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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last edited by Alyssa - PG Music; 08/21/18 10:46 AM.

Alyssa - PG Music