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Rock Band & Real Instruments

I finally got Rock Band 3 set up upstairs, and linked up with my electronic drum kit using the MIDI-Pro Adapter. It’s been a neat experience.

The way I have it set up is that the output from the drums goes both to Rock Band, and directly to the speakers. Each hit triggers the right pad in Rock Band, but it also just plays the sounds of my drum kit. The effect, if I keep the drums slightly higher than Rock Band, is that I can still hear the song and play along, but all the drum sounds I’m hearing are my own creation.

It’s been useful thus far. When you screw up, the song doesn’t just carry you through, and you realize that sometimes it’s better to just take a second and regain your focus, rather than flailing wildly trying to grab a few points before they’re gone.  Some complicated drum parts make a lot more sense when you can hear directly the sound they’re trying to produce. And when you’re just a millisecond off, Rock Band might be saying that you’re still hitting all the notes, but you can definitely hear the problem.

Not everyone has an electronic drum kit, but if you have an opportunity to play a keyboard or guitar both live and through Rock Band, give it a shot. It definitely pushes Rock Band one step towards an educational tool, while still keeping it firmly grounded as a game.

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