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#452394 - 01/20/18 08:26 AM [Beginners Forum] The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career
Torrey Bliss Offline

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Missouri
I wanted to put up a post about how I got started using Band In A Box in order to help someone who is just getting started using the program to be be able to see the potential uses of BIAB for a musician and explain my procedure when composing a song.
I began using BIAB about 10 years ago after seeing some things online about the program and thought it might work for me. I had just accepted a staff position as a worship leader at a medium size church (250-300 people) and had been put in charge of all music. The problem I immediately encountered was that there were no available musicians to help me. This is where BIAB saved the day. I was able to quickly construct many professional sounding songs that I would be able to use in the services and play my guitar or keyboards along with and provide an excellent set of music for our church to sing along with. Unfortunately I still haven’t been able to team up with other capable musicians yet but BIAB has helped me keep great music going at church for the last 10 years. I have been able to put together songs for many of our talented singers to use for special music in our services also.
My procedure when using BIAB as I compose is as follows:
1. Get a song in mind and start auditioning styles that sound close to the sound you are looking for.
2. Substitute certain instruments within that style for others that may “fit” the song a little better . For example, you may find a RealDrums set that sounds closer to what the song needs instead of the original one in the style.
3. Make your settings for the song key, how many bars, tempo etc. and type in your chords for the song and setting the appropriate A/B part markers for verse and choruses.
4. Start playing the the song listening for changes that need to be made. It’s a good idea to start saving your work at this point often in case of a problem of some sort that would cause you to lose your work. You may try soloing drums and bass first getting your sound right and then “freezing” these tracks and then moving on to work on other instruments and follow the same procedure. This part of working with BIAB is the most time consuming but in my opinion, is what can set your song apart from from others who don’t focus on these details. The time spent here is well worth the effort.
4. Exporting - at this point you can save the song and export as is to SoundCloud or whatever site you prefer to send music to or you can do as I like to do by exporting each individual track to your preferred recording program to apply effects that you like to use on the tracks or record additional instrumentation or vocals to.
5. Video - at this point I like to export from my daw the final stereo file of my song to my favorite video editing program to get the song ready for using with our church media presentation program. I will arrange the videos in the proper order and run the audio out of the computer to our house system and the video out to the house projection system. This works like clockwork week after week.
All of this is a very basic explanation of how I use the program and I know that there are many users who use BIAB in far more sophisticated ways than I do. But I would estimate that I have arranged 500-600 songs using BIAB, the vast majority of which I have used in a public setting. Thanks PG Music for being my go to source for musical help and inspiration! My hope is that this post might help someone open their eyes to potential uses of the program that they might not have thought of. I could see the same type setup used for clubs, weddings etc. I invite any of the veteran users of BIAB to contribute any additional thoughts to this thread to help a beginner. We all can remember certain struggles we had in the beginning with BIAB and any helpful information could really brighten someone’s day. Happy composing!!! Thanks, Torrey

Edited by Torrey Bliss (01/21/18 03:59 PM)

#452403 - 01/20/18 09:22 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Torrey Bliss]
MikeK Offline

Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 2049
Loc: Buford, GA
Awesome story! Very inspiring!

Thanks for sharing. smile

My Music * PC: Avatar FX8366ice AMD FX-8350(4.0GHz) 16GB DDR3 6TB HDD+128GB SSD HDD Capacity NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Win 10 64-Bit. AKAI EIE PRO Sound Interface. BIAB/RB 2018

#452412 - 01/20/18 10:22 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Torrey Bliss]
Hugh2 Offline

Registered: 04/24/16
Posts: 164
Hi Torrey
Great post on how you overcome a lack of musicians in Church.BiaB has so many varied uses.A guitarist in Church suggested I try out BiaB and wow its has contributed to something I never thought possible,me making songs,i never dreamed id be able ,thanks for the post Hugh

#452434 - 01/20/18 11:28 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Torrey Bliss]
Noel96 Offline

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 12582
Loc: Australia

That is a really great story. And, as Mike has already said, it's very inspiring.

I have no doubt that there will be many people on here who will benefit from your post.

All the best,

#452479 - 01/20/18 02:44 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Torrey Bliss]
Jim Fogle Offline

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3439
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Hi Torrey,

Greatly enjoyed reading your story and how Band-in-a-Box is a tool you use daily in your work as a church music director.

Some questions about your workflow. You mention that after a song project is finished you import it into a video editing program. Do you use the video editing program to display song lyrics?
Jim Fogle
2018 BiaB (512) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB HDD
Music at:

#452486 - 01/20/18 03:00 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Jim Fogle]
Torrey Bliss Offline

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Missouri
Jim, thanks for the kind words! I build my videos in the Sony Vegas video editing program and then render the video and save it to a folder on my computer. Then I pick the videos needed for a particular service and inset into the Media Shout program we use at church. Sorry I didn’t cover all of this but was trying to just cover the basics. Thanks, T

#452531 - 01/20/18 10:22 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Torrey Bliss]
jcspro40 Offline

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 824
Loc: Ohio-USA
That is a great read! I would be interested in hearing some of the tracks, or even having you share some of them to we can import them....."Church / P&W" music is sorely under-represented in BiaB song format...
Custom Core2Quad 3.2Ghz, 8gb memory, 1gb nVidia dual monitor card, 1tb OS HDD, 2 2gb Internal HDD, 8tb External HDD, dual LG 27" Monitors, Win7 x64 Ultimate, BiaB/RB 2017, Reaper 4.75, Mixbus 32C, IK Multimedia / iZotope / Plug & Mix VST-VSTi Collections

#452592 - 01/21/18 06:07 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Torrey Bliss]
HearToLearn Offline

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 1301
Loc: -
Fantastic! What a great way to be using these tools. smile
"That's what"

#452602 - 01/21/18 07:07 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Torrey Bliss]
Belladonna Offline

Registered: 09/09/17
Posts: 196
Loc: Virginia
Very interesting story about all the possibilities of how to use BIAB. I was never able to pursue my music early on, although I did learn to play the piano in my teens, but not really well. Raising a family and the need to earn a decent living over filled a lot of years. Then I fell in love with songwriting, but it was somewhat frustrating with the lack of musical technique, but then I found BIAB and it's really helped take my songs to the next level. I'm still really a beginner, been writing songs for about six years and have written over 250 songs so far. A lot of mediocre ones but I can see my progression and BIAB has made them much better, so I'm excited about the potential.

#452611 - 01/21/18 07:29 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: jcspro40]
Torrey Bliss Offline

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Missouri
Thanks jcspro40 for reading and commenting! I appreciate it! Due to copyright restrictions I can’t post these songs online without purchasing mechanical and sync licenses for them. Our church has purchased a blanket license for these which allows us to use these songs in the services. I do have videos up on YouTube under my name of my own material that gives an idea of what I am doing. Thanks again, Torrey

#452965 - 01/22/18 04:22 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: MikeK]
Torrey Bliss Offline

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Missouri
Thanks Mike for reading and giving the thumbs up! I appreciate it! T

#452966 - 01/22/18 04:25 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Hugh2]
Torrey Bliss Offline

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Missouri
Thanks for the positive feedback Hugh! I'm convinced that with enough effort from the user, someone can coax just about any type of tune they want to out of this program and a convincingly professional one at that! T

#452967 - 01/22/18 04:26 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Noel96]
Torrey Bliss Offline

Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Missouri
Thanks for reading and commenting Noel! I appreciate it! T

#452968 - 01/22/18 04:46 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Torrey Bliss]
flatfoot Offline

Registered: 06/15/00
Posts: 2177
Loc: Sacramento CA
Yup, this is great stuff. It ought to be pinned, or something.
Flatfoot sez: Call me when 'Talent-in-a-Box' is ready to ship! -- [8{>

Got some tunes on You Tube:
My BiaB lesson site:

#453069 - 01/23/18 06:27 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: The way I use Band In A Box and how it changed my music career [Re: Torrey Bliss]
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 678
Thank you for sharing your story, Torrey smile It's very inspiring! I have no doubt others will gain a lot from what you've said here.

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PG Music News
RealBand 2018 Build 5 Update Available!

RealBand 2018 customers can download the latest free patch update here:

Summary of Changes for Build 5
Added: When generating the input file for saving as an MGU/SGU SongMode128= is saved to the input file.
Added: Localization support for 2018.
Added: flyby hints to new dialogs.
Fixed: Save As with a filename greater than 128 chars could cause an error 123 plus access violation.
Fixed: Rebooting RealBand after a filename with 128 chars was saved could cause an access violation.
Fixed: Pressing the Change button in the Event List Window could result in an access violation if an event was not a Note event.
Fixed: When running in Win 10, and using BBW or PT to generate audio harmonies, an error would occur saying that you need BB 2011 or PT 12 to generate audio harmonies.
Fixed: Midi Thru Method was not being saved to the .INI file. It always reverting to Track-Specific when booting up RealBand, even if the user manually changed the setting to Global in the Midi Thru Settings dialog.
Fixed: Delete All Notes on This Peg menu item in notation window right-click menu was missing.
Fixed: Potential crash on exit (having to do with the DLL attempting to free up a dynamic array that was passed to it).

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Build 512 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows customers can download the latest free patch update here:

Summary of changes for Build 512 since 510 (Feb 15 2018):
Fixed: "Load SoundTrack Song" and "Load song with RealDrums Audio" buttons in the Sound Track dialog were not working.
Fixed: After returning Band-in-a-Box to factory settings the File Open dialog would default to the bb\Data\Lib directory.
Fixed: Choosing a custom chord sheet font would ignore any color choice made in the font selection dialog.
Fixed: Drum names were sometimes truncated in the RealDrums MultiDrums and Quicklist dialogs.
Fixed: Exporting a MIDI file might cause the error, "MIDIConv.exe no found".
Fixed: Mixer changes were not undoable, and would not cause user to be prompted to save their song when exiting.
Fixed: Static in RT2438 and other various RealTracks fixes.
Fixed: StylePicker database various updates. Some styles were displaying the wrong feel (swing/even) in notation. A few styles incorrectly showed missing Drums.
Fixed: The audio latency setting would increase every time leaving the Windows Audio Devices dialog.
Fixed: The Download Manager folder name defaulted to 2016 instead of 2018.
Updated: Help file.

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is Here!

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is here! PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 includes many new features and enhancements:

Windows Audio (WASAPI) driver support. This allows for low latency audio recording/playback without requiring ASIO. Note that this supports 1 stereo input plus 1 stereo output at a time. For multiple inputs/outputs, you should continue to use either MME or ASIO.

ABC Notation format support. You can save a track of notation in a popular ASCII text format to import into other programs, or you can paste this format into a user forum as a way of sending the track (usually the melody and chord symbols) to other users without having to attach a file.

The built-in Audio Chord Wizard detection in the Chords window automatically detects the chords of the song, based on the audio data from all non-muted audio tracks. This works similar to the standalone Audio Chord Wizard, except that it uses the current bar lines of the existing song.

Notation Enhancements:
-X/8 time signature support. This is a special method of displaying 6/8, 9/8, or 12/8 time signatures in the Notation window.
-The Duplicate previous chord in notation right-click menu lets you quickly duplicate the previous chord (group of notes on same peg) without having to reenter it.
-Delete highlighted notes in notation right-click menu lets you delete all highlighted notes.
-Delete all notes on this peg in notation right-click menu lets you delete all notes on the nearest peg that was clicked on.
-You can now enter Section Numbers. Previously, you could enter letters (A-Z) only, but now you can also enter numbers (1-9).

...a full list of the new features in PowerTracks Pro Audio 2018 is available at

#TBT - The Beginning of Xtra Styles PAKs for Band-in-a-Box®

We released the much-loved Xtra Styles PAKs in August 2016! This release included 164 RealStyles for Jazz, Country, Rock-Pop, and Singer/Songwriter and worked with any Band-in-a-Box® 2016 or higher UltraPlusPAK, EverythingPAK, or Audiophile Edition!

Xtra Styles PAKs were such a hit... we couldn't stop making them! Since their introduction, we've released 3 more PAKs with a total of over 600 Xtra Styles in all!

Want to hear what other program users are doing with their Xtra Styles? Visit our Xtra STyles Contests forum to hear all the songs submitted during previous song contest we've had:

Learn more about Xtra Styles PAKs and listen to their demos at

Band-in-a-Box® Customer Feedback - Feel The Love!

Check out some great feedback we've received on our Facebook account from program users:

"I have been using Band-in-a-Box for years. It is the anchor of my music gigs as well as my fun in my studio. I have used other software but Band-in-a-Box is my main go to."
-Jack T.

"Love Band-in-a-Box. As someone who played professionally for 20 years and retired from live performing years ago, I still love music. Band-in-a-Box allows me to create fun arrangements which I can sing over or play over. There are THOUSANDS of different variations plus you can enter any chords you like and create any chart. It's also great for creating background tracks for videos and audio content for websites, training etc. And like everything else in the world . . . it may not be right for everyone. For those who love music and don't have the time to shed five or six instruments it's way cool."
-Vinnie R.

"This program has completely changed my playing for the good. I can experiment with playing chords and leads over various scenarios that I can quickly create and change. Love this program. I use it nearly every day."
-Dave R.

"I bought my first version in 1994 and have progressed to 2018 version. I use it to create backing tracks for live music performance. I currently have over 2,000 songs performance ready. If you can and type, and use mouse it will work for you."
-Roger M.

"The premiere reason for me for buying this program; it has given me the freedom to fully complete the foundation for my songs without the confinement of limited minded musicians. After the song concept is complete, it can then be presented those musicians to play as a cover song. Also writing a song with a band gives them partial ownership of your idea... not cool... especially since they may have fought your idea every step of the way.. Every member of an organized band should own a copy of this program to compose or to even give legitimate composition alternatives to the original songwriter."
-Paul V.

Thanks everyone!

Support for ABC Notation Format in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

ABC notation is the simple text-based notation system used by musicians worldwide to store chords, melody, and lyrics of songs. Now with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows you can open and save songs in ABC notation format!

To save the song in ABC notation format, press the [Save As] toolbar button and choose Save as ABC notation file from the menu. Once opened, select a track that you want to save and choose your other criteria - The [Copy to clipboard] button will copy the file to the clipboard (that you can then paste it into other programs). The [Save as File] button will let you type a name and select the destination in your hard drive.

Band-in-a-Box® Song Title Browser Requests Forum

Have you stumped the Song Title Browser feature in the Band-in-a-Box® StylePicker?

If you tried to search for a popular song and this feature didn't offer you any listings, we'd love it if you'd let us know in our Wishlist forum here.

Posting your requests to this forum really does work - we used it to increase the database with the Band-in-a-Box® 2018 release!

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