Starting tonight, a new program will enable bands to share their songs via the Rock Band video game without having to convince game developer Harmonix to make the tracks itself. Each completed song will go on sale in the Rock Band Network store along with the more than 700 in-house Rock Band tracks already available.
These song-programming tools have been available for a while now, but tonight an open beta testing period will begin. Creators and bands will have a chance to share their songs with a community of critics and fans. Once the library is big enough and the bugs have been exterminated, the content will go live on the average player’s Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 Rock Band Network store.
Up to this point, Harmonix has had to create each Rock Band track itself. It can only crank out a few songs per day, and these songs basically print money, so why not source this stuff to the users? Bands can team up with talented track-makers working out of their basements (or the band members can do it themselves if they’re savvy), then make a profit and gain exposure through the store, which will give them a 30% cut.
Note that this is not a tool for just anyone who has a few minutes to kill and a song in mind. It’s a full-featured professional editing suite, and according to Joystiq it will take a first-time user between 20 and 40 hours to complete a song. If you’re brave enough to let fans play through your band’s breakthrough single, your time is nearly here.