Version 2.37 use "foflc -in vrhythm vocalnotes.mid vocals.txt -out midi notes.mid noteswithlyrics.mid" format. See converter thread for more info.
raynebc wrote:Updated to version 1.91. You can now write note names instead of pitch numbers in the pitched lyric file. So if you don't want to go to the hassle of converting numbers when transcribing vocal notes or reading vocal sheet music, you can just type the note, such as B6 (B in octave 6, where octave 4 is the middle octave).
So you are comfortable charting guitar and now you want to chart vocals for FOFIX (versions supporting pitched vocals are still in testing phase at the moment) without feeling like you're starting over at square one. Hey! Me Too! And thanks to an amazing little converter by raynebc, you can! I'll polish this up some and add to the FAQ as time goes on.
THIS TUTORIAL WILL NOT TEACH YOU HOW TO CHART THE VOCALS IF YOU DON'T ALREADY UNDERSTAND THE BASICS OF INSTRUMENT CHARTING.
This process breaks down into three steps that are best NOT done separately, but are described separately here for the sake of relative simplicity. A description of how I actually implement this method follows further down within a spoiler.
1) Create the vocal rhythm in an unused instrument track
2) Create a lyric/pitch input text file
3) Combine your midi and text file with raynebc's converter
-a piano or keyboard (or another instrument with accompanying knowledge)
-an ear for comparing pitches
-raynebc's FoF Lyric Convert (1.85 or above, newer is better)
-midi numbers taped to your piano keyboard keys
-VividLyricsEditor for testing
This assumes that your chart/midi is already properly beatsynced and you are working in an instrument track that you won't need to use for anything else you are doing. Here you just need to chart the vocals as a pitchless guitar part. I use blue notes. You should have a note per sung-syllable and/or per pitch shift. Note: You should be working in the same .mid or .chart as the instrument tracks you want included, just in an otherwise-unneeded instrument+difficulty slot.
So if we were charting the line "twinkle twinkle little star" we would notice that we have 7 syllables with no mid-syllable pitch shifts, so you should end up with 7 blue notes of appropriate locations and lengths. This should come very easily to anyone used to creating guitar parts for fof.
If we take a Beatles example "I want to hold your ha-a-a-a-and" (as in the second repetition of the line in the song, 25 seconds in) you will hear a great extended example of multiple pitch shifts within a syllable. In this case you want to place a blue note at each instance of pitch shift extending up to the following instance. We don't need to reflect the pitches, just the points at which they change, showing a duration lasting until the next. This may read complicated but it really isn't once you're in a familiar editor.
Proceed through the song in this manner, placing blue notes at the beginning of syllables and at points of pitch change and extending them sustain-appropriate distances, and using just the one "color" note. Also, keep in mind that when i say "sung-syllable" I'm not teaching english, so if two english-teacher syllables are blurred into one sung-syllable you may be able to represent them with one note. The word "if" comes to mind as a syllable that is often pronounced as an 'f' added to the beginning of the word after. Copy and paste is your friend, just as it is in guitar charting, but be sure to double-check pasted areas against what you are actually hearing.
If you did this in EOF:
save into the midi file and you're done with step one!
If you did this in Feedback:
use a method of chart>mid conversion that supports the instrument track you chose to chart vocals in to create a .mid from your .chart
Jump online, select/copy the lyrics to your song and paste them into a text file. Online sources aren't perfect, so listen and be sure your lyrics actually match your song before you move on. If you can't find lyrics for you song online you probably wrote it yourself, so just get them into a text file and you'll be probably be FOFamous in no time.
Now you need to split your lyrics into separate lines by sung-syllables. It will help to watch your charted blue notes through (sing along time!) several times before starting. Since our conversion process relies entirely on sequence, you MUST end up with that same number of lyrics lines as you have notes in your midi, or your vocals will not be in any way playably in sync. Pitch shifts within a syllable should be given a line of their own, held by a "+".
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We can round out our lyrics phase by adding in some hyphens (-). Simply add a hyphen at each point where you split a single word in separate lines, and then a hyphen on it's own line wherever you want a phrase break (shown as vertical lines in RB). There isn't exactly a right or wrong to the placement of phrase breaks, but places where you find yourself taking a breath when singing are a good start.
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Here's where things get a bit new and potentially confusing, rather than just slightly tedious. You could make your way through this step using anything from a midi pitch generator on your computer to a harp, but I'll be pointing us through it on a piano keyboard. This step relies entirely on you hearing a note sung and being able to peck around on the piano keyboard until you hear yourself hit that same note. If that's difficult for you, practice! Play "Twinkle Twinkle" a couple of times at a speed you can keep up with, and sing along.
For those who may have access to a keyboard but no background knowledge on one, this image should help you associate keys with notes.
And this chart links the notes to the associated midi numbers. (Middle C being 60)
If you have a physical keyboard and care to skip a step, taping numbers to keys makes this process seem much simpler.
If you don't have a keyboard, a flash keyboard in your browser should also work. Google pointed me here. Just watch yourself on your octaves if you're working with a short keyboard, be it physical or virtual.
ADDING PITCH TO OUR INPUT LYRICS:
So you've tapped at the keyboard (or plucked the guitar, or clicked buttons on the computer), and realized that the version of "Twinkle Twinkle" you were singing to yourself gave you "C-C-G-G-A-A-G" for the first line, and you know by using that chart (or the tape on your keys) that translates into 60-60-67-67-69-69-67. Simply input those numbers into your text file in front of their associated syllable like so:
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Phrase lines should not have a pitch associated with them, but every other line should, including lines occupied by a "+" representing a pitch change. Pitchless syllables (talked/rapped/screamed/shouted) should be marked using "#" instead of a numerical value.
Star Power - in this format, star power sections are written by phrase. Adding a "*" to a phrase marker line designates that phrase as containing star power, with SP ending at the next phrase marker.
Lastly, we simply need to tell the conversion program where we put our vocal pattern in the midi file. At the very top of your text file, add "midi = ", followed by a value to point at the instrument/difficulty you used.
G1 = supaeasy guitar
G4 = expert guitar
B2 = easy/medium bass
D3 = hard drums
etc, etc, etc
The process I actually use to implement this method is in the spoiler below explained in steps in the order I do them, rather than as simply as it was above. PLEASE do not read it until you feel like you comprehend the above, and realize that this IS NOT a step that goes here, it's simply more advanced elaboration on the sections above it. First-timers should probably just keep moving down without opening this spoiler.
Spoiler:This is a follow up for the piece-by-piece explanation above. The reason I don't combine the two is simply that this one is well.... not as simple. Not to mention that I didn't bother repeating things I'd like to think I already taught you. The way I wrote the first section made a lot of sense to me at the time I wrote the first draft of it, when I was starting on my second song. It broke the process down into feeling like semi-logical steps 1, 2, and 3. Several songs later, I also realize that it took longer than necessary and felt more tedious than need be due to the semi-blind nature of doing these things one at a time. In this guide I am going to walk you through the process keeping two windows open, charting notes while you adapt your lyrics to the song and format in a side window.
THIS WILL NOT TEACH YOU HOW TO CHART THE VOCALS IF YOU DON'T ALREADY UNDERSTAND THE BASICS OF INSTRUMENT CHARTING, AND WILL LIKELY MAKE YOUR HEAD EXPLODE IF YOU HAVEN'T GOTTEN THE FIRST SECTION I WROTE PRETTY THOUROUGHLY WHIPPED!!!
1) get at least somewhat correct lyrics for your song in a text editor
2) get a beatsynced midi spot to work in (i never chart 3-note easy guitar, so i just use that)
1st Play: lyrics fix and add pitch shifts
A simple one-through of the song (i play it at X.85 speed) to correct glaring inconsistencies in the lyrics. Pause as needed. Most lyric sites only list repeated lines once, so just copy and paste appropriately. If you think you hear something differently than the lyrics you got have it written, by all means fix it! I also add in my "+" to represent pitch shift on this run through, as they are for all intents and purposes part of your lyrics from here on out. Pop your syllables apart into lines with hyphens for split words, and then proceed to play the song again.
2nd Play: vocal rhythym notes
Detailed in the part-by-part tutorial, simply add in notes of appropriate lengths in appropriate locations. I do this with my lyrics file (now easily squished into a tall skinny box due to all that enter-key-ing) open and viewable next to my charting process, scrolling through the text as I scroll through the song (i play it at X.85 speed). It should be simple to match the notes to the words by using the clap feature and arrowing down through text to the clapping. Thus we've avoided the number one problem encountered in this method of charting: the chance of skipping a syllable or pitch change on one program or the other and getting your syllables one-off from their intended locations. Feel free to copy and paste! Even if it's not a perfect match, getting a close-to-right paste may guide you to the right spots quicker. Wrap this portion up by dropping your phrase marker lines (-) into the lyrics, now that we're sure our arrow-key hits matched our claps.
3rd Play: pitches
At this point you want to be playing the song at normal speed, for obvious reasons. I'm sitting with a piano keyboard in front of me along with my computer. The white keys all have their associated midi numbers taped to them to shortcut me into the midi-speak i'll be using to identify them within my lyrics file. I usually just play the song a bit and piddle on the keyboard somewhere center-abouts. If you're having trouble finding the vocals at first, try just hitting notes on 1-counts that don't clash with the song, like a beginner bassist on keys. Even without getting into music theory in the slightest, this will very very likely get you a note every once in a while that matches the vocals as well, and then you've got a starting point. You're likely to find less keys used than you would expected at first, so one right note really is a great moment. Go ahead and throw it into your text file before its syllable and feel good about yourself. Try to round out that phrase, then move on the next... you'll really start getting a feel for the song once you have one or two full phrases correctly labeled. Now flip through the rest of the song. You'll likely find that you can go ahead and dab those pitch sequences onto other phrases within your lyrics. If nothing else, repeated lines are often (NOT ALWAYS!) a safe bet. Get on through the song... if a part has you stuck just skip it, it may make a lot more sense once you've got a simple part pitch-labelled further in. Once completed, drop in your star power notations (*) and call your charting done!
raynebc's thread located here should teach you the basics of his converter. It is command line program, so you want to jump into a command prompt (Run/cmd for windows users) and direct to the proper folder first. I keep it at C:\FoFLyricConverter\. Once there, with my vocal-rhythm midi named vocalnotes.mid, and my lyrics-pitch text file named vocals.txt, I would input the following to convert/merge into a midi file named completed.mid.
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FoFLyricConvert -in vrhythm vocalnotes.mid vocals.txt -out midi completed.mid
It may tell you it doesn't see a song.ini... that's fine unless you need it to set the offset for you, just remember that of course you need that eventually to play the song, or simply drop the ini in there to and know it will get the offset right for you. Your completed.mid just needs to be renamed to "notes.mid" and placed into a standard fof folder setup.
If you don't want to convert to fofix mid and test in-game, but want an easy-to-follow visual test run of your song, we can easily do that in VividLyricsEditor. Simply type the following to convert to VL format instead of Midi.
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FoFLyricConvert -in vrhythm vocalnotes.mid vocals.txt -out VL completed.vl
This will produce a completed.vl file, which can be opened in VLeditor (File/Open) in conjunction with a .mp3 or .wav (Audio/Open). Then simply hit play and watch closely. Any slips should produce a one-off effect, causing syllables to show on wrong notes, and should clearly illustrate exactly where the problem began. I've found that my most likely mistake is a forgotten word or pitch shift in my text file. Fix the problem in your midi or text, slip it through the converter again, and watch VLeditor once more. You don't have to close and re-open everything every time... I keep the text file, Feedback, the command prompt, and VLeditor all running on top of each other. You can simply re-open completed.vl in VLeditor after each re-conversion, without having to close and reopen the program and audio. This makes fixing each issue one at a time a fairly feasible approach.
This picture shows how simple a viewpoint VLeditor gives you on for doublechecking.
If you're comfortable on a piano/keyboard, the following method of doublechecking is also reasonably effective:
After the 3rd play described in the spoiler above:
By this point I've got pitch numbers next to all my syllables and pitch changes. I also find that by now I can about half-play the vocal part on my keyboard just listening to the song. Such is the nature of the preceeding focus, i suppose, be it trial-and-error or otherwise. I start my charting program playing the song with claps on, and play it on the keys sight-reading from the lyrics text. This sounds harder than it is, considering that i've got midi numbers taped to my keys. Keep an ear out for pitches that might be off, as well as for claps that sound without you pressing a key.
Q: Why blue notes? Why not green or red or turquoise?
A: Because once upon a time when I started charted my first song using this method and started begging raynebc to support it, I liked blue. Also, charting in Feedback it's under your index finger. I believe his converter actually supports any note you care to choose, but i wrote this saying blue.
Q: Can I chart the vocal rhythm notes in [insert charting program or midi editor here]?
A: Definitely. As long as you get the right lengths in the right places it shouldn't matter a bit how you got them there.
Q: Is there an easy way to test my rhythms before I go through organizing my lyrics input file?
A: Hell yes! One of the great things about this method is that you can test play your blue notes in FOF on the instrument of your choice.
Q: Doesn't this create a "false difficulty" wherever you chart the vocal rhythms?
A: Yes, it does. Most of us around here are used to that as a result of scorehero tools that drop in notes for the sake of GH compatibility. If this really bothers you those notes can be deleted out of your completed.mid in a midi editor.
Q: Should I be placing 8th notes? 16th notes? 48th notes?
A: Well, that depends on the song and the bpm. The duration of a 16th note at 100bpm is hugely different from a 16th note at 300bpm. You need to use something specific enough to get notes starting and stopping in the right places, and if you play your song at a slower speed you should be able to tell what that is.
Q: Can somebody help me learn to pick out the pitches? I'm having a hard time with this. The keyboard notes just don't sound like the vocalist to me.....
A: Try listening to a few words of the song, then pausing it and humming it back. If you can hum the vocal part accurately and then compare your humming to the keyboard/midi pitch it will be easier to hear the pitch comparison in that than it is with the song playing.
Q: But I have an ogg!! How do i get a wav or mp3 for VLeditor testing?
A: Audacity can easily convert ogg to wav, and ogg to mp3 if you're set up to do so.
Q: I'm not familiar with doing anything in command prompt!!! What is this black screen with text?!?
A: If i start cmd.exe from Windows, it starts me at "C:\Documents And Settings\Administrator". From there i would type "cd.." to go back a folder, and then "cd.." to go back a folder again. That would put me at "C:\". Because i keep my copy of rayne's converter located at "C:\FoFLyricConverter\", i would then type "cd FoFLyricConverter" to get into that folder.
Then all we have to do is make sure that you're matching proper syntax for the program. If you've:
1) named your files the names the tutorial used (vocalnotes.mid & vocals.txt)
2) put your converter at C:\FoFLyricConverter\
3) directed your command prompt to C:\FoFLyricConverter\
...then you should literally be able to type exactly what I have in the CODE blocks in the tutorial.
If you're working on Vista you can shortcut into Command Prompt in the correct folder by holding shift and rightclicking in the folder, then selecting "Open Command Window Here".
Q: What is the full list of supported locations for the vocal notes?
A: a quote from raynebc's readme file
"midi = (INSTRUMENT)(DIFFICULTY #)". The instrument track identifiers are CASE INSENSITIVE and are as follows:
G PART GUITAR (the guitar track)
B PART BASS (the bass guitar track)
C PART GUITAR COOP (the "Lead Guitar" track)
R PART RHYTHM (the rhythm guitar track)
D PART DRUM or PART DRUMS (the drum track)
V PART VOCALS (the vocal track)
The difficulty numbers are: 1 (SupaEasy), 2 (Easy), 3 (Medium) and 4 (Amazing).
Q: The converter is crashing! Ah! (v1.88 and below)
A: There is only one known cause at the moment, read below.
There was a special case that I didn't account for in my converter. I'll release an updated version shortly (which contains other improvements). Until then, the workaround is to make sure the pitched lyric file doesn't end with a line that begins with a hyphen (which indicates that there is another line's worth of vocal rhythm notes).
Q: Can you help me figure out the pitch on this specific part of this song I'm working on? I just can't seem to get this specific part!
A: If I'm familiar with and fond of the song, sure! Feel free to comment it into this thread if you use the following format. Somebody might help you. Give us a big enough copy/paste in the spoiler to show where in the song you are referencing with an additional quick mention on location after the song title. Linking an mp3 would also help.
Example of a post for pitch help:
Minus The Bear - Highly Refined Pirates - 02 - Monkey Knife Fight - first verse
-1/22 Added Vista command shortcut and removed all mention of -forcepitch
-12/1 Added a quote regarding conversion syntax in various versions of Raynebc's Converter..... sometime in the next few days i'm update the tutorial for the new version and change it in the requirements list, add a version check in FAQ
-11/30 = removed "-forcemidipitch" from the VL syntax, and added the one known converter crash to the FAQ
-10/24 = added an FAQ spot addressing pitche determination
-10/22 = clarified that you are best off working in the same .chart/.mid file as your instrument tracks, rather than trying to merge later on
-10/21 = tried to clarify the conversion/merge process more, included a FAQ slot for those completely unfamiliar with moving around in a command prompt
-10/20 = added a link to a browser-based piano keyboard