Rock Band 2 Vs. Guitar Hero: World Tour – Drum Comparison


It’s no secret that I play a lot of Rock Band (1 and 2), and I’ve spent a lot of time with the Guitar Hero series.

Not so much with World Tour, mostly because I originally had a problem with the drum kit (since fixed) and I haven’t had much of an opportunity to go back and play the game now that I CAN.

An interoperability patch to allowing the ability to play the Guitar Hero: World Tour drum kit with Rock Band 2 on PS3 has finally been released, and I can now give my full impressions of the two sets of virtual skins.

More on the inside.

[UPDATE: Since writing this story, we’ve managed to get our hands on an ION Rocker Premium Drum Set. If you’re comparing drum sets, you’ll want to read the review. You can find it HERE.]

First up, let’s cover what the PS3 patch fixes (source Harmonix):

Release Notes:


· Provided support for third party drum and guitar controllers including GHWT & RR.

· Adjusted crosstalk values for drum hardware.

· Bug fix for remote drum fills being silent – users will now hear the drum track when drum fills.


· Fixed overlapping drum fill bug on drum track.

· Fixed rare network crash involving client signing out during setlist creation.

· Fixed rare crash on calibration screen when users mash guitar controller buttons.

· Fixed bug where Leaderboard scores in BWT were not uploading after users played the first song.

· Fixed bug where Leaderboard career scores were posted including DLC songs and not just disc songs as originally intended.

Not a whole lot there, but most importantly you can now use Guitar Hero: World Tour drums in Rock Band 2.

The Good

GH:WT – The pads on this kit are larger, have better rebound, and generally feel a lot more responsive.

GH:WT – A smaller footprint overall means that the GH:WT set is a better choice if you’re in need of more real estate.

RB2 – Four pad layout means more fluid ‘rolls’ across the set, better for freestyling and allowing for more complex fills.

RB2 – As opposed to the ORIGINAL Rock Band drums, the pedal is much more resistant to snapping and I’ve yet to break one (I have Xbox360 and PS3 kits).

The Bad

GH:WT – Cymbal placement is still annoyingly low, but is mitigated by the ability to remove the Orange cymbal (when playing RB, it’s not used).

GH:WT – The kick pedal is a little… flat. Not much spring to it, but it IS fairly durable. Since it’s not compatible with most third party pedal options, you’re pretty much stuck.

RB2 – The new (plastic) supports that run horizontally along the bottom of the stand are brittle, and are prone to snapping with heavy pedal use. Really doesn’t effect play, but I do long for the old aluminum braces.

RB2 – These drums are LOUD, even with the new softer drum heads.

The Ugly

GH:WT – If you had sensitivity issues with the GH drum kit before, you’re going to have them again… with no way of fixing them. The Drum Tuner program saves sensitivity setting in Guitar Hero: World Tour, and NOT on the set itself (no firmware or memory on board). This has been less important to me than before because I’m unplugging the Orange cymbal, but depending on which pads you’re having sensitivity problems with, it could still be a nightmare.

RB2 – To get as many pads (cymbals) as the GH set, you need to buy a third-party add-on (Rock Band 2 Triple Cymbal Expansion Kit). While the after market cymbals act as separate pads in freestyle and fills, they do not add to the notes available in-game (RB2 or GH:WT).


Overall, if you’re used to the GH drums, and you’re not having any problems with them, this is a good thing. You can feel comfortable buying the standalone Rock Band 2 game and you’re going to get even more rhythm game goodness, without cluttering your living room with plastic instruments.

If you’re already used to the Rock Band kit, but you’re itching to have some cymbals, I’d advise you take a look at the Rock Band 2 Triple Cymbal Expansion Kit. Using the RB2 set with GH:WT is feasible, but you’re not going to get the full experience.

I’m currently using 3 cymbals on the Rock Band 2 kit for the RB games, and since I don’t want a gimped experience on Guitar Hero (you lose a pad, even with the cymbal kit), I’m keeping that set as well.

Now… to find someone on eBay to buy my PS3 Rock Band 1 set… and my XBox360 Rock Band 2 set.

I want my living room back.


0 thoughts on “Rock Band 2 Vs. Guitar Hero: World Tour – Drum Comparison

  1. Cool post. I like the games too but find both kits to be kind of so-so. I’m probably going to pick up the ION Audio Drum Rocker Rock Band 2 Drum Set after the new year. Have you guys used this at all? I’m curious what other avid gamers think about it. It has gotten good reviews so far and supposedly will work for both games. Anyways, keep up the good work fellas!

  2. I haven’t tried the ION kit yet, it’s only available for XBox, and I do most of my playing on the PS3 (it’s coming next month though).

    We’re self-funded, so anything we review comes out of our own pockets… so I can only afford one. 😉

    I do own an ION MIDI Kit for music composition, and it’s decent… the pedal is very similar to the GH:WT pedal (which is a little squishy for my tastes) but I should be able to swap it out for an after market job.

    I’ll write up an article when we get one at the Bastard Cave.

    Brian did get to play an ION demo unit at one point, so he could probably add some feedback.

    At any rate, glad you liked the article… more to come.

  3. That’s the first time I have seen anyone talk about the new Rock Band 2 drums being loud. The quieter pads they were attaching were supposed to quiet them down significantly I thought?
    So any impressions about which game is better for drumming? I spent hours researching whether to buy GH:WT or Rock Band 2 and ended up going with RB2, although it is hidden in the closet until Christmas. We played RB 1 at the neighbors and the kids loved it, so I went that route.
    I did manage to gather a ton of information though, it’s available here if you like,



  4. Well… they are louder when compared to the GH:WT set. The RB2 set IS much quieter than the RB 1 set, but it’s still in need of some dampening.

    Not a big deal to me though, I play at insane volume, but thought it should be mentioned.


  5. What’s up with all the world tour sets being broke and not working outta the box? Also does anybody know if the wt set works with rockband 2 on the ps2?

  6. This review was fair and I just learnt that I can RAISE the cymbals for WT drums! I’ve been playing on a shitty 10cm elevation of the red and green pads for a week, heh, a noob I am =), Nice review Matt

  7. well see i have world tour drums for the ps2/ps3
    but im using them on a ps2 platform.
    is there anyway to fix that?

  8. Ouch… not any way that I’m aware of. The patch saves the settings on your machine, not on the drums itself, and I don’t believe it works for PS2 (it doesn’t fix the GH drums in RB because of it).

  9. never heard it here but my guitar from guitar hero world tour is not working with my RB1. Is there anything I can do to fix this issue?
    many thanks,

  10. It SHOULD work if it’s working in GH… and your RB1 has the latest patch. I’m guessing (and it IS a guess) that you need to connect your PS3 to the internet, then launch the game. It should automatically patch you to the latest version.

    If you’ve already patched, then I’m thinking the guitar is defective… but if it was broke, you’d think it would be broken for both games.

    Hope that helps,

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