This page serves as a guide to logging VGM files from video games. Below are tutorials on logging for specific platforms, as the methods can differ between platforms.
Before you start logging VGM files, you need some tools to assist in the creation of proper VGM files.
You will need a program that can properly playback VGM files. Winamp with the in_vgm plugin is the most current player and ensures the truest accuracy to the player.
VGMTool can be used to edit the metadata of a VGM such as composer, game, release date, etc. While it can trim VGM files, it is not recommended. Part of this is because it hasn't been updated for several years, and as a result, it doesn't support any of the newly-supported chips for VGM. Also, its YM2612/YM2151 trimming results in a bunch of unnecessary space padded into the VGM.
VGM Loop Finder goes through a VGM file and looks for where in the file the song loops. This is recommended to spare the VGM logger the tedium and time of trying to manually look for the loop points. It is recommended to log the song for 2 playthroughs and a 10 second fade-out, as the program can properly search for matching data in the loop and give the proper loop points. However, many MIDI-based sound engines make the program redundant due to constant channel switching. One of these drivers is Midpak. In this case, the song has to be trimmed manually.
When a VGM must be trimmed manually, the VGM that was logged must be output to WAV. It is recommended to do this through Winamp's Nullsoft Disk Writer (out_disk.dll). Once that is done, the WAV must be opened in a WAV editor such as Audacity. The time format must be set to samples and the project rate to 44100 Hz.
VGM Trim allows the VGM file to be trimmed for proper start, loop, and end points in the song. It is recommended to round down the number when trimming. For example, if the loop point is 45678, it should be rounded down to 45670, as trimming too precisely can cause a VGM to loop improperly.
VGM Compressor will compress the VGM files to take up less space. However, backups of the uncompressed files should be backed up, as there are rare cases where the VGM file will have problems playing back when compressed.
VGM Stat can be used to get the track names and times for each song in a VGM rip of a game. This info is required to submit VGM packs to VGMRips.net. To use this program, one must simply drag and drop a .m3u file from a VGM pack into the executable.
VGM Volume is used for more quiet FM-based soundtracks. While it works for games that use PSG, it is not recommended due to the blaring sound of the PSG's in full volume. To get the appropriate volume, one must use VGM_PATCH.EXE.
VGM Patch is used for updating the version number of a VGM file, as well as adjusting its volume. To do this, the VGM logger must export all songs in a VGM rip to WAV, and then drag all WAV files simultaneously into the program, and it will average the volume gain between songs. After that, the logger can use this program to make their quiet VGM rips louder.
These tools can be downloaded on the VGMRips form here, but you will need to be logged into an account in order to view the page.