Author Topic: How to make a simfile Refrence Guide  (Read 24159 times)

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Offline -=0-

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How to make a simfile Refrence Guide
« on: May 15, 2008, 08:37:55 AM »
Ok since I know there is still alot of new members who are still unsure about Bpm's and offsets over all sync I will make a tiny guide here for reference.

[Mix Meister]
First thing you will need is MixMeister BPM analyzer To find your correct bpm for the song. Mixmeister can not read ogg files.

Mixmeister website http://dl2.mixmeister.com

[DDreamStudio]
Another helpful program to assist you in your syncing of a songs bpm and or offset is DDreamStudio because it allows you to see the wave form and beats
and from there you just have to line them up with the downbeat with f11 and f12 to get a accurate offset.

I suggest that if do use ddreamstudio, only use it to sync Your offset and bpm's, not to actually step your song in that program. Use the stepmania 3.9 , 3.95 or 4.0 editor. Also keep in mind that if you do use the 4.0 editor once you start your file you wont be able to take it back into the DDreamstudio because it will detect 4.0's groove radar bullshit. there is a way around this but I forgot lol. I forgot to mention DDream studio cant understand ogg or 48000hz mp3's
so keep your mp3's to 44100hz.

DDreamStudio Website site http://www.ddreamstudio.com/2.html

[Audacity]
This is an audio editing program useful for cutting your mp3's , converting other formats to mp3, amplifying , and other neat stuff .
You will need the lame mp3 encoder to make mp3's which will also be found on
the audacity website

This program will come in handy if you find that in stepmania your songs Audio is low. Or if your song is too long and want to chop a piece off.

Audacity website  http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

_________________________________________________________________

Now that we have the programs you will need out of the way lets talk about the stepmania editor basic knowledge.

[The F keys and other shit]

F1 key - Brings up your help menu

F5 and F6 keys - These keys shuffle through your different charts beginner, standard, heavy and so on while editing .

F7 and F8 keys - These keys allow you to move the bpm up and down incrementally as you see needed in a section of your song

F9 and F10 keys - These are stop editors .. i think i dont use them so ya moving on

F11 and F12 keys - These keys will move your offset up and down

The Enter key - Lets say you hit it twice by accident and Boom you insert a beat In the middle of your stepped sim DONT PANIC just stop hit Enter again and Hit UNDO ... Lawl that happened to me once and i didnt know what to do... ya i didnt know the editor very well.. SO NOW YOU KNO dont be dumb like me.

[Options while Using the editor.]

PLEASE use Assist Tick this is how you will know if the beats in the song are absolutely Matching up with you Steps. REMEMBER THE STEPS MUST GO TO SOMETHING .. Even if you 16th stream a song you must know what that stream is going too not just say.." oh its a fast song it works :|"..

Speed and note skin you use while editing is totaly up to you.
_________________________________________________________________

[Basic Bpm And offset Knowledge]

This is ABSOLUTELY BASIC I wont go into variable bpm's here.

Ok lets say Mixmeister gives you 155 bpm on a constant song... WEll use it

and Now once you dial in the nubers at beat 0 of the editor there u can begin to look for your offset LIKE THIS..    Highlight a section about 30 seconds on the song in the editor  OR  scroll down like 60 seconds and place one red note  
:| so the song will play to that point with out going back to the top.  Now place 4 notes from measure 2 down and try to match the very first beat you hear to that first Red note. just keep moving the song up and down with f11 and f12 till you get it right .



Now lets say you get a Bpm like 90.000 on s song that is fast and your like WTF.. Dont worry just double the bpm to 180.00 and now if its correct your down beat notes should be red and blue .  and not Red blue and yellow.

Like i said BASIC im not gunna go into more complicated faggetry



_________________________________________________________________


[Basic Keyboard steping knowledge]

Ok When stepping a song use Layering wisely.
Layers is Basicly merging sounds together in a way that makes sense to the player playing the file.. i guess.. i mean you only have 4 arrows gg make good use of them.
So a basic thing to know is ONLY PLAcE jUMPS WHerE TheY mAkE sEnse
This goes for jacks, Trills, and Hands.

Also do not over layer, what i mean is let the file make sense to the player so they know what they are following and keep a consistent flow do not change up rhythm All of a sudden this will destroy the flow and fun of your file .. Step one layer at a time , start with just your red notes and blue note . step all the jumps and hard beats and then go back and step in the rest such as 16th note ,24ths or 32nd ect.

Pitch relevancy <-- learn that word Lol

__________________________________________________________________

[Backgrounds, video's, banners and cdtitles]

Make them as professional looking as possible if you want to be taken seriously.

___________________________________________________________________


Ok if i missed anything BASIC that you feel New simfilers should know post
Here.

Lk4d4 also Maid stepmania video tutorials That you can find on his youtube page http://www.youtube.com/user/LK4D42

Now all new members and potential submitters should know The basics of making a simfile .

Again if i missed anything important please Add it.

Offline ichigo13

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How to make a simfile Refrence Guide
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008, 08:47:37 AM »
I didint know one thing about this stuff thanx a bunch typhoon.

Offline Mangry Anjuu

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How to make a simfile Refrence Guide
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2008, 08:52:34 AM »
use sm3.9 to avoid fail

Offline neothe0ne

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How to make a simfile Refrence Guide
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008, 01:47:37 PM »
Yeah, I highly recommend you only use StepMania 3.9 to make your sims.  I haven't tried 3.95 CVS, but I did try 4.0 back when I was a clueless retard, and it won't be pretty.

Also, despite all that in the first post about how certain audio files can't be read, never release a transcoded audio file if you can help it since it'll aggravate audiophiles whether they can honestly hear a difference in quality or not.  If your source is an mp3, use mp3DirectCut if you have to crop a song in some way.  Also, unless I'm mistaken StepMania has no sense of time in regard to sample starts if you're using a VBR MP3, so avoid those as well (I believe the mix rules state this as well).

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How to make a simfile Refrence Guide
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 02:39:30 PM »
meh I dunno Ive used 3.9 , 3.95 and 4.0 for editing and I dont see any difference except in 3.95 where there is a bug which wont allow you to edit song info through the editor.. As for actual stepping its all the same shit.
And Thuy would probably say to me "YA BUUUT U TOLD ME 4.0 cRashEd and stuff while editing fiLEs>!! yea but ive had crashes also on 3.9 while editing..
Its just my bad luck lol. SAVE CONSTANTLY.. also Before continuing stepping a file Right at the beginning do a mock save to make sure the file will save, you dont want to save and have sm crash on you do TO SOME RANDOM DIRECTORY ERROR :) ... happened to me , i almost cried ..

Offline Ace Of Hearts

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How to make a simfile Refrence Guide
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008, 05:27:00 PM »
I have used StepMania 3.95 CVS to write my simfiles for quite a while, and as far as I can tell, there are 2 problems:

1. As you described, you can't edit the song's info in the editor.  (It won't crash the program, but it won't display that subscreen.) You hafta go into the .sm file and do it manually.)

2. You can't insert or change existing background changes through the editor either (An attempt to do this will crash the program; again, you'll need to make the change manually in the .sm file).

However, I find these problems to be quite minor (as that stuff, if done right the first time, shouldn't need changed).

I also have some tips you may have missed:

Mines: To insert a mine, hold [Shift] and hit the number that corresponds to the arrow you wish to place a mine on.

Rolls (3.95/Plus): To chart a roll, hold [Shift], hold the number corresponding to the arrow you wish to place a roll on, and drag it down (as though you were making an ordinary hold).  When you first hit the number, it will be a mine, but once you start dragging it somewhere, it'll turn into a roll automatically.

Knowing The Formatting of an .sm File

So you've done some editing, gone into your .sm file, and can't understand what you see because you aren't exactly familiar with how the numbers-to-chart thing works?  Here's a rundown:

Each row of four numbers is, of course, the four arrows, Left, Down, Up, and Right.  As for the numbers:

0 = Nothing happens here (although the player might be in the middle of a hold or roll that hasn't ended yet).
1 = There is a tap arrow here.
2 = A Hold starts here.
3 = A hold or roll ends here.
4 = A Roll starts here.
M = A Mine is present here.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 05:53:27 PM by Ace Of Hearts »

Offline kaithevoid

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How to make a simfile Refrence Guide
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2008, 10:10:34 PM »
ok how do you put your images onto the songs you make

Offline ophi

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How to make a simfile Refrence Guide
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2008, 04:30:21 AM »
Quote from: kaithevoid;6654
ok how do you put your images onto the songs you make


Ok, here's how you do it.

Make your background (640x480 or 800x600) and banner (256x80). When you are ready, open up your song folder. You'll see the audio, .sm and .dwi files wich you have created. Place your image files inside the folder and name them according to the song, e.g. as "songnamebanner".

(Use .png fileformat for the pics like all the other cool kids)

Right, then open up your notepad. Click and drag the .sm file into the notepad.


Ta-dah, you have your sim on a notepad. Now, I suggest you edit other information of your sim in the stepmania editor, so for now, focus on the pics.


Basically, you have to make the sim able to access the pictures. So just look up #BANNER and #BACKGROUND, just insert filename there like the picture, save and close. Remember, the file extention has to be inputted as well.

Xion Steel

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Stepping Tips for SM
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2008, 04:24:20 AM »
ok these are tips from me mainly from working in between both sm 3.9 and 4.0 im going to give a few tips and i'll mention a few things that i noticed too in the section below the separation line. most things ill talk about though is for 4.0 since i like it more and i find it easier to use.
;P


- pick a good song to step *important*. variation is nice, some repetition is nice too, too much repetition is bad ~.~. if the song is too long then unless it is an epic masterpiece then no one will play it.


- ok first of all get the right bpm using programs like mix meister to get the bpm automatically or else find it out yourself using a program like winbpm. important to know that not all bpm comming from either of these types of programs are correct cause of changin bpms in the song itself, in this case the way around this is to either ask for help to get the correct bpm, use someone else's file for reference or be like me and keep trying bpms till it matches the notes and change the bpm at a part that sounds like it speed's up/slows down however this could be tedious as hell so its easier to ask for help ^^''


- offset: GET THE CORRECT ONE, I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. Amost no file is at a 0.000 offset and so far i havent see one at all ;P. use f11/f12 to adjust the offset to the downbeat (if the song has drums that would be the bass strike). also keep note that just hitting f11/f12 adjusts it by 0.020 and some offset are anal as hell so to be more exact holding alt while hitting f11/f12 adjusts it by 0.001.


- use tick assist: almost an asset for stepping since its a function that clicks to each step like a metronome. listen to the ticks to see if they match with the steps you put down.


- this doesnt always work but i find it helps if you cant figure out if the steps should be 16ths, 24ths, etc... try going into the the options and try slowing the song down to 0.5x (and no not the x0.5 mod i mean slow the song itself down). so this with tick assist and you should be able to figure out where steps go more easily.


- save often: don't do this and you'll be like Lain cursing at SM for crashing at random.


- be consistant with steps: this is important cause if your all over the place you will confuse the person playing your sim:

im looking at 2 things here. first keep using the same type if note for same sounds (ex: use jumps for drum symbals keep using jumps till you shift to something else) also with this make sure to use the same pattern again if the song portion repeats (like copy /paste) this is unless the song repeats the same section a craptop of time, in this came you prolly shouldnt step the song in the first place (aka: BORING)

the second thing it transitions, this is where simfiles usually go to hell, i see that ppl tend to jump from vocals to instruments back to vocals again. this part isnt too too bad, BUT were ppl screw up is they do it so suddenly (ex: middle of a drum solo and all of a sudden move to vocals for a few notes then jump back to drums again). pick something and stick with it till the song changes up some xP


- remember quality > quantity, the simfile does not have to be overly difficult to be fun to play although some ppl can make it both although me thinks players play hard thuy sims a lot to try and beat it or AA it and stop playing it when they do xD.

- add a background, banner, cdtitle, and if you want lyrics. if you wanna know how to do any of these there are plenty of tutorials on how to do them :D

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

now for some crusial tips for 4.0 steppers: once your done the file dont try and edit it anymore or else do the following EVERYTIME you finish the file

- go to the songfile directory folder and open the .sm file. if you have a video delete the coding after the 0=0=0=0 but not the comma (dont worry this wont effect the file but it will make sure that 3.9 players wont have a glitchy simfile)

- delete the old .sm, old .dwi, and temp files (these are reverse saves from the previous time you saved so you wont need it once your done your file.)

- delete the .dwi folder for one main reason => its like an old .sm file containing info from your last save and for some fucking reason 3.9 loads this instead of the .sm file >_>. so delete this the your file should be fine.

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

for those reading this i hope i helped some. the dwi thing here from 4.0 editting was the main reason for wanting to do this since it massively screwed up my od5 submissions xP

ppl who want to add to this tip list / help on making files then do so but at this time im done xD.

Offline Blade Anime

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Stepping Tips for SM
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2008, 09:22:38 PM »
Quote from: Xion Steel;6926
- be consistant with steps: this is important cause if your all over the place you will confuse the person playing your sim:

im looking at 2 things here. first keep using the same type if note for same sounds (ex: use jumps for drum symbals keep using jumps till you shift to something else) also with this make sure to use the same pattern again if the song portion repeats (like copy /paste) this is unless the song repeats the same section a craptop of time, in this came you prolly shouldnt step the song in the first place (aka: BORING)


I completely agree with the first point there.  Some simfiles look as if the person making the thing had a complete muscle break down.  I really hat it when they are like that!  
as for the second point(s), with some songs, the repitition works but using the same beats over and over would make it boring.  An example of a good song like this is Kir Royal!!! by Scudelia electro, which I am actually working on making a simfile of.  
One last thing, added tip: Try to see if you are able to do your song before putting it on the web, if you lose in five seconds, try making some revisions, I seriously find it annoying when a great song is screwed up by the fact that its simfile is practically impossible to play with either keyboard or pad.

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