9. What are the differences between RealBand, Band-in-a-Box, and PowerTracks Pro Audio?

Band-in-a-Box is an intelligent automatic accompaniment and arranging program, which means that you can go from nothing to complete song arrangements in as little as a few seconds. Simply enter chords to a song, choose a style of music, and Band-in-a-Box generates a full band arrangement complete with Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar, Strings, and more.

Band-in-a-Box can generate MIDI tracks, which are played through a MIDI synthesizer and displayed in notation, and it can also generate RealTracks and RealDrums, which are intelligently compiled from audio recordings of musicians playing real instruments.

Band-in-a-Box has many other amazing intelligent features such as automatic Harmonies, Ear training modules, the Soloist (which generates professional quality solos over any chord progression), and the Melodist (which can create entire original songs from scratch with Chords, Melodies, Intros, and Solos).

PowerTracks Pro Audio is a professional, fully featured, 48 track digital audio and MIDI sequencer. This program allows you to assemble music layer by layer and track by track using MIDI or digital audio, or a combination of the two. Unlike Band-in-a-Box, PowerTracks Pro Audio does not generate any music for you. Instead, it gives you complete control and flexibility to record, edit, mix, and master your music.

You can start from "scratch", recording your MIDI tracks or step-inputting them, and recording digital audio tracks. Or you can work from existing audio and MIDI files that you have imported into the program for further processing. Many people have used Band-in-a-Box in conjunction with PowerTracks, by exporting songs from Band-in-a-Box as MIDI or wave files then importing these files into PowerTracks.

RealBand combines many of the features from PowerTracks Pro Audio and Band-in-a-Box into an all-in-one sequencing program with automatic accompaniment.

As with Band-in-a-Box, you can type in chords to a song, choose a style of music, and it will generate a complete band arrangement that can include MIDI tracks, RealTracks, and RealDrums. Band-in-a-Box and RealBand are compatible with all the same song and style formats, so any style that you use in Band-in-a-Box can also be used in RealBand. Unlike Band-in-a-Box, RealBand does not have many of the additional "intelligent" features, such as the Soloist, Melodist, Harmonist, Vocal Harmonizer, Chord Substitution Wizard, and automatic Melody Embellisher. Developing song ideas and using the program as a educational or practice tool are easier to do and more suited to Band-in-a-Box.

As with PowerTracks, you have complete control over recording and editing your music track by track, as well as mixing and mastering using full-featured Tracks and Mixer Windows. You can 'freeze' your "BB" (Band-in-a-Box) generated tracks then fine-tune them, you can re-generate each track individually or re-generate a range of bars. You can layer as many additional MIDI or audio tracks as you want. You can assign any combination of DX/VST effects to individual tracks, aux busses, or the main output. You can assign different DXi/VSTi synthesizers to individual MIDI tracks. You can merge all your tracks to a single stereo wave file or compressed audio format and burn an audio CD. And you can do ALL of this without ever leaving RealBand!

The latest versions of both Band-in-a-Box and RealBand are included in any Band-in-a-Box first-time purchase or upgrade!

Here is a comparison of some of the features in Band-in-a-Box, RealBand, and PowerTracks Pro Audio.

Feature description Band-in-a-Box RealBand PowerTracks
Intelligent Automatic arrangements using BB (Band-in-a-Box) styles Yes Yes x
Re-generate a specific range of bars of a BB track x Yes na
Re-generate one "BB" track at a time. x Yes na
"Freeze" and edit BB generated tracks, save your edits. x Yes na
RealTracks support Yes Yes x
RealDrums support Yes Yes Yes
MIDI recording and editing 2 tracks only 48 tracks 48 tracks
Multi-track digital Audio recording and editing 1 track only, basic editing Yes Yes
Load and play MGU and SGU (Band-in-a-Box song) files Yes Yes x
DXi and VSTi support Yes Yes Yes
Includes Coyote WaveTable DXi synth Yes Yes x
Multiple DXi/VSTi synths can be used a single song x Yes Yes
14 PG DirectX audio effects included Yes Yes Yes
Audio Chord Wizard (chords from MP3) Yes Yes Yes
On-screen Guitar and Piano Yes Yes Yes
Powerful and full-featured multi-track Mixer Window x Yes Yes
Full featured Tracks Window with track overview panels x Yes Yes
Notation and Lead Sheet windows Yes Yes Yes
Automatic Melody and Solo harmonization Yes x x
Soloist (Auto-generate original solos) Yes x x
Melodist (Auto-generate original chords, melodies, and complete songs) Yes x x
Re-harmonist (Auto-create a chord progression for your melody) Yes x x
Automatic Melody embellisher Yes x x
StyleMaker Yes x x
Hybrid Style Wizard Yes x x
Ear Training module and educational music arcade games Yes x x
Automatic Soundtrack generator Yes x x
Chord Substitution Wizard Yes x x
Big lyrics window Yes Yes Yes
Graphical MIDI "Piano Roll" editing window Yes Yes Yes
Merge song to stereo wave file and burn a CD Yes Yes Yes
Display song forms using repeats and 1st/2nd endings Yes x x
Practice Window for learning and practicing your instrument Yes x x
Software Guitar Tuner Yes Yes Yes
Guitarist (Auto-create original guitar chord solos) Yes x x
Alyssa - PG Music