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#442804 - 12/05/17 11:07 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows
Registered: 09/27/06
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Loc: Victoria, BC
Callie - PG Music Offline
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 1532
Loc: Victoria, BC
Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows boasts over 50 new features and enhancements... including the Build-in Audio Chord Wizard!

The Audio Chord Wizard has been redesigned with Band-in-a-Box® 2018, and is now built in to the program! Previously, the Audio Chord Wizard was a separate app that was not tightly integrated into Band-in-a-Box®. This app is still available from the [Audio Chord Wizard] toolbar button, but now the improved built-in Audio Chord Wizard can be accessed from the Audio Edit Window!

Watch our latest video to learn more:


Video link - Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows
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#442810 - 12/05/17 11:32 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Registered: 08/20/11
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Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Oh wow. This has got to be the coolest enhancement to 2018 Band-in-a-Box. This is so-o-o powerful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Can't wait to try it.

I've always thought ACW can be such a powerful tool but I've never been able to achieve the results I want. Watching this video I see with this version I can better understand what is happening and how to make effective adjustments.

I have three or four audio files that I can't wait to try using this version on.

THIS IS EXCITING!
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#442818 - 12/05/17 11:47 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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Matt Finley Offline
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Jim, you are right; it is a highlight in version 2018. It’s one of those things where describing it isn’t as good as working with it.
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#442820 - 12/05/17 11:50 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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jford Offline
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Great descriptive video.
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#442827 - 12/05/17 12:29 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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Rutabago Offline
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The one we have now is highly frustrating. The audio finishes up at double speed, for example.

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#443096 - 12/06/17 03:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Registered: 11/13/05
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Cerio Online   content
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That's my favourite new feature, much better, in my opinion than the old ACW.

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#443185 - 12/06/17 11:44 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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lambada Offline
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Looks promising. This should be great for creating backing tracks for covers. I also gave up with the previous one.
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#446965 - 12/23/17 08:50 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
Registered: 12/02/15
Posts: 42
Pumps2 Offline
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I was planning to skip 2018 until I watched the chord wizard video. I upgraded today.

I must say my first experience was really unsettling with the GUI misbehaving badly. And nothing I was looking at matched the video. Eventually I stumbled upon the "Fullscreen Chordsheet View" in the Windows menu. Once I checked that, my screen matched the video and the GUI worked a lot better. I suppose that mode has been available for awhile, but I never used it. It is evident to me that the non-fullscreen mode is not very well tested. I stumbled on numerous serious bugs inside the first five minutes. But I think I can learn to use the fullscreen mode all the time, and that seems a lot more stable.

This is life with BIAB -- and I say that in a loving way, considering I've probably had more than a dozen BIAB versions. The program function is amazing and the GUI is really a pain. I am hopeful that by using the fullscreen mode I will be closer to the path that gets better testing.

Now the chord wizard ... Of course it isn't perfect, but I have tried it on 4 widely varied pop and jazz songs this evening and it works better than I expected. The automatic bar detection isn't quite as heuristic as I had hoped, but it is pretty easy to insert a bunch of bar lines manually. There is room for improvement there, but it isn't a big problem.

Detecting the chords is really impressive. I think in the best case, the wizard got 80-90% of them reasonable (not exactly the same spelling I would give the chords, but close enough for a BIAB style to sound like the song.) In the worst case, it was probably 60-70% good.

That sounds like a low number, but it is quite easy to go into the chord sheet to change the chords I don't like. I think this is a potentially very useful work flow.

I did not try any songs that had really dense harmonies or intricate rhythms. I expect it would not really be worth the trouble in those cases, but I could be pleasantly surprised.

I can see many uses for this capability. My particular interest is rather specialized. I often write arrangements for various ensembles -- most often jazz big band. I like to use BIAB in the early stages to preview a structure for the arrangement. I use MIDI-based styles. Once I have the harmonies and chart sequence sounding right, I transfer the basic MIDI tracks (piano, bass, guitar, drums, maybe strings) into Finale so I will have a realistic rhythm section bed. From there, I write the horn parts. By the time I have worked the chart in BIAB, I pretty much know what I want the horns to do, so the scoring usually goes fast.

And in the final stages, I simplify the rhythm section MIDI as needed to print parts that work for those instruments.

That may be the end, but if we need a realistic rendering, then I'll send all the Finale stuff into a DAW where I can give the sound a lot more polish. This may seem complicated, but it actually flows rather nicely and allows me to be more creative by using BIAB at the outset where I can try more ideas quickly.

In the past, the first step of the process has been very manual. If it is a standard tune with a lead sheet available, then I simply enter the chords into BIAB and develop the structure from there. If there is no lead sheet available (say, if covering a pop tune), then I will have to transcribe the chords by ear. That's where the chord wizard can save me some time, even if it only gets the chords 75% right.

It is a big step forward, even if not perfect.


Edited by Pumps2 (12/23/17 10:54 PM)
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#447006 - 12/24/17 05:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Pumps2]
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Charlie Fogle Online   content
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I enjoyed reading about your workflow to write arrangements for ensembles. It seems to me that if you have a midi file to begin your project and considering all of the song data included in a midi file and the automatic chord interpretation of midi files by BIAB, you would be better served to open a quality midi rather than copy a lead sheet or run an audio file through either version of the ACW unless no midi was available. I know this depends on the particular project you are working on and the availability of either lead sheets, midi and audio. I use both methods and midi most times gives me a big head start on my project.

One thing I often do with ACW chord results is to make note of 'wrong' chords. On occasion they are happy accidents that can really enhance my chord chart using them as substitute chords throughout my chart. I find this causes the BIAB generation to locate different audio phrases that operate similarly to the new natural arrangement feature in BIAB. These wrong chords also sometimes reveal what I call Grace Chords used between major chords changing throughout a song. I would think you have the musical theory knowledge that you understand these happenings without reliance on happy accidents, but for those like me with no formal musical theory experience, their sometimes quite helpful and make us look better at composing than we really are. ;=)
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#447043 - 12/24/17 09:47 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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joden Offline
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The Audio Chord Wizard is fine for very simple chord progressions, but throw an audo file with slash chords, or chords higher in complexity than a seventh and it really does not work well at all.

I think it is more a "gimmicky toy" and something for a bit of fun rather than a serious tool. ymmv, and jmo of course.

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#447156 - 12/25/17 08:41 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Charlie Fogle]
Registered: 12/02/15
Posts: 42
Pumps2 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
I enjoyed reading about your workflow to write arrangements for ensembles. It seems to me that if you have a midi file to begin your project and considering all of the song data included in a midi file and the automatic chord interpretation of midi files by BIAB, you would be better served to open a quality midi rather than copy a lead sheet or run an audio file through either version of the ACW unless no midi was available.


I have certainly done that for some classical pieces. but with big band charts, there is rarely a MIDI that I really want to use. I do better beginning with the chord I want to use (I reharmonize heavily) and then generate MIDI beds from BIAB.

I realize this workflow has many steps and some people are able to get good results just composing straight into a blank score. I do much better when I can hear things develop organically.


Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle

One thing I often do with ACW chord results is to make note of 'wrong' chords. On occasion they are happy accidents that can really enhance my chord chart using them as substitute chords throughout my chart.


Interesting. I'll keep an ear open for that. And that is a nice part about this particular work flow. If the wizard comes up with a "wrong chord", that may suggest there is some ambiguity, and that can be an opportunity. Ambiguity is the composer/arranger's friend. Even if we don't accept the wizard's opinion, it may challenge us to come up with something even more interesting.

My new year's resolution is to listen to more of the really "out there" organ music. Some of these organ composers are absolutely fearless. They rub notes together like nobody's business and get away with the crime every time. smile

All the best.
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#447157 - 12/25/17 08:46 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: joden]
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Pumps2 Offline
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Originally Posted By: joden
The Audio Chord Wizard is fine for very simple chord progressions, but throw an audio file with slash chords, or chords higher in complexity than a seventh and it really does not work well at all.


I have only done a few songs. You are certainly right that as the chord complexity increases, the wizard is less accurate -- or at least comes up with chord spellings that are less and less like what a human would do.

In my case, I rarely do "cover charts" where I am trying to transcribe literally. I usually intend to change a significant percentage of the chord anyway, so I like the fact that the wizard gives me a pretty quick way to set up the song structure (marking measures, blocking out sections) and getting enough chords in there to be a good starting point. Maybe I will tire of the process after doing it a few times, but so far, I think it does enough to be useful to me.
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#470793 - 05/02/18 11:42 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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Icelander Offline
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It's the 'key change mid song' scenario that always gives me grief with this tool, old or new. Advices on how to best go about this?
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#470813 - 05/02/18 01:43 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Icelander]
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Charlie Fogle Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Icelander
It's the 'key change mid song' scenario that always gives me grief with this tool, old or new. Advices on how to best go about this?


The simplest way I've found is to process the song in sections. I do so for varied reasons but some of the most common are intro's that are at a slower tempo than the remainder of the song, measures at the end of a verse of chorus that are atypical of the song: ie 1,2,3,4,1,2,1,2,3,4..... and modulations like you mention.

Tips that have helped me:

I don't necessarily start at Bar 1 of a song. I go to a measure into a song that I know for sure is the beginning of a bar. Afterward, I will return to the beginning and get the measures correct that are prior to the measure I started at that I am sure of.

I come back and do walk up and walk down progressions independent of the rest of the song.

Learn and use what the colored bars at the top mean. Most times one will indicate the beginning of a measure accurately.

I go through the song and come back and focus on a modulation independent of the rest of the song.
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#470888 - 05/02/18 06:46 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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Icelander Offline
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Sounds clever, if perhaps sluggish.

Thanks for the insight cool
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#470894 - 05/02/18 07:13 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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Charlie Fogle Online   content
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It is a sluggish method but I rarely, if ever, use the ACW as a tool to quickly input chords.
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#473571 - 05/19/18 12:02 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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One really cool feature about this is that if you analyze a song and lay out a template with the analysis you will see it often "adjusting" to tempo bar per bar to keep up with the "live feeling" of the song it has analyzed. E.g. 92 BPM, to 93, to 94, back to 92, etc.

Once you have that template you can use it to modify/add your own chords etc but still keep something of a live feel with retards etc so that your song doesn't sound like a machine.

I think that is pretty cool.

Yes, I know you can manually do this anyway, but analyzing the pacing in a favorite song and then using that as a template quickly to create your own swing is pretty neat I think.
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#473586 - 05/19/18 02:54 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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musiclover Offline
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I only tried the ACW once or twice and because I didn't get good results I abandoned any more attempts with it.

But I do use the chord detection in Riffstation software on my computer, which I find is not bad at all, though not perfect.


https://pro.riffstation.com/


Would be interested to find out from those who have used both methods which has given them the best results?

Update

And the good news seems to be if I am reading it correctly that this software is now free,

https://play.riffstation.com/chords-tabs/free-all-right-now/siMFORx8uO8

Thanks


Edited by musiclover (05/19/18 03:54 PM)
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#483608 - 07/27/18 10:15 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: musiclover]
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mhoman7078 Offline
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Originally Posted By: musiclover
I only tried the ACW once or twice and because I didn't get good results I abandoned any more attempts with it.

But I do use the chord detection in Riffstation software on my computer, which I find is not bad at all, though not perfect.


https://pro.riffstation.com/


Would be interested to find out from those who have used both methods which has given them the best results?

Update

And the good news seems to be if I am reading it correctly that this software is now free,

https://play.riffstation.com/chords-tabs/free-all-right-now/siMFORx8uO8

Thanks


What these demo videos don't empathize is that you need considerable music theory and a very good ear to use this product properly. I am now at a point I can invest more time to figure things out. I am learning and BIAB is helping with hands on application of my new found knowledge but it is very frustrating at times and I have given up on ACW before. I am going to really get into it and I hope I am not waisting my time.

This tip was very helpful for me as I had the hardest time detecting the measures. I downloaded free Riffstation on my Mac and imported the same audio file I was working with in BIAB. I then turned the metronome on loud and saved the audio. When I imported that audio file into BIAB and looked at the wave form the metronome is recorded and the beats are very well defined. I could then use those to line up the bar markers and when finished it was right on with the song.

Now I have an accurate time and number of measures.

On to the next problem of getting accurate chords. Every chord detection program I used comes up with different results (BIAB, Riffstation, and Songs2See Editor) Using all three of those I was also able to come up with the key of the song. The BIAB chords are not sounding at all like the song but I am still working on getting a process down but the BIAB chords do not sound anything like the song that I am using. They do sound more like a song than before as I didn't have the measures correct, so I am making progress. The song may be the problem as it is close to dixieland and there is a lot going on. I will try the demo songs now to see if i get better results.

As another poster pointed out, the BIAB style came out at half tempo. I found that I was not putting the markers in a two beat fashion. When I corrected that the style matched the song. I found that, as mentioned in the video, not putting all the real track instruments helped in that it was just too busy playing with the audio also.

So far my problems have been the result of my lack of musical knowledge but again this a great tool for learning by your mistakes.


Edited by mhoman7078 (07/27/18 11:49 AM)

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#483636 - 07/27/18 12:34 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows [Re: Callie - PG Music]
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Charlie Fogle Online   content
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mhoman7078, I found a useful way to practice with both versions of the ACW is to use BIAB generated songs from the Users Showcase.

The ACW seems to decode these songs more accurately than some commercial songs.
User Showcase songs typically do not have as many tracks and different sounds to deal with as a commercial song would have.
User Showcase songs normally provide the Key signature, tempo and whether the song is in 3/4, 6/8/12/8 or 4/4 time.
User Showcase songs normally do not have many modulations or odd time signatures scattered throughout the song.
User Showcase songs many times provide the BIAB style used so you can experiment with seeing how accurately you can recreate a song.

Of course you would do this for practice and experimentation and not to reproduce or publish the work but this method will provide you with a lot of information you would not normally have access to.
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PG Music News
Notation Enhancements in Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows!

There are Notation Enhancements in the NEW Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows! These include:
•A new button in the Print Options dialog which lets you quickly print a "chords only" fake sheet. You can also access this from the right-click menu on the chord sheet.
•A new track type (Drums) is now available for The Melody and Soloist tracks.
•Clicking close to a stave line will put a note on the stave line instead of between stave lines. (Previously, you had to click extremely close to a stave line to insert a note on The line.)
•Double-clicking on the Standard mode Notation window (or on the time line in Editable or Staff Roll mode) plays the song from the current time location. Previously, it played the song from the beginning of the current bar.
•Holding down the [Ctrl] key and pressing the zoom in/out buttons results in finest possible incremental adjustment in size.
•In The Notation Windows Options dialog, The clefs split point asterisk indicates that C5* is middle C.
•Pressing The space bar plays the song from the current time location, not the current bar.
•The clefs split point can be set by the spin controls.
•The right-click menu in the Editable or Staff Roll mode Notation window has an option to change the current beat resolution. Previously, the only way to do this was to right-click on the time line.
•There's a keystroke entry notation mode - the 'N' mode, which lets you enter a melody entirely using keystrokes. The keystrokes are N to enter a note, up/down cursor to change its pitch, and left/right cursor to move the time line.
•You can now edit any track in the Event List Editor. When The dialog opens, it will show you the MIDI data in the current Notation track.
•You can quickly enter forced accidentals from the right-click menu.

We talk about these new features within our Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows®! New Features, RealTracks, and other content! video:
25:45 - New Features: Easy Entering of Notation with the 'N' Key
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

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 on a USB 3.0 Hard Drive - Speed Thrills!

We're excited to say that all Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows UltraPAK and UltraPAK+ orders now ship on a USB 3.0 hard drive!

What does this mean? Faster hard drive transfer rates will enhance the program operations (faster time to generate tracks, reduced audio artifacts) and offer faster transfer speeds (typically up to 3x faster)!

It's a great time to order your UltraPAK or UltraPAK+ Upgrade... they're ON SALE until December 31st!

Video: Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows® New Features!

Our "Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows®! New Features, RealTracks, and other content!" video is now ready! Get to know all about the newest features in Band-in-a-Box® 2019: Click here to watch...

We have listed a table of contents for this video, you'll see it within the YouTube video description, or by visiting this forum post.

RealBand 2019 - A New Look!

Have you opened up your RealBand 2019 yet? You may notice that we've given it a fresh new look! In fact, there are now 3 different looks to RealBand.

See for yourself! Within the program, visit Options | Icon Set and choose from: Classic, Modern 1, or Modern 2.

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