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I was talking to the fellas at the office about how my nephew is really into Guitar Hero, and that I was considering picking up the game for myself. Then they told me about Rock Band. Wow... drums and all!

Anyway, I've decided that I must get in to this game. I know I can just go to K-Mart, buy a Wii or something, then the Rock Band starter pack or whatever, but I've heard that's just the beginning. I was completely overwhelmed by a Google search, so I was hoping you could help.

Once I pick the console system, how should I decide what Rock Band equipment to invest in?

I would really love to hear stuff like... the types of equipment available (like pro quality versus kids toys), which manufacturers to avoid, do you really get what you pay for, etc...

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See also: Rock Band Drum Versions. I might be tempted to consider this question a duplicate of How can I get all the basic instruments for Rock Band 3 on 360?, since we can't really tell you whether you'll want, for instance, the drums over the keyboard. –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Dec 2 '10 at 10:13
    
Doesn't Guitar Hero have "all that stuff" now, too? –  uncle brad Dec 2 '10 at 18:52

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

My advice would be to just get the official (MadKatz) instruments, which all come bundled with Rock Band 2 Special Edition (you can easily find it for under $100). Only if you become really good at one of the instruments is it worth it to dish it out for one of the more expensive, better quality, unofficial controllers.


There is also a matter of the official "Pro-" controllers - these are not the same controllers better built, but rather new controllers (or addons to old controllers) which are necessary to play the new "Pro mode" added in Rock Band 3, which was just released at the end of October 2010. The Pro-mode controllers are (all of this is only for Rock Band 3):

  • The Keyboard, an actual functioning MIDI-keyboard. It can only be played with Rock Band 3. In normal mode, you only use 5 keys, playing on the usual Green-Red-Yellow-Blue-Orange track. In pro mode, you play the melody (treble) portion of the song, so it is almost like playing the actual song on the keyboard. (There are Keyboard Bundles for XBox 360 and Wii which come with both the keyboard and RB3. For whatever reason, there is no bundle for PS3 :( )
  • The Pro Cymbals, an addon to the RB2/RB3 drumset which adds cymbals. See How do cymbals work in Rock Band? for more info. You don't need these to play drums in Rock Band 3, only to play drums in Pro Mode.
  • The Pro Guitars, the Mustang and the Squier. The Mustang is a true "guitar-controller," with 200-some buttons along the fret board, one for each fret and string, along with 6 real strings on the body for the players to pluck. In pro-mode, the player is asked to play the actual song on guitar.
    As cool as this sounds, even cooler is the Squier: It is an actual guitar, made by Fender, which can be used to control the game. It functions as a MIDI guitar (MIDI guitars have been sold for a long time, but are typically much more expensive than the Squier's $280 price tag. Existing and future MIDI-guitars will require the Midi pro adapter in order to be used as a controller).
    From the accounts I've heard, the Mustang is alright, but unless you are truly impatient you should just skip the Mustang and wait for the Squier if you want to play Rock Band 3 Pro Guitar.
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Thanks for the help! –  JJ Caldwell Dec 4 '10 at 0:40

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