Does Anybody Else Host Home Rock Band Parties?

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I'm curious if anyone else hosts actual living people at their homes for face-to-face full-band Rock Band Parties. I do it on a semi-regular basis, about 3 to 6 times per year. I'm getting ready to have another one next month for my birthday, and I usually sound like a broken record afterwards asking for minor game update tweaks to enhance the local full-band experience.

Which got me wondering: does anybody else even do this? I'm guessing not, and that makes my requests low-priority because it's just me. That's how it's supposed to work.

My biggest issues with my non-RB-elite/non-hard-core-gamer crowd are the following:
  • Song Selection: I have 1600+ songs in RB4, and that causes a massive breakdown every time we pick songs. We let the singer pick the songs to sing, because most people don't like trying to belt out songs they don't know or have never heard. I end up having to suggest the whole setlist, "How about X?", "I bet you could sing Y!", "Z is right in your wheel-house, wanna give it a shot?" Scrolling and listening to the song preview is what the people want to do. I painstakingly create songs lists (no automated way to dump your library) and send out PDFs, but people don't want to do homework for a party so they don't. Looking at the list during the current setlist when they are next doesn't work so hot either, because people like to hear the preview when choosing. I have gone through and 1-starred all the songs that I think no one would want to play and then hide them, but that leaves a lot of songs and also hides some people might liek since I don't perfectly know everybody's musical taste.
    --> What do you do?
    --> My request for this is to make the existing custom setlists available for use as filters. And to move them out of the user profile and onto the local machine so that we can have more of them. The problem with current setlists is that they are... setlists. You can't pick from them, you have to just play all the songs in them. You can randomize the setlist, but you can't pick.Making them filters allows making logical groupings of songs, selecting one or more of these grouping, and then being able to pick songs from a tailored list that also allows all the current sort options.
  • Filters: the filters are not really useable as they are implemented now. Trying to filter on genre requires like 21 clicks to disable every genre except the one you want to see, and then it takes that many clicks to re-enable them. That's too much, and it simply doesn't get used. Previous Rock Band games pretty much every single other list of filters I have ever used for any other application treats "no selections" as "ALL SELECTED". For some reason Rock Band 4 treats no selections for a category as "they didn't pick anything, so I won't show anything!" I keep asking for this simple fix. I'm a software developer, I know this one is in fact simple. Please do it, HMX. Please. This change would make filters useable again. "What do you want to sing", "IDK", "Let's look at the songs I have from the 70s!"
  • Band Leader: people mash buttons when they pick up the guitars, even when they try not to. People want to hit the pads on the drums when they sit down to the kit, and turning off drum navigation doesn't keep them from accidentally hitting the control buttons. Please add an optional "Band Leader" mode where we can go into the player options to optionally enable it for a specific controller, and then the only thing the other controllers can do is there own ready select and difficulty and that's it. No advancing past the song stats screen or backing out of the setlist except for the Band Leader. This would be awesome.
Thanks for listening again.

Comments

  • I throw a big Rock Band party once or twice a year. My birthday is also coming up, and I'm planning one last hurrah.
    This will be my first year of printing a karaoke style song book and letting people peruse it while others play. Not sure how well this will work.
    Letting the singer choose the song works well for my crowd as well. We have a few shy people who don't like belting out tunes and this lets people hear their favourite tunes, while filling up all the instruments.

    The Band Leader option is a fantastic idea and would be greatly appreciated. I can't count the times where someone has picked up a guitar and started pressing buttons to get acquainted with it, only to send us back to the main menu. This problem becomes more frequent after everyone's had a couple drinks too.

  • I go to a local gaming night where I bring along my system, like you it's a singer chooses policy, but don't have profiles for everyone and were working with legacy equipment and only one pad. Like your ideas though.
  • WitticusWitticus VERY DEEP
    edited January 25
    Sometimes, but my wife thinks I should use my time machine for a better purpose.
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    I don't host (my home is unsuitable for party hosting, both by location and general lack of presentability), but I do bring the kit over to a friends' house a couple times a year (birthday party, sometimes new year's, sometimes summer BBQ) for a usually 6-10 player rotation (Vocalists' choice, always). Their house hosts the party but I'm in charge of the RB zone.
  • I had a Rocktoberfest party last year. It was fun, but song selection was the big pain.

    I tried getting people to pick songs ahead of time so I could make setlists, but people are generally lazy so no one did.

    Still had a blast, but would have been nice to not have to try to figure out on the fly.
  • aimsmallmismallaimsmallmismall Unsigned
    edited January 26
    I’ve been requesting this for ages now - the answer is better app integration..

    The app already shows your song library.. Now, it needs to be enhanced by allowing you to create and customize set lists on the fly - while people are playing..

    So I’m at a party and a group is in the middle of a song.. I should be able to access the app, scroll through songs, *listen to a 10 second clip of each (the hook is all that’s needed), and hit “NEXT” on it.. Then, that song immediately comes on when the previous song is over.. Just like a jukebox.

    Also, the app needs to show more songs at once - currently you can only see a small handful of songs on the iPad app - the font could be a lot smaller.

    *This part isnt really necessary but would be awesome.
  • I don't host local events anymore. Haven't since early RB3 and that was only like once or twice that first year RB3 came out.
    I was one of the ones requesting online :)
  • We used to. But getting everything to work (calibration, stutter, 3 mics) in RB4 has become such a big hassle we don't play local coop anymore.
  • EmalytheEmalythe Rising Star
    In the past, I've tried printing out my song list - Karaoke style - which results in a huge book.

    But generally, the people in attendance were fairly familiar with the songs available, or could at least remember the artist or part of the song title. In cases where they couldn't, it became a game in itself to try to figure out the song based on the requester's humming, or partial lyric recall.

    I'm planning on another one in the near future. Rather than wasting all that paper and ink, I'll try to have a laptop set up with a searchable database.

    The button mashing can be annoying, but for the most part it's manageable. Maybe I can make some kind of dunce cap to give to the person who can't stop doing it.

  • djb5f1djb5f1 Unsigned


    you need more Alice in Chains! :)

  • I used to host parties, they were pretty small and all my friends like a lot of the same music so it was never a problem getting someone to sing.

    I have not hosted a Rock Band party in over a year, mostly because I don't have money to buy food and drinks, and because our house is falling a part, so there is rooms where the lights don't work and other issues that make me not want people over
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    edited January 26
    Yeah, AIC is a longtime casualty of my cheapness. I should've got those two packs when they were cheap in the big pre-RB3-content sale, but I didn't. And ever since they came back up they've been on the list of "I'd be a fool to buy them at full price now when I declined when they were half this price - maybe if they come up for sale again..." Which is what I did when Queen 01 and American Idiot went on sale.

    Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, HMX.

    Worse, AIC02 has been hit by a random Canadian Price Adjustment. It's a legacy 5-pack that inexplicably costs $3 more than other legacy 5-packs now. In fact it's more than a dollar cheaper for me to buy the 5 component singles of AIC 02 than the pack.
  • AMXMattAMXMatt Unsigned
    I still host RB parties at my house fairly regularly. I'm about 2 months away from my annual Rock Band Birthday Bash! We also let the singer choose the songs. I also maintain a large song list I print out for parties. Sometimes it helps people get song ideas before their turn to sing, but things often still hit a brief standstill when picking songs. I still think the Play A Show mode is perfect for parties because it gets people out of their boxes and gets us playing songs we rarely play, but it seems someone always ends up just selecting the option to pick a song from the library and that's the end of show mode. I would love for this mode to be customizable, like the ability to disable the option of picking a song from the library and maybe a method for creating custom categories and the ability to exclude specific songs (so the user could pre-pick songs that aren't good for party play or songs that are largely disliked and disable those songs).

    I would love to see the companion app expanded so guests could connect to my wi-fi network, see my songs and take part in voting for songs to play through the companion app.

    Button mashing used to be a huge problem, but isn't a big deal anymore.
    LordFlatus, I like all your suggestions and agree about the filtering. It's nice to have filters again, but too cumbersome to use for parties.
  • That's a good point. I never even considered using show mode. It would be nice if you had a bit more control over it.
  • tdc002tdc002 Road Warrior
    I used to host Rock Band parties in college a lot. Definitely print out a karaoke style song list. That way people aren't wasting time scrolling through your list trying to pick songs. Also it gives people NOT currently playing something to do.

    One of those Rock Band fansites had a feature where you could pick out all your songs on a checklist and export them to a .pdf karaoke list, but I think that site might be gone? Anyone know if RBDB has a feature like this?

    Also, to avoid arguments over songs, we'd just let whoever was singing pick the song and whoever is on instruments just has to play. Singing is much harder to sight read than instruments.
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    edited January 27
    tdc002 said:

    One of those Rock Band fansites had a feature where you could pick out all your songs on a checklist and export them to a .pdf karaoke list, but I think that site might be gone? Anyone know if RBDB has a feature like this?

    dlcquickplay keeps going up and down. Seems to be up right now, Not very reliable though.

    You could definitely export your owned song list from the non-beta rbdb site; I can't figure out how to do it in beta rbdb. The booklets I imaged above I created from rbdb export (importing its output into google sheets and fiddling with it a bit more there before printing).
  • kanamitkanamit Unsigned
    I host about 4 parties a year. I always send the songlist out early. People send me 3-song setlists they are interested in signing. It speeds things up having some setlists saved. We have very little down time.
  • yoann007yoann007 Unsigned
    edited January 29
    Everytime I host a party I send a link to my list of songs so they can choose early. I used to have a Google Sheets readily available but now I just use http://rbdb.online ;)

    If it's a big party I also make sure to print a few song lists in case anyone wants to choose right away.
  • LordFlatusLordFlatus Rising Star
    Great suggestions, but if you read the OP you'll see that I do send out my song-list in advance and that people don't like to do homework. :) And I keep a printed version on the table for people to peruse while waiting their turn. I also keep a laptop with RBDB opened on it. But my people want to hear the previews.

    My party goers aren't RB Elite or even gamers. It's fun that way, but song selection sucks. Shows Mode has been fun in the past, but not everyone likes singing songs they don't know and we end with people refusing to sing when they would've sung if they could pick their songs. When I have smaller get togethers Shows Mode is fun because we usually all vote for what the singer wants for the first song, what we want to play on the instruments for the second, and what will humourously punish the punish the best for the third. :grin:
  • GraffinGraffin Rising Star
    A couple of years back some bar organised a Rock Band event at Prospect Town Hall (here in Adelaide, South Australia)... it was a freaking awesome event, but so poorly advertised and promoted, so the turn out wasn't great.

    We had a stage with instruments set up to amps, and it was like performing as a real life Rock Star. The organisers eve had the backing of Harmonix, as there were official Rock Band stickers, pins, badges and other giveaways on the night.

    I'd love to hit up my local council to hold a similar event. I know it would take a lot of organising and i'd have to use my own set of instruments (which i'm fine with, since I have 3 sets of everything), but I plan to have this happening in the 2nd half of this year. Of course i'll have to get permission from Harmonix, so i'll post more on this later in 2018.

    Song selection is the tricky thing. The event at Prospect had a list of available songs printed on paper, so it was a nightmare to select what we were gonna do. I guess they didn't know about the rbdb website, but i'd probably just have a few iPads with the official app, showing what content I own/is available to play. It seems to be the most efficient and easiest way to do it.

    If anyone else is from Adelaide or SA (Australia), and plays Rock Band regularly, feel free to PM me and we can rock out in the real world!

    :smiley:
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    Graffin said:

    A couple of years back some bar organised a Rock Band event at Prospect
    ...
    The event at Prospect had a list of available songs printed on paper, so it was a nightmare to select what we were gonna do. I guess they didn't know about the rbdb website

    rbdb didn't exist a couple years back, so that might partially explain it. :smile: dlcquickplay was the content tracking site of choice.

  • MusashiMusashi Unsigned
    I host! Both at home and at conventions!

    My operation is known as 'New England's Greatest Rock Band Station': https://www.facebook.com/NEGRBS/

    I keep printed songbooks. If I add a couple new songs I'll make a New Songs page and add it to the front section. I make an entirely new book after big songlist expansions.

    At home, usually singer chooses, but ultimately anyone can get a song lined up. At events, I use a sign up sheet to determine song choice and play order.

    A Band Leader mode would help me out a lot since I run my station at conventions.
  • yoann007yoann007 Unsigned
    edited January 31

    Great suggestions, but if you read the OP you'll see that I do send out my song-list in advance and that people don't like to do homework. :) And I keep a printed version on the table for people to peruse while waiting their turn. I also keep a laptop with RBDB opened on it. But my people want to hear the previews.

    What you might do about that is configure your RBDB to display quick links. I did it with Spotify, it opens up quickly (always in the same window) and plays the selected song. With a pair of headphones plugged in, you're all set.


  • LordFlatusLordFlatus Rising Star
    Is that a new feature of RBDB?
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    I think it's been in the beta a while but it's not exactly obvious. In your settings you need to change your "Preferred Stores" -> "Music Sevice" to Spotify, and then in your list controls choose the 'Row Extras' field to "Store Links".
  • LordFlatusLordFlatus Rising Star

    I think it's been in the beta a while but it's not exactly obvious. In your settings you need to change your "Preferred Stores" -> "Music Sevice" to Spotify, and then in your list controls choose the 'Row Extras' field to "Store Links".

    I'm going to give that a try. Thanks for the heads-up!
  • No but whenever I host a party I set up Rock Band. It has varying degrees of success at times. Sometimes people play it and it's a hit and other times it doesn't get touched.
  • I'm curious if anyone else hosts actual living people at their homes for face-to-face full-band Rock Band Parties...

    Which got me wondering: does anybody else even do this? I'm guessing not, and that makes my requests low-priority because it's just me. That's how it's supposed to work.

    My biggest issues with my non-RB-elite/non-hard-core-gamer crowd are the following:

    • Song Selection
    • Filters
    • Band Leader
    Hey, great thread.
    I've been a somewhat regular host of RB parties myself, the biggest of which being my 24-Hour Extra Life marathons.

    I also have made lists myself, originally as a karaoke songbook, but then I moved on to Google Sheets. I like doing spreadsheets for fun and had already invested a fair bit of time into this before discovering rbdb...

    (You can check it out here.)

    A personal gripe I have long had with the menus touches on all three of your main points.
    I find the way we rate our songs in RB4 a bit redundant, because it is easily contaminated while scrolling. I never rate my songs yet I have many listed as 1, 2 or 5 because while scrolling through lists (particular with DS4 and Drum d-pads, even though you're pressing down, it slips in a few rights and lefts every now and then.

    I would love to use the option to filter out songs rated 1/5, a great example of this is when I am doing charity live streams for children, it would be good if some songs weren't shown in the list while scrolling.

    When you add in the lack of Band Leader functionality the issue becomes impossible to keep track of.
    And my goodness, how many times has a guitar pass brought up the highscores screen or exited to the main menu, or worst of all, hit REPLAY or NEXT while viewing the results screen. We have the functionality for drums because it was clear since a long time that people get antsy and like to hit them during menus, but the same can be said for guitars (whether accidental during passes, or intentional fidgeting). And again, in party-scenarios where newbies are present you often find yourself and others explaining how the game works during menus, and they don't understand they should press things until we are in a song.

    Also re. they don't do their homework, totally TOTALLY feel you :'D

    I’ve been requesting this for ages now - the answer is better app integration..

    The app already shows your song library.. Now, it needs to be enhanced by allowing you to create and customize set lists on the fly - while people are playing..

    So I’m at a party and a group is in the middle of a song.. I should be able to access the app, scroll through songs, *listen to a 10 second clip of each (the hook is all that’s needed), and hit “NEXT” on it.. Then, that song immediately comes on when the previous song is over.. Just like a jukebox.

    Also, the app needs to show more songs at once - currently you can only see a small handful of songs on the iPad app - the font could be a lot smaller.

    *This part isnt really necessary but would be awesome.

    Yes! I would love to have direct control of the game from the app, on the fly.
    Either to allow discreet DJ'ing from party runners, or for friends to scroll through while others are playing (if there are enough people at your party to warrant juggling active players.)

    It would also be really cool if you could share the setlist portion of the app to other device users either with or without the app (but importantly without requiring your PSN log in details).

    What’s sad is that they have already included the ideal tool to enable no-downtime track selection - shows mode - but then they leave it gimped by being unable to actually filter its eligible songs in any way, leaving parties faced with lists that have a large portion of the options/results being songs nobody wants to sing.

    If shows could even just operate under ‘hide 1-rated’ rules it’d be fantastic. But while the HMX and indie bands are forced into rotation it immediately jumps to unusable partykiller.

    I've tried to use this before and I run into the same problems as you, also, it goes directly against the common mentality we share of letting the singer have priority.


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