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GUIDE: Creating a GH or RB Chart Using FeedBack
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inimitable  
 




Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 2323
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:50 am    Post subject: GUIDE: Creating a GH or RB Chart Using FeedBack Reply with quote

Guide: Creating a Chart Using FeedBack 0.97b
Program author: TurkeyMan
Guide author: Inimitable
Last guide update: October 13, 2009


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Table of Contents

Intro
  • Programs you will need

Installing the Necessary Programs

Becoming Familiar with FeedBack, Audacity, and Mixmeister

FeedBack: The Basics

FeedBack: Preparing Your Chart

Syncing Your Note Chart and Anchors

FeedBack: Charting Your Song

FeedBack: Charting Other Difficulties and Instruments

You Are Winner! (You’re done!)


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Intro

Welcome! This guide is designed as a walkthrough for creating your first chart in FeedBack, or “dB” for short. It’s aimed specifically at those who have never charted and never used dB before (though that’s not to say those who have used it before still can’t learn something!). I’m going to take it as slowly as I can to ensure I don’t lose anybody, but please keep in mind this hobby is not for everyone! It does take a lot of time, patience, and eventually skill when you begin to chart more complex songs. So don’t get discouraged if at first you are confused or progressing more slowly than you’d like - these things happen to everyone at some point - but do keep in mind that if you’re not enjoying yourself and you’re not satisfied with the rewards this hobby brings you, maybe it’s just not for you! We’re supposed to be having fun here, as well as reaping benefits from contributing to the ScoreHero community.

Please note that because this guide is designed for first-timers, I will go through the process of creating a chart step-by-step, in the order that I believe they should be done. My goal is not to specifically cover all aspects or features of FeedBack, but a majority of them will be discussed because they are necessary to creating a complete, quality chart. By the end of this tutorial, a first-time charter’s chart should contain all difficulty tracks, events, sections, star power, face-off events and co-op tracks.

Before we begin, there are a few programs you will need:
  • FeedBack 0.97b (or most recent version)
  • Audacity
  • Mixmeister BPM Analyzer
  • 7zip (this program is not mandatory, as Windows can open the .zip file FeedBack comes in without an extra program. However, this program is very useful and I recommend everyone to have it if you don’t already have an archiving program)

These four will be covered in depth in the tutorial, so just download them for now and we’ll go through them in detail later. I will be creating a chart alongside this tutorial, so you can see exactly the steps I can and the options I have.



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 FeedBack
    • You must have 7zip (or equivalent) installed!

    • Open the .zip folder! If it doesn’t open up correctly for some reason, try going to Program Files, opening 7zip manually, and browsing to the FeedBack.zip file.



    • Extracting the FeedBack folder
      • Drag and drop the “FeedBack0.97b” folder anywhere onto your computer.
      • You cannot run FeedBack from the .zip archive; it will not save your work!
      • You can close 7zip now.



  • Installing Audacity
    • Just like 7zip, Audacity comes in the form of an automatic installer! Run it and install it like anything else.



  • Installing Mixmeister BPM Analyzer
    • Mixmeister comes in a .zip file, just like FeedBack. Extract the file inside the .zip file to anywhere on your computer.

    • You should have “BpmAnlyz.exe” on your computer now, so go ahead and close 7zip. Run BpmAnlyz.exe and install it like any other program.




Becoming Familiar with FeedBack, Audacity, and Mixmeister
We’re going to go over some elementary “first glance” information on these three programs, one by one.

  • FeedBack Folder Contents
    • Open up the FeedBack0.97b folder you just extracted. It should look like the following:



    • If you don’t plan on using the PSP version of FeedBack (not covered in this tutorial), you can delete the “FeedBack-PSP_DEMO” folder. It doesn’t work very well anyway.

    • The “Songs” folder is where you will place .ogg or .mp3 files you want to chart with - more on this later when we start FeedBack for the first time.

    • The “Themes” folder is the very beginning of TurkeyMan’s endeavor to make dB’s appearance more customizable. At this point, only fretboards in .png format are available to customize. These are located in the Themes\Default\Fretboards folder, and they must be .png files with a size of 256x512 pixels (in the majority of this tutorial, I am using a black fretboard I created myself).

    • You may notice there are two versions of the FeedBack.exe file! While the normal FeedBack.exe should run normally on most computers, TurkeyMan has developed a version that runs in OpenGL to help keep dB compatible on as many computers as possible. If the FeedBack display seems distorted to you when you boot it up, try using the OpenGL version instead. So go ahead and start the program!



  • Starting FeedBack for the First Time
    • Pick a language!
      • Use the arrow keys and Enter to select your language. FeedBack does not support mouse!


    • Help Menu
      • Read it! This will save you a lot of confusion, though I am going to go over all of the necessary keys during this tutorial. After you’ve read it, hit Escape to close the menu. It can be brought back up at any time by pressing “H.”



      • After you close the Help Menu, your display should look something like this:



      • Check out the sweet smiley fretboard - it’s a real fan favorite! You can see that FeedBack has loaded the default chart: in this case it’s one of TurkeyMan’s charts, “Man Made God” by In Flames. Note that it has no audio file included with it (it’s copyrighted!), so it’s just the notes. Next time you run dB it will load the last chart you edited. Feel free to either keep TurkeyMan’s charts and study them, or delete them if you don’t want ‘em hanging around.



  • Starting Audacity for the First Time
    • When you first start up, Audacity will look like this:



    • You can Import any music file you like by either going to File > Open, or you can simply drag and drop the file into the gray space in the middle. Once you’ve imported a song, it will look similar to this:



    • The Cursor and Magnifying Glass tools are the only tools we’ll need in this tutorial, and you can select them in the top left. Audacity’s interface is very simple and user-friendly; you shouldn’t have any trouble understanding how to navigate and listen to your song.



  • Starting Mixmeister BPM Analyzer for the First Time
    • This program is remarkably simple and it requires no real introduction, as it has only one purpose. We’ll go over this program later in the tutorial, but here’s what it looks like:







FeedBack: The Basics
Time to start on your first chart, and the first thing you need to do is pick a song to chart! Since this tutorial is assuming this is your first time using dB, I recommend you don’t try anything too complex. In this guide, I will be creating “It’s a Mystery” by Stratovarius for your viewing pleasure.

  • File Formats: .chart, .ogg, and .mp3
    • Feedback creates customs in the form of .chart files. These can be used like .mid files in GHex, and are supported by a majority of custom programs available on ScoreHero today. If for some reason you need to convert a .chart to a .mid, you can use Leff’s Chart2Mid2Chart converter.

    • FeedBack supports both .chart and .mid files. If you download a .mid file, place it and its corresponding music file in the Songs folder and load it in dB. When you hit “S” to save, It will automatically be converted into a .chart file, which dB will create in the Songs folder alongside your .mid. Note that if you change anything in the chart and save it, only the .chart file will be updated, not the .mid file!

    • The current version of dB supports both .ogg and .mp3 music files, though because .mp3 is such an erratic format it is near impossible to guarantee perfect compatibility in dB. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended to use .ogg format files when charting with dB. Because your music library is most likely in .mp3, I’m going to show you how to convert your .mp3 into .ogg using Audacity.



  • Audacity
    • First things first: import your mp3 into Audacity if you haven’t already. You can go to File > Open and browse to your file, or simply drag and drop the file into Audacity directly.

    • Adding a little bit of silence to the beginning of your chart gives players a chance to get ready to play and makes your chart feel more professional. 2 seconds’ worth (a 2000 offset in Guitar Hero) is a popular choice, and it’s easy to do:
      • After importing your .mp3, go to Generate > Silence.
      • Change the default “30.000” to “2.000” or however much you choose. The tutorial will proceed assuming you used 2, but it makes little difference.
      • Click “Generate Silence”
      • A tip: this process will add the silence wherever your cursor tool was in Audacity, so if you haven’t clicked anywhere in the song yet, it should default to adding the silence in the beginning of the song. If you accidentally added it somewhere else, just hit Edit > Undo, click at the very beginning of your track, and try it again. You can also use the left and right arrow keys to move the cursor, so if you’re not sure if your cursor is at the very beginning, just hit left a few time to make sure.


    • Go to File > Export as OGG Vorbis. Do NOT use “Export Selection as Ogg Vorbis” as that will export only what you have highlighted in the song! Audacity will now take some time to convert and export your music to wherever you specified.

    • Now, put the newly-created .ogg file into your FeedBack/Songs subfolder. Keep the .mp3 elsewhere for later use in Mixmeister and other tools.



  • Entering Basic Chart Information in FeedBack
    • Head back into FeedBack and hit Escape to bring up the Main Menu. Select New Chart and select the .ogg you just put in the Songs folder. A new menu will pop up!



    • The only important bits are Songs Name, Artist Name, Charter Name, and Audio. Hit enter and fill out Song, Artist, and Charter (that’s you!). The Audio option is important not because you have to change it - it should display the name of the .ogg you selected - but because that is the field you change if you ever want to change the audio in any chart you are editing. Don’t forget it!

    • Now, hit Escape when you’re done filling out all those information fields. You’ll be at the basic FeedBack fretboard. Daunting!




  • Basic Keys: FeedBack Navigation
    Here I’m going to go over some basic keys you’ll be using constantly FeedBack. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything all just yet, I’ll be using all of these as I show you the chart creation process later in the tutorial. Just read through this for a basic understanding of the most common keys. Remember! FeedBack does not support mouse! This is an all-keyboard program.
    • Escape: You’ve used this before! It brings up the Main Menu.
    • Tab: Brings up the Quick Menu. I haven’t discussed anything on here yet, but this menu contains very little that does not have a keyboard command shortcut - but it’s here in case you forget them!
    • S: Save! Use this one often. It’ll even make a nice little jingle every time you hit it.
    • End: This will take you to the very beginning of your chart.
    • Home: This will take you to the very end of your chart - the very last note you’ve placed.
    • Page Up: Moves forward one measure.
    • Page Down: Moves back one measure.
    • - (dash) and = (equals): The minus and plus keys. These are used to control BPM (short for Beats Per Minute, essentially how fast the chart is). When you change BPM, you will see it displayed on the right of the fretboard.
    • Shift, Ctrl, and Alt: Can be used in conjunction with - and = to change BPM in specific amounts:
    • - : Decrease BPM by 1
    • Alt and - : Decrease BPM by 10
    • Shift and - : Decrease BPM by one tenth (0.1)
    • Ctrl and - : Decrease BPM by one hundredth (0.01)
    • Shift and Ctrl and - : Decrease BPM by one thousandth (0.001)
      • Note that Shift, Ctrl, and Alt can be used to make fine adjustments not only in BPM, but offsets and anchors as well.



  • Basic Keys: Note Placement and Playback
    These are keys you’ll be using to actually place, move, and alter notes.
    • 1-5 keys: These correspond to the frets! 1 is Green and 5 is Orange.
    • Sustains: To make long notes (“sustains”), hold down the fret button and use the up and down arrow keys.
    • Space: Starts and stops playback.
    • Up and down arrows: Use these to navigate through the song. Up and down the fretboard!
    • Left and right arrow keys: Change what is displayed as “Step” in the upper left and “Quantize” in the Help Menu. Right will allow you to move in smaller increments and left will allow you to move in larger increments. Absolutely necessary for correctly charted songs!
    • Forward slash ( / ) : Slows down playback. Press repeatedly for 1.00, 0.85, 0.75, and 0.50 speed playback.
    • N: Enables “claps,” which will clap every time a note passes the hit box during playback. Useful for syncing notes and even more useful when used in conjunction with slowed-down playback.
    • M: Enables the metronome. You should know what metronomes do!
    • V: Brings up the volume menu.




FeedBack: Preparing Your Chart
OK, that’s enough FeedBack information for us to get started! We’ll go over more advanced features in dB later in the tutorial.

  • The First Note
    • The first thing you’ll need to do is place your first note - finally! So, hit space and place a note near where the first guitar sound is. You can’t place notes while playing, so pause playback before you try to place it! In most songs, the first sound is the guitar, so it should be about 2 seconds in (you added silence, remember?). Don’t forget you can use the left and right arrow keys to make your movements more precise! And don’t worry about being too perfect in the placement just yet, because we’re about to make it perfect.
      • Is the program too loud? You can adjust volume settings for a variety of things in the Volume Menu by hitting “V.”


    • These next few steps are a bit more complex, so read carefully! Take a look at the top-left corner of your dB window. It displays the time, along with the start time and step. Please distinguish between the “offset” and “start” times: the Start time is the amount of time between the actual beginning of the chart and the point where you tell FeedBack to start the chart in this program (not when it starts in game). This point is the point where we’re going to place the first note. The Offset field is telling you how far your cursor is away from the start point of the chart in the program.

    • Take a note of the time your note is at. Write it down if you need to.



    • Now, open up Audacity and open up your music file again. Make sure you’re using the .ogg that you added silence to, or your times will all be wrong! Zoom in a few times on the time you just noted (in the picture I have zoomed in quite a bit!). What you’re seeing here is a waveform, which is essentially a line that measures the intensity of the sound at that exact moment. See how in my file there’s a big jump in that line at 7.668 seconds (the time is displayed in the bottom-left corner)? That’s not too far off from the 7.750 seconds I had originally guessed at, and what you’re seeing is actually that first guitar note’s exact time. Zoom in as much as you need to until you are comfortable that you can click on the exact time the note takes place (preferably accurate to the thousandth of a second, the most accurate dB supports). Now we’re going to tell FeedBack to start the chart at exactly that time!



    • FeedBack has a built-in offset creation feature: you tell it where the first note is, and it will do the rest of the work in the empty chart before that point. So, let’s put in the exact time you found.
      • Place your FeedBack focus at the very start (to do this quickly you can press End!).
      • You can see the “offset” displayed in the top-left as the “Start” time. I’m going to put in my time, which is 7.668.
      • Use the [ and ] keys to change the offset to the exact time you just found in Audacity. Remember to use Shift and Ctrl to create fine adjustments (just like BPM).

    • Now when I hit Space to play, it should start at the exact moment that first guitar note is played in the song.
      • Don’t forget to get rid of the note you used to guess the time you just found! It’s useless now, because the first note of the song is now right at the beginning of the chart.

    • Note how the Start time now displays the time you just put this first note at. This is because I’ve told FeedBack to start the chart at 7.668 seconds in the program, though there is still more chart that will show up in-game (this is a good thing, and the reason we added the silence to the beginning of the song).

    • If you want to start playback from the actual beginning of the song instead of the point you just defined, hit Shift-Space instead of just Space!


  • Finding average BPM
    • Now that we have our starting point, the next thing we have to do is find the average BPM throughout our song. Later, when we’re charting more accurately, we can make fine adjustments to ensure the sync is perfect, but for now we just want a good estimate so our song sounds about right before we perfect it.

    • There are a number of ways to find the average BPM for a song, and one of the most popular suggestions on ScoreHero is to use Mixmeister BPM Analyzer. There are two downsides to this software: First, it only supports .mp3 (so I hope you kept it like I told you to). Second, it calculates the average BPM through the entire song. So this means if your song has a fast BPM then settles down into a lullaby halfway through, the BPM Mixmeister gives you will not be correct. For most songs, however, it does the trick just fine.

    • To use this program, simply drag your .mp3 into that black void there and wait for it to calculate.



    • If you’ve got a song that has multiple sections with very different BPMs, you can try splicing out sections of the song using Audacity, then importing those small sections into Mixmeister individually.

    • So, let’s put this into FeedBack and see if it sounds right! Mixmeister gives me an average BPM of 95.13. Using the - and = BPM adjustment keys (along with Shift and Ctrl to make fine adjustments), I’ve rounded off and set 95.15 as my BPM starting at the first note. Now, let’s check to see if this sounds right. Hit “M” to enable the metronome, and then hit Space to play the song. Does it sound right? While it doesn’t have to be perfect, if it doesn’t sound in sync with the drums and guitar in the song that’s a pretty good indication you’ve got the wrong BPM. If you can’t get Mixmeister to help you find a close BPM, try experimenting manually. Change the BPM by 10s, then narrow it down to plus or minus a couple BPM. See if you can get close by trial and error. Remember: this initial BPM doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be close!

    • Most songs range in BPM from 80-200. So if you’ve got a relatively upbeat song and Mixmeister is telling you the BPM is 70, you may want to be a little skeptical. But this might not be completely wrong! Try doubling (or, if it gives you a ridiculously high number like 280, try halving) the BPM to 140. Because Mixmeister is just a mindless program, it’s impossible to be correct all the time!

    • There is one thing to keep in mind when doubling or halving BPM: Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs are decided based on how close/far notes are from each other. So if you’ve got a really slow song but don’t want every note to be a HOPO, try doubling the BPM. If you’ve got a really fast song but don’t want to have to strum every note, try halving the BPM. This preference is really up to the chart author, but remember you want to find whatever will make the chart the most fun!

    • Note: FeedBack does not create or decide HOPOs! The Guitar Hero engine decides which notes are HOPOs when you put the chart into the game! dB does, however, give a visual representation of what should be a HOPO.




Syncing Your Note Chart and Anchors
Each note chart author as his or her own preferred method of creating a chart. Many of these steps can be done in any order, and a few can even be skipped at the expense of accuracy. However, the most common process for chart creation is to sync a note chart first before placing all of the notes. This way, you can avoid placing notes in incorrect places if your song is slightly offsync at the time. So, let’s sync our chart! To do this, we’re going to go over some new keyboard shortcuts and learn about some new functions in Feedback (like before, this is an overview and I will explain exactly how to use them as we go). We will also discuss Anchors - a syncing feature that, while seemingly complicated at first, is incredibly powerful and quickly becomes second nature.

  • Some More Important FeedBack Keys
    • Shift-Up: Using the Shift plus the Up and Down arrow keys allows you to highlight and select a section of notes. This is useful when trying to copy/paste, move notes, and delete notes.
    • Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V: FeedBack supports cut, copy and paste just like a word processor. Be careful, though - there’s no Undo!
    • Ctrl-Arrow keys: After you’ve selected some notes using Shift-Up and down, you can move them in bulk by using Ctrl and the arrow keys. Up and down will move them, and left and right will shift them to lower or higher notes. If you’ve got no notes highlighted, it will move every note after the point your cursor is at. Be careful when using this - and remember FeedBack has no Undo feature, so save often!
    • Delete: You can use the Delete key (not backspace) to remove just about anything: notes, specials, events, anchors, BPM changes, etc. If there’s more than one item to remove, a small box will pop up asking you which you want to delete.



  • Basic Keys: Specials and Sections
    • R: Used to place Section names. Not only are these useful for navigating a song, but they are also mandatory for Section Stats at the end of songs and Practice Mode.
    • E: Used to place Events, such as lighting control and demarcations of beginnings of choruses, solos, and verses.
    • W: Used to place Track Events, such as some animations.
    • 6 and 7: Used to place Face-Off sections. 6 is red (Player 1) and 7 is yellow (Player 2). To use this you hold the key and use the up/down arrows to select notes.
    • 8: Used to place Star Power. To use this you hold the 8 key and use the up/down arrow keys to select a series of notes.



  • Anchors! What are they?
    • OK, this is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp in FeedBack (I know it was for me). So once you’ve mastered these, rest assured you shouldn’t have to tackle anything more complicated (maybe). Very simply, an Anchor is a feature that attaches a specific point in a chart to a specific point in time.

    • For example: you’ve got 5 notes in a row and you know note 5 is supposed to be at exactly 02:03.500 (you know this time is correct because you can check in Audacity like we did with the first note). Instead of changing BPM by trial and error until note 5 lines up exactly at that time, you instead can use an Anchor to “tie” the position note 5 is to exactly 02:03.500. You go to note 5, hit the anchor key, and enter the exact time it is supposed to be at. And you’re done! FeedBack does all the rest of the work!

    • A few more details: You can enter as many anchors as you like in a song. FeedBack will automatically calculate the BPM between each anchor. So if the song you’re charting is a very constant BPM, you shouldn’t need many anchors. Personally, I put anchors every 20 seconds or so in a song (varying depending on the song), and I always place one at the beginning of new sections of a song. Even in songs that have constant BPMs, they can drift a little, so make sure you keep it timed correctly with anchors every so often. On the flip side, too many anchors (such as anchors every other note) can be detrimental and make your chart frustrating to play, as it forces the player to adapt to subtle new rhythms very quickly and often. A healthy medium between accuracy and smooth, hopefully unnoticeable BPM changes is what you’re looking for.



  • Anchors! Let’s do it!
    • Alright! Let’s do it! You’ve got your average BPM for the song plugged in by now, so your chart should be somewhat close for the most part. Pick out a point in the song within the first 30 seconds or so that you want to anchor - it doesn’t matter exactly what time, and you can always add or remove more anchors later. The easiest points to anchor are ones where the guitar changes, or there’s a big crash of drums, or a chorus begins - those sorts of loud and sudden things. These are all easy to find in the waveform using Audacity. For example, in my chart I have chosen a point where the guitar changes stops the slow gallops and there’s a cymbal crash. Very easy to hear! In my chart, it is at the beginning of a measure and at about 16.5 seconds in. So now I will hunt for this note in Audacity.



    • Here it is! The exact time is 16.483 seconds, very close to what I had originally guessed. So, to place an anchor I press the “A” key. An anchor will appear at the time the note appears at now, which is just shy of 16.5 seconds. Pressing “A” on a pre-existing anchor will remove the anchor, but it will keep the BPM change (though now the BPM is free to be changed as usual).



    • Now, I’m going to change this time to the exact time I found using Audacity (which was 16.483). To do so I will use the [ and ] keys to alter the anchor’s time. Like BPM, you can use Shift and Ctrl to make fine adjustments with the time.



    • And that anchor is done! Be sure to go back and listen to it at normal speed and at half speed playback (with Claps on) to make sure it’s in the right place. It’s an easy mistake to make to accidentally pick the wrong “jump” in Audacity and enter a time that corresponds to a different sound in the song. So always check afterwards to be sure!

    • Because I know that the BPM between the beginning of the song and this point is constant (and 15 seconds is a short time for a BPM to wander too much), I can be fairly confident all the notes I place in between these anchors will be at the correct time. Remember that this won’t always be the case, so be careful you don’t assume an anchor will automatically fix your sync! Anchors are a tool to help you, not a magic gift from TurkeyMan that automatically syncs your chart.

    • Note how the BPM at the very beginning of the song is automatically adjusted after we made the change to the second anchor’s time:



    • Also notice that the BPM at the point of the new anchor we just made is the original “average” BPM I put in at the beginning (in my chart it was 95.15). dB automatically carries over this BPM to the next new anchor you create, and only automatically calculates BPM for anchors that have another anchor after it (the very first point in the chart is treated as an anchor). If you compare this BPM to the exact BPM FeedBack calculated for me, my “average” guess is just a tad slower. I’m going to change the BPM on the new anchor point I just created to match the exact BPM FeedBack calculated for me, because I am assuming this BPM is closer to the actual average than Mixmeister’s original guess was. This minute change in BPM won’t make much of a difference when listening to the song, but it will make finding exact note times in Audacity easier because it narrows the search down to a much more accurate timeframe.

    • An important point about anchors and BPM changes! You cannot manually change a BPM like normal at a point between two anchors. If point X is between two anchors in a song, you will not be able to use - and = to change the BPM. Instead, you must place an anchor at point X and change the time, thus adjusting the BPMs as well (FeedBack will be automatically changing them).



  • Anchors! Now what?
    • Fair warning: this next step is a tedious one! However, it is an essential step to a properly synced song. You are going to repeat this anchoring process until the end of the song, adding anchors every 5 seconds, or every 30 seconds, or every verse or chorus change, or however you decide to regulate your placement of anchors. In a 5-minute song, you may end up with just 5 anchors, and that’s OK as long as you’re confident it’s as accurate as you can possibly make it. You may end up with 30 anchors (which sounds like a lot, but it’s only 1 anchor every 10 seconds), and that’s OK too.

    • I know, I know. It’s time-consuming and boring. But the time you put into making this chart properly synced now will pay off not only when you go back to place the rest of the notes, but also when other players enjoy your chart. Nobody like having to deal with poor sync in someone else’s chart! Take the time to do it right the first time.

    • Here’s a time-saving tip: when trying to guess a close time in FeedBack before going into Audacity to find an exact time, use FeedBack’s 0.5 playback speed and the clap feature. Place a note on the bar you want it to end up on, then anchor it. Listen to the clap in relation to where the guitar note is in the song. If the clap is too early, add a little bit of time to the anchor; if the guitar note starts before the clap, make the anchor a little earlier. Once you’ve got it as close as you can just by listening to it, it’s time to go into Audacity to find the exact time. Since you spent that little extra time finding what you think is very close to the time of the note, you shouldn’t have to look far in Audacity to find the exact time.




FeedBack: Charting Your Song
Alright, our song is anchored and all synced up, and we’re ready to get into the real meat and potatoes of this business: charting the song! You’ve got all the strange stuff learned, the hard parts (mostly) covered, and the tedious bits over with. Congratulations! But don’t rest on your laurels just yet, because properly charting a song is not a cakewalk. From this point on you have the skills and knowledge to chart out a basic song with no bells and whistles (such as sections, difficulties other than Expert, and Star Power). If you’re raring to get started on your own already, feel free to tear into your new chart. However, there’s still a lot of information, advice, and shortcuts to cover in the vast expanse that is FeedBack. So, if you want to make the best chart you can, learn all your options, and pick up a few more tricks (and you still have the patience to keep reading), let’s dive back in.

  • Methods For Note Placement
    There’s two ways to cover this step, and it’s entirely up to you which way to go; the end result will be the same.

    • The first option (a) is to chart the song completely as you go, taking the time to listen to pitch and speed, deciding how solos should look and feel, and generally creating the song on the fly. This option is faster than the following option (b), but generally takes more skill, concentration, and experience to produce an accurate chart.

    • The second option (b) is to create “dummy notes” for the entire song in one pass, then go through again and decide what kind of notes they should be. Place a note at each place you know there’s a note in the song, but don’t worry about the color of the note yet. You are essentially creating the bare-bones version of the chart; one that should sound correct were you to listen to it with claps on but your eyes closed. This second option takes more time than (a), but you may find it easier to concentrate on one thing at a time rather than everything at once.

    • Because the second option breaks this process up into simpler steps and is thus easier to explain and discuss (and because it’s my personal choice in charting methods), this tutorial will follow the (b) method of charting a song.



  • Creating a “Bare Bones” Chart
    • As mentioned before, the idea here is to place a note - at this point, any note - where you know there is a note in the song. Don’t worry about what color the note is or HOPOs or anything like that, but do worry about note timing and placement. Your goal here is to get each note exactly where it should be so all you have to worry about next time is what color the note is. Therefore, most of your time will probably be spent here in 0.5 playback speed with claps on. If you can’t quite get a note in the right place, don’t be afraid to consult Audacity for an exact time and/or add another anchor in (but be careful you don’t screw up timing of other notes by shifting anchors and BPM too much).

    • Alternatively, there’s a lovely new feature dB that was recently added: custom quantization intervals. While it sounds straight out of Star Trek, it’s actually an option that allows you to specify what intervals you want your cursor to move in. Instead of being stuck in between 1/24ths and 1/32nds, maybe a 1/28th will do the trick. To use these, hit the “Q” button to bring up an input box where you can specify whatever whole number your heart desires (i.e., “28” will give you 1/28th notes). To return to normal quantization intervals, simply hit the left or right arrow as you would to normally change them. A word of warning, however: do not abuse custom intervals! A vast majority of songs will never need custom intervals, and to use them when they are not called for can make a chart look ugly and play poorly. Most of the time, the correct solution is a simple change in BPM or an extra anchor to help a wayward note. Use custom intervals only when necessary!


  • Section Names
    • Just about every song is split into different parts, whether they are verse and chorus, new guitar riffs, a mad-crazy tambourine breakdown, etc. I mentioned before that section names are useful, and I was not lying to you! Hit “R” to place a section name, which are used to split the song up into different, well, sections. These are the sections you see at the end of songs under “Detailed Stats” and the sections you select when in Practice Mode. Without them your song has no stats and crashes in Practice Mode! We don’t want that, do we? Answer: No.
      • In a 5-minute song, you will probably end up with somewhere between 8-15 sections.

    • When naming sections, don’t use any strange characters - the Guitar Hero engine doesn’t support them! Exclamation points, question marks, and dashes are OK. However, if there’s a space in your section name, you must use an underscore instead. For example, your section called “Friggin Awesome Solo” must be entered as “Friggin_Awesome_Solo”

    • If you’re using the Guitar Hero 2 engine, there are certain section names you can use to avoid the underscores I just described in the above bullet. When the game was being developed, the programmers included certain names that the engine interprets and displays as regular text (without underscores). For example, one of these is “gtr_riff_1” which will show up in-game as “Gtr Riff 1.” You can see a list of these specific section names in the sections.txt file in your FeedBack folder. Note that this is completely optional!

    • Don’t forget to put a section at the very beginning of your song so the entire song is available in Practice and shows up correctly in More Stats!

    • There are a couple different ways to travel quickly through charts in FeedBack. The first is easy now that you’ve section names!
      • The first is jumping to sections (you just created these!). Use Alt-Up or Down arrow keys to jump to different sections.

      • Alternatively, you can hit Ctrl-G to bring up a menu that allows you to jump to any specified time (in seconds or milliseconds), section name, or offset (in beats). For example, if I wanted to jump to the section called “Yellow_Snake” I could just bring up this menu and type “Yellow_Snake.” Or, if I wanted to just go to exactly 3 minutes and 25 seconds, I could type “205s” (3:25 is 205 seconds). dB will jump to the beat closest to 3:25.



  • Events
    • These are commonly used to control lighting, and are also used to place “verse” “chorus” and “solo” sections, which can vary lighting and animations.

    • There are a couple Events that you absolutely must include in your chart! These are the “music_start” and “end” events. See below for details.

    • Hit “E” to bring up the Event menu. When you place an Event it will show up on the left of the fretboard in white text. Now, let’s go over some of the most common events.
      • Remember: Don’t include quotes or brackets in the events!

    • You can either type in the event you want manually and hit Enter to place it, or you can type in the first few letters and use the Up/Down arrows to select the event you want to use. Hit “Tab” and dB will automatically complete the string for you. Hit Enter to place it.

    • You only need to place Events once! They apply to all difficulties and instruments.

    • “verse” “chorus” and “solo” events are very common. Obviously, a “verse” event goes at the beginning of a verse, “chorus” at the beginning of a chorus, and “solo” when a solo begins. However, you don’t need to place a new “verse” event for each new verse if there are a few regular verses in a row. Just use one to tell the game where the change is occurring the first time; you won’t need another event until a chorus or solo begins. These events slightly change animations and lighting effects based on what part of the song it is: for example, a “lighting_strobe” cue may look different during a verse than it does during a chorus or solo). Lighting events are detailed a bit right here.

    • “music_start” and “end” events are necessary for a proper chart. Some programs like GHex add the “end” event automatically if it is not already present, but why not place it exactly where you want it - it’s easy! The “music_start” tells the GH2 engine to shut up and stop making crowd noises (the music is starting). The “end” event tells the engine where the chart is supposed to stop. The “end” event can be anywhere in the song as long as it is within the song length! If the chart is longer than the music, it can cause issues. However, you can end a chart earlier than the music ends simply by placing the “end” event wherever you want the chart to end. Useful for songs that have 4-minute piano solos at the end, no matter how awesome they may be (I’m looking at you, Layla!).

    • “music_start” must be the first event and “end” must be the last event!

    • Lighting events can make your chart look more professional if they’re done right. Lighting events can change venue color, create strobe light effects, and even black out the stage. You can see a list of these events by bringing up the Event Menu and scrolling through it - they all start with “lighting_.” Remember to place a “music_start” event and a “verse” “chorus” or “solo” event in the chart before you place a lighting event!

    • FeedBack does not display lighting events in real time in the program! You’ll have to either use your imagination or play the chart in the game itself to see.



  • Track Events
    • These are commonly used to control some animations, the most useful of which are “idle” and “play.”

    • Hit “W” to place a Track Event. These show up on the left of the track like Events, but are in light blue text.

    • You only need to place Track Events once! Unlike Events, they will only show up on the difficulty you place them on. However, they actually do apply to all difficulties and instruments, so do not stack them or you’ll be sorry!

    • “idle” and “play” track events are common and easy, and are used to dictate when the guitarist on-screen is playing. If there’s a break in your song in which there’s no guitar playing, place an “idle” track event at the beginning of the guitar silence. When the guitar starts again, put a “play” track event in.

    • You can place a “play” track event at the very beginning of the song.



  • Checkpoint: Video Example of My “Bare Bones” Chart by This Point
    • I’ve recorded a video of my “bare bones” in FeedBack for you to take a look if you like. I have put down all my dummy notes, placed my “music_start” and “end” events, and created the sections I want to be in the final version. I don’t have any lighting events or animations in my chart, so you won’t see any of those.

    • You can view it here on YouTube.



  • Finalizing Notes
    • Now you’ve got all the notes where they should be, and you’ve divided your song up into proper sections. It’s finally time to go back and change all these “dummy” notes into the actual notes you’ll be playing in-game!

    • Start at the beginning of the song, and take your time deciding these notes. If you’re unsure about some notes, slow playback down to 0.75 or even 0.50. The sound will become distorted, but it may be easier for you to distinguish what sort of pattern these notes are making. Take into account what sort of HOPO patterns you want to utilize in your chart. Decide what kinds of chords you want to chart: in Guitar Hero 1 and 2, chords are mostly 2-notes and 3-notes are used only for special emphasis; in Guitar Hero 3, 3-note chords are used much more liberally (some don’t appreciate this change, and some like it). 4-note and 5-note chords are generally frowned upon. It’s up to you!

    • Use a guitar tab! There are plenty of them available for free online, and it may make your charting experience much easier and more accurate. There’s nothing wrong with charting by ear, but using a tab generally ensures a more constant and accurate chart.
      • Remember that tabs are not always entirely accurate! If a tab says something you absolutely think is wrong, don’t trust it blindly.

      • TabIt is a free tabbing program often recommended on ScoreHero for charters who don’t like to use normal text tabs. It uses a special TabIt format, so before you download it make sure you can find TabIt files for the song you’re looking for!

      • If you’re willing to put down some money, Guitar Pro is probably your best bet. This is a very powerful and useful program, but if you’re only going to be using it for Guitar Hero tabs then I’d recommend something free or just sticking to text tabs.

      • If you don’t play guitar and don’t know how to read guitar tabs... Learn! It only took me about 2 hours from the point that I looked at my first guitar tab to the point where I could easily use it to decide what a note or chord should be in Guitar Hero. It’s a time investment that’s well worth it if you plan to continue charting songs.


    • If you’re going to chart by ear, the Guide to Relative Pitch is a good resource and starting point.



  • Face-Off Sections
    • Use the “6” and “7” keys to place Face-Off sections for use in Face-Off Mode. You must hold down the key and use the Up/Down arrow keys to select a series of notes. Player 1 sections are shown as a red line on the right of the fretboard, and Player 2 sections are yellow.

    • To include a note, you must ensure the line goes past the note. Note how in the following picture, the Player 1 (red) section extends past note A. This means note A will be a Player 1 note. However, it stops at the point where note B lies. Note B will not be a Player 1 note; it will be a Player 2 note because the Player 2 (yellow) line extends past the note.




  • Star Power
    • Star Power is placed exactly like Co-op sections are placed, but with a different key. Hold the “8” key and select a series of notes you want to contain the raw, unfiltered energy of the stars. Star Power is designated as a blue line that appears to the left of the track.
      Like Face-Off sections, to include a note as Star Power the line must extend past the note.

    • How much Star Power you put into your song and where you put it is up to you. For really good advice, look no further than the official Guitar Hero charts! You can find these available on ScoreHero. To give you a rough idea, in a 5-minute, average difficulty song, 6 or 8 Star Power segments is reasonable.



  • Hey!
    • That’s the last step. Your single player, Expert difficulty custom chart should now be ready to play! Nice work. Don’t forget to save.

    • Wait a second! There’s still a lot more work you can do to make this a seriously good chart! It needs Hard, Medium, and Easy difficulties. It could also use a Lead Guitar and Rhythm/Bass track for Cooperative Mode! Of course, those would need all difficulties too.

    • Alright, alright, it’s true. A lot of the charts on ScoreHero don’t contain the lower difficulties or cooperative sections, and there’s no rule that states you’ve got to have them. On the other hand, there are standards (such as those set by CustomHero) that dictate truly exceptional charts need to contain these things! Now, there’s nothing wrong with releasing this chart now and coming back to finish it later, but remember a lot of players really appreciate when charters put the extra time into a chart to create all difficulties and Coop tracks. Since you’re still here, let’s get down to it and I’ll show you how to get started.




FeedBack: Charting Other Difficulties and Instruments
So your chart is ready to be released (or has already been distributed on ScoreHero), but you want it to be complete and closer to professional quality. Excellent! In the following steps I’m going to show you how to chart the lower difficulties, as well as the lead guitar and rhythm/bass parts played in Cooperative Mode.

  • Charting Easy, Medium, and Hard
    • To change difficulty tracks, hold Shift and hit F1 - F4. F1 corresponds to Easy, F2 to Medium, F3 to Hard, and F4 to Expert.

    • I’m sure everyone here has played lower difficulties before, so everyone should know the major differences between the difficulties. Charts are simplified, HOPOs become less frequent, Medium doesn’t contain orange notes, Easy doesn’t contain blue or orange notes, etc. You should check out a very well-done guide on how each difficulty changes specifically and how hard they should be here.

    • Many charters, when charting a new difficulty, will copy/paste the higher track and “dumb it down.” For example, when charting a Medium track, copying and pasting your Hard track into Medium and working from there to simplify it is not a bad idea!



  • Simultaneously Viewing Multiple Chart Sections
    • dB has integrated an incredibly useful feature that allows you to view more than one track at once without having multiple instances of dB open. This is called a “Reference Track.” To display it, hit Tab to bring up the Quick Menu and select “Show Reference Track.” Select between Guitar, Coop-Guitar, and Coop-Bass. FeedBack will split down the middle, showing you two windows of the same track you were already on. Change the difficulty or track like you would normally.



    • Switch between the two sides of the window by pressing the tilde key, which is located to the left of the “1” on US keyboards. It’s a squiggly line.

    • Feel free to stretch the FeedBack window size out horizontally if it makes things easier for you to see!

    • This feature is useful when charting a lower difficulty. For example, when charting Hard, bring up your Expert track as a reference track! When charting Easy, bring up Medium or Hard (or even Expert) as a reference to remind you what notes are actually being played.



  • Copying Track Data
    • To help out poor, lazy charters, dB has integrated a feature that allows notes, specials, and events to be copied from one track to another. For example, you’ve placed all your Star Power on Expert difficulty and want to copy it to your 3 lower difficulties. Instead of going through each difficulty manually, you can use this option to let dB do the work for you.

    • To use this, hit Tab to bring up the Quick Menu. Select “Copy Track Data.” This will take the data from the track you are currently on and copy it to the track you specify in the “Target Track” field. Note that you can choose to copy notes, specials, and events separately!

    • Hit “Copy” once you’ve selected your target track. You’ll have to do this for each track and difficulty you want to copy to, but it’s faster than doing it manually!

    • Beware! Do not copy star power or specials to a track that already has them! For example, if your Hard track already has star power, don’t copy your star power from Expert to Hard again! The SP will overlap, causing major problems when you try to import the chart or play it. This applies to face-off sections as well as star power.

    • When using this tool, especially when copying Star Power, make sure you go through each track and check that it makes sense for that difficulty. For example, you may find a quick, difficult lick on Expert that you added Star Power to is now only one or two notes on Easy! We can’t give it to them that easily, now can we? Answer: No (again).



  • Charting Coop Lead Guitar Sections
    • To change instruments, hit F1 - F8. Currently, the only useful keys for use in Guitar Hero 1-3 are F1, F2, and F3. F1 corresponds to Guitar (used in regular single player). F2 corresponds to Coop Lead Guitar, used in Cooperative Mode.

    • Coop Lead Guitar is different from single player Guitar in subtle ways. In single player, it’s not uncommon to chart out rhythm guitar or backup guitars when the lead guitar is not present. In Coop Lead, you are charting just the lead guitar, because the Player 2 in Coop will be playing the secondary guitars. So you may find that your Coop Lead track differs very slightly (or not at all) from your single player Guitar track, or you may find that you’re charting our sections entirely differently than in single player (perhaps some sections of your song will have no Lead at all!). It varies from song to song.

    • Don’t forget to chart Hard, Medium, and Easy for Coop Lead! They all need Star Power, too!



  • Charting Coop Rhythm/Bass Sections
    • To change instruments, hit F1 - F8. Currently, the only useful keys for use in Guitar Hero 1-3 are F1, F2, and F3. F3 corresponds to Coop Rhythm/Bass, also used in Cooperative Mode.

    • To choose between creating a Rhythm or Bass track, hit Escape and select Chart Settings. Change the “Player 2 Type” to either Rhythm or Bass.

    • Charting Rhythm/Bass is the same as charting Coop Lead Guitar, in that you are charting one very specific instrument. Because it is much more difficult to chart a secondary guitar than a lead guitar, it’s recommended you use tabs whenever possible.

    • Don’t forget to chart Hard, Medium, and Easy for Coop Rhythm/Bass! They all need Star Power, too!



  • Hey!
    • That’s it! That’s all the difficulties and Coop Mode all finished! Good job for sticking with it all the way through; it’s a lot of work and a lot of time.




You Are Winner!
  • You’ve charted all difficulties for single player, Face-Off mode is ready to go, and both players in Cooperative Mode now have their tracks and difficulties ready to play in-game. You’ve added sections to your song for Practice Mode and More Stats, given players the opportunity to save themselves with Star Power, and maybe even added in some cool animations and lighting shows. Sweet! You’re done!

  • If this is your first time creating a chart, submitting it to ScoreHero is easy! Click on the “Custom Songs” tab at the top of the navigation bar on the home page (make sure you’re logged in!). Next, click “Manage Your Customs” and “Add New Song.” From there all you have to do is fill out a few information fields and you’re done.
    • You have to upload your chart somewhere to the internet before submitting it to ScoreHero. MediaFire is a fast, reliable choice (better than SaveFile).

    • After you submit your chart, your new custom song thread will automatically be created in the Custom Song subforum! It’s all yours now, so add in some details about your song so people can find it and play it easily. Things like song name, artist, album, mp3 length, and offset all help a lot.


  • Live and let rock!

_________________

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


Last edited by inimitable on Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:27 pm; edited 11 times in total
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inimitable  
 




Joined: 16 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using FeedBack to Create Charts for Rock Band and Rock Band 2

Last update: 04-05-2010


---


Table of Contents

Introduction

Part A: What You Should Have Before We Begin

Part B-1: Adding Drums to an Existing Guitar Chart
Part B-2: Creating a Drum Chart From Scratch

Part C: Last Minute Preparation

Part D: Converting Your Chart and Editing Your Mid File

Closing


---


Intro

Welcome... again! This Sub-Guide Mini-Guide Guide-Addemdum ++ Limited 2010 Super Edition is designed assuming you've gone through the FeedBack tutorial in the first post and know your stuff. I'll take you through the steps you need to create a custom chart for RB games - but note that this is not a full-fledged guide, and because there's already a few great resources available I will not go in-depth into RB-specific events, mid format requirements, etc. Instead, I'll point you in the right direction (elsewhere).

What this will cover is RB drum tracks in FeedBack, and how the chart creation process will differ from what is described in the full guide above when creating RB charts instead of GH charts. Essentially, it will cover everything you can do in FeedBack to create/prepare your RB chart before you take it into a midi editor like Reaper or Anvil.

On the bright side, you won't need to download or learn any more programs for the extent of this guide.


---


PART A: What You Should Have Before We Begin
Don't worry, it's a short list!
  1. Knowledge and understanding of FeedBack and its workings.
    • If you haven't read the guide above in the first post, your failure is imminent!

  2. A chart you want to add drums to.
    • If you want chart for RB but are starting a new chart, check out the Drums For a New Chart section.

  3. BALLS OF STEEL

I guess that's it... OK. Let's roll. If you're adding drums to an existing and synced guitar chart, follow Part B-1. If you're starting a new chart and want to include drums, follow Part B-2. You may want to read both for the sake of learning; they're short.



PART B-1: Adding Drums to an Existing Guitar Chart
So you've finished your guitar/bass chart or have someone else's that you're adding drums to. That's cool.
  • Your chart should already be synced and ready to go!
    • If it's not synced (or synced poorly), you'll definitely want to read part B-2 in addition to this before you start. Syncing to a drum track is usually preferable to syncing to a guitar track.

  • Press F8 to switch to FeedBack's drum track.
    • I guess step 1 is "open FeedBack," but you guys got that, right?

  • Use the 1-5 keys like normal to chart
    • The basic layout is the following:
      • Green = Kick
      • Red = Snare
      • Yellow = Hi hat (often closed hat), tom
      • Blue = Ride cymbal, open hat, tom
      • Orange = Crash cymbal

    • So as you can see, it goes Kick on the left then proceeds from left to right on the RB drum kit pads. Note that these are only the basics; each pad can be used for a vast multitude of different drum pieces.

    • For a great reference and tutorial on how to chart a drum track, consult the Rock Band Authoring drum page. For now, at least until we're done charting in FeedBack, you can ignore the midi information and event information at the bottom.

  • Now skip to Part C! Part B-2 does not apply to this chart, but if you like you can read it for your own future benefit.



PART B-2: Creating a Drum Chart From Scratch
Charting a new song and wanna include drums? Skip Part B-1 and check this out.
  • Start by syncing the chart to the drum track
    • What's that, you say? "But I have no drum track," you cry?! Well, make one as you go. Anchoring on crashes or snares is usually easiest, as they're often loud or at least cause the waveform to jump noticeably. Remember when you're syncing a chart, the notes you place don't have to be correct; in fact if you want when you're done you can go back and delete any notes you placed. I recommend placing notes as you I sync, however, so you can use the Clap function to make sure they're really in the right place. Always double-check!

  • All synced? Now chart the drum track.
    • Use the 1-5 keys like normal to chart
      • The basic layout is the following:
        • Green = Kick
        • Red = Snare
        • Yellow = Hi hat (often closed hat), tom
        • Blue = Ride cymbal, open hat, tom
        • Orange = Crash cymbal

      • So as you can see, it goes Kick on the left then proceeds from left to right on the RB drum kit pads. Note that these are only the basics; each pad can be used for a vast multitude of different drum pieces.

      • For a great reference and tutorial on how to chart a drum track, consult the Rock Band Authoring drum page. For now, at least until we're done charting in FeedBack, you can ignore the midi information and event information at the bottom.

  • Drum track done? Now chart the guitar and bass.
    • Just like normal, only this time you're already synced and ready to go.



PART C: Last Minute Preparation
Last minute details you'll probably want to consider.
  • Star Power in FeedBack is not Overdrive in Rock Band!
    • Because Guitar Hero and Rock Band game files are set up differently (and FeedBack is designed with GH in mind), using 8 for Star Power in FeedBack will not translate to Overdrive in RB. Instead, SP in FeedBack will translate to Solo sections in RB. You have three options:
      1. Place SP wherever you want a solo section for Guitar or Drums, then do not edit it later in a midi editor.
      2. Place SP whever you want Overdrive for any instrument, then later move all the segments to their proper position in a midi editor.
      3. Don't place any at all, and opt instead to insert both SP and Solos using a midi editor later (perhaps the least confusing option for a newbie).
  • Events that Guitar Hero uses will not necessarily transfer over to Rock Band!
    • To read up on which events RB will accept and use, read these Rock Band Authoring tips. The "EVENTS Track" section near the bottom is what you're looking for.

    • Most importantly, you need music_start, music_end, and end events. Delete any chorus, solo, or verse events you have.

  • If you plan on running your chart through Magma (necessary for 360 customs and recommended for Wii), any Sections you have placed must be deleted.
    • For whatever reason, the Rock Band Network standards (and therefore Magma) do not allow for user-specified sections in charts. Magma will complain if you have events for sections, so delete them. When you pass the finished mid through Magma, it will auto-generate sections at even intervals throughout the song.

    • Wii users can avoid this by simply not passing their chart through Magma. However, Magma will very often catch little mistakes that can be made in the midi editor, so it is recommended you sacrifice your specific sections for the sake of knowing that your mid is ready and error-free. Clever users will figure out how to preserve their sections and pass through Magma, but that is outside the scope of this mini-tutorial. ;)



PART D: Converting Your Chart and Editing Your Mid File
You've done all you can in FeedBack now. It's time to convert your chart into a mid, then import and edit it in a proper midi editor program.
  • Converting Chart to Mid
    • Use Leff's Chart2Mid2Chart program to convert your chart to mid. Make sure you select the Rock Band option (instead of Guitar Hero) before converting! Don't worry, it won't modify your original chart file in any way - it creates a new mid file.

  • MIDI Editors You Can Use
    • Reaper
      • By far the best option for Rock Band use, and arguably one of the best midi editors available on the market. Harmonix supports Reaper semi-officially, and has released RB-specific plugins for it. After the month-long trial period, you'll need to purchase the program for $60, but it's a long-lasting license and well worth it if you plan on submitting to the Rock Band Network or charting customs extensively.

    • Anvil Studio
      • Anvil is undoubtedly inferior to Reaper, but it is free. If you really can't spare the $60 for the Reaper liscense, Anvil is probably your best bet. Keep in mind, however, that most Rock Band tutorials (including, most importantly, the official Rock Band Authoring site) assume you are using Reaper. Sometimes finding an equivalent to something in Reaper is confusing, difficult, or often impossible. Really not recommended unless you really have to use it.

  • The (Official) Rock Band Authoring Tips Site
    • No exagerration: you will never figure this out if you don't use this site. It is well-organized, clear, and (obviously) a very good source to learn from. The first thing you do after finishing this tutorial is read through this site. It is a massive amount of information, but it is invaluable to the Rock Band custom charter and especially those who plan on venturing into charting for the Rock Band Network. So definitely read it! Bookmark it! Love it!

---


Closing

blah blah blah I'VE GOT BALLS OF STEEL






...Seriously, though, that's it. Go forth and create awesome Rock Band customs. Learning a midi program kinda sucks at first, but after a couple charts it's second nature. Go for it.
_________________

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


Last edited by inimitable on Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:55 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice guide, covered everything, nice pics aswell. Thanks for the post.
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Chil  
 




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good as a beginner's guide. Two thumbs up.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I ever felt like it I might read through this entire guide to give a detailed impression, but so far looks great. It's definitely a lot of reading though.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

microgamer2vs2 wrote:
If I ever felt like it I might read through this entire guide to give a detailed impression, but so far looks great. It's definitely a lot of reading though.

Well, it's as thorough as I could make it. dB's got a lot of stuff to cover! It is a lot of reading, but like I mention in the guide I do try to keep it a noob-friendly as possible.
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IamMike4Life  
 




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well put together, as well as your GHTCP guide. You got a talent... . Maybe make a video to go with it, Most people hate reading!!
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BootsMegamix  
 




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sticky this shit!
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inimitable  
 




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IamMike4Life wrote:
Very well put together, as well as your GHTCP guide. You got a talent... Maybe make a video to go with it, Most people hate reading!!

Thanks!

I do, however, have a tendency to not help people who refuse to help themselves. This hobby isn't easy, and if you want to do it right I think some reading is involved (like it or not).
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inimitable wrote:
IamMike4Life wrote:
Very well put together, as well as your GHTCP guide. You got a talent... Maybe make a video to go with it, Most people hate reading!!

Thanks!

I do, however, have a tendency to not help people who refuse to help themselves. This hobby isn't easy, and if you want to do it right I think some reading is involved (like it or not).



lol...well put... .I guess if they wanna know they gotta read
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TSorbera  
 




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: GUIDE: Charting Your First Song in FeedBack Reply with quote

inimitable wrote:
If for some reason you need to convert a .chart to a .mid, you can use Leff’s easy Chart2Mid2Chart converter, available here [Link].
That's not linked.
http://www.scorehero.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=45092
There's the link.
Code:
[url=http://www.scorehero.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=45092][Link][/url]
There's the code.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
However, the most common process for chart creation is to sync a note chart first before placing all of the notes.


Really? This could be very hard if tempo changes/time signature changes occur. Changing the tempo only every 15-30 seconds would mean only "decent" sync since the tempo might slightly change within that time.

Also, your guide only teaches syncing by the use of anchors. It should also teach the other way too (no anchors). The "trial and error" method as you call it is not as hard as you make it seem. After you find the average tempo (95 bpm lets say... no decimals), you just set it at that and then listen to it at half speed with claps on (after you have charted out a few measures) and make sure its synced. It's pretty easy to tell if the claps are going slighty too fast or if they are dragging a little. You can just go back to a measure before that starts happening, change the tempo by 1 bpm and it will probably be in sync. Some good drummers (or metronomes if the band used one while recording) can keep the band very steady though and you won't have to do much sync work.

I'm guessing with anchors you just make sure the start of the next section is in sync and then you let feedback change the tempo at the start of the section before that so that the first note lines up. This could make the sync kind of bad since your just using an average tempo for the section. Sometimes too many anchors can also cause tempo changes of over 10 in the middle of notes which can make the chart harder to play.

Overall I think anchors are good if you messed up in the middle of your song sync wise. The use of them every measure or so in charts can be bad though. How do you know that "pulse" in audacity isn't just a bass drum hit? What if the guitar is kind of low in volume in your song and you can't really see it's "pulses" very easily?
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thesentence  
 




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other thread was getting outdated. Thanks!

Besides videos on topics such as this are usually hard to follow and they leave important things out.
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Eastwinn  
 




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2b4: You should note that you can move the cursor with the left and right arrow keys. It makes it easier to be sure your at the absolute beginning.

Nice guide. I actually learned something too. I had no idea dB could copy tracks. I was just opening the chart up in Notepad and copying them around
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: GUIDE: Charting Your First Song in FeedBack Reply with quote

inimitable wrote:
[*]FeedBack supports both .chart and .mid files. If you download a .mid file, place it and its corresponding music file in the Songs folder and load it in dB. It will automatically be converted into a .chart file, which dB will create in the Songs folder alongside your .mid. Note that if you change anything in the chart and save it, only the .chart file will be updated, not the .mid file!
It doesn't automatically convert it to .chart until you save it (i.e. if you just open, it doesn't resave as .chart). The wording, IMO, implies that if you just open it, it'll automatically resave as .chart.
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