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Rock Band 3 Hands On At E3

by Paul Charchian on Jun 16, 2010 at 01:13 PM

I played Rock Band 3 at E3 and came away impressed with the innovation Harmonix has managed to squeeze into their latest iteration.

My hands-on time with the new keyboard instrument revealed a strong addition to the lineup. Importantly, it opens up a whole new universe of songs that were previously off limits due to the prevalence of keyboards. The keyboard hardware is reminiscent of an 80’s-era Casio, with 25 keys and MIDI compatibility. The full-sized keys were a little mushy, but not unresponsive. I don’t know that you’d want to start your next band with the Rock Band keyboard as a cornerstone.

Don’t care for the official Rock Band keyboard? With an available adaptor, you can use any MIDI keyboard.

The keyboard has a trackpad that juts out of the left side of the keyboard, so I kept my right hand on the keys, and left hand on the pad. When holding long notes, the pad allows for a whammy bar-like action as you move your fingers around the pad.

The keyboard can be played on your lap, or as I tested it, on Rock Band’s available stand. Alternately, you can put the keyboard on a guitar strap, and play it at hip level. But, you’ll look like a total tool. I can’t say definitively that Flock of Seagulls played their keyboards on a strap, but I’d like to believe so.