Questions for RBN authoring group representatives

MagnetMagnet Moderator
edited November 2009 in The Rock Band Network
With the advent of the RBN, both artists and third-party authoring groups are empowered to see music realized in Rock Band form. Prior to this, the only avenue for artists appearing in Rock Band was to either be approached by MTV/HMX or try approaching them. I am curious about the current practices of securing music for third-party authoring groups. I know that contracting in the music industry typically involves sensitive material so I will try to keep the questions as general as possible. There are a couple specific questions, but I don't expect all respondents to be able and willing to answer every one. Feel free to answer whatever you can and omit what you cannot.

What is your group's general process for finding content to prepare for the RBN? Does your group directly seek out content and approach artists or instead wait to be approached by artists for your services? If your group is actively engaged in both of these methods, which has been the most productive (thus far) in securing music to work on? Has one method been drastically more effective than the other?

For those groups that are not currently involved in both methods, some of the following questions may not apply:

Does personal taste within members of your authoring group play a significant role in determining which artists are contacted?

Has your group focused on approaching any particular artists because they had previously made an appearance in rhythm gaming? If so, which artists and respective games?

Does an artist being in a particular genre affect whether your group would be interested in working with their material? With a limited work capacity, would your group, in general, momentarily give priority to your first offering of Genre B over your twentieth offering of Genre A?

Would your group ever reject working on music because of its genre? If so, could you give an example and explain why?

If an artist were to ask your group to work on a full album or even a full discography for the RBN, would your group be hesitant to offer such a service or would you oblige the request immediately? To what degree, if any, would the artist's popularity play a role in such a decision?

To any prospective representatives of authoring groups, please make sure you have permission from within your company to comment on questions you'd like to answer, especially if any answers are detailed/specific. I know some groups are more open than others.

Thank you for any contributions!

Comments

  • el_bobboel_bobbo Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    Here are the responses to your questions, on behalf of Music Game Authors
    What is your group's general process for finding content to prepare for the RBN?
    Currently, we are using a number of different ways to find content: contacts within the music industry, bands we've known before the announcement of RBN or that our friends know, and we have even cold contacted bands we've found while browsing the internet or newspapers that we feel would be great for the game.
    Does your group directly seek out content and approach artists or instead wait to be approached by artists for your services?
    We actively approach artists but will obviously look at bands that find us first.
    If your group is actively engaged in both of these methods, which has been the most productive (thus far) in securing music to work on? Has one method been drastically more effective than the other?
    Contacting bands ourselves has been more effective.
    Does personal taste within members of your authoring group play a significant role in determining which artists are contacted?
    Personal taste will always play a part in who you contact, if you're familiar with and enjoy their music, you're more apt to 'hit them up'.
    Has your group focused on approaching any particular artists because they had previously made an appearance in rhythm gaming? If so, which artists and respective games?
    It is not a focus, but we are definitely open to the idea. For example, The Motion Sick has previously appeared in Dance Dance Revolution with an electronic version of "30 Lives", but MarsPhoenix contacted them because he was a fan in some contact with them and had even previously asked if they were ever coming to Rock Band (due to some connections their members have with HMX employees).
    Does an artist being in a particular genre affect whether your group would be interested in working with their material?
    No, the main focus is if their songs will play solidly in the game. We are looking for a strong blend of all difficulties, as long as they're fun to play. On that note however, some genres will accent certain instruments more than others in a way that gives a great experience in game.
    With a limited work capacity, would your group, in general, momentarily give priority to your first offering of Genre B over your twentieth offering of Genre A?
    That could be considered, as players often want a good variety of styles. We don't want to be known for picking particular types of music. Under no circumstance would this mean we would cease searching for musicians in that genre, however.
    Would your group ever reject working on music because of its genre? If so, could you give an example and explain why?
    No. There are great, playable songs in every genre, even when it comes to the extremes of music (such as some Alternative styles, Death Metal, etc). Some genres may not play as consistently well as others, but there will always be fun songs and good music in any style you can think of. One of the great things about RBN is that we will start to see genres that would not have traditionally been seen in Rock Band up to this point.
    If an artist were to ask your group to work on a full album or even a full discography for the RBN, would your group be hesitant to offer such a service or would you oblige the request immediately?
    We'd do everything we can to accommodate the request if it is reasonable. Typical project factors would all play a part in the decision (on our and the artists side), time lines for release, manpower available, how well the songs would play in the game, etc.
    To what degree, if any, would the artist's popularity play a role in such a decision?
    Our view is more of quality music that fits the game, versus the popularity of the artist. That said, we'd do everything we can to get the songs into the RB platform in a reasonable time frame for popular artists as well as less popular artists. After all, every band was once unknown, and part of the goal of Rock Band Network is to break those bands into the open.
  • MagnetMagnet Moderator
    edited October 2009
    At this point in the RBN lifespan, I wondered if some groups were taking all the music they could find to work with, regardless of exactly how well-suited to the game it might be. It's nice to hear that finding music that delivers solid gameplay is a founding priority for your group.

    Thank you very much for your response! Very interesting answers.
  • wesjett08wesjett08 Rising Star
    edited October 2009
    You're very welcome,We pulled together to fill this out...Sad to see you haven't gotten much of a response on this though,Ever think about posting this thread around to the various groups?

    So far everything we've taken in is very well suited for the game and we think people will be pleased by what comes out of MGA.
  • KineticArtistKineticArtist Opening Act
    edited November 2009
    We all take a ownership type of view at MGA from the company organizer/webdude (thats me) to to our label/band liasions and our charters. and ask each of our interested bands to provide us wirth high quality MP3s for us to review of any songs they are looking to get into rock band.

    the song doesnt have to be hard
    doesnt have to be thrash to appease the high level technical thwokers out there

    it has to be fun
    I Personally ask myself "Would this song be fun to play with my kids? would it play well at a partty and get a vibe going?" if it passes then yah it would be good content for RBN and Rock Band II. We also take into consideration the requests of the bands fans as to what their favorite songs are... annd hold live chats to really get in touch with the band, their fans, and to get a good sense of how this band or that band thinks and interacts with the peple that are buying their music,
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