Custom Song Guide
With Paradiddle’s new note highway update and the Paradiddle Song Creator tool, you can easily import all your favorite songs into the app and learn how to play them in no time. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know for the custom song creation process.
- Paradiddle Song Creator: Get the latest ParadiddleUtilities_0.x.x.zip file from this link: https://github.com/emretanirgan/ParadiddleUtilities/releases/latest
- Development note: The Song Creator is open source! You can build on top of it to add support for converting different rhythm game file formats, or extend the tool in other interesting ways. You can find the source code here: https://github.com/emretanirgan/ParadiddleUtilities
- If you want to map out the MIDI drum parts to a song yourself, a DAW such as Reaper (free) or Ableton.
- If you are converting an existing MIDI file and need to create a custom midi mapping for the conversion, MIDIEditor (free) to view all the MIDI notes in the file.
Custom Song Preparation
There are 3 main things you need to have ready for your song before you convert it into the song format that Paradiddle uses:
- Audio tracks: The actual audio files that you want to play back during the song. These are split into two: 1) drum tracks that only contain one or more drum part, and 2) song tracks which are drumless tracks that represent the rest of the song such as guitar parts, vocals, etc. Paradiddle currently supports 5 separate song tracks and 4 drum tracks at a time, to handle cases like popular rhythm game songs where you might have individual tracks for each instrument rather than 1 drum track and 1 drumless song track. Every major audio format is supported, but using the ogg format is recommended. If possible, do not use mp3 files as they sometimes have padding before the song starts, which can cause sync issues in the song.
- Drum parts MIDI file: A MIDI file that contains MIDI note events for the drum parts you want to play in the app, for one or more difficulty levels combined. Can also be multiple MIDI files each corresponding to a different difficulty level.
- Song metadata: A song and artist name (required), as well as a cover image (optional) for the song.
Paradiddle Song Creator Usage
Step 1 – The MIDI Tab
When you open the Song Creator, you’ll first see the MIDI tab. This is where you can load the MIDI file of the drum parts you want to play in your song.
- Click the “…” button and select your MIDI file. After a brief loading period, you will see that the MIDI track section dropdown displays the various MIDI tracks in your file. If your file has multiple tracks for different instruments (such as “Part Drums”, “Part Guitar” or “Drum Track” “Vocal Track” etc.), make sure to select the track with drums in it.
- Select the difficulty level belonging to the MIDI file you’re using. If your MIDI file contains multiple difficulties in it, select the one you want to convert right now, and change it to a different difficulty later to do a separate conversion for a different difficulty.
- Select your MIDI Mapping file. This part is incredibly important! The MIDI mapping file tells the Song Creator which MIDI note corresponds to what drum in Paradiddle. The Song Creator comes with 4 prebuilt MIDI mapping files that you can use right away or tweak for your needs, under ParadiddleUtilities/midi_maps/:
- rhythm_game_mapping.yaml: Contains the MIDI mappings for Rock Band style MIDI note files. Start with this mapping file if you’re converting a song from an existing popular rhythm game MIDI format (except for Guitar Hero style MIDI files).
- rhythm_game_mapping_gh.yaml: Contains MIDI mappings for Guitar Hero style MIDI note files.
- midi_mapping.yaml: Example MIDI mapping file that uses the default MIDI note numbers of the basic drums in Paradiddle. Also contains a detailed description of the MIDI mapping format and how to tweak it, for those who want to make their own mapping for their custom songs.
- pdtracks_mapping.yaml: Example MIDI mapping file used to convert the songs that were shipped with the note highway update in Paradiddle.
Step 2 – The Audio Tracks Tab
This is where you can import your audio files. Most audio file formats are supported, but we recommend using the ogg format. In the Song Tracks section, select all your non-drum audio tracks, in any order you want. In the Drum Tracks section, select your drum tracks. Important note: if you’re using more than 1 drum track, the order of the tracks matters! Here’s how to order them:
- 2 Drum Tracks: Track 1 is Kick, Track 2 is all other drums.
- 3 Drum Tracks: Track 1 is Kick, Track 2 is Snare, Track 3 is all other drums.
- 4 Drum Tracks: Track 1 is Kick, Track 2 is Snare, Track 3 is Crashes and Hi-Hats, Track 4 is Toms.
Step 3 – The Metadata Tab
Here’s where you fill in the song metadata. The fields are:
- Song Name (required)
- Artist Name (required)
- Author Name: Who created this custom song map?
- Cover Image: Select your album art if your song has one.
- Complexity: How hard is this song to play in general, 1 being the easiest and 5 being the hardest? Keep in mind that this is different from the levels of difficulty you selected in the MIDI tab, and it represents the inherent complexity of the song. For instance, a song can be very challenging to play and thus have a complexity of 5, but still have Easy, Medium and Hard difficulty levels.
- Description: Not used in the app right now. You can add any other details about the song here.
Once you’re done entering the metadata info, click set Output Folder and select where you want your song to export to. By default, the export folder is set to be ParadiddleUtilities/rlrr_files/. Then click convert to .rlrr! You should see a “Conversion Successful” message appear shortly if everything goes well. At this point, if you’d like to add another difficulty level you can go back to the MIDI tab to change the difficulty, and click convert again (no need to change anything else).
Optional Step – The Drum Set Tab
During the conversion process, the songs you create will use the Standard Kit layout that Paradiddle comes with. If you’d like to use any drums that aren’t in the standard kit or change how the kit is laid out, you can go to the Drum Set tab and select a custom drum kit file you’d like to use. You can find all your saved drum kit files in Paradiddle in the app’s installation directory, under Paradiddle/Saved/DrumLayouts/.
Step 4 – Bring Your Songs into Paradiddle
Before you move the songs into Paradiddle, find the folder you exported to and double check it has worked by opening it. If everything went well, you should see your audio files and album cover in there, as well as various .rlrr files in the form “<SongName>_<difficulty>.rlrr”
On the Steam/PC VR version, copy or move the whole song folder into <your Paradiddle installation directory>\Paradiddle\Saved\Songs\. For instance the full path might look like C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Paradiddle\Paradiddle\Saved\Songs\My Song.
On Quest, copy or move the whole song folder into “This PC\Quest\Internal shared storage\Paradiddle\Songs”. You can create the Paradiddle and Songs directories yourself in your File Explorer if they don’t exist yet.
That’s it! You should see your custom songs show up in the bottom tab of the Songs menu the next time you launch Paradiddle.