Create Your Own Songs

Create Your Own Songs Tutorial

Follow these steps to create a new song in StepMania from an MP3 or OGG file.


Import your MP3 to create a new StepMania song

Mac and Linux

StepMania Tools currently runs only on Windows. So, you'll need to follow these manual steps to import a music file into StepMania.

  1. in your file browsing application, open the StepMania program directory (in OSX this is usually /Applications/StepMania)
  2. open the Songs directory that is inside the StepMania program directory
  3. inside Songs, create a new directory called My Creations. If this directory already exists, just open the existing directory.
  4. create a new directory inside of My Creations. Give the new directory the same name as your song. This is your new song directory.
  5. open the song directory you just created
  6. copy your music file (mp3 or ogg) file into the new song directory
  7. create an empty .sm file in the song directory. Alternatively, download this blank song file and copy it into your song directory.

Your new song will now appear in the StepMania editor. The song will not yet appear in the normal game mode because it has no steps.

Your new song will not be playable in StepMania until you create at least one set of steps for it. Continue with the instructions below.

Create steps for your new Step Mania song

Launch Step Mania and choose "Edit/Sync Songs"

In the group row, select "My Creations". This is the default song group for new songs you create using Step Mania Tools.

In the song row, find your new song.

In the Action row, choose "Create with Blank" and press Enter. This will add blank steps to your song.

Now the Action row changes to "Edit Existing". Press Enter again to begin editing your steps.

Sync the song

Before entering any steps, you need to enter syncronization information so that your steps will be in sync with the music. There are two values that need to be entered: the beat 0 offset and BPM.

To adjust the song file beat 0 offset:

  • open the song in the editor
  • Add one note at the very first beat of your song
  • press F11/F12 to adjust the Beat 0 Offset value (shown in the right column of text).
  • After adjusting the beat 0 offset, press 'P' to play back the song and make sure that your note at the beginning of the song is landing on the first beat of the music.

To adjust the song file BPM:

  • open the song in the editor
  • move to the first beat
  • press F7/F8 and experiment until the BPM (red text) matches the actual music file.
  • After adjusting the BPM, press 'P' to play back the song and test your sync changes.

Here's a good strategy when entering BPM information:

  1. fill the 20 or so beats with simple quarter note arrows
  2. play back the song starting at the first beat
  3. make a small adjust the BPM at the first beat to try and make the arrows line up with the beat of the music
  4. repeat 2-3 until the arrows are in sync with the music

Edit steps for your new StepMania song

Add/remove steps: Press the number buttons 1-4 to toggle steps at the current beat.

Change the current beat: Press the Left/Down arrow keys to move to an earlier/later beat.

Show a list of functions and key mappings: Press F1 to access the help screen.

Save your steps: Press Escape to access the Edit Menu, then choose Save.

Exit the editor: Press Escape to access the Edit Menu, then choose Exit.

Create a background and banner (optional)

See the Song Backgrounds page.

All done

Now your song and steps will appear in the regular game modes. Play on!

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