ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

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ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby ZSonicMaster » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:45 pm

Yes, it's me again, and by now, hopefully most of you know who I am. I'm a metal fretter, and I've been making charts for over and a year and a half by now. Just like everyone else, I started off small and kind of n00bish, but I now own one of the most popular threads on the forums, and I've created around 200 songs. As you might have heard, I'm going on indefinite hiatus in a week (beginning boarding school!) but I'm starting this thread as a way to share my knowledge.

Anyway, I've used EOF since I started fretting, and I've become quite an expert with it. This thread is intended to be the most comprehensive and informative source of knowledge on fretting and EOF. As such, it's going to take me a few days to complete such a large project. My projected goal is to be finished with the guide by next Friday (the day I leave), but it might take longer (or shorter, depending on how much time I put into it). Covered in this topic will be how to create and publish songs, fretting and synchronizing accurately, charting guitar as well as drums, and a myriad other topics. I am rather long-winded when it comes to writing, so you might have to do a bit of digging to find what you're looking for. Fortunately, I'm including a table of contents below. And so we begin!



Chapter 1: Introduction

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EOF is one of the programs commonly used to fret songs, along with Feedback and a couple of other, less popular ones. Unlike the other programs, EOF is specifically created for Frets on Fire, reducing the amount of file conversions and confusion you have to go through. Feedback and the other programs are made for creating Guitar Hero custom songs, and are generally regarded as obsolete and old-fashioned, though there are many people who still use Feedback. However, I strongly suggest you use EOF since it's made for Frets on Fire and there are no important file conversions you need to perform. This guide is for all fretters, new and experienced, to better teach them the ways of EOF, and perhaps the Frets on Fire (henceforth FoF) community as a whole.

1a: Necessary Programs

The first program you will need, of course, is EOF itself. You can download it here. (The current version is 1.71, I'm pretty sure I've been using 1.62, but it doesn't really matter).

Secondly, you need Audacity. Make sure it's the latest version; right now it's the 1.3.13 Beta. Audacity is a free music editor you need to convert song files.

You might need to download these two plug-ins for Audacity, which can both be downloaded at this page. One is the LAME MP3 Encoder, which will allow you to import and export MP3 files. The second one is the FFmpeg Library, which allows you to import and export AAC files (the file type you buy off of iTunes). This is very important, especially if you use iTunes.

The next program is one I find very helpful, the MixMeister BPM Analyzer. You'll use this program to find the average BPM (more on that later) of your song, which will make it loads easier to fret. However, it can only import MP3's and WAV's.

Chances are, you'll already have WinRAR. It's a file compressor along the lines of WinZIP, except it makes .rar files. Note that the version you download is merely a free 40-day trial. However, the program never stops working after the trial expires, you're just prompted to buy it. You can just keep using it, though it's technically illegal. No biggie.

Finally, you'll need FoFiX to test out your songs. Most likely, you already have it. The version I have is version 3.121, but it looks like version 4 is available for download, you can try it if you want, but when I mention FoFiX in this thread, I'm talking about v3.121.

*note* DO NOT use the original Frets on Fire to fret or test songs. It's old, outdated, and obsolete, and the fretting program on it is terrible. Trust me, I used to use it, and the quality of my charts dramatically improved when I switched to using FoFiX and EOF.

This may seem like a lot of stuff to download, but when you get everything in working order, you'll wonder what you did without this stuff. Some of the programs (especially Audacity and WinRAR) can be put to good use outside of doing things for FoF.
Last edited by ZSonicMaster on Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:59 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby raynebc » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:35 pm

I have a couple notes:

*You don't need Audacity to import MP3 files, EOF will import them for you and will allow you to choose a bitrate for encoding the resulting OGG file for the chart audio.

*I believe MixMeister can import WAV format as well, but it would be better to use Harmonix's method of using a waveform graph to create the tempo map for the chart. EOF allows you to display the waveform graph for the currently loaded OGG file by pressing the F5 key, and this makes it quite a bit easier to accurately place anchors or even to manually place tempo changes.

The waveform graph was added in the EOF 1.7 release. There have been an enormous number of improvements since 1.62, so I'd definitely recommend you update to 1.71. If you're willing, you could even try the latest beta version to allow authoring newer features available in Rock Band 3 and Phase Shift.
Last edited by raynebc on Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby ZSonicMaster » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:53 pm

You need Audacity to convert an AAC file (if you're an iTunes user like myself) to an MP3. Otherwise you can skip that step. And I tried the waveform thing, but pressing F5 didn't do anything. It's probably just my version of EOF. I'm just going to stick with the MixMeister method for now, since it's what I know best, but thanks for the extra info!

Anyway...
Chapter 2: How to Create a Song

This chapter will show you how to create a song (using the ZSonicMaster method). If you're not a newbie, you'll already know how to do this.

For some reason, you can only make songs using Ogg Vorbis (.ogg) files, but luckily EOF can convert MP3's to that format for us! However, if you don't have an MP3 of the song you want to fret, you'll need to make one. (This applies mostly to people with AAC (iTunes) or WAV (Windows Media) files. If you're like me and buy lots of stuff off iTunes, this is your trick. If you're not like me and get your stuff off the internet illegally, you can most likely skip this step.)

First, open Audacity. If this is your first time using Audacity, don't be intimidated. You only need to get used to the controls if you plan on doing a bit of song editing (more on that later). For now, just go to File > Import > Audio.
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Find your song (I hope you can) and select it. It'll be imported into Audacity so you can fiddle around with it. When you're done, go to File > Export.
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Make sure you save the file as an MP3 (remember, if the file already is an MP3, you can skip this entire step). Also, you should save it onto your Desktop, so you can find it easily. In fact, I made a folder on my Desktop that was just for converted songs I was planning on using later. This really helps for organization's sake.

2a: Finding Your Song's BPM with MixMeister

Finding the BPM (Beats Per Minute) of your song is a very important step. Different people have different ways of doing it. The method I use is the MixMeister program I prompted you to download earlier. MixMeister will take your MP3's (or WAV's) and calculate their BPM's quickly and efficiently. All you have to do is this:

Open MixMeister and click the Import Music File button.
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Find the MP3 of your song and click on it. You actually have to select the folder the song is in, but if you created a special folder for your conversions, this should be no problem. MixMeister will take a minute to calculate the BPM, and voila! You're done. Leave this window up and continue with the next step.

2b: Starting a New Song in EOF
Now you've done that, open EOF. Go to File and select New.
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You'll be prompted to select the song file. Select the same one you loaded into MixMeister, and you'll be again prompted to enter the artist and title of the song (Make sure you use proper punctuation!!!) Now just hit "OK" a few times, and you'll be forced to wait while EOF converts the MP3 file into an OGG. Note that loading an OGG file into EOF takes no time at all (no conversion needed, you see), but MixMeister can't do anything with that file type, so I use MP3's.

When the conversion is done, (it takes a short amount of time, dependent on how fast your computer is) you'll be left with a blank song! Hoorah!
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby TheHornSkull » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:35 pm

Waiting for the rest...
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby ZSonicMaster » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:05 pm

Chapter 3: Knowing Your Way Around EOF

This chapter will explain the basic controls and features of EOF. If you're already familiar with the program, you can skip it, but you might be missing out on a couple of my special tricks :wink:

First off, I'll explain basic controls, how to place notes, etc. You can refer to the bottom image in my previous post if you need help.

The are three main parts of EOF: The chart where you actually place notes, the information panel, and the preview window. You'll be using the chart the most, and the info panel the least.

To place a note, hover your cursor over the chart and right click. Depending on what grid snap (more on that later) you're using, the note will automatically be placed. You can add notes to make chords, or place another one further on down the line. To add a note to your selection, hold down Ctrl and click on another note. To select a precise amount of notes, hold down Shift and click the notes on both ends of the selection you're making (e.g. a repeating riff).

To preview your chart, press spacebar, and your song will play in the preview window. This is mostly just to see if what you're doing looks good, it doesn't help much with synchronization unless you have claps and/or metronome on. Press spacebar again to stop playback. Note that can you cannot do anything with EOF while you're watching the preview, this includes saving the chart, and placing notes.

One important feature to know about is slowing down the playback. To do this, hold down Ctrl and hit spacebar. This will slow the song down to half speed (I think), which really, really helps with charting. When the song is slowed down, you can sync notes more precisely, and sometimes you can hear things in the song you can't hear at normal speed. Note that slowing down playback is invaluable to charting fast guitar solos.

The info panel is the third part of the screen. Really it isn't that important, I mostly use it so I can see if claps or metronome are turned on (in case I forget). However, it'll tell you how many notes are in the song, which note (or how many) you've selected, and a myriad other functions that may or may not be helpful to you.

3a: Keyboard Shortcuts

Below I've listed the keyboard shortcuts that I use the most. There are plenty of others, but I don't use some of them.

K: Turn on/off claps (plays a clap every time a note crosses the play line, invaluable for synchronization.)
M: Turn on/off metronome (plays a metronome noise every time a beat line crosses the play line, also helps with synchronization.)
Ctrl + C: Copy a note. Can also be used to copy a selection of notes.
Ctrl + V: Paste a note that has been copied, or a selection of notes. (Note that you cannot cut and paste in EOF)
F2: Save your chart. Do this often! It'll be saved in your EOF folder (I suggest you make a shortcut to it on your desktop for easy access.)
Esc: Close EOF. Note that you cannot "X" the program out, you have to click "Exit" in the file menu, or hit Escape.
Left & Right: Scroll back and forth through the chart.
Up & Down: Change the color of the note.
Ctrl + Z: Undo an action. You can undo ~5 actions with this.
Ctrl + Y: Redo an action that you just undid.
Del: Delete the selected note(s).
Ctrl + A: Place an anchor on the currently selected beat line.

3b: The "File" Menu

The File Menu is where you save and load charts, among other things. Its various functions are explained below.
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New: Start a new song.
Load: Load a previously existing song (Must be a .eof file)
Save: Save the currently loaded song.
Save as: Make a copy of the currently loaded song and save it somewhere else.
Load OGG: I never used this, but I'm guessing it's for loading new music files.
MIDI Import: Load a previously existing song (Must be a .midi file) This is how you load songs that were not created with EOF.
Settings: Change some of the technical settings of EOF. I didn't use this option much, it works fine as it is.
Preferences: Changes the way the song is saved. Another option I seldom used.
Display: Changes the display settings of EOF. If your computer has trouble running it, use this option to make the window size smaller, and therefore more manageable.
Controllers: The presence of this option insinuates that EOF has controller support, but I never used this.
Song Folder: This brings up a window to select the song folder. Not exactly sure what it does, but it isn't necessary.
Link to FOF: Another option I never used. I don't think it works anyway.
Exit: Gives you the option to close EOF. I usually just press Esc instead.

3c: The "Edit" Menu

The Edit Menu helps a lot with changing your song editing settings.
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Undo: Undo up to around 5 previous actions. I just use Ctrl + Z for this.
Redo: Redo an action you just undid. I just use Ctrl + Y.
Copy: Copy the selected note(s). I just use Ctrl + C.
Paste: Paste the notes you previously copied. I just use Ctrl + V.
Old Paste: Paste the notes that you copied before the last time you copied. Not something I used often, so I'm no expert with it.
Paste from: Not sure how this one works. It might mean you can paste from another song, which could be helpful.
Grid Snap: Brings up a submenu where you can select the grid snap. More on that later.
Zoom: Changes the zoom level of the chart. I like to keep mine on 1/5.
Speed: Changes the speed of the playback window. I like to keep it on Fast, but it really depends on how experienced you are with FoF.
Playback Rate: Changes the rate of the playback window. Pressing Ctrl + Space automatically sets it to 50% but you can permanently set it with this menu.
HOPO: Changes the formula for HOPO creation (more on that later). I keep mine on RF (not sure what it stands for), but I suggest you set it to the same settings as you have on FoFiX.
Metronome: Turns the metronome on and off. I just press M instead.
Claps: Turns the claps on and off. I just press K instead.
Clap Notes: Select which notes clap when the cross the play line. Especially useful for charting drums, so you can hear when snares only come across, etc.
Bookmark: I never really took the time to figure out how bookmarks work, but I can see how they'd be helpful. You can set one to a number (1-0) for easy searching.
Selection: Make certain note selections. Not a menu I ever used.

3d: The "Song" Menu

The Song Menu aids in changing the settings of your song, and finding certain parts of it.
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Seek: Find a certain part of the song.
Track: Important. Switch to the note chart for a different instrument. Included instruments are Guitar, Bass, Guitar Co-Op, Rhythm, Drums, and Vocals.
Catalog: I have no idea what this does or how it would be important.
File Info: Look at the technical info for your song. Not much to do here.
INI Settings: Not sure about this, but I think you can add certain doodads to your song using it.
Properties: Review your song's properties. Set the title, artist, fretter (you), and a bunch of other stuff here. Also, this is where you can turn on 8th Note HOPO (more on that later).
Test in FOF: This might have something to do with the Link to FOF option, but I don't think it works that well. You can try it.

3e: The "Note" Menu

You have to have a note(s) selected to use this menu, but it helps with several things.
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Toggle: Change the color of the selected note(s). I just use the up & down arrow keys to do this.
Transpose Up: Make the selected note(s) go higher up (towards orange/purple) on the color scale. I just use the up arrow key for this.
Transpose Down: Make the selected note(s) go lower (towards green) on the color scale. I just use the down arrow key for this.
Resnap: During your charting adventure, some of your notes might go slightly off of the current grid snap. Use this to put them back in position. It can mess up your chart if you're not careful, however!
Edit Lyric: I imagine you use this for charting vocals, but since I never did that I never used this option.
Toggle Crazy: This changes the way the notes look, but beyond that I'm not sure what it does.
Solos: You use this for marking solos, but it's not recommended since the way it does it doesn't work with FoFiX.
Star Power: Same basic principle as above.
Lyric Lines: Once again, this is most likely for charting vocals, but I never used it.
Hopo: This is used to manually control whether or not a note is a HOPO. Unfortunately, the changes don't carry over to FoFiX, so this option is best left alone.
Delete: Delete the selected note(s). I just use the Del key for this.

3f. The "Beat" Menu

The Beat Menu helps change the beat settings of the song. For some reason some of the options never become available, so I don't use them.
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BPM Change: Change the BPM of the song after the currently selected beat line. Turns the beat line into an anchor. The more experienced you get with anchors, the less you'll use this option.
Time Signature: Change the time signature of the song. I know some people use this but I don't really get how it affects the outcome of the song.
Add: I'm not sure what they're adding, since this option never becomes available.
Delete: Same as above.
Push Offset Back: You can't push the MIDI offset back unless you've already pushed it up. An option I never really used.
Push Offset Up: I think this affects where the notes start at the beginning of the song, but I never really used this option.
Anchor Beat: Places an anchor on the currently selected beat line. I use Ctrl + A for this.
Toggle Anchor: Turns the anchor on or off. I'm not sure if it completely removes the anchor or not, so you're best off not using it, just in case.
Delete Anchor: A useful option. Deletes the currently selected anchor. Unfortunately there's no keyboard shortcut for it.
Reset BPM: I'm guessing this does what it says, but I'm not sure exactly since it never becomes available.
Calculate BPM: Same as above.
All Events: Review and skip to all the events you've placed in the song.
Events: Mostly used to mark guitar solos and/or star power. More on how to do that later.
Clear Events: Delete all of the events placed in the song.

3g. The "Help" Menu

For me, the Help Menu is the least-used menu in the program. You don't really need it if you've read this guide. :wink:
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Manual: Opens an online manual for EOF in your web browser. Mostly helpful for figuring out menu functions (which is what I'm explaining now).
Tutorial: Opens an online tutorial for EOF in your web browser. I've never looked at it until now. It's sort of making this guide seem redundant.
Keys: Tells you all of the keyboard functions in the program, including ones I never use (and therefore didn't put in the guide).
About: Opens a very small window of boring software information.

And that's all! Stick around for Chapter 4, which I'll probably write sometime tomorrow!
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby raynebc » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:52 pm

Some more notes:
-Some input methods have notes placed without using a right mouse click. For example, the RexMundi input method has you use number keys. Some also allow you to place notes while the chart is playing.
-You can also set a playback speed manually by using Edit>Playback Rate>Custom. CTRL+Spacebar does play the chart back at half speed.
-Some of the keyboard shortcuts have changed in newer versions of EOF.
-File>Controllers allows you to set the buttons you use to place notes during playback for guitar strum or tap input methods.
-File>Song Folder is used to define where your FoF songs folder is, for when you use the Test in FoF and Test in Phase Shift features.
-Paste From pastes notes from another difficulty of the active track.
-The Edit>HOPO setting only affects the display of HOPOs in the 3D preview.
-The catalog allows you to store a selection of notes so that you can paste repeating note patterns easily.
-Toggle crazy allows you to makes notes overlap each other for "extended sustains" that are used in some Guitar Hero games. FoFiX doesn't support these reliably, but Phase Shift does.
-The solo marking works as expected. FoFiX has requirements for them to work correctly, which are explained in EOF's tutorial.
-Forced HOPOs work in Phase Shift and Rock Band.
-Options in the beat menu are disabled when they cannot be used for the currently selected beat marker. The first beat is automatically selected when you load a chart, to manipulate other beats, you have to click one of them.

Over all, the included manual is the most complete description of EOF's functions.
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby italianstal1ion » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:43 pm

The tutorial is very lengthy. I feel like the specifics on menu operations can be handled by the EOF manual. Isn't that why it was written?

And what is with MixMeister? It is seriously awful for finding song BPM. Sites like this are a million times more accurate, and you can use it for when the BPM changes drastically: http://www.all8.com/tools/bpm.htm . I don't know how MixMeister is accurate at all. It's like the freetar of BPM measuring.
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby ZSonicMaster » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:25 am

Yeah, I find it only gives me a good BPM about 50% of the time. But don't worry, the guide isn't over yet. I had just had to get that part out of the way so noobs would know what I meant about "changing Grid Snap".

Chapter 4: Synchronization

In this chapter I'll explain my method (might not be yours, but it works) of synchronizing your songs, e.g. making sure the notes are in the right place, e.g. making sure the chart doesn't feel stupid when you play it.

The very first step of charting your song is adjusting the first beat marker (I think this is called the MIDI offset, but I'm not sure). Here's a picture (note that your song won't have all of these notes right at the outset :tongue: )

Image

Turn on metronome (M) and claps (K). As you get more experienced, you may find one of these features works better for you than the other, but the best method is to use them in combination when you need them. Anyway, find the first note in your song. It might be at the very beginning (like in Bleed) or it could be after a wait (Note that if your song begins with like a 2 minute keyboard interlude or something, you might want to edit it before hand with Audacity).

If the first note is near the beginning of the song, drag the first beat marker (click the arrow at the top of the chart [it's selected and green in the above picture]), and, using the metronome, synchronize it carefully with the note. Slowing down playback (Ctrl + Space) really helps. If metronome doesn't work for you, place a note on the first beat marker and use claps instead. If the first note isn't near the beginning of the song (Say, 20 seconds in), select the nearest beat marker and drag it to the right spot instead. If you try to drag the first beat marker that far, you might cause some errors. I once tried to make a part of a song 1 BPM (for HOPO purposes), but that part of the song got screwed up, so I had to go back and edit it. I'm not sure how slow you can make a song without an error occurring, but I'd say it's safest not to go below 40 BPM.

Note that when you drag a beat marker, that marker automatically turns into an anchor (more on that soon). This is very important, as you will soon see.

4a: Anchors

Anchors take a while to get the hang of, but are very important to master. Using anchors is vital to the proper synchronization of your song. Basically, an anchor is a point in the song at which you can change the Beats Per Minute (BPM) without changing the BPM of the rest of the song. It's important for parts when the song changes speed, or for songs with gritty production values. I've noticed that songs with gritty, raw production (Such as Baroness or Isis) take more anchors, and are more of a challenge to sync. Songs with clean production, and/or steady beats (Opeth, Meshuggah) make do with fewer anchors and are far easier to sync (and easier for MixMeister to make a BPM estimate for).

If you don't understand the concept of anchors yet, try this exercise:
1. Go to Beat > BPM Change and type in any number (preferably between 70 and 200). Notice how the intervals between beat lines get bigger or smaller, depending on what number you entered (EOF's default BPM is 120). Also notice how there is now a red arrow above the first beat marker. This is an anchor.
2. Now, select a beat marker a few beats down from your first anchor. Change the BPM to a different number. Notice how the BPM after the new anchor changes, and the BPM before does not.
3. Next, select a third beat marker farther down the chart, and drag it to a certain point of your choice. This will change the BPM of the anchor before the point you just selected. Also note that the beat marker you dragged has become an anchor as well.

Here's a picture of anchor at work:
Image
The BPM before the first anchor on the left is 115. I selected a beat marker and turned it into an anchor, then took the next one and dragged it to the right, changing the beat to 64.72 BPM. After the second anchor, the BPM stays the same as it was previously (115 BPM). Don't worry if you don't understand, you'll get it with enough practice.

Note how in the picture, the notes after the first anchor are in the same position as the ones after the second anchor. They're just more spread out, because the BPM is slower.

4b: Creating a Beat Map

Now that you understand anchors and beat markers, you can start synchronizing your song. If you so wish, take the BPM you got from MixMeister and enter it into the chart (using Beat > BPM change). Now turn on the metronome and hit Spacebar (you can slow down playback for more precision, if you want). Listen to the metronome, and see if it's on beat with the song. It might turn out MixMeister sucked and gave you an errant BPM, but sometimes it's spot on (especially with songs with slick production). If the beat markers are offbeat, drag a marker a couple beats down the chart to a point that you think might be on beat. Note that this will turn it into an anchor, and the BPM after it will stay the same as before.

Check with the metronome again, and keep adjusting until it feels right. Now, after the anchor, the song will still be offbeat, since that part was never adjusted. Well, that can be easily remedied. Just delete the anchor, and the rest of the song will adjust to the new BPM. After that, keep listening to the song with the metronome turned on, placing anchors where needed and adjusting the BPM. I like to leave anchors at the start of a new riff and adjust the BPM at the end of the riff, and then delete the new anchor to keep the BPM going steady.

Of course, sometimes the BPM will actually change, depending on whether or not the song's production is gritty, or just the song itself. Make sure you place an anchor at the right spot and adjust the BPM, so this part of the song is charted correctly. Remember, synchronization is just as important as notation, if not more.

One easy technique I like to use is good for repeating patterns and riffs; When you finish placing the notes for the riff, adjust the note marker at the end of the riff until all the notes are synced. Then, copy and paste the riff, and keep repeating, using an anchor after each repetition. If you're lucky, you won't need to use an anchor for every repetition of the riff, but it depends on the song's production.

One important thing to know about anchors is this: If you hold Shift and drag a beat marker, the notes surrounding it will not change position with the beat. If you do not hold Shift and drag the beat marker, the notes will be adjusted with the beat.

Anchors come naturally with experience. Later on I'll show you some tips and tricks about using them to create hammer-ons and pull-offs. I'm sorry if this part of the guide was confusing, but it's a difficult concept to explain. Just experiment with it and you'll understand soon enough.

4c: Grid Snap

Your song's Grid Snap settings are another important part of synchronization. Basically, if you have grid snap turned on, the notes you place will automatically snap to a certain interval in the song, which is exceedingly useful for creating precise, professional charts. To change your grid snap, go to Edit > Grid Snap and select one.

Now, I hardly know anything about music theory, so my methods of explaining this may seem rather... dumb. Just bear with me. There are four types of grid snap: 1/2, 1/3, Custom, and Off. They are explained below:

1/2: Grid Snap based on intervals of two. The options are 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32. 1/32 is the most precise.
1/3: Grid Snap based on intervals of three (Though the available options are also multiples of two). The options are 1/12, 1/24, and 1/48. 1/48 is the most precise (and preferred) of all grid snap.
Custom: It's supposed to let you enter your own grid snap, but it never worked when I tried it.
Off: Turn off grid snap, basically letting you place a note anywhere you want, only limited by the amount of pixels on your screen. This generally isn't recommended, since it isn't precise.

Most of the time, you'll find yourself switching between 1/2 and 1/3 grid snaps. The difference between the two is how many notes they can place between a beat. A 1/32 grid snap can place 5 or more notes evenly on beat, while 1/48 can place 3 or more notes evenly on beat, as well as 5. However, 1/32 snap can place notes in certain spots 1/48 snap can't, making it useful as well. Basically, what grid snap you use depends upon the BPM of the song you're fretting. Below is an example of different grid snaps.

Image
Green: 5th notes placed with 1/32 grid snap. Notice the short tails of the notes. Notes placed at these intervals can become hammer-ons.
Red: 5th notes placed with 1/48 grid snap. They're in the same position as the green notes, but with shorter tails (since the grid snap is a higher a number).
Yellow: 3rd notes placed with 1/48 grid snap. Note that you cannot place notes evenly in these positions using a 1/2 grid snap. Notes placed at these intervals can also be hammer-ons.
Blue: Half notes placed with 1/48 grid snap. In FoFiX, both of these notes will be placed on their own beat line, creating a clean, polished look. However, notes at this interval won't be turned into hammer-ons.
Purple (and the following Red): Whole note placed with 1/4 grid snap. Only one of these notes can be placed in a beat, and it comes with a beat-long tail.

Remember, if you're having trouble placing your notes on-beat, try changing the grid snap. It might turn out that the 5th notes you were trying to place were actually 3rd notes in the song (meaning you'd have to switch to a 1/3 snap). This another thing it might take a while to get the hang of. Just keep working at it, and you'll get it.

Synchronization is the hardest part of fretting, and the most valuable skill to have. Make sure you become good at it, because even if your notation is good, if the sync sucks, your song does too. I learned this the hard way :tongue:
Last edited by ZSonicMaster on Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby ZSonicMaster » Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:54 pm

raynebc wrote:As long as you describe the proper method of creating a tempo map using the metronome during playback, and preferably with the waveform graph as well. This is generally how Harmonix creates theirs.

I don't map the tempo of the entire song beforehand, but it really doesn't matter how you do it. And I never used the waveform graph, I don't think the version of EOF I have supports it.

Chapter 5: Hammer-ons and Pull-offs

Experienced GH/RB/FoF players will know what Hammer-ons and Pull-offs (HOPOs) are, but I'll explain it here, just in case.

These are HOPOs:
Image
Basically, a HOPO is a note that you do not have to strum for (though you can if you wish). The appearance of a HOPO is dependent on what theme you're using. In Guitar Hero, HOPOs glowed white. In Rock Band, they were smaller than normal notes. In the theme I use, Silveresque, they glow. To hit a HOPO, you need to strum the note that comes before it (unless the note that comes before it is another HOPO). If you miss a HOPO, you'll need to strum again to hit the next HOPO. Note that the very first note in the song above (Angevil's chart of "Cancrum Oris" by Viraemia) is not a HOPO, and that's because it's the first note in the song.

HOPOs are very important to FoF, because certain parts of songs would be unplayable without them. Try strumming for every note in the above song while hitting the notes with your fingers. It's hard enough just tapping the notes, let me tell you.

So what defines whether or not a note is a HOPO? I'm about to explain that.

5a: HOPO Formulae

A note can only be a HOPO if it meets all of the following criteria:
1. It is a maximum distance of 1/3 of a note away from the preceding note.
2. It is not the same color note as the preceding note.
3. It is not a chord.
4. If the preceding note was a chord, it is not the same color as the highest note of that chord.
5. It is not the first note in the song.

Here are some visual aids to explain Point 1 a little better:
Image
These are 1/2 notes, meaning one note was placed per half of a beat. In FoFiX, each 1/2 note gets its own beat line, instead of every other one like in EOF. 1/2 notes cannot be turned into HOPOs. The only way to do so is to adjust the BPM, effectively making them no longer 1/2 notes.
Image
These are 1/3 notes, meaning one note was placed per third of a beat. Note that in EOF, HOPOS have a black concentric circle inside them. 1/3 notes can only be placed using a 1/3 grid snap, preferably 1/48, for the highest precision. If a note is any farther away from the preceding note than this, it will no longer be a HOPO.
Image
These are 1/5 notes, meaning one note was placed per fifth of a beat. 1/5 notes have a cleaner look to them in FoFiX, because there are 2 of them for every beat line, which looks sleek and professional.
Image
These are 1/12 notes. It is generally agreed that placing notes this close together is "overcharting". We'll get into that later.

Note that all of the notes above were placed using 1/48 grid snap.

5b. HOPO Tips and Tricks

HOPOs can either improve or ruin a song, depending on where you place them. Note that you cannot manually place HOPOs and expect them to work in FoFiX (though manually placed HOPOs do work in Phase Shift). Instead, you must manipulate the BPM to change whether or not a note is a HOPO. Doing this takes practice and is generally regarded as an advanced fretting technique.

Here is a list of places HOPOs are acceptable (or expected):
1. During fast riffs.
2. Shredfests.
3. Bends (sometimes these require manually slowing the BPM for a short time).
4. If the real note actually is a HOPO. Believe it or not, most of the time the real guitarists are strumming for all of those fast notes, but sometimes they do Hammer-on and Pull-off.

Here's a list of places HOPOs are unwanted:
1. During slow or moderately-paced riffs (unless a bend or real HOPO occurs).
2. Acoustic sections (unless the riff is too fast to strum).
3. Confusing, djenty, palm-muted, complicated riffs (as in Meshuggah, AAL, Periphery). Although sometimes this can't be helped.

Knowing when and when not to use HOPOs is really a subjective skill, but one that takes a trained ear, and practice. Probably the most important thing to remember is to know that moderately-paced riffs played as HOPOs are awkward to play. It's best just to strum for them. However, by no means make the strummed notes too fast (unless it's tremolo picking, of course). We can get into this stuff later.

Making your notes HOPOs takes a moderate amount of skill. You have to know which speed and grid snap you're using, and how to use anchors and manipulate the BPM. Here's a visual aid:
Image
The first five notes in this riff (it's not a real song) are not HOPOs. You have to strum for all of them. The last seven notes in the series are all 1/5 notes, so they are HOPOs. However, I placed an anchor on one of the notes (the first purple one) and dragged the next beat marker to the beat after that, effectively doubling the BPM for that part of the song. This makes the 5th-10th notes all 1/5 notes as well, even though they're at the same speed as the first four. That makes them HOPOs! (Except for the purple one, since it's the first in the series).

So, for this riff, you'd strum the ascending scale of five notes, and then just the tap the buttons for the rest of them. It's simple once you get the hang of it! However, it's usually a good idea to resnap after you drag anchors around, because the notes tend to get a little bit out of place, which can effect your HOPOs (especially if they're 1/3 notes).
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby Ambiguity » Tue May 01, 2012 4:19 am

I don't get it(most likely 'cause I'm a moron), it says an anchor "is a point in the song at which you can change the Beats Per Minute (BPM) without changing the BPM of the rest of the song". When I move my anchors it does change the BPM of the rest of the song though.

How do I add a beat marker at the start of a new riff without it moving all of the markers before it? Is that possible?
Image
Image


T3HM3T4L:I've tried to sign up for Rock Band but they just won't allow me. They keep complaining I have to 'be over 18' while I've already been 18 for over half a year, and a sign up where I noted I was born in the '50s STILL GAVE ME THAT MESSAGE

So if anyone could help me get these templates, I'd very much appreciate it. I need it to edit notes and stuff for my Rock Band 2.

aander91:Sorry, but that'd be providing for minors, which is illegal.

T3HM3T4L:But I'm 18 years old... ?

aander91:Nope. Sorry.

T3HM3T4L:Nono, you're getting me wrong, I was asking how come I am still considered a minor?

aander91:Look, we can't just go out giving these things away to people who just say they're over 18 and show no proof, we'd be out of a job.

T3HM3T4L:Nevermind, I'll use EoF for it, I found the way I could use it for that.

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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby raynebc » Tue May 01, 2012 8:42 am

A better way to describe anchors is to say that an anchored beat doesn't move when you drag the other beat markers around, so they're mostly useful when creating a chart's tempo map. Manually setting a tempo on a beat can cause anchors that follow to be moved.

As for your other question, you can use Beat>Add to insert a beat marker at the currently selected beat. All beats before the prior anchor, and after the anchor following the selected beat will remain unchanged.
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby Ambiguity » Tue May 01, 2012 1:35 pm

raynebc wrote:A better way to describe anchors is to say that an anchored beat doesn't move when you drag the other beat markers around, so they're mostly useful when creating a chart's tempo map. Manually setting a tempo on a beat can cause anchors that follow to be moved.

Ah, well that helps a lot more.

.:Edit:.
Finally charted a song, and I'm quite happy with it(except for the beat lines not being perfect, but the notation is still in sync). I may need to add a few beat lines, 'cause it's slightly laggy at parts in PS(could just be my PC), I had forgotten about this part:
If the first note isn't near the beginning of the song (Say, 20 seconds in), select the nearest beat marker and drag it to the right spot instead. If you try to drag the first beat marker that far, you might cause some errors. I once tried to make a part of a song 1 BPM (for HOPO purposes), but that part of the song got screwed up, so I had to go back and edit it. I'm not sure how slow you can make a song without an error occurring, but I'd say it's safest not to go below 40 BPM.


Anyways, this tutorial was a bit of help, so thanks :).


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Image
Image




T3HM3T4L:I've tried to sign up for Rock Band but they just won't allow me. They keep complaining I have to 'be over 18' while I've already been 18 for over half a year, and a sign up where I noted I was born in the '50s STILL GAVE ME THAT MESSAGE

So if anyone could help me get these templates, I'd very much appreciate it. I need it to edit notes and stuff for my Rock Band 2.

aander91:Sorry, but that'd be providing for minors, which is illegal.

T3HM3T4L:But I'm 18 years old... ?

aander91:Nope. Sorry.

T3HM3T4L:Nono, you're getting me wrong, I was asking how come I am still considered a minor?

aander91:Look, we can't just go out giving these things away to people who just say they're over 18 and show no proof, we'd be out of a job.

T3HM3T4L:Nevermind, I'll use EoF for it, I found the way I could use it for that.

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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby jeremylin » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:17 am

THANK YOU
i think i should thank you very much for you can waste lot of time to write this post .....thank you again for your sharing..
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Re: ZSonicMaster's Complete Guide to Song Creation Using EOF

Postby ZSonicMaster » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:09 am

Lol this wasn't even half of what I had planned...

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