Just one short day after revealing that their new game would feature keyboards and a Pro Mode, Harmonix has released images and details on Rock Band 3’s new instruments.  Poised to take music games to an entirely new level, let’s take a look at each of them.

Rock Band 3 Keyboard

Wireless Keyboard Controller

It’s a keyboard.  It’s a keytar.  It’s both!  Playable sitting flat or strapped over your shoulder, Rock Band 3’s 25 key, MIDI-compatible keyboard controller features a two octive range and velocity sensitive keys.  It can also be used to play guitar or bass.

People have been asking for keyboards in music games forever, and it looks like Harmonix is really delivering on expectations.  The Wireless Keyboard Controller will be $79.99 on its own, or bundled with Rock Band 3 for $129.99.

Rock Band 3 Strat

Squier by Fender Stratocaster Guitar Controller

This controller can be summed up pretty succinctly: it’s a real guitar.  Fully functional and full sized, you can plug it into an amp and play. The Strat “uses technology built into the neck and fingerboard of the guitar to track finger positions in real time. The guitar also transmits strum data for the six individual strings.”

Obviously intended for Rock Band 3’s Pro Mode, this is, for me, the most exciting addition to the game.  The price for this has yet to be revealed.  My guess?  It’s probably not going to be cheap.

Rock Band 3 Mustang

Wireless Fender Mustang PRO-Guitar Controller

Damn, that’s a lot of buttons.  One-hundred two of them, in fact.  Like the Strat, the Mustang fully supports Rock Band 3’s Pro mode.  Like the keyboard, it’s also a fully functional MIDI controller.   The Mustang features a “6-string strumming area which allows for discrete picking of each string and a touch-sensitive string box which allows players to mute or ‘cut-off’ notes when pressed.”

This is it, people.  Short of the actual guitar listed above, this is as close to a real guitar as a game controller can get.  The Wireless Fender Mustang PRO Guitar Controller will set you back $149.99.

Rock Band 3 Cymbals

Wireless PRO-Cymbals Expansion Kit

Re-designed from the cymbal expansions that were available for Rock Band 2, these are said to be both queiter and more responsive.  The Expansion Kit adds a Hi-Hat, Ride cymbal, and Crash cymbal to your Rock Band 3 set.  They’ll be great for PRO Mode, but “can also be used in standard game modes for all Rock Band software.”

As a drummer myself, I’m telling you, if you like to play the drums in Rock Band, you’re going to want these.  The Wireless PRO-Cymbals Expansion Kit will be available for $39.99.  They can also be purchased along with Rock Band 3’s Wireless Drums for a price yet to be announced.

Rock Band 3 MIDI

MIDI PRO-Adapter

This is… a MIDI adapter.  Okay, it may not sound that interesting, but check this out: any real, MIDI compatible keyboards or drum sets you may already own can be plugged into this and used as Rock Band 3 controllers.  Seriously, these guys have thought of everything.

The MIDI PRO-Adapter also features all the game controller buttons necessary for interfacing with your console of choice.  It’ll retail for $39.99.

But wait, there’s more!  Mad Catz, manufacturer of all this cool hardware (save the Strat, which is, naturally, built by Fender), has a few more items in store for Rock Band 3.  New versions of the standard guitar and drums are on deck, as is (finally) a better microphone.  As soon as they’ve been revealed, you can trust that Game Rant will fill you in.

I couldn’t be more excited about Rock Band 3.  I applaud the direction that Harmonix is taking with the game, and I’m super excited to get my hands on these new instruments.  How about you?  Which instrument are you most looking forward to checking out?

Rock Band 3 plays it for real this October 31st, on Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii.

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