Rock Band 2 Calibration HOWTO

niq24601niq24601 Unsigned
edited December 2008 in Rock Band
I've seen a couple of threads with people having trouble getting good calibration settings, either with auto-calibration or manually, and I think I've managed to figure out how to get good results.

Step 1: Video calibration


This is the easy part. Use the guitar to auto calibrate for video. You should do it four or five times and get an average of the results -- I've seen it vary by as much as 15 MS. It's best to keep the room as dark as possible when doing the video calibration.

You can test the calibration by muting the sound and trying to play something just based on the video. Usually I use something easy like Psycho Killer or New Kid in School on drums. Things like All The Small Things are good on guitar. Don't worry about it being super-accurate at this point; it should just be "close". If you don't have the RB2 guitar, just start with the recommended setting in the instruction manual. For most TVs the number will be somewhere between 0 msec and 40 msec.

Step 2: Audio calibration

Take the drum kit and calibrate based on the sound, where you have to hit the green pad along with the audio. I've found I'm much more consistent with the drums than guitar, and it's easy to tell when you rush/slow down and should not count the results. Again, you'll want to do it four or five times and take the average.

The reason you're better off doing this manually than using the autocalibration is that the speed of sound is around 1 foot per millisecond, so that the sound will hit guitar's audio calibration well before it gets to your ear. In addition, especially if you turn on Dolby Digital, your stereo may have some sort of mixing that introduces different delay into different channels (for instance I like to play while using a "Music Video" mix, which I know introduces a lot of echo into left and right, but not as much into center). This is really important for people who are doing bar/concert setups.

Step 3: Tweaking the settings.

Now go play something you find somewhat tricky but that you can do consistently. I like to use verse 1B + Pre-Chorus on Afterlife or the Chorus on You Outta Know. See how it feels. The other thing you can do is take something easy (New Kid In School or Wanted Dead Or Alive are good for this) and try to see how much stretch there is in the timing window. There should be roughly even amount in each direction.

If you feel like you have to play late, that is, you think you hear the note before you hit the pad, or there's more give in the timing window after the note is played, move the video lag number down; if it was at 40 msec, try 35, etc. On the flip side. If you feel like you have to play early, that is, you hit the pad and then hear the note, or there's more give in the timing window before the note is played, move the video lag number up. It's doubtful you will need to move the video number more than 10 msec in either direction.

In the end I found that even two or three milliseconds can make a difference, and had to use the guitar to set the number to 37 msec; 40 and 35 felt good but just a hair off. Once I got it the drums felt totally solid, and the guitar felt much better than any previous setting I had used. Remember that you will need to re-calibrate if you change anything about your A/V setup.

At this point, you're probably done. But, if you end up with a negative video lag setting after doing all of this, or have an unrealistically low video lag (5 msec on a projector, etc), it probably means you rushed during the audio calibration. Try increasing both the audio and video lag figures by the same amount, and move back to something close to the video lag setting. This will only affect the timing window as it relates to video, so you'll have to put the sound on mute if you want to test out the settings.

If you try this out let me know if you have questions or problems, or if you think it works.

Comments

  • happyrock-16happyrock-16 Opening Act
    edited October 2008
    Thanks for this post.

    So I tried this. It seems to work great for the audio. But I could not get the video to work. It wanted to have a massive back window.

    I ended up using the auto calibration number of 25 avg cut it by 10. It will still didn't work right. I moved it back by 10 until I got to 0 witch was fine on the drums. I tried the guitar still nothing great. Moved it back to -15 and the window was in the middle.

    so I ended up with the drums avg audio (+30/-15) PS3

    But the audio is dead on making it way easier to move the video window up to match. This is what worked for me. (after I was about to moved to GHWT for it's massive timing windows so calibration does not matter as much.

    I know lots of people it's neg it's wrong, Tell that to my A/V equipment. Why did HMX put it in if it's so wrong to have neg numbers anyways?
  • AddohmAddohm Unsigned
    edited October 2008
    happyrock-16;1509316 said:
    Thanks for this post.

    So I tried this. It seems to work great for the audio. But I could not get the video to work. It wanted to have a massive back window.

    I ended up using the auto calibration number of 25 avg cut it by 10. It will still didn't work right. I moved it back by 10 until I got to 0 witch was fine on the drums. I tried the guitar still nothing great. Moved it back to -15 and the window was in the middle.

    so I ended up with the drums avg audio (+30/-15) PS3

    But the audio is dead on making it way easier to move the video window up to match. This is what worked for me. (after I was about to moved to GHWT for it's massive timing windows so calibration does not matter as much.

    I know lots of people it's neg it's wrong, Tell that to my A/V equipment. Why did HMX put it in if it's so wrong to have neg numbers anyways?

    People tend to fail at video (and also audio) calibration because it is a natural tendancy to anticipate. Anticipation will give you a false reading on your calibrations. If you notice yourself doing this, do the calibration again and try not to anticipate.
  • SaikouMenjiSaikouMenji Opening Act
    edited October 2008
    I just used the numbers in the instruction book. I figured they probably the same settings they used in the first game and since all I had to do there was set it for my TV I figured it would work just as well this time. It did. Their numbers were waaay different than what I was getting off the calibration test too.
  • TrantzzzTrantzzz Unsigned
    edited October 2008
    Thank you for the post!

    I can not seem to get the guitar and drums on the same page from a calibration standpoint. It is probably due to me playing Rockband 1 so much, and I am used to that feel. I will try this method as I have put Rockband 2 away since I can seem to please everyone (we have 4 people on a regular basis)....one thing I did notice, GH:WT needed no calibration at all on my system and all the instruments feel decent, most likely due to the GH timing window...
  • jader201jader201 Opening Act
    edited October 2008
    This is almost exactly what I did, except I didn't use any of the auto calibration. I did everything manually, but in the order you listed.

    One comment I would have is that when adjusting for the timing window, I found that once you have the video in sync w/ the audio, you should leave that gap alone. For example, if I had the video at 25ms and the audio at 5ms (or vice versa, I forget), and if I found that I needed to play early, I would adjust both to either 20/0, or 15/-5, keeping the difference between the two the same. If I adjusted one but not the other, I found that my audio and video were no longer as in sync as they were.
  • vsTerminusvsTerminus Road Warrior
    edited October 2008
    Here's my howto

    Step 1: Use the audio calibration tool. Yea, drums are probably the most accurate.
    This tool is good. The results you get are probably perfect.

    Step 2: Forget the video calibration tool. It's aweful. It will not help you. And many of us still don't have an auto-calibrating RB2 guitar so that's not an option.

    So.
    Step 2 a: Set yout video calibration to the same value as your audio calibration.
    Step 2 b: Tedious process, go play a song and see if it feels right.
    Step 2 c: Go back to the video calibration settings, because it won't be right.
    Step 2 d: Pick an extreme. Start with subtracting about 50ms from what you just had.
    Step 2 e: Go play a song and see if it feels right. Pay attention to whether you're having to strum early or late to hit your notes.
    Step 2 f: It won't feel right. Come back to calibration and add 100ms to the value you're at now.
    Step 2 g: Go play a song. Pay attention to where you have to strum now to hit notes
    Step 2 h: Go back to calibration. Pick a value in the middle somewhere based on how early or late you had to strum with your previous settings.

    Step 3: If all else fails, guess randomly until you get it right because the video calibration tool is useless.

    My Monitor has an 8ms response time. My speakers take about 6ms
    This should be a -6ms audio, -8ms video calibration setting, right?
    My video cal tool suggested +80ms.
    Know what works? -5ms.

    HMX: Can we please have a calibration tool that uses a note chart and lets us adjust video delay in real time +/- 1ms????
  • CONAN9845CONAN9845 Road Warrior
    edited October 2008
    My howto?

    Hold up guitar in front of TV or speaker. Press auto calibrate button on guitar. Fin.

    It's worked great every time I've tried it. I know... Calibration can be subjective. I'm just glad it works for me.
  • LiquidsnakeLiquidsnake Opening Act
    edited October 2008
    CONAN9845;1510394 said:
    My howto?

    Hold up guitar in front of TV or speaker. Press auto calibrate button on guitar. Fin.

    It's worked great every time I've tried it. I know... Calibration can be subjective. I'm just glad it works for me.
    Gave me a 60ms for video lag and 130ms for audio lag.

    What works for me is 0ms for video and 115 for audio.

    So it wasn't accurate in my case.
  • Tommy GunTommy Gun Opening Act
    edited October 2008
    Here's my video guide. How to calibrate completely manually. Video in papercraft: :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GZdZX9f_-U
  • niq24601niq24601 Unsigned
    edited October 2008
    happyrock-16;1509316 said:

    So I tried this. It seems to work great for the audio. But I could not get the video to work. It wanted to have a massive back window.

    ...

    so I ended up with the drums avg audio (+30/-15) PS3

    I know lots of people it's neg it's wrong, Tell that to my A/V equipment.
    When you say "back window" are you basing it on the audio or the video? If it's the audio then it probably means you're rushing during the audio calibration (this happened to me in RB1 for the first month I played). If it's the video, then it's probably that HMX thinks the note should cross the line at a different time then you think it should. Which is fine ... you should go with your numbers then.

    even when you are on the beat, notes will scroll a little bit past the fret buttons, because it takes the length of time of your video lag to get things right.
  • happyrock-16happyrock-16 Opening Act
    edited October 2008
    I'm talking about the video, I could hit it way after the line, but the sound would still match up to my hit (dead on).

    edit: After the second line.

    ---------------
    notesnotesnotes
    ---------------
    Hit

    Addohm
    People tend to fail at video (and also audio) calibration because it is a natural tendancy to anticipate. Anticipation will give you a false reading on your calibrations. If you notice yourself doing this, do the calibration again and try not to anticipate.
    I'm not even sure you read my post ...
  • PyrotekPyrotek Unsigned
    edited December 2008
    This was an okay guide at first, but with some experimentation I devised my own method.

    As it turns out, the method I devised was almost completely identical to Tommy Gun's video. I used both the "muted" test and the "blind" test for testing both audio and visual. Then I compared guitar and drum lag and averaged between them.

    When I went into practice I always played 50% speed. It helps a lot to see the hitbox of the note.

    EDIT: Did anybody else like Rock Band 1's calibration much better? It seemed a lot more accurate and relied less on human error.
  • norsendenorsende Unsigned
    edited December 2008
    vsTerminus;1510375 said:

    My Monitor has an 8ms response time. My speakers take about 6ms
    This should be a -6ms audio, -8ms video calibration setting, right?
    Wrong.
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