Q: What is the Rock Band Network?
A: In March 2010, MTV Games and Harmonix, developers of Rock Band, launched a new initiative called Rock Band Network, which allows everyone with original music, technical savvy and free time on their hands to transcribe their music into playable form in the best-selling game Rock Band. Rock Band Network is designed to help you market yourself by putting your music in the hands of the millions of people playing Rock Band on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.
Q: How does it work?
A: The authoring process requires the following steps:
• Mixing and mastering the original master recordings to make everything sounds great in the Rock Band game engine. See our delivery specs (PDF) for details.
• Manually transcribing the guitar, bass, drum/pro drum, keys/pro keys, lead and harmony vocal tracks from digital audio to MIDI format. Each instrument requires four “charts”, one of each difficulty level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Expert) so that players of all skill levels can play along with your song.
• Programming the lighting cues, character animations, and camera cuts so that it looks like the characters in the background are actually playing your song.
• Submitting the track to the Rock Band Network Creators website for playtesting and approval
• Once the track is approved by the Creators community, it is published to Rock Band 3‘s in-game music store, where players around the world can purchase and play it. All tracks are initially available on the Xbox 360, with select tracks making the jump over to the PlayStation 3 at the discretion of Harmonix.
Q: How do my tracks make money?
A: Once a song has been converted to a Rock Band track, it gets published to the in-game Rock Band Network store for $1, $2 or $3 a copy (your choice). Every 3 months, Microsoft sends the submitter a royalty check for 30% of all total sales. In other words, they pay out roughly $0.60/unit for your average $2 track.
Q: What are the costs involved?
A: Our costs for authoring and publishing are tailored to each individual track we receive, so it’s impossible for us to list the rates on our website. If you wish to get a personalized quote, then head on over to our track submission page.
A small percentage of submissions will receive offers for partial financing. Financing candidates are chosen solely at the discretion of our sales team, based on criteria such as artist popularity, production values, genre compatibility with the Rock Band platorm, etc. If you qualify for financing, we will notify you in your quote.
Q: Wait… Don’t companies usually PAY ARTISTS to license songs?
A: Yes. However, the Rock Band Network is designed to be a Do-It-Yourself service. Think of it as an iTunes for Rock Band, where you publish your own music and earn royalties on all sales. If you have the time and the proper tools, you can cut out the middleman and transcribe your own music at a fraction of the cost. To find out more about the authoring process, and determine whether this is something you’d like to try on your own, please visit http://creators.rockband.com.
Q: If I can do this myself, why should I pay you?
A: We have found that most artists would rather dedicate their time to writing, recording, touring, and marketing themselves than toiling for almost 100 man-hours just to get one song converted to the Rock Band format. To that end, we started a company to help artists with the conversion process by taking care of all the dirty work for them. Our team visited Harmonix HQ in Boston, where the developers of Rock Band personally trained us on how to meet their quality standards. We are now considered to be in the top echelon of the authoring industry… with roughly 25% of all the content in the Rock Band Network having been authored by RockGamer Studios! Our clients include industry leaders such as MTV/Harmonix, Sub Pop, Century Media, Rise Records, Good Fight Entertainment, Bieler Bros., Wind-Up Records, and countless other labels, music publishers, and independent artists. You can check out our full “discography” here.
Q: Is this a scam?
A: We assure you, this is not a scam. The RockGamer Studios team is comprised of gaming and music industry professionals, as well as esteemed members of the Rock Band community, from around the United States, Canada, the UK, even New Jersey. Our services are highly recommended by the developers of Rock Band as well as top players in the music industry, and as you can probably see from our song catalog, we have an outstanding relationship with some of the top indie labels in the music industry.
Q: Is my music admissible to the Rock Band Network?
A: Your submission must adhere to the following guidelines in order to be considered for RBN:
• Rights: You must own all the necessary rights to license your music to RockGamer Studios. If you don’t own the copyrights, publishing rights, or rights to the master tracks, as often happens when an artist is signed to a label/publisher, we would need explicit consent from the proper parties.
• Original Content: Your content must be 100% original. No samples or covers are allowed. If your submission is published and becomes the subject of a copyright infringement claim, you will be liable for all costs and damages.
• Rating: Rock Band is a Teen-rated game. Explicit lyrics and mature subject matter are prohibited. This may include, but is not limited to, drug use, sex, and violence. If your track is not suitable for mainstream radio, it is not suitable for Rock Band.
• Language: Currently, the Rock Band Network only supports the following languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Japanese. If your track features lyrics in any language other than the ones listed, it will not be eligible for RBN.
Q: Is my music guaranteed to appear on Rock Band?
A: As long as your material complies with our submission requirements, and does not violate any of the Rock Band Network program terms, we guarantee that all tracks authored by RockGamer Studios will be released in the Rock Band 3 Music Store for the Xbox 360. If your track is in compliance with the RBN program terms, and RockGamer Studios fails to publish it to Rock Band, we will refund 100% of your authoring fees.
Q: How long will it take to publish my song?
A: Once we receive all the necessary materials and have a licensing agreement in place, it typically takes 2-3 months to publish a song to the game. The bulk of that time is spent in an external playtest and approval process, therefore RockGamer Studios cannot guarantee a release window.
Ready to submit a track? Then click here!