How to make DTX data (overall)

How to make DTX data by myself?

When you are the beginner of DTXMania, it's fun to play DTX data which is made by others. However, as the playing time become longer, you'll feel

  • I want to make my custom version of the data!
    (by arranging scores, adding other movie, etc etc...)
  • I want my favorite songs' DTX data, but no one made it!
    I'd like to beat the drums with my favorite song! I'd like to make my original scores! etc...)

So, you may start editing DTX data made by others, or you may start making brand-new DTX data. At that time you'll feel fun unexpectedly. You may feel "making DTX data is more interesting than playing".

In this page, I'll introduce you "How to make DTX data" roughly.

dtxc_01_e.png At present, using Mr. FROM's DTXCreator (DTXC) is the best way to make DTX data. (FROM is the original developer of DTXMania and DTXCreator.)

I will describe a way how to make DTX data with DTXC.

One notice: many people mistake DTXC for "I input song WAV file, then DTXC output DTX data files automatically". DTXC doesn't have such a super convenient feature. You need to arrange sound chips by yourself.

To make DTX data with DTXC, you have to download some tools besides DTXC.... "Sound editor" and "WAV to OGG converter". For example,

  • Sound Editor: Audacity or SoundEngine Free" etc. There are many sound tools which is free-of-charge or not. You can choose them by yourself.
  • Converter: oggdropXPd: WAV file to OGG file, or OGG file to WAV file converter. Currently DTXMania recommend to use OGG file as a sound file. (There are many converter, but I introduce here a genuine one.)

All preparations are finished, let's launch DTXC.

I'll explain the sample flow to make DTX data below. You can also see DTXC operations guide by there:

1. Prepare the BGM or drums sounds.
In case you don't have drums sounds at all, check the other Q&A "Where can I get the drum chip sounds?". You can get minimum drums sounds there.
(If you feel poor for that chip sounds, you have to garbage other sounds file or record from your drums kit by yourself etc.)

At the preparing BGM, you should "normalize" that BGM file to match the volume to other songs. To normalize the wav file, you can use general sound applications. (for example, Audacity has that feature.)

2. Convert wavs to ogg as necessary.
The chip sounds and BGM sound is very large if you leave them raw (not compressed). In case the sound files are large, it is very hard to send your DTX data to others. So, usually the sound files are "compressed".
However, the sound files and image files are not compressed well by the general compression way (zip etc). so you have to compress them by the special way. Concretely, the sound files should be compressed to ogg.
(but these compression way decreases the sound quality a little.)

To convert to ogg file, you can use oggdropXPd (for Win2k and above). Open oggdropXPd, and drag&drop the wav file to the oggdropXPd large icon to convert. It's very easy.

In this connection, FROM says you should use ogg for both chip sound and BGM sound (as the timing are same as wav, etc), and mp3 should not be used any longer, because mp3 sound have very short, but unexpected blank sound at the head of the sound, and it causes the lag(out-of-sync).

Moreover, FROM says the time to convert the wav files to ogg files is "the last stage after all DTX data file making is finished". That is he handle all sound file as raw wav file under making DTX data. Once you convert wav files to ogg files, it's very difficult to edit them.

3. Manipulate score data using DTXC.
Though it's hard to set the beginning of a few measures, after that it's a little easier because you can copy&paste the measures you've already set. In case you want to put open hi-hat or ride cymbal, "CTRL"+"left-click" to put it.

And put the BGM sound to the "BGM" lane.

Here is a TIPS; You should go next step (testplay) after putting chips in a few measures and BGM chip. I believe it is efficient way.

4. Testplay.

After putting chips in a few measures, let's play them for test. Click "Play from beginning" icon. Another preview window will open and testplay starts. Check your score sound is played correctly.

Usually, in this step, the timing of BGM and chip are not synced.

5. To sync the drum chips to the BGM, adjust the BGM start timing and initial BPM value. (Also edit the scores.)
Please read "BPM investigations, how-to sync music and sound chips" in detail. Here I explain the summary.
You can use some tools ... BPM Analyzer or TapTempo etc to mark the BPM estimation.
Besides, some songs does not have constant BPM. (e.g. live performance) in that case, you have to change BPM often.

To move the BGM chip finely, you can change the "Select guide margin" on the menubar. And the next pulldown menu "Vertical sizing" can also help you, too.

You can change the BPM in the middle of songs by using BPM lane.

You click the BPM lane, then the BPM dialog appears. You can specify both integer and fraction BPM value on BPM lane.

6. Adjust the chip sound volume and panpot.You can adjust each chip's volume and panpot using "Sound property".
Select "WAV" tab, and double click any chip you want to configure. Then the sound property dialog is shown. You can change "Volume" and "Position (Panpot)".

The "volume" range is 0 - 100. 0=no sound(mute), and 100=original volume. You can't specify the value over 100.

The "position" range is -100 - 100. -100=extreme left, 0=center, 100=extreme right. For example, you should set the hi-hat position a little to the left, and crash cymbals should set to the right, etc.

The volume is very important to make DTX data cool. For example, about the continuation of hi-hat 8th notes (or ride cymbal), don't set same volume to all of them like
(the circle size means the volume).

The most easy way to make it better is, to arrange them like
(it means you prepare two hi-hat chips and set different volumes) In this case, the knack is "exaggeration of volume change". (100 to 50, 100 to 30 etc)
There are many advanced arranges like

BTW, you have to check "Use this sound as BGM" in case that sound is used as BGM. that sound would be played by "Play BGM only from here" feature (in the "Play" icons).

7. Well, it is popular that your DTX data (syncs well on your PC) is not synced on other PC.
That "lag comes from the difference of HW/OS etc" could be controlled to some extent by making DTX data carefully. The points are that;

  • The sound length should be shorter.
    The length is longer, the number of sounds playing at the same time increase. If too-many-sounds are played simultaneously, lag occurs.
    You can decrease this kind of lag by making wav lengths shorter.
    It depends on the songs, but I believe it's enough to use 8th-4th note for almost all songs.
  • To tune up syncing should be done on DTXMania itself.

How to put open hihat, ride cymbal or left crash cymbal?

To put open hi-hat or ride cymbal, "CTRL"+"left-click" to put these chip on the "HH" or "CY" lane. To put left crash cymbal, put the chip on the "LC" lane.


Plugin Error: attach file not found: HHopen02_LC_.png

Remember to click pencil icon first to go Edit mode.

Where can I get the drum chip sounds?

Here are some drum chip sounds;

Sound typeOGG filesWAVE filesNotice
SnaresOGG (293,480 bytes)WAVE (1,600,984 bytes)
Bass drumsOGG (236,717 bytes)WAVE (1,807,754 bytes)
Hi-hats / cymbalsOGG (424,173 bytes)WAVE (6,265,271 bytes)
Tom-tomsOGG (317,880 bytes)WAVE (3,128,750 bytes)
PercussionOGG (654,380 bytes)WAVE (6,281,078 bytes)Sorry, I give up to delete noise from some files...
OrchestrasOGG(553,483 bytes)WAVE (6,956,952 bytes)Orchestra hits, orchestra snares, timpanis etc.

All files are 44.1kHz, monaural.

All these files are free(ware) and you can redistribute them freely. (The source is license-free PCM files included in Z-MUSIC System ver.3.0 (in Japanese)

How to make clip image for SELECT MUSIC screen?

First, prepare clip image for the SELECT MUSIC screen. You can use bmp, png and jpg format. The image size have to be equal or less than 204x269 or 400x400.

To standardize the preview image, I recommend to put white frame like the right figure.

Next, edit DTX file to use the clip image.

Click "Main" tab on the DTXC, the specify a filename for clip image in the "LoadImage" field. dtxc_preimage_e_.png

As the result, preview image is shown.

Plugin Error: attach file not found: dtxc_preimage_.png

How to add clip image(s) on playing screen?

1. Prepare 278 x 355 image(s). You can use jpg, png, bmp for clip image.

  • If the image is the equal of smaller than 278x355, the image will be displayed with x2-enlarged.
  • If you check-on "Use 556x719 size BGA/AVI", you can use larger image and no x2-enlarge occurs.

2. Register that image(s) to the array list in BMP tab. (see figure)

3. Then put the chip to the BG1 lane. (you can also use BG2-5. The number is bigger, it is drawn on upper layer.) The figure shows sample that you register the clip.jpg to BMP list "01" and put "01" chip on the BG1 lane.... at the beginning if 001st measure.

4. And you can also specify multiple BGAs by registering other image file to other BMP list. So you can change BGA by the progress of the song.

5. Moreover, DTX format has advanced BGA features... scrolling images and 8 layers etc. (though DTXC can handle only five BG1-5 layers..) You can see full instructions in DTX file spec specifications. And there are some Japanese guide... How to make BGA (layer feature), scrolling etc. (Now under translating...)

6. One important notice: in this way you can't put image from the beginning of playing. (At least image can't be shown until 000th measure comes.) You can avoid it by drawing clip image on the wallpaper, but the wallpaper is not shown in case DARK=ON (or FULL). In Release 063b060518 or above, you can resolve all problems by using #BMP instructions in Free tab. By this way, you can show the clip image from the beginning of playing, even if DARK=ON.

How to add movie to DTX?

1. Prepare the AVI file first.
Sorry I don't touch to "how to create movie file" here. I suppose you already have some movie files.

For the old DTXMania, the width and height of movie must be less than 278 x 355. Current DTXMania has no limitation of width/height.

You can choose the movie format and codecs freely. In these days, I recommend you that movie format is mp4, and the codec is H.264. (Reference: "DirectShow support")

Some codecs has a characteristic that the width and height must be a multiple of 8 (or 16). For example MPEG4-related-codecs (MS-MPEG4V2, WMV9, DivX) must have a multiple of 16 for width and height. The movie area (*) for DTXMania is 278 x 355, and both it's width and height are not a multiple of 8 (or 16). So if you encounter the error at encoding, Set the width and height to 272 x 352. It would meet the spec.
(*) This is the case if you want to playback movie in the small area of playing screen. If you want to playback movie in the fullscreen-background screen, there is no size limitations.

2. Put the AVI chip to the DTX
Register the AVI file in the AVI tab by double-clicking null list item, In the right figure, "sample.avi" is registered in list item "01", by double-clicking "01" and specify image file "sample.avi".

Next, put "01" chip to the "AVI" lane. If you put it with "Ctrl-Click", the movie will be playback in the fullscreen-background of the playing screen. If you put it with "Click", the movie will be playback in the small area of playing screen.


And move the chip to adjust timing.

To move AVI chip finely, you can change "Select guide margin" to 1/32 or 1/64.

And you can also change "Vertical sizing" menu to move the chip easily.


How to group several DTX files (with different levels) into the single title? How to make set.def file?

Making "set.def" file to group several song data into the single title. (DTXMania calls that file "set file".)

For the grouped title, you can change the difficulty by hitting hi-hat twice? on DTXMania.

The way to make set.def file is ... Open Notepad and edit it like the sample below, and save it to the folder where the songs data are. The filename must be "set.def".


#L1FILE: brilliant_bas.dtx

#L2FILE: brilliant_adv.dtx

#L3FILE: brilliant_ext.dtx

#L4FILE: brilliant_exp.dtx

#L5FILE: brilliant_raw.dtx

#TITLE: is song title. #L1LABEL: is label (shown as difficulty). Note that LABEL is not LEVEL. #L1FILE: song data filename.

You can use #L1... #L5... (In other words, you can group 5 levels into single title.)

Plugin Error: attach file not found: setdef4_.png

See also: Complete set.def file specifications

How to change the title color?

You can add title color information in "set.def" file.

See the previous Q&A (How to group several DTX files (with different levels) into the single title? How to make set.def file?) to understand the way to make set.def file.

To change the title color, please add the instruction in the set.def file;

"#FONTCOLOR:" means the "Specifying title color", and #00FF00 is the color code. # (pound) and 6 figures hex numbers (RRGGBB) are required.


#L1FILE: keep_bas.dtx

#L2FILE: keep_adv.dtx

#L3FILE: keep_ext.dtx

#L4FILE: keep_exp.dtx




See also: Complete set.def file specifications

How to make bursting chip in DTX?

You can make bursting chip by using "fill in (FI)" lane. While you are playing in fill-in zone, at least you have 1 combo, some light circles are bursting and audience cheers. (How neat it is!) Fill-in means short phrase at the changing point in song progress. Typical fill-in is, for example, short drums solo just before the main part of the song. To specify fill-in zone in DTX, there is "FI" lane.

On the FI lane, put "01" chip at the beginning of fill-in, and put "02" at the end of fill-in. DTXMania recognize the zone "01"-"02" for the fill-in zone. (Don't reverse the order. "01" comes first, and "02" lasts.)

In the fill-in zone, hitting effect becomes particle. And the the last ones becomes bursting.

Let me know the complete DTX format specifications.

Please see "DTX file format specifications".