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#51090 - 12/21/09 02:08 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] SMF Live Playback?
Danny A Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Hello,

Is there live playback software that does the things ShowPlay 5 does? http://www.showplay.com/

Mostly I just playback Standard MIDI Files for my solo act and edit them beforehand with Cakewalk 6.0.

Being able to make playlists, scroll lyrics, loop sections on the fly, etc are all really important.

Presently I use an old serial port version of ShowPlay 3 and it would cost $250 to upgrade to the USB version. I use a Roland JV1010 module for the Standard MIDI File sound source.

I have no idea if BIAB or RealBand or Power Tracks are very well suited for live Standard MIDI File playback for my solo act and making playlists, scrolling lyrics, looping sections on the fly, etc.

Now don't get me wrong, BIAB, RealBand and Power Tracks look interesting and I am reviewing online demos etc and perhaps I will at some point want to use some version of PG Music software live in a more expanded manner...however my priority is specifically and to the point live Standard MIDI File playback for my solo act and making playlists, scrolling lyrics, looping sections on the fly, etc. with the grace and efficiency of ShowPlay 5 ttp://www.showplay.com/

Thanks so much,

Danny

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#51091 - 12/21/09 02:12 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Danny A]
Muzic Trax Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/24/03
Posts: 4962
Loc: California
Danny,

Biab and RB are more suited for making the backing tracks. Those SMF files were probably made with Biab. Just a FYI.

Yes, they will play a SMF and show the lyrics.

Trax

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#51092 - 12/21/09 02:12 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Danny A]
MikeK Offline
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Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 2083
Loc: Buford, GA
Hi Danny, BIAB 2010 is more suited than ever to do live shows with. RealTracks generate in seconds - super fast! Couldn't go with anything better.

Cheers,
Mike
_________________________
Cheers,
Mike

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

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#51093 - 12/21/09 02:20 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: MikeK]
MikeK Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/21/07
Posts: 2083
Loc: Buford, GA
I looked at showplay ... naw ... I wouldn't want that one even for free, to be honest.

Cheers,
Mike
_________________________
Cheers,
Mike

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

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#51094 - 12/21/09 02:32 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: MikeK]
Robh Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
I use .kar files, or midi files with lyrics embedded in both RB and PT, and it scrolls the lyrics and chords, and i find it to work very nice. Others prefer BiaB since it has the conductor feature and you can repeat a chorus or two with a click. I just do the songs as they are and it works great for me.
_________________________
Toshiba dual core Win 7 8 gig ram, BiaB, Realband, Studio one Professional, Melodyne, Gibson S-1, Carvin 980 Cobalt acoustic, Ovation legend 12 string, jazz bass clone, Fender Mustang III amp, Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL interface, TC Helicon voiceworks.

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#51095 - 12/21/09 02:36 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Muzic Trax]
Danny A Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:

Danny,

Biab and RB are more suited for making the backing tracks. Those SMF files were probably made with Biab. Just a FYI.

Yes, they will play a SMF and show the lyrics.

Trax


Nope my SMF's were definitely not made by BIAB software. I am very familiar with the character and limitations of BIAB SMF's.

BIAB SMF's simply cannot get "note for note" equivalence of the actual covers tunes like a well programed SMF can.

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#51096 - 12/21/09 02:56 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: MikeK]
Danny A Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:

Hi Danny, BIAB 2010 is more suited than ever to do live shows with. RealTracks generate in seconds - super fast! Couldn't go with anything better.

Cheers,
Mike


OK but can it get "note for note" equivalence of the actual covers tunes like a well programmed SMF?

I think I am very familiar with the character and limitations of BIAB SMF's (not RealTracks though as this is new to me). I need backing tracks not simply similar in overall style to the cover tune I am playing, I need "note for note" equivalence of the actual covers.

I can't imagine doing "Back In The USSR" by the Beatles or "Pipeline" by the Chantays or "Wild Horses" by the Rolling Stones using BIAB styles!

I say this because I have never heard a BIAB SMF that really came close to the three covers (as examples) mentioned.

However when it comes to Jazz / Pop standards then yes I have heard BIAB styles that get in the ballpark but that's because those tunes have been done by so many artists in so many different ways for so long that a "note for note" equivalence of the original not significant for my solo act.

However with more modern cover tunes BIAB styles don't cut it. And from what little I have heard of RealTracks though they sound much more realistic they are simply stylistic "quotes" and again cannot provide "note for note" equivalence of the original

Now maybe I am wrong about all this but that's been my experience to date and I would be happy to be shown to be incorrect!

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#51097 - 12/21/09 03:11 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: MikeK]
Danny A Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:

I looked at showplay ... naw ... I wouldn't want that one even for free, to be honest.

Cheers,
Mike


OK that's fine. I have been using ShowPlay for years and I have not found anything yet that can playback SMF's with equal aplomb except maybe

MIDI Maestro for $100
http://www.midimaestro.com/index.html

Now since you wouldn't want that one even for free I exhume you must be able to use BIAB software live for a solo act in a way that can match ShowPlay?

In particular as to relates to making playlists, scrolling lyrics, looping sections on the fly and all the other live functionalities of ShowPlay including global transpose and global tempo etc?

I would be thrilled if you told me the some BIAB software can be used live with the aplomb of ShowPlay as I would prefer BIAB software (for its more creative functionalities) if it can be used live similarly to ShowPlay!

Obliged,

Danny

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#51098 - 12/21/09 03:21 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Robh]
Danny A Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:

I use .kar files, or midi files with lyrics embedded in both RB and PT, and it scrolls the lyrics and chords, and i find it to work very nice. Others prefer BiaB since it has the conductor feature and you can repeat a chorus or two with a click. I just do the songs as they are and it works great for me.




Yes if the SMF's have the "kar" extension then they contain lyrics however many of my SMF's do not have the "kar" extension.

Now with ShowPlay all I need to do is get a text files of the lyrics, and give it the same file name as the SMF and it will display the lyrics while it plays the SMF.

This suites me perfectly because I type in the chords above the lyrics in the text file and then entire song can be seen at once as opposed to scrolling lyrics.

Can BIAB software show an entire lyric text file at the same time as it play the SMF?

The thing is I am not a fan of scrolling lyrics, I want to see the entire lyric sheet (with the chord symbols above the lyric) all at once.

Can BIAB do this?

I would be thrilled if it can!

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#51099 - 12/21/09 04:07 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Danny A]
Danny A Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
I hope you-all understand that I am in no way putting down BIAB software and I may end up buying it (for entirely different uses) but let's be clear with respect to this thread!

I do not want to make SMF's that simply have a style similar to the original cover tune. Therefore if I was to use BIAB software for my live solo act to make SMF's it would have to be "note for note" equivalence of the actual cover tunes like a well programmed SMF. I do not believe it can do this even using RealTracks (correct me if I am wrong).

Again I want the things that ShowPlay can do in a live setting for my solo act (including but not limited to):

- make playlists.
- scroll lyrics (even better would be to show the lyrics in their entirety via text files).
- loop sections on the fly.
- global transpose.
- global tempo.
- foot switch control.
- play from 1st note.
- sysex reset.
- all on-stage functions by single keystrokes
- Integrated word processor. Lyrics extracted from any MIDI or mp3, when present. Cut-and-paste from elsewhere. Insert images, i.e. scanned lead sheets. Scroll any lyrics over song's duration, with no work.
- Find songs just by typing letters. Works for title and artist alike.
- Screen layout completely configurable. Resize panels, indicators, lyrics area, etc.
- Never wait, songs load with no delay, no fuss.
- Lots of etc's.

Please check out the ShowPlay Features and tell me with assurance whether there is or is not BIAB software that can do these things with SMF playback for a live solo act.

ShowPlay Features
http://www.showplay.com/specs-detailed.htm

If there is no BIAB software that can emulate ShowPlay for a live solo act which of the things that ShowPlay can do, can BIAB software also do, and which ones can't it do?

Also any views on MIDI Maestro (which AFAICT) is the only true competitor to ShowPlay for SMF live playback, however MIDI Maestro seems more geared to theater use and multimedia. I'm not 100% sure though!

http://www.midimaestro.com/index.html

Truly appreciative and Merry Christmas!

Cheers,

Danny

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#51100 - 12/21/09 04:18 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Danny A]
silvertones Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 7235
Danny if all you're doing is playing professionally made SMF you don't need any of the PG programs. This is a free one and is quite good in my opinion.

http://www.vanbasco.com/
_________________________
John
ESI Gigaport HD+
Lenovo Turion II /4 Gig Ram/ Win7x64 be
15.6" Monitor
"The only Band is a Real Band"
www.Wintertexaninfo.com/Bands/JohnnyD.php

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#51101 - 12/21/09 04:38 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: silvertones]
Ryszard Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 3900
Loc: Kennesaw (Atlanta) GA
Danny,

. . . But welcome to a fellow JV-1010 user. Nice box, innit?

R.
_________________________
"My primary musical instrument is the personal computer."

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#51102 - 12/21/09 05:07 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: silvertones]
Danny A Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:

Danny if all you're doing is playing professionally made SMF you don't need any of the PG programs. This is a free one and is quite good in my opinion.

http://www.vanbasco.com/


Well I do far more than simply play professionally made SMF's however as mentioned in my first post, as it specifically relates to live SMF playback and my solo act I edit them beforehand with Cakewalk 6.0.

You know...remove needless parts, channel-ize, convert from 0 to type 1 as needed, apply many types of normalization so that all my backing tracks have consistency, edit controller 7, remove mistakes, humanize, the usual stuff to make them sound professional (well more so any-who).

I used to build all my backing tracks from scratch in real time, but that was a long time ago, and with the plethora of easily available SMF's on the Internet it's not worth it for me any more. Now all I have to do is find the ones I like and edit them to taste.

As to the vanBasco MIDI file player it's very basic and does not have anywhere near the live functionality of ShowPlay or for that matter MIDI Maestro.

I would be very happy to be wrong on this but I keep my eyes and ears pretty open and have yet to see any dedicated live SMF players that can even approach either ShowPlay or MIDI Maestro!

Interestingly before the advent of SMF playback software and suitable laptops I used a Roland MC500 II (and before that a Yamaha QX1).

The Roland MC500 II can still do many things that most software based SMF players cannot touch (less the lyrics thing). In fact the Roland MC500 II can do a lot of what ShowPlay can do including loop points and foot-switch control! Alas it's 3.5" floppy based and its display sux and it's useless for lyrics.

The QX1 uses 5 1/4" floppies with a drive that constantly spun to improve random access and because the RAM was too low to load an entire song at once.

The price of progress I suppose.

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#51103 - 12/21/09 05:15 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Ryszard]
Danny A Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:

Danny,

. . . But welcome to a fellow JV-1010 user. Nice box, innit?

R.


A totally killer box for the size and price! I have two of them and use one with my Axon AX100sb and one for SMF playback.

The one for my Axon AX100sb has the Orchestral Board installed; yum! Pretty silly front panel access but with SoundDiver on a wind98 machine all is well.

One day I am going to go the laptop - software route of sample playback for my Axon AX100sb and SMF's but...

REAKTOR 5 perhaps.

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#51104 - 12/21/09 05:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Danny A]
silvertones Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 7235
Ok so you want more then a player. You do extensive edits. That's all good. So now let's not talk BIAB let's talk Real Band. In RB you could take your note for note as you call them SMFs and import to RB. You can do a lot of editing right here. There are many parts within a song of the type you are doing that are nothing special. This is were Real Tracks can make your tunes really stand out. The same with Real Drums. I've played this music since I was 12 and I'm now 58 so I've done it a fair amount as well. You need to do the hooks, the stops etc. that make that song recognizable for what it is. If all you did was replace the crappy midi rhythm guitar players with Real Tracks & did Real Drums you'd pee your pants.
RB also has a juke box and you can do scrolling lyrics and a chord sheet.
BTW I used a Roland MC50II for many years. JV module, Alesis d4, strummer all the crap. I'm 100% RB.
_________________________
John
ESI Gigaport HD+
Lenovo Turion II /4 Gig Ram/ Win7x64 be
15.6" Monitor
"The only Band is a Real Band"
www.Wintertexaninfo.com/Bands/JohnnyD.php

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#51105 - 12/21/09 07:02 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: silvertones]
Robh Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
What he said without the pants peeing and such!

In RB, you can use the lyrics window to paste in the lyrics and chords. Heck if you upgraded your cakewalk you can do that there as well. I also use MTS as i mentioned in another thread and it has a lyrics and chords window
_________________________
Toshiba dual core Win 7 8 gig ram, BiaB, Realband, Studio one Professional, Melodyne, Gibson S-1, Carvin 980 Cobalt acoustic, Ovation legend 12 string, jazz bass clone, Fender Mustang III amp, Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL interface, TC Helicon voiceworks.

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#51106 - 12/21/09 09:00 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: silvertones]
Danny A Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 37
Loc: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Quote:

Ok so you want more then a player. You do extensive edits. That's all good. So now let's not talk BIAB let's talk Real Band. In RB you could take your note for note as you call them SMFs and import to RB. You can do a lot of editing right here. There are many parts within a song of the type you are doing that are nothing special. This is were Real Tracks can make your tunes really stand out. The same with Real Drums. I've played this music since I was 12 and I'm now 58 so I've done it a fair amount as well. You need to do the hooks, the stops etc. that make that song recognizable for what it is. If all you did was replace the crappy midi rhythm guitar players with Real Tracks & did Real Drums you'd pee your pants.
RB also has a juke box and you can do scrolling lyrics and a chord sheet.
BTW I used a Roland MC50II for many years. JV module, Alesis d4, strummer all the crap. I'm 100% RB.


I exhume you're a keyboard player? I'm a singer / guitarist / guitar synth player.

I never use any SMF guitar parts. Also I only use a very few SMF monophic solo lines preferring (naturally enough) to play as much as I can from my guitar (such as sax lines etc). I also play as much keyboard as possible from my guitar synth. I also sometimes layer both guitar and keys from my guitar synth.

However the idea of using RB with my existing SMF's by replacing parts is very interesting but...

Have you been able to take high quality SMF's of the three below tunes and replace the SMF drums and bass with RB drums and bass parts?

"Drive" The Cars
"Red Red Wine" UB40
"Wild Horses" The Rolling Stones

Note that I chose these three because the drums and bass are somewhat idiosyncratic to the individual tune. Now I can't see how they could be replaced with generic RB styles, but perhaps I'm mistaken (I like to be wrong if it means I get to do something better-easy-to-implement).

However I play a large number of cover tunes in which the drums and bass need to be the same as the covers and can't be transplanted with generic RB parts (well at least I cannot see how they could and still be the cover tunes but again I may be wrong).

Now you may well be able to use RB parts for guitar, solo woodwinds (and SMF parts that are simply poorly done) but I never have guitar parts or solo woodwinds in my SMF's preferring (as discussed) to play them myself. In fact a large number of my backing tracks are simply drums and bass because I can do so much with my Brian Moore i2.13 guitar, Axon AX100sb, Roland JV1010 and TC Helicon VoiceWorks in real-time.

Then the question comes up of consistency. It's really important for me to have all my drum and bass backing tracks to be very consistent from song to song. I cannot have some backing tracks using RB drums and some backing tracks using SMF drums. That would be a nightmare for me to mix in a live situation.

Understandably I have edited all my SMF's so that I can play any of them in any order at any time and they will all mesh perfectly in terms of the kick drum levels, high-hat levels, bass guitar range etc. So if I was to replace my SMF drums and bass I would have to do it with all my songs. Do you think this would be practical I wonder?

OK, now on to the juke box feature (ie scrolling lyrics and chord sheet) and the problems as I see them...

What if I do not want scrolling lyrics and a chord sheet? What if I want no-scrolling text (as edited prior by me or for that matter scanned in) showing the entire tune all at once and I want this text to take up the vast majority of the laptop screen so as to get maximum readability at a distance but still be able to select any song in any order at any time via foot-switches or a single key stroke? ShowPlay can do this type of thing easily what about BIAB?

At the moment it seems that Muzik Trax is most correct when he says "Biab and RB are more suited for making the backing tracks." as compared to ShowPlay or MIDI Maestro which are built for the express purpose of live MIDI / SMF / Audio/ text etc playback.

However if you would be so kind as to address further my questions as they relate to RB and replacing drums and bass parts of SMF's I would be forever in your debt!

That's interesting that you're 58, I'm 54 and have been a fulltime working solo musician for many years; however I now teach fulltime so I don't gig anywhere near as much as I once did.

Merry Christmas and I do thank you ever so much for reading this long thing!

Obliged,

Danny

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#51107 - 12/21/09 11:07 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Danny A]
Robh Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Danny you are confusing RB with BiaB a tad. RB is a full sequencer, and it does not have to rely on the BiaB styles to generate a song.

In BiaB you get the styles "version" of a song. You can start from a midi file, but it works better to generate a song in the style of. RB and PTPA both will open up and refine midi files. You can add real tracks to them with ease. I do this all the time. Some songs i want the full flavor of the original, and some songs i want it to be my interpretation of the song, so I use the sty;e system.

Some songs i want the drums to sound like the original song so i use a VSTi drum program like jamstix or something, on others i might add a flavor to the song maybe i want it to be a reggae or samba beat so i generate drums with Real Drums.
_________________________
Toshiba dual core Win 7 8 gig ram, BiaB, Realband, Studio one Professional, Melodyne, Gibson S-1, Carvin 980 Cobalt acoustic, Ovation legend 12 string, jazz bass clone, Fender Mustang III amp, Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL interface, TC Helicon voiceworks.

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#51108 - 12/22/09 03:41 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Robh]
Ryszard Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 3900
Loc: Kennesaw (Atlanta) GA
Danny A,

Quote:

I exhume you're a keyboard player




I assume that you mean "assume." "Exhume" means to disinter, i.e., to dig up a dead body. One meaning of "assume" is to make an assumption, warranted or otherwise. Signed, your friendly Grammar Nazi. *g*

Guys,

Forget trying to persuade Danny A to use anything by PG Music or anyone else to create his tracks. He doesn't want something close, he wants note-for-note copies and, apparently, a player with special capabilities. He needs to buy commercial MIDI files with licensing fees built in and load them into whatever he's using now. Then he can revoice and tweak as necessary to attain his apparent verbatim goals.

Danny A again,

I envy you that Terratec Axon. If I ever get the bucks, that will be the follow-on to my Roland VG-88. I thought when I bought it that it had a pitch-to-MIDI converter built in, but nooOOOooo.

R.
_________________________
"My primary musical instrument is the personal computer."

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#51109 - 12/22/09 07:10 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: SMF Live Playback? [Re: Ryszard]
manning1 Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 1992
Loc: Canada
Danny A
all songs are work if building a songs traks from scratch.
whichever daw software one uses.
its interesting you mention pipeline.
one of the first songs i learnt on geetar when i was a kidlet
donkeys ages ago.
in the hands of a skillfull pro AE useing prolly realband
i'm sure the song could be re created or any other covers.
but there are aspects outside any music softwares capabilities.
for example can you get the exact geetar tone recorded ??
this is nothing to do with music software.
but the other gear available to record that pipeline geetar tonality
and sound picture.
in summary the limitations are not in the software itself
but many other variables.
now i'm going off n do some..
bom bom bom bom, bom bom bom bom..
_________________________
retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.

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