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Fellow BIABers,

I am seeing a lot of questions about using Band in a Box if you are a beginner being asked over and over, and I wonder if there could be or should be a forum (Like OFF TOPIC) dedicated solely to Band in a Box for Beginners--instead of developing a "Band in a Box Lite" program.

Coming from a musical background some stuff seems intuitive to me, but I can see how it might be nerve-racking for people with no musical training.

I do think that some of the tutorial videos move a little fast, and the mouse disappears from the screen before you can figure out what just happened. They just need to be SLOWED DOWN a bit in the future, for beginners. The content is still good.

In response to a question on another thread, I will take another stab. This is the kind of thing I am talking about.

Question: "Suppose Someone Wants to Learn How to Play Amazing Grace."

Ok:

1. Realize that Midi is your friend. Go to the web and google Amazing Grace midi. A site with a good reputation is this, though everyone should use their own anti-virus protection when downloading anything.

https://www.8notes.com

One added note: the reason why Band in a Box doesn't give out BIAB files with melodies is because of something called copyright. But, if you want the midi melody of most songs, there is a safe midi site out there where you can find one for "educational" purposes. Just use something like Norton, and make sure it is a safe site and that the file is being scanned during download.

2. Search for Amazing Grace on the safe midi site, download Amazing Grace midi and open up in Band in a Box.*


*In Band and a Box Choose File open and open the Midi File. Make sure "files of type" is set to midi or "all types."

(I have attached screenshots of styles to reference what I am saying.)


3. You will notice BIAB has already figured out the chords when it loads. If it is a professional midi (done by someone who knows how to play), most of these chords will be right most of the time.

4. Go to style picker, and open it. In the box that opens, you will see "enter the name of a song" in upper right corner. Enter Amazing Grace.

5. You will see several choices listed--and if you pick one of the choices, hit ok and look closely, you will see they are in waltz time. You just learned something important. Amazing Grace is in 3/4 so any waltz will work.

6. Look at the Style picker filter on the left. Look at the drop downs. Fiddle with them. For instance, keep the signature drop down on 3/4 but set the other filters to "all categories" by making sure the settings are set like the settings in the screen shot below. In other words, setting "Feel" to just "feel" will bring in all "feels." But look at the other drop downs to see how they work.

7. Choose of these styles and hit render.

8. If you have opened a midi file, the midi will play in the melody track. If you click on the "Notation" button you can choose any of the tracks to see what is being played. This is awesome.

9. Choosing Big Piano or Guitar Icon will show you what is being played (at least for midi tracks) if you do not read music. That is also awesome.

10. If the midi track has several parts, you can open it in Real Band and the parts will be on different channels. That is also awesome.

11. Now that you see how it works, you can begin experimenting by studying song books with chords in them, typing those chords into the boxes, realizing that the default entry is on beats 1 and 3 of each measure. But know that you can get the chord to land on beats 2 or 4 in 4/4 time if you hit a comma before entering.

I am not sure how to make it more simple than that for absolute beginners.

There does have to be some investment of time. Once you pass the beginning stage, ANY kind of music is extremely nerve-racking and tedious in the best of circumstances, as you try and get better. As a matter if fact, the better you get, the more tedious it gets. That's the way music is.

The reason for the "Beginner's Thread" might be that all lessons could be found in a single place. And there are hundreds of people out there who LOVE to take the time to show other people how things work, so why not use their experience all in one place?

For example, Forum Member "Pipeline" is always on call, it seems, to answer any and all technical questions and I have learned a lot from him and hundreds of others.

Hope this makes sense.

I guess I am saying it might make sense to have an entire Forum thread dedicated only to the Basics of Band in a Box instead of talking about making "Band in a Box Lite."

With just a little time--like a few weeks--you will see it is not that hard and you will have outgrown any kind of "Band in a Box Lite." It's "lite" enough already. I can't see how they could make it easier.

Just my opinion.



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BIAB All Categories.png (277.75 KB, 270 downloads)
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Originally Posted By: David Snyder

I am not sure how to make it more simple than that for absolute beginners.


Not sure your "Amazing Grace" midi example will work well. BIAB will inactivate styles when you load a midi. So what you say is true, "...the midi will play on the melody track", but will leave you with an expensive midi player. BIAB is one tricky app.

The way I learned BIAB as a newbee was with the 1000's of BIAB-formatted songs which populated the web. Today, not so easy to find. So for those newbees purchasing now, merry xmas: BIAB xmas Songs



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Originally Posted By: David Snyder
Fellow BIABers,

I am seeing a lot of questions about using Band in a Box if you are a beginner being asked over and over, and I wonder if there could be or should a forum (Like OFF TOPIC) dedicated solely to Band in a Box for Beginners--instead of developing a "Band in a Box Lite" program.

Coming from a musical background some stuff seems intuitive to me, but I can see how it might be nerve-wracking for people with no musical training.

I do think that some of the tutorial videos move a little fast, and the mouse disappears from the screen before you can figure out what just happened. They just need to be SLOWED DOWN a bit in the future, for beginners. The content is still good.


ABSOLUTELY GREAT IDEA! And thank you for validating that many of us here don't have the level of musical training, as well as technical understanding that so much of the forum content speaks to.

And, yes, I find the Help and Videos often skip right over important instructions to get from the beginning to the end. Sometimes they seem to start 5 steps in, or in the middle breeze over a few.

Recognizing it would be lengthy to always, truly go step by step for everything in Help/videos, if we had a forum of our own, we could not only ask questions with no concerns about showing our ignorance, but perhaps be able to identify spots in the videos where we think a step was missed, and perhaps one of the great folks at PGM could look at it.

The only rule would be "Ask. All questions are welcome in this forum."

When I first got BIAB, I asked questions and 99% of the responders were fantastic and patient. Then there was that one guy... "Look it up in Help," "That was covered in previous threads," or "Go watch the videos." That's exactly what keeps some folks from participating in any kind of open forum.

I hope PGM will consider it.


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Originally Posted By: Andy A - USA
we could not only ask questions with no concerns about showing our ignorance


Unfamiliarity and lack of experience is NEVER ignorance. We all started on day one at some point in our musical lives. Factor in also that this is not just music, this is manipulating a computer. My generation (I am 65) didn't have a computer in our crib like the 20 somethings of today, so for older folks that seems like it should be step one, File management (open, import, save, save as...) is critical.

But NEVER ignorance.


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lack of knowledge or information.
"he acted in ignorance of basic procedures"


synonyms: incomprehension of, unawareness of, unconsciousness of, unfamiliarity with, inexperience with, lack of knowledge about, lack of information about;


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Hey man,

That is not exactly true-and so I am confused.

I just loaded an Amazing Grace midi, and chose a style and it is playing it in that style with the melody on the melody track as I am sitting here.

It is thus not an "expensive midi player."

If you choose a style for a loaded midi, it may say "Style is not enabled, enable it?" and all you do is click yes.

In BIAB the full midi will always play on the melody track and the style tracks will play on the style tracks. If you want to separate out the midi tracks (say there are 5 instruments) you just open it up in Real Band. From there you can grab any individual midi, such as the melody and simply slide it to the little box in the upper left, then slide it out to the desktop where you can then open up JUST the melody in Band in a Box (if you want) and choose a style to go with it.

Or better yet, just keep playing it in Real Band, select and generate styles inside real Band while preserving the melody midi.

If you want, you can even re-save it as a BIAB file if the BIAB file is the way you want to roll.


What you just said BIAB doesn't do is essentially what it was made for originally.

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Originally Posted By: David Snyder
Hey man,

That is not exactly true-and so I am confused.



Opps, I stand corrected. blush


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Andy,

I would say that the rule of "no stupid questions" is the way PG Music rolls.

When I started in 2014, I must have been on the phone with Kent and Kallum every day. They may have gotten sick of me, but they never showed it. They were the most patient human beings I have ever seen until I got the hang of it.

Some things are hard to grasp at first even if you are a professional musician and know a AbMaj13#11 like the back of your hand.

It took A LOT OF PATIENCE from forum members, users and PG staff to get me where I am right now, and I think we should all be like that. I am sure I have asked lots of dumb questions but no one ever told me.

smile

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I think that is a great idea and a great first lesson David. I also think Dan has an excellent point about using existing BIAB files. Those were a huge help to me when I started out with BIAB.

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@Dan Snyder:

Is this ALL specific to BIAB or do the rules in your example make the transition to RB as well? I have had this thing for probably 8 years now and I have never launched BIAB. Went right to RB on day 1 and stayed there. My personal application though has never once been to play a MIDI file. The caveat there is that I am not a beginner in music and can play in what I want.

This is just an awesome composition tool and I can go up to my studio and just get lost up there. Many nights I have gone up at 9pm and the next thing I knew it started getting light outside.... Write, enter the chord chart, pick a style, generate, tweak rhythm, play the live parts, sing, overdub harmonies, generate solos. Done. When it works out that the song is one of those that writes itself in 20 minutes, it's easily possible to do 3 songs a day (though I never have - writing well is a little dry right now).

And in 2008, I was a PG beginner too.


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Hi, David.

You are applying what I said across every category of the existing forum. What I said was, in a new, focused forum all questions would be welcome. That you, personally, have not felt some level of impatience, or an answer that was way over your head from any responders, does not mean that I have not. (And no one at PGM has ever been impatience with me. They are saints.)

I have gained so much from this forum and I appreciate every answer. And, still there are many times, many questions, that I don't ask. I search here, I Google, look through help. And I just limp along and do without.

I have the highest level of respect and appreciation for folks here, and you are certainly one of them. And I recognize that I do not have the music or tech skills needed to get to your level, for example, and I will never get to your level. That just a fact.

But, knowing there was a dedicated place where I could always ask any question, and know that any responder would understand that I might not be able to begin with "Of course you always have the midi set to Mapper not Coyote if the latency is under 488 ms and timer resolution is over 4."

I made that up, but that's the way I see the level of knowledge that so many of you have.

This dog is too old to learn those tricks.


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Eddie,

I would say that applies to BIAB and Real Band. To me they are so well integrated that they are almost synonymous.

I also compose by just sitting down at the piano and playing with Sonar (or Real Band) set to a midi channel and hit record and have it on the entire time I am noodling. It is a lot less expensive than tape!!

Then I can export the midi and use BIAB to tell me what I just did. (Chord recognition yo.) Love it.

I may change some of the chords back to what I had intended, or I may say Eb6? Thank you Band in a Box! Never thought of it. But I'll go with that!!!

smile

When I am just laying out chords though I will work with a BIAB style that approximates what I am trying to do, and work with that until I am ready for export to a DAW.

I honestly cannot grasp any complaints about BIAB and RB. They are quite honestly the most amazing tools I have ever seen if you use them for that they were intended for--generating tracks and composing.


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Originally Posted By: Andy A - USA
This dog is too old to learn those tricks.


I don't know about that, Andy. I was 50 when I married 3.0, and while I was with her for those 5 years she taught me how to beg....

LOL!!!


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HA! We are all beggars at some level! I've been thru the training too. "F" smile


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Originally Posted By: Andy A - USA
"Of course you always have the midi set to Mapper not Coyote if the latency is under 488 ms and timer resolution is over 4."

.



Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Man, you don't need to know that stuff to write a song! All you need is 4 or five good styles to work with, some lyrics and a basic knowledge of chord progressions and Real Band. It's more than the Beatles had.

But of course, if your asio audio latency- default is set to a re-routed output bus with a multi-timbral voice attack threshold of less than 500 megahertz per cycle second, you will need to re-map your VSTi settings to zero positive thrust to account for any negative feedback you may have received from wife 3.0.

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Ex-wife. Errr...wives. I'm in the club with Eddie. We have weekly meetings. He's pres, and I'm sec/treasurer.

Yeah, I know I don't need that to write songs. Ever since the award at Kerrville and the Grammy nomination I've felt like I could probably get something down on paper. (I'm feeling like the only sober person in a bar at closing time.)

When you all talk high-level music stuff and deeper production/tech language, that's where I would guess you lose a lot of kindly, simple guys with many ex-wives.

See, if we beginners had our own forum, we'd all be talking about you tonight. You'd be the Showcase!

Work on your latency. I have meeting notes to transcribe. See you Wednesday, Eddie.


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)))) I am seeing a lot of questions about using Band in a Box if you are a beginner being asked over and over, and I wonder if there could be or should a forum (Like OFF TOPIC) dedicated solely to Band in a Box for Beginners--instead of developing a "Band in a Box Lite" program.

David,

Awesome idea, and thanks for posting a first sample lesson. The idea to have a beginners forum, maybe simply called Beginners forum.

If it is popular we could split it into BIAB RealBand and others

We will work on that

Thanks


Have Fun!
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Awesome! Thanks Peter!!!

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I'm loving how much effort you put into this, David. Really really impressive to see a power user going so far out of their way to help beginners and newcomers to the software.


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Hey thanks man! Thanks to you guys for holding down the fort!!!

smile

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