The Actual Step-By-Step of Authoring Tracks

spudlyff8fanspudlyff8fan Unsigned
edited December 2009 in The Rock Band Network
Watching the various videos, I've gotten some conflicting messages. So...what is the actual basic step-by-step for making tracks?

From what I understand it goes...

1- Mix the master tracks/"stems" in Reaper.
2- Make a midi file for the different in-game tracks.
3- Load the midis into Reaper.
4- Sort in the Rock Band Plug-Ins.

I'm not quite sure where the midis get worked into things. Can anybody clarify?

Comments

  • TheOzoneTheOzone Road Warrior
    edited October 2009
    There's no right or wrong way and order to author. But I did everything through Reaper.

    What I did (so far):

    - Open a Reaper project with the RBN template.
    - Place all the stems in separate tracks under the blank Audio Track 1 track.
    - Remix the stems so that the levels sound right.
    - Set up multi-tracked instruments (such as guitar) so that if some parts are played and some aren't on one, these sections are separated between 2 tracks. (See the Guitar Authoring docs for details).
    - Render out the playable guitar, bass, kit, snare, kick, and vocal tracks. The render out the dry vocals and backing (all non-playble stems) tracks.
    - Bring the new tracks back into Reaper.
    - Using the docs' method with the backing and kick tracks, create a count-in. Then re-render all these tracks with the new timing.
    - Bring them back in and start charting the midi parts with the editor in Reaper for the different tracks at the top.
    - Export midi, send everything to Magma, and audition.

    Hope that sorta helps.
  • iruhlmaniruhlman Opening Act
    edited October 2009
  • NoahTheDukeNoahTheDuke Unsigned
    edited October 2009
    What do you mean "render out", Ozone? What does that do?

    Noah
  • DanB91DanB91 Rising Star
    edited October 2009
    NoahTheDuke;3148896 said:
    What do you mean "render out", Ozone? What does that do?

    Noah
    when you start ur reaper project, you must include the different tracks. during the authoring process you might edit the masters a bit

    For example, putting something from the rhythm guitar track into the non-playable track (known as the trks track). Other times the file you put into reaper is not a .wav.

    Rendering takes that track and renders it into a .wav file which you will use in magma. In order to render a single track, click the "S" (for solo) button on the track and then hit File > Render. Change the file name you want the .wav file to be in the little text box, like guitar.wav ,and hit render.

    You will use guitar.wav in the audio tab of magma when compiling your song. This track will be muted when a note is missed on the guitar track. (Same thing goes for every instrument)
  • TheNobleRobotTheNobleRobot Unsigned
    edited October 2009
    Rendering out is "exporting" selected audio tracks with the FX and mix information that you've applied, so you can import them into Magma as plain 'ole wav files. None of the mixing, panning or fx-ing you do in Reaper will be preserved in Magma or contained in the midi file you import as game data, you have to render your stems.

    In truth, you only load your stems into Reaper so you can hear them as you create the MIDI (game) data. In fact, they don't have to be properly mixed, panned, in stereo, or anything just yet, they just need to have the same length and timing as the final stems. The audio don't actually need to exit Reaper at any time. Only the MIDI information is exported from Reaper.

    When I started with the tools, just to keep it in one place I used Reaper to mix the stems and do the count-in, but you can do the mixing part it in any program, and at any time, really.

    In fact, sometimes I'll use my tracks in Reaper to create he game data, but I'll import the original mix of the whole song as the backing track in Magma and create an empty sound file for the others when I audition the track on my Xbox for the first time. This is mostly so that I can test to see if the guitar plays right before I commit to the final multiguitar "blend" in the mix. But it also allows me to test the track in the game as soon as possible, without worrying about the mix sounding not quite right and throwing me off.

    The point I'm making is that you can do the steps in any order that feels right to you. It's important that you learn how to do it the "standard" way, but once you have, you should find your own efficient method, and be able to adjust your techniques on the fly according to the needs of the track you are working on.
  • DHatchDHatch Unsigned
    edited December 2009
    I have some questions about rendering: For example: I have a guitar folder set up as suggested in tutorials. Underneath that folder i have 1 track for my guitar stem (containing clips from 3 previous guitar tracks) and 1 track with the FX on it. Im ready to render. What do i do? Do i solo and render the guitar folder track that has the audio stem and fx underneath it? Do i solo and render just the audio stem track? I have used the routing feature to apply the FX i made to the guitar stem. How will the FX i applied to the guitar stem get associated to this newly rendered guitar track? What do i do after i correctly render? Do i get rid of the guitar FX track and the Guitar folder track, leaving me with just the newly rendered guitar stem (.wav)?

    Thanks in advance!!
  • skysawskysaw Opening Act
    edited December 2009
    The goal is to have one guitar track that represents what notes are charted for the player. This track is often a combination of some of the rhythm guitar and some of the lead, depending on the song's arrangement. The track should be mixed with effects intact. All other guitar parts should be mixed into the backing track.
  • MarsPhoenixMarsPhoenix Opening Act
    edited December 2009
    Personally, I chart all the parts before I cut up the guitar stuff, in case I find out later that I want to chart a different part at a different time. It's one of the last things I do really. That's just me though.
  • DHatchDHatch Unsigned
    edited December 2009
    skysaw;3381747 said:
    The goal is to have one guitar track that represents what notes are charted for the player. This track is often a combination of some of the rhythm guitar and some of the lead, depending on the song's arrangement. The track should be mixed with effects intact. All other guitar parts should be mixed into the backing track.
    Understood, but how do you render with the FX intact? They are on 2 seperate tracks right now. 1 for the audio stems, 1 for the fx.
  • skysawskysaw Opening Act
    edited December 2009
    DHatch;3384190 said:
    Understood, but how do you render with the FX intact? They are on 2 seperate tracks right now. 1 for the audio stems, 1 for the fx.
    You'll need to create the stem by soloing those two seperate tracks, and exporting the song to a new file. I think in Reaper there may also be an option to combine tracks, but I do most of my work in Sonar until I start charting the MIDI.

    The files that are placed on individual tracks within Reaper do not have to be the same versions of the files that you will load into Magma. You can make as many sub-mixes as you wish to separate files, then load those versions into Magma instead.
  • EvileOLEvileOL Opening Act
    edited December 2009
    I feel like im doing it wrong after reading all this

    I put all the stems into the template, sort out the playable parts from the non, mute/fade in and out the relevant parts, make the count in etc, and ive done no exporting yet, I was expecting to do that when ive finished a track
  • skysawskysaw Opening Act
    edited December 2009
    EvileOL;3385452 said:
    I feel like im doing it wrong after reading all this

    I put all the stems into the template, sort out the playable parts from the non, mute/fade in and out the relevant parts, make the count in etc, and ive done no exporting yet, I was expecting to do that when ive finished a track
    You're not necessarily doing anything wrong at all. The extra step I mentioned is only necessary if you're trying to combine existing tracks into a new stem, such as mixing together two guitar parts into one.
  • ethicalpaulethicalpaul Opening Act
    edited December 2009
    I think you're fine, Evile.

    I don't do the multiple imports/exports/imports that I hear other people talking about.

    I do what you describe. I have all my stems in Reaper. I group them in whatever way makes sense to me. I start authoring.

    At some point, I do of course the required exporting. I export each playable track (in order to apply the recommended compression/limiting and to ensure a good level).

    I export all the backing stuff into the backing track.

    I export a dry vocal.

    But I almost never re-import this stuff back into Reaper. I like to have everything in its original form with Reaper effects applied to it so that if I want to change something, it's so easy to change it, then re-export to Magma.

    The only exception I can think of is one of my guitar stems had lead guitar on the left channel and rhythm guitar on the right channel. I had to render those out to separate files and bring those back into Reaper for final export to Magma after deciding which parts of the tracks were going to be playable.
  • DHatchDHatch Unsigned
    edited December 2009
    skysaw;3384887 said:
    You'll need to create the stem by soloing those two seperate tracks, and exporting the song to a new file. I think in Reaper there may also be an option to combine tracks, but I do most of my work in Sonar until I start charting the MIDI.

    The files that are placed on individual tracks within Reaper do not have to be the same versions of the files that you will load into Magma. You can make as many sub-mixes as you wish to separate files, then load those versions into Magma instead.
    Ok thanks. I think i've got it figured out now. It's starting to make sense. I just yesterday starting using magma so i see what the purpose is to render all these tracks down. The only thing though is that after i render the instrument track with it's FX track and play it back in reaper it's definitley lower in volume but since im rendering all playable parts and the TRKS part it equals out, and sounds fine in audition mode on my TV.

    I have found that my preference in reaper is to have 4 tracks for each instrument. 1 is main folder track with nothing in it but serves as the folder so i group instrument parts and collapse/expand the folder as needed. 1 is for the instrument audio stem. 1 is for that instrument FX containing the limiter and eq stuff. 1 just for the final rendered audio track. What i do is mute the original audio stem and just play back the rendered tracks for each instrument. If i hear something i don't like later on, i just re-render the instrument audio stem and replace the rendered one. I use the rendered tracks for magma submission.
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