DTX data making (DTXC)

  • How to make DTX data by myself??
  • How to put open hihat, ride cymbal or left crash cymbal??
  • I can't test play on DTXC at all.?
  • Where can I get the drum chip sounds??
  • How to convert GDA/G2D to DTX??
  • How to make clip image for SELECT MUSIC screen??
  • How to add clip image(s) on playing screen??
  • How to make bursting chip in DTX/GDA??
  • How to add movie to DTX??
  • How to convert MPEG/WMV files to AVI file??
  • DTX file format specifications

 *?How to make DTX data by myself?

At present, using FROM's DTXCreator (DTXC) is the best way to make DTX data.

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 GDA files automatically". DTXC doesn't have such a super convinient feature. You need to arrange sound chips by yourself.

*? To make DTX data with DTXC, you have to download many tools besides DTXC). Here is a list about the tools you need.

**DTXCreator itself (DTXC)**
DTXC is a software to make DTX data file. (Though GDAC2 can handle with GDA or BMS, DTXC can handle with DTX only.) To download DTXC, go to FROM's DTXMania download page.

**DTXViewer (DTXV)**
DTXC uses it for the preview (testplay). It is included in the DTXCreator archive.

*? **Microsoft .NET Framework (2.0 or above)**
You need to install it to work DTXC. On March 1st 2009, .NET Framework package is shown on the Windows Update (Custom Install) as "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 and .NET Framework 3.5 Family Update (KB951847) x86" .

In case you don't install .NET Framework, You'll see the error by opening DTXCreator.exe like

The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135).
Click on OK to terminate the application.


C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\2.0.50727\mscorwks.dll could not be loaded


Unable to Locate DLL -
The Dynamic Link Library mscoree.dll could not be found in the specified path.


**Latest DirectX 9.0c** and Managed DirectX 1.1
You have to install them it to work both DTXViewer and DTXCreator. Usually, your DirectX9.0c is older than November 2008 version. You have to install latest version.
you've already installed DirectX 9.0c but not installed Managed DirectX. So you should follow steps to install both of them;

(I deleted following descriptions because current DTXC doesn't depends on Managed DirectX.)

1. Install .NET Framework 2.0 or above via Windows Update. You must install .NET Framework first to let the Managed DirectX to be installed.

2. Install latest DirectX via Web Installer. You should install latest one, to play latest DTXManiaGR (Release 070).

In case you satisfy both of two conditions below, the Managed DirectX is installed.

    1. Your system already has .NET Framework.
    2. You install DirectX via Web Installer (not via End-User Runtimes)

In case you don't install .NET Framework on step 1, only DirectX 9.0c is installed here and Managed DirectX is not installed.

In case you don't use "Web Installer" and use "DirectX End-User Runtimes", it also causes that the Managed DirectX is not installed. You need some tricks to install Managed DirectX via End-User Runtimes... (open dxsetup.exe with /InstallManagedDX option.)

If Managed DirectX is not installed, you can succeed to bootup DTXC but you'll see the following error soon;

Unhandled exception has occured in your application. If you click==

Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.DirectX.DirectSound,
Version=1.0.2902.0, Culture=neutral,
PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The
system cannot find the file specified.


*? **oggdropXPd**
It encodes from wav file to ogg file, or decodes from ogg file to wav file.
On the DTXMania Release 062b060416 or above, FROM (the author of DTXMania) recommends to use ogg rather than xa.

You can download oggdropXPd from RAREWARES. (At first, I recommend "Generic" version in oggdropXPd ... using libVorbis ... But on my PC (CoreDuo, Vista Home 32bit), I have to use P4/Athlon64 version to work.)

**WAV to XA** and **XaWrapper**
You should prepare them to make xa file.
You can download them here.
(WAV to XA is redistributed here without any permissions because author's sites had gone.
XaWrapper is permitted to redistributed here by the original author, maruru.)

  • WAV to XA? (original files are archived by LZH. I re-archive them by ZIP)
  • XaWrapper? (original one is for Japanese. I made English version and get permission from original author maruru to distribute here)

All preparations are finished, let's open DTXC. It may takes a much time to bootup,? DTXC main window opens.

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

  • Let me know the DTXC basic operations.?
  • Let me know the DTXC useful operations.?

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 gabage 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, SoundEngine Free has that feature.)

2. *? **Convert wavs to ogg, xa or mp3 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 chip sound files should be compressed to ogg or xa, and the BGM file should be compressed to ogg, xa or mp3.
(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.

*? To convert to xa file, use WAV to XA.? But because it is CUI application, you should use "XaWrapper"? together.

Ref: How to make xa file??
Ref: How to play xa file easily?

*? To convert to mp3, SCMPX would work well.
But remember, if you want to use mp3 on GDAC2, you must make mp3 file as "RIFF chunked mp3" (MP3 data with WAVE file header. The file extention is WAV.)

Ref:How to make RIFF chunked MP3 file?

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.

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)+(click) to put it.?

And put the BGM sound to the [BGM] lane.

Before putting chips, remember to click "pencil" icon to change the mode from select mode to Edit mode.

Here is a degression; You should go next step (testply) 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 (in case DTXV.exe is there in the same folder of GDAC2.exe's.) Check your score sound is played correctly.

In case you can't click [Play] icons, check the Q&A "I can't test play on DTXC at all."?

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 "How to synchronize the BGM and the chips?"? in detail. Here I explain the summary.

You can use some tools ... BPM Analyzer or TapTempo to mark the BPM estimation.

Besides, some songs is 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 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. (On GDAC2, you have to use Free zone to specify fraction BPM, but you don't have to do so on DTXC.)

6. *? **Adjust the chip sound volume and panpot.**
You can adjust each chip's volume and panpot using "Sound property". (On GDAC2, you have to use Free zone.? On DTXC, you don't have to do so.)

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 differnt 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).

*? 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 controled to some extent by making DTX data carefully. The points are that;

  • **The chips' sampling rate should be 22.05kHz, 44.1kHz or 48kHz.**
    If you use other rates (e.g. 32kHz mp3, or 11kHz wav etc), it may slip the tempo or generate noize. (It depends on the sound card.)
  • **Make all of uniform status(Hz, ch, bits) of sounds.**
    To make sound files, you have to specify
    • sampling frequency (22kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz..)
    • number of channels (1=monaural, 2=stereo,..)
    • bits of data(8bit, 16bit,...)

These status should be same for all sounds you'll use in DTX data.
In DTXMania, the sound is played in DirectSound. If you use sound card which have poor HW mixier, it seems to become a bottleneck.
(Note: it is not the parameters for the compressed data like mp3/ogg (e.g. 128kbps etc), but the parameters for raw sound data.)

  • **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. My soundcard(Xwave6000) occurs delays only over 10 sounds playing :-(
    You can decrease this kind of lag by making wav lengthes shorter.
    It depends on the songs, but I believe it's enough to use 8th-4th note for almost all shongs.
  • **To tune up syncing should be done on DTXMania itself.**
    You may tune syncing on DTXViewer.
    However, that timings are a little different between DTXMania and DTXViewer.
    Of course, you should make syncing on DTXV while you are making DTX data. But, at the final step, you should re-sync on DTXMania.
  • **Set AdjustWaves=ON during making DTX data.**
    You should set the AdjustWaves ON in DTXMania CONFIGURATION. It reduces the lag which causes from the difference of HW/OS etc.
    BTW, DTXV.exe is configured as AdjustWaves=ON internally.

Ref: What's "normalize"??
Ref: How to play xa file easily?
Ref: "-EOF-" (J.T's site. You can download GDA Creator Professional Edition here.)
Ref: Cycle of 5th (You can download SoundEngine Free here)
Ref: download: WAV to XA? (original files are archived by LZH. I re-archive them by ZIP)
(this programs is redistributed here without any permissions because author's sites had disappeared.)
Ref: download: XaWrapper? (original one is for Japanese. I made English version and get permission from original author maruru to distribute here)
Ref: CH3's homepage (You can download SCMPX here.(WAVE/MP3 converter))

last update: October 4th, 2009

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

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

This figure shows how to be played on DTXMania. Check the small [02] chips become open-hihat, and small [05] becomes ride-cymbals.

Remember to click pencil icon first to go Edit mode.

last update: Marth 12th, 2009

 *? I can't test play on DTXC at all.

No testplay icons are available. Testplay features are available.

In case DTXV.exe is not found in the DTXC folder, testplay icons are grayed out, and you can't use testplay feature.

Check DTXV.exe file is in the same folder where DTXCreator.exe is there.

DTXV and DTXC are in the same folder. In this case, you can testplay.

last update: March 12th, 2009

 *? Where can I get the drum chip sounds?

Check another Q&A item.? You can download drums sounds which are free and redistributable.

last update: March 12th, 2009

 *? How to convert GDA/G2D to DTX?

You can convert it by GDAC2. (You can't do it by DTXC) Check another Q&A on the GDAC2 part.?

last update: March 12th, 2009

 *? 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 204 x 269.
To standardize the preview image, I recommend to put white frame like the right figure.
(There is a trick if you make clip image with 194 x 259 or 195 x 260, the frame on the background image is shown and you don't have to put frame on your preview image.... But I recommend you put the frame to the preview image.)

Next, edit DTX file to use the clip image.
(Even if you simply copy the image to the filder, you can't use it as the preview image for DTXMania. It doesn't correspond with the DrumMIDI.)

Click "Main" tab on the DTXC, the specify a filename for clip image in the [LoadImage] field. (You can browse files by clicking .)

As the result, preview image is shown like this.

last update: March 12th, 2009

 *? 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.

2. Register that image(s) to the array lis 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.

As the result, the test.png is shown at that timing.

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. (This feature can't realize on GDA. DTX can do it.)

5. Moreover, DTX format has advanced BGA features... scrollig 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.

Ref: DTX file spec: #BGA**?, #BGAPAN**? and #BMP.?

last update: Martch 12th, 2009

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

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

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

Please check another Q&A item.? (That Q&A item is in GDAC2 part, but it doesn't depends on GDAC2 operations. The set file is made by notepad.)

last update: March 12th, 2009

 *? How to change the title color?

You can supplement title color information in set.def file (set file).

Please check another Q&A? about it.

last update: March 12th, 2009

 *? How to make bursting chip in DTX/GDA?

For both DTX and GDA, 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/GDA, 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] last.)

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

BTW, in the future version of DTXMania, the fill-in effects may change. (at least, in the old versions, it was changed one after another)

last update: Martch, 11th, 2009

 *? How to add movie to DTX?

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

The width and hight of movie must be less than 278 x 355.
If more than it, only the left-top area is shown on the DTXMania.

The movie format must be AVI. (You can't use MPEG, WMV and SWF etc.) (I can teach you how to convert MPEG/WMV to AVI later.)?

You can choose codec type freely. (I enumelate some frequency-used codecs at the troubleshooting page?. )

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 encouter the error at encoding, Set the width and height to 272 x 352. It would meet the spec.

2. *? **Put the AVI chip to the DTX**

In case you use DTXC, Register the AVI file in the AVI tab by double-clicking null list item, In the right figure, "sample.avi" is registerd in list item [01], by double-clicking "01" and specify image file "sample.avi".

Next, put [01] chip to the [AVI] lane.

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.

Ref: I can't playback movie.?

last update: March 12th, 2009

 *?How to convert MPEG/WMV files to AVI file?

In another page, I explain the way to convert by TMPGEnc.?