View Full Version : [ROCK BAND] Making Custom Rock Band 3 DLC (No JTAG Required!)

June 6th, 2011, 10:10 PM
So Lightning recently got me into creating custom Rock Band 3 content. Not exactly Rock Band Network, but it uses the tools and methods used for making RBN songs.

Basically, this entails exploiting how RB3 looks for DLC. The game looks for song data files all over the xbox, in any type of container, apparently... or at least, not just for marketplace downloads. This tutorial is supposed to explain how to take a song that would be ready to submit to Rock Band Network and make your own DLC file for it instead.

It's been said elsewhere that you can run the risk of getting your LIVE gamertag banned, since you're creating your own XBox container files and violating the EULA of the LIVE service, or something... it hasn't happened to me, so follow these instructions closely and you should be fine. If you're unsure or paranoid, just go legit and sign up for XNA creator's club for $100 per year, especially if you're passionate about making games anyway.

UPDATE 7/29/11:
Someone figured out how to make camera cuts work in custom songs by building the container as a LIVE file rather than a normal CON. I've updated accordingly, and also added/changed a couple tools!

You Will Need:

An adult XBox LIVE account. This is required to get Harmonix's tools from their site.
XBox 360 version of Rock Band 3. Not just for testing the songs, but you will need to link your gamertag to your rockband.com account.
REAPER (http://reaper.fm) (MIDI/Audio Editor, for charting)
RBN Plugins for REAPER (http://creators.rockband.com/tools/download) (Visual preview, program defaults, templates)
Magma v2 (http://creators.rockband.com/tools/download) (Converts raw audio and midi into RBN intermediate format)
Rock Band DLC Tools (http://sites.google.com/site/mahoppiangoon/home) (Extracts data files to put into the CON)
Le Fluffie (http://skunkiebutt.com/?page_id=362) (CON creator/resigner)
Party Buffalo (X360 device reader/browser/injector) (http://clkxu5.com/)
XBLA Unlocker (http://p0lar.modacity.net/rb/xblau.zip)
A USB flash drive, 2+ GB recommended.

Setting Up
If you haven't already done so, create an account at Rockband.com and then link your gamertag to your account by entering the link code you find in-game. Head to http://creators.rockband.com/ and sign up for the RBN Creator's Club with your rockband.com account. Download REAPER, the RBN plugins, and Magma following the links above, then install them in that order. Download the DLC Tools, Le Fluffie, and Modio.

You can set up a working directory anywhere you want, however you want, but to keep track of things, I would recommend making a folder on your desktop or in your Documents folder to hold everything, and name it something like RB Tools. Within this folder, make a subfolder to put the DLC Tools, Party Buffalo, and Fluffie in. After this, you should make a subfolder in RB Tools for each song you're making; each one of those will be laid out in the same fashion as the containers they'll be put in.

Last but not least, grab your flash drive. Back up its contents (if any) and plug it into your xbox. Format it for whatever size you think you'll need (1 GB might be nice) via the memory management menu. Then go into your Hard Drive and copy the Rock Band 3 Song Cache to your flash drive.

Creating The Source Files
Simply put, Harmonix has laid out pretty much anything you need to know about charting songs on their website (http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Main_Page). There are a couple issues I ran into while learning this myself that don't seem to be documented on the RBN site, so I'll put them down here:

Make sure that the audio used for audible tracks in game is exported as 44KHz uncompressed PCM WAV (dry vocals, which are used for scoring/animation purposes and aren't audible in-game, are also PCM WAV, but 16KHz instead of 44).
If your song's audio isn't seperated into stems for each part (i.e. you're charting a random song in your music library), make the song into the backing track, and each part should be a blank WAV.
Make sure there are at least 2.5-3 seconds before ANY players need to play a note or sing; Magma has bitched at me before about a vocal track starting before the 2.5 second mark.

The authoring process is long and tedious, and I will not be covering it here. Refer to Harmonix's tutorials on using REAPER for authoring Rock Band songs.

Compile The .RBA
For you Halo CE modders here, Magma is analogous to Tool. Though don't be fooled by the pretty GUI, the errors Magma will spit at you are pretty much in the same league as Tool's infamous open edge or degenerate triangle errors.

For the most part, follow Harmonix's instructions on using Magma (http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Magma). As you (probably) don't have an XNA Creator's Club account, you will only be using the "Build" function of Magma.

Fill in info as Magma asks for it. The most important part is the Audio tab; check off all parts that are playable in your song and you've charted for, and then link your WAV files to them. Under the Game Data tab, link to your MID that you exported from REAPER, and select the tempo of your song under the Animation option.

Finally, choose where to save your compiled .RBA. Give it a meaningful and possibly unique name, as to avoid colliding with any existing RB3 songs, DLC, or customs; this is very important. Avoid using spaces. Save your song's info as an RBPROJ file, and click Build. If successful, we'll use the RB DLC Tools to extract the files we need to put in the container.

Using the RB DLC Tools
Copy your compiled .RBA to your song's folder in the RB Tools folder, then go ahead and start up the Rock Band DLC Tools. Click "Open RBA File", and select the copied .RBA you just compiled. Then check off "Extract to Folder", and click "Choose Folder" to select your song's folder. Finally, click "Extract All", and the tools will extract the data from the .RBA.

Go into your folder, and move/rename everything so your directory is structured as such. For this example, assume the file name you gave to the .RBA was "gaybar":

Delete gaybar.songs.dta (We'll recreate this later)
(song root)\gaybar\gaybar.mid (This is the chart data)
(song root)\gaybar\gaybar.mogg (rename the .ogg file to .mogg; this is all of the song's audio stems)
(song root)\gaybar\gen\gaybar.milo_xbox (Generated animation data)
(song root)\gaybar\gen\gaybar_weights.bin (Vocals scoring data, might not be there)

The only other tab you'll be concerned with here is the "songs.dta File Creator." Click into this tab, and put away the awkward sense of déjà vu you get as you enter your song's info into THESE forms.

The songs.dta File Creator has three sub-tabs on it: Information, Audio, and Game Data, just like Magma. In the Info tab, enter the info needed, and make sure that these options are selected in the info tab:

Filename: (enter the filename you gave the .RBA here)
RB DLC Format: RB3 Custom (VENUE Track)
Activate Auto-Remove Extra RB2 Files
Activate Auto-Rename Files
Game Origin: ugc_plus
Album Art: FALSE

Also, right click the RB3 DLC icon in the middle form, and save two copies of this image; this is for the CON file you'll create later.

In the Audio tab, simply check off all parts that exist for the song.

In the Game Data Tab, rate how difficult you think each part is. Harmonix doesn't specify how they rate songs, so what I do is base it on how complex the Expert track is for each part, and try to make the band difficulty the average difficulty of all parts. Then select the animation speed, what percussion is used during vocalist breaks, the lead vocalist's gender, and how fast the vocal track should scroll.

Finally, make sure that "Rock Band 3" is selected as the game on the very bottom option, and hit CTRL+S to save the songs.dta to your song's folder. You're done! Now the next step is to make an XBox 360 CON file out of these files.

Creating The CON With Le Fluffie
Start up Le Fluffie. In the File menu, choose "Package Creation," select "STFS", then hit OK.

First, we'll set up the package's wrapping, in the bottom tabbed pane of this window. We're in the "Main" tab; choose "SavedGame" from the dropdown. Enter "45410914" as the Title ID (and remember this number). Click "Description," and enter a name for the package as it should appear on the memory manager (like "RB3 Custom - <Song Title>"). Next to the description box, right click in each white square and select "Add Image." Put a copy of the RB3 icon in each one, using a different file for each (if you try to use the same image in both boxes, Fluffie will crash). Now, under "Internal Title," put in "Rock Band 3." Click the "Save Display Title/Description" button.

Now let's put something in this pretty package, and focus on those two top panes, hm? Like with Windows Explorer, the left pane is folders, right is files. Right-click on a folder name to create a subfolder, and right-click in the files pane to add files to the package.

Inject the files into the container, basically cloning the structure of your song's working directory. Again, this assumes your .RBA's filename was "gaybar":


After the files are injected, click on the Finalization tab. Take the defaults (STFS Type 0, Dev LIVE), and hit "Create Package." There will be a pause as Fluffie makes and signs the CON, and when it's done, it'll open the created CON in a new dialog.

Open up XBLA Unlocker and navigate to the folder where your new CON is. Find your song on the list, and click Enable Full Version!. Close the unlocker.

Go back to your CON in Le Fluffie, and hit the Security tab. Make sure Sign for CON is selected and click Fix.

Close it and bid Le Fluffie yiff in hell farewell; now we're going to put the CON somewhere more useful than your computer.

Injecting the CON onto your Flash Drive
Launch Modio. You do not need to register for anything, so ignore the login box at the top. Insert your flash drive, and then click "Explore a device." A window will pop up, go File, then "Open/Close Drive." Your flash drive's XBox partition will open for exploration.

Recall that you (should have) copied your RB3 song cache file to your flash drive in the first part of this tutorial. If this is the only thing on the drive, your destination will be easy to find. If not, recall the Title ID we plugged into Le Fluffie: 45410914. Within /Content/0000000000000001/, you should see that number as a folder. And within that folder is an 8-digit 1. Long story short? Rock Band 3 stores non-user-specific save data in /Content/0000000000000001/45410914/00000001. So, as stated at the beginning, we're basically telling the XBox that these CON files we make are saved games, but RB3 doesn't really care where exactly data is stored; it's all data to him/her/it.

But I digress. Navigate to /Content/0000000000000001/45410914/00000001 (or as Modio attempts to make it easier to read, /Content/Downloads/45410914/Game Saves). Simply right-click in the file viewer and click "Insert File..." then find and select the CON you just created. Modio will do its thang, and then when it's done, you're ready to play!

Plug in the flash drive, turn on the XBox, copy your custom DLC to the Hard Drive, and remove the flash drive. Load RB3 and it should find and add your song on its scan at the main menu.

June 7th, 2011, 09:53 PM
Tutorial finished. Get to it!

June 14th, 2011, 07:55 PM
so, uhhhh ?

June 18th, 2011, 05:09 AM
threads: 2
posts: 5

June 23rd, 2011, 03:50 AM
Someone must chart this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPcRew0qUR4#t=3m24s)

I would but no RB3 :(
That and I know so little of Rockband charting standards that I would probably just end up mimicking how you play it on an actual guitar :/

June 23rd, 2011, 07:09 AM
Someone must chart this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPcRew0qUR4#t=3m24s)

I would but no RB3 :(
That and I know so little of Rockband charting standards that I would probably just end up mimicking how you play it on an actual guitar :/

I find the guitar charting fairly intuitive, then again I've been playing these games since Guitar Hero 2 and know not much besides the basics of a greal guitar. Harmonix has laid out the standards on the RBN Creators' site for all to read (http://creators.rockband.com/docs/Main_Page), so feel free to make a note chart for it and maybe someone else will make other tracks for it.

July 29th, 2011, 04:49 PM
UPDATE 7/29/11:
Someone figured out how to make camera cuts work in custom songs by building the container as a LIVE file rather than a normal CON. I've updated accordingly, and also added/changed a couple tools.