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stiley Offline OP
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Hello,
I am wondering what degree of control I have in specifying various guitar strumming patterns for different bars in songs? Is this possible or do I have to stick with what is generated?

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks

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stiley,

If you're using real tracks, you don't have any control... on the other hand, if you're using midi, you've got all kinds of control. Are you using BIAB or Real Band? Oh, and welcome to the forums, an excellent source of info on various aspects of these programs.

Bruce

Last edited by babarton; 12/21/09 08:38 PM.

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Hi Bruce,
Thanks for the response.

Currently I am not using any software I am merely searching for what I think I want then will make a purchase.

If I could describe what I am looking for is a tool that allows me to specify a chord progression on guitar, play with the strumming patterns for the bars then play while I either 1) strum along for practice 2) Practice soloing over the progression.

I am not really sure how good a sound midi gives. All the sound clips I have gotten off the net that are midi sound kind of cheesy. I am using just a standard PC, standard sound card etc, nothing special at all and maybe that causes the 'cheesy' sounds I hear. Just not sure.

I'm new to all this stuff so any info is really great.


Thanks \
Sean

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The (quality of the) sounds from midi depend entirely on what you are using to synthesize your sounds. You are likely using the default Windows synthesizer, which produces rather poor quality (cheesy) sounds. Using a soft synth (like Virtual Sound Canvas - included with BIAB) is a definite step up. There are external midi synths that are absolutely superb. There is a demo somewhere on this site of different synth sounds. I don't have time to look for it right now - I'll try to link you to it later.

Just remember: midi itself doesn't produce any sounds, just directions of what notes to play, how long, how loud, etc. It takes a synthesizer (often computer software these days) to actually make sound.

Bruce


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Everything you hear on this one was done in the MIDI domain, using MIDI Keyboard Controller (M-Audio Keystation Pro-88) and MIDI Guitar (JapStrat w/Roland GK-2) and all sounds are from the Ketron SD-2 Orchestral Wizard MIDI box:

Mac_SD2_demo


But here's the catch: it involves skills that one has to develop over time, as well as good equipments.

If you are sseeking to learn guitar, there are plenty of websites devoted to that these days, some are even free. A websearch should get you started. This is a better way to go than trying to teach yourself by trying to make MIDI files IMO. Also consider finding and paying a real live guitar teacher near you.


--Mac

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Sounding fantastic, Mac!!!


Cheers,
Mike

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Thanks, MikeK!

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Thank you all for the input and advice.

I currently use no software, I am trying to narrow down the one that will get me what I am looking for.

I like the ability in BIAB to specify chord progressions then hit play. I think what I am looking for is a tool to augment my practicing and was hoping BIAB was the tool. I do know how to play guitar, albeit not as well as I would like at the moment which was the intention, though the lessons help.

So to summarize, BIAB will allow me to specify the chord progression of my choice.
If I am using midi I have all sorts of control on the strumming patterns etc. If I use real tracks I have no control.

I have learned that midi does sound great, (thanks Mac), given the right toolset and I agree that I do not want to spend a-lot of time initially making MIDI files.

Where I am hung up on is if I choose to purchase BIAB do I need to make MIDI files to specify the strumming patterns in a bar or can I do something in the user interface, right click on the bar for example, and specify a pattern?

Thanks Again.

Sean

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mac.
kudos to you mate.
excellent demo.
really enjoyed it.


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Quote:


I like the ability in BIAB to specify chord progressions then hit play. I think what I am looking for is a tool to augment my practicing and was hoping BIAB was the tool. I do know how to play guitar, albeit not as well as I would like at the moment which was the intention, though the lessons help.




In that case, Band-in-a-Box is a perfect practicing aid! Not only that, but you can view guitar parts in notation with TAB right below, biew it on a virtual guitar neck as it plays, or step through one beat at a time and view for breaking things down if need be.

Quote:

So to summarize, BIAB will allow me to specify the chord progression of my choice.
If I am using midi I have all sorts of control on the strumming patterns etc. If I use real tracks I have no control.




Pretty much. With the MIDI based stuff, unless you choose to load and play a standard MIDI file in BiaB, the strumming parts will be created and thus dictated by the chosen Style file for the song. This is certainly not a kill, as BiaB ships with thousands of styles. Matter of fact, that is the key reason I always tell a noob to purchase the largest BiaB Pak that they can afford, for the more styles you have to choose from, the more you can do.


Quote:

Where I am hung up on is if I choose to purchase BIAB do I need to make MIDI files to specify the strumming patterns in a bar or can I do something in the user interface, right click on the bar for example, and specify a pattern?




The auto-accompaniment inside BiaB is governed by that all-important chosen STYLE. The rest is a one-button push automatic situation to generate the parts.

BiaB is an excellent Practice and Learning tool!

After a few months working out with it, I'll bet that you will find out, as many of us have, just how much the live musicians you're accustomed to playing with today, can stretch and rush Tempos, just for starters.

The next thing you will likely notice is how many of 'em can't play or sing in tune, really.

Having expert backing, which is what BiaB provides, is key in improving your playing and improvisational skills. At one time we might have been able to find that kind of environment in clubs and at jam sessions, today such are few and far between. BiaB can do the job and then some. There are even features added to enhance your Practicing regimen, such as the Practice Window, which provides a lot of tools for looping until you get it, slowing it down, etc.

Also spend ten minutes a day with the BiaB Ear Trainer. Interval and then Chord identification, like playing a computer game, it will amaze you if you use it, even if you already are able to identify most things you hear. I went from maybe 80% recognition of chords to near 100%. Already had the intervals up and down, really, but there were some embarassing moments with Ear Trainer that cleared up within about a week of daily use. i like the fact that if you miss a certain Interval or Chord in a session, the program will circle back on them and throw them at you until you grok in fullness.



--Mac

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Wow, you got way more info here than I could have provided!

Here's the "dare to compare" page, offering demo sounds from different synths:

http://www.pgmusic.com/dare_to_compare.htm

I think BIAB will do what you want, but your back won't just be a guitar strumming, but an entire band. You can, of course, mute anything you don't want. There's probably a video "Intro to Band In A Box" in the support section - probably worth a look to try to get some basic idea what the program can do.

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Mac and Bruce,
Thank you both so much for taking the time to help me understand and come to a decision.
I really do appreciate it and wish you and everyone a happy holidays!

Take care and oh yeah, watch for more posts from me on BIAB!

Sean

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Hi Mac,What Ive just listened to is great but maybe its because I love "real" instruments that what I did hear even though what youve done is excellent still sounds "clinical"which to my ear anyway is where midi is.There are certain instruments that do sound great in midi eg brass, bass, strings etc but Ive yet to be convinced about lead and rhythm guitars unless you can point me to something I could listen to that would blow away those doubts.Cheers Frankie


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Mac,
you've posted this before, but this is the first time I read that you recorded it yourself. Previously I presumed it was a SMF that you had sent through the Ketron as a demo. Excellent job! Very impressive. Did you trigger the sax with the keyboard or the midi guitar?

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Typically I use the MIDI guitar for reed instruments. Because of the ease of doing subtle bends and things, emulating the wind player overblowing or bending the reed. But not always, sometimes its a keyboard. Always to a click track.

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I find a lot of the guitar strumming patterns in BIAB styles to be quite decent and useful strums for backing tracks. I even leave them in a few songs panned over to one side after I've recorded my live guitar along with them. I typically use a Edirol SD-20 synth box. The acoustic guitar is not bad if you use the style at an appropriate tempo and keep the guitar midi a little in the background at lower volume. Maybe add some reverb and a touch of midi chorus.


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