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rllmuk

MacMantis

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  1. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    I was in Argos on Christmas Eve (I know, I know) and the woman picking up next to me was getting Guitar Hero: Live. She commented to the woman with her 'He asked for Rock Band but it's more expensive, he won't know the difference'. Oh. Oh he will. He very much will.
  2. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    Next event is up, a week earlier than we'd originally wanted so it'll be interesting to see how many venture out in the post Christmas lull. Starting to struggle a bit with poster ideas, going to try and think of something strong for our next event (end Feb/Beginning of March) in the hope that it gives a bit of a kick in the arse, creatively. Then again I have done 42 of these buggers so it was going to happen sooner or later. https://www.facebook.com/events/1032178633541857/
  3. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    Sadly apart from our event on the 12th of December (shill) we don't have any other dates booked in the calendar just yet. Assuming all goes well and the new venue is happy, we'll likely do one towards the end of January or first weekend of February but won't be able to confirm until the end of the year. Most of the rest of February is out after that as we're busy having an actual holiday (they are worryingly rare for me). We'll hopefully settle into a regular pattern after that.
  4. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    Figured this would be worth posting here. We've announced our next event and also a change of venue to one that by its very nature should *get* gaming. https://www.facebook.com/events/169044850115673/
  5. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    It's pretty varied. There are some songs we get every month (Gay Bar is always popular), but the crowd dictates where the music goes. Here's a spreadsheet with our last two playlists. It felt like a mostly 'light' night, nothing too dark, not too much heavy metal. There have been other events where we've had half a dozen Metallica tracks in the night so really there is no hard and fast rule.
  6. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    Our current home is the Star of Kings (N1 0AX). It's mostly treated like a regular karaoke event with bits bolted on. There are song books and request slips and a space on the request slip Artist, song, person for each instrument and any notes (ie, Band Name, never played drums before, needs lefty mode). If you have an entire group of people you can fill out each band position, or leave it blank and volunteers will be found from the audience. We're normally never short of them, but singers can sometimes be hard to come by for some more obscure songs. Once you've got your form filled out, you hand it to the two members of the team managing the queue/request system. Then you sit down and drink, and wait, and maybe jump up if you feel like being a fill in member for other bands. Behind the scenes: Every request is then put into a ticketing system developed by one of the team (https://github.com/parsingphase/takeAticket), this lets us juggle the queue around, try and avoid too many people being on stage multiple times in a row, and as of recently bracket RB3 and RB4 tracks into groups so we can make the changeover between platforms as infrequent as possible. The queue is also displayed on the projector screen intermittently, as well as a few other places around the venue, so people can see the next few songs that are due up on stage. It's also got a complete song database with runtimes in there so we know when to cap the queue, or if we might have a vote off at the end of the evening. We can also easily shuffle songs around if people have nipped out for a cigarette or are eating. We have a screen behind the stage, and it can also be used to send messages to us such as 'Can you cap the queue' or 'Don't forget to mention the tip bucket', which I can then use as queues next time I stand in front of the mic and make a tit of myself. If traveling a distance I'd say arrive early to maximise the amount of time you get. First hour or so is usually quiet, with numbers picking up 7 to 7:30, and peaking at around 8. We generally finish around 11-11:30pm. We could in theory run later but we all have homes to go to and dragging a large hard shell case full of xboxes and mixers on a night bus is not so much fun.
  7. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    I wish we could. Covering costs would be an interesting one. If you leave aside the logistics that none of us drive (yes, we really do haul all our gear on TFL services) then you've still got travel, possible accommodation, consumables (song books are generally a one-and-done print run that's £10-20 an event, poster printing, pens, smoke fluid for the fogger, costs of songs, etc). And the thing is we're donation run. Due to trying to avoid any legal problems we decided that a tip bucket was the way to go and it really varies from event to event how much goes in there. We've discovered that the larger the number of people the less tips/donations we get. Most likely this is on the basis of 'Well I don't have to dig deep, as someone else will'. Due to a divorce I now hold lone fiscal responsibility for the event and some months that's hard (as an example, in the final run up to our event on Saturday I had to make a number of purchases not covered by our fundraiser that's left me about £300 out of pocket). This is not a 'woe is me' part of the post because, realistically, I'd not undo the past 4 years for the world. Some events have been bloody hell to get through, including times when I was literally hiding behind a mixer crying with frustration, but we've had some absolutely beautiful moments and made some long lasting friends as a result of this event. It's resulted in me conquering my fear of talking in front of crowds of people and lots of social anxiety in general. Hecklers (which we get sometimes) can still be a bit tough, but I'm way more resilient than I was when we started all this. Above is one of my favourite bits of Saturdays event. One of our regulars was celebrating his Birthday and brought all his friends along (many of whom were also RCL regulars). It made for a lovely moment, boosted our numbers (always good as the pub gives us a bar minimum) and really gave the party atmosphere some extra oomph. His main present was a muppet of himself, which has to go down as one of the coolest things I've ever seen. It reached the point where every song was a duet, regardless of how many people were on stage with him. Just after this song I jumped up next to him to stop him leaving the stage as one of his friends brought out the cake and everyone in the venue sang Happy Birthday to him. After that, he was off the stage, the cake was consumed, I was back behind the mixer and it occurred to me that this really is a community that has grown around playing a videogame in a pub basement. And that's a pretty cool thing.
  8. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    Yeah, that's understandable. I think the furthest some of our regular attendees travel from are Cheltenham in one direction and Portsmouth in the other. Even that impresses me, but afaik we're the only regular event of our kind in the UK. Certainly the only one I've ever been able to find via Google.
  9. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    Sadly the next one won't be until December (12th, if all goes according to plan). Saturday night was a public event, but it's been sandwiched between two private events that were rewards for our fundraisers two top tier donation spots. So by the time next weekend is done we'll all be a touch knackered and taking a month off before doing another one. Sorry about that. If people are interested/unbothered, I will post in here when we're running our events. The RLLMUK folks that turned up before were always really cool people and when we moved pubs we lost touch with them. Honestly when the lack of ION support for the Xbone was announced, I spent a good long time looking at the most cost/time effective options available to us to provide the content we'd been asked for using the equipment that best suited our event and environment. Thankfully by dragging up documentation from the pre-pro drum days and also via some likeminded folks on Reddit I was able to come up with a plan to hack apart a RB2 drum kit and make it all work. Amusingly, just as I got all that working, our kick pedal has started playing up, so there's that to fix now as well. I was hoping I was done with soldering irons for a little while. The customs have been a saving grace for us, if for no other reason than it saved a number of disc swaps during the night. Before customs we had RB3, TBRB, and all the various Guitar Heroes and their associated DLC's and just had to do magical mystery swaps every time someone asked for something that wasn't part of the main platform. The conversions helped, and then the original content (particularly the multitracks when they appeared) really helped boost numbers and provide fresh content. I'd been chatting back and forth with one of the founders of C3 about some future collaborations, but when Harmonix announced RB4 C3 announced their plans to close up their releases so that didn't go anywhere. I'm going to continue to maintain our customs database and also work on adding in some of my own. The handy thing is that now there's a fresh supply of weekly DLC on the way for the forseeable it takes any time constraints and pressure off me.
  10. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    Yeah, a few RLLMUKers used to attend the events (wherefore art though Joe?), and I used to shill them a bit. We've been going a few years and recently underwent a successful fund raiser to bring us up to Rock Band 4. But had to come up with our own solution for pro drums on the Xbone.
  11. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    It's been a long road with many solder burns but finally Rock Club 2.0 is running on Xbox with fully functional ION drums. Sadly despite my desire to have a bit of a kip I've got to be awake until midnight to run this event...
  12. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    I guess this is a bit of report on running an event with Rock Band 4: We ran our first playtest of Rock Club London yesterday with both RB3 and 4 available and all in all it went really well. I've got a few modifications to make to the custom drum brain before next weeks Halloween event, but mostly people seemed happy. A 4 hour playtest in the afternoon was followed by a private party for one of the top tier donors to our gofundme campaign and they ran from around 6pm until 11:15pm, with us flip flopping back and forth between RB3 and RB4. The general response we received from this group (40 or so people) was a positive one, at least 50% of them had never been to one of our events before. Freestyle vocals were experimented with and a few people really had fun with the freestyle guitar solos. Did they all sound amazing? No. But to be fair even on RB3 sometimes they don't. since our event is mostly about having fun, it didn't seem to bother people. The actual concept of running a dual platform event was slightly terrifying, but it seems to work ok. During the playtest we timed switching between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One and we got it done in 52 seconds. That was 52 seconds to resync instruments to other console, and adjust mixer. We're clustering requests together so we do at least 6-10 songs on each platform before having to change over (with a platform dependent song triggering the change). Whilst people still hand us requests on paper slips we're now using a web based request engine to manage them. Not only does it allow people to see where they are in the queue, it lets us behind the mixing desk see how long we have before we need to do the changeover. And as we've incorporated song length information it lets us cap the queue so people don't go home without having played. Whilst RB4 has a long way to go to fix its problems, last night was a hell of a relief because from my perspective we've done everything we can, and we've provided people with what they asked for: The chance to play both on either platform. In theory, it's all upwards from here. We've got one more playtest next Saturday afternoon, then in the evening it's our full blown Halloween event. Numbers seem low atm (lots of other parties on Halloween night) but I'm sure the people that do make it will have a good time.
  13. MacMantis

    Rock Band 4

    *de-lurks, sticks head in thread* Dropping this here to detail my journey to make sure we can use our ION Kit on the Xbox One RB4: http://imgur.com/a/WKq6B To leave aside the 'This was in RB3, why's it not in RB4', the validity of which as a gripe varies from a case to case, I've got the following impressions thus far: ---- I'm not having any issues reading the Note Highways or hitting HO/PO. This is on a 40" Samsung TV from a distance of about 2m. Legacy adaptor is working damned well, and the only issues I've had with any legacy issues are due to increased sensitivity on the ION Pads/Cymbals causing some crosstalk. This is something I'll either fix with HW mods or just adjusting the Frame. Being able to change difficulty mid-song without pausing will prove really useful at our events. The latency is about double what it was on my TV before, but when properly calibrated I don't seem to be having any issues. I'm wondering how much of this is because of the newgen hardware, and how much is because of the software? This is a genuine point of ignorance for me. Freestyle solos are interesting and depending on the song depends on my level of success/enjoyment. Santana - 'Smooth' proved super easy and I produced something that didn't sound terrible. Same with Tom Petty - 'Running down a dream'. Grateful Dead - 'U.S. Blues' proved less successful, possibly because I was having a harder time matching the beat. Look of the game? I like it. I look forward to seeing what character creation options come in future. Singalongs are lovely to have back. Being able to search the library is nice. lack of 5.1 is weird. It won't bother me much, but it's weird. Some of the store problems are damned annoying. I don't know how many of these problems are down to HMX or down to MS and their store certification/clearance process. The fact that I was able to download over 800 songs of our Library was a start. ---- This is only based on a few hours play as a lot of my time in the past few days has been spent working on and troubleshooting the above custom Drum Brain and downloading DLC for Rock Club. I'm not blown away by anything, but likewise I'm not feeling horrifically underwhelmed or angry. But my perspective is partly that of someone that runs a social event based around this game, and there are a number of features that will prove super useful in that respect. I find myself reminded of what happened with the first Next Gen WWE Game, where a whole bunch of stuff was left out as a result of the shift to a new platform. In that respect they've added the features back in with this years iteration. In RB's case that'll be feature packs and I hope Harmonix get a chance to do that and don't go bankrupt. I love the new guitar as well, so I kinda hope MadCatz don't go bankrupt either. A lot of the people I know who are looking to buy/have bought are either first time adopters or casual players dusting off the old instruments. And they seem pretty happy thus far. The majority of people I get sending me IM's of all the things I'll need to 'Fix' before the first Rock Club are the hardcore players. Thankfully a lot of the issues they've raised (Mic Lag, Lack of IONs on Xbox, etc) are ones that either have already been addressed or don't effect us.
  14. MacMantis

    vinyl lovers

    Yeah, but the 8 CD set was all Outrun games across all platforms. If Data Discs only go for original Arcade Outrun then that's just 20mins (Your one side of an LP). My hope is maybe Side 1: Outrun, Side 2: Turbo Outrun. I'd not be too upset if Side 2 was remixes though. There are some incredible ones out there. My copy of SoR turned up on Tuesday and I absolutely love it. The cards were a really nice touch too. Should be a busy week or so for soundtracks. I think I have at least 3-4 shipping to me in the next few days.
  15. MacMantis

    vinyl lovers

    There have been a hell of a lot of boutique labels popping up recently, especially in the soundtrack market. I've found a good way to find out if a new label is legit is to look at social media and see if any other labels are recommending or communicating with them. With soundtracks in particular the 'Spin the Blackest Circles' is also a good source of information when a new label appears. Generally speaking if I'm buying something used I want to hear it first or check out the returns policy. Thankfully my local emporium offers money back/exchange on everything, even the bargain bin stuff.
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