Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Games

While My Guitar Gently Beeps 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the happiness-is-a-warm-axe dept.
theodp writes "As the world prepares to meet the Beatles all over again on 9-9-9, the NY Times Magazine takes a look at the making of The Beatles: Rock Band, and asks a Fab Four tribute band to take the game for a test drive. (Not surprisingly, they fare well.) 'As huge as Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been over the past few years,' says Harmonix Music Systems co-founder Alex Rigopulos, 'I still think we're on the shy side of the chasm because the Beatles have a reach and power that transcends any other band.' The Beatles: Rock Band follows the group's career from Liverpool to the concert on the roof of Apple Corps in London in 1969 (trailer). The first half of the game recreates famous live performances; the second half weaves psychedelic dreamscapes around animations of the Beatles recording in Studio Two. 45 songs deemed the most fun to play, rather than the band's most iconic numbers, come with the game."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

While My Guitar Gently Beeps

Comments Filter:
  • This could be the app that makes casual- and party-gamers splurge on a console for themselves. I suspect the console chosen would be whatever they played the game on at a friend's house.

    • This summary almost tempts me to buying this game, as well as whatever console I'd need to play it on. I'm not a fan of consoles or gaming gadgets usually, but a psychedelic Beatles trip is something I'd sign on for.

  • by andi75 (84413) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:36AM (#29089293) Homepage

    From the article:

    > Apple's preoccupation with security meant that the high-quality audio "stems" he created never left Abbey Road.
    > If the separated parts leaked out, every amateur D.J. would start lacing mixes with unauthorized Beatles samples.
    > Instead, Martin created low-fidelity copies imprinted with static for the Harmonix team to take back to the States -- in their carry-on luggage.

    And why would that be such a terribly bad thing? It's exactly this kind of gone-out-of-control control-thinking that makes me respect the idea of copyright less and less. I believe that trying to 'make a quick buck' from the work of others is unethical. But creatively extending someone else's work is art.

    On a unrelated note: Has someone already managed to rip the individual tracks off the Guitar Hero / Rock Band games? I assume they're not just simply there as .wav files on the CD :-)

    • by daid303 (843777) on Monday August 17, 2009 @03:49AM (#29089341)
      For the Guitar Hero and Rock Band songs, look on the FretsOnFire user forums. Or on your favorite torrent site (search for FretsOnFire).
    • by sapphire wyvern (1153271) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:18AM (#29089419)

      I find that quote particularly poignant when compared to this quote:

      McCartney sees the game as âoea natural, modern extensionâ of what the Beatles did in the â(TM)60s, only now people can feel as if âoethey possess or own the song, that theyâ(TM)ve been in it.â

      So, people can feel as if they possess or own the song - but Apple Corp, the owners of the Beatles' music (including McCarney), can't tolerate the thought of anyone getting ambitious and wanting to actually do something creative with it, like recombine elements of the Beatles' work into something new! This is a thin and watery form of ownership indeed.

      • can't tolerate the thought of anyone getting ambitious and wanting to actually do something lucrative with it, like recombine elements of the Beatles' work into something new!

        Fixed that for you. I see nothing wrong with wanting to protect their asset. If someone else wants to be creative, fine...let them go ahead and write some amazing music that transcends generations and then release it all for free, that's their choice. Just don't project their particular views onto others.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:29AM (#29089451)

      The ironic part is that this thinking is exactly what copyright was supposed to combat. Before the days of copyright, playwriters had bodyguards for the scripts they passed out to their actors because they feared if they took it home it could be copied. Opera composers went out of their way to make sure their new libretti were not heard before the big premiere (there's stories of opera singers practicing on boats on the sea so nobody could hear them).

      And now we're there again. Content creators going to lenths and putting people through hardships as if copyright didn't exist. Forcing performers and audience alike to jump through hoops and swallow poor quality in an attempt to protect their precious works.

      Why again did we have copyright in the first place?

      • by teflaime (738532)
        This is all true. But the reason that copyright is no longer effective at protecting work is that people lose respect for copyrights when they are extended essentially forever. Return copyright to 20 or 40 years, and I believe people would be a lot more respectful of it. Moreover, a larger number of people would be willing to support harsher penalties for copyright infringment if it were considerably shorter, IMO.
        • by dangitman (862676)

          Return copyright to 20 or 40 years, and I believe people would be a lot more respectful of it.

          That's extremely naive of you.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        Why again did we have copyright in the first place?

        Duh. So that when those mechanisms fail, they can sue you.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Before the days of copyright, playwriters had bodyguards for the scripts they passed out to their actors because they feared if they took it home it could be copied....Content creators going to lenths and putting people through hardships as if copyright didn't exist. Forcing performers and audience alike to jump through hoops and swallow poor quality in an attempt to protect their precious works.

        What's ironic? Your point seems to be that before the existence of copyrights, artists would sometimes protect their work with literal brute force. You then go on to imply that modern artists are somehow acting unreasonably by utilizing the copyright method for protecting their work (as if this is worse or equivalent to the body guards). Furthermore, you imply that people are having to endure "hardships" and are being asked to "jump through hoops" to access the art produced, which seems just ridiculous

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by SydShamino (547793)

          I think it's unfair to imply that any artist should be forced to allow his work to be used by anyone at any time in whatever way they deem necessary including ways that profit the person(s) doing the re-interpreting/re-imagining of the art.

          If the music should be in the public domain, as the early works of the Beatles should be by now, then it's totally fair that the artist should be "forced" to "allow" his work to be used in any way imaginable.

          If the artist wanted to control his work forever, he should have kept it in a little trunk in his attic.

          • by dangitman (862676)

            If the music should be in the public domain, as the early works of the Beatles should be by now,

            OK, so why should they be in the public domain by now? Doesn't the law state otherwise? And even if the works were in the public domain, how does that get you access to the master tapes?

            • Well, what did the law state when the early works of Beatles were created?

              The (theoretical) idea of a long copyright period is to encourage creativity. But what's the point of extending the copyright of that which has already been created? Extending periods retroactively will only stifle creativity, since creative reuse is hindered - while what has already been created is already there. From that point of view, both Disney movies and early Beatles songs should be in the public domain by now.

              • by dangitman (862676)

                The (theoretical) idea of a long copyright period is to encourage creativity. But what's the point of extending the copyright of that which has already been created? Extending periods retroactively will only stifle creativity, since creative reuse is hindered

                Wouldn't stifling reuse actually stimulate creativity? After all, it means people have to actually come up with new ideas, rather than simply recycling the old.

                From that point of view, both Disney movies and early Beatles songs should be in the public domain by now.

                Right. So this is just your opinion, with nothing based on the actual laws.

                • Wouldn't stifling reuse actually stimulate creativity? After all, it means people have to actually come up with new ideas, rather than simply recycling the old.

                  You haven't by any chance created any art yourself, have you? And if you have, was it really ex nihilio - or were you by any chance inspired by anyone else? It is with art as it is with science, you build upon that which has come before you. Sometimes you are inspired, and borrow (such as both Beatles and Disney did a lot of), and sometimes you react. But indifference is never the source of great art.

                  From that point of view, both Disney movies and early Beatles songs should be in the public domain by now.

                  Right. So this is just your opinion, with nothing based on the actual laws.

                  You know that I'm not the person you originally responded to, right?

                  Anyway, SydShamino used the word 'should

                  • Thank you for arguing my position so eloquently

                  • by dangitman (862676)

                    You haven't by any chance created any art yourself, have you? And if you have, was it really ex nihilio - or were you by any chance inspired by anyone else?

                    I certainly have. And yes, I take inspiration from other sources. But that's very different from outright reusing something. By the way, I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I was just playing devil's advocate, because this "copyright stifles creativity" canard is repeated ad nauseam around here, without any thought going into it. I'd like to see any evidence that this is true. We live in an age of prevalent copyright, yet creativity is everywhere. From what I've observed, the most creative work tends to come

                    • especially when the reasons you claim for making the changes contain logical fallacies.

                      Hang on a minute. I never argued for the extension of copyright. And where did I make a logical fallacy? Me pointing out what the current situation is, is not the same as me arguing for the current situation.

                      This was the general 'you' of people arguing for extension of copyright, and not the personal you to whom I respond. I apologize for the lack of clarity.

                      Still, the general argument made for copyright extension is that it encourages creativity. While making it retroactive only encourages people to live on old accomplishments, instead of making new creations. Indeed, the current copyright terms are so generous that prolonging them even longer will under no circumstances benefit the creator. Thus, any argument

        • Da Vinci's Mona Lisa is not under copyright, so you could use it for a favicon or stick it on a t-shirt if you wanted. I wouldn't recommend trying to trademark it, as it's a little too well-known to make your brand distinctive, but if you decide to attempt it no one will bring a copyright infringement suit to stop you.

          "Catcher in the Rye" was published in 1951, so it's very much still under copyright protection.

          The argument isn't that it's different for music; the argument is that extensions to the copyrig

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by CopaceticOpus (965603)

      Copyright is intended to encourage creative works. I'm sure that if the Beatles knew that someone was just going to remix their music 40 years later, they never would have bothered to record it. And who would have bought it when they could just wait 40 years for some DJ to remix it?

    • by Critical Facilities (850111) * on Monday August 17, 2009 @09:41AM (#29091781) Homepage

      I believe that trying to 'make a quick buck' from the work of others is unethical. But creatively extending someone else's work is art.

      As a composer/songwriter myself, I must ask: How do you intend to differentiate between these 2? Who should be the judge of that?

      You have a right to your opinion, but I disagree with you and with others who seem to be vehemently opposed to the idea of there being any regulation of copyright. I'll never understand why it's perceived that wanting to protect something I've created from being used either in a way that I don't agree with, or in a way that someone else gets to benefit from is so wrong. Why on earth should I have to be cool with the idea of someone re-packaging or re-interpreting something I've done artistically? If I choose to allow that to happen, that's one thing. But, to assume that I should be forced to do so is a little one sided, in my opinion.

      • by gdek (202709)

        "Why on earth should I have to be cool with the idea of someone re-packaging or re-interpreting something I've done artistically? If I choose to allow that to happen, that's one thing. But, to assume that I should be forced to do so is a little one sided, in my opinion."

        Guess what? It's not up to you, Individual Artist, and never was, and never will be. Whether you are "cool" or "not cool" with it is entirely beside the point. Good artists borrow; great artists steal. It's cliched because it's the absol

        • by morari (1080535)

          Trent Reznor wasn't cool with Johnny Cash performing Hurt. Doesn't matter now, does it?

          No, it really doesn't. Not since Cash is dead. Other artists playing the song at Cash's tribute concert was taking it a little too far however. Of course, I always thought that turning a cover into a single was a pretty lame thing for any musician to do.

          • Nearly all of the tracks on the four Rick Rubin produced albums were covers, usually of material by much younger artists - that was pretty much the point of them. I'm not sure where the idea that Reznor wasn't cool with it comes from, as far as I can tell he had some reservations at first, but changed his mind when he heard it, especially when he saw the video.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by andi75 (84413)

        If you don't want your ideas to be extended, you probably should keep them to yourself.

        You have no inherent right to it once it's out in the open. You have no right to forbid people to sing your song (very badly and out of tune and very loud) in their car or in the shower. You have no right to forbid other musicians to play your songs in their garage.

        If someone else thinks your music is good enough to be re-interpreted, you should be *proud*. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Also, it will serve t

        • If you don't want your ideas to be extended, you probably should keep them to yourself.

          Should we apply that same logic to everyone? How about scientists? Philosophers? Spiritual Leaders? Teachers? Writers?...get it yet? Choosing to share an idea/composition/story with others is not the same thing as allowing others to claim it as their own and use it for their own intents.

          You have no right to forbid people to sing your song (very badly and out of tune and very loud) in their car or in the shower. You have no right to forbid other musicians to play your songs in their garage. If someone else thinks your music is good enough to be re-interpreted, you should be *proud*. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Also, it will serve to *increase* the popularity of the original material.

          That's not what I'm suggesting in this particular case. Someone playing a cover version of a tune or singing a song along at a party (or something like that) is one thing. It's quite another thing to take actual copies of something and pass them off as one's own in an attempt to profit off of someone else's work. To use the (admittedly crude) example I used in a comment above, apply this same principle to whatever it is that you do for a living. Imagine several other people in your office decide they're going to report some hours on their timecard that you worked....and then they get paid for them as well, even though they weren't there the same hours you were. You probably wouldn't be a fan of that, I'd imagine. So why should it be that in the case of someone writing music (or for that matter creating any art) that it be measured any differently? Can I just change a few of the names in "To Kill a Mockingbird" and then sell the book as my own? No? Why not? Because it's plagiarism, plain and simple, and I'm saying that I think this type of situation isn't any different than feeling entitled to any other art form.

          • by andi75 (84413)

            > It's quite another thing to take actual copies of something and pass them off as one's own

            I don't know where you read into my sentences that I ever suggested that should be possible. It's downright ridiculous.

            The original author should always be compensated. And of course if the derivative work is making money, the original author should be compensated, but not excessively.

            A famous (and ridiculous) example of copyright gone wrong: The Verve's song: "Bitter Sweet Symphony" [wikipedia.org]. It's a twisted world where a

            • by andi75 (84413)

              > The original author should always be compensated.

              Sorry, I didn't use the preview button. That should read 'credited', not 'compensated'.

              Compensation is not in all cases required (especially if e.g. the remix doesn't make any sizable profit or is given away for free).

          • by andi75 (84413)

            >> If you don't want your ideas to be extended, you probably should keep them to yourself.
            > Should we apply that same logic to everyone? How about scientists?

            Scientist know the value of the work of others especially well. Just look at the number of citations in every research paper. Few are trying to pass off the research of others as their own (if you do, you'll ruin your reputation pretty quickly). And everyone on them knows: "If I've seen farther then others, it was because I was standing on the

        • Legally speaking, there is a huge difference between covering someone else's song and using the actual audio of their performance. An artist cannot prevent their own song from being covered, hence this [umontreal.ca].

          The issue isn't singing someone else's song, as that has a long, long tradition and is not prevented legally. The question is whether you should be able to take the Beatles master tapes, muck around with them, and release the result without either their permission or paying them.

    • by dangitman (862676)

      But creatively extending someone else's work is art.

      Sure, but you aren't automatically entitled to multi-track master recordings in an uncompressed format. Why shouldn't the owners restrict access to the master recordings if they see fit? Should a photographer give you the original RAW files of your wedding photos, when you only paid for an album of prints?

    • by Mex (191941)

      On a unrelated note: Has someone already managed to rip the individual tracks off the Guitar Hero / Rock Band games? I assume they're not just simply there as .wav files on the CD :-)

      Well, not directly from the disc.

      I just used an audio-in recorder directly from the TV. I've been using Rock Band to figure out some guitar solos. It has a practice mode where you can slow a song enough to figure it out note for note. It's a pretty awesome tool for a guitar player, but I imagine drums are even easier with the t

  • by dominique_cimafranca (978645) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:11AM (#29089399) Homepage
    ...this one got a smile out of me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:25AM (#29089435)
    The article says that: "In many respects, Martin and the Harmonix developers obsessed over creating an accurate portrayal of the Beatles. (They were never without teacups in the studio!)". So, do we get to see Lennon take LSD and trip during the recordings ? According do a interview (http://taz4158.tripod.com/johnint.html): "It went on for years, I must have had a thousand trips. Literally a thousand, or a couple of hundred? A thousand - I used to just eat it all the time." Probably not. Not a good idea to let the youth of the nations know that their heroes ate LSD like candy back in the days.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dunkelfalke (91624)

      You don't need to see that they were permanently on drugs, you can pretty much hear it in lots of their songs.

    • by ragefan (267937) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:41AM (#29089979)

      "See I think drugs have done some good things for us. If you don't think drugs have done good things for us then do me a favor. Go home tonight and take all of your records,tapes and all your CD's and burn them. Because, you know all those musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years? Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal fucking high on drugs, man."

      - Bill Hicks

    • Not a good idea to let the youth of the nations know that their heroes ate LSD like candy back in the days.

      Why?

    • by dangitman (862676)

      Probably not. Not a good idea to let the youth of the nations know that their heroes ate LSD like candy back in the days.

      Why not?

  • Big news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goodmanj (234846) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:26AM (#29089439)

    The most newsworthy part of this article from a Slashdot perspective isn't that Rock Band Beatles is coming out. We already knew that.

    It's that the New York TImes, the old grey lady, published a *nine page* video game review.

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      Well, "nine page" in a newspaper is only - no wait, that is a pretty gianormous review. Good call on that. Although the NYT is doing a good job of establishing itself as the best source of original tech news and reporting. Keep an eye out, almost every day, every day the NYT has at least one article featured on slashdot's primary page. Expect more, in depth technology reviews (for the items that warrant it, at least). Beatles on Rock Band (or whatever the othe3r one is called) is a pretty big deal, cultu

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by moortak (1273582)
        It was in the sunday magazine, so it wasn't quite as long as a full 9 broadsheet pages.
      • And why is it a big deal culturally? Would it have been a big deal if they hadn't had to make a whole game just for the beatles and just been DLC?

        • by u38cg (607297)
          Welcome to marketing 101. Of course not; there is immense value in the Beatles being "other" from the mainstream music market. A few other people, like Neil Young and Bob Dylan also have this kind of aura and it does wonders for them.
          • I love the way Neil Young and Bob Dylan are finally cool again; it's like the world gave them each a 20 - year sentence for 'Trans' and 'Slow Train Coming', but now we're prepared to forgive and forget on the condition they never do anything like that again.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        It's that the New York TImes, the old grey lady, published a *nine page* video game review.

        Well, "nine page" in a newspaper is only

        I'm sick of these articles needlessly spread over multiple pages to generate ad revenue. Anyone have a link to the print version?

  • 45 songs deemed the most fun to play, rather than the band's most iconic numbers, come with the game.

    Translation: We chose the 45 songs that would cost us the least amount to license. After all, it's not like we've shied away from including difficult tracks before.

    • Who said fun != difficult? I'd say it was the other way around. Besides, if you're playing on easy/normal it's never going to get difficult no matter what song you're playing, unless you have no rhythm at all and just try to hit the notes as they pass the bottom of the screen as if you're playing some kind of space invaders game..

      Obviously there is a point where making it overly difficult just gets stupid though and detracts from the fun. There's a particular pattern of finger movements in Dream Theater's C

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by u38cg (607297)
      Have you ever tried to licence anything from the Beatles? It's not quite as simple as you paint it. They certainly don't sell their stuff to the highest bidder, regardless.
    • On the other hand, I found a new appreciation for songs like the Smashing Pumpkin's Cherub rock because they were included in Guitar Hero.

    • Re:Licensing costs (Score:4, Informative)

      by Bakkster (1529253) <Bakkster...man@@@gmail...com> on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:40PM (#29096545)

      Harmonix has never shied away from picking the deeper cuts from a discography, rather than just the most popular hits. That said, this game is still chock full of #1 singles, as well as the b-sides. So, what about those songs do you think makes them more expensive to license?

      Makes perfect sense to me to go by the fun factor rather than chart position or sales. "Love Me Do" was their first #1 hit in the US, but the melody is all harmonica. Similarly with "Elanor Rigby" and violin. Put the most fun songs on the disk, then release most of the rest of the discography as DLC to allow everyone to pick and choose their favorite of the others.

      • Makes perfect sense to me to go by the fun factor rather than chart position or sales.

        Oh, I agree. I'm simply being cynical and ascribing to cheapness what is likely better explained as prudence.

  • The title of the post is actually a song by George Harrison as a solo artist, and not The Beatles. B.T.W. A lot of the guitar work done on the original track is young Eric Clapton.
    • Re:Not exactly (Score:5, Informative)

      by quantumplacet (1195335) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:15AM (#29089883)

      Ummm, I hate the Beatles and even i know you're completely wrong. While My Guitar Gently Weeps was on the White Album, which I'm fairly certain was a Beatles album not a George Harrison album. He did write it, and Clapton did play lead guitar on the studio version, but it was still a Beatles song.

  • I want
    a) Rolling Stones
    b) Deep Purple (You Fool No-one, Burn,
    My Woman From Tokyo)

    Is it really so hard?

  • Yeah, the world is fucking preparing for the second coming of the Beatles because a new Rock Band is coming out. Right.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I like how people enjoy bashing Activision for "selling out" and doing band-specific games, but the truth is, Harmonix's designers sold their -souls- just for a contract.

    Fact: The Beatles: Rock Band DLC will not be playable on any other Rock Band titles, and normal Rock Band songs will not be playable on Rock Band: The Beatles because of technical reasons associated with the "dream sequences" and three-part harmonies. Bull - both issues are minor, trivial things that would take a good programmer a day or
  • drum beats....

    Ringo, The luckiest man on the planet, ever.

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

Working...