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#448231 - 12/31/17 10:45 AM [User Showcase] Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS
aleck rand Offline

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
What's better than a RealDrummer? How about two RealDrummers ... or even three. Each playing the same style at the same tempo. Here's a trick I often use to add more dynamics to rhythmic patterns using, in this case, one RealDrum track (of the Jazz Funk Movin'/Groovin' variety). Make a copy of your RealDrum track, located one track down but otherwise aligned with the original in the track above.

The trick: Slide or shift the second track to the right a certain number of beats. Trial and error, the way various test runs sound, rhythmic intuition, etc. are the most natural methods for shifting the second track. There are mathematical methods to make this determination. You'll be amazed when you hit that "sweet spot" and new rhythmic excitement and complexity jump out at you.

This original composition uses the method to create a multi-directional drum track that deliberately makes it hard to find "one" but still drives the tune forward. I like to do harmonically complex tunes that are out of the range of BIAB's instrumental tracks. So I wind up playing all the (real) instruments except the drums, at which point RealDrums become indispensable. There is an interesting back story, found on the destination page, to the title


#448283 - 12/31/17 04:26 PM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Scott C Offline

Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 2908
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Hi Dean. So glad to hear from you. Happy New Year..

What a cool song. Really loved the texture to all the different sounds. Especially the guitar. Loved what you did with the drums as well.
Scott Collingwood

#448291 - 12/31/17 05:11 PM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: Scott C]
aleck rand Offline

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Scott, Happy New Year my friend. Enjoy the view from Solaris. Make a resolution to read Lem's novelette this year.


PS I kind of went off the deep end in the reply to Torrey and wonder of any of it sounds familiar or if you've thought along these lines yourself.

Edited by aleck rand (01/01/18 11:22 AM)

#448318 - 12/31/17 07:01 PM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
MarioD Offline

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10700
Loc: Hamlin NY
Hi Dean, this is great.

When this started I immediately thought of Miles and Coltrane. Then you brought in a John McLaughlin and Jan Hammer. You also have a few Billy Cobhams playing also. All of them were under the direction of Zappa.

This is a keeper.
Yesterday I walked into a room and remembered why I was there! It was the bathroom!

64 bit Win 10 Pro - the latest BiaB and RB - Roland Octa-Capture audio interface - a ton of software and some hardware.

#448407 - 01/01/18 08:29 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Torrey Bliss Offline

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 1234
Loc: Missouri
Wonderful, exquisite and extremely well performed Jazz Aleck!! An artist that came to my mind as I listened to this was John McLaughlin! I always feel like just putting the guitar back in the case when I hear material done as well as this (Just kidding)! Thanks for posting, it's a tremendous inspiration to a lot of us out here! Have a great 2018! Thanks, Torrey

#448429 - 01/01/18 10:03 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: MarioD]
aleck rand Offline

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Mari-o, my man

Been a while, too long really. Before anything, have a healthy and creative new year and if you can get to read Lem's novelette, Solaris, that would be good too. If you ever wanted to read a writer whose imagination outruns reality from the git, then Lem is your man.

Otherwise, your compliments are such a kick for me to get the new year off to a running start. My compositional skills are not that great but every once in a blue moon I'll have ideas come into my head. They seem to appear out of nowhere, not based on anything I've recently heard, and are more like instructions given by the tune in order to compose itself.

Solaris is the best example I can give of one of these rare events. When it's done, I listen to it and ask, "Did I do that?" And if it's good, I know it. But the names you bring in - McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Zappa - go beyond the class of just "good." Deep thanks, my friend.

PS you may find interesting my reply to Torrey, about two schools of thought in improvising. I wonder if it makes sense and you've thought along these lines yourself.

Edited by aleck rand (01/01/18 11:23 AM)

#448431 - 01/01/18 11:15 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: Torrey Bliss]
aleck rand Offline

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Wow! Torrey, such a profound compliment.

We could probably have a good back and forth about McLaughlin and two schools of thought on improvisation: melodists versus formalists Wes was the supreme melodist. Each phrase was a beautifully shaped, coherent, melodic idea pointing to the next idea. You could sing Wes's solos. He coudln't read and certainly didn't know much about modes and exotic scales. Basically, his mental map of the instrument was so perfect that he just used it as another voice to sing with. This leaves out all the other original things about the guy: the thumb, the octaves, the impossible chord solos. Even with the thumb Wes could go fast when he wanted too.

But not nearly as fast as McLaughlin, formalist supreme. By my definition, formalists rely much more on scales, modes, geometric patterns on the guitar, graphs drawn in the circle of fifths and other devices that may or may not translate into melodic ideas. If I'm right on this, McLaughlin himself shouldn't know how his playing will sound until after he plays it. When you can play that fast it almost doesn't matter, either a note is right or is an approach note to something right. What really needs to be right is the setup of the larger geometric blocks or other structures riding on the changes.

Pat Martino, probably my favorite of all time, plays both sides. He uses formal patterns which turn out the baadest licks ever heard on the instrument.

Somehow or other you're supposed to find the right combination that brings out your own unique voice. Yeah, right. No one tells you that finding this voice is a sure thing, or might take two lifetimes or you might find it and - surprise1 - you don't like it! Bummer. I've found my own voice at least 47 times. So I know what those "into the case, then into the fireplace" moments are like.

I didn't expect this to be so long, but you mentioned McLaughin and paid me a deep compliment. Thank you. I hope 2018 finds your voice honed to just the way you like it.

Edited by aleck rand (01/01/18 11:23 AM)

#448476 - 01/01/18 03:36 PM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
F.M.M. Offline

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 1086
hi dean great stuff here its all about the timing awesome work the horns your guitar work well done great listen thanks eric

#448585 - 01/02/18 06:25 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: F.M.M.]
aleck rand Offline

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Hey Eric, Happy New Year,

I'm glad you liked this tune and thanks for the kind worda. Not for everybody, but I'm glad to get any listeners with the ears to hear what's happening and possibly use the trick of offsetting real drum tracks.


#448771 - 01/03/18 06:04 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Charlie Fogle Offline

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 4231
Loc: South Carolina
Good to see you posting again. I've always admired the complexities, melodic phrases and improvisation of your work. I don't know much about McLaughlin,Miles and Coltrane or Billy Cobhams and I get a type of music may not be for everybody, but I admire anyone who is the best at what they do and I totally appreciate your work. There are many others like me judging from the comments on the SoundCloud post.

I'm also a fan of BIAB tricks and will dive in and see what I can do with of offsetting real drum tracks.

Enjoyed this one a lot.

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.

#448781 - 01/03/18 06:39 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
dani48 Offline

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 3229
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Hi, brother !:))

There ain´t noone
around that could do
anything even close
to this ! You are
in a league of your
own and we love it
all of us !:))


#449292 - 01/05/18 11:12 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
Greg Johnson Offline

Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 3796
Loc: Davis, CA
WOW!!!! WOW!!!! WOW!!!!, And a WHOA!!! on top of that!! This is more than "fun and games". What a cool, imaginative, thrill-ride of a tune. I've really missed having you around the forum Dean, and SOOOO Happy for your return. Happy New Year, and don't be a stranger!!! Take care. Greg

#449442 - 01/06/18 04:59 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: aleck rand]
tommyad Offline

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 2648
Loc: Florida
Dean, I'm glad you're back. It sure sounds like you've healed up nicely. This is such a challenge to my ears. Since it is somewhat outside my genre I have to work at listening. I always enjoy what you post and it has broaden my musical horizons. I enjoyed your explanation of improvisation. Nice little trick with the offset drum tracks. Again you have shown your expertise on multiple instruments. You are a great player and arranger! Wishing you well in the new year, Tom

#449873 - 01/08/18 07:30 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: Charlie Fogle]
aleck rand Offline

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958
Hey Charlie,

You must know more about McLaughlin than you think because I see his double neck Gibson iyour pic! Except his wasn't white. I never took away much from him except that he was real faaaaaaaaast. Then I began to notice that you could pick any of his solos and start anywhere and you'd hear roughly the same thing on every tune. Billy Cobham was a thundering drummer that seemed to fit the approach of McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. About Miles: I saw a movie called Miles Ahead, produced and directed by and starring Don Cheadle. The merciless picture of him must be an exaggeration. No one could be that hostile and have any energy left over for, say, playing the trumpet.

Your kind remarks are appreciated and so is your willingness to bear with some fairly "outside" music. Thank you.
Sweetwater Creation Station. BIAB 2018, Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio, Izotope Nektar 2, Ozone 8, KEYBOARDS: Kurzweil Artis 7, Crumar MOJO, Hammond XK-3, BASSES (fretted & fretless by Ibanez, LTD, Warwick. GUITARS by Guild, Gretsch, Ibanez, Eastwood (12 string)

#449917 - 01/08/18 11:56 AM [User Showcase] Re: Fun and Games with RealDrums: SOLARIS [Re: dani48]
aleck rand Offline

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 958

I never figured out how to handle over the top compliments like this. Thank you just doesn't seem to do the job and you would think that the English language, with its gigantic vocabulary, would have a better selection of choices. But it doesn't, so it's thank you ... very much. Anyway, you look terrific in your "new" pic (since I haven't been here in a while, it's new to me) and it's great that you're still composing, playing and posting. I suppose we'll never stop. I've decided not to do covers except on SoundCloud and since my compositional skills are not so great I'll have to distribute carefully the originals I have created.

Best of everything to you Dani in the new year

Sweetwater Creation Station. BIAB 2018, Mixcraft 8 Pro Studio, Izotope Nektar 2, Ozone 8, KEYBOARDS: Kurzweil Artis 7, Crumar MOJO, Hammond XK-3, BASSES (fretted & fretless by Ibanez, LTD, Warwick. GUITARS by Guild, Gretsch, Ibanez, Eastwood (12 string)

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#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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RealTracks Set 286: Pop & Rock Guitars with Brent & Joe
RealTracks Set 287: Pop Songwriter - Acoustic Guitar
RealTracks Set 288: Southern Pop Drums with Land Richards
RealTracks Set 289: Fretless Bass, Pop Keys, and Punk Drums
RealTracks Set 290: More Pop Percussion Singles
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Audio Edit Window Enhancements in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

With Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows, the Audio Edit Window GUI has been updated to include a dedicated settings button and a Marker Mode button. Plus, editing features can now be applied to the entire track (if no specific region is highlighted).

We've also added the following items to the Edit button within the Audio Edit Window:

Paste (Mix) - This will mix the audio from the clipboard with the existing audio instead of overwriting it. You will be given the option to set the percentage of the existing audio to keep and the pasted audio to mix in.
Paste (Insert) - This will insert the audio from the clipboard to the current location, instead of overwriting the existing audio. The audio to the right of the insertion point will be shifted to make room for the new audio.
Delete - This will delete the selected region of audio.
Insert Silence - This will insert silence at the cursor. The duration of the silence inserted will be equal to the duration of the selected region.
Convert Channels - If the audio is stereo, this will convert it to mono. If it’s mono, this will convert it to stereo. You will be given the option to set the percentage of the left and right channels to include.
Harmonize - This will launch the Audio Harmony dialog, which can be used to harmonize the selected region of audio.
Transcribe - This will transcribe the audio to the Melody or Soloist track.
Fix Tuning - This will automatically correct the tuning of the selected region according to the key of your song. For example, in the key of C, if a C# is detected then it will be transposed down to C or up to D depending on which one is closer.

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