Bachsmith Reimagines Classical Masterpieces for Rocksmith 2014

Every week, the Rocksmith 2014 team is proud to offer fresh playable tracks from the biggest names in music. In the last two months alone, the at Ubisoft Studio San Francisco featured music from huge artists like No Doubt, Lamb of God, The Doobie Brothers, Deftones and Duran Duran. This week, however, we went back a bit further – like, to the 1700s. The result is Bachsmith – five classical music masterpieces custom-built for modern guitarists and bassists with some surprising twists. Roll over, Beethoven.

Rocksmith 2014 Bachsmith

For Bachsmith, our notetrackers selected five familiar melodies but rearranged them in clever, unexpected ways. Wagner’s epic “Ride of the Valkyries” delivers the elements any 80s metal fan craves – filled with crunchy riffs, searing leads, thunderous drums and shifting time signatures. The stirring, emotional interpretation of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” helps reinforce the importance of phrasing and making each note meaningful; it’s trickier than it sounds. There’s a deliciously distorted interpretation of Bach’s “’Little’ Fugue in G Minor,” featuring intertwining guitar leads and two basslines. Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” begins with a funky Latin groove that will keep you chasing the beat, slowly accelerating into a dramatic, roaring finale. Last but not least, a bouncy, gypsy-jazz version of Mozart’s “Rondo Alla Turca” provides some precise, speedy runs that we think Django Reinhardt would appreciate. Plus, it’ll get stuck in your head for days.

Rocksmith 2014 Bachsmith

From conception to arrangement to rehearsal to recording to notetracking to release, Bachsmith is the result a six-month labor of love. The final tracks were recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California, home of Green Day’s “Dookie,” Santana’s “Supernatural” and countless other classic recordings.

Suspecting we were on to something special, we started documenting the process on video, and the result is a fun three-part look behind the scenes at exactly what it took to bring this material to Rocksmith 2014.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

If you want to listen to these custom-made recordings outside of Rocksmith 2014, we’re thrilled to announce that the official Bachsmith soundtrack is available on both iTunes and Spotify right now. Take these tracks with you outside of the game and study them – the deeper you dig, the more you’ll get out of them when you play them in Rocksmith 2014.

But wait, there’s more! To celebrate the release of Bachsmith, we’re happy to give you a chance to win an Orange Micro Terror stack, courtesy of our friends at Orange Amplification. You’ve seen their legendary British gear in the game; now, maybe you can own some of it for yourself. Full instructions for entering the giveaway are in our forums.

Rocksmith 2014 Bachsmith

The best part of Bachsmith might be the price. All five songs are available now as a DLC pack on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Mac for just $4.99. Check your store of choice and challenge yourself!

As always, we want your feedback, but even more so when we do something a little unusual like Bachsmith. Swing by the official Rocksmith forums, drop us a note on Twitter at @UbisoftStudioSF, or just comment below. And, as always, rock on.

For more on Rocksmith 2014, take a look at these posts:

Rocksmith 2014 – How A Request Becomes a Song

Rocksmith 2014 – A New, Open Experience

Rocksmith 2014 – Jamming with Session Mode

Rocksmith 2014

Rocksmith 2014

Release date — October 2013
Developer — Ubisoft San Francisco
The all-new Rocksmith 2014 Edition is bigger, better, and faster than ever. Rebuilt from the ground-up, you’ll experience vastly improved features, a new look, more flexible and deeper practice tools, new techniques and tunings, over 50 new hit songs, and much more. With the revolutionary Session Mode, Rocksmith 2014 Edition takes guitar-learning to the next level by allowing you to play guitar with a virtual band that follows your every lead. Select from an assortment of backing instruments or styles, and Session Mode reacts to the notes you play. Start your journey with Rocksmith 2014 Edition.

ESRB Rating: TEEN with Mild Lyrics and Mild Fantasy Violence
The Author

After 15 years in the games media, Dan Amrich hopped the fence and is now the Community Developer for Rocksmith at Ubisoft San Francisco, which he hopes retroactively justifies his sizeable guitar collection. For fun, he creates puzzles and juggles fire, but not at the same time. Follow him on Twitter: @DanAmrich.