Pre 1.2 [How To] Custom Soundtracks

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Sychosis, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Sychosis

    Sychosis Green Slime

    How to Create Your Own CUSTOM Terraria Soundtrack
    (v1.0.3) - a.k.a. "Turn off that jungle noise!"​

    Pre-made soundtracks ready for download: Available here! (updated for 1.0.5)
    What you will need to make your own:
    *Only required if you have no music in WAV format that you wish to use.

    Disclaimer: I had XNA Game Studio a while ago, the above link may or may not be the correct version with XACT included. It also may or may not require Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. Please let me know how well it all works. The guide is useless if no one can get everything running, and I am too lazy to re-install everything!

    Selecting and Converting Your Soundtrack

    First and foremost, Terraria's music as I'm sure you are well aware, is comprised of a scant 6 tracks at the moment. The first step is obviously to find 6 tracks you want to replace the current 6 in-game tracks. Don't have any? [PLUG] Maybe something from a11111?[/PLUG]

    I'm willing to bet your current music library is in MP3 format. Wave Banks are collections of audio files in WAV format. So what this means for you is that you will need to convert the songs you wish to use from MP3 to WAV. There is plenty of software out there that can do this and is beyond the scope of this tutorial. You're on your own for acquiring and converting your desired music.

    The Cross-platform Audio Creation Tool (Xact3.exe)

    XACT (Cross-platform Audio Creation Tool) is incorporated into Microsoft's XNA Game Studio. If you're playing Terraria, you probably have a redistributable which does not include XACT. If so, you'll need XNA Game Studio 4 (above).

    After installing XNA Game Studio, you'll want to run Xact3.exe. Chances are it's installed someplace like "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft XNA\XNA Game Studio\v4.0\Tools\Xact3.exe". Here's a picture to give you an idea where it is:


    Creating your XACT Project

    For the purposes of this tutorial, we will not be going too far in-depth into what XACT can do. Everything we need is rather basic and straightforward. When XACT is running, the window will look something like this:


    Before we can do anything, we first need to create a project.


    You'll be asked to name your project and choose somewhere to save it. When you save the project, you'll get a file named <project name>.xap, and two folders. One folder named Xbox, the other named Win.

    I saved my project in a folder I created on the Desktop named XACT:


    Prep Work and Creating Your Wave Bank

    Back in XACT, a bunch of buttons have lit up. No, don't press them randomly. Go to View, then check to make sure "View Windows Properties" is ticked:


    Once we're sure we are working in Windows mode, it's time to create a Wave Bank. Select Wave Banks from the menu bar, then New Wave Bank:


    [1]Along the left-hand side, a new branch under Wave Banks appears. Here you can rename your Wave Bank to whatever your heart desires. Keep in mind the Wave Bank you end up with will need to be named "Wave Bank" in order to replace the original music.

    [2]On the right-hand side a box appeared. This is where you will drag and drop your WAV format music files.



    The order is as follows:

    Song #1: Underground Music
    Song #2: Nighttime Music
    Song #3: Evil (Corruption, Blood Moon, Dungeon, etc.) Music
    Song #4: Daytime Music
    Song #5: Boss Music
    Song #6: Title Screen Music
    Song #7: Jungle Music

    Again you MUST place them in the order specified above!

    When done, your box will look something like this:


    Note: WAV files are very large. Do not be surprised if your custom soundtrack is in excess of 200 MBs or more. We will be fixing that next.

    Compressing Your Wave Bank

    In the upper left-hand panel near the bottom of the list you'll see an option called "Compression Presets." Right-click then click "New Compression Preset."


    Below it will pop up a few options. You can ignore most of it. What you want to be sure to do however is change the format under the Windows section from ADPCM to xWMA:


    You can leave the quality setting alone. 60 is fine.

    Now back up to the upper left-hand panel, click to highlight your Wave Bank. Back down to the lower left-hand panel, under the Compression Preset dropdown menu, select Compression Preset (or if you decided to name it, whatever it is you named it):


    Your Wave Bank now looks like this:


    Finishing Touches

    We're almost done (yay). The final step in XACT is to build your project by hitting the Build button at the end of the menu bar or by hitting F7, or by going to File -> Build...:


    Another box appears asking you about stuff, disregard it like a boss and click finish. Now hold tight while your Wave Bank is compressed and saved:


    Once completed, your new Wave Bank should be sitting in that "Win" folder I mentioned before:



    All that's left for you to do is drop your new "Wave Bank.xwb" into your Terraria\Content folder, then testing it out in game for yourself.


    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (that I mostly made up myself)

    Q: Is this legal?
    A: I don't see why not. XNA Game Studio is freely available. The creation of .xwb files is 100% legal. The deletion of files on your computer is legal. The movement of files on your computer is legal. No reverse engineering of game files is required.

    Q: This looks complicated. Is it complicated?
    A: No. I like to hear my keyboard "tik tak" as I type. I've probably written more than needed in the interest of making it easy to follow. You could probably figure it out by the pictures alone.

    Q: Why should I bother? I already have iTunes.
    A: The problem with 3rd party music players is they do not have the same immersive effect. You will not hear the music change with every day->night->day transition. Or when you come across a meteorite, or corruption. You music will not break off into a song reflecting the desperate struggle for survival when the Eater of Worlds is... eating the world. This is purely for those who wish to keep the flow of in-game music while being able to spice things up every once in a while.

    Q: I only want to replace a song or two, where can I get the original songs?
    A: You can't. It's illegal (I suppose) to extract the songs from their original Wave Bank. Do not ask me for them. You'll need 6 songs of your own before this endeavor.

    Q: This is cool and all, but 7 songs is weak. Can I add more songs?
    A: Yes and no. Using audio editing software it is certainly possible to piece together multiple tracks one after another to create a playlist of a sorts. You will not however be able to shuffle music tracks. Every time you go underground the same tracks will play in the same order.

    Q: Are you a wizard?
    A: Yes I am. You too could be a wizard if you can convince Redigit to allow for Biome specific tracks. Multiple tracks per biome would be even better.

    Q: Any caveats I should be aware of?
    A: The music in Terraria loops from beginning to end. You cannot insert loop points so your music will sound best if you have a clear beginning and end. Songs that have a seamless beginning and end will still (possibly) be interrupted by a slight pause between loops.

    Q: Can I share the Wave Banks I made myself?
    A: Only if the music inside is freely distributable. Do NOT post files containing copyrighted material. If you'd like, I can add your compilation(s) to the hopefully growing list of available Banks to choose from. Just let me know. And please try to get the legal red tape cleared up before posting (licensing, credits, etc.). Have a heart, I'm lazy.

    Special Thanks:
    Re-Logic - For making Terraria, obviously.
    Resonance Array - For those wonderful tunes we all know and love, and desperately need to replace because they're now driving us insane.
    a11111 - For testing and double checking my erroneous assumptions about XNA.
    Kane - For not actually responding to me! <3

    Questions? Comments? Concerns? Insults?
  2. Sychosis

    Sychosis Green Slime

    To be quite honest, I had expected a little more in the way of feedback. The dialogue I've seen across the forums suggests more than a little dissatisfaction with the current selection of music.

    Done before? Didn't work? Too long? Too boring? No interest? You saw "Justin Beiber - Baby" and your respect for me plummeted? They're fake names, honest.

    Regardless, I've taken the liberty of whipping up a small sample Wave Bank of music from Celestial Aeon Project's "Miracle" album. Made available under the Creative Commons License.

    Tracks used as follows:
    Synthesis - Underground
    Taking flight - Night
    Inside a dream - Evil
    Jetstream - Day
    Enemy at the gates - Boss
    Sunset - Title

    I think they keep in line with the generally light-hearted nature of the game. I especially like the way the Evil music turned out. Just drag and drop the new "Wave Bank.xwb" into the Terraria\Content folder and as always, back up the original beforehand.

    Attached Files:

    Courtenay, Aer_, What and 3 others like this.
  3. LaP0573

    LaP0573 Green Slime

    That's a quite impressive guide. I honestly didn't read trough it all precisely, since I don't feel the need to change Terraria musics (but maybe in a near future ? I may also try this nice bank you made), but it's well written, well detailled, and I'm sure it's easier to do than it looks.
    Well done.
  4. LaP0573

    LaP0573 Green Slime

    I stand corrected. This is awesome. Just played a bit with the bank you gave, this is just great, the musics fit well with the game, and you have great music tastes. =P
    The only problem is that it needs some work to edit the musics so that they loop well (some editing), but yeah, for anyone who've got the time, it's worth it. And still, this bank just does the trick too.

    You should try with Mindthings musics also, could fit the game well. =P
  5. Pixel3d Fear

    Pixel3d Fear Green Slime

    This seems more complicated then I expected.
  6. FaTony

    FaTony Green Slime

    Useless without the guide to get default music. :p
  7. a11111

    a11111 Green Slime

    lmao. Great guide. If anyone here is into electro music, I'm working on redoing the entire soundtrack from scratch with more upbeat songs. Here's a sample of a couple of them as well as the new Wave Bank file:
  8. LaP0573

    LaP0573 Green Slime

    Interesting, I think this would please electro fans. As for me, I prefered the old "metal" styled boss music, but this works too. =P
  9. RancidShamble

    RancidShamble Green Slime

    wow, this is great! and great music a11111
  10. Sychosis

    Sychosis Green Slime

    Finally, posts! This calls for a text block.

    From what I've read xWMA doesn't support loop points like say, ogg vorbis, if you've played any games with those. It can only loop from end to beginning and the compression can introduce a period of silence between loops. As such it's recommended to give songs a distinct beginning and end to avoid sounding like there's some odd skipping in the music.

    I haven't experimented with PCM or ADPCM. If they work (and they should, you don't actually need any compression, but distributing 300MBs in music for 6 songs is a little much) those more interested in customizing their own music may be able to get seamless loops since they won't have to worry about distributing them over Steam.

    Yeah, it looks that way at first glance, but the hardest part by far is choosing, and converting the music itself. Actually creating the file is all of about 20 seconds if you've done it before. It's very straightforward.

    You can even save the project after you've set everything up and simply drag, drop, build.

    Heh, I'd like to, but Re-Logic owns the copyright to the music as far as I know. Thankfully the devs seem quite fine with all the player-made advertising from let's plays and don't crack down on YouTube copyright infringements. I doubt they'd care much if you want to put their music back into their own game. In the interest of avoiding the hammer however I'd rather not distribute the music myself until I got an OK.
    Kamiza and Kyphis like this.
  11. Ponygon

    Ponygon Green Slime

    Ha! Cool.
  12. Hong Meiling

    Hong Meiling Penguin

    I saw this, and I couldn't stop smiling. FINALLY, boss music that REALLY feels epic. :3
  13. TheOceanNymph

    TheOceanNymph Green Slime

    This isn't to hard to follow, to bad (for me at least) I have to download like... 3 other programs (that I'll never use) to even get the one program needed to make the wav bank!! Guh... I'll just stick to a player to listen to music until an easier way is found (or I use someone else custom sounds)
  14. Remeer

    Remeer Green Slime

    Super Metroid music?
    Legend of Zelda music?
    Now all we need is biome specfic music.
    Norfair theme while being in the Underworld, without it running in corruption would be awesome..
  15. NightsOwl

    NightsOwl Dark Caster

    Probably going to make a Donkey Kong Country one for myself. o;
  16. Hong Meiling

    Hong Meiling Penguin

    I surely do hope Stickerbrush Symphony will be included. :D
  17. NightsOwl

    NightsOwl Dark Caster

    But of course, You can't exclude one of the best songs. o;

    Though I can only think of it fitting as a title screen song. =x
  18. Hong Meiling

    Hong Meiling Penguin

    I'm not so sure, I think it would serve as a very peaceful nighttime song. Sort of a relaxing counter to the dangerous night.
  19. Tommyx42

    Tommyx42 Cursed Skull

    Wow. Looks complicated :eek:
  20. NightsOwl

    NightsOwl Dark Caster

    Now that you mention it.... That sounds like a GREAT idea. For daytime music I have to make it Jungle Japes.
    And for underground, probably the Minecart Stage Music from the first one.
    Then for the Corruption.... I'm stumped.

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