Jump to content


FujiSkunk's WIPs: The FujiSkunk CCM Megapack is in progress!

  • Please log in to reply
77 replies to this topic

#1 FujiSkunk

  • 840 posts
  • Location
    Planet Houston

Posted July 14, 2015 - 03:25 PM


The FujiSkunk CCM Megapack!


(Or, The "FujiSkunk's Biting Off More than He Should Chew" Project)

CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) has been sorely underrepresented in Rock Band 3, forcing CCM fans to play through the same few songs over and over, or worse, drag out the PC just to play Guitar Praise or JAMBand.  This project aims to change that, by adding 30 CCM songs into the game!  Just like anime is not really a single style or genre of animation, CCM is not really a single style or genre of music.  Among these 30 songs you will find pop, rock, alternative, contemporary praise and worship, and even a helping of good ol' fashioned hair metal!  Good CCM isn't confined to a single time period either, and the songs in this project come from the '80s, '90s, '00s and '10s!
To encourage myself to stick with this project, rather than author each song one at a time until complete, I have broken this project into phases, with each phase adding a little more to all 30 songs.  The phases are:

  • Tempo mapping, guitar chart importing and/or first-draft authoring
  • Slight guitar clean-up, CAT reductions for charts without lower difficulties, EVENT/BEAT/VENUE track creation, first playable game packages.
  • Further guitar clean-up and full manual reductions, bass authoring and full manual reductions.
  • Drum authoring and full manual reductions.
  • Pro and 5-lane keys authoring and full manual reductions.
  • Vocals, both solo and harmony.  (Song is finished and in the database!)

Note that Phase One involved some chart "importing".  Many of these guitar charts were converted from Frets on Fire charts, which themselves were converted from charts originally created for Guitar Praise and JAMBand.  I have nothing but positive thoughts about companies and enthusiasts that bring more CCM songs into rhythm gaming, but... let's just say the original charts weren't exactly up to Harmonix's gold standard.  I've fixed some of the most egregious sins, but players will still notice plenty of overcharting, undercharting, and just plain "off" charting in a lot of these songs.  Despite the roughage, I believe the songs remain fun to play, at least until a more thorough cleaning happens in Phase Three.
So, you might ask, how long will it take until all 30 songs are complete and fully playable?  Well, that just might depend on you.  Yes, you.  While I'll do everything myself if I have to, collaboration would make this project go faster!  If anybody is interested in working on anything, be it a single instrument in a single song or a full-scale collaboration on the whole project, just ping me and we'll talk.  My only requirement would be to have something ready by the time I get to the relevant phase for that particular song or songs; otherwise I'd just continue working on them myself.  And of course, any collaborators will get credit, along with my thanks and gratitude.
As long as these songs are WiPs, I plan to keep them out of the database and off the C3U site.  I figure it'll keep things more low key until it's time to show off completed, full-band game packages.  But of course they will be available here, for anyone who wants to play them or tinker with them ahead of time.  And with that, here are the songs of the FujiSkunk CCM Megapack!  (Color represents the last phase complete and downloadable for that particular song.)
Six from the Newsboys!

Three from dc Talk, with two from the same album as official DLC "Jesus Freak"!

Three from TobyMac, from his post-dc-Talk solo career!

Three from Chris Tomlin!

Three from Audio Adrenaline!

Twelve Singles!

Remember the TL;DR points: don't expect perfection or full-band now, but expect perfection and full-band later, and contributors welcome!  Stay tuned to this spot for updates as they happen, and happy playing!
(For historical purposes: The original original post of this thread was a request for opinions on what to author next.  Since then this has become my WiP thread, with the first post spotlighting whatever project[s] I have active at the time.)
FujiSkunk's Super-Secret post-CCM WiP List

#2 Farottone


    The Lean Mean Customs Charting Machine

  • Administrator
  • 6,457 posts

Posted July 14, 2015 - 04:06 PM

Atlanta Rhythm Section

If you ever do Alien I'm instadoing tempomapping, vocals and drums, reductions.

#3 samjjones

  • 1,475 posts
  • Location
    NJ: The Home of Sinatra, Springsteen, and Bon Jovi

Posted July 14, 2015 - 04:27 PM

So by this weekend (July 18th or so) I hope to have one, possibly two new full-band customs to show off. Everything's pretty much done but I still need to polish the audio so that each song has a hard ending, or at least something closer to one.

Meantime, I'm looking for feedback on what to set my sites on next. Without spoiling the surprise too much, there are an '80s Heart song, an '80s Billy Joel song, a late '70s Billy Joel song, a late '70s Eagles song, and possibly an Atlanta Rhythm Section song on my list. I've already picked out the particular songs, so I'm good there.


Your queue sounds great.

#4 Spindoctor

  • 1,267 posts
  • Location
    British Columbia Canada

Posted July 14, 2015 - 04:34 PM

Some more full band Eagles or Heart would be fantastic & yes Atlanta Rhythm Section as well.
For the Eagles song be sure to check Oscarj08's pro drum thread to see if he did drums for the eagles tunes. He does some good mapping/charting

Links to all songs are in the Customs database.


Rock with the Doc at c3Universe


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


#5 Hetz


    Beacon of Positivity

  • 761 posts

Posted July 14, 2015 - 05:11 PM

I enjoy all those bands....so any of them would be awesome, though I would really love the 80's Billy Joel or late 70's Eagles. :)

#6 Dahnlee

  • 160 posts
  • Location

Posted July 14, 2015 - 06:53 PM

As everyone else has indicated, this is a great list and I'm gonna want whatever you end up doing.

As far as ranking a preference, it is hard for me to do so without figuring in a couple of song possibilities:

1. Heart - Who Will You Run To
2. Eagles - Heartache Tonight
3. Heart - Any other 80s song
4. Billy Joel - Matter of Trust or Tell Her About It
5. Eagles - Any other late 70s song
6. ARS - So Into You
7. Billy Joel - 80s song
8. Billy Joel - 70s song
9. ARS - Any other song

Doc already pointed out Oscarj08's excellent Eagles charts (not to mention Doc's RB3 conversions), but CrazyCanuck has also made a great drums-only custom of Heartache Tonight. ;)

#7 samjjones

  • 1,475 posts
  • Location
    NJ: The Home of Sinatra, Springsteen, and Bon Jovi

Posted July 14, 2015 - 07:52 PM

I'll guess that the late 70's Eagles song is "I Can't Tell You Why", although I'd be thrilled if it was actually "Heartache Tonight".

My guess for late 70's Billy Joel will be something off of "52nd Street"...I'll guess "Honesty".

My guess for 80's Billy Joel..."Allentown".

My guess for 80's Heart..."What Above Love".

Unlike The Dude...I loved the Eagles and listened to their albums constantly when I was in high school. I'd be happy with anything from them.

#8 FujiSkunk

  • 840 posts
  • Location
    Planet Houston

Posted July 15, 2015 - 07:06 PM

I'm sensing a consensus, or at least a majority opinion. And now those other customs are out to door, so it's time to get started on the next. This time around I'll post some WIPs as I have them. Stay tuned!

#9 FujiSkunk

  • 840 posts
  • Location
    Planet Houston

Posted August 23, 2015 - 12:23 AM

SamJJones, are you a wizard? You guessed three songs correctly!

So there's only one thing to do when someone thoroughly spoils the surprise: chart all the songs! And then some! I'm waiting on a reply about one song, but in the meantime here is a sneak peek at seven others. Hopefully this will be a treat for drummers and keyboard players, while I work to make them all full-band, complete with vocals and harmonies.

(All download links are now in the OP.)
First up is Heart's "What about Love", from their self-titled 1985 comeback album. Drums only at the moment, keys and other parts to come. This song is this close to needing a 2x-bass alternate, but I think the tempo is just slow enough to get away with all those beats in the outro. It certainly wears my leg out, but I am able to play it all the way through. Let me know if anyone things there is too much bass. This could very easily turn into the easiest 2x-bass song in the game!
Next is Billy Joel's "Honesty", the last of the three big hits off of 52nd Street to get the RB3 treatment. Pro keys and drums here; no regular keys yet, just a few scattered notes to keep Magma from complaining.

I think pro-keys players will like this very faithful chart. Only the final chord actually had to be fudged, though I also shifted one note and dropped another to avoid a two-measure range shift. Even the animations are pretty authentic. Some left-hand notes had to be shifted, but otherwise what you see is what's actually being played.

I'm tempted to bump the pro-keys difficulty up to five dots. The rhythm isn't hard, but some of the chords sure are. But, four dots is probably sufficient, unless enough people tell me otherwise.
Time for the Eagles! This isn't the late-'70s Eagles song on my agenda, but one from their self-titled first album. I noticed another author had also worked on this song, but I couldn't find a link to download his track, so I went ahead and worked on mine. I'll willingly pull this one if there are any objections.

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.
Back to New York, with a stop in Pennsylvania along the way. Here's "Allentown" by Billy Joel.

The reference MIDI for this one was originally a collaboration between myself and Dale Aston, who MIDI enthusiasts might know as "OnNTwo". Dale did some excellent MIDI tunes back in the day, and I enjoyed working on this one with him. Actually the MIDI for "Witchy Woman" was also a collaboration between us, but we never did quite finish that one, and it was around that time that other hobbies pulled me away from sequencing. Thanks to RB3 and customs, I'm back in again!
Here's one I hope to have finished before Halloween: "Spooky" by the Atlanta Rhythm Section. This is a cover of the Classics IV song, which is no surprise given several ARS members were originally in the Classics IV!

I had a very good MIDI to work with when putting together the drum and keys tracks, but even then I'm not entirely sure they're accurate. In the original song, particularly during the guitar and keys solos at the end, there is a lot of subtle play in the cymbals. A standard MIDI file can't really capture those little nuances that effectively, but the authors definitely tried, which then made it difficult to determine exactly which cymbal is being played at a given time, and whether it's worth trying to capture that in the game chart. I decided to mix it up at least a little bit, and I think it turned out all right. Opinions and critiques welcome, of course.

The keys were another mystery. There is a lot of jazz color in the original chords, and the MIDI chart had that as well. Whether they got all those jazz bits right is anybody's guess, but I think the resulting game chart does well enough. The solo is another matter. There were definitely some notes missing in the MIDI that I could clearly hear in the original, but putting those notes back in made the solo a lot harder to play! I don't think it's impossible to play, but it's certainly above my current skill level. I'd like to hear from other keys players on whether they think the solo is at least realistic for someone who plays for a living.

Oh, and when is a triplet not a triplet? I swear those are supposed to be quarter-note triplets at the very beginning, the very end, and in all those fills through-out, but when I actually charted them that way, they ended up very off. This just goes to show that rock and roll is indeed "sloppy" and sometimes you just have to accept, and chart, a little sloppiness, even in a game like Rock Band that demands precision.

Finally, I have to say, ARS is woefully neglected, even within the classic rock community. They've got a lot of great songs, but you just don't hear about them anymore. This neglect is apparent even on the Internet. I actually had to put some effort into finding a decent shot of the album cover for Underdog, and even when I found one I had to do some GIMPing to make it more presentable.
Trivia question! What is Styx's most successful song, globally? "Come Sail Away"? "Babe"? "Mr. Roboto"? Nope, it's "Boat on the River". The song didn't even chart in the U.S., Styx's homeland, but elsewhere the song reached the top five, even #1 in some countries, as it became the band's highest-selling single. More recently I heard someone suggest this song might not be the best fit for Rock Band 3. My response? "Challenge accepted!"

Of course I give permission to anyone who wants to convert "Boat on the River" for play in Phase Shift, Frets on Fire or this game.
And finally, a tune from another neglected Southern rock band, "Heard It in a Love Song" by the Marshall Tucker Band. So far it's only drums, and... yeah. As much as I love the song, admittedly this is one of those where the drummer takes one for the team. But even if the chart itself isn't all that exciting, the song is still fun to play along with, I think. I decided not to chart the constant opening and closing of the hi-hat, given the song is already enough of a workout thanks to its fast tempo, but if anyone thinks I should, speak up!

With this tune I finally got to use "[prc_flute_solo]" to describe a practice section!
Like I said, these will eventually be full-band tracks. I'll work on them when I can, but if anyone is interested in collaborating, drop me a line and I'll be happy to send some files along. In the meantime, hope you enjoy!

#10 Dahnlee

  • 160 posts
  • Location

Posted August 23, 2015 - 11:47 AM

All great choices!!!

I'm particularly excited about "Heard It in a Love Song" - one of my favorite songs from childhood and a real treat to see it show up here :excited:

#11 samjjones

  • 1,475 posts
  • Location
    NJ: The Home of Sinatra, Springsteen, and Bon Jovi

Posted August 23, 2015 - 01:14 PM

Part-time wizard!

All of these sound great. "Allentown" is one of those songs that I've been patiently waiting for since the first Billy Joel pack got announced by HMX. It's probably my favorite Billy Joel song ever (and I'm a fairly big Billy Joel fan).

Marshall Tucker Band...can it really be?

The others all sound fantastic, too. Best of luck on these!

#12 samjjones

  • 1,475 posts
  • Location
    NJ: The Home of Sinatra, Springsteen, and Bon Jovi

Posted August 23, 2015 - 01:28 PM

Also, I agree completely about Atlanta Rhythm Section. I'm a 40 year old dude from New Jersey...which means that ARS wasn't played a whole lot on the radio by me when I was a kid.

HOWEVER...I distinctly remember hearing "So Into You" on AM radio when I was probably 3 or 4 years old...and the groove in that song made a very lasting impression. I'm really curious to see how another of their songs would play in RB.

Man..."Easy Listening" was all my parents ever listened to, and I probably have more of an appreciation for that style of music than I rightfully should! :)

#13 Hetz


    Beacon of Positivity

  • 761 posts

Posted August 23, 2015 - 04:16 PM

Wow, love all these! Cant wait for Allentown, Witchy Women and Honesty to be full band! :)

#14 mneilan

  • 287 posts

Posted August 23, 2015 - 04:18 PM

can't wait for heart what about love to be full band

#15 oscarj08

  • 368 posts
  • Location

Posted August 23, 2015 - 06:57 PM

nice choices :)

#16 FujiSkunk

  • 840 posts
  • Location
    Planet Houston

Posted August 27, 2015 - 12:05 AM

All download links are now in the OP.

"What about Love" now has pro keys. No 5-lane keys yet, so stay tuned!

#17 myfix

  • 89 posts
  • Location

Posted August 27, 2015 - 10:14 AM

Thank you :)

#18 FujiSkunk

  • 840 posts
  • Location
    Planet Houston

Posted August 28, 2015 - 01:40 AM

"Allentown" now has pro keys. No 5-lane keys yet, so stay tuned!

#19 PTownBrave22

  • 64 posts

Posted August 28, 2015 - 02:17 PM

If I may interject, I can't wait for Heard It In A Love Song and What About Love to be full band....those are insta-DL's for me.

Would be nice to get some more Heart and Styx too....they both seem lacking in my catalog.

#20 FujiSkunk

  • 840 posts
  • Location
    Planet Houston

Posted August 29, 2015 - 05:22 AM

Thanks for the encouragement. :)

"Heard It in a Love Song" now has pro keys. No 5-lane, yada yada.

"Witchy Woman" doesn't have any keyboards, so now it's onto other parts!

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users