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#797599 01/28/24 09:08 PM
Band-in-a-Box for Windows
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Just bought BiB last week and have been slowly learning my way around. My main reason I bought it is so my 14 year old Grandson can write music for the songs he's writing lyrics for. He's just learning guitar and he's become ( this is weird) a big country music fan. Well at least that's music I am good at. So I thought Band in a Box was perfect because you pick a style and enter the chords and there you go. He has music for his songs. And he can try different styles and tempos etc.
I found that part fairly straight forward. Still learning but we finished a song pretty quickly.
But here's my questions.
First- I wanted to record the vocals so I exported the song as a midi file and opened it in Cakewalk.
Some songs that had 5 parts only show having 2 tracks. Others have all of them? Is there some weirdness to the tracks that prevent them being included?
Then some of the accompaniment parts make mistakes and so I opened the Piano roll and tried to fix them. But my changes do not playback? It seems it ignores any changes to the notes?
The other issue is once opened in Cakewalk the parts have no controller values. Like the steel guitar is obviously bending notes but this does not show in the pitch bend controller lane. Modulation CC 1?
Thanks. I hope it's just pilot error and not a limitation of the software.

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"First- I wanted to record the vocals so I exported the song as a midi file and opened it in Cakewalk. "
Why are you using midi ?
Biab now has RealTracks and RealDrums that are audio recordings "Look Ma No Midi", the midi is just to give notation, not for sound.
Changing the midi notes won't change the audio recording, you would need to enable Playable RealTracks.

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Hi Spencer,

Welcome to the forums smile BIAB will be an excellent tool for your grandson to work with.

The easiest way for him to record vocals would be as follows...

1) When the song is sound just as you want it within BIAB, save the file as a .WAV file.

2) Now load that .WAV file into Cakewalk and you will have a complete backing that you grandson can sing against and he will be able to record vocals.

All the best,
--Noel


★ a recent song of mine: Every Single Day (a duet using Synthesizer V’s vocaloids, Kevin & Natalie)


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If you read my post I need the midi to transfer the file over to Cakewalk to edit the midi data and complete the song.

Band in the box has pretty good sounds but they are only close to what I'm used to using these days. It is obvious that Band in a Box is not a DAW. It seems to be a great tool for starting a song but not to finish it.

I also did read what I could about the Real tracks and I activated the Playable tracks and it has a green box around it. I noticed the notes I add are also green. But they play a different sound/ instrument. As example the Pedal steel plays what sounds like a acoustic guitar patch. I'm trying to fix the mistakes like the wrong chords which you can clearly see in the PRV. It seems to miss chord changes mid bar.

The midi editing seems very limited which is why I need to be able to export the midi files so I can work in a proper editing environment. ( DAW)
But as I said some of the resulting midi exports do not include a lot of the tracks. And there's no CC data, only velocity.

Is this is due to the fact that it is actually playing audio samples ?? Real Tracks? Are the midi notes just to trigger the samples? If so why doesn't adding a midi note trigger that sample? The added notes sound like wavetable GM synth sounds.

If none of these styles you pick are actually midi and If the auto generated chords are not playing correctly is there no way to fix that?

In the mean time I had to export the tracks as audio stems then fix all the errors using Melodyne in Cakewalk. But it would be nice to learn how to make the song sound correct in the program it self.

I apologize that I have not taken the time to watch the tutorials but a quick look at the titles I couldn't see any that started you out from ground zero.

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Hi Spencer,
Virtually all of my songs are MIDI; I rarely use RealTracks.

Realtrack are audio, however those tracks that have an underline can be saved as MIDI BUT you only will get the notes and velocity data, i.e. no nuances. Note I do all of my MIDI work in my DAW, Studio One Pro 6. I find that working in my DAW is much faster and easier then working in BiaB. If you have an audio only Realtrack then drag and drop the song as MIDI ONLY the MIDI tracks will be moved. That may be part of your problem. In the styles window under type I have mine set for MIDI as that way I will only get MIDI tracks. I would suggest you do that until you become more familiar with BiaB.

I can drag and drop the MIDI track(s)/song directly into my DAW. You may or may not be able to do that thus you might want to add a desktop folder and move the track(s)/song to it.

I have included picture explaining how I use BiaB.

I hope this helps and if you have any question you can ask in the forum or a PM.

Attached Files (Click to download or enlarge) (Only available when you are logged in)
1-MIDI.jpg (155.8 KB, 207 downloads)
2 MIDI.jpg (121.85 KB, 207 downloads)
3 MIDI.jpg (96.97 KB, 207 downloads)

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Originally Posted by SpencerH
Band in the box has pretty good sounds but they are only close to what I'm used to using these days. It is obvious that Band in a Box is not a DAW. It seems to be a great tool for starting a song but not to finish it.

This is how I use BIAB, too. I use it as a tool to create tracks that I then take to a DAW and add effects, etc., to create a more polished sounding backing.

Originally Posted by SpencerH
I also did read what I could about the Real tracks and I activated the Playable tracks and it has a green box around it. I noticed the notes I add are also green. But they play a different sound/ instrument. As example the Pedal steel plays what sounds like a acoustic guitar patch. I'm trying to fix the mistakes like the wrong chords which you can clearly see in the PRV. It seems to miss chord changes mid bar.

Realtracks are audio tracks played by a studio musician. They are not activated nor controlled by MIDI notes. The MIDI notes are simply a transcription of the notes the Realtrack is playing. To some extent, the notes within a Realtrack can be modified using playable Realtracks (which are MIDI insertions). As you point out, these notes are not necessarily a perfect match for the overall sound of the Realtrack. They're more a correction device and if the volume of the added/corrected note is a little quieter, the overall tone will be controlled by those notes that were not changed. Melodyne, which you mentioned, is a great option because that uses the original Realtrack.

Originally Posted by SpencerH
The midi editing seems very limited which is why I need to be able to export the midi files so I can work in a proper editing environment. ( DAW)
But as I said some of the resulting midi exports do not include a lot of the tracks. And there's no CC data, only velocity.

As mentioned above, MIDI information does not control the Realtracks. It's just notation. A MIDI file can be saved and used with a softsynth but the performance information is limited.

Originally Posted by SpencerH
Is this is due to the fact that it is actually playing audio samples ?? Real Tracks? Are the midi notes just to trigger the samples? If so why doesn't adding a midi note trigger that sample? The added notes sound like wavetable GM synth sounds.

Realtracks are snippets of actual audio that are sliced and diced to create a backing. The Realtracks are not samples. The backing is created on a bar-by-bar basis from the studio musician's performance and not a note-by-note basis using MIDI triggers with sampled, individual notes.

Originally Posted by SpencerH
If none of these styles you pick are actually midi and If the auto generated chords are not playing correctly is there no way to fix that?

There are a few options.

1) Right-click on the track and select "Track Settings" and down the bottom of the pop-up window is an option called "Autofix sour notes". Activating this will help.

2) As you have already done, it's possible to use playable realtracks, or if that is not suitable for the instrument involved, use Melodyne to change notes.

3) What I personally do is to use Partial Regeneration. It is possible to select a range of bars and then generate a new version of the Realtrack just for that chosen section. Have a look at the video below. The section to watch begins at 10:30. Below are the time stamps for the sections that will help you.

10:30 Basics of Partial Re-generation
14:28 Partial re-generation Options window
20:04 Changing RealTracks using Partial Re-generation
23:01 Editing RealTracks (copy/paste/erase)
27:38 More partial re-generation (Bootcamp 1 excerpt)


Lastly, you mentioned that when chords are added in the middle of a bar, they don't seem to play. They should play. One thing to note is that if they were added after you have generated the chord chart, you will need to re-generate so that the changes are picked up. BIAB doesn't automatically adjust to chord chart changes. I like to think of the chord sheet as a set of instructions for BIAB. It tells the program what chords to play and where to play them. Then, when I generate the backing, BIAB implements the instructions on that chordsheet. Whenever something new is added to the chord sheet, or it changes in some way, BIAB needs to be regenerated to implement the new and updated 'instructions'.

I hope this helps. BIAB is a fantastic tool and once you get over the learning curve, you'll be amazed what can be achieved.

Regards,
--Noel


MY SONGS...
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Thank you very much both Mario and Noel. And extra thanks Mario for those screenshots. That's exactly what I needed to know. It always takes a while to learn something new. And Band in a Box is a very strange program. I had a demo version of it possible 15 years ago and I never figured it out even back then.
I found this version seemed a little more intuitive. Fine tuning what your get seems the steep learning curve part.

I also installed a trial of ChordPulse which actually works really well for what I wanted to do but it is limited in styles and grooves. But for $30 it's pretty useful tool.

I'm just spoiled by using Cakewalk to create music but it would be way to complicated for my Grandson. And I'll have fun with Band and a box because I will figure it out eventually and use it as a additional tool.
I already used the steel guitar part in a song I just did a rough demo of. I exported the pedal steel as a WAV file. The drums are the original Band in a box midi track. The rest I recorded my self( Cakewalk)

https://on.soundcloud.com/fjFf3

Last edited by SpencerH; 01/29/24 05:35 PM. Reason: Typo
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Love your song! I don't know if you've come across the "Users Showcase" forum. If you haven't, that's a PG Music site here on these forums for users to post their creations smile


MY SONGS...
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Originally Posted by Noel96
Love your song! I don't know if you've come across the "Users Showcase" forum. If you haven't, that's a PG Music site here on these forums for users to post their creations smile

Thanks. I look into that but the song was mostly done in Cakewalk so not sure they accept that.

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Originally Posted by Cactus Music BC
Thanks. I look into that but the song was mostly done in Cakewalk so not sure they accept that.
If it contains just one single note from BiaB, you can certainly use it there. Go on. Others will like it, for sure.


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One thing nobody has mentioned is that if you have the windows version of BIAB you get RealBand free. I know you know your way around Cakewalk but think its too complicated for your grandson. I think he would find RB quite simple to master. It's a DAW but still retains BIAB features. If he opens the BIAB track in RB he'll see all the tracks laid out simply. To regenerate any part of a track highlight the area you want and right click, and choose regenerate. What you can do in BIAB is amazing but i've been using BIAB for over twenty years and find it easier to do many things in RB because it's so transparent. Try it and you'll see what I mean. I treat it as BIAB with a much simpler GUI.

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Originally Posted by Cactus Music BC
..I also did read what I could about the Real tracks and I activated the Playable tracks and it has a green box around it. I noticed the notes I add are also green. But they play a different sound/ instrument. As example the Pedal steel plays what sounds like a acoustic guitar patch...
PG were suppose to match these sfz sounds so they are the same as the instrument, what pedal steel guitar was it ? was it FX version or Direct Input version ?

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I managed to open this dialogue box. But if I play this it sounds wrong too. No biggy.

I went to attach a picture but I see this forum software is from 1995. Oh well.
it opens Sforzando player and said 028-Pedal steel clean.W? Seems to be old sound font sounds.

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Quote
I went to attach a picture but I see this forum software is from 1995. Oh well.

You can attach an image using the "attachment manager". See attached images

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attachment_manager.png (1.89 KB, 89 downloads)
attachment_manager2.png (16.38 KB, 89 downloads)

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Quote
I went to attach a picture but I see this forum software is from 1995. Oh well.

A bit harsh? The forum software is definitely up-to-date. Like everything new, one just has to learn how to use it.


BIAB & RB2024 Win.(Audiophile), Sonar Platinum, Cakewalk by Bandlab, Izotope Prod.Bundle, Roland RD-1000, Synthogy Ivory, Kontakt, Focusrite 18i20, KetronSD2, NS40M Monitors, Pioneer Active Monitors, AKG K271 Studio H'phones
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Originally Posted by Andrew - PG Music
You can attach an image using the "attachment manager". See attached images
Note that you have to be in the Full Editor to see that.
The Quick Reply box doesn't have it.


Jazz relative beginner, starting at a much older age than was helpful.
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I know how to insert pictures and it surprised me as it takes me back to the old Sonar forum. We've had drag and drop for a long time now. I still have a Imgur account form those days. No insults to this forum were intended but it's is sort of one of those year 2000 retro styled ones.
Oh hold on-- I was using the picture Icon up above which requires a web page, I see there's a file drag and drop in the bottom, my bad it was off screen. Yep, I have to learn the forum too. And even more embarrassing is I was told about it a few posts ago and I missed that totally.
Thanks once again everyone for your help, I obviously will need a lot!

Last edited by Cactus Music BC; 02/02/24 04:14 PM.
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All good Cactus. There's a lot of very helpful people here. Teamwork.


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