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#130753 - 10/08/11 09:07 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song?????
Alberto Garay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Spain
Hi everybody,

I'm new in the forum and newbie in BIAB also.

I'm an spanish experimented musician and DAW-user (Logic, Sonar and Ableton live among others).

I'm also a computer expert, as I work as a computer science teacher.

I do recognize I fell in love with BIAB when I found it "googleing", and quickly bought it in the past week.

I know that facing a new software must be done with some sort of "love", as everyone is used to work with some other DAW and tends to say... oooh this is really bad done... or ...they should have done that this way....

I've been working with so many DAWs not to be in that group of people (...i hope)

My question:

I'm really starting to be scared, as google searchs do not deny what i'm fearing:

"BIAB has the limit of 255 bar per song !!!!"

... please tell me I'm wrong, because I'm starting to think to use the 30-days test payback.

I really like the program, from the musical point of view, but if that's true, as I'm a computer expert, I'm sure it hasn't to be a really hard programming issue.

If I'm right, please (BIAB programmers),DO A PATCH TO FIX THIS!!! I don't really want to have my money back, but I really think this is a major issue.

Thanks, and please, don't get me wrong, I'm not tryng to be rude..... just feeling sad

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#130754 - 10/08/11 09:50 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Alberto Garay]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13725
Loc: Australia
Hi Alberto,

It's true that if a song is expanded into a single "once through" arrangement, 255 bars is the maximum. For reference, 255 bars of 4/4 time at a tempo of 120 bpm will take 8.5 mins to play.

Despite the above, please note that 255 bars is not necessarily the limit of bars that a song can play, though. There are ways to increase this number of bars.

ONE: BIAB uses a "chorus" system for playback where the word "chorus" is used in its classical sense and means "once through the entire song". For example, if I had a song that consisted of verse 1 + chorus (in this case "chorus" means the chorus of a song), verse 2 + chorus, verse 3 + chorus, all I'd need to do is to program verse 1 + chorus system and set BIAB "number of choruses" to 3. Doing this would have the song play through 3 times. In this way, if my "verse + chorus" system was 100 bars long, my entire song would end up being 300 bars long.

TWO: It's possible to set up repeats and codas so that those sections that have the same melodies can be replayed simply by entering once.

THREE: Use Realband to assemble the song. Realband uses the BIAB generating technology and does not have the limitation of bars.

Thus, while there is a limit of 255 bars, because of the fact that most modern music has repeated melodic sections, it's easy to structure songs so that they have more than 255 bars and will still fit into the 255 slots that BIAB make available.

Regards,
Noel
_________________________
LINKS TO MY BIAB/RB SONGS


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#130755 - 10/08/11 10:03 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Noel96]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17649
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Welcome to the forum, Alberto. Noel gave an excellent answer, and I can't add to that except to mention that you can easily take your tracks (both MIDI and RealTracks/RealDrums) into your DAW software for further work. I also use SONAR, and finish my BIAB songs there.

BIAB was first developed over twenty years ago, and the 255 measure limit must be a hold-over of some 8-bit code.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#130756 - 10/08/11 10:17 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Noel96]
Alberto Garay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Spain
Thanks a lot for your reply, but as far as I know, there must be room (in terms of bars) even for repetitions.

And not many songs (even pop songs), have that chorus repetition schema, that easy.

Let's talk about a concrete example: Tunnel of love-alchemy version (Dire Straits)... i hope you know it.

===================

In that song there's an intro, but not an intro in the sense og BIAB (few measures), it's a smooth intro with sax and piano, that lasts for at least 32 bars.

After that there's a nice instrumental main theme, played with sax and the rest of the band, that's about 16 bars.

Then a slow down atmospheric piano-guitar dialog, that Knopfler used to enlarge or compress depending on the gig, but usually about 32 bars.

Then the carroussel waltz: 16 bars.

This is the point where the "real song" starts, at least where BIAB would have wanted it to start.

Then some sort of V-C-V-C-drumBreak-V-C structure that lasts about 128 bars.

Then a slowdown, and a progression till the end (once again Knopfler extended or compressed this part depending on the gig), let's say 64 bars in average.

=================

That's a sum of 288 bars (although I think they can be more).

This a "normal-well-known" pop song, that cannot be done in BIAB, unless you set an intro that lasts until the "real-song" starts, and then you can play around the repeat-chorus and coda stuff, but anyway it's a bit unnatural, in the sense of good-workflow in the song-structure creation.

Another problem I found with BIAB (in comparison to the rest of the DAWs I know), is the lack of markers, at least some text above the codas or 1,2 marks.

Sorry, I'm a bit dissapointed. I'm open to hear about anyone's workarounds to solve this (IMHO) major issue.

I also beg the programmers of BIAB (if anyone around here), to please consider my issue for the wishlist.

Am i the only one who thinks that dealing with 255 bars is really few?

Thanks

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#130757 - 10/08/11 10:26 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Matt Finley]
Alberto Garay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Spain
Hi, and thank you all for your replies.

Quote:


BIAB was first developed over twenty years ago, and the 255 measure limit must be a hold-over of some 8-bit code.




That's the point!!!

I'm a computer teacher and developer. I really think this issue is as easy to solve as changing the value of some constant in the header program, or maybe a bit more

Anyway, we're in the 21'st century, most processors work at 64 bits.

Nowadays DAWs use to have their limits (number of audio or midi tracks, number of VST plug-ins, etc...), only conditioned by your computer power (CPU, hard disk, RAM, etc...)

I cannot understand, how a real well-done program (in terms of music-theory-well-applied), can have this "apparently-easy" fixable issues.

... once again, I'd love to hear some explanation from the developing team about this, apparently incomprehensible limit.

Thanks you all for your patient.

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#130758 - 10/08/11 10:41 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Alberto Garay]
Alberto Garay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Spain
Thinking about why the developing team to set this limit, I think maybe it's because performance can be affected by re-arranging a huge (in terms of measures) "real-track" song, but not for MIDI ones.

It would be enough for me a pop-up that issue that "maybe some minutes needed to re-arrange this track".

... but, once again, I think this can only affect "real-tracks". Can somebody tell if that can be the point?

Thx

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#130759 - 10/08/11 11:40 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Alberto Garay]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17649
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
I am also a comp sci prof. Rest assured, this issue has been on the Wishlist since the beginning of this user forum in the mid-90s. The registration dates you see with our names are from the revised forum software; several of us go much further back.

You can't know this yet, but PG Music has an excellent record of making user-requested changes, so we have to assume this one is just too integrated into the core of the program to fix easily. Remember that the program you see now has evolved with one or two major revisions every year since 1990. I agree with you that the measure limit for MIDI could be far larger without affecting the speed of song generation, and your guess about RealTracks generating slower is possibly correct, except that it was not related; as I mentioned, this limit has been with the program since the beginning (or at least version 3, when I first saw it).

As Noel mentioned, the included program RealBand can generate songs in a very similar way to BIAB, and does not have the 255 measure limit.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#130760 - 10/09/11 12:08 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Matt Finley]
Alberto Garay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Spain
Quote:


As Noel mentioned, the included program RealBand can generate songs in a very similar way to BIAB, and does not have the 255 measure limit.





The problem is that RealBand crashes in my computer (I think it's an ASIO related problem, maybe my sound card, but it works fine with "BIAB").

Anyway, my insistence in this issue, is that I really cannot understand how this limit can be so hard-coded, not to be fixed or at least "work-arounded" in so many program-versions.

I tried to work-around it spliting a song in two or three parts and using the "A+B" button to generate a song-chain but it's also limitted by the 255 bars (you should admit this makes less sense in this function if possible)

....I'll try to fix the Real Band problem or start to work with SONAR and BIAB, but that's not what I tought when I bought this product. I expected not having to use 2 different DAWs in the normal workflow.

Anyway, thank you all


Edited by Alberto Garay (10/09/11 12:10 AM)

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#130761 - 10/09/11 12:16 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Alberto Garay]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17649
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
I've read about more problems with ASIO in BIAB than in RealBand.

May I suggest you start a new thread in the RealBand forum and give your exact computer and soundcard specs, and describe your problem.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#130762 - 10/09/11 01:40 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Alberto Garay]
Noel96 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13725
Loc: Australia
Alberto,

I favour the MME driver (in reality Windows WDM driver) with Realband when I build songs. If I record, I use ASIO although mostly I export my generated wav files to another DAW and record in that.

Regards,
Noel

P.S. Regarding the "Tunnel of Love Alchemy Version" (Dire Straits). When I listened to it, I found myself thinking that this is not a song that I'd try to get BIAB to do in one go. There's a lot of flexibility in performance required that would be difficult to achieve in BIAB all at one time. To my way of thinking, the many different aspects of this song are better achieved by assembling the sections in a separate DAW. I'd then create an mp3 from the DAW. At least that's how I'd go about it.
_________________________
LINKS TO MY BIAB/RB SONGS


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#130763 - 10/09/11 03:29 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Noel96]
jazzmammal Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6592
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Alberto, since you're from Spain I assume you speak Spanish. You need to move this to the Spanish forum and have this discussion with the Spanish forum moderator Carlos. He's a Venezuelan guitarist who uses Biab along with other DAW's to create some really extraordinary work. He's posted some demos he created a couple of years ago and they are amazing. He's not only a very good player, he's also a pro level recording engineer, he can tell you exactly how to get the most out of Biab in your native language. He's described his setup both software and hardware and it's pretty complex. He knows his stuff.

My comment to you is that Dire Straits tune is not best suited for Biab. Biab is not a full DAW, it's used to create backing tracks for you to sing or play along with not recreate exact covers of classic songs. If that's what you need you can buy excellent studio produced midi files of anything you want from many different websites.

The song structure that Biab is most used for is the standard AABA type of thing. For large rock operas or 20 minute musical suites with 7 or 10 different sections you need Real Band. If you're having a problem with RB crashing that's a problem with your system config, not RB. You just have to get it set up right and we can help you with that. ASIO has been a bit difficult for some users in past years but it works fine on my new Win 7/64 machine. Note you only need ASIO if you're playing a soft synth live in real time. It reduces the latency. Other than that use MME if ASIO is a problem. I've used RB since day one on three different computers. It's not perfect (what is?) but it certainly does not crash my system.

Bob
_________________________
Biab/RB latest build, Win 10 64 bit, Intel 4770, 256 Gig SSD, 16 Gigs Ram, Roland Sonic Cell, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg PA1XPro, Garritan JABB, Hypercanvas, Sampletank 3, more.

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#130764 - 10/09/11 03:31 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Alberto Garay]
J van E Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 5
Quote:

I expected not having to use 2 different DAWs in the normal workflow.



Well, I don't even OWN BiaB (yet) but it took me one session of Google and visiting this forum to find out that, specially for a musician with experience like you say you have, BiaB is more a tool to use to set up the basics of a song after which you finish it a DAW (or RealBand). (I don't even think you can call BiaB a DAW btw.) I think that the only people who really do EVERYTHING in BiaB are content with having a basic (generic) background for their songs. If you want some personality of your own in a song, you have to use another DAW. So if you didn't know that a normal workflow would require a DAW besides BiaB, you bought BiaB too soon and didn't do enough Private Investigations (pun intended! )

Don't get me wrong, I also think the 255 bar limit is a bit er... odd, but you get RealBand with BiaB and you say you have experience with a lot of other DAWs so (so you probably own one or two...?), so I don't really see what's the problem!

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#130765 - 10/09/11 07:12 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: J van E]
Ryszard Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 3900
Loc: Kennesaw (Atlanta) GA
Quote:

. . . BiaB is more a tool to use to set up the basics of a song after which you finish it a DAW (or RealBand). (I don't even think you can call BiaB a DAW btw.)




Exactly right. BIAB has some features which look superficially like a DAW, but you will find that it is unique and has unique capabilities as well.

Quote:

I think that the only people who really do EVERYTHING in BiaB are content with having a basic (generic) background for their songs. If you want some personality of your own in a song, you have to use another DAW.




Be careful of speaking in absolutes with BIAB. There are many people on these forums who create highly-polished arrangements completely in BIAB and use them in live performance..

BIAB was originally designed to work with the General MIDI standard and has since incorporated Real Tracks. It is not well suited to use with multiple synthesizers. It can be done, but you really have to have a technical understanding of MIDI. It is much easier to accomplish in a true DAW.

Quote:

Don't get me wrong, I also think the 255 bar limit is a bit er... odd, but you get RealBand with BiaB and you say you have experience with a lot of other DAWs so (so you probably own one or two...?), so I don't really see what's the problem!




Abolishing the 255-bar limit is one of the most requested items on the BIAB Wishlist. I am certain that if it could be done it would have. You have to have experience with PG Music to fully appreciate that statement.

Given that there is the need to use another program, it has been made as easy as possible. BIAB has been adapted to be able to drag and drop parts into many popular DAWs using the mouse. Of course, you can directly import BIAB files into Realband.

Welcome to the community. I look forward to seeing you participate as a fellow user. Perhaps some day you'll be showing US how to do things!

Richard
_________________________
"My primary musical instrument is the personal computer."

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#130766 - 10/09/11 02:34 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Ryszard]
Alberto Garay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Spain
Quote:


Welcome to the community. I look forward to seeing you participate as a fellow user. Perhaps some day you'll be showing US how to do things!





So hi there folks,

I'm not returning BIAB. It's too wonderful to give up just for 255 reasons

...I'll be asking a lot of things to you... if you don't bother to have an spanish "spy" in your forums, I think the best place to learn is where the developers are...

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#130767 - 10/09/11 02:37 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Alberto Garay]
Alberto Garay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Spain
Quote:



You need to move this to the Spanish forum and have this discussion with the Spanish forum moderator Carlos.

He's a Venezuelan guitarist who uses Biab along with other DAW's to create some really extraordinary work.






I'll take a good look to Carlos also.

Thx 4 the info.

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#130768 - 10/09/11 02:40 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Alberto Garay]
Alberto Garay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Spain
Quote:



...you bought BiaB too soon...






...no, my friend.

What I really think is that I bought it too late

I'm enjoying these first days as a kid...

I only complain for this "ununderstable" limit, the rest is wonderful...

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#130769 - 10/09/11 05:28 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Alberto Garay]
Cerio Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 792
Loc: Spain
I partially agree with you. The 255 limit shouldn't be on any modern program, but unfortunately it's not the only aspect of BIAB that show that the core program hasn't changed on many, many years. Long Filenames, a standard feature since the introduction of Windows95 16 years ago, is only self-implemented on BIAB (*,sty files have a 8-character limit, for example), as is drag&drop, another standard feature from Windows95 that it's not supported on BIAB (try to configure, for example, the Stylepicker Window to show the styles the way you like and you'll know what I mean). The same problem affects to the program's interface (btw, I'm not refereing to the way the program looks, but to its ease of usability): over the years the programmers added a lot of new features, but since the program's core hasn't change very much, and the interface was never completely redesigned, the result is a bloated interface that show many inconsistences, like, for example, the different way that the old "Soloist" feature (only availiable on the Soloist track) and the new "Soloist Realtracks" (availiable on any track, but conceptually identical to the first one) works.

That said, I keep buying, if I can afford it, all program updates and new Realtracks. Why? Because, simply said, you're not going to find any other program designed to create backing tracks that can offer the incredible quality, versatility and realism that BIAB is known for. Realtracks, introduced with BIAB 2008, were a real major step on the evoution on the program, and from then I like to think on BIAB as a great collection of great musicians always ready to play any chord progression you write to them. The greatness of the program resides on its incredible rich (and growing) musical database, and the basic concept of the program (just write the chords and obtain and instant professional backing track in the style you choose) is still great.

So, even with its (sometimes irritating) faults, the program is a pleasure for musicians, and I continue to buying and recommend it. My advice: learn it, use it and enjoy it, while you wait for a greater, easier, more modern version that would produce the same incredible results with much less effort and frustration.

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#130770 - 10/09/11 09:39 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Noel96]
Muzic Trax Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 4962
Loc: California
Alberto,

Most synthesizers/arrangers stop at 255 bar limit as well. With Biab, 255 bars is more then enough cause you can set it to play back those 255 bars many times over.

I have never reached near 255 bars for any song I have done within Biab. Maybe at a tempo of 300 it will go through them fast, but you can set the number of chorus' and playback as well.

Trax

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#130771 - 10/10/11 09:47 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Muzic Trax]
John Conley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 8333
Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Be careful. You can find over 10,000 band in a box songs hidden on the internet. Once you have them you wonder what if I take this song, kill the melody, change it from a folk style to Gypsy Jazz, and then play along. Then you change it again, they you try another song, and next thing you know it's late and you go to bed and wake up and do it again and again.

Far better to forget the software and not think about the girl from ipapa-wherever, and how it might sound with a bass intro, then a snare drum for 3 bars with the bass and then a brass..but at a slower tempo and you want a solo and band in a box can do all that but you will probably become addicted and you end up spending days messing around, picking up instruments, printing leadsheets for horns...NO! Just return it now. Take your fingers off the keyboard.
_________________________
John Conley
Musica est vita

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#130772 - 10/11/11 11:47 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Cannot believe it... 255 bar limit per song????? [Re: Muzic Trax]
Alberto Garay Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/08/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Spain
Quote:

Alberto,

Most synthesizers/arrangers stop at 255 bar limit as well. With Biab, 255 bars is more then enough cause you can set it to play back those 255 bars many times over.

I have never reached near 255 bars for any song I have done within Biab. Maybe at a tempo of 300 it will go through them fast, but you can set the number of chorus' and playback as well.

Trax




Hi Trax,

I also worked many years with hard-coded sequencers in my syths (Yamahas, mostly), and had a lot of fun, but lots of wasted hours making things which take just one clic in any modern DAW.

I think being critical with yourself is not bad never.

I think Cerio is more honest in is post-reply.

He's just saying what many of us think: BIAB is near heaven, but he's out, just by details.... in fact many details, and many of them difficult to understand (from a "software-developing" point of view).

Musically speaking it's great.... but, it's a shame... it's almost there....


Edited by Alberto Garay (10/11/11 11:49 PM)

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