Band-in-a-Box 2018 for Mac User's Guide

Chapter 15: Reference

Band-in-a-Box Menu

About Band-in-a-Box gives important program information such as the version and build and the people who make it possible.  There is also contact information for PG Music Inc., technical support, and the PG Music web page, www.pgmusic.com.

Check for pdates
User can check/download/pause/continue/install for a newer version (not free), newer build (free), and updated RealTracks files (free).



You can set whether you want any checking for updates at boot up to be done, and if so, how often.   (Note: A setting of 0 days will check every time you run the program.) You can also press the [Refresh] button to check for a major or minor upgrade of the program and RealTracks patches.  Download free updates within this dialog when available.

Preferences

Use the Preferences to set the user options for the program.  The settings are all saved in the /Band-in-a-Box/Preferences folder in a file named Band-in-a-Box Preferences_X86.  If this file is removed the program will require the same setup as when it was first installed.  This can be a way of removing unwanted settings for a “fresh start.”

Select the [Prefs] button or press option+P or +comma to go to the Preferences dialogs. 

There are buttons for Preferences, Display Options, Preferences 2, More Soloist Settings, Reverb Settings, Plug-In Options, Audio Settings and Global Override.

Preferences Dialog (Preferences 1)

Boost Velocity of MIDI Pushes by - The pushes in Band-in-a-Box are the chords that get played before the beat.  Typically, pushes are played a little louder than other patterns.  You can leave this setting at 0 or set it to between 0 and 10.

Allow any Rests - You can disable the rests feature.  You might want to do this if you’ve got a song with a lot of rests in it and are then having difficulty recording a melody because you don’t hear the drums providing the beat (due to the drums resting).  If so, you can temporarily disable the rests so that you can record and listen to the drums.

Allow any Pushes - If for some reason you don’t want a style or a song to have pushes, you can uncheck this box.

Allow Style Pushes - If for some reason you don’t want a style to have pushes, you can uncheck this box.

Allow Lead In Bars - People who use Band-in-a-Box for soloing practice will likely turn the lead-in off to allow endless looping uninterrupted by the lead-in count.

Play Lead In even if Intro present - If a song has an intro, it’s usually not necessary to play the 2-bar lead-in count.  There’s a new option to always omit the lead-in if an intro is present.  If you would like the lead-in bars to be played even if an intro is present in the song, set this feature on.

Lead-in Type - You can specify to have Band-in-a-Box play 2 bars of a drum pattern instead of the count-in.  You may prefer hearing the drum beat to a simple count-in, since it provides more information about the upcoming groove.

To set this, set Lead-in Type to one of “b” substyle fills, “a” substyle fills, or fill-pattern or pattern-pattern combinations.

Audible Lead In / Volume - Use these settings for the audible drum count-in.  You can select any drum instrument for the count-in.  You can choose different count-in rhythms (e.g. Tap on 2 and 4 instead of 1-2-3-4).

Instrument - Choose your pick of drum instruments for the lead-in count.

Pattern - Choose the pattern for your lead-in count from the dropdown list.

Smart Lead-ins - Smart lead-ins can also be set here; they avoid playing the count-in drum sound during a Melody pickup. 

Lead-in Drum count if drums muted - This is great for drummers who play along with Band-in-a-Box and mute the drum track.  Previously, when the drum track was muted or disabled in a song, the count-in drum click wouldn’t play.  Use this option to play the drum count-in in all circumstances. 

Metronome During RecordingS - elect this to hear the metronome while recording.

Allow Any Endings - Song endings can be turned off for all songs, or on a song-by-song basis.  To turn song endings off for all songs, uncheck the “Allow Any Endings” option. To turn the song ending off for a single song select the Additional Song Settings option from the Song menu and uncheck “Generate 2 Bar Ending for This Song.”

SpaceBar Key - These different functions can be assigned to the spacebar.  The default is to play from the current position, which will also stop play when the spacebar is pressed during playback.

Move current cell when playback stops - If this is enabled, the current cell will move to the last played bar when playback stops.

Automatically check for updates every __ days - If this is enabled, the program will automatically check for new updates.  This will occur as often as you choose.  A setting of 0 days will check every time you run the program.

At program bootup... - When the new session starts, Band-in-a-Box can automatically open the song or style that was used in the last session.

Natural Arrangements (re-interpret complex chords) - If you give a pro musician a complicated chord progression with fancy extensions like C7b9b13 or Gm11, the musician may reinterpret these rather than playing them exactly as written.  This can achieve a much better sounding arrangement because the musician has freedom to choose from similar chord extensions.  You can get Band-in-a-Box to do the same thing with this option for all tracks in all songs.  (Note: To set this feature for all tracks in the current song, use the option in the Song Settings dialog.  To set this for specific track(s) in the current song, right click on the track radio button, go to Track Settings | Set Natural Arrangement, and select an option.)

Show Messages - You can select to show a flash message when chords are re-interpreted.  The choices are: Always, Never, and Once per session.

OK to Load Harmony with songs - If checked, the harmony settings for each song will be loaded and saved with each song.  If set to NO, the harmony setting won’t be saved or loaded with the songs.  If you are using a certain harmony, you should set this setting to NO, otherwise you’ll have to keep re-selecting the harmony when you load in new songs.

Change Harmony with new chords - Example: If a harmony is played on bar 1 on a C chord, and then the note is held as the chord changes to a Fm7 chord, (if this setting checked) the harmony notes will change so that they will be still be playing chord tones.  If they don’t the harmony sounds dissonant.  Leave this setting checked, unless you have a specific reason to disable it.  The harmony is changed by moving the voices to the nearest chord tone.

Harmony Volume Adjust - Raise or lower the overall volume of the Harmony with a range of –128 to 128.

OK to Load Style with songs - eave this unchecked to audition the same style with several different songs.

Use MSB for Bank (Roland) - Band-in-a-Box sends General MIDI bank changes in two ways.  Most synths (e.g. Roland, Korg, Kawai) use the Controller 0 for the bank.  This is the MSB (Most Significant Byte) method.  Check this option if you are using one of these synths.  Some synths use Controller 32 for the bank (e.g. Peavey).  This is the LSB (Least Significant Byte) method.  If you have one of these synths, then uncheck the “Use MSB for Bank (Roland).”

Pause Play until MIDI note/event (or QWERTY key) received - Allows playback to be started from another keyboard or the computer keyboard.  The Band-in-a-Box arrangement will be generated, and then the program will pause until the MIDI or keystroke signal is received.

Close window when not in BB - Closes the Band-in-a-Box window when the Finder or another program is chosen.

Include Patch Changes in MIDI files - This will include the patch (instrument changes).

Include 2 bar lead-in in MIDI file - If you don’t want to create a MIDI file containing the first two bars of the 1—2—1-2-3-4 count-in you can select this option, and the MIDI file will begin directly at bar 1 without the count-in.  If there is a Melody pickup, then the 2-bar lead-in will remain in the file.

Include Controllers (Reverb/Chorus/pan) - This will include the reverb, chorus, and panning settings.

Include Forced Channel Meta Event - This will include the forced channel META event.  It is recognized by PowerTracks Pro Audio and other PG Music programs only.

Write Chords, Part Markers Meta event - This writes the chords and part markers to the MIDI file.

Include Guitar Position Controlle - This will insert a controller 84 which PG Music uses to indicate the fret position.  Since some synths also use this for “Portamento Control,” you should use this setting with caution.

Write Soloist Part on channel 5 - >Normally the program writes the Soloist part on channel 8.  Since that could also mean the left hand of a piano track using the convention of channel 8/9 for piano, this option allows you to write it on channel 5 instead.

Write Harmony to MIDI file - If checked, the harmony will be written to the MIDI file.  If not, just the melody will be written to the MIDI file.

MIDI file Harmony separate tracks - If checked, the harmony will be written to the MIDI file on separate tracks for each voice.  You could use this to print out individual parts to your printer for example.

Write Guitar part on 6 channels - If set to YES, the styles that are Intelligent Guitar Styles will result in a MIDI file that has the Guitar part written on six channels (11-16).  Then, when you read it in PowerTracks, or another sequencer that uses the convention of 11-16 for guitar strings, the guitar part will display correctly.

If song has RealDrums, also generate MIDI drums is an option when saving a Band-in-a-Box arrangement to a MIDI (*.MID) file.  It can be unchecked if your song uses RealDrums and you don’t want MIDI drums included in the MIDI file.

If song has RealDrums, generate xxxx_RealDrums.AIFF audio saves the RealDrums (which are audio) as a separate AIFF file.  This allows you to easily import the entire Band-in-a-Box song into another program for editing.

Use the Resolution for MIDI file combo box to select a MIDI file resolution from 120 to 1920 PPQ (Pulses Per Quarter note).  Then any MIDI file that you make, by drag/drop or by using the MIDI button to save a MIDI file, will be at the resolution that you have specified.

Number of Levels of Undo - Set the number of levels of undo from 5 to 999.  Undo takes up memory, so don’t use huge values unless you have a lot of memory or make a lot of mistakes.

More Preferences – Preferences 2

More preferences are accessed with the [Preferences 2] button in the Preferences dialog.

OK to save/load rev/vol/chorus w/songs - This offers global control over additional song settings (i.e. reverb, chorus, etc.) that can be saved and/or loaded with each song.

Send GM mode at startup - For sound modules that are GM compatible, this command will ensure that the module is ready to accept GM-specific MIDI data such as Bank, Controller, and Patch information.

Send GS Mode On at startup - For sound modules that are GS compatible, this command will ensure that the module is ready to accept GS-specific MIDI data such as Bank, Controller, and Patch information.

Send XG Mode On at startup - For sound modules that are XG compatible, this command will ensure that the module is ready to accept XG-specific MIDI data such as Bank, Controller, and Patch information.

Turn External Keyboard’s Local On at end of session - Normally while using Band-in-a-Box the “local-off” setting for your MIDI keyboard is best, since the THRU part will be coming from Band-in-a-Box and you don’t want to hear your MIDI keyboard doubling the notes that are being played.  However, when you exit Band-in-a-Box, you might want the “local on” setting for your synthesizer turned back on.  This option defaults to true.

OK to beep with messages - Now that computers have better speaker systems, a simple “beep” when an incorrect key is pressed can seem loud enough to “wake your neighbors.”  Setting the “silent beep” option allows Band-in-a-Box to visually flash the window title bar to get your attention, instead of generating an audible “beep.”

OK to prompt to reduce/expand - If a style is changed with a different feel (16th notes instead of 8th notes), Band-in-a-Box will automatically offer to expand or reduce the duration of the chords and change the tempo to accommodate the new style.  This also works as the song is playing.

Lowest Bass Note (E2 = default) - Styles will normally play bass notes (down to the low E) if the pattern won’t go below a low E.  This happens with all styles automatically, but there is also an option to set the lowest bass note real low, so you can get a low C if you want to!

My soundcard or MIDI doesn’t have brushes – remap them - Most GM modules have brushes available on patch 41 on the drums.  On some, you need to load a GS sound font for this to occur.  On the Yamaha XG, you likely need to send a “GS mode on” message from the GM menu in Band-in-a-Box.  But if your module just doesn’t have brushes available, then you can set this option, and the style will remap the notes to different drum instruments that don’t have brushes.

Save Button on main screen works as Save As - The [Save] button will launch the file dialog where the location and name of the file being saved can be changed.

Name MIDI files with .MID extension - This will append the file extension .MID to MIDI files saved in Band-in-a-Box, rather than prefacing them with SMF (Standard MIDI File).

Show Custom Track Labels and Descriptions - If this option is enabled, then the Track buttons at the top of the main screen and the track labels on the Mixer will display custom track labels and descriptions that you have customized.

Auto-Generate Track Labels - If this option is enabled, then the Track buttons at the top of the main screen and the track labels on the Mixer will show the current instrument names (e.g. Banjo, Flute, Harmonica).  Also, the track buttons in various windows (Notation, Lead Sheet, Guitar, Piano, etc.) will display initials of auto-generated labels.  For example, [H] will show for a track that plays Harmonica.

Help Tags - Help tags are short messages that appear if you leave the mouse pointer hovering over an interface element for a few seconds.  When the pointer leaves the object, the tag vanishes.  If the mouse pointer is not moved, the operating system hides the help tag after about 10 seconds.Use these settings to enable help tags, and to set the delay time in mS before a tag opens.

Normalize MIDI velocities to… - If performing live or at a jam session, it helps to have the volume of all the songs be similar.  With the “Normalize MIDI velocities” feature, you can level the volumes to a setting you enter.  For example, you can set all volumes to be 70 and the program will make each song play within those levels. 
  Normalization for the Melody and Soloist tracks is optional, if you want their MIDI velocities left “as-is” you can uncheck the “Also normalize Melody, Soloist“ box.

Insert Breaks (silence) in arrangement, also called “Chord Breaks“,is a great feature for practicing tempo control.  Select the # of bars, and Band-in-a-Box will play for, say 4 bars (selectable), and then will rest all instruments for the next 4 bars.  Once set, this feature works automatically with all songs until you turn it off.During the silence, you keep playing (comping, drums, melody, etc.), trying to stay in tempo. Drummers can mute the drum part.  When the band comes back in after the 4 bars, you’ll get instant feedback on how well you have maintained the tempo, if the band comes in time with you or not.  Once set, this feature works automatically with all songs until you turn it off.

Woodshed Tempo (increase tempo every loop) - The Woodshed feature works with looping of a song or passage to adjust the tempo in increments each time the loop repeats.  This is a very useful feature for practicing, or “woodshedding.”

  • Woodshed tempo by (default = 0 bpm) is the number of beats per minute (bpm) that the tempo will be changed each time the loop repeats.  When set to a non-zero tempo, Band-in-a-Box will speed up (or slow down) the tempo every time it loops back to the start of the song or loop.
  • Mode determines how the Woodshed feature works.  If set to “Up,” the tempo will always increase up to the maximum setting (up to 500 bpm).  If set to “Up then Down,” the tempo will cycle up then back down again.  If set to “Up/Reset to base/Up,” the tempo will increase to the maximum, reset to the original baseline tempo, and start over again.  If set to “Up and stay at Max,” the tempo increases to the maximum and stays there.
  • Maximum Total Tempo Change (bpm) is the setting for the maximum amount that the tempo can rise in the “Up then Down” and “Up/Reset to base/Up” modes.

Display Options

This button opens the Display Options dialog, which allows you to customize Chord Sheet display.

The colors all elements on the Chord Sheet can be customized with the color palette in this dialog.  For example, you can choose color for substyle A & B part markers.  Previously, the color of the chords was always black, so you were limited to brighter colors for the background since darker backgrounds would make the chord text hard to see.  Now, all the colors can be picked from the color palette, and any changes you make can be seen on the Chord Sheet in real time.

Use Gradients - This option gives the part markers with a gradient look.  This also makes smoother seams between layers.



Draw part marker borders - If this option is enabled, borders around the part markers will be drawn.



Show bar numbers - This determines how often bar numbers appear.  Choices are never, always, only at part markers, or only at new rows.

Show bar lines - Check this option if you want to see a bar line to left of bar numbers.



Use substyle colors for bar #s, etc. - This option controls the color of the optional bar lines, bar numbers, and section letters.  Previously, any bar without a part marker showed with the color of the current substyle.  Now, this can be disabled, and everything will be displayed using a single color.



Highlight selected cell - If this option is selected, the currently selected cell will be highlighted instead of just out-lined.  You can change the highlighting color by selecting “Cell highlighting” in the color picker.  This feature is useful for JAWS Screen Reader users.



Enable display of Repeats/Endings allows repeats signs and 1st/2nd ending markers to be shown on the Chord Sheet.

Display bars higher than end of song in gray will “gray out” the bars on the Chord Sheet after the end of the song.



Show chords with push/rest characters - The pushes character is the caret symbol (^).  So, a C chord with a push is displayed as ^C.  The rest character is a period (.) so a C chord with a rest is displayed as C. (C period).  If you prefer to not see these characters displayed, then set this to false.  These characters won’t show up on the printout regardless of this setting.

Show chords with pushes/rests in color - If this is enabled, pushes will be displayed in GREEN and rests will be displayed in RED.  This only applies to the Chord Sheet, not the notation.

Display ‘C9sus’ as ‘C11’ - This option allows display of ‘9sus’ chords as ‘11’ (e.g., Bb11 instead of Bb9sus).  This only affects how the chord is displayed, not how it is stored.  And you can type either C11 or C9sus to enter the same chord.



Display ‘2’ as ‘sus2’ / Display ‘sus’ as ‘sus4’ - These options will show suspended chords more explicitly. ‘sus’ implies ‘sus4,’ and ‘2’ implies ‘sus2,’ but you might want to see the full extension name.



Treat ‘dim’ chord as a diminished triad (Cdim5) instead of Cdim7 - There are two types of diminished chords, diminished triads (Cdim5) and diminished 7ths (Cdim7).  You can spell them out fully in Band-in-a-Box, or just enter them as Cdim.  This setting controls if Cdim will represent Cdim5 or Cdim7.  If set, Cdim will enter a C diminished triad (Cdim5), and Cdim7 will enter a diminished 7th chord.  These work for chord entry and printout, and the Jazz symbols work for them.

For Roman Numerals of Chords in minor keys, use relative major - For minor keys, base roman numerals on the relative major.  For example, in key of Am, Am is either the Im chord or the VIm chord.

Gray out chords beyond time signature - This setting grays out chords that will not play in the song.  For example, if you switch a song of 4/4 time signature to a waltz style, the chords on beat 4 will be grayed out.



Transpose - This will visually transpose the Chord Sheet and Notation display by a number of semi-tones for concert or non-concert instruments, either by typing in a number or by choosing a preset.

Chord display - This setting allows you to choose a chord display for the main layer.

[Choose font] - Thisbutton allows you to choose a font, style, and size for the selected item in the combo box to the right.

Chord Sheet Font - You can choose the font to use for the Chord Sheet. If you choose a Custom font, you can choose the size as well.  If you choose one of the preset fonts, the size is set automatically to fit into the height of the Chord Sheet row.  If you click on the [Jazz Symbols] button, then “Jazz Chord Symbols” will be selected and you will see shorthand Jazz chord symbols on the Chord Sheet.  The Default font button selects Comic Sans MS as the Chord Sheet font.  To revert to the classic style that used a small System font and lots of rows, you can choose that as the type of font “Small font (system).” This allows you to choose a font for the chords on the main layer.  If you click on the [Jazz Symbols] button, then “Jazz Chord Symbols” will be selected and you will see shorthand Jazz chord symbols on the Chord Sheet.  The [Default font] button selects BigBand Chords.  The [Custom] button allows you to choose the size as well.

Superscript chord extensions (main) / Superscript chord extensions (additional) - The superscript feature shows the chord extensions using smaller raised text.  This makes the root of the chord more distinguishable, and also helps maximize space on the Chord Sheet.  “Superscript chord extensions (main)” is for extensions of the chords on the main layer, and “Superscript chord extensions (additional)” is for extension of the chords on the additional layer.

In this example, extensions of the main chords will always show with small raised font, but extensions of the additional chords will not show with superscript.

Chord font size % - This option allows you to choose any size for the chord font.  The setting of 100% means that the chords will be as large as possible, while fitting into each chord cell.



Number of Columns - You can select the number of columns displayed on the Chord Sheet screen.

Number of Rows - The number of rows displayed on the Chord Sheet screen can be selected manually to best match your screen size and resolution.  This only applies if “Auto-adjust # rows” is disabled.

Auto-adjust # rows - If this is set, when songs are loaded, then when you open a song, the number of rows will be automatically set depending on the number of bars in the song within the supplied range between “min rows” and “max rows.”  The “minimum section” setting is the minimum number of bars that is required for a section to automatically start a new line when the “New line for every section” option is enabled.

New line for every section - When this is enabled, part markers will start a new line.  This will show each section on a new line, so the form of the song is easier to see.  You can also set the minimum number of bars that is required to start a new line with the “minimum section” setting.  For example, if this is set to 8, then there won’t be a new line for the next part marker if that section has only four bars.

Extra line space between sections (pixels) is the amount of space to add on a new line when there is a part marker.


Extra space between rows (pixels) - This allows you to set a border thickness between rows.


Extra space between columns (pixels) - This allows you to set a border thickness between columns.


Height % of Additional Chord Display layer - This sets the percentage of additional chord display layer.  For example, if you want to see Nashville Notation on the additional chord display layer as big as the main chord display below it, set this option to 100%.

Choose Skin - This allows you to see the small toolbar buttons in color.

Load or save scheme - All of the settings and colors can be saved and loaded as a .csc file.

More Soloist Settings

The More Soloist Settings dialog is opened with either the [Soloist Prefs] button in Preferences, or the [More] button in the Select Soloist dialog.

Use MIDI Volume for Soloist Wizard - SSet to “true” if you want MIDI velocity information sent to the Soloing Wizard.  If you have a velocity sensitive MIDI device attached to your computer and you want to control the dynamics of the Soloist, enable this feature.

Trigger Playback Early - SSet to “true” to enable song playback to start before the Soloist has actually completed composing a solo.  Disabling this option will instruct Band-in-a-Box to completely compose a solo before song playback begins.

Soloist Prefer Long phrases - Set the checkbox to “true” (enabled) if you would like the Soloist to use the longest musical phrases it knows.  (Note: this option may also increase Soloist creation times.  Disable this feature if you are using a slower or low-memory equipped computer.)

Velocity Adjust - SThe “Soloist Velocity Adjust” and “Melodist Velocity Adjust” boxes allow you to quickly boost or reduce the volume of the Soloist or Melodist part relative to the other instrument parts.  For a realistic mix, they are set slightly louder than the other instrument parts in a song.  The default is 5.

OK to treat the V Major triad as a V7 - SSince the V chord is usually played as a 7th, this allows better playing on V chords.  You can disable it for Rock or Blues songs that use the major triad.

This button opens the Reverb Settings dialog with audio reverb settings for RealTracks and RealDrums.

This opens the Plugin Settings dialog, which also opens from the Options for DAW Plug-in in the [Plugin] dropdown.

This opens the Audio Settings dialog where you can choose the Audio track type (mono or stereo) for the current song or the new songs, and channels (left/right/both) to record the audio.

This opens the Global Song Override dialog, which allows you to set the overall song looping and other settings.

Overall Looping of song - For example, if you want every song loaded to have looping set to on, then set the Overall Looping of song option to “Always set loop to ON.”  But if you are going out on a playing job, and don’t want any songs to loop, then set it to “Always set loop to OFF.”  If you want the settings to work the same way they did in previous versions, choose “As set in the song” or press the [Defaults] button.

Allow Songs to load settings for - If set, these items will be allowed to be loaded from songs.  If not, the settings will be ignored when loading songs.

Convert line-based lyrics to bar-based lyrics - In the previous versions, there were line-based lyrics, which could be entered for each line on the Notation Window.  You can no longer enter this type of lyrics, but if your existing song has line-based lyrics, Band-in-a-Box can convert them to bar-based-lyrics.  This option allows you to choose how the conversion should occur when the song with line-based lyrics opens.  The default is “Always (auto-split),” which will convert line-based lyrics to bar-based lyrics and split them into four bars.  If you choose “Always (don’t split),” line-based lyrics will be converted but they won’t be split into four bars.  You can also choose not to convert line-based lyrics automatically.  If the current song has line-based lyrics, you can press the [Convert now] button to convert them to bar-based lyrics.

OK to Load Notation Symbols with songs - If this is not selected, notation symbols (slurs, staccato, crescendos) will not be loaded from the song.

The options under Defaults for new songs are settings from the Song Settings dialog.

When Vary Style in Middle Choruses is selected (default), the song will play in substyle B throughout the middle choruses, playing substyle A for the first and last choruses only.  If this setting is not selected, then the substyle changes will follow the part markers entered on the Chord Sheet.

When Force to Simple Arrangement is selected, the song play a simpler (less busy or embellished) arrangement.

The [Pop/Country] preset button turns both settings off for a typical Pop or County arrangement that follows part markers and does not embellish chords.

The [Jazz] preset button turns both settings on for a typical Jazz arrangement to support soloing over the middle choruses and allow Jazz chord embellishments.

Use the options under Force Tracks to Simple Arrangements for All Songs to set individual tracks or all tracks to simple arrangements for all songs.  If you want to force simple arrangements on a song-by-song basis, use the [Freeze/Simple] button on the toolbar.

Services will open a submenu of the available services in the operating system.

Hide Band-in-a-Box will minimize the Band-in-a-Box window.  Restore it by clicking the Band-in-a-Box icon on the dock.

Hide Others / Show All either shows or hides other open windows and applications.

Quit Band-in-a-Box exits the program.

File Menu

New is used to blank the Chord Sheet and start a new song.

Open Song is used to open an existing song.

Open Special opens a submenu.

Open Next Song and Open Previous Song will open the next/previous song in alphabetical order.  For example, if the song loaded has a file name of “Paul,” then choosing Open Next Song will find the next file in alphabetical order after Paul; maybe it would be “Peter.”  The hot keys for this are shift+F8 and control+shift+F8.

Open Filtered by Style lists only the songs in a folder with current style.

Open Song with Melody lists only the songs in a folder with melodies (*.mg?).

Open Favorite Songs opens the dialog listing the last 150 songs played.

Open Entire Karaoke (kar) File to Melody track opens a Karaoke file to extract the data to the Melody track.

Open Song by Title opens the Song List with the full title, file name, and style of each song in the folder.  A “Find” function allows you to search the title list for a word or phrase to find a title quickly.  For example, type in “Old folks” and the search will find the song title “Old Folks at Home,” plus any other songs with “Old folks” in the title.

(Re)Make Song Titles list makes the list of song titles for the current folder.  It can be used to update the list when new songs are added to a folder.

Open Entire MIDI File (mid) to Melody track opens a MIDI file to extract the data to the Melody track.

Open MusicXML File imports a MusicXML File from your notation programs such as Finale, Sibelius, and Guitar Pro to Band-in-a-Box.

Open ABC Notation Music File imports an ABC notation file.

Load Style demo for current style loads the demo song for the currently loaded style.  This feature is also available with a click on the name of the style, which opens the StylePicker.  The [Song Demo] button loads the demo song for the current style.

Launch Audio Chord Wizard will open the wizard which analyzes chord progression in an audio file.

Audio Chord Wizard Utilities will open the dialog, which lets you set the song key to the key of the audio file that the wizard has detected, make a tempo map in Band-in-a-Box, or erase the audio file.

Open Video File will start a new project and open a video file that you have already downloaded from YouTube or elsewhere.  Both video and audio tracks of the file will be extracted.  Many video formats are supported, including MP4, M4V, MOV, MPG, MPEG, and AVI.

Open Video Track from Video File will start a new project and open just the video part of the video file.

Open Audio Track from Video File will start a new project and open just the audio part of the video file.

Save saves an existing song to the same folder with the same file name.

Save Song As saves the current song using the file dialog to name the file and choose a folder for the saved file.

Save Special opens a submenu for saving songs.

Save Song as MIDI File makes a standard midi file.  You can save in Type 1 (multi-tracks) or Type 0 (single track) files.  Karaoke MIDI files are also supported.  See the settings in the Preferences dialog box to control how the Melody, Solo, and Harmony are written to a MIDI file.

Saving Song as MusicXML - Band-in-a-Box supports MusicXML so you can easily export your Band-in-a-Box songs into notation programs such as Finale, Sibelius, and Guitar Pro, while still retaining the chords from the Band-in-a-Box song.

Save Song as ABC Notation File allows you to save the song as an ABC notation file.  ABC notation is the simple text-based notation system used by musicians worldwide to store chords, melody, and lyrics of songs.  You can find out more information about the songs and ABC notation at abcnotation.com.

Save Song as M4A Audio [Choose Name] or Save Song as AIFF Audio [Choose Name] renders the current song to the chosen audio format, ready for export to other programs or Internet distribution.  You can select the name and folder destination for the song.

Save Song as .m4a [in Current Folder, for use with iPhone/iPad/Android Biab app] automatically renders the song with its current name and saves it in the current folder.  The .m4a format is used by the Band-in-a-Box app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.

Save Song as AIFF [in Current Folder] automatically renders the song and saves it in the current folder with its current name.

Batch Save All Songs in Current Folder to M4A (for iPhone/iPad/Android Biab app) or AIFF renders all songs in a folder to the desired format.

Email song file(s) as attachment(s) allows you to email a song, style, or audio file as attachments.

Save as Video (upload to YouTube etc. lets you make a video of the Chord Sheet that you can upload to YouTube or work with video programs.

Import opens a submenu to import chords, MIDI, or audio.

Import Chords, Tracks and Lyrics from MIDI File uses the MIDI File Chord Wizard to interpret chords from any MIDI file and read tracks to the Melody and Soloist tracks.

Import Melody from MIDI File… allows you to import MIDI data from a file (*.MID) into the Melody track.

Import Melody from Clipboard… allows you to import MIDI data that has been pasted on the clipboard (e.g., from a sequencer) into the Melody track.

Import Soloist from MIDI File… allows you to import MIDI data from a file (*.MID) into the Soloist track.

Import Soloist from Clipboard… allows you to import MIDI data that has been pasted on the clipboard (e.g., from a sequencer) into the Soloist track.

Import Audio allows you to import audio data from an audio file (WAV, AIF, MP4, MP3, M4A, etc.) to the Audio track.

Import Video File allows you to add a video to your existing project.  Both video and audio tracks of the file will be imported to your song.

Import Video Track from Video File allows you to add a video part of the video file to your existing project.

Import Audio Track from Video File allows you to add an audio part of the video file to your existing project.

Load Style from StylePicker (browse Styles with info) lets you select a style in the StylePicker window with complete style information.

Load Style Special opens a submenu for loading styles.

Current Style:
This shows the file name of the current style in use.

Style Information
This shows a summary of information about the current style.

Open a User Style from disk
Styles can be selected and loaded from the Styles folder or from alternate folders you may have created for them.

Select Favorite Styles
This opens the Favorites Styles/Recently Played Styles dialog, which contains a list of the most recent styles used. 

Load Previous Style / Load Next Style
This function, (analogous to the Load Next Song function) loads in the previous (or next) style in alphabetical order of the file name.  To load the next style, in alphabetical order, choose the menu item File | Load Style Special | Load Next Style, or use the hot key +shift+F8 (control++shift+F8 for the previous style).

Find a RealTracks Replacement for current MIDI style
This will find the best RealTracks replacement for your current MIDI style and ask if you want to use it.

Load Style demo for current style loads the demo song for the currently loaded style.  This feature is also available with a click on the name of the style, which opens the StylePicker.  The [Song Demo] button loads the demo song for the current style.

OK to load style with songs
This allows you to keep a style in memory.  This way, subsequent songs that are loaded will not change the style (even if they have a different associated style), so you can easily play songs in the same style.  If you have found a new favorite style, you can try it out in all kinds of songs without having to reload the style each time.

For example, let’s say we’ve discovered the GARNER style, and want to try it out on many different songs. Select File | Load Style Special | OK to load styles with songsto ensure the item is NOT checked.
Then when you load a song the saved style associated with the song doesn’t load and the song will play in GARNER.STY. You can over-ride this style by loading in another style using the [Style] button or the Styles menu.  The new style loaded will stay in until you choose another one, or until you turn off the forced styles option and load a song that uses a different style. You can also create and store Favorites lists.

Style Aliases
You can create an alias so that when Band-in-a-Box looks for a style, it will load its alias instead, so when you have found a new favorite style just change the alias and you don’t have to change all your songs.

To create a new alias, click on an empty spot in the List of Style Aliases, or click on the alias you wish to edit to change an existing alias.
Press the [Choose] button below the Original Style box and select the style you wish to be replaced.
Press the [Choose] button below the Substitution box and select the replacement style (alias).
If you want to type in a style name, use the [Custom] button.
When you have successfully made an alias, you will notice that there will be a small arrow in the Styles box on the main screen indicating that you have an alias loaded.

Tip: You can temporarily totally disable the Alias feature by disabling the Allow Any Style Aliases checkbox found in the dialog.  You can also have confirmation of alias substitutions by enabling the Confirm Substitution checkbox.

Restore Style Prior to Style Alias reverts to the original MIDI style after you have used a RealTracks replacement.  It also turns off the style alias feature for the song.

Auto-Replace MIDI styles with RealTracks styles when songs loaded
If you have made a lot of songs using older MIDI styles, and would prefer that they play with RealTracks, you can now do this easily by selecting the menu option File | Load Style Special | Auto-Replace MIDI styles with RealTracks styles when songs loaded.  Then, if you have the needed RealTracks installed, your MIDI style will be intelligently replaced with a RealTracks style.  There is also a manual option to do this on as-needed basis, disable the feature for a certain song, or to reverse it if you prefer the MIDI style.

Suggest RealTracks style replacements when songs are loaded
This feature is the manual option for Auto-Replace MIDI styles.  It will suggest RealTracks style replacements but doesn’t automatically load them.  That is done manually from the RealTracks toolbar button menu.  It is disabled when “Auto-Replace” is checked.

StyleMaker opens a submenu for saving styles.

StyleMaker
Launches StyleMaker to create brand-new styles or edit existing styles.

Save Style As…
This lets you save a new style or edited style or rename an existing style.

Make A New Style (STYLE MAKER)
This launches the StyleMaker with a blank new style.

Edit Existing User Style
This launches the StyleMaker with the current style selection loaded.  This allows you to edit an existing style (*.STY) from disk.  The resulting style can then be saved with the same name or a different name.

File Utilities

Auto Rename 8 Character song filenames will rename all song files in a folder using the song title as the name.  The Auto Rename Song Files dialog will open. If you have a folder with files that are in the short filename format, you can quickly convert the filenames to long file names.  Band-in-a-Box will use the title of the song as the file name, so if you have a file called OldFolk.mgu, Band-in-a-Box read the actual song title stored within the song and rename the filename to “Old Folks at Home.MGU.”

Convert names in ALL CAPS to Upper /Lower Case: If the song title found is OLD FOLKS AT HOME, setting this option would allow the file name to be called Old Folks at Home.
Convert names to ALL CAPS converts a song title with upper and lower case to an upper-case file name.
Replace Underscore with Space Char / Replace Space char with Underscore are options to make the file names with either spaces or underscores between words.
Rename files even if the title is “Untitled Song.”  Since Band-in-a-Box’s default song title is Untitled Song, setting this option would rename the files to names like Untitled Song.  If enabling this option results in a duplicate file name, Band-in-a-Box will append the original file name (e.g., MySong.MGU), so the full name would be Untitled Song MySong.MGU.  This ensures that all file names will be unique, even if the song titles are the same.

Maximum # characters for filename.  Since song titles are a maximum of 65 characters, you can auto-rename song file names up to this 65-character limit. After renaming the files, Band-in-a-Box will offer to remake the songlist.doc file.  This file is used by the SongPicker dialog that shows you the songs with full titles and other information.

Rename Any Song on Disk or Rename Current Song on disk allows you to rename files.

Delete a Song from Disk deletes a song file without exiting the program.

Erase it! (Delete Current Song from Disk) deletes the current song.

Render Song to .aiff Audio opens the Render to Audio File(s) dialog, which renders the full mix or selected tracks to either a compressed or an uncompressed audio file in mono or stereo.  Output can be an AIFF file, an M4A file, or a WAV file.

Open Finder in Folder of Current Song goes directly to the current song folder.

Page Setup takes you to the setup dialog for your printer.

Print opens the Print Options dialog.

Edit Menu

Undo and Redo allow you to undo or redo most operations.

Cut functions like a delete command.  It removes bars of chords from a song.

Copy and Paste are to copy chords from one part of the song to another.  Copying a section of chords can be done in the same manner as copying text in a word processor.

Copy Special shows a submenu to copy chords, melody, or tracks.

The Copy From… To… command, or pressing Option+C, will launch the Copy Chords and/or Melody dialog. 

Copy Rests will similarly bring up a dialog to allow copying of rests.

Copy/Move Tracks allows copying/moving of any track to any other track.  Now you can copy any channels from any track to any other track.

Examples of uses include:

  • Loading a MIDI file to the Melody track, and copying the bass part to the Bass track, and then freezing the Bass track.  This lets you setup a MIDI file with the same tracks as Band-in-a-Box uses.  Note: the command automatically freezes the destination track after the copy.
  • Getting the RealChart to play, to double a RealTracks part on another instrument.  To do this, generate a RealTracks for piano on the piano track.  Then copy the piano track to the strings track and set a strings patch.  You now hear a RealTracks piano, with the strings doubling the piano part.
  • Replace a RealChart with a MIDI version.  If a RealChart is available, copy the RealChart as in the example above.  Then eliminate the RealTracks on the original track.  You now have a RealChart MIDI part playing instead of the RealTracks, and you can edit that part etc. as with any MIDI track.

The Erase From… To…command launches the Erase Chords and/or Melody dialog.  These dialogs allow you to specify the number of bars to copy or erase, the location to copy to, and the option to copy or erase the Chords, Melody, and/or Soloist.

Insert Measure(s) inserts a certain # of bars into the Chord Sheet.

Delete Measure(s) removes a certain # of bars from the Chord Sheet.

Clear Lead Sheet blanks the Chord Sheet and restores the default song settings.  

Song Form opens a submenu.

Title/Key/Tempo/Embellish
This will open the Main Settings dialog.  This dialog offers you the option to set the title, key, and chorus begin/end, etc.  These settings are usually entered on the main screen.

Song Form Begins at
This shows the bar number for the start of the chorus.  Choose this command to set a new beginning for the chorus by clicking on the bar in the Chord Sheet.

Song Form Ends after
This shows the current bar setting for the end of the chorus.  Use this command to set a new ending for the chorus by clicking on the bar in the Chord Sheet.

Total Choruses =
This shows the number of choruses for the song, click to change.

Vary Middle Style
If checked, the middle chorus(es) of the song will be played in the “b” substyle.

Additional Song Settings
This will open the Additional Song Settings dialog.  This dialog has arrangement options like rests, pushes, chord embellishment, tags, endings and more that turn a standard Band-in-a-Box song into an arrangement.  They are saved with the song.

Intro Bars Auto-Generate
This will launch the Generate Chords for Intro (or Remove Intro) dialog where you can specify the characteristics of the intro you wish to generate.

Shrink cuts chord durations by 50% (e.g., 4beats>>2beats; 2beats>>1beat).

Expand doubles the durations of chords (e.g., 1beat>>2beats; 2beats>>4beats).

Unfold (convert to 1 BIG chorus)
Choose this command to unfold a multi-chorus song into one BIG chorus.  When selected, Band-in-a-Box will display all choruses and verses of a song without loops or repeats.  It is useful, for instance, when you have a song with 3 choruses and want to convert it to a single large chorus, or to customize a song with the “Edit Settings for Current Bar” feature to change meter, tempo, patches, styles, and/or harmonies and generate a MIDI file for export.

Set Time Signature for Range of Bars allows a new time signature to be selected for highlighted bars on the Chord Sheet.

Mute Melody during middle choruses
This gives the Soloist(s) a chance to play on a given song during the middle choruses.  Toggle this option on if you would like the melody to be muted during these choruses.

Kill Melody in Middle choruses
This command will permanently erase the middle choruses of the Melody.

Force song to # choruses
Toggle this option on if you would like a given song to have a preferred number of choruses.

Transpose shows a submenu to transpose the current song.

Transpose From ... To ... launches the Transpose dialog for transposing a particular section of the song.  The bar values can be typed in manually or you can transpose a portion of a song by highlighting the region you wish to have transposed, selecting this menu item, and typing in the new key you wish to transpose to.

Transpose DOWN 1 semitone and Transpose UP 1 semitone allow you to transpose the current song 1 semitone.

Transpose # Semitones will open a dialog where the song can be transposed up or down by a semitone, or by any number of semitones.  These operations can also be performed with keystrokes.

Lyrics shows a submenu for editing lyrics.

Copy Lyrics to Clipboard opens the Options for Copy Lyrics to Clipboard dialog, which allows you to copy bar-based and/or note-based lyrics to the clipboard so that you can paste them to another program.

Move Bar-Based Lyrics Up/Down Row(s) allows bar-based lyrics to be shifted up or down in a range of +/- 24 rows.

Erase Bar-Based Lyrics erases the bar-based lyrics from the song.

Chords has a submenu for substituting, auto-generating, etc.

Chord Substitution Dialog (Choose Your Own)
This allows you to see a list of possible chord substitutions for the current chord progression.

Auto-Generate Chord Substitutions
This will automatically pick chord substitutions for all or part of the song.

Chord Reharmonist Dialog (Choose Your Own) shows you the current bar in the song with a list of suggested chord progressions for the current melody, based on the melody and genre that you choose.

Auto-Generate Chord Reharmonization generates an entirely new chord progression for a complete song or a portion of a song.  Selecting this menu option opens the Reharmonist dialog.

‘Jazz Up’ the Chords
This will “Jazz Up” the chords by changing chords like C and Cmaj to 7th and 6th chords.  Song embellishment will be turned on for the song.  Select the type of 7ths from the list box then click on the [OK – Jazz UP] button.

‘Jazz Down’ the Chords
This will “Jazz Down” the chords by changing chords with 7ths (e.g. C7) to triads (e.g. C) and 9ths and 13ths to 7th chords.  Song embellishment is turned off.  Press [OK – Jazz Down] to proceed.

Edit Chord “Shortcut.txt” will edit the file SHORTCUT.TXT using Teach Text.  This is the chord shortcuts file.

Refresh Chord Shortcuts saves changes to the SHORTCUT.TXT file.  Changes must be saved with this command or they will be lost.

Chord Builder
This allows you to build up chords using mouse clicks.  You can enter chords “by ear’ without having to know the actual chord names or any music theory.  This feature also illustrates the differences between various chord types.

Play Current Chord
Click on any chord and use this command or press shift+return to instantly hear how it sounds.

Chord Settings
This launches the Chord Settings dialog box, where you can put in rests and pushes.  You can launch the Preview, Chord Builder, or Chord Substitution functions from this window.

Slide Tracks
This allows you to move any of the Bass, Drums, Piano, Guitar, Strings, Melody or Soloist tracks ahead or behind by a certain amount.  You could, for example, slide the Bass track so it plays a little ahead of the rest of the band.  This has the effect of making the bass player ‘drive the band,’ and is useful in Jazz styles to make the music sound more exciting.

Bar Settings
This command opens the Edit Settings for Current Bar dialog where you can change meter, tempo, patches, styles, and/or harmonies at the current bar.

Song Memo
A song memo of up to 2000 characters may be added.  When a song has a memo associated with it, a little red square is visible around the [memo] button (located to the right of the song title).

Auto-Generate Song Title
Band-in-a-Box will generate an infinite variety of titles for your songs.

Options Menu

MIDI Settings
The MIDI Settings dialog box allows you to setup settings for each track.  You can also set the Harmony channels by pressing the [Harmony] button inside this dialog box.

***Select MIDI Driver or Apple DLS Synth
This will open the MIDI Drivers dialog where you can choose from the installed drivers.

Apple DLS Synth does not require a Mac® MIDI Interface or external synthesizer and is the simplest way to quickly make Music with Band-in-a-Box.

Tip: The Apple® DLS Synth is an Audio Unit softsynth, which has properties very similar to the QuickTime Music Synthesizer.

CoreMIDI is the OS X standard MIDI driver method.  CoreMIDI facilitates communication with external MIDI devices, and it also enables inter-application ‘piping’ of MIDI data between MIDI applications.

CoreMIDI Audio MIDI Setup (This menu item is grayed out if CoreMIDI is not selected as your MIDI driver.)
This will open the Apple® Audio Devices and MIDI Studio dialogs, which control the system settings for audio and MIDI.


  Each window has its own Apple Help topic, which opens by clicking on the [?] button.

***CoreMIDI (choose ports) (This menu item is grayed out if CoreMIDI is not selected as your MIDI driver.)
This opens the Select Ports/Instruments dialog.

Click on the [CoreMIDI Help] button for detailed instructions and also see the CoreMIDI and Apple DLS Synth chapter.

Overall Loop
If checked, the song will play again from the beginning each time it reaches the end.

Return to Factory Settings
This will return program options to factory defaults, excluding MIDI Drivers and patch map set in the MIDI Settings dialog. 

MIDI Patch Maps shows a submenu.
 

Make General MIDI Patch Map
Band-in-a-Box makes its patch (instrument) selections from the standardized General MIDI patch list, which is identical to the basic set of Roland GS Patch numbers.  If you are using a non-GM (General MIDI) device you will need to remap the patch numbers for the GS instrument list by selecting the Options | MIDI Patch Maps, etc. | Make General MIDI Patch Map command.  This opens the GS Patch Numbers dialog, where you can make a customized General MIDI patch map for your non-GM instrument.

Type in the patch number that your synth uses for each instrument listed.  For example, suppose that your sound source has Acoustic Piano at patch location 41.  In the GS Patch Numbers dialog, select the box beside Acoustic Piano and type 41.  Do the same for all the instruments in the General MIDI patch list.  If your synth doesn’t have an exact match, use a close sounding patch that it does have.
(GS Patch Numbers) Once you have made a patch map in this way, whenever Band-in-a-Box encounters Acoustic Piano (which is General MIDI instrument #1), it will look up this Patch Map Location and then send out Patch 41 to your synth/sound module. Furthermore, you will never have to refer to instruments in Band-in-a-Box by your synth’s number.  Instead, you’ll use the General MIDI instrument numbering (e.g., Acoustic Piano = 1).  So, if you are Saving a Song with Patches or Assigning favorite instruments or combos you will still type #1 to tell Band-in-a-Box that the patch is Acoustic Piano.

Set Favorite Patches/Combos
For each of the 8 tracks (Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar, Strings, Melody, Soloist, and Thru) you can assign up to 10 “favorite” instruments.  Once assigned, these instruments can be quickly and easily set.
Use General MIDI instrument numbers.  If you use a custom patch map it will handle the conversion to your synth’s non-GM patch numbers, always enter GM patch numbers for the favorite instruments.
A Favorite Combo is a group of patch changes (1 for each part) that are sent out as a “batch” when you send one of the combos.

Edit Drum Kit (Note Values)
If you have been unable to find a preset drum map that matches your synth’s drum notes, then you may need to type in the drum notes that your sound source uses.  This is done in the Assign Drum Map dialog.

If you already know the MIDI note numbers assigned to the MIDI drum kit you are using (check the manual for your synth or drum machine) just type them into the drum map.  Another way to enter them is from your MIDI keyboard. To do this, you need to hook your MIDI controller up to play the drum sounds from the synth or drum machine.  Play up and down the keyboard to hear all the drum sounds.
Type the MIDI note numbers for the various instruments as you find them on your drum machine or keyboard.

Save/Load MIDI Setup/Drum Kit
This allows you to save different custom MIDI setups or load in preset or custom setups.

Send Sys-Ex File is a command that sends SysEx information to your MIDI device.

Style Aliases
Let’s say you have a new style for jazz called “Dizzy.”  You can create an alias so that when Band-in-a-Box looks for a Jazz Swing style, it will load in “Dizzy” instead, so you don’t have to make changes to all your songs.  And when you have found a new favorite style, just change the alias.  You can also load or save sets of “Alias” files and share them with others. To make an alias, click on the original style then select the style you would like to load (substitute) in its place.  If you want to type in a style name that you don’t have, use the Custom button.  When you have successfully made an alias, you will notice that there will be a small arrow in the Styles box on the main screen indicating that you have an alias loaded.

Choose Patch from Higher Bank
This will display a list of higher bank patches as found in *.PAT text files.  Choose a .PAT file from the Synth Kits folder.

Insert Current MIDI Chord
This will enter the last MIDI chord played on the MIDI controller into the current location in the song.

Output chords to external device
This is useful with an external arranger that can read chords in real time.  Band-in-a-Box will output chords in root position on the selected channel during playback.

Thru Transpose Settings
This will transpose the Thru part, which is the live playing on the MIDI keyboard, so you can play any song in any key.

Filter for Recording
This menu command is used to filter the MIDI information that is recorded to the Melody track.

GS

Reset Sound Canvas to Factory resets the module to factory settings.

Reset Sound Canvas And Send BB sends a reset message to the Sound Canvas and then sends the startup Band-in-a-Box patch changes.

Master (Combo) Volume Adjust sets the overall output level for Band-in-a-Box.

Reverb Type or Chorus Type
Roland GS instruments allow different type of reverb and chorus settings.  These settings boxes allow you to make a selection.

Assign Part/Chan/Patch/Bank
If you are using a Roland GS synthesizer or sound module you can customize its settings with the Options | GS | Assign Part/Chan/Patch/Bank menu command. 

The Part Settings/Roland GS are for GS compatible synthesizers only.  These synthesizers have 16 parts.  The default is for part 1 to be channel 1, part 2 channel 2, etc., but you can change a part to another channel.  This allows you to use the same channel for 2 parts, so that you hear a layer of 2 instruments playing the same part.

Send General MIDI Mode ON sets the external module to General MIDI mode.  This command will ensure that the module is ready to accept GM-specific MIDI data such as Bank, Controller, and Patch information.

  

Send GS mode On Message (Roland) / Send XG Mode On (Yamaha): Since the inception of the GM (General MIDI) standard, there have been two major subsets/extensions of this standard - GS (Roland) and XG (Yamaha).  Therefore, in addition to the GM Mode-on menu item feature there are additional commands to send a GS mode ON or a XG mode ON message at any time by accessing the GS menu.

Auto-Send GM Mode at Start sends a “General MIDI mode on” message when the program boots up.

Auto-Send GS Mode at Start sends a Roland GS system on message when the Band-in-a-Box program boots up.

Auto-Send XG Mode at Start sends a Yamaha XG system on message when the Band-in-a-Box program boots up.

Panic! (send all MIDI note-offs)
This sends a sweep of all MIDI notes “Off.”  Use if notes are stuck “On.”

Turn Local OFF (external MIDI keyboard) / Turn Local ON (external MIDI keyboard)
If you are hearing the information played on your keyboard played twice (an echo effect) then Turn Local OFF.  If you can’t hear what you are playing at all, set then Turn Local ON.

When program quits, turn Local ON
Normally, while using Band-in-a-Box the “local-off” setting for your MIDI keyboard is best, since the THRU part will be coming from Band-in-a-Box and you don’t want to hear your MIDI keyboard doubling the notes that are being played.  However, when you exit Band-in-a-Box, you might want the “local on” setting for your synthesizer turned back on.  This option defaults to true.

Set Panning to Mono / Set Panning to Stereo
Mono/Stereo menu optionsare available to easily switch all parts to mono or stereo.  Also, if your current settings are mono, the program will offer to convert to stereo when you exit the MIDI Driver selection dialog.

Preferences
This allows you to set the use options for the program

Play Menu


Play Already Constructed Song
This plays the current arrangement from the start without regenerating the parts, unless they have not yet been generated.  Edits to accompaniment parts are kept.

Play Special opens a submenu with more options for playing the song.

Play (and Generate)
Generates an accompaniment and starts playback of the current song.

Generate (even if tracks are frozen)
Forces generation of a song that is frozen.

Play from Bar # …
Choose a chorus and bar to play from in the current arrangement.  Parts are not regenerated.  Use this command during playback to jump to any bar in the song.

Play from Current
When the song is stopped this command starts playback again at the bar with the highlight cell.

Go (Open and Play)
Launches a filedialog for selection of any song in any folder.  The selected song loads and plays automatically in Band-in-a-Box.

Stop
Stops playback with this command or the esc key.

Hold (Pause)
Pauses the song.  Repeating this command resumes play from the exact location where the song was paused.

Play and loop highlighted region
Plays and loops the region that you have highlighted in the Chord Sheet.  Looping will continue until you stop the song.

Juke Box Play
Opens the Juke Box Options dialog to select and play a jukebox list.

Previous Juke Song/Next Juke Song
Navigate back and forth in a jukebox set list.

Wizard Playalong
Enables the Wizard feature for play along on the computer keyboard.

Wizard Uses ‘Smart’ Notes
Toggle this on so the Wizard will only play notes based on the chord/key of the song.  Toggle smart notes “Off” (unchecked) to have the Wizard provide you access to the chromatic scale.

Freeze all Tracks
Freeze all tracks so that Band-in-a-Box will not overwrite them with new arrangements.

Un-Freeze all Tracks
Un-freeze all frozen tracks.

Freeze a single track
Freeze any track so that it will not be overwritten by Band-in-a-Box.  You can use this menu command repeatedly to freeze individual tracks in a song.

Melody Menu

Track Type
Normally, you’d leave the track type set to Single.  But you can set it to:

  • Guitar: Channels 11 to 16 will display on the guitar as strings 11 to 16, the notation will be up an octave, and the MIDI file will contain the channels preserved.
  • Multi: All channels are preserved and output on the channels.  This would be useful for importing an entire MIDI file and playing it from the Melody channel (using a silent style).
  • Piano: In this mode, channels 8 and 9 are treated as the left and right hand of a piano part.
Note: When saving a MIDI file and the track type is Guitar, any notes on the guitar channels (11 to 16) are preserved, so that any fret positions are preserved.  (Channels 11 to 16 correspond to strings 1 to 6, so that a G5 note on Channel 11 would be shown on the high E string at the third fret.)

Melodist – Generate Chords and Melody launches the Melodist feature.

Melody Maker
These submenu items allow you to edit Melodist files using the Melodist Maker.

Start a Melodists File allows you to make and edit Melodist styles saved under the filename of your choice.  See Melodist Edit dialog for additional details on importing/exporting/saving Melodists.

Edit a Melodists File opens a file dialog where you can select any Melodist file (*.mel) to edit.  If you have not created any of your own Melodist files or if you want to edit the one you are using, use the Edit Current Melodist File command.

Edit Current Melodists File opens the Select Melodist dialog with the currently installed Melodist file.

Refresh Melodists allows the Melodist full access to all melody ideas contained in its database.  Use to refresh after several Melodists have been made.

Edit Melody opens a submenu for editing the Melody track.

Import Melody from MIDI File allows you to import MIDI data from a file (*.MID) into the Melody track.

Import Melody from Clipboard allows you to import MIDI data that has been pasted on the clipboard (e.g., from a sequencer).

Record Melody launches the Record MIDI dialog to record a MIDI melody.

Record Melody from Bar #... lets you click on any bar to start recording there.

Step Edit Notes allows you to enter/edit a melody in step time using an event list.

Quantize, Time Adjust shows a submenu to quantize, humanize or adjust the Melody track.

Quantize Melody opens the Quantize dialog, where all or part of the Melody track can be quantized.

Resolution per bar: Choose the division you would like the track quantized to.  Choosing 16 will quantize to 16th notes.
Starting at Bar# / Chorus #: Quantization will begin at the place you select and applied for the number of bars.
#Bars to quantize: Leave at 999 to quantize the entire track or specify 1 or more bars.
Quantize durations %: Choose 100% if you want the notes quantized exactly to the division.  Otherwise, the notes will be moved the % toward the target quantization.
Quantize Start Times: By default, this option is set to “Yes.”  If you don’t want the beginnings of the notes quantized, set it to “No.”
Quantize Durations: This quantizes the END of the notes.  By default, this is set to “Off.”

Humanize with straight feel / Humanize with swing feel
Band-in-a-Box uses intelligent humanization routines, which can humanize a melody from one, feel to another, from one tempo to another, and vary the amount of swing in 8th notes (but not randomly).  The results are very musical with natural sounding MIDI melodies.

Humanize Melody
Opens the Quantize to New Tempo or Feel dialog.  The humanize effect is broken down into 5 main categories: Tempo, Lateness, 8th Note Spacing, Legato, and Feel.

Eliminate Note Overlap – Preserve Double Stops / Eliminate Note Overlap – Remove Double Stops
Eliminates note overlap while double stops are either preserved or eliminated.

TimeShift Melody (ticks)
Allows you to move the Melody forwards or backwards in small increments relative to the rest of the song tracks.  (Measured in ticks or parts per quarter, PPQ.)

Insert Beats in Melody
Allows you to insert a blank beat or beats into the song relative to the current time signature.

Delete Beats in Melody
Allows you to delete a beat or beats from the song relative to the current time signature.

Transpose has a submenu to transpose the Melody track.

Transpose Melody
Transpose the melody track without affecting the other tracks in the song.

Transpose One Octave DOWN / Transpose One Octave UP transposes the Melody part one octave in either direction.  This is often useful if the Melody instrument has been changed.  Transposing can be done while the song plays.

Form has a submenu which is related to a song form.

Copy 1st Chorus to Entire Song
This stretches the melody track out over the entire song (all choruses).

Kill Entire Melody
Erases the Melody track and any data that was contained therein.

Kill First Chorus
Eliminates the melody from the First Chorus.

Kill Middle Choruses
Eliminates the melody from the Middle Choruses.

Kill Last Choruses
Eliminates the melody from the Last Chorus.

Transform Waltz Melody & Soloist to 4/4
If you have a song with a 3/4 time signature, you can instantly hear it as a 4/4 feel. To use this feature, load in any song in 3/4 time.  Then load in a 4/4 style.  If there’s a Melody (or Soloist) present, you’ll be asked if it’s OK to change the Melody from 3/4 to 4/4.  If you click YES to that, the transformation will occur and you can listen to the Melody in 4/4 time.

If you click NO to the offer to transform the Melody, you can still convert it later by choosing Melody | Edit | Form | Transform 3/4 to 4/4.  Note that if you choose the manual command, the Melody prior to transformation should have 6 beats before bar 1 beat 1 of the Melody begins (as it normally would in a 3/4 style).

Transform 4/4 Melody & Soloist to Waltz
You can automatically transform any 4/4 song/melody to a Waltz 3/4 feel.  To use this feature, load in any song in 4/4 time.  Then load in a Waltz style.  If there’s a Melody (or Soloist) present, you’ll be asked if it’s OK to change the Melody from 4/4 to 3/4.  If you click YES to that, the transformation will occur and you can listen to the Melody in 3/4 time.

If you click NO to the offer to transform the Melody, you can still convert it later by choosing Melody | Edit | Form | Transform 4/4 to 3/4.  Note that if you choose the manual command, the Melody prior to transformation should have 8 beats before bar 1 beat 1 of the Melody begins (as it normally would in a 4/4 style).

Adjust Level of Melody
Allows you to increase or decrease the volume (velocity) of the Melody track without affecting the other tracks.

Copy to Soloist Track
Copies the entire contents of the Melody track to the Soloist Track.  Useful for a temporary holding area for your Melody or bouncing tracks.

Move to Soloist Track
Copies the entire contents of the Melody track and erases the original data from the Melody track, preparing it for a new track or data.

Swap Melody and Soloist Track
This performs a “double copy/move” so that the data that was in the Melody track is transferred to the Soloist track and visa versa.  This is also known as track bouncing.

Convert Harmony to Melody Track
Converts a single line Melody track to include the current harmony selection.

Remove Harmony (or Guitar solo) from Melody Track
Removes a harmony from a track, providing that the harmony was put there by Band-in-a-Box in the first place using the Convert Harmony to Melody Track command.

Generate Guitar Chord Solo
Opens the Select Guitarist dialog for generating a guitar chord solo.

Auto-Rechannel to Guitar Display
This converts the channels on the Melody track to Guitar Channels 11 to 16.  When it encounters a chord, it will determine the fret position that it’s most possible to play that chord with.  Otherwise, if it’s a single note, it will play it at the current position at the guitar neck.  If you want to convert an existing melody to a customized Guitar part, this command is a good starting point, and you can edit the track further to achieve a better result.

Add Legato/Staccato to Melody
This allows you to increase legato of the Melody track by N ticks, avoiding the next note by M ticks, or reduce the length of notes by N ticks, preserving a minimum of M ticks duration of notes.  To increase legato of the notes, enter a positive number in the first dialog.  The duration of notes in the track will be increased by this number of ticks.  Then, in the next dialog specify the number of ticks to avoid the next note.  To reduce the length of notes, enter a negative number in the first dialog.  The duration of notes in the track will be decreased by this number of ticks.  Then, in the next dialog, specify the minimum duration of notes.

Embellish Melody

Embellish Melody during playback
This toggles the Melody Embellisher feature on or off.

Embellish Melody Dialog
The Melody Embellisher dialog opens, allowing you to customize the settings of the Embellisher, choose an embellisher type from presets, and make a particular Embellishment permanent.

Soloist Menu

Track Type
Normally, you’d leave the track type set to Single, but you can set it to:

  • Multi (16) Channel: All channels are preserved and output on the channels.  This would be useful for importing an entire MIDI file and playing it from the Melody channel (using a silent style).
  • Guitar: Channels 11 to 16 will display on the guitar as strings 11 to 16, the notation will be up an octave, and the MIDI file will contain the channels preserved.
  • Piano: In this mode, channels 8 and 9 are treated as the left and right hand of a piano part.

Generate and Play a Solo opens the Select Soloist dialog where a preset Soloist style can be selected or your own Soloist can be defined.

Soloist Maker
These submenu items allow you to edit Soloist files using the Soloist Maker.

Start a Soloists File allows you to make and edit Soloist styles saved under the filename of your choice.  See Soloist Edit dialog for additional details on importing/exporting/saving Soloists.

Edit a Soloists File opens a file dialog where you can select any Soloist file (*.Soloist) to edit.  If you have not created any of your own Soloist files or if you want to edit the one you are using, use the Edit Current Soloist File command. Band-in-a-Box comes with over 100 Soloists built-in.  If you want to make your own or modify an existing Soloist, use the Soloist Maker (edit) module.  The Soloist Maker allows you to define the parameters essential to a soloist’s playing, such as instrument range (i.e. tenor saxophone), extra legato playing, playing more on top of the beat than most jazz musicians, and playing straighter 8th notes than usual swing 8th notes. In addition, 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.

Edit Current Soloists file opens the Select Soloist dialog with the currently installed Soloists file.

Refresh Soloist allows the Soloist full access to all solo ideas contained in its database.  Use to refresh after several Soloists have been made.

OK to Load Soloists w/ song 
Enable this option if you want Soloists to be automatically loaded with a song that was saved with Soloist information.

Allow Soloist Harmony (on THRU)
Enable this option to permit the Soloist to utilize the Harmony features.  This will allow the Soloist to make a harmonized solo with the harmony of your choice.  See the Select Soloist dialog for additional details.

Edit Soloist Track has a submenu of editing options.

Import Soloist from MIDI File allows you to import MIDI data from a file (*.MID) into the Soloist track.

Import Soloist from Clipboard allows you to import MIDI data that has been pasted on the clipboard (e.g., from a sequencer such as PowerTracks).

Record Soloist records a MIDI part to the Soloist track instead of recording tothe Melody track. 

Record Soloist From Bar #  records at the current location of the highlight cell.  When you click to select the bar to begin recording a prompt will ask you to select which chorus to record.  At the end of recording the regular Band-in-a-Box confirmation dialogs will open. 

Step Edit Notes allows you to enter/edit a solo in step time from an event list.

Quantize, Time Adjust shows a submenu to quantize, humanize or adjust the Soloist track.

Quantize Soloist opens the Quantize dialog, where all or part of the Soloist track can be quantized.

Resolution per bar: Choose the division you would like the track quantized to.  Choosing 16 will quantize to 16th notes.
Starting at Bar# / Chorus #: Quantization will begin at the place you select and applied for the number of bars.
#Bars to quantize: Leave at 999 to quantize the entire track or specify 1 or more bars.
Quantize durations %: Choose 100% if you want the notes quantized exactly to the division.  Otherwise, the notes will be moved the % toward the target quantization.
Quantize Start Times: By default, this option is set to “Yes.”  If you don’t want the beginnings of the notes quantized, set it to “No.”
Quantize Durations: This quantizes the END of the notes.  By default, this is set to “Off.”

Humanize with straight feel / Humanize with swing feel
Band-in-a-Box uses intelligent humanization routines, which can humanize a Soloist from one feel to another, from one tempo to another, and vary the amount of swing in 8th notes (but not randomly).  The results are very musical, with natural sounding MIDI solos.

Humanize Soloist opens the Soloist: Quantize to New Tempo or Feel dialog.  The humanize effect is broken down into 5 main categories: Tempo, Lateness, 8th Note Spacing, Legato, and Feel.

Eliminate Note Overlap – Preserve Double Stops / Eliminate Note Overlap – Remove Double Stops opens a Choose Range dialog to select the range of bars where note overlap will be eliminated while double stops are either preserved or eliminated.

Time-Shift Soloist Part (ticks) allows you to move the Soloist forward or backwards in small increments relative to the rest of the song tracks.  (Measured in ticks or parts per quarter, PPQ.)

Insert Beats in Soloist allows you to insert a blank beat or beats into the song relative to the current time signature.

Delete Beats in Soloist allows you to delete a beat or beats from the song relative to the current time signature.

Transpose has a submenu to transpose the Soloist track.

Transpose Soloist allows you to transpose the Soloist track without affecting the other tracks in the song.

Transpose One Octave DOWN / Transpose One Octave UP transposes the Soloist part one octave in either direction.  This is often useful if the Soloist instrument has been changed.  Transposing can be done while the song plays.

Form has a submenu which is related to a song form.

Copy 1st Chorus to Entire Song stretches the Soloist track out over the entire song (i.e. first, last, and middle choruses).

Kill Entire Soloist erases the soloist track and any data that was contained therein.

Kill First Chorus eliminates the Soloist from the First Chorus.

Kill Middle Choruses eliminates the Soloist from the Middle Choruses.

Kill Last Chorus eliminates the Soloist from the Last Chorus.

Transform Waltz Melody & Soloist to 4/4 allows you to transform waltz melody/soloist to 4/4

Transform 4/4 Melody & Soloist to Waltz allows you to transform 4/4 melody/soloist to a waltz.

Adjust Level of Soloist allows you to increase or decrease the volume (velocity) of the Soloist track without affecting the other tracks.

Copy to Melody Track copies the entire contents of the Soloist track to the Melody Track.  This is useful for a temporary holding area for your soloist or for bouncing tracks.

Move to Melody Track copies the entire contents of the Soloist track and erases the original data from the Soloist track, preparing it for a new track or data.

Swap Melody and Soloist Track performs a “double copy/move” so that the data that was in the Soloist track is transferred to the Melody track and vice versa.  This is also known as track bouncing.

Convert Harmony to Soloist Track converts a single line Soloist track to include the current harmony selection.

Remove Harmony (or Guitar solo) from Soloist Track removes a harmony from a track, providing that the harmony was put there by Band-in-a-Box in the first place using the Convert Harmony to Soloist Track command.

Generate Guitar Chord Solo opens the Guitar feature dialog for generating a guitar chord solo.

Auto-Rechannel to Guitar Display converts channels on a track to channels 11 to 16.  Channels 11 to 16 are used by Band-in-a-Box to indicate strings 1 to 6 of a guitar.  It uses the current position marker on the guitar for this command.

Add Legato/Staccato to Soloist
This allows you to increase legato of the Soloist track by N ticks, avoiding the next note by M ticks, or reduce the length of notes by N ticks, preserving a minimum of M ticks duration of notes.  To increase legato of the notes, enter a positive number in the first dialog.  The duration of notes in the track will be increased by this number of ticks.  Then, in the next dialog specify the number of ticks to avoid the next note.  To reduce the length of notes, enter a negative number in the first dialog.  The duration of notes in the track will be decreased by this number of ticks.  Then, in the next dialog, specify the minimum duration of notes.

Scales

When students are practicing Jazz tunes, it is helpful to see the scales that are used for each chord.  The Scale Wizard allows you to easily generate these scales, which appear as notation on the Soloist track.  Options include Instrument Range, Patch Selection, Jazzy Mode (will use Lydian dominant scales for some 7th chords), and Diatonic Mode (keeps scales relative to the song key). These menu items allow you to generate scales for a certain song, or auto-generate them for all loaded songs.  View the scales in the notation or the on-screen guitar and piano.

Generate Scales allows you to set options for the scales that are generated.

Auto-Generate Scales when play pressed generates scales for all loaded songs.

Audio Menu

Record Audio
Open the Record Audio dialog and let you record vocal (using a microphone) or instrument (plugged into a mixer).

Record Audio and MIDI (Melody)
If you want to simultaneously record MIDI to the Melody Track when recording audio, then choose this menu.  The dialog will open with “Melody” selected for “Also Record MIDI?” option.

Record Audio and MIDI (Soloist)
If you want to simultaneously record MIDI to the Soloist Track when recording audio, then choose this menu.  The dialog will open with “Soloist” selected for “Also Record MIDI?” option.

Edit Audio

Copy 1st Chorus to Whole Song
Copy the first chorus of audio to the rest of the song.

Kill Entire Audio
Erase the Audio track from the song completely.

Erase Audio Choruses
Erase audio from the selected chorus.

Erase Region of Audio
Erase a specified region of bars/beats of audio.

Adjust Level of Region of Wave File (Permanent)
Allow you to change the volume of the Audio track itself.  It uses a sophisticated peak-limiting algorithm to ensure that increases in the volume do not result in clipping of the sound, which would be heard as a loud distortion.

Timeshift Audio (ms) is used to time shift the whole Audio track a certain number of milliseconds.

Insert Bar(s) in Audio
Allow you to insert best(s) to the Audio track. For example, if you decide to add an extra 2 bars to the intro, and you’ve already recorded audio, you should insert 2 bars (8 beats in a 4/4 time signature) into the Audio track as well.

Delete Bar(s) from Audio
Allow you to delete best(s) from the Audio track.

Convert Channels (mono/stereo) allows you to convert the Audio track from stereo to mono, or vice versa.  There is an option to choose the percentage of each channel.

Mute Audio
Toggle to mute and unmute the Audio track.

Render Song to Audio File (WAV,AIFF,M4A)
Open the “Render to Audio File” dialog which lets you convert the song to an audio file.

Export Audio to Sequencer
Open Finder and show you the file for the Audio track so that you can copy it to your sequencer.

Import Audio (WAV,AIFF,M4A,MP4,MP3)
Import data from a selected audio file into the Audio track.

Launch Audio Chord Wizard
The wizard analyzes chords in a selected audio file and extracts them to the Chord Sheet.

Audio Chord Wizard Utilities
Open a dialog which detects a key signature based on the chords Audio Chord Wizard has extracted from an audio file and makes a tempo map.

Audio Edit Window
Open the window which displays a graphical waveform for the Audio track.  You can select, play, and edit the audio data in this window.

Audio Harmonies, Pitch Tracking, Fix Tuning opens the built-in Audio Harmony dialog, which allows you to harmonize the audio or correct out-of-tune notes.

Audio Transcribe (monophonic) transcribes the audio data to the Melody or Soloist track as MIDI data.

Audio Chord Wizard (Audio Edit) opens the Audio Edit window and allows you to use the built-in Audio Chord Wizard feature.

Set Audio Master (Base) Tempo
Allow you to change the volume of the Audio track itself.  It uses a sophisticated peak-limiting algorithm to ensure that increases in the volume do not result in clipping of the sound, which would be heard as a loud distortion.

Harmony Menu

Melody Harmony
Shows the current Melody harmony selection.  Click to open the Select Melody Harmony ialog.

Thru Harmony
Shows the current Thru harmony selection.  Click to open the Select Thru Harmony dialog.

Favorite Melody Harmonies
This option brings up your favorite 50 Harmony styles (based on recent usage) and allows you to choose one to use on the Melody track.

Favorite Thru Harmonies
This option brings up your favorite 50 Harmony styles (based on recent usage) and allows you to choose one to use on the Thru track.

Audio Harmonies & Pitch Tracking (Audio Edit) opens the built-in Audio Harmony dialog, which allows you to harmonize the audio or correct out-of-tune notes.

Harmonies Editor shows a submenu for editing harmony files (.har).

Start a New Harmonies File allows you to make and edit Harmony styles saved under the filename of your choice.

Edit a Harmonies File allows you to select and edit a Harmony file.

Edit Current Harmonies File allows you to edit the Harmony file that is currently loaded on your system.

Convert Harmony to Melody Track
This converts a single line Melody track to include the current harmony selection.

Convert Harmony to Soloist Track
This converts a single line Soloist track to include the current harmony selection (on the Thru harmony).

Harmony Settings shows you a submenu for harmony features.

OK to Load Harmony with Songs
Check this option if you want to load any harmony settings that were saved/embedded in a given song.

Save Harmony with This Song
Check this option if you want to save the Melody and/or Thru harmony settings for the currently open song so that they may be recalled automatically later.

Change Harmony with New Chord
Toggle this option on to allow the program to vary the harmony characteristics (i.e. inversions) each time a new chord is encountered in the song.

Allow Melody Harmony
Toggle this option on to allow the Melody MIDI channels to utilize the harmony features.

Allow Thru Harmony
Toggle this option on to allow the Thru MIDI channels to utilize the harmony features.

Allow Soloist Harmony (on THRU)
Toggle this option on to allow the Thru MIDI channels to utilize the harmony features for the Soloist track.

Use Passing harmonies for THRU
When you play along on a MIDI keyboard (or the wizard), and use a Thru harmony, you can use passing harmonies.  For example, on a C7 chord, with an Ab note, the harmony might be a B diminished chord, which is a passing harmony.

Windows Menu

Notation Window toggles between the notation and the Chord Sheet views.

Movable Notation Window opens a movable and resizable Notation window.

Lead Sheet Window displays a full-page notation with options like selectable number of staffs, clefs to show, margins, lyrics, and multiple tracks of instruments or harmonies.

Big Lyrics Window displays scrolling lyrics in a karaoke format.

Drum Window launches the animated Drum Kit. 

Guitar Window launches the on-screen Guitar fretboard.

Mixer Window launches the floating, always-on-top mixer with screens for setting Patches, Volume, Panning, Tone, and Reverb.

Reverb Window opens the Reverb Settings dialog for audio reverb settings and selections.

Audio Edit Window shows a digital waveform for the Audio track.

Piano Roll Window allows precise graphic editing of MIDI data.

Big Piano Window opens a resizable window with a piano keyboard.

Video Window opens the window, which allows you to load videos that you have already downloaded from YouTube or elsewhere into Band-in-a-Box.

Switch to Next Track / Switch to Previous Track selects parts in the row of Notation buttons.

RealDrums Settings launches the dialog for enabling RealDrums substituting them in styles and songs.

RealDrums Picker opens the list for choosing a RealDrums style for the current song.

RealTracks Settings opens the dialog for enabling RealTracks and showing notation and saving RealCharts.

RealTracks Picker opens the Assign RealTracks to Track dialog for assigning RealTracks to any BB part.

Audio Chord Wizard

Run Audio Chord Wizard (Standalone) launches the Audio Chord Wizard program.

Run Audio Chord Wizard (with audio file) allows you to select an audio file and then run Audio Chord Wizard.

Read Chords from Audio Chord Wizard enters the chords into Band-in-a-Box.

Plugin Mode for Sequencer-DAW enters the plug-in mode.  The Band-in-a-Box window becomes smaller and you can use it with your DAW (GarageBand, etc.).  To export a Band-in-a-Box track, drag the radio button for the part you want to export into the blue “drop station” rectangle in the upper left corner of the main screen.  When the rectangle turns green, drag and drop it to your DAW or the Finder.  There you can apply effects such as the guitar amp simulator modeling and digital effects in AmpliTube CS, which is included with Band-in-a-Box and installs as a separate plug-in.

Full Screen (no toolbars) shows the Chord Sheet or Notation window in the full screen mode.

Show Thru panel on mixer shows the Thru panel on the Mixer.By default, the Thru track is invisible since most people don’t need to have this track visible at all times, but you can show/hide the Thru track with the [THRU] button in the Mixer or with this menu command.

Help Menu

Search will list all menu items related to the search term.

Display Program Manual opens the comprehensive .pdf manual with bookmarks for reference.

Display Program UPGRADE Manual opens a guide to the new features in the latest version.

Panic!  All Notes Off!!
This sends a sweep of all MIDI notes “Off.”  Use if notes are stuck “On.”

What add-ons do I have?
One of the greatest strengths of Band-in-a-Box is the ability to add-on and enhance the program through add-on RealTracks, RealDrums, Styles, Soloist, and Melodist disks.  The list of available add-ons is large, and it keeps growing.  The “What Add-ons” feature scans your computer’s Band-in-a-Box directory and displays what add-ons are and aren’t found.  Choose What add-ons do I have? to analyze your current installation and see which add-ons have been found.  This dialog displays the add-on styles and soloist disks you have installed in your Band-in-a-Box program folder.  If any styles or soloist add-ons incorrectly appear in the “Not Found” window try reinstalling the appropriate add-ons from the original disc or download.

Web site www.pgmusic.comwill launch your Internet browser and loads the PG Music Inc. home page.
Utilities

Display Log Text File of Yellow/Green Messages
Log of “yellow and green messages”, listing the message and date/time, is saved in a file called /Applications/Band-in-a-Box/Data/FlashMessageLog.txt.  This file is saved when you exit the program.  The list can be displayed inside the program at any time, by choosing a menu Display Log Text for Yellow/Green Messages.  Very long single word strings in the Flash Messages now show up correctly.

Special Options for Activation/De-Activation will open a dialog which allows you to change the activation status (e.g. removing activation and moving it to another computer).

Write BandInABoxRequest file will create a file that you can email to support@music.com if you have a problem activating the program.

Activate Band-in-a-Box will let you activate Band-in-a-Box at the startup if you did not activate at the startup.

Keystroke Commands – “Hot Keys”

It’s often faster to use keystrokes instead of picking up the mouse.  We’ve added many keystroke “hot keys” to mute instruments or to adjust volume, panning, reverb, chorus, or bank of instrument without using the mouse.
If a hot key is not performing as expected, it might be because the operating system has assigned a different function to that key.  You can disable the operating system hot keys assignments by going to the Apple® System Preferences/Keyboard & Mouse and clicking on the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.  Scroll down to find the key you are looking for and uncheck it in the “On” column.  Then your Band-in-a-Box hot key should work properly.

Keystroke List

This is a list of keystroke “hot keys.”  These keys are also listed on the pull down menus beside the function.

Start a new song

+N

Open song

+O or F3

Open next song

shift+F8

Open previous song

control+shift+F8

Open favorite/recently used song

shift+F3

Open song from SongPicker

+F7

Open song with melodies

+F3

Open style

+U

Open next style

+shift+F8

Open previous style

+shift+F8

Open style from StylePicker

control+F9 or S+return

Open favorite/recently used style

option+F9

Save song

+S or F2

Save MIDI file

F6 or option+S

Copy

+C

Cut

+X

Paste

+V

Undo

+Z

Copy Chords and/or Melody dialog

option+C

Erase Chords and/or Melody dialog

option+K

Insert x bars in the highlighted area

+I

Delete bars in the highlighted area

+D

Edit current chord

option+Z

Play current chord

shift+return

Chord Builder

control+shift+H

Edit current bar

F5 or option+B

Set the first bar of the chorus

+B

Set the last bar of the chorus

+E

Set the number of choruses

+L

Song Settings dialog (title, key, tempo, etc.)

+K

Auto-generate intro bars

control+shift+F8

Auto-generate song title

control+shift+S

Set tempo and play

[=] 4 times

Set tempo

[+] 4 times

Song Memo

option+M

Edit current style in StyleMaker

+F9

Play and generate song

+A or F4

 

Replay already constructed song

+R

 

Play from bar #

control+F

 

Play from current bar

X or control+X

 

Play and loop the highlighted area

F10

 

Go (Open and play song)

control+G

 

Pause/resume playing song

control+H

 

Stop playback

esc

 

Play Jukebox

+J or F8

 

Play previous jukebox song

+[

 

Play next jukebox song

+]

 

Wizard playalong

option+W

 

Select the Master (all the instruments)

control+2

 

Select the Bass track

control+3

 

Select the Piano track

control+4

 

Select the Drums track

control+5

 

Select the Guitar track

control+6

 

Select the Strings track

control+7

 

Select the Melody track

control+8

 

Select the Soloist track

control+9

 

Select the Thru track

control+0

 

Mute the Master (all the instruments)

+2

 

Mute the Bass track

+3

 

Mute the Piano track

+4

 

Mute the Drums track

+5

 

Mute the Guitar track

+6

 

Mute the Strings track

+7

 

Mute the Melody track

+8

 

Mute the Soloist track

+9

 

Mute the THRU track

+0

 

Record MIDI melody

control+R

 

Record MIDI melody from bar #

option+R

 

Select Melodist (Generate chord and melody)

shift+F5

 

Select Soloist

shift+F4

 

Refresh Melodist or Soloist

shift+F7

 

Transposes Melody track down 1 octave

control++1

 

Transposes Melody track up 1 octave

control++2

 

Transposes Soloist track down 1 octave

control++3

 

Transposes Soloist track up 1 octave

control++4

 

Embellish melody during playback

control+option+E

 

Embellish Melody dialog

control+option+L

 

Allow Melody harmony

option+H

 

Select Melody harmony

control+option+H

 

Allow Thru harmony

option+T

 

Select Thru harmony

control+option+T

 

Full screen more (no toolbars)

+T

 

Notation Window

control+N

 

Movable Notation Window

shift+control+N

 

Lead Sheet Window

control+L

 

Print Lead Sheet

+P

 

Big Lyrics Window

control+Y

 

Drums Window

control+D

 

Guitar Window

shift+control+G

 

Floating Mixer Window

control+M

 

RealDrums Settings dialog

control+shift+U

 

RealDrums Picker

control+U

 

RealTracks Settings dialog

control+shift+K

 

RealTracks Picker

control+K

 

Increment MIDI Patch number by 1

[+] or [=]

 

Decrement MIDI Patch number by 1

[-]

 

Increment MIDI Patch number by 5

shift [+]

 

Decrement MIDI Patch number by 5

shift [-]

 

Reset Sound Canvas and send BB MIDI settings

+G

 

Display and edit the MIDI Settings

+M

 

Send General MIDI mode On

+=

 

Decrease volume for all tracks by 5

control+shift++Q

 

Increase volume for all tracks by 5

control+shift++W

 

Set volume for all tracks

control+shift++E

 

Decrease volume for the current track by 5

control+shift+Q

 

Increase volume for the current track by 5

control+shift+W

 

Set volume for the current track

control+shift+E

 

Panic!  All notes Off

+/ or F12

 

Preferences Dialog

+comma or option+P

 

Displays Band-in-a-Box manual

F1 or shift+F1

 

Hide Band-in-a-Box

+H

 

Quit the program

+F4 or +Q

 

Direction

Move the cursor in the appropriate direction

Arrows

Adjust the tempo by increments of 5

[   ]

Set/Advance Part Marker at cursor location

p

Moves the cursor to the right

tab

Moves the cursor to the left

shift+tab

Quick Song Settings

These are for entering songs quickly in the Chord Sheet and Notation windows.  Typing special words, instead of chord names, will make the following settings:

Sets the beginning of the chorus to the current bar

begin <Enter>

Sets the end of the chorus to the current bar

chorusend <Enter>

Sets the end of the song to the current bar

end <Enter>

Sets key signature to C, tkbb would set it to Bb

tkc <Enter>

Transposes song to key of C

trc <Enter>

Sets tempo to 125

t125 <Enter>


Chord List

Commonly used chords are displayed here in bold type.

Major Chords

C, CMAJ, C6, CMAJ7, CMAJ9, CMAJ13, C69, CMAJ7#5,
C5b, Caug, C+,
CMAJ9#11, CMAJ13#11,

Minor Chords

Cm, Cm6, Cm7, Cm9, Cm11, Cm13,
C-7: You can type C-7 for Cm7 (i.e. use the minus sign) or C7-9 for C7b9
Cmaug, Cm#5,
CmMAJ7,

Diminished Chords

Cdim (either dim5 or dim7)

Dominant 7th Chords

C7,7+, C9+, C13+, C13, C7b13, C7#11, C13#11, C7#11b13, C9,
C9b13, C9#11, C13#11, C9#11b13, C7b9, C13b9, C7b9b13, C7b9#11,
C13b9#11, C7b9#11b13, C7#9, C13#9, C7#9b13, C9#11, C13#9#11, C7#9#11b13,
C7b5, C13b5, C7b5b13, C9b5, C9b5b13, C7b5b9, C13b5b9, C7b5b9b13,
C7b5#9, C13b5#9, C7b5#9b13, C7#5, C13#5, C7#5#11, C13#5#11, C9#5,
C9#5#11, C7#5b9, C13#5b9, C7#5b9#11, C13#5b9#11, C7#5#9, C13#5#9#11,
C7#5#9#11, C13#5#9#11

Suspended 4 Chords

Csus,C7sus,C9sus,
C13sus, C7susb13, C7sus#11, C13sus#11, C7sus#11b13,
C9susb13, C9sus#11, C13sus#11, C9sus#11b13, C7susb9, C13susb9,
C7susb9b13, C7susb9#11,
C13susb9#11, C7susb9#11b13, C7sus#9, C13sus#9, C7sus#9b13, C9sus#11,
C13sus#9#11, C7sus#9#11b13,
C7susb5, C13susb5, C7susb5b13, C9susb5, C9susb5b13, C7susb5b9,
C13susb5b9, C7susb5b9b13, C7susb5#9, C13susb5#9, C7susb5#9b13,
C7sus#5, C13sus#5,
C7sus#5#11, C13sus#5#11, C9sus#5,
C9sus#5#11, C7sus#5b9, C13sus#5b9,
C7sus#5b9#11, C13sus#5b9#11, C7sus#5#9, C13sus#5#9#11, C7sus#5#9#11,
C13sus#5#9#11,

Notes about entering chords:

  • It is not necessary to type upper or lower case.   The program will sort this out for you.
  • Any chord may be entered with an alternate root (“Slash Chord”) e.g.: C7/E = C7 with E bass
  • Separate chords with commas to enter 2 chords in a 2 beat cell e.g.: Dm7,G7

Tricky Chords

  • C5b: This is C flat 5.  It is spelled this way to avoid confusion. 
  • C2 C5 C4 C69 C7alt Cm7#5
  • Cadd2 Cmadd2

Chord Shortcut Keys: Speed up chord entry with these shortcut keys.

  • J = Maj7 (To type CMaj7, just type CJ.  It will be entered as CMaj7.)
  • H = m7b5 (H stands for Half diminished.)
  • D = dim
  • S = Sus

Files and Folders

Band-in-a-Box Folder

The Band-in-a-Box program installs by default to its own Band-in-a-Box folder inside the /Applications folder.  Unless there is an important reason to install it to a different location, we suggest that you accept the default location.

Band-in-a-Box
The /Band-in-a-Box folder has a clean look with only one program file in the folder (the Band-in-a-Box application).  The rest of the files are in subfolders. 

Artist Performance Sets
Artist Performance tracks use the Melody track to showcase Band-in-a-Box RealTracks demos accompanying a live recording of a top artist performing the melody.  These are great for listening or learning-from-the-Pros (since notation/tab shows for the performances). These performances play the melody (2 choruses), and 2 choruses of solo (first chorus “simple” solo, 2nd chorus advanced).  All performance tracks include audio (stretchable to any tempo), notation, on-screen guitar, and guitar tab. To play the Artist Performance Tracks, open the songs from the /Applications/Band-in-a-Box/Artist Performances folder.

AudioChordWizard
The powerful Audio Chord Wizard feature can be run as a stand-alone program from this folder to interpret the chords from popular audio file types such as MP4, M4a, AIFF, and CD audio.

Data
These files contain the lists and data for the various Band-in-a-Box features.  Most of them are not directly edited, but user edits to the program features are saved to them.  For example, if you add or make new styles and rebuild the list in the StylePicker the file BBW.LST is updated. One file that can be edited is pgshort.txt.  Follow the directions given to add your own shortcuts for entering chords in Band-in-a-Box.

DragDrop is the location for audio files rendered by dragging tracks to the Drop zone.

Drums
This folder has subfolders containing the files for all of the RealDrums sets installed in your program.  It is the default location recognized by Band-in-a-Box when it installs RealDrums sets and generates a RealDrums part. If this folder is moved or the RealDrums files are installed in a custom location, the new location must be entered in the RealDrums Settings dialog so that Band-in-a-Box knows where to find them.

Drums – Demos
Every RealDrums style has a Band-in-a-Box demo song, which can be loaded directly from this folder as a song file.  Once a demo song has been played from this folder, you can then use the SongPicker (Select Song by Title) dialog to choose songs from a list.

Manuals
This folder includes a manual with a guide to latest features in the current Band-in-a-Box upgrade, Band-in-a-Box ---- Upgrade Manual.pdf, plus a recent version of the full manual named Band-in-a-Box ---- Mac Manual.pdf.  These files are bookmarked for easy reference, and individual pages can be printed out as required. Helpful supplements are sometimes included, such as the Band-in-a-Box CoreMIDI help.pdf that explains how to set up external MIDI devices to the Mac®.

Melodist Demos
These are Band-in-a-Box songs made with the Melodist feature that generates complete songs with chords and melodies.  You can select individual songs to hear an example of the different Melodist styles, or you can play them all by clicking on the [Juke Songs Now] button in the Melodist dialog.

MIDI SuperTracks - Demos
MIDI SuperTracks are MIDI tracks that can be added to a track or a style and play like other MIDI tracks in a style.  They are called “SuperTracks” because they are generated using a different engine than typical MIDI style tracks.  Typical MIDI style tracks are generated from C7 patterns in the style and repeat these patterns over any chord.  MIDI SuperTracks use actual MIDI playing from musicians (similar to RealTracks in that regard), so are not based on patterns.  To play the MIDI SuperTracks song demos, open the songs from the /Applications/Band-in-a-Box/MIDI SuperTracks Demos folder.

Preferences
The Preferences you set in the program are saved in the Preferences folder, and this folder also has a file named Intrface.BBM with all the program settings including MIDI and audio driver setup.  If this file is removed to the trash the program will open like a new installation the next time it runs.  It will prompt for all the initial setup selections.  This is useful as a “global reset” if system settings have been changed by accident and are difficult to restore.

RealTracks
This folder has subfolders containing the files for all the RealTracks instruments installed in your program.  It is the default location recognized by Band-in-a-Box when it installs RealTracks sets and generates RealTracks. If this folder is moved or the RealTracks files are installed in a custom location, the new location must be entered in the RealTracks Settings dialog so that Band-in-a-Box knows where to find them.

RealTracks – Demos
Every RealTracks instrument has a Band-in-a-Box demo song, which can be loaded directly from this folder as a song file.  Once a demo song has been played from this folder you can then use the SongPicker (Select Song by Title) dialog to choose songs from a list.

Soloist Demos
These are Band-in-a-Box songs made with the many soloist styles available.  There are subfolders for every Soloist set.  Once you select a song from the File | Open menu command, you can use the [Song] button to choose from a list of songs in the subfolder.

Soloists
Soloist files are stored here, both for MIDI soloists and solos that use RealTracks instruments.  If you install soloist add-on sets this is where to put them.

Songs
This is the default folder for storing your Band-in-a-Box songs, the default folder that is selected by the File | Open Song menu command.  It includes the basic Band-in-a-Box song library, and the songs you make yourself will be stored here unless you specify a custom folder for them. Band-in-a-Box accompaniments are saved with the file extension *.sgu.  If a melody has been recorded the file extension will be *.mgu.  The “u” indicates a song made with a user-editable style. 
The original 24 Band-in-a-Box styles are an exception, they use song file names ending in numbers from 1-9 and letters from A-O, but all later styles end in “u.”

Songs and Lessons
Band-in-a-Box comes with a large library of songs that demonstrate some of the most popular styles of music as well as songs for listening, learning, and jamming.  This folder is packed with musical content for a variety of tastes and purposes.

SoundCloud
When you upload an audio file to SoundCloud, a copy of the will be saved in this folder.

Style Demos
Every Band-in-a-Box style has a demo song stored in this folder.  There are a lot of them, the easiest way to play them is to pick the style that interests you in the StylePicker dialog and then click on the [Song Demo] button to hear the demo song for that style.

Styles
Band-in-a-Box styles use the file extension .sty and are stored in this folder.  These are the styles that are listed in the StylePicker.  If you add new styles, they will be installed in this folder and added to the StylePicker list by clicking on the [Re-Build] button.

Synth Kit Documentation
These are documents that describe the synth kits provided in the Synth Kits folder.

Synth Kits
Even though the General MIDI and GM2 patch lists have been widely adopted, Band-in-a-Box supports many other MIDI patch lists and drum kits.  The .DK files in this folder are pre-formatted GM patch lists for most of the popular synthesizers, GM and non-GM, in use since the introduction of Band-in-a-Box.  The .PAT files are for the patches found on higher banks GM and other synths and include the custom bank change commands to provide access to any patch on any MIDI synthesizer. Users can write custom .DK and .PAT files and save them to this folder.

Tutorials
This folder contains the files provided for use with the tutorials found in the help file.
Other files and folders contain files and resources used by the program.

Live Help
Contact Info

PG Music Inc.
29 Cadillac Ave Victoria BC Canada V8Z 1T3

Sales: 800-268-6272, 250-475-2874,
+ 800-4746-8742*

Tech Support: 866-983-2474, 250-475-2708, + 800-4746-8742*

* Outside USA & Canada where International Freephone service is available. Access Codes

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