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Pathing Basics - Rock Band - Drums

-Energy Acquisition
-OD depletion (.mid BEAT track on ajanata's charts)

Path Notation


A Rock Band drum path is usually expressed as a series of numbers. The length of the series indicates how many times overdrive should be activated, and the value of each entry indicates how many fills should be skipped prior to activating.

Example #1: 0-0-0 means there are three activations, and you should never skip a fill.
Example #2: 2-0-1-0 means there are four activations; on the first activation you should skip two fills. On the second you should activate right away. On the third you should skip one fill. On the fourth you should activate right away.

It is assumed in most cases that you should successfully hit every overdrive section. However in some rare cases this is actually not optimal for score. It has been argued that the optimal score for Foreplay/Longtime is achieved by intentionally missing a note in an overdrive phrase. If all notes were hit, the player would have to skip too many fills for the optimal path to yield the optimal score.

With Squeezing

Sometimes a Rock Band path will be notated with the squeezes; the numbers indicate the fills to skip as before, but in addition there will be an indication of what notes to squeeze at each fill. This will be indicated with letters indicating the colors of the notes to squeeze; Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange (bass pedal).

Example: 1/OYB - 0/OG - 0/OYB - 2/OYB - 0/OYB means that there are five activations. On the first, you skip one fill and you squeeze Orange, Yellow, and Blue. On the second, you do not skip a fill and you squeeze Orange and Green. etc.

Early/Late Activations

Some songs will have a path with a letter "E" for one (or more) of the activations. This means you should hit the last note of the overdrive phrase as early as possible (within the timing window of course). If you do this right you will get a fill to activate right away. The most famous example of this is on Enter Sandman from Rock Band 1. By definition any activations with "E" is going to have no skipping.

Some songs will have a path with a letter "L" for one (or more) of the activations. This means you should hit the last note of the overdrive phrase as late as possible. This is sometimes done to prevent an early fill which you would have to skip and lose points.

Lastly, sometimes the fill itself must be activated as early or late as possible, to prevent or encourage you to overlap it with another phrase. This is often indicated with a path in text format.

Category: CategoryTechniques

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