February 28, 2011 | 4 Comments
Over a year ago, for Christmas, I got a DTXPlorer Yamaha DrumKit just because I enjoyed playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band so much. I got very interested in drumming and wanted to experience the real thing. The first challenge was to connect a real Midi drumkit to the game, since I couldn’t play anything without the games guidance. Throught the comments I realized I was not the only one who discovered drumming though these video games. I think I’m not the only one who soon wanted to, in addition to playing Rock Band and Guitar Hero, tried to learn to play “for real”. I picked a few drum lessons DVD and trained with that but what I really enjoy is playing along the songs I like in the game… without the game. That way, I can improvise and see what I really learned to do without the guidance of the console. The problem is : drumless tracks (that is songs with all the instruments and voice playing but no drummer) are hard to get by. There is actually one great source of drumless tracks for us and it is the library of songs included in Guitar Hero and Rock Band games!
So, how to get a drumless track from the game ?
The process is simple : plug the audio output of your console to the line in of your computer (or any other recording device) and start the game as a drummer in “no fail mode” or “practice mode” just so that the song won’t stop playing even if you miss notes. Start the recording. Launch the song in the game. DO NOT PLAY, do not hit a single note, just let the song play itself out. That’s it, you get the guitar, the bass, the singer, every other instrument but the drums.
How to set the game(s) ?
In Rock band, select a song and then, during the song, hit start and enter the Options Menu. Enable the no fail mode and restart the song.
In Guitar Hero, I just head over to the practice room, select the entire song at full speed.
Either method will work with most of the games. I tested Rock Band 2, Rock band 3 and Rock Band the beatles as well as Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero Metallica.
Recorded a song, now what ?
Now, the fun begins. You can play back the drumless track on your computer or any other player (I use my iPhone) and hook up the sound output of your device to the line in of your drumkit. There you go, you can play along on your favorite songs. Over time, I found that to be a nice alternative to seting up the game (which I only do on weekends). Setting up the game with the real kit, with the computer connection is quite an organization but I can quickly get to play along a couple of tracks in the evening using my iPhone drumless tracks playlist. It’s a nice way to realize how it is possible to actually learn something about Music playing Video Games.