Harmonix is opening up Rock Band to anyone who wants their music in it, and giving you the same sophistication of tools they use themselves. That’s a real game-changer – literally.

Rock Band Network promises to be something really different. How?

* Anyone can get their music in the game. You don’t even need a label. You need a few (cheap) software tools, a computer, and some basic MIDI chops, and for a fraction of the cost of pressing a couple hundred CDs, any artist can get their work into Rock Band 2.

* It’s a real community-driven process. Your A&R people don’t have to shmooze with MTV. You don’t have to enter into some complex developer agreement with Microsoft or Sony. There isn’t even a shady, mysterious review process like the Apple iTunes App Store. Actual Rock Band fans will get to play your music and tell you that the animation needs fixing and the difficulty level needs to be fixed on the drums.

* You use Reaper – an actual music production tool for grown-ups. Harmonix could have given us some weird in-game tool they cobbled together themselves. Instead, they give us a special verison of Reaper, the brilliant, full-blown Digital Audio Workstation that inexplicably costs just US$60 but blows the pants off a lot of better-known tools. So you actually get to assemble your music the way Harmonix has been doing for years, with a real tool. Fortunately, the process has been made much easier and copiously documented, but it’s nice to be treated like adults for a change.

* If it works, Rock Band is just the beginning. It’s impossible to see into the future. RBN is a leap of faith both in the artists and the game fans, in terms of their taste and the amount of effort they’ll invest. But if it works, Rock Band Network could change the way people think about interactive user-created content, well beyond just furniture in the Sims or Little Big Planet.

Reblogged From Digikorps

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