Monday, November 1, 2010

Rock Band 3 Super Duper Exploit -- I'm The Magic Man But I Still Had To Work Hard

Note: Once again, I'm going to talk about Rock Band, so if you don't have any knowledge of it...well, I'm trying my best to explain here.

This happened all day yesterday (Sunday).  Like I mentioned before in my preliminary RB3 analysis, some of the items you can give your characters are off-limits unless you complete these challenges, some requiring expensive peripherals like the keyboard or the pro guitar, some being EXTREMELY hard to get.  So anyway, one thing that I wanted was the zebra mask.  You may say, "Well, why do you want that?"--it's for some guy I'm trying to recreated from RB2.  To get it, you have to get Double Awesome on all the vocal harmonies in the game.

Don't know what a harmony is?  Basically, you have two or three mikes hooked up.  You have to fill two or more bars in each phrase that has more than one vocal line to get the double harmony.  Note that one mike/arrow can only pick up one line at a time so it takes everyone to work in unison.  This basically requires more than one vocalist, something that I don't have.  Look at this in RB: The Beatles (the word "Fab" replaces "Awesome"):

At first, my instinct was to give up, it can't be done even if I have the hardware to do it.  I take my two RB2 mikes, hook them up, and start singing into them.  This knocks out 8 of 64 songs and obviously, I have no shot if I keep doing this.  I know that my family who has zero experience at RB wouldn't be able to help me even if they tried so I just about quit.  My only other hope was that somehow Harmonix release a patch/DLC that unlocks all items, but I doubt that would happen.

Then I get the brilliant idea to use this software that I have called GoldWave to emit a sound into one of the mikes while I sing into the other.  Goldwave is a damn fine program I might say--offers a comprehensive free trial, only costs $40, and I use it a heck of a lot.  I create a smooth noise (censor bleep), put the microphone up to a headset hooked to the computer, then mess with the volume and pitch until the game picks up the mike.  Obviously, I had to use headsets cause the noise would make me commit suicide.  Okay, now we're rockin' and rollin'.

It's worth noting that vocals will jump octave so if I leave the mike in, say, the key of A, then it can play a high A, a low A, etc.  If the pitch changes octave, then the arrow will automatically jump to that octave.  Since this is on Easy difficulty, the game offers you much room for error when it comes to hitting the right pitch.

This lone, steady pitch can sweep up some of the notes, but it was then that I realized that you need to hit ALL of the harmonies in one run.  I was under the impression before that you could hit some of the harmonies now and the rest later, but no, doesn't work that way.  So I almost caved in again, yet I needed more firepower.  Cue third mike!  Thank GOD I own that, it's actually a GH:WT mike, but it's practically the same thing.  I plug that bad boy into the third USB slot in the back (where the wireless internet goes) and now I have three mikes.  I start up GoldWave in a second computer, start churning out another steady pitch (this one slightly lower than the last one), put the mike up to another headset and bam--two mikes going by computer and one by me.  Lock and load.

You should also know that GoldWave allows you to change the pitch with the press of a button, so that's really handy if you want to nudge the arrow in a certain way to help clear a song.

I start completing some stuff like that Yoshimi song, The Look, Good Vibrations (yeah that's right), but then I stall at Bohemian Rhapsody.  My arrow starts jumping around to the point where I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.  So then I come up with yet another idea and that is hook the third mike up to the computer and let GoldWave do all the work.  I only have two computers available, but I alter one of the wave files to play different pitches on the left and right sides.  So adjust the microphone positioning and voila, three mikes on auto-play.  I set the three arrows to equal distances apart to comb the entire octave to fill up as many notes as possible.

GoldWave in action.

Computer and two mikes (ignore the cologne, lol).

Two mikes close-up. 

The second computer, a laptop (the one I post these blog entries on!!).

Third mike hooked to the laptop.

I decide to play the entire setlist while I go for a walk (watch the Saints game) and return every couple of minutes to cue the next song.  Surprisingly, I knock out all but 15 songs this way.  Songs that doubled up on the same pitch at different octaves (Heart of Glass, Du Hast), didn't work the first time but I passed them easily the next time.  Auto-play took down Bohemian Rhapsody, Llama, and some other tough songs.

So then, it's time for me to play the role of surgeon with few songs to go.  I leave two mikes on the computer while I take the other.  I systematically pick off each song one by one.  I don't recall all the "hard" ones, but Humanoid, Been Caught Stealing, One-Armed Scissor (because of the double-up end notes), Beast and the Harlot, whatever.  So I finally knock out all the Harmonies in the game.  Took me about ten hours, but I finally got that damn zebra mask.

Once RB gets their Game Link page up, I can show pictures of guys with horse/zebra masks.  Until then, this is the only "proof" that I have:

TLDR: In RB3, I needed three people to sing into the mikes to help beat a challenge.  Instead, I used computer software to emit pitches into the microphones to provide me with ample backup.  So thanks to my new-found technique, I played all day Sunday and finally completed what I thought was previously impossible.  I'm very proud of myself.

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