The steps in this guide will give you the basics required to create a custom for Rocksmith from a Guitar Pro file. Note: this is only the basics. Once you have mastered using the software involved, I strongly suggest learning how to produce the Guitar Pro files yourself by creating them by ear. It is rare to find a Guitar Pro file on Ultimate Guitar which is 100% correct. Most are produced with the bass part seen as secondary and quite often little attention is paid to accuracy.
I have not covered adding Lyrics, as I do not believe that they add anything. I’m just interested in seeing the right notes, in the right order.
We are going to make a bass only custom without lyrics for “Amsterdam” by Nothing But Thieves from a Guitar Pro file.
First, go to http://www.ultimate-guitar.com and see if there’s a Guitar Pro file available for the song. The file which is going to be used is here.
Download it and open it in Guitar Pro:
Note – I am using Guitar Pro 6 in this guide. I’ve just discovered that Guitar Pro 7 now exports to GP5 format, which was holding me back from using it. GP5 files are needed further on in the process.
The first thing to do is to remove all parts apart from the bass track:
Now create a folder in your Working directory for the new track and save the file there.
The next step is to get hold of the audio. I generally create an mp3 from Spotify by recording it in real time in Audacity if I’ve not already got it. You can rip it from YouTube, but the quality can be suspect.
Once you’ve got hold of the mp3, open it up in Audacity:
It’s always good practice to use Audacity’s Amplify function which makes the song as loud as possible without clipping. This means that there should be no adjustments required in the Toolkit later on. Use the menu option Effect\Amplify:
The amplify effect will boost the volume considerably:
Next, use File, Export Audio to save the file to the folder where you saved your Guitar Pro file. It will ask you to enter metadata for the song – I recommend doing this, as this data will be picked up later by EoF, and then by the Toolkit, which will save you typing it all in again.
Once saved, start Go PlayAlong. I’m using version 3, as I don’t like the changes made to the UI etc in version 4. Click the + button at the top of the screen:
Select the Guitar Pro file you save earlier, then select the backing mp3 track. An entry for the new track will appear in the list of songs:
Note that I’ve put a quotation mark in front of the track names – this moves them to the top of the track list so that when we come to export the file to EoF, it’s easier to find.
Now click the arrow to the right of the track and confirm that you want to sync the track. Put some headphones on and drag the start of the tab to the start of the waveform:
Find where the next bar starts. Either do this by counting to the music and seeing where the next note goes, or you can (in this example), drag the A on the E string in the 7th bar to the next spike on the waveform:
This should then give you an idea of where bar 8 begins, and you can see from here that it’s here: Work through the rest of the song lining each beat of the first bar up with the corresponding spike. The program will do this for you but in my experience it’s best to do it manually. I’d also suggest matching any staccato or “important” notes because then you’ll know that they’re spot on. Tip – save your work frequently by clicking on the Finish button, then the Library button and go into the track again. Go PlayAlong can crash, and you will lose all your work.
If the start of a bar does not line up with a spike, use the next closest note:
When you have finished matching up all the bars, come out of Go PlayAlong and return to Guitar Pro. Export your file as a GP5 file. Return to Go PlayAlong and reselect the GP5 file as the source file. I do not believe that it is possible to set the default file format to GP5 in either Guitar Pro 6 or 7. You could have saved the GPX file as a GP5 file originally, but you will have to edit the GPX files a lot, so only export to GP5 when you are happy with them.
Go back to the main menu, then choose Library, Export Tracks:
Putting the “ in front of the track name moves your working file to the top of the list, and means no scrolling down to find it. Click Select None, then choose your file and then Finish. It will now put 4 files into a GP Export folder in My Documents:
Select and cut these documents, and paste them into your Working folder:
Now load Eof. These are the Preferences I have set:
Next, choose File, New and select your source file (Nothing like Thieves- Spotify):
Click OK when it asks to confirm the Artist information. Choose Use Source Folder at the next prompt then 256K at the next prompt.When the main screen returns, press F12 to load your XML file exported from Go Playalong.:
Select Yes to Import Guitar Pro’s file sections markers etc, then choose the Bass part.
Find the first section, here it’s Intro. Right click on it and press shift S to add a Rocksmith section:
You can call them all Intro – I did for a while, but apparently the game occasionally recommends that you try a section from a song and “Rocksmith recommends trying Intro from …” doesn’t look very professional when it is suggesting having a crack at a Chorus or Breakdown. Make sure that “Also add an RS Phrase” is selected.
Repeat for all the sections in the file.
Important note: to make sure that all the notes do not run into each other, press Control A together, then Control L and then the “[“ key twice.
It is always good to have at least four seconds of silence or no bass at the beginning of a custom. If there is no introduction to your song, choose Song/Leading Silence and enter 4000 for the milliseconds value:
Finally, choose Beat\Reset Offset to Zero and select Yes, then save the file. If this message appears:
Then click No. This message will then appear:
Click OK. This is nothing to worry about.
Next, go to Wikipedia and find some artwork for either the song or its album. Save it to your Working folder.
Open Rocksmith Custom Song Toolkit. Here is my configuration:
In previous versions, the path to WWise had to be specified. The program sorts this out for you now I think – unless it is using a previous config. I have had to reinstall the program several times however so it is possible that it works it out for you. Or simply doesn’t need it!
Click on the Add button in the Arrangements section and choose the PART REAL_BASS_RS2 file you just created:
Ensure that the “If checked, tone slots…” option is selected:
When you click OK, the artist/song/album info will be populated from the data entered in Audacity earlier:
Choose your artwork in the next field, then the guitar.ogg file (the smaller of the two guitar files) in the next:
Finally, ensure that a version number is entered further up the screen, and hit Generate. Assuming that all has been done correctly, your custom is only seconds away. You will be prompted to choose a save location for your custom (use your working folder) and then see this message:
Click Yes. Next choose a location for the Tempate. Do this, otherwise if you need to edit the custom, you’ll have to enter all the artist/song/album data etc again.
Once saved, you can test your new .psarc file, then once happy with it, upload it to the file sharing site of your choice and publish it on CustomsForge.
- It is possible to create your own previews for the tracks. I don’t bother as I know what the song is, RS will play a clip of it anyway, and why would you want to waste time listening to something you’re about to play?
- I have not covered DD. The Toolkit will create DD for you, or you can do it yourself. Let the Toolkit do it:This is how I do it, and nobody has complained so far.
- If you have followed this guide to create the Nothing Like Thieves custom, you will have noticed when you come to test it that it is a semitone out. This is one more reason why I recommend creating all your customs by ear yourself 🙂
- When selecting charts/tabs from U-G.com, be wary of any compiled by Slowhand or Neckwringer. They promise much, but usually disappoint.
This guide will get you to the stage where you can produce a custom. This is only the beginning. Like I did, you will soon get frustrated with being unable to get Guitar Pro files for the tracks you want to make customs for from U-G.com. This is where the real journey begins as you begin to create your own Guitar Pro files by ear.
If you have any feedback, please get in touch.
James Preston, December 2017