Gather materials

Install Karaoke Mugen (optional)

Installing Karaoke Mugen will allow you to check how your karaoke looks like directly in the app. However, a simple media player should suffice if you don't have enough space to install it. Check out the user guide for more information.

Get subtitlting software

There are several of those on the Internet, but at Karaoke Mugen, we all use Aegisub. There are some alternative to the basic, vanilla Aegisub.

Aegisub

Official Site

It's rather simple and full of features. In the download tab, get the right version for your OS. For Linux users, refer to your package manager to install it.

The portable version is useful when you want to put Aegisub ona USB key or other removable media and use it on any computer you're on without having to install anything. If you don't know, pick the full installer.

Aegisub-Japan7 (BETA)

There is another version of Aegisub created by the Japan7 ENSEEIHT student club which fixes some bugs and adds a few features like a tap-to-time mode. This method allows you to synchronize lyrics by clicking, which means that you only have to click at the right spots in the video to mark syllables. This is easier for beginners but also much less precise and you'll need to review your synchronization after that to fix all little mistakes. This is the method used by the syncing software from Epitanime and it's Toyunda format.

This is BETA, so it can contain a few bugs still!

Pick the one you wish to use.

Find a good video (or audio) source

  • Downloading a video source on YouTube is never a good solution since the site compresses video a lot. Of course you can still use YouTube if you can't find the video anywhere else in acceptable quality (for example, anime songs from the 70s or 80s)
  • Try to find creditless versions (often found with the "NC" tag on torrent releases) which are only available on DVD or Blu-rays.
  • Minimum resolution for a video should be 720p. A 1080p source is obviously preferred.
  • No 4K source, because it's way too big for the karaoke database.
  • Try to find a video source instead of an audio one as often as possible. This makes your karaoke more dynamic than a still image. If you time a full version of an opening, maybe a music video exists and can be better than an audio file.

There are several ways for you to find a good, quality video :

Find a rip on the Internet

  • The /r/AnimeOpenings subreddit is an excellent source for openings and endings. However they alwayse use the webm container, so you'll have to convert it to mp4 using ffmpeg or Handbrake. More info in the encoding section
  • Nyaa : You'll surely find what you seek in the raw category.
  • Asian DVD Club : This is a private tracker with a lot of hard-to-find videos. If you really can't find a good source, come ask us on Discord and we'll check it out with our account there.

Ask your friends

If you haven't done that yet, join our Discord and don't hesitate to ask people on the #karaoke channel if they don't have the video you seek already somewhere.

You can also ask people you know our your followers on social media. You never know!

Make the rip yourself

Some DVD or Blu-Ray contain creditless openings and endings, especially the japanese ones. You can find new ones CD Japan, used ones on Mandarake or even by checking out Amazon Japan.

Once you have your disc, you'll need a DVD or Blu-Ray drive on your PC.

To be able to play discs and copy the bits you want, you'll need either DVD Fab Passkey (official site) or MakeMKV (official site)

With DVD Fab

DVD Fab is a software running in the background which decrypts your video discs in real-time. After you insert a protected DVD or Blu-Ray in y our drive, it'll need about ten seconds to decrypt it.

You can then either play the disc directly in VLC (or any other video player), or extract the m2ts streams you want with a simple copy and apste. m2ts streams are in the /BDMV/STREAM/ folder on your disc. You can identify files depending on their size. Of course, play them to make sure they are what you think they are.

With MakeMKV

Extracting your Blu-Ray or DVD can be done with the single press on a button.

Warning : by default, the minimal video length is 120 seconds, which can be modified in the settings. Since an anime opening is shorter than that, y ou'll have to modify that setting before trying to extract stuff from the disc or else MakeMKV will simply ignore those.

The extracted video is a .mkv file. Make sure not to extract whole episodes when you select which videos to extract. Check out their duration to guess if it's an opening/ending or not.

Encoding

Note : These requirements are for when you want to add your song to the Karaoke Mugen repository. If you want to keep it to yourself, you don't have to follow these guidelines and can jump to the next section.

Reencoding is necessary, since extracted files are quite big by default. In order to keep a karaoke base at an acceptable size, you need to encode your video to make it smaller while still keeping a good video quality.

Once the correct video steram has been extracted, we'll need to reencode it to compress it, and get a mp4 file instead of a m2ts, vob or mkv file. There are several ways to do so, but you can check out MeGUI for that.

You can also use Handbrake or, if you're not scared by the command line, FFMpeg. A handbrake preset (Options/Import From File) is available here.

ShotCut is also an excellent software to cut a video by the video frame. It also includes ffmpeg. When you've finished cutting your video and save it to the mp4 format, ShotCut should drastically reduce your video file size without any quality drop.

In order to cut a video, drop it in the middle of the software's window, place the cursor where you want it (you can also use the left and right arrows for that), and then right click and select "cut at the playing cursor" then right click on the part you don't want to keep and then "delete".

Video formats required

Wether you've found your source on the Internet or extracted it yourself, you'll have to reencode your video if it doesn't meet the following requirements.

In order to allow karaokes to be played on Live your video needs to have these settings :

  • Container: MP4
  • Video codec: h264 8bit
  • Audio codec: AAC

To decide on which quality settings to use (bitrate and such), use the following table:

That table is indicative: for a given image resolution you should use the maximum Bitrate listed below to get an acceptable video size.

The karaoke base having a huge size already, it's important to take as little space as possible. Having a 130Mb file for 1 minute 30 of video is not acceptable.

Video Resolution (Y axis) Maximum Birate Appromative file size, for 1 min 30
4K 10000 kb/s 100Mb
1080p 8000 kb/s 80Mb
720p 4000 kb/s 40Mb
480p 3000 kb/s 30Mb
360p 2000 kb/s 20Mb

If you don't have any video for your karaoke, do not make a video with a still picture. Simply add an image as album cover art in your mp3 file as explained next.

Add a cover art to your audio file

This additional part is only if you have timed an audio file

Once the MP3 is synchronized correctly and scripts have been applied, you have to add a cover art picture in its metadata that Karaoke Mugen will dipslay on screen when the kara will be played

There are a lot of software available to do this. On Windows you can use mp3tag.

Install and open it, and go find the folder where your MP3 file is. Click once on it in the user interface to select it. After that make a right click on the square in the bottom left corner and delete the current album cover if there is already one. Right-click again, then select "Add a cover" and pick one on your computer.

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A full HD (1920x1080) picture is recommended, If you use a classic 4/3 cover, your lyrics will have less space to display on screen and will cause double lines or worse, and you'll need to cut them several times to fit into the 4/3 aspect ratio. Besides, it'll display black borders left and right on the screen.

An official picture is also recommended. You can find some on Danbooru by specifying the official_art tag followed by your series / movie in the search field. Yande.re also has plenty of official pictures in spite of its lack of tags. There are also Konachan, e-shuushuu, Zerochan, and... Google. Once you found one, don't hesitate to crop/resize the picture if needed.

If you don't find a good picture, use the album/single cover art your karaoke is from, even if it's 4/3.

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Find the "real" lyrics

This is much more difficult than it seems, since transcripts by ear are often found on the Internet. If several sources seem to agree on one way to write things, you can tell it's a good transcript.

Here are our usual references:

  • Lyrical Nonsense : Probably one of the best. Lyrics in kanjis + romajis and sometimes more. They're very active about adding new lyrics and update those after the single's released (which gives us the precious booklets containing lyrics). In order to know if one of their transciptions is an ear-made one, scroll down and you will see the status, "official" "transliteration" or "by ear". You will usually also get the song's release date.
  • VGMdb : A huge database containing singles / albums / OST released to this day. You'll sometimes find booklet scans by looking on the right at the "cover" field on the song's page.
  • Anime Lyrics
  • Anime Song Lyrics
  • Asia Lyrics

If you can't find anything, you'll have to do it on your own, by finding the official booklet from the CD single or album, and transcript the lyrics yourself in romaji. This can take some time if you're not used to it, but this is still doable if you use this table:

Table

if you don't recognize a kanji, the Japanese character recognition site can help you "digitize" it to put it in Google Translate or something similar. You can also come on our Discord and ask us for help.

Also keep in mind the following transcription rules:

Please respect those rules when transcribing japanese script into latin characters when you want to add your karaoke to Karaoke Mugen's base.

If it's for personal use or for another karaoke base, it is up to you.

  • In a japanese karaoke, the non-japanese words have to be put in uppercase to show they're different. If we were keeping those in japanese it would be like: writing "ze wurld" for "The world" in a japanese karaoke featuring some english words. Examples:
    • zankoku na tenshi no THESE
    • sumashu SMASH
    • imajineeshon IMAGINATION
    • doramatikku DRAMATIC
    • purofesshonaru PROFESSIONAL
  • Particules have to be transcribed as wa, wo, he and not ha, o, e ("te wo tsunaide DANCIN' DANCIN'", "kimi no na ha wa").
  • Long vowels as "ou" are written as such and not with a macron or a caron (mahou, ikouzo, hajimemashou, deshou).
  • Do not put caps at the start of sentences (except in non japanese karaokes where it is allowed).
  • Do not put periods. Commas, apostrophes, hyphens, tildes, elipsises, question and exclamation marks are allowed when they give hints on the lyrics' tones
  • Do use caps for proper names (Japari Park, Kaguya-san, Ultraman).

I've got everything!

Once you have Aegisub, a video (or audio) and lyrics, it's time for you to create a karaoke.