I'm new to Rock Band (played Guitar Hero a fair bit though), and I'm having trouble activating star power consistently using vocals. My screaming is apparently not loud enough or something. I seem to have to whack the mic against the furniture (or my Wiimote) to get it to detect me trying to activate it, and even then it doesn't always work. In Guitar Hero, I can press a button to activate it, but that's apparently not the case in Rock Band.

Anyone have any bright ideas for a more foolproof method?

8 Answers 8


You don't need to shout into it - just any loud noise when there isn't meant to be singing. Maybe hold it near the drummer :P

In all seriousness, I usually just hit the mic too.

  • +1 for "just hit the mic"- always works for me, and can't be mistaken for (off-key) singing.
    – Jaydles
    Commented Jul 13, 2010 at 15:49
  • In Rock Band 3, this can be done during a phrase with both percussion and Overdrive activation, but it's not entirely reliable ... I think you have to hit the mic outside the window where RB3 is looking for percussion. In that case, you're probably better off making noise for Overdrive and tapping for percussion. Commented Apr 9, 2011 at 18:51
  • No guys something is wrong with her set up or something I have this same prob and none of you are having this issue.. I am electronic savy and understand how the game works as I have played it on other systems that work... I to haven't resolved this. No amount of screaming, humming, blowing or tapping allows you to access the vocal star power until the last note hits. The words work fine and everything else does just cant access star power. Anyone with some help on this issue would be appreciated. This is on the Nintendo Wii rockband 3 version btw
    – user12435
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 1:54
  • 1
    Just blow into it :P
    – Domocus
    Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 2:27
  • 1
    I'm with @Domocus. Microphones are designed to pick up vibrations, not absorb physical impacts. Those people who tap a microphone to test if it's on are damaging it. Commented Sep 14, 2011 at 4:07

I have two techniques, depending on the atmosphere I'm playing in:

  1. Say "Activate!" in a sharp low-pitched monotone (think 50s movie robot). I saw a guy doing this at a Beatles Rock Band competition and while it was hilarious, it always worked, and I've picked up the habit.

  2. If you want to activate right after the end of a vocal phrase, just hold the last note, getting louder as you hold it. This isn't as reliable for me, but it's close, and it doesn't break the mood.

  • +1 for giving me an excuse to perfect my Dalek impression.
    – Brant
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 15:23

Sing loudly, continuously into the mic through the entirety of the window. The easiest way, I've found, is to just continue singing the previous note into and through the star power phrase; as long as you're loud enough to register, there's a drastically lower chance that the game will "miss" the noise pickup.

  • Of course this seems to work perfectly when the last note ends right before you can activate Overdrive, but for whatever reason, you don't want to! I use this method myself. Commented Apr 9, 2011 at 18:39

I've found that high notes do a better job of setting it off than lower ones. But I generally follow 146's advice and continue the previous note longer than marked.


Blow. Just blow air into the mike. Works every time.


I prefer the "vibrating libs" method, as demonstrated in this video. (If it doesn't automatically jump to the right part of the video, skip to 2:18.)


You can simply hit the mic to activate it (like you would for a tambourine hit).


Personally, I agree that those hitting the mic are damaging it.

My suggestion is to keep a Wiimote in the other hand, and one of the buttons on the wii mote will trigger your star power. Most effective, and controllable, method of triggering that star power.

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