Advanced Song Tutorial 2 - *Become a Great Fretter*

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Advanced Song Tutorial 2 - *Become a Great Fretter*

Postby Puppetz » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:31 am

PUPPETZ ADVANCED SONG TUTORIAL 2

- Making songs this way can make you one of the best!

- Don't read this one if you haven't read the first tutorial.

- Ok, I had to make a new tutorial cause the old one was lacking several things. So this one will explain some things you all ready know, and I hope some new thing too. :)

- Took me about 200 songs to fret with FL until I really mastered it, so I give you now the knowledge I know right now. So you don't have to make over 200 songs until you master it. I want you to master it right away.

- So you should know what programs what to have. But I recommend going to www.911tabs.com and DL your tabs, by the sites recommended there use Ultimate-Guitar.


GETTING STARTED:

- Ok, so I have the tabs open it in FL and there I have the notes as they are played on the guitar right. You get the by accessing the piano roll in FL on an instrument (that you should know from my first tutorial).

- Ok, so if you wanna make a song, you need to mp3. Open the mp3 in Audacity. BUT most of the song start immediately. (if the song doesn't have guitar immediately, this process is not needed, but read it anyway). So I have All Along the Watchtower opened in Audacity. [Picture 1a] I go to "Generate", clicking on the "Silence". Then add 2.0 seconds of silence. This generates 2 seconds of silence to the beginning of the ogg.

- WHY? Look at [Picture 1b]. If I wouldn't have putted the silence to the beginning, the song would have started at 0.2 sec. And by using my method I have to start on a measure line (note: not always). So in this case I would have to place the first note on the second line. And force the BPM to 200. When the song starts then back to 109. What it does for the people who wanna play with variable bpm on. The song starts lightning fast, and when the first notes comes, there will be a furious break, and notes will smack right in your face. So no DON'T do that.

- Now you there is a function in dB that can make a start time on the song. Yes it works fine for GH. But not in FoF, cuz it adds an extra measure (4 beat lines) to the
beginning, which would result sometimes in a start BPM of 1200. So for the love of God, don't do that either. Just stick to my 2 second tactic and you'll do fine! :)

- PS: If you don't wanna add 2 seconds to the song. You can also go to the .ini file and make a "delay = ?". Meaning how many milliseconds you want the audio to be delayed.

- In [Picture 1c] I had a song which I knew would have a BPM around 130, which you see in FL (more in my first tutorial). So I had added the 2 sec silence. So I put directly 130 in dB. Press space, and listen where the first note comes, well now it doesn't hit a beat line, so I go back to the beginning and test different BPM's until the note hits a beat line. In this case it was 128. And It's on the third beat line, so I'll go back to the beginning and change the "Time Signature" to 3/4. So the first note hits a "measure line" (the fattest line in dB on the board). It's the same representing the fat measure lines in FL. And there I change it back to 4/4. So now it starts on a same place as in FL.

- PS: There's also a "Fade Out" function under "Effect". I use that in out fading songs to fade them out faster or on a better spot. Like a song ends with a loooong chord, then I just fade it out faster to make it better. Most songs end in a few seconds of silence. But I usually cut the "empty part" in the end so it'll take a sec until the song ends. Some songs might even have 10 seconds of silence before it really ends (cut that of), by marking it and press DEL.

Image

FL STUDIO:

- Ok, so now you know how to make the first note. That's good. Now I'm gonna explain a little bit what you're looking at in FL.

- Looking in FL right now at Bullet for My Valentine - Waking the Demon intro. [Picture 2]

- PS: I colored the notes in FL, normally they're all gray.

- In FL the lower notes are "lower" and vice versa.

- What you see in FL now, that you need to add 1/16 notes = 4 notes within the first beat line, and they're the lowest in the whole song. So without a doubt they're green.

- Right bottom corner I drag a few lines to see how many different notes there are. Well they're 6 as you can see. Fast calculated that means two different notes has to be the same color. In this situation I'm in, the only option for me was to take the yellow notes. You should never pick notes that are same color if they're after each other. So there was only two options here where it doesn't happen. The other one was the two highest notes. But I didn't wanna make them both orange blue. It just doesn't fit. But that's just a key placement question.

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BEAT SYNCING:

- The BIGGEST question IS... How to beat sync? Well now I'm gonna explain a "short cut" how you do it. It's a new "invention" I discovered recently, which makes my songs even more accurate than before.

- PS: I don't support anchors, that's just an opinion of mine, but "Typhus" does, and he wrote a mini-tutorial that should help you to get started on using anchors. If you wish, you can see his "Anchor Tutorial".


Hi, this is Typhus!

I'll try to explain how to use anchors...this is tricky so please read this carefully. You'll probably only master this "science" after a few runs, so be patient. I recommend you to print this stuff and try using it as you would use a recipe...but this is just a suggestion.

By the way, before we start, I must warn you that you cannot set an anchor on the first bold line of the fretboard. If you need to change the initial speed of the board (and you probably will...), just continue to read this, or check out Kotti's mini-tutorial video.

Let's start!

I'll start to explain the "anchor rules". Only afterwards I'll give you some examples, ok?

Ok, so, if you open a clean chart in FeedBack (a.k.a. dB) you'll see that the first BPM line is at 120, right? Ok, so what does the anchor system do? It allows you to properly adjust the speed of the fretboard between two selected spots. Those spots are defined by the anchors you put into the fretboard.

I recommend you to use two measures to put the anchors, I mean, my English is not that good when it comes to technical terms, so I'll try to explain as if no one here knows anything about music... If your TS is set to 4/4 (which will be by default in dB) you'll notice that each measure has 7 lines, being the first one a bold line, right? Ok, so the first bold line of the fret is at 120, if you push page up twice you'll end up 2 measures forward on a bold line as well. There you should put the anchor by pressing "A".

Now, how to adjust the speed after defining the anchor? If you take the example I gave you above, you have the 1st line of the fretboard at 120 and 2 PgUp's later another bold line with the anchor defined, as well as the speed that will be set from that point forward. If you did that you'll see A:120 (or something like this) at the "Anchor mark". So, the keys we have to push in order to change the speed are "*" (faster) and "´"(slower). This keys are only for European Keyboards, if you use American Keyboards the keys are "LBracket" and "RBracket".

So, being at the "Anchor mark", you can adjust the speed of the fretboard before that spot using the keys I've mentioned. But be aware that if you press just "*" or "´" the change is abysmal. So you'll need to press SHIFT+"*" or "´" for lesser aggressive changes, or Ctrl+"*" or "´" for even lesser changes and, finally, SHIFT+Ctrl+"*" or "´" for really tiny changes. And this, is how you change your fretboard speed between the beginning of the fretboard and the anchor you've set.

I always use this method for properly sync my songs. I use it as well to sync the first note. You see, as Puppetz has suggested, I always add (or force) 2 secs of silence at the beginning of each song (using an audio program like Audacity or Cool Edit Pro 2). By doing this, with any kind math "or science" at all, I know the the first note will always be on the 2 bold line of the fret, that is, at the end of the first measure (because the fretboard is always at 120 by default). But, sometimes we aren't able to define exactly 2 secs, and so, instead of 120, the speed of the fretboard has to be 119.879 or 120.657 (for example). Therefore, I'm forced to use the anchor technique, but in only one measure. The operations are exactly the same of the example I gave you above but you'll work in only one measure (press PgUp just once).

Usually, if a song has a constant BPM, we only need to use the anchor system to sync the first note correctly because, after that, we simply have to set the BPM speed (from the first note forward) to match the one that Mixmeister gives us (like Puppetz suggested).

The "2 measures technique" is normally used between the first note of the song (where you should always set an anchor) and 2 measures later. And so, after you've set the BPM correctly using the anchor system, (you can "see", better yet, hear that by activating the metronome, or the claps, at 0,5 speed) the fretboard, between the anchor at the first note and the other anchor 2 PgUp's forward, will be pretty accurate, I guarantee. :wink:

Now you'll have 2 options from that point forward (use this only if Mixmeister didn't gave you the propper BPM speed for the entire song):

A - Repeat this process again from that point forward until the end of the song (BOOORRRIIINNNGGG...but sometimes needed, specially if the song has a lot of BPM changes)

-or-

B - Being at the latest "Anchor mark", if you press "down" you'll see on which velocity your freatboard will be set. And so, if there are no more BPM changes from that point forward, that will probably be the correct BPM for the entire song. Therefore, you can define the BPM speed by using the " ' " and " « " keys on the anchor mark. That will change the speed from that point forward. Once again these keys are European, so in American they are "Hyphen" and "Equals". As before, if you only press those keys, you'll change the speed drastically. And so, if you have 120 and if what you need is 119.154, you will have to:

1 - Press the " ' " key once. you'll notice it will descend form 120 to 119.
2 - Press SHIFT+" « " to have 119.1
3 - Press Ctrl+" « " five times to have 119.15
4 - Press Ctrl+SHIFT+" « " four times to have 119.154

Done!

Two few last things, be mindful that:

-> You can use the anchor system between any 2 spots of the fretboard, but, by experience, I always use 2 measures (except for the beginning of the song, where I use only one measure).

-> If you're working on an already charted song, every line that has a defined BPM will work as an anchor as well, and so, you'll have two options:

1 - Just ignore them and put the anchors before and after each BPM mark (I mean, it's not right before and right after the BPM mark, the objective is to put the anchors on the bold lines before and after the line that has that BPM mark)

-or-

2 - You could always press the "Delete" key where it will show you a box asking you if you want to delete the note that's on that line or the BPM mark, and so, you're able to delete them. (I recommend this one)

I guess that this is it regarding how to start using anchors. Now go and try it yourself.

Hope I've helped...

Typhus out!

- Beat sync simply means that the notes follows the beat lines. [Picture 3a] Notes are placed on the line or in between.

- So by following my tutorial you should have placed all notes on beat lines. Most songs have variable BPM. There are a lot of new music that has a constant BPM, which you only need MixMeister for.

- The secret in my syncing are the drums. Yeah, I sync drums when I make songs. You see in the [Picture 3a] that I have written BS (not bullsh*t) left of the fretboard. It's because at those parts I have synced, that you see right of the fretboard. S means Snare drum, B means Bass. You don't have to sync this tight. Every Snare is fine or even every second Snare. A song can't go many Milliseconds of sync by doing that. What I do at the start is I put a BPM on the line so the next beat line has that B or S. Same thing I do on that line etc. This sounds pretty tough, I know. Well in the beginning when you still are a noob, I recommend following the beat lines an change the BPM when you notice the note is offline. By knowing that just go to the note press space, in this case let's say it's a snare drum. That snare drum should be make the sound exactly there where the note is.

- In [Picture 3b] you see how there are random syncing and the notes DOESN'T follow the beat lines. If you fret a song with my tutorial, if you see your fretboard looks like that, that mean you've obviously done something wrong!

- The older the song the more variable the BPM. And some 70's songs even has the guitar offsync with the drums. If that's the case, don't sync the drums.

- The only way I can help with sync is that drum thing. And always go to the note and press "space" to hear it hit's that spot exactly. And when syncing use 0.5-0.75x speed. The slower speed, the more accurate your song will get, and takes more time. So you choose what you want.

- Also remember that the more songs you make the faster you'll get. A 3 minute song takes about 30 minutes for me to do. If I don't run up with some problems.

- Another important thing is that while you're a noob. Start by doing first exactly as the tab shows you. For example a riff. Then play it up in a slower speed, look if the music corresponds to the notes you've placed there. There are always errors in tabs.

- When it comes to solo... 90% of the tabs has them wrong. You just need a good music ear to hear how it goes. But some noob advice is to listen where the "peak point" in the solos are. Meaning the highest notes. Those are easy to hear. If the tab shows the same peak point, you can fret as the tabs show you...

- Here's a vid how Kotti syncs the first note ---> VIDEO

Image

KEY PLACEMENT & HANDLING CHORDS:

- Well now I'm gonna explain more about the key placements. Which is of course an individual thing. But there are some rules people can follow.

- I have a song that has 4 different chords in the riff. [Picture 4a]

- You see in [Picture 4b] the 4 chords there. And you should be able to see that the first one is the highest one, the third chord is second highest! Get me? So I placed the notes in dB as I see it in dB. You should get that by just looking and using your brain. And looking at the second and third chord. You'll see that they have one of the notes in common. Meaning on real guitar if they'd come after each other, you'd only be moving one finger. So that's why I have the "BLUE" in them both.

- Now IF FL would have showed [Picture 4c]. You see they're all 3NC (3 note chords). That DOESN'T mean you have to do them to 3NC. Obviously GH did so with SlipKnot, and many people hated that fretting. So it's a matter of opinion here. I would just keep them 2NC in this case. Acoustic guitar might even show 6 or 7NC. And you don't even have an option to do so many notes in dB. So in acoustic songs try to see what fits best. regular 2NC and 3NC are used often in acoustic songs. But be easy on the 3NC's. Don't fret 4NC...never. (yeah I've done that, but I'm wiser now).

- Basically it means if FL shows 4+ NC I make them 2 or 3NC in dB. About 80% of the 3NC shown in FL I make to regular 2NC. It depends a lot on the song and the sound of the chords and the situation. So I can't really tell you obvious cases.

Image

KEY PLACMENT VARIATIONS:

- Now I'll explain some easy simple key placement questions people have been asking.

- 5 notes in a row, from down to up in this case [Picture 5a]. The most commonly key placement is to put it like I've done to the first 5 notes. The next 5 are much lower and this is just an option how I would do those next 5, as they're much lower than the rest of the song. Same thing I could have done if they'd be much higher than the rest of the song and made them YBYBO. But it's not wrong to make those both just 5 notes going upwards. This situation is rare. You should always look at the bigger picture when it comes to key placment.

- Simple key placment's I've made in [Picture 5b]. The first one is 9 notes going up. And the next one are 8 notes. Those are very common in my songs. But key placement is individual. Some people might do 9 notes like 4, then 5 or vice versa. 8 notes can also be handled like GRYRYBYB. But that's a key placement made by looking on the big pic. Sorry if I've confused you. If I did, forget what I said...

Image

HELD NOTES:

- When should you make held notes? That's a hard question... It depends a lot on the fretter, but I can say to you that you've done too many of those in your previous songs. Everyone does that. Even me... Looking at newer GH/RB song you don't see held notes that often. So I'll try my best explain it.

- It depends on the BPM. Cause a held note crossing one beat line isn't the same in 100 BPM as in 200. If you look at [Picture 6a] You see that I've made a tail on the chord that is stretched to the next beat line, I accept that from about 140+ BPM. I don't do shorter tails than that.

- In [Picture 6b] You see that I've made a tail on a note that is only a half beat line. I do that if the BPM is really low like 75. That's why the yellow not doesn't have a tail cause it's 100 BPM there. The blue one has a tail cause it's a 75% of the beat line.. I do that if the BPM is about 100-130!? It's really hard to tell. It depends.

- FL Studio shows tail yes, depending on how long the gray "brick" is... But I don't rely on them. So I recommend using you ear. If a note has a long tail, just hear when it ends, then cut it of. And you should be able to hear if a note/chord has a tail. That's something you have to hear. Guitar sound still going = Tail. You hear no guitar = No Tail.

- Also a thing you might have noticed in those pics. Well I'm the only one as far as I know who does that, but it's not a thing anyone has to do. It's cutting th tails before
they hit the notes/chords. That looks a lot more professional in-game and RB/GH does it too. GH cuts the tails automatically FoF doesn't. (I've seen my songs played in GH when I had the tails going into the next note). I usually cut depending on the BPM AGAIN about 0- 119 BPM with 1/32 -> 120-179 BPM with 1/24 -> 180+ BPM with 1/16... But this isn't an important thing, I just do it to make the charts look better.

Image

ADDING SECTIONS:

- There are two ways, GH or RB way. Well I've forgotten the GH way... So I'll explain how I make it the RB way.

- The only thing you need to know is the letter "R".

- In dB, on that place you want the section to start press "R" then type the following depending on what you want to add there:

Gtr_Solo_1
Chorus_1
Verse_1
Bridge_1

- You don't need the numbers there. But anyway, I start the solo by adding a section named Gtr_Solo_1. End the solo where you want it to end. Add another section.

- PS: The dB functions aren't European so the "_", is "?" on European keyboards.

-----------------------------------------------------------

FRETTING DRUMS:

- Fretting drums is very easy. A lot easier than guitar. It works the same way. Just by looking in FL you know what to fret and where.

- There is nothing really I can explain about it that wasn't described in the guitar fretting... Well here it's very important that you use beat syncing.


- On the left side you see what to fret. [Picture 6b] Very simple if you already know how to fret guitar.

- For fretting drums:

* Green = Kick/Bass pedal
* Red = Snare
* Yellow = Closed Hi-hat, Tom 1
* Blue = Open Hi-hat, Tom 2, Ride
* Orange = Crash, Tom 3

Image

PROBLEMATIC PATTERNS:

- You may run into some problems while fretting, yes... it might be that the tabs are wrong or they could be right. I recommend doing as the tabs says, after that listen with 0.5x and you should clearly hear if it fits the song or not.

- Anyway, these tabs are right [Picture 8a]. The first four notes are not a problem, they're simple 1/16 (the most common note). Then you see that in the next two beat lines (marked red) has 9 notes in it. And there isn't a regular step that makes 4.5 notes in a beat line. So we have to use the "Quantization Interval" button, and it's "Q". It lets you choose any interval/step you want. This time I know that 9 notes in two beat lines means 1/18. So I just write 18 in it, and you may now move in 1/18 steps to put the notes there. These are very rare! I've used it in 2 songs of my 300...

- The next two beat lines (marked yellow) has 10 notes in them, 5 in one of them. This is also a step you don't have automatically in dB, so press "Q", make it 1/20.

- [Picture 8b] shows how it'll look in dB.

- The last to beat lines (marked green). You think it's a problem? No it's not, it's just regular 1/24 notes. The third/fifth/eight note are just 2 x 24.

- When using "Q". There's a 50/50 chance that you don't land on the spot you want. What do you do then? Yes, you double up the "Q". In the first case "the red marked place". If it wouldn't have worked with my 1/18 step, I would have used 1/32.

Image


HOW TO ADD STAR POWER (OR OVERDRIVE) SECTIONS AFTER CHARTING DRUMS: (Written by Typhus)

After defining Star Power sections (using dB with the "8" key) for all (or any) instruments, you will need to correct your chart. Why? Because, unfortunately the program chart2mid converts the chart into mid, in rock band mode (so that the drum part is written), defining the same "code" (that is note) for star Power as it would on Guitar hero mode. And that, unfortunately is wrong. If you don't correct your chart, you'll notice that the star power sections are going to be completely random (or not shown at all if you don't use FoFiX) while in play.

And so, if you open one of your mid file in FL you'll notice that the note used for Star Power is G8, but for rock band type of charts (that is, all charts that have drums) the star power note is G#9 and not G8. This one is used for marking guitar solo sections. Therefore, after converting the chart file into mid you'll have to open FL (or another midi editor) and switch the G8 long notes for G#9. Unfortunately, FL removes section names defined in dB, therefore you'll have to add a long G8 note to mark the guitar solo sections.

For drum fills, or BRE, you'll have to mark C10+4notes up (like a 5 note chord) long notes.

Look into the following pictures to better understand this:








OUTRO:

- Well this was it then... I hope you understood something I just wrote? If not, just ask. See I have no idea what to write about, because all of this is so clear to me, so I might have left something important behind? But by following these guidelines I just wrote will make you a great fretter without a doubt. You do as the tabs show you. Sync all notes and you're done. :)

Written by Puppetz 25th September; 5000th post!
Last edited by Puppetz on Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:26 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Postby Kotti » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:38 am

Looking it through fast it seems really good :) !
- In dB, on that place you want the section to start press "R" then type the following depending on what you want to add there:

Gtr_Solo_1
Chorus_1
Verse_1
Bridge_1
Or you could use something else. I recently discovered that a sections called "Almost like a solo" and "Keyboard solo" count as a solo sections.


Awesome 5000th post.
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Postby Puppetz » Thu Sep 25, 2008 6:41 am

Or you could use something else. I recently discovered that a sections called "Almost like a solo" and "Keyboard solo" count as a solo sections.

I know... I posted there that's it's what I do... there are many other ways to handle sections! :)

Awesome 5000th post.

Thanks! :D

Hope there are a few small things that you could learn also! :)
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Postby jrdnxxhero » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:02 am

I'll try it out :D
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Postby pimpinpalomo » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:28 am

congrats on the 5000th post.
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Postby nwru » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:41 am

Good stuff Puppetz. We all appreciate the time you took to put this together!
Use the Search feature first to find answers to your questions. Chances are that they have been asked before!

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Postby Azzco » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:43 am

I'm reading it right now but do you think you can edit it so you don't have to add the silence at the start but rather use feedbacks "start" you're stating that it works fine for GH but adds a measure with a bpm of around 1200, if that's true I'm not sure.
You can just take that number you have on "start" and set as a offset in the song .ini, the start value is in seconds and the offset value is in milileseconds so it will need to be "trasnlated".
By doing this you won't need to mess with the audio file and if we're talking about direct cd rips it should probably be prefered to avoid messing with it as much as possible.

Looks great so far though :)
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Postby Puppetz » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:23 am

By doing this you won't need to mess with the audio

Didn't you read what I just wrote... when I said WHY you shouldn't use the start time!?

Here's a quote of it:
"What it does for the people who wanna play with variable bpm on. The song starts lightning fast, and when the first notes comes, there will be a furious break, and notes will smack right in your face. So no DON'T do that."
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Postby Azzco » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:44 am

Yeah didn't you read what I just wrote? Oh wait I forgot ot mention removing the start in feedback before saving. the value for start should be used as a offset in song.ini. Sorry bout that one xD
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Postby Puppetz » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:29 am

Yeah didn't you read what I just wrote? Oh wait I forgot ot mention removing the start in feedback before saving. the value for start should be used as a offset in song.ini. Sorry bout that one xD

Now I get it... :p Yeah that works better! :p But it's faster to add two sec's in auda than finding out the offset. Besides this way you can be sure they sync with each other... Also if I'd tell noobs to add offset in the ini, they'd probably get it way offsync somehow! xD But I'm gonna edit it there anyway... just to mention it!

This is great. The part about note placement and chords helped me a bit.
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Postby Kotti » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:33 am

- PS: The dB functions aren't european so the "_", I have no idea what key it is on my keyboard. So I always copy/paste those section.
That's ?.

Still haven't read it, but I will, I noticed some stuff I had never heard before.
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Postby Puppetz » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:12 pm

That's ?.

Thanks! :p
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Postby nobby76 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:54 pm

Nice one puppetz. another sweet tutorial on using FL and DB, if nobody has done it yet ill add, a second link on the wiki page for this " part 2" tut. Keep up the amazing work dude!

EDIT.. Now added to the wiki page, it links directly to this page, rather than retyping the entire tutorial on the wiki.
Last edited by nobby76 on Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LONG LIVE THE NOOBS, THEY WILL OVER THROW US WITH THERE VASTLY SUPERIOR STUPIDITY.
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Puppetz
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Postby Puppetz » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:10 pm

Nice one puppetz. another sweet tutorial on using FL and DB, if nobody has done it yet ill add, a second link on the wiki page for this " part 2" tut. Keep up the amazing work dude!

EDIT.. Now added to the wiki page, it links directly to this page, rather than retyping the entire tutorial on the wiki.

Thanks! :) I spoke with nwru, he said the site was a mess and needed somekinda changing, when I asked him to put it to wiki! But thanks man! :) When are you gonna start fretting sogns? :p
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