All Event and "Bar Night" Organizers Only!!

Comments

  • RavaanaRavaana Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    OI

    We do the same thing here in Austin at Elysium on Tuesdays.

    It has been pretty fun, and so far has worked out. As for our setup we have,

    2 Wireless guitars,
    Wired RB mic (since someone broke one of our other mics, went back to el cheapo)
    1 Wireless Drum kit (RB2/ debating on Ion, setup)
    2 Projectors, one behind stage and one slightly off center near stage right.
    We use the Xbox 360 well because it is cheaper than the PS3.

    2 DJs for entertainment between song selection,
    About 4-5 "House musicians" to fill in if a full band cannot be located for a person.
    well over 400 songs and a constantly updated set of lists organized by song, band, and recent additions.

    most other info can be found here http://www.rockband.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111714
  • ssijayssijay Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/inde...ageID=14865972.
    I noticed in ur pic the tv is mounted on a stand.

    What stand is that?

    Also, how did you mount the tv for the drummer?

    What hardware did you use and where did you find them?

    Thanx in advance.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    ssijay;2160398 said:
    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/inde...ageID=14865972.
    I noticed in ur pic the tv is mounted on a stand.

    What stand is that?

    Also, how did you mount the tv for the drummer?

    What hardware did you use and where did you find them?

    Thanx in advance.

    The link doesnt work but my front 42" tv is mounted on a modified portable amp stand http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/Musicians-Gear-Deluxe-Amp-Stand?sku=451065 and the drum tv is mounted with a combo of a modified conductors stand http://accessories.musiciansfriend.com/product/OnStage-Stands-Conductor-Stand?sku=450253 and a broken and used bass drum that cost about $20 from a used music store. I work in a sheet metal shop so it is easy to modify stuff like this. :D
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Can anyone comment on how much it costs to have 100% of DLC?

    http://www.rockband.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130986
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Ravaana;2158863 said:
    OI

    We do the same thing here in Austin at Elysium on Tuesdays.

    It has been pretty fun, and so far has worked out. As for our setup we have,

    2 Wireless guitars,
    Wired RB mic (since someone broke one of our other mics, went back to el cheapo)
    1 Wireless Drum kit (RB2/ debating on Ion, setup)
    2 Projectors, one behind stage and one slightly off center near stage right.
    We use the Xbox 360 well because it is cheaper than the PS3.

    2 DJs for entertainment between song selection,
    About 4-5 "House musicians" to fill in if a full band cannot be located for a person.
    well over 400 songs and a constantly updated set of lists organized by song, band, and recent additions.

    most other info can be found here http://www.rockband.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111714
    I noticed you mentioned you had a couple of bugs to work out.
    Can you share what they were?
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Yeah, DLC costs will pile up, but in the long run they are a standard operating cost (and you can always write them off). $800 is the cumulative cost for about a year and a half's worth of DLC; it's better to realize you're looking at about $50 a month, which even hosting one show a month can come directly from your fee.

    Currently, I have about 80% of DLC. Every few weeks I throw about $50 into the store, buy any albums first, packs containing well-known songs, then single songs (i.e. not available in a pack) that are well-known, then I start working on my backlog of "unpopular" DLC.
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Where is everybody in this thread located?
  • KlubbyKlubby Unsigned
    edited March 2009
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Also in Chicago, but more focused on the suburban market. That's why Klubby and I are allowed to be friends, rather than slashing each other's tires :)
  • BIGTIMEJAMMERBIGTIMEJAMMER Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    In previous posts I read that it is illegal to charge to particapate. but has anyone thought about this idea?

    instead of just hosting rockband night, what if we put on a tournament.

    Would this be illegal to charge to enter a tournament?

    I've been in the planning stages of putting together some guidelines for a multi bar tournament series with a huge cash payout for the winners.

    I'm having a hard time believing it's ilegal to pay to enter a tournament. Or should I say to charge a fee to enter.

    This thread is what I've been looking for as far as people interested in a nationwide organization of rockband and GHWT promoters.

    but I guess the first order of business would be the the legal aspects. I operate a free Poker league which operates in bars weekly. For the poker I can not charge to play because poker is considered gambling. The bars pay to host the tournaments. I was hoping to add this promotion to my list of bar promotions.

    could someone explain why it is illegal to charge to enter a tournament?

    I would think it was no differnt than bowling, darts, or pool which all have huge tournaments and all charge to enter.

    Please reply if you have knowledge of the legal aspects here.

    Thanks
    BIGTIMEJAMMER
  • KlubbyKlubby Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    The difference is at pool, bowling and darts, those things aren't licensed. You pay to play each time anyway usually.

    With Rock Band, one user holds the license for the music that is being played. Therefore, that user cannot charge someone else to play. It would almost be similar to buying a CD, burning a bunch of copies and then selling it.

    I have paid to actually enter a tournament, but it was for a charity benefit. The bands weren't "paying to play," they were paying into the charity, not only for the charity, but also for the prizes being awarded.

    I have seen other tournaments where prizes were being awarded and such, but don't know how that works or how it would have to be "worded" legally. I guess you would have to say that the entry fees are there to cover for the prizes themselves, not for the band to play.

    Then again, I'm not a lawyer, or Harmonix or any sort of expert on the subject so I guess I shouldn't have replied. lol ;)

    ETA: I wonder if the kind folks at Harmonix are taking note of this thread? I would love to hear their input on the legalities of such things... I personally don't think THEY would have a problem as it is only a bunch of free advertising. I'm not sure about record companies and such.
  • BIGTIMEJAMMERBIGTIMEJAMMER Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    Thanks Klubby

    interesting..... there are at least 3 pay to play tournaments listed here on these forums.

    And as far as the folks at Harmonics go..... well I emailed them a couple times to see if there were any legal issues I need to take care of and they never even replied with even so much as a thank you for your email.

    The entry fees would be used to pay the Grand prize 10k and also all lower cash prizes. And a mere percentage would be kept for operating expense such as advertizing, website, and you know the rest. And don't forget a little something for yours truely.

    I understand what your saying about the lic. but by the same token a karoke song is still licensed. And someone is paying to have the song played. the record companies are not getting anything from that. Harmonics is not getting a cut of a karoke operators revenue. And someone is paying for the use of the game, songs, and equipment.

    I too would love to hear from the good folks at Harmonics.

    Don't get me wrong Klubby I'm not trying to have a legal debate here I probably, no let me say, "I for sure know less than you about the legal part". I'm just having a hard time understanding the differnce between the 2 promotions. And I suppose most of my wonderment comes from the fact that everyone is already doing it on a small scale already.

    There are gamer sites where you buy tokens and use them to get into tournaments that pay money. And not just for RockBand for many many games.

    but once again this is small time compaired to what I want to do. Most tournaments that you can enter pay $100 to win all the way to $300 is the most I've seen. I plan on paying 10k to the winner and many more cash prizes.

    The game is a hit with young and old (I'm 49) and if allowed by law my idea will provide the bar owners great entertainment for the crowd, promote sales of the game and gear, and put some big cash in a few americans hands. And for those who don't make any cash they will still be satisfied with just being able to perform. I'm at a loss to see why anyone would object.

    thanks for the reply looking forward to more.

    And if anyone from Harmonics reads this please share with us the legality of pay to play.
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Technically speaking, yes. Bars pay karaoke companies, who in turn play karaoke tracks. However, the bar is paying for the time of the host, the sound equipment, marketing, promotions, and a lot of other things than the karaoke tracks themselves. The karaoke company purchases the tracks, which have been licensed and rerecorded by the manufacturer, and uses them in the fair, legal, and intended use of the product. Where does the original artist get their compensation? Both from the karaoke manufacturer and from the bar itself, which is typically pays annual fees to a group called ASCAP whose purpose is to handle collecting royalty fees for public performances of non-public domain music. Most any bar that hires bands, DJs, karaoke companies, or even owns a jukebox, pays an annual fee to ASCAP for a blanket license.

    That all being said, it does not violate any legal rights that I am aware of to provide Rock Band in a public setting. Just to be safe, it is an understanding I have with my venues that the fee I charge does NOT include my Rock Band services; technically, I do not get paid to offer Rock Band. Instead, I am paid for my time, sound equipment, expertise, marketing/promotions, and everything else that comes into hosting a karaoke show. I just happen to also offer Rock Band at my shows.

    I do agree with Klubby that based on my limited knowledge, charging people directly to perform Rock Band tracks would be a violation of the agreement implicit upon purchase of Rock Band. The only way I can see a tournament with an entry fee being legal would be if it was a charitable event (with proceeds going to the charity, of course) or if any fees charged went directly and exclusively to the execution of the competition i.e. prizes, compensation for hosts/judges etc., and other vital tournament expenses. If you were to, as you say, take "a little something for yours truly", you need to be able to justify any money you take, be it in consultation fee or something similar.

    But that's just my 2 cents.
  • RavaanaRavaana Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Zoologico;2163943 said:
    I noticed you mentioned you had a couple of bugs to work out.
    Can you share what they were?
    Yeah I can elaborate on some of the bugs we found.

    The first was with the Dolby Digital settings in the Xbox dashboard. We found that we were experiencing a good amount of feed back during one of the "shows." It wasn't anything extremely drastic, just usually appeared when somebody began to "chew" on the mic. The first thing we did was switch out the duel blockhead mic system for the standard RB mic, for a few reasons.

    The RB mics aren't as sensitive as the blockheads, and are a bit cheaper. The second, someone broke one while playing cowbell. No it wasn't the Reaper =( That seemed to reduce it a little. But not as much as we hoped.

    The second thing we did was change the sensitivity settings, seemed to help a little, but not completely. So we tried switching to stereo in the RockBand 2 sound settings.

    That helped a bit, and it seemed to get a little better. But when a few people began drinking and once again "chewing" on the mic, it reared it's ugly head once more. Now, I am not saying that it was a constant feedback, but it did appear. Finally I went into the main console settings and switched it to stereo. And that put an end to that. I can now have the mic sensitivity at 40-50% and still not get it.

    We also had a few delay issues with both projectors. I am not completely sure what caused it, but the rear projector didn't seem to sync up with the front. Not really an issue for the band, nor crowd, but was slightly annoying. I thin all Flynn did was change a cable and reboot the projector. Seemed to work fine after that.

    I still want to work back in the multiple mics, but have been rather hesitant to do so. So far, I am doing this out of charity. I love entertaining people, and so the only form of payment I get out of it are whatever tips people place in my can. I have just been so busy with my real job, that I haven't been able to expand much as of late, or continually update forum posts.

    As you can see, my old one died. Sigh. Oh well. Can't win em all.
    LiquidKourage;2167782 said:
    Technically speaking, yes. Bars pay karaoke companies, who in turn play karaoke tracks. However, the bar is paying for the time of the host, the sound equipment, marketing, promotions, and a lot of other things than the karaoke tracks themselves. The karaoke company purchases the tracks, which have been licensed and rerecorded by the manufacturer, and uses them in the fair, legal, and intended use of the product. Where does the original artist get their compensation? Both from the karaoke manufacturer and from the bar itself, which is typically pays annual fees to a group called ASCAP whose purpose is to handle collecting royalty fees for public performances of non-public domain music. Most any bar that hires bands, DJs, karaoke companies, or even owns a jukebox, pays an annual fee to ASCAP for a blanket license.

    That all being said, it does not violate any legal rights that I am aware of to provide Rock Band in a public setting. Just to be safe, it is an understanding I have with my venues that the fee I charge does NOT include my Rock Band services; technically, I do not get paid to offer Rock Band. Instead, I am paid for my time, sound equipment, expertise, marketing/promotions, and everything else that comes into hosting a karaoke show. I just happen to also offer Rock Band at my shows.

    I do agree with Klubby that based on my limited knowledge, charging people directly to perform Rock Band tracks would be a violation of the agreement implicit upon purchase of Rock Band. The only way I can see a tournament with an entry fee being legal would be if it was a charitable event (with proceeds going to the charity, of course) or if any fees charged went directly and exclusively to the execution of the competition i.e. prizes, compensation for hosts/judges etc., and other vital tournament expenses. If you were to, as you say, take "a little something for yours truly", you need to be able to justify any money you take, be it in consultation fee or something similar.

    But that's just my 2 cents.
    It would be illegal to charge for the service. Even an entry fee for a tournament could be pushing it. And The only way I could think of would be to do a charity drive. I would make sure you speak to a lawyer and flesh out the details, but I know a certain amount may be retained by the "establishment" during a charity event to pay for employees, equipment, and a few other Costs of Goods. But Law is not my forte.
  • edited March 2009
    Gabe, I see my email to you possibly provoked this thread! Hey, guys, I host 'Rock Band Nights Los Angeles (www.rockbandnightlsa.com) and we've been doing this for about 6 months. We now have 3 nights a week in 3 different bars, and are in discussions with other bars and hoping to expand even further. It's a crazy and fun business, and a lot of the basics have been covered well so far. I would agree that it is better to focus on the 'karaoke' aspect of what we do as it is difficult to find a large number of hard core experts players for contests, but every now and then a contest is good and necessary.

    I have been in contact as well with a few of us around the country and like the idea of a loose association or organization of 'Rock Band Hosts'. Please visit my website, because I think that if you are going to be legit and recognized you MUST have a good website. Myspace and Facebook are very necessary, but a good website gives you business legitimacy. I build and host my own sites and would like to offer my services to other rock band hosts, so we can have some consistency and very good links to each other so when people go online and search for 'where to play' they can find us. That was one of the problems I had before I started hosting, I found it very difficult to find 'where to play' information online. You hear rumors that a place is hosting Rock Band, but you can't find any solid information that it is out there. So, fellow hosters, let me know and perhaps we can link up. I can build and setup your website for fairly cheap, especially if we are all linked in, because it helps promote all of us. on that note, email me at [email]info@rockbandnightsla.com[/email]

    Definitely have to agree with Gabe that you cannot ever charge people to play this game. Bars pay us to host, which is fine, we can set out a 'tip jar' (we call it 'help us get more downoadable content') which is fine, but never charge to play.

    You have to learn how to marry video/audio presentations into any situation, and headaches will occur. We recently had to buy a new xbox because our old one kept freaking out over different HDTV signals and would give us the 'red ring of death!' for 20 minutes. Build your songbooks to rival karaoke song books. Always have backup guitars, drum pads, pedals, mics because you never know what can break down and shut you down.

    If you are going to do this seriously, you need to be using the Xbox system. It just is a better relationship between microsoft and harmonix. We have a little over 300 songs between downloads and RB1 and RB2. We have made a personal and business choice to not download every song because we want to set a certain music mood and tone at our events. The biggest complaint we hear, and I'm sure others will agree, is the lack of female vocal songs available. On my website you will see a top ten list of requested songs, and the real news is that No Doubt has 4 our our top 15 requested songs. We need to hit up harmonix to release more female vocal songs, the girls want to sing and they want to sing girl songs!

    Todd
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    RockBandLosAngeles;2168682 said:


    If you are going to do this seriously, you need to be using the Xbox system. It just is a better relationship between microsoft and harmonix.
    I don't agree with this statement. I've been hosting these events for a year and a half with a PS3, and not only have I never had an A/V issue or a system failure, but I also have all my purchased DLC on multiple systems, for redundancy and expansion purposes. True, it appears Microsoft and Harmonix have a better working relationship than Sony, but I can't see much of a situation where that would have an impact on my business. Perhaps the only thing I can think of is that if I were to get any "perks" from Harmonix, they might be 360-specific. But I've hosted a few hundred nights with no issue.

    Not trying to start a console war by any means. Let me change the subject to something I'd like other hosts to chime in on. What is your opinion on drums? Do you run a standard RB/RB2 drum set, IONs, or some sort of modified system? What made you make your decision?

    I run old-school RB1 drums. I own an RB2 set, but I noticed (and maybe I had a bad set, or maybe it's because it was a launch day model...) that the wireless nature of the drums would cause the occasional dropped hit. As a hardcore drummer, that REALLY irritated me, so I went back to the tried-and-true QM set. However now, I'm getting an ION set in a week or so, and I'm trying to decide if I start using it for show use. My concerns are about damage, setup time, and ease of transport. What does everyone else think?
  • RavaanaRavaana Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    LiquidKourage;2169409 said:


    Not trying to start a console war by any means. Let me change the subject to something I'd like other hosts to chime in on. What is your opinion on drums? Do you run a standard RB/RB2 drum set, IONs, or some sort of modified system? What made you make your decision?

    I run old-school RB1 drums. I own an RB2 set, but I noticed (and maybe I had a bad set, or maybe it's because it was a launch day model...) that the wireless nature of the drums would cause the occasional dropped hit. As a hardcore drummer, that REALLY irritated me, so I went back to the tried-and-true QM set. However now, I'm getting an ION set in a week or so, and I'm trying to decide if I start using it for show use. My concerns are about damage, setup time, and ease of transport. What does everyone else think?
    I, personally, use the RB2 wireless drum set. Keeping the players wireless helped us spread everyone out and give them room for movement. Especially when we had the other mics set up.

    Also, having everyone with a wireless instrument, helped a bunch with the lag, or calibration issues. Having one wired and the rest wireless could potentially result in dropped notes, or someone complaining that it isn't properly calibrated.

    I have debated a few times on the ION but, like I said before, I do this for free essentially. No one pays me, but people seem to enjoy it. So for myself, personally, if people would throw more money in the tip jar, I would invest it into an ION kit. Providing that I wouldn't have to replace it within a few months. Currently the tips I get go towards DLC. But if people want the ION, I could give it to them. It is just a pocket expense that I cannot afford right now.
  • edited March 2009
    I prefer the RB2 over the RB1 drums, but since Circuit City swallowed a complete RB2 kit that I sent in for exchange on their warranty, I have been using the RB1 drums with an amplified USB extension and the Drum Pad silencers. The RB1 drums with pads will probably last longer than RB2 drums, and they are cheaper to replace, and quite frankly, 99% of the people who play drums play on easy or medium.

    I just acquired the ION kit this week and am going to put that monster together in my living room today, but there is no way I would take that kit, or my Omega pedal, into a bar with a bunch of drunks. I have maybe two serious RB drummers in the 3 bars I do this in, and they get frustrated because they don't score as well as they do at home, but I think this is mostly due to the nature of the venue. When I first started playing in bars I didn't score as well either, but I have adapted and seem to score within 2 or 3 percent of what I get at home now. The first problem is that the sound in a big room bounces around, and while we calibrate the tv monitor the band uses, it is really difficult to get every tv in sync. But mostly, playing on stage in a bar is also more distracting, so I tell people just go up there and have fun and quit worrying about your score!
    How many of you are going to say; "This is ROCK Band, NOT BLUES Band!" When Harmonix releases Texas Flood?
    LOL! People are constantly asking for Neil Diamond or Barbra Streisand, and I say 'This is Rock Band, not Lounge Band!'
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Awesome posts, thank you.

    I am making a inventory/equipment list and I can't figure out which to get because they both have different advantages.

    PS3
    Able to download DLC to multiple systems (have all purchased DLC on multiple systems, for redundancy and expansion purposes)

    360
    Stage kit integration

    Both folks here seems to be successful with either system, so I guess this is minor.
  • CalendyrCalendyr Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    Awesome posts guys, thank you for everyone participating!

    I talked to the owner of the bar where I currently host the poker tournaments for my league. We came to a basic agreement about hosting Rock Band nights on Thursday nights. So my quest begins to put all the needed gear together and prepare advertizing.

    Does anyone know if there is a place I can download material to create an add? I am talking about logos and graphics here. As anyone asked Harmonix if they have downloadable material to promote rock band nights in bars? I am thinking of putting a permanent vinyl banner in the bar with the info about the weekly event.

    I have decided to go with the PS3 system because I already have one along with a Starpex Obsedian guitar, all the software and a bunch of DLC material for it. So it will save me a lot on the startup cost to use mine. I will definatelly make a backup of the hard drive. I have never done it but a friend told me it was really easy to do. The hard drive of the PS3 can also be changed to something bigger, he got a 500 Gb one. So if I ever fill the HD with songs there is a simple solution. Same applies if the HD dies on me at some point.

    I believe I can be up and running within about 3 weeks. Advertizing will take the most time to prepare and distribute. The equipment should not be too long to aquire. I will start small and grow as the shows get more popular. I calculated that for about 2000$ I should be able to have a workable solution for the equipment. The items like an Ion Drum will come last. I too am worried about people damaging it and will wait until I have everything else to add this. For the guitars I think I will go with the Starpex I have, and get a Warbeast for the second guitar. I will use my Rock Band 1 guitar as a backup for now even though it is partly defective (overdrive doesn't work and sometimes it looses sync with the console for a sec or two). Silencers for drums seems like a must have. Have you guys ever have people break the drumming sticks? Should I get a spare set?

    What do you guys suggest for lighting? I want something cheap to start with. Are the lighting frames expensive? Someone who posted a picture was using one. I can't afford professionnal lighting to start with, I know these lamps cost an arm and a leg. I was thinking of grabbing cheap flood lights at home depot or something. If I put lamps that are not too bright in them, I could have a few... say 4 or 5 of them light the stage and we could dim the light in the room a lot. Would you use color gels to change the lamp colors? Later on I will get lights that sync with the music and maybe strobe lights. Since I can't go with the stage kit, I know this will be a bit more expensive. I did not want to use a fog machine anyway.
  • CalendyrCalendyr Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    For the website idea, I was planning to put one together as well. I already made a website for my poker league and this new site will be something similar. I want to put pictures, and maybe small videos of past events on it. It's always good for people to get a feel of how it's like when they visit you.

    I was also thinking of hosting a friendly competition at the end of each evening. I am not sure how I will do this, but I guess depending on the number of paticipants I could adjust the setlist and everything. So my thinking right now is 4 hours of freeplay in between 8pm and midnight followed by a 1 or 2 hours friendly competition. If the competition part is popular, I would purchase medals for the winners and put together an inscription fee with the money going to the winning band. Since I have no idea of the interest in this, I will put the idea up as we go. I will definally be passing comment and ideas cards to participants so I get get feedback on what people want.
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    As far as lighting/effects go, I've never personally used them, but remember that I'm kind of a different animal here. Almost all my shows are a combination of Rock Band and karaoke, and I've always found lighting effect for karaoke to be kind of "tacky". So your experience might differ.

    You can find logowork and images online using something like google. That's where we go whenever we update an ad. Supposedly Harmonix is beginning to actively sponsor Rock Band nights, but I haven't heard anything since my request for more information.

    Which brings me to a topic I'd like up for discussion: rotation and fairness. Coming from my background, I feel that setting up a fair system for everyone to have equal opportunities to perform is very important. With karaoke, it's pretty simple. You set up "rounds" where each person who signs up has a chance to perform once. After everyone gets to perform, you start another round, keeping the same order and adding new people in as you go. With the multiplayer nature of Rock Band though, that method doesn't translate all that well. Anyone have any thoughts here?
  • CalendyrCalendyr Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    I have looked at a bunch of videos and pictures of rock band night on the web and it looks like everyone is using bright lighting for the entire room. I was thinking more of doing very dimmed lighting for the room (almost black) and having only the stage illuminated. The only issue I foresee is people having a hard time writting their participation form at the tables... any thoughts on this?

    As for rotation, here is the way I am planning to do it... if someone has a better idea or knowledge they wanna share, I am all ears (eyes?)...

    I will have forms on all the tables. When we start the everning, I will ask everyone who wants to participate to give their form. I am planning to do a per table form. So if for exemple a table has 3 people and they all want to play, they fill in what instrument (or vocal) they want and the difficulty level they want for each. I will have a basic explanation on how to play and select difficulty levels as the first page of the song guide that will be on each table. The way I plan to do it is if there is 1 or 2 person at the table, they can play 1 song. If there are 3 or 4 they can play a 2 song set. If there are open positions for the song(s) I will ask if someone wants to fill the vacant spot in the band. Once every form has been played, I will start a second round for participation.

    For the competition at the end of the evening. I will choose the songs for the setlist... setlist size will depend on how many groups will be participating. I will have a different form for the competition that will not ask for song name, only for group name with difficulty levels for each instruments. The score for each song will go on the form too, and I will compile the result as we go on a separate sheet.

    I figure that with this method, for the free play we can have about 1 song per 10 mins or 2 songs per 15 mins depending on how quickly we can do the switching between bands. So that's about 16 participants per hour. If it's too slow, we would have to switch to a single song per group of 4 people obviously. Any comment of that would be very appeciated from people who have been doing this for a while.
  • edited March 2009
    As for rotation, here is the way I am planning to do it... if someone has a better idea or knowledge they wanna share, I am all ears (eyes?)...

    I will have forms on all the tables. When we start the everning, I will ask everyone who wants to participate to give their form. I am planning to do a per table form. So if for exemple a table has 3 people and they all want to play, they fill in what instrument (or vocal) they want and the difficulty level they want for each. I will have a basic explanation on how to play and select difficulty levels as the first page of the song guide that will be on each table. The way I plan to do it is if there is 1 or 2 person at the table, they can play 1 song. If there are 3 or 4 they can play a 2 song set. If there are open positions for the song(s) I will ask if someone wants to fill the vacant spot in the band. Once every form has been played, I will start a second round for participation.
    You're kind of getting the cart ahead of the horse on this issue. You should be able to do 8 to 10 songs an hour, so that's 40 some people per hour, so unless you have 60 or more people who all want to play everyone who wants to play can play and often. Some people only sing, and they have to wait their turn, but most of your players will be on guitar or drums, and if they want to play a lot they usually do.
    You're also assuming you will have die hard rock band players, where actually most of your crowd will have played the game never or a few times, so they will need a little instruction and will probably play less often than those who are serious.
  • John-311John-311 Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    I help do Rock Band Tuesdays every week at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade in Portland, Oregon. We've been doing it since the day RB1 came out. Definitely interested in helping promote some sort of standard on rock band events. I personally think that when the full sized instruments come out, that will be a huge step towards public acceptance of rock band nights. I'm also waiting on someone to post the mod of using an external 360 controller with the stage kit. The stage kit unmodded isn't of much use in my opinion (as you always have to be adjusting the vocal track and selecting the song) but I think it will be a very impressive addition once the controller mod is done.
  • GameRansoMGameRansoM Rising Star
    edited March 2009
    While I'd hate to disturb the "Organizers Only!!" premise of this thread, I figured I'd step in to lend my expertise in answering a few questions.

    Gabe (AKA "Death of the Arcade" AKA "YRDaddy") has been extremely busy providing his services through the weekend at a convention (including a 14-hour Saturday booking), and has been unable to respond.

    Since I've been a part of DotA since its humble beginnings (before the company had a name, and crammed as we were in the back room of a small karaoke bar with one 42" flatpanel & a home stereo), I feel I'm as much a part of Death of the Arcade as one can be... without being paid or financially invested.

    So. To the topic(s)...
    RockBandLosAngeles;2170635 said:
    I just acquired the ION kit this week and am going to put that monster together in my living room today, but there is no way I would take that kit, or my Omega pedal, into a bar with a bunch of drunks.
    Our regular drummer brings his ION Rocker kit to basically every gig. I wouldn't worry too much about damaging it. Unlike the RB sets, which are -let's face it- just a toy, the IONs are a real electronic drum kit. They can certainly take a beating, as they're built to be beat on! ;)
    RockBandLosAngeles;2170635 said:
    I have maybe two serious RB drummers in the 3 bars I do this in, and they get frustrated because they don't score as well as they do at home, but I think this is mostly due to the nature of the venue.
    Our resident "drum machine" (the one with the IONs) regularly matches or beats his home scores when performing on stage.
    Yeah, I'd say the atmosphere/venue has the greatest effect. Tell your "serious RB drummers" to suck it up and deal! :p
    (After satisfying them with rigorous calibration trials, of course. ;))
    Calendyr;2173873 said:
    The items like an Ion Drum will come last. I too am worried about people damaging it and will wait until I have everything else to add this.
    Cost is certainly a prohibitive factor, but again... I wouldn't worry too much about damaging them. They really are built to take some punishment, and we've had little to no issues since including them on a regular basis.
    Calendyr;2173873 said:
    Silencers for drums seems like a must have.
    Really? Whyzat? Just crank the MUSIC! :D
    Calendyr;2173873 said:
    Have you guys ever have people break the drumming sticks?
    Yes. Once.
    Calendyr;2173873 said:
    Should I get a spare set?
    Probably a good idea.
    Buy cheap ones and have your Serious Drummer(s) bring their own if they don't like them.

    Why am I answering only drum-related queries so far? :confused:
    I barely drum!
    Calendyr;2173873 said:
    What do you guys suggest for lighting? I want something cheap to start with. Are the lighting frames expensive? Someone who posted a picture was using one. I can't afford professionnal lighting to start with, I know these lamps cost an arm and a leg. I was thinking of grabbing cheap flood lights at home depot or something. If I put lamps that are not too bright in them, I could have a few... say 4 or 5 of them light the stage and we could dim the light in the room a lot. Would you use color gels to change the lamp colors? Later on I will get lights that sync with the music and maybe strobe lights. Since I can't go with the stage kit, I know this will be a bit more expensive. I did not want to use a fog machine anyway.
    Funny you should say that! (last part) Fog machine was one of the first "stage effects" DotA brought to bear! :cool:
    I think that's Gabe's rig you're referring to above. It's not too expensive a setup, actually. While I'd prefer not to be quoted on an actual figure, I feel safe in assuring you Gabe seems to have retained all the usual appendages. ;)
    I'll let him speak further to cost issues... and let his wife speak further to the appendage issues. :p
    LiquidKourage;2174110 said:
    Which brings me to a topic I'd like up for discussion: rotation and fairness. Coming from my background, I feel that setting up a fair system for everyone to have equal opportunities to perform is very important. With karaoke, it's pretty simple. You set up "rounds" where each person who signs up has a chance to perform once. After everyone gets to perform, you start another round, keeping the same order and adding new people in as you go. With the multiplayer nature of Rock Band though, that method doesn't translate all that well. Anyone have any thoughts here?
    This can be tricky, at times.
    I'm familiar with the "rounds" setup for karaoke, and I've kicked around ideas in my own mind on how to set up something similar.
    However, all DotA events use a sign up sheet that - at times - requires a good bit of focus, attention, and... improvisation on the part of the host.
    I'm interested in hearing other ideas, personally. I think Calendyr's "form per table" idea has some merit as far as regular rotations, but... it seems it'd require some rather formal environs to be effective. A lot of bars and such are too dynamic an environment to make such an idea work effectively.
  • edited March 2009
    GeneRansom, great to hear from you. Particularly on the RB1 vs ION Drum kit debate. Here's the deal, the guitars are the guitars, even though some people prefer one RB or GH guitar over another, as long as they are working well there doesn't seem to be much of an issue. On the other hand, drums have the biggest disparity of equipment in the game. I just received my ION drumset this weekend, and after about 6 hours of playing time I can tell you this, what a f*$% difference! I could actually see myself walking offstage in frustration this week from having to play my RB1 drums! But I digress, and agree with your comment. While I would much rather play the ION drums, I'm just as happy to play RB1 drums in fun party situation, as long as they are set up to not slide and move around, like this setup http://www.toddwadefilms.com/drumkit2.jpg

    We have many things to balance when doing this job, the desires and needs of our customers (the Rock Band Gamers) vs. the desires and needs of our employers (the bars). However you can find that middle ground within your money budget is probably the correct answer.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Thanks for chiming in Gamer ;)

    DRUMS - As Gamer mentioned, or resident "house" drummer brings his IONs. I always bring my RB2 set with triple cymbols of course but they have hardly ever been used. They are more for a back up, just in case. Honestly, it doesn't matter. Most people (as someone mentioned) do not drum past Medium. I believe it is mostly about presentation for bar nights, which is why most people are awe struck by the IONs and cymbols additions (IONs or RB2).

    CALIBRATION - I use multiple TV's and mutiple cables (component and composite). Of course the calibration will not be equal on all TV's. We calibrate to the drummers tv (using the above mentioned "expert house drummers ears and eyes"), everyone else just has to adjust! In my experience it is the drummers who can genuinly notice lag the most, and it is the guitar players who go way above their skill level that will complain about it the most! Again, if the presentation shock and awes them, they will learn to deal with the minor lag in order to get in the spot light again!

    FAIRNESS / ROTATION - Our system of having 4 names to fill in per performance or song seems to work well. It allows individuals with no band to fill in for missing instruments for a performance and usually allows the singer to pick the song. It also mixes and matches all of the people who came to play which creates new friendships and a community to keep the business going. Every once in a while someone will pick an oddball song that know one knows or want to participate in. I have them change the song choice, in order to find someone who can sing it. I have been lucky in a sense that there is a group of 3 to 4 of us that can sing just about any song in the game between us, should duty call. If you are hosting, you control the list. Make sure you get new people a chance or two on stage no matter how long the wait is on the sign up sheet. Move them up! The people that are already signed up have probably played a few songs already and will not mind having to wait a little longer, but the new person that didn't get their turn will be pissed if the night ends and they didn't get their shot. Be a host 1st and a player 2nd, especially if you are being paid by the business. The 1st performance you sacrifice on the list should be your own.

    LEGAL / HARMONIX - Read the back of your game case. It specifically states that you can not use the game for "pay to play". This is Harmonix legel disclaimer that will give them the right to comeback and sue your a** should they feel presure to do so. This is why, you are selling your time to the business. That being said, Harmonix has "expressed" their consent for us to do what we do by actually providing a section in the forums to promote these events. They are thrilled that we are promoting their game and actually giving people a hands on demo on a regular basis. This just equals more sales and exposure for them. HMXSean came to Denver and hung out with us back in November, even sending a shwag package out the following week. As long as you are presenting a "good" image of their product and not charging to play, I would not worry about about any legal problems with Harmonix.

    Also, we just finished a 2 day rockfest at an Anime Convention. If any of you host are looking for an awesome venue, I highly suggest looking up Anime Cons in your State! Wow... is all I have to say. Later! :D
  • CalendyrCalendyr Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    There are some excellent points being made in the last messages.

    I did not think about the damn drums moving around, thank you for that picture, I need to make sure to have something similar to prevent the problem with the basic drums! I will be using a RB1 drumset to start with. I was saying that the silencers are a must because: They cost only 20$, they will help prevent damage to the drumpads and they will reduce the noise from hitting the pads. I am really loud when I drum, because I have no technique mostly, and I am sure a lot of people will be the same. So it seems like a good idea to me.

    As for the rotation, when you say it's a dynamic environment... what do you mean? Are you talking about organized chaos? :) I am a very organized person, I will planning on having the event setup that way. But from your comment I get a feeling that might not work so well. If you could elaborate I would appreciate it a lot.

    I also get a feeling from the comments that there might be more singers than other instruments players. I was expecting the exact opposite. Do you think the type of marketing you do might be affecting this? What I mean by that is that most gamers are not really interested in singing. In my experience everyone want to play the guitar or the base. I have friends who are drummers so that is not much of an issue although some still prefer the guitar because it's hard for them to drum the songs incorrectly (instead of playing them like they know it should be done, they have to follow the notes on the screen)... And we always end up having someone singing just to fill up the group. We do rotations on instruments because no one wants to sing all the time or be on the drums all the time. Maybe my experience is not the norm, I don't know. But I think that if marketing is aimed mostly at gamers, we will have many guitar players and if marketing is aimed at the Karaoke crowd, we will have mostly singers... what do you guys think?
  • RavaanaRavaana Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Calendyr;2180180 said:


    I also get a feeling from the comments that there might be more singers than other instruments players. I was expecting the exact opposite. Do you think the type of marketing you do might be affecting this? What I mean by that is that most gamers are not really interested in singing. In my experience everyone want to play the guitar or the base. I have friends who are drummers so that is not much of an issue although some still prefer the guitar because it's hard for them to drum the songs incorrectly (instead of playing them like they know it should be done, they have to follow the notes on the screen)... And we always end up having someone singing just to fill up the group. We do rotations on instruments because no one wants to sing all the time or be on the drums all the time. Maybe my experience is not the norm, I don't know. But I think that if marketing is aimed mostly at gamers, we will have many guitar players and if marketing is aimed at the Karaoke crowd, we will have mostly singers... what do you guys think?

    Well, in a bar environment, the vocals part is pretty much considered normal. It reminds people of Karaoke, which is already an established past time. Unfortunately, getting people to play the other instruments can sometimes be a challenge. Especially here in Austin, where practically everyone is a musician. (not literally, but there are so many here that it seems that way, sometimes.)

    They seem to shy away from the plastic instruments for a a good while. Each of them, eventually, coming back to try them. Maybe not the first, second, or third visit but they get there eventually.

    We go through more vocalists than anything else, but with our last stun, started gaining a few guitar players. Our Bartender wanted to play, but he was behind the bar; so we took him a guitar and let him jam out on Ride the Lightning. Heh, and every once in a while the guitar sounds would die, as he got someone a drink. Pretty fun, and awesome. :)

    I think that after you get it down, and people start thinking about it as an established entertainment stunt, they will start signing up for it more often. And with this, I suggest trying to get as many different people to go up as possible. especially if you are first starting out.

    Even if you have to bring 5-10 friends and have them play on stage randomly, at different difficulty settings (this helps break the omg I am gonna suck mentality) It should spark the interest in the average Joe.

    Oh..... And finding people that won't just stand there, stiff as a board and stare at the screen, may help a bit also. I watch those people and it seems boring to me.
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