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Custom #1: "Falling in the Garden" as made famous by Ray Lynch

 

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Hello, world.

I found this place around September (2014), and of course instantly fell in love. As it was for many Rock Band fanboys, the loss of weekly DLC was heartbreaking, but not enough to stop me from playing. I had heard of people creating new songs for the game, but I figured it required a system mod or some other risky behavior, and I wasn't interested in tempting fate. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I discovered not only adding new songs to the game is painless and risk-free (at least on the XBox), there is also this group of dedicated fans creating quality songs, and offering them for nothing more than a simple "thank you"!

Well... thank you!

But really that's not enough, not for this kind of Herculean effort that keeps the game fresh and puts in a ton of excellent music we once thought we'd never get to play. But what else can you give when these people won't take cash or other gifts? Easy. You join the cause and create your own customs! So here are mine, a collection that I would like to grow, life and other hobbies permitting. Time will tell. Either way, I hope you enjoy.

So that I wouldn't drown immediately after getting in the pool, I wanted my first custom to be easy. But I also wanted it to be complete, with all relevant instruments and all difficulties. This song was perfect for the task: an instrumental with a short running time, no drums, and a MIDI already charted. Incidentally, I created that MIDI, long ago when I was more active in the sequencing scene. I also created the audio you hear. This project was the perfect excuse to indulge in buying Novation's FM8, an emulator of the Yamaha DX7, my favorite synth and the only instrument Ray Lynch used when recording the original "Falling in the Garden". This isn't a perfect recreation of his tune, but I'd like to think it's pretty decent for an "as made famous by" cover, and it allows my first custom to be truly multitracked. (Not to mention it made creating the tempo map a whole heckuva lot easier!)

 

 


 

Custom #2: "Celestial Soda Pop" as made famous by Ray Lynch



Details here!

 


 

Custom #3: "You're Only Lonely" by J.D. Souther

 

Details here!

 


 

Custom #4: "Last Child" by Aerosmith in regular and "Greatest Hits" flavors.

 






Details here!

 


 

Custom #5: "Witchy Woman" by the Eagles!

 

 

Details here!

 


 

Custom #6: "Spooky" by the Atlanta Rhythm Section!

 

 

Details here!

 


 

Custom #7: "What about Love" by Heart!

 

Now available for Rock Band 4!

 


 

Custom #8: "Honesty" by Billy Joel!

 

 

Details here!

 


 

Custom #9: "Allentown" by Billy Joel!

 

 

Details here!

 


 

Custom #10: "Boat on the River" by Styx!

 

 

Details here!

 


 

Custom #11: "Lucky Man" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer!

 

 

Original tempo map, most instruments and solo vocals by bsbloom. Drums by oscarj08. New 6/8 tempo map, harmony vocals and lots of tweaking by me. More details here!

 


 

Custom #12: "Heard It in a Love Song" by the Marshall Tucker Band!

 

 

Details here!

 


 

Custom #13: "Heartache Tonight" by the Eagles!

 

 

Details here!

 


 

Custom #14: "Limelight" by the Alan Parsons Project!

 

 

Details here!

 


 

Customs #15 - #17: The FujiSkunk Classic Synths Pack: "Axel F" by Harold Faltermeyer, "Crockett's Theme" by Jan Hammer and "Hymne" by Vangelis!

 






Details here!

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Any chance you'll be going to AC again this year, or MAGfest? I forget where you're from.

 

I haven't made any travel plans beyond FC, but if you're still bringing the Rock Band gear, then I'm going to have to give serious thought about AC. I don't get that kind of group play locally, and I miss it!

 

Welcome and thanks for sharing your first song! :excited:

 

Working on the second! :)

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Definitely going to be there, I'm staff, and I've been running my setup for five or six years now. Also head of gaming for Fur the 'More in Vienna, VA, if that's closer.

 

I'm in Texas, so any of those cons takes about the same amount of effort. I'll look into AC. I've missed the past few and wouldn't mind heading that way again, especially knowing there'd be a nice Rock Band spread to look forward to.

 

Nice! Never thought I'd ever see Ray Lynch to show up on Rock Band, let alone as a custom. Any plans for any more Ray Lynch tunes?

 

I have another one in progress. You can probably guess which one. :)

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A small update: "Falling in the Garden" was bitten by the Magma 3.2.4 bug, and didn't have a song ID. I've uploaded a replacement file, created with Magma 3.2.5, and confirmed it has a proper song ID. Just click the link in the original post above and you'll have the new file.

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  • 1 month later...

So... after Windows finally decided it didn't like that partition resize last year after all, and I was forced to reset everything to factory and then reinstall both Windows and linux, I discovered I was diligent about backing up every directory from the original Windows installation.

 

Except one.

 

Fortunately I had most of my work on "Falling in the Garden" saved elsewhere. I still have the stems and the Reaper file used to compiled the game track, and I have my original MIDI file that I began the project with. What I no longer have is the Reaper file used to create the stems, which had several improvements to the original MIDI sequence. Oh well, I suppose I can recreate that again if I ever have to.

 

I also sadly lost my work on my second custom. I think I can get back to where I was fairly quickly, though. I hadn't yet started any game charting, as I was still working on creating the stems. I still have the original MIDI here too, so I just need to plug it all back into Reaper and recreate the FM8 configs I had for each instrument. I was stuck on one particular instrument, and had been for a while, so the rest of the song is pretty well drilled into my head.

 

All of this to say, I'm still working on it! Life, other commitments and hobbies, and Murphy just keep getting in the way.

 

By the way, does anyone know of a good theremin-sounding patch for the DX7 and FM8?

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

#2 is finally done! Or at least I'm calling it "done". Here is "Celestial Soda Pop", as made famous by Ray Lynch!

 

 

This is a cover of Ray Lynch's most famous tune. Just like "Falling in the Garden", this cover was done by me, using a MIDI sequence I created a while ago. The instruments were again mostly supplied by Novation FM8, though I also recorded a bit off my old Yamaha PSR-550 keyboard. I must give kudos to the REAPER developers for making external MIDI device integration a lot less painful than I remember from back in my Macintosh System 7 days! The recreated audio isn't perfect, but I think it's pretty darn close, and I hope the added immersion provided by separated stems will more than make up for not using the original recording.

 

As for playing the song in the game, three instruments are fully charted across all difficulty levels: guitar, bass and keys, I was going to do more with the venue track, but between my eyes glazing over as I tried to read the venue camera and lighting info, and me promising other customs authors that I'd offer feedback and even collaborate on some things -- not to mention the fact I've been tinkering with this track off and on for literally over three months now -- I think it's time to just shove it out the door. I let the venue auto-generator do its thing, and actually I don't think it did too badly. If anybody feels compelled to show me some tips and tricks on how to do custom lighting and spotlights and post processing and such, I would be a willing student, but for now this one is "done".

 

Feedback is always welcome!

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  • 3 months later...

Two! Count 'em, two new full-band customs, and this time they really are full-band, with drums and vocals!

First, here is one of my favorite softer songs of the '70s, and another tune I MIDI-sequenced back when I was more in the scene: "You're Only Lonely" by J.D. Souther. My old MIDI was the foundation for the game charts. While charting this I discovered, more so with this tune than with the Ray Lynch covers, there are many things you can fudge on a stand-alone MIDI that won't fly when trying to create a game chart to match the actual song. Then again, the reverse is also true!



Next, mark off another one on the GH2 list: Aerosmith's "Last Child". Most of this track also came from an old MIDI of mine, but Harmonix gets most of the credit for the guitar part. I tweaked it a bit, not only because this isn't the same audio, but also because the GH2 chart has some instrument hopping that I thought made it harder than it needs to be. I promise the solo at least is just about the same, with only some nips and tucks to better match the original audio.



Here is an alternate download for "Last Child" for those who would like the song to group with the other Aerosmith's Greatest Hits tracks. Be aware both of these downloads have the same song ID, so you'll need to change one of them if for some reason you want both in the game. As of V2, these files have different ID's and internal names. The displayed song name is the same, however, so one may still trample over the other in-game. The game charts are exactly the same.



Random trivia: I could have made a keyboard chart for "Last Child", but it would have been even more boring than "Need You Tonight"!

Feedback always welcome, and thanks to onemancoverband for the GH2 MIDI files!

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Thanks for the kind words everyone.

 

To those who downloaded the "greatest hits" version of "Last Child", I've corrected the album title to Aerosmith's Greatest Hits so that it really will group with the DLC from that album now. Please download again, and sorry for the slip-up!

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  • 3 months later...

At long last another another custom is complete, and just in time for Halloween. Here is "Witchy Woman" by the Eagles, with all instruments except keys, three vocal parts and full reductions! Click the image below to download the XBox 360 track.

 

 

To those who were keeping track of this one over in my WIP thread, I just realized I did not give this a new ID after changing the band name from "Eagles" to "The Eagles". If that gives anyone grief, let me know and I'll re-upload with a new ID.

 

And speaking of "The" Eagles, I've assigned that as the band name so that it will sort correctly with the other Eagles tunes. The album name is still Eagles, but I don't think any other tunes from that album have been submitted yet. I encourage anyone who does to use the proper album name, without the "The". ;)

 

My original notes from the WIP thread:

 

Working on this song in particular made me realize how you have to find a balance between realism and "fun" when creating a video game. I'm pretty certain the toms are not consistently colored across the whole song. I was doing what Harmonix recommends, generally making sure to change colors when going between cymbals and toms, so that even non-pro drummers can tell when something different is played. As a result, I think I created what is my favorite drum track so far. Consistent or not, this thing is a blast to play! Hopefully the other instruments will be just as fun when I finish them. I know the vocals certainly will be.

 

I must also give props to oscarj08 for helping me make the drums even better before calling it "done".

 

Please enjoy!

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