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#451099 - 01/14/18 10:35 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Turn UP those DRUMS!!!
floyd jane Offline
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TURN THOSE DRUMS UP!!!!!!

Songwriters who are new to producing - and some who are not so new - often do not understand how IMPORTANT drums are to the overall sound of a song.

So...let's talk about that a little.

We grow up writing songs on our guitars (typically). So what we hear is our song with guitar. Voice and guitar. That's what matters, we think. "Yeah, that's how I wrote it!"

That's great. BUT... That is seldom how a "radio song" is produced.

Guitar players (writers) don't even HEAR drums in a song, generally. They only hear the guitars. Because that is what they know. And their guitars are, quite often, too loud in a full mix. I often tell people "the drums could be a bit louder". And "old guys" often say "I don't like loud drums".

If you stopped listening to music around 1979 (which a lot of "old guys" did), then you likely don't "get" drums. Music prior to that had pretty wimpy drums compared to today's music. A lot of people continue to listen to only the music they grew up on (if at all).

Since then, drums have been getting louder. And louder. And LOUDER.

But 1979 guys still don't hear them. They are GUITAR GUYS.

Get a current record (or any made in the last 20 years) and put it on your iPod (if you have one). Or find a new record on YouTube (or any streaming service) and listen to the whole thing - with headphones or earbuds. Anything after 1990. And PAY ATTENTION to the drums. Listen to the record ONLY listening for the drums. After a while you should finally "get it". It is ALL ABOUT THE DRUMS (and a little about the bass).

START your mix with DRUMS. Get them LOUD. Then add your bass. Get it to play nicely with your drums. Then add your vocal. You can have had all your other instruments involved earlier to track your vocals... but after that, do your FIRST FULL MIX with just DRUM, BASS and VOCAL. THAT should sound really good. Then add those other things - guitars, piano, mandolin, strings... UNDER that basic track of DRUMS-BASS-VOCAL. Add them one at a time. Let them "add some flavor", not "take over". Drums, bass and vocal should rule.

When you get everything you want in there (your mix, that is), if you are "hitting the red", mute the drums. Likely you will no longer be in the red. If that is the case, don't worry about it. I know that will cause a flurry of "rules guys" to start citing those rules they live by, but most of those rules are held over from analog tape days. If the cause is the snap of that snare, who cares? You likely will not hear any distortion from it - it's a fraction of a second. It will not distort everything else. Give it a try and see. And, that little bit of red on the snare can actually give it a small amount of "warmth" - even in the digital world.

Give it a try. Pick a song that you have mixed that might have the drums low. And TURN 'em UP! One way to accomplish that is the simple make a duplicate copy of the drum track and add it in. If that is TOO loud (unlikely), turn that one down a bit...

(Guitar guys often mix pianos too low, too... but that is a different discussion...)
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#451100 - 01/14/18 10:43 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
sslechta Offline
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Could not agree more sir. I feel the same way. Spoken from a keys guy..... smile
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#451110 - 01/14/18 11:57 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
MarioD Offline
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What do you mean there is more to music than a guitar? whistle whistle

Seriously I agree with you. The hardest thing for me was to actually listen to other instruments when mixing a song. I was so used to either listening to the guitar and/or the chord progression. Of course the guitar is still the main instrument but the other instruments deserve some space, I guess.

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#451140 - 01/14/18 02:52 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
David Snyder Offline
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#451143 - 01/14/18 03:09 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
Noel96 Offline
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Originally Posted By: floyd jane
START your mix with DRUMS. Get them LOUD. Then add your bass. Get it to play nicely with your drums. Then add your vocal. You can have had all your other instruments involved earlier to track your vocals... but after that, do your FIRST FULL MIX with just DRUM, BASS and VOCAL. THAT should sound really good. Then add those other things - guitars, piano, mandolin, strings... UNDER that basic track of DRUMS-BASS-VOCAL. Add them one at a time. Let them "add some flavor", not "take over". Drums, bass and vocal should rule.

floyd,

I've never tried the above approach before! I'll definitely give it a shot with the present song I'm working on. Thank you for taking time to write your thoughts down.

For what it's worth, part of my plan of attack with mixing is that I always listen to tracks in pairs to make sure that there are no audio conflicts that need resolving. For example: bass + drums; bass + guitar 1; bass + piano; guitar 1 + piano; etc. While the above takes a little time, I find that it's time well spent. Also, low frequency audio clashes such as those that can occur between bass and drums, and piano (or guitar) and bass, can seriously impact the overall quality of the arrangement/production.

Regards,
Noel

P.S. I think I'm one of those 1979 guys (maybe earlier even)!
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#451158 - 01/14/18 04:25 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
Janice & Bud Offline
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Damn, what about us bass guys? grin

Good info floyd! You and a few others here have “the” drum sound on the forum and, yep, it sounds like what I hear listening nowadays to multiple genres of music from various sources. And you nailed it regarding the snare red lining. That was/is hard for me to overcome due to my analogue mixing days - recording and gig house/monitors. I’m in the midst of remixing some of our earlier BiaB productions and the first thing I notice on them is the lack of drum presence and in particular the snare.

Thanks for highlighting this issue.

Bud
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#451178 - 01/14/18 06:14 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
David Snyder Offline
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But seriously, Floyd is right and there is more than one way to go about it.

IK Multimedia has released TR5 with some cool engineer presets, like a bunch from Dave Way.

One utilizes a tool set called Mic Room (wicked cool) to mimic mic'ing the drums--another EQs the set.

Pretty cool. These are regular old BIAB real drums being run through the processors.

https://soundcloud.com/david-snyder-mixing-lab/miced-drums-master

Dave Way Presets and TR5

http://www.ikmultimedia.com/news/?item_id=13118




Attachments
Mic-ed Drums_Virtual.jpg


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#451241 - 01/15/18 05:51 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: David Snyder]
floyd jane Offline
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YES!!!!



(excellent)
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#451260 - 01/15/18 08:18 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: David Snyder]
Samuel Davis Offline
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Originally Posted By: David Snyder

LOL Thats awsome!
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#451261 - 01/15/18 08:25 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
Samuel Davis Offline
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Seriously though, great info here Floyd.

I just recently picked up a trick from David Snyder on another forum post to enhance your drum tack. I used it in my last song which I will be posting here in the forums soon. I trippled the drum track then EQd one of the tracks to isolate the kick and one to emphasize the snare then mixed the three to my liking. It really helped to bring out the thump of the kick and the snap of the snare.
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#451278 - 01/15/18 10:10 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
David Snyder Offline
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Ok, this is hilarious. I was analying an old song with software to "match the EQ" and the sound of it using IK Multimedia's Master Match.

I chose Carolina in my Mind (1979 version) by James Taylor because I was looking for a good acoustic mix reference/EQ match.

I could have SWORN that song had a very lush, warm, midrange in your face acoustic with everything else WAY in the background.

But NO. All you hear in the beginning is some pretty thin and tinny sound picking and then a HUGE FAT BASS that dominates everything, with moderate drums. And some little tinkly piano stuff way in the background.

I am like--Is that REALLY what I heard all those years ago? Yes. But in my imagination I remembered something totally different.

Weird man! If Floyd's rule applies to Carolina in My Mind (which it apparently does) God Help Us All on Death Metal.
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#451282 - 01/15/18 10:25 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: David Snyder]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Originally Posted By: David Snyder


boy... you ain't right.
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#451284 - 01/15/18 10:35 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Good advice.

My mixing sessions start out with the drums and the bass. I mute everything except the drums... I EQ the drums for clarity and definition.... I want that kick to kick and the snare needs to have snap in it....as much as is possible using the real drum tracks. Often if that doesn't work and if I'm not in a hurry, I will turn to midi sampled drums to get that drive I want.

Bass is a close second IMHO.... what a properly EQ'd and mixed bass & drum track and a good singer, you have a song that will stand on it's own. guitars and keys, and everything else is filler. I always like to point to this song as an example of this in action.

BLACK VELVET

And the secret with adding the filler is to only add what is absolutely essential. Many folks make the beginner mistake of thinking that...well, they took the time to record the tracks so it'd be a shame to waste them, so we'll just put all 20 of them in the mix and make it sound "full". Wrong. It makes it sound like a beginner mixed the song.
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#451346 - 01/15/18 04:11 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: David Snyder]
rharv Offline
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Originally Posted By: David Snyder
But seriously, Floyd is right and there is more than one way to go about it.

IK Multimedia has released TR5 with some cool engineer presets, like a bunch from Dave Way.

One utilizes a tool set called Mic Room (wicked cool) to mimic mic'ing the drums--another EQs the set.

Pretty cool. These are regular old BIAB real drums being run through the processors.

https://soundcloud.com/david-snyder-mixing-lab/miced-drums-master
..


TBH I liked this better.
I see you have the same issue with certain RDs that I do; there is a ringing in the bass drum that could have been muffled a bit for my taste.
It introduces mud in the bass/low-mids for some stuff.
That track sounded good on it's own, but I suspect it may need taming in a mix.

May be just a preference thing. I dunno.

I've been working on documenting how we record live drums, both the recording method (3 mic, 4 mic and 8 mic) and post recording processes. We have some years behind us so maybe someone will learn or maybe I'll get schooled.

Getting the right amount of ring from all drums is tricky .. from the bass drum, to toms (that often need control) to snare (I love a ringing snare), and even the ring of the ride bell. It can easily be too much, but you gotta have some.

Then there's phasing (mic placement and choice), etc
Recording live drums can get pretty complicated.
Especially once you get one kit set up just right and then another drummer comes in with his stuff ... or even the same kit with a different drummer will need changes.
We have a decent Yamaha kit that a lot of drummers are fine with once they play it, but then they all want their different cymbals, and then they inevitably move the snare a few inches. Having no idea we have 3 nights of moving the mic to get it where it was in relation to the snare. <grin>

Once we get done writing, and start recording actual tracks I'll try to document more of it. I think it will be fun to 'show & tell' how we are doing it, what we got for our efforts, and listen to suggestions from others.

smile
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#451348 - 01/15/18 04:46 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: David Snyder]
dcuny Online   content
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Scroll down on the SoundCloud page, and it says "Seems a little quiet over here" wink
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Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#451351 - 01/15/18 04:52 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: dcuny]
rharv Offline
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That's funny right there.
smile
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#451356 - 01/15/18 05:24 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: dcuny]
David Snyder Offline
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David Cuny!

That is the site I use for stuff I don't want anyone to hear yo!

Be patient, Job, be patient.

smile

(You will need it on this site.)

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#451358 - 01/15/18 05:26 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: rharv]
David Snyder Offline
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rharv,

I didn't really do any mixing at all. I just turned some stuff on for grins. That was like 20 secs.

I think my point is if you spend more than 20 secs you can get something going on with RDs...
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#451359 - 01/15/18 05:31 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: rharv]
David Snyder Offline
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David Laughs a Million Cuny and rharv Laughs along with Dave,

I'm gonna get you guys.

It may take 10 years but I will get even on this one.

So go ahead and sleep well you two.

Sleep well my friends.

Ha ha ha.

Don't forget to lock the door though.
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#451364 - 01/15/18 06:02 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
HearToLearn Offline
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Interesting topic. Can I share it? lol

A drummer


Edited by HearToLearn (01/15/18 06:03 PM)
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#451404 - 01/15/18 10:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
lambada Offline
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Guilty - I guess I'm just insipid! David, that brought a smile to my face. So is this why the drums now are always in the red in BIAB? :-)
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#451611 - 01/16/18 04:15 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: David Snyder]
rharv Offline
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Originally Posted By: David Snyder

David Laughs a Million Cuny and rharv Laughs along with Dave,

I'm gonna get you guys.
...


Quoted for future reference.
Some day my heirs (or debt collectors) might need to prove David has it in for me.
grin
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#451744 - 01/17/18 08:32 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
Deryk - PG Music Offline
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I've never tried producing my drums this way - I might have to try it and see the results!
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#451996 - 01/18/18 10:16 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
The Soundsmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: floyd jane
(Guitar guys often mix pianos too low, too... but that is a different discussion...)

Guitar guys ALWAYS mix piano too low, because the chord voicings conflict, and guitars are REALLY LIMITED in their voicing options in comparison. (Sorry, guit-fiddlers, but if you play Rock, you are the dominant voice, if you play jazz, not so much. Mix those keys up... <big SEG...>

From an old guy that stopped listening when Coltrane passed...
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#452080 - 01/18/18 02:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
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Originally Posted By: floyd jane
TURN THOSE DRUMS UP!!!!!!

Songwriters who are new to producing - and some who are not so new - often do not understand how IMPORTANT drums are to the overall sound of a song.

So...let's talk about that a little.

We grow up writing songs on our guitars (typically). So what we hear is our song with guitar. Voice and guitar. That's what matters, we think. "Yeah, that's how I wrote it!"

That's great. BUT... That is seldom how a "radio song" is produced.

Guitar players (writers) don't even HEAR drums in a song, generally. They only hear the guitars. Because that is what they know. And their guitars are, quite often, too loud in a full mix. I often tell people "the drums could be a bit louder". And "old guys" often say "I don't like loud drums".

If you stopped listening to music around 1979 (which a lot of "old guys" did), then you likely don't "get" drums. Music prior to that had pretty wimpy drums compared to today's music. A lot of people continue to listen to only the music they grew up on (if at all).

Since then, drums have been getting louder. And louder. And LOUDER.

But 1979 guys still don't hear them. They are GUITAR GUYS.

Get a current record (or any made in the last 20 years) and put it on your iPod (if you have one). Or find a new record on YouTube (or any streaming service) and listen to the whole thing - with headphones or earbuds. Anything after 1990. And PAY ATTENTION to the drums. Listen to the record ONLY listening for the drums. After a while you should finally "get it". It is ALL ABOUT THE DRUMS (and a little about the bass).

START your mix with DRUMS. Get them LOUD. Then add your bass. Get it to play nicely with your drums. Then add your vocal. You can have had all your other instruments involved earlier to track your vocals... but after that, do your FIRST FULL MIX with just DRUM, BASS and VOCAL. THAT should sound really good. Then add those other things - guitars, piano, mandolin, strings... UNDER that basic track of DRUMS-BASS-VOCAL. Add them one at a time. Let them "add some flavor", not "take over". Drums, bass and vocal should rule.

When you get everything you want in there (your mix, that is), if you are "hitting the red", mute the drums. Likely you will no longer be in the red. If that is the case, don't worry about it. I know that will cause a flurry of "rules guys" to start citing those rules they live by, but most of those rules are held over from analog tape days. If the cause is the snap of that snare, who cares? You likely will not hear any distortion from it - it's a fraction of a second. It will not distort everything else. Give it a try and see. And, that little bit of red on the snare can actually give it a small amount of "warmth" - even in the digital world.

Give it a try. Pick a song that you have mixed that might have the drums low. And TURN 'em UP! One way to accomplish that is the simple make a duplicate copy of the drum track and add it in. If that is TOO loud (unlikely), turn that one down a bit...

(Guitar guys often mix pianos too low, too... but that is a different discussion...)

Thanks for this advice Floyd! I have never tried this approach but I am definitely interested in producing more modern music. I am listening to a lot of current pop and top country/pop and finding I am really enjoying much of it. I am noticing, for lack of a better word, precision in everything they produce these days. Clarity might be another word that applies. No mud, nothing not necessary and everything timed perfectly with tons of rises and falls in the overall drama of the songs. That is what I want to write and produce!

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#452197 - 01/19/18 07:43 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Turn UP those DRUMS!!! [Re: floyd jane]
Guitarhacker Offline
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Regarding the drums or anything else being in "the red" on your meters.

In the days of tape this was actually very important. However, with digital, it's not that it's not important, it's just that it doesn't seem to matter as much.

As long as you can not hear anything bad happening. you're probably good to go. When you get some digital distortion, trust me, you'll know it. I like to have my meters out of the red as much as possible. It's kind of a sport to see if I can get some solid sounding stuff without being in the red. Yeah, it can be done.

The main thing I look at, and adjust accordingly is the final wave. I want to see good dynamic range and not a lot of digital "overs" happening. By the same token, I don't want to see anything that resembles an audio brick either.

Try to find a way to get a good sound balance without slamming the meters. If I have to turn my drums up into the red, or my vocal track into the red to have it cut through, that means I have everything else turned up too much. Rather than turning the drums or vox up and dropping a compressor and a Boost 11 into the track FX plugin box, I might go back and do one of two possible things depending on the tracks....

1. I look at the feasibility of turning the individual tracks down..... essentially zeroing all the faders and that means removing or changing the volume automation........essentially starting from scratch again....... or
2. If I'm satisfied with the mix but it's just too loud, I add a new "band" buss and direct all the instruments to that buss where I can simply use the band buss volume to bring the band down as a whole and not lose the balance I have in the mix. It in turn gets sent to the master buss. This lets me send my vocal buss to the main/master buss without having to compete in volume to be heard.

So... it's not the cardinal sin it used to be to run in the red. Feel free to be in the red if that is what it takes but keep in mind, there's a better way to do it than to default to slamming the meters just because you can.

edit: by starting your mixing with the drums and bass, it's easier to not overload and need to run in the red. The drums and bass go red because they tend to be where the most sonic energy is at. So by starting with them and setting them just below the red, you have a better chance to avoid the red zone. Even so..... give them head room so you can add guitars and still be under 0dB.


Edited by Guitarhacker (01/19/18 07:47 AM)
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Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac - Importing MIDI Files

Did you know that Standard MIDI files can be read in to the Melodist or Soloist track within Band-in-a-Box? You can use all of the MIDI File, or select channels or a specific range of bars, using these steps:
1. Melody | Import Melody from MIDI File to select a MIDI file from disk using the file dialog.
2. Melody | Import Melody from Clipboard - when the MIDI data is already copied from another program to the
clipboard.

A new window will open, asking for additional criteria - which channels, # of bars to offset..., # of bars to import, include lyrics, include patch changes - and more! Head to our online manual Chapter 10: Working with MIDI to learn more!

YouTube Find - Your First 15 Minutes with Band-in-a-Box

Woody Piano Shack recently got their hands on Band-in-a-Box after a long time without the program - and they're thrilled!!

Check out this video they've shared to their YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/9dxSfwjBvG0

Thanks Woody Piano Shack!

National Dictionary Day - Guitar & Piano Chord Dictionaries

Today is National Dictionary Day!

We offer 2 dictionaries for just $19 each: the Guitar Chord Dictionary & the Piano Chord Dictionary!

Each of these programs are easy to use! Simply choose a root note, select the chord you want to learn, and the Dictionary will play and display the chord!

An Essential Tool for any Musician!

User Tip - Band-in-a-Box® to Reaper: The Basics

Forum user DeaconBlues09 has created a video to demonstrate how easy the process is for them to streamline their workflow with DAWs, particularly Reaper - check it out: click here to watch.

Join the forum discussion.

Train Your Brain with Band-in-a-Box®

National Train Your Brain Day is October 13th!

Open your Band-in-a-Box® program, and you'll find the [Practice] button in the toolbar - it's a GREAT resource!
Minimized your toolbar? Head to Window | Practice Window or ALT SHIFT L to access

In this window, you'll find many options to help you practice, including Ear Training games, access to the Chord Builder and Chord Subs, some helpful tools within the Playalong Features menu, and more!

Train Your Brain with Band-in-a-Box® today!

Band-in-a-Box Patch Updates - #TechTuesday

Visit our Patches & Updates page, and you will see that with every version released, there are 2+ patch updates applied to that version.

Patch updates are important, and should definitely be installed to your BB folder. They can add new features, update the help resources of the program, fix bugs reported by users, and make your entire Band-in-a-Box experience run smoothly!

Band-in-a-Box update options can be adjusted within the program too - within Band-in-a-Box for Mac, head to Band-in-a-Box | Check for Updates | and then you can select to automatically check for updates by however many days you choose!

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