Harmonix has detailed some more of the upcoming Rock Band Network service, which is to give indie bands a chance at getting their songs heard around the globe.
It's not a simple straight forward process though, and it'll require some brain power. You'll need Xbox Live Gold and XNA Creators Club membership, plus Reaper and Magma apps.
"OK, I get myself an Xbox 360, a Gold account, and I sign up for a Microsoft XNA account, which costs me $99 a year. Then me, or somebody in the band, downloads the specs from the Rock Band Network Web site and reads up on what to do," Harmonix VP of product, Greg LoPiccolo, tells .
"First, you have to have the multitrack recordings of your songs. You need to call the multitracks back up and mix them out into multitrack stems according to the Rock Band specs. Then, some enterprising soul has to open up an MIDI sequencer and chart all the note information."
"We have a PC tool called Magma that you download from the site, and once all of your multitrack stems and MIDI files are complete, you load them into the Magma tool, which does error checking and tells you if you've got viable stuff," he continued.
"Then you use Magma to transfer it into your Xbox 360, where you can audition it. So you basically play-test your own song until you're happy with it."
It's here that you upload that masterpiece, once it's polished, to "It's a play test and review process where people in the closed forums can give you feedback about your song, whether it was fun, too difficult, or so forth."so it can be downloaded and evaluated by your fellow creators.
"Then you submit it for formal peer review, which is the second phase of play test. It's more technically oriented, where people are checking for copyright infringement and profanity and technical completeness. Once it passes that, which is sort of an automated process, it gets automatically dropped into the Rock Band Network Store and people can go buy it."
Luckily for bands without technical know how, a whole "cottage industry" has popped up for independent authoring, so you can just hand off the trouble of all that XNA'ing to some other guy.
"If you go onto the Rock Band Network, there's already a fair amount of networking taking place in the forums. These people are actively soliciting work, and various kinds of contractual arrangements are evolving," said LoPiccolo.
"Some people are interested in doing this as a fee for service, where you just pay them money and they author your stuff and give it back to you. Other companies are exploring ideas whereby they submit it and get the revenue, then share the revenue with you."
Clickto read the full interview between Greg LoPiccolo and GameSpot.
Rock Band Network in beta this September, further details spilled
28 August 2009 | By Simon Priest