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#442804 - 12/05/17 11:07 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows
Callie - PG Music Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 1385
Loc: Victoria, BC
Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows boasts over 50 new features and enhancements... including the Build-in Audio Chord Wizard!

The Audio Chord Wizard has been redesigned with Band-in-a-Box® 2018, and is now built in to the program! Previously, the Audio Chord Wizard was a separate app that was not tightly integrated into Band-in-a-Box®. This app is still available from the [Audio Chord Wizard] toolbar button, but now the improved built-in Audio Chord Wizard can be accessed from the Audio Edit Window!

Watch our latest video to learn more:


Video link - Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows
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#442810 - 12/05/17 11:32 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Oh wow. This has got to be the coolest enhancement to 2018 Band-in-a-Box. This is so-o-o powerful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Can't wait to try it.

I've always thought ACW can be such a powerful tool but I've never been able to achieve the results I want. Watching this video I see with this version I can better understand what is happening and how to make effective adjustments.

I have three or four audio files that I can't wait to try using this version on.

THIS IS EXCITING!
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#442818 - 12/05/17 11:47 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Matt Finley Offline
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Jim, you are right; it is a highlight in version 2018. It’s one of those things where describing it isn’t as good as working with it.
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#442820 - 12/05/17 11:50 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
jford Offline
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Great descriptive video.
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#442827 - 12/05/17 12:29 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Rutabago Offline
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The one we have now is highly frustrating. The audio finishes up at double speed, for example.

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#443096 - 12/06/17 03:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Cerio Offline
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Registered: 11/13/05
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That's my favourite new feature, much better, in my opinion than the old ACW.

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#443185 - 12/06/17 11:44 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
lambada Offline
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Looks promising. This should be great for creating backing tracks for covers. I also gave up with the previous one.
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#446965 - 12/23/17 08:50 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Pumps2 Offline
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Registered: 12/02/15
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I was planning to skip 2018 until I watched the chord wizard video. I upgraded today.

I must say my first experience was really unsettling with the GUI misbehaving badly. And nothing I was looking at matched the video. Eventually I stumbled upon the "Fullscreen Chordsheet View" in the Windows menu. Once I checked that, my screen matched the video and the GUI worked a lot better. I suppose that mode has been available for awhile, but I never used it. It is evident to me that the non-fullscreen mode is not very well tested. I stumbled on numerous serious bugs inside the first five minutes. But I think I can learn to use the fullscreen mode all the time, and that seems a lot more stable.

This is life with BIAB -- and I say that in a loving way, considering I've probably had more than a dozen BIAB versions. The program function is amazing and the GUI is really a pain. I am hopeful that by using the fullscreen mode I will be closer to the path that gets better testing.

Now the chord wizard ... Of course it isn't perfect, but I have tried it on 4 widely varied pop and jazz songs this evening and it works better than I expected. The automatic bar detection isn't quite as heuristic as I had hoped, but it is pretty easy to insert a bunch of bar lines manually. There is room for improvement there, but it isn't a big problem.

Detecting the chords is really impressive. I think in the best case, the wizard got 80-90% of them reasonable (not exactly the same spelling I would give the chords, but close enough for a BIAB style to sound like the song.) In the worst case, it was probably 60-70% good.

That sounds like a low number, but it is quite easy to go into the chord sheet to change the chords I don't like. I think this is a potentially very useful work flow.

I did not try any songs that had really dense harmonies or intricate rhythms. I expect it would not really be worth the trouble in those cases, but I could be pleasantly surprised.

I can see many uses for this capability. My particular interest is rather specialized. I often write arrangements for various ensembles -- most often jazz big band. I like to use BIAB in the early stages to preview a structure for the arrangement. I use MIDI-based styles. Once I have the harmonies and chart sequence sounding right, I transfer the basic MIDI tracks (piano, bass, guitar, drums, maybe strings) into Finale so I will have a realistic rhythm section bed. From there, I write the horn parts. By the time I have worked the chart in BIAB, I pretty much know what I want the horns to do, so the scoring usually goes fast.

And in the final stages, I simplify the rhythm section MIDI as needed to print parts that work for those instruments.

That may be the end, but if we need a realistic rendering, then I'll send all the Finale stuff into a DAW where I can give the sound a lot more polish. This may seem complicated, but it actually flows rather nicely and allows me to be more creative by using BIAB at the outset where I can try more ideas quickly.

In the past, the first step of the process has been very manual. If it is a standard tune with a lead sheet available, then I simply enter the chords into BIAB and develop the structure from there. If there is no lead sheet available (say, if covering a pop tune), then I will have to transcribe the chords by ear. That's where the chord wizard can save me some time, even if it only gets the chords 75% right.

It is a big step forward, even if not perfect.


Edited by Pumps2 (12/23/17 10:54 PM)
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#447006 - 12/24/17 05:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Pumps2]
Charlie Fogle Offline
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I enjoyed reading about your workflow to write arrangements for ensembles. It seems to me that if you have a midi file to begin your project and considering all of the song data included in a midi file and the automatic chord interpretation of midi files by BIAB, you would be better served to open a quality midi rather than copy a lead sheet or run an audio file through either version of the ACW unless no midi was available. I know this depends on the particular project you are working on and the availability of either lead sheets, midi and audio. I use both methods and midi most times gives me a big head start on my project.

One thing I often do with ACW chord results is to make note of 'wrong' chords. On occasion they are happy accidents that can really enhance my chord chart using them as substitute chords throughout my chart. I find this causes the BIAB generation to locate different audio phrases that operate similarly to the new natural arrangement feature in BIAB. These wrong chords also sometimes reveal what I call Grace Chords used between major chords changing throughout a song. I would think you have the musical theory knowledge that you understand these happenings without reliance on happy accidents, but for those like me with no formal musical theory experience, their sometimes quite helpful and make us look better at composing than we really are. ;=)
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#447043 - 12/24/17 09:47 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
joden Offline
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Registered: 02/12/10
Posts: 668
The Audio Chord Wizard is fine for very simple chord progressions, but throw an audo file with slash chords, or chords higher in complexity than a seventh and it really does not work well at all.

I think it is more a "gimmicky toy" and something for a bit of fun rather than a serious tool. ymmv, and jmo of course.

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#447156 - 12/25/17 08:41 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Charlie Fogle]
Pumps2 Offline
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Registered: 12/02/15
Posts: 42
Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
I enjoyed reading about your workflow to write arrangements for ensembles. It seems to me that if you have a midi file to begin your project and considering all of the song data included in a midi file and the automatic chord interpretation of midi files by BIAB, you would be better served to open a quality midi rather than copy a lead sheet or run an audio file through either version of the ACW unless no midi was available.


I have certainly done that for some classical pieces. but with big band charts, there is rarely a MIDI that I really want to use. I do better beginning with the chord I want to use (I reharmonize heavily) and then generate MIDI beds from BIAB.

I realize this workflow has many steps and some people are able to get good results just composing straight into a blank score. I do much better when I can hear things develop organically.


Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle

One thing I often do with ACW chord results is to make note of 'wrong' chords. On occasion they are happy accidents that can really enhance my chord chart using them as substitute chords throughout my chart.


Interesting. I'll keep an ear open for that. And that is a nice part about this particular work flow. If the wizard comes up with a "wrong chord", that may suggest there is some ambiguity, and that can be an opportunity. Ambiguity is the composer/arranger's friend. Even if we don't accept the wizard's opinion, it may challenge us to come up with something even more interesting.

My new year's resolution is to listen to more of the really "out there" organ music. Some of these organ composers are absolutely fearless. They rub notes together like nobody's business and get away with the crime every time. smile

All the best.
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#447157 - 12/25/17 08:46 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: joden]
Pumps2 Offline
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Registered: 12/02/15
Posts: 42
Originally Posted By: joden
The Audio Chord Wizard is fine for very simple chord progressions, but throw an audio file with slash chords, or chords higher in complexity than a seventh and it really does not work well at all.


I have only done a few songs. You are certainly right that as the chord complexity increases, the wizard is less accurate -- or at least comes up with chord spellings that are less and less like what a human would do.

In my case, I rarely do "cover charts" where I am trying to transcribe literally. I usually intend to change a significant percentage of the chord anyway, so I like the fact that the wizard gives me a pretty quick way to set up the song structure (marking measures, blocking out sections) and getting enough chords in there to be a good starting point. Maybe I will tire of the process after doing it a few times, but so far, I think it does enough to be useful to me.
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#470793 - 05/02/18 11:42 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Icelander Offline
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It's the 'key change mid song' scenario that always gives me grief with this tool, old or new. Advices on how to best go about this?
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#470813 - 05/02/18 01:43 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Icelander]
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Originally Posted By: Icelander
It's the 'key change mid song' scenario that always gives me grief with this tool, old or new. Advices on how to best go about this?


The simplest way I've found is to process the song in sections. I do so for varied reasons but some of the most common are intro's that are at a slower tempo than the remainder of the song, measures at the end of a verse of chorus that are atypical of the song: ie 1,2,3,4,1,2,1,2,3,4..... and modulations like you mention.

Tips that have helped me:

I don't necessarily start at Bar 1 of a song. I go to a measure into a song that I know for sure is the beginning of a bar. Afterward, I will return to the beginning and get the measures correct that are prior to the measure I started at that I am sure of.

I come back and do walk up and walk down progressions independent of the rest of the song.

Learn and use what the colored bars at the top mean. Most times one will indicate the beginning of a measure accurately.

I go through the song and come back and focus on a modulation independent of the rest of the song.
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#470888 - 05/02/18 06:46 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Icelander Offline
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Sounds clever, if perhaps sluggish.

Thanks for the insight cool
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#470894 - 05/02/18 07:13 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Charlie Fogle Offline
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It is a sluggish method but I rarely, if ever, use the ACW as a tool to quickly input chords.
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#473571 - 05/19/18 12:02 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
David Snyder Offline
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One really cool feature about this is that if you analyze a song and lay out a template with the analysis you will see it often "adjusting" to tempo bar per bar to keep up with the "live feeling" of the song it has analyzed. E.g. 92 BPM, to 93, to 94, back to 92, etc.

Once you have that template you can use it to modify/add your own chords etc but still keep something of a live feel with retards etc so that your song doesn't sound like a machine.

I think that is pretty cool.

Yes, I know you can manually do this anyway, but analyzing the pacing in a favorite song and then using that as a template quickly to create your own swing is pretty neat I think.
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#473586 - 05/19/18 02:54 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
musiclover Offline
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Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 1490
I only tried the ACW once or twice and because I didn't get good results I abandoned any more attempts with it.

But I do use the chord detection in Riffstation software on my computer, which I find is not bad at all, though not perfect.


https://pro.riffstation.com/


Would be interested to find out from those who have used both methods which has given them the best results?

Update

And the good news seems to be if I am reading it correctly that this software is now free,

https://play.riffstation.com/chords-tabs/free-all-right-now/siMFORx8uO8

Thanks


Edited by musiclover (05/19/18 03:54 PM)
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PG Music News
Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows Build 520 Available!

Band-in-a-Box® Version 2018 for Windows users can download the latest free patch update, Build 250, here.

Summary of changes for Build 520 since 519 (July 17 2018):
Added: Save As style feature has support for MIDI velocity changes if volumes aren’t 90 on mixer when saved.
Added: Support for MIDI velocity changes in styles. Use the Misc-More dialog in StyleMaker to set velocity changes in MIDI styles.
Fixed: [Style Memos etc] button was not visible in the Style Editor -> Misc dialog.
Fixed: Bar lines would not display properly in the Audio Edit window if launching through the menu item "Audio Chord Wizard (Audio Edit)".
Fixed: Hitting the Return key while in the Audio Edit window might trigger Loop Screen mode.
Updated: PDF Manual and Help.

User Blog - Recording and Processing Vocals Using RealBand...

Joanne Cooper's latest blog post is a "start to finish" of how she records and processes vocals for her songs using her three "go-to" programs: RealBand, Melodyne, and Nectar from Izotope (with a little help from Band-in-a-Box...)!

Check out this blog post here.

Video - Using MIDI SuperTracks in Band-in-a-Box® for Windows!

Learn how you can add MIDI SuperTracks to your Band-in-a-Box® song?

Using MIDI SuperTracks in Band-in-a-Box® for Windows!

Video - Using MIDI SuperTracks in Band-in-a-Box® for Mac!

Learn how you can add MIDI SuperTracks to your Band-in-a-Box® song?

Using MIDI SuperTracks in Band-in-a-Box® for Mac!

Musician Brent Mason in the Studio Recording RealTracks!

Before leaving Nashville, Tobin caught up with Brent Mason recording some future RealTracks in the studio.

We can't wait to hear them!

Video - Adding RealTracks to Your Band-in-a-Box® Song

There are 300 RealTracks Sets available (over 2,500 RealTracks!), and here at PG Music we have this to say about them: You'll want to use RealTracks in all of your projects... and you can!

But what if you're not sure how to add them to your Band-in-a-Box® song? We have a video for that! Click here to watch...

Save Notation Window as a Video with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac

Did you know... Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac allows you to save the Notation Window as a video? What a great way to share your songs with users, and LEARN from the notation as you listen!

From the program manual:
[Save As] | Save as video
-In the Make Notation Video dialog, select a track at the upper left corner. (Note: The dialog title says “Make Chord Sheet Video” until you select a track.)
-You can also set the dimension (width/height) of the video and select the number of frames per second and a specific codec.
-Press the [OK - Render Video] button to start rendering the video. When the video has been created, press the [Show Video File] button.
-You can then double click on the file to watch the rendered video.

Note: A special use of this feature is to combine a Video RealTracks (new with version 2018) with the corresponding notation in a single video. This creates an educational video, which shows the actual performance with notation/tab, playing over your chord progression! To do this, right-click on the Master button or one of the track buttons at the top of the main screen and select Render Video(s) from the menu.

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