Hit It: Rocksmith 2014 Getting Big ‘Remastered’ Update

I tend not to take Rocksmith [official site] seriously because I confuse it with Songsmith, Microsoft’s software that magically created hilarious backing tracks for any vocals you fed it. No, Rocksmith isn’t the software that gave us country & western Ace of Spades or Intergalactic muzak, it’s the rhythm game from Ubisoft which – gasp! – tricks you into learning how to play an actual real guitar. Now Ubi have announced Rocksmith 2014 Edition – Remastered, updating it with a boshload of new tools and features. Fear not: all that will come in a free update for 2014 Edition too.

As Ubisoft explain, 2014 Remastered will bring custom Song Lists, options to tweak the learning curve, stat tracking for loads of numbers and things improved menus with a new search, and other newness. They do say far more, obviously, so do follow that link for all the deets.

You can also see a bit in this archived dev livestream which I won’t embed because Twitch’s video player is hell.

The Remastered update is due on October 4th. If you want to jump onto Rocksmith fresh at that point, 2014 Remastered will be the new base edition and include an extra six songs that’ll otherwise be sold as DLC.

I’ve seen a few of y’all ↓ down there mention Rocksmith around the place before – how does this update look to you? And can you yet play anything that sounds as good as a Songsmith creation?

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Lars Westergren says:

    Love Rocksmith, been a while since I played it though. Sometimes it feels like I’m starting to learn to play for real, but whenever I listen to the playback after the song ends, I’m mortified. It sounds like ass. I should probably start on easier levels and grind the notes and the hand movements over and over until I can play the notes cleanly, but that’s boring. All that effort and hard work smacks of effort, man. :-/

    Anyway. With the update I hope you can finally play through the Steam Link, but I’m not holding my breath they are doing Linux USB drivers for the cable.

    • ReiChen says:

      Please, do enlighten us, what does ass sound like? LOL

    • thenetbear says:

      I had a similar experience. I’ve had classical training in trombone, so I’m quite sensitive to the fact that what rocksmith hears as acceptable is not necessarily acceptable to human ears. What helped me is “playing rocksmith” using YouTube videos while plugged into an amp. Getting the feedback on the sounds the instrument is producing helped me quite a bit. Now I’m not anywhere near good, but I’ve progressed to the point where I would feel comfortable playing with people rather than just playing with myself. Er, yeah…

    • DThor says:

      Yup, there’s nothing so harsh as when the engineer hits playback. ☺️
      I’ve played music for some time, on different instruments, but bizarrely I never played electric guitar beyond fiddling about, and ever

      • DThor says:

        Whoops sorry…mobile..
        Anyway, it’s been a real blast learning guitar chops with Rocksmith, and sure you can use it to actually learn, but it’s not for everyone. Some people need a human teacher, some like just learning by ear, not necessarily playing along over and over with a notation,but it’s great fun nonetheless. The interface is dodgy, poorly designed, but they’ve been generally been making it better with each release. There’s tons of hidden stuff…

      • Ethaor says:

        I don’t know how Rocksmith work but learning to play guitar on an electric guitar is one of the worse thing one can do. It’s way too sensitive, precise and unforgiving of an instrument to effectively learn on. Everything you do is amplified, that means every single mistake too.

        Then again I can’t see Ubisoft selling as many copies with a Rockstar game that’s based on a classical guitar. But I’d suggest you train yourself on a folk.

        Then you’ll find electric guitar “easy” because of how sensitive it is and usually less tightened cords means you’re quicker. But that recquires some decent bases first. ^^

  2. SenorRoboto says:

    I haven’t touched it in a while, but I’m intrigued!

  3. Troubletcat says:

    I’m pretty hyped for this. I’ve been playing guitar since about 5 years before RS came out, so it hasn’t been a primary practice/learning tool for me, but the QOL improvements with this are huge and should make streaming it a lot more fun, particularly where tunings other than E Standard are concerned.

    If you’re a beginner and interested in learning guitar or bass I would definitely recommend rocksmith with a couple caveats – there are a few things that it teaches poorly and it is in fact still a lot of work to really get proficient at an instrument. But it’s a great tool. Just don’t expect to be much good after 60 days – most people it takes longer than that to be able to really fluently play a few songs they like.

    Very rewarding if you tough it out though.

    • invitro says:

      What if you’re not a beginner… I used to play my crappy guitar to tabs, along with the song, for a few hours a week, during college. I’m sure my technique was horrible, but I eventually could play a few songs. (My guitar was dirt-cheap since I was and am poor, and I’ve found out that playing a cheap guitar is many times more difficult than playing a good one, sigh.)

      • MrDeVil_909 says:

        I’ve play on and off (mostly off) for the last 21 years. I get excited, play for a few weeks, then fall off the train for months or years at a time. So I’ve never really been ‘good’ although I can hack out a tune, and I find Rocksmith is great for just sitting around a playing a fun song.

        It can provide impetus for something more structured when struggling with chords or specific skills gets frustrating. When boredom starts to kick in it’s cool to go, ‘Right, now let me bang out Cherub Rock for 20 minutes so I can remind myself why I’m doing this again.’

  4. funky_mollusk says:

    If you’re a beginner and interested in learning guitar or bass I would definitely recommend music lessons.

    • invitro says:

      Guitar lessons are incredibly expensive. Rocksmith is about the cost of an hour of lessons, depending on where you live. I suppose if you’re enrolled in a college that has individual guitar classes, that could be worthwhile.

      • funky_mollusk says:

        Fair enough. I was lucky to be surrounded by musicians who could give me pointers. That seems to be the important thing: you can teach yourself (like I did), but it’s good if you can at least get some tips from someone knowledgeable. That way you’re not sitting there for dozens of hours practicing bad technique.

      • funky_mollusk says:

        I could make the argument that Law School is expensive too. But if you want to be a lawyer you’ve got to pay that cost.

        However if this could teach people to play music for a lower cost then that would be great. That’s very hard to imagine though considering some of the criticisms above (ie. you can’t hear what you’re playing while you play. That would seem to be very important.)

        • Jaunt says:

          As a lawyer and a guitar player, I say: you’re missing the point super hard.

          The reason you go to law school is to have a career as a lawyer. To make money practicing law. Or because you graduated with an English degree and have no idea what you want to do with your life, but know you don’t want to be a human resources manager or grade school teacher. But mostly, it is a direct investment in future earnings.

          On the other hand, people play guitar for lots of reasons: personal fulfillment, fun and relaxation, something to do with friends besides sit at a pub drinking, to impress potential romantic partners, and yes, sometimes to make money.

          People spend tremendous amounts of time and money on things that will define their career. How many purchases have you made with as high a price tag as your entire undergraduate degree? It’s hard to justify the amount of money that quality guitar instruction requires for the young, unestablished people that beginning players tend to be.

          Rocksmith is a game, but it teaches you more about guitar than nothing, and anything that keeps the instrument in your hands for a longer time is a win. On the other hand, if you’re serious about wanting to improve but too budget conscious to take lessons, online lessons do amazing things. Justinguitar is the guy I used, and I learned more than I ever did from Rocksmith.

          Long post, sorry all.

          • vlonk says:

            As a lawyer who also plays the guitar, red the article, red the comment and wanted to say about the same about the meaning of law school compared to playing the guitar I can fully appreciate your comment Jaunt.

            Now either RPS has a really big reach or rocking lawyers is a thing. Who knew?

          • Geebs says:

            “Rocking lawyers” is generally considered to be the main reason for the success of Paul Reed Smith guitars ;)

          • invitro says:

            Well, “rocking lawyers” is of course one of the things that punk rock was a reaction against.

        • invitro says:

          If you want to be a lawyer you do HAVE to go to law school. If you want to be a guitarist, you do not HAVE to take guitar lessons.

          I’m not at all suggesting that practicing alone, or using Rocksmith, is as effective at learning to play guitar as taking lessons is. It’s just that the former methods are a tiny fraction of the cost of lessons, and I believe that they are more than that tiny fraction as effective as lessons.

          (And I’d suggest that if someone was a lawyer, or other rich person, they should by all means get lessons.)

        • Premium User Badge

          keefybabe says:

          Well.. You can hear what you’re playing if you set the volume mixer right. I love Rocksmith and I uses to do session work a long time back. Would Rocksmith replace a guitar teacher? No. Rocksmith can’t see all the chimping you’re doing with your hands or register your dynamics properly. But is it a good, fun learning tool? Hell yeah. But if you’re going to take it properly seriously anyway you’ll want to go to music college of your own volition anyway. Nothing makes you a better musician like hanging around other musicians.

  5. invitro says:

    I’m curious to know what guitar people have used with this game. I want to try it someday, but my current guitar is crap and I want to get a new one (that’s easier to play) first.

    • Jaunt says:

      There’s no substitute for going to a shop and trying like 50 guitars.

      That said, I got the second cheapest Epiphone and it treated me well until I transitioned to acoustic.

    • skink74 says:

      I have a Yamaha Pacifica 112V. Decent mid-range beginner instrument. Rocksmith works perfectly fine with most guitars really, but really needs to be a pure electric not a semi acoustic.
      While you don’t really need pedals since RS emulates all the tones for songs, I’ve found it really useful to have a drop pedal between the guitar and the rocksmith cable so I can switch between tunings really easily and tune down to C standard or lower.

    • MrDeVil_909 says:

      I have a cheapass Korean Washburn Strat replica. I always wanted a better guitar until an old blues hound picked it up when I did an open mic night and made it sound like something BB King would play. I learned that night that the player is more important than the instrument.

      While a nice guitar is nice to have, it’s less important than just playing. Take your guitar for a proper setup, or look up how to do it yourself, and most of those difficulties from having a cheap guitar will go away.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Awesomeclaw says:

    I’m a big fan of Rocksmith and all of these changes look great! I generally find that the core parts of Rocksmith work pretty well (although sometimes it doesn’t scale down the difficulty if you start to play badly, e.g. if you come back to playing after a long break), but it’s always been really bad at actually organizing and navigating the music collection, which it looks like a lot of these changes try to address.

  7. Premium User Badge

    TehK says:

    Sounds awesome.

    As someone who’s trying to learn to play for a few years (just as a hobby), Rocksmith has been a great game and I can only heartily recommend it. The amazing thing is that you don’t play a dumbed down version of a song… you’re actually playing the song… same as the original artist. It’s fantastic :)

    I’m not sure about the legal status (so I won’t link it), but there are also tons of community-made songs available.

  8. Shaftoe says:

    So i took up guitar two years ago. I started by getting Rocksmith and playing it, and a few months later i started taking formal guitar lessons.

    Rocksmith did not teach me guitar, but it helps me. If nothing else, sometimes i just feel like playing some of my favorite songs with a full band, and Rocksmith gives you that ability. Honestly, i’d definitely recommend it. Doesn’t replace guitar lessons, but it helps keep you interested and makes you practice.

  9. skink74 says:

    I bought the original Rocksmith way back and then Rocksmith 2014 not long after it came out. The 2014 edition was a huge improvement over the original but still has some niggly issues, and this update looks like it will address most of those.
    I’d agree with most of the comments here: If it’s the only thing you do it’s not going to teach you everything about playing a guitar. But you can learn to play some songs and have a lot of fun doing so. Beginners (like me) can definitely benefit from the video lessons and technique games and my more experienced friends love Session Mode for solo jams.
    For £5.99 in every Steam sale of the last 18 months you can’t really go wrong if you ask me.

    • vlonk says:

      Well the real kicker is the “real tone cable” you need for Rocksmith. That was a bit of a letdown after getting Rocksmith 2014 in a Steam sale. Got my cable through a heavily price reduced xbox copy.

      • indigochill says:

        There is a way to use a standard audio USB input with third-party software, and at least in my experience the latency wasn’t noticeable. Unfortunately, you also have to launch Rocksmith through the external software so you don’t get the gamey stuff like achievements, but you do get to play without shelling out for a cable that may be pointless if you already have guitar-to-computer hardware.

      • skink74 says:

        Ah yeah, that’s true enough. You can get the official cable for about twenty quid if you shop around but it does seem to depend on supply – some times they’re easier to get hold of than others.

  10. fearandloathing says:

    Guitar lessons (for beginners) are archaic remains of opportunist money-making, and totally useless now -you can learn almost anything by yourself if you don’t need others to push you. Whatever, my main gripe with Rocksmith was it’s insistence on reinventing the wheel, as in using a pretty but very inefficient way to convey the notes, while the simpler tab notation is universally accepted&recognized as the way to play (rock) guitar. This makes it very frustrating to play&learn songs if you’re not an absolute beginner, and have seen a few tabs before. I mean, something like sliding notes of Guitar Pro would work wonders in this game, but no, it has to be shiny and all. Also the UI sucks hard

    • fearandloathing says:

      Oh, the session mode is pretty decent for soloing&learning the scales though. It’ll be wonderful if it’s improved

    • Shaftoe says:

      “Guitar lessons (for beginners) are archaic remains of opportunist money-making, and totally useless now -you can learn almost anything by yourself if you don’t need others to push you. ”

      Sorry, this is just wrong. You can probably do quite a bit yourself watching youtube videos (i have) but if you dont have a good teacher, you wont understand what you are doing wrong. Simple things, like you are moving your pick hand (are you anchoring, is most of the movement in your wrist or elbow, etc). What things you should be workign on in technique. Etc. Also, i’d point out you do not have to spend a fortune as some previous commenter said. 30 minutes a week is enough to do all of what i just talked about above.

      • Geebs says:

        It depends a lot on the “good teacher” part, though. I’ve had one good teacher out of four (for six instruments). For electric guitar I’m completely self-taught; I took a single lesson about five years after I started playing and learned nothing.

        Personally I think playing with bands and jamming to songs I like has been far more valuable, particularly in terms of performance.

    • Jaunt says:

      Are you suggesting that beginner guitar lessons have always been opportunist(ic) moneymaking? I agree with funky_mollusk above: you don’t need full on lessons, but you need someone who’s played to take 5 minutes and tell you if your technique is just utter shite or not.

      Agree completely on their musical notation being AWFUL. Just give me tab.