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Discussion: "Buried" Keys/PK parts


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#1 pksage

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 07:16 PM

I'd like to draw your attention to something I just posted something to the blog:

Poll – How do you feel about Keys/Pro Keys?

Please use this thread to discuss the topic of buried keys parts in custom songs.

#2 pksage

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 07:23 PM

I want to head off one particular counter-argument: "If you don't author a buried keys part, what's stopping you from leaving out a buried guitar/bass/drums part?"

The fact is that the "legacy" instruments -- Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Vocals -- have always been a more integral part of the Rock Band experience than Keys/PK. Of the ~2100 Harmonix-authored songs released on-disc or as DLC, only ~500 have Keys. Ideologically, should more of them have Keys? Of course. But they don't, and that's the reality of the situation.

Please remember that this doesn't affect keys-driven songs at all! Any song with a prominent, interesting, or otherwise important keys part will always include a chart for it. This topic is only about keys parts that are so buried in a mix that they're very difficult to author.

#3 espher

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 07:31 PM

^ To add to that, one thing with buried parts on the other instruments is that it's often more feasible to continue charting a pattern without running the risk of it seeming out of place or the audio differing slightly. Keys are prone to flourishes even between iterations of a pattern, which means that authoring a part accurately requires a lot of passes/scrubbing, measure by measure, and can be extremely difficult when things are buried.

It's a lot easier to "fudge" the hypothetical buried bass part than the hypothetical buried keys/pro keys part, for example -- especially since guitar/bass/drums are abstracted to a handful of buttons or pads and not a more-or-less pitch-perfect mapping like pro keys.

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#4 questionmark

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 08:03 PM

I've always thought the part should meet a certain threshold for charting. I started playing keys way less when I got sick of those charts that literally had 10-12 notes during the entire song.

#5 mazegeek999

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 08:20 PM

The way I see it, if you're charting a song with a buried keys part and you're not sure if you're even charting it correctly, then don't do it. Quite often are there inaccurate pro keys charts, and that's not to blame C3 necessarily, but simply because there aren't all the resources needed to accurately chart pro keys. After all, pro keys is supposed to be an accurate representation of the song. So if it's too difficult to hear with all the other instruments, I wouldn't do it.

#6 Farottone

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 08:29 PM

There's an important caveat. We're not talking about songs with keys always buried, for those we already have an omit policy. We're talking about songs that maybe for half of the time have fairly audible and prominent keys and then for the rest it's just one trill audible once every 4 measures or something like that. Those are the ones that keep us at night and have prevented some songs from being released for, literally, years.

#7 mazegeek999

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 08:33 PM

There's an important caveat. We're not talking about songs with keys always buried, for those we already have an omit policy. We're talking about songs that maybe for half of the time have fairly audible and prominent keys and then for the rest it's just one trill audible once every 4 measures or something like that. Those are the ones that keep us at night and have prevented some songs from being released for, literally, years.

I'd still go with the general philosophy that if you don't know what you're charting, if you have to guess, etc, then I wouldn't do it.

#8 Mr Wally

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 09:02 PM

As an occasional pro keys player (mostly medium sometimes hard), personally I do not care for buried keys, its never fun to play notes that are difficult/cannot hear.

Furthermore I also find it boring playing keys doing nothing other than waiting for an non-essential occasional note to appear.

If C3 decides to remove this from future customs I personally will be ok with that, even happy if its preventing certain songs from being released.

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#9 funkydunkleman

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 09:19 PM

I was thinking about bringing up this issue myself.

When there are songs that are prevented from being released because the author can't hear the keys with GBDV playing over them, that's a problem. The more I've authored, the more I've realized how incredibly useful multi-tracks can be. If the Oasis songs I've done had multi-tracks, authoring each instrument would be far easier, and much more accurate. But since we don't have those resources, exceptions should be made.

I know every song with keys or horns had them authored into RB3 content as pro-keys, but since we don't have the multi-tracks, I think we can let it slide.

This isn't Harmonix, and we shouldn't have to follow their rules.

And plus, if you released some of those "buried keys" songs without telling anyone, the vast majority of the downloaders wouldn't notice and/or care anyway.

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#10 Nightmare Lyra

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 09:31 PM

The way I see it, if it is so low in the mix you wouldn't even know it was there (see Dragoesta Sin Tei or whatever it's name is for example) or is just some very very few notes with a lot of room between without being prominent or iconic at all (see Let Me Roll It), then it's okay to skip it. However, if the part is fully audible and have playing throughout, even if not in the forefront of the mix, it should at least be charted to 5-lane at the very least (see Cryin') IMO.

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#11 chexmixho

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 10:06 PM

If C3 decides to remove this from future customs I personally will be ok with that, even happy if its preventing certain songs from being released.

this!

#12 questionmark

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 10:42 PM

If C3 decides to remove this from future customs I personally will be ok with that, even happy if its preventing certain songs from being released.

this!


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#13 blackheartstar

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 11:09 PM

If C3 decides to remove this from future customs I personally will be ok with that, even happy if its preventing certain songs from being released.

this!


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#14 Farottone

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Posted July 28, 2014 - 11:25 PM

The way I see it, if it is so low in the mix you wouldn't even know it was there (see Dragoesta Sin Tei or whatever it's name is for example) or is just some very very few notes with a lot of room between without being prominent or iconic at all (see Let Me Roll It), then it's okay to skip it. However, if the part is fully audible and have playing throughout, even if not in the forefront of the mix, it should at least be charted to 5-lane at the very least (see Cryin') IMO.


Honestly, we've been talking about this since yesterday and that's not even close to what we need to agree upon. :) Songs with irrelevant keys parts are already, right now, as they were since C3's inception, covered by an "omit clause". Songs with fully audible parts throught all the song are not in discussion, those are not the issue. We're talking about songs that have prominent keys but that, because of the mixing, can't be heard throughout all the song. Perfect example: a song starting off on piano and vocals only and then the piano gets mainly drowned for the rest of the song by the other instruments. THAT's the issue at hand.

#15 beastman

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Posted July 29, 2014 - 01:13 AM

If it leads to long boring stretches of nothing for the keys player to do, then don't do that. :)

I'm with Question Mark above: I was so looking forward to keys, and then songs like "Rainbow in the Dark" killed the fun. It's got the notable riff on keys that you only play like 4 times in the song, with long stretches of nothing to do in between. If you are talking about only charting the part of the keys that you can hear, and then leaving the keys player with nothing to do during the drown out part, I say "don't chart keys at all".

I'm all for a band simulation, but not at the expense of fun since this is a game. I would've much preferred that HMX mirror the bass line in songs with sparse keys that charted for keys anyway... EVEN IF THEY WOULD BE PHANTOM NOTES FOR THE KEYS PLAYER THAT AREN'T EVEN IN THE SONG. Yeah I know I'm an idiot, and the official rock band forums pointed that out when I suggested it there almost four years ago. But I want fun over realism if I have to choose, so if I'm playing keys I want to play keys, not stand around and do nothing for minutes on end with a few seconds of burst here and there.

So in regards to your question, I am in favor of charting *something* during the drowned-out part so that the keys player doesn't die of boredom.

#16 boblybob

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Posted July 29, 2014 - 01:58 AM

I've thought about this before. It's something that's stopped me (and probably countless others) from submitting our songs to the C3 pipeline. I include full difficulty 5-lane keys, but tabbing out and trying to piece together every key part for every song I do is way too time consuming and unrealistic, especially when only a fraction of the userbase will play them.

I think if C3 treated pro keys almost like pro gtr/bass upgrades (a welcome cherry on top of an already great custom), and only made 5-lane keys necessary in the greater scope of songs, we'd have a much larger and more varied amount of songs from different authors to look forward to each weekend.

#17 Nyxyxylyth

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Posted July 29, 2014 - 02:03 AM

I've thought about this before. It's something that's stopped me (and probably countless others) from submitting our songs to the C3 pipeline. I include full difficulty 5-lane keys, but tabbing out and trying to piece together every key part for every song I do is way too time consuming and unrealistic, especially when only a fraction of the userbase will play them.

I think if C3 treated pro keys almost like pro gtr/bass upgrades (a welcome cherry on top of an already great custom), and only made 5-lane keys necessary in the greater scope of songs, we'd have a much larger and more varied amount of songs from different authors to look forward to each weekend.

If keys are prominent, we're not backing off - pro keys must be charted.

For example: you're not getting "Rocket Man"** without pro keys as a C3 release.

** No actual C3 release of "Rocket Man" is implied by this statement. Offer void everywhere.

#18 TrojanNemo

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Posted July 29, 2014 - 02:06 AM

Does that mean we are getting Rocket Man? If so, I vote for this version!



#19 Sideshow

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Posted July 29, 2014 - 02:12 AM

I also remember somebody saying The Zombies "Time of Season" would of been released if it werent for the Pro Keys.

#20 Nyxyxylyth

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Posted July 29, 2014 - 02:14 AM

I also remember somebody saying The Zombies "Time of Season" would of been released if it werent for the Pro Keys.

There's nothing undoable about that - it's just hard.

OKAY I'LL DO IT ALREADY because harmonies.




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