This is my attempt at a walk through, in English, for the purpose of creating an UltraStar Deluxe track from scratch.
UltraStar Deluxe is a SingStar style karaoke game that is played on the PC (Mac, Linux and Windows supported). I'm assuming you know you need that software and a microphone compatible with the game (such as the SingStar microphones you can buy pretty much anywhere, including the Internet.)
You can get the latest stable release of Ultrastar Deluxe here. It's free and open source and AWESOME.
There are a lot of stellar resources out there that already have loads of songs done. I can't always find what I want. That's where knowing how to make your own comes in handy.
Anyway, I'm creating this tutorial because I've never really found one, in English (a lot of support for UltraStar is in German and other languages), that explains step by step what to do. I will NOT be creating the notes for the song by hand. I'm not quite that good.
In this tutorial I will be showing you how to:
- Get the file you need for your chosen song
- Open the file to create a basic USDX file
- Edit that file*
- Give your track an album cover*
- Give your track a video*
And in a nutshell, that's all you have to do.
Now that you have UltraStar downloaded and installed to your machine, and you are familiar with how the program works, choose whatever song you want to create.
If you get confused along the way, you may want to reference UltraStar Deluxe - Understanding the Text File.
For this tutorial, we will be creating a track for Genesis (with Phil Collins AND Peter Gabriel) "The Carpet Crawlers 1999".
The very first thing you'll need, and your whole track depends on this, is a midi file with a lyric track. For you young-in's a midi track is like an old school ring tone... like... I don't know... your parents had? I can't think too much about 12-year-olds on the internet looking confused over midi files for too long or I'll kill myself.
So anyway, Google it. I Googled "Carpet Crawlers midi" and came up with a link to download it. Go ahead and find the link to the midi file itself from that page.
You are most likely going to need to right click on the link and "save target as" or "save file as" (otherwise, it will just play the midi in your browser, sure, your friends will think you're retro-hip, but it won't help you make your UltraStar track at all). Save it some place you can find it. Like your desktop.
Not all songs will have a midi track available. If you can't find one, you can also google for karaoke files, which have a .kar extension. They are interchangeable with .mid files as far as UltraStar is concerned. If you still have no luck, well...
My midi track does have a vocal track, so I can go on to the next part. Open up your Ultrastar Deluxe directory. In windows this will be C:\Program Files\UltraStar Deluxe, most likely. If running 64-bit Windows, look in C:\Program Files (x86)\UltraStar Deluxe.
Drop your newly downloaded midi right into the root of the Ultrastar Deluxe folder. After moving, don't close your directory window. Leave it open, k?
Now it wants a file name. Remember the file we moved? Give it that name, replacing ONLY file.mid with whatever your file is called. Mine was carpet99.mid. Arrow over twice, select OK and hit enter.
Now you're brought to a screen that breaks down your midi (or kar file), it should have several tracks listed, see mine as an example below. If it only has a single track, it's probably not useable. Some are nicely labeled with the parts, others you have to figure out by sight and sound. In short, you need to find the track that is the lyrics or words the singer is singing, isolate it, and save it.
This one happens to be labeled. Not only that, but when I select Play with my keyboard (and press enter) I can see that's where the "words" are being "sung". That's what I need! Arrow down to the track (if you have doubts, you can isolate and play JUST this track), hit your space bar to select it, then either "Play Selected" to make sure you have the correct track, or just go ahead and hit "Save". It'll pop up telling you it's been saved successfully.
Close UltraStar for now. Go back into your UltraStar Deluxe directory (that you still have open from before) and right underneath your midi file is your new text file! It'll have the same name as your midi.
That's all you need to know for generating a text file for your new track. You can dispose of the original midi now, as you won't be using it after you've generated the proper lyric track.
Ready to move on? Go on to read Part II: Basic Text File Edits.
You should also read UltraStar Deluxe - Understanding the Text File. This is a breakdown of the parts of the text file and explains why it's so important.