Technical Support FAQ:
Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Windows

To search the FAQ, look through the FAQ titles below or press CTRL-F on your keyboard and enter a search term.

Please contact support@pgmusic.com if you would like to report any errors that you find on this page, or if you have any suggestions for new FAQ topics.

Last updated:  Thursday, 20 July 2017

Most Common Topics

All Topics

  1. No Sound / MIDI Driver Setup
  2. What is MIDI?
  3. Can I use multiple MIDI output devices at the same time?
  4. Why do I get a font error when I try to view or print notation?
  5. How do I enter notation in Band-in-a-Box®?
  6. How do I uninstall Band-in-a-Box®?
  7. How do I connect my computer to an external MIDI synthesizer?
  8. How do I use SoundFonts on my SoundBlaster sound card?
  9. No drivers are listed in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog.
  10. How do I create a shortcut on my desktop to open Band-in-a-Box®?
  11. How do I control what I record and what I listen to?
  12. How to render Band-in-a-Box® songs to WAV/MP3/WMA and burn an audio CD.
  13. Band-in-a-Box® is playing out of tune. Can I correct the tuning of my sound card?
  14. Why is my playback jerky in Band-in-a-Box®?
  15. I am having trouble downloading files from your site.
  16. How do I free up system resources on Windows 98/ME?
  17. Why is there a delay between when I play a note on my MIDI keyboard, and when I hear the note play through my computer speakers?
  18. How do I change from 3/4 to 4/4 time in the middle of my song?
  19. How do I create and use Band-in-a-Box® Styles in 6/8,12/8,9/8 and 5/4 time signatures?
  20. How do I add my personal styles to the Band-in-a-Box® StylePicker list?
  21. How can I make my song endings more natural? Can I hold the last chord in the song and have it fade out?
  22. In the Select Soloist dialog, what do the brackets around some of the Soloists mean?
  23. Is there a fermata (pause) capability or some way to simulate it?
  24. I'm trying to change an instrument (patch), but every time I press play, my instrument selection changes.
  25. How do I display 'Swing' notation (triplets) and 'Even feel' notation (sixteenths) in the same song? How do I enter quarter note triplets?
  26. Can I notate ties and slurs in Band-in-a-Box®?
  27. How do I use tag endings? Why does the 'tag exists' box sometimes become unchecked automatically?
  28. Can I import and play MIDI files with Band-in-a-Box®?
  29. Who owns the songs that I create with Band-in-a-Box®? Are the songs copyrighted?
  30. How do I rest more than one bar at a time?
  31. How can I easily raise or lower the velocity (volume) of all notes in the melody track?
  32. Can I enter a melody into Band-in-a-Box® using the computer keyboard?
  33. How can I associate my songs and styles with Band-in-a-Box® so that they open when I click them in Windows Explorer?
  34. How can I combine multiple Band-in-a-Box® songs to make a medley, or copy and paste part of one song into another?
  35. Why does the same song sound different in Band-in-a-Box® than when I play it with Windows Media Player?
  36. What are the different Track Types for in the Notation Window Options dialog?
  37. I am having trouble recording into Band-in-a-Box® with my Wind Controller.
  38. What are the numbers for in the StyleMaker bars?
  39. How do I get chords to sound on the off-beat, or create syncopation in my music?
  40. Please explain the song structure in Band-in-a-Box®.
  41. How do I access higher bank patches in Band-in-a-Box®? What are MSB and LSB?
  42. How do I make a patch map for my synthesizer?
  43. Can I export my song from Band-in-a-Box® to PowerTracks Pro Audio or another MIDI sequencer?
  44. Can Band-in-a-Box® input chords for my melody?
  45. Why don't the Styles that I just installed appear in the StylePicker window?
  46. My laptop doesn't have a number keypad. Can I still step-advance through the notes?
  47. How do I enter more than 2 chords per bar in Band-in-a-Box®?
  48. How do I enable and disable the lead-in bars or count-in?
  49. Can I sync Band-in-a-Box® to an external MIDI source?
  50. Why do I hear the drums playing with a piano patch?
  51. Why does Band-in-a-Box® generate notes below low E (E2) on a bass?
  52. How do I raise or lower the volume of all but one track?
  53. How do I set the right key or visually transpose the music for my non-concert instrument?
  54. Why is my recorded audio (wave) track empty?
  55. Why does Band-in-a-Box® keep looping 4 bars over and over?
  56. What is the difference between using "adjust level of audio (quick)" and "adjust level of wave file (permanent) to change the volume of the audio track?
  57. How do I force an accidental, for example Eb to a D#, for easier reading?
  58. How can I control Band-in-a-Box® from an external start switch?
  59. Can I edit tracks other than the Melody and Soloist in Band-in-a-Box®? Why do the notes I just edited disappear when I press play?
  60. Are Mac and PC versions of Band-in-a-Box® songs compatible?
  61. How can I adjust the volume of individual harmony parts?
  62. How do I change keys in the middle of my Band-in-a-Box® song? Can I display more than one key signature?
  63. What is the difference between "chord step advance" and "note step advance?"
  64. I accidentally deleted the BBW.LST file or messed it up. How can I fix it?
  65. I made a style with the StyleMaker that uses the bar mask feature, and some bars don't play or only play drums.
  66. Why do the drums I record in my drum window sound like another musical instrument when I play them back?
  67. How do I control the MIDI sounds I hear when I record or play live along with Band-in-a-Box® from my MIDI keyboard?
  68. Can I load an audio (.wav) file into Band-in-a-Box®?
  69. Nothing happens when I press the [Test WAV] button in the Render to Audio dialog.
  70. How do I make a Custom Drum Kit in Band-in-a-Box®?
  71. How do I use repeats, 1st/2nd endings, and codas in Band-in-a-Box®?
  72. When I try to install the program, I get the message "Setup is not a valid win32 application".
  73. What can I do to improve my sound quality in Band-in-a-Box®?
  74. What is the best way to enter a melody for the odd and compound time signature styles included in the "About Time" Styles Set?
  75. When I generate repeats/codas/1st-2nd endings, why do the repeated bars have the wrong chords in them, or no chords at all?
  76. I get a message that a MIDI driver is "...installed properly but currently in use by another program", even though there are no other programs open.
  77. Why do I get an Error Code 5 when I try to install Band-in-a-Box® upgrades or update patches?
  78. Access violations, error messages or no sound when using ASIO drivers in Band-in-a-Box®.
  79. I am having trouble playing the video tutorials.
  80. How do I install Band-in-a-Box® upgrades?
  81. How do I get my chord shortcuts to work?
  82. I added repeats/1st-2nd endings/codas to my song, but can't get the music to print out with the repeats.
  83. When I add a harmony to my MIDI melody track, why are some of the melody notes not harmonized?
  84. Why do I get a "cannot make connection" error when I try to choose a plugin in the DirectX window?
  85. Explain the different file extensions that Band-in-a-Box® uses for song files.
  86. How can I use the 101 Solo and Trio Intros in my songs?
  87. When I try to apply audio harmonies to my song, I get the message "Error or Cancelled out of routine, error code=1."
  88. How do I access all of the patches available in the Roland VSC and VSC-DXi?
  89. Can I use the Piano Roll Window to fade out all of the tracks in a song?
  90. When I open the program, I get error messages such as "Can't find STYLE ZZJAZZ.STY", "No Guitarists will be available. Can't find DEFAULT.GIT", and/or "I/O error 103."
  91. After upgrading to Band-in-a-Box®, I get a "no disk in drive" error when I try to launch the program.
  92. Why do I get an ".ST2 not found" message when I try to generate a solo?
  93. How can I return Band-in-a-Box® to the factory settings?
  94. Why do I get a File I/O error when I try to open or rebuild a song list?
  95. "Can't find winprint.drv" error when trying to print.
  96. When I play my external MIDI keyboard, why don't I hear the sound through my selected DXi or VSTi synth?
  97. How is pitch bend data transmitted and interpreted by a MIDI synth?
  98. Error message: "Canvas does not allow drawing"
  99. Can I print out multiple verses or lines of lyrics on the same lead sheet?
  100. Error message when trying to close Band-in-a-Box®: "Cannot create file ... BBToolBar9.INI"
  101. The chord symbols in my song don't show up when I save the song as a MIDI file and import it into another program.
  102. Error message: "Your current drum kit has no bass drum note assigned."
  103. When I render a song to wave, why do I not hear my audio track in the rendered wave file?
  104. When I render a song to wave, why does the rendered wave file play back silently or with only the audio track?
  105. In the StyleMaker, what is the difference between a drum grid pattern and a live drum pattern?
  106. My volume, reverb, chorus, and pan settings are not saving with my songs.
  107. Can I get Band-in-a-Box® to display more realistic guitar tab and correct fingerings in the Fretboard Window?
  108. Why does the Melodist generate notes outside the "Melody Note Range" specified in the Melodist editor?
  109. Why do I hear a buzz or hum when my computer is connected to an external speaker system?
  110. How do I get a simple metronome or click track in Band-in-a-Box®?
  111. Why are there multiple instances of a single driver showing in my MIDI Driver Setup window?
  112. Error message when trying to record audio: "Format unsupported. Your sound card is not allowing or set for 44K audio".
  113. How do I monitor myself while recording audio with an M-Audio sound card?
  114. Error message: "There is a problem with your sound hardware. To install mixer devices, go to Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Add Hardware."
  115. I can hear the Band-in-a-Box® accompaniment tracks during regular playback, but not while I am recording audio.
  116. Why is my recorded audio track out of sync with the MIDI accompaniment?
  117. How can I insert a patch change in a specific chorus or change to a non-General MIDI patch at any bar?
  118. Is there a way to display my chords in root position in the notation window?
  119. My toolbars are not displaying properly. How can I correct this or return the toolbars to their default configuration?
  120. I get an Access Violation or General Protection Fault when I try to open Band-in-a-Box®.
  121. After installing an upgrade and rebuilding the StylePicker window, some of the Styles Set categories are missing.
  122. What is the easiest way to render a Band-in-a-Box® song to wave?
  123. How do the Band-in-a-Box® latency settings work?
  124. When using a DXi or VSTi plugin with ASIO drivers, why does realtime play-thru not work while the song is stopped?
  125. When I try to install some programs, the CD just spins in the drive, or nothing happens when I try to run the installer.
  126. When I type a chord into the chord sheet, it automatically transposes my chord and displays a different chord than what I typed.
  127. I hear handclaps and other strange sounds when I play styles that use the drum brush kit. How do I get brushes to play properly?
  128. When using ASIO4ALL, the ports in the ASIO Audio Driver dialog are listed as "Not Connected".
  129. After importing a MIDI file with drums into Band-in-a-Box®, I can see the drum notes in the Notation Window but they do not play.
  130. Can I record and edit multi-channel MIDI files in Band-in-a-Box®?
  131. Is there a way to get my songs to play in the order I want using the Jukebox?
  132. What is the difference between line-based and note-based lyrics?
  133. I am unable to transpose my Melody track, even if I use the Transpose Melody Only menu option.
  134. How do I use Native Instruments Bandstand with Band-in-a-Box®?
  135. Is there a way to have the tempo of a song increase automatically each time it repeats, or to have the tempo increase every few bars?
  136. When recording from an external keyboard, some notes are not being recorded, are dropping out, or are being sustained when they shouldn't be.
  137. When I try to install the program I get a message that the "setup files are corrupted".
  138. The tempo changes in my MIDI file disappear when I import it into Band-in-a-Box®.
  139. Why do some of my rests disappear from the notation window when I exit editable notation mode?
  140. There is no sound when I try to preview my audio harmonies in the TC-Helicon window.
  141. When I open the program, I get a message that the Roland VSC is "...installed properly but currently in use by another program".
  142. I don't hear the RealDrums playing, or the RealDrums are too loud/soft. How do I tell if a style is using RealDrums?
  143. How can I use RealDrums and RealTracks if I am using an external MIDI synth/sound module for MIDI output?
  144. The RealDrums or RealTracks are out of sync with the other MIDI instruments.
  145. How do I make my own RealDrums styles?
  146. Will RealDrums only work with specific RealDrums styles, or can I use RealDrums with older/existing styles?
  147. How can I import a song that uses RealDrums into a sequencer like PowerTracks Pro Audio for further editing?
  148. Why do some of the text files (.TXT) in my Drums folder not have associated wave files (.WAV)? Am I missing some RealDrums styles?
  149. How do I get the Wizard play-along feature to work with my external MIDI keyboard, and not just the QWERTY keyboard?
  150. After sending chords to BIAB from the Audio Chord Wizard, how can I hear a BIAB style play rather than the original audio file?
  151. Why do I hear sound in Band-in-a-Box® program, but not in the Audio Chord Wizard?
  152. How can I print lead sheets that show both the lead-in/intro bars, and the ending/tag bars?
  153. After closing Band-in-a-Box®, PowerTracks, or RealBand, I get an error message saying that the application has stopped working, or the program has encountered a problem and needs to close.
  154. When using the VSC-DXi, the Audio and RealDrums tracks work, but there is no sound from the MIDI tracks.
  155. When using the ForteDXi, the sound cuts out every few seconds.
  156. How do I print harmony parts with Band-in-a-Box®?
  157. Which RealDrums and RealTracks styles are included in each of the Sets?
  158. How do I install update patches for Band-in-a-Box®, RealDrums, and RealTracks?
  159. How do I install the VSC-DXi on Windows Vista or 7?
  160. "Cannot load drum style" message when loading a style or demo song.
  161. What is the difference between a 'RealTracks Style', a 'Style with RealTracks', and a 'RealStyle'?
  162. I am having trouble installing from a CD or DVD that I received.
  163. I need assistance with a hard drive version of the UltraPlusPAK, EverythingPAK, Audiophile or OmniPAK that I purchased.
  164. Some tracks/channels have no sound when I'm using the ForteDXi.
  165. I'm unable to open or burn CD audio files on Windows Vista or Windows 7.
  166. Can I store the RealTracks and RealDrums on a different hard drive than the Band-in-a-Box® and RealBand program?
  167. Why does the StylePicker window rebuild for first-time-use every time I open it?
  168. What are the green lines underneath some of the RealTracks at the top of the main screen? What do N and Gt stand for in the RealTracks window?
  169. What is the best way to use the Trade 4 RealDrums styles?
  170. Error when opening the program: "The procedure entry point WMCreateSyncReader could not be located in the dynamic link library WMVCORE.DLL"
  171. How do the Metal Guitar RealTracks soloists work?
  172. How can I speed up RealTracks generation time?
  173. Can the RealTracks WMA files be converted to WAV files, and are these the same WAV files that are shipped with the Audiophile version?
  174. Is the latest version of Band-in-a-Box® backwards compatible with songs and styles from older versions?
  175. Can I enter note-based lyrics if my song does not have a melody?
  176. My song starts playing whenever I press the spacebar to delete a chord in the chordsheet window.
  177. Error message when loading the program: "System cannot find file specified at..."
  178. There used to be a MIDI Chorus control at the top of the screen - where did it go?
  179. Garbled/Stuttering playback or drop-outs on songs with RealTracks.
  180. Error when trying to open the program: "Cannot Find/ or problems with DataList.ASC"
  181. I'm having trouble getting the Audio Chord Wizard to figure out the correct chords for my song.
  182. Style changes in the middle of my song do not seem to be working.
  183. The Help File is not displaying properly.
  184. What are the requirements for the iPhone version of Band-in-a-Box®?
  185. Are all the styles in the iOS version or is it only that you can work on the songs (with selected style) saved in the Windows desktop folder used by the server?

1. No Sound / MIDI Driver Setup

Click here to read tutorial that explains what to do if you have no sound in Band-in-a-Box®.

2. What is MIDI?

MIDI is an acronym for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. The MIDI specification is maintained by the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA). We havewritten a couple of short starter tutorials on MIDI:

There are many other MIDI tutorials on the internet, which you can find using any internet search engine.

3. Can I use multiple MIDI output devices at the same time?

This involves sending specific MIDI channels to specific MIDI ports. If you have Windows 95 or 98 you can use the MIDI Mapper, and there is a tutorial in our archives explaining how to use it: Using Multiple MIDI Output Devices with Windows 95/98.

Microsoft removed much of the functionality of the MIDI Mapper in later versions of Windows, and Band-in-a-Box® itself cannot output to more than one port at a time.

The best solution is to save your song and open it into RealBand. With RealBand, you can assign each track to a different synth.

Another option is to save your song as a MIDI file and play it with PowerTracks Pro Audio (or another MIDI sequencer), which allows you to assign each track to a different MIDI port.

4. Why do I get a font error when I try to view or print notation?

Follow the instructions below if you get one of the following error messages when you try to open the notation or lead sheet window:

  • "PGMusic Font is not installed. Make sure PGMUS.TTF is in your Windows System directory."

  • "PGJazz Font is not installed. Make sure PGJazz_.TTF is in your Windows System directory."

You should be able to resolve the problem by simply reinstalling the program, especially if you have a fairly recent version of Band-in-a-Box® (e.g. 2006 or higher). One possible cause of the problem is if you are running Band-in-a-Box® directly from a PG Music USB hard drive version of Band-in-a-Box®, and you didn't run the Band-in-a-Box® Setup file (which installs the fonts). Another possibility is that you copied the Band-in-a-Box® program folder to a new computer without installing the program.

If you have an older system or older version of Band-in-a-Box® (e.g. 12 or earlier) and you are still having difficulty, the following information should help:

If you have a 64-bit version of Windows

Download and install the PG Music font update. You should restart your computer before and after installing the update to ensure that it works properly.

If you are running Band-in-a-Box® 12 or earlier on Windows 2000 or XP:

If you have Windows 95/98/ME, or you have Windows 2000/XP but the suggestions above did not fix problem:

  • The fonts may not be installed on your computer at all. This may be the case if Band-in-a-Box® was copied/moved from one machine to another, you installed an upgrade without installing the previous full version, or system security software running on your computer (such as an anti-virus or firewall program) prevented the fonts from being installed properly. The solution is to reinstall Band-in-a-Box® from the original CD(s). If you suspect that the issue may have been caused by an anti-virus or firewall program, disable these programs while reinstalling. It isn't necessary to uninstall/remove Band-in-a-Box® first; simply install into your existing Band-in-a-Box® folder. You need to start with a full "Pro" version or "MegaPAK", then install subsequent regular upgrades. After you have done that, you should install the latest update patch available for your version. If you have a 64-bit version of Windows, or you are using Version 12 or earlier on Windows 2000/XP, you may need to install the font update.

  • Windows 95, 98, and ME users: There is a limit to the number of True Type font files that Windows can support. The limit is somwhere around 700 on these operating systems, but can be more or less depending on how many characters there are in the font filenames. Go to the Windows/Fonts folder and at the bottom left hand corner there will be a list of the number of items in this folder. If it is near the limit, you may have to remove some of the fonts. You should not remove standard fonts installed by Windows, and it would be a good idea to make backups of the fonts before proceeding with this. The extra fonts would have come from some other program that you installed on your computer.

If you have followed the instructions above and are still getting a font error (this would be an unusual situation):

  1. Reboot your computer.

  2. Locate and delete all of the PG*.ttf and PG*.fot files in the \Windows\System, and \Windows\System32 folders (\WINNT\System and \WINNT\System32 on Windows 2000\NT).

  3. Reinstall Band-in-a-Box®, starting with a full "Pro" version or "MegaPAK".

  4. Download the latest update patch for your version.

  5. Install the font update, if necessary.

5. How do I enter notation in Band-in-a-Box®?

Band-in-a-Box®, RealBand, and PowerTracks Pro Audio offer one of the quickest methods of notation input. Remember though, they were never developed to be a dedicated notation software package, so some of the problems you may run into will have to do with that limitation. For typical leadsheets though, this notation is more than adequate.

First, you need to be in editable notation mode. Open the Notation Window and look in the Notation Window toolbar. To the right of the [Print] button there are three Notation Mode buttons. Pressing the one in the middle will toggle you into editable notation mode.

When inputting notation, all you do is place your mouse arrow where you want a note and press the left mouse button. This will place a dotted whole note at that position. If it is in the second half of the bar, you will get an automatic 1/2 note rest in the first half. You will still get a dotted whole note in the second half of the bar. Don't worry if the first note you enter isn't the type of note you want it to be. The next note you place will determine the value of the first. Remember that the subsequent note placed always determines the value of the previous note. If you want to shorten a previous note, you can select the rest box and place a rest between the notes at the value you want the previous note to be. Notes inserted between other notes will automatically set the value for the previous note as well.

If you are in 'Staff roll' mode, you can change the duration of a note by clicking on it with the right mouse button and then dragging the cursor to the desired end location. Click the Staff Roll mode button to toggle into staff roll mode. This button is directly to the right of the Editable Notation button.

While inserting a note on the staff, holding down the [Shift] key will make the note 1 half-step sharper. Holding down the [Ctrl] key will make the note 1 half-step flatter. Holding down the [Alt] key forces the note to be a natural. To delete a note from the Notation, hold down the delete key and left-mouse click on the note. Or you could right mouse click on the note (to edit it), then press the Delete button.

You can change the beat resolution (the number of intervals in one beat) by right-clicking in the time indicator bar above the beat that you want to change. This will allow you to enter triplets in an even feel style, or sixteenth notes in a triplet feel style. The time indicator bar is the narrow space containing the black cursor that moves across the screen as your song is playing.

Note: The only tracks that are completely editable by the user are the Melody and Soloist tracks. You can input any notation that you want on either of these tracks. The other tracks (Bass, Drums, Piano, Guitar, Strings) are used by Band-in-a-Box® to generate its arrangements. Each time you press Play, Band-in-a-Box® will generate a slightly different arrangement on these tracks (to simulate live playing) so that if you make any changes on these tracks, your edits will be lost. If you would like to edit these tracks, you need to copy them to the Melody or Soloist track (Edit | Copy/Move Tracks) or save your song as a MIDI file and do the editing in a MIDI sequencer such as PowerTracks Pro Audio.

Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and higher also include a "Piano Roll Window." This window allows you to edit notation in the Melody or Soloist tracks using a window similar in style to the type found in many sequencer programs. It enables precise graphic editing of note timing and duration, and you can also graphically edit Note Velocity, Controllers, Program Changes, Channel Aftertouch, or Pitch Bend. To open the Piano Roll Window, click on the piano roll icon in the toolbar, or go to Window | Piano roll window. Click on the [Help] button on the right-hand side of the Piano Roll window for a complete tutorial.

6. How do I uninstall Band-in-a-Box®?

The best way to uninstall Band-in-a-Box® is to go to the Start menu | Programs | Band-in-a-Box® | Uninstall Band-in-a-Box®. To remove the rest of the Band-in-a-Box® files, you can delete the Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\BB). Make sure to make backups of any personal files you have saved in that folder. Note that the Band-in-a-Box® uninstaller only removes files that the installer created in the first place. It doesn't remove files that you have created, or configuration files (such as intrface.bbw) created by the Band-in-a-Box® program. This prevents you from accidentally losing all of your songs when you uninstall the program.

If you have installed RealTracks files separately, those won't be uninstalled by that process. You could run their individual uninstallers (Start | Programs | Band-in-a-Box® | RealTracks |...), or you could simply delete the RealTracks folder. It is safe to simply delete the RealTracks, Drums, and/or bb folders from your hard drive without running the uninstaller, since Band-in-a-Box® is completely self-contained within it's own folder and doesn't require the registry or other files on your computer.

The only components of the program that SHOULD be uninstalled via the Add/Remove Programs utility in Windows, are the PG Music DirectX Plugins, and the Virtual Sound Canvas software synth.

7. How do I connect my computer to an external MIDI synthesizer?

There are a few different ways you can connect your external MIDI synth or module. These days, USB is by far the most common method used.

USB: There are many MIDI interfaces available that connect to this port on your computer. MIDI In and Out cables connect from the interface to your synth, and you may have to purchase the cables separately.

Sound card (Joystick port): The joystick port (game port) on your sound card has a built-in MIDI interface. The cable that connects to the joystick port is commonly called a Universal MIDI Sound Card Connector. Some sound cards have MIDI in and out ports so you don't need to use the joystick port. In either case, MIDI cables connect to your synth's MIDI In and Out.

MPU-401 or other internal MIDI Interface: An interface (computer card) with MIDI In(s) and MIDI Out(s). This is a small interface card that plugs into a slot inside your computer. MIDI cables are still required to connect to your external module.

Serial or Printer: There are various MIDI interfaces that can connect from these types of existing computer data ports, although the USB port is used much more frequently these days.

Some MIDI interfaces and cables can be purchased directly from PG Music Inc.: Hardware Products.

8. How do I use SoundFonts on my SoundBlaster sound card?

We've written an article on the subject. Note that this article would only be directly applicable to older systems, but the concepts are similar for newer sound cards. Click Here for more details.

9. No drivers are listed in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog.

If you won't be recording MIDI or playing live from an external MIDI synth it is ok if you don't have a MIDI Input driver. It just means that a MIDI input device is currently not installed on your computer, which is quite common.

If you don't have any output drivers listed there, or you don't see a driver that you suspect should be there (input or output), close Band-in-a-Box® and try deleting a file called 'intrface.bbw' from the Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb). This will restore the program's factory settings. When you next launch Band-in-a-Box®, the MIDI Driver Setup dialog should come up automatically. If there are still no drivers there, this means that for whatever reason, the driver isn't installed on your computer. (On Windows XP and earlier operating systems, you can verify this by checking the Windows Control Panel. On Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000, go to Start | Settings | Control Panel | Multimedia -or- Sounds and Multimedia | MIDI. On Windows XP, go to Start | Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio, and look under MIDI Playback).

You will likely need to re-install your sound card or MIDI interface drivers. You can usually download the latest drivers from the manufacturer's website.

Note that MIDI Output Drivers are different from DXi and VSTi synths. DXi and VSTi synths do not show up as MIDI Output drivers. For example, the VSC-DXi will not show up as an 'output driver'. To use a DXi/VSTi synth, click the "Use DXi Synth" checkbox and select it in the DirectX Plugins window.

10. How do I create a shortcut on my desktop to open Band-in-a-Box®?

The Band-in-a-Box® installer will create a desktop shortcut for you, if you select that option when you install the program.

Alternatively, locate and open the Band-in-a-Box® folder on your hard drive, usually c:\bb. Find the file BBW.EXE. Right-click on this file and select Send To | Desktop (Create Shortcut). You will now have a shortcut icon on your desktop to launch Band-in-a-Box®. You can name the shortcut whatever you want by clicking once on the icon and pressing F2 on your keyboard.

11. How do I control what I record and what I listen to?

Windows Vista, 7, and higher operating systems

This is controlled by the Windows Volume Mixer, and the Sound settings in the Windows control panel.

Single left-click on the speaker icon in your task bar to change the overall volume level on your PC or mute/un-mute the sound. Click the Mixer button below the volume fader (or right-click on the speaker icon and select Volume Mixer) to change the volume of specific devices or applications that are running on your computer.

To check additional playback settings or to configure your record settings, use the "Sound" settings - accessed from the Control Panel or by right-clicking on the speaker icon and selecting 'Recording Devices' (this opens the Sound window showing the Recording tab).

In the Recording tab, make sure that the device you want to use is not disabled. If it is, right-click on it and select 'enable'. Set your recording level by right-clicking on the device and selecting Properties - then select the Levels tab.

Windows XP and earlier operating systems

This is controlled by the Windows sound card mixer - the Record Control and Play (or 'Volume') Control panels.

To open the Play Control, double-click on the speaker icon in your taskbar, usually at the bottom of your computer screen in the right-hand corner, or go to Start | Programs | Accessories | Entertainment | Volume Control. The Play Control is for OUTPUT; it allows you to choose what outputs you listen to and how loud they are.

To open the Record Control window, click on Options | Properties to open the Properties window, select the 'Recording' radio button, and press OK. The Record Control window is for INPUT; it allows you to choose what you record. For example, if you were recording audio using the line-in on your sound card, you would select 'line-in' as your recording input.

In the Properties window, you can choose which audio device you wish to control (the "Mixer device"). Normally you don't need to change this. You can also select which volume controls you want displayed in the Record/Play Control panels.

You can also open the Windows sound card mixer directly from Band-in-a-Box®. One way of opening it from Band-in-a-Box® is to click on the [Set Recording Levels] button in the Record Audio dialog. Another is to go to the Audio menu and select Playback Mixer or Recording Mixer.

Another way that you control audio recording and playback is by choosing your audio input and output drivers. If you only have one sound card you don't normally need to worry about this. If you are using Band-in-a-Box® 2005 or higher, there are two places you can configure your audio drivers - in the Band-in-a-Box® program, and in the Windows control panel (assuming you are using MME, the default; ASIO is only configured in the application and ASIO driver control panel, not in the Windows control panel):

  • In Band-in-a-Box®: Opt. | Preferences | Audio | [Drivers].

  • In the Windows Control Panel: Multimedia (Win 98/ME), Sounds and Multimedia (Win 2000), Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio (Win XP), or Sound | Playback/Recording devices (Win Vista/7).

Note that Band-in-a-Box® versions 2004 and earlier did not have the option of selecting your audio driver from within the program, audio drivers had to be selected from within Windows.

In Band-in-a-Box®, if you have "Microsoft Sound Mapper" selected as your audio driver, Band-in-a-Box® will use whatever is configured in the Windows Control Panel. If you have a driver *other* than the Microsoft Sound Mapper selected, Band-in-a-Box® will use that driver.

Windows XP and earlier operating systems: Whenever you launch the Windows sound card mixer, it always opens showing the mixer panel for the currently selected audio driver in the Windows Control Panel.

If you get an error message when you try to open the sound card mixer or nothing happens when you try to open it, this means that the selected audio driver doesn't have an associated Record or Play Control window. In this case, the audio device will usually have a separate control/mixer console that you can access from the Control Panel. You will need to check with your sound card documentation if you are not sure where to find it.

12. How to render Band-in-a-Box® songs to WAV/MP3/WMA and burn an audio CD.

The process of converting a MIDI file or Band-in-a-Box® song to an audio file is referred to as "Rendering".

Please click here to read our complete tutorial on rendering to wave.

If you are looking for the quickest solution, try using the DXi-Direct Render. The easiest way to render songs to wave is usually to use the Coyote Wavetable or VSC-DXi and Direct Render your song. This option is available in Band-in-a-Box® 2004 and higher. Here is how you do it:

  1. Make sure you have the Coyote Wavetable (included with Band-in-a-Box® 2011 or higher) installed, and the latest update patch for Band-in-a-Box®. If you have Band-in-a-Box® 2004-2011, you would have received the VSC-DXi - select that.

  2. Load the song you want to render and click on the DXi Synth button in the Band-in-a-Box® toolbar. In the DirectX window, select the VSC-DXi in the top pull-down.

  3. Press the .WAV button to open the Render to Audio File dialog.

  4. Press the [DXi-Direct Render] button.

13. Band-in-a-Box® is playing out of tune. Can I correct the tuning of my sound card?

Tuning depends on the sound source. If you are using a sound card/synth that can be tuned (Roland VSC, Creative SoundBlaster, and others), you may be able to tune it using the Master Tuning feature in Band-in-a-Box®, under the GM menu. If this does not work, see your sound card/synth manufacturer for support. If you are using a synth module or keyboard, see the manual for tuning info.

If Band-in-a-Box® is playing out of tune, and you are using a software synthesizer (rather than a hardware synth/module), your sound card itself could be out of tune. Test this by playing MIDI and wave files with Windows Media Player, outside of Band-in-a-Box®. You will need to contact the computer or sound card manufacturer to resolve this problem.

Another possibility is that your sound card is locked at a different sample rate than Band-in-a-Box® supports. Band-in-a-Box® plays audio using 44.1 KHz sample rate. If you sound card is locked at 48 KHz (for some reason), then the audio will be playing at the wrong pitch.

14. Why is my playback jerky in Band-in-a-Box®?

This type of problem is not as common with newer computer setups as it used to be, however the ideas are useful for troubleshooting similar problems.

  • Stuttering can occur if your machine is doing something else and hogging the CPU, like writing a big file to the hard drive or checking a Net connection, or if other programs are working in the background. Anti-virus programs are sometimes the culprit. Troubleshoot this by closing as many background programs as possible.

    On Windows 2000/XP, look for icons in your task bar next to the computer clock, and close/exit/disable these programs. You can also troubleshoot by using the Selective Startup feature. Go to Start | Run, type msconfig, and press OK. Click on 'Selective Startup', and uncheck 'Startup items'. Press [Apply] and restart the computer. Note: Windows 2000 doesn't have the system configuration utility.

    On Windows 98/ME:

    1. Hold down Ctrl and ALT on your keyboard, and press DEL once. This brings up the Close Program window.

    2. Click on any item listed in this window except for "Explorer" or "Systray" and press [End Task]. If another window pops up saying that the program is not responding, press [End Task] again.

    3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each item listed in the Close Program window, EXCEPT for "Explorer" and "Systray".

    Note: Pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del twice in a row will restart your computer. If you restart your computer accidentally during this process, most of the background programs will likely be loaded again. You can configure which programs load at startup in the Windows System Configuration Utility (go to Start | Run, and typing "msconfig").

  • An improperly installed MIDI interface or sound card could also be the problem. Reinstall the sound card/interface, using the latest drivers available from the manufacturer. After you do this, reset Band-in-a-Box® to the factory settings by deleting the 'intrface.bbw' file from the C:\bb folder.

  • Another issue might be that the PCI bus is being locked out by the video driver. This can be caused by accelerated video drivers taking over the system for 50ms or more. The solution is to disable accelerated video. On Windows 98/ME, go to Start | Settings | Control Panel | Display | Settings | Advanced | Performance. On Windows 2000/XP, go to Control Panel | Display | Settings | Advanced | Troubleshoot. Turn the Hardware Acceleration slider to none.

15. I am having trouble downloading files from your site.

Please read this sales FAQ topic.

16. How do I free up system resources on Windows 98/ME?

How to check for low system resources:

  1. Right-click on My Computer, and right-click on Properties.

  2. Select the Performance Tab.

  3. If System resources are under 40% free, there may be problems.

Solution(s):

Reboot your system to free up system resources, and/or:

  • Close windows that are not in use.

  • Close programs not needed that load when you start Windows. To determine what programs are running, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, and make a note of all the programs listed. Note that Explorer is the Windows operating system and Systray is the system tray located on the right-side of the taskbar. You should not [End Task] these two programs. Determine which programs must run all of the time, and then quit the remaining programs. To quit a program, press CTRL+ALT+DELETE, select the program you want to quit, and then click [End Task]. Note that your computer is likely configured to load a number of these programs at startup, so that if you restart your computer after doing this, the programs will "come back". You can configure which programs get loaded at startup in the Windows System Configuration Utility (go to Start | Run, and type msconfig).

  • Clear your Clipboard. When you copy a large amount of information to the clipboard, it will remain until something else is copied onto it. To clear out a large data amount that you have copied and pasted, copy a couple of lines of text to the clipboard.

  • Don't use large bitmaps for wallpaper. Use a small bitmap and tile, or stretch it.

  • If you run an application that uses system resources every time it runs, try to keep it open instead of closing and reopening it many times during the day.

  • Disable your screen saver.

  • Avoid installing fonts that aren't needed.

17. Why is there a delay between when I play a note on my MIDI keyboard, and when I hear the note play through my computer speakers?

You are most likely using a software synthesizer such as the Microsoft GS Wavetable or the Roland VSC as your MIDI output device. One characteristic of a software synth is that it takes some time for it to express the MIDI data it receives as sound. In other words, there is a delay between when a note is sent by Band-in-a-Box® (and other MIDI software) and when you hear the note played. This delay is called latency, and is normally a fraction of a second.

In Band-in-a-Box®, the Driver Latency setting in the Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup dialog is used to delay the notation and chord highlighting so that it is synchronized with the music during playback. However, note that this is only a visual setting; it doesn't change the actual latency of the driver. There will still be a delay between when you strike a key on your keyboard and when you hear the note played.

For recording or playing live from an external MIDI synth, the solution is to use a MIDI Output Driver with no noticeable latency. This could be the built-in MIDI synth on your computer's internal sound card, or your external MIDI keyboard or sound module. If you prefer the sound quality of the soft synth, you can record using a no-latency driver, and switch back to the soft synth for playback when you have finished recording.

Here is some more information about the Roland VSC and Microsoft GS Wavetable.

Roland VSC (Virtual Sound Canvas)

This information is only applicable to the older stand-alone version of the VSC.

The Roland VSC is a software synthesizer based on the sounds from the Roland Sound Canvas hardware sound modules. The VSC's latency, or "Response Time", is adjustable. By default, the Roland VSC has a response time of about 430 to 450 ms (a little less than half a second). This is a safe setting, and will avoid audio drop-outs and glitches even on older and slow computers. If you select the Roland VSC as your MIDI Output Driver and press OK in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog, Band-in-a-Box® will automatically offer to set the latency to 430 ms.

On most modern computers, you can reduce the VSC's latency by a fair bit without experiencing any problems. Depending on how fast your computer is, you may be able to reduce this to about 100 ms or less. This is still not ideal for live playing, but is much better than 430 ms. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the VSC. You can do this by clicking on the VSC icon in your task bar and selecting 'VSC Panel', or by going to Start | Programs | Virtual Sound Canvas 3.2...

  2. Click on the [Setup] button to open the VSC Settings Window.

  3. Click on the Performance tab.

  4. Move the Response Time slider to the left. Try setting it at about 100 ms to start with.

  5. Go back to Band-in-a-Box® and try playing a song. If there are no playback problems, you can move the Response Time slider another notch to the left. 68 ms is often the minimum.

  6. The next step is to go to the Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup dialog and set the Driver Latency setting to the same value as the VSC's Response Time. When you exit the MIDI Driver Setup dialog, Band-in-a-Box® may ask you if you want to set the driver latency to 430 ms. If so, answer "No".

If you have trouble reducing the VSC latency below 100 ms, the following adjustments in the VSC settings window may improve performance without sacrificing sound quality. See the VSC help file if you want more information on each setting:

  • Click on the Performance tab and uncheck delay and TVF.

  • Click on the Performance tab and turn the load limit up to 90%.

  • Click on the Sound Set tab and select 'Secure Memory at all times'.

  • Click on the Receive Events tab and uncheck any that you do not use (ie - delay, expression...) on all channels.

  • Click on the Device tab, and set 'Direct Sound' to off.

For best results, close as many background programs as possible.

Microsoft GS Wavetable

The Microsoft GS Wavetable is a software synthesizer included with Windows. The sounds are somewhat similar to the Roland VSC, but they are lower quality sounds, and there are fewer of them. The latency of the GS Wavetable varies between different computers - it is usually between 50 and 100 ms. As far as we are aware, there is no way to reduce the latency on any particular computer. Unfortunately, many new computers don't include a sound card with a built-in MIDI synthesizer, so choosing a "no-latency" MIDI output driver for recording may not be an option. In an increasing number of cases the GS Wavetable is the only MIDI output driver choice, aside from purchasing a sound card or using an external synth/sound module for output.

Using a DXi software synth with an ASIO driver in Band-in-a-Box® 2006 and higer

Recent versions of Band-in-a-Box® (2006 and higher) and PowerTracks Pro Audio (10 and higher) added support for ASIO drivers. The main advantage to using ASIO in Band-in-a-Box® is that it allows you to play live from an external MIDI keyboard through a DXi synth with almost no latency. Previous versions of Band-in-a-Box® supported DXi synths, but you couldn't play through the DXi synth from your keyboard because there was too much latency. If your sound card supports ASIO and you have ASIO drivers installed on your computer, you can use ASIO by selecting this audio driver type in Opt. | Preferences | Audio. See the Band-in-a-Box® help file and manual for further information on setting up the ASIO audio driver dialog. If the manufacturer of your sound card doesn't have an ASIO driver, you may be able to use the ASIO4ALL driver.

Since Band-in-a-Box® comes with the Coyote Wavetable, you have the option of installing this DXi synth and using it for MIDI output through an ASIO driver. As long as you choose a sufficiently low latency/buffer size in the ASIO Audio Driver's Control Panel, this would resolve your latency problem. For more in-depth information on the latency settings in Band-in-a-Box®, see our tutorial Understanding Band-in-a-Box® Latency Settings

18. How do I change from 3/4 to 4/4 time in the middle of my song?

You need to set the overall style of your song to a 4/4 style, since Band-in-a-Box® finds it easier to drop a beat than to create one that doesn't exist. Using the F5 key (Edit settings for current bar), you can switch between 3/4 and 4/4 at any point in your song. Ideally, you would be able to start your song in 3/4 by using F5 at bar 1, however changing styles at bar 1 will cause Band-in-a-Box® to set your overall style to the 3/4 style. If you need your song to start out in 3/4, try the following work-around:

  1. Set your overall style to the 4/4 style.

  2. Using F5 at bar 3, change the style to the 3/4 style.

  3. Rest bars 1 and 2 by typing in any chord in bar 1 followed by a period (for example, Cmaj.). Your song will now begin on bar 3 in the 3/4 style.

  4. If you want a count-in, you can enter this into bars 1 and 2. In the Notation window, switch to the Soloist track (you could use the Melody track instead) and toggle into editable notation mode. Enter the note Db3 on beats one and three in bar 1, and all four beats in bar 2. Right click on all six notes and change the channel of each of them to channel 10 (the drum channel). Db3 is the side stick on the drum channel.

  5. Go to Soloist | Track Type, and select 'Multi-channel'.

  6. Go to Opt. | Preferences | Count-in/Met. and disable the audible lead-in.

Now when you play your song, you will hear a count-in in bars 1 and 2, before your song starts on bar 3.

19. How do I create and use Band-in-a-Box® Styles in 6/8,12/8,9/8 and 5/4 time signatures?

Band-in-a-Box®'s StyleMaker creates styles in 3/4 or 4/4 only. However, consider that 6/8, 9/8, & 12/8 styles are just variations of 3/4 or 4/4 - you can make and use styles in these time signatures to get the same effect.

  • 12/8: Band-in-a-Box® considers 12/8 to be a variation of a 4/4 style (i.e. a 4/4 style with a triplet feel). To make a 12/8 style, just make a 4/4 style in a triplet feel. In other words, one bar of 12/8 is equivalent to one bar of 4/4 in a triplet feel. For an example, choose the "Country 12/8" style from the Styles menu | Choose from 24 'Built-in' Styles.

  • 6/8: This is similar to 12/8. Two bars of 6/8 make up one bar of 12/8, so 6/8 is done in 4/4 as well. Think of 6/8 as 2 beats of 4/4 in a triplet feel. For an example of this, go to the Styles menu | Choose from 24 'Built-in' Styles, and select the "Irish" style. You can set the number of beats per bar to 2 in the Edit | Settings for Current Bar dialog (F5).

  • 9/8: This is like a waltz (3/4) style in a triplet feel.

  • 5/4, 6/4, 7/4 etc.: Songs in time signatures like 5/4 and 7/4 can be made. Just pick a base time signature of 3/4 or 4/4, then for the song, select the time signature of 5/4 or 7/4 from the Edit | Set Time Signature menu item. Note that for time signatures higher than 4/4, each bar of 5/4 etc. will be spread over two or more bars in Band-in-a-Box®. For example, 5/4 alternates between a bar of 3 and a bar of 2.

You can use the Search function in the StylePicker to find styles written for a specific compound time signature.
Note: Styles Set 38 for Band-in-a-Box® ("About Time") has many excellent styles with unusual time signatures such as 5/4, 7/8, 11/8, 14/8, and 19/16. These styles have been written so that, for example, a bar of 5/4 occupies exactly one bar in Band-in-a-Box®, rather than being spread out over two bars. Styles Set 38 requires Band-in-a-Box® Version 11 or higher.

20. How do I add my personal styles to the Band-in-a-Box® StylePicker list?

Band-in-a-Box® styles need to be placed in the Band-in-a-Box® root directory (C:\BB) so the program can find them.

In Band-in-a-Box® 2008 and higher, when you press the Rebuild button in the StylePicker window, Band-in-a-Box® will find your styles and add them to the 'Other Styles Found' category. This list of styles includes all of the styles that are found in your bb folder, and in 'Styles' subfolders within your bb folder, that are not PG Music styles.

Alternatively, you can access them by using File | Load User Style, or by pressing F9. If you get a "style not found" message when trying to play a song, this typically means that the style is not in the bb root directory.

If you want to add a memo or other information to your styles, or sort them in other categories within the StylePicker, there are various things you can do. There is a file called BBW.LST located in the Band-in-a-Box® folder. This file defines all of the PG Music styles that appear in the StylePicker and we update the file when we release new Styles Sets. There can also be one or more *.LS3 files in the Band-in-a-Box® folder. These files can be used to define 3rd party Band-in-a-Box® Styles and your own personal styles. Here is what you would typically do to add one of your personal styles to the StylePicker in a new category.

  1. Make sure your styles are saved in the BB folder.

  2. Open the StylePicker window.

  3. Click on the [Edit...] button. This opens the StylePicker Editor dialog.

  4. Add your new categories and styles by filling in the information in the dialog.

  5. When you are finished, press [OK-Save]. This automatically creates a file called A_USER.LS3 containing your new style information. Band-in-a-Box® will automatically rebuild the StylePicker window, adding the styles in the A_USER.LS3 file.

    LS3 files can also be created manually. There is more information about LS3 files here.

Note that you shouldn't edit the BBW.LST file, since this file will be overwritten with an updated one when you update Band-in-a-Box® or purchase a new Styles Set. If you would like technical information on how the bbw.lst file is constructed, we have information in the Band-in-a-Box® 2004 FAQ.

21. How can I make my song endings more natural? Can I hold the last chord in the song and have it fade out?

You have the option of using the automatic 2 bar ending in any Band-in-a-Box® song, or disabling the automatic ending and holding the last chord of your song. Band-in-a-Box® 2010 or higher also have the option of using an automatic 4 bar ending for the RealTracks, which gives the instruments a longer time to decay.

If automatic endings don't seem to be working for the RealTracks in your song at all, try entering a simpler chord in the ending bar. For example, instead of typing Cmaj13, type in Cmaj7. To be sure to get an ending, use Maj, min, Maj7, or m7 chords. There aren't specific endings for dominant 7 chords. For Jazz styles, use Maj7 or m7. For Pop/Rock/Country styles, use maj or m.

If you have selected to use the 4-bar ending and it doesn't seem to be working:

  • Make sure the 4-bar ending setting is enabled in the Song Settings dialog ([S] button), or globally in the RealTracks Settings dialog.

  • Try entering a simpler chord in your ending bar, as mentioned above.

  • The RealTracks you have installed might not support 4-bar endings. Check for an updated version of the RealTracks on our updates page.

  • MIDI tracks don't need long to decay, so they don't have 4-bar endings. Also, there are some RealTracks instruments that don't need 4-bar endings because they naturally end abruptly. 4-bar endings benefit instruments that need a long time to decay.

If you don't want to use the automatic ending at all, and instead want to hold the last chord in your song, just enter the last chord followed by three periods (for example Cmaj...). Then, don't enter any chord after that, but extend the length of your song (end of chorus) to give enough time for the instruments to decay. A few notes about this...

  • This will work only if you have the automatic ending disabled.

  • Your song needs to either have just one chorus, or multiple choruses with a tag ending. (If you have multiple choruses without a tag ending, you can't hold the last bar of the song because the hold will be played each chorus)

  • RealTracks will hold as long as you have Band-in-a-Box® 2010 (or higher), and have the holds files installed (\RealTracks\Library\Holds...). There are a few RealTracks instruments that don't have holds, such as some soloists. You can find out if an instrument supports holds by looking under the "Holds" column in the RealTracks window.

There are other options to fade-out the volume near the end of your song... Band-in-a-Box® 2008 and higher have a fade-out feature for the ending. This is found in the Song Settings dialog ([S] button on the main screen just above the Chord Sheet). The Piano Roll window in Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and higher is a more advanced way to accomplish a gradual fade-out for MIDI tracks. Click here for more information about fading out with the Piano Roll.

Another option is to open the song into RealBand and fade out the ending there. The Piano Roll window in RealBand is similar to the one in Band-in-a-Box®, but can be used to adjust the volume of audio tracks. Or, you could highlight the region of your song and use the Gain Change audio effect (Edit | Audio Effects | Gain Change - Fade out.

Note: Band-in-a-Box® 2009 and earlier versions required an additional step to add a held chord to the last bar of your song, and this did not work for RealTracks. Here are instructions for older Band-in-a-Box® versions:

  1. Go to the bar that you want held (the last bar in your composition).
  2. Press ALT-F5 (Edit | Chord Settings) and hold all instruments.
  3. Decide how many bars you want the chord held/sustained for. Type in any chord other than the last held chord (it doesn't matter what chord you use, because it will be rested).
  4. Press ALT-F5 again, and rest all instruments at this bar.
  5. Mark this bar as the last bar in the song

22. In the Select Soloist dialog, what do the brackets around some of the Soloists mean?

The Soloists in brackets are Soloists that are in a different feel than the style you are using. For example, when you're in a swing style, you would see some 'even feel' Soloists in brackets, because they wouldn't be the best Soloist to pick. If you do pick one of the Soloists in brackets, Band-in-a-Box® will do its best to make it sound good. For example, if you pick an even feel soloist in a swing style, Band-in-a-Box® will play it in a swing feel and make other 'humanizing' changes. NOTE: Some Soloists are set to "Auto-load" particular styles that they work best with - this is indicated in the Memo notes for the style.

23. Is there a fermata (pause) capability or some way to simulate it?

You can simulate a fermata by doing the following:

  1. Put the cursor at the chord where you want the fermata and press CTRL-F5 (Edit | Chord Settings). Choose the "hold chord" option (all instruments).

  2. With the cursor still on that chord, press F5 (Edit Settings for Current Bar) and set a % change in tempo to, for example, -15 or -20, etc., depending on the duration you want.

  3. To play the original tempo again, move the cursor to the next bar, press F5 and choose an appropriate % change in tempo (15, 20, etc).

24. I'm trying to change an instrument (patch), but every time I press play, my instrument selection changes.

Go to File | Save Song with Patches & Harmony and make sure that either 'Save all settings with song' is checked, or it is unchecked and you have the settings selected that you want saved.

Another reason why your patch changes are not sticking (assuming you have checked the Save Song with Patches dialog), may be that you are using a 'style with instrument changes'. Some styles use different patches for the A and B substyles, a feature which is supported by Band-in-a-Box® 2006 and higher. Go to Styles | StyleMaker | Edit Current Style | and click the [.PAT] button. See if "Use separate patches for a and b substyles" is checked. If so, you could either uncheck it or set the patches you want in the StyleMaker. One thing to note is that this is a permanent change to the style - i.e. it will stay that way until you change it back.

Note: in Band-in-a-Box® 2009 and earlier, you were required to use the Save with Patches menu item to save a song with custom patches. See this FAQ topic for more information on earlier versions.

If you are having trouble saving Volume, Reverb, Chorus, and Pan settings with your songs, please see this FAQ topic.

25. How do I display 'Swing' notation (triplets) and 'Even feel' notation (sixteenths) in the same song? How do I enter quarter note triplets?

You can toggle between Swing and Even feel notation by enabling/disabling 'Triplet Resolution' in the Notation Window Options dialog. Alternatively, you can change the resolution for any beat individually by doing the following:

  1. In the Notation Window, activate 'editable notation mode' by pressing the [N] button once. You should see groups of vertical dashed lines.

  2. Right-click on the time indicator line above the beat that you want to change. This will bring up the Beat Resolution dialog. The time indicator line is the narrow horizontal space above the lyric entry area; it contains a little black cursor that shows the current position of your song.

  3. In the Beat Resolution dialog, set the number of beats to 3 if you are in an even feel style and want triplets, or 4 if you are in a triplet style and want sixteenths.

Assuming that you are in triplet resolution, you can insert an eighth note triplet by placing notes on three consecutive dashed lines. For quarter note triplets, place a note on every second dashed line. Note that while your music will always play the way you input it, you may not always be able to get triplets to display exactly how you want. This a limitation of the Band-in-a-Box® notation display.

If you find that a quarter note triplet you have entered does not display with the proper triplet notation (ie 3 quarter notes with a '3' over top of them), note that:

  • In the Notation Window Options dialog, the "Tick Offset" setting can be used to adjust how the notes are displayed. Try setting this to zero; this may allow your triplet to be displayed properly.

  • Quarter note triplet display will not work as well if you are using an even feel style and are changing an individual beat to triplet feel. It works better if the overall feel of the style is a triplet feel.

  • Quarter note triplets will never display properly if they span beats 2 and 3 in any measure.

26. Can I notate ties and slurs in Band-in-a-Box®?

Ties extend the duration of a single note. Band-in-a-Box® will automatically calculate ties for you, based on standard notation rules and the durations of each note. To change the duration of a note, right-click on the note in editable notation mode to edit the note parameters manually, or extend the duration of the note visually in 'staff roll' mode. To get into staff roll mode, click the Staff Roll Mode button in the Notation Window toolbar (in Band-in-a-Box® 2006 and higher) or click the [N] button twice from regular notation mode (in Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and earlier). Then, right-click on the note head and hold the mouse button down while dragging to the right the desired distance.

To delete a tie, you can either insert a rest at the point that you want the tie to end (by checking the 'rest' box and clicking at the desired location), or reduce the duration of the note.

What if you have two existing notes that you want to be tied together? In this case, you would simply delete the second note and extend the duration of the first.

Slurs are notes of different pitches that are played legato, without separation. The slur symbol is a curved line, similar to the tie symbol, except that it connects two notes of different pitches. The two notes are both played, unlike a tied note. To accomplish a slur in Band-in-a-Box®, change the duration of the note so that it just overlaps with the following note. Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and earlier do not support the entry of slur symbols. Version 2006 and higher DO support the entry of slur symbols. To insert a slur, right-click on the note in editable notation mode, point to 'Notation Symbols', and select 'Slur'. This will open the Notation Event dialog which allows you to define the properties of your slur.

27. How do I use tag endings? Why does the 'tag exists' box sometimes become unchecked automatically?

In Band-in-a-Box®, a tag is a group of bars played after the final chorus of a song. You can find tag settings under Edit | Settings (for this song). Set the 'Tag exists' field to Yes and then choose the tag starting and ending bars. If you have "Generate 2 bar ending" selected, the ending will play automatically after the tag.

Note that the tag will only work if there is more than one chorus. If you placed a checkmark in the 'tag exists' box in the song settings dialog, and it became unchecked, this means that your song is set to have only one chorus. In this case a tag is irrelevant because it would simply be the last bars in your chorus.

28. Can I import and play MIDI files with Band-in-a-Box®?

Yes, Band-in-a-Box® will import and play entire MIDI files, and there are a number of other ways that you can use MIDI files with Band-in-a-Box®. However, Band-in-a-Box® isn't a dedicated MIDI file sequencer. If your goal is to import a MIDI file and view/edit each instrument on a separate track in its original form, you would be better off using PowerTracks Pro Audio. Band-in-a-Box® is mainly intended to be used as an intelligent arranger and the ways that you normally use MIDI files with Band-in-a-Box® reflect this.

  • Starting with Band-in-a-Box® 2004, you can import and play an entire MIDI file by using File | Open MIDI file(F7). Band-in-a-Box® will import the MIDI file into the Melody track, convert the Melody track to a multi-channel track so that it can play more than one instrument, and automatically disable the style (accompaniment).

  • You can use File | Import Chords from MIDI. Band-in-a-Box® will interpret the chords from your MIDI file and write these in the Chord Sheet window, and will also import one or more instruments (usually the Melody and Solo) to the Melody and/or Soloist tracks. Once you do this, you have the chord symbols and Melody, and you can select a style that you want to use to create an accompaniment.

  • You can import any part of a MIDI file into the Melody track by using Melody | Edit Melody Track | Import Melody from MIDI file. Usually this feature is used to import only the melody from a MIDI file. If you import more than one instrument to the Melody track this way, you will want to switch the Melody track to a multi-channel track by going to the Melody menu and selecting the 'Track type'.

  • You can use the Style Wizard (Styles | Style Wizard) to create a complete Band-in-a-Box® style based on your MIDI file.

29. Who owns the songs that I create with Band-in-a-Box®? Are the songs copyrighted?

The arrangements made by Band-in-a-Box® are yours, and your songs may be used freely as long as they don't infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others.

30. How do I rest more than one bar at a time?

From the Chord entry grid:

  1. Click on the bar you want to rest and press Alt+F5.

  2. Place the chord, select rest type, and the instruments needed to be rested. Click OK.

  3. Highlight all the bars to be rested.

  4. Go to Edit | Copy rests. Press OK.

31. How can I easily raise or lower the velocity (volume) of all notes in the melody track?

Choose Melody | Edit Melody Track | Adjust level of Melody, and choose how much you want to increase ALL note velocities on the melody track. You can choose 127, and all notes will be set to maximum velocity (127). For example three notes with velocities 30, 67, and 110 would all be set to 127(maximum). If you choose 10, 10 will be added to all velocities. For example, three notes with velocities 30, 67, and 110 would be set to 40, 77, and 120 respectively.

32.Can I enter a melody into Band-in-a-Box® using the computer keyboard?

Here is a method that you can use to record a melody into Band-in-a-Box® using the computer keyboard:

  1. Go to the Play menu and make sure 'Wizard Playalong Feature' is enabled.

  2. Start recording.

  3. Choose any key on your computer keyboard (N for example) and strike it in time with the notes of your melody. The idea here is not to get the note pitches right, just the durations.

  4. When you have finished, keep the take. Next, put the Notation Window into editable notation mode. From here, you can step forward or backward note by note using the keypad "Ins" and "Del" keys. While doing so, you can use the up-down arrow keys to change the pitch each note. This method works great for non-keyboardists, and is also useful for adjusting existing melodies.

33. How can I associate my songs and styles with Band-in-a-Box® so that they open when I click them in Windows Explorer?

You can do this by going to File | File Utilities | Associate File types with Explorer.

You can create file associations for any file type with any program, by right-mouse clicking (while holding down the SHIFT key) the file you want to have automatically open with the program (e.g., a .MID file), and select OPEN WITH... in the pop-up menu. Then, scroll down until you find the program name (you may have to press the OTHER button and find the program manually). Ensure that the "ALWAYS OPEN WITH THIS PROGRAM" checkbox is enabled - this will create a file association for that file type.

34. How can I combine multiple Band-in-a-Box® songs to make a medley, or copy and paste part of one song into another?

In Band-in-a-Box® 2008 and higher, you can do this using the Medley Maker feature (File menu | Medley Maker). Note that Band-in-a-Box® can optionally create transition bars between your songs to make it smoother.

Band-in-a-Box® 2007 and earlier do not have a single feature that will make a medley automatically, however it could be done in a number of steps. You need to copy the chords separately from the melody, solo, and lyrics.

You can copy the chords from one song to another by simply highlighting the chords in one song, selecting Edit | Copy, then opening the other song and selecting Edit | Paste. Adjust the number of bars per chorus accordingly in the destination song.

There are two ways you could copy the melody/solo/lyrics from one song to another. Say that "song 1" is the file you are copying from, and "song 2" is the file you are copying to (the destination file) and you want to copy the melody:

First Method - Copy and paste notation into song 2. This doesn't copy lyrics

  1. In Song 1, open the Notation Window (Melody track), and toggle into editable notation mode by pressing the [N] button.

  2. Find the start of the section that you want to copy and highlight a small region (it doesn't matter how much) starting at that location.

  3. Hold down the shift key on your keyboard, and click on the end of the section that you want to copy. This will highlight the section (Note: in Band-in-a-Box® 2004 and earlier you need to click and drag to highlight a region of the Notation Window).

  4. Go to Edit | Copy, make sure that the settings in the Copy dialog are correct, and press OK.

  5. Load Song 2, open the notation window, and position yourself at the location you want to start pasting at.

  6. Go to Edit | Paste, make sure the settings in the Paste dialog are correct, and press OK.

Second Method - Save as MIDI file and import into song 2. This does copy lyrics.

  1. Open Song 1.

  2. Determine how many bars from the start of the song the part is that you want to copy. If you have "Include 2 bar lead-in in MIDI file" checked in the Opt. | Preferences | MIDI File Options dialog, add 2 bars to account for the lead-in.

  3. Take note of how many bars you want to copy.

  4. Mute all tracks except for the Melody track. To do this, right-click on Bass, Piano, Drums, Strings, and Soloist in the instrument panel.

  5. Click the .MID button to save the song as a MIDI file. Save it to the clipboard.

  6. Open Song 2 and determine how many bars from the start of the song you want to paste the section.

  7. Go to Melody | Edit Melody Track | Import Melody from clipboard. In the 'Import MIDI file - options' dialog, pay particular attention to the following settings:

    -# bars to offset from start of MIDI file: The number of bars from the start of the song that you found in step 2.
    -How many bars to import?: This is the number you found in step 3.
    -# blank bars to insert at beginning: This is the number of bars you found in Step 6 plus 2 bars if there is a lead-in.
    -'Merge with Existing Data on track': This should be checked unless you want to erase/overwrite any existing notation in the melody track of Song 2.

  8. Press OK.

The other thing you may need to do is set up the part of your destination song that came from song 1 with the same style, patches, tempo, etc., as you had in song 1. The Edit | Settings for current bar (F5) dialog will be useful for this.

35. Why does the same song sound different in Band-in-a-Box® than when I play it with Windows Media Player?

You may be experiencing one of the following:

  • If you saved your Band-in-a-Box® song as a MIDI file that you are playing in Windows Media Player, WMP is probably using a different MIDI driver than in Band-in-a-Box®. WMP will use the Windows default in the Control Panel | Multimedia -or- Sounds and Audio Devices. In Band-in-a-Box®, you choose your MIDI Driver from Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup.

  • If you imported a MIDI file into Band-in-a-Box®, you may be either using a different driver (as explained above), or you are hearing the MIDI file along with an unwanted Band-in-a-Box® style. Disable the style, choose a blank style, or mute all of the tracks except the melody. Also, you may need to set the Melody track to be Multi-channel.

  • If you saved your song as a MIDI file, you may not have saved the songs from Band-in-a-Box® with Patches & Harmony prior to doing this, so the patches are different then you expected.

36. What are the different Track Types for in the Notation Window Options dialog?

Setting the Melody-Track Type to Multi-channel just means that the channels on the Melody track won't get re-channelled to the Melody channel. It's used if you want to load a whole MIDI file to the Melody track, and play it as is with all of the channels. It will play at whatever volume change was last sent on the channel in question. If you have 'tab' enabled in the Notation Window Options dialog, setting the track type to 'Guitar' will display guitar tab in place of the Bass clef. You can display Bass, Mandolin, etc. tab by selecting one of those.

37. I am having trouble recording into Band-in-a-Box® with my Wind Controller.

When using a wind controller with a computer program, make sure to filter out most of the MIDI information that is sent from the controller. The default settings have an 'avalanche' of MIDI information, which can take up much of the CPU time reading it, or overwhelm the MIDI buffer. Other than that, you should be able to use it as a normal controller. There are Record Filter settings in Band-in-a-Box® that can allow you to choose to ignore much of the MIDI information that gets sent.

38. What are the numbers for in the StyleMaker bars?

The numbers in the style editor have to do with what is referred to as weight, or percentage / randomness of time that this pattern will be played from 1 to 8. If it has a weight of 9, it will always get played if the mask criteria are satisfied. Band-in-a-Box® uses these patterns to generate musical arrangements. Band-in-a-Box® houses 1 and 2 bar patterns and 1 and 2 beat patterns in a style on an instrument-by-instrument and sub-style basis. How often each pattern will get played will be determined first by the number of chords in a bar then by the 1 - 9 value. A 2 bar pattern gets played if there is only 1 chord at the beginning of 2 bars. A 1 beat pattern is chosen if there are more than 2 chords close together in a given bar.

39. How do I get chords to sound on the off-beat, or create syncopation in my music?

This can be done by pushing the chords when you enter them into the Band-in-a-Box® chordsheet. To push chords, enter one caret (^) to play the chord an eighth note early and two carets (^^) to play it sixteenth note early.

You are allowed to enter 4 chords per bar in Band-in-a-Box®, that is, one on every beat in 4/4 time. If you were 'counting' the timing for the downbeats only, it would of course be 1 - 2 - 3 - 4. If you were counting the timing for the upbeats AND downbeats, it would be 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & (the "&" being the upbeat). You can enter a "^" (caret) sign before any of the chords in the 4 positions of the bar, and have that chord 'pushed', or played on the "&" count (that is, the upbeat). However, if you change the chord on the upbeat, it will play for a duration of a dotted quarter note. You cannot change it to something else on the NEXT downbeat. In other words it won't play an eighth note by itself.

Try this example: Open a new song and set the style to Country 4/4 (it's on the Styles drop down menu | Choose from 24 Built-in Styles). For the first bar of the song enter these 4 chords: C,C and C,^F (all 4 chords in the first bar, remember the caret before the F chord). In the second bar, enter F,F and F,F. Now use Ctrl-W to get to the notation display and press Play. Click on the B at the bottom right of the menu bar to display the Bass notes. You will see that there are 3 C notes, being 2 quarter notes, one eighth note and then a dotted quarter F note. The second bar has 4 quarter notes of F - the chord changes from C to F after counting 1 & 2 & 3 (that is, it changes on the & or the upbeat after the 3). Because you have used up the 4th beat in the first bar with your ^F designation, you cannot change the chord to anything else on beat 4

40. Please explain the song structure in Band-in-a-Box®.

Band-in-a-Box® uses the Jazz convention that a "Chorus" is the whole song. This topic covers the terminology of:

  1. Intro

  2. Verse

  3. Chorus

  4. Bridge

  5. Tag

You'll need to use the "Framing Controls" of Band-in-a-Box®, where you set the chorus begin bar, the chorus end bar, and the number of choruses to repeat. These controls are found just below the song title window on the main screen. The defaults for a new song are [1]-[32]x[3]

INTRO
How long an intro is, and what is included, is determined by what is in the 1st number box of the framing section of Band-in-a-Box®. So if your first chorus starts at bar #17, you have from bar #1 to #16 (16 bars) to do what ever you want to with. You could create a standard intro, or with instruments coming on one at a time every 4 bars. You may place part markers to go from lighter to heavier feels. You may include as many bars as you need to, but this section will only play once at the beginning of your song.

VERSE/CHORUS Section
"Chorus begins at bar #17" means that everything from bar 17 to the "Chorus ends at" bar (let's choose 48) will play or repeat as many times as you have indicated in "#choruses". In this section it is a good idea to make full use of the part markers, which will give your song a different feel, especially in the bridge.

BRIDGE
Contained within the main framing section of the song between the chorus begin and chorus end bar, the bridge is usually emphasized with the use of the "B" substyle. To make your song even more interesting, Band-in-a-Box® allows you to do style changes at any bar. Experiment with two styles that are similar, and later with wildly different styles.

THE TAG
The tag can also be used similarly to the intro. You can make it as long as you like. It will fall outside of the "chorus begins at" and "chorus ends at" section, and it will only play once at the end of your song, after the choruses have been played. It could consist of the chords for a bridge, a key change and chorus restatement, then a full ending. To set up the tag ending, click the [S] button found just to the right of the framing controls to bring up the Song Settings window. Place a checkmark in the Tag Exists box and then specify how you want the tag to be played by typing the bar numbers in the 'Tag jump after', 'Tag begin at', and 'Tag ends after' boxes. In our example, say we set those to 40, 49, and 56. This means that the song would play through two chorus, play the third chorus up to bar 40, then jump to bar 49 and play through to bar 56. Note: A Tag will only work if there is more than one chorus set to play. If your song only has one chorus, the a tag isn't needed.

THE 2 BAR ENDING
This automatic feature can be selected if you do not want to create your own ending with held bars/instruments and/or rests. It will add 2 bars to the song and auto-create an ending for you. You can toggle the 2-bar ending on/off in the Song Settings window just underneath the Tag settings.

In summary, the entire song that we have set up in the examples above would play the following way: 1-48, 17-48, 17-40, 49-56, and if we have turned the two bar ending on, bars 57-58 would be the ending.

Band-in-a-Box® 2004 and higher also have options to use repeats, 1st/2nd endings, and codas in your song. The Repeats/1st-2nd endings/codas feature is mainly used if you need to create printed charts that show those symbols. Click here for more information about this.

41. How do I access higher bank patches in Band-in-a-Box®? What are MSB and LSB?

There are 3 things that control which sound is played:

  1. Patch or Program Change.

  2. Bank MSB, or controller 0.

  3. Bank LSB, or Controller 32.

Each of these can have a value from 0 to 127. When you are only interested in using the General MIDI instruments on your synth, you only need to worry about the Patch or Program Change. MSB and LSB can be left at 0. However, most synths have patches on higher banks beyond the General MIDI set of instruments, and if you want to access these sounds, you will need to use Bank changes.

At one time, no synthesizer had more than 128 sounds. As technology progressed, musicians demanded more sounds. The MIDI Association then developed a new MIDI command called the Bank Select Command. There are two controller messages in the Bank Select command:

  • Continuous Controller 0 (Most Significant Bit or MSB) messages are often abbreviated as CC in manuals (For example: CC0)

  • Continuous Controller 32 (Least Significant Bit or LSB) messages are often abbreviated as CC32 in manuals.

Two separate messages allows you to access up to 16,384 banks, of 128 patches each. This creates locations for 2,097,152 patches. Needless to say, we're not aware of any modules with over a couple of thousand patches (yet), let alone two million.

Some modules/synths require both controller 0 and controller 32 together and some require them one at a time. Refer to your manual for accessing patches on higher banks on your particular synth.

In your synth or module's manual, bank is usually listed first. In Roland manuals, it is in the CC00 (BANK) column. Place this value into the Bank Box. The second column in the table is usually the Program Change column. Also known as the GM or GS patch name, choose this patch number from the instrument pull-down menu. Don't worry if the General MIDI instrument name does not match the name of the patch you are trying to access. Just go by the number if it's not a General MIDI instrument you are trying to access. Controller Number 32 or LSB may be needed as well. Although it is not used very much in the Roland line of synths, it is used extensively in some other synths.

Once you have selected the patch (Instrument menu), Bank (MSB) and Bank (LSB), you should hear the higher bank instrument that you are trying to access.

If you are selecting patches from higher banks very much, you may want to learn about "patch maps&quot. Patch maps allow you to choose any patch on your synth by name, using the 'Select Patch from Higher Bank' dialog (click the [+] button next to the instrument pull-down menu).

Note that if you change the default patches used by the style, you will probably need to use File | Save song with patches and harmony to prevent your chosen patches from reverting back to the defaults when you press Play.

42. How do I make a patch map for my synthesizer?

We include some patch maps (.pat files) with Band-in-a-Box®. Other patch maps are available for download from our website at:http://www.pgmusic.com/support_miscellaneous.htm. In addition, Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and higher include a utility which will automatically convert existing PowerTracks Pro Audio patch maps (.INI files) and Cakewalk Instrument Definition files (.INS files) to Band-in-a-Box® patch maps. To run this utility, open the 'Patches on Higher Banks' dialog in Band-in-a-Box® and press the [INI/INS...] button.

If you cannot find a patch map for your synth, you may wish to create one. We have written a tutorial on patch map creation .

For more information on how to select patches on higher banks, click here.

43. Can I export my song from Band-in-a-Box® to PowerTracks Pro Audio or another MIDI sequencer?

Yes you can. You can create a standard MIDI file from your song, which can be imported into any other program that can read standard MIDI files. Click the .MID button on the main screen of Band-in-a-Box®. This will give you the option to either save the file on disk (this could be anywhere on your hard drive, or a floppy disk.) or to the clipboard.

If you choose 'file on disk', this will bring up the standard Windows 'Save' dialog. Choose the location you want the MIDI file saved to and then hit the save button. Close Band-in-a-Box® and open PowerTracks. Go to the File | Open. Browse to the location you saved your file to. Select the file, then hit the 'Open' button.

If you choose to save your MIDI file to the Clipboard, click the Clipboard button, then close Band-in-a-Box®. Open PowerTracks. Use the File | Open from Clipboard command.

If you had recorded an audio track (for example, vocals) with your Band-in-a-Box® song, Band-in-a-Box® would have saved this recording as a wave file with the same name, and in the same folder, as your Band-in-a-Box® song. PowerTracks will offer to import the wave file if it finds this wave file in the same folder as your MIDI file (if you had 'saved the MIDI file to disk'). You can also import your wave file by using the File | Wave files | Import Wave file command in PowerTracks.

If your song has a RealDrums track, this will get saved as a wave file in the same folder that you save your MIDI file. There are options in the MIDI File Options dialog, that determine how the drum track is saved.

44. Can Band-in-a-Box® input chords for my melody?

Yes, Band-in-a-Box® 2007 and higher have a feature that will create chord progressions that are based only on your Melody and a genre of your choice. This feature is called the Reharmonist, and can be accessed by pressing the button in the toolbar or by going to Window | Chord Reharmonist Dialog or Window | Auto-generate Chord Reharmonization.

Earlier versions of Band-in-a-Box® do not have this feature, however in Band-in-a-Box® 11 and higher there is a feature that will interpret chords from MIDI files. You could attempt to have Band-in-a-Box® figure out chords for your melody using this feature. To do this, you would first mute all of the tracks except for the Melody track, press the .MID button and save the file to clipboard, then go to File | Import Chords from MIDI file | [Use Clipboard]. Unfortunately though, a single line melody isn't a very good candidate for the MIDI file chord wizard. Band-in-a-Box® needs to have a bit more information in the MIDI file, for example a bass track and some sort of chording track such as piano accompaniment.

One thing you could consider doing is adding some notes to your melody to give Band-in-a-Box® something to work with. Go through your melody and add one or two notes below selected melody notes that you think "sound good" with your melody. After you have done this, save your song as a MIDI file and use File | Import chords from MIDI file as explained above. Of course, this isn't necessary if you use the Reharmonist.

45. Why don't the Styles that I just installed appear in the StylePicker window?

The BBW.LST file located in your main Band-in-a-Box® folder defines the list of PG Music styles in the StylePicker window. This file is updated when we release new styles so that the StylePicker window will recognize them. Update patches for any version of Band-in-a-Box® install the latest BBW.LST released with that version.

If your new styles do not show up in the StylePicker window, first try pressing the [Rebuild] button at the bottom of that window. If they still do not show up, here is what to do:

  1. Make sure you have installed the styles to your Band-in-a-Box® folder. This is usually C:\bb. Styles not installed to this folder will not be recognized by the StylePicker.

  2. Download and install the latest update patch for your version of Band-in-a-Box® from our Band-in-a-Box® for Windows Updates page. This will install the latest BBW.LST released with that version.

  3. Launch Band-in-a-Box®, open the StylePicker window, and press the [Rebuild] button. This will force Band-in-a-Box® to scan for new styles in the Band-in-a-Box® folder. (Note: Rebuild is done automatically in more recent versions of Band-in-a-Box® after you install new styles, but it doesn't hurt to do it manually as well).

  4. Check that 'Show all styles' is selected in the pull-down menus at the bottom of the StylePicker window (i.e. make sure you aren't filtering the StylePicker to only show certain styles).

The only reason that PG Music styles would not show up after you have done the four things above is if you purchased and installed a Styles Set that was released during a later version of Band-in-a-Box® than the version you have. In this case:

  • If you have Band-in-a-Box® 2008 or higher, download and install the latest update patch available for your version.

  • If you have Band-in-a-Box® 2007, download this bbw.lst file. Install this to your Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb).

  • If you have Band-in-a-Box® 2006 or earlier, download this bbw.lst file. Install this to your Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb).

    More information: Because of StylePicker improvements in 2008 and higher, the most current bbw.lst file (style description file) cannot be used with 2007 and earlier versions. These small downloads will install a bbw.lst file for Band-in-a-Box® 2007 or earlier that will recognize the styles released with later versions of Band-in-a-Box®. You would only need to download one of these files if you have an older version of Band-in-a-Box® (2007 or earlier) and purchased a newer styles set.

    If you do this, you may see some question marks in the StylePicker. This is normal, as some of the information in the StylePicker (such as Styles Set #, suggested tempo, and feel) is built into the Band-in-a-Box® program (not in BBW.LST). For example, if you have Band-in-a-Box® 2004 and purchased a Styles Set that was released during Band-in-a-Box® 2007, the styles will show up and work properly but there will be question marks where the Styles Set # would normally appear. Also, the Load Song Demo button will be inactive for those styles. You can instead load the song demos by opening the song files directly from any of the \bb\stylesxx folders.

Note: This FAQ topic is concerned with PG Music styles. You might have other styles from third parties, or styles that you have made; the BBW.LST file won't automatically recognize these styles, however they can be added to the StylePicker by creating one or more *.LS3 files. Band-in-a-Box® 2008 and higher will search for styles in the bb folder that aren't in BBW.LST; it will automatically create an *.LS3 file and add the styles to the 'Other Styles' category. Band-in-a-Box® 2007 and earlier don't have this feature.

46. My laptop doesn't have a number keypad. Can I still step-advance through the notes?

You can still step through your song note-by-note by using the Shift+Arrow Keys. Band-in-a-Box® 2004 also added a feature that allows you to use the regular keypad instead of the number keypad (numpad) for some hotkeys. You can enable this in Opt. | Preferences. If you have Band-in-a-Box® 2004, you will need the latest update patch for that version for this option to be available to you.

47. How do I enter more than 2 chords per bar in Band-in-a-Box®?

You can enter a maximum of four chords per bar - two chords per "cell"(first or second half of a bar). To enter two chords in the first or second half of a bar, simply separate the chords by a comma when you type them in. For example, type: Cmaj , Gm <enter>

48. How do I enable and disable the lead-in bars or count-in?

This is set in Opt. | Preferences | [Count-in/Met]. If you want to hear the count-in, make sure that "Allow Lead in Bars" is checked, along with "Play Lead In even if Intro Present," and "Audible lead in." Also, check that the volume is turned up (64 is the default). Uncheck these options if you don't want to hear the count-in.

49. Can I sync Band-in-a-Box® to an external MIDI source?

Band-in-a-Box® can only act as a 'master' by sending a simple 'song start' and 'song stop' message, and it also sends MIDI Timing Clock. It will send the sync info as long as 'Output sync/start info' is checked in Opt. | Preferences | MIDI Options. One other thing you can do is get Band-in-a-Box® to wait until it receives a MIDI note or pedal, or you press a key on your computer (qwerty) keyboard. This feature is found in Opt. | Preferences - 'Pause play until MIDI or key received'.

For additional MIDI sync features, you could open your Band-in-a-Box® file into RealBand (or PowerTracks Pro Audio), which is a dedicated MIDI sequencer. There is more information about those features in this FAQ topic.

50. Why do I hear the drums playing with a piano patch?

This is usually because your drum track is set to a non-drum channel. Most synths/sound cards use channel 10 as the drum channel. On the drum channel, each patch corresponds to a different drum kit, and each MIDI note corresponds to a different drum sound (for example, snare, bass drum, etc.). Very old synths might use channel 16 or another channel. Another possibility is that in the case of some Yamaha synths, you may need to disallow patch and/or bank changes.

Check under Opt. | Preferences | Channels and make sure that the drum channel corresponds to what your synth uses. You may need to check the documentation for your synth. You could also look under the Synthesizer / sound module menu in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog to see if your synth is listed there. When you select a synth from this menu and press [OK], Band-in-a-Box® will load a .DK file that matches your synth. This file will set up the GM patches, drum kit, and channels to what they should be for that synth. While this is not normally necessary for most modern synths, it may be necessary for some older and non-General MIDI synths. Additional .DK files can be downloaded from our website at http://www.pgmusic.com/support_miscellaneous.htm

If you have a Yamaha synth, try going to Opt. | Preferences | MIDI Options and deselecting "Allow patch changes".

51. Why does Band-in-a-Box® generate notes below low E (E2) on a bass?

You can set the lowest bass note in the Opt. | Preferences | Arrange dialog. If you have set your lowest bass note to E2, which is the default setting, Band-in-a-Box® will not play any bass notes below E2, with one exception: Band-in-a-Box® occasionally produces a short low bass note (usually an octave below the root) to simulate a muted bass note on the third triplet of a walking bass line. These short notes don't get displayed in notation, but do get played.

52. How do I raise or lower the volume of all but one track?

If you hold down the ALT or CTRL key while increasing the volume of a selected track, all of the other tracks will decrease in volume, and vice versa.

53. How do I set the right key or visually transpose the music for my non-concert instrument?

The key transpose box on the main screen of Band-in-a-Box® sets MIDI music you hear and the Notation key for viewing and printing at the same time. The 'Transpose' settings in the Notation Window Options dialog affect only the viewable and printable notes, while leaving the MIDI playback in the original key. This allows you to view proper notation for non-concert instruments, such as a tenor sax. Open the Notation Window and press the [OPT] button to open the Notation Window Options dialog. Beside 'Transpose', type in the number of semitones that you want the notation to be transposed. For example, if you have a trumpet, set it to +2. There are also some presets that you can select from the pull-down menu that may work for your instrument.

54. Why is my recorded audio (wave) track empty?

Most likely, your Windows Recording Control is not set up properly. To set it up properly, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Audio | Record Audio

  2. In the 'Record Audio' dialog, press the [Set Recording Properties] button. This should bring up the Windows Record Control Panel.

  3. Select or mute the device(s) you wish or don't wish to record from. ie: If you want to record from the Line in only, make certain just Line in is selected, or all the other devices are muted.

It's also possible that you don't have the correct audio driver selected. With Band-in-a-Box® 2010 or higher, there are two places you can choose your audio drivers, assuming you are using the MME audio driver type:

  • In Band-in-a-Box®: Opt. | Preferences | Audio | [Drivers].

  • In the Windows Control Panel: Multimedia (Win 98/ME), Sounds and Multimedia (Win 2000), or Sounds and Audio Devices (Win XP), in the Audio section. On Win Vista/7, Control Panel | Sounds.

Note that Band-in-a-Box® versions 2004 and earlier did not have the option of selecting your audio driver from within the program, audio drivers had to be selected from within Windows.

In Band-in-a-Box®, if you have "Microsoft Sound Mapper" selected as your audio driver, Band-in-a-Box® will use whatever is selected in the Windows Control Panel. If you have a driver *other* than the Microsoft Sound Mapper selected, Band-in-a-Box® will use that driver.

Note: You will need to restart Band-in-a-Box® if you change the audio driver in Windows.

See this FAQ topic for more information on selecting your sound card and setting up the Record Control panel.

55. Why does Band-in-a-Box® keep looping 4 bars over and over?

Most likely, you have enabled the Loop Screen feature in the Notation Window. Open the Notation Window and un-check LoopScn.

56. What is the difference between using "adjust level of audio (quick)" and "adjust level of wave file (permanent) to change the volume of the audio track?

These commands are found under the Audio menu | Edit Audio. The "quick audio adjust" just accesses the same setting that you get using the speaker icon (i.e. the soundcard's volume level). It doesn't affect the actual wave file. The permanent level adjust (in dB) actually affects the wave file itself.

If you set the quick adjust to zero and rendered your song to wave, the WAV file would still get rendered with a normal volume, but if you reduced the dB of it using the other command, it would be quiet.

57. How do I force an accidental, for example Eb to a D#, for easier reading?

Open the Notation Window and click the [N] button one time to get into editable notation mode. Right-click on the note that you want to change to bring up the 'Note Edit' dialog. This dialog allows you to edit specific parameters of any note, such as the time it begins, the duration, pitch, and volume (velocity). You can also use the 'Force Accidental' menu to select if you want the note to be displayed as a sharp or flat.

The main things that determine which accidental is used for any note are: The key of the song, the chord being played at that time, and whether you have 'Use chord scale for enharmonics' enabled or disabled in the Notation Window Options dialog.

58. How can I control Band-in-a-Box® from an external start switch?

To cause Band-in-a-Box® to wait to play until a MIDI key is received, go to Opt | Preferences and select 'Pause Play untill MIDI or Key received'. This could be your computer keyboard, an external MIDI keyboard, or even a wind controller or guitar synth.

59. Can I edit tracks other than the Melody and Soloist in Band-in-a-Box®? Why do the notes I just edited disappear when I press play?

Each time you press Play, Band-in-a-Box® re-generates all of the tracks except for the Soloist and Melody tracks. This means you'll get a fresh arrangment each time, and it will never sound exactly the same - similar to how real musicians play. However there are a few reasons you may not want the track to be re-generated; you may like the current arrangement more than previous ones, you might want the song to start faster, or you may have edited and fine-tuned some of the tracks in editable notation mode. In this case, you can freeze all or some of the tracks. To do this, either press the 'snowflake' button on the main toolbar, or go to the Play menu | Freeze track...

Note: Band-in-a-Box® 2009 and higher did not have a freeze feature. For more information on some approaches you could use with earlier versions, please see this FAQ topic.

60. Are Mac and PC versions of Band-in-a-Box® songs compatible?

Yes, Band-in-a-Box® songs are compatible between platforms, although you may have a problem if you try to use the newest styles with older versions of Band-in-a-Box®. There have been changes made to the way Band-in-a-Box® uses styles in the later releases. If both users are using the newest versions of Band-in-a-Box® for each platform there shouldn't be a problem. The Mac user will need to make sure the Band-in-a-Box® filename extension (mysong.xxx) uses capital letters, (e.g. mysong.MGU) in the name. Use a PC formatted disk, which can be read by both Mac and PC.

61. How can I adjust the volume of individual harmony parts?

In the 'Select Melody/Thru Harmony' dialog, select the harmony that you want to use and press the [Edit] button to open the 'Harmony Maker' dialog. This will allow you to edit the current harmony. You can adjust the Velocity boost ("V.Boost") for each voice. This allows you to increase or decrease the relative velocity (loudness) of each voice, to make the voice stand out more or less in the harmony.

62. How do I change keys in the middle of my Band-in-a-Box® song? Can I display more than one key signature?

To transpose to a new key in the middle of a song, you can use the Edit | TransposeFrom...to Dialog. To display the new key signature in the notation window, you can use the Settings for Current Bar dialog (press F5 at any bar).

63. What is the difference between "chord step advance" and "note step advance"?

When you step-advance through your song using the Ins and Del keys on the number keypad, Band-in-a-Box® will highlight either a single note or a group of notes depending on how close together the notes are. This is the "chord step advance" feature. You can tell Band-in-a-Box® how close the notes have to be to each other to be considered a chord; this is done in the 'Other Notation Options' dialog. Open the Notation Window Options dialog and press [More...]. For example, a high value for 'Chord separation' will force Band-in-a-Box® to consider a widely spaced group of notes to be a single chord. This setting can also be used to clean up the notation and get it to display the way you want. You can step through individual notes as well by using the "note step advance" feature. This is done using Shift+Arrow keys.

64. I accidentally deleted the BBW.LST file or messed it up. How can I fix it?

The easiest way is to install the latest update patch, which includes the latest BBW.LST.

65. I made a style with the StyleMaker that uses the bar mask feature, and some bars don't play or only play drums.

You should always have a 'generic' pattern as the first pattern of an instrument in a style. By generic, we mean a pattern with no masks on it, that will work for any chord. You've likely only created patterns with masks on them (for example, only play on a m7 chord, etc) and the style can't find any patterns to play in certain situations.

66. Why do the drums I record in my drum window sound like another musical instrument when I play them back?

All recording in Band-in-a-Box® is placed on the Melody (or Soloist) track. Even when instruments in the Drum window are played and recorded, they get placed on the Melody track. If you need to add drums this way to a Band-in-a-Box® song, you need to change the channel on the Melody track to channel 10, the drum channel. You can do this by going to Opt. | Preferences | Channels, and setting the Melody channel to 10.

One alternative is, after recording the drums, swap the Melody and Soloist tracks and change the Soloist channel to 10. You can swap tracks by clicking on Melody | Edit Melody Track | Swap Melody and Soloist. This way you can free up the Melody track for something else.

67. How do I control the MIDI sounds I hear when I record or play live along with Band-in-a-Box® from my MIDI keyboard?

What you play on a MIDI keyboard gets routed back to your sound card/synth on the THRU track, using the channel and instrument selected for the THRU track in Band-in-a-Box®. What you record, you hear while recording on the instrument selected for the THRU track in Band-in-a-Box®. When you play back what you have recorded, it gets played on the melody track. This is the track that affects which instrument you hear your tune in. If you add a Melody harmony, it will betriggered by the Melody track. If you add a Thru harmony, it will be triggered by what you play on your synth/keyboard on the THRU track channel/instrument.

68. Can I load an audio (.wav) file into Band-in-a-Box®?

In Band-in-a-Box® 2006 and higher, you can use the Audio | Import audio... menu item to do import a variety of different audio file types, including MP3, WAV, WMA, and CD Audio. This may be useful if you have a Wave file that you want to add audio harmonies to using the TC-Helicon feature. If you want to add the wave file as a track to your Band-in-a-Box® song, note that the wave file would need to have been recorded at a constant tempo, and you'd need to set that tempo in Band-in-a-Box® - otherwise the Band-in-a-Box® generated tracks will not line up with your wave file.

69. Nothing happens when I press the [Test WAV] button in the Render to Audio dialog.

If nothing at all happens when you press the [Test WAV] button, this means that Band-in-a-Box® is unable to find Windows Media Player on your computer. You should be able to resolve the problem by downloading and installing the latest version of Windows Media Player from Microsoft's website. If the problem persists, exit Band-in-a-Box® and test the rendered wave files manually with your preferred media player.

If Windows Media Player does come up and looks like it's playing, but you don't hear anything, you should see our tutorial on rendering songs to wave with Band-in-a-Box®.

70. How do I make a Custom Drum Kit in Band-in-a-Box®?

You can define a Custom Drum Kit in the StyleMaker by way of Style | Define Custom Drum Kit. Once in the Define Custom Drum Kit window...

  1. Check 'Enable Custom Drum Kit'.

  2. Select the drum part to change in the left hand field (0-17).

  3. Select the drum in the drop-down list (Click [Preview] to audition the drum sound).

  4. When pleased with the Custom Drum Kit, select [Save As..] to save it for future use (When saved, your Custom Kit will have a *.CDU extension).

To revert to the Standard Drum Kit, uncheck the Custom Drum Kit checkbox

71. How do I use repeats, 1st/2nd endings, and codas in Band-in-a-Box®?

We've written a tutorial on this subject.Click here to learn more.

72. When I try to install the program, I get the message "Setup is not a valid win32 application".

If you are trying to install a program that you downloaded, you might get this error if the download did not finish properly or the file is corrupt for some reason. Delete the file that you downloaded, restart the computer, and try downloading it again.

If you get the error when trying to install a program from a CD, your computer may be having trouble reading the CD.

  • First, try rebooting your computer and closing all running applications.

  • Examine the disc for large scratches and warping. If the disc is dirty, use a disc cleaning kit or wipe the disc surface with a soft, lint-free cotton cloth. Wipe from the center to outer edge of the disc, not in circles.

  • If possible, try the CD in another drive. If it works in another drive, the original drive may not be reading it properly.

If it appears that your CD is damaged, you may contact us about obtaining a replacement CD.

73. What can I do to improve my sound quality in Band-in-a-Box®?

Usually, this question is in reference to improving MIDI sound quality. Of course, one way of improving the sound of a MIDI track is to select a suitable RealTracks (audio) instrument for that track instead.

But to improve MIDI sound quality, it's first important to understand that Band-in-a-Box® itself doesn't actually generate the "MIDI" sounds you hear. Band-in-a-Box® writes the musical arrangements as a series of MIDI messages, and then sends the MIDI information to your soundcard or synthesizer to be played. MIDI is a standard developed in the early eighties to allow electronic instruments made by different manufacturers to communicate using a common language. The information that MIDI sends is simply an instruction to a device to perform a certain event. For example, if Band-in-a-Box® plays a middle C, it sends a message to your sound card that says 'turn on middle C'. When Band-in-a-Box® releases the note, it sends a message to the sound card that says 'turn off middle C'. So, the sounds that you hear are really generated by your sound card or MIDI module from instructions received by Band-in-a-Box®.

You choose what device Band-in-a-Box® sends MIDI information to by selecting your MIDI Output Driver in the Opt. | MIDI Driver Setup dialog. The sound you get from different MIDI devices can vary quite dramatically. Here are some ideas for how to improve your sound quality:

  • Use a DXi synth such as the Coyote Wavetable synth included with Band-in-a-Box®. Most modern computers have a MIDI output driver called the Microsoft GS Wavetable. This is a software synthesizer included with Windows. Instead of using this synth as your MIDI output driver, select the "Use DXi Synth" checkbox in the Opt. | MIDI Driver Setup dialog. This will open the DirectX/VST window, where you can select the VSC-DXi synth in the top pull-down menu (provided that it is installed on your computer. Not only will this be a dramatic improvement over the GS Wavetable, it will greatly simplify MIDI/audio sync and rendering.

  • Use other DXi or VSTi synths. There are other DXi or VSTi soft synths available, such as the Coyote ForteDXi and the TTS-1. You will want to use a synth that is General MIDI compatible. The Forte and TTS-1 are also good alternatives for 64-bit operating systems, which the VSC-DXi can't be installed on.

  • Use an external MIDI sound module / synthesizer. There are a large number and variety of MIDI modules on the market that you can connect to your computer via a MIDI interface. Sound quality and price varies widely, but in general, this will give you higher quality sounds than your sound card or a soft synth. Click here for a list of sound modules and MIDI interfaces that are currently available from PG Music Inc.

  • Check our User Forums for current suggestions from other Band-in-a-Box® users.

Of course, you will also benefit from a good amplified speaker system, rather than using the speakers that came with your computer.

74. What is the best way to enter a melody for the odd and compound time signature styles included in the "About Time" Styles Set?

The styles included in Styles Set 38 - "About Time" were created so that one bar of, say, 5/4 time, would fit into a single 4/4 bar in Band-in-a-Box® (To get 5/4 in other styles, it is necessary to spread it over two bars: one bar of 2/4 and one bar of 3/4).

Entering a melody for these styles is difficult using only your mouse in editable notation mode, since you need to divide the bar into the appropriate number of divisions and do calculations to determine where to put each note. The easiest way to do it is to record the melody using an external MIDI synthesizer. If you don't have an external MIDI synth, you can do the following:

  1. Make sure that the 'Wizard Playalong Feature' is enabled (check under the Play menu).

  2. Press Record (MIDI).

  3. While the song is playing, tap in the time of your melody on any key in the bottom two rows of your computer keyboard. Band-in-a-Box® will record what you are tapping. Don't worry about the pitch of each note right now. Just worry about getting the timing right.

  4. When you have finished recording, open the Notation Window in editable notation mode.

  5. With your mouse, drag each melody note vertically to the proper pitch.

75. When I generate repeats/codas/1st-2nd endings, why do the repeated bars have the wrong chords in them, or no chords at all?

First of all, you should understand that you can either view your song in "Fake sheet" mode or "Linear mode". This setting is found on the main Band-in-a-Box® screen underneath the song title window. If 'FakeSh' is checked (fake sheet mode), Band-in-a-Box® will visually hide all of the repeated bars. This makes your song more compact, and more pleasant to read and print out. If 'FakeSh' is unchecked (linear mode), Band-in-a-Box® will show every bar in your song in linear form, including all repeated bars. In other words, if you play your song while looking at it in linear mode, the cursor will move from top to bottom without jumping around at all. The bars that would be hidden in fake sheet mode are shown in light grey in linear mode.

When you use the 'Repeats\codas\1st-2nd endings' command, you need to tell Band-in-a-Box® if you want it to generate new bars for the repeat, or if you want it to use bars that are already in your song. In the 'Edit Repeats and Endings' dialog, if "generate (insert) new bars" is checked, Band-in-a-Box® will create as many new bars as are needed for the repeat, and will automatically insert the chords in those bars for you. If "generate (insert) new bars" is unchecked, Band-in-a-Box® won't create any new bars; it will use the bars in your song immediately following the section that you have told it to repeat.

For example, say you typed in the chords C - F - G - C in bars 1 through 4, and you want to tell Band-in-a-Box® to repeat this section so that it plays twice. You could do one of the following:

First Method

  1. Go to Edit | Repeats/codas/1st-2nd endings.

  2. Enter the following data...
    -Repeat begins at bar: 1
    -# bars in single repeat: 4
    -Repeat: 2 X

  3. Put a checkmark beside "Generate (insert) new bars".

  4. Press [OK-Make Repeat].

If you view your song in linear mode, you will see that Band-in-a-Box® has generated four bars for you (bars 5 to 8) with the chords C - F - G - C.

Second Method

  1. Before making the repeat, type the chords C - F - G - C in bars 5 through 8.

  2. Go to Edit | Repeats/codas/1st-2nd endings.

  3. Enter the following data...
    -Repeat begins at bar: 1
    -# bars in single repeat: 4
    -Repeat: 2 X

  4. Make sure there is no checkmark beside "Generate (insert) new bars".

  5. Press [OK-Make Repeat].

The final result is the same as the first method, but this time no new bars were created.

Notice that if you were to use the first method, but you left "Generate (insert) new bars" unchecked, bars 5-8 would be empty (no chord symbols). You would see this if you viewed your song in linear mode.

Note: Both the first or second method will work well for Repeats and 1st/2nd endings. for 1st/2nd/3rd endings, 1st/2nd/3rd/4th endings, and D.s/D.C al coda/fine, the second method should be used - in other words, type out your whole song in linear form first.

There is information about Band-in-a-Box® song structure in this FAQ topic, and there is a complete tutorial on entering repeats here.

76. I get a message that a MIDI driver is "...installed properly but currently in use by another program", even though there are no other programs open.

This error will often refer to "Roland VSC", "GS Wavetable", or "No MIDI/Sound Output". First, you will want to find out if you are using ASIO or MME drivers (Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup | [Audio Settings] - Audio Driver Type)

If you are using MME drivers and the error is referring to a driver other than the 'Roland VSC', see this FAQ topic instead.

If you are using ASIO drivers, you may get this error if there is a conflict between the ASIO driver and a (non-DXi/VSTi) software synth selected in your driver setup. This happens on some computers when using the ASIO4ALL driver. To resolve the problem, make sure that the GS Wavetable and other software synths aren't selected anywhere in your setup. In other words, select a driver other than a software synth in the Band-in-a-Box® MIDI Driver Setup dialog (output driver), and in the Windows control panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio (MIDI Playback). Usually if you are using an ASIO driver in Band-in-a-Box®, you will also be using a DXi/VSTi synth. Leave the "Use DXi Synth" box checked. You just need to select a different output driver, it won't affect the sound through your DXi synth. Ideally, select a driver for a hardware synth on your sound card or the MIDI OUT port on a MIDI interface.

If you are using MME drivers and the error is referring to the Roland VSC (the older stand-alone MIDI synth), see this FAQ topic instead.

77. Why do I get an Error Code 5 when I try to install Band-in-a-Box® upgrades or update patches?

The complete error message is: "An error occurred while trying to replace the existing file: DeleteFile Failed; code 5. Access is Denied". It also refers to a specific file in the error message box.

This happens if a file that the installer is trying to replace happens to be in use by the computer. Usually this happens because you have Band-in-a-Box® open while you are trying to install the upgrade. It could also happen if one of the PG Music font files is still in memory after closing Band-in-a-Box®.

Close Band-in-a-Box® and try installing the update again. If Band-in-a-Box® is closed and you are still getting this error, reboot your computer and run the installer after rebooting.

78. Access violations, error messages or no sound when using ASIO drivers in Band-in-a-Box®.

First, you may not have a specific need to use ASIO drivers in the first place, and in this case just use "MME" drivers (Opt. | Preferences | Audio - Audio Driver Type). One of the main reasons to use the ASIO driver type instead of MME in Band-in-a-Box®, is to allow low latency play-thru (live playing) from a MIDI keyboard when using a DXi or VSTi soft synth. Some 'higher end' sound cards also support some additional features when using their ASIO drivers, and it may provide a benefit when recording audio.

The downside is that because of the way ASIO is designed, it has the potential to cause more problems then MME, and it can take some tweaking to get a particular ASIO driver working properly with a particular application that the manufacturer may not have tested it with.

You can determine if it's an ASIO specific problem by selecting the MME driver type instead and seeing if the same problems occur. Here are some ASIO tips...

  • Make sure you don't have another audio application running at the same time as Band-in-a-Box® that is also using ASIO drivers. One characteristic of ASIO drivers is that they can only be used by one application at a time. If you try to use two different programs at the same time, you'll likely get no sound and a variety of different errors. If you need to have the two programs open at the same time, try using MME in Band-in-a-Box® and ASIO in the other application.

  • The buffer size / latency setting for the ASIO driver could be too low. One indication of this is audio glitches and stuttering. You'll need to open the ASIO Driver's control panel and increase this setting. You want to set it as low as you can (for good latency), but high enough so that you aren't experience any problems. It's probably best to start with a fairly high setting and lower it gradually as you use the program if you aren't having any problems. The latency is set in the ASIO driver control panel, not in any Band-in-a-Box® setting. You can often open the control panel by going into the Band-in-a-Box® ASIO Audio Driver dialog and clicking on the control panel button, however for some sound cards you'll need to close Band-in-a-Box®, and open the control panel separately to be able to change the buffer size.

  • Make sure you have installed the latest drivers available for your sound card. You should download the drivers from the manufacturer's website - don't think that a driver CD that came with your hardware has the latest drivers on it.

  • The free ASIO4ALL driver is a great substitute for your sound card manufacturer's ASIO driver, if you are having trouble with it. ASIO4ALL works very well on most systems and at the very least well give you low latency play-thru with a DXi synth. One thing you'll want to do is make sure that the Microsoft GS Wavetable isn't selected anywhere in your setup, since this can often conflict with ASIO4ALL.

  • Try changing processor scheduling to 'background services' - Right-click on My Computer and select Properties, then click on the Advanced tab (or click 'Advanced System Settings' on Vista and higher) and go to 'Performance Settings'.

  • You might try changing the 'ASIO always on' setting in the Band-in-a-Box® ASIO Audio Drivers dialog to OFF. The ideal setting is ON, because this allows low latency play-thru while the song is stopped, however it may cause problems with some drivers when always on. Also, try setting the resampler quality to Fast. Band-in-a-Box® plays audio at 44.1 KHz sample rate, but some ASIO drivers only support higher sample rates, so Band-in-a-Box® automatically resamples the audio to the native format of the ASIO driver. Fast will use less processing power.

79. I am having trouble playing the video tutorials.

If you hear sound but don't actually see the video while it is playing, or if you get an error message when you try to play it, you might not have the TSCC codec installed on your computer. Some of our videos use the TechSmith Screen Capture Codec. Click here to download the codec.

If you are having trouble playing videos on our website, see this SalesFAQ topic instead.

If you are still having trouble playing the videos for any reason, we suggest reinstalling Windows Media Player. This is easiest done by downloading and installing the most recent version of Windows Media Player for your operating system.

Note that If you have downloaded the video from our website, you will need to extract the file with a program such as WinZip. A trial version of WinZip can be downloaded from http://www.winzip.com. Windows XP has a built-in utility for extracting files. You should then be able to then play the file in Windows Media Player. If the video doesn't run automatically when you double-click on it, open Windows Media Player (Start | Programs | Accessories | Entertainment | Windows Media Player), and use the File | Open command to open the file.

80. How do I install Band-in-a-Box® upgrades?

The way you should install any Band-in-a-Box® upgrade is to install it to your existing Band-in-a-Box® folder. By default, this is C:\bb, however it is possible that you have previously installed Band-in-a-Box® somewhere else, or have moved/renamed the folder since installing. An easy way to check where you have Band-in-a-Box® installed is to right-click on the shortcut that you use to launch the program and select 'Properties'. However, the installer should normally be able to locate your 'Band-in-a-Box® folder location'.

With Band-in-a-Box® DVD's, you'll also need to choose your RealDrums and RealTracks folder locations. These are the folders where the 'Drums' and 'RealTracks' subfolders are located. It is normally best to choose your Band-in-a-Box® folder (i.e. C:\bb) for these, although you may have previously installed them somewhere else, for example on another hard drive with more space for the large audio files. The installer should normally be able to locate your Drums and RealTracks folders automatically, however in some cases it cannot, for example if you had manually copied and pasted the folders to a new custom location rather than installing them there.

With upgrades that you downloaded or got on CD (rather than DVD), you'll have separate installers for the RealDrums and RealTracks. The same information applies to these, except that you won't be selecting your Drums and RealTracks folders when you install Band-in-a-Box® itself.

Note that if you want your RealTracks files located in C:\bb\RealTracks, you select C:\bb as the RealTracks folder location, and similar with the Drums.

There is no harm in keeping a copy of your entire Band-in-a-Box® folder for the previous version as a backup, aside from the hard disk space it takes up. For example, if you are upgrading to Band-in-a-Box® 2014 from 2013, you could create a folder called bb2013, copy the contents of your existing bb folder to the bb2013 folder, then install the Band-in-a-Box® 2014 upgrade into your bb folder.

One thing to take into consideration if you are keeping a backup of your old folder, is the disk space required for the RealDrums and RealTracks. If you are getting low on hard disk space, you could backup all the files within the bb folder except for the Drums and RealTracks subfolders.

Another consideration with RealDrums and RealTracks is that some earlier versions of Band-in-a-Box® could only use wave files, while 2009 and higher can use compressed WMA files directly, not requiring the much larger wave files to be present. So if you are upgrading from 2007/2008 to 2014, you could delete the wave files to free up hard disk space - there is an option within the RealDrums and RealTracks Preferences dialogs to "Archive" the wave files. Note that you will need to have the WMA files, which will be present along with the wave files unless you had manually deleted them (in which case you would need to reinstall them).

81. How do I get my chord shortcuts to work?

You can create custom keyboard shortcuts to use when entering chords. For example, if you input the chord Maj9#11 frequently, you could set the single letter 'g' to be used as a shortcut to make it easier for you to enter this chord. You can use a file called "SHORTCUT.TXT" to specify your chord shortcuts:

  1. Create a text file using Notepad, or in Band-in-a-Box® go to Opt. | Utilities | Edit Chord Shortcuts File.

  2. Type the shortcuts you wish to use into this text file, with one shortcut per line. For example:

    g@maj9#11

  3. Save this file as SHORTCUT.TXT in the Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb). Make sure you correctly spell "SHORTCUT" if you created the file yourself, or it won't work.

  4. Either (1) go to Opt. | Utilities | Refresh Chord Shortcuts, or (2) close and re-open Band-in-a-Box®. This will allow Band-in-a-Box® to recognize your new shortcut.

Now if you type CG into the Chord Sheet window, Band-in-a-Box® will automatically enter a CMaj9#11.

82. I added repeats/1st-2nd endings/codas to my song, but can't get the music to print out with the repeats.

Follow these steps to print your song out with the repeat signs showing:

  1. Open the Lead Sheet window (Alt+W)

  2. Make sure the "Fakesheet" box is checked.

  3. Press [Print] *from the Lead Sheet window*.

83. When I add a harmony to my MIDI melody track, why are some of the melody notes not harmonized?

There are a couple of possibilities.

  • You may have added or recorded pitch bend data to the Melody track. The harmony routines are set to "not harmonize" when pitch bend data follows, since they would need to be bending those harmony notes as well. Modulation Wheel would have a similar effect. You can look in the event list window to see if these controllers are present. You can use the Record Filter in the Record Melody dialog if you wish to prevent specific MIDI messages from being recorded.

  • Some of the notes may have a very short duration. Band-in-a-Box® will only harmonize notes that are greater than a certain duration. You can set your own threshold:

    1. Go to Harmony | Melody Harmony (Select).

    2. Select the harmony of interest.

    3. Click the [Edit] button.

    4. Click the [More] button.

    5. Adjust the "No Harmony if duration is less than" setting.

    Note that this will modify the harmony permanently unless you change it back or reinstall Band-in-a-Box®. You can copy the harmony to one of the "empty" harmony slots and make your modifications there if you wish. That way you don't have to worry about modifying the factory harmonies. You should make a backup of the DEFAULT.HAR file located in the BB folder if you do this. That way, if the file is overwritten, you don't lose your custom harmonies.

84. Why do I get a "cannot make connection" error when I try to choose a plugin in the DirectX window?

That error means that Band-in-a-Box® was able to find the plugin listed on the system, but when it tried to 'make a connection' to the plugin, an error occurred.

There are a few possible reasons why this could occur.

  • If it is a VST plugin, make sure you are selecting the native version of the plugin. You need to add the VST plugin manually by using the 'Add VST plugin' item in the pull-down menu. Once you have added it, it will appear with angled brackets at the bottom of your list of plugins. If you see a VST plugin that does not show up with angled brackets, ignore that one.

  • A few (but not all) of the third-party-written plugins were coded as copy-protected and bundled with specific software (not PG Music Inc. software). Band-in-a-Box® can find them from Windows, since they are the right kind of plugin and they exist in the registry. But since Band-in-a-Box® doesn't know the 'secret handshake', the plugin declines an attempt to connect. You should check with the manufacturer that you obtained the plugin from to find out about this.

  • The plugin may have been installed/registered at some time in the past, but was later either deleted or moved on your hard drive. Windows thinks a plugin exists if there are proper entries in the registry. If the registry entry doesn't point to the real location of the plugin (because it was deleted or moved), an attempt to connect will fail. You should try uninstalling and reinstalling the plugin.

  • The DXi configuration file could have an error in it. With Band-in-a-Box® closed, delete the file DXiPluginList.ini from your Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb). If that doesn't help, try reinstalling Band-in-a-Box®. To make sure that your new installation is a fresh install, rename your \bb folder to \bb_old, and then reinstall Band-in-a-Box® to the \bb folder.

  • There may be something wrong/corrupted with the plugin, or for some reason it is compatible with some host the plugin writer tested with, but doesn't happen to be compatible with Band-in-a-Box®. Please contact us to let us know about plugins that do not seem to be compatible with Band-in-a-Box®.

85. Explain the different file extensions that Band-in-a-Box® uses for song files.

Band-in-a-Box® song files end in a ?G? file extension.

  • If the song has a melody, the extension begins with an 'M'. If the song doesn't have a melody, it begins with an 'S'.

  • The second letter of the extension is always a G.

  • The third letter refers to the style that the song uses. 1-9 and A-N refer to the original "built-in" styles (for example, ZZJAZZ.STY, ZZWALTZ.STY) and U refers to a "User" style (actually, any other style).

Example 1: MySongTitle.MGU

  • The M tells us that the song has a melody.

  • The G is always present in song names telling us that it is a song.

  • The U tells us that the style is a user style.

Example 2: MySongTitle.SG1

  • The S tells us that the song doesn't have a melody.

  • The G is always present in song names telling us that it is a song.

  • The 1 indicates that the song uses Style #1, which is Jazz Swing (ZZJAZZ).

Another song file you may encounter is MGX. This refers to songs that contain an entire MIDI file on the Melody track. For example, if you had used File | Open MIDI file (Band-in-a-Box® 2004 or later), or the MIDI file Style Wizard (Band-in-a-Box® 12 and later).

The song files are quite small. This means that you can store hundreds or thousands of songs without using up too much of your hard drive space.

86. How can I use the 101 Solo and Trio Intros in my songs?

The 101 Solo and Trio Intros are intended to be used as learning tools mainly, however it is possible to use them in your songs. For example, you could use one of the following two methods to start your song with one of the intros.

First method - start with one of the intros and build your song from that.

  1. Open one of the intros.

  2. Save the intro using File | Save As and type in a unique filename so you don't have to worry about modifying the original intro.

  3. If the Intro was an .MGX file (this tells you that the style was disabled), go to the Style menu and click on 'Style is enabled'.

  4. In the first bar, type in the same chord as is already there, followed by a period. This will 'rest' the chord.

  5. Highlight the first four bars, go to Edit | Copy Rests, and press OK.

  6. Change the number of choruses to 1. When asked if you want to "adjust melody to fit new # of choruses", click [Yes].

  7. Now frame your song (choose the number of bars and choruses you want in your song).

  8. Choose your style, key, type in your chords, etc.

Second method - import one of the intros into a song you already have.

  1. Open the Intro that you want to use.

  2. Transpose it into the same key as your song.

  3. Press .MID to save the song as a MIDI file. Save to Clipboard.

  4. Open the song you want to import the intro into.

  5. If you have already entered chords and melody without leaving space for the intro at the beginning of your song, you will need to use Edit | Copy (chords and melody), and set first and last bar of your chorus appropriately so that bars 1-4 are available for the intro. For example, you could set the first bar of your chorus to Bar 5 if you have more than one chorus. You will then be importing the intro into bars 1-4.

  6. Set the Melody track type to multichannel (Melody | Track type | Multichannel).

  7. In the first bar, type in any chord followed by a period. This will 'rest' the chord.

  8. Highlight the first four bars, go to Edit | Copy Rests, and press OK.

  9. Go to Melody | Edit Melody Track | Import Melody from Clipboard.

  10. In the Import MIDI File dialog, you may need to insert 1 blank bar at the beginning to get the intro to line up properly at the beginning of bar 1.

  11. Set 'How many bars to import?' to 4. Press OK.

Note that you may need to make minor adjustments to these instructions to get it to work properly for your specific situation.

87. When I try to apply audio harmonies to my song, I get the message "Error or Cancelled out of routine, error code=1".

This may occur if one of the folders that you have your song saved in has a period in its name. To resolve the problem, remove the period from the folder name or save your song in a different folder.

88. How do I access all of the patches available in the Roland VSC and VSC-DXi?

The Roland VSC has two modes.

  • GM2 mode gives you access to the 256 GM2 patches.

  • GS Mode gives you access to around 900 patches. This is the same sound set as in the SC88Pro Sound Canvas.

To choose the mode that you want to use, launch the VSC controller window and press either the GS or GM2 mode button (stand-alone version), or press the [Setup] button (DXi plugin version). To see a list of instruments included in GS and GM2 mode, click the [Help] button in the VSC, then click on 'Instrument List'.

Click here to download Roland VSC patch maps for Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTracks Pro Audio. The following two files are included:

  • Patches.ini: This is for PowerTracks Pro Audio. Rename the existing patches.ini file in your PT folder to patches.old (this keeps a backup of it), then copy the downloaded patches.ini to the PT folder. You will then be able to choose any patch on the VSC using the Select Patch dialog in PowerTracks. There are two patch lists - one for GM2 mode and one for GS mode.

  • Roland_VSC_(GSMode).PAT: This is for Band-in-a-Box®. Copy this file to your BB folder. You will then be able to select any patch on the VSC by doing one of the following:

    1. If you have the VSC set to GM2 mode: In Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup, under the GM2 Support menu, select 'General MIDI 2 support'. This will allow you to choose any of the 256 GM2 patches by simply using the Instrument pull-down menu or GM2 button on the main screen of Band-in-a-Box®. (.PAT file not needed for this)

    2. If you have the VSC set to GS mode: In Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup, under the GM2 support menu, select 'Roland GS'. To select one of the 900 patches supported in GS mode, click the [+] button or go to Opt. | Utilities | Choose patch from higher bank and choose the Roland_VSC (GS Mode).PAT file.

      Note: Band-in-a-Box® 2007 and higher include an updated Roland VSC patch map.

89. Can I use the Piano Roll Window to fade out all of the tracks in a song?

One way of doing this is to save your song as a MIDI file, import the file into a MIDI sequencer such as PowerTracks Pro Audio, and use the features in that program to enter dynamics

The Piano Roll Window in Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and higher now provides another way of adding dynamics from within Band-in-a-Box®. Here is what you can do if you want your song to fade out at the end. We will use a 50 bar song in our example, which you want to fade out starting at bar 40.

  1. Open the Piano Roll window and view the Melody track (you could use the Soloist track instead - it doesn't matter).

  2. Go to the Melody menu | Track type, and select 'Multichannel'.

  3. Find out what channels Band-in-a-Box® is using for this particular song. You can check this in Opt. | Preferences | Channels. For example, say your song uses the Bass, Piano, Drums, and Melody tracks. By default, Band-in-a-Box® assigns these to the following channels: Bass=2, Piano=3, Melody=4, and Drums=10.

  4. In the Piano Roll window, select 'Control' from the 'View/Edit' combo box. When you do this, the 'Controller Edit Type' combo box will appear. Choose '11 Expression MSB'.

  5. Select one of the channels you found in step 3 from the 'Chan' combo box.

  6. In the bottom pane of the Piano Roll window (the Graphic Event Editing area), draw a descending line starting at a value of 127 at bar 40, and ending at a value of 0 at bar 50.

  7. Reset the expression back to 127 at the end of your song with a single mouse click at the end of bar 50.

  8. Repeat steps 5-7 for each of the channels from step 3.

  9. Your song will now fade out from bar 40 to 50.

90. When I open the program, I get error messages such as "Can't find STYLE ZZJAZZ.STY", "No Guitarists will be available. Can't find DEFAULT.GIT", and/or "I/O error 103".

There are important files missing from your Band-in-a-Box® folder. This usually occurs if you don't install a Band-in-a-Box® upgrade into your existing Band-in-a-Box® folder. To resolve this problem, first find out where you have your previous version installed. By default, Band-in-a-Box® is installed in the BB folder on your hard drive, although it's possible you installed it somewhere else, or moved/renamed the folder. Wherever you have the previous installed, you want to install the Band-in-a-Box® upgrade into that folder. If you are installing Band-in-a-Box® on a new computer, you will need to start with a full "Pro" version or MegaPAK, then install the upgrade(s) over that.

91. After upgrading Band-in-a-Box®, I get a "no disk in drive" error when I try to launch the program.

You can resolve this by doing the following:

  1. Make sure Band-in-a-Box® is closed.

  2. Open your Band-in-a-Box® folder. This is usually C:\BB.

  3. Locate and delete the configuration file "intrface.bbw".

Note that this will return many preferences to the factory settings.

92. Why do I get an ".ST2 not found" message when I try to generate a solo?

This article is about MIDI Soloists, not RealTracks instruments/soloists.

Band-in-a-Box® may give you the following message when you attempt to generate a solo using the Soloist feature:"xxx.ST2 not found. Cannot write Solo. ST2 files are 'Soloist' files. They must reside in your (home directory)".

.ST2 files are Soloist databases. Each of the Soloists are set up to use one of the .ST2 files for solo generation, and if the .ST2 file is not present in your root Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\BB), then Band-in-a-Box® will give you the message above. The list of Soloists that you see in the 'Select Soloist' dialog is defined by the Default.SOL file. This file contains descriptions for all of the Soloists that are available for Band-in-a-Box® at the time of the release of the version you have; it isn't necessarily a list of only the Soloists that you have.

In Band-in-a-Box® 2007 and higher, the list is filtered to only show Soloists that are available (installed), but if you check the "show N/A" box, Band-in-a-Box® will show ALL soloists, even ones that aren't available.

Here are some specific reasons that Band-in-a-Box® might be giving you the error message, or a Soloist is showing up as N/A in Band-in-a-Box® 2007 and higher:

  • Band-in-a-Box® Pro and regular upgrades only include a basic set of Soloist databases (Soloist set 1), while the Band-in-a-Box® MegaPAK and MegaPAK upgrades include all Soloist databases that are currently available with the exception of the Artist Soloist Series (Andy Laverne and Jeff Lorber Soloists). If you purchased the "Pro" package and you are trying to select a Soloist that is not included in the Pro, you will get an "ST2 not found" error.

  • Soloists sets can also be purchased individually. If you have purchased and installed an individual Soloist set, and you get this error when trying to use one of the new Soloists, then you most likely didn't install the Soloist into the correct directory. They must be installed in your root Band-in-a-Box® directory. The solution is to reinstall the Soloist set, making sure to select the correct destination directory. If you are not sure where you have Band-in-a-Box® installed, right-click on the shortcut you use to open Band-in-a-Box®, select 'Properties', and look in the 'Target' field.

  • There are some Soloists that have recently been upgraded to use a more advanced and realistic sounding Soloist database not available in the Pro version. If you get a message saying something like "Wynt.ST2 not found" when you try to select a Soloist that you think *used to be available to you* in a previous version, do the following to set the Soloist back to its default database:

    1. In the 'Select Soloist' dialog, choose the Soloist of interest and press the Soloist Maker [Edit] button.

    2. Underneath where it says 'Choose ST2 database', click the [Default] button.

    3. Press OK. You should now be able to generate a Solo using this particular Soloist.

    Note: You should make a backup of the default.SOL file after making edits in the Soloist Maker. That way, if you need to reinstall Band-in-a-Box® at some point you won't lose all of your edits.

93. How can I return Band-in-a-Box® to the factory settings?

Band-in-a-Box® 2010 or higher uses the files listed below for configuration. If you want to restore Band-in-a-Box® to the factory settings, you can delete or rename these files. The next time you launch Band-in-a-Box®, new configuration files will be created. This can help solve or troubleshoot odd and unexplainable problems you are having with the program. The files are found in the root Band-in-a-Box® folder, usually C:\bb, and can easily be found by sorting the files in the bb folder by 'date modified'.

Important: You must have Band-in-a-Box® closed when you do this, or else it won't work.

We recommend renaming the files (rather than deleting them) or saving a copy of them somewhere else on your hard drive so that you have a backup of your old configuration. For example, you could rename intrface.bbw to intrface.old. Later, if you find that you need to restore your previous settings, you can delete the new intrface.bbw file that Band-in-a-Box® will have created, and rename intrface.old to intrface.bbw. Note that Band-in-a-Box® 2009 and higher have an easier method of saving your settings, which wouldn't require you to save a copy of your intrface file. You can simply go to the Opt. menu and select Save Preferences As. Later, you can reload those preferences by selecting Opt. | Open Preferences.

An alternative way of restoring all factory defaults, is to simply reinstall Band-in-a-Box® to a new folder. One way of doing this is to rename your current Band-in-a-Box® folder to '\bb_old', then reinstall the program to the default '\bb' folder. Note that reinstalling Band-in-a-Box® to the SAME folder will not return the program to factory settings, because Band-in-a-Box® doesn't change the configuration files when you reinstall it.

  • intrface.bbw. This file contains most of the global Band-in-a-Box® settings in the Opt. | Preferences dialogs, and a list of the most recently accessed song and style files.

  • MySetup.DK. This file contains the settings in the following dialogs.:
    Opt.| Preferences | Channels (default MIDI channels, patches, volumes, reverb, chorus, bank)
    Opt. | Preferences | Patch Map
    Opt. | Preferences | Drum Kit
    Opt. | Utilities | Make an Advanced Patch Map
    Opt. | Preferences | Fav. Patch

The two files above contain most of your program settings; it is USUALLY only necessary to delete those two files to solve most problem. Other settings files include:

  • DEFAULT.ALI. This file contains the information in the Styles | Style Aliases dialog.

  • BBToolBar9.INI. This file contains your main toolbar setup.

  • DXPluginList.ini. This file has the name and location of the DirectX audio plugins that Band-in-a-Box® has found on your computer.

  • DXiPluginList.ini. This file has the name and location of the DXi synthesizers that Band-in-a-Box® has found on your computer.

  • VSTiPluginList.ini. This file has the name and location of the VSTi plugins that you have added to your plugin list. This file won't be present unless you have added VSTi plugins.

  • VSTPluginList.ini. This file has the name and location of the VST audio plugins that you have added to your plugin list.

  • DX Settings/DefaultDXiSynth.tgs (this is in the 'DX Settings' folder). This file stores the current DXi plugin configuration.

  • DX Settings/DefaultDXAudio.tgs (this is in the 'DX Settings' folder). This file stores the current DX plugin configuration.

  • $Drumz.cfg. This file contains your Drum Window settings.

  • $MIDIMON.cfg. This file contains your MIDI Monitor settings.

  • Tuner.cfg. This file contains your Guitar Tuner settings.

  • F32I.BIN. This file stores the song and style Favorites window setups.

  • SongListTemp4.BIN. You will find this file in any folder that you created a song list for (ie, when you press the [Song] button in Band-in-a-Box®). It contains a description of the song files in that folder.

  • Default7BBC.

  • BBW_Sty.LSW. Stores information about the StylePicker list (styles).

  • BBW_Cat.LSW. Stores information about the StylePicker list (categories).

  • a_Found.LS3. Stores information about the StylePicker list (other custom and third party styles found in the bb folder).

  • DrumFolderNames.txt. Stores information about RealDrums you have installed.

Note:

  • There is also a menu item within Band-in-a-Box® to return many settings to their factory defaults (Opt. | Return to Factory Settings). This will not necessarily return ALL settings to factory like deleting the files listed above will.

  • An easy way to find the configuration files in the bb folder is by sorting the files by 'date modified'. The configuration files will usually be the most recently modified, so will appear at the top.

  • Some of the files listed above will not necessarily be present. For example, if you haven't ever used the guitar tuner, you will not find Tuner.cfg in the bb folder.

94. Why do I get a File I/O error when I try to open or rebuild a song list?

This means that either Band-in-a-Box® is unable to read one or more of the songs in the folder, or Band-in-a-Box® is unable to read or modify an existing SonglistTemp4.BIN file. Band-in-a-Box® uses the file SongListTemp4.BIN to define the song list for a particular folder. This file is stored in the folder with your song files. One or more of the solutions below should resolve the problem.

  • A File I/O error may occur if the SongListTemp4.BIN file was somehow marked as 'read-only' after it was created. One way this may have occurred is if you had changed the properties of the folder in question to read-only, and said 'Yes' when asked if you wanted to apply the changes to all subfolders and files. Right-click on the folder and select Properties. If Read-only is checked, uncheck it and click [Apply]. If you are asked if you want the changes to apply to all subfolders and files, say yes. If you have multiple song folders, you should change the properties of the folder at the "top level"(the folder that contains all of your song folders within it).

  • You may be able to resolve the problem by simply deleting the SongListTemp4.BIN file from the folder you are having trouble with.

  • If you have Windows 2000 or XP Professional, one possibility is that an administrator on the computer has changed the permission settings for the folder(s) containing your songs to disallow read or write access. If you are logged on as an administrator, you can check the security and permissions settings by right-clicking on the folder, selecting properties, and clicking on the Security tab.

95. "Can't find winprint.drv" error when trying to print.

To resolve this problem:

  1. With Band-in-a-Box® closed, go to the Start menu | Printers and Faxes (Windows XP), or Start | Settings | Printer (Windows 98/ME/2000).

  2. If you have more than one printer installed, check to see if the printer that you want to use with Band-in-a-Box® is set as your default printer. If not, set it as your default by right-clicking on it and selecting 'Set as default'.

  3. Now set any other printer as your default printer.

  4. Next, set the printer that you want to use with Band-in-a-Box® as your default printer (again).

  5. Open Band-in-a-Box®. You should be able to print now.

96. When I play my external MIDI keyboard, why don't I hear the sound through my selected DXi or VSTi synth?

The answer depends on whether you are using the MME or ASIO audio driver driver type. Check this in Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup | [Audio Settings].

MME: In the MIDI Driver setup dialog, there is a setting to 'Route MIDI Thru to MIDI Driver'. If this is checked, then the thru part - in other words, what you play on your MIDI keyboard - will always be routed to the MIDI driver rather than the DXi synth. This allows you to avoid the higher latency (delay between when you press a note on your keyboard and when you hear the note play) of software synths, provided you are able to select a low latency MIDI driver (hardware synth, rather than soft synth). If you have this setting unchecked, then the thru part will be routed to the DXi synth during playback.

ASIO: The thru part will always be routed to the DXi synth during playback. If you have the 'ASIO Always On' setting checked in the ASIO Audio Drivers dialog (Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup | [Audio Settings] | [Audio Drivers]) then the thru part will also be routed to the DXi synth even while playback is stopped. ASIO drivers allow you to get much lower latency with DXi/VSTi soft synths.

A note about earlier versions of Band-in-a-Box®: Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and earlier did not support ASIO audio drivers. Band-in-a-Box® 2006 and earlier did not have the MME setting 'Route MIDI Thru to MIDI Driver'.

97. How is pitch bend data transmitted and interpreted by a MIDI synth?

A Pitch bend message is encoded with two 7-bit data bytes (as per the MIDI spec). All MIDI data bytes have a range of 0 thru 127. The MIDI status bytes all have values between 128 and 255, so it is illegal to send data bytes bigger than 127, or they will be misinterpreted as status bytes (note on, note off, controller, etc). So if you want to encode values bigger than 127, the MIDI spec uses two or more data bytes. Pitch Bend uses two data bytes. The 7 bits of the MSB (most significant byte) and the 7 bits of the LSB (least significant byte) are combined to make a 14 bit possible range of values. Fourteen bytes can count from 0 thru 16383. A Pitch Bend of zero is considered to be halfway up in that range, so most software subtracts 8192 from the 'true 14 bit value' to display the pitch end value. That's why most programs, including Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTrack Pro Audio, display the pitch bend range -8192 thru +8191.

There is a pitch bend range controller message that tells a synth how far to stretch a note in response to pitch bend messages. Many synths have a front-panel setting for that if you push enough buttons. The most common setting is +/- 2 semitones, which is the GM standard, but some synths have a default of +/- 3 semitones, and some guitar controllers/synths use +/- 12 semitones. You should probably set the synth to a pitch bend range of +/-2 if you want to play third party files. The pitch bend data is the same number range in all cases (0 thru 16383), but the synth just stretches its pitch a different interval in response to the pitch bend data.

Some synthesizers may ignore the LSB in Pitch Bend messages, and only have 256 actual pitch bend locations. Even if a synth doesn't transmit or receive the LSB, that data value is just treated like it is zero. So if you had a controller that only sends 128 pitch values, the received numbers (if you slowly move the pitch bend wheel up) would be 0, 128, 256... on up to 8191. If you slowly move the pitch bend wheel down, the received numbers would be 0, -128, -256, on down to -8192. A synth which ignores the LSB would pretend that the LSB is always zero, regardless of what value the sequencer is actually transmitting.

Both Pitch Bend data bytes are encoded in each single Pitch Bend message. The MIDI spec also provides for higher-resolution of other controllers if you send two consecutive messages. It is questionable how many synths can respond to hi-res information. The first 32 controllers are MSB's, and the next 32 controllers are LSB equivalents. For instance, in theory you could transmit continuous values 0 thru 16383 for controller 1, if sending message pairs of controller 1 for the MSB, and controller 33 for the LSB. The trick would be finding a synth that does something other than ignore controller 33.

98. Error message: "Canvas does not allow drawing"

This may occur on Windows 98 and ME with Band-in-a-Box® 2004 or higher, or PowerTracks Pro Audio 9 or higher. It most likely means that your system resources are low.

You should be able to resolve the problem by closing programs you are not using and/or restarting your computer to free up resources. If you continue to experience problems, close background programs before running the program. On Windows 98/ME:

  1. Press Ctrl-alt-del to bring up the Close Program dialog.

  2. Click on each item listed in the window, except for "Explorer" and "Systray", and press [End Task]. You have to do this one item at a time. When you are finished, only Explorer and Systray should appear there.

  3. Try running Band-in-a-Box® again.

There are some additional suggestions for freeing up system resources in this FAQ topic.

99. Can I print out multiple verses or lines of lyrics on the same lead sheet?

Band-in-a-Box® 2007 and higher support printing additional verses of lyrics in a 'text block' at the end of your lead sheet. To do this, simply open the Lead Sheet window, press the [Memo] button, and type in your lyrics.

Band-in-a-Box® (2005 and higher) also supports multiple lines of lyrics in the Lead sheet window and printout. If your song has repeats, 1st-2nd endings, or multiple verses of lyrics, multiple lines of lyrics can be displayed so you'll see all verses on the same lead sheet. Here are the basic steps for entering multiple lines of lyrics:

  1. Type your lyrics using Note-based Lyric entry mode in the Notation Window. The Notation Window shows your whole song in linear form, including all choruses and repeated bars. You must use Note-based lyrics, and not Line-based lyrics.

  2. Open the Lead Sheet window and make sure that "Fake Sheet Mode" is enabled.

  3. Click the [OPT] button to open the Lead Sheet Options dialog and make sure that "Fake Sheet displays multiple lines of lyrics" is checked. Press [OK].

  4. Press [Print] from within the Lead Sheet Window.

You should now be seeing your multiple lines/verses of lyrics in the Lead Sheet window and on your printed lead sheet. If you are having trouble, note the following:

  • If any four bar line of lyrics is *exactly* the same as the four bar line or lyrics at the same bar in the previous chorus/repeat, it will not be displayed. This is intentional. If you want it to be displayed, modify one of the lines of lyrics so that it is slightly different - for example, you could add a space or hyphen (-) somwhere.

  • You must print *from the lead sheet window* for "Fake Sheet Mode" printing. If you press [Print] from the Notation Window or use File | Print, the printout will be in linear (non-Fake Sheet) mode and multi-line lyrics will not be displayed.

100. Error message when trying to close Band-in-a-Box®: "Cannot create file ... BBToolBar8.INI"

This error message means that Band-in-a-Box® does not have permission to write or modify this configuration file. This may happen if the file is marked as read-only, or if you do not have "write" access to the Band-in-a-Box® folder. The exact reason *why* Band-in-a-Box® doesn't have permission can be a result of a few different things. Also, if you are getting an error like this, you are most likely getting other errors whenever a file needs to be saved in the bb folder.

Windows Vista and 7

There are a few things that can affect this - (1) whether you are logged on as an administrator or standard user, (2) whether User Account Control is enabled, (3) where you have Band-in-a-Box® installed, (4) whether you are running the program from an external USB hard drive or from your internal hard drive.

There are a number of possible solutions, but in general here is what you should do:

  1. First you should nstall the latest build for your version of Band-in-a-Box®.

  2. If you are running Band-in-a-Box® 2009 from an external hard drive that you purchased from PG Music, download and install the Band-in-a-Box® 2009 Hard Drive patch for Windows Vista and 7. This should resolve the problem completely without having to do anything further. This patch would not be applicable to Band-in-a-Box® 2010 or higher.

  3. If you happen to have Band-in-a-Box® installed in the C:\Program Files folder, you might consider moving it somewhere else to avoid any complications that might be caused by folder virtualization. For example, C:\My Music Programs\bb.

  4. As long as you have done the above three steps, you shouldn't still be experiencing this problem. If you are, you could run the Band-in-a-Box® program as an administrator. To do this, right-click on bbw.exe (or the shortcut you use to open Band-in-a-Box®) and select 'Run as admin'. Or to set it permanently, right-click on it | Properties | Compatibility | Run as admin.

  5. Disabling User Account Control would also resolve the problem. This is done in Control Panel | User Accounts... On Windows 7, the 'entirely off' setting is most applicable. If you prefer not to disable User Account Control (UAC) then you can do one of the fixes above.

Windows XP and earlier operating systems

Try right-clicking on the Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb), and selecting Properties. Make sure "read-only" is unchecked, and press [Apply]. You may be asked if you want the changes to apply to all subfolders and files - yes.

If that doesn't resolve the problem, you may be running Band-in-a-Box® on Windows 2000 or XP Pro under a limited (non-administrator) account, and have it installed in a location where you do not have "write" access to the Band-in-a-Box® folder. One solution is to move the Band-in-a-Box® folder to a different location where you DO have permission. Another solution is to log onto the computer as an administrator and change the security settings for the Band-in-a-Box® folder. For instance, on Windows XP Professional, you would:

  1. Right-click on the Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb) and select Properties.

  2. Click on the Security tab.

  3. Select the Group or User name that pertains to the limited account you are running Band-in-a-Box® on.

  4. In the Permissions window, make sure that "write" access is not denied for that group.

  5. Press [Apply].

Band-in-a-Box® should now work properly under the limited account(s). Note that the the steps above for changing security settings apply to Windows XP Professional, but not to Windows XP Home edition. Windows XP Home doesn't give you the same control over permissions for individual user accounts, because "Simple File Sharing" is always enabled. For limited users, you may need to copy the bb folder to the Shared Documents folder. All user accounts can read and modify any folders or files that are in the Shared Documents folder. For more information, right-click on a folder, select 'Sharing and Security', and click on the 'Learn More' link in that dialog. There is a way you can disable simple file sharing on Windows XP Home, however that is beyond the scope of this article.

101. The chord symbols in my song don't show up when I save the song as a MIDI file and import it into another program.

The standard MIDI file specification doesn't include a universal way to embed this type of information, so the chord names are stored in the MIDI file from PowerTracks Pro Audio and Band-in-a-Box® as 'manufacturer specific' MIDI META-events. The chord symbols will show up in all PG Music Inc. programs that display notation. Note that if you load a .MID file that contains these META events into a non-PG Music Inc. program/sequencer, and re-save the file, the META event (i.e. Chords) will not be saved into the new file.

102. Error message: "Your current drum kit has no bass drum note assigned".

Symptoms

You get one of the following error messages when you try to play a song:

  • "Warning: Your current drum kit has no bass drum note assigned".

  • "Warning: Your current drum kit has no snare drum note assigned".

Solution

One possibility is that you have modified your drum kit, but you did not assign a MIDI note number to one or more of the drum sounds. Go to Opt. | Preferences | Drum Kit, and check to make sure that none of the drum sounds have been assigned to "0". For General MIDI drum kit definitions, the default note number for the Bass drums is 35, and the default note number for the Snare drums is 38. Assuming that you are not using a non-General MIDI synth, you can set the bass and snare drums to those values.

Another way to resolve the problem is to close Band-in-a-Box® and delete the file MySetup.dk from your Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb). Note that this will return some settings back to factory defaults. See this FAQ topic for information on which settings are affected by this file. If you have previously modified/customized any of these settings, you should make a backup of your .dk file before deleting it.

103. When I render a song to wave, why do I not hear my audio track in the rendered wave file?

There are three methods you can use to render your song to wave:

  1. You can record the MIDI performance in real time as a stereo .WAV file ("Re-Render to WAV file").

  2. Rarely used anymore: You can "Direct Render" the performance to .WAV using the RolandED VSC-3 ("Render [Save WAV] w/Roland VSC").

  3. You can Direct Render to WAV using a DXi synth ("DXi-Direct Render [save WAV file]")

We have a tutorial explaining in detail how to render MIDI to wave using each of these methods. This also covers the most frequently encountered problems. Click here to read this tutorial.

If you have recorded an audio track with your Band-in-a-Box® song (for example, you may have used a microphone to record a vocal track), Band-in-a-Box® can merge the audio track with your rendered wave file. If you do not hear the audio track when you play the rendered wave file, or if it plays back at the wrong speed, here is what you need to do:

  • First, make sure you have the latest update patch for Band-in-a-Box® installed. You can check your exact version by going to Help | About Band-in-a-Box®. Update patches for Band-in-a-Box® can be downloaded here. If you have an earlier build than the latest available, download and install the update patch. In some earlier versions of Band-in-a-Box®, *stereo* audio tracks were merged at the wrong speed (you can check to see if your audio track is stereo or mono by going to Opt. | Preferences | Audio). There were some other improvements to the "merge audio" routines that improved compatibility on certain systems and added a progress indicator to the Band-in-a-Box® title bar.

  • In the Render to Audio File dialog, make sure that "Merge in Audio Track" is checked. Also, if the problem is that the audio track volume is too low relative to the MIDI, use the "Adjust Audio Track volume by" setting to correct this. For example, a setting of 6 dB would make the audio track twice as loud.

  • If you are using method 1 or 3 to render your song to wave, the audio track will be merged automatically at the end of the rendering process. While this is happening, you should see a progress indicator in the main Band-in-a-Box® title bar showing the percentage of the audio merge complete. If you are using method 1 (Re-Render to WAV file), you *will not* hear your audio track while the song is being rendered. It will be merged at the end.

  • If you are using method 2 (Render [Save WAV] w/Roland VSC), the audio track *is not* merged automatically, since this feature uses the Audio Conversion utility in the Roland VSC-3, and that utility does not merge audio. You must merge the audio track manually after audio conversion is complete by pressing the [Merge Aud.] button and selecting the rendered wave file. You could also install the DXi version of the VSC and use DXi-Direct Render instead.

Please note: If the problem is that you can hear the audio track in the rendered wave file, but *not* the original MIDI tracks, see this FAQ topic.

104. When I render a song to wave, why does the rendered wave file play back silently or with only the audio track?

There are three methods you can use to render your song to wave:

  1. You can record the MIDI performance in real time as a stereo .WAV file ("Re-Render to WAV file").

  2. Rarely used anymore: You can "Direct Render" the performance to .WAV using the RolandED VSC-3 ("Render [Save WAV] w/Roland VSC").

  3. You can Direct Render to WAV using a DXi synth ("DXi-Direct Render [save WAV file]")

In this particular case, you almost certainly used method 1, but you didn't select the correct input in the Record Control panel. Therefore, you have recorded a wave file that has nothing in it. Click here to read our tutorial about rendering to wave and follow the instructions there for method 1 to resolve the problem. Alternatively, use one of the other two methods to render your song to wave.

Note that the goal (for method 1) is to get your sound card to record what's being played by the MIDI Output device you have selected in Band-in-a-Box®. Usually this is a simple matter. You may be getting your sound card to record its MIDI synthesizer (as is the case for sound cards that have a built-in MIDI synth) or you may be getting your sound card to record its audio output (if you are using a software synth that uses the audio portion of your sound card).

With some sound cards and audio interfaces (for example some M-Audio, Terretec, and Tascam cards) you may need to connect an audio cable from the audio ouputs to the inputs on that sound card. If you are not sure how to do this, consult the documentation for the card or contact the manufacturer to find out how you can get the sound card to record itself. It may be helpful for you to understand how the Windows sound card mixer works, and how to select your audio input and output drivers. See this FAQ topic for more information on this.

105. In the StyleMaker, what is the difference between a drum grid pattern and a live drum pattern?

There are two types of drum patterns - (1) patterns that you input into the drum grid editor, and (2) "live" drum patterns that are imported from MIDI files, usually after having been recorded using an external synth/drum machine.

Many of the newer Band-in-a-Box® styles use live drum patterns, which are identified in the main StyleMaker window with a red outline around the pattern. To edit an existing live drum pattern, select the pattern and click on the Notation button to open the StyleMaker Pattern Editor. You will notice that each different MIDI note is for a different drum sound. Live drum patterns cannot be edited using the drum grid editor.

To record a new live drum pattern, you must first record the drums outside the StyleMaker. You can use either Band-in-a-Box® or a MIDI sequencer such as PowerTracks Pro Audio. Save the recording as a MIDI file, then use the Pattern | Import Pattern from MIDI file command to import it into the StyleMaker.

Note that by default all drum patterns are 4 beat (1 bar) patterns but you can specify any live drum pattern to be an 8 beat (2 bar) pattern by checking the "2 bar pattern OK" box in the Pattern Options dialog.

106. My volume, reverb, chorus, and pan settings are not saving with my songs.

The Volume (Controller 7), Reverb (Controller 91), Chorus (Controller 93), and Pan (Controller 10) settings saved with your song are sent to your MIDI device when you load the song into Band-in-a-Box®, or when you change the settings while the song is loaded. You set the volume, reverb, chorus, and pan for any part (Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar, Strings...) in the control panel at the top of the main Band-in-a-Box® screen. For example, to change the volume for the bass part, select the 'Bass' radio button and adjust the volume control.

Check the File | Save Song with Patches & Harmony dialog to make sure the appropriate boxes are checked. (By default, all settings will be saved with the song).

In some cases, your volume settings may not "stick". This is a style specific problem. It can occur with a limited number of styles if Volume Changes are enabled in the Style. In this case, the style is sending a Volume (Controller 7) message when you press Play, which is causing your volume setting to revert to the default volume for the style.

There are two things you can do. The first is to edit the style (Styles | StyleMaker | Edit Current Style), press the [MISC] button, and uncheck "Allow Volume Changes with Style". Note that this is a permanent change to the style. You may want to make a backup of the style before changing it. The second option is to go to Opt. | Preferences | MIDI Options, and uncheck "Style Volume Changes". This may not be desirable because it is a global setting and may have other unintended effects.

Another possible source of confusion may be if you are trying to set the "Master Volume", using Ctrl+Alt+D, or the "Combo" part. This function sets every part to the same volume, so you normally wouldn't use it if you are adjusting the relative volumes of the parts.

If you are experiencing unwanted volume changes, a good way to troubleshoot the problem is to open the MIDI Monitor, filtered to show only controller 7.

If you are having trouble saving patches with your song, see this FAQ topic.

107. Can I get Band-in-a-Box® to display more realistic guitar tab and correct fingerings in the Fretboard Window?

For the most realistic representation of a guitar part in the Notation Window (tab) and Guitar Fretboard window, the MIDI note data needs to be on multiple channels. Usually, channel 11 is used for a note that should be played on the 1st string, channel 12 is used for the 2nd string, and so on up to channel 16. If multiple channels are not used, there is no way for Band-in-a-Box® to know for sure which string each note is supposed to be played on. Band-in-a-Box® will do its best to figure this out and this will be adequate in many cases, but you may find some places where a "live" musician would use a different string.

Most Band-in-a-Box® styles use multi-channel note data for the guitar part; when you use these styles, Band-in-a-Box® will display the guitar part intelligently (how a real musician would be most likely to play it). This is because the guitar patterns have either been recorded by a human using a MIDI guitar controller, or guitar macros have been used in the style. If you have entered a melody into Band-in-a-Box® and you are finding that it doesn't display as intelligently as you want it to, this is because it doesn't have multi-channel note data. You can change your Melody track into a guitar-type track by going to the Melody menu | Track Type, and selecting 'Guitar'. This will show you tab, but will not modify any of your note events. You would need to either use a MIDI guitar to record your melody, or go through each note one at a time by right-clicking on the note in editable notation mode and editing the channel used by the note.

Another thing you can do is to enter the melody by opening the Guitar Fretboard window and clicking on the strings. This will input the notes into the notation window as long as (1) you are in editable notation mode, and (2) you have 'Send Notes to Notation Window' checked in the Guitar Fretboard Settings window. You need to move to the position in the Notation Window where you want each note to be inserted.

108. Why does the Melodist generate notes outside the "Melody Note Range" specified in the Melodist editor?

Band-in-a-Box® will use notes outside of the specified range (within about an octave) so that a more natural melody line can be created. The intention is not to get Band-in-a-Box® to stick precisely to the specified range. If you want, you can manually edit any of the notes that are created by the Melodist.

109. Why do I hear a buzz or hum when my computer is connected to an external speaker system?

This could be caused by a "ground loop". This happens when the ground on your computer and the ground on your external amplifier have a difference in potential. If you are using a laptop with a 3 prong plug and are connected to AC power, try unplugging the power cord (use battery power) and see if you still hear the buzz. If not, chances are you have a ground loop. You may be able to use an isolation transformer or even just a 3 prong to 2 prong adaptor to resolve the problem. There may be safety issues to consider, so you should consult a technician or the computer manufacturer for more specific advice.

110. How do I get a simple metronome or click track in Band-in-a-Box®?

Go to Opt. | Preferences | Count-in/Met. to open the 'Count-in and Metronome Options' dialog. The three settings for the audible metronome are 'None', 'During Record', or 'During Record and Play'. The option for a metronome during playback (Record and Play) is useful if the drums are muted, or for students learning to count beats. If you want to record melodies without any accompaniment, you can use one of the blank styles: BLANK.STY (even 4/4), BLANK34.STY (even 3/4), BLANKSW.STY (swing 4/4), or BLANK3SW.STY (swing 3/4).

Alternatively, download this "click-track" style. This style has a rim shot on each beat with beat one accented, and no guitar, bass, strings, or piano. You should place this style in your bb folder, and it can be accessed by pressing F9 (Load User Style).

111. Why are there multiple instances of a single driver showing in my MIDI Driver Setup window?

Other symptoms: You might also get a message saying that a driver is "...installed properly but currently in use by another program".

Band-in-a-Box® is having trouble making the proper connection to one or more MIDI devices that are installed on your computer.

  • If you have a MIDI interface installed and connected to an external synth, make sure the interface is connected to your computer and the synth turned on before you start Band-in-a-Box®.

  • One of the Band-in-a-Box® settings files may have become corrupt. Close Band-in-a-Box® and delete the file "intrface.bbw" from your bb folder. Note that this will return many program settings to their factory defaults and Band-in-a-Box® will create a new intrface.bbw file the next time you run it. You may wish to make a backup of this file before deleting it so you can restore your previous settings if this suggestion fails to resolve the problem.

  • If the previous suggestions didn't help, there is most likely a problem with the way one of your MIDI devices is installed. Try reinstalling the drivers for your sound card and MIDI interface, and uninstall any old MIDI devices that you aren't using.

One of the most frequent causes of this problem that we encounter is an improperly uninstalled Yamaha USB interface. Sometimes the uninstaller fails to remove a registry entry, which confuses Band-in-a-Box®. To correct this problem you need to use the registry editor. The procedure isn't difficult, but since incorrect registry modifications can cause serious problems with your computer, you have to do this at your own risk.

Go to Start | Run, type "regedit" (without the quotes), and press OK. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ WindowsNT\ CurrentVersion\ Drivers32.

When you click on the Drivers32 folder you should see midi, midi1, midi2... entries on the right side of the registry editor window. Look for and delete entries that may refer to an interface that is no longer installed on your computer. If you had a Yamaha interface, you might see an entry similar to "xgusb.cpl". Deleting this should resolve the problem after a reboot.

112. Error message when trying to record audio: "Format unsupported. Your sound card is not allowing or set for 44K audio".

The sample rate/bit depth that Band-in-a-Box® uses for digital audio is 16 bit/44.1 KHz. If your sound card is somehow locked at a different bit/rate setting, you may get this error message.

We have most frequently seen this error in conjunction with the Line 6 GuitarPort. The order that you open Band-in-a-Box® and the GuitarPort software is important. You should most likely open Band-in-a-Box® first, and then the GuitarPort software; this should configure your drivers for 16/44.1 automatically. If this is the order that you are already using to open the programs, try opening the GuitarPort software first instead.

A similar solution may apply to other audio devices. If you are still having difficulty, open your sound card software and manually set it to 16/44.1.

113. How do I monitor myself while recording audio with an M-Audio sound card?

This is set up in the M-Audio control panel. Open the M-Audio control panel, usually by clicking on an icon in your task bar. The specific steps may vary between cards, but the basic steps are to choose the Patchbay/Router tab, and select 'Monitor Mixer' underneath the ports that you want to monitor on. Then, click on the Monitor Mixer tab and ensure that the appropriate mixer controls are not muted and set to a good level.

Also, in Band-in-a-Box®, check that you have the correct audio drivers selected in Opt. | Preferences | Audio | Drivers.

114. Error message: "There is a problem with your sound hardware. To install mixer devices, go to Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Add Hardware."

Symptoms: When you open the Render to Audio File dialog, click on the [Set Recording Properties] button in the Render to Audio File dialog, click on the [Set Recording Levels] button in the Record Audio dialog, or go to the Audio menu and select Recording Mixer, either you get this error message or nothing happens at all.

This message is given by the operating system. There may in fact be a problem with your sound card installation, but this is not necessarily the case. When you do one of the things listed above, Band-in-a-Box® is trying to open the Record Control panel of the Windows sound card mixer so that you can select your recording input and set the volume level. If there is a problem accessing the mixer, either nothing will happen or you will get the error message above. This means that there isn't a Windows recording mixer installed for the currently selected Sound Recording device (you select this in the Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio tab). Some sound cards install their own proprietary control panel/mixer utility that you need to use. Usually there will be an icon in your task bar to access this, or you may be able to get to it via the Windows control panel. Otherwise, select a different driver for sound recording if you have the wrong one selected.

If you continue to get the error message after your recording settings are correct, and you are in fact able to record, you can just ignore it.

115. I can hear the Band-in-a-Box® accompaniment tracks during regular playback, but not while I am recording audio.

The reason for this is most likely that you are using a DXi synth with an MME audio driver. If you are not sure if you are using a DXi synth, you can find out by going to Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and looking to see if the 'Use DXi Synth' box is checked. If you not sure whether you are using an MME audio driver, you can find out by going to Opt. | Preferences | Audio and checking to see which 'Audio Driver Type' is selected - either MME or ASIO.

While you are recording audio, the MIDI tracks (Band-in-a-Box® style accompaniment tracks) are played through the MIDI Output Driver that you have selected in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog, rather than through your DXi synth. This is because the high latency of MME drivers wouldn't allow you to record your audio track in sync with the accompaniment. If you don't have an appropriate output driver selected there, or if you have 'No MIDI/Sound Output' selected and don't have an appropriate MIDI driver selected in the Sounds and Audio Devices Properties window (which is where BIAB defaults to if you haven't selected a driver), you won't hear MIDI playback during audio recording.

To resolve the problem simply select any MIDI Output Driver, preferably not a software synth. For example, for the SoundBlaster cards, "SB Synth A" would work well since it isn't a software synth and has no latency. You will still hear the MIDI tracks play through the DXi synth when you play back your song after recording.

A better solution which allows you to hear the DXi synth while you are recording, is to use low-latency ASIO drivers rather than MME. Not all sound cards come with an ASIO driver, although the free ASIO4ALL driver works well on most computers.

116. Why is my recorded audio track out of sync with the MIDI accompaniment?

Symptoms: You recorded an audio track. For example you may have used a microphone to record vocals. Everything sounded fine as you were recording it, but when you play it back the audio track is out of time with the Band-in-a-Box® MIDI tracks.

This problem is caused by the use of a software synthesizer on your computer. Software synths have a certain amount of latency - this means that it takes them some time to produce sound after receiving MIDI data from Band-in-a-Box®. There is more information about this in this FAQ topic. It is common for the Microsoft GS Wavetable or Roland VSC soft synths to be used as the MIDI Output Driver in Band-in-a-Box®. Here are some tips for understanding and resolving this problem.

If you are not using a DXi synth

  • Make sure that the Roland VSC is not selected for audio recording/playback in the Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices (or Multimedia) Properties window, or (in Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and higher) in the Opt. | Preferences | Audio | Drivers dialog. Having audio routed through the VSC causes latency problems. If you change your audio drivers in the control panel, close and re-open Band-in-a-Box® for the change to take effect.

  • Find out the latency of the synth you are using, and set the Driver Latency in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog appropriately. For the Roland VSC, check the latency ('response time') in the VSC settings window | Performance tab. For the Microsoft GS Wavetable, the latency is usually between 50 and 100 ms. Narrow this down by trying different values and watching the main screen during playback. When you see the chords being highlighting in exact time to what you hear, you have the right number. Make note of this number for future reference. If you are using a hardware synth, make sure the latency is set to about 0.

The two things above should resolve the problem, but if you are still having trouble use a hardware synth (your sound card's built-in synth or and external synth/module if you have one).

If you are using a DXi or VSTi synth (Band-in-a-Box® 2004 and higher) and MME audio drivers

When you have a DXi synth selected for playback, and while you are recording audio, the MIDI tracks are not played through the DXi synth. Instead, MIDI is routed to your default MIDI device (MIDI Output Driver selected in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog). This applies to MME drivers, not ASIO.

By default, Band-in-a-Box® assumes that your MIDI Output Driver is a (close to) zero latency MIDI Output driver. The recorded audio is then automatically shifted ahead by the amount of the (DXi synth) Driver Latency. So, to make sure that your recorded audio is in sync, just ensure that you do not have a soft synth selected as your MIDI Output driver. If you do not have any choice other than to select a soft synth, you can do one of the following:

  • Adjust the Opt. | Preferences | Audio - 'Offset in ms' setting before you record your audio track. You need to find out what the exact latency of your MIDI Output driver is as explained previously. For example, if you record a vocal track and find that it plays behind the MIDI tracks, this means that you were hearing the MIDI music play late - so you were singing late. Set the 'Offset in ms' to a negative value corresponding to the latency of your MIDI Output driver.

  • Use the Audio | Edit Audio Track | Timeshift Audio command to slide the audio track forward or back after you have recorded your audio track. You would use the same value here as you would use for the offset in ms.

If you are using a DXi or VSTi synth (Band-in-a-Box® 2004 and higher) and ASIO audio drivers (Band-in-a-Box® 2006 and higher)

Unlike when you are using MME drivers, the MIDI tracks are played through the DXi or VSTi synth while you are recording. This is possible because of the low latency provided by ASIO drivers. If you are finding that your MIDI and audio tracks are out of sync, either adjust the 'offset in ms' setting or Timeshift Audio, as explained above. If you are finding the tracks drift out of sync, one thing you can try is to increase the latency of your ASIO driver in the ASIO Driver Control Panel.

Note: We have an in-depth tutorial about Band-in-a-Box® latency settings.

117. How can I insert a patch change in a specific chorus or change to a non-General MIDI patch at any bar?

The Edit Settings for Current Bar dialog allows you to change patches at any bar in your song, and there is a pull-down menu at the top of the dialog to specify which choruses you want the change to apply to. If you want to insert a non-GM patch (i.e. a patch on higher bank), first click the "Show Higher Bank Patches" checkbox. Then, either type in the bank numbers (e.g. if you type in 1.97.2, this would be program # 1, BankMSB 97, BankLSB 2), or choose a patch from a patch map for your synth.

The other option is to use the Event List window to specify the 'higher bank' patch change at a particular bar (only necessary with older versions of Band-in-a-Box®). Here are the basic steps for using the event list to insert a patch change for any track:

If the track that you want to insert the patch change on is the Melody or Soloist track:

  1. Open the Notation Window, viewing the track of interest (Soloist or Melody) and position yourself where you want to make the patch change.

  2. Open the Event List Editor by clicking the [#] button and fine-tune your position in the event list if necessary.

  3. If your patch is a General MIDI patch, skip to step 5. If you want to choose a patch on a higher bank, click on [Insert] and select Control Change. Choose Controller 0 (MSB Bank Select) type the MSB Bank number for your patch, and press OK.

  4. If your synth uses Controller 32 (Bank select LSB) click on [Insert] and select Control Change. Choose Controller 32, type the LSB Bank number, and press OK.

  5. Click on [Insert] and select Patch Change. Choose the patch or Program # you want and press OK.

If the track that you want to insert the patch change on is not the Melody or Soloist track:

You also use the Melody or Soloist track event list to insert the patch changes as described above, but note the following:

  • You need to change that track to a multi-channel type track to prevent all events from being re-channeled to the Melody or Soloist channel. To do this, go to Melody or Soloist | Track type, and select multi-channel.

  • When you insert the Control and Program (patch) Changes, you need to specify the correct channel for each event you insert. You can find out what channel each of the Band-in-a-Box® tracks use by going to Opt. | Preferences | Channels.

118. Is there a way to display my chords in root position in the notation window?

You can use the 'Output Chords to External Device' feature to accomplish this. Normally, this feature is used to output chords to a vocal harmonizer, however you can use it to save the chords in your song in their root positions to a MIDI file, then import the MIDI file into the Melody or Soloist track.

  1. Go to Opt | Preferences | OutputCh. Put a checkmark beside "Output Chords". The channel number should be set to 9 by default. You will probably find it best to change some of the settings in the Output Chords dialog (You may need to experiment with this a bit):

    • Note Range: 60 to 84.

    • # ticks before chord change: 0

    • Output chords during lead-in: NO

    • Write Track to MIDI file: YES

  2. Click the .MID button to save your song as a MIDI file. It is easiest if you save it to the [Clipboard].

  3. Go to Melody | Edit Melody Track | Import Melody from Clipboard. Import only channel 9. Make sure that the '# blank bars to insert a beginning' is set to 0. Press OK.

You should now see the chords in the Melody track.

119. My toolbars are not displaying properly. How can I correct this or return the toolbars to their default configuration?

You can customize the buttons that appear in the toolbars by clicking on the arrow on the right side of the toolbar and selecting 'Add or Remove buttons'. There are three customizable toolbars: The main toolbar that contains the Play and Stop buttons, and the two toolbars to the right of the song title window. You can undock any of the three toolbars and turn them into 'floating toolbars' so they can be repositioned anywhere on your screen. To do this, you click near the right or left side of the toolbar (you will see the mouse pointer turn into a double arrow) and drag. To dock the toolbar, drag it back to its original position and it will 'snap into place'. There are additional toolbar settings in the Opt. | Preferences | Display dialog.

If you just want to return the toolbars to their factory settings, close Band-in-a-Box®, and open the Band-in-a-Box® folder on your hard drive (usually C:\bb). Look for and delete the file "BBToolBar9.INI". The next time you open Band-in-a-Box®, the toolbars will be back to their factory configuration. You could also press the Reset Toolbar button int he Opt. | Preferences | Display dialog.

120. I get an Access Violation or General Protection Fault when I try to open Band-in-a-Box®.

This could indicate a problem with your Band-in-a-Box® installation, a problem with windows, or a problem with a driver installed on your computer. If you get the error every time you try to open Band-in-a-Box®, you can normally resolve the problem by deleting a file called intrface.bbw from your Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb). This will return many global Band-in-a-Box® settings to their factory defaults. If that doesn't help, perform the following steps until the problem is resolved:

  1. Return all Band-in-a-Box® settings to their factory defaults by following the instructions in this FAQ topic.

  2. If you are running Band-in-a-Box® on Windows 98 or ME, ensure that the name of your Band-in-a-Box® folder doesn't have a '+' or '=' sign in it, as this can cause an access violation on some systems.

  3. Reinstall Band-in-a-Box® to a new folder that doesn't contain your existing Band-in-a-Box® files. One way of doing this is to rename your existing Band-in-a-Box® folder (bb) to "bb_old" - then simply reinstall Band-in-a-Box® using the original CD(s) or installer that you downloaded and choose bb as the destination directory. This way you end up with a "fresh" install, and you also keep all of your old files for backup purposes. Don't delete the bb_old folder until you are sure that you have saved all of your personal work etc. elsewhere. It is ok to have Band-in-a-Box® installed in more than one location on your computer, but keep track of where your Band-in-a-Box® shortcut is pointing by right-clicking on the shortcut and selecting properties.

  4. If you are still getting the error when opening Band-in-a-Box®, this may indicate that there is a problem with a sound card driver installed on your computer, and Band-in-a-Box® is having trouble making a connection to it. Reinstall the drivers for your sound card (and MIDI/Audio interface if you have one), using the latest updates available from the manufacturer.

121. After installing an upgrade and rebuilding the StylePicker window, some of the Styles Set categories are missing.

We periodically re-organize the category list so that only the very latest styles sets we have released show up as separate categories; styles from earlier sets are placed in the appropriate genre - Jazz, Latin, etc. You can still view all styles from any particular set by selecting the ALL category, and choosing the Styles Set # of interest from the "Only show Styles #' pull-down menu.

122. What is the easiest way to render a Band-in-a-Box® song to wave?

The process of converting a MIDI file or Band-in-a-Box® song to an audio (.WAV) file is referred to as "Rendering".

We recommend that you read our complete tutorial on rendering to wave for more information, or if you have any trouble.

If you are looking for the quickest solution, try using the DXi-Direct Render. The easiest way to render songs to wave is usually to use the VSC-DXi or Coyote WaveTable and Direct Render your song. This option is available in Band-in-a-Box® 2004 and higher. Here is how you do it:

  1. Make sure you have the VSC-DXi (included with Band-in-a-Box® 2004-2011) or Coyote WaveTable (included with Band-in-a-Box® 2010 and higher) installed, and the latest update patch for Band-in-a-Box®.
  2. Load the song you want to render and click on the DXi Synth button in the Band-in-a-Box® toolbar. In the DirectX window, select the CoyoteWT or VSC-DXi in the top pull-down.
  3. Press the .WAV button to open the Render to Audio File dialog.
  4. Press the [DXi-Direct Render] button.

123. How do the Band-in-a-Box® latency settings work?

We have an in-depth tutorial about this: Understanding Band-in-a-Box® latency settings.

124. When using a DXi or VSTi plugin with ASIO drivers, why does realtime play-thru not work while the song is stopped?

For real-time MIDI thru to a DXi/VSTi synth using ASIO, look in the Audio Settings dialog (Opt. | Preferences | Audio), click the [Audio Drivers] button, and in the "ASIO Audio Drivers" dialog make sure that the "ASIO Always On" checkbox is ON.

The choice whether to run ASIO all the time, or just when BIAB is playing/recording, is offered in case anyone has problems running ASIO constantly. If ASIO is not always on, BIAB will route MIDI thru to your default MIDI destination (such as the MS GS Wavetable, Creative Soundcard synth, hardware MIDI synth, etc). This is to minimize playthru latency when ASIO is not always on, and it is the way MIDI Thru behaves with MME high-latency drivers as well.

125. When I try to install some programs, the CD just spins in the drive, or nothing happens when I try to run the installer.

Applies to: GuitarStar, CopyMe, and the Video Guitar Lessons (Essential Rock Guitar Volumes 1 & 2, Essential Blues Guitar Volumes 1 & 2, and Essential Jazz Guitar Volumes 1, 2, & 3).

ZoneAlarm and some other system security (anti-virus/firewall) software can cause this to happen. The solution is to either "be patient" (sometimes it just takes a few minutes for it to start), or:

  1. Remove the CD from your CD drive.

  2. Restart your computer.

  3. When Windows has restarted, disable your system security software. If you aren't sure how to do this, look at the icons in your computer's taskbar at the bottom right-hand side of your screen. One of them will likely be for your virus checker. If you click on the icon, you should be able to find an option to disable it.

  4. Put the CD back in your CD drive and run the installer.

If that didn't help, use the system configuration utility to perform a selective startup, like this:

  1. Go to the Start menu and click on Run.

  2. Type msconfig and press OK.

  3. Choose 'Selective Startup', and uncheck 'Load Startup Items'.

  4. Press Apply, then press Close, and reboot the computer.

  5. Once the computer has restarted, cancel the System configuration Utility (if it comes up automatically), and install the software.

  6. After you have installed the software, you can set Windows back to 'Normal Startup'

126. When I type a chord into the chord sheet, it automatically transposes my chord and displays a different chord than what I typed.

If, for example, you type Cmaj7 and Band-in-a-Box® inserts an Emaj7 chord instead, this means you have the 'visual transpose' set to something other than 0. This setting is usually used for non-concert instruments. You can correct the problem by going to the Notation Window Options dialog and setting 'transpose' to 0.

127. I hear handclaps and other strange sounds when I play styles that use the drum brush kit. How do I get brushes to play properly?

Many Band-in-a-Box® styles use the Brush Kit. There are a few ways you can tell if a particular style uses the brush kit, aside from just listening to it.

  • The Memo field in the StylePicker window will indicate if drum brushes are used in the style.
  • Many styles that use the brush kit have a ~ symbol in front of the style name, although this only applies to older styles - most newer styles don't use this naming convention.
  • If you have the style open, press Play, then click on the Drum radio button in the instrument panel. If the style uses brushes, it will say "41 Brushes Kit" in the instrument pull-down menu.

MIDI channel 10 is the drum channel on most MIDI synthesizers. On the drum channel, different notes are interpreted as different drum sounds, instead of being different pitches of a particular instrument. Instead of using Program Change messages to switch between different instruments, on the drum channel they are used to choose a drum kit. Patch #1 is the Standard Drum Kit. Click here a list of the drum sounds that correspond to each MIDI note in the Standard Drum Kit. The Brush Kit is usually the same as the Standard Drum Kit with the following three exceptions:

  • Note #38 is a Brush Tap instead of a Snare Drum.
  • Note #39 is a Brush Slap instead of a Hand Clap.
  • Note #40 is a Brush Swirl instead of a Snare Drum.

Some Yamaha synths use a somewhat different map for the brush sounds. On these synths:

  • Note #25 is a Brush tap.
  • Note #27 is a Brush Slap.
  • Note #26 is a Brush swirl.

If you are not hearing brushes when playing a style with a brush kit, this most likely means that the MIDI device you have selected doesn't have a brush kit. You have two options:

  • Choose a different MIDI output driver in Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup so that you are playing through a MIDI synth that has a brush kit. Synths that support brushes include the Roland VSC3, VSC-DXi, ForteDXi, and Microsoft GS Wavetable. If you have a Sound Blaster sound card, you may have the soundfont synth selected as your output driver - this may appear as "SB...Synth A", "SB...Synth B", "Creative Soundfont synth", or something similar. Often the default soundfont bank included with Creative cards does not have a brush kit.
  • The second option is to get Band-in-a-Box® to re-map the brushes so that the drums sound ok using the Standard Drum Kit. This is done by going to Opt. | Preferences | Arrange and selecting "none - remap them" in the Drum Brush pull-down.

Another possibility is that you are playing through a synth (usually an external synth/sound module) that does support brushes but uses a different MIDI note map for brushes. This is common with Yamaha synths. If you have a Yamaha synth, select 'XG format #s' in the Drum Brush pull-down.

One last possibility is that you are playing through a synth (usually an external synth/sound module) that has a brush kit, but it is not located at program # 41 on Bank 0. In this case, you will need find an instrument list in the documentation for your synth and find out how to access the Brush Kit. You need to know the PC#, Bank0(MSB) and Bank32(LSB). once you know these numbers, you can use the instrument pull-down menu, Bank0 box, and LSB box to select the patch for the drum track. You will need to use File | Save Song with Patches and Harmony after you do this (and before you play your song again) so that your drum track doesn't revert back to the default drum patch. One other thing you will want to check is that 'Drum Bank changes' is enabled in Opt. | Preferences | MIDI Options.

128. When using ASIO4ALL, the ports in the ASIO Audio Driver dialog are listed as "Not Connected".

You may need to enable the appropriate device in the ASIO4ALL control panel. In the ASIO Audio Drivers dialog, click the [ASIO Driver Control Panel] button. On the upper left side of the ASIO4ALL control panel, it will list your audio devices and give the status of each. If the device is available (there isn't a red cross through it), but not enabled (not highlighted in green), select it and click the Enable button. For this to take affect, you will need to exit the control panel, exit the ASIO Audio Drivers dialog, and possibly close and restart Band-in-a-Box®.

If the device is showing as unavailable, you may be able to resolve the problem by making sure the Microsoft GS Wavetable is not enabled anywhere in your setup. In Band-in-a-Box®, go to Opt. | MID Driver Setup, and make sure the GS Wavetable is NOT selected as your output driver. If this doesn't help, close Band-in-a-Box®, go to Start | Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio, and make sure that the GS Wavetable is not selected for MIDI playback there. Also, make sure that there aren't any other programs running on your computer that might be using the GS Wavetable. The problem should be resolved next time you open Band-in-a-Box®. If not, try a reboot. Note that there is a way to disable the GS Wavetable completely using the registry editor, however this is beyond the scope of this article.

129. After importing a MIDI file with drums into Band-in-a-Box®, I can see the drum notes in the Notation Window but they do not play.

You might also encounter this problem when recording drums directly into Band-in-a-Box® from some external synths. Right-click on one of the drum notes, select 'Edit Note', and check to see if the note has 'zero' duration. If it does, the problem is that Band-in-a-Box® doesn't play zero duration drum notes. One solution would be to go through each of the notes and edit them so that they have a non zero duration. An easier solution is to use a MIDI sequencer such as PowerTracks Pro Audio to quantize the drum track notes. For example, in PowerTracks you could:

  1. Go to Edit | Quantize.
  2. Put a checkmark beside 'durations'.
  3. uncheck 'start times'.
  4. set the Resolution to 'sixteenth', and press OK.

130. Can I record and edit multi-channel MIDI files in Band-in-a-Box®?

Band-in-a-Box® isn't a dedicated multi-track sequencer, so it isn't as easy to edit multi-channel MIDI files as it is with our program PowerTracks Pro Audio. In Band-in-a-Box®, you only have two tracks to work with - Melody and Soloist. The other tracks - Bass, Drums, Piano, Guitar, and Strings - are used by Band-in-a-Box® to generate its arrangements. However, the Melody and Soloist tracks don't have to be used for ONLY a melody and solo - you can have whatever you want on those tracks, including multi-channel MIDI data. Here are some tips:

  • The Melody and Soloist track type need to be set to 'multi-channel' when you are working with MIDI data on more than one channel (more than one instrument). The default track type is 'single-channel'. When the track is single-channel, all MIDI data is re-channeled to the default channel for that track (channel 4 for Melody and channel 8 for Soloist). The track type can be set by selecting the appropriate option under the Melody or Soloist menu.

    Note 1: When you import a MIDI file using File | Open MIDI File, Band-in-a-Box® will automatically set the track type to multi-channel.

    Note 2: When you save a Band-in-a-Box® song with a multi-channel Melody or Solo track, the song is saved as an .MGX file so that you can identify it easily.

  • You can record directly to the Soloist track in the same way that you record to the Melody track. To do this, go to the Soloist menu | Edit Soloist Track | Record to Soloist Part. Band-in-a-Box® will record to the Soloist part by default for the remainder of your Band-in-a-Box® session. To switch back to recording to the Melody part, go to the Melody menu | Edit Melody Track | Record Melody.

  • With Band-in-a-Box® 2006 and higher, you can record more than one part/channel to the Soloist or Melody tracks. To do this, first make sure your Melody or Soloist track type is set to multi-channel, then record your part. When you have finished recording, you will get a dialog with a pull-down menu that will allow you to select which channel you want to place the recorded MIDI data on. Note that since Band-in-a-Box®'s accompaniment tracks use channels 2-10, it is best to use channels 11-16 to avoid conflict, although if you will not be using the Band-in-Box arrangement this isn't an issue.

  • If you don't want to hear the Band-in-a-Box® generated style parts - ie, if you are only interested in hearing what you have on the Melody and Soloist tracks - you can do any one of the following:

    • Choose one of the blank styles from the StylePicker dialog (BLANK.STY (even 4/4), BLANK34.STY (even 3/4), BLANKSW.STY (swing 4/4), or BLANK3SW.STY (swing 3/4).

    • Disable the style by going to the Style menu and clicking on Style is enabled (this will de-selects it).

    • Rest the first chord in the chordsheet by entering the chord symbol followed by a period. For example, you could type "C." at bar 1. If there is more than one chord (if Band-in-a-Box® interpreted the chords in your MIDI file), then you will need to copy the rest to the entire song using the Edit | Copy Rests menu command.

  • When you import a MIDI file into Band-in-a-Box® using File | Open MIDI file, the entire MIDI file is imported to the Melody track. If you would like, you can separate one or more channels to the Soloist track by using the Edit | Copy/Move Tracks menu item (this is also possible to do from the Sequencer Window in Band-in-a-Box® 2006 and higher). Copying an individual channel to the Soloist track allows you to use the Notation Window to easily edit the notes on an individual channel.

  • The Sequencer Window in Band-in-a-Box® 2006 and higher is an easy way to change the patch and volume for any channel in an imported MIDI file. To open the Sequencer window, click the green [SEQ] button in the bottom Band-in-a-Box® toolbar and select 'Sequencer on Melody track'. You can choose a new patch using each of the patch pull-down menus, and you can use the Edit [...] buttons to change the volume, re-channel, or move a channel to the Soloist track so that you can edit it separately.

  • The Event List editor can be used to insert other controllers such as pan, reverb, and chorus. To open the event list window, click the [#] button in the Notation Window toolbar. Use 'Insert ... Control Change' to insert a reverb (# 91), chorus (#93), or pan (#10) controller. Make sure that you insert it on the correct channel. You can find out what channel each instrument is on in the Sequencer Window.

  • The Piano Roll window in Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and higher allows graphical editing of note timing, duration, and velocity, as well as precise and easy editing of controllers, Program Changes, Channel Aftertouch, Pitch Bends etc. It is similar to the type of MIDI editors found in many sequencer programs. You can edit/view each channel individually. Click on the Piano Roll button in the bottom toolbar or go to the Window menu | Piano Roll window. You can also graphically edit Note Velocity, Controllers, Program Changes, Channel Aftertouch, or Pitch Bends, and you can select specific channels to work on.

  • To save your song as a MIDI (MID) file rather than a Band-in-a-Box® song (MGU/SGU/MGX) file, click the [.MID] button on the main Band-in-a-Box® toolbar.

  • You may wish to investigate other ways to use MIDI files in Band-in-a-Box®. Since Band-in-a-Box®'s primary purpose is to be an intelligent accompaniment program, try using the Interpret Chords from MIDI File feature (File | Import Chords from MIDI File) to have Band-in-a-Box® figure out the chords and melody in your MIDI file - then you can generate the accompaniment tracks using a Band-in-a-Box® style. You can also use the Style Wizard (Style | Style Wizard) in Band-in-a-Box® 12 and higher to have Band-in-a-Box® generate a style based on your MIDI file. The Melody | Edit Melody Track | Import Melody from MIDI file option allows you to import part of a MIDI file (usually the melody) into your current Band-in-a-Box® song.

131. Is there a way to get my songs to play in the order I want using the Jukebox?

There are a couple of ways you can do this. One way is to use the Favourite Songs dialog. To open this dialog, click the F button beside the Song button on the left-hand side of the main screen. Using this dialog, you can save and load sets of songs. When you press the JUKE button within the dialog, the jukebox will play all of the songs in the currently loaded set in the order that you added them.

Another way of doing this is to number your song filenames. If you play the Jukebox by pressing the Juke button on the main screen, it will play all of the songs in the folder you have selected in alphabetical order, provided you have the 'random order playback' setting unchecked. So, if your file names are mysong.mgu, anothersong.mgu, and firstsong.mgu, Band-in-a-Box® would normally play anothersong.mgu first, followed by firstsong.mgu, and then mysong.mgu. You could change your filenames to 1-mysong.mgu, 2-firstsong.mgu, and 3-anothersong.mgu and Band-in-a-Box® will then play them in that order. Note that you need to be careful once you get to 10, because 10 would actually come after 1 (not 9). There are many ways around this, for example you may wish to use letters instead of numbers.

132. What is the difference between line-based and note-based lyrics?

Band-in-a-Box® allows you to use two different methods for lyric entry: Line-based and Note-based. Note-based lyric entry is a newer addition to the Band-in-a-Box® feature set, and in most cases it is the best method to use. With note-based lyrics you can associate specific words or syllables with specific notes in the music, so your lyrics print out at the right spot. You can also adjust the font and size of the lyrics. These options aren't available with Line-based lyrics. You might want to use line-based lyrics if you do not have a Melody line (so there are no notes to associate the lyrics with) or if you aren't worried about how the lyrics look, and just want to use the fastest lyric entry method.

Line-based lyrics

In the Notation Window, find the space directly above where the chord symbols appear. To enter line-based lyrics, you simply click in this space, then type in the lyrics. Use the cursor down/up keys (or Enter key ) to advance to the next/previous line of lyrics. To print out the lyrics with your song, press the Print button to open the Print Options dialog and make sure that 'Lyrics above', 'Lyrics below', or 'Lyrics Separate' is selected in the pull-down box on the left side. This will print out the lyrics above or below the staff or on a separate page. The vertical position of the lyrics can be specified with the 'Lyrics Below by' setting.

Note-based lyrics

In the Notation Window, press Ctrl-L on your keyboard, or press the [L] (Lyrics) button in the toolbar. When you press the Lyrics Button, the Lyric Edit window opens up and the current note (or group of notes at the same time) are highlighted. Whatever you type into the Lyric Edit window will be placed under the currently highlighted note. To move to the next note, you can press enter or tab on your keyboard. To move to the previous note, you can use shift-tab. Note that a hyphen can be added at the end of syllables, and a backslash can be placed at the end of a phrase to indicate a line break. Note-based lyrics will print out as long as you have the 'Print Note-based Lyrics' setting in the Print Options dialog selected. You can customize the font and size of the lyrics by using the Font settings in the Notation Window Options dialog (OPT button). You can also control the vertical position of the lyrics by using the 'Lyric Position' setting in the Notation Window Options dialog.

133. I am unable to transpose my Melody track, even if I use the Transpose Melody Only menu option.

If your Melody is not transposing, whether you change the key of your song, or go to Melody | Edit Melody Track | Transpose Melody Only.., it could be because your melody notes are on channel 10 for some reason. Channel 10 is set to not transpose because this is the drum channel, and when drums are transposed they become entirely different drum sounds. Even if your melody doesn't sound like drums, the notes may still be on channel 10. This is because unless your Melody track type is set to 'multi-channel', Band-in-a-Box® re-channels all Melody track data to the default Melody channel (usually channel 4) during playback. To check what channels your Melody notes are on, you can right-click on one of the notes in editable notation mode and select Edit Note, or look at the Event List.

One way of correcting the problem for your current song is to use a feature in the Piano Roll window (Band-in-a-Box® 2005 and higher). Open the Piano Roll window, right-click anywhere, and select 're-channel all events to the track channel'. To avoid the problem in the future, open the Notation Window Options dialog, press the More button, and make sure that the 'inserted note default' is not set to channel 10. If you are recording from an external controller, check that it isn't set to send all MIDI data on channel 10 for some reason.

134. How do I use Native Instruments Bandstand with Band-in-a-Box®?

Please click here to read our Bandstand tutorial, which explains how to use Bandstand with Band-in-a-Box® and PowerTracks Pro Audio, and provides some troubleshooting tips.

135. Is there a way to have the tempo of a song increase automatically each time it repeats, or to have the tempo increase every few bars?

If you right-click on bar 1 of your song (or any bar that will be repeated) and select 'Bar Settings', you can enter a value in the '% change in tempo' field. Then, every time Band-in-a-Box® plays that bar, the tempo will increase by that percentage. So, for example, if you have a 4 bar song that repeats 40 times, and you've got a 5% tempo increase at bar 1, then there will be a 5% tempo increase every 4 bars for 40 repeats. You can insert tempo changes at any bar you want by right-clicking on the bar and selecting Bar Settings, or by using the keyboard shortcut F5 at that bar.

Our program Metronome Pro has a feature that you might also find useful. In this program, you can have the tempo increase by a certain amount after a specified number of bars. The program can use MIDI files in place of the metronome click. To set this up:

  1. Save your song as a MIDI file to disk by pressing the .MID button. Save the file in the C:\Program Files\Metronome Pro\MIDI folder.

  2. In Metronome Pro, place a checkmark in the "Tempo Increases by..." setting, and the 'Use MIDI file' setting.

  3. In the 'Use MIDI File' pull-down menu, choose the 'Browse and Add' option and open the MIDI file that you saved from Band-in-a-Box®.

136. When recording from an external keyboard, some notes are not being recorded, are dropping out, or are being sustained when they shouldn't be.

This might occur if the connection between Band-in-a-Box® and your external keyboard is being lost, such that note-on or note-off messages are occasionally not being received.

Here are some things to try:

  • Close Band-in-a-Box® and delete the configuration settings file "intrface.bbw" from the C:\bb folder. You may want to make a backup of this file first, as this will return many global Band-in-a-Box® setting to their factory defaults. Deleting the file will cause Band-in-a-Box® to re-connect to your MIDI drivers, and eliminate the possibility that this file was corrupt.

  • Make sure that your MIDI cables and USB cable (if applicable) are firmly connected. If you are using a USB hub, try connecting the USB cable directly to a USB port on your computer.

  • Reinstall the drivers for your MIDI interface, using the latest drivers available from the interface manufacturer's website.

  • Close other programs while using Band-in-a-Box®. There may be a conflict with another program running on your computer.

  • If the problem persists, try a different MIDI interface if possible.

137. When I try to install the program I get a message that the "setup files are corrupted".

This normally occurs with downloaded programs. This error may occur when double-clicking on an installer that was downloaded from our site. It means that the setup file is the wrong size or the file failed a CRC (cyclic redundancy check). Most likely something went wrong when you were downloading the file, for example your internet connection may have been lost. Delete the file that you downloaded and try the download again. If you are still having the problem, or if this is occurring with a program that you have on CD, reboot your computer.

Also, please see our Sales FAQ topic for help troubleshooting download problems.

138. The tempo changes in my MIDI file disappear when I import it into Band-in-a-Box®.

This is intentional, because Band-in-a-Box® songs and styles all play at a constant tempo. There are a few ways that MIDI files can be used with Band-in-a-Box®, and most require that there not be any tempo changes, such as when you import the melody from a MIDI file to the Melody track, or interpret the chords from a MIDI file using File | Import chords from MIDI file. While Band-in-a-Box® can be used as a MIDI sequencer to some extent, if you are working with files that require tempo changes, we recommend using our dedicated MIDI sequencer PowerTracks Pro Audio. Note that in Band-in-a-Box® you can insert tempo changes at any bar by using the 'Edit Settings for Current Bar' dialog, however you can't have a gradual tempo change over a range of bars unless you reduce/increase the tempo bar-by-bar.

139. Why do some of my rests disappear from the notation window when I exit editable notation mode?

Band-in-a-Box® is configured by default to avoid displaying unusual or complex notation in regular (non-editable) notation mode. The main setting for this can be toggled off by unchecking the clean checkbox in the Notation Window toolbar. Two other settings in the Notation Window Options dialog also affect whether a rest will be displayed at a particular location. Miminize Rests: If eighth notes are displayed as sixteenth notes separated by sixteenth rests in editable mode (because you recorded them staccato), this feature will remove the rests and display the notes as eighth notes (without rests) in regular notation mode. Tick offset: This setting allows you to display the notes ahead or behind of the actual location of the notes. For example, the notation of Jazz swing music will often be improved by a tick offset setting of about -5 ticks (120 ticks = 1 quarter note), because jazz music is typically played a little after the beat. If you are inserting notes manually rather than recording them, you might want to set this to 0.

The settings mentioned above do not affect how the music sounds, only how it is displayed.

140. There is no sound when I try to preview my audio harmonies in the TC-Helicon window.

The preview feature in the TC-Helicon audio harmony plugin uses the sound device selected in your Windows operating system settings. Go to the Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio tab, and make sure the appropriate audio driver is selected for sound playback. For example, it's possible that you had selected a different sound card there than you had selected in the Band-in-a-Box® program in Opt. | Preferences | Audio | Drivers, and you only have speakers connected to the one sound card. That explains why you might hear audio in Band-in-a-Box®, but not in the TC-Helicon plugin.

141. I get a message that the Roland VSC is "...installed properly but currently in use by another program", even though there are no other programs open.

If you get a similar error message that refers to a driver other than the VSC, see this FAQ topic instead.

This article is about the older stand-alone VSC synth, which is rarely used anymore, and is only compatible with Windows XP and earlier operating systems. The instructions apply to Windows 2000 and XP.

A "quick fix" would be to use the Roland VSC-DXi, instead of the VSC3 driver. The Coyote Wavetable is included with Band-in-a-Box®. Check the "Use DXi Synth" box in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog and select the VSC-DXi in the DirectX Plugins Window that opens up.

To resolve the problem with the VSC-3 (older stand-alone MIDI version) follow the tips below.

Other possible may include:

  • "Audio Conversion cannot be started" error message when you attempt to Direct Render your song to a wave file using the VSC.

  • When you open the VSC as a stand alone application (Start menu | Programs | Virtual Sound Canvas...), you may get the error "MIDI device or the audio device to be used for VSC's audio output cannot be opened. Playback unavailable at this time"

There are a few possible solutions. You should be able to resolve the problem by following one or more of the suggestions below. Alternatively, use the VSC-DXi instead of the VSC-3 stand-alone version.

Select something other than the VSC as your default MIDI driver in Windows

  1. On Windows XP, go to Start | Control Panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio tab. On Windows 2000, go to Start | Settings | Control Panel | Sounds and Multimedia | Audio.

  2. Select something other than the Roland VSC for default audio and MIDI playback.

  3. Restart your computer.

Make sure vscvol and vsc32cnf are enabled at startup.

  1. Go to the Start menu | Run, type "msconfig" and press OK. This should open the System Configuration Utility. Note: Windows 2000 doesn't have the system configuration utility.

  2. Click on the Startup tab and make sure there are checkmarks beside 'vscvol' and 'vsc32cnf'.

  3. Press [Apply], then [OK], and restart your computer.

Reinstall the VSC

  1. Uninstall the Roland VSC using the Add/Remove Programs utility.

  2. Right-click on My Computer and select 'Properties'.

  3. Click on the Hardware tab and press the [Device Manager] button.

  4. Expand 'Sound, Video and Game Controllers' and look for 'Virtual Sound Canvas'. If you see it listed there, right-click on it and select 'uninstall'. Restart your computer.

  5. Reinstall the Roland VSC. If you get a message saying that the VSC has not passed Windows Logo Testing, you can "Continue Anyways". You should be prompted to restart your computer again after the VSC has been installed.

  6. Go back to 'Sound Video and Game Controllers' in the Device Manager.

  7. Right-click on the Virtual Sound Canvas 3.2 and select 'Properties'. Make sure that Device Usage is set to "Use this device (enable)".

Change your audio output device settings in the VSC

  1. Click once on the VSC icon in your task bar, point to 'VSC Settings Window' and click on 'Device'. Or: Go to Start | Programs | Virtual Sound Canvas 3.2 | Virtual Sound Canvas 3.2 to open the VSC panel, then click on the [Setup] button and choose the Device tab.

  2. If the audio output device is listed as "Selecting Automatically" choose your sound card's audio driver specifically. If that doesn't work, try choosing a different audio output device if available. Press [Apply], then [OK] before trying each selection. You can also try toggling DirectSound to "On" or "Off", as this may improve compatibility with your system.

Remove old and duplicate MIDI entries from the registry

Proceed with this if the suggestions above didn't solve the problem.

There is a limit to the number of MIDI devices that you can have installed. When you install MIDI devices, windows creates a registry entry, starting with "midi" and up to "midi9". Additional MIDI devices are not recognized by Windows. This can be a problem, since new entries may be created when you reinstall MIDI devices or move a hardware device from one port to another. As well, some MIDI device uninstallers do not remove their registry entries. Even if you have not exceeded the limit, the VSC seems to have trouble if there are duplicate or old MIDI entries in the registry.

First, you should make sure that you have uninstalled any old MIDI devices that you are not using - for example, an old USB interface that you used at some point in the past but are no longer using. If this doesn't help, any old or duplicate entries for midi to midi9 can be removed from the registry. If you aren't comfortable editing the registry, you should get a computer tech to do it for you, since making mistakes can prevent your computer from operating correctly.

Go to Start | Run, type "regedit" (without the quotes), and press OK. In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ WindowsNT\ CurrentVersion\ Drivers32.

When you click on the Drivers32 folder you should see the midi, midi1, midi2... entries on the right side of the window. Look for and delete any duplicates. If you recognize one that may refer to an old MIDI device that is no longer installed on your system, you can remove that entry as well. If you are unsure, you should probably leave it alone.

Use the VSC-DXi version, rather than the stand-alone VSC

If you are still having trouble with the VSC, we might suggest that you use the VSC-DXi instead. Band-in-a-Box® 2004 and higher support DXi plugins, and the Coyote Wavetable would have been included with your Band-in-a-Box® purchase. To use the Coyote Wavetable, you need to first install it on your computer. To choose the VSC-DXi as your MIDI output device in Band-in-a-Box®, go to Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup and place a checkmark in the "Use DXi Synth" checkbox. When the DirectX window opens up, choose the VSC-DXi as your plugin. Close the DirectX window, and you should be back in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog. By default, Band-in-a-Box® will set the Driver Latency to around 2000 milliseconds. This is a high setting, but is safe even on older computers. With most computers, you should be able to choose a Driver Latency of around 200 ms or lower. You can experiment with the Driver Latency until you hear audio glitches. A lower latency will give you a quicker response time.

If you were used to using the "Direct Render to wave" feature of the VSC, you will find that the "DXi Direct Render" feature in Band-in-a-Box® will give you the same results. It is also a quicker and easier method of rendering your songs to wave.

142. I don't hear the RealDrums playing, or the RealDrums are too loud/soft. How do I tell if a style is using RealDrums?

Look at the instrument panel on the main Band-in-a-Box® screen (Combo, Bass, Piano...). If 'Drums' is green, that means that RealDrums are currently being used. If it is white (or yellow during playback), that means that MIDI drums are being used.

There are many styles that have been pre-programmed ("hard-coded") to use RealDrums. You can tell the difference between Styles with RealDrums, and Styles with MIDI Drums by looking at the style name. Styles with RealDrums have a minus sign in front of the style name. For example "STYLE.STY" would be a MIDI drum style and "-STYLE.STY" would be a Style with RealDrums. There is a "Styles with RealDrums" category in the StylePicker window, and the latest styles sets have RealDrums equivalents of the MIDI drum styles. MIDI drums can also be substituted for RealDrums in ANY style, based on the settings in Opt. | Preferences | RealDrums.

If you find that ALL of the RealDrums are too loud or soft relative to the other instruments, open the RealDrums Settings dialog (Opt. | Preferences | RealDrums ) and use the Global Volume Adjust setting. It is also possible to adjust the volume of RealDrums in a specific style by using the 'MISC Style Settings' dialog in the StyleMaker. To adjust the volume of the RealDrums in a specific song, just use the Drum volume spin control on the main screen and save your song using File | Save Song with Patches.

If RealDrums are not working at all ('Drums' is not green), make sure that RealDrums are enabled in the RealDrums Settings dialog. If that setting is enabled, and you are getting 'Cannot load drum style' messages, you probably haven't installed the RealDrums Sets. They are a separate install from the main Band-in-a-Box® program (unless you installed from DVD). Also, if you installed the RealDrums somewhere other than your Band-in-a-Box® folder (bb), make sure to choose this 'custom' location in the RealDrums dialog. If you want to hear RealDrums more often when playing any styles (i.e. you want MIDI drums auto-substituted for RealDrums), decrease the setting 'Substitute...' at the top of the RealDrums Settings window.

If RealDrums are working ('Drums' is green) but you still don't hear them, it is probably a driver setup issue. This suggests that you are using a hardware or stand-alone software MIDI driver for playback, rather than a DXi or VSTi plugin synth. We can assume this because if you WERE using a plugin synth, all sound would be routed to the same audio driver, set in Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup | [Audio Settings], so it would be unlikely that you would hear some tracks and not others. Check your audio driver setup there, and also check the Windows Volume Control settings to make sure that the wave volume is turned up and not muted.

There is also a small possibility that a DX audio effect Plugin you have selected for the Audio track is contributing to the problem (Audio Track plugins are applied to the RealDrums track in addition to the audio track). To check this:

  1. Open the DirectX Plugins window and select the 'Audio Track' tab.
  2. Set all of the pull-down menus to 'none' to disable all audio track DX plugins.
  3. Try playing a song with RealDrums.

Note that while you can use any MIDI driver with RealDrums, we recommend using a DXi or VSTi softsynth such as the VSC-DXi or ForteDXi. If you are currently using the GS Wavetable or VSC3 for MIDI output, consider using the Coyote Wavetable (included with Band-in-a-Box®) instead.

If you would like to use a hardware synth (for example, the soundfont synth on your SoundBlaster card), you need to remember that while your MIDI tracks will be playing through the synth, the RealDrums track is audio and will be played through the audio driver you have selected in Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup | [Audio Settings] | [Drivers].

If you are using an external hardware MIDI synth or sound module, see this FAQ topic.

143. How can I use RealDrums or RealTracks if I am using an external MIDI synth/sound module for MIDI output?

Because the RealDrums and RealTracks are audio (not MIDI), they are not transmitted to an external hardware synthesizer via MIDI cables. The RealDrums/RealTracks track will still be played through your computer's sound card (or whatever audio device is selected in Opt. | MIDI/Audio Driver Setup | Audio Settings | Drivers). You need to mix the output from the sound card with the output from your external synth. Depending on your synthesizer, you may be able to use an audio cable to connect the line-out of the sound card to the line-in of the synth. If your synth doesn't have audio inputs, you could connect the sound card to the line-in of the mixer/amp/speaker system that you have your synth connected to.

144. The RealDrums or RealTracks are out of sync with the other MIDI instruments.

  • If you are using a DXi/VSTi synth (example, Roland VSC-DXi, ForteDXi), the RealDrums should be in perfect sync automatically. If not, check that the 'Offset in mS' setting in Opt. | Preferences | Audio is set to 0.

  • Download the latest update patch for Band-in-a-Box®.

  • If you are using the GS Wavetable, check the latency setting in the MIDI Driver Setup dialog. 120 mS should be about right for the GS Wavetable for Windows XP (200 mS for Widnows Vista/7), and BIAB will offer to set this automatically. If it's not exactly right on your computer, or if you're using a different stand-alone software synth, click the [Latency Adjust] button and follow the instructions in that dialog to manually set your latency.

  • If you are using a hardware synth, the RealDrums should be in sync automatically with a Driver Latency setting of 0, but you can use the [Latency Adjust] to fine-tune if you need to. Occasionally, the MIDI might be playing ahead of the audio. In this special case, you can use the 'Offset in mS' setting in Audio | Audio Drivers/Settings to fix it. Try setting this to (+)100 mS and then fine-tune until in perfect sync. Also, make sure that "Correct RealDrums Sync for ASIO with hardware modules" is enabled.

  • There is also a small possibility that a DX audio effect Plugin you have selected for the Audio track is contributing to the problem (Audio Track plugins are applied to the RealDrums track in addition to the audio track). To check this:

    1. Open the DirectX Plugins window and select the 'Audio Track' tab.
    2. Set all of the pull-down menus to 'none' to disable all audio track DX plugins.
    3. Try playing a song with RealDrums.

145. How do I make my own RealDrums styles?

There are two main components to the drum part of any RealDrums style: (1) a wave file that contains a recording of human drummer, and a text file that contains instructions on how that wave file should be used to create a drum track in Band-in-a-Box®.

We have written an extensive tutorial that explains all aspects of RealDrums style creation. First, download the latest update patch for Band-in-a-Box®, if you haven't already. You will find the tutorial in the Band-in-a-Box® help file under 'Contents | Tutorials | Making RealDrums Styles'. For some examples, examine the completed RealDrums styles in the C:\bb\Drums folder.

The tutorial is also available online.

There are some RealDrums stylemaking templates available for download from here.

There is a video available for download from here.

146. Will RealDrums only work with specific RealDrums styles, or can I use RealDrums with older/existing styles?

Both.

There are many styles that have been pre-programmed to use RealDrums. You can tell the difference between RealDrums styles and MIDI drum styles by looking at the style name. RealDrums styles have a minus sign in front of the style name. For example "STYLE.STY" would be a MIDI drum style and "-STYLE.STY" would be a RealDrums style. There is also a "Styles with RealDrums" category in the StylePicker window.

MIDI drums can also be substituted for RealDrums in ANY style, based on the settings in the RealDrums Settings dialog (Opt. | Preferences | RealDrums). Check the 'Substitute RealDrums for MIDI Drums' box, then choose how often you want this to happen in the pull-down menu. The file a_pgmusic.ds determines which RealDrums style will be used in each .STY file available from PG Music. If you want to use a specific RealDrums wave file for your song (rather than have Band-in-a-Box® auto-load one for you, use the 'For this song only, use this RealDrums Style' setting.

147. How can I import a song that uses RealDrums into a sequencer like PowerTracks Pro Audio for further editing?

When you save your song as a MIDI file to disk, Band-in-a-Box® will automatically create a wave file containing the RealDrums track, and save it in the same location as your MIDI file. For example, if you save your MIDI file as C:\Myfiles\MySong.MID, BIAB will also save the file C:\MyFiles\MySong_RealDrums.WAV. To import the song into PowerTracks, first use File | Open to open MySong.MID, then select a blank track and use File | Wave Files | Import Wave File to import MySong_RealDrums.WAV to that track. Make sure to import the wave file starting at the beginning of the song (ie from 1:1:0). It would be the same basic steps to import the file into other sequencers.

There are settings in the MIDI File Options dialog (Click the .MID button, then click [Options]) to tell Band-in-a-Box® if you want the RealDrums wave file, or if you want the MIDI drums track included in the MIDI file, or both.

148. Why do some of the text files (.TXT) in my Drums folder not have associated wave files (.WAV)? Am I missing some RealDrums styles?

There are a few text files that don't have a wave file of the same name, for example reggae_120_Style.txt, and CountryEven8Reduced_105_Style.txt. These are examples of "reduced" RealDrums styles. What that means is that they are the same styles as the versions at half the tempo, but they are treated as 8th note grooves instead of 16th notes. This was done so that they could be used with a greater number of Band-in-a-Box® styles. You'll notice, for example, in reggae_120_Style.txt that the first line is "wavename=Reggae_060_Style.wav". This means that it's using the same wave file as the Reggae_060 style. The second line is "ForceWavTempo=120". Band-in-a-Box® usually gets the tempo from the wave filename (ie, Reggae_060_Style.wav), but this line tells it that this is a special case, and it should be treated at a tempo of 60bpm.

149. How do I get the Wizard play-along feature to work with my external MIDI keyboard, and not just the QWERTY keyboard?

You need to:

  1. Go to Opt. | Preferences | Transpose, and check the 'Use Wizard for THRU part' box.

  2. Make sure that under the Play menu, "Wizard Playalong feature" and "Wizard uses 'smart' notes" are enabled.

The notes C, E, G, and Bb that you play on your keyboard are mapped to chord tones, and the notes D, F, A, and B are mapped to passing tones while a song is playing.

150. After sending chords to BIAB from the Audio Chord Wizard, how can I hear a BIAB style play rather than the original audio file?

When you send chords to Band-in-a-Box® from the Audio Chord Wizard, Band-in-a-Box® will automatically disable the style. This is so you can hear the original song playing while you watch the chords in Band-in-a-Box®. If you don't want to hear the audio file play, you can get rid of it by clicking on 'Audio' in the instrument panel (Audio Playback Settings) and pressing the [Kill Audio..] button, or by using the Audio | Edit Audio | Kill Entire Audio menu item.

To re-enable the style so that you can hear the Band-in-a-Box® accompaniment, go to the Styles menu and click Style is enabled. You can now hear Band-in-a-Box® play the chords in any style you want. Tip - When you look at the chord sheet window and see an "X" in front of the style name, this means that the style is disabled (you are only hearing the Audio, Melody, and Solo tracks).

151. Why do I hear sound in Band-in-a-Box® program, but not in the Audio Chord Wizard?

Audio playback in Band-in-a-Box® is through the audio driver selected in Opt. | Preferences | Audio | Drivers (BIAB will use the default Windows settings if you use the MME driver type and choose Microsoft Sound Mapper). The Audio Chord Wizard only uses the default Windows settings. Check your Windows settings in Control panel | Sounds and Audio Devices | Audio. Also, check your Windows volume Control settings by double-clicking on the speaker icon in your task bar, or by going to Start | Programs | Accessories | Entertainment | Volume Control. On Windows Vista and higher, click on the speaker icon in your task bar, then click on Mixer. Also, right-click on the speaker icon and select Playback Devices to open the Sound control panel.

152. How can I print lead sheets that show both the lead-in/intro bars, and the ending/tag bars?

  1. Open the Lead Sheet window and check the 'FakeSheet mode' box.

  2. Click the OPT button (Lead Sheet Options) and check the 'Fakesheet includes ending bars' box.

  3. Click the Print button (Print Options). Select 'Whole Song' and 'Include Lead-in Bar'.

  4. Preview and Print your song.

153. After closing Band-in-a-Box®, PowerTracks, or RealBand, I get an error message saying that the application has stopped working, or the program has encountered a problem and needs to close.

This message is usually related to using the VSC-DXi synth during your Band-in-a-Box® session. You might get one of the following messages shortly after you exit the program.

  • Windows XP: This program has encountered a problem and needs to close.

  • Windows Vista/7: Band-in-a-Box® (or PowerTracks) application has stopped working.

This only happens on some systems, and usually on systems with Windows Vista. It is a harmless error message, and you can safely ignore it - there is nothing wrong with your program.

In most cases, it can be solved by downloading and installing updated graphics card drivers. Typically it happens on computers with NVIDIA devices. To check what type of graphics device you have, you can expand the "display adaptors" item in the Device Manager. To get to the Device Manager, you can right-click on My Computer and select Properties, then go to Advanced | Hardware | Device Manager. For NVIDIA products, drivers can be downloaded from www.nvidia.com.

154. When using the VSC-DXi, the Audio and RealDrums tracks work, but there is no sound from the MIDI tracks.

First, check that your MIDI track volumes (Bass, Piano, etc.) are not set to 0. If you find that the track volumes are inexplicably set to 0, you should:

  1. Close Band-in-a-Box® and delete the file 'MySetup.dk' from your bb folder.
  2. Download and install the latest update patch for Band-in-a-Box®.

If your tracks are not muted and the volumes are turned up, open the VSC-DXi panel by clicking on the DXi Synth button in the main Band-in-a-Box® toolbar. Try resetting the VSC-DXi by doing the following:

  1. Click the [Reset] button in the VSC-DXi control panel.
  2. Click the [Setup] button.
  3. Select the Performance tab and make sure that the Volume is turned up and the effects boxes are checked.
  4. In the Receive Events tab, click the [Receive All] button.
  5. Press OK, close the DirectX Plugins window and try playing a song.

If that doesn't help, and you think the problem is specific to the VSC-DXi, uninstall and reinstall the VSC-DXi. Make sure that you have Band-in-a-Box® closed when you do this.

If you get the error message "failed create property pages" when you click on the [Setup] button in the VSC-DXi control panel, the VSC-DXi is not installed properly. You will need to uninstall and reinstall the VSC-DXi. Make sure that Band-in-a-Box® is closed when you do this.

If you are still having trouble, or the problem doesn't seem to be specific to the VSC-Dxi, you may want to check our complete "No Sound" tutorial.

155. When using the ForteDXi, the sound cuts out every few seconds.

This means that you have had the trial version of the ForteDXi installed on your computer for over 30 days. If you want to continue to use the ForteDXi without this restriction, you will need to purchase the full version. After you have placed your order, you will receive a registration code via email. To convert the ForteDXi into the unlimited version, right-click in the ForteDxi control panel and select 'Enter Registration Code'.

156. How do I print harmony parts with Band-in-a-Box®?

You first need to 'convert the harmony' to the Melody track (or Soloist track if you are using a Soloist/Thru harmony). This will write the harmony permanently to the track so that you can see the notation. To do this, you can go to the Harmony menu and select Convert harmony to .. Track. In Band-in-a-Box® versions 12 and higher, there is a feature that allows you to display and print individual harmony parts. Here are the basic steps. After you have chosen the MIDI harmony you wish to use:

  1. Open the Lead Sheet window and click the OPT button to open the Lead Sheet Options dialog.

  2. Press the [Convert Harmony to Track] button.

  3. Choose the harmony part you would like to view/print, from the 'Show Harmony Voice' pull-down menu.

  4. Press the [Print] button in the Lead Sheet window to print out that part.

Band-in-a-Box® 11 and earlier do not have the ability to print individual harmony voices separately, however one thing you could do would be to save your song as a MIDI file (making sure that 'MIDI File Harmony on Separate Tracks' is checked in the MIDI File Options dialog), then import the MIDI file into PowerTracks Pro Audio and print it each track separately from that program.

157. Which RealDrums and RealTracks styles are included in each of the Sets?

Click here to see a list of RealDrums styles and which sets they are part of. It also explains how to check which RealDrums you have installed.

Click here to see a list of RealTracks styles and which sets they are part of.

158. How do I install update patches for Band-in-a-Box®, RealTracks, and RealDrums?

Update patches for Band-in-a-Box® can be downloaded from http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm.

RealTracks and RealDrums updates: http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windows_realdrums.htm.

RealBand updates: http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windows_realband.htm.

  1. Download the file and 'Save to disk'. You can save the file to your desktop or to your preferred folder for saving downloads.

  2. Make sure Band-in-a-Box® is closed, otherwise the update will not work.

  3. Double-click on the downloaded file and follow the prompts. When you get to the screen asking you to select the destination directory, make sure that your Band-in-a-Box® folder is selected. This is usually C:\bb, although it's quite possible that you have Band-in-a-Box® installed somewhere else. If you installed Band-in-a-Box® from a disc or downloaded installer, the patch should be able to locate the correct folder automatically.

    If you are running Band-in-a-Box® directly from an external hard drive you have purchased from PG Music, the destination folder will usually be X:\bb (replace X with whatever your USB drive letter is), or it may in some cases be X:\PGMusic\Programs\bb. The patch will not normally be able to locate the bb folder on the hard drive automatically, you will need to point it there.

  4. Some patches may also want your RealTracks and RealDrums folder locations. This is the folder that the "RealTracks" and "Drums" subfolders are located in, which is usually the same as your Band-in-a-Box® folder. In other words, with a default installation, X:\bb would be entered in all three fields (replace X by your drive letter).

The RealTracks updates are combined updates for a number of different RealTracks Sets. You can still use these updates if you don't have all of the Sets listed - only the RealTracks that you already have installed will be updated.

After installing the update patch, launch Band-in-a-Box® and go to Help | About Band-in-a-Box® to make sure that it installed properly.

159. How do I install the VSC-DXi on Windows Vista or 7?

Symptoms: When you try to install the VSC-DXi, you might get an error message similar to: "String NOSUPPORT_OS was not found in string table"

The VSC-DXi runs on all operating systems, except for 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, and 7. The only other time you might have trouble installing the VSC-DXi is if you are trying to install by using a separate VSC-DXi setup file you downloaded or found on an older CD.

The VSC-DXi was included with Band-in-a-Box® versions 2004-2011. If you have version 2007-2011, it should be automatically installed with Band-in-a-Box®. You should not have to do anything special, aside from making sure you have the VSC-DXi selected in the list of components to install. If you already have Band-in-a-Box® installed, you can choose to install ONLY the VSC-DXi (pictured here).

If you already have Band-in-a-Box® installed, an alternative way to install the VSC is by using the setup files in the ...\bb\vsc\VSC_Installs folder.

You CAN still use the separate VSC-DXi installer if you want, you will just need to do the following beforehand:

  1. Locate the VSC-DXi Setup .exe file.

  2. Right-click on it and select Properties.

  3. Click the compatibility tab.

  4. Check the "Run this program in compatibility mode for" box, and select "Windows XP (Service Pack 2)".

  5. Press Apply, and you can now install the VSC-DXi.

There is some more troubleshooting information about DXi synths in this tutorial.

160. "Cannot load drum style" message when loading a style or demo song.

Symptom: When you try to load in a style or song demo (from the StylePicker or one of the demo folders), you might get a message similar to "Cannot load drum style because this folder does not exist... followed by the path and filename of a RealDrums style you don't have.

This error occurs when a style or song has been "hard-coded" to use a particular RealDrums style, and that RealDrums style does not exist in your Drums folder. (A style can be hard-coded to use a specific RealDrums style in the StyleMaker | Misc style settings dialog, and a song can be hard-coded to use a specific RealDrums style in the RealDrums Settings dialog - "For this song only, use this RealDrums style").

Here are the most common reasons that this would happen:

  • You didn't install your RealDrums, or you installed to a location other than your Band-in-a-Box® folder and didn't specify that location in the RealDrums Settings dialog. Depending on how you installed Band-in-a-Box®, the RealDrums may have been included in the Band-in-a-Box® installer (as with DVD's), or as a separate file (as with electronic delivery).

    To fix this, you could verify if you are supposed to have that particular style (instructions here), and then reinstall or confirm your Drums folder location as necessary.

    One further note - an indication that you have not specified the correct Drums folder location is if you get the flash message when trying to play a "Style with RealDrums" (i.e. -*.STY), since the .STY would have bee installed at the same time as the other RealDrums components.

  • You purchased some RealTracks sets, and you don't have all of the available RealDrums Sets. In this case, you may get a "Cannot load drum style" message when loading some Styles with RealTracks(i.e. =*.STY or _*.STY) from the StylePicker. This is a flash message so it doesn't necessarily require any action from you - it is just for your information. We "hard-coded" some Styles with RealTracks to use specific RealDrums. Band-in-a-Box® users that do in fact have all the RealDrums might prefer to hear a style that has been pre-assembled with many real instruments, including RealDrums.

    If you hard-code the song to use a RealDrums style that you DO have, you'll hear RealDrums and not see the error message. This is done in the RealDrums Preferences dialog ("For this song only, use this RealDrums style") or by right-clicking on the Drums track. If you are working with one of the 'factory' demo songs, we suggest keeping the original demo file by saving the song AS after the changes.

    If you didn't want to hear any RealDrums at all, you could remove the RealDrums assignment in the Style settings (Styles | StyleMaker | Edit Current Style or Ctrl+Shift+F9, MISC button, uncheck 'Style uses RealDrums'). We suggest either saving this new style AS, or keeping a backup of the factory style, so you don't need to reinstall your RealTracks sets if you want it back at some point in the future.

  • You have a user file (i.e. not from PG Music) that was made by someone else with a different set of RealDrums. The solutions are similar to the ones explained above.

161. What is the difference between a 'RealTracks Style', a 'Style with RealTracks', and a 'RealStyle'?

RealTracks Style refers to one particular RealTracks instrument, that can be assigned to any Band-in-a-Box® track (Bass,Piano,Guitar,etc.) by right-clicking on the track. An example is "Sax, Tenor, Jazz Sw 140". This is Tenor Sax playing in a swing feel, recorded at a tempo of 140 BPM.

A 'Style with RealTracks' refers to a Band-in-a-Box® .STY style file, where at least one of the instruments is a RealTracks style. STY files can be all MIDI (MIDI bass, guitar, piano, strings etc.), or can have any combination of MIDI + RealTracks + RealDrums. Styles with RealTracks have been hard-coded to use RealTracks in the StyleMaker. You can identify them because they have an = (equals sign) prefix. e.g. =MyStyle.STY

A 'RealStyle' is a Style with RealTracks (i.e. STY file) that has no MIDI parts at all. You can identify them because they have an _ (underscore) prefix. e.g. _MyStyle.STY.

It is similar for RealDrums. A 'RealDrums style' usually refers to something like 'JazzBrushes', 'CountrySwing' etc., while 'Style with RealDrums' refers to a Band-in-a-Box® .STY file where the Drum track has been hard-coded to use a specific RealDrums style. Styles with RealDrums can be identified because they have a - (minus sign) prefix. e.g. -MyStyle.STY. They don't use any RealTracks.

162. I am having trouble installing from a CD or DVD that I received.

  • Many of our products are distributed on CD, although a lot of the larger products are on DVD - this includes all of the RealTracks. If you got a DVD (indicated on the disc label), make sure you are actually putting the disc in your DVD drive. If you don't have a DVD drive, you could contact us to find out if it's available on CD.

  • With some CDs or DVDs that have large files on them, the CD may spin in your drive for while or nothing will happen when you try to run the installer. We found that ZoneAlarm and some other system security (anti-virus/firewall) software can cause this to happen. Also, Windows may be trying to load the file into memory or scanning it for a digital signature. The solution is to either "be patient" (sometimes it just takes a few minutes for it to start), or:

    1. Remove the disc from your drive.
    2. Restart your computer.
    3. When Windows has restarted, disable your system security software. If you aren't sure how to do this, look at the icons in your computer's taskbar at the bottom right-hand side of your screen. One of them will likely be for your virus checker. If you left or right-click on the icon, you should be able to find an option to disable it.
    4. Put the CD back in your CD drive and run the installer.

    If that didn't help, you could use the system configuration utility to perform a selective startup, like this:

    1. Go to the Start menu and click on Run.
    2. Type msconfig and press OK.
    3. Choose 'Selective Startup', and uncheck 'Load Startup Items'.
    4. Press Apply, then press Close, and reboot the computer.
    5. Once the computer has restarted, cancel the System configuration Utility (if it comes up automatically), and install the software.
    6. After you have installed the software, you can set Windows back to 'Normal Startup'
  • DVD drives tend to be more finicky then CDs, especially older drives that are less error tolerant. If your DVD drive does not seem to be recognizing the DVD, you get an error message when you try to launch the installer, or you get an error message during the installation - this can often be solved by simply rebooting the computer. Examples of such errors are "An error occurred while trying to copy a file", "Data error (cyclic redundancy check)", "The source file is corrupted", "The setup files are corrupted". If you want to be sure, reboot your computer using a selective startup mode (as explained above), and don't do anything else on your computer while it is installing.

  • Another idea is to try using another DVD drive if you can. There may be a problem with your drive, or it may just have a compatibility problem with the particular DVD media used.

  • Contact us if you're still having trouble.

163. I need assistance with a hard drive version of the UltraPlusPAK, EverythingPAK, Audiophile or OmniPAK that I purchased.

If you are wondering how to use the programs on the hard drive, you have a few options.

First, double-click on the Band-in-a-Box® Setup.exe file on the root level of the hard drive. It gives you the following installation options.

  • Option #1 - Run Band-in-a-Box® directly from the USB drive only.  This allows you to use the hard drive "as is" and run the programs from it. It requires very little free disk space on your internal hard drive. Setup will install and register the PG Music notation fonts, VSC-DXi synth, VSC-VST synth, and PG Music DirectX audio plugins on your computer, but will not install Band-in-a-Box®, RealBand, RealTracks, or RealDrums on your computer's internal hard drive. You can use the programs as they are, pre-installed on the USB drive. There are shortcuts to run Band-in-a-Box® and RealBand on the root level of the hard drive. Any additional programs and shortcuts are located in the "PGMusic" folder.

  • Option #2 - Install Band-in-a-Box® on your computer hard drive, but leave the RealTracks and RealDrums on the USB hard drive.  This requires more hard disk space, about 2 to 4 GB. In addition to the plugins and fonts, this will install the Band-in-a-Box® and RealBand programs to your computer's hard drive, and allow you to run the programs from there, as if you had installed them from a DVD. This is also useful for upgrading an existing version of Band-in-a-Box® that you have installed on your computer.

    You can still use RealTracks and RealDrums, but they won't take up extra space on your internal hard drive. Instead, you will use the RealTracks and RealDrums preferences dialogs in Band-in-a-Box® and RealBand to specify a custom location of the RealTracks and Drums folders - X:\bb\RealTracks and X:\bb\Drums, where X is the drive letter your computer has assigned to the USB drive (OR X:\PGMusic\Programs\bb\RealTracks and X:\PGMusic\Programs\bb\Drums if you purchased the hard drive prior to September 2009.

    In other words, this option installs all of the files in the bb and RealBand folders except for the RealTracks and Drums folders, and also installs any additional Band-in-a-Box® songs and lessons.

    Note: If you are unplugging and adding/removing USB devices, the drive letter assigned to the hard drive may change - if so, you would need to modify the custom location, or plug in your devices in an order that gives the PG Music disk the same letter.

  • Option #3 - Install Band-in-a-Box® AND RealTracks on your computer hard drive.  In addition to everything installed by Option 2, this will copy the RealTracks and RealDrums (Drums) folders from the USB drive to your computer's hard drive, as if you had installed the entire package from DVD. This will allow you to keep the PG Music hard drive primarily for backup, and use Band-in-a-Box® and RealBand (along with the RealTracks) directly from your computer hard drive.

    This option requires a lot of free hard disk space (over 80 GB) since these folders contain many audio files, and the installation may take about an hour to complete depending on how fast your computer is. See the documentation on the hard drive to find out exactly how much disk space is required for the version you have. If you have an Audiophile edition, note that you would need to copy the RealTracks and Drums folders manually if you wanted the uncompressed wave files on your internal hard drive. However, this wouldn't be very practical since it requires over 800GB of free disk space.

    It is simplest to choose the same destination location for your RealTracks and Drums folders as you do for Band-in-a-Box®. For example:
    Band-in-a-Box® - C:\bb
    RealBand - C:\RealBand
    RealDrums - C:\bb
    RealTracks - C:\bb.

  • Option #4 - Custom Installation - Choose exactly what you want to install.  This option is for advanced users who want to be able to select exactly what is installed. For example, you could install RealDrums but not RealTracks, or skip the DX plugins, or install the Video Tutorials, etc.

 

If your computer does not recognize the hard drive, it is most likely a power supply issue. Another possibility is that the connection between the hard disk and enclosure is loose.

Power supply: Different computers and laptops deliver more/less power to the USB ports. (This information applies to 2.5 inch USB powered drives, not the 3.5 inch Audiophile editions that use an external power source.)

  • On one end of the USB cable, there is a second USB connector you can use for extra power (usually a little smaller than the main one). If your cable looks like that, first make sure you have the larger connector plugged into your computer. It is *normally* only necessary to use the one plug.
  • If that doesn't work, try connecting the main plug directly to a USB port on the back of your computer, rather than a USB hub or ports on the monitor/keyboard/front of the computer case. Unless you have a self-powered USB hub (i.e. one that plugs into the wall, or battery-powered) it doesn't have any more current drive than is available on its usb connection to the mother-computer. So each single port on a hub often doesn't have enough power to drive some devices. USB ports on the front of your computer etc. can be similar to this.
  • You could try connecting the extra power USB plug to another port (so you have both cables plugged in). Note that there is often a maximum current available per pair of vertically stacked USB ports, so you may have better luck bridging between two pairs. Also, if you have other USB powered devices that require a lot of power, such as audio interfaces or a MIDI keyboard, it would be best if each of those had its own pair.
  • The default power management for many laptops, is set to power-off the external power to USB ports when they go to sleep. On some computers it can even be set up to deliver less power or no power if you are running off the battery. It is a good idea to look at the options in the control panel 'power' settings and/or My Computer-Hardware control panel.
  • If you happen to have a lot of 'power-hungry' USB devices, you might consider purchasing a self-powered USB hub.

Loose connection: Sometimes the connection between the SATA drive and the enclosure can come loose in transit. This is very easy to resolve. Unscrew the two little screws on the end of the drive and remove the SATA drive from the enclosure. You will see that the drive plugs into a connector on the end of the enclosure. You can unplug the drive from that connector and plug it in again (we call this re-seating the drive). Re-seating the drive will not void your warranty.

 

If you get an error message during setup or occasionally during normal use... Any one of the following error messages suggest a power supply problem or loose connection as explained above and are normally easily resolved: "Device not ready" (most likely the disk needs to be re-seated); "delayed write failed" (not enough / inconsistent power); "source file is corrupt" when copying files to internal hard drive (not enough / inconsistent power); "Drivers not installed" (most likely loose connection).

 

If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7 and you are getting errors while running Band-in-a-Box® and other programs from the hard drive, it is most likely a permissions problem, where Band-in-a-Box® doesn't have the correct privileges to write files to it's folder. This should NOT be a problem with Band-in-a-Box® 2010 and higher, however if it is, there are a number of possible solutions. One solution is to disable User Account Control. This is done in the Windows control panel | User Accounts. Another solution is to right-click on Band-in-a-Box® and select 'Run As Administrator'. A third option is to install the Band-in-a-Box® program to your internal hard drive and run it from there (you can still keep the RealTracks on the USB drive).

 

Some other general points and frequently asked questions

  • When you first plug the HD in, Windows may ask you what action you want to take. You can either close that window, or choose 'Open folder to browse files'. Either way, you can access the HD through My Computer. On some of the hard drive enclosures there is a small LED that flashes blue when the drive is being accessed, such as when you first connect it. On others, there is a green light if the unit is receiving any power, and red if it is transferring data.

  • You should use the Safely Remove Hardware icon in your taskbar (bottom right side of your computer screen) before physically disconnecting the drive from your computer. Sometimes the icon is in the group of "other icons". If that doesn't work (you get a message saying that it can't be stopped), make sure the drive isn't in use, by closing programs and folder windows. For example, if you are browsing the hard drive contents through Windows Explorer or have the Band-in-a-Box® program running, you won't be able to safely eject (If it still doesn't work, you could reboot your computer before disconnecting the drive).

  • You can install updates and patches to the programs in the same way that you would normally, except that the update patch installers will not necessarily be able to locate the destination folder automatically. Make sure to select the correct destination location. For example, if the drive shows as the G: drive, you would install a Band-in-a-Box® update to G:\bb (OR G:\PGMusic\Programs\bb if you purchased the hard drive prior to September 2009). You would install a RealBand update to G:\RealBand (OR G:\PGMusic\Programs\RealBand if you purchased the hard drive prior to September 2009). For PowerTracks Pro Audio and other programs included on your hard drive, you would install to G:\PGMusic\Programs\...

  • Some people wonder about backing up the drive. If you choose the option to install Band-in-a-Box® and all of the RealTracks files to your internal hard drive, you can essentially keep the hard disk as a backup. There are some files that you wouldn't have backed up, like the Installer files, Readme files, and other programs (if you have the OmniPAK). You can, if you want, make a backup of the entire hard disk contents, simply by selecting all files and folders on the root level of the hard drive, and copying them to another disk. Some hard disks have a hidden file called datalist.asc on the root level of the disk - you want to copy this file also (there are folder options in Windows to show hidden files and folders). More recent hard drives have no files that are hidden like that.

  • If you installed a Band-in-a-Box® 2010 or higher upgrade on disc or download to an earlier version of the hard drive (e.g. Band-in-a-Box® 2009 hard drive), and you are running Windows Vista or 7, then you should install the Band-in-a-Box® 2009 Hard Drive patch for Windows Vista and 7.

  • Don't hesitate to contact us if you are having difficulty.

164. Some tracks/channels have no sound when I'm using the ForteDXi.

The ForteDXi needs to receive a patch change on a particular channel in order to play anything on that channel (Other synths will play acoustic piano by default if no patch change is received). To resolve the problem, in PowerTracks just make sure you have selected a patch for your track. In Band-in-a-Box®, make sure that a patch change is being sent on each channel. Select something other than "no patch change" for the Melody and Soloist tracks, and also for the Thru track if you're playing live from a controller (e.g. MIDI keyboard). There should always be patch changes at the start of the song for the rest of the tracks unless you have disabled some settings in the MIDI Options dialog.

Also, for your Melody or Soloist tracks, if you have them set to multi-channel type tracks, check the event list (# button in notation window) for patch changes on each channel.

165. I'm unable to open or burn CD audio files on Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Symptoms:

  • When you try to load in a CD audio file, you might get an error message "Sorry, cannot convert the file."
  • When you try to burn a CD using MINIBurn (the burning software included with Band-in-a-Box®), you might get the error "There are no compatible CDR drives reported".

To resolve this problem:

  1. Close Band-in-a-Box® and navigate into the Band-in-a-Box® folder (usually C:\bb).
  2. Right-click on the file "STOMBBx.exe" and select Properties.
  3. Click the Compatibility tab and set it to run this program in compatibility mode for Windows XP SP2.
  4. Press Apply. You should now be able to open/import CD audio files into Band-in-a-Box®.

For the burning issue, repeat the steps above for the file "miniburn.exe". There is a good chance that it will solve this issue as well, however if not, you may in fact have a burner that MINIBurn is not compatible with. If this is the case, you 'll need to just use your third party burning software (usually comes free with computers/optical drives).

166. Can I store the RealTracks and RealDrums on a different hard drive than the Band-in-a-Box® and RealBand program?

Yes. The "RealTracks" and "Drums" folders, which are normally located in your bb folder, contain all of the audio files. If you have all of the "Real files" released to date, these will be quite large. Moving them to a different hard drive allows you to free up disk space on your main hard drive. To move them, you can simply select those two folders and use Edit-Cut and Edit-Paste to transfer them to a different location. You may not need to move the folders; you may have selected a custom folder when you installed them originally, or you may have purchased the program on a USB hard drive.

Either way, you need to specify the location of the folders in Band-in-a-Box® before you will be able to use them, if they are located anywhere outside your main Band-in-a-Box® folder. To do this, go to Opt. | Preferences, and click on the [RealDrums] button. This opens the RealDrums Settings dialog (which can also be accessed by a button in the toolbar). Select the "Use a custom folder location" checkbox, then click the Select Folder button. Locate and select your Drums folder, then press OK. Alternatively, you could just type the path manually without using the Select Folder window.

Use the same procedure for your RealTracks folder (Opt. | Preferences | [RealTracks].

167. Why does the StylePicker window rebuild for first-time-use every time I open it?

The most probable cause of this is that you are using Band-in-a-Box® on a USB hard drive that you purchased from us in 2009, and you have Windows Vista or Windows 7 with User Account Control enabled. So the solution mentioned here would be applicable if you had a previous hard drive version and purchased a 2010 upgrade via disc or download. When the StylePicker needs to be rebuilt (such as when you first run the program, or when you install new styles), the file RebuildStylePicker.txt is present in the bb folder. Band-in-a-Box® rebuilds the style list then deletes the file. In this case, Band-in-a-Box® does not have permission to delete the file, so the list is continually rebuilt. Not having permission to modify the contents of the bb folder would result in a number of other errors as well.

The main things that affect this are whether you have User Account Control enabled, whether you are logged on as an administrator or standard user, and where you are running Band-in-a-Box® from. There are a few possible solutions, but if you have a Band-in-a-Box® 2009 hard drive, you should probably download the Band-in-a-Box® 2009 Hard Drive patch for Windows Vista and 7. This should resolve the problem without having to do anything further. Other possible solutions are: disable User Account Control (this is done in the Windows control panel | User Accounts); Right-click on Band-in-a-Box® and select 'Run As Administrator'; Install the Band-in-a-Box® program to your internal hard drive and run it from there (you can still keep the RealTracks on the USB drive), Make sure you have at least build 280. But as mentioned, the hard drive patch would usually be the best fix.

If this isn't what the problem is, check the properties of the file (\bb\RebuildStylePicker.txt) and make sure it isn't set to 'read-only'. See if you can delete the file manually.

168. What are the green lines underneath some of the RealTracks at the top of the main screen? What do N and Gt stand for in the RealTracks window?

Green underlines underneath the track names at the top of the main Band-in-a-Box® screen tell you if the RealTrack instrument assigned to that track has RealCharts. RealCharts means that the notation window will display full notation for that instrument.

A half underline means that it will display notation. RealChart Notation

A full underline means that it will display notation, and will also display accurate guitar tab. For these RealTracks, you can look in the Guitar Fretboard window and see exactly how it was played on the guitar. RealChart tab

The "Assign RealTracks" window, which you get to by right-clicking on a track and selecting Add/Remove RealTracks, will also tell you if an instrument has RealCharts available. Underneath the 'Chart' column, N means that the instrument shows notation, and Gt means that it also shows accurate guitar tab.

169. What is the best way to use the Trade 4 RealDrums styles?

Some of the Trade four's RealDrums available are:

  • Jazz4sTerryClarke
  • JazzBrushes4sTerryClarke
  • JazzBrushesWaltz4sTerryClarke
  • JazzWaltz4sTerryClarke
  • JazzOlder4s
  • JazzOlderWaltz4s

With these styles, the drummer plays normally in the A section, but in the B section (in your middle choruses or whenever you enter a B part marker) the drummer alternates between playing a drum solo for 4 bars and regular playing for the next 4 bars. These drum styles will work best if you have a part marker every 8 bars. For some examples, load in the RD Demo songs from the RealDrums Picker, or load in one of the following "Styles with RealDrums" from the StylePicker. These will be available if you have RealDrums Set 19 (Terry Clarke Trading Fours):

  • -JAZ4SF.STY
  • -JAZ4SM.STY
  • -JAZB4SF.STY
  • -JAZB4SM.STY
  • -WALZ4SF.STY
  • -WALZ4SM.STY
  • -WLZB4SF.STY
  • -WLZB4SM.STY

170. Error when opening the program: "The procedure entry point WMCreateSyncReader could not be located in the dynamic link library WMVCORE.DLL"

There are older, corrupt, or missing Windows Media files on your computer. You can resolve this problem by download and installing (or reinstalling) the latest version of Windows Media Player for your operating system. You can download this from the Microsoft website.

171. How do the Metal Guitar RealTracks soloists work?

This Metal Electric Guitar soloists will play based on the key of the song only, except for '5' chords (e.g. F5, Bb5 etc.) Whenever you enter a '5' chord is, they will solo based on the chord instead. There are a few variations of the soloist... The unaltered variation plays wildly fast solos, the "SemiWild" variation uses slower phrases throughout the whole song (e.g. wouldn't play a long section of 32nd notes), while the "WildCresc" variation plays the wildly fast solos only during the B section of your song; you can choose to disable this feature in the RealTracks Settings dialog (Allow soloing to crescendo).

172. How can I speed up RealTracks generation time?

  • Band-in-a-Box® 2010 and higher have an option in the RealTracks Settings dialog to "Speed up generation of RealTracks" (default=True). This uses more of your system resources, but makes RealTracks generate WAY faster (typically 3 times faster) than previous versions of Band-in-a-Box®.

  • RealTracks generation speed is a function of CPU speed, available RAM, and hard drive speed. In addition, the time to generate is a function of (# of RealTracks in song) times (# of bars in song). If you reduce the length of the song, they'll generate faster.

  • Some RealTracks generate faster than others. In general, "Background" and "Rhythm" RealTracks generate faster than "Soloist" RealTracks which have larger databases of riffs.

  • With a typical 32 bar x 3 chorus song, a RealTracks instrument should only take a few seconds to generate - this varies depending on the factors mentioned, but if it's *significantly* longer than this or if you're seeing error messages, you might want to investigate that further (perhaps you have too many programs open, your RealTracks aren't installed correctly, or you are using an external hard drive and there's a problem with your USB port).

  • Band-in-a-Box® 2010 and higher have an option to 'freeze' some or all of your tracks. This means that the next time you load your song and play it, it will generate and play almost instantly. Any frozen tracks will keep the same arrangement that you froze them with. You can 'unfreeze' tracks at any time if you want to re-generate them.

  • Band-in-a-Box® 2009 and higher have an option under the Play menu to 'render your song to the audio track' (called 'freeze' in version 2009). This essentially converts your entire song to a wave file that plays on the Audio track, allowing your song to load and play very quickly. This option is much less flexible than the previously mentioned freeze feature however, and requires your songs to have an associated wave file rather than just the *MGU.

  • Converting the compressed .WMA files to .WAV files (Install button in the RealTracks Settings dialog) can also improve the speed a little bit, however it is not recommended that you do this for the entire RealTracks folder due to the large amount of disk space this requires (about 10 times more space than the .WMA's) -- Also, the difference is not significant compared to items mentioned above. If you want, you could convert a few select RealTracks instruments that you use frequently, using the [...] button next to the Install button. When using waves, generating the same RealTracks a few times will usually speed it up due to the wave files being cached. (Note: There is no benefit in sound quality when using these 'decompressed' wma files.)

173. Can the RealTracks WMA files be converted to WAV files, and are these the same WAV files that are shipped with the Audiophile version?

No, you cannot convert the wma files included in most Band-in-a-Box® packages to the wave files included in the Audiophile packages.

Converting the compressed .WMA files to .WAV files IS possible by using the Install button in the RealTracks or RealDrums Settings dialog. This can improve the RealTracks generation speed a little, however it is not recommended that you do this for the entire RealTracks folder due to the large amount of disk space this requires (about 10 times more space than the .WMA's). The sound quality will be exactly the same as if you were using the .wma files, since audio data has already been lost by compressing the wma's in the first place. On the other hand, the Audiophile wave files have never been compressed.

174. Is the latest version of Band-in-a-Box® backwards compatible with songs and styles from older versions?

Yes - Band-in-a-Box® is designed to be fully backwards compatible with songs and styles created with previous versions of the program. You can often make your older songs sound much better after upgrading to the latest version, by choosing newer Styles, RealTracks, and RealDrums that came with your upgrade.

In addition, songs created with the current version will work with older versions of the program. If your song uses any new features that were not available in that older version, the song will still work, but will ignore the feature. For example, Band-in-a-Box® 2010 and higher support frozen tracks (2009 and earlier did not). If you open a song with frozen tracks into an earlier version of Band-in-a-Box®, the song will work fine but the tracks won't be frozen.

Note also that different installations of Band-in-a-Box® can have different combinations of styles, RealTracks, and RealDrums. If your song is set to a style that doesn't exist in the older version, Band-in-a-Box® may be able to substitute the MIDI style for a similar one that does exist... otherwise, you will need to select similar styles/instruments that do exist in that version.

175. Can I enter note-based lyrics if my song does not have a melody?

Note-based lyrics are much more flexible than line-based lyrics - they allow you to enter lyrics at a specific position (e.g. under specific melody notes), and have more formatting options. However the lyrics must be entered by associating them with a specific note on the melody or soloist track. To enter note-based lyrics, you press the [L] button in the notation window and type your lyrics into the box that appears. When you type your lyric, it will be placed under the currently highlighted note; to advance to the next note, press Enter, or Tab. To go to a previous note, you can press Shift+Tab.

If your song doesn't have a melody, you could consider using the following method to enter your lyrics:

  1. Enter a note - any note - on each beat in bar 1.

  2. Go to Edit | Copy from.. to... Copy from bar 1 to bar 2; number of bars to copy = 1; # times to repeat copy = [however many bars your song is].

  3. Enter your note-based lyrics

  4. Go to Edit | Erase from.. to... Erase from bar 1; # bars to erase = [however many bars your song is]. Uncheck 'Lyrics'.

The lyrics will stay at the position you where you entered them. If you need to correct a typo, you could use the Lyric event list - press the [#] button in the notation window and click [Edit Lyrics]. You'll see that you could also use the event list to manually enter lyrics at a specific position. Another way to insert formatted text at any point in your song, is to toggle into editable notation mode, right-click where you want to insert the text, and click on 'Insert Section Text'.

176. My song starts playing whenever I press the spacebar to delete a chord in the chordsheet window.

You can change this behaviour by going to Opt. | Preferences and choosing the appropriate option in the 'Spacebar key' pull-down menu ('Enters no chord').

177. Error message when loading the program: "System cannot find file specified at..."

This is most likely a Windows error that occurs when Band-in-a-Box® asks Windows to search for DirectX plugins on your computer. The problem is probably related to an incorrectly installed or corrupt DirectX Plugin.

To fix this, you should first eliminate the possibility that there is a problem with one of the Band-in-a-Box® settings files, or one of the PG Music DirectX plugins. To do this, perform an install of the main program to a different folder than it's installed to now. This won't "mess up" your existing installation. Just choose a different Band-in-a-Box® folder, for example C:\bb_test. You don't need to reinstall RealTracks files, but in the Setup wizard make sure that the PG DirectX plugins component is selected. Once it's finished, run Band-in-a-Box® from the new folder and see if the same error occurs. If it doesn't, you could use your new installation, or you may be able to fix your old installation by returning the program to factory settings as in this FAQ topic (delete the dxplugin related files listed there).

If the error still occurs with the new installation, then here are some further tips.

  • Try downloading the latest version of DirectX from Microsoft's website.

  • Check your hard disk for errors. Right Click on your hard drive and select Properties. On the Tools tab - Error Checking, click the Check Now button. Check both boxes (Fix File System Errors and Scan/attempt recovery of bad sectors). You will need to reboot the computer to run this scan.

As mentioned, if none of those suggestions fixed the problem, there is most likely a third party (non-PG Music) DirectX plugin on your computer which was moved or deleted, or there is a problem with the plugin's registry entry. It is possible that just one corrupt DX plugin file somewhere on your computer is causing the problem

  • If you have recently installed any third party DirectX plugins (or software that might have included DX plugins), try uninstalling/reinstalling this software.

  • In the Band-in-a-Box® folder (e.g. C:\bb) you should find a file called PluginScanLog.log. This file can be opened with a text editor like NotePad. Since this file will be recently modified, if you sort the contents of the bb folder by date modified, you'll be able to find it easily. This file may tell you which plugin is causing the problem by seeing if there's a particular plugin that the log stops at. Then you can either try to fix the plugin (uninstall/reinstall/clean it out of registry) or add it to the Band-in-a-Box® DX plugin exclude list.

    The exclude list is also found in the bb folder - called "dxplugexclude.ini". This file can be edited with NotePad. Save a backup copy of the original "factory" file, so you can revert back to it if needed. If you add a plugin to the list, launch Band-in-a-Box® and see if you still get the error. If you do, examine the PluginScanLog again, repeating this for any other plugins it stops at.

  • You could try to track down and uninstall all of your plugins. You may also be able to find a utility that will check the registry and flag any DX plugin that has a registry entry which no longer points to a valid file.

178. There used to be a MIDI Chorus control at the top of the screen - where did it go?

Previous versions of Band-in-a-Box® had a MIDI Chorus spin control on the main screen. This was replaced with an Audio Tone control which is more popular. MIDI Chorus can still be set in the MIDI Settings dialog (Opt. | Preferences | Channels) by typing in the number under the Chorus column for the desired instrument. The setting is saved with the song.

179. Garbled/Stuttering playback or drop-outs on songs with RealTracks.

If you are experiencing drop-outs with RealTracks, it could be caused by running an older build of the program under certain conditions. So the first thing you will want to do is download the latest update patch from http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm.

Garbled or stuttering playback could be a system resource issue. You may be able to completely fix the problem by turning off accelerated RealTracks generation. This is done in the RealTracks Settings dialog (Control+click on the RealTracks toolbar button and uncheck "Speed up generation of RealTracks". If your playback is only "garbled" during the first few bars, that is an indication that this will fix it. The downside is that RealTracks will now take longer to generate, so you might instead troubleshoot the source of the problem:

  • Close other programs running on your computer. Your computer loads a number of programs automatically when it boots up. One useful test you can do is to use the system configuration utility to do a selective startup. To do this, go to the Start menu and type msconfig in the search field (On Windows XP and earlier go to Start | Run). Choose Selective Startup, uncheck startup items, Apply, and reboot. Then run Band-in-a-Box® and see if it is any different.

  • Some anti-virus programs are notorious for causing these types of problems. See if it improves if you disconnect your computer from the internet and disable your anti-virus software.

  • Try changing processor scheduling to 'background services' (and other performance settings): Right-click on My Computer and select Properties, then click on the Advanced tab (or click 'Advanced System Settings' on Vista and higher).

    • Click on the Settings button in the Performance section, and select 'Adjust for best performance'. Your operating system will not look as pretty, but will be faster.
    • Try setting Processor Scheduling to 'Background services' rather than 'Programs'.
    • You might get better sequencing if you set Memory Usage to 'System cache'.

    The previous two items might be most noticeable if you have a specific problem you are trying to fix. If toggling those settings doesn't help anything, or makes matters worse, toggle them back. However, most people should get at least as good or better performance with 'Background services'.

    Another thing that some people find helps is to click the [Change] button in the Virtual Memory section, and select 'Custom size' rather than 'System Managed Size'. System managed is the safest setting, so most people will probably want to leave it there. However if you do set it to Custom, try setting the Initial Size to the size of your RAM (for example 512 MB) and the Maximum size to twice the size of your RAM.

  • Clean up and defragment your hard drive: Check your hard disk space by going to My Computer, right-clicking on your hard disk, and selecting Properties. If you are getting low on space (especially on your system driver), this can slow down your computer quite a bit. Delete files that you don't need, and temporary files. You can use the Disk Cleanup utility (Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Cleanup) to delete temporary files. Start the defragmenter by going to Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk Defragmenter. This may take a long time if it hasn't been done recently, and you can't do anything else on your computer while the defragemter is running.

180. Error when trying to open the program: "Cannot Find/ or problems with DataList.ASC"

This suggests that you have the USB hard drive version of Band-in-a-Box®, and you either deleted the file DataList.asc, or you moved the Band-in-a-Box®.exe / RealBand.exe program launchers from the root level of the hard drive, or you made a backup of the hard drive but failed to copy the DataList.asc file.

When you view the hard drive contents, you should see to files Band-in-a-Box®.exe and RealBand.exe (whether or not you see the .exe file extension depends on if the Windows folder option "show extensions for known file types" is enabled). You can launch the programs by double-clicking on these files, however they won't work if you copy them to a different location. If you have moved them somewhere else, simply copy them back to the root of the hard drive. If your goal is to make a desktop or 'start menu' shortcut to open the programs, you could open the bb folder, right-click on the file bbw.exe, and choose 'Send to..desktop (create shortcut)'. However, this shortcut will ONLY work if the USB drive letter remains the same. Your computer assigns the drive letter when you plug in the drive, and it may change if you unplug your drive, plug in another USB device, and then plug the drive back in.

You should also see the file DataList.asc on the hard drive root, although on some early hard drives it may be a hidden file. To show hidden files, go to Control Panel | Folder Options | View, and check 'show hidden files and folders' (the exact location of this setting varies between operating systems and themes). If you backed up the entire drive and failed to backup this one file, simply copy and paste the file to your backup drive. If the file's not there at all (you deleted it), you could contact us for a replacement file.

181. I'm having trouble getting the Audio Chord Wizard to figure out the correct chords for my song.

Detecting chords from audio files is a very difficult task for a computer program. The success depends on two main factors. The first is the quality and type of source material. Straightforward Rock, Pop, and Country tunes will be more successfull than a complicated Jazz Bebop tune. One problem is that Jazz musicians sometimes imply the chord rather than specifically playing it at that bar - e.g. the bass player may not necessarily be playing the root of the chord. The second main factor is the accuracy of the interpretted tempo and balines. You will want to listen to the song and get the barlines accurately placed throughout the song.

First, make sure you have the latest update for your version of Band-in-a-Box®. There have been significant Audio Chord Wizard improvements since it was first released, including better detection of barlines and tempos.

After loading your song, tap the barlines as accurately as you can from the start of the song, by pressing the F8 key. Try to get your first tap exactly at 'bar 1', that is after any silence or intro bars that might be at the beginning of the song. With recent builds of ACW, your first F8 tap is considered to be the start of the song - it isn't required that you use a different keystroke (F6) to set bar 1. If you miss bar 1 the first time you play the song, just rewind and try again until you get it. Then, continue pressing F8 at barlines as the song plays. It often only require a couple or a few taps at the start of the song, but continue tapping throughout the song or whever it seems to drift a little bit, perhaps due to a slight change in tempo, an anticipation, etc. The Red Triangles on the barlines are called Good Bar Lines (GBL's). The green Triangle bar indicators are bar lines which ACW has automatically inferred from its automatic tempo detection PLUS your edited Good Bar Lines. We call the green automatic bar lines Inferred Bar Lines (IBL's).

Once you have accurate barlines, you may need to go through and 'clean up' a chord here and there. For example, perhaps ACW based part of its analysis for one bar on an accidental loudest frequency of a drum beat. You can send the chords back to Band-in-a-Box® if you wish them to be displayed on the main Band-in-a-Box® chorsheet. You should use the Audio Chord Wizard Utility to create a tempo map - because your song is most likely NOT at an exact tempo like 120.00 bpm throughout the whole song, Band-in-a-Box® will correct for this by adding tempo changes where necessary (Band-in-a-Box® needs to do this because it only supports exact tempos like 120, and not tempos like 120.263 bpm).

These are the most common issues, however there is more detailed information about ACW in the Band-in-a-Box® PDF manual and help file.

182. Style changes in the middle of my song do not seem to be working.

You can change styles (.STY) at any bar by clicking on the bar and pressing F5, or by going to Edit | Settings for current bar. You can also change the RealDrums only, using the same dialog. Style changes work for any MIDI track, but cannot currently be done with RealTracks. Also, tracks can't be switched from MIDI to Audio/RealTracks or vice versa - the entire track must be either MIDI or Audio. If you are changing between styles that are made up partly of MIDI tracks and partly of RealTracks, the MIDI will change but the RealTracks will stay the same.

One approach to changing a RealTracks instrument is to add the second instrument to a different unused track. Then, use chord rests or F5 bar settings to mute one of the instruments for the first part of the song, and the other instrument for the second part of our song.

Another approach is to use RealBand, which can accomodate as many tracks as you need, and allows you to customize your tracks with multiple RealTracks.

Here is a summary of the various types of style changes that are (and aren't) possible using the F5 dialog in Band-in-a-Box®. On any one track in the style you are changing...

  • MIDI to MIDI instrument changes, work.
  • RealDrums to RealDrums changes, work.
  • RealTracks to RealTracks changes, will play the first instrument throughout.
  • RealTracks to MIDI instrument changes, will play the RealTracks throughout.
  • MIDI to RealTracks instrument changes, will play MIDI throughout; if RealCharts are available for the RealTrack it will play that (as MIDI).
  • MIDI Drums to RealDrums changes, will play the MIDI drums throughout and vice versa.

183. The Help File is not displaying properly.

The help file used for Band-in-a-Box® is a .CHM file, which is a standard HTML based helpfile. The file is "bbv.chm". Knowning that it's HTML based may help you figure out the problem. Here are a couple of possibilities.

  • Make sure you haven't installed Band-in-a-Box® to a patch that contains a # sign - this is a special character used in html.

  • The CHM file properties are tied to Internet Explorer properties. With the help file open, press the Options button and select 'internet options. Click on the Advanced tab and make sure 'Show Pictures' is checked in the Multimedia section.

184. What are the requirements for iPhone version of Band-in-a-Box®?

For Band-in-a-Box® iPhone version, iOS version needed is iOS 4 or higher. You also need to have Band-in-a-Box® 2011 or higher for Windows.

185. Are all the styles in the iOS version or is it only that you can work on the songs (with selected style) saved in the Windows desktop folder used by the server?

BB iPhone version doesn't generate songs on the iPhone, it connects to your desktop version of BB (2011 or higher) for Windows, within your house (LAN) or from anywhere (Internet - WiFi or 3G). Once connected, it acts as a client, and you can:

  • -Generate songs, which transfer to and play on the iPhone.

  • -Get any songs that you have in the c:\bb\BB2Go folder. Either get one at a time, or Get all.

  • -Send any songs that you make on the iPhone to the BB2Go folder

For example, lets say you have 100 Favorite Songs that you like to play.

  • 1. Put them in the BB2Go Folder.

  • 2. (optional) If you want to pre-generate mp4 audio for them, in desktop Band-in-a-Box®, choose [menu]-Windows-BB2Go and that dialog shows you all the files, and you can press a button to generate mp4 audio for all songs.

  • 3. Make sure that Band-in-a-Box® Server is running. THis will show up as an icon in System Tray with a musical note. (if it isn't running, you can run it from the BB2Go dialog mentioned in #2 above.

  • 4. Run iPhone BB, choose menu-File-Server, and you should see the IP address of the Band-in-a-Box® Server. If you do, then connect to it.

  • 5. If you have any problem connecting or generating songs, it would be because of a firewall or Anti-Virus program blocking communication. If so, create an exception in the firewall or AV program, and the problem should be solved. Usuelly you need to reboot the Band-in-a-Box® Server.exe, or the iphone or possibly reboot Windows after you've done that.

  • 6. Once connected, on the iPhone you could choose File-Server-Get Songs- Get All Songs.

This will get your 100 favorite songs, and if you have pre-generated the audio (as in #2), then they are ready to play, and sound identical to how they sound on the BB Desktop, with all of your MIDI and RealTracks sounds.

Also, once connected, you can generate any song in any style, much like you do using the desktop version.

This example above assumes you are using a LAN connection within your house. For wider connection using Internet, see details on www.pgmusic.com/help100.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Unconditional 30-Day Money Back Guarantee on all products purchased from PG Music Inc.
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