Welcome Everyone, This is the first edition of my Sync Tutorial for EOF! Please ask questions, and let me know if you'd like me to add something to this guide, i will keep this as up-to-date as possible with as many helpful tips and answers to your questions as you could hope for..
that being said, READ ON =]
This guide is for anyone who frets using EOF and would like to improve, learn, or fine tune their syncing techniques. Sync is the most important factor when playing a song, simply because if the notes don't come on time, playing the song becomes less enjoyable, difficult, or simply annoying...
You have either come here to look for help, ask questions, learn to sync, or maybe even to just check this out for fun. Either way, it is my goal to help everyone to produce their highest quality charts possible. Sync is where it all starts.
- Ok, so here's what you'll need to do:
1. First, open up EOF, pick your song, enter the song info, and you should get a screen
that looks like Example a.
- This is a completely untouched, ready to be synced, beat map/chart
- If your song has guitar notes in the very beginning, it is suggested you add silence to the beginning of the song.
2. Silence is added by going into the upper tabs menu, and selecting "Song > leading silence" a menu should pop up looking like Example b.
3. From here, enter your desired number of beats or milliseconds that will come before your original audio will begin. there should usually be an offset of about two seconds, so using 2000 milliseconds is a good length to use when adding silence. The offset should look like Example c. (notice how the first beatline moved forward to the end of the silence).
4. Now comes the first actual syncing portion of your song! You can drag the beatlines to go wherever you want them. This is where the first of the difficulties comes into play, so be careful. Generally, in your song, one of two things will happen.
Option Number One: The first note of the guitar being played will be on beat with the "drum event" in the song. A "drum event" is a particular sound of the drums that you use to determine the BPM of a song. The "drum event" is some portion of the drums that is constant, such as a snare drum, or symbol that is easy to hear, and keeps a steady beat throughout the song. Being on beat with the "drum event" means that the first guitar sound/note will happen on the exact beatline of the song. This is most common. Example d will show you what i mean visually.
Option Number Two: The first note of the guitar being played is actually off beat meaning that it happens somewhere in between the actual beatlines (usually halfway, but sometimes it could be other fractional distances) In order to handle this scenario properly, you must sync your first beatline to the first available "drum event" in the song (preferably one just before, or just after the guitar note). This is more rare. Example e will show what i mean visually. (Note: if the first guitar note happens after multple "drum events" occur, use one just before or after the guitar note, before if at all possible).
5. How to tell if which option you have works like this...
- First, listen to the song for a little bit, trying to identify the "drum event" you want to use to sync your song.
- Second, find the first guitar note in your song.
- Third, see if that first guitar note is played at the exact same time as your "drum event"
- Lastly, if they do happen at the same time, the first note is on beat. However, if they do not, the first note is off beat. Example d and e will show the difference between the two visually.
6. Syncing that first note
- If you wound up with Option Number One on the above part, follow instruction set A. If you wound up with Option Number Two on the above part, Follow instruction set B.
Instuction Set A:
- Because your first note and "drum event" are on beat with each other, you only need to move your very first beat marker to exactly the location of the guitar note and "drum event" in the song. Accurately placing that beat marker will come in the next step.
Instruction Set B:
- Because your first note and "drum event" are off beat with each other, you need to move your very first beat marker to the "drum event" that happens most directly before the guitar note. If there is no "drum event" before that guitar note, you must move your second beat marker (NOT your first) to the "drum event" most directly after the first guitar note. Example f will show you what happens in the event of having a "drum event" before the note, while Example g will show you what happens in the event of not having a "drum event" before the note. Accurately placing the designated beat marker will come in the next step.
No Drum Events
- Sometimes, you will come across a scenario in which there is only guitar in the beginning of the song, or there are no drum events in an area, or the entire song. In order to sync these areas, you must find "guitar events" these are generally the easiest to hear of the guitar parts. Another possibility would be that the guitar is a primarily steady stream of notes. Either way, you will have to sync using only those notes originally. The best thing to do, is sync to the first guitar note in the same way you would to the first "drum event". Example h will show how this would look.
7. Accurately Placing Your First Or Second Beat Marker
- Pending your situation thus far, you will need to semi-accurately sync the first or second beat marker to the before mentioned "drum event"/guitar note in the song. To do this, it's best to turn on the "Metronome" feature in EOF. To do this, you should go up to your top menu, click "Edit > Metronome" The metronome tool will cause a "click" noise to occur whenever the position of the song passes directly over a beatline. Essentially, you just want to drag the beat marker you're using directly over the "drum event" and use the Metronome "click" to tell you if you're on the "drum event" or not. If done correctly, the "drum event" should be audible exactly when the Metronome "click" is. Example i will show you how to do this if you used Instruction Set A above. Example f shows you how to do this if you used Instruction Set B and had a "drum event" before the first note. Example g shows you how to do this if you used Instruction Set B and DID NOT have a "drum event" before the first note. Example h shows you how to do this if you don't have a "drum event" to use or if it is not near the first guitar note in the song. Example j shows you how to get to the Metronome "click"
8. Varifying Accuracy Of First Beat Marker
- Assuming you've correctly followed the steps so far, you should have added silence to your song, and correctly placed/moved the first beat marker. However, it is very likely that it is not 100% accurate. In order to perfect the placement of the first beat marker, you have to do a couple of things. First, it is recommended that you increase the zoom of EOF's horizantal note highway. To do this, click "Edit > Zoom > 1/4" This will widen the distance between beat markers visually, but not in actuality, so don't panic. After this step is done, your screen should look like Example k.
- Following this, you'll want to slow down the Audio Replay of the song to help you really zone in on the exact location of the "drum event" you're syncing to. To do this, click "Edit > Playback Rate > 50%" This will slow down, and distort the audio. This is normal, so once again, do not panic. The audio playback will happen at half speed to allow you to really find the exact location of your drum event. Because the Metronome tool should still be on, once again, play the portion of the song near the first beatline, and move that beatline to a location where the Metronome "click" is audible exactly at the same time as the "drum event" Example "sync" will show you how it will look when beatline you're using is synced.
- Also, if you're using a "guitar event" because a drum event is not available, treat it as you would a "drum event" for the duration of the syncing process. Example L shows you how to get to both the zoom, and the desired playback rate.
9. Double Checking at full speed
- If you've followed the instructions well so far, you should have your first beat line completely synced. DO NOT MOVE IT AGAIN, if you do, use Ctrl+Z to Undo that move. To ensure you've done a good job syncing that all important first note, Zoom back out, and return audio playback to full speed. Listen to the song and Metronome "click" to make sure they happen at exactly the same time. If they do, congrats, you're on to the next part!! If not, you've made a mistake somewhere. Go back and try to see where you messed up, try it again, or ask questions.
10. Finding the BPM
- This is where the real syncing begins. The idea is to find a BPM that causes all of the beat markers to lie directly over each and every "drum event" To do this, you must first find out if the current BPM is too fast, or too slow. This requires careful listening. If your beatlines happen less often than your "drum event" as seen in Example p, the BPM is too slow. if they happen more often, the BPM is too fast as seen in Example Q.
(i know my examples skip m, n, o)
11. Getting The Exact BPM
- By continuously finding out if your BPM is too fast or too slow, you can find out how to manipulate the BPM to sync your song properly. Start off by finding out if it is too fast or too slow as covered above. If it is too slow, raise the BPM by clicking "Beat > BPM Change" Example r will show you what should pop up. From here, enter either a higher or lower BPM depending on whether or not the current BPM is too fast or slow and repeat the process of checking to see if it's too fast or too slow to zone in on the true BPM of the song. As you get closer to the actual BPM (determined by the Metronome "clicks" being closer to happening at the same time, and the same frequency as the "drum events") you should increace/decreace the BPM by larger or smaller amounts respectively. You should change the BPM in increments of whole numbers until you get to the point when you've "found" the BPM of the song. (sometimes there are very minor changes to be made, the next step will show you how to completely finish the BPM altering process), You will know that you've found the BPM because the Metronome "clicks" will happen simultaneously with the "drum events" just as the very first beatline does. Example s will show you visually how this will look. NOTE: if you cannot find a BPM that fits the entire song, don't panic, there are ways to fix/combat this. More difficult songs will require extra sync methods, which will be covered in the next section. All of the before mentioned steps are important no matter what "Sync Strategy" you use.
12. Confirming The BPM
- So you're probably thinking your BPM is set, or you've come to the point where a whole number increment change doesn't completely sync your song. Well, from here, you want to still find out if the BPM is too fast or slow. Even if the "drum events" and Metronome "clicks" are slightly off, you can fix this by starting to change the BPM by .10 or in increments of one tenth. From here, double check to see if this fixes your slight difference between the Metronome "clicks" and the "drum events" if it completely syncs the two so that they occur simultaneously, you've synced your song. If it is not yet synced, but is close, alter the BPM by .05 and repeat checking. If this doesn't work, but makes it closer, change by .01. However, it is very unlikely you will need to do so.
13. Can't Find The BPM??
- It is a good possibility that you will not be able to find just one BPM to sync the entire song. Many bands change the BPM throughout the course of the song. In this event, you must listen to the song and find out where the "drum events" start following the new BPM. Example t will show you visually how this would look.
- Another possibility is that the song is "sloppy" and the song doesn't follow a strict BPM. The best way to solve this is to manually Beat Sync each beatline to its "drum event" in the song. if this is too tedious, try doing every other beatline or every third. The easiest way to handle this is to listen to the song at 50% speed, dragging each beatline to its specific "drum event" as seen in Example u.
- One more thing that can help you find the BPM is the Waveform Graph. A waveform graph measures the sound as it is played in the song. How is this helpful?? Generally, in a song, the waveform graph will help you find and pinpoint the "drum events" in a song. First, to turn on a waveform graph, click "Song > Waveform Graph > Show" Then, you should see something like Example v. Now, listen to your song and watch the graph. You should notice that the graph makes a "jump" or "spike" at the location of your drum event. You can move your beatlines to these locations to ensure your sync is correct, or, you can double check that your BPM hits those jumps or spikes in all locations of the "drum events" in the song. The waveform is best used to double check how well you found the BPM, or to help you find the location of "drum events" when you are unsure/the song is "sloppy". Example v also shows you what some of these "spikes" look like. Please note that not every "drum event" is obvious in the waveform graph, so you'll have to find a suitible BPM that will hit the "drum events" you can hear with your own ears.
14. Changing The BPM Mid-Song
- In harder songs, as explained above, you'll need to change the BPM in the middle of a song to keep it synced correctly. Example t above shows you what it looks like when a BPM change occurs. First, you must find the initial BPM change "drum event". This should be on a beatline. Example w will show you what this looks like visually. After finding that, you should "anchor" that beatline at the location it is in. To "anchor" beatlines, click the grey arrow above the beat marker. The BPM should appear. Then press the "a" key. If done correctly, there should be a red arrow pointing at the beatline. Then, from here, you only need to change the BPM of the following portion of the song as you found the original one at the beginning. This step must be repeated for all BPM changes.
15. You're Done!!
- If you have any other questions, or if i've missed something, let me know, and i'll either try to answer them to the best of my knowledge, or update the guide in some way to cover things i may have missed.
- As people ask more and more questions, if i think they are important, i will list them off in the FAQ section here.
17. Example Charts
- If you use this guide, and would like to show off some of your work, PM me a link, and i will test it so see how well you did. From here, i will give you a rough score out of 40 points based on how well you've synced the song. I will also alert you to things you may want to do to improve that chart, or other charts you'll make in the future. Scores will be posted on charts that are finished and followed this guide only.
Hopefully this has helped you, I hope to see your work!!