Post Reply Getting Songs/Dance Files
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22 / M / Massachusetts
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Posted 5/17/08
There are many sites you could get remixes and music from, including steps!

http://www.ddruk.com/downloads.php?subcat=13

register is required for this site

From this site, you can choose between direct download or torrent. Choose which ever you prefer. You can get all DDR songs and ORIGINAL STEPS at this site. Once you finish he download, go to the StepMania directory and click songs, then extract the zip file to that place. To make things organized, make sure it looks like this:



Doesn't need the exact same names, as long as it works like "Songs \ (artist) \ (song/dwi/imgs folder)

You don't need album folders, and you can't have them! just a folder to put the song and the dwi/sm files or whatever.

or you can download from

bemanistyle.com

yes, you need to register! this site only has steps made by other people themselves and remixes.

Newbs, may I have much attention!

You can't play songs without DWI/SM files, and the ones you get have to match the songs. and to put your own song in you need the DWI file.

Making DWI's

Open text document. type these stuff in (formula):

#TITLE:(HERE);
#ARTIST:(HERE);
#FILE:(put the name of the file of the song you have with ".mp3" at the ed of the name);
#BPM:(1-1000+, just numbers); this is also the SPEED of the song, lower slower, higher faster. 1-130 slow (below 100 is almost head killing), 140-250 medium, 260-300 fast, 300 is FAST, any higher will be hard to edit! )


That's prety much all you need in the typing, which is AGAIN:

#TITLE:;
#ARTIST:;
#FILE:;
#BPM:;

once done, click file and save as. DO NOT SAVE AS TXT FILE! click below the name "any file". type in the dwi name, it cane be anything. also, add ".DWI" at the end of the name this is important!

place the dwi file in Songs \ (artist) \ (song/dwi/imgs folder) with the CORRECT MP3 SONG!

To start wditing steps, start Stepmania and press on "edit". browse through the artists/songs and select difficulty blah blah. the rest of the tutorial is in the game while editing, just press F1 on the edit screen with the notes.

ENJOY!
Posted 6/25/08 , edited 6/25/08
Actually, the .sm file is much more important than the .dwi file. The .dwi file is mainly there as a back-up for the .sm file in case you delete or something happens to it. Other than that, you don't really need the .dwi file unless you're missing the .sm file in the folder.

You also forgot to cover the fundamentals of setting the correct offset to a file as well as figuring out the BPM.

I'll copy pasta from FFR and Bemanistyle then.

============================================================================================

#TITLE:;
#SUBTITLE:;
#ARTIST:;
#TITLETRANSLIT:;
#SUBTITLETRANSLIT:;
#ARTISTTRANSLIT:;
#CREDIT:;
#BANNER:;
#BACKGROUND:;
#CDTITLE:;
#MUSIC:;
#MUSICBYTES:0;
#MUSICLENGTH:;
#OFFSET:;
#SAMPLESTART:;
#SAMPLELENGTH:;
#SELECTABLE:YES;
#BPMS:0.000=;
#STOPS:;
#BGCHANGES:;

go on and save the document as all types and save the extension as .sm... now your going to go fill in the following between the : and ; of all those captions

#TITLE:;
the name of the song goes here

#SUBTITLE:;
anything you want written between the songname or arist goes here

#ARTIST:;
artist name goes here

#TITLETRANSLIT:;
if you used japanese for the title, english goes here

#SUBTITLETRANSLIT:;
same if you used a jp subtitle

#ARTISTTRANSLIT:;
aaand once again same if you used a jp artist

#CREDIT:;
you go here.

#BANNER:;
the filename of your banner goes here (ex: banner.png)

#BACKGROUND:;
same as banner, but whatever you have for the bgimage

#CDTITLE:;

#MUSIC:;
the name of the MP3 your using goes here (ex:song.mp3)

#OFFSET:;
#SAMPLESTART:;
#SAMPLELENGTH:;
dont worry with these just yet

#SELECTABLE:YES;
do NOT change this unless your writing it for a course :<

#BPMS:0.000=;
song bpm goes after 0.000 (ex 0.000=120.000; this is for a BPM of 120)

#STOPS:;
#BGCHANGES:;
don't worry with these either

from here, you can take the .sm file you created and plop it into a folder with the MP3, the banner, and the background, and if you choose a video file that will play in the background.. move this folder into the stepmania/songs directory and place it in a group folder. After that boot stepman up and go to the edit songs option, from here you can create new stepcharts with ease using the stepmaker. A couple other things you can know

#SELECTABLE:ROULETTE;
If you want the song to only come up when you pick the roulette option, you can place this in the place of #SELECTABLE:YES; ..but for it to work you need the Hidden Songs option in the operator to be set to yes.

============================================================================================

ACTUALLY STEPPING THE SONG
Once you've got the .sm file set up and everything, start up Stepmania, go to Edit/Sync songs and create a difficulty for the song to edit. The very first thing you should do is hit esc, go to song options, turn assist tick and auto play ON and lower the rate to 0.6x or less. (This slows the song down to make accurate stepping easier.)

BEAT 0 OFFSET
Once you've done this, place a single note on the first measure and play. Does the single arrow's clap go at the same time the first beat does? It probably won't. If it doesn't, you can use F11 and F12 to move the first beat along (F11 makes the first beat happen later, F12 makes it happen sooner), and hold down alt while pressing the F-keys for greater accuracy. Once you've got it spot on, you can either go back into song options and lower the rate to 0.3x to make sure it's perfect or you can save it and move on.

BPM
If the song has a nice, constant BPM through it, simply google search for Mixmeister and download it. Put the song in, get the bpm and use F7 and F8 to adjust the bpm to match that. (Again, hold alt for small increments.) And to make sure, put 16 red arrows ahead of you and play the song to make sure it syncs up right. If Mixmeister fails to find the bpm, you can find it yourself by putting down several measures of red arrows, with assist tick on, and playing. If the claps fall behind the beat, the BPM is too low. If the claps go ahead of the beat, the BPM is too high. Adjust and re-play again and again to make sure you've got it, and if it goes off later on in the song just adjust it again. And if it just doesn't fit no matter how hard you try, your song may have a varying BPM, in which case you may want to try a helpful program at http://www.geocities.com/jyris1 known as DDReam.

PLACING THE ARROWS
First thing first, hold ctrl and push down to expand the measures. You'll need the visual aid if you go any finer then 8th notes. The controls are all listed when you push F1. The most important rule of all is make sure every arrow is going to an sound in the song. People hate, hate, hate it when arrows are poorly placed or BSed. And make sure you can recognize the difference between triplets (purple arrows) and yellow arrows; they're placed quite close together. Finally: Save early, save often and include as many difficulty levels as you think you can do and the song can work with (if it's not a song suited for anything below heavy, don't put anything below heavy)

BPM CHANGES AND STOPS
Bpm tricks are cool. Often songs will have a point in them where noise dramatically drops or nothing at all is playing; these are good places to put pauses. Figure out the length the pause lasts for in beats, then subtract anywhere from half of that to a beat or two (since arrows can't come instantaneously after a pause ends). Multiply this number by 60 then divide it by the song's BPM; this is how long the pause will be. Raise and lower the pause's value with F9 and F10 (again, hold Alt for smaller increments) and you're done. If you insert a pause after stepping after it, the arrows will be too far away now; go just after the pause and use the Delete key to remove blank bars until they're at the right distance.

It's possible that a complete pause in a song may last for a duration that isn't a number of beats; if so, just fine-tune the stop's length until the arrows that come after it are on-beat once more, and lower the rate to 0.3x afterwards with assist tick on just to make perfectly sure.

Bpm changes are simple: Find a point where the song sounds faster/slower, use F7/F8 to bring the BPM to double or half of what it originally was, then go to the end of this fast/slow portion and raise/lower the BPM back to what it should be. If it gets reaallly slow or fast you could even resort to a quartered or quadrupled bpm. And whatever you do, don't insert a bpm change that looks bad/unneccesary when playing the song, and make sure it actually syncs up with the song well.

============================================================================================

The Guide:

1. Consider your audience. Who are you making the file for? Indexers? Spread players? Elite players? Beginners? If you want to cater to many people, multiple charts are a must. Keep the ridiculously hard charts as Edit charts.

2. Consider the song. SONG CHOICE is the most important thing to making a good file. How you step the song depends solely on the song itself. A good example of what I mean is this...would you make a ridiculously easy chart to a driving speedcore song? Or an overlayered and incredibly difficult chart to a chill ambient song? The answer is no. Keep the difficulty and the amount of layering relative to the song's mood.

2.5. Don't pick boring, generic electronic music or songs that have been stepped 5 million times before. Be original with your song selection.

3. Follow the music, but don't be one of those guys who put arrows to stuff you can only hear on 0.3x rate. Slow down the music to clarify rhythms, not to find new sounds to put steps to. Every arrow should go to something specific in the music. In other words, arrows that "kinda" go with the music are a no-no.

4. Try to use pitch relevance where applicable. To be more specific, step lower pitches more to the left and higher pitches more to the right. Usually this is relative to the surrounding notes. This might sound like a bit too specific for a Stepmania file, but pitch relevant patterns actually tend to be quite fun. It's ok to break pitch relevance to avoid otherwise annoying patterns like jacks and trills that would otherwise break the flow of the file.

4.5. Pitch relevance isn't necessary, but it's generally accepted to use it when stepping distinct melodies in certain songs i.e. a piano or guitar solo.

5. Be careful with holds. Using them can make the file more fun or the steps fit the song better, but in excess they can make an otherwise good file annoying to play. Mini-freezes (64th length or so) can be used to emphasize certain sounds in the middle of complex patterns but don't use a whole lot of them or try to use them to signify more than one sound during the same section of the song.

6. Learn how to layer properly. Layering, if you didn't know, is simply putting arrows to multiple sounds at the same time. This is how you get jumps and hands. On that note, hands are just as much a matter of taste as it is a matter of proper layering. If you layer something and it has a bunch of hands that don't feel right, it's probably better to tone it down. You don't need to have a ton of hands to prove that you can layer. Most files work just as well with just jumps and a few hands as long as they fit. Excessive hands should be avoided in index charts.

6.5. Layering doesn't have to be exact. The process I described above is simple layering, which is stepping all the sounds in a precise manner and simply layering them into each other. There are other ways to layer that don't force you to put jumps and hands everywhere. Be creative with how you choose to layer. Use layers to accent melodies, harmonies and percussion in a different way. Just make sure it makes sense.

7. Repetitiveness in simfiles can be avoided very easily by not stepping repetitive songs. To keep a file interesting it's best to start with an interesting song.

8. For spread files, keep the annoying patterns down to a minimum. Left-handed trills and jacks can be irritating for right-handed players if abused.

9. Climaxes in stepfiles are always a good addition, but they should only occur during the actual climax if the song. If the song doesn't have a distinct climax then you should avoid stepping a climax. To clarify, climax in stepfiles means you can add a bit more layering or difficulty when the song is at its peak of intensity. Just make sure the rest of the file is still good. There's nothing worse than a boring stepfile with one ridiculously hard part in the middle.

10. Be creative, but be careful. Use BPM tricks, stops and mines only where they make sense. When used properly they can add flavor to the file, but when used in excess they can be irritating.

11. The level of accuracy in the file is totally up to you. If it's close enough, it's good enough for most people. Some people like to be as accurate as SM will allow and that's fine. Stepping a guitar solo, for example, as a 24th stream is acceptable if the solo sounds reasonably close to a 24th stream. Some people, however, would rather step it accurately, using a bunch of colored arrows to match each note perfectly. Both ways work so it depends on how hard you want to sit down and work on it.

12. Step songs you like. Chances are you'll be more willing to take your time to make a good chart if you enjoy the song.

12.5. SM trends come and go, but try not to limit yourself to those trends. I remember when everyone used to step Sharpnel like it was going out of style. A good way to stand out from the crowd is to do something different.

13. Consistency is key. During every section you should try to stay consistent with your patterns, your layering, and the sounds you follow. The whole file shouldn't have to be wholly consistent, but switching between sounds during a single section is distracting and confusing. Stay focused.

14. Take criticism. Don't be a douche because someone had a legitimate complaint about a file you had already decided was perfect before you even finished it. No file is perfect and, if you haven't been simfiling very long, it's almost guaranteed to be far from it. Keep an open mind and listen to what people have to say.

15. TAKE YOUR TIME. I'm sick of hearing of people who finish files in less than a few hours and expecting them to be good. I can make a ****ty file in less than an hour, but it takes time to make a good file.

16. BPM and gap should be CORRECT. There's no excuse for them NOT to be. If you have problems with it, ask someone with a reasonable amount of experience for assistance (as long as you're not being an annoyance). As for gap, it differs from computer to computer because of hardware and software lag that is never the same on different machines. If it's close enough, the player can easily adjust it to their liking during gameplay.

17. Don't randomly start simfile packs. You should at least be strongly established in the community as a simfile author before you even consider it. You also need people who will back you up and a very strong idea of what you want to do with the pack. If you have none of those, don't do it. Also, one-person packs are pointless unless you have a theme and you keep the pack SMALL (<10 files or so).

18. Flow is important. Flow is something that is only apparent while playing the patterns you've used. It's hard to describe flow, but if your patterns usually transition smoothly between the right and left hands in a non-irritating matter, you've got the general idea of flow down. usually you want the flow of your patterns to match the flow of the music. Smooth musical phrases should be stepped with flowing pattern. Jagged, more chaotically moody phrases can have more broken, less flowing patterns. Just make sure you don't do anything to break flow when it doesn't fit.

============================================================================================

TIPS
- For layering, it's good to create a dummy chart to help. I used this technique to make Admiral of the Seas and Fire Wire and it really helps on complex songs. If you're working on the Heavy chart, create a blank Standard chart as your dummy and step one layer of a section on each chart. Using F5 and F6 to switch between Standard and Heavy, you can see where your layers should overlap. All it is is a matter of adding the arrows (one-by-one) from the Standard into the Heavy. I usually do the same with Oni while using Edit as a dummy chart.

- Place all stops and BPM changes into your chart AFTER you finish stepping the actual chart. This allows you to work on the steps without having to worry about screwing up steps you spent hours working on. It's also a good idea to save a copy of the SM file before you start adding your tricks, just in case. Of course, if the BPM changes are necessary to keep the file on-beat, put them in before you even add one step unless you're syncing as you go.

- Never use CTRL + R to make your steps. It's good for quickly stepping very simple rhythms if you know the song well, but don't rely on it otherwise. A "recorded" stepfile is usually off-sync and looks like an utter mess.
Member
47831 cr points
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22 / M / Massachusetts
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Posted 8/8/08
Here's a link to a BPM Analyzer:

http://www.mixmeister.com/bpmanalyzer/bpmanalyzer.asp

If it doesn't work, just copy and paste it.
Posted 8/10/08
That's only useful for figuring the overall BPM of the song. It does not help at all for figuring out correct BPM changes. And BPM analyzers tend to be a little inaccurate for some songs, so I wouldn't exactly depend on solely just that.

http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/BeatsMinute.html

This is definitely more accurate for figuring out BPMs as well as some BPM changes. Perfect if you're planning on creating a chart with a lot of BPM gimmicks with precise numbers.
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