Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Entertainment Games

Rock Band To Allow Independent Artists To Add Their Own Songs 57

Posted by Soulskill
from the paging-stevie-ray-vaughan's-ghost dept.
Bakkster writes "Independent artists will be able to use the XNA Creator's Club to produce the Rock Band note-charts for their music and sell them in game later this year. Bands will use their original song masters and generate a MIDI file that produces the game 'gems' to which players can follow along. Tracks must pass a review process with other XNA members, and then a final approval from MTV Games. Songs will be sold for between 50 cents and $3, with the artist getting a 30% cut after MTV and Microsoft take their cut. The best tracks will also make their way to the Wii and PS3 after a 30-day exclusive period."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rock Band To Allow Independent Artists To Add Their Own Songs

Comments Filter:
  • You write your music. You play your music. You convert your music into the game. We take the profit.

    Note also how it says they get a 30% cut AFTER mtv and microsoft take theirs. So if they both get X% and Y% then they arent getting 30% of the revenue. They are getting .3*(R-X-Y)% and who knows what that really is.

    • Dang it. I didnt mean to use both a decimal & percent in the equation. You guys know what I meant.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Capt. Cooley (1438063)
      the artists still get recognition, though, from having their songs available in the game. and if the song gets popular enough, that can translate into itunes and amazon mp3 downloads, and possibly into album sales.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      TFA is a little more clear than the summary. The artist get 30% of the sales, not anything more complicated. Of course there's a $100 per year fee to be in the XBL Marketplace in the first place. So iTunes requires less work, and pays more money (70%)...

      TFA claims that the more exclusive XBL means each artist is more likely to be noticed, but ignores the fact that each artist is also more likely to be flat-out rejected after all their hard work. So I guess it's like buying a $100 dollar lottery ticket, one

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)

        Of course there's a $100 per year fee to be in the XBL Marketplace in the first place.

        There's also a $100 per year fee to be in Apple's store. So why do so many Slashdot users put down Microsoft but give props to Apple?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sparton (1358159)

          There's also a $100 per year fee to be in Apple's store.

          Lies. The fee for Apple developers is one-time. Comparing the expenses for the two, and they're even, but every year you want to stay a part of the respective gong show, XBL Marketplace gets you paying more and more.

    • by jordapatrick (1135203) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @01:09AM (#28738587)
      According to TFA, artists receive a "30% cut of all sales" not the ambiguous percentage that the summary implies...

      As a side note, I see this as a win for all involved, especially the artists. This service will provide indie groups an opportunity to reach a large market, for very minimal costs, and a source of income in and of itself (albeit relatively small).
      • by Bakkster (1529253)
        Yes, this was an unfortunate wording on my part. The artist gets %30, MS and MTV split the rest.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bugnuts (94678)

      You write your music. You play your music. You convert your music into the game. We take the profit.
      Note also how it says they get a 30% cut AFTER mtv and microsoft take theirs.

      I'm curious... as opposed to what? Not converting your music and being guaranteed of getting nothing?

      If you write your music, and play your music at a venue, would you expect to not pay the venue first?

      • by tepples (727027)

        I'm curious... as opposed to what? Not converting your music and being guaranteed of getting nothing?

        How about promoting your band through a venue other than MTV's Rock Band?

        If you write your music, and play your music at a venue, would you expect to not pay the venue first?

        Pay to play wasn't always the expectation [wikipedia.org].

  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @12:39AM (#28738503) Homepage

    By the time an artist sells a song, they'll owe Microsoft money.

  • That sounds... fun?
  • About time, people have been asking for this since Gutiar Hero 1 I believe, that said, they are requiring that you get the premium subscription to the XNA creators network ($100 per year) according the link.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ragethehotey (1304253)

      that said, they are requiring that you get the premium subscription to the XNA creators network ($100 per year) according the link.

      Whats your point? There has to be SOME barrier to entry. (and the $100 cost to produce iphone apps hasn't even come close to stopping the flood of garbage)

      • by erbbysam (964606)

        I didn't really have a point honestly. I know that this is a relatively small barrier for entry, mostly just pointing it out.

      • by tepples (727027)

        There has to be SOME barrier to entry.

        It's not always just $100 per year; it's also $1,000 to get started because this program is XNA exclusive, and XNA itself is exclusive to the Xbox 360 and Windows platforms. If you own a PLAYSTATION 3 and a PC running Linux, or if you own a Wii and a Macintosh computer, you also need to buy an Xbox 360 and a PC running Windows.

        • this program is XNA exclusive

          Nothing so far released regarding RBN and the Rock Band Creators Club indicates that it will require XNA. XNA Creators Club != XNA Studio, XNA the programming language, XNA the flamethrower, etc.

          Details about Magma, which packages the songs for distribution, haven't been released; all Harmonix says is that it's a "PC tool." That means it may require XNA, but for all we know, it equally might require Java, or COBOL, or shoving your head up your ass. There's just no information yet.

          it's also $1,000 to get

        • by cbhacking (979169)

          Not many platforms that you can develop for without owning the platform in question. The fact that there aren't tools to do this on the Wii isn't Microsoft's fault; complain to Nintendo (or Sony) if you want a hobbiest game development toolkit that you can use for stuff like this.

          The combo of those two things can be had for a lot less than $1000. (In fact, if you already have *any* computer than can run Windows, in terms of its minimum specs, then you should be able to spend under $500.) For that matter, do

  • Comparing the summary, article, and official site [rockband.com]:

    Summary and article: prices range from 50 cents to $3 per song
    Official site: Final pricing has yet to be determined

    Summary: Artists get 30% after MTV and MS take their cut
    Article: Artists get 30% of each sale
    Official site: Artists get "a cut" of each sale

    Where did the figures in the article and summary come from?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by oboreruhito (925965)
      It's from the interview with Harmonix and MTV Games.

      Songs submitted through this process must then be reviewed by other developers to check for playability, inappropriate lyrics, copyright infringement and so on. Harmonix will post approved tracks to an in-game download store separate from its existing "Rock Band" store where creators can set their own price (50 cents to $3 per song) and receive 30% of any resulting sales. Gamers will also be able to demo 30-second samples of each track.

      The Billboard art

      • I swear the link was in the preview. Billboard interview [billboard.biz]
      • this program is XNA exclusive

        Nothing so far released regarding RBN and the Rock Band Creators Club indicates that it will require XNA. XNA Creators Club != XNA Studio, XNA the programming language, XNA the flamethrower, etc.

        Details about Magma, which packages the songs for distribution, haven't been released; all Harmonix says is that it's a "PC tool." That means it may require XNA, but for all we know, it equally might require Java, or COBOL, or shoving your head up your ass. There's just no information yet.

        it's also $1,000 to get

  • This is a big deal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shannara256 (262093) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:07AM (#28738833) Homepage

    This is a HUGE win for everyone: Harmonix the company, Rock Band the games, all of the musicians, and us as players. It's a blend of the iTunes music store and the iTunes app store, both of which were ground-breaking, genre-defining, and they both remain hugely profitable to everyone involved. This is going to let them build up their music library to be even bigger, and it was already large compared to Guitar Hero: World Tour's.

    So far, both RB and GH:WT have been founded on songs sequenced by the game creators. While they've done a good job, and I can't really see another way to get started, it can never scale. There's so much music -- even when you limit the pool to music that can be fairly accurately portrayed by the combination of guitarist, bassist, drummer, and vocalist -- that this approach can only ever be a tiny, tiny drop in the bucket. Releasing the sequencing tools allows for crowd-sourcing, which scales very well indeed. There is going to be so much music available now that never was and never reasonably could be expected to have been made available via the old model.

    I expect that indie musicians, and the savvier mainstream groups (I'm thinking of Radiohead here), will be the first ones in the door. If the record labels know anything about anything (which might be an unreasonable expectation), they'll eventually get in on this too.

    I see two potential problems with this. One is that this could possibly limit their future expansion plans. Presumably there will be a Rock Band 3, and I would expect it to add features from RB: Beatles like multi-part harmonies. If songs are sequenced for RB2, will they be updated to take advantage of newly features in the future? It's very easy to imagine idiotic record labels getting all their stuff in once, with mediocre quality, and then never updating them. Harmonix is going to have to exercise its veto power a lot -- both to keep quality high, and to delay songs that really need upcoming improvements to be played the way they deserve to be.

    The other problem I see is that the Wii and PS2/3 platforms are getting screwed. It'd be one thing if there were ONLY a delay between releasing on the Xbox and releasing on the other platforms -- that'd be ok. But releasing on the Xbox, and then maybe sometimes releasing on the other two, depending on some vaguely-defined metric? That's completely the wrong approach, and sounds like holdover thinking from the old way of doing things. Who's going to judge which tracks are eligible to be transferred to the other systems? At some level, that's always going to end up as judging the song, and more importantly imposing that judgment on the users (the paying customers!) of the other systems. I can't think of a valid reason to segregate the fanbase this way, and I think if they stick to this plan it will come back to bite them.

    Still, based on the initial announcement... huge, HUGE win.

    • by kuzb (724081)
      How is it a win, when you do all the work and they make most of the money? This is almost as awful as the current model record companies use for selling albums.
      • by shawb (16347)
        No big deal, just set up your own content delivery system with Rockband's level of immersion, pay for hosting and bandwith, arrange a payment method, and find and advertise to an audience as large as Rockband provides instantly. Then you don't have to worry about those companies taking 70% off the top of sales.
  • This might just be the tipping point into investing in Rock Band 2 for the Wii.

    Smart move in any case.

    • by Binestar (28861) *
      I'm surprised I haven't seen RawdSD mentioned for the Wii. RawkSD [gbatemp.net] is a program which will export Rock Band 1, GH1-3 (Not world tour (yet)) songs into RB2 format and they'll be playable from the SD bard like current DLC is.

      You can also write your own charts (I can't, I don't have the patience) or get pre-made charts from ScoreHero [scorehero.com] and use your own music to import. It is Ogg based.
    • by greg1104 (461138)

      The Wii is by far the worst platform for playing Rock Band 2. Just the most obvious points:

      • Because of the lack of hard drive, can't assimilate content from other RB titles into the game--can't even play the Wii RB1 song
      • Downloadable content is still a small fraction of what's available for the other platforms, and since there's no bundles available on the Wii it costs far more to purchase a large library of songs from favorite artists.

      • The instrument compatibility situation is a disaster. Check out the inst [joystiq.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This just shows how the music 'industry' works and how it protects its artists. They protect them from making money for their hard work.

    Its about time America live up to their 'free country' slogan and kill monopolies like RIAA & MPAA and create a real free market.

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:13AM (#28739275) Homepage Journal
    What about artists who don't want to charge money for their work?
    • What about artists who don't want to charge money for their work?

      You have no choice. MSN charges to host the song, so they will want their money. Same for Harmonix. I suppose you can give your cut to charity.

      • by YokoZar (1232202)

        What about artists who don't want to charge money for their work?

        You have no choice. MSN charges to host the song, so they will want their money. Same for Harmonix. I suppose you can give your cut to charity.

        Ok, so why can't I cut MSN and Harmonix out of the loop and download the song directly from the internet and then put it in using a CD?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    frets-on-fire [sourceforge.net] has been doing this for a long time. Although, its nice to see the commercial market has caught up with its open source counterpart.

    • Problem with FOF is that it looks ugly and doesn't ship with any music, so its a PTIA to setup. I got my brother to install it on his wii but we ended up playing GH more simply because it
      1) had a story mode
      2) was easier to just play
      3) very few of the frets

      Its a shame FOF would be much better than GH when you have mates round a 4GB dvd could easily fit ~1000 oggs, i reckon i could fix most of my GH worthy music on a single dvd meaning instead of playing some generic 80s metal i don't care for we can rock out

      • You need multitrack files for FOF. Do you have multitracks of all the Rage songs you want to play?
  • What about the copyrights for the songs? Do you maintain total control over your work? Are you signing your songs over to them? Are you granting them an exclusive contract to redistribute your songs in perpetuity? Can you revoke the agreement later and pull your music off their service? If you later "make it big", can they hold this agreement over your head to force you into further contractual agreements with them?

  • What if I want to play my interpretation of "sympathy for the devil"? I'm more than happy to give the Rolling Stones their cut, per the copyright law...
    • by tepples (727027)

      What if I want to play my interpretation of "sympathy for the devil"? I'm more than happy to give the Rolling Stones their cut

      Have you already contacted the Stones' publisher?

      • Have you already contacted the Stones' publisher?

        He doesn't need to.

        At least in the U.S., cover versions of any publicly-distributed songs are covered by compulsory licensing [wikipedia.org], which means the copyright holder is legally compelled to license the song to anyone who asks properly. The recordings are not, which is why sampling and mash-ups run into sticky licensing issues. But there is absolutely nothing whatsoever that the song (lyrics and melody) copyright holder can do to prevent you from recording and selling a cover of a song, as long as you comply with

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by tepples (727027)

          At least in the U.S., cover versions of any publicly-distributed songs are covered by compulsory licensing

          As I understand it, the U.S. compulsory license applies to pure sound recordings, not to audiovisual works that include synchronized media such as "gem" charts.

          • So my iTunes visualizer is violating copyright law whenever I play a cover song?

            • by tepples (727027)

              So my iTunes visualizer is violating copyright law whenever I play a cover song?

              Probably not, for two reasons:

              • The output of the visualizer is not fixed in a tangible medium. Step charts for DDR or gem charts for GH/RB are.
              • Copyright requires either creativity (USA) or labor (UK, Australia) in order to create a derivative work. The output of the visualizer is a mechanical transformation, involving no labor or creativity.
        • by Bakkster (1529253)

          Have you already contacted the Stones' publisher?

          He doesn't need to.

          At least in the U.S., cover versions of any publicly-distributed songs are covered by compulsory licensing [wikipedia.org], which means the copyright holder is legally compelled to license the song to anyone who asks properly.

          Part of the asking properly is 30-days advance notice before being made available. So yes, he would need to contact the publisher beforehand.

  • There's a lot of really good independants out there (I know, captain obvious just called...), and a 30% cut, while not the best thing in the world, is still better than a lot of what these artists would make otherwise in the current environment (so lets call it "baby steps", or "progression"). That will encourage the bests to do even more, and even bring some independants into the mainstream spotlight. Whats not to like?

    If there's some good stuff that pops in there, Ill happily burn hundreds of dollars on t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Helios1182 (629010)

      Even if they don't make money it is cheap advertising. A weekend of setting up the track and $100 to register is cheap, and it will likely result in some sales and better recognition. Most independent artists suffer from a lack of visibility -- it is hard to sell records if no one has heard of you. This might help them out in that area a little bit.

      • by Shados (741919)

        Especially since the 100$ to register is yearly. So they can make a lot of songs for their 100$.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

Working...