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#540674 - 06/13/19 12:39 AM [Beginners Forum] Want simple solo piano, from chord array
Registered: 06/13/19
Posts: 2
Loc: Midwest
Engineerer Offline
Newbie

Registered: 06/13/19
Posts: 2
Loc: Midwest
I'm new to BiaB, and would greatly appreciate some basic help getting started, on a particular type of quest. If anyone can point me to where this type of info has been gathered, for beginners, I would appreciate it; if not, can someone give me a list of bullet points re: where to look?
I write songs, but normally on guitar. I want to be able to type in a simple listing of chords, in the main BiaB screen, and have BiaB generate a simple, solo "backing piano" track, with no drums or ANY other instruments.
I will then export that to a MIDI file, open that file in ProTools (to add a clarinet-type "main melody" track, for a singer to follow), and then send that MIDI file, to a demo studio.
The studio engineer will then shift that MIDI file up or down, to whatever key is best suited for the singer he has chosen, for that song.
Based on experience, my strong sense is that THAT is a key step, in getting the best possible song. Yeah, I realize that really GOOD singers can stretch their ranges, and there's Autotune, etc.; but, I don't want that kind of stretching, or manipulating. Instead, I want to land on the exact best sweet spot, for that singer, for that song. And I want to be there, with those piano backing tracks, in MIDI format, while we work with a singer to settle on the exact keys we want, for up to 10 songs in a single session.
So, everything I want to do, with BiaB, is geared toward that single step, in a larger and longer process. The rest of the song will be built up, assembled, and polished, in the demo studio, using all of their professional skills and contacts, once we're happy with the vocal track.
So . . . what is the simplest way to get a basic "backing piano" track, and nothing else, using BiaB, if all I do is insert chords into the main window?
And, what would anyone recommend as the best candidate BiaB "styles" that would be most likely to give me the type of "simple, basic, plain-vanilla backing track" result I want, for each of:
(1) a 4/4 song, and
(2) a 3/4 song?
BTW - I could easily be wrong, but I'm guessing that this might be one of the main and/or best ways, for lots of people to use BiaB. That is why I chose to buy it. So, has anyone already worked up a recipe, template, or other series of helpful/useful steps, aids, etc, for songwriters who want to do this kind of thing?

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#540701 - 06/13/19 05:25 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Want simple solo piano, from chord array [Re: Engineerer]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 7520
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 7520
Loc: Florida
Engineer,

In order to answer your question thoroughly, folks would need to know which version of BIAB you have.

If you have the "full version" UltraPAK or higher, you will have the most options. (and if you have the 2019 version of that, you will have the most current options)

In my opinion, your best option for what you want is using the MIDI Supertracks.
Simply enter your chords into BIAB, then select a MIDI Supertrack into one of the tracks. (Solo that track). Generate a track and export the MIDI that is created. Simple as that.

You can "audition" any of the the MIDI Supertracks in the selection screen by double-clicking the choices.

A number of the piano RealTracks also have associated MIDI files that can be export (though I believe the MIDI Supertracks are a better choice). I don't use this option, so others who have used it might discuss this...

If you have any questions regarding any of those steps, simply ask...

If you have an example that you can point to - a YouTube video perhaps - of a similar sounding song, you might get some suggestions for folks here about what piano tracks to try...

fj

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#540710 - 06/13/19 06:31 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Want simple solo piano, from chord array [Re: Engineerer]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 6629
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 6629
Engineer..... You're new to BB. So... I don't think you understand what you actually have in your hands. I actually do it differently from your proposed way. Several folks here also do it very similar to the way I do.

As a songwriter.... you can do ALL the work using BB easily, and not have to farm it out to others. If you let the studio change the key, add other instruments, and do the work, they will charge you for each and every thing they do for you. Why pay them when you can do it all in BB yourself, easily.

With Band in a Box (BB) , you can do everything yourself, in house, except having a singer sing it if you don't sing. Practically everyone here is doing this very thing... most of us sing our own songs though. Pop in on some of our music sites listed in the links on our posts.

So... here's how I work.

I write and create the song in BB. I set up the key, structure, the tempo, the style and get it 100% like I want. Now... suppose I have an outside singer. I can send them the song as I exported it.... complete with drums, bass, piano, guitars, fiddle, etc.... If it's not in a compatible key, all I have to do is change the key in BB and regenerate the song.... which BB will do automatically. Instantly the whole song with every instrument is now in the key the singer has requested. One of my songs.... Come & Go was sung by 2 different ladies and each one needed it in a different key. No problem... BB did it in seconds.

So.. suppose you don't know how to mix the tracks.... Again, no problem. There are people in the forums who can help you with that. You can learn how to do it yourself.... OR.... you can do all the work in creating the tracks as I mentioned above.... and export each track as it's own file. You send those tracks to a mixing/mastering house and give them instructions on how you hear the mix of the finished song. They can do that much quicker than creating those files and therefore, you have a much lower out of pocket cost for the outside work.

I think there's probably a number of folks here who would jump at the chance to mix someones project for free. So don't overlook that option. Folks here like to help. There are forums for finished projects and there are forums for works in the process on the PG forum site. Ask questions, post links, and let us help you get to where you want to be as a musician and producer.


So... essentially in a nut shell... I write the song in BB setting it up like I want, then I use Real Band to generate audio tracks to embellish the song in the style selected in BB.... then I export all those tracks to my DAW which is Sonar. In Sonar, I mix, add FX like compression and reverb, and also sing and play the live tracks of guitar and piano. The result is a pro sounding mix ready for prime time.

Have a listen to the songs I have done in this manner at the link in my signature.


EDIT: yes... there are styles in BB that are only piano. No other instruments. You can easily change the style... with a simple click on a different style to switch between the piano only style to a full band style. Changing from 4/4 to 3/4 is also as simple to do... you simply select a style in that time signature. Don't like the smooth jazz style? CHange it instantly to funk, rock, country, blues, bluegrass, reggae, Celtic, or any other style that you see listed in your dropdown.

With BB, the only limits, as I like to say, is your imagination.


Edited by Guitarhacker (06/13/19 06:36 AM)
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#540729 - 06/13/19 07:52 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Want simple solo piano, from chord array [Re: Engineerer]
Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 769
Tangmo Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 769
I would agree that getting the "backing" in the right key (and tempo) is crucial in song-writing for others.

I think you can accomplish your work-flow simply. You can either:

1. Audition and select a midi (or super-midi) style that has a piano in it. Mute everything but piano and listen. Save as midi. When saving as audio, BIAB will render only tracks not "muted". I'm not sure if the same applies to saving as midi, but it's no hill for a climber if it doesn't. It's no real problem to send a single track of a multi-track midi to synth or soft-synth.

2. Choose a single piano midi "soloist" or "melodist" track and listen. Save as midi.

IF you choose to use any real tracks (or other midi tracks) in the production, it's also fast work to get the correct key and tempo from the demo studio and enter it into the BIAB project to render to audio (or midi). Open file, change key and/or tempo (using the actual transpose option), generate and render.

Most of "us" record at home. So if you have access to a demo studio that is better set-up for recording AND you want to be there...I'd carry my laptop with BIAB installed, doing all possible work before you arrive.





Edited by Tangmo (06/13/19 08:00 AM)
_________________________
BIAB 2019 Audiophile. Windows 10. Former user of old version. Prefer creating while learning over learning before creating. Passable, intermediate level acoustic rhythm guitar player. Songwriter, lyricist, composer loving all styles.

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#540732 - 06/13/19 08:19 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Want simple solo piano, from chord array [Re: Engineerer]
Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 699
Loc: Eilat, Israel
DeaconBlues09 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 699
Loc: Eilat, Israel
It sounds like you would benefit from the incredible, yet I suspect oft-overlooked, utility styles (see screenshot)


Attachments
Uitility.PNG


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Band-in-a-Box 2019 PlusPAK w 2019 Bonus Pak. Custom Build Desktop PC W/ Windows 10 Home 64-bit. CPU: Intel Core i5-9600k @ 3.7GHz (6 core x 6 threads) RAM: 16GB DDR4. Storage 238GB SSD + 2.7 TB HDD. GPU: ZOTAC NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB

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#540733 - 06/13/19 08:19 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Want simple solo piano, from chord array [Re: Engineerer]
Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 769
Tangmo Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 769
Your "clarinet" solo may well work to demo to the singer not just the notes of the melody, but also where to sing them--when. Phrasing. Most recordings I have been involved with, however, cut vocals at minimum to a simple rhythm track, and sometimes it's the last major "instrument" recorded. If that's not your plan, never mind. Best wishes.
_________________________
BIAB 2019 Audiophile. Windows 10. Former user of old version. Prefer creating while learning over learning before creating. Passable, intermediate level acoustic rhythm guitar player. Songwriter, lyricist, composer loving all styles.

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#540792 - 06/13/19 03:11 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Want simple solo piano, from chord array [Re: Engineerer]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 5445
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 5445
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Engineerer,

Welcome to Band-in-a-Box and to the forum!

As DeaconBlues09 pointed out the Utility styles would be good starting points. That is because the utility styles are good building blocks to begin with when, or if, you want to combine instruments into one group and create styles that meet your specific needs.

You have a specific way you want to use Band-in-a-Box and that's okay because Band-in-a-Box can work the way you describe. However, you will likely need to create, or have someone create for your use, midi styles that include just piano. User styles are easy to create and I'll be happy to either walk you through the steps or otherwise work with you.

While I think you would like Band-in-a-Box I'm also wondering if you've looked at alternatives since Band-in-a-Box is almost overkill for doing what you've described. A simpler program like +++ CHORDPULSE +++ might better meet your workflow.

I would call or chat to ask PG Music Sales if the Band-in-a-Box Pro PAK includes all the utility styles. If it does then that is the package I recommend you purchase. If not then I recommend you get the minimum package that does include all the utility styles.
_________________________
Jim Fogle
2019 UltraPlusPak BiaB(637) RealBand(Build 5)
Cakewalk by Bandlab - Audacity - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB SSD
Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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PG Music News
National Jukebox Day - Celebrate with Band-in-a-Box®!

Happy National Jukebox Day!

To celebrate, you could purchase a Jukebox... OR just access the Jukebox feature in Band-in-a-Box®!

What does the Band-in-a-Box® Jukebox do?

Using the directory you choose, the Band-in-a-Box® Jukebox will provide you with background music by continuously play the entire list of Band-in-a-Box® SGU files within that folder! There are many options for you to customize your Jukebox experience, including: Only Play song with melodies, Change Melody Instrument, Random order Playback, Audible Count-in, and more! Plus, the Jukebox will continue to play while you use other programs, providing your favorite music for continued background listening pleasure!

To learn more about the Jukebox feature in Band-in-a-Box®, check out Chapter 5 of our online manual, here. Mac too!

Notation Enhancements in Band-in-a-Box® 2019

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows was released in December 2018, and included many new features and enhancements - like the enhancements we made to our Notation window!

These include:
-Pressing the space bar plays the song from the current location.
-Double-clicking on the Standard mode Notation window (or on the time line in Editable or Staff Roll mode) plays the song from the current time location.
-The right-click menu in the Editable or Staff Roll mode Notation window has an option to change the current beat resolution. Previously, the only way to do this was to right-click on the time line.
-Clicking close to a stave line will put a note on the stave line instead of between stave lines. Previously, you had to click extremely close to a stave line to insert a note on it.
-In the Notation Windows Options dialog, the clefs split point asterisk indicates that C5* is middle C.
-The clefs split point can be set by the spin controls.
-You can quickly enter forced accidentals from the right-click menu.
-A new track type (Drums) is available for the Melody and Soloist tracks.
-Holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the zoom in/out buttons results in finest possible incremental adjustment in size.
-There's a keystroke entry mode -the "N" mode, which lets you enter a melody entirely using keystrokes. The keystrokes are N to enter a note, up/down cursor to change its pitch, and left/right cursor to move the time line.
-A new button in the Print Options dialog lets you quickly print a "chords only" fake sheet. You can also access this from the right-click menu on the Chord Sheet.
-You can now edit any track in the Event List Editor. When the dialog opens, it will show you the MIDI data in the current notation track.


There's detailed information on our 2019 notation enhancements here: Band-in-a-Box® 2019 New Feature - Notation Enhancements

Jump to the Notation topic in our Band-in-a-Box® 2019 new features video.

Band-in-a-Box® Drum Features!

Today is National Drummer Day!
(not to be confused with National Hug a Drummer Day, which is October 10th)

Band-in-a-Box® is a great resource for drummers! Practice with an on-demand back-up band, learn from the Pro's with RealDrums notation (RealCharts, new with version 2019), MIDI drums notation, or play in the Drum Kit Window!

Not a drummer? Add drums to your Band-in-a-Box® project with RealDrums! Whether you're looking for Bluegrass, Blues, Bossa, Country, Dance, Dixieland, Folk, Funk, HipHop, Jazz, Latin, Metal, Pop, RnB, Rock, Soul, Techno, Traditional, Waltz, or World (and variations within) - you'll definitely find what you're looking for in our RealDrums library - there are over 500 available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac Build 315 Update Available!

Attention Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac users - a new FREE patch update (build 315) is available!
Review details and download here

Summary of changes for build 315 (Nov 15, 2019):

Fixed: Exporting MusicXML files was not working.
Fixed: When using "Auto-Hand split Piano track" feature, exported MIDI files contain wrong note durations on the Piano track.
Fixed: Note-based lyrics were not included when exporting MIDI files.
Fixed: User should be prompted to save their song when exiting, if they had added or removed plugins.
Fixed: The Record Audio dialog always says “Track type is Stereo” even if the track type is mono.
Fixed: The [Audio Options…] button in the Record Audio dialog was launching the Audio Devices dialog instead of the Audio Settings dialog.
Fixed: Loops dialog title bar displays wrong track name.
Fixed: Large patch map files are not completely loaded (were limited to 1985 patches).
Fixed: Notation context menu > Edit Section Text… did not do anything.
Fixed: Notation context menu > Insert Section Text… did not do anything.

My Favorite Things - Nudge Chords in Band-in-a-Box®

Love this time saving feature.

Ever fill in the chordsheet fully or for part of song, and then discover you want to add or take away an extra beat or more somewhere in the chordsheet.

Nudge chords (melody) from the Edit Menu is your friend here, the dialog will give you all the options either to remove or add beats where its needed.

Love it.
-musiclover

To learn more about this feature, read the "Advanced Chord Entry and Editing Features" topic when you click here.

Band-in-a-Box® Video Testimonial & Demo - Rodney Gene Junior

Band-in-a-Box® endorsing artist Rodney Gene Junior has shared his latest User Testimonial and Demo with us, and we LOVE it! Not only does Rodney share with the viewer his enthusiasm for our program, he also shares a few examples of how he uses Band-in-a-Box® too - make sure you check it out!

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 Testimonial Video - Peter Torpey

Check out our latest Band-in-a-Box video testimonial, which takes using the program to a whole new level! Peter Torpey is a long time program user who has developed a way to work with the program, even though he's visually impaired - and he wants to make sure that others can too!
Click here to watch!

Learn more about Peter here.

View all our video testimonials here.

Want to make your own Testimonial? We'd love to see it! There's information on our Video Testimonials offer here.

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