Rocksmith & Rocksmith 2014 discussion thread

Comments

  • blingdomepieceblingdomepiece Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    It's been pointed out on SH that the Frag Dolls are apparently a Ubisoft-sponsored group, so the blog post should be taken as internal marketing.
    So the biggest strength for Rocksmith is that the sounds that comes out of your guitar will be the sound you hear through your TV or home theater.
    The audio does not drop out on the track when you miss notes (they don't have access to stems/masters) so I am not sure that will be the case.
  • jimhenryjimhenry Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    My guess is that Rocksmith will be something like the vocals of RB for guitar. Since the game knows what notes you are supposed to be playing and when, it only needs to detect if you are playing those notes. This is easier than determining what notes you are playing. It does raise the question of how much does knowing what fret you are holding and what string you are strumming add to RB pro mode over a scoring of whether you are producing the correct audio result?
  • jokergt500jokergt500 Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    I wanna know how it works with any guitar
  • raynebcraynebc Road Warrior
    edited March 2011
    It will probably either compare the audio your guitar is producing to data about what you're supposed to be playing (comparing PCM data) or will actually try to determine which notes you're playing (frequency analysis) to see if you're playing what it wants you to be playing.
  • Bront20Bront20 The Writing's on the Wall
    edited March 2011
    jokergt500;4349917 said:
    I wanna know how it works with any guitar
    Reading between the lines, it simply picks up the signal your guitar sends to the amp and decides if you're close or not. I'd be sceptical of how it may or may not build some bad habits, particularly if it's not quite accurate (which it has to allow some leway for different tunings and such.

    The fact that you can have it double as using your TV as an amp may be a reason for squire owners to pick it up though.
  • MofoMan2000MofoMan2000 Rising Star
    edited March 2011
    raynebc;4349959 said:
    It will probably either compare the audio your guitar is producing to data about what you're supposed to be playing (comparing PCM data) or will actually try to determine which notes you're playing (frequency analysis) to see if you're playing what it wants you to be playing.
    Comparing PCM data is a bad idea. Different pickups sound different (and you can select pickups on even the cheapest guitars) and so do different string types and intonations and everything… It's gotta be pitch/frequency analysis.

    Also: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/108486-Ubisoft-Tempts-Fate-With-Rocksmith
  • tnevakertnevaker Road Warrior
    edited March 2011
    toymachineSH;4349161 said:
    Last week I was in Austin for South by Southwest, a huge festival for interactive, film and most famous for music. That’s why SXSW was the perfect outlet to unveil our new game, Rocksmith!
    I watched a mix of musicians, gamers & average Jacks put their concert and barhopping on hold to wait in our Rocksmith bus line.
    yeah, i don't exactly think that's an unbiased review.

    plus, all those pictures, and still not a single clear screenshot of the actual game interface? i'm tired of all the hype. show the damm game already. if i want to look at people trying to play guitar, i'll go to guitar center. until i see the actual game in action, all this hype means nothing.

    also, i love how one of the pictures has the quote "You can use any of these guitars in Rocksmith".... and yet, it's a picture of mostly ACOUSTIC guitars, many of which probably CAN'T be used in the game if they don't have a pickup installed.
  • raynebcraynebc Road Warrior
    edited March 2011
    I read that they don't recommend using an acoustic guitar with a quarter inch output anyway.
  • NeilDiamond1974NeilDiamond1974 Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    It probably isn't given some of the secrecy surrounding screenshots and the bizarre reviews. For a moment I really thought this could be done given this:

    http://guitartunerguide.com/content/polytune-guitar-tuner-app-iphone-ipod-touch

    It can correctly detect notes on all six strings at once. The processing power required can be handled by an ipod touch, so I would hope the PS3/XBox could handle it.

    As far as being able to perfectly track fingers on fret#s, I think it is silly given the number of ways it is possible to plan the same song in the same key on guitar (more or less). I believe you should be graded more on getting the correct notes, not whether you played an open A or an A on the 5th fret of the low E string.

    I'm not thrilled with the Squire Pro guitar. I've played 2 of them and both had a cheap hollow plastic feel around the 2nd fret. I really feel that they won't stand up to a lot of actual playing. Despite the fact that you can plug them into and amp for regular play, perhaps it is best not to. $300 is a lot for a guitar toy, granted it could pay for itself in music lessons. The low-end $100 Fender squier seems like a better guitar, when I believe they should be about the same quality.
  • raynebcraynebc Road Warrior
    edited March 2011
    Even if a tuner application can do it on an ipod, it doesn't mean that the latency is low enough for a rhythm game. My findings so far is that my Squier is solid all across the fretboard, and even if it is a low-end guitar, it is probably the least expensive MIDI capable electric guitar on the market, and is more accurate in tracking than many/most traditional MIDI pickups without the need for expensive pitch converters.
  • NeilDiamond1974NeilDiamond1974 Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    raynebc;4350895 said:
    Even if a tuner application can do it on an ipod, it doesn't mean that the latency is low enough for a rhythm game. My findings so far is that my Squier is solid all across the fretboard, and even if it is a low-end guitar, it is probably the least expensive MIDI capable electric guitar on the market, and is more accurate in tracking than many/most traditional MIDI pickups without the need for expensive pitch converters.

    Just to be clear, I don't mind if the RB3 strat is a low-end beginner guitar. I do mind that the $100 regular Fender Squier seems to be better and not plastic. I went in with the expectation that the two guitars would be more or less the same (give or take the # of pickups/features).

    I'm glad that you didn't seem to notice the problem I did. Hopefully, I just got hold of two bad models. I was surprised to see the same problem twice in the same spot on the fretboard.

    If this USB thing works as advertised (minus finger-finding tech) I'm sold.
  • NeilDiamond1974NeilDiamond1974 Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    raynebc;4350895 said:
    Even if a tuner application can do it on an ipod, it doesn't mean that the latency is low enough for a rhythm game.

    I just wanted to comment on latency. If you see this tuner in action, I don't think there's a lot of latency there. Of course, I could be wrong.

    If I am wrong, it is possible that a vector processor of some sort could handle this in the USB dongle taking a huge amount of work off the CPU. That would also make the device more portable to Rock Band as well I would assume.

    This is probably just wishful thinking. I'd just really like to see something like this succeed/work.
  • exup35exup35 Opening Act
    edited March 2011
    Just wondering if some of the developers are from guitar hero and Ubi have taken them under their wing? (or was it in the pipeline anyway and Activision werent prepared to do the legwork?)

    As someone said above - I'd like to see some shots of the game working to see what its like - and although a little skeptical I will reserve judgement until its out and working, still going to get my squier though,
  • tnevakertnevaker Road Warrior
    edited March 2011
    raynebc;4350895 said:
    Even if a tuner application can do it on an ipod, it doesn't mean that the latency is low enough for a rhythm game. My findings so far is that my Squier is solid all across the fretboard, and even if it is a low-end guitar, it is probably the least expensive MIDI capable electric guitar on the market, and is more accurate in tracking than many/most traditional MIDI pickups without the need for expensive pitch converters.

    i think they have worked around the latency issue with the design of the game in a few ways:

    1) the sound doesn't cut out if you miss a note or hit a wrong note
    2) you hear your guitar playing through your console/TV in real time through their amp simulators*
    3) your score or accuracy isn't reported in real time, but instead it's reported at the end of the song

    so the game doesn't need to know in real time if you're hitting the right notes at the right time. it can account for the built-in latency through the software to figure out if you're playing was accurate and in time to the music because it doesn't need to figure that out on the fly in order to cut off the audio track or update your score in real time. this is all based on the very vague descriptions of the game we've been given up to now though, since they still haven't given us any actual details of the gameplay.


    * one potential issue i can see with this is not latency, but lag. if your system has any audio lag at all, it will show up when you try to use the amp simulators and you'll hear your notes delayed in the playback from the tv. it would be a lot like the lag you hear with vocals played back through the TV in RB. my RB3 latency is around 20ms, and that's enough to throw me off on drums or notice the vocal lag. i suppose you could probably turn off the amp sim in the game, but if that's a major selling point, a lot of people could be disappointed when they try to use it only to find out that their system's audio lag makes it virtually unusable. if you've ever tried to play freestyle drums on a system with audio lag, you know how hard it is to play in rhythm when you don't hear yourself playing back in correct time.
  • ssrjazzssrjazz Unsigned
    edited April 2011
    (*PSST* tnevaker: Latency = lag)

    Ok.. my 2c...

    No idea how they're doing it, tho I'd love to know. They could be doing simple waveform analysis but I doubt it. They state that the game can dynamically adjust the difficulty of what it's showing you to play if it thinks you're having trouble keeping up. What that leads me to think is they're doing some sort of FFT or other spectral analysis on the output signal from your guitar. Either using the CPU or an embedded chip in the D/A converter in the usb cable. I think the xbox 360 and the PS3 have enough cpu horsepower to do it on their own tho. Even an A played on an open A string and the 5th fret of the low E are going to have different spectral 'fingerprints' because of the string thickness, different subharmonics (and amplitudes thereof), etc, even tho they are the same exact note. So, the question isn't so much -if- they can detect what strings and which frets you're using with reasonable accuracy - it's more of them being able to do this in real-time with low latency _AND_ being able to apply virtual stomp box and amplifier effects (again with low enough latency). A few years ago that was nearly impossible to do in software alone. The software (and hardware) has gotten a LOT better tho.

    Personally, I think both Harmonix' (and Fender's) implementation AND ubisoft's (if it works) are very ingenious and are quickly pushing these rhythm games into real actual music 'games' where people can take what they learn in the game and apply it to entertaining themselves, their friends, and other people outside of the game. It brings new challenges (and useful skills!) to those who have grown bored with the button mashing instruments and want to take on something harder, gives beginner and seasoned guitarists alike a way to stay motivated to practice, and lets people who never thought they could play an instrument for real.... play it for real.

    Bring it on!....Can't wait to see if this game works well and, if it does, what Harmonix does in response to push the envelope further!
  • tnevakertnevaker Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    ssrjazz;4357928 said:
    (*PSST* tnevaker: Latency = lag)
    well, yeah. i should have been more clear, i was referring specifically to software latency, i.e. the time it takes the software to "know" what note has been played, which is what was being discussed above, vs. audio lag, which is the cumulative time between when you play a note on the guitar and when you hear that note played back through your sound system. software latency is one possible cause of that lag, but not the only one. for instance, on my system, my receiver has about 30ms of lag. no matter how good the software latency is, i'll still always hear that 30ms delay. RB compensates for that with the lag adjustment that plays back the tracks 30ms early so that when i'm playing it sounds like the tracks are in time with my actual playing, but the lag still becomes obvious when playing drum fills or live vocals through the mic, where there is no pre-recorded track to play back early.

    my point was, it sounds like the gameplay on this new game is designed to counteract any issues with software latency, such as having post-song scoring instead of real-time scoring and not cutting the sound off if you miss a note. however, nothing in the software can compensate for software latency OR lag introduced by other components of the system when it comes to playing through an amp simulator or simulated effects pedal. anyone with lag in their system would hear that delay, even if the software latency was 0ms, just like you hear that delay in RB3 on drum fills or microphones.
  • Doom878Doom878 Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    I'm interested to learn more. I'm not above trying other games as I do own GH:VH. I am skeptical because if it were so easy HMX would've done it. I think in the thousand videos I watched up to Squier release they talked about doing this method prior to their fret sensor idea. Sorry if already mentioned but I didn't read through most of the posts.
  • DMBilliesDMBillies Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    Doom878;4361132 said:
    I am skeptical because if it were so easy HMX would've done it. I think in the thousand videos I watched up to Squier release they talked about doing this method prior to their fret sensor idea. Sorry if already mentioned but I didn't read through most of the posts.
    I'm not picking on you doom, but your comments are similar to a number of the other posts. I agree with you that if it were that easy, HMX would have done it this way. Of course, HMX had entirely different development criteria and things they thought were important to making the Squier part of the RB platform. That includes (but is not limited to):

    Things that require split-second timing
    1. Audio tracks that cut out very close to when you miss
    2. Immediate scoring of performance
    3. Video feedback to help you know you're making mistakes

    Things that help you learn
    4. The game showing you which frets you're pushing down (why they didn't implement something for the keyboard in this area, I don't know, but try playing pro keys as a novice on an easy difficulty and you'll start to understand why this really is so important)


    The above 4 things preclude the approach Rocksmith is using and developing technology to meet those demands practically guarantees better, faster, and more accurate performance of the technology for playing a game.

    The problem is, Rocksmith is not really being marketed as a game (whereas RB always has been). They aren't talking about competitive modes and scoring. They aren't talking about failing. They aren't talking about online. They are talking about an interactive way to learn guitar that scores you as a means for adjusting the difficulty of the tracks and giving you some indication that you are improving (which will hopefully be motivating).

    The only things better about this approach are: 1) It doesn't require expensive hardware for people who own guitars and 2) it isn't a "game" so elitist musician types are less likely to scoff at it as a learning tool. Number 2 is one of the reasons I'm kind of surprised that HMX has not released a stand-alone title using the Squier that could be sold as a package deal in a music store. Get them a "cheaply developed" instructional game and a starter guitar that they can use alone, which would also start building an install base for people who can bring that guitar into RB. Once people get bored of the instructional game they'll start looking for other ways to use the expensive toy they bought and RB will be sitting there with a game worth of content and quite a few DLC tracks.

    In any case, I think using your own guitar and Rocksmith not being a "game" will mean that this sells quite a few copies. Heck, even I'm interested in it since I both already own guitars, and wouldn't mind having a different way to get immersed in playing more/different songs.


    P.S., I was away giving a couple of talks at other universities over the last couple of days and my girlfriend bought me a RB Squier while I was gone as an early graduation present. First, she rocks, but second I am very excited about finally getting to try out RB Pro. My fingers should be bleeding by the end of tonight.
  • raynebcraynebc Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    DMBillies;4361367 said:
    Number 2 is one of the reasons I'm kind of surprised that HMX has not released a stand-alone title using the Squier that could be sold as a package deal in a music store. Get them a "cheaply developed" instructional game and a starter guitar that they can use alone, which would also start building an install base for people who can bring that guitar into RB.

    I'd probably buy any instructional guitar console title that uses the Squier to enforce accurate technique. I wonder if a third party software title would have to get special permission or license something in order to allow the Squier guitar to be used?
  • Doom878Doom878 Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    Yeah I agree. I'm honestly not worried about the gaming part. I just want to make sure I'm playing it right and that the timing is there without delay. Maybe regardless of game use or not HMX decided it wasn't good enough?
  • ssrjazzssrjazz Unsigned
    edited April 2011
    Harmonix probably couldn't get a real guitar working with low enough latency. My guess is, like tnevaker's, is that it's not exactly real-time analysis of your playing. Rock Band is pretty unforgiving in that it needs to know what you played exactly in time (give or take a few ms) with the music because of how it scores your playing, etc. RockSmith's gameplay mechanics may not require it being real-time, so it can take more time to figure out if you were playing things correctly or not.
  • alexlifesonalexlifeson Opening Act
    edited April 2011
    Yes that would have been cool if they could but remember keyboards only requires you press down on the keys (one step) whereas guitar/bass requires you to press down the string AND pluck the corresponding string (2 independent steps) and so how would they know you were pressing just to see yopur hands vs actually wanting to play the notes? youd have to double hit everything to make that idea work, which of course WOULDNT work in play
    DMBillies;4361367 said:

    4. The game showing you which frets you're pushing down (why they didn't implement something for the keyboard in this area, I don't know, but try playing pro keys as a novice on an easy difficulty and you'll start to understand why this really is so important)
  • DMBilliesDMBillies Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    alexlifeson;4362321 said:
    Yes that would have been cool if they could but remember keyboards only requires you press down on the keys (one step) whereas guitar/bass requires you to press down the string AND pluck the corresponding string (2 independent steps) and so how would they know you were pressing just to see yopur hands vs actually wanting to play the notes? youd have to double hit everything to make that idea work, which of course WOULDNT work in play
    Not if your fingers "lit up" the keys as they "floated" on them (similar to the way a touch screen senses your fingers without really having to press down on the screen). I imagine the reason they didn't is that the tech would have been costly, and my point wasn't to necessarily say HMX screwed up, just that playing pro keys as a novice is pretty difficult because you can't visually see where you are on the keys and see the notes at the same time.

    I think if you watch some of the Rocksmith videos you see the players looking back and forth between their hands and the screen. Watching your hands when you aren't copying notes on a screen is fine, but when your hands wander to an incorrect position while you process the on screen info is going to be impossible. You'll eventually develop a feel for it, but without the visual feedback, I think you might also find novices getting frustrated before they develop that feel.
  • bjyaritzbjyaritz Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    toymachineSH;4368688 said:

    I actually think this game may have real promise after watching this. If the Squier works with it (without an MIDI adapt) I will definately pick it up. The length of the chart will help with the learning. I wish in the RB games you could extend the chart out further. It would greatly help.
  • Doom878Doom878 Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    Dork at the end saying real guitar ain't out there. :shakesheadindisgust:

    What's up with the angle? It seems confusing which string to pick. Plus the fret numbers are in the background and the colors are over the frets. So I have to look at 2 places on the screen?
  • I_Love_YouI_Love_You Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    This is actually looking pretty decent, I kind of like the way they do it (in theory), though I don't know how well it will work in actual play. Certainly doesn't look as sharp as RB3, but it may still have its merits.

    And of course, no $300 peripheral is a big plus.
  • skyttskyttskyttskytt Headliner
    edited April 2011
    Yeah, the interface looks a little awkward, but I have a feeling I'll pick it up after actually playing with it. I'm wondering how much of the actual songs they chart, since it looked like occasional notes when playing chords, and a fair amount/everything when playing individual notes. That interface could get pretty overwhelming on faster, chord-shift-heavy songs.
  • DMBilliesDMBillies Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    The notes show up as an exact mirror image of your actual hand placement as you hold the guitar. In other threads I've argued quite strongly that a horizontal scroll (with a mirrored design) is the way RB should have gone. This is an interesting mix of horizontal/vertical and actually gives time it's own dimension. The only real downfall I can see to that is having trouble differentiating the "height" of the notes for different strings (which are close together relative to fret spacing), but they handled that by making the strings different colors. That will take a bit of getting used to since in RB a color change is always a horizontal movement, not a vertical one.

    I actually grabbed my guitar to play along to the video... and I sure felt like it was much more intuitive. The timing may be a little "sloppier" to know precisely from the video, but you should be using your ears for that anyway...

    I'm sure someone will say I'm just seeing what I want to see, but this was the first video I've seen where I actually got a good look at the full screen... and I'm definitely more excited for this game than I was.


    I just really wish other companies would stop putting out press and ads basically denying the existence of anything HMX has done in the last 6 years of music gaming. It does get really old.
  • Tego1inTego1in Road Warrior
    edited April 2011
    The interface looks kind of strange.
    The "House of the Rising Sun" part looks like they just throw chord forms at you.
    I also have yet to see how the guitar interacts with it other than amplifying through the speakers.
    Overall, I'm interested.
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