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#461015 - 03/07/18 01:19 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Held Chords and Simplier Versions
Victoria Johnson Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 40
Is there a way to have an instrument do held chords for only part of a song? I have added a harp but don't want it playing arpeggios the whole time ... suggestions?

#461017 - 03/07/18 01:31 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Held Chords and Simplier Versions [Re: Victoria Johnson]
Matt Finley Offline

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16973
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
It's going to depend on whether the harpist played held chords during the recording of the chosen track for PG Music.

I would think from my limited knowledge of a harp that the best you could hope for is a very fast arpeggio on the attack.

Assuming there are such holds in the style you choose, and assuming you do not want the other instruments holding, then one possibility is the do the song, freeze it, save it, save it as a different name, unfreeze the harp track, and add holds to the chords in the section you want.

A better way might be to take all the tracks into a DAW, make the changes to add holds in BIAB, then drag that one extra track into the DAW.

Hope that made sense.

There are other ways to do it.
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

#461018 - 03/07/18 01:31 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Held Chords and Simplier Versions [Re: Victoria Johnson]
jford Offline

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10232
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
When you use the hold feature on a chord (three dots), you can also enter the instruments that should be excluded from the hold. This is done using the first letter of the legacy track names (in order from left to right as per the track radio button on the top of the BIAB screen):

B a s s
P i a n o
D r u m s
G u i t a r
S t r i n g s

(I spread out the letters, because the forum software doesn't let me bold the first letter of "bass", because the other three letters are a prohibited word).

Anyway, if you have the harp on, say, the Piano track, then you would enter the chord as:


which means to hold all the instruments except the Bass track, the Drums track, the Guitar track, and the Strings track (in other words, only hold the Piano track, which is where your Harp is).

Once you have done the chords in the bar where you want this to start, then use the Edit, Copy Rests command to do the same for all the chords in the section you want it to happen. Let's say you want the harp to do holds from bars 17 through 24. Just make the above changes to all the chords in bar 17, then select "Edit, Copy Rests" and set the following:

Copyr Rests from Bar # - 17
Beat # - 1
Num Bars to Copy - 8
Copy to bar # - 17 (you can do it back to the same bar you started with).

Hope this helps.

You should look up "Rests, Shots, and Held Chords" in the user manual for more information about this. It is a very powerful command that I use very often.

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#461019 - 03/07/18 01:39 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Held Chords and Simplier Versions [Re: Victoria Johnson]
Victoria Johnson Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 40
I thought that was how I was going to have to do .. .thanks so much.

#461042 - 03/07/18 05:23 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Held Chords and Simplier Versions [Re: jford]
Victoria Johnson Offline

Registered: 06/19/11
Posts: 40
This worked great .. although I do have some issues with the harp track. It sounds... well, funky. It sounds as if it is pieced together. The guitar works is great but it might just be the nature of the harp. I will only use the harp for practice (our duo has added a harp / accordion / whistle player. So just getting some tunes out there for my practice. Thanks again ...

#461047 - 03/07/18 06:10 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Held Chords and Simplier Versions [Re: Victoria Johnson]
Pipeline Offline

Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 2238
Try it's free for

Windows VSTi 64-bit

Windows VSTi 32-bit

Mac Audio Units


SFZ + raw .wav samples (you can load it in Sforzando)

load a midi track with strummed held chords rather than piano, you can edit/transpose them in the piano roll if need be.

OR Sonatina Harp

Win 32 VST
(7.3 Mb)
V 1.1
Win 64 VST
(7.5 Mb)
V 1.1
(11.3 Mb)
V 1.1
Mac AU
(11.3 Mb)
V 1.1

OR Angels Harp Library Kontakt

OR World Strings


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

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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.

With the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows we also released 202 NEW RealTracks, including 8 Sets (68 RealTracks) for Rock-Pop!

Learn more about these and listen to demos:

RealPAK 14: Rock-Pop includes:
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
RealTracks Set 291: Modern Dancehall
RealTracks Set 292: Klezmer!
RealTracks Set 293: A Taste of Europe - France, Italy, and Sweden

Purchasing the Band-in-a-Box® 2018 PlusPAK, UltraPAK, or Audiophile Edition? These new Rock-PopRealTracks are already included!
Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Pro and MegaPAK customers interested in adding these to their collection can purchase RealPAK 14: Rock-Pop for just $79 at

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.
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Transcribe - This will transcribe the audio to the Melody or Soloist track.
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YouTube Find - Tools to Improve Your Music Composition

My secret weapon is Band-in-a-Box...
Brian Johnston

Brian explains why we're his secret weapon in this great article: Improving Music Composition Diversity

And he even created the following video: Tools to Improve Your Music Composition

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