The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career

Posted by: Torrey Bliss

The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/20/18 08:26 AM

I wanted to put up a post about how I got started using Band In A Box in order to help someone who is just getting started using the program to be be able to see the potential uses of BIAB for a musician and explain my procedure when composing a song.
I began using BIAB about 10 years ago after seeing some things online about the program and thought it might work for me. I had just accepted a staff position as a worship leader at a medium size church (250-300 people) and had been put in charge of all music. The problem I immediately encountered was that there were no available musicians to help me. This is where BIAB saved the day. I was able to quickly construct many professional sounding songs that I would be able to use in the services and play my guitar or keyboards along with and provide an excellent set of music for our church to sing along with. Unfortunately I still haven’t been able to team up with other capable musicians yet but BIAB has helped me keep great music going at church for the last 10 years. I have been able to put together songs for many of our talented singers to use for special music in our services also.
My procedure when using BIAB as I compose is as follows:
1. Get a song in mind and start auditioning styles that sound close to the sound you are looking for.
2. Substitute certain instruments within that style for others that may “fit” the song a little better . For example, you may find a RealDrums set that sounds closer to what the song needs instead of the original one in the style.
3. Make your settings for the song key, how many bars, tempo etc. and type in your chords for the song and setting the appropriate A/B part markers for verse and choruses.
4. Start playing the the song listening for changes that need to be made. It’s a good idea to start saving your work at this point often in case of a problem of some sort that would cause you to lose your work. You may try soloing drums and bass first getting your sound right and then “freezing” these tracks and then moving on to work on other instruments and follow the same procedure. This part of working with BIAB is the most time consuming but in my opinion, is what can set your song apart from from others who don’t focus on these details. The time spent here is well worth the effort.
4. Exporting - at this point you can save the song and export as is to SoundCloud or whatever site you prefer to send music to or you can do as I like to do by exporting each individual track to your preferred recording program to apply effects that you like to use on the tracks or record additional instrumentation or vocals to.
5. Video - at this point I like to export from my daw the final stereo file of my song to my favorite video editing program to get the song ready for using with our church media presentation program. I will arrange the videos in the proper order and run the audio out of the computer to our house system and the video out to the house projection system. This works like clockwork week after week.
All of this is a very basic explanation of how I use the program and I know that there are many users who use BIAB in far more sophisticated ways than I do. But I would estimate that I have arranged 500-600 songs using BIAB, the vast majority of which I have used in a public setting. Thanks PG Music for being my go to source for musical help and inspiration! My hope is that this post might help someone open their eyes to potential uses of the program that they might not have thought of. I could see the same type setup used for clubs, weddings etc. I invite any of the veteran users of BIAB to contribute any additional thoughts to this thread to help a beginner. We all can remember certain struggles we had in the beginning with BIAB and any helpful information could really brighten someone’s day. Happy composing!!! Thanks, Torrey



Posted by: MikeK

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/20/18 09:22 AM

Awesome story! Very inspiring!

Thanks for sharing. smile
Posted by: Hugh2

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/20/18 10:22 AM

Hi Torrey
Great post on how you overcome a lack of musicians in Church.BiaB has so many varied uses.A guitarist in Church suggested I try out BiaB and wow its has contributed to something I never thought possible,me making songs,i never dreamed id be able ,thanks for the post Hugh
Posted by: Noel96

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/20/18 11:28 AM

Torrey,

That is a really great story. And, as Mike has already said, it's very inspiring.

I have no doubt that there will be many people on here who will benefit from your post.

All the best,
Noel
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/20/18 02:44 PM

Hi Torrey,

Greatly enjoyed reading your story and how Band-in-a-Box is a tool you use daily in your work as a church music director.

Some questions about your workflow. You mention that after a song project is finished you import it into a video editing program. Do you use the video editing program to display song lyrics?
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/20/18 03:00 PM

Jim, thanks for the kind words! I build my videos in the Sony Vegas video editing program and then render the video and save it to a folder on my computer. Then I pick the videos needed for a particular service and inset into the Media Shout program we use at church. Sorry I didn’t cover all of this but was trying to just cover the basics. Thanks, T
Posted by: jcspro40

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/20/18 10:22 PM

That is a great read! I would be interested in hearing some of the tracks, or even having you share some of them to we can import them....."Church / P&W" music is sorely under-represented in BiaB song format...
Posted by: HearToLearn

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/21/18 06:07 AM

Fantastic! What a great way to be using these tools. smile
Posted by: Belladonna

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/21/18 07:07 AM

Very interesting story about all the possibilities of how to use BIAB. I was never able to pursue my music early on, although I did learn to play the piano in my teens, but not really well. Raising a family and the need to earn a decent living over filled a lot of years. Then I fell in love with songwriting, but it was somewhat frustrating with the lack of musical technique, but then I found BIAB and it's really helped take my songs to the next level. I'm still really a beginner, been writing songs for about six years and have written over 250 songs so far. A lot of mediocre ones but I can see my progression and BIAB has made them much better, so I'm excited about the potential.
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/21/18 07:29 AM

Thanks jcspro40 for reading and commenting! I appreciate it! Due to copyright restrictions I can’t post these songs online without purchasing mechanical and sync licenses for them. Our church has purchased a blanket license for these which allows us to use these songs in the services. I do have videos up on YouTube under my name of my own material that gives an idea of what I am doing. Thanks again, Torrey
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/22/18 04:22 PM

Thanks Mike for reading and giving the thumbs up! I appreciate it! T
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/22/18 04:25 PM

Thanks for the positive feedback Hugh! I'm convinced that with enough effort from the user, someone can coax just about any type of tune they want to out of this program and a convincingly professional one at that! T
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/22/18 04:26 PM

Thanks for reading and commenting Noel! I appreciate it! T
Posted by: flatfoot

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/22/18 04:46 PM

Yup, this is great stuff. It ought to be pinned, or something.
Posted by: Deryk - PG Music

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/23/18 06:27 AM

Thank you for sharing your story, Torrey smile It's very inspiring! I have no doubt others will gain a lot from what you've said here.
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/23/18 12:07 PM

Thanks HearToLearn for checking out this post and giving positive feedback! I truly appreciate it! T
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/23/18 12:11 PM

Thanks Belladonna for taking time to read this and contribute your thoughts! I have been keeping up with the music you post and it is noticeably getting better all the time! Your lyrics have always been great and your production skills are catching up! I have no doubt that you will be producing some really great material in the near future! Best to you in 2018! T
Posted by: Torrey Bliss

Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career - 01/25/18 04:30 AM

Thanks flatfoot for reading and commenting! I appreciate it! T