Rock Band Developer Discusses Downloadable Content

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Harmonix’s sound team has set to work on designing Rock Band’s weekly content.

Now that MTV and Harmonix’s Guitar Hero competitor Rock Band has been released and the developers head off on holiday vacations, the audio team remains behind to produce the promised weekly downloadable content. In an interview with Kotaku, Harmonix’s audio lead, Eric Brosius, commented on the crunch time for producing weekly material. “We’re really busy right now getting as much polish as we can for the download songs that are coming out every week. We’re trying to get a bunch of albums for download. There’s something really cool about playing an entire album.”

He continued, discussing the subtle challenges that the team faces when converting a song they have chosen to fit into the game’s framework. “The older the song, the harder it is to get individual tracks. Some songs are on eight tracks, some are on four-tracks. We need to have each instrument on a separate track for inclusion in this game. … Masters sometimes need to be massaged a bit to get it to sound like the original. If in measure 43, the guitar player hit a wrong note, we correct it.

“It’s also important for the song to be well-known so the singer is familiar with it. And the song has to be playable with plenty of variety for gameplay. We look for songs that provide a nice interplay between the parts so the bass and guitar players and the drummer can all shine. We also like songs that have a little bit of breathing room so the guitarist can look around at the band during a verse. We like these types of moments because it makes the players feel like they’re part of a band.”

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