Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Osu!: Taiko Mapping - drum breaks

Declaration: Taiko mapping is a place for creativity, existing no objective rules on good/bad map, and all to be discussed are individual opinion. Of course, comments are highly welcomed.

This is my first trial to write something on Taiko mapping --- in fact very difficult unless we take out a piece of music sheet can place each note corresponding to music, so I tried to take about some particular section instead.

What is a drum break? In a song full of instrumental (or vocal) sounds, we may found a section with no sound except a instrumental solo. It could be piano, drums, violin or whatever. That section can be stated as a transition, or a temporary period that takes auidences out of the original musical flow. And for the case of drums, it could be some stable 1/2 beats or a pure solo show-off.

The following youtube vid is from Go West, a section where Chico plays the piano with apple


Around 1:00 you can see Chico making some beats instead of purely piano performance, and that is an impressive transition in the song.

In a taiko mapping environment of course you can't switch the instrument freely (and I personally object custom hitsounds even they are unique throughout the song because taiko is a simulation of taiko -- a tradtional japanese instrument -- and is unique.) so what you can do is switching the reference of mapping -- from a melody based approach to a semi-solo approach.

Sometimes I emphasize how the taiko fit with the song (song comes first because you used that song and you are not creating the song under entire taiko diff), and taiko diff shouldn't cover the song. With a strong melody flow taiko sound act as a nice assistant to the song, and in weaker part you process more variation and stream to the next section and that provides a more interesting diff rather than a fixed result from a song.

In vocaloid songs ABABCDAB approach is common. Assuming B is the chorus and that means you are pushing the pace to the climax at the third kiai time. C is typically instrumental, D is a slower vocal so a solo style on section C contrast to D and gradually a denser and stronger beat to B is one of the approach to produce an well-organized climax at the beginning of B (and difference should be shown comparing with the first two kiai in the final section, and their pitch sometimes rised. Example: Demetori - innumerable eyes (though this is not vocaloid but the section dividing is similar http://osu.ppy.sh/s/21480).

For IIDX or BMS songs they have a stronger beat throughout the song (because they are made for BMS games so beats are needed everywhere) so you might not have the chance to produce such a constrast, and we will discuss them later if possible. (Well, these songs already give enough chance for mapper to tweek the drum pattern a bit and deliver a solo-styled diff) Sometimes people always complain that following the song strictly is boring, but I don't really think so. A suitable choice of reference would be enough to give a nice diff without some intentional drum solo.

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