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#605529 - 07/07/20 03:40 PM [Beginners Forum] Realtrack Soloist Medleys?
Registered: 01/15/15
Posts: 86
Loc: UK
Gordon Scott Offline
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Registered: 01/15/15
Posts: 86
Loc: UK
Hi,

I'm confused again :-(

I imagine there's some standard sequence one goes though to achieve what I want, but at present, every atempt I make seems to have a different outcome:

I'm trying to create songs with, e.g., 6 choruses, with melody in first and last choruses, solos in the middle choruses and one middle chorus with no solo to leave space for me. That should be all pretty stabndard, I think.

But I'm struggling because the medley stuff seems to be in several places and seems to be inconsistent.

The first oddity is that even if I have already defined a medley, from the "Assign RealTracks to Track" dialog I have to select some realtrack that I don't want to allow me to open the medley dialog "Create a Medley of different RealTracks...". The track I selected to get there is not then used. I set it to change every chorus.

I then go to the soloist tab and open the Soloist Dialog", where I can select the solo mode and "Mute melody in middle", which should mute the melody in the middle choruses, but does no always seem to do so.

I'm unclear when or how best to (re)generate the solos and on some occasions the regeneration seems bizarre, for example it will generate for instruments not in the medley, or it will mute all the instruments other than the soloist.

Advice, please?
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#605570 - 07/08/20 05:11 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 12/08/02
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MusicStudent Offline
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Gordan, that all sounds crazy complicated. crazy I know the "medley Realtracks" have multiple instruments on a single track, honestly I avoid them. I tell my own RT instruments on individual tracks what to play and when with F5. It is much simpler. grin
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#605572 - 07/08/20 05:24 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 01/15/15
Posts: 86
Loc: UK
Gordon Scott Offline
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It all feels crazy complicated. I have a screenshot of the RealTracks medley dialog I just set up and generated alongside the mixer window showing an instrument I have not selected.

I shall explore what F5 allows. At present, the medley feature(?) is driving me mad.

Thanks.
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#605591 - 07/08/20 07:12 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 04/07/13
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Charlie Fogle Offline
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The Medley's selections from the Medleys Screen accessed from the RealTrack Picker are presets designed by PG Music and are hard coded to play the preset. (The hard coding can be overridden)

However, you can manually create and program your own Medley hard coded to play a custom track of RealTracks that change to your programming choices. The menu to do your own Medley is accessed from the Bar Settings Window and selecting the RealTracks Button near the top of the Bar Settings Window. Follow the prompts to select the RealTrack instruments and use the Chorus Box and Bar Box to designate when the particular instrument you've chosen will play the bars you've programmed for it to play.

By creating another or several more Mixer Channels to User or PG Music Medley's, duplicating the instruments you've chosen into different order on each track, very complex arrangements can be created without the need to exit the BIAB program and moving your project into a DAW to audition and hear various arrangements and adding additional RealTracks to a PG Music RealTrack Style. BIAB will automatically produce commercial grade fade-ins, fade-outs, cross fades and transitions that are indistinguishable from what has to be manually done in a DAW. Every BIAB Mixer Channel can have as many as 10 RealTracks per Channel, but a more practicable example and one that I consider useful to the average user is to have perhaps, a 4 instrument Medley on one track then duplicate those 4 instruments onto another Medley track but use a different order of those tracks and mix those two Medley Tracks and render that down to a stereo mix of the two Medley tracks creating quite a complex arrangement of those 4 instruments.

That Stereo audio file render of the two Medley tracks of 4 (8 total) instruments can then be imported onto the Audio Channel, converted into a stereo User Performance Track, moved to one of the existing Medley tracks, replacing it and allowing the second Medley track to be erased and used again for additional instruments.


Edited by Charlie Fogle (07/08/20 07:15 AM)
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#605592 - 07/08/20 07:13 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 12/08/02
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MusicStudent Offline
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I think the medley feature was one of those "...see what we can do" things that PGM has put out there over the past years. Nice for a user who whats to hear a lot of different soloists stepping in and out of the mix, with out much knowledge or care for arranging the song themselves.

F5 is one of the best features in BIAB which will give you the ability to set up who plays what and when. But of course you have to want to do that. grin


Edit, I see Charley has pointed out a potential for good to come from this feature. So there is always an upside. grin


Edited by MusicStudent (07/08/20 07:14 AM)
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#605614 - 07/08/20 10:42 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 01/15/15
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Gordon Scott Offline
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There's a terrible tendency amongst many suppliers to add new features rather than fix the ones thay already have.

I had no idea one could add channels [to the mixer] and I can't presently find out how/where one does that.

I guess the "medley ... presets" to which Charlie refers are the "[medley] ..." RealTracks, though I've been trying to individual RealTracks to assemble my own medley, as the manual and tutorial videos say I can do. Frustratingly I've assembled one, but seem unable to make a second.

It seems like the clearest way to get to that "Medley" button with the sequence of RealTracks is via the mixer channel->Select RealTracks->Select RealTracks[in song...]". Perhaps by going via the RealTracks toolbar icon, I'm inadvertently trying to asign tracks to other than soloist. FWIW, there appear to be 11 RealTracks per channel.

It does appear that one can medley any or all channels, which gives a huge amount of power provided my PC can handle the work :-)

I guess this way, I use the "render track" on this RealTracks Picker dialog and it will render just the one track. I guess I silence the melody track for the middle choruses by putting silence in those slots here.

I have plenty to think about and try out on this for the present.

One other oddity that came out of this, though probably I should raise in a new thread, was that I accidentally regenerated the melody track with a realTrack, so reimported the MIDI melody. Now I have my melody track back, but no sound for it, despite having the RealTrack player still there. If I then try to freeze the melody, via the mixer, it says thet the melody is empty and do I want to regenerate it. I've tried reselecting the RealTrack player ... no sound from that track, but perhaps that's expected; I've tried setting a MIDI patch, but still no sound from the melody. The notes are there on the notation page. Before I couls solo it and hear it, but the meter in the mixer showed nothing. This is the sixth channel on the mixer, which I believe to be the melody track, but it's rather like the melody track is somewhere else. This is clever but maddening software.


Edited by Gordon S (07/08/20 10:43 AM)
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#605625 - 07/08/20 12:07 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 5322
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Andrew - PG Music Offline
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Hello Gordon,

Quote:
I'm trying to create songs with, e.g., 6 choruses, with melody in first and last choruses, solos in the middle choruses and one middle chorus with no solo to leave space for me. That should be all pretty standard, I think.


I'm not sure where you are at right now, but I'll explain that there are a couple of different approaches you can use. To summarize the two mentioned in this thread (1) using the Bar Settings dialog to mute certain regions of the song, or (2) creating a medley.

I really like your idea of creating a medley to accomplish this, and it is extremely simple once you know how. Often people would be using different instruments in a medley, but that's certainly not a requirement; you can have a medley that alternates between "silence" and a RealTracks Soloist. The reason I prefer this method over bar settings, is because it will give you more natural transitions between a chorus that doesn't have a solo and one that does. (e.g. muting a chorus might cut off a solo mid-riff).

(BTW I'm talking about the Solo track, not your melody track, since I don't know what your melody is)

Let's say you have 6 choruses and only want the solo to play in choruses 2, 3, and 5. Here's how:

1. Right-click on the Soloist track --> Select RealTracks (technically you could do this on any track, but the Soloist track makes sense). This opens the RealTracks Picker with the Soloist track selected.

2. Choose your RealTracks soloist. In my case (see screenshot below) I wanted a Sax solo, and chose "Sax, Tenor, Jazz Sw 140". (further explanation.. it isn't necessary to choose a specific RT here if you will be making a medley for the track since a medley can have ANY combination of RT's, however this DOES set the default instrument for the medley, so you may as well choose the one you want)

3. Click the Medley button. Set "Change to a new RealTracks every CHORUS". Each of the entries in the list now represents a chorus.

4. For the first entry (chorus 1), choose "Silence". For the second, choose "Sax, Tenor, Jazz Sw 140". Repeat for the remaining choruses, and you should have something that looks like this:



5. Press OK to exit the Medley dialog, and press Close to exit the RealTracks Picker.

---------------------

Here is how to use the bar settings method.

1. Right-click on Soloist track --> Select RealTracks, choose the RT that you want and press Close.

2. Click on Bar 1 and press F5 (Or Right-click and select Bar Settings).

3. At the top of the dialog "Settings Apply to Chorus #" select "Chorus 1"

4. In the "Instrument changes this bar" area, set the Soloist ("Sax" in my case) to "Mute".

5. At the top of the dialog "Settings Apply to Chorus #" select "Chorus 2" and set it to "Back to normal". Repeat for Chorus 4 and 6.

----------------------

For completion, here is one more option you have that IS specific to the Soloist track - if you want to Solo only in the middle choruses (no solo in choruses 1 and 6). Soloist menu --> Generate and play solo. Select the RealTracks instrument (note that this dialog also has MIDI soloists in it - the RealTracks instruments start at 361 and color-coded beige). Set "Solo which choruses" as appropriate, and then press OK.
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#605643 - 07/08/20 03:07 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 01/15/15
Posts: 86
Loc: UK
Gordon Scott Offline
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Hi Andrew,

I'm only just back to this and it's approaching midnight here in the UK, so I'll read and digest this tomorrow and see whether it explains how I'm running into trouble.
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#605644 - 07/08/20 03:20 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 01/15/15
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Gordon Scott Offline
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Hi Andrew,

Despite what I said, I've just read through and maybe I see at least part of my problem. I suspect I'm trying to use a mixture of the first and third methods and maybe I should be using only one or the other.

If I used the first method, I could presumably also set the melody track to <silence> during the solos?

I guess as I've now shut BB that the third method is the one where one has the first, middle and final(?) choruses, with the controls for soloist style, e.g. normal, follow melody etc. This is where I set "mute melody in middle choruses", but it isn';t presently muting for me. Again, maybe that's becasue the two different(?) systems get mixed up together?
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#605670 - 07/08/20 09:41 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 05/16/02
Posts: 5322
Loc: Victoria, BC
Andrew - PG Music Offline
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Quote:
I could presumably also set the melody track to <silence> during the solos?


What is your melody? Is it a MIDI melody part that you have on the Melody track? Or is it just another RealTrack that you have on the Melody track? If it's just another RealTrack then yes you could use the same techniques.

Quote:
the one where one has the first, middle and final(?) choruses, with the controls for soloist style, e.g. normal, follow melody etc.


Yes that's the Soloist dialog. I can see it being a bit confusing if this is the first time you've used the program. This is a much older dialog than the RealTracks Picker, and it pre-dates RealTracks. Originally it was only for generating a MIDI soloist on the Soloist track and it defines all the Soloists, connecting them to the available Soloists databases (.ST2 files). So some of the settings in this area only make sense if you're working with MIDI.
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#605679 - 07/09/20 03:04 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
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Gordon Scott Offline
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Hi Andy,

The melody is an imported MIDI track generated from my leadsheet from another application.

I've started to understand the differences, maybe conflicts, between MIDI tracks and RealTracks. Keeping backwards compatibility and familiarity is good, but sometimes makes for awkward compromises.

OK, let me tell you what I'm trying to achieve, without any of the "how", that's probably adding fog.

I'm trying to set up a jam/practice tool that does something similar to the jam sessions my friends and I did before covid-19 got in the way. We choose a song, play one chorus "straight out of the box", then go around each of us for a solo, then finish with a final "out of the box" chorus and some ending tag. You example of silence, say, sax, silence, sax, silence matches almost exactly that, assuming that the first and last silences are where the melody plays and the rest are not. What would you recommend as the best(?) way to achive that, please?

(?)Best is subjective, of course. :-)
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#605693 - 07/09/20 05:26 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
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Gordon Scott Offline
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OK, I've been trying things out and it now makes much more sense...

I started over with the .SGU from another band member, thinking I was starting from scratch, but then reaklising that the instrument/player patches were as before. I tried it, I can't off-hand remember whether I had no melody or the song regenerated and destroyed it. I was able to get it back simply my undoing and redoing a key change (the SGU's in F but the MIDI was in Eb).

As I switched back to F, I had a pop-up asking if it was OK to erase the mel;ody and soloist tracks as they're audio and can't be transposed. I answered no.

Obviouslt that's a useful clue, so I removed the RealTrack from the melody instrument, set a MIDI patch and played the song.... Pretty darned close to what I expected... melody in first chorues, then solos with no melody. The only obvious oddity was no melody for the final chorus ... that's likely some other silly I've done.

I changed the melody patch to one from Sforzando, which sounded better and still played as I expected.

Then I repeated what I'd done some time back and changed the melody to a RealTrack instrument. The melody remained intact as I'd noted earlier. It seems very likely, though, that tyhis is the root of my operator error, as from here in, I think it's controlled more by the RealTrack than the MIDI ... I'm fine until I try to take this forwards, whereupon the rules for RealTracks trump the rules for MIDI (I think!).

Again I removed the RealTrack, played the now standard MIDI patch and then again applied the Sforzando patch. All behaving reasonably with the probable exception of that final chorus. I'll explore that further.
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#605700 - 07/09/20 06:42 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
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Gordon Scott Offline
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Ohh ... now that's odd!

I realiosed that the first solo appeared not clarinet as I'd expected, but a saxophone, so I clicked on the soloists track on the mixer, opened the RealTracks picker, then the Medley dialog. Only one instrument! Just the clarinet and in the first chorus when the track plays nothing. And yet, the middle choruses are playing solos as I'd expected ... from where?

I can solo the soloist track on the mixer and the soloists definitely play there.

There are no tags on the notation window for patch/RealTrack changes.

But they're probably soloists that I'd set up fromn the previous song (well, it's the same song, but configured again starting from the original SGU rather than the MGU that I'd saved).

I imagine that if I set up a new RealTracks medley, it will replace whatever is there at present, though for the moment I salln't do that as what I have at present may have useful clues if this is wayward behaviour, which at present is certainly how it seems.
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#605712 - 07/09/20 07:58 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 12/08/02
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MusicStudent Offline
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Hello Gordon, The discussion has been interesting. Hope you work it out to get to your desired end point. I just wanted to add, my opinion of this all remains the same as I first mentioned:

Quote:
... that all sounds crazy complicated.


But maybe that is just me. grin
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#605730 - 07/09/20 09:27 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
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Gordon Scott Offline
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:-) Hmm, well, I think BIAB's become a bit complicated by growing features perhaps a little haphazardly. Lots of software has issues like this, especially where the authors have tried to not change things too much to maintain continuity. On the whole that's a good thing, even when it causes the occasional hitch.

Often the reason that hitches don't get found is because everyone who has already used the software extensively knows their way around it pretty well, finds what they expect and want, and things run smoothly.

When someone with little or no knowledge of the software comes in and tries to use it, they can expose things just by doing what, to existing users, seems illogical or silly or "the hard way" or whatever. I used to work with a guy who was brilliant at breaking things we all thought were rock solid.

I don't think I'd describe what's happening here as "broken", anyway. Just a bit quirky when used in what may well prove to be an odd way. What my wife describes as a "picnic" ... "problem in chair, not in computer". :-)
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#605734 - 07/09/20 10:30 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
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Gordon Scott Offline
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Incidentally, where this "sounds crazy complicated" may score, is that it appears one may be able to set up a generic-ish structure that reflects a hypothetical band, into which a song can be imported. If BIAB does work like that, then one could keep that structure and import any(?) song into it to get an instant and familiar session. Of course songs would very often want a style change, but the makeup of band and session may remain similar. That may prove both handy and interesting.

For convenience in our jam sessions we tend to set ourselves in our usual places and just go around the room when soloing, so the sequence when jamming is pretty consistent. Of course when we play concerts we usually have only a couple or three solos, not the five or six of our jams.

I'll get to better understand both the "medley" methods and the F5 methods and then decide which best suits what context.


Edited by Gordon S (07/09/20 10:30 AM)
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#605749 - 07/09/20 11:21 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
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Gordon Scott Offline
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OK, the track settings on F5 is where my mystery RealTrack soloists are, though I still don't yet understand why my melody doesn't rerturn for the final chorus.
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#605764 - 07/09/20 12:52 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
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Jim Fogle Online   happy
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Gordon,

It's likely the Band-in-a-Box mixer is playing an audio file st the same time as your song file. Look at the bottom, right corner of your Band-in-a-Box mixer and you'll see two buttons labeled as THRU and AUDIO. Clicking those two buttons expands the mixer so that it now shows two additional mixer channels labeled THRU and AUDIO.

If the Audio track has a file loaded, the file gets played with the rest of the tracks. It's easy to find out, just display the Audio track and mute it.

If there is an audio file and you don't want it, navigate to the folder where the song file is stored and rename or delete any audio file with the same name as the song project. For example if your song project is labeled "Jammin01.SGU" look in the folder for an audio file labeled "Jammin01.wma" and rename or delete the audio file.

FYI: THRU is a midi port that transmits midi data to a midi device external to the computer.


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#605789 - 07/09/20 03:07 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
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Gordon Scott Offline
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I wrote this before Jim's post as dinner summoned. I think that post will help me to cement the details of what's going on. Certainly those are useful things to know!

-----8<----------------

Uurgh...

I opened the soloist dialog and set Instrument to "no patch change" and tried again. Melody and no soloist in the first chorus as expected, but in the second chorus I now get the instrument that I thought I'd removed from the first chorus. I now see that changing the instrument appears not to change the instrument. That instrument now seems to play all the solos, overiding the F5 settings.

What I've now done is Clkick the miser soloists track, choose track actions, then erase track and I now have my selections of soloists again. As I type, I'm waiting for the final chorus toi see if the melody reappears... No. Pooh!

Oh well, still more to learn.....
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#605808 - 07/09/20 07:07 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Realtrack Soloist Medleys? [Re: Gordon Scott]
Registered: 05/16/02
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Andrew - PG Music Offline
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Loc: Victoria, BC
Hi,

Quote:
Then I repeated what I'd done some time back and changed the melody to a RealTrack instrument.


I think you know this, but just in case you don't... you can't have a RealTrack play a MIDI melody you. You can have a MIDI patch / sforzando / synth plugin play a MIDI melody using whatever patch you want, however the RealTracks consist of both the instrument and arrangement playing over the chords you have entered. It isn't going to play your melody.


Quote:
The melody is an imported MIDI track generated from my leadsheet from another application.

I've started to understand the differences, maybe conflicts, between MIDI tracks and RealTracks. Keeping backwards compatibility and familiarity is good, but sometimes makes for awkward compromises.

OK, let me tell you what I'm trying to achieve, without any of the "how", that's probably adding fog.

I'm trying to set up a jam/practice tool that does something similar to the jam sessions my friends and I did before covid-19 got in the way. We choose a song, play one chorus "straight out of the box", then go around each of us for a solo, then finish with a final "out of the box" chorus and some ending tag. You example of silence, say, sax, silence, sax, silence matches almost exactly that, assuming that the first and last silences are where the melody plays and the rest are not. What would you recommend as the best(?) way to achive that, please?


For the Melody track, what I understand is that you have imported a MIDI melody that spans the six choruses, but you want to mute all but the first and final chorus. Here are two options.

A. Melody menu | Mute melody in middle choruses [checked]. This is a quick way to do it, but this is not a song setting and is not saved with your song.

B. Bar settings - click on Bar 1 and press F5: select chorus 2, set the Melody to 'Mute'. Then select chorus 6 and set it to 'back to normal'.

For the Soloist track, it sounds like you want some select choruses to have a Band-in-a-Box generated solo. For this, set up a medley which I described in my previous post. It is easy, I just tried to include alot of detail in my post which might have made it seem hard.

Are you trying to do this with your band members in separate locations? If so, that's going to be your biggest problem...
_________________________
Andrew
PG Music Inc.

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