All Event and "Bar Night" Organizers Only!!

Comments

  • 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.
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Can anyone comment on ideal projector screen sizes and placement?
    Are you able to tap into the audio system in the establishment?
    What kind of audio system do you recommend for places that do not have audio and you have to roll your own?
  • edited March 2009
    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.
    Aahh, now you are falling into the same trap Activision keeps falling into with GH. The vast majority of your people will be people who have either never played Rock Band before or have only played it passively. Until you build a strong following of experienced Rock Band players, which may never happen, the majority of the people who are at Rock Band Night will be there because of the bar and the drinks, not because of Rock Band. The vast majority of your players will be playing on either Easy or Medium, which is why it's imperative that you ALWAYS SET THE GAME TO NON-FAIL MODE, or you will be in for a long evening. These same people will also not be interested in contests or points because they are not gamers, which is why we mostly do Rock Band Karaoke. You will have a lot of women playing, and most women aren't gamers, but nothing works better in a bar than women on stage, and make sure you have the No Doubt pack downloaded!

    Again, I host three nights a week in Los Angeles, and I have had one contest between two bands, and that didn't turn out well because one person was such a sore loser that I have never seen any of those four players come back again. My job when doing this is to entertain the people that are there, make sure they are having fun so they stay in the bar and order drinks and food. I am being paid by the bar to help them make money, not to host contests between gamers. If I ever start getting that kind of gamer crowd then I will change the format a bit, but I haven't seen it yet. You have to mingle with the crowd and encourage people who are new to try it out. You have to make sure that some people don't hog the stage, yet good players should play a bit more but put them with new people when they need instrument fillers.
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    RockBandLosAngeles;2183279 said:
    Aahh, now you are falling into the same trap Activision keeps falling into with GH. The vast majority of your people will be people who have either never played Rock Band before or have only played it passively. Until you build a strong following of experienced Rock Band players, which may never happen, the majority of the people who are at Rock Band Night will be there because of the bar and the drinks, not because of Rock Band. The vast majority of your players will be playing on either Easy or Medium, which is why it's imperative that you ALWAYS SET THE GAME TO NON-FAIL MODE, or you will be in for a long evening. These same people will also not be interested in contests or points because they are not gamers, which is why we mostly do Rock Band Karaoke. You will have a lot of women playing, and most women aren't gamers, but nothing works better in a bar than women on stage, and make sure you have the No Doubt pack downloaded!

    Again, I host three nights a week in Los Angeles, and I have had one contest between two bands, and that didn't turn out well because one person was such a sore loser that I have never seen any of those four players come back again. My job when doing this is to entertain the people that are there, make sure they are having fun so they stay in the bar and order drinks and food. I am being paid by the bar to help them make money, not to host contests between gamers. If I ever start getting that kind of gamer crowd then I will change the format a bit, but I haven't seen it yet. You have to mingle with the crowd and encourage people who are new to try it out. You have to make sure that some people don't hog the stage, yet good players should play a bit more but put them with new people when they need instrument fillers.
    The strategy makes a lot of sense since you are catering to the masses and you want the game to be as inclusive as possible. If it gets too competitive, then it turns the casual and mass crowds off.

    Along these lines, I have a question:

    Getting the triple cymbal pack goes along with the tenet of not just showing up with the basic instruments and really jazzing up the hardware you bring to the table.

    However, it also goes against the tenet of keeping tings simple.

    The way I see it is that the majority of the people trying this out as you say will not be expert Rock Band players, but novices. I can see a triple cymbal kit getting in the way by making the drum set seem too complicated and then my team would have to get involved in explaining that it doesn't make a difference which one of these you hit, but it does make a difference here.

    I am thinking the original Apple mouse paradigm of putting only one button on it since there would be no question of which button to push.

    The difference would be that a plain set has 5 buttons to push but the triple cymbal expansion bumps that up to 8.

    I have half a mind to visit LA just to witness one of your established Rock Band nights.

    I don't own a 360 so I am still curious about the restrictions on DLC. If my 360 dies, can I get a replacement one and redownload all DLC relatively easily?

    Can I download DLC to multiple XBOXes?

    Can I play DLC without being connected to XBOX Live?

    Are there any other limitations I am not considering before going with a 360 on this?

    360 got major points due to stage kit integration, lower price tag, and larger install base.
  • edited March 2009
    I have half a mind to visit LA just to witness one of your established Rock Band nights.
    Come on down!
    I don't own a 360 so I am still curious about the restrictions on DLC. If my 360 dies, can I get a replacement one and redownload all DLC relatively easily?
    Yes, we just transfered from a 20gig drive to a 30gig drive, they supply the special transfer cable when you buy a hard drive.
    Can I download DLC to multiple XBOXes?
    Only if you get someone to 'crack' those boxes.
    Can I play DLC without being connected to XBOX Live?
    Yes, you just have to log into the game with your xbox ID
    Are there any other limitations I am not considering before going with a 360 on this?
    Not that I can think of. There are several different xboxes, so you need to do your homework.
  • edited March 2009
    The way I see it is that the majority of the people trying this out as you say will not be expert Rock Band players, but novices. I can see a triple cymbal kit getting in the way by making the drum set seem too complicated and then my team would have to get involved in explaining that it doesn't make a difference which one of these you hit, but it does make a difference here.
    We have been using the RB1 drums since Circuit City swallowed a complete RB2 kit that we had sent in to have replaced under warranty. I have the cymbals for RB2 but was completely unimpressed with them, so they are more for gimmick than anything else, I just received the ION kit this weekend and played around with them, they are better with the ION, but unless they are mapped separately like GHWT, I just don't see any point in them, especially since the are made of rubberized plastic. Give me some real cymbals hooked up so I can get the feel of that and then I might like them.
  • CalendyrCalendyr Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    Yes I downloaded for over 200$ of music yesterday. And I got the No Doubt pack ;) I really wish there was more radio hits to download, seems like much of the DLC content is not mainstream. I decided not to download everything. I got maybe half the DLC now, I imported the RB1 songs into RB2 and downloaded the AC/DC Live pack into it as well. I think I have enough music now to have a good offering to start with.

    Now I have to decide if I will get a second Starpex Obsidian guitar or if I will go for a warbeast. My major problem is that the Warbeast is not sold here in Canada, so if it breaks it will be complicated to have it repaired under warranty. The Starpex seems very sturdy, I think it would last longer than any other guitars for Rock Band available at this time.

    For sound I was planning on using the bar's sound system which have speakers in every corner of the bar and also hook up a sound system so that I have have 2 speakers right in front of the stage to dampen the noise from the stage (drums mostly). This will require a lot of cabling.

    I will listen to your advice and not to competitions to start with. If there is demand I can add it later. The no fail mode is something I had already decided to use ;) Don't want song after song to fail. It would make it very annoying to new people trying it out and would scare away the other ones.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    RockBandLosAngeles;2183279 said:


    Again, I host three nights a week in Los Angeles, and I have had one contest between two bands, and that didn't turn out well because one person was such a sore loser that I have never seen any of those four players come back again. My job when doing this is to entertain the people that are there, make sure they are having fun so they stay in the bar and order drinks and food. I am being paid by the bar to help them make money, not to host contests between gamers. If I ever start getting that kind of gamer crowd then I will change the format a bit, but I haven't seen it yet. You have to mingle with the crowd and encourage people who are new to try it out. You have to make sure that some people don't hog the stage, yet good players should play a bit more but put them with new people when they need instrument fillers.
    Agreed! More new people then experienced gamers. Some of the people in the bar might even be afraid of this new wierd experienced called Rock Band. There has been a few times that myself and the "roadies" have played cover band so to speak because the other bar patrons where afraid to try it out. Odly enough, everyone was still thouroly entertained, the bar still made their money, and we got the stage to ourselves all night! :)
    Zoologico;2183708 said:


    Getting the triple cymbal pack goes along with the tenet of not just showing up with the basic instruments and really jazzing up the hardware you bring to the table.

    However, it also goes against the tenet of keeping tings simple.
    The drum set is stil simple once you tell them that they do not have to use the cymbols. Enivitably, they will attempt using them just because they look so cool!
    Calendyr;2184879 said:
    Yes I downloaded for over 200$ of music yesterday. And I got the No Doubt pack ;) I really wish there was more radio hits to download, seems like much of the DLC content is not mainstream. I decided not to download everything. I got maybe half the DLC now, I imported the RB1 songs into RB2 and downloaded the AC/DC Live pack into it as well. I think I have enough music now to have a good offering to start with.

    Now I have to decide if I will get a second Starpex Obsidian guitar or if I will go for a warbeast. My major problem is that the Warbeast is not sold here in Canada, so if it breaks it will be complicated to have it repaired under warranty. The Starpex seems very sturdy, I think it would last longer than any other guitars for Rock Band available at this time.

    For sound I was planning on using the bar's sound system which have speakers in every corner of the bar and also hook up a sound system so that I have have 2 speakers right in front of the stage to dampen the noise from the stage (drums mostly). This will require a lot of cabling.

    I will listen to your advice and not to competitions to start with. If there is demand I can add it later. The no fail mode is something I had already decided to use ;) Don't want song after song to fail. It would make it very annoying to new people trying it out and would scare away the other ones.
    Sounds like you are off to a good start. Definitely take advantage of what ever the bar has to offer, wheather it is TV's, sound, or a stage. I would stick to the regular guitars beacause they are cheaper and easier to replace when something breaks. The fanciest guitar I use is the Precision Bass. Jazz em up with decals to make them look different from standard issue equipment, again... for the sake of the show.

    Also... Please do not let the Stage Kit be a deciding factor when choosing between Xbox and PS3. Using the stage kit in a bar setting sucks! It has no RB to navagate the menue for song selection and it is wired. There are plenty of similar priced lighting and smoke alternatives that would work just as good.
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    I agree about the Stage kit. I think the thing is pretty gimmicky and only really intended for an "authentic" experience in the home. In a bar environment, you're much better off getting professional-quality effects anyway. Personally, I don't use any stage effects, but I see how people think it adds a nice touch to the presentation aspect.

    FWIW, I recommend myrockbandsongs.com for songlist generation. It's got a good interface for tracking your DLC and a really convenient karaoke-style songbook generator.

    As to some questions about a/v setup, i STRONGLY recommend you invest in your own sound system. Yes, some bars have existing sound setups that might work, but what kind of "stage" experience is that? (Unless they have an actual stage setup for bands, DJs, etc... then you can use your discretion). But the point is, you need to be versatile to be successful. With your own sound system you can set up anywhere, any time.

    My experience has been you don't "need" to buy every DLC song, but it's not a bad idea either. There are probably 200 songs I own that have never been played in a bar setting, but it does lend credibility when people see the size of your catalog.

    I'm tossing some organization names around, let me know if anyone likes them, or has other ideas:

    ORBIT-- Organization for Rock Band In Taverns
    NARBECA-- North American Rock Band Event Coordinator Alliance
    MARBLE-- Member Association for Rock Band Live Entertainers
    REVERB-- Ring of Experts on Venue Entertainment using Rock Band

    There aren't a lot of good acronyms that use "RB", but there's a few if anyone wants to discuss. I can get some simple groundwork going from there.
  • edited March 2009
    I vote for ORBIT, easier to remember what the anacronym is for than REVERB.
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited April 2009
    In terms of sounds equipment, I thought the same thing that I did not want to leave such an important component in someone else's hands.

    What kind of equipment would you recommend?
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited April 2009
    For an org name I borrow from what's already up and submit:

    ORB (organization for rock band)
    ORBS (organization for rock band services)
    SUPERB (insert creative acronym ending with rock band)

    Without fancy acronyms:

    Society of Rock Band Event Organizers
    Rock Band Knights
    Rock Band Event Organizers
    Rock Band Organizers Alliance
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited April 2009
    Here's a recommendation for a PA system:

    http://www.b-52pro.com/models/Matrix600.html

    I've heard fantastic things about the Matrix line; it's pretty portable, and this system pumps out 600 total watts, which is more than enough to cover a decent-sized room. The mixer on this system looks pretty user-friendly, even for someone with limited pro audio experience. It looks like it retails for under $1000, which makes for a pretty good setup for a beginning host.

    If anyone has other suggestions, by all means throw them out here. Full disclosure, I use a Yamaha mixer (16 channel, not sure which model offhand) with a 1000 watt Crown amp and a pair of Peavey PR-12 speakers. I strongly recommend against monitors unless the stage setup really requires them; a lot of performers (especially singers) can get intimidated hearing their sound coming directly at them, and it seems like a sound setup with monitors can wreak havoc on mic settings.

    Which brings me to my next point-- has everyone (either current or potential hosts) considered options beyond the standard RB mic? I've got some suggestions and thoughts, but would like to hear from everyone else first.
  • GameRansoMGameRansoM Rising Star
    edited April 2009
    Calendyr;2180180 said:

    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.
    Seems this part was in response to my comment, since you used my own wording.
    I suppose I was a bit vague, so... You're right; I should elaborate.

    When using the words "dynamic environment", I was thinking specifically of our Tuesday night gig. It's in a neighborhood bar/pool hall in north Denver - a sort of a "dive bar" in atmosphere, though it's pretty well maintained. It's full of heavy drinkers, sees heavy traffic with people coming & going, and rarely do people come specifically for Rock Band and post themselves up at a particular table with the sole intention of playing the game.

    I'm a pretty organized person as well, and Gabe is a self-described "control freak". So, I like your thinking as far as getting a rotation going based on cards placed on each table. It would seem a good way to organize the chaos. However, it would never work in a setting such as that I just described. People rarely stick to one place, or in one group. For us, the closely-monitored sign-up sheet that gets passed around works best so far.

    The sort of atmosphere/crowd you should expect is pretty well-described in RBLA's post below...
    RockBandLosAngeles;2183279 said:
    Aahh, now you are falling into the same trap Activision keeps falling into with GH. The vast majority of your people will be people who have either never played Rock Band before or have only played it passively. Until you build a strong following of experienced Rock Band players, which may never happen, the majority of the people who are at Rock Band Night will be there because of the bar and the drinks, not because of Rock Band. The vast majority of your players will be playing on either Easy or Medium, which is why it's imperative that you ALWAYS SET THE GAME TO NON-FAIL MODE, or you will be in for a long evening. These same people will also not be interested in contests or points because they are not gamers, which is why we mostly do Rock Band Karaoke. You will have a lot of women playing, and most women aren't gamers, but nothing works better in a bar than women on stage, and make sure you have the No Doubt pack downloaded!

    Again, I host three nights a week in Los Angeles, and I have had one contest between two bands, and that didn't turn out well because one person was such a sore loser that I have never seen any of those four players come back again. My job when doing this is to entertain the people that are there, make sure they are having fun so they stay in the bar and order drinks and food. I am being paid by the bar to help them make money, not to host contests between gamers. If I ever start getting that kind of gamer crowd then I will change the format a bit, but I haven't seen it yet. You have to mingle with the crowd and encourage people who are new to try it out. You have to make sure that some people don't hog the stage, yet good players should play a bit more but put them with new people when they need instrument fillers.
    Luckily, we do have a pretty good following of experienced players making up the core group of "roadies" as well as the occasional dedicated Rock Band junkie and even full bands that show up at times. This has allowed us to move into the occasional "Battle of the Bands" format.

    Nevertheless, the above-quoted post is a very accurate generalization of how these nights run.
    He's certainly got his "finger on the pulse", so to speak, after many months of hosting RB Nights! :cool:
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited April 2009
    **** ****... huh?!

    Why does the word R*ck B*nd keep getting bleeped out all of a sudden?? I wonder if this is a legal thing with Harmonix :confused: If this is something that has been done by a moderator, or if this whole thread is out of line for some reason, can someone chime in and let us know please?


    EDIT: LOL!! Nevermind! I just got it... It's on all the threads... APRIL FOOLS!! Damn you Harmonix, you crafty devils!
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited April 2009
    LiquidKourage;2190166 said:


    Which brings me to my next point-- has everyone (either current or potential hosts) considered options beyond the standard RB mic? I've got some suggestions and thoughts, but would like to hear from everyone else first.
    I was thinking about getting the MIC which is a wireless mic for the 360.
    I am concerned that it will allow the vocalist to control the game or interfere with the control of the game (specially during menu navigation).

    This brings me to my next question:

    How do current organizer deal with the phenomenon of people banging on the frets and drums when navigating and selecting a song. At home it makes for a silly few issues, but then people learn to not press anything while menus are being navigated.

    On the road I think this would be a nightmare. The event would go less than smoothly as people are constantly asked not to press anything, and to boot, people would never learn since they would not spend an extended amount playing and learning not to touch things while the game is being setup!

    Thoughts?
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