Mute's ITG Syncing Guide ~ UPDATED 2016-06-28

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Mute's ITG Syncing Guide ~ UPDATED 2016-06-28

Postby mute on Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:16 am

- - - - - IMPORTANT NOTE - - - - -

This guide will assume you are using StepMania 5.0.11 or later (and honestly, there is no reason why you shouldn't be). In SM 5.0.11 (and beyond), the global offset does not affect the "current seconds" reading in Edit Mode. This is integral to how this guide is worded, so be aware of that.



- - - - - Step 1 - - - - -

Make sure this is occurring at all points in your simfile (right-click and view full image):

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Notice how a quarter note in the stepchart corresponds to a bass kick in the given song (Shades of Blue). The "current second" reading in StepMania's editor is showing the exact same value as the very beginning of the bass kick when one views the song's waveform in Audacity. When checking reference points in the waveform, be sure to use notes with a fast attack, such as bass kicks and snare hits. (A "fast attack" means the note goes from zero to maximum loudness in a short period of time, meaning they are sharp and easy to read in the waveform.) Guitar/piano/voice are generally bad as reference points since they have slower attacks. And above all else, be sure to only reference one type of note (i.e.: only bass kicks) to ensure that you are not comparing apples to oranges in terms of waveform reference points.

Troubleshooting:

• Is every beat in the chart not matching up with the music file? Adjust your file's offset.
• Is the first beat of the song at the correct position, but the other beats drift off? Adjust your song's bpm.
• Are gimmicks preventing things from lining up perfectly? Adjust your bpm and/or stop values. (See below links for further help with this.)
• Have you absolutely positively done everything correctly and your file STILL drifts? This means that either your God has abandoned you or your song is just drifty by nature. You can still potentially sync your file to be fairly FA-able; you would do this by inserting very tiny bpm changes every couple of measures. (See my Battle 2 simfile in Mute Sims 7 for a good example of this practice in action.)


- - - - - Step 2 - - - - -

With your song properly lining up at all points as shown in Step 2, shift your offset 9 ms earlier (increase the offset value by 0.009 seconds).

Why do this, you ask? Well, r21/r23 uses a global offset of -0.012. This is, well…wrong. (The comment by the GlobalOffset value in the default theme's metrics reads "To match ITG's late arrows." Lol, lessening the offset makes everything even later. Silly Roxor.) Anyway, ITG simfiles syncing must conform to that standard, so that would mean adding 12 ms to the song's null offset, right?

Well, not exactly. One must also account for the latency of when a beat hits in the game and when that sound actually reaches the player's ear. WinDEU calculated this value based on the speed of sound and the average distance between the cabinet's speakers and the player's ears, and it turns out to be approximately 3 ms.

So that 3 ms needs to be subtracted from our 12 ms correction for Roxor's bogus global offset, leaving us with a necessary +0.009 bias to make the file perfectly synced for an ITG cabinet. Congratulations! Your file is synced well for play on an r21 or r23 ITG machine.


- - - - - OTHER NOTES - - - - -

ABOUT BPMS: Please please PLEASE do not trust the bpm values that you get from Mixmeister BPM Analyzer. It is not 100% accurate, PERIOD. I cannot stress this enough. You can use it to get an estimate of the bpm, but do not ever use the program's computed value verbatim; if Mixmeister gives you a value of 130.012, the song is most likely 130.000 bpm. Be aware, however, that there are definitely lots of songs out there that do have non-whole number bpms. Good examples of this are Light Emitting Diode M (162.132 bpm) and Love Fighter (124.999 bpm) from Mute Sims 3. Songs created with archaic software (i.e.: certain chiptune) or tempo-shifted samples (i.e.: most Sharpnel, some of Renard's older music) will commonly have constant non-whole number bpms.

ABOUT OFFSETS: Offsets are slightly subjective, though bpm values and drift are NOT. The aim of this guide is to stress the usage of consistent waveform checking to eliminate sync DRIFT in simfiles. Different players may prefer things to be synced slightly earlier or later than what this guide dictates based on how their ears/brain personally interpret audio signals. Similarly, sync interpretation will also vary depending on the polling rate of your hardware/software(I have witnessed this a lot with people playing SM5 after being accustomed to stock ITG). Environmental factors such as machine volume and pad distance from the cabinet may even have a small factor.


- - - - - ADDITIONAL RESOURCES - - - - -

mudkyp's Tutorial: Stutter & Wave Gimmicks (and mudkyp's stop tutorial video)
Gazebo's Syncing Tutorial (Goes a bit more in-depth on some of what my guide talks about.)
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby Kyzentun on Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:31 am

I would just like to add that some versions of audacity don't have that handy message telling you the millisecond. So I have t zoom in until the ruler at the top has the milliseconds each marked on it.

Also, this explains one thing I've been unsure about. It looks like you sync to the point where the waveform starts to go down for the beat. I've been syncing to where the waveform peaks on the beat, so my files might be a few milliseconds off.
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby mute on Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:56 pm

Kyzentun wrote:I would just like to add that some versions of audacity don't have that handy message telling you the millisecond. So I have t zoom in until the ruler at the top has the milliseconds each marked on it.

Wow, really? That sucks. Which version are you using? I have 1.2.6.

Kyzentun wrote:Also, this explains one thing I've been unsure about. It looks like you sync to the point where the waveform starts to go down for the beat. I've been syncing to where the waveform peaks on the beat, so my files might be a few milliseconds off.

This is where the whole "personal preference" thing of syncing comes in. There are people in this world who like stuff just a smidge late, in which case your method would probably be perfect. Conversely, someone like Mandodo who likes his files early would do it just the opposite of how you do it.

Another thing to keep in mind here is the attack value of certain musical instruments. 99.99% of the time, I'm syncing my charts to bass kicks or snare hits. Those points of the waveform are so much more definite than, say, a piano or guitar or other melodic element. So since I step mostly electronic music, this isn't really a problem for me. But if you're into stepping metal or rock or anything else with a less clear waveform...well, good luck.
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby Chaoz on Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:02 am

Nice guide, although some people's global offset won't be -0.012. For example, mine has to be -0.005.
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby mute on Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:43 am

Chaoz wrote:Nice guide, although some people's global offset won't be -0.012. For example, mine has to be -0.005.

The idea of setting your global offset to -0.012 is to replicate the way the file will play on an ITG cabinet with r21 or r23. If you want to FA/MA stuff on your own personal computer setup, that's a different set of hardware that will of course require different offsets.
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby Chaoz on Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:00 am

This post didn't happen.
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby VirtuallyEmotionless on Fri Nov 20, 2009 4:17 pm

mute wrote:
Chaoz wrote:Nice guide, although some people's global offset won't be -0.012. For example, mine has to be -0.005.

The idea of setting your global offset to -0.012 is to replicate the way the file will play on an ITG cabinet with r21 or r23. If you want to FA/MA stuff on your own personal computer setup, that's a different set of hardware that will of course require different offsets.
How does setting the global to -0.012 replicate how it will play on a machine? If I were to synch a simfile to that global it would be way off. Being way out of synch would not replicate how it would play on R21\23. If your computer synchs up properly at -0.012 then that's just by chance. It has NOTHING to do with that being the correct machine offset.
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby mute on Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:40 pm

VirtuallyEmotionless wrote:
mute wrote:
Chaoz wrote:Nice guide, although some people's global offset won't be -0.012. For example, mine has to be -0.005.

The idea of setting your global offset to -0.012 is to replicate the way the file will play on an ITG cabinet with r21 or r23. If you want to FA/MA stuff on your own personal computer setup, that's a different set of hardware that will of course require different offsets.
How does setting the global to -0.012 replicate how it will play on a machine? If I were to synch a simfile to that global it would be way off. Being way out of synch would not replicate how it would play on R21\23. If your computer synchs up properly at -0.012 then that's just by chance. It has NOTHING to do with that being the correct machine offset.

People seem to think I'm judging sync by ear or by how well I can FA/MA a file on my computer. This is NOT the case. I am only reading position markers in edit mode and comparing them to the actual song waveform to judge a file's sync.
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby Monst3rjoe on Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:40 am

Step 1 can be misleading because there's often different globals for different computers, I understand what you were saying, but this is what I mean.

ex:
my lap top set at -0.038 global
my pc set at -0.012 global.

songs have the same feel of sync on both.

xynn's global is set at -0.023. Jkz, that was a guess maybe I doubt.

However, step 1 is generally true. -0.012 is like the standard. But I'm just saying be aware, it's not always the case lol.
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby Kyzentun on Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:07 am

I'm going to repeat this monsterjoe, because it bears repeating since people can't seem to understand or remember it.
mute wrote:People seem to think I'm judging sync by ear or by how well I can FA/MA a file on my computer. This is NOT the case. I am only reading position markers in edit mode and comparing them to the actual song waveform to judge a file's sync.


Thus, how a file feels when played at the offset used for syncing is completely irrelevant to mute's method of judging sync.
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby ddrballer123 on Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:33 am

Just Use DDREAM
Valex wrote:
mute wrote:Just like you can't change a tiny jpeg picture file into a large, sharp picture just by upping the size/resolution; the original file simply doesn't have the data

But then you get Sweet Bro & Hella Jeff
So really there's no problems with doing that
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby 133T on Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:19 pm

ddrballer123 wrote:Just Use DDREAM

Is that what you use? Because your files are horribly off sync. Not flaming, but if that's the results, then it's just counter productive.

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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby ddrballer123 on Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:50 pm

133T wrote:
ddrballer123 wrote:Just Use DDREAM

Is that what you use? Because your files are horribly off sync. Not flaming, but if that's the results, then it's just counter productive.

No i don't use that and plus name one of my files that is off sync
Valex wrote:
mute wrote:Just like you can't change a tiny jpeg picture file into a large, sharp picture just by upping the size/resolution; the original file simply doesn't have the data

But then you get Sweet Bro & Hella Jeff
So really there's no problems with doing that
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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby 133T on Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:15 pm

ddrballer123 wrote:
133T wrote:
ddrballer123 wrote:Just Use DDREAM

Is that what you use? Because your files are horribly off sync. Not flaming, but if that's the results, then it's just counter productive.

No i don't use that and plus name one of my files that is off sync

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Re: Mute's Guide to Syncing Simfiles!

Postby ddrballer123 on Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:58 am

133T wrote:
ddrballer123 wrote:
133T wrote:
ddrballer123 wrote:Just Use DDREAM

Is that what you use? Because your files are horribly off sync. Not flaming, but if that's the results, then it's just counter productive.

No i don't use that and plus name one of my files that is off sync

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Valex wrote:
mute wrote:Just like you can't change a tiny jpeg picture file into a large, sharp picture just by upping the size/resolution; the original file simply doesn't have the data

But then you get Sweet Bro & Hella Jeff
So really there's no problems with doing that
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