Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vocals on my favorite game ever.

Or at least my favorite game that I haven't played yet. The other day my friend gave us his XBox 360 and his copy of Rock Band with all accompanying plastic instruments (well, really, we're babysitting them for him-- he's moving into an apartment where someone already has all that stuff, so he won't need it again until he moves out). And now I am so ready for Beatles Rock Band I can barely stand it.

Anyway, saw this Wired story linked from Beatles News today. It's all about how the extremely exciting multiple-singer vocals on the song aren't really as complicated as it might be feared. Check it out.


  1. You know what I've been wanting to ask you except how the hell would you know? How do the drums work? The screen shots I've seen, it's obvious how you tell what to sing and what to play on guitar or bass, but I haven't seen where they tell you which drums to hit when.

  2. No, I've played Rock Band, and I assume that kind of thing is the same on the Beatles version. They tell you how to hit the drums the same way they tell you how to play guitar. Watch the videos-- the drum party is in the middle, I think. Like the guitars, there are four color-coded lines, and you have to hit on the beat. Plus on drums there's a weird line that pops up in the middle when you have to use the pedal.

  3. Enjoy the instruments Meg! And yes, as you know drumming is precisely the same as in Rock Band. What's both interesting and difficult, I think, is simultaneously singing and drumming Ringo's songs. Coordinating your hands and feet is one thing; coordinating your limbs with your voice is another, not to mention the fact that you run out of breath quickly doing both. But given man's instinctive proclivity to inebriate himself in correspondence with a game like this, it's natural that whoever plays this game is going to attempt singing and drumming at the same time. It is this tendency that will produce newfound appreciation for Ringo's overshadowed talent.

    The double and triple harmonies are also much fun, but I've noticed how people (and this applies to RB as well) tend to modulate their voice to sound like the voice of whoever's singing the song their trying to sing instead of, you know, just belting it out. This is what makes the vocals, sometimes, particularly challenging. For example, all the, uh, beat-boxing, scat-singing or whathaveyou that John does in "I Am the Walrus" is really hard to pin down. And instead of just allowing the melody to coerce your own rhythmic vocals, you'll attempt to emulate John exactly.

  4. Rumz, are you just here to gloat, or what? :) No, no, all this is true. But people sing like that even singing along even to the radio, I think. And you should hear me trying to Angela Georghiu when I'm home by myself. (Actually, you shouldn't. And won't.)

    I look forward to goob goob a choo-ing with you in September, where you can school us all at this thing.