Rock Band 2 update debuts Audition mode

Harmonix's rhythm game gains song-upload functionality for 360's upcoming Network initiative; wireless mics, background DLC downloading, more.

In July, Harmonix announced the next evolution of its popular rhythm game platform Rock Band, taking the lid off of the Rock Band Network. Not entirely unlike the Music Studio mode that Activision debuted in Guitar Hero World Tour, the Rock Band Network will let musicians create playable versions of their own songs as part of Microsoft's XNA Creators Club and then sell those tunes as downloadable content for Rock Band 2.

Get this man a wireless mic!

While the Rock Band Network is still in closed beta testing, Harmonix took a big step today toward rolling out the full service as part of a substantial update to Rock Band 2. As part of the update, Xbox 360 gamers can now have access to Audition mode, letting them upload and test their songs created on a PC. The Rock Band Network is expected to be available for the PlayStation 3 and Wii, following its Xbox 360 debut in November.

Harmonix's update also included a number of other tweaks to Rock Band 2. Notably, Xbox 360 gamers can now use wireless microphones with the game, namely Microsoft's proprietary mic used in its karaoke rhythm game Lips. Players will also now be able to sort by star level in Quickplay mode, and Harmonix has implemented the same chord hammer-on/pull-off mechanism seen in The Beatles: Rock Band.

With the Rock Band platform having accrued more than 60 million downloads, Harmonix has also introduced the ability to queue up song downloadable content, removing the wait time between purchasing and receiving new content. Lastly, the update adds velocity sensitivity to the limited-edition Ion Drum kits for drum fills and Drum Freestyle mode.

For more on Rock Band 2, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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Discussion

54 comments
TonyKoeffler
TonyKoeffler

damit i have rock band for my PS3. this is just my luck. i just downloaded a bunch of songs off of PSN too.

chano7
chano7

The power of the Rock

okassar
okassar

Rock Band pwns,I just feel it's "cleaner" than Guitar Hero,I have no idea why,lol. Both are fun though,don't get me wrong.

Platinumfish
Platinumfish

We use wireless mics for RB2 since we got hold of them on PS3 - no update was necessary.

finaleve
finaleve

Jshaw71 > Honestly, by the time WT came out, I had most of the songs on the setlist on RB either by RB2 or by DLC. I think there was only 1 song I really want from that setlist, Rooftops by Lost Prophets and thats because I love their music. Was wondering what the update was. Do not recall the last update they had for this game.

maxgrandpiggy
maxgrandpiggy

This will be great theres been endless times I have wanted to play well anything I got bored of the rockband tracklist very quickly now I can just upload some new songs and go sick on the drums

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

sounds interesting, but micrsoft can throw all the bells and whistles in the game they want to, but unless the tracklist is great, it will be another game not played, rb2 imo had a bad tracklist, ghwt,'s was superior, yet, i bought both games, and sometimes find myself playing rb2, but not as much as ghwt, oh well...

VicMackey
VicMackey

This is the sort of thing that solidifies Rock Band's position as the rhythm game of choice for the discerning lady or gentleman. Let the slatterns and ragamuffins have their Guitar Hero.

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

Rockband 2 is awesome I'm so happy that its region free as it still hasn't been released from its red tape in Australia.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

"Sort by star level" - what does this mean? By difficulty? by previous score? At first I was hope this was a way to sort by 'favorites'... Customers to Harmonix: "I have a ton of songs... I want to have quick access to the songs I LIKE to play above all the rest. Please let me rank my songs and sort by my ranking... that is all".

theholyemu
theholyemu

Sweet. I have a ion and didnt like how it didnt read how soft or hard you hit it like with the regular RB2 set.

heroickid93
heroickid93

wow you have to pay for the songs people made?...not surprising they love taking money from rockband people

Narutofan30
Narutofan30

Well Harmonix hasent let me Down........ yet there bringing the Update to PS3! now lets just hope they keep up with that Beatles DLC!

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

Good. I have the ION Drum kit and was wondering what the deal was there! You can really hear the difference when pounding the snare or hitting the crash cymbal with the sensitivity working on fills, and at the end of songs with the 'Big Finish'.... and of course free style mode.

Babywarrior5
Babywarrior5

Criterion and Harmonix are the two best game studios around! Fan support FTW. *Eagerly waits for the PS3 patch*

Mister__Awesome
Mister__Awesome

Rockband is attempting to do away with Guitar Hero, and quite frankly i think it'll be done soon.

Fryboy101
Fryboy101

may seem like a small thing, but the hammer-on/pull-off chord mechanism from B:RB is a great tweak to the gameplay. i feel the hammer-on chords were done perfectly in B:RB

mrklorox
mrklorox

@vetookie: It's not only that, but one also needs an even more expensive XNA creators club account. However I'm sure they'll allow silver (free) Live members to buy the final tracks.

mrklorox
mrklorox

True dedication that Neversoft has Nevershown.

chesed
chesed

Now this is how updates should be!

XeonForce
XeonForce

It's about time! Star tracking and velocity sensitivity for the Ion drums, can't freaking wait for the update on the PS3, wtg Harmonix!

MrMartinLee
MrMartinLee

This is good news for Xbox owners right now, and hopefully will be good news for everyone at some point down the line, as Wii will hopefully get the new features when the next game is released. It's great to see Harmonix continue to support and gradually improve this game instead of releasing infinite sequels. They got the formula so right the first time that it really only needs small tweaks.

Dire_Weasel
Dire_Weasel

Thanks, Harmonix! Keep making and supporting great games and I'll keep buying them.

C_T_SKYE
C_T_SKYE

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

vetookie
vetookie

Pitty I don't have bloomin' Xbox Live

RakinR
RakinR

wow im throwing out my world tour and getting RB2 but keeping hte instruments/hardware LOL

Triton
Triton

Good news, keep up the great work. Finally something I can really use my wife's "Lips" on...

puablo
puablo

This is why I love Harmonix.

OneBadLT123
OneBadLT123

This is awesome. Harmonix owns all. This is what gaming companies do to support their fans.

baystatethrashr
baystatethrashr

nice to see that they see still supporting this game even though they have made it clear that that they are working on a sequel. if only activision did this isntead of making a new game every 3 months.

xbox360555
xbox360555

Its great but i already read it on gameinformer.

smbius
smbius

Rock Band 2 > Guitar Hero 3 through 12

Lucidmike78
Lucidmike78

Wow, this is revolutionary for music. I can't believe they are updating a year old game for free!

Rubarack
Rubarack

"Not entirely unlike the Music Studio mode that Activision debuted in Guitar Hero World Tour" I suppose this is true, in the same way a Boeing 747 isn't entirely unlike a 1957 Hillman Avenger. Still a bit of an odd comparison though.

Genexi2
Genexi2

I'm still waiting for my ******* RB2 update for PS3 that fixes the voice-chat issue where everyone's voice comes out the main speakers alongside the racket that is the game music, rather than that speaker I got shoved into my ear which I have my PS3 set to use.

Rev8691
Rev8691

Harmonix makes the quality game, Red Octane makes the quality instruments. that's why Guitar Hero[original] was the best and still is the best rhythm game made. Guitar hero still has the better notes (round over squared, much better for timing), but Rock Band has that certain polish to it. Though Guitar Hero 5 was a positive step for the franchise. But these rhythm games are getting so old, because both of them have something missing, and thats each other. if only Hamonix and Red Octane could get back together and just call it Band Hero (forget the band hero activision is making).

BattleSword1
BattleSword1

See, guys? Guitar Hero probably would have made you buy an entirely new freaking game for just this feature. Rock Band, will you marry me?

Airek49
Airek49

@Trogeton Running out of song ideas? Where have you been... every single week since the release of the original Rock Band?

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

lol Eat your shorts activision. "Updating a game instead of just releasing a slightly modified game twice a year...?" Props to Harmonix, Im so glad I went Rock Band.

Trogeton
Trogeton

OMG and people say GH milks.. dude this is taking milking to a new level.. yeah the have 1 new mode while guitar hero has more modes than rock band has difficult songs..lol i guess they are running out of song ideas so they have to move to game modes desperation is showing

SocialAnXieTy
SocialAnXieTy

See, now Harmonix could have easily decided to wait to put this onto Rock Band 3 next year, but instead they're treating their fans the way they should be treated.. it's things like this that will always make me more preferable to Harmonix than Neversoft in the Rhythm Game genre. Eat your heart out Activision.

thetravman
thetravman

Audition mode on Wii please. I want to share my stuff also, and Im not getting a 360 and the same game just to use it.

RLJSlick
RLJSlick

Very cool, too bad they didn't have this when RB2 first came out.

frogiggy323
frogiggy323

This is so cool they're patching the game to add these awesome new features instead of making you buy a new game. Not to mention the potential to publish your own real music instead of a low quality ringtone. I seriously can't wait to discover some awesome new bands in November!

ckat609
ckat609

The ION patch is great... i just wish they would add some sort of differentiation between pads and cymbals for the cymbals add on pack and the ION cymbals. Having cymbals is great but it can really be frustrating when you don't know when you're supposed to hit them.

PEELEDbanana
PEELEDbanana

Kind of wish it was in RB 1 though, being that I didn't pick up RB 2 because I don't play Rock Band all that much. Oh well.

cutmaclass1
cutmaclass1

The infamously evasive "Stars" patch is finally here!!! Though its functionality could have been a bit better. You have to replay all of your songs to have them sorted into a "star" category. @ The guy below me: Uh, what? RB2 has been out for a year, so you're a little late to THAT party. And it's hardly a repackage - online tour mode, single-player world tour, challenge mode, battle of the bands challenges, the menu systems, and now Rock Band Network all hugely differentiate RB2 from RB1. Have you even played these games? You don't happen to work for Neversoft, do you? If you want to talk repackaging you might want to go talk to Activision.