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#103351 - 01/25/11 09:08 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] What is a Song?
tommohawk Offline
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Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Sussex, U.K.
This isnt meant to be a deep philosophical question. I'm just struggling to understand the concept of BIAB Songs and Styles, and generally how to best use BIAB. Can I assume that a "song" is a chord progression of some sort with a style applied?
If I start a new project, and then call up the style picker, I get the categories and can filter if I want just RTs etc.
If I make my selection, and click OK, this applies that style to the chord progression in my project. If I havent already specified a chord progression, its just in the default of C.
The Help file says: "The StylePicker window shows you which styles would work best in your song" - but I dont have a song yet!
The implication is that I should specify my chord progression and tempo first - I can do that, and then open the Stylepicker, but this doesnt seem to affect the choice of styles presented.

Alternatively, I can open the style picker, choose my style, and then hit the "Load Song Demo" button. I thought this might play a song demo, but no. What it does do is create a chord progression for the chosen style. And that seems to work OK - but is that the way its meant to be used? And is there only one "song demo" for each style?

OR I can start a new project, and go to the song picker button - which opens a dialogue box asking if I want to make a song list.
1 What is the song list?
2 Why isnt it there already?
3 And why do I seem to have a choice of folders to store it in?
4 Which folder should I choose?
5 Will the song list created be saved?
6 Will those songs then be available in the "Load Song Demo" option in the style picker window?

BTW if I search "Song List" in the Help files I get quite a few returns - none of which seems to give a simple answer to this. And I've looked at the paper help files (about 500 pages - it must be in there somewhere)

Would appreciate some help with this - thanks

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#103352 - 01/25/11 09:21 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: tommohawk]
Kemmrich Offline
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Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
If I have a "song" in mind I can take a couple different approaches in BIAB (there are lots of ways to go, but these are the two most common I use).

1.) Sample the styles, load in a song demo and hit play (play is down at the bottom of the page). Then I sample a few more. If I find one that seems to fit, I use that style and then load in my chord structure. I then play around with other real tracks to see how they might fit.

2.) Load in the chord structure (one verse and chorus) and then click on styles and then double click on sample styles which applies that style to my typed in chord structure. I then sample as many styles as I can hoping to fit a good fit. Again, it just a starting point and then I just play around for awhile.

I didn't really answer your specific questions, but this is a couple of ways to work with BIAB on new songs. I've never used the "song list" function, so I can't help there.

Kevin
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#103353 - 01/25/11 10:20 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: Kemmrich]
tommohawk Offline
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Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Sussex, U.K.
Hi Kevin - well thats a big help - looks like I'm on the right lines then. I hadn't seen the play/stop buttons at the bottome.

What about using "load demo song" in the style picker window - do you know if there is more than one demo per style? Doesnt seem to be.

Hopefully someone else can look at the song list function.

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#103354 - 01/25/11 10:25 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: tommohawk]
Kemmrich Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
Quote:

Hi Kevin - well thats a big help - looks like I'm on the right lines then. I hadn't seen the play/stop buttons at the bottome.

What about using "load demo song" in the style picker window - do you know if there is more than one demo per style? Doesnt seem to be.

Hopefully someone else can look at the song list function.




Sometimes when I click on the Load Demo Song button a second window pops up and shows that there are two possible demos available -- but they are super similar. So pretty much one demo per style.

Kevin
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Now at bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh @ bandcamp or soundcloud: Kevin @ soundcloud

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#103355 - 01/25/11 11:40 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: Kemmrich]
Keebo Offline
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Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 193
My understanding of the Song Picker is that it creates list of songs within a folder (including sub folders if desired) of user created songs. That list can then show you then song name, style used to create it, its key, time signature, tempo, etc. This makes it easier to know which version of a song I want to load up without guessing.

It can also be used on folders loaded with songs that have been downloaded from other users and I suppose even the demo songs included with BIAB.

The Song Picker does not make these songs available in the "Load Song Demo" option in the style picker window AFAIK.
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#103356 - 01/25/11 01:53 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: tommohawk]
FirstBassman Offline
Expert

Registered: 01/31/07
Posts: 928
Loc: Virginia
Quote:

If I make my selection, and click OK, this applies that style to the chord progression in my project. If I havent already specified a chord progression, its just in the default of C.
The Help file says: "The StylePicker window shows you which styles would work best in your song" - but I dont have a song yet!







Well, yeah. It would be the same thing in real life. Would you tell a musician to play a 60s British Pop type song using only one note? No, of course not. Same with BiaB.

When I start to create a song and am chooing which style to use, I go both ways.

Sometimes, I listen to the selected Style's Demo Song.

And sometimes, I'll type in a few chords of my song and then hear how it sounds with the selected Style.

And sometimes I do both.

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#103357 - 01/25/11 02:09 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: FirstBassman]
Kemmrich Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
Hey, the song list is a cool little feature!
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#103358 - 01/25/11 03:26 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: Kemmrich]
tommohawk Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Sussex, U.K.
OK thats great - my thinking re the stylepicker was OK. As you say, maybe start with some chord changes and play around with styles over, or vice versa.

Just the song list thing to sort then! Even more vexing now that Kevin has looked at it for 5 minutes and calls it a Cool Feature, where I've been looking at it for a week and still dont get it!

When I opened Make Song List box the default folder was BB\Realtracks - Demos so I said OK and off it went and created 1559 songs.

Is it creating new chord progressions randomly?

Keebo said - "it creates a list of songs" - well OK, but from what? It isnt doing anything with user created songs cos I dont have any yet.

And why do you have the option of creating the list in other folders?

Maybe it combines default and/or user defined chord progs with default and /or user defined styles?

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#103359 - 01/25/11 03:59 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: tommohawk]
Kemmrich Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
Quote:

Just the song list thing to sort then! Even more vexing now that Kevin has looked at it for 5 minutes and calls it a Cool Feature, where I've been looking at it for a week and still dont get it!




I could be wrong, but it seems that the song picker list is more useful for YOUR songs that you have created in BIAB. If you load in all the demo files, there would just be too many entries in there. Make sense?

Kevin
_________________________
Now at bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh @ bandcamp or soundcloud: Kevin @ soundcloud

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#103360 - 01/25/11 05:32 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: tommohawk]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13550
Loc: Australia
Hi tomohawk,
Quote:

Can I assume that a "song" is a chord progression of some sort with a style applied?



Yes. That will work. From BIAB's perspective, a song is the harmony backing that would accompany the melody (whether this melody is sung, played, etc.). This harmony backing consists of all the chords needed to provide the harmonic texture and the style needed to set the rhythmic texture.

Once you have a chord progression laid out, you then set the tempo and key and choose a style that suits some concept that you have in mind as to how the song will sound. For example, is it going to be a rock ballad, a bluegrass song, a swing-beat style or even-beat style, etc. You can then plug in some values into the "Filter" to narrow down your choices that fit the scope of what you want.

Personally, I don't use the Filter at all. I prefer to see all available styles and I then use the EV or SW (even beat or swing beat), 16 or 8 (16 beat notes per bar or 8 beat notes per bar), and the tempo to select styles that might suit.

What I suggest you do is to find the chord progressions to some songs that you know and like. Type those progressions into BIAB, set the tempo and then try out different styles until you get one that you feel suits the song. Once you've found that style, click on the Filter and then choose Show styles by feel and tempo | If feel and tempo match prototype. This will then list other styles that could comfortably fit the song and keep a similar feel to what is set.

NOTE: Don't forget to reset the filter to Show all style rhythms when you are finished because next time you load a song, this filter may still be active and your style choices will be limited as a consequence.

Hope this helps,
Noel


Edited by Noel96 (01/26/11 01:37 PM)
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#103361 - 01/26/11 01:33 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: Noel96]
tommohawk Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Sussex, U.K.
Hi Noel - thanks for that.

Quote:

Once you've found that style, click on the Filter and then choose Show styles by feel and tempo | If feel and tempo match prototype. This will then list other styles that could comfortably fit the song and keep a similar feel to what it set.





I hadnt got the match prototype thing at all - it works quite well, though as you say its fairly easy to just disregard those with inappropriate tempos.

What about the Song List thing? Any ideas on that please?

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#103362 - 01/26/11 01:48 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: tommohawk]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13550
Loc: Australia
Hi tommohawk,

Below is a quote from Keebo's post regarding Songpicker.
Quote:

My understanding of the Song Picker is that it creates list of songs within a folder (including sub folders if desired) of user created songs. That list can then show you then song name, style used to create it, its key, time signature, tempo, etc. This makes it easier to know which version of a song I want to load up without guessing.



Firstly, when you create songs, I suggest that you save them in an new directory (this makes locating songs at a later date, a whole heap easier). For example, I use d:\BIAB Songs and then I save individual songs in their own directory because I often have up to 10 versions of a song (each BIAB file is very small so it doesn't take too much space to have multiple versions).

I can then open Songpicker, click on "Rebuild List" and direct the Songpicker to the folder "d:\BIAB Songs". I activate the option "Include Subfolders" and then run Songpicker. It works its way through my "BIAB Songs" folder and builds a list of all songs I have created.

Hope this helps,
Noel
_________________________
LINKS TO MY BIAB/RB SONGS


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#103363 - 01/27/11 05:33 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: Noel96]
tommohawk Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Sussex, U.K.
Hi Noel

Thanks, yes I can see that - and creating a new folder makes sense too. And I can see how Keebo's comment applies - the song picker allows you to sift through the user created songs.

But I'm still not clear what the song picker did when I asked it to create a song list. I dont have any user created songs - so what did it make the list from?

As I write this I'm slowly making sense of it - I think the default folder was real Tracks Demos - so it looks like a list of the same demo songs which can be created in the style picker area.

If I create a list in the folder one level up ie BB, it creates a list of everything. Right so now I just have to figure out what all the other folders are for - and why I'm being offered the option to make song lists in those too.

Thanks
Tom

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#103364 - 01/27/11 07:56 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: tommohawk]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Quote:


But I'm still not clear what the song picker did when I asked it to create a song list. I dont have any user created songs - so what did it make the list from?




BiaB comes with at least one demo song for every style, MIDI or RealTracks. The SongPicker window is a database that needs to be indexed whenever new songs are added to it or the first time it is run. You have a LOT of songs in your bb folder, take a look in there inside the Styles folders etc. to see them. Not to worry, BiaB song files are rather small in size and do not take up much disk space at all. The Demo songs are great not only for auditioning styles, but I like to open the folders one at a time in the jukebox and let it run thru the entire folder, sometimes in the background while I'm doing other tasks on the puter and when I hear something that really strikes me I will go back to the BiaB window and investigate, jot it down, etc. for future use.

Also, one can learn quite a lot about how to lay out BiaB songs, what different commands look like on the chord grid and what they do, etc. by studying those pgmusic-supplied demo songs that have been created by the pros at pgmusic.

Quote:

As I write this I'm slowly making sense of it - I think the default folder was real Tracks Demos - so it looks like a list of the same demo songs which can be created in the style picker area.




The difference is that the Stylepicker list is a list of Styles. The Songpicker list is a list of SONGS. The Songpicker is the place to go for finding a given song in a folder and playing it. Songpicker works on one folder at a time, making it easy to create a folder of songs that you might want to use for practice sessions, another folder for performances, another for new songs you are working on, etc.

Quote:

If I create a list in the folder one level up ie BB, it creates a list of everything. Right so now I just have to figure out what all the other folders are for - and why I'm being offered the option to make song lists in those too.





Each folder is treated as a new instance of listing. As for the Demo folders, you should only ever have to Build that list once, if you don't add any of your own songs to any of the Demo folders, something which I don't recommend doing in the interest of sanity - make your own song folders for songs that you create and leave the Demo folders as they are, to be used as outlined above.


--Mac
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#103365 - 01/27/11 11:47 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: Mac]
tommohawk Offline
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Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Sussex, U.K.
Hi Mac

thanks for you helpful and detailed advice.

I agrre that studying the BIAB demo songs is useful - and I like the idea of leaving the demos running in the background and then picking up on anything interesting.

BUT I'm still left with the query - where did the songs in the list come from? They arent mine, cos I dont have any yet - though I take the point that when I do create songs, and store these in a separate folder, it will make a list of these too. I think I have the answer.
I created the song list in the folder BB\Realtracks demos and its simply a list of the RT demo songs - and when it creates the list it isnt creating the songs -its just making a list of the existing demo songs.
And the point I was trying to make is that if I go to the Style Picker (and I can quite see the difference betwwen a song and a style) if I pick a style - it offers the option to load a demo song - and these demo songs are the same songs as in the song list I created in the demo folder Yes?

So for eg if I go to the style picker and load the first of the blues styles, ie _BBBLUES.STY. and then load the demo song offered, I get the song Slow Even 8ths Blues (85 RS). And very nice is it too.
If I start over, and go to the song picker, and filter by style _BBBLues, I get the same song, and only that song, offered in the song list, and when I load it, is has the same chords etc ie it is the same song. QED?

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#103366 - 01/27/11 02:49 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: tommohawk]
rkl122 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 495
Loc: NJ
Quote:

........if I pick a style - it offers the option to load a demo song - and these demo songs are the same songs as in the song list I created in the demo folder Yes?........




Yes. But they were correlated only because you had compiled from that folder. Generally speaking, that song demo button in the stylepicker only knows to go fetch the .mgu (& maybe .sgu) file with the same name as the selected style itself. It knows where to look for it, and simply does a name match. It doesn't give a fig what list is in the songpicker.

Just confirming what you've already figured out. Rest easy. Make music.

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#103367 - 01/27/11 03:58 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: rkl122]
tommohawk Offline
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Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Sussex, U.K.
Hi rkl122 - or can I call you rkl?

thanks for that. Back in the 1960's my father was a audio and computer geek - though the term hadnt been coined yet. Computers were house sized then - long gone now, like him.

He bought a new hi-fi and spent hours testing it with a scope and checking the frequency response curves and stuff. I couldnt figure out why he didnt just get on and play some music on it.

I guess I'm just the same - you're right - I need to get stuck in.

Still have some more questions though.

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#103368 - 01/28/11 07:52 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What is a Song? [Re: tommohawk]
Mac Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Quote:

Hi Mac

BUT I'm still left with the query - where did the songs in the list come from? They arent mine, cos I dont have any yet - though I take the point that when I do create songs, and store these in a separate folder, it will make a list of these too. I think I have the answer.
I created the song list in the folder BB\Realtracks demos and its simply a list of the RT demo songs - and when it creates the list it isnt creating the songs -its just making a list of the existing demo songs.
And the point I was trying to make is that if I go to the Style Picker (and I can quite see the difference betwwen a song and a style) if I pick a style - it offers the option to load a demo song - and these demo songs are the same songs as in the song list I created in the demo folder Yes?




YES. All those songfiles were created by the folks at pgmusic and they are installed at the same time you install the program.

Quote:

So for eg if I go to the style picker and load the first of the blues styles, ie _BBBLUES.STY. and then load the demo song offered, I get the song Slow Even 8ths Blues (85 RS). And very nice is it too.
If I start over, and go to the song picker, and filter by style _BBBLues, I get the same song, and only that song, offered in the song list, and when I load it, is has the same chords etc ie it is the same song. QED?




Pretty much.

If the songile has the same exact songname, such as "xxxxx.sgu" - then it would be the same songfile, you just accessed and loaded it in two different fashions.

Having the ability to load the target Demo Song from within the Stylepicker window is handy because sometimes we need to simply *audition* a style while we are in that window.


--Mac
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