your playing, it can be quite annoying and distracting.

The other kind (and I've seen various designs, but this applies to all of the ones I've seen) suffers from not feeling exactly like a guitar, or not feeling much like a guitar at all. Again, this is something you can get used to if you're motivated, but guitarists are kinda picky about things that most people don't care about, like string gauge, and neck scale, and just the right neck profile - if you go and change all the strings to a single gauge (I've seen a model with all G strings) it's just not going to feel right when you pick it up and start playing.

Re:That's a rather old thing (1)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 3 years ago | (#32529296)

Thanks for that real world information. I'm far from being a musician myself, I just played around with a few synthesizers twelve years ago and remembered, that there where several kinds of instruments (saxophones, flutes, violins) mentioned in magazines like "keyboard", that where able to produce midi data. So I just thought to drop in that info for people who worried how this would be possible at all. Actually if the software will be able to process MIDI data, it should be able to process any kind of it, even if it's manually generated with sequencer software like Steinbergs. But I agree, that those solutions didn't look like they have the "right feel" for professionals. But since some of them are quite expensive, there may be a market for them. Maybe they use this kind of equipment to produce midi files for background music in games or movies? They could be quite useful in all areas of studio music where you want to have the effect of playing a real instrument while still have the need to integrate the output in a midi setup. But I can only guess...

Re:That's a rather old thing (1)

Wumpus (9548) | more than 3 years ago | (#32536548)

Don't get me wrong - MIDI guitars have their uses, and I've seen people using them live and sounding great. They just take some time to get used to, like any new instrument.

Re:theories on how guitars with strings will work (3, Informative)

lightversusdark (922292) | more than 3 years ago | (#32530554)

Casio produced a MIDI 'guitar' in the '80s that had six strings that ran from the bridge to the end of the fretboard.
That is, only over the pickup area for strumming. The fretboard itself was switches.
There's a picture of one on this page. [drika.biz]
I'm guessing the game controllers will be something like this.

Re:theories on how guitars with strings will work (1)

Bungie (192858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32534002)

It probably will just check that you plucked the string at the proper time, not which note you played (just like their current controllers which use a button for each string, that is used for every note on that string).

Rhythm (2, Insightful)

mederbil (1756400) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526432)

And I will still lack the rhythm to play this awesomeness.

Re:Rhythm (1)

Peach Rings (1782482) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526534)

What's exciting to me is that I do have the skill to beat guitar hero songs on Expert. I've always wanted to try a "Piano Hero" type thing to work up that kind of impressive super-fast skill with an actual instrument, and a piano is perfect because it's just buttons like the GH controller.

Re:Rhythm (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526640)

Your "Piano Hero" is a much better idea than Sousaphone Hero [theonion.com] idea.

Horn hero (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32527202)

Your "Piano Hero" is a much better idea than Sousaphone Hero [theonion.com] idea.

Or French horn hero [google.com] .

Re:Rhythm (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526716)

> And I will still lack the rhythm to play this awesomeness.

The great thing about everyone, including experts / profession musicians, is that they were _ALL_ noobs at one point too.

Start on easy -- work your way up.

--
There really is no other substitute for practice. Talent will only get you so far.

Re:Rhythm (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32535604)

The great thing about everyone, including experts / profession musicians, is that they were _ALL_ noobs at one point too. Start on easy -- work your way up.

I totally agree with this. Don't get in a hurry, be patient, and try to love the process of improving little-by-little. Eventually, maybe you'll get to Jordan Rudess' [youtube.com] level. That guy scares the hell out of me.

i like the drum kit from band hero (4, Interesting)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526520)

i have the 5 pad drum kit with cymbals for the wii... i noticed that it supports standard MIDI as well, and even though i have a korg triton pro, and a roland 909, it's still more fun to slam sticks on the pads than push the buttons or key in a program on the host devices.

so the drum kit serves for people that don't have a digital drum kit, but i don't know anyone that would use a MIDI keyboard that doesn't already own one that is better than the one demoed for this game.

most play-along keyboards adjust the tempo to wait for the player... i'm assuming the game works like other guitar hero games and the song will just keep on going for the rest of the players... it will be much harder for the keyboard player to get their hands back in the right position after slipping up. i guess that's why it's "pro mode"... don't slip up.

Re:i like the drum kit from band hero (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526974)

I wonder, do you wager it's possible that it can give some people...well, not "piano playing" skills, but at least some rudimentary, though still decent, "sound - piano key muscle memory"? ;)

Re:i like the drum kit from band hero (1)

JayJay.br (206867) | more than 3 years ago | (#32527498)

IMNSHO (part-time pro musician), to some extent, it will. Pretty much the same "muscle memory" you get from playing the drums on GHWT and RB.

Guitars, however, are a totally different thing. The fake guitars don't resemble anything life-like, at least for the left hand.

Re:i like the drum kit from band hero (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 3 years ago | (#32527808)

I wonder, do you wager it's possible that it can give some people...well, not "piano playing" skills, but at least some rudimentary, though still decent, "sound - piano key muscle memory"? ;)

i think that muscle memory is learned slowly... if the device does not adjust tempo to wait for the learning player to finish a muscle response before it moves on to asking for a different muscle response that had already assumed you completed the previous response... well, i just think it will give most beginning players nothing but frustration. i haven't seen the game, maybe they figured out a way to hedge that... maybe they went against the trend of music games and now adjust the tempo to the player... i doubt it.

Re:i like the drum kit from band hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32533722)

I'm already better at drums after just a few RB/GH sessions (starting from zero).

new authentic Pro mode (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526546)

new authentic Pro mode meant to help players segue to actual instruments

...while learning fingering that will trip them up later. Watching the way people hold drum sticks with Rock Band is painful.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (4, Insightful)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526706)

I hope they don't fall off the tracks and end up putting realism ahead of fun. Most of us who enjoyed Rock Band weren't playing it to get a primer on learning to play a real guitar. If I wanted a tedious simulation, I'd whip out a flight simulator, and if I wanted guitar lessons, well, I'd have spent the money on a real guitar to begin with.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#32529930)

When it comes to music... realism can be fun, if you can are good enough to play.

From what they show, Pro Mode is completely optional, and nobody is required to play any instrument in a realistic fashion. It's just an option for those that might want to take it to the next level in order to play realistically, learn to play realistically, or shut up the constant "learn to play a real guitar!" and similar quips.

It sounds like a great option to me, and might even be instrumental (no pun intended) in getting some kids into actual music.

Now High School kids can quit school to join a real band (like a real rock star!) instead of doing it for a video game like this kid:

http://www.nme.com/news/nme/39065 [nme.com]

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32529988)

"if you can are"? that's pretty bad.

Or maybe people will just want to play a GAME and not learn an instrument? Seriously dude, I can spend a few bucks and be learning in instrument right now, but I don't want to. No amount of comparing 'real' to 'fake' is going to change that.

Guitar hero is just the next generation of "Simon" in an interestingly shape controller.

If it was a disk with 5 light you pushed we would still haae to listen to you morons?

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 3 years ago | (#32530552)

"if you can are"? that's pretty bad.

Oh take it easy Mr. Grammar Nazi. I would never write that intentionally. I probably alt-tabbed or was distracted (or otherwise interrupted) mid-sentence and finished it in a different manner than I originally intended. I will try to be more careful to proofread the next time I submit formal writing to you.

"Sometimes people make silly mistakes, even when they know better. More at 11!"

Or maybe people will just want to play a GAME and not learn an instrument? Seriously dude, I can spend a few bucks and be learning in instrument right now, but I don't want to. No amount of comparing 'real' to 'fake' is going to change that.

You also seem to miss the point that you can still just play it like a simplified game before. The Pro Mode is an Option. Nobody is going to force you to use it. The fact that you are criticizing it for having an *optional* feature that *you* aren't interested in (but others might be) is just silly.

However, I find it pretty absurd that you are ragging by implying that the game is nothing but an overly simplified Simon, but at the same time railing against the idea for having an *OPTION* of being more realistic.

For the record, music games have little to do with Simon other than having bright colorful buttons. Simon is purely a memory game. These music games are about rhythm, hand eye coordination, and contain small elements of strategy.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32527170)

OTOH some could go "hey, I like this, wanna more" route? And I imagine some other group, of "hardcore" players, might eventually get a muscle memory association between sound and its key; however clumsy that would almost always end up, perhaps good enough to play some simple song they could just hum previously ? ;)

Re:new authentic Pro mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32528150)

Whatever. I had a post lined up complaining about how pissed I was at how, as a reasonably skilled pianist, this shit isn't hard at all and fie on those who consider this real piano playing, but looking at the video again it at least associates keys with sounds which is all they really care about. In terms of pure physical skill, the hard mode is more or less what people would get to within 3-12 months of actual lessons depending on how fast they pick it up. This is ignoring other associated music skills they'd gain.

Several points that are nowhere near what a real pianist would get up to but this is a video game for the masses after all. I mean, personally I enjoy playing *actual* piano pieces, but hey. Whatever gets more kids into music is good.

I'm gonna go cry in a corner now at how my instrument has been butchered into a video game. The guitarists, bassists, and drummers should welcome me. If they pull out a saxophone hero too, I'll need to pick up something else just so I can stop being associated with this.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528568)

And the funniest part of this "invasion" - it seems to me that "games" focusing on electronic music actually went out of favor some time ago...maybe they focused too much around actually creating stuff? (which makes it even more funny, in a way)

Re:new authentic Pro mode (3, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 3 years ago | (#32529146)

If they pull out a saxophone hero too, I'll need to pick up something else just so I can stop being associated with this.

I've been intending to pull out my sax and play it to the vocal track for awhile now, but microphone mounts for the bell of a saxophone (where I've asked around here) are more expensive that I'd like (and seem to always include their own real microphone, adding to the price). The game doesn't care if you even sing the right lyrics (I like singing Nine Inch Nails' "Mr. Self Destruct" to the tune of Molly Hatchet's "Flirtin' With Disaster") so it should be possible to sing with a sax for many if not most songs that don't slide the pitch everywhere. I play by ear to the radio a lot anyway.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (2, Insightful)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32531212)

Just use a regular mic stand with a boom. They're not expensive, and since you're neither recording nor playing out, there's no need for specialized gear.

But first, hang the mic (by its cord) over the back of a chair or something else of appropriate height, and see if it's really an idea worth pursuing at all.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 3 years ago | (#32533704)

Just use a regular mic stand with a boom. They're not expensive, and since you're neither recording nor playing out, there's no need for specialized gear.

But first, hang the mic (by its cord) over the back of a chair or something else of appropriate height, and see if it's really an idea worth pursuing at all.

I'll second this recommendation. I purchased a pretty expensive $300 mic for my tenor sax that clips onto the bell. It works fine, but because it is physically attached to the bell, it sometimes picks up fingering noise when I'm changing notes, which really sucks when you're trying to do serious recording. If you don't need to be portable or mobile around a stage, a stand mic is much better.

I like the creative idea of hanging it off a chair back. Sometimes ghetto solutions work the best. :-)

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 3 years ago | (#32527226)

Yea, they haven't talked about the new drum kit at all yet, but i'm certainly hoping for massive improvements. The reason people hold drum sticks poorly when playing the rock band kit is because they basically have to. First off, the pads have a pretty crappy response, forcing you to hit harder than you'd like to get the right response. But more importantly, the damn high hat is on the wrong side of the snare, which makes anything but the most basic rhythms extremely awkward. Now, the other reason people hold sticks improperly that probably won't change is they've never been taught the right way. Hopefully pro mode will start with some (optional) tutorial videos to help people out on that front.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 3 years ago | (#32527446)

Yea, they haven't talked about the new drum kit at all yet, but i'm certainly hoping for massive improvements. The reason people hold drum sticks poorly when playing the rock band kit is because they basically have to. First off, the pads have a pretty crappy response, forcing you to hit harder than you'd like to get the right response. But more importantly, the damn high hat is on the wrong side of the snare, which makes anything but the most basic rhythms extremely awkward.

While I agree that I hope the drums are better, I disagree on the layout. Since they're at the same height, placing the hi-hat pad to the right of the snare lets you play with your right hand, like you would otherwise. I never had any awkwardness swapping between Rock Band and real drums, and my hands make nearly the same movements.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528166)

They definitely can't just swap positions, I'm ultimately hoping for something closer to the ION kit, that lets you customize where you want the pieces. I need the high hat to the left and raised or I'm severely limited in my speed, and my form gets sloppy. I feel like I can never get into the right position with the base kit, one hand is always uncomfortable. If I angle myself towards the snare, my right hand is all over the place, if I'm straight ahead or angled to the right, I'm too slow on the snare. I guess it comes down to preference (some people play real drums with their high hat to the right) which is why I'm really hoping for the ability to customize.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528730)

Yeah, it would be nice to be adjustable. Of course, I understand why not, because they need to balance between manufacturability, a decent position for both hi-hat and tom playing, and for both lefties and righties.

That said, with the 3 add-on cymbals, the hi-hat is a little bit to the left of the snare. Not as much as an acoustic kit, but no less than many electronic kits I have seen.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528202)

Yea, they haven't talked about the new drum kit at all yet, but i'm certainly hoping for massive improvements. The reason people hold drum sticks poorly when playing the rock band kit is because they basically have to. First off, the pads have a pretty crappy response, forcing you to hit harder than you'd like to get the right response. But more importantly, the damn high hat is on the wrong side of the snare, which makes anything but the most basic rhythms extremely awkward. Now, the other reason people hold sticks improperly that probably won't change is they've never been taught the right way. Hopefully pro mode will start with some (optional) tutorial videos to help people out on that front.

I am not sure, but looking at the video I think I saw a dot over certain notes to represent cymbal hits, and a half sized bar to represent high hat. I currently use my Roland kit, but I'm limited to the four pads and one pedal. I'll finally get to use the whole kit! And maybe learn to play the drums IRL.

Re:new authentic Pro mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32528556)

...while learning fingering that will trip them up later

Nah, it's a simple rule: 2 in the pink 1 in the stink. Unless you're an Apple zealot, and then it's 4 up the bum!

Meh, they'll have my money when... (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526626)

... one of the franchises licenses Dire Straits music for their game. And not just Money for Nothing, I want Tunnel of Love, Brothers in Arms, and Sultans of Swing. And of course Romeo and Juliet, while we're at it.

Re:Meh, they'll have my money when... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526836)

Add in Industrial Disease and some of the other classics and I'm in!

Re:Meh, they'll have my money when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32526904)

And Communique, damnit!

Re:Meh, they'll have my money when... (3, Informative)

Loomismeister (1589505) | more than 3 years ago | (#32527472)

Sultans of swing is on guitar hero 5

Re:Meh, they'll have my money when... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32531134)

Unfortunately little else on GH5 is worth a damn, IMHO. I'm not going to buy a game just to play one song. If we can have "Rock Band: Green Day" we certainly should be able to have "Guitar Hero: Dire Straits".

Re:Meh, they'll have my money when... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32530712)

Ask me how I know you're gay.

Re:Meh, they'll have my money when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32531220)

Sigh... even the trolls on slashdot aren't as good as they used to be.

The guitar has keys already (1)

asukasoryu (1804858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526654)

Seems like pushing the buttons on a keyboard should be just like pushing buttons on the guitar controller except you don't have to strum. This should be pretty easy to pick up, right?

Re:The guitar has keys already (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526698)

Except there are more keys.

Re:The guitar has keys already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32526922)

Sure, but the video makes it look like outside of pro mode, all red keys are equivlent, all yello keys are equivlent, etc. Only in pro mode do the extra keys matter.

ugh (-1, Flamebait)

hemlock00 (1499033) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526712)

At what point do you just play in a _real_ fucking band?

Re:ugh (5, Funny)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526742)

First "just learn a real instrument post" in a Rock Band/Guitar Hero thread. Everyone take a shot!

Thanks hemlock00, for being a living stereotype!

Re:ugh (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32529900)

Huh. See, to me that was the exact opposite of a "just learn a real instrument" post. I mean, "At what point do you just play in a real band" to me sounds like it's saying "If they keep trying to make it more realistic, eventually you'll be better off just starting an actual band"

The point of these games is that they _aren't_ real instruments, and making them more realistic may silence some critics, but it may also make the game a hell of a lot less fun.

Re:ugh (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526788)

They said that they're adding more realism in some modes as an aid for those who want to transition to real instruments. Your complaint is even more asinine than this complaint normally is, because they even SAY "This is to help you to be able to play a real instrument one day".

Re:ugh (1)

adeft (1805910) | more than 3 years ago | (#32526868)

When you don't want to just sit around and have a few hours of fun with friends who may or may not be musically inclined.

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32527354)

Around the same time that everyone stops playing sports or racing games...

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32528124)

If you want to play in a real fucking band then you should look into a career in the p0rnographic industry.

Re:ugh (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32530008)

When we have a interest in doing so? It's a game. Get your head out of your ass.

At what point do you just make a _real_ fucking post?

Re:ugh (1)

TouchAndGo (1799300) | more than 3 years ago | (#32531322)

Yes, it's a game that now has an option for you to play with a real guitar/keyboard. I can't figure out why this upsets you so much.

Easy Piano (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32526720)

Like this [valcongames.com] , but bigger...

What're they going to call their pop'nmusic clone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32527268)

I think they're just about out of Konami games to rip off.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboardmania

Re:What're they going to call their pop'nmusic clo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32527554)

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Ideas are worthless. It is all about execution. Konami had the idea years ahead of time, but it took Harmonix to execute it properly, creating a game with mass appeal.

Might buy. (-1, Troll)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528042)

Usually I bitch about RockBand and Guitar Hero being largely soulless, heartless games. Has nothing to do with "fake" instruments or whatever. Guitar Freaks/Drum Mania are art, in the sense that the development team is communicating to me what these genres of music mean to them. That's art. Rock Band and Guitar Hero are just product by comparison.

however, with keyboards, if they license Cutting Crew's Just Died In Your Arms Tonight, I'll buy.

Or Journey, or Styx, or...

Re:Might buy. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32528408)

Guitar Freaks/Drum Mania are art

Rock Band and Guitar Hero are just product by comparison.

Judging by this and your username, it's more likely that you're just a weaboo.

Re:Might buy. (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 3 years ago | (#32535964)

Wow, have you ever actually played Guitar Freaks or Drum Mania? Compared to playing Rock Band/Guitar Hero, it's incredibly primitive. It doesn't "communicate" about music any more than Tetris communicates about building construction, what a bullshit thing to say!

What I'd like to see (2, Interesting)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528142)

I'd like to see Accordion Hero with "Weird Al" Yankovic as the game host.

Yeah, keyboard, great... (1)

B Nesson (1153483) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528160)

But do I still have to sing like a goddamn robot?

There has never been a good singing game.

"Pro" mode? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32528548)

I have a MIDI keyboard with pressure and velocity sense and with learning features which are annoying to use at best. I'd love to have something like this teach me how to actually play it...

Why wasn't this done sooner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32529410)

In college we built "keyboard hero" using a Yamaha DX7, a microcontroller, a LED array and other bits and pieces. We had different difficulties of songs from chopsticks to an arrangement of "Koopa Beach."

We lacked polish but it worked great and was well received even though you had to play the song and not some dumbed down key sequence. Could have built to to use a tv but didn't have time that semester. Maybe we should have thrown creative commons on it but someone probably did it before us too.

DIY MIDI tips (0, Offtopic)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 3 years ago | (#32529676)

This is not off-topic! It is about how to make cheap music. Not as cheap as moving 3000 songs between iPods and PCs with USB2, but cheaper than blowing your entire Pell grant at Guitar Center.

    You can make a cheap keyboard by using a PS2 keyboard and an microcontroller. I've uploaded mine to the projects section of www.avrfreaks.net. Also there is a description of making a very cheap continous controller using a 16-cent InfraRed diode, a 16-cent InfraRed detector, and an op-amp. Moving your hand from 1 to 6 inches from the diode/detector pair changes the op-amp voltage between +0.2 and 4 volts. Plug this voltage into the microcontroller's analog-to-digital converter, map it to 0-127 range, and link it to the MIDI PitchBend or Filter Cutoff controller. Add a lot of reverb and echo-delay and you have very cool and very cheap sound.

    Get a free VSTi host and some VSTi instruments for your PC. My absolute favorite is the Nanotron2, which is a Mellotron emulator. Moody Blues, King Crimson, and Strawberry Fields sound nearly exactly like the original recordings.

    Not sure what to play? Download a MIDI file to sheet music notation program and some MIDI files of your favorite songs. You'll need to learn to read music and figure out what the chords are. But if you learned C++ then learning music notation is a breeze. Soon you'll just look at a cluster of notes and know that it's a E-flat, suspended, sixth chord.

    Cheap MIDI synths like the Yamaha TX81Z allow you to get some seriously strange and industrial sounds. You can always resell any old cheap synth that you buy a year later for what you paid for it, if you grow tired of it.

Posers... (-1, Troll)

Vrallis (33290) | more than 3 years ago | (#32530528)

I got sick of all the fools around me playing crap like this, and my response to them was always to not bother me until they picked up a REAL guitar.

So I went out and picked up a real guitar and a decent keyboard myself. Granted, I suck, but at least I'm no poser!

Real-instrument style -- why not the norm? (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 3 years ago | (#32530862)

One thing that has long puzzled me is the simplified, but not skill-transferrable interfaces for Guitar Hero and similar games. Maybe I too could learn an instrument with enough hundreds of hours playing such games ... but I don't have any desire to become a concert-level wielder of ... a "Guitar Hero" controller.

(Far more understandable that in games with swords, the sword's controller is purely symbolic, and that racing games mostly involve automatic transmissions. But musical instruments really are hand-held or at least person-centric, don't smash or cut people* by intent, don't need a track or cleared airspace** -- so, as a non-musical idiot, I would like it if such games all had some didactic effect, even if they're not Mavis-Beacon style.

timothy

* I realize there are exceptions, but bear with me ;))

** OK, OK -- tuba, and probably others, need a bit of airspace ...

Ultimate Rythym Game?!?! (1)

protektor (63514) | more than 3 years ago | (#32532760)

I posted a year ago saying the only thing left, was for one of the Guitar/Band games to add keyboards to their games, then they would finally catch up with Konami.

Komani did this years ago in the arcade and on the PSX and PS2. Yes the linked all their KeyboardMania, DrumMania, and GuitarFreaks systems together into 1 giant band arcade setup. Very few arcades outside of Japan ever bothered though. The main problem that Konami had was that they didn't bother to have their in company bands copy US music hits like Harmonix did in the beginning. Konami tried to do all their own music and stuff that was popular in Japan which is part of the reason why it didn't take off in a huge way in the US, let alone Europe.

KeyboardMania (Arcade/PS2/PC)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboardmania [wikipedia.org]

DrumMania (Arcade/PS2)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DrumMania [wikipedia.org]

GuitarFreaks (Arcade/PSX/PS2)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GuitarFreaks [wikipedia.org]

I have no idea if the new Rock Band 3 will allow you to have 2 keyboard players at the same time in the band, but I will say that Konami already did this in their arcade link up. So you could have 2 guitars, 1 drummer, and 2 keyboard players all playing at the same time on the same song. So you could have 5 people playing on the Konami system. I seriously doubt that Rock Band 3 will be good enough to have 5 instrument players and 1-2 vocalists.

I would imagine that one of the Open Source band game programs will probably eventually have up to 6 or 7 players with a variety of instruments playable. I suspect that it will probably Frets on Fire that gets there first before some of the others. The only issue is if/how-fast they can add 2 or 3 part harmonies to the software. I know that some of the open source Sing-Star clones are already doing 2 part harmonies, so I would think others could do the same.

Now they only need to add the last part of the mix that I have talked about for awhile, to finish the stealing from Konami. They just need to add Dance-Dance-Revolution to the band mix for those back-up singers and dancers you see on stage at some concerts. Add that and the music rhythm games will be all in one for everyone. Then you will have the ultimate rythym/band game. LOL

So to recap, just mix GuitarFreaks, KeyboardMania, DrumMania, Sing-Star, and Dance-Dance-Revolution and the rhythm game field will be all-in-one and the innovation will be over, and we can finally move on to something else.

Yes, I am kind of being sarcastic and trying to be a bit funny, and no I don't ask why people don't learn to play a real instrument instead. Who wants to spend months learning to play a popular song for fun on a real instrument instead of just pressing a few buttons to have fun with a party type game.

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