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Hey everyone, I have looked around this forum and you are all so very kind and supportive towards each other! It's heart-warming to find a community like this one, and I'm a bit sad that I didn't start participating earlier.

I purchased BiaB as a gift for my 45th birthday (now almost 8 years ago), and simply have never been able to get it working right. Several times, I've gotten in touch with pgmusic to try to figure things out, and in general, what I've done is: purchase an upgrade and then not really get the tool working.

Maybe, with your help, I'll be able to start using BiaB.

I am going to create an unlisted YouTube video to show you what's going on...

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ok, so here is the song.

it is called "It's Christmas Time, Yeah!"

https://www.tiktok.com/@dainisw.michel/video/7314380894918233376?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7297021507129034273

I saw a tiktok video where someone said: I put my capo on the 11th fret and this is what happened, so I tried it and composed my first Christmas song!

Last edited by Andrew - PG Music; 12/22/23 10:26 AM.
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This might help.

I have a Christmas fake disk with free samples:
  1. Go to https://www.nortonmusic.com/fake15.html
  2. Look at the song list on the right side of the page
  3. Five of the Christmas songs are hyperlinks (Free samples)
  4. Download any or all and
  5. Load them into Band-in-a-Box
  6. Click "play"
It should demonstrate how BiaB works in its most basic and original form — auto accompaniment. Feel free to change the styles used, especially if it defaults to zzjazz style, as that means you don't have the style suggested.

Notes ♫


Bob "Notes" Norton smile Norton Music
https://www.nortonmusic.com

100% MIDI Super-Styles recorded by live, pro, studio musicians for a live groove
& Fake Disks for MIDI and/or RealTracks
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Originally Posted by Dainis
... simply have never been able to get it working right
I can relate to that feeling.

I rather like the tutorial videos that Henry Clarke produces. He makes them as a BIAB user for BIAB users, rather than from GGM's perspective, so may be differently helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/@henryclarke5407


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Welcome. I trust the link to a video will clear up whether this is a question about getting BIAB running, or about entering a particular song.


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Originally Posted by Dainis
I am going to create an unlisted YouTube video to show you what's going on...

Do we have to wait until Christmas?


Dan, BIAB2024, SoundCloud Win11, i7(12thGen), 32GB, 1TB SSD(M.2 NVMe SSD), 2TB Libraries, 1 TB(WD-Black), 2TB SSD(M.2 NVMe SSD)Data, Motu Audio Express, Keystation 61, SL88 Studio, Reaper

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can i post?

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Sorry for the delay with the account approval. Yes, please post a video or describe what's happening.

Last edited by Andrew - PG Music; 12/22/23 10:28 AM.

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crazy no smile

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ahh...i can post...

ok, here is a video describing my approach to this mini-project.

i am hoping to be able to create a track or a few tracks...that really ebb and flow from a strict BPM into sections that do not have a strict BPM.

it's also possible that i'll never use a strict BPM, but i do want instruments like shakers & tambourines to keep a solid, unbroken, groove.

this youtube video is quite long...please don't watch it, if you don't want to spend a bit of time with me.

if i "figure this out," it will be a basic workflow for quite a few songs, because i perform live a lot and compose new material regularly.

these Live performance + BiaB + Logic = basic track for production

then...either share that production and layer additional musicians and instruments in -- or just go for a full production either in a studio or recording a live performance...

something along those lines...



ps: it's really great to see such a supportive community online. i look forward to contributing & helping...

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...and this is the song itself:

https://www.tiktok.com/@dainisw.michel/video/7314380894918233376?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7297021507129034273 https://www.tiktok.com/@dainisw.michel/video/7314380894918233376?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7297021507129034273

These are the lyrics

It's Christ-mas time, yeah...,
It's Christ-mas time!
It's Christ-mas time, yeah!
It's Christ-mas time! x2

We've heard thun-der
Been soaked in rain
In freez-ing win-ters
We played games
We roared with li-ons
Ex-plored the peaks
And gave our chil-dren
Marsh-mal-low treats

In wa-ters of tur-moil
Faith kept us safe
De-cei-vers and sab-o-teurs
Caused fleet-ing pain
Like clock-work
once a year
The stars a-lign
and heav-en-ly joy pro-claims:

It's Christ-mas time, yeah...,
It's Christ-mas time!
It's Christ-mas time, yeah!
It's Christ-mas time! x2

Ap-o-lo-gies and
Com-pas-sion come
When hearts are heard and
You’ve a-toned.
Some-times peo-ple
Once dear and near
Cause pain and an-guish
Or dis-ap-pear...

We set a-side con-flict,
Re-fuse to fight!
In-stead of ag-gres-sion, we
Pro-vide de-light!
E-ven if you're a-lone
In gut-ters or on a throne, yes
E-ven if you're a-lone
In gut-ters or on a throne with
Truth-ful foun-da-tions
Our fam-i-ly of joy pro-claims:
Joy, joy, joy, joy, joy!
Joy, joy, joy, joy, joy!
Joy, joy, joy, joy, joy...
...is our home!

Cuz…

It's Christ-mas time, yeah...,
It's Christ-mas time!
It's Christ-mas time, yeah!
It's Christ-mas time! x2

It's Christ-mas time, yeah!
It's Christ-mas time!

Last edited by Dainis; 12/22/23 11:08 AM.
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Here is the sheet music...I can post MIDI XML or some other file formats as well...if you contribute, i'm very fair about that kind of stuff...

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Originally Posted by Andrew - PG Music
Sorry for the delay with the account approval. Yes, please post a video or describe what's happening.

no problem...thank you for approving my account...i really had no idea that this forum existed...

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I'm afraid that I don't really follow. I get the impression that you are working on the assumption that BiaB automatically creates your song somehow. (It can, but that's using a more complex approach called the Audio Chord Wizard)

From watching your video at 13:14, I think you expected BiaB to automatically create the song, without entering any chords.

I confess I only watched sections of your video, at almost 40 minutes long, with much digression, it challenged my attention span.
_____________________________________

In BiaB, you select a Style, and type in the Chords to your song in each Measure (Bar), and it generates an audio output song file.

Try watching these videos which should be helpful:





Last edited by AudioTrack; 12/23/23 03:45 AM.

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My video is super-long, so I totally understand. About this:

"From watching your video at 13:14, I think you expected BiaB to automatically create the song, without entering any chords."

The thing is, the chords are in the score and should be in the MIDI file.

I "import" the midi file and BiaB just plays the midi file along with whatever happens to be selected within BiaB -- which is nuts, because then BiaB is playing two different songs at the same time. If you import an audio file -- BiaB also just plays that audio file at the same time as well.

A few years back, I think I did a "chord analysis" of an audio file with BiaB and that seemed to give BiaB at least some of the info about the song I'd imported.

It seems like BiaB should be able to understand the chords in a Midi file...along with the tempo map in the midi file.

But for now -- it's chaos! Madness!! :-)

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Originally Posted by Dainis
The thing is, the chords are in the score and should be in the MIDI file.
That would not be quite correct. The MIDI specification does not include Chord information. BiaB can interpret chords from the notes utilized in the song, but there is actually no chord information contained in the MIDI data.

Also, a single note melody would be very difficult to interpret the song chords from. However, in BiaB, you can type the chords into the appropriate bars of the song.

Last edited by AudioTrack; 12/23/23 06:18 PM.

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Try this method to open the MIDI file:

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Hi Dainis,

I watched the video - and my comments/answers are below. In the end, it seems you have just one main question, which is how to align a fixed tempo track to your free time recording (see bold question at the bottom of this message) I actually am not sure how to do that in Logic but I'm almost certain someone here can tell you how.

10:25 - This is the "MIDI chord wizard". If you click Interpret chords now, it will try to figure out the chords in your MIDI file. There is no standard meta event in the MIDI file specification for chords, so Band-in-a-Box does not see the chords that you had written, it is literally trying to figure them out by analyzing the notes on each track. This is not going to work well with a MIDI file that contains only a melody track. It is intended for MIDI files that are complete songs with accompaniment tracks. It will also import specified channels in your MIDI file onto the tracks, as specified in the settings there on the left side of the dialog.

It knows the key is F# likely because that is an event in your MIDI file, as exported from Finale.

Note - Band-in-a-Box itself uses a custom meta event when saving MIDI files, and will recognize those chords if importing that MIDI file.

Newer versions of Band-in-a-Box support musicXML which is a standard for transferring music notation - including chord symbols.


10:36 - You didn't click Interpret Chords, that's why you are only seeing a C chord (existing chord sheet was not changed).

11:41 - Thanks we should allow .midi in addition to .mid in the File-Open dialog.
11:41 - Import Melody from MIDI file. The name of this menu item is a bit confusing. A typical use is in fact exactly that, however is is possible to import your entire MIDI file or any combination of channels as specified in the Import MIDI file dialog. "Import Melody from MIDI file" simply opens the Import MIDI file dialog with the Melody track selected as the destination track. In older versions of Band-in-a-Box, the Melody and Soloist tracks were the only tracks you could import to. In more recent versions, there are several Utility tracks that can be used as well.

12:10 - Track 1 in your MIDI file might have some meta data about the song, like key signature.

13:03 - Channels are "greyed out" if Band-in-a-Box does not detect any events on those channels.

13:22 - Band-in-a-Box has a 2 bar count-in. Your MIDI file does not, which means you should have set "number of blank bars to insert at beginning" to 2.

13:34 - It's just playing whatever style you currently have selected.

14:11 - There is no mystery here. You have RegaeJam.sty selected. When you press Play, BiaB is generating accompaniment tracks for RegaeJam on the Bass, Piano, Guitar, Drums, and Strings tracks, and playing them over a C chord, because that's what you have. The fact that you have notes on your Melody track now (imported from your MIDI file) does not change this.

I would select a style that has a similar feel to your song - sounds like 4/4 even 16th feel. Then set the key signature, and tempo of the song. Next, type in the chord symbols into the chord sheet.

22:39 - I'm guessing that Logic is good at finding downbeats if your tune contains strong beats with drums and bass notes. You just have an acoustic strummed guitar. Band-in-a-Box would likely have difficulty detecting the beats in that file as well. Can you not tap the beats throughout your song an create the tempo map that way? I am not too familiar with Logic specifically, but I'm sure it is possible.

26:46 - Again, there is no mystery. All you have done is import an audio file to the Band-in-a-Box audio track of the curent song, which happens to be a C chord played by a MIDI Reggae style. You can view the audio track by clicking on the Audio Edit window in the Views toolbar panel. Note: FYI when you save a BiaB song, the audio track is saved as a .wav file with the same name as your BiaB song file.

28:35 - There IS a chord analysis tool that attempts to determine the chords in an audio file. This is the "Audio Chord Wizard". You'll find it in the audio edit window. However for your purposes, I think you should just go ahead and type the chords into Band-in-a-Box - it is simple, whereas with the chord wizard you'll need to tap tempo, and it might not get all of the chords right and require manually adjustment anyways. Basically, since you already KNOW exactly what the chords are, just type them in.


32:48 - I agree with AudioTrack, you are spending a lot of time just expecting the software (both Logic and BiaB) to automatically think like a human and start jamming with you, detecting beats, playing the right type of music, detecting chords, playing in the right key and tempo, time-stretching tracks on the fly. And maybe it should(!), but these are all very difficult things for software to do, and there are so many possible interpretations. You need to provide it with some kind of instruction.

34:35 - This is a swing feel - different than your other song. Make sure to choose a style in BiaB with the right feel.

As I mentioned, it seems like you have only one question, which is how do you add some tracks to your existing audio track that was recorded in free time.

(Normally people are asking the opposite, how do you align an audio track that was recorded in free time to a click track - this is something that Band-in-a-Box CAN do, using the Audio Chord Wizard).

It seems like your workflow should be this:

  • 1. Create a tempo map for your audio track in Logic. I think this is easy, just takes a little bit of work to add the tempo markers, or perhaps you can tap the beats throughout the song by tapping your keyboard. <--- perhaps someone with Logic could confirm.
  • 2. Enter your song into Band-in-a-Box. Easy - just set the tempo, key, and type in the chords. Set the begin and end bars, you probably just want one chorus. You might be able to enter chords quickly by exporting xml file from finale, but it will likely be a much more straight forward process to just type them in directly.
  • 3. Find a good accompaniment in Band-in-a-Box. Easy - open the StylePicker, set the appropriate filters for feel / tempo / etc. and start auditioning by double-clicking on various styles. Or, you could think of a popular song that has the same feel as yours and type in that song name into the Song Titles database (on the right side of the StylePicker) - that will set the filters automatically. You will want select a RealStyle (no MIDI), but which ones are available will depend on which Band-in-a-Box version and package you have.
  • 4. Export the Band-in-a-Box generated tracks as an audio file (e.g. WAV / AIFF). This is also easy, and there are several ways to do this, but one way is the "WAV" button in the File toolbar panel, and click export with options. You can include ACID info, which has the tempo. (It is also possible to drag tracks from the top 'radio' buttons directly into a DAW)
  • 5. Align the imported fixed tempo tracks to your tempo map <---- ??? I'm not sure what the best way to do this is - it might be easy. I am almost positive that there is an expert on this forum that can tell you exactly how to do it. Hopefully someone will jump in and let you know, and I will be interested to learn as well. You can't do it in Band-in-a-Box though, which is why instead of importing your audio track into Band-in-a-Box, you will import your Band-in-a-Box track into the DAW.


Essentially though, what needs to happen is that regions of the imported audio track need to be time stretched such that the beats align with your variable tempo. <---- Can someone answer this question, for Logic or for your DAW of choice?


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Here is a thread with some solutions to this problem (though not Logic specifically). Let us know if that helps.

https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=779953#Post779953


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Hey Dainis..... I think you are making this way way too complicated ...certainly more than it actually needs to be. Full disclosure.... I didn't watch the entire video.... I did what some others did.... jump around enough to know that you are not understanding how to use this program effectively.....so....lets see if we can get you on the right path.

The issue at 13 minutes is I think you imported the midi which was in the key of B major with 5 sharps but you had the program set to it's default of C. So it was playing in 2 different keys at the same time. Yeah that's gonna sound wonky.

Another issue..... it's extremely rare to have a song with varying tempo. You pick one tempo and the entire song (with very few exceptions) stays at that tempo. You can change the power and feel of the song by using DYNAMICS which is changing the level of the verse in contrast to the chorus which generally has more power. You can also use volume to bring certain instruments in and out to play with the dynamics. Drummers for example would use side stick on the snare in the verses and smack the snare in the chorus to bring up the dynamics.

DO NOT START WITH AN IMPORTED AUDIO FILE..... man that's NOT the way to do this when you are beginning. Heck, I've been using this for over 15 years and I don't try to do that. Build the song IN the program first and THEN you can add your audio and live instruments to it. You mentioned that your audio was varying in it's tempo..... THAT is a major faux pax..... The program is wanting to find the tempo and stick with it.... it's not designed to change or follow the tempo of an audio file. When I work with people on their songs and they send me an audio file... the first thing I ask is did they use a click track and what is the exact tempo.

The best way to get started with BB ( Band in a Box) is to populate the time line with the chords and then select a style that fits closely to what you envision for the song. I actually pick the style first. Then you start on the intro.... 4 to 8 bars max....and then the first verse. When the first verse is correct, you can simply copy and paste it for the remaining verses. Then you input the chords to the chorus and use copy and paste to replicate it a second time if needed. You can easily edit the structure, change the tempo, change the key, and change the style as needed.

I hope this helps you out.... this is actually a fairly easy program to use one you get the basics. ALSO: Don't forget to use the PG support videos. They are short and to the point on helping you with individual aspects of working with this program.

Give that a try and let us know how you're doing. Any questions? Just ask.


You can find my music at:
www.herbhartley.com
Add nothing that adds nothing to the music.
You can make excuses or you can make progress but not both.

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WOW! Again -- a super-heartfelt thank you!

I'll be going through your comments over the next few weeks. Regarding my xMas song, I have a concert date on Dec 1, 2024 in Kuldiga, Latvia. The tracks should be recorded...the crowd will sing along during the refrain...and then that will be released likely Dec. 3. 2024.

BiaB may wind up being a part of my workflow, yet! Thank you!

And Happy New Year -- oh have a good image for all of you just a second!

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LOL

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If you'd rather listen to these songs in one place, head to our Band-in-a-Box® Radio, where you'll have the option to select the genre playlist for your listening pleasure. This page has SoundCloud built in, so it won't redirect you. We've also added the link to the Artists SoundCloud page here, and a link to their forum post.

We hope you find some inspiration from this amazing collection of User Showcase Songs!

Congratulations to the 2023 User Showcase Award Winners!

We've just announced the 2023 User Showcase Award Winners!

There are 45 winners, each receiving a Band-in-a-Box 2024 UltraPAK! Read the official announcement to see if you've won.

Our User Showcase Forum receives more than 50 posts per day, with people sharing their Band-in-a-Box songs and providing feedback for other songs posted.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed!

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