Version 2015 for Windows

®
Version 2015 for Windows
Copyright PG Music Inc.1989-2015. All rights reserved.
PG Music Inc. License Agreement
CAREFULLY READ THE FOLLOWING TERMS AND CONDITIONS BEFORE COMPLETING THE INSTALLATION OF
THIS SOFTWARE. USAGE OF THE SOFTWARE INDICATES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE FOLLOWING TERMS
AND CONDITIONS.
LICENSE
A. The program may only be used on a single machine.
B. You may transfer the program and license to another party if the other party agrees to accept the terms of this Agreement. If
you transfer the program, you must either transfer all copies, whether in printed or machine readable form, to the same party,
or, destroy all copies not transferred. This includes all modifications and/or portions of the program merged into other
programs.
C. You may receive the program in more than one media. Regardless of the type or size of media you receive, you may install
or use the media on a single machine.
D. The program (including any images, “applets,” photographs, animations, video, audio, music, and text incorporated into the
program) is owned by PG Music Inc. or its suppliers, and is protected by international copyright laws and international
treaty provisions.
You may not use, copy, or transfer the program, or any copy, modification or merged portion of the program, in whole or in part,
except as expressly provided for in this license. If you transfer possession of any copy, modification or merged portion of the
program to another party, your license is automatically terminated.
Some programs such as Band-in-a-Box have a “server” function (including BandInABoxServer.exe program) to connect to a
“Client” (mobile client version of Band-in-a-Box on iPhone or other mobile device). You are only licensed to connect the Server
function (including BandInABoxServer.exe program) to Clients where you own or have properly licensed both the Client and
Server software that is being connected, not to clients or Server software owned/licensed by third parties. The preceding also
applies to any other PG Music products (RealBand etc.) with a similar type of connection between a Server program and a Client.
LIMITATION OF REMEDIES
PG Music Inc.’s entire liability and your exclusive remedy shall be:
A. The replacement of any media not meeting PG Music Inc.’s “Limited Warranty,” which are returned to PG Music Inc., or an
authorized PG Music Inc. dealer, with a copy of your receipt.
B. If PG Music Inc. or the authorized dealer is unable to deliver replacement media which is free of defects in materials or
workmanship, you may terminate this agreement, and your money will be refunded.
In no event will PG Music Inc. be liable to you for any damages, including but not limited to lost profits, lost savings, or other
incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use or the inability to use such program, even if PG Music Inc. or an
authorized PG Music Inc. dealer has been advised of the possibility of such damages, or for any claim by any other party.
TRADEMARKS
Band-in-a-Box®, Band-in-a-Box for Bozos®, CloudTracks®, GuitarStar®, JazzU®, PG Music®, PowerTracks Pro®,
RealBand®, RealDrums®, RealStyles®, and RealTracks® are either the trademarks or registered trademarks of PG Music Inc. in
the United States, Canada, and other countries. Microsoft® and Windows® are either registered trademarks or trademarks of
Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Apple®, the Apple logo, iPad™, iPhone®, iPod touch®,
Leopard®, Macintosh®, Mac®, Panther®, Power Mac®, QuickTime®, Snow Leopard®, Tiger®, and TrueType® are
trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. IBM® is the registered trademark of
International Business Machines Corporation. Roland® and “Roland” Logo, DIROL® and “EDIROL” Logo, GS® and “GS”
Logo, are registered trademarks and “MIDI2” Logo, EDIROL Virtual Sound Canvas Multi Pack, VSC-MP1™ are trademarks of
Roland Corporation. Steinberg and ASIO are trademarks of Steinberg Media Technologies AG. VST is a registered trademark
of Steinberg Media Technologies AG. Amplitube® and SampleTank® are registered trademarks of IK Multimedia Production
srl. Fretlight® is a registered trademark of Optek Music Systems, Inc. Other brands and their products are trademarks or
registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be noted as such.
PATENTS
Band-in-a-Box is protected under US Patent 5990407, 8581085, 8680387. The TC-Helicon Harmony feature in Band-in-a-Box
and PowerTracks Pro Audio is protected under US Patents 5567901, 5641926, 5986198, 34583, 296.80.173.9, PI9603819.5,
0368046, 0750776, 6,046,395, and patents pending.
Printed in Canada
2
PG Music Inc. License Agreement
Table of Contents
PG MUSIC INC. LICENSE AGREEMENT............................................................................................................. 2
CHAPTER 1: WELCOME TO BAND-IN-A-BOX!............................................................................................... 13
WHAT IS BAND-IN-A-BOX?....................................................................................................................................... 13
INSTALLING BAND-IN-A-BOX FOR WINDOWS® ......................................................................................................... 14
Minimum System Requirements ........................................................................................................................... 14
Installing the Program ......................................................................................................................................... 14
Band-in-a-Box External Hard Drives .................................................................................................................. 14
MIDI SETUP.............................................................................................................................................................. 15
Output to Software Synthesizers (DXi and VSTi)................................................................................................. 16
AUDIO SETUP ............................................................................................................................................................ 20
ASIO Audio/Software Synth Drivers .................................................................................................................... 21
Understanding Latency ........................................................................................................................................ 22
Sample Rate Detection Warning .......................................................................................................................... 23
CHAPTER 2: QUICKSTART .................................................................................................................................. 24
STEP 1 – TYPING IN THE CHORDS .............................................................................................................................. 24
Enter Chords Using the Computer Keyboard ...................................................................................................... 24
Enter Chords Using a MIDI Controller Keyboard .............................................................................................. 24
STEP 2 – CHOOSING A STYLE .................................................................................................................................... 24
What’s a Style?..................................................................................................................................................... 25
Opening a Style .................................................................................................................................................... 25
STEP 3 – PLAY YOUR SONG! ...................................................................................................................................... 26
Framing the Song................................................................................................................................................. 26
Setting the Key...................................................................................................................................................... 26
Setting the Tempo................................................................................................................................................. 26
Shortcuts for song formatting............................................................................................................................... 26
Press Play............................................................................................................................................................. 26
More fun with Band-in-a-Box…........................................................................................................................... 26
CHAPTER 3: BAND-IN-A-BOX 2015..................................................................................................................... 27
WELCOME TO BAND-IN-A-BOX 2015........................................................................................................................ 27
BAND-IN-A-BOX 2015 FEATURES AND ADDITIONS .................................................................................................. 28
Save Song as Video .............................................................................................................................................. 31
Load and Play Videos .......................................................................................................................................... 31
Support for 64-bit VST Plugins using jBridge ..................................................................................................... 32
GUI Enhancements .............................................................................................................................................. 32
Instant preview of audio demos added to many dialogs ...................................................................................... 34
Instant preview of rendered file ........................................................................................................................... 35
MIDI files can be read from Guitar Pro® and displayed correctly on the Guitar Fretboard in Band-in-a-Box. 35
On-screen Mixer Enhanced.................................................................................................................................. 36
Automatic Program Update Notification and Download .................................................................................... 37
Email Song as Attachments.................................................................................................................................. 38
Write Acidized Files ............................................................................................................................................. 38
Loops Dialogs Enhanced ..................................................................................................................................... 38
Notation Improved ............................................................................................................................................... 38
Chord Sheet Window Enhancements ................................................................................................................... 41
Many Dialogs Improved....................................................................................................................................... 42
Transpose for audio tracks, automatic and settable, with Hi Quality Transpose................................................ 45
On-screen Relative Tempo, with settings from huge slowdown (1%) to big speedup (800%) ............................ 45
UserTracks Enhanced .......................................................................................................................................... 45
Automatic and settable track labels and descriptions.......................................................................................... 45
Options for “Simpler Arrangements” added ....................................................................................................... 46
Simple Drums added ............................................................................................................................................ 46
Option to prevent a drum fill at a bar added ....................................................................................................... 46
Table of Contents
3
Jazz Ballad bass default style is “simpler”.......................................................................................................... 46
Ultra Simple “Helds” RealTracks, selectable like other RealTracks.................................................................. 46
Holds improved, with optimized timing, so that strumming guitars start earlier like a real musician would do 47
Sample Rate Detection Warning .......................................................................................................................... 47
CHAPTER 4: THE MAIN SCREEN ....................................................................................................................... 48
MAIN SCREEN OVERVIEW......................................................................................................................................... 48
Personalizing the Main Screen ............................................................................................................................ 49
Descriptive Hints.................................................................................................................................................. 50
Options and Utilities ............................................................................................................................................ 50
STATUS BAR ............................................................................................................................................................. 51
INSTRUMENTS AND PARTS ........................................................................................................................................ 51
MIXER ....................................................................................................................................................................... 54
TOOLBARS ................................................................................................................................................................ 57
Drop Station ......................................................................................................................................................... 57
File ....................................................................................................................................................................... 58
Song...................................................................................................................................................................... 59
Transport.............................................................................................................................................................. 61
Tools..................................................................................................................................................................... 62
Views .................................................................................................................................................................... 63
Tracks................................................................................................................................................................... 64
CHORD SHEET AREA ................................................................................................................................................. 64
Chord Entry.......................................................................................................................................................... 65
Chord Sheet Options ............................................................................................................................................ 66
Chord Sheet Font ................................................................................................................................................. 66
Chord Sheet Color................................................................................................................................................ 67
Part Markers ........................................................................................................................................................ 68
MultiStyles............................................................................................................................................................ 68
Chord Sheet Editing Features.............................................................................................................................. 68
Play Selected Area as a Loop............................................................................................................................... 69
CHAPTER 5: PLAYING SONGS............................................................................................................................ 71
OPENING FILES ......................................................................................................................................................... 71
Open File.............................................................................................................................................................. 71
Open Using Custom File dialog........................................................................................................................... 72
Open Song by Titles (SongPicker) ....................................................................................................................... 73
Open Recently Chosen Songs / Open Favorite Songs.......................................................................................... 76
Open Next Song.................................................................................................................................................... 77
Open Previous Song............................................................................................................................................. 77
Open MIDI File.................................................................................................................................................... 77
Open Audio........................................................................................................................................................... 77
Open from Favorite Folders ................................................................................................................................ 77
Song Finder.......................................................................................................................................................... 77
File Associations .................................................................................................................................................. 78
GLOBAL SONG OVERRIDES ....................................................................................................................................... 78
CHANGE THE STYLE .................................................................................................................................................. 80
The StylePicker..................................................................................................................................................... 80
Band Styles ........................................................................................................................................................... 82
Make a MultiStyle Song ....................................................................................................................................... 83
PLAYING/PAUSING/STOPPING SONGS ....................................................................................................................... 84
Lead-In Counts and Metronome .......................................................................................................................... 84
Part Settings for Playback ................................................................................................................................... 85
Mute, Solo, and Freeze Tracks............................................................................................................................. 86
Changing Volume, Panning, Reverb, Tone.......................................................................................................... 87
About Patch Changes........................................................................................................................................... 89
General MIDI 2 support....................................................................................................................................... 89
Additional Patches ............................................................................................................................................... 89
4
Table of Contents
Hi-Q MIDI Instruments for SampleTank ............................................................................................................. 91
Floating Mixer Window ....................................................................................................................................... 92
VST Plugin Selection Dialog................................................................................................................................ 96
Direct Input (DI) Guitars and AmpliTube® ......................................................................................................... 98
Slide Tracks.......................................................................................................................................................... 99
Play Selected Area as a Loop............................................................................................................................... 99
Loop Button Menu.............................................................................................................................................. 100
Loop any Section of the song. ............................................................................................................................ 100
“Conductor”- Live Looping/Playback control .................................................................................................. 101
Play along with your MIDI Controller Keyboard.............................................................................................. 102
Play Along with the Wizard................................................................................................................................ 102
MIDI Normalize ................................................................................................................................................. 103
Outputting MIDI to an External Device............................................................................................................. 103
ADD REAL INSTRUMENTS – REALDRUMS AND REALTRACKS ................................................................................ 104
RealDrums.......................................................................................................................................................... 104
RealTracks.......................................................................................................................................................... 106
ADD A MIDI SUPERTRACK .................................................................................................................................... 109
What are MIDI SuperTracks?............................................................................................................................ 109
Using MIDI SuperTracks ................................................................................................................................... 109
Adding a MIDI SuperTrack................................................................................................................................ 109
FREEZE TRACKS ...................................................................................................................................................... 110
SAVE TRACK AS PERFORMANCE ............................................................................................................................. 111
Artist Performance Tracks ................................................................................................................................. 112
NON-CONCERT VISUAL TRANSPOSE ....................................................................................................................... 112
THE GUITAR WINDOW ............................................................................................................................................ 113
Launching the Guitar Window ........................................................................................................................... 113
Guitar Window Toolbar ..................................................................................................................................... 116
Displaying MIDI files from Guitar Pro® on the Guitar Fretboard.................................................................... 117
BIG PIANO WINDOW ............................................................................................................................................... 117
THE CONDUCTOR .................................................................................................................................................... 118
THE JUKEBOX ......................................................................................................................................................... 122
Jukebox Options ................................................................................................................................................. 123
MEDLEY MAKER ..................................................................................................................................................... 124
CHAPTER 6: MAKING SONGS ........................................................................................................................... 126
MAKE YOUR OWN SONGS ...................................................................................................................................... 126
Clear the Chord Sheet........................................................................................................................................ 126
Name the Song.................................................................................................................................................... 126
Choose a Key...................................................................................................................................................... 126
Setting the tempo ................................................................................................................................................ 126
“Framing” the Song .......................................................................................................................................... 127
Song Settings ...................................................................................................................................................... 127
CHORD ENTRY ........................................................................................................................................................ 131
Computer Keyboard Entry ................................................................................................................................. 131
Enter Chords from MIDI Keyboard................................................................................................................... 132
Import a Band-in-a-Box Song ............................................................................................................................ 132
Audio Chord Wizard (Chords from MP3).......................................................................................................... 132
Copy and Pasting Section of Chords ................................................................................................................. 132
Deleting Chords ................................................................................................................................................. 134
Previewing Chords............................................................................................................................................. 134
Support for other chord display types................................................................................................................ 134
Advanced Chord Entry and Editing Features .................................................................................................... 135
Repeats and Endings .......................................................................................................................................... 136
BREAKS - RESTS, SHOTS, AND HELD CHORDS ........................................................................................................ 137
Chord Options.................................................................................................................................................... 138
PART MARKERS, SUBSTYLES, AND SONG FORM ..................................................................................................... 139
Table of Contents
5
Part Markers ...................................................................................................................................................... 139
MultiStyles.......................................................................................................................................................... 139
Song Form Maker .............................................................................................................................................. 141
APPLYING STYLES .................................................................................................................................................. 142
Load Previous Style, Load Next Style. ............................................................................................................... 143
Current Style Window ........................................................................................................................................ 143
Open Style with the [Style] Button ..................................................................................................................... 143
StylePicker Window ........................................................................................................................................... 143
Favorite Styles / Recently Used Styles ............................................................................................................... 153
Style Aliases Dialog ........................................................................................................................................... 154
Enable/Disable Style menu item. (Alt+S E) ...................................................................................................... 154
Forced Styles option........................................................................................................................................... 155
Using MultiStyles ............................................................................................................................................... 155
ADD A MIDI SUPERTRACK .................................................................................................................................... 157
What are MIDI SuperTracks?............................................................................................................................ 157
Adding a MIDI SuperTrack................................................................................................................................ 157
USING REALTRACKS IN SONGS ............................................................................................................................... 159
Using RealTracks in Songs - Assign RealTracks to Track Dialog..................................................................... 159
Choosing Favorite RealTracks .......................................................................................................................... 160
Changing RealTracks......................................................................................................................................... 162
USERTRACKS .......................................................................................................................................................... 163
Adding new UserTracks ..................................................................................................................................... 164
Creating your own UserTracks.......................................................................................................................... 164
USING REALDRUMS IN SONGS ................................................................................................................................ 165
EZ Selection of Drum Grooves .......................................................................................................................... 168
ASSIGNING CUSTOM MIDI TRACKS ....................................................................................................................... 168
ADDING LOOPS TO TRACKS .................................................................................................................................... 170
ADD A MELODY – MIDI AND/OR AUDIO ................................................................................................................ 172
Record a MIDI Melody ...................................................................................................................................... 172
Sequencer Mode ................................................................................................................................................. 173
Embellishing the Melody.................................................................................................................................... 173
Record a Live Audio Track ................................................................................................................................ 174
Opening and Importing Audio Files .................................................................................................................. 176
Harmonize the MIDI Melody ............................................................................................................................. 177
Live Harmonies While Band-In-A-Box Is Stopped............................................................................................. 179
IMPORT A MIDI FILE .............................................................................................................................................. 179
MIDI File Chord Interpretation Wizard ............................................................................................................ 179
ADD A SOLO - “THE SOLOIST” ................................................................................................................................ 180
Pick “Best” Soloist RealTracks ......................................................................................................................... 180
Select Soloist Dialog .......................................................................................................................................... 181
AUTOMATIC SONGS - “THE MELODIST” ................................................................................................................. 184
SONG EDITING FEATURES ....................................................................................................................................... 185
PIANO ROLL WINDOW ............................................................................................................................................ 197
Track Selection................................................................................................................................................... 197
Keyboard Pitch Panel ........................................................................................................................................ 197
Note Panel.......................................................................................................................................................... 197
Graphic Event Panel .......................................................................................................................................... 198
Chord Ruler and Note Time Ruler Panel........................................................................................................... 199
Note Editing ....................................................................................................................................................... 200
Right-Click Contextual Menu............................................................................................................................. 201
Horizontal Scroll Bar, [+] and [-] Buttons ....................................................................................................... 203
Vertical Scroll Bar, [+] and [-] Buttons............................................................................................................ 203
Zoom Buttons ..................................................................................................................................................... 203
VIEW AND PRINT NOTATION ................................................................................................................................... 203
Standard Notation Window ................................................................................................................................ 204
Editable Notation Mode ..................................................................................................................................... 204
6
Table of Contents
Staff Roll Notation Mode.................................................................................................................................... 205
Adding Note-Based Lyrics to Your Song............................................................................................................ 206
LEAD SHEET NOTATION WINDOW .......................................................................................................................... 207
Launching the Lead Sheet Window .................................................................................................................... 207
Multiple Tracks of Notation ............................................................................................................................... 207
Multiple lines of Lyrics on Fake Sheet. .............................................................................................................. 208
Lead Sheet “Lyric Text Block” .......................................................................................................................... 209
PRINTING ................................................................................................................................................................ 209
Print to PDF....................................................................................................................................................... 211
Multi-Channel Notation (Sequencer Mode)....................................................................................................... 212
DIGITAL AUDIO FEATURES ..................................................................................................................................... 214
Audio Chord Wizard (Chords from MP3).......................................................................................................... 214
Record a Vocal or Any Live Instrument............................................................................................................. 215
Add Audio Harmonies ........................................................................................................................................ 217
Audio Reverb...................................................................................................................................................... 217
More Audio Effects............................................................................................................................................. 218
THE MEDLEY MAKER ............................................................................................................................................. 219
SAVING SONGS ....................................................................................................................................................... 220
Email Song as Attachments................................................................................................................................ 222
Saving as Video and Upload to YouTube........................................................................................................... 222
Saving MIDI and Karaoke Files ........................................................................................................................ 223
Saving Audio Files ............................................................................................................................................. 227
Frozen Tracks..................................................................................................................................................... 228
Save Track as Performance ............................................................................................................................... 228
SoundCloud.com ................................................................................................................................................ 228
SAVE YOUR CONFIGURATION ................................................................................................................................. 229
BURN YOUR OWN AUDIO-CD ................................................................................................................................ 229
CHAPTER 7: REALTRACKS AND REALDRUMS........................................................................................... 231
REALTRACKS .......................................................................................................................................................... 231
What are RealTracks?........................................................................................................................................ 231
More RealTracks................................................................................................................................................ 231
RealTracks Settings............................................................................................................................................ 231
Using RealTracks ............................................................................................................................................... 236
RealTracks Soloist Medleys ............................................................................................................................... 243
Using RealTracks in Styles................................................................................................................................. 244
Using RealTracks in Solos ................................................................................................................................. 246
Saving Your RealTracks..................................................................................................................................... 247
REALDRUMS ........................................................................................................................................................... 247
How Do RealDrums Work? ............................................................................................................................... 248
RealDrums Settings............................................................................................................................................ 248
RealDrums Picker – Assign RealDrums to Songs.............................................................................................. 250
USERTRACKS .......................................................................................................................................................... 254
Adding new UserTracks ..................................................................................................................................... 255
Creating your own UserTracks.......................................................................................................................... 256
UserTracks Tutorial ........................................................................................................................................... 256
AUDIO CONTROLS FOR REALTRACKS AND REALDRUMS ....................................................................................... 257
Tone Control ...................................................................................................................................................... 258
Audio Reverb Control ........................................................................................................................................ 258
Reverb Settings................................................................................................................................................... 258
CHAPTER 8: NOTATION AND PRINTING ...................................................................................................... 261
Exploring the Notation Window......................................................................................................................... 261
STANDARD NOTATION MODE ................................................................................................................................. 262
Right-click menu for Standard Notation ............................................................................................................ 263
Keystroke Commands......................................................................................................................................... 264
Non-Concert Visual Transpose .......................................................................................................................... 264
Table of Contents
7
EDITABLE NOTATION MODE ................................................................................................................................... 265
Easy Method of Guitar Tab Entry...................................................................................................................... 266
Resolution........................................................................................................................................................... 266
Beat Resolution .................................................................................................................................................. 266
Entering Notes.................................................................................................................................................... 267
Entering Rests .................................................................................................................................................... 267
Forced Rests (Hard Rests) ................................................................................................................................. 267
Moving a note in time......................................................................................................................................... 268
Changing the pitch of a note .............................................................................................................................. 268
Insert Bends in Notation..................................................................................................................................... 268
Right-click Editable Notation menu ................................................................................................................... 268
Editing Note Values............................................................................................................................................ 271
STAFF ROLL NOTATION MODE ............................................................................................................................... 271
NOTATION WINDOW OPTIONS ................................................................................................................................ 272
Keystroke Note Editing ...................................................................................................................................... 281
Section Text for Notation ................................................................................................................................... 281
Scrub Mode on Notation .................................................................................................................................... 282
LEAD SHEET WINDOW ............................................................................................................................................ 282
Selecting Parts in the Lead Sheet....................................................................................................................... 283
Lead Sheet Options Dialog ................................................................................................................................ 283
Fake Sheet Mode ................................................................................................................................................ 286
Multiple lines of Lyrics on Fake Sheet............................................................................................................... 286
Lead Sheet Memo ............................................................................................................................................... 287
Harmony Notation Display ................................................................................................................................ 288
Multi-Channel Notation (Sequencer Mode)....................................................................................................... 288
LYRICS .................................................................................................................................................................... 289
Note-based Lyrics............................................................................................................................................... 289
Lyric Document Window.................................................................................................................................... 291
Big Lyrics Window ............................................................................................................................................. 292
PRINTING ................................................................................................................................................................ 294
Print Options...................................................................................................................................................... 295
Print Preview ..................................................................................................................................................... 297
Print Multiple Songs .......................................................................................................................................... 300
CHAPTER 9: AUTOMATIC MUSIC FEATURES............................................................................................. 302
AUTOMATIC MEDLEYS - “THE MEDLEY MAKER” .................................................................................................. 302
AUTOMATIC SONGS – “THE MELODIST”................................................................................................................. 303
AUTOMATIC INTRO – SONG INTROS ........................................................................................................................ 306
AUTOMATIC SONG TITLE GENERATION .................................................................................................................. 307
AUTOMATIC SOUND TRACK GENERATOR - “SOUNDTRACK”.................................................................................. 307
AUTOMATIC SOLO GENERATION – “THE SOLOIST” ................................................................................................ 309
Pick “Best” Soloist RealTracks ......................................................................................................................... 309
Select Soloist Dialog .......................................................................................................................................... 310
Using the Soloist Feature................................................................................................................................... 316
AUTO PIANO HAND-SPLITTING ............................................................................................................................... 316
Piano Track (Notation Options)......................................................................................................................... 316
Melody and Soloist Tracks ................................................................................................................................. 316
AUTOMATIC GUITAR SOLOS – “THE GUITARIST” ................................................................................................... 317
AUTOMATIC EMBELLISHMENTS – “THE EMBELLISHER”......................................................................................... 319
Overview ............................................................................................................................................................ 319
Using The Embellisher....................................................................................................................................... 320
Melody Embellisher Settings.............................................................................................................................. 320
CHAPTER 10: WORKING WITH MIDI ............................................................................................................. 324
RECORDING LIVE IN REAL TIME ............................................................................................................................. 324
Recording to an external sequencer................................................................................................................... 325
ENTERING NOTES MANUALLY ................................................................................................................................ 325
8
Table of Contents
RECORDING WITH THE WIZARD FEATURE .............................................................................................................. 326
Melody Wizard ................................................................................................................................................... 326
MELODY/SOLOIST SEQUENCER............................................................................................................................... 327
CUSTOM MIDITRACKS ........................................................................................................................................... 330
IMPORT A BAND-IN-A-BOX SONG ........................................................................................................................... 331
IMPORTING MIDI FILES .......................................................................................................................................... 331
Importing MIDI Files to the Melody or Soloist Tracks...................................................................................... 331
Import to the Melody with the MIDI Chord Wizard .......................................................................................... 332
ADDITIONAL OPTIONS FOR MELODY/SOLOIST TRACK ........................................................................................... 333
Intelligent Humanize of Melody and Soloist Track............................................................................................ 333
EDITING THE MELODY TRACK ................................................................................................................................ 334
Event List Editor ................................................................................................................................................ 334
Event List Filter.................................................................................................................................................. 334
Notation Window Editing................................................................................................................................... 336
Piano Roll Window Editing................................................................................................................................ 336
CHAPTER 11: WORKING WITH AUDIO.......................................................................................................... 339
ABOUT BAND-IN-A-BOX AUDIO FILES ................................................................................................................... 339
AUDIO TRACK ......................................................................................................................................................... 339
Import Audio File to Audio Track...................................................................................................................... 339
Audio Offset........................................................................................................................................................ 340
Audio Playback Settings..................................................................................................................................... 341
PG Music Reverb ............................................................................................................................................... 341
RECORD AUDIO....................................................................................................................................................... 343
Audio VU meters ................................................................................................................................................ 344
Record Audio dialog .......................................................................................................................................... 345
PLAYING THE AUDIO FILE....................................................................................................................................... 346
GENERATE SYNTHETIC VOCAL ............................................................................................................................... 346
EDIT THE AUDIO FILE ............................................................................................................................................. 347
Audio Edit Window Toolbar............................................................................................................................... 348
Non-Destructive Audio Track Editing................................................................................................................ 348
AUDIO HARMONIES ................................................................................................................................................ 348
Audio Harmonies Tutorial ................................................................................................................................. 348
Choir Effect ........................................................................................................................................................ 352
Audio Harmonies Pitch Styles (automatic “Vibrato” and “Scooping”) ........................................................... 352
Pitch Styles Preset Details (one per voice) ........................................................................................................ 353
APPLYING AUDIO PLUG-INS ................................................................................................................................... 354
Direct-X or VST Plug-ins ................................................................................................................................... 354
VST/DX Plug-Ins for Individual Tracks............................................................................................................. 357
READING THE AUDIO AND MIDI TRACKS INTO OTHER PROGRAMS ......................................................................... 357
RENDERING AUDIO FILES ....................................................................................................................................... 357
Rendering WAV Files......................................................................................................................................... 357
Batch convert a folder of songs to audio files (MP3, WAV, or WMA)............................................................... 359
Rendering in Other Audio Formats.................................................................................................................... 360
BURN YOUR OWN AUDIO-CD ................................................................................................................................. 361
CHAPTER 12: WIZARDS, TUTORS, AND FUN ............................................................................................... 365
VIDEO WINDOW ...................................................................................................................................................... 365
“WOODSHED” TEMPO FEATURE ............................................................................................................................. 366
AUDIO CHORD WIZARD (“CHORDS FROM MP3”) ................................................................................................... 366
Chord Sheet Overview........................................................................................................................................ 366
Opening Files ..................................................................................................................................................... 368
Audio Chord Wizard Window ............................................................................................................................ 368
Primary Program Controls ................................................................................................................................ 369
Chord Detection ................................................................................................................................................. 369
Keyboard Shortcuts............................................................................................................................................ 371
Special Cases ..................................................................................................................................................... 371
Table of Contents
9
Bad Initial Tempo Estimates .............................................................................................................................. 371
Odd Length Bars and Drastic Tempo Changes ................................................................................................. 373
Notes Display ..................................................................................................................................................... 375
Display Controls ................................................................................................................................................ 375
Audio Chord Wizard Utilities Dialog ................................................................................................................ 375
MIDI FILE CHORD INTERPRETATION WIZARD........................................................................................................ 376
Importing Chords ............................................................................................................................................... 377
Importing Part of a MIDI file or re-doing a section of the Chord Sheet).......................................................... 381
Other Settings for the Chord Wizard ................................................................................................................. 381
PRACTICE WINDOW ................................................................................................................................................ 381
EAR TRAINING TUTOR ............................................................................................................................................ 383
Interval Tutor ..................................................................................................................................................... 383
Chord Tutor........................................................................................................................................................ 385
EAR TRAINING GAMES............................................................................................................................................ 386
Pitch Invasion..................................................................................................................................................... 387
Music Replay...................................................................................................................................................... 387
VOCAL WIZARD ...................................................................................................................................................... 388
REHARMONIST (CHORDS FOR A MELODY).............................................................................................................. 390
Generate Chords for a Melody .......................................................................................................................... 390
CHORD SUBSTITUTION WIZARD.............................................................................................................................. 392
Chord Substitution Dialog ................................................................................................................................. 393
Auto Chord Substitutions ................................................................................................................................... 394
CHORD BUILDER ..................................................................................................................................................... 395
RHYTHM GUITAR CHORD TUTOR ........................................................................................................................... 395
CHORD “BREAKS”................................................................................................................................................... 397
MIDI FILE TO STYLE WIZARD ................................................................................................................................ 397
Using the MIDI File to Style Wizard.................................................................................................................. 397
Advanced Settings and Preferences ................................................................................................................... 400
REPEATS AND ENDINGS WIZARD ............................................................................................................................ 402
Tutorial............................................................................................................................................................... 402
CHAPTER 13: TOOLS, UTILITIES, AND APPS ............................................................................................... 406
BB REMOTE ............................................................................................................................................................ 406
Remote control for desktop Band-in-a-Box for Windows .................................................................................. 406
DAW PLUG-IN MODE ............................................................................................................................................. 409
Drag and Drop Tracks ....................................................................................................................................... 409
Plug-In Settings.................................................................................................................................................. 409
FIND FILE ................................................................................................................................................................ 410
COYOTEWT ............................................................................................................................................................ 411
Selecting the CoyoteWT ..................................................................................................................................... 411
Coyote WT Overview.......................................................................................................................................... 412
Coyote Settings................................................................................................................................................... 413
FRETLIGHT® SUPPORT ............................................................................................................................................. 414
TRANZPORT® SUPPORT - WIRELESS REMOTE CONTROL ........................................................................................ 414
Using TranzPort with Band-in-a-Box ................................................................................................................ 414
GUITAR/BASS TUNER ............................................................................................................................................. 416
MASTER TUNING..................................................................................................................................................... 417
DYNAMIC 3D DRUM KIT WINDOW ......................................................................................................................... 417
Drum Display ..................................................................................................................................................... 417
Control Buttons .................................................................................................................................................. 418
Computer “QWERTY” Keys .............................................................................................................................. 418
Numeric keypad.................................................................................................................................................. 419
Multi - Note Instruments .................................................................................................................................... 419
Settings Dialog ................................................................................................................................................... 419
MIDI MONITOR ...................................................................................................................................................... 420
MIDI Monitor- Main Window............................................................................................................................ 421
10
Table of Contents
Display Filter ..................................................................................................................................................... 421
EVENT LIST EDITOR ................................................................................................................................................ 422
Event List Filter.................................................................................................................................................. 423
PG VINYL DIRECTX PLUG-IN ................................................................................................................................. 424
PG Vinyl Tool Features ..................................................................................................................................... 424
PG RTA DIRECTX PLUG-IN ................................................................................................................................... 428
Control Descriptions.......................................................................................................................................... 428
PG VOCAL REMOVER PLUG-IN ............................................................................................................................... 429
Operation ........................................................................................................................................................... 429
BAND-IN-A-BOX FOR IPHONE ................................................................................................................................. 430
Program Tutorial ............................................................................................................................................... 430
CHAPTER 14: USER PROGRAMMABLE FUNCTIONS ................................................................................. 433
THE STYLEMAKER.................................................................................................................................................. 433
StyleMaker Pull-Down Menus ........................................................................................................................... 433
StyleMaker Toolbar Buttons .............................................................................................................................. 436
Exploring the StyleMaker................................................................................................................................... 437
Drum Patterns.................................................................................................................................................... 437
RealDrums Styles ............................................................................................................................................... 440
Bass Patterns...................................................................................................................................................... 441
Chord Selection Dialog...................................................................................................................................... 444
Piano, Guitar, and String Patterns .................................................................................................................... 444
Guitar Styles with the StyleMaker...................................................................................................................... 446
Miscellaneous Style Settings .............................................................................................................................. 451
More Settings (for Rests, Pushes, RealTracks) .................................................................................................. 453
Assign Instruments to Style Dialog .................................................................................................................... 455
Advanced Editing Of Patterns............................................................................................................................ 456
Alternatives to Recording Patterns .................................................................................................................... 457
Editing Patterns ................................................................................................................................................. 460
Using the MIDI File to Style Wizard.................................................................................................................. 460
MAKING REALDRUMS STYLES ............................................................................................................................... 465
Introduction to RealDrums ................................................................................................................................ 465
Making a RealDrums Style Using an Existing Template ................................................................................... 466
Elements of RealDrums Styles ........................................................................................................................... 469
Elements of the Text File.................................................................................................................................... 470
Pattern Definition............................................................................................................................................... 473
Shots Definition.................................................................................................................................................. 478
Additional Entries in the Text File ..................................................................................................................... 479
Alternate Styles & Expanded/Reduced Styles .................................................................................................... 480
Testing Your RealDrums Style ........................................................................................................................... 481
Using your RealDrums style in Band-in-a-Box ................................................................................................. 483
THE HARMONY MAKER .......................................................................................................................................... 483
THE SOLOIST MAKER.............................................................................................................................................. 487
THE MELODIST MAKER .......................................................................................................................................... 491
THE GUITARIST MAKER .......................................................................................................................................... 494
CHAPTER 15: REFERENCE ................................................................................................................................ 498
BAND-IN-A-BOX MENU DESCRIPTIONS .................................................................................................................. 498
FILE MENU.............................................................................................................................................................. 498
EDIT MENU ............................................................................................................................................................. 502
STYLES MENU ......................................................................................................................................................... 510
OPT. MENU ............................................................................................................................................................. 512
PLAY MENU ............................................................................................................................................................ 555
LYRICS MENU ......................................................................................................................................................... 558
MELODY MENU ...................................................................................................................................................... 560
SOLOIST MENU ....................................................................................................................................................... 567
AUDIO MENU .......................................................................................................................................................... 573
Table of Contents
11
GM MENU .............................................................................................................................................................. 576
HARMONY MENU .................................................................................................................................................... 579
NOTATION MENU .................................................................................................................................................... 581
WINDOW MENU ...................................................................................................................................................... 582
HELP MENU ............................................................................................................................................................ 588
SHORTCUTS: KEYSTROKE COMMANDS - HOT KEYS ............................................................................................... 591
Quick Song Settings............................................................................................................................................ 591
Quick-Load Songs and Styles............................................................................................................................. 591
Keystroke Commands......................................................................................................................................... 591
Muting Parts....................................................................................................................................................... 591
Selecting Parts ................................................................................................................................................... 591
Instrument Part Settings..................................................................................................................................... 591
Volume Settings.................................................................................................................................................. 592
Looping / Song Navigation Keystrokes .............................................................................................................. 592
Transpose Settings ............................................................................................................................................. 592
Custom File Open Dialog .................................................................................................................................. 592
Windows ............................................................................................................................................................. 592
StyleMaker Hot Keys.......................................................................................................................................... 593
StyleMaker Drum Screen Hot Keys.................................................................................................................... 593
Additional Keystrokes ........................................................................................................................................ 593
CHORD LIST ............................................................................................................................................................ 594
BAND-IN-A-BOX FILES ............................................................................................................................................ 596
Essential Program Files..................................................................................................................................... 596
Transferring Files Among Computer Platforms (IBM to Mac) ......................................................................... 596
PG MUSIC INC........................................................................................................................................................ 597
APPENDIX A: REALTRACKS SETS .................................................................................................................. 598
APPENDIX B: MIDI SUPERTRACKS SETS...................................................................................................... 625
INDEX....................................................................................................................................................................... 627
PG MUSIC REGISTRATION FORM................................................................................................................... 635
How to Register.................................................................................................................................................. 635
12
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
Congratulations on your purchase of Band-in-a-Box, the favorite of musicians, students, and songwriters
everywhere. Get ready to have fun!
What is Band-in-a-Box?
Band-in-a-Box is an intelligent automatic accompaniment program for your
multimedia computer.
You can hear and play along to many song ideas and go from “nothing” to
“something” in a very short period of time with Band-in-a-Box as your “on
demand” backup band.
Band-in-a-Box is so easy to use!
Just type in the chords for any song using standard chord symbols (like C, Fm7, or C13b9), choose the style you’d
like, and Band-in-a-Box does the rest, automatically generating a complete professional-quality arrangement of
piano, bass, drums, guitar, and strings or horns in a wide variety of popular styles plus live audio tracks with
RealDrums and RealTracks.
And that’s not all...
Band-in-a-Box is a powerful and creative music composition tool for exploring and developing musical ideas with
near-instantaneous feedback. Over the years many features have been added to Band-in-a-Box – Notation and
Lyrics, Piano Roll, 16-channel MIDI MultiTracks, Harmonization, the StyleMaker and StylePicker, a live
performance Conductor window, Medley Maker, and 24 –substyle Multistyles. The Soloist and the Melodist are
popular “intelligent” features that generate professional solos or even create whole new songs from scratch.
RealDrums add the human element of a live drummer while RealTracks add even more live session musicians,
bringing the entire Band-in-a-Box arrangement to life. You can even record your own UserTracks and Band-in-aBox will play them just like RealTracks! Or use the MIDI SuperTracks for MIDI tracks with a “real feel” that you
can edit and arrange. The Audio Chord Wizard has the amazing ability to analyze, extract, and show the chords
from audio recordings on-screen and then write them to the Band-in-a-Box Chord Sheet.
The inclusion of digital audio features makes Band-in-a-Box the perfect tool for creating, playing, and recording
your music with MIDI, vocals, and acoustic instruments. Band-in-a-Box for Windows can also record an acoustic
instrument or voice to add to the composition, with processing through its own DirectX audio effects. Its built-in
TC Helicon audio harmonies will turn your audio track into multiple harmony parts or adjust its pitch, with vibrato
and scooping effects for up to sixteen realistic choral parts. Use the Mixer window to select parts, set levels, and
create a polished final mix.
You can print out your finished creation with lyrics, chords, repeats and endings, DC markings, and codas, or save it
as a graphics file for web publication or to e-mail to a friend. And when you are ready to let others hear your
composition, you can burn it directly to an audio CD. Or save your composition as a Windows Media File (or in
any other compressed formats you have) for a file that’s “Internet ready.”
You will have even more fun making automatic medleys, playing your favorite song lists in the Band-in-a-Box
Jukebox, and singing along to your Karaoke files with CDG graphics.
Let’s get started!
This is a comprehensive guide to the program, including information not included in the printed manual. We will
begin with the easy installation and setup procedure.
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
13
Installing Band-in-a-Box for Windows®
Minimum System Requirements
- Windows 2000/NT/XP/Vista/7/8 (32 or 64-bit)
- Minimum 512 MB RAM
- Hard Disk space: Minimum 2 GB for the main Band-in-a-Box and RealBand programs. More space is required
for RealTracks, depending on which package you buy...
- RealTracks & RealDrums: ~100-400 MB per set
- Pro RealCombos: ~10 GB
- MegaPAK RealCombos: ~20 GB
- Full UltraPlusPAK/EverythingPAK when installed to internal hard drive: ~90 GB
(another ~80GB is required for the installation files when downloading the UltraPlusPAK or EverythingPAK)
- Hard Drive versions of the EverythingPAK or UltraPlusPAK do not require any hard disk space when run
directly from the external hard drive they are shipped on.
- DVD drive for shipped versions of the MegaPAK or Pro version.
- Band-in-a-Box is fully functional with or without RealTracks and RealDrums.
- A MIDI sound source is required. This could be a sound card, a MIDI keyboard, MIDI sound module, or
software synthesizer. Band-in-a-Box comes with the Coyote WT software synthesizer included.
Installing the Program
Use any of the following three methods to install the program files into the Band-in-a-Box directory. By default this
directory is C:\bb; you may choose another location.
Method 1 – Auto Run.
1. Insert the program CD-ROM into the CD drive.
2. In a few seconds, a browser window will open with a list of the CD contents.
3. Double click on SETUP.EXE to run the installation program.
Method 2 – My Computer.
1.
Insert the program CD-ROM into the CD drive.
Access your CD-ROM drive from the Windows desktop by double clicking on the My Computer icon.
2.
Then, double-click on the CD-ROM drive icon and double-click again on the SETUP.EXE program found in
3.
the root or main folder of the CD-ROM.
Method 3 – Start Menu.
1. Insert the program CD-ROM into the CD drive.
2. From the Windows [Start] button select Run.
3. Type D:\SETUP in the “Open:” command line box. If your CD-ROM drive uses another drive letter type the
appropriate letter, for example E:\SETUP.
4. If you don’t know the drive letter for your CD-ROM you can use the [Browse…] button to find it.
SETUP.EXE will copy all of the program files to your Band-in-a-Box subdirectory (usually C:\bb) and install icons
to a Band-in-a-Box program group. Click on the Band-in-a-Box icon or launch bbw.exe to open the program and
configure the setup.
Band-in-a-Box External Hard Drives
Larger versions of Band-in-a-Box ship on portable USB hard drives. They include the entire Band-in-a-Box and
RealBand programs plus all RealTracks and RealDrums sets.
Hard Drive Setup
You can run Band-in-a-Box and RealBand directly from the hard drive by using the program shortcuts in the PG
Music folder. Before you use the programs, you should double-click on Setup.exe. This will set up any files that
need to be installed/registered on your computer. You only need to do this once.
14
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
Alternatively, you could copy the entire PG Music folder to another hard disk, and run Band-in-a-Box from there.
This is useful if you don't want to run the program directly from this hard disk, or if you want to make a backup.
Installing From the External Drive
You can also find the Band-in-a-Box installer in the Installers folder, however most people wouldn’t use this file.
We have included it in case you would like to install Band-in-a-Box on your computer's hard drive the “traditional”
way. It is also useful if you want to upgrade a previous version of Band-in-a-Box that you already have installed.
We haven’t included the large installer files for RealTracks and RealDrums. These files are all in the bb folder and
can be copied over manually if need be. Please see the “readme” files on the hard drive for more detailed
information.
Note: Before unplugging the hard drive from your computer, make sure it is not in use, then click the “Safely Remove Hardware”
icon in your taskbar. When you plug the drive in, Windows may prompt you to select an appropriate action - if so, select “Open
folder to view files.”
MIDI Setup
Band-in-a-Box uses the multimedia drivers for your MIDI interface and/or sound card that are supported by the
Windows operating system. To get sound playback you need to have a MIDI (and audio - for songs with digital
audio, RealDrums, and RealTracks) driver installed.
To start using the program you will need to make sure that your MIDI interface, audio driver, and Windows sound
source are installed and configured.
Run the program by double-clicking the program icon.
To check your MIDI driver setup, press the [MIDI] toolbar icon and select the menu item MIDI/Audio
Drivers Setup. This will open the MIDI/Audio Drivers Setup dialog. You can also go to Opt. |
MIDI/Audio Driver Setup to open this dialog.
Select a MIDI Output Driver to use for MIDI sound playback and optionally a MIDI Input Driver if you are using an
external MIDI controller keyboard or guitar. If the setup is panned to mono, the program offers to change it to
stereo.
Perhaps the easiest way to configure Band-in-a-Box is to press the [Run Driver
Wizard..] button in the MIDI/Audio Drivers Setup dialog.
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
15
The MIDI Output Driver Wizard dialog will take you step-by-step through the process of auditioning and
selecting an appropriate driver. This assumes that the appropriate Windows sound drivers are installed and correctly
configured.
Output to Software Synthesizers (DXi and VSTi)
Software synthesizers allow Band-in-a-Box to play high quality sounds directly through your computer sound card,
without requiring any external MIDI hardware. Most new software synthesizers are released as “plug-ins,” so they
will work in a standard way with many programs. Connecting Band-in-a-Box to the software synth as a plug-in
provides several advantages over the previous method of connecting as a MIDI driver. The plug-in allows Band-ina-Box to merge/sync in any existing audio file (vocals etc.) with the synth output. You can also directly render your
performance to a .WAV file using the plug-in. Sampler-based synths allow you to assemble a huge, customized
library of instrument samples to use with Band-in-a-Box.
The current DXi or VSTi synth name is displayed in the button that
launches the VST/DXi settings.
DirectX Instrument Synthesizer (DXi plug-in) Support
To use DXi with Band-in-a-Box, you should think of the DXi as a type of “MIDI Out Driver.” As such, you either
go to the menu Opt. | MIDI driver setup or click on [Prefs] [MIDI Driver], and select the “Use DXi Synth”
checkbox. When you do this, you can select the type of DXi to use (from a list of installed DXi, if any), and also
will see a panel display of the DXi that allows you to make settings directly for your DXi synth.
The DXi will convert the MIDI information to audio, which Band-in-a-Box will playback through your sound card
to audio speakers.
You can select DirectX DXi Software Synthesizers as the MIDI destination, and also apply DirectX Audio plug-ins
to the Band-in-a-Box audio track.
Check the Use VST/DXi Synth checkbox to enable DXi playback. While
using DXi or VSTi, all playback information is routed to the DXi/VSTi,
including the option to route the THRU part from your MIDI keyboard to
the DXi/VSTi synth.
Note: To use this option, you must have a polyphonic DXi synthesizer installed on your computer, such as the CoyoteWT. It will
also be most convenient if your DXi synthesizer can use General MIDI or GM2 patches.
To select the DXi synthesizer, click the [VST/DXi Synth Settings] button, which will open the VST/DX
Synths/Plugins window.
16
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
Select your desired DXi synth in the top plug-in Insert
Slot 1.
To apply DirectX audio plug-ins to the synth, insert DX
audio plug-ins to Insert Slots 2, 3, or 4. This can be
useful to add EQ, Reverb, Compression, or Peak
Limiting plug-ins, if the “raw sound” of the synthesizer
needs sweetening.
VSTi Instrument Synthesizer (VST plug-in)
To add VSTi synthesizer plug-ins use the plug-in menu on the top synthesizer slot.
VST plug-ins appear at the bottom of the plug-in list below the DirectX
plug-ins. VST plug-ins and synthesizers have the text <VST> prefixed to the
name of the plug-in or synthesizer.
To select a VST plug-in for the first time, select the “Add VST plug-in...”
item at the bottom of the plug-in Menu. Select a VST plug-in .dll file in the
following Select a VST plug-in dialog, and it is added to the plug-in list.
After you add each VST, the plug-in is permanently added to the list. You
only have to add each plug-in one time.
Note: Some VST host programs scan for all available plug-ins every time they start up. We decided not to use that method,
because the scanning can take a long time if there are many plug-ins on your system. Additionally, a badly-written or corrupt
plug-in could cause program malfunctions. Therefore, we feel the method of selecting only the plug-ins you wish to use is both
safer and faster.
VST/VSTi Additional Panel Controls
VST is necessarily different from DirectX/DXi, and some extra controls are available for VST plug-ins.
DirectX/DXi plug-ins save their presets to the Windows Registry and only one setting is “alive” at a time.
VST/VSTi plug-ins save their presets to disk files. VST/VSTi plug-ins contain a bank of presets in memory. You
can switch between presets while editing, and each edited preset is remembered in the current bank. If you save the
bank, it will save all the presets you have edited. You can save individual presets, or you can build a custom group
by loading individual preset files into different preset slots, and then save the new group file.
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
17
Note: Some very nice plug-ins, including some advanced synthesizer plug-ins, may only have one preset, but that single preset
can be a doozy containing many settings. Even with single-preset plug-ins, you can Save/Load Presets or Banks.
Presets and Groups
Load Preset: A preset contains settings to a single slot. VST presets are stored in .fxp files; DirectX presets are
stored in the registry.
Save Preset: Save the currently selected Preset. VST/VSTi preset files use the “.fxp” extension.
Delete Preset: Delete a saved preset from the selection list.
Load Group: A group is a .tgs (Trans Group Settings) file from the bb\DX Settings folder. Load an entire group of
presets for all slots.
Save Group: This saves all plug-in settings for all slots of a track to a .tgs (Trans Group Settings) file in the bb\DX
Settings folder.
VST Generic User Interface
VST/VSTi plug-ins are not required to have a fancy graphic control panel. There are many “faceless” VST plug-ins
which have many adjustable parameters, but no fancy control panel. When you open such a plug-in, the control
panel will look like this example. Band-in-a-Box presents one “generic” slider for each adjustable parameter in the
plug-in.
Parameter Name: Simply the name of each adjustable parameter.
Value Slider: Move the slider to adjust the parameter value
Value Indication Text: Displays the value of the slider, as interpreted by the plug-in. In this example, Parameter
0: Bright is interpreted as an ON/OFF switch, but Parameter 1: Volume is interpreted as a value from 0 to 10.
Options: Remove VST Plug-In (from list)
This feature allows the removal of unwanted plug-ins from the Band-in-a-Box VST/VSTi plug-in lists.
18
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
Support for 64-bit VST Plugins using jBridge
You can use your 64-bit VST plugins and VSTi instruments with Band-in-a-Box, using jBridge. Since Band-in-aBox has built-in support for jBridge, you just use your plugins as you normally would, by selecting 32- or 64-bit
plugins within Band-in-a-Box. (JBridge is a third party product. You can purchase jBridge from PG Music.)
To use 64-bit plugins with Band-in-a-Box, you:
1. Get and install jBridge,
2. Select and use your 64- or 32-bit plugins within Band-in-a-Box, without any further setup or configuration!
Driver Latency
Software synthesizers have some inherent latency, which is the
delay between the time a note is played and it is processed by
the computer. Older softsynths had noticeable latency,
whereas a VSTi/DXi synth using ASIO drivers has very little.
This setting is used to synchronize the visual display (notation,
chords, virtual piano etc.) with the sound you hear.
Band-in-a-Box automatically sets the latency for VSTi/DXi and some other softsynths.
The [Latency Adjust…] button opens the SoftSynth Latency Adjust dialog where you
can manually adjust the latency.
Alternate Patch Maps
You can choose the patch map (instrument list) that matches your synthesizer keyboard or sound module. Original
equipment sound cards or integrated sound chips are General MIDI (GM) compatible.
We have made preset drum/patch files for many synthesizers and
sound cards. If your synth is not listed you should use the General
MIDI Instrument Misc. patch kit (default).
You can probably omit this step unless you are using an old synth
that is not General MIDI compatible. If your non-GM synthesizer or
sound card is not listed you can easily make your own patch map
with the [Patch Map] button in Opt. | Preferences.
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
19
General MIDI 2 (GM2) Support
General MIDI 2 patches are supported for 128 additional
instruments. The type of GM2 support is set in this dialog.
The GM2 support choices are:
- General MIDI 2 support: If you're using a newer Sound Canvas (i.e. newer than 1999, or newer than the Roland
SC88), then choose this GM2 support.
- Roland GS (older Modules): “Older” Sound Canvases (SC55/SC88) support GS, but not GM2. The good news
is that they have the same patches available, just at different locations. So if you choose this option, Band-in-aBox will find the patches at the “GS” locations instead of the “GM2” locations. If you have a newer GS module
like the SC8820, it supports both GM2 and GS - you should likely choose GM2.
- No GM2 support: Some sound cards don't have GM2 support but they do support the original 128 General
MIDI sounds. Band-in-a-Box will use the closest instrument in these cases.
Audio Setup
The [Audio Settings] button in the MIDI/Audio Drivers Setup displays
the current audio driver and status, MME/ASIO/ASIO Always On.
Band-in-a-Box performs the audio setup automatically using the installed system audio components.
To restore or modify this set up click on the [Prefs] button and then select the [Audio]
button to launch the Audio Settings dialog.
To reset the default MME driver settings click on [Get from soundcard…] and
Band-in-a-Box will analyze the sound card and enter the correct audio settings.
If your computer has ASIO capability you can use these drivers instead of the default MME drivers.
20
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
ASIO Audio/Software Synth Drivers
By using an ASIO audio driver, software synths like Coyote WaveTable DXi will play with almost no latency (delay
is only 5-10ms). So you will hear the sounds instantly, and be able to play along using MIDI Thru with the same
ultra-low latency.
On the Preferences [Audio] tab, you will see the following options for “Audio
Driver Type,” MME or ASIO.
MME is the default Windows audio driver type. MME is good, but there is latency
(delay) associated with MME drivers.
For this reason, Steinberg developed a faster type of audio driver system, called
ASIO. It allows for much lower latency than ordinary MME drivers do.
Note: Many OEM or value sound cards do not include an ASIO driver, so you may not have an ASIO driver yet. In this case,
you need to get an ASIO driver from the Internet.
This ASIO Audio Drivers dialog lets you choose an ASIO driver. You can arrive at this dialog in 3 different ways:
1) If you haven’t used ASIO drivers, but Band-in-a-Box detected them, and you answered “Yes” when Band-in-aBox asked if you want to use an ASIO driver.
2) If, within the Audio Settings, you change the “Audio Driver Type” from MME to ASIO.
3) If the “Audio Driver Type” is already set to ASIO, but you later press the [Audio Drivers…] button in the
Audio Settings.
The Select one ASIO Driver list box lets you select an ASIO driver to use. You can only select one ASIO driver at
a time.
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
21
Once you have selected an ASIO driver, you will see the Input Port and Output Port list boxes filled with your
driver’s input and output ports. By default, the first of each will be selected. You are allowed to select different
ports (but only one input and one output port at a time can be selected). The ports you selected will be available for
output within Band-in-a-Box. If you do not hear input or output, then you may need to try different ports than the
defaults. You may need to read your sound card’s instructions to determine the correct ports to use.
Tip: The ASIO4All driver sometimes cannot connect if the Microsoft GS Wavetable synth is being used as a driver. So if this
happens, you will get a message that ASIO will be silent, and the solution is to de-select the ASIO4All driver.
The ASIO Driver’s Control Panel button launches the Control Panel for your driver. This usually lets you adjust the
latency by letting you choose different buffer sizes in milliseconds. Some drivers might let you choose the buffer
size in samples, which is less convenient than milliseconds. The smaller the buffer size, the lower the latency, and
the faster the response. Smaller buffers require more CPU power and if you hear dropouts or artifacts, you may
need to increase the buffer size. See the Understanding Latency section that follows.
Since many ASIO drivers do not support multiple sample rates, Band-in-a-Box has a built-in resampler which lets
you play and record songs that have a different sampling rate than the rate(s) directly supported by your ASIO
driver. For example, if the driver does not support 44.1K sampling rate, but supports 48K, then Band-in-a-Box will
use the resampler to convert to 48K when playing back, and to convert FROM 48K when recording. The
Resampler Quality combo lets you choose Fast, Good, Better, or Best. Fast is the quickest, but is the lowest of the
four levels of quality. Best is the slowest (uses more CPU time), but the most transparent and accurate quality.
The ASIO Driver’s Control Panel button launches a settings dialog specifically provided by your driver
manufacturer. This usually lets you adjust the latency, and usually you will have a choice between buffer sizes in
milliseconds. See the following section on Understanding Latency.
Show Warning for Untested Soundcard Formats is an optional setting that shows a warning if your ASIO driver
format has not been tested in Band-in-a-Box. It does not necessarily mean your driver will not work.
The Driver Info field shows various characteristics of your driver.
The Name is the driver’s name.
The Version is the version number of your driver.
Input Channels is the total number of mono input channels that your sound card has.
Note: Band-in-a-Box groups each Input and Output channel into a stereo pair.
Output Channels is the total number of mono output channels that your sound card has.
The Allowed Sample Rates field shows the sample rates are allowed by your sound card’s ASIO driver. Band-in-aBox has a built-in resampler which lets you play and record files that aren’t directly supported by your ASIO driver.
The Buffer Sizes In Samples shows the range of allowed buffer sizes. The “Pref” is the preferred size, and this is
the size that Band-in-a-Box uses. Your driver may alter the preferred size if you’ve launched the ASIO Driver
Control Panel and have selected a new buffer size from within the driver’s Control Panel. If your driver changes the
preferred size, then Band-in-a-Box will be aware of the new preferred size.
Understanding Latency
Latency is based on the buffer sizes. The smaller the buffer sizes the lower the latency. Lower latency allows you
to hear mixer volume changes very quickly, as well as hear MIDI thru echoed out via a DXi soft synth practically in
real time. The latency, in MS is determined by the buffer size in samples, as well as the driver’s sampling rate.
Note: If your ASIO driver’s control panel lets you select the buffer size in MS, then you don’t have to pay much attention to the
part of discussion below about converting samples to MS.
Converting Samples to MS: For example, suppose the driver’s sample rate is 48K. A 48K sampling rate means
that it is playing at 48,000 samples per second. If the buffer size were 48000 samples, then the latency would be 1
second, or 1000ms (which is very large and slow, and usually not allowed in ASIO). If the buffer size were 4800
samples, which is 1/10 second, then the latency would be 100ms. If the buffer size were 2400 samples, which is
1/20 second, the latency would be 50 ms. If the buffer size were 240 samples, which is 1/200 second, the latency
would be a mere 5ms which is incredibly low and very fast.
Normally, you can change your driver’s latency by pressing the Launch ASIO Driver’s Control Panel button.
Normally, the driver specifies the buffer sizes in milliseconds which is equal to the latency.
Low latency is faster and more responsive, but uses more CPU power.
22
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
Depending on the speed of your computer, you may find that the playback has dropouts, clicks/pops, or other
artifacts if you set the buffer sizes too small. This is because smaller buffers use more CPU power and if your
computer can’t handle the low latency you will hear artifacts. If this happens, you would need to use larger buffer
sizes. You may need to experiment to find what works well. You may be able to use smaller buffers with songs that
don’t have a lot of tracks and effects, but may find that you need to use larger buffers with songs that have more
tracks and use more effects. This is because more tracks and more effects use more CPU power, which leaves less
CPU power available for the audio routines to keep up with lower latencies.
Sample Rate Detection Warning
Windows 7 has a peculiar issue where if you choose Windows Start Button - Control Panel - “Sound,” right click on
your output device, choose “Properties” and then “Advanced,” you can see the default format. It should be 16 bit
44100. Unfortunately, some apps change this setting without your knowledge. When it is set like this, all of your
audio gets “resampled” and this can create obvious audible artifacts and make some things sound “bad.”
Band-in-a-Box detects this setting when you exit the
MIDI/Audio Drivers Setup dialog, and will give
you a notification about it, and that’s a clue for you
to visit this dialog and set it back to 44100.
Have fun!
Chapter 1: Welcome to Band-in-a-Box!
23
Chapter 2: QuickStart
Creating music with Band-in-a-Box is as easy as 1-2-3! Here’s how.
Step 1 – Typing in the Chords
There are numerous ways of entering chords into Band-in-a-Box; we will discuss the two most common methods.
1. Using the Computer Keyboard
2. Playing directly on a MIDI Controller Keyboard
On the main screen of the program, you will see an area called the Chord Sheet.
Each of the numbered cells on the Chord Sheet represents a bar. In this example, we see that there is an E chord in
the first bar of this song, an A chord in bar 5, and later in the song, an E7 in bar 12. Notice the box in the first half
of bar 1. This is the highlight cell, and it represents the bar you are currently working on. You can move the
highlight cell around using the cursor keys, or click on any bar with the mouse.
Enter Chords Using the Computer Keyboard
To enter a specific chord, move the highlight cell to where you want to place the chord. For example, to add (or
change) a chord in bar 10, you would highlight bar 10 on the Chord Sheet. Next, type in your chords. If you want
an A chord at bar 10, type the A key on your keyboard, and press Enter. Notice that when you use the Enter key,
the highlight cell moves to the second half of the bar. You could then enter another chord at beat 3. Chords names
are normally typed using standard chord symbols (like C or Fm7 or Bb7 or Bb13#9/E), but you can enter them in
other chord formats like Roman Numerals, Nashville Notation, Solfeggio, and Fixed Do (popular in Italy and
Europe).
Enter Chords Using a MIDI Controller Keyboard
If you have a MIDI controller keyboard, you can use it to enter chords into Band-in-a-Box. Play a chord on your
MIDI keyboard, and then type Ctrl+Enter. The chord will be entered into the Chord Sheet at the current highlight
cell position. Another method allows you to choose alternate chords. From the Window | MIDI Chord Detection
menu item, you will see this window:
When you play chords, Band-in-a-Box shows you the chord name and suggests alternates that you can choose from.
Typing Ctrl+Enter enters the first selection, and advances the highlight cell by ½ bar. To place an alternate chord
in the Chord Sheet click on the [Enter] button beside the chord you want.
Step 2 – Choosing a Style
Band-in-a-Box creates backing arrangements based on the chords you type in, playing them in a particular style.
24
Chapter 2: QuickStart
What’s a Style?
A style is a set of rules that determine how Band-in-a-Box creates music using your chords. There is a huge
collection of styles in all musical genres, with both RealTracks audio and MIDI.
Opening a Style
You can open a style using the [Style] button. This is a split button, with the top half being the default
function, and the bottom half listing different methods to load a style, and allows you to set the default.
Selecting a Style using the StylePicker
This window shows styles listed by categories. RealStyles are styles entirely made with RealTracks and
RealDrums. Styles with RealTracks use a combination of RealTracks and MIDI instruments. MultiStyles are styles
with more variations than the standard “a” and “b” substyles.
Within the StylePicker, you can double click to hear an “instant” (starting in less than 3 seconds) preview of what
that style sounds like. If style has both MIDI and RealDrums available, you can hear both, and choose which one
you want. This makes it much faster to find the style that fits your song.
Note: The first time you use the StylePicker there will be a short delay while it builds the list of styles.
Chapter 2: QuickStart
25
Step 3 – Play your song!
To play your song you will need to tell Band-in-a-Box how long the song is, how many times to play it through, in
what key, and how fast.
Framing the Song
To tell Band-in-a-Box where to start and end the song, take a look at the middle of the main screen. Locate the
framing buttons. There are three of them, one each for Beginning of Chorus, End of Chorus, and Number of
Choruses. In the example shown, the chorus starts at bar 1, ends on bar 32, and is going to play 3 times.
Setting the Key
The Key button is used to set the key or to change it and transpose the song. When you press it, you see 2
columns of keys. The first column will set the key AND transpose the song; the second will just set the
key signature.
Setting the Tempo
The Tempo Control shows the current song tempo. Left-click on the up/down arrows to change the
tempo by +/- 5 beats per minute. Right-click to change it by +/- 1 bpm. Tempos can also be typed in
directly.
This button allows you to quickly set the relative tempo. Click the button and choose a percentage or use
the Custom Tempo % menu item to set any value between 1% and 800%. 1% would be 1/100 of the
original tempo and 800% would be 8 times the original tempo. Hotkeys are available: Ctrl - (minus key)
for half speed and Ctrl = for normal speed.
Use the Tap tempo buttons to count and set a tempo. Tap the [-] button in tempo four times to set the
tempo. It will appear in the tempo box. Tap the [=] button to count-in the song and start playback at the
tapped tempo.
Shortcuts for song formatting
Typing special words, instead of chord names, will make the following settings:
begin + Enter
sets the beginning of the chorus to the current bar
chorusend + Enter sets the end of the chorus to the current bar
end + Enter
sets the end of the song to the current bar
tkc + Enter
sets key signature to c, tkbb would set it to bb
trc + Enter
transposes song to key of C
t125 + Enter
sets tempo to 125
Press Play
When you’re ready, just press the [Play] button or the F4 function key and Band-in-a-Box will immediately
generate and play a professional arrangement of your song using the settings and the style you selected. You can
double-click on any bar in the Chord Sheet, including the tag or ending, to start playback from that bar.
More fun with Band-in-a-Box…
That’s how easy it is to start creating music with Band-in-a-Box, but it’s just the beginning. Band-in-a-Box is jampacked with features, helpers, and user options, so read on and keep having fun!
26
Chapter 2: QuickStart
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
Welcome to Band-in-a-Box 2015
Band-in-a-Box 2015 for Windows is here with over 50 cool new features.
We’ve been busy and have added some great new features, new RealTracks, MIDI SuperTracks, Loops, Artist
Performances and Instrumental Studies to Band-in-a-Box! Compared to version 2014 (December 2013), this adds
50 new features, 101 new RealTracks, 15 new MIDI SuperTracks, 46 new Artist Performances, 18 new Instrumental
Studies and 1,000 new Modern, Techno, Dubstep and Worldbeat Loops. Compared to version 2013 (December
2012), this adds 100 new features, 202 new RealTracks, 69 new MIDI SuperTracks and 12 new Hi-Q Sounds!
There are now over 2,200 hours of RealTracks/RealDrums (studio musician audio recordings) included with the
UltraPlusPAK or EverythingPAK! And there’s more! We have BonusPAKs available (but only during the special
in December) with up to 49 additional new RealTracks on top of the 101 above, so in total 150 new RealTracks are
available!
Band-in-a-Box 2015 Features and Additions
There are some exciting new features in Band-in-a-Box 2015. We’ve enhanced the GUI, with improved look and
feel, and many new time-saving features added such as automatic track labels (e.g. instead of saying “Strings” it
says “Banjo”), video tutorial-help buttons, instant preview for many dialogs, faster song/style builds, a new
RealScore handwritten chord font and more. We’ve added direct support for 64-bit VST plugins (using
jBridge, available from PG Music). Now you can save your song as a video that you can upload to YouTube or
work in video programs. You can now load, play, view and slow down videos that you have already
downloaded from YouTube or elsewhere into Band-in-a-Box, extracting the audio and slowing it down with
great audio quality, to learn or sync to the Chord Sheet. Arrangements have been improved with addition of
options for Simple Drums, Ultra Simple “Held chords only” option for RealTracks and several improved
algorithms leading to better sounding RealTracks. Automatic Program Updates are added, including detecting
and downloading free program and RealTracks updates. New Playback options allow for setting any relative tempo
(extreme slowdowns: 1/100 of original and speedups: 8X original) with great quality! Audio transpose of any
track, with amazing quality even with extreme slowdowns or transposes. Options to email song/style and audio,
write Acidized files, fast font/color changes, improved Band button and an amazing collection of new Content of
RealTracks, SuperTracks, Artist Performances, Instrumental Studies, Loops and more!
With Band-in-a-Box 2015, we’ve added a huge number of RealTracks (101), 15 MIDI SuperTracks, 46 Artist
Performances (Quinn Bachand - Celtic/Folk/Gypsy Guitar, Jack Stafford Jazz Sax), 18 Instrumental Studies for
Guitar (Country, Pop, Jazz) and over 1,000 Loops with Techno, Dubstep, Worldbeat and more.
This includes...
101 RealTracks, with great new Jazz, Pop, and Country Styles. These include:
- 33 Jazz RealTracks:
New RealTracks in our “Jazz Pollwinners” series of Jazz Artist RealTracks. These are new RealTracks by the
best-of-the-best jazz musicians. These artists have won Downbeat’s Critics “best player” poll many times. Our
Pollwinners RealTracks series include new RealTracks from the great Eric Alexander (tenor sax), Ron Carter
(bass), Kenny Barron (piano), Lewis Nash (drums), Gary Smulyan (baritone sax), Mike Moreno (guitar) and
Phil Woods (alto sax). Brand new Pollwinners styles for Jazz Swing, Ballad, Waltz and Bossa comping and
soloing included. There are also great new flute and soprano sax background and soloing tracks. And new
RealTracks for Jazz Funk (guitar and synth), Gypsy Jazz (Quinn Bachand), and a great Jazz/Rockabilly 'Jive' band
with guitar (Brent Mason), piano (Kevin McKendree), bass and drums.
- 32 Country RealTracks:
We’ve got several new full Country bands of RealTracks - Guitar, Piano, Bass and Drums for Rockabilly
Boom-Chicka, Rockabilly Slow Swing, New Orleans Mardis Gras and New Orleans Shuffle. And this hot quartet
includes Brent Mason (guitar) and Kevin McKendree (piano). Quinn Bachand has made some great Hip Folk,
Old Time, Celtic Banjo and Guitar RealTracks. Nashville Guitar legend Brent Mason returns with some more
great Country RealTracks including Baritone Guitar, Rockabilly, Nylon, Dreamy and more!
- 36 Pop/Rock RealTracks:
Great new Pop/Rock RealTracks by Brent Mason (guitar), Gary Smulyan (sax), John Jarvis (piano), Kevin
McKendree (piano) and more! Hot!- New full bands with Rockabilly Fifties, Motown Up-tempo, Pop String
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
27
Chamber Quartet, World Synths (koto, shakuhachi, electro flutes), Vintage Keys, Blues Baritone Sax, Funky
Horns and much more!
There are 15 new MIDI SuperTracks.
These new MIDI SuperTracks styles are Funky Pianos, Funky Synths, Rockabilly, New Orleans Pianos and many
more! They work like RealTracks, but you can use your own MIDI sounds (or our Hi-Q sounds) to customize the
sounds or even edit the notes.
There are two new Artist Performance Sets.
- 24 Amazing Celtic Guitar and Banjo rhythms and melodies, and some flat-picking melodies on guitar playing
traditional Celtic tunes. Includes audio, on-screen guitar display, hi-quality notation, tab and printout.
- 22 Jazz Artist Performances on Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax on Flute. Read along and transpose to your instrument’s
key.
We’ve added a huge collection of 1,000 “Killer” loops, ready to use with Band-in-a-Box. These loops are mainly
drums and bass, focusing on Top 40, Modern, Techno, Dubstep and Worldbeat. And with Band-in-a-Box, you don’t
just add these as a loop, they will also work like a style, and follow your chord progression, and play along with the
rest of the instruments in the band! All you need to do is choose the loop and type in your chords!
Introducing “Instrumental Studies” for Guitar.
These are 18 great guitar performances that can help you learn to play background or solo guitar in many different
styles. They focus on common chord progressions, great playing, great notation, tab, on-screen guitar and printout.
Load and play, slow them down, and learn as you imitate the guitar part that you see on the on-screen guitar.
… and more!
Band-in-a-Box 2015 Features and Additions
We’ve added 50 new features to Band-in-a-Box 2015, including….
 Save Song as Video. Now you can save your song as a video that you can upload to YouTube or work with in
video programs.
 Load and Play Videos. Now you can load videos that you have already downloaded from YouTube or elsewhere
into Band-in-a-Box Video Window. The audio is extracted from the video to the audio track.
 Support for 64-bit VST Plugins using jBridge. (You can purchase jBridge from PG Music.)
 GUI Enhancements.
- Overhaul of dialogs, improved functionality, appearance, tab order and hints.
- Video-Tutorial buttons to various dialogs (over 40!), with helpful tutorials.
- Faster song list rebuilding.
- Faster style list rebuilding.
- Fast selection of Chord Sheet font, color, and new handwritten RealScore chord font included.
- Automatic track labels and descriptions.
- Custom track labels and descriptions.
- Mixer enhanced.
- On-screen pianos have colored notes.
- Drop Station enhancements. Folder opens after copying a file to drop box, DragDrop or another folder.
 Instant preview of audio demos added to many dialogs. These include:
- Loops Dialog
- Hi-Q Synth Patch Dialog
- MIDI Synth or Audio Plugin Dialog
- UserTracks Dialog
- Select “Best” RealTracks Dialog
- Select RealTracks Dialog
- MIDI SuperTracks Dialog
The instant previews sometimes play demos from the internet. Now you can save any file that is being played
from the internet by clicking the folder icon and choosing a name and Save As location.
28
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
 Instant preview of rendered file. When the song is rendered ([.WAV] - Export Song as…), a message shows and
if you click on it, you can preview the rendered file.
 MIDI files can be read from Guitar Pro® and displayed correctly on the Guitar Fretboard in Band-in-a-Box. You
can then import the audio file, and using Audio Chord Wizard, you can sync up the original audio recording with
the Guitar Pro® MIDI file. So you then listen to the original audio as you watch the guitar transcription (from
Guitar Pro® playing in Band-in-a-Box).
 On-screen Mixer Enhanced.
- Mixer “tricks” holding Ctrl or Shift key to change all tracks at once.
- Mixer auto-opens/closes the Audio panel.
- Automatic track labels and descriptions.
- Custom track labels and descriptions.
- Pianos show colored notes for each track.
 Automatic Program Update Notification and Download.
- When booting up, it will automatically check for a newer build (if user has allowed it and chosen how often).
- Updates dialog: User can check/download/pause/continue/install for a newer version (not free), newer build
(free), and updated RealTracks files (free).
 Email Song as Attachments.
 Write Acidized Files.
 Loops Dialogs Enhanced.
- Importing of more types of ACIDized files supported.
- Instant preview of loops by double click.
- 1,000 “Killer” loops added, mainly Modern Pop/Techno/Dubstep/Wordbeat drums and basses. Visit the
dialog and double click on the loops to check them out!
- There is now a Transpose Type setting. This is useful for single note mid-high pitch loops (sax, violin) where
you can choose to transpose to the closest chord tone (triad or 7th) instead of always transposing to the root of
the next chord. This achieves “Smooth Voice Leading” and makes a single note “root” loop play various
chord tones and different notes.
- Additional audio formats supported for Loops, including m4a files and atypical WAV formats.
 Notation Improved.
- Button with menu added to change bars per line easily.
- “Big Notes with Note Names” button to make reading of the notation easier for beginners.
- Button to set “Big Note” mode.
- Accidentals now drawn farther from the note heads when possible.
- Restate chord mode.
- Note names in Guitar Window improved when notation is transposed.
- Bar-based Section Letters [A] - [Z] can be added easily, and are auto-placed out of the way of chords and
notes.
- Notations with note names have better contrast colors.
- Print Preview in Editable Notation mode improved.
- Notation Event Edit dialog enhanced, with color coding based on type, duration and velocity. Functions added
to “go to” or “play” current event, also displays a count of events, and count of notes.
- For Editable Notation with Guitar Tab, you can now easily change the string for a note, by dragging the note
from one tab string to another.
 Chord Sheet Window Enhancements.
- Bar-based Section Letters [A] - [Z] can be added easily.
- Chord Sheet font can be changed easily from on-screen button, with visual menu of fonts.
- Chord Sheet color can be changed easily from on-screen button, with visual menu of colors.
- RealScore handwriting font added. This is similar to BigBand font, but a little sharper and bolder.
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
29
- Better look on Chord Sheet for BigBand and RealScore fonts.
 Many Dialogs Improved. Including:
- RealTracks Picker dialog enhanced, with sizable window by dragging the corner.
- RealDrums Picker dialog enhanced.
 Sizable window by dragging the corner.
 Simple drums option.
 Current RealDrums selected.
 Force drums to MIDI drums also added to the menu from the Drums radio button.
- Chord Options dialog improved.
 Real-time updating, anything changed in dialog is shown on Chord Sheet.
 Choosing a different beat moves the Chord Sheet cursor.
 [Clear Bar], [Clear All Bars], [Previous Bar] and [Next Bar] buttons allow user to go through the entire
Chord Sheet without leaving dialog.
 Undo support improved.
- Chord Builder Improved. Clicking on the same root or extension will play the chord (previously it wouldn't
respond if that item was already selected). [<] & [>] buttons now move 1 beat on right click (previously, you
would have to type in a different beat # if you weren't just skipping 2 beats).
- StylePicker Filter Improved. The [Update] button allows user to see the filtered StylePicker without leavingthen-returning to the dialog. All Category button insures that all possible styles are shown.
- Piano Roll Window. Leaving/returning to piano roll keeps the user's snap settings (insert/duration).
- Repeats Dialog. “Auto” mode for “Fine” types (helps user by filling in the blanks).
- Record MIDI Dialog Improved. Record Onto: “Melody track” & “Soloist track” radio buttons added, which
allow user to choose which track to record onto instead of leaving the dialog and launching a similar dialog.
- File-Open Dialog. If you type the name of a non-existent path or file name, the dialog won’t exit and it will
stay open so that you can correct the entry.
- Band Button Enhanced. The Band button shows an updated and improved list of the best RealStyles.
 Transpose for audio tracks, automatic and settable, with Hi Quality Transpose.
 On-screen Relative Tempo, with settings from huge slowdown (1/100 of original tempo) to big speedup (8x
original tempo).
 UserTracks Enhanced. UserTracks support drum fills, post fills, and simple drums. UserTracks dialog has
instant previews.
 Automatic and settable track labels and descriptions.
 Options for “Simpler Arrangements” added.
 Simple Drums added.
 Option to prevent a drum fill at a bar added.
 Jazz Ballad bass default style is “simpler.”
 Ultra Simple “Helds” RealTracks, selectable like other RealTracks.
 Simple button, to make current or all songs simple arrangements for.
 Holds improved, with optimized timing, so that strumming guitars start earlier like a real musician would do.
 Automatic Updates.
 Sample Rate Detection Warning.
 Loops and Artist Performance Tracks can now be frozen.
 And more…
30
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
Let’s take a closer look at the great new features in Band-in-a-Box 2015!
Save Song as Video
You can now save your song as a video that you can upload to YouTube or work with in video programs. The
“video” portion is the Chord Sheet in Band-in-a-Box that shows the chords and a highlighted bar moving as the song
plays. Song title and song info displays at the top of the window. For example, you can make a backing track for a
cool chord progression, and upload it to YouTube for others to play along to. Do a visual transpose and upload a
second version for Bb tenor sax players.
To use this feature, press the [Save as] button and choose Save as Video from the pulldown menu.
Enable “Custom dimensions” if you want to choose the width and height of the video. If this is disabled, the video
dimensions will match the Chord Sheet as it appears.
If “Include Title” is enabled, the video will have a black bar at the top containing the title shown below.
Click on the [OK - Render Video] button to start rendering the video.
Load and Play Videos
Now you can load videos that you have already downloaded from YouTube or elsewhere into Band-in-a-Box Video
Window. The audio is extracted from the video to the audio track.
To load and play a video, either use the File - [Open] button and choose a video (mp4, wmv
or AVI file),
or press the Views - [Video] button which launches the Video Window and click on
the [Open] button on its toolbar.
You can size the window by dragging the corner.
There is a “Full” button to make the video full screen, and the [Esc] key will go out of the full screen
mode.
Play, Stop or Move to a position in the video using the Transport toolbar.
As the song plays, you can slow down the video, and the audio will slow
down and stay in sync.
The quality of the audio at slower tempos is great - better than most video player programs. The video slowdown
range is 50-100%. If you want slower than that, you can select values as low as 12%, which is an 8X slowdown (1
second would take 8 seconds), and still has good quality. Note: When set to values lower than 50%, the Video
Window is disabled, but the audio continues at the extreme slow tempo. This is a great tool for transcription. You
can select a range in the Chord Sheet window and use Transport - [Loop] button to loop a section of the video at a
low tempo for example.
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
31
Support for 64-bit VST Plugins using jBridge
You can use your 64-bit VST plugins and VSTi instruments with Band-in-a-Box, using jBridge. Since Band-in-aBox has built-in support for jBridge, you just use your plugins as you normally would, by selecting 32- or 64-bit
plugins within Band-in-a-Box. (JBridge is a third party product. You can purchase jBridge from PG Music.)
To use 64-bit plugins with Band-in-a-Box 2015, you:
3. Get and install jBridge,
4. Select and use your 64- or 32-bit plugins within Band-in-a-Box, without any further setup or configuration!
GUI Enhancements
Overhaul of dialogs, improved functionality, appearance, tab order and hints. Most dialogs have been
overhauled, to improve appearance, tab ordering, and hints.
Video-Tutorial buttons to various dialogs (over 40!), with helpful tutorials. Look in the bottom right corner of
the dialog, and if there is a video button, click on it to open a video with a tutorial explaining the functions available
in the dialog.
Much faster song list rebuilding. When you press the [Song] button and select the SongPicker menu item, the
song list will be built much faster. If the folder is within the BB folder, or if you are remaking an existing song list,
the list will get built about 20X faster!
Faster style list rebuilding. Rebuilding the list of styles in the StylePicker is faster, primarily if you have a lot of
third party styles, and you are re-building the list.
Fast selection of Chord Sheet font and color. Press the Views - [Chord Display] button and use the 2 new menus
to choose a font or color.
32
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
Automatic track labels and descriptions. With previous versions of Band-in-a-Box, the tracks were always called
the same names “Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar and Strings.” Now the names match the styles. For example, if you
load in the Slow Bluegrass Waltz style, you will see these names:
These names are also on the Mixer.
And the track buttons in the Notation, Lead Sheet, Piano Roll, Big Piano and Guitar windows show
the initials of the track labels.
Note: If you prefer the “default” track labels (Bass/Piano/Drums/Guitar/Strings/Melody/Soloist or
B/P/D/G/S/M/S), uncheck the “Auto-Generate Track Labels” option in the Display Options dialog.
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
33
Custom track labels and descriptions. If you click on the track description on the Mixer, you will see a menu that
has two new items.
You could, for example, change the track label from Banjo to “5-String” and the track description to “Hot Pickin
Banjo Riffs.”
Mixer enhanced. New functionality to change settings more easily. See below for details.
On-screen pianos have colored notes.
Drop Station enhancements. Folder opens after copying a file to drop box, DragDrop or another folder.
Instant preview of audio demos added to many dialogs
These include:
- Loops Dialog. Double click on a loop on the list to instantly hear a preview of the loop.
- Hi-Q Synth Patch Dialog. Double click on a Hi-Q Patch to hear a demo of the sound in action.
- MIDI Synth or Audio Plugin Dialog. Double click on a Plugin to hear a demo of the FX in action.
34
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
- UserTracks Dialog. Double click to hear a demo of the UserTracks.
- Select “Best” RealTracks Dialog. Double click to hear a demo of the selected RealTracks.
Use the [>] button on the transport to toggle between a solo and a
band version.
- Select RealTracks Dialog. Double click to hear a solo or band version of the RealTracks.
- MIDI SuperTracks Dialog. Double click to hear a solo or band version of the MIDI SuperTracks.
The instant previews sometimes play demos from the internet. Now you can save any file that is being played from
the internet by clicking the folder icon and choosing a name and Save As location.
Instant preview of rendered file
When the song is rendered ([.WAV] toolbar button - Export Song as…), a message shows and if you click on it, you
can preview the rendered file.
Clicking on a folder icon in the player will
show the file in the Windows Explorer.
MIDI files can be read from Guitar Pro® and displayed correctly on the Guitar Fretboard in Bandin-a-Box
You can then import the audio file, and using Audio Chord Wizard, you can sync up the original audio recording
with the Guitar Pro® MIDI file. So you then listen to the original audio as you watch the guitar transcription (from
Guitar Pro® playing in Band-in-a-Box).
To export MIDI files on 6 channels in Guitar Pro®, you need to:
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
35
Turn the RSE off (menu Sound - Realistic Sound Engine).
Press the Guitar Settings button on the left of the GP window and then enable the force 11-16
channels option.
Export the Track (menu File - Export - MIDI).
Then, in Band-in-a-Box, click on the [Open] button and choose the menu item
Open MIDI File to load Guitar Pro® MIDI file into Band-in-a-Box.
You can then play the file and watch the guitar fretboard to see it. Band-in-a-Box has a large guitar fretboard,
sizable with many options, so you may like displaying some of your GuitarPro files in Band-in-a-Box.
On-screen Mixer Enhanced
Mixer “tricks” holding Ctrl or Shift key to change all tracks at once. Hold the [Ctrl] key down as you click on
the track slider, or drag the thumb of the slider. This will force all tracks to move to the same absolute location as
the original track. Hold the [Shift] key and it will move all tracks relative to the move of the original track.
Mixer auto-opens/closes the Audio panel. The audio panel will automatically open and close.
Automatic track labels and descriptions. Track labels are now more descriptive. With previous versions of
Band-in-a-Box, the tracks were always called the same names “Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar and Strings.” Now the
names match the styles. For example, if you load in the Slow Bluegrass Waltz style, you will see these names: Bass,
Guitar, Mandolin, Guitar, Banjo.
Note: If you prefer the “default” track labels (Bass/Piano/Drums/Guitar/Strings/Melody/Soloist or B/P/D/G/S/M/S), uncheck the
“Auto-Generate Track Labels” option in the Display Options dialog.
Custom track labels and descriptions. If you click on the track description on the Mixer, you will see a menu that
has two new items.
36
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
You could, for example, change the track label from Banjo to “5-String” and the track description to “Hot Pickin
Banjo Riffs.”
Pianos show colored notes for each track.
Automatic Program Update Notification and Download
When booting up, it will automatically check for a newer build (if user has allowed it, and chosen how often).
Updates dialog: User can check/download/pause/continue/install for a newer version (not free), newer build (free),
and updated RealTracks files (free). Access this option from the menu Help - Check for Updates. This will show
the Band-in-a-Box for Windows Updates dialog.
You can set whether you want any checking for updates
at boot up to be done, and if so, how often. (Note: A setting of 0 days will check every time you run the program.)
You can also press the [Check Now] button to check for a major or minor upgrade of the
program and RealTracks patches. Download free updates within this dialog when available.
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
37
Email Song as Attachments
You can now email a song, style or audio file as attachments.
Access this from the [Save as] toolbar button or the File menu.
This dialog allows you to choose what files you want to email:
- the song (.MGU or .SGU)
- the style (.STY and .STX)
- a rendered audio file (choice of m4a, wma, wav, mp3)
Write Acidized Files
When WAV files are written (by drag & drop, render dialog, etc.) you can now elect to have Acidized information
such as tempo, root note, and whether the file should be tempo stretched and transposed.
The option is set in the Render to Audio File dialog. Press the [.WAV] toolbar button and choose Save all tracks
as WAV file (with options).
Enable “Include ACID info,” and then the ACID info gets written to the WAV files.
Loops Dialogs Enhanced
Importing of more types of ACIDized files supported. This happens automatically, and more fields are
recognized from certain ACIDized WAV files.
Instant preview of loops. Double click a selection on the list or use a transport control button to hear the loop.
1,000 “Killer” loops added, mainly Modern Pop/Techno/Dubstep/Wordbeat drums and basses. Visit the
dialog and double click on the loops to check them out!
There is now a Transpose Type setting. This is useful for single note mid-high pitch loops (sax, violin) where you
can choose to transpose to the closest chord tone (triad or 7th) instead of always transposing to the root of the next
chord. This achieves “Smooth Voice Leading” and makes a single note “root” loop play various chord tones and
different notes.
Additional audio formats supported for loops, including m4a files and atypical WAV formats.
Notation Improved
Button with menu added to change bars per line easily. Press the [Bars] button to set the number of bars per line
to a different value.
38
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
“Big Notes with Note Names” improved to make reading of the notation easier for beginners.
Button to set “Big Note” mode.
There is a button on the Notation toolbar to display notation with larger font size and note names
within note heads. Press the button again to return to the normal size.
Accidentals now drawn farther from the note heads when possible.
Previous versions:
New version:
Restate chord mode. This is set in the Notation Window Options dialog.
If set to “Don’t Restate,” then the program works as in previous
versions, and if the chord stays the same, it will never be stated again
in the arrangement until it does change. If set to “Every Bar,” “Every
Line” or “Every Page,” then the Notation, Lead Sheet and Printout will
restate the chord every bar, line or page. The setting of “Every Page”
is the default, which means that the first bar of the Lead Sheet Window
will always have a chord as will the top of each Notation Window
screen.
Note names in Guitar Window improved when notation is transposed.
Bar-base Section Letters [A] - [Z] can be added easily, and are auto-placed out of the way of chords and
notes. To get this, right click on the Notation window, select Bar-based section letters, and select a letter that you
want to insert. The Section Letter gets inserted at the top of the bar line, so that it doesn’t overwrite chords or notes.
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
39
Notations with note names have better contrast colors. Now black and close to white are used.
Print Preview in Editable Notation mode improved. Previously, Print Preview did not have a clean look when it
was accessed from the Editable Notation mode.
Notation Event Edit dialog enhanced.
- Color coding can be based on event type, channel, duration, or velocity.
- Functions added:
“Show” (exit dialog and highlight the note in notation),
“Play” current event,
Also displays a count of events, and count of notes.
40
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
For Editable Notation with Guitar Tab, you can now easily change the string for a note, by dragging the note
from one tab string to another.
Select the Melody track in the Notation Window.
Enter the Editable Notation.
And set the track type to Guitar (via main menu Melody - Track Type = Guitar).
Now you have Editable Notation and tab. After you insert notes on the notation, you can drag notes from one tab
string to another to change the channel and fret position that plays on the guitar.
For example, here you can drag the “1” down a
string to have the middle C note played on the
third string instead of the second.
Chord Sheet Window Enhancements
Bar-based Section Letters [A] - [Z] can be added easily.
Right click on the Chord Sheet, select Bar-based section letters menu command, and select a letter that you want to
add.
Chord Sheet font can be changed easily from on-screen button, with visual menu of fonts.
Chord Sheet color can be changed easily from on-screen button, with visual menu of colors.
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
41
RealScore handwriting font added. This is similar to BigBand font, but a little sharper and bolder.
Better look on Chord Sheet for BigBand and RealScore fonts. They are offset a little to the right, so they are not
so close to the bar line on the left.
Many Dialogs Improved
RealTracks Picker dialog enhanced, with sizable window by dragging the corner.
RealDrums Picker dialog enhanced.
42
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
-
Sizable window by dragging the corner.
Simple drums option.
Current RealDrums selected.
Force drums to MIDI drums also added to the menu from the Drums radio button.
Chord Options dialog improved.
- Real-time updating. Anything changed in dialog is shown on the Chord Sheet.
- Choosing a different beat moves the Chord Sheet cursor.
- [Clear Bar], [Clear All Bars], [Previous Bar] and [Next Bar] buttons allow user to go through the entire Chord
Sheet without leaving the dialog.
- Undo support improved. Previously, if you clicked the [Cancel], then the Undo option was not available.
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
43
Chord Builder Improved. Clicking on the same root or extension will play the chord (previously it wouldn’t
respond if that item was already selected). [<] & [>] buttons now move 1 beat on right click (previously, you would
have to type in a different beat number if you weren't just skipping 2 beats).
StylePicker Filter Improved.
- The [Update] button allows user to see the filtered StylePicker without leaving-then-returning to the dialog.
- All Category button insures that all possible styles are shown.
Piano Roll Window Enhanced. Leaving/returning to piano roll keeps the user's snap settings (insert/duration).
Repeats Dialog. “Auto” mode for “Fine” types. (This helps user by filling in the blanks.) If the “Auto” option is
enabled for DC al Fine or DS al Fine, then Band-in-a-Box will calculate the other parameters based on each
parameter you enter.
Record MIDI Dialog Improved. Record Onto: “Melody track” & “Soloist track” radio buttons added, which allow
user to choose which track to record onto instead of leaving the dialog and launching a similar dialog.
File-Open dialog. If you type the name of a non-existent path or file name, the dialog won’t exit and it will stay
open so that you can correct the entry.
Band Button Enhanced. The Band button shows an updated and improved list of the best RealStyles.
44
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
Transpose for audio tracks, automatic and settable, with Hi Quality Transpose
Some tracks in Band-in-a-Box are audio tracks, and don’t get regenerated. These are the “Audio Track” and the
“Artist Performance Tracks” that can be on any track. Now, when you transpose the track using the key signature
control, the Audio Tracks will automatically transpose so they play in tune with the other tracks.
This is controlled by the setting in the Song Settings
dialog. You can customize this setting, and even set it to large values like +24 to get the audio tracks transposed up
2 octaves.
On-screen Relative Tempo, with settings from huge slowdown (1%) to big speedup (800%)
Click on the Relative Tempo button in the Song Panel and choose a percentage or use the Custom Tempo % menu
item to set any value between 1% and 800%. 1% would be 1/100 of the original tempo and 800% would be 8 times
the original tempo. Hotkeys are available: Ctrl - (minus key) for half speed and Ctrl = for normal speed.
UserTracks Enhanced
- UserTracks support drum fills, post fills, and simple drums.
- UserTracks dialog has instant previews.
======= from the options.txt file ==============
Drums=true ;if true, no transpose. Tip: this is automatically set to true if the UserTracks folder name contains
"drum"
DrumsButThereAreNoFillsOrPostFillsInThisUserTracks=False ;set to true if the UserTracks has no fills or post
fills to begin with
ForceSimple=false ;e.g. set to true to force a simple drums UserTracks, which will never play the fill bars
Note to people making UserTracks. For Drums:
If you make a UserTracks with Drums, make sure that the options.txt file in the UserTracks folder has the line
Drums=true. It will be set to true when you first make the UserTracks if the folder contains the word “drum” in it,
otherwise you need to set it manually. If you didn’t put fills in the UserTracks that you created, then you could set
DrumsButThereAreNoFillsOrPostFillsInThisUserTracks to true.
If you’d prefer that BB ignored the fills in your UserTracks, you could add ForceSimple=true,
Automatic and settable track labels and descriptions
These are optional, and they are set in the Display Options dialog
(menu Opt. - Preferences - [Display]). They are enabled by default.
If you want the track names “the old way” where the Strings track would always be called Strings regardless of what
was on it, then you would uncheck these settings.
With previous versions of Band-in-a-Box, the tracks were always called the same names “Bass, Piano, Drums,
Guitar and Strings.” Now the names match the styles. For example, if you load in the Slow Bluegrass Waltz style,
you will see these names: “Bass Guitar Mandolin Guitar Banjo.”
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
45
Options for “Simpler Arrangements” added
Press the [Freeze/Simple] toolbar button. This allows you to quickly set tracks to simple arrangements or the whole
song to unembellished arrangements. You can now set the drums to simple, too.
Simple Drums added
If you set the Drums track to be simple (from the Freeze/Simple button above) or from the Mixer menu that pops up
from the Drums track, then the Drum track will be played with a simple arrangement, avoiding fills or post fills
(cymbal crashes). You can also set a Drums track to be simple in a style. UserTracks will also follow this setting
for Drums and play a simpler arrangement without fills if you set the Drums track to Simple.
Option to prevent a drum fill at a bar added
If you want to put a part marker at a bar, but don’t want a drum fill before the bar and a post fill cymbal crash after
the bar, then you can use the new feature to disable these for that bar. Just right click on the part marker bar, and see
the menu item Allow Drum fill before this part marker. If you de-select it, you will get a part marker bar free of
drum fills and post fills!
Jazz Ballad bass default style is “simpler”
Previously, Jazz Ballad bass played a busy arrangement but now playing is simpler.
Ultra Simple “Helds” RealTracks, selectable like other RealTracks
Sometimes you want the very simplest comping part possible, which is just “held chords” for the whole piece. This
would mean that the piano player, for example, just plays a single chord and holds it for the duration until the next
chord. Now you can get that for most RealTracks.
Open the RealTracks Picker, select a RealTracks, and then select the
“Held” checkbox. Now for that song, you will hear this Ultra Simple
“Helds” arrangement.
Note that we have made dedicated RealTracks that are set to be “Helds”
and you can search for them by the word “Helds.” Also, we have some
more sophisticated “Held” styles (without the “s” like Helds) and those are
listed in the RealTracks Picker, too.
46
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
Holds improved, with optimized timing, so that strumming guitars start earlier like a real musician
would do
Previously, if a held chord was a slow strum, the held chord would still start at the bar line instead of starting early
as a real musician would do. This is added in Band-in-a-Box 2015.
Sample Rate Detection Warning
Windows 7 has a peculiar issue where if you choose
Windows Start Button - Control Panel - “Sound,”
right click on your output device, choose
“Properties” and then “Advanced,” you can see the
default format. It should be 16 bit 44100.
Unfortunately, some apps change this setting
without your knowledge. When it is set like this, all
of your audio gets “resampled” and this can create
obvious audible artifacts and make some things
sound “bad.”
Band-in-a-Box now detects this setting when you
exit the MIDI/Audio Drivers Setup dialog, and will
give you a notification about it, and that’s a clue for
you to visit this dialog and set it back to 44100.
Thank you for taking the time to read this introduction to Band-in-a-Box 2015!
Chapter 3: Band-in-a-Box 2015
47
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
Main Screen Overview
Band-in-a-Box supports Windows themes. It will use the current theme that you have selected in the Windows
Control Panel to use for windows and dialogs.
The main screen gives direct access to the major features and program settings of Band-in-a-Box for ease and
convenience during a session.
There are six different areas on the main screen.
1→
2→
3→
5
4→
6→
1. The Status Bar is used to show program running status messages and path names of the currently loaded song.
This area also includes the Menu Bar, with typical Windows menus for the program settings. Immediately
below it are the Instrument Parts, where instruments are assigned and sounds are chosen. Right-click on the
instrument names to open a menu of settings for that instrument.
2. The Main Tool Bar has buttons for direct access to important program features and menus. Hold the mouse
cursor on any button to see a pop-up hint that describes its function.
3. The Song Panel includes the song title and all the other settings for the song such as its Key Signature, Tempo,
and Chorus settings. The [Song] and [Style] buttons offer various ways of selecting songs and styles, including
the SongPicker and StylePicker dialogs.
4. The Function Tool Bars are organized into groups of buttons for related features such as Transport, Tools,
Views, and Tracks.
5. The Mixer is always open in the top right corner. It provides live control of parts with Volume, Pan, Reverb, and
Tone settings. It also supports the assignment of plug-ins and patches to individual parts, and has a piano
keyboard display.
6. The Chord Sheet Area occupies the lower part of the screen. Chord changes for the song are typed into the
numbered bars (cells) in the sheet. Part markers (a, b, through x) are entered here to switch between up to 24
Band-in-a-Box substyles. Double lines are drawn on the Chord Sheet at the bar before a part marker. Repeats
and endings are also shown.
The Band-in-a-Box window is resizable.
When the window size changes, the Chord Sheet, Notation, and other windows redraw in proportion to the new size.
This allows you to have Band-in-a-Box open as a small window on screen with other programs, and you still see a
full Chord Sheet. The screen size is remembered between sessions.
To resize the Window, first unmaximize it.
Then use the sizing control at the bottom right. The various Band-in-a-Box windows will scale as you
do this. Band-in-a-Box will remember the position and size of the window between sessions.
48
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
Yellow Alert messages and green Action dialogs
You will see that many Band-in-a-Box messages appear as “yellow alerts” at the top right of screen. That way you
don’t have to respond to the message, interrupting work flow. But, if the message box is green instead of yellow,
the message is an “action” dialog and you can click on it to perform the action described, such as loading a
substitute style.
Personalizing the Main Screen
Band-in-a-Box gives you many options to personalize the main screen.
Screen Layout
The Chord Sheet area (or Notation window) can be displayed in full screen if desired by selecting the “Full Screen
Chord Sheet View” from the Window menu or by pressing Ctrl+T. (This is reversed by selecting the same option.)
Display Options
Go to Opt. | Preferences or click on the [Prefs] button to open the Preferences dialog. Then click on the [Display]
button to open the Display Options dialog where you can set display options for the Chord Sheet including the
number of rows to display, the font to use, and the font size. This allows you to read the Chord Sheet window from
“across the room.”
If you choose a Custom font, you can choose the size as well. Choose a preset font, and the size will be set
automatically to fit into the height of the row. Choose Jazz Symbols to see shorthand Jazz chord symbols in the
Chord Sheet and Notation window. To revert to the “old look” that used a small System font, and lots of rows, you
can choose that as the type of font “Small font (system).”
Whenever a new section occurs (a part marker) you have the option to start the new section on a new line and draw a
grey line above to clearly mark the new section. A section can be just 2 bars long. With this Section Paragraphs
feature you will see each section on a new line so that the form of the song is easy to see.
Transpose visually transposes the Chord Sheet and Notation window a number of semitones, e.g. +14 for tenor sax.
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
49
Color Schemes
You can choose from several color sets using the 256-color palette in Windows. Choose from pre-made color
schemes or make your own. To change the color scheme, select Opt. | Preferences from the main screen, and then
click on the [Colors] button in the Preferences dialog to launch the Color Selection dialog.
To select a pre-made color scheme, press the [Import..] button and choose from the list of schemes. Select [OK] to
make the changes permanent. Use the [Export..] button to save and share your customized color schemes.
To make your own color scheme, click on the name of the element you wish to change (Chord Area, List Box, etc.),
then click on the [Choose…] button to bring up the Windows Color palette and click on the color you desire.
Descriptive Hints
The pop-up hints are comprehensive fly-by hints that appear
when you move over an item, including hints for the dialog boxes
and various windows.
Go to Opt. | Preferences or click on the [Prefs] toolbar button to open the Preferences dialog and then set
the type of hints to display, the time delay, and duration.
Set a longer delay if you find that the hints are popping up too often and getting in your way. Clicking on Flash
Tips will perform the suggested action.
Options and Utilities
These settings are found in the Opt. menu and the Opt. | Utilities submenu.
Language Selection
This item in the Opt. menu allows you to change language from English to another language for display. If there are
other languages supported by your version of Band-in-a-Box, then they will display in this dialog. The new
language will be displayed the next time Band-in-a-Box is launched.
50
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
Edit Chord Shortcuts file (shortcut.txt)
Add your own chord shortcuts. Have you found a chord that Band-in-a-Box doesn't recognize? If so, you can make
a text file called \bb\shortcut.txt for your own shortcuts. (Note that this file doesn't ship with Band-in-a-Box or it
would overwrite your file!) The file \bb\pgshortc.txt is only for shortcuts supplied by PG Music.
Refresh Chord Shortcuts…
When you have saved your shortcuts file click on Refresh Chord Shortcuts… to start using them. Changes to your
chord shortcuts won’t take effect until you choose this command.
Status Bar
The name of the open song is identified in the status bar at the top of the screen. The full file name and path name
are shown, as well as audio track information if present, the length of the song in minutes and seconds, and the
current position of the highlight cell. Other “running status” messages such as Soloist Generation and Song
Generation display in the status bar.
The status bar changes during playback to show additional information like the current bar and chorus location and
the current style. The on-screen file name includes “*” when a file has been changed.
Status bar during playback.
Instruments and Parts
This bar shows all of the available instrument parts in Band-in-a-Box, including:
- The Melody track, where you can record your own MIDI melody. Or just use it as a sequencer track to record any
MIDI track.
- The Soloist track, for solos generated by the Band-in-a-Box Soloist. This track can also be used as a MIDI
sequencer track if not needed for a solo.
- The Thru track for play-along on an outboard MIDI device or with the Band-in-a-Box Wizard feature.
- The Audio track for your recorded vocal or instrumental part, or an imported audio file.
The color of the instrument name indicates its type or state.
- White indicates that the part is empty and is not in use.
- Yellow indicates a MIDI track playing a Band-in-a-Box MIDI part.
- Green indicates a RealTrack instrument. If the track name is underlined it also has RealChart notation.
- Blue indicates a MIDI SuperTrack.
- Red means that the track has been muted. When one of the tracks is being soloed all other tracks will change color
to red.
- For the Audio track, yellow shows that an audio recording is present on the track.
Automatic track labels. With previous versions of Band-in-a-Box, the tracks were always called the same names
“Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar and Strings.” Now the names match the styles. For example, if you load in the Slow
Bluegrass Waltz style, you will see these names:
Note: If you prefer the “default” track labels (Bass/Piano/Drums/Guitar/Strings/Melody/Soloist), uncheck the “Auto-Generate
Track Labels” option in the Display Options dialog.
Master Settings
When the master button is selected changes to volume, reverb, etc. will apply to all
parts. Right-click on the Master radio button to open a menu of commands.
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
51
- Mute and Un-Mute All will mute or unmute all parts.
- Save all tracks as WAV file (with options) will render the tracks together into one wave file or render them as
individual wave files.
- Song has changed, needs regeneration will regenerate a new arrangement for all parts.
- You can Render Song to Audio Track, which mutes the individual tracks and plays the rendered audio wave, or
you can Un-Render Song from Audio Track, which will erase the audio track and play the individual tracks again.
- The Freeze and Un-freeze commands apply to all tracks.
- If you like the current mix (of volumes, panning, reverb), and you want this applied as a default for all songs,
choose Save Current Mix as Default. Load Default Mix restores the default mix you have saved, and Reset Mix
sets the mix back to “factory defaults.”
- Set Mix to Flat, Dry and Center sets the song to Flat (all volumes=90), Dry (no Reverb) and Center panning. This
is useful when rendering individual tracks and transferring to a DAW.
- The Set Song to Simple Arrangement checkbox makes the RealTracks play a simpler (less busy or embellished)
arrangement.
- This Song Volume Boost (range -36 to +36dB) opens a dialog where a dB value can be entered that will affect
only the current song. For reference, 6dB is generally considered to be double the volume; -6dB would be half the
volume.
- All Songs Volume Boost (range -36 to +36dB) opens a dialog where a dB value can be entered to adjust the
overall volume of all songs. A setting of 6dB is twice as loud, -6dB is half as loud.
Individual Part Settings
The Bass/Drum/Piano/Guitar/Strings/Melody/Soloist and Thru buttons refer to instrument parts.
Settings such as Volume, Pan, Reverb, and Tone for individual parts are made in the on-screen Mixer.
Right-click or double-click on a part name for a menu of settings and actions for the selected part.
52
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
-
-
You can Mute or Solo the individual part. Solo mutes all but the soloed part.
Un-Mute All is useful to restore all other parts after a part has been soloed.
Assign RealTracks generates the part as a RealTrack using any available RealTracks instrument.
Select Best “All” RealTracks will show all RealTracks, sorted by best to worst for the current style, and Select
Best “Chording” RealTracks shows the list for comping (i.e. Chording, non-Soloist) RealTracks.
Choose Select Best “Soloist” RealTracks to add a Best Soloist to any track.
Choose RealTracks from Recently Chosen Favorites opens a list of recently used RealTracks.
Select MIDI Patch is used to assign an instrument to a MIDI track from the General MIDI patch list, the General
MIDI 2 patch list, the higher bank patches on your particular synthesizer, or from a preselected list of favorite
patches.
Select MIDI SuperTrack for this track opens a menu of available SuperTracks. They can be used in the same way
as RealTracks.
The menu option Select Hi-Q MIDI Synth Patch will display a list of available instruments. When you make a
choice SampleTank will be launched, with the Hi-Q instrument loaded.
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
53
- If you want to choose from all the TGS files (files with preset synths and plug-ins), then choose the menu option
Select MIDI Synth or Audio Plugin for Track.
- Select Custom MIDI Style for this track lets you play your favorite MIDI track from any style on any track of
your current style, including the Melody and Soloist tracks. The track you assign doesn’t have to be the same
instrument, i.e., you could assign a Guitar to the Strings track.
- Select a UserTracks for this track lets you assign a track from the list in your UserTracks folder. UserTracks
work like RealTracks, but are created from the user’s own audio recordings.
- You can play an audio loop (your own or 3rd party) on any track with the Select a Loop for this track command.
- The RealTrack can be regenerated.
- RealTracks and MIDI tracks can be saved to any drive or folder you choose as WAV files, e.g., “Untitled Song
BBGuitar_MIDI_SingleRender.WAV”
- Save track as Performance File (wav/wma) renders the track to your choice of a WAV file or a WMA file. When
you choose, the track will be rendered to c:\bb\<Song Title><track name (e.g. Bass).WAV or .WMA.
- Set Track offset allows the track to moved ahead or behind by +/- 1000 ticks (at a resolution of 120 PPQ).
- Erase Track removes either the MIDI data or RealTracks audio from the track.
- Freeze the track if you do not want the part regenerated on each play. Tracks can be unfrozen.
- Guitar (*or any part) track is enabled. This command is the easy way to disable/enable a track, even during song
playback. To disable a track, right-click on the track name (at top of the screen or on the mixer), and select
enable/disable the track.
- When a track is disabled, the color is dark gray on the main screen:
and on the mixer:
- Force Track to simple arrangement makes the RealTracks play a simpler (less busy or embellished) arrangement.
- Rename track title allows you to change the track label for the selected track.
- Change track description allows you to change the track description.
Audio
Right click on the Audio label to quickly mute, solo or open the Audio Track dialog which allows you to
change the volume, tone or reverb of the Audio track. This dialog also opens if you click on the Audio label.
Mixer
The Mixer window is always open in the upper right section of the main screen to show the current state of
instruments and parts and to allow easy changes or adjustments.
54
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
Automatic track labels. With previous versions of Band-in-a-Box, the tracks were always called the same names
“Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar and Strings.” Now the names match the styles. For example, if you load in the Slow
Bluegrass Waltz style, you will see these names: Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Guitar, and Banjo.
Note: If you prefer the “default” track labels (Bass/Piano/Drums/Guitar/Strings/Melody/Soloist), uncheck the “Auto-Generate
Track Labels” option in the Display Options dialog.
Custom track labels and descriptions. If you click on the track description on the Mixer, you will see a menu that
has two new items.
You could, for example, change the track label from Banjo to “5-String” and the track description to “Hot Pickin
Banjo Riffs.”
Each individual track has settings for Volume, Pan, Reverb and Tone that can be adjusted as the song is playing.
Volume, Pan, and Reverb are controlled by horizontal sliders. Tone is controlled by typing in a number from -18
(full bass) to 18 (full treble).
Hold the [Ctrl] key down as you click on the track slider, or drag the thumb of the slider. This will force all tracks to
move to the same absolute location as the original track. Hold the [Shift] key and it will move all tracks relative to
the move of the original track.
Each track has its own VU meter to show the sound level, and buttons to Mute, Solo and Freeze the
track.
Instruments – Choosing
Each track in the Mixer shows the name of the instrument assigned to it.
Yellow text indicates a MIDI instrument.
Green text indicates RealTracks or RealDrums.
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
55
Click on the part name to open the previously described menu with the full range of options for assigning an
instrument to the track. These include RealTracks, MIDI patches, UserTracks, and loops.
Clicking on the [Patches] tab opens a window that lists all of the assigned instruments for the song
in larger type.
Clicking on any instrument name opens the same menu for selecting or changing the instrument.
The [Plugins] tab opens a window where you can assign up to four DX or VST plugins to each
track.
56
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
Click in any slot to launch the VST/DX Synths/Plugins dialog. In this dialog, the instrument that will
have the plug-in applied is selected in the column on the left.
Then, up to four plug-ins can be assigned with the four dropdown combo
buttons on the right.
Click on the [Help] button for full instructions.
The [Piano] tab shows the notes that are playing on each track on a piano keyboard.
There are Master Volume faders for “This Song” and “All Songs.”
The Master Volume is a true Master Volume, in that it applies a decibel (dB) boost to the master signal, independent
of the tracks volumes. So for example, if you want all Band-in-a-Box songs to be louder, you can simply set the
“All Songs” Master volume slider (e.g. to +6 dB) and this boost will apply to audio output from all instruments
(MIDI and audio) for all songs.
Since most people don’t need to have the THRU and Audio tracks visible on the main screen at
all times, there are THRU and AUDIO buttons on the mixer that show/hide these tracks.
If you open a song that contains an Audio track, then the Audio panel will automatically open.
Toolbars
The toolbar buttons give quick access to program features. They are grouped according to function.
Drop Station
The Drop station is used to drag and drop tracks from Band-in-a-Box to
Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) that don’t support direct drag and drop.
Many DAWs will allow you to do this directly, but, if your sequencer does not
support the direct drop of a track that is not yet generated, you can drag from
a radio button (Master, Bass, Piano, etc.) to the Drop panel.
The four Drop quadrants show different file types. Your file will be rendered to the file type of the quadrant you
drop it in and the button will change color to orange, indicating that the file is accepted and being prepared.
When the button turns bright green, the track has been generated and is ready to drag from the Drop zone
to your DAW.
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
57
The Drop panel has a right-click menu, allowing you to copy the resulting file to a favorite folder, open the favorite
folder, start/stop the DAW Plug-in mode, upload to SoundCloud.com or Dropbox and more.
The DAW Plugin button has two menu items. One starts or ends the plug-in mode, which lets you drag
and drop MIDI or audio files from Band-in-a-Box to your DAW or Explorer. The other opens a Plugin
settings dialog.
This dialog controls drag ‘n’
drop operations. The [Help]
button shows detailed
instructions.
File
For File functions like Open, Save etc.
The [New] button clears the Chord Sheet to start a new song. Band-in-a-Box reminds you to save your
work before it erases the chords.
The [Open] button shows a menu to open (load) songs into the program using various methods.
Use the [Prev] button to immediately open the previous song in the same folder (in alphabetical order)
without going through the usual file opening process.
58
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
Use the [Next] button to instantly open the next song in the same folder (in alphabetical order) without
going through the usual file opening process.
The [Save] button saves the song to disk with the standard Windows Save As dialog.
This will show a menu to save a song using various methods.
The [.MID] button allows you to make a Standard MIDI File and save it to disk as a file with extension
.MID or to the Windows Clipboard with type “Standard MIDI File.” Type 0 and Type 1 MIDI files are
supported, or you can also choose to save the song as a Karaoke file with the .KAR extension.
This will show a menu with options to save the song as an audio as well as to send the song to
SoundCloud.com.
The [Prefs] button will bring up a dialog where you can set various settings all at once and access most
of the program options.
Click here for a link to video demonstrations and tutorials.
Use the Print button to launch the Print Options dialog, which allows you to print Lead Sheet or Fake
Sheet style notation.
This menu button launches either the Windows Play control for sound output or the Windows Record
control for the recording input.
This button has a menu to assign DirectX and VST audio plug-ins, to select and configure DXi (DirectX
instruments) or VSTi software synthesizers, and to open the PG Music Reverb window to select the type
of audio reverb.
Use this menu to launch various MIDI options and also to enable the MIDI keyboard Wizard for playing
along on the lower two rows of the QWERTY keyboard during playback.
This button will show menu options for various practice features.
The tuner button opens the Guitar Tuner so you can tune a guitar or other instrument that is plugged into
the sound card.
This button will show menu options to edit or make styles.
This will launch an internet browser and open the new feature tutorial page.
Song
For information related to the current song, such as current style, tempo, key, form, etc.
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
59
The [Song] button lets you load a song. This is a split button. The top half of the button uses
the default method to load a song. The bottom half shows a menu of different methods to load
a song, and allows you to set the default action for the top.
The [Style] button is also a split button, with the top half being the default function, and the
bottom half listing different methods to load a style, and allows you to set the default.
The song title is displayed, and you can type in the name in this box. Directly below the song title, the style display
shows the style name and more information about the style.
- Style file name (Short)
- Style Name (Long)
- Style Memo
- List of instruments (and indication if they are MIDI or Real)
The Key box is used to set the key or to change it and transpose the song. When you press it, you
see 2 columns of keys. The first column will set the key AND transpose the song; the second will
just set the key signature.
60
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
The Tempo Control shows the current song tempo. Left-click on the up/down arrows to
change the tempo by +/- 5 beats per minute. Right-click to change it by +/- 1 bpm. Tempos
can also be typed in directly.
This button allows you to quickly set the relative tempo. Click the button and choose a percentage
or use the Custom Tempo % menu item to set any value between 1% and 800%. 1% would be
1/100 of the original tempo and 800% would be 8 times the original tempo. Hotkeys are available:
Ctrl - (minus key) for half speed and Ctrl = for normal speed.
Use the Tap tempo buttons to count and set a tempo. Tap the [-] button in tempo four times to set
the tempo. It will appear in the tempo box. Tap the [=] button to count-in the song and start
playback at the tapped tempo.
This button opens a full menu of settings to use for a polished song arrangement, including a
tag (coda), automatic endings, style variations and more. The [Help] button has full
descriptions of these features.
You can type any information about your song in the Memo window.
Chorus Begin button: Click on the Chorus Begin button and then click on a bar number or type a
number in the dialog to select the first bar of the chorus. The Bar number that you select is
displayed.
Chorus End button: Click on this button and then click on a bar number or type in the dialog to select
the last bar of the chorus. The Bar number that you select is displayed.
The number of choruses possible for a tune is 40. Click on the chorus button and choose how
many choruses you require.
As the song is playing the current chorus is displayed at in the chorus button. 2/3 shows that the
second of three choruses is playing.
This box shows the current chord as it is being typed in on the Chord Sheet.
Transport
Standard play controls, recording controls, Jukebox, and Conductor.
[Play] plays the song from the beginning without creating a new arrangement,
unless regenerating is required.
[Generate and Play] generates a new Band-in-a-Box arrangement and then plays
the song.
[Loop] plays the selected (highlighted) section of the Chord Sheet in a loop. The
dropdown menu has settings for looping the entire song.
[Play from Bar] button is used to play a song starting anywhere in the song,
including tags or endings. This feature is also available from the right-click menu
in the Chord Sheet.
[Stop] button stops the song or the Jukebox from playing.
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
61
[Pause/Continue] button pauses the song during playback. Press again to continue
from the paused location.
The [Record MIDI] button is to record a song from the beginning. The music that
you play in to the computer will then be stored on the Melody track. The “R” key
is the keyboard equivalent.
The [Record Audio] button launches the Record Audio dialog for live audio
recording.
The [Play Jukebox] button is used to start or stop the Jukebox. The [] and
[] arrow keys are used to move to either the previous or next song in the
Jukebox.
The Conductor window allows live, real time QWERTY keyboard or MIDI control
of the song as it is playing.
Tools
Miscellaneous Band-in-a-Box tools.
Open an audio file (WAV, WMA, MP3) and the Audio Chord Wizard will
automatically figure out the chords.
Press the [Chord Solo] button to launch the Generate Guitar Chord Solo dialog.
This will automatically generate a song title for you. The menu also includes a
command to generate multiple titles.
Runs the Sequencer for control of multi-channel Melody or Soloist tracks. Each
track can record up to 16 separate channels.
This button launches the Chord Options dialog, which allows you to add chord
pushes, rests, shots, and held chords for any given bar.
This is the Chord Builder button. Chords may be heard and entered to the Chord
Sheet by clicking in this dialog.
F5 Bar Settings - Launches the Edit Settings for Current Bar dialog. This allows
you to enter changes to the arrangement at any bar or chorus. The hot key is F5.
Song Form - launches the Song Form Maker dialog and other tools to control the
form of your song
62
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
The grace note button enables the embellisher and opens the Melody Embellisher
dialog for customizing the Melody Embellisher.
Views
Chords, Notation, Guitar, Piano, Lyrics windows and more.
This button toggles between the Notation window, where you can enter chords and lyrics, edit
notation, and view MIDI notation, and the Chord Sheet, where you enter chords for your song.
Displays the Chord Sheet window. This is the default window in Band-in-a-Box, where you
enter chords.
Launches the Piano Roll window for editing the Melody or Soloist tracks in a piano roll
format, including graphic controller editing.
The Audio Edit window displays a graphical waveform and allows editing. Hold Shift when
pressing to open a moveable window.
The Lead Sheet notation is a full-screen notation window with optional Fake Sheet mode that
shows 1st and 2nd endings, repeats, and codas.
The [Guitar] button launches a guitar fretboard window that displays guitar notes as music is
playing.
The [Big Piano] button launches a Big Piano window. It will display the notes to any track
(except drums) as the music is playing.
The [Drums] button launches an animated Drum Kit window. Press it to launch this fully
functional (and fun) GM-MIDI “virtual” drum kit.
The [Video] button launches the Video Window which allows you to load and play videos that
you have already downloaded from YouTube or elsewhere.
This button opens the Big Lyrics window for full screen “Karaoke-style” scrolling lyrics. The
menu also includes the lyric document, karaoke window, and vocal synth for generating vocal
audio from the lyrics and melody.
Select for Fakesheet mode chord display with 1st/2nd endings and repeats. Use the
menu to set repeats, coda, and ending.
A menu to select the chord font, chord color, type of chord display (standard, Roman
numeral, Nashville, etc.) and a list for visually transposing the notation for nonconcert instruments.
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
63
Tracks
Methods of adding tracks to Band-in-a-Box (RealTracks, Loops, UserTracks, etc.)
This opens a menu with selections for the RealTracks Picker, RealTracks Preferences
(settings), and a command to “Select better RealTracks” for the song tempo.
This opens a menu with selections for the RealDrums Picker and RealDrums Preferences
(settings).
Displays a dialog of available UserTracks, which are like RealTracks but are made by you
or third parties.
The Loops button is for the Loops Picker, where you can choose an audio loop (WAV,
WMA, MP3, MP4, M4A) to add to a track (e.g., nature sound, drum loop, etc.). Choose the
track and then the loop. Add your own loops to the Loops folder in the RealTracks folder.
Choose a MIDI SuperTrack, or use the MIDI Track Picker to add a MIDI track from a
different style to the current song. Open the dialog and choose a Band-in-a-Box track. Then
choose the style and source track that you want to add.
This opens a list of tracks with the option to freeze or unfreeze all tracks or just freeze
individual tracks. Frozen tracks play without regenerating for faster playback.
Band-in-a-Box can automatically add audio harmonies to the audio track and MIDI
harmonies to the Melody or the Thru/Soloist track, giving you harmonies for your live
playing on the Thru channel or QWERTY wizard.
The [Melodist] button opens the Generate Chords and/or Melody dialog, where you can
choose the type (or genre) of Melodist you wish to have generate a complete new song with
chord changes and melody as well as an improvised solo and an original song title.
This menu is for either selecting a RealTracks soloist from a list of best soloists, or to open
the Select Soloist Dialog, where you can choose a custom soloist (MIDI or RealTracks) to
play over any given chord changes.
Chord Sheet Area
Chords, rests, shots, holds, and part markers are entered in the Chord Sheet.
The Chord Sheet can be viewed in the full linear view showing all bars, or optionally in fake sheet view that shows
1st and 2nd endings and repeat signs. Another option shows bars past the end of the song in gray.
64
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
In the Chord Sheet, typing special words, instead of chord names, will make the following settings:
begin + Enter
sets the beginning of the chorus to the current bar
end + Enter
sets the end of the song to the current bar
chorusend + Enter
sets the end of the chorus to the current bar
tkc + Enter
sets key signature to C, tkbb would set it to Bb
trc + Enter
transposes song to key of C
t125 + Enter
sets tempo to 125
You can quick-load a song by typing only. In chord entry mode type the word “Song” followed by a file name, or
partial file name, and the song will get loaded in. For example, type c:\a\MySong.sgu to load in that exact song
name. Type “bossa” to load in the first song with bossa in the name AFTER the current song name, in the current
folder.
Quick-load a style by typing only “style” followed by a style name, e.g., stylezzbossa<Enter> will load in
zzbossa.sty.
Chord Entry
The basic way of entering a song into Band-in-a-Box is to type in the chords to the song on the Chord Sheet
(worksheet). The arrow keys move the active (highlighted) cell around in the Chord Sheet. The Enter key
advances to the next ½ bar. Chords can be entered from the QWERTY keyboard or an external MIDI keyboard (see
Window | MIDI Chord Detection…).
Chords are typed in using any of the supported chord symbol displays:
1. Standard chord symbols (e.g., C or Fm7 or Bb7 or Bb13#9/E).
2. Roman numerals (Imaj7).
3. Nashville Notation (1Maj7).
4. Solfeggio (DoMaj7).
5. Fixed Do. In Italy and other parts of Europe, chords like C7 are always referred to by the Solfeggio name (Do7
for C7) regardless of the key signature.
Notes: It is not necessary to type upper or lower case. The program will sort this out for you. Any chord may be entered with an
alternate root (“Slash Chord”) e.g.: C7/E = C7 with E bass. Separate chords with commas to enter 2 chords in a 2 beat cell, e.g.,
Dm, G7
Shortcut Chords
If you enter a lot of songs, you will appreciate these shortcut keys.
- J = Maj7
- H = m7b5 (H stands for Half diminished)
- D = dim There is a setting in Display preferences to “Treat dim chord as a diminished triad instead of Cdim7.”
- S = Sus
Example: To type CMaj7, just type CJ (it will be entered as CMaj7)
Add your own chord shortcuts.
You can make your own shortcuts text file and name it \bb\shortcut.txt. This allows you to add new chord shortcuts.
(Note that this file doesn't ship with Band-in-a-Box or it would overwrite your file.)
If you find a chord that Band-in-a-Box won't accept like Csus2 (it expects C2), you can enter this on a single line
(without the quotes) “Csus2@C2.” Then Band-in-a-Box will enter the chord C2 if you type in Csus2.
Rests, Shots, Holds keyboard Shortcuts
When entering chords on the Chord Sheet, there are now shortcuts available for entering rests over a range of bars
- type h4 for a chord, and this will copy the rest/hold/parameters on the first beat of the cell for 4 bars
- type ,h4 for a chord, and this will copy the rest/hold/parameters on the second beat of the cell for 4 bars
- type h for a chord and it will copy the rests/holds/ until the next part marker
- type a chord with a rest/shot/hold followed by a number (N), and it will do this for the next N bars
- e.g. C7...4 will enter held chords for 4 bars
- Gm7...bd5 will enter held chords (bd=except bass and drums) for 5 bars
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
65
Chord Sheet Options
You can set up the Chord Sheet with your own preferences. Go to Opt. | Preferences or
click on the [Prefs] toolbar button to open the Preferences, and then click on the
[Display] button to open the Display Options dialog.
You can pick a Chord Sheet font and the number of rows to display, or set an option to automatically adjust the
number of rows to display.
Whenever a new section occurs (a part marker) you have the option to start the new section on a new line and draw a
grey line above to clearly mark the new section. Sections can be as little as 2 bars long.
The “Extra line space between sections” setting determines the amount of space (in pixels) to add on a new line
when there is a part marker.
Chord Sheet Font
Chord Sheet font can be changed easily from on-screen button, with visual menu of fonts.
66
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
Chord Sheet Color
Chord Sheet color can be changed easily from on-screen button, with visual menu of colors.
Transpose Chord Sheet option
The “Transpose” option is also found in the Display Options dialog. It is useful for non-concert pitch instruments
like Soprano Saxophone.
If a Chord Sheet or Notation window transpose setting is in effect, a yellow hint message opens on boot up as a
reminder.
When the Chord Sheet is transposed, you can type in chords in the transposed key, and they will show up as you
have entered them, instead of requiring you to enter the chords in the concert key.
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
67
Part Markers
Part Markers are placed on the Chord Sheet to indicate a new part
of the song, to insert a substyle change, or to insert drum fills.
They typically occur every 8 bars or so, but may be placed at the beginning of any bar.
Double lines are drawn on the Chord Sheet at the bar before a part marker.
Section Paragraphs
When you’re reading a book, a new section begins on a new line, with space between. Band-in-a-Box does that for
chords too. Whenever a new section occurs (a part marker), we start the new section on a new line and draw a grey
line above to clearly mark the new section. A section can be as short as 2 bars. You will see each section on a new
line so that the form of the song is easier to see. The feature is configurable and optional.
MultiStyles
Band-in-a-Box MultiStyles are styles that can have up to 24 substyles; original Band-in-a-Box styles
had two substyles, “a” and “b.” Band-in-a-Box MultiStyles typically have four substyles, but may
have up to twenty-four, selected by using part markers “a” through “x.”
You can easily make your own MultiStyles, either from scratch, or combining parts from existing styles to make a
MultiStyle. For example, if you have 10 favorite Country styles, you can quickly make a single MultiStyle that has
20 substyles available within the same song.
Chord Sheet Editing Features
The Chord Sheet has a contextual menu that opens with a right-click in the Chord Sheet area. This menu is a very
convenient way to access the features for editing song arrangements.
68
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
Chords can be copied, pasted, cut, or erased and new
chords can be entered from the Chord Builder.
Chord Settings allow pushes, rests, and pedal bass to
be applied.
Bar Settings let you refine your arrangement with
changes in tempo, meter, key signature, styles,
RealDrums, volume levels, patches, and harmonies.
Song Settings allow rests and pushes, and also control
tags, endings, and fadeouts.
Global system settings are accessed in the Preferences.
You can also right-click on a bar in the Chord Sheet to
set it as the beginning or end of the chorus or the end of
the song from the settings in the context menu. For
example, these settings are available with a right-click
on bar 16.
This menu can be used to start playback from the
highlighted bar in any chorus of the song.
Bar-based section letters lets you add a section letter
which will display just above the bar number on the
Chord Sheet.
Play Selected Area as a Loop
To use this function, select a region on the Chord Sheet.
Click on the [Loop] button, Shift+click on the [Play] button, or press F10 (Play Selected Area as Loop)
and the program will play a selected region, and loop the selection. For example, you can select bars 19
and 20, and then press F10, and bars 19 and 20 will play looped.
The Loop menu includes the Loop Section Settings.
To enter settings manually in this dialog, you start by choosing either “Loop a Single Screen of Notation” or “Loop
Range of Bars.”
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
69
“Loop a Single Screen of Notation” (Ctrl+NUMPAD 7) loops a single screen of notation at the current song
location. The length of the loop is determined by the number of “Bars/Screen” specified in the Notation Window
Options.
Select “Loop Range of Bars” if you want a custom range of bars, then enter the starting “From Bar” number, the
“Chorus #,” and the “# bars” for the length of the looped section. You can then play the song with the [Play within
loop] button and then [Close] the dialog.
Presets are available to set the loop points to Introduction, First / Middle /Last Choruses or First & Middle, Middle
& Last combinations, Ending, or All.
As the different buttons are selected you will
see the “Loop Range of Bars” settings update.
Hot keys are also available for these, look in
the Play menu under the Looping submenu.
70
Chapter 4: The Main Screen
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Opening Files
Band-in-a-Box supports most popular song formats in addition to its own native song files. It will open most audio
file formats, and its powerful Audio Chord Wizard feature will interpret the chords from an audio file and write
them to a Band-in-a-Box song file. You can also play karaoke files, including Karaoke MP3/CDG files with
scrolling graphical lyrics, in Band-in-a-Box.
You can quick-load a song by typing only. In chord entry mode type the word “Song” followed by a file name, or
partial file name, and the song will get loaded in. For example, type c:\a\MySong.sgu to load in that exact song
name. Type “bossa” to load in the first song with bossa in the name AFTER the current song name, in the current
folder.
You can load a song from the [Open] or [Song] button on the toolbar.
The [Open] button opens a menu of commands for opening files by various methods.
The [Song] button is a split button. Clicking on the top half opens a song selection dialog using the
default method assigned to the button. Clicking on the bottom half of the button opens a menu of
the options for opening songs. The default method for the top half of the
button is assigned from this menu. For
example, if there is a check mark beside
“SongPicker,”clicking on the top half of the
button will launch the SongPicker dialog. If
“Recently loaded songs” is checked, clicking
the button will go directly to the Recently
Played Songs list, and so on.
Open File
The Open File dialog is opened with the menu command Open File or the F3 function key.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
71
It shows and opens all available file types. And it remembers your preference, so you can restrict it to a certain file
type.
If MySong.MGU is loaded, and a same named audio file (MySong.WMA, MySong.MP3, MySong.WAV, etc.) is
present, Band-in-a-Box will open the audio file to the audio track. This allows third parties to make audio files with
chords in them, by making a MySong.MGU and MySong.MP3 pair of files, which will load into Band-in-a-Box, yet
will have the audio compressed to take up little disk space. For example, make a teaching set of trombone files for
Band-in-a-Box, with audio trombone track, and Band-in-a-Box file with chords, all fitting in a small file size.
Open Using Custom File dialog
This menu command, or the keystroke combination Ctrl+Shift+F3, launches the custom Open File dialog to load a
song. You can make it the default dialog if you go to Opt. | Preferences and select “Use custom filename dialog”
under the Environment Options in the Preferences dialog. Then pressing the [Song] button and choosing the menu
command Open File, or the F3 key, will launch the custom Open File dialog. The custom Open File dialog has
several advantages over the traditional Windows dialogs:
- The window is much bigger than the traditional one, allowing more room.
- There is a selectable font size and typeface.
- You can adjust the widths of the various columns.
- The window remembers your settings.
- There are tabs at the top that allow sorting by name, date etc.
- Additional information is displayed (file size, time of file).
- You can open a song without typing the extension. For example, to open the song MySong.MGU you just have
to type MySong, without MGU.
72
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
The Font Selection button lets you pick a font, size, and style for the dialog from any of the fonts installed
in Windows.
The Search button allows you to search for a file by its name or part of a name.
The Favorite Folders button remembers the last few directories that you've used, allowing you to easily
change between directories.
Open Song by Titles (SongPicker)
The SongPicker lists all of the songs in the current directory and, optionally, its subdirectories. For example, if you
get a song list of c:\bb, it can include songs in subfolders like c:\bb\styles34. You can lock the SongPicker to
always open in the same folder and use the same list to keep track of all songs on your disk.
The first time you open the SongPicker, Band-in-a-Box automatically writes the song list. The current folder name
is displayed in the title bar, with the total # of songs
displayed. Song List generation has a [Cancel] button
so that it can be interrupted.
Once the list is built, songs can be selected by title from
the alphabetical list.
You can change the width of any of the columns by dragging the boundary. This customization will be remembered
between sessions.
Songs can also be sorted by any of the column headings, by clicking the mouse on the heading at the top of the
column. Either a plus (+) or minus (-) sign will appear beside the selected column heading.
A plus sign indicates that the column is sorted in ascending order; a minus sign indicates that it
is sorted in descending order.
The column headings are:
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
73
1. Song Title
7. Soloist (S)
13. Genre
2. File Name
8. Line Lyrics found (L)
14. Feel
3. Style
9. Note-based Lyrics found (N) 15. Form
4. Style Found (minus sign) 10. Key
16. Tag Present
5. Style Disk #
11. Time Signature (T)
6. Melody (M)
12. Tempo
As you move your mouse over the column headings, a fly-by hint at the left of the screen gives information about
each column.
The “minus sign” column heading is for missing styles or style elements. This could be a style that
is not included in your version, or that you haven’t purchased yet. A letter “d” in this column
indicates a missing RealDrums set, and a letter “t’ means that a RealTracks set is missing. If you have a fully
installed UltraPlusPAK or EverythingPAK this column is normally blank.
A letter “M” in this column shows that the song has a Melody track present. A blank column means
that the Melody track is empty.
A letter “S” in this column shows that a Soloist is present. If the column is blank the Soloist track is
empty.
This is the column for line-based lyrics, i.e., lyrics that display in a line above the notation. A letter
“L” shows that the song has line-based lyrics.
This column shows if note-based lyrics are present. A letter “N” means that the song has note-based
lyrics; lyrics where each syllable is aligned with the corresponding note in the melody.
The number shown is the numerator of the time signature, so a “4” means the song is in 4/4
time and a “3” means it is in 3/4 time.
Filter
Use the filter to search by column, song title, file name, or style.
Folder Settings
The folder settings are at the bottom of the SongPicker window.
The Current Folder name is displayed.
If checked, the selected song is automatically played as soon as you press [OK].
The folder can be changed, either by:
1.
Selecting the new folder.
2.
Choosing a folder from recently used favorites folder.
3.
Changing the current folder to the BB home folder.
4.
Going “up” a folder (e.g. from c:\bb\styles to c:\bb).
When the new folder is chosen, the song list for that folder will be displayed. The song list may need to be rebuilt;
the program will do that automatically.
74
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
If the “Always open in this folder” item is selected, the SongPicker will always open up
in the specified folder. So if you put all of your songs in c:\songs, you can make the SongPicker always open to the
c:\songs folder.
If “Include Subfolders” is selected, the SongPicker list will contain songs from the folder and
any subfolders. So if you have subfolders to c:\songs like c:\songs\country and c:\songs\jazz, you can see/search
them all in the same SongPicker dialog.
Tip: If you choose c:\ as your folder, the SongPicker would find every Band-in-a-Box file on your hard drive and display it in the
SongPicker. You might instead find it easier to put all of your songs within a folder like c:\songs, and have various subfolders to
that. And then set the SongPicker to always open up in the c:\songs folder. Then you will have access to all of your songs
easily.
Choose a song from the Favorite Songs dialog.
Open a song (or any media type) using the Open File dialog.
Find a song using the Find song files dialog.
Copy the song list to the Windows clipboard where it can be pasted into any word processing
program and printed.
Search for song by keyword will find the search term if it is present in any field. The filter (upper
right) can also be used to search the song list.
This is the Search Again button. It repeats the previous search starting from the current point.
This will exit the dialog and build or rebuild the song list file by loading in all of the songs
in the directory. It will then launch the SongPicker dialog with the updated information.
This will export the list as a Comma Separated Value text file that can be opened by
spreadsheets.
Click here to change the fonts in the SongPicker window.
Once you’ve loaded a song you will see the chords on-screen in the Chord Sheet so you can follow the chord
changes and play along with the band.
You can double click on any bar to start playback at that location. There is also an option in the Preferences dialog
to start and stop playback with the spacebar. The spacebar or double click can be used on an ending bar (or a bar in
the tag), and it will play from the ending (or tag).
There are right-click menu options on the Chord Sheet.
They give quick access to frequently used edit
functions and features including “Play from bar and
chorus #.”
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
75
Open Recently Chosen Songs / Open Favorite Songs
There’s a dialog for these favorites with separate lists of Recently Played and Favorite songs. There are 2 radio
buttons in this dialog, showing you both recently used songs and a list of “favorites” that you select. Use the menu
commands or the keystrokes Shift+F3 to open the lists.
The “Favorites” and “Recently Played” Radio buttons toggle between a
list of your recently played songs and your favorite songs.
When “Save As” is used to save a song with a different name the new name will be added to the Recently Played
song dialog.
Use these buttons to navigate up and down the list or to jump to the top of the
list.
[Insert] adds a song at the current list location. [Append] adds a song to the
end of the list. [Delete] removes the selected item.
This button allows you to search a file by a keyword.
The lists can be edited, sorted, saved/loaded, and used with the jukebox. You can add an unlimited
number of favorites.
The list will start off as an empty one. But you can add songs as your favorites, by clicking the [Add
Fav] button (this button is also found in the StylePicker).
The [Sort] button sorts the list alphabetically.
You can save and load sets of favorites or recently played songs (or styles).
Once you have the set, you can press the [Juke...] button. This will play the set file in order, not randomly. It will
start from the currently selected song.
You can make a new list of songs for a set by using the [Clear] button to clear the Favorites list,
followed by the [Append], [Insert], and [Delete] buttons to add songs.
76
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Automatically plays the highlighted song when you press [OK].
If this is enabled, every song you load will be added to the top of the Favorites list.
Technical Note: The list of songs/style favorites is stored in a text file called SongFavorites.txt (or StyleFavorit2es.txt) in the BB
folder.
Open Next Song
This command opens the next song in alphabetical order in the currently active folder.
Open Previous Song
This command opens the previous song in alphabetical order in the current folder.
Open MIDI File
This command launches the Open File dialog showing a list of available MIDI files in the current folder.
Open Audio
This command launches the Open File dialog with a list of audio files of all supported types (.WAV, .WMA, .MP3,
.MP4, .M4A, .WMV audio, and audio CD) found in the current folder.
Open from Favorite Folders
The menu command Open from Favorite Folders launches the Favorite Folders dialog with a list of recently used
folders. To open a song using this dialog you first select the folder from the list, and then you can directly open the
song from that folder. This allows you to quickly find a song in another folder.
Song Finder
This launches the Find song files dialog that allows you to find a Band-in-a-Box song (or any file that Band-in-aBox can open). This dialog also opens from the File menu with the command Find File.
You can define your search by the name and location of the file, or by the date and size.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
77
Name & Location
This includes filtering by words found in the file name or any text in the file. For example, you can
- get a listing of all Band-in-a-Box songs on your PC with the word “Blues” in the title.
- get a listing of all Band-in-a-Box songs in the BB folder with the word “Reggae” in them.
Date & Size
Use this window to search in a particular range of dates or times. This can be useful if you have multiple versions of
a file from different dates and sessions.
File Associations
Go to the menu item File | File Utilities to associate the file types for Band-in-a-Box songs and styles in Windows.
Once set, this means that you can double click on a song or style and Band-in-a-Box will open up with that song or
style.
Choose the menu items File | File Utilities | Associate File types (songs, styles) with Windows… to associate the
Band-in-a-Box file types, and Remove File Associations (songs, styles) with Windows… to remove the associations.
Global Song Overrides
These overrides let you ignore settings that were saved in song files. The global overrides are found in
Preferences [Overrides], and they allow you to set the overall song looping (always OFF,
always ON, or as set in the song). Similar overrides are available to see which other
information gets loaded from a file, such as patches, harmonies, volume, reverb, chorus,
panning, and bank changes. For example, you can set every song to load with looping ON, and don’t load any
reverb settings from songs.
78
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Overall Looping of song
For example, if you want every song loaded to have looping set to on, then set the Overall Looping of song option
to “Always set loop to ON.” But if you are going out on a playing job, and don’t want any songs to loop, then set it
to “Always set loop to OFF.” If you want the settings to work the same way they did in previous versions, choose
“As set in the song” or press the [Defaults] button.
Allow Songs to load settings for:
If set, these items will be allowed to be loaded from songs. If not, the settings will be ignored when loading songs.
OK to Load Notation Symbols with songs
If this is not selected, notation symbols (slurs, staccato, crescendos) will not be loaded from the song.
The options under Defaults for new songs are settings from the Song Settings dialog.
When Vary Style in Middle Choruses is selected (default), the song will play in substyle B throughout the middle
choruses, playing substyle A for the first and last choruses only. If this setting is not selected, then the substyle
changes will follow the part markers entered on the Chord Sheet.
When Force to Simple Arrangement is selected, the song play a simpler (less busy or embellished) arrangement.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
79
The [Pop/Country] preset button turns both of these settings off for a typical Pop or County arrangement that
follows part markers and does not embellish chords.
The [Jazz] preset button turns both of these settings on for a typical Jazz arrangement to support soloing over the
middle choruses and allow Jazz chord embellishments.
Use the options under Force Tracks to Simple Arrangements for All Songs to set individual tracks or all tracks to
simple arrangements for all songs. If you want to force simple arrangements on a song-by-song basis, use the
[Freeze] button on the toolbar.
Change the Style
The [Style] button is a split button. Clicking on the top half opens a style selection dialog using the
default method assigned to the button. Clicking on the bottom half of the button opens a menu of the
options for selecting styles. The default method for the top half of the button is assigned from this
menu. For example, if there is a check mark beside “StylePicker,” clicking on the top half of the
button will launch the StylePicker dialog. “Band
Styles” opens a list of style categories. If “Recently
Used Styles” is checked, clicking the button will go
directly to the Recently Played Styles list, and so
on.
The StylePicker
You can choose from a list of the styles available in the StylePicker window, either all styles or just a particular
category. Styles that have the same feel (triplets, eighths, sixteenths) and a similar tempo range to the current
prototype will be indicated with an (*) asterisk. Styles with a (^) caret have a similar feel but a different tempo
range.
80
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Instant Preview of Styles
You can audition a style without changing your existing arrangement, by using the preview control.
It has Play and Stop buttons, a progress bar, a Loop button and a file button.
Also, when the control is playing, if there are 2 files that can be played, there is a toggle button displayed. This
appears for previewing MIDI styles, because there are MIDI drums and RealDrums available for most MIDI styles,
and now you can easily hear both.
To hear a preview, simply double click on a style name in the list. Or highlight a style and press the Play button.
The demos are pre-made, so they play instantly. And they are a good idea of what the style is supposed to sound
like.
The style demos are found in 2 possible places:
1. On your hard drive, in the Data\Style Demos Audio folder of your RealTracks folder (usually
c:\bb\RealTracks\Data\Style Demos Audio (some of the demos are included on disk, but to save space not all of
them are included).
2. and on the Internet, at www.pgmusic.com (all of the demos are there).
When you demo a style, the program will play the version on disk if available; otherwise will play from the Internet.
This all takes place very quickly, and inside the control, so no external browser is launched.
Note: You need Windows Media Player version 9 or higher for this feature to work (this comes with Windows, so you very likely
have it).
The style demos sometimes play files from the internet. You can download a file that is being played from the
internet by clicking this button. If the file is being played on your hard drive, this button will show the file in a
folder.
RealStyles and Styles with RealTracks
RealStyles are Band-in-a-Box styles that use RealTracks only.
There is a separate category in the StylePicker for RealStyles. “Classic” RealStyles were
among the first RealStyles, and are good examples of a particular genre, specifically with
no soloists. RealCombos are “bands” that have been assembled for the Pro and
MegaPAK packages, which come with a representative sampling of RealTracks.
The style names for RealStyles are prefaced by an underscore, _.
Styles with RealTracks are a blend of MIDI tracks and RealTracks. Style names for Styles with RealTracks are
prefaced by an equals sign, =.
Styles with RealDrums
You can select RealDrums styles within the StylePicker. Highlight a MIDI style that
you like, and press the RealDrums [Best] button, to see a list of the most compatible
RealDrums styles for that style, or the [RealDrums] button to select from all available
RealDrums.
If you choose to override drums while in the StylePicker, this won't wipe out the
RealDrums when you load the style.
You can also change the style at any bar in the song, so you could
use a few similar styles to add variety while keeping the same
feel. This is done in the Edit Settings for Current Bar dialog,
which opens with either the F5 function key or the Edit | Settings
for Current Bar menu command.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
81
This dialog can also be opened with the [Bar Settings] button in the Song Settings dialog.
Other Categories
As well as broad categories like Country, Jazz, Rock, and RealStyles, the
StylePicker has several more specialized categories, including styles made with
the latest RealTracks releases.
There are also categories for Tutorial styles, styles using MIDI SuperTracks,
RealCombos, and Loops sets. The “Other Styles Found” category is styles that you
have made or edited and renamed yourself but have not added to the bbw.lst file
that lists styles.
Band Styles
When you select this menu item you will see a directory of style types, with submenus sorted into the listed
categories.
For example, in the Jazz section you will see styles for Jazz Swing, Bossa/Latin, Cuban/Bolero, Smooth Jazz, and
Gypsy Jazz/Dixieland. Each heading opens a list of selected RealStyles, sorted by tempo and type.
82
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
You can also load in a song demo by choosing the menu item to load a song demo.
This list of styles can be customized by the user. You can create a text file of styles to add to the top and/or bottom
of the list (i.e. above or below the list of styles provided by PG Music). To customize this list at the top, create a file
called c:\bb\ RealCombos_User_Top.txt, to customize this list at the bottom create a file called c:\bb\
RealCombos_User_Bottom.txt.
The format of the file is identical to the one that PG Music includes, which is called c:\bb\ RealCombos.txt. You
can list a line of text (for a heading) e.g.
---- My Favorite Country Styles ---or a line with a style on it e.g.
_JAZFRED$ Jazz Style with 4 in the bar Guitar
On this line, the $ character is a delimiter between the style name and the description.
Press the [Videdo Help] toolbar button in Band-in-a-Box for a tutorial on editing the Band styles list.
Make a MultiStyle Song
If you have a song, you can also use more than 2 substyles for that song. For example, let’s say we have a song that
is a Bossa Nova and you want to have a Jazz Swing section. Rather than finding a MultiStyle that has this exact
combination, we can make one, in the song, for this song only as follows:
Load a song like c:\bb\styles0\zzbossa.mg4.
Right-click on a bar number, and choose “Define c/d.”
Then choose ZZJAZZ.STY from the StylePicker.
You will then see that there are 4 substyles now, a, b, c, d. You
can use the “d” substyle for Jazz Swing walking bass, since it is
the same as the “b” substyle from ZZJAZZ.
Load the song c:\bb\Tutorial BB 2008\ “Demo of MultiStyle in
song only Bossa 2 Jazz.MG4” and you can see the finished
result. This song switches styles using part markers.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
83
Note: The RealDrums will play for all of the styles if you have enabled RealDrums and “Substitute RealDrums for \ MIDI drums”
in the RealDrums Settings dialog.
Playing/Pausing/Stopping Songs
Replays the song without regenerating the tracks, unless regeneration is required. The current
arrangement is preserved. (Freeze the song or save to a MIDI file to permanently save the arrangement.)
Creates a new arrangement and plays the song. If you don’t want your tracks regenerated use [Play].
Click this button for a menu of looping selections. You can play the highlighted section of the Chord
Sheet or Notation window in an endless loop. Click and drag the mouse to highlight a section of bars to
loop. If the checkbox is selected, the entire song will loop.
This will play the song starting at the selected chorus and bar number. Use it to jump to any bar in the
song.
Stop song playback.
Pause playback with the [Pause] button; resume from the same location by pressing it again.
You can also use the Play menu commands or keystrokes.
You can double click on any bar to start playback at that location. There is also an option in the Preferences dialog
to start and stop playback with the spacebar. The spacebar or double click can be used on an ending bar (or a bar in
the tag), and it will play from the ending (or tag).
Lead-In Counts and Metronome
These settings are made in the Preferences dialog. Click on the [Count-in/Met.] button to
open the Count-in and Metronome Options dialog.
84
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
The default count-in is two bars, but there is an option to shorten it to a 1 bar lead-in.
You can select any drum instrument for the count-in and choose different count-in rhythms (e.g. Tap on 2 and 4
instead of 1-2-3-4).
The Smart Lead-in feature avoids playing the count-in drum sound during a Melody pickup.
There's an option to play the drum count-in in all circumstances, useful when the style doesn’t have drums or for
drummers who play along with Band-in-a-Box by muting the drum track.
You can display the Visible Metronome on-screen during the entire song (or
just the lead-in). Choose the screen position, the size (up to near full screen
size), and the visual metronome pattern. The on-screen metronome is a great
way for a student to learn to keep on the beat, and with a settable size,
students can view this from across the room.
The Audible Metronome can be set to sound
“During record,” during “Record and Play,” or
“None” - turned off entirely.
Part Settings for Playback
The individual instrument parts are controlled with the on-screen mixer. It is always present in the upper right
corner of the main screen.
Each track in the Mixer shows the name of the instrument assigned to it.
Yellow text indicates a MIDI instrument.
Green text indicates RealTracks or RealDrums.
Click on the part name to open the track menu with the full range of options for assigning an instrument to the track.
These include RealTracks, MIDI patches, UserTracks, and loops.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
85
Mute, Solo, and Freeze Tracks
Each track has its own VU meter as well as buttons to [M]ute, [S]olo, and [*] Freeze the track.
VU Meter:
Mute, Solo, Freeze buttons:
Muting Instruments
Click on the Mute button to silence the selected track. The button will turn red to show it is active.
Another method is to click on the name of the desired part with the right mouse button and select Mute from the
menu. Click Mute again to unmute. When the part is successfully muted, the instrument name will turn to red in
color, indicating that the part is muted.
To mute/unmute all parts as the song is playing, simply press Alt+ 2 or right-click
on the “Master” radio button at the top of the screen, and select Mute in the menu.
86
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Solo an Instrument Part
While listening to Band-in-a-Box, you can solo (isolate) a certain part by clicking on the Solo button.
Or you could hold the Ctrl key and mouse click (left or right) on the instrument at the top of the screen. For
example, if you want to hear only the Piano part, Ctrl+click on the Piano part. If you want to use hot keys for this,
you can press Alt+2 (Mute-All) and then Alt-+4 (Unmute Piano).
Freeze an Instrument Part
Any track can be frozen (MIDI or RealTracks). When frozen, it won’t get changed or re- generated. This saves
time when replaying previous songs, and lets you freeze an arrangement that you like. The [*] buttons on the Mixer
freeze the individual tracks.
Use the snowflake button on the toolbar for additional options, which include freezing the whole song.
Changing Volume, Panning, Reverb, Tone
Each track in the Mixer has its own set of controls including volume, pan, reverb, and tone. Use them to make your
own mix for the arrangement.
Volume slider and value:
Pan slider and value:
Reverb slider and value:
Tone settings: -18 (bass) to +18 (treble)
Hold the [Ctrl] key down as you click on the track slider, or drag the thumb of the slider. This will force all tracks to
move to the same absolute location as the original track. Hold the [Shift] key and it will move all tracks relative to
the move of the original track.
There is also a Master section with a Mute button, VU meters, and Master Volume controls.
Master Mute:
VU Meters (stereo):
Master Volume (this song) And Master Volume (all songs):
The Master Volume is a new type of volume setting for Band-in-a-Box, and is a true Master Volume, in that it
applies a decibel (dB) boost to the master signal, independent of the tracks volumes. So for example, if you want all
Band-in-a-Box songs to be louder, you can simply set the “All Songs” Master volume slider (e.g. +6 dB) and this
boost will apply to audio output from all instruments (MIDI and audio) for all songs.
The [Plugins] tab opens a window where you can assign up to four DX or VST plugins to each
track.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
87
Click in any slot to launch the VST/DX Synths/Plugins dialog. In this dialog, the instrument that will
have the plug-in applied is selected in the column on the left.
Then, up to four plug-ins can be assigned with the four dropdown combo
buttons on the right.
Click on the [Help] button for full instructions.
The [Piano] tab shows the notes that are playing on each track on a piano keyboard.
Clicking on the [Patches] tab opens a window that lists all of the assigned instruments for the
song in larger type.
Clicking on any instrument name opens the track menu for selecting or changing the instrument.
There are Master Volume faders for “This Song” and “All Songs.”
88
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
The Master Volume is a true Master Volume, in that it applies a decibel (dB) boost to the master signal, independent
of the tracks volumes. So for example, if you want all Band-in-a-Box songs to be louder, you can simply set the
“All Songs” Master volume slider (e.g. to +6 dB) and this boost will apply to audio output from all instruments
(MIDI and audio) for all songs.
Since most people don’t need to have the THRU and Audio tracks visible on the main screen at
all times, there are THRU and AUDIO buttons on the mixer that show/hide these tracks.
About Patch Changes
Patch changes are embedded in the Band-in-a-Box styles and these patches are loaded with songs by default. They
can be disabled in the MIDI Options dialog found in the Preferences. Alternate patches can be saved with a song
(Alt+F2).
General MIDI 2 support
General MIDI 2 standard (GM2) adds 128 more MIDI instruments to Band-in-a-Box styles and songs, including
ukulele, mandolin, 12-string guitar plus many new and improved piano, organ, guitar, brass, and string sounds.
Note: The included Coyote synth supports GM2 instruments, as do most newer modules/sound chips. If yours doesn't, a similar
instrument from the existing 128 General MIDI sounds will be substituted.
The type of GM2 support is set in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog (Opt. | MIDI driver setup…). The choices are:
- General MIDI 2 support: If you're using a newer Sound Canvas then choose this GM2 support.
- Roland GS (older Modules): “Older” Sound Canvases (SC55/SC88) support GS, but not GM2. The good news
is that they have the same patches available, just at different locations. So if you choose this option, Band-in-aBox will find the patches at the “GS” locations instead of the “GM2” locations. If you have a newer GS module
like the SC8820 that supports both GM2 and GS you should likely choose GM2.
- No GM2 support: Most sound cards don't have GM2 support yet, so just support the original 128 General MIDI
sounds. Band-in-a-Box will use the closest instrument in these cases.
You can select a GM2
patch in the Select MIDI Patch submenu of the
Track (right-click) menu. This shows a menu
grouped by instrument types.
Additional Patches
A “patch” is a MIDI instrument name. Examples of patches are Acoustic Bass, Electric Piano, and Violin. Patches
are used to emulate real instruments through MIDI playback. Band-in-a-Box defaults to using the standard bank of
General MIDI patches used by all MIDI manufacturers, but many MIDI synthesizers and sound cards have
additional patches available as alternatives to the basic GM list. These sounds are typically found on higher banks
in memory.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
89
Patches on Higher Banks Dialog
You can select a higher bank patch in the Select MIDI Patch
submenu of the Track (right-click) menu. This opens the
Patches on Higher Banks dialog for easy access to patches on all other banks as well as General MIDI.
To narrow your sound search you can do one or all of the following:
- Open the patch list and select an instrument (i.e. Electric Bass, Acoustic Piano, etc.)
- Click on the “Include Family” checkbox to have other offerings of similar type shown. (i.e., all bass family
patches, all keyboard family patches, etc.)
- Find a patch by keyword by clicking the [Search…] button and typing some letters that you know are in the name
(e.g., “mando” will find your mandolin patch and any others containing “mando”).
Click on this button to go to the PG Music web page where you can
download more patch files from http://www.pgmusic.com/support_miscellaneous.htm.
Converting Synthesizer Patch Lists in Band-in-a-Box
Band-in-a-Box can read a patch file list generated by PowerTracks Pro Audio or Cakewalk, and convert it to a .PAT
file for use in Band-in-a-Box.
Converting PowerTracks patch list to Band-in-a-Box .Pat files.
PowerTracks stores its patch lists in a single file, called PATCHES.INI. This file contains all of the patch lists for
the synths supported by PowerTracks. Band-in-a-Box stores the patch list for each synth in a separate file, with an
extension of .PAT.
To convert a PowerTracks patch file to a Band-in-a-Box Patch file, you will be choosing the c:\pt\ptw\patches.ini,
and then choosing the synth that you want to convert to a .PAT file.
Open the Patches on Higher Banks dialog from the Select
MIDI Patch submenu of the right-click tracks menu.
90
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Note: If a .PAT file has not been previously selected, a File Open dialog will appear. Select a .PAT file from the \bb directory to
launch the Patches on Higher Banks dialog.
Press the [Open INI/INS…] button to launch the Open File dialog.
Choose the file c:\pt\patches.ini.
You will then see a menu of synths stored
in the patches.INI file.
Select one to convert.
Create a name for the .PAT file (e.g. My Patch List.PAT) and save it to c:\bb.
Converting a Cakewalk .Ins file to a Band-in-a-Box .Pat file.
This is done using the same process described above for PowerTracks, except that you open the individual .INS file
instead of a PATCHES.INI file. For example, if you have a Cakewalk file called “My Synth.INS” you would select
this file name. You would then save that converted list to c:\bb\My Synth.PAT.
Hi-Q MIDI Instruments for SampleTank
High Quality (“Hi-Q”) MIDI sounds for SampleTank make the MIDI tracks (both regular and MIDI SuperTracks),
sound much better. To select the Hi-Q instruments choose the track menu option Select Hi-Q MIDI Synth Patch.
You can even do this as the song is playing.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
91
That will display a list of available instruments (e.g. Acoustic Grand Piano).
When you choose that, SampleTank will be loaded, with the Hi-Q instrument loaded.
If you want to choose from all the TGS files (files with preset synths and plug-ins), then choose the menu option
Select MIDI Synth or Audio Plugin for Track.
If you want to make custom changes to select a certain synth or plug-in inside SampleTank, make the changes inside
SampleTank.
Then save that (TGS file) by pressing “Save Group”
and that will be added to the available group presets
(TGS).
Floating Mixer Window
The original floating Mixer window is still available from the Window menu. This Mixer floats on top of the main
screen; it can be “parked” anywhere it’s convenient.
92
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
You can enlarge the mixer to any size by dragging the bottom right corner of the mixer. The controls
change size when you do this.
The [A] “Auto” button, if pressed, will auto-resize the window during playback, so that it is out of the
way of the chord sheet, but returns to normal size when play is stopped.
The [+] button enlarges the Mixer to the size last set by the user.
The [–] button shrinks the Mixer to the default small size which is at the top right.
The Volume, Panning, Tone, and Reverb controls are smooth faders that let you find the exact setting you want “by
ear” as you slide the fader back and forth. This is easier and more “natural” than using incremental controls or
typing in values. There is also a special Combo slider that lets you make live proportional adjustments to the
settings.
Open the Mixer window from the Windows menu. It has six different screens for Patches, Volume, Panning, Tone,
and Reverb that open by clicking on the top row of buttons.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
93
Patches
The default screen is Patches, where you will see the currently assigned MIDI patches and RealTracks instruments,
as well as the MIDI drum kit or RealDrums set, for the song. Click on any part to select a new instrument, either
RealTracks or MIDI.
The “Mute” command will mute the selected
instrument part, while “Solo” will play just the
selected part and mute all others.
Use “Un-Mute All” to undo the “Solo” command and
play all parts again.
The Combo Slider
The Combo slider is a special control found in the Volume, Panning, Tone, and Reverb screens. It makes live
changes to all parts at once. When playing a song, you immediately hear the changes as you drag the Combo slider.
Drag the Combo slider to the right of center to proportionally increase all track sliders. This moves all sliders
FARTHER AWAY FROM ZERO while maintaining their relative balance. Drag the Combo slider to the left of
center to proportionally decrease all track sliders. This moves all sliders CLOSER TO ZERO while maintaining
their relative balance.
The Combo slider is “spring loaded.” It returns to the center every time, after you have finished dragging the
Combo slider and release the mouse.
The operation of the Combo slider depends on the tab that is active. For example, in the Volume and Reverb tabs it
makes proportional changes in levels, while the Panning and Tone sliders are bi-polar WITH ZERO IN THE
MIDDLE. They increase or decrease the spread of the stereo mix or the equalization.
The specific operation of the Combo slider in the different tabs is described below.
Volume
Click on the [S] button to Solo, or [M] to mute a track.
Click at the right of the slider to enter a specific value.
94
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Volume settings are easily adjusted with the left-right fader for each part, just hold the mouse button down on the
blue fader button, and slide the “smooth-glide” fader back and forth. You can do this while the song is playing so
that you hear your changes as you make them, and you will see a readout of the levels in the display box to the right
of the fader.
In the Volume tab, the Combo slider increases or decreases the overall volume levels while keeping the same
relative balance (mix). You will hear the changes live as you move the slider.
Panning
This screen presents a handy graphical interface for adjusting the stereo placement of tracks. Glide the blue fader
buttons left and right to position the part anywhere in the range from -63 (full left) to 0 (center) to 64 (full right). As
you slide the fader you will see the numerical readout change and hear the stereo placement of the part shift.
On the Panning tab, moving the Combo slider to the right of center will SPREAD THE STEREO MIX.
Moving the Combo slider to the left of center will NARROW THE STEREO MIX.
In addition, the Combo slider intentionally HAS NO EFFECT on any tracks which are PANNED EXACTLY IN
THE CENTER.
Tone
This is a combination bass/treble control with a range from -18dB (bass) to +18dB (treble). Hold the mouse on the
blue fader button and slide it to the left for more bass, or to the right for more treble.
On the TONE tab, moving the Combo slider to the right of center will SPREAD THE EQUALIZATION. Moving
the Combo slider to the left of center will NARROW THE EQUALIZATION. In addition, the Combo slider
intentionally HAS NO EFFECT on any tracks which HAVE NO EQUALIZATION.
If for instance there is bass boost on the Bass track, and treble boost on a Guitar track, moving the Combo slider to
the right will make the guitar track brighter and the bass track darker. But moving the Combo slider to the left will
reduce the amount of EQ on both the guitar and bass.
Reverb
This adjusts the level of the built-in reverb in a range from 0 to 127.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
95
Moving the Combo slider to the right of center will move all the sliders to the right, adding reverb to all tracks in
proportion to the existing levels. Moving the Combo slider to the left of center will move all the sliders to the left,
reducing the reverb levels.
Plugins
The Mixer window’s Plugins tab is for adding VST/DX effects and synths to the Band-in-a-Box tracks.
There are two types of tracks:
1. MIDI tracks, which are colored yellow.
2. Audio tracks (RealTracks, Loops, or the Audio Track) which are green.
MIDI tracks have 4 slots. The first slot can take a synthesizer (e.g. Coyote GM, Garritan Aria, and HyperCanvas)
the other 3 can take audio effects (e.g. reverb, compression etc.)
Audio Tracks have 4 slots. There is no synthesizer slot, so they have 4 for audio effects (e.g. Reverb, compression,
AmpliTube Amp simulation).
When you click on a slot, this launches the VST Plugin Selection Dialog.
VST Plugin Selection Dialog
This is where you select VSTi or DXi synthesizers and/or VST and DirectX audio effects to assign to a track.
96
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
You can add new VST plug-ins by using the drop down list, and selecting the last item, which is “Add VST Plugin.”
From this, select the VST plug-in, which is a DLL, usually found in c:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VSTPlugins
or c:\Program Files \Steinberg\VSTPlugins. (On Windows XP the folder name doesn’t contain (x86).
Examples: VST Synths to add to MIDI Track
1. Add a Garritan Jazz Big Band VST to the Melody track, to get a great sounding MIDI Saxophone sound.
2. Add a dedicated piano VST to the MIDI piano track.
3. Add a dedicated Drum VST to the Drums Track
4. Add your favorite B3 Organ VST synth to the Organ (Piano) track
Examples: Audio F/X to add to Audio Tracks
- Add “AmpliTube 3 CS” (Guitar Amp Simulator) to a “Clean Signal” Guitar RealTracks. Then you can tweak the
guitar sound, by choosing the amp type, stomp box effects etc.
- Add your favorite Reverb to certain tracks.
- Add an “Exciter” Plugin to improve the sound.
- Add an Auto-Tune type of Plugin to improve intonation on your recorded audio track.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
97
Save Your Mixer Settings
Save your song with the [Save As] button, choosing the menu item Save Song with Patches
Harmony, or with the menu command File | Save Song with Patches & Harmony, to save all of
your Mixer settings.
Direct Input (DI) Guitars and AmpliTube®
A Guitar Amp Simulator (AmpliTube CS) is included in Band-in-a-Box along with over 150 “Direct Input”
guitar-based RealTracks. You can customize the DI guitar RealTracks using the new Guitar Amp Simulator that
is included (AmpliTube CS). With “Direct Input” guitar RealTracks, all of the added effects come from the
Guitar Amp Simulator.
There are a few ways that you can use the AmpliTube 3 CS Plug-in in Band-in-a-Box.
1. Load a Band-in-a-Box song that is set to use it. These will be found in the c:\bb\Tutorial BB2012 folder. Just
load a demo song with “AmpliTube” in the name, and press play.
2. Load a Band-in-a-Box Style that is set to use AmpliTube. To find these, open the StylePicker, and type the
word “AmpliTube” in the search filter to find these styles.
3. Add it yourself to any song. First select a Guitar RealTracks that has Direct Input Guitar available (see the last
column of the RealTracks Picker for indication if Direct Input is available).
Tutorial Demo Songs – Direct Input Guitars and Amplitude
To see AmpliTube and the DI Guitars in action, open this folder: C:\bb\Tutorial - BB2012
This file automatically loads the DI version of the “PopShining” guitar soloist, and automatically applies the “Pop
Rock Lead” AmpliTube preset:
_SHINAMP Demo (AmpliTube Demo using DI Guitar Soloist with Pop.SGU
These files have 3 different DI instruments using AmpliTube, and show you the progression from the instruments as
the used to sound, then with just the DI instruments swapped out, and then with AmpliTube presets applied to the
different DI instruments:
_ELECROK Demo (Uses same styles as _ELECAMP, but with original amp sounds).SGU
_ELECAMP Demo (Uses ONLY DI guitars with no AmpliTube, for comparison).SGU
_ELECAMP Demo (AmpliTube demo using ElecRock RealTracks DI Guitars).SGU
When you play these songs, press the [Memo] button to read about the feature and the demo song.
To add a Direct Input Guitar to a song:
First select a Guitar RealTracks that has Direct Input Guitar available (see the last column of the RealTracks Picker
for indication if Direct Input is available)
The last column of the RealTracks Picker indicates whether a “Direct Input” Clean Guitar option is available for
that RealTracks.
If it is, there is a “Y” in the Column. You can then select the “Use Direct Input” checkbox to make that RealTracks
use a Direct Signal (clean, without processing).
Then, for that track, select the Plugins Tab of the mixer, and then select AmpliTube as a Plugin for that track. You
can then play the song, and tweak the settings in AmpliTube by clicking on the AmpliTube name on the Mixer.
When you save your Band-in-a-Box song, the settings will be saved with AmpliTube 3.
98
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Technical Note on Direct Input RealTracks: The audio for the Direct Input files is located in the RealTracks folder, in a folder
called “Direct Input.” If you look in this folder, you can see which Direct Input guitars that you have (as well as looking in the
RealTracks Picker as described above).
Slide Tracks
This is a menu command (Play | Slide Tracks…) that allows you to move any of the Bass, Drums, Piano, Guitar,
Strings, Melody, or Soloist tracks ahead or behind by a definable amount. For example, slide the Bass track a little
ahead of the rest of the band to make the bass player “drive the band.”
To slide tracks, select the Slide Tracks option from the Play menu. The values are measured in “ticks-per-beat” with
120 ticks being the equivalent of a quarter note. The musically useful range is from -10 to 10.
Allow Any Slides
If you want the slides to occur, then set this to YES.
Humanize Slides
If set to YES, the slides will be humanized to slide the track a different amount for each note. The amount varies
from 0 ticks (none) to the slide setting for the instrument.
- Press the [Default] button to fill the tracks with default slide values.
- Press the [Zeros] button to “zero-out” the slide values for all tracks.
- Press the [Update] button to affect your changes and hear the result instantly.
Tip: A track that always plays notes early by a certain amount tends to sound out of time, whereas humanizing the slide makes
the track sounds more alive.
Play Selected Area as a Loop
Shift-click on the [Play] button, or press F10 (Play Selected Area as Loop) and the program will play a selected
region, and loop the selection. For example, you can select bars 10 and 11, and then press F10, and bars 10 and 11
will play looped.
To use this function, select a region on the Chord Sheet.
Choose Play | Play (loop) Highlighted Section (or press F10).
The selected region will then play, and continues looping until STOP is pressed.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
99
Loop Button Menu
The [Loop] toolbar button opens a menu with the full list of looping options.
Click on the looping option you want, either
the entire song or just a section that you
select. Selecting the checkbox on the button
enables looping for the entire song.
The Loop Section Settings dialog lets you choose
exactly what to loop.
Loop any Section of the song.
You can loop any section of the song. The program will then start playback at the first loop point and play the
looped section until stopped.
Looping of a section of the song is enabled in the Loop button menu
or with the keystroke NUMPAD 1.
Select Loop Section Dialog from the Loop menu button to open the
Loop Section Settings dialog, or press NUMPAD 2.
The Loop Section Settings dialog will then display.
The “Play within loop” command allows you to quickly play a looped section. Highlight the range of bars to loop
on the Chord Sheet, press NUMPAD 2 to open the Loop Section Settings dialog, and click the [Play within loop]
button.
To enter settings manually in this dialog, you start by choosing either “Loop a Single Screen of Notation” or “Loop
Range of Bars.”
“Loop a Single Screen of Notation” (Ctrl+NUMPAD 7) loops a single screen of notation at the current song
location. The length of the loop is determined by the number of “Bars/Screen” specified in the Notation Window
Options.
Select “Loop Range of Bars” if you want a custom range of bars, then enter the starting “From Bar” number, the
“Chorus #,” and the “# bars” for the length of the looped section. You can then play the song with the [Play within
loop] button and then [Close] the dialog.
Presets are available to set the loop points to Introduction, First / Middle /Last Choruses or First & Middle, Middle
& Last combinations, Ending, or All.
100
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
As the different buttons are selected you will see the “Loop
Range of Bars” settings update.
Hot keys are also available for these, look in the Play menu
under the Looping submenu.
Loop Keystroke Commands (useful for live performance)
NUMPAD 1
Toggle looping on/off.
NUMPAD 2
Open Loop Section Settings dialog.
Ctrl+NUMPAD 1
Play with last chorus looped.
Ctrl+NUMPAD 2
Play with middle choruses looped.
Ctrl+NUMPAD 3
Play with middle and last choruses looped.
Ctrl+NUMPAD 4
Jump to last chorus.
Ctrl+NUMPAD 5
Jump to ending.
Ctrl+NUMPAD 7
Loop Notation screen.
NUMPAD [DEL]
Advances the notation, lead sheet, and guitar window by one chord (group of notes).
NUMPAD [INS]
Backs up the notation, lead sheet, and guitar window by one chord.
Notebook users should set “Simulate NUMPAD Keys” to “ON” in the Preferences dialog, then use the regular
number keys to trigger looping.
The Title bar at the top of the main screen indicates the looping status. If a song has a looped section, this will be
listed at the top of the screen (e.g. “Will loop Middle Choruses” or “Currently looping Middle Choruses”). So you
can tell what is going to happen with the looping during a live performance.
“Conductor”- Live Looping/Playback control
As the song is playing, many “single key” hot keys are now available to control the playback and looping
of the song.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
101
Play along with your MIDI Controller Keyboard
If you have an external MIDI keyboard controller connected to your computer system, you can use the MIDI THRU
features to play along with the program.
When playing along on a keyboard to the Band-in-a-Box “band,” if the sound
of your keyboard is too quiet and increasing the THRU Volume doesn't help enough, use this option to boost the
THRU velocity and make your playing on the THRU channel louder. To set this “THRU velocity boost,” open the
MIDI Settings dialog (Opt. | Preferences | Channels). Click on the [Options] button and set “Boost THRU
Velocity by” to a value in the range of –127 to +127 in the MIDI Options dialog. (Default is 0.)
Harmonize your play along part by choosing MIDI Thru Harmony (Alt+F11) from the [Harmony]
menu button to choose a harmony, just as you would for the Melody.
Play Along with the Wizard
The Wizard is an intelligent play along feature that is controlled with the bottom two rows of your computer’s
QWERTY keyboard or your connected MIDI keyboard. The bottom row of keys plays chord tones; the second row
plays passing tones. You play any key in either row and never make a mistake! The Wizard keys are active during
playback.
To use this feature, press the [MIDI] toolbar button and enter a check for MIDI Keyboard Wizard Enabled.
You can also select the Wizard Playalong feature option from the Play
menu.
In the Play menu, toggle Wizard uses “Smart” notes to “off” (unchecked) to have the Wizard provide you access to
the chromatic scale. Toggle it “on” to have access only to the notes based on the chord/key of the song.
Also, the Wizard works with the harmony feature, so you can play along live in 4-part saxophone
harmony for example.
Melody Wizard
For songs with melodies, there are QWERTY keys (Enter, \ , T, 6) that trigger notes from the melody as the song is
being played. Other keys trigger 1-4 approach notes from below or above. The notes can be recorded, to humanize
a stiff melody with better timing, and approach notes also useful for sight reading, rhythm practice or to perform.
Works with harmonies
- Melody notes: T, 6, Enter, \
- Same Melody note: 5
- Approach notes: QWER YUIO
- Octave set: 1, 2, 3
MIDI notes also work (if Preferences [Transpose] is set to “Allow Melody Wizard on THRU part”).
- Octave set: E(40), F(41), G(43)
- Melody notes: F(53), G(55)
- Approach notes: B(47), C, D, E A, B, C, D(62)
To use the Melody Wizard, make sure the MIDI Keyboard
Wizard is enabled on the [MIDI] menu button.
This will also enable the MIDI Wizard on the QWERTY keys.
If you also want to use the Melody Wizard on MIDI notes, go to Preferences [Transpose] and enable “Allow
Melody Wizard on THRU part” in the Settings for transposing songs when loaded or “Do it Now” dialog.
102
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
*.MGU
Then, choose a song that has a Melody track.
Mute the Melody track by right-clicking on the Melody track (Alt+8).
Play the song.
ENTER or \
As you play the song, you can use the Enter key or the \ key (or T or 6 above the T)
to play Melody notes.
W,E,R,T
These will be approach notes up to the melody. You can start on any note.
Q,E,R,T
Starting on a Q instead of W will use wider voicings for approach notes.
I,U,Y,T
These will be approach notes down to the melody. Start on any note.
O,U,Y,T
Starting on an O instead of I will use wider voicings for approach notes.
MIDI Keyboard Wizard
By turning on this Wizard setting in the Opt. | Preferences Transpose dialog, notes
played on a Thru channel MIDI keyboard will be played through the Wizard. C, E, G, and Bb will be mapped to
chord tones while D, F, A, and B will be passing tones.
Changing Instruments / Settings for the Wizard
As a play along instrument, the Wizard uses the Thru instrument part. To change the instrument
patch, volume, reverb, etc. for the Wizard select the Thru instrument in the Mixer.
MIDI Normalize
If performing a live set, or at a jam session, it helps to have the volume of all of the songs be similar. Now, with a
MIDI Normalize feature, you can level the volumes to a setting in the program options. For example, you can set all
volumes to be 70 and the program will make each song play within those levels. This is done in the Preferences
[Arrange] tab.
When you have set the normalize to “on” the title window at the top of the
screen reports that Normalization is set to 70, and that the velocity of the currently playing song has been increased
from 65 to 70.
The normalization will affect bass, drums, piano, guitar, and strings. If you select the “Including melody and
Soloist” option, the normalization will also affect the Melody and Soloist parts.
Outputting MIDI to an External Device
Some external music hardware devices require chords played in root position to drive them in real time.
An example of this is the Digitech Vocalist. It will let you sing into a microphone and harmonize your voice
according to the chords that are input to the device. Band-in-a-Box has the capability of outputting a separate
channel with the chords in root position to support such external devices automatically.
There are also settings such as complexity of chords, output channel, velocity, and note range. It will also drive
“Real time Arrangers” like the Roland RA series. The best way to accomplish this is to access the Opt. |
Preferences and select the [OutputCh.] button. You will then be given a window like this:
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
103
Click on the [Vocalist] button if you have such a
device connected to your MIDI system. Band-ina-Box will then send it the appropriate chord
information automatically as your song is playing
(e.g., root position triads).
Add Real Instruments – RealDrums and RealTracks
Your songs, styles, and solos can use live audio tracks recorded by studio musicians. These live recordings can be
assigned to the Band-in-a-Box tracks in the RealDrums Settings or RealTracks Settings dialogs.
RealDrums
There are several ways to hear RealDrums with new or existing Band-in-a-Box songs.
We provide many styles that already have RealDrums. These styles can be identified by the style name beginning
with a minus sign. For example “-ZZJAZZ.STY” is a version of the ZZJAZZ.STY that uses RealDrums.
Styles (.STY) can have RealDrums (e.g. “–ZZJAZZ.STY”). This
setting is found in the StyleMaker’s Misc. Style Settings dialog.
You can set the RealDrum style inside the StyleMaker, by pressing the [Misc] button, and then typing the
name of the RealDrum style.
RealDrums can be substituted for MIDI drums on existing styles in the RealDrums
Settings dialog, which opens with Ctrl+click on the RealDrums toolbar button or with the
[RealDrums] button in the Preferences dialog.
104
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
With “Enable RealDrums” checked RealDrums may be used rather than MIDI. There is also
a hot key combination to turn RealDrums on/off (Ctrl+Shift+F6). The hot keys also work while the song is
playing.
This will substitute RealDrums for MIDI styles. You can change the setting from 1 to 5.
If set to 1, almost all MIDI drums will get substituted by RealDrums. If set to 5, only RealDrum styles that match
the style perfectly will get substituted.
Technical note: The text file a_pgmusic.ds provided by PG Music controls this, and users can make other files MySubs.ds if
they make their own RealDrums styles.
Individual songs can have RealDrums assigned to them. You can set the desired style in the RealDrums Settings
dialog with the “For this song only, use this RealDrum style” setting. This will let the current song use the specific
RealDrums style.
The [RD] button opens the RealDrums Picker where you select the specific RealDrums style that you would
like to assign to your song.
You can also open the RealDrums Picker directly from the toolbar with the RealDrums button.
Your recent RealDrums selections are saved, and available in the various dialogs that allow
you to choose RealDrums. In the RealDrums Picker, click on the [Choose from Favs]
button to open a list of up to 400 most recent selections. Use the Filter String to narrow the selection by entering a
term like “bossa” or “swing” to see only RealDrums with those words in the name.
RealDrums are normally saved with songs, unless you have unchecked “Save all Settings with Songs” in the Assign
Instruments and Harmonies to Song dialog. In that case, you can select and save a RealDrums style with your
song by going to File | Save Song with Patches & Harmony (Alt+F2) to assign a RealDrums style.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
105
The Edit Settings for bar… dialog (F5 key) lets you use multiple RealDrums styles
within a song - either using the RealDrums from a Band-in-a-Box style or specifying a RealDrums style to use at a
particular bar.
RealTracks
What are RealTracks?
Just as RealDrums replace the MIDI drum track with live audio recordings of top session drummers, RealTracks add
“Real” instruments recorded by top studio players and recording artists. These tracks replace the MIDI track for that
instrument, and can be controlled just like the MIDI instrument (volume changes, muting, etc.). Best of all, they
follow the chord progression that you have entered, so that you hear an authentic audio accompaniment to your song.
These are not “samples,” but are full recordings, lasting from 1 to 8 bars at a time, playing along in perfect sync with
the other Band-in-a-Box tracks. RealTracks can be built in to the style, and would replace the Bass, Guitar, Piano,
or Strings part, or they can be generated to the Soloist (or Melody) track using the Soloist feature.
We include a selection of Pop, Jazz, and Country RealTracks Combos with Band-in-a-Box Pro. Many more
RealTracks are available as separate add-ons, or bundled into the various Band-in-a-Box PAKs for better value.
Using RealTracks in Songs - Assign RealTracks to Track Dialog
The Assign RealTracks to Track dialog assigns a RealTracks instrument to any of the Band-in-a-Box instrumental
tracks. It also shows any RealTracks that are assigned to Band-in-a-Box tracks.
Note: RealTracks can either be assigned from the style or from the song. This dialog allows you to assign the ones in the song.
This dialog is launched by several ways:
1. Clicking on the [RealTracks] toolbar button and selecting RealTracks Picker Dialog, or shift-clicking on this
button.
2. Right-clicking or double clicking on a Track radio button at the top of the main screen or in Mixer, and choosing
Add/Remove RealTracks in the menu.
- or 3.
Pressing the [Assign to Track…] button in the RealTracks Settings dialog.
The dialog allows you to assign a specific RealTracks instruments to a track in a song. It also displays any
RealTracks that are currently assigned to each track.
106
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Tip: RealTracks in styles are assigned in the StyleMaker. Press the [Misc.] button or use the StyleMaker menu command Style
| Misc. Settings to go to the Misc. Style Settings dialog, then click on the [More] button for the More Settings dialog.
To use the dialog, first select the track that you
want to assign. Then, select the RealTracks that
you want in the list below it.
You can also select RealDrums without leaving
this dialog by clicking on the [RD] button.
Instant Preview of RealTracks
You can instantly hear an audio demo of RealTracks by double clicking a RealTrack on the list. Since this doesn’t
affect your song, you can quickly audition many different RealTracks, and find the best ones for your song.
You can choose which of band or solo plays first when you
double click on the list, by the “Band (on dbl clk)” checkbox.
Otherwise, press the [Band] or the [Solo] button. The demos
play from the Internet (www.pgmusic.com) or your hard drive
(/Applications/Band-in-a-Box/ RealTracks-Demos folder).
The preview sometimes plays files from the internet. You can download a file that is being played from the
internet by clicking this button. If the file is being played on your hard drive, this button will show the file in a
folder.
Choosing Favorite RealTracks
Your recent RealTracks selections are saved, and available in the various dialogs that allow you to choose
RealTracks. The 400 most recent selections are shown, with most recent at the top.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
107
When you use one of the “Select Best” commands in the
right-click instrument menu, you will see a [Choose
from Favorites] button in the dialog.
Or, in the RealTracks Picker, press the [Favs] button.
You will then see a dialog with a list of your recently chosen RealTracks, most recent on top. You can filter this
dialog by text, e.g. “guitar,” to find a recently used RealTracks with the word “guitar” in it.
You can also see a list of recently used RealTracks if you right-click on a Track button at the top of the screen and
click on the Choose RealTracks from Recently Chosen Favorites menu command. Click on a RealTrack from the
list to quickly load it to the track.
108
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Add A MIDI SuperTrack
What are MIDI SuperTracks?
MIDI SuperTracks are MIDI tracks that can be added to a track or a style, and play like other MIDI tracks in a style.
They are called “SuperTracks” because they are generated using a different engine than typical MIDI style tracks.
Typical MIDI style tracks are generated from C7 patterns in the style, and repeat these patterns over any chord.
MIDI SuperTracks use actual MIDI playing from musicians (similar to RealTracks in that regard), so are not based
on patterns.
Using MIDI SuperTracks
To use MIDI SuperTracks, either:
1. Choose a style or song that has MIDI SuperTracks and press Play. Look in the MIDI SuperTracks Demos folder
for these songs
2. Add a MIDI SuperTrack to a certain track.
Adding a MIDI SuperTrack
For example, let’s add a MIDI SuperTrack to the Piano track.
Right-click on the Piano track label at the top of the screen to see a menu
of options (or right-click on the Piano track label in the Mixer), then
choose “Select MIDI SuperTrack for this track.”
You will now see a menu of available MIDI SuperTracks. You can type filter text to narrow down your search.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
109
There are memos describing the individual MIDI SuperTracks, and you can click on the Memo for a big window.
You can preview the MIDI SuperTracks by double clicking on the list or using the transport control buttons.
Once you choose a track, you will see that the Piano label has turned blue to indicate that it is a MIDI
SuperTrack.
Freeze Tracks
Freezing (locking) MIDI or RealTracks/RealDrums
Any track can be frozen (MIDI or RealTracks). When frozen, it won’t get changed or re-generated. This saves time
when replaying previous songs, and allows you to freeze an arrangement that you like. If you freeze the whole song,
you don’t have to wait at all for the song to regenerate. The next time you press Play, it is ready to go.
You can make frozen tracks by pressing the Freeze button (snowflake) on the toolbar, and then choosing the tracks
that you want to freeze or unfreeze.
There are a number of reasons that you would freeze a track.
Reasons to Freeze a RealTracks track (audio):
- Frozen tracks will play back instantly, not requiring time to generate.
- They play back the same way each time, so if you like a solo, you can “freeze it.”
- If you send a song to a friend as “frozen,” they will hear the same performance.
- For the Soloist track, if you generate a solo, it can now be saved (by freezing the track).
Reasons to Freeze a MIDI track:
- You can edit the MIDI data, to customize the performance to match a certain song, and this will be saved. Use the
Notation window or Piano Roll to edit the track.
More reasons to freeze any track:
- Frozen tracks play back instantly, without requiring time to regenerate.
- They play back the same way each time.
- You can change the chord progression of the song, and have one part playing a different chord progression than
the rest of the band. For example, type a “blowing” chord progression, generate a solo, freeze the solo track, then
type a normal chord progression and generate the rest of the instruments (bass/guitar etc.) that will play the normal
changes.
- Have different instruments play different styles. For example, the Bass could be generated using Reggae, then
Frozen, and then the rest of the instruments generated using a Techno style.
Un-Freezing a Track(s)
110
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
This is also done from the Freeze button. Choose a frozen track
to un-freeze it, or choose “Un-Freeze all tracks.”
Forcing Generation of a Song that is Frozen
Band-in-a-Box won’t touch tracks that are frozen. But
if you want to change that, without having to Un-Freeze
the tracks, you can do this easily.
Hold down the Shift key as you press the [Generate
and Play] button (the fly-by hint will remind you of
that), or choose the menu command Play | Generate
(even if tracks are frozen).
When you do this, the song will regenerate, the tracks will get
rewritten, and the song will stay frozen. So if you’re freezing
songs to get the instant playback with RealTracks, but get tired of
the “same-old” frozen arrangement, just press Shift+Play, generate
a new arrangement, and press Save. Then the new “fresh-frozen”
arrangement will play instantly, even with many RealTracks.
Tip: Obviously you wouldn’t use this feature to force regeneration of a frozen song if you have made custom edits to the song
that you don’t want to lose, unless you’ve saved the song and have a backup copy.
Editing and Saving Tracks
MIDI tracks for bass, drums, piano, guitar and strings can be edited and saved with the file. If you freeze a track,
edits can be still made to it, because it is only frozen from Band-in-a-Box making changes to it (you can still edit it).
The MIDI track will be saved to the file. So you can customize the bass part to match a certain song, and save it
with a frozen bass part, so that Band-in-a-Box won’t overwrite your edits. This includes RealCharts – if you wanted
to edit the notation of a RealTracks solo for example.
To edit a MIDI track (bass, drums, piano, guitar, strings), or the MIDI part of a RealTracks that has a RealChart
(MIDI transcribed solo), simply open up the Notation window (or Piano Roll window), and click on the track and
edit it. Make sure to Freeze the track by pressing the Freeze button and choosing Freeze for that track, or rightclicking on the instrument at the top of the screen and choosing Freeze. Now your edited tracks will save with the
song.
Save Track as Performance
This feature takes “freezing” a track one step further, and saves the audio itself. So you can send your Band-in-aBox song to your friend, who will be able to play that track without needing to have the RealTracks installed.
To save the track, right-click on the instrument radio button
and select Save Track as Performance File. You have a choice
of a WAV file or a WMA file. When you choose, the track
will be rendered to c:\bb\<Song Title><track name (e.g. Bass).WAV or .WMA.
Use the “Erase Performance Track” command to remove the Performance Track.
Technical Note: A Performance Track can be made by simply making an audio file (WAV, WMA) and naming it the same as the
song, but with the track name (Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar, Strings, Melody, Soloist) added.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
111
For example, if the song is MySong.mgu, you put a file named MySong
Melody.wma in the same folder, and that will be a performance track on the
Melody track.
Artist Performance Tracks
Performance Tracks with Artist’s Performances on the Melody track showcase the Band-in-a-Box RealTracks
demos playing along to an artist performing the melody.
These performances play the melody (2 choruses), and 2 choruses of solo (first chorus “simple” solo, 2nd chorus
advanced). All performance tracks include audio (stretchable to any tempo), notation, on-screen guitar, and tab. To
play the Artist Performances, open the songs from the c:\bb\Artist Performances folder.
The Artist Performance track name will
display in orange.
Non-Concert Visual Transpose
This feature displays the chords and notation for non-concert key instruments like trumpet and saxophone in the
non-concert key (Bb, Eb) while the music plays in concert key.
Note: This does not transpose the music. To do that, use the song key box to the right of the
Style area.
Pressing the [Chord Display] button opens a list of concert and non-concert instruments. There
are also settings for guitar capo, tuning the guitar down, and visual transpose of any number of semitones.
Guitar Settings
112
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
For example, with “Capo at Fret
2” selected, if you enter a D chord it will play as an E chord but display as a D
chord. This is also true for notes entered in notation. An alert shows onscreen.
You can also tune the guitar down from 1 semitone to 8 semitones. If you
tune down by 1 semitone a song entered in E will display in E but play in Eb.
The Guitar Window
This is a window for guitar and bass players! The on-screen fretboard displays any track on guitar, bass, mandolin,
ukulele, or banjo. This feature has many option such as auto-setting of correct positions, notes named on-screen,
auto-octave adjust to play in selected position, and a resizable guitar fretboard.
Launching the Guitar Window
To launch the Guitar window, press the [Guitar] button in the Views toolbar, or Ctrl+Shift+G, or choose
the Window | Guitar Window menu item.
Notice the various areas of the Guitar window.
- The top title bar states the key of the song, the current track, and the fret position.
- The fretboard is displayed with the highest notes of the guitar at the top, and the open position of the guitar on the
left.
- There are names for the open strings displayed on the left (E B G D A E).
- There are fret positions marked at the bottom of the fretboard. You can mouse click on these positions to change
the current fret position.
- There are Note Names displayed for two positions on the guitar fretboard. One of the positions is the scale
beginning with the third of the scale on the lowest string. In the key of F, this is the 5th position beginning on an
A note (the third of the scale). Because it begins on the third of the scale, this position is referred to as the
Phrygian Position (since an A Phrygian scale is the same as an F scale). Similarly, the other popular scale is the
scale beginning on the 6th of the scale, in the key of F, this is up at the 10th position, and is called the Aeolian
Position.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
113
- There are note names displayed in color, with ellipses around the notes that are in the scale. The root note of the
scale is highlighted in red, the third and fifth of the scale are in purple, and the rest of the scale tones are circled in
gray.
- Pitch bends show up on the Guitar Fretboard. As the pitch bend occurs, a blue line moves along the string in real
time, illustrating the height of the pitch bend. Load in the c:\bb\Tutorial\Pitch Bend demo song. You will then
see pitch bends written as a blue color moving along the string.
Automatic Settings for Guitar Display
Band-in-a-Box does a lot of things automatically on the Guitar window to ensure that the notes are displayed
intelligently on a guitar fretboard. These include:
- Automatically setting the two positions that will display the note names based on the key.
- Auto-Scanning the track to be played, and adjusting the display octave on the guitar fretboard to ensure that the
best octave is picked to minimize the number of notes that will be outside of the current position displayed on the
fretboard.
- After Auto-scanning the track, the best position for displaying the music on the guitar is determined. This is
always one of the two positions, Aeolian or Phrygian, though you may over-ride this by clicking on any fret
position.
- Color-coding note displays. In addition to the note names being outlined in the colors, when the note is played it
is highlighted in green if it is a scale note and yellow if it is an out-of-scale note.
Alternate Guitar Tunings
The Guitar window supports alternate tunings, including DADGAD, Drop D, Double Drop D, Open G, and 11
others. You can also select “Nashville High Strung” tunings, which tune certain strings up an octave. These tunings
are supported in Styles, Chord Diagrams, Guitar Tutor, Notation, Tab, and Printout. Learn how to play these
tunings by watching the on-screen Guitar Fretboard or Notation/Tab window. Easily change any style to use the
alternate tuning that you want.
In this discussion, we will be referring to DADGAD tuning, a popular alternate tuning. The same reasoning applies
to all of the other alternate tunings available.
There are four ways you can use Band-in-a-Box playing in DADGAD (or any alternate) tunings.
1. See any Melody (or Soloist track) displayed in DADGAD tuning. This will display on the guitar fretboard, tab,
and printout.
2. See guitar parts (chording etc.) in DADGAD tuning, using correct chord shapes. For this, choose a style that has
DADGAD tuning, and view the guitar part.
3. Use the Guitar Tutor, to view DADGAD chording for any style.
4. View guitar chord diagrams in DADGAD tuning, by setting the Notation Window Options “Guitar Chord” to
“DADGAD.”
Guitar Fretboard
To see the guitar neck displayed in DADGAD, choose Melody | Track Type | Guitar – DADGAD Tuning.
114
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
When you open up the Guitar window and choose the Melody track, you will see the DADGAD tuning.
Any melody will now display in the chosen tuning. Similarly, you can set the Soloist track to an alternate guitar
tuning with the Soloist | Track Type menu.
The Guitar track (or Piano, Strings) is controlled by the style, and will only reflect the type of tuning stored in the
style. Load in some alternate tuning styles included in Styles Set #44 – Requested 4 to see guitar chording in
alternate tunings. Another way to see the guitar play chords in alternate tunings is to use the “Guitar Tutor.”
Select DADGAD tuning, and enable guitar Tutor.
Now, during playback, you will see guitar chords on the guitar fretboard in DADGAD tuning.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
115
The examples above are for DADGAD tuning, but apply similarly to all 11 alternate tunings included.
Some of the tunings are “Nashville High Strung.” These tuning have the lowest 3 strings tuned up an octave, to
achieve a close sound. So a DADGAD High Strung tuning would have the lowest 3 strings “DAD” tuned up an
octave. Listen to some style examples that use this tuning.
One of the tutors uses 3 note Jazz voicings to simulate the famous Big-Band
chord guitar comping styles. If you use this tutor you will only see 3 notes in the chords of course. Since it
sometimes helps to see the entire 4 chord voicing in this case, there is the option to show the muted note as well.
The Tutor normally just shows the guitar part without writing it to any track. If you want
to see the track in notation copy it to the Melody or Soloist track.
If copying a Guitar Tutor part to Melody or Soloist track, the track type now gets auto-set to the correct tab and
fretboard. So if you are using a ukulele tutor, you can copy and see the tab for ukulele chords.
Guitar Window Toolbar
At the bottom of the Guitar window is the toolbar.
The [Set…] button opens the Guitar Settings dialog, which allows you to set the guitar options.
These buttons will chord step advance, or note-step advance. The chord step advance is the most
commonly used function. It is also accessible by the hotkeys Ins and Del on the numeric keypad and will advance
or go back one chord at a time, leaving the chord displayed on the guitar.
This is the name of the current note that the mouse is over. If you click on the guitar at that position, the
note will sound. If the Notation Window is open (in Editable Notation or Staff Roll mode), that note will get
inserted on the notation at the current position on the timeline – you can disable that option to insert notes.
When you open the Guitar Window, the first thing you want to do is choose the track that you
want to display. Usually this will be a Melody track or a Soloist track. In the diagram here, the Melody track is the
current track, and it has a red rectangle around it to indicate this. To get to the Soloist track, you would click on the
[S] button or use the hotkey Ctrl+F5, which toggles between the Melody and the Soloist. Similarly, you can display
other tracks like Bass, Piano, or Strings.
There is a Guitar Tutor button.
The “position” button. This toggles between the two popular positions displayed with note names.
Generate a guitar chord solo based on the existing Melody track using correct guitar fret positions.
When you have a note or chord highlighted press the [Ch-] or [Ch+] (insert guitar chord) button on the
guitar, or 7 or 8 on the NUMPAD keypad. Each time you press the [Ch-] or [Ch+] you will see that the
guitar chord changes to a different voicing, cycling through the available 5-10 voicings possible for each chord.
(Some notes won't have any chord voicings, for example a C# note on a Cmaj7 chord, because it is always a passing
tone.)
In a similar manner, you can convert a chord to a guitar note using the insert guitar note button.
Pressing the [N+] (or 3 or 4 on the NUMPAD keypad) repeatedly cycles through playing the same note on all 6
strings.
116
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Displaying MIDI files from Guitar Pro® on the Guitar Fretboard
MIDI files can be read from Guitar Pro® and displayed correctly on the Guitar Fretboard in Band-in-a-Box. You
can then import the audio file, and using Audio Chord Wizard, you can sync up the original audio recording with the
Guitar Pro® MIDI file. So you then listen to the original audio as you watch the guitar transcription (from Guitar
Pro® playing in Band-in-a-Box).
To export MIDI files on 6 channels in Guitar Pro®, you need to:
Turn the RSE off (menu Sound - Realistic Sound Engine).
Press the Guitar Settings button on the left of the Guitar Pro® window and then enable the
force 11-16 channels option.
Export the Track (menu File - Export - MIDI).
Then, in Band-in-a-Box, click on the [Open] button and choose the menu item
Open MIDI File to load Guitar Pro® MIDI file into Band-in-a-Box.
You can then play the file and watch the guitar fretboard to see it. Band-in-a-Box has a large guitar fretboard,
sizable with many options, so you may like displaying some of your Guitar Pro® files in Band-in-a-Box.
Big Piano Window
The Big Piano window can display the notes of any track on a resizable piano keyboard. You can also set the range
of the piano and number of octaves to display. Additionally, you can display notes names or guide notes --showing
the scale notes of the current key. Notes can be displayed using a different color for each note. There's an “AutoOctave” setting that will scan the track to be displayed and auto-size the piano to the largest size that would display
all of the notes. This “Big Piano” makes it easier to learn piano parts from within Band-in-a-Box.
The Big Piano window is launched (or closed) by pressing the piano icon on the Views toolbar, or by
pressing Ctrl+Shift+N, or choosing Window | Big Piano Window.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
117
-
-
The default settings for this feature can be customized by pressing the [Settings…] button.
The Big Piano window displays a single track on the piano.
The piano can be resized by dragging the bottom of the window to enlarge it vertically.
The key of the song is displayed at the top.
The range of the piano is set automatically (based on the actual notes in the track) to show the largest possible
piano).
The notes of the scale are circled on the piano, with the note names included.
The root of the scale is colored in red. As the song plays, scale tones are colored green; other notes are colored
yellow.
The name of the note that the mouse cursor is over is highlighted at the top of the window. Clicking on the Big
Piano plays a note (using the Thru part) and this can be recorded or sent to the Notation window when entering
notation. You can select the track to use by clicking the [B|D|P|G|S|M|S] line of buttons.
RealTracks (and MIDI style) piano parts that are on the piano track will appear with hands-split (right hand in red,
left hand in blue) in the Big Piano window
The Conductor
The Conductor provides live looping and playback control. As the song is playing, there are options to allow
control the flow of playback by one of three methods:
1. Conductor window
2. QWERTY hot keys
3. MIDI keyboard
Many “single key” hot keys are available to control the playback and looping of the song. For example, pressing the
“4” key will ensure that the middle chorus is the next one played, and pressing the “S” key will ensure that the
middle section is looped. This would be useful to extend a song that has the last chorus playing. Custom loop
points can also be set for each song. These settings are ideal for live performance, or “jam sessions” where you
aren’t entering new Band-in-a-Box songs, but want full control of the playback. These loops happen seamlessly at
the end of the chorus, so are suitable for the “dance floor.” In addition, you can control Band-in-a-Box from a
standard MIDI keyboard, pressing MIDI keys corresponds to program functions. For example, load the next song,
play/pause/tempo adjust/change thru patch/jump to middle choruses/open the notation or lead sheet window – all
from your MIDI keyboard!
The Conductor is launched with the [Conductor Window] button on the Transport toolbar, the Ctrl +
tilde (~) hot keys, or menu option Window | Conductor Window.
118
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
You must enable the QWERTY keys to be active for the Conductor during
playback. This is done by selecting the “Enable Control by QWERTY keys” checkbox on the Conductor window.
If you want to control the Conductor using the MIDI keyboard, you need to enable
this by selecting the checkbox “Enable control by MIDI keyboard.” When this setting is enabled, any MIDI input
will be interpreted as a hot key for the Conductor, and you won’t hear MIDI thru.
If you’d like the ability to switch your MIDI keyboard
between Conductor mode and regular playing mode, you can do this using the lowest “A-natural” MIDI note on
your keyboard. This is A1 on an 88-note keyboard. Note A1 will turn the Conductor off, Bb1 turns it on, and B1
will toggle the Conductor on only when the Bb1 note is held down. If you don’t have an 88-note keyboard, you can
set the octave setting to a number higher than 1, for example if you set it to “3,” then notes A3/Bb3/B3 will turn the
Conductor Off/On/Toggled.
Using the Conductor QWERTY or MIDI keys, you can:
- define and jump to up to 10 user defined sections in the song,
- jump back 1 bar/4 bars/# of bars/screen/part/chorus/section,
- jump ahead 1 bar/4 bars/# of bars/screen/part/chorus/section,
- LOOP 1 bar/4 bars/# of bars/screen/part/chorus/section,
- pause/stop the song.
In addition, using the MIDI keyboard, you can also use the Conductor to:
A1
(note#21)Turn MIDI Conductor OFF
Bb1
Turn MIDI Conductor ON
B1
Turn MIDI Conductor ON only as note is held down
Here are the various functions available using the Conductor. The MIDI key and QWERTY hot key are shown.
C3
Normal Tempo
Ctrl =
C#
Half Speed Tempo
Ctrl -
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
119
D3
Eb3
E3
F3
F#3
G3
G#3
A3
Bb3
B3
C4(48)
Db4
D4
Eb4
E4
F4
F#4
G4
G#4
A4
Bb4
B4
C5(60)
Db5
D5
Eb5
E5
F5
F#5
G5
G#5
A5
Bb5
B5
C6
Db6
D6
F6 to D7
Eb7
E7
F7
F#7
G7
Ab7
A7
Bb7
B7
120
Quarter Speed Tempo
Eighth Speed Tempo
Loop Section Enabled
NUMPAD 1
Play with last chorus looped
Ctrl-NUMPAD 1
Play with middle choruses looped
Ctrl-NUMPAD 2
Play with middle and last choruses looped
Ctrl-NUMPAD 3
Jump to last chorus (no loop)
Ctrl-NUMPAD 4
Jump to ending (no loop)
Ctrl-NUMPAD 5
Loop notation screen
Decrease Tempo by 1
Shift [
Increase Tempo by 1
Shift ]
Decrease Tempo by 5
[
Increase Tempo by 5
]
Tap tempo
- (press 4 times)
Tap Tempo and play
= (press 4 times)
Play
F4
Stop
Escape
Pause
Backspace (or Ctrl H)
Replay
Ctrl A
MIDI Panic
F12
Previous Song
Ctrl-Shift-F8
Next Song
Shift-F8
This is a control character for THRU patches. When C5 is held down, pressing MIDI notes 61/62
decrease/increase the THRU patch by one, and 63-72 change THRU patches to Favorite patches.
Open Notation Window
Ctrl-W
Lead sheet Window
Alt-W
Reduce All Volumes by 5
Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Q
Increase all Volumes by 5
Ctrl-Alt-Shift-W
ALL Mute/Unmute
Alt-2
Bass Mute/Unmute
Alt-3
Piano Mute/Unmute
Alt-4
Drums/Unmute
Alt-5
Guitar Mute/Unmute
Alt-6
Strings Mute/Unmute
Alt-7
Melody/Unmute
Alt-9
Soloist Mute/Unmute
Alt-8
THRU Mute/Unmute
Alt 0
Audio Mute
Jump to Sections 1-10 of the song
1-9 and 0
Loop Current Chorus
a
Loop Current Section
s
Loop Current Bar
z
Loop Current 4 Bars
x
Loop current Part
c
Looping ON, previous setting
v
Looping OFF
b
Go Back 1 Chorus
Ctrl a
Go Back 1 Section
Ctrl s
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
C8
Go Back 1 Screen
Ctrl d
Db8
Go Back 1 Bar
Ctrl z
D8
Go Back 4 Bars
Ctrl x
Eb8
Go Back 1 Part marker
Ctrl c
E8
Go Ahead 1 Chorus
Shift A
F8
Go Ahead 1 Section
Shift S
F#8
Go Ahead 1 Screen
Shift D
G8
Go Ahead 1 Bar
Shift Z
Ab8
Go Ahead 4 Bars
Shift X
A8
Go Ahead 1 Part marker
Shift C
Customizing the Sections
Sections: This allows you to define up to 10 points in the song that are sections. By default, the following sections
are defined for each song.
- Section 1: Start of song
- Section 2: Intro
- Section 3: First Chorus
- Section 4 :Middle Chorus (i.e. start of chorus #2)
- Section 5: Last Chorus
- Section 6: Ending
- Sections 7-10 are user definable. To do this, type in any bar # using the bar/chorus format (e.g. 21/2 would be bar
21, chorus 2).
If you prefer to enter custom values for the section numbers, you can do this if you check the “custom” checkbox,
and then type in up to 10 bar numbers for each section.
The section numbers are saved with the song. Once you have defined the sections, you can jump to a certain section
of the song as the song is playing, simply by:
1. Pressing the 1-9 or 0 key on the QWERTY keyboard or,
2. Opening the Conductor window (Ctrl + ~ hot key) and clicking on the section button or,
3. Pressing MIDI keys 77-86 (F6 to D7) corresponding to sections 1-10.
Mode (when to do the action)
By pressing a QWERTY hot key prior to an action, you can control when the action will take place. If no mode hot
key is pressed prior to an action, the default mode will occur.
The default is set in the “Default Mode for section change” or “Default
Mode for going back or ahead” combo box.
For example, by default, the section change will occur as soon as you
press the key, and it will go to the equivalent place in the bar immediately
before the beginning of the target section (so that the music stays in time,
and the next section begins at the end of the bar). But you can change the default for the action to take place at the
end of the current bar or current part marker etc.
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
121
Example uses of the Conductor:
In this example, we don’t have custom sections set, so the default sections apply (middle chorus = section 4 etc.).
- Jump to the start of middle choruses during playback (press “4”).
- Loop the middle chorus (press S, which is Loop Section).
- Jump to the end of the song (press 6).
- Pause the song (Backspace).
- Go back 1 chorus (Ctrl a).
- Go ahead 1 chorus (Shift A).
At the end of the current chorus, go back 1 section, press Y then Ctrl S.
Note: Pressing the Y sets the mode to do the action at the end of the current chorus
These actions can also be done with the MIDI keyboard. See the MIDI keyboard mapping diagram for details.
Example using the MIDI keyboard
Assume Charlie is a piano player who uses his MIDI keyboard with Band-in-a-Box, and would like to play his
keyboard, but also use it to control Band-in-a-Box.
He sets the Conductor to allow his MIDI keyboard lowest notes A/Bb/B to turn the Conductor mode
OFF/ON/Toggled-when held.
When he turns it off (low A note), he can play his keyboard normally.
If he wants to pause the song, he holds down the low B3 note as he presses the MIDI key for pause, which is G4.
The song will pause, and the Conductor mode turns off as he lets go of the B3 key, and he can resume his piano
playing. If Charlie didn’t plan on using the MIDI keyboard for piano playing, he could leave it in Conductor mode
by turning it on with the A3 key.
The Jukebox
Use the Jukebox for continuous playback of a whole list of Band-in-a-Box songs or to play all or
the songs in a folder. The  button plays the previous song in the directory; the  button plays
the next song in alphabetical order.
The Jukebox will continue to play while you move to other Windows programs, providing continuous background
music. Click the [Play Jukebox] button to open the Options for Juke Box dialog.
122
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Jukebox Options
Only Play song with melodies: If set to YES, the
program plays only songs with melodies, that is,
songs with an .MG? file extension. If NO, the
Jukebox will include ALL songs in the
subdirectory.
Change Melody instrument: If you set this
option to “Yes,” then the program will randomly
change the melody instrument among your favorite
10 Melody instruments.
Random order Playback: If set to “Yes,” the
songs will be played in random order (though not
repeating a song). If set to “No,” the songs will be
played in the order they are listed in the
subdirectory.
Hide Titles (until title clicked): This feature is
used to play the “Guess the Song” game. When set
to “Yes,” the titles are hidden till you click the title
box.
Audible Count-in Click: While listening to the
Jukebox, you might not want to hear the Count-in
Click. If set to “No” you won't hear the count-in
click.
Harmony Settings: Set the Change Harmony box
to true/enabled if you would like harmonies in a
given number range to be randomly assigned for
use with the Melody and Soloist/Thru tracks (if
applicable to the song).
Generate Solos: Set this option to “On” to permit the Soloist to play a Solo over all the songs selected for Jukebox
Playback.
1. Change to this directory by loading/opening a song from the c:\bb\solodemo directory.
2. Instead of playing the song you have loaded, press the [Juke] button.
3. Ensure that the Generate Solos checkbox is set to “Yes.”
4. Select [PLAY JUKE BOX]. The Soloist Select Dialog will pop up with a suggestion to use a Soloist for the first
song in the Jukebox list. This is normal. Press [OK] to accept the Soloist suggestion. (The Jukebox will not
bother you with the Select Soloist dialog again; it will simply choose an appropriate Soloist for any given song in
the Jukebox song list.)
Preview: The Jukebox Preview mode will optionally play just one chorus of each song, or play a set number of bars
of each song (e.g. 8 bars).
To access this, press the [Juke] button, and
select the Preview checkbox. Set the # of bars
to use for the preview, a setting of 99 plays one
chorus of each song.
Delay between songs: The user can set a selectable time delay (in seconds) between songs.
Note: To manually start playback of each song in the jukebox list, set “Pause Play Until MIDI or Key received” to On (checked)
in the Preferences dialog. At the end of each song the jukebox will load the next song in the list and then pause until playback is
started by sending a MIDI note or a computer keystroke.
Check “Loop Jukebox at end” for continuous jukebox play rather than stopping at the end
of the list.
Change Directory:
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
123
You can change the directory before starting the Juke Box with the [Change Directory]
button. You can also type a folder name directly, instead of using the folder dialog.
In the main screen, click on the [Song] button and choose Favorite Songs to open the Favorite
Songs dialog and make your own custom set lists for the Jukebox.
- Use the [Clear] button to blank the list.
- Songs can be added or removed from the list with the [Insert], [Append], and [Delete] buttons. [Add Fav] also
adds a song to the Favorite Songs list.
- Use the [Save Set..] button to save the list of selected songs.
- The [Load Set] button loads a saved list of songs.
- The [Juke..] button plays through the list of songs automatically, like a jukebox.
This is a great feature for saving a list of current song projects, or for performing a live set with Band-in-a-Box
accompaniment.
Medley Maker
Would you like to make a medley of various Band-in-a-Box songs (MGU) using Band-in-a-Box? This is easily
done with the Medley Maker. Inside the Medley Maker, simply select the songs that you want, and Band-in-aBox will make the medley for you. A medley is not simply joining songs together. A good medley uses a
“transition” area between songs to introduce the new style, key, and tempo. The Medley Maker automatically
creates a nice transition area for you, writing in chords that would smoothly modulate to the next song, style, key,
and tempo!
To open the Medley Maker, click on the [Song Form] button in the Tools toolbar and choose
MedleyMaker from the menu, or choose File | Medley Maker. This launches the Medley Maker dialog.
124
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
Chapter 5: Playing Songs
125
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Make Your Own Songs
It’s fun to play music with Band-in-a-Box, but it’s even more fun to make songs of your own. This section gives
you step-by-step instructions from start to finish.
Clear the Chord Sheet
Click on the [New] button if you need to blank the Chord Sheet.
Name the Song
Enter the title of the song by clicking in the title area and typing in the name.
Choose a Key
You can use the special operators “tk” and “tr” to set or transpose a key signature.
Typing tkc plus the Enter key will set the key of the song to C. Typing tkbb sets it to Bb. Note that this sets the
key signature but does not transpose the song.
The “tr” operator sets the key signature and transposes the song. Typing trf and pressing Enter would transpose the
song to the key of F, typing trab would transpose the song to Ab.
Another way to set a key signature is to click on the [Key] button and choose the key of your song from
the lists of all major and minor keys. If you select from the “Transpose and Set Key Signature” column
the song will be transposed to the new key signature you choose.
If you select from the “Just Set Key Signature
(no transpose)” column, the key signature will
be changed but the song will not be transposed.
You can have multiple keys in a song by
changing the key signature in the Edit Settings
for bar dialog (F5 function key). The new key
signature is shown on notation.
Setting the tempo
The tempo is displayed next to the key signature. You can quickly enter a specific tempo
for the song by typing the letter “t” together with the tempo and pressing the Enter key.
For example, type t140 and Enter to set the tempo of the song to 140.
126
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Click on the tempo box (hot key is Ctrl+Alt+T, or menu item Play | Tempo | Set Tempo…), and a dialog will open
up allowing you to type in a tempo.
When choosing File | New the tempo will be set to the best tempo for the current style. Click the mouse on the
arrow buttons to adjust the tempo up or down.
- LEFT mouse click to change by 5 beats per minute at a time.
- RIGHT mouse click to change by 1 beat per minute at a time.
Setting the Relative Tempo
This button allows you to quickly set the relative tempo. Click the button and choose a percentage or use
the Custom Tempo % menu item to set any value between 1% and 800%. 1% would be 1/100 of the
original tempo and 800% would be 8 times the original tempo. Hotkeys are available: Ctrl - (minus key)
for half speed and Ctrl = for normal speed.
Tap the Tempo
Not sure of the tempo for your song? Tap it in real time on either the minus [-] key or the equals
[=] key on your computer keyboard. Four taps on the minus key sets the tempo, four taps on the
equals key sets the tempo and starts the song playing. You can also click the mouse on the onscreen [-] and [=] buttons to the right of the tempo box.
“Framing” the Song
Framing a song designates the first and last bars of each chorus and the number of choruses Band-in-a-Box will play
before playing the standard 2-bar ending.
You can type special words to set the beginning and end of the chorus, and the end of the song.
begin + Enter
- sets the beginning of the chorus to the current bar
chorusend + Enter - sets the end of the chorus to the current bar
end + Enter
- sets the end of the song to the current bar
Another option is to right-click a bar in the Chord Sheet to set it as the beginning or end of the chorus or the end of
the song from the settings in the context menu.
For this song, bar one is the first bar of the chorus and bar 32 is the last bar of the
chorus. The chorus will play three times, jumping to the two bar ending the third time
through.
With the checkbox on the [Loop] button enabled the entire song will keep repeating until stopped. (This
is a different feature from “LoopSection,” which loops a selected section of the song.)
The “FakeSheet” checkbox is for a fake sheet style of Chord Sheet display with 1st and 2nd endings
and repeats.
Song Settings
The [Song Settings] button opens the Song Settings dialog for additional settings such as endings,
tags, style variations, pushes, rests, and chord embellishments to make your song interesting and
varied.
You can also use the Ctrl+N keys or the Edit | Settings (for This Song)… menu command to open this dialog.
This button opens a dialog where the song’s title and its main settings can be typed in.
These settings are usually made in the main screen title window.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
127
This buttons opens the Edit Settings for Current Bar dialog.
This button opens the Chord Options dialog where you can edit chords and add rests and
pushes.
128
Chapter 6: Making Songs
These are additional song settings that are saved with the song.
Vary Style in Middle Choruses
If set to “Yes,” the song will play in substyle “b” throughout the Middle Choruses. The Middle Choruses are
considered all choruses except the first and last ones. For example, in the Jazz Swing Style, since the “b” substyle is
Swing, all of the middle choruses will have swing bass, whereas the “a” substyle is playing half notes on the bass. If
set to “No” the middle choruses will play A and B substyles exactly as they appear in the song as outlined by the
part markers.
Allow Pushes in Middle Choruses
This is most frequently used if there are pushes in a song (indicated by the “^” symbol), but you don't want these
pushes to play in the middle choruses. Simply set the checkbox to “No” (disabled) and the pushes will be ignored in
the middle choruses. This is to allow for uninterrupted soloing choruses.
Allow Rests in First/Middle/Last Chorus
These parameters allow you to decide which choruses will play any rests that are present in a song (indicated by the
“.” symbol). For example, you may have put rests into a song but don't want the rests to play in the middle
choruses, since you are using them for soloing: simply set the ALLOW RESTS IN MIDDLE CHORUSES checkbox
to “No” (off).
Allow Pedal Bass in Middle Choruses
This determines whether Pedal Bass effect will be allowed in middle choruses.
Force Song to Simple Arrangement (non-embellished)
You can set the whole song to use “Simpler” RealTracks with this setting, as long as the RealTracks you are using
have the simple option available. This is shown by a “y” in the RealTracks Picker’s “Simpler Available” column.
The “Simpler” RealTracks play a less busy, less embellished arrangement.
Tag Settings
A tag (also referred to as a coda) is a group of bars that are played in the very last chorus of a song. If you select the
“Tag Exists?” check box then the tag will play during the last chorus of the song. After the bar you specify as the
“Tag Jump After Bar #” the song jumps to the “Tag Begin At Bar #” and plays through the “Tag Ends After Bar #”
and then plays a 2 bar ending as usual.
Song Endings
Band-in-a-Box will optionally create a two bar ending for your song, the standard ending is 2 bars appended to the
end of the song.
The “Use 4 Bar ending for RealTracks” option allows extra time for the natural decay of the instruments.
The “Start the ending 2 bars early” option gives you an alternative to end the song on the last bar of the song. Bandin-a-Box will still play an ending on the chord that you specify, and the ending will occur as a 2 bar phrase
beginning 2 bars before the end of the form. This results in more natural endings for many songs.
No Endings
Song endings can be turned off for all songs, or on a song by song basis. For example, you might want to have your
own custom ending that ends the song on the 3rd beat of a bar by playing a shot.
To turn the song ending off for a “single song,” set the “Generate 2 bar Ending for this song” checkbox to = “Off”
(cleared).
To turn song endings off for “all songs,” choose Opt. | Preferences and then press the [Arrange] button to open the
Arrangement Options dialog.
Set the “Allow any Endings” checkbox = “Off” (cleared).
Fade Out Song
Chapter 6: Making Songs
129
You can quickly choose a fadeout ending, just press the [Fade]
button, and Band- in-a-Box will fadeout the last “x” bars of the song (you can specify how many bars). Or
customize the fadeout with precise values for each bar.
Sections on a new line (for this song) is an option to enable/disable the Section Paragraphs feature for this
particular song.
RealTracks options for this song only set the RealTracks options for the song without changing the global
RealTracks Settings.
Solos should have a ‘bluesy’ feel
When set, any soloist or RealTracks background soloist, will treat any major triad (C, F, etc.) like a dominant
seventh (C7, F7) and use flatted 7th for soloing.
Allow RealTracks substitutions based on tempo
When set, the program will find the best RealTracks to use at the current tempo. For example, it might substitute an
acoustic bass recorded at a higher tempo, closer to the tempo of your song. The RealTracks name will appear on the
main screen with a tilde (~) to indicate the substitution.
Allow RealTracks Shots, Holds and Pushes
When set (recommended), Band-in-a-Box will create realistic shots, holds, and pushes in your song. If unchecked,
Band-in-a-Box will simulate a shot. Not all styles have these available. Check the RealTracks\Library\Holds folder
and the RealTracks Picker “Holds” column listing the set number.
Allow RealTracks Half-time/Double-time
When set, this song will allow RealTracks to play at half time (twice the usual tempo) or double time (half the usual
tempo). This allows you, for example in a ballad at a tempo of 70, to add a RealTracks Sax solo with a tempo of
140 and play it as a double time, which will match the ballad tempo of 70.
Allow Style Aliases (auto-substitution of style) for this song
If this is set, and Auto-replace MIDI styles with RealTracks styles when songs loaded is checked on the RealTracks
toolbar menu, auto-substitution with a RealStyle is allowed.
This song has playback problems, disable Fast Generation
On slower computers, songs with lots of RealTracks might have playback problems (stuttering). If so, you can use
this setting to disable Fast Generation for this song. You can turn Fast Generation off for all songs in the
RealTracks Settings dialog by unchecking the setting “Speed up generation of RealTracks (disable on slow
machines).”
Volume Boost (this song only) in dB
The volume of any particular song can be boosted or cut by typing in the number of decibels. A change of 6dB is
about the same as moving a MIDI volume control by a value of 32.
Transpose audio track by _ semitones
If this option is enabled, the Audio track and any Artist Performance tracks will be transposed (pitch stretched) by
the amount entered here.
130
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Chord Entry
Computer Keyboard Entry
The most common way of entering the chords for a song in Band-in-a-Box is by typing them in from the computer
keyboard. Up to 4 chords per bar may be entered.
Chords are commonly typed-in using standard chord symbols (like C or Fm7 or Bb7 or Bb13#9/E), but you can
enter them in any of the supported chord symbol display formats - Roman Numerals, Nashville Notation, Solfeggio,
and Fixed Do.
Tip: To view a list of chords recognized by Band-in-a-Box refer to the Chord List topic in the Help file.
To start typing in chords:
- Go to the top (Bar 1) of the Chord Sheet. The Home key will go directly there.
- Blank the Chord Sheet (if necessary) by clicking on the [New] button.
This is the chord highlight cell. Chords will be entered wherever this is placed. You may move
this around by cursor arrow keys, the Enter key, or a mouse pointer click.
The chord highlight bar moves 2 beats at a time (½ a bar). When you have the chord highlight cell over the area that
you want to enter a chord, you simply type the name of the chord you would like to see there.
For example, type c6 to get the C6 chord. Note that you should never have to use the Shift key, as Band-in-a-Box
will sort this out for you.
- Use b for a flat, e.g. Ab7.
- Use 3 for a sharp #, e.g. for F#7 type f37.
- Use / for slash chords with alternate roots, e.g. C7/E (C7 w/E bass). A chord like Gm7b5/Db will display correctly
using a Db instead of a Gm7b5/C#, since Band-in-a-Box bases it on a Gm scale.
- Use a comma to separate the ½ bar, enabling you to enter 2 chords in a cell. In the example below, we would type
Ab9,G9 to get the 2 chords in the cell on beat 3 and 4 of bar 2.
The sequence of keystrokes to enter all these chords above would be:
HOME c6>am7>dm7>ab9,g9>c6/e>>a739
Note: We're able to type A7#9 as “a739” because Band-in-a-Box knows to use the uppercase of the 3, which is #. The >
indicates a carriage return, or the Enter key.
A setting in the Display Options (Preferences | [Display]) for “11th chords” allows display
of ‘9sus’ chords as ‘11’ (e.g., Bb11 instead of Bb9sus). This only affects how the chord is displayed, not how it is
stored, and you can type either C11 or C9sus to enter the same chord.
Right-click on a chord, and a menu allows you to make edits to the
chords and other song settings.
You can cut, copy, and paste chords in the Chord Sheet. Use the
Chord Builder to try different types of chords, or play the current
chord to hear how it sounds.
Chord Settings include pushes, rests, shots, holds, and pedal bass.
Use the Bar Settings to make changes at a given bar, and Song
Settings to make overall settings for the song.
Bar-based section letters lets you add a section letter which will
display just above the bar number on the Chord Sheet.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
131
Enter Chords from MIDI Keyboard
You can also enter chords from an external MIDI keyboard using the Window | MIDI chord detection… feature.
Play the chord on the keyboard, then press Ctrl+Enter to insert the chord into the Chord Sheet on the first beat of
the current chord cell, i.e., beat 1 or beat 3 of the bar. Use Ctrl+Shift+Enter to insert the chord on the next beat,
i.e., beat 2 or beat 4 of the bar.
Import a Band-in-a-Box Song
Easily import part or all of an existing Band-in-a-Box song to your current song, with options to specify source and
destination range, type of information to import (chords, melody, lyrics, etc.) and more. Choose File | Import MGU
Song.
In the Import Band-in-a-Box Song dialog, choose the range that you want to import (Import from Bar and # of
bars), and the destination bar (Import to Bar). You can also choose which information to import, and the insert
mode (Insert/Overwrite).
Audio Chord Wizard (Chords from MP3)
This feature analyzes a WAV, WMA, MP3, WMV, or CDA audio file and imports it to Band-in-aBox. The Audio Chord Wizard is fully described in the Tutors, Wizards, and Fun chapter. It works
out the tempo, bar lines, and chord changes so you can easily make your favorite files into Band-in-aBox songs.
Copy and Pasting Section of Chords
Copying of sections or selections can be done using drag-and-drop, to drag regions around the Chord Sheet to
quickly rearrange your song. Hold down the Ctrl key for finer control about insert/overwrite etc.
For example, if you have an 8-bar section at bar 9:
To copy it to bar 23 and insert the 8 bars at that location, drag the bar # and drop it at bar 23.
To copy it to bar 23, and OVERWRITE the 8 bars at that location hold down the Ctrl key, and
drag the bar # and drop it at bar 23. In the dialog that appears, just press OK.
Another way to copy chords is to launch the Copy Chords and/or melody dialog by pressing Alt+C.
132
Chapter 6: Making Songs
This allows you to copy chords/ melody/ soloist/ lyrics for a range of bars by entering the From and To locations
and the number of bars to copy. Select the checkboxes for the items you want to include in the copy.
Insert Bars at destination
If selected prior to the Copy bars will be inserted onto the Chord Sheet at the destination chosen.
# of times to repeat copy
If set to more than one, multiple copies will be made, optionally with transpositions on each copy. These are all
applied to the first chorus only.
With each copy, transpose ___ semitones
If more than one copy is selected, this will transpose the song with each copy. This is most useful when wanting to
learn a short phrase (“riff”) in different keys, or modulating a section of a song.
Random # of semitones
This will transpose the copy a random transposition and would be useful for advanced students who are trying to
master a riff or phrase in all keys.
Copy 1st Chorus to whole song
If set, this will apply any of the copying commands in this dialog to all choruses of the song, not just chorus #1.
This button toggles between [Show More] and [Show Less], depending on whether just the
basic functions or all Copy functions are displayed.
Copying chords to the clipboard
Select the region to copy. To select a region of the Chord Sheet (or the Notation or Audio Edit window), you can
Shift+click on the end point to easily select a large area.
- Click on the starting bar.
- Shift+click on the ending bar.
Another way to select a region is by dragging the mouse over it. Place the mouse cursor at the bar to begin the
selection. Then, holding down the left mouse button, drag the mouse over the region. As you do this you will see
that the region will be inverted (white characters on a black background). When you have selected the proper region
of chords to copy, then
- copy the selected (blackened) region to the clipboard
- click on the Copy button or choose Copy from the Edit menu.
Pasting chords to another section of the Chord Sheet
Assuming that you have already copied some chords to the clipboard you then paste them into the Chord Sheet by:
1. Move the highlight cell to the bar to begin the paste of chords.
2. Click on the Paste button or choose Paste from the Edit menu.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
133
Tip: Remember that the copied section remains in the clipboard and can be repeatedly used. Example: If you're inputting a
song with verse, verse, bridge, verse you can just copy the first verse to the clipboard, and then repeatedly paste in the other
verses. The information on the clipboard remains intact even if you load in a new song, which means you can copy and paste
between songs.
Copy, Repeat X times, with Transpose
The Edit | Copy From.. To.. menu command opens the Copy Chords and/or melody dialog, which has additional
fields allowing you to define the number of times to repeat each copy and define the number of semitones you
transpose. For example, you could have a 16 bar section, copy it 3 times with a semitone transpose each time. Or,
take a single 4 bar phrase, and copy it 11 times, transposing up a 4th each time, generating the same 4 bar phrase in
all 12 keys.
Deleting Chords
The chords at the current location of the highlight cell are cleared by the Delete key, the Windows “Cut” command,
or by typing a comma and pressing Enter.
Deletion of chords over a range of bars can be done by selecting the range and pressing the Delete key on your
computer keyboard. No confirmation dialog is required.
Previewing Chords
This feature allows you to hear chords as you to type them in. After you type a chord name onto the Chord Sheet (or
Notation window), press the Shift+Enter keys. This enters the chord onto the Chord Sheet and then plays the chord
for you, using the patches on the Piano part and Bass Part. You can also listen to a chord that has already been
entered, by just pressing the Shift+Enter keys after moving the highlight cell to the bar with the chord you want to
hear. If there is no chord entered at a bar, you will hear the last chord that was entered.
You can right-mouse click on the Chord Sheet and choose Chord Settings to launch the Chord Options dialog, and
then press the [Preview] button to hear the current chord in the Chord Options Dialog.
The [Previous Bar] and [Next Bar] buttons lets you go through the entire Chord Sheet without leaving the dialog.
The [Clear All Bars] button erases all Rests/Shots/Pushes/Pedal Bass from a song.
The [Clear Bar] button erases all Rests/Shots/Pushes/Pedal Bass from the current bar.
Support for other chord display types
You can enter or display chords in Roman Numeral notation, Nashville notation, Solfeggio, or Fixed Do notation.
For example, the chord Gm7 in the key of F would be displayed as IIm7 in Roman Numeral Notation, 2m7 in
Nashville Notation, and Rem7 in Solfeggio.
134
Chapter 6: Making Songs
“Fixed Do” Notation
In Italy and other parts of Europe, chords like C7 are always referred to by the Solfeggio
name (“Do 7” for C7) regardless of the key signature. These systems are very useful for
learning or analyzing tunes, since they are independent of the key signature.
You can take an existing song, and print it out in Roman numeral notation, so you can study the chord progression.
You can also type a chord in these systems, like “4” which will enter the 4 chord in the current key.
Click on the [Chord Display] menu button and Choose type of Chord Display from the menu. A
yellow message box will confirm your selection.
The Roman numeral and other nonstandard displays use superscript for the chord display when in the Notation
window (or when printing out). Therefore, the alternative chord symbol displays are best viewed in the Notation
window.
maj7
m7b5
Tip: Print out a song in Nashville Notation or Roman numeral notation. Then, learn the song this way, i.e. 1
4maj7 3
67b9. You will soon discover that it is much easier to play the song in any key. Since you know the song goes from the 1 chord
to the 4 chord, so you can easily play it in the key of Bb, for example.
Advanced Chord Entry and Editing Features
In the Edit menu, the Nudge Chords/ Melody feature allows moving a range of
chords by a number of bars/beats.
For example, let’s say that you have entered a complete song chord progression, and you then realize that all of the
chords starting at bar 23 are 1 beat too late (maybe due to a time signature change). You can move all of the chords
1 beat earlier, by setting the nudge at bar 23, beat 1, and duration of the nudge to -1 (minus 1) beats.
You can nudge chords and/or Melody/Soloist parts.
The Edit | Fold command converts a song with a single large chorus to
multiple smaller choruses, with optional tag ending.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
135
A Search/Replace Chords feature will search and replace chords, including
support for asterisks (*) as wildcards. Search and Replace can be used with Roman numerals or numbers for chord
names. So you can replace the V chord with V7, or the 5m chord to 5m7. Since these are remembered between
songs, this feature is useful if you are changing multiple songs.
The [Simpler Jazz] option will simplify chords like C13#11#5 to simply C9.
Repeats and Endings
You can add repeats and endings so that the Lead Sheet window will display and printout using 1st /2nd endings.
Click on the [Song Form] button and select Repeats 1st/2nd endings from
the dropdown menu. This will launch the Edit Repeats and Endings
dialog where you can enter repeats, 1st and 2nd endings, DC, DS al coda
and more.
The “Auto-Find” feature will intelligently detect 1st/2nd
endings automatically for you, so you can view and convert any Band-in-aBox song to include 1st/2nd endings in lead sheet format.
The Edit Repeats and Endings dialog can also be entered by right-clicking on the Chord Sheet and selecting
Repeats/Codas/1st-2nd endings from the pop-up menu.
136
Chapter 6: Making Songs
When you have created your repeats and endings, either manually or automatically, simply select the “Fake Sheet”
checkbox on the Chord Sheet or Lead Sheet window. Band-in-a-Box will hide the repeated bars and display the
fake sheet using 1st and 2nd endings.
There is a tutorial for this feature in the Tutors and Wizards chapter, and also in the Help file topic Repeats Edit
Dialog.
Breaks - Rests, Shots, and Held Chords
Breaks are points in a song when one or more of the instruments rests, plays a shot, or holds a chord.
- Rests specify any, some, or all instruments to rest at any bar. For example, you could rest all instruments except
the bass for the first 4 bars, and then add the piano for 4 bars, and then add the entire band for the rest of the song.
You may optionally disable the rests in the middle or final choruses (e.g., where you would likely have a solo, and
rests may not be appropriate).
- Shots specify certain instruments play a “shot,” where the chord is played and then a rest follows. For example
the song “Rock Around The Clock” has a shot on beat 1 followed by a rest for 2 bars. The duration of “shots” is
60 ticks per beat.
- Held chords specify that certain instruments hold a chord sustained for a certain number of bars. For example,
you can have the bass and piano hold a chord sustained while the drums continue to play a pattern.
A chord can be specified as a REST by adding a period after the chord.
indicates a C chord that is a REST.
indicates a C chord that is a SHOT.
indicates a C chord that is a HELD CHORD.
Selecting BREAKS for different instruments.
You can specify that some instruments not be affected by the rhythm break.
The coded names for the instruments are:
B for Bass, D for Drums, P for Piano, G for Guitar, and S for Strings.
To type a rest for all instruments on a C chord type C.
To exempt instruments, add their letters following the break. For example,
C.bd will put a rest on all instruments EXCEPT the bass and drums.
To indicate a held chord for all instruments except the piano, type C...p
Chapter 6: Making Songs
137
Breaks can also be set in the Chord Options dialog.
Chord Options
Chord options include rests, pushes, and pedal bass. The Chord Options dialog opens with the C7
toolbar button, or from the right-click contextual menu in the Chord Sheet.
Normally, when a “shot” or a “held” chord is assigned, the
instruments that are excluded from the shot/held chord play
normally.
There is an additional option for those excluded instruments to
stay silent. To set this, open the chord options dialog, and select a
shot or held chord, and then select “Excluded instrument(s)
should rest.”
This option gives you the ability to rest some instruments while
others play the shot or held chord.
Other settings for how chords play are made in the Edit
menu. You can choose Edit | Settings (for This Song) to
open the Song Settings dialog and set the rests (breaks) to
happen only in the first, middle, or last choruses.
There are also settings to allow pushes, pedal bass, and
chord embellishment.
Pushes
”Pushes” (also called anticipations) are chords that are played before the beat. For example, in Jazz Swing music,
the piano player often “pushes” a chord change by playing the chord an eighth note before the beat. To execute a
“push,” you can use either keystrokes or open the Chord Options dialog by right mouse clicking on a given chord.
To use keystrokes:
Type the caret symbol [^] before the chord. The caret symbol is located above the numeral 6 on your computer
keyboard.
Type a single caret to get a chord an eighth note before the beat, e.g.,
138
Chapter 6: Making Songs
^C7
Type a double caret to get a chord a sixteenth note before the beat, e.g.,
^^C7
In Jazz styles (and other triplet feels), the chord will be pushed by a triplet, regardless of whether there is a single or
double caret (^^).
Velocity Boosts for Pushes, Shots, and Held Chords
You can set the amount of velocity boost, so that the
effect won't be too loud. In the Preferences dialog (Opt.
| Preferences) click on the [Arrange] button to open the
Arrangement Options dialog. Then type in the amount
of velocity boost for pushes, shots, and holds.
The style can override the velocity for the pushes, and drum velocity for shots, held chords, and pushes is also set in
the StyleMaker.
Part Markers, Substyles, and Song Form
Part Markers
Part Markers are placed on the Chord Sheet to indicate a new part of the song, to insert a
substyle change, or to insert drum fills. They typically occur every 8 bars or so, but may be
placed at the beginning of any bar.
Double lines are drawn on the Chord Sheet at the bar before a part marker.
MultiStyles
Band-in-a-Box MultiStyles are styles that can have up to 24 substyles; original Band-in-a-Box styles
had two substyles, “a” and “b.” Band-in-a-Box MultiStyles typically have four substyles, but may
have up to twenty-four, selected by using part markers “a” through “x.”
You can easily make your own MultiStyles, either from scratch, or combining parts from existing styles to make a
MultiStyle. For example, if you have 10 favorite Country styles, you can quickly make a single MultiStyle that has
20 substyles available within the same song.
You can store names for MultiStyle substyles with a description of each one.
The MultiStyle names are set in the StyleMaker Miscellaneous dialog. When present, rightclick on a bar number to see them.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
139
Changing Substyles
Each style has “a” and “b” substyles. Band-in-a-Box Multistyles also have
“c” and “d” substyles, and could have from “a” to “x” for a total of up to
twenty-four.
to
Most of these MultiStyles that we’ve made have 4 substyles, conforming to the following pop song format:
Substyle “a” is usually used for the verse of a song.
Substyle “b” is usually used for the “b-section” or the chorus, and for soloing in the middle choruses.
Substyle “c” is usually used for the intro or for an opening verse or pre-verse.
Substyle “d” is usually used for a break or interlude.
||
Double lines are drawn on the Chord Sheet at the bar before a part marker.
You can see the MultiStyle markers on the Chord Sheet.
There is always a part marker at bar 1 so that Band-in-a-Box knows which substyle to begin with. The song
continues to play in one substyle until it encounters a new part marker. The substyle will change automatically on
second choruses when the “Vary Style in Middle Choruses” song setting is selected.
Placing Part Markers
- Move the highlight cell to the bar where you want to place the part market. Then press the P key on the computer
keyboard. Repeatedly pressing P scrolls through all available part markers,
or
- Position the mouse cursor directly over the bar line (or an existing part marker). Then, click the left mouse button.
Repeat this procedure to scroll through the available options.
- To remove a part marker keep pressing P or clicking the mouse until you reach the end of the available part
markers and there is no marker on the bar number.
140
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Placing Drum Fills
A one bar drum fill will occur in the bar preceding a part marker. If you want a drum fill at bar 7 of a song, you
insert a part marker on the bar after the bar with the drum fill (i.e. Bar 8). You can either retain the original substyle
or change the substyle (a, b, c, d, etc.) when you place the part marker.
Section Paragraphs
When you’re reading a book, a new section begins on a new line, with space between. Band-in-a-Box does that for
chords too. Whenever a new section occurs (a part marker), we start the new section on a new line and draw a grey
line above to clearly mark the new section. You will see each section on a new line so that the form of the song is
easier to see.
For example, if you have a song with a 7-bar section, followed by 8-bar sections, earlier versions of Band-in-a-Box
wouldn’t start the other sections on a new line. The result was that it was hard to delineate the sections, as if an
entire story was told within one paragraph.
With the Section Paragraphs feature you will see each section on a new line so that the form of the lead sheet is
easier to see. Sections can be as short as 2 bars.
The feature is configurable and optional with the “New line for every section (part marker)” setting in the
Display Options dialog (Opt. | Preferences [Display] button).
Song Form Maker
The Song Form Maker allows you to define sections of a song (A, B, C etc.), and then rearrange the song by
simply typing the form you want (e.g. AABABAACA). You can revisit the dialog to change the form at any time.
Press the Song Form button (far right of the 2nd toolbar). You will then see the Song Form Maker
dialog.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
141
Then define your sections (e.g. A = bars 1 for 8 bars, B=start at bar 17, for 8 bars C=start at bar 25, for 4 bars).
Then type the form that you want (AABACABA).
Select [OK-Generate Form] then exit the dialog. The form string and
sections are saved with the song.
You can revisit this dialog to re-order the sections. Or change a chord in the “A” section of the Chord Sheet, and
then use the Song Form Maker to propagate the changes through all of the “A” sections.
Use the [Undo] button to reverse your changes.
Uses for the Song Form Maker
- Enter a song by simply entering each section once, and then visit the Song Form Maker, typing the form that you
want and generating it. Change the form without having to type in new chords, just redo the Form String
(“AABACABA etc.)
- Change chords in each section by simply changing the chord in the main section, and then regenerate the form.
- Enter a melody once, and copy it throughout the form by regenerating the form.
Applying Styles
There are many styles available for use with the Band-in-a-Box program. Styles refer to styles of music like Jazz
Swing, Latin, Blues, Pop, Rock, or Country. You can pick a musical style either before or after you have entered the
chords to a song. Once a style is loaded, the song will be played back using your chosen style. All style files have
the .STY extension.
In the Chord Sheet or Notation window you can quick-load a style by typing only “style” followed by a style name,
e.g., stylezzbossa<Enter> will load in zzbossa.sty.
Note: The program defaults to the “Jazz Swing” style or it may be “aliased” to another style, such as the newer J_WYNT_K
style.
When a requested style is not found, Bandin-a-Box makes an intelligent substitution.
This feature is available for every style that PG Music has made, and also can be customized by third-party or any
users by making a text file (*.NA) with suggested alternative styles.
142
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Load Previous Style, Load Next Style.
This function, analogous to the Load Next Song function, loads in the previous (or next) style in alphabetical order
of the file name. These functions are found in the Styles menu, or use the hot keys Ctrl+Alt+Shift+F8 (or
Alt+Shift+F8).
Current Style Window
The name of the current style is shown in the window below the song title.
There is a convenient “Load Song Demo” option for style demos. Click on the name of the style on the main screen,
and the menu that displays will include the option to “Load Song Demo” for the current style.
This menu also offers options for choosing a style for
your song. Change style at any bar inserts a style
change at the currently highlighted bar on the Chord
Sheet. Open Style from disk is for selecting styles
from file folders. Choose Favorite Style opens either
a list of pre-selected favorites, or a list of recently
played styles. Browse styles with info opens the
StylePicker window, which has full style
information.
Open Style with the [Style] Button
You can open a style using the [Style] button. This is a split button, with the top half being the default
function, and the bottom half listing different methods to load a style, and allows you to set the default.
StylePicker Window
The StylePicker window is opened by pressing the [Style] button or the Shift+F9 keys. It lists all of
the styles that are present in the \bb folder. The StylePicker window allows easy selection of styles by
category or from a complete list of all styles. For example, you can select Jazz styles and see a list of
all of your Jazz styles. Then you can select any style to see its full title, description, and examples of
songs appropriate to the style.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
143
If you have styles that don’t appear in the StylePicker (because you’ve just made them, or got
them from a 3rd party) the StylePicker will automatically find those styles and add them to your list in an “Other
Styles” category. The information regarding style name, Even/Swing, 8ths/16ths, and time signature are filled in for
you.
The current style of the song is listed at the top of the window; in this case it is the Jazz Swing style (ZZJAZZ.STY).
This is referred to as the Prototype Style. The prototype style can be changed to the current selection that is
highlighted in the list by pressing the [*Change Prototype Style] button.
StylePicker Filter
The filter feature makes it easier to choose from the hundreds of RealStyles and MIDI styles available in Band-in-aBox by showing you only the styles that match your search criteria.
There is an easy search feature on the main StylePicker window. You can type a search term, press Enter, and the
styles will be filtered.
You will then see a list of styles that match the criteria.
144
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Press the [Filter] button on the StylePicker to launch the StylePicker Filter dialog.
Here you can set the various filters, to narrow down your search for styles.
-
Genre filters the list of styles to include only styles that match the genre.”
8ths/16ths filters the list of styles to display 8th note based, or 16th note based styles.
Swing/Even filters the list of styles to display Even 8th note based, or Swing (triplet feel) styles.
Time Signature only displays styles that match the specified time signature.
Tempo filters the list to only show styles that would work well at the indicated tempo.”
The [Set to __] button sets the tempo filter to be the current tempo.
If Tempo Must Match Exactly is set the style will only display if the tempo matches the ideal tempo set in the
style.
Min. # instruments filters the style list to include only styles that have at least this many instruments.”
Max # instruments filters the style list to include only styles that have at most this many instruments.”
Patch” will show only styles that include the instrument, either in a MIDI style, or a RealTracks style.”
Include Similar Patches (same family) allows similar family instruments to be included. For example, if
Acoustic Piano is selected, styles with any type of piano will display.
RealTracks Artist filters the list of styles to display only styles that include RealTracks recorded by the listed
artist.
RealDrums Artist filters the list of styles to display only styles that include RealDrums recorded by the listed
artist.”
Show Styles by ‘Feel’ and ‘Tempo’ filters the list of displayed styles to match the settings of the prototype
style, which is the current style loaded in Band-in-a-Box.
Show MIDI and/or Real Styles filters the list of styles to include MIDI styles and/or RealTracks styles.
Show styles with missing RealTracks allows you to hide or show styles if the RealTracks for the styles are not
present on your system.
Only show MIDI styles disk # filters the list of styles to only show styles present on a certain styles disk.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
145
- Only Show RealTracks Set # filters to display only styles from a certain RealTracks set. You can load demo
songs from the \bb\RealTracks – Demos folder from certain sets.
- Only Show Favorites will only show styles that have been designated as favorites. You can designate styles as
favorites from the StylePicker window (Fav button), or the Favorite Styles dialog on the main page.
- Only Show Multistyles. Multistyles are styles with more than two substyles, e.g., a/b/c/d. The number of
substyles is listed in the style memo.
- The [Update] button allows user to see the filtered StylePicker without leaving-then-returning to the dialog.
- The [Defaults] button resets to default settings, which is no style filter, and all styles will be displayed.
Style Demos
The ► Play button plays a demo of the current selection in
the list. Playback can be looped.
When the control is playing, if there are 2 files that can be played, there is a toggle button displayed. This
appears for previewing MIDI styles, because there are MIDI drums and RealDrums available for most MIDI styles,
and now you can easily hear both.
The style demos sometimes play files from the internet. You can download a file that is being played from the
internet by clicking this button. If the file is being played on your hard drive, this button will show the file in a
folder.
This loads a song demo for the currently selected style.
This streams a pre-made style demo from PG Music that plays in Media Player. Use it to
audition styles you don’t have yet, or to hear what your style “should” sound like.
Categories
The StylePicker window allows easy selection of styles by category or from a complete list of all styles. For
example, you can select Jazz styles and see a list of all of your Jazz styles. Then you can select any style to see its
full title, description, and examples of songs appropriate to the style.
Other Styles
These are styles that you have made yourself, perhaps by editing and renaming an existing style, or that you have
obtained from third parties. If there are no memos for the other styles they would need to be added by editing the
style descriptions in the BBW.LST file.
Favorite and Recently Played styles appear in this dialog as separate lists.
An “F” appears beside the name of any style that is a favorite. You can filter any list by only showing favorite
styles. Over time, you can build up a list of favorite styles, and only show them when needed.
The favorite styles are the ones that you’ve identified as favorites, either by pressing the [Add
Favorite] button in the Favorite Styles dialog, or the similar button in this StylePicker dialog.
The StylePicker automatically keeps a list of the last seventy-five styles that were used.
RealStyles, Classic RealStyles and Styles with RealTracks
RealTracks, made from live audio recordings by top studio players and recording artists, can be used for any
instrument part in Band-in-a-Box, including the Melody and Soloist tracks. They can be controlled just like MIDI
instruments (volume changes, muting, etc.), and, best of all, they follow the chord progression that you have entered,
146
Chapter 6: Making Songs
generating an authentic audio accompaniment to your song. RealTracks are not “samples,” but are full recordings,
lasting from 1 to 8 bars at a time, playing along in perfect sync with the other Band-in-a-Box tracks.
RealTracks can be built in to styles, so you can have styles that are all MIDI, a mix of MIDI tracks and RealTracks,
or all RealTracks. Styles that use RealTracks only are called RealStyles.
There is a separate category in the StylePicker for RealStyles. There is also a
Classic RealStyles category in the StylePicker. It contains styles that are
intended to be commonly used RealTracks. The style names for RealStyles
are prefaced by an underscore, _.
The various categories in the StylePicker include lists of just the RealStyles in
that category to make your selection easier.
The StylePicker lists also show styles with RealTracks, a blend of MIDI tracks and RealTracks. Style names for
Styles with RealTracks are prefaced by an equals sign, =.
Styles with RealDrums
The StylePicker has a special category called “Styles with RealDrums.” This
lists many RealDrums styles (.STY) that we’ve made.
We always name the RealDrums style beginning with a minus sign, so that “-ZZJAZZ.STY” would be the
ZZJAZZ.STY, but using RealDrums instead.
StylePicker Column Headings
StylePicker column headings are displayed, with descriptive yellow tooltips explaining the columns.
For each style, you see the following information. (The example will describe the ZZJAZZ.STY.)
Fav
- “F” indicates that this style is a Favorite.
*
- An asterisk (*) or (^) caret means the style is a “perfect” or “good” match to the prototype style.
File
- ZZJAZZ is the name of the .STY style file.
W
- The letter “W” indicates a waltz style in 3/4 time.
Feel
- The letters “sw” indicate that the style is in a Swing feel vs. “EV” for Even feel.
8
- The “8” indicates that the style is an 8th note feel (vs. 16th note feel).
Tempo - 140 is the tempo for this style.
Name
- Jazz Swing Style is the full name of the style.
#
- Number of instruments present in the style.
NA
- NA would indicate that you don’t have all of the RealTracks or RealDrums for the style.
Sub
- If this column shows “sub” it means that a RealStyle substitution is available for the style.
Styles that are similar to the prototype are indicated with an asterisk (*). These are styles that have the same feel
(triplets/ eighths/ sixteenths) and a similar tempo range. Styles with similar feel but a different tempo range are
marked by a caret (^) symbol. So you can quickly see styles that are similar to Jazz Swing. The styles J_BASIE
and J_DIXIE could be substituted with a perfect match so are marked with an asterisk (*). Styles like J_DJANGO
are marked with a caret (^) because they sound best in a much faster tempo than the prototype Jazz Swing style.
Memo
The Memo is a description of the selected style. It includes the instruments that are present and a suggested tempo.
Memos are auto-generated for styles in the BBW.LST file.
Tempo
These numbers below the memo indicate the default tempo of the style, a suitable
tempo range, and the number of the Style Set that the selected style was released in.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
147
Examples
These are popular songs or standards that are representative of the selected
style.
Preserving RealTracks and RealDrums in Songs
If you hold down the Shift key when loading a style (from any style selection dialog), then the currently selected
RealTracks and RealDrums won’t get wiped out.
If you load a new style (without holding Shift as above), this wipes out any song-selected RealTracks and
RealDrums (unless Shift is held). Now, after loading the style, you can choose Undo, and the previous RealTracks
and RealDrums come back.
Adding RealDrums Styles
You can also add or change RealDrums styles within the StylePicker.
Highlight a MIDI style that you like and press the RealDrums [Best] button, to
see a list of the most compatible RealDrums styles for that style, or press the
[RD] button to select from all available RealDrums.
The RealDrums for this style shows you the
current style that would be substituted (assuming you have RealDrums enabled,
and MIDI substitutions enabled in RealDrums Settings dialog).
If you choose “Override” in the StylePicker, this won't wipe out the
RealDrums in the song when you load the style.
You can also override the RealDrums for a certain song by selecting any
RealDrums set with the [RD] button, which opens the RealDrums Picker.
Or use the [Best] button, which will show you RealDrums that match the feel of
the currently selected style.
You can force MIDI drums for the song or use the hot key combination
Ctrl+Shift+F6 to turn RealDrums on/off. This also works while the song is
playing.
This takes you directly to the RealDrums Settings dialog.
More StylePicker Settings and Features
If you have added new styles to Band-in-a-Box (or edited the BBW.LST file) the [Re-Build] button
will update the styles list.
This will copy the Styles List to the clipboard so that it can then be printed as a text file from any
word processor.
[CSV] exports styles in a Comma Separated Values (CSV) format that can be read into a spreadsheet, like Excel,
using the spreadsheet’s File | Open command.
The [Search] button lets you search for a style using key words. It searches the main description as well as the
Memo and Example fields.
The [G] button searches again using the previous search.
Click [Open] to access other styles located in custom directories.
148
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Listen to the style before loading it. This allows you to hear how the selected style will sound with your
song.
Stop preview.
Finds new styles and add them to the “Other Styles” category.
Changes the prototype style at the top of the window to the currently selected
style in the list.
The [Edit] button launches the StylePicker Editor. In this editor, you can add your own styles to the
styles list. The information for your styles will be appended to the list of styles in the StylePicker.
This is much easier than editing the styles list text file.
Marks the current style with an “F” in the StylePicker list and also adds it to the list of Favorites
in the Favorites dialog.
When you open the StylePicker, your current style will be automatically
highlighted.
This sets the behavior of double-clicking on a style in the
list.
The style preview will be played at this tempo. Change the tempo by typing in a new tempo in the t=
field.
When selected, the StylePicker opens showing the style in use in the current
song as the prototype.
When a new style is previewed, patches appropriate to the new style get loaded
in if you have selected “Auto Change Melody/Soloist Patch.” So when you load in a “Chopin Piano Style” the
Melody patch of your song will change to Piano to blend in with the new style.
You can set your own Melody and Soloist patches here.
If this is set, Band-in-a-Box will ask if you want to change the feel of the song or auto
expand/reduce the chord durations.
Reduces the duration of chords in the song by half, i.e., 4 beats becomes 2 beats. This is useful when
the new style has a different feel than the original style for the song.
Doubles the duration of chords in the song so that 2 beats becomes 4 beats. This is useful when the
style you are auditioning has a different feel than the original style for the song.
Click [OK] to apply your style selection and exit the StylePicker.
Click [Cancel] to leave the StylePicker without changing the style in your song.
Opens the StylePicker help topic.
StylePicker Editor
When you first launch the StylePicker Editor, there won’t be any styles added, so you will see a screen with only a
blank category with no styles on it.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
149
Technical Note: All of the styles that you add will be appended to the bottom of the StylePicker under new category and style
names. This is because we don’t want editing of the main style list (BBW.LST) provided by PG Music, because we update that
list frequently ourselves, and the updated list would overwrite your changes. The edits that you make in the StylePicker editor
will stay permanently, and not be overwritten by future versions of Band-in-a-Box.
The category here is called “My Styles,” you can change the name using the yellow “Category Name” area. For this
example, change the name to “Favorite Jazz.”
Let’s add a Style to the list.
Press the [Add New Style] button.
A style has been added, called NONAME.STY. You now need to fill in all of the
information in the colored fields to supply the information for the style you have added.
Note: For this example, we will add a Jazz style called NEWONE.STY. This style is included in the C:\bb folder.
This information includes:
1. Name of the Style (8 characters maximum + .STY).
You can type in the style name, or press the Choose button to pick a style name from the \bb folder.
If the style doesn’t exist, a <not found> will appear in the style list beside the style name (as it does for the
NONAME.STY). Press the [Choose] button and choose NEWONE.STY.
2. Long Name of the style. This is a descriptive name that appears on the StyleMaker, and can be up to 32
characters. Enter “A Brand New Jazz Style.”
3. Memo and Examples. You can enter a memo for the style, and example songs that could be played in that style.
The memo and example can total 200 characters maximum. Enter a memo and examples for NEWONE.STY.
150
Chapter 6: Making Songs
4. We now enter settings to tell Band-in-a-Box what Soloist it should use when making improvisations using this
NEWONE.STY. For this, we need to know the genre of the style (Jazz, Country, and Pop etc.), whether it is in
an even or shuffle feel, and whether a soloist should be playing primarily 8th or 16th notes. From the drop down
combo box that appears, for this Jazz Swing style (newone.sty), we should choose “Jazz Swing Triplet feel 8th
notes.”
By doing this, Band-in-a-Box will then choose from many Jazz Swing type of Soloists available in BB.
But if we want a specific soloist to always be used, we can specify that soloist number. You can see the soloist
numbers in the Soloist dialog. In this example, we leave this at zero, so Band-in-a-Box will choose between
many different soloists.
This setting enables double time soloing when the style is played at
slower tempos.
5. Next we describe the feel of the style. Are the 8th notes straight or shuffle? Is the time signature 3/4 (waltz) or
4/4, is it a 16th note based style (tempo usually less than 120), or an 8th note style (tempo usually above 120). For
the NEWONE.STY, enter these checkboxes as shown.
(Not straight 8ths, not a waltz, and
not 16th notes.)
6. Next is the Tempo area. Here you can enter the typical tempo and the range of the tempo for the style.
7. You can assign a number for the style disk. We recommend that you use numbers higher than 1,000 and pick a
unique number for your styles. You can then search for them easily. It is not necessary to enter a Style disk #.
8. When a style is chosen in the StylePicker, it will send out patch changes on the Melody and Soloist tracks, to
make the song sound more authentic in that style. The settings for Melody and Soloist patches allow you to
select which patch types will get sent out. Here we choose “Jazz Patches” for our NEWONE.STY
We’re finished adding the NEWONE.STY.
We could now continue adding new styles, and categories, for all of our new styles that are not in the list.
But let’s see our added style on the StylePicker.
Press the [OK – Save] button. This exits the dialog, returning to the StylePicker. The
StylePicker will recommend rebuilding the style list for the added styles. Answer “Yes” to this.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
151
You will then see a rebuilt style list, and your category “My Styles” and your new style “NEWONE.STY” will
appear in that category.
Technical notes:
Information about styles you make yourself is stored in a file called A_USER.LS3. This is a text file, but it is better
to edit it using the StylePicker editor.
You can make other .LS3 files using the StylePicker editor, using the [Save As] and
[Open] buttons.
You can also erase an .LS3 file from disk. Third party added styles are also stored in .LS3 files. Band-in-a-Box will
load in all of the .LS3 files that are in the \bb folder (in alphabetical order), and append them to the StylePicker list.
Technical Information about the LS3 file
The Help topics “Select Style with information” and “LS3 files” have information about adding styles to the Styles
List.
If you are technically minded and want to modify the styles list file then read on.
The Styles List is built from a text file called BBW.LST. You should only edit this file if you want to change the list
of styles, or add styles that you have created.
Technical Information about the BBW.LST file
This is the text file that defines the styles that appear in the StylePicker window. You may edit this file to change
the information, add/remove styles etc.
File Rules:
- Any line beginning with a semicolon “;” is a comment
- Lines beginning with ~ indicate a new category like jazz, country, pop
- Lines beginning with @ are a description of a style in the format @a\b^c*d
- where a = style file name e.g. zzjazzsw.sty (max. 8 chars + .sty )
- b= Long Style Name e.g. Jazz Swing Style (max. 32 chars)
- c= Style memo
- d= Examples of songs that can be played in this style
- c and d combined can be a maximum of 255 characters, e.g. c could be 200 characters and d could be 50
- Each style description must be on one-line, carriage returns not allowed in the middle of a style description.
Once made, you add the new information to the StylePicker by choosing the re-build option inside the StylePicker.
This rebuilds the binary file BBW.LSV from this file BBW.LST.
You can list a style more than once, for example Pop Ballad might be listed under Jazz and Pop Ballad. You can
also make your own categories. Like My Favorite styles, and build up a list.
The limit of number of styles in the StylePicker is 20,000 to accommodate the large number of third party styles
developed for Band-in-a-Box.
Example excerpt from the BBW.LST file
~Jazz
@ZZJazzSW.STY\Jazz Swing Style^This is the “built-in jazz swing style” using bass, drums and piano. Bass plays
half notes in “a” section and walks in “b” section.*Satin Doll, Sweet Georgia Brown
@A.STY\This is A^ How about this A style Useful for A songs
@BluHill.sty\Blueberry Hill Style^This is Blueberry Hill*Fats Domino songs
@GARNER.STY\Errol Garner Style^This is garner*I'll Remember April
@GARNER2.STY\Errol Garner Style #2^This style is in 2 feel for a and b*OLDFOLKS
152
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Third Party Styles – LS3 Files
You can create LS3 files to add information to the StylePicker dialog about your styles. The LS3 files are for third
party added styles and style data descriptions.
An LS3 file cannot exceed 65,000 bytes (65K). If you need more, use 2 LS3 files. The style data and descriptions
show up in the StylePicker dialog.
- Lines beginning with @ are for style descriptions (memos etc.)
- Lines beginning with the 3 chars ^@ are for the style data
- More information on the format of the style data line is found at pgmusic.com/styledata.htm.
Here's a summary of the style data line (on the next 4 lines)
; stylename,soloist# to use (1-255),soloist type to use (see list on web),double time OK (false/true),
; time sign. (3 or 4),straight or swing (sw/ev),16ths or 8ths (8/16),tempolow(30-500),
; tempo high range (30-500), tempo mid range (30-500), style disk # (0-30000) PG uses 1-255)
; melody patch to use (1-128 or higher-see list on web),soloist patch to use (1-128 or higher-see list),
Favorite Styles / Recently Used Styles
Other options in the Style button menu include Recently Used Styles and Favorite Styles.
They open a dialog with separate lists of Recently Played and Favorite styles.
You will see “Favorites” and “Recently Played” Radio buttons that toggle
between lists of recently played styles and your favorite styles.
The favorites list will start off as an empty one. You can add styles as your favorites by clicking the
[Add Fav] button. A similar button is found in the StylePicker window.
Use these buttons to navigate the list.
Use these buttons to modify the list.
The [Search] button will search for a style in the list by name, or part of a name.
The [Sort] button sorts the list alphabetically.
You can save and load sets of Favorites or Recently Played styles.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
153
Use the [Clear] button to clear the list and start a new one.
Enable the “Play When Chosen” option have Band-in-a-Box play your song immediately
upon selecting a style.
If this is enabled, every style you select will be added to the top of the list.
Technical Note: The list of style favorites is stored in a text file called StyleFavorites.txt in the BB folder.
Style Aliases Dialog
The Style Aliases selection is found in the Styles menu.
Let's say you've got a new style for Jazz called “Wynt_K.” You can create an alias so that when Band-in-a-Box
looks for a Jazz Swing style, it will load in “Wynt_K” instead, so you don't have to make changes to all your songs.
And when you have found a new favorite style, just change the alias. You can also load or save sets of “Alias” files
and share them with others.
To type in a style name that you don't have, use the [Custom] button.
1. To create a new alias, click on an empty spot (i.e. no alias defined) in the alias list, or click on the alias you wish
to edit if you wish to change an existing alias.
2. Press the [Choose] button below the Original style box and select the style you wish to be replaced.
3. Press the [Choose] button below the Substitution box and select the replacement style (alias).
If you have made a mistake and wish to change your style selection, press the [Clear] button. When you have
successfully made an alias, you will notice that there will be a small arrow in the Styles box on the main screen
indicating that you have an alias loaded.
You can Export and Import alias files to share with your friends by clicking the [Import..] button to read an alias file
from a floppy, or click the [Export..] button to send one out to a disk.
Tip: You can temporarily totally disable the Alias feature by unchecking the “Allow Any Style Aliases” checkbox. You can also
have confirmation of alias substitutions by checking the “Confirm Substitution” checkbox.
Enable/Disable Style menu item. (Alt+S E)
The Styles menu has an item to Enable/Disable the style. When disabled, the name of the style will have an X at the
beginning, which indicates a disabled style. The disabled style won't sound or write any data to the MIDI file. The
most common use for disabling a style is when a MIDI file is loaded to the Melody track. Then the style won't
sound and conflict with the full arrangement on the Melody track.
154
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Forced Styles option
This allows you to keep a style in memory. This way, all subsequent songs that are loaded will not change the style
(even if they have a different associated style), so you can easily play songs in the same style. If you've found a new
favorite style, you can try it out in all kinds of songs without having to reload the style each time.
For example, let's say we've discovered the “GARNER” style, and want to try it out on all kinds of songs. Select
Styles | OK to load styles with songs so that the item is NOT checked. Now when you load a song the new style
doesn't load and you can play the song in GARNER.STY. You can temporarily override this setting by loading in
another style using the [STY] button or the Style menu, and the new style loaded will stay in until you choose
another one.
Using MultiStyles
Band-in-a-Box MultiStyles are styles that can have up to 24 substyles; original Band-in-a-Box styles
had two substyles, “a” and “b.” Band-in-a-Box MultiStyles typically have four substyles, but may
have up to twenty-four, selected by using part markers “a” through “x.”
You can easily make your own MultiStyles, either from scratch, or combining parts from existing styles to make a
MultiStyle. For example, if you have 10 favorite Country styles, you can quickly make a single MultiStyle that has
20 substyles available within the same song.
There are 2 types of MultiStyles
1. MultiStyles in styles, working for every song (e.g. NR_CURR+.STY Nashville Rock Current Multistyle).
2. MultiStyles for a specific song only.
MultiStyles in Styles (“+” Styles)
Styles can be made that have multiple substyles, and you can choose the various substyles using the letters a, b, c, d,
etc. up to “x” for 24 substyles.
Our naming convention for MultiStyles is to use a + sign at the end of the style name. For example, MyStyle+.STY
would be a MultiStyle.
You can use these substyles easily, just enter the StylePicker and find the category “Styles With
MultiStyles,” or search for the “+” character.
For example, load the song NR_CURR+.MGU from the c:\bb\Tutorial BB 2008 folder. This loads the
NR_CURR+.sty. When you see the “+” in the style name, you will know that this is a MultiStyle.
Right-click on a part marker, and you will see that there are 4 substyles available.
In the style NR_CURR+, there are 4 substyles, a, b, c, and d.
Standard Pop Song form with 4 substyle MultiStyle
In NR_CURR+ (and as a general rule for styles with 4 substyles):
- “a” substyle is for the verse.
- “b” substyle is for the chorus.
- “c” substyle is for the intro (or first verse).
- “d” substyle is for the break (or interlude).
Choose your substyle by clicking on the part marker, or right-clicking to select and define substyles.
Here we have chosen “c” substyle, appropriate for the intro or first verse of the song (because the playing
is sparse and sustained).
Chapter 6: Making Songs
155
Making your own MultiStyles in Styles
You can make a style that is a MultiStyle. For example:
Open the StyleMaker.
-
Press [Misc].
-
-
In the MultiStyles group box, type the name of a style that you would like to use for the c/d section.
-
If you’d like more substyles, add more styles separated by semicolons (e.g. “zzjazz;z5bossa;c_george”). Then
you’d have 8 substyles from “a” to “h.”
Note that each of these styles can have a specific RealDrums style, either stored in the style itself (Misc. Style
Settings “RealDrums Settings”), or substituted via MIDI substitutions in RealDrums settings.
Naming MultiStyles
Styles can have names stored for the substyles. This is especially useful for Multistyles to describe the various
substyles.
The MultiStyle names are set in the StyleMaker Miscellaneous dialog. When present, the names
are visible with a right-click on a bar number.
MultiStyles in Songs
If you have a song, you can also use more than 2 substyles for that song. For example, let’s say we have a song that
is a Bossa Nova and you want to have a Jazz Swing section. Rather than finding a MultiStyle that has this exact
combination, we can make one, in the song, for this song only as follows:
Load a song like c:\bb\styles0\zzbossa.mg4.
Right-click on a bar number, and choose
“Define c/d.” Then choose ZZJAZZ.STY from
the StylePicker.
156
Chapter 6: Making Songs
You will then see that there are 4 substyles
now, a, b, c, d. You can use the “d” substyle
for Jazz Swing walking bass, since it is the
same as the “b” substyle from ZZJAZZ.
Load the song c:\bb\Tutorial BB 2008\Demo of MultiStyle in song only Bossa 2 Jazz.MG4 and you can see the
finished result. This song switches styles using part markers.
Note: The RealDrums will play for all of the styles if you have enabled RealDrums and “Substitute RealDrums for \ MIDI drums”
in the RealDrums Settings dialog.
Add A MIDI SuperTrack
What are MIDI SuperTracks?
MIDI SuperTracks are MIDI tracks that can be added to a track or a style, and play like other MIDI tracks in a style.
They are called “SuperTracks” because they are generated using a different engine than typical MIDI style tracks.
Typical MIDI style tracks are generated from C7 patterns in the style, and repeat these patterns over any chord.
MIDI SuperTracks use actual MIDI playing from musicians (similar to RealTracks in that regard), so are not based
on patterns.
Using MIDI SuperTracks
To use MIDI SuperTracks, either:
1. Choose a style or song that has MIDI SuperTracks and press Play. Look in the MIDI SuperTracks Demos folder
for these songs
2. Add a MIDI SuperTrack to a certain track.
Adding a MIDI SuperTrack
For example, let’s add a MIDI SuperTrack to the Piano track.
Right-click on the Piano track label at the top of the screen to see a menu of options (or right-click on
the Piano track label in the Mixer), then choose “Select MIDI SuperTrack for this track.”
You will now see a menu of available MIDI SuperTracks. You can type filter text to narrow down your search.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
157
There are memos describing the individual MIDI SuperTracks, and you can click on the Memo for a big window.
You can preview the MIDI SuperTracks by double clicking on the list or using the transport control buttons.
Once you choose a track, you will see that the Piano label has turned blue to indicate that it is a MIDI
SuperTrack.
When you press Play, you will hear a much more sophisticated MIDI arrangement than a typical
MIDI style, since it is not based on C7 chord patterns; instead it is based on hours of actual MIDI
playing from a top studio musician.
You can also access the MIDI SuperTrack dialog from the RealTracks Picker, by
pressing the [Super] button.
Once you have selected a MIDI SuperTracks, you might want to assign a specific VST/DX instrument to play it. If
so, use the Mixer’s Plugins panel, and click on the first slot for the track that you want to set.
158
Chapter 6: Making Songs
This will launch the VST/DX Synths/Plugins dialog, where you can set the first slot to the VSTi/DXi synth that you
want to play your track.
Each MIDI SuperTrack is assigned a number, like the MIDI Soloists or the RealTracks, so you can access the MIDI
SuperTracks from the Select Soloist dialog as well, and they are highlighted in cyan.
Once generated, MIDI SuperTracks behave like a regular MIDI track, and can be saved as MIDI files etc.
Using RealTracks in Songs
Your songs, styles, and solos can use live audio tracks recorded by studio musicians. Many Band-in-a-Box styles
already use these tracks, and you can substitute these live recordings for the Band-in-a-Box MIDI tracks in any
song.
Using RealTracks in Songs - Assign RealTracks to Track Dialog
The Assign RealTracks to Track dialog assigns a RealTracks instrument to any of the Band-in-a-Box instrumental
tracks. It also shows any RealTracks that are assigned to Band-in-a-Box tracks.
Note: RealTracks can either be assigned from the style or from the song. This dialog allows you to assign the ones in the song.
This dialog is launched by several ways.
1. Clicking on the [RealTracks] toolbar button and selecting RealTracks Picker Dialog.
2. Right-clicking or double clicking on a Track radio button at the top of the Band-in-a-Box main screen and
choosing Add/Remove RealTracks in the menu.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
159
3.
Pressing the [Assign to Track…] button in the RealTracks Settings dialog.
The dialog allows you to assign a specific RealTracks instruments to a track in a song. It also displays any
RealTracks that are currently assigned to each track.
Tip: RealTracks in styles are assigned in the StyleMaker. Press the [Misc.] button or use the StyleMaker menu command Style
| Misc. Settings to go to the Misc. Style Settings dialog, then click on the [More] button for the More Settings dialog.
To use the dialog, first select the track that you want
to assign. Then, select the RealTracks that you want
in the list below it.
Instant Preview of RealTracks
You can instantly hear an audio demo of RealTracks by double clicking a RealTrack on the list. Since this doesn’t
affect your song, you can quickly audition many different RealTracks, and find the best ones for your song.
You can choose which of band or solo plays first when you
double click on the list, by the “Band (on dbl clk)” checkbox.
Otherwise, press the [Band] or the [Solo] button. The demos
play from the Internet (www.pgmusic.com) or your hard drive
(/Applications/Band-in-a-Box/ RealTracks-Demos folder).
Choosing Favorite RealTracks
Your recent RealTracks selections are saved, and available in the various dialogs that allow you to choose
RealTracks. The 400 most recent selections are shown, with most recent at the top.
When you use one of the “Select Best” commands in
the right-click instrument menu, you will see a
[Choose from Favorites] button in the dialog.
160
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Or, in the RealTracks Picker, press the [Favs] button.
You will then see a dialog with a list of your recently chosen RealTracks, most recent on top. You can filter this
dialog by text, e.g. “guitar,” to find a recently used RealTracks with the word “guitar” in it.
You can also see a list of recently used RealTracks if you right-click on a Track button at the top of the screen and
click on the Choose RealTracks from Recently Chosen Favorites menu command. Click on a RealTrack from the
list to quickly load it to the track.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
161
Changing RealTracks
You can change RealTracks within a song.
There are 2 ways to change RealTracks at any bar.
1. Change of RealTracks Styles at any Bar
You can change styles with RealTracks at any bar. For example, switch from Jazz
Swing to Bossa style at any bar. To do this, first open the Edit Settings for Bar
dialog (press F5) at the bar where you want the style change. Then press the
[STY] button to select a style change.
2. Change of individual RealTracks instrument can be added to any track at any bar
You can change specific RealTracks without changing the style by inserting a specific
RealTracks instrument into a track at any bar to create a customized performance. For
example, if you want to change an Acoustic Bass comping part to an Acoustic Bass Solo at
Chorus 4, Bar 1, you can do this. To change a certain track’s RealTracks at any bar, first
open the Edit Settings for Bar dialog (press F5) at the bar that you want the style change.
Then press the [RealTracks] button and you will see the RealTracks changes dialog where
you can choose which tracks you would like to have RealTracks changes on.
Select a track, then press the “Change RealTracks to” and you will then see a list of RealTracks.
You will see a huge list of RealTracks, so you will likely want to narrow it down. Type a word that will be included
in the RealTracks name, like “bass.” Then the list will only show bass RealTracks.
162
Chapter 6: Making Songs
UserTracks
UserTracks allow anyone to create their own audio styles for use in PG Music's Band-in-a-Box and RealBand. With
a UserTracks style, you can type in any chords into Band-in-a-Box or RealBand, and the UserTracks style you made
will play that chord progression! For example, if you've made a UserTracks style by recording yourself playing a
guitar groove, you can then type any chords into Band-in-a-Box or RealBand, and the result will be that it will play
your guitar groove over these completely new, original chord changes! You can even change the tempo, or enter
songs in ANY key, and it will still be able to play it!
You can use the UserTracks in a similar manner to using RealTracks.
To select a UserTracks for a track, first select the track at the top of the screen. For example, if you
want to add a UserTracks to the Guitar Track, launch the menu on the Guitar Radio button (by right-click or double
click), and choose the “Select a UserTrack for this Track” option.
An alternative to the menu would be to select the Guitar Track, and then press the UserTracks
button on the main screen.
Now you will see the Pick a UserTracks dialog.
This dialog lists available UserTracks. This is different from the RealTracks Picker dialog.
You can preview the selected UserTracks by double clicking on the list or using the transport control buttons.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
163
In this example, we want to add the UserTracks called “Guitar, Electric, Boom Chic Ev 140.” We simply select this
UserTracks and press OK. We now see our UserTracks listed on the Guitar Tracks on the Mixer.
Now the track behaves like other RealTracks.
You simply press “Generate and Play” to hear it.
Adding new UserTracks
RealTracks are made by PG Music. UserTracks are made by you, or other Band-in-a-Box users. So you will have a
different list than displayed above. We include a small number of UserTracks with Band-in-a-Box package. There
is a UserTracks forum in the PG Music forum, where users can notify others about their UserTracks creations, and
share them if they choose to.
For example, if your friend makes a UserTracks of his accordion playing, and wants to give it to you...
- He can name it whatever he likes, and has called it “Accordion, Rhythm CountryWaltz Sw 110.”
- He has sent you a ZIP file of this folder.
- You will unzip it to your UserTracks folder.
A UserTracks consists of a single Folder, with the name of the UserTracks as the name of the folder. To add the
UserTracks to your collection, you simply put the folder into your c:\bb\RealTracks\UserTracks folder. (Note: if
you use a location like h:\MyMusic\RealTracks as your RealTracks folder, then your UserTracks folder would be in
h:\MyMusic\RealTracks\UserTracks.)
Creating your own UserTracks
Creating your own UserTracks is a simple process! It consists of the following steps:
- Create a folder in the UserTracks folder (i.e. usually c:\bb\RealTracks\UserTracks) and let’s call it “Guitar,
Acoustic, Brian Fingerpicking Ev 140.”
- Now, in that folder, you need to put at least one Band-in-a-Box song. This song can have any chords, but should
have a wide variety of chords and chord types. Let’s say you call that file MyGuitarPlaying1.sgu
- For each BB song that you put in the folder, there needs to be a corresponding AUDIO file (WAV or WMA), that
matches the BB Song. So the name must be MyGuitarPlaying1.wav or MyGuitarPlaying1.wma. You can make
that WAV file in any program, (Band-in-a-Box, RealBand, Sonar, Pro Tools etc.). It needs to have a 2 bar lead-in
like BB songs always have, and of course it needs to be at the same tempo, and be playing over the same chords as
the BB file.
That’s it!
You now have a folder that looks like this, and you are ready to use your UserTracks.
To use it, follow the same routine as described above, opening the Pick a UserTracks dialog, where you will now
see your UserTracks listed with the others.
164
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Now, you can leave it at that, or you can record more files, (i.e. more pairs of files with a Band-in-a-Box file and a
corresponding wav file). These can be any other names. And you simply add them to the folder. Band-in-a-Box
will automatically add these files to your UserTracks, simply by you putting them there.
You can find lots of help about making UserTracks on our website, and this page is a good start.
http://pgmusic.com/bbw2014newfeatures6.htm
Using RealDrums in Songs
There are several ways to hear RealDrums with new or existing Band-in-a-Box songs.
Many styles already use RealDrums, and there are several ways to tell if your song is using them.
At the top of the screen, the status bar will display the name of the set if RealDrums
are in use.
You will see that the “Drums” radio button is colored in green.
Right-click on “Drums” and a menu opens that includes the name of the
RealDrums in the style. Click on this menu item to open the RealDrums
Picker and select a different set.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
165
The RealDrums Picker can also be opened directly by clicking on the [RealDrums] toolbar button and
selecting RealDrums Picker Dialog menu item. This action selects a RealDrums for the current song. It
does not change the RealDrums set used in the style.
Your recent RealDrums selections are saved, and available in the various dialogs that
allow you to choose RealDrums. In the RealDrums Picker, click on the [Choose
from Favs]
button to open a list of up to 400 most recent selections. Use the Filter String to narrow the selection by entering a
term like “bossa” or “swing” to see only RealDrums with those words in the name.
RealDrums Styles
There is a separate category in the StylePicker for styles with RealDrums.
These styles can be identified by the style name beginning with a minus sign. For example “-ZZJAZZ.STY” is a
version of the ZZJAZZ.STY that uses RealDrums. This setting is found in the StyleMaker’s Misc. Style Settings
dialog.
166
Chapter 6: Making Songs
You can set the RealDrum style inside the StyleMaker, by pressing the [Misc] button, and then typing
the name of the RealDrum style.
RealDrums can be substituted for MIDI drums on existing styles in the RealDrums
Settings dialog, which opens from the RealDrums menu button or with the
[RealDrums] button in the Preferences dialog.
With “Enable RealDrums” checked, RealDrums may be used rather than MIDI. There is also
a hot key combination to turn RealDrums on/off (Ctrl+Shift+F6). The hot keys also work while the song is
playing.
This will substitute RealDrums for MIDI styles. You can change the setting from 1 to 5. If set to 1, almost all MIDI
drums will get substituted by RealDrums. If set to 5, only RealDrum styles that match the style perfectly will get
substituted.
Technical note: The text file a_pgmusic.ds provided by PG Music controls this, and users can make other files MySubs.ds if
they make their own RealDrums styles.
Individual songs can have RealDrums assigned to them. You can set the desired style in the RealDrums Settings
dialog with the “For this song only, use this RealDrum style” setting. This will let the current song use the specific
RealDrums style.
The [RD] button opens the RealDrums Picker where you select the RealDrums style that you would
like to assign to your song. Clear your selection with the [Clear] button.
You can also open the RealDrums Picker directly from the menu on the [RealDrums] toolbar button.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
167
RealDrums are normally saved with songs, unless you have unchecked “Save all Settings with Songs” in the Assign
Instruments and Harmonies to Song dialog. In that case, you can select and save a RealDrums style with your
song by going to File | Save Song with Patches & Harmony (Alt+F2) to assign a RealDrums style.
The Edit Settings for bar… dialog (F5 key) lets you use multiple RealDrums styles
within a song - either using the RealDrums from a Band-in-a-Box style or specifying a RealDrums style to use at a
particular bar.
Note that changes at any bar must be enabled in the RealDrums
Settings.
EZ Selection of Drum Grooves
Many RealDrums sets include variations, or different grooves. There is an easy way to select the different grooves
within the song. Simply right-click on a bar number, and you see a menu of the DrumGrooves within the style. So,
for example, you could easily switch from the “side stick/hihat” groove to “snare/Ride.” These are RealDrums with
names that end with a caret (^) like CountryPopEv16^.
You can access the Drum Grooves to select them at any bar, by right-clicking on the bar #. You then see a
menu of all the DrumGrooves.
For example, one DrumGroove is “Snare, HiHat” and another one is “Snare, Ride.” You can switch the Grooves at
any bar, so that the Drum part is more interesting.
The last menu item allows you to select which chorus the
change of DrumGroove should apply to (default is all
choruses).
Note that the changes of Drum Grooves are entered in the F5
bar settings dialog.
Assigning Custom MIDI Tracks
You can add MIDITracks individually (from any style) to play on any track of your current song. For example, let’s
add a “MIDI strings” track to the Strings track.
168
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Select the Strings track and then click on the [MIDITracks] toolbar button and select
MIDITracks (from .STY) menu command. Or you can right-click on the Strings part at the
top, and choose Select a Custom MIDI style for this track.
The MIDI Track Picker dialog will open.
You can select MIDI parts a few different ways.
- The [Choose Style with this instrument] button launches the StylePicker, filtered to only display styles that
contain the instrument specified.
For example, if you select “49 Strings,” it will only show MIDI styles with strings.
- The [Choose from Presets] button launches a dialog with preset “popular” choices for MIDITracks to add.
- You can type a filter like “49” to only see entries for “49 Strings,” or type “strings.” This dialog shows you if the
instrument is for “a” or “b” substyles or both (“ab”).
Chapter 6: Making Songs
169
- The [Fav] button will remember your last few hundred choices, so you can re-use them.
Once chosen, the MIDI track will play on the track chosen. Note that you can use the Strings track from a style and
play it on any Band-in-a-Box track, including Bass/Piano etc., and even the Melody or Soloist track.
When you assign an instrument to a different track Band-in-a-Box will open a yellow message box to confirm your
choice.
Press [OK] to continue or [Clear] to redo your choice.
Tutorial Demo Song – Adding MIDITracks
To check out a song that has had two individual MIDITracks added to it, open this folder: C:\bb\Tutorial - BB2012,
and open the file <=HANKMID Demo (MIDI Presets used over a country swing style).SGU>.
Press the [Memo] button to read about the feature and the demo song.
Adding Loops to Tracks
You can add your own or 3rd party loops to any Band-in-a-Box track. Loops are audio files (WAV, wma, m4a, mp4,
mp3) that reside in the Loops folder of the RealTracks folder. You can add your own files to this folder.
Loops support many types of ACIDized Loops (for WAV and mp3 files). And, if you add an Acid loop that is on a
certain root (e.g. F), Band-in-a-Box will instantly allow you to use that as a complete style, by transposing that loop
to the current chord of the song in Band-in-a-Box, so that the loop follows your chord progression.
Click on the [Loops] toolbar button to open the Pick a Loop dialog.
You can also right-click on the track that you want to use at the
top of the screen (e.g. Strings) and choose the menu item Select
a Loop for this track.
When the dialog opens, select a loop from the list.
170
Chapter 6: Making Songs
You can double click on the list or use a transport control button to preview the loop. The instant preview
sometimes plays demos from the internet. You can save any file that is being played from the internet by clicking
the folder icon.
For a nature sound, you can leave these options at the default values. But if you want to retrigger the WAV every
section/ part marker/ bar/ chord etc. then you can set them.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
171
For a nature sound, there is no tempo, and you don’t want to select “Stretch Tempo.” For a Drums loop, you want to
stretch the tempo. Once you select “Stretch Tempo,” enter the tempo of the WAV file (if known), and if not known,
enter the # of beats in the wav file (e.g. 2 bars would be 8 beats).
For a nature sound, you don’t want any transposition. For a melodic sound, you might want to transpose to the root
of the chord in the Band-in-a-Box song. If so, enter the root of the WAV file, and set the transpose type to “chord
root.”
If you want a different sound for the “b” substyle, enter that WAV file name in that “b substyle loop” setting.
You can open your Loops folder and add audio files (loops) to it. If you add files, you need to press the [Refresh]
button, or exit the dialog and re-enter it to refresh the list.
There are many good sources for loops and sounds on the Internet. One is freesound.org,
which has a lot of sound effects.
Technical Note: The settings that you make to the WAV files are stored in .bt6 files in the Loops folder. If you don’t make any
settings, then default settings are used, which would be a “nature sound” type of loop, that wouldn’t be transposed or tempo
stretched.
Tutorial Demo Songs - Loops
To see the Loops feature in action, open this folder: C:\bb\Tutorial - BB2012 and open one of these files:
_ELECTAM Demo ('Loop' feature with tambourine percussion added).SGU.
=THUNDER Demo (New Age style with Thunder Loop).MGU.
In the first example, a percussion loop has been added to a rock song, in the second example, a rain & thunder sound
effects loop has been added to a New Age style.
When you play these songs, press the [Memo] button to read about the feature and the demo song.
Add a Melody – MIDI and/or Audio
Record a MIDI Melody
Band-in-a-Box is much more than an intelligent arranger and accompanist. You can record your live
MIDI performance to the Melody or Soloist track, enter a melody in the Notation note-by-note, or use the
Wizard feature to record with either your computer keyboard or a connected MIDI keyboard controller.
If you want a metronome to play while you are recording, you can select it in the Opt. | Preferences dialog. You can
even have a visual metronome if you like.
Press the [Record MIDI] toolbar button to begin recording. This launches the Record MIDI to Melody Track
dialog, which prompts you to set the position (bar and chorus) where you wish to start recording.
172
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Pressing the [Record] button will start Band-in-aBox recording what you play on the Thru track. An
audible count-in is played prior to recording.
You can punch in/out, overdub, and record directly to
the ending or the tag, and use the filter to choose
which MIDI events are recorded.
Once you have completed recording your melody,
Band-in-a-Box will ask you if you would like to
keep the take and if you would like to copy the
recorded chorus to the whole song. If you did not
record the full track you can choose to retain the
rest of the track beyond the part you just recorded.
Sequencer Mode
There are 2 tracks in Band-in-a-Box to add your own recordings. These are the Melody and Soloist tracks.
Normally you would want a single part on each of them. But, since MIDI information can have separate channels, it
is possible to store 16 separate parts on each of the Melody and Soloist parts. When the track has been set to “Multi
(16) -Channel” we refer to this as “Sequencer Mode.”
If you want to use the 16 separate parts for the Melody track, you need to set the Melody Track type to “Multi (16) Channel.”
This is done from the Melody (or Soloist) menu, or can be done by pressing the Sequencer button.
Now, when you are in this multi-channel mode, output from the Melody part will be on whatever MIDI channel the
information is stored on, and will not be using the Melody MIDI channel. Both the Melody and Soloist tracks can
be set to multi-channel play, for a total of 32 channels.
Tip: Looking for inspiration? At the click of a button, the Band-in-a-Box Melodist will write entire new songs from scratch,
complete with Chords, Intro, Melody, Solo, Ending, and even an original Title. Or you can enter your own chord changes and let
the Melodist create a new melody over them. There are more than 100 Jazz, Pop, Rock, Latin, Country, and Classical melody
styles.
Embellishing the Melody
When musicians see a Lead Sheet that has a melody written out, they almost never play it exactly as written. They
change the timing to add syncopation, change durations to achieve staccato or legato playing, add grace notes, slurs,
extra notes, vibrato, and other effects. You can have Band-in-a-Box do these automatically using the Embellisher.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
173
You can enable the Embellisher from the [Embellish Melody] menu button. Any Melody will be embellished as it
is played so that you hear a livelier and more realistic Melody - and it's different every time.
Embellisher dialog opens the Melody Embellisher dialog with many user options to control the embellishment
settings. The Embellisher Presets allow you to choose a combination of common settings for the Embellisher
quickly.
The Embellisher is only active while the music is playing; the
recorded Melody track isn’t affected. There is an option for the
Embellisher to only humanize the timing of the music if the timing
was “stiff” to begin with. This allows the Embellisher to leave the
timing of human input melodies alone, and humanize only the ones
that were entered in step-time.
The Embellisher Memo describes the current embellishment, with
statistics counting the number of embellished notes.
You can save/load your own presets for the Embellisher.
When you have made a custom setting in the Embellisher dialog, press the Export button to save the
data as an .EMB file.
When you want to recall the saved preset, press the Import button, and load in a previously made .EMB file. You
can share your favorite presets with other installations of Band-in-a-Box using the EMB files.
Record a Live Audio Track
You can record an audio track of your live vocal or instrumental performance and save it to an audio wave file along
with the Band-in-a- Box accompaniment. Make sure that you have a microphone plugged in to your sound card, or
a connection from a mixer, keyboard, or other audio device connected to the Line In jack on your sound card.
Click on the [Record Audio] button to prepare to record an audio track.
The VU Meters will open automatically when the Record Audio dialog is opened.
The VU Meters will close or stay open when the dialog is exited depending
on the “Leave VU Meters open” setting in the Record Audio dialog.
The VU Meters show the average strength of the signal, with a dB scale, and a clip
indicator. Clipping indicates that the signal has overloaded, and will sound distorted
(clipped).
The green area represents normal levels, while red indicates an overload.
Ideally, the sounds should remain in the green and avoid the red altogether. Unlike
analog recording, where it's good to get a “hot” high signal, digital recordings need to
absolutely avoid high levels since any overload of the signal will result in clipping and
a ruined recording.
The Record Audio dialog displays the mono/stereo status of the recording.
If you want to change to/from stereo (to/from mono), press the [Audio
Options] button in this dialog. The mono/stereo track status is also indicated
on the Title bar at the top of the main screen.
174
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Set the start point for the recording.
You can record from the Start of the song, somewhere in the middle, or punch in by choosing a bar and chorus # to
start recording.
Also Record MIDI?
If you also want to record MIDI at the same time, press [Cancel] to exit the Record Audio dialog, and choose the
Audio menu command Record Audio and MIDI (or Shift+click on the Record Audio toolbar button). This opens
another version of the Record Audio dialog with choices to record MIDI to either the Melody or Soloist track.
Press [Record].
Audio recording begins. If you've enabled the “Leave VU
Meter while recording” option, then the VU Meter will open up and display during recording so you can monitor
the VU meters.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
175
Press [Stop] or press the [Esc] key.
You will then see the “Keep Take?”
dialog.
If you are happy with your recording,
you should choose [OK -Keep Take]
and the audio will be added to the
Audio track.
You can listen to the results by pressing
[Play].
If you are not happy with the results, you can choose Edit | Undo Keep Audio Take and you will be back to where
you were prior to the recording. You can also choose the option to [Take Again], which reopens the Recording
dialog.
Options
If you've recorded only 1 chorus of the song, you can choose the option to copy that
first chorus of audio to the whole song. This will fill up the whole song with the audio by repeating it as many times
as necessary. Then you'd just need to record the ending of the song.
At the end of recording, you receive an option to overdub with the underlying audio.
This means that both recordings will be merged together to form a new file, with both recordings preserved. There
is also an option to “Retain audio past last recorded.” This allows you to “punch out” and preserve the rest of a
previously recorded take.
Opening and Importing Audio Files
A mono or stereo WAV file can be imported to the Audio track, optionally merging with or replacing any existing
audio track. Choose the menu item Audio | Import Audio (WAV, WMA, MP3, WMV) File. You then choose an
audio file to import. The Import Audio File dialog is then displayed, which allows selection of the point to insert the
audio file, and whether to merge or overwrite existing audio in the range.
Audio Chord Wizard (Chords from MP3)
This feature analyzes a WAV, WMA, MP3, WMV, or CDA audio file and imports it to Band-in-aBox. Using the Audio Chord Wizard is a great way to learn and practice popular songs as you play
along and see the chords.
There is a chord sheet window in the Audio Chord Wizard that shows the chords for the whole song on a single
screen. This allows you to click on a bar on the chord sheet to jump to that area of the song.
You can mark sections of the song using part markers, and the sections will begin on a new line with a line space
between so they are clearly seen. You can then learn the form of the song, as you can see the various sections
(intro/verse/chorus/break) at a glance, or quickly jump to any section simply by double clicking on that part of the
chord sheet.
The Audio Chord Wizard is fully described in the Wizards, Tutors, and Fun chapter.
176
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Harmonize the MIDI Melody
Use the [Harmony] menu button command MIDI – Melody Harmony to add a MIDI harmony to
the Melody track. This opens the Select Melody Harmony dialog where you can choose from
any of the pre-defined harmonies.
This button opens the Harmony Maker, where you can customize Harmonists.
You can search for a harmony by a keyword (i.e. typing in the first few letters of a harmony name) in
either the Harmonies or Favorite Harmonies dialog.
This button is to turn off any notes that are stuck on. (There shouldn’t be any.)
Enter the number of the harmony you want to go to and press [Go To #].
Pressing the [Fav] button produces a list the 50 most recently loaded harmonies.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
177
The [No harmony] button disables the harmony for the song. The keystrokes Shift+F10 also
allow or disable the Melody harmony.
When adding a harmony to the Melody (or Soloist) you can use the option to loosen up start times of for the
harmony notes to achieve a more natural, richer harmony sound.
Choose menu item Melody | Edit | Utilities | Loosen Start Times. You can select the range of adjustments. For
example, if you want the notes to be played earlier, use a negative number. A setting of minus 5 to positive 6 would
cause the start times to be varied up to 5 ticks early and 6 ticks late. There is also a setting to choose whether you
want only the harmony notes present on the track to be affected, leaving the original melody unaffected.
Convert Track to Harmony
This feature permanently writes the specified harmony to the Melody or Soloist track, instead of being applied in
real time. Use the buttons in the Select Melody/Soloist Harmony dialogs, or the Convert Harmony… menu
command found in the Melody and Soloist menus. You will then see a dialog allowing you to choose the range of
the song to add the harmony, either the whole song or a specified range of bars.
There are options to “Eliminate Note Overlap” and “Loosen start times of notes” for the harmony notes to achieve a
more natural, richer harmony sound. The melody is not affected, only the harmony notes, and there are options for
the range of spread for the harmony notes.
178
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Note: Once the track is converted you should set the harmony to “None” or you will hear harmonies being applied to the
harmony notes, i.e., “harmony-on-a-harmony.”
Live Harmonies While Band-In-A-Box Is Stopped
Normally, the Live Harmony feature is not active when Band-in-a-Box is stopped. But you can in fact use the Live
Harmony even while a song is not playing.
You need only to open the Harmony | Real Time MIDI Harmonies menu item. Note that this Live Harmony dialog
must remain open for this feature to be active.
When this dialog (shown above) is open, you can play a chord in the Left hand (below the split point set in the
dialog), and the chord you play is and displayed in the dialog. Then, the notes that you play in the right hand will
get harmonized according to this left-hand chord.
If you set the “Only Harmonize if Left hand chord held down,” you will be able to control what notes get
harmonized by holding down the chord when you want a note to be harmonized.
Import a MIDI File
You can open an entire MIDI file into Band-in-a-Box. The chords will be automatically interpreted by the Chord
Wizard and the MIDI file will play and display on the Melody track. A “silent” style will be loaded so you will only
hear the MIDI file. When the file is saved, the extension will be MGX, allowing you to easily identify the BB songs
that you have that contain entire MIDI files.
You could also use the powerful music making features of Band-in-a-Box to create new accompaniments, add
harmonies, add soloing, and embellish the melody. And when you are finished, you can always resave your song as
a MIDI file again.
MIDI File Chord Interpretation Wizard
You can open up any MIDI file in Band-in-a-Box, and Band-in-a-Box will automatically figure out the chords of the
song for you. It automatically analyzes the MIDI file, figures out where the bass, piano, melody and other tracks
are, and then figures out the chord changes for the song. The chords are written onto the Band-in-a-Box Chord
Sheet like any other song. You can also read tracks into the Melody and Soloist tracks.
To interpret a MIDI file, go to File | Import Chords from MIDI file or use the keystroke combination Ctrl+Alt+I.
This launches the Interpret Chords from MIDI file dialog where either user settings or presets can be applied to
specify how the chords should be interpreted.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
179
Add a Solo - “The Soloist”
That’s right! Band-in-a-Box can “solo like a pro” in hundreds of styles. You can either use the dedicated Soloist
track, or you can assign a soloist RealTrack to any instrument part.
There are two ways to select and add a solo to your song. The “Best Soloist” feature presents a pre-qualified list of
soloist to choose from. The Select Soloist dialog gives you the full list of soloists to choose from, plus additional
settings you can apply to the solo.
Pick “Best” Soloist RealTracks
This dialog shows you the best soloists that match the genre, tempo, and feel of your song. The list is displayed
from best to worst. For example, if you have a Jazz Ballad style loaded (tempo 60), the list will show jazz Soloists
that will work well at a tempo of 60 at the top of the list, and something like a fast, Heavy Metal Guitar Soloist at
the bottom of the list.
How to Use This Feature
To add a Best Soloist to the Soloist track, press the Soloist button, and choose the menu option “Add Best
RealTracks Soloist to Soloist Track.”
To add a Best Soloist to any track, right-click (or double click) on the instrument radio button (e.g. Piano) and
choose the Select Best Soloist RealTracks menu command.
180
Chapter 6: Making Songs
You will then see the dialog that lists the best soloists for the current style.
It will include “Soloists” and “Background (Melodic).” You can
de-select these if you only want to see only “Soloists” (and not
“Background”).
You can audition the RealTracks by double clicking on the list or
using the transport control buttons.
Select Soloist Dialog
Use the [Soloist] button on the main screen to open the Select Soloist dialog and choose from over 2000 Soloist
profiles.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
181
You can select a Soloist type (e.g. Modern Jazz) and see only
soloists matching the type.
And you can also filter to show/not show
soloists from Soloist sets that you don’t have.
Use the preset Soloist settings, or choose a Mode and which Choruses to solo.
RealTracks Solos
Band-in-a-Box has RealTracks instruments, which are live audio recordings of studio musicians. These RealTracks
replace the MIDI track for that instrument, and can be controlled just like the MIDI instrument (volume changes,
muting etc.). RealTracks can be can be generated to the Soloist (or Melody) track using the Soloist feature.
There are hundreds of RealTracks soloists available, starting at
#361 in the list of soloing styles.
The [Best RealTracks] button gives you a list of the best RealTracks soloists for the current
Band-in-a-Box style.
RealTracks solos are saved with the song, so you will hear the RealTracks play the same solo when you reload the
song. When you generate a solo using RealTracks, Band-in-a-Box will remember this, and when you go to save the
song, Band-in-a-Box will ask you if you want to save that solo (and thereby freeze the Soloist track). If you say yes,
then the solo will play instantly the same way when the song is reloaded. Of course you can freeze the soloist track
yourself at any time. Note that only one solo can be saved. You can’t generate a bunch of different segments of
solos; only the last one will be saved.
With the “Trade” feature, you can Trade 2’s, Trade 4’s, or Trade 8’s between your live playing
and the Soloist. Toggle between [1st] and [2nd] to choose who goes first, the soloist or you.
There is a dedicated function to vary the start times of notes on the Melody or Soloist tracks, with options for what
notes to affect (harmony, chords, and amount of variance). Choose menu item Soloist | Edit Soloist Track | Utilities
| Loosen Start Times.
182
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Using the Soloist Feature
1) Generate a Soloist and practice the solo by looping it, slowing it down, or printing it out, until you can perform a
great solo on any chord changes!
2) Generate a Soloist and attach a Harmony such as “Big Band Brass” to create phenomenally quick and interesting
Big Band Arrangements automatically. Generate a standard MIDI file or print them out (with PowerTracks Pro)
for you and your friends.
3) Have the Soloist play a solo according to your accompaniment and arrangement (along with the other members of
your Band-in-a-Box, of course!)
4) Trade 4’s in a call-response fashion with the Soloist (you solo for 4 bars, Band-in-a-Box solos for 4 bars, etc.)
5) Concentrate separately on different aspects of your playing with assistance from the “Wizard” from soloing with
proper phrasing and “feel” (the best notes are included automatically) to accompanying a soloist with confidence
and authority (Tip: try muting out one of the accompaniment parts such as the piano or guitar part and play along
to the Soloist in a supportive role-- it’s fun!)
6) Use the Soloist track to record another part in addition to the Melody and other parts provided by Band-in-a-Box.
7) Generate a Soloist on chords/keys that you would like to practice. Band-in-a-Box will play and solo with you all
day without getting bored. For example, if you want to work on your II-V7-I progressions (“two-five-one”), you
can just type the chords you want, and generate a solo to play over those changes. As the solo plays, you see the
notation, can you can sight read along. Pressing the “Loop Screen” checkbox on the notation will loop the
notation the screen so you can master each 4 bar phrase (II-V-I) and then move ahead to the next one!
The Soloist Maker [Edit] button gives access to the advanced settings in the Soloist Editor
where you can edit existing profiles or create new Soloists of your own.
To see the Soloist part play in the standard music notation, open the Notation window and press the [S]
button at the far right of the instrument buttons.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
183
Automatic Songs - “The Melodist”
Feel like composing a brand new song? With Band-in-a-Box you can compose a new song, in the style of your
choice complete with intro, chords, melody, arrangement, and improvisations, all created by the program! All you
have to do is pick from one of the “Melodists” and press [OK] - the program then automatically generates the intro,
chords, melody, and arrangement in the chosen style. It even auto-generates a title! You can go from nothing to a
completed song in less than 1 second!
You can also auto-regenerate any part of a song and modify it to suit you. The Melodist will also generate a melody
over an existing chord progression. A “Melodist Juke Box” mode creates and performs new compositions in
succession.
To launch the Melodist, press the [Melodist] button on the main screen, or use the Shift+F5 hot keys.
Melodists can be filtered by “Genre” (e.g. EZ listening) to show only
Melodists in that genre.
You can also filter to show/not show Melodists from Melodist sets
that you don’t have.
Check “Show if N/A” to list all Melodists, even if
they are not present in the :\bb folder.
Note: Band-in-a-Box also has a SoundTrack feature that allows you to generate music in the style you choose for any length of
time you specify. Click on Generate Soundtrack in the Window menu.
184
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Song Editing Features
The on-screen display of the song file name includes “*” when the file has been
changed.
- Edit | Undo and Edit | Redo allow you to Undo (or redo) most operations. Multiple Undo supports up to 999
levels of undo (configurable). The default number of undo is 99. If you need to change this, it can be done in
Opt. | Preferences “Number of Levels of Undo.” The range can be 5 to 999. You can also choose Edit | Redo to
redo an undo.
Technical Note: Audio Undos are large WAV files, so are stored in an Undos folder in the BB directory. This directory is
emptied when the undos are no longer needed.
- Edit | Cut functions like a delete command. It removes bars of chords from a song.
Highlighting Regions
This feature makes it easier to perform editing operations, such as copy/insert, etc. Simply highlight the region and
select the option. This feature also aids in Copy from..to...; Erase; Transpose; Insert; and Delete. For example, if
you select (highlight) a region by dragging the mouse and then choose one of the Edit menu commands the dialog
will automatically adjust to the correct values, based on the region that you've highlighted.
To select a region of Chord Sheet, Notation Window, or Audio Edit Window, you can Shift+click on the end point
to easily select a large area
The Copy Chords and/or melody dialog is typical of the range selection dialogs used by several functions. You
are able to set a range for the function to be either part of the song, or the whole song.
Copying and Pasting a Section of Chords
Copying a section of chords is done in the same manner as copying text in a Windows word processor (read on if
you are unfamiliar with how this is done). There are also similar “keyboard shortcuts” for these operations as listed
in Keystroke Commands – Hot Keys section of this guide.
Copying Chords to the Windows Clipboard
- Select the region to copy. Place the mouse cursor at the bar to begin the selection. Then, holding down the left
mouse button, drag the mouse over the region. As you do this you will see that the region will be inverted (i.e.
looks dark). When you have selected the desired region of chords to copy, release the mouse button.
- Copy the selected region to the clipboard. Click Ctrl+C or choose Copy from the Edit Menu.
Pasting Chords from the Windows Clipboard
Assuming you have already copied some chords to the Clipboard (see previous topic), you are then ready to paste
the copied chords into another part of your Chord Sheet.
- Move the highlight cell to the bar to begin the paste of chords.
- Click Ctrl+V or choose Paste from the Edit Menu.
Tip: The copied section remains in the clipboard and can be used repeatedly. Example: If you're inputting a song with verse,
verse, bridge, verse, you can simply copy the first verse to the Clipboard, and then repeatedly paste-in the other verses. The
clipboard contents remain intact even if you load in a new song, so you can copy and paste between songs.
Additional Copy function for Chords/Melody
The menu command Edit | Copy From.. To.. launches the Copy Chords and / or melody dialog.
This allows you to copy Chords, Melody, Soloist, and Lyrics for a range of bars. If you're copying the
Melody/Soloist, you need to specify which chorus you wish to copy.
If you want to extend the song by inserting a new section by copying an existing range of bars, then select the
“Insert Bars at destination” checkbox to insert the extra bars.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
185
”K” Quick Copy Method
By simply typing “K” at a bar followed by the Enter key you can instantly copy the last 8 bars to the current
position. By adding additional keys in the K command, you can customize this shortcut (e.g. typing K 12, 3 would
copy from bar 3 for 12 bars to current position.) The current position is advanced to the bar beyond the copy. This
speeds up song entry!
For example, if you're entering a song that has a repeating section of chords for 8 bars. Type in the first 8 bars of
chords, and then move to bar 9 and then type: k, Enter.
The last 8 bars will be copied to bar 9-16, and the cursor will be moved to bar 17, so you're ready to continue with
the tune. If you get to bar 25, and would like the chords from 1-8 to be copied to 25-32, type k,1 and this will copy
8 bars from bar 1 to bar 25.
The chords always get copied. The Melody, Soloist, and Lyrics also get copied if these items are set in the Copy
Chords and/or melody dialog.
Copy Rests
With the menu selection Edit | Copy Rests you can copy the attributes of a chord over a range of other chords. Rests
also include shots and held chords.
Copy/Move Tracks
The Copy/Move Tracks command in the Edit menu opens the Track-to-Track Copy/Move/Delete dialog, which
allows copying from one track to another.
186
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Inside the dialog, you should choose the “Source Track” and the destination track to Copy/Move selected
channels to.
Source track can be any of the Band-in-a-Box tracks – Bass, Drums, Piano, Guitar, Strings, Melody, or Soloist.
You can copy any channels from any track to any other track. Examples of uses include:
- Loading a MIDI file to the Melody track, and copying the bass part to the Bass track, and then freezing the Bass
track. This lets you setup a MIDI file with the same tracks as Band-in-a-Box uses. Note: the command
automatically freezes the destination track after the copy.
- Getting the RealChart to play, to double a RealTracks part on another instrument. To do this, generate a
RealTracks for piano on the piano track. Then copy the piano track to the strings track, and set a strings patch.
You now hear a RealTracks piano, with the strings doubling the piano part.
- Replacing a RealChart with a MIDI version. If a RealChart is available, copy the RealChart as in the example
above. Then eliminate the RealTracks on the original track. You now have a RealChart MIDI part playing instead
of the RealTracks, and you can edit that part etc. as with any MIDI track.
There is also an option to “merge with existing data…” on the destination track.
Erase From.. To..
To erase bars with additional control for erasing the Melody, Soloist, and/or Lyrics, choose Edit | Erase From.. To..
to launch the Erase Chords and / or melody dialog.
With this dialog, you have complete control over erasing a number of bars of chords and/or the Melody, Soloist, and
Lyrics. If you're erasing the Melody, Soloist, or Lyrics you need to specify which chorus you wish to erase.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
187
Intro Bars – Auto Generate (or Remove)
To generate an intro, press the [Song Form] toolbar button and select Generate Into from
the pulldown menu. You can also go to the menu Edit | Intro Bars… The Generate
Chords for Intro dialog will then open.
With a single press of a button you can auto-generate a 2, 4, or 8 bar intro for any song. The chords will be different
each time, and you can keep trying as often as you like until you get the progression that you want. The intro
generated will be an intelligent chord progression (i.e. appropriate for an intro) in the chosen style of music
(Jazz/Pop). It can have optional pedal bass, and will “lead” correctly to the first chord of the song.
The duration of the intro can be set to 2, 4, or 8 bars. You can also get a pedal bass figure inserted throughout the
intro. Press the [Remove Intro] button to delete any intro present in your song.
Insert / Delete Bars
- Choose Edit | Insert Bars and the program will ask you to type in the number of bars you wish to insert.
- Choose Edit | Delete Bars and the program will ask you to type in the number of bars you wish to delete.
Nudge Chords/Melody
The “Nudge” feature allows moving a range of chords by any number of bars/beats. For example, let’s say that you
have entered a complete song chord progression, and you then realize that all of the chords starting at bar 23 are 1
beat too late (maybe due to a time signature change). You can move all of the chords 1 beat earlier, by setting the
nudge at bar 23, beat 1, and duration of the nudge to -1 (minus 1) beats.
You can nudge chords and/or Melody/Soloist parts.
188
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Repeats/codas/1st-2nd endings
Most lead sheet style printouts contain 1st/2nd endings, repeats, coda, tag, and sign markings. Band-in-a-Box
supports entry, display, and printout of song forms using these symbols. This command launches the Edit Repeats
and Endings dialog where you can enter repeats, 1st and 2nd endings, DC, DS al coda and more.
The “Auto-Find” feature will intelligently detect 1st/2nd endings automatically for you, so you can
view and convert any Band-in-a-Box song to include 1st/2nd endings in lead sheet format.
When you have created your repeats and endings, either manually or automatically, simply select the “Fake Sheet”
checkbox on the Chord Sheet or Lead Sheet window. Band-in-a-Box will hide the repeated bars and display the
fake sheet using 1st and 2nd endings.
Reduce (durations of chords by ½) cuts chord durations by 50% (e.g., 4beats>>2beats, 2beats>>1beat, etc.).
Expand (durations of chords by 2) doubles the durations of chords (e.g., 1beat>>2beats, 2beats>>4beats, etc.).
Unfold (convert To 1 BIG Chorus)
Choose Edit | Unfold (convert to one BIG chorus) to unfold a multi-chorus song into one BIG chorus.
becomes
If you have a song with 3 choruses and want to convert it to a single large chorus, this command unfolds the song
into just that; one BIG chorus. This is useful for customizing a song with style, patch or tempo changes in different
verses.
Fold (convert 1 chorus to multiple)
A “Fold song” routine converts a song with a single large chorus to multiple smaller choruses with optional tag
ending. If you have imported a MIDI file, you might have a file that is 96 bars long, but really consists of 3
choruses of 32 bars each. You can convert this to a 32-bar song by using the Edit | Fold song option, including
inserting tag endings, and 2-bar endings.
becomes
Set Time Signature (range of bars)
Under the Edit | Set Time Signature (range of bars) menu item, you can assign a specific time signature at any bar
and apply it to a range of bars, as often as you want.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
189
For example, to have one bar (bar 13) of 5/4, select Edit | Set Time Signature… and toggle the 5/4 button. Then,
type in the bar beginning and ending range in the space provided. (In this case, 13 and 1.)
Transpose
This submenu lets you transpose the entire song by a number of semitones, or specify a range to transpose with the
Transpose From.. To.. command.
To transpose part of a song, simply highlight the area you
wish to transpose and select Transpose From.. To.. in the
submenu. When you have confirmed the starting bar and
the number of bars you wish to transpose, click on the
“Transpose to Key” area and select the destination key.
Song Memo
A Song Memo of up to 2000 characters may be added. When a song has a memo associated with it
the label on the [Memo] button (located to the right of the song title) is blue. Clicking on the [Memo] button
launches the Song Memo dialog, where you can type or edit a memo about the song and select an “Auto-open”
option that will show the memo each time the song is loaded.
The Song Memo has an option to close automatically during playback. When this option is set, the Memo button
will close when play is pressed, and not reopen when stop is pressed. This setting, in combination with the “Autoopen” setting, ensures that the memo opens when the song opens, but closes during playback. The font for the song
memo is size selectable.
190
Chapter 6: Making Songs
If the “Summary” checkbox is selected, you will see an additional window that automatically displays a full
summary of the song (title/tempo/patches used in the song), as well as other special features, such as substyle patch
changes or harmonies.
Press the [Bar Summary] button to see a report of any changes to settings that are programmed
in the Edit Bar Settings dialog (F5).
Auto-Generate Song Title allows you to generate a title for a song. There is also a button on the main screen for
this.
‘Jazz Up’ The chords
This will “Jazz Up” the chords by changing chords like C and Cmaj to 7th and 6th chords. Song embellishment will
be turned on for the song. Select the type of 7ths from the list box, and then click on the [OK – Jazz UP] button.
‘Jazz Down’ The chords
This will “Jazz Down” the chords by changing chords with 7ths (e.g. C7) to triads (e.g. C) and 9ths and 13ths to 7th
chords. Song embellishment is turned off. Press [OK – Jazz Down] to proceed.
Search/Replace Chords allows you to search and replace chord names, including wild cards.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
191
Chord Options
If you can’t remember the various keystrokes to put in rests and pushes, you can use the Chord Options
dialog instead. To get to the Chord Options dialog press the [C7] button, click with the right mouse
button onto the Chord Sheet, or use the keystrokes Alt+F5.
You can launch the Preview, Chord Builder, or Chord Substitution functions from this window.
You can enter pedal bass with any chord. For example, if you are in the Key of F, and would like a pedal on a C
note for 2 bars (on an Fm7 chord), then type in the settings as shown. This will play the rhythm specified – in this
case the pattern will play on beat 2 and 4.
The [Previous Bar] and [Next Bar] buttons lets you go through the entire Chord Sheet without leaving the dialog.
The [Clear All Bars] button erases all Rests/Shots/Pushes/Pedal Bass from a song.
The [Clear Bar] button erases all Rests/Shots/Pushes/Pedal Bass from the current bar.
Settings for Current Bar
The number of beats per bar, tempo changes, patch, style, and harmony changes can be made by selecting the
Settings For Current Bar option on the Edit menu or by pressing F5 after you have selected a bar to edit.
192
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Settings Apply to Chorus #
You can specify the changes you make to happen for every chorus and/or a specific chorus. This applies to bar
settings like tempo changes, style changes, RealDrums changes, patch changes, volume changes, and harmony
changes.
Number of Beats this Bar
The initial time signature of the song is determined by the style (e.g., Jazz =4/4, Waltz =3/4). In some songs you
will want to change the time signature, for example, you might want a single bar of 2/4, or 8 bars of 3/4 time. This
option allows a change of time signature during a song.
The change takes place at the beginning of the bar and continues until a new time signature change is specified.
You can select from 1 to 4 beats per bar. Time signature changes are printed on the Notation/Lead Sheet.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
193
Example: A song in 4/4 time with a single bar of 6/4 time.
The maximum # beats per bar is =4, so we will split the 6/4 bar into 2 bars, a 4/4 bar and a 2/4 bar. Insert a # beats
per bar =2 at the beginning of the 2/4 bar, then restore the time signature to 4/4 by assigning # beats per bar =4 for
the next bar.
Tempo Change
If you want to change the tempo at a certain bar of the song, then use this dialog to type in the new tempo in beats
per minute. The tempo change takes effect at the beginning of the bar and remains until a new tempo change at
another bar is inserted. Alternatively, you can specify a percentage change in tempo.
Key Signature Change
You can have multiple keys in the same song with the new key
signature shown on notation. Select the new key signature you
want from the combo list and you will see the new key signature
drawn on the notation at that bar.
Style Changes at This Bar
To choose a new style for this bar you can select the style from the StylePicker by pressing the [.STY] button or
from the \bb folder by pressing [Open].
The play button in the StylePicker allows you to listen to the style
before loading it. This allows you to hear what the selected style will sound like in your song.
You can also audition a style in the StylePicker without changing your existing
arrangement, by using the [Web Demo] button, which plays a streaming demo from
the web. For example, if you see a style like _JSWINGG “Jazz Swing w/ Electric Guitar” you can hear what it
sounds like without loading in the style. This is useful because you hear an audio demo of a good example of the
style in action. It is also useful because it can demo a style that you don’t have, or you can compare to make sure
that yours sounds the same as it is supposed to sound.
When chosen, the name of the style change for the
current bar will be displayed. Click on the [Clear STY]
button if you want no style change to occur.
RealDrums Changes at any Bar
You can have multiple RealDrums styles within a song. You can either enter a change of RealDrums or you can
enter a change of style, which will also result in a change of RealDrums.
The name of the new RealDrums style is displayed. The [Clear RD] button deletes the style change.
Individual styles have instrument patches assigned to them. “Send Patch changes with style change” allows the
option to send those assigned patches at the current bar. If you would like to keep the patches that had been
previously used in the song, deselect this option.
RealTracks Changes at any Bar
You can insert a specific RealTracks instrument at any bar to create a customized performance. You can change
specific RealTracks without changing the style. For example, if you want to change an Acoustic Bass comping part
to an Acoustic Bass Solo at Chorus 4, Bar 1, you can do this.
194
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Press the [RealTracks] button and you will see the RealTracks Changes dialog where you can
choose which tracks you would like to have RealTracks changes on.
Select a track, then press the
button and you will then see a list of RealTracks.
You will see a huge list of RealTracks, so you will likely want to narrow
it down. Type a word that will be included in the RealTracks name, like
“bass.” Then the list will only show bass RealTracks.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
195
Notation - Start a New Line
You can set the notation to start a new line at any bar. This allows you to customize the number of bars on each
line, and is used in conjunction with the Notation Options settings of bars-per-line on the notation.
This feature works for chord sections.
Instrument Changes
Volume and patch changes can be made for instrument parts and the audio track at any bar.
Volume changes can be specified values or fade up/down amounts. There are presets to mute or restore the volume
level for a part.
Patch selections include patches on higher banks, which are accessed with the [+] button.
Harmony Changes at This bar
You set a harmony to begin or end at this bar for the Melody or Soloist/Thru track. If you choose < no harmony > a
harmony that was previously playing will stop.
Set a specific beat for the harmony to begin, for example on a lead-in or pickup note at the end of a bar. You can
also switch to different harmonies in the middle of your song.
Style, tempo, key signature, volume, patch, and harmony changes will be recorded on your song worksheet indicated
by a small red square around the bar that will be affected. Changes remain in effect from that bar forward until new
changes are recorded or until the next chorus if you have set the changes to apply only to the current chorus.
This button will remove any settings you have changed for all bars.
This button will remove any settings you have changed for the current bar.
This button will open a dialog for advanced settings when making UserTracks.
This button will open a text report of all settings in the song that have been made in the Edit
Settings for Current Bar dialog.
This summary is also available from the Song Memo.
196
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Piano Roll Window
You can edit your tracks using the “Piano Roll” window, similar to the type found in many sequencer programs.
Edit the Melody or Soloist tracks with greater ease and precision. There are 2 panes in the window – one for notes
and the other for controllers, velocity, and other data. All notes and controllers are displayed as black/gray bars on a
grid. You can change note duration and pitch by selecting and dragging with your mouse.
The Piano Roll window enables precise graphic editing of note timing and duration. You can also graphically edit
note velocity, controllers, program changes, channel aftertouch, or pitch bend.
The Piano Roll may be opened as a movable window, which floats above the Band-in-a-Box main window, or it
may be opened embedded, in the same position as the Chord Sheet/Notation panels in the Band-in-a-Box main
window.
Track Selection
Select the Track - Bass, Drums, Piano, Guitar, Strings, Melody, or Solo.
It is most practical to edit the Melody and Solo tracks. The other tracks for the accompaniment are rewritten every
time Band-in-a-Box rebuilds the song (every time you click the [Play] button). So if you edit a “backing track,” be
sure to save as a MIDI file before rebuilding the song, or your edits will be lost.
Keyboard Pitch Panel
1. Click on a single note of the keyboard to select all notes of the clicked pitch.
2. Click-drag on the keyboard to select all notes in a pitch range.
3. Shift-click-drag to add another set of notes to the selection.
4. Ctrl-click-drag to invert a pitch selection.
For instance, you could drag C5 thru C6 to select an octave of notes.
Then Shift-click A3 to add all A3 notes to the selection. Then Ctrl-click F5 to remove all F5 notes from
the selection.
Note Panel
Horizontal bars represent notes. Notes can be selected, edited (start time, pitch, duration), inserted, and deleted.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
197
Note Selection
Selected notes are red.
1. Click on individual notes to select.
2. Shift-click on individual notes to add to the selection.
3. Ctrl-click on a note to invert (toggle) its selection.
Overlapping notes are displayed in bold Aqua color, making them easy to identify. Overlapped notes can be
eliminated from the right-click menu in this window.
Click on white space and then drag a rectangle around notes to select a group of notes. Only notes that start within
the rectangle are selected. If the left edge of a note is not inside the rectangle, it will not be selected. This is a
feature, not a bug!
1. Shift-drag a rectangle to add another group of notes to the selection.
2. Ctrl-drag a rectangle to toggle the selection of the notes in the rectangle.
Graphic Event Panel
Graphically display and edit non-note MIDI events. This panel only shows MIDI events specified in the Chan,
View/Edit, and Controller Type controls.
Zero-value events are drawn as small hollow squares, to make them easy to identify.
When graphically inserting controller and pitch bend events the event density is adjustable from one event per 1 tick
up to one event per 30 ticks.
With events such as pitch bend or controllers like modulation and sustain, it is important to take care to end a
“gesture” with a zero-value event. Otherwise, subsequent notes will be affected, with an unwanted “hanging”
permanent pitch bend, permanent vibrato, or sustain pedal locked down.
Event Selection
Selected Events are red.
Graphic Event Ruler Time Selections:
The Graphic Event Ruler will only select non-note events. In addition, it will only select the type of MIDI events
specified in the Chan, View/Edit, and Controller Type controls. When you make a Ruler Time selection, ONLY
THE VISIBLE events in this time range are selected. Other MIDI events in this time range are not selected.
Snap-to-Grid
Selections, Inserted Notes, or Edited Notes will snap to the grid spacing. If you do not want snap-togrid, select [NONE] in the drop-down menu.
Note Duration
Set the default duration of new inserted notes. It is easy to mouse-edit a note's duration after a note
is inserted, so it is usually sufficient to select a typical note duration that makes sense for your
purposes and then mouse-edit the duration of “exception” notes after they are inserted.
198
Chapter 6: Making Songs
View/Insert Channel
If a track contains multiple channels, “All” will display MIDI events on all channels. Otherwise,
select the channel that you need to see. If “All” is selected, new MIDI events are inserted on the
Band-in-a-Box track's assigned channel.
Except for perhaps multi-channel Guitar tracks, Band-in-a-Box plays all track events on the
assigned track channel. Therefore, in almost all cases, the channel of track events does not matter.
For instance, if the Melody track is set to transmit on channel 4, all events on the Melody track will
be sent on channel 4 regardless of the “actual channel” of each track event.
Ghost Notes
When viewing a single channel, notes on other channels can be ghost-displayed in light gray. This is
useful when viewing multi-channel tracks.
View/Edit Graphic Data
Determine what graphic data to view or edit in the bottom Graphic Data panel. Choose
Velocity, Controller, Program Change, Channel Aftertouch, and Pitch Bend. If Chan is not
set to “All,” only the selected channel events will be displayed.
Controller Type
If “View/Edit” is set to “Control,” the Controller Type control becomes visible. The
Graphic Data panel will display the chosen controller type. If Chan is not set to “All,”
only the selected channel events will be displayed.
Cursor Location Info Panel
The Info Panel shows the cursor's Bar:Beat:Tick and MIDI note or controller value (depending on
the cursor location). In cursor locations where a value would be nonsensical, the status text values
are blank.
For instance, in the Note panel, Bar:Beat:Tick and Pitch are displayed. In the Ruler panels, only Bar:Beat:Tick is
displayed. In the left Piano panel, only Pitch is displayed. In the Graphic Event panel, Bar:Beat:Tick and Event
Value are displayed.
Chord Ruler and Note Time Ruler Panel
There are two top rulers. The top Chord Ruler displays chords and the Playback Location Indicator. The Note Time
Ruler displays bars and bar subdivisions. When zoomed-in, more subdivisions are displayed. When zoomed-out,
fewer subdivisions are displayed.
Click or drag in the Chords Ruler to set the Insertion Point (useful if you wish to use the menu Edit/Paste (Ctrl+V)
to paste into the Piano Roll). If a song is playing, a Chords Ruler click will stop playback.
Double-click the Chords Ruler to start playback at the indicated bar. You can also set the Insertion Point and then
tap Ctrl+G to start playback at the desired location.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
199
Notes can be selected with the Note Ruler. However, the Note Ruler does not select non-note events such as
controllers or pitch bend.
1 Click-drag on the Note Ruler to select a time-range of notes.
2 Shift-click-drag to add a time-range of notes to the selection.
3 Ctrl-click-drag to invert the note selection of a time range.
For instance, you could drag to select all notes in bars 2 thru 7. Then you could Ctrl-drag to toggle off note
selections in bar 4. By using the Shift and Ctrl keys, very flexible time selections can be made.
Note Editing
Edit Note Time Stamp (start time):
Move the cursor over the left of a note. An east-west cursor appears. Then click-drag the note to a new time
(horizontal dragging).
If multiple events are selected, and you want to move all selected events, use Shift-click-drag. Otherwise a click on
a note will deselect the previous selection, and it will only select/edit the clicked note.
Edit Note Pitch:
Move the cursor over the middle of a note. A north-south cursor appears. Then click-drag the note pitch (vertical
dragging).
If multiple events are selected, and you want to transpose all selected events, use Shift-click-drag. Otherwise a click
on a note will deselect the previous selection, and it will only select/transpose the clicked note.
Edit Note Duration:
Move the cursor over the right of a note. A right-arrow cursor appears. Then click-drag the note duration
(horizontal dragging).
If multiple events are selected, and you want to change duration of all selected events, use Shift-click-drag.
Otherwise a click on a note will deselect the previous selection, and it will only select/edit the clicked note.
Insert a Note:
Hold the Shift+Ctrl keys. The cursor becomes a pencil. Click where you want the note and it is inserted with a
duration from the “Dur” drop-down menu, and on the channel selected by the “Chan” drop-down menu.
If “Snap” is enabled, the note is inserted at the nearest grid boundary. For instance, if the snap-to-grid setting is a
quarter note, inserted notes will snap to the nearest quarter note boundary.
There are many on-screen visual cues to assist cursor positioning. The Cursor Position Time Markers in the Time
Rulers can assist time positioning. The Cursor Pitch Marker in the Keyboard can assist pitch positioning. The
Cursor Location Info Panel gives precise time and pitch info. Also, the Note Panel has time grid markings, and
pitch accidentals are marked in light gray on the background.
If you make a mistake inserting a note, you can hit the Delete key to remove the new note. Alternately, it is very
easy to immediately drag the note to correct mistakes in time, pitch, or duration.
Delete a Note:
Select a note (or group of notes), then tap the Delete key. Alternately, select some notes, right-click, and choose the
“Delete Selected Events” item in the pop-up menu.
Eraser tool
For quickly deleting individual notes or controllers, Shift+Ctrl-click on a note or graphic event. If multiple events
have been selected, all selected events will be deleted.
Splitter Bar
A vertical Splitter Bar sits between the Note and Graphic Event panels. If you want to maximize the Note panel to
see more notes, drag the Splitter down. If you want to maximize the Graphic Event panel for more accurate event
editing, drag the Splitter up.
Two graphic event mouse editing modes for editing graphic events:
1. Add Mode
Add/subtract the same amount to all selected events.
2. Scale Mode
Scale the selected events. Select one or more Graphic Events, and move the mouse over one of the events.
200
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Shift-drag vertically, and the events are scaled in a proportional fashion. Large-value events are scaled more
than small-value events. This keeps the same shape of a gesture, but makes the gesture bigger or smaller.
Note Velocity Line Tool
- With Add Mode, note velocities will exactly match the slope of your drawn line.
- With Scale Mode, the Line Tool will shape the dynamics, but note velocities are scaled to follow the approximate
shape of your drawn line. With Scale Mode, you can insert a Velocity fade, or change the velocity of a region,
while preserving the Velocity dynamics of the music.
Edit Events
Edit Event Value:
Move the cursor over the top half of an event. A north-south cursor appears. Click-drag vertically to scale event
values. To scale a selected group of events, Shift-click-drag vertically on one of the events in the selection.
Edit Event Time:
Move the cursor over the bottom half of an event. An east-west cursor appears. Click-drag horizontally to slide the
event in time. To slide a selected group of events, Click-drag horizontally on one of the events in the selection.
Insert Events
Line Tool:
With no modifier keys, the “white space” cursor is a Line Tool. Move the cursor to white space and then click-drag
to draw a line. When the mouse button is released, a series of events are inserted which follow the line slope.
To avoid choking the MIDI stream, the maximum event density is one event per 10 ticks. Repeated events of the
same value are not inserted. Therefore, long gradual Line Tool fades have a lower density than short extreme Line
Tool fades.
Pencil Tool:
Move the cursor over white space and hold the Shift+Ctrl keys. A Pencil Tool appears. Shift+Ctrl-drag to
freehand-draw a curve. If you don't get the curve quite right on the first pass, just keep holding the mouse button
and move the mouse back-and-forth to draw your desired freehand curve. When the mouse button is released, a
series of events are inserted to follow the freehand curve.
To avoid choking the MIDI stream, the maximum event density is one event per 10 ticks. Repeated events of the
same value are not inserted. Therefore, many freehand curves have a fairly low density.
Delete Events
Make a selection of events with the Ruler or by clicking on events. Then tap the Delete key. You can also rightclick and choose the “Delete Selected Events” item in the pop-up menu.
Right-Click Contextual Menu
The pop-up menu can be accessed by right-clicking on the notes, graphic events, or any of the rulers.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
201
Undo:
Duplicates the Band-in-a-Box Edit | Undo (or Ctrl+Z) action.
Delete Selected Events:
Deletes any selected events (highlighted in red). This can also be accomplished by tapping the Delete key.
Select All Notes and Graphic Events:
If the “Chan” combo box is set to All, this item will select ALL EVENTS on ALL CHANNELS (all events in the
track). Otherwise, ALL EVENTS are selected which match the CURRENT MIDI CHANNEL.
Select All Note Events (Of Current Channel): (right-click the Note Panel or Note Ruler)
If the Chan combo box is set to All, this item will select ALL NOTES on ALL CHANNELS, but it will not select
any non-note events. Otherwise, ALL NOTES are selected which match the CURRENT MIDI CHANNEL.
Select All Note Events (Of Current Channel): (right-click the Graphic Event Panel or Graphic Event Ruler)
If the “Chan” combo box is set to All, this item will select ALL GRAPHIC EVENTS of the CURRENT
VIEW/EDIT TYPE on ALL CHANNELS. Otherwise, ALL GRAPHIC EVENTS of the CURRENT VIEW/EDIT
TYPE are selected which match the CURRENT MIDI CHANNEL. For instance, you could select all channel 4
modulation events, then Delete, to easily remove all of those events from the track.
Cut:
Copy selected events to the clipboard and then remove them from the track. Can also be accomplished with the
menu Edit | Cut (or Ctrl+X) action. If you wish, it is possible to cut from the Piano Roll, and then paste into the
Notation window, or vice-versa.
Copy:
Copy Selected Events to the clipboard can also be accomplished with the menu Edit | Copy (or Ctrl+C) action. If
you wish, it is possible to copy from the Piano Roll, and then paste into the Notation window, or vice-versa.
Paste - Replace:
If no events are on the clipboard, this item is dimmed.
The paste occurs at the time location of your right-click. Move the mouse cursor to the desired insert location.
Right-click on the Note Panel, Graphic Event Panel, or any of the Rulers. Then choose this item from the pop-up
menu. Any previous event types in the paste range which match event types in the clipboard are removed before the
clipboard data is added to the track.
If the “Chan” combo box is set to All, pasted events keep their original (copied) MIDI channel. Otherwise, the
pasted events will be re-channeled to match the “Chan” combo box.
Paste - Merge:
If no events are on the clipboard, this item is dimmed.
The paste occurs at the time location of your right-click. Move the mouse cursor to the desired insert location.
Right-click on the Note Panel, Graphic Event Panel, or any of the Rulers. Then choose this item from the pop-up
menu. Events from the clipboard are merged with existing data in the track.
If the “Chan” combo box is set to All, pasted events keep their original (copied) MIDI channel. Otherwise, the
pasted events will be re-channeled to match the “Chan” combo box.
The feature can also be accomplished with the menu Edit | Paste (or Ctrl+V) action (to match the Notation window,
which also uses a merge style of pasting). Before using the main menu Edit | Paste (or Ctrl+V), first make sure the
insertion marker is set to your desired paste time location.
This is easy to do. Just click or drag in the Chord Ruler to place the insertion marker where you want it. Then tap
Ctrl+V.
Re-Channel All Events to the Track Channel (Ch = xx)
Re-channel all notes and graphic events (the entire track) to the MIDI Output channel assigned for this track.
Sometimes this can come in handy to bring some “sanity” into Piano Roll editing.
For instance, though the default Melody output channel might be channel 4, meaning that Band-in-a-Box transmits
any events in the Melody track on channel 4. The actual events in the Melody track might be channel 1, or a
mixture of several channels.
For ordinary playback or note tweaking, it doesn't matter if the event channels are “mixed up,” as long as you have
the view channel set to All. But if you wish to use Paste - Replace, the Paste - Replace function is smart enough not
202
Chapter 6: Making Songs
to “stomp on” a track's events that differ from the channels of the clipboard MIDI data. So if you force all events to
the track channel, the Paste - Replace function will always replace appropriately.
Re-Channel Selected Events to the Track Channel (Ch = xx)
Re-channel only the selected events to the track channel.
Re-Channel Selected Events to the View Channel
When editing a multi-channel guitar part or editing an imported multi-channel MIDI file, this command may be
useful. Beware that it might initially appear confusing.
For instance, one might set the view channel to ALL, and make a selection (intending to set these events to Ch 12).
Then set the view channel to 12, and of course the selected events disappear (if the events had some other MIDI
Channel). But then when you invoke “Re-Channel Selected Events to the View Channel,” the MIDI events will
reappear on the Piano Roll.
Eliminate Overlapped Notes
Overlapping notes are displayed in bold Aqua color, making them easy to identify. Selecting this menu command
will remove the overlap.
Horizontal Scroll Bar, [+] and [-] Buttons
Scroll in time, and zoom the horizontal display.
Vertical Scroll Bar, [+] and [-] Buttons
Scroll to see different note ranges (does not scroll the Graphic Event Panel) and zoom the vertical display.
Zoom Buttons
Use these buttons, found in the right border of the Graphic Event panel, to zoom and un-zoom the Piano Roll view.
Zoom to Selection
Make a selection of notes, and then click the Zoom To Selection button. The vertical pitch range and
horizontal time range adjusts to fill the note panel with the selected notes.
Un-Zoom
Return to the previous view range after zooming in on a region.
Zoom All
Zoom the window so that all track notes are visible at a glance.
View and Print Notation
Open the Notation window with the [Notation] toolbar button. You will see standard notation on the
grand staff. There are 3 notation modes in Band-in-a-Box, selected with the buttons in the Notation
window toolbar.
Standard Notation for display of notes, chords, lyrics, and optional guitar tablature as well as entering
chords and lyrics. Notation is not editable in this mode.
Editable Notation to enter or edit notation with the mouse.
Staff Roll Notation works like the Editable Notation plus note velocities and durations can be viewed and
edited with the mouse.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
203
Standard Notation Window
The Standard Notation window can be used for notation display and the entry of chords and lyrics. Just type a chord
name and it will be inserted at the current time line location (the black vertical stripe just under the tool bar.)
Click on the instrument buttons to see the notation for the different parts.
Press the [Opt.] button to set Notation window options such as track type, bar resolution, lyric font size,
and position, transpose options, and Regular or Jazz fonts.
This button opens the Lead Sheet window, which provides a full screen of notation either for an individual
instrument or for multiple instruments that you choose to view together by clicking the instrument buttons
while holding the Ctrl key.
Print out any part with the Print button. In the Print Preview window save your notation as a graphic file
to upload to the Internet or to e-mail.
This button opens the Event List for editing the Melody or Soloist tracks.
This is the button for note-based lyrics, which are automatically aligned with the corresponding note in the
Melody track.
Use the plus and minus buttons to zoom the Notation in and out.
The text button lets you enter section text or boxed text into the notation.
When the Scrub button is selected, notes will play as the mouse is dragged over them while holding down the
left mouse button.
This will generate a vocal track using an online third party vocal synthesizer called Sinsy
for a MIDI melody track with lyrics.
This will launch an internet browser and show a video about Notation Window.
This allows you to quickly change the number of bars per line.
This allows you to display notation with larger font size and note names within note heads. Press the button
again to return to the normal size.
Editable Notation Mode
Click this button to go to Editable Notation mode. Chords, lyrics, and text can be entered as in the Standard
Notation window; the Editable Notation mode also permits point-and-click entry of notes and rests as well as
drag-and-drop editing.
204
Chapter 6: Making Songs
This is the screen for step-entry of a melody or for editing existing parts. There are checkboxes for different note
entry modes.
The Note or Rest checkboxes determine whether a note or a rest will be
inserted when the mouse is clicked.
When the Mono checkbox is selected, the notation is entered as monophonic (one note only). This is useful for
melodies that only have one note playing at a time. Mono mode is a faster way to enter notes, because the Notation
window will automatically delete a note that is present at the same location that you are putting a new note on. So if
you have mistakenly put a B note on as a C, you just click on the B note, and if in mono mode the C note will be
deleted automatically.
The notation has confirmation dialogs to prevent accidental entry of a duplicate note (same pitch near same time) of
a very high or very low note (large # of ledger lines).
Clean Notation
When music has been played in from a MIDI keyboard, there are frequently effects like grace notes, glitches, and
notes played off time. The Clean Notation mode is an intelligent feature that “cleans up the notation” for you. It
does this by eliminating the display of grace notes and glitches, and also simplifies the Notation display so it is more
readable. Clean Notation doesn’t affect the actual track it just controls how it is displayed. In general this should be
on, since it improves the display. But if you want to see every grace note or glitch that was played, then turn it off.
Beat Divisions
In the Editable Notation mode each beat is sub-divided by either 3 or 4 broken vertical lines.
- Swing styles use 3 lines to divide each beat into eighth note swing triplets.
- Straight styles use 4 lines to divide each beat into sixteenth notes.
Example of swing (triplet) resolution.
Example of straight (16ths) resolution.
Tip: The edits you make to Band-in-a-Box accompaniment parts will be overwritten when the [Play] button is pressed and the
program generates a new arrangement. To hear the song play as edited, use the [Replay] button found next to the [Play] button.
Edited songs can be permanently saved as a MIDI file with the [.MID] button.
Staff Roll Notation Mode
Click on this button to go to Staff Roll Notation mode.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
205
In addition to the editing features of the Editable Notation mode, in Staff Roll mode the velocity (vertical line) and
duration (horizontal line) of notes can be edited with the mouse.
Adding Note-Based Lyrics to Your Song
Open the Notation window by pressing the notation button.
Press the [L] button on the Notation toolbar. The Lyric Edit window opens up and the current note is
highlighted. In this example, lyrics have already been entered in bars 1 and 2, and the first note of bar three is
highlighted. The first syllable of the word “Swanee” has been typed in the lyric box.
Now by pressing Enter or Tab “Swa –” will be entered under the highlighted note and the highlight will
automatically advance to the next note.
Lyric Edit Window
The [Line] button enters a forward slash “/” line break marker in the current lyric.
The [Para] button enters a backslash “ \” paragraph break marker in the current lyric.
The [Enter] button enters the current lyric, equivalent to hitting Enter key or Tab key.
The [Close] button closes the Lyrics Edit mode, equivalent to hitting the [L] button again.
The [Sec Text] button enters the text in the lyric box as section text at the current bar.
The [Edit] button opens the Edit Lyrics dialog where lyrics and section text can be edited.
Viewing the Lyrics
The big [L] button in the Views toolbar opens the Big Lyrics/Karaoke window. The font and colors are
selectable, you can show or hide the chords, and words highlight as the music plays.
206
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Lead Sheet Notation Window
The Lead Sheet Notation window displays a full page of notation with lots of options such as a selectable number of
staves per page, clefs to show, font size, margins, scroll-ahead notation, and lyrics. You can set it to a big font size
and read the notation from across the room. Since the notation scrolls ahead, you can read ahead without waiting for
a page turn.
Launching the Lead Sheet Window
You can launch the Lead Sheet window from the main screen by pressing the [Lead Sheet] button (or
Alt+W).
The Lead Sheet window is also accessible from the Standard Notation window.
During playback, red rectangles highlight the current bar. If the bar is empty (or in Fake Sheet mode), the Lead
Sheet will still outline the bar in red.
Multiple Tracks of Notation
Multiple tracks of notation can be viewed together in the Lead Sheet window. To select tracks, hold down the Ctrl
key and click on the part buttons at the top of the screen in the order that the tracks should appear from top to
bottom. For example, clicking on [M], and then on [P] and [B] with the Ctrl key held down would display and print
the multi-stave staff system shown. Multiple tracks can also be printed like a score.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
207
Band-in-a-Box Lead Sheet Notation window displaying multiple parts.
Multiple lines of Lyrics on Fake Sheet.
If your song has 1st and 2nd endings or multiple verses of lyrics, multi-line lyrics can be displayed, so you will see
all verses on the same fake sheet. Load in the song c:\bb\ Tutorial - BB 2005\Listen Multi-line lyrics Demo.MGU.
Open the Lead Sheet and select “Fake Sheet Mode.”
This song has a 1st/2nd ending entered, with separate lyrics for each ending. Multiple lines of lyrics will also appear
if there are lyrics in multiple verses (choruses).
In the Notation Window Options, “Lyric Position” allows you to
vertically position the height of the lyrics.
208
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Lead Sheet “Lyric Text Block”
A large text block can now be appended to the Lead Sheet window and printout. This is ideal for song
lyrics that you want entered as a text entry appended to the end, multiple verses of lyrics, or any other text.
Open the Lead Sheet window and select the [Memo] button to launch the Lead Sheet Memo.
The memo will be automatically positioned after the end of the lead sheet and printout. Use extra blank lines in the
Lead Sheet Memo to control where it displays on the page.
There is an option to print the Lead Sheet memo on a new page of the printout.
Press the [Choose Font] button to select the font you would like for the memo.
A text block will be appended to the Lead Sheet window and printout. This could be song lyrics that you want
appended to the end, multiple verses of lyrics, or any other text.
Printing
Click on the [Print] button in either the Notation window or the Lead Sheet window to print your song as
sheet music. This launches the [Print Options] dialog with a full range of options including “Number of Copies” to
print and “Print Range.” The options are fully described in the online Help and in the Notation chapter of this
manual.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
209
The [OK –Preview/Graphics] button opens the Preview window.
In this screen the notation can be saved as a graphics file to be imported to a document or uploaded to an Internet
page. Choose the file type that you'd like to save to. If you want an exact rendition of the screen, choose MONO
BMP, since bitmap files are saved without any loss of quality. If you want a smaller file of your composition for
Internet use, choose a format like JPG, or PNG. These are smaller, because they compress the data, with some loss
of quality.
To save a JPG file, press the [OK -Preview/Graphics] and [Save…] buttons and then select “Save to
File Type: JPG.” You can then see the estimated size of the file, and can change settings by pressing the
Low/Medium/High resolution buttons.
210
Chapter 6: Making Songs
The notation can also be copied as a bitmap to the Windows clipboard and then pasted into any
application. This is done by clicking on the [Clipbd] button in the Preview screen.
To print a specific page, press the [Print Page] button.
Print to PDF
You can save your printouts directly as a PDF file. From the Print dialog, press [Print to PDF].
This opens a Save As dialog for the Pdf995 printer driver. Choose a location for your file and
assign a name to the PDF, then press [Save] to create a fully portable file that you can view, print, post, or upload.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
211
Multi-Channel Notation (Sequencer Mode)
Normally you would want a single part on the Melody and Soloist tracks. But, since MIDI information can have
separate channels, it is possible to store 16 separate parts on each of the Melody and Soloist parts. When one of
these tracks has been set to “Multi (16)-Channel” we refer to this as sequencer mode.
Now, when you are in this multi-channel mode, output from the Melody/Soloist part will be on whatever MIDI
channel the information is stored on, and will not be using the Melody/Soloist MIDI channel.
If you open on the Lead Sheet window, you will see the entire MIDI file displayed on separate tracks of
notation. This is likely “too much information” to read, unless you are a symphony conductor.
To customize the notation display for sequencer mode, press the [Opt.] button on the Lead Sheet window
toolbar and see the settings for Multi-Channel Track display.
Note: These settings are only visible when the track type for the
Melody or Soloist is set to Multi (16) – Channel.
Select “CUSTOM channels play/display” and press the [Set…] button to launch the Sequencer Window (Multichannel track on Melody/Soloist) dialog. Then you can customize which channels will play and display.
This dialog can also be opened by clicking on the [SEQ] toolbar button on the main screen.
212
Chapter 6: Making Songs
In the example picture, we have set Channel 2 (Bass) and Channel 4 (Trumpet) to show on the notation, and have set
all of the channels to play (to hear them).
For a specific channel, (e.g. channel 3: piano), we see the following information.
Channel 3: Acoustic Piano (this is the patch name found on the track).
842: There are 842 events in the track; usually every note is an event.
We have customized the piano track so that it can be heard (play=true), but not seen in notation (Show=false).
There is a small button at the right of the track line that
allows you to delete, rechannel or merge the channel
with another channel.
You can also change the patch (instrument) for that track
by using the instrument patch combo box.
Now that we’ve customized the display, we are seeing bass and trumpet on the notation, and hearing the entire track.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
213
Digital Audio Features
There is a File | Open Audio command, to open WAV,
WMA, MP3, WMV, or CD Audio files. Once opened, you can play the audio track along with a Band-in-a-Box
song.
Open an MP3/WAV/WMA or audio CD track, and play back at 1/2, 1/4, or 1/8 speed without affecting pitch. This
is great for transcribing or analyzing audio. To play it at a slower speed, choose the desired speed on the Play |
Tempo menu.
Audio Chord Wizard (Chords from MP3)
This amazing wizard automatically figures out the chords from any MP3, WAV, or WMA (Windows
Media Audio) file and displays them in Band-in-a-Box. Just load in any MP3 file and you will
instantly see the chords. Using the Audio Chord Wizard is a great way to learn and practice popular
songs as you play along and see the chords.
Chord Sheet Overview
There’s a chord sheet window in the Audio Chord Wizard that shows the chords for the whole song on a single
screen. This allows you to click on a bar on the chord sheet to jump to that area of the song.
You can mark sections of the song using part markers, and the sections will begin on a new line with a line space
between so they are clearly seen. So you can then also learn the form of the song, as you can see the various
sections (intro/verse/chorus/break) at a glance, or quickly jump to the any section simply by double clicking on that
part of the chord sheet.
214
Chapter 6: Making Songs
If we want to renumber the bars, right-click on the waveform timeline at the place that you would like to be bar 1,
and choose “Set Bar One.”
To change the # of bars per row, or rows per screen, right-click on the chord sheet.
The +/- buttons at the bottom right of the window also change the row height.
Chords may be edited in the Audio Chord Wizard with a right mouse click on the
chord. When Edit Chord is selected, a highlight cell opens at the chord location.
Type in the name of the new chord using standard Band-in-a-Box chord entry
characters and press the Enter key to make the edit.
The edited chord name is blue in color.
Individual edits can be removed with the Remove Chord Edit command, or all edits in the song can be removed with
the Remove All Chord Edits command. Part markers, chord symbols, key signature, and tuning setting are saved in
Band-in-a-Box, and are passed back and forth to the Chord Wizard.
As well as the chords of the song, the Audio Chord Wizard also figures out,
- the tempo of the file,
- bar lines throughout the song,
- fine tuning detection (e.g. 5 cents sharp from A440).
Note: Audio Chord Wizard estimates the chord progression of an audio file. It is NOT an Audio-to-MIDI transcriber, which would
be a much more elaborate program.
The digital audio capability offered in Band-in-a-Box enables you to combine MIDI music with live digital audio
recordings of voice and live instruments in a fully produced arrangement.
It also offers the ability to render a MIDI or MIDI+AUDIO composition into a single digital audio wave file. This
file can then be converted into a CD-Audio or streaming Internet audio file.
Digital audio features are fully described in the Working With Audio chapter.
Record a Vocal or Any Live Instrument
To start recording audio, plug your instrument or microphone into the computer’s sound card. The Line Out from
electronic instruments or amplifiers can be plugged directly into the Line In jack. To record your voice, or an
acoustic instrument such as a flute, plug a microphone into the Mic jack.
Open the Record Audio dialog with the [Record Audio] button. This dialog lets you set the parameters
for the recording session.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
215
You can adjust recording levels from this dialog with the [Set Recording Properties] button.
Once you have set the recording properties and tested the recording input levels, recording is easy. Simply tell
Band-in-a-Box the place in the song where you want to start recording, whether or not you want to record the MIDI
data along with your acoustic instrument, and press [Record]. If you choose to start recording from the beginning
of the song, Band-in-a-Box will start with a lead-in count before the music starts playing. If you are starting from
elsewhere in the song recording starts instantly.
Punch-In Recording
Punch-in audio recording allows you to punch-in record or overdub a section of audio. You can hear the existing
audio part when you are overdubbing.
To select a punch-in range, open the Audio Edit window and highlight the punch-in section. The highlighted range
will set the From: and Thru: values for Punch-In Record.
Press the Esc key or click on [Stop] to stop recording. Band-in-a-Box will prompt you to keep the take or take
again.
When you get a take you like, press the [OK – Keep Take] button to save your recording. Use the Options to
record one Chorus and then copy it to the whole song, to overdub underlying audio on the track, and to retain audio
past the new take just recorded (punch out).
216
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Add Audio Harmonies
You can apply a harmony to the audio part – allowing you to automatically create up to 4 part vocal harmonies from
your singing. And don’t worry if your singing is not in perfect tune, Band-in-a-Box can now “fix” vocals to the
correct pitch - automatically! Band-in-a-Box generates the harmonies using the world-leading TC-Helicon Vocal
Technologies engine.
Once you have recorded a vocal part into Band-in-a-Box, you can use this feature in many ways, including:
- Record yourself singing into a Band-in-a-Box file. Create a vocal harmony for part or all of the song by selecting
a Band-in-a-Box harmony and choosing the Generate Audio Harmonies option (Harmony | Audio Harmonies &
Pitch Tracking or Audio | Audio Harmonies & Pitch Tracking). You can then hear yourself singing in perfect
harmony!
- Did you hit a few “out-of-tune” notes when you recorded your singing to Band-in-a-Box? Fixing your “out-oftune” singing is easy, by instructing the program to correct the pitches to the Melody track.
- When you’ve recorded your singing voice, in addition to harmony voices, you can add unison voices that “fatten”
your sound. Each unison voice can have different vibrato and pitch characteristics.
- Each harmony voice can have up to 4 “choir” voices, duplicated and shifted slightly in time, pitch and more to
create an authentic, full choir sound. Create a 16 voice choir from your single vocal performance!
Audio Reverb
The Audio Reverb control for individual tracks with RealTracks or RealDrums lets you easily add reverb (0 to 127)
for any RealTrack. The reverb type is also settable, and saved with the song.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
217
Each track in the Mixer has its own Reverb fader. It is adjusted by sliding it with the
mouse. The Reverb level is shown in the box to the right of the fader.
Hold the [Ctrl] key down as you click on the track slider, or drag the thumb of the slider. This will force all tracks to
move to the same absolute location as the original track. Hold the [Shift] key and it will move all tracks relative to
the move of the original track.
There is a bass/treble Tone control for individual tracks, so you can easily adjust the bass/treble EQ for any track.
The control operates by holding down the left mouse button on the Tone box. An up/down arrow will
appear. Keeping the left mouse button depressed, slide the mouse to adjust the tone from -18
(maximum bass) to +18 (maximum treble). Default is 0.
Audio Reverb and Tone can be set by clicking on the Audio label to open the
Audio Track dialog.
For Audio track rendering, reverb is added to the mix if there is reverb set for the Audio
track.
More Audio Effects
You can add professional audio effects like reverb, echo, and compression by
choosing a plug-in from the Audio menu (Audio | Plug-in). Band-in-a-Box
comes with a large selection of high quality audio effects built-in, and DirectX
plug-ins are supported.
The plug-ins apply audio effects or utilities such as compression to the already recorded audio part. A typical plugin dialog is shown. The [Preview] button will play a short sample of the processed track, and the Edit | Undo
command will restore the original track if applied before another edit is performed.
218
Chapter 6: Making Songs
The Medley Maker
Would you like Band-in-a-Box to make a medley of various Band-in-a-Box songs (MGU)? This is easily done with
the Medley Maker. Inside the Medley Maker, simply select the songs that you want, and Band-in-a-Box will make
the medley for you.
To open the Medley Maker, click on the [Song Form] menu button on the Tools toolbar and select
Medley Maker in the menu, or choose File | Medley Maker.
A medley is not simply joining songs together. A good medley uses a “transition” area between songs to introduce
the new style, key, and tempo. The Medley Maker automatically creates a nice transition area for you, writing in
chords that would smoothly modulate to the next song, style, key, and tempo!
To make a medley,
- add songs by pressing the [Append] or [Insert] button.
- remove songs using [Delete].
- change the order of the songs using [Move Up], [Move Down].
- for any song, customize using the “Settings for this song” group box, including changing the style, tempo, key,
start bar, # of bars, and # of transition bars. Press [Update] after customizing to see your changes in the medley
list.
- choose the type of information to include with your medley (styles, key signature changes, lyrics, etc.) in the
“Include with Songs” group box
- choose a number of transition bars (the default is 4). Transition bars are automatic bars of chords inserted by
Band-in-a-Box to transition from one song to the other, generating an “outro” and an “intro” between songs.
Press the [Make Medley NOW] button to generate a medley.
The maximum size of the medley is 255 bars (about 7 minutes).
Chapter 6: Making Songs
219
The current size and time of your medley is displayed in the Length label.
You can have multiple choruses, so if you had 3 choruses of a 250 bar medley, it would
last 750 bars.
Tip: Your medley will use RealDrums if you have RealDrums enabled. If so, you should keep the various tempos of the songs
within a close range. Because the quality of the RealDrums stretching would go down if a song in the medley had a much lower
tempo than the previous one, it is tempos that slow down to avoid.
Saving Songs
Once you have made a song (or have made changes to a song), you will probably want to save the song
by clicking on the [Save] button. Or choose Save from the File menu, or press F2, or Ctrl+S.
Use [Save As] to save a song with a different name or in a different location (Songs that are “Saved As”
with a different name have the new name added to the Recently Played song dialog.) The [Save As]
button menu includes additional options for saving a song.
Save Song with Patches & Harmony (Alt+F2) allows you to save a song with custom patch selections plus volume,
reverb, bank, harmony, soloist and RealDrums. You can also choose to freeze tracks when saved. See the following
topic, Saving Song Settings.
Songs will always be saved with last file extension letter of “U,” regardless of whether they are made with a built-in
style or not. For example, if you make a song with ZZJAZZ.STY as the style (one of the 24 built-in styles) early
versions of BB would save the song as MySong.MG1, where the “1” indicates Style #1 – ZZJAZZ. Now it is saved
as MySong.MGU. Older songs loaded in with .MG1 will still be re-saved as MG1 to prevent duplicate song files.
Note: Make sure you remember to save your songs as Band-in-a-Box song files (not only as MIDI files). The Band-in-a-Box
song files contain the names of the chords, etc. and are much smaller than MIDI files.
If you have an audio file associated with the song, the audio portion will be saved separately, and will be called
MySong.WAV.
Saving Song Settings
By default, all settings are saved with songs unless the “Save all Settings with Songs” box is unchecked (off) in the
Assign Instruments and Harmonies to Song dialog (Alt+F2 or File | Save Song with Patches & Harmony).
This includes RealTracks, RealDrums, and RealTracks solos as well as Patches, Volume, Audio and MIDI Reverb,
Tone, Panning, Bank, Harmony (both Melody and Thru), and the Soloist.
If you have some custom items that you don’t want to save with the song you can uncheck the “Save all Settings”
box and use this dialog to save only the settings you want to keep.
220
Chapter 6: Making Songs
To save certain patches with a song:
a) Choose the patch (instrument) that you would like from the dropdown patch list. Leave the other instruments at
= 0 for no patch change. Remember that the General MIDI numbering system is always used for instruments.
or
b) Press the [Fill w/Patches] button. This will fill the patch number boxes with the current patch settings showing
on your main screen instrument panel.
Use the checkboxes to choose which instruments you would like to save and whether you would like to save the
Melody and Thru harmony assignments and the Soloist selected to play on the song. You can also save the
instruments as “On” or “Off” for each song. For example, you could have a song with no piano part.
Tip: You can optionally save these kinds of settings with your songs for added realism. You can, for example, make a song with
the piano a little quieter than usual, or add reverb to the melody patch, or pan the bass to one side, etc.
Use the “Frozen” checkbox to put the track into a frozen state where it gets saved with the specific arrangement and
won’t be overwritten by Band-in-a-Box. You can still edit the frozen tracks.
Select the “For this song only, force MIDI drums” checkbox if you always want MIDI drums, not RealDrums, used
with the song.
Select “For this song only, use this RealDrum style” to assign a specific RealDrums style to your song. Press the
[RD] button to choose the RealDrums style.
This dialog is usually used in combination with and not instead of saving a song. To save a song with this
embedded information to your hard drive, you therefore:
1. Choose File | Save with Patches and Harmony (Alt+F2).
2. Choose the patch and other settings that you want to embed.
3. Press the [Save] button to save the song to disk.
Note that if you have set a MIDI patch for one of the instrument parts (bass/drums/piano/guitar/strings) and you load
in another style, Band-in-a-Box will overwrite your patches with the style patches. If it didn’t do that, you would be
stuck with the same patches regardless of the style. So if you want a certain patch for a track, set it after you have
loaded in the style that you want.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
221
Saving Frozen Tracks
Any track can be frozen (MIDI or RealTrack). When frozen, it won’t get changed or re-generated. This saves time
when replaying previous songs, and allows you to freeze an arrangement that you like. If you freeze the whole song,
you don’t have to wait at all for the song to regenerate. Next time you play, it is ready to go.
All tracks can be edited and saved. MIDI tracks for bass, drums, piano, guitar and strings can be edited, and saved
with the file. If you freeze a track, edits can be still made to it, because it is only frozen from Band-in-a-Box making
changes to it (you can still edit it), so that the MIDI track will be saved to the file. So you can customize the bass
part to match a certain song, and save it with a frozen bass part, so that Band-in-a-Box won’t overwrite your edits.
This includes RealCharts – if you wanted to edit the notation of a RealTracks solo for example.
To edit a MIDI track (bass, drums, piano, guitar, strings), or the MIDI part of a RealTracks that has a RealChart
(MIDI transcribed solo), simply open up the Notation window or Piano Roll window and click on the track and edit
it. Make sure to Freeze the track by pressing the Freeze button and choosing Freeze for that track, or right-clicking
on the instrument at the top of the screen and choosing Freeze. Now your edited tracks will save with the song.
Email Song as Attachments
You can email a song (.MGU or .SGU), style (.STY and .STX) or rendered audio file (m4a, wma, wav, or mp3) as
attachments.
Press the [Save As] button and choose Email song file(s) as attachment(s) to open the Email Song dialog.
The dialog allows you to choose what files you want to email:
- the song (.MGU or .SGU)
- the style (.STY and .STX)
- a rendered audio file (choice of m4a, wma, wav, mp3)
Saving as Video and Upload to YouTube
You can save your song as a video that you can upload to YouTube or work with in video programs. The “video”
portion is the Chord Sheet in Band-in-a-Box that shows the chords and a highlighted bar moving as the song plays.
Song title and song info displays at the top of the window. For example, you can make a backing track for a cool
chord progression, and upload it to YouTube for others to play along to. Do a visual transpose and upload a second
version for Bb tenor sax players.
To use this feature, press the [Save as] button and choose Save as Video from the pulldown menu.
Enable “Custom dimensions” if you want to choose the width and height of the video. If this is disabled, the video
dimensions will match the Chord Sheet as it appears.
222
Chapter 6: Making Songs
If “Include Title” is enabled, the video will have a black bar at the top containing the title shown below.
The “Scroll Ahead” option makes the Chord Sheet scroll so the bar that is currently playing will always be at the
top of the video (i.e., more bars ahead will be visible).
Click on the [OK - Render Video] button to start rendering the video.
Saving MIDI and Karaoke Files
Your Band-in-a-Box songs can be saved as Type 0 and Type 1 MIDI files as well as Karaoke files and
General MIDI lyrics. Click on the [.MID] button or press [F6] key to launch the dialog.
Select the type of MIDI file you want to save in the dropdown “MIDI File type” combo box.
By default, Band-in-a-Box writes Type 1 multiple track Standard MIDI Files. You can also save Type 0 MIDI files,
they have all of the parts on a single track and are used by many hardware modules and other devices that play MIDI
files because they are simpler to play (since they only have 1 track).
Karaoke files (.KAR) are a special type of sing-along MIDI file with text events for the lyrics and a specific order
for the tracks. There is an option to write the MIDI file with separate tracks for each drum instrument. In the “MIDI
File type” combo box select “Drums on separate tracks.”
MIDI File Options
Use this button to set custom MIDI file settings in the MIDI file options dialog. This dialog is
also available from the [MIDI File] button in the Preferences dialog (Opt. | Preferences).
Chapter 6: Making Songs
223
Include Patch Changes in MIDI files will include the patch (instrument) changes.
Include Part Marker text markers writes descriptive text part markers to the MIDI file if selected. If “Include
Part Marker text markers” is selected the resulting MIDI file will have text markers. Then, in PowerTracks Pro
Audio or RealBand (in the Bars window) you will see the descriptive text markers.
For example, at bar 3, there is an “A, Chorus 1” marker, to indicate a part marker “a” substyle and chorus 1. Text
markers are also read in from MIDI files, and displayed as Section Markers on the Notation.
Include 2 bar lead-in in MIDI file
If you don't want to create a MIDI file containing the first 2 bars of the 1—2—1-2-3-4 count-in you can select this
option. If there is a Melody pickup, then the 2 bar lead-in will remain in the file.
Write Lyrics in General MIDI format
The GM specification has agreed upon specific requirements for writing lyrics in MIDI files, which are supported,
so that lyrics that you save in Band-in-a-Box should show up identically in other MIDI programs. This is one of the
MIDI File options in the Preferences dialog. We recommend the GM format.
224
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Write Section Text as Text Events
Your section text can be included in the MIDI file as text events.
Include Volume/Reverb/Chorus/Panning
This will include the volume, reverb, chorus, and panning settings that you have made in the Band-in-a-Box synth
window in your MIDI file.
Include Forced Channel Meta Event
This will include the forced channel META event. It is recognized by PowerTracks Pro Audio and other PG Music
Inc. programs only.
Include Guitar Position Controller
This will insert a controller 84 which PG Music uses to indicate the fret position. Since some synths also use this
for Portamento Control, you should use this setting with caution.
Write Soloist Part On Channel 5
Normally the program writes the Soloist part on channel 8. Since that could also mean the left hand of a piano track
using the convention of channel 8/9 for piano, this option allows you to write it on channel 5 instead.
Write Harmony To MIDI File
If set to YES, the harmony will be written to the MIDI file. If not, just the melody will be written to the MIDI file.
MIDI File Harmony on separate tracks
If set to YES, the harmony will be written to the MIDI file on separate tracks for each voice. You could use this to
print out individual parts to your printer for example.
Write Guitar part on 6 channels
If set to YES, the styles that are Intelligent Guitar Styles will result in a MIDI file that has the Guitar part written on
6 channels (11-16). Then, when you read it in PowerTracks, or another sequencer that uses the convention of 11-16
for guitar strings, the guitar part will display correctly.
For partial range MIDI files, chop off sustaining notes at end turns off notes that would be “hung” because their
associated Note Off event does not fall within the range of bars saved to the MIDI file.
If song has RealDrums
Also generate MIDI Drums in the MIDI file can be unchecked if your song uses RealDrums and you don’t want
MIDI drums included in the MIDI file.
Also generate RealDrums in xxxx_RealDrums.WAV file saves the RealDrums (which are audio) as a separate
wave file. This allows you to easily import the entire Band-in-a-Box song into another program for editing.
Set range of bars for MIDI files
When making a MIDI file, you can select a range of bars to be included. Highlight
any range of bars, and the MIDI file will be made for just that range.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
225
For example, you could select Chorus #2 if that is the chorus that you want.
The resultant MIDI file will be made from the selected range.
Alternatively, without selecting a range on the Chord Sheet, you can make a MIDI file for a
partial range by pressing the MIDI file button, and then the “Set Range” button.
Batch convert a folder of songs to MIDI files
You can convert an entire folder of Band-in-a-Box songs to MIDI files with a single command and choose the
resultant file names to be based on either the file name or the song title name.
Press the [Batch mode] button in the MIDI file dialog to access this feature.
Save Options
[File on Disk] saves a MIDI file to your hard drive or floppy disk. You can then load the
MIDI file into your sequencer for further editing.
[Clipboard] copies the MIDI file to the Windows Clipboard as a Standard MIDI File. This
feature allows clipboard enabled programs to Edit | Paste the Band-in-a-Box MIDI file
directly into the program. For example, you can clipboard-paste Band-in-a-Box MIDI data to PowerTracks Pro
Audio, CakeWalk, Musicator, etc.
The Melody/Soloist (with harmonies) will be written to the MIDI file. If you’ve set a Melody or Soloist/Thru
Harmony, that MIDI data will be written to the MIDI file also. See the settings in the Opt | Preferences dialog to
control how the harmony is written to a MIDI file.
The Chord Sheet part markers are written to the MIDI files. They can be read by PowerTracks Pro Audio and by
Band-in-a-Box if re-importing the MIDI file with the Chord Wizard.
Recording to External Hardware Sequencers
Many people use Band-in-a-Box in live situations. If you are unable to bring your computer with you, a good
alternative is a hardware sequencer or a keyboard with a built-in sequencers that reads Standard MIDI Files. To
transfer songs to the Sound Brush, follow these simple steps:
- Make a MIDI file of the song by pressing the button.
- Either save the file directly to a floppy disk or copy it to the floppy from your hard drive.
- The Sound Brush is then able to read the IBM formatted disk with MIDI files on it.
MGX Files
When a MIDI file is loaded onto the Melody (or Soloist) track, the Track Type for the Melody (or Soloist) gets set to
Multi-Track. When the file is saved, the extension will be MGX, allowing you to easily identify the Band-in-a-Box
songs that you have that contain entire MIDI files.
226
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Saving Audio Files
If you have recorded an acoustic instrument, Band-in-a-Box can render the MIDI data to an audio file and merge it
with your live audio recording to produce a complete digital audio file.
Press the [.WAV] button and choose the menu command Save all tracks as WAV file (with options).
This will open the Render to Audio File dialog.
This dialog permits you to save your file as a wave file (*.wav), a Windows Media Audio (*.wma) file, or other
compressed audio formats supported by your system. Note that the MP4 and M4A options require Apple
QuickTime for Windows, version 7.6 or higher, available from www.apple.com.
You can direct render “MIDI only” songs into high quality wave files with the included Coyote WT softsynths, or
with any other DXi or VST softsynth you have.
The MIDI parts are converted directly to audio without being rendered (recorded) in real time, usually in just a few
seconds.
If “Include ACID info” option is enabled, the ACID information such as tempo, root note, and whether the file
should be tempo stretched and transposed will be written to the WAV file.
Use the Batch feature to convert an entire folder of Band-in-a-Box songs to audio files. There is an
option to name the resultant audio files based either on the original file name or the song title name.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
227
Another option resets the DXi synth after each render. This ensures that no audio (stuck notes etc.) from the
previous file is retained.
Frozen Tracks
Any track can be frozen (MIDI or RealTrack). When frozen, it won’t get changed or re-generated. This saves time
when replaying previous songs, and allows you to freeze an arrangement that you like. If you freeze the whole song,
you don’t have to wait at all for the song to regenerate. Next time you play, it is ready to go.
Save Track as Performance
This feature takes “freezing” a track one step further, and saves the audio itself. So you can send your Band-in-aBox song to your friend, who will be able to play that track without needing to have the RealTracks installed.
To save the track, right-click on the instrument radio button and select
Save Track as Performance File. You have a choice of a WAV file or a
WMA file. When you choose, the track will be rendered to
c:\bb\<Song Title><track name (e.g. Bass).WAV or .WMA.
Use the “Erase Performance Track” command to remove the Performance Track.
Technical Note: A Performance Track can be made by simply making an audio file (WAV, WMA) and naming it the same as the
song, but with the track name (Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar, Strings, Melody, Soloist) added.
For example, if the song is MySong.mgu, you put a file named MySong
Melody.wma in the same folder, and that will be a performance track on the Melody
track.
SoundCloud.com
SoundCloud.com integration lets you upload your compositions easily to the SoundCloud.com service.
SoundCloud.com is a popular web service (unaffiliated with PG Music) that lets users upload their original songs for
others to hear.
Press the [.WAV] button to see the menu that includes the SoundCloud option to send the whole song to
SoundCloud.com.
228
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Or choose main menu item File | Send song to SoundCloud.com. If you want to send a single track, drag that track
from the instrument radio button to the Drop button and then right-click on the [Drop] button to choose Send File(s)
To SoundCloud.
Your song will get uploaded in the audio format that you choose (M4A, MP4, WMA, WAV, MP3).
Saving to SoundCloud also saves a permanent copy of the file in the \bb\SoundCloud folder with the name <Song
Title>_ToSoundCloud.wma.
Note: You need to have a SoundCloud account, and follow the terms of service of the SoundCloud site.
Save your Configuration
The [Prefs] button opens the Preferences dialog, which allows you to set the program settings that are
saved in the Band-in-a-Box for Windows configuration file called INTRFACE.BBW. The various
Preferences are described in detail in the Reference chapter.
Custom Preferences
You can save and load custom preferences files with your current settings saved and restored. For example, you can
have a preference that remembers a certain group of songs, notation transpositions, etc.
The Opt. | Return to Factory Settings menu command saves preferences to disk, so that the settings can be restored
at any time.
Choose the menu item Opt. | Save Preferences As to save a configuration or Options | Open Preference to load a
saved configuration.
Burn Your Own Audio-CD
You can burn your Band-in-a-Box composition directly to an audio CD that will play in any standard CD player.
To burn your CD:
Press the [.WAV] button to open the Render to Audio File window. Then press the [Burn to Audio
CD] button. This renders the file to a stereo wave file, and then launches MiniBurn, the built-in CD
burner application in Band-in-a-Box. The song just rendered will be listed in the burn list.
You can add other files to the list to make up a full CD, or choose
[Burn CD No Finalize] to allow other files to be burned to the CD later. The CD will not be playable until finalized.
Note: This feature uses your computer’s CD or DVD drive. If your drive is not recognized by MiniBurn you may need to
download and install the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s web site. As an alternative, you can always burn the rendered
Band-in-a-Box file to disc using the software supplied with your CD/DVD drive or with Windows Media Player.
Chapter 6: Making Songs
229
Congratulations!
You have been through the full process of song production in Band-in-a-Box.
You can now produce a complete song in Band-in-a-Box with a melody, solo, and harmonies plus RealDrums and
RealTracks and your own audio track with harmonies and professional effects.
You can print out beautiful notation in a professional “handwritten” Jazz font, complete with chord symbols, lyrics
and your own text markers and annotations. And you can save your song in various MIDI and audio formats for
playback from your computer, over the Internet, or from an audio CD.
You are ready for endless hours of fun and great music with Band-in-a-Box.
230
Chapter 6: Making Songs
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
RealTracks
What are RealTracks?
RealTracks create Band-in-a-Box tracks with live audio recordings of top studio musicians and recording artists.
These tracks take the place of the MIDI track for that instrument, but can still be controlled just like the MIDI
instrument (volume changes, muting, etc.). Best of all, they follow the chord progression that you have entered, so
that you hear an authentic audio accompaniment to your song.
RealTracks are not “samples,” but are full recordings, lasting from 1 to 8 bars at a time, playing along in perfect
sync with the other Band-in-a-Box tracks. There are many Band-in-a-Box styles that use RealTracks, and they can
be built into any style to replace the Bass, Guitar, Piano, or Strings part. They can also be generated to the Soloist
(or Melody) track using the Soloist feature and saved with the song.
Band-in-a-Box Pro includes a selection of RealTracks combos for Pop, Jazz, and Country.
More RealTracks
There are hundreds of RealTracks available, either as separate add-ons, or bundled into the various Band-in-a-Box
PAKs for better value. To see which RealTracks you have, visit the (main menu) Opt. | What add-ons do I have?
dialog. This will list the RealTracks sets that you have. This feature is also available from the Help menu.
When a song is loaded, played or saved, a yellow hint message will appear if any RealTracks are missing, listing the
files that are missing.
RealTracks Settings
Ctrl+click on the [RealTracks] toolbar button to go directly to the RealTracks Settings dialog, or
Shift+click to open the RealTracks Picker. A single click on this button opens a menu with selections
for the RealTracks Picker Dialog, the RealTracks Preferences (RealTracks Settings dialog), an option
to Select better RealTracks for this tempo for the Bass, Piano, Guitar, and Strings parts if there are any
available, and options for replacing MIDI styles with RealTracks.
The RealTracks Settings dialog can also be accessed by selecting the [RealTracks] button
from the Preferences dialog.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
231
In the RealTracks Settings dialog, you can enable/disable the RealTracks feature.
RealCharts (notation from some RealTracks)
Most RealTracks now display notation, i.e. RealCharts, showing the notes that are being played. Some Guitar
RealTracks also show tablature and an accurate on-screen fretboard guitar display to show what is being played on
guitar.
To see which instruments have RealCharts, visit the Assign RealTracks to Tracks dialog and sort column 11,
“Chart.” Instruments with an “N” or “Gt” in this column have RealCharts.
- Instruments with “Gt” in the Chart column have RealCharts with accurate guitar tab and on-screen guitar fretboard
display.
- If the instrument is Acoustic Piano and there is an “N” in the Chart column, the instrument has a Jazz piano
RealChart. RealTracks piano parts that are on the piano track will appear with the right and left hands split in
notation.
- The various other instruments with an “N” (Pedal Steel, Slide Guitar, Resophonic, Trumpet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax)
have RealCharts in standard notation.
At the top of the screen, if a track has RealTracks, but is NOT a RealCharts track, then the track
name is green.
Real Instrument charts: If a track has a RealChart, the track name is green and underlined with a
short line.
RealGuitar charts: If a track has RealChart, and is a guitar track with accurate tab and on-screen
guitar fretboard display, then it is green and underlined with a long line.
The RealCharts can be saved to MIDI files or with Band-in-a-Box songs (MGU).
RealCharts are optional and are selected in the
RealTracks Settings dialog.
 “Show RealCharts notation from styles and songs” will show RealCharts that have been generated from styles
or songs stored with RealTracks.
232
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
 “Show RealCharts notation for Soloists” will show RealCharts that have been generated from the Select Soloist
dialog.
 “Save RealCharts in MIDI files” will save the RealChart to a MIDI track so you can analyze it in other
programs.
 “Save RealCharts in BB Songs (MGU)” will save the RealChart MIDI information to the MGU file.
RealTracks Folder
The RealTracks styles are stored in c:\bb\RealTracks (assuming that c:\bb is your Band-in-a-Box folder).
You can choose an alternate location by pressing on the folder button and picking an alternate folder.
Then, click on the [Update] button to confirm the new location.
You don’t need to visit this folder when using RealTracks; it is used internally by Band-in-a-Box, so you shouldn’t
add or remove files from this RealTracks folder unless you “know what you’re doing.”
If Band-in-a-Box cannot find your RealTracks folder a yellow hint message appears at boot up to alert you to that,
and tells you how to fix it: “Note: You have RealTracks installed, but none are found in your RealTracks folder.
You should point to your correct RealTracks folder.
Applying RealTracks Settings
You can apply an overall Volume Adjust to the RealTracks. If they are too loud
overall, try a Global Volume Adjust of about -10 dB.
“Allow soloing to crescendo” can be applied to some RealTracks to have the intensity
of the solo building up, with the flashiest part of the solos playing as the solo builds.
If you have similar RealTracks available at different tempos,
Band-in-a-Box will automatically choose the best one to use. For example, if you have a ballad loaded, with an
Acoustic Bass RealTracks at tempo of 60, and you speed up the tempo to 140, and press [Play], Band-in-a-Box will
automatically choose an Acoustic Bass RealTracks closer to tempo of 140, if it is the same genre and feel. This
means you can use a simple Jazz style, and play it at various tempos, without having to set the best RealTracks
based on tempos.
For example, if we load in a Ballad Jazz style like
_BALFRED.STY, we can see that the name of the
Bass RealTracks style has a tilde (~) symbol at the
beginning.
That indicates that it could be changed to a different RealTracks style at a higher tempo.
Now let’s increase the tempo of the song to a higher
tempo, like 115. We will see that the name of the
RealTracks instrument switches to one that is
suitable for a tempo=110. So when you press play,
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
233
you will hear the RealTracks closest to your tempo, without having to do anything to make this happen.
The default for the tempo swapping feature for RealTracks is “true.” (It was originally false.) There is an option in
the RealTracks Settings dialog to disable automatic tempo swapping. When automatic RealTracks substitution is
disabled (unchecked) the “Show message when better RT are available at this tempo” setting will be turned on.
A yellow message appears if RealTracks are selected, but better RealTracks are available for the current tempo.
You can then substitute them by pressing the RealTracks toolbar button and then clicking on Select better
RealTracks for this tempo.
The Tempo Swapping (TS) column of the RealTracks Assign dialog shows which RealTracks are eligible for
Tempo Swapping. The tempo swapping only occurs if you have the RealTracks in your installation.
This “speed up” feature works automatically and uses
CPU resources during playback. If you have a multi-core machine, you may not notice this at all, since it will use
different cores than the main Band-in-a-Box thread. If you have an older machine, low on memory, slow hard drive
etc., or notice audio glitches during playback you can disable this feature to ensure that your machine is doing less
CPU work.
This improves the quality of tempo and pitch
stretching by a small amount. You can set this if you have a fast computer and are not hearing stuttering sounds
during playback.
This setting is normally left off, but enable it if you have
a slower machine.
4-bar endings allow time for a natural decay of the instruments. By “4bar-endings” we are referring to a 2-bar ending that has an additional two bars to allow for the natural decay of the
audio instrument (instead of being quickly faded out). 4-bar endings are on by default. You can disable 4-bar
endings globally by leaving this box unchecked or on a song-by-song basis in the Song Settings dialog, Edit |
Settings (for this song).
When this is set, reverb will be added to the RealTracks
and RealDrums.
RealTracks support Shots, Holds, and Pushes. Simply type in the
chords as you normally would, adding periods (…) for shots and holds, and the RealTracks will play them.
Note: You need a Library\Holds folder in your RealTracks folder.
The RealTracks Assign dialog that lists each RealTrack has the last column called “Holds” that
lists whether that RealTrack supports Shots, Holds, and Pushes. If there is a number there
(other than a blank field), then they are all supported.
234
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
If there is an “n” this means that they are supported, but you don’t have the Holds_## files in the
RealTracks\Library\Holds folder.
Assuming that you have the Holds files for the RealTracks that you are generating, then you just use Band-in-a-Box
as you would normally, and type chords with shots (e.g. C.. ), holds (C…), or pushes (^C or ^^C for 8th or 16th note
push), or combinations of push and hold (^C….).
Many Jazz comping styles play triads (instead of 7ths) when simple
triads are entered, instead of “jazzing them up” to 7ths chords. Enable this setting if you prefer to have triads
automatically “jazzed up” when comping using Jazz RealTracks.
If this is set, when an old song with a MIDI style
loads a RealStyle may get substituted automatically, making your songs sound better. You can reverse the
substitution in the RealTracks toolbar menu by selecting Restore Style prior to Style Alias.
When Load/Save VST and FX with Songs is set, songs or styles with VST
synths and FX will have them loaded with the song.
Uncheck to preserve the original levels of the audio, and not reduce it
to match the lower levels of MIDI tracks. This is useful while rendering and transferring files to a DAW.
If you find that RealTracks (other than Drums)
pushes or shots are too loud (soft), then put negative (positive) numbers here. (Note: Drums are set in RealDrums
Settings dialog.)
The [Defaults] button sets RealTracks Settings back to default settings.
The [Demos] button displays a menu of song demos with RealTracks in the
bb\RealTracks – Demos folder.
The [Assign to Track] button launches the Assign RealTracks to Track dialog,
where RealTracks instruments are listed and assigned to Band-in-a-Box tracks.
Save the new settings you have made in this dialog by pressing the [Update Settings] button.
Most changes will take effect the next time you press [Play].
Press the [Erase Un-needed +/- Files] button to erase unneeded files from the
RealTracks folder.
IMPORTANT: If you plan on continuing to use older versions of Band-in-a-Box with the same RealTracks folders, then DON’T
erase these +/- files, because the older versions of Band-in-a-Box still need the larger size RealTracks.
Q. What are RealTracks +/- files?
With RealTracks from Band-in-a-Box 2010 or earlier, we included extra WMA files in the RealTracks folders. These have
transposed versions of the WMA files, which have + or - in the file names. For example, BG057+1.wma would be a +/- file,
whereas BG057.wma would not be one.
We call them RealTracks “+/- files.” They are not included with Band-in-a-Box 2011 because they are not needed and they take
up extra space.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
235
Q. I bought Band-in-a-Box for the first time with version 2011. Do I need to do anything?
No, there are no +/- files included with Band-in-a-Box 2011, so there is nothing to do
Q. I have upgraded to Band-in-a-Box 2011, and have existing RealTracks folders with +/- files. Do I need to do
anything?
You don't need to do anything.
But if you want to save a lot of hard drive space, and you have a newer/faster machine (Vista or W7), you can go to the
RealTracks Settings (Preferences) and click on [Erase Un-needed +/- files] (see details in #2 below). If you have an older/slower
machine, you may want to select the “Use +/- RealTracks for generation (enable on slow machines)” checkbox (see details in
#1below).
Customers with existing RealTracks collections (2010 or earlier) don’t need to do anything, as their existing RealTracks will work.
In summary:
1. If using an older/slower machine (XP):
- In the RealTracks Settings dialog (Preferences), select the “Use +/- RealTracks for generation (enable on slow machines)”
checkbox.
- Don't press the [Erase Un-needed +/- files] button.
2. If using a newer machine (Vista/W7)
- In the RealTracks Settings dialog (Preferences), leave “Use +/- RealTracks for generation (enable on slow machines)”
unchecked. The program won't use them.
- Use the program for a few days, playing all kinds of songs, including ones with lots of RealTracks, and in different keys (e.g.
Gb). If you look at the CPU usage of bbw.exe during playback, you can see how hard your machine is working. If it is less
than 60% CPU use, things are fine.
If you have no playback issues (stuttering, or instruments dropping out during playback), then indeed you do have a “fast
machine,” and can safely press the [Erase Un-needed +/- files] button.
The [Verify] function checks your installation to find if RealTracks are properly
installed, or any files are missing.
1. It checks the Bt0 status of the RealTracks st2, compared to the Bt0 found in the RealTracks folder.
2. It issues error messages if a st2 is found, but not the RealTracks folder.
3. Issues a message if xt2 not found (for a chording RealTracks).
This searches for missing RealTracks ST2/XT2 files in your \bb folder by searching
the parent folder of your RealTracks folder, and if any are found, offers to copy them
to your \bb folder.
Press [OK] to make your selection and exit the RealTracks Settings dialog.
Using RealTracks
There are three ways that you can use RealTracks with Band-in-a-Box.
1. RealTracks in songs. The [Assign to Track] button in the RealTracks Settings dialog allows you to assign
specific RealTracks instruments to a track in a song. It launches the Assign RealTracks to Track dialog, which
also displays the current RealTracks that are assigned to each track. This dialog is also available with a right
mouse click on any Band-in-a-Box part name. Then select the Add/Remove RealTracks menu command.
2. RealStyles. These are Band-in-a-Box styles (.STY) that have at least one RealTrack. For example the style
called “=GeorgeP.sty” is a RealStyle because it uses RealPedalSteel for the Strings part, as well as other
instruments (MIDI bass, MIDI piano, MIDI guitar, RealDrums).
Technical note: You can add a RealTrack to an existing style in the StyleMaker, using [Misc] [More] “Assign RealTracks to
style.” The RealTracks gets generated on one of the Band-in-a-Box style tracks (Piano, Guitar, or Strings).
3. RealSoloists. These are Soloists that are generated on the Soloist track, by pressing the Soloist button on the
main screen. Soloists 361-363 are using the RealTracks.
236
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
Tip: You can quickly go to Soloist 362 by typing 362 and pressing “Go To #” or using the Favorites if you’ve previously
chosen this soloist.
Using RealTracks in Songs - Assign RealTracks to Track Dialog
The Assign RealTracks to Track dialog assigns a RealTracks instrument to any of the Band-in-a-Box instrumental
tracks. It also shows any RealTracks that are assigned to Band-in-a-Box tracks.
Note: RealTracks can either be assigned from the style or from the song. This dialog allows you to assign the ones in the song.
This dialog is launched by several ways:
1. Clicking on the [RealTracks] toolbar button and selecting RealTracks Picker Dialog, or shift-clicking on this
button.
2. Right-clicking or double clicking on a Track radio button at the top of the Band-in-a-Box main screen and
choosing Add/Remove RealTracks or Select Best… in the menu.
- or 3.
Pressing the [Assign to Track…] button in the RealTracks Settings dialog.
The Assign RealTracks to Track dialog (RealTracks Picker) allows you to assign a specific RealTracks
instruments to a track in a song. It also displays any RealTracks that are currently assigned to each track.
To use the dialog, first select the track that you want to assign.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
237
Then, select the RealTracks that you want from the list below it.
Instant Preview of RealTracks
You can instantly hear an audio demo of RealTracks by double clicking a RealTrack on the list. Since this doesn’t
affect your song, you can quickly audition many different RealTracks and find the best ones for your song.
You can choose which of band or solo plays first when you
double click on the list, by the “Band (on dbl clk)” checkbox.
Otherwise, press the [Band] or the [Solo] button. The demos
play from the Internet (www.pgmusic.com) or your hard drive
(/Applications/Band-in-a-Box/ RealTracks-Demos folder).
The preview sometimes plays files from the internet. You can download a file that is being played from the
internet by clicking this button. If the file is being played on your hard drive, this button will show the file in a
folder.
Choosing Favorite RealTracks
Your recent RealTracks selections are saved, and available in the various dialogs that allow you to choose
RealTracks. Since a common selection is a recently chosen RealTracks this speeds up selection of a RealTracks.
The 400 most recent selections are shown, with most recent at the top.
When you use one of the “Select Best” commands in
the right-click instrument menu, you will see a
[Choose from Favorites] button in the dialog.
Or, in the RealTracks Picker, press the [Favs] button.
238
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
You will then see a dialog with a list of your recently chosen RealTracks, most recent on top. You can filter this
dialog by text, e.g. “guitar,” to find a recently used RealTracks with the word “guitar” in it.
You can also see a list of recently used RealTracks if you right-click on a Track button at the top of the screen and
click on the Choose RealTracks from Recently Chosen Favorites menu command. Click on a RealTrack from the
list to quickly load it to the track.
Assigning RealDrums
Pressing the [RD] (RealDrums) button on the RealTracks Picker (Assign RealTracks to Tracks
dialog) allows you to select RealDrums, rather than needing to go to a separate dialog for that.
The current RealDrums set in use is displayed on the RealTracks Picker.
When [Save Style] is pressed in the RealTracks Picker, the current drum volume will also apply to the style.
Tip: RealTracks in styles are assigned in the StyleMaker. Press the [Misc.] button or use the StyleMaker menu command Style
| Misc. Settings to go to the Misc. Style Settings dialog, then click on the [More] button for the More Settings dialog.
Assigning RealTracks
The list can be sorted by clicking on any column heading. As well as Name, Instrument, Type (Rhythm or Soloist),
Feel (Even or Swing), Tempo, Genre, and Number there are more columns with additional information about each
RealTrack instrument.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
239
- The “Tempo” shown is the “base” (or typical) tempo for the RealTracks instrument as it is played, but RealTracks
have a tempo stretching capability that enables their application over a wide range of tempos. If saving a song
with RealTracks and the audio base tempo is different from the song tempo, a warning message will show, asking
you to confirm that you want to save it like this.
- The “N/A” column shows “N/A” for RealTracks that you have not installed yet or haven’t purchased, if “Show
RealTracks that are N/A” is checked.
- “Set” is the number of the RealTracks set that includes the instrument.
- The “Stereo” column shows whether the instrument playback is stereo or mono.
- Instruments with an “N” or “Gt” in the “Chart” column will display the RealTrack in notation.
- The “Artist” column has the name of the musician playing on the RealTrack instrument. See the “Artist Bio” box
for information about the player.
- The letter “Y” in the “TS” column means that Tempo Swapping is supported for the instrument. If you have
similar RealTracks available at different tempos, Band-in-a-Box automatically chooses the best one to use.
- “Holds” indicates whether that RealTrack supports shots, holds, and pushes. If there is a number there (other than
a blank field), then they are all supported.
- “Simpler Available” will have a letter “s” in the column if the RealTracks instrument has simpler options
available. These are parts with less busy, less embellished playing for generating simpler arrangements.
- “Direct Input Available” has a letter “y” if the instrument offers the option of clean recordings without effects.
This allows you to start with a clean track and add your own effects.
“Memo” field - This describes the currently selected
RealTracks style, and includes some useful tips, such
as a suggested tempo range and Band-in-a-Box styles
to use it with.
“Artist Bio” - The RealTracks have been recorded by top
studio musicians. The artist names and bios are displayed for
the RealTracks. Double click here to view the full memo.
“User Memo” - You can enter your own comments about any
style in this field. The comments are saved in RTUserMemos.txt.
Use the song and style demos to audition RealTracks.
The [Song Demo (MGU)] button will display a list of songs in the bb\RealTracks – Demos
folder that use the selected RealTrack instrument. Click on the song name and then press
the [Play] button to hear it.
The [Style Demo (.STY)] button shows a list of styles that use the currently highlighted
RealTracks instrument. Clicking on a style name will load the style into the current
Band-in-a-Box song. Press [Play] to hear your current song played with the RealTracks style that you want to
audition.
Options for selected RealTrack
With the “Timebase” option, you can play any RealTracks
at normal, half time, double time or triple time. Half time
is used for fast tempo songs when a much slower tempo
RealTrack has been chosen. Double time is used for slow
tempo songs (e.g. ballads) when a much faster tempo
RealTrack is chosen. This allows you, for example, in a
ballad at a tempo of 70, to add a RealTracks Sax solo with a tempo of 140, and play it as a double time, which will
match the ballad tempo of 70. All of your existing RealTracks can be used at three different tempos (normal, halftime, double time).
240
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
If “Bluesy” is checked, the selected RealTracks will play in a bluesy style, where major triads are treated like 8th
chords.
If “Simpler” is checked, the selected RealTracks will play a simpler arrangement (less busy, less embellished). See
the “Simple Available” column for availability of simpler RealTracks.
If “Direct Input” is checked, the selected RealTracks will use a “clean signal” guitar so that you can add your own
effects through AmpliTube or similar Plugins. See the “Direct Input Available” column for availability of clean
recordings.
Sometimes you want the very simplest comping part possible, which is just “held chords” for the whole piece. This
would mean that the piano player, for example, just plays a single chord and holds it for the duration until the next
chord. If you check “Held” option, the selected RealTracks will play held chords.
The [Defaults] button sets the dialog to default values.
The [Prefs] button launches the RealTracks Settings dialog.
The [Save Style] button saves the current style, but with RealTracks assigned to the
style equal to the current song’s RealTracks. The volumes used in the style will match the volumes set on the main
screen in Band-in-a-Box (compared to a default of 90). For example, if you set the bass volume to 40, the Style
will be saved with a negative decibel (dB) setting, so that it will playback at a quieter volume (when all volumes are
set to 90).
The [None] button sets the current track to no RealTracks assigned for the song.
This sets all RealTracks for the song to “None.” It will also optionally disable RealTracks present
in the style for this song.
Select “Disable RealTracks for this track (Force this track
to MIDI)” if you want to have no RealTracks instrument for this track, even if the style specifies a RealTrack.
Since RealTracks are add-on purchases for Band-in-a-Box, your version may not
contain all RealTracks. Selecting the “Show RealTracks that are N/A” checkbox will show you all available
RealTracks.
Tip: Opt. | What add-ons do I have? will tell you what RealTracks sets you have.
Some RealTracks have variations available, such as the Acoustic Jazz Bass, which
has variations that play in “2” only, in “4” only, or in “2”and “4” (for “a” and “b” substyles). Normally you will
want to “Show RealTracks Variations.”
Use “Show if Tempo is out of Range” checkbox to show/hide RealTracks that are
out of compatible tempo range.
A filter is available. Type a filter text, (e.g., bass) and press
[Update] and you will then see the list filtered to show only
RealTracks that have the word bass somewhere in the title, memo,
genre, etc. Pressing [Show All] will cancel the filter, and show all RealTracks again. Multiple search terms work
with the filter. If you separate terms with a space, each term is searched for separately. So a search for “Country
Guitar Ev 120” will find any Country Guitar styles with an Even feel that would work with a tempo of close to 120.
Adding a search term that has a number will filter for RealTracks that match the tempo or within a compatible range.
[Generate Track] will generate a RealTracks instrument on the currently selected track.
This button will close the dialog, and assign the RealTracks instrument to the current track. Then,
when play is pressed, the RealTrack will generate.
Press this button to leave the Assign RealTracks to Track dialog without generating any tracks.
This rebuilds the list of RealTracks and reports any installation errors. Press after
you have installed new RealTracks.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
241
If this option is checked, Band-in-a-Box will display RealTracks installation errors when
you open the dialog. Press [Rebuild and Fix] for more information.
Changing RealTracks
You can have RealTracks styles changes within a song. There are two ways to change RealTracks at any bar.
Change of RealTracks Styles at any Bar
You can change styles with RealTracks at any bar. For example, switch from Jazz Swing to Bossa style at any bar.
To do this, first open the Edit Settings for Bar dialog (press F5) at the bar that you want
the style change. Then press the [.STY] or [Open] button to select a style.
Change of individual RealTracks instrument for any track at any bar
You can change specific RealTracks without changing the style by inserting a specific RealTracks instrument into a
track at any bar to create a customized performance. For example, you can change an Acoustic Bass comping part
to an Acoustic Bass Solo.
To change the RealTracks instrument for any track at any bar, first open the Edit Settings for
Bar dialog (press F5) at the bar that you want the style change. Then press the [RealTracks]
button and you will see the RealTracks changes dialog where you can choose which tracks
you would like to have RealTracks changes on.
Select the track you want to change, and then press the “Change RealTracks to...” dropdown arrow.
You will see a huge list of RealTracks, so you will likely want to narrow it down. Type a word that will be included
in the RealTracks name, like “bass.” Then the list will only show bass RealTracks.
242
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
You can preview the selected RealTracks by double clicking on the list or using the transport control buttons.
Click on your selection and then choose [OK].
RealTracks Soloist Medleys
In Soloist Medleys, the RealTracks is made to switch instruments every “N” bars or every chorus. For example, you
can add a Bluegrass Medley Soloist that switches between solos from Mandolin, Guitar, Banjo, and Fiddle every 4
bars. Or a Jazz Medley Soloist that switches between Alto Sax, Trumpet, Piano, and Guitar solos every chorus. Or
insert “Silence” as one of the instruments, which allows you to play your own instrument. Use the pre-made Soloist
Medleys included, or create a custom one yourself on any track.
There are 3 ways that you can get RealTracks with Medleys (changing soloists).
1. Some styles have them built-in (see StylePicker for details).
2. Some RealTracks have Medleys built in, applicable to all songs. Look in the RealTracks Picker, and search for
a filter term “Medley.” You will then see Medleys that are available.
3. You can define your own Medley, to be saved with the current song only. To do this, start in the RealTracks
Picker, with the RealTracks that you want as the first of the medley.
Then press the [Medley] button. You will then see the Create a Medley of different RealTracks
dialog.
In this dialog, you can specify how often you want the RealTracks to change, and create a list of instruments that
you want to have included. In the example shown, we have created a Medley from RealTracks 361 (Tenor Sax), by
adding Clarinet and Flute, and having them change soloists every 4 bars.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
243
When you are choosing RealTracks to use, note that there is a RealTracks
available called “Silence.” This is to be used when “you” want to play, for
example if you want to trade 4’s with the band.
The option to “Start on second item in the list” is useful if you want to start on a
different instrument, or start with “Silence.
Multiple RealTracks at the same time on the same track. You can use this feature to add up to 10 RealTracks to
play simultaneously on the same track. This is useful if you want to generate a lot of RealTracks, the theoretical
limit would be 7 tracks x 10 per track = 70 RealTracks instruments playing at the same time.
Multiple RealTracks are created like Soloist Medleys (as described above), but you also
select the option “Play All Simultaneously.” Then all of the instruments will play at all times.
Using RealTracks in Styles
For this discussion, we will assume that we are using RealPedalSteel, in the style “=GeorgeP.sty.”
Note: We use this naming convention for Real Styles. This is optional.
The first letter of “=“ indicates that at least one instrument is a RealTrack.
The last letter(s) indicate(s) which instrument it is.
“P”= Pedal Steel, “G”=Guitar, “PG”=Pedal Steel and Guitar.
So the name “=GeorgeP.sty” tells you that it is a style called George, that has RealPedalSteel. The MIDI tracks will be the same
as another country style that we have called C_George.STY
Load in the song c:\bb\Tutorial BB2008\=GEORGEP Pedal Steel Demo.mgu
You will see that the Strings part at the top of the screen is highlighted in green. That indicates that
this is a RealTrack.
To play the song, just press [Generate and Play]. You will then hear pedal steel guitar on the String
part.
244
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
You can adjust the volume of the pedal
steel part in the Mixer with the Volume
control for the String part, just as with any
Band-in-a-Box part, or mute it by right-clicking on the String part.
Note: The RealTrack can optionally be generated on the Piano, Guitar, or Strings parts in a Band-in-a-Box style.
Finding all styles that have RealTracks
RealTracks can be built in to styles, so you can have styles that are all MIDI, a mix of MIDI tracks and RealTracks,
or all RealTracks. Styles that use RealTracks only are called RealStyles.
Open the StylePicker and locate the category called RealStyles.
There is a separate category in the StylePicker for RealStyles. There is also a
Classic RealStyles category in the StylePicker. It contains styles that are
intended to be commonly used RealTracks. The style names for RealStyles are
prefaced by an underscore, _.
The various categories in the StylePicker include lists of just the RealStyles in
that category to make your selection easier.
The StylePicker lists also show styles with RealTracks, a blend of MIDI tracks and RealTracks. Style names for
Styles with RealTracks are prefaced by an equals sign, =.
Styles with RealDrums
The StylePicker has a special category called “Styles with RealDrums.” This
lists many RealDrums styles (.STY) that we’ve made. We always name the RealDrums style beginning with a
minus sign, so that “-ZZJAZZ.STY” would be the ZZJAZZ.STY, but using RealDrums instead.
New styles can be created with RealTracks and RealDrums in the StyleMaker, and existing styles can also have
RealTracks or RealDrums substituted for the original MIDI tracks.
See the StyleMaker topic in the chapter titled User Programmable Functions.
Selecting RealStyles from Band Styles
When you choose Band Styles from the [Style] button menu, you then
see a list of the RealStyles categories with submenus listing the most
popular styles in each category. For example, in the Jazz Swing
section you will see styles for Ballads, Slow Swing, Medium Slow
Swing, Medium Swing, Bebop, and Waltzes.
Note: You should have tempo swapping so that the styles will work over a widest range of tempos. BB will remind you about
this (by a yellow message) if you have turned off tempo swapping.
The instruments used in each style are displayed, giving a “thumbnail” summary (e.g. Bass, Piano, Guitar, Brushes,
Alto Sax Soloist).
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
245
Song Demos
You can load in a song demo for the current selection by choosing
the menu item Load Song Demo.
Customize the Band List
This list of styles can be customized by the user. You can create a text file of styles to add to the top and/or bottom
of the list (i.e. above or below the list of styles provided by PG Music). To customize this list at the top, create a file
called c:\bb\ RealCombos_User_Top.txt, or c:\bb\RealCombos_User_Bottom.txt for the bottom.
The format of the file is identical to the one that PG Music includes, which is called c:\bb\ RealCombos.txt. You
can list a line of text (for a heading), e.g.,
---- My Favorite Country Styles ---or a line with a style on it, e.g.,
_JAZFRED$ Jazz Style with 4 in the bar Guitar
On this line, the $ character is a delimiter between the style name and the description.
Press the [Video Help] toolbar button in Band-in-a-Box for a tutorial on editing the Band styles list. To
learn more about the Band Button, open this folder: C:\bb\Tutorial - BB2012 and open the file
<_JAZFRED Demo ('Band' button which selects common RealCombos).SGU>.
Press the [Memo] button to read about the feature and the demo song.
Using RealTracks in Solos
Press the Soloist button (Shift+F4) and launch the Select Soloist dialog.
Get to Soloists in the range 361and higher. You can do that either by:
1.
2.
Typing 361 and pressing [Go To #].
Pressing the [All RealTracks] button.
3.
Unchecking “All Genres” and selecting “RealTracks (audio
soloists)” from the list of genres.
246
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
As with other Soloists, press the [All Solo] button to make sure that the Soloist
will be generated for all choruses, or [Melody & Solo] if you just want the Soloist for a certain chorus.
Your RealTracks solo will be saved with the song and the Soloist track will be frozen and
marked with an asterisk (*).
Saving Your RealTracks
RealTracks that have been frozen will be saved with the song. Frozen tracks will play back instantly, not requiring
time to generate. They play back the same way each time, so if you like a solo, you can “freeze it.” If you send a
song to a friend as “frozen,” they will hear the same performance.
Rendering RealTracks to .WAV
The RealTracks performance is not saved with the Band-in-a-Box MGU file. This is because the Band-in-a-Box
MGU file only contains chords/melody/lyrics (and an optional audio track WAV file).
As with other MIDI Band-in-a-Box parts and RealDrums, the RealTracks can be saved by
-
rendering the performance to a WAV file, or
separating WAV files.
-
Technical Tip: If you want to permanently attach a RealTracks WAV file to a MySong.MGU song, you could render to separate
WAV files, and then rename the RealTracks WAV file to MySong.WAV. Then the RealTracks will be on the Audio track.
When a song is loaded, played or saved, a yellow hint message will appear if any RealTracks or RealDrums are
missing, listing the files that are missing.
Are other RealTracks available?
There are hundreds of RealTracks available with more in production. Check
http://www.pgmusic.com/products_RealTracks.htm for the latest releases.
RealDrums
The RealDrums feature replaces MIDI drums with audio drums. A single click on the toolbar button
opens a menu with selections for the RealDrums Picker Dialog and the RealDrums Preferences.
Shift+click on the [RealDrums] toolbar button to go directly to the RealDrums Picker, or Ctrl+click to open the
RealDrums Settings dialog.
Why do RealDrums sound better than MIDI Drums?
The RealDrums are recordings of top studio drummers, playing multi-bar patterns. MIDI drums are patterns based
on single drum hits, being programmed, typically on a quantized grid, of what people assume drummers are
typically playing. We record drummers at multiple tempos, so the playing you hear at various tempos is also
musically different, not just “sped up.” Drummers play different types of fills etc. at slower/faster tempos, and these
are captured with RealDrums.
Technical note: If interested, you can see which tempos have been recorded by looking in the c:\bb\drums\ folder for the
particular style you are interested in.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
247
How Do RealDrums Work?
There are several ways to hear RealDrums with new or existing Band-in-a-Box songs. The simplest way is to select
a style that already uses RealDrums. They have their own category in the StylePicker.
Styles with RealDrums are identified in the list by a style name beginning with a minus sign. For example “ZZJAZZ.STY” is a version of the ZZJAZZ.STY that uses RealDrums.
You can see what RealDrums set is used in a particular style is in the StyleMaker’s
Misc. Style Settings dialog. Open the StyleMaker and click on the [Misc] button to
get there.
You can change the RealDrums style, or assign RealDrums to a style that doesn’t have them, by
clicking on the [RD] button and making a selection from the RealDrums Picker dialog.
RealDrums can also be enabled to substitute for MIDI drums when a song is played, or they can be assigned to a
specific song. This is done in either the RealDrums Settings or the RealDrums Picker.
RealDrums Settings
RealDrums can be substituted for MIDI drums on existing styles in the RealDrums
Settings dialog, which opens from the RealDrums toolbar button (Ctrl+click) or with the
[RealDrums] button in the Preferences dialog.
With “Enable RealDrums” checked, RealDrums may be used rather than MIDI. There is
also a hot key combination to turn RealDrums on/off (Ctrl+Shift+F6). The hot keys also work while the song is
playing.
This will substitute RealDrums for MIDI styles. You can change the setting from 1 to 5. If set to 1, almost all MIDI
drums will get substituted by RealDrums. If set to 5, only RealDrum styles that match the style perfectly will get
substituted.
248
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
This feature selects variations of RealDrums
instruments with each PLAY. Most RealDrums styles (starting with RealDrums set 5) contain may instrument
variations (“brushes vs. Sticks”, “HiHat vs. Ride Cymbal” “Percussion only” etc.). Now, by selecting [Prefs] [Real
Drums] “…choose different variations with each PLAY,” you can hear a different variation each time play is
pressed, so the song sounds fresh each time. One time you will hear it with brushes, the next time with sticks and
ride cymbals, etc.
When selecting RealDrums styles to use for a style, BB will use your
preferences for brushes and sticks. For example, if you choose “Favor
Brushes,” BB will always choose from among variations that include
brushes (when available).
We have “artist” support. This allows you to choose among different
drummers playing the same style. For example, we have multiple artists
playing the “JazzBrushes” style. You can set Band-in-a-Box to choose a
different artist with each play, or always choose a specific artist.
This will replace the RealDrums that you don’t have with ones that you do have.
Technical note: The text file a_pgmusic.ds provided by PG Music controls this, and users can make other files MySubs.ds if
they make their own RealDrums styles.
This will let the current song use the specific RealDrums style. Click on the [RD] button to select a specific
RealDrums style to use in a particular song. This will launch the RealDrums Picker with a list of all available
RealDrums styles. The [Clear] button clears the currently selected RealDrums for the song.
When this is set, if you save a specific style with a song,
you will hear a new variation of that style each time you press PLAY, with different drum instruments.
This allows the RealDrums to change styles with MultiStyles, style
changes, or specific RealDrums style changes entered at any bar in the Edit Settings for Bar dialog (F5).
Normally, no reverb is added to Drums, but if you want some
reverb added, you can set it here.
You should normally leave this at 0, unless you are having problems with
synchronization between the MIDI tracks and RealDrums.
If the RealDrums track is too loud or quiet in relation to the MIDI parts, you can
adjust the volume here. This will affect all RealDrums styles.
If you find that RealDrums pushes are too loud, put a negative value in this field.
Enter a positive value if they are too soft.
If you find that RealDrums shots are too loud, put a negative value in this field.
Enter a positive value if they are too soft.
These buttons will, for a chosen RealDrums style, enable you to (1) play
the RealDrums demo song, (2) show a menu of BB styles that would work
with the Real Drum style and (3) play a song demo of various BB styles
that work with the Real Drum style.
When the [Install] button is pressed, WAV files will be created from any
RealDrums styles that are still WMA files. Make sure that you have enough space available on your hard drive prior
to installing the RealDrums. The small button installs WAV files for a single folder.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
249
Note: Usually the WAV files have already been created upon installation, if so this feature isn’t needed.
This will erase the WAV files in the Drums folder when there is a smaller WMA
available. The WAV files can be restored by pressing the [Install] button. The small button archives files for a
single folder.
You can choose any folder (e.g. e:\Drums) for your
RealDrums. This allows you to, for example,
conserve space on your C:\ drive. If Band-in-aBox cannot find your Drums folder, a yellow hint
message appears at boot up to alert you to that, and tells you how to fix it: “Note: You have RealDrums installed,
but none are found in your Drums folder. You should point to your correct Drums folder in Prefs | RealDrums
Settings.”
Tempo checking for chosen RealDrums styles. If you choose a RealDrums style, and the tempo is out-ofrecommended-range for the style, Band-in-a-Box will inform you of that – you can still use the style of course.
RealDrums styles that get chosen automatically by Band-in-a-Box will always be compatible with your song.
RealDrums Picker – Assign RealDrums to Songs
Shift+click on the [RealDrums] toolbar button to open the RealDrums Picker.
Or click on this button and select the menu command RealDrums Picker Dialog.
The RealDrums Picker is also available from the RealDrums Settings dialog, by selecting “For this song only, use
this RealDrum style” and clicking on the [RD] button.
The RealDrums Picker is used to assign a particular RealDrums style for just the one song you are working on.
RealDrums made by you (or others) that are added by you to the Drums folder also appear in the RealDrums
Picker dialog.
250
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
Instant Preview of RealDrums
You can double click on a RealDrums, or on the Variation name of the RealDrums, to audition each variation of the
RealDrums. For example, if you’ve found CountryWaltz^, you can now hear demos of the variations
(CountryWaltz^1-HiHat,Ride, CountryWaltz^2-Brushes etc.).
Each demo has a “band” version with all instruments, and a “solo” version with drums only.
You can choose which of band or solo plays first if you
double click on the list, by the “Band (on DblClick)”
checkbox. Otherwise, press the [Band] or the [Solo]
button. The demos play 4 bars of “a” substyle, and
then 4 bars of “b” substyle, using the current RealDrums (left hand panel) and the variation (right hand panel).
The preview sometimes plays files from the internet. You can download a file that is being played from the
internet by clicking this button. If the file is being played on your hard drive, this button will show the file in a
folder.
Choosing From Favorites
Your recent RealDrums selections are saved, and available in the various dialogs that
allow you to choose RealDrums. In the RealDrums Picker, click on the [Choose from Favs] button to open a list
of up to 400 most recent selections. Use the Filter String to narrow the selection by entering a term like “bossa” or
“swing” to see only RealDrums with those words in the name.
Filter
A filter is available in the RealDrums Picker. Type a filter text, (e.g.
bossa) and press [Update], and you will then see the list filtered to show
only RealDrums that have the word “bossa” somewhere in the title,
memo, etc. Pressing [Show All] will cancel the filter, and show all
RealDrums again.
Multiple search terms work with the RealDrums Picker. If you separate terms with a space, each term is searched
for separately. So a search for “Bossa Rock Ev 120,” will find any Bossa Rock styles with an Even feel that would
work with a tempo of close to 120. Adding a search term that has a number will filter for RealDrums that match the
tempo or within a compatible range.
RealDrums for the current song
This is the current RealDrums for this song. This can either come from the
style, or a specific RealDrums for this song, set in this dialog.
Tip: RealDrums in styles are assigned in the StyleMaker. Press the [Misc.] button or use the menu command Style | Misc.
Settings to go to the Misc. Style Settings dialog and make your selections in “RealDrums Settings.”
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
251
Force Simple Arrangement
If this is enabled, RealDrums will play a simpler arrangement without fills.
Tip: RealDrums in styles are assigned in the StyleMaker. Press the [Misc.] button or use the menu command Style | Misc.
Settings to go to the Misc. Style Settings dialog and make your selections in “RealDrums Settings.”
Force MIDI Drums
Set this if you want MIDI drums and want to override a RealDrums that
is set in the style.
This sets the drums to no RealDrums override for the song, and optionally also forces
MIDI drums (i.e., no RealDrums for the style either).
Additional Settings
There are additional settings to define your selection in the RealDrums Picker.
“Show if Tempo is out of Range” will show styles that wouldn’t work well at the current song tempo. The
acceptable range is shown in the list of styles Lo/Hi (9th and 10th) columns.
“Show if Feel does not match” will show a song where the drums are in Even feel and the style is Swing (or vice
versa).
“Show RealDrums that are not Favorites” (*) You can assign a style as one of your favorites by clicking in the first
column. Then you can sort by favorites or use this option to only see favorites.
“Show RealDrums” that are N/A” These are styles not found in the Drums folder, likely because they are add-on
styles not purchased yet. Press the [Rebuild] button and check the RealDrums Settings to confirm that you have the
correct Drums folder selected.
If Band-in-a-Box cannot find your Drums folder, a yellow hint message appears at boot up to alert you to that, and
tells you how to fix it: “Note: You have RealDrums installed, but none are found in your Drums folder. You should
point to your correct Drums folder in Prefs | RealDrums Settings.”
Memo
“Memo” is a memo description of the style. These are stored in bb\RDPGMemos.txt file. You can also add your
own memos in the User Comments box below.
Artist Bio
The “Artist Bio” shows brief summaries of the careers of the top drummers featured in RealDrums.
List Columns
The RealDrums list can be sorted by any of the column headings.
- * Click in this column to enter an asterisk, indicating that this is a favorite style.
252
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
- Click on the name of the RealDrums style name that you want to select for the song. Names ending in a caret ^
have variations available.
- ^ Clicking in the caret column will show the variations for the selected RealDrums style (if available).
- Genre is the type of music that the RealDrums style comes from, such as Jazz, Rock, or Country.
- Genre (more) suggests additional types of music that the RealDrums style might work for.
- /4 indicates the time signature, which is 4/4 by default. If the column is empty the time signature is 4/4, if there
is a 3 in this column the time signature is 3/4.
- Ev* indicates the feel of the RealDrums style, either Even or Swing.
- The listing in the 8 column indicates whether the meter is based on eighth notes (8) or sixteenth notes (16).
- Lo is the slowest tempo for which the RealDrums style is suited.
- Hi is the fastest tempo recommended for the style.
- X indicates a style with a tempo that is out of range for the song.
- N/A are styles not found in the Drums folder.
- Artist is the name of the drummer who recorded the RealDrums.
- # is the number of the RealDrums set for the style.
User Comments
You can type in your own comments about any style in the “User comments” field and they are saved in a file
called RDUserMemos.txt.
Variations
RealDrums styles ending in a caret (^) have variations available. They are listed here. Where there are two
instruments shown, such as Brushes/Sticks, the first one plays in the “a” substyle and the second in the “b”
substyle.
Compatible Songs and Styles
[RD Demo] loads and plays a demo of the chosen RealDrum style.
[Song Demo] shows Band-in-a-Box styles that will use this RealDrums style if “Substitute RealDrums” is selected.
The song demo for the style will get loaded.
[BB Styles] shows Band-in-a-Box styles that will use this RealDrums style if “Substitute RealDrums” is selected.
The style will get loaded if the menu selection is made.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
253
[PlayNow] loads the selected RealDrums and starts playback. If you haven’t played the song yet, since you haven’t
generated non-drums tracks, you will only hear drums. In that case, press Shift+Click to generate all tracks.
The [Stop] button stops the song playback. Click (or Shift+Click) on [PlayNow] to resume.
The [Audition] button doesn’t load the style but instead uses Media Player to play a demo .WAV file for the style.
The [Settings…] button opens the RealDrums Settings dialog.
[Rebuild] builds the list of RealDrums present as folders in the bb\Drums folder. If you add new drum styles, press
this button to update the list. (These are stored in a bb\DrumFolderNames.txt file.)
[Defaults] returns the dialog to default settings, which will show all available styles.
Press [OK] to make your selection.
Press [Cancel] to close the dialog without making a selection.
Note: When a song is loaded, played or saved, a yellow hint message will appear if any RealTracks or RealDrums are missing,
listing the files that are missing.
RealDrums Selection in the StylePicker
You can also select RealDrums styles within the StylePicker. Highlight a MIDI
style that you like, and press the RealDrums [Best] button, to see a list of the most
compatible RealDrums styles for that style, or click on the [RD] button to open the
RealDrums Picker and select from all available RealDrums.
UserTracks
UserTracks allow anyone to create their own audio styles for use in PG Music's Band-in-a-Box and RealBand. With
a UserTracks style, you can type in any chords into Band-in-a-Box or RealBand, and the UserTracks style you made
will play that chord progression! For example, if you've made a UserTracks style by recording yourself playing a
guitar groove, you can then type any chords into Band-in-a-Box or RealBand, and the result will be that it will play
your guitar groove over these completely new, original chord changes! You can even change the tempo, or enter
songs in ANY key, and it will still be able to play it!
You can make a UserTracks style in any digital audio workstation (or “DAW”), such as RealBand, ProTools, or
Reaper, and you don't need Band-in-a-Box or RealBand to make the style (though you do need one of those
programs to use the finished style).
You can also download backing tracks to record along with.
254
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
There is much more choice here, including a variety of different genres of music, and a variety of different tempos.
Each one, however, will conform to either the Pop, Jazz, or Blues template. You do not NEED to use these backing
tracks to make your style, but they can make the process easier.
You can use the UserTracks in a similar manner to using RealTracks.
To select a UserTracks for a track, first select the track at the top of the screen. For example, if you
want to add a UserTracks to the Guitar Track, launch the menu on the Guitar Radio button (by right-click or double
click), and choose the “Select a UserTrack for this Track” option.
An alternative to the menu would be to select the Guitar Track, and then press the UserTracks
button on the main screen.
Now you will see the Pick a UserTracks dialog.
This dialog lists available UserTracks. This is different from the RealTracks Picker dialog.
You can preview the selected UserTracks by double clicking on the list or using the transport control buttons.
In this example, we want to add the UserTracks called “Guitar, Electric, Boom Chic Ev 140.” We simply select this
UserTracks and press OK. We now see our UserTracks listed on the Guitar Tracks on the Mixer.
Now the track behaves like other RealTracks.
You simply press “Generate and Play” to hear it.
Adding new UserTracks
RealTracks are made by PG Music. UserTracks are made by you, or other Band-in-a-Box users. So you will have a
different list than displayed above. We include a small number of UserTracks with Band-in-a-Box package. There
is a UserTracks forum in the PG Music forum, where users can notify others about their UserTracks creations, and
share them if they choose to.
For example, if your friend makes a UserTracks of his accordion playing, and wants to give it to you...
- He can name it whatever he likes, and has called it “Accordion, Rhythm CountryWaltz Sw 110.”
- He has sent you a ZIP file of this folder.
- You will unzip it to your UserTracks folder.
A UserTracks consists of a single Folder, with the name of the UserTracks as the name of the folder. To add the
UserTracks to your collection, you simply put the folder into your c:\bb\RealTracks\UserTracks folder. (Note: if
you use a location like h:\MyMusic\RealTracks as your RealTracks folder, then your UserTracks folder would be in
h:\MyMusic\RealTracks\UserTracks.)
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
255
Creating your own UserTracks
Creating your own UserTracks is a simple process! It consists of the following steps:
- Create a folder in the UserTracks folder (i.e. usually c:\bb\RealTracks\UserTracks) and let’s call it “Guitar,
Acoustic, Brian Fingerpicking Ev 140.”
- Now, in that folder, you need to put at least one Band-in-a-Box song. This song can have any chords, but should
have a wide variety of chords and chord types. Let’s say you call that file MyGuitarPlaying1.sgu
- For each BB song that you put in the folder, there needs to be a corresponding AUDIO file (WAV or WMA), that
matches the BB Song. So the name must be MyGuitarPlaying1.wav or MyGuitarPlaying1.wma. You can make
that WAV file in any program, (Band-in-a-Box, RealBand, Sonar, Pro Tools etc.). It needs to have a 2 bar lead-in
like BB songs always have, and of course it needs to be at the same tempo, and be playing over the same chords as
the BB file.
That’s it!
You now have a folder that looks like this, and you are ready to use your UserTracks.
To use it, follow the same routine as described above, opening the Pick a UserTracks dialog, where you will now
see your UserTracks listed with the others.
Now, you can leave it at that, or you can record more files, (i.e. more pairs of files with a Band-in-a-Box file and a
corresponding wav file). These can be any other names. And you simply add them to the folder. Band-in-a-Box
will automatically add these files to your UserTracks, simply by you putting them there.
You can find lots of help about making UserTracks on our website, and this page is a good start.
http://pgmusic.com/bbw2014newfeatures6.htm
UserTracks Tutorial
Part 1 - Making a basic UserTracks style
This tutorial will show you how to go about making a style, starting with the most basic, simple style that you can
make, and then progressing to other ways to make your style even better, with more features and greater variety.
The easiest way to start is by using one of our pre-made templates. You can find templates in the
C:\bb\Data\TemplatesForUserTracks folder, or download additional templates from pgmusic.com.
Each template contains .pdf chord charts and Band-in-a-Box files. The files are numbered PopSong_1_...,
PopSong_2_..., etc. You do not NEED to use these backing tracks to make your style, but they can make the
256
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
process easier. For the most basic UserTracks style you can make, you ONLY need to use Song_1. We will start
off by showing you how to make a basic pop style.
The first thing you need to do is download and unzip the template, UserTracks_Template_Files.zip. Out of the files
from that archive, you need to find and print PopSong_1_FirstSong.pdf. This is a 7-page chord chart. The next step
is to set up your DAW with the tempo you want your UserTracks style to be at. You are now ready to record your
part.
The first two bars are allotted as a count-in, and will NOT be used in Band-in-a-Box, so your playing should begin
in the DAW at bar 3. This will correspond to bar 1 in the chart. You can then record the song in full (punching in, or
doing retakes as much as you like or need). You will notice that the chart follows basic Pop progressions (examples:
I-VIm-IV-V; I-V-VIm-IV; etc.), and that it is in the key of C for the first 80 bars, then switches to E for 80 bars, and
then switches to G for 80 bars.
Once you have finished recording the entire chart, render the track you recorded to either a .wav or .wma file. The
two bars at the beginning for the count-in need to be in the final file.
Then, the audio file you made can be named whatever you like, for example: MyGuitarStyle.wav, AND, the Bandin-a-Box template file (it has a file extension .SGU) has to be saved with the exact same name, which would have to
be: MyGuitarStyle.sgu). The only difference between the two names will be that your file ends with .wma or .wav,
and the Band-in-a-Box file ends with .sgu.
To use the style you made, the files need to be placed in a particular place in the Band-in-a-Box folder. If Band-ina-Box was installed to C:\bb, then the files need to be in a subfolder of C:\bb\RealTracks\UserTracks\. So, for
example, if you wanted your UserTracks name to be "My First Guitar UserTracks style," then the two files would go
in: C:\bb\RealTracks\UserTracks\My First Guitar UserTracks style. Note: It is the folder name that determines the
name of the style as it appears in Band-in-a-Box or RealBand, NOT the names of the individual wav/wma/sgu files.
Once this is done, the style is now available for you to use in Band-in-a-Box or RealBand!
Part 2 - Adding to your basic style by recording more material.
Once you have the basic style done from Part 1 of this tutorial, you may find that you want to add more material to
make your style even better. There are several reasons for this. To start with, that first basic template has a limited
number of chord types. For example, the first song of the pop template only uses major or minor triads. Another
reason is that certain features won't work with only the first song recorded. Endings of songs, for example, will stop
at the right time, but you won't have dedicated recorded endings. The final reason you may want to record more
material is simply to have more variety in your song. With only the first song recorded, when you use the style you
may notice certain licks repeating. The more material you record, the less likely it is that you will notice that kind of
repetition when the style is used.
So, we have specific templates set up to address these different issues. So, you are free to record some or all of the
additional templates. You can pick and choose if there are certain issues that are more important to you and your
style, or you can record all of them to make sure your style can handle ANY musical situation!
For all of the additional templates, the method of recording them is exactly the same as with the first song.
When the recordings are finished, again you simply need to render your recorded track to wav or wma, save it in the
bb\RealTracks\UserTracks folder in the same location as the song1 file, and give it a unique name, which needs to
be the same name as the corresponding Band-in-a-Box .sgu file.
When this is done, when the UserTracks style is used in Band-in-a-Box or RealBand, all additional material you put
in that folder will now be part of the style! For most of the additional templates, the method is EXACTLY the same
as it was for recording song1.
You can find lots of help about making UserTracks on our website, and this page is a good start.
http://pgmusic.com/bbw2014newfeatures6.htm
Audio Controls for RealTracks and RealDrums
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
257
Tone Control
There is a bass/treble Tone control for individual tracks with RealTracks or RealDrums, so you can easily adjust the
bass/treble EQ for any RealTrack. The Tone settings save with the song.
Choose an instrument and then use the tone control to adjust the tone from -18 (maximum bass) to +18
(maximum treble). Default is 0.
Audio Reverb Control
There is a Reverb control for individual tracks with RealTracks or RealDrums, so you can
easily add reverb (0 to 127) for any RealTrack. Reverb type is also settable, and saved with
the song.
Auto-Add Reverb
There is also a feature that automatically adds reverb to RealTracks, according to instrument type. No reverb is
added to the Bass part, for example, but most instruments get reverb.
This feature defaults to on, but you can turn it off in the PG Music Reverb dialog, which opens by
pressing the [Plugins] button and choosing the menu command Audio Reverb Dialog.
If you just want more or less reverb added, you can adjust the
Strength %. For example, the default Band-in-a-Box reverb setting is 40 for most tracks. If you set the strength to
75%, the setting becomes 30.
Reverb Settings
The default is a “room” type of reverb but you can also set the type of reverb. To do this, press
the [Plugins] button and choose the menu command Audio Reverb Dialog, and adjust the various
parameters in the PG Music Reverb dialog.
Reverb can be enabled/disabled globally for all
songs, in which case the setting will still appear but no reverb will be applied. Or you can enable/disable the audio
reverb for the current song only. This will save some CPU cycles if you are using a slower machine.
Click on the green Select a Preset button to open the list of presets. This list will show only the “Band-in-aBox Default Reverb” until you save some presets of your own.
258
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
As you adjust the settings they will be applied to the current song.
The [Swap “Default”] button toggles between your current settings and the default settings. This allows you to
hear the effect of the changes you make to the settings.
Use the row of “room” buttons to load typical settings for different types of spaces. These buttons are a convenient
way to either apply a particular effect or to load settings that you can then tweak to make your own preset.
Reverb Parameters
Pre-Delay is the time delay of first reflections.
Decay is the time it takes for reverb to decay. Reverb time is measured as RT60, the time it takes for reverb to
decay to a level -60 dB below the dry signal level.
LF Roll off gradually reduces the bass frequencies. If you can’t add enough reverb because the sound gets too
muddy, try increasing the LF Roll off slider. It is adjustable between 50 Hz and 500 Hz.
HF Roll off is the rate at which the high frequencies die away as the reverb decays. Rooms with hard surfaces are
typically bright, but rooms with soft surfaces are usually darker. It is adjustable between 1 KHz (dark) to 11 KHz
(bright).
Density is the density of low-level echoes near the end of the reverb tail. High Density settings add sheen to the
sound.
Mix is the proportion of original signal to the reverb signal.
Output adjusts the final level of the plug-in.
Typical Reverb Settings
- A large hall might have long Pre-Delay, long Decay, and moderate Density.
- A hard large space such as a Gymnasium, might have long Pre-Delay, high Density and high HF Roll off.
- A soft large space such as a concert hall with carpet, padded seats, hangings, might have medium Density and
low HF Roll off.
- A small hard space such as a tile washroom, might have short Pre-Delay, medium-to-long Decay, high Density,
and high HF Roll off.
- A small soft space such as a large living room, might have short Pre-Delay, short Decay, medium-to-low
Density, and low HF Roll off.
Saving Settings to Presets
You can save your reverb types as presets, and the current settings will also be saved with the song in a DX
Settings\PGReverbSettings.bin file.
To save the current settings to a preset, type in a name for your preset in the “Preset Name” field.
Then click on the Save Preset arrow and choose a location in the Preset list. You can write over an existing
name.
A prompt will ask you to confirm that you want to save the preset.
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
259
Select [Yes] to save the new preset to the chosen location.
Auto Reverb
Enable “Auto-Add Reverb to RealTracks” to automatically
apply preset amounts of reverb to RealTracks according to instrument type. No reverb is added to the Bass part, for
example, but most instruments get reverb.
If you just want more or less reverb added overall, you can adjust the Strength %. For example, the default Band-ina-Box reverb setting is 40 for most tracks. If you set the strength to 75%, the Band-in-a-Box setting becomes 30.
You can save the current settings as the Default Reverb.
Click on the [Restore Defaults] button to go back to the original “factory” reverb settings
for Band-in-a-Box Default Reverb.
260
Chapter 7: RealTracks and RealDrums
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Band-in-a-Box offers a variety of notation and printing features, both for viewing parts on-screen as they play and
for printing them as sheet music.
To view the notation, open the Notation window by pressing the notation button on the main screen.
Close the Notation window by pressing the notation button again.
Band-in-a-Box Notation screen displaying the melody track in Standard Notation mode
Tip: You can view the window in full screen with Window | Fullscreen Chord Sheet View or with Ctrl+T keys.
Band-in-a-Box offers multiple modes of notation for different purposes. The notation defaults to Standard Notation
mode, other modes are selected with buttons on the Notation window toolbar.
Standard Notation to display or print Notation and enter lyrics. The grand piano staff and/or guitar
tablature with notes, chord symbols, and lyrics.
Editable Notation to enter or edit notation. A special staff with time divisions for mouse-based editing.
Staff Roll Notation to enter or edit notes, velocity, and duration. The note heads are shown with editable
velocity and duration lines.
Lead Sheet Notation to display or print notation as full arrangements or in fake sheet style. This is a full
screen notation window with notes, chord symbols, and lyrics.
Exploring the Notation Window
With the Notation window open, the toolbar at the top of the window gives you access to its many features and
options.
Opens the Notation Window Options dialog.
Options Button
Press to launch the Lead Sheet Window.
Lead Sheet Button
Press this button to print the notation to any printer supported by your Windows
Print Button
system.
3-stage buttons to select a Notation window mode - Standard Notation, Editable
Notation, or Staff Roll mode.
Notation Mode Buttons
This box displays the name of the note that will be inserted when you click the
Current Note
mouse.
These determine whether a Note or a Rest will be inserted when the mouse is
clicked.
Note / Rest checkboxes
When this is selected, the notation is entered as monophonic (one note only) to avoid
Mono Mode
extra notes in a single note melody line.
The Clean Notation Mode cleans up the notation by eliminating display of redundant
Clean Notation grace notes and glitches for easier reading.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
261
Loop Screen
Track Select
Event List Editor
Lyrics Button
Zoom Buttons
Section Text
Scrub Mode
Generate Vocal Synth
Video Tutorial Button
Bars per Line
Big Note Mode
While a song is playing, click the “LoopScn” button and the song will loop the bars
shown on the notation screen.
You can display or print any track. Press the appropriate button to change to the
desired track.
Note: These buttons show the initials of the “automatic” track labels when you check “AutoGenerate Track Labels” option in the Display Options dialog. (e.g. [H] for Harmonica.) If
you prefer the “default” labels (B/P/D/G/S/M/S), then uncheck this option.
You can edit events including all MIDI events and lyric events using the Event List
Editor.
To enter note-based lyrics press the Lyrics button on the Notation toolbar.
The zoom buttons make it easy to increase or decrease the font size of the notation.
Add or edit Section Text on the Notation.
When this button is pressed in you can drag the mouse over notes to hear them.
This will generate a vocal track using an online third party vocal synthesizer called
Sinsy for a MIDI melody track with lyrics.
This will launch an internet browser and show a video about Notation Window.
This allows you to quickly change the number of bars per line.
This allows you to display notation with larger font size and note names within note
heads. Press the button again to return to the normal size.
Chord Step Advance
Use the Ins and Del keys on the numeric keypad to step advance on any track by one chord. The track MIDI data
can display on the on piano, guitar, lead sheet, drums, and notation window(s).
This feature advances the current track and displays the next group of notes on that track. For example, if the
current track is set to the Melody track, pressing the chord advance buttons will display the next note or chord of the
melody. The Chord Advance feature is a great way to study the notes being played, and to navigate around the
track.
Note: In this context, “chord” is referring to any group of notes, or a single note, that occurs in a track at or near the same time.
You can adjust the width of what Band-in-a-Box determines a “chord” to be in the Notation Options - More dialog.
Standard Notation Mode
This mode displays the notation for any individual track, and allows for the entry of chords and lyrics. Features
include:
- Notation display for the Bass, Drums, Guitar, Piano, Strings, Melody, or Soloist track.
- Optional display of guitar chord diagrams.
- As the notation plays, the notes that are sounding are highlighted in red. This helps with sight reading or
following the music.
262
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
- You can set the notation to scroll either 1 or 2 bars ahead of the music without interfering with your view of the
current notation.
- Handles Jazz eighth notes and triplet figures correctly.
- Automatic options such as auto durations, clean notation, mono display, minimize
rests, hard rests, and engraver spacing produce very musical and readable notation.
- Beamed notes are automatically given slanted beams.
- Groups of 5 notes will automatically display as groups of 3+2 or 2+3, or can be set this
way manually. If you'd prefer to see them as a group of 5 notes, you can right mouse
click on the timeline, and set the resolution to 5 for that beat.
Right-click menu for Standard Notation
This menu opens with a right mouse button click in the Standard Notation window.
Use this menu to access major editing features and dialogs. You can change to another notation mode by selecting it
in the list.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
263
Keystroke Commands
-
To bring up the Notation Options window, press Alt+N+O.
To change between notation views, press Alt+N+N.
To bring up the Print Options window, press Alt+N+P.
To loop the screen, press 1 on your numeric keypad.
To jump 4 bars ahead, press the DOWN arrow key.
To step 4 bars back, press the UP arrow key.
Non-Concert Visual Transpose
This feature displays the chords and notation for non-concert key instruments like trumpet and saxophone in the
non-concert key (Bb, Eb) while the music plays in concert key.
Note: This does not transpose the music. To do that,
use the song key box to the right of the Style area.
Pressing the [Chord Display] menu button opens a list of concert and non-concert instruments.
The type of chord display can be selected from the Choose type of Chord Display submenu.
264
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
There are also settings for guitar capo, tuning the guitar down, and visual transpose of any number of semitones.
Guitar Settings
For example, with “Capo at Fret 2”
selected, if you enter a D chord it will play as an E chord but display as a D chord.
This is also true for notes entered in notation. An alert shows on-screen.
You can also tune the guitar down from 1 semitone to 8 semitones. If you tune down
by 1 semitone a song entered in E will display in E but play in Eb.
Editable Notation Mode
Enter the Editable Notation mode from the notation screen with a single mouse click on the Editable Notation
button.
In the Editable Notation mode you can enter, move, and edit notes and rests using standard mouse techniques– point
and click, drag and drop, and right-click to open the Note Edit dialog.
This is the screen for step-entry of a melody or for editing existing parts. Notice the grid of vertical lines, which
sub-divide each beat. These lines indicate where the notes will be placed according to the resolution of the song.
When mousing over notes in this window, summary information about the note is
displayed (pitch/channel/velocity/duration).
To enable this feature, click on the [More..] button in the Notation
Options dialog to open the Other Notation Options dialog. Then select the
“Show Popup Hint for Note Properties” checkbox.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
265
Easy Method of Guitar Tab Entry
Click on the string (on the tab), then click on the note (on notation, or on-screen guitar) to get it entered on that
string/fret. To access this feature, for melody (or soloist) track, first set menu-Melody- Track Type to Guitar. Then
open the Notation Window, and choose editable notation. You will now see Guitar Tab below the Treble Clef. You
can now highlight a note, using Shift+Arrow Right (or Left). When a note is highlighted in red, you can click on
the tab on the string that you would like the note played on. This will change the note to that string, and the tab will
be updated to reflect this.
For Editable Notation with Guitar Tab, you can easily change the string for a note, by dragging the note from one
tab string to another.
Select the Melody track in the Notation Window.
Enter the Editable Notation.
And set the track type to Guitar (via main menu Melody - Track Type = Guitar).
Now you have Editable Notation and tab. After you insert notes on the notation, you can drag notes from one tab
string to another to change the channel and fret position that plays on the guitar.
For example, here you can drag the “1” down a
string to have the middle C note played on the
third string instead of the second.
Resolution
The above example is in Jazz Swing style so Band-in-a-Box has automatically set the grid resolution to 3 per beat
(triplets). This resolution can be changed in the Notation Options dialog, but the program automatically sets the
resolution to the correct value based upon the Band-in-a-Box style that is in use.
- Swing styles use 3 lines to divide each beat into eighth note swing triplets.
- Straight styles use 4 lines to divide each beat into sixteenth notes.
Example of swing (triplet) resolution.
Example of straight (16ths) resolution.
Beat Resolution
The user can manually set the resolution for any beat in the Beat Resolution dialog, which opens with a right-click
on the black vertical time line.
266
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Setting the Treble Clef Resolution for this beat to 5 allows a group of five
notes to be placed on one beat.
Entering Notes
To insert a new note on the staff move the mouse to the location that you want. If you want beat 1, move to the first
dotted line in the bar. Click on the staff over the note that you want.
Confirmation dialogs show warnings to prevent accidental entry of a duplicate note (same pitch near same time) and
of a very high or very low note (large # of ledger lines).
The Current Note box in the toolbar will give you the name of the note that you're on.
Click with the left mouse button to insert the note:
- To insert a sharp: Hold down the Shift key as you click the note.
- To insert a flat: Hold down the Ctrl key as you click the note.
- To insert a natural: Hold down the Alt key as you click the note.
Brackets (#) are drawn around accidentals after a bar line as a courtesy, where no
accidental is required.
How is the length of the notes determined?
Band-in-a-Box uses an intelligent auto-duration feature to determine how long the note should be. Auto-durations
mean that you can enter a lead sheet style melody by just clicking once per note, dramatically speeding up the entry
of notation.
Any note that is entered will initially have a duration of 2 bars (2 whole notes). When the next note is put in 2 beats
later, Band-in-a-Box will adjust the duration of the previous note to just shorter than 2 beats. This means that you
don't have to worry about durations at all, and can simply point and click to enter the notes where you want them. If
you want to override the auto duration, you can edit the note using the right mouse key, which will permit you to
type the exact duration that you want.
Entering Rests
Insert a rest by holding the back-quote key (tilde key without pressing Shift) then clicking on the notation window.
Another way to enter a rest is to click the Rest checkbox and then point and click where you want the rest to appear.
This automatically shortens the duration of the previous note.
Tip: If it is important to see rests less than a quarter note, make sure you de-select the “Minimize Rests” checkbox in the
Options dialog.
Forced Rests (Hard Rests)
This allows you to insert a rest in the notation, which will be in effect even if you have Minimize Rests set to false.
For example, we are able to display a 16th note rest even though the Minimize Rests feature is on. To do this, click
on the [Rests] button and then click on the notation at the location that you'd like a 16th note rest. The Hard Rest
will show up in blue in the editable notation window and can be removed by holding the [DEL] key and clicking on
the rest.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
267
Moving a note in time
If you want to change the start time of a note, drag the note with the left mouse button to the new location. This is a
simple way to move the note. Alternatively, you could edit the note numerically with the right mouse button.
Changing the pitch of a note
Similarly, you can drag the note vertically to change the note value, and release it when you're on the note you want.
Hold down the Shift, Ctrl, or Alt key to have the note inserted as a sharp, flat, or natural respectively.
Insert Bends in Notation
In the Editable Notation window, any note can be made into a bend by right-clicking on the note and changing its
type to “Guitar Bend” with the Edit Note command.
Right-click Editable Notation menu
A right-click of the mouse in the Editable Notation window will open this menu.
Edit Current Chord
This opens a text box with the name of the chord at the current location. Type in any changes and press Enter or
Tab to return to the Editable Notation window.
Insert Lyrics opens the Lyric Edit window.
Edit Lyrics opens the lyrics event list editor.
Edit Section Text opens the Text Events list where section text can be inserted, edited, or deleted.
Insert Section Text opens the Section Text Event dialog where either regular or boxed section text is entered along
with its time and vertical position in the window.
268
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Precise Placement Section Letters
Select a section letter from an alphabetical list and it will be inserted at the current location of the time line bar. Use
this same item to remove section letters.
Bar-Based Sec Section Letters
Select a section letter from an alphabetical list and it will be inserted at the top of the bar line so that it doesn’t
overwrite chords or notes.
The Section Letter gets inserted at the top of the bar line, so that it doesn’t overwrite chords or notes.
Notation Symbols for Expression and Articulation
The Notation Symbols are entered from the Notation Event dialog, which is accessed from the right-click menu in
the Editable Notation window. This dialog lets you insert (or remove) notation symbols such as,
Slur
Accent
Legato
Crescendo
Decrescendo
Marcato
Staccato
Staccatissimo
Select a notation symbol from those listed and the Notation Event dialog will open. In this dialog, you can further
define the event and its precise location, then press [OK - Insert Event] to insert it into the notation. Use the [OK Remove Event] to delete an existing event that is no longer needed.
The Event Type list box lets you choose the event type (slur, decrescendo, etc.).
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
269
The Length of Event field determines the length of a slur, crescendo, or decrescendo. The length is specified in
beats and ticks. If an event is a “single-peg” event, such as a staccato or accent, then this field will cause multiple
events to be inserted if the range is greater than zero (and the range spans multiple pegs). If you had highlighted
an area of the Notation window prior to right-clicking on it (to launch the pop-up menu and choose the notation
symbols menu item) then this field is set based on the length of the highlighted area.
Note: The highlighted area does not actually include the very last peg at the very edge of the highlighted area.
The Clef field, if present, indicates the clef in which the event will be inserted (or removed from). Most events
affect only one clef at a time, and therefore you must choose the clef and this field will be preset based on where
you had initially right-clicked with the mouse on the Notation window (you did this to get the pop-up menu that
launches this dialog). For example, if you had right-clicked on the treble clef, then this will be set to treble.
When Snap to notes toward beginning / end of range is enabled slurs, crescendos, and decrescendos will be
based on notes that exist at the beginning and end of the specified range.
The Offset field, if present, lets you adjust make adjustments to the
vertical position of an event, e.g. slurs or chord height.
The Start Time field is the start time of the event (in Measures:Bytes:Ticks).
OK – Insert Event – exits this dialog and then inserts the event into the notation track.
OK – Remove Event – exits this dialog and then REMOVES the event (if it exists in the specified time range)
from the notation track.
Cleanup Orphaned Notation Controller Events
This command will remove notation symbol events (such as staccato) that are no longer close enough to a note to
display properly.
Chord height adjustment
Use this to adjust the height of a certain chord by adjusting the “Offset:” value in the Notation Event dialog.
Note that a positive value moves the chord symbol lower, and vice versa.
Modes
Clicking on another notation mode will change to that screen while staying at the same location in the song.
Vocal Synth (Auto)
Your Melody or Soloist track with lyrics can be rendered to a vocal audio track by sending it to the 3rd party vocal
synthesizer Sinsy.
Choose the language, Japanese or English, and one of the female or male vocalists. You can adjust the gender of the
voice in a range from -0.8 to +0.8. Higher values are more masculine. If your track does not include lyrics you can
enter a syllable to use for notes with no lyrics.
With the “Auto” command your song will be sent automatically to the song server and returned as an audio file on
the Audio track. This may take a few minutes. A yellow Flash message will tell you when the vocal synth has been
generated; press [Play] to hear it.
270
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Manually generate Vocal Synth track
With this command, Band-in-a-Box will generate a file named Sound.XML and save it in bb\Data\SRequest. Use
your browser to navigate to www.sinsy.jp and upload the xml file. A file named sound.wav will be returned and
loaded into the Audio track of your song.
Editing Note Values
Right-click on a note. This brings up a variation of the right-click window with added commands for editing or
deleting notes. Click on Edit Note to launch the Note dialog.
In the Note dialog, you can manually change the characteristics of a note by entering the exact values you wish for
any given note. For example, you can change the velocity and duration by increments of 1 tick, as well as the note's
pitch and relative positioning in the bar.
There are spin buttons in the note attributes window. Holding the spin increments continuously, and Shiftclicking (or right-clicking) increments by a higher amount.
Shift+clicking on the spin buttons changes:
- The pitch of a note by an octave instead of a semitone.
- The velocity, duration or time stamp by 5 instead of 1.
For example, to change the octave of a note, Shift-click (or right-click) on the spin arrows.
Click on Delete Note in the right-click menu to remove the selected note from the Notation.
Select a region of notation to edit
To select a region of the notation you can Shift+click on the end point to easily select a large area.
- Select a small region by dragging the mouse.*
- Enlarge the region by Shift-clicking on the end point.
*Note: Shift-click is also used to enter a sharp (#) note, so the selection via Shift-click requires that a small region be already
selected.
Force Accidental - If a note is being displayed as a sharp, but you want it to appear as a flat (or vice versa), you can
force that here. Notes like Fb, Cb, E#, B# can be entered. To do this, right-click on a note (like F), and set the
forced accidental to #, and the note will appear as E#.
Note Type - You can choose for the note to be Normal, Invisible (note will sound but will not appear in regular
notation), or Guitar Bend (a B will appear above the note). Note that the guitar bend is for notation only and does
not affect the sound of the note.
Staff Roll Notation Mode
Click on the Staff Roll notation mode button to enter the Staff Roll mode.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
271
This mode is similar to the Editable Notation Mode, except that the beats begin right on the bar line. You can see
the duration of the note visually represented by a horizontal blue line and the note’s velocity displayed as a vertical
blue line.
Tip: If you can't see these lines, press the [Opt.] button to check that “Show Note Durations, Show Velocity Lines,” and “Show
Bar/Beat Lines” options are enabled.
Using the Mouse to Edit Velocity and Duration
There is an additional function available in this mode; right mouse drag. Place the mouse cursor on the note head
and hold down the right-mouse button. Then, starting at the note head, drag the cursor horizontally to set the note's
duration, or drag it vertically to set the note's velocity.
Piano Roll Window
For advanced editing of notes plus graphic controller editing, go to the Piano Roll window, either by
selecting the Piano Roll button on the toolbar, or the Window | Piano Roll Window menu item.
Notation Window Options
Press the [Opt.] button in a notation window to bring up the Notation Window Options dialog.
272
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Track Type
Normally you'd leave the track type set to Single Channel, but you can also set it to Multi-Channel, Guitar, or Piano.
Multi (16) -Channel: All MIDI channel assignments are preserved and output on playback. This would be useful
for importing an entire MIDI file, and playing it from the Melody channel using a silent style.
Guitar: MIDI channels 11 to 16 are assigned to the guitar strings 1 to 6. Correct guitar tablature replaces the bass
clef, the notation will be up an octave, and guitar channel assignments are saved with MIDI files.
Piano: In this mode, channels 8 and 9 are treated as the left and right hand of a piano part.
Triplet Resolution (Swing)
Band-in-a-Box automatically sets the resolution whenever a style is loaded. When a style has a triplet feel (such as
Jazz Swing or a Shuffle style), Band-in-a-Box selects Triplet Resolution. This ensures that Jazz eighth notes (swing
triplets) are handled correctly. When a style with a straight feel loads (Pop, Latin) the Triplet Resolution setting is
automatically turned off. Then the notation shows even eighth notes, not triplets, and each note and duration is
rounded to the nearest sixteenth note when displaying the music.
Show Bar/Beat Lines
This setting is for the Staff Roll mode only. When turned off (unchecked) only the staff lines will show, helpful for
editing note Duration and Velocity lines.
Show Note Durations
A Staff Roll mode setting to show or hide the horizontal Duration lines.
Duration Line Color (Green /Blue)
There are two color choices for the Duration lines, green or blue.
[Update]
The [Update] button applies the changes made in this dialog. Pressing [OK] will have the same effect.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
273
Snap to grid lines
If the Snap To Grid Lines checkbox is checked, the inserted note will be lined up with the closest grid line. This is
similar to the way a graphics or typesetting program aligns elements accurately on a page. This means that you
don't have to click exactly on the beat to have the note inserted precisely on the beat.
Scroll Ahead
The Notation window can be set to scroll 1 or 2 bars ahead of the music without interfering with your view of the
current notation. To enable this feature, select the number of bars you wish to scroll-ahead in the Notation Window
Options (1 or 2). Select zero bars to disable this feature. When the notation scroll-ahead feature is enabled, the
lyrics will also scroll ahead.
Highlight playback notes in Red
Good sight-readers who like to read ahead can use this option to disable the highlighting of notes in red as the song
is playing so it won't be distracting.
Note Colors
Notation can display notes in different colors based on absolute note names or relative to chord or key. Colors are
definable; the default color scheme is one that was introduced by the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin (18721915). Colored notes will appear in color for printout on color printers or when saved in a color graphics file.
Pressing the [Edit] button launches the
Note Color Editor dialog. Change the colors by clicking
on the color above the note name. Pressing the [OKSave] button will close the dialog and save the file as
c:\bb\default.NCL. You can also save/load different NCL
files for different color sets.
Note Names
There is an option to display note names in the center of the note head. You can display absolute note names (A, Bb
etc.) or you can display numbers relative to the key or the current chord. This is helpful for learning to read music.
Combined with the ability to display large font sizes, this achieves the big note look common to “EZ-2-Play” music
books.
Channel numbers can also be displayed on the notation. When editing notes, it is often
helpful to see the channel number of each note. By setting Note Names to “Channel
Numbers” you will see the channel number for each note written into the note head of the
notes. This is useful when viewing an entire MIDI file that you've loaded onto the Melody
track, and want to examine the channel information, or for editing a guitar track that uses
channels 11 to 16.
Notation Fonts
You can use the PG Music fonts or Jazz fonts for your chords and notation. Or you can choose Arial or any other
font on your system for chords, lyrics, text, and titles. The Jazz fonts have the “handwritten manuscript” look. It's a
great alternative to music fonts that look too “computerized.”
274
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
To select just the Jazz music font, enable the “Use Jazz Music Font” option, then choose
your Chord, Lyrics, Text, and Title fonts.
Click [Regular Fonts] for a quick overall change to regular fonts in the Notation window.
The [Jazz Fonts] button installs a pre-selected group of Jazz fonts.
The [Arial] button installs the regular notation font and Arial for everything else.
You can select from any of the fonts installed on your computer
using the settings found in the Notation Options dialog.
Check “Use Jazz Music Font” to use the Jazz font, and check
“Jazz Symbols” to use shorthand Jazz chord symbols in the
notation.
The Lyrics and Text fonts appear in the Notation window, the
Lead Sheet and the printout.
The Title font is used for the Titles, Composer, and Styles names
that appear on the Lead Sheet window and printout. You can
choose from selected fonts, or use the “Other…” selection to use
any font. For example, you could use PG Jazz Text Extended
(PGTextje) for a jazzy look.
The “Slash Font” is used for slashes / / / / which appear in the
empty bars.
The “Bar # Font” is used for bar numbers.
Note: Using the PG Music notation and text fonts requires that they be installed in your Windows | System directory. The fonts
are installed automatically with the program.
Jazz Chord Symbol Graphics (circles, triangles)
Jazz and Pop music often use certain non-alphabetic symbols for chord types. These include a delta (triangle) for
major chords, a circle for diminished, and a circle with a slash for half-diminished. Also, tensions like b9 and b13
are stacked vertically and contained in brackets. You can now select this option, and see these symbols for
display/printout on the Chord Sheet, Notation Window, and Lead Sheet Window.
The Jazz Chord Symbol Graphics can be displayed independently on the Chord Sheet and the Notation or Lead
Sheet windows.
To get the Jazz Chord Symbol Graphics on the Chord Sheet, open the Display Options dialog (Opt. | Preferences |
Display) and set “Chord Sheet Font” to “Jazz Chord Symbols.”
You will then see a Chord Sheet like this.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
275
To see the Jazz Chord Symbol Graphics on the Notation/Lead Sheet printout, set the Notation
Options. The Notation will then look like this.
The Lyrics and Text fonts appear in the Notation window, the Lead Sheet, and the printout. The Title font is used
for the Titles, Composer, and Styles names that appear on the Lead Sheet window and printout. You can choose
from selected fonts, or use the “Other…” selection to use any font. For example, you could use PG Jazz Text
Extended (PGTextje) for a jazzy look.
Note: PG Music notation and text fonts are installed automatically by the program in your Windows | System directory.
Bars/Screen
This option lets you to choose the number of bars per line for both the on-screen notation display and printing.
Guitar Chord Diagrams
These are available on the notation, lead sheet, or printout for Folk, Pop, and Jazz voicings. There is an option to
show the fret numbers on the diagrams.
Tab
When set, the Guitar and Bass parts will print tablature notation.
Show fret #s on chord diagrams
This will display the fret numbers for each string on the guitar chord diagrams.
Load notation layout w/songs
When this box is checked your Notation Option settings will be saved with the song and restored the next time you
load the song.
Show Key Signature
If turned off, you won't have the key signature box displayed on the Notation Screen. This will save some space on
the screen.
Transpose Options
These preset transpose settings for non-concert instruments like brass and
woodwinds will auto-select the correct transpose settings and clef split points for the
instrument. For example, Trumpet +2 will write the music up 2 semitones, and the
split point will be adjusted to display the music in treble clef.
Guitar and bass settings are also included.
If a Chord Sheet or Notation Window transpose setting
is in effect, a yellow hint message opens on boot up as a
reminder.
Transpose
The Transpose setting lets you manually adjust the Notation window to display notes either higher or lower than
their actual pitches.
276
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Clefs split at
This setting determines the split point for placing notes on the Bass or Treble clef. The default setting is C5, middle
C. Use a higher split point, such as C6, if you want notes up to a B above middle C written on the bass clef with
ledger lines.
Max Ledger Lines
You can specify an upper limit of a note range so that high notes won't result in an excessive number of ledger lines.
The default is 6, which would show a maximum of 6 ledger lines above the treble clef staff.
Show Velocity Lines
This is a Staff Roll mode setting to show or hide the vertical Velocity lines. Line color is determined by the
Duration Line Color setting.
Use chord scale for enharmonics
The sharps and flats in Band-in-a-Box notation are context sensitive to the chord names. For example, if you are in
the key of Eb, and the chord is E7, a G# note will show up as G#, and not Ab. This means that the notation
accidentals will automatically show up correctly.
Enharmonics for chord tones are automatically based on the chord.
Enharmonics for passing tones are based on chords if “Use Chord Scale Enharmonics” is set to true.
For example, on an F#7 chord in the key of Eb, the Ab note is part of the F#7 scale (as a G#, the 2nd of the scale),
but is also part of the Eb key of the song. If you want to display based on the chord scale, setting “Use chord scale
enharmonics” will display the note as a G# instead of an Ab.
Enharmonics on slash chords
A chord like Gm7b5/Db will display correctly using a Db instead of a Gm7b5/C#, since Band-in-a-Box bases it on a
Gm scale.
Engraver Spacing
This is another one of the program's intelligent features which spaces the Notation appropriately to avoid
overlapping notation while accounting for space required by accidentals, rests, etc. This feature is visible only in
Standard Notation mode.
Notation Settings
Tick Offset
The Tick Offset on the notation options is one of the keys to great looking notation. It accounts for playing that is
before or behind the beat. The track is automatically scanned to determine the best tick offset so that you don't have
to set this yourself. This results in better looking notation. You can change/override this setting in the Notation
Window Options dialog, but normally the best tick offset is set automatically.
For example, to properly notate Jazz performances, it is sometimes necessary to set the tick offset to approximately 15. This effectively adjusts for a performance that has been played slightly “behind” the beat or, in Jazz terms,
“very laid back.”
In Editable Notation mode, notes entered with the mouse take the notation offset into account. So if a note is clicked
on the beat 1:1:0 will get entered at 1:1:7 if the notation offset is -7. This gives a more human feel to the
arrangement.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
277
Auto Set Tick Offset
When checked, Band-in-a-Box will eliminate unnecessary rests. For example, if staccato eighth notes are displayed
as sixteenth notes separated by sixteenth rests the setting will remove the rests and show the notes as eighth notes.
When checked, Band-in-a-Box will automatically determine the tick offset by analyzing the notes on the track. If
you want to set the tick offset manually, disable this and enter the value in the “Tick Offset” option above.
Minimize Rests
When checked, Band-in-a-Box will eliminate unnecessary rests. For example, if staccato eighth notes are displayed
as sixteenth notes separated by sixteenth rests the setting will remove the rests and show the notes as eighth notes.
Detect Fine Resolution Notation
Improved auto-transcription identifies and correctly displays up to 128th notes. If for some reason you prefer to
disable it, there is an option to do so. To set a beat to a certain specific resolution right mouse-click on the Time
Line located at the top of the Notation window. You will then see a Beat Resolution dialog where you can set the
resolution for both the Treble and Bass clefs.
New Line each
Use this setting to automatically start a new line on each chorus, on each chorus and the intro,
or on each part marker. It applies to the Lead Sheet notation screen and to printing.
If you want to control how many bars per line get displayed for a
regular (non-fake sheet mode) display, use the Edit Settings for Current Bar (F5) options, and select “Chord Sheet
and Notation - Start a New Line” on bars that you’d like a new line of notation. That setting, in combination with
the Notation Window Options setting for “Bars/Screen,” and “New Line each” allow you to save custom settings for
bars per line in non-fake sheet mode.
R/L Cursor Edits
This is used in the Keystroke Note Editing features.
Bar Number Font and %
Select any installed font for the bar numbers and adjust its size in a percentage range from 10% to 1000%. These
settings affect the notation, lead sheet, and printout.
Display Font Size %
To select the notation font size for display, enter the Display Font Size as a percentage, either more or less than
100%. The same setting is available in the Lead Sheet window and the Print dialog.
Chord Vertical Position
This controls how high the chords will be written above the staff. If set to 5 the chords will be written 5 notes above
the top of the staff. If your piece contains a lot of high notes, then set the chord position to a high setting.
Lyric Position
You can adjust the height of the lyrics by setting the lyric height (smaller values like –8 are higher on the notation).
Auto-Hand split Piano track
When checked, the Piano track (not any other track) will be displayed on both clefs with intelligent hand-splitting.
You can print out the Piano track with the hands separated.
You can also manually split a piano part on a Melody or Soloist track using the intelligent hand-splitting routines.
The left/right hands display in red/blue on the big piano, and on the bass/treble clefs on the notation. For example, if
you have a MIDI file that is a solo piano piece, File | Open MIDI file will put the music on the Melody track.
278
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Then choose Melody | Edit Melody Track | Utilities | Piano Hand Split. Make sure that Melody | Track Type is set
to “Piano.” You will then see the piano part split into 2 hands intelligently.
Display Patch Names on Notation
When this box is checked, the patch name for the track is displayed on the notation, lead sheet, and printout.
Show Slashes (/) for blank bars
If set, slash marks / / / / will show for empty bars.
Restate Chords
If set to “Don’t Restate,” then the program works as in previous versions, and
if the chord stays the same, it will never be stated again in the arrangement
until it does change. If set to “Every Bar,” “Every Line” or “Every Page,” then
the Notation, Lead Sheet and Printout will restate the chord every bar, line or
page. The setting of “Every Page” is the default, which means that the first bar
of the Lead Sheet Window will always have a chord as will the top of each
Notation Window screen.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
279
[More] button
The [More..] button opens the Other
Notation Options dialog.
Inserted Note Defaults
These settings determine the default values for
notes that you enter manually.
Duration %
Notes are not always played for their full
duration. If a whole note is inserted with a
duration of 80%, the note would play for 80%
of 4 beats = 3.2 beats.
Velocity
The loudest possible note has a velocity of
127; a velocity of 0 is silent.
Channel
Assign the MIDI channel of the inserted notes.
Play Inserted Notes
When checked, notes that you insert will
sound briefly as they are inserted. This lets
you hear that the note you inserted sounds
correct.
Advanced Notation Settings
These advanced settings give you control over
the clean notation feature.
Chord Note Separation in MS and Chord Total Separation in MS
This lets you set the width of chords. Band-in-a-Box will display a new group of notes on the notation for every
chord. If you know that a track is single notes and therefore couldn't have any chords, set the chord note separation
to a small value like 10ms and then every note will be displayed on a new note stem. The chord width parameter is
also used for the “chord step advance” feature.
Glitch Duration in MS and Glitch Velocity
When set properly, “Glitches” will not be shown on the notation. Any note less than a certain length of time or less
than a certain velocity can be filtered out.
Line Thickness Settings
These settings allow you to control the thickness of various line elements of the notation. For example, if you set
the Bar Line width to 200%, the bar lines will be twice as wide, and easier to see. This affects display and printout.
280
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Show Popup Hint for Note Properties
If this is checked the note properties pop-up will open if you hover the mouse cursor
over a note in the Editable Notation window.
Confirmation Required to enter a note more than X Ledger Lines
To prevent accidental entry of very high/low notes, this means that a confirmation dialog would be needed to enter
notes with more than X ledger lines.
Defaults button
Click [Defaults] to have all modifications revert back to factory settings.
Keystroke Note Editing
You can easily edit notes using only keystrokes. By stepping through the notes one-by-one, when a note is
highlighted you can change the pitch using the cursor keys, and other values (timing, duration, channel) with other
hot keys. This speeds up editing of notes. To use this function, you do the following:
1. Open up the Notation window.
2. Move the mouse cursor to the note that you want to edit, and then press the Chord Advance (INS or DEL key on
the Numeric Keypad). This highlights the current note.
3. With the note highlighted in red, use the cursor up/down keys to change the pitch of the note. You hear the pitch
change as the note changes.
4. Use the cursor left/right keys to change the note's start time, duration, channel, or velocity (depending on the
setting of the “Right/Left Cursor Edits” field in the Notation Options Dialog.
Press the Esc key or [Stop] button when you're done.
Section Text for Notation
You can add custom Section Text and Boxed Text messages at any position in the notation track, with
optional box to appear around the text.
To put a section text comment on the notation track:
Open up the Notation Window, and switch to the Editable Notation mode.
- Right-click on the track at the point that you want to enter the section text. Answer YES to the question “Would
you like to enter Section Text?”
- This launches the Section Text Event dialog that allows you to type in the text. You can set the Text Event Type
to “Boxed” or “Regular.”
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
281
Easy Entry of Section Text on Notation Window
Typing a backslash “\” followed by any text puts that text at the beginning of the current bar as a boxed section text
message. For example, \Hello would put “Hello” in a boxed section text event.
Typing \ launches the edit dialog for the section text.
Type the section text that you want, such as “Guitar Solo,” and then press Enter.
This text can be entered once per bar. You can use this for section headings, or even to enter lyrics bar by bar.
Scrub Mode on Notation
Scrub mode allows you to move the mouse over a group of notes and hear them playing. To enable the
scrub mode, press the Scrub button in the Notation window toolbar. Then hold the mouse and drag it over
the notes that you want to hear.
Lead Sheet Window
The Lead Sheet window displays a full screen of notation with one or more parts. Other options include a
selectable number of staffs per page, clefs to show, font size, margin, scroll-ahead notation, guitar chord diagrams,
and lyrics. If you like to sight-read along with Band-in-a-Box, this is the window for you.
The Lead Sheet window can be resized. As you resize the window all of its elements resize in proportion.
Launch the Lead Sheet window from the main screen by pressing the [Lead Sheet] button (or Alt+W
keys), or with the Window | Lead Sheet Window menu option. This button is also available from the
Standard Notation window.
You can easily change the bars per line by pressing this button. (Note: This feature works in the Fake
Sheet mode.)
This button will display notation with larger font size and note names within note heads. Press the button
again to return to the normal size.
282
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
As the notation scrolls ahead, you can read ahead without waiting for a page turn. During playback, red rectangles
highlight the current bar. If the bar is empty (or in Fake Sheet mode), the Lead Sheet will draw the staff lines and
bar lines in red.
The Lead Sheet is also useful as a kind of “Print Preview” feature, as it offers you the ability to correlate the onscreen notation to a printout.
You can move around the Lead Sheet window in various ways. Cursor keys and mouse clicks will move a small
blue rectangle around the screen, which lets you type in chords at that location. Double-clicking the mouse at any
bar will start playback from that position.
Selecting Parts in the Lead Sheet
Click on the track selection toolbar to select a different track. The tracks are [B]ass,
[D]rums, [P]iano, [G]uitar, [S]trings, [M]elody, and [S]oloist.
Note: These buttons show the initials of the “automatic” track labels when you check “Auto-Generate Track Labels” option in the
Display Options dialog. (e.g. [H] for Harmonica.) If you prefer the “default” labels (B/P/D/G/S/M/S), then uncheck this option.
To view multiple parts, click first on the button for the top part you want to view, and
then hold down the Ctrl key and click on the other parts you want to view in the order you want to see them, from
top to bottom. You will then see a group of tracks, displayed in the order that you requested them. To revert to a
single track of notation, simply click on a track without holding the Ctrl key down.
There is an option in the Lead Sheet Options dialog to allow you to display the
chords above each track, or just the top track of the notation. If you press [Print] from the Lead Sheet window you
will be able to print out the multiple tracks of notation.
Lead Sheet Options Dialog
Pressing the [Opt.] button in the Lead Sheet window or the [Leadsheet] button in the Preferences
dialog launches the Lead Sheet Options dialog.
The settings in this dialog are applicable to the Lead Sheet window only. If you want to set options that are shared
by the Lead Sheet window and the Notation window, press the [Notation Options…] button.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
283
Treble Clef and Bass Clef
These checkboxes choose which clefs will display in the Lead Sheet view.
AutoSet Clefs
When set, Band-in-a-Box will attempt to pick the clef for you automatically displaying the bass clef when you are
on the bass track or any other track with low bass notes. It will show both clefs when on the piano or drum track.
Clef Sign Every Line and Key Signature Every Line
By default, the Clef and Key will be shown at the beginning of every page, but if you want one every line, you can
check these options.
Band-in-a-Box have multiple keys in a song, the new key signature is shown on notation.
Chords and Staff Lines
Both are shown by default. Uncheck this box if you don’t want them to display.
Show Bar #s
Choose whether the bar numbers will be shown for each bar, only at part markers, or not at all.
Show Title
If set, the song title will be displayed along with other information like Composer Names and Style information that
is set in the Print Options dialog of the Notation window. To set these options choose File | Print from the menu.
Fake Sheet displays multiple lines of lyrics shows lyrics for 1st and 2nd endings or multiple choruses stacked as
multiple lines on the fake sheet.
Fakesheet bars/line
You can set a custom number of bars to display on each row of the fake
sheet. For example, enter “4,6,4” in the Lead Sheet Window options and the program will use 4 bars for the first row,
6 for the second, and 4 for the rest.
Fakesheet include ending bars
Fakesheets can optionally include the 2-bar song ending.
Restore Defaults
You can reset all the Lead Sheet Options back to default settings by pressing the [Restore Defaults] button.
284
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Notation Options
To set Options that are shared by the Lead Sheet window and the Notation window, press the [Notation Options…]
button.
Margins
Set margins for the Lead Sheet window, just like the margins in a
word processor. For example, if you want the lead sheet window
to only take up the top part of the screen, set a bottom margin (of,
say, 2 inches) and then make the lead sheet window smaller by
pulling the bottom up.
This feature has no effect on printout; the Print dialog has its own
margin settings.
Show Chords above each track
When using multiple tracks of Notation, this determines whether each track will show the chord names or not.
Show track names for multi-track notation
If checked, the Band-in-a-Box track names will be inserted at the start of each part in the multitrack notation display.
Harmony display
- [Convert Harmony to track] will add a harmony to an existing Melody.
- [Remove] will remove the harmony from the track.
- Split Harmonies to different tracks enables the splitting of the harmonies to different tracks on the lead sheet.
- Show Harmony Voice allows you to select ALL tracks, which will cause each track to display on a different track
on the Lead Sheet. Or select a specific Voice to display only that voice. For example, if you choose “Voice 2”
and press OK, you will now see just voice 2 of the harmony.
You can control the volume of the selected harmony voice relative to the other voices in the harmony. The Play
Volume of harmony voice setting can be set to:
- Normal: Harmony plays as normal.
- Solo: Only the selected voice will play.
- 50% Solo: Selected voice is much louder than other voices.
- Quiet: Selected Voice is much quieter than other voices.
- Muted: Selected Voice is muted.
These settings are useful to sight-read along on harmonies, and learn to hear inner voices of a harmony.
Staves Per Page
The number of staves shown in the lead sheet can be set by typing in a number or using the [+] and [-] buttons. If
“Auto-Set” is selected, the number of staves will be set automatically, attempting to fit the lead sheet on a single
page.
Font Size
Choose the font size with one of the preset buttons for popular sizes, or type a number between 45% and 300% in
the Lead Sheet Options dialog.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
285
Fake Sheet Mode
The Lead Sheet window has its own Fake Sheet Mode checkbox. When it is NOT selected, the lead sheet will work
as it always has (in linear mode).
When Fake Sheet Mode IS selected, the form will show like a lead sheet, with only one
chorus showing, and 1st/2nd endings and repeats displayed.
The Fake Sheet can show multiple lines of lyrics for 1st and 2nd endings or several verses stacked in multiple lines.
Multiple lines of Lyrics on Fake Sheet
If your song has 1st and 2nd endings or multiple verses of lyrics, multi-line lyrics can be displayed, so you will see
all verses on the same fake sheet.
Load in the song c:\bb\Tutorial - BB 2005\Listen Multi-line lyrics Demo.MGU.
Open the Lead Sheet and select “Fake Sheet Mode.”
286
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
This song has a 1st/2nd ending entered, with separate lyrics for each ending. Multiple lines of lyrics will also appear
if there are lyrics in multiple verses (choruses).
In the Notation Window Options, “Lyric Position” allows you to vertically
position the height of the lyrics.
Lead Sheet Memo
You can enter a memo to add to the Lead Sheet printout. Click on the [Memo] button in the Lead
Sheet to open the Lead Sheet Memo window. You can copy/paste from/to this memo.
The text in the Lead Sheet Memo also displays in the Big Lyrics window. If you have lyrics in text format, it is
easy to paste them in the memo and then see them on the Big Lyrics window as well.
The memo will be automatically positioned after the end of the Lead Sheet and printout. Use extra blank lines in
the Lead Sheet Memo to control where it displays on the page.
There is an option to print the Lead Sheet Memo on a new page of the printout.
Press the [Choose Font] button to select the font you would like for the memo.
A text block will be appended to the Lead Sheet window and printout. This could be song lyrics that you want
appended to the end, multiple verses of lyrics, or any other text.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
287
Harmony Notation Display
Harmonies can be displayed on the Lead Sheet window (or printed) with separate notation tracks for each
harmony voice. View each harmony on a separate track, or view/print a single harmony voice. To examine the
harmony display features, load in the song “Night_T.MGU.” The melody of this song was previously converted to a
harmony using the Melody | Edit | Convert Melody to Harmony option, so this song contains a harmony on the
Melody part.
Open the Notation Window (Ctrl+W) and you will see all four voices of the harmony on the same treble
clef.
Four-part harmony on single staff.
Now open the Lead Sheet Window. Band-in-a-Box now recognizes that this is a harmony (generated by
Band-in-a-Box), and displays each voice on a separate track of the lead sheet.
For example, you can see the first Bb note has the other harmony voices playing G (drop 2), F, and D.
Four-part harmony on four separate staves.
Press the [Print] button to print out “Voice 2.” If needed, press the notation “Transpose Options” to first
visually transpose the instrument to Eb for an “Alto Sax” chart.
Multi-Channel Notation (Sequencer Mode)
Normally you would want a single part on the Melody and Soloist tracks. But, since MIDI information can have
separate channels, it is possible to store 16 separate parts on each of the Melody and Soloist parts. When one of
these tracks has been set to “Multi(16)-Channel” we refer to this as sequencer mode.
Now, when you are in this multi-channel mode, output from the Melody/Soloist part will be on whatever MIDI
channel the information is stored on, and will not be using the Melody/Soloist MIDI channel.
When you open the Lead Sheet window, you will see the entire MIDI file displayed on separate tracks of
notation. This is likely “too much information” to read, unless you are a symphony conductor.
To customize the notation display for sequencer mode, press the [Opt.] button on the Lead Sheet toolbar.
Select “CUSTOM channels play/display” and click on the [Set] button
to launch the Sequencer Window (Multi-channel track on
Melody/Soloist) dialog where you can customize which channels will
play and display.
288
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Lyrics
Band-in-a-Box supports lyrics in three different ways, Note-based Lyrics, Line-based Lyrics, and a Big Lyrics
(Karaoke) window. The complete list of lyrics functions is found in the Lyrics menu.
Note-based Lyrics
Note-based lyrics offer accurate placement of lyrics by placing a word under each note.
You can enter note-based lyrics by pressing Ctrl+L keys or pressing the [L] button on the Notation toolbar
to open the Lyric Edit window.
Lyric Edit Window
The [Line] button enters a forward slash “/” line break marker in the current lyric.
The [Para] button enters a backslash “ \” paragraph break marker in the current lyric.
The [Enter] button enters the current lyric, equivalent to hitting Enter key or Tab key.
The [Close] button closes the Lyrics Edit mode, equivalent to hitting the [L] button again.
The [Sec Text] button enters the text in the lyric box as section text at the current bar.
The [Edit] button opens the Edit Lyrics dialog where lyrics and section text can be edited.
As you enter the lyrics, the note is highlighted. Pressing the Tab or Enter key moves to the next note. You can
“undo” lyrics with the Edit | Undo command.
When you are finished a line of lyrics, hit the [Line] button. This enters a backslash “\” line break marker in the
current lyric.
Note-based lyrics are saved with the MIDI file, so you can use them in your other MIDI programs.
Vertical placement is set in the Notation Options dialog. A setting of -10
puts the lyrics directly under the treble clef, higher values put them lower.
Lyrics Event List
You can edit the lyrics using an event list as well. This allows you to enter lyrics at any point, not just tied to
a note.
Once you press the # button, you then press the [Edit Lyrics] button. You can then see the Edit
Lyrics dialog.
From here, you can edit lyrics, insert new lyrics, append lyrics to the end of the track, or delete lyrics. A single lyric
event can be 128 characters..
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
289
The Lyrics Menu
The complete list of Lyrics functions is found in the Lyrics menu.
- Enter Lyrics at current bar: Opens the Lyric entry box at the current location of the timeline or highlight cell.
- Big Lyrics Window: Opens the Big Lyrics window for viewing lyrics and, optionally, chord symbols.
- Lyric Document Window: Displays a full screen of formatted lyrics. Easily copy and paste lyrics to and from
your favorite word processor.
- Copy Lyrics to Clipboard: This function allows you to copy a song's lyrics (and/or the chords) to the Standard
Windows Clipboard. By pasting this data into a word processor, you can print out the lyrics in the font of your
choice. The dialog has options to allow copying of note-based and/or line-based lyrics. With either option you
can choose to include the chord symbols, have double or single line spacing, and make margin settings.
- Copy 1st chorus Lyrics to whole song: Copies the note-based lyrics for the first chorus to the rest of the song.
- Erase all Lyrics: Erases note-based and line-based Lyrics.
- Erase Note Lyrics only: Erases only the note-based lyrics.
- Kill Lyrics Choruses : Select to kill lyrics in the First Chorus, Middle Choruses, or Last Chorus from a list box.
- Move Lyric ahead to time line / Move Lyric back to time line: If you have a note-based lyric that you want to
time shift ahead or back, you can click on the time line at the destination that you want, and then choose this item.
You can also shift lyric times using the Lyric Event list.
- Timeshift Lyrics (ticks) / Insert Beat(s) in Lyrics / Delete Beat(s) from Lyrics: These are functions that apply
to the entire lyric track. They are useful when you're inserting bars or beats into the song and need to move the
lyrics around to keep them in sync.
- Edit Lyrics as Event List: Opens the Edit Lyrics dialog with Edit, Insert, Append, and Delete functions.
- Line-based Lyrics opens a submenu with additional features.
290
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
- Copy Line Lyrics to Note Lyrics converts line-based lyrics to note based lyrics. It is imprecise, because the
line-based lyrics don't correspond to individual notes. But you can edit the positions of the note-based lyrics
using the event list or the Move Lyric back/ahead to time line functions discussed above.
- Move Line lyrics to Note Lyrics works like the Copy Line lyrics to Note Lyrics function, except it erases the
Line-based lyrics.
- Auto-Update all songs in folder to Note-based Lyrics will update an entire folder worth of songs, copying the
Line Lyrics to Note Lyrics. Only Note-based Lyrics get displayed in the Big Lyrics Dialog, so this feature will
allow you to see these lyrics in the Big Lyrics Window.
- Move Lyrics Up or down row(s)… moves a line of line-based lyrics up/down a number of rows.
- Erase Line-based Lyrics only erases only the line-based lyrics, preserving the note-based lyrics.
- Vocal Synth - Auto Mode / Manual Mode This will generate a vocal track using an online third party vocal
synthesizer called Sinsy for a MIDI melody track with lyrics.
Tip: Lyrics are printable above or below the chord line, or printed separately after song end. Lyrics will also support international
characters such as è, š, and ó.
Lyric Document Window
The Lyric Document window displays a full screen of fully formatted lyrics so you can easily copy and paste lyrics
to and from your favorite word processor. If you have the lyrics available you can quickly paste them into Band-ina-Box.
You may already have the lyrics to your song typed into a word processor, nicely formatted with font/color/bold
choices etc. Previously, you would need to retype them into Band-in-a-Box and would lose your formatting. Now
you can simply Copy/Paste them to/from your word processor. This allows you to quickly add lyrics to any Bandin-a-Box song.
You can open this window by choosing Window | Lyric Document Window, or pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+L. In
addition, if “Auto-open lyrics window for songs with lyrics” is set to true in the Lyric Window Options dialog
(Opt. | Preferences [Big Lyrics]), the Lyric Document Window will open up automatically when the song is
loaded, and close when the next song is loaded.
To use the window, type or paste in text from a word processor. You can select fonts and colors as you would in a
word processor. Since the data is stored in RTF format, it should look very similar to the appearance it would have
in WordPad.
You can transfer “line based” or “note based” lyrics from the Notation Screen of Band-in-a-Box to the Lyric
Document window. Press the Copy Lyrics button to do this. This launches the Options for Copy Lyrics to
Clipboard dialog allowing you to select which elements to copy (line lyrics/ note-based lyrics/ chords) and
formatting options. Then click on [OK Copy to Text Clipboard]. A message will tell you that the lyrics have been
copied to the clipboard. Click on [OK] to paste the lyrics into the Lyrics Document Window.
You can also print directly from this window and copy to/from the Song Memo (using copy/paste).
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
291
Big Lyrics Window
The Big Lyrics Window is great for sing along or Karaoke. It opens from the Lyrics menu, with the keystrokes
Ctrl+Shift+L, or with the [L] toolbar button.
Each word is highlighted as it plays, and the window can be customized by clicking on the [Options] button. Click
on any word in the Big Lyrics Window to start the song playing from that point.
Lyric Window Options
Add chord symbols, customize your color scheme, choose a favorite font,
and select a size in the Lyric Window Options dialog.
If you set “Show chord symbols above the lyrics,” you then see the chords
written on a separate line. When there are no lyrics for a few bars, the Big Lyrics Window displays the chords in a
line divided by bars so that they are easy to read.
Separate chord colors are used for the Chords and Lyrics, allowing these elements to be visually separated.
292
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
You can also select the color for the chords in the options
dialog.
With this option selected, the Big Lyrics Window scrolls a page at a time. When the
lyric cursor reaches the next-to-last line of the lyrics it will scroll to the top of the page, allowing uninterrupted
reading of lyrics.
If you have this option selected, and a MIDI file (or .KAR) containing
lyrics is opened, then the Big Lyrics Window will open to show the lyrics.
The popular Karaoke file format (.KAR) can be opened directly into Band-in-a-Box just like MIDI files. Chord
symbols are displayed (Band-in-a-Box intelligently analyzes the chords of the song), as well as the lyrics from the
Karaoke files.
Karaoke MP3/CDG Files
Audio Karaoke files are popular using several formats. The most common is CDG format, which includes the lyrics
in graphic format on audio CDs. Since the computer user doesn’t always use audio CDs, there is a format that
combines MP3 (containing the music) and CDG (the graphical lyrics). You can open up MP3/CDG files inside
Band-in-a-Box and see the scrolling lyrics from your Karaoke files. If you want to play along on your own
instrument, you can use the Audio Chord Wizard to figure out the chords and display them in its Chord window.
To Open a Karaoke File, use File | Open, and find a WAV, MP3, or WMA file that has a same
named CDG file in the same folder. Then the Karaoke window will open and display the lyrics.
The Big Lyrics Window has some options for the Karaoke window.
You can choose to have a background to the window, either
a moving one, or fixed picture. These pictures are in the
c:\bb\KaraokeBMP folder, and you can add your own BMP
or JPG image to that folder.
The [Print] button opens the Options for Copy Lyrics to Clipboard
dialog. This function allows you to copy a song's lyrics (and/or the
chords) to the standard Windows clipboard.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
293
By pasting this data into a word processor, you can
print out the lyrics in the font of your choice.
The dialog has options to allow note-based and/or
line-based lyrics to be copied to the clipboard.
With either option, you can choose to include the
chord symbols, have double or single line spacing,
and make margin settings.
“Process Lyric Lines cleans up the display of lyrics by
inserting and/or removing extra spaces in line-based
lyrics.
The [Vocal Synth] button offers Auto and Manual modes for sending the
Melody track and lyrics to the 3rd party Sinsy vocal synthesizer. A
synthesized vocal track will be generated and imported into the Band-in-aBox audio track.
Printing
Band-in-a-Box prints Lead Sheet style notation with chords, melodies, lyrics, and text notes. It will also print
instrument parts from your Band-in-a-Box arrangements, either individual instruments or multiple parts. Most
songs will fit on one page, so your printout will look similar to a standard fake book.
You can easily make and print out a custom fake book of all of your tunes. Instantly transpose and print parts for
brass or reed instruments. Print options include title, bar numbers, composer, style, and copyright information.
294
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Print Options
Pressing the printer button launches the Print Options dialog. Print options include title, bar numbers,
composer, style, and copyright.
This dialog also opens by clicking on the [Print] button in the Notation, Lead Sheet, or Preview
windows.
Chords
If selected, this will include the chords of the song on the lead sheet. Remember that you can set the height that the
chords will appear in a different dialog (Notation Window Options Dialog).
Notes
If you want only a chord lead sheet with no Notes, then turn this off. Otherwise it should be ON.
Staff Lines
Set to off (uncheck) to print a “chords only” fake sheet with chord symbols and bar lines but no staff lines or
notation.
Treble Clef
Normally you will want to include the treble clef unless you're printing a bass part or left hand piano part alone and
want to save space.
Bass Clef
For melodies or solos, you probably won't want the bass clef printed. For other parts (piano, bass, drums, etc.) you
should set this option to YES.
AutoSet Clefs
With this setting the program will print only the clefs that are necessary. For example, a Melody would probably
print with just the treble clef, while a bass part would use only the bass clef, and a piano part would use both clefs.
Tab
Enables tablature display and printout for guitar and bass tracks.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
295
Clef Split At
This determines where the notation will split the treble and bass clefsMiddle C is normally considered to be C5, and
C4 is one octave below. For a melody or soloist part, you will probably want the entire part to be printed on the
treble clef, so you could choose to split the clefs at C4.
Show Bar #s
There are options to include the bar # on the printout (e.g., every bar, every part marker,
every row, every page).
Template
There are print templates in the print dialog to achieve various printout styles Normal/Lyrics Only/Chords and Lyrics/Chords Only/Blank Paper.
In the print dialog, select the desired print template. To return to default settings
choose the “Normal” template.
Bar #s Below By
This sets the vertical position of the bar numbers in the printout between 1 and 7. 1 is closest to the staff and 7 is
farthest from the staff (lowest).
Lyrics
Lyrics can either be printed above the chords, below the staff, separately at the end (on a separate page), or not
printed at all. Normally lyrics are printed below the staff.
Clef Sign Every Line
Leave this unchecked if it’s not needed and you want an uncluttered look.
Key Signature Every Line
Most modern fake books don't include the key signature every line. If you would like to see a key signature at every
line, set this to “Yes.”
Print Note-based Lyrics
Set to “Yes” to print the Melody part with Lyrics, or turn off to print just the music for the melody line.
Print Range (First Chorus/Last Chorus/Whole Song)
You can either print the First chorus, the Last chorus, or the whole song. When you change this setting, Band-in-aBox will reset the number of staves per page setting in order to auto-fit the printout to one page, if possible.
Tip: You'll want to print the last chorus in a song that has a tag ending, or if you want to see a 2-bar ending printed.
Custom
A specific range of bars can be printed, either by
highlighting a region or entering a range of bars.
To print out, for example, bars 11 to 16 of a song in
the Print Options dialog, press the [Custom] button,
and enter the range bar 11 for 5 bars. The song will
then print only that range of 5 bars.
Include Lead-In
If your song has a lead-in (pickup) to bar 1 then make sure you've checked the Lead-In. Actually, Band-in-a-Box
sets this for you by looking for notes in the lead-in measure. You can override this automatic setting, if necessary.
Font Size
This is the font size for the printed music. Changes will be seen in the Print Preview.
296
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Staves per page
Band-in-a-Box will automatically auto-fit on 1 page, use this to override the auto setting. Remember that the title
takes up 1 stave. The “Auto-Set” option will set the number automatically, and will try to fit the lead sheet on a
single page.
Bar Line %
This allows you to set the bar line thickness.
More (Margins & Misc. Settings)
Click this button to set margins.
You can also select the “Always fill tempo” option, which automatically
writes the current tempo on the song sheet.
On print out, if “Include “a” / “b” part markers” is set bar numbers will
include “a” or “b” after them (the name of the substyle).
Use “Offset Bar Numbers by” to offset the display of bar numbers on the
printout or lead sheet. For example, if you want bar 1 to display as bar 17,
enter an offset of 16.
Title/Style/Tempo/Composer/Copyright
Enter this information in the fields provided. If the title is long the font size will be reduced, and the title won’t be
underlined. Titles are limited to 60 characters.
- Click the [A] button to print the title in upper case.
- The [T] button automatically inserts the current tempo setting for the song.
- The [©] button will insert the copyright symbol into the copyright field.
- The [S] button will enter the full style name into the Style field.
Setup Printer
This launches the setup dialog for your printer. If you choose a new printer, Band-ina-Box will automatically set this as your default printer.
Click on the [Setup…] button to open the printer properties to set paper size, resolution, page orientation and other
settings controlled by the printer driver.
Tip: In the Notation Options you can specify an upper limit of a note range with the “Max Ledger Lines” setting high so notes
won’t have an excessive number of ledger lines.
Print to PDF
You can save your printouts directly as a PDF file. From the Print dialog, press [Print to PDF].
This opens a Save As dialog for the Pdf995 printer driver. Choose a location for your file and
assign a name to the PDF, then press [Save] to create a fully portable file that you can view, print, post, or upload.
Print Preview
This feature allows you to preview what the printed pages will look like by displaying
them on-screen.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
297
Use the [Prior], [Next], [First], and [Last] buttons to navigate additional pages.
Press the [Opt] button to open the Preview Options dialog.
In the Preview Options dialog, you can set the exact
number of pixels to display for the print preview. The
same settings are also used if you choose to save the
pages to a graphics file in the popular .JPG, .TIF, or
.BMP file types.
Printing your song to a graphics file allows you to
embed your notation in a document, or in an HTML
file for use on your web site.
This feature is only limited by available memory. This
allows high resolution BMP’s like 2400 x 3000. A
BMP of 2400x3000 is 300 dpi for an 8”x10” image.
When saving to a JPG file there are additional quality
settings.
When you have selected your file options press the
[OK] button.
You will then see a high-resolution graphic on
screen, and you can save that to a BMP using the
[Save…] button.
To save a JPG file, press the [Save…] button
and then select “Save to File Type:” JPG.
You can then see the estimated size of the file,
and can change settings by pressing the
Low/Medium/High resolution buttons.
Display Options
Use this button to display the notation across the full width of the screen.
This button will shrink the notation to display a full page at a time.
Saving the page(s) as Graphics files
The [Save…] button saves the current page as a Graphics file.
The [Save + +] button saves all of the pages to graphics files named songnamexxx.bmp, where xxx
is the page number.
With the clipboard button, you can quickly copy a bitmap to paste into other applications.
298
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
Printing from the Print Preview
You can print the page(s) by pressing the [Print…] button to return to the Print Options dialog and
then pressing the [OK – Print] button.
In the Print Options dialog, you can set the number of copies to print.
Press the [PrintPage] button to enter a page number and print only that page, not the complete song
or a full chorus.
Chords-Only Lead Sheet Display and Printout
Need a simple fake book style chord chart? You can display just the chords in the Lead Sheet window or print out a
lead sheet with just chord symbols.
To print a chords-only lead sheet, disable the “Staff lines” option in the Print Options dialog.
Band-in-a-Box chords-only Lead Sheet.
There are “print templates” in the Print Options dialog to achieve various
printout styles - Normal/Lyrics Only/Chords and Lyrics/Chords Only/Blank
Paper.
In the Print Options dialog, select the desired print template. To return to
default settings choose the “Normal” template.
Printing Multiple Parts
To print more than one track of notation:
- Open the Lead Sheet window.
- Click the mouse on the track that you want on the top stave.
- Ctrl+click (hold down the Control key and click the mouse) on the tracks that you want below the top stave.
You will then see a group of tracks, displayed in the order you selected them.
Note: When you are viewing Multiple Tracks of notation, the clefs will be auto-set for you, ignoring the clef settings in the Lead
Sheet options window. For example, the bass would always be on bass clef, you won’t be able to see it on bass and treble clef.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
299
Press [Print] from the Lead Sheet window to print the multipart Band-in-a-Box notation.
Print Preview of Band-in-a-Box multipart notation including guitar chord diagrams.
Print Multiple Songs
To print out a single song you use the [Print] button in the Notation window. If you want to print out several
songs, use the Print Multiple Songs feature to print them all out at once.
300
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
This allows you to print all of the songs in a subdirectory with one command. This feature is accessed from the File
| Print Multiple Songs menu item.
You can set options to refine which songs will get printed. For example, you might want to only print songs in a
certain style (e.g. Bossa Nova), or only songs beginning with letters R to Z, or only songs with melodies.
Before you print out a whole bunch of songs, it is important to set the options that you like, as the program will use
the same options for each song. Use the Print Options dialog. Perhaps you want to print out only the first chorus of
each song, for example. The program will automatically set each song to print out on 1 page if possible.
First, make sure that you are in the correct directory that you want to print. This is
displayed in the [Change Directory] button.
For example, if the box under the [Change Directory] button says “C:\bb” then the songs in C:\bb will be printed. If
you want to print songs in a different subdirectory, then press the [Change Directory] button.
If you want to print all of the songs in a subdirectory, then press the [All Songs]
button. Pressing this button sets the “Start” and “Finish” ranges to start at “ 0 “ (blank)
and finish at “ZZ.” Since song files with names like 8dayweek.mgu will appear before the letter A when sorted
alphabetically, the blank string “ 0” is used instead of the letter A to ensure the inclusion of all songs.
Normally, you would want the “Range of Songs to Print” set to “All Songs,” but if you've already printed out songs
from A to M, and want to resume printing starting at N, you can specify this range N to Z so that you don't have to
print out everything again.
If “Only print songs with melodies” is set, then only files that have a melody in them (i.e., song files ending in mg?)
will print.
“Only print songs with style extension of _” is useful if you want to only print out certain styles. For example if you
only want to printout Jazz Swing songs, then you can set this to style 1 which is Jazz Swing. Style 4 is Bossa Nova.
The 24 built-in styles each have a number associated with them. All user styles have a style character of U.
Here are the style #s for the built in styles.
Jazz Swing
1
Heavy Rock
D
Country 12/8
2
Miami Sound
E
Country
3
Milly Pop
F
Bossa
4
Funk
G
Ethnic
5
Jazz Waltz 3/4
H
Blues Shuffle
6
Rhumba
I
Blues Even
7
Cha Cha
J
Waltz (Old) 3/4 8
Bouncy 12/8
K
Pop Ballad
9
Irish
L
Shuffle Rock
A
Pop Ballad 12/8
M
Light Rock
B
Country old 12/8
N
Medium Rock
C
Reggae
O
If your printer requires loading each sheet, you might want the program to beep after each printed song. The “Beep
after each printed song” setting is useful to monitor the printout if you aren't near your printer, because if it stops
beeping, then printout has stopped, and you may be out of paper.
“When completed, beep “x” times” will notify you that the job is finished by beeping a specified number of times.
These buttons start and stop printing the multiple songs.
Band-in-a-Box monitors the Print Manager to avoid overloading it with songs to print. So if the Print Manager has
more than 2 songs waiting to print, Band-in-a-Box will pause before printing a new song. If your printer runs out of
paper, the Windows Print Manager and Band-in-a-Box will wait for you to put more paper in before automatically
resuming printout. The status of the Printout is displayed at the top of the dialog.
Chapter 8: Notation and Printing
301
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
Automatic Medleys - “The Medley Maker”
Would you like to make a medley of various Band-in-a-Box songs (MGU) using Band-in-a-Box? This is easily
done with the Medley Maker. Inside the Medley Maker, simply select the songs that you want, and Band-in-aBox will make the medley for you. A medley is not simply joining songs together. A good medley uses a transition
between songs to introduce the new style, key, and tempo. The Medley Maker automatically creates a nice
transition area for you, writing in chords that would smoothly modulate to the next song, style, key, and tempo!
To open the Medley Maker, click on the [Song Form] button in the Tools toolbar and choose Medley
Maker from the menu. You can also go to menu File | Medley Maker to open this dialog.
To make a medley,
- Add songs by pressing the [Append] or [Insert] button.
- Remove songs using [Delete].
- Change the order of the songs using [Move Up], [Move Down].
- For any song, customize using the “Settings for this song” group box, including changing the style, tempo, key,
start bar, # of bars, and # of transition bars. Press [Update] to see your changes in the medley list.
- Choose the type of information to include with your medley (styles, key signature changes, lyrics, etc.) in the
“Include with Songs” group box
- Choose a number of transition bars (the default is 4). Transition bars are automatic bars of chords inserted by
Band-in-a-Box to transition from one song to the other, generating an “outro” and an “intro” between songs.
Press the [Make Medley NOW] button to generate a medley.
The maximum size of the medley is 255 bars (about 7 minutes).
302
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
The current size and time of your medley is displayed in the Length label.
You can have multiple choruses, so if you had 3 choruses of a 250 bar medley, it would
last 750 bars.
Tip: Your medley will use RealDrums if you have RealDrums enabled. If so, you should keep the various tempos of the songs
within a close range. Because the quality of the RealDrums stretching would go down if a song in the medley had a much lower
tempo than the previous one, it is tempos that slow down to avoid.
Automatic Songs – “The Melodist”
Feel like composing a brand new song? Using the “Melodist” feature, you can compose a new song in the style of
your choice, complete with intro, chords, melody, arrangement, etc. All you have to do is choose from one of the
many “Melodists” available and press [OK] button. The program then creates the intro, chords, melody, and
arrangement in any given style. The Melodist will also generate a melody over an existing chord progression.
Once the song is generated, the chords and melody are part of the regular Band-in-Box tracks, and as such can be
edited, printed, saved as MIDI file, etc. You can also regenerate any part of a song to further refine your Band-in-aBox compositions.
A Melodist “Jukebox” mode creates and performs new compositions in succession. Besides the compositional
advantages of the Melodist, utilizing this feature can also be a powerful practicing aid for improving your sight
reading by reading the melodies generated in various keys using the Lead Sheet window, and improving your ear by
playing along with the chord progressions in the generated songs using the ear training window.
This feature can be a powerful practicing aid for sight reading and improving your ear.
Press the [Melodist] toolbar button to launch the Generate Chords and/or Melody dialog.
The left side of this screen displays the list of the Melodists available, including Pop, Swing, Bossa, Waltz, Rock,
Bebop, and Jazz Ballad.
Selecting the “All” checkbox displays all available Melodists, or they can be filtered by genre (e.g.
Dixieland) to show only Melodists in that genre.
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
303
To filter the Melodists, de-select the “All” checkbox and then check
on the genre that you are interested in.
You can also filter to show/not show Melodists from Melodist
sets that you don’t have.
Scroll down the list, and pick the Melodist that you'd like to use.
The Melodist will generate Intro, Chords, Melody Harmony, Style, and Solos using the group of settings preset with
the selected Melodist. Scroll down the list, and pick a Melodist that you'd like to use.
Generate Chords / Generate Melody / Generate Intros / Auto-Titles
The items that are selected will be generated. The convenient preset buttons will automatically set the appropriate
settings to popular presets.
The [Chords & Mel.] button will set the checkboxes to Generate
Chords & Melody (but not Solos).
The [All] button will generate Chords, Melody, and Solos.
The [Chords] button sets the options to generate Chords only (no
Melody).
The [Melody] button will set the options to generate only a
Melody (no chords) over an existing chord progression.
Insert Bass Pedals When selected, a Pedal Bass figure will be
inserted during the intro and at the end of sections.
Solo in Middle Choruses This will generate an improvisation in the middle choruses of the song. Any Soloist can
be selected.
Allow Style Change When selected, this option allows a Melodist to load in an associated style. If you don't want
Melodists to change the current style that you have loaded, then de-select this option.
Form
This selection box allows you to choose between a song generated with a specific form
(AABA 32 bars) or “free” form. The AABA defaults to 32-bar form, which is the most
popular song form. If you'd prefer for the song to have no form, you could set the song
to “no form” This wouldn't be a very musical setting, but might be useful for practicing or ear training.
Tip: Melodists may alternatively be set to 64 bars (e.g. Melodist # 18 ColeP 64 bar form). The song form refers to the pattern
that the verse and chorus repeat. An “AABA 32” form has 4 sections of 8 bars each: the “A” section is the verse and the “B” is
the chorus (or bridge) of the song.
# Choruses
This determines how many choruses of the song form (Melodies) are to be generated. For
example, if set to 5, the Melodist will generate 5 choruses, enough for an intro chorus, ending chorus, and 3 Middle
Choruses. The # choruses setting defaults to the # choruses present in the current song.
Defaults
This button sets the Melodist back to its default settings.
Tempo / Auto Tempo
The Tempo Setting determines the tempo of the song, and defaults to the current
tempo of the previous song. If the “AutoTempo” is checked, the tempo will be set at the tempo range stored within
that Melodist. For example, if a Melodist is called “Fast Waltz,” it would have a fast tempo range stored inside the
Melodist, and the song would be generated at a fast tempo if the “AutoTempo” option is set.
A2 Transpose
In songs with an AABA form, it is common for the second “A”
section to be transposed. For example, the first “A” section might
be in the key of Eb, and the second would be transposed up to the
key of Gb.
304
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
Melodists store these settings, and some Melodists are set to transpose the A2 sections. If you don't want to allow
Melodists to transpose the form in this way, set the A2 transpose to none. If set to “section plus” it will transpose
the A2 section, and might also transpose 2 bars early or 2 bars late. The song will only get transposed if the
particular Melodist is set to transpose the section. This feature is discussed in more detail in the Melody Maker
section.
Key
This area determines the key for the song. If set to “Any Key” the program will randomly
pick a key for the song, weighed more heavily toward the popular keys (C, F, etc.). “min.
key%” determines what % of songs are generated in minor keys vs. major keys.
If set to 20, then 20% of the songs would be generated in minor keys.
Part of Song / Whole Song
Select whether you want to generate the Whole Song or just part of it. If you select Part of
Song, you can specify which bar and chorus to start at, and how many bars to generate.
Tip: You can also set the “Song Key Combo” box to a specific key, or set it to use the current key of the
previous song. If you want to generate only part of a song, an easy way to set the range of bars is to
highlight/select the bars by dragging the mouse over the chord area prior to launching the Melodist
dialog. Then the “Generate” form will be automatically set to “Part of Song” and the range of bars will be
set to the selected area.
Replace Thru form
If you have set the Melodist to “Generate Part of Song” you might choose to generate only bars
5 and 6 of the song form in the “A” section of an AABA form. If the form of the song is AABA, you'd normally
want the regenerated section to be repeated throughout the form in all of the “A” sections. This option will instruct
the Melodist to copy the generated bars 5 and 6 to the other “A” sections (bars 13 and 14 and bars 29 and 30).
Tip: If you'd like to remove the current Intro, Melody, or Soloist Track, press the [Kill Intro], [Kill Melody] or [Kill Soloist] button.
Search / Go To #
Press the [Search] button and type in part of a Melodist name, memo, style name, or other text
associated with a Melodist. This will cause the Melodist selection to change to the next item
containing the text. Similarly, you can type in a # of a Melodist and press the [Go To #] button.
Memo / Database
The Memo area displays a memo for the current Melodist, as well as the name of the database (e.g. MELPOP1.ST2)
used for that Melodist.
Instrument / Harmony / Style / Change Instruments
Melodists can store patch and harmony settings, and these are displayed in the Instrument area of the Melodist
selection screen. You can also set the instrument to change each chorus. You can override the settings of the
current Melodist and choose your own patch, harmony and change instrument settings in these controls.
Melodist Juke Box
Press [Juke Songs Now] button to launch the Melodist Jukebox. It will continuously
generate new songs and play them in Jukebox fashion. Using the “From…To” setting,
you can set the range of Melodists to include in the Jukebox, or keep the Jukebox on the
same Melodist by deselecting “Change Melodists.”
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
305
Write to track
Usually, the Melodist is written to the Melody track. If you prefer the
Melody to be written to the Soloist track, perhaps as a countermelody, then change this setting to Soloist.
Favorite Melodists
The Favorites button allows you to pick a Melodist that you've used recently.
The Favorite Melodists dialog keeps track of the last 50 melodists that
you've used, so you can easily recall them. Highlight the melodist you
want to use and press the [OK] button, or double-click on the selection
you would like to make
Melody Maker
If you'd like to create your own Melodists, or permanently change the settings of existing
Melodists, press the [Edit…] button to launch the Melodist Maker.
Automatic Intro – Song Intros
With a single button you can generate a 2, 4, or 8-bar intro for any song. The chords will be different each time, and
you can keep pressing until you get the progression that you want. The intro generated is an appropriate chord
progression in the chosen style of music (e.g. Jazz/Pop), with optional pedal bass, and leads correctly to the first
chord of the song. Intros can also be removed.
Press the [Song Form] toolbar button and select Generate Intro from the pulldown menu. You
can also select menu Edit | Intro Bars. This will open the Generate Chords for Intro dialog.
Pressing this button will insert or replace an intro in the song, with the given settings.
Chord Types - You can choose between Jazz and Pop styles of chords.
Intro Length (bars) - This sets the duration of the intro to 2, 4, or 8 bars.
Starting chord (after intro) is - This setting assures the generated intro smoothly transitions into the song.
Remove Intro - Pressing this button removes the intro.
Pedal Bass - Inserts a pedal bass figure throughout the intro.
Use Maj7 instead of Maj6 - Choose between using Maj7 or Maj6 chords.
Note: The Melodist also has settings to auto-generate intros and song titles.
306
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
Automatic Song Title Generation
The Song Title generator names every song that the Melodist writes, if the Auto-Titles checkbox is selected. This
feature can be used on its own to suggest titles for your own compositions. It will keep making titles until you get
one you like.
Press the [Generate Title] button and select the menu command Auto-generate a song title.
A new title will appear immediately in the title area of the screen. Select Edit | Undo Title to go back one title.
Customizing the song title generator
These word lists stored in a text file called TITL1.TXT. This file has several sections, each with two sets of words
that will be put together. You can add new sections, with an adjective section and a noun section. Please see the
comments included in the file TITL1.TXT for details on adding text to the file.
Automatic Sound Track Generator - “SoundTrack”
The SoundTrack feature allows you to generate music in the style you choose for any length of time you specify. As
the “producer,” you select the genre, length of time, instruments, and fade-in/fade-out options. The SoundTrack
adjusts the tempo and duration to match the settings, and then allows you to save the file as a WAV, WMA
(Windows Media Audio), or MP3 file for further use in your own projects.
Generate original music (over 20 genres) or select from over 50 supplied SoundTrack types
(Bluesy/Excite/Healing/Jazzy/Tropics, etc.). For example, you can generate a 30-second audio music clip in the
genre of your choice in just a few seconds!
To use the SoundTrack feature, choose the Window | Generate Soundtrack menu item.
You will then see the Generate SoundTrack window.
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
307
Note: The SoundTrack feature renders to audio files (WAV/WMA/MP3) using DXi or VSTi synths only. You need to have at least
1 DXi/VSTi synth installed for the feature to work. Typical Band-in-a-Box installations include the Coyote WaveTable DXi.
First, you should load in a song. There are several types of songs that you can load in:
You can generate a brand-new-royalty free composition
by pressing the [Generate Song Now] button, after
choosing a Genre and variation.
You can choose from over 100 premade “SoundTrack” compositions that we
have made. These are designed to be suitable for background music for various uses.
You can load in existing songs, song demos that we have provided for the styles, or songs that have RealDrums, or
finally there is a button to load in any song. Please note, if using an existing song (composed by someone else),
make sure that you have sufficient rights to use the song for your project.
Once you have loaded in a song, you can now choose a portion of the song to
use for your project. Assume that you want a 30 second clip of music.
Set the desired duration to 30 seconds.
Then press the [Adjust # of bars and Tempo] button. This will give a number of
bars at a tempo that closely matches your current settings, which will last 30 seconds.
308
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
Adjust the “Starts at Bar” of the music. To start at the beginning,
choose bar 1.
You can choose which instruments to include in the arrangement.
Use the [Play] and [Stop] buttons to hear the work-in-progress. You can also loop the
song playback.
Set Fade-in, Fade-Out options in seconds for the audio clip.
Now, generate your SoundTrack file by pressing the [Save
SoundTrack] button and choosing a file format (WAV, WMA,
MP3, MP4 or M4A)..
You can hear your finished audio clip by pressing the [Preview]
button.
Automatic Solo Generation – “The Soloist”
There are two ways to select and add a solo to your song. The “Best Soloist” feature presents a pre-selected list of
soloists to choose from. The Select Soloist dialog gives you the full list of soloists to choose from, plus additional
settings you can apply to the solo. Clicking on the [Soloist] toolbar button shows the two choices.
Pick “Best” Soloist RealTracks
This dialog shows you the best soloists that match the genre, tempo, and feel of your song. The list is displayed
from best to worst. For example, if you have a Jazz Ballad style loaded (tempo 60), the list will show jazz Soloists
that will work well at a tempo of 60 at the top of the list, and something like a fast, Heavy Metal Guitar Soloist at
the bottom of the list.
How to Use This Feature
To add a Best Soloist to the Soloist track, press the [Soloist] button, and choose the menu option Add Best
RealTracks Soloist to Soloist Track. Or Shift+click on the [Soloist] button.
To add a Best Soloist to any track, right-click (or double click) on the instrument radio button (e.g. Piano) and
choose the Select Best Soloist RealTracks menu command.
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
309
You will then see a dialog that lists the best soloists for the current style.
It will include “Soloists” and “Background (Melodic).” You can deselect these if you only want to see only “Soloists” (and not
“Background”).
You can audition the RealTracks by double clicking on the list or
using the transport control buttons.
Select Soloist Dialog
To select a pre-made Soloist, press Shift+F4, or choose Soloist | Generate and Play a Solo. The Select Soloist
dialog opens.
You can also Ctrl+click on the [Soloist] button, or select Open Soloist Dialog to choose MIDI or RealTracks
Soloist from the Soloist button dropdown menu.
310
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
Pick a type of Soloist in the “Soloist type” list box and choose the appropriate style, or enable the “Auto” checkbox
and press the [Suggest] button next to it. This brings up a list of Soloists in that style; simply choose which one you
like.
You can select genres of soloists (e.g. Modern Jazz) and see only
soloists in that genre. To do this, de-select the “All Genres” checkbox,
and then check on the genre that you are interested in.
The [Fav] button brings up a list of the most recently used (favorite) 50 Soloists. The Soloists that you
use most often will likely be at or near the top of this list, making it easier to select the Soloist you want than
scrolling through your entire list of available Soloists.
Enable the “Double Time?”option if you want a double-time solo; 16th notes instead of 8ths.
You can choose whether the list shows soloists from Soloist sets that you don’t have.
If you can’t find the Soloist you’re looking for, press the [Search] button and type in part of a name.
“Go To#” allows you to select from the list exactly which Soloist to choose (if known).
The “Memo” field has a brief description of the Soloist style, and the name of the current database is shown.
The pre-made Soloists may set the style, instrument, and harmony, but you can change these settings to your own
choices.
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
311
The [Clear] buttons will remove the currently selected Instrument, Harmony, or Style.
Use the [Choose(1)] button to select an instrument and automatically set the soloist note range for
that instrument.
For a harmonized solo, choose a harmony from the Harmony list.
Use the [Choose(2)] button to select any style from the \bb folder.
RealTracks
“Real” instruments replace the MIDI track for that instrument, and can be controlled just like the MIDI instrument
(volume changes, muting etc.). Best of all, they follow the chord progression that you have entered, so that you hear
an authentic audio accompaniment to your song. These are not “samples,” but are full recordings, lasting from 1 to
8 bars at a time, playing along in perfect sync with the other Band-in-a-Box tracks. RealTracks can be generated to
the Soloist (or Melody) track.
Get to Soloists of #361 and above. You can do that either by:
1.
2.
Typing 361 and pressing [Go To #].
Pressing the [All RealTracks] button.
3.
Unchecking “All Genres” and selecting “RealTracks (audio
soloists)” from the list of genres.
As with other Soloists, press the [All Solo] button to make sure that the Soloist
will be generated for all choruses, or [Melody and Solo] if you just want the Soloist for a certain chorus.
Your RealTracks solo will be saved with the song and the Soloist track will be frozen and marked with an
asterisk (*).
Soloists generated with RealTracks are saved with the song, so you will hear the RealTracks play the same solo
when you reload the song.
Solo Mode
In Normal Solo Mode, Band-in-a-Box solos in the normal way of improvising choruses of
the song.
Several other options are provided for adding improvisation to your song in a variety of ways,
including Fills, Around Melody, Trade, Solo Wizard, and a user-defined Custom setting.
Fills% Fill instructs the Soloist to play fills or “noodle” on the song for a user-defined
period of time (% box).
Around Melody To solo around the Melody, do the following:
312
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
- Open up a song that has a Melody, preferably a sparse Melody with some space in it so that a Soloist might be
able to “jump in.”
- Press the [Soloist] button. Select the Solo Mode “Around Melody.”
- Set the Soloist to play in All Choruses, and uncheck the “Mute Melody in Middle” option.
- Press [OK] and the Solo will be generated, playing riffs at times when the Melody isn't playing.
Tip: For added effect, add a guitar chord solo to the Soloist part using the Chord Solo button in the Guitar window and choosing
Solo as the destination, or simply choose a Guitar Harmony like 32 J Pass.
Trade There is a type of soloing where different soloists trade phrases. For example, “trading fours” refers to a
solo lasting four bars, usually followed by a different melodic solo or drum solo for the next four bars. Band-in-aBox can trade 2, 4, or 8-bar phrases. This means that you can alternate your own phrases with those played by the
Soloist. Click on the number button beside the “Trade” radio button to toggle between trading 2’s, 4’s, or 8’s.
Band-in-a-Box can generate the first phrase or the second phrase.
Soloist Wizard This option in the Select Soloist dialog enables the Soloist Wizard. As you play notes on either a
MIDI keyboard connected to the computer or on the QWERTY keyboard, the program will play correct notes in the
style of the current Soloist! This means that you can play a “perfect” solo every time, simply by pressing any key on
your MIDI keyboard or QWERTY keys.
Tip: The Soloist will use the velocities you play or pick its own, depending on the setting in Opt | Preferences | Use MIDI velocity
for Soloist Wizard.
Custom Solo Generation
The [Custom] button launches the Generate Solo for a Specific Range of Bars dialog. This allows you to set the
range for the solo.
Tip: You can have these values preset to the values
you'd like by first selecting/highlighting the range of
bars that you'd like from the Chord Sheet screen,
then clicking on the Soloist button.
OK to solo for an extra beat - Usually, Soloists end a little after a bar's end – they play a couple of extra notes,
spilling over to the next bar. Selecting this option the gives Band-in-a-Box soloist this ability also.
Overwrite existing solo in range - If you want to “overdub” a solo and have multiple solo tracks going at once,
deselect this checkbox, and avoid getting a little messy.
Generate Solo Now - Once you press this button, the portion of the solo that you have selected will be generated.
The song will start playing two bars before the new part, so you can quickly hear the new solo. Remember that the
custom solo generation can be used with different soloists, so you can use a “tenor sax jazz” soloist for a few bars,
and then insert a custom “bluegrass banjo” soloist for four bars and so on.
Tip: Band-in-a-Box even solos over the “slash chords.” The Band-in-a-Box Soloist feature analyzes slash chords like C/Bb to
determine the best scale type to use (e.g. Bb Lydian). There's nothing you need to do, as this happens automatically!
Auto-Suggest
If the “Auto” checkbox in the Select Soloist Dialog is on, you will find that an appropriate soloist is already selected
for you. If you would like a different soloist, press the [Suggest] button and Band-in-a-Box will suggest another
appropriate choice. Keep pressing until you are satisfied with the choice.
Load/Save settings w/song
These settings allow the saving and loading of Soloist settings. Enable these checkboxes if you wish to load and
save these settings with a song.
Force to # of Choruses
Allows you to set a song to a definable number of choruses (e.g. 5) so that there are enough choruses for everyone to
take a turn Soloing. This box allows you to quickly decide how many choruses you would like Band-in-a-Box to
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
313
generate without having to open the Play | Looping | Force loaded songs to # choruses menu item. The default is 5.
Note that when this setting is enabled (by setting the checkbox to “true”), all songs subsequently loaded using this
Soloist will also change to the number of choruses indicated in this box.
Solo Which Choruses?
Select which choruses you would like the Soloist to solo over. Choose from first, middle, last, any combination, or
all three choruses.
Press the [All Solo] button if you wish to have the Soloist play over everything.
Press the [Melody & Solo] button to have the Melody play the first chorus, then have the Soloist come in on the
second chorus, then have the Melody “play the tune out” on the last chorus.
Melody Influenced Solos
When musicians solo for a song, the solo is typically influenced by the melody as well as the chords. Band-in-aBox can also allow the melody to influence the type of solo generated by its Soloist feature. The result is a much
better solo generated for the song.
A strength (%) setting allows you to control how much the solo
will be influenced by the melody. Choose the melody
influence (%), and one of several presets to control the type of
influence (pitches/rhythms/note density, etc.).
To generate a solo that is influenced by the Melody, select the “Enabled” checkbox.
Then choose the type of influence by choosing a strength (0 to
100%) and a type. The default method works best on simple
melodies or Pop tunes, and others work on Jazz and complex
melodies.
Melody Influenced Soloist Settings
A “Custom” method is available, allowing you to launch a dialog that lets you change various parameters to control
how the solo will match the notes, rhythm, and density of the melody. When this method is selected a [+...] button
will display.
Click on this button to open the Melody Influenced Soloist Settings dialog.
Enable Melody Influenced Soloist – enables melody influenced soloing when selected (true).
Overall strength – how much you want the melody to influence the solo.
First melody note MUST match riff – the first note of the riff must match the pitch of the melody at this point in
the song.
Last melody note MUST match riff - the last note of the riff must match the pitch of the melody at this point in the
song.
Overall Melody MUST match riff – the pitch needs to be found somewhere in the riff for this condition to be true.
Target Phrase Anchor Point score – phrase anchor points are points where both the pitch and timing of the
Melody note and the riff match each other.
Rhythm Matches – per cent of time that a melody note is found at the same time as the note in the riff at the same
point (pitch is irrelevant).
Density -# of Notes Matches – the number of notes in the melody compared to the number of notes in the solo. For
example, 8 melody, 10 solo = 80%. Note: If set to exactly 49, 59, 69 etc., soloist will stay quieter when the melody
is not playing.
If Melody is not playing, then soloist is not playing
Passing Notes acceptable % - percentage of time that passing notes in the riff are OK (if not found in the melody).
For example, a setting of 20% means it is OK if 20% of the notes are passing notes.
Melody – Favor phrases that match melody – higher numbers will make the soloist follow the melody more.
314
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
Soloist Maker
The Soloist Maker [Edit] button launches the Soloist Editor module where you can make your
own or modify an existing Soloist. This feature allows you to define your own Soloists.
More Soloist Settings
This button launches the More Soloist & Melodist Settings dialog. This dialog can also be
accessed from the Opt. | Preferences [Soloist] button.
Set “Use MIDI Volume for Soloing Wizard” to true if you want MIDI
velocity information sent to the Soloing Wizard. If you have a velocity
sensitive MIDI device attached to your computer and you want to control
the dynamics of the Soloist, you should enable this feature.
Set the “Trigger Playback Early” to true to enable song playback to
start before the Soloist has actually completed composing a solo.
Otherwise, Band-in-a-Box will completely compose a solo before song
playback begins.
Soloist/Melody Velocity Adjust This box allows you to quickly boost
or reduce the volume of the Soloist part relative to the other instrument
parts. For a realistic mix the soloist instrument is set slightly louder than
the other instruments/parts in a song. The default is 5.
Use large soloist files (ST3) is selected to use the optional large soloist databases, *.ST3 files, instead of the
smaller ST2 files. The ST3 files have improved phrases, but the solos take longer to create.
Create Long Phrases Set this checkbox to “true” (enabled) if you would like the Soloist to use the longest musical
phrases it “knows.”
If OK to treat the V Major triad as a V7 is set, all Jazz MIDI soloists and some Jazz and Country RealSoloists
will treat the V chord as V7 (dominant seventh).
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
315
Using the Soloist Feature
1. Generate a Soloist and practice the solo by looping it, slowing it down, or printing it out, until you can perform a
great solo on any chord changes!
2. Generate a Soloist and attach a Harmony such as “Big Band Brass” to create phenomenally quick and interesting
Big Band Arrangements automatically. Generate a standard MIDI file or print them out for you and your friends.
3. Have the Soloist play a solo according to your accompaniment and arrangement (along with the other members of
your Band-in-a-Box, of course!)
4. Trade 4’s in a call-response fashion with the Soloist (you solo for 4 bars, Band-in-a-Box solos for 4 bars, etc.)
5. Concentrate separately on different aspects of your playing with assistance from the “Wizard.” From soloing
with proper phrasing and “feel” (the best notes are included automatically) to accompanying a soloist with
confidence and authority
Tip: Try muting out one of the accompaniment parts such as the piano or guitar part and play along to the Soloist in a
supportive role - it’s fun!
6. Use the Soloist track to record another part in addition to the Melody and other parts provided by Band-in-a-Box.
7. Generate a Soloist on chords/keys that you would like to practice. Band-in-a-Box will play and solo with you all
day without getting bored. For example, if you want to work on your II-V7-I progressions (“two-five-one”), you
can just type the chords you want, and generate a solo to play over those changes. As the solo plays, you see the
notation, can you can sight read along. Pressing the “Loop Screen” checkbox on the notation will loop the
notation the screen so you can master each 4 bar phrase (II-V-I) and then move ahead to the next one!
Technical Notes:
1. The Soloist has its own separate channel and settings. But when the Soloist uses a harmony, it becomes linked to the Thru
Harmony channels and settings. Since we are already using 12 of the available 16 MIDI channels in Band-in-a-Box, we didn't
want to use up another 2 channels on dedicated Soloist Harmony channels. So if you want to hear a Soloist with harmony, use
the THRU Harmony settings. In other words, wherever a Thru harmony is selected, the Soloist part will use the Thru Harmony
settings.
2. We have designed the Soloist to not repeat any solo ideas so that the solos are always fresh, with new ideas forming and
playing all the time. As a result, we have included a refresh Soloist menu item (under the Soloist menu) that, when selected, will
allow the Soloist to think about all of its musical notions again.
Choosing the Refresh Soloist option is like telling the soloist “It's O.K., you can play whatever you like, even if it's something
that you played 5 minutes ago...” It's a good idea to refresh the Soloist regularly to ensure maximum “idea” availability.
3. The Soloist menu contains many options. It has all of the same editing options found in the melody menu, so you can treat the
Soloist track as a 2nd melody track. Even if you don't plan on using the Automatic Soloist feature, you can just use the Soloist
track as a 2nd track for counter melodies, overdubs etc. The result: two melody tracks, two solo tracks, or one melody and one
solo track all at your disposal for any song, without having to resort to an outboard sequencer.
Auto Piano Hand-splitting
This feature applies to the Piano, Melody, and Soloist tracks. It is found in the Notation Window Options and in
both the Melodist and Soloist Utilities submenus.
Piano Track (Notation Options)
The Piano part can be displayed on both clefs, using intelligent hand-splitting
routines that dynamically the split point. This happens automatically.
When you do this, the Piano track (not any other track) will be displayed on both clefs with intelligent hand-splitting.
You can print out the Piano track with the hands separated.
Melody and Soloist Tracks
You can also manually split a piano part on a Melody or Soloist track using the intelligent hand-splitting routines.
The left/right hands display in red/blue on the big piano, and on bass/treble clefs on the notation. Import a piano
MIDI file to the Melody track to get a split-hands display and printout!
For example, if you have a MIDI file that is a solo piano piece, File | Open MIDI file will put the music on the
Melody track. Then choose Melody | Edit | Utilities | Piano Hand Split. Make sure that Melody | Track Type is set
to piano. You will then see the piano part split intelligently into 2 hands.
316
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
When this is done, the left hand will be stored on channel 8, and the right hand on channel 9, on the Melody track.
You can export the MIDI file to a sequencer, and these 8/9 channel assignments will be preserved.
Automatic Guitar Solos – “The Guitarist”
The Guitarist allows you to generate a guitar chord solo for any melody. Band-in-a-Box will intelligently arrange
the melody to a guitar chord solo by inserting real guitar voicings throughout the piece. You can select from among
many “Guitarists” in order to create your arrangement. You can also define your own Guitarists; choosing
parameters such as strum speed, types of voicings (Pop/Jazz), embellishments, and much more.
Guitar Solos are selected from the Guitar window, which opens with the [Guitar] button.
Press the [Ch Sol…] button to launch the Generate Guitar Chord Solo dialog.
It is also accessible from the Melody | Edit Melody Track | Generate Chord Solo menu item.
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
317
Here are the steps to generate a Guitar Chord Solo:
1. Select the Guitarist to use.
In the main list at the left of the Window, you see the list of the
Guitarists that are already defined. For example, you can see that
Guitarist #2 is called “Jazz Guitar, single position.” That will
create chord solos that stick to a single position on the guitar neck
whenever possible.
2. Select Melody (or Soloist) track.
Normally, the Guitar Chord solo is written to the Melody track,
but you can also select the Soloist track as the destination.
3. Confirm the Guitar Patch selection.
The Guitarist that you pick (see item #1) will already have chosen
the guitar patch to use, but you can override it with this setting.
4. Select the Range of the song to use.
You can either generate a chord solo for the whole song, or just a region of the song. In
either case, remember that you need to have an existing melody to work with.
318
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
5. Select the Main Guitar Position to use.
The “Auto-Set” feature sets the main guitar position for the solo
based on the key signature. For example, in the key of C,
Band-in-a-Box will choose the 5th position as the best position
for the chord solo to be played. If you wanted the solo to be in the 12th position, you could de-select the “Auto-Set”
and then set the guitar position to 12th position.
If you already have a guitar track that has guitar channels (if it was played
on a guitar controller as a single string guitar part), then you might want to tell Band-in-a-Box not to change the
guitar positions of the notes that it finds. Otherwise set “OK to change existing guitar channels” to true.
6. Press OK to generate the Solo.
You will then see a message that tells you a
solo has been added to the track.
As you listen to the solo, you will notice the following:
- Some of the notes are left as melody, and some are assigned to chords.
- A wide variety of guitar chords are used, including some advanced chords. All of them are popular chords played
by real guitarists – there are no theoretical chords.
- The chords are strummed, to simulate a real guitar player.
- The Track Type for the Melody has been set to Guitar – so the notation shows [Tab], and the MIDI file will be
saved with the Guitar Channels (11-16) preserved which preserves the fret positions.
- All of these items can be customized in the Guitarist Editor.
Technical Note: Since some of the guitarists can be assigned to strum the chords in a delayed fashion, if you repeatedly regenerate the solo, the melody will become more and more delayed. The solution(s) for this occurrence would be to choose Edit |
Undo Solo prior to regenerating the solo, or picking a Guitarist that doesn't delay the strum. The Strum Delay Status is indicated on
the “Info” panel of the Select Guitarist screen.
ONCE YOU HAVE GENERATED A GUITAR CHORD SOLO…
The chord solo is now part of the notation track. You can edit it like any other part, by deleting/inserting notes, etc.
You can use the special guitar features discussed in the Guitar Window section to change the guitar voicings or
replace a note with a chord and vice versa.
When you have a note or chord highlighted press the [Ch-] or [Ch+] Insert Guitar Chord button on the
guitar window (or [7] or [8] on the NUMPAD keypad). Each time you press the [Ch-] or [Ch+], you will see that
the guitar chord changes to a different voicing, cycling through the available 5-10 voicings possible for each chord.
Some notes won't have any chord voicings, for example a C# note on a Cmaj7 chord, because it is always a passing
tone.
In a similar manner, you can convert a chord to a guitar note, and use the Insert Guitar Note button for
this. Pressing the [N+] (or [3] or [4] on the NUMPAD keypad) repeatedly cycles through playing the same note on
all 6 strings.
The solo will be saved with the song (.MGU) and exported to a MIDI file with the string positions intact because we
use channels 11 to 16 for the Guitar part. You can remove the solo at any time, even after the solo has been saved or
reloaded, by choosing Melody | Remove Harmony part menu item.
Guitarists can be customized using the Guitarist Maker, described in the User Programmable Functions chapter of
this manual.
Automatic Embellishments – “The Embellisher”
Overview
When musicians see a lead sheet that has a melody written out, they almost never play it exactly as written. They
change the timing to add syncopation, change durations to achieve staccato or legato playing, add grace notes, slurs,
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
319
extra notes, vibrato and other effects. You can have Band-in-a-Box do these automatically using the Embellisher so
that you hear a livelier, more realistic Melody - and it's different every time. The Embellisher is only active while
the music is playing; it doesn't permanently affect the Melody track. There is an option to make the embellishment
permanent, so that if you like a certain embellishment you can add it to the Melody track.
Using The Embellisher
The Melody Embellisher feature is turned on and off with the [Embellish Melody] toolbar button or with
Ctrl+Alt+E keys. The Embellisher only functions during playback.
You will see the Embellished Melody on the notation as the Melody plays, so you can see the Embellished notes.
When [Stop] is pressed, the notation will revert to the original (unembellished) melody. The embellishment
changes timing of notes, durations, velocities, legato, as well as adding grace notes, additional notes and turns. Here
is a “before and after” example that shows a typical embellishment of a Melody.
Normal (unembellished) Melody…
Embellished Melody…
As you can see in the notation examples, the
embellished melody adds an anticipation in bar 9,
and in bar 10 adds extra notes, timing changes, and
grace notes to “spice up” the melody.
If you disable the Embellisher, by de-selecting the Embellisher Melody during playback or by pressing the
Ctrl+Alt+E keys, the melody (or solo) will play as normal with no changes.
Melody Embellisher Settings
The Embellisher settings are accessed during playback with the Embellisher
button in the main screen toolbar, or with the menu item Melody | Embellish
Melody Dialog, or with the key strokes Ctrl+Alt+L.
There is a Melody Embellisher dialog that allows you to:
320
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
- Customize the settings of the Embellisher, or choose Embellisher presets.
- Make a particular embellishment permanent.
“Live Auto-embellish during every playback” is the same setting as the
Embellisher Melody during playback checkbox in the [Embellish Melody] toolbar button. If enabled,
embellishment will occur during every playback. If disabled, embellishment will not occur unless you choose the
[Embellish NOW] button in the dialog.
Settings
The settings that affect the embellishment can be turned on and off, and given a percentage strength.
Humanize
The velocities, durations (legato), and timing of the notes are
humanized. The original velocities etc. of the notes are ignored.
The option to only humanize the timing of the music if the timing
was “stiff” to begin with allows the Embellisher to leave the timing
of human input melodies alone, and humanize only the ones that
were entered in step-time.
Adjust Octave
The octave of the Melody is changed to the best octave for the current Melody instrument. For example, if the
instrument were a piccolo, the octave would be raised to the best range for a piccolo.
Anticipations
An anticipated note is playing a note early (“ahead of the beat”).
Unembellished notes.
ANTICIPATIONS on beat 1 and 3.
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
321
Less Anticipations
This is the opposite of anticipations. This finds notes that are anticipated, and “embellishes” them by playing them
later (on the beat).
Grace Notes
The grace notes are brief notes played just before, and a semi-tone below the original note. The grace notes
intentionally don't show on the notation, so that it will remain easily readable. They can be heard.
Doubled Notes
Melody notes are doubled with the same pitch.
Quarter note doubled.
Unembellished.
Extra Notes
Extra notes are added between melody notes.
Unembellished.
With extra notes added.
Note Turns
With a note turn, a single note is replaced by a group of notes that include the original note and semitone or scale
tones above and below the note. In this “before and after” example, the C note is replaced by a turn of 3 notes with
a note a scale tone above the C.
Unembellished.
Embellished with turn.
Vibrato
Vibrato can be added according to the additional vibrato settings available in the “More” dialog. The vibrato can't
be seen on the notation window, but you can examine the events in the Event list.
If set, the Melody will be delayed a little, providing a laid-back feeling.
The Embellisher is usually referred to as the Melody Embellisher,
because you would usually want to have it on the Melody track.
But if you like, you can choose to embellish the Soloist track.
If you have done this, and want to restore the original Melody, you
can press the [Restore Original Melody] button.
322
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
Embellisher Presets
The presets allow you to quickly choose common combinations of
settings for the Embellisher.
The Embellisher Memo describes the current embellishment, with
statistics counting the number of embellished notes.
If the song is playing and the Embellisher is enabled, you can update the
embellishment by pressing this button. This is useful if you've changed
settings, and want to hear what the new embellishment sounds like.
The [Defaults] button reverts to the original Embellisher settings.
There are additional settings, in the Embellisher Additional Settings dialog. This allows you to set
advanced settings for the Embellisher. These include:
- Vibrato Depth: The amplitude of the vibrato, in a range from 0-127.
- Vibrato Speed: This is the speed of the vibrato (slow-fast) range 0-127.
- Only use Vibrato if Note is this many ticks: e.g. If set to 120 ticks (one quarter note), then only notes of
duration at least 120 ticks will get vibrato.
- Start the Vibrato after this many ticks: For notes that will get vibrato, the vibrato will start after this many
ticks.
- Adjust Octave Method: If the octave is to be adjusted, it will either only adjust it if the notes are outside the
playable range, or always adjust it to the best octave, according to the setting you make here.
- Dynamic Range: Refers to the range of velocities used for the humanization. Useful range 30-50.
- Legato Settings: Refers to the amount of legato for the notes. Useful range 55 to 75.
This displays the same thing that appears in the Memo field, but will display it even when there is no
current embellishment.
You can save/load your own presets for the Embellisher.
When you have made a custom setting in the Embellisher dialog, press the Export button to save the
data as an .EMB file.
When you want to recall the saved preset, press the Import button, and load in a previously made .EMB file. You
can share your favorite presets with other installations of Band-in-a-Box using the EMB files.
If the song is not currently playing, you can still create an
embellishment and have it apply permanently by pressing the [Embellish NOW – Permanent] button. The original
melody is not affected permanently unless you have pressed the [Embellish NOW – permanent] button.
Normally the embellishment occurs live when the song is
playing, and doesn't affect the melody permanently. But if you like the Embellishment, and want to apply it
permanently to the melody, you can choose the “Make Current Embellishment Permanent” option.
You can use the [Undo] button to reverse a permanent embellishment before the song is saved to
file.
Use these transport controls for song playback within the Melody Embellisher
dialog.
Chapter 9: Automatic Music Features
323
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
Band-in-a-Box has two built-in MIDI sequencer tracks. They are named the Melody and Soloist tracks, but they can
be used to record any MIDI part you like – such as drum overdubs or layered accompaniments. MIDI can be
recorded in Band-in-a-Box
- Live with a MIDI keyboard, MIDI guitar, or MIDI wind controller.
- In step time by entering notes in the Notation window with the mouse.
- Using the Wizard feature to “play” notes with your QWERTY keyboard.
- Importing a pre-recorded Standard MIDI File into the Melody or Soloist.
Recording Live in Real Time
You can punch in/out, do unlimited overdubs, record directly to the tag or the ending, and start recording
from any bar. To record live using your MIDI keyboard, guitar, or wind controller, click on the [Record
MIDI] button, press the R key, or choose the menu option Melody | Record Melody. The Record MIDI
to Melody Track dialog will appear.
Select “Soloist track” if you want to record
onto the Soloist track.
If you are sure that the settings are correct, just
click [Record] or press R key twice to
immediately start recording.
Tip: If you select the “Overdub underlying melody”
option in the Record Melody dialog, you will hear
the underlying melody while recording.
Pressing this button will launch the MIDI Recording Filter. The Record Filter supports all MIDI
controllers including the sustain pedal.
You can record any type of MIDI information to the Melody or Soloist tracks, and use the Record Filter to select
what types to include. Choosing Opt. | Filter for recording will also launch the Record Filter dialog.
Press [Record] or the R key again to begin recording.
Stop recording by pressing the Esc key or the spacebar, or by clicking the [Stop] button. The OK – Keep Take
dialog will open.
[OK - Keep Take] (yes/no) saves the take you just recorded. Remember that it’s easy to fix small glitches in the
Editable Notation window or in the Event List editor.
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
[Take Again] lets you quickly reject a take and start the recording again. Press the [A] key to do this with a
keystroke.
[Cancel] ends the recording session; nothing is saved. To start again, press the [Record MIDI] button or the [R]
key.
Copy 1st chorus to whole song
If you have recorded one chorus of the song, checking this at the end of the recording will copy the same recording
to all of the choruses.
Overdub Underlying melody
You have the option to merge the recording with the existing melody. If there is no underlying melody, this option
will be grayed out.
Retain Melody past last recorded
You have the option to erase any melody after the last recorded melody note, or keep it. Use this feature when you
want to punch out at the end of a take.
Recording to an external sequencer
Many people use Band-in-a-Box in live situations. If you are unable to bring your computer with you, a good
alternative is a hardware sequencer or a keyboard with a built-in sequencers that reads Standard MIDI Files. To
transfer songs to the Sound Brush, follow these simple steps:
- Make a MIDI file of the song by pressing the button.
- Either save the file directly to a floppy disk or copy it to the floppy from your hard drive.
- The Sound Brush is then able to read the IBM formatted disk with MIDI files on it.
Entering Notes Manually
You can enter melody notes directly to the track in the Notation window in either the Editable Notation Mode or the
Staff Roll Mode.
Enter the Editable Notation mode from the Standard Notation screen with a single mouse click on the Editable
Notation button. In the Editable Notation mode, you can enter, move, and edit notes and rests using standard mouse
techniques – point and click, drag and drop, and right-click to open the Note Edit dialog.
Confirmation dialogs prevent accidental entry of a duplicate note (same pitch near same time) and accidental entry
of a very high or very low note (large # of ledger lines).
Once you have some melody entered, you can copy and paste chunks of it as
you would in a text document. To copy and paste notation, highlight an area
of notation by dragging the mouse over the region. Then select Edit | Copy.
Click on the place where you want to paste to (by clicking at the time line on
top of the notation window) and then choose Edit | Paste. You can specify a
precise paste location in the Paste Melody dialog.
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
325
Recording with the Wizard Feature
This is a very helpful feature if you don’t have a MIDI keyboard but you want to record with a “live” feel. Use the
Wizard to record notes from the computer’s QWERTY keyboard for a track that’s more natural than step time.
Here’s how it works.
1. Click the [MIDI] toolbar button and check MIDI Keyboard Enabled.
2. Press R key to record.
3. As the song plays, play the melody on any keys on the bottom two rows of the QWERTY keyboard, in the rhythm
of the melody. The “wizard” notes won't be the correct melody of course, but don't worry about that as you
record. When you're finished, look in the Notation window. You will see the wrong notes in the right places with
the correct durations.
4. Drag the notes (with the left mouse button) to the correct place on the staff. You will hear the notes play as you
drag them, and the names will show in the note name box. For sharps, flats, and naturals, hold down the Shift
key, Ctrl key, or Alt key respectively. You will end up with a melody that sounds like it was recorded live,
without the rigid feel of tracks entered in step time.
Tip: If you have the Wizard “On” the spacebar won't stop playback. You need to press the Esc key to stop playback when the
Wizard is on. This is to prevent stopping the song if you mistakenly hit the spacebar while playing the Wizard.
Melody Wizard
For songs with melodies, there are QWERTY keys (Enter, \ , T, 6) that trigger notes from the melody as the song is
being played. Other keys trigger 1-4 approach notes from below or above. The notes can be recorded, to humanize
a stiff melody with better timing, and approach notes also useful for sight reading, rhythm practice, or to perform.
This feature works with harmonies
- Melody notes: T, 6, Enter, \
- Same Melody note: 5
- Approach notes: QWER YUIO
- Octave set: 1, 2, 3
MIDI notes also work (if Preferences [Transpose] is set to “Allow Melody Wizard on THRU part”).
- Octave set: E(40), F(41), G(43)
- Melody notes: F(53), G(55)
- Approach notes: B(47), C, D, E A, B, C, D(62)
To use the Melody Wizard, make sure the Keyboard Wizard is enabled.
This will also enable the MIDI Wizard on the QWERTY keys.
If you also want to use the Melody Wizard on MIDI notes, go to Preferences [Transpose] and enable “Allow
Melody Wizard on THRU part” in the Settings for transposing songs when loaded or “Do it Now” dialog.
*.MGU
Then, choose a song that has a Melody track.
Mute the Melody track by right-clicking on the Melody track (Alt+8).
Play the song.
ENTER or \
326
As you play the song, you can use the Enter key or the \ key (or T or 6 above the T) to play Melody
notes.
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
W,E,R,T
These will be approach notes up to the melody. You can start on any note.
Q,E,R,T
Starting on a Q instead of W will use wider voicings for approach notes.
I,U,Y,T
These will be approach notes down to the melody. Start on any note.
O,U,Y,T
Starting on an O instead of I will use wider voicings for approach notes.
Using the Wizard with MIDI keyboard input
The Wizard can also be used with a connected MIDI keyboard. The keyboard wizard always plays correct notes,
and is a fun way to play along with Band-in-a-Box. The MIDI keyboard also sends volume information (unlike the
QWERTY keyboard), so is a better choice if you have a MIDI keyboard connected.
This feature is accessed with the [Transpose] button in the Preferences dialog.
To turn on the Wizard to allow MIDI control, choose “Use Wizard for THRU part.”
Make sure that the Keyboard Wizard feature is enabled.
Now, when you play notes on the MIDI keyboard (during playback), they will get remapped to chord tones.
C/E/G/Bb notes played on a THRU keyboard will be mapped to chord tones, and D/F/A/B will be passing tones.
This scale - C D E F G A Bb B - is considered the “Bebop” scale, useful for playing over dominant 7th chords.
The Wizard is useful for entering notation quickly. If you can’t play piano well, play the wizard in the correct
rhythm. The pitches will be wrong, but you can fix them in the Editable Notation window later, and the durations,
volume, and timing are already correct.
Melody/Soloist Sequencer
There are 2 tracks in Band-in-a-Box to add your own recordings. These are the Melody and Soloist tracks.
Normally you would want a single part on each of them. But, since MIDI information can have separate channels, it
is possible to store 16 separate parts on each of the Melody and Soloist parts. For the following discussion, we will
assume that you’re using the Melody track, but the same functions are available for the Soloist. When the Melody
track has been set to “Multi(16)-Channel” we refer to this as “Sequencer Mode.”
Also, for this discussion we will assume that you have a multi-channel track loaded in. Let’s load a MIDI file, using
File | Open MIDI file, and choosing a MIDI file like c:\bb\Violet.MID.
If you want to use the 16 separate parts for the Melody track, you need to set the Melody Track type to “MultiChannel.”
This is done from the Melody menu or with the [Sequencer] button.
Now, when you are in this multi-channel mode, output from the Melody part will be on whatever MIDI channel the
information is stored on, and will not be using the Melody MIDI Channel.
You can examine the track to see the channels by looking at the event list, which you can access by pressing the
[#] button on the Notation window.
You will notice that the information in the event list is color coded by channels for multi-channel tracks. For
example, channel 7 is pink, and channel 10 is gold.
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
327
If you open the Lead Sheet window, you will see the entire MIDI file displayed on separate tracks of
notation. Since this represents 6 separate tracks (in the case of violet.MID), this is likely “too much
information” for you to read, unless you are a symphony conductor.
To customize the notation display for sequencer mode, press the lead sheet options button, and see the
settings for Multi-Channel Tracks.
Choose the “CUSTOM channels play/display” option and press
the [Set] button to launch the Sequencer Window. Then you
can customize which channels will play and display.
328
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
In the example picture, we have set Channel 2 (Bass) and Channel 4 (Trumpet) to show on the notation, and have set
all of the channels to play (to hear them).
For a specific channel, (e.g. channel 3: piano), we see the following information.
Channel 3: Acoustic Piano (this is the patch name found on the track).
842: There are 842 events in the track, usually every note is an event.
We have customized the piano track so that it can be heard (play=true), but not seen in notation (Show=false).
There is a small button at the right of the track line that
allows you to delete/ rechannel or merge the channel
with another channel.
You can also change the patch (instrument) for that track
by using the instrument patch combo box.
So now that we’ve customized the display, we are seeing the bass and trumpet on the notation, and hearing the entire
track.
Removing All Tracks Except Melody From A Midi File
One use for the Sequencer mode is to load in a MIDI file, and then delete all of the channels
except the melody, so that you can allow the Band-in-a-Box rhythm section to provide the
accompaniment. To do this, open the Sequencer window, and use the Edit pull down menu to
delete all tracks except the melody.
Once you have done this, you don’t need the Melody | Track Type to be multi-channel anymore, so you should set it
to be Track Type [Single Channel], so that it will be like any other Band-in-a-Box song, and use the Melody channel
for playback.
Recording Your Own Parts To The Melody Sequencer
Normally, you would record your parts to the Melody, and not be concerned about what MIDI channel they are
using, because Band-in-a-Box uses the Melody channel (usually channel 4) for this.
But if you have set the Track type to be multi-channel, the output on the Melody part will be whatever channel is
stored in the tracks.
When you record a Melody part and the track type is set to multichannel, the “Keep Take” dialog will have a selection for the channel that should be used for the recording.
Also, make sure that you have “Overdub underlying melody” checkbox set, or you
won’t hear the other melody parts during the recording.
Example: Recording 4 Separate Counter Melodies On The Melody Track
So if you want to record, for example, 4 separate parts to go along with a Band-in-a-Box song, you should do the
following.
1. Set the Melody track to Multi(16)-Channel (Sequencer)
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
329
2.
Record a Melody part. At the end of the recording, pick a channel for the part that is not already used by
Band-in-a-Box. BB uses channels 2-10, so channels 11 to 16 are available for your counter melody parts.
3. Repeat step 2 by recording additional melody parts.
4.
Assign patches to the Melody parts using the Sequencer
Window.
Custom MIDITracks
You can add MIDITracks to your song (from any style) as easily as adding RealTracks. For example, let’s say you
want to add a “MIDI Strings” track to the Strings track.
First, select the Strings track,. Then click on the MIDITracks
button and select MIDITracks (from .STY) from the pulldown menu
to open the MIDITrack Picker dialog. Or you can right-click on
the Strings part at the top, and choose “Select a Custom MIDI style
for this track.”
You can select MIDI parts a few different ways:
- [Choose Style with this patch] This launches the StylePicker, filtered to only display styles that contain the
instrument specified. For example, if you select “49 Strings,” it will then only show MIDI styles with strings.
- [Choose from Presets] This launches a dialog with preset “popular” choices for MIDITracks to add. You can
type a filter like “49” to only see entries for “49 Strings” or type Strings. This dialog shows you if the instrument
is available in “a” or “b” substyle or both (“ab”).
- [Favs] button will remember your last few hundred choices, so you can re-use them.
Once chosen, the MIDI track will play on the track chosen. Note that you can use the Strings track from a style, and
play it on any BB Track, including bass/piano etc., and even the Melody or Soloist track.
330
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
Tutorial Demo Song – Adding MIDITracks
To check out a song that has had two individual MIDITracks added to it, open this folder: C:\bb\Tutorial - BB2012
and open the file <=HANKMID Demo (MIDI Presets used over a country swing style).SGU>.
Press the [Memo] button to read about the feature and the demo song.
Import a Band-in-a-Box Song
Easily import part or all of an existing Band-in-a-Box song to your current song, with options to specify source and
destination range, type of information to import (chords, melody, lyrics, etc.) and more.
Choose File | Import Song.
In the Import Band-in-a-Box Song dialog, choose the range that you want to import (Import from Bar and # of
bars), and the destination bar (Import to Bar). You can also choose which information to import, and the insert
mode (insert/overwrite).
Importing MIDI Files
Importing MIDI Files to the Melody or Soloist Tracks
Standard MIDI files can be read in to the Melody or Soloist tracks from MIDI files or from the Windows clipboard.
You can read in all of a MIDI file, or selected channels and a specific range of bars. Use one of the following two
commands.
1. Melody | Import MIDI File – to select a MIDI file from disk using the Windows Open File dialog.
2. Melody | Import MIDI File from Clipboard - when the MIDI data is already copied from another program to the
Windows clipboard. The clipboard option will be grayed out if there is no MIDI data in the clipboard.
Once chosen, the Import MIDI File - Options dialog opens.
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
331
Import Which Channel(s)?
You need to know which channel(s) of your MIDI file the melody is on. You then select these channels for Bandin-a-Box to read-in. If you select all of the channels, Band-in-a-Box will read in all of the channels and merge them
to the Melody track. You can import and play the complete file on the Melody track if the Track Type is set to Multi
(16) -Channel in the Melody menu.
# bars to offset from start of MIDI file
If you want to start reading from the beginning of the MIDI file, select 0 as the offset. If you want to start at bar 32,
for example, select an offset of 32 (bars).
How Many Bars to import?
Leave this setting at the default of 1000 to read-in the entire file (unless it’s longer than 1000 bars!), or set it to the
number of bars that want.
# blank bars to insert at beginning
This will insert blank bars into the Melody track. Remember that Band-in-a-Box normally has a 2 bar lead-in count.
If your MIDI file has no lead-in, then you need to set this to = 2 to compensate for the 2 bars of lead-in.
Include notes early by (120 PPQ)
If you’re reading in a MIDI file starting at bar 5, it would be annoying to have a note that was played 1 tick earlier
than bar 5 left out of the MIDI file that is read in. To include it, you can set this, and the note will be read in.
Include continuous controllers and pitch bend / Patch changes / Lyrics
If you don’t need these items you can save space by not importing them.
Merge with Existing Data on the track
You can choose to merge the imported data with your existing Melody track.
Import to the Melody with the MIDI Chord Wizard
You can open an entire MIDI file into Band-in-a-Box using the MIDI Chord Wizard. The chords will be autointerpreted by the Chord Wizard and the MIDI file will play and display on the Melody track. A “silent” style will
be loaded so you will only hear the MIDI file. When the file is saved, the extension will be MGX, allowing you to
easily identify the songs that contain entire MIDI files.
The MIDI Chord Wizard is opened from the File | Import Chords from MIDI File menu item. In the Interpret
Chords from MIDI file dialog, select the “Open ENTIRE MIDI File to Melody” radio button, and then click on
[INTERPRET CHORDS NOW].
332
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
The chords will be interpreted and written to the Band-in-a-Box Chord Sheet and an “X” will appear in front of the
style name, indicating that the style is silent.
Press [Play] to hear the MIDI file play on the Melody track.
Additional Options for Melody/Soloist Track
Choose Melody | Edit Melody Track | Time Shift Melody. This will move (slide) the melody a certain # ticks. There
are 120 ticks per quarter note. For example, to give the song a more laid-back feel, shift the melody about 10 ticks
ahead.
In the same submenu, choose Insert Beats or Melody | Delete Beats to insert or delete beats in the Melody. For
example, to insert 2 bars in the melody at bar 5, choose Melody | Insert Beats, select bar 5, and select 8 beats (2
bars) to insert.
Intelligent Humanize of Melody and Soloist Track
Quantizeroutines can leave the music sounding stiff and unmusical. Some routines attempt to humanize a part by
adding “randomization, “ which rarely has the desired effect since humans don't randomly change timing or volume.
Band-in-a-Box uses intelligent humanization routines to humanize a melody from one feel to another, from one
tempo to another, and vary the amount of swing to 8th notes. The results are very musical, with natural sounding
melodies.
Let's look at some of the parameters found under Humanize.
In this example, Melody | Edit Melody Track | Humanize Melody was selected. The window for Humanize Soloist is
the same.
As you can see, we have broken down the
Humanize effect into 5 main categories: tempo,
lateness, 8th note spacing, legato, and feel.
The best way to learn how these parameters
combine is to try them (you can always press the
UNDO button if you don't like the results.)
For example, try changing the tempo of a song to
see the changes that this will make to the 8th note
spacing and lateness. Press the [Quantize NOW]
button to apply your changes to your song.
Tip: Often, when musicians play at faster tempos they
play the swing 8th notes closer together and a little
later.
We feel that these categories are straightforward and you should have no trouble achieving the desired results.
Remember to apply such parameters as Legato and Lateness sparingly, then press the Quantize NOW button to
apply your changes to your song.
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
333
Editing the Melody Track
Event List Editor
You can edit events including all MIDI events and lyric events using the Event List Editor. It can be launched in
several ways.
- In the Melody menu, choose Edit Melody Track | Step Edit Melody.
- In the Soloist menu, choose Edit Soloist Track | Step Edit Soloist Part.
- In the Notation menu, choose Event List Editor…
- In the Notation window, by pressing the event list button [#].
The list uses a color coding based on Event Type, Channel, Duration, or Velocity.
If the color coding is based on “Event Type,” the list shows the event as follows.
- Notes starting near the beat boundary are dark pink.
- Notes starting on the off-beat are light pink.
- Patch changes are cyan.
- Controller changes are yellow.
- Pitch Bends are grey.
The Event List Editor allows you to modify, insert, and delete notes.
- Double-click on an event to edit it (or press the [Edit] button.)
- [Insert] puts an event before the current event.
- [Append] puts an event at the end of the track.
- [Delete] removes an event.
- [Show] exits the dialog and highlight the note in the Notation Window.
- [Play] plays the current event moves the next event.
- [Update] redraws the notation screen.
- [Edit Lyrics] – [Edit Soloist] – [Edit Melody] selects which track to edit.
Event List Filter
There is a filter for the Event List Editor, allowing you to quickly spot all patch changes.
For example, to examine the patch changes on the Melody track, choose “Use Event Filter,”
and then press the [Filter…] button.
334
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
In the Event List Filter, select the type of information you want to display. In this case, it is program changes
(patches) only.
The track will then display with the program changes only.
The Event Type to Edit dialog opens when either the [Insert]
or [Append] buttons are pressed in the Event List Editor.
This dialog allows you to select which type of event to insert or
append - note, controller, pitch bend, etc. – and then opens the
selected edit dialog.
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
335
Notation Window Editing
You can often get better results by using the Notation Window to edit notes instead of the Event List window. To
do this, open the Notation window in either Editable Notation or Staff Roll Notation mode. In both of these modes,
notes can be dragged and dropped with the mouse.
For precise note editing, right mouse click on the note you want to edit and choose “Edit Note” in the contextual
menu.
This opens the Note dialog where all of the parameters of the note can be addressed.
Piano Roll Window Editing
The Piano Roll window enables precise graphic editing of note timing and duration. You can also
graphically edit note velocity, controllers, program changes, channel aftertouch, or pitch bend.
The Piano Roll may be opened as a movable window, which floats above the Band-in-a-Box main window, or
opened embedded in the same position as the Chord Sheet/Notation panels in the Band-in-a-Box main window.
336
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
Note Panel
Horizontal bars represent notes. Notes can be selected, edited, inserted, and deleted. Selected notes are red.
- Click on individual notes to select.
- Shift+click on individual notes to add to the selection.
- Ctrl+click on a note to invert (toggle) its selection.
Overlapping notes are displayed in bold Aqua color, making them easy to identify. Overlapped notes can be
eliminated from the right-click menu in this window.
Click on white space and then drag a rectangle around notes to select a group of notes. Only notes that start within
the rectangle are selected. If the left edge of a note is not inside the rectangle, it will not be selected.
- Shift+drag a rectangle to add another group of notes to the selection.
- Ctrl+drag a rectangle to toggle the selection of the notes in the rectangle.
Splitter Bar
A Splitter Bar sits between the Note and Graphic Event panels. Drag the splitter bar down to maximize the Note
panel and drag it up to maximize the Graphic Event panel.
Two graphic event mouse editing modes for editing graphic events:
1. Add Mode
Add/subtract the same amount to all selected events.
2. Scale Mode
Scale the selected events. Select one or more Graphic Events, and move the mouse over one of the events. Shiftdrag vertically, and the events are scaled in a proportional fashion. Large-value events are scaled more than
small-value events. This keeps the same shape of a gesture, but makes it bigger or smaller.
Note Velocity Line Tool
- With Add Mode, note velocities will exactly match the slope of your drawn line.
- With Scale Mode, the Line Tool will shape the dynamics, but note velocities are scaled to follow the approximate
shape of your drawn line. With Scale Mode, you can insert a Velocity fade, or change the velocity of a region,
while preserving the Velocity dynamics of the music.
Edit Events
Edit Event Value: Move the cursor over the top half of an event. A north-south cursor appears. Click-drag
vertically to scale event values. To scale a selected group of events, Shift-click-drag vertically on one of the events
in the selection.
Edit Event Time: Move the cursor over the bottom half of an event. A horizontal arrow cursor appears. Clickdrag horizontally to slide the event in time. To slide a selected group of events, click-drag horizontally on one of the
events in the selection.
Insert Events
Line Tool: With no modifier keys, the “white space” cursor is a Line Tool. Move the cursor to white space and
then click-drag to draw a line. When the mouse button is released, a series of events are inserted which follow the
line slope.
To avoid choking the MIDI stream, the maximum event density is one event per 10 ticks. Repeated events of the
same value are not inserted. Therefore, long gradual Line Tool fades have a lower density than short extreme Line
Tool fades.
Pencil Tool: Move the cursor over white space and hold the Shift+Ctrl keys. A Pencil Tool appears. Shift+Ctrldrag to freehand-draw a curve. If you don't get the curve quite right on the first pass, just keep holding the mouse
button and move the mouse back-and-forth to draw your desired freehand curve.
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
337
When the mouse button is released, a series of events are inserted to follow the freehand curve. The maximum
event density is one event per 10 ticks. Repeated events of the same value are not inserted. Therefore, many
freehand curves have a fairly low density.
Delete Events
Make a selection of events with the Ruler or by clicking on events and tap the Delete key. You can also right-click
and choose “Delete Selected Events” item in the pop-up menu.
Eraser tool: For quickly deleting individual notes or controllers. Shift+Ctrl-click on a note or graphic event. If
multiple events have been selected, all selected events will be deleted.
Graphic Event Panel
This panel only shows MIDI events specified in the Chan, View/Edit, and Controller Type controls. When
graphically inserting controller and pitch bend events the event density is adjustable from one event per 1 tick up to
one event per 30 ticks.
With events such as pitch bend or controllers like modulation and sustain, it is important to end a “gesture” with a
zero-value event. Otherwise, subsequent notes will be affected, with “hanging” permanent pitch bend, permanent
vibrato, or sustain pedal locked down.
Event Selection
Graphic Event Ruler Time Selections: Selected Events are red. The Graphic Event Ruler will only select nonnote events. In addition, it will only select the type of MIDI events specified in the Chan, View/Edit, and Controller
Type controls. When you make a Ruler Time selection, ONLY THE VISIBLE events in this time range are
selected. Other MIDI events in this time range are not selected.
338
Chapter 10: Working With MIDI
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
About Band-in-a-Box Audio Files
You can open an audio file by clicking the [Open] toolbar button and selecting Open Audio
(wav, wma, mp3, wmv, cda) from the pulldown menu.
Audio files can also be opened from the File menu with the command Open Audio (WAV, WMA, MP3, WMV).
Open an MP3/WAV/WMA or audio CD track, and play back at 1/2, 1/4, or 1/8 speed. This is great for transcribing
or analyzing audio.
If you load in an audio song (WAV file, MP3), when the song plays you can:
- change the tempo of the audio to slow/speed up the song.
- press Ctrl+[-] for half speed, Ctrl+[=] for full speed.
- highlight an area of the Audio Edit window and press [Play Selected Area]. This will loop the audio.
- use the Audio | Set Audio Master (Base) Tempo menu item to ensure that tempo stretches are based on correct
master tempo.
These features are useful as an aid for transcription.
If MySong.MGU is loaded, and a same named audio file (MySong.WMA, MySong.MP3, MySong.WAV, etc.) is
present, Band-in-a-Box will open the audio file to the audio track.
This allows third parties to make audio files with chords in them, by making a MySong.MGU and MySong.MP3
pair of files, which will load into Band-in-a-Box, yet will have the audio compressed to take up little disk space. For
example, make a teaching set of trombone files for Band-in-a-Box, with audio trombone track, and Band-in-a-Box
file with chords, all fitting in a small file size.
Audio Playback and Audio Rendering
In addition to RealTracks and RealDrums, there are two types of audio features in Band-in-a-Box:
1. The first refers to the Audio track. This is a single 44K mono or stereo track that you can use to record vocals or
live instruments. In addition, the most popular types of audio files can be imported to this track and played.
2. The second refers to rendering which is the process of converting a MIDI performance in Band-in-a-Box to a
stereo .WAV file or to different compressed audio formats for playback in media players or export to other audio
software programs.
Audio Track
The audio track includes only your live recording or the imported audio file, whereas the rendered .WAV file
includes everything in the file; MIDI parts plus the audio track.
Import Audio File to Audio Track
Most types of popular audio files can be opened directly in Band-in-a-Box, but you may want to import an audio
track into your Band-in-a-Box song. A Mono or Stereo audio file can be imported to the Audio track, optionally
merging or replacing any existing audio track. Most popular types of audio files are supported, including WAV,
WMA, MP3, WMV and CD audio.
Choose the menu item Audio | Import Audio (WAV, WMA, MP3, WMV…). You then choose an audio file to import.
The Import Audio File dialog is then displayed, which allows selection of the point to insert the audio file, and
whether to merge or overwrite existing audio in the range.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
339
Using the Half-Speed Audio feature to help you transcribe a piece of music.
Once you open the Audio file, open the Audio Edit window and you can see the audio data on the track.
Choose “Half-speed tempo” (Ctrl+minus (-) hot key). Ctrl+equals (=) returns to normal tempo. (Use the Play |
Tempo menu for slower speeds like 1/4, 1/8.)
Highlight the range that you want to hear, and then press “Play Selected Area.”
You can then move around the window to play different sections as you transcribe the
recording.
Audio Offset
The Audio Offset feature allows you to synchronize any point of the audio file with bar 1 of the Band-in-a-Box
song – usually to sync the audio file with the rest of the song.
Let’s say you have a home recording of a live performance of one of your songs, saved as a WAV file (or
MP3/WMA). File | Open Audio will load the song into Band-in-a-Box.
Now open up the Audio Edit window, right-click where you would like to be considered bar 1, and select
Mark this point as Bar 1 of the song from the menu.
Then, as the song is playing, use the tap tempo feature (the minus key, pressed 4 times in tempo) to set the tempo of
the piece.
Your audio file will then start playing at bar 1 of the Band-in-a-Box song in sync with the audio starting at the place
you have marked as bar 1, and the bars will be in sync (approximately in sync, they will drift as the tempo of your
live performance varies.) You can put tempo changes on certain bars to keep it perfectly in sync if you want to.
340
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
Audio Playback Settings
Notice the “Audio” label at the top right of the screen, beside the “Thru”
part setting. Clicking on the “Audio” label launches the Audio Playback settings
dialog.
In this dialog you can mute, solo, or change the volume of the audio track, similar
to the control of the other instrument parts in Band-in-Box. Simply click on the
“Audio” label on-screen, and choose these options.
There are also Tone and Reverb controls that act on the audio track.
The Tone control is a combined Bass/Treble control. The range of settings is
from -18 (maximum bass) to +18 (maximum treble). Default is 0.
The Reverb has a range of 0 to 127.
The audio reverb type is settable in the PG Music Reverb window.
PG Music Reverb
To make your own reverb settings, select Audio Reverb Dialog from the pulldown menu of the
[Plugins] button, and adjust the various parameters in the PG Music Reverb dialog.
Reverb can be enabled/disabled globally for all songs, in which case the setting will still appear but no reverb will be
applied. Or you can enable/disable the audio reverb for the current song only. This will save some CPU cycles if
you are using a slower machine.
Click on the green Select a Preset button to open the list of presets. The list shows only “Band-in-a-Box
Default Reverb” until you save some presets of your own.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
341
As you adjust the settings they will be applied to the current song. The
[Swap “Default”] button toggles between your current settings and the default settings. This allows you to hear the
effect of the changes you make to the settings.
Use the row of “room” buttons to load typical
settings for different types of spaces. These buttons are a convenient way to either apply a particular effect or to
load settings that you can then tweak to make your own preset.
Reverb Parameters
Pre-Delay is the time delay of first reflections.
Decay is the time it takes for reverb to decay. Reverb time is measured as RT60, the time it takes for reverb to
decay to a level -60 dB below the dry signal level.
LF Roll off gradually reduces the bass frequencies. If you can’t add enough reverb because the sound gets too
muddy, try increasing the LF Roll off slider. It is adjustable between 50 Hz and 500 Hz.
HF Roll off is the rate at which the high frequencies die away as the reverb decays. Rooms with hard surfaces are
typically bright, but rooms with soft surfaces are usually darker. It is adjustable between 1 KHz (dark) to 11 KHz
(bright).
Density is the density of low-level echoes near the end of the reverb tail. High Density settings add a sheen to the
sound.
Mix the proportion of original signal to the reverb signal.
Output adjusts the final level of the plug-in.
Typical Reverb Settings
- A large hall might have long Pre-Delay, long Decay, and moderate Density.
- A hard large space such as a Gymnasium, might have long Pre-Delay, high Density and high HF Roll off.
- A soft large space such as a concert hall with carpet, padded seats, hangings, might have medium Density and
low HF Roll off.
- A small hard space such as a tile washroom, might have short Pre-Delay, medium-to-long Decay, high Density,
and high HF Roll off.
- A small soft space such as a large living room, might have short Pre-Delay, short Decay, medium-to-low
Density, and low HF Roll off.
Saving Settings to Presets
You can save your reverb types as presets, and the current settings will also be saved with the song in a DX
Settings\PGReverbSettings.bin file.
To save the current settings to a preset, type in a name for your preset in the “Preset Name” field.
Then click on the Save Preset arrow and choose a location in the Preset list. You can write over an
existing name.
A prompt will ask you to confirm that you want to
save the preset.
Select [Yes] to save the new preset to the
chosen location.
342
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
Auto Reverb
Enable “Auto-Add Reverb to RealTracks” to automatically
apply preset amounts of reverb to RealTracks according to instrument type. No reverb is added to the Bass part, for
example, but most instruments get reverb. If you just want more or less reverb added overall, you can adjust the
Strength %. For example, the default Band-in-a-Box reverb setting is 40 for most tracks. If you set the strength to
75%, the Band-in-a-Box setting becomes 30.
Save as Default Reverb
The button allows you to save the current settings as the Default Reverb.
Restore Defaults
Click on this button to go back to the original “factory” reverb settings for Band-in-a-Box
Default Reverb.
Record Audio
Before you begin recording, you need to:
Set the Recording Properties
This tells your sound card (and Band-in-a-Box) what sources you would record from. You may be recording from a
microphone or a line-in plug into your sound card. In that case, you need to have those items selected in the
recording properties panel for your sound card.
Most sound cards are capable of recording from the following sources:
Microphone – plugged in to the sound card to record vocals or live instruments.
Line-In – from the Line-Out of a mixer or keyboard, or a guitar direct box.
CD-ROM player – to record the audio from an audio CD.
“What You Hear” or “Stereo Mix” is used if “rendering” the whole Band-in-a-Box song to Audio. This is an
important point to understand when using audio in Band-in-a-Box: the soundcard should be capable of recording the
outgoing MIDI that is being sent from your soundcard out to the speakers. When recording an audio track (vocals
etc.), you'd almost never want to record the outgoing MIDI as well or it would get mixed in with the audio track.
However, when rendering your whole composition to a single .WAV file to distribute on a CD or the Internet you
always want to record the outgoing MIDI.
Technical Note: This is only true if you are using the sound card for your output MIDI driver. If you have an external MIDI
device like the Roland Sound Canvas you'd need to route the Line Out from your Sound Canvas back in to the Line-In of your
sound card in order to record (render) the MIDI.
When you press the [Set Recording Properties] button, you will see the
Sound settings for your computer. This is where you select your recording
source.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
343
The panel displayed here is for a typical
Windows 7 computer with an add-on sound
card. Different makes and models may not look
exactly like the example, but the basic layout
and operation is the same. From this panel, you
select the items you want to record. Let’s take
the example of recording live with a
microphone.
- We select the microphone as the recording device.
-
In the Properties, we can set the microphone level and other properties such as the sample rate and
bit depth.
- Then, we test the level of the recording input for the microphone with the aid of the built-in VU meters in Band-ina-Box.
Audio VU meters
These show the Record and Playback levels for audio, allowing adjustment of microphone and speaker levels.
The VU Meters open automatically when the Record Audio dialog is opens
The VU Meters will close or stay open when the dialog is exited depending
on the “Leave VU Meters open” setting in the Record Audio dialog.
The VU Meters show the average strength of the signal, with a dB scale, and a clip indicator. Clipping indicates
that the signal has overloaded, and will sound distorted (clipped).
The green area represents normal levels, while red indicates an overload.
Ideally, the sounds should remain in the green and avoid the red altogether. Unlike analog
recording, where it's good to get a “hot” high signal, digital recordings need to absolutely
avoid high levels since any overload of the signal will result in clipping and a ruined
recording.
344
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
Record Audio dialog
Press the [Record Audio] button to start recording audio. The Record Audio dialog will open.
This dialog displays the mono/stereo status of the recording.
If you want to change to/from stereo (to/from mono), press the [Audio Options] button
in this dialog. The mono/stereo track status is also indicated on the Title bar at the top
of the main screen.
Set the start point for the recording.
You can record from the Start of the song, somewhere in the middle, or punch in by choosing a bar and chorus # to
start recording.
Also Record MIDI?
If you also want to record MIDI at the same time, press [Cancel] to exit the Record Audio dialog, and choose the
Audio menu command Record Audio and MIDI (or Shift+click on the Record Audio toolbar button).
This opens another version of the Record Audio dialog with choices to record MIDI to
either the Melody or Soloist track.
Punch-In Recording
Punch-in audio recording allows you to punch-in record or overdub a section of audio. You can select a section to
punch-in by highlighting it in the Audio Edit window. You can also hear the existing audio part when you are
overdubbing. This is automatic.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
345
Overdub underlying Audio
If you have previously recorded audio on the track, and want to overdub (to add a
harmony for example), then you should select the Overdub underlying Audio. It is not essential to select it at this
point, since you wll get another chance at the end of the recording. Note that the audio track will not play during
record, so you'd have to sing the harmony without hearing the original audio part.
Press [Record].
Audio recording begins. If you have set the “Show VU Meter while recording” option, then
the VU Meter will open up and display during recording so you can monitor the VU meters.
Press [Stop] or press the [Esc] key.
You will then see the “Keep Take?” dialog.
If you are happy with your recording, you should
choose [OK -Keep Take] and the audio will be
added to the Audio track.
You can listen to the results by pressing [Play].
If you are not happy with the results, you can choose Edit | Undo Keep Audio Take and you will be back to where
you were prior to the recording. You can also choose the option to [Take Again], which reopens the Recording
dialog.
Technical Details: The recorded take is recorded to a temporary wave file called TEMP_REC.WAV. This resides in the \bb
directory or the directory of the current song. Once you decide to keep the take, the TEMP_REC.WAV is merged with the main
wave file for the program, which is usually titled with the same name as the song (e.g. MySong.wav).
Options
If you’ve recorded only 1 chorus of the song, you can choose the option to copy
that first chorus of audio to the whole song. This will fill up the whole song with the audio by repeating it as many
times as necessary. Then you'd just need to record the ending of the song.
At the end of recording, you receive an option to overdub with the underlying audio.
This means that both recordings will be merged together to form a new file, with both recordings preserved.
There is also an option to “Retain audio past last recorded.” This allows you to
“punch out” and preserve the rest of a previously recorded take.
Playing the Audio File
You can play the Audio file that you've recorded by pressing [PLAY].
The size of the audio file will be displayed at the top of the screen. In this example, there
is a 5.6MB .WAV file associated with the file, and that's 1 minute and 4 seconds of audio.
Once the song is saved, the wave file will be called with the same name as the song. If you ever need to work with
the .WAV file in another program, you can just directly edit the wave file. If you do this, make sure the .WAV stays
a 44K mono .WAV file.
Generate Synthetic Vocal
Your Melody or Soloist track with lyrics can be rendered to a vocal audio track by sending it to the 3rd party vocal
synthesizer Sinsy.
To access this feature, you should first pick a song that has lyrics and a Melody. If no Lyrics are present, you can
still generate a vocal synth using the syllable of your choice (la la la etc.).
Once you’ve loaded in a song, you can launch the Vocal Synth generation, either by:
-
346
the [Big Lyrics] button on the main screen toolbar,
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
-
the [Vocal Synth] button on the Notation Window toolbar,
-
or menu Lyrics - Vocal Synth.
Choose the language, Japanese or English, and one of the female or male vocalists. You can adjust the gender of the
voice in a range from -0.8 to +0.8. Higher values are more masculine. If your track does not include lyrics, you can
enter a syllable to use for notes with no lyrics.
When you press OK, your song will be sent automatically to the song server and returned as an audio file on the
Audio track. This may take a few minutes. A yellow flash message will tell you when the vocal synth has been
generated. Press the [Play] button on the toolbar to hear it.
Edit the Audio File
In the Audio Edit window, you can edit audio data using Copy, Cut, and Paste. Launch the Audio Edit
window with the toolbar button, by the Audio | Audio Edit Window menu item, or by pressing the
Ctrl+Shift+A keys.
You can see the dB (decibel) scale at the left of the Audio Edit window.
To select a region of the Audio Edit window, you can Shift+click on the end point to easily select a large area.
- Click on the starting bar.
- Shift-click on the ending bar.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
347
Audio Edit Window Toolbar
These buttons zoom in and out to the audio window.
The 100% button sets the Audio Window to display about 8 bars per screen.
This button zooms to the sample level so that you can see the actual sine waves present. The [100%]
button restores the wave view.
This setting allows you to select audio by snapping to a 16th note (or a triplet in swing styles).
This button plays the selected area, and then stops. The other instruments are all muted;
you just hear the audio.
This button selects the whole track, useful for applying one of the built-in audio plug-ins.
These buttons change the height of the waveform display. [+] increases the height of the waveform
display, [-] decreases the height of the display.
Non-Destructive Audio Track Editing
The changes you make to the audio track are non-destructive and only become permanent if you save the file.
If you have a song file called MySong.MGU, the audio track is stored in a MySong.WAV file. If you are editing the
audio, the edits are now made to a temporary WAV file called TEMPMAIN.WAV, and not to MySong.WAV. If
you save the song, the changes get written to the MySong.WAV audio file, but if you don’t save, the original file is
preserved.
Audio Harmonies
You can apply a harmony to the audio part – allowing you to automatically create up to 4-part vocal harmonies from
your singing. And don’t worry if your singing is not in perfect tune, Band-in-a-Box can “fix” vocals to the correct
pitch - automatically! Simply record your vocal part, choose a harmony, and Band-in-a-Box will generate the vocal
harmony part for you using the world-leading TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies engine.
Once you have recorded a vocal part into Band-in-a-Box, you can use this feature in many ways, including:
- Record yourself singing into a Band-in-a-Box file. Create a vocal harmony for part or all of the song by selecting
a Band-in-a-Box harmony and choosing the Generate Audio Harmony option. You can now hear yourself singing
in perfect harmony!
- Did you hit a few “out-of-tune” notes when you recorded your singing to Band-in-a-Box? Fixing your “out-oftune” singing is easy, by instructing the program to correct the pitches to the Melody track.
Audio Harmonies Tutorial
Note: All of the demo songs are located in the Tutorial - Audio Harmonies folder in the Band-in-a-Box (C:\bb) folder.
Let’s load in the song “Listen.MGU.”
348
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
First off, play the song “Listen” – it has an audio track, so you will be hearing a male vocal track lasting about 16
bars (since WAV files are big, we only include a small 16 bar sample of the WAV file).
We’re going to apply some audio harmony to this “Listen” demo.
Since any edits we save to the audio WAV file are permanent, we want to make sure that we keep a copy of the
original file around that is unaltered.
Save a copy of the song as “Listen 4 Part Harmony.”
Press the [Save As] button and choose Save Song As… from the dropdown menu. Save the song as
“Listen 4 part harmony.” We will now be working with this file, so our original Listen file won’t be
affected.
Click on the [Harmony] toolbar button and choose Harmony | Audio Harmonies & Pitch Tracking
from the pulldown menu. Or go to menu Harmony | Audio Harmonies & Pitch Tracking. You will see
the Generate Audio Harmonies dialog.
In this dialog, there are 3 types of harmony that we can choose from:
1. Melody Pitch Tracking only (this would change the pitch of our singing to the correct pitches found on the MIDI
Melody track).
2. Harmonize to the MIDI Melody. This applies a 1-4 part audio harmony – turning your singing track into a
harmony singing quartet.
3. Harmonize to the chords of the song. If your song doesn’t have a MIDI melody, you can still create a vocal
harmony, based only on the chords of the song.
Let’s harmonize to the MIDI melody, so choose the radio button with that title.
Then select Harmony type “131 Four
Freshmen 4 part Vocal Harmony.” This is a 4 part harmony that includes the melody, and one of the voices is above
the melody.
Since we want to harmonize the entire song, choose “Whole Song.”
The output can be mono or stereo. Since we’re making a 4-part harmony, and we
want to hear the voices panned across our stereo speakers, we choose STEREO here.
We want Band-in-a-Box to play our files directly, and since Band-in-a-Box
plays only one WAV file at a time, we won’t be exporting the 4 voices as separate WAV files, and we don’t select
the “Output (Export) as separate WAV file” option.
Press OK, and this launches the TC Helicon Harmony dialog, which lets you control the sound of
your harmonies.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
349
Let’s examine the various sliders on this dialog, as they apply to our “Listen 4 part Harmony” File.
The “Dry Voice Level” slider is the level of our original voice. We can make the harmony to include more of our
original voice by raising this slider. Set it half way up (to 12dB).
The 4 columns labeled Melody, Voice 2, Voice 3, and Voice 4- 8va are the 4 part MIDI harmony that will be
transformed to an audio harmony using our original voice. The “8va” tells you that Voice 4 will be above the
melody.
Each of the voices have sliders for “Level” (loudness) and “Gender.” The “Gender” slider makes the voice sound
like a male or female (raise the slider to make it more female). Higher pitches of harmony should have a female
gender applied. Make the settings as in the picture above.
The Octave is an important setting that controls the overall octave of ALL the generated harmonies. If the harmony
generated is too high, lower the octave setting here.
Try out the preview with the octave on 0, and then again on –1, you will hear all of the voices an octave lower on the
–1 setting. Leave it at 0 for this demo.
There are 3 Humanization settings (timing, pitch, and portamento) that affect the sounds of the individual voices.
Timing controls how “tight” the group sounds, with a setting of zero being perfectly synced start/stop times. Let’s
set it to about 20, to give some natural looseness to the group.
Pitch controls how steady the pitch will be. If set to zero the pitch will be exactly the MIDI pitch, if set higher, the
pitch will vary up/down with the original WAV file.
Portamento controls how fast the pitch will change from one pitch to another. Settings above zero give smooth
transition from one pitch to another.
Pitch Styles
When you generate audio harmonies to your recorded vocal tracks, you can select Pitch Styles to add vibrato and
scooping effects to the vocal harmonies. There is a drop down combo list at the bottom of each voice. You can
choose a type of “pitch effect” (combination of vibrato and scooping) called a Pitch Style to be applied to each
harmony voice.
In the example screenshot, we have chosen “Crooner,” “Lite Jazz,” “Lounge,” and “Head Voice” – somewhat
similar vibrato types, but different for each harmony voice.
350
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
The Pitch Styles are especially useful for harmonies generated from MIDI tracks, because these lack any vibrato.
Now by applying these pitch effects, you can get a natural sounding vibrato for these harmonies.
Now let’s preview our harmonies! Press the [PREVIEW] button, and after a 5-10 second delay, you will
hear a 10 second sample of the harmony. Once you hear it, you can tweak the settings, for example:
-
make the original voice louder by increasing the Dry Voice Level slider.
to make the individual harmony voices louder, increase their sliders.
to change the stereo separation, change the Pan sliders
to make the group more “loose” sounding, increase the Timing slider
to make the pitches and pitch-transitions more human, increase the Pitch and Portamento sliders
change the whole Octave of all of the harmonies with the octave slider.
If you’d like to get more help on-line about the settings, inside the dialog press the Help button and then
click anywhere in the dialog.
This launches the Band-in-a-Box Help file with more information.
When you are happy with the settings, press the [GENERATE] button. This generates a harmony for the complete
song (takes about 20 seconds for “Listen” depending on your CPU speed).
The dialog then exits, and your song is ready to play in Band-in-a-Box.
Band-in-a-Box gives you a confirmation message that the audio harmony has been created.
Tip: When playing back the harmonies, mute the MIDI melody (right-click on Melody part at the top of the screen or Alt+8).
If you want to hear what the harmonies should sound like – we have included a completed version of “Listen 4 part
harmony.MP3” and this is included on the “c:\bb\Tutorial - Audio Harmonies” folder.
Melody Pitch Tracking
Now let’s use the Audio Harmonies for a different purpose, to “fix” pitches that may be out of tune, or to change
some pitches to more interesting notes.
For this, reload the song Listen.MGU. Now resave it by [Save As] and give it the name “Listen Pitch
Tracking.MGU.” Now, we’re going to change some notes of the MIDI melody. Open the notation,
and change the pitch of the D note at the end of bar 2 to an E. Also change the “B” at bar 7 to a “G”
below it.
At bar 10, change the “E” note to a C#.
Now, choose Harmonies – Audio Harmonies, and select “Melody Pitch Tracking” and
press OK to again launch the TC-Helicon Harmony Dialog. Now, we’re going to be changing the vocal track into a
different vocal track that instead is matching the pitches of the MIDI melody (without any harmony).
So the dialog reflects this, by only showing one of the columns with a track name, and it is “Melody (BB).”
For this one, we should leave the original voice at ZERO (so we don’t hear any of it), and put some humanization
settings as shown.
Now try the [PREVIEW] button. You will hear that the harmony is ONE OCTAVE TOO HIGH. This is because
the MIDI melody is one octave higher than the vocal track (males sing in the bass clef!). No problem, just adjust the
Octave setting to –1, and try the preview again.
You will hear what sounds like the original voice, except you wll notice that the pitch is fixed to perfectly in tune,
and some of the notes are changed in pitches (the ones we changed above, for example the E note on end of bar 2).
Now press [GENERATE] to hear this whole song.
If you want to hear what the pitch tracking final file should sound like – we have included a completed version of
“Listen Pitch Tracking.MP3” in the “c:\bb\Tutorial - Audio Harmonies” folder. (Play this file from Explorer by
double clicking on it.) Your tutorial example should sound very close to this.
Chordal Harmony
For the last example on “Listen,” we will do an example of the “Chordal Harmony.” This is a 4 part harmony based
only on the chords, when we don’t have a MIDI melody available.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
351
Load in Listen.MGU. Save the file as “Listen – Chordal Harmony.MGU.” Now erase the Melody (just to convince
yourself that the Melody is not going to be used). Melody-Edit-Kill Entire Melody. Now choose Harmony-Audio
Harmonies to open the dialog, and then choose Chordal Harmonies.
You will see that the only harmony type available will be the Chordal Harmony, because there is no Melody
available.
You can choose many different harmony variations, such as Four Above, or Three above etc. Let’s choose Four
Above for 4 harmony voices above our original melody.
We want to include the original vocal track as well, so we will mix the “dry voice level” up into the mix. Make the
settings as shown in this dialog, and press [PREVIEW], and then [GENERATE]. Playback this demo song, and
also play the included “Listen Chordal Harmony.MP3” file – your file should sound similar.
Unison Harmonies
Unison harmonies are available for the Chordal harmony.
For example, if you recording a vocal track, and then
choose Chordal Harmony (i.e. “Harmonize to the Chords of
the Song”), you can then choose a new preset called “1
Unison, 2 Down, 1 Up.”
This will give you 4 harmonies, and one of them will be a
unison harmony doubling your voice. You can assign
specific vibrato and other settings to the unison voice so that
it sounds slightly different from your own, creating a
“fattening” effect to your voice.
Choir Effect
In the TC-Helicon dialog, you can select a choir effect, from
none/small/medium/large. A “large” choir effect makes each voice sound like
4 people singing, so if you use a 4 voice harmony, you will hear the effect as if
16 people are singing.
Audio Harmonies Pitch Styles (automatic “Vibrato” and “Scooping”)
When you generate audio harmonies to your recorded vocal tracks, you can select Pitch Styles, which adds vibrato
and scooping effects to the vocal harmonies. Choose from many vibrato/pitch presets, including “Ballad,”
“Broadway,” “Pop Diva” and more!
When you launch the TC-Helicon Audio Harmony dialog, you can see that there is a new drop down combo list at
the bottom of each voice. You can choose a type of “pitch effect” (combination of vibrato and scooping) called a
Pitch Style to be applied to each harmony voice. In the example screenshot, we have chosen “Natural Vibrato,”
“Ballad,” “Broadway,” and “Crooner” – different vibrato types for each harmony voice.
The Pitch Styles are especially useful for harmonies generated from MIDI tracks, because these lack any vibrato.
Now by applying these pitch effects, you can get a natural sounding vibrato for these harmonies.
352
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
Pitch Styles Preset Details (one per voice)
Each of the four voice banks has a Pitch Styles preset selection list. This control allows pitch scooping and vibrato
effects to be added to the harmony voices. These effects can be used to increase the naturalness of vocals processed
by melody pitch tracking, produce a more polished, professional sound in the harmonies, and even to create strange
special effects. (Have you ever harmonized with a flock of sheep?)
The following table provides a list of the presets, as well as descriptions to help you decide when to use them.
Style Name
Description
1 B Natural Vibrato
This is a very subtle vibrato along with pitch effect that causes the harmony voice
to slightly scoop up into some notes, making it seem more distinct from the lead
voice.
2 Ballad Rock Vibrato
A Rock vibrato typically used in slower pieces.
3 Broadway Vibrato
The classic vibrato of the New York Show-Tune sound.
4 Classic Rock Vibrato
Classic Rock - A rich and potent sound.
5 Crooner Vibrato
The classic sound of the Las Vegas entertainers.
6 Deep Jazz Vibrato
Reminiscent of the great Jazz singers of the 1950s.
7 Discreet Vibrato
A very light vibrato.
8 Folk Vibrato
A warm and pleasant vibrato.
9 Funk Vibrato
An energetic sound from the 70s.
10 Head Voice Vibrato
A very resonant vibrato, using pitch and amplitude modulation.
11 Hi Energy Vibrato
A fast vibrato.
12 Lite Jazz Vibrato
A lighter Jazz sound.
13 Lounge Vibrato
The bold and big sound of the lounge entertainer.
14 Mellow Folk Vibrato
A sweet, mellow sound.
15 Mellow Pop Vibrato
Light accents to a Pop vocal.
16 Nervous Tremolo Vibrato A very fast, “nervous,” and choppy vibrato.
17 Opera Tenor Vibrato
The sound of a Classical Tenor singer.
18 Tenor Delayed Vibrato
A Classical tenor sound with a delayed onset. Better for slow songs.
19 Pop Diva Vibrato
The sound heard on many hit Pop recordings.
20 Pop Diva XT Vibrato
A thicker and fuller Pop Diva vibrato, with a faster onset time.
21 R&B Vibrato
Vibrato from another Pop music culture - Rhythm and Blues.
22 Slow Ballad Vibrato
A style typical of slow Pop ballads of the 1970s. Use this on slow songs only
because the vibrato isn’t triggered on short notes.
23 Slow Gospel Vibrato
The big sound of the southern US Gospel singer.
24 Smooth Pop Vibrato
A smoother Pop vibrato.
25 Soprano Vibrato
The vibrato sound of a Classical soprano.
26 Tremolo Vibrato
No pitch modulation, just amplitude modulation.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
353
27 Warm Vibe Vibrato
28 Memphis Scoop Vibrato
29 Changing Scoop Vibrato
30 Country Scoop Vibrato
31 Jungle Vibrato
32 Landing Vibrato
33 Motorbike Vibrato
34 Nervous Vibrato
35 Sheep Vibrato
36 Siren Vibrato
37 Slicer Vibrato
38 UFO Vibrato
A warm and quick vibrato sound.
A style typical in ballads of a certain singer from Memphis. Long scoops into some
notes, and a strong, slow vibrato.
A style typical of a certain tambourine man. This one works best on slow songs if
you just speak the lyrics without singing them!
A style that mimics that Country “flip” sound on note onsets.
Special Effect. The sound of the jungle-man.
Special Effect. The sound of a close encounter with a spaceship landing.
Special Effect. A motorcycle-like sound.
Special Effect. An agitated, uneasy sound.
Special Effect. The likeness of sheep bleating in the field.
Special Effect. The sound of a North American emergency vehicle.
Special Effect. A choppy alternative to a standard vibrato.
Special Effect. The sound of your science-fiction imagination.
Applying Audio Plug-Ins
When you have recorded audio, you'd likely want to apply some type of effect to the audio recorded. The usual one
is reverb. Choose the audio plug-in that you want from the Audio | Plugin menu. For reverb, choose the Reverb
option. You will then see a plug-in with its own settings, specific to the type of plug-in.
Inside the plug-in, you can preview the plug-in effect, and if you like it you can then proceed with processing the
entire .WAV file. You can undo the effects of any plug-in by choosing Edit | Undo.
Direct-X or VST Plug-ins
You can apply your favorite DirectX or VST plug-in to the digital audio track. To process a WAV track with a
DirectX or VST plug-in, choose Audio | Plugin | DirectX Audio plugins.
Important! This feature requires that you have Microsoft DirectX installed. You can download the latest version of Microsoft
DirectX from www.microsoft.com.
Real time DirectX or VST Audio Plug-ins
You can real time-process the Band-in-a-Box audio track using DirectX or VST Audio plug-ins. This is useful to
“non-destructively” apply EQ, Echo, Reverb, Dynamics, and other effects to a Band-in-a-Box audio track.
The advantage of real time processing is that you can set effects today, and if you decide you don’t like the effects
tomorrow, the settings can be easily changed, since the real time effects did not permanently affect your audio track
on the hard disk.
354
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
To use real time DirectX or VST audio plug-ins, open the Band-in-a-Box Audio Settings dialog with the
Preferences [Audio] buttons.
Check “Use Realtime DX Audio Plugins” to enable this feature.
DX/VST audio plug-ins are not enabled by default, in case an older/slower
computer might have trouble with DirectX. If your computer misbehaves with DX/VST audio plug-ins, simply
make sure this option is unchecked.
DirectX or VST audio plug-ins and DXi/VSTi synthesizer plug-ins can have playback latency (the delay between
when a note is played, and when a note is heard).
Adjust “Audio Latency in mS” to fine-tune for your computer. If you have a fast computer and excellent sound
card, the audio latency can be adjusted rather low. However, if you hear audio dropouts, you can set the latency as
high as 2000 milliseconds.
Playback timing is equally good with long or short latency. But with longer-than-necessary latency, you have to
wait awhile before hearing playback begin, and there is a noticeable delay if you adjust DX plug-in settings during
playback.
To edit DX plug-ins, click the [Edit Plugin Settings…] button.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
355
The Edit radio buttons let you chose which of the four inline effects to edit.
The Bypass checkboxes let you bypass any of the four
effects in a group.
In the above picture, four DX plug-ins are applied to the Band-in-a-Box audio track. First, PG Dynamics to balance
input levels, PG Ten Band EQ for tone polishing, PG Reverb to add ambiance, and PG Peak Limit to boost and
level the amplitude.
The [Load Group] and [Save Group] buttons let you load and save the effects settings for the currently selected
track.
The [Load Preset] and [Save Preset] buttons let you save and load presets for the current effect (such as PG
Reverb).
The [Delete Preset] button lets you remove a preset from the list of already saved presets.
The [Options] button brings up DX/VST Options (useful utility functions you may occasionally need).
The [Edit DX Exclusion List] button lets you edit the list of
plug-ins to include or exclude in the DirectX editor. This is
useful if you have plug-ins installed, which are not compatible
with Band-in-a-Box. If you edit the exclusion list, you will see a
dialog with the left side displaying the included plug-ins and the
right side displaying the excluded plug-ins.
The [<] button lets you move a plug-in from the excluded list to
the included list. The [>] button lets you move a plug-in from the
included to the excluded list.
The [Scan for New Plugins] button will re-scan for newly installed plug-ins. Use this option if you have installed a
new plug-in since starting Band-in-a-Box.
The [Register a New Plugin] button can register a plug-in with Windows, so that audio applications such as Bandin-a-Box or PowerTracks can use the plug-in. Most DX plug-in installers register themselves, but this option is
useful if you have a plug-in that doesn’t automatically register itself.
The [Un-Register a Plugin] button removes a plug-in from Windows so it will no longer be available. Many DX
plug-ins have uninstallers that automatically unregister, but this option is useful to remove plug-ins that do not have
uninstallers. This function does not delete a plug-in from your hard drive. It only removes it from the Windows
registry so that it can’t be used.
The [Run DirectX Diagnostic Tool] button runs the Microsoft Direct X Diagnostic Tool. This is a Microsoft
program, which checks for problems with DirectX.
[Remove VST Plugin (from list)…] opens a separate list where you can remove VST or VSTi plug-ins.
NOTE: The number of real time effects that you can expect to activate at a time without stressing the system depends on the
speed of your computer. The more effects you chain together, the more CPU power will be required. For example, only an EQ
356
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
plug-in will require less CPU power than a chain of four effects such as (Compressor – EQ – Chorus – Reverb). Today,
computers are usually fast enough to support full chains of effects on both the Audio Track and the DXi Synthesizer.
VST/DX Plug-Ins for Individual Tracks
VST and DX effects can also be applied to individual RealTracks. The control of effects plugins can be managed from the Mixer, on the [Plugins] tab.
Reading the Audio and MIDI tracks into other programs
If you have a Band-in-a-Box song that has an audio track as well, and want to export that song to a sequencer like
PowerTracks Pro Audio, follow these steps:
- For a song called MYSONG.MGU, the associated .WAV file (audio track) will be called MYSONG.WAV.
- You should make a MIDI file (by pressing the .MID button). Save the .MID in the same folder as the song. Then
your sequencer can read the entire file by doing the following inside your sequencer:
- Open the MIDI file.
- Import the .WAV file track into the sequence.
Tip: PowerTracks Pro Audio recognizes that this is a Band-in-a-Box file with a wave file associated with it, and will offer to read
them both in. In earlier versions of PowerTracks Pro and other sequencers you need to follow the steps above.
Rendering Audio Files
Rendering WAV Files
Audio rendering means converting a MIDI song to audio format, usually to a WAV file.
Press the [.WAV] button on the main Band-in-a-Box screen and select Save all tracks as WAV file (with
options) from the pulldown menu to launch the Render to Audio File dialog.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
357
This shows the directory where the rendered wave file will be saved. You can use the [Choose] button to specify
any folder on any drive for the rendered wave file.
If you have selected a DXi or VSTi synthesizer for your
MIDI output in the Opt. | MIDI Driver Setup dialog, one
click on [DXi - Direct Render] will quickly convert your
song to a .WAV file, normally in a few seconds.
It is not necessary to have a DXi or VSTi synthesizer to render RealTracks.
You can direct render to audio as separate tracks with “One WAV File per Track.” If this option is chosen, separate
WAV files get written (mono or stereo) for each track (names MySong_Bass.WAV, MySong_Drums.WAV, etc.) so
you can import tracks to your favorite sequencer as audio files.
For direct rendering, you can also choose whether you want the output file to be mono or stereo.
Use the “Normalize” option to normalize individual tracks or the complete arrangement. Normalizing boosts the
volume to a maximum level without distortion. Most professional music tracks are normalized.
When the rendering completes, a message will show, and if you click on it, you can preview the rendered file.
Clicking on a folder icon in the player will show the
file in the Windows Explorer.
358
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
Batch convert a folder of songs to audio files (MP3, WAV, or WMA).
Do you need to convert an entire folder of Band-in-a-Box songs to audio files? This can be done easily by a single
command with an option to name the resultant audio files based either on the original file name or the song title
name.
Press the [Batch] button to Batch create audio files.
Select the folder that you want to use (e.g. C:\bb\my songs).
Add a suffix for each file name.
For example, if the suffix is _Demo, then MySong.MGU will
render as MySong_Demo.WAV.
Choose whether you want the filenames to be based on the filename or the song title.
Select the file type for the output file from the “Audio File Type” group box.
When rendering to WMA or MP3 files there is an option to also write WAV
files.
Note: For rendering MP3 files the program uses whatever MP3 codec and bit rate
you already have installed in Windows.
This option resets the DXi synth after each render. This ensures that no audio (stuck
notes etc.) from previous file is retained.
Press the [Go - Create audio files] button to render all of the Band-in-a-Box files in the
folder to the selected audio format.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
359
There is a Cancel button in the Batch Rendering dialog.
Rendering in Other Audio Formats
Band-in-a-Box has enhanced audio support for saving in Windows Media Player format.
Saving as Windows Media File
Before you start, select a destination for the finished file. The destination of the file will be the folder that is shown
in the “Save the WAV file with this name” field. Click on the [Choose] button to select a different location for the
finished WMA file.
Press the [Save in Windows Media format (WMA)…]
button to save your song as a Windows Media Audio file. This renders the file to a stereo WAV file, and then
prompts for the conversion to WMA.
Click [Yes] to render the file.
If RealTracks are present, they will be generated for the song and then all tracks will be rendered to a WAV file.
Next, a progress screen will appear showing the rendering to WMA, followed by a completion message.
Saving in Other Compressed Formats (MP3)
Before you start, select a destination for the finished file. The destination of the file will be the folder that is shown
in the “Save the WAV file with this name” field. Click on the [Choose] button to select a different location for the
finished file.
When you press the [Save in other Audio format and MP3] button, Band-ina-Box will present a prompt screen.
Click [Yes] to render the file.
If RealTracks are present, they will be generated for the song and then all tracks will be rendered to a WAV file.
Next, a dialog will open where you select the audio format for your file.
From this dialog, you can choose the type of compression
that is appropriate (from the available installed codecs).
360
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
You will see a progress screen during rendering, followed by a completion message.
Rendering Options
9
Merge in Audio Track
Rendering of songs to .WAV files always includes the MIDI tracks. If this option is checked, the audio track will be
merged with the MIDI tracks in the wave file.
Include ACID info
If this is checked, the ACID information such as tempo, root note, and whether the file should be tempo stretched
and transposed will be written to the WAV file.
Include 2 bar lead-in
If this is not checked, and there is no Melody track lead-in, the 2 bar lead-in will be skipped in the rendered file.
Include Drum Count-in sound
If this is set the drum count-in will be included in the rendered WAV file.
Delay at start (seconds) will include enough silence at the start of the rendered wave file for a space between tracks
when creating audio CDs.
Delay at end (seconds) will insert extra time at the end of the song.
Burn your own Audio-CD
Press the [Burn to Audio CD] button to launch the MiniBurn
program and burn your wave file to a CD, which will then play in a standard CD player.
Note: Any CD you create won't be playable in an Audio CD player until the disc is finalized. Therefore, if you choose [Burn CD No Finalize] make sure that when you burn the CD for the last time the disc is finalized.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
361
If launched from Band-in-a-Box, the current BIAB song has automatically been added to the Burn List. If MiniBurn
is running standalone, you must add Wave files to the Burn List.
Burn List
Burn list files are displayed in MiniBurn’s central file list region.
Column 1- Track Number
Column 2- Path and name of Wave files
Column 3- Play time of each Track, formatted in minutes:seconds:frames
Burn Time indicates the sum of all the burn list track times.
Avail Time indicates the time available on the blank CD-R in the CD Burner. If no disc has been inserted, Avail
Time reads “No Disc.” If an unwriteable disc has been inserted (CD-ROM disc or already-finalized CD-R, CDRW), Avail Time reads “UnWritable.”
Add Files to the Burn List
Wave files can be added three ways:
1. Use the menu item File/Add Track…
2. Right-click on the Burn List and select “Add Track” from the pop-up menu.
3. Drag wave files into the MiniBurn window from an open Windows folder view.
Note: Only Wave files are accepted, and Wave files must be 16 bit stereo, 44.1 K sample rate (the standard format for Audio
CDs).
Remove Files from the Burn List
Files can be removed two ways:
1. Left-click to select a track, then use the menu item File | Remove Selected Track.
2. Left-click to select a track, then right-click on the Burn List and pick “Remove Track” from the pop-up menu.
Clear All Files from the Burn List
The list can be cleared two ways:
1. Use the menu item File | Clear All Tracks From Burn List.
2. Right-click on the Burn List and select “Clear All Tracks” from the pop-up menu.
362
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
Change the Order of Tracks in the Burn List
Left-click on the “Trk” column of the file you wish to move, and drag the file to a new location in the list.
Audition Tracks in the Burn List
Left-click to select a track in the Burn List, then right-click and pick “Play Selected File” from the pop-up menu.
To stop playback, right-click the Burn List and pick “Stop” from the pop-up menu.
It is not necessary to stop a wave file before playing a new wave file. It is not necessary to stop playback before
burning. Playback stops automatically before burning begins.
Burner Controls
Eject: Open the drive tray using the menu item CD Recorder | Eject. Of course you can also press the eject button
on the CD drive.
Close the Drive Tray: Close the drive tray using the menu item CD Recorder | Close Tray. You can also press the
eject button on the CD drive, or gently push the drive tray to close it. Some manufacturers advise against closing the
tray with a push.
Select a Burner
If the computer contains multiple burners, select a drive with the Burner drop-down menu. If a computer doesn’t
have any supported drives, the Burner menu will be empty and burning is not possible.
Set the Burn Rate
MiniBurn automatically selects the fastest rate reported by your drive. It is typical to use the fastest rate, unless you
know from previous experience that your computer doesn’t burn well at high speed. In that case, set a slower burn
rate to ensure a good burn.
Test Mode Checkbox (Simulate Burn)
To test the CD Burner without actually writing a CD, turn on the Test Mode checkbox. After your PC has “proven
itself” with a couple of good burns, routine testing is not necessary.
Cache Files Checkbox
If Cache Files is turned ON, MiniBurn writes an encoded temporary file before burning the CD. Unless burn errors
are encountered, performance is faster with this option turned OFF. It is not usually necessary to Cache Files, but
there are some situations where Caching is helpful:
1. On a very slow PC, the computer may not be fast enough to translate the wave file to CD audio while burning.
Caching may be necessary to avoid errors.
2. If Burn List audio files are stored in another PC on your local network, the network transfer delay may cause
errors. Caching will pre-fetch the files to your local hard disk before burning the CD.
Use Burn Proof Checkbox
Burn Proof is a technology available on many newer CD/DVD burners. With Burn Proof, it is less likely to
accidentally make a bad CD. If a burner has the Burn Proof feature, the checkbox is automatically enabled and
turned ON. If a burner does not have this feature, the checkbox is grayed-out and cannot be adjusted. Unless Burn
Proof seems to be causing unlikely strange problems, always use this feature if it is available.
Burn CD + Finalize (Make Playable CD)
Start CD burning. This button is the preferred way to make CDs for use with standalone Audio CD Players. With
the other options, “Burn CD – No Finalize” and “Finalize Only,” the tracks will typically be readable by computer
CDROM drives, but all of your recorded tracks may not be visible to standalone Audio CD Players, even after the
disc is finalized.
Note: If you want the disc to be playable in standalone audio CD Players, remember to use CD-R (CD Recordable) discs rather
than CD-RW (CD Rewritable) discs. Most stand-alone audio CD players cannot read CD-RW discs.
Burn CD – No Finalize (allow tracks to be added later)
Audio CDs must be “finalized” before they can be recognized by the majority of stand-alone audio CD players
(stereos, boom boxes, portable CD players, automobile CD Players), or television DVD players. However, many
computer CD drives can play “Un-Finalized” audio CDs, so you can play them on your computer until all the songs
have been added to the CD.
Use “Burn CD – No Finalize” if you wish to add tracks to an audio CD over more than one session.
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
363
Note: Be sure to use “Burn CD + Finalize” or “Finalize Only” when you add the final track(s) to a multi-session Audio CD.
When adding tracks to an “Un-Finalized” audio CD, the Available Time field displays the “empty” time remaining
on the CDR (the disc currently loaded in your burner).
Example: If you have already recorded 40 minutes to a 74 minute CDR, MiniBurn will display about 34 minutes of
Available Time. Take care not to add more tracks than will properly fit on the CD’s remaining empty space.
Make sure that the Total Time does not exceed the Available Time!
Finalize Only (Make Playable CD without adding new tracks)
Audio CDs must be “Finalized” before they can be recognized by the majority of stand-alone audio CD players
(stereos, boom boxes, portable CD players, automobile CD Players), or television DVD players. If you have
previously added tracks to a disc with the Burn CD – No Finalize function, you can finalize the disc with the
Finalize Only button.
Stop Burn
Stop burning before the disc is finished.
Note: If you prematurely Stop, the CD will almost certainly be ruined.
Burning Progress
While a CD is burning, progress is indicated in the lower-left of the MiniBurn window. Progress messages are also
displayed in the Status Bar at the bottom of the window.
Read Buffer %- The computer’s disk read buffer usage. If Burn Proof is not available, you may have burn errors if
this drops to zero in mid-burn. In this case, try a slower Burn Rate.
Drive Buffer %- The CD Burner’s write buffer usage. If Burn Proof is not available, you may have burn errors if
this ever drops to zero. In this case, try a slower Burn Rate.
If a bona-fide buffer under-run actually occurs, MiniBurn also displays an error dialog at the end of the burn.
The two Buffer fields are most useful for diagnosing problems-- If the Read Buffer gets too low, it may mean that
the Hard Drive (or network connection) is not fast enough. If the Drive Buffer gets too low but the Read Buffer
remains adequate, it may mean that background processes are stealing too much CPU time from MiniBurn.
Track Written- Indicate the current track’s progress.
Total Written- Indicate the progress of the entire burn.
364
Chapter 11: Working With Audio
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Video Window
Now you can load videos that you have already downloaded from YouTube or elsewhere into Band-in-a-Box Video
Window. The audio is extracted from the video to the audio track.
To load and play a video, either use the File - [Open] button and choose a video
(mp4, wmv or AVI file),
or press the Views - [Video] button which launches the Video Window
and click on the [Open] button on its toolbar.
Play, Stop or Move to a position in the video using the Transport toolbar.
As the song plays, you can slow down the video, and the audio will slow down
and stay in sync.
The quality of the audio at slower tempos is great - better than most video player programs. The video slowdown
range is 50-100%. If you want slower than that, you can select values as low as 12%, which is an 8X slowdown (1
second would take 8 seconds), and still has good quality. Note: When set to values lower than 50%, the Video
Window is disabled, but the audio continues at the extreme slow tempo. This is a great tool for transcription. You
can select a range in the Chord Sheet window and use Transport - [Loop] button to loop a section of the video at a
low tempo for example.
You can size the window by dragging the corner.
There is a [Full] button to make the video full screen, and the [Esc] key will go out of the full screen
mode.
This will open the Video Settings dialog which allows you to adjust the audio and video playback
time.
This will adjust the video playback in milliseconds. A positive value will make the
video play later while a negative value make it play earlier.
When the video and the audio are out of sync.
“Video to main program” will change the video
position. “Main program to video” will change
the audio position which may cause a noise.
“Do not sync” will never attempt to re-sync.
This allows you to set a minimum number of seconds between
attempts to re-sync the video and the audio.
This allows you to set a maximum drift time in milliseconds between the
video and the audio. If they are out of sync less than this value, then the
program will not try to re-sync.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
365
“Woodshed” Tempo Feature
When practicing (or “woodshedding”) a tune, it is useful for the tempo to speed up every time the section loops or
the song restarts from the beginning.
Press the [Practice] toolbar button and select Woodshed (increasing) Tempo… from the pulldown menu.
This will open the Tempo Woodshedding dialog.
For example, if you set the “Woodshed tempo” value to 5 in this dialog, the tempo will speed up by 5 each time the
song (or a highlighted section) loops to the beginning. The idea is that you start off with a slow tempo, playing the
part perfectly, and keep this up as the song tempo increases.
When you press Stop, the tempo reverts to the original tempo.
There are 3 modes to the woodshed tempo field.
1. “Up only,” which is getting faster each loop “forever,” well until tempo = 500, which is BB's maximum tempo.
2. An “up then down” mode that goes up by [a settable increment] up to a [settable maximum] and then starts going
down by the increment back to the original where it restarts. For example, a song with a tempo of 140, if you set
the tempo to increase by 5, to a maximum increase of 100, the song will go from 140,145,150 etc. to 240, then go
to 235,230… back to 140 and cycle again.
3. An “Up then Reset” mode, that goes up in increments up to the settable maximum, then resets to the original and
starts again. For example, a song with a tempo of 140, if you set the tempo to increase by 5, to a maximum
increase of 100, the song will go from 140,145,150 etc. to 240, then go to 140 and start again.
Modes 2 and 3 are analogous to a “treadmill workout,” with programmed changes in speed.
Audio Chord Wizard (“Chords from MP3”)
This amazing wizard automatically figures out the chords from any MP3, WAV, or WMA (Windows
Media Audio) file and displays them in Band-in-a-Box. Just load an audio file and you will instantly see
the chords.
Using the Audio Chord Wizard is a great way to learn and practice popular songs as you play along and see the
chords.
Chord Sheet Overview
There’s a Chord Sheet window in the Audio Chord Wizard that shows the chords for the whole song on a single
screen. This allows you to click on a bar on the Chord Sheet to jump to that area of the song.
You can mark sections of the song using part markers, and the sections will begin on a new line with a line space
between so they are clearly seen. So you can then also learn the form of the song, as you can see the various
sections (intro/verse/chorus/break) at a glance, or quickly jump to the any section simply by double clicking on that
part of the Chord Sheet.
366
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
For this discussion, open up c:\bb\Tutorial BB2007\Frontier.MP3.
You will now see the song, and the Chord Sheet window in the Audio Chord Wizard is visible.
Play the song.
When a new bar starts, hit the Enter key (or F8). This is called “tapping in a bar line.”
The first time you do that, the program will consider that point to be “bar 1.” Tap in a few more bar lines.
Click on the Chord Sheet, and the music will jump to that location.
Now, let’s define some sections in the song.
If a bar begins a new section, click on the bar # on the Chord Sheet, or press the P key to put in a part marker.
Pressing P again will change the part marker, and then turn it off.
Now the song is divided into sections, with space between each section, and each section starting on a new line.
If we want to renumber the bars, right-click on the waveform timeline at the place that you would like to be bar 1,
and choose “Set Bar One.”
To change the # of bars per row, or rows per screen, right-click on the Chord Sheet.
The +/- buttons at the bottom right of the window also change the row height.
Chords may be edited in the Audio Chord Wizard with a right mouse click on
the chord. When Edit Chord is selected, a highlight cell opens at the chord
location. Type in the name of the new chord using standard Band-in-a-Box
chord entry characters and press the Enter key to make the edit.
The edited chord name is blue in color.
Individual edits can be removed with the Remove Chord Edit command, or all edits in the song can be removed with
the Remove All Chord Edits command. Part markers, chord symbols, key signature, and tuning setting are saved in
Band-in-a-Box, and are passed back and forth to the Chord Wizard.
The Audio Chord Wizard is a great way to learn the chords of songs. You can add section markers and divide the
song logically into sections, so it is also a great way to learn the “form” of the song, an essential part of learning
popular songs.
As well as the chords of the song, the Audio Chord Wizard also figures out,
- the tempo of the file,
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
367
- bar lines throughout the song,
- fine tuning detection (e.g. 5 cents sharp from A440),
Note: Audio Chord Wizard estimates the chord progression of an audio file. It is NOT an Audio-to-MIDI transcriber, which would
be a much more elaborate program.
Opening Files
To open your audio file in the Audio Chord Wizard you can click on its toolbar button or use the File
menu command to Open Audio w/Chords.
Use the Launch Audio Chord Wizard command if you already have a file with audio loaded in Band-in-a-Box.
When you select a file to open you will see a series of Progress messages.
The Audio Chord Wizard first opens the audio file and makes initial calculations, finding audio beats and
estimating a tempo map, and then displays your audio file.
Audio Chord Wizard Window
368
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Primary Program Controls
Toggle Play/Pause (Space bar or Play/Pause key).
Stop play, rewind to start with Esc key.
Set the bar 1 location. F6 key also sets the bar 1. Audio Chord Wizard works best if you set the bar
1 location before any other actions. During playback, press this button at the beginning of bar 1.
Moves nearest bar line to current play position. F8 or Enter key also sets bar lines.
Song time signature, 2/4 to 12/8 supported.
Average tempo, right-click for options.
Song key signature.
Use to correct pitch of song if necessary.
Exit and send chords to Band-in-a-Box.
Exit without sending chords to Band-in-a-Box.
Chord Detection
Chord Detection accuracy depends on the accuracy of the bar lines. If bar lines are not well-aligned then the Chord
Detection can be expected to be rather poor. It is quick and easy to align the bar lines on most songs, once you get
the hang of it.
The first task is to locate the beginning of Bar One. Since an audio file could have an arbitrary amount of silence at
the beginning of the song, and many songs begin with a pickup partial bar, ACW cannot easily guess the first bar
without a hint from you.
The shortcut keys and mouse playback controls make it easy to find Bar One. Tap the space bar to begin play,
watch the Location Cursor, and listen for the downbeat. If the Location Cursor passes the downbeat and you were
not completely certain of the location, you can tap the W key to rewind to the song beginning and replay the first
part of the song, to audition the downbeat as many times as necessary to make sure of its location.
You can also single-click in the Chords panel to jump the playback position. If the rhythm is unusually complicated
near the downbeat, you could repeatedly click just a little before the suspected Bar One location, to zero-in on the
exact downbeat.
In the following example song, we have discovered the downbeat of Bar One, so we Right-click on that location to
Set Bar One.
Now the Bar One bar line is red (shown below). The red
Triangle bar indicator indicates that we have edited that bar
line. The Red Triangles are called Good Bar Lines (GBL's).
The green Triangle bar indicators are bar lines which ACW
has automatically inferred from its automatic tempo
detection PLUS your edited Good Bar Lines. We call the
green automatic bar lines Inferred Bar Lines (IBL's).
On this example song, the initial automatic tempo detection
did a pretty good job. Simply setting Bar One has caused the
first four bars to be properly aligned to the music. On some
songs, Set Bar One is the only action necessary to get good
bar alignment for the ENTIRE tune.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
369
As playback continues in this example (below), we notice that ACW has made its first error approaching Bar 5.
Audio Chord Wizard has estimated the tempo of Bar 4 too slow. But that is easy to fix. If you prefer real-time
control, just tap F8 or the Enter key where the downbeat should actually be.
If you prefer stopped-time editing, you can either mouse-drag Bar 5 to its desired position, or drag the Playback
Location Cursor to the desired position and then tap F8 or the Enter key.
When satisfied with the Bar lines and Chords, click the [OK] button to return the Chords and Tempo Map to Bandin-a-Box.
Chord Edits
Chords may be edited in the Audio Chord Wizard with a right mouse
click on the chord. When Edit Chord is selected, a highlight cell opens at
the chord location. Type in the name of the new chord using standard
Band-in-a-Box chord entry characters and press the Enter key to make the
edit.
Individual edits can be removed with the Remove Chord Edit command, or
all edits in the song can be removed with the Remove All Chord Edits
command.
370
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Part markers, chord symbols, key signature, and tuning setting are saved in Band-in-a-Box, and are passed back and
forth to the Chord Wizard.
Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts make it easier to navigate the song and tap in bar lines without having to work the mouse with
start/stop/scroll actions.
Play/Pause- SPACE BAR, or Multimedia keyboard PLAY/PAUSE key or (certain keyboards) PLAY key
Stop- ESC key, or PAUSE key, or Multimedia keyboard STOP key
Tap Barline- F8, or ENTER key
Jump To Song Start- W key, or HOME key
Jump To Song End- END key
Jump Forward One Bar- RIGHT ARROW key
Jump Back One Bar- LEFT ARROW key
Jump Forward Four Bars- PAGE DOWN key, or DOWN ARROW key, or Multimedia keyboard NEXT TRACK
key
Jump Back Four Bars- PAGE UP key, or UP ARROW key, or Multimedia keyboard PREVIOUS TRACK key
Special Cases
Time Signature:
If a song is not in the default 4/4 time signature, set the Time Signature very early before you do anything else.
Bad Initial Tempo Estimates
Double/Half Tempo:
Sometimes Audio Chord Wizard will guess double or half of the tempo you might prefer.
Slightly Wrong:
Sometimes syncopated songs can have musical anticipations which make ACW guess a tempo slightly too fast or
slightly too slow.
Completely, Horribly Wrong:
Some songs have rhythms difficult for a computer to understand. Sometimes a song's rhythmic beats are spaced in
such a way that a song with a perfect Tempo of 120, might mathematically BETTER fit the audio beats at some
simple (but wrong) related ratio such as 80, 100, 160, or 180 BPM.
If the initial Tempo Estimate is pretty good, the Tap Bar line function will be the easiest way to fix such errors,
requiring only a few keyboard taps during playback.
But if the initial tempo estimate happens to be horribly wrong, it helps to make the initial tempo “in the ballpark”
BEFORE you tap a few F8's to make it completely right.
Right-click the Avg Tempo control for some easy automatic fixes.
Note: If you want to use the Avg Tempo Menu functions, use the menu very soon after you have opened a song, before you
have done much bar editing. If you invoke the Avg Tempo Menu functions after you have laboriously edited a lot of bar lines, the
automatic nature of these functions can ruin your previous editing.
In some cases, there is a good reason to initially set the tempo artificially slow by using the “Find Best Half Tempo”
function.
For example, if the initial tempo estimate is considerably faster than the tempo that you want to tap in, the Tap Bar
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
371
line function can mistakenly think that you want a very fast tempo, which fills the remainder of the song with
unwanted fast-tempo bars. In that case, if you initially set the tempo very slow, ACW will be unlikely to
misinterpret your Tap Bar Lines.
Set Key Signature
Once the chords look reasonable, for instance if your song looks like it is probably in the key of F, set the Key
Signature control to F for better chord spelling. This only affects the cosmetic display of notes and chords (flats and
sharps). The Key Signature control does not currently affect the basic accuracy of Chord Detection.
Adjust Fine-Tuning
If a song is significantly mis-tuned from concert pitch, the notes are “in the cracks,” which makes Chord Detection
less accurate.
If your Chords look reasonable, there is no need to bother with Tuning. Most songs are recorded pretty close to
Concert Pitch.
But if you see numerous Chord errors, it may help to adjust the Fine Tuning control.
If you are playing along with a song on your keyboard, you might decide to make an ear-estimate of how far out-oftune is the song:
For instance, you could adjust the fine-tuning control on your keyboard until your keyboard matches the song's pitch
(according to your ear). Then you could look at your keyboard's tuning readout, and adjust ACW's Fine Tune
Control to match. Either click-drag ACW's Fine Tune control (like a slider control), or right-click the Fine Tune
control then type in a number.
The Fine Tune Control currently does not change the pitch of playback (though that would be an excellent future
feature). Currently ACW's Fine Tune control only improves Chord Detection on mis-tuned songs.
The Fine Tune control is calibrated in cents, 1/100th of a semitone. Therefore, if a song is perfectly in the key of C,
but if you set Fine Tune to +100 Cents, ACW would display chords in the key of B. Similarly, if you set Fine Tune
to -100 Cents, it would display that song's chords in the key of C#.
That simple use of the Fine Tune control is just a backwards way to transpose the Chords. But if you set Fine-Tune
somewhere in the middle, ACW looks for notes that are somewhere “in the cracks” between the piano keys. For
instance, if your song SHOULD be in the key of C, but it was unfortunately recorded 50 Cents sharp-There could be many reasons that a song was recorded off Concert Pitch. Maybe the recording studio had a broken
tape recorder. Perhaps the Piano Tuner was smoking Crack, or the singer couldn't quite hit the highest note. Maybe
the vinyl record cutter was off-speed, or some Record Executive decided that the song was 10 seconds too long for
airplay, and instructed the Mastering Engineer to speed it up a little bit. In such cases ACW can get confused, misidentifying some pitches too high and other pitches too low, detecting nonsense Chords.
So if your favorite song was unfortunately recorded 50 Cents sharp, you can set the Fine-Tune control to +50 Cents
so that ACW will properly display in the “original” key.
Auto Estimate Tuning
ACW can automatically estimate the tuning, which helps in some cases. Since the
estimation is math-intensive, ACW only analyzes one bar of music at a time.
Right-click somewhere inside a bar and pick the Estimate Tuning function.
After the process is finished, up pops the results dialog.
As advised in the dialog, results can be improved by carefully picking the bar. Bars
with relatively long notes are easier to analyze, compared to bars containing flashy
fast melodies.
It can be useful to spot-check a few bars. If several spot-checks give similar answers
(within a few cents), you have good confidence that the results are actually
meaningful, not being randomly affected by out-of-tune melodies or loud drums.
However, if the first estimate reads +43 and the next measurement reads -12, then it
probably means that your song is not a good candidate for automatic Tuning
Estimation.
372
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Odd Length Bars and Drastic Tempo Changes
If a 4/4 song contains occasional bars of 3/4, 5/4, or whatever, or if there are sections where the music has an
extreme ritard or accelerando, sometimes you can just Tap Bar Lines to adjust it.
But it is sometimes more convenient to manually add or delete bar lines. The following example song has an overall
Time Signature of 4/4, but Bar 9 should have a time signature of 2/4. If you simply Tap Bar Line on 9:3 to shorten
the bar, then ACW will mistakenly decide that you wish to make all the following bar lines double-tempo 4/4.
Solution
First, Right-Click on the beat 9:3, and Insert a bar line.
Now a new bar line is added, and three new GBL bar lines are flagged red.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
373
Right-Click on the new shortened Bar 9 and set the Time Signature to 2/4.
Change Bar 10 to its desired duration. Hover the mouse over the red triangle marker at Bar 11, and the mouse
cursor becomes a drag cursor. Click and drag the bar line to the location marked 11:3
374
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Now we have edited bar 9 to have its proper 2/4 Time Signature and preserved the song tempo on both sides of the
2/4 bar.
Notes Display
The Notes Display looks like a MIDI Piano Roll, but it is not exactly the same as a MIDI Piano Roll. Audio Chord
wizard detects the strongest frequencies found in each eighth-note time slot, and displays them in the Notes Display.
Sometimes the displayed frequencies REALLY ARE instrument notes played in the audio file. But they could be
spurious information, such as the accidental loudest frequency of a drum beat. A midrange frequency note-bar
might be showing the sum of harmonics from several instruments, each instrument's harmonics contributing to the
strength of that frequency.
The Notes Display information is real and useful, but try not to assume that every displayed note-bar is a real note in
the audio.
Display Controls
Horizontal Scroll Bar
Scroll forward/back in the wave file.
Plus/Minus Zoom Buttons
Zoom the display to show more or less detail.
Audio Chord Wizard Utilities Dialog
The Audio Chord Wizard Utilities dialog can be launched at any time from the menu item (File- Audio Chord
Wizard Utilities, or Audio – Audio Chord Wizard Utilities).
It is also launched automatically after returning from the Audio Chord Wizard
Automatic detection of key signature based on the chords only. This is useful for a song from the Audio Chord
Wizard, where you forgot to set the key signature or for any song without the key signature set.
If you agree with the analysis, you can accept the chord signature
recommended for the song, by pressing the “Set the song key signature to …” button.
Make a Tempo Map
After an audio song (MP3/WAVV/WMA) has been loaded into
the AudioChordWizard, there will be bar lines assigned automatically by ACW, and perhaps modified by you. If
you would like Band-in-a-Box song file to follow these bar lines, so that the BB file will play in sync with the audio
file, press the “MAKE A TEMPO MAP” button.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
375
You will then see red boxes on the BB Chord Sheet, indicating tempo changes and the presence of a tempo map.
Press “Erase Tempo Map” to remove the Tempo map, and the “red boxes” will
disappear around the bar lines.
Note: You can always get the tempo map back, by pressing “Make a tempo map” at any time.
This erases the audio track from BB. If you have loaded in an MP3 file, the audio
track isn’t the MP3 file, it is the WAV file copy that BB has made of it. So you wouldn’t be erasing your MP3 file!
Note that you also have to SAVE the BB file to have the erasure be complete.
If you enable the MIDI style, you will hear the audio file as well as the BB MIDI style.
Otherwise you can mute the BB style by disabling it here.
You can revisit the Audio Chord Wizard by pressing this button (this can also be done
from the Audio menu). Revisiting the AudioChordWizard is useful to refine the bar lines.
Tip: How to preserve chords if you revisit the AudioChordWizard
If you do revisit the AudioChordWizard, and want to preserve the chords that you may have edited, first select all of
the chords, and choose Edit-Copy, and then, after the AudioChordWizard, choose Edit-Paste. Otherwise the
AudioChordWizard might re-interpret your chords!
The Help button launched the help file (BBW.CHM file) with a topic describing the dialog, and the
AudioChordWizard.
The “PDF Manual” button launches a PDF manual of the Audio Chord Wizard with latest features
described. This manual is in BB AudioChordWizard folder.
MIDI File Chord Interpretation Wizard
Many MIDI files lack chord symbols, making them difficult to play along with by ear. Now you can open up any
MIDI file in Band-in-a-Box, and Band-in-a-Box will automatically figure out the chords of the song for you. The
chords are written onto the Band-in-a-Box Chord Sheet like any other song. You can also read tracks into the
Melody and Soloist tracks.
376
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Importing Chords
You can import the chords from a MIDI file. To do this, first blank the Chord Sheet by choosing File | New. Then
select the menu item File | Import Chords from MIDI file to launch the Interpret Chords from MIDI file dialog.
Press the [Open (Change)…] Button to select the MIDI file that you'd like to import.
Once you've selected the file, you can press the [INTERPRET CHORDS
NOW] button. When you do that, the chords will be interpreted from the MIDI file, and written onto the Chord
Sheet. Prior to pressing the [INTERPRET CHORDS NOW] button, you might want to make some custom
settings.
When you load in the MIDI file, Band-in-a-Box interprets many things from
the MIDI file for you automatically. Normally you'd want this to happen, but if you'd prefer to make the settings
yourself, you can set the Auto Interpret settings from MIDI file to false.
Once you have loaded in the MIDI file, and assuming that you have the “Auto Interpret” set to true, you will see that
the dialog displays the settings that the Chord Wizard has found for the key signature, and channels used for the
song.
Let's work with an example song called Violet Song.MID. This should be included in your c:\bb directory.
- Start with a blank worksheet by choosing File | New.
- Choose the MIDI File chord Wizard dialog by choosing File | Import Chords from MIDI file.
Press the [Open (Change)…] button to select the MIDI file, and then choose the file that
you'd like to import. In this case it is “c:\bb\Violet Song.MID.”
Once you load in the MIDI file, you will see that the Chord Wizard has analyzed it and made these determinations.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
377
It has automatically determined that the “Violet Song.MID” file
- has 2 bars of lead-in.
- has 103 bars of chords.
- is in the key of F with a 4/4 time
signature, and a tempo of 120.
- has the Bass Part on channel 2.
- has the chording (comping) parts
on Channels 3, 6 and 7.
- has the Melody on Channel 4.
- has no other parts like the Melody
to put on the Soloist track.
Now, after loading in the MIDI files, you'd normally have a look at these settings above, to see if they seem
reasonable for your MIDI file. If not, you can change the settings. For example, if you knew that the Melody
channel was on channel 3, you could override the Chord Wizard settings.
378
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Once you have done that, you should choose one of the Presets, to quickly put the settings to the type of song that
we are trying to interpret.
Chord Options
When you choose one of these presets, it makes a number of settings in the Chord Options section of the dialog.
You can override them in this dialog.
Chord Resolution
This is the minimum number of beats for a chord. For example, if you set it to “2 beats” then the Chord Wizard will
never attempt to come up with different chords that are only a beat apart. If you have a song that has a short section
that does include chords every beat, you can redo that section of the song with a “1 beat” resolution. (Default = 2
beats)
Include Slash Chords
If set, the Chord Wizard will include “slash chords” like F7/A or Cm/G.
Bass Part Type
You can set this to “Root,” “Root-3-5,” or “Walking Bass.” If you choose “Root,” the chord Wizard will assume
that any bass note is the root of the chord. Choosing “Root-3-5” will cause the Chord Wizard to assume that the
bass pattern is mainly on the root, 3rd and 5th of the chord. If you choose “Walking bass,” it will assume that the
bass notes can be changing and can include many notes beside the root. Setting the Walking bass line will likely
result in fewer chords overall than setting the “Root only” option.
Allow Suspended (Sus) Chords
The setting for “Allow Sus chords” determines if chords like Csus or Bbsus7 will be included. The “Allow 7th
chords” specifies if 7th chords like C7 or Bbm7 would be allowed. Simple Rock songs might not have 7th chords or
Sus chords. Allowing chords with no thirds should be set in a hard rock song, or similar song with “power chords”
that might not contain the 3rd of the chords.
Delay Lowest Bass Note
Usually a bass player plays the root of the chord at or near the time when the chord changes. But in solo piano
playing or some bass styles, the bass doesn't state the root until later on, and this setting should be set to “delayed” in
a solo piano style of this type.
Primary Style
Set the primary style of the song to Jazz or
Pop/Country from the Method combo box.
Using the Chord Options Presets to quickly make settings
For the song “Violet Song.MID,” we know that this is a Jazz Swing type of song, so we press
the Preset Called “Jazz Standard.” By doing this, we see that the chord options
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
379
have then been set to Chord Resolution of 2 beats, no slash chords, walking bass, sus chords, 7th chords, and Jazz
lead sheet. These settings look OK for our Jazz song, if we wanted to customize it (e.g., to allow slash chords) we
could do it at this point.
So, to recap, using the Chord Wizard is a 3-step process.
1.
2.
We've loaded in the song “Violet Song.MID.”
Pressing the preset button called [Jazz Standard], we then looked at the Chord Options
settings for the various channels and they looked OK, so we didn't make any changes.
We then press [INTERPRET CHORDS NOW] – this gets the
Chord Wizard to interpret the chords, and write them onto the Chord Sheet.
Once we've pressed the [Interpret Chords Now] button, we can see the results, by looking at the Chord Sheet. Here
are the chords that were interpreted.
3.
So that we can see how well the Chord Wizard did, we can compare it to the “correct chords” of the song, input by a
musician listening to the song.
As you can see, by comparing the two sets of chords, the Chord Wizard got almost all of the chords correct in this
example. The Chord Wizard purposely avoids chords like “C13.” It will put a simpler “C7” instead, since this is
more like a typical lead sheet.
If you've read in the entire MIDI file, you have 103 bars of chords on the Chord Sheet. This actually contains 3
choruses of the song. You might want to reduce that to a single chorus by setting the chorus end of the song to bar
36 and then erasing the excess bars (after bar 36) by choosing Edit | Erase.
Examining the song that has been interpreted by the Chord Wizard.
You will notice that the title (Violet Song), key (F), and tempo (120) have been set to the values found in the file.
Part markers are not set; the Chord Wizard doesn't try to guess where part markers might be occurring. You need to
put the part markers in yourself. You also need to choose the style to use (a Jazz Swing style in this case). If you
examine the Melody track (by opening the Notation window and right-clicking on some notes or pressing the Event
List (#) button), you will notice that the Melody track contains notes from Channel 4, which is what we specified in
the Chord Wizard dialog.
380
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Importing Part of a MIDI file or re-doing a section of the Chord Sheet)
(Normally we'd want to import an entire MIDI file worth of chords. But if you only want to import some bars, you
can deselect the “Import Complete song” checkbox, and then specify where to start in the MIDI file (i.e. the number
of lead-in bars in MIDI file) and what bar to start at in Band-in-a-Box (Insert to BB starting at bar #) and the number
of bars to import (How Many Bars to import?).
For example, using the song “Violet Song.MID,” we could redo a section of the song using different settings. (For
example, a chord resolution of 1 beat instead of 2 beats.) If we were unhappy with the results at bar 7 and 8, we
could redo this by making the settings as follows:
Other Settings for the Chord Wizard
Band-in-a-Box and PowerTracks Pro Audio songs contain special
events that write the exact chord names into the MIDI file. So if the Chord Wizard sees these events, it will use
them instead of interpreting the chords, since they are likely to be completely accurate. If you prefer to ignore these
chord events, set the “OK to use PG Music Chord names from MIDI File” to false.
The setting for “Write Chord Summary Notes to Soloist Track” is only
used for diagnostic or special purposes. When set, the Soloist track will contain a special track that has a chord
written every 2 beats (or whatever the setting for chord resolution is) that contains every note found for the chord.
This shows you the type of logic that the Chord Wizard is basing its decisions on. If you encounter a song that gives
incorrect results for the chords, you can try this setting and then examine the Soloist track to see the actual notes of
the chords. Chord-stepping through the track (using [Ins] and [Del] on the Numpad) allows you to quickly hear the
chords.
You can optionally include controllers, pitch bend, patch changes,
and lyrics from the MIDI file.
Practice Window
The Practice Window allows convenient “1-click” access to many Band-in-a-Box features that help you with
practicing.
These include the Ear Training dialog, games (Pitch Invasion etc.), Metronome, CopyMe, Sight Reading, 101 Riffs
series, and more.
To launch the Practice Window, press the [Practice] button on the toolbar and choose Practice Central
from the pulldown menu. You can also go to menu Window | Practice Window or use hot keys
Alt+Shift+L.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
381
There are several purposes for the Practice Window.
Quick access to your favorite/preferred “practice” folders, so that you can setup
load in songs without having to navigate dialogs.
One-click access to many of the education-related
features of Band-in-a-Box (play along soloing, Ear
Training, games).
Handy buttons for on-screen transposition for non-concert
instruments and for playing at fractions of the original
tempo.
One button access to many of the Band-in-a-Box add-ons “101
Riffs” series and “Master Solos.”
N/A indicates other Band-in-a-Box add-ons that are available, but
not installed on your computer.
One button access to many other PG Music educational programs and lessons.
Most of these items are “add-on” products, available separately,
and are not included in the Band-in-a-Box program. If you have
these items installed to your hard drive, the Practice Window will
find them if they are installed them to the default directories, and
if not, you will be able to point the program to the location of the
program, which will be remembered in future sessions.
382
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
For items that you don’t have, you can choose to display or not display them on-screen
using the “Show add ons if N/A (not available)” setting.
More information about all of the add-on programs can be found at www.pgmusic.com/practice.htm
Making and Using Practice Folders
If you are preparing for a performance or a jam session with friends, you likely have a list of songs that you are
working on. Let’s say they are in a folder called “c:\Bob’s Tunes”
Click on the Folder icon. You will then see a menu that lists a Manage Folders submenu, allowing you to
create/remove Practice Folders.
This is list of all Practice Folders defined (there likely won’t be any
to start with, so you can add them using the Manage Folders menu
command). Add a folder that you use frequently to this list.
Note: Practice Folders are limited to 200 songs, because they display on a menu for quick access. So don’t use this feature for
folders with hundreds of songs, use the Song List dialog for that.
After the list of Practice Folders, you see a list of “Favorite Folders” – these are the
folders that you have visited recently.
Once you have selected a folder, you then press the [Songs] button, and you will see a
pop-up menu of the file names for that folder, with the current song having a check mark.
Load in a song by choosing the menu item.
Ear Training Tutor
Ear training is an important exercise for all musicians. Now you can practice your ear training with help from Bandin-a-Box. In addition to the common interval exercises (perfect 4th, minor 2nd, etc.), learning to “play-by-ear” for
Jazz and Pop music is further enhanced by ear training exercises to recognize common chord types (e.g., Major,
Minor, Dominant, etc.).
For example, Band-in-a-Box will play a chord and you will have to identify the correct root and chord type. Your
score can be tracked, allowing you to monitor your progress. Clicking on the various chord types lets you instantly
hear the differences between various chords. Other options include “types of roots and chords to use,” and “voicing
types” (open, closed, etc.) – allowing you to customize the ear training exercises for beginner through to advanced.
Interval recognition is also customizable from beginner to advanced, with such options as instrument type, octave
range, up/down intervals and more.
Press the [Practice] toolbar button and select Ear Training from the pulldown menu to launch the Ear
Training Window. Alternatively, press Ctrl+Shift+J or go to menu Window | Ear Training.
There are 2 modules in the Ear Training Window.
1. The Interval Tutor plays note intervals for you to identify.
2. The Chord Tutor plays chords (root + extension) for you to identify.
Interval Tutor
Click on the [Interval Tutor] button to launch the Interval Tutor module.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
383
Click on the intervals to hear them. For example, click on “Minor 3” to hear a minor 3rd interval.
Set the interval types to guess. Pressing the [Easy] button will set it to the easiest (within one octave, second note is
always higher, etc.).
Start the game by pressing the [Guess Interval] button.
You can control the starting note and the second note in the dialog.
Once the game starts, click on the interval that you think is being played.
384
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Chord Tutor
Click on the [Chord Tutor] button to enter the Chord Tutor module.
Press the [Play Tonic] button to familiarize yourself with the root note of the scale as a
reference point.
- Click on any of the other note names to hear that root.
- Click on any of the chord extensions to hear that sound.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
385
Guessing the root
You can test yourself on rootsonly or root AND extension. Press “Guess a New Root”
and you will hear a root played.
Press this button to hear the root-to-guess replayed. If you need help, press [Play Tonic –
C] to hear the root again.
When you think you know the root, press the root name on the list of note names at the left.
If you guess incorrectly, you will see a message that says “Wrong Root.” You will then hear the
note that you guessed playing, followed by the root-to-guess note again.
If you guess correctly, you will see a confirmation of that, and can play again.
Press the [Stop] button to stop the game.
Guessing the Root and the Extensions
The Guess a New Chord game works in the same way as the Root game, except that
here you are guessing chord extensions. The root is always whatever the setting is at
the left. Click on the extension to guess, and [Replay Chord] button to hear the chord again.
In this mode, you need to guess both the Root and the Extension. You can guess
them in any order.
Click on the root, and when you get it correct you can move on to the extension.
Types of Roots to Include
For the Roots, you can choose which types of roots to include. This can be any of the 12 semitones, or just the scale
tones, or just the 1-4-5 of the scale.
Extension to Include
For the extensions, you can include all of the extensions listed in the dialog, or just the subset that are common
extensions.
Types of Voicings to Include
The chord extension will be played using the voicing type that you specify in the voicing types combo box. These
can be open, closed, or root position voicings. This setting also applies to the voicing used when you are previewing
a chord.
Show notes on piano during guessing
If you were an advanced musician, seeing the notes on the piano during the guessing game would be “cheating,”
since you'd probably quickly recognize the chord. However, a beginner might benefit from seeing the notes played
on the piano screen. If this “show notes on piano during guessing” option is selected, these chords will play on the
small piano located on the main program screen.
The score is displayed on the window. You can reset these results to zero by pressing the [Reset] button.
Ear Training Games
Learning is best when it’s fun, so we’ve included these exciting games in the Band-in-a-Box Ear Training module
for fun times in “the woodshed.”
The programs are available via buttons in the ear training dialog, or by dedicated buttons on the toolbar.
386
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Pitch Invasion
Pitch Invasion helps to develop perfect pitch as you shoot down “alien” notes invading
from above. You hear the note sound and click on the on-screen piano/MIDI or
QWERTY keyboard to shoot it down.
For Pitch Invasion, choose a level that will specify the # of note types that
will be invading. The LEVEL determines the speed of the notes.
To shoot the aliens, click on the on-screen keyboard, MIDI keyboard or QWERTY keys.
The program settings allow you to customize the game.
Press the HELP button for more information.
Music Replay
Music Replay develops your pitch, rhythm, and melody recognition by replaying what
the program plays, in note, rhythm, or melodic modes.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
387
For Music Replay, choose the MODE of the game.
There are three modes:
1. Note Replay
2. Rhythm Replay
3. Melody Replay
Set the Level to make the game harder.
Press the HELP button for more information.
Vocal Wizard
The “Vocal Wizard” displays the best song keys for your vocal range!
This feature helps you choose the best song key for your vocal range. Open the Vocal Wizard, enter your vocal type
(baritone, tenor, etc.), or choose a custom range. Then the wizard analyzes the song and recommends the best keys
for that song. Options available to “include/exclude falsetto range,” “restrict choices to these keys […],” and
“transpose now.”
Before we enter the Vocal Wizard, we’re going to load in the song Old Folks at Home (present in the c:\bb\Tutorial
- BB 2005 folder). The song Old Folks at Home is in the key of F, we will use the Vocal Wizard to find the best key
for a baritone.
To enter the Vocal Wizard, choose the menu item Window | Vocal Wizard.
You can see from the screenshot that the Vocal Wizard has picked the key of D (colored green) as the best key for
the song, using the baritone vocal range. Other recommended keys are colored yellow. Un-recommended keys are
colored grey, and include the current key of the song (F).
Let’s explore the areas of the Vocal Wizard screen.
388
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
There are 4 areas that require your input.
1. Entering your Vocal Range.
Here you enter your “comfortable” vocal range, from lowest note to highest note. If you can sing falsetto, you
can also enter the highest falsetto note, and the % of falsetto notes that would be acceptable as falsetto notes.
You can also select a preset (like Baritone Male or Contralto Female). Or you can select one of 8 “User Preset
slots” to enter and save a custom range (if you press the [Save & Name User Preset] button)
2. Selecting the keys that would be “allowable.”
Most musicians have favorite keys, so this area allows selection of keys that would be acceptable for the Vocal
Wizard to choose. For example, if we choose “Jazz” keys, we will see that the Vocal Wizard now recommends
the key of C instead of D.
3. Setting the range of the song to analyze (usually the whole song). Normally you’d want to analyze the whole
song, but this allows you to select a partial range.
4. Selecting the track to analyze. You’d usually pick the Melody track, but can also choose the Soloist track.
You can then analyze the Melody by pressing the [Analyze] button.
Most functions automatically re-analyze the song, but pressing the [Analyze] button
forces a re- analysis of the song. This displays the analysis of the song.
1. A purple area describes the current range of the song, low note to high note, and compares it to your vocal range.
2. The radio buttons show each of the 12 semitone keys, and show a score for each key. The lowest score is the
best.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
389
In the example Old Folks at Home, you can see that D is the best key, but any of the keys from G to Db are also
good keys in the selected vocal range.
3. The area in black at the bottom gives an analysis of the vocal range if the song was transposed to the chosen key.
Now that the Vocal Wizard has told us the best key for this song, we can either close
the dialog, or transpose it now to the recommended key (or any other key that we have selected with the radio
buttons.
The Vocal Wizard can also work in an automatic mode, transposing a song to the best key as soon as it is loaded,
without having to visit the Vocal Wizard dialog. This is done by checking the “Auto-transpose” checkbox. By
doing this, you can ensure that any song you load will be in the best key for your vocalist! And if the key isn’t
deemed to be ideal, just visit the Vocal Wizard to see an analysis of the ranges to pick an alternate key.
Reharmonist (Chords for a Melody)
Generate Chords for a Melody
Generate chords for a melody, or an improved chord progression for a melody, with the “Reharmonist” feature.
This feature generates a chord progression in the chosen genre, based only on the melody.
The idea of the Reharmonist is to generate a completely new chord progression for a melody, in a genre that you
choose (Jazz, Country, etc.). This ignores any existing chords in the song.
There are 2 separate windows for the Reharmonist feature.
1. Reharmonize entire song with a new chord progression.
- or 2. See a list of possible reharmonizations for a given area of a song.
Generate a New Progression
To generate an entirely new chord progression for a complete song or a portion of a song:
Go to menu Window | Auto-Generate Chord Reharmonization). You will then see the Select Re-Harmonist dialog.
390
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
The first thing you should do is set the “Genre” for the
reharmonization. For example, if you want “Jazz
Swing” genre, choose that in the genre drop down.
You will then get typical Jazz chords.
Verify that the key is correct. Band-in-a-Box analyzes the melody, and gives its best guess as to the best key for the
song. If it is different from the current key, Band-in-a-Box will suggest the new key, and you can press the button to
set the key to the new key.
Set the region of the song that you want reharmonized. Usually this will be the
“Whole Song.”
Press [OK-Reharmonize]. You will now get a brand new chord progression for the melody.
See a List of Possible Reharmonizations
Use the feature interactively by displaying a menu of possible chord progressions for a portion of the melody, and
audition them to choose the best one using the “Bar Reharmonist.” This allows you to hear some new chord
progressions for existing melodies, or brand new progressions for tunes without chords.
To do this, choose Window | Chord Reharmonist Dialog (choose your own). This shows you the current bar in the
song (for example, bar 7). It shows a list of suggested chord progressions for the current melody, based on the
melody and genre that you choose.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
391
Choose a chord progression, and press [Do-Reharmonize NOW] and
the program will insert that progression.
The progressions are sorted in alphabetical order, or from “best to worst” depending on
this setting.
Chord Substitution Wizard
Reharmonizing a song with the Chord Substitution Wizard is a fun and educational way to perform or practice a
familiar song in a brand new way. For example, if you had chords such as “Dm7 G7 Cmaj7,” a list of substitutions
including the tritone substitution “Dm7 Db7b5 Cmaj7” would be offered to you for use in your song.
There are 2 ways to get chord substitutions
1. Let Band-in-a-Box show you a list of possible substitutions to pick from yourself by accessing Window | Chord
Substitution Dialog menu item.
2.
392
Let Band-in-a-Box pick them automatically by accessing Window | Auto-Generate Chord Substitutions menu
item.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Chord Substitution Dialog
This dialog depends on what chords were present at the bar that was currently highlighted. This bar number is
shown in the dialog and may be changed.
In the example shown, the chord was an F7 chord, so the substitutions shown are for an F7 chord. The substitutions
shown may work for up to 4 bars, depending on the substitution. In the examples above, the substitutions work for 2
bars.
Jazz Substitutions / Pop/ Country
You can control what types of substitutions to see by using these checkboxes. Some substitutions include more
chords than the original, and some simplify the progression, and these can be viewed using the checkboxes. You
can elect to exclude substitutions that have a chord on each beat.
Types of Subs. to include
This combo box will filter the substitutions to include only the best substitutions or all of them.
Recompile
The [Recompile] button is only used if you have edited the CHORDSUB.TXT file to add your own substitutions.
This recompiles the file and takes about 1 to 2 minutes.
Do Substitution NOW
Press this button once you see a substitution that you like so that you can enter it onto the worksheet directly.
Double clicking on the substitution line will also accomplish the same. You can then move the current bar to the
next part of the song that you need a substitution for and repeat the process.
Restore / Restore ALL
You can UNDO the substitution by pressing the [Restore] button, or the [All] button to UNDO all substitutions.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
393
Auto Chord Substitutions
You can quickly auto-generate substitutions for an entire song, or portion of a song using the auto-substitution
dialog, which is accessed with the menu command Window | Auto Generate Chord Substitutions.
For example, we can generate substitutions for the !Freddie.MGU song. Here is the original chord progression.
By using the auto-substitution dialog, we can generate substitutions for the whole song, and we get this result:
You can see that Band-in-a-Box chose the substitutions for about 70% of the chords in the song (that's what we told
it to do in the dialog). It began by replacing the F6 chord with an Fmaj7 Gm7 Abdim Am7 progression. Some of
the substitutions chosen are even more advanced than that (replacing two bars of Bbmaj7 with Bb6 Ebmaj7 Dm7
Gm7 | Bbmaj7 Cm7 Dbdim Dm7 for example).
Here are the settings in the auto-substitution dialog that produced this result:
If you'd like Band-in-a-Box to only generate chords for a certain range of bars, you should highlight that range of
bars in the Chord Sheet first, and then launch the dialog. The Range will then be set to “Part of Song” and the “Bar”
and “# bars” settings will also be set. You can override these settings with manual settings, if necessary.
394
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Chord Builder
You can right-click on any chord to instantly hear how it sounds, or use the Chord Builder feature to audition
different chords until you find the one that sounds best to you. In other words, you can enter chords “by ear” without having to know the actual chord names or any music theory. This feature also illustrates the differences
between various chord types.
Launch the Chord Builder by pressing the [Chord Builder] button, or right-clicking on the Chord
Sheet and selecting the menu option Chord Builder, or by choosing the User | Chord Builder menu
option.
The Chord Builder is designed so it fits entirely above the Chord Sheet. This means that it can be left open as you
work entering chords into Band-in-a-Box. Remember that you can also play chords in from the MIDI keyboard by
pressing Ctrl+Enter after you've played a chord.
You can click on the root of the chord in the “Root” group, and the “Extension” (Maj7 etc.), and also an alternate
“Slash-Note” root. For example, to make the chord F9/A, you would click on the “F” root, the “9” extension, and
the Slash Root of /A. As you click on them, you will hear the bass note played on the Bass part, and the extension
played on the Piano track.
If you are happy with the sound of the chord, you can press the [Enter Chord] button to enter the chord at the bar
and beat specified. If you would like the chord to be inserted automatically when you click on the note/extension
names, select the “Enter chord when clicked” option. This will advance the Bar/Beat position. You can change the
Bar/Beat settings to move to a different bar. [<] & [>] buttons move 1 beat on right click, and 2 bests on left click.
Rhythm Guitar Chord Tutor
Use the Guitar Tutor to analyze any song. This feature will show the chords that are playing on the virtual guitar
fretboard, in your choice of a Jazz, Pop, or Folk perspective. The Guitar Tutor is a fun way to learn about new
guitar chords while playing along with your favorite Band-in-a-Box tune.
The Rhythm Guitar Chord Tutor is most useful on styles that aren't guitar styles, because the guitar styles already
have a guitar part that you can learn from. Using the tutor, you can see (and optionally hear) guitar chords played on
the guitar fretboard. This teaches you how to play the chords on guitar.
To turn the Rhythm Guitar Chord Tutor on, launch the Guitar Window and press the [Tutor]
button.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
395
Enable Chord Tutor Display
This setting silently displays the chords on the guitar fretboard.
The Display Chords EARLY by (120/PPQ) is an “anticipate” mode that plays the next chord X beats in advance,
allowing time for the user to prepare. If set to 120, the tutor chords will appear a full beat early.
Play Chords through MIDI
To hear the chords, select the “Play Chords through MIDI” checkbox.
Tip: The Tutor uses the MIDI THRU part to playback on. You can control volume, panning, etc. by using the THRU settings on
the main Band-in-a-Box screen.
Guitar Patch
You can select the patch to use directly from the Tutor dialog.
Type of chords to display
The tutor will display Jazz, Pop, and Folk voicings in easy, medium, and advanced
forms. The advanced forms use inversions, and changing patterns of chords, while
the easier ones just stick to the common “campfire” chords.
Half Note (sax) chords use the advanced Jazz Guitar “highest-4-strings-comping
mode.” This usually plays on the 4 highest strings, and it plays several chords over
a single chord. For example, for 2 bars of Cmaj7 it might play Cmaj7-Dm7Ebdim-Em7 all played as half notes.
There are also tutors for the alternate tunings like DADGAD, Open G, etc. They
can be selected from this drop-down list.
396
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Show muted high note of 3 note comping
One of the tutors uses 3 note Jazz voicings to simulate the famous Big Band chord guitar comping styles. If you use
this, you will only see 3 notes in the chords of course. Since it sometimes helps to see the entire 4 chord voicing in
this case, there is the option to show the muted note as well.
Note: This applies to the guitar tutor. There is also the option to show this for the guitar styles. This option is present in the
Guitar Options dialog.
Copy to melody track / Copy to Soloist track
Pressing either one of these buttons will send the chord to the appropriate track.
The Guitar Tutor stays enabled until you change the Guitar track to another track (for example, to change it to the
Bass track). You can easily re-enable it by clicking on the [Tutor] button again.
Chord “Breaks”
This feature is great for practicing tempo control.
Select the # of bars, and Band-in-a-Box will play for, say 4 bars (selectable), and then will rest all instruments for
the next 4 bars. During the silence, you keep playing (comping, drums, melody, etc.), trying to stay in tempo.
Drummers can mute the drum part. When the band comes back in after the 4 bars, you will get instant feedback on
how well you have maintained the tempo, as indicated by whether the band comes back in time with you or not.
Once set, this feature works automatically with all songs until you turn it off.
To access the Chord Breaks feature, press the [Chord Breaks] button from the
Practice Window and then select “Insert Breaks.”
It can also be launched from [Prefs] [Arrange].
You then choose how many bars the program should play, and how
many bars the program should not play.
This setting remains in effect for all songs. Turn it off if you want to
resume normal playing of songs.
MIDI File to Style Wizard
Making styles with the Style Wizard is a process involving:
 Loading a MIDI file into the Style Wizard.
 Listening to the MIDI file by muting channels to identify parts.
 Picking the channels to use for the BB Parts.
 Picking the snapshot bars for the “a” and “b” substyle.
 Pressing the [Generate NEW style…] button.
This section will discuss the various items in the Style Wizard dialog and the Style Wizard Additional Settings.
The Style Wizard is used to generate a Band-in-a-Box Style from a MIDI file. The Style Wizard does this by
analyzing the file and creating patterns emulating the notes and rhythms for the style. First off, you'd need to get a
MIDI file to use.
Important: You should use a MIDI file that you have composed and arranged – if not, you need to first get permission of the
composer and arranger before making a style from the MIDI file.
Using the MIDI File to Style Wizard
The Style Wizard converts any MIDI file to a Band-in-a-Box style. In this tutorial, we're going to load in the
Violet.MID found in the \bb folder and convert it to a style - which we will call Violet.STY.
Start with a new song and press the [StyleMaker] button and select Style Wizard from the pulldown
menu to launch the Style Wizard. Or you can go to menu Styles | Style Wizard.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
397
The dialog is largely empty because we haven't chosen a MIDI file yet.
Press the [Open] button and load in the file c:\bb\violet.MID. The Style Wizard then does the
following automatically.
The chords for the MIDI file are interpreted and written on the Chord Sheet.
The “part markers” for the file are displayed on the Chord Sheet. For Violet.MID, the Style Wizard has found the
correct part markers – by looking for drum fills and other signs of a part change – and has assigned substyle “a” to
all of them. We will change some of them to “b” later.
The channels used in the MIDI file are displayed in the
dialog, with the patches used and # of notes played on
each channel. (For Violet.MID you can see that
channels 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 10 are used.)
The Style Wizard analyzes the parts and guesses at
which Band-in-a-Box part - Bass, Piano, Drums,
Guitar, or Strings to use for each track. Band-in-a-Box
has correctly assigned 5 instruments – not assigning a
part to the Melody.
398
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
The Style Wizard suggests which bars (“snapshots”) to
include in the style. The suggested bars are bars with
all of the “BB Part” instruments.
Usually, you’d want to customize these snapshot bars to control which bars get included in the “a” or “b” substyle.
In the Violet.MID style, the Style Wizard has offered to include Bars 9-101 (inclusive) and wants to put them all on
the “a” substyle. Continuing on, we want to make a great sounding style, so it is important that we have the
following two items correct.
The “BB Parts” have to be correct. We can audition the MIDI file by playing a loop and listening
to the MIDI file and muting channels by clicking on the “Channel” checkboxes. From that, we can
hear the individual parts and assign them correctly, as we would like them in the style. By playing
the MIDI file inside the Style Wizard we can tell which bars to use for the “a” and “b” substyles.
Note: The Style Wizard has entered some of these settings automatically – but you have to type in the data as shown.
The Snapshot Bars should be correct for the “a” and “b” substyle. You need to tell the program what bars to
use for the “a” substyle and for the “b” substyle. The program makes an attempt to guess at this, but since MIDI
files can contain many different substyles (and a Band-in-a-Box style allows only 2), you would likely want control
over these snapshots yourself.
Tip to help you choosing which bars to use:
To listen to the MIDI file, you can either exit the Style Wizard dialog
and just play the song like any other Band-in-a-Box file, or play a
looped section inside the Style Wizard using the [Play], [Stop], and
“Loop at Bar” settings.
OK, the Style Wizard has already made the correct settings for the “BB Parts” for us, so we don't need to make any
changes there. Let's move to the Snapshots section, and enter the bar numbers that correspond to the substyles that
we'd like for the Jazz tune. After listening to the tune, we notice that there is a “2-feel” Jazz section, and a “4-in-thebar” section. We want those as “a” and “b” substyles, so we enter the bar #s that correspond to these settings.
In the Snapshots area of the Style Wizard:
- Enter “1-20” for the bars for the “A” Substyle.
- Enter “21-28, 37-68” for the “B” Substyle.
- Enter “12, 20” for the “A” Drum Fills.
- Enter “28, 36, 44, 52, 60, and 68” for the “B” Drum Fills.
Note: Of course you don't need to enter this much detail. You could just enter a single range like 1-20 for the “a” substyle and
make a quickie style. We're illustrating “advanced” style-generation here.
Press [Generate NEW style…], choose a name for your style, and the style will be
made.
Let's call it Violet.STY. Now to hear your style! You could play the style with any song of course, by loading in a
song and then loading in the Violet.STY It is easily available from the Favorite Styles dialog (Shift+F9).
For this tutorial, load in the song V_TEST.MGU that we made for you. That’s a Jazz Swing song using different
chords than Violet, and it uses the Violet.STY (So you need to have made that style before you try to play the song
or you will get a “Violet.STY not found” message.)
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
399
Save the existing song before loading in the new song. When Band-in-a-Box saves a song that has an entire MIDI
file on the Melody or Soloist tracks it gives it a special MGX extension. So you will be saving the file as
Violet.MGX.
Alternatively, if you'd prefer to play the Violet.STY style without loading in another song, you can do it as follows.
Since the Violet.MGX file currently has the entire MIDI file on the Melody track the first thing we need to do is
Mute the Melody (Alt+8 or right-click on the Melody part at the top of the screen). The next thing is the Enable the
Style, by choosing Style | Style is Enabled so that this item has a checkbox.
Auto Endings for Styles without Endings
If you‘ve made a style, and haven’t included an ending, a 2-bar ending can be generated automatically, based on the
style. This makes it easier to make complete styles using the Style Wizard.
To hear an example, load in the song c:\bb\Tutorial – BB 2005\No Ending.MGU. This song uses
NOENDING.STY, a style that doesn’t have an ending. An ending will be generated automatically for this style.
So we’ve made our first style! In summary, making styles with the Style Wizard is a process involving:
1. Loading a MIDI file into the Style Wizard.
2. Listening to the MIDI file by muting channels to identify parts.
3. Picking the channels to use for the BB Parts.
4. Picking the snapshot bars for the “a” and “b” substyle.
5. Pressing the [Generate NEW style…] button.
Advanced Settings and Preferences
Click on the [More] button to open the Style Wizard Advanced Settings and Preferences.
There are 2 sections to this dialog, Advanced Instrument Settings and Preferences.
Advanced Instrument Settings
The advanced instrument settings allow settings for the instruments (drums / bass / piano / guitar / strings) to be
included in the style. The settings are:
400
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
The Substyles determines whether the instrument is included in the “A,” “B,” or both “A&B”
substyles. For example, if you want to make a style that only uses the strings on the “B” substyle, set
the strings instrument part to “B” only.
The Voicings settings determine, for the various instruments:
Drums (“voicings”): Whether the patterns will use live or grid style patterns.
Default mode is “auto,” which normally uses live patterns, but you can force
it to use live or grid style patterns. Live patterns have higher resolution and
can use more instruments, so in general are the better choice.
Bass (“voicings”) determine if the bass part will use All notes / Scale tones
only / Root 3rd, 5th,7th / Root, 3rd, 5th / Root and 5th / or just the Root. The
default is “Auto-select” which usually allows all 12 semitones.
Piano, Guitar, and Strings Voicings determine how the Piano patterns will be
voiced. The choices are “Auto,” “Include Full Voicings,” “Tritones only
(3rd/7ths),” “Power Chords (Root/5th),” “Chord Mask Half Octave, “ and
“Chord Mask Full Octave. “
The auto-setting usually uses the “Include full voicings.” If the part uses 2note chords, you should over-ride this setting to “use tritones” so that the
most important notes of the chord (the tritone) will get included.
You can also use chord masks so that specific patterns over chords will get added to your style, and they will play
exactly as in your MIDI file (just transposed). Set the voicings to use “Chord Mask Full Octave” or “Chord Mask
Half Octave.”
You wouldn’t make a Style Wizard style from scratch using chord masks,
because there need to be generic patterns in the style. So you do it as a
2-stage process. First time, make the style using generic patterns (e.g. Voicing type “Auto”) and then change
voicings to Chord Mask, and add those to the style. As with other Style Wizard features, it is important that the
chords and part markers on the Chord Sheet be very accurate. So if they aren’t, you should fix them before
generating a style.
The Emb. (Embellish) checkbox determines if the patterns for Piano, Guitar, and Strings will be
embellished. If embellish is selected on a chord like D7 (in the key of C) 13ths, 9ths, and #11 notes might be added
to embellish the chord. A Jazz piano style would likely use this.
The Include Empty patterns Threshold setting defaults to None. Possible settings are None / 2
beat / 1 bar / 2 bars. If set to “None,” the instrument will always play in the style, and if set to “1
bar,” there will be “spaces of silence” up to 1 bar long (perhaps longer if chained together) in the
style for that instrument. So if an instrument is used sparsely in a style, set this setting to something
higher than none.
The Velocity Adjust will make an instrument louder or softer in the style.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
401
Preferences
Preferences affect the style itself.
Save settings with songs
The song will be saved as an MGX file, since the
Melody track type is Multichannel and contains the
MIDI file. If you select this, the Style Wizard
settings are all saved with the MGX file.
Leave StyleMaker open after creating style
If set, after generating the style, the StyleMaker is
left open for you to examine/edit the style directly.
Auto-interpret MIDI file (Default = Yes)
When set, the Style Creation Wizard will set the channels, BB Parts, and snapshots for you. Normally this setting
should be left on.
Delete existing patterns (when adding to the style) (Default = No)
If this option is set when you create style patterns to add to an existing style, the entire instrument will first be erased
in the style for any instrument used in the new style. When you generate a style by adding to an existing style, the
StyleMaker is then opened up, allowing you to pick a new name for the style (so you don't overwrite the existing
style).
# columns to leave unused in the style (Default = 0)
If set to zero (the default), the Style Creation Wizard can create the biggest style possible – filling up the rows
completely with patterns. But if you set this to a non-zero value it will limit the # of patterns that can be made.
Since there are 30 rows in the StyleMaker, you can set this setting from 0 to 29.
Generate new pattern after # duplicates
The Style Creation Wizard won't insert patterns unless they are unique compared to the ones already entered. But
(with this setting at the default of 8), after 8 duplicates of the same pattern, a 2nd pattern will get entered that is a
duplicate of another pattern. Setting this to zero would mean that every pattern would get entered (regardless of
whether it was unique); setting it to a high number like 200 would mean that only truly unique patterns are entered.
To maintain the correct balance in the style, since the maximum weight of a pattern in the StyleMaker is 8, this
setting should be left at 8 in most situations. If your style is “filling up” all of the available columns, then set this to
a higher number.
Allow Pitch Bend in style
If set, pitch bend present on the MIDI file will be included in the style. Make sure that
the MIDI file pitch bend range = two semitones.
Allow pushes in style
If set, the style will allow pushes (playing instruments before the beat). This is done by setting the push values in
the individual pattern’s options.
Repeats and Endings Wizard
Tutorial
For this tutorial, we will be using demos from the “Tutorial– Repeats and Endings” folder.
Load in the Song “Miles1 Tutorial (no repeats yet)” from the Tutorial – Repeats and Endings folder. You will see
that this is a 1-32 bar form. There are no repeats and endings entered for this song. We will be adding them now.
When you load in a song, you will notice some “Form Marker” features that happen for any Band-in-a-Box song.
402
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
Repeat symbols are drawn at the beginning and end of the entire form (bars 1, 32 in this song) and “end” is written
on bar 33, which is the ending.
Bars past the end of the song are colored gray.
These form markers are present for every song, unless you disable them by Preferences | Display. These are not the
type of repeats/endings we’re referring to here however. The repeats/endings we are talking about now occur during
the form, and are the 1st/2nd endings, DS al Coda and other repeat types that you see on a typical lead sheet.
So, in our song “Miles1 Tutorial (no repeats yet),” we can have a look at it and see if there are any repeats/endings.
It appears from looking at the Chord Sheet that this 32 bar form consists of two 16 bar sections, with a 1st ending at
bar 9, and a 2nd ending at bar 25.
So now we’d like Band-in-a-Box to display it like that, with the first and second ending markings.
Since we want to insert the 1st/2nd ending on bar 9, we right-click on the Chord Sheet on bar 9, and select
Repeats/Codas/1st-2nd Endings.
We then see the Edit Repeats and Endings dialog.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
403
Click on the 1st/2nd endings radio button, and enter the following.
- Repeat begins at bar 1.
- 1st ending begins at bar 9.
- 1st ending lasts for 8 bars.
- Type of Repeat/Ending = 1st/2nd endings.
By entering this data we’ve defined the complete 1st and 2nd ending. If the 1st ending begins at bar 9 and lasts for 8
bars, the 2nd ending must begin at bar 17+8=25 (there’s an 8 bar repeated section from bar 1 to 8).
Now, this was a pre-existing song, and it already has all of the bars laid out. So
we make sure that we don’t select the “Generate (insert) new bars” checkbox.
Click on [OK-Make Repeat], and the repeat gets made, and the Chord Sheet redraws with the
1st/2ndrepeat showing.
Make sure you have Fake Sheet mode selected on the Chord Sheet.
As you can see there is a 1st ending at bar 9. At bar 16 there is a repeat symbol, indicating that the form goes back
to bar 1 for 8 bars, and then will go to the bar after bar 16 for the 2nd ending. The 2nd ending is marked there. The
bar # is 25, because the bars are numbered in linear fashion, and it is the 25th bar of the song as it would be played.
Then the song goes to the end which is bar 32.
Now we can see a LINEAR view of the same song, similar to the way it was before we put the
1st/2nd endings on it. To do this, deselect the Fake Sheet checkbox on the main page. You will then see the song
like this.
404
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
This shows all of the 32 bars, including the bars that are part of the repeat – these are highlighted in gray. Exposing
these bars shows the linear view of the song, the way the song would be played. It also allows you to enter custom
information for any of the bars, including the bars in the “gray area.” For example, if you wanted the chord at bar
21 to be an Em9 instead of an Em7, just type it in, even though it’s in the repeated section leading to the 2nd ending.
You can toggle between the 2 views for the traditional lead sheet view with the Fake Sheet mode, and the “normal”
(linear) view with Fake Sheet mode OFF.
The List of Repeats/Endings allows you to manage the repeats/endings that have been entered.
Delete/ Append/ Insert a repeat or ending using this list, which opens with the [Edit List] button in the Edit
Repeats and Endings dialog.
Chapter 12: Wizards, Tutors, and Fun
405
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
BB Remote
Remote control for desktop Band-in-a-Box for Windows
BB Remote is an app for your iPhone. It is used as a remote control to control your existing desktop version of
Band-in-a-Box for Windows 2011.5 or higher. The sounds will come out of the desktop program, not the iPhone.
You must have the desktop version of Band-in-a-Box for Windows 2011.5 to use the program at all.
Note: There is another application for iPhone that we make, called Band-in-a-Box for iPhone that lets you generate new
songs – with the sound coming from the iPhone - and it isn't a remote control like this one. More about Band-in-a-Box for iPhone
at pgmusic.com/help100
If you use Band-in-a-Box for Windows, you may want to be somewhere else other than sitting at your PC as you
play songs. For example, you might want to sit at the piano, or at your music stand, or be sitting on the couch with
your guitar in hand.
The BB Remote app installs to your iPhone (via the iPhone app store), and then connects to the desktop version of
Band-in-a-Box for Windows 2011.5.
Note: To allow BBRemote to connect, make sure that Band-in-a-Box Server is running on your desktop Windows PC. You need
to have a program called C:\bb\bbhelper\BandInABoxServer.exe running. If it is running, you will see a musical note icon on your
Windows system tray in the right lower corner of the windows taskbar. You can run or install the server from the main Band-in-aBox Windows program, using the menu item Windows | BB2Go. You need to have BandInABoxServer.exe running in the
system tray- see pgmusic.com/help102 for details.
The BB Remote app has different screens, accessible by “swiping” the screen to the left/right.
BB Remote Main Screen- Chords View
The Chords view lets you see the chords of the song, and the current bar
of the song highlights during playback. For example, you could be seated
at your piano, far from the desktop PC, and be loading in and playing
songs, with the sound coming from your desktop PC, but you see the
chords and current bar on the iPhone.
406
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
BB Remote Conductor Window
This allows fine control of playback, including jumping to sections,
choruses, # bars etc. and looping.
Mixer Window – BB Remote
The Mixer window of BB Remote for iPhone allows you to mute/solo or
adjust volumes, panning, reverb, tone, or patches of the desktop program in
real time.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
407
Patch Selection – BB Remote
The patch selection window of BB Remote for iPhone allows you to view
or select patches. If you press play again, the changed patches will sound
in the song.
File Menu – BB Remote
408
Server Connect Window – BB Remote
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
DAW Plug-In Mode
Band-in-a-Box has a “plug-in” mode for your favorite sequencer (RealBand, Sonar, Reaper, ProTools, FL-Studio,
Nuendo and more). With the plug-in mode, Band-in-a-Box is open as a small always-on-top window, and acts as a
plug-in for your favorite DAW/sequencer, so that you can drag-and-drop MIDI and audio (WAV) tracks from Bandin-a-Box to your favorite sequencer. Work in your favorite sequencer, type a progression in Band-in-a-Box, and
then simply drag the track from Band-in-a-Box to your sequencer’s track at the desired track and bar location.
The DAW Plug-in mode is a mode within the regular Band-in-a-Box program. This mode allows you to transfer
tracks, or parts of tracks, to other DAW Sequencers easily, by simply dragging the track icons from Band-in-a-Box
(BB) to the tracks window of your DAW.
For the Drag and Drop to work, you need to have your MIDI driver set to use a DXi or VSTi driver (like Coyote
WaveTable DXi).
You can enter and exit the plug-in mode easily.
Press the [Plugin] button on the main toolbar and
choose the menu item Start DAW Plug-in mode, or go
to the Windows menu and choose Plug-in Mode for
DAW.
When you do this:
1. The window size of Band-in-a-Box changes to a small size (you can resize it to the size/position that you want,
and it will remember that).
2. Band-in-a-Box becomes an always-on-top window, if this is option is set in the Plugin settings dialog.
Drag and Drop Tracks
This is the Drop Station where you drop a track after dragging it to get an audio or MIDI
version of the track. There are 4 quadrants, and they are labeled according to the types of
files that will be made by the drop: Audio Files (wav, wma, m4a) or MIDI file (mid).
The Drop Station makes it faster and easier to make different file types. It also allows you to make MIDI versions
of the RealTracks (RealCharts), by simply dragging a RealTrack to the “MIDI” quadrant of the Drop Station.
If you want the entire performance dragged to the DAW, drag the Master button to the Drop Station.
By default, a single file is dropped with the entire arrangement. But if you want all tracks transferred as separate
files, uncheck the “Drag Master as separate tracks” option in the Plug-in Setting dialog.
If you want a single track transferred, drag that track name. For example, drag the Bass icon to transfer
the bass track. If the track is a RealTrack with RealCharts, you can drop it to the “MIDI” quadrant.
If you would like to transfer only a portion of the performance, you
can do this by selecting the region in Band-in-a-Box, and then dragging the track button to the Drop Station. (Don’t
drag the selected region.)
When you drop the track onto the Drop Station, you will see an orange color, indicating that
the track is accepted and the file is being prepared.
When the file is ready, the Drop Station turns green. You can now drag it to your favorite
DAW (Sonar, Pro Tools etc.) or Windows Explorer.
Plug-In Settings
To get to the DAW Plugin settings dialog, press the [Plugin] button,
and choose the menu item Options for DAW Plug-in.
Alternatively, go to the Preferences dialog and click on the [DAW Plugin] tab.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
409
You will then see the plug-in options.
Allow Drag n Drop (default=true) If disabled, the Drag Drop feature will not work. There shouldn’t be a reason
to disable this.
Drag Individual MIDI tracks as audio (using VST/DXi) (default=false) This option applies when you drag a
track directly to a DAW. When enabled, the chosen MIDI tracks get converted to audio, using your currently
selected VST/DXi (e.g. Coyote WT or Forte).
Drag Master track as audio (using VST/DXi for MIDI tracks) (default=true) This option applies when you drag
a track directly to a DAW. When enabled, the entire arrangement gets converted to audio using your currently
selected VST/DXi (e.g. Coyote WT or Forte). If not selected, the MIDI tracks in the arrangement get transferred as
MIDI, in a single file.
Drag Master as separate tracks (default=false) If set to true, when dragging the Master radio button, the drop
will result in multiple files, one for each track.
Drag Audio as WAV/WMA If set to WAV, the audio gets dropped as WAV. If set to WMA, the audio gets
dropped as WMA. Note that most sequencers will want WAV files.
Always on Top If set, the Plug-in window will be always-on-top. Note that if you change this in the dialog, it
won’t take effect until you exit the dialog.
Preserve dragged files permanently in folder (default=false) When you drag a file, Band-in-a-Box makes a copy
of it and puts it in the c:\bb\DragDrop folder. This is a temp folder. Most DAWS (and Windows Explorer) take the
dropped file, and make their own copy of it to incorporate into their file structure, but some don’t (e.g. “pure” wav
editors like SoundForge). So if you are dropping the files to a DAW that works with dropped files and doesn’t make
a local copy of them (like CoolEdit or SoundForge), then you should set the “Preserve dragged files permanently in
folder c:\bb\DragDrop” to true. Otherwise, Band-in-a-Box will recycle (trash) the files in the DragDrop folder on
boot up. You can retrieve these files from the trash if needed.
You can use a Custom Drag n Drop Folder for the temp files if you prefer, inside your DAW’s folder for example.
Then the dragged files will also be in Explorer in a folder near your DAW’s audio project.
Find File
So many files, so little time? This feature is a “Swiss Army Knife” that allows you to find a Band-in-a-Box song (or
any file that Band-in-a-Box can open), including filtering by words found in the file name or any text in the file.
410
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
You can define your search by the name and location of the file, or by the date and size.
Name & Location
This includes filtering by words found in the file name or any text in the file. For example, you can
- get a listing of all Band-in-a-Box songs on your PC with the word “Blues” in the title.
- get a listing of all Band-in-a-Box songs in the BB folder with the word “Reggae” in them.
Date & Size
Use this window to search in a particular range of dates or times. This can be useful if you have multiple versions of
a file from different dates and sessions.
The listing stays between sessions, so you can then take your time to explore all the songs that Band-in-a-Box offers
that match your find term.
CoyoteWT
The Coyote Wavetable DXi synth is included with Band-in-a-Box. This works with Band-in-a-Box and other DXi
compatible host programs to produce realistic instrument sounds, and is compatible with all the latest Windows
operating systems, including the 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8.
The CoyoteWT can be installed automatically when you install Band-in-a-Box, or you can install it at a later date by
running the file SetupCoyoteWT.exe from the Band-in-a-Box (bb) folder.
Selecting the CoyoteWT
To use the Coyote Wavetable as your driver, press the [MIDI] toolbar button and select
MIDI/Audio Drier Setup from the dropdown menu. This will open the MIDI/Audio
Drivers Setup dialog.
Enable the “Use VST/DXi Synth” option and press the [VST/DXi Synth
Settings] button.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
411
When the VST/DX Synths/Plugin window
opens, select Coyote WT in the top Plugin slot.
Coyote WT Overview
The main display panel lists the sixteen available MIDI
channels down the left side with the program, bank number,
and name of each instrument patch assignment. During
playback the number of voices (notes) being used by each
instrument is displayed.
What does CoyoteWT do?
CoyoteWT (WaveTable) works in conjunction with Band-in-a-Box or other DXi-compatible host programs, to
produce realistic audio output. It plays “samples” of actual instruments in response to commands from the DXi
host. For instance, when Band-in-a-Box says to play a loud middle C using an acoustic steel-string guitar,
CoyoteWT looks up that note of that instrument in its sample-bank database and then outputs that note to the sound
card, at the requested volume, for the requested duration.
System Requirements
Generating a realistic emulation of dozens of instruments at a time requires a fairly powerful computer. The
following requirements should be considered as absolute minimums:
- Pentium III CPU at 500 MHz.
- 128 MB RAM.
- 20 GB disk, 7200 rpm.
- a 16-bit sound card.
- Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, or 8.
412
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
For best performance, the following specifications are recommended:
- Pentium-4 or Athlon XP CPU at 1.7 GHz.
- 256 MB RAM.
- 40 GB disk, 7200 rpm, 30 MB/s read rate.
- a 20-bit or 24-bit sound card.
- Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, or 8.
Coyote Settings
Program settings for the CoyoteWT are made in its context menu.
The context menu can be accessed by right-clicking on the CoyoteWT
property page (that is, its main display).
Click on the features in the list to enable or disable them. Several of the
features open dialog boxes with additional controls.
For help, click on the Help Index item.
Reverb
Clicking on this menu item brings up a dialog in which you can control the reverb parameters. The available
controls are:
- Room Size: select one of:
- Club (the smallest simulated room)
- Stage
- Hall (the largest simulated room)
- Damping: Setting the slider to the leftmost position simulates a room with hard, reflective walls. Setting the
slider to the rightmost position simulates a room with absorbent walls. The effects of this control are fairly
subtle.
Click on OK to apply the changes.
Enable Compressor
Clicking on this menu item turns the compressor on or off. When it is on you will see a check mark beside the menu
item.
When the compressor is enabled, the overall dynamic range will be slightly compressed (mostly by boosting the
quieter signals), and the sound will have a little more “presence.”
Enable Limiter
Clicking on this menu item turns the limiter on or off. When it is on you will see a check mark beside the menu
item.
When the limiter is enabled, the overall volume level is increased, and in order to keep momentary peaks from
clipping or distorting, CoyoteWT briefly reduces the volume just before the peak occurs and then increases it again
after the peak is over. The volume changes are performed smoothly and are usually inaudible. The increased
volume is desirable because it increases the overall signal-to-noise ratio.
Tuning Adjust
Clicking on this menu item brings up a dialog in which you can enter an adjustment to be applied to all samples in
the sample-set. The adjustment is specified in terms of cents, where one cent is 1/100 of a semitone.
Limit Polyphony
Clicking on this menu item brings up a dialog in which you can specify the maximum polyphony (number of
simultaneous notes that can be played). If your CPU is not powerful enough to handle 100 notes at once (some are
not) you may be able to reduce audio clicks by choosing a number lower than 100. This is usually preferable to the
artifacts produced when you run out of CPU power.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
413
EQ
Clicking on this brings up a dialog in which you can specify the amount of boost or cut to be applied to the low or
high frequencies. You can use this to compensate for the frequency response of your speakers, your sample file, or
just to accommodate your preference.
The bass (low frequencies) and treble (high frequencies) can each be boosted or cut by up to 12 dB. Positive
numbers produce a boost; negative numbers produce a cut.
You can also specify an overall volume adjustment. The allowable range is limited to plus or minus 3 dB.
Enable High-Quality Resampler
CoyoteWT modifies the pitch of a note by resampling.
Normally you should leave the default, high-quality, enabled. However, if you are using a slow PC (say, 500 MHz
or less) you may get better results by disabling high-quality mode.
Fretlight® support
®
Major new feature for Band-in-a-Box! The Fretlight is a cool electric hardware guitar that
has LED lights on the frets. Now, if you have a Fretlight, you can mirror the output of the
Band-in-a-Box on-screen guitar to the Fretlight fretboard.
So you can just look at the Fretlight as you play along to any of the great guitar RealTracks or Guitar Artist
Performances as you hear the playing, and see the fret positions on your Fretlight Guitar.
For the Fretlight Support to be enabled, you need to set “Fretlight Guitar
Support” in the Guitar Window.
Plug in the Fretlight, and Band-in-a-Box will find it. Then, any output that happens on the Band-in-a-Box Guitar
Window will automatically get mirrored to the Fretlight so that you see the guitar played on your Fretlight. Now
you can, using your Fretlight:
- See the Artist Performance Tracks played by Nashville Legend Brent Mason show up on your Fretlight guitar as
you hear the tracks.
- Set the Guitar Tutor in Band-in-a-Box to play strumming chord shapes, which works for any song in Band-in-aBox (choose your chord types jazz/pop/folk etc)
- See RealTracks played on your Fretlight guitar, as you hear them played by the Masters in audio.
Tip: The Fretlight Guitar Support checkbox defaults to false, so you need to check it (just once, and the setting is remembered).
If you want it to default to true the first time you run it, you can put a file called c:\bb\FretlightSupport.txt (contents of this file
irrelevant) in the BB folder, and it will default to true.
TranzPort® Support - Wireless Remote Control
The Frontier Design TranzPort is a wireless remote control hardware unit (Electronic
Musician Editors’ Choice 2006) that allows you to control Band-in-a-Box through walls
from 30 feet away!
®
Note: The TranzPort is not currently in production. It’s still a great product if you can find one.
The backlit LCD provides a two-line readout, and buttons and a wheel allow control of many Band-in-a-Box
features. Select songs and play/stop/pause/loop. Select/mute/solo tracks and volume/tempo changes are all
supported. And best of all, when the song is playing, the chords of the song are displayed in time on the backlit
LCD screen.
You can, for example, put the TranzPort unit on your piano at home (or your music stand on a gig) and
load/play/control and view chords for songs, all while far away from your computer – all wirelessly up to 30 feet –
even through walls! Selectable transpose lets the TranzPort show chords in a non-concert key (e.g. Eb Alto) while
the computer shows concert -great for jam sessions! Or display the scrolling lyrics of the song on the TranzPort for
a wireless Karaoke session! The TranzPort also works “right-out-of-the-box” with other popular music software,
including Sonar , Logic , and many others.
™
®
Using TranzPort with Band-in-a-Box
First, you need to purchase a TranzPort unit, and install it.
414
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
Now, make sure that the TranzPort is installed and working. You can determine that it is installed and working by
running Band-in-a-Box, and looking at the list of MIDI Drivers (Options-MIDI Drivers). If “TranzPort” appears on
the list of MIDI-IN and MIDI-OUT drivers, then the TranzPort is installed correctly.
Important: DO NOT SELECT the TranzPort drivers, since it is not a sound module. Band-in-a-Box will automatically find the
TranzPort unit to send/ receive data.
To start using the TranzPort
- While Band-in-a-Box is running, “wake up” the TranzPort by pressing a key on the TranzPort (STOP key for
example).
- The TranzPort display will show
“Title of BB song” <tempo> <Current Track> <track volume> <patch #/name>
For example, the screen might say
- “My Tune”
- 120 Mel v 122 p1 Acoustic Piano
- Track < and Track> buttons change the current track Bass/Drums/Piano/Guitar/Strings/Melody/Soloist/Thru
Controlling Patches/Tempo/Volume
- The WHEEL changes the tempo.
- Shift-WHEEL changes the volume of the ALL TRACKS.
- [Prev] [WHEEL] changes the volume of the current track.
- [ADD] [WHEEL] changes the patch of the current track using Favorite Patches.
- [NEXT] [WHEEL] changes the patch of the current track, cycling through all patches.
- MUTE AND SOLO mutes or solos the current track.
- [SHIFT] MUTE, will mute/un-mute ALL tracks.
Loading Songs
- [IN] button opens the “Favorite Songs” dialog. The LCD screen of the TranzPort displays the current song, and
the WHEEL cycles through the various songs. When you’ve found the song that you want, press PLAY to load
and play the song (or “Solo” to function like the OK button in the Favorite Songs dialog, note if “Play song when
chosen” is set or not in that dialog). Press UNDO to cancel the dialog.
- [OUT] button functions in a similar manner, except it uses the Song List dialog.
- [Shift]- [IN] loads the previous song in alphabetical order, by filename, in the same folder.
- [Shift]- [OUT loads the next song in alphabetical order, by filename, in the same folder.
Playing Songs
- PLAY button plays the song.
- [RED button beside play] pauses the song.
- STOP button stops the song.
- [<<] and [>>] buttons jump to the previous or next section of the song. You can define custom sections of the
song (using the Conductor in Band-in-a-Box), but if you haven’t, the sections default to lead-in, intro, first chorus,
middle chorus, last chorus, ending.
- LOOP button will loop the current section
- SHIFT LOOP button loops 4 bars
- UNDO is panic button (turn MIDI notes off)
Playback Display
During playback, you will see the chords (and/or lyrics) to the song, scrolling along in time to the music. For
example, you might see this…
*5| D
| D7
|
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
415
7| G
| Gm
The * marks the current bar (bar 5), which is a D chord. The screen always scrolls to show you 2 bars ahead of the
current time.
TranzPort Dialog
There is a TranzPort Settings dialog inside Band-in-a-Box with additional settings.
If you are a non-concert instrument player, you can set the transpose display in Pref | TranzPort. For example, an
Alto sax player would press the “Eb Alto” button, and then the TranzPort display would show chords transposed to
his key. This feature is useful if you have a friend over for a jam session. One of you can look at the PC screen, and
the other can look at the TranzPort, and they can be in different keys for non-concert instruments!
If you want lyrics to display on the TranzPort during playback, set these options in Pref | TranzPort.
- [REC] has no action.
- [PUNCH] has no action.
- [Footswitch] has no action.
Guitar/Bass Tuner
The Tuner is optimized for guitar and bass, though it may be useful with other instruments. Connect an electric
guitar or bass to your computer’s sound card Line-In, or tune an acoustic instrument using a microphone connected
to the sound card Mic input. Play a pitch and the tuner will auto-range to determine the nearest note, and display the
intonation of your instrument.
Press the on-screen [Tuner] button or select the GM | Guitar Tuner menu item to launch the Tuner
Window.
Tip: There are detailed Guitar Tuner instructions in the online Help topic connecting an Instrument.
The Tuner must be able to receive audio from your instrument via the line-in or microphone input of your sound
card. Please make sure that either the Microphone In or Line-In is enabled in the Recording Properties of the
Windows Mixer (or the appropriate Mixer application for your sound card).
416
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
Master Tuning
This function allows you to tune your sound card or module to another instrument, as well as adding a testing
function to see if your sound card supports Master Tuning. This is useful if you're playing along with an instrument
or recording that can't easily be re-tuned like an acoustic piano. A setting of 0 is the default A = 440.
Select the GM | Master Tuning menu item to launch the Master Tune dialog.
Tip: Not all sound cards/modules support the Master Tuning feature. To see if your sound card supports Master Tuning, press
the [TEST] button in the dialog shown above.
Dynamic 3D Drum Kit Window
This sizeable drum window is an animated 3D display of a complete MIDI drum kit with all 61drum sounds
displayed on their respective instruments. Watch the drums being played or play-along/record by using QWERTY
keys or a mouse.
To launch the Drums Window, click the [Drums] button in the View Panel.
You can do several things with the Drums Window.
- Watch the Drum part being played on the Drums window in real time.
- Play along with the drums in real time by mouse clicking on the drum instruments, or using the QWERTY keys.
The computer keyboard, the piano key number, and sound names can all (optionally) be made visible on the hint
line by moving your mouse cursor over a given instrument.
- Record a drum part into Band-in-a-Box.
Drum Display
All the General MIDI percussion instruments are shown. Some percussion instruments are triggered by multiple
MIDI notes. When a sound is controlled by more than one MIDI note, a percussion instrument will show different
behavior in response to the different notes. For instance, the Hi-Hat responds differently to Close Hat, Pedal Hat,
and Open Hat MIDI notes.
The Drum Kit window can be resized to tile or fit with other windows of interest, or the drums can be moved offscreen. The window looks best if your computer display is in High Color (16 bit) or True Color (32 bit) video
mode.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
417
The onscreen instruments may be played by mouse clicking or by pressing the appropriate computer keys. There is
an option to display all the QWERTY names on the drums at the same time, so that you can see what keys to hit
without having to mouse over the instrument. When playing by mouse click or computer keys, the Shift key can be
used to switch the velocity between two user-specified levels (i.e. loud=100 and soft=50).
The drums that you play show up in green; the computer played drums are red.
The multi-note instruments send different MIDI notes to your sound source, depending on where you “click” on the
instrument. For instance, the Kick Drum can send three different notes: Ac. Bass Drum (MIDI note 35), Bass Drum
1 (MIDI note 36), and Square Kick (MIDI Note 32).
Tip: The hint line at the top of the window describes the current control under the mouse cursor. Use the hint line to learn the
mouse-responsive areas of each drum instrument.
Control Buttons
Record: Puts Band-in-a-Box in Record mode so drums can be recorded.
Play: Starts song playback.
Rewind: Stop and return to song start.
Stop: Stops song playback.
Size Buttons 1/1 - 1/2 - 1/4: Clicking on these buttons changes the size of the drums window to full size, half
size, or quarter-size. (You can also resize the drums window to any size by dragging a window border.)
- Settings: Adjusts program behavior. See settings window section below.
- Help: To launch the drum Help File, press F1.
-
Computer “QWERTY” Keys
418
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
Numeric keypad
Press computer keys to play drums.
Drums are grouped on the computer keyboard by category. The kick, snare, and hi-hat
sounds are on the lowest keyboard row. The lower-middle row contains toms and
cymbals. The upper-middle row contains Latin drums, and the top row contains Latin
hand percussion. The Numpad keys contain the rest of the Latin hand percussion plus the
electronic tones.
Multi - Note Instruments
Kick Drum - Ac. Bass Drum, Bass Drum 1, Square Kick
Snare - Acoustic Snare, Side Stick
Hi-Hat - Closed, Pedal, Open
Floor Tom - Low, High
Electronic Pad - Multi-zoned for Hi-Q, Slap, Electric Snare
High Conga - Mute, Open
Surdo - Mute, Open
Cuica - Mute, Open
Metronome - Bell, Click
Whistle - Long, Short
Triangle - Mute, Open
Guiro - Long, Short
Scratch - Push, Pull
Settings Dialog
Press the Settings button (to the left of Rewind button), to adjust the various Drum Kit Settings.
Drum window is always on top
Use this checkbox to keep the Drums window on top of other program windows.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
419
Note Velocity
When playing drums with a mouse or computer keys, the shift key toggles between two levels of note velocity. The
two velocity levels can be set any way desired. For instance, if you want the shift key to send quieter notes you can
set the shift velocity lower than the non-shift velocity.
Randomize
Use this checkbox to enable the program to send random velocity levels when playing the drums. This is handy
when using non- velocity sensitive devices. “Range” controls the amount of velocity randomization. Usually a
small range works best, around 10% to 30%. For example, if velocity is set to 127, and the random range is set to
20%, notes would randomly vary between a maximum velocity of 127 and a minimum velocity of 102.
Instrument Hints
Customize the appearance of the Hint line.
- Show Note Name
- Show MIDI Note Number
- Show Computer Key
Show
- “Show All Instruments” shows all instruments in the drum window.
- “Show Used Instruments” displays the basic trap kit, but does not display any extra instruments unless they are
used in a song.
The drum window is cleared each time Play or Stop is pressed.
MIDI Monitor
MIDI Monitor displays a listing of data received from computer MIDI Input and/or Band-in-a-Box output, useful
for educational or diagnostic purposes.
The MIDI Monitor opens with the [MIDI] button on the main screen toolbar, or with the menu command
Window | MIDI Monitor.
Tip: To display the data received from the computer MIDI Input, the MIDI THRU option must be enabled in Band-in-a-Box.
The MIDI Monitor has options for 1-based patch numbering and patch name display. Quick View Filter presets
(such as “Notes Only,” “Controllers Only,” “Program Changes Only,” “Programs including Bank Changes”).
420
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
MIDI Monitor- Main Window
MIDI Display Controls
Event: The current event number since the display was last cleared.
Clear: Clears MIDI Display, Event counter, and Channel Activity panel.
Save Text: Save a tab-delimited text file of the data in the MIDI display. The file can be opened with a word
processor or spreadsheet program, for printing or further study. Various Save Text options can be adjusted in the
Settings window.
Settings: Open the Settings dialog, to adjust display behavior. The display can be modified to suit the task at hand.
Filter: Open the Filter dialog, where receive settings can be adjusted.
Sequencer Control
The [Play], [Rewind], and [Stop] buttons control song playback without the need to return to the main Band-in-aBox screen.
Timer
A millisecond timer is useful for viewing timing relationships between messages. To use Band-in-a-Box to measure
in milliseconds, set Band-in-a-Box PPQN to 480, and Band-in-a-Box tempo to 125 BPM. With this special
resolution and tempo, tick values in the Event List window will correspond to milliseconds.
Current Time - The millisecond count since the timer was last started. Click anywhere in the Timer area to clear
the Current time, setting it to zero.
Channel Activity Panel
This panel has an array of “LEDs” to show which channels are active.
MIDI Display Area
The MIDI Display area at the bottom of the main window, displays the data generated by Band-in-a-Box and/or data
received at the computer MIDI input. Each row is a single MIDI event.
Evt #: Event number, starting from when the display was last cleared.
Time (mS): The time in milliseconds of the event, from when the timer was last cleared.
Source: Int means the event was generated by Band-in-a-Box, and Ext means the event was generated by an
external MIDI Device attached to the computer MIDI In port.
Raw: The raw bytes representing each MIDI message. Most MIDI Message types contain three bytes, but some
messages contain one or two bytes. SysEx messages can contain an arbitrary number of bytes. This field is blank in
the case of SysEx messages. With SysEx messages, up to 16 “Raw” bytes are displayed in the Data fields. Long
SysEx messages are displayed on multiple lines, 16 bytes per line.
Status: Text name of the Event type.
Chan: MIDI channel of the Event. This field is blank for System messages (values from $F0 to $FF). System
messages do not have an associated channel.
Data 1: Text name for the meaning of the first data byte of the MIDI message. For some messages such as Pitch
Bend or Song Position Pointer, the value of both bytes 1 and 2 are displayed in Data 1.
Data 2: Text name for the second data byte of a MIDI Message.
Note: Some MIDI messages, such as Program Change or Channel Pressure, have only a single Data byte, and the Data 2 field
will be blank. Also, some MIDI Messages have no data bytes, in which case both Data fields will be blank.
Display Filter
The Display Filter dialog allows you to select what MIDI events will be recognized by the MIDI
Monitor program.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
421
Tip: Virtually any combination of display events can be selected in the filter. It is therefore possible to select combinations that
do not display any MIDI events at all. The MIDI Monitor will warn you about the more obvious “nil” combinations, but if you find
that you are not receiving what you expected, carefully re-examine these filter settings.
Event List Editor
You can edit events including all MIDI events and lyric events using the Event List Editor. It can be launched in
several ways.
- In the Melody menu, choose Edit Melody Track | Step Edit Melody.
- In the Soloist menu, choose Edit Soloist Track | Step Edit Soloist Part.
- In the Notation menu, choose Event List Editor…
- In the Notation window by pressing the event list button (#).
422
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
Different colors are used for different event types in the event list, to visually distinguish notes, patch changes, etc.
The Event list for the notation colors the events differently as follows:
The list uses a color coding based on Event Type, Channel, Duration, or Velocity.
If the color coding is based on Event Type, the list shows the event as follows:
- Notes starting near the beat boundary are dark pink.
- Notes starting on the off-beat are light pink.
- Patch changes are cyan.
- Controller changes are yellow.
- Pitch Bends are grey.
The Event List Editor allows you to modify, insert, and delete notes:
- Double-click on an event to edit it (or press the [Edit] button.)
- [Insert] puts an event before the current event.
- [Append] puts an event at the end of the track.
- [Delete] removes an event.
- [Show] exits the dialog and highlight the note in the Notation Window.
- [Play] plays the current event moves the next event.
- [Update] redraws the notation screen.
- [Edit Lyrics] – [Edit Soloist] – [Edit Melody] selects which track to edit.
Event List Filter
There is a filter for the Event List Editor, allowing you to, for example, quickly spot all patch changes.
For example, to examine all of the patch changes on the Melody track, choose
“Use Event Filter,” and then press the [Filter…] button.
In the Event List Filter, select the type of information you want to display. In
this case, it is program changes (patches) only.
The track will then display with the program changes only.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
423
The Event Type to Edit dialog opens when either the [Insert]
or [Append] buttons are pressed in the Event List Editor.
This dialog allows you to select which type of event to insert or
append - note, controller, pitch bend, etc. – and then opens the
selected edit dialog.
PG Vinyl DirectX Plug-In
Remove clicks and pops from your old vinyl record collection with the new PG Vinyl plug-in. If you no longer
have a phono preamp, just attach your turntable to your mixer console. PG Vinyl can provide RIAA equalization for
better tone. PG Vinyl can reduce broadband noise, and remove clicks on digital audio tracks.
Though PG Vinyl was not designed as a distortion remover, in some cases it can reduce clipping distortion on digital
audio tracks which were recorded too loud.
PG Vinyl Tool Features
Enable Plug-in Checkbox
Toggle the checkbox to compare the original recording to the plug-in output. This helps avoid excessive settings.
PG Vinyl Tool uses look-ahead buffering, so if you bypass the plug-in, the output will “jump in time.” This is
expected, because there is some added delay when PG Vinyl Tool is enabled.
RIAA EQ Checkbox
If you recorded from a stereo tuner or other gadget with a phono input jack, DO NOT enable the RIAA EQ section.
The RIAA EQ option is for folks who do not have a turntable preamp, having recorded with an ordinary mixer.
RIAA EQ was designed to overcome the shortcomings of vinyl. RIAA pre-emphasis is applied when vinyl discs are
mastered. High frequencies get boosted, and low frequencies get cut. This makes high frequencies compete better
against the inevitable vinyl pops, clicks, and surface noise. Pre-emphasis also prevents low frequency signals from
bouncing the stylus out of the groove.
424
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
When you play a record, the preamp's RIAA de-emphasis will reverse the EQ. High frequencies are cut, and low
frequencies are boosted. If you do not apply RIAA de-emphasis, either with a phono preamp or in the software,
vinyl will sound too bright and shallow.
HF Boost
If you recorded the disc with a mixer which has high-impedance inputs (preferably 1 MegOhm or better), set HF
Boost to zero, for “pure” RIAA de-emphasis.
Most audio mixer instrument/line inputs have impedance in the 10 KOhm to 100 KOhm range. A turntable's
magnetic cartridge will be “loaded” by the lower-than-expected mixer impedance. This won't damage the turntable,
but will affect the frequency balance. A 10 KOhm mixer input could cut the highs quite a bit, and even a 100 KOhm
mixer input could cut the highs a perceptible amount.
There is no way to predict the characteristics of your turntable cartridge and the input impedance of your mixer.
Adjust HF Boost by ear until the frequency balance sounds right. You may not get the frequency response as
precisely as the mastering engineer intended, but if you are happy with the result, who cares?
Some PG Vinyl Tool options can cut highs. If a record is damaged so much that subsequent PG Vinyl Tools cut
high frequencies along with the noise, you could increase the HF Boost by ear, to make up the loss.
Rumble Filter Checkbox
Cheap or worn-out turntable platters can make subsonic vibrations. Slightly warped records can also make
undesirable low-frequency noise. Use the Rumble Filter to block unwanted low frequencies.
The Rumble Filter is a 24 dB per Octave Butterworth High Pass filter, which attenuates undesirable low frequencies.
In most situations, it will do no harm to always enable the Rumble Filter.
Rumble Filter Frequency
At the default of 40 Hz, signals below 40 Hz are attenuated, and signals above 40 Hz are unaffected.
Vinyl mastering engineers typically avoided frequencies lower than 40 Hz. It is difficult to make vinyl cleanly
reproduce very low frequencies. Also, most consumers, even audiophiles with expensive stereos, did not have
speakers capable of reproducing lower than 40 Hz.
Unless you are dubbing classical organ records, it is doubtful that there is anything of interest below 30 or 40 Hz.
While adjusting PG Vinyl Tool, you can experimentally toggle the Rumble Filter on/off to make sure the filter is not
removing important audio features.
DeCrackle Checkbox
Enable the DeCrackle section. PG Vinyl Tool defines crackle as high frequency defects in the range of 2000 Hz to
20,000 Hz.
A single microscopic speck of dust, or a tiny static discharge, can cause an isolated “tick” which is too short to be
considered a “click.” The DeCrackle section removes these isolated ticks. Crackle is a cluster of high-frequency
ticks. If there are multiple close-spaced ticks, the ticks are perceived as a crackling sound.
First disable the DeClick Checkbox, and adjust DeCrackle. On a clean record in good condition, DeCrackle may be
the only necessary section. Normally you would only enable the DeClick section if DeCrackle can't adequately
clean up the mess.
DeCrackle Amount
This adjusts the sensitivity of what PG Vinyl Tool considers to be a tick/crackle. At zero, nothing is removed. As
the DeCrackle Amount is increased, PG Vinyl Tool will mute additional “tick suspects.” If the control is set too
extreme, PG Vinyl Tool will partially mute musical features, such as hand percussion or high-hat notes. Only set
the control high enough to remove ticks and crackles. If longer clicks remain, enable the DeClick section for
additional cleaning.
DeCrackle Activity
This displays the percentage of audio which is muted. Except for very worn records, adjust the DeCrackle Amount
so that the DeCrackle Activity reads no higher than a few percent. On very good discs, one might get “perfect”
results with less than one percent of DeCrackle Activity. Strive to mute only the minimum necessary to clean your
record.
NOTE: If DeCrackle is set outrageously high, the DeCrackle Activity reading can exceed 100 percent. This is not a bug. The
DeCrackle section does three processing passes in progressively lower frequency bands. It might happen that the first pass will
“heal” a click, but subsequent bands will “heal” the left-over residue of that click.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
425
Sometimes a bad click might be repaired in multiple processing stages, until the defect can no longer be detected. With absurdly
high DeCrackle settings, the DeCrackle Activity can exceed 100 percent, because several stages incrementally repair the same
bad clicks.
DeCrackle Fill Gaps
When a tick is detected, it is smoothly “snipped out” of the high-frequencies, without affecting the lower
frequencies. High-frequency ticks last less than one millisecond. Each muted section is very short, only a few
samples.
If Fill Gaps is set to zero, this tiny high-frequency-muted region is replaced by nothing. It behaves like a very brief
high-frequency dropout. On a clean record, occasional muted ticks are never noticed. But on a dirty scratched disc,
if many snips are made, it will sound like a reduction in high frequencies.
As you increase the Fill Gaps knob, PG Vinyl Tool will extrapolate the signal in the vicinity of the click,
synthesizing a “guess” at what the signal might have been in the tiny muted region. If you set Fill Gaps to 100, it
will insert this extrapolated guess at the same level as the original signal. This allows many ticks to be snipped from
a dirty record, without reducing the high frequency content.
One might encounter a badly damaged record where the audio is so damaged that the guesses are not good enough.
In these problem cases, try setting Fill Gaps to 70, or 50, filling the gaps with lower-amplitude guesses, which may
sound less obnoxious.
Set Fill Gaps to 100, unless it sounds bad.
DeClick Checkbox
Enable the DeClick section. PG Vinyl Tool defines clicks as midrange frequency defects, in the range of 500 Hz to
2000 Hz.
DeClick Amount
Adjust the sensitivity of what PG Vinyl Tool considers to be a click. At zero, nothing is removed. As the DeClick
Amount is increased, PG Vinyl Tool will mute more “click suspects.” If the control is set too high, it can partially
mute musical features, like snare drum hits. Adjust this control only high enough to remove clicks.
Note: A long-duration defect (longer than a couple of milliseconds) might sound like a click or pop until the high and mid
frequency defects have been fixed. On long-duration defects, the left-over defect might sound like a “thump.”
DeClick Activity
This displays the percentage of audio which is being muted. Except for very worn records, it is advisable to adjust
the DeClick Amount so that the DeClick Activity reads no higher than a few percent. On very good discs, one
might get “perfect” results with much less than one percent of DeClick Activity. Strive to mute only the minimum
necessary to clean your record.
NOTE: If DeClick is set outrageously high, the DeClick Activity reading can exceed 100 percent. This is not a bug. The DeClick
section makes two processing passes, in different frequency bands. It can happen that the first pass will “heal” a bad click, but
the next pass will “heal” the left-over residue of the click.
Sometimes a bad click will be repaired in multiple processing stages, until the defect can no longer be detected as a tick or click.
With absurdly high DeClick settings, the DeClick Activity can exceed 100 percent, because both stages incrementally repair the
same bad clicks.
DeClick Fill Gaps
When a click is detected, it is smoothly “snipped out” of the midrange spectrum, without affecting the lowerfrequencies at that point. A typical click might last 0.5 to 2 milliseconds. Each muted section is very short.
If Fill Gaps is set to zero, this small muted region is replaced by nothing. It behaves like a very brief mid-frequency
dropout. On a clean record, occasional muted clicks are never noticed. But on a dirty scratched disc, if many snips
are made, it can sound like a reduction in high and mid frequencies.
As you increase the Fill Gaps knob, PG Vinyl Tool extrapolates the midrange signal in the vicinity of the click,
synthesizing a guess of what the signal might have been in the tiny muted region. If you set Fill Gaps to 100, it will
insert this extrapolated guess at the same level as the original signal. This allows many clicks to be snipped from a
dirty record, without reducing the mid-frequency content.
On many recordings, the extrapolated guesses are quite good. Frequent clicks can often be removed without audible
side-effects.
426
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
One might encounter a badly damaged record where the audio is so damaged that the guesses are not good enough
to be completely transparent.
In these problem cases, you could try setting Fill Gaps to 70, or 50, filling the gaps with lower-amplitude guesses,
which may sound less obnoxious.
Set Fill Gaps to 100, unless it sounds bad.
Smoothing
Some badly damaged records (particularly worn-out 45's and 78's) have high frequency noise approaching “crackle
on steroids.” The surface noise sounds like bacon frying. Crackle atop crackle, atop even more crackle.
The Smoothing section could be useful with severe surface noise. The Smoothing section is a very gentle Gaussian
low pass filter with 6 selectable intensities.
Gaussian low pass filters are “about as good as it gets” for attenuating random noise while having minimal effect on
music transients.
However, a Gaussian filter is still a low pass filter. All low pass filters reduce high frequencies along with surface
noise. You should only enable the Smoothing section if it is necessary for a badly damaged record. Experiment
with the Smoothing Level to find an acceptable tradeoff between reduction in surface noise versus reduction of
musical high frequencies.
DeNoise Checkbox
PG Vinyl Tool DeNoise is a “hiss gate.” It gradually attenuates quiet High Frequencies below the Denoise
Threshold. Think of it as a sliding high frequency dynamics expander.
Many vinyl discs were made from reel-to-reel tape masters. The best quality reel-to-reel tape recorders of
yesteryear had more hiss than modern digital recorders. A vinyl disc in excellent condition could contain an
accurate copy of the original tape hiss. In some cases, carefully adjusted DeNoise may give a perceived
improvement over the original noise level.
DeNoising may also be beneficial on low level disc surface noise (slightly worn discs). If you have low level
“frying bacon” surface noise, DeNoise might work better than Smoothing.
With loud “frying bacon” surface noise, you could try a judicious combination of Smoothing and DeNoise.
DeNoise Amount
This control sets the DeNoise threshold, in dB.
For instance, if you set it to -40 dB, high frequencies louder than -40 dB are passed unaltered. High frequencies
quieter than -46 dB are completely silenced. Levels between -40 and -46 dB are gradually faded down to complete
silence.
If the audio level at 8000 Hz happens to be below threshold, but the audio level at 4000 Hz happens to be above
threshold, the 8000 Hz signal would be muted but the 4000 Hz signal would pass un-altered. This is “Multi Band
Single-Ended Noise Reduction.”
The DeNoise section can slide the filter all the way down to 500 Hz; so on “silent” sections of a record, the DeNoise
silence can be pretty silent.
Carefully adjust the Denoise Amount so that desirable high frequencies in the music are minimally affected, but hiss
in the quiet sections of the music is removed. Even a 1 dB difference can be easy to hear when tweaking the
Denoise Amount. Many high fidelity vinyl records didn't have much information higher than 10 KHz (another
common mastering decision in the good old days). On many records, frequencies above 10 KHz can be squelched
most of the time without noticeably affecting the sound.
A suggestion for tweaking the DeNoise Amount; first increase the setting until the music is obviously losing high
frequencies. Then gradually reduce the level until the music is unaffected. This can ensure that any noise below the
minimum music level is exterminated. Be sure to check the DeNoise Amount against the quietest parts of the
recording, because the quiet locations are most likely to be affected if the DeNoise Amount has been set too high.
Conclusion
PG Vinyl Tool offers many tools which can clean vinyl records.
But there is a limit what can be done for severely damaged discs (without investing in very expensive tools). On
very damaged records, you may be forced to decide between a “natural” sound which contains a few residual
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
427
defects, versus a more heavily processed sound which has collected new annoying artifacts to replace the old
annoying defects.
PG RTA DirectX Plug-In
The PG RTA Real Time Analyzer plug-in displays a third-octave frequency graph of a single track or the entire mix,
to find proper equalization settings.
The PG Real Time Analyzer is ONLY a frequency measurement tool. PG RTA never modifies the audio.
Control Descriptions
Enable Plug-in Checkbox
Toggle the checkbox to turn the RTA ON or OFF.
PG RTA only does processing when:
1. The plug-in is enabled.
2. The plug-in is visible.
If PG RTA is not enabled or it is not visible, it does not add to the computer load during playback.
It does no harm to leave several instances of the plug-in assigned to various Tracks, Aux Returns, or Masters.
When you don’t have the plug-in visible on-screen, it will not load down the computer.
Frequency Resolution
The Octave button displays ten bands, representing the level of each octave in the audio. The Third-Octave button
displays 28 bands, representing the level of each third of an octave in the audio.
There may be situations where it is more useful to have a “general” overview at octave resolution, but the main
reason you might prefer Octave resolution is to reduce the CPU load. Compared to third-octave resolution, Octave
resolution only presents one third of the computer load.
Channel View
Channel View is only meaningful when metering a stereo track, or Aux/Master inserts (which are almost always
stereo). The Channel View setting has no effect on a mono track.
If metering a stereo insert, select the Left+Right button to view the summed frequency response of both the Left and
Right channels. Select the Left or Right buttons to view only one of the channels.
Zoom In/Out (Adjust the vertical amplitude resolution in dB.)
If a track has wide dynamics, zoom out to see all the bands without scrolling. If zoomed out too far, it can be
difficult to visually judge frequency levels. All the bands may appear about the same level.
Zoom In to see the best amplitude resolution. For instance, in the screenshot above, the display was zoomed to 3 dB
per ruler line, which emphasizes the differences between loud and quiet frequency bands.
428
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
View Range Scroll
Adjust the Scrollbar to center the display to taste. When zoomed-in on a quiet track (as in the screenshot above),
you would scroll down to get a good view of the frequency distribution.
PG Vocal Remover Plug-In
The PG Vocal Remover plug-in can reduce the level of lead vocals on
many recordings. You can fine-tune the vocal removal frequency
range, and optionally reduce the level of residual vocal reverb.
PG Vocal Remover exploits a common mixing technique; the lead
vocal is often center-panned (i.e., the left and right stereo channels
have identical vocal loudness). Typically the bass and kick drum is
centered, and often snare drum is centered. However, most
accompaniment instrumental tracks and backup harmony vocals are
side-panned (louder on one side than the other).
On typical recordings, we can subtract one stereo channel from the
other, which removes “common mode” lead vocal, but leaves sidepanned accompaniment tracks relatively unaffected.
Operation
Enable Plug-in Checkbox
Toggle the checkbox to compare the sound with/without the Vocal Remover activated.
Balance Slider
Fine-tune with the Balance slider. The center position is typically as good as it gets, but some recordings have
accidentally mismatched Left-Right balance. This is common with vinyl or cassette recordings, or CD-reissues of
Oldies. You may get improved vocal cancellation by twiddling the Pan slider to find a “sweet spot.”
Lo Limit and Hi Limit Sliders
Adjust these sliders to fit the nature of the vocal. The default settings are fine for many tunes. Frequencies below
the Lo Limit and above the Hi Limit are not processed, preserving fidelity except in the vocal midrange. Set the Lo
Limit slider just low enough to attenuate low vocal notes. Set the Hi Limit slider just high enough to attenuate high
vocal harmonics.
Obviously the best settings are different for a Baritone, Tenor, Alto, or Soprano voice. They are best set by ear.
Some sopranos have warm low tone, but some Baritones have very bright tone, so the mid-frequency vocal range
may be wider than expected.
Reduce Reverb Checkbox
Toggle the checkbox to compare with/without Reverb Reduction.
Reduce Reverb Amount Slider
Reverb Reduction behaves like a dynamics compressor, but the loudness of the center channel affects the loudness
of the side channels. Move the slider to the right to increase the effect. The effect compares the relative level
between center and side channels, so no processing takes place unless there is a significant difference between the
loudness of the center versus side channels.
Vocal is not the only sound which can trigger the compressor. Any loud midrange center instrument could trigger
the compressor, so if you crank the Amount too high, snare drum or other loud center instruments may unpleasantly
“pump” the side channels.
Reduce Reverb Attack Slider
Works like a compressor Attack control. Move the slider to the left for faster response to sudden increase in
loudness (when the vocalist starts a phrase). Move to the right for a slower response to sudden increase in loudness.
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
429
Reduce Reverb Release Slider
Works like a compressor Release control. Move to the left for faster recovery after the loudness diminishes (when
the vocalist ends a phrase). Move right for slower recovery.
Adjusting Reverb Reduction
Experiment to get a feel for what works. There may be some songs where the reverb can't be improved, and in those
cases just disable the Reduce Reverb Checkbox.
Some vocals have short pre-delay and reverb tails. Short attack and release would make sense.
Some songs (especially ballads) have loud “balloon” reverb tails with long pre-delay. Since the reverb comes in
after the vocal phrase begins, and lasts a long time after the vocal phrase ends, longer attack and release would make
sense. Adjust the Attack so that the compression kicks in about the same time as the pre-delay reverb, and adjust the
release long enough to hold back the reverb after a vocal line is finished.
Don't expect miracles. You can reduce the reverb level, but will rarely completely eliminate vocal reverb.
Judiciously use just enough compression to avoid ruining the overall fidelity.
Compare the dry sound against the processed sound. The maximum vocal reduction setting could be extreme
enough to ruin the instrumental quality. Sometimes it is better to allow some vocal leakage to achieve the bestsounding instrumental quality. Is it better to allow some low voice leakage to improve the bass response? Is it
better to allow some high voice leakage to improve the cymbals and acoustic guitar?
After the PG Vocal Remover is adjusted as good as it gets, try inserting an Equalizer plug-in downstream. Notch
some frequencies to improve the effect.
If the output amplitude is inconsistent, try inserting a compressor or peak limiter plug-in downstream.
Band-in-a-Box for iPhone
Band-in-a-Box for iPhone (BB iPhone) is an app for iOS devices including iPhone , iPad , and iPod Touch . The
BB iPhone version is meant to function as a client to the regular Band-in-a-Box desktop version. If you don't own a
copy of the BB Desktop software, the usefulness of the BB iPhone version will be quite limited.
Band-in-a-Box for iPhone is available from the Apple App Store, http://www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-iphone/.
If you have a copy of Band-in-a-Box 2011, then with the Band-in-a-Box iPhone version you can:
- Quickly transfer your existing library of songs from BB Desktop to BB iPhone, including chord lead sheets and
audio (M4A). See the chord lead sheets and play the songs anytime on your iPhone, without re-connecting to BB
Desktop.
- Enter songs from scratch on your BB iPhone by typing in chord symbols to the song.
- Generate audio on your BB iPhone for the songs by pressing play. The songs play on the iPhone and are stored on
the iPhone as M4A files. This connects across your home network or the internet to your desktop version of Bandin-a-Box
- Send songs from BB iPhone to BB Desktop.
Here are some typical uses for your BB iPhone version. This assumes that you have the BB Desktop version:
- Jim has entered lots of songs over the years into his BB Desktop version. He now wants to practice his guitar
playing on these tunes using only his BB iPhone. As a one-time procedure, at home (over his home network
WiFi) he first transfers his entire song library to BB iPhone, including lead sheets and audio. This takes about 10
seconds per song. Now he has his BB song library on his BB iPhone, and doesn't need to connect to his BB
Desktop again (unless he wants more songs, or to generate different chords for the songs). He plays the songs on
his iPhone, either using the iPhone speakers, headphones, or plugging the iPhone line out into his stereo system.
He will only ever need to connect to BB Desktop again if he wants to get more songs, or regenerate them in
different styles etc.
- Joan is playing a solo vocal gig, using BB iPhone as her backup band. She connects the iPhone audio out to the
PA system. A customer requests one of her compositions, a song that she knows, but doesn't have a backing band
arrangement for. On her break, she types in the chords to the song, presses PLAY, and the audio file generates and
is ready to play on her BB iPhone (by connecting to BB Desktop over the Internet). After the gig, she sends the
song to her BB Desktop, so that is available there too as part of her song library.
®
Program Tutorial
Instructions for using Band-in-a-Box iPhone version
430
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
®
®
Run the BB iPhone program by clicking on the icon. You will then see the Band-in-a-Box screen. This consists of:
- Top Toolbar area (File Mixer Settings Play/Stop Chord Keyboard).
- Title display line.
- Chords area.
If you want to edit information in a song, press the Chord Keyboard icon. This will open up the chord keyboard,
and also a “Song Parameters” section at the top to choose style, tempo and song form.
Let's open and play an existing song.
Press FILE and then OPEN. You will then see a list of the demo songs that are included with BB iPhone. You
should see “Blues Shuffle Demo” and “Jazz Swing Demo.” You will notice that these file names are in green. The
green indicates that audio (M4A) is available for these songs, and they are “ready-to-play” and don't have to be regenerated.
Choose “Jazz Swing Demo.” This song was previously generated using BB iPhone, and the arrangement was made
entirely from the chord progression. The arrangement sounds realistic because it is using the high quality
RealTracks present in Band-in-a-Box.
Press the Green PLAY button. (Note: If the play button is Red, it indicates that the song will need to be
generated, by connecting to BB Desktop).
Press STOP at any time.
Let's enter our own song from scratch.
We will enter a simple blues progression, which is 12 bars long, in the key of C.
Press File and then NEW.
Open up the Chord Keyboard, so that the song is editable.
Choose a style for the song. Press the Style button (at the left of the screen, below the title), then choose the genre
Blues, and select the style _BLSHUFF (Blues Shuffle) which is the 3rd one on the list.
Leave the tempo at the default of 140 (or change it by clicking on it).
Leave the key signature at C (or change it by clicking on it).
The song formula will say something like [1] [16] [3]. That means the song form begins at bar 1, and ends at bar
16, and repeats 3 times. Since this is a 12 bar blues (not 16 bars), we click on the “16” and change it to 12. We can
leave the number of repeats of the form at 3 (or change it by clicking on it).
Type in the chords. Click on bar 1 on the chord sheet. Then use the chord keyboard to type in a chord. To move
to a new bar, click on the bar so that the highlight bar moves to that bar. Once you are in the bar, type the chord on
the chord keyboard.
Type “C” in bar 1.
Type “F” in bar 5.
Type “C” in bar 7.
Type “G7” in bar 9 - do this by typing “G” and then “7.”
Type “F7” in bar 10.
Type “C” in bar 11.
Enter a title for your song. Call it “My Blues” and then save it by choosing File-Save.
That's it! You've entered your first song.
Close the Chords Keyboard window.
Now to hear your song, you are going to need to be connected to your Band-in-a-Box Desktop version.
Connecting to the BB Desktop Version
Since the song has not been generated yet, the PLAY button will be RED, indicating that the song audio needs to be
generated. Press the red Play button, and this will launch the Server Connection dialog. Here you will either enter
the IP that is displayed from your home network (if BB Desktop is on the same home network as your iPhone), or
your IP address of your BB Desktop version (or router). Details of router setup are available on the File-Help menu.
Once you have entered the Server IP, then press OK, and then enter the password (the default password is admin, so
if you haven't changed it, that will work).
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
431
You will then see “Loading styles” … this only happens when it is a new connection, and BB desktop is telling BB
iPhone what styles are available.
After that, you will see “Generating song” and then “Downloading file.” After a wait of 15-30 seconds, your song
will start playing. Press STOP to stop the song. At this point, the song “My Blues” now has audio saved with it,
and will be ready to play next time without connecting to the BB Desktop version.
Let's get an existing song from the BB Desktop version.
Press File and then Server, then “Get Song(s).” You will then see a list of the songs that are available on the BB
Desktop program (i.e., the songs present in the BB2Go folder inside the BB folder).
Choose a song, and then press DOWNLOAD. This will download the song. Press PLAY to generate it, and hear it.
That concludes the tutorial.
432
Chapter 13: Tools, Utilities, and Apps
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
The StyleMaker
The StyleMaker is the section of the program that allows you to create brand new styles or edit existing styles. This
is done by recording patterns for each of the drums, bass, piano, guitar and strings parts, or by entering these parts in
the StyleMaker Pattern Editor Notation window. If you don't want an instrument in a style you don't need to
record any patterns for it.
The StyleMaker window is accessed by pressing the [StyleMaker] toolbar button on the main screen
and selecting the Edit current style in Stylemaker menu command.
The window is also accessible from the Styles menu by choosing any one of:
- New – Make a New Style to create an entirely new style from a blank template.
- Edit a Style (Alt+F9 keys) to open any style for editing.
- Edit Current Style (Ctrl+Shift+F9 keys) to open the current style in use for editing.
StyleMaker Pull-Down Menus
The StyleMaker has a separate pull-down menu to the main program. Many of the menu commands can be
accessed directly with the on-screen buttons in the StyleMaker window.
File
Save Style (F2)
Saves the style, using the current style name. This will overwrite a previous style!
Save Style As (Alt+F2) This saves the style, allowing you to rename the style if desired.
Exit (Alt+F4)
Exits the StyleMaker, prompting you to Save the Style. If you don't save the style upon
exit you will lose any changes that you've made.
Edit
Cut Pattern
Cuts whichever pattern is highlighted in a row.
Copy Pattern
Copies a pattern to the clipboard.
Paste
Pastes a single pattern from the clipboard. Can paste between styles by opening and
closing styles and copying and pasting.
Delete Pattern (Delete) Erases a Pattern. Can also delete a Pattern by typing a weight of 0.
Cut from Notation
Highlight and cut notes from a pattern.
Copy from Notation
Highlight and copy notes in a pattern.
Paste from Notation
Paste notes into a pattern.
Pattern
Play Pattern (F4)
Plays the pattern using the currently selected style. Loops after 2 bars. If you want to
play the song while the StyleMaker is open, you need to press the PLAY button on the
Main screen, as the F4 key will not play the song, it will play the StyleMaker pattern.
Play Pattern on Chord This plays back a pattern as it would sound in a song on a certain chord. This is useful to
(F8)
see the effects of smooth voice leading or macro notes in a pattern.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
433
Record Pattern (F3)
Options (F10)
Quantize Pattern
(Alt+Q)
Slide Pattern
Volume adjust (this
pattern)
(Ctrl+Alt+W)
Volume adjust (this
row)(Alt+V)
Volume Adjust (all
patterns) (Alt+J)
Legato Adjust
Records a pattern. For drums it enters the STEP EDIT Drum Editor. For the other
instruments, it starts a real time record (2 bar lead in then record 2 bar pattern).
Allows you to set or change options (masks) for a specific pattern. This same dialog also
appears at the end of recording a pattern.
Quantifies a pattern to a given resolution. You can apply a percentage setting to adjust
the “strength” of the quantization.
This time shifts the pattern X ticks (120 ticks per beat).
The Pattern | Volume adjust (this pattern) command displays the average velocity
(volume) of the pattern and lets you set a new volume. Styles sound smoother if all
patterns of one instrument are at similar volumes.
Pattern | Volume adjust (this row) sets the volume of all patterns in the selected row.
You can quickly set the volume for an entire instrument by using the Pattern | Volume
Adjust (all patterns) command. For example, if the strings are too loud, turn the [Strings]
button “on,” select Volume Adjust (all patterns), then type a number from 0 to 127 lower
than the number that is currently displayed.
This adjusts the legato of each note. Units are 120 ticks/beat. Legato is the length of each
note. Useful if you find a pattern that's too percussive or too legato.
Transpose Pattern
This transposes the pattern X semitones. For example, +12 would transpose the pattern
one octave up.
Trim Pattern
Velocity Adjust
This deletes notes from the end of a Pattern.
This function adds or reduces the velocity of a single pattern, row of patterns, or all
patterns in an instrument. Choose the menu items for 1 pattern, 1 row, or the whole
instrument and input the velocity change to make for the pattern(s). This will add or
subtract a certain velocity value to the patterns, useful for reducing or increasing the
volume of an entire instrument or fine-tuning the velocities in a style.
When this menu item is selected, only the MIDI note number that is specified will have its
velocity adjusted, unless a note number of 0 is entered. If the note number is entered as 0
then all notes in the pattern(s) will have their velocity adjusted.
This allows you to import pattern(s) from the Melody track, MIDI file, or MIDI data on
the clipboard. The dialog that appears allows you to select the # of patterns you want to
import. Normally this will be one. If it is more than one (say, 4), then 4 consecutive
patterns would be imported on to the current row of the StyleMaker.
When adjusting
velocities, use a single
note only
Import Pattern
- from MIDI File
- from Clipboard
- from Melody
Style
Patch Assignments
(Alt+F10)
Assign patches to a style. See Patch Assignment dialog.
Misc. Settings
(Ctrl+F10)
Assign miscellaneous settings to a style. See Misc. Settings dialog.
Next Instrument (F6)
Previous Instrument
(Shift+F6)
Changes the instrument setting between Drums/ Bass/ Piano/ Guitar/ Strings.
Import Instr. from Style Import an instrument from one style into another. See Import Instrument dialog.
(Alt +F3)
Import Drums from
.MID to Drum Kit
434
Since you can define a custom drum kit for the grid editor, this function allows you to use
the instruments that are found in a MIDI file. A quick way of building up a kit. For
example, if you are making a Latin style called “mambo” you could load in a Mambo
MIDI file that you made, and then the StyleMaker’s “Style | Import notes from .MID to
Drum Grid…” menu command would extract the drum notes from the MIDI file, and put
them on the drum grid.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Define a Custom Drum Since the Drum Grid Editor uses 19 instruments, this allows you to define which
Kit
instruments will be used, and create a custom drum kit.
Copy all “a” substyle
patterns to “b”
Copies all “a” substyle patterns to “b” slots. This feature is handy when only a volume
increase tweaking is required for the “b” substyle.
Copy Current Row to
Row ___
Copies an entire row of patterns to the new row specified.
Delete all Patterns in
this Row
Deletes all of the patterns in the selected row.
Delete Instrument (all
patterns, all rows for
this instrument)
Completely removes the selected instrument from the style leaving rows of blank cells in
the StyleMaker grid. This function is handy if you need to remove an instrument from a
style.
Analogous to a “Spell Checker,” this function analyzes your style-in-progress and
identifies possible problems.
The Style Checker results are output to a text window, allowing you to examine the patterns and fix them if
required. It identifies patterns that might be “too busy” or incorrect macro notes etc. in a text report about the style,
listing possible problems with the style. Here is a sample printout.
-----Start of style checking ------JAZQUINT.STY
Drums: Row 1, Column 1 First pattern of instrument shouldn't contain masks in it. It should be generic.
Bass: Row 1, Column 1 First pattern of instrument shouldn't contain masks in it. It should be generic.
Piano: Row 1, Column 3 Non Chord tones found (other than C, E, G, Bb) and pattern is not set to a chord mask, riff
based or MACRO
…etc., etc.
-----end of style checking -----Style Checker
Style Summary
This displays a text window summary of the style, including lots of information about the
style such as # patterns, # patterns for each substyle, patches, pushes, volume changes, guitar
patterns, and more.
Add required 8 beat
and blank patterns
Styles must have some 8-beat patterns and at least one “a” substyle pattern if “b” substyle
patterns are present. This will create them by duplicating lower rows.
Flip current
instrument
Swaps the “a” substyle and “b” substyle patterns for the current instrument.
Flip entire style
Swaps the “a” substyle and “b” substyle patterns for the entire style.
Set embellish …
current instrument
Opens options for embellishing the currently selected instrument part. Embellish does not
apply to bass and drums.
Set embellish …all
Opens options for embellishing all Piano, Guitar, and Strings parts. Embellish does not
Piano/Guitar/Strings apply to bass and drums.
Reduce style (to 16th
notes)
For styles that you want to reduce from 8th notes to 16th notes, e.g., an 8th note style at a
tempo of 260 to a 16th note style at a tempo of 130.
Expand style (to 8th
notes)
To expand a 16th note style to 8th notes, e.g., a 16th note style at a tempo of 130 into an 8th
note style at a tempo of 260.
Help
These menu items are quick links to the main Help and to StyleMaker topics in particular.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
435
Index (F1)
Topic Search (Ctrl+F1)
StyleMaker Overview
Tutorial 5 Editing an Existing Style
Tutorial 6 Making a New Style
Drum Patterns
Bass Patterns
Piano/Guitar/String Patterns
How To (Shift+F1)
StyleMaker Toolbar Buttons
These options are also available from the StyleMaker window pull-down menus.
Saves and overwrites existing style using current name.
Saves the style, but allows you to rename it first.
Plays the current pattern.
Stops the playback of the current pattern.
Plays the current pattern over a specific chord.
(Drum Grid Editor)
(Record)
(Notation)
(Options)
(Quantize)
(Volume)
(Legato)
(Patch)
(Miscellaneous)
Allows creation or editing of a drum grid pattern.
Begins live recording of a Bass/Piano/Guitar/Strings pattern after a 2-bar intro.
Displays current pattern in notation, allowing editing of pattern in notation.
Change the volume of the selected pattern.
Increases or decreases note durations for the pattern.
Assign instruments to the style.
Overall style settings including master volumes.
Assign instruments to the style.
Miscellaneous settings for the style.
Plays the current song using the new style you're making.
Exits the StyleMaker and closes the window.
A right-mouse menu has options to Play Pattern, Play
Pattern on Chord, or Mute Pattern.
436
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Exploring the StyleMaker
To become familiar with the StyleMaker, it is easiest to begin with an existing style and examine its makeup. This
example uses ZZLITROK.STY, a basic Light Rock style. Patterns are played back from the main StyleMaker
screen.
The StyleMaker displays current patch numbers for the parts on the main window.
Band-in-a-Box StyleMaker window showing Drums patterns window.
The StyleMaker always opens to the Drums window, as indicated by the highlighted button to the left of Drums.
Other parts are selected by clicking on their buttons, just as in the main Band-in-a-Box screen.
The rows of cells are for the musical patterns that have been recorded for the style. Each numbered cell is a pattern;
the blank cells are for new patterns. The numbers are the weights assigned to the pattern, a higher number, or
weight, means that a pattern will be played more often. The average weight is 5.
In the example above, you will notice that there are 4 rows of drum patterns.
- A pattern is the row to record drum patterns for the A substyle.
- B pattern is the row to record for the B substyle.
- Drum fills are recorded on the drum fills row.
- End drums are ending patterns (2 consecutive patterns of 1 bar).
This style shown has nine drum patterns for its “a” substyle, and eight more for the “b” substyle variation. It also
has eight drum fills and four ending patterns.
What’s a pattern?
A pattern is one musical figure, a single element of a musical style. When Band-in-a-Box combines the various note
patterns into arrangements we hear what the different instrumentalists would play for a song in that style.
Drum Patterns
In our example, the drum patterns are what the drummer plays for a Light Rock song.
You can view any drum pattern in the row if you click on the box and then on the drum grid button to
open the Drum Pattern Editor.
The Drum Pattern Editor grid shows which drums in an 18-piece kit are being played on what beats and with what
velocity (force) they are being hit. Each group of columns separated by a vertical line represents one beat in a fourbeat bar, sub-divided into 16th notes. If there was a number in each cell across the row for any instrument, that
instrument would play sixteenth notes for the whole bar.
In a swing style each beat would be sub-divided into eighth-note triplets, with three columns to a beat.
Let’s examine the pattern in detail.
The highlighted cell shows that the Bass Drum is being played on beat 1 at a velocity of 83. (The loudest possible
note has a velocity of 127, while 0 is silent.) Moving to the right, you will see that the Bass Drum plays again on the
second eighth note of beat 2 with a velocity of 73, and then on beat 3 with a velocity of 93, the familiar “boom-baboom” Pop/ Bossa Nova beat.
The Closed High Hat plays straight eighth notes at different velocities.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
437
The Snare Drum plays on beats 2 and 4 in a typical Light Rock backbeat.
You can easily create new patterns of your own by selecting an empty box in a row of patterns and then clicking the
[Rec] button to open a blank Drum Pattern Editor grid. To hear the pattern you have made click on the [Play]
button. Click on the [Help] button for more tips and details.
Defining a Custom Drum Kit
To set up a custom drum kit, select the menu item Style | Define Custom Drum Kit in the StyleMaker window to
launch the Define Custom Drum Kit dialog. You can choose the 18 drum instruments to be used on the drum grid.
Any of the GM instruments may be chosen. Kits may be saved and loaded to disk
In defining a custom drum kit in the StyleMaker, you can use the drum notes found in a MIDI file.
For example, if you are making a Latin style called “mambo,” you could
load in a Mambo MIDI file that you made, and then the [Import notes from
.MID…] function would extract the drum notes from the MIDI file, and put them on the drum grid.
438
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Drum Screen Alternate Notes
What are alternate notes?
Alternate notes can be entered for any note. This tells Band-in-a-Box to randomly choose a different note to the one
specified. For example:
- You might want a note to be a closed high hat 80% of the time, and an open high hat 20% of the time.
- You might want a note to be high conga 60% and low conga 40% of the time.
- Or high tom 30% of the time and NO note the other 70%
This allows one drum pattern to sound like many, because it will be played different ways depending on which of
the notes are picked.
How To Put In An Alternate Note
Click on the cell in the Drum Pattern Editor where you want to add an alternate note. Then press the [Alt.] button
or press the F5 key to open the Alternate Drum Note dialog.
Type in the #s as you see here.
- The Alternate will play 50% of the time.
- The Alternate note #4 is Open High Hat (you will see the list of
note #s at the side of the screen.
- The Alternate note will play at a velocity of 90.
Check the “Double note (32nd note)” checkbox to have the
alternate note play as a doubled 32nd note.
“Omit first note” works together with the Double note feature to
play only the second 32nd note.
When you exit the dialog you will
see that the note cell now has a red border indicating that an
alternate note is located there.
Tip: All Band-in-a-Box styles must have at least one drum pattern, even if there are no drums in the style. In that case, open the
Drum Grid Editor and enter a value of 0 on beat 1 of the pattern for any drum and then save the pattern.
Click on the [Exit] button to return to the Drum
window.
The Drum Pattern Options dialog will open, click
on [OK] and it will close.
These options determine how and when an individual
drum pattern gets played.
Relative Weight (Usual Setting =5)
Relative Weight is the number that you assign to the pattern from 1-9. Numbers from 1-8 indicate how often you
want the pattern to be played in relation to the other patterns on the same row. A weight of 9 is a special setting that
ensures that the pattern will ALWAYS be played. Patterns assigned a weight of 9 usually have other options set
which instruct the pattern to only be played at certain times (bar after a drum fill for example).
Playback Bar Mask (Usual Setting =0)
Playback Bar Mask determines on what bars of the song the pattern will play. The bar #s are counted relative to the
last part marker. Bar 1 is the first bar after a part marker for example. A bar mask setting of 0 is the default. This
lets the pattern be played at any time.
Other bar mask settings:
- Bar 1 of 4
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
439
- Bar 2 of 4
- Bar 3 of 4
- Bar 4 of 4
- Bar 5 of 8
- Bar 6 of 8
- Bar 7 of 8
- Bar 8 of 8
- pre-fill - refers to the bar before a fill
- fill - refers to the bar of a fill. This is not applicable to drums because there is a special row for drum fills.
- post-fill - refers to the bar after a fill, which is the same as the first bar after a part marker.
Drum Fill On Substyle (Usual Setting =0)
This setting is only relevant on the Drum Fills line. It lets you specify if you want the drum fill to be used on the “a”
substyle, the “b” substyle, or either. The default setting is “either.”
Late Triplets (Usual Setting =0)
This is only relevant in drum patterns with time base =12 (triplet feel). If you want the 3rd triplet to be played late,
as is usually done in slow Jazz styles, then set a number from 0-10. The default is 0 = not late at all. A typical
setting for a slow triplet style is triplets late =5 where one unit is 120/beat.
This type of pattern is found in earlier Band-in-a-Box styles. Later styles use live MIDI drums, which are edited as
notation. The same options are used.
Editing Live Drums Patterns (or patterns imported from a MIDI file)
Live drum patterns are recorded in real time from a MIDI controller - either MIDI drum pads or a velocity sensitive
MIDI keyboard. You can also import MIDI patterns from any standard MIDI file with the StyleMaker’s Pattern |
Import Pattern from MIDI file command.
To edit these patterns, press the notation button in the StyleMaker toolbar to open a special StyleMaker
Pattern Editor Notation Window. Edit the drum notes in the Editable Notation or Staff Roll view, just
as you would edit regular notation.
RealDrums Styles
RealDrums are actual recordings of studio drummers, pieced together by Band-in-a-Box to create a unique “real”
drum track that is played along with the MIDI tracks created by Band-in-a-Box styles.
It is possible to assign RealDrums (audio drums) to a particular Band-in-a-Box style in the Misc.
Style Settings dialog.
440
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
RealDrums Settings (Audio Drums, instead of MIDI drums)
Enable “Style uses RealDrums (audio drums)” in order to designate a RealDrums style, and then press the [RD]
button to select your RealDrums style. Whenever the current style is played, it will use your RealDrums style
provided that RealDrums are enabled in the RealDrums Settings dialog. There are also additional volume controls
here.
To make your overall dB setting a bit higher or lower for this particular Band-in-a-Box style you can enter a setting
here. There are also fields for adjusting the “a” or “b” subsection volumes only.
If you remove the check mark from either “Allow “a” substyle RealDrums” or “Allow “b” substyle RealDrums” the
one with the checkmark remaining will be used for the entire song, regardless of what substyle is currently called for
in the song.
See the following tutorial on Making RealDrums Styles.
Bass Patterns
Click on the button to the left of Bass to open the bass pattern window. Notice that the status bar gives the Row and
Column number for the current pattern.
You will see that this window is different from the Drums window, it has rows for different lengths of patterns – 8
beat, 4 beat, 2 beat and 1 beat – for both the A and B substyles, and a row for endings.
To see a bass pattern, select any numbered box and click on the notation button. The StyleMaker Pattern
Editor will open, showing the selected pattern as notation.
Click on this button to enter the Editable Notation mode. In this mode notes can be edited, added, or deleted
as in the regular notation.
A new pattern can be created by selecting an empty cell in the StyleMaker grid and then opening the StyleMaker
Pattern Editor window to enter notes with your mouse. A quicker way to make a new pattern is to record it live
from a MIDI keyboard or any other MIDI controller that is connected to your computer.
Recording a New Pattern
New patterns are recorded by playing them live in real time as the StyleMaker plays an accompaniment on the
drums and other instrument parts for the style. If you don’t want to hear other parts - say you just want to play along
to the drums – any part can be muted with a right mouse click on the instrument name in the Band-in-a-Box main
screen.
Go to the correct row for the length of the pattern you want to record (8 beat, 4 beat, etc.) and click on an empty cell.
Recording is started with the [Rec] button. When it is clicked, the drums and any other parts that are present will
start to play but recording has not begun.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
441
The StyleMaker gives you a 2-bar intro to get ready to record the new pattern, so you can play along with the intro
for a “flying start” or just use the 2 bars to count yourself in. Recording then begins and continues for another 2
bars, no matter what length of pattern you are recording. If you are just recording a 4 beat pattern you will still hear
the 2-bar intro and then another 2 bars of accompaniment while the pattern records. You would just play your 4 beat
pattern and then wait until recording stops.
Tip: Remember that patterns can be edited in the StyleMaker Pattern Editor, so you don’t have to redo an otherwise good take
because of a small mistake.
When recording stops, a Record Options dialog
opens. The options determine how and when
each individual Bass pattern gets played. They
can always be changed after the style has been
saved.
Click on OK to save the pattern with the default
options. Click Cancel to erase the take and
record the pattern again.
To hear the pattern you have just recorded click
on the [Play] button or, better yet, click on the
[Chord] button in the StyleMaker toolbar to
hear how it sounds playing different chords.
Bass Pattern Options
Relative Weight (Usual Setting = 5)
Set this # higher/lower if you want the pattern to be played more/less often than the other patterns on the same row.
This number is also displayed on the main StyleMaker screen. A setting of 9 (always) is a special setting that
instructs the pattern to always be played instead of the other patterns on the same row. These patterns always have
other options set which specify the times that this pattern would be eligible to be played.
Playback Bar Mask (Usual Setting = 0)
Playback Bar Mask determines on what bars of the song the pattern will play. The bar #s are counted relative to the
last part marker, and range from 1-8. Bar 1 is the first bar after a part marker for example.
Other bar mask settings:
- Bar 1 of 4
- Bar 2 of 4
- Bar 3 of 4
- Bar 4 of 4
- Bar 5 of 8
- Bar 6 of 8
- Bar 7 of 8
- Bar 8 of 8
Special Bar Masks:
- pre-fill - refers to the bar before a fill
- fill - refers to the bar of a fill (this allows you to put in “bass fills” for example)
- post-fill - refers to the bar after a fill, which is the same as the first bar after a part marker.
Playback Beat Mask (Usual Setting = 0)
Set the beat mask to a beat from 1-4 if you want the pattern to only be played on certain beat #s. 1= Beat 1, 2= Beat
2, 3= Beat 3, 4= Beat 4.
442
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Roman Numeral Mask (Usual Setting = 0)
If you have a pattern that should only be played on the I chord or the IV chord (of the key), you can use these
Roman Numeral Masks. This setting is rarely used.
Chord Type (Usual Setting = Any)
This setting is very useful. This allows you to record patterns that will only work on certain types of chords. For
example you can record a specific riff that will only work on a minor 7th chord. You then play the pattern on a
Cmin 7 (not a C7). There are chord types for most types of chords.
Interval To Next (Usual Setting = Any Interval)
This setting allows you to restrict the pattern to be played only if the next chord is a certain interval away. For
example you can record a bass pattern that is walking up a fourth and then assign an Interval of Up 4th so that the
pattern would only be played if you're going up a 4th.
Half Octave range (Usual Setting = Full Octave)
This is a new setting in the StyleMaker. Usually a pattern will be picked on any of the 12 roots. You can select a
smaller range, either A to D, or Eb to Ab. In this case the pattern would only be picked if the chord in the song is in
that range.
Play Pattern Pushed how often (Usual Setting = 0 %)
# Ticks to Push Pattern (Usual Setting = 0)
Pushed patterns are patterns that are played before the chord begins. Jazz styles typically use pushed patterns for the
piano. Patterns are recorded in the normal way (non pushed) and then you assign the % of time and amount (in
ticks, 120 ticks = 1 beat) to push the pattern. The pattern only plays pushed in the song, not when played in the
StyleMaker window.
OK to use Macro Notes (Bass Usual Setting = No)
Bass macros are special notes that you record. When they are played back they are replaced by a function.
List of Bass Macro Notes
Note# 72 (C): Pop Walking Note(s). Playback with the [F8] key and note #72 will be replaced by up to 4
intelligent notes per pattern walking in a Pop/Country mode to the next chord.
Note# 76 (E): Note a semitone below root of next chord.
Note# 77 (F): Root of next chord.
Note # 78 (F#): Note a semitone ABOVE root of next chord.
Note # 79 (G): Best fifth (a fifth above or below the root depending on how high the root is. Stays on the root if
in a slash chord (C7 /E).
Remember that to get Bass Macros working you must:
- Hit the right note # (you may be out by an octave).
- Set “OK to use macros” to “Yes.”
- Playback the Pattern with [F8] key or [CHORD] button. The [F4] playback key gives you a literal playback with
strange sounding high macro notes.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
443
Chord Selection Dialog
This section is accessed by the [Chord] button,
the F8 key or by choosing Pattern | Play Pattern on Chord
from the pull-down menu.
This plays back a pattern on a specific chord that you
choose in either the key of C or the key of F. You can hear
what patterns will sound like in a style by “trying them out”
on certain songs. Macro notes recorded in a pattern will
play their corresponding chords; smooth voice leading is
demonstrated etc.
Just choose a chord and press OK.
Note: Does not apply to drum patterns, since drum patterns
don't play any differently on different chords.
Piano, Guitar, and String Patterns
Piano, Guitar and String patterns are recorded in the same way as live Drums or Bass patterns, but with added
features and options. Guitar styles can be created with authentic strumming and rhythm patterns using correct fret
positions.
Piano/Guitar String Pattern Options dialog
The StyleMaker shows summary information about non-default
settings in a pattern at the top title bar, so they are easy to spot.
Relative Weight (Usual Setting = 5)
Set this # higher/lower if you want the pattern to be played more/less often than the other patterns on the same row.
This number is also displayed on the main StyleMaker screen. A setting of 9 (always) is a special setting that
instructs the pattern to always be played instead of the other patterns on the same row. These patterns always have
other options set which specify the times that this pattern would be eligible to be played.
Playback Bar Mask (Usual Setting =0)
Playback Bar Mask determines on what bars of the song the pattern will play. The bar #s are counted relative to the
last part marker, and range from 1-8. Bar 1 is the first bar after a part marker for example.
Other bar mask settings:
444
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
- Bar 1 of 4
- Bar 2 of 4
- Bar 3 of 4
- Bar 4 of 4
- Bar 5 of 8
- Bar 6 of 8
- Bar 7 of 8
- Bar 8 of 8
Special Bar Masks:
- pre-fill - refers to the bar before a fill
- fill - refers to the bar of a fill (this allows you to put in “bass fills” for example)
- post-fill - refers to the bar after a fill, which is the same as the first bar after a part marker.
Playback Beat Mask (Usual Setting=0)
Set the beat mask to a beat from 1-4 if you want the pattern to only be played on certain beat #s. 1= Beat 1, 2= Beat
2, 3= Beat 3, 4= Beat 4.
Roman Numeral Mask (Usual Setting = 0)
If you have a pattern that should only be played on the I chord or the IV chord (of the key), you can use these
Roman Numeral Masks. This setting is rarely used.
Chord Type (Usual Setting = Any)
This setting is very useful because it allows you to record patterns that will only work on certain types of chords.
For example you can record a specific riff that will only work on a minor 7th chord. You then play the pattern on a
Cmin 7, not a C7. There are chord types for most types of chords.
Interval To Next Chord (Usual Setting = Any Interval)
This setting allows you to restrict the pattern to be played only if the next chord is a certain interval away. For
example you can record a bass pattern that is walking up a fourth and then assign an Interval of Up 4th so that the
pattern would only be played if you're going up a 4th.
Half Octave Range (Usual Setting = Full Octave)
Usually a pattern will be picked on any of the 12 roots. You can select a smaller range, either A to D or Eb to Ab.
In this case the pattern would only be picked if the chord in the song is in that range.
Play Pattern Pushed – how often (Usual Setting = 0 %)
# Ticks to push pattern (Usual Setting = 0)
Pushed patterns are patterns that are played before the chord begins. Jazz styles typically use pushed patterns for the
piano. Patterns are recorded in the normal way (non pushed) and then you assign the % of time and amount (in
ticks, 120 ticks = 1 beat) to push the pattern. The pattern only plays pushed in the song, not when played in the
StyleMaker window.
OK to use Macro Notes (Usual Setting = No)
Piano Macros are special notes that you record. When they are played back they are replaced by a function, as listed
below.
List of Piano Macro Notes (same as Guitar/String macro notes)
MIDI Note # 83 B: Pop Chord Diatonic Below
MIDI Note # 84 C: Pop Chord
MIDI Note # 85 C#: Pop Chord Diatonic Above
MIDI Note # 88 E: Jazz Chord Chromatic Below
MIDI Note # 89 F: Jazz Chord
MIDI Note # 90 F#: Jazz Chord Chromatic Above
Remember that to get macro notes working you must:
- Hit the right note # (you may be out by an octave).
- Set OK to use macros to Yes.
- Playback the pattern with [F8] key or [CHORD] button. The [F4] playback key gives you a literal playback with
strange sounding high macro notes.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
445
Check “Use Guitar Macros” to enable guitar macro notes for this pattern.
Click the [Guitar Options..] button to specify guitar macro note parameters.
Transpose Root Pattern (Usual Setting = No)
This is a rarely used setting. It only is relevant when voice leading is set to smooth. It determines where the center
of the pattern is considered to be. If set to “Yes,” the center of the pattern will be moved to the key of the song.
Embellish Pattern (Usual Setting = None)
If set to “embellish 1” the pattern will be embellished. This is useful in Jazz styles. “Embellish 1” embellishes the
chord once in the pattern, whereas “embellish 2” changes the embellishment during the pattern.
Transpose Down Limit (Usual Setting = 6)
This setting is quite useful. It controls the range that the pattern will be played over. For example, if the transpose
down range is set to =2 the pattern (recorded in C) will be transposed a maximum of 2 semitones down, and
therefore up to 10 semitones up to play all 12 possible roots of the chords.
Voice Leading (Usual Setting=Transpose)
The easiest type of voice leading is transpose only. If the notes C-E-G-Bb were played as a C7 pattern, then Bandin-a-Box would transpose that voicing to an F7 chord as F-A-C-Eb, which is fine but not very smooth.
A more pleasant setting would be “smooth” voice leading. Then the F7 would be voiced automatically as C-Eb-FA.
“Riff based” voicing is used when you have recorded a pattern with a melodic riff in it. This setting ensures that
Band-in-a-Box will not try to transform any of the notes into chord tones.
Guitar Styles with the StyleMaker
Guitar Styles with incredible authenticity are possible in the StyleMaker. You can use new macro notes to be played
back as a Jazz, Folk, or Pop guitar chord using correct fret positions for accurate guitar-friendly chords.
Playing back Guitar Styles
Guitar Styles are identified by the exclamation point (!) in the style name. This is not a requirement, but is usually
present in the style name. For the typical user who is just using the styles for playback and isn't making their own
styles there's not much that you need to know about the styles, since they play normally like other Band-in-a-Box
styles.
You can see which tracks have intelligent guitar parts by looking at the title window of the Guitar fretboard, when
the track is highlighted. If it is a Guitar Style track, it will say [Guitar Voicings] after the name of the track. The
usual track that has the intelligent guitar styles is of course the Guitar Part. Some of the styles have more than 1
guitar, so the piano and/or strings part might also have an intelligent guitar part. In these cases, you can also view
the guitar on those tracks.
The styles can be set to use different types of voicings for guitar. For example, there are Jazz, Pop, and Folk (open
position) voicings. Also, some of the styles allow the guitar to play advanced chords and inversions. Some of the
styles play chord patterns, so the chord in the song might be F7, but the guitar plays a “walking-chord” pattern of
F7,Cm7/G, Abdim, F7/A on each beat. There can be fingerpicking styles that have a lowest note alternate between
root and 5th.
Guitar Parts use channels 11 to 16 for the notes, corresponding to strings 1 to 6 of the guitar. When you make a
MIDI file, the notes will all get written on a single guitar channel. Sequencers like PowerTracks Pro Audio will
recognize guitar parts on all 6 channels, so if you want to write the MIDI file from an intelligent guitar style, you
can set Band-in-a-Box to do this from the Opt | Preferences… | Write Guitar part on 6 channels option.
To make a Guitar Style:
Press the [Misc] button to enter the Misc. Style Settings window, and then
press the [Guitar Macros] button to launch the Settings for Guitar chord
macros dialog.
Note: A macro is a single note that triggers a preset chord pattern.
446
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
In the Settings for Guitar chord macros dialog
choose the tracks that you want to put guitar parts on.
Use the Piano and Strings to layer multiple guitar parts.
In the dropdown “Guitar Chord Types to Use” combo box,
set the type of chords to use: Jazz, Pop, Folk, Half Note
(sax), Ukulele, Mandolin, 5-string Banjo or alternate guitar
tunings.
Set the complexity of the chords to use. These can be single chords, chords with variations, inversions, and chord
“walking” patterns. If you want a simple guitar style, set the first one to 100%, and the rest to 0%.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
447
Set the strum speed and fret range that should be played on the guitar.
The Guitar styles have an option to keep the same chord for the whole pattern
when using databases that have changing chords within the pattern. If set, databases that have changing chords like
the “Half Note (sax)” chords will only use the first chord in the pattern.
Exit the dialog and record a guitar pattern using Guitar Macro notes.
When the recording of the pattern finishes, set “OK to use Macros” and “Guitar
Macros” to Yes.
Save the style, using the convention of putting an exclamation (!) somewhere in the
name (e.g., as the first character in the filename) to indicate that it is an intelligent guitar style.
Guitar Macro Notes
Tip: Middle C is C5 or note number 60
The main Guitar Macro notes to use are:
448
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Strummed Chords
C6 note
Plays a guitar chord, with a slow strum.
D6
Plays a guitar chord, with a faster strum.
For example, if you want a simple 4-in-the-bar pattern that plays a slow-fast-slow-fast strumming pattern, play the
notes C6 D6 C6 D6 for the pattern.
Additional strumming macros are:
F#6
Back strum, chromatic below.
G6
Back strum.
G#6
Back strum, chromatic above.
A6
Back strum, chromatic above, fast strum.
Single Strings in chord
C4
Plays a single string that is the low root of the chord.
G4, C5, E5 Plays single string (D string, G string, B string).
G5
Plays high E string.
F5
Plays high E string, but if none available will play G string.
Additional notes for fingerpicking, not part of chord
G3
Fifth below the low root of the chord for fingerpicking.
E4
Fifth or 3rd above the low root for fingerpicking.
Override Guitar Style Options for this pattern only
You don't need to set any Guitar Style Options, unless you want to override the settings already made in the Misc.
Style Settings dialog, for this pattern only. In the StyleMaker window, press the [Opt] button and then the [Guitar
Options..] button to see the options for the current pattern.
Check the “Over-ride Guitar Settings for this pattern only” checkbox to set new parameters for this pattern only.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
449
Guitar Chord Types to Use
Use this feature to set the type of guitar chords to use for this pattern from the list, which includes alternate tunings.
Single Chords
CHD1
The Single Chords feature will play the chord as intended in the pattern for the percentage value entered.
Single Chord - slight variation
CHD2
This will play a slight variation of the specified chord for the percentage value entered.
Chord with 5th in bass (inversion)
INV0
This feature will play your chord with a 5th in the bass.
Chord with inversion later in pattern INV1
This feature will play your chord with inversion later in the pattern.
Starting on Chord Inversion
INV2
This feature will play your pattern starting on chord inversion.
Single Chord w/ some Chromatic movement WK1
This feature will play single chord with some chromatic movement.
‘Walking’ pattern of chords
WALK 2
Walking pattern of chords.
Starting on chord substitution
WALK 3
Walking pattern starting on chord substitution.
Strum Speed (ms)
This setting in milliseconds (ms) affects the rate in which the guitar chord is strummed.
Faster Strum Speed (ms)
The Faster Strum Speed setting affects the rate in which the guitar chord is strummed. Note that a lower setting in
ms equals a faster strum.
Include Highest Note in Strummed Chord
Check to include the highest note (for Strummed Macros) when played as a macro.
Include Highest Note in Finger Picking
Check to include the highest note (for Single String Macros) when played as a macro.
Only include first chord of pattern
Check to play the first chord only.
Lowest Fret
The Lowest Fret feature will limit the notes not to be played beneath the fret specified.
Highest Fret
The Highest Fret feature will limit the notes not to be played above the fret specified.
Embellish pattern OK (Sax db)
This allows embellishment of the pattern from the Sax patterns database.
[Zeros]
Click this button to reset all percentage fields to zero.
[100s]
Click this button to set all percentage fields to 100.
450
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Miscellaneous Style Settings
This dialog allows you to set some miscellaneous settings for the style. They are:
LongName (32 chars)
A long style name can be stored in the style (up to 32 characters), and this will appear on screen and in StylePicker.
Waltz?
If you want to make a waltz with the StyleMaker, check the “Waltz?” checkbox in the Misc. Style Settings dialog.
Then the StyleMaker will record, and play patterns in 3/4 time. The “8 beat row” will record “6 beat” (2 bar
patterns); the “4 beat” will record 3 beat (1 bar) patterns. The “2 beat” and “1 beat” still record 2 and 1 beat
patterns. The new style is made as a waltz, and will play with a 3/4 lead in. There is no need to put a 3/4 time
signature change in bar 1.
Jazz Style?
This lets Band-in-a-Box know if the style you've made is a Jazz style or not. If it’s a Jazz style it will use the Jazz
Snare/Bass Drum instead of the Pop Snare/Bass Drum, and also makes some other decisions based on this setting.
Tempo
This allows you to set the default tempo for the Style. This is stored with the style. You can also change this tempo
by the tempo button on the StyleMaker main screen. Tempos can also be changed by the [ and ] keys. When
creating a new song the tempo will be set to the default tempo for the style/
Resolution
Styles can either have Triplet (swing eighth notes) Straight (even eighth or sixteenth notes) resolution.
Use Latin Drum Kit
Check to use a Latin drum kit in this style with instruments like maracas, cabasa, and agogo.
Velocity Boost of pushes
Pushes can get a velocity boost, so that they are played louder than other patterns. A usual setting would be 10.
# ticks to push
Styles can be pushed with the StyleMaker. This will cause the patterns to be played a little ahead of the beat, a
certain % of time, which gives your arrangement a more human (musical) feel.
Band-in-a-Box uses a resolution of 120 PPQ, i.e., 120 ticks to a quarter note.
- 30 ticks = sixteenth note
- 40 ticks = triplet eighth note (Swing)
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
451
- 60 ticks = eighth note
Choose the number of ticks for each push to use.
Substyle Pushes
The % of notes that are pushed can be set separately for each instrument part and for the “a” and “b” substyles.
In this example, the Bass part patterns will get pushed (randomly) 10% of the time in the “a” substyle and 20% of
the time in the “b” substyle.
Allow Volume Changes with Style (Usually = No)
Usually you don't want specific volume changes in a style. But if you decide to change the volume of instruments,
you can do it by setting this to YES and then entering the Volumes you want in the settings below. (A better way to
change the volume of a part is to use Pattern | Volume Adjust (Alt+W) to set the volume of each pattern
individually.)
MultiStyles
Styles can now have names stored for the substyles. This is especially useful for Multistyles to describe the various
substyles.
When MultiStyle names are set, they are visible when right-clicking on a bar number.
‘Riff’ voicing type uses chord tones
This is an option for piano, guitar, and string patterns. If selected, voicing modifies to match the chord and scale.
Deselect for a simple transpose ignoring chord type.
RealDrums Settings (Audio Drums, instead of MIDI drums)
It is also possible to assign RealDrums (audio drums) to a particular Band-in-a-Box style.
Enable “Style uses RealDrums (audio drums)” in order to designate a RealDrums style, and then press the [RD]
button to select your RealDrums style. Whenever the current style is played, it will use your RealDrums style
provided that RealDrums are enabled in the RealDrums Settings dialog. There are also additional volume controls
here.
Note: There is a hot key combination to turn RealDrums on/off (Ctrl+Shift+F6). This also works while the song is playing.
To make your overall dB setting a bit higher or lower for this particular Band-in-a-Box style you can enter a setting
here. There are also fields for adjusting the “a” or “b” subsection volumes only.
452
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
If you remove the check mark from either “Allow “a” substyle RealDrums” or “Allow “b” substyle RealDrums” the
one with the checkmark remaining will be used for the entire song, regardless of what substyle is currently called for
in the song.
Choose “Vary ^ styles with each play” to hear a different variation each time [Play] is pressed, so the song sounds
fresh each time. One time you will hear it with brushes, the next time with sticks and ride cymbals, etc.
Guitar Macros
These settings determine what type of guitar chords will be used, and only apply if the
patterns are recorded using the guitar macro notes, and if the pattern is set to use guitar macro notes.
Allow Late Notes
This opens the Settings for Making Late notes quieter dialog. Notes played near the
end of a pattern will usually conflict with the next chord. So it’s best to prevent notes near the end of a pattern from
playing. In the Arrangement Options dialog under Opt. | Preference [Arrange] button there a global setting for
“Allow late notes in pattern, just before chord change” and a percentage setting for how often they will be allowed.
More Settings (for Rests, Pushes, RealTracks)
Press the [More..] button for the More Settings (for Rests, Pushes, RealTracks) dialog.
Since rests can be “shots” that play a chord on beat 1, the style can define what instrument to use for this, and at
what volume.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
453
Similarly, each push is accompanied by a drum stab, and the style can define what instrument to use and at what
volume.
The Lowest Bass Note setting defaults to the low E on the bass guitar or acoustic bass. It can be changed to match
the range of other bass instruments, such as a tuba, or to extend the range of the bass for keyboards or 5-string and 6string basses.
Assign Soloist (MIDI) or RealTracks (audio) to style
Styles can contain RealTracks and RealDrums or MIDI soloists.
To assign RealTracks to a style set the “Instrument” to use, and the RealTracks #. In the following example, we are
using RealGuitar for the Guitar track.
Styles can have multiple RealTracks. For example, you could have a Real Guitar and Real Bass - and also
RealDrums for the drum track.
Styles can also use MIDI soloists. For example, make a style with a banjo part that has the same quality as the
Band-in-a-Box Banjo Soloist. Here we are assigning an Earl Scruggs Bluegrass solo to the Strings part.
Use the dB offset to match the level of your RealTracks audio or MIDI soloist to the rest of the style.
The Timing offset can be used to offset the selected track by a certain number of ticks, either plus or minus. A
minus number will give the style a laid back feel, a plus number will “push” the part.
Timebase allows styles to use Half-Time and Double-Time RealTracks. We include some of these styles.
For example, you can make a Jazz Ballad style (tempo 65) that uses a
Sax Soloist at tempo 140 (playing double time).
Custom Settings
Styles can have settings such as custom panning, reverb, and tone, plus plug-ins and loops. Simple versions of
RealTracks, ‘held’ notes only versions of RealTracks, and Direct Input (DI) instruments can be used.
454
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Note: For styles that store extra information (such as panning, reverb, tone, substyle names, plug-in names etc.), an extra file
with a .stx extension is saved. STX files are not needed for most styles, just ones that need to store this extra information.
Plugin
If you want to save a style with specific plug-ins (MIDI synths or audio plug-ins like AmpliTube) you can set them
here. Plug-ins use .tgs files, which must be in your bb\DX Settings folder.
Loop
If you want to have a loop play with a style you can assign it here. Loops are audio files stored in the
RealTracks\Loops folder.
[Add Custom MIDI track from another style]
You can add a custom track from another MIDI style by using the main menu of the StyleMaker, Style | Import
Instrument from Style.
Assign Instruments to Style Dialog
Select the [Pat.] button in the StyleMaker tool bar to open the Assign Instruments to Style dialog.
This dialog allows you to assign instruments to a style. When the song is played back using the style, these patch
changes will be sent to your synthesizer. Remember, these are General MIDI Instrument numbers, not the patch
numbers of your synth (unless you have a General MIDI synth).
If you don't require a specific instrument for the style, leave the setting at 0 < No Patch Change >.
Styles can have different instruments (patches) for the “a”
and “b” substyle. For example, you can have drum brushes
on the “a” substyle, and sticks on the “b” substyle, or
acoustic piano for the “a” and electric piano for the bridge.
The patch changes take effect immediately in the style, so that when you are recording Bass parts for example, you
will hear the bass patch that you have selected.
Melody Patch/Soloist Patch
If set to other than 0 < No Patch Change >, all Melodies/Soloists will be played on the specified instrument. If
you're making a “Grover Washington” style for example, you might want any melodies to be automatically set to
saxophone.
Thru Patch
If you set the Thru patch to other than 0 < No Patch Change >, the instrument that the user plays along to your style
will be the patch that you set. If you're making a “Heavy Rock” style, you might want to set the Thru patch to be
Rock Guitar if you expected that the user would want to always play along on Rock Guitar.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
455
Advanced Editing Of Patterns
Patterns can be “tweaked” with the other advanced features in the StyleMaker - Trim Pattern, Late Notes, and the
Event List Editor.
Trim Pattern
The Trim Pattern routine deletes notes past the end of a pattern, or (optionally) a specified distance from the end of a
pattern. This can be accessed from the Pattern | Trim Pattern(s), row(s) command.
In the dialog displayed, we are trimming 50 ticks from an 8 beat pattern. This means that all of the information past
8 beats (less 50 ticks) will be deleted. This feature is useful to erase “busy playing” that is present near the end of a
pattern, and also delete notes that are just taking up space in the style.
Pattern Velocity Adjust
This function adds or reduces the velocity of a single pattern, row of patterns, or all patterns in an instrument. It is
useful for reducing or increasing the volume of an entire instrument, or fine-tuning the velocities in a style. Choose
the StyleMaker menu item Pattern | Velocity Adjust for 1 pattern, 1 row or all patterns, and input the velocity change
to make for the pattern(s). This adds or subtracts a certain velocity value to the patterns.
Tip: There is another velocity command, “Volume adjust,” but it works differently. It will change the velocities to a certain value,
useful for “smoothing out” velocities.
Late Notes
The [Late Note] button is found inside the StyleMaker’s Misc. Style Settings dialog. It opens a dialog with
“Settings for Making Late notes quieter.” There are settings for allowing or not allowing late notes, and for how late
the notes can be.
456
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
The global setting for late notes in Opt. | Preferences [Arrange] will reduce the volume of the late notes for a
smoother transition from one chord to another.
Event List Editor
The [#] button in the StyleMaker Pattern Editor notation window opens an event list for editing, inserting,
or deleting notes in the patterns.
Style Log Options
For people making styles, the Style Log text file shows exactly which pattern was used in the song generation for
every instrument and bar/beat. This is useful in fixing errant patterns.
To set a style log, choose the StyleMaker Style | Write BBStyleLog##.txt file menu option Display BB
StyleLog##.txt” in Notepad with each play.
Then, a file called BBStyleLog##.txt will be displayed. Here is a sample:
Bass: Bar 1 Beat=1, Row= 1, Col=12, Location=13, Chord= C
Piano, Bar 1 Beat=1, Row= 1, Col=17, Location=140, Chord= C
Guitar, Bar 1 Beat=1, Row= 5, Col=8, Location=287, Chord= C
Strings, Bar 1 Beat=1, Row= 5, Col=23, Location=274, Chord= C
This tells you that when the song was generated, for the bass track, at bar 1 the pattern found in row 1, column 12 of
the StyleMaker was chosen.
Alternatives to Recording Patterns
It’s not always necessary to record every pattern for a style, or any patterns, for that matter. The import features in
the StyleMaker make it possible to assemble an entirely new style from existing styles, or to import patterns from
favorite MIDI files.
Hybrid Styles
The “Hybrid Styles” feature allows you to play and create a style that has instruments from up to five different
styles! You can, for example, play a song with a Reggae bass, Rock drums, Salsa piano, or any combination of up
to five styles that you want. Create a name for your hybrid style and you can save it with the song so that it will
play that way in the future.
To use the Hybrid Styles feature, choose Styles | Make a Hybrid style, or click on the [StyleMaker]
button in the toolbar and select Make a hybrid style from the pulldown menu. You will then see the
Make a Hybrid style dialog.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
457
Your hybrid style can be up to five instruments, each from a different style. For example, you can have a Latin
drum part, with a Zydeco bass, and Jazz guitar part, and strings from a Classical style!
Select the instrument (e.g. Bass), and then select a style by pressing the [.STY] button. Repeat for
up to five instruments.
When you’re ready to generate the Style, press [OK- (re) Generate style
with name ---], and choose a name for your style.
Remember that style names in Band-in-a-Box can be a maximum of eight characters, with no spaces! (This is to
ensure compatibility with Macintosh and previous versions of Band-in-a-Box.)
Press [Play] in Band-in-a-Box and you can hear the results. You can revisit the Make a Hybrid style dialog to
make any changes.
Editing a Hybrid Style
You can edit a hybrid style just like any other style. Open the StyleMaker to view the patterns.
Importing Instruments from Other Styles
This is a great way to have fun with the StyleMaker, and to create great new styles in no time. The dialog is
accessed from the Style | Import Instrument menu item.
Choose the instrument you want to import and select the desired options. Click on [OK] and a standard Windows
Open dialog will be launched so you can select any style on your computer as the source for the instrument. Mix
and match instruments from different styles to create fresh new arrangements.
Notice the selector box to choose an instrument to import
and the destination instrument in “Import to this
instrument.”
For example, to add a second guitar to your style, you could
import it to the Strings part if it is empty (or if you want to
replace the strings with another guitar).
Note that Piano/Guitar/Strings can be interchanged here, but
Bass can only be imported from Bass, and Drums from
Drums.
Try some instruments from dissimilar styles for fun and
surprises! You can also add parts that were not present in
the original style this way.
458
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Importing Patterns from a MIDI file
You can use any MIDI file as a source for new StyleMaker patterns by accessing Pattern | Import Pattern from
MIDI file menu item.
Use the options to specify the channels and the exact bars to import, and also to include or exclude controllers.
The import # patterns option allows you to import more than one at a time.
In the StyleMaker, when you choose Pattern | Import from a MIDI File (or
clipboard or Melody track) the dialog shows a further option at the bottom.
For example, if you import 8 patterns, the 8 patterns will be inserted in the first available 8 positions on the current
row. They will be offset by the # of beats present on the current row. For example, if you are on the “4 beat” row,
the patterns will get inserted offset by 4 beats, so you'd get patterns for each bar in the 8 bars imported.
Convert Track to C7 chord
Choose Melody | Edit Melody Track | Map Melody track to C7 chord. The purpose of this function is to allow you
to quickly import any MIDI file track into the StyleMaker and make a style from it.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
459
Once you choose the option, you select whether it is a bass track to import, or a piano track (actually any part other
than bass or drums). A bass track uses notes below C4 (MIDI note #48) and above the lowest note you select in the
dialog.
If you select piano track the notes will all be mapped to a C7 chord, it is not important that the chords on the
spreadsheet are correct. However, if you are importing a bass track, it is important that the chords are correct. You
can select options to allow patterns that are anticipations, and also convert chords to “macro notes.” Force mapping
to “tritones” is useful for guitar or string parts that you might only want 2 notes for.
Once you have mapped the track to the notes, you can examine the Melody track to make sure the results are what
you want, and then use the Pattern | Import From Melody track command, and set the # of patterns to import, etc.
This function allows you to read in any track of music from a MIDI file that you've created, and quickly convert it to
patterns in the StyleMaker. Since the StyleMaker requires all patterns based on a C7 chord, this function
automatically maps the entire track to notes on a C7 chord. You can then import any # of patterns (using the
function to choose the number of patterns to import).
Editing Patterns
Slide Pattern X ticks
This is another option available on the StyleMaker menu. This allows a pattern to be time shifted any number of
ticks, based on a PPQ setting of 120.
The StyleMaker screen displays the number of patterns, which combined with the map to C7 function, allows you to
quickly import any MIDI file track into the StyleMaker and make a style from it.
There are other additional StyleMaker features such as definable instruments on the drum grid, 32nd notes on the
drum grid, “live” drums, the ability to load-in patterns from MIDI file to the drum grid or live drums, etc. to
facilitate importing patterns from MIDI files.
Velocity Adjust
This function adds or reduces the velocity of a single pattern, row of patterns, or all patterns in an instrument. It is
useful for reducing or increasing the volume of an entire instrument, or fine-tuning the velocities in a style.
Choose the menu items Pattern-Velocity Adjust (for 1 pattern, 1 row, or whole instrument) and input the velocity
change to make for the pattern(s). This will add or subtract a certain velocity value to the patterns.
Style Checker
Analogous to a “Spell Checker,” this function analyzes your style-in-progress and identifies possible problems. The
results are output to a text window, allowing you to examine the patterns and fix them if required. It identifies
patterns that might be “too busy” or incorrect macro notes etc.
To access the Style Checker, open up the StyleMaker (Ctrl+F9), and choose Style | Style Checker. You will then
get a text report about the style, listing possible problems with the style. Here is a sample printout:
-----Start of style checking ------JAZQUINT.STY
Drums: Row 1, Column 1 First pattern of instrument shouldn't contain masks in it. It should be generic.
Piano: Row 1, Column 3 Non Chord tones found (other than C, E, G, Bb) and pattern is not set to a chord mask, riff
based, or MACRO.
Style Summary
This displays a text window summary of the style, including lots of information about the style such as # patterns, #
patterns for each substyle, patches, pushes, volume changes, guitar patterns, and more. To access the style
summary, from the StyleMaker, choose Style | Style Summary. You will then see a detailed text summary of the
Style.
Using the MIDI File to Style Wizard
The Style Wizard converts any MIDI file to a Band-in-a-Box style. In this tutorial, we're going to load in the
Violet.MID found in the \bb folder and convert it to a style - which we will call Violet.STY.
Start with a new song and press the [StyleMaker] button and select Style Wizard from the pulldown
menu to launch the Style Wizard. Or choose Styles | Style Wizard.
460
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
The dialog is largely empty because we haven't chosen a MIDI file yet.
Press the [Open] button and load in the file c:\bb\violet.MID. The Style Wizard then does the
following automatically.
The chords for the MIDI file are interpreted and written on the Chord Sheet.
The “part markers” for the file are displayed on the Chord Sheet. For Violet.MID, the Style Wizard has found the
correct part markers – by looking for drum fills and other signs of a part change – and has assigned substyle “a” to
all of them. We will change some of them to “b” later.
The channels used in the MIDI file are displayed in the
dialog, with the patches used and # of notes played on each
channel. (For Violet.MID you can see that channels 2, 3, 4,
6, 7, and 10 are used.)
The Style Wizard analyzes the parts and guesses at which
Band-in-a-Box part - Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar, or Strings
to use for each track. Band-in-a-Box has correctly assigned
5 instruments – not assigning a part to the Melody.
The Style Wizard suggests which bars (“snapshots”) to
include in the style. The suggested bars are bars with
all of the “BB Part” instruments.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
461
Usually you’d want to customize these snapshot bars to control which bars get included in the “a” or “b” substyle.
In the Violet.MID style, the Style Wizard has offered to include Bars 9-101 (inclusive) and wants to put them all on
the “a” substyle. Continuing on, we want to make a great sounding style, so it is important that we have the
following two items correct:
The “BB Parts” have to be correct. We can audition the MIDI file by playing a loop and listening
to the MIDI file and muting channels by clicking on the “Channel” checkboxes. From that, we can
hear the individual parts and assign them correctly, as we would like them in the style. By playing
the MIDI file inside the Style Wizard we can tell which bars to use for the “a” and “b” substyles.
Note: The Style Wizard has entered some of these settings automatically – but you have to type in the data as shown.
The Snapshot Bars should be correct for the “a” and “b” substyle. You need to tell the program what bars to
use for the “a” substyle and for the “b” substyle. The program makes an attempt to guess at this, but since MIDI
files can contain many different substyles (and a Band-in-a-Box style allows only 2), you’d likely want control over
these snapshots yourself.
Tip to help you choosing which bars to use:
To listen to the MIDI file, you can either exit the Style Wizard dialog
and just play the song like any other Band-in-a-Box file, or play a
looped section inside the Style Wizard using the [Play], [Stop], and
“Loop at Bar” settings.
OK, the Style Wizard has already made the correct settings for the “BB Parts” for us, so we don't need to make any
changes there. Let's move to the Snapshots section, and enter the bar numbers that correspond to the substyles that
we'd like for the Jazz tune. After listening to the tune, we notice that there is a “2-feel” Jazz section, and a “4-in-thebar” section. We want those as “a” and “b” substyles, so we enter the bar #s that correspond to these settings.
In the Snapshots area of the Style Wizard:
- Enter “1-20” for the bars for the “A” Substyle.
- Enter “21-28, 37-68” for the “B” Substyle.
- Enter “12, 20” for the “A” Drum Fills.
- Enter “28, 36, 44, 52, 60, and 68” for the “B” Drum Fills.
Note: Of course you don't need to enter this much detail. You could just enter a single range like 1-20 for the “a” substyle and
make a quickie style. We're illustrating “advanced” style-generation here.
Press [Generate NEW style…] and choose a name for your style.
Let’s call it Violet.STY. Now to hear your style! You could play the style with any song of course, by loading in a
song and then loading in the Violet.STY It is easily available from the Favorite Styles dialog (Shift+F9).
For this tutorial, load in the song V_TEST.MGU that we made for you. That’s a Jazz Swing song using different
chords than Violet, and it uses the Violet.STY (So you need to have made that style before you try to play the song
or you will get a “Violet.STY not found” message.)
Save the existing song before loading in the new song. When Band-in-a-Box saves a song that has an entire MIDI
file on the Melody or Soloist tracks it gives it a special MGX extension. So you will be saving the file as
Violet.MGX.
Alternatively, if you'd prefer to play the Violet.STY style without loading in another song, you can do it as follows.
Since the Violet.MGX file currently has the entire MIDI file on the Melody track the first thing we need to do is
Mute the Melody (Alt+8 or right-click on the Melody part at the top of the screen). The next thing is the Enable the
Style, by choosing Style | Style is Enabled so that this item has a checkbox.
462
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Auto Endings for Styles without Endings
If you‘ve made a style, and haven’t included an ending, a 2-bar ending can be generated automatically, based on the
style. This makes it easier to make complete styles using the Style Wizard.
To hear an example, load in the song c:\bb\Tutorial – BB 2005\No Ending.MGU. This song uses
NOENDING.STY, a style that doesn’t have an ending. An ending will be generated automatically for this style.
So we've made our first style! In summary, making styles with the Style Wizard is a process involving:
1. Loading a MIDI file into the Style Wizard.
2. Listening to the MIDI file by muting channels to identify parts.
3. Picking the channels to use for the BB Parts.
4. Picking the snapshot bars for the “a” and “b” substyle.
5. Pressing the [Generate NEW style…] button.
Advanced Settings and Preferences
Click on the [More] button to open the Style Wizard Advanced Settings and Preferences dialog.
There are 2 sections to this dialog, Advanced Instrument Settings and Preferences.
Advanced Instrument Settings
The advanced instrument settings allow settings for the instruments (drums / bass / piano / guitar / strings) to be
included in the style. The settings are:
The Substyles determines whether the instrument is included in the “A,” “B,” or both “A&B”
substyles. For example, if you want to make a style that only uses the strings on the “B” substyle, set
the strings instrument part to “B” only.
The Voicings settings determine, for the various instruments:
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
463
Drums (“voicings”): Whether the patterns will use live or grid style patterns.
Default mode is “auto,” which normally uses live patterns, but you can force
it to use live or grid style patterns. Live patterns have higher resolution and
can use more instruments, so in general are the better choice.
Bass (“voicings”) determine if the bass part will use All notes / Scale tones
only / Root 3rd, 5th,7th / Root, 3rd, 5th / Root and 5th / or just the Root. The
default is “Auto-select” which usually allows all 12 semitones.
Piano, Guitar, and Strings Voicings determine how the Piano patterns will be
voiced. The choices are “Auto,” “Include Full Voicings,” “Tritones only
(3rd/7ths),” “Power Chords (Root/5th),” “Chord Mask Half Octave, “ and
“Chord Mask Full Octave. “
The auto-setting usually uses the “Include full voicings.” If the part uses 2note chords, you should over-ride this setting to “use tritones” so that the
most important notes of the chord (the tritone) will get included.
You can also use chord masks so that specific patterns over chords will get added to your style, and they will play
exactly as in your MIDI file (just transposed). Set the voicings to use “Chord Mask Full Octave” or “Chord Mask
Half Octave.”
You wouldn’t make a Style Wizard style from scratch using chord masks,
because there need to be generic patterns in the style. So you do it as a
2-stage process. First time, make the style using generic patterns (e.g. Voicing type “Auto”) and then change
voicings to Chord Mask, and add those to the style. As with other Style Wizard features, it is important that the
chords and part markers on the Chord Sheet be very accurate. So if they aren’t, you should fix them before
generating a style.
The Emb. (Embellish) checkbox determines if the patterns for Piano, Guitar, and Strings will be
embellished. If embellish is selected on a chord like D7 (in the key of C) 13ths, 9ths, and #11 notes might be added
to embellish the chord. A Jazz piano style would likely use this.
The Include Empty patterns Threshold setting defaults to None. Possible settings are None / 2
beat / 1 bar / 2 bars. If set to “None,” the instrument will always play in the style, and if set to “1
bar,” there will be “spaces of silence” up to 1 bar long (perhaps longer if chained together) in the
style for that instrument. So if an instrument is used sparsely in a style, set this setting to something
higher than none.
The Velocity Adjust will make an instrument louder or softer in the style.
Preferences
Preferences affect the style itself.
464
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
Save settings with songs
The song will be saved as an MGX file, since the
Melody track type is Multichannel and contains the
MIDI file. If you select this, the Style Wizard
settings are all saved with the MGX file.
Leave StyleMaker open after creating style
If set, after generating the style, the StyleMaker is
left open for you to examine/edit the style directly.
Auto-interpret MIDI file (Default = Yes)
When set, the Style Creation Wizard will set the channels, BB Parts, and snapshots for you. Normally this setting
should be left on.
Delete existing patterns (when adding to the style). (Default = No)
If this option is set when you create style patterns to add to an existing style, the entire instrument will first be erased
in the style for any instrument used in the new style. When you generate a style by adding to an existing style, the
StyleMaker is then opened up, allowing you to pick a new name for the style (so you don't overwrite the existing
style).
# columns to leave unused in the style. (Default = 0)
If set to zero (the default), the Style Creation Wizard can create the biggest style possible – filling up the rows
completely with patterns. But if you set this to a non-zero value it will limit the # of patterns that can be made.
Since there are 30 rows in the StyleMaker, you can set this setting from 0 to 29.
Generate new pattern after # duplicates
The Style Creation Wizard won't insert patterns unless they are unique compared to the ones already entered. But
(with this setting at the default of 8), after 8 duplicates of the same pattern, a 2nd pattern will get entered that is a
duplicate of another pattern. Setting this to zero would mean that every pattern would get entered (regardless of
whether it was unique); setting it to a high number like 200 would mean that only truly unique patterns are entered.
To maintain the correct balance in the style, since the maximum weight of a pattern in the StyleMaker is 8, this
setting should be left at 8 in most situations. If your style is “filling up” all of the available columns, then set this to
a higher number.
Allow Pitch Bend in style
If set, pitch bend present on the MIDI file will be included in the style. Make sure that
the MIDI file pitch bend range = two semitones.
Allow pushes in style
If set, the style will allow pushes (playing instruments before the beat). This is done by setting the push values in
the individual pattern’s options.
Making RealDrums Styles
Introduction to RealDrums
™
RealDrums are actual recordings of studio drummers, pieced together by Band-in-a-Box to create a unique “real”
drum track that is played along with the MIDI tracks created by Band-in-a-Box styles. You can combine any
RealDrums style with any Band-in-a-Box style, so the potential combinations are endless!
A RealDrums style consists of a wave file containing various bars of drum patterns, and a text file with instructions
on how Band-in-a-Box should interpret the wave file. In order for the style to work, the text file needs to be located
in the main Band-in-a-Box directory in the “Drums” folder, and then in a sub-directory that is the name of the style
group. The file-name needs to be the same as the style group, followed by an underscore (_) and a three digit
number representing the tempo. Additionally, “_Style” has to be in the filename after the tempo.
For example, for a “JazzBrushes” style that is 120 beats-per-minute, this text file needs to be present:
C:\bb\Drums\JazzBrushes\JazzBrushes_120_Style.txt
The wave file also needs to be in a subdirectory of the “Drums” folder. It is usually located in the same place as the
text file:
C:\bb\Drums\JazzBrushes\JazzBrushes_120_Style.wav
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
465
However it can be in a different directory, and there are some instances where this is necessary (see “Reduced
Styles” below).
“RealDrums style groups” are multiple RealDrums styles that have the same basic feel, but were recorded at
different tempos. In the example above, “JazzBrushes” is the group, and “JazzBrushes_120_Style” is the style. In
that particular example, the JazzBrushes group contains 10 RealDrums styles:
JazzBrushes_045_Style
JazzBrushes_060_Style
JazzBrushes_070_Style
JazzBrushes_100_Style
JazzBrushes_120_Style
JazzBrushes_145_Style
JazzBrushes_175_Style
JazzBrushes_210_Style
JazzBrushes_250_Style
JazzBrushes_300_Style
The easiest way to make a style is to use a text-file template.
Making a RealDrums Style Using an Existing Template
Templates are available for download from http://nn.pgmusic.com/pgfiles/realdrums_stylemaking_templates.zip.
The information given below is all you need to create a RealDrums style using any of several provided templates.
For a more in-depth look at the intricate details of creating styles, please read on to the following topics under Elements of
RealDrums Styles.
Recording your wave file
For the wave file that will be used for your RealDrums style, you can either record a drummer, or you can piece
together a wave file using drum loops. If you use drum loops, just make sure you have the necessary permission
from the original artists and/or publishers of the loops.
Regardless of the method that you choose for creating your drum wave file, you need to have it conform to one of
these descriptions in order to have it match the accompanying template:
1. 32_bars_of_drumming.txt
2. 32_bars_of_drumming_with_shots.txt
3. 32_bars_of_drumming_with_shots_two_endings.txt
4. 64_bars_of_drumming.txt
5. 64_bars_of_drumming_with_shots.txt
6. 64_bars_of_drumming_with_shots_two_endings.txt
1. 32_bars_of_drumming.txt
Bars 1-2 – count-in for two bars (i.e., “one, two, one-two-three-four”)
Bars 3-18 will use the same basic groove:
3 – PostFill (usually a bar of playing with a cymbal shot at the downbeat, or some kind of bar that
would sound good after a fill)
4-9 – normal playing
10 – Fill
11 – PostFill
12-17 – normal playing
18 – Fill
Bars 19-34 will use a slightly different groove (‘B’ section) than 3-18
19 – PostFill
20-25 – normal playing
26 – Fill
27 – PostFill
466
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
28-33 – normal playing
34 – Fill
35-36 – ending, lasting two bars (usually the second bar ends on the downbeat, with a cymbal decaying)
2. 32_bars_of_drumming_with_shots.txt
This is exactly the same as 1, with these bars added:
37 – single drum hit, which will be used for “shots” in Band-in-a-Box
38 – single drum hit, which will be used for “pushes” in Band-in-a-Box
3. 32_bars_of_drumming_with_shots_two_endings.txt
Bars 1-2 – count-in for two bars (i.e., “one, two, one-two-three-four”)
Bars 3-20 will use the same basic groove:
3 – PostFill (usually a bar of playing with a cymbal shot at the downbeat, or some kind of bar that
would sound good after a fill)
4-9 – normal playing
10 – Fill
11 – PostFill
12-17 – normal playing
18 – Fill
19-20 – two bar ending
Bars 21-36 will use a slightly different groove (‘B’ section) than 3-20
21 – PostFill
22-27 – normal playing
28 – Fill
29 – PostFill
30-35 – normal playing
36 – Fill
37-38 – ending, lasting two bars (usually the second bar ends on the downbeat, with a cymbal decaying)
39 – single drum hit, which will be used for “shots” in Band-in-a-Box
40 – single drum hit, which will be used for “pushes” in Band-in-a-Box
4. 64_bars_of_drumming.txt
Bars 1-2 – count-in for two bars (i.e., “one, two, one-two-three-four”)
Bars 3-34 will use the same basic groove:
3 – PostFill (usually a bar of playing with a cymbal shot at the downbeat, or some kind of bar that
would sound good after a fill)
4-9 – normal playing
10 – Fill
11 – PostFill
12-17 – normal playing
18 – Fill
19 – PostFill
20-25 – normal playing
26 – Fill
27 – PostFill
28-33 – normal playing
34 – Fill
Bars 35-66 will use a slightly different groove (‘B’ section) than 3-18
35 – PostFill
36-41 – normal playing
42 – Fill
43 – PostFill
44-49 – normal playing
50 – Fill
51 – PostFill
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
467
52-57 – normal playing
58 – Fill
59 – PostFill
60-65 – normal playing
66 – Fill
Bars 67-68 – ending, lasting two bars (usually the second bar ends on the downbeat, with a cymbal
decaying)
5. 64_bars_of_drumming_with_shots.txt
This is exactly the same as 5, with these bars added:
69 – single drum hit, which will be used for “shots” in Band-in-a-Box
70 – single drum hit, which will be used for “pushes” in Band-in-a-Box
6. 64_bars_of_drumming_with_shots_two_endings.txt
Bars 1-2 – count-in for two bars (i.e., “one, two, one-two-three-four”)
Bars 3-36 will use the same basic groove:
3 – PostFill (usually a bar of playing with a cymbal shot at the downbeat, or some kind of bar that
would sound good after a fill)
4-9 – normal playing
10 – Fill
11 – PostFill
12-17 – normal playing
18 – Fill
19 – PostFill
20-25 – normal playing
26 – Fill
27 – PostFill
28-33 – normal playing
34 – Fill
35-36 – 2 bar ending
Bars 37-70 will use a slightly different groove (‘B’ section) than 3-18
37 – PostFill
38-43 – normal playing
44 – Fill
45 – PostFill
46-51 – normal playing
52 – Fill
53 – PostFill
54-59 – normal playing
60 – Fill
61 – PostFill
62-67 – normal playing
68 – Fill
69-70 – 2 bar ending
71 – single drum hit, which will be used for “shots” in Band-in-a-Box
72 – single drum hit, which will be used for “pushes” in Band-in-a-Box
Editing the text file
For the most part, the text files are ready-to-go. There are, however, a few small essential changes that you need to
make to the text file, and some other small changes you can make to improve your style.
Essential Changes
The first thing you need to do is change the filename of the wave-file and the text file to match the RealDrums style
group to which to which you want your style to belong. For example, if you want your style group to be called
“MyFunkyStyle,” and the style you recorded was at 70 beats per minute, your wave file would have to be called
“MyFunkyStyle_070_Style.wav” and your text file would have to be called “MyFunkyStyle_070_Style.txt.” Both
468
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
files would have to be placed in your main Band-in-a-Box directory (usually C:\BB) in the “Drums” folder, and
from there in a folder that is named for the style group. In this case, it would be C:\BB\Drums\MyFunkyStyle\.
The second thing you have to do is to change the first line of the text file so that it has the same name as the wave
file. In this case, you would change “wavename=mystyle.wav” to “wavename=MyFunkyStyle_070_Style.wav”
The last thing you would need to do would be that if your style were a waltz (3:4) style, you would need to change
“TimeSig=4” to “TimeSig=3”. If, however, you are making a 4:4 style, your style is ready to be used!
Additional Changes
There are a few additional changes that could be made to fine-tune your style. The first is to enter a different value
in the “Offset=" line. Drummers often hit a drum a few milliseconds before the beat, because the actual sound of the
drum tends to peak a few milliseconds after it is hit. Because of this, you want Band-in-a-Box to “grab” a bar of
drums a few ticks (1 beat = 120 ticks) early to compensate for this. The amount entered in the template is –5 (ticks),
but if you are finding that the drum hits at the beginning of bars are not starting properly, you can experiment by
setting a different offset value. –6 or lower (since it’s a negative number “lower” means –7, -8, -9, etc.) will mean
the bar is “grabbed” earlier, and a higher number (-4, -3, -2, -1, 0, etc.) means that it will be “grabbed” closer to the
bar line.
Another thing you can change is the volume. If you are finding your style is too loud in Band-in-a-Box, you can
reduce this by entering lower numbers in the “dbAdjust=" line. The default is 0, but if you enter –1, -2, -3, etc., the
drum volume will be lowered.
For the patterns and the shots, all of the patterns that are entered in the templates will match your wave file, provided
that the wave file was recorded to the specifications listed above. You can make changes to the patterns and shots,
but it is a good idea to read further into the specific meaning of all of the elements of these lines. This can be done
in the complete RealDrums style making documentation.
Testing your RealDrums style
Once you have made your RealDrums style, you can test it in Band-in-a-Box by loading a song and setting the
tempo near to the tempo of the style you just created. You would then go into the RealDrums Settings dialog
(either by selecting Opt. | Preferences | RealDrums or by pressing the RealDrums toolbar button) and make sure
RealDrums are enabled. Put a checkmark beside “For this song only, use this RealDrum style,” and then select your
style from the “RD” button. When you close the dialog and play your song, your RealDrums style should be
playing as well. To make sure that it is playing, you can look at the Band-in-a-Box title bar. If your style is
“MyFunkyStyle_070_Style,” you should see [RealDrums=MyFunkyStyle_070].
Elements of RealDrums Styles
For an in-depth explanation of all elements of creating a RealDrums style, please read below.
Elements of the Wave File
The wave file must contain a two bar count-in. This can be a metronome sound, a drummer actually counting in, or
even a two-bar drum fill. These two bars will always be played at the beginning of a Band-in-a-Box song, unless the
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
469
count-in is disabled in the preferences. It is important to note that the beginning of the wave file should not contain
a bar of drum playing that is intended to be used in the middle of a song. If this bar were to chosen, there would
likely be an audible gap of silence at the beginning of the bar when playing in Band-in-a-Box (this is due to the “ms
offset” which will be discussed later)
The majority of the wave file can then contain any number of bars of drumming, keeping in mind that there are two
“substyles” available in Band-in-a-Box. This means that the basic groove should be the same throughout the first
half of the drum bars, and then the groove can change and should remain basically the same through to the end.
Keep in mind also when you either record or piece together your wave file, that in each “substyle”, there need to be
examples of fill, normal bars, and post-fills (bars specifically designed to come after fills, often containing a crash
cymbal which completes a fill). You also need at least one 2-bar ending.
After the bars of drumming should be a short section of single drum hits. These will be used to mix in with the bars
of drumming to emulate pushes and shots.
Example 1 shows an entire RealDrums style wave file. You can see that the first two bars contain the count-in, then
the majority of the file is taken up by regular drumming (you can see that halfway through the pattern is different –
this represents the “B” subsection), then at the end there are 4 “shots” (single drum hits).
Example 1: Wave form of an entire RealDrums style wave file
Elements of the Text File
The text file contains three main portions, global settings, pattern definition, and shots definition. We will
examine each one separately.
Global Settings
Wavename=x.wav
The first line of the text file must be “wavename=x.wav”, where “x” is the name of the filename. For example, the
first line of the JazzBrushes_120 text file is “wavename=JazzBrushes_120_Style.wav”. This file usually is in the
same directory as the text file, but does not have to be. For example, you could make an alternate style that used
JazzBrushes_120_Style.wav called JazzBrushesAlternate. The text file would have to reside in
C:\bb\Drums\JazzBrushesAlternate\JazzBrushesAlternate_120_Style.txt, but the first line would still be
“wavename=JazzBrushes_120_Style.wav”.
ForceWavTempo=x
This is only used if the tempo of the style in question is different from the tempo that is in the filename of the wave
file being used. These are called “reduced” or “expanded” styles, and will be discussed further below.
TimeSig=3
This would be used if you are making a waltz style. The line can simply be omitted when making 4:4 styles.
OFFSET=x
Often a drummer will hit a drum or cymbal slightly before a beat so that the actual peak of the sound occurs on the
beat itself. The offset determines how many ticks (1 beat =120 ticks) before the downbeat a bar of drums will be
taken from the style wave file, which is intended to compensate for any occurrence of this early playing on the drum
470
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
track. It is important to note that iv a bar is taken 10 ticks early from the style wave file, it is also placed 10 ticks
early on the Band-in-a-Box drum track, so there will be no shifting of the actual groove.
If no offset amount is entered, the program defaults to an offset of 0.
To determine a good offset amount for a particular wave file, you can use an audio editor (such as PowerTracks Pro
Audio) to zoom in on the downbeats of all (or a sampling) of the bars. You can then measure the number of ticks
between the start of the drum hits and the actual bar line. The highest example would be entered as the offset
amount.
In example 2, the beginning of the drum hit at bar 15 occurs at 14:04:118, or 2 ticks before the downbeat of bar 15.
If all other bars were similar, you would enter an offset of –2.
Example 2: The left edge of the highlighted area represents the beginning of the drum hit that occurs at bar 15, and
the right edge of the highlighted area represents the actual downbeat of bar 15.
dbadjust=x
If a value is entered here, when the RealDrums track is played in Band-in-a-Box, the volume will be raised (or
lowered if a negative value is entered) by the amount entered. This is used to balance the RealDrums against the
other DXi instruments. This amount can be fine-tuned once the style is completed and it is possible to test it in
Band-in-a-Box.
If no dbadjust amount is entered, the program defaults to an adjust of 0.
dbadjustA=x
dbadjustB=y
You can adjust the volume of the A section and B section patterns separately in the same manner as “dbadjust”
using “dbadjustA=" and “dbadjustB=." The final volume of the parts will be based on the “dbadjust” amount added
to the adjust for the substyle in question. For example, let’s assume these values were entered:
Dbadjust=-5
DbadjustA=-2
DbadjustB=3
The total volume adjust for the A section would be (-5) + (-2) = -7. The total volume adjust for the B section would
be (-5) +3= -2.
Note: The dbadjustA and dbadjustB features have not yet been implemented as of Band-in-a-Box version 2007 build 227, but
are planned to be added in a future release. However, these lines of text can be added without causing any problems in the
style, they will simply have no effect until the feature is implemented.
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
471
MultibarPatternPercent=x
When Band-in-a-Box is choosing a RealDrums pattern (see “patterns” below) for a particular bar in a song, it
randomly selects from all possible patterns that fit based on their relative weight. If, however, a percentage is
entered here, then before this step it determines whether the current bar will be use a multi-bar pattern based on the
percentage. If this occurs, Band-in-a-Box eliminates all 1-bar patterns as possibilities for the current bar of music.
For example, if “MultibarPatternPercent=20” is entered, then every time Band-in-a-Box searches for a pattern, there
is a 20% chance that it will eliminate 1-bar patterns as possibilities. If “MultibarPatternPercent=80” is entered, then
every time there will be an 80% chance that 1-bar patterns will be eliminated as possibilities. If such an instance
occurs, but no multi-bar patterns will fit in the Band-in-a-Box bar in question, a 1-bar pattern will be allowed.
If no amount is entered here, then Band-in-a-Box simply always picks between all possible patterns based on their
relative weights.
PushAmount8=x
PushAmount16=x
When pushes are entered in Band-in-a-Box (with either “^” for an 8th note push or “^^” for a 16th note push, entered
before a chord”), the RealDrums mix single drum hits with the bars of regular playing to emphasize the push. These
settings determine how many ticks prior to a beat the pushes are played.
Mathematically, since 1 quarter-note is 120 ticks, in a straight 8th style the 8th-note will be 60 ticks and the 16th-note
will be 30 ticks, and in a swing 8th style the 8th-note will be 40 ticks. However, since drummers (thankfully!) do not
play mathematically, these numbers will vary based on their individual style, and the amount of “swing” in their
playing. A good amount to enter for these values can be determined by closely examining the drummers playing in
an audio editor and measuring the number of ticks between a few 8th-notes prior to beats.
In this straight-8ths style (example 3), this eighth note played prior to the downbeat of bar 6 is played at 5:04:058, or
62 ticks before the downbeat. The rest of the file could be examined in a similar fashion (or random samplings), but
based on this example you would enter PushAmount8=62.
Example 3: The left edge of the highlighted area represents the eighth note before the downbeat of bar 6, and the
right edge of the highlighted area represents the downbeat of bar 6.
If no amount is entered for these values, Band-in-a-Box determines the amount based on whether or not the Band-ina-Box style being used is a swing or straight 8th style.
ASubstyleAllowed=NO
BSubstyleAllowed=NO
Using either one of these lines blocks all patterns for the specified substyle, and then uses the patterns of the
remaining substyle for the entire song, regardless of the substyle selected in Band-in-a-Box.
472
Chapter 14: User Programmable Functions
This can be useful for altering an existing style. For example, if you have a style made that uses brushes at the A
section and sticks at the B section, but you want to change it so that it only uses sticks, you can enter the line
“AsubstyleAllowed=NO” into the text file. All of the B section patterns will be used for both A section parts and B
section parts in Band-in-a-Box. This is also a useful tool in making “Alternate” styles (see “Alternate Styles and
Expanded/Reduced Styles” below).
It is important, however, to not enter both of these lines. If you do this, Band-in-a-Box will not be able to find any
patterns at all, and you will get an error message.
Pattern Definition
All patterns are defined in the text file using lines of text containing seven elements, with each of the seven elements
separated by a comma. The seven elements are: 1) the text “pattern”, 2) type of pattern, 3) section definition (A, B
or all), 4) weight (how often the pattern will be played), 5) Mask (restrictions on where the pattern can be played), 6)
duration of the pattern in bars, 7) the location of the pattern in the style wave file.
Here are some examples of defined patterns:
pattern,Normal,A,2,1,2,75
pattern,Fill,A,1,0,1,58
pattern,PostFill,B,8,0,8,3
pattern,Ending,0,6,0,2,114
pattern,Count-in,0,5,0,2,-1
As you can see, each example here starts with the text “pattern.” This simply lets Band-in-a-Box know that the line
contains information regarding drum parts that will be inserted into the RealDrums track. The next element is the
type of pattern, and here we have examples of “normal,” “fill,” “PostFill”, “Ending” and “Count-in” types of
patterns. The next element is the section definition, and we have examples of “A” section patterns, “B” section
patterns and “0” patterns, for which sections are not applicable. The next element is the weight. In these examples
we have weights of 2, 1, 8, 6, and 5. The higher the weight, the more frequently the pattern will be chosen. The
next element is the mask. There are examples here of “0” masks, which impose no additional restrictions on where
the pattern can be played and a “1” mask, which does impose certain