Rocksmith Custom Content Guide (Needs a major overhaul and update)


This page covers how to create custom content for Rocksmith.
Importing to play the work of other content creators is covered here.

Rocksmith 2014



Content Creation Overview
So, you want to use one of the songs you own to create a song that can be played in Rocksmith, eh? Well, here's how to do it.
There are seven basic steps to creating your custom content for Rocksmith.
  1. Accumulate all the software you'll need
  2. Import the audio track you want to chart
  3. Generate the arrangements for each instrument
  4. Convert the audio to the Rocksmith readable format
  5. Add album art
  6. Pack the song up and put it where it belongs


This wiki is a tutorial on how to do all those things. However, some of the software is evolving really quickly. Some of the steps may be out of date by the time you read this documentation. If it is, you can either fix it or send a note to one of the authors.


Acquire Software


First things first: Download the software you'll need to make your custom song.

You'll need:
  • Editor on Fire (EoF)
  • Wwise 2010.3.3
  • Rocksmith Custom Song Toolkit
  • Paint.net (or other that saves .dds files... Gimp with .dds plugin)

Editor on Fire

Update to the latest version as this will have various bugfixes. The developers use a "hotfix" method of distribution. As features are added and bugs are squished very quickly in this software, the developers have elected to distribute updated executables only when they have reached a new milestone. Apply the hotfix by unzipping the .exe file in the hotfix .zip archive into your EoF folder and replacing the old eof.exe file there.

EoF provides a graphical editor for tabbing songs (or importing tabs from Guitar Pro) and lining these up with audio. It's the tool you'll spend the most time in when you're creating a custom song.


Wwise 2010.3.3
Needed for RS 2012

Wwise is audio middleware for game developers. We'll use it to convert our audio to a format that's guaranteed to work in Rocksmith. Newer versions create a *.wep file which is not useable, so make sure to get Wwise 2010.3.3.

Wwise 2013.2
Needed for RS2014

Wwise is audio middleware for game developers. We'll use it to convert our audio to a format that's guaranteed to work in Rocksmith. This version creates a *.wem file which is used in RS2014, so make sure to get the correct Wwise 2010.3.2 for your platform.


Rocksmith Custom Song Toolkit
This toolkit was developed specifically to enable the creation of custom songs for Rocksmith. We'll use it to package all of our song's arrangements (saved from EoF) along with audio and album art into one file for copying into Rocksmith's "content" directory.


Paint.net
We recommend this for converting album art to DirectDraw Surface (.dds) format.

If you don't like Paint.net - GIMP
GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.
If you use GIMP, you'll also need to install the GIMP .dds plugin in order to save files in the .dds format.

Note: Guitar Pro tabs (*.gp3, *.gp4, *.gp5) can be imported into EoF, but you don't actually need them to create custom songs.


Importing Audio Tracks

Setting up EoF


Start EoF and go to File -> Preferences or press F11.

F11.jpg

Note the options that are selected. Most of these are the defaults, but you'll need to mark:
  • "Save separate Rocksmith files"
  • "RS sections+phrases" to the right of "Top of 2D pane shows"

If your primary use for EoF is going to be creating Rocksmith files, change the color set to Rocksmith.

The input method you use is up to you. Experiment to find the one that suits you the best. I use the Piano Roll input method in order to easily create lower difficulty levels by removing notes.

You can also change the resolution to 1024x768 in the "File>Display".

If you want to know more about these preferences or EoF in general, now might be a good time to open up the manual under Help -> Manual.


Audio File Import


Now that we are set up it's time to get the audio into EoF.

In EoF go to File -> New or press F4 and select the track you want to create. The file must be in .ogg or .mp3 format.


external image sngselect_zps690518f8.png

Now hit open and if its formatted correctly it will give you the artist and track straight away if not you must fill in the fields yourself.

external image songname_zps6c71610f.png

It will ask for a location to keep all the files it generates. By default, new projects will be created in the folder in which EoF resides. If you want to change the Song Folder later you can select File -> Song Folder from the menu. A folder browser will be displayed and you can choose from there.


external image createnewfolder_zps9b771963.png

If you selected an mp3, EoF will ask for conversion settings. Higher kbps means higher quality, but there's no point converting a 128kbps mp3 to 256kbps! Click OK and it will convert and import your .mp3 to .ogg format.

If your file is already in the .ogg format it will copied straight away.


external image oggimportsetting_zps56306fe7.png

external image oggconvertimport_zps25125d84.png



Editing Arrangements (Charting a Song)


Now you have a note highway with a blank canvas to use. Goto Song -> Waveform Graph or press F5 to generate a visible wave graph so you can see your music.

external image graph_zpsa0ebff59.png

You can also add claps to the highway that will clap for every beat that goes past so you can hear it with the beat in the audio. For that go to Edit -> Claps or press C.

Now go to Song -> Track -> PART_REAL_GUITAR to start adding notes to the first Rocksmith guitar arrangement. The other arrangements available to Rocksmith are:

  • PART_REAL_GUITAR_22
  • PART_REAL_BASS
  • PART_REAL_BASS_22

These allow you to create multiple arrangements. For example you can add lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and bass arrangements. Although Rocksmith only supports one Bass arrangement you can use the PART_REAL_BASS track for an extra Guitar arrangement. The bass arrangement should be authored in PART REAL_BASS_22, since if both bass tracks have content, EoF will have the toolkit compile this track to create Bass.sng. This allows PART REAL_BASS to be used for authoring an extra guitar arrangement.

Now add some leading silence to your track so the notes don't come at you as soon as you start the track in Rocksmith. This is needed if the notes would start within a few seconds of the song starting. Go to Song -> Leading Silence. A dialog will ask how much time (in milliseconds) or how many beats to add.


external image reencodeoggsilence_zps952a3a97.png

I normally use the settings above, but it's up to you how much you want. Depending on the song, you might not need as much. Remember that 1000ms = 1 second.

Once you click OK it will re-encode the audio .ogg file to add the silence.

Adding audio preview for RS2014


To create a 30 second preview for RS2014 simply go to the part of the song you would like the preview to start at and go to Song> Create preView audio and EoF will create a 30 second audio file that needs to be converted the same way in Wwise as the song audio.

preview.JPG

At this point you can import Guitar Pro tabs from File -> Guitar Pro Import. A file explorer window will open; go to the GP file you want to add and open it.
Note: Guitar Pro files downloaded from Ultimate-Guitar will be in *.GPX format, which is not supported. You have several options to open the GPX file and export it as a GP5.
  1. Guitar Pro - Note: You need the full version. The Lite version will not do the conversion, and the output files are not compatible.
  2. Upload the GPX to the Web Tab Player and export it as a GP5.

Once you have imported a Guitar Pro file, select which track in the GP file you want to place on the note highway, click Import, then Done.

external image importtrackyouwant_zps76b72c1f.png

You can also manually tab the song yourself from within EoF. If you'll be doing the latter, I'd recommend taking a look at the Pro Guitar tutorial under the Help menu. However, here are some of the basics of editing tabs in EoF:

  • Go to Edit -> Grid Snap to choose a note length to snap to. Whatever you choose, this will let you add notes that are perfectly in time with the beat. This is one reason why it's important to have the correct BPM setting! Go through the section below before tabbing the whole song.
  • Right-click on a string to add a note, or right-click on a note to remove it.
  • You can select multiple notes with Shift and Ctrl just as you select multiple files in Windows Explorer. E.g. Shift-A to select all notes.
  • You can also copy and paste selections of notes. When pasting, the notes will start from the beat closest to the green vertical line representing your position in the song. You can use the arrow keys to move this line, holding Shift to move through the song more quickly or holding Ctrl to move more slowly.
  • Hold Ctrl and press a number key or use the + / - keys to change a note's fret. Use Ctrl-X to create muted notes. If you have multiple notes selected, you can change all their frets at once.
  • Use the scroll wheel or the square bracket keys to add tails to notes symbolizing the length they are sustained.
  • Other special properties of notes such as slides and bends can be found in the Note -> Pro Guitar menu.
  • M toggles the Metronome, which will tick with each beat of the music.
  • C toggles Claps on every note. You can also go to Edit -> Clap Notes to have EoF only play claps on notes of a certain color.

Syncing Tabs to the Beat


If you imported Guitar Pro tabs you will have the note highway filled with colourful notes. However, they will more likely than not be out of time and in the wrong BPM. This is where you will have to set the BPM if possible and get the first beat in time with the first on the track using the wave graph as a indicator. If you're tabbing a song from scratch, tab the first couple of measures and get those synced up before you add the rest of the notes.

The short explanation is to click and drag beat markers to move them as necessary. Much of the time, the waveform graph will give a good indication whether the beat markers or the notes line up well with the song. One of the most important parts of testing sync is to play the chart back with the metronome enabled and listen if the ticking sounds like it's in rhythm with the song (especially the drummer). It may be easier to disable the clap sound cue when listening to the beat sync this way.

See the images below for a more detailed explanation on getting the timing correct.

bpm set change.png

In the image above you can see the notes are not in time with the beats (the grey vertical lines) on the wavegraph. Grab the arrow showing the default BPM (120) and drag it to be above the first note.

bpm set.png

Now it is at the first beat of the track. Play it and see if the BPM needs changing. You want the notes to fit evenly within the bars so that you can enable Grid Snap from the Edit menu. You should be able to get the BPM from the GP tab file if you have a reader; otherwise you'll have to Google it.

If the song is out of time go to Beat -> BPM Change to adjust it. Make sure to select the Adjust Notes selection in there otherwise you will not adjust anything worthy. Also make sure you have the arrow (-->) or now numbered icon highlighted.

If it still is not in time you will manually have to adjust each beat with the little arrows above the highway until they are all in time and looking good (this can take some time, depending on the song).

Some more detailed advice from raynebc, lead developer of EoF:


"If you are syncing a chart that doesn't have any guitar notes imported yet, what I like to do is to sync the first beat marker to the beginning of the song. An easy way to do this is to enable the waveform graph, and then seek to the where the waveform graph starts moving instead of being a flat line (the flat line represents silent parts of the audio), noting the seek position given in the Information Panel, opening Song Properties (F9) and then entering the seek position as the MIDI delay. The MIDI delay is in milliseconds, so make sure to convert the timing to that numbering (ie. 1 minute and 5 seconds = 65 * 1000 = 65000ms. You can use the fine tuned seek operations to seek slowly (CTRL+Left/Right to seek slowly, CTRL+SHIFT+Left/Right to seek 1ms at a time).

Then to get a good starting tempo, I'll go a few beats into the song and sync it by comparing the beat line's position to the waveform graph or by playing the chart back with the metronome. Then when the beat is synced, while it is still selected, I use the Beat>Delete Anchor. This applies the first beat's tempo to the rest of the chart. Then I go a few beats further into the song and repeat the process. As long as the song's tempo is pretty stable, it shouldn't take long for the first beat's tempo to become accurate enough to start with.

If the song has been altered in the studio to use a PERFECTLY steady tempo all throughout the recording, this process will allow you to set the tempo to be completely accurate, down to the thousandth of a BPM. Not all songs do this though, especially older songs (ie. 80s and older) before this practice became common in recording studios, so once you get the initial tempo for the song, you may need to make small corrections throughout the song to compensate for parts where the musicians slipped out of tempo, intentionally changed tempo, etc. Spot checking every few beats is usually good enough, but depending on how sloppy the band was, you may have to sync several beats in a row in some places.

It would be typical to need to correct the placement of beats at least once every few beats. If it's been several beats since you've had to change the tempo, it doesn't hurt to anchor the beat in place (select it and press the A key) so that it stays put if and when you click and drag a beat marker further ahead in the chart. This also makes it easy to keep track of how much of the chart has had its sync fixed. Likewise if one beat is in place and the next isn't, anchor the beat that is in place so that it doesn't move when you correct the next beat.

If you are syncing a chart that already has the guitar notes imported, you want to keep the notes positions intact while you manipulate the beat markers. Usually it's good enough to just start at the beginning of the chart to sync the first beat so that the first note is at the proper position (you can test this by enabling the clap cue and playing the chart) and then work your way toward the end of the chart. If the imported guitar notes are accurate, you shouldn't have to do much more than correct the beat positions, and the "Note auto-adjust" preference will move the notes to accordingly. You should also find that some of the notes' positions appear to be reflected by shapes in the waveform graph, this is a good way to visually tell that part of the chart is in sync. You will still want to play the chart back with the metronome and clap cues (one at a time if you prefer) to judge that the chart is synced."

Editing Sustains


Now once you have all your note in time some will have tails running of them these are sustains and you will need to left click on the notes that do not require sustains and roll your mouse wheel back to shorten them to zero. Do this before making other difficulty's otherwise you will have to redo it in the other difficulty's too.

If you do not have a scroll wheel you can select a note and make it longer with ], and make it shorter with [.

You can left click a note and then hold SHIFT when left clicking another note to select those notes and all of those in between them. Otherwise holding CTRL when clicking on a note adds that one note to the selection of notes that are selected. This will be much faster than CTRL+clicking on each note, which some people have thought was necessary.

Before:

Before
Before


After:
external image mousewheelsustain_zpsc0902c6f.png

Once all of the above is ok your track can be saved and be ready to use in the toolkit and Wwise if you want a track with no dynamic difficulty.

For information on creating dynamic difficulty, it is covered here.


Adding Vocal Part In EOF (The Easy Way)


We will get our lyrics in UltraStar format from Ultrastar Database or Ultrastarsongs.com

Save any lyrics found as text files. It will show you a link like Download TXT when you go to the song you found.
Lyric Import that .txt file into EOF and align/sync them to the audio if needed. (Note: All lyrics can be moved by hitting CTRL+A then click and dragging the lyrics)

When you finish that and everything is synced, make sure the lyric lines are covering each group of lyrics. The lyric lines determine what part of lyrics are shown together scrolling horizontally at the same time in Rocksmith.

EOF will export the lyrics as PART VOCALS.xml. Use this file in the Rocksmith Custom Song Toolkit when generating your package (custom song .dat file) for Vocals. In Add Arrangement, keep scroll speed the same as your Guitar and Bass arrangements, but the other options don't matter for Vocals.

*If you can't find your song in Ultrastar fromat try these sites for importable lyric files:
http://www.vanbasco.com/midisearch.html since .kar files work too.
http://www.lyrdb.com/karaoke/ since .lrc files should work too


Audio Track Conversion

Wwise Conversion for PC and Xbox 360


Choose New Project, place it somewhere memorable (Default is in C:\Users\<name>\Documents\WwiseProjects\<SONG FOLDER>\.cache\Windows\SFX). Name it, choose whatever you'd like. You can probably reuse the same project for all future conversions.

Now you need to choose Project->Project Settings from the top menu toolbar. Make Windows and Xbox 360 are checked under Active. Then click OK.

Wwise Project Settings.png

No you'll be left at the main window. Either right-click and choose Import, on Default Work Unit in the tree to the left (bottom choice) or click and drag your .wav to this unit.

The .wav file will be in the folder EoF created for you after EoF has saved. This file is created to include extra silence on the end of the audio file to help the song end normally in-game, and that the WAV file itself is named after the song title given in the EOF project's song properties.
Note: Be sure that you had selected the option "Save separate Rocksmith files" on EoF/Properties, if you forgot it, you .WAV file wasn't created when you saved your project.
A window will pop up with options, ignore all and just hit Import. This will place your audio file in Default Work unit under the Interactive Music Hierarchy Tree.
Open the tree down and double click the bottom child (WAV file name). In this example the WAV file was named guitar. On the right tick the Stream and Zero Latency checkboxes, then choose the Conversion Settings Tab.

012.png

In Conversion Settings tab, tick the Override Parent box, click on the >> and scroll down the options till you get to Vorbis Quality High. After that hit the Edit button.

014.png

In this new window change the Channels to Stereo, the Sample Rate to 48000 for both Platforms.

Wwise Conversion Settings.png

Hit Edit on both the Windows and Xbox 360 Platform. Here, set Seek Table Granularity at 16384, Hit OK

Wwise Vorbis Encoder Param.png

After that just hit the Convert button. It is in the middle/right of the dialog box next to Copy to Clipboard. A window will pop up asking you what platform to convert, select Windows and Xbox 360. Hit OK. Another box will pop up with the conversion progress, it will eventually finish and close.

Your files will then be located in the folder you choose for you project. Under Project Name\Wav Filename\.cache\Windows or XBox360\SFX. A quick way to get there is to right click on the audio source in the Conversion Settings Edior which should still be showing. Then choose Open Containing Folder. From there you can easily navigate to Project Name\Wav Filename\.cache\Windows or XBox360\SFX

Once in the SFX folder move this Wwise generated OGG file to your Custom Toolkit working folder. Along with your XML files made by EOF.




Album Art


Using Paint.net

  • Google Image search the Album and save a high quality version to your work folder.
  • Open this saved file in Paint.net, then hit Ctrl+R for Resize
  • Untick "Maintain aspect Ratio", Choose 512 for both the Width and Height then hit OK
  • Goto File -> Save File As(ctrl+shift+s) and choose "DirectDraw Surface (*.dds)", name it and save, you will get another popup window. Just hit OK

020.png

Using GIMP with .dds Plugin

  • Google Image search the album and save a high quality version to your work folder
  • Open this saved file in the GIMP, then select Image -> Scale Image
  • Click on the "link" icon between the height and width measurements. Enter 512 for both the width and the height. Then hit Scale.
  • Go to File -> Export. Either change the filename so that it ends with .dds or click Select File Type (by Extension) then select DDS image.




Custom DLC Packing RS2012 (2014 Users skip this step)


*Note* We are now ready to create our custom DLC. There is one thing that this guide does not cover which is Tone Settings.
Picking the wrong tone will sound horrible in game. Play with the amp in game until you find the tone you like, or unpack a song who's tone matches and copy that.

Steam users have an additional step:From rXp's Tutorial on smithyanvil:
  1. Go to "DLC Packer/Unpacker" tab
  2. Click "Unpack" and choose a song in your steam/steamapps/common/Rocksmith/content folder which you obtained from Steam. The folder is usually found where you keep your "program files."
  3. Choose a separate temporary folder from the content folder and unpack it.
  4. Go to the temporary folder and open the "APP_ID" with notepad (or equivalent). Write down or copy and paste the number. This is the Steam App ID of the DLC. The game will ignore the .dat file you are putting together if you don't own the APP ID listed in the file you are making, so you have to use the ID of something you actually have.
  5. Put that Number in the "DLC App ID" field.
TODO: This section needs revision
Within the Custom Song Toolkit choose the "DLC Package Creator" tab:
  • NOTE: All the fields here MUST be populated. If you forget them then adding an arrangement will crash.
  • At the bottom of this page, select PC, XBox360 or both as appropriate.
  • NOTE: The DLC Name field can only contain letters. Failure to do that will cause the file not to work.
  • Use the tempo that is displayed on the first beat marker in EoF or estimate what the average tempo throughout the chart is. As far as we know, this number means nothing.
  • Add a tone (TODO: This section needs revision)
  • If you do not have a tone yet make sure to put the Volume at -21, -10 or 0 otherwise it will be quiet in-game. If you set a low number in this option, more louder will be the sound in-game. -10 is normally enough.
  • Add one or more arrangements
    • NOTE: you should add your tones before adding an arrangement
    • For difficulty, just place a 1 for now
    • Choose the options that pertain to your song
    • Press the Ok button
  • Choose your Album Art .DDS File using the browse ('...') button
  • Choose your Wwise converted .ogg file using the browse ('...') button
  • Finally Hit the Generate button
    • Your song will now be saved with a .dat extention.
    • Move this file to Rocksmith\Content\ Directory, and enjoy your new Custom Song.

022.png


023.png


Custom DLC Packing RS2014


The general basis is the same for creating a RS2014 package but a few different steps are done.

First up the song preview done in EoF and converted the same way as the songs .wav file must be renamed.

For example:
wemfiles.JPG
The non preview .wem is the one you select and the toolkit will look for the matching preview .wem

Toolkit.JPG

And if you have made more than one tone be sure to select the checkbox to disable tone slot changes to stop tones from failing.

toolkit ar.JPG


Useful Links