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#309161 - 09/02/15 07:39 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] how to make backing track from mp3
imightBb Offline
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Registered: 03/25/15
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I found a song that I want to make into a backing track. I open the audio with chords and BIAB displays the chords..but what are the next steps....I have biab12 but not very familiar with it.
Thanks for any help

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#309166 - 09/02/15 08:29 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: imightBb]
jford Offline
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First of all, I'm presuming that you mean you are using BIAB 2012, not BIAB 12 (which is different).

I'll also assume (based on your post) that you have used the ACW (Audio Chord Wizard) to generate a chord grid from the underlying audio file, and now all you are hearing is the original audio file.

First, you need to select an appropriate style (you'll probably see an X next to the currently selected style, which means it is disabled). Then you'll either need to mute the original audio or delete the audio. Generate the arrangement and see if it sounds okay. You'll probably also have to adjust some chords from what the ACW generated.
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#309198 - 09/02/15 02:18 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: jford]
imightBb Offline
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Thanks John

Yes BIAB 2012.... and yes ACW

Any tips for finding the right style....can BIAB make a style from my mp3?

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#309213 - 09/02/15 04:42 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: imightBb]
Charlie Fogle Online   content
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BiAB has thousands of styles and you can likely find something similar to most any mp3. If the mp3 you're working on is a commercial release, search the sylepicker for the name of the song and the artist as a starting point. Try doing this with abbreviations as well. The Bee Gees is a good example where misspelling the name is helpful because they are listed BGees (check out BGees2 style) and Creedence Clearwater Revival can be found both listed as CreClear and Crendnce.

Charlie
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#309513 - 09/06/15 07:22 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: jford]
90 dB Offline
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Originally Posted By: jford
First of all, I'm presuming that you mean you are using BIAB 2012, not BIAB 12 (which is different).

I'll also assume (based on your post) that you have used the ACW (Audio Chord Wizard) to generate a chord grid from the underlying audio file, and now all you are hearing is the original audio file.

First, you need to select an appropriate style (you'll probably see an X next to the currently selected style, which means it is disabled). Then you'll either need to mute the original audio or delete the audio. Generate the arrangement and see if it sounds okay. You'll probably also have to adjust some chords from what the ACW generated.





Hey John. I have never been able to do this successfully - I'm probably doing it wrong! When I use the ACW, it gives me really weird chords, and in the wrong key.

I would apreciate any tips you could give.


Regards,

Bob
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#309515 - 09/06/15 08:17 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: jford]
Charlie Fogle Online   content
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Originally Posted By: jford
First, you need to select an appropriate style (you'll probably see an X next to the currently selected style, which means it is disabled). Then you'll either need to mute the original audio or delete the audio. Generate the arrangement and see if it sounds okay. You'll probably also have to adjust some chords from what the ACW generated.


I do not immediately delete the mp3 in the beginning. Since the BIAB style is disabled, just the mp3 audio will be heard but the black bar curser will progress in tempo (or follow the tempo map if you selected that). This easily allows me to correctly hear the song and correct chords that are obviously wrong. Then I only mute the mp3 after I have selected a style by A B comparisons between the mp3 audio and the generated BIAB style so that I can fine tune chord corrections and place my section markers.
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#309573 - 09/07/15 05:53 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: imightBb]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Sometimes the ACW doesn't get it right. Not even close at times. It all depends on the chords in the songs and if the bass notes match the chords or not.

I've used ACW a few times. The first time it actually hit the chords really well. The next few times, it did not get the chords or the timing very accurately. I ended up having to enter chords by hand after figuring out the chords and the tempo on my own.
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#309578 - 09/07/15 07:10 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: Guitarhacker]
Charlie Fogle Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
Sometimes the ACW doesn't get it right. Not even close at times. It all depends on the chords in the songs and if the bass notes match the chords or not.


Herb is correct. But there are several things to try if initially ACW is way off. The first thing I try is resetting the 'first bar' (F6). The ACW interpretation is wrong if the first bar is wrong. On occasion, ACW is correct with tempo and bar settings. When it is not, note the multi colored lines at the top. These indicate the beats by pitch that ACW detected. The next time you try to interpret a song with ACW, before you begin detection, use F6 to move the first bar between the several beats detected and you can see that not only the bars are rearranged but the tempo changes. Sometimes this is enough to cause the first chord to change as well. Asus may become D, or D2 becomes D or such.

According to the quality of the audio you are trying to detect, the tuning can also be # or b a few cents. This can be enough to confuse ACW. ACW will analyze tuning. Try that before detection if you know ACW is off. I download audio from YouTube a lot to use for ACW chord detection, key and tempo of songs I want to learn or do something in BIAB. Because of this audio is many times less than stellar, the audio will be sharp or flat because of the compression algorithm of YouTube or just the quality of the uploaded file. I have also had success in downloading a file again at a higher resolution than 44.1/16. Try 48/24 or higher if you have that capability. You can erase the larger file after you are finished with ACW detection.

If you run ACW and it is erroneously detecting the proper chords, you can change the sensitivity of ACW chord detection. Another thing along this line is to change the pitch sensitivity of the bass chords detected. This causes ACW to take detected bass beat above a specified pitch and read them as a chord rather than a bass note. This is helpful if you are trying to detect a chordal run at the end of a lyric line or verse.

ACW is not always a time saver, but it is a very valuable tool! Hope this help some of you have better success.
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#309609 - 09/07/15 12:30 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: Charlie Fogle]
rharv Offline
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c_fogle is spot on.
ACW is not always perfect when just clicking OK .. sometimes you gotta think about it and help it work.
Get the first measure (basic key) right and then it has a much better chance of being correct.
Next step is letting it know when the the chords change (Tempo) which can be done by hitting F8 key when the measure starts (this helps it adjust and figure out the next chords). Open ACW, set 1st measure, hit play and tap F8 key on the '1' of each measure. This helps immensely with accuracy.

Often, after hitting F8 key for a few measures the ACW actually 'looks ahead' and makes the needed adjustments. YMMV.

The above feature is what amazed me with the ACW; the ability to adjust chord interpretation on-the-fly. Once you recognize when it has adjusted, it can be a real time saver.

..of course, spot checking later in the file helps, but no other plugin I know of does this. Letting ACW know the correct tempo by hitting F8 on the 1 of each measure allows it to adjust both chords and tempo through the rest of the song (on the fly in real-time).
It's an awesome piece of code when you know how it works.

Edit: dug up a video I made a while back .. hopefully it helps.
http://www.masteringmatters.com/stuff/ACW_Tempo_Map_creation.avi
Shows how the Tempo Map affects chord interpretation on the fly. At about 2:30 in the video, you can see ACW writing new chords as I hit F8 to adjust the tempo (again on the fly). It's real and it's pretty awesome when you consider it's included for free.


Edited by rharv (09/07/15 01:22 PM)
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#309621 - 09/07/15 01:53 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: imightBb]
90 dB Offline
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rharv,

I think that's where I'm going wrong - thanks to you and Charlie.




Regards,

Bob
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#309641 - 09/07/15 05:55 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: rharv]
Charlie Fogle Online   content
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I recall this video Rharv. It helped me a lot as I was getting started with the ACW.
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#309794 - 09/09/15 10:54 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: imightBb]
jford Offline
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ACW can be finicky, but doing the things others have posted is what makes it mostly work. There are still going to be incorrect chords and you're just going to have to correct them manually.

As has been said, setting bar 1 is key. Then ensuring each bar line is in the right place. You also have the option of one chord per bar or two chords per bar.

It's good if your song has multiple verses/choruses, since sometimes it gets it wrong in one verse, but not the other verse, so it's easy to make a correction.
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#309796 - 09/09/15 10:58 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: jford]
90 dB Offline
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Originally Posted By: jford
ACW can be finicky, but doing the things others have posted is what makes it mostly work. There are still going to be incorrect chords and you're just going to have to correct them manually.

As has been said, setting bar 1 is key. Then ensuring each bar line is in the right place. You also have the option of one chord per bar or two chords per bar.

It's good if your song has multiple verses/choruses, since sometimes it gets it wrong in one verse, but not the other verse, so it's easy to make a correction.





John -

Where exactly do you set Bar 1? At the first note? Excuse my ignorance.


Regards,

Bob
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#309829 - 09/09/15 04:29 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: 90 dB]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Use F6 to identify the first beat of the first complete measure. Some songs begin with two or three lead in notes, ignore the lead in notes.

By the way, that's a good question. I didn't ask and had to find out through trial and error.
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#309873 - 09/10/15 04:49 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: imightBb]
90 dB Offline
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Thanks Jim. I will try that.


Regards,

Bob
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#309910 - 09/10/15 07:57 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: imightBb]
jford Offline
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What Jim said...

Sometimes, just to get it right, especially if it is a wandering introduction, I will set bar one even further into the song. That also prevents the wildly varying tempos at the beginning of the song, which BIAB can handle, but doesn't sound very musical, because BIAB (unlike RealBand) can only change tempos at the beginning of each bar. BIAB (again, unlike RealBand) also only support whole number tempos. That's why if the tempo is sitting at, say, 92.5, you'll one bar with 92 and the next with 93, and then back to 92, etc. RealBand can handle fractional tempos, so if the tempo is 92.5, you can set the tempo to 92.5.

When setting bar 1, I will play the beginning of the song several time and watch the cursor move over the wav form to see exactly where the downbeat is. I then set bar 1 there. Generally, even though I don't necessarily need to, I will then use the F8 key to set the remaining bars in the song. My method is to just close my eyes, listen to the song, and click the F8 key on the downbeat of each bar.

Once I send the chord/tempo progression back to BIAB, I will then generally generate a BIAB arrangement (usually trying to find a style similar to the original song, even though that won't necessarily be the final style I use). This way, I can alternate listening to the original and the BIAB, as well as listening to both of them together. I can then make changes to the chord grid (often comparing similar verses, which may have been interpreted slightly differently), trying to get the right chord progression. Because I am unfortunately not that skilled, I will usually err on the side of simpler chords to get the basic arrangement.

Once I have the chord progression completed to my satisfaction, then I will remove the audio file and usually remove the tempo map (to get a consistent tempo). From there, I can enter the melody (if I choose - perhaps from a fake book or sheet music) and start making the song "my" arrangement.

Another thing I will sometimes do is to slow down the audio before running ACW. If the song has a very fast tempo, sometimes the screen rewrites in ACW can't keep up when setting the bars with F8. Starting with a slower version of the song helps in this regard, but also may introduce some artifacts that may affect the chord interpretation. It's all give or take.

Also remember that ACW will only give you a resolution of up to two chords per bar, so if a song is changing every beat, you may want to adjust the tempo so that you view every half measure as a full measure. That will give you quarter note resolution (and as above, you may need to slow down the audio accordingly so it can keep up), and your chord grid will look ugly. But at least you can get the chord progression and can clean up the file later.

I'm sure others have different work flows, but that's what works for me.

YMMV
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#309913 - 09/10/15 08:36 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: imightBb]
90 dB Offline
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Thanks John. Very comprehensive.


Regards,

Bob
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#310021 - 09/11/15 05:07 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: jford]
MountainSide Online   content
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John, very interesting method, never thought about slowing the tempo to increase resolution...brilliant!

Jeff
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#310459 - 09/15/15 05:21 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: how to make backing track from mp3 [Re: imightBb]
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Unfortunately I haven't actually got anything of value to add, except to say I really like your forum name. Cool.
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