Monday, November 29, 2010

The Importance of Calibration in Rock Band 3 Vocals

Overall I love Rock Band 3, but it seems every day or so I find something else that I either hate about it, am annoyed by, or wish there was a patch to correct. I could get into that long list of things (and I will eventually) but right now I'm going to talk about one of them: calibration.

You may remember last week's post: Video of the Week: Song of the Damned (Army of the Damned). Despite all my best efforts I kept getting a 99% FC. I say "FC" because I had managed to keep my combo throughout the entire song (getting "awesome" at the end of every phrase and never seeing a visual break in combo) but ending with a percentage of 99%. Never having encountered such an issue in the other Rock Band games I played, I assumed this was a bug. I wasn't sure if it was a bug with the song itself or with the game, but I assumed it was a random issue with the game because the scores on the leaderboard for this song showed SOMEONE had FCed it.

So I posted my videos and my blog and I got A LOT of responses, help and feedback. My issue wasn't a bug at all, in fact this problem had been encountered in other Rock Band games I never purchased (Rock Band: Beatles & Rock Band: Green Day), so it's been around for a while actually, but being that I wasn't a fan of band-specific games, nor those particular bands, I was afforded the luxury of being ignorant to its existence. Those were happier times.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Video of the Week: Song of the Damned (Army of the Damned)

First off let me start by saying "don't let the title mislead you".

Army of the Damned is a song available on the RBN though Rock Gamer Studios (yes, I plug them a lot. I like them as people, I like their songs & I think they do good work.. so deal with it!), by a band called Pythia.

Pythia's sound has been described as Gothic Metal, Power Metal & Symphonic Metal. Pythia has also supported two of my favorite bands/singers: Amberian Dawn and Tarja Turunen. They have their own little forum topic on Amberian Dawn's forum where we discuss the band.Overall it's a sound and style I can get behind. I like the song.

So yes, this song is a bit easier than stuff from Amberian Dawn and certainly less high. I expected it to be an easy FC but I was mistaken. I've spent some time learning the song (I never heard of the band before the topic on AD's forum & the song in the game) so that created a bit of learning curve... I also always ended up sick whenever I actually had time to get around to recording it.

With the upcoming release of Rock Band 3, I decided it was just better to wait and FC it on Rock Band 3. Looks like that might not have been the best idea...

It would seem I'm damned to never FC the song. (see what I did there? title makes sense now in 3, 2, 1..) I FCed the song, not once, but TWICE and was credited with 99%. Twice on video and despite never breaking combo I got a 99% when the song was over. I was disgusted.

Surely, I must have missed and not seen. I went back through both videos, nope. It was an FC alright but damned if the thing is bugged. Is it only this song that is bugged? I don't know.. I doubt it, I think it's kind of random (I'll get to why in a bit).

This is the first encounter I have ever had with the 99% bug. Poking at the scorehero vocal forums I found that it seems to have existed in other games like The Beatles: Rock Band. I wouldn't know about that as I didn't buy the game because I don't like the Beatles.

After the first recording I went back and tried to FC it again to only have the same result. I didn't activate intentionally on a part I seemed to have difficulty with the first time to see if that yielded different results, it didn't.

My first run ended with a pretty good score (because I activated where I didn't in the second run) which put me at 2nd place on the leaderboard, behind first by 3,744 pointsish (you can see it in my video anyway).

Now.. that makes me wonder, did the 1st place player (I need to look who it is to ask them) manage to get credit for FCing the song (be given 100%)? Because that would put them at about 4 thousand more points than me (for not breaking combo where I apparently broke it [but didn't]). Which would technically land me in 1st place, but that's only assuming that this bug that gave me 99% actually docked my score for it. I can't say if it did or not. I have no way of knowing.

I'm honestly not a super great squeezer, so it's possible the other person had a better path (I don't look up optimal paths out of sheer laziness and lack of care), or squeezed better than I did. Yet, it is soooo close to 4 thousand points difference that is does make me wonder.

Score isn't that big a deal (though it'd be awesome to have a 1st place score on something) but not getting 100% on the song irks the crap out of me. It's disgusting, I feel a little ripped off.

And I'm left wondering: Is this just a bug? Am I doing something wrong? Perhaps I'm not sufficient enough? How do I consider this in my personal goals? Is it an "FC"? It is a bare miss?

Blah either way I'm rather disheartened about it...

In order to actually manage an FC I couldn't sing this in my FULL voice. It was too over powering on the microphone. Expect a vocal cover on my new channel in the future... it's too fun a song to NOT sing properly.

Here are the 2 videos I did. I seemed to have some sort of sound issue in both where I came out really quiet despite eating the mic or being really loud. I think I didn't have something plugged in all the way somewhere. Next time I record I will also lower the band a bit to help with that like I used to with my purple microphone.

BTW the guitarist.. that is my Anex character. My "me" character is the vocalist.. whenever Harmonix decides to patch Rock Band 3 (if ever) to fix the female hairstyles, I will have curly long hair. For now it's dreads in a pony tail because it sort of simulates curly hair in a ponytail.

UPDATE: I've been told that this has to do with the little pie-filling thing. Apparently there are a few places I didn't fill it completely. I'm going to have to try harder and poke at calibration to see if that will help and I can get a "true" FC.

Army of the Damned- 99% FC Best Score Run

Army of the Damned- 99% FC Attempt to Duplicate Bug or FC

Saturday, November 20, 2010

An Update Regarding Youtube and Rock Band Videos

Hey everybody! I know, I know, it's been ages since I last posted an update. Today I hope to make up a little bit for it though, or at least explain my absence.

After starting to blog for (blogging under my first name, Heather) I kind of decided that was a better platform for all my game related blogs. It's neater, nicer and definitely more awesome being wordpress and all and with its own domain etc. So this blog has become a bit more of my own personal sanctuary I guess. It's where I can express myself in a "less professional" manner if I choose to do so, be a little more personal and in the first person.

Today I posted a video on youtube (I'll include it at the end of this entry) to explain my lack of videos lately. I wanted to express many things, but I was rushed, the quality was crap and I kind of lost my train of thought to where I ended up rambling at some point.