Looking for basic information on the Rock Band Network and Noble Rhythm? Check out the faq!
Want to see behind the curtain before creating your artist account? Uploading your song and need some clarification on one detail or another? Then this is the page for you. Welcome to the Noble Rhythm site tour. This page has information for current and prospective Noble Rhythm artists about the artist account system and song submission process.
your artist account
Log into your artist account using the login bar at the top of any page on the site.
Once logged in, you can access everything you need to upload new songs, access and edit your current songs, view your current revenue, and review the status of your songs.
Below is an example artist account for the artist E.Q. Loving:
a - user bar
Once you log in, the login bar is replaced by the user bar, which is available at the top of every page on the site. Here is where you access the two main functions of the artist account: your artist profile, and the song submission page. To log out, click (surprise, surprise) log out.
b - control tabs
You can edit your contact person and payment information by clicking the artist information tab. To change your artist/band name or to create a new password, click the account edit tab.
c - contact person and payment information
The main information on the artist profile page concerns the artist/band's contact person. The contact person is the person who represents the artist or band. Usually, this is the same person who signs up for an artist account and uploads the artist/band's songs.
d - your songs
Once you've uploaded a song, it appears here. You can click on your song to review or edit your song's information. This is also where you can review your song's status (and once it appears on the RBN store, your revenue).
uploading a song
Submitting a song is relatively straightforward. While logged in, click submit song and begin filling out the form.
Enter your song's title, genre, year of release, album name and track number (if applicable), and record label (if applicable). Be sure that you enter this information exactly as you'd like it to appear in the Rock Band Network store. Don't leave out spaces or puncuation and be sure to spell everything correctly!
You can choose from dozens of genres and subgenres for your song. It is important that you review these options because this is probably how many new fans are going to discover your music.
You will also upload your album art here. This should be a high-quality jpeg or png of the final artwork for the album your song appears on. Your file may be any size, but will be reduced to 256x256 pixels, which is the size used in the Rock Band file format. If your album art is smaller than 256x256 pixels, we may reject it.
If your song is not on an album, you can upload "single" artwork, or a band photo/logo. It's important that you don't simply upload a hastily thrown together image. Album art is a prominent feature in the Rock Band store, you should keep in mind that your song may be "judged by its cover."
If you use a band photo, we recommend that you also include a modern typeface treatment of your artist/band name, a logo, or other clean graphic element to enhance the image. Remember, your album art is part of the marketing of your song, and can be as important to a purchase decision as the 30 second preview.
If you don't have any artwork to upload, Noble Rhythm will use a default image similar to the one shown in the above example, but with your artist name and song title appended. You can also contact us if you are interested in having our designer create an album image for you.
You will also choose the language(s) of your song. You may be confused to see that there are only four language options available. The reason for this is that this feature is only used to determine which groups of "peers" will review your track during the RBN peer review process. Your song will be reviewed by peers who speak the languages you select.
- If your song is entirely in English, you do not have to change this option.
- If your song features lyrics in two or more languages, you should select all options, if they are available.
- If your song is in English, with only one or two words in another language, you should only select English
- If your song's lyrics are not in any of the four languages, or if it is an instrumental track, you should simply select English.
The next two aspects of the song submission form are suggested values.
When your song appears for sale in the RBN store, we have the option to sell it for $1, $2, or $3 (i.e.: 80, 160, or 240 Microsoft points). You can enter your suggested value in the submission form, but Noble Rhythm reserves the right to determine the best price for your song. We will consult with you if we make a change from your price suggestion.
The standard rate for major label songs in the existing Rock Band store is $2, with some exceptions. Since the Rock Band Network is still brand new, determining the standard rate for songs in the RBN store is an ongoing process/debate, although the current thinking in the community is that unless a song is exceptionally long (over 4 minutes), or is from a well-known artist, many authoring groups expect to charge $1 for most songs.
The difference between $1 and $2 is a lot, but it's important to remember that it is a possibility that 100 people might buy a song for $1, but only 10 might buy the same song for $2.
It's a delicate balance, but fortunately Harmonix has provided a mechanism for changing the price of a song. However, will are only able to adjust the price once per 90 days, so no "weekend sales" or pricing experiments, unfortunately.
No one knows your song better than you. So when you submit your song, you can provide suggested difficulty levels.
This is the same scale that is used to rate every song on the Rock Band platform, and it's another important sorting category for potential purchasers.
Not a hardcore Rock Band player? No worry... this is an optional section, and Noble Rhythm will use its judgment in addition to your suggestion to rate the song before submitting it.
uploading your master recordings
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of the process. The specific requirements for uploading your master recordings are spelled out in our faq.
The upload process is simple. You can output your track into individual stems and upload them one at a time, or, if you are a Pro Tools, Audition or Reaper user, you can simply upload your entire project in an archive format like .zip or .7z.
Before you upload your files, you should make sure that you've set aside some time to complete the upload process. Depending on your connection, It can take awhile to upload your tracks.
You can upload an unlimited number of files by clicking the add another item button, but you can only upload one file at a time. Once a file is completely uploaded, you should type in a clear description of the file.
Aside from the individual track layers of your song, there are two extra files that are useful to us in creating the custom Rock Band mix:
- The final stereo mix (mp3 is okay here)
- A "dry" vocal track.
The stereo mix is used as a reference track, so that we can mix your track as close to the original mix as possible. The dry vocal track is not used in the mix, but it is compiled into the song package to calculate lip-sync animations, as well as weight the vocal scoring (the game runs the dry vocal track through the scoring system as if it were sung by the player, to get a baseline performance for scoring). If your song has a heavy echo or reverb effect on the vocals, it can mess with the animation.
We highly recommend that you include both of these extra files with your song.
Okay, once you've uploaded all your files, you're nearly done. The last thing you need to do is type in (or copy/paste) your song's lyrics. It is extremely important that you include all of your songs lyrics, that they are correct, and that they are spelled correctly.
While you are waiting for your files to upload, you should use the time to triple-check your lyrics, as well as the rest of your song's information.
You will be able to edit your song later if you realized that you made a mistake or need to update something, but why risk it, right?
Once you're ready, hit save.
Once you've submitted your song, you will be taken to the completed song page. You may review or edit any of your song's information here, and a link to your song will be placed on your artist profile page.
Noble Rhythm will be immediately notified of your submission and it will be put into consideration for our queue. It may take a few days or weeks before we begin working on your track. You will notice that at the top of the page, you will see an image which shows the track progress...
reviewing your song's status
Once your song is submitted, it will go through five stages of progress. There are also two special statuses, "on hold" and "rejected." These are each described here:
The first stage happens immediately once you submit your track. Your song has entered our system and Noble Rhythm's administrators have been notified. Keep in mind that it may take a few days or weeks for your track to move to the next stage.
Be sure that you have uploaded all of your data and triple-checked your information. If there is anything amiss in your submission, it will prevent it from moving to the next step.
Once we have reviewed your track, we will move it into our queue. This means that we are planning to work on it at the earliest opportunity. Because of the nature of our open submission process, our queue can get rather long, which is why we distinguish between submitted and queued. It may still be awhile before it moves to the next step, but if your song is queued, you can be sure that we intend to carry it all the way to the end of the process.
Once your track has made it to the front of our queue, we can begin working on it. This is the mixing + authoring stage. More details on this stage can be found on our faq.
In general, it takes between one and two weeks to complete this stage. Of course, there are times where our authors may be working on multiple tracks at once, and your song may have special requirements in either the mixing or authoring process, which may increase the time.
At this point, we have completed all work on the song and have submitted it to the RBN peer review process. This process can take anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks. Noble Rhythm will shepherd your song through this stage, ironing out any kinks and assuring its passage.
Once the track has passed peer review, it will appear for sale on the RBN Store. At this point, all that's left to do is to start telling your fans to turn on their Xbox 360s and get out their wallets!
Occasionally, we will be working on a track and something will come up that requires the artist's attention before we can more forward. Or, we will want to start working on a track, but can't because a specific file has not been uploaded, or something seems off. In these kinds of cases, we will put a track on hold. If your track is put on hold, visit the song's page to view the track notes. If we put a track on hold, we will provide a short explaination as to why, as well as instructions for the artist to help us move forward.
A track can be rejected for a number of reasons. Usually, this is technical. If your track infringes on copyrights, contains unlicenced samples, is not properly recorded, or is not appropriate for Rock Band gameplay (spoken word poetry, for example), it will be rejected. There are a few other instances where a track might be rejected. In all cases, we will provide an explaination as to why the track was rejected in the track notes on the song page.
checking on your revenue
The Noble Rhythm artist account page provides a simple way for you to review and monitor your sales directly from your profile pages.Once your song reaches the RBN store, you will see a new link on your song page labeled sales data and payment history.
When you click this link, a frame will display on the screen without reloading the page. This is a live document consisting of the most up-to-date sales data that is available to Noble Rhythm. It is updated about once a week.
In addition to showing song sales information broken down by date and region, it also shows demo download data and keeps a running tally of the song's lifetime revenue as well as your earnings.
Once your earnings reach the payment threshold, this document will also show payment history, updated once per quarter. After you recieve your first payment, this document also tracks your pending earnings, so you can see how your song has sold since your last payment. See the faq page for more information on how payments are calculated and delivered.