I've been obsessed with the first few Guitar Hero games for a very, very long time, and it's not coming off. Sounds great, plays fantastic, style out the ass, all of it. (And then Rock Band taught me drums, and so begat my doomed, boyish love for Harmonix.)

I wrote the TCRF pages on Guitar Hero II's demos, in case you doubt my autism.

Naturally, I've amassed a bit of a collection of tools and detritus for the games, mostly II, and here's where I collect it all.

Modding tutorials

I've had this section brewing for a long time, but until recently, I didn't consider it finished enough to link outside of MiloHax. That's changed. Still stuff to write, but I have plenty already that'll get you into the game files and adding new songs and changing strings in the game files. Have a peek.

Rips and mixdowns

I personally mixed these from the in-game stems down, so this is basically the cleanest you'll hear all the neat little bonus tracks and soundalike renditions. The first game's stuff is in here now, and 80's has the demo "I Want Candy" now too. MP3s are encoded by Lame 3.100 at VBR v3, so if you like another bitrate or format, grab the FLACs and transcode them yourself.

  • Guitar Hero soundtrack (FLAC, MP3)
  • Guitar Hero II soundtrack (FLAC, MP3)
  • Guitar Hero II DLC (FLAC, MP3)
  • Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80's soundtrack (FLAC, MP3)

Charts

I consider myself a charter as far as modding GH2 goes, first and foremost. I take songs I can find stems for, either ports from other games or stems I find randomly online, and chart them, trying to give them the game-quality treatment as much as I can. No band members standing around here, we're talking lighting, fretmapping, keyframes, speaker cones—everythingpopping. While I don't do single releases anymore (would rather put them on discs and distribute them that way now), here's all the ones I've released separately.

Song Name Artist Type MP Part Download
Souls for Sale Ben Minnotte Custom Rhythm GH2
Dope Nose Weezer Rechart
(from Amplitude)
Bass GH1
GH2
Code Monkey Jonathan Coulton Custom Bass GH2
Substitution Silversun Pickups Rechart
(from Power Gig)
Bass GH2
Dear Kate Ben Minnotte Custom Rhythm GH2
Graveyard Shift Port/Rechart
(from GH1)
Bass GH2
Trippolette Andrew Buch Port/Rechart
(from GH1)
Bass GH2
Stay Inside Your Station c.layne Custom Bass GH2
Time to Take Out the Trash Brad Sucks Custom Bass GH2
Bang Your Head (Metal Health) Quiet Riot Upgrade/Rechart
(from the GH2 retail
demo and GH:80s)
Bass GH2
Pennyroyal Tea [early tracking take] Nirvana Custom Bass GH2

"Graveyard Shift" and "Trippolette" feature a split/re-recorded bass stem and charting fixes. More "vanilla" conversions with the original GH1 authoring are included with both if you prefer that.

"Metal Health" is an upgrade that restores the cut solo to the final chart and fixes some of the final's issues with animations, plus overall undercharting fixes.

Modding tools

I also have a lot of obscure modding tools lying around, and I'd like to see them not disappear when my hard drive eventually does. Here's a ZIP of them. If you need any of this, you should probably join MiloHax too in case you need help or just like dicking around.

As for what's inside:

Apache3
ISO building and disc burning software. Uses CD/DVD2's IMLs to build your disc.
ArkTool
ARK editor, at least for Rock Band 2 and older. Needed to add custom files to an ARK. Comes with its own DTB editor, which you'll need if you have "Perform Crypts" checked when you extract a DTB from an ARK.
ARK Expander
Will take your ARK and balloon it into files and folders on your hard drive for ease of editing. LocalH swears by it. If you add, rename, or delete any files in an expanded ARK, it won't rebuild. Use ArkTool first and then expand.
CD/DVD-ROM Generator 2.00 ("CD/DVD2")
Sony's proprietary disc layout generator. Produces IML files for use in building an ISO.
chart2midi_beta
Turns your FeedBack charts into MIDIs for use in the game. This one will import 90% of the dressing needed for a game-quality chart (such as the notes needed to animate the bassist's speaker cabinet and the practice mode drum machine) if it's present in the chart. I use this constantly and highly recommend it over the older Chart2Mid2Chart.
Chart2Mid2Chart
...Which I still include for posterity. This one can convert MIDI back to FeedBack's charts, but since FeedBack can read in MIDIs anyway (and so can Moonscraper, probably), it's about useless.
dtab
Haskell library for converting between DTA and DTB, GH2's script and tokenized script formats, respectively. Newest version is on onyxite's GitHub, as always.
FeedBack
Chart editor. Good interface, supports tempomapping, global and track events, Star Power and Face-Off sections, can edit lead, rhythm, bass, keys, drummer, and singer. Moonscraper is usable as an alternative (and maybe better for straight charting), but it's bad with events with spaces, which GH2 has many of.
GH2MakerXBox
An all-in-one tool for 360 customs.
GH2 DTB Editor
Standalone DTB editor, same as the one that comes with ArkTool, but works only on encrypted DTBs. I haven't needed it in forever, I just use dtab.
GH2 Image Converter
Converts to and from GH2's loose image format, .bmp_ps2.
GH2 Name Editor
Convenient way to edit song and band names in the setlist, along with preview times, who'll play on stage, and the guitar and venue used in quickplay. This one has the shortnames hardcoded in, unfortunately, so it's useless if you have an expanded or outright custom songs.dtb like I do.
GH360
Another 360 customs injector editor thing. I include both because I don't know which one's any good. I only mod PS2 GH2.
MiloExplorer
Can crack open milo archives for guitar, character, and venue reskins.
ps2str
Generates PSS files, which are the video files GH2 uses. I only include it because of its rarity and because it might work for you where the altogether easier and superior PSS Plex doesn't. But hey, more official Sony kit.
PSSDemux
Demuxer for PSS files. Good for taking apart the videos featured in Rock Band PS2.
PSS Plex
Another PSS muxer and demuxer. I use this to get custom videos in the game, provided you feed it the right files.
Rock Suite
Featured in its entirety, but only RockAudio is any useful. Far better for building VGS files than GHex ever was.
VGS Splitter
A small, slightly quicker alternative to converting VGS to WAV using RockAudio. It's never let me down, even if I rarely have a need for it anymore.
wxPirs
Can browse 360 DLC files. Not strictly GH2-related, but I've needed this to get MOGGs and charts out of GH2 360's DLC.
Xbox Backup Creator
Another general 360 application, but needed to get the ARK out of a GH2 360 disc.