Minorly earth-shattering music/game news this morning from the Rock Band camp as they officially unveil The Rock Band Network, a new program for any musician or band to create their own Rock Band tracks and sell them through
the game’s online store a new Rock Band Network store.
The Network will work alongside the Xbox 360’s XNA Creators Club, and will let home-users output MIDI song information to accompany their master mix with plugins created especially for digital workstation Reaper, package them together as a Rock Band-compatible track with Harmonix’s own Magma tool, and preview your track in-game with a new ‘Audition mode’ being added in an upcoming patch.
From there you can publish your song to the Creators site (essentially, to the Creators Club community), where it will be peer-reviewed — as XNA games themselves are before they’re released to the Xbox 360’s Community Games section. If the track is approved, it will appear in the Rock Band store at a price point selected by you (between 50 cents to $3), with a 30/70% revenue split
(at a to-be-determined percentage) between you and Harmonix/MTV.
For now, the initiative remains exclusive to the Xbox 360, though a caveat says “select songs” may appear on PS3 — presumably, those popular enough with the community to get an officially-pushed release from Harmonix.
See Harmonix’s newly opened site for more information, and to sign up for the early closed-beta trial, which is expected to launch by the end of the month, with an open beta “after August”, and an official launch by the end of the year.
[UPDATE: More information is available in this Billboard writeup, which adds a number of interesting details (corrected above), including the ability for “developers to customize the avatars, camera angles and lighting for the background video rather than using the automatically generated default setting” in Reaper, and HMX training sessions to certify track-makers, which will be officially listed for interested artists and labels.]