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Rock Band Network Beta Opens Doors, Checks IDs

Harmonix's democratizing music platform has gone public.

 Why does it seem like all music studios are covered in bare wood?
Rock Band Network has officially gone into public beta today, meaning that any Joe Six-String who wasn't in the closed beta can now get started on the process of making their music available in Rock Band. Well, any Joe Six-String with access to multitrack recording technology, a premium XNA Creators Club account, a capable PC, and a fair amount of technical savvy. As someone who spent some time with the closed Rock Band Network beta, I can say that even the process of "auditioning" other people's music on your Xbox 360 makes it very clear that this business is intended for music professionals, or at least those striving to be music professionals, which I am neither. The barrier for entry probably isn't too daunting for people who are serious about this stuff, but lookieloos, be warned! 
 
Read the full press release below, which includes all the details you'll need to get involved in the program.
 

CAMBRIDGE, MA and NEW YORK, NY - Jan. 20, 2010 - Harmonix Music Systems and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), today announced that the Rock Band Network beta program is now open to the public, giving emerging and established artists the tools needed to start authoring and submitting their music into Rock Band.  The Rock Band Network, announced in July, is a ground-breaking initiative that gives musicians, publishers and record labels the ability to author their original recordings into gameplay files to promote and sell their music as playable Rock Band tracks through the soon-to-launch Rock Band Network Music Store (RBN Store).
 
“We are excited to democratize the Rock Band platform and expand the music discovery experience to the greater music community with the Rock Band Network,” said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder of Harmonix.  “We believe this will be great for fans, music lovers, bands and the music industry as a whole.”
 
"The Rock Band Network opens the Rock Band universe to musicians at any stage of their career, empowering them to release the songs they choose, on their timetable, via our proven music distribution platform," said Paul DeGooyer, Senior Vice President of Electronic Games and Music for MTV Networks Music Group. "It is a high-value business proposition that features powerful promotional impact for artists and songwriters, while at the same time adding real sales to their bottom lines."
 
Artists who submit songs for the Rock Band Network Music Store will be able to choose from multiple pricing tiers for individual tracks and receive a royalty of 30 percent of the retail selling price (excluding tax) for every track purchased through the RBN Store. Before they are approved to be sold, songs are submitted to http://Creators.RockBand.com. The author submits the song to one of two areas: Playtest, where the community delivers feedback on a work in progress track, or Peer Review, where a revised song goes when it is considered a final draft and ready to be posted for sale. Once in Peer Review, songs are tested for playability and checked to check for violations of XNA Creators Club Online community standards (vulgarity, adult content, legal concerns, etc.). Peer Reviewers have the unique opportunity to play Rock Band Network content for free, well in advance of a track’s commercial release. These fans can help shape the track’s final form, rating how fun and challenging the authoring is, and helping flag issues to make the song the best it can be. Anyone who owns Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, can join the Playtest and Peer Review processes by purchasing an XNA Creators Club Online Premium membership through http://creators.xna.com/membership.
 
Once tracks are approved, they will be transferred to the Rock Band Network Store, an in-game music marketplace where the millions of Rock Band fans will be able to both hear and play samples of songs before they purchase. Songs will debut exclusively on Xbox 360 for 30 days. A selection of standout tracks will then be made available on the PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and the Wii™ home videogame console from Nintendo.
 
How to get started:
 
·         Wondering How to Submit a Song? http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Website Scroll down to “Adding a song to the pipeline."
 
·         Want to Become a Peer Reviewer? http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Playtest_Process
 
The Rock Band Network Store will open to consumers in the near future to be announced at a later date. With more than 1,000 tracks available to date in the standard Rock Band platform, the Rock Band Network Music Store will exponentially increase the number of available songs, further securing MTV Games and Harmonix’s position as the leading provider of downloadable content for music-based video games.
 
To check out the Rock Band Network in action, featuring Jonathan Coulton, please visit here: http://www.rockband.com/zine/rbn-panels-3-comm/.

37 Comments
Posted by Ryan
 Why does it seem like all music studios are covered in bare wood?
Rock Band Network has officially gone into public beta today, meaning that any Joe Six-String who wasn't in the closed beta can now get started on the process of making their music available in Rock Band. Well, any Joe Six-String with access to multitrack recording technology, a premium XNA Creators Club account, a capable PC, and a fair amount of technical savvy. As someone who spent some time with the closed Rock Band Network beta, I can say that even the process of "auditioning" other people's music on your Xbox 360 makes it very clear that this business is intended for music professionals, or at least those striving to be music professionals, which I am neither. The barrier for entry probably isn't too daunting for people who are serious about this stuff, but lookieloos, be warned! 
 
Read the full press release below, which includes all the details you'll need to get involved in the program.
 

CAMBRIDGE, MA and NEW YORK, NY - Jan. 20, 2010 - Harmonix Music Systems and MTV Games, a part of Viacom’s MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), today announced that the Rock Band Network beta program is now open to the public, giving emerging and established artists the tools needed to start authoring and submitting their music into Rock Band.  The Rock Band Network, announced in July, is a ground-breaking initiative that gives musicians, publishers and record labels the ability to author their original recordings into gameplay files to promote and sell their music as playable Rock Band tracks through the soon-to-launch Rock Band Network Music Store (RBN Store).
 
“We are excited to democratize the Rock Band platform and expand the music discovery experience to the greater music community with the Rock Band Network,” said Alex Rigopulos, CEO and co-founder of Harmonix.  “We believe this will be great for fans, music lovers, bands and the music industry as a whole.”
 
"The Rock Band Network opens the Rock Band universe to musicians at any stage of their career, empowering them to release the songs they choose, on their timetable, via our proven music distribution platform," said Paul DeGooyer, Senior Vice President of Electronic Games and Music for MTV Networks Music Group. "It is a high-value business proposition that features powerful promotional impact for artists and songwriters, while at the same time adding real sales to their bottom lines."
 
Artists who submit songs for the Rock Band Network Music Store will be able to choose from multiple pricing tiers for individual tracks and receive a royalty of 30 percent of the retail selling price (excluding tax) for every track purchased through the RBN Store. Before they are approved to be sold, songs are submitted to http://Creators.RockBand.com. The author submits the song to one of two areas: Playtest, where the community delivers feedback on a work in progress track, or Peer Review, where a revised song goes when it is considered a final draft and ready to be posted for sale. Once in Peer Review, songs are tested for playability and checked to check for violations of XNA Creators Club Online community standards (vulgarity, adult content, legal concerns, etc.). Peer Reviewers have the unique opportunity to play Rock Band Network content for free, well in advance of a track’s commercial release. These fans can help shape the track’s final form, rating how fun and challenging the authoring is, and helping flag issues to make the song the best it can be. Anyone who owns Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, can join the Playtest and Peer Review processes by purchasing an XNA Creators Club Online Premium membership through http://creators.xna.com/membership.
 
Once tracks are approved, they will be transferred to the Rock Band Network Store, an in-game music marketplace where the millions of Rock Band fans will be able to both hear and play samples of songs before they purchase. Songs will debut exclusively on Xbox 360 for 30 days. A selection of standout tracks will then be made available on the PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and the Wii™ home videogame console from Nintendo.
 
How to get started:
 
·         Wondering How to Submit a Song? http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Website Scroll down to “Adding a song to the pipeline."
 
·         Want to Become a Peer Reviewer? http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Playtest_Process
 
The Rock Band Network Store will open to consumers in the near future to be announced at a later date. With more than 1,000 tracks available to date in the standard Rock Band platform, the Rock Band Network Music Store will exponentially increase the number of available songs, further securing MTV Games and Harmonix’s position as the leading provider of downloadable content for music-based video games.
 
To check out the Rock Band Network in action, featuring Jonathan Coulton, please visit here: http://www.rockband.com/zine/rbn-panels-3-comm/.

Staff
Posted by The_Philosopher

A quicklook of this would be neat.

Posted by Afroman269

Looking forward to playing some Midnight Brown songs, hopefully!

Posted by Jackel2072

yeah i like to see a quick look of this as well

Posted by Xeiphyer

I want all the Midnight Brown songs, GO JEFF GO!

Posted by Skald

Ambitious. 
 
It's a shame Activision's Guitar Hero publishing shenanigans are killing this genre.

Posted by copycatzen
@The_Philosopher said:
"A quicklook of this would be neat. "
Posted by Rinkalicous

Argh goddam! I made a song, got an XNA membership, but now I'm shot down because I'm not a resident of the United States of America(!). This is not the first time my non-American status has screwed me over. God. Damn.

Edited by SCOOTMAN
Posted by HypoXenophobia
Posted by IcySandman

They cover the studios with wood to cover the insulation I suppose, right?  I might intern at a studio and solve this mystery.

Edited by Phished0ne
@The_Philosopher said:

" A quicklook of this would be neat.   

 
 
I agree
Edited by EvilTwin
@Rinkalicous said:

" Argh goddam! I made a song, got an XNA membership, but now I'm shot down because I'm not a resident of the United States of America(!). This is not the first time my non-American status has screwed me over. God. Damn. "

I could just marry you if you want.
 
@The_Philosopher said:
" A quicklook of this would be neat. "
Also, this.
Posted by Jost1
@SCOOTMAN: if i had a nickel for every time i was offended by someone's use of "anusdrill" then I would probably not have a single nickel
Posted by Rinkalicous
" @SCOOTMAN said:
" has anyone read the offensive word list for this? Most of it is offensive but some aren't (crap) or just weird (anusdrill?)  
 
"
This list is hilarious. Does someone want to explain 'Spaghetti Cormorant' to my innocent self, or do I not wanna know? I'm intrigued as to what it could possibly mean.
Posted by ajamafalous
@HypoXenophobia: Am I reading this list right? Can't say "Monstrosity"?
Posted by Atomasist
@Rinkalicous:  To my knowledge and google it has something to do with Reaper which is some music system thing.
Posted by FunExplosions

 

Bodily

Anus
Anusdrill
Arsepuss
Ballbag
Bedwetter
Boobs
Clit
Clitoris
Cock
Cunt
Dick
Dickwad
Flange
Foetus
Gash
Helmet Cheese
Minge
Mong
Muff
Myballz
Nob
Penis
Piss
Prick
Pussy
Quim
Shit
Shlong
Tits
Twat
Twunt
Vadge
 
Doesn't get much funnier than that.

Posted by Jensonb

Fingers crossed for Midnight Brown in Rock Band!
 
Also, someone call Evan Brass - we need the Giant Bomb Disney Channel Show Theme Song in Rock Band as well.

Posted by TheHT

Wow, that list has sparked my curiosity. Onwards browser, make for Google!

Online
Posted by jonnyboy
@extremeradical said:
" Ambitious.  It's a shame Activision's Guitar Hero publishing shenanigans are killing this genre. "
Both Guitar Hero: Metallica and The Beatles: Rock Band were pretty damn good, I think killing the genre is pretty harsh. Over saturation I'll agree with.
Posted by addictedtopinescent

Ehh  
God, Judas, Anusdrill, WTF

Posted by NMC2008
@extremeradical: 
 Rock Band is killing the genre, not Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero or Activision became startled at the sheer amount of attention Rock Band got, it being from former employers that are Harmonix, MTV felt they needed a piece of the plastic pie thus making Rock Band with the originators of the GH franch., thing is, Activision then became threatened by Rock Band thus copying Rock Band to try and steal some of it's success and praise, while it was a bad move at the time because of folks calling copycat and losing a bit of respect for the franch, it eventually became accepted as it was the way they were going, the reason Acti releases so many games is because MTV seems to have DLC on lockdown from a quality perspective and it got praised to high heaven for it, of course Acti was thrown back even more-so after their efforts with GHWT were met with meh responses while Rock Band is on top of the world.
 
Acti then wanted to be back on top so they began to make deals with any popular groups they could(Aerosmith & Metallica)to combat the popularity of their former employees and it's competing publisher EA, Acti, much like the jealous ignored gf went on a rampage releasing game after game trying it's best to be the big girl on campus again but before they knew it, it was too late.
 
I hope you all enjoyed my story, it's the way I see things in the plastic instrument genre, sure I may be 100% wrong but that is how I see it as I have been following GH since GH 2, people will just say nah, Acti was greedy and wanted money, no, Acti was butt-hurt because they were beat at their own game(not in my opinion as I think GH owns Rock Band, except GHWT, that was awful)and Acti just wants their crown full of money back, the fight between Acti AND EA has killed the genre, not just Acti.
Posted by HaltIamReptar
@NMC2008: I wish with all of my heart and all of my feelings that was coherent.  I just spent the last ten minutes reading that over and over again, trying to figure out what you are trying to say, and I got nothing.  I want my ten minutes back.
Posted by Milkman

Really excited to see what people can do with this even if I can't do anything with it that's worth a damn.

Posted by HatKing

Is it bad that as somebody who plays video games and is totally into making music... I have no interest in going through this at all?  Seriously it sounds like a lot of head aches for not much pay off.
Posted by Brendan
@HaltIamReptar said:
" @NMC2008: I wish with all of my heart and all of my feelings that was coherent.  I just spent the last ten minutes reading that over and over again, trying to figure out what you are trying to say, and I got nothing.  I want my ten minutes back. "

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh and boom goes the dynamite.
Posted by liquidben

Brad Sucks* will  be on there, which is awesome
 http://www.bradsucks.net/archives/2009/11/22/brad-sucks-rock-band-preview/
 
* No relation to our Bradley

Posted by DukeTogo

Wood has properties that make it a natural sound insulator, it also has great acoustics.  It also is better than alternatives like metal that reverberates and resonates wit the slightest vibration.  Metal is used at times but it needs to be covered with carpet or a sprayed-on coating.

Posted by Unlogik

Dood in the photo looks f'in bombed!

Posted by Konanda
@Rinkalicous said:
"Argh goddam! I made a song, got an XNA membership, but now I'm shot down because I'm not a resident of the United States of America(!). This is not the first time my non-American status has screwed me over. God. Damn. "

Damn and I was thinking of making a song for this, licensing issues be fucking wack. Still I wouldn't trade my Canadian citizenship for any of that stuff ever.
Posted by Mordi

Is this available in europe? 
 
You know, you're not alone in this world, Mister America.

Posted by jonnyboy
@Mordi said:
" Is this available in europe?  You know, you're not alone in this world, Mister America. "
Ssshhhh we're trying to keep that quiet. They might decide to liberate us.
Edited by DeBurgo
@NMC2008 
The reason why Activision puts out so many games isn't because HMX/MTV have DLC "on lockdown", it's more because Activision isn't even really trying to support their DLC. They see it as more profitable to have people spend 60 bucks on yearly installments and band packs at retail than spend money on DLC. And it seems they're right about that, at least in the short-run.
Posted by Cheapoz

Crap, wait, what? You can't submit songs if you're outside the US. 
 
Does this mean we'll even be able to buy songs from outside the US?!

Posted by tychoon

Lol, is there a single rock song that qualifies??

Edited by b08smith
@Jensonb said:

" someone call Evan Brass - we need the Giant Bomb Disney Channel Show Theme Song in Rock Band as well. "

 
Oh god yes!!  I would buy that song in an instant, someone please make it happen :)