Rock Band Network beta takes stage

Harmonix opens up create-a-song tool for indie musicians; call goes out for peer reviewers.

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Like any good headlining act, the Rock Band Network is taking the stage fashionably late. When the idea of an online storefront for user-made Rock Band songs was announced in July, Harmonix and MTV Games said the open beta would debut the following month.

Finally, purveyors of jazz-punk-power-pop-fusion-scat will have a place to sell their wares.
Finally, purveyors of jazz-punk-power-pop-fusion-scat will have a place to sell their wares.

Today, some five months later than originally expected, the developer officially launched the Rock Band Network open beta to anyone with an XNA Creators Club membership. Those interested in authoring their own Rock Band tracks or signing up to be a peer reviewer to assist others with in-development works can register on the Rock Band Network Web site.

Using the Reaper Digital Audio Workstation program, beta participants 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 through the Xbox 360's XNA Creators Club. 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, where musicians will earn 30 percent of whatever revenues the song garners.

The tracks will be exclusive to the Xbox 360 versions of Rock Band for at least 30 days, but "a selection of standout tracks" will find their way to the PlayStation 3 and Wii editions of the game. Harmonix has not said how long the beta period will last or when an official launch of the Rock Band Network will take place.

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