Custom RB3 Songs on ScoreHero
This article is here to provide the community with an up-to-date list of currently released custom songs for Rock Band 3 for the Xbox 360. Rock Band 3 custom songs are currently unsupported if you have updated to Title Update #5 (aka TU5, released worldwide 11/09/11), as this update blocks the ability to load custom content using current methods. The newly released disc and download versions of Rock Band 3 have TU5 integrated within the disc. You can tell by the case what version you have - pre-TU5 has the EA and MTV logos while the TU5 disc has the Mad Catz logo. In order to play custom songs, you must have Title Update #4.
Previously, customs were limited to Audition Mode only on RB3, but with the breakthrough of programs such as LeFluffie, XBLA Unlocker, Reaper, Magma, and the new RB3Maker, loading custom songs is easier than ever.
For more information on customs or the necessary processes, please visit the ScoreHero Rock Band Software subforum
Song Authoring, Creation, and Distribution
Song authoring is done using Reaper, which allows author to create a .mid file, which has all the note information for each instrument as well as other essential game-running tracks. These tracks include Guitar, Bass, Drums, Vocals, Venue, Events, and Beat. Only the Venue, Events, and Beat tracks are mandatory, though you need at least 1 instrument charted as well. Each track has its own specifications that they must pass in order for Magma (Harmonix's tool which converts .mid and audio files into a single game-ready file) to compile the file correctly.
Harmonix has also set standards for all Rock Band 3 and now-current Rock Band Network 2.0 songs. Some are basic guidelines so the songs play well without technical issues, while others - such as requiring all frets being used in all difficulties, making it so players learn to transition to higher difficulties easier - are designed with better gameplay in mind.
For more in-depth Information, please go to:
Song compiling (after the song has been completely charted) is done using Magma, where your audio file (.wav) and the .mid file from Reaper are brought together along with your information for the song, such as artist, album, song name, and difficulty for each instrument.
Due to legal limitations, it is often very difficult to get separate instrument stems, so for customs we typically use blank audio tracks for instruments and the normal (fully mixed) song file as a backing track. This ensures the audio track does not drop out completely when missing a note (as it would if the audio were assigned to the Guitar track, for example), and also fixes the notorious whammy distortion on Guitar and Bass.
After Magma combines the audio and .mid file you will get an .rba, a Rock Band 3 game file. This file contains everything the game needs to run the song: the .mid (notes and venue information), an .mogg (audio, automatically converted from .wav), a .milo_xbox (auto-generated lip-sync file), and a .png_xbox (album art).
With much thanks to Technicolor, we now have a program known as RB3Maker that can create (or directly convert from .rba files) Xbox 360 saved game .con files. Rock Band 3 can read these .con files exactly as if they were DLC, thus greatly simplifying the process for adding custom songs.
For more information on RB3Maker by Technicolor, please see the official thread on ScoreHero
Once we have a .con file, all we need is a USB thumb drive that is formatted by the Xbox 360 for system storage. You can do so by going into your 360 System Storage and copying the Rock Band 3 Song Cache (or Audio/Video Settings) file to the USB drive. Grab a program on your PC that can read the Xbox 360 storage (such as Modio or Party Buffalo), then open your drive and go into Rock Band 3 > Saved Games. Here you'll see your copied file. Now simply inject your .con file and delete your song cache from the 360. Now when RB3 boots up, it recreates the cache file and re-checks all DLC for new ones. If you like, you can even move all your
customs directly to the 360 HDD before booting RB3.
We are unable to distribute the .con game files directly because they contain the audio, and distributing music without consent from the artist or its publishing group is illegal. So the only way .cons can be distributed is if the audio is open-source (and free) on the internet. If not, RB3Maker has an option to take your files (audio and .mid) and create an .rb3maker file that contains everything except the audio in a zipped folder. RB3Maker will also create a record of the waveform of your audio file, then attempt to automatically match anyone else's audio to that waveform's timing. This is the easiest to get two (possibly slightly different) files synced as closely as possible.
RB3 Custom Songs
When releasing or downloading a custom song, audio is not included (unless the file is free of copyright and publically distributed and available). This would be a breach in legality, so when downloading a custom song you will need to supply your own copy of the audio. RB3Maker can greatly help the process of syncing your audio file with the one the original charter used.
All in-game content and credits belong to Harmonix, as well as the creation of Rock Band 3 as a whole. Music content and distribution is also subject to deletion upon grounds of legality, and all the music content therein belongs to the original artist, publishing authority, and/or legal house they fall under. In-game files created with Reaper (.mids) are able to be freely distributed wherever is seen fit.