Posts Tagged ‘Guitar Hero’

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The Beatles: Rock Band vs Guitar Hero

March 11, 2009

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The much-anticipated digital reunion of The Beatles has got a launch date: September 9.

Fans of Fab Four who have always wanted to sing alongside John, Paul, George and Ringo will finally get their chance when the band’s interactive video game hits the shelves.

“The Beatles: Rock Band” developed by Harmonix will be available simultaneously at locations in North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand.

The videogame is based on MTV‘s popular “Rock Band” and will “allow fans to pick up the guitar, bass, mic or drums and experience The Beatles extraordinary catalog of music through gameplay that takes players on a journey through the legacy and evolution of the band’s legendary career”.

Apple Corps, which handles the affairs of the group, and Viacom’s MTV Networks have also announced the software will be priced at $59.99. As well as support for the more usual instruments for the video game, “a limited number of new hardware offerings modelled after instruments used by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr throughout their career” can be bought for an extra $99.99. (There are no UK prices yet.) Platic Riky anyone?

“The Beatles: Rock Band” will be compatible with Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony‘s PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii systems. Existing Rock Band instrument controllers can be used to play the game.

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What has not been announced yet are the songs in the package but fans should expect to have more than a decent smattering of the greatest hits as they follow the band’s iconic career in the game.

The Beatles have closely guarded the distribution of their back catalogue – their songs are still not available for digital download via iTunes for instance. Their music continues to sell in huge quantities. The group has sold more than 600 million albums.

The official Beatles Rock Band website is here (not that it shows you much yet).

In further Beatles / Game news

Not a surprise but it looks like Activision (Guitar Hero), and MTV Games (Rock Band), are both going after the Beatles. What makes this a big deal is not only the millions, but the Beatles are not even on iTunes yet.

Representatives for the Beatles are in talks with Activision and MTV to expand the group’s licensing deal to include videogames, according to a new report by the Financial Times.

Any deal would be worth “several million dollars” according to sources, and could be reached within a matter of weeks.

Activision publishes the Guitar Hero franchise, while MTV Games is the company behind Rock Band.

But any potential deal would need to be approved by EMI, which owns the master recordings of the Beatles, and Apple Corps, the company set up to manage Beatles business interests.

Apple Corps has been selective with its licensing and has yet to release Beatles recordings on any online digital format, although according to the FT, the company has been more active in the past year since Jeff Jones took over the role of chief executive.

Activision has had considerable success with the Guitar Hero franchise in recent year’s, with a new portable version due for the DS, and a dedicated version featuring US rockers Aerosmith set for release.

Although MTV Games’ Rock Band is the new contender in the lucrative music gaming genre, it is also proving successful, with the company announcing back in February that it had already achieved downloads of over 3 million songs in the US alone.

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Guitar Hero leads children to pick up real instruments

January 6, 2009

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Online gaming, PC’s, Hand held games and video game consoles  have long led many anxious parents to fear that their children could turn into addicted, uncultured sloths.

But research by one of Britain’s largest music charities suggests that the popularity of active music titles such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band have prompted up to 2.5 million children to learn the instruments for real.

The report conducted by Youth Music found that of the 12 million young people aged from 3 to 18, more than half played music games. A fifth of those gamers said that they now played an instrument after catching the musical bug from the games.

“We have long known that young people are encouraged to take an interest in music if it is presented to them in a compelling way,” said Andrew Missingham, the music industry expert who wrote the report. “This research for the first time shows conclusively that young people are being inspired to make their own music by games that first piqued their interest.”

Guitar Hero, where players strap on a plastic guitar and strum along to rock hits, has sold 5.5 million copies worldwide since its 2005 release and spawned several games including Guitar Hero: World Tour, which came out last month. Rock Band, which features a plastic drum kit, has sold 4 million and the karaoke game SingStar has sold 4 million copies globally.

Guitar manufacturers and instrument stores told The Times that sales of instruments featured in the games are on the rise and music teachers said that the games were encouraging the uptake of music lessons.

Nick Matthews, 13, from Buckinghamshire, said that he had started to learn playing tracks such as School’s Out by Alice Cooper on a real guitar. He first heard the song while playing Guitar Hero with his 67-year-old grandfather.

“I like it because it’s really fast,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t like the songs if it wasn’t for game.”

Adam Easton, from Music Ground, the parent company for the majority of the musical instrument shops in Denmark Street, in the West End of London, said: “Because getting a guitar is actually cheaper than buying a new computer at Christmas, when kids get influenced by Guitar Hero and think they really want to play an electric, mums and dads say, ‘great, I’ve got him off the computer at last! Here’s 200 quid, go buy yourself one’.”

The US guitar-maker Gibson said that it had seen sales on the rise, particularly those that are featured in the video games such as the iconic Les Paul guitar.

Source: The Times

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Metallica,’Death Magnetic’ Guitar Hero and the loudness debate

November 21, 2008

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Metallica are an American heavy metal band that formed in 1981 in Los Angeles. They are arguably the biggest rock acts of all time and have an army of devoted followers.

‘Death Magnetic’ Metallica’s latest album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 490,000 copies in just three days of availability. It is the band’s fifth consecutive studio album to debut at number one, making Metallica the first and only band with the most consecutive studio releases to open at number one. The album also had the highest first week sales of any Metallica album since 1996’s Load.

However this release has been the subject of great debate amongst the fans regarding its production, sound quality and more specifically the mastering process. The debate even has even gone as far as coverage on BBC Radio 6, The Guardian and leading Rolling Stone  to cite a petition from fans to remix or remaster the album!

Death Magnetic is the ninth studio album by American heavy metal band Metallica, released on September 12, 2008 by Warner Bros. Records. It is the band’s first studio album to feature current bassist Robert Trujillo, as well as the first to be produced by Rick Rubin. Death Magnetic is also the band’s first studio album released through Warner Bros., although they still remain with Warner Music Group, which also owns Elektra Records, their previous label (internationally they remain on Vertigo Records). The album is the band’s fifth consecutive studio album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States, making Metallica the first band ever to achieve five consecutive number one debut

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The album has been criticized for having compromised sound quality and being compressed “past the point of distortion”. Sean Michaels of The Guardian explains that “the sound issues are a result of the “loudness war” – an ongoing industry effort to make recordings as loud as possible”.

Comparison of the CD and Guitar Hero versions. Is the CD modern and loud or digital compressed noise??

A Rolling Stone article states that Rick Rubin was “overseeing mixes in Los Angeles while the band is in Europe, headlining shows” and only communicated with him by conference calls.Fans have noted that these sonic problems are not present in the Guitar Hero version of the album, where the tracks are present separately because of the game mechanics. MusicRadar and Rolling Stone attribute a quote to the album’s mastering engineer Ted Jensen in which he claims that “mixes were already brick-walled before they arrived” for mastering and cite a petition from fans to remix or remaster the album.

Metallica and Rick Rubin initially declined to comment on the issue, while the band’s co-manager Cliff Burnstein stated that complainers were in a minority and that response to the album had otherwise been “overwhelmingly positive”.Lars Ulrich later confirmed in an interview with Blender, that some creative control regarding the album’s production had indeed been transferred to Rubin but also stressed his satisfaction with the final product.

The distortion that Metallica fans are so enraged by on the new album “Death Magnetic”, and that mastering engineer Ted Jensen was so unhappy about is not present on the version used for the Playstation 3 game “Guitar Hero”.

Analysis of the levels in the tracks shows it is VERY loud. Great-sounding albums typically average an RMS loudness of -16 to -12 dBFS, however i recent years louder albums have pushed much higher, for example -8 or -6 dBFS. Here is one mastering engineers analysis of Death Magnetic:

CD manufacturers seemingly are distorting sounds to make them seem louder. Sound quality clearly suffers.

The video was made with image editing software and a screen capture program for the visuals, and a DAW (Digital Performer 4.5) to process the audio.

Source:

Matt Mayfield

http://mastering-media.blogspot.com/2008/09/metallica-death-magnetic-stop-loudness.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Untitled_Metallica_album