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Harmonix Introduces New Features With Rock Band Network 2.0

Harmonix details its Rock Band Network update, adding new features that work with the recently-announced new Pro instrument line -- except the guitars, the developer explains.
The Rock Band Network, which allows artists to make their music available as playable tracks for the Rock Band video game series, will be updating to version 2.0, Harmonix announced in an official post on the Rock Band Creators website [registration required]. The update will add new features that work with the new Pro instrument line announced in June, including "Pro Drums", "Keys and Pro Keys", "Vocal Harmonies" and more. Pro Drums will add cymbal gems to the mix, as well as minor audio enhancements, and both Keys and Pro Keys will be available to support the new keyboard peripheral. Vocal Harmonies also allow up to three people to sing together while playing. The tweaks for Audition Mode are not final, but the upcoming changes include Practice Sessions, the ability to rewind when auditioning a song, improved auto-generation for the venue track and custom camera controls that let you view individual band members during audition mode. This mode will be available shortly after Rock Band 3 ships. Community feedback will be prioritized when it comes to further tweaks including skipping to song sections, guide audio for vocals, feedback for audio mixing issues, fixing store audio preview bugs, improved Magma error reporting and MIDI validation. According to Harmonix, Pro Guitar was not included in this update because it's time-consuming to author. It would also be challenging to peer-preview any Pro Guitar tracks, the developer adds, since it will be building a brand new install base of Pro Guitar players at launch. However, Harmonix did mention that the issue will be revisited in the next 6-12 months based on "supply and demand from the community." A beta version of the Creators site will be open for community submissions early next year, while Rock Band Network 2.0 content will begin to appear in the Rock Band 3 store -- with Xbox Live showcasing all available tracks and select tracks available on other consoles -- by the end of Q1 2011. Harmonix senior producer Matthew Nordhaus said in a statement posted on the Creators site today: "Harmonix wants to keep the RBN toolset on par with our internal audio team, and continue to let you build top-quality content that exceeds the standards of our competition." Rock Band 3 is slated for an October 26th, 2010 release.

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