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INTERVIEW: Ben Kopec - Founder and CEO of The Rock Pulse
By
Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 Now unknown artists to get their music into the Rock Band Network via -

 

 

 

 

www.therockpulse.com

 

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The world of music is changing right before our eyes. Millions of people are downloading their music digitally. Never before has the Independent artist had so much access to so much technology. Never before has the Independent Artists has so much power. Many feel this is the age of musical independence. Now visionary Ben Kopec has come up with yet another incredible way to extend this musical independence through the popular video game Rock Band. The Rock Pulse not only allows unknown bands and artists to get their music into the Rock Band Network, it also gives them the opportunity to make money.  It's an amazing, cutting edge concept that is about to take music world by storm.

 

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INTERVIEW:

 

IMD The Rock Pulse was started by you as a way of getting any band , predominantly Indie music, into the video game Rock Band. What inspired you to come up with this amazing concept?

 

Ben Kopec It started out that I wanted to get my band, Intricate Unit, into Rock Band, but I quickly realized that a massive number of bands would want to do this, but wouldn’t know how. That’s when I decided to create a company to help get bands into the Rock Band Network. This is our primary service. We’re already seeing a lot of bands interested and we’ve already signed a handful of bands to get into the RBN.

 

IMD How does it feel to empower the Indie Artist?

 

Ben Kopec I know the Rock Band Network is going to be huge and I am glad to be at the forefront being one of the first companies to offer this service. Being a musician myself, it would have been great to have someone offer this service to me when I was developing my band. I am very excited to offer this service to help bands get to the next level.

 

IMD Has this concept creating a buzz so far?

 

It is definitely creating a buzz. It is all over the internet. We’re already seeing a large number of bands signing up on our website www.TheRockPulse.com and submitting their music to us. It’s only going to get bigger from here.

 

IMD How many artists are currently signed up?

 

Ben Kopec We see many new artists sign up every day. Because of this, we have taken great measures to create a stream-lined database where artists can log in to see the progress of their song as we author it for the Rock Band Network.

 

IMD How much does it cost for a band to get one of their songs into Rock Band?

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 "We see many new artists sign up every day. Because of this, we have

 taken great measures to create a stream-lined database where artists can

log in to see the progress of their song as we author it for the Rock Band Network."

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Ben Kopec The Rock Pulse currently offers two packages; one for unsigned acts, and the other for signed acts. A relatively unknown band can get their music into the Rock Band Network for as little as $599. We are constantly running discounts which lower that price even more. For signed artists, the authoring price is $799. We also take a percentage of the back end for administrative purposes, that is, since we upload the track, we also collect the royalties, and distribute payment quarterly to the artists, record label, and publisher. I should also mention that if the artist wants 2 or 3 songs, or even their whole album, we apply an even greater discount!
  
IMD How long does the process normally take?

 

Ben Kopec The process is rather involved and typically takes 6-8 weeks after a band submits their song's), and we start the Rock Band Authoring process. Throughout this process, the artist can log into our site and monitor the progress of their song.
  
IMD What types of bands are you targeting?
 

Ben Kopec We are targeting, and accepting, all bands. We have a review team that listens to each submission to determine if the song would be a good song to play in Rock Band. If not, we offer suggestions as to what would need to change in order to make it more playable in the video game.


IMD How much of the download price will the artist get?

Ben Kopec Artists can expect to make either 15% or 20% on each downloaded dollar, and this varies, because we have control over the download price. The download price will either be $1, $2, or $3. Bands typically agree to set their download price at $2.
  

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 "Artists can expect to make either 15% or 20% on each downloaded dollar."
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IMD Will the artist get a chance to preview the Rock Band version before it is implemented into the game?

 

Ben Kopec We render a High Definition video of the song so the artist can preview the song before we have completed it. It is at this stage that we accept artist feedback on how the song is developing. At that point, we can either upload it to YouTube or deliver the video over our secure FTP. Unless the artist has an Xbox Live membership and is a member of the Creator’s Club, they will not be able to download their song in the Play Test period to try it out.
  
IMD What happens of a band uses an instrument that isn't used in the game? Such as keyboards, harmonica or cowbell?

 

Ben Kopec We generally need a song to have guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. There are some exceptions; however, if a song is driven pre-dominantly by keyboards, we might be able to author the keyboards as the guitar track, etc. And it is okay if the song is an instrumental. If a song has cowbell, that would simply be a backing track that is heard, but not played.

 

IMD Can The Rock Pulse accommodate genres other than rock?

 

Ben Kopec Absolutely! Virtually any genre can be a part of the Rock Pulse genre. This includes: Classic Rock, Metal, Jazz, Grunge, Glam, Blues, Alternative, Country, and more! If we receive a song that we don’t think will be played well in Rock Band, we let the artist know what they can change to improve the playability of their music.

 

IMD Is there any kind of professional screening process involved? Can any band do this?

 

Ben Kopec Any band can do this. Once The Rock Pulse authors a song for the Rock Band Network, it will go through what is called Play Test. This is where registered users (with a Xbox Live and Creator’s Club membership) can download the song to their console and try it out. Once the user leaves the “Audition Mode” the song is deleted from their hard drive. Users can then post their feedback on the official Rock Band community forum. After this, the song goes through a Peer Review, and if the song meets the standards of playing a Rock Band song, than it will be made available for download from the Rock Band Store.

 

IMD As I understand it, artists can even get paid when their fans download and play your music in Rock Band? Can you elaborate on this?

 

Ben Kopec Artists will get paid after the music is made available to download from the Rock Band Store. The Rock Band Store is accessible from within the game. Players can search for music by band, genre, author, and song name. Players will pay to purchase the song so they can play it on their system. Once purchased from the store, it will remain on the user’s console. For each download, the band will receive a percentage of that.

 

IMD I understand you’re a musician and composer yourself?

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 "Virtually any genre can be a part of the Rock Pulse community."
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Ben Kopec Music is my life. I think I get about 5 hours of sleep a night and I generally have to be dragged out of my studio kicking and screaming. I always have a project going on, and always writing new music. I have released many albums for Intricate Unit and Ben Kopec. The band can be found on: www.IntricateUnit.com and my composer work can be heard on: www.BenKopec.com I’ve released all types of music ranging from cutting edge TV music to high end trailer music.

 

IMD What do you play?

 

Ben Kopec I play a lot of instruments. My primary instrument is the guitar and keyboards, although I love playing drums. Aside from my Industrial Rock band, Intricate Unit, I am a composer for film and TV. My catalogue of music and credits can be seen on: www.BenKopec.com. My most recent placement was in Never Surrender, although my music can regularly be heard on many popular television shows.

 

IMD Tell us about your rock band?

 

Ben Kopec  Intricate Unit is hard industrial rock with an electronic edge. Our influences range from Nine Inch Nails to Pantera to John Lennon to DMX. We’ve toured regionally, opened up for many nationals acts, including at the Gathering of the Juggalos, usually held in OH by Psychopathic Records. I would like to take this time to thank Indie Music Digest for conducting this interview and to let all the bands out there reading this, that we can’t wait to work with you. What are you waiting for?!? 

 

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interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.

Copyright © 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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