might as well lock the forum down... not getting any info from anyone here.
When we played on Wednesday, we scored about 840000 on Round and Round. We could have done much better. The winning band scored about 1100000 on Teenage Riot.
Since then, Teenage Riot has been removed from the potential song list. Only 7 bands played that night and was basically a competition for first and second. The band came in third scored about 380000 on Man in the Box. An Xbox 360 was used, along with an Ion drumset. The system was not properly calibrated, so we had to adjust to it.
Any other questions, let me know. I'll be happy to answer them
I'm going to play in Windsor on Wednesday, so I'll post afterwards also. Until then, sorry but you're all the enemy, and I would be a traitor to my band if I gave away our battle plans.
update for the folks interested in the tahoe location... i just got the following email from Harrahs:
whos up for tahoe?I have some details to share and for you to pass along...
The competition will take place at Harrah's Lake Tahoe at Center Stage
Friday nights starting March 27 (April 3, April 10, April 17). Times
will be 8pm-11pm. I believe the local winner will be the band that
scores highest across all 4 weeks.
The website is being updated so please check back if you want to
register online. Otherwise, you can show up the night you want to
compete and register on site
Thanks again for getting in touch and for the wonderful e-mail you sent
Good luck and ROCK ON!!
Are these casinos gonna post the scores? I wanna know if its even worth my while to go.
My band played in Windsor tonight. We came in 2nd. Here's my report, also with a bit of strategy guidance for what to do if you're not a top-ranked band. Hopefully this will satisfy everyone who was looking for more info on the contest.
First off, I'd say that they did a great job with the stage setup and running the competition. Every band got a bag of swag, and there was a big crowd watching and applauding. But the cal was way way off, and they wouldn't let us change it. This was a problem for us. More on that later.
They had 14 bands signed up on-line, but said that some bands hadn't ever responded to follow-up e-mail so they weren't sure how many would actually show. Watching the registration table, it looked like 6 or 7 bands checked in. Of those, only 4 or 5 played. It was a bit hard to tell exactly how many bands played because the 4th band was clearly a top-tier band, they all played on expert and scored slightly over 2M on Give It Away. At that point, any bands that hadn't played bailed out. The staff at Caesar's were thrown for a loop by that, but smartly decided to just covert the contest into an open-mike night, so that there would be some entertainment going on, rather than just an empty stage. We took the opportunity to play PDA on expert (except bass on hard) as an encore and scored ~1.1M, but they weren't recording score at that point.
For those of you jonesing for score info, here it is:
1st: 2M, Give it Away, everyone on expert (note that this is a talky, so anyone can score 99% on expert vox with zero effort)
2nd: 900K, Down with the Sickness, expert vox, everyone else hard
3rd: 600K, I'm spacing on the song, maybe American Woman?
4th: ~250K, Livin' on a Prayer
And now some strategy. In order to win a casino weekly competition, you need to be smart and lucky. We were fairly smart but somewhat unlucky. In order to win a casino final or a regional, you probably need to be a top-ranked band.
First, the smart part. Remember that the contest is judged only on points. So you need to pick a song with good scoring potential, and then score as many points as you can. We picked DwtS after seriously trying out Give It Away, PDA, and Tangled up in Blue. By "seriously trying" I mean we played each one of those songs probably 20 times at varying difficulty levels. We eventually chose DwtS because it played to our strengths. Our vocalist is top-200ish (in RB1 he was top-50) on the XBL leaderboard. The rest of us are OK, playing hard-to-expert. I'm maybe ranked about 15,000 on the drum leaderboard. DwtS has a lot of points on vox, so that's what we went with.
We played it 7-10 times a day for the week prior to the contest, and could consistently score 98-99% on each of our instruments (on hard) with our vox generally at 99-100% (expert). Our max score during this period was 1.94M, and our average was about 1.8M. We deliberately did not bump to expert because we could only score 94-96% on expert. With the Rock Band scoring engine, that gave us a lower score than getting 98% on hard. In fact, our bassist was on medium until a couple days before the contest and we could score about 1.7M that way.
I have a homebrew drum kit (acoustic kit/Alesis D4/MSA-P), so I borrowed a RB1 kit to use. It would have been smarter to borrow an Ion, because that's what they had. I had difficulty adjusting to the different layout of the Ion. In addition I was nervous and stressed about playing on stage in front of people. Also, the cal was a problem. The audio cal was fine (if you played in time with the music everything was OK) but the video cal was way early, so you had to play after the note passed the note window. Seriously, it was like a full 16th note off. This was catastrophic for me. I right away started missing pads (hitting where they were on the RB1 kit, not on the Ion). Since the drum is the only instrument playing during the intro, once I got a handle on where the pads were I couldn't play by sound (since all the sound I had was rimshots and booing), and I couldn't play by sight (since the cal was off). So I was deep in the red by the time the guitar and bass started. I'm sure my abysmal performance didn't help them get a good start. We ended up scoring about 1/2 of our typical score. Our top-tier vocalist had no difficulty adjusting to the cal, but the rest of us struggled. I had 89%, our guitar and bass were in the mid-90's, our vox was 99 as usual. For our encore of PDA, we basically ignored the screen for note windows and just played by sound. That worked much much better, we were all in the high 90's (99 vox again) and we hadn't practiced that song seriously for the week before the show.
Still, our horrible performance was the top score so far. Here is where luck ran against us. The next band totally nailed Give It Away on expert. They were unfazed by the cal problems. They absolutely deserved to win, but had they waited until next week to show up...
It looked like there were still bands waiting to play, but none chose to challenge the juggernaut. That's when they switched to open mike, we stuck around for a while and played an encore, but then left around 9PM, well before the official 10PM wrap-up.
So, to wrap it up (finally, you're thinking, assuming you even made it this far), with careful preparation you can do well even if you're only halfway decent. Most of the bands that played were clearly doing it on a lark. Nobody but us and the scorehero kids that clobbered us bothered to sync overdrives or could maintain any kind of streak.
To succeed, pick your song carefully and practice it a lot. You need to be able to maintain a decent streak (hundreds of notes for everyone but vox) and hit 98%+. Figure out a good overdrive path. Have your drummer use the Ion kit, so he's used to its layout. Deliberately screw up your cal (better yet, have somebody else deliberately randomly screw up your cal many times in different ways) so you can deal with problems. Playing any song with a single-instrument intro carries the risk that if that player has a brain fart or a slow start, it's hard to recover. My horrible start was disastrous to the entire band.
But most importantly, pick a week where the scorehero zombies stay home.
Post-finally (man won't he just shut up already), I think that Give It Away should probably not be on the list. It's 99% talky, so you really only need 3 expert players and someone who can make noise into the mike. I agree with the removal of Teen Age Riot because its scoring potential is 10% greater than any other song (so everyone will play it, making for a really boring competition), but the advantage of only needing to make a 3-person band and recruit any random slob off the street (or just put the mike in front of the speaker...) seems like it will result in the same effect, a boring contest where you have to hear Give It Away 8 times in a row every night.
Good luck. You're not doomed (in the weeklies at least), so get a band together and go.
Last edited by capomojo; 03-12-2009 at 03:17 PM.
Hi capomojo—saw you there—my band was the one that took first. I don’t know if bands bailed out after us, we weren’t scheduled to play until nine and got moved up to 7:40 (so I think they have already bailed).
But we weren’t unfazed by the cal problems, capomojo is correct the cal was way early. But there was a larger problem than the cal—the ion drum layout. I do play on an ion, but holy poo cakes, the way they had their ion setup was absolutely horrible. They basically had the pads spread out as far as possible (causing me to miss the pads completely many times). I would have much prefer if a stock kit was used.
I wouldn’t say we are a scorehero band though—we all basically live together and just like rockband.
But we did have a blast. The setup was really nice and it was organized well. And the “Open-mike” thing was fun as well.
Last edited by PeePeeMcGee; 03-12-2009 at 12:27 AM.
PSN: Buddy Christ
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