We're currently organising our staff xmas do, and we were thinking about using Rock Band 3, as I have the previous games, microphones etc.

Since I have a USB Mic and a couple of Wireless ones, I was wondering if you could play Rock Band on No Fail and just blast out songs karaoke-style or whether you'd need to set the players up with Harmonies, and have them work different vocal tracks, etc.

IE can they just straight sing as a solo-player would in RB3 or would they need to harmonise?

  • It'd also be good to know if multi-vocals will work on previous versions tracks for this.
    – crucible
    Nov 9, 2010 at 1:57
  • the only songs, prior to the release of RB3, that have vocal harmonies are the Pearl Jam tracks. Rumor has it, because there was a Pearl Jam Rock Band like Green Day Rock Band (which also has harmonies) but it was scrapped. Every track released post-RB3 will have harmonies as appropriate. Nov 9, 2010 at 2:34
  • There are vocal harmonies in Beatle's Rockband as well, but you cannot import those songs into RB3 Nov 9, 2010 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


I was wondering if you could play Rock Band on No Fail and just blast out songs karaoke-style

Yes, but only in Rock Band 3. This is called "all instruments mode" (AIM) and can be enabled in the per-user overshell settings. That's the menu at the bottom of the screen for each player.

Rock Band 3 overshell

(look ma, no vocalist! keys/drums/guitar/bass)

In AIM, there is no vocalist player with a controller, it's basically karaoke mode. Full easy harmony vocals are always on and scrolling across the top of the screen. Any connected microphone, up to 3, can sing any part of the song -- or not -- at any time. It is completely optional but always on for walk-ups.

There is no vocalist scoring in this mode though, so all you can do is get streaks and see how you do on each vocal segment.

That also means you can either sing lead (blue line), harmony #1 (orange line), or harmony #2 (red line) from any microphone.

alt text

  • It's been said of All Instruments Mode: Rock Band 2 had a similar thing...it was called "stand behind the couch and sing along while 2 guitars and the drum set are utilized with the mic turned off." Note that there is currently a problem with the game (it's unknown if it's a bug, or due to some limitation of the systems) where if you have two guitars and a keyboard, you are forced to use All Instruments Mode. This is obviously not a problem for OP, but it is a big problem for those of us who like to be scored while we play! Nov 9, 2010 at 16:45
  • @blueraja it is also a huge problem if you want to play keys/bass/guitar/drums on Xbox Live since AIM is forced in that case (we think it's a bug) and AIM explicitly disallows online play. Thus, you effectively cannot do online play unless you have a controller-based vocalist.. Nov 9, 2010 at 22:13
  • @BlueRaja - it's not a bug, it's due to system limitations, at least on the 360. Because you can only have four players logged in at once, a full band means one player can't log in, so their solution was to boot the vocalist (because the controller isn't technically needed, although I have more success using it for percussion than tapping my mike). Apr 8, 2011 at 17:19
  • IIRC AIM is also automatically invoked if you are trying to use bass and guitar and keys in the same band - I had a panicked call from friends once while I was on vacation and they were house-sitting. Harmonix used the four-player limit and the fact you can use the keys to play bass and guitar parts (and vice versa) once you've unlocked those abilities as a reason for forcing AIM, but I don't see why it's necessary if you have only one other person (or none) playing. Apr 8, 2011 at 17:21
  • 1
    @Dave: Well, I just wish they didn't have to port that limitation to the PS3 (which doesn't have a 4-player limit) Apr 8, 2011 at 17:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .