Is this a good song to step to?

Over the course of the last 8 years or so, people have been making song files. These song files were made to interact with Dance With Intensity (DWI), Stepmania (SM), and Flash Flash Revolution (FFR). Some were created to one day be played on a dance pad – and others were solely created to be enjoyed on keyboard.

I thought about this idea, and it has intrigued me – what exactly is a good song to step to?

So, I considered the various types of music – and how it would fare in terms of fun play for the dance pad or for keyboard.

Let’s take a list of music genres and see what we get:

  • Alternative
  • Ambient
  • Blues
  • Break
  • Classic Rock
  • Classical
  • Country
  • Dance
  • Downtempo/Chill
  • DnB
  • Electronic
  • Folk
  • Garage
  • Grime
  • Golden Oldies/”Oldies”
  • Hip Hop
  • Holiday Themed (Christmas)
  • House
  • Jazz
  • Jungle
  • Lounge
  • Pop
  • Rap
  • Rave
  • Reggae
  • Techno
  • Trance
  • Wonky

Note: I realize I may have missed some, that some of these may actually be genres within a genre, and so on – but for the sake of argument, here is a working list.

Now, let’s look at this list a bit more closely – I would say that most of these genres have music that can be converted into step patterns. The only exception would probably be Ambient – this is music you use to relax and/or fall asleep – so I doubt you would wanna play anything that falls under “ambient” on a keyboard, let alone a dance pad – unless a babbling brook with animal life bustling in the background is your dance forte.

Aside from ambient, every genre here has music that can be used for keyboard or dance pad fun. Certain music within these genres may not lend themselves well to stepping though. Here are a few examples:

Music that isn’t clear sounding
Some people choose to make steps to music that just isn’t recorded all that well – it’s garbled, messy, or not balanced. All in all its absolutely horrid to listen to, let along dance to.

Music that is from a live recording
Same problem as above – the recording tends to be garbled or not balanced – and this in turn usually ends up with a horrible dance chart.  If possible, try to find a studio recording of the song you want to use – it’s clearer and is easier to step.

Music that is dissonant
If it sounds like scraping, screaming, or highly irregular and sporadic, chances are it won’t do well as a step chart – it won’t be fun.

Music that is monotonous
If there is little or no harmonic variance combined with a static rhythm is usually a prelude to a boring step chart.

Dialogue
Dialogue can be fun if it’s part of a song – but it has to fit and not be overused. Using an extended recording of dialogue (as in the entire song) can be cute as a gimmick, but it gets old fast.

That’s all I got for now – so keep on stompin’~

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~ by legendaryn8 on December 16, 2008.

4 Responses to “Is this a good song to step to?”

  1. I don’t know what you’re talking about, Powerthirst and Powerthirst 2 are the best stepcharts ever made, closely followed by 25 Disney Songs and Metal Joints extended mix.

    *Legendary N8* responds:

    I completely forgot about Powerthirst! I’m adding that to the video section.

  2. I think any song is steppable. FlashFlashRevolution and Stepmania simfile authors have proven that. They have everything from Death Metal to Classical. Now the level of difficulty is another thing. Most metal songs are very easy to step, but get very repetitive and annoying to play after a while. The same thing also happens with techno music and speedcore due to the fact that there is pretty much the same beat during the whole song. I think they are easy to step, but hard to get people to like. But the hardest songs to step and the easiest to get people to like are Classical files. I dont know about other people, but I absolutely love The Games We Played and Sonato Claro De Luna. Anyway I’m sorry I would type more, but I’m a little tied up right now. Great topic by the way. You must’ve put a lot of time into this. Good job =]

    • Classical files are really difficult to step – especially considering the gradual tempo changes that can occur between stanzas (or even within a stanza). I loved Kakumei when it came out.

  3. It is nice to see that people are still going strong in the Dance Dance Revolution community

    Donald Martin

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