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Rock Band 3 To Include MIDI Keyboard 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the hey-guys-let's-get-some-of-that-innovation-in-here dept.
xbeefsupreme writes with news that Harmonix has officially demonstrated Rock Band 3's 25-key MIDI keyboard. From USA Today: "During the game, green, red, blue, yellow or orange keys flow on a 'stream' representing the notes to be played on five corresponding keyboard keys. In a new authentic Pro mode meant to help players segue to actual instruments, all 25 keys are used; the streams shifts left and right to cover the correct keys. The keyboard also works as a MIDI keyboard that can be connected to a computer. 'This is a real instrument and a real device,' says senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky." The game will also support more advanced "real" guitar controllers, which have six actual strings you can strum. Hit the link below to see the keyboard in use.

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Rock Band 3 To Include MIDI Keyboard

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  • Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @01:54PM (#32526406) Homepage

    I can't read the article due to work filter, but since the game will come with a "real" midi controller, can I use my own with the game? I have an M-Audio Axiom 25.

    • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

      by ZERO1ZERO (948669) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:39PM (#32526978)
      Highly likely, given it's possible to use real midi drums/controllers as replacement for the drum controller already.
      • by Bakkster (1529253)

        It's only the Guitar Hero drums which have a MIDI input, not the ones made by Harmonix.

        No information yet on if they will allow generic MIDI devices as input to the game, although they did confirm the game keyboard will have a MIDI out.

    • I can't read the article due to work filter, but since the game will come with a "real" midi controller, can I use my own with the game? I have an M-Audio Axiom 25.

      Probably. I already use my Roland TD4 drum set through a Guitar Hero World Tour drum kit via the midi interface. Can't stand that POS drum set that they sell with the games.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You'd be better off playing Synthesia [synthesiagame.com].

    • by Bakkster (1529253)

      Actually, turns out it's a yes [kotaku.com]:

      The good news for actual musicians? If you already have a MIDI keyboard or MIDI drum set, you can opt for the Rock Band 3 MIDI Pro Adapter Box. The device will convert MIDI messages into console controller data and includes on-board console navigation buttons that will let players navigate the game's menus.

    • A day later and they have confirmed this, does require an inbetween peripheral though:

      http://kotaku.com/5560679/rock-band-3-playing-the-new-keyboard-102-button-guitar-controller [kotaku.com]

  • Please post them. I'm curious how it will register the notes without constantly making sure the guitar is perfectly in tune? Robotic autotuning?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pojut (1027544)

      If it's anything like PowerGig [arstechnica.com], there will be a little bumper that you can raise up against the strings while using it as a guitar controller. That will go a long way to keeping it in tune. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a tuner built into the guitar accessible through the game as well.

    • by AffidavitDonda (1736752) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:48PM (#32527116)
      Guitars able to produce midi signals are rather common in music business. There are two basic technologies: - Normal guitar with a kind of plug to read the string - MIDI controller with guitar like input I don't know if they use either of these, but technical details can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIDI_guitar [wikipedia.org]
      • by Wumpus (9548)

        I don't know if I would call them "common." I have one of those beasts, and it's a lot of fun to play with, but not quite as much fun to play, if you get my drift.

        The main problem with the ones that use a 6-way pickup to analyze each string's pitch and convert that to a MIDI signal is that they have a noticeable delay. Until you learn how to compensate for that in your playing, it can be quite annoying and distracting.

        The other kind (and I've seen various designs, but this applies to all of the ones I've se

        • Thanks for that real world information. I'm far from being a musician myself, I just played around with a few synthesizers twelve years ago and remembered, that there where several kinds of instruments (saxophones, flutes, violins) mentioned in magazines like "keyboard", that where able to produce midi data. So I just thought to drop in that info for people who worried how this would be possible at all. Actually if the software will be able to process MIDI data, it should be able to process any kind of it,
          • by Wumpus (9548)

            Don't get me wrong - MIDI guitars have their uses, and I've seen people using them live and sounding great. They just take some time to get used to, like any new instrument.

    • by lightversusdark (922292) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:33PM (#32530554) Journal

      Casio produced a MIDI 'guitar' in the '80s that had six strings that ran from the bridge to the end of the fretboard.
      That is, only over the pickup area for strumming. The fretboard itself was switches.
      There's a picture of one on this page. [drika.biz]
      I'm guessing the game controllers will be something like this.

    • by Bungie (192858)
      It probably will just check that you plucked the string at the proper time, not which note you played (just like their current controllers which use a button for each string, that is used for every note on that string).
  • Rhythm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mederbil (1756400)

    And I will still lack the rhythm to play this awesomeness.

  • by Michael Kristopeit (1751814) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:01PM (#32526520)
    i have the 5 pad drum kit with cymbals for the wii... i noticed that it supports standard MIDI as well, and even though i have a korg triton pro, and a roland 909, it's still more fun to slam sticks on the pads than push the buttons or key in a program on the host devices.

    so the drum kit serves for people that don't have a digital drum kit, but i don't know anyone that would use a MIDI keyboard that doesn't already own one that is better than the one demoed for this game.

    most play-along keyboards adjust the tempo to wait for the player... i'm assuming the game works like other guitar hero games and the song will just keep on going for the rest of the players... it will be much harder for the keyboard player to get their hands back in the right position after slipping up. i guess that's why it's "pro mode"... don't slip up.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      I wonder, do you wager it's possible that it can give some people...well, not "piano playing" skills, but at least some rudimentary, though still decent, "sound - piano key muscle memory"? ;)

      • by JayJay.br (206867)

        IMNSHO (part-time pro musician), to some extent, it will. Pretty much the same "muscle memory" you get from playing the drums on GHWT and RB.

        Guitars, however, are a totally different thing. The fake guitars don't resemble anything life-like, at least for the left hand.

      • I wonder, do you wager it's possible that it can give some people...well, not "piano playing" skills, but at least some rudimentary, though still decent, "sound - piano key muscle memory"? ;)

        i think that muscle memory is learned slowly... if the device does not adjust tempo to wait for the learning player to finish a muscle response before it moves on to asking for a different muscle response that had already assumed you completed the previous response... well, i just think it will give most beginning players nothing but frustration. i haven't seen the game, maybe they figured out a way to hedge that... maybe they went against the trend of music games and now adjust the tempo to the player...

  • new authentic Pro mode meant to help players segue to actual instruments

    ...while learning fingering that will trip them up later. Watching the way people hold drum sticks with Rock Band is painful.

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Doesn't really matter how you hold a drumstick [wordpress.com], as long as you enjoy it.

    • by Delusion_ (56114) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @02:16PM (#32526706) Homepage

      I hope they don't fall off the tracks and end up putting realism ahead of fun. Most of us who enjoyed Rock Band weren't playing it to get a primer on learning to play a real guitar. If I wanted a tedious simulation, I'd whip out a flight simulator, and if I wanted guitar lessons, well, I'd have spent the money on a real guitar to begin with.

      • by N0Man74 (1620447)

        When it comes to music... realism can be fun, if you can are good enough to play.

        From what they show, Pro Mode is completely optional, and nobody is required to play any instrument in a realistic fashion. It's just an option for those that might want to take it to the next level in order to play realistically, learn to play realistically, or shut up the constant "learn to play a real guitar!" and similar quips.

        It sounds like a great option to me, and might even be instrumental (no pun intended) in getting

        • by geekoid (135745)

          "if you can are"? that's pretty bad.

          Or maybe people will just want to play a GAME and not learn an instrument? Seriously dude, I can spend a few bucks and be learning in instrument right now, but I don't want to. No amount of comparing 'real' to 'fake' is going to change that.

          Guitar hero is just the next generation of "Simon" in an interestingly shape controller.

          If it was a disk with 5 light you pushed we would still haae to listen to you morons?

          • by N0Man74 (1620447)

            "if you can are"? that's pretty bad.

            Oh take it easy Mr. Grammar Nazi. I would never write that intentionally. I probably alt-tabbed or was distracted (or otherwise interrupted) mid-sentence and finished it in a different manner than I originally intended. I will try to be more careful to proofread the next time I submit formal writing to you.

            "Sometimes people make silly mistakes, even when they know better. More at 11!"

            Or maybe people will just want to play a GAME and not learn an instrument? Seriously dude, I can spend a few bucks and be learning in instrument right now, but I don't want to. No amount of comparing 'real' to 'fake' is going to change that.

            You also seem to miss the point that you can still just play it like a simplified game before. The Pro Mode is an Option

      • That's pretty cool that you can learn how to play an instrument from flight simulator.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sznupi (719324)

      OTOH some could go "hey, I like this, wanna more" route? And I imagine some other group, of "hardcore" players, might eventually get a muscle memory association between sound and its key; however clumsy that would almost always end up, perhaps good enough to play some simple song they could just hum previously ? ;)

    • Yea, they haven't talked about the new drum kit at all yet, but i'm certainly hoping for massive improvements. The reason people hold drum sticks poorly when playing the rock band kit is because they basically have to. First off, the pads have a pretty crappy response, forcing you to hit harder than you'd like to get the right response. But more importantly, the damn high hat is on the wrong side of the snare, which makes anything but the most basic rhythms extremely awkward. Now, the other reason peopl

      • by Bakkster (1529253)

        Yea, they haven't talked about the new drum kit at all yet, but i'm certainly hoping for massive improvements. The reason people hold drum sticks poorly when playing the rock band kit is because they basically have to. First off, the pads have a pretty crappy response, forcing you to hit harder than you'd like to get the right response. But more importantly, the damn high hat is on the wrong side of the snare, which makes anything but the most basic rhythms extremely awkward.

        While I agree that I hope the drums are better, I disagree on the layout. Since they're at the same height, placing the hi-hat pad to the right of the snare lets you play with your right hand, like you would otherwise. I never had any awkwardness swapping between Rock Band and real drums, and my hands make nearly the same movements.

        • They definitely can't just swap positions, I'm ultimately hoping for something closer to the ION kit, that lets you customize where you want the pieces. I need the high hat to the left and raised or I'm severely limited in my speed, and my form gets sloppy. I feel like I can never get into the right position with the base kit, one hand is always uncomfortable. If I angle myself towards the snare, my right hand is all over the place, if I'm straight ahead or angled to the right, I'm too slow on the snare.

          • by Bakkster (1529253)

            Yeah, it would be nice to be adjustable. Of course, I understand why not, because they need to balance between manufacturability, a decent position for both hi-hat and tom playing, and for both lefties and righties.

            That said, with the 3 add-on cymbals, the hi-hat is a little bit to the left of the snare. Not as much as an acoustic kit, but no less than many electronic kits I have seen.

      • Yea, they haven't talked about the new drum kit at all yet, but i'm certainly hoping for massive improvements. The reason people hold drum sticks poorly when playing the rock band kit is because they basically have to. First off, the pads have a pretty crappy response, forcing you to hit harder than you'd like to get the right response. But more importantly, the damn high hat is on the wrong side of the snare, which makes anything but the most basic rhythms extremely awkward. Now, the other reason people hold sticks improperly that probably won't change is they've never been taught the right way. Hopefully pro mode will start with some (optional) tutorial videos to help people out on that front.

        I am not sure, but looking at the video I think I saw a dot over certain notes to represent cymbal hits, and a half sized bar to represent high hat. I currently use my Roland kit, but I'm limited to the four pads and one pedal. I'll finally get to use the whole kit! And maybe learn to play the drums IRL.

  • ... one of the franchises licenses Dire Straits music for their game. And not just Money for Nothing, I want Tunnel of Love, Brothers in Arms, and Sultans of Swing. And of course Romeo and Juliet, while we're at it.
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Add in Industrial Disease and some of the other classics and I'm in!

      • by Jedi Alec (258881)

        2 men say they're Jesus, 1 of them must be wrong!

        Add me to the list of the of hopeless DS addicts. If someone makes a proper Knopfler Hero I'll get the console, the gadgets, the game and whatever else they decide to bring out :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Sultans of swing is on guitar hero 5

      • Unfortunately little else on GH5 is worth a damn, IMHO. I'm not going to buy a game just to play one song. If we can have "Rock Band: Green Day" we certainly should be able to have "Guitar Hero: Dire Straits".
  • Seems like pushing the buttons on a keyboard should be just like pushing buttons on the guitar controller except you don't have to strum. This should be pretty easy to pick up, right?
  • if there ever is a Richard Clyderman rock band released, I'll kill myself.
  • What I'd like to see (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @03:57PM (#32528142) Homepage Journal

    I'd like to see Accordion Hero with "Weird Al" Yankovic as the game host.

  • But do I still have to sing like a goddamn robot?

    There has never been a good singing game.
  • by Tsavo (868553)
    Rhythm games aren't dead yet? They are to me... It was a fad...
  • And with this, the door is now open to Rock Band: Rush.
    • And with this, the door is now open to Rock Band: Rush.

      I can't wait for Rock Boy Band where you won't have any instruments at all!

  • I have a MIDI keyboard with pressure and velocity sense and with learning features which are annoying to use at best. I'd love to have something like this teach me how to actually play it...

  • DIY MIDI tips (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Simonetta (207550)

    This is not off-topic! It is about how to make cheap music. Not as cheap as moving 3000 songs between iPods and PCs with USB2, but cheaper than blowing your entire Pell grant at Guitar Center.

    You can make a cheap keyboard by using a PS2 keyboard and an microcontroller. I've uploaded mine to the projects section of www.avrfreaks.net. Also there is a description of making a very cheap continous controller using a 16-cent InfraRed diode, a 16-cent InfraRed detector, and an op-amp. Moving you

  • Why not just join a band?
  • One thing that has long puzzled me is the simplified, but not skill-transferrable interfaces for Guitar Hero and similar games. Maybe I too could learn an instrument with enough hundreds of hours playing such games ... but I don't have any desire to become a concert-level wielder of ... a "Guitar Hero" controller.

    (Far more understandable that in games with swords, the sword's controller is purely symbolic, and that racing games mostly involve automatic transmissions. But musical instruments really are hand-

  • I posted a year ago saying the only thing left, was for one of the Guitar/Band games to add keyboards to their games, then they would finally catch up with Konami.

    Komani did this years ago in the arcade and on the PSX and PS2. Yes the linked all their KeyboardMania, DrumMania, and GuitarFreaks systems together into 1 giant band arcade setup. Very few arcades outside of Japan ever bothered though. The main problem that Konami had was that they didn't bother to have their in company bands copy US music hits l

  • Has Harmonix mentioned how many players you will be able to have on the 360 at the same time? There is a potential of seven (Guitar,Bass,Drums,Keyboard,3 vocalists) can the 360 even handle that many controllers?

  • So I've played piano for many years and what I find myself wondering is, does anyone learn to play piano in this manner, where the actual key to press is the visual cue instead of musical notes? There are many techniques/methods for learning piano and I cannot make up my mind if this is an approach that may translate into useful, valid, musical skills. Thoughts?

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