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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 Online   content

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17516
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 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 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: 10626
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: 2610
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
Free Biab Chord Picker Tool (look at the bottom of the page for the latest version.)


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Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac review on! has recently reviewed Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac, which can be read here.


"Our conclusion is that this is a very serious and well done piece of software.The program is fast and flawless and you'll very quick get impressive results just typing the name of the chords. The new functions are exiting and worthy to be includes in this anniversary upgrade.
We were very impressed by the MIDI SuperTracks, which is simply brilliant. It’s a function in Band-in-a-Box that's here to stay.
It's amazing that the programs feel is so fresh and innovative after 30 years. This version is better than ever and should be a in every home studio or pro studio... Congratulations with the anniversary! We love you as the ex-wife we did not know we were missing.

Band-in-a-Box®: Part of The Ultimate Desktop Guitar Practice Rig!

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A blast from the past... the introduction of the Audiophile Edition with Band-in-a-Box 2008.5!

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RealBand 2018 Interactive Online Upgrade Manual Available!

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Our Forum is a great resource for all your Band-in-a-Box questions (and a GREAT place to connect with other program users!)

Among the many forums available, we have a User-to-User Tips & Tricks forum - perfect for sharing your own technical tips and tricks for any PG Music product!

Like the recent post by jford: You Should Run BIAB and RealBand As Administrator!

Xtra Styles PAK 5 Song Contest - Over 25 Entries!

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So far, there are more than 25 entries! Have a listen to these entries and submit your own song here.

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