Newbie looking for an “authoring for dummies” manual

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    Today I downloaded RB3Maker, RBN2 Sample songs, RBN2 install, Reaper, and Magma. One might think I was on my journey. I’m packed and ready to move.


    Problem is, I can’t see the road in front of me.


    Essentially I’m asking, “where do I start?” Say I have a song in mind, what are my ‘general’ steps to completion? A nice little guide, with little or no detail, is all I need to get me started on learning this stuff on my own – and so I can ask the occasional question when I get stumped.


    A bullet list of steps 1,2,3,4,5 would be the most helpful. Thanks in advance.


    “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” (said by a lot of people all the time but it seems to fit here too)


      Step 1) Prepare your workspace. Get Reaper installed, get the templates in place, get the track names/gem colours in place, and get your audio/folder structure in place.


      Step 2) Prepare your audio. In many cases, this is as simple as dropping the start of the song in your .mp3 (or other raw audio) on the start of a measure (3.1.1 is a good one). I recommend starting with a simple song to get a feel for it. Something in 4/4 time, with few tempo changes and easy patterns.


      Step 3) Look the documents over. Drums are, arguably, the easiest to author, so read those docs and try to follow along with the Creators documentation (it’s more reference material than a guide) and the sample song, and then look over the docs for other instruments as you go.


      Step 4) Map your tempo. Easier with stems, harder with MP3s. Tap-to-tempo or using the waveform are two options. Someone a little more versed in this topic can explain this better.


      Step 5) Pick a chart and start charting, checking your work as you go. A lot will come from trial and error. As mentioned before, drums are probably the best to start with, but work through all of your instrument charts. It will take a while for you to get a first draft of your custom together (unless you take a really easy to chart song and bang it out in an afternoon like I did), and then you’ll need to iterate and revise it several times before it’s ready to go.


        For your first song, I’d recommend choosing a short and repetitive song and something that is not too dense. It should have a simple and distinctive 4/4 beat and not change throughout the song. You may want to choose a song with a definitive ending so you don’t have to concern yourself with fade outs. Before doing any charting, make sure the tempo map is nearly perfect since that will make everything else far easier. As far as which instrument to chart first, I’d suggest charting the one that you like to play the most. Try to chart all difficulties. Start with Expert and work your way to easy. It only takes a couple extra hours to do all difficulties per instrument once you get the hang of it. You will make mistakes so assume that your first song will be a throw away.

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