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#645362 - 03/06/21 03:11 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters.
Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Lazarus Online   content
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
I've been updating BIAB for many years out of habit. I know how sophisticated some of the features are and I have thousands of styles. But I rarely use BIAB for songwriting and, when I do, I generally lose creative focus and get disappointed, in the endless search for a useable style. I spend more time now in things like EZ Keys and various UJAM drum and string programs. BIAB should be better than these because it can provide integrated styles but it is neglecting the contemporary pop and AC genres.

Don't get me wrong. I know there are very good styles and very good players on the Realtracks but, even when using the search filters, I find myself wading through Euro ooompah music and old time stuff that is no use for writing modern pop songs. There are a billion excellent jazz, country, blues and worship styles but what passes for 'Modern Pop' is a bit limited and lame. If I type in song title chart hits from the past couple of years, they are not recognised. I'm not going to wade through a thousand loops listed in alphabetical order.

This is not just a personal grumble. I think PG is missing out on a new demographic for which the program's functions are ideally suited (if they were modified in the ways I will suggest).

I recently did a course on Writing to Tracks (toplining). The backing tracks provided by companies in this business are well arranged and contemporary-sounding but you are stuck with their chord progressions which are often limited and dull dull dull! The GREAT thing about Band In A Box is that you can use whatever chords you want and the arrangement adapts to them brilliantly. If BIAB catered to this backing tracks for toplining and contemporary songwriting genre, you could corner the market and reach lots of customers under the age of 40.

Here's what I suggest you do:

1. Get someone on your staff to monitor the pop and AC charts and develop new styles based on the current hits and - most important of all - update these styles throughout the year so that a title search of current popular song will take you to styles that would be a satisfying match to that song. And then, if you make the top style the prototype style, any others linked to it are genuinely similar (no oompah or Celtic music cluttering up the list!)

2. These modern styles should have sub styles for different song sections. BIAB should make it easy to come up with a backing track for toplining, including making it easy to substitute alternative realtracks and loops that are genuinely compatible with this style.

3. Check out the sites providing tracks for toplining, like Jetracks.com, and get some of these people to help design your new pop styles.

4. Have a separate styles category for current pop chart styles. Let BIAB users know that this will be updated frequently during the year with styles for new songs that are being released. This would be better than MIDI files because the BIAB features enable you to make a fresh song. If you have to wait until the next annual update, you're going to be at least a couple of years out of date.

5. Make some video tutorials aimed at younger pop songwriters, so they don't fall asleep during all the time currently spent on introducing even more jazz styles in your current new features videos!

Please appreciate that I am trying to be constructive. I've been updating BIAB every year since it used to arrive on floppy discs. I want to love BIAB and I want a user-friendly workflow where I don't get lost in a million styles and loops that don't match what I'm looking for.

No offence intended to anyone reading this... BIAB is great for older people who want backing tracks for playing jazz guitar (or for writing non-commercial songs in old time styles). It seems to be pitched at them but it could be so much more than that. In my opinion, the 'new features' get less impressive each year. BIAB seems to be running out of steam and it's targeted at an old demographic, which is fine as far as it goes. But your program's features could offer so much to contemporary songwriters if you chose to do what it takes to appeal to them.

If I am missing something and anyone reading this is using BIAB to write contemporary pop, I would be delighted to be proved wrong and learn how they do it.

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#645379 - 03/06/21 04:58 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 2724
Rustyspoon# Offline
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Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 2724
Lazarus,
I get in "part" what you are saying...but here is the thing. Stuff like Trap, Rap inspired modern pop, Techno rooted music...
Sure, BIAB is shy of those, because mainly (I speak for myself) it is valued for traditional genres. Rock-Pop-Jazz-Blues-Folk-Country, etc. and most importantly for the actual professional studio musicians that recorded these tracks using live instruments.

So may I ask you, how would you imagine Techno/Rap based music recorded on live instruments? What I have heard in conversation in this forum and by talking to a professional musician, that future of the music is FuSiOn. Not misinterpreted by "musical style" fusion. But actual fusion of various musical genres. And BIAB is absolutely great for that.

Let me explain. Sometimes, when time permits I would do composition in 2 absolutely different software titles. A midi based program and BIAB, blending results in DAW. Because another arranger software would have a different genre flavor, it creates the "fusion" I am looking for. There sure are always challenges and unorthodox approaches, because just slapping chords is not really "composing" but it is a rewarding creative process.

To finalize statement with dose of healthy critique... Yes, I think BIAB is lacking "some" content of new genres, but...
With using a combination of loops, MIDI (in house OR IMPORTED) in combination with Real Tracks you can create very interesting soundscapes. Hopefully, soon Utility Tracks (2021 feature) will be further developed to accept (without workarounds) Midi and other content that could be used to create rich arrangements of any style.

Your request: ".. title search of current popular song will take you to styles that would be a satisfying match to that song....(no oompah or Celtic music cluttering up the list!)..."
Was somewhat discussed here in Wishlist recently. To be able to sort pickers "excluding" certain genres.


Sorry one more paragraph. While I was typing this, I thought of 2 items that might serve your needs. Did you know that BIAB can output chord file of current arrangement? You can use this to create tracks of any genre by using arpeggio / modern based instruments in Kontakt or such and blend results with Real tracks. And final thought... You can create your own Audio based Real Tracks (User Tracks) of ANY genre to be used in BIAB. And they will follow your chord changes in BIAB together with Real Tracks. They are not hard to create if you are using Synth Based instrument. There are a couple ways these (User Tracks) can be done and I am sure users with more knowledge will be able to assist.... Hmmm.. It is actually interesting thought. I might try something like that myself smile

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#645465 - 03/07/21 11:29 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 7212
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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I was not aware what toplining is so I did an internet search and found +++ THIS +++ web article. Toplining is writing lyrics to cover pre-made backing tracks.

As RustySpoon# pointed out, Toplining is most popular with people interested in Pop, Euro, Electronic, Beat and Rap genres. Band-in-a-Box has a strong following with people interested in Jazz, Country, Rock, World and Folk genres. I'm not sure how receptive the Toplining audience and Band-in-a-Box audience would be to each other. Having said that, PG Music is adding younger musicians and programmers so I'm confident the new personnel will influence the direction PG Music is headed and help guide PG Music to reaching out to new audiences.

Drums On Demand +++ offers +++ offers pre-built backing tracks for traditional Americana, folk, pop and rock songwriters.
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#645476 - 03/07/21 12:38 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 3083
JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 3083
Originally Posted By: Lazarus
I've been updating BIAB for many years out of habit. I know how sophisticated some of the features are and I have thousands of styles. But I rarely use BIAB for songwriting and, when I do, I generally lose creative focus and get disappointed, in the endless search for a useable style. I spend more time now in things like EZ Keys and various UJAM drum and string programs. BIAB should be better than these because it can provide integrated styles but it is neglecting the contemporary pop and AC genres.

Don't get me wrong. I know there are very good styles and very good players on the Realtracks but, even when using the search filters, I find myself wading through Euro ooompah music and old time stuff that is no use for writing modern pop songs. There are a billion excellent jazz, country, blues and worship styles but what passes for 'Modern Pop' is a bit limited and lame. If I type in song title chart hits from the past couple of years, they are not recognised. I'm not going to wade through a thousand loops listed in alphabetical order.

This is not just a personal grumble. I think PG is missing out on a new demographic for which the program's functions are ideally suited (if they were modified in the ways I will suggest).

I recently did a course on Writing to Tracks (toplining). The backing tracks provided by companies in this business are well arranged and contemporary-sounding but you are stuck with their chord progressions which are often limited and dull dull dull! The GREAT thing about Band In A Box is that you can use whatever chords you want and the arrangement adapts to them brilliantly. If BIAB catered to this backing tracks for toplining and contemporary songwriting genre, you could corner the market and reach lots of customers under the age of 40.

Here's what I suggest you do:

1. Get someone on your staff to monitor the pop and AC charts and develop new styles based on the current hits and - most important of all - update these styles throughout the year so that a title search of current popular song will take you to styles that would be a satisfying match to that song. And then, if you make the top style the prototype style, any others linked to it are genuinely similar (no oompah or Celtic music cluttering up the list!)

2. These modern styles should have sub styles for different song sections. BIAB should make it easy to come up with a backing track for toplining, including making it easy to substitute alternative realtracks and loops that are genuinely compatible with this style.

3. Check out the sites providing tracks for toplining, like Jetracks.com, and get some of these people to help design your new pop styles.

4. Have a separate styles category for current pop chart styles. Let BIAB users know that this will be updated frequently during the year with styles for new songs that are being released. This would be better than MIDI files because the BIAB features enable you to make a fresh song. If you have to wait until the next annual update, you're going to be at least a couple of years out of date.

5. Make some video tutorials aimed at younger pop songwriters, so they don't fall asleep during all the time currently spent on introducing even more jazz styles in your current new features videos!

Please appreciate that I am trying to be constructive. I've been updating BIAB every year since it used to arrive on floppy discs. I want to love BIAB and I want a user-friendly workflow where I don't get lost in a million styles and loops that don't match what I'm looking for.

No offence intended to anyone reading this... BIAB is great for older people who want backing tracks for playing jazz guitar (or for writing non-commercial songs in old time styles). It seems to be pitched at them but it could be so much more than that. In my opinion, the 'new features' get less impressive each year. BIAB seems to be running out of steam and it's targeted at an old demographic, which is fine as far as it goes. But your program's features could offer so much to contemporary songwriters if you chose to do what it takes to appeal to them.

If I am missing something and anyone reading this is using BIAB to write contemporary pop, I would be delighted to be proved wrong and learn how they do it.

Lazarus,

You make excellent points in your well thought-out post. Every year we get more jazz...more country...more rock...and a strange assortment of oompah, polka and klezmer thrown in for good measure.

I have raised this issue in the past and been told you can most certainly create modern music with BIAB but I have never been convinced. Suggesting things like loops or other software might be helpful if the question was "how do I create modern music *without* BIAB" but of course that was not the question!

If I want a bluegrass song all I need to do is enter chords and press play. BAM, I have a really awesome complete start to a bluegrass song. Same for rock and for jazz. But not so much for more modern styles of music.

And maybe modern music is too hard to create in a program like BIAB. I know I have a hard time even describing it. But that is mainly because I am one of the old guard who still focuses a lot on rock and country stlyes, which BIAB does beautifully!

I agree with your points that, if they could figure out this puzzle, they could expand their market hugely! And if they do not I agree it is only a matter of time before they start to slide as the old guard dies off.

As someone mentioned, I suggested an exclude feature in the wishlist but I have no idea if PGM will implement that. I suggested the search allow me to simply turn off jazz and oompah permanently unless and until I somehow need them down the road! They severely clutter my search results.

And while I am commiserating/grumbling let me state again, as I have done before here, the feature that allows you to find songs similar to a certain song borders on useless. Supposedly it returns a list of styles similar to the song I requested yet I rarely find that to be the case. I just entered All Together Now, a silly Beatles song and the first suggestion was Rockabilly Jive which, to my ears is not remotely similar! The next suggestion is Skiffle jazz style. Strike two! There is a Tropical style, a Gypsy style and a bunch of Memphis Swing styles. A total of 66 styles are presented in this search. None of which seem similar to All Together Now.

Maybe classifying and describing genres is just too hard (unless it is jazz, country or rock!)

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#645686 - 03/08/21 07:46 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 2724
Rustyspoon# Offline
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Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 2724
JJJ,
I agree with with idea of more advanced sorting/searching (exclusions and additions), as well as many of your other opinions and comments... This time, I must admit, the contemporary POP request is a bit beyond my understanding. What are we talking about? Premade styles? Demo songs? Rts or Rds? Specific instrument loops? Not trying to tease you. Really trying to understand...I have a general idea of what pop music used to be, before "home" computer music exploded (from bout 1920's to very early 2000s) 

Maybe I am completely wrong, but it seems to me a good chunk of contemporary POP is emphasized  mainly on synth based sound design, short sample phrasing, arpeggios and "beat" making with a hint of 3-5 "popular" FX or FX chains. Is this the type of RTs being requested? If yes, or at least somewhere in the range... Then I believe the best bet would be to request PG to complete development of User Tracks, to include shots, holds and other good things. That way you can use software workstations such as Halion or Kontakt, to make all kinds of contemporary User Tracks that will fit the workflow of BIAB and follow all other stuff(chord, bar changes, etc), just like regular RTs. But the beauty of this approach is that it would be easier to change something. For example completely different sound, or rhythmic syncopation to better fit the composition you are making, because you can have a secondary "User Track" project opened in DAW and create endless User Tracks to your liking and mix these with RTs that PG music provides.

-------next day----

Just to prove my point. For laughs, thinking about this I did a very simple synth/arpeggio 1 minute User Track in under 20 minutes from start to finish. I know it is junk, but it proves the concept. Here it is:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wpgadjbuhqfpyaj/pop.zip?dl=0

Unzip, copy "pop" folder to bb/RealTracks/UserTracks Open BIAB select UserTrack from mixer, navigate/search: pop. It works with even feel tunes with tempo around 110. Now that I have project setup in DAW, I can have this UserTrack, sound completely different in under 5 (five!) minutes. This was done using a 1 minute POP template.  You can get a 30 minute template from PG.

P.S. Jim F. Yes, I remember points you made about naming. I was aiming at speed, this is not something one would keep, just a listen and throwaway thing. I promise, if I do something more serious, I will name it right smile

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#645850 - 03/09/21 05:51 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 02/06/17
Posts: 26
Loc: Sydney NSW
Keith44 Offline
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Registered: 02/06/17
Posts: 26
Loc: Sydney NSW
I don't need modern music - just the good old BIAB as it is. If it turns "modern" I won't need to update anymore.

Keith

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#645859 - 03/09/21 07:15 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 2724
Rustyspoon# Offline
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Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 2724
Keith,
"just the good old BIAB"...
I believe you missed the wishlist conversation of being able to SoRt pickers. If implemented, you would be able to "display" only the styles that you would want to see, and whatever you do not want to see will not soar your eyes. PG releases many styles each year, there is something for everyone.

----

Lazarus, JJJ
if it is not a trade secret, can you give an example of contemporary POP you are thinking of?
Just curious.

Thanks.

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#645893 - 03/10/21 06:27 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Keith44]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 15360
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
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Loc: Hamlin NY
Originally Posted By: Keith44
I don't need modern music - just the good old BIAB as it is. If it turns "modern" I won't need to update anymore.

Keith


Keith, BiaB will not turn modern, it would add modern, and I'm all for adding any genre that would increase PGM sales.

Sort pickers should be optional. Many times I will use a style that is outside its genre.

So +1 for all suggestions thus far.
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#646261 - 03/12/21 04:09 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Rustyspoon#]
Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Lazarus Online   content
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Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Thank you everyone for your replies to my post. I am going to respond at length to some of your questions, to explain the mindset of a contemporary songwriter, in case PG are also reading this and considering my suggestions.

I belong to Songtown, a Nashville-based community for songwriters. It's run by Marty Dodson and Clay Mills, who have written many number 1 songs between them. I have taken their Writing to Tracks (toplining) course. They say that MOST chart pop songs are now written this way. I have written songs to tracks like this. They are well arranged, with a contemporary flavour, but it is very frustrating to be stuck with their dull chord changes. BIAB could provide the antidote for that.

I also did the Songtown Writing for Film & TV course and had my songs critiqued by a high level music supervisor who was giving us real TV briefs for the shows he works on. Sync songs can be in various genres but anything you submit must be in professional quality and they like real musicians rather than MIDI. The problem for the aspiring songwriter is that demoing your song to the right standard will cost you $800 per song. Who can afford that?

BIAB has great session musicians, playing real instruments. It responds to your chords, holds shots etc. It could be the songwriter's best friend - it could be his/her band in a box.

Workflow is really important when writing a song; you want to be able to go with the flow of inspiration without getting lost searching through hundreds of options that don't deliver and make you lose focus. I agree with Rustyspoon about using a mix of BIAB and other programs in my DAW. That's what I do at the moment.

Here are some of the other programs with arrangement features for songwriters that I currently use:

Scaler 2, Arcade, EZ Keys for piano, Strum GS2 & UJAM Sparkle for guitars, UJAM Royal for bass, for drums I have Addictive Drums 2, UJAM Solid, Kandy and Hustle, for strings I have Sonuscore's The Orchestra and UJAM's Striiings (among others).

These are all very good and useful for songwriting but the problem with using them is that you have to search through multiple options in one program for piano, same in another program for guitars, another for drums, another for bass... the great advantage of BIAB is that it's all INTEGRATED, with styles for instruments that are designed to go together. And, ideally, with subs for realtracks and other realdrums that really are 'the best sub for this style'. And loops that are best suited, rather than scrolling through 1,000 in alphabetical order.

Given the potential of its features, BIAB should be the the best tool for the modern songwriter because you can write straight away in an integrated style.

I'm not interested in techno or rap or EDM, I'm only taking about mainstream contemporary pop songs. My great love is The Beatles. Proper songs. And there are plenty of them about in pop music these days but songwriter demos need a contemporary flavour before they can be submitted.

One of my keyboards is the Korg Liverpool. This has 100 Beatles songs built in but the most useful thing is more than 60 Beatles styles, each with 4 variations, based on Beatles songs so you can write your own song with your own chords in that style. Of course, you don't need to use all the tracks. You may only need a rhythm section, but it's great to be able to have Paul on bass and Ringo on drums!

For a long time, MIDI files have been available on the internet and these can be a good way of learning how a successful song is arranged. I would like BIAB to write new styles, based on successful contemporary songs. The style name could be similar to the song's title. A stylepicker title search would take you to it. Ideally the example song would be like a MIDI file of the song itself but, if that had copyright implications, you could have something in that vein.

Rustyspoon asked: "Lazarus, JJJ if it is not a trade secret, can you give an example of contemporary POP you are thinking of? Just curious."

Here is a list of good mainstream chart songs, in different styles, from the last couple of years or so, any of which could make great BIAB styles. The Adult Contemporary charts are the best place to find songs like this.

Moral of the story - Ashe

River - Charlie Puth

Joke's on you - Charlotte Lawrence

Good in goodbye - Madison Beer

Bad guy - Billie Eilish

No time to die - Billie Eilish

Goodbyes - Post Malone

I should probably go to bed now - Dan & Shay

Snowman - Sia

Rescue Me - One Republic

Problems - DeathbyRomy

Someone You Loved - Lewis Capaldi

Memories - Maroon 5

Lose you to love me - Selena Gomez

Just my type - The Vamps

Ring - Selena Gomez

Feel it twice - Camila Cabello

Trampoline - Shaed

Dance Monkey - Tones & I

Hot girl bummer - Blackbear

Cuz I love you - Lizzo

Sucker - Jonas Brothers

High Hopes - Panic at the Disco

7 rings - Ariana Grande

Old Town Road - Lil Nas X

Novocaine - The Unlikely Candidates

Dark side - Bishop Briggs

Selfish - Madison Beer

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#646513 - 03/13/21 11:20 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 14555
PeterGannon Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 14555
Charlie,
Great post
Thanks
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#646515 - 03/13/21 11:28 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 14555
PeterGannon Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 14555
Lazarus,
Thanks for the suggestions. We are planning more modern pop styles, and the “top lining” idea is good, and we are following up on that. Are there many top liners on songtown or is it mainly composers?
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#646524 - 03/13/21 01:04 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: PeterGannon]
Registered: 01/26/05
Posts: 375
Loc: Denmark
stratos Offline
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Registered: 01/26/05
Posts: 375
Loc: Denmark
Originally Posted By: PeterGannon
Lazarus,
Thanks for the suggestions. We are planning more modern pop styles, and the “top lining” idea is good, and we are following up on that. Are there many top liners on songtown or is it mainly composers?


That is great news
Very good suggestions from
Lazarus

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#646550 - 03/13/21 03:28 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Lazarus Online   content
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Hello Peter,

Thanks for your reply. I am very glad to hear that you are considering my suggestion. I think that the more you look into how BIAB could transform the backing tracks for toplining market, you will get excited at the new lease of life this could provide for BIAB and the eager new market it could reach!

In answer to your question, lots of Songtown members use backing tracks for toplining, particularly in pop. Songtown runs its Writing to Tracks toplining course every year and it's their most popular course. The majority of chart pop songs are now written in this way. I suggest you reach out to Marty and Clay at Songtown who could answer your questions from their own experience. Let me know if you would like me to make an introduction. Marty recently had a number 1 in Korea which was toplined to a backing track. This strategy is widely used in Europe, the USA and around the world.

There are many sites like Jetracks.com which sell backing tracks. I suggest you listen to the tracks on their site to get an understanding of what these backing tracks offer. They have all the contemporary arrangement and flourishes to make a track feel contemporary and PRODUCTION-READY to submit to artists and publishers, once vocals are added to make it into a song.

The problem with them is that you are stuck with their fixed chord progression, key, tempo etc. In order to make the tracks broadly accessible, these chords are often limited in number and the progressions are often (in my opinion) dull. One of the songs I wrote during the Songtown Writing to Tracks course had only two chords in the whole song!

The people who write and record these backing tracks are referred to in the industry as 'track guys'. I suggest you get track guys to make tracks for you which could be made into a BIAB sgu song (using bar settings to mute instrumentation in different sections of the song). There could be a new BIAB style associated with this sgu song. Of course, the great advantage BIAB backing tracks would have over ALL the competition would be the ability to change the chords, add other realtracks and rearrange the song within BIAB and when transferred to a DAW.

My view is that these backing track sgu songs and styles, made by good track guys, could be the next big leap for BIAB, as significant as Realtracks! I think BIAB has great styles in the genres is has already developed extensively - rock, country, jazz etc. The Realtracks are excellent and the combination in a style is often very effective. The ability to change chords, add shots, holds etc. and alternative solo ideas makes it unlike anything else. The programs I mentioned in previous posts are catching up with you - and they are more industry-friendly - but nothing yet is as integrated as BIAB. Its potential does not yet seem to be recognised by the contemporary songwriting world. But they would fall in love with sgu backing tracks (of equal quality to the existing players) which would offer the unique added benefit of allowing you to change chords, transpose, change the tempo etc.

I would be happy to answer any questions or give feedback during the development process.


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#646671 - 03/14/21 11:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Lazarus Online   content
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
One significant element that makes tracks for toplining qualify as 'production-ready' is risers, transitions, reverse cymbals and things like string runs and slides. These would be ideal for Utility Tracks in BIAB and it would be very handy to have a collection of them in BIAB, like its collection of loops.

It would be especially handy to have string runs and slides in BIAB that would respond to changes in pitch and tempo.

Simon Reid, the Nashville-based track guy who teaches tracking to Songtown members, recommends Output Arcade for what he calls 'sauce' to spice up pop tracks. It would be easy for BB to offer sauce like this for utility tracks and built into the new sgu files for tracking. This would enable BIAB users to add modern flourishes to existing BB styles.

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#646713 - 03/14/21 04:17 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 2724
Rustyspoon# Offline
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Registered: 03/07/18
Posts: 2724
Lazarus,
Thank you for thorough explanation. Nice post!
I do not know half of the names you mentioned, but I am certain I have heard most of them. Right before pandemic, I used to go to roller skating ring with my son and got a healthy dose of contemporary pop for good straight 3 hours each visit smile In my teen years, even with some artists going different directions, there was a sort of clear distinction between PoP (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince etc.) and Dance music (Ace of Base, 2Unlimited, Snap). It feels that 2 genres had merged into one smile

I do support your idea, but I think request and approach needs to be defined more clearly.
For example, seems to me that contemporary pop has a deep reliance on short musical phrases, mostly synth based.
I think the phrases, and elements you mentioned: runs, slides, runs, rises as well as parts for intros, breaks, transitions etc could be done in form of transposable audio loops. (and accessed/opened as loops in BIAB)

Newly added Utility Tracks could be great for that, as you can use several dedicated U.tracks specifically for smaller phrases / transitions and other things.

One problem I see is the picker. There are whole lot of PG loop content available already, but having several different pickers (main, loop, drum, midi, util, user.) + only a string search in some is not an intuitive process and tracks get buried and not easily discoverable by user. Especially considering that younger users (pop genre) might find the search & browse process complicated. Perhaps it is a good idea to balance the two: Content and how this content is accessed.

I know, this belongs in another section, but since it is topic related, I will mention.
Other POP oriented content I would like to see are even rhythm RTs (not synth based):
Guitars
Wind
Organs
Strings




Misha.

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#646725 - 03/14/21 05:23 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: PeterGannon]
Registered: 04/07/13
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Charlie Fogle Online   content
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Originally Posted By: PeterGannon
Charlie,
Great post
Thanks


I wrote and posted a detailed comment earlier and deleted it because the conversation at that time was mostly in another direction. That post was my thoughts and comments based on Lazarus's first two posts and five suggestions. Lazarus said," If I am missing something and anyone reading this is using BIAB to write contemporary pop, I would be delighted to be proved wrong and learn how they do it."

After reviewing, auditioning and downloading two featured songs from Jetracks.com and another couple from the Adult Contemporary artist/song list Lazarus provided, it was obvious that BIAB can easily and quickly replicate 'Modern Pop' style music just as the program exists now or in 2020, 2019 and many years of prior BIAB versions. I replicated 2 Jetracks and 3 AC songs in less than an hour.

Lazarus is correct that it's easy to "generally lose creative focus and get disappointed, in the endless search for a useable style." However, that's a workflow issue and not a BIAB feature flaw. The human brain cannot keep track of the original song idea when it's being bombarded hearing style after style after style. Auditioning styles is a great method to generate song ideas and for inspiration. It's not an ideal way to match a mental song idea. A mental song idea should be constructed and founded first, then match and rough sketch styles to a static foundation.

Regardless if you develop a song idea from auditioning styles or mentally develop a song, use the StylePicker to select the best style that's "in the style of" and not the best that matches a karaoke version of a song. A songwriter is attempting to write original material and not a cover version.

Some tips for using the StylePicker specifically for songwriting.

1. There are columns in the StylePicker that aren't necessary to the songwriter and can be hidden from view.
2. Make use of the Play over Current Song feature and the Play 4 bars feature. Styles can and do sound dramatically different playing the current chord chart than how the demo sounds. Also utilize the 4 bars feature to quickly see how different sections of the song sound in the current selected style. Those 4 bars can be any part of your song, not just the intro. The Part Markers, chords and tempo can be temporarily changed on the Chord Chart for testing.
3. It's notable to observe the differences between the genre suggestions of MIDI styles and RealStyles. There are normally many more RealStyle 'Other Genre' suggestions than are found in the MIDI styles 'Other Genre' column. This is due to MIDI styles are composed more specifically for "in the style of" a song or artist than RealTracks are. This can be a very helpful feature when the songwriter is attempting a result closely resembling a song or artist's style where the RealTrack instruments have much greater versatility when the attempt is more generic and original. This difference is apparent when auditioning styles and the dramatic difference heard between the demo and the Chord Chart. Genre suggestions are just that, suggestions. The songwriters Chord progression, tempo, key signature and feel and groove being attempted to capture will determine a specific RealTrack instrument's suitability for a song project, not the genre.

<< One significant element that makes tracks for toplining qualify as 'production-ready' is risers, transitions, reverse cymbals and things like string runs and slides. >>

This statement by Lazarus is what prompted me to post a recap of my earlier comments. For optimal songwriting results, I strongly recommend separating the Songwriting process from the demo creation or 'production-ready' tracks. They are two different things and each process detracts from the other. Write your song and if it's good enough, create a demo or 'production-ready' track regardless if you use BIAB or not.

I suggest the songwriter remain in just the BIAB program if possible. There are many elements and additional tracks, busing, overdubs, special effects, sound samples and other details that are unnecessary when writing the song. Working across several different software programs also interrupts and detracts from the songwriting workflow.

All versions of BIAB are capable of creating a stereo master file consisting of dozens of instruments over dozens of tracks. Programming instruments and tracks in this fashion using only BIAB program can generate a very complex track in minutes that would take hours to replicate by exporting individual instruments and tracks over to a DAW. Programing a song solely in the BIAB program allows the program to automatically do many tasks that have to be done manually in the DAW. BIAB can automate smooth transitions, fade in's fade out's, intro's, outro's create grace notes, automate volume changes, pan tracks, buss tracks, bounce tracks, add effects, overdubs, punch-in's/out's, record vocals, double vocals, stack vocals, add background vocals, mix MIDI and RealTracks, Multi riff a track, allow up to 10 instruments per BIAB Legacy Mixer track or in 2021 versions, to utility tracks, edit audio, allow audio tracks on every track, add samples, loops and special sound effects. BIAB can do all of these and more in a first generation, single render of the song project. Any songwriter should be able to rough out a song idea using these tools and features of BIAB without the need of a DAW and also remain on focus and save a lot of time. Older versions of BIAB are not restricted to 7-8 instruments across 8 mixer tracks. Using BIAB to make a demo is where BIAB users can add modern flourishes and sauces to existing BB styles and song projects.
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#646749 - 03/14/21 08:10 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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PeterGannon Offline
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Charlie,
Thanks. Great post.
Peter
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#646753 - 03/14/21 08:57 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Charlie Fogle]
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
After reviewing, auditioning and downloading two featured songs from Jetracks.com and another couple from the Adult Contemporary artist/song list Lazarus provided, it was obvious that BIAB can easily and quickly replicate 'Modern Pop' style music just as the program exists now or in 2020, 2019 and many years of prior BIAB versions. I replicated 2 Jetracks and 3 AC songs in less than an hour.

Charlie,

Can you post your 5 songs created "in less than an hour" along with an ID of what Jetracks and AC songs you replicated so we can compare and see how these turned out? You always have good advice and you always seem to say "BIAB can already do that" so I'd like to see firsthand how this turned out! Thanks!

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#646802 - 03/15/21 04:08 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
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stratos Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnJohnJohn
Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
After reviewing, auditioning and downloading two featured songs from Jetracks.com and another couple from the Adult Contemporary artist/song list Lazarus provided, it was obvious that BIAB can easily and quickly replicate 'Modern Pop' style music just as the program exists now or in 2020, 2019 and many years of prior BIAB versions. I replicated 2 Jetracks and 3 AC songs in less than an hour.

Charlie,

Can you post your 5 songs created "in less than an hour" along with an ID of what Jetracks and AC songs you replicated so we can compare and see how these turned out? You always have good advice and you always seem to say "BIAB can already do that" so I'd like to see firsthand how this turned out! Thanks!


+1
I really like to learn from this thread

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#646830 - 03/15/21 09:19 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
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Lazarus Online   content
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Hello Charlie,

I very much appreciate you taking the time to respond to my request, explore my idea and post your detailed response. I didn't get to see your original post before it was deleted.

Like Johnjohnjohn and stratos, I would love to hear the songs you replicated and discover how you did it because I have no idea how to do that. It would be great if PG made a tutorial video to demonstrate this process, for other songwriting members (and the entire songwriting workflow you propose, which takes advantage of all those BIAB features).

As you suggest, I always use my own current song to audition styles and it gives me a lot more than 4 bars. There is, however, a paucity of modern pop styles and, even with my own song chords selected during auditioning (which is a great feature), I often don't find a suitable style and have to go to other programs within my DAW that offer more contemporary starting points. I may return to BIAB for guitars or bass & drums but I would prefer to do the whole thing inside BIAB, as you tantalisingly propose!

I take your point about separating the songwriting process from making a production-ready track. But that is not how most pop songs are written these days. The whole backing track is generally finished without any melody, vocal or lyric input. This makes the 'vibe' of the track central to the marketability of the song. Singer/songwriters can do what they want if they are writing for themselves to perform but, if you are not a performer, the production-ready, contemporary vibe of your demo is the most marketable element. Sounding 'dated' is bad. The songwriters who get the song cuts with major artists always stress the importance of 'that vibey feel' of the demo. Title and lyric story are more significant in Country but the vibe of the demo is central there too. That credible contemporary production feel is elusive and, like other areas of the music business, most convincingly achieved by experts. I will never play any instrument as well as the guys who play on the BIAB Realtracks but I can use them in my songwriting. The same would be the case for production-ready sgu files in BIAB, made by specialist track guys, that would give me so much more flexibility than standard backing tracks. And it could be a huge market for PG if they chose to cater for it.

I'm not saying that toplining is a better way of writing pop songs, just that it's the reality of how most (that make the charts) are written these days. I have written to tracks and, personally, I don't like it because of the straitjacket of the chord progressions. I have every Beatles chord change in my DNA; chords are the most important thing for me, which is why I've had BIAB since the early days.

So thanks again and please let us know how you did it.

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#646831 - 03/15/21 09:40 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
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Lazarus Online   content
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Rustyspoon,

Thanks for your latest post.

I agree with your comment about how the new content would be accessed. I'm not a younger user and I find the search/browser process complicated and sometimes frustrating. Any new material catering to modern pop should be easily accessible within its own zone or robust filter term, rather than hard to find among thousands of other loops and realtracks.

If you check out the songs in my list on youtube, you will find that they are regonisably proper songs. In fact, perhaps due to the writing to tracks phenomenon, their length and structure is more rigid than songs from the 70s and 80s.

These are mainstream contemporary pop songs ('Adult Contemporary'), often with proper instruments like piano central to the arrangement. I find it encouraging that there has been a return to what I would regard as proper songs with good chord changes and catchy melodies. But if I was to submit a song like this with a Beatles arrangement, it would be rejected.

My list does not include dance music, EDM, techno, rap or any of that. While there are stylistic flourishes and beats borrowed from other genres, the core of these pop songs is quite conventional (in a good way). If you're not familiar with contemporary pop, you might be pleasantly surprised by some of the songs on my list.

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#646937 - 03/15/21 03:40 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
Registered: 04/07/13
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Charlie Fogle Online   content
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<< Can you post your 5 songs created "in less than an hour" along with an ID of what Jetracks and AC songs you replicated so we can compare and see how these turned out? >>

No. I deleted all the SGU files for the songs when I removed my earlier post because I considered them test files.


Songs I downloaded and replicated using only BIAB:

JETRACKS SONGS:
Wakeup
Your Love

LAZARUS LIST OF AC SONGS:
Moral of the Story - Ashe
River - Charlie Puth
I think I Should Go To Bed - Dan & Shay

<< You always have good advice and you always seem to say "BIAB can already do that" so I'd like to see firsthand how this turned out! Thanks! >>

I will redo the SGU file for "Moral of the Story" by Ashe and post a link to it. I'll follow my suggestion that the created file will be a songwriting template and not a cover or karaoke duplicate of the original commercial song.

To be clear, this process will have all the elements that comprises this particular modern pop song to be an "in the style of" project. This includes the chord progression, Key signature, tempo map, number of identifiable instruments, the song arrangement and dynamics. There will be no melody nor vocals.

Due to copyright infringement and PG Music restrictions, the SGU file will not have the specific piano riff that plays throughout the song. That said, it should not sound like a cover of "Moral of the Story". But what I would do if this were an actual personal project I was attempting to write an original song using "Moral of the Story" as a guide and template, I would insert the actual audio file I downloaded from YouTube onto the BIAB Mixer Audio Channel and then the BIAB SGU musical bed would play along with, track, match and sync with the original song in all of elements I listed above. Including the actual piano riff should make the SGU file play a karaoke version of the song.
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#646952 - 03/15/21 04:18 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Great - thanks! Very much looking forward to hearing it.

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#647070 - 03/16/21 11:53 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 44
Jareth - PG Music Offline
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Registered: 06/11/09
Posts: 44
Hi Lazarus,

Thank you very much for your feedback. As the person who currently makes a lot of our modern pop styles, I get excited about the prospect of finding new ways to integrate modern pop sounds into our library, as well as new ways to improve the workflow for the purpose of creating modern pop music. As Peter mentioned, we're looking into the toplining approach, and your knowledge is very valuable to us.

In the meantime, we do have several modern pop styles. Apologies if it has been hard to locate them. The majority of these can be found in our Xtra Styles PAKs and Loops-with-Style PAKs, which are add-on purchases. The easiest way to navigate to these styles specifically from the Style Picker is to go to Category > Choose and Show a User Category. Here, we have created lists for the individual genres in the Xtra Styles PAKs and lists for the Loops-with-Style PAKs.

While you are waiting for new advancements in our modern pop integration, I have created a Google Sheet of existing styles that you may find useful. It includes the style short and long name, tempo, and feel for each entry. In addition, I've included which PAK they belong to and a link to an audio demo for each style.

Modern Pop Styles Google Sheet

Xtra Styles PAKs

Loops-with-Style PAKs


Edited by Jareth - PG Music (03/18/21 09:11 AM)
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#647111 - 03/16/21 05:17 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
Registered: 06/11/09
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Jareth - PG Music Offline
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Hi JohnJohnJohn,

I listened to some of the backing tracks at jetracks.com and soundbetter.com. Based on the general vibe of the tracks on those sites, here are my top ten style suggestions. These are modern styles that I think would be suitable for making topliner tracks. I have included links to audio demos so you can listen. As a bonus, I've also included an additional ten tracks to round out the top 20. And finally, a short list of modern country/folk/Americana styles that include more acoustic instruments, in case that interests you or anyone else.

Top 10 topliner styles:

_SLOFUNK - Slow Sw16 Pop Funk Groove
_LO-FI - Lo-Fi Hip Hop Beat w Acst Guitar
_MEGABYT - Megabyte Electro RnB with Loop
_CHILLHP3 - Chill Hop Slow Brush Break Loop
_WESTCST - Classic West Coast Rap
_CERASEE - Cerasee Island Dance Pop
_GOSTEDY - Go Steady Modern RnB with Perc
_GLITTER - Glitter Modern Disco Funk
_SHIMMY - Shimmy Modern Funk Pop
_SLAPPIN - Slappin' Acoustic Guitar Pop

Rounding out the top 20:

_ECHOING - Echoing Indie Synth Pop w Guitar
_UNKNOWN - Unknown Sw-16 Funky Folk Groove
_REBIRTH - Rebirth Fingerstyle Pop Ballad
_PURSUIT - Pursuit Modern Soul Pop
_SNAPPY - Snappy Even-16 Summer Pop Ballad
_SLUMAMP - Slumber Amplitube Pedal Steel
_TRPBEAT - Minimalist Trap Beat
_BABYBLU - Baby Blue Radio Pop with Piano
_SURVIVE - Survive Alternative RnB w Synths
_CANDLE - Candle Slow Dramatic Cloud Rap

Modern country/folk/Americana styles:

_UNIVERS - Universe Pop Country Ballad
_FULMOON - Full Moon Ctry Folk Radio Ballad
_AFTRHRS - After Hours Lounging Country Pop
_SOLACE - Solace Quarter-Feel Country
_PASSION - Passion Hit Country Pop Ballad
_BURROW - Burrow Lite Southern Rock Rhythm
_LAJOLLA - La Jolla West Coast Ctry Ballad
_MDWEST+ - Midwest Country Folk MultiStyle
_FIXATE - Fixate 6/8 Americana Country
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#647270 - 03/17/21 04:08 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
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Hi Jareth,

Thanks very much for your post. I am very glad to hear that you will be developing what BIAB offers to contemporary pop songwriters.

Thanks also for taking the trouble to make the Modern Pop Styles Google sheet so that I can find them. I look forward to checking out the styles you listed.

With regard to future BIAB Modern Pop styles, I suggest that the first place to look for inspiration would be the charts and songs like those I listed above. These have proven popular appeal and would result in styles that would be more attractive to your customers. I referred to toplining backing tracks for an indication of their production level, format and vibe but there are a lot more backing tracks out there than proven hits and many of the former will never become the latter!

One thing occurred to me when listening to the style demos: I may have got this wrong but BIAB demos seem to have all the instruments playing all through the song. This might work well for blues or country or maybe jazz when that could be appropriate for a song in that genre. But in pop you almost never have all the instruments playing all through the song. So your modern pop styles might be more effectively showcased with a demo song that has maybe a stripped down intro with a loop, verse arrangement then fuller arrangement for the chorus. It might make the demo sound more recognisably like a pop song. With utility tracks, you would have space for an instrument used just in the intro, bridge, breakdown or added to the chorus. The more it sounds like a pop song, the more it will appeal to new BIAB users.

You mentioned ways to improve the workflow for people writing modern pop songs. Charlie wrote in his post above lots of things that BIAB can apparently already do. I have no idea how to do the things he mentioned. While I am waiting for your new developments, I would like to be using the existing features of BIAB to their full potential. I checked out the video tutorial part of the PG website today. I found a tutorial by you for how to make a user track. That was interesting though I don't think it would give me chords like augs that I would want to use. Several of the videos there were quite old so they don't look like they're up to date on things like making styles.

What would help people like me would be some video tutorials that pull together the kind of things Charlie was talking about, using BIAB 2021, to develop songs from existing chart songs or toplining tracks.

Thanks

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#647277 - 03/17/21 04:45 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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PeterGannon Offline
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>> What would help people like me would be some video tutorials that pull together the kind of things Charlie was talking about, using BIAB 2021, to develop songs from existing chart songs or toplining tracks.

Yes, that would be great.

One point, when you're comparing a BiaB track with a topliner track from a site. Imagine you were a songwriter and had to choose... if you have BiaB you can make it with any chord progression you want, not just limited to the progression that comes with the track.

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#647278 - 03/17/21 05:06 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Yes, Peter, that is my point. That is exactly what I dislike about backing tracks and have always liked about BIAB.

So if BIAB's new modern styles can capture the contemporary, production-ready feel of those backing tracks (essential if a songwriter wants to get their pop song demos listened to in the industry) with the addition of all BIAB's features - not just chords but tempo, key, bar settings, shots and holds - and if contemporary songwriters get to know about what BIAB offers, why would anyone buy a fixed backing track again?!

I think that if you were to sell a collection of modern pop styles to cater for this market, you would reach more people if the set focused exclusively on that genre rather than just a handful of modern pop styles bundled in with handfuls of songs from all the other BIAB genres which would have little or no appeal to pop writers.

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#647429 - 03/18/21 01:43 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Jim Fogle Offline
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Lazarus,

You've raised some interesting points to discuss throughout this thread. Thank you for your positive and cheerful attitude and for directing the conversation to keep it on track.

I found the way you use the terms demo and styles interesting and thought provoking. I hadn't thought about it too much up until this thread but generally speaking PG Music has always created demo songs to demonstrate two product classes: instruments with distinct sounds like RealTracks and MIDISuperTracks or premium styles like the XtraStyles. Each product class has different demo song requirements.

A demo song highlighting instrument sounds should demonstrate how it sounds in isolation and in context. Ideally all variations should be demonstrated.

A style demo song should highlight how the style handles an intro, "a' section, "b' section and ending and the instruments used in the band.

If Jareth brought instruments in and out as you suggest would that not minimize or defeat the purpose of the demo requirements I gave above? Isn't the job of the song producer to determine how these tools are used?

In my mind what you're describing is why PG Music has the User Showcase. What's missing are User Showcase postings of modern pop songs created by young producers. Why that is so I don't know. But I frequently run across YouTube videos and songs on BandCamp and other websites where I believe Band-in-a-Box is used but not credited.

Pop producers generally don't credit the origin of a song's backing tracks. They don't distinguish if the backing tracks originate from midi loops, audio loops, session musicians, samples, Band-in-a-Box or whatever. You generally don't know who mixes or masters a song. It is the creative direction of the song producer that manages the song from beginning to end.

What I think is needed is for a social media influencer to discover Band-in-a-Box and promotes it's ability to create pop music.
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#647442 - 03/18/21 02:45 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 06/11/09
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Jareth - PG Music Offline
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Posts: 44
Hi Lazarus,

I want to reply specifically about the issue of having the same instruments for the entirety of the song. By default, RealTracks or RealDrums can have two substyles, which usually (but not always) represent some kind of verse and chorus part. Some RealTracks and RealDrums are the same in both substyles, but many change when the part marker is switched between A and B. In addition to that, we have MultiStyles. MultiStyles allow us to combine multiple styles into one, which accommodates complex arrangements with a greater number of substyles. Usually these will have around 8 substyles instead of the usual 2. So instead of having the basic A/B part marker options, you will have something like A/B/C/D/E/F/G/H, and each will sound different. I created a MultiStyles PAK that has 30 MultiStyles (10 pop/rock, 10 country, and 10 jazz). I'll leave you a link below so you can listen to some of the demos. For the last few releases, there is usually at least one MultiStyle included for each genre of the Xtra Styles PAKs as well. The MultiStyles always include the "+" symbol in their short name, so you can filter for MultiStyles easily in the Style Picker by searching for "+".

MultiStyles PAKs - Listen to Demos
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#647444 - 03/18/21 02:52 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
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Lazarus Online   content
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Thanks Jim. I wasn't aware of the user showcase and I didn't know about premium styles and Xtrastyles so I will check them and their different kind of demos out.

My suggestions were aimed primarily at how PG might appeal to new contemporary pop songwriter users and take a share of that backing tracks for toplining market.

I agree with you that it would be good if a social media influencer (ugh!) could champion BIAB but, as Peter said above, it would be great if PG could make some tutorial videos that pull together everything BIAB can offer a pop songwriter.

I have been updating the program for years but there are still features that I don't know about or use. I'll often try them out when they are released but then give up on them because they're too confusing or don't work properly or suit my workflow. The user guide is nearly 600 pages. I don't have time to read that. I have loads of other music software and their bloated manuals too!

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#647449 - 03/18/21 03:31 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Jareth - PG Music]
Registered: 10/16/08
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Lazarus Online   content
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Thanks Jareth for explaining that.

I've just listened to some of those multistyle demos. I think that would be a good way to go for your product aimed at contemporary pop songwriters as they do give a good example of how the styles might be used in different sections of a song.

I've bought Ultra and multiple Pluspaks over the years but a search of "+" shows that I don't currently appear to have any multistyles among the thousands of styles on my computer.

I would buy a set of multistyles that sound like hit contemporary pop songs but only if they were all genuine contemporary pop, not if those are minority of styles on a disk with loads of jazz and all the other styles that don't interest me.

As a longtime BIAB user who updates the program every year, I gave up long ago with bonus paks and all the (to me) confusing other types of paks because when I've bought them in the past, the PG policy of bundling all the genres together means most styles are of no interest to me. It may be that most other BIAB users like to work in all styles equally but, if you want to tempt new pop songwriters to BIAB, I suggest you create product which targets their specific needs.

Thanks

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#647465 - 03/18/21 05:27 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 06/25/12
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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I am truly hopeful that this thread is going somewhere good! Lazarus has provided excellent insights regarding one category of modern music and enlightened me on the whole topic of toplining! And PGM seems open to adding functionality for creating modern songs! This is all really great news!

In spite of claims that BIAB can already do this I remain unconvinced. I believe BIAB can produce components I can use to assemble a modern song. But I am quite curious to see if it can produce a modern song as completely and easily as it can produce a bluegrass song or a surf rocker! For those, and other classic genres, I can literally enter chords, choose a style and output a mostly complete song ready for vocals. But I have yet to see how that can be done for more modern music styles. And maybe modern music is more complex and BIAB won't be able to do that but I'd love to fully understand what is possible.

I like the idea that maybe PGM can produce tutorials on how to use BIAB to create modern music! That would be quite welcome!

Originally Posted By: Lazarus
Moral of the story - Ashe
River - Charlie Puth
Joke's on you - Charlotte Lawrence
Good in goodbye - Madison Beer
Bad guy - Billie Eilish
No time to die - Billie Eilish
Goodbyes - Post Malone
I should probably go to bed now - Dan & Shay
Snowman - Sia
Rescue Me - One Republic
Problems - DeathbyRomy
Someone You Loved - Lewis Capaldi
Memories - Maroon 5
Lose you to love me - Selena Gomez
Just my type - The Vamps
Ring - Selena Gomez
Feel it twice - Camila Cabello
Trampoline - Shaed
Dance Monkey - Tones & I
Hot girl bummer - Blackbear
Cuz I love you - Lizzo
Sucker - Jonas Brothers
High Hopes - Panic at the Disco
7 rings - Ariana Grande
Old Town Road - Lil Nas X
Novocaine - The Unlikely Candidates
Dark side - Bishop Briggs
Selfish - Madison Beer

Thank you for this long list of examples. I am working my way through them to personally gain a better understanding of modern music.

I did notice that, of your 28 suggestions, only 6 are in the current BIAB titles database. And the couple I am already familiar with that are in the database, Bad Guy and Old Town Road, did not result in suggestions of styles that sounded like those songs to my ears.

Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
After reviewing, auditioning and downloading two featured songs from Jetracks.com and another couple from the Adult Contemporary artist/song list Lazarus provided, it was obvious that BIAB can easily and quickly replicate 'Modern Pop' style music just as the program exists now or in 2020, 2019 and many years of prior BIAB versions. I replicated 2 Jetracks and 3 AC songs in less than an hour.

I am still looking forward to hearing what you came up with. Replicating 5 modern songs in an hour with BIAB certainly seems impossible to me! Incidently, the 2 songs you picked from Jetracks may not be the best example since they have more of a classic feel at least to my ears.

Originally Posted By: Jareth - PG Music
In the meantime, we do have several modern pop styles. Apologies if it has been hard to locate them.

Thank you for the spreadsheet and for the samples of styles you provided in a subsequent post. I have tried listening to the demos for these styles and I am still trying to understand how to use them to produce modern sounding music.

Originally Posted By: Jim Fogle
In my mind what you're describing is why PG Music has the User Showcase. What's missing are User Showcase postings of modern pop songs created by young producers. Why that is so I don't know.

I think it may be the very reason we are having this conversation! We (the old guard) don't know how to produce modern songs with BIAB! And young producers are not using BIAB. And if they try it they don't immediately see it as a useful tool to produce modern music.

Originally Posted By: Jim Fogle
What I think is needed is for a social media influencer to discover Band-in-a-Box and promotes it's ability to create pop music.

First we have to convincingly establish that ability!

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#647470 - 03/18/21 05:52 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Johnjohnjohn, I agree with everything you have written.

I would add that the songs on my list were selected to showcase a variety of styles of modern mainstream pop but what they all have in common is decent chord changes. In that sense, they are recognisable pop songs, with hooky chords and melodies, like the good songs from previous eras.

That is not the case for all modern pop songs and it is certainly not the case for MOST (in my opinion) backing tracks sold for toplining. The limitations of the fixed format leads their creators to 'play safe' by often having minimal chord changes (sometimes only two chords in the whole song). They think this will make them more usable to more purchasers but, to me, it makes them unusable because the dull chords are concreted in. As I've said before, BIAB is potentially the antidote to this.

The structures of modern pop songs are generally very conservative and they often have real instruments central to the arrangement. This is not EDM. The beats, percussion and transitions have a contemporary feel that I have not yet found in any BIAB style but I am excluding rap, techno and other formats. In principle, chord-based mainstream pop songs, like those in my list, should provide excellent inspiration for new BIAB pop (multi)styles.


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#647502 - 03/19/21 01:56 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Jareth - PG Music]
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stratos Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jareth - PG Music
Hi JohnJohnJohn,

I listened to some of the backing tracks at jetracks.com and soundbetter.com. Based on the general vibe of the tracks on those sites, here are my top ten style suggestions. These are modern styles that I think would be suitable for making topliner tracks. I have included links to audio demos so you can listen. As a bonus, I've also included an additional ten tracks to round out the top 20. And finally, a short list of modern country/folk/Americana styles that include more acoustic instruments, in case that interests you or anyone else.

Top 10 topliner styles:

_SLOFUNK - Slow Sw16 Pop Funk Groove
_LO-FI - Lo-Fi Hip Hop Beat w Acst Guitar
_MEGABYT - Megabyte Electro RnB with Loop
_CHILLHP3 - Chill Hop Slow Brush Break Loop
_WESTCST - Classic West Coast Rap
_CERASEE - Cerasee Island Dance Pop
_GOSTEDY - Go Steady Modern RnB with Perc
_GLITTER - Glitter Modern Disco Funk
_SHIMMY - Shimmy Modern Funk Pop
_SLAPPIN - Slappin' Acoustic Guitar Pop

Rounding out the top 20:

_ECHOING - Echoing Indie Synth Pop w Guitar
_UNKNOWN - Unknown Sw-16 Funky Folk Groove
_REBIRTH - Rebirth Fingerstyle Pop Ballad
_PURSUIT - Pursuit Modern Soul Pop
_SNAPPY - Snappy Even-16 Summer Pop Ballad
_SLUMAMP - Slumber Amplitube Pedal Steel
_TRPBEAT - Minimalist Trap Beat
_BABYBLU - Baby Blue Radio Pop with Piano
_SURVIVE - Survive Alternative RnB w Synths
_CANDLE - Candle Slow Dramatic Cloud Rap

Modern country/folk/Americana styles:

_UNIVERS - Universe Pop Country Ballad
_FULMOON - Full Moon Ctry Folk Radio Ballad
_AFTRHRS - After Hours Lounging Country Pop
_SOLACE - Solace Quarter-Feel Country
_PASSION - Passion Hit Country Pop Ballad
_BURROW - Burrow Lite Southern Rock Rhythm
_LAJOLLA - La Jolla West Coast Ctry Ballad
_MDWEST+ - Midwest Country Folk MultiStyle
_FIXATE - Fixate 6/8 Americana Country


Hi Jareth
Thanks a lot.
Together with link to Soundbetter and Jet tracks this is really a work around in learning from those tracks as inspiration and using BB as far as possible .
I will be looking forward to more extra styles packs and loop packs


Edited by stratos (03/19/21 01:56 AM)

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#647508 - 03/19/21 03:32 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 05/29/00
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PeterGannon Offline
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Posts: 14555
Lazarus,
Thanks for the list of song examples, that gives us good examples of the genres you’re looking for. We plan on making some realtracks and realstyles dedicated to some of the modern pop genres, especially the melodic/chord progression based ones.
Peter
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#647523 - 03/19/21 05:43 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
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Thank you, Peter. I am very pleased to hear that.

From what Jareth wrote, I think multistyles may be the best way to achieve this, to make BIAB the preferred tool for writing modern pop music. A good set of contemporary pop multistyles that sound like the chart pop songs on my list would be worth buying. Especially if there were good tutorial videos on how to get the best from them in BIAB.

I think you are right to focus on the melodic/chord progression based songs because this is what BIAB does so well in its existing well-developed styles. My song list was intended to demonstrate that the musical content of these modern pop songs - chords, melody, structure - is very similar to older pop songs that we all know and love. All that's different is the style - and the production standards required in the industry today to get your songs listened to. It's not like the old days, when you could send a publisher cassettes recorded on a 4 track recorder.

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#647657 - 03/20/21 07:22 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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For your new contemporary pop styles to be authentic, I suggest you get input from people for whom this kind of songwriting and production is their first language. The reason BIAB realtracks are so good is that they are performed by musicians who are native speakers on their instrument and genre. Having sampled the existing 'modern pop' styles, I would respectfully and gently suggest that contemporary chart pop has been rather like a foreign language to PG up to now!

If PG staff would like to familiarise themselves with the techniques of deconstructing hit pop songs and recreating them (reverse engineering), may I recommend the Make Pop Music free channel on Youtube?

These tutorials are by Austin Hull, who is very busy producing other people's pop songs as well as his own. He is very generous in passing on his expertise in producing different pop genres. Some of his tutorials come with free stems that you can download to produce yourself. They also give a good idea of the elements needed to make a production ready to submit within the music industry.

Here are a few of his tutorials to get you started. There are many more on his channel.

How To Produce A Pop Song In 10 Steps
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4YixkCxZk8

How to analyze and deconstruct pop songs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z40mY1JC2FI

How to Make an Ariana Grande Song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtxwsA1iAnY

How To Make A Pop Ballad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irjUUwUM70Q

How To Make A Mellow Pop Song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr6vf6t3kxY

How to Make a Taylor Swift Song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_cmSbb3gC4

How To Make A Song Like The Weeknd (Blinding Lights, In Your Eyes, Faith)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2d3y58rSYU&t=550s

How To Make Funk / Disco Pop (Charlie Puth, Dua Lipa, DNCE, Doja Cat)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI4rzNsTv_o

How To Make A Trap Pop Song (blackbear, Post Malone, The Weeknd) + FREE STEMS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fHPVQnX8Ew

I hope these links might also be of interest to other BIAB songwriter users.

Also on Youtube, you can find Billie Eilish's brother talking about how he produces Billie's songs and people like Charlie Puth demonstrating how he wrote and arranged some of his songs. (His song River was on my list).

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#647684 - 03/20/21 10:08 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 12828
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VideoTrack Offline
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This is certainly some excellent reference material that you have identified.

Many users could benefit from that info.
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#647696 - 03/20/21 11:38 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Jim Fogle Offline
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Lazarus,

Thanks for taking time to share your suggestions and links supporting your suggestions. This has been an interesting and fun discussion.
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#647707 - 03/20/21 12:40 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Posts: 3083
I am really excited by the prospects being discussed in this thread! I am starting to watch the suggested videos and I am listening to a sampling of the tracks at jetracks.com.

I agree that multistyles may be a productive direction for this! I was also thinking a suggestion I (and perhaps others) made in the past that might be great here is the concept of RealStyleCombos. This would be PGM pairing up two or more styles that work well together and making them as easily selectable as a RealStyle. This lets us capitalize on what we already have.

Something else really useful might be RealSongTemplates. This would be a premade song with intro, verse, prechorus, chorus, verse, prechorus, chorus, bridge and final chorus. Each section would come with preselected sections so intro would be an A then verse an B and so on.

And maybe the part markers could be standardized with levels 1-5 where 1 is the "quietest" section used for verses and 5 is the "loudest" used for final chorus.

It would be great to have these "premade" sections draggable so I could build my song with them.

I'm straying too far from the topic now ao I'll stop! laugh

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#648116 - 03/23/21 11:22 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 382
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
Tobin - PG Music Inc. Online   content
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Posts: 382
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Hi Lazarus,

Your posts have been extremely helpful, and yes, making more new modern-pop/RnB/EDM styles would be an excellent idea.

The song list you posted above is a really good resource for the kinds of styles we could add. The next step of course would be finding musicians/producers who would be the best choices for making this kind of music. Sites like Jettracks look like they're more geared towards just selling you pre-made tracks, but the site isn't really suitable for putting producers actually in touch with clients. I also looked a bit into the songtown site you mentioned, but it also doesn't necessarily seem to lend itself to putting producers in touch with clients. There was a site called Soundbetter that does seem to be geared towards this, so that may be one route we could take, but I was wondering if you (or anyone else in this thread) might have other suggestions for where we should look to find producers/musicians we could work with. Perhaps other forums you might know of where people like this may frequent?

thanks,
Tobin
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#648124 - 03/23/21 11:55 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Tobin - PG Music Inc.]
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Jim Fogle Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tobin - PG Music Inc.
Hi Lazarus,

Your posts have been extremely helpful, and yes, making more new modern-pop/RnB/EDM styles would be an excellent idea.

The song list you posted above is a really good resource for the kinds of styles we could add. The next step of course would be finding musicians/producers who would be the best choices for making this kind of music. Sites like Jettracks look like they're more geared towards just selling you pre-made tracks, but the site isn't really suitable for putting producers actually in touch with clients. I also looked a bit into the songtown site you mentioned, but it also doesn't necessarily seem to lend itself to putting producers in touch with clients. There was a site called Soundbetter that does seem to be geared towards this, so that may be one route we could take, but I was wondering if you (or anyone else in this thread) might have other suggestions for where we should look to find producers/musicians we could work with. Perhaps other forums you might know of where people like this may frequent?

thanks,
Tobin
Charlie Puth is self produced.

Louis Russell Bell is Post Malone's producer.

Matthew Tyler Musto, Blackbear, is self produced.

Ian Kirkpatrick is Dua Lipa's producer.

Max Martin, Oscar Holter & The Weeknd have produced Blinding Lights.

Let me know if you need more names.
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#648140 - 03/23/21 12:49 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Rustyspoon# Offline
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Tobin,
www.fiverr.com
Is a good place to start.

I had success hiring a flutist for short User Track. Done from the first attempt. Turnaround for me was about a week. There are many, many musicians there for hire with samples of their work and reviews. It is most likely some of them would be able to make quality tracks "in style of / inspired by".

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#648142 - 03/23/21 01:01 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 382
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Tobin - PG Music Inc. Online   content
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Thanks for the reply Jim. It would certainly be cool to get famous producers like the ones you listed, but I more had in mind finding a source of lower-profile producers who do this kind of music but aren't necessarily attached to big names.
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#648143 - 03/23/21 01:02 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Rustyspoon#]
Registered: 09/11/02
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Tobin - PG Music Inc. Online   content
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Rustyspoon, thanks, that's an excellent idea!
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#648164 - 03/23/21 03:24 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
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Lazarus Online   content
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Hi Tobin,

Thanks for your interest and for your question.

My strong recommendation would be that Austin Hull from Make Pop Music should be your first port of call. I have posted several of his Youtube instructional videos earlier in this thread. I suggest you watch them, and the others on his site, before you approach him. You will see that he is extremely adept at deconstructing the various sub-genres of pop music and developing songs in that style. He is very busy producing pop for his clients 'in the style of...' and creating his instructional videos. He also makes and sells sounds, presets, MIDI packs and other songwriting tools.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvARrwO4x0VInVZr4pQRB2A

Austin could be a one-stop-shop for PG's first contemporary pop multistyles set, covering several sub-genres.

The really exciting thing would be a collaboration with him that would enable the full range of BIAB's features to be used in the service of contemporary pop songwriters (and maybe even develop some new features along the way). Utility tracks, loops, shots, holds, transitions, proper pop-style harmony vocals in commonly-used vowels & phrases that have been processed through Austin's stunningly effective custom FX chain...

If you commissioned Austin to create a set of multistyles based on the songs in my list, each with a full song demo to show off the style properly - I would be BREAKING YOUR DOOR DOWN to buy it!

But if you were to limit it to standard 5 instrument styles, I think that would be a missed opportunity. This is a chance for PG to think big and reach a whole new market (if you do it properly).

I suggest you also commission Austin to make some instructional videos for the pop multistyles set and to introduce new, younger customers to BIAB. His videos are brilliant and concise - the most comprehensive and respected in this genre.

This forum thread has had about 750 views from existing BIAB users who check out the forum wishlist. There is clearly an appetite for what I am suggesting in your existing customers but... Austin's Make Pop Music Youtube channel has 109,000 subscribers. If he promoted his BIAB styles set to them, you would be inundated with new customers! It would be a very quick way to get BIAB known as a serious contender for songwriters in this genre.

I should make it clear that I don't know him personally; like many others, I have been wowed by his 'in the style of' pop genre instructional videos. I'm not always such a fan of all the songs he uses in his tutorials (lyric, melody and chord choices) but his genre deconstructions and recreations are flawless and completely authentic. And that's all you need.

What I have always wanted from BIAB is for it to be like a car, which I can go to when I have the inspiration for a new song. I want to be able to get in it, grab an instantly drivable style and drive uninterrupted to my destination of a finished song. I provide the lyric, chords and melody... Austin's pop style can provide all the stuff under the hood. BIAB users working in genres like blues, jazz, country and oompah have always had that, whereas I get lost in the search for a contemporary pop needle in my haystack of 5,000 styles!

I had a private message from a longtime BIAB user who works in its conventional styles and thinks they're great. He told me that he'd made a Spotify playlist of all the songs in my list and been surprised to find that he liked all 28 of them!

The most important asset that Austin would bring to PG is that contemporary pop music IS HIS NATIVE LANGUAGE; he is a fluent speaker of all the sub-genres and he is already doing what PG would want from him - it just needs to be applied to BIAB.

I hope this helps. I would be happy to advise further during the development process, if required.

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#649389 - 03/31/21 03:28 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 735
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DeaconBlues09 Offline
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Registered: 03/21/17
Posts: 735
Loc: Eilat, Israel
Hey there folks,

So last September I accepted a new position where I have much, much, less free time than I used to, so I've not been hanging out in the forums in ages (I barely had time to play around with BiaB 2021). Anyway, I've had a bit of time free this week because we got off for the week of Passover (I live in Israel), and chanced upon this when relaxing on my couch browsing through these posts.

For most the vast majority of years I owned BiaB, I used it as a jamalong/instructional/practice tool for playing guitar and bass, and would have agreed with Lazarus's take on this.

However, at some point a couple years back (when I still had a lot more free time) I started getting more interested in music production techniques, VSTs, MIDI etc, and have since realized that it is the way BiaB is used that determines what you get out of it.

For instance, in this snippet, I had a single instance of a Rompler VST that is often on sale for $5 on plugin boutique, and figured out certain settings whereby I got all the sounds you hear on this EDM snippet from loading it onto a single held chord MIDI track.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSJTQSI12gw

As for RTs, you can also get amazing modern sounding results with a bit of DAW, VST, and production know how.

I recorded this track for one of PG's contests. I'm not saying it's great, I can't rap for [*****], and I unfortunately rendered this with a tiny playback speed drift on one of the tracks I could not figure out at the time how to fix, but you have to admit that this sounds as modern as you please and it contains nary a loop nor MIDI track.

Interested to hear your thoughts and whether you agree with me in that regard,

https://soundcloud.com/user-423212678/labor-day-pt-ii-1

P.S. Missed you guys!
P.P.S. Also wondering what awesome magical utilities, apps, extensions, Pipeline has been coming up with these days ;-)
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#649426 - 03/31/21 08:45 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: DeaconBlues09]
Registered: 08/20/11
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Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Posts: 7212
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DeaconBlues09,

First, great to see you posting in the forum again. You've been missed!

Quote:
it is the way BiaB is used that determines what you get out of it.


How true. Band-in-a-Box is a toolbox. The tools are here but you have to learn how to use it to get the results you want. Band-in-a-Box works with MIDI, MIDI sound patches, audio loops, pre-recorded audio and audio you can record. That pretty much covers the content portion of the audio production tool kit. It's up to each user to learn to use these tools. You listen to a genre, you analyze that genre, you learn what makes the genre unique, you imitate what you've learned.

Band-in-a-Box styles provides some audio production presets to get you started but you still have to put in the work and learn how to produce your music your way.
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Desktop: i7 Win 10 build 2004, 12GB ram 256GB SSD, 4 TB HDD
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Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#649429 - 03/31/21 09:09 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 382
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
Tobin - PG Music Inc. Online   content
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Lazarus,

Regarding your last post, that was incredibly useful, and pointing me to the MakePopMusic videos was very helpful. We're continuing to look into this. Modern pop music, edm, etc. does provide some challenges for Band-in-a-Box that more traditional musical instruments don't have, but we're definitely working on this.

DeaconBlues09, that was a great video! And yeah, as I was listening I was watching the mixer, and yes the playing just occurred at the beginning of every bar, so everything I was hearing was all done with your plugins. Very cool!
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#649465 - 03/31/21 01:50 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Lazarus Online   content
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Hi Tobin,

I'm glad you found my last post useful and I'm very pleased to hear that you are working on this.

In this thread, I have been talking about modern pop chart SONGS rather than EDM. I think EDM would be more of a challenge for BIAB whereas all the songs in my list are proper chord/melody songs (quite conventional but in a modern style).

There are many other tools out there that are more suited to EDM, like Scaler 2, Arcade and Loopmaster. That's not to say that BIAB shouldn't have a go at EDM at some point if PG wants to but, as Peter Gannon indicated earlier in this thread, "Thanks for the list of song examples, that gives us good examples of the genres you’re looking for. We plan on making some realtracks and realstyles dedicated to some of the modern pop genres, especially the melodic/chord progression based ones."

I have found that Scaler and Arcade are not so helpful for pop songwriting and can't compete with the core functionality that BIAB offers.

As a longtime BIAB user and upgrader, I find the way PG bundles together styles from different genres as an incentive to upgrade doesn't work for me. I have so many styles now, in everything but contemporary pop, that more styles actually makes things worse because there are so many to wade through (and oompah and celtic styles seem to evade your filters... I can't get away from them cluttering up my searches!)

There are some excellent realtracks and drums that are very useable for pop and they are what I'm usually searching for (I rarely use all the instruments from a style). It would be great if these could be grouped together by PG, maybe under some foolproof search filter term, to help us find them easily (and close alternatives). That could be another step in making BIAB more useful and accessible to contemporary pop songwriters.

I agree with Jim and DeaconBlues that BIAB is a toolbox but, if PG wants to attract a new generation of users, it needs to pull all the elements together and make them easily accessible. There's no point in having 1000 loops if you have to wade through them alphabetically. I want BIAB to make pop songwriting a quicker process; at the moment it makes it longer for me, wading through so many options and generally not finding what I want (though there may well be lots of useable tracks for pop there in that haystack of 5,000 styles... somewhere!)

There are what I have referred to earlier in this thread as 'sub-genres' within contemporary pop - and Austin Hull deconstructs these very well - but they are primarily pop songs with a FLAVOUR (sorry, English spelling!) of another genre e.g. pop with a Trap flavour, rather than full-on hardcore Trap. So I suggest your first contemporary pop styles set should concentrate on Chart Pop, in different pop flavours, rather than try to appeal to purist EDM, Trap and House aficionados all at once.



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#649542 - 03/31/21 11:47 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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DeaconBlues09 Offline
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"As a longtime BIAB user and upgrader, I find the way PG bundles together styles from different genres as an incentive to upgrade doesn't work for me. I have so many styles now, in everything but contemporary pop, that more styles actually makes things worse because there are so many to wade through (and oompah and celtic styles seem to evade your filters... I can't get away from them cluttering up my searches!)"

OK, so let me preface this by saying that I have been fairly outspoken in these forums over the years regarding my frustrations and issues with various aspects of BiaB over the years, and I'm by no means what one would call a "BiaB apologist."

That said, I respectfully disagree with you about the Celtic, Klezmer, Americana, etc. First of all, you have to keep in mind that there are many, many, users who, like myself, mainly use the program as a learning and practice tool. These folks are not likely to be active on the forums or post to the showcase, because they're focus lies elsewhere.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am personally with the diversity of styles that BiaB has helped me learn (both guitar and bass, but mostly bass). Now am I ever going to join a band that plays anyone of the myriad Latin/South American influenced styles in a band setting or at an open mic jam session? Almost certainly not.

HOWEVER, learning the grooves and unique fingerings, patterns, and not placement from all those styles has made me a much more rounded player, and I frequently surprise myself at how I subconsciously pull in various elements of those styles during "plain vanilla" jam sessions to kick it up a notch and keep things interesting (the drummers notice too!)




There are some excellent realtracks and drums that are very useable for pop and they are what I'm usually searching for (I rarely use all the instruments from a style). It would be great if these could be grouped together by PG, maybe under some foolproof search filter term, to help us find them easily (and close alternatives). That could be another step in making BIAB more useful and accessible to contemporary pop songwriters.


I agree with Jim and DeaconBlues that BIAB is a toolbox but, if PG wants to attract a new generation of users, it needs to pull all the elements together and make them easily accessible. There's no point in having 1000 loops if you have to wade through them alphabetically. I want BIAB to make pop songwriting a quicker process; at the moment it makes it longer for me, wading through so many options and generally not finding what I want (though there may well be lots of useable tracks for pop there in that haystack of 5,000 styles... somewhere!)

There are what I have referred to earlier in this thread as 'sub-genres' within contemporary pop - and Austin Hull deconstructs these very well - but they are primarily pop songs with a FLAVOUR (sorry, English spelling!) of another genre e.g. pop with a Trap flavour, rather than full-on hardcore Trap. So I suggest your first contemporary pop styles set should concentrate on Chart Pop, in different pop flavours, rather than try to appeal to purist EDM, Trap and House aficionados all at once.
[/quote]

Again, I must respectfully disagree with you here. It is upon the user to delve into BiaB and learn all its secrets, and its up to the songwriter/producer, to construct a track. I think that slicing and categorizing all the tracks and styles into genres and subgenres is very limiting. It is precisely the expanded pallete of styles and influences that you laud in our earlier posts that make BiaB the tool of infinite potential which you cannot get from Scaler 2, Captain Plugins, et al.

I've seen a lot of posts over the years requesting this or that style, and often find myself quite surprised that the underlying instrumentation is already represented in spades in the current BiaB catalogue of tracks.
In that vein, I checked out a bunch of the tracks you listed, and was surprised because I initially thought they would be Trap/EDM style chart toppers, but the instrumentals were actually already within BiaB's capabilities (that is, not MIDI Synth VST heavy music).

That the BiaB styles don't sound "production ready" is IMO is a feature, not a bug. They are leaving it to the user to decide what effects would sound best with what tracks. I've noticed that in later years, PGM has started to apply phaser, chorus, and creative delay effects to their tracks (perhaps as a gentle way of demonstrating to the users of how much effects can enhance a track). Try sticking a multiband compressor and your drum, bass, and or master track and see how it comes to life with a bit of tweaking. BiaB could add all sorts of glossy effects to the individual tracks which would make them sound a lot "better" but the frequencies might clash when various tracks are mixed and matched.

In short, I believe that to wrote a great song with BiaB, one should to get familiar with production and arrangement techniques, and perhaps they would find everything they need is already there. (Full disclosure, I do not claim to be a great songwriter, arranger, or producer or anything of the sort, but I've spent a lot of time in recent years watching videos on music production such that I have a basic understanding of the vast possibilities a little bit of knowledge of plugins, a DAW, effects, and proper mixing and arranging can make).

Just my two cents...
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#649572 - 04/01/21 05:00 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: DeaconBlues09]
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justanoldmuso Offline
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Deacon blues.
i agree with a lot of what your saying.
i remember in my teens when i started on my crazy song creation lifelong journey, a very astute number of serious musicians telling me the realities of song creation.
ie "each song is a load of often detailed hours upon hours of work". and often a "struggle".
(and i'm not saying i'm any good at it !)

there are no "shortcuts" or magic tools imho.

what i find interesting is , and ive discussed this with many musicians way better than i , the "psychological"
impact of a song on the "listener".
ie what makes a listener go out and buy a song ?
and why can a listener listen to certain songs a thousand times and still look forward to playing it ?
ive studied this at length from the psychology of the mind angle. and believe certain progressions and hooks are a contributing major factor.

best
oldmuso.
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#649626 - 04/01/21 09:53 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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To Lazarus: THANK YOU for bringing this topic to life and bringing excellent advice along with plenty of examples to back up your viewpoints!

To PGM (PeterGannon, Jareth, Tobin): THANK YOU SO MUCH for listening, participating in the discussion, for checking out the advice/examples and for planning to study and implement some of this!

To the BIAB-Can-Already-Do-That Club: I know you are well-meaning and I get that BIAB is a toolbox. But so is my closet full of guitars! So is my PC full of virtual instrument samples! Why in the world would I need BIAB then? Simple, because BIAB can do a LOT MORE than just be a toolbox!

As an example, I have a banjo I play reasonably well, a mandolin I can noodle about on and a fiddle not so much. I could literally spend the rest of my life learning these instruments and never be able to produce the high quality bluegrass song that BIAB can do in a matter of minutes!

I could give the same example for country and for jazz and for classic rock. BIAB goes WAY BEYOND being a toolbox when it comes to these genres! Way beyond!

What I think Lazarus is asking for, and what I and others would love to see, is for BIAB to be able to create modern sounding pop music as easily as it can produce bluegrass, country, jazz and classic rock. This would be a HUGE selling point to modern music producers. And HUGE value to those of us trying to produce more modern music.

And the answer is NOT "BIAB can already do that" or "just dive deep enough and you can figure it out"! I have sampled so many songs in the showcase here and haven't found anything that sounds modern (post a link if you think I'm wrong!) There is a bunch of really great music there, built with BIAB's tried and true functionality (as well as skill and talent of the artists). But IMHO nothing that compares to the songs on the list Lazarus provided earlier in this discussion. Someone in this discussion claimed they replicated 5 modern songs in less than an hour but were not able to share that work. I would still like to hear those examples!

I am extremely excited about the potential here and appreciative of the interest expressed by PGM!

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#649637 - 04/01/21 11:24 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
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DeaconBlues09 Offline
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All right John X3, I'll bite.

Pick one song from the list.



Edited by DeaconBlues09 (04/01/21 11:24 AM)
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#649654 - 04/01/21 02:04 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: DeaconBlues09]
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: DeaconBlues09
All right John X3, I'll bite.

Pick one song from the list.


Well DB09, nothing to bite! laugh Take an hour or so and listen to all of the songs on Lazarus' list. This will give you a good intro to the modern pop music he is describing. I was familiar with maybe 3 or 4 of these; I enjoyed them all. And they all have a modern sound. And I have yet to find a way to produce comparable modern-sounding songs with BIAB. I'm sure BIAB can be useful as part of a toolbox to produce bits and pieces I could use to build a modern pop song in my DAW but what I am hoping for is for BIAB to get us closer to a modern pop song in the same way it does with bluegrass, country, jazz and classic rock.

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#649731 - 04/02/21 03:52 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Pipeline Offline
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I read this first post but didn't go through all the others.
See here:
https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=613412

There is something called UserTracks for this reason. Look at the link, I got in contact with Chris and he was interested in creating commercial UserTracks and is currently working on them.
I'm sure if you contact artists they would be interested in creating UserTracks to post, I don't think you can expect PG to cater for everything.
The PG community needs to encourage this, I posted this around BUT there were only 2 replies to the link above.
You can contact session players and let them know.
There are tools like JJazzLab that will open UserTrack Templates SGUs and use any Yamaha keyboard style to play them.
This will let the session players open the UserTrack Template and save to Midi file, this will be dropped into their DAW, AND because I asked JJazzLab to export midi with midi chord marker names they will have the chords in their DAW and be able to record to the Yamaha Style !
Now, if you want to keep asking PG year in year out you can, BUT if you contribute to what I talked about things WILL happen, but how it is now no one out there knows about creating commercial UserTracks to sell to Biab customers the only way they will find out is if you email them.
Send them a link to JJazzLab and a link to PG Download UserTrack Templates halfway down page not the 1min ones they are useless,
Yamaha Styles download for JJazLab
Click on any keyboard on the left hand side:
https://psrtutorial.com/sty/yamaha/index.html
more:
http://www.jososoft.dk/yamaha/stylesites.htm

When the session musicians post their UserTrack creation, if you support them it will support more UserTracks being made, more interest, maybe more people buying Biab & BBPlugin, more development put into UserTrack features by PG.
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#649799 - 04/02/21 01:21 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Interesting addition to the convo Pipeline.

But this approach requires finding music producers who are willing/able to learn to use BIAB/UserTracks. And it assumes that UserTracks are complete, usable, documented and relatively free of bugs. Is that the case at this time?

And then beyond all that we still wouldn't gain any RealStyles that would help a "regular" BIAB user to produce modern pop music.

I'm still excited about the potential of UserTracks but this thread is yielding very positive results in moving forward with adding new, modern styles to BIAB.

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#649815 - 04/02/21 03:09 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
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Pipeline Offline
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"Third Party" is what it needs, third party RealStyles, RealDrums and because you don't have third party RealTracks we have UserTracks, sure as I said they still need fixing but you need the popularity for this to happen. There are third party EZkey/Drums & Bass libraries, third party Kontakt libraries.
"But this approach requires finding music producers who are willing/able to learn to use BIAB/UserTracks. "
The first session player I contacted about this said yes so is it worth contacting more ?
I bet ya if I contacted drummers or drum sites now and I gave them all the info I made for pg users here
https://www.realband.org/tutorial-drums1.html
https://www.realband.org/tutorial-drums2.html
they would be in on it.
I can do this now and I'm sure I would get a lot of others interested and doing it, but I'm a bit worn out these days from constant giving out frown So that's why I'm trying to encourage other here to do this.

Using "Styles", a producer way back told me that all Biab songs sound the same, I think this is because they use a style out of the box add vocals and that's it. I work with musicians that have done this, I thought that sounds good but then you hear the exact same style someone else has used for their song, so using out of the box styles I don't think is good, I think with all the RT/RD you should make up your own unique style for you own songs.
The poster said about using EZkeys and UJAM etc.. this would make it more unique.
What about a Dice that will create up a unique style from chosen range of inputs ?
Generate Style > Play > don't like > Generate Style > Play ....

I posted this elsewhere about how EZBass/Drummer has a search for same phrase and tap2find,
I said I could generate up all RealDrumCharts (midi) and put them into EZDrummer and I would instantly find the RealDrum I need same with all the RealBassCharts.
The same can be done with other instruments RealCharts.
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#649820 - 04/02/21 03:58 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Rustyspoon# Offline
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JJJ,
I suggested User Tracks in my reply to Lazarus...second reply to this tread.
No, a musician does not have to know or have BIAB to do User Tracks. They are not complicated to make, once you do one. I have compiled one (with pipeline's help). recorded by a gentleman from Fiverr. He never heard of BIAB. Came out from first try. It was just a short, simple thing that I needed. So instead of making him play something particular, I decided to do a User Track, so I can change things if I needed. You can try it:
https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=609080#Post609080

Personally I think User Tracks have Huge potential. Why? Because if you find the right boys or girls, it can happen within days and be specific to your particular needs. And consider this... unlike traditional genres, Cont.Pop relies heavily on synths. If musician can do it once, they can change things relatively fast, unlike acoustic or electric instruments.
Also, there are great thousands of contemporary genre midi things, paid and free that can sound as good as your synth is, which can be incorporated in BIAB arrangement.

PG music has deep connections in music world, and seems there is a hint of commitment to do Pop oriented things. Hopefully we will see them in a form of pack or a set.

P.S. One last thing. I had requested it in the past (RT request section), but since this grew to something more than just simple "wish", I will add this: I believe it is a good idea to add a straight rhythm, non jazz or soloist Brass / Woodwinds tracks that can be used for Pop music. While there are some very cool winds available, I find choices suitable for Pop very slim. Brass/Winds are special instruments, that are very hard to "program" they need to be played. Just saying smile

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#649825 - 04/02/21 04:29 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Pipeline Offline
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Pity you can't make MidiUserTracks.

Originally Posted By: Lazarus
.. I spend more time now in things like EZ Keys and various UJAM drum and string programs....

You can create UserTracks with Toontrack and UJAM,
whatever you are using for your pop styles just make them into UserTracks then make your own styles in Biab using these UserTracks.
This maybe a quicker way to as these will just generate up rather than keying chords in EZKeys.
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#649842 - 04/02/21 05:51 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Pipeline]
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
we have UserTracks, sure as I said they still need fixing but you need the popularity for this to happen

Sounds like a catch-22. If they need fixing how do they gain popularity?

Quote:
But this approach requires finding music producers who are willing/able to learn to use BIAB/UserTracks. I can do this now and I'm sure I would get a lot of others interested and doing it, but I'm a bit worn out these days from constant giving out frown So that's why I'm trying to encourage other here to do this.

Who here, other than you, would even know where to start with this? Most of us just want to use BIAB to create music and don't know much about the internal workings aside from a few work-arounds we know to get our desired results.

I love your enthusiasm and your technical expertise but I just feel we have a better shot at near-term results by PGM implementing some modern pop styles based on studying modern pop songs. Nothing at all says we cannot do both though so if someone can convince some producers to create UserTracks I'd love to evaluate those and might even buy some if they were of the same quality I get from PGM.

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#649844 - 04/02/21 06:00 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Rustyspoon#]
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Rustyspoon#
I suggested User Tracks in my reply to Lazarus...second reply to this tread.
No, a musician does not have to know or have BIAB to do User Tracks. They are not complicated to make, once you do one. I have compiled one (with pipeline's help). recorded by a gentleman from Fiverr. He never heard of BIAB. Came out from first try. It was just a short, simple thing that I needed. So instead of making him play something particular, I decided to do a User Track, so I can change things if I needed. You can try it:
https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=609080#Post609080

I tried it. Very interesting. And perhaps useful if you needed that for a project.

Quote:
Personally I think User Tracks have Huge potential. Why? Because if you find the right boys or girls, it can happen within days and be specific to your particular needs. And consider this... unlike traditional genres, Cont.Pop relies heavily on synths. If musician can do it once, they can change things relatively fast, unlike acoustic or electric instruments.

I am also intrigued by UserTracks and hoped they would take off big time. I believe they have not though. Why is that? Did the fiverr guy you used express any interest in becoming a UserTrack entrepreneur and creating libraries of these for sale? Is anyone creating UserTracks today? Is this feature fully implemented and relatively bug-free? I honestly do not know the answers to these questions.

Quote:
Also, there are great thousands of contemporary genre midi things, paid and free that can sound as good as your synth is, which can be incorporated in BIAB arrangement.

If you are suggesting UserTracks could be created using other virtual instruments I have always viewed that as piracy. For example, NI sells tons of synths and other virtual instrument libraries for me to use royalty free in my songs. If I take one of their libraries and convert it into a UserTrack for my own use that is probably not a problem. But if I take one of their libraries and convert it into a UserTrack to sell to others for use in their songs, I believe I have simply repackaged their intellectual property and resold it. But maybe that was not even what you were suggesting. smile

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#649859 - 04/02/21 07:57 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Rustyspoon# Offline
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"Did the fiverr guy you used express any interest in becoming a UserTrack entrepreneur and creating libraries of these for sale?"
He was "for hire", and I am sure he would agree to do a 30 min template or longer User Track. I just do not have the funds to sponsor a few hours of his time. BUT....If there was an interest from 5-10 people who would want a few Indian flute UserTracks that would chip in, it would be totally doable. If you are interested in Indian flute (I think they can play Pop style), find few more people that are willing to chip in and we can try asking. If they are not overbooked, I think they will gladly do it. Some instruments that I would gladly chip in to make UTs are:
Flute (classical / ethnic)
Reggae Guitars / Bass
Cello
Sax (even rhythm parts / licks)

----

"If you are suggesting UserTracks could be created using other virtual instruments I have always viewed that as piracy."
If you are are creating / programming your own content, using "paid for" sounds, I believe it should play well with copyright trolls (dont quote me on this). If somebody plays and records on Gybsoon branded guitar and sells chops, does he pay royalty to Gybsoon brand for using their instrument... that he bought? These days.. I do not know. However It should be totally fine that you can use them (User Tracks)for your "personal" self, creating your music.

Also, there are whole buncha of musicians that create midi style files for pay. Unique / on demand. Intro,chorus,verse, breaks and all that good stuff.

In any case, I am not suggesting that PG catalog should not include Cont.Pop, or modernize picker to sift and sort all kinds of data more effectively, I am just sharing an opinion that there are other options available which have their own benefits and can be integrated in BIAB workflow.

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#649871 - 04/02/21 09:38 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Rustyspoon#]
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Rustyspoon#
"Did the fiverr guy you used express any interest in becoming a UserTrack entrepreneur and creating libraries of these for sale?"
He was "for hire", and I am sure he would agree to do a 30 min template or longer User Track. I just do not have the funds to sponsor a few hours of his time. BUT....If there was an interest from 5-10 people who would want a few Indian flute UserTracks that would chip in, it would be totally doable. If you are interested in Indian flute (I think they can play Pop style), find few more people that are willing to chip in and we can try asking. If they are not overbooked, I think they will gladly do it.

I may have misunderstood you. I think Pipeline was suggesting we find producers who would take the initiative to produce UserTracks with an eye toward selling them. I thought you were suggesting these chaps for that. As for hiring them I have no need or incentive to do so at this time.

Quote:
"If you are suggesting UserTracks could be created using other virtual instruments I have always viewed that as piracy."
If you are are creating / programming your own content, using "paid for" sounds, I believe it should play well with copyright trolls (dont quote me on this). If somebody plays and records on Gybsoon branded guitar and sells chops, does he pay royalty to Gybsoon brand for using their instrument... that he bought? These days.. I do not know. However It should be totally fine that you can use them (User Tracks)for your "personal" self, creating your music.

Playing the instrument is not a good example. A better example would be you buy libraries from someone like NI and then you reformat their libraries and resell them as...wait for it...libraries! Someone here was doing that for awhile when UserTracks first came out and we had several discussions about it. I expect it would be fine for personal use and even selling as long as you were very low profile and selling very few. But the day your sales jumped and NI discovered you had simply reformatted their intellectual property into UserTrack "libraries" I think you'd get the cease & desist letter!

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#649872 - 04/02/21 10:22 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 6296
Pipeline Offline
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I don't think anyone was selling UserTracks, there were UserTracks made using IKMultimedia for the sound from the Midi tracks then someone said something about it so that users deleted them, but when I contacted IK they said this was fine to share the files made from your midi with other users but if they were making a sample library from IK and selling it this was not. As users can't extract a sample library from the userstracks and remove the reverb, it's like extracting paint from a painting to create new paintings.

I asked them to put a change UserTrack in F5 this will work for Holds but they just need to enable UT again to keep playing where a Hold Shot is as you can mute it manually if need be (or in the new Bar window highlight, right click and mute), this will allow you to change to the Hold UTs with Holds on different beats.
It is messing around but when you've asked for UT Holds for 7 years..
Another is a Don't Transpose UT option.
The other option is create the UserTrack up in Reaper as it will let you have Holds Shots Rests, then drag it into a Util track, and it won't transpose them unless you do it manually.
I think it's the whole reason I made the ReaTrack for Reaper, to do things you are not allowed to do in Biab & RealBand.

Going by the views below there is lot of interest and lot of disappointment.


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#650104 - 04/04/21 04:23 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Pipeline]
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Pipeline Offline
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I though I would try UserTracks in BB21.
So I download Guitar, Nylon, Picking, Pop Slow Ev8 85 that is listed up on https://www.realband.org/guitars.html

First Gen results
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tklvp4gh8eaq5z3/BB21-UserTrack-Test.mp4?dl=0

The main problem with UTs is they are in the RealTracks folder on the Biab Hard Drive so when you get the new version of Biab you format the old hard drive and they are lost so you need to download them all again frown


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#651276 - 04/13/21 04:38 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Pipeline]
Registered: 10/16/08
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Lazarus Online   content
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"You can create UserTracks with Toontrack and UJAM,
whatever you are using for your pop styles just make them into UserTracks then make your own styles in Biab using these UserTracks.
This maybe a quicker way to as these will just generate up rather than keying chords in EZKeys."

Pipeline's assertion that you can turn EZ Keys and UJAM instruments into BIAB User Tracks is tantalising.

Is it a real thing? That would be more useful than just using EZ Keys and UJAM instruments themselves? If so, please explain how.

I would want the full range of chords and am not interested in doing 30 minutes of playing to get that.

If it's as easy as you suggest, I'm sure lots of BIAB users would love to do it so please let us know how!

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#651319 - 04/13/21 11:04 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 382
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
Tobin - PG Music Inc. Online   content
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Posts: 382
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As was discussed previously, new modern pop RealTracks is a great idea, and is something we'll definitely be working on this year.

One thing I wanted to point out was that in the initial list of modern pop tunes, someone made the point that we don't have styles in the vein of ANY of those examples. We've looked through our existing styles, and there are actually quite a few of those song examples for which there are very similar Band-in-a-Box styles. Now, just to be clear it's never our intention to duplicated parts from an existing song, but rather to put together more generic tracks in the same genre/groove, so that's the point with this demonstration as well.

blackbear - hot girl bummer: https://youtu.be/LVYXA96D31w?t=70
similar Band-in-a-Box style: https://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/allstyledemos2/_POLRDAY.m4a

Madison Beer - Good in Goodbye: https://youtu.be/rQZJsOSw1pU?t=113
similar Band-in-a-Box style: https://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/allstyledemos2/_CANDLE.m4a

Selena Gomez - Ring: https://youtu.be/8AfjxFOIxQw?t=83
similar Band-in-a-Box style: https://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/allstyledemos2/_COQUETO.m4a

Now, just to allay your fears, the purpose of this post wasn't to try to claim that it wouldn't be a good idea to record more modern pop styles! I think it would be great to expand our choices of modern pop RealTracks & RealDrums. I simply wanted to show that we do currently have many styles in this genre.
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#651632 - 04/15/21 08:30 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
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Hi Tobin,

Thanks for posting those links. Although I have thousands of styles, I don't have those ones.

While those PG demos may have one or two similar elements, to my ears they are not 'very similar' but there's no reason why they should be! I think the styles as a whole don't sound like contemporary pop and much of that has to do with the drums/percussion. BIAB's ability to have different drum styles and loops could lend itself to more contemporary drum & loop track combinations.

As I wrote earlier in this thread, I think BIAB has lots of good realtracks (often hidden away in styles of other genres whose other elements are not contemporary pop). They are what I'm normally looking for but usually fail to find. I'm not saying they're not there but there's not enough life to spend wading through styles in the hope of finding realtracks for my purposes.

Originally Posted By: Lazarus


As a longtime BIAB user and upgrader, I find the way PG bundles together styles from different genres as an incentive to upgrade doesn't work for me. I have so many styles now, in everything but contemporary pop, that more styles actually makes things worse because there are so many to wade through (and oompah and celtic styles seem to evade your filters... I can't get away from them cluttering up my searches!)

There are some excellent realtracks and drums that are very useable for pop and they are what I'm usually searching for (I rarely use all the instruments from a style). It would be great if these could be grouped together by PG, maybe under some foolproof search filter term, to help us find them easily (and close alternatives). That could be another step in making BIAB more useful and accessible to contemporary pop songwriters.



My request to Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters is not only about making new pop multistyles. I also want to be able to find the good stuff that's hidden there already and make the most of BIAB's existing features. Peter said it would be good to have videos to demonstrate that and I look forward to seeing them.

I appreciate Jareth posting the list of what PG classifies as 'Modern Pop'. I have almost none of those styles in that list. I have listened to some of the demos listed and I wouldn't rush to buy those bonus styles sets. After many years of upgrading BIAB, I gave up buying mixed genre bonus packs. But if PG recalibrates its conception of Contemporary Pop, by checking out the songs on my list and studying the Adult Contemporary charts, I would love to buy a set of AC multistyles where all the tracks sound modern and complement each other. But not if it's outnumbered by jazz and oompah styles.

To sum up, my wishlist would include 3 elements

1. New mainstream contemporary pop multistyles, as discussed in detail previously.
2. Some new search term or filter procedure that can help me QUICKLY find my existing realtracks, drums, loops etc. that are useful in contemporary pop.
3. Someone at PG to go through the charts and regularly update the song list so that if people type in Hot Girl Bummer, Ring or Good in Goodbye, the search filter will direct them to styles and realtracks that are similar.

Thank you

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#651643 - 04/15/21 09:00 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Lazarus Online   content
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Posts: 31
One of the songs in my list, River, is by Charlie Puth, who writes and produces his own contemporary pop songs.

He will be teaching a month-long class which takes you through his whole writing, arranging, recording and mixing process.

If there are any BIAB users or PG staffers who want to know how someone at the top of their game makes contemporary pop, you might like to check out this course.

https://monthly.com/charlie-puth-music?ref=CHARLIEPUTH&code=a

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#651673 - 04/15/21 12:21 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 7212
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Lazarus,

Sometimes a demo song does not accurately reflect how a style sounds playing your chord progression.

One way to get around this obstacle is to listen to styles play your chord progression. But, as you said, few people want to spend a long time waiting for tracks to build. However there is a way to greatly reduce the time it takes to sample styles.

Find a four bar chord progression that repeats throughout a song or represents the feel of a song.

Temporarily place the four chord progression at the beginning of the song chart.

Open the StylePicker.

Enable the 4 bar preview option.

Single click to highlight a style.

Set the tempo to match the song tempo.

Use the Play Using Current Chordsheet for Song "Play" and "Stop" buttons to preview the style.

Highlight another style.

Set the tempo to match the song tempo.

Since the track instruments are playing only four bars, it doesn't take long to preview each style. Since every style plays the same four bars it is easy to compare styles.


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#651682 - 04/15/21 01:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Lazarus Online   content
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Thanks Jim.

I always use my own chord progressions to audition styles that I have in my computer. I only use the audio demos for styles that I don't have.

It would be handy if you could fix the tempo when auditioning styles with your own chords. While working your way down the styles in the picker, you have to set the tempo again each time you select the next style. It would save time if you could lock it to the current tempo of your song (unless that is an existing feature option that I have not yet discovered?)

I don't limit myself to the 4 bar preview, I let the song keep playing. I'll try the 4 bar option to see if it lets me lock tempo while auditioning different styles.

Thanks again.

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#651842 - 04/16/21 12:09 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 7212
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Lazarus,

Open StylePicker > Action > Set Dialog Options (next to the last choice in the Action sub menu).

Disable (uncheck) the option to "Change 4 bar preview tempo to best tempo for style".

This will make the preview tempo remain constant.
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#651851 - 04/16/21 01:03 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
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Lazarus Online   content
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Posts: 31
Great. Thank you!

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#651878 - 04/16/21 03:35 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Lazarus Online   content
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Posts: 31
That's really handy, being able to browse styles with fixed tempo.

One thing I find is that, if you are auditioning styles to your own chords in this way, if you click on Cancel, when you return to your song you have lost your original style. It's been replaced by the last style you auditioned.

Is there a way to stop this happening? It would make more sense if you click Cancel for you to return to the style you had before you went into the stylepicker.

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#651889 - 04/16/21 04:17 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 15360
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 15360
Loc: Hamlin NY
Originally Posted By: Lazarus
That's really handy, being able to browse styles with fixed tempo.

One thing I find is that, if you are auditioning styles to your own chords in this way, if you click on Cancel, when you return to your song you have lost your original style. It's been replaced by the last style you auditioned.

Is there a way to stop this happening? It would make more sense if you click Cancel for you to return to the style you had before you went into the stylepicker.


AFAIK you can not return to the original style. If you start another wish list with this you will get a +1 from me.
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#652023 - 04/17/21 12:17 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: Make BIAB more useful to contemporary pop songwriters. [Re: Lazarus]
Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Lazarus Online   content
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/16/08
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: Lazarus
One of the songs in my list, River, is by Charlie Puth, who writes and produces his own contemporary pop songs.

He will be teaching a month-long class which takes you through his whole writing, arranging, recording and mixing process.

If there are any BIAB users or PG staffers who want to know how someone at the top of their game makes contemporary pop, you might like to check out this course.

https://monthly.com/charlie-puth-music?ref=CHARLIEPUTH&code=a


I have now signed up for this course, which starts on April 26th.

I found a link to get $20 off. If anyone reading this thread is thinking of taking the course, this link will give you $20 off.

https://monthly.com/charlie-puth-music?friend=christopher-mander

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