5. How do I add my personal styles to the Band-in-a-Box® StylePicker list?

Band-in-a-Box® styles need to be placed in the 'Styles' folder, within the '/Applications/Band-in-a-Box®' on your hard drive, so the program can find them. This does not automatically add them to the list of styles in the StylePicker window, however you can still access them by using the User | Load Style from Disk menu item, or Command-U. If you get a "style not found" message when trying to play a song, this typically means that the style is not in the Styles folder.

It's possible to add your custom styles to the list of styles in the StylePicker window by editing a text file. First, you should understand where Band-in-a-Box® gets the StylePicker list from. This is defined by the BBW.LST file in the /Band-in-a-Box®/Data folder. This is a text file that can be opened with a text editor like TextEdit. It is instructive to take a look at this file to see how styles are defined, but note that you should NOT actually edit this file, because it is updated often and so you will most likely lose your changes if you install a Band-in-a-Box® update.

Instead, create a new text file with the file extension ".LS3". For example, MyStyles.LS3. The file can be named whatever you like, as long as it has the .LS3 extension and is saved in the Data folder. This file can have the same format as the BBW.LST file, and you can add your own categories and styles to it. Once you've edited and saved it, press the Rebuild button in the StylePicker window, and your new category should appear at the bottom of the list.

More information about adding styles to the list

The Style List is built from a text file called BBW.LST (PG Music makes this one) PLUS whatever .LS3 files are present. Here is how the style list file is written:

  • Any line beginning with a semicolon ";" is a comment.

  • Lines beginning with ~ indicate a new category like Jazz, Country, or Pop.

  • Lines beginning with @ are a description of a style in the format @ab^c*d,where:

    • a = Style file name eg. zzjazzsw.sty (max. 8 characters + .sty )

    • b = Long Style Name eg. Jazz Swing Style (max. 32 characters)

    • c = Memo

    • d = Examples of songs that can be played in this style. c and d combined can be max. 255 characters. For example, c could be 200 and d could be 50.

Each style description must be on one-line; carriage returns are not allowed in the middle of a style description. Once made, you add the new information to the StylePicker by choosing the Rebuild option inside the StylePicker dialog. This rebuilds the binary file BBM2.LSV. You can list a style more than once, for example Pop Ballad might be listed under both the Jazz and Pop Ballad categories. The style will show up as long as you have typed it's name correctly, and a .STY file with that exact name is present in the Styles folder.

Example excerpt from a style list file

~Jazz
@ZZJazzSW.STY Jazz Swing Style^This is the "built-in jazz swing style"using bass, drums and piano. Bass plays half notes in 'a' section and walks in 'b' section.*Satin Doll, Sweet Georgia Brown.
@A.STY This is A^ How about this A style Useful for A songs.
@BluHill.sty Blueberry Hill Style^This is Blueberry Hill*Fats Domino songs.
@GARNER.STY Errol Garner Style^This is garner*I'll Remember april.
@GARNER2.STY Errol Garner Style #2^This style is in 2 feel for a and b*Sunny Side of The Street.

Adding more information to the style list

You might notice that your styles are missing some information that is present in PG Music styles, such as the feel of the song (EV/SW) and suggested tempo. You don't have to do this, but if you want to get technical and add the extra information to your styles, there are a few more things you can put in your .LS3 file. There are complete details explaining .LS3 files here.

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Alyssa - PG Music