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How to add drums to your tabs in GP5 or Tuxguitar

NOTE: If you use Power Tab, read this tutorial instead.

Are you making tabs that include every part but the drums? Well, adding drums to your tab isn't too hard--you just have to make a percussion track, and know a few magic numbers.

First, make the track. In Guitar Pro, select Track > Add... from the drop-down menu, and select Percussion for the type. Click okay at the next screen, and close the next window. If you're using Tuxguitar, create a new track with Track > Add Track, double-click the track name, and check the Percussion Track check box. Click okay.

Now that you have a percussion track, you can use any drum in GM ("General MIDI"). For a complete list of these, look at the GM Level 1 Percussion Key Map. Just enter the number from the chart as a fret number, like this:

In this example, I used drums 36 and 38, which are the basic kick and snare drums. If you aren't familiar with drums, this is the time to learn what each drum sounds like. Don't worry! You only need to learn a few for most songs, and I'll be listing the most important drums below.

Now, if you look at the GM chart, you'll notice the presence of multiple kicks, multiple snares, and so forth. Each of these sounds a little bit different! So it's up to you which ones you want to use. Let's add another measure, just like the above, but using 35 and 40 (the alternate kick and snare). It looks like this:

If you enter in these notes, and play through it, you'll hear the difference between measures one and two. What sounds best? Well, that depends on the song, and you'll have to decide. Personally, I use 36 and 40 for my kick and snare in most songs.

Notice how I put the kick and snare on separate "strings". This is very important! It can be quite confusing if you put different drums together on the same string. You may run out of strings if you use too many drums, so it's not a hard-and-fast rule, but try to give one string to kick, snare, hihat, cymbals, and two to toms as a starting point.

If you're using Guitar Pro, you can speed up entering drums a little by using the "C" key--try it! It copies whatever note(s) are under the cursor, and pastes them at the end of the measure. Drums repeat a lot! You can enter in a basic pattern, and copy-and-paste entire measures or sections (with ctrl-C and ctrl-V), and then edit whichever measures differ from the pattern. If you're using Tuxguitar, make sure you uncheck the box marked "All Tracks" when you copy+paste drums, or you'll copy+paste over your other instruments, too!

Now, here is my quick reference for MIDI drums. Remember, there are more drums than these available, and you can check the GM chart linked above if you need them!

GM Drums Quick Reference:

Name Fret number Alternate Other information
Kick 36 35 Also called a "bass drum"
Snare 40 38 Side-stick is 37
Toms 47-45-43   The full set is 50-48-47-45-43-41. 43 and 41 are floor toms.
Ride cymbal 51 59  
Hi-hat 42 (closed) 46 (open) 44 (pedal hihat, stepping on the pedal rather than striking with a stick)
Crash cymbal 49 57  

You may also find the tambourine (54), splash cymbal (55), or hand clap (39) useful, to single out a few more sounds.

Finally, some percussion instruments are treated like regular MIDI instruments, rather than GM percussion. Those instruments can be found in the Percussion section of Guitar Pro, and toward the end of the instrument list in Tuxguitar. In addition to those, Timpani is under the "Strings and Timpani" section. If you want to use those, they'll need a separate instrument.

Now you should be able to add whatever drums you want! Don't forget to add accents where appropriate! You may also want to make hihats and cymbals a little quieter than the kick and snare, if they stand out a bit too much. Have fun, and feel free to post any questions you have!

Quick guide for home recording. By StrangeJam

Posted in recording

So I figured i'd write a little quick reference guide for people who want to start recording themselves but have no clue where to start, what to get or what to do.


Let's cover this quickly in 3 stages:

A)What you need.
B)how to set it up.
C)Future considerations

A)What you need

To start recording you're gonna need the following:
-A guitar recording interface:
now you may be wondering, what exactly is that? well to make it short, it will allow you to record directly into your computer without having to deal with problems such as latency and quality. I personally recommend line 6 interfaces like the PODstudio GX,UX1, and UX2, since I own a UX1 and I know friends with the GX and we are all extremely satisfied with the results. they cost around 99-200 dollars, depending on the model, ideally if you're not gonna record by mic'ing an amp, a podstudio GX should suffice. did I mention they come with a software called POD farm? this is a VST amp modelling software which achieves really good results, so if you're also a bedroom guitarist looking to get a good sounding tone but don't wanna dish 1200 bucks on a valve amp this might be what you're looking for. not the best example since my guitar has pretty bad pickups and my mixing skills terrible but if you want a quick reference I recorded this using POD farm ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=napS4526ZJo ). if you think that sounds bad...you're not wrong! but just look up vids using the UX1,GX,or UX2 tags for better samples.

More info on said interfaces:
http://line6.com/podstudioux1/
http://line6.com/podstudiogx/

now let's get something out of the way, yes you can record using your amp and your pc's line in as well but I don't really recommend it, especially once you start using amp modelling VSTs, this is where that latency issue comes into play, coming from experience, there's actually no difference when you record straight from your amp's line out to your pc's line in, but I tried using software like Amplitube and PODfarm with it and a weird delay happens which ends up ruining your recordings, there are probably better reasons to not use your line out but i'm no expert in that area. just for reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGyODiIGsNc&feature=related
I recorded that using my pc's line in.

And let's wrap up this part by quoting BooDoo on something extremely important which I completely forgot about:

"I'll contribute one thing if you're concerned about latency but don't have money immediately available for a TonePort/PODStudio/et c.: ASIO4ALL is a great app that can reduce latency to tolerable levels in any Windows DAW/recording software with ASIO support on just about any consumer-level sound card.

I use a SBLive! external USB's Line In and my total in-out latency into Ableton Live with ASIO4ALL is <30ms. Not 'perfect', but far better than >120ms or so without the ASIO4ALL interface."

-A Digital Audio Workstation:

This is basically where the magic happens, where you record, edit, add effects, mix and master. It all comes down to personal preference here but here's a quick list of all the trusted big names:
-Cubase
-Sonar
-Reaper
-Adobe Audition 3.0
-Pro Tools
-Garage Band/Logic

Personally I use Reaper and Adobe Audition 3.0. these 2 let you load up VSTi effects(which is what pod farm is)and give you great control over your audio.

What is a VST plugin?
I feel like I should go over this real quick just for reference,aken straight from wikipedia:
"Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is an interface for integrating software audio synthesizer and effect plugins with audio editors and hard-disk recording systems. VST and similar technologies use Digital Signal Processing to simulate traditional recording studio hardware with software. Thousands of plugins exist, both commercial and freeware, and VST is supported by a large number of audio applications. The technology can be licensed from its creator, Steinberg."

And my quick explanation: A vst will give you realistic sounding tones and effects for a variety of instruments from guitars and synths to drums and bass guitars, but it is not just limited to that, a lot of audio mastering plug-ins(if not all) are VSTs. popular guitar amp modelling vsts are Amplitube,Guitar Rig, Pod Farm(highly recommended) and...oh yeah! a bunch of free ones like Nick Crow's 8085.


-A guitar,bass,or electro acoustic guitar.

Basically the instrument you're gonna record.

B)How to set it up

I'll assume you went down the audio interface route and picked up either adobe audition or reaper as your DAW for this quick "tutorial".
1.-First off you wanna make sure to import all your VST plugins into your DAW.
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/2347/capturefo.png

2.-Insert a track and arm it for recording.
To do this press ctrl+T, and to arm it just press the button which says ar next to it.
http://yfrog.com/j1armmp

3.-Record whatever it is you want to record.
This is where the road forks and branches out, as pointed out by CpxAzn, when you recording using the PODStudio interfaces you have 2 choices, one is to first record the clean signal of your guitar and then apply the amp VST FX, or the other choice is to change the monitoring mode to "record input" and it will basically record whatever tone you're using while running PODfarm on the side. there are apparently quite a few approaches on how to do this, but this is how I do it.

That is basically how you record but there's a whole lot more to it of course.(doubling tracks,basic interface stuff,etc) but this should give you a quick rough guideline for you to experiment with.


C)Future considerations

so you've recorded your ultimate solo that will pierce the internet (lolreferences) and you have that killer rhytm track worthy of James hetfield, along with a killer bassline that would make Victor Wooten proud, as well as mindblowing drums that Mike Portnoy would dare not attempt...but you feel your mix doesn't sound balanced at all.
This is probably the area where most of us struggle, that is sound mastering.
It will give you headaches when you're starting out, oh yes.
personally I suck at making audio mixes and masters so I won't even fool anyone by giving "advice", but I highly recommend that you do some research on this after you get your basic recording setup ready. there's a bunch of plug-ins out there designed for this, but they're by no means magic, it still takes a lot of tweaking and knowing how sound frequencies work from your side.

here's a quick "list" of plug-ins for audio mastering that I know of:
-Izotope Ozone http://www.izotope.com/
-T-Racks http://www.ikmultimedia.com/t-racks/features/
...and another one which is worth around 12k dollars but I haven't actually even used, only heard from people that the results are really good, I'll get back with the name sometime.


Drum Machines:

They work pretty much in the same line as guitar amp vsts, except that you dump a midi and then apply the plug in and the drums becaome magically realistic sounding.
Personally I work with EZdrummer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE1mlwUIKO0&feature=related


Monitors:

Monitors are special speakers meant for sound mixing and mastering, i'll just leave the link:
http://www.zzounds.com/item--KRKRP8G2
it pretty much explains what they are and why you would want them.

Record by mic'ing an amp
If you already have a good amp then this is probably what you're gonna want to do.
basically you still use the audio interface except that you're gonna need different kinds of mics depending on what you're trying to record. there seems to be a universal rule from what I've seen.

Shure SM57 to mic electric guitar amps.
http://www.zzounds.com/item--SHUSM57LC

Condenser mics to mic electroacoustic/acoustic guitars:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeLcQlO4H7Y

and at least quite a few mics to mic a piano(depends on the type of piano really.)

well that's it for now but I'll get back to reformat this thing to add more info. a lot of stuff escaped me right now, stuff which is probably vital, but this should at least put confused people on the generic track, feel free to correct me on anything if you spot some blasphemy up there, after all I recently just started to get into the whole recording-at-home business.

GTYNP: Secret of Evermore ~ Queen Bluegarden

Posted in GTYNP

I requested this tab awhile back and only one person stepped up to arrange it, which took me totally by surprise. I've been a huge fan of the Secret of Evermore music for sometime now and I think Jeremy Soule is one of the best composers out there. So without further ado heres to Auriplane's arrangement of one my favorite pieces of music in Secret of Evermore. Secret of Evermore Queen Bluegarden

Thank you Auriplane for this beautiful arrangement =)

Review: Lightsnake USB Instrument Cable – STUSBG10

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So it started out for me wanting to record at home and I was looking for a cheap way to do that, I didn't have the money for one of those expensive condenser mics, I did try a regular computer mic but the audio was awful and I didn't care for it. I mention this to a friend of mine at work he said he had a friend with a guitar cable with a usb at the end so I did some research and found the Lightsnake cable.

This cable is really one of a kind its basically a guitar cable with a soundcard in it that connects to your USB port. I know what your thinking a soundcard? Yes when playing using the Lightsnake there is alot of audio things happening:

1.) Analog to Digital conversion with signal boost.
2.) 48/44.1khz sampling.
3.) Noise Reduction.

What does all that mean? 3 words "Superb audio quality" and really thats what your looking for.

Now you might be asking yourself what kind of guitar can this be used on? Well all types from Classical guitar to Metal guitar and everything in between so long as there is a pickup, preferred active pickups for electric guitars but does work with non active ones as well. I couldn't get my eletric guitar to sound good at all but it's a 20$ guitar what did I expect. It can be used in combination with effects pedals and software like ACID Music Studio, Adobe Audition, Windows Movie Maker, Audicity and so on. Also can be used for online streaming.

I did have problems at first when I hooked it up, its plug and play so when you hook it up Windows assumes its a soundcard and makes it its default audio so a quick trip to the control panel > Sounds and Audio Devices > Audio tag and put your Sound Playback back to your sound card will take care of that.

Overall this cable really worked well for me, I really have no complaints about it, I use it to record whenever possible and ustream for gametab members.

*Note* This cable is not intended for you to hear the sound coming out of your speaker when playing only after your done recording sound in an audio program like Windows Movie Maker or Sound Recorder can you hear the sound. You can however hookup some earphones and listen while you play.

Price: 39.99 can be found on ebay a little cheaper.

Specs: http://www.soundtech.com/products/home-recording/stusbg10/

If you would like to hear the lightsnake head over to my youtube page. http://www.youtube.com/user/Vic9mm and click play.

Review: The Zoom A2 Acoustic Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal

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The Zoom A2 Acoustic Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal.

Ok I want to start out by saying that I knew nothing about effects prior to buying this pedal that said lets jump in and see what this effects pedal has to offer.

This effects pedal is really one of a kind I did alot of research on this because I wanted to find a nice pedal that would produce nice reverb to add to my video's to spice them up a bit. So after finding this pedal I started to read what could be achived by using it and to my surprise it had a total of 47 high-quality effects for acoustic/classical even eletric guitars but thats not all it can simulate 12 acoustic guitar/preamp sound character simulations meaning you just bought 12 guitars in one pedal. The list of guitars are: Martin D-28, Gibson SJ-200, Martin OOO-18, Gibson J-45, Tacoma C3C, Ovation Adamas, Nylon (Zoom original), Selmer Maccaferri, Dobro Model 27, National Reso-phonic Style O, Resophonic (Zoom original), Tube preamp (Zoom original.

Now a little more into depth with the pedal and effects as I said before it has 47 high-quality effects like Phaser, Tremolo, Air, Auto Wah just to name a few. The reverb is outstanding with reverb types like Hall, Room, Bright/Dark Slap Reverb, Modern Spring with loads more which is all customizable by the way, you have total control over how long they stay and how fast the effects die out. You can also simulate Amps and Pickups, has a built in 6 band EQ, Chromantic tuner for all of you who love to do different tunings, Feedback control, a very realistic sounding drum machine with PCM sound sources, can run on battries for about 6hrs, and has an option for an expression pedal.

All in all this effects pedal is just awesome for what it does. I only shared with you a fraction of what it could do, but if you looking to spice up your sound then this is the way to go I really enjoy playing using this pedal and im sure you would to.

*NOTE* There are two models of the pedal available. I reviewd the one I bought but there both the same with the exception of the USB and the footpedal is attached to the other model.

Price: I got mine for 100$ NEW Ive seen them for 80$ on ebay NEW.
Full Specs: http://www.zzounds.com/item--ZOMA2

Review: Savarez 520R Strings.

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My review of the Savarez 520R Strings.

Over the year I've been using many different sets of strings and hadn't really settled on a certain string. Well finally after many, many months of searching I finally found the one that suits me and those strings are the Savarez 520R strings. I would like to take a moment and tell you a little about the Savarez history.

The history of string making behind the Savarez name dates back over two centuries, to 1770, when Savaresse first embarked upon the manufacture of natural gut strings in Lyon, France. From the 1880s the company began to produce silk and steel as well as bronze and brass strings. Today, Savarez has become a world leader in musical string innovation with superior research and development.

That said I would like to take some time tell you why I like these strings so much compared to the others I have tried.

I would like start to by saying all Classical Guitars are not made equal, and my results doesn't necessarily mean you will achieve the same results I have had with these strings.

When my guitar first arrive to me it had Daddrio strings on it which at the time were OK but the trebles were lacking something like they had no life in them and I started to wonder maybe the strings were bad so I decided to change them out for some more of the same strings and to my surprise they sounded the same, still lacking something but I didn't know what because I was still new to guitar at this period in time. So my search went on and one day I stumbled upon an ad about Savarez strings so I went to my local shop in Dallas called "Zoo Music" and asked for some Savarez strings and he handed me some Savarez 520Rs and said those are very popular because of the string material that they use which is "Rectified Nylon" which other string manufactures do use by the way. So I went home and installed them on my guitar tuned it up and started playing and was AMAZED at the difference in volume and sound they were producing I honestly couldn't believe the zest the trebles had. Even the basses came to life, even though I'm not a big bass fan it was a huge improvement on the overall sound. The basses were rich and deep but not over powering and the trebles were loud and clear but not too bright sounding which is what I was looking for in a string.

Overall I have to give Savaerz 520Rs a solid 9.5 as a rating there great strings with a great sound and haven't found another string that matches them.

Packaging: They come in a gold ziploc type package with six strings individually packaged and numbered according to the string. Each string is also tagged with an ID number.

Strings: The trebles are "Rectified Nylon" non-polished but smooth and are light-whitish looking. The basses are silverplated copper on nylon core

Price: Varies depending on the place I can get 2 packs for 21 dollars. Guitar Center sells them for 13 or 15 dollars. So look for deals when ever you can.

Info about the strings. http://www.savarez.fr/anglais/carterougejb.html#

GTYNP: Final Fantasy IV - Main Theme

Posted in GTYNP

I just stumbled upon this little gem, and decided it was time for another GTYNP. Despite the fact that I run the site and am constantly aware of the tablature submission, sometimes a piece falls through the cracks unnoticed. I love this arrangement, just for the fact that it's simple and playable, while at the same time being complete and inspired. Nice job, SpiderTemplarius!

Final Fantasy IV - Main Theme, by SpiderTemplarius

Hail to the Chief!

Posted in Interview

Hey there, Gametabbers!

Featured in the first of what (I hope) will be many interviews is none other than gametabs.net founder, archard. He touches on everything from site revamps, a new fingerstyle project, some great tabs to check out, archard’s Mario mission, to possibly being a descendant of Uncle Sam. It sounds like he still has big plans for the site, mostly on the side of expansion and improvement. Read on and gain some insight into the site you love! Thanks again, archard.

1) Congratulations (again) on three years! At the very least, you've reached your initial goal of becoming the definitive site for game tablature. Where do you see the site going from here? I understand you are in the process of brainstorming revamps to the anime section. At this moment in time, what are you leaning toward doing with that part of the site?

Thank you, very much. Moving forward, I want to take this site to the next level. I want it to be up there with OCReMix as far as popular video game music related sites go. I have been toying with the idea of expanding the site to be a more generalized video game music appreciation site, much like OCReMix is. But, Game Tabs has very specific niche that I don't want to abandon. So it's going to be tricky.

One thing I'd like to do is incorporate an analog to songmeanings.net within the site. For those that don't know, people on songmeanings.net post their personal interpretations of the meanings of various songs. I think video game music is uniquely suited for personal interpretation, and I would love it if there could be some platform where users could explain what the songs mean to them in their own minds.

You mentioned the revamps to the anime section. I have been doing a lot of thinking about that. To be honest, I originally never wanted to include anime tabs in the site, but my friend who is a big anime fan insisted that I make a section for it when I first started the site. Anime music is similar to video game music, but it's definitely not the same thing. To me, anime soundtracks are like any other movie soundtracks. They share a common bond with video game music though, because there is a cultural overlap between both the composers and the listeners. That's where my motivation to revamp the anime section comes from. I want to separate it from the video game tabs. I originally thought about making an entirely new site just for the anime tabs (I even bought animetabs.net), but I didn't want to create a rift in the community. If I can find a way to keep the sites separate, but keep the community intact, then I might do that. But I'm not sure if it's doable. I'll have to think about it some more.

Right now I am just focusing on improving the site in every way possible. I've been making tons of little improvements under the hood lately that are neccesary to take the site to the next level.

2) The debate seems to be plaguing this place: nylon or steel for you? Any brand of strings in particular?

I have mixed opinions about this. I used to swear by steel strings, but recently I bought a classical guitar and I love the sound from the nylon strings. On one hand I love the sustain and brightness of steel, but on the other hand I love the clarity and warmth of the nylon. My goal as a guitarist has been for awhile now to be on the level of guys like Andy McKee, Don Ross, Tommy Emmanuel, and Antoine DuFour. All their music pretty much requires steel strings to play, and that's why I've always sort of leaned to the steel string side. Right now I can't play anyting that 'requires' steel strings. So for the time being I am on the nylon side. But that will probably change in the future. As far as general sound quality goes, I like nylon better.

I'm a newbie to nylon, so I don't really have a preference yet. For steel strings, I never payed much attention to the type of strings I used. I normally used Martin's.

3) What kinds of guitars do you own? If you can choose, which is your favorite? Do you play any other instruments?

I have 3 guitars. One electric - a Les Paul Black Beauty, and two acoustics - an Epiphone steel string, and an Orpheus Valley classical. I don't play electric guitar at all anymore, so I haven't touched the Les Paul for years. The Orpheus
Valley is by far my favorite. It has such a beautiful tone, and feels great to play.

I started learning the harmonica recently, and I can play a little piano. I'm also planning on getting an ocarina soon. But guitar is the only instrument that I have any real talent on.

4) When you sit down for the first time in a day to hit the strings, what do you play as a warm-up?

Lately I've been playing parts of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" when I first pick up the guitar. I usually play something random though, or make something up.

5) Are you working on learning any tabs in particular right now?

I'm trying to master Kabukibear's Birth of a God right now. I've also been playing mostly all the lonlonjp tabs that have been coming in lately thanks to natenmn. I really like the Sleepless City Treno, FFV Battle Theme, Rebel Army Theme, and Cait Sith's Theme.

My problem is that I can't focus on one tab at a time long enough to master it. I always find something else that interests me and start learning that one.

6) Who is your favorite game music composer? If not one, then who are your top few?

I'm going to give the cliche answer and pick Nobuo Uematsu. I grew up with Final Fantasy VI - X, and the songs made for those games are a part of my soul that will never leave.

7) What are you working on tabbing right now? And why did you choose to tab it/them?

I have not tabbed anything in a long time, and I rarely have time to tab anything these days. But right now I'm working on a fingerstyle arrangement of Gangplank Galleon from Donkey Kong Country for the SNES Fingerstyle project. The song is just wicked, and I'd love a nice fingerstyle arrangement for it.

8) Moving on the "game" part of the name, what consoles do you own? Which do you still play?

I still have my NES, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, as well as a Wii and a DS. I play Wii and DS with my little brother sometimes when I'm at my parent's house, and I play some NES games with my roomate when I'm at my apartment. That's about it though. I don't really play video games much anymore, I just don't have the time.

9) What game are you playing right now?

I don't have a specific game I'm playing right now... like I said, I don't really have time to play games like I used to. My roomate and I are currently on a mission to beat a bunch of old NES games we have laying around. Particularly, we are trying to beat Super Mario Brothers 1, 2 and 3 in one sitting, without getting a game over.

10) Pick one game that could sum up your life. =)

Super Mario Brothers 2. Most of the time, it just doesn't make any sense.

11) WILD CARD! Tell us something interesting. =D

According to my grandmother, 'Uncle Sam', the guy on those old 'I WANT YOU FOR US ARMY' posters is my great, great, great, great, great grandfather. I always thought it was just a personification, but apparently the guy who posed for the poster is a real person. I don't remember his name.

(Editor’s Note: His name was Samuel Wilson, and he supplied beef to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812.)

Thanks for reading,

MTM (Brandon)

Stringing your classical guitar.

Posted in Tutorials

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67oHCIFSuVI

A little video on how to string your classical guitar. I hope you enjoy this and find it useful this is how I do my guitar strings everybody has a different style. Nothing touches my guitars but Savarez strings these happen to be 520Rs High Tension Red Card Rectified Nylon. The guitar is a LaPatrie Etude and the one in the background is my LaPatrie Hybrid CW.

GTYNP: Dire Dire Docks by TrangOul

Posted in GTYNP

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For those that don't know, every now and then we spotlight a tab that we feel as been under appreciated or overlooked, and call it "Greatest Tab You've Never Played" (GTYNP).

For this GTYNP, I chose Dire Dire Docks from Super Mario 64, by TrangOul. There are several other tabs for this piece, but I feel like TrangOul's takes the cake because of its playability and completeness. It really is a lot of fun to play. Nice job, TrangOul!