Realtrack Soloist Medleys?

Posted by: Gordon Scott

Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/07/20 03:40 PM

Hi,

I'm confused again :-(

I imagine there's some standard sequence one goes though to achieve what I want, but at present, every atempt I make seems to have a different outcome:

I'm trying to create songs with, e.g., 6 choruses, with melody in first and last choruses, solos in the middle choruses and one middle chorus with no solo to leave space for me. That should be all pretty stabndard, I think.

But I'm struggling because the medley stuff seems to be in several places and seems to be inconsistent.

The first oddity is that even if I have already defined a medley, from the "Assign RealTracks to Track" dialog I have to select some realtrack that I don't want to allow me to open the medley dialog "Create a Medley of different RealTracks...". The track I selected to get there is not then used. I set it to change every chorus.

I then go to the soloist tab and open the Soloist Dialog", where I can select the solo mode and "Mute melody in middle", which should mute the melody in the middle choruses, but does no always seem to do so.

I'm unclear when or how best to (re)generate the solos and on some occasions the regeneration seems bizarre, for example it will generate for instruments not in the medley, or it will mute all the instruments other than the soloist.

Advice, please?
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/08/20 05:11 AM

Gordan, that all sounds crazy complicated. crazy I know the "medley Realtracks" have multiple instruments on a single track, honestly I avoid them. I tell my own RT instruments on individual tracks what to play and when with F5. It is much simpler. grin
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/08/20 05:24 AM

It all feels crazy complicated. I have a screenshot of the RealTracks medley dialog I just set up and generated alongside the mixer window showing an instrument I have not selected.

I shall explore what F5 allows. At present, the medley feature(?) is driving me mad.

Thanks.
Posted by: Charlie Fogle

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/08/20 07:12 AM

The Medley's selections from the Medleys Screen accessed from the RealTrack Picker are presets designed by PG Music and are hard coded to play the preset. (The hard coding can be overridden)

However, you can manually create and program your own Medley hard coded to play a custom track of RealTracks that change to your programming choices. The menu to do your own Medley is accessed from the Bar Settings Window and selecting the RealTracks Button near the top of the Bar Settings Window. Follow the prompts to select the RealTrack instruments and use the Chorus Box and Bar Box to designate when the particular instrument you've chosen will play the bars you've programmed for it to play.

By creating another or several more Mixer Channels to User or PG Music Medley's, duplicating the instruments you've chosen into different order on each track, very complex arrangements can be created without the need to exit the BIAB program and moving your project into a DAW to audition and hear various arrangements and adding additional RealTracks to a PG Music RealTrack Style. BIAB will automatically produce commercial grade fade-ins, fade-outs, cross fades and transitions that are indistinguishable from what has to be manually done in a DAW. Every BIAB Mixer Channel can have as many as 10 RealTracks per Channel, but a more practicable example and one that I consider useful to the average user is to have perhaps, a 4 instrument Medley on one track then duplicate those 4 instruments onto another Medley track but use a different order of those tracks and mix those two Medley Tracks and render that down to a stereo mix of the two Medley tracks creating quite a complex arrangement of those 4 instruments.

That Stereo audio file render of the two Medley tracks of 4 (8 total) instruments can then be imported onto the Audio Channel, converted into a stereo User Performance Track, moved to one of the existing Medley tracks, replacing it and allowing the second Medley track to be erased and used again for additional instruments.
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/08/20 07:13 AM

I think the medley feature was one of those "...see what we can do" things that PGM has put out there over the past years. Nice for a user who whats to hear a lot of different soloists stepping in and out of the mix, with out much knowledge or care for arranging the song themselves.

F5 is one of the best features in BIAB which will give you the ability to set up who plays what and when. But of course you have to want to do that. grin


Edit, I see Charley has pointed out a potential for good to come from this feature. So there is always an upside. grin
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/08/20 10:42 AM

There's a terrible tendency amongst many suppliers to add new features rather than fix the ones thay already have.

I had no idea one could add channels [to the mixer] and I can't presently find out how/where one does that.

I guess the "medley ... presets" to which Charlie refers are the "[medley] ..." RealTracks, though I've been trying to individual RealTracks to assemble my own medley, as the manual and tutorial videos say I can do. Frustratingly I've assembled one, but seem unable to make a second.

It seems like the clearest way to get to that "Medley" button with the sequence of RealTracks is via the mixer channel->Select RealTracks->Select RealTracks[in song...]". Perhaps by going via the RealTracks toolbar icon, I'm inadvertently trying to asign tracks to other than soloist. FWIW, there appear to be 11 RealTracks per channel.

It does appear that one can medley any or all channels, which gives a huge amount of power provided my PC can handle the work :-)

I guess this way, I use the "render track" on this RealTracks Picker dialog and it will render just the one track. I guess I silence the melody track for the middle choruses by putting silence in those slots here.

I have plenty to think about and try out on this for the present.

One other oddity that came out of this, though probably I should raise in a new thread, was that I accidentally regenerated the melody track with a realTrack, so reimported the MIDI melody. Now I have my melody track back, but no sound for it, despite having the RealTrack player still there. If I then try to freeze the melody, via the mixer, it says thet the melody is empty and do I want to regenerate it. I've tried reselecting the RealTrack player ... no sound from that track, but perhaps that's expected; I've tried setting a MIDI patch, but still no sound from the melody. The notes are there on the notation page. Before I couls solo it and hear it, but the meter in the mixer showed nothing. This is the sixth channel on the mixer, which I believe to be the melody track, but it's rather like the melody track is somewhere else. This is clever but maddening software.
Posted by: Andrew - PG Music

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/08/20 12:07 PM

Hello Gordon,

Quote:
I'm trying to create songs with, e.g., 6 choruses, with melody in first and last choruses, solos in the middle choruses and one middle chorus with no solo to leave space for me. That should be all pretty standard, I think.


I'm not sure where you are at right now, but I'll explain that there are a couple of different approaches you can use. To summarize the two mentioned in this thread (1) using the Bar Settings dialog to mute certain regions of the song, or (2) creating a medley.

I really like your idea of creating a medley to accomplish this, and it is extremely simple once you know how. Often people would be using different instruments in a medley, but that's certainly not a requirement; you can have a medley that alternates between "silence" and a RealTracks Soloist. The reason I prefer this method over bar settings, is because it will give you more natural transitions between a chorus that doesn't have a solo and one that does. (e.g. muting a chorus might cut off a solo mid-riff).

(BTW I'm talking about the Solo track, not your melody track, since I don't know what your melody is)

Let's say you have 6 choruses and only want the solo to play in choruses 2, 3, and 5. Here's how:

1. Right-click on the Soloist track --> Select RealTracks (technically you could do this on any track, but the Soloist track makes sense). This opens the RealTracks Picker with the Soloist track selected.

2. Choose your RealTracks soloist. In my case (see screenshot below) I wanted a Sax solo, and chose "Sax, Tenor, Jazz Sw 140". (further explanation.. it isn't necessary to choose a specific RT here if you will be making a medley for the track since a medley can have ANY combination of RT's, however this DOES set the default instrument for the medley, so you may as well choose the one you want)

3. Click the Medley button. Set "Change to a new RealTracks every CHORUS". Each of the entries in the list now represents a chorus.

4. For the first entry (chorus 1), choose "Silence". For the second, choose "Sax, Tenor, Jazz Sw 140". Repeat for the remaining choruses, and you should have something that looks like this:



5. Press OK to exit the Medley dialog, and press Close to exit the RealTracks Picker.

---------------------

Here is how to use the bar settings method.

1. Right-click on Soloist track --> Select RealTracks, choose the RT that you want and press Close.

2. Click on Bar 1 and press F5 (Or Right-click and select Bar Settings).

3. At the top of the dialog "Settings Apply to Chorus #" select "Chorus 1"

4. In the "Instrument changes this bar" area, set the Soloist ("Sax" in my case) to "Mute".

5. At the top of the dialog "Settings Apply to Chorus #" select "Chorus 2" and set it to "Back to normal". Repeat for Chorus 4 and 6.

----------------------

For completion, here is one more option you have that IS specific to the Soloist track - if you want to Solo only in the middle choruses (no solo in choruses 1 and 6). Soloist menu --> Generate and play solo. Select the RealTracks instrument (note that this dialog also has MIDI soloists in it - the RealTracks instruments start at 361 and color-coded beige). Set "Solo which choruses" as appropriate, and then press OK.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/08/20 03:07 PM

Hi Andrew,

I'm only just back to this and it's approaching midnight here in the UK, so I'll read and digest this tomorrow and see whether it explains how I'm running into trouble.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/08/20 03:20 PM

Hi Andrew,

Despite what I said, I've just read through and maybe I see at least part of my problem. I suspect I'm trying to use a mixture of the first and third methods and maybe I should be using only one or the other.

If I used the first method, I could presumably also set the melody track to <silence> during the solos?

I guess as I've now shut BB that the third method is the one where one has the first, middle and final(?) choruses, with the controls for soloist style, e.g. normal, follow melody etc. This is where I set "mute melody in middle choruses", but it isn';t presently muting for me. Again, maybe that's becasue the two different(?) systems get mixed up together?
Posted by: Andrew - PG Music

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/08/20 09:41 PM

Quote:
I could presumably also set the melody track to <silence> during the solos?


What is your melody? Is it a MIDI melody part that you have on the Melody track? Or is it just another RealTrack that you have on the Melody track? If it's just another RealTrack then yes you could use the same techniques.

Quote:
the one where one has the first, middle and final(?) choruses, with the controls for soloist style, e.g. normal, follow melody etc.


Yes that's the Soloist dialog. I can see it being a bit confusing if this is the first time you've used the program. This is a much older dialog than the RealTracks Picker, and it pre-dates RealTracks. Originally it was only for generating a MIDI soloist on the Soloist track and it defines all the Soloists, connecting them to the available Soloists databases (.ST2 files). So some of the settings in this area only make sense if you're working with MIDI.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 03:04 AM

Hi Andy,

The melody is an imported MIDI track generated from my leadsheet from another application.

I've started to understand the differences, maybe conflicts, between MIDI tracks and RealTracks. Keeping backwards compatibility and familiarity is good, but sometimes makes for awkward compromises.

OK, let me tell you what I'm trying to achieve, without any of the "how", that's probably adding fog.

I'm trying to set up a jam/practice tool that does something similar to the jam sessions my friends and I did before covid-19 got in the way. We choose a song, play one chorus "straight out of the box", then go around each of us for a solo, then finish with a final "out of the box" chorus and some ending tag. You example of silence, say, sax, silence, sax, silence matches almost exactly that, assuming that the first and last silences are where the melody plays and the rest are not. What would you recommend as the best(?) way to achive that, please?

(?)Best is subjective, of course. :-)
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 05:26 AM

OK, I've been trying things out and it now makes much more sense...

I started over with the .SGU from another band member, thinking I was starting from scratch, but then reaklising that the instrument/player patches were as before. I tried it, I can't off-hand remember whether I had no melody or the song regenerated and destroyed it. I was able to get it back simply my undoing and redoing a key change (the SGU's in F but the MIDI was in Eb).

As I switched back to F, I had a pop-up asking if it was OK to erase the mel;ody and soloist tracks as they're audio and can't be transposed. I answered no.

Obviouslt that's a useful clue, so I removed the RealTrack from the melody instrument, set a MIDI patch and played the song.... Pretty darned close to what I expected... melody in first chorues, then solos with no melody. The only obvious oddity was no melody for the final chorus ... that's likely some other silly I've done.

I changed the melody patch to one from Sforzando, which sounded better and still played as I expected.

Then I repeated what I'd done some time back and changed the melody to a RealTrack instrument. The melody remained intact as I'd noted earlier. It seems very likely, though, that tyhis is the root of my operator error, as from here in, I think it's controlled more by the RealTrack than the MIDI ... I'm fine until I try to take this forwards, whereupon the rules for RealTracks trump the rules for MIDI (I think!).

Again I removed the RealTrack, played the now standard MIDI patch and then again applied the Sforzando patch. All behaving reasonably with the probable exception of that final chorus. I'll explore that further.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 06:42 AM

Ohh ... now that's odd!

I realiosed that the first solo appeared not clarinet as I'd expected, but a saxophone, so I clicked on the soloists track on the mixer, opened the RealTracks picker, then the Medley dialog. Only one instrument! Just the clarinet and in the first chorus when the track plays nothing. And yet, the middle choruses are playing solos as I'd expected ... from where?

I can solo the soloist track on the mixer and the soloists definitely play there.

There are no tags on the notation window for patch/RealTrack changes.

But they're probably soloists that I'd set up fromn the previous song (well, it's the same song, but configured again starting from the original SGU rather than the MGU that I'd saved).

I imagine that if I set up a new RealTracks medley, it will replace whatever is there at present, though for the moment I salln't do that as what I have at present may have useful clues if this is wayward behaviour, which at present is certainly how it seems.
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 07:58 AM

Hello Gordon, The discussion has been interesting. Hope you work it out to get to your desired end point. I just wanted to add, my opinion of this all remains the same as I first mentioned:

Quote:
... that all sounds crazy complicated.


But maybe that is just me. grin
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 09:27 AM

:-) Hmm, well, I think BIAB's become a bit complicated by growing features perhaps a little haphazardly. Lots of software has issues like this, especially where the authors have tried to not change things too much to maintain continuity. On the whole that's a good thing, even when it causes the occasional hitch.

Often the reason that hitches don't get found is because everyone who has already used the software extensively knows their way around it pretty well, finds what they expect and want, and things run smoothly.

When someone with little or no knowledge of the software comes in and tries to use it, they can expose things just by doing what, to existing users, seems illogical or silly or "the hard way" or whatever. I used to work with a guy who was brilliant at breaking things we all thought were rock solid.

I don't think I'd describe what's happening here as "broken", anyway. Just a bit quirky when used in what may well prove to be an odd way. What my wife describes as a "picnic" ... "problem in chair, not in computer". :-)
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 10:30 AM

Incidentally, where this "sounds crazy complicated" may score, is that it appears one may be able to set up a generic-ish structure that reflects a hypothetical band, into which a song can be imported. If BIAB does work like that, then one could keep that structure and import any(?) song into it to get an instant and familiar session. Of course songs would very often want a style change, but the makeup of band and session may remain similar. That may prove both handy and interesting.

For convenience in our jam sessions we tend to set ourselves in our usual places and just go around the room when soloing, so the sequence when jamming is pretty consistent. Of course when we play concerts we usually have only a couple or three solos, not the five or six of our jams.

I'll get to better understand both the "medley" methods and the F5 methods and then decide which best suits what context.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 11:21 AM

OK, the track settings on F5 is where my mystery RealTrack soloists are, though I still don't yet understand why my melody doesn't rerturn for the final chorus.
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 12:52 PM

Gordon,

It's likely the Band-in-a-Box mixer is playing an audio file st the same time as your song file. Look at the bottom, right corner of your Band-in-a-Box mixer and you'll see two buttons labeled as THRU and AUDIO. Clicking those two buttons expands the mixer so that it now shows two additional mixer channels labeled THRU and AUDIO.

If the Audio track has a file loaded, the file gets played with the rest of the tracks. It's easy to find out, just display the Audio track and mute it.

If there is an audio file and you don't want it, navigate to the folder where the song file is stored and rename or delete any audio file with the same name as the song project. For example if your song project is labeled "Jammin01.SGU" look in the folder for an audio file labeled "Jammin01.wma" and rename or delete the audio file.

FYI: THRU is a midi port that transmits midi data to a midi device external to the computer.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 03:07 PM

I wrote this before Jim's post as dinner summoned. I think that post will help me to cement the details of what's going on. Certainly those are useful things to know!

-----8<----------------

Uurgh...

I opened the soloist dialog and set Instrument to "no patch change" and tried again. Melody and no soloist in the first chorus as expected, but in the second chorus I now get the instrument that I thought I'd removed from the first chorus. I now see that changing the instrument appears not to change the instrument. That instrument now seems to play all the solos, overiding the F5 settings.

What I've now done is Clkick the miser soloists track, choose track actions, then erase track and I now have my selections of soloists again. As I type, I'm waiting for the final chorus toi see if the melody reappears... No. Pooh!

Oh well, still more to learn.....
Posted by: Andrew - PG Music

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/09/20 07:07 PM

Hi,

Quote:
Then I repeated what I'd done some time back and changed the melody to a RealTrack instrument.


I think you know this, but just in case you don't... you can't have a RealTrack play a MIDI melody you. You can have a MIDI patch / sforzando / synth plugin play a MIDI melody using whatever patch you want, however the RealTracks consist of both the instrument and arrangement playing over the chords you have entered. It isn't going to play your melody.


Quote:
The melody is an imported MIDI track generated from my leadsheet from another application.

I've started to understand the differences, maybe conflicts, between MIDI tracks and RealTracks. Keeping backwards compatibility and familiarity is good, but sometimes makes for awkward compromises.

OK, let me tell you what I'm trying to achieve, without any of the "how", that's probably adding fog.

I'm trying to set up a jam/practice tool that does something similar to the jam sessions my friends and I did before covid-19 got in the way. We choose a song, play one chorus "straight out of the box", then go around each of us for a solo, then finish with a final "out of the box" chorus and some ending tag. You example of silence, say, sax, silence, sax, silence matches almost exactly that, assuming that the first and last silences are where the melody plays and the rest are not. What would you recommend as the best(?) way to achive that, please?


For the Melody track, what I understand is that you have imported a MIDI melody that spans the six choruses, but you want to mute all but the first and final chorus. Here are two options.

A. Melody menu | Mute melody in middle choruses [checked]. This is a quick way to do it, but this is not a song setting and is not saved with your song.

B. Bar settings - click on Bar 1 and press F5: select chorus 2, set the Melody to 'Mute'. Then select chorus 6 and set it to 'back to normal'.

For the Soloist track, it sounds like you want some select choruses to have a Band-in-a-Box generated solo. For this, set up a medley which I described in my previous post. It is easy, I just tried to include alot of detail in my post which might have made it seem hard.

Are you trying to do this with your band members in separate locations? If so, that's going to be your biggest problem...
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/10/20 02:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Gordon S
I'm waiting for the final chorus toi see if the melody reappears... No. Pooh!


There's an easy answer to that that I realised in the middler of the night and yes, it's a PICNIC.

When I started over from the SGU and imported the MIDI again, did I change the number of choruses in BIAB to match the MIDI? No. Doh!

Originally Posted By: Andrew - PG Music

I think you know this, but just in case you don't... you can't have a RealTrack play a MIDI melody you. You can have a MIDI patch / sforzando / synth plugin play a MIDI melody using whatever patch you want, however the RealTracks consist of both the instrument and arrangement playing over the chords you have entered. It isn't going to play your melody.


I didn't at the start of this thread, though I'd learned it by he end. I selected a RealTrack to render the MIDI and it did _seem_ to have worked. Where thiongs went badly wrong was later, I imagine because the RealTrack then overrode the MIDI. My understanding now is that it probably shouildn't (doesn't?) works and maybe I had something else kick in to do the render. Certainly the soind changed, though whether or not that was to the RealTrack instrument I can't presently say. I may explore sometime to find out.

Originally Posted By: Andrew - PG Music

A. Melody menu | Mute melody in middle choruses [checked]. This is a quick way to do it, but this is not a song setting and is not saved with your song.


OK, that statement will save me some future puzzlement.

Originally Posted By: Andrew - PG Music

B. Bar settings - click on Bar 1 and press F5: select chorus 2, set the Melody to 'Mute'. Then select chorus 6 and set it to 'back to normal'.


Which concurs with MusicStudent (Dan?)'s F5 advice and also to my increasing confidence that that is the most robust way to do it.



I've just opened the file I saved late last night and I don't see what I bel;ieved I'd saved, notably the melody track is back to the RealTrack that I'd erased and reimported, and my soloists track has again the "Assign RealTracks" clarinetist that was playing all the solos. I guess this is becasue I still have some residual RealTrack stuff around that's causing BIAB to rebuild the song, probably when I reload it.

The question, of course, is how do I remove the RealTracks. I went to "Select RealTracks" from the Mixer and selected "None" for the melody track, which leaves me with no instrument, so I can set a MIDI instrument, but when I do the same for the soloists I get "1152 Silence". I'm rather presuming now that it the soloists track is now showing the RealTrack from the F5->RealTracks settings, which is "[Silent]".

The Soloist dialog still shows the RealTrack and still shows Instrument Clarinet, so it's still hanging around somewhere. Playing the song plays a clarinet solo at the start (I huess right through, thouigh I didn't let it run). Oddly, as I still had no melody I changed via the mixer from the Sforzando Guitar I had to GM2 guitar, which I later noticed had not appeared on the mixer, played the song, still no melody, but now I have the solos I expected, not the clarinet. I imagine that I need at some point to force a regeneration. Again, likely mostly my unfamiliarity.

I will add, though, that as I gradually get to grips with getting BIAB to do what I want, my respect for the end result grows and grows. It may be a puzzle for a newbie to use, but it certainly delivers the goods once one even just begins to get to grips with it.
Posted by: Charlie Fogle

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/10/20 03:34 AM

<< The question, of course, is how do I remove the RealTracks. >>

Try this: Right click on the Track and from the drop down menu select -- Track Actions\Set Track to default settings
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/10/20 08:02 AM

Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle

Try this: Right click on the Track and from the drop down menu select -- Track Actions\Set Track to default settings


Hmm, curious ... that works on the lower number tracks, but didn't on the soloists track ... I think that's probably because the soloists track has players set vis F5, where the others don't. I can test that ... OK, if I set a RealTrack via F5, the earlier track also will not clear it with set to defaults. Removing the F5 RealTrack settings does then allow set to defaults to work. The mixer description only changes after a regenerate, which explains some of my earlier confusion.

I rather expected the Mixer's display of soloist details to follow the soloist playing, but it seems just to stay permanently at the first soloist. No issue, but a shame.

At the moment, when I do things with it, BIAB now mostly does what I expect, though I'm still a little uncertain about which "this" overrides which "that" under which circumstances. Sticking with the F5 method alone seems pretty consistent and robust. I'm sure I'll trip over more things in the future ... MIDI supertracks are probably waiting in ambush :-D

It probably time now for me to save this track away and begin another to help me properly lock the process into my head and make sure I really do understand how to do these things.

Thanks everyone for your guidance. It's been really helpful.
Posted by: Andrew - PG Music

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/10/20 10:06 AM

Quote:
Which concurs with MusicStudent (Dan?)'s F5 advice and also to my increasing confidence that that is the most robust way to do it.


You can definitely use F5 bar settings, but it IS different with a MIDI melody since in that case you are just preventing a "static" MIDI part from playing/repeating during those choruses. With a generated RealTracks, it's possible you would mute a generated riff halfway through the riff which would sound less natural than if you generate the riff so that it has a natural end point prior to the start of the muted bars. But at this point we're probably just splitting hairs...
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/10/20 01:12 PM

Hmm, well I thought I had the idea, but there appears another layer I didn't appreciate.

I have MIDI in the melody again and RealTracks elsewhere. As before I've set soloists for choruses 2 through 5 usinf F5 and as before I think, I'm muting the melodt track via F5 through those same choruses ... or I'd intended to. However at present it's not muting and I'm getting no solos.

I went back to the soloist dialog and set Mute melody in middle and it now works as I expect. Now I wonder why the F5 mute didn't work but this does. Is that exppected or do I have something else twisted?
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/10/20 03:23 PM

Hmmm...

I went away for a while and came back. Solos gone again and melody playinmg again. I think I'll go through all this again tomorrow.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/11/20 05:34 AM

OK, well I've found at least some of what happens...

I used the mixer channel "track actions" to set the soloists channel to defaults and erase the MIDI. The soloists on the mixes now shows empty, though there are RealTrack soloists set via F5. I have soloists set for choruses 2, 3 and 4, but no <Silent> until chorus 5. When I play this I get the melody in multiple choruses (presumed all), but no solos.

If I now open the soloists dialog, I see that there's an instrument already selected ... style 1 Bebop Saxophone, Instrument Tenor Sax. Mute melody in middle is checked. If now I click Cancel, the dialog closes with no effect. I click OK it _applies_ that saxophone and regenerates, but now I _do_ get the melody muted but the solos are all that saxophone. BTW, I do get a short cropped melody note at the very start of chorus #2 prior to the first sax note. I'm not sure whether that's what Andy was refering or somwthing else.

If I now again default and erase the soloist track and set chorus #1 to <silence> and regenerate, it agains reverts to melody in at least two choruses and no solos, so the <silence> appearce to do nothing useful and the Mute of the melody track in chorus 2 appears to do nothing.

Back to the soloist dialog, Mute melody in middle is still checked, Beebop sax still as a default. Instrument still Tenor Sax, so set that to <no patch change>, click OK, it regenerates and plays automaticaly. That sax is back in the mixer soloist. Melody plays for chorus 1, a croped note, then that sax all the solos again. Still no RealTrack.

Erase the MIDI sax, use F5 to set soloist to <silence> on the All Choruses option. No auto-regenerate, so regenerated manually. The blooming MIDI sax appears in the mixer yet again when I click the regenerate+run, but this time the sax goes away again and does not play the solos. Why differenet? The melody does no mute.

Now I go to the RealTracks picker. As I have to pick somnething to enable the Meloy button, I select a clarinet and then click Medley. I click start on second and then add <Silence>, three instruments and <Silence> and Generate track. Despite (twice, I believe) having said start on second, it plays both the the RealTrack clarinet and the melody over multiple choruses.

For the present I run out of ideas and take a break.

A really useful feature for the future might be a graphical overview of what BIAB thinks it will play where and when, perhaps a matrix of tiny buttons for the bars, colour coded by midi/audio/realtrack/whetever, with a hover stating exactly what's configured at that bar.
Posted by: Charlie Fogle

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/11/20 05:52 AM

Originally Posted By: Gordon S
Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle

Try this: Right click on the Track and from the drop down menu select -- Track Actions\Set Track to default settings


Hmm, curious ... that works on the lower number tracks, but didn't on the soloists track ... I think that's probably because the soloists track has players set vis F5, where the others don't. I can test that ... OK, if I set a RealTrack via F5, the earlier track also will not clear it with set to defaults. Removing the F5 RealTrack settings does then allow set to defaults to work. The mixer description only changes after a regenerate, which explains some of my earlier confusion.

I rather expected the Mixer's display of soloist details to follow the soloist playing, but it seems just to stay permanently at the first soloist. No issue, but a shame.

At the moment, when I do things with it, BIAB now mostly does what I expect, though I'm still a little uncertain about which "this" overrides which "that" under which circumstances. Sticking with the F5 method alone seems pretty consistent and robust. I'm sure I'll trip over more things in the future ... MIDI supertracks are probably waiting in ambush :-D

It probably time now for me to save this track away and begin another to help me properly lock the process into my head and make sure I really do understand how to do these things.

Thanks everyone for your guidance. It's been really helpful.


I tested on both the Melody Track and the Soloist Track and it worked for me on my SGU file. On the file you're working on, many attempts have been made using a variety of different methods and your SGU file may contain remnants from these attempts that haven't been completely removed or undone. This could be creating issues between overlapping techniques.

It would be interesting to examine your SGU file directly if it's something you are comfortable to share. What you're attempting is quite easy once you know how to do it from beginning to end but as you've learned so far, the journey itself can be a bit treacherous... I think this thread can help a lot of viewers.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/11/20 07:47 AM

Mixed up ovelapping techniques is my guess of what's going wrong. That will not have been helped my my failure to understand that one only answers OK if one really means it. Any and all other exits should be Cancel.

I'm happy to share, though this file for me was always an MGU as I received it from a band member. It's a jazz standard: A Nightingale Sang In Berkley Square.

I've put my weird version here: https://www.gscott.me.uk/Music/BIAB/

The melody presents fairly awfully in it :-(

Is there some means to examine the content inteligently? I've looked with a text editor, but there's lots on non-printable data, so I just quite out.


I don't seem to have a "before" for this. I have another version that's clearly related but with a simple four bar intro, rather than the longer into of the one on which I'm working. They both have the intro lyrics though, so may each have been derived seperately from a common ancestor.

This second version has no intro melody and a better melody for the chorusses, so I'll likely change to it.

One puzzle for me is(was?) that this version has melodies on choruses 1, 3 and 5. Looking at the notation, I now see there are notes only in those choruses, which is yet another way to control whether or not the melody is played. I seem also to have at least one other version, though it's named differently and may be unrelated. There are no solos.


Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/11/20 08:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
the journey itself can be a bit treacherous... I think this thread can help a lot of viewers.


That is in no small part why I'm asking and trying and indicating my fails. I'm generally good at most things, so I reckon if I'm confused or run into trouble I'll almost certainly not be alone.

Of course it's also very likely I'm trying to run before I can walk :-)
Posted by: Charlie Fogle

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/11/20 09:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Gordon S
Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
the journey itself can be a bit treacherous... I think this thread can help a lot of viewers.


That is in no small part why I'm asking and trying and indicating my fails. I'm generally good at most things, so I reckon if I'm confused or run into trouble I'll almost certainly not be alone.

Of course it's also very likely I'm trying to run before I can walk :-)


Easy to get ahead down the path and forget to put out ribbons for markers. It's how we eventually figure things out. It's not necessarily fun, but we rarely ever forget once we know the way.

I've downloaded your BIAB file. S?U files are all BIAB files that each letter or number just signify different attributes. I shorten the term down to SGU for all of them because to me, it's BIAB's job to figure out correctly what type of file.... I just want it to open and work correctly. wink

Thanks for sharing the file.
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/11/20 10:28 AM

Gordon, this is a very interesting thread and you touched on an important point when you talked about trying several different techniques to produce your final end result and that may have left some checkboxes "hanging" and interfering with each other.

And yes, as a nooby you decided to jump right into the deep end of the pool. Admirable if not a bit foolish, haha. You're trying to do stuff with a brand new program that I wouldn't have thought of for a couple years back in the beginning. I learned the program by opening up some demo songs and downloaded songs I found online and seeing how they were structured. None of those were anywhere near as complex as what you're trying to do. Baby steps man, baby steps.

As an experienced user, when I've done something like this over the years I've found it's good to just save that original file that you've thrown the kitchen sink at, close it and start over as a new song and name it SamesongTest2 or something. Re-enter the chord grid and try again with what you've learned from the first attempt. That way you know there's nothing hanging on from all the different things you tried before.

And, I always say this to nooby's, don't forget Real Band. It's included with your package and it's there for a reason. RB is a Audio/Midi recorder that also generates Biab parts. It can do everything you're trying to do in Biab but much easier in many ways. RB is not another version of Biab but it will generate all the Biab style parts including RT's.

If you've ever used a DAW, you know what a track view looks like. Way easier to see exactly what's going on. In Biab a lot of that is hidden from view which is why you can't see what's happening with the Melody track for example. In RB the Melody is displayed right in front of you and you can copy/paste/delete parts of it or all of it anywhere you want in the track. Or, create multiple copies of the Melody on different tracks so you can mess around with different midi instruments playing it either solo'd or in combination. RB is a DAW, you have 48 tracks to play with and they can all be audio or midi.

Bob
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/11/20 11:00 AM

Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
Admirable if not a bit foolish, haha.


How dare you :-)

Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
You're trying to do stuff with a brand new program that I wouldn't have thought of for a couple years back in the beginning.


The situation's actually worse than that, as I tried BB back in 2013 on a small notepad PC and after not too long hated it so much I just walked away. That was partly because the notepad is small and the screen was too full. Recently after a chat with a friend I decided I'd have another go with it. The trial looked manageable, so I upgraded to 2020. This time I decided to stick with it as it was usable on that same notepad, though I may get something with more power if things eventually work out as I hope. Well, after some trying with it I can see what it can do, so I bit a second bullet and bought the ultrapak, so now I'm fairly committed.

There's another reason that I walked away before, and that is that almost all my PCs are Linux based, so I didn't really want to buy another Windows PC just for BIAB. As it happens my set-up has changed a bit and I now have a mixer (Ui24R) attached to the music PC, so if I wish to, I can now feed the BIAB PC into the mixer. It's still an extra screen, though, rather than just swapping worktops in Linux, but sometimes that's a benefit as well as a nuisance, especially if using the chordsheet ot notation windows, which are pretty good.

There's also another reason I'm working through this, and that's that it may eventually feed ideas and polish back into the product. If PG can make some things easier to digest and/or separate, some more good may come out of my little struggle. I think I shouldn't really be able to fall into quite so many holes.

I should look at RealBand, but I'm feeling a bit overloaded already :-)

I'm glad the thread's proving interesting. I'd hate to be just another [redacted] idiot asking dumb questions :-)
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/12/20 09:13 AM

Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
... it's good to just save that original file that you've thrown the kitchen sink at, close it and start over as a new song and name it SamesongTest2 or something.


I do of course normally do that and I also have an automated backup system that keeps files for many months, so it's rare for me to lose anything. In the case of this particulay song, the alternative that I have sounds better anyway, so I shalln't bother to recover the broken one.

I normally keep untouched originals, often with just .bk appended, but my auto-backup is a dedicated machine in the lost above my garage. It copies all work data from my fileserver overnight, every night, keeping a trail of changes over those months, so I can recover copies from various historic dates if I need. I've had if for years and I doubt I restored more than a couple of dozen files of thet time ... but I can if I must and that's both a comfort and, on those few occasions, a Godsend.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/12/20 11:21 AM

Hmm. I've been playing with RealBand and can see JazzMammal's point. It shows tracks as it will play them, although as with BIAB, it can show tracks playing when there's no sound. I had to play around a bit to get it to use sforzando and the Hi-Q guitar I'm using.

It's also notable that RealBand made a complete hash of the soloist RealTrack, omitting all but one soloist and that played for only a few notes. Melody not muted again.

Anyways, so far I've removed the melody from the bars where I want the first solo, mafde a solo (RB couldn't see the RealTracks for some reason, but a "Rebuld and fix" sorted that out). I now have melody-solo-melody-melody-etc. I'll play some more later.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/18/20 10:53 AM

By far the easiest way to do what I was trying is to select one of the standard medley styles and change the tracks via the Medley button in the RealTracks picker. That starts out with a working medley and I just configure what I wand where. So far that appears pretty painless and very effective.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/21/20 10:50 AM

Hmmm ... well I've been struggling with all sorts of oddities and quirks with the song I'm trying to get together and thought I'd finally made the structure correctly. Some of the problems were, I think, due to setting the song form via Edit->Song Form->Title/Chorus, answering OK to that and then OK again to get out ... obviously that was changing something. Answering OK then Canmcel feels distinctly wrong to me. Whatever.

OK, structure sensible, choruses sensible, Mutes on the melody sensible, add the RealTrack soloists.

The soloists _look_ sensible, but my first, a clarinet, distinctly has a ax also soloing at the same time. I do _not_ have the "Play all simultaneously" checkbox set. I've regenerated again, but it still does the same. There's no sax on any other track. I've set <Silence> for all unused medley tracks.

Aargh ... another regeneration and I have to melody back again on all choruses. I've checked the Mute on chorus 2 ... it's still there.

I'm now wondering if I can send this to PGM to have a look as as it's defeating me. I'm rendering an .mp3 and it shows the problem.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/21/20 12:11 PM

I've put the files here: https://www.gscott.me.uk/Music/BIAB/

should someone want to try to understand what's going awry.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/22/20 07:24 AM

I erased the RealTracks to stop them confusing things.
I went through the F5 bar settings, and set them again. Still no mute.
I tried setting "All Instruments" "back to normal", though that seemed to do nothing.
I set melody on every chorus to Mute. No mute.
I set melody every choris to "Back to normal" then to Mute. No mute.
I did Reset ALL Bars and set Mute again on melody on Chorus 2 and Back to Normal on Chorus 6. No mute.
It appears that melody mute now does not work on this song.

Prior to doing the Reset ALL Bars, I'd also been aware that there was a star against chorus 1 bar 1, which I think means it believes there's a change at that point, but I could see no change and hadn't knowingly(!) put any change in it. The reset ALL cleared it.

It's a struggle :-/
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/23/20 05:05 AM

I'll step slowly through what I'm doing to see if what goes wrong gives clues.

My mxl file has a repeating four-bar vamp to begin, a 16-bar chorus with a jump to tag after bar 14 of the chorus and a repeating four-bar vamp to finish.

As I've not yet found any reliable way to make the vamps loop, I insert 8 bars before bar 3, highlight bars 1&2 and and use copy from ... to to fill the new bars with the notes and chords. I copy everything but the bar settings. So far everything seems fine.

I use Edit->Song Form->Settings->Title/Chorus to set the chorus start (bar 13) and end (bar 28), click OK, then click Cancel as I can't yet set the tag as I have only one chorus. End has now moved forwards to bar 29 where the tag is to start and I have some trailing greyed-out bars, probably two, the original ending.

I now set the choruses to 2 (I'll eventually want more ... maybe I should set more right now?) and answer Yes to adjust the melody. Again, so far everything seems fine. Hmm ... I'me running though this again to check and this time it did _not_ ask about adjusting the melody. (I was repeating the process to identify when some further greyed bars were added. Might that have been the moment? I don't know.) It still seems to be working OK.

I insert 8 bars before bar 31, highlight bars 29 & 30 and copy from...to to bar 31 four times ... Ah, this may be part of the problem ... I'm in the ending for this copy, but the dialog shows chorus #1 which has already ended before this point.

After this, the song structure has changed ... the chorus is extended from 28 bar 38. Undo the change.

Try the same using chorus 2 instead of chorus 1 ... same outcome. Undo change.

Ditto with chorus 3(?), song structure changes to chorus end at 32. This is clearly not going to play ball. Give up, start over.

-----8<-----

This time I'll add both vamp repeats before changing anything else.

Vamps ... chorus ... vamps OK.


Again I use Edit->Song Form->Settings->Title/Chorus to set the chorus start (b13) and end (b28), click OK, then click Cancel as I can't yet set the tag as I have only one chorus. End has now moved forwards to bar 29 where the tag is to start and I have some trailing greyed-out bars, probably ten, the last two thirds of the closing vamp and the original ending.

I set choruses to two and answer the Yes to adjust melody track to new # of chorus. Things still seem OK, though of course it's still stoppping 1/3 way through the end vamping.

I use Edit->Song Form->Settings and the ending options: Tag exists checked, Tag after bar 26, Tag begins at bar 29, Tag ends after bar 40. I leave everything else on this dialog untouched ... maybe I need to set some other things here?

It's copied the notes from bars 27 and 28 into bars 29 and 30, despite me checking "tag exists". That seems(!) wrong to me, however, let's carry on.

I don't want the copy of bars 27 & 28, so I delete them, but the tag start then moves to bar 27, which is not correct. I answer Cancel to both "There are existing notes..." and "there are existing lyrics..." and Undo.

I try to copy From...to bars 31 and 32 to bars 29 and 30, but the chorus-end moves from bar 28 to bar 30, which is not corrent. Undo.

I select bar 29 and go to notation editting mode. I've tried copying notes to here before and they just seem not to happen, so I delete all the existing notes in bars 29 & 30. There are some leftover decorations that I ignore for now.

I now try to enter the vamp manually. The first notes I enter on beat 1 set to eight notes, not the usual long notes ... odd. The notes on the second beat set long, though only 5 beats ... I'm not sure if that's as expected, though it too seems odd to me. I go to staff roll mode ... here the 1/8th notes look like the 1/2 notes I expected, so I leave them alone. Other times I've done this, they haven't and I've adjusted them either here of by note edit. There are two notes and they sometimes show different lengths here and/or in note edit. I try to "edit note" the second pair of notes, None change appearance, but the staff roll shows sensible durations. It plays as expected, subject to the extra two bars of vamp for the end, rather than BIAB's original ending.

Things seem OK, so I save the file at this point.

At this point, out of curiosity, I use F5 to look at the settings. Chorus #1 has stars. I don't know why.

I set the number of choruses to 6 from the main window and answer Yes to OK to adjust melody. Again it continues to play though as expected.

I go to the first bar and press F5, select chorus 2 and Mute the melody, then select chorus 6, set melody back to normal and click OK.

Ohh ... the melody is not muting even now. I'd planned to add realtrack soloists next, but it already has a problem. Oh! I've also just had a short and quite loud burst of white noise. I have no idea why or from where ... maybe something else entirely.

I've saved this copy for now. I may try plaing with the F5 options again, but it didn't help before...
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/23/20 06:39 AM

The stars in F5 for chorus one appear immediately opon loading the .MXL file. I suspect this may be due to tempo/key/time-sig data in that file. Curiously the red line in the first part marker appears only after I have examined that and then I closed the dialog with Cancel.

Edit: yes it is ... key and tempo both set in bar1.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/24/20 02:14 AM

Originally Posted By: Andrew - PG Music
A. Melody menu | Mute melody in middle choruses [checked]. This is a quick way to do it, but this is not a song setting and is not saved with your song.

B. Bar settings - click on Bar 1 and press F5: select chorus 2, set the Melody to 'Mute'. Then select chorus 6 and set it to 'back to normal'.


I've just realised that, as I'd learned two ways apparently to do this, I didn't properly recognise A. above. It does clearly indicates Melody Menu -> Mute melody in the middle. Probably that [checked] threw me.

My understanding now is that there are three ways to do it:

A) Melody menu -> Mute melody during...

B) Bar settings as above

C) In the Select Soloist dialog, middle right "[X] Mute melody in middle".

I was using C, I've changed to using B, I guess I can use A any time, but need to use it at the time I want it.

FYI:
I've just tried the file I saved _before_ I set F5->Mutes and it mutes at least the second chorus, I'll presume for now that it unmutes the final.

I've just tried the version I saved after setting the F5-Mutes and it mutes as above.

Possibly I should simply do that every time I use BIAB for practice.

But I can't presently escape the conclusion that, on this song at least, the F5 mute is simply not muting.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/24/20 05:25 AM

I've twice open the no-F5-mutes file from cold, done Melody->Mute Melody... and then added a RealTrack melody (_JAZMEDL.STY) unaltered. Both times did exactly as I would expect.

I then modified the medly just by swapping around the players: 1224 Vibes (skipped), <Silence> (chorus 1), 456 Alto Sax, 765 Guitar, 460 Trombone, <silence> x5. I left the final 458 Tenor sax for now. Said Yes to over-ride and regenerated the track. Again it did exactly as I expected.

I did a full regererate and play from the >+ button. Again it played exactly as expected.

I might add that that "exactly as expected" sounds pretty good, too, which has cheered me up no end.

For the present, at least, I'll abandon the F5 chorus mutes in favour of the menu Melody->Mute..., at least for practicing.

I would really rather like either to understand how to avoid the F5 mute failure, or if it's a real bug, helpto get it fixed.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/25/20 06:55 AM

I have another that plays RealTrack medley weirdly.
Also in https://www.gscott.me.uk/Music/BIAB/

This was an existing .SGU that I reduced to one chorus, imported the MIDI melody, moved in piano-roll to get the pick-up note in the right place, converted to seven choruses and with a soloist realtrack medley created manually. Clarinet, <silence>, clarinet, bari sax, tenor sax, guitar, <silence>, no change, starting on the second entry and set to change on choruses.

With Melody->Mute melody... checked, the song plays with the melody on to the middle eight, when a clarinet joins in. The second chorus plays with no solo. The third chorus plays nicely with the baritone sax as expected. For the fourth chorus the clarinet comes back in and clarinet and the tenor sax play tegether until the middle eight, when the clarinet stops again. Fifth chorus plays guitar as expected, no soloist on chorus six, no melody returns for the final chorus.

Actually what it produces is very nice, but it isn't what the melody-mute settings and soloist track say it should be.

This all gives the distinct impression that something else besides these controls is managing the soloist and medley.

Oh ... Blue Moon.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? - 07/25/20 09:25 AM

Another song, "stock" medley (1309) all works entirely as expected.