The Specs pages on creators.rockband.com are fantastic already, but there are still plenty of work that can be done on them. They are a wiki, meaning that anyone can help edit, clarify, and expand each page. Currently, however, that "everyone" is really "everyone in closed beta."
Though most of us cannot access the change logs of the pages, we can still find and show things on the documents that may need a little modification. I've spent the good part of 2 hours going through them and noting everything that was a bit hazy to me. Since I can't make a personal note on the discussion page for each document, I decided to make this thread so all non-beta members can have a chance to give input and ideas to increasing the quality of the Specs, until editing them becomes public.
Issues are generally listed by the page they most apply to.
-Please link Spec/Reaper alongside the first Spec/Mix and MIDI Setup link. You have to read both to really know the how and when to mix, and it feel like that info is split between the two pages (which it really is, since there seems to be two stages of mixing described in the docs - Stem creation (covered in Reaper page) and Stem mixing (in Mix and MIDI page) ).
-At the links on top, can Reaper be placed before authoring?? Kinda better to learn about the program itself first, before getting to learn how to use it easier.
-So... if the drums are in one stereo track, what do I do with the one track? Does it go in the CYM and K and SN stay blank? Do I rename one of them DRUM or KIT and delete the two extra blank tracks? The Drum Authoring link doesn't say what to do with the drum audio tracks, it only explains how to let the drum MIDI track know what it has for drum tracks.1. K* - Kick Drum: Mono
2. SN* - Snare Drum: Stereo
3. CYM* - Kit Mix: Stereo (Usually Overhead Mics plus any direct Tom Mics)
1. NB: The game can handle several Different types of Drum mixes, anything from a single stereo combined drum file up to stereo files for each of the 3 Drum files listed above. The Rock Band template file is set up assuming that you have the Drum mix listed above. If your Drum mix is different, please refer to the Drum Authoring Doc and make sure that the drum mix text events in the MIDI file match the format of your drum audio files.
-Reference Dryvox - if there is no dry vocals track and we have to use the wet one, is it copied from the VOX track into the Dryvox track?
-How does ones maek TRKS file? Please either reiterate how, or link to Reaper page.
-No pics/broken links.
-No pic/broken link regarding Count-In.
-How about adding a glossary somewhere, too?
-Mention that the Force HOPO On/Off should only appear over thenote to be/not be HOPO'd. Is it ok if you want a whole section HOPO'd to have one Force HOPO event overlap them all?
-For some reason, this whole section on percussion events confused me like whoa.The percussion animation markers like [tambourine_start] mean the system switches to a set of percussion animations for the singer on tambourine. This switch occurs on the camera cut following the animation marker. The percussion animation sets have 2 states, play and idle, and the singer will continue using the last animation they were in when switching over to the percussion set.
For example, If the animation state was [play], after [tambourine_start] is read on the track, the singer will be playing the tambourine at the next camera cut after the marker. If the state was [idle], the singer stays in idle state, but with a tambourine in his/her hand.
So, for example, if the song is going into a vocal break that has a long period of time before any percussion starts, if there was NOT an [idle] text event between the end of the singing and the [(percussion)_start] text event (for example, if I put the [perc_start] near the beginning of the break), then on the next camera cut the singer will start wailing on percussion? Do I need an [idle]? Should I hold off the [perc_start] event until just before the percussion hits actually start? Would I need a [play] marker anywhere, whether or not there's an [idle]? Should thee be an [idle] after a perc secion if there's a few measures between the end of perc and the start of singing?
Can we just have a few in-game examples of how the animation markers are used in conjunction with percussion?
-So, the post-process notes are actual notes, but they have "text event"-esque names. Is the similarity just arbitrary and/or coincidental, or can they be used as text events?
-If I want the venue to be ( [lighting (silhouette)] for example) at the beginning of the song, I need to place a [verse] marker at the beginning of the song, then the lighting tag right after it? Do I need [verse] tags at the start of every verse, even if they're consecutive, or just at the end of a [chorus]?
-"Keyframe." Huh. New term. What is a 'keyframe'? I'm guessing that the lighting commands have a specific rotation of colors and textures that they cycle through, and each change is a 'keyframe.' Correct?
-Also guessing the manual lighting call text events are used in conjunction with the three lighting trigger notes to take control over essentially what the automatic Lighting call events can do on its own.
-For Full Band Directed cuts, does the [cut directed_brej] replace [cut directed_bre] and add the final note animation to it, or do I have to switch to the [brej] from the [bre] for the final note?
-Overall, if there's a MIDI note listed, can it ALWAYS have the number? I found a few that only had the note name, but I don't remember where they are, nor can I find them.
Sidenote: I gotta say, after digging through those docs... wow. Some of the things to pull off really awesome shots have you coordinating tons of events on several different MIDI tracks at once!! Crazy. Not only could the speed of the BEAT Track be doubled to ramp up the energy from a mellow breakdown section into a raucous final chorus section, but set lighting to frenzy in the VENUE track, while also direct the camera to capture the both the guitarist and vocals (even adding lip-syncing to the guitarist), and make the crowd go nuts in EVENTS, on top of all the individual animations for the characters!
Talk about a stack of work! I almost can't believe how much care you guys have (and we can) put into each and every song, or that the game can even process it all. It's almost mind-boggling.