Tutorial #7 - How to Make Rocksmith 2014 CDLC Songs From MIDI Files
Tutorial Target Audience:

Beginner Guitar Players - working on note playing and timing (no advanced guitar techniques are used)

Programs required:

  1. Guitar Pro 5.2 or Guitar Pro 6.0
  2. Cozy’s Midi2RsXml program
  3. Audiokinect Wwise v2013.2.x build 48xx
  4. Rocksmith Custom Song Creator Toolkit (CST)

Skill Needed:

If you are already familiar with Guitar Pro and CST programs then this is going to be a breeze.  Maybe 15 minutes to make a CDLC song depending on which version of Guitar Pro you have.  Give yourself some extra time and be patient if you are a first timer.  Be sure to read over the tutorial a couple of times before you attempt your first MIDI to CDLC conversion then follow along with the example for "AuClair de la Lune".

Instructions:

1.  Download - Standard MIDI File (SMF) Song

  •  Search the web for an easy MIDI song title that you would like to learn to play and download it.  For this tutorial I will be working with a classic beginner song, "Au Clair de la Lune".  You can download the "AuClair.rar" project files here, and follow along with the rest of the tutorial.  Create a new work folder named “AuClair” and copy the unpacked files there.

Note: The recommended note spread of a good beginner MIDI song is no more than 7 frets, otherwise the Rocksmith note highway will fill the screen.   Midi2RsXml will alert you if the Midi song exceeds this recommended limit.

The AuClair.rrm.mid file that is included with the sample project has already been converted to a Rocksmith Ready Midi (RRM) for you.  You can use this file if you want to skip ahead to step 3 or don't have Guitar Pro installed.

2.  Run - Guitar Pro

3.  Run - Midi2RsXml

  • Drag and drop the Rocksmith Ready MIDI File onto the Midi2RsXml.exe application.  The Midi2RsXml program will generate three CST compatible files; 1) AuClair_Lead.xml, 2) AuClair.wem, and 3) AuClair_preview.wem.  These files are used to produce CDLC songs.  The program also produces ogg and wave audio files, but we wont be using these in this  tutorial.

4.  Creating Rythum or Bass Arrangments (Optional) - Editor On Fire (EOF)

  • Open up the latest release of Editor On Fire program by raynebc.   From the menu bar select, "File", "New" and select the *.rrm.ogg audio file.  DO NOT select the *.rrm_preview.ogg by accident.  Enter the song information and select "Use Source Audio's Folder.  Press F5 to display the audio waveform.  From the menu bar select,"Rocksmith Import" and select the *_Rythum_Song2014.xml or *_Bass_Song2014.xml file.  Next sync the audio to the notes.   Press Ctrl-A to select all the notes. Next, left mouse click on the first row of notes and hold down the CTRL key.  Drag the notes to where they should begin playing.  Also sync the beat markers as may be necessary.  From the menu bar select, "Save" and ignore any error warnings until EOF saves the file.  When finished EOF will output a file named Rythum_RS2.xml or Bass_RS2.xml.  You will use these files in step 6 below.

5.  Download - Album Artwork (Optional)

  • You can familiarize yourself with album artwork by watching this video from timestamp 31:21 to 32:37.   IMO, this is the best “How To” video on the subject, “Rocksmith 2014: How to Create and Import CDLC (Custom Songs)” by FilmsRapidFire, aka MrDeftino.
  •  Go on the web and grab some album artwork for your song.  It should be sized 512x512 in almost any image format.   Album artwork is included in the AuClair.rar file that you downloaded in Step 1 above.  Put the artwork, "AuClair.jpg" into the “AuClair” work folder.  Note: CST will generate default album artwork if you don't provide any. 

6. Run - Custom Song Creator Toolkit (CST)

  • Now we are heading to the finish line.  Open up Custom Song Creator Toolkit (CST).   Under the “Creator” tab, uncheck “Platform” check boxes for “MAC”, “Xbox360”, and “PS3”.  We will only be producing CDLC songs for the PC in this tutorial. 
  •  Click the song combo box and pick “Smashing Pumpkin – Cherub Rock” or some other song you own.  Make sure the “DLC App ID” changes to your selection.
  •  Click the “Arrangements”, “Add” button.  The “Add Arrangement” window will pop up.  Click on “Browse”.  Locate and select the “AuClair_Lead.xml” file in the “AuClair” work folder.  Click “OK” in the “Add Arrangement” window.  The “Add Arrangement” window will close and you will be back in the “Creator” window.
  • In the “Creator” window, under “Files”, click the Album Artwork, browse “…” button.   Select the “AuClair.jpg” file.  Next click the Convert Audio to Wwise, browse “…” button.  Select the “AuClair.wem” file.  Make sure you did not select the “AuClair_preview.wem” file by accident.  The preview audio will be used automatically in CST.
  • (This is an optional, but highly recommended step, because it will greatly impove the sound quality of the original MIDI audio)  In the "Tones" window, click on and highlight "AcousticDefault".   Click "Edit".  The "Edit Tone" window will pop up.  Click "Load Tone" in the lower left hand corner.  Select AcousticDefault.tone2014.xml in the open dialog window.  Click "Open".  "Tone was loaded" message should pop up.  Click "OK" and click "OK" again in the "Edit Tone" window.
  • This is the final step in CST.  Click “Generate”.  The “AuClair” work folder should be selected by default.  You can rename the CDLC song file if you want or just accept the default name.  Click “Save”.  You can close CST.
  • Go to the “AuClair” work folder and copy “*AuClair-de-Lune_v1_p.psarc” to your Rocksmith 2014 DLC / CDLC folder.

7.  Run – Rocksmith 2014

  • Start the game and play your new CDLC song, “AuClair de la Lune”.   Rocksmith 2014 more than a game.  Enjoy.

You can find additional information about Midi2RsXml, and downloadable Rocksmith Ready Midi files here.


Special thanks to all the developers and contributors of Custom Song Creator Toolkit (CST).  I would also like to thank Custom Forge and its moderators for bringing us all together.  There are many others to thank and you all know who you are.


Please report bugs, feedback, or submit your Rocksmith Ready Midi Files (*.mid) if you would like to share your success.  


Here is a little extra hint just for Fretlight Guitar owners.