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Playing OCR Songs in Rock Band (or close enough): A Quick Guide


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Over the last several years I've been transcribing note charts for all sorts of songs, including a bunch of OC ReMixes. I've worked directly with a number of remixers to create these note charts - ansgaros, Evil Horde, Armcannon, Prince of Darkness, Level99, Ailsean, Fishy, Kidd Cabbage, Skummel Maske, and now elzinfernomusic - and generally it's been a lot of fun! Most recently I've worked with elzinferomusic to transcribe his new track Sonic & Knuckles "Doomsday" on guitar, bass, and drums (which you can now see on Youtube).

I'm going to show you how you can play them yourself, using the PC Rock Band clone Phase Shift. It's very simple stuff! Rhythm games aren't nearly as popular as they used to be, but this is for anyone who still enjoys them or didn't know this was an option. :)

What You'll Need

Just 2 things:

1. A Windows-based PC, or the means to boot Windows programs.

2. An input for gameplay - a USB Guitar Hero or Rock Band guitar/drum set (the preferred method, for obvious reasons), a controller with at least 8 buttons (360 controllers work fairly well), or just a keyboard.

Download the Thing

Grab the latest version of Phase Shift from the download section of their website. If you get the Full version, it comes packaged with about a dozen songs (or just get the Lite version if you don't want them).

Take a look a the ReadMe file if you're so inclined. Lots of basic info in there.

The Music Things

Open up the Phase Shift install folder. There's a subfolder called Music. Guess what's inside?!

Each song has its own folder. Inside are several important files:

1. notes.mid - The actual note chart for the song

2. guitar.ogg - Songs for Phase Shift are very often created using just the mixed audio file (because stems are hard to get!). In these cases, guitar is the default audio file used in-game. For songs with stems available, you'll see multiple audio files (like drums, rhythm, keys, vocals, and song). OGG is the go-to format for Phase Shift; it's not quite as wibbly-wobbly as MP3.

3. song.ini - This contains song data, like artist, song name, difficulty tiers, etc. This can be edited in a text editor, or in-game.

There's likely a couple other files in there too, maybe an optional background file or a .dat file for Phase Shift to use. Don't worry about those too much!

Oh God, My Eyes, They Burn

Phase Shift's default theme is, at least in my opinion, utterly horrid. Fortunately, you can change it to something a bit more pleasing by downloading additional themes, placing them in your Themes subfolder in the Phase Shift install directory, and changing it in the in-game Options menu. You can grab the Rock Band 2 theme (that's what I'm using in the video up there), or peruse the forum for something that tickles your fancy.

OK, So Where Do I Download the Music?

Why not start off with my newest creation, elzinferomusic's Sonic & Knuckles "Doomsday" remix? (A smaller download, the single audio version is also available in case you have little baby internets.)

Other songs can be downloaded from forums such as the Frets on Fire forums (FOF is the program Phase Shift was initially based off of) or Phase Shift's own boards.

And how about more shameless self-plugging by linking you to my personal song release thread?. That does not seem unreasonable, as there are lots of OC ReMix songs available there!

Uh, I Guess That's It?

Yup. Have fun!

This thread dedicated to DJP's insistence

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