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#552994 - 09/05/19 07:02 AM [RealBand] Problem with Midi Channel Selection
Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 180
jonel Offline
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Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 180
Hi All,
I'm having a particularly annoying problem with my use of Midi files with RealBand. I'm pretty sure that there is no actual problem with RealBand, but my own understanding of the Midi protocol is causing me a real headache.

When I open a midi file in RealBand I am pleased to see that the set of instruments defined for the tracks of the music are correctly chosen, albeit in a GM format. This has been a great feature for me because it allows me to easily connect to an appropriate other non-gm synth for each track.


I've just been loading some Organ midi files but the instrument chosen by RealBand has been the the Acoustic Piano for each track.
From my understanding of midi I assume this instrument is chosen as the default instrument because none was mentioned in the midi file. Is it because the the midi file was generated using non GM instruments?

I opened the file using a hex editor and this was quite helpful in getting me familiar with the midi structure, but I could only find one channel select code for channel 0 which was 'CO' with the value '00' and I assumed this would be taken as the default Acoustic Piano.
I found myself getting drawn in more to the midi structure and it was using up a lot of my time because the hex editor wasn't too helpful with actual midi interpretation.

Anyway, if somebody could kindly tell me why some midi files do not have an instrument select code, I would be very grateful.

Thanks

Jonel

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#553024 - 09/05/19 08:54 AM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7104
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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Downloaded files can have all kinds of crap in them. Forget hex for now, RB uses F3 or F5 or one of those Function keys I can't remember to open the Event Editor. That's a simple list of controllers and notes in the file. It sounds like there's no Program Change for a GM organ so you create it. If there is a PC there change it. If you see a channel number of zero change that too. Once you get into it it's easy to insert CC7 for volume changes to create dynamics, add modulation, whatever. It's all done in the Event Editor.

Downloaded files can be so much fun (not!) But they can teach you a lot. I've had some files so messed up I deleted everything but the notes and started over.

Bob
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#553031 - 09/05/19 09:06 AM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
Hi


There are 2 ways the patches get written in a standard midi file.
The first is in the header , these come up as the instruments on the track / channels when the file is loaded. But do not show in the events list.

The second way is to hard write them into the tracks channels in the events list,
this some times occurs at the very start of the event list you can see them as program changes (patches).
These are executed as the file progresses the time line, and can be changed at any time in the file, on any channel providing you don’t want patches from a different bank you only need to enter the new patch where req
In the case of GM all the patches come from MSB 000, LSB 000, so there fore just the instrument / patch number as a program change.
Yes and patch 0 is a piano

Note you probably wont see these changes in the track view as it will show the instrument from the header, but you should here them as the file plays and see them in the events list for that track /channel.

Mike


Edited by Mike Head (09/05/19 09:14 AM)
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#553086 - 09/05/19 12:54 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 5326
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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jonel,

Thanks for asking the question. This is an interesting discussion.

Mike I'm familiar with patch selection as the first item in a midi channel event list I was not aware of the file header option. Can you go into more detail?
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#553098 - 09/05/19 01:59 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
Hi Jim

Not certain it is anything you can get control over as a user. Without some sort of hex editor at file level.

But for sure they are often not visible in the events list for a lot of midi files ,
Yet each channel has its own voice.

As far as I know it happens when the midi file is first saved, it writes the program patch assigned to that channel, channels with nothing assigned default to 0.
Once assigned in the header it will stay in force until you re assign it with a program change event. This can of course be right at the start or any time in the file.

Some Daws and synth write the initial ones, as events at the beginning of the event list any way, as well.

Mike
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#553113 - 09/05/19 02:33 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: Mike Head]
Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 180
jonel Offline
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Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 180
Thank you very much for those very helpful replies. They have caused me to re-assess what I thought I understood about the midi format:

Bob:
Yes I did see some channel number of zero but assumed these to be the first channel available. In other files I did not find any channel numbers and you have explained this to me. What I don't understand is why a midi file, representing a piece of music, would not have any indication of what instrument was to play in the track?

Mike:
I hadn't realised that the patch instruction could actually be held in the header. Since the event list doesn't show it then I suppose I could examine it using the hex editor I mentioned in my original post. I was also confused with the actual value of the channel number and the patch until I noticed that I had to add 1 to each in order to make the result tie up with what was being played in the track.

I will return to the structure again although I find it hard going just working in the hex contents of the midi file. I don't know if there are any tools that can show the contents of the file in a more human friendly fashion.

But..., thanks, I have a lot to work on now.

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#553142 - 09/05/19 05:01 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
Hi

Ah the dreaded Yamaha instrument number trap.

Normal midi patch numbers 0 to 127 (that is zero based)
Yamaha use one based numbering 1 to 127. for its voice list in the manuals and on the keyboard. But write the midi file 0 based to conform.
This is why its so important to have a pat file if you use a Yamaha voice set .
To be fair BIAB allows you to use one or zero based numbering .

Daws like cakewalk achieve this with .ins file (Instrument definition files)

Obviously things like coyote wave table dxi use standard gm 0 based names.

Extract from Yamaha xg lite pat file.
ZEROBASED
0.0.0=1 Grand Piano
1.0.0=2 Bright Piano
2.0.0=3 Electric Grand Piano
3.0.0=4 Honky-tonk Piano
4.0.0=5 Electric Piano 1
5.0.0=6 Electric Piano 2
6.0.0=7 Harpsichord
7.0.0=8 Clavi
8.0.0=9 Celesta
9.0.0=10 Glockenspiel
10.0.0=11 Music Box
11.0.0=12 Vibraphone
12.0.0=13 Marimba
13.0.0=14 Xylophone
14.0.0=15 Tubular Bells
15.0.0=16 Dulcimer
16.0.0=17 Drawbar Organ
17.0.0=18 Percussive Organ
18.0.0=19 Rock Organ
19.0.0=20 Church Organ
20.0.0=21 Reed Organ
21.0.0=22 Accordion
22.0.0=23 Harmonica


Extract from Cakewalk ins file

[XG lite Bank 0]
0=1 Grand Piano
1=2 Bright Piano
2=3 Electric Grand Piano
3=4 Honky-tonk Piano
4=5 Electric Piano 1
5=6 Electric Piano 2
6=7 Harpsichord
7=8 Clavi
8=9 Celesta
9=10 Glockenspiel
10=11 Music Box
11=12 Vibraphone
12=13 Marimba
13=14 Xylophone
14=15 Tubular Bells
15=16 Dulcimer
16=17 Drawbar Organ
17=18 Percussive Organ
18=19 Rock Organ
19=20 Church Organ
20=21 Reed Organ
21=22 Accordion
22=23 Harmonica

Hope this helps more than confuse.
Mike
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#553156 - 09/05/19 06:22 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7104
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
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Are you confused yet?

Wait, there's more! I don't know about info in the header, I haven't seen that. What I have seen is a separate track with no instruments or notes but containing all the CC and program changes for all tracks and channels. This means if you look at the event list for track 8 for example all you see is the notes but everything else is in that other track. And what's even more confusing is that controlling track can be anywhere. It could be track 1 or track 20 meaning sometimes you have to hunt for it.

Another thing is sysex info. This is used if the original author of the file created it using a particular hardware synth. Sysex id's the synth and all the other CC's are specific to that synth. If you try to play that file with a different synth that sysex info is all wrong making the file sound completely wrong. The named instruments could be played as anything. In that case you delete all the sysex info and reset all the instruments to the GM standard patches.

You have to really want that file to do all that. I'll try to find a better file first.

Bob
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#553180 - 09/06/19 01:08 AM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 180
jonel Offline
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Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 180
Thanks Bob. I really only started this over some curiosity about the behaviour of some of the midi files I had been playing. That drove me to look at the format and then I sort of got sucked in even more and its diverted me completely away from what I was doing in the first place.
The information I have been given on so far has helped a lot. I don't know why I get hung up on stuff like this because it is not that important since I can now achieve what I want to. But... it seems to be that itch I need to scratch.

Thanks

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#553190 - 09/06/19 06:00 AM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
Hi Jonel

Well if you are still in for a bit of info on this stuff.
Here below is a link to one of my old post of a technical articles from my website, about just what you see and what you hear or don’t in Realband track view window.
It takes a bit of getting your head round but you may find it useful.

https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=63093&Number=421946#Post421946

Mike
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#553231 - 09/06/19 09:33 AM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7104
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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Originally Posted By: jonel
Thanks Bob. I really only started this over some curiosity about the behaviour of some of the midi files I had been playing. That drove me to look at the format and then I sort of got sucked in even more and its diverted me completely away from what I was doing in the first place.


Right, happens to me all the time as well. Usually this is the fun part of our little hobby. Where it gets frustrating is when I'm under a time crunch usually involving a gig and I need to create charts for new songs I've never played before. Otherwise, music in general and messing with all this software is what I really love to do and it keeps us sharp. It's not easy figuring this stuff out. Seriously, would you rather learn all you can about midi files or keep watching reruns of Law and Order?

Bob
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#555542 - 09/19/19 02:36 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 180
jonel Offline
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Registered: 11/26/16
Posts: 180
Thanks Bob, sorry for the delay in acknowledging - I've just had a little sojourn to Majorca.

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#555550 - 09/19/19 03:05 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 05/13/03
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Loc: Rio Grande Valley, Texas
silvertones Offline
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Bob,
Unusual but I disagree. Sysex is for parameters of a synth that are not covered by system common paramaters.
Sysex = system exclusive.
CC = system common parameters
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#555552 - 09/19/19 03:08 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 05/13/03
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silvertones Offline
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It's the GM thing that gets folks confused.If the synth be it hard or soft you are using is not GM you have a lot of resetting up to do.
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#555554 - 09/19/19 03:10 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 7807
Loc: Rio Grande Valley, Texas
silvertones Offline
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Patch 1 on a synth doesn't have to be a piano unless it's a GM compatible synth.
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#555641 - 09/20/19 04:23 AM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: Mike Head]
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Charlie Fogle Offline
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Thanks for reposting that older post Mike. I had saved it on my old computer and never transferred it over to this new one. Got saved on this one now. good information.
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#555737 - 09/20/19 06:48 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: Mike Head]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 5326
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mike Head
Hi Jonel

Well if you are still in for a bit of info on this stuff.
Here below is a link to one of my old post of a technical articles from my website, about just what you see and what you hear or don’t in Realband track view window.
It takes a bit of getting your head round but you may find it useful.

https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Main=63093&Number=421946#Post421946

Mike


Mike,

As Charlie indicated, that long post about getting synths to properly work in RealBand is GOLD. May I humbly suggest you either (1) Copy and paste the message to the Tips & Tricks forum section or (2) post the message link to the Tips & Tricks forum section along with an explanation of why the post exists.
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Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#555748 - 09/20/19 08:31 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 7807
Loc: Rio Grande Valley, Texas
silvertones Offline
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Mike's post on midi is awesome and should be pinned in the RealBand Forum.
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#555812 - 09/21/19 08:01 AM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
Mike Head Offline
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Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 770
Loc: Cornwall UK
hi

Thanks Jim, Charlie and John

Now available via tips and tricks.
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#556192 - 09/23/19 10:10 PM [RealBand] Re: Problem with Midi Channel Selection [Re: jonel]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7104
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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I don't want to rain on your parade Mike, you're pretty knowlegeable but I just read through your Fine Tuning RB etc regarding VST's and don't get the first half of it.

It's not that complicated but you sure make it seem complicated. First you wrote you left the Use Default Synth checked and set it up for Tracks 1-5 and you were happy with your Thru track for your keyboard voice as you wrote:

Quote:
This is easy in Realband’s Options / preferences / midi /midi thru / set track specific
This way if I am recording a trumpet by playing notes into a track while recording I hear a trumpet or what ever other instrument I choose on any track I hear that tracks voice .

Ok we are looking good, now here comes the rub.

Lets say I have the first 5 tracks going to my default synth via the afore mentioned
Route MIDI playback to my default Dxi/Vst synth.
Fine I hear these and my thru voice is true to the selected track voice.


You don't say what the channel number was for Thru but the assumption is it had to be one of Tracks 1-5 otherwise you would not have heard it.

Then you talk about setting up Kontakt on Track 6:

Quote:
For track 6 I Insert Kontakt as a Specific vst synth for midi track
Load up an instrument from my Kontakt library. Realband sets up the fist available free port for this on this track in this case it would be port 17. Fine any midi data coming from data recorded on track 6 is routed to my Kontakt selection and plays that voice, and the other tracks play the default synth voices.

Unfortunately the Thru voice for track 6 still gets sent to the default synth as per my route MIDI playback to my default Dxi/Vst synth and plays the default piano (as there is no other voice specified for that track
As it is specified in Kontakt on port 17.

The work around for this is to un tick the box in midi set up for Route MIDI playback to my default Dxi/Vst synth.

Now I hear the Kontakt voice as the play through voice on track 6.


What's that? You said the default synth was set to channels 1-5. Did you mean 1-6? If it was 6 and you knew that was your Thru channel then of course you knew you needed to pick an instrument for it. But then you wrote "plays the default piano (as there is no other voice specified for that track) As it is specified in Kontakt on port 17" Again, what? You did not select an instrument for Track 6 in Kontakt? Color me confused here and then you say you had to uncheck Use Default synth. Ok unchecking that seems to be the main point so why put in all the rest of it? Just say you need to uncheck the Default Synth. That's really confusing.

Now you're talking about latency:

Quote:
The other 5 tracks now go to what ever I have set as my mid out device with I might say any latency derived from that trip, but I do hear the track specific voices.

So to get it back to my preferred synth for those tracks I have to:
Assign each track to its own instance of my preferred Dxi/Vst synth.
Its not really a separate instance as such it is the same synth inserted on port 32 once used multiple times. This way I get no latency and every track 1-5 and the Kontakt track have the track specific play through voice.


Talking about invoking a synth multiple times is fine but what you did here has nothing to do with latency. The default synth can be a Dxi or a VST and both are subject to whatever soundcard or interface driver you're using. Latency is latency regardless. Are you saying there really is a difference in latency between the Default Synth and any other synth? I've never heard that and I use different synths including the Default all the time.

Since some folks seem to think these instructions are gold and need to be put into Tip and Tricks, I respectfully disagree with the first half of this, it's pretty simple.

Here's all you need to do:

If you want to change a synth on any track you simply change it. Right click in the Track Name window, select Specific DSi/VST Synth. It's irrelevant if you have the Default Synth checked or not, it's all controlled by the Track Info window by selecting Specific Dxi/VST synth for MIDI track. If you have six synths then set them up on six tracks or if one is multitimbral then use it on several tracks as you described with one of the Kontakt synths.

If you want to test the same synth for the whole song then after selecting a synth for any track also click on Set all MIDI tracks to the same synth you just selected. You can do this to test every synth in your system if you want. Select it then Set all MIDI tracks to it.

That's it.

All of this has nothing to do with the Default Synth setting, the Track Info window bypasses that. UNLESS...

When using the Thru channel to play/record a midi instrument live the Default Synth overrides a different synth you put on that channel? Ok, so uncheck the Default Synth. There's your tip along with my simple instructions.

When I said RB is not complex this is what I mean. A Tip and Trick like this whole post makes it seem to noob's that man, you have to jump through a lot of hoops if you want to use something other than a basic GM synth and that's not true at all.

If I'm wrong please tell me but my workiflow is how I've been doing it for for some time. Just to make sure I'm not smokin my socks again I just set up a song with the Microsoft Wavetable, Coyote WT, SampleTank 3, the Forte Dxi and the Yamaha SPG2 that I think you posted. They're all playing fine together. AND the Default Synth is checked. AND I confirmed they're actually playing, I'm not listening to the Default Synth but the tracks say all these other synths. They're all playing.

Finally, your post is from 2017. Maybe my method was a new version since then? I'm thinking I've been doing this longer than that but memories fade. In any case I really think you should simplify your post in Tips and Tricks.

Bob
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-Notation is much clearer, not jagged, on retina screens.
-The clefs split point can be set by the spin controls.
-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.
-There is a keystroke entry mode, which lets you enter a melody entirely using keystrokes. The keystrokes are N to enter a note, M to enter a third note, up/down cursor to change the pitch of the highlighted note, and left/right cursor to move the time line.
-You can quickly enter forced accidentals from the right-click menu.

Read more about the Notation Enhancements in Band-in-a-Box® 2019 64-bit for Mac here. Watch this feature 'in action' with our new features video - jump to this topic when you click here.

...and don't forget - Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac upgrades are ON SALE until October 15th, up to 50% off! Order now!

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac - Special Ends October 15th!

Our Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac special is almost over! The special ends on October 15th - until then, save UP TO 50% when you purchase your Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac Upgrade... and receive a FREE Bonus PAK full of great Add-ons!

It's a GREAT time to order your upgrade to Band-in-a-Box 2019 for Mac, which is compatible with the just-released macOS Catalina - upgrades start at just $49!

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 Mac 2019 packages, but for more even more Add-ons (including 40 Unreleased RealTracks) upgrade it to the 2019 49-PAK for only $49. You can see the full lists of items in each package, and listen to demos here.

Check out our packages page for all the purchase options available.

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 64-bit for macOS Catalina!

Band-in-a-Box® 2019 64-bit for Mac works GREAT with the just-released Catalina 64-bit only OS!

Updating your Mac to the latest macOS Catalina? Don't miss a beat with our 64-bit version of Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac®, fully compatable with the just-released macOS Catalina!

In fact, Catalina features like Sidecar (a feature which allows you to utilize your iPad as a second display) work well with the new Band-in-a-Box® 2019 - great for sharing charts with other musicians!

So, take comfort in knowing that the newest Band-in-a-Box® 2019 64-bit for Mac runs great on Catalina and there are no known Catalina/Band-in-a-Box® issues.

Have an older version of the program that won't work with Catalina (which only runs 64-bit programs)? Don't fret - you can upgrade to the newest version for as little as $49, here.

Video: Band-in-a-Box® for Mac: DAW Plugin in Ableton

Check out our updated video demonstrating the new Band-in-a-Box® VST/AU/AAX Plugin being used with Ableton: click here to watch. Learn more about the Band-in-a-Box® VST/AU/AAX Plugin here.

Don't forget, our Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Mac upgrades are ON SALE until October 15th - and ALL Band-in-a-Box® 2019 purchases include the VST/AU/AAX Plugin!

Video: Band-in-a-Box® for Mac: DAW Plugin in Digital Performer

In this full tutorial, Jareth demonstrates using the Band-in-a-Box® DAW AU Plugin with MOTU Digital Performer on Mac.

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