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The truth beind FoF conversions


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#1 Farottone

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Posted September 15, 2014 - 01:42 PM

I know that feeling, I get it. "OMG there's a custom chart for !" The Frets on Fire community has a huge database of songs and it's tempting to think that you can finally play that amazing song in Rock Band. So, somebody, or yourself, goes through the process of making a song compile in Magma. We (Nemo specifically) have created tools to make that much easier, cleaning up common issues and things not up to RB3 technical standards. The unfortunate reality is that more often than not, what you're left with is a working but still unplayable song.

If you have discovered customs through C3 you have been, we candidly admit, a bit spoiled. You might think that something that works in RB3 is also something that is of good quality. And that's not the case. The FoF community is composed of very passionate people who wanted really badly to play the songs they love in the game (Frets on Fire, in that case). That however doesn't make all of them very skilled at charting. There are two reasons. One is that authoring is hard, very much so. The other is that passionate charters usually love their metal, which in turn is much harder to chart because of time signature changes, complex parts and much more. Now, there are some gems in the FoF universe and there are songs you can convert and play as they are and still enjoy them but most of them are not. Some, and they are not a few, of them have no tempo mapping, meaning notes are positioned off grid, which makes it a mess to play in game. Some show a lack of grasping of concepts like triplets. Some are made harder on purpose. Some map notes to random colors. Some assign the same weight to all notes, whether they are ghost notes almost impossible to hear with headphones or the strongest snare hit possible.

Now, this is NOT dissing on the FoF community. Heck, I couldn't be more grateful for the work they did: I did the Rush Rock Band project only because somebody else had done almost all of the songs. However, this is a different community: people come here from Rock Band and they expect songs to be something different, something better. So, this message is for both sides of the community. If you are an author, don't think that once you have converted a MIDI from a FoF song you have delivered a great song to the community: pick carefully what you want to convert, because some songs are just plainly a waste of time. Also, understand that reviewing the song is a great way to learn and also an excellent way to give players a more playable version. If you are a player, remember that if somebody just converts the song, the original faults will be there, so they can do little about it except recharting, retempo mapping, etc., something that somebody who just wants to do a quick job is not prepared to do.

tldr; Viva FoF, but adjust expectations accordingly...

#2 MetalDrummer89

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Posted September 15, 2014 - 07:30 PM

thats actually how i found most of my Megadeth charts..how would i fix them if they are a mess (i.e. Headcrusher by Megadeth ive played the chart through the preview window on Reaper..hooolllyy crapp its terrible) i was gonna rechart it...and the tempo map is fine..even came rendered with a count in. Midi Cleaner?

P.S. im still new to this so im sorry if i sound like i dont know what im talking about)
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#3 Sideshow

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Posted September 16, 2014 - 05:38 AM

Beware of the songs from FOF that have tempo map markers over 300 BPM. When importing the midi into the C3 template take a look at the Tempo markers to make sure no over 300 BPM markers exist. Its a big headache to fix charts with those markers. :bang:

#4 AJFOne23

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Posted September 16, 2014 - 12:31 PM

There have been so many for charts that requires complete re tempo mapping and hours of touch ups. It's nice to have the ground work done but often it's just easier to start from scratch.

#5 tails4eva

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Posted September 16, 2014 - 11:11 PM

Sorry to ask this, but can u tell me why this is stickied? would it just make sence to allow users to have a button on Visualiser Saying "Frets on Fire Convert" or "Phase Shift Convert" ? Just saying.

# I do understand why you put this up, but there is a VERY small minority of people who do really rough Converts but i think to solve confusion maybe Update C3 Con Tools for a Button or Maybe Make a Category for Converts and another for Normal Customs?

Theres my Two Cents on this. Hope this is feedback you were expecting.

#6 TrojanNemo

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Posted September 17, 2014 - 12:02 AM

would it just make sence to allow users to have a button on Visualiser Saying "Frets on Fire Convert" or "Phase Shift Convert" ? Just saying.


I think the point of this post is to warn newcomers who think they can cut corners by using a FoF chart. It's a warning that those charts may or may not be in any usable condition for RB3 purposes.
The "Convert" button is for conversions of official game songs. Neither Phase Shift nor Frets on Fire have official songs released along with the games, even the ones included with Phase Shift are user made custom content.
The proper use of a Frets on Fire or Phase Shift chart for our purposes is to be used as a base for a Rock Band 3 custom, then the charter still has a lot of work to do. If you do that, then you don't need to state it's a convert for the reasons stated above. If you're saying a button to signal a crappy conversion from a shitty chart, then I'm not going to waste my time adding that to Visualizer.
You are, of course, free to put the hard work yourself and do as you please. Visualizer is pretty easy to customize. Many users already have done so and made their own custom buttons.

#7 Farottone

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Posted September 17, 2014 - 12:18 AM

Sorry to ask this, but can u tell me why this is stickied?


Because more and more people are approaching the customs world by converting existing FoF songs and we are seeing more and more releases based on FoF customs.

#8 raynebc

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Posted September 17, 2014 - 04:33 PM

Neither Phase Shift nor Frets on Fire have official songs released along with the games, even the ones included with Phase Shift are user made custom content.

I don't agree with this statement. Any songs bundled with either are legally allowed to be there. My understanding is several Phase Shift songs were recorded by people who are otherwise uninvolved with the game itself but allowed their music to be used. Just because they're not expensively licensed from record companies doesn't mean they don't count as "official" songs.

#9 TrojanNemo

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Posted September 17, 2014 - 05:22 PM

It's not a matter of the audio included with the song. It's a matter of whether there is a professional charter creating the charts and going through quality control by the creators of the game. The point being a sort of consistent quality representative of what the creator of the game wants. I don't believe that is the case with the few bundled songs.
And in the larger picture the vast majority of fof/phase shift songs that are the subject of discussion here are customs, so those certainly wouldn't be considered official. Just like a conversion of a GH custom song wouldn't qualify to be called a convert either.

But that's my understanding. Wait for word from an admin on the official stance on this.

#10 Farottone

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Posted September 17, 2014 - 05:36 PM

It's not a matter of the audio included with the song. It's a matter of whether there is a professional charter creating the charts and going through quality control by the creators of the game. The point being a sort of consistent quality representative of what the creator of the game wants.


I could not have put it better.

#11 MaybeTowelie

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Posted September 19, 2014 - 12:12 AM

I tend not to download any songs that were said to be converted from FoF. I use to, but the quality of charting made me want to chuck my guitar into the TV. I have found a couple of gems, but for the most part, I just stay away.

#12 Froogs

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Posted September 23, 2014 - 12:33 AM

I just want to point out, that not all Fof songs are horribly charted. There are a lot of songs from Fof that are though, such as a chart I found of gwar - womb with a view, and it was just redundant.
Hey, I'd come up with a witty idea for a signature but, I can't seem to think of an idea for one at the moment, so I'm just going to leave this here in case I think of one later.

Check out my song thread for all things Rock and Metal! - viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4170

Request a song for me to chart, here! - https://docs.google.... ... rm?c=0&w=1

#13 Nightmare Lyra

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Posted September 23, 2014 - 12:44 AM

I just want to point out, that not all Fof songs are horribly charted. There are a lot of songs from Fof that are though, such as a chart I found of gwar - womb with a view, and it was just redundant.


Not all no, but the majority is due to FoF being the easiest go-to route for starters to do customs on. I think everyone who have charted since pre-Rock Band have basically practiced and learned themselves charting via loads and loads of very bad customs for FoF (I know I sure did), and therefor we simply ask converters to be cautious when converting so we don't start getting too much of that low-quality practice material in on our forums.

If it was up to me, I would ask to at least make sure the tempo map is correct and that everything that is charted is reasonably playable in Rock Band.

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#14 Spindoctor

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Posted September 23, 2014 - 02:10 AM

I have done several of these FOF songs that work really well with just a little bit of work, Are they C3 quality? NO
But playable? you bet. If you can find say a drum only song on here with a decent tempo map, adding a guitar/bass/rhythm part from FOF can make a decent playing tune most times if they are the same length of song or version. I have taken the same guitar part & tried playing it with a straight up FOF to RB3 convert & it was virtually unplayable because of no or very little tempo mapping. The last one I did lined up perfectly with A Crazy Canuck drum chart.

"Music can change the world because it can change people"  Bono

Links to all songs are in the Customs database.


#15 AJFOne23

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Posted October 15, 2014 - 03:47 PM

You definitely have to go into FOF converts with the expectation that there will be a lot of fine tuning or sometimes complete overhauls of the foundation but it's certainly better than starting from scratch especially if you're not proficient at charting all instruments as I am not. Rarely have I been able to import to reaper and export to magma without some minor tweaking. Tempo maps seem to be the most common thing that needs fixing.

#16 Kloporte

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 03:43 PM

You are, of course, free to put the hard work yourself and do as you please. Visualizer is pretty easy to customize. Many users already have done so and made their own custom buttons.


On this note, I know how to do my own custom buttons, but how to get them to be displayed in Visualizer?

Here's a FoF convert button I did:
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#17 TrojanNemo

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 03:49 PM

Replace one of the less used ones in the /res folder.

#18 Kloporte

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 04:19 PM

I was hoping for another workaround. But thanks! :)
Here are some buttons I made in case some of you want to use them:
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#19 Nightmare Lyra

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 04:48 PM

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#20 Farottone

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Posted October 16, 2014 - 05:06 PM

No Overdrive is just a slap in the face though. :D It's like 5 minutes top! :)




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