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#640571 - 02/06/21 08:14 AM [User Showcase] New Song - Opus 65
Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1983
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
Steve Young Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1983
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
Hi to all my forum friends!

Opus 65

It has been a while since I have been able to post anything here. I had a stroke in September, and lost all the vision in my left eye. My doctor said the loss of sight is permanent, but by the grace God I am slowly regaining vision - I'm doing well. But about 2 weeks after the stroke, my wife started getting very sick. After many doctors, and 4 hospital stays, she was diagnosed the end of November with Acute MDS, borderline Acute Myeloid Leukemia. We were told without treatment, she only had weeks to live. After 4 weeks of massive chemo treatment in MD Anderson in Houston, she went into remission. However, the only hope of a medical cure for her is a stem cell transplant. So we are waiting for an acceptable donor to be found (either through family or national donor registry), and then we will be off to Phoenix for about 6 months at the Mayo Clinic for the transplant. Rachel is in good hands, and we are very hopeful, and full of faith that by God's grace and power, she will walk in victory over this.

So onto this song. I write a song for Rachel every anniversary, and a song for me on my birthday every year (just to remind the devil I am still here and not going anywhere!) This year, with all the medical crises, I wrote this one in my head - but was unable to put it into my computer until the last couple weeks. In my distant past, I have a classical background (violinist) so I decided to return to my roots for this one. I played the piano using Waves Grand Rhapsody. All the orchestra is a mixture of East/West and Native Instruments sounds.

The guitar is a Band In A Box Realtrack sound, but I am in Houston at MD Anderson right now and don't have my BB HD to look up the sound. I will try to get it posted next week when we return home from this month's chemo session.

We sincerely appreciate everyone's prayers. I hope to have some time to listen and comment on some of the great songs being posted here. I hope you all understand if it takes a while.

Thanks so much!

Steve
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"In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of." - Robert Schumann

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#640584 - 02/06/21 09:23 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1410
Loc: United Kingdom
musician17 Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1410
Loc: United Kingdom
Beautiful! I am no good at recording techniques, but I would have perhaps put a tad more reverb or something on the brass instruments, so as to make them sound more distant and echoey? But that's just me, don't mind me!

The writing is absolutely beautiful and very moving! You have a fabulous command over orchestration techniques. The piano is like droplets of water falling down - I would have another look at the balance between it and the brass, though, just before the first "general pause". Otherwise - just beautiful, really and truly.

I am so sorry to hear about your wife and your current health tribulations. I will keep you in my prayers - with God by your side, I truly hope things will be easier for both of you. I'm glad you have been able to write music in the meantime - music is indeed a helper and a healer, I personally feel - I really hope you feel the same.

You say you have a classical violinist background? I would love to hear more. I used to play the violin, classically, myself ... Covid times kinda complicated things ... but would love to hear more about this if you want to share! Send me a Private Message, perhaps, if you don't want to talk in public about it? ONLY IF you have time - I realise that this may not be the time for that :-)

Anyway, congratulations - beautiful piece ... sending you my very best wishes for everything!
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#640623 - 02/06/21 12:44 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
First, it's great to hear from you - with whatever you're able to do! With so much on you're plate, I'm a bit astonished you get anything else done at all. And doing it to spite the devil? Amen! laugh

Second, I'm glad to hear your wife is in remission, and prayers for your wife's victory walk!

Nice title, by the way. Took me a moment to make the connection. grin

OK, on to the music.

I really enjoyed this - it's ambitious, going for a big sound, but having a lot of intimate moments as well. Nice arrangement, with a simple but memorable theme. I say this with admiration, having destroyed many musical attempts by trying for something "complex" but ending up with a muddled mess.

The intro is nice, but...

I'll interrupt myself to say I sure shouldn't be telling you what your song should sound like. I'll go sit in the "corner of shame" for a moment...

OK, back again, having learned nothing from my time-out. wink

The opening of songs is where I figure out where to set the volume knob, because everyone masters their songs to a different level. Perhaps having the brass initially come in at pp, and for the restatement a bit louder? Then again, it's brass, so I guess you should let brass be brass. There's really nothing the matter here, just a thought.

The sound of the horns holding chords against the melody? Lovely.

The strings on pizzicato? Also really nice. One of the few advantages of working in the digital world vs. live is being able to balance sections that aren't always well matched.

The entrance at 0:36 of... woodwinds? A bit harsh to my ears, but then, I don't really like the sound of the combined woodwinds, so it's a biased value judgement at best.

The piano sneaks in on the melody, and sounds a touch too bright to me.

At 1:36 there's a bend on the string instrument. So I'm wondering "Is that a koto?" and like a dog seeing a squirrel my attention is pulled away from the theme to the background instruments.

The strings come in at 1:38, and I'm immediately sad because they sound like a synth string patch instead of a group of strings. Unlike a real string section where the attacks are sort of staggered, this part feels like a keyboard is playing it. This is even more obvious when they get to state the theme by themselves a moment later. Perhaps mixing a first chair violin part in there could make it sound less MIDI-ish?

When I say "sad", it's not because I'm complaining about any lack of skill - you demonstrate that throughout the song - but a reminder that you don't have access to an orchestra willing to play this for you. cry

The guitar and piano section is especially nice, with a close-mike kind of sound that contrasts with the larger section.

The entrance of the horns at 3:10 is lovely, with the bells chiming on top. So nice. Harp flourish and held chord at the end - super!

Anyway, feel free to ignore any criticisms.

Loved it! laugh
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#640653 - 02/06/21 03:01 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1319
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Deej56 Online   content
Expert

Registered: 04/23/18
Posts: 1319
Loc: Mill Valley, California USA
Steve,

Go good to see you back on the board. I’m sending my most hopeful wishes and prayers of good health and fortunes to you and your wife. That you can carve out time with all that’s going on to write such a beautiful melody and execute such a stunning production of it . . . a testament to your love of music and your admirable skill. Absolutely beautiful!

My very humble regards,

Deej

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#640660 - 02/06/21 03:36 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 17373
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 17373
Loc: Hamlin NY
Steve, this is absolutely beautiful. I love the way it flows. Outstanding piano playing!

On a side note a friend of mine had the same problems as your wife. He had it for a long time with many bouts of chemo. He finally got the stem cell treatment and after some time he is now back to normal; it takes a while for the treatment to work. I will pray that your wife has the same outcome. And you stay healthy my friend.
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#640695 - 02/06/21 09:19 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 04/02/19
Posts: 621
Loc: Canberra, Australia
Leon1 Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/02/19
Posts: 621
Loc: Canberra, Australia
Just beautiful, Steve. So sorry to hear of your tribulations. Very best wished to you both.
Regards,
Leon

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#640758 - 02/07/21 08:27 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 10200
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 10200
Loc: Florida
Steve,

To my unsophisticated ear (and I readily admit to that), this sounds beautiful. Delicate, serene, intimate. Mix sounds good.

Wishing both you and Rachel the best.

fj

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#640846 - 02/07/21 05:56 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 4811
Loc: Sydney Australia
PeterF Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 4811
Loc: Sydney Australia
Steve,

Absolutely lovely work on the song, lots of talent there, and like floyd wishing both you and Rachel the best.

Peter

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#640861 - 02/07/21 09:12 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 720
Loc: New Jersey
robsmusic Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 720
Loc: New Jersey
Your song is beautiful!

praying for you and your wife.

peace,
-rob

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#640863 - 02/07/21 10:11 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5897
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Al-David Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5897
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Steve ...

You already know the history of my wife's significant health issues, so I can empathize with you. Fortunately, my health is relatively good for a 74 year-old. We're laying low through the pandemic, but get our vaccinations tomorrow afternoon.

I think your song is simply gorgeous. I know little to nothing about classical music but I do know this sounds beautiful in my ears.

Di and I will put you and Rachel in our prayers. We wish both of you nothing but the very best and many more years together. Take care, & God Bless.

Alan & Di


Edited by Al-David (02/09/21 09:37 PM)
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#640944 - 02/08/21 08:32 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3495
Loc: Florida
tommyad Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3495
Loc: Florida
Steve, this sounds amazing. You are very talented and always have posted some of the best tracks on the forum. I will be thinking of both you and Rachel as you find your way through this challenging time. All the best,Tom

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#641263 - 02/09/21 08:20 PM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 1368
Tangmo Offline
Expert

Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 1368
Really nice motif's, Steve and wonderful dynamics throughout. At once, it both familiarizes and makes comfortable for the listener, and still surprises. Wonderful piece to just soak in. Hang in there. Everything is good in the end. If it's not good yet, it's not the end.
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#641327 - 02/10/21 05:25 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: dcuny]
Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1983
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
Steve Young Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1983
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
We just finished round 3 of chemo.. Sitting here in Houston, listening to some fine music. We are in a holding pattern of chemo every month to maintain Rachel until we can get her to Mayo Clinic in Phoenix for the stem cell transplant. Very hopeful, looking forward to a bright future! Now, back to the forum comments... smile

Originally Posted By: musician17
Beautiful! I am no good at recording techniques, but I would have perhaps put a tad more reverb or something on the brass instruments, so as to make them sound more distant and echoey? But that's just me, don't mind me!

The writing is absolutely beautiful and very moving! You have a fabulous command over orchestration techniques. The piano is like droplets of water falling down - I would have another look at the balance between it and the brass, though, just before the first "general pause". Otherwise - just beautiful, really and truly.

I am so sorry to hear about your wife and your current health tribulations. I will keep you in my prayers - with God by your side, I truly hope things will be easier for both of you. I'm glad you have been able to write music in the meantime - music is indeed a helper and a healer, I personally feel - I really hope you feel the same.

You say you have a classical violinist background? I would love to hear more. I used to play the violin, classically, myself ... Covid times kinda complicated things ... but would love to hear more about this if you want to share! Send me a Private Message, perhaps, if you don't want to talk in public about it? ONLY IF you have time - I realise that this may not be the time for that :-)

Anyway, congratulations - beautiful piece ... sending you my very best wishes for everything!


Thanks so much, musician17! Really appreciate your kind words and prayers. This one was somewhat thrown together. I spent very little time at all on the final mix/master, and I am sure to revisit this one once the storm passes and the dust settles.

As to my violinist years - I had a full scholarship with a music major on violin - way back in the day. (I thought I was really good, but looking back, and knowing some of the people I have known over the years, I realize I was adequate to moderately good.) My dream was to be a Mr. Holland (before Mr. Holland's Opus.) But my mother passed away during my freshman year, and I had to drop out of school to help take care of her during her last days. Funny how things work. I ended up meeting and marrying the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. We ended up at Lakewood Church just a couple months after marrying. Within another few months, I was leading workship and became Minister of Music at what would become the largest church in the US. As a result, instead of leading a high school orchestra somewhere, I was privileged to work with many musicians from the Houston Symphony. Got to play with Little Richard, Barry Mcguire, Pat Boone, Wayne Cochran, among others. Such a whirlwind ride for this young college dropout. Certainly not due to my talent. I have to just say that God put me there. smile. These days I don't play the violin. I was diagnosed about 8 years ago with a neuromuscular condition called CMT. I am losing muscle tone in my hands and feet. I can no longer hold the bow. I can still play the piano, as my fingers can still perform up and down motions, but lateral movements with my thumbs are pretty much gone. (A thumb is a terrible thing to lose! smile )

Sorry for my looong post, but you asked for it! smile (I'm sure I over-estimated your interest in the subject!)


Originally Posted By: dcuny
First, it's great to hear from you - with whatever you're able to do! With so much on you're plate, I'm a bit astonished you get anything else done at all. And doing it to spite the devil? Amen! laugh

Second, I'm glad to hear your wife is in remission, and prayers for your wife's victory walk!

Nice title, by the way. Took me a moment to make the connection. grin

OK, on to the music.

I really enjoyed this - it's ambitious, going for a big sound, but having a lot of intimate moments as well. Nice arrangement, with a simple but memorable theme. I say this with admiration, having destroyed many musical attempts by trying for something "complex" but ending up with a muddled mess.

The intro is nice, but...

I'll interrupt myself to say I sure shouldn't be telling you what your song should sound like. I'll go sit in the "corner of shame" for a moment...

OK, back again, having learned nothing from my time-out. wink

The opening of songs is where I figure out where to set the volume knob, because everyone masters their songs to a different level. Perhaps having the brass initially come in at pp, and for the restatement a bit louder? Then again, it's brass, so I guess you should let brass be brass. There's really nothing the matter here, just a thought.

The sound of the horns holding chords against the melody? Lovely.

The strings on pizzicato? Also really nice. One of the few advantages of working in the digital world vs. live is being able to balance sections that aren't always well matched.

The entrance at 0:36 of... woodwinds? A bit harsh to my ears, but then, I don't really like the sound of the combined woodwinds, so it's a biased value judgement at best.

The piano sneaks in on the melody, and sounds a touch too bright to me.

At 1:36 there's a bend on the string instrument. So I'm wondering "Is that a koto?" and like a dog seeing a squirrel my attention is pulled away from the theme to the background instruments.

The strings come in at 1:38, and I'm immediately sad because they sound like a synth string patch instead of a group of strings. Unlike a real string section where the attacks are sort of staggered, this part feels like a keyboard is playing it. This is even more obvious when they get to state the theme by themselves a moment later. Perhaps mixing a first chair violin part in there could make it sound less MIDI-ish?

When I say "sad", it's not because I'm complaining about any lack of skill - you demonstrate that throughout the song - but a reminder that you don't have access to an orchestra willing to play this for you. cry

The guitar and piano section is especially nice, with a close-mike kind of sound that contrasts with the larger section.

The entrance of the horns at 3:10 is lovely, with the bells chiming on top. So nice. Harp flourish and held chord at the end - super!

Anyway, feel free to ignore any criticisms.

Loved it! laugh


Thanks so much David! You always give some very thought out and thorough comments. Much appreciated! I will let you out of your corner of shame. smile

First of all, as I mentioned above, this one was really thrown together, and I plan on revisiting it hopefully soon. We have been back and forth between our home in Canyon Lake and Houston (MD Anderson for treatments.) I tend to have more time to myself while here in Houston, as Rachel spends more time in the hospital where I am not allowed to be with her due to Covid. (I insist on being with her for all doctor visits, so I can stay on top of what she needs. So far they have let me be there with the doctor, even though it is against their rules.) When we are at home in Canyon Lake, my time is much more taken with the most important thing, and I am honored to take care of my wonderful wife.

Now, to your observations...

I agree, the brass should start off softer, but just ran out of time with my editing, and decided to forge ahead with the levels as they are for now (not a deal killer.)

The strings. This is the thing that I tend to spend the most time working with, being a violinist. Again, due to my schedule, they have not gotten as much attention as normally given. But the string sections on this one are more symphonic, as opposed to chamber, so they will have a more flowing sound, rather than hearing so much of the individual nuances of indifidual players. Still, I plan on spending a fair amount of time working on them. Unfortunately, my computer/interface and equipment is all in Canyon Lake so it may be awhile.

Woodwinds. I agree, woodwinds by nature are more harsh sounding, especially in contrast to the mellow brass sound. That was more or less what I was going for. Contrast. But I agree with you, I'm not as big a fan of synthesized woodwinds sections, as the harshness tends to be magnified in the samples. I usually overcome this by bringup of the flutes slightly, to mellow them out. Again, part of my plan to fix when home, and have the opportunity.

Piano. I will have to revisit the piano sound to see if it is too bright to me. It sounded okay to my rushed ears. smile

Again, I do appreciate your critiques. They are very thoughtful. And I really appreciate your prayers!

===


Steve
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Steve Young
Music
"In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of." - Robert Schumann

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#641338 - 02/10/21 06:12 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Deryk - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 02/15/17
Posts: 3414
Wow - you really hit close to the hear with this one. Stunningly beautiful and lush. You can tell it comes from the heart.

Sending you all the best, also, during these tough times. 2020 was quite the year for many, in a lot of unexpected ways it'd seem.

Thanks for sharing this with us smile
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#641345 - 02/10/21 07:34 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 01/03/14
Posts: 606
vicarn Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/03/14
Posts: 606
I'm sure she will love this.
Yes, maybe the brass could be taken back a little but it's still good.

My best wishes to you both.

Vic

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#641367 - 02/10/21 09:26 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 6636
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Scott C Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/08/11
Posts: 6636
Loc: Edmonton, Ab, Canada
Steve so good to hear from you. Sorry to hear of the tough year you have had. And happy to hear things are getting better. One thing for sure music can sooth ones soul and this surely hits the mark. Just a beautiful song. Well done..

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#641379 - 02/10/21 10:38 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1410
Loc: United Kingdom
musician17 Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/05/18
Posts: 1410
Loc: United Kingdom
Steve, you certainly have NOT over-estimated my interest in the subject. Yours sounds like an amazing journey in the profession - working, as you did, with so many incredible, top level musicians must have given you an unique experience and perspective. Funny how God works, right?

I, myself, studied at one of the top music colleges here in the UK as a violin "major" (we don't have majors over here, but it's the equivalent). I was lucky enough to play under the baton of Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis and others for a while - best time of my life. Then, as with you, life had other ideas ... I ended up doing all sorts of other things with my life, but music has remained a central part (once a musician, always a musician) - and now, I am always welcome to guest along with my former colleagues, most of whom have reached the top echelons of the musical profession. When I come along to play (even if I say so myself), there's a hush in the room, because they know that - even now - I can still give them a run for their money on my good days, haha (and also because they remember our respective levels "back in the day" and appreciate that, had we all been dealt fair cards in life, it could all have been very different for all of us). In reality, I'm really out of practice, nowadays, because I don't get to practice every day any more, but ... you can't keep a good musician down :-)

I'm sorry to hear about your neuromuscular condition diagnosis. A nightmare for any musician, not to be able to play one's instrument any more ... but it's amazing how we adapt. I always say: you can't keep a good musician down, no matter what. And your songs, alone, have given us so much enjoyment over here (speaking for myself, at least, I can honestly say yours are one of the most professional and musical writes I have ever had the pleasure of listening to on here!) ... I hope you will be able to create more, because, so long as you do, I'll be listening.

Thank you so much for sharing of your story. It was genuinely a joy to read about. Again, I will keep you and yours in my prayers. Thanks again.
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#641384 - 02/10/21 11:00 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 08/16/20
Posts: 36
Ardent Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/16/20
Posts: 36
Mr. Young...

I think your composition is an eloquently performed musical journey through a world of quite finely articulated emotions. At one moment it is majestic, at another reflective, then hopeful, now bittersweet, calm for a moment, questing in another. Obviously, your classical roots remain expressive and strong.

I hope you and wife's health improves with the help of Our Creator.

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#641522 - 02/11/21 08:36 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 2370
F.M.M. Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 2370
Hi Steve I always enjoy your productions, this is well done lovely peace of music glad your back I know I will never be disappointed prayers for for you and the wife thanks for sharing Eric
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#641526 - 02/11/21 09:03 AM [User Showcase] Re: New Song - Opus 65 [Re: Steve Young]
Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 156
Loc: Sweden
Alexander Paul Offline
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Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 156
Loc: Sweden
Great composition! Love the melody and piano. Wasn't expecting a good classical piece when I logged in here to check out some new songs. Hoping for a speedy recovery for you and a donor to your wife.
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How to: Replacing a MIDI Track with an Audio Track (RealBand)

Using RealBand and wondering how to replace a MIDI track with an audio track?

We show you how in our RealBand®: Replacing a MIDI Track with an Audio Track
video!

How to: Setup and Record with a MIDI Keyboard in Band-in-a-Box® for Windows

Do you want to record your MIDI keyboard into Band-in-a-Box®, but aren't sure where to start? This quick video is what you've been looking for! How to Setup and Record with a MIDI Keyboard in Band-in-a-Box® for Windows.

User Guide: Working with MIDI

How to: Why Does My Song Keep Looping in Band-in-a-Box®?

Your Band-in-a-Box® song is looping, and you don't want it to - what do you do?

Fortunately, this is a program setting that can be adjusted - see how this is done: Band-in-a-Box®: Why Does My Song Keep Looping?

Want to see a quick video tutorial that's not on our Tips & Tricks list? You can post your request to our I want a video that shows me how to .... forum.

(Additional Song Preferences you might also find useful: Global Song Overrides)

How to: Copy Chords and Song Info from Band-in-a-Box® to a Document

Did you know that you can copy the chords and other details of your Band-in-a-Box song into a document? We show you how in this video: How to Copy Chords and Song Info from Band-in-a-Box® to a Document

Learn more about this feature: Online Manual - Copy/Paste Chords as Simple Text

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