4. How do I enter notation in RealBand?
Band-in-a-Box®, RealBand, and PowerTracks Pro Audio offer one of the quickest methods of notation input. Remember though, they were never developed to be a dedicated notation software package, so some of the problems you may run into will have to do with that limitation. For typical leadsheets though, this notation is more than adequate.
First, you need to be in editable notation mode. Open the Notation Window and look in the Notation Window toolbar. To the right of the [Print] button there are three Notation Mode buttons. Pressing the one in the middle will toggle you into editable notation mode.
When inputting notation, all you do is place your mouse arrow where you want a note and press the left mouse button. This will place a dotted whole note at that position. If it is in the second half of the bar, you will get an automatic 1/2 note rest in the first half. You will still get a dotted whole note in the second half of the bar. Don't worry if the first note you enter isn't the type of note you want it to be. The next note you place will determine the value of the first. Remember that the subsequent note placed always determines the value of the previous note. If you want to shorten a previous note, you can select the rest box and place a rest between the notes at the value you want the previous note to be. Notes inserted between other notes will automatically set the value for the previous note as well.
If you are in 'staff roll' mode, you can change the duration of a note by clicking on it with the right mouse button and then dragging the cursor to the desired end location. Click the [N] button twice to toggle into staff roll mode.
While inserting a note on the staff, there are hotkeys you can use to insert a note one semitone higher or lower. Holding down the [Shift] key will make the note 1 half-step sharper. Holding down the [Ctrl] key will make the note 1 half-step flatter. Holding down the [Alt] key forces the note to be a natural. Note: The shift key is also used to highlight a range of notation - if you want to use it to insert a note 1 semitone higher, left-click the mouse button first (where you want to enter the note), and hold down the mouse button while pressing the Shift key. To delete a note from the Notation, hold down the delete key and left-mouse click on the note. Or you could right mouse click on the note (to edit it), then press the Delete button.
You can change the beat resolution (the number of intervals in one beat) by right-clicking in the time indicator bar above the beat that you want to change. This will allow you to enter triplets in an even feel style, or sixteenth notes in a triplet feel style. The time indicator bar is the narrow space containing the black cursor that moves across the screen as your song is playing.
An alternative method to use to enter MIDI notes is the "Piano Roll" window. The Piano Roll window enables precise graphic editing of note timing and duration. You can also graphically edit Note Velocity, Controllers, Program Changes, Channel Aftertouch, or Pitch Bend. To open a Piano Roll window for the current track, go to Window | New | Piano Roll Window. You can read a detailed tutorial about the Piano Roll by clicking the [Help] button in the top-left of the Piano Roll window.