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Ubisoft announces Rocksmith guitar game

Ubisoft announces Rocksmith guitar game

Ubisoft has announced Rocksmith, a new music game that will teach gamers to play real guitar.

Ubisoft has announced a new music game, called Rocksmith, that will teach gamers how to play a real electric guitar, rather than rubbish plastic toys.

Ubisoft's hope is that the focus on teach real-life music skills, rather than just reaching for high scores, will be enough to distinguish Rocksmith from the recently cancelled Guitar Hero series.

'Guitar Hero is a party game. Rocksmith is a music experience,' said Ubisoft's vice president of marketing, Tony Key, in a comment to the Hollywood Reporter. 'The dream of playing guitar compared to how many follow through - there's a big gap. We will create a new generation of guitar players.'

Ubisoft will include 45 licensed songs with the game, including tracks by David Bowie and Nirvana.

The music genre has endured tough times lately, with Activision closing the Guitar Hero and DJ Hero franchises and MTV Games selling Harmonix after Rock Band 3's poor sales performance.

Ubisoft has said that Rocksmith will be compatible with most electric guitars already, via an amp pickup, but that it is in talks with Gibson to make a game-and-guitar bundle for £125.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

30 Comments

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mi1ez 15th March 2011, 11:30 Quote
Intriguing. I'd quite like to see how this will work.
Tyr 15th March 2011, 11:32 Quote
Now this I'd be interested in!
r3loaded 15th March 2011, 11:33 Quote
Woot! A great reason to get my guitar out again!

Now, will they be bringing this to the PC?
BentAnat 15th March 2011, 11:44 Quote
125GBP for a real guitar and a game? I'd like to see that happen... but I have my doubts...
The_Jonas 15th March 2011, 11:51 Quote
Let's hope for some metal. Also... A drum kit expansion? :D
sotu1 15th March 2011, 12:11 Quote
Pfft you would have thought it would at least come with a free air guitar for your Kinect.

On a serious note, very interesting to see what they can do with this but can't see it selling.
eddtox 15th March 2011, 12:24 Quote
Errmm.. rock band 3, anyone? They are already doing this with their Pro-Mode and Fender are due to release a proper electric Stratocaster which will work with the game.
Denis_iii 15th March 2011, 12:25 Quote
now this i would happily purchase and play and learn. Never saw the point of previous rockband sorta games aside from party toy.
justicefornone 15th March 2011, 13:10 Quote
As someone who plays ze real Axe Rockband was great to be able to rock out with your friends who AREN'T musos, and good fun to play around with musos. It's a great idea but as Eddtox said, RB3 has the Pro-mode stuff.

And £125 for an *ahem* Gibson guitar and game?? Yeaaaaah that's not gonna happen unless it's made of 2% MDF and 98% air!
Landy_Ed 15th March 2011, 13:16 Quote
Greentrident 15th March 2011, 14:04 Quote
But will it go up to 11?
eddtox 15th March 2011, 14:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landy_Ed
nonsense. you're hardly going to get a handmade guitar experience for £125, but with regards to playability & quality try googling yamaha, peavey, even harley benton stuff around the £100 mark is playable for this level.

Just because you wouldn't take one onstage at wembley arena or into studio doesn't mean it wouldn't be usable.

I have serious doubts about the quality of the experience if they are only going to use a standard guitar output to control the game. How will they determine whether I'm playing an E on the 6th, 5th or 4th string, just from the acoustic signature? Probably not the best example, but I doubt they will be able to detect the input as well as the Midi Squier Strat that Fender is making for Rockband 3.
Bauul 15th March 2011, 14:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landy_Ed
nonsense. you're hardly going to get a handmade guitar experience for £125, but with regards to playability & quality try googling yamaha, peavey, even harley benton stuff around the £100 mark is playable for this level.

Just because you wouldn't take one onstage at wembley arena or into studio doesn't mean it wouldn't be usable.

I have serious doubts about the quality of the experience if they are only going to use a standard guitar output to control the game. How will they determine whether I'm playing an E on the 6th, 5th or 4th string, just from the acoustic signature? Probably not the best example, but I doubt they will be able to detect the input as well as the Midi Squier Strat that Fender is making for Rockband 3.

Arguably, does it matter if you play an E on the 6th, 5th or 4th string? It's the same note and sounds pretty much the same.

I'm interested by this - although I'm sure single notes will be much easier for the system to distinguish than chords. How on earth would it work out what strings I was playing with a full six string open chord?
Deders 15th March 2011, 14:48 Quote
I found that when using midi pickups you had to be exact with your notes or they didn't register properly, this means that any subtle nuances and personal vibrato styles that mya be part of your style as a player would interfere with the sound you were trying to generat.

Hopefully it will come with an audio based pickup or even be able to plug straight into the line in with a looser range of what is 'correct' or not.
WildThing 15th March 2011, 15:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greentrident
But will it go up to 11?

Hehe, yeah I love that picture.

This could be good, if only to get more people into music. You can't beat being able to actually play an instrument in RL.
eddtox 15th March 2011, 15:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Arguably, does it matter if you play an E on the 6th, 5th or 4th string? It's the same note and sounds pretty much the same.

I'm interested by this - although I'm sure single notes will be much easier for the system to distinguish than chords. How on earth would it work out what strings I was playing with a full six string open chord?

Which is why I said it might not be a very good example (I'm a novice guitarist), but I worry about the usefulness of merely taking an audio feed from the guitar and trying to interpret it well enough to be used in a game.
Deders 15th March 2011, 15:13 Quote
They will have to find a way of analysing the fundamental notes so that no matter what kind of guitar, whether it's a telecaster or a les paul, that it can detect the individual notes accurately.

I presume if you plugged straight in then the game would emulate the sound in terms of distortion and effects for you.

Latency will also be an issue, unless i switch my X-FI to Audio creation mode then there is quite a delay when going from line in to speakers.
Zurechial 15th March 2011, 16:22 Quote
Hexaphonic pickups would work great for something like this and allow for string & note detection, but I can't imagine a guitar with hexaphonic pickups hitting the pricepoint mentioned here.
////\oo/\\\\ 15th March 2011, 19:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
Arguably, does it matter if you play an E on the 6th, 5th or 4th string? It's the same note and sounds pretty much the same.

It matters a great deal if you are actually learning to play the instrument as an E note on the three different strings is in wildly differnent posistions, and so would mean that you couldn't play E minor open without using the open 6th string for the E for instance.

It would also cause major problems for solos if you suddenly had to leap up the fretboard to play a note that could have been played much more easily on the next string over.
r3Q 16th March 2011, 05:23 Quote
stop thinking about ABCDE as notes, and think about it as an audio signal. middle "e" on a piano is an exact frequency of 440hz. this will show up if you play that specific note. if you play one e note higher, or one octave higher, it will be 880hz. if you play one octave lower, it will be 220hz. its all fairly simple to look at the output voltage of said axe to determine what sound is being generated. this is how tuners work fundamentally. instead the game would register what AC voltage is being input at the time the game tells you to play. its all very simple. take an oscilloscope to your guitar output and see what kind of sine wave you are getting with your different notes.

if this works without using a special pickup on a guitar - and they make it so you are able to use any guitar - then this game will have the ability to sell very well i think.

ill wait for the reviews - and if they are favorable - i will most likely learn to play a lot better than i am currently able!
Deders 16th March 2011, 05:42 Quote
If you could filter out all the harmonic resonance frequencies so that just the fundamentals remain then it could be possible, but even tuners get confused once you start playing more than one note at once even if a second string is vibrating inaudiably, and it tends to take a short time for them to reach the conclusion about what note you are playing.
eddtox 16th March 2011, 10:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3Q
stop thinking about ABCDE as notes, and think about it as an audio signal. middle "e" on a piano is an exact frequency of 440hz. this will show up if you play that specific note. if you play one e note higher, or one octave higher, it will be 880hz. if you play one octave lower, it will be 220hz. its all fairly simple to look at the output voltage of said axe to determine what sound is being generated. this is how tuners work fundamentally. instead the game would register what AC voltage is being input at the time the game tells you to play. its all very simple. take an oscilloscope to your guitar output and see what kind of sine wave you are getting with your different notes.

if this works without using a special pickup on a guitar - and they make it so you are able to use any guitar - then this game will have the ability to sell very well i think.

ill wait for the reviews - and if they are favorable - i will most likely learn to play a lot better than i am currently able!

The problem is that you have exactly the same note (read: same frequency) in multiple places on the guitar neck (in standard tuning the g on the 5th fret of the fourth string is the same as the g on the 10th fret of the fifth string). Couple that with the fact that one rarely plays just a single note at a time, and you've got a heck of a job trying to separate the individual notes played etc.

Of course, they could just compare the entire sound signature of the required chord etc with what is being fed in through the audio jack and not worry about separating the notes at all.

I wonder what happens if you just plug your mp3 player into the jack? Top of the leaderboard instantly?
justicefornone 16th March 2011, 10:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deders
If you could filter out all the harmonic resonance frequencies so that just the fundamentals remain then it could be possible, but even tuners get confused once you start playing more than one note at once even if a second string is vibrating inaudiably, and it tends to take a short time for them to reach the conclusion about what note you are playing.

MMMMMMHM!!! My 12-string has an on board tuner which is frankly a waste of space, if you pick a string too hard it alters the frequency and the guitar would have to be PERFECTLY in tune which, if you're just learning would be difficult (Hell I have students who have been playing 5 years now and still can't tune properly!).

As for playing notes here there and everywhere the assumption would be the game would use Tab in the same way Rockband uses notes, sure us more knowledgeable players could play it in other positions if we really wanted too, as has been said there's little difference, although the tone does vary between the wound and widdly strings. Anything that gets people into playing is a damned good thing though!

Oh and r3Q, I think you're thinking the A above middle C being 440hz, the only note worth knowing as all tuners, and orchestras tune off it (apart from those pesky transposing instruments!)
Deders 16th March 2011, 11:18 Quote
Thats just it, if you're getting carried away and strike an open E really hard it's going to sound slightly sharper until it settles down, likewise if you press the strings into the frets too far.

Even if they do a deal with Gibson to sell guitars along with the game that are perfectly set up so that each note is perfectly in tune all the way up the fretboard, once they are packed into warehouses the strings aren't going to be in the best condition by the time they get to the player so they will need changing to possibly another brand/guage of strings and the whole guitar is going to need setting up again.
////\oo/\\\\ 16th March 2011, 11:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3Q
stop thinking about ABCDE as notes, and think about it as an audio signal. middle "e" on a piano is an exact frequency of 440hz. this will show up if you play that specific note. if you play one e note higher, or one octave higher, it will be 880hz. if you play one octave lower, it will be 220hz. its all fairly simple to look at the output voltage of said axe to determine what sound is being generated. this is how tuners work fundamentally. instead the game would register what AC voltage is being input at the time the game tells you to play. its all very simple. take an oscilloscope to your guitar output and see what kind of sine wave you are getting with your different notes.

I wasn't, go can play the same not at the same frequency on several different strings on a guitar, depending on where on the fretboard you are holding the string. for instance on a 24 fret instrument you can play the same note at three different frequencies.
justicefornone 16th March 2011, 18:57 Quote
That's a damn good point, would you HAVE to use one gauge of strings and would the effectiveness of the 'game' tail off as the strings get older and fingerpoo'd all over?!

Hmmmmm, be interesting to see previews and such like!
[WP@]WOLVERINE 16th March 2011, 21:15 Quote
thers no point in worrying about if the guitar can pick up all the notes because it can. That tech has been around for ages. ive tried several guitars with the special midi microphones on them and they all work perfectly.

I played a Yamaha Acustic fitted with a midi microphone plugged in through a synth module and the damned thing sounded like a grand piano and it tracked everything perfectly from slow stuff, open chords to lightspeed shredding solos.

theese systems work with any gauge of strings and any guitar. The first system i tried was back in the 80s it was a Korg GR1 mudule with a midi mic and even that worked. I dont know how the damned thing keeps track of exactly every tiny thing you do including bends and vibratos and i dont really care either all i can say is that it does.

check out the Roland GR55 on youtube and youll see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZBq5_aBGbU&feature=related
eddtox 16th March 2011, 22:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by [WP@]WOLVERINE
thers no point in worrying about if the guitar can pick up all the notes because it can. That tech has been around for ages. ive tried several guitars with the special midi microphones on them and they all work perfectly.

I played a Yamaha Acustic fitted with a midi microphone plugged in through a synth module and the damned thing sounded like a grand piano and it tracked everything perfectly from slow stuff, open chords to lightspeed shredding solos.

theese systems work with any gauge of strings and any guitar. The first system i tried was back in the 80s it was a Korg GR1 mudule with a midi mic and even that worked. I dont know how the damned thing keeps track of exactly every tiny thing you do including bends and vibratos and i dont really care either all i can say is that it does.

check out the Roland GR55 och youtube and youll see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZBq5_aBGbU&feature=related

All that is fine and dandy, but from the article above, I got the impression that they would just use a standard audio output from a normal guitar, rather than actually using special pickups. (The gr55 looks awesome, though.)
[WP@]WOLVERINE 17th March 2011, 06:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox
All that is fine and dandy, but from the article above, I got the impression that they would just use a standard audio output from a normal guitar, rather than actually using special pickups. (The gr55 looks awesome, though.)

Well there are systems like the Sonuus G2M that convert audio from a guitar to midi but systems like that doesnt even come close to the tracking of the Roland GK-3 special microphone that you use with the GR55. The sonus needs absolute clean notes and you have to adapt your playing to it. If the game uses that system it wont be worth the packaging it comes in since learning to play guitar on a system that forces you to play in a very unatural way will be useless.
Krikkit 17th March 2011, 10:10 Quote
I think for now we should stop shouting "that's impossible" and let them try. If it gets people playing the proper instruments then it's brilliant.
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