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You got to appreciate one thing about the Guitar Hero/Rock Band era

nkarafo

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Nov 30, 2012
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The first thing that comes to most people's minds when thinking about that short amount of time is the endless amount of plastic shit you had to amass. Which is understandable since they overdid it in that front. It was the one thing that made the bubble burst after all.

But there was one other thing that very few seem to appreciate or even realize about these games. They offered something extremely valuable, that we shouldn't have the privilege to have access to. Something that many music enthusiasts and audiophiles thought it would be impossible to get their hands on: Original stems/muti-tracks of classic songs. Most of them remastered and/or better quality than CDs or any other format you can get.

Now, the first couple Guitar Hero games only had covers instead of original songs. But starting from Guitar Hero 3, the games would feature actual original studio recordings where you could have the guitar and bass completely separated from the rest of the song. Later on they also separated the vocals, drums, keys and even had the drums themselves separated. And not only that, the audio quality was amazing. Remember Metallica's Death Magnetic drama about the album's shitty quality and how the Guitar Hero DLC was the best way to listen to the album? Well, that was true for most of the songs actually. From any artist and any album. Like, you can finally appreciate the bass in The Justice for All album, for instance.

Of course, all the tracks and DLCs can be ripped from the discs. And you can use these files in programs like Audacity to play with the songs and mix them as you see fit, without having to play the game at the same time. Now think about it. You have the original stems from classic songs you grew up with and you can mix them how you like. You can listen to these songs in a completely new way. You can isolate Flea's bass or listen to Kurt Cobain singing the studio versions of his songs without the rest of the band. They even kept him coughing a bit in Smells Like Teen Spirit and i'm pretty sure he does in the original CDs, you just can't hear it.

As an audiophile myself, i was in heaven during this craze. I didn't care much about the gameplay but i got almost all the GH/RB games on 360 (the Wii versions had reduced sound quality btw) and a bunch of DLCs. But now it seems this is over forever. Even newer games that followed don't use multi-tracks anymore. Rocksmith, for instance, only has a single song and you play along with it. Which is a shame since that game has my favorite song of all time (Paranoid Android) and i would give one of my kidneys to have it as a multitrack. This was a one time deal and i don't think we will ever get similar access to other songs in the future since these games aren't as popular anymore and getting the masters is an expensive and difficult endeavor.

Still, i managed to get about 400+ favorite classic songs with their instruments separated from all this. Seriously people, forget about the plastic guitars, the files in those discs are a treasure.
 
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Mista

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Damn right! I miss those days and we really need new ones

Had lots of the fun with boys playing those games. Especially when they introduced the full band. Vocalist, guitarist and drummer. We threw parties at my house feeling like rockstars just by playing these games
 
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ViolentP

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Rock Band/Guitar Hero were fucking dope. No reason to ever hate on them.
 
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Still got Rock Band 4 and thousands of songs installed on my hard drive, and a bunch of still functioning GH instruments and still play it to this day. Still great fun!

Love listening to the isolated tracks when I can get my hands on them as well!
 
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nkarafo

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One of my favorite things was to make "bass mix" songs with the rips, removing the guitar completely. It's a fun way to listen to classic songs since the lead guitar is usually the loudest and covers everything. I just love hearing things i couldn't before in songs that i grew up with. I did upload a couple of songs this way.





Oh and btw, most of instrumentals you can find on Youtube come from Guitar Hero/Rock Band rips.
 
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JCK75

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I had fun with them, but didn't really get into a music game until Rock Smith Came out..
I really hope they keep that franchise going, I mean I've played guitar most of my life and spend my youth touring in a band... but eventually it turned into a job in IT, a wife and a kid and 15 years go by barely touching the guitar, and Rock Smith just kind of game me a whole new reason to pick it up and start trying to remember the songs.
 
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nkarafo

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There were also mods where you could get all these rips and basically make something like a port and play the games on PC (there was only GH3 and World Tour on PC officially). They were called Fo-Fix and later PhaseShift.

There was also a program posted in these forums where you could play the files and just mix/enjoy the music.

 
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theHFIC

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Aug 22, 2014
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Not totally on topic, but the streaming service Deezer has recently released an open source, Python tool that can create stems from any MP3 / AAC that is fed to it called Spleeter. It uses AI that has been trained (as of now on a couple 100) stem and instrumental tracks.

It's more of a proof of concept right now since the stems created do have some noticeable gaps and hiss from what is getting removed from each track, but the results are really impressive nonetheless. It takes about 3 - 4 minutes to create a 5 stem (vocals, guitars, pianos, drums, everything else) track on my 2013 era Macbook Pro.
 

nkarafo

Member
Nov 30, 2012
16,730
8,512
1,070
Not totally on topic, but the streaming service Deezer has recently released an open source, Python tool that can create stems from any MP3 / AAC that is fed to it called Spleeter. It uses AI that has been trained (as of now on a couple 100) stem and instrumental tracks.

It's more of a proof of concept right now since the stems created do have some noticeable gaps and hiss from what is getting removed from each track, but the results are really impressive nonetheless. It takes about 3 - 4 minutes to create a 5 stem (vocals, guitars, pianos, drums, everything else) track on my 2013 era Macbook Pro.
Dunno, it's not the same as having the actual tracks. Any other way will sacrifice sounds, quality, etc.
 
Last edited:

DunDunDunpachi

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Related to the topic, I love the two DJ Hero games because the mixes were unique to that game. I was one of those snobs who thought RB/GH were okay but preferred to just play the real song. DJ Hero had new music and was therefore worth it to me.


 
Nov 5, 2019
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210
The first thing that comes to most people's minds when thinking about that short amount of time is the endless amount of plastic shit you had to amass. Which is understandable since they overdid it in that front. It was the one thing that made the bubble burst after all.

But there was one other thing that very few seem to appreciate or even realize about these games. They offered something extremely valuable, that we shouldn't have the privilege to have access to. Something that many music enthusiasts and audiophiles thought it would be impossible to get their hands on: Original stems/muti-tracks of classic songs. Most of them remastered and/or better quality than CDs or any other format you can get.

Now, the first couple Guitar Hero games only had covers instead of original songs. But starting from Guitar Hero 3, the games would feature actual original studio recordings where you could have the guitar and bass completely separated from the rest of the song. Later on they also separated the vocals, drums, keys and even had the drums themselves separated. And not only that, the audio quality was amazing. Remember Metallica's Death Magnetic drama about the album's shitty quality and how the Guitar Hero DLC was the best way to listen to the album? Well, that was true for most of the songs actually. From any artist and any album. Like, you can finally appreciate the bass in The Justice for All album, for instance.

Of course, all the tracks and DLCs can be ripped from the discs. And you can use these files in programs like Audacity to play with the songs and mix them as you see fit, without having to play the game at the same time. Now think about it. You have the original stems from classic songs you grew up with and you can mix them how you like. You can listen to these songs in a completely new way. You can isolate Flea's bass or listen to Kurt Cobain singing the studio versions of his songs without the rest of the band. They even kept him coughing a bit in Smells Like Teen Spirit and i'm pretty sure he does in the original CDs, you just can't hear it.

As an audiophile myself, i was in heaven during this craze. I didn't care much about the gameplay but i got almost all the GH/RB games on 360 (the Wii versions had reduced sound quality btw) and a bunch of DLCs. But now it seems this is over forever. Even newer games that followed don't use multi-tracks anymore. Rocksmith, for instance, only has a single song and you play along with it. Which is a shame since that game has my favorite song of all time (Paranoid Android) and i would give one of my kidneys to have it as a multitrack. This was a one time deal and i don't think we will ever get similar access to other songs in the future since these games aren't as popular anymore and getting the masters is an expensive and difficult endeavor.

Still, i managed to get about 400+ favorite classic songs with their instruments separated from all this. Seriously people, forget about the plastic guitars, the files in those discs are a treasure.
Wow, actually. Never thought of it as a potential sample gold mine.

Good thought process, op!!!

But as an aside, I'll never forget the plastic guitars. Worked at gamestop at the end of "the wave" and yeah, those guitars became so plentiful that they started having to liquidate due to no space in the backroom so I'd get to smash these things into the ground before tossing them, day after day. In fact, destroying product before disposal was a company policy lol. At a point, we were only giving like 2 bucks for them and they still kept flooding in. People were just done.
 
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ROMhack

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I didn't pay much attention to the quality of the tracks but that's very interesting to know.

They were great games overall. There's a lot to be said about how they made gaming feel active and fun (you can throw the Wii into that mix too).
 
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Sp3eD

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I loved the rhythm game phase. I used to have bi monthly rock band parties where we would drink, eat and play Rock band 3. I got like 10 - 20 people to come depending on the month.

anyway about the stems, I remember in rock band 2 turning no fail on putting all instruments in and purposely listening to the vocal only in songs. It was kind of weird hearing familiar songs where you can hear the singer taking breathes between lyrics clearly. For some reason Paramore songs were the most interesting to me back then.
 

IKSTUGA

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Yeah, I played the crap out of all of them. GH went to shit after Metallica, but RB stayed awesome till the very end. I'm still playing RB4 every now and then. Have like a bazillion dlc songs too.
 

nkarafo

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Yeah, I played the crap out of all of them. GH went to shit after Metallica, but RB stayed awesome till the very end. I'm still playing RB4 every now and then. Have like a bazillion dlc songs too.
RB1 has an issue with sound, all the songs are 32000hz instean of 44100. But they still sound good enough. The next entries fixed that, thankfully.
 

lock2k

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Jun 13, 2018
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The first thing that comes to most people's minds when thinking about that short amount of time is the endless amount of plastic shit you had to amass. Which is understandable since they overdid it in that front. It was the one thing that made the bubble burst after all.

But there was one other thing that very few seem to appreciate or even realize about these games. They offered something extremely valuable, that we shouldn't have the privilege to have access to. Something that many music enthusiasts and audiophiles thought it would be impossible to get their hands on: Original stems/muti-tracks of classic songs. Most of them remastered and/or better quality than CDs or any other format you can get.

Now, the first couple Guitar Hero games only had covers instead of original songs. But starting from Guitar Hero 3, the games would feature actual original studio recordings where you could have the guitar and bass completely separated from the rest of the song. Later on they also separated the vocals, drums, keys and even had the drums themselves separated. And not only that, the audio quality was amazing. Remember Metallica's Death Magnetic drama about the album's shitty quality and how the Guitar Hero DLC was the best way to listen to the album? Well, that was true for most of the songs actually. From any artist and any album. Like, you can finally appreciate the bass in The Justice for All album, for instance.

Of course, all the tracks and DLCs can be ripped from the discs. And you can use these files in programs like Audacity to play with the songs and mix them as you see fit, without having to play the game at the same time. Now think about it. You have the original stems from classic songs you grew up with and you can mix them how you like. You can listen to these songs in a completely new way. You can isolate Flea's bass or listen to Kurt Cobain singing the studio versions of his songs without the rest of the band. They even kept him coughing a bit in Smells Like Teen Spirit and i'm pretty sure he does in the original CDs, you just can't hear it.

As an audiophile myself, i was in heaven during this craze. I didn't care much about the gameplay but i got almost all the GH/RB games on 360 (the Wii versions had reduced sound quality btw) and a bunch of DLCs. But now it seems this is over forever. Even newer games that followed don't use multi-tracks anymore. Rocksmith, for instance, only has a single song and you play along with it. Which is a shame since that game has my favorite song of all time (Paranoid Android) and i would give one of my kidneys to have it as a multitrack. This was a one time deal and i don't think we will ever get similar access to other songs in the future since these games aren't as popular anymore and getting the masters is an expensive and difficult endeavor.

Still, i managed to get about 400+ favorite classic songs with their instruments separated from all this. Seriously people, forget about the plastic guitars, the files in those discs are a treasure.

I loved those games and I still own many of them and play them from time to time.
 

zeorhymer

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The era where it was an actual band. You got a group of folks with different instrument rocking out on your favorite songs in a living room/garage and having a good ole night.
 

lock2k

Banned
Jun 13, 2018
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Not totally on topic, but the streaming service Deezer has recently released an open source, Python tool that can create stems from any MP3 / AAC that is fed to it called Spleeter. It uses AI that has been trained (as of now on a couple 100) stem and instrumental tracks.

It's more of a proof of concept right now since the stems created do have some noticeable gaps and hiss from what is getting removed from each track, but the results are really impressive nonetheless. It takes about 3 - 4 minutes to create a 5 stem (vocals, guitars, pianos, drums, everything else) track on my 2013 era Macbook Pro.

Is there a way to use it for dummies? I tried to get into it but thought it was complicated.
 

theHFIC

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Aug 22, 2014
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Dunno, it's not the same as having the actual tracks. Any other way will sacrifice sounds, quality, etc.

Definitely not, but if you want to separate it to learn a part, create a karaoke version for a noisy karaoke party, or just fool around with AI tech it is a pretty cool demonstration. Especially if you don't have the contacts within music publishers / studios to get access to those master stems or they are too old to exist.

Is there a way to use it for dummies? I tried to get into it but thought it was complicated.

Right now there isn't an overly simple method. On my Mac setup, I think you need Xcode installed and having Homebrew as well makes it easier for some of the packages. If you are interested and not afraid of the terminal, PM me and I can give you the steps I took to set it up which may help out.
 
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Meowzers

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''I'm from the place that we're never wrong, never calm, play Guitar Hero with your severed arm.''

-Chino XL
 

lifa-cobex

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Amazing time.

Surprised we haven't had something new with guitar hero with VR.
Beat Saber has done really well.
 

Katsura

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Aug 7, 2019
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Definitely not, but if you want to separate it to learn a part, create a karaoke version for a noisy karaoke party, or just fool around with AI tech it is a pretty cool demonstration. Especially if you don't have the contacts within music publishers / studios to get access to those master stems or they are too old to exist.



Right now there isn't an overly simple method. On my Mac setup, I think you need Xcode installed and having Homebrew as well makes it easier for some of the packages. If you are interested and not afraid of the terminal, PM me and I can give you the steps I took to set it up which may help out.
You don't need xcode to install python unless they're using some mac os specific libraries. Homebrew makes everything so much easier though because mac os already comes with python 2.7 installed and that's usually not the version you want to use

It's easier to get going with python on windows or linux
 

Katsura

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Is there a way to use it for dummies? I tried to get into it but thought it was complicated.
I haven't used that tool but generally you'd need to install python and any libraries the tool depends on, download the script and open it in your IDE (python ships with one) and then simply run the script