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GUIDE: Guitar Hero Three Control Panel 2.0.4
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Joined: 16 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:17 am    Post subject: GUIDE: Guitar Hero Three Control Panel 2.0.4 Reply with quote

Guide: Guitar Hero Three Control Panel v2.0.4
Original GHTCP Thread:
Program author: MaXKilleR (with help from GameZelda)
Last program update: January 03, 2010
Last guide update: November 26, 2010

Most recent update: Added information for GHTCP version 2.0.4


Table of Contents:


Installing the Necessary Programs

Becoming Familiar with GHTCP

GHTCP: The Basics

Adding New Songs

Texture Explorer

Operating GH3 with GHTCP and the In-Game Custom Menu

Closing Statements
  • Features not yet implemented in GHTCP


Welcome! Before we begin, please remember that this program is for only the PC version of Guitar Hero 3 and Guitar Hero Aerosmith and runs on Windows only. XP is preferable, but Vista and Windows 7 are compatible Ė just make sure youíre using an Admin account or running as admin. It works on both x86 and x64 systems.

This guide is designed to help you learn how to use the many features of MaXKilleRís Guitar Hero Three Control Panel (GHTCP for short). It will take you through the different sections, features, and uses of GHTCP. This guide should be detailed enough to quell any questions people have about how to do anything within the program. Troubleshooting and user errors are not part of the guide and will likely be ignored.

Because this guide is assuming you have never used GHTCP before, letís start with the programs youíll need and how to get them:

Programs you will need:
  • Guitar Hero 3 (you must buy this! Those with pirated versions will not receive support!)
  • GH3 1.3 patch (you absolutely must patch your game!)
  • GHTCP v2.0.4 (or most recent version)
  • 7zip (this program is not mandatory, as Windows can open the .zip file GHTCP comes in without an extra program. However, this program is very useful for archives and I recommend everyone to have it. Even better alternatives are WinZIP or WinRAR, but those are not free like 7zip.)
  • LAME conversion library: (you only need to download this if GHTCP cannot automatically download it and prompts you to get it)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or higher. Obviously if youíve got a more recent version, you donít need this. If you donít have it yet, search for "NET Framework 2.0" in the Search box (I canít direct link you because of the way Microsoftís site is set up).

Files you will need:
  • .chart or .mid files: These are the note charts for each song (the notes you actually play). You can find these in the Custom Songs Database here on ScoreHero (you must be logged in to view this).
  • Audio files: These are usually .mp3 or .ogg files. This is the audio that youíre going to hear as you play. Note that since a majority of the charts here on SH are created to copyrighted songs, they will often not be distributed with the chart files. If itís a copyrighted song, you will have to find it yourself, outside of ScoreHero. If itís a freely distributable song, usually the chart author will include it with the chart or link to it.

Installing the Necessary Programs

  • Installing 7zip (optional)
    • The 7zip file you downloaded should be a self-installing .exe file. Just run it and let it do its thing!

  • Installing GHTCP
    • You must be able to open .ZIP files (install 7zip if you want)!

    • Open the .zip file and extract the files to anywhere on your computer. This is the installer.

    • Run GHTCP.msi or setup.exe (you donít need to use both) and install it like you would any other program.

  • LAME Conversion Library
    • If youíve downloaded and installed the LAME conversion library already, just place the .zip file in your GHTCP folder.

    • As of version 1.6, GHTCP should download and extract this automatically Ė if it doesnít, grab it from the above link.

  • Microsoft .NET Framework

Becoming Familiar with GHTCP
Weíre not going to discuss how to actually do any operations in this section; instead I am going to introduce you to the interface so you know where everything is and how it works.

  • You must start with an unaltered, unmodified install of GH3 patched to version 1.3 or 1.31!
    • Games edited with tompuddingís PC Songlist Editor will NOT be compatible. The save games are also NOT compatible.

    • It is best if you start with a fresh new install of GH3. You can backup your save game to keep your scores ONLY if your setlist has not been modified by another program.
      To backup your save game, go to My Documents > Aspyr > Guitar Hero III > Save > Progress}-{Progress. Copy and paste the s000.d file to somewhere safe so you can import it later.

    • Your game must be patched to version 1.3 or 1.31! You can get the patch for Windows here.

    • If you get an "emulator detected" error when running GH3, you need the 1.31 patch here. This is an issue with GH3, not GHTCP.

    • You must have Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or higher installed! Donít skip this just because you donít know what it is!

  • Running GHTCP for the First Time
    • Youíll be greeted by this message. It will pop up every time you run the program, and youíll have to wait a few seconds before you can click "I Accept."
      Remember - Itís annoying and unrelenting for a reason! Make sure you read and fully understand what this message is telling you!

    • After you click "I Accept," the GHTCP main window will come up. If you are running an out-of-date version of GHTCP, you will be notified. Download the newest version.

    • Right now the only options available are File and Help. You canít do anything else because you havenít loaded any game settings yet.

    • The first time you run the program, a new popup will appear immediately after the main window comes up, telling you to download the LAME conversion library v3.98. If you have already downloaded it and placed it in your GHTCP folder, simply browse to the .zip file and select it. If you havenít downloaded it yet, GHTCP has opened an Internet Explorer window to the page you can download it from.

  • Loading Game Settings
    • Go to File > Open Game Settings. Youíll have a number of setlists to choose from!

    • Donít mind the languages next to the setlist titles. In each of these setlists, you can change the language independently. So right now youíre not really selecting a language, youíre selecting which game you want to play from an integrated song list switcher in GHTCP.

    • You can select whichever list you like at this point, but it is wise to have one setlist for fresh, unmodified GH3. You can play online, donít have to worry about save games, etc. You can use other song lists for customs, other GH games, Fret on Fire, or whatever you want. Go ahead and select the song list you want to open up.

    • GHTCP will ask you to create a backup. In this case, itís not asking you if you want to so much as it is telling you that you have to. Hit Yes and GHTCP will do the work! Backups are important to have because the game and your saves will not always be 100% stable (you are modifying it in ways it was not supposed to be modified, after all).
      • If GHTCP gives you an error saying the file is not compatible, you are either running a game that has been previously modified (such as by songlist editor or QueenBee) or you did not patch to GH3 version 1.3 or 1.31.

    • Now that your backup has been created, open the setlist again from the File menu.

  • Introducing the Components of the Main Window
    • The main window is divided into several sections:

    • The first weíll discuss is the Song List on the far left (in orange). As you can see, GHTCP has listed all of the songs in GH3 in alphabetical order based on filename. You can change this listing to alphabetical by song name if you like by going to Songlist Management and clicking "Display By Title" or hitting the Alt-D keyboard shortcut. This Song List will also display all custom songs you import into this song list. It will NOT display customs you have imported into different song lists, and GHTCP does NOT automatically import all song files in the GH3 directory. Weíll go into more detail on the Song List later.

    • The tabs along the top (in purple): "Progression Settings," "Setlist Configuration," and "Song Editor." For now, only the Setlist Configuration and Song Editor tabs are functioning. We will go over the Song Editor tab later in the tutorial.

    • Iím sure you recognize the options in the drop-down box below the tabs (in green). You use this to pick which game mode youíre modifying (most people will be using QuickPlay, Bonus, and Download setlists) as well as managing your custom setlists. Weíll cover how to switch custom setlists in-game using the Custom Menu later in the tutorial. With so many available setlists, you should never have a problem with having too many songs in a setlist Ė just switch to a new one! These custom setlists are edited just like any other setlist, and you can create up to 32.

    • There are four fields just below this bar (in yellow). These control the setlistís settings and the tiers it contains.
      • Title: The name of the setlist. This will not show up in-game, but is used when selecting which setlists you want to show up in your song list in-game. Give it a short but descriptive name.

      • Prefix: Not editable.

      • Initial Movie: Editable only in Single Career and Coop Career. This is the movie that plays when you first begin a single player or coop career.

      • Tiers: Select which tier you want to edit from the drop-down box here. The default is tier 1, "Starting Out Small."

    • The majority of the window is dedicated to Tier Properties (in red). Many of these fields are self-explanatory, but Iíll go through each of them just in case:
      • Title: Tier name. For the default GH3 setlists it includes the tier number as well, though the numbers arenít necessary if you donít want them!

      • Default Unlocked Songs: How many of the songs in the tier are unlocked by default without earning them. It is a good habit to ensure this number is always equal to the number of songs in the tier (you can do this quickly by hitting the = button next to the field).

      • Completion Movie: For use in Single Career and Coop Career. This is the movie that plays once youíve beaten the Encore song.

      • Tier Icon: The icon that displays for the tier.

      • Stage: The stage this tier will play on in Career modes.

      • Boss Battle: Checking this will enable certain Tier properties regarding Boss Battles. Leave this alone unless you know what youíre doing.

      • No Cash: Whether or not the player earns cash for beating the songs (Career only).

      • P1/P2 Encore: Whether or not there is an encore song for P1/P2 available after all other tier songs have been beaten.

    • Tier Songs (in pink): On the far right. This shows the songs in the tier youíve selected from the drop-down box just above it. Weíll learn how to edit this field and similar fields later in the tutorial.

    • Action Request (in blue): This will be discussed later in the tutorial as I show you how to edit the game.

GHTCP: The Basics
Here weíll discuss basic features of GHTCP, such as tier editing and management, how to customize all editable fields, renaming lists, and saving. Adding custom songs has its own section, down below this one - but you might get confused if you skip this section, so just hang in there.

  • Common Controls
    • Renaming Items in a List: Double left-clicking an item will bring up a small text box.

    • Deleting Items in a List: Double right-clicking an item will remove it completely. You can also shift-click multiple items and delete many at once.

    • Moving Items in a List: Double left-clicking and holding while dragging an item will allow you to change an itemís position in a list.

  • Game Settings Switch (AKA changing the language)
    • To change the language setting of your setlist, youíll have to start from scratch. Everything will be reverted to default when you switch languages, so make sure you do this first!

    • To change your language, go to Game Management > Game Settings Switch.

    • GHTCP will prompt you to confirm you want to do this. As described above, it means you will have to start from the original settings. Click Yes if youíre ready. Now you can select which language you want your game to run in.

    • Restore Last Game Settings: Restores the game to the previous game settings you used.

    • Restore Original Game Settings: Restores the setlist to the original settings of the setlist you loaded (including language).

  • Apply Tier Changes and Apply Setlist Changes
    • Before we change anything in the setlist or tiers, you must understand that after every change you make to the tier or tier list you must click "Apply Setlist Changes" or "Apply Tier Changes" (whichever applies). For example, if you want to change the names of tiers 1 and 2, you must rename the first tier, click Apply Tier Changes, switch to the second tier, rename it, and click Apply Tier Changes again.

    • You can change more than one field in a tierís information at a time before clicking Apply, but you cannot switch tabs or tiers. If you switch before clicking Apply, the changes you made will be reverted back.

  • Execute Actions
    • Changes you make to your song list, tiers, or anything else must be finalized before the program will save them.

    • Notice the Action Request box in bottom-left. When you change things, a list will be created in this box. For example, adding a song, adding it to the Tier List, then clicking Apply Changes will add a couple things to the Action Request box: adding the song, and updating the tier.

    • Important: none of the things in the Action Request box will happen until you go to File > Execute Actions. This is essentially the programís way of "saving" all the changes you have just made. A small dialog box will pop up, listing every action it has completed. When itís done, you can click "Close."

    • File > Clear Actions is an option that will clear all actions in the Action Request box without saving them... Just in case you make a mistake or change your mind.

  • Clear Game Settings
    • Use this to close all GHTCP loaded game settings.

  • Export Song Chart
    • File > Export Song Chart. Select a song in the Song List to export.

    • Note that this is not useful for most users yet, as it is not usable in FeedBack without text editing in the file. It will export as .cgh. This feature will be more useful once MaXKilleRís song editor is updated and supports more features.

  • Editing Tier Songs
    • Common controls described above apply to this list.

    • To add new song to the Tier List, drag and drop a song from the Song List. You can also select multiple songs and drag them. We will go over how to add new songs into the game later in the tutorial.

    • Donít forget to click the proper Apply Changes button after youíre done!

  • Tier Management
    • To open up the Tier Management box, go to Game Management > Manage Tiers.

    • Common controls described above apply to this list.

    • In this box you can change the names of tiers, re-arrange their order, or remove them completely.

    • If you want to "refresh" the display in the main window so it displays a new tier name you just typed in, open up Tier Management and click OK again.

    • Thanks to GHTCP, the Bonus and Download setlists now support tiers. You can manipulate them the same way you can Career and Quickplay setlists.

  • Importing/Exporting Setlist and Tier Settings
    • Once youíve gotten a tier or setlist all edited to your liking, you can export the settings to share or backup. Remember - backups are good!

    • To export Setlist settings (it will be an .sgh file), go to File > Export SGH (Setlist).

    • To export Tier settings (it will be a .tgh file), go to File > Export TGH (Tier).

    • To import Setlist settings from an .sgh file, go to Game Management > SGH Setlist Switch. Select your .sgh from the dialog that pops up.

    • To import Tier settings from a .tgh file, go to Game Management > TGH Tier Switch. Select your .tgh from the dialog that pops up.

  • Edit Song Properties
    • To edit a song, go to Songlist Management > Edit Song Properties. This opens song selected in the Song List, not the Tier list.

    • Detailed information on this Edit Song Properties box later in the tutorial, in the Adding New Songs section.

  • Save File Patcher
    • GHTCP 1.52 introduced a much more efficient and easy way to patch your hacked save games. Simply click Game Management > Save File Patcher to bring up the dialog box.

    • Select the GH3 save file you wish to use for this song list. This may be the old save file you were using with an earlier version of GHTCP, or you can use an unedited save file if youíve never used GHTCP before.

    • Now youíre done! You should never be bothered by "corrupt save file" messages again for this song list!

  • Help Menu
    • Guide: Brings you to this thread!

    • ScoreHero: Brings you to ScoreHeroís official GHTCP thread.

    • GH3 Folder: Opens your GH3 DATA folder.

    • Disclaimer: Brings up the disclaimer box (the one that appears every time you start the program).

    • About: Displays information on the program, such as the version and the developerís notes.

Adding New Songs
Weíve learned everything else about GHTCP, so now itís time to learn the good stuff: adding new songs! You should find GHTCPís interface quite nice and efficient.

  • Adding a New Song
    This partís easy! Just click Add > New Song to bring up the Generate Song Data box.

  • Generate Song Data
    You will be entering a lot of information about the chart you want to import in this menu. Letís break it down:

    • Song Name: The filename your song will be created under. Keep it short and simple; this is not the name your song will display in game.

    • Data to Generate: For new songs, keep both options checked. The only time you want to uncheck one of these options is if you are replacing/updating a song you have previously added and want to only update one part (such as the chart but not the audio or vice-versa).

    • Audio Type: Most customs have only one track because theyíre using just one mp3. For songs that have more than one track, select the proper option: if youíve got just one mp3, leave it on Single Track; if youíve got separate Song and a Guitar tracks, select Guitar Track; and if youíve got separate Song, Guitar, and Rhythm tracks, select Rhythm Track. If youíve got different Coop tracks as well, select the Coop Tracks option (if your audio is the same in single player and coop, you wonít need to select this option). Make sure you select the correct option for the number of tracks you have or it wonít sound right in game!

    • Audio Tracks: Click the "Ö" box to bring up a dialog box. Select your audio file. If youíve got just one audio file, it will use the Guitar Track box. You can also select an fsb.xen file from your Guitar Hero III\Music folder if you want to use a music file that already exists or you have already created. Your audio track must be CBR .mp3 or .ogg (not VBR), 16 bit .wav (not 8 or 32 bit), or .flac format!
      • Setting the "guitar" file to blank audio and the "background" audio to the music file ensures you won't be greeted with complete silence if you miss a note. GHTCP has the capability to do this for you if you're using the "single track" option, potentially saving you a lot of time. On the main GHTCP window, you can select Songlist Management > Silent Guitar Track to enable this feature. It is on by default, but if you really don't like it for some reason you can disable it.
      • Another audio-related feature GHTCP has is "Force MP3 Conversion," also available from the Songlist Management menu. This will convert your audio file to a very specific type of mp3 file that has proven most stable in-game. It is not mandatory (and is off by default), but if you experience audio trouble you should try enabling this option.

    • Preview Track: This will be enabled after youíve selected an audio file. This is the start time of the 30-second preview of the song in-game. You can use the slider to select the start time, and the Play/Pause/Stop buttons to hear what the preview will sound like at that point. The green slider to the far right is volume.

    • Chart Track: Click the "Ö" box to open up a dialog box. Select your .mid or .chart file. As of 1.61, you can also select a _song.pak.xen file, which is a file that has already been converted into GH3ís format.

    • Difficulties: Itís best to leave these alone and let GHTCP do it for you; it will automatically take all the necessary steps to fill in empty difficulties. If you do change something and wish to undo what youíve done, click "Auto-Configuration." If you wish to set every track to No Track so you can set them all manually, click "Reset."

    • After youíve filled out all these fields, itís time to hit "Apply" and move on to the next box. If a necessary field has not been filled out, or you are using a filename that is already in use (in the "Song Name" field), Apply will not be clickable.

  • Song Properties
    This is the second of two windows you will have to fill out for your new song. Letís go over the editable fields.

    • Title: The name your song will display in game.

    • Artist: The artist your song will display in game.

    • Year: The year your song will display in game. Note: GHTCP does not automatically put the comma after the artist, so if you want the game to say "Artist, Year" in game you will have to enter your year as ", 2008" (comma space year).

    • Guitar/Band Volume: Self-explanatory. Best to leave it at default values unless something sounds really wrong in-game!

    • Hammer On: This number controls the HOPO threshold the game uses. An 8th note threshold is about 1.95, and you can find other values in the second post of this thread. Leave it at 0.00 to keep it at the default.

    • Offset: The offset your .mid or .chart requires.
      • Important: GHTCPís offset inputs are slightly different than GHex or tompuddingís tool. When using .charts you have to pay attention to the offset it was created with in FeedBack. The best way to find the offset for a chart is to open it in Notepad and find the "offset" line (near the top). If the chartís creator used an offset in dB, it will show in seconds and up to three decimal places. The calculation GHTCP uses for chart offsets is: "FeedBack Offset * -1000." For example, if the dB offset is 2.35, that means the offset GHTCP will show will be (2.350 * -1000) = -2350. GHTCP should automatically display this number in the offset field when you get to the Song Properties window.
      • When importing .mids, none of this is important because they have no offset information that charts created in dB do. Just use the regular offset.
      • Note that both .mids and .charts will sometimes require a regular offset (for example, a lot of my charts have a 2000 offset). With .mid files, this means simply change the offset to 2000. With .chart files, it means add 2000 to the number GHTCP calculated for you. In the example I gave above, that means -2350 + 2000 = -350. Your final offset is -350.

    • Singer: The game can display a male singer, a female singer, no singer, or Bret Michaels.

    • Count Off: The type of audio 1-2-3-4 count your song starts with.

    • Bassist: Select which character you want to be your bassist in game.

    • Boss Properties: Enables Boss Battle properties in the song. Your chart will need proper Face-Off sections and the Tier you place this in must be properly formatted for a Boss Battle. Details regarding how Battle Power and Star Power work in Boss Battles have not been added yet (feel free to experiment!). You can now set the boss battle sections with face off sections. MaXKilleR says he has not seen this used by ANY original song (not even the boss battles in the game), so this is a relatively untested feature!

    • Artist Text: What the game displays between the Song Name and the Artist Name when the song starts (replacing "as performed by," etc).

    • Original Artist: Checking this will enable any changes the engine makes to a song performed by the original artist. Exactly what these changes are is unknown at this point.

    • Keyboard: Whether or not a keyboardist will appear onstage.

    • Coop: Check this if youíve got Coop audio tracks. This will also enable your chart to have a coop track even if you donít have coop audio, but be warned that this may crash your game (it has not been tested much).

    • Rhythm Track: Will enable your chart to have a rhythm track even if you donít have audio for it. Next to the check box: whether the second player has a rhythm guitar or a bass. Be warned that this may crash your game, as it has not been tested.

  • Song List
    • Your new song will now appear in the Song List! You can drag/drop it and edit its properties just like you would a standard song.

    • To help find your new song in this long list, you can use Songlist Management > Display by Title to re-arrange the Song List alphabetically if you want.

    • You can also use "Hide Original Songs" so you only see songs youíve added into the game.

    • "Hide Used Songs" displays only songs that arenít used in any tier yet.

  • Execute Actions
    • Donít forget to Execute Actions to add the song! Until you do this, none of the information will be saved.

  • Rebuild Song Data
    • If you want to change a song youíve already imported, you can go to Songlist Management > Rebuild Song Data.

    • This brings back up Generate Song Data, just like before.

    • You cannot edit original GH3 songs.

  • Delete Song
    • To delete a song, select it in the Song List and go to Songlist Management > Delete Song. GHTCP will prompt you to confirm your decision.

    • You cannot delete original GH3 songs.

    • This will delete the song from the Song List, but the data created by GHTCP will remain in your Guitar Hero III\Songs and Guitar Hero III\Music folders. You can manually delete these, or keep them there in case you decide to use them again sometime.

  • Mass Importer
    • This tool will allow you to import many songs at once instead of doing them all individually. However, your songs must be organized and labeled correctly.

    • All the custom songs you wish to use with the Mass Importer must be in a unique folder (each chart and corresponding audio files must be in a folder). All of these folders containing the charts and music should be within another folder, which you will select in GHTCP.

    • For example, if you wanted to add CustomSong3 using the Mass Importer, you would put CustomSong3.chart and CustomSong3.mp3 into a folder called CustomSong3. You would then put this CustomSong3 folder into an "AllCustoms" folder (alongside your CustomSong1 and CustomSong2 folders). To add all 3 of these songs, select the "AllCustoms" folder in the Mass Importer dialog. These names are, of course, just an example. You can call them whatever you like!

    • Select the parent folder containing all the song folders. GHTCP will go through all the folders (only the topmost folders; GHTCP will not search through sub-directories) for .mid/.chart/.cgh to use as game tracks. It will also look for .dat, .fsb, or audio files (.mp3, .ogg, or .wav) to use as the audio track.

    • The internal song name of each song will be based on the folder name GHTCP found the chart and audio in. It will be lower case and spaces will be removed. If the song name is longer than 30 characters, it will be shortened. If the song name exists already, a number will be added to the end of it starting from "2."

    • If there is more than one audio file, GHTCP will look for "rhythm" "bass" or "guitar" in the file names or the first file will be used as the band track by default. If there are more than 4 audio files in the folder GHTCP will look for "coop" as well as "rhythm" "bass" and "guitar" in the file name.

    • GHTCP will also search for "song.ini" files from Frets on Fire songs. It will import the information from this file and apply it to the track.

    • If for some reason a song fails to import, the Mass Importer will alert you. It wonít provide any details, but you can try importing it manually and see what happens.

    • GHTCP will add all these files into the Action Request box. Before you execute actions, though, youíll probably want to go through the new songs in your song list and edit their titles, artists, and offsets (if they need one). The Mass Importer does not do this for you unless the information was in the .chart file or in a song.ini file (though it never hurts to double-check).

  • Song Editor
    • MaXKilleR introduced a very basic version of his song editor in version 1.52. It is very useful for previewing songs and finding offsets.

    • To use this feature, click the Song Editor tab. Click Load chart and select the one you want to preview.

    • Once your chart is loaded up, click the Load Audio button and select the audio file you want to use.

    • The drop-down box at the top allows you to select the track youíre viewing. The Play/Pause button will... Play and pause the chart...

    • Hey wait a second my chart isnít in sync?@?2? Well, thereís a nice little box in the bottom-right where you can put in your offset. While this wonít allow you to find an extremely accurate offset (though you can probably guess within 50ms or so), it does allow you to at least double-check the offset that was given to you by the chart author or to make sure youíve done your math right when calculating a new offset.

    • There are two sliders at the bottom (the the left of Offset). The leftmost slider is Hyperspeed, and controls how quickly the highway moves. The rightmost slider is the view angle, which you can use to control how the fretboard looks. These only affect the Song Preview, and do not change anything in-game.

    • Toggle Elements: The Star Power, HoPo and Audio buttons allow you to toggle displaying certain things on and off in the preview (remember: these are NOT in-game changes). These are all pretty self-explanatory.

Texture Explorer
You can use this to view, extract, and replace a lot of textures from the game. When you first start this up, it will take a while to load - anywhere between 15 seconds or a minute depending on the speed of your machine. GHTCP is loading a lot of texture files.

  • Back Up Everything You Are Going to Edit!
    • This is always important when editing any aspect of Guitar Hero. You donít want to have to reinstall or start over if you screw something up!
    • When you extract a texture to edit it (Iíll show you how in just a moment), make sure you keep an original, unedited copy of the file in a safe place so you can put it back into the game if something goes wrong with your edit. So just extract it twice: once for backup, once for editing.

  • Browsing the Textures
    • To open the Texture Explorer, go to Game Management > Texture Explorer.

    • Use the file tree to browse to the .img.xen or .tex.xen file you want to view.

    • Double-click the file to load it on the right. Click the image on the list you wish to view.

    • Some texture files, such as a majority of the textures for characters and guitars, have multiple files. You will see these displayed as a list of "Image 1," "Image 2," "Image 3," etc.

  • Search: Thereís a search bar up at the top of the Texture Explorer. If you know the name of the file youíre looking for, type it in. You can use the Previous and Next buttons to cycle through results.

  • Extracting a Texture
    • To extract a texture, load it up as described in (2), select the image you want to extract in the list, and then hit Extract in the bottom right corner.

    • This will bring up a dialog. Choose from the "Save As Type" drop-down what sort of file you wish to save it as. For most people, this will probably be JPEG.

    • Donít forget to save a back up file of the image youíre extracting if you plan on editing it at all!

  • Editing a Texture
    • Once youíve extracted your texture, you can edit it in any image editing program you like.

    • The textures you edit do not necessarily have to keep the same dimensions as the original texture. To avoid problems as much as possible, it is best to keep them the same size. GHTCP will ask you if you want to scale a texture back to the original size if you try to import a texture with new dimensions. Textures like the static loading screen may not give you trouble if you change their dimensions, but if you change dimensions of a characterís textures the game might not like that. The only way to know at this point is through experimentation.

  • Replacing a Texture
    • Once youíve edited an image or texture to your content, you can place it back into the game by selecting the texture you wish to replace in the Texture Explorer, then hitting Replace.

    • Browse to your edited file in the dialog that pops up, then hit OK.

    • If you plan to edit big files (especially global.pak.xen, which is 80MB) make sure you have enough RAM! GHTCP loads the entire file into RAM when rebuilding before saving.

    • Like many of the other features in GHTCP, nothing will be saved until your confirm your changes. In the Texture Explorer, to finalize your change you must hit the big "Rebuild Container" button. A prompt will come up, asking you to confirm.

    • The texture you replaced will become deselected. To view your change, simple double-click it again and view it. Your new texture should display on the right.

    • After closing Texture Explorer, you do not have to Execute Actions as you do with many other changes. The changes are all done within Texture Explorer.

Operating Guitar Hero 3 with GHTCP and the In-Game Custom Menu
Youíre all edited and ready to play! With GHTCP, itís really easy to boot up GH3 and run it with your changes.

  • Minimizing and Closing GHTCP
    • Click the Minimize button to send GHTCP to the system tray (the bottom right near your clock). Click the X as usual to close it.

    • To re-open GHTCP, double left-click.

    • To close GHTCP completely, right-click and click Close.

    • To set what priority GHTCP runs at, right-click and select one. Higher priorities may help the game run more smoothly.

  • Running GH3
    • To select which setlist you want to play, left-click GHTCPís icon in the system tray and pick your desired setlist. I have renamed my setlists.

    • To run GH3, double right-click GHTCPís icon.

    • If you get an "emulator detected" error when running GH3, get the 1.31 patch here.

    • The "Unlock All" cheat has been changed to Y. That means just strum the yellow fret once in the Cheat Menu! This unlocks all songs in all viewable/selected setlists, while also adding their instance to the save file.

    • When you close GH3, GHTCP will still be running. You can open it to make more changes, close it, or just leave it there until youíre ready to play again!

  • The Custom Menu
    • On the main menu of GH3, you may notice thereís a new option! This is the magic of hax. MaXKilleR and GameZelda are still planning to add a lot more in the future!

    • GFX Options: essentially the "speed booster" or "black background" mod. You can choose disable GFX to enable all the hacks to speed up the game, or you can select them individually. The FX Speed Boost will disable some gameplay animation including flames, lightning and stars.

    • Cutoff Viewer: View star cutoffs for any song. Very cool!

    • Setlist Switcher: Changes the chosen setlist to whatever you select. Weíve gone over how to edit all setlists and create custom setlists earlier in the tutorial.

    • Gem Size Scaling: Use left and right to alter the size of the note gems. Personally, I like it at 0.900.

    • In-Game Credits: Loads the credits.

    • FPS Display: displays the FPS in game. For those of us who run in 1280x1024, the edge of your display will be cut off Ė this is a bug in GH3, unfortunately!

    • GFX Options: You can select and deselect individual things you wish to turn on/off within this menu, or you can select the options at the top to turn everything off or everything on. Turning options off will help your game run faster and more smoothly.
      • Disable GFX: Turns everything off and enables the black background mod.
      • Enable GFX: Turns everything on. Same as default GH3 settings.
      • Force Venue: Self-explanatory. Forces the game to load a certain venue when you play. Also includes the "black background" option.
      • Band: Whether or not the band is visible.
      • Highway: Whether or not the track highway is visible (recommended to leave this on).
      • Real Crowd: Whether or not the crowd is visible.
      • Stage: Whether or not the performance stage itself is visible.
      • Stage Crew: Whether or not the stage crew is visible.

    • Enable Bot: 1.6 introduced a bot, which essentially allows the game to play itself. Enabling the bot for player 1 or 2 (or both) means the game will autoplay all notes in the chart, making it very useful for recording videos or becoming familiar with a chart by watching. This bot has limitations to prevent cheating, however: the score will be reset to 0 every second. This will not affect your game or the gameís performance at all. In addition, it will only work in Quickplay modes (including multiplayer modes). It will not work in Career or online modes.

Closing Statements
That should cover all the available features in MaXKilleRís Guitar Hero Three Control Panel v2.0.4. Remember this program is a work in progress, so check back for updates to the program and this guide! I hope youíve found this tutorial useful.

The following are not functioning yet or have not been implemented yet as of GHTCP v2.0.4:
  • "Progression Settings" tab
  • Many features in the Song Editor
  • Legacy Importer


Newest custom chart: Avantasia - The Tower (RB3 Full Band)

Last edited by inimitable on Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:01 am; edited 23 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:17 am    Post subject: GHTCP FAQ Reply with quote

Last update: March 15, 2010

Note: These arenít in any particular order... Except the first one, so please stop asking.


Table of Contents:

REALLY Common Questions
My custom songs are not showing up in game.

Common Questions
What does GHTCP do?
What systems does GHTCP support?
How many different setlists can I have?
How many more songs can I add?
Can I use Frets on Fire songs?
How do I change the HOPO threshold?
How do I force HOPOs?
When I try to play a song, all I get is a 5-note chord, then nothing!
All my songs disappeared when I updated to a new version of GHTCP!

When adding a mid/chart, I get an error ďGame Track cannot be parsed. An entry with the same key already exists.Ē
When I open GH3CP, the disclaimer comes up and I click ďI Accept,Ē but it says GH3 is not installed properly.
My music conversion failed.
When I play, the music is before the note / the notes are before the music.
Help Iím running Windows Vista!
Help Iím running a Mac!
I canít see the songs I put in the Download setlist.
My FoF/Rock Band songs donít have Star Power.
I get the error ďGame Track cannot be parsed! The given key was not present in the dictionary.Ē
Adding a new track fails at the ďCreating Music TrackĒ step.


REALLY Common Questions

My custom songs are not showing up in game.
  • To register custom songs properly in the game you need to unlock the setlist in the Custom Menuís setlist switcher.
  • To do this, open up the Custom Menu and use the setlist switcher to force the setlist you want to use into a slot (Quickplay, Bonus, Download, etc). When ready, highlight the setlist and hit Orange. This will register the setlist and unlock all songs within it.


Common Questions

What does GHTCP do?
  • GHTCP is a fan-made editor for GH3. It is designed to be a user-friendly tool to allow users to Add/Replace songs and custom songs, change various aspects of the game such as default unlocked songs and number of tiers, and replace basic textures, among other things. The features in GHTCP are constantly being expanded, as it is still in development!

What systems does GHTCP support?
  • Currently, GHTCP is PC only.

How many different setlists can I have?
  • Currently GHTCP supports switching between 6 different songlists, each with their respective setlists (Quickplay, Career, Bonus, etc). However, with the new ďCustom SetlistĒ feature implemented in 1.6 you can have up to 32 custom setlists that you can load whenever you like!

How many more songs can I add?
  • You can add up to 79 songs per setlist, though adding that many is not advised. You have the setlist switcher at your disposal so you never should have to add that many.

Can I use Frets on Fire songs?
  • First, try importing them as you would a normal mid file. If that doesnít work, open them in FeedBack and save them as a chart file and import the chart into GHTCP.

How do I change the HOPO threshold?
  • Leaving this value at the default 0 will be perfect for most songs!
  • Otherwise, use the following values in the Hammer-On field when importing a song:

    inimitable wrote:
    Less HOPOs:
    To force 1/12 note strums, set it as 3.50
    To force 1/16 note strums, set it as 2.50
    To force 1/24 note strums, set it as 4.50

    More HOPOs:
    To make 1/8 notes HOPOs, set it as 2.00
    To make 1/6 notes HOPOs, set it as 1.30
    To make 1/4 notes HOPOs, set it as 1.00
    To make 1/3 notes HOPOs, set it as 0.60
    To make 1/2 notes HOPOs, set it as 0.50
    To make notes 1 measure apart HOPOs, set it as 0.20

How do I force HOPOs? (answer thanks to help from TSOrbera)
  • GHTCP does not support changing HOPO status (as of version 1.61). However, you can use FeedBack and Notepad to manually change them yourself.
  • Not that after you do this, dB will be unable to open the chart. Make sure you back up your chart before editing it in case you make some cr-r-razy mistake!
    1. Open the chart in FeedBack. If you are completely unfamiliar with this program, I suggest learning the basics from my FeedBack tutorial.
    2. For each note you want to change, select the note and press W. Enter ď*Ē (no quotes) and press Enter.
      1. Note that this * event switches the status of the note. That means if it is not a HOPO it will become a HOPO. However, if it is already a HOPO it will become a strum note.
  • Open the chart in Notepad.
  • Click Edit > Replace. In the ďFind whatĒ field, enter "E *" and in the ďReplace withĒ field enter "N 5 0"
  • Click Replace All.
  • Save the chart and close Notepad.

  • Again, after you do this, dB will be unable to open the chart. If you want to open it again in dB, reverse the changes you made in the previous steps (or load your backup).

    When I try to play a song, all I get is a 5-note chord, then nothing!
    • This happens when you try to play a difficulty that was not created in the chart you are playing! GHTCP places the 5-note ďsafety noteĒ to ensure GH3 doesnít crash. Normally GHTCP should automatically apply existing difficulties to lower difficulties if they donít exist (meaning if only Expert is charted, it will apply the Expert chart to all difficulties; if only Expert and Hard exist it will apply the Hard chart to Easy and Medium). If you want it to do this, simply donít mess with the settings when you import the song!
    • To fix this, either play a difficulty that was charted (probably Expert), or find a chart with the difficulty you want to play. You can also re-import the song and make sure GHTCP applies the difficulties correctly as described above.
    • Of course, thereís always the option of editing the chart yourself and adding the lower difficulties in FeedBack!

    All my songs disappeared when I updated to a new version of GHTCP!
    • GHTCP does not automatically carry over tier or setlist information. However, itís very simple to transfer them over to the new version.
    • To carry over your setlists, export all the setlists you wish to save before installing the new version of GHTCP. You can learn how to export setlists in this section of the tutorial.
    • Install the new version of GHTCP and import your saved setlists.
    • Presto! A nice new version of GHTCP with all your songs intact.



    When adding a mid/chart, I get an error ďGame Track cannot be parsed. An entry with the same key already exists.Ē
    • Update to the newest version of GHTCP!

    When I open GH3CP, the disclaimer comes up and I click ďI Accept,Ē but it says GH3 is not installed properly.
    • First, make sure you have a fresh install of the game patch to version 1.3. You absolute cannot use a game that has been modified by another editor and you cannot use an unpatched game. Period.
    • If the problem still exists, uninstall GH3 completely, then go to your Program Files>Aspyr>Guitar Hero III folder (or wherever you installed it) and delete the entire Data folder. This will ensure no modified files have been left over. If you wish to back up your save file in My Documents>Aspyr, you may do so, but only if it is a save for a game that was not modified. Reinstall GH3 and run GHTCP again.
    • If that fails, go out and buy the game, you crack-applying hack.

    My music conversion failed!
    • Ensure your audio file is CBR (constant bitrate) .mp3 or .ogg, or 16-bit wav. Other formats are not supported. If youíre not sure what your audio is formatted as, just run it through a converter and make sure itís outputting as one of the specified formats.

    When I play, the music is before the note / or the notes are before the music!
    • Read the Offset section of the guide again. If youíre using a .chart file, pay special attention.
    • If youíre unsure, use the Song Preview feature built into GHTCP to ensure your offset is correct before booting up the game! Remember that changing the offset in the Preview does not actually change the offset in game Ė you have to do that in Song Properties.

    Help Iím running Windows Vista!
    • It should run just fine. Make sure you're running GHTCP on an admin account or running the .exe as admin.
      MaXKilleR wrote:
      I made it in Vista and only debugged it in Vista, so if you are having any problems, it's between you and Vista not my CP.

    Help Iím running a Mac!
    • Thatís a shame, isnít it? Your best bet is to try running it in BootCamp.

    I canít see the songs I put in the Download setlist!
    • Change the ďdefault unlocked songsĒ in GHTCP to match the number of songs youíve put into the setlist. Use that nice little ď=Ē button next to the number Ė thatís what itís there for!
    • Make sure you use the Unlock All cheat again every time you add/remove/change songs. Itís a good habit.

    My FoF/Rock Band songs donít have Star Power!
    • Frets on Fire doesnít use SP like GH3 does, so often the charts donít have any. Add it yourself or use Auto-Chart Editor.
    • Rock Band chartsí Overdrive power will be loaded as Star Power. If for some strange reason you have confused yourself, you can use this tool to convert it into a GH chart.

    I get the error ďGame Track cannot be parsed! The given key was not present in the dictionary.Ē
    • This is caused by improperly formatted chart or mid files.
    • If you have a .chart causing the problem:
      1. Ensure the Expert track has at least 1 note.
      2. Ensure the track has an Events track with both the ďmusic_startĒ and ďendĒ events. (If you donít know what that means, check out the Events section of my FeedBack guide.)

  • If you have a .mid causing the problem:
    1. First, try using Chart2Mid2Chart to convert it to a chart.
    2. If that doesnít work, take the original mid and try the following:
      1. Download and install Anvil Studio.
      2. Open the MID file.
      3. Under the toolbar, you should see a grid, titles are | Track Name | Type | Instrument | ...
      4. Left-click on the first item (under Track Name)
      5. Rename it to "PART GUITAR" (case-sensitive, no quotes)
      6. Save and click OK if a warning is displayed (read it).
      7. Retry.

    3. If that doesnít work, you may have simply ended up with a malformed file. Try another chart!

    Adding a new track fails at the ďCreating Music TrackĒ step!
    • You must be using an unmodified GH3 PC updated to V1.3.
    • You need to have Microsoftís .NET Framework 2.0 (or higher) installed.
    • Make sure you downloaded the MP3 conversion library.


    Newest custom chart: Avantasia - The Tower (RB3 Full Band)

    Last edited by inimitable on Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:54 am; edited 16 times in total
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    PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Nice tutorial, text tutorials are better then video tutorials in my opinion. Should be good for beginners.
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    View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger PSN Name: iamalwayssto

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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Great Tutorial!!! This and the tutorial video = awesome
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    View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website XBL Gamertag: FISA

    Joined: 19 Apr 2008
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    PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    This really should be stickied.

    Great write up, I think you cover just about everything in good detail!
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    PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Very well done. I'll link to this thread with the Guide button...
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    Joined: 21 May 2008
    Posts: 1389

    PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    If only something like this existed for the PS2 GH3. It would make life soo much easier.

    Last edited by thesentence on Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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    PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Great guide
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    PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    101% SH!T i played all difficulities and yes i have the original savedata in differnt folder in different place but it remake this to custom and started again... I can play only 1 custom songs and it crashes SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT
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    Joined: 28 Jun 2007
    Posts: 272
    Location: Brooklyn, NYC

    PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    squege wrote:
    101% SH!T i played all difficulities and yes i have the original savedata in differnt folder in different place but it remake this to custom and started again... I can play only 1 custom songs and it crashes SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT

    Then you're doing something wrong, 'cause it seems to work for the rest of us.
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    View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website PSN Name: edisinsane2

    Joined: 02 Nov 2007
    Posts: 607
    Location: Michigan

    PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    When I try and open up GH3CP the gear comes up and I click I ACCEPT but then it tells me GH3 is not installed properly even though it works and I have the 1.3 patch.
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    View user's profile Send private message XBL Gamertag: Glick DC

    Joined: 28 Jun 2007
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    Location: Brooklyn, NYC

    PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Glock wrote:
    When I try and open up GH3CP the gear comes up and I click I ACCEPT but then it tells me GH3 is not installed properly even though it works and I have the 1.3 patch.

    Delete the DATA folder then reinstall the game. This shouldn't affect your existing save file, but just in case, go to C:\Documents and Settings\*user name*\My Documents\Aspyr\Guitar Hero III\Save\Progress}{Progress\ and copy the file s000.d to your desktop before you reinstall, then put it back there afterward.
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    View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website PSN Name: edisinsane2

    Joined: 26 May 2008
    Posts: 14

    PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I could use some help:)
    When i try to add chart i keep saying: "Game track cannot be parsed. Input string was not in a correct format" even thought its a .chart file.
    It seems like i can only add .mid files...
    Is it supposed to be this way or have i done something wrong xD
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    PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    The save file hack doesn't work for me...
    I get the three beeps in the cutscenes in the start but it just always asks me to delete the save file.
    My accomplishments [GH3PC]:
    TTFAF 796k

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    PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    One question. After you execute the actions do I have to do anything else or is it saved from there?
    GT- Fatchos Poppin (add me)
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