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#440175 - 11/24/17 05:59 AM [Off-Topic] Nov Blog - How to make a BIAB backing track (with melody) using a lead sheet
JoanneCooper Offline

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2173
Loc: South Africa
Hello all

My November blog post has now been published.

How to create a Band-in-a-Box backing track with melody from a lead sheet

In this post I explain how I made a backing track with the melody included from a lead sheet using only Band-in-a-Box and my computer (no midi instrument or music theory knowledge needed). If you have some old "songbooks" this can be a great way to get those songs into band-in-a-Box so that you can create a cover version and/or learn to play along or whatever else you want to do with those songs.

Here is a quick video of Judy Garland's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" that I made using this method.

PS at the end of the blog post there is a link for you to download the .MGU file for your information.

#440200 - 11/24/17 07:17 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Nov Blog - How to make a BIAB backing track (with melody) using a lead sheet [Re: JoanneCooper]
Callie - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 1302
Loc: Victoria, BC
Joanne - you've outdone yourself with this one! Thank you for such a detailed explanation of creating a song with the program - and I love that you shared your song at the end smile


#440603 - 11/25/17 03:56 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Nov Blog - How to make a BIAB backing track (with melody) using a lead sheet [Re: JoanneCooper]
Charlie Fogle Offline

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 4231
Loc: South Carolina
Hey, this is my favorite so far. I've been wanting to do this for a while. Your blog lesson is quite thorough and I'm off to find some song books....
BiaB Ultra Pak 2018:Build 512, RB 2018 Build 5; Windows 7 64 bit AMD Athlon IIX2 215 Dual-core processor; 500GB hard drive; 4GB DDR3 Memory.

#440671 - 11/26/17 12:20 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Nov Blog - How to make a BIAB backing track (with melody) using a lead sheet [Re: JoanneCooper]
JoanneCooper Offline

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2173
Loc: South Africa
Hi Charlie and Callie

Thanks so much!

Here is a jazzy version of Amazing Grace that I made for a Songtradr licensing opportunity using this method.


PG Music News
Band-in-a-Box® 2018 - Cleaned-up BB folder!

It's the first day of spring today, which means it's time to start spring cleaning!

We cleaned up the BB folder with our release of Band-in-a-Box® 2018. Over the years, this folder has been growing - there were up to 10,000 files in there! We've fixed this and put the files into various folders. This is done with a cleanup routine. The cleanup normally happens automatically during installation, but you can run it manually by selecting the main menu Help | Utilities | Run Cleanup routine.

The cleanup routine does the following:
-Moves Styles files (.STY/.STX) from C:\bb to C:\bb\Styles.
-Moves Soloists files (.ST2/.XT2) from C:\bb to C:\bb\Soloists.
-Moves various Demo folders to C:\Demos.
-Moves various songs and lessons folders to C:\bb\Songs and Lessons.
-Moves various files essential for running Band-in-a-Box to C:\bb\Data and C:\bb\Data\Lib.
-Moves various preferences files to C:\bb\Preferences.
-Moves tutorial demo songs, program manuals (.pdf), and the help file (.chm) to C:\bb\Documentation.

Oliver Gannon Interview - Appointed to the Order of Canada!

Oliver Gannon (Peter Gannon's brother), was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition for "his achievements as a musician" on December 29, 2017!

Oliver recently sat for an interview with CBC's Hot Air host Margaret Gallagher - read a summary and listen to the interview at

'I don't know ... why they chose me. But I'm very glad and I'm not giving it back'
-Oliver Gannon

To be clear, and avoid any confusion, there are two brothers: Peter Gannon is the "Band-in-a-Box" PG Music guy, and Oliver Gannon is the jazz guitarist who just won the Order of Canada.

#Monday Motivation - Free Band-in-a-Box® Hard Drive!

Want to snag yourself a free Band-in-a-Box® hard drive? Tell everyone how much you love Band-in-a-Box® with your very own Band-in-a-Box® Testimonial video!

Submit your video, and when we use it on our website (and YouTube page) we will send you a FREE Band-in-a-Box® Hard Drive!

Learn more about how to submit your video testimonial here.

Take a look at the video testimonials we've already received at

User Tip - Custom Drum Shots

Have you ever wanted more control of the RealDrums generated within Band-in-a-Box? (example: with the same consecutive shot/hold/push)

Forum user Pipeline shared their steps in an incredibly detailed forum post to our Tips & Tricks forum - check it out: Custom Drum Shots.

#FunFactFriday - Team PG!

Did you know... Within Band-in-a-Box®, choose Help | About Band-in-a-Box, and you'll see more than just information on the program - you'll also see a complete list of Team PG - we're currently at 35 team members!

#TBT - Automatic Soloing in Band-in-a-Box® 7!

Band-in-a-Box® 7 included some great new features - like Automatic Soloing! This introduced program users to the powerful Soloist capabilities of Band-in-a-Box®, which also includes the Soloist Maker.

Automatic Soloing!
Pick any song or chords in any style, and choose a "soloist." Band-in-a-Box® then creates and plays a professional quality solo in the style of your choice. Previous versions of Band-in-a-Box created great accompaniment. Now you can hear sensational solos as well - showing you exactly what notes are played. Choose from "soloists" in the style similar to great Jazz musicians such as Django Reinhardt, John Coltrane, or Country/Pop soloists and others, or create your own soloists using the "Soloist Maker."

Soloist Maker
This module allows you to define your own soloists. For example, let's say you want to create a soloist in a style similar to the style of "John Coltrane" - the great Jazz saxophonist. The Soloist Maker allows you to define the parameters essential to Coltrane's playing, such as instrument range (i.e. tenor saxophone), extra legato playing, playing more on top of the beat than typical Jazz musicians, and playing straighter 8th notes than usual Swing 8th notes. Also, you can set phrasing options, such as how long the phrase should be and how much "space" to leave between phrases. You can also set how "outside" the playing should be. In the case of a John Coltrane style - you set that to the maximum! Then "turn him loose" and hear the soloist play over any song!

Review all of the features added with Band-in-a-Box® 7:

#TechTipTuesday - Opening MIDI Tracks in PowerTracks Pro Audio

Open your MIDI file in PowerTracks Pro Audio (or RealBand), and you'll see the instruments separated onto their own track - an excellent way to hear all the instruments individually for that song, and a great way to learn!

There's no trick to it either - just use the File | Open dialog, locate the MIDI file, and click [Open].

Note: Type 0 MIDI files have all channels on one track, and should ask whether you want to separate them. If you accidentally chooses no, hit Edit - MIDI - Extract Channels to Tracks. Typically, Type 1 MIDI files have the instruments automatically separated.

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