Latest Updates (Windows)
This is an update for the Band-in-a-Box Server program in your Windows desktop version of Band-in-a-Box. This is the program that allows the desktop version of Band-in-a-Box to communicate with the Band-in-a-Box, BB Remote, and RealBand Remote apps for iPhone and Android.
This patch will update Band-in-a-Box Server to build 188.8.131.5258 (April 13, 2015) from any previous build.
If you want to find out your version of Band-in-a-Box Server, you can right-click on the green and white musical note icon in your taskbar and select "About".
The newest build of Band-in-a-Box Server supports new features added to the latest versions of the apps, makes connection faster and more reliable, and improves stability.
You need to have Band-in-a-Box 2011 or higher for this update to work, since previous Band-in-a-Box versions did not include Band-in-a-Box Server. Install the update to your existing bb folder (usually C:\bb)
Band-in-a-Box is a popular music program for Windows desktop PC's.
Band-in-a-Box is so easy to use! Type in the chords to any song using standard chord symbols like C or Fm7b5; and Band-in-a-Box does the rest, automatically generating a complete professional-quality arrangement of piano, bass, drums, guitar, strings and more. Plus, add REAL accompaniment to your song with RealTracks and RealDrums- actual recordings of professional studio musicians!
Important: You need to also have a copy of Band-in-a-Box 2011 (or higher) for Windows to use this app fully!
Band-in-a-Box for Android is an app for Android devices including phones and tablets. There is also a "desktop" version of Band-in-a-Box (BB Desktop) that is available for Windows machines. A major function for the BB android version is to function as a client to the BB desktop version. If you don't own a copy of the BB Desktop software, the usefulness of the BB Android version will be limited.
If you have a copy of the desktop Band-in-a-Box for Windows, then with the Band-in-a-Box Android version you can:
- Connect to the desktop version via Band-in-a-Box Server, over a wireless network (LAN) or over the internet.
- Quickly transfer your existing library of songs from BB Desktop to BB Android, including chordsheets and audio (m4a). See the chordsheets and play the songs anytime on your Android, without re-connecting to BB Desktop.
- Enter songs from scratch on your BB Android by typing in chord symbols to the song.
- Generate audio on your BB Android for the songs by pressing play. The songs that play on the Android and are stored on the Android as m4a files. This connects across your home network or the internet to your desktop version of Band-in-a-Box
- Send songs from BB Android to BB Desktop.
If you DO NOT have a copy of the desktop Band-in-a-Box for Windows, then with the Band-in-a-Box Android version you can:
- Download songs, including chordsheets and audio (m4a) from any PC or Mac using Dropbox or Google Drive.
- See the chordsheets and play the songs that you downloaded on your Android device.
Getting started with Band-in-a-Box for Android
Launch the Band-in-a-Box app
When you open Band-in-a-Box, it will automatically try to detect any Band-in-a-Box Server that is running on the same network. For example, if you have a home PC connected to a wireless network and Band-in-a-Box Server is running on it. You may see a server connection dialog - if you aren't sure what to do at this point, just cancel the dialog and come back to it later.
The main screen
In the Band-in-a-Box app, you'll notice a few areas (from top to bottom):
- Top Toolbar, with File menu, Settings button, Play/Stop, and 'Chord Input Mode' button.
- Song title.
- Song Settings (Style, Tempo, Key, chorus begin/end, and number of choruses or repeats).
- Chordsheet area showing your song, with 4 bars per line.
- Bottom Status bar (green checkmark if connected to server).
Let's open and play an existing song.
Choose OPEN from the FILE menu. You will see the demo songs that are included with BB Android. You should see "Blues Shuffle Demo" and "Jazz Swing Demo", and you will notice that these filenames are in green. The green indicates that audio (m4a) is available for these songs. This means that they are "ready-to-play" and don't have to be generated by connecting to Band-in-a-Box Server.
Choose "Blues Shuffle Demo": This song was previously generated using BB Android, and the arrangement was made entirely from the chord progression.
Press the Green PLAY button The arrangement sounds realistic, because it is using the high quality RealTracks present in Band-in-a-Box. If the play button were Red, it would indicate that the song needs to be generated by connecting to BB Desktop. Press STOP.
Make some changes to the song.
Press the Keyboard button. This will open up the chord input keyboard, allowing you to edit the chords in the song. Change the third chord to a C7 by highlighting bar 7 and press 7 on the chord keyboard. Close the keyboard by touching the button at bottom-right.
Change the song's style by touching the style field (_BLSHUFF). Choose a different Blues style, such as _BBBLUES. This is another RealTracks style, which is indicated by the underscore prefix in the style name.
Press Play, or double-click on a bar to star playback. You'll be asked to either 'play existing' or 'regenerate'. Since the song arrangement has changed, in order to hear the new style and modified chords Band-in-a-Box will need to regenerate the song. More on how to connect to Band-in-a-Box desktop below.
Here are some typical uses for your BB Android app:
- Jim has entered lots of songs over the years into his BB Desktop version and also has some other practice songs from his teacher. He now wants to practice his guitar playing on these tunes using only his BB Android. As a one-time procedure, at home (over his home network WiFi) he first transfers his entire song library to BB Android, including chordsheets and audio. Now he has his BB song library on his BB Android, and doesn't need to connect to his PC again (unless he wants more songs, or to generate different chords for the songs). He plays the songs on his Android, either using the Android speakers, headphones, or plugging the Android line out into his stereo system. He will only ever need to connect to the PC again if he wants to get more songs, or regenerate them in different styles etc...
- [This assumes you have the Band-in-a-Box desktop version and can connect to it] Joan is playing a solo vocal gig, using BB Android as her backup band. She connects the Android audio out to the PA system. A customer requests one of her compositions, a song that she knows, but doesn't have a backing band arrangement for. On her break, she types in the chords to the song, presses PLAY, and the audio file generates and is ready to play on her BB Android (by connecting to BB Desktop over the Internet). After the gig, she sends the song to her BB Desktop, so that is available there too as part of her song library.
Entering New Songs
Let's enter our own song from scratch.
We will enter a simple blues progression, which is 12 bars long, in the key of C.
Press File and then NEW.
Enter a title for your song, call it 'My Blues'.
Choose a style for the song. Press the Style button (at the left of the screen, below the title), then choose the genre Blues, and select the style _BLSHUFF (Blues Shuffle) which is the 3rd one on the list.
Change the tempo to 120 beats per minute by touching it and using the slider/arrows.
Leave the key signature at C.
The song formula will say something like   . That means the song form begins at bar 1, and ends at bar 16, and repeats 3 times. Since this is a 12 bar blues (not 16 bars), we click on the "16" and change it to 12. We can leave the number of repeats of the form at 3 (or change it by clicking on it)
Open up the Chord Keyboard, so that the song is editable and enter the following chords. To enter a chord, highlight the bar in the chordsheet. Then in the keyboard input area, select the beat number (there can be up to four chords per bar), the chord letter (C,F, etc.), followed by the chord type (maj, 7, etc.).
- Enter 'C' in bar 1.
- Enter 'F' in bar 5.
- Enter 'C' in bar 7.
- Enter 'G7' in bar 9. Do this by typing 'G' and then '7'
- Type 'F7' in bar 10.
- Type 'C' in bar 11.
Save the song by choosing File-Save. That's it! You've entered your first song.
Close the Keyboard window. Now to generate your new song, you are going to need to be connected to your Band-in-a-Box Desktop version...
Generating Songs and Connecting to the BB Desktop Version
Starting Band-in-a-Box Server
Since the song has not been generated yet, the PLAY button will be RED. When you press Play, Band-in-a-Box desktop will generate your new song, and then it will be downloaded to you Android. This will happen automatically if Band-in-a-Box Server is already running and you are connected to it - otherwise, you will see the Server Connection dialog.
If Band-in-a-Box Server is not running, you'll need to start it. To do this, in your Band-in-a-Box 2011 or higher desktop PC version, go to the Window menu | BB2G0 | 'Run Band-in-a-Box Service Now'.
Band-in-a-Box Server can alternatively be started "manually" double clicking on it in the /bb/BBHelper folder.
When Band-in-a-Box Server is running, it will be visible as a green and white note in your task bar, normally at the bottom right corner of your computer screen. Open it to access basic options and see your computer's IP address. The Server password default is admin, and you may wish to change this to your own password. Note that if you are connecting over the internet, you will likely need a different IP address (your public IP) than the one listed in this window. There are a few ways to find out your public IP; one way is to use the button in the BB2Go dialog.
Connecting to Band-in-a-Box Server
There are two general ways that you can connect to Band-in-a-Box Server: Over the internet from anywhere, or over a wireless Local Area Network (LAN). BB Android will attempt to detect any Band-in-a-Box Server
- If your Android device is connected to the same network as your computer running the Band-in-a-Box Server, i.e. a local wireless network, the server should be detected automatically and the IP address of your desktop computer should appear there (the same IP as is seen in the Band-in-a-Box Server window). If not, type in the IP address manually. The IP is displayed in the desktop Band-in-a-Box Server window. If the IP is not filled in automatically, select from the list by tapping on it. Tap the [Past] button to view previous ones that you have connected to.
- If your Android device is not on the same network as your computer running the Band-in-a-Box Server, i.e. you want to connect over the internet, you will enter your public IP address. There are a couple of extra steps required as well, to set up your router at home to handle the connection correctly. See the section below - "Connecting to Band-in-a-Box server from the Internet (out of range of your Local Network)".
In any case, once you have selected the server or typed your IP, press OK and enter the password (default password is admin).
You will then see "Loading styles". This only happens when there is a new server connection, and BB desktop is telling BB Android what styles are available.
Your song should now generate and download, and start playing. At this point, the song "My Blues" now has audio saved with it, and will be ready to play next time without connecting to the BB Desktop version...
Getting songs from Band-in-a-Box desktop.
You can Get any song from your Band-in-a-Box desktop version, or Send songs that you've done on your Android. To access these options, go to the File menu | Server.
To Get Songs, first place them in the BB2Go folder on your PC. Using the BB2Go window in Band-in-a-Box desktop, you can prepare all the songs so they are ready for immediate playback once downloaded to the Android. On the Android, these prepared songs will appear green.
Note: Another option for downloading songs from your desktop computer is to use the "Download from.." feature - this is described below.
A convenient way to download songs is to use Dropbox or Google Drive
As you've seen, it is necessary to have (and be connected to) the desktop version of Band-in-a-Box in order to create and generate new songs with the app. However, it isn't necessary to have the desktop version of Band-in-a-Box at all to download and play existing songs; you can download them via Dropbox or Google Drive without needing to connect to Band-in-a-Box server.
It is easy to download songs using Dropbox or Google Drive. Note that you need to already have a Dropbox (or Google Drive) account set up.
Step 1 - File | Download
Go to the File menu and select 'Download from..', and then tap [Download from Dropbox] (or Google Drive). If you have not yet signed into Dropbox on the device, you need to tap [sign in], and then [Allow]
Step 2 - Select files to Save
Once signed into Dropbox, you can navigate through your Dropbox folders. You will see only the Band-in-a-Box song files and zip files (not other files that can't be used by Band-in-a-Box). Select the files that you want to download, by tapping on them.
You can download Band-in-a-Box songs (e.g. MySong.MGU) and rendered audio (e.g. MySong_Render.mp4 or MySong_AllMix.m4a), or a zip file containing files. Remember that in order to play the songs on your phone/tablet without a connecting to Band-in-a-Box Server, you'll need to have the songs pre-generated. This means that you should select the rendered file (.m4a or .mp4) as well as the Band-in-a-Box song file.
Next, tap the [Save Selected], and choose the folder to save in. You can make a new folder by tapping the [*] button.
Network Setup Details
Connecting Band-in-a-Box Server and iOS application over a Local Area Network (WiFi).
If both your device and your desktop computer are connected to the same WiFi network, and Band-in-a-Box Server is running on the desktop, then the app should connect to it automatically without any additional setup (See "Connecting to BB Desktop" above). If it doesn't happen automatically, you might need to manually type in the IP address. The IP is found in the Band-in-a-Box desktop Server window.
Connecting to Band-in-a-Box server from the Internet (iOS device is not connected to Local Area Network)
Find your IP address and set up your router.
- If you have a router, and you want to connect to your computer from the "outside world", you will need to configure a port forwarding rule on your router. To do this:
- Log on to your router. Typically, you access your router by typing an IP address into your web browser. Different manufacturers use different default IP addresses - for example, dlink typically uses 192.168.0.1, and linksys typically uses 192.168.1.1.
- Once you are logged in, find the port forwarding settings. Again, this varies with different manufacturers, but in general:
- For dlink routers, you should find it by clicking the Advanced tab along the top, and then clicking Port Forwarding menu item on the left side.
- For linksys routers, you may find it under the 'Applications and Gaming' tab along the top.
- For Siemens routers, you may find it under Internet | Address Translation.
- Forward the following ports to your computer. You can find out your computer's IP address by looking at Band-in-a-Box Server:
- Port 6789 TCP
- Port 6790 UDP
- Now you need to know your router's public IP address. This is the IP address that the world sees, i.e. the Gateway to your LAN. You can find out by looking in the router settings (e.g. the Status tab on dlink routers), or by clicking the Find My IP button in the BB2GO dialog. You enter this IP into the Band-in-a-Box app.
Here are some things to try if it isn't working
- Do you have Quicktime installed? Download the latest version of Quicktime for Windows on your desktop computer.
- Security software on your PC might be blocking the application. Set an Anti-virus exception for the application Band-in-a-Box Server.exe which resides in your "X:/bb/bbhelper" directory (X: Being your hard drive with Band-in-a-Box installed)
- Also, check your Windows Firewall and make sure that a Firewall exception has been added for Band-in-a-Box Server.exe
- Windows XP Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall - Exceptions tab -> Band-in-a-Box Server.exe (should be in this list) If not add it manually using the "add program" button.
- Windows Vista/7/8/10 Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall -> Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall -> Band-in-a-Box Server.exe (should be in this list) If not add it manually using the "allow program" button.
**If you have other third party firewall software, it may ask you if you want to allow this program.
- To close Band-in-a-Box server you must right click on the icon labeled Band-in-a-Box server in your task bar and select exit.
- The default password for the Band-in-a-Box Server Application is admin.
- **Resetting Band-in-a-Box on your Android Device: If anything goes wrong with your connection or the application needs to be reset, you can find the reset dialog in the app's -> Settings -> Preferences -> (scroll down) -> Reset Program -> Enter the word YES in capital letters and touch the "OK" button on the Android device to reset the application.