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#541333 - 06/17/19 12:36 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] How can I get a better sound from the MIDI styles?
Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 87
Loc: Sydney, Australia
berntd Offline
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Registered: 05/02/19
Posts: 87
Loc: Sydney, Australia
New user...

The MIDI styles sound mostly dreadful. I mean the sound of the instruments.

I tried few things like loading realtracks for them etc. But I really have not had much luck so far with impro ing the sound.

What is one supposed to with all those MIDI styles to make the sound better?

Regards
Bernt


Edited by berntd (06/17/19 07:55 PM)
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#541334 - 06/17/19 12:48 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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Noel96 Offline
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Hi Bern,

MIDI is a series of programming commands that plays MIDI-compatible instruments and software synthesisers.

The quality of the output of MIDI totally depends on the quality of the instrument or software being used to play the files. BIAB's MIDI styles can sound excellent when top class software synthesisers are used.

The software synth that BIAB ships with is just a starter synth that's used to get an idea of how the style sounds. Synthesisers such as Kontakt, are superb... but they cost a lot too.

Regards,
Noel
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#541337 - 06/17/19 01:32 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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VideoTrack Offline
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Hi Bernt,

Noel has answered exactly what the issue you are experiencing is. It is related to the external MIDI sound module that is reproducing the audio sounds from the MIDI data commands coming from BiaB.

Replace the MIDI sound module with one of higher quality and your sounds would definitely improve.

What sound module are you using?

Do you have VSTi/DXi checked in the MIDI/Audio Drivers setup options, and have chosen a software synth (see image below)? If so, which one?


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#541340 - 06/17/19 02:07 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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Matt Finley Offline
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As above, it's not the styles. MIDI actually has no sound of its own. In addition to a software MIDI synthesizer, you can use a hardware one (mine is from Roland; see my signature below). There are many to choose from, of greatly varying quality and price.

Go to this page for a lot of info and samples: https://www.pgmusic.com/dare-to-compare.htm Pick a style you like and compare. The page is a little old; some of the choices aren't viable anymore, but it will give you a great introduction to the topic. MIDI can sound very fine.
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#541349 - 06/17/19 02:59 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 05/29/19
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Loc: fr
Willy6996 Offline
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Using a good sf2 can sound better.
Try Titanic free soundfont it's better than the modules on the page wink

I use Samplelord so i can load any soundfont on any midi-chanel.


Edited by Willy6996 (06/17/19 03:04 AM)

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#541354 - 06/17/19 03:21 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 03/21/17
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DeaconBlues09 Offline
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Originally Posted By: berntd
New user...

The MIDI styles sound mostly dreadful. I mean the sound of the instruments.

I tried few things like loading realtracks for them etc. But I really have not had much luck so far with impro ing the sound.

What is one supposed to with all those MIDI styles to make the sound better?

Regards
Bernt


Welcome, Berntd :-)

First of all, I'd like to point out that MIDI, and the thinks you can do with it in BiaB and RB is absolutely astounding in so may ways, and one of their greatest strengths.

As has already been pointed out, MIDI is NOT sound. There are VSTis (Kontakt, East West are just two publishers that issue excellent ones) that turn tracks from the awful sounds you get from the default DXI/Coyote and even the Sforzando player into lush full blown orchestras horn sections and what have you.

Although the analogy is a bit wonky, you can think of it like one of those paint-by-numbers cardboard slates that you then populate with brilliant colors.

Check out these 2 videos to get you started on how to load and work with VST(i)s/plugins

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVRtQz8nqvY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WexjietWWhc
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#541355 - 06/17/19 03:22 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
Teunis Offline
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You might be able to get Native-Instruments Komplete Start to work ok. This has a heap of virtual instruments. Or look at Amplesound’s free bass and guitar (not as good as the paid for jobs but are ok). There are any amount of free sampled pianos and the like out there. Also many synths where one can create almost anything they want.

Just a thought

Tony
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#541358 - 06/17/19 03:42 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 05/02/19
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Loc: Sydney, Australia
berntd Offline
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Posts: 87
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Thanks.I will check it out.

Can I not just sample my real accoustic piano for example?

I know that MIDI is just a code but I am also confused between a realtrack that I can load for a MIDI instrument track, and super MIDI track.

Also, for getting around this issue, I looked into a Yamaha CDP-125 digital piano for MIDI reproduction.

They now only have USB MIDI and nobody so far jas been able to tell me if that is compatible with MIDI as in BIB.




Edited by berntd (06/17/19 03:46 AM)
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#541359 - 06/17/19 03:53 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 03/21/17
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DeaconBlues09 Offline
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Originally Posted By: berntd
Thanks.I will check it out.

Can I not just sample my real accoustic piano for example?

I know that MIDI is just a code but I am also confused between a realtrack that I can load for a MIDI instrument track, and super MIDI track.

Also, for getting around this issue, I looked into a Yamaha CDP-125 digital piano for MIDI reproduction.

They now only have USB MIDI and nobody so far jas been able to tell me if that is compatible with MIDI as in BIB.




The short answer to your first question is yes. You can construct an instrument based on your samples in, for instance, Kontakt. I would personally do it in Reaper using, IIRC because Iv'e never actually done but seen how it's done) with ReaSamplematic (is that what its called) and Megababy(?)

The difference between MIDI and MIDI Supertracks is that the former are kinda transposing, but static "pattern mappings" and the latter are basically RealTracks, recorded by real musicians rendered into, or recorded in, MIDI.
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#541360 - 06/17/19 04:01 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
Registered: 12/20/16
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Teunis Offline
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Sampling a piano (or any instrument) is very possible but not necessarily very easy. First you need to record the device. For best results every 3rd or so note. The notes need to be recorded at the correct levels and for the correct length for each note. Then you might need another set for a note hit hard and another for a note played softly. Once you have all the notes you then need to create an SFZ or similar type file to play them and a player for the SFZ.

It is a lot easier to use samples professionally done. Having said that it is also good fun to have your own instrument sampled. Years ago I spent considerable time sampling my old Telecaster and actually used it to substitute a bit I could not get right in a song I recorded but I would probably not go down that path again. You may enjoy sampling however.

Tony


Edited by Teunis (06/17/19 04:03 AM)
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#541362 - 06/17/19 04:05 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: Teunis]
Registered: 03/21/17
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DeaconBlues09 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Teunis
Sampling a piano (or any instrument) is very possible but not necessarily very easy. First you need to record the device. For best results every 3rd or so note. The notes need to be recorded at the correct levels and for the correct length for each note. Then you might need another set for a note hit hard and another for a note played softly. Once you have all the notes you then need to create an SFZ or similar type file to play them and a player for the SFZ.

It is a lot easier to use samples professionally done. Having said that it is also good fun to have your own instrument sampled. Years ago I spent considerable time sampling my old Telecaster and actually used it to substitute a bit I could not get right in a song I recorded but I would probably not go down that path again. You may enjoy sampling however.

Tony


Totally agree!

I good instrument will have hundreds (thousands) of samples for multiple velocity layers, round robins, pedal dynamics etc,... TBH, there are a number of excellent free MIDI pianos available online. A quick Google search for "Free piano VST" will get you started.
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#541366 - 06/17/19 04:46 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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Matt Finley Offline
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Yes, a Yamaha digital piano connected by USB should be recognized by BIAB and usable to play MIDI.
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#541367 - 06/17/19 05:22 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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Mike Head Offline
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Hi

As said above the midi styles are fine it depends on what midi device hardware or software that you play them through.
The basic Microsoft one GS wavetable synth is pretty grim
The supplied Coyote wave table will be a bit of an improvement. But it’s not the full answer as it is only a jacket for the Microsoft one to work as a vst I understand.

Many users on here use a Ketron SD2 this is a small hardware synth the size of a small pack of cigarettes and has quite a good sounding voice set.

SOFTWARE SOUND SYNTHS
Be aware not all of the software synths that folks mentioned here have a full General Midi set (GM). Kontak for example you have to choose a voice/patch for each track,
So make sure you chosen synth is GM compatible to just load and use the BIAB midi styles.

Then there are the sound font players have a look at this on my web site.

http://mikesmusic.byethost16.com/my_technical_articles2.html#Coolsoft_VirtualMidiSynth_Timbres_Of_Heaven_Soundfont__Sonar_instrument_def

Try the COOLSOFT sound font player and the “Timbres of Heaven” sound font. That’s some good midi sound !
Have fun
Mike


Edited by Mike Head (06/17/19 05:48 AM)
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#541374 - 06/17/19 06:32 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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2bSolo Offline
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Sometimes edited Real Tracks (samples) can sound a bit jerky. Sometimes you want to take one note out but you can't because it is played at the same time as another note. One good thing about midi is the ability to edit cleanly.

The other things you have to consider are what instruments will be midi, where will they be in the mix and how much you are willing to spend. I'm doing a project now that uses midi piano, organ and drums. They will be down "in the mix." But I won't use the midi bass, guitar or horns because I don't want to spend the money for the top-quality instruments. Also, the horns and guitars will be more prominent.
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#541376 - 06/17/19 07:23 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: 2bSolo]
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MarioD Offline
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Virtually all of my songs in the showcase are MIDI so you might want to give a listen.

I will not repeat everything that already has been said but I will give you some free options for better MIDI sounds:
1-Get Coolsoft soundfont player and Timbres of Heaven soundfont as Mike suggested

2-Get the Free Kontakt player:

https://download.cnet.com/Kontakt-Player/3000-2170_4-10161711.html

And maybe some free Kontakt sounds to augment it:

https://www.productionmusiclive.com/blogs/news/top-10-free-kontakt-libraries

https://www.flstudiomusic.com/2017/03/38-best-free-kontakt-libraries.html

3-Get the free Sampletank 3:

https://getintopc.com/softwares/audio-processing/sampletank-vst-free-download/

Note that there are a lot of sounds for Kontakt but be very careful if you purchase some as some are for the full version of Kontakt only and will not play in the player. This is always marked on the sites so be sure to look for it.

Also note that there are tons of free soundfonts for any free soundfont player.

I would start with the soundfont player and add Kontakt and Sanpletank once you get the hang of MIDI.

If you need any help we are here for you so just ask.

Good luck.
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#541397 - 06/17/19 10:05 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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jazzmammal Online   content
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GM (General Midi) was mentioned but I'll expand on it a bit. GM is an industry standard list of instruments. This is so midi files will play the same way on all systems. Patch one, piano is the same patch for everybody. This makes it very convenient but the quality of that sound depends on what GM synth you use. All Windows systems have a built in Wavetable GM synth. Since it's free you get what you pay for. Biab uses GM as the default so if you're using a GM synth all the instruments in a midi style will match up and you don't have to do anything. You hit Play and you hear the sounds.

Sounds great, right? Yes BUT...GM is also very limited. You get two acoustic piano's, Standard Grand and Bright. A commercial NON GM synth like Sampletank or Kontakt for example can have 40 pianos of all different types like German grands, Japanese grands, jazz pianos, rock pianos, uprights, etc. etc. It's the same for all instruments. For guitars you get a ton of different guitar types right down to the type of strings. GM can't give you any of that. You get a couple of generic guitars and that's it. If you're using a non GM synth all it means is you get to manually select which instrument you want to use, it's not simply plug and play like GM is.

Bob
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#541419 - 06/17/19 12:15 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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Matt Finley Offline
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Just as an aside, there is still time to edit and improve the post title to something like ‘How do I get better sound from MIDI styles?’ Prospective buyers read this forum, too.
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#541435 - 06/17/19 01:01 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: berntd]
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Jim Fogle Offline
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+++ A Beginner's Guide To MIDI +++ is a 11:42 YouTube video that gives a very good overview of how midi works.

+++ HERE +++ is part 1 of a 3 part video series that provides a more comprehensive overview of midi.
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#541471 - 06/17/19 04:57 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: Matt Finley]
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VideoTrack Offline
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Just as an aside, there is still time to edit and improve the post title to something like ‘How do I get better sound from MIDI styles?’ Prospective buyers read this forum, too.

Good point, Matt.

I PM'd the O/P with this suggestion also.
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#541504 - 06/17/19 09:40 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: What to do with those awfully sounding MIDI styles? [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 05/02/19
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berntd Offline
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Originally Posted By: VideoTrack
Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Just as an aside, there is still time to edit and improve the post title to something like ‘How do I get better sound from MIDI styles?’ Prospective buyers read this forum, too.

Good point, Matt.

I PM'd the O/P with this suggestion also.


Acknowledged and changed.
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Examples of a few situations where this feature is helpful:

-You know about a feature but don't know how to find it. Just type a part of the feature name and you'll see the hotkeys, menu, and toolbar info on how to launch it. For example, if you want to launch the Chord Builder but don’t know how to do it, type "builder" in the text filter, and you will quickly find the Chord Builder.
-You are exploring available features for Band-in-a-Box. For example, if you are a guitar player, type the word "guitar" and you'll see what's available.
-You prefer "one-stop-shopping" and would like to launch features from the same dialog.
-You are learning the program and like to browse or watch videos about topics you're interested in.
You can't remember hotkeys and want to review them.

Watch this new feature in action when you jump to the subject in our New Features video: 10:20 - New Feature - Feature Browser

(read more about this feature in our Band-in-a-Box 2020 for Mac Online Upgrade Manual.)

Videos - 202 New RealTracks for Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Mac®!

With the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2020, we've added 202 new RealTracks! These include great Americana, Gospel Vocals, new Blues, Country Pollwinners, Bossa Flute/Horn sections, Jazz Blues and Rhythm Changes, British and Hazy '60s guitars, Modern Funk, Island Grooves with steel drum and marimba, Singer-Songwriter, and more!

Get the newest RealTracks Sets 329-352 when you purchase the PlusPAK upgrade (ideal for 2019 UltraPAK/UltraPAK+ customers) for just $99 during our special (reg. $129).

Want the entire RealTracks collection with over 2,900 RealTracks? They are included with any Band-in-a-Box 2020 for Mac UltraPAK, UltraPAK+, or Audiophile Edition.

Learn more about the 202 new RealTracks with our latest video: Summary of the 202 New RealTracks for Band-in-a-Box® 2020.

Want to watch even more RealTracks content? Check out this video, which is the "extended version" video demonstrating the newest RealTracks Sets 329-352 - click here to watch.

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac Patch Update Ready! (Build 321)

Still using Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac? There's a new FREE patch available! Click here to read more and download this free patch update (Build 321).

Summary of changes for build 321 (Mar 23, 2020):
Fixed: Song title will be changed to ? when re-saving if it previously contained international characters like é or ©.
Fixed: Event List window is using wrong colors.
Fixed: Some song titles are blank in the Song Titles dialog.
Fixed: Clicking on Print Chords from the chord sheet context menu causes application to crash.
Fixed: On some computers the application will crash when opening the Piano Roll window.
Fixed: Gender Param. setting was ignored in the Generate Synthetic Vocal dialog.
Fixed: Vibrato Intensity setting was ignored in the Generate Synthetic Vocal dialog.
Fixed: Pitch shifting setting was ignored in the Generate Synthetic Vocal dialog.
Fixed: There is no option to cancel when generating a synthetic vocal.
Fixed: The Vocal Synth feature would freeze for various operating systems.
Fixed: Language selection for the Vocal Synth generator was wrong.
Fixed: Possible crash when using the Audio Chord Wizard.
Fixed: Jazz Up or Jazz Down was not undoable.
Fixed: Dropping video files onto the Video RealTracks dialog failed, displaying flash message reporting that the video format was not compatible.
Fixed: The copyright button in the Print Options dialog did not do anything.
Fixed: Soloist > Edit Soloist Track > Remove Harmony would display popup message "not implemented".
Fixed: Soloist > Edit Soloist Track > Convert Harmony to Soloist Track would also launch the Generate Chords and/or Melody dialog.
Fixed: Soloist > Edit Soloist Track > Auto-Rechannel to Guitar Display would also toggle Embellish Melody.
Fixed: Possible crash when opening Song Picker dialog.
Fixed: Edit > Song Form > Unfold does not remove the tag ending.
Fixed: Application crash when using Edit > Song Form > Unfold if song contains tag ending.
Fixed: Tracks are listed twice in the Load XML File dialog.
Fixed: The note name indicator in the Notation window was not displaying.
Fixed: "...NOT rendered successfully to disk” error when using "Export Song as M4A" or "Export Song as AIFF".
Fixed: "invalid integer" error when loading some ABC files.
Fixed: "There was an error converting” error when attempting to import compressed audio files (.m4a, .mp3, etc.)
Fixed: User is not asked to save their song after applying a harmony to Melody or Soloist track.
Fixed: The demo player might fail to play a local file.
Fixed: There should be a warning message when opening the Notation window if the notation fonts are not installed.
Fixed: If opening a song from an version 2017 or earlier, any Audio Chord Wizard bar lines might be offset.
Fixed: The Guitar window did not display the capo.
Improved: Guitar capo setting can be changed by right-clicking the fret position bar.
Fixed: The Chord Builder did not update position when clicking on a different bar in the chord sheet.
Fixed: Changing a custom track label had not option to Undo, and did not prompt user to save song.
Fixed: Importing an ABCNotation file would not include the key signature.
Fixed: ABC files only opening some chords.
Fixed: Problem storing minor keys.
Fixed: MusicXML files created by Band-in-a-Box cannot be loaded by Band-in-a-Box if song title contains & (ampersand).
Improved: More detailed bootup log.

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