Archive for the ‘Rock Band’ Category

Quick “Rock Band 2” Review

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Rock BandYesterday, I got up and played Rock Band 2 from around 8am until 10pm, with a few breaks to eat. I still have a lot to unlock. My roommates were gone, so I played the whole thing Solo — which is a great new feature. World Tour can be played alone, and since I’m pretty good, I was able to amass stars and fans very quickly, which meant new venues kept unlocking and I didn’t have to replay many songs.

There are a lot of features I have yet to try, but let me run down some of the biggest improvements (and worst removals) Harmonix has made, and suggest some more changes. I haven’t played online at all, so I can’t comment on that, nor do I have any of the new instruments. I’m calling this a “quick” review only because I’m focusing on specific things that matter to us RB-obsessed players, not reviewing every part of the game.
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Some news about the Rock Band ION drumkit

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Rock BandAs I’ve mentioned before, I have an electric Yamaha drumkit, and I would love to use it with Rock Band (my RB drums are pretty messed up now). Since the ION kit uses 1/4″ plugs, I was hoping I could just buy their brain and use my pads with it. I started a thread about it on the RB forums, and a lot of other people want it too (see whole thread). I emailed the company and actually got a direct response back:

Tommy,

Thanks for getting in touch. While we do expect to eventually offer the controller module separately, we intend to do so to allow Drum Rocker users who own multiple consoles to use a single Drum Rocker kit with all of their systems.

The module was designed specifically for use with the Drum Rocker drum and cymbal pads, which have a unique set of output characteristics (as do all electronic drum and cymbal pads). Lots of work has been done to ensure that Drum Rocker is optimized for Rock Band performance, in terms of trigger sensitivity, crosstalk rejection, latency, and more, and the design of the module has been tuned to deliver the best possible performance in conjunction with the Drum Rocker pads. Plugging another set of pads that happen to have 1/4″ outputs into the Drum Rocker module will not yield the same results as using a Drum Rocker kit, and in fact may not work at all, so we don’t recommend it.

However, if your goal is to have a single electronic drum set that can be used with your existing drum module and Rock Band as well, you can go at this from another angle. We would suggest that you get a Drum Rocker set, and use the Drum Rocker pads with your existing electronic drum module. If it’s got 1/4″ inputs and its input sensitivity can be adjusted, you should be able to combine the Drum Rocker pads with your existing module, and have exactly what you’re after – a single kit for playing games and playing music!

Hope this helps!

Customer Service – DrumRocker
Ion-Audio

So of course their solution is to have me buy the whole drumkit, as you’d expect — no thanks. I hope someone buys the brain anyway and tries it out.

Rock Band: 5-starred Blackened! (expert drums)

Friday, June 27th, 2008

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I really didn’t expect to do that; I guess it’s all thanks to my new pedal. I still need work on Kool Thing, Hammerhead, The Perfect Drug, and a few others. I added some of my high scores to ScoreHero, and will add more later.

I’ve also been trying to raise my career score, and have almost broken the top 500 on the 360 leaderboards. I’ve been reading about the best overdrive paths to use, so I just thought I’d let everyone know:

Public Service Announcement

The Best Rock Band pedal, 5-starred Disturbed Expert Drums

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

I haven’t been able to play Rock Band for the last week and a half because our 360 Red Ringed. Luckily, a friend came over today and brought his Xbox, so we swapped HDDs, bought some new songs, and played for a while. I’ve been really wanting to play the MTV pack, and now the new Offspring/Avenged Sevenfold.

I finally decided to just mod the pedal that came with my Yamaha DTXplorer, since I play Rock Band more than Drummania nowadays (and it doesn’t disable the pedal or anything). This is the best Rock Band pedal there is now (click for large):

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This picture speaks for itself.

Friday, May 16th, 2008

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No, I don’t care about Gold Starring it!

Now that my drums are working almost perfectly, I’m trying to raise some of my scores. I just re-calibrated Rock Band, because it still felt off. I tried harder this time and tested it, and it really felt like it made a difference. I basically have to just guess the settings though, because the “calibration tool” never works.

I five-starred a whole bunch of songs: Dead on Arrival (as you can see. I don’t think I’ve played it since the first month we got RB), Next to You (Yes!), March of the Pigs (although I think I’ve only played that one once before, not a huge NIN fan), and some others. I still haven’t gotten 5 on Run to the Hills, but I’m closer (4 and 3/4?).

I even passed Blinded by Fear for the first time (3 stars), but I played cheaply and purposely missed half of the hi-hat notes. If you just alternate hands (hi-hat, snare) and still hit the bass pedal, it’s not too hard, and you’ll still maintain your health. I don’t think I can physically play that song correctly all the way through, it’s just too fast.

So now I only have a small bunch of 4-stars left (including DLC), and just that one 3-star!

Podcast #2 – Rock Band Drum Mods (Tommy Gun + Mojo)

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

There are a whole bunch of mods that can be, and should be, done to the Rock Band drums if you’re serious about playing. How do you increase the sensitivity? How do you dampen the noise? What about that crappy bass pedal that always breaks? We discuss all of these things, and the different solutions people have come up with.

Contents:

00:00 – Introduction, Pad silencers/rebound
03:16 – Rock Band Drumsoft
09:44 – Sensitivity mods
15:22 – Bass Pedals
25:00 – Good Wood Mods

34 minutes, 13.5MB:

Download Podcast

See a quick video of the mods at the bottom of this post, along with links to all things discussed (you might even want to watch the video first so you know what the stuff looks like when you listen). I also posted some score pics below to show my drums are working pretty well.
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The Rock Band Drum “In-between Sock Mod” (guide now up)

Friday, April 25th, 2008

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The Rock Band Drum “In-between Sock Mod”

Here’s a little guide I wrote for a Rock Band drum mod (based off of another mod). It’s working great for me, but I’d love to get more feedback on it. If you try it, let me know how it works!

Review: “Rock Band” Part 2: Bullet points!

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Rock BandThis is part 2 of my review, also see part 1.

Quick Summary: Rock Band is Guitar Hero/Drum Hero/Karaoke Revolution combined. Made by Harmonix, the creators of Guitar Hero, it's the ultimate party music game.

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Review: “Rock Band” Part 1: hardware, difficulty, modes

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Rock BandNote: we have it for the Xbox 360. Each person needs to be signed into an Xbox profile (it can be the same one). Some things may be a bit different on PS3.

I started writing this review right after getting the game, two months ago, and have since added to it. There is so much more to say about the game, though, that I have left some things out to talk about later. I have broken it into two parts, and apologize for the unorganized format. It's not so much a review as it is a discussion.

Quick Summary: Rock Band is Guitar Hero/Drum Hero/Karaoke Revolution combined. Made by Harmonix, the creators of Guitar Hero, it's the ultimate party music game.

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AN-I-MAL!!

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Rock BandI finally beat the last Expert drum song. I would have done it much sooner, but the final song, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” has tons of bass notes towards the end (plus we’ve been playing TONS of BWT mode). If I had a real bass pedal, it wouldn’t have been a problem at all, but the crappy plastic pedal just wears your leg out so quickly. The song itself really isn’t very hard…which is true for most of the songs. Other songs I had some trouble on:

Dead on Arrival:
This was the first song I failed on. Maybe it’s because I really didn’t know this song at all, but it also has a weird pattern that’s pretty fast. I got it on my third or fourth try, scraping by with overdrive.

Foreplay/Long Time:
This song is fun, but the beginning is pretty tough, mostly because of the lack of rebound on the drum pads (haven’t modded yet). There’s a fast “L L R” pattern you need to do, but after that the song is easy.

Next to You:
I forget if I actually failed this song, but it’s definitely hard. Very fast, lots of bass.

Run to the Hills:
Very fast rolls, not very complicated though. The problem was that the pads weren’t registering all the hits, so I failed a few times. On my next try I played really lightly, which helped tremendously, and I passed it. It must have been pretty funny to watch.

In other news, we just got a whole bunch of DLC, including the Metallica pack. I’ll have to see if I can get through Blackened, as that has tons of notes close together. Hyperspeed, please!