BPM investigations, how-to sync music and sound chips.

At DTX data making, how to sync music and sound chips?

The biggest challenge of DTX data making is, to sync BGM and other chips. No matter how the good BGM and awesome movie, but if the BGM and chips are out-of-sync, the DTX data will discourage you.

The solution is, ultimately, "adjusting again and again with your spirits" :-) , but I have some way to make adjusting easier.

First, in case the DTX data will be made from the scratch, you must sync "the beginning". Exactly to say,

  1. Set "BPM:" value roughly.
  2. Adjust the beginning sound of BGM.
    (To move (shift) the BGM chip finely, you can change the "guide margin" on the menubar. And the next pulldown menu "Vertical sizing" can help you, too.)

  3. Set the exact BPM value at the beginning of BGM sound, in the BPM lane.
  4. With the BGM progress, check the sync with BGM and other chips. If it become out-of-sync, then adjust the BPM at the position of starting off-sync.

The most important step is 2. You need to adjust syncing at the beginning of the BGM. If the beginning is out of sync, other part also off-sync. (As it to say: Starting from the wrong button)

To do 2., "slow playback" is effective. (It will be written later)

Here are some useful tools to make 1 or 3 easier.

  • Using BPM Analyzer
    I've never used it :-), but I heard that it will calculate the BPM automatically.
  • Using Audacity
    There is a way that "Measure peak-to-peak time, then calculate BPM".
    This way can calculate precious BPM for ANY songs theoretically.
    # However, in my experiences, some error occurs. The author does not use this way at all :-)

    Here is the steps using Audacity.

  1. Find two "peaks of the waveform" as the head of the bar.
    If you can find "This bar and next bar starts with the crash cymbal.", it's the best to use, because the crash cymbal sound is very easy to find as the peak of the waveform. Then, select that single bar quoted with two peaks. The below figure shows "selected single bar quoted with two peaks".
    # It may need some experience to pick up the peak well.

  2. Next, to check the "duration time" of the selected bar, configure the Audacity display settings.
    Click the bottom of the menu, and choose "Start and Length of Selection". See the figure below for your reference.

  3. Moreover, click "brabra seconds" and choose "hh;mm:ss + milliseconds". See the figure below.audacity_getbpm03_e.png

  4. All configurations are completed. Check the Length of Selection. In the figure below shows the Length of Selection is 0.993 seconds. It means one bar's duration (equals the duration of four (4) quarter notes) is 0.993 seconds.
    So, you can calculate the BPM = 60 / 0.993 x 4 = 241.691842.

    # Note: the definition of BPM is: the number of quarter notes in 60 seconds,

  • Adjusting BPM at the very beginning of making DTX data
    • At first put dummy snare drums at every beat
    • Then adjusting BPM with this dummy snare scores
    • After adjusting all BPMs, then remove all dummy snare drum chips, and start making DTX data

The author recommends this way. This way seems a long way, but very shortcut in real.

The author uses a little advanced way....No dummy scores. Start inputting WITHOUT hi-hat/cymbals. Put a bass drums/snares/toms, and adjusting BPM simultaneously. After adjusting BPM, and finished putting bass/snares/toms, then add hi-hats and cymbals.
The author loves the way because the making speed become very fast. On the other hand, this way requires you the great ear to distinguish the small hi-hat sounds in the LOUD chip sounds...

It's better you combine the way with "slow playback." It makes you easier to distinguish sounds.

  • Miscellaneous: There are some advises...
    • DO NOT change 2 values at once ....(ex. BPM value and BPM chip position)
      You must change them one by one. If you change 2 values at simultaneously, you will lose "cause and effect relationship".
    • After finishing (if you feel "finished!", ) you must, at first, sleep on it first, then try adjusting again. you must feel "some lag still exists".
      "Sleep on it first" is very important to brush-up your DTX data.
    • On the other hand, before "you slept on it first and about to try adjusting again", you must backup your DTX data. I predict you you'll disarrange your DTX data :-)