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John Drake on drums, Aaron Trites on vocals, Nick Chester on guitar, and Eric Pope on bass. John Drake on drums, Aaron Trites on vocals, Nick Chester on guitar, and Eric Pope on bass. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
By Johnny Diaz
Globe Staff / November 6, 2011

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When you make popular music video games, it stands to reason that you’ll have musicians on the payroll. So Harmonix Music Systems, maker of the game series Rock Band, goes the extra mile to support the company’s home-grown bands.

Down in the basement of Harmonix’s Cambridge headquarters, there’s a hidden sanctuary where employee bands can rock out. The dedicated practice space is equipped with stage lights and music equipment, and bedecked with Christmas lights for mood.

The practice room is used nearly every day - or night, according to Harmonix director of operations Janet Freed, who describes the space as “elegant darkness with empty beer cans - sometimes.’’

It’s also soundproofed for the peace of mind of other workers. “There’s some stuff you really don’t want to hear,’’ she said.

Yet some of the employee bands are so good, their songs are included in Rock Band games.

“I would say that 99 percent of the bands have songs in the game,’’ said Freed. “If you’re in a band, and the band has good music, you’re in.’’