How do you elevate all these band simulation games (Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, Rock Band, Mario Paint) to the next level? Rock Band developer Harmonix has done the unthinkable with its newest sequel to the popular series — adapted the game for actual instruments. That is, as Wired.com reports, Rock Band 3 will have a keyboard controller. Anyone who has wondered how that would ever work is correct — you’d probably just have to use an actual keyboard.
Developed by Mad Catz, as are all the other Rock Band 3 instruments, the new keyboard will double as a fully functional MIDI keyboard. What’s more, you may not even need to buy it; Mad Catz is planning a Midi Pro Adapter Box which will allow us keyboardists to use that Yamaha lying in the garage as a Rock Band 3 controller.
The game will also support a keytar, which you can strap around your shoulder or set down on the keyboard stand. You can form up to a seven-piece band using a keyed instrument along with the standard guitar, drums, bass, and three vocalists.
How will the keyboard work exactly? After all, the Rock Band we know can support no more than five “notes” on the screen. Well, this format will still be used; you won’t need to know a thing about music theory to play your favorite songs with a keyboard. The instrument will be split up into five color-coded sections, and you simply have to mash the keyboard in the right section at the right time, and you’ll sound like Ray Manzarek in no time.
However, those of us who scoff at this idea will have a new option — Pro Mode. Further welcoming criticisms that Rock Band and Guitar Hero are silly wastes of time that could be better spent forming actual bands, Rock Band 3‘s Pro Mode will simulate real instrument playing beyond the five color-coded buttons we’re accustomed to.
The keyboard parts require pressing the actual notes, the drums will have new cymbal notations, and you’ll have to buy a new type of guitar controller — the Fender Mustang Pro Guitar. This thing simulates a six-string, 17-fret guitar, with more buttons than your TV remote control, and also doubles as a MIDI instrument. Furthermore, Mad Catz is working with another company to create an actual stringed guitar that can be used with the game.
Finally, as with any Rock Band game, you’re going to wonder about the playable music. According to Harmonix, you’ll be able to play the game with any of the previous Rock Band tracks, the library for which will be up to around 2,000 songs by the time this game comes out this fall on MTV Games. Happily, Harmonix has put together a good list of 83 songs specifically for Rock Band 3. They include “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen (remember, you can use three microphones at once!) and “Break on Through” by The Doors, as well as songs by The White Stripes, Rilo Kiley, Phoenix, Metric, and Them Crooked Vultures. There’s also one by Dio, and inexplicably, Smash Mouth.
Enjoy some video of Rock Band 3 gameplay below courtesy of Wired.com.
Rock Band 3 Partial Tracklist:
01. Metric – Combat Baby
02. Rilo Kiley – Portions of Foxes
03. Them Crooked Vultures – Dead End Friends
04. The Vines – Get Free
05. The White Stripes – The Hardest Button to Button
06. Phoenix – Lasso
07. Ida Maria – Oh My God
08. Juanes – Me Enamora
09. Janes Addiction – Been Caught Stealing
10. Smash Mouth – Walkin on the Sun
11. Spacehog – In the Meantime
12. Stone Temple Pilots – Plush
13. Dio – Rainbow in the Dark
14. Huey Lewis and the News – The Power of Love
15. Joan Jett – I Love Rock and Roll
16. Night Ranger – Sister Christian
17. Whitesnake – Here I Go Again
18. The Cure – Just Like Heaven
19. Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
20. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
21. Jimi Hendrix – Crosstown Traffic
22. The Doors – Break On Through