1. #1
    JarredMcAdams's Avatar Ubisoft SF Game Designer
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    BackTrack Spotlight: "Desolate Motion" by Karawan



    Each week we showcase an existing song from our extensive Rocksmith song library on the weekly Twitch stream, in addition to the current week's offerings. We’ll announce the BackTrack here each Wednesday and offer some thoughts about the featured song.

    This week's BackTrack Spotlight comes from QA Lead Alexandru Timaru.

    Karawan -- "Desolate Motion"
    Originally released as a Rocksmith 2014 unlockable song
    Notetracked by Jason Kocol
    All arrangements in E Standard Tuning


    This week, we are very happy to have two members of our Bucharest-based QA team here in the San Francisco office: Alexandru Timaru and Ciprian Condurachi. In addition to keeping the development team on its toes with their sharp eyes for mistakes, Alex is one of the musicians behind Karawan, whose song “Desolate Motion” is featured as a Uplay reward in Rocksmith 2014. Since they’re in the office, we’ll be having them on the stream to talk about their music and their experience working on the Rocksmith project. We also asked Alex to give us a bit of background on the creation of “Desolate Motion.” Here’s what he had to say:



    Adelin Jercan, who was working with us as part of the QA team on Rocksmith, pulled me aside one day during a coffee break. He told me that he had an idea for an instrumental song and asked if I wanted to join in. I said yes, of course, and a few days later, he had come up with a backing track including bass, drums and rhythm guitars.

    Soon after that, he added the fast theme that begins the song and the slow part that comes right after it. At this point we just needed two more solo parts and the outro. Another Rocksmith teammate—Andrei Radu—and I wrote the two solo parts in the middle, and Adelin put on the finishing touch with that touching bluesy section.

    The song’s original title was “Good or Evil,” but was ultimately changed to “Desolate Motion.” There was no deep meaning associated with either title. It was just something that sounded majestic in our heads. Similarly, our band’s name, Karawan, has no particular meaning. It’s just a made-up word we thought sounded kind of cool.

    At first, we weren’t planning on doing anything with the song other than posting to YouTube and SoundCloud, so we were very excited when we were approached with the idea of putting it into Rocksmith as an unlockable track. Actually [Localization Project Manager] Catalina Quijano, who visited our studio a while back, suggested that we put a song in Rocksmith, so we had that thought in the back of our minds.

    As for the scales and modes used in the song, there’s nothing crazy or unusual going on. We mostly used the pentatonic and harmonic minor scales, both of which are quite common in this style of music.

    The recording sessions occurred at Adelin’s place. We used a Line 6 Pod HD500 hooked up to a laptop and a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). It didn’t take very long, since we had our parts pretty well figured out by that time, but it was challenging to nail down all the parts perfectly.

    The song has been incredibly well received, which we didn’t expect. We hope we can come up with a new song as soon as possible!
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  2. #2
    dm_gsxr's Avatar Senior Member
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    You note it above the video as Ram Jam Black Betty.

    Carl
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  3. #3
    JarredMcAdams's Avatar Ubisoft SF Game Designer
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    Originally Posted by dm_gsxr Go to original post
    You note it above the video as Ram Jam Black Betty.

    Carl
    Fixed. Thanks for the heads-up!
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  4. #4
    SeattleSauve's Avatar Senior Member
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    Jarred, have Alexandru and Ciprian seen Halsb's incredible RS performance on this song?


    Anyhow, this is one of my favorite songs in the game. Felt like there was Phrygian in there. Great song guys - I'll pull it out again tonight if I get a chance to play.
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  5. #5
    Great work guys. It is a very fun song to play. It would definitely be cool to see more of your work on Rocksmith.
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  6. #6
    infocat1's Avatar Senior Member
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    yay!
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  7. #7
    I love this song. It's such a perfect fit for Rocksmith - an endless solo feel, challenging yet nothing too crazy. One of my favorite unlocks.




    That Aching Head thing though...
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  8. #8
    TomKQT's Avatar Member
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    Yesterday I finaly decided to unlock this song via Uplay, although I won't play it for some time (seems too hard and not so appealing for me).
    And today I see the song in the BackTrack Spotlight thread
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  9. #9
    One of my favourite songs. Always a blast to play!
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  10. #10
    b_lex's Avatar Member
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    Great back story and write up. Fell in love with this track after unlocking and have put a lot of time into it. Great job putting this song together guys, it's a gem.
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