Rock Band getting user-made tracks

Harmonix and XNA Creators Club allowing anyone to upload their own music to sell as DLC; open beta starts in late August, initially 360-exclusive.

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It's no secret that getting music into a big-time rhythm game can spark significant sales for aspiring and established artists. Until now, the biggest problem for those wanting to get in on the action was cracking the games' tightly controlled setlists. That looks to change soon, as MTV Games and Harmonix today announced Rock Band Network, a program that lets bands prepare and release their own tracks for sale as downloadable content in the game.

A group of XNA Creators Club members celebrates getting their song in Rock Band.

Beginning later this year, anyone with a song, some technical know-how, and an XNA Creators Club membership will have a shot at selling their Rock Band tracks to the masses and walk away with a cut of the proceeds. Using the Reaper Digital Audio Workstation program (available for $225), musicians will be able to take their master-track recordings and add note charts for each instrument.

Once the note tracks are in place, users will be able to upload it to the Rock Band Network Web site as part of the Xbox 360's XNA Creators Club, which has a $49.99 four-month membership or $99.99 annual membership. There the track will go through peer review from other Creators Club members. After earning approval from that community, the song will go up on the Rock Band downloadable song store. According to a Billboard Online report, musicians will be able to price their songs between $.50 and $3 and will receive a 30 percent cut of the sales.

The tracks will be exclusive to the Xbox 360 versions of Rock Band for at least 30 days, but MTV Games has said some songs may find their way to the PlayStation 3 and Wii editions of the game. The publisher also has plans to help artists promote their songs on the service, but it isn't offering details on that just yet.

Discussion

277 comments
Nosferatu2894
Nosferatu2894

$100 for a year? Sorry, playing Foals on my Xbox isn't that important to me.

xbox360555
xbox360555

Now thats awesome! If only i had online connection for my xbox360......

Tengoles
Tengoles

Wow that is prettu cool, i hope everything works out as expected

KSigMTSU
KSigMTSU

Possibly the greatest news ever for this game. This will allow small bands and even large labels to submit music to the game without having to wait for the developer to do it for them. Any band including large ones could do this, through any studio, I can't wait for the flood of great music that could come from this.

Supreme4dmira1
Supreme4dmira1

wow... this is actually really cool. I might have to get my band back together : P (and learn computer game programming!) But I'm sure there will be a bunch of people using this. I wonder what the average song price will be...

luigigreen
luigigreen

This is like 10 million times better then the GH studios. People can make real songs and prepare them however they want, plus they get a cut and can get their sound heard. Very cool.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Sounds like a great idea....as long as people actually use it that is.

KillbombX
KillbombX

@DredWulf: That's exactly what I was thinking. I think this is the only hope for us metalheads after seeing the Guitar Hero 5 songlist.

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

awesome!! hopefully there shall be a crapola load of the living end, tool, nine inch nails and silverchair coming into my collection

Crash6
Crash6

Phenomenal idea!

360James
360James

Sounds like a good step-up into the music industry for smaller bands to me. Looks like a decent addition to a decent game which will soon be copied by GH...

halosniper52
halosniper52

No that's ok I'm good with some real music. Than some BS crap that some little no good bands make, and have to pay for. I will only pay for the real classic rock music.

Gblazer01
Gblazer01

im still waiting for the day when i can play my own songs on Rock band..That would be so SWEET!! ;]

Weddum
Weddum

How many of you actually read the article? All songs go through a peer review process from other Creators Club members. Copyright infringement would be rare as it just takes one person to put their foot down and it doesn't go onto the store. Its a good idea to have this, there are lots of small bands with real talent who may never get recognised and this is a good way to get them the publicity they need.

Vital_Shot
Vital_Shot

That's a neat idea. I wanna see if they follow through with it.

damonkeypirate
damonkeypirate

Why can't rock band and guitar hero stop copying each other...this is obviously a jab at the music creator..and the new GH5 has a revival system in the event that you are playing with people who do terribly...I wish each company could just do things original instead of emulate each other....for once!

basskill2000
basskill2000

not for nothing, it seems like a good idea, but i see lots of copyright law violations and people just getting ripped off for 400 bux and possibly not even getting the song they posted in the download store. this is B$

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

360-exclusive, but not really because it could end up on PS3 and Wii after 30 days, maybe, so it's exclusively non-exclusive potentially... _

DredWulf
DredWulf

I don't know about the intricacies of the prices and all that but imagine how great it would be for those who listen to a particular genre of music like Death Metal or Black Metal...it would be amazing in months we could see Dimmu Borgir, or Immortal, or Vader or Nile stuff that would never be in normally on RB now a possibility...I for one being an extreme metal fanatic look fwd to seeing some more actual metal in the game.

D3A7HJ0K3R
D3A7HJ0K3R

the 360 owners and PS3 owners should team up and defeat the wii, think about it, if the wii gets shut down, that means nobody will want it, boost in sales for Sony and Microsoft. AND we save all of those gamers from playing gay ass garbage games on the Wii (cough** The Conduit cough**) Then we can go back to peace with all of us playing MGSRising on both our consoles. Amen

shinchy
shinchy

So... I get the bits and bobs needed to put the track up. This cost me a total of $325 (I'll get an annual). I sell the track for a resonable $1. I get 30% of each buck, so in order to make my money back I need to sell 1080 copies of this song. I'm unknown, I'm also in a list of thousand because everyone has rushed to the scene asap... Realistically now; I have no chance in hell.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Great to see XNA be so popular :D

saturo123
saturo123

I'm personally excited to be able to be exposed to these smaller bands in the future. I'm always lookin for new stuff to listen to

CNUrGames
CNUrGames

@AlphaCommando I actually disagree. With the Creators Club community peer reviewing the songs before they are allowed on to the marketplace, I think there will be a sufficient buffer to weed out the thousand iterations of whatever garbage wouldnt' be worth buying. One of my favorite parts of the original Guitar Hero was the indie songs that were able to be purchased in game. It's a great way to hear some music aside from what's main stream and give some smaller bands a chance. I would like to see there be an in-game store for this stuff (still using MS points) where you can preview a song before you buy it.

AlphaCommando
AlphaCommando

Custom made songs are gonna be like custom made LBP levels. None of them will be worth buying.

QingJao86
QingJao86

And there goes GT:WT's one advantage.

Javieralijandro
Javieralijandro

sooo, what if i record songs from the rockband library and sell them for 50 cents and i get 30% = alot of money over time ill be rich awesome.

Cwagmire21
Cwagmire21

Copyright infringement here we come!

IMp1l1p1n0
IMp1l1p1n0

What if somebody takes your music and makes money off of it? I know the songs I've made ended up spreading over the internet without me even knowing and without my permission. How will they know the user created that song?

RockmanSRD
RockmanSRD

This is really cool news... But I want them to do this for the PS3 version somehow. I don't want to have to dust off my 360, or get ripped off by the XNA thing just to be able to do this. I've always thought it would be cool if my guy could play the songs I've written for him in his favorite game. XD Maybe that wish isn't too far off now. I've got most all of them recorded, now I would just have to add the button charts to them.

biggest_loser
biggest_loser

I can't wait to let people hear my cover versions of all the songs from Wii Music!!

PradaProxy
PradaProxy

DAMN YOU MICROSOFT FOR XDLC ON ME! I HATE YOU MORE THAN HITLAR!

S2333
S2333

This could be a double edged sword because most people who play these games only play songs they know and love...So I can see popular songs shooting up the charts quickly.

coolkid93
coolkid93

The 360 always gets the good exclusive DLCs. :cry: :P That's pretty neat I wish that the ps3 could have that feature.

witide
witide

I think its great. Both popular and unknown bands will be able to release their own songs as DLC independently. Its a shame they don't have the choice of selling it for free though.

D_West
D_West

Well, this isn't for any joe-videogamer. This is for bands that haven't been discovered yet to have their songs featured on rock band, nothing else. It's a better system than GH WT's MIDI synthesized piano crap

Aang007
Aang007

Naahhh. Might be fun if its free, but i see it as an epic fail as of now.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

congrats for putting something on a dying system first -_- with xbox sales and amount of xbox live members going down swiftly every year, it wasnt a bright idea to put it on the bloody xbox

Hear-No-Evil
Hear-No-Evil

i see this being a flop...a loud and resounding flop

FlamingFury
FlamingFury

Pfft this is kinda silly. There are tonnes of songs to download, this is just a way to make DLC faster. Seriously, this only interested me as I thought it would be free, getting the bands exposure not profit. Paid for DLC in Rhythm games is a bit ridiculous.

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

stupid timed exclusives. it still ain't gonna make me or many others buy your cheap console. i think the idea is great, but i don't think many of these songs that will get released be worth playing tbh. there might be some standouts, but i don't know.

NearlyPrescient
NearlyPrescient

the thing people don't quite realize is that there are a a metric ton of 'up and coming' bands, and not all of them actually generate enough profit that they could actually afford to put their songs up on rock band. any minor band that uses this service is probably going to be doing so by paying almost entirely out of a single member's pockets. besides that, only big name bands sell DLC, which is why harmonix hasn't exactly bothered with bands that aren't pretty popular. if a band had the capital to use this, they likely wouldn't see enough money to cover the expanse, or even begin to make a profit. I doubt very many labels would bother with registering to use this service for their clients with the economy how it is, unless a band or two blows up from this, but that's who I'd expect to get the most out of this. it really sounds like a great service, but in my opinion, it just doesn't seem practical for the no-name bands out there trying to make it big.

paulyc1186
paulyc1186

I love how whenever guitar hero tries to "one up" rock band they always fall short. The music creator for gh is pathetic and no one uses it. RB is taking the basic idea of gh's music creator and making it actually worth something. I'm sure that there are tons of artist who would sooner pay a fee to make real tracks than use a free system that sounds like crap.

HUNTER-VENOM
HUNTER-VENOM

That adds amazing value to the 360 for up and coming artist. Just imagine not having to go to an agent and all those channels to sell your music. you just put it out there if they like it then your set and maybe even then you can go big if someone notices you!

azureblade89
azureblade89

This is a great service, it not only provides indie bands and start ups to be able to put their music on Rock Band, but provides a bar to keep kiddies from putting up crap. Not really so much for users but for up and coming bands. Could also be a way for certain bands to put up songs that HMX has ignored.

joedog05
joedog05

Looks awesome :)! And i've never played rockband... A crime i know!

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

I would never pay for a membership unless I was able to sample the software first. On the surface it looks like a cool idea for musicians and bands... but it's going to come down to how user friendly the RBN software is.