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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: 7593
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 7593
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: 6701
Guitarhacker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 6701
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)
_________________________
You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com

Add nothing that adds nothing to the music

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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: 770
Tangmo Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 770
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: 706
Loc: Eilat, Israel
DeaconBlues09 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 706
Loc: Eilat, Israel
It sounds like you would benefit from the incredible, yet I suspect oft-overlooked, utility styles (see screenshot)


Attachments
Uitility.PNG


_________________________
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: 770
Tangmo Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 770
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: 5497
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 5497
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
Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows & VST DAW Plugin Update Available!

Attention Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows users - a new FREE patch update (build 315) and VST DAW Plugin Update (2.1.5) are available! Review details & download here.

Summary of changes for build 704 (Dec 13, 2019):
Added: [Reset to Zero] button added to Import Audio File dialog.
Added: Many new styles and demos added to RT Sets 329-352, and the bonus PAK.
Added: Many styles and demos added to MIDI SuperTracks Sets 30 and 31.
Added: Several "Multi" RealTracks added for vocals and horns (RealTracks Picker).
Fixed: Audio artifacts at bar lines when using Equalize Tempos feature.
Fixed: Audio harmonized voices transcribed to Soloist track should be on channels 1-4 instead of channel 2.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box may become unresponsive after rendering to audio.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box might freeze during bootup after upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box would crash if selecting a Hi-Q patch on the same track more than once.
Fixed: DAW Plugin - Rebuild and Fix buttons in RealTracks picker now called ReBuild and it justs rebuilds the RealTracks list.
Fixed: Drag & drop render to audio with region of bars selected causes corrupt .wav file if not 16bit, 44.1kHz.
Fixed: Dropping a .musicxml or .mxl file onto Band-in-a-Box was not accepted.
Fixed: FakeSheet button in the Custom tool panel was not displaying the check mark.
Fixed: File > Open Special > Open MusicXML File... was filtering out compressed .mxl files.
Fixed: Medleys and Thickened RealTracks were not playing in proper stereo.
Fixed: Rendering to audio with a region of bars selected causes the Choose Range dialog to appear.
Fixed: Rendering to audio with a region of bars selected renders the wrong region.
Fixed: Rendering was a bit slower than necessary when exporting 16 bit, 44.1kHz.
Fixed: Some RealStyles were being categorized as all-MIDI styles.
Fixed: The Audio Edit window did not always ensure that the current playback position was scrolled into view.
Fixed: The Sinsy Vocal Synth would fail if using the 64 bit version.
Fixed: Various audio formats would fail to import.
Fixed: When dropping an audio file onto the Audio Edit window, the "Snap" setting was ignored.
Fixed: When using the Sinsy Vocal Synth feature, the Import Audio File dialog is not needed.
Improved: Speed of some operations when searching and filtering for styles.
Improved: Thickened is displayed in RealTracks names in RealTracks picker (and other RealTracks picker dialogs), and on mixer for RealTracks names. In RealTracks picker, searching for word "thickened" will show only thickened RealTracks.
Updated: PDF Manuals and help (routine updates).

DAW Plugin 2.1.5:
Added: context menu option in style page to use existing RT as MR
Added: undo/redo functionality (chordsheet only)
Fixed: Generate Custom (This Page[]) not working
Fixed: Crash when opening saved plugin with part marker on bar 2 and
none on bar 1
Fixed: A,B does not get entered into chord sheet
Fixed: Chords being displayed in Roman Numeral without user setting
Fixed: Plugin getting stuck while connecting to bbw4

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Video - Explore the Band-in-a-Box® 2020 MultiRiffs Feature

MultiRiffs is a popular feature that has previously been available in RealBand and the Band-in-a-Box® DAW Plugin. With the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2020, it's now available in Band-in-a-Box® too! This feature allows you to quickly generate 7 variations of riffs from the same RealTracks for either a portion of the song or the whole song.

Tobin has made a great video explaining using the MultiRiffs feature within Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows - check it out here.

Read more about this feature here.

Video - Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows New Features

Learn all about the new features in Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows - our New Features Video is ready! Watch it here.

Read all about the new features:
New features website
Band-in-a-Box® 2020 Upgrade Manual

Or read our "49 of Your Problems Solved!" page, here, which lists 49 requests fulfilled in Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows.

Don't forget... We're having a SALE on Band-in-a-Box® 2020 Upgrade purchases until December 31, 2019 - you can save up to 50% when you purchase your Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows Upgrade!

We've packed our Free Bonus PAK & 49-PAK with some amazing Add-ons! The Free Bonus PAK is automatically included with most Band-in-a-Box® for Windows 2020 packages, but for more even more Add-ons (including 40 Unreleased RealTracks) upgrade it to the 2020 49-PAK for only $49. You can see the full lists of items in each package, and listen to demos here.

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49 of Your Problems Solved with Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows!

With Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows, there are 50+ new features, 202 RealTracks, and more!

We get ideas for the new features and new RealTracks from program users- there are several sources: our Wishlist and general forum, support phone calls, trade shows, etc. In most cases, customers are not describing a new feature – they are describing a problem they have that they would like to have solved.

This is a list of our features and additions in Band-in-a-Box® 2020, presented from a unique perspective. It is from this customer list of "problems they would like solved." These are not exact quotes, they are paraphrased from our discussions with our customers. They explain what problems and requests they discussed with us, that resulted in the various new features and RealTracks. Hopefully this answers the question "why did you add this feature/content?"

So, without further ado, here are the 49 requests/problems that we (hopefully) have solved with the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2020: click here to review.

50 New RealStyles included in Loops-with-Style PAK 1 for Band-in-a-Box®!

Loops-with-Style PAK 1 is a new library of 100 original loops that we've created using RealTracks/RealDrums source material, and it includes 50 new RealStyles!

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