Rocksmith'ers - ever heard of Bandfuse?

Disclaimer - I know nothing about using these “games”/instructional support videos.

So, I am sitting in my office at my new job, getting work done. I hear this guy talking in the next room - someone’s obviously borrowed the office and closed the door to make a call. He’s loud enough that I hear “oh yeah, we’ve got Slash, Zakk Wylde, Five Finger Death Punch, Nancy Wilson, and of course Jimi Hendrix via his estate - great players!” And I’m thinking “who the heck is using this office?!”

So he comes out and I introduce myself - he’s an executive whose day job brings him in touch with my company, but he’s also got this company that he’s involved with that puts out this instructional program - I don’t know why these are called games - called Bandfuse.

We talk, and he points out some key differences vs. Rocksmith, who he clearly sees as the big competitor:

  • Zero Latency - apparently they figured this out and there is none.
  • Tab vs Rock Highway - Bandfuse is based on real guitar tabs - which real guitarists like me use - vs. this other format the Rocksmith uses. I took a look at what RS uses and can’t imagine using it, but then again, I don’t use any of this stuff. But if Bandfuse uses Tab, I can certainly support the fact that learning tab is a useful skill that will benefit outside of this “game.”
  • Playing over vs. Track Suppression - so apparently with RS you play over the song you are learning. With Bandfuse, they license the individual tracks, and when you play guitar, bass or whatever, that particular track in the song is suppressed, so you are really playing “within” the song. That, to this completely ignorant guitarist, sounds like it would be much better.

Here’s a track I found on YouTube - this is a mobile link: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C9IcbGnLArc (Reptilia, lead guitar part, by The Strokes)

So - if even half of this is correct, this sounds like a superior product. The fact that Slash and the Jimi estate are involved means that either they are getting a HUGE cut or that this is really good.

I throw it out to you Dopers - anyone heard of this? I see you discussing Rocksmith in the GOGT and other threads and all of the issues you have with it. If this is a better product, it seems like it would be worth checking out.

Let me know if you have experience with it or may end up testing it - I may end up doing business with this guy and would love to be able to speak to what real users are experiencing…

I had not heard of it, but it looks interesting. A couple observations…

I’m not sure you’re right about playing over vs. track suppression. I bought the 2014 version of Rocksmith, and it sounds like the track is suppressed. I definitely hear my own playing (with the software modeling the amps and sound of the original). But there were some songs from the original Rocksmith that I downloaded, and now that you mention it, there does seem to be more of the original tracks in those songs. There’s a part in Jessica that’s driving me nuts because of it.

I don’t have an XBox or Playstation, so I can’t try it. I’m playing Rocksmith on a Windows laptop.

Checking the website, there aren’t a lot songs on there that I’d be really wanting to learn. A couple of my favorites in Rocksmith are songs I hadn’t even heard of before, so who knows. And tell the guy that if they get the collected works of Mark Knopfler, I’ll but BandFuse and a Playstation.

There’s a thread over on the Rocksmith forums discussing the two. While there’s some homerism, there are also people who own both, and give well thought out comparisons. Actually, the very last post on the last page looks pretty good.

While I’ve owned a guitar for 30 years, I’m still a newb. For me, I still think Rocksmith is the better choice. For you, WordMan, it may be BandFuse, and I’ll probably buy Bandfuse at some point as well.
Regarding track suppression, from what I’ve read, BandFuse has the stems for the songs, and completely removes the part you’re playing. Rocksmith suppresses your part, but it’s imperfect and is still there.

Regarding latency, I don’t think that’s an issue for either, if you set your system up properly. Mostly that means running analog audio out to a sound system, and not using audio through your HDMI cable.

ZenBeam - I wouldn’t use either of them. I am not actively seeking to learn new songs - more just techniques and fluid playing. For the past few months, for instance, I figured out how to play the lick for Miles Davis’ So What (I copped it off Justin Sandercoe’s site - donated $25 and only been there a few times, but like his approach). Anyway, I set up that groove and am working on my melodic lead playing in between the chords. For me, that’s what I am after - setting up a groove and getting lost inside it, alternating between chords and lead fills. Music Meditation.

I started this thread simply because a) I see a bunch of Dopers discussing RS and hadn’t heard anything on BF; and b) based on what this guy was saying, there appeared to be interesting differences that may be helpful. Oh, and the story was kinda cool :wink:

Beyond that - heck Robot Arm (say hi to Mary Ann for me, by the way) - if they had Knopfler, or Brian Setzer, I may be there, too! It was funny - he mentioned that one of their guys is Mike Ness of Social Distortion. My immediate response was “but…he plays with three fingers!” (Ness damaged his fretting index finger as a kid; it’s a reason he plays such simple chords). The guy looked at me like “you are truly a geek.” But, I mean, if I needed a program to figure out Social D songs, I would clearly be at the very beginning of my guitar journey :wink:

I read the last post on that RS thread - cool. Hey, you know my mantra: whatever keeps you playing. If RS is working, go for it!

Some comments from looking at the BFuse youtube clip, and owning and playing both RSmith versions (XBox 360)…

Latency on RSmith is already near zero (<50ms) as long as you are running through component cables instead of HDMI. I don’t know the performance on other platforms.

RSmith can be oriented in Tab position, or inverted, so this isn’t anything above what RSmith already offers. The big difference is how BFuse scrolls the tablature and marks the notes with the fret number (instead of the fretboard visual context of RS). For me, this makes it near impossible to play along real-time with BFuse. My brain just can’t translate the tab fast enough.

I’d be interested in seeing what out-of-the-song learning tools, workshops, mini-lessons, etc that BFuse has. IMO, this is the one area that RS is lacking in, it is present superficially, but definitely lacking.

Maybe you do want Rocksmith. It has what it calls Session Mode, where you can load up an AI backing band, with whatever instruments you want to give them, who will play along with you.

Here’s a review I kept the URL for, coming from the point of view of a person who’s been playing the guitar for 10 years (he gives a brief history in the opening section). Scroll halfway down, to the section Who needs friends?, where he describes Session Mode. If you’d like to do your music meditation with the sound of a full band, it might be worth trying it.

Interesting, and worth checking out if I crave accompaniment. At this point, I am trying to “fill in the sound” with what I have - i.e., can I get a bass note or bassline going while I add notes on top of it, then bop back to the groove chords to provide more direction. That’s a long-winded way of saying: I’m good for now, but should keep that in mind.

GargoyleWB - again, to be clear: I have no dog in this hunt. But from what the BFuse guy was saying, it is possible to slow down the pace of the music/tab, loop it, etc. so you can take the time to work on the fingerings and then pick up the pace until you reach the realtime speed…

I’ve posted elsewhere about my problems with the RS notation coming from a tab-oriented background. After reversing the orientation so the low-E is on the bottom (like tab) and then playing for a couple weeks, I find it very easy to follow along (beyond the problem of symbols that you don’t see regularly). Looking at the bandfuse tab interface, I think I would be overwhelmed for a bit but think I would catch on quickly.

I am still in love with RS (I try to play 30-60 minutes a night when I can fit it in and up to around 50 hours). If I ever get through all the content on RS, I might look into bandfuse. However, it looks like only game console interfaces which I don’t have.