The Song Author Study Thread

DavyinaTogaDavyinaToga Road Warrior
edited October 2009 in The Rock Band Network
With the documents online, the advent of upgraded plugins, and even an RBN project sample, many tools exist to help all people to learn how things work. But, sometimes seeing things in action just makes it all click, and the best way to do that is to just play and watch.

But, which songs are best to study? What unique things could you do? Is there a way to make things easier for you? What if you want to do something uncommon, and are looking for HMX-official songs that utilize the same technique?

Whether for creative instrument charting, excellent camera work, or cool venue effects, these are the songs that can make you go "Ah-hah!"


"Clint Eastwood" - Gorillaz
  • Obviously, the singer sings all the parts. But, check out the rap verses. Lip sync is applied to the drummer, then a chain of "Close Up Only" focusing on him/her creates the illusion of a second vocalist.
  • Nice use of the [lighting_flare] and Negative PPV
  • Watch the cam cuts at the end of each verse. It'll change with every cymbal hit (also done in Feel Good, Inc)
"Tangled Up In Blue" - Bob Dylan
  • Just a good example that Easy isn't always bad, especially if one instrument is far and away harder than the others.
  • Check out the end of each chorus. Always OD. Always simple. Always Unison bonus. Never exceeds max overdrive.
"Give It Away" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Watch all the way through to 1:37. See that? No activation point available has appeared, yet the Vocalist is picking up his fifth Overdrive phrase! That OD is going to waste, unless the vocalist missed a few phrases (which, for a talky song like this, doesn't happen often enough). This is exactly what NOT to do! Frustrating at best.
  • Second verse gets it right. 4 OD phrases, activation point, and picks up 4 more OD before it ends. Even gives a few extra activation points, just in case.




More to come, hopefully from you guys!

Comments

  • lowfatevanlowfatevan Unsigned
    edited October 2009
    Thanks for posting this, I've been looking for guidance on overdrive placement in particular.
  • HMXMister_GameHMXMister_Game Harmonix Developer
    edited October 2009
    It's probably important to note that some of our authoring standards have evolved. For example, in "Don't Look Back in Anger" (http://www.rockband.com/songs/dontlookbackinanger) which was released very early in 2008, we used a Green-Yellow-Orange chord, something that we don't do now in DLC and won't allow in RBN tracks.

    So, the DLC library is a good start (and as you pointed out above, we're not perfect), but just because it's in the DLC library doesn't mean it's automatically OK.
  • DavyinaTogaDavyinaToga Road Warrior
    edited October 2009
    HMXMister_Game;3195078 said:
    It's probably important to note that some of our authoring standards have evolved. For example, in "Don't Look Back in Anger" (http://www.rockband.com/songs/dontlookbackinanger) which was released very early in 2008, we used a Green-Yellow-Orange chord, something that we don't do now in DLC and won't allow in RBN tracks.

    So, the DLC library is a good start (and as you pointed out above, we're not perfect), but just because it's in the DLC library doesn't mean it's automatically OK.
    That is true. For now it's just a simple compilation of whatever anyone comes across. When there are enough examples I'll be able to rearrange the list according to technique, with several songs for each (such as the 'second singer' techinque, which is also used in Beer For My Horses and Under Pressure). That way, things that shouldn't be done but have in the past (like the G/_/O chords that you mention) can either be pointed out as currently unacceptable for RBN standards, or just omitted altogether.

    Hopefully, everyone will find something to contribute, since I have nowhere near enough DLC to do this on my own.

    ...And I just realized I should have reserved a few posts, for when everything gets too big for one.
  • HMXAlakaiserHMXAlakaiser Harmonix Developer
    edited October 2009
    The dual singer trick is also apparent in "Swamped" by Lacuna Coil, and "Bathwater" by No Doubt. It's a personal favorite venue trick we do, and it's one of those things that when my friends download the song and talk to me I go crazy and basically yell "DID YOU NOTICE THOSE COOL EFFECTS? I BET YOU DIDN'T BUT THEY'RE AWESOME!"

    Cool little tricks like that add a little extra flavor to the song. It's encouraging to see people notice these things, and use them in their own songs for RBN!
  • HeyRilesHeyRiles Besse's Girl
    edited October 2009
    Make sure you add a point about short guitar slides that are charted as a single sustain, such as the very first note on guitar in Constant Motion, or a few notes near the end of Working Man, when the guitar and beat is slowing down

    Hey, great work though! I'll let you know if I can think of other things
  • RockAuthorsRockAuthors Unsigned
    edited October 2009
    HMXAlakaiser;3195401 said:
    The dual singer trick is also apparent in "Swamped" by Lacuna Coil, and "Bathwater" by No Doubt. It's a personal favorite venue trick we do, and it's one of those things that when my friends download the song and talk to me I go crazy and basically yell "DID YOU NOTICE THOSE COOL EFFECTS? I BET YOU DIDN'T BUT THEY'RE AWESOME!"

    Cool little tricks like that add a little extra flavor to the song. It's encouraging to see people notice these things, and use them in their own songs for RBN!
    Haha that's hilarious HMXAlakaiser! That's got to be a sweet feeling though to tell someone you made the Rock Band track their currently playing.

    I think those little nuances are what really make songs fun to play. It's what immerses the player, and makes them feel like they're really out there jamming. Players may not immediately notice them, but if you start taking things like that out, I'm sure it will negatively affect the overall experience.

    I too am excited to see what unique and innovative things authors will bring to songs on RBN.
  • DavyinaTogaDavyinaToga Road Warrior
    edited October 2009
    HeyRiles;3195777 said:
    Make sure you add a point about short guitar slides that are charted as a single sustain, such as the very first note on guitar in Constant Motion, or a few notes near the end of Working Man, when the guitar and beat is slowing down

    Hey, great work though! I'll let you know if I can think of other things
    Perfect! I was thinking about that trick about a week ago, and couldn't come up with any examples off the top of my head when creating this thread.

    HMXAlakaiser - Heh, I'm gonna have to also download those songs, along with Clint Eastwood. Dual singer is one of my fave tricks so far, too!
  • ReygnierReygnier Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    Hi guys!

    There is a The Who song that also has the second vocalist effect. I think it's Magic Bus (Live at Leeds).
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