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Using Actual Drum FX Instead Of ReaSynth

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#1 nineteenforever

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Posted July 7, 2016 - 01:43 AM



            Rockband drum charting is flexible, and not all color gems always represent the same notes. See the RBN Docs for more info.




Just doing some research into charting techniques and tips etc. and had an idea of changing the clicks/taps that play through ReaSynth into actual corresponding drum hits/notes.


I'm not sure if this has been brought up before (it most likely has) but I haven't seen much discussion about it, so I've decided to share my own experience and method.


It actually works really well, and with some more tweaking I could make it very near-perfect. I don't know if I've used the easiest method (because it's a little tedious to set up) but this is what I came up with:




(Credit to Drithscol and StackOverflow0x for the RB3-style preview. highly recommend it, it looks gorgeous and so much finer/more accurate than the RBN one)


As you can see I have FX's for each drum note, and it plays just like a full kit stereo drum stem.


This means you can blend it in and out of your song audio while it plays to make sure you got your drum beat absolutely 100%.


Also, for some it may help to create the actual beat, note by note and play it back until it matches.


I followed this tutorial on how to assign drum FX to an existing MIDI track in REAPER. With some small changes to a few instructions it can be adapted for RB use. Once created it can be saved to a template.


Unfortunately, given the nature of the 5-lane instruments it is not possible to pitch their notes for the song. However, ever since seeing the Pro instrument charts on the C3 Template I have seriously considered charting Pro and will likely try to sort some FX so it plays like the real instrument for a similar style of comparison.


I will add a tutorial on how to implement if people need help.


I am looking to add better integration, functionality and will try to get extras like note velocity to work for drum rolls with accents etc. I am aware that will make no difference in-game, but it can help us authors be sure that what we have charted is accurate.


Obvious limitations with workaround so far:


- Snare flams (can't chart yellow pad at the same time as it will always be either hi tom/hi-hat)

- disco flipped 1/16 note beats (must be charted yellow as hi-hat, red as snare to be heard properly this way -  can always flip them back for compiling)

#2 FujiSkunk

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Posted July 7, 2016 - 05:32 AM

You can always map the animation notes instead of the game-chart notes.  If you do that, you won't get as ideal of an audio double-check of your game chart, but you will get a better way to listen to the drums apart from the rest of the song.  The animation drum kit is much more robust, so things like snare flams and disco flips will sound more authentic.  99.999% percent of the time, the animation notes should match what's in the expert chart anyway, at least rhythmically, so it can still serve a purpose in charting.


This assumes of course you are creating drum animations, which you should. ;)

#3 Farottone


    The Lean Mean Customs Charting Machine

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Posted July 7, 2016 - 09:22 AM

Drums have no 1:1 relationship between the original chart and game notes, that's one of the first basic concepts authors need to pick up when starting working on drums. A green note can be a china, a crash, a splash, even a hi hat when played open handed. A yellow note can be a closed AND an open hi hat even in the very same measure, in addition to a crash and any other cymbal with a lot of wash. A blue note can be an open hi hat, a ride, a bell on a closed hi hat, etc.


What you're doing here (and that's been proposed, tried and discarded in the past) is hard-assigning sounds to notes and telling people to rely on that to author, while in fact they should not rely on those sounds to author, they should rely exclusively on the original sound. 1:1 works only for vocals and keys, for all author instruments ReaSynth, or the clicker, is the only thing that provides a good support. Assigning the wrong sound to a game note makes things harder and teaches people the wrong concepts.

#4 nineteenforever

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Posted July 7, 2016 - 11:54 AM

FujiSkunk that is an interesting idea! Although I usually add drums animations with CAT tools after I've already done the drum chart.

Farottone that's a good point, can I stick a disclaimer of sorts on the end of the post? I didn't think to mention that's it's just a kind of gimmick-y mess on, it's main utility I found was when listening to the song audio you can blend the audio in and out while it plays alongside the drum track, which I thought was pretty neat.

know that about the drums, it's detailed clearly in the RBN Docs, but you're right I didn't think I might potentially be misleading beginners - I will amend the post with an NB. (This particular song was quite basic, so it was within the scope of the idea) :P


Also I was almost certain people would've attempted it in the past, but it was just something I was playing around with, if I can get it to work quite well I will update, but if not I will leave it.

#5 FujiSkunk

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Posted July 7, 2016 - 06:40 PM

I agree with Farrottone in that the sounds of a MIDI drum kit should not be relied on exclusively for drum charting.  Even if you can establish a 1:1 mapping between the song's actual kit and the gems in the game, that may still not provide for the most ideal or "fun" game chart.  Having said that, I think a MIDI drum kit can be a useful tool in addition to listening to the song.  It's the same reason I sometimes map a MIDI piano to the pro keys chart instead of the default ReaSynth buzzsaw.  Hearing something closer to the actual instrument can help me dig out of the song what the actual instrument is playing.  To that end, I would still recommend mapping a MIDI kit to the animation chart instead of the game chart, both so that you have a larger kit to work with and so that the game chart is less likely to be swayed unfairly by what you're hearing.  Better yet, if you're the musically enterprising type and you don't already have a MIDI file of your song, create a separate track, try to recreate the song's drums using the entire MIDI drum kit at your disposal, and then build your game chart from that.  That's sort of what I've done with a few of my songs, which were charted using MIDI's I had sequenced a while back.

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