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#334325 - 01/31/16 01:46 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Scarlett 2i2 interface questions
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Tony Wright Offline
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Following another thread I started on the Windows list I decided to take the advice and get an audio interface to improve ASIO performance. I acquired a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and it has removed all my issues with ASIO. However I have a couple of questions so decided to move over to this list.

1) What are some typical ASIO settings for a Scarlett interface that other users find the best for BIAB i.e. Always ON or OFF, buffer length and sample rate. I have a new I7 laptop running Win 10. Do any of these settings make a difference.

2) Has anyone tried connecting a keyboard stereo outs to the two 2i2 front inputs? When I do this from my Yamaha CP4 (using TS cables) and monitor through the 2i2 or powered speakers the stereo piano sound is terrible. I know from previous experience that the poor sound is due to the L and R channels being combined to mono. If you keep the channels separate you get the true rich piano sound. Is this just the way the 2i2 is designed or is there a way round the problem.

Regardless of the above, how well does it work to plug a guitar into one of the inputs for a live performance.

I have no plans to do any recording and am using the 2i2 as an external sound card.

Thanks
Tony

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#334412 - 02/01/16 04:52 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
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jcland Offline
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Tony.

I can only answer the 1st question for you.

I have both the 2I2 and the 2I4 interfaces. One for my Laptop and the other for my Desktop.

I just use the normal 'out of the box' settings for ASIO. I have tweaked them before but I did not notice any difference so I reset the back to 'factory'.

I have absolutely zero problems with these settings.

I use Reaper an Audition as my DAW. I keep BIAB set for MIME since it seems to work best there.

A friend of mine uses Sonar and he also keeps the ASIO settings at 'factory'.

My PC is the typical 3GHZ, 8 MB, Win 10 system.

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#334413 - 02/01/16 05:14 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Registered: 04/03/09
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Guitarhacker Offline
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Quote:
What are some typical ASIO settings for a Scarlett interface that other users find the best for BIAB i.e. Always ON or OFF, buffer length and sample rate. I have a new I7 laptop running Win 10. Do any of these settings make a difference.

2) Has anyone tried connecting a keyboard stereo outs to the two 2i2 front inputs? When I do this from my Yamaha CP4 (using TS cables) and monitor through the 2i2 or powered speakers the stereo piano sound is terrible. I know from previous experience that the poor sound is due to the L and R channels being combined to mono. If you keep the channels separate you get the true rich piano sound. Is this just the way the 2i2 is designed or is there a way round the problem.

Regardless of the above, how well does it work to plug a guitar into one of the inputs for a live performance.

I have no plans to do any recording and am using the 2i2 as an external sound card.




Yep... getting a good interface generally solves lots of issues.

1. If the default settings work, leave them alone. Set your software programs up to use ASIO with the 2i2 by default. Only adjust the buffers and latency settings if you need to..... don't try to fix what isn't broke.

2. The front inputs should be different channels. They do not combine to mono. You have 2 mono channels.. one is left, one is right, together, they make stereo. Any mono combining would have to be done in software somewhere. I know the Focusrite interfaces have a software control panel, it might be possible to combine them to mono, but it's generally done in a DAW. However, it's not a default setting. The default is stereo....a unique right and left channel.
If the piano is connected that way and sounds terrible, something else is causing it. First thing I would look at is the level your piano is putting into the inputs. Those inputs have preamps on them and if the piano is putting out a strong signal, the pre's will overload it. I discovered this with my rig when I tried to use a mixer I had in the studio with a mic. Super distorted.... so I plugged the mic straight in and it was crystal.

Experiment.... load a DAW stereo track. Play something with the stereo piano plugged in. Unplug one channel.... does the DAW still record to both stereo channels in the track? If not.... it's not combining to mono anywhere.

Something else to try..... just connect one side of the channel.... just the left. Is it clean? Do you have a mono out? Try that.

The 2i2 doesn't seem to have midi inputs on it.... so... that would explain you using the audio inputs. Does the keyboard have a USB connection on it? If so, use that to connect the keyboard and employ a softsynth. There will be no issues with the sound quality that way. My Focusrite has midi in/out/thru, so I use the midi route 100% of the time. I have never connected my keyboard through the audio inputs.

Plugging in a guitar.... with mono instruments, you will want to plug in to ONE input. AND.... in the DAW, you will want to select THAT MONO INPUT and not the default stereo input. You can use either a software sim or mic, or any sort of guitar processor. Adjust the input level as needed.

The 2i2 is a super recording interface. Using it for playback will give you excellent synced up playback, but you're missing half of what this interface is capable of.

That's my 2 cents for now....hope it helps point you in the right direction.
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#334424 - 02/01/16 08:41 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Registered: 04/07/13
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Charlie Fogle Offline
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Using the 2i2, if you input a keyboard or any other line level device, be sure the input switch on the front panel is set to line in position and not mic in.

Distortion will occur if the switch is not in the correct position.
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#334430 - 02/01/16 10:05 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
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Matt Finley Offline
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If I recall, in the Scarlett range, only the 200-level do not have their MixControl mixer software where you can adjust input levels. Is that correct?
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#334448 - 02/01/16 12:12 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 605
Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
Tony Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By: jcland

I just use the normal 'out of the box' settings for ASIO. I have tweaked them before but I did not notice any difference so I reset the back to 'factory'.


Thanks for the response I also have found no need to alter any settings and if I switched to ASIO "always on" I got a stuttering start to some songs with RTs.

Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker

2. The front inputs should be different channels. They do not combine to mono. You have 2 mono channels.. one is left, one is right, together, they make stereo. Any mono combining would have to be done in software somewhere. I know the Focusrite interfaces have a software control panel, it might be possible to combine them to mono, but it's generally done in a DAW. However, it's not a default setting. The default is stereo....a unique right and left channel.
If the piano is connected that way and sounds terrible, something else is causing it. First thing I would look at is the level your piano is putting into the inputs. Those inputs have preamps on them and if the piano is putting out a strong signal, the pre's will overload it. I discovered this with my rig when I tried to use a mixer I had in the studio with a mic. Super distorted.... so I plugged the mic straight in and it was crystal.

Experiment.... load a DAW stereo track. Play something with the stereo piano plugged in. Unplug one channel.... does the DAW still record to both stereo channels in the track? If not.... it's not combining to mono anywhere.

Something else to try..... just connect one side of the channel.... just the left. Is it clean? Do you have a mono out? Try that.

The 2i2 doesn't seem to have midi inputs on it.... so... that would explain you using the audio inputs. Does the keyboard have a USB connection on it? If so, use that to connect the keyboard and employ a softsynth. There will be no issues with the sound quality that way. My Focusrite has midi in/out/thru, so I use the midi route 100% of the time. I have never connected my keyboard through the audio inputs.

Plugging in a guitar.... with mono instruments, you will want to plug in to ONE input. AND.... in the DAW, you will want to select THAT MONO INPUT and not the default stereo input. You can use either a software sim or mic, or any sort of guitar processor. Adjust the input level as needed.

The 2i2 is a super recording interface. Using it for playback will give you excellent synced up playback, but you're missing half of what this interface is capable of.

That's my 2 cents for now....hope it helps point you in the right direction.

My piano levels are fine - no clipping shown by the 2i2 or in Realband.

The Focusrite software mixer doesn't work with the 2i2

As you predicted, when I record into RB I get two channels and only one if I disconnect one input from the piano.

If I use just the Left/Mono connection from the piano I get exactly the same "cheezy" sound as with two connections. This sound is exactly the same as I get whenever I have used the L/Mono connection in the past so I know what summed to mono sounds like.

Are you suggesting I use a softsynth piano sound instead of my Yamaha CP4 pianos? I would rather stick with the great Yamaha pianos.

Although you have proved that the 2i2 does not seem to sum to mono there is definitely something going on that I don't understand. If I listen by phones plugged into the CP4 the sound is great. If I plug phones into the front 2i2 phone jack which monitors the inputs to the 2i2, the sound is "cheezy"

To be honest this is something of an academic exercise for me aimed at explaining an anomaly. My normal method is to feed the piano line outs to a mixer with left panned fully left and right fully right. This preserves the great Yamaha sound.

The 2i2 is still worth it as an external sound card.
Thanks for your input.

Tony

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#334450 - 02/01/16 12:28 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Charlie Fogle]
Registered: 02/10/01
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Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
Tony Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
Using the 2i2, if you input a keyboard or any other line level device, be sure the input switch on the front panel is set to line in position and not mic in.

Distortion will occur if the switch is not in the correct position.


Hi Charlie

In practice the instrument position simply gives you more gain than the line in so you can adjust the input with the gain knob while observing the halo colors.

Tony

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#334451 - 02/01/16 12:30 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 02/10/01
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Tony Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
If I recall, in the Scarlett range, only the 200-level do not have their MixControl mixer software where you can adjust input levels. Is that correct?


That's correct Matt.
I have seen my problem mentioned on another forum and the Scarlett softmixer is supposed to solve it but that's no help with the 2i2.

Tony

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#334452 - 02/01/16 12:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 4727
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tony Wright
Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
Using the 2i2, if you input a keyboard or any other line level device, be sure the input switch on the front panel is set to line in position and not mic in.

Distortion will occur if the switch is not in the correct position.


Hi Charlie

In practice the instrument position simply gives you more gain than the line in so you can adjust the input with the gain knob while observing the halo colors.

Tony


If that is the case then you should likely route the keyboard line level output through a DI box before the scarlett input. There is an impedance mismatch between line levels and mic levels. I don't own a scarlett 2i2 but do have a Presonus 22VSL and it does not have line level inputs. That makes a line level input much to hot and causes distortion. It is also likely the source of your distortion.
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#334477 - 02/01/16 04:00 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
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rharv Offline
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Check your Direct monitor switch using headphones, see if changing this makes a difference. You could be hearing the piano go to the computer and back ..

The 2i2 manual is confusing in some ways.
It mixes the inst/Line level explanation in with TR/TRS connections, but it is an instrument level signal (electric guitar direct) or Line level (your keyboard) switch for the 1/4' jacks only. XLR is automatically mic level.

https://d3se566zfvnmhf.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/focusrite/downloads/7317/scarlett-2i2-user-guide-v2.pdf

/weird URL but linked from manufacturer site



Edited by rharv (02/01/16 05:44 PM)
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#334483 - 02/01/16 05:43 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
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Guitarhacker Offline
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Yep.... since you tried the things suggested and still have distortion, See if you can borrow a DI box and try it. If you don't know anyone with a DI laying around, just pick one up from Guitar Center or Sam Ash and try it. If it doesn't work, carry it back for a full refund.

Your signal level is too hot from the keyboard and there's also very likely an impedance mismatch that may be a contributing factor.... a good DI box may just solve that problem.... it's worth a try.
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#334503 - 02/01/16 07:40 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Guitarhacker]
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Tony Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
Yep.... since you tried the things suggested and still have distortion, See if you can borrow a DI box and try it. If you don't know anyone with a DI laying around, just pick one up from Guitar Center or Sam Ash and try it. If it doesn't work, carry it back for a full refund.

Your signal level is too hot from the keyboard and there's also very likely an impedance mismatch that may be a contributing factor.... a good DI box may just solve that problem.... it's worth a try.


I don't think it is correct to call what I am hearing as distortion. If I listen to my keyboard using a single cable from the L/mono connection it sounds EXACTLY the same as the sound from the 2i2 with L and R cables connected. The L/mono signal is definitely a stereo signal that is summed to mono within the keyboard which is why I am characterising the 2i2 sound as being similar.
Hasn't anyone got a 2i2 AND a keyboard with stereo piano sounds who can reproduce my findings?

Tony

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#334505 - 02/01/16 07:44 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: rharv]
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Tony Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By: rharv
Check your Direct monitor switch using headphones, see if changing this makes a difference. You could be hearing the piano go to the computer and back ..

The 2i2 manual is confusing in some ways.
It mixes the inst/Line level explanation in with TR/TRS connections, but it is an instrument level signal (electric guitar direct) or Line level (your keyboard) switch for the 1/4' jacks only. XLR is automatically mic level.

https://d3se566zfvnmhf.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/focusrite/downloads/7317/scarlett-2i2-user-guide-v2.pdf

/weird URL but linked from manufacturer site


If you have the direct monitor switch in the wrong position you hear nothing from the 2i2 phone connection or you get a long delay if you have a DAW running so it's impossible to have this switch in the wrong position

Tony

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#334530 - 02/02/16 04:25 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
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Guitarhacker Offline
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can you record that sound. Trying to describe it is like trying to describe a color.

Post the link to the sound here.
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#334605 - 02/02/16 09:35 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
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Beagle Offline
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Tony - try lowering the gain knob on the right channel when you have both R/L inputs plugged in. try continuing to turn it down until you're almost off and play as you turn and see if there's a point where it sounds better.

what I found on the scarlet 2i2 that I had was that the gain knob was very "touchy" and there's a very hard point on the gain where the amp is sent into saturation.

I returned my unit as defective and bought a presonus instead (this is my backup unit while my MOTU was out for repair), but I found out that this was typical for the scarlet series to have this brick level on the gain which overdrives the amp.

so technically it probably wasn't "defective" because it seems it may be designed this way. but from a personal standpoint (and I'm an Electrical Engineer by day) I think it's a poor design of the amp.



Edited by Beagle (02/02/16 09:39 AM)

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#334635 - 02/02/16 11:19 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Beagle]
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Tony Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By: Beagle
Tony - try lowering the gain knob on the right channel when you have both R/L inputs plugged in. try continuing to turn it down until you're almost off and play as you turn and see if there's a point where it sounds better.

what I found on the scarlet 2i2 that I had was that the gain knob was very "touchy" and there's a very hard point on the gain where the amp is sent into saturation.

I returned my unit as defective and bought a presonus instead (this is my backup unit while my MOTU was out for repair), but I found out that this was typical for the scarlet series to have this brick level on the gain which overdrives the amp.

so technically it probably wasn't "defective" because it seems it may be designed this way. but from a personal standpoint (and I'm an Electrical Engineer by day) I think it's a poor design of the amp.



I tried your suggestion and the piano sound quality is exactly the same with any combination of gain knob position i.e. left only, right only, left plus partial left, right plus partial left etc. I cannot detect a sudden hard point in the gain control. I really don't think this has anything to do with gain or distortion. It sounds exactly like the sound I can deliberately create by combining L and R from the keyboard.

I don't wish to bore everyone with this thread any longer. The 2i2 works great as a sound card which is why I bought it and I don't need to use it for my piano so I'm going to get on with my musical life. Maybe my enquiries on other forums and with Focusrite will reveal something.

Regards
Tony

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#334656 - 02/02/16 01:06 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
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Matt Finley Offline
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I have a 6i6 which, between the mixer software and the gain controls, should be able to handle this. But I'm glad you found a solution. I haven't used a 2i2 so I am still curious whether to recommend it in the future like I already have the 6i6, 8i8 or 18i20.
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#334677 - 02/02/16 03:29 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
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rharv Offline
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The only other thing I thought of is to try balanced cables.
Maybe it does cross feed itself if unbalanced cables are used. I've never seen this, but maybe that's why they mention TR/TRS in their description of using the Line Level inputs. Like I said, adding the TR/TRS part to the Line Level description made no sense to me at the time, but maybe that's why they mention it(?)

No chance tonight, but maybe soon I can test for you. I've been so busy I've yet to even plug anything into my 2i2 (since I got it for Christmas). I installed drivers and grabbed plugins, but that's about it.
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#334959 - 02/04/16 01:48 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 02/10/01
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Tony Wright Offline
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Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
can you record that sound. Trying to describe it is like trying to describe a color.

Post the link to the sound here.


Here are two recordings of the same song. The second one sounds exactly the same as playing from the L/Mono piano out which sums to mono inside the piano.

Recorded from mixer without Scarlett 2i2
Recorded from mixer with mixer input fed through Scarlett 2i2

Tony

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#334978 - 02/04/16 03:59 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Scarlett 2i2 interface questions [Re: Tony Wright]
Registered: 05/30/00
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rharv Offline
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Yes, the second is much more MONO than the first.

Are the two channels from the Scarlett to the Mixer panned at the Mixer?
(you said input fed through Scarlett so I assume it is first in line)
Also, how does the recorded sound from the Scarlett sound when recorded using the Scarlett USB connection to the computer?
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36:48 - Change Beat Resolution From the Right-Click Menu
37:15 - Easier Entry of Notes on Lines
37:42 - Asterisk to Indicate Middle C on & Spin Controls
37:53 - Force Accidental from the Right-Click Menu
38:01 - Edit Any Track in the Event List
38:09 - Keystroke Note Entry Mode 'N' for Faster Note Entry
38:28 - Print Chords Only Fake Sheet
38:32 - More Control of Notation Size

Rather read about it?
-Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows® Upgrade Manual
-New Feature Summary - Notation Enhancements

The New Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows SongPicker!

With Band-in-a-Box® 2019, the SongPicker has been redesigned!
-The completely redesigned window shows information for up to 50,000 songs.
-The song list build is much faster. Approximately 150 songs get added per second.
-A progress bar will appear if the song list build takes longer than 3 seconds.
-You can see the chord progression for the selected song in the list. You can copy and paste it to a text file.
-Many filters are available. You can filter the list by subfolders, genre, feel, time signature, style, songs with melody, soloist, lyrics, key signature, tempo range, and the year of file dates.
-You can search songs that have similar chord progressions and/or melody fragments.
-Hotkey! ss+enter opens the SongPicker, ss2+enter opens the Recently Played Songs, etc.

Learn more about the updates with our New Features Video - we've made it easy to find the section you'll need:
2:55 - New Feature: Redesigned SongPicker
21:58 - New Features: SongPicker Enhancements
41:10 - Now Over 10,600 Titles in SongPicker

You can also read all about the new SongPicker within our Online Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows® Upgrade Manual.

RealBand 2019 Online and PDF Manuals Available!

Visit our Online Manuals support page for access to the latest RealBand 2019 for Windows program manuals!

RealBand 2019 for Windows User's Guide: Online Manual | PDF Download
RealBand 2019 for Windows New Features Guide: Online Manual | PDF Download

RealBand 2019 is included in every purchase of Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows! We're having a SALE on Band-in-a-Box® 2019 Upgrade purchases until December 31, 2018 - save over 40% when you purchase your Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows Upgrade! Check out our Band-in-a-Box® packages page for all the purchase options available

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 Online and PDF Manuals Available!

Visit our Online Manuals support page for access to the latest Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows program manuals!

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows User's Guide: Online Manual | PDF Download
Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows Upgrade Manual: Online Manual | PDF Download

Don't forget.... We're having a SALE on Band-in-a-Box® 2019 Upgrade purchases until December 31, 2018 - save over 40% when you purchase your Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows Upgrade! Check out our Band-in-a-Box® packages page for all the purchase options available

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