Mixing .mogg multitrack files in Audacity

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Mixing .mogg multitrack files in Audacity

Post Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:20 pm

Since I've dealt with a fair share of .mogg multitrack files myself, I thought I'd impart some wisdom I've picked up along the way...

Although there is no standard format to .mogg files, the vast majority of what's available came directly from Rock Band games, and are stored in mono format. Unfortunately Audacity is, for most of us, the only thing that will open .mogg files, and can be a little confusing to navigate. It is important to be aware that every operation is permanent in nature, so it is helpful to listen to the audio often, and be ready to "Undo" at any time.

Once you've opened the .mogg file...

1. Convert Tracks to Stereo. Most Rock Band .moggs will come with 14 tracks, generally configured in this order:
Kick Drum (mono)
Drums 1 Left
Drums 1 Right
Drums 2 Left
Drums 2 Right
Bass (mono)
Guitar Left
Guitar Right
Extra Instruments Left
Extra Instruments Right
Vocals Left
Vocals Right
Crowd Left
Crowd Right

It may be a good idea to manually count the tracks to verify that they are in this format. I've also come across some less common formats, which I guess come from the different versions of the game:
13 tracks: the kick drum is in stereo and there is no crowd noise.
16 tracks: the kick drum and bass are in stereo, 2 additional tom drums tracks (left and right), and no crowd noise.

The fastest method is to click on "Make Stereo Track" on each Left track, which will grab the track below it and lump the two into a stereo track.
The waveforms of the Left and Right track won't always look identical, but you can generally see a visible similarity between the two that will help identify a pair of stereo tracks. Once you make a stereo track out of two mono tracks you can select "Solo" and listen to it to make sure you grabbed the proper tracks.

2. Remove Unneeded Tracks - Close all the tracks you won't be needing--the crowd noise, for example, or the vocals if you're making an instrumental.

3. Reduce Volume - Rock Band .moggs generally need to be reduced in volume by 4-6 decibels if they are mixed in Audacity, to avoid clipping. In Audacity, you'll need to select "Select All" from the "Edit" menu, then "Amplify" from the "Effect" menu and manually enter "-4" in "Amplification" field.

(You may also find it preferable to copy and paste one or two stereo tracks in another Audacity file, export separately, then do your mixing in your DAW. This is especially useful if you'll be adjusting the pitch of the instruments, as Audacity is generally not the best place to be doing so.)

4. Final Test and Export - Now, give the track a listen. Do you hear guitars in both ears? Do you feel surrounded by a room of drums? Do you notice any clipping? When you're happy with what you hear, select "Export" from the "File" menu and save your file, preferably in .wav format.

Congratulations, you've successfully mixed a .mogg file!



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