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Learning to Author


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#1 toastninja82

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Posted April 15, 2020 - 03:45 PM

I'm interested in trying my hand at customs, I wanted to start by using a pre-existing CON file to add a track that wasn't on it. Like putting a vocal chart on a song that doesn't have one. I am running into trouble getting it from a CON file into reaper. There's a mountain of information on these forums but I have no idea where to start. Any help would be greatly appreciated!



#2 FujiSkunk

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Posted April 15, 2020 - 08:28 PM

Welcome!  Authoring customs is a noble goal, and looking at how existing customs are charted is a fine place to start.

 

C3 CON Tools has a sort-of "hidden" tool we call the CON explorer, which appears whenever you drag a CON onto the C3 CON Tools window, but not onto any specific button.  The explorer will let you copy and paste files out of the CON, including its MIDI file.  The CON explorer can also be used to extract the audio tracks (that is, the MOGG file), but keep in mind most CON's use encrypted audio, which won't work after extraction.

 

Authors are often happy to hear someone has taken an interest in updating their older projects, so you may also want to consider PM'ing the original author and letting him or her know you'd like to add vocals.  They might even provide you with their original project files, making extractions unnecessary.



#3 rubydanger

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Posted April 16, 2020 - 12:08 AM

Lol, if you are just looking for how to Reaper and vocals right now, I have plenty of songs that need vocals pitched.  I would be more than happy to send you over all the behind the scenes files so you can learn how to pitch vocals.  Have a look at my songs to see if there is anything you'd be interested in experimenting with.

 

http://customscreato...??&authID=11659


Proud member of SomeOldGuys collab group - see our WIP here

Video on how I tempo map

Beginners Vocal charting video


#4 Shroud

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Posted April 16, 2020 - 03:25 PM

I'm interested in trying my hand at customs, I wanted to start by using a pre-existing CON file to add a track that wasn't on it. Like putting a vocal chart on a song that doesn't have one. 

 

You'll be more than welcome!  :D I personally ignore any customs that has unpitched vocals, and I don't think I am alone in this.

 

If the customs you've decided to work on is not multitrack, encrypted audio is not a problem, just extract the audio using Phase Shift converterin C3 CON Tools. This method doesn't work for encrypted multitrack audio, or rather it does work but it will merge all multitracks into a single stereo track. For the purpose of transcribing vocals this is not a huge problem although having a vocal-only stem makes transcribing easier. In such case, ask the original author to give you the multitrack separated stems; even if they don't want to share them, you can still chart the vocals from a single-track audio, but you won't be able to build the song in Magma with the original audio, you'll have to send your updated MIDI file to the original author to do that for you.

 

Loading the MIDI in Reaper is easy but not trivial. If you have already setup Reaper according to the instructions for authoring, just create an empty project, add the C3 template, and load the MIDI from the menu Insert -> Media file... and choose both options to expand midi tracks and merge tempo mapping. Then, you need to move up/down the inserted midi tracks so that they align up with the template, which will spare your sanity when trying to understand which notes and other stuff you're adding  :)

 

See if you can get to this point without issues, then we'll take you from there  :cool:



#5 jrod916

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Posted May 2, 2020 - 04:26 AM

C3 CON Tools has a sort-of "hidden" tool we call the CON explorer, which appears whenever you drag a CON onto the C3 CON Tools window, but not onto any specific button.  The explorer will let you copy and paste files out of the CON, including its MIDI file.

 

Cool, thank you for the information, I've managed to get the midi copied to my clipboard. But I have a dilemma regarding the information shroud gave:

 

 

Loading the MIDI in Reaper is easy but not trivial. If you have already setup Reaper according to the instructions for authoring, just create an empty project, add the C3 template, and load the MIDI from the menu Insert -> Media file... and choose both options to expand midi tracks and merge tempo mapping. Then, you need to move up/down the inserted midi tracks so that they align up with the template, which will spare your sanity when trying to understand which notes and other stuff you're adding  :)

 

I'm confused because all I have the for the song I copied is the MIDI file saved to my clipboard. I don't have anything as a file saved anywhere, so the Insert -> media file is kinda moot because Import file into project in Reaper draws from saved files. Am I supposed to save this MIDI file that I have copied to my clipboard somewhere, and if so, how, and is that how I put the MIDI file into Reaper? Thank you both.



#6 rubydanger

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Posted May 3, 2020 - 12:55 AM

Just drag and drop the .mid file to an empty spot on the track list in Reaper

 


Proud member of SomeOldGuys collab group - see our WIP here

Video on how I tempo map

Beginners Vocal charting video


#7 hardcoredrummer

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Posted May 15, 2020 - 12:15 AM

was just curious if this was an updated tutorial on how to make customs? not sure how i came across it or if it's a c3 tutorial etc.

https://www.youtube....h?v=7ifN94gP5S4



#8 hardcoredrummer

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Posted July 18, 2020 - 05:49 AM

hey there just 

 

Welcome!  Authoring customs is a noble goal, and looking at how existing customs are charted is a fine place to start.

 

C3 CON Tools has a sort-of "hidden" tool we call the CON explorer, which appears whenever you drag a CON onto the C3 CON Tools window, but not onto any specific button.  The explorer will let you copy and paste files out of the CON, including its MIDI file.  The CON explorer can also be used to extract the audio tracks (that is, the MOGG file), but keep in mind most CON's use encrypted audio, which won't work after extraction.

 

Authors are often happy to hear someone has taken an interest in updating their older projects, so you may also want to consider PM'ing the original author and letting him or her know you'd like to add vocals.  They might even provide you with their original project files, making extractions unnecessary.

Just curious if is best practice to encrypt the audio file for c3? Would you say most authors do that?

I get talking reaching out to authors about their project file but I think mentioned in another thread some are no longer around and others don't sort of play nice in regards to their charts...



#9 rubydanger

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Posted July 18, 2020 - 06:11 AM

No, I would say encrypting is the minority


Proud member of SomeOldGuys collab group - see our WIP here

Video on how I tempo map

Beginners Vocal charting video


#10 Shroud

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Posted July 18, 2020 - 12:48 PM

No, I would say encrypting is the minority


Really? I think almost all the customs I have are encrypted.

#11 Alternity

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Posted July 18, 2020 - 01:39 PM

Usually people who encrypt have stems.



#12 hardcoredrummer

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Posted July 18, 2020 - 04:05 PM

No, I would say encrypting is the minority

it wasn't even checked on my magma by default...



#13 hardcoredrummer

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Posted July 29, 2020 - 08:30 PM

was wondering if someone could help with a few things about authoring from a downloaded midi. (not a con midi)

done the tempo mapping thing and charted by ear. but found some midis of some songs which should help me do more than drums depending on how close or accurate the midi is...

 

firstly no audio. i assume i have to assign an instrument or some kind of audio to the channels so i can distinguish guitar parts etc?

they also seem really detailed and i'm having a hard time finding the drums...they are labeled but it's mostly guitar 1 and 2 bass, piano and guitar effects...

sure i should be able to figure the drum track out with the notes or by process of elimination but then there is no audio and these charts look more complex than what i've seen...

 

a lot of sections seem transparent or sort of greyed out like they are ghost notes or something as well



#14 Spindoctor

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Posted July 29, 2020 - 10:58 PM

was wondering if someone could help with a few things about authoring from a downloaded midi. (not a con midi)

done the tempo mapping thing and charted by ear. but found some midis of some songs which should help me do more than drums depending on how close or accurate the midi is...

 

firstly no audio. i assume i have to assign an instrument or some kind of audio to the channels so i can distinguish guitar parts etc?

Don't need to, open any track of the midi by double clicking it, push play on your audio and then look at the notes in the midi.

 

they also seem really detailed and i'm having a hard time finding the drums...they are labeled but it's mostly guitar 1 and 2 bass, piano and guitar effects...

sure i should be able to figure the drum track out with the notes or by process of elimination but then there is no audio and these charts look more complex than what i've seen..

On many midis I have used drums is usually named Grand piano. It helps if you can find the drums track. Line up the first note of the drum track to the proper place in the audio. If you have done a good job of tempo mapping, the notes should be in time with the music.

Remember if you have to align the midi be sure to move all the midi tracks the same so they will all align

 

a lot of sections seem transparent or sort of greyed out like they are ghost notes or something as well.

This is caused by highlighting several tracks and then opening one, make sure you single click the track first to highlight it, then double click it to open.

.


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"  

Bono


#15 hardcoredrummer

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Posted August 4, 2020 - 07:39 PM

Was just curious about tempo mapping. I think i've heard and read a few different things on the subject in regards to mapping the peaks of the wave file.

 

Should you put the cursor just in front of the peak or dead center for mapping?

also if you have a song that is say 95 bpm. I find that depending on where you put the marker for doing your tempo map you can almost hit it on 95 bpm. i find that's closer to the center but if you do just before the peak you get like 96.5 etc.

does that even matter? 



#16 Shroud

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Posted August 4, 2020 - 08:17 PM

Was just curious about tempo mapping. I think i've heard and read a few different things on the subject in regards to mapping the peaks of the wave file.
 
Should you put the cursor just in front of the peak or dead center for mapping?
also if you have a song that is say 95 bpm. I find that depending on where you put the marker for doing your tempo map you can almost hit it on 95 bpm. i find that's closer to the center but if you do just before the peak you get like 96.5 etc.
does that even matter? 


It's difficult to say. The kickdrum and snare peaks aren't always neat, sometimes they might appear jagged or split in two. You may also notice, that if you zoom out too much then a single pixel discrepancy might result in too large time error, but if you zoom in too much then the peak looks so jagged that it might be difficult to say which is really the peak. There's a sweet spot for zooming that will give you less headaches, and generally you can see it's good enough when the resulting tempo markers have variations within +/-1 bpm (assuming the song doesn't have actual audible speed variations).

#17 hardcoredrummer

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Posted August 4, 2020 - 09:10 PM

It's difficult to say. The kickdrum and snare peaks aren't always neat, sometimes they might appear jagged or split in two. You may also notice, that if you zoom out too much then a single pixel discrepancy might result in too large time error, but if you zoom in too much then the peak looks so jagged that it might be difficult to say which is really the peak. There's a sweet spot for zooming that will give you less headaches, and generally you can see it's good enough when the resulting tempo markers have variations within +/-1 bpm (assuming the song doesn't have actual audible speed variations).

yeah when you are real close the lines hardly move and that seems like a good tolerance....

 

 

thanks. one last thing. think i mentioned it before. should i be using the template that has the master track at +0.50 db or just 0 it?

 

also the metronome in reaper. i assume when you don't hear anything and the high click it's in time and the low thud is something off?



#18 rubydanger

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Posted August 4, 2020 - 10:15 PM

The metronome should simply blend in. The .5 setting depends on what results you get while rendering. It will tell you just watch while it renders. You want THAT number to be 0

Proud member of SomeOldGuys collab group - see our WIP here

Video on how I tempo map

Beginners Vocal charting video





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