Dissonances

Posted by: MusicHeart

Dissonances - 02/04/18 01:34 PM

My Band-in-a-Box generates dissonant notes (outside of the scale or chord). Anybody knows a cure?
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Dissonances - 02/04/18 09:10 PM

We would need to know more. Dissonance is in the ear of the beholder, and very much genre-dependent. Can you tell us what BIAB style you are using, and/or which RealTrack name and numbers?

If, for example, you always hear a #9 played in a classical or folk track on a major chord, then that could be a bug that should be reported. In a jazz track, probably not.

But there are a few settings, and a trick or two. Tell us more.
Posted by: MusicHeart

Re: Dissonances - 02/05/18 02:44 AM

Thanks for your reply. I'm a new user with Band-in-a-Box PlusPAK 2018, Windows 7 64-Bit.

Here's how it started: I loaded "SalsaAfroCuban68Folk_114_Demo", typed or changed some chords and played around a bit. Unfortunately I heard lots of dissonant chords, with notes out of the scale. For example: I typed G7 and the MIDI piano played G7#5 instead, the marimba (MIDI as well) played false notes (e over a G-chord) etc. and had to correct them manually in the note editor. Generating a new melody produced more "mistakes" and generating a real track soloist even more. I tried using only simple triads and got significantly less wrong notes but even in the key of C and a straight forward rhythm (with no syncopation) I could still hear some flats or sharps that shouldn't have been generated.

That's what I tried already, starting with MIDI only:

For the MIDI Bass-Track:
Preferences/Harmony/Harmony Settings: "Change Harmony with New Chords" checked
Song Settings: "Force Song to Simpler Arrangements" checked
Song Settings/Overrides: "Force to Simple Arrangement" (for new songs) checked
(in case related) Play: "User Playalong feature" unchecked and "Wizard uses "Smart" notes" unchecked
Bass/Track Settings: "Force track to simple arrangement: Bass" checked
Bass/Track Settings/Set Natural Arrangement: Disabled for Bass track
Stylemaker/Edit current Style in Stylemaker/Bass: changed the Relative Weight of patterns with passing and chromatic notes to: 1.

No success. The bass still generates "chromatic approach" notes or similar (for example on an Em7-chord it "walks" through a #g instead of a natural g 'cause the next chord is A7). Re-generate and play doesn't really help.

On other tracks I have even more problems (more notes). For example I change from F#m7 to Gdim7 and the organ keeps holding the F#m7 which sound horrible over the Gdim7.

Would be very thankful for an answer.
Posted by: Noel96

Re: Dissonances - 02/05/18 03:35 AM

In case it helps, here's the style that MusicHeart is using.

****** Song Summary *************
Title: SalsaAfroCuban68Folk_114_Demo

File:-AFRFK68.MGU

Key=Bm , Tempo 114, Length (m:s)=3:53
No intro. 36 bar chorus, from bar 1 to bar 36. Repeat x3 choruses
Melody has 694 notes, Melody harmony is < no harmony >(0)
No Soloist track.
Song is saved with Volume, Pan, Reverb, Chorus, Bank0,

Style is -AFRFK68.STY (Afro Folk 6/8 - Afro Cuban 6/8)

Style MIDI Instruments are : Finger Electric Bass (34), Acoustic Piano (1), Marimba (13),
RealDrums in Song: SalsaAfroCuban68Folk: a: SalsaAfroCuban68Folkb: SalsaAfroCuban68Folk
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Dissonances - 02/05/18 08:04 AM

MusicHeart, one of the first things to do (that everybody forgets) is to enter the key of the song. BIAB makes intelligent decisions based on that. If it's 'wrong' it can lead the program to do odd choices. Try that, and regenerate.
Posted by: MusicHeart

Re: Dissonances - 02/06/18 03:48 AM

Thanks for your reply. Key of the song? Is that simple? I mean I tried a lots of styles and all of them generated more or less dissonances but I can't remember if I changed the key of the song. In any case I wouldn't like to let BIAB make "intelligent decisions", I woud like to hear what I have in my head. Using entertainer-keyboards for 20 years I can't remember ever heard a wrong note, unless you program an own style which uses passing notes too. Well, I'll try it with "entering the key and regenerate" and hopefully it helps.

By the way: You're a really great Music maker!
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Dissonances - 02/06/18 05:17 AM

Thanks. There are also checkboxes for the song, and for globally, to choose Simple chords. That may also give you what you want, now that you’ve described your goal. Also, you will want to turn off Natural Arrangement for the song, or globally. This last assumes you have BIAB 2017 or later.
Posted by: MusicHeart

Re: Dissonances - 02/06/18 06:03 AM

Thank you. In my second post I've listed my OS and BIAB version (2018) and what I've already tried to fix in various preferences and checkboxes. Most of the time I hear the "unwanted guests" (notes) right away and I fix them manually on the note editor. But for some of them I may have to use my headphones and listen very carefully or I have to check out the score in order to fix them. As soon as I'm back home I'll check your tips. All in all I'm very happy with BIAB and of course I'm thankful to have helpful People like you in the Forum!
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Dissonances - 02/06/18 11:40 AM

Right, I don’t always go back to reread threads when they start getting longer.

Another example I’ve found (and Dr. Gannon doesn’t agree with my advice) is on dominant seventh chords. I will sometimes hear a flat 9 or sharp 9 when I want a natural 9. So in those cases I generally write the 9 chord to start with, so there is no chance for ambiguity.

Stuff like that.
Posted by: Guitarhacker

Re: Dissonances - 02/06/18 11:58 AM

Indeed, the first thing I thought of was the key.

It defaults to C so if for example you are typing in chords from the key of Ab, you could certainly have some issues since BB is looking to the scale of C major to choose it's melody lines and chords to a great extent.

I made that mistake on a number of songs when I first started working with BB until I figured it out. So if you're working in Ab, just set the key signature to Ab and you'll be good PLUS.... if for some reason you find you have to change the key to ...lets say Db... all you do is change the key signature and it recalculates the entire song accurately in the new key.
Posted by: MusicHeart

Re: Dissonances - 02/07/18 02:00 AM

Well, thank you, your tip helped a lot, but the problem didn't dissapeared completely. I set the key of the song and whenever I see strange notes I go to the affected bars and set the key for each of them. It gets better, sometimes perfect, but it's not 100% reliable. The good thing is that even RealTracks get better.

What do you mean "you write the 9 chord to start with". Where do you write it?
And who is Dr. Gannon?
Posted by: MusicHeart

Re: Dissonances - 02/07/18 02:14 AM

Thanks for your reply. I do change the key signature whenever ist necessary and it works perfect when the song has only triads or maybe a seventh cord. Things get complicated with jazz chords and especially when the transition from one key to another lasts one or two bars with complex chords. I keep searching. It would be nice if can tell me your settings.
Posted by: MusicHeart

Re: Dissonances - 02/07/18 02:38 AM

[quote=Guitarhacker]

I've heard your Music. Nice. The background instruments sound great. I would maybe give a bit more highs to the strumming guitars (+1 or 2 dB at 10kHz) and maybe a bit of "air" (12-14kHz) to the cymbals or drums. But this is a matter of taste. On the male voice I would give some more bass (around 125Hz), reduce the mids (about 3kHz), route it through a smooth de-esser and gently tune it through autotune or similar. The female voice needs a bit 250Hz, smooth de-essing and less 3khz again. This would be my taste.
Posted by: Guitarhacker

Re: Dissonances - 02/07/18 06:01 AM

Originally Posted By: MusicHeart
Thanks for your reply. I do change the key signature whenever ist necessary and it works perfect when the song has only triads or maybe a seventh cord. Things get complicated with jazz chords and especially when the transition from one key to another lasts one or two bars with complex chords. I keep searching. It would be nice if can tell me your settings.


Ahh yes... indeed. The key signature is important but if you still have issues and want to try something else, somewhere in the menus is a function called reduce complexity of the chords or something like that. I know it's there because I've seen it but don't often have need for it so I can't tell you right off where to find it. However, it takes the 9th chords and other chords that are jazz chords and reduces them to a more basic chord. Instead of a C9th you will get a simple C chord. Those 7th #5ths and 9ths can throw the chords kind of out of whack with the melody being composed.

Just another option to investigate to solve the issue.


edit: oh... and another option.... costly but it works. Melodyne Editor. The full version not the "Essential" version. Since it's polyphonic, it can grab the notes in the chord. Simply move or delete the "wrong" ones. I have used this several times on some chords that had "wrong notes" in them in BB/RB. It worked extremely well on removing the notes without leaving artifacts. Not so well at moving the notes however. I think the version I have is an earlier, perhaps the first poly version so they didn't have it all worked out like they do now. The version I have works amazingly well on mono melodies like a single instrument like sax or a human voice or bass. I have used it to fix many, many parts in a song that needed to be edited. Also superb for fixing timing issues in audio tracks.
Posted by: MusicHeart

Re: Dissonances - 02/07/18 06:45 AM

Thanks for the tips. I can fix the wrong notes in my DAW too, but it takes time. I hope people in PG-Music work to fix these issues. Keep on makin' good Music!
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Dissonances - 02/07/18 11:17 AM

Dr. Gannon is Peter Gannon, the PG in PG Music. Company founder, excellent musician, and he drops into the forums regularly.

What I meant is, I write a ninth chord instead of a dominant seventh. Ex. D9 instead of D7. If I write D7, I might hear D7b9 or D7#9 or D7add9. But by writing D9, I hear D with a natural 9. However, I run a slight risk of hearing a major seventh...
Posted by: MusicHeart

Re: Dissonances - 04/16/18 04:23 AM

Thanks, that's a great tip! I understand BIAB more day by day and do my choices accordingly.