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How to: Convert from FoF/Phase Shift to RB3 (video)

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#1 Kloporte

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Posted July 25, 2014 - 02:36 AM

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As I said in this thread, I released a video tutorial recently about converting songs from Frets on Fire/Phase Shift to Rock Band 3, as a request by a friend. This was right before Farrotone's guide, so I hope there is still valuable information in what I'll say :P
But anyways, I also added a quick list of errors I encountered in Reaper+ Magma C3 and listed some of the workarounds I found. I won't cover some "obvious" errors like audio files in Reaper, since it's already explained in my video. But anyone here can help me complete the list of errors+fixes, especially if you found faster ways to fix a problem.

One huge factor for converting is the quality of the original chart and the presence of a good tempo map. It might take some time to adapt a FoF chart to RB3 standards, in some case it might be even quicker to re-start from scratch and author by ear (watching the FoF chart while charting can help too).

Click here for the video (11min) English version
(you won't hear my voice and almost no sound so I recommend listening to music in the meanwhile :P)
Click here for the video (French version)

The following is a list I just started. Be free to contribute and tell me when I'm wrong ;)

Frequent errors when converting a song from FoF/Phase Shift to RB3 Most of the names listed are the error names you get with Magma when testing the MIDI or trying to export

I- Tempo map errors

1. No tempo map. In this case, converting to RB3 is practically impossible if it's completely missing (or altered in some way) and randomly charted by some guy who just wanted to give EOF a try.
EOF users sometimes use a constant/average BPM, so there might have ways to find it back:
→ ask the original charter which BPM he used in EOF (sending a PM on FretsOnFire forums is a good idea, but a lot of the users are inactive now)
→ If a .eof file is included, try installing EOF and opening it.
→ If it still doesn't work, you can search for the average BPM of a song online, if by luck the author used this.

But in any cases, it'll not render well in game. It might be out of sync, and the notes placement in-game will look weird because of the lack of a real tempo map. Best solution could be to do a new tempo map for the song, and using the chart as a reference for guitar charting for instance (chords...)

2. “Note appears too fast in game” (before 1.4 if I remember correctly): Covered in my video. Open RB3 template and import the MIDI to 3.1. Make adjustements (setting the tracks names at 1.1, adding notes in the BEAT track between 1.1 and 2.4...).
Let's say the chart doesn't really start out of nowhere (let's say at 0.7), so there will be a slight delay between the count-in (3.1) and the beginning of the song, and you want it to start at 3.1 (also works if you want to get rid of a long intro):
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→ Quick fix solution: select everything you want to keep (starting at the very first authored note among all of the playable tracks until the end), and hit “Export MIDI file”. Check “Export selection only”; reload the RB3 template and import the new mid to 3.1. Re-do the steps above (dragging the track names, etc.)
There must be a faster way, but this way you don't really have to deal with the tempo map and risk messing up something.

3. BPM at [time] too fast. If I recall correctly, Magma won't accept BPM faster than 300BPM. I used to use a very messy method to fix it: editing the tempo manually, and then adjusting the notes to the audio. Now that I know it most likely has to do with time signature changes (see the new Farottone guide), I'd try to fix it this way.
I used to have a big problem on a song where a ¼ time signature was placed on the very beginning of the song (before the first notes). It appeared fine in RBN preview, but the chart when unsynced by about 2 seconds in game. Solution at I-2 fixed the issue.

4. No tempo map in Magma C3 → Don't forget to check “Include tempo map” when exporting a MIDI through Reaper.

II- Gems

1. “Gems at … overlapping” : this can be caused by two things:
GH-like chords where you can hold a sustain and strum new notes. You only have to delete the notes who appear within the sustain, or consider charting every note one after another : “red- yellow - blue” (HoPos) Actually, I never converted a GH chart, but I suppose Magma C3 also renders this error if you don't fix anything in a GH chart.
MIDI Cleaner fixed the notes lengths, but it messed up some notes and they appear as sustains. It happened to me several times, some of the notes appeared as the right length (1/32), some others became sustains which automatically reached the next note (which itself was a zero-length note, not fixed). Try changing the MIDI cleaner to another note length (such as 1/64). This is due to incorrect tempo mapping (such as time signature changes).
Or try fixing the notes manually, one by one. It takes some time, but I did it one or two times.

2. “Invalid MIDI notes at …” Open the MIDI track in Reaper and look for a note misplaced somewhere. Sometimes, it can be midi notes (instead of text events) placed in the Events track, or at incorrect lines (between two difficulties in a track), if you made a double-click somewhere and forgot.
You can also set the view mode to “Event list” and track down every event which isn’t a note (for example “sysex events” which are used in Phase Shift I believe).
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III – Track names errors

Those are actually easy to fix.
1. Guitar coop.

Frets On Fire charts often includes « blank » MIDI tracks such as guitar-coop, with only 1 note authored in it (same for bass when it's not charted). Delete this track (or if it's charted, import it to PART BASS or PART KEYS... although I never seen it charted. It might be used mostly for guitar duels).
2. Bad name « PART DRUM ». Edit the track name to PART DRUMS (won't be happening if you used the copy-paste in RB3 template method).

3. You can create a second drums part for a double pedal version (it'll be automatically be recognized by Magma and will create both versions at the same time). Just be sure to change the track name to PART DRUMS_2X.

4. Sometimes you can get some weird track names like this too... :P
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#2 Farottone


    The Lean Mean Customs Charting Machine

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Posted July 25, 2014 - 08:57 AM

Thanks for taking the time to write all this down. :)

#3 Sideshow

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Posted July 26, 2014 - 03:35 AM

All the newcomers really have it easy now to figure out the basics of how to chart thanks to the influx of tutorials the last few weeks. Oh those times I had in the past fighting with magma. I dont want to go back to those days. :P

#4 Psym

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Posted July 30, 2014 - 05:56 AM

Doing everything manual back in the day(2011) was a drag. Both to learn and to do. Now i can basically do a convert in 2 minuttes flat, if its properly charted/tempo mapped. People got it too easy nowadays.
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#5 Duknine2

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Posted June 1, 2019 - 05:46 PM

and this part of the VST plugins? How do I install this? it is necessary?

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