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  1. 18-01-2018  #1

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    Ripping Multitracks from RB4

    I've seen some people asking how they can rip stems from RB4 and the process is actually quite simple.

    You need these things:
    • An Xbox One or PS4 with Rock Band 4 (I have only tested this with an Xbox because that's what I have, but it should be the same on PS4)
    • An optical (TOSLINK) audio cable
    • An optical audio input on your PC that won't drop samples
    • REAPER or another good DAW
    • A guitar controller, drum controller, and microphone for Rock Band 4


    Initially, you might think you can record stems from RB4 by missing all the notes - since the game mutes the track when you miss notes. Unfortunately it is not that simple, because the game plays "miss sounds" when you miss notes, and these are impossible to remove. Instead, you must play through each track perfectly (or at least cover the whole track in multiple takes) for each instrument.

    The game gives you limited volume controls that let you adjust your "instrument" volume as well as the backing track volume. Using these sliders and the basic principles of destructive interference you can isolate each stem. The game doesn't tell you this in the UI, but it uses these values for the volume slider notches from left to right (in decibels):

    Microphone: (-96 -14 -12 -10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0 3 6 9)
    Vocal Track: (-12 -10 -8 -6 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3)
    Instrument/Backing Track: (-6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5)

    As you can see, you have a limited range of control to use, but it's generally enough that it sounds good. The Microphone and Vocal track sliders are in the Vocals player's pause menu, while the instrument/backing track sliders are in the game's audio settings menu.

    Make sure your audio interface is set to 48kHz, the output sampling rate of the Xbox and PS4. Open up Rock Band 4 and enter Practice Mode. The first thing you should do is to record the track once with all sliders set to the zero notch (except for the mic volume, which should always be at -96) in vocals mode. This is the "full mix" from which you will be subtracting your other recordings. After this, you should set the vocal track volume to -12 and make another recording. If you subtract this recording from the full mix (that is, invert the low-vocal track and add it to the full mix), you will end up with a slightly-quiet but pure isolated vocal track. You can then also create an instrumental by subtracting the isolated vocal track from the full mix, after amplifying it back to its original volume.

    From here you could stop if all you want is acapella/instrumental, but you probably want to have a full stem set. To get this, you'll have to be able to play through the whole song on guitar, bass, and drums. For this, you should set the Instrument volume to +5db and the backing track volume to -6db for maximum dynamic range. Then you can record the song once for each instrument, making sure not to miss any notes (this is not too hard to do on easy difficulty :p). After this is all done, you can go back to your DAW, invert the full mix this time, bring down the level until it cancels perfectly with the high-instrument recording, and add them together. Finally, take your instrument and vocal stems, add them all together, invert them, and add them to the full mix to get the "Additional Instruments" track.

    Some notes:
    • Instrument tracks start out "muted" until you play the first correct note. The unmuting takes some time, so to avoid distortion from this, set your Audio calibration to -300ms in settings. This will play the audio 300ms after note-detection, so it will unmute before the audio begins. This also helps in songs with tambourine parts for the vocalist, as it will mute the (fake) tambourine before the actual audio occurs.
    • Don't play the tambourine part on the microphone, because the game will add fake tambourine samples in. Just leave the microphone alone when recording the vocal track. On the same note, don't sing along with the vocal parts because it's unnecessary.
    • The game seems to add some boost to your instrument while you play it, so you might have to play with the volumes in order to perfectly cancel out the other tracks. These will always be accurate to 0.1db, though (actually 0.5db in my experience), so if you are doing something like 0.15db gain then you have done something incorrectly. You should end up with a noise floor of -60 or below (i.e., imperceptible)
    • If you miss a note, don't worry, you can re-record the track and try harder at that point not to miss a note, then combine the two recordings in your DAW. However, it's important that you redo the entire song, don't use the "section" feature of practice mode, because that results in sub-sample misalignment.


    Other RB4 rippers, I'd appreciate your notes on the process you use if it differs from what I've described here.
    Last edited by multiman; 18-01-2018 at 07:17.

  2. 18-01-2018  #2

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    I won't be doing any ripping, but just want to thank you for
    taking the time to compile and post your guide..well done

  3. 18-01-2018  #3

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    Yep, looks about right to how I was doing it, except I did just a few extra steps that can be taken out with your method. Good stuff!

  4. 18-01-2018  #4

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    Thanks for the guide.
    I'm not very familiar with this but when do they usually release a new version of the game with new songs? And why is that when I search for the song list on RB4 on Wikipedia it gives me a list and then people post here stuff from the same game but songs that were not on the list?

  5. 18-01-2018  #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by djtayz View Post
    Thanks for the guide.
    I'm not very familiar with this but when do they usually release a new version of the game with new songs? And why is that when I search for the song list on RB4 on Wikipedia it gives me a list and then people post here stuff from the same game but songs that were not on the list?
    To answer the first question, RB4 DLC is usually announced on Tuesdays at 10 AM EST and released Thursdays sometime between 12 AM EST and 10 AM EST, maybe late night wednesdays.

    To answer your second question, I'm not really sure what you are asking, the wording of the question seems a bit off. What do you mean songs not on the list? If we're talking RB4 content, anything released from October 6th, 2015 to now is all RB4 content.

  6. 01-02-2018  #6

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    You don't sing with the vocals at all and it works? I've been FCing all the the vocals I've ripped. It's the most annoying part.

  7. 01-02-2018  #7

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    Yeah, you don't need to sing the whole thing.

    I probably should have mentioned that there is a quiet "whoosh" noise after the first vocal "segment" that you fail, but you can get rid of that by doing another short recording where you sing the first few bars and then combining the two recordings. Or, if there is an instrument track that is silent when the whoosh happens, you can isolate the whoosh there to subtract it from the other tracks.

    I should look through the FMOD banks to see if I can find that whoosh, because then you could just invert+add that sound, and only do one recording, with no singing ever.

  8. 02-02-2018  #8

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    so wait, why were people saying the actual hardware of the xbox one needed to get hacked before stems could be ripped...

    i don't see any tampering with the gamedata here, just clever use of the sliders and some advanced inversion techniques

  9. 02-02-2018  #9

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    The equivalent bit depth of this audio is low due to the inversion, and there are also resampling artifacts. Also, if they are splitting drum stems up in any of these songs, we cannot get the separate drum stems using this method. Also, we can't rip the audience track this way. What would be better is to have access to the mogg files because they can be ripped on RB3 the old way.

  10. 04-02-2018  #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by multiman View Post
    What would be better is to have access to the mogg files because they can be ripped on RB3 the old way.
    Do we have any idea how access to MOGG files can be done? I am more then willing to put in the effort as well. Again, thank you so much for this guide. Have yet to see anyone who has the knowledge to give such information as you have. Cheers!! :D :D

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