The ask TAG anything podcast.

ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
edited April 2012 in The Rock Band Network
As everyone knows we're just as much fans of Rock Band as the rest of you are, and as fans we like to know as much as possible about our favorite game.

So we've come up with something to help keep everyone in the loop about all things TAG.

So in this thread you can ask us anything, and if we can give an answer we will. We'll record a podcast and air it on April 1st, and possibly reveal a few new bands we might be working with as well.

So ask away!

Anything you wanted to know from how did TAG get started, to what's our least favorite part of the authoring process, to what color underwear we may or may not be wearing.

We'll read the questions 'on the air' and answer them to the best of our ability.

Comments

  • ThatAuthoringGroupThatAuthoringGroup Numero Uno Super **** Fanboy #1
    edited March 2012
    Yeah Noble is my real name.

    My parents were either hippies, or they hated me.

    Possibly both :P
  • MourganDespanaMourganDespana Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    have you gotten to my request yet :P
  • TubaDude49TubaDude49 Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    When did you decide you were going to do this podcast?
  • edited March 2012
    Who (in your opinion) is the most famous person you ever had a conversation with about the RBN?
  • TubaDude49TubaDude49 Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    MagicMurderBag7;4666970 said:
    Who (in your opinion) is the most famous person you ever had a conversation with about the RBN?

    I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that wouldn't be answered, because if it wasn't the best artist TAG snagged, it would be someone really famous who said no.
  • TheDescentTheDescent Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    What's the most obscure band you've worked with (released or not)?

    What's your policy about splitting up tracks longer than 10 minutes?
  • MithrasMithras Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    I've got a few.

    1) Have you guys ever started authoring a song and realized you can't stand the song? Like if you had to listen to it one more time you might pull your hair out? ( You don't have to say what song)

    2) What is the hardest part to chart? Guitar? Drums?

    3) Why is licensing "hard"? I mean, can't you just threaten to egg their house if they don't let you use their music? ( I'm totally joking)

    4) Have you ever been shocked at how well a song sold? Can you say which song/group?

    5) What's the longest you've had a song in review before it actually got released?
  • BonJohndyBonJohndy Unsigned
    edited March 2012
    Is their a job on internship available for TAG. I was wondering if their was an official title were I can tell bands about RBN and direct them to TAG, or maybe some kind of pamphlets I can give to bands about RBN and TAG.
  • BonJohndyBonJohndy Unsigned
    edited March 2012
    What has made you all the most and least amount of money? Also what songs you sold the most and least of? Also, if you cam, please tell us how much money made, the number of tracks sold, how much each of those tracks selling for.
  • AskariNariAskariNari Rising Star
    edited March 2012
    BonJohndy;4667028 said:
    Also, if you can, please tell us how much money made, the number of tracks sold, how much each of those tracks selling for.

    Sorry, but no good authoring group would ever release any of that information to anyone besides the artist/rightsholder.

    My questions: 1. Have you ever turned down an artist wanted to release (for reasons other than legal issues)?

    2. Are any of the main members of TAG in a band or other musical project?

    3. What about that "funny Godsmack story" you mentioned in the request thread?
  • machetemonkeymachetemonkey Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    Mithras;4667007 said:
    I've got a few.

    1) Have you guys ever started authoring a song and realized you can't stand the song? Like if you had to listen to it one more time you might pull your hair out? ( You don't have to say what song)

    2) What is the hardest part to chart? Guitar? Drums?

    3) Why is licensing "hard"? I mean, can't you just threaten to egg their house if they don't let you use their music? ( I'm totally joking)

    4) Have you ever been shocked at how well a song sold? Can you say which song/group?

    5) What's the longest you've had a song in review before it actually got released?

    While I'll save my answers for the podcast, as a TAG author I can say these are all good questions (even number 3. Even if you're joking, I guarantee there's a ton of people out there who have NO IDEA why licensing is so hard)

    The one hint I'll give you about #5 is that the song in question is releasing tomorrow!
  • MithrasMithras Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    thought of a few more.

    6) What's the quickest that you have gotten a song out? From contacting the band to getting it in the game? Have any "deals" went through so easily that even you even you were amazed?

    7) Feel kinda dumb asking this, but if I don't know then others may not know either. What exactly is a "stem"? Is it like a recording, sheet music, not even close?

    8) This isn't going to be some twisted April's Fools joke is it? ---Podcast on 4/1--HAHAHA just kidding!!

    9) Do the people that work for tag have instruments that they only work on? Like do you have a guy that does guitar and another that does drums, or is it once you do one part you can pretty much do them all?
  • lvmathemagicianlvmathemagician Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    ThatAuthoringGroup;4666870 said:
    Yeah Noble is my real name.

    My parents were either hippies, or they hated me.

    Possibly both :P

    Which of these reasons do you prefer?
  • cwilburcwilbur Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    These might be too business-confidential, but maybe they're worth a try....

    1) What do TAG's overall sales figures look like over time? I'm not really interested in hard numbers here, just how RBN DLC sales are (I presume) dropping over time. So, if you want to cite TAG's biggest sales month and just call it "100%", then give a comparative figure for more recent months, that would be fine. Is the current market seeing 50% of the sales of the big month? 10%? 1%? Was the dropoff gradual or sudden? That's what I'm curious about.

    2) I recognize it will vary contract by contract, but at a broad level, how is the money split up when I buy a song? Are there fixed constants (like Microsoft's cut and/or HMX's)? Does the band typically get a lion's share or a pittance?
  • lvmathemagicianlvmathemagician Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    Have you tried to get Led Zepelin, Pink Floyd or U2 into RBN?
  • ZemanatorZemanator Rising Star
    edited March 2012
    given the amount of questions regarding sales figures, or money in general, I wouldn't expect any to be answered very well, if at all. Also, bear in mind, as Askari pointed out, there are certain things we definitely wont discuss, one of them being how much money any individual made, or stuff like that.


    BUT, as the title says, ask us anything (that you think we'd answer) it can be as farfetch'd as you want, we just want to have some fun with the community!
  • TkDiamonDTkDiamonD Rising Star
    edited March 2012
    I know HMX isn't inclined to share this kind of information, maybe it's more relaxed with you guys?

    Can you tell us some notable labels/artists you've approached who have straight up shot you down?
  • Catch-22Catch-22 Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    TkDiamonD;4667346 said:
    I know HMX isn't inclined to share this kind of information, maybe it's more relaxed with you guys?

    Can you tell us some notable labels/artists you've approached who have straight up shot you down?

    Probably, couple of labels nuked the bridge while we were standing on it. Not like there's a shot of anything happening there anyways.
  • ErutaercErutaerc Unsigned
    edited March 2012
    Yea, ask us anything means ANYTHING. Chances are stuff about sales/money/artist rejections will probably not be answered as it's not really public stuff.

    However, if you ask us really bizarre personal stuff, we'll probably answer that. Annoyingly, the rest of the group know how to pronounce my name, else i'd get them all to try saying it :p
  • edited March 2012
    How successful was that Squier contest at generating some sales, and will there be any more contests in the near future?
  • machetemonkeymachetemonkey Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    Mithras;4667331 said:

    9) Do the people that work for tag have instruments that they only work on? Like do you have a guy that does guitar and another that does drums, or is it once you do one part you can pretty much do them all?
    Normally I'd save every question for the podcast, but I feel like answering this one straightaway could open the doors for more questions. The answer is yes, people do specialize in instruments, but it's not a set in stone thing. We have some people who work on damn near everything, and some people (like myself) who really only specialize in an instrument or two. The reason I answer this is in case people want to ask questions specifically to guitar authors, or to drum authors, or to people who have all-around experience.
  • NeilDiamond1974NeilDiamond1974 Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    I'm going to ask a silly question about song selection and licensing.

    Not everyone is a fan of obscure newer prog metal which seems to be 95% of RBN. (This is a party game after all.) Personally, I want to see more artists whose careers peaked in the 80s like Stan Bush (1986 Transformers soundtrack who is on RBN). I think this could make a fun pack (or two) and could sell really well. Most of these artists are very willing to help stuff like actually happen. Plus 80s stuff does really well for HMX. I think that's the other half of the Rock Band demographic and it gets largely ignored on RBN.

    So if the artists are willing to work with you, what could make some deals like that work out? I work in the media, so I'd would even be very happy to help track some folks down for you if that helps. Seriously.

    Thanks!
  • NumskullNumskull Road Warrior
    edited March 2012
    NeilDiamond1974;4669635 said:
    Not everyone is a fan of obscure newer prog metal which seems to be 95% of RBN.

    I don't know whether to laugh or do a facepalm.
  • LuigiHannLuigiHann Stormtrooper
    edited March 2012
    Numskull;4669852 said:
    I don't know whether to laugh or do a facepalm.

    Of all the points in that post, that's the one you highlighted? Of course I suppose if you highlighted every absurd point the whole post would end up yellow.

    To state the obvious: Famous people are harder to get into RBN by virtue of being famous, Neil. They expect more money. They tend to be signed to record labels that expect even more money than RBN could possibly deliver. Obscure and indie bands are less likely to be signed to needy labels, and are more likely to be interested in the small publicity boost that RBN provides, and the joy of seeing their work in a real game.

    If you think you can help out, the way to go is to get unsigned but recognizable artists, or to find smaller record labels with interesting artists and see if you can get them on board.

    Sorry if that came across as snarky but I feel like it should be obvious that authors aren't choosing obscure bands over famous ones based on their own preference, you know? They reach out to everybody they can think of but they only get so many bites.
  • NeilDiamond1974NeilDiamond1974 Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    I feel bad if I was bashing anything. It was unintentional. I'm also not trying to say that it is bad for smaller artists to gain exposure from RNB.

    I just don't think Stan Bush for instance = U2 or something like that. What I was getting at, were artists that were sorta successful at one point. I realize that promotion may not necessarily be as important to them.
  • LiveHomeVideoLiveHomeVideo Trying too hard
    edited March 2012
    NeilDiamond1974;4670088 said:
    I feel bad if I was bashing anything. It was unintentional. I'm also not trying to say that it is bad for smaller artists to gain exposure from RNB.

    I just don't think Stan Bush for instance = U2 or something like that. What I was getting at, were artists that were sorta successful at one point. I realize that promotion may not necessarily be as important to them.

    Also another thing to think about, HMX DLC gets more exposure over the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360 in all countries where Rock Band is played. RBN DLC is first only available on Xbox 360, then if it sells enough or HMX wills it, they get ported over to PS3, and never make it to the Wii. And RBN stuff is only available in certain countries. Bigger artists may want to go with the biggest availability over some exposure on one system and a few North American and European countries, along with Japan and Australia, I believe.
  • NeilDiamond1974NeilDiamond1974 Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    I knew wii was out of the question and PS3 wasn't getting everything (which I find frustrating owning a PS3), but I didn't know there was a geographic issue at play as well. That's interesting. It is a shame for RBN producers.
  • LiveHomeVideoLiveHomeVideo Trying too hard
    edited March 2012
    NeilDiamond1974;4670098 said:
    I knew wii was out of the question and PS3 wasn't getting everything (which I find frustrating owning a PS3), but I didn't know there was a geographic issue at play as well. That's interesting. It is a shame for RBN producers.

    Yeah, the RBN is based off of Microsoft's XNA Indie Games Mainframe, which is only available to some countries because some countries do not want to support indie content, which could have inappropriate material in them that would get passed due to no country-based rating system.
  • NeilDiamond1974NeilDiamond1974 Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    LiveHomeVideo;4670118 said:
    Yeah, the RBN is based off of Microsoft's XNA Indie Games Mainframe, which is only available to some countries because some countries do not want to support indie content, which could have inappropriate material in them that would get passed due to no country-based rating system.

    Thanks for the info LiveHomeVideo.
  • MithrasMithras Opening Act
    edited March 2012
    ThatAuthoringGroup;4666840 said:


    to what color underwear we may or may not be wearing.

    Dammit Noble, ever since I read this I've been getting visions of 40 year old men sitting in their underwear authoring songs. Please deny!!!
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