Product Comparison

FATpick vs. Yousician vs. Rocksmith vs. Ultimate-Guitar vs. Songsterr

It's no secret that there are a great number of apps and games that promise to help you on your musical journey. And while there's overlap between many of them, there are significant differences as well. It's a little bewildering trying to keep all the details straight. We'd like to help.

We believe FATpick compares quite favoribly to the alternatives, and we hope you'll agree. But we're secure enough to recognize we may not be what you're looking for - at least not yet :). There are differences between these products, and we want you to have a clear understanding of them as you make your evaluation. The following product comparison matrix compares FATpick to several of the most similar apps and services in the space: Ubisoft's Rocksmith Remastered, Yousician, Ultimate-Guitar.com and Songsterr. (If you don't see all five products in the table, increase the width of the viewport. This page is "responsive": some columns are hidden when the screen is too narrow for them all to fit.)

Below the table you will find a list of notes and citations that describe the source of the information in each cell of the matrix. If you think we've made an error or mischaracterized any of these products please let us know. We believe in transparency and mean to provide a candid and objective comparison.

Product Comparison Rocksmith Yousician FATpick Ultimate Guitar Songsterr
Cost 1 $59.99
+ $2.40 - $2.99 / song
$19.99 - $29.99 / month FREE
  (for now) 1
$9.99 / month $9.90 / month
Song Catalog 2 55 Songs
+ 1,444 DLC
~ 500 Songs
per instrument
350+ Songs
over 1,500 tabs
"Over 9,000 Tabs" "Over 100,000 Songs"
Add Custom Songs 3
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Pitch & Timing Detection 4
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Scoring & Game Mechanics 5
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Backing Tracks 6
Original Artists
Sound-Alike Covers
Some Original Artists
Sample-Based
Virtual Instruments
Sample-Based
Virtual Instruments
Sample-Based
Virtual Instruments
Multi-Track Audio Mixer 7
🚫
🚫
βœ…
βœ…
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DAW-Style Instrument Selection 8
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🚫
Repeat Looping 9
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Custom Tempo 10
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Other Tools 11
Chromatic Tuner
Session Mode
Tone Designer
Chromatic Tuner
In-Song Metronome
Chromatic Tuner
In-Song Metronome
Stand-alone Metronome
Note Heatmap
Tone Bridge [?]
-
Other Content 12
Videos
Interactive Lessons
Mini-Games
Video Tutorials
Chord Dictionary
Fingerboard Charts
- -
Instruments 13
Guitar
Bass
Guitar
Bass
Piano
Ukulele
Voice
Guitar
Bass
Ukulele
Other Fretted String
- -
Inputs 14
Real Tone Cable
(Branded Guitar-to-USB)
Microphone
Guitar-to-USB
Guitar-to-AUX
Most Other Audio Interfaces
Microphone
Guitar-to-USB
Guitar-to-AUX
Most Other Audio Interfaces
- -
Platforms 15
Xbox
PlayStation 4
Windows PC
MacOS
Windows PC
MacOS
iOS
Android
Windows PC
MacOS
Linux
Web
iOS
Android
Web
iOS
Android
Windows Mobile
Product Comparison Rocksmith Yousician FATpick Ultimate Guitar Songsterr

Last updated: 3 June 2021

If you don't see all five products in the comparison matrix, increase the width of the viewport (window or screen). This page is "responsive". For clarity some columns are hidden when the screen is too narrow to make room for them.

FATpick renders any GuitarPro file - or songs shared by others - in flowing tablature showing when and where to play each note. Instant feedback on accuracy and timing as you play along.

FATpick is currently free - no limits, no ads, no in-app payments - for MacOS, Linux and Windows PCs.

Notes & Sources

Except where otherwise noted all information was captured in late March 2021.

[1]
[2]
  • See Wikipedia and Ubisoft for Rocksmith built-in and DLC song lists. Note that in March 2020 Ubisoft stopped adding DLC content to Rocksmith 2014 / Rocksmith 2014 Remastered.
  • Yousician's catalog includes a large number of "workouts", exercises, and sound-alike variants of popular songs with backing audio tracks credited to "The Youscians" - a collection of studio musicians acting as a sort of "house band". The top-tier Premium+ subscription also includes a collection of popular songs backed by recordings from the orginal artist. Each song typically includes multiple transcriptions with different levels of complexity. Yousician does not publish a current song count or complete listing, in part because the Premium+ catalog varies by region. You can search (but not enumerate) the list of songs in Yousician here. This third-party source maintains what is intended to be a complete listing of songs in Youscian, including all exercises, house-tracks and Premium+ songs. As of 3/28/2021 it includes 2123 guitar, 2127 ukulele and 1727 bass tabs, each with approximately 4 skill variations per song.
  • FATpick's public song catalog is populated with songs that have been imported and shared by individual users. Most songs include a transcription for multiple tracks (instruments or parts), each of which can be independently performed in the FATpick player. As of 6/3/2021 FATpick's public song library includes over 350 songs and more than 1,500 playable tabs. New songs are added regularly. You can search the current list of songs and tracks shared in FATpick here.
  • Ultimate Guitar catalog size via https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/pro.
  • Songsterr catalog size via https://www.songsterr.com/a/wa/plus.
[3]
[4] [5]
  • FATpick, Rocksmith, and Yousician use pitch and note onset/offset detection algorithms to evaluate the user's accuracy and timing. The resulting "score" is used to turn the practice or performed into a "game" in which users may compete with themselves or against others.
[6]
  • Each song in Rocksmith is synchronized with a studio recording by the original artist that popularized the song.
  • Each song in Youscian is synchronized with a live (studio) recording of either a "house band" of session musicians they call "The Yousicians" or (for Premium+ songs) the original artist.
  • Each song in FATpick and Ultimate Guitar is synchronized with multiple audio tracks - one per instrument or part in the original transcription - generated with sample-based virtual instruments. Each track has independent volume controls, and the virtual instrument that "voices" each track can be selected by the user. FATpick users also have the option to enable an customizable metronome track that is automatically generated from the time-signature associated with each measure of the song.
  • Each song in Songsterr is synchronized with a synthesized audio track (generated with sample-based virtual instruments), with limited customization options.
[7]
  • Each song in Yousician is backed by a single audio track. Users may adjust the master audio volume only.
  • Songs in FATpick and Ultimate Guitar are backed by an independent track or "stem" for each instrument or part in the score. Each track can be independently soloed, muted, or set to an arbitrary volume.
  • Songs in Songsterr are backed by an independent track or "stem" for each instrument or part in the score. However users can only solo/mute the track currently being viewed. Other tracks are either all-on or all-off.
[8]
  • Rocksmith's backing audio tracks are recorded, not generated, and do not support any voice or instrument customization.
  • Youscian's backing audio tracks are recorded, not generated, and do not support any voice or instrument customization.
  • Users can dynamically assign any of 100+ virtual instruments to "voice" a given track (part) in each song in Ultimate Guitar and FATpick. FATpick's generated metronome track (and the stand-alone metronome tool) can be further customized by mapping specific percussion notes to each beat accent type.
  • Songs in Songsterr are backed by synthesized audio tracks but users have little or no control over the specific instrument used to voice each track.
[9]
  • Each of these applications allow the end user to loop the playback over a specific section of the song, although there are some subtle differences in implementation.
  • Rocksmith's Riff Repeater supports looping over individual blocks or sections of a song. The looping isn't quite continuous, there's a prominient, rhythm-breaking interruption when the loop restarts.
  • Youscian allows looping when in practice mode. Loops are constrained to measure boundaries - i.e., loops must start and stop at the beginning or end of a measure. Yousician's looping mode is continuous - the loop restarts one beat after it ends.
  • FATpick also allows looping when in practice mode. Loop endpoints are arbitrary - they can stop or start in the middle of a note (beat) if you want them to, but the interface makes it easy to "snap" the loop boundaries to notes, beats and measures. Looping in FATpick is continuous, there is no gap or delay when the loop repeats.
  • Loops in Ultimate-Guitar are defined at note boundaries - they can start or stop within a measure but always at the beginning or end of a note. Ultimate-Guitar's looping is continuous, there is no delay when the loop repeats.
  • The premium version of Songsterr supports continuous repeat looping, by note. Loops begin and end at note boundaries and there is no delay when restarting the loop.
[10]
  • Each of these applications allow the end user to set a custom tempo or playback rate in order to play the song slower - and in all but one case, faster - than the normal tempo.
  • The most notable difference in the custom tempo support between these applications is driven by differences in the backing-audio-track implementation:
    • Yousician and Rocksmith use pre-recorded audio. In order to play these recordings at a different tempo that audio must be digitally scaled and re-pitched - stretching or dropping individual "frames" of audio to change the playback rate and pitch-bending to account for the change in frequency that would otherwise occur when the audio is sped-up or slowed-down. This processing can lead to distortion, especially at tempos that are significantly faster or slower than normal.
    • Ultimate-Guitar, FATpick and Songsterr use dynamically-generated audio for their backing tracks. This eliminates the need to manipulate or process the audio signal to play back at a different tempo. When these apps play a song faster or slower than normal they simply play each note in the original pitch at the selected tempo. There is no distortion, even for extreme changes in speed. The true pitch and true tempo are used for each note, at any playback rate.
  • The range and granularity of tempo changes varies a bit from app to app:
    • Rocksmith uses scaled and re-pitched audio to support a playback rate of 0.25x to 1.00x the original tempo. (Rocksmith does not allow playback at a faster-than-normal tempo.)
    • Yousician uses scaled and re-pitched recordings to support a custom tempo of 0.25x to 1.75x of the original speed.
    • FATpick supports a true-pitch, true-tempo playback rate of 0.01x to 3.00x of the song's original speed.
    • Ultimate-Guitar also supports true-pitch, true-tempo playback, from 0.10x to 1.50x of the song's standard tempo.
    • The premium version of Sonsterr supports true-pitch, true-tempo playback at 0.25x to 1.75x of the original tempo.
[11]
  • Some of FATpick's guitar tools are described in the following blog posts: chromatic tuner, in-song metronome track, stand-alone digital metronome, note heatmap. Also see other blog posts tagged Features or Tools.
  • UltimateGuitar's Tonebridge is a virtual amplifier for iOS and Android mobile devices that models the tone generated by specific amplifiers and pedal chains. Most (all?) of the tabs on UG's site are linked to corresponding Tonebridge presets that recreate the tone of the original recording. It's actually pretty nifty, but official comments from the Ultimate Guitar support team (e.g., 1, 2) indicate the product is no longer supported (since mid-2020?). It's not clear what this means for the Tonebridge presets still linked from the tabs on UG's web site, but some similar apps are listed here.
  • See individual product sites for additional information.
[12]
[13]
  • Rocksmith supports any guitar or bass guitar with a 1/4" output jack that can be connected via a Real Tone cable. Their catalog includes both guitar and guitar content.
  • Yousician both supports and has lesson plans for guitar, bass guitar, ukulele, piano and voice.
  • Currently FATpick's catalog primarily contains guitar and bass guitar content, with a lesser amount of ukulele transcriptions, but the interface, import process and audio analysis algorithms can support most fretted, plucked-string instruments. If you import transcriptions for banjo, mandolinΒ or other guitar-like instruments FATpick will support them. There's already some harmonica "tablature" in the public catalog even.
  • UltimateGuitar does not support any sort of audio input. It is an output-only application.
  • Songsterr does not support any sort of audio input. It is an output-only application.
[14]
  • Rocksmith requires a cable that connects the 1/4" output jack on your guitar to a USB port on your computer or console. Ubisoft recommends a proprietary, or at least branded, cable they call "Real Tone", which comes bundled with most distributions of Rocksmith 2014, but a third-party guitar-to-usb cable would probably also work.
  • FATpick and Youscian both support virtually any way of getting an audio signal into your device, including internal (built-in) and external microphones, guitar-to-USB cables, guitar-to-AUX cables, guitar-to-amp-to-device connections over USB or AUX, "direct injection" or "audio interface" boxes of the sort commonly used for digital recording, and most other set-ups that appear as an "audio input device" within your computer.
  • UltimateGuitar does not support any sort of audio input. It is an output-only application.
  • Songsterr does not support any sort of audio input. It is an output-only application.
[15]
  • Rocksmith is largely targetted at "gamers". It supports Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation (3,4) consoles and PCs running Microsoft Windows or MacOS.
  • Yousician is available for PCs running Microsoft Windows or MacOS and both Android and iOS mobile devices (both phones and tablets).
  • FATpick is available for desktop and laptop computers running Microsoft Windows, MacOS or Linux. iOS and Android mobile apps are not yet available to a general audience.
  • Ultimate Guitar is available as a web-based application and as a mobile application for iOS and Android devices (phones and tablets).
  • Songsterr is available as a web-based application and as a mobile application for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile devices (phones and tablets).

 

Our intent with this chart is to provide a candid and objective product comparison. If you have any comments, corrections or feedback you would like to share, please let us know.

 

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