Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
<<< this would not be beneficial for demos of my songs that I take to my producer because he'll be creating his own arrangement for those songs.>>>

I don't understand what you mean by your statement above. What do you provide to your producer as a demo for him to create his arrangement? A single stereo audio file? an .XML file? A Pro Tools or other DAW session containing all the individual tracks?

How does his arrangement based from your demo and suggested changes to your demo affect how you created or will edit your demo?

As I mentioned in a previous post (either in this discussion or in the BiaB discussion of my idea to fix the 255 bar limit), the last song I gave my producer two months ago is the first song for which I created a demo using BiaB and gave that to him instead of just a lead sheet with melody, lyrics, and chords. For the first six songs he produced for me since February 2017 when I started working with him, I only gave him a lead sheet and a midi file of the melody, and he created his arrangement from those. In other words, the lead sheet and midi file have always been the focus. All the changes that I make to my songs are put into the lead sheet.

But with my most recent song that I took to my producer, I used an .XML file of my lead sheet to create a basic arrangement and demo with BiaB so that my producer didn't have to play my song on his guitar (I don't play it for him). This made it easier for him to identify any potential problem areas that needed additional work done to them because he didn't have to learn how to play the song at the same time that he was critiquing it. However, I didn't just give him a stereo .WAV file for him to listen to. Instead, after I exported BiaB's arrangement minus the melody track to a stereo .WAV file, I imported the .WAV file into ActivePresenter as an accompanying track to the melody that already existed in a video that I had used ActivePresenter to create by capturing the lead sheet one section at a time using MuseScore's "Play" function. In other words, I used the demo arrangement from BiaB to enhance the video I had made of MuseScore playing the melody of my song as it scrolled through the lead sheet. This enabled my producer to see and hear everything that was going on in my song without him having to touch his guitar or my lead sheet by watching the video I had created.

Because this last song was the first song for which I used BiaB, it took me several weeks of going back and forth with my producer for me to realize that I needed to fine tune and simplify my BiaB arrangement so that it only contained four instruments---drums, bass guitar, and two guitars (one strumming the chords, and the other finger picking those chords). Keeping my arrangement simple and clean made it easier for him to focus on the lyric/melody/chord interactions in my song as he monitored the drum track for any primary down-beat switching that occurred. And when he discovered a problem (which there were a few), he told me what I needed to do to fix it either by modifying the melody, changing a chord or two, adding or removing a chord, adding or removing a measure, or modifying the drum track itself, as I illustrated in the Tracktion screen capture I shared a few posts ago. With the exception of the drum track issue, all of the problems I fixed were accomplished by making changes to the lead sheet and then using the .XML file of a new version of that lead sheet to create a new arrangement with BiaB and a new video with ActivePresenter.

One final point I need to make. I am primarily a songwriter and a mediocre guitar player. I am not a singer, performer, arranger, or producer, and I don't know if I'll ever be any of these (although anything is possible, so I won't rule these out). So, for the songs that I take to my producer, I don't need or want a top-notch arranged and produced demo of those songs. But for my other songs that I probably won't be taking to him, I want to create a decent enough demo of those songs that I can share with family and friends and also present to others in the music industry with the goal of finding a way to get those songs professionally produced, performed, and released to the public. Currently, my main focus is on finishing the album project that I started over two years ago. At the same time, however, I want to use BiaB, RB, and any other helpful program to continue the development of other songs I've written that won't be going on this album. In the process, I'm willing and eager to learn to use these programs to their full potential in all the ways that will meet my needs. But I don't want to get bogged down in learning skills and procedures that I don't really need to learn and won't end up using on a regular basis.

Tom Levan (pronounced La-VAN)
BiaB 2024 Win UltraPAK Build 1109, Xtra Style PAKs 1-11, RB 2024, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Intel Q9650 3 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD & 2 TB HDD, Tracktion 6 & 7 (freebies), Cakewalk, Audacity, MuseScore 2.1 & 3.4, Synthesizer V