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Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows® Upgrade Manual

Chapter 1: Introduction

Congratulations on your purchase of Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows®!

This documentation covers the new features in Band-in-a-Box 2020.  The Help menu has a link to the full manual.

Band-in-a-Box 2020 for Windows is here!

We’ve been busy and added 50 new features and an amazing collection of new content, including 202 RealTracks (double the 101 that we’ve often released in the past), new RealStyles, MIDI SuperTracks, Instrumental Studies, RealDrums transcriptions, Xtra Styles PAK 8, and more!

We have Bonus PAKs with 40 RealTracks in addition to the 202 new RealTracks, so in total an amazing 242 new RealTracks are available!  The Bonus PAKs also include 5 new Instrumental Studies sets with 3 sets featuring Nashville guitar legend Johnny Hiland, and two sets focusing on soloing studies for rhythm changes and jazz blues.  There are also 15 new MIDI SuperTracks, 280 new RealDrums transcriptions, and new “Look Ma! More MIDI!” sets with 30 new MIDI styles.
In addition, there are over 250 new RealStyles that use the new RealTracks.  These include great Americana, Gospel Vocals, new Blues with Johnny Hiland and Sol Philcox, Country Pollwinners, Bossa Flute/Horn sections, Jazz Blues and Rhythm Changes, British and Hazy 60s guitars, Modern Funk, Island Grooves with steel drum and marimba, Singer-Songwriter, and more!  Plus, we’ve made a new Xtra Styles PAK 8 with 162 Xtra styles.  (Xtra styles are styles based on previously released RealTracks.)

Band-in-a-Box 2020 Features and Additions

There are over 50 new features in Band-in-a-Box 2020!  There are enhancements to RealTracks (Smoother Sounding Vocal RealTracks, RealTracks Thickening, “Find-a-Sub” RealTracks and MultiRiffs).  Most RealDrums now have RealCharts (with accurate Drum Notation).  There’s a new RealTracks Artist Browser to find info/bios/links/lists of RealTracks on all the artists.  A new Feature Browser allows the new or “forgetful” user to easily find and use most features/hotkeys/docs from a single window.  Equalize Tempo allows changing a recorded rubato song to a fixed tempo.  Enhanced audio time/pitch stretching (Elastique) included.  There are SongPicker enhancements, Bass/Drums or Drums only Auto-Intros, 3,400 titles added, MusicXML enhancements, “Left-Handed” and “Student View” guitar, Drag and Drop enhancements, Audio Chord Wizard Multi-Window Display and more!

Band-in-a-Box 2020 DAW Plugin
There are over 40 enhancements to the Band-in-a-Box DAW Plugin, including Audio Harmonies (apply to any DAW audio track, 1-4 voices, using intelligent BIAB harmonies with passing tones).  New features allow Customizing Tracks, Bar and Song settings. RealTracks, RealDrums sound improvements (gap filling, thickening), enhancements or reading/writing more data types to/from BIAB song files and much more!

RealBand 2020
There are over 20 additions to RealBand, including intelligent Audio-Harmonies (1-4 voice), Scrub Mode, mixer enhancements, open MusicXML .musicxml and .xml, easier transpose, RealTracks, RealDrums sound improvements and more!
And of course, the Band-in-a-Box program, DAW Plugin, and RealBand can all use the new RealTracks, RealDrums, MIDI and style content.

Additional New Content Available for Band-in-a-Box 2020

- 202 RealTracks
- 15 MIDI SuperTracks
- 170 Instrumental Studies
- 202 RealTracks
- 15 MIDI SuperTracks
- 170 Instrumental Studies
- 40 Unreleased RealTracks
- 30 All-MIDI Styles
- 280 RealDrums Transcriptions
- Xtra Styles PAK 8

202 RealTracks with great new Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Country and World styles.

76 Jazz, Blues, Funk & Latin RealTracks
The Jazz, Blues, Funk & Latin collection this year features a vast assortment of new RealTracks.  We’ve added more amazing funk and fusion styles from legendary favorites Alex Acuna, Jeff Lorber, “Sput” Searight, and more (33).  We have “RealTracks firsts” such as marimba and steel drum, playing over Latin “island” grooves (3).  We’ve added a smokin’ rhythm section of jazz & Latin drummer Wes Little and bassist Brian Allen playing over these and other Latin grooves such as Soca & Merengue (13).  On the blues front, we’ve added blues from Nashville great Johnny Hiland as well as long-time RealTracks artist Sol Philcox (3).  And, a special treat for jazz students, or any musician who wants to improve their jazz chops, we have two special sets of RealTracks which were specifically designed to work great over “rhythm changes” and jazz blues, respectively (16).  These sets feature superb musicians such of PJ Perry on sax, Oliver Gannon on guitar, Neil Swainson on bass, and Miles Black on piano.  And we also have sophisticated new bossa horn section styles (8), with options for a simple, elegant trio, or a melodic “lounge” horn section style.

65 Pop, Rock & World RealTracks
We have some amazing new pop, rock, and world styles with Band-in-a-Box 2020.  Our users have been requesting “Classic” rock guitar styles, both soloing and rhythm, and we’ve provided with three distinct sets, including blues-infused classic rock (8), “hazy” 60s hard rock (6), and psychedelic 70s & 80s guitar styles (9).  Our “cinematic” guitar styles from last year were so popular, we’ve added a new set, this time a “cinematic metal” set (4) with both rhythm styles and a soloist.  We’ve also added to our collection of vocal RealTracks with exciting gospel vocals (7).  With these vocals, we have a 6-voice choir, with an improvised gospel part singing over the whole thing!  That set also includes new RealDrums and piano RealTracks to go along with the choir.  Our users have been requesting ska styles, and we’ve provided!  We now have a set of ska styles (10) with drums, percussion, bass & electric playing over a variety of ska tempos and feels.  For the singer-songwriters out there, we have a singer-songwriter set with lots of contemplative acoustic guitar and mellow banjo from Quinn Bachand (10) as well as mandola, 5-string fiddle and drums (3).  And, we have some down-and-dirty blues-inspired baritone guitar from RealTracks favorite Brent Mason (8).

61 Country, Americana, and Celtic
The Country, Americana, and Celtic collection this year has added a beautiful variety of RealTracks.  We have two sets of “Country Pollwinner” RealTracks, featuring musicians who have been awarded some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, such as the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards.  This includes RealTracks from guitarists Danny Rader (2) and Brent Mason (4) who have both won the CMA guitarist of the year, drummers Miles McPherson (1) and Fred Eltrington (3) who have won CMA drummers of the year, as well as renown bassists Steve Mackey (3) and Jimmy Carter (1) who are some of the busiest first-call bassists in Nashville!  And we have new Country soloist RealTracks from Nashville great Johnny Hiland (2).  On the Celtic side of things, we have a RealTracks first:  Jaw harp! (3)  These styles provide a colorful addition to our previous Celtic styles, and also work equally well with Bluegrass and folk styles!  Played by Canadian Celtic master guitarist Quinn Bachand, we also have some excellent new guitar and bodhran styles from him (12) which include 12-string guitars and nylon guitars.  And we have several sets of “Old Time” Americana RealTracks, with mandolin, fiddle, and another RealTracks first:  Banjo Guitar, or “Ganjo”.  This instrument is built like a banjo, but has 6 strings and is tuned like a guitar, and it also has a softer, more mellow tone, which gives you great versatility in Band-in-a-Box!  These “Old Time” styles were created with Nashville fiddle/banjo/mandolin great Andy Leftwich (22), Quinn Bachand on guitar (4), and Neil Swainson on bass (4).

MIDI SuperTracks Set 30: Jazz, Funk, and Gospel Keyboards (9) (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
MIDI SuperTracks Set 30 adds 9 new keyboard MIDI SuperTracks to our collection. The set focuses on Jazz, Funk & Gospel, and includes both rhythm “comping” styles as well as soloists. Included are styles that were specifically designed for use with jazz blues and “rhythm changes” progressions, with both comping and soloist options for those. There is a “cool swing16” gospel piano style, with great bluesy gospel licks. There are rhythm funk styles, playing a variety of funk grooves and tempos, as well as a soloist that was intended to be used with an analogue synth sound. But of course, as with all of these MIDI SuperTracks, you can pick whatever instrument patch you like, since it’s all MIDI!

MIDI SuperTracks Set 31: All Bass (6)
Our Pop Bass MIDI SuperTracks set last year was so popular we added more basses to the MIDI SuperTracks library! The set features new Americana & pop country basses, along with new funk styles and a cool fast ska style. And, there are also Band-in-a-Box styles and demos to go along with these MIDI SuperTracks, and you can pick whatever bass patch you like, acoustic, electric, or even synth bass sounds!

Instrumental Studies 9: Western Swing Guitar Licks
This new set of Instrumental Studies features 50 licks, each looping multiple times for you to play along and learn with!  Not only do you get the chance to learn these licks from a master, you’ll get to see how they would work over a variety of chord changes, as each time it loops, the backing tracks play variations on the progression.  And, you can view these licks in notation, TAB, and on the on-screen guitar fretboard, so there are lots of ways to learn!  You can slow them down to learn them, and gradually bring the tempo up until you’ve got them down!

Instrumental Studies 10: Train-Beat Guitar Licks (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
Get ready for more amazing Country Train Beat licks with Instrumental Studies 10!  This set features 50 licks that are presented in a way that is great for learning!  The idea is that each of these 50 licks is presented in a separate Band-in-a-Box file, with the same lick repeated over a variety of chord changes.  This gives you great insight into different ways these licks can be used.  You can slow them down to learn, and speed them up as you get better at them!  And, you can view these licks in notation, TAB, and on the on-screen guitar fretboard, so there are lots of ways to learn!

Instrumental Studies 11: Workin’ Guitar Licks (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
This set features 50 individual files, each examining a different lick, repeating it over a variety of chord changes, so the student can practice along with the licks looping, and they’ll also get a sense of the various ways these loops could be used in a real musical situation.  You can slow them down to learn, and speed them up as you get better at them!  And, you can view these licks in notation, TAB, and on the on-screen guitar fretboard, so there are lots of ways to learn!

Instrumental Studies 12: Rhythm Changes Guitar Soloing
For anyone learning to play jazz, “rhythm changes” is the most essential progression to get under your fingers.  This set features Jazz soloing in the keys of Bb, C, Eb, F, and Ab with multi-chorus guitar solos.  Since Bb is the most common key for rhythm changes, that key has the most number of choruses.  Slow them down, loop bars to learn specific loops, and gradually speed them up as you improve!  And, you can view these licks in notation, TAB, and on the on-screen guitar fretboard, so there are lots of ways to learn!

Instrumental Studies 13: Jazz Blues Guitar Soloing (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
For any jazz musician, being able to play the blues is an essential skill.  This Instrumental Studies set features Jazz Blues soloing in the keys of Bb, C, Eb, F, and G. There are 5 multi-chorus guitar solos, with notation and tab allowing you to follow along.  You can slow these down to really get them down, loop bars to learn specific loops, and gradually speed them up as you improve!

40 Unreleased RealTracks (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
There are 40 amazing bonus RealTracks available with our 2029 49-PAK!  This includes more great “OldTime” mandolin, banjo-guitar, and fiddle from Nashville great Andy Leftwich (8).  There are more baritone and standard guitar styles from Brent Mason (4).  We have, for the first time in Band-in-a-Box, “jaw harp” styles (5), great for use with existing Celtic and Bluegrass styles, with options for playing just the root or 5th of the key throughout an entire song (which is what a jaw harp would typically do), or options that actually follow the progression.  There are “Classic Rock” acoustic guitar styles (2) as well as more Celtic and Folk styles (7) from favorite Quinn Bachand.  We also have some great bass and drum styles from “pollwinner” artists such as drummer Miles McPherson (5), drummer Fred Eltringham (7), and bassist Steve Mackey (2).

MIDI Styles Set “Look Ma! More MIDI 3” (15 styles)
We haven’t forgot about all of you MIDI enthusiasts out there!  We’re back at it again with “Look Ma! More MIDI 3”.  This collection of all-MIDI styles fuses together traditional MIDI parts with MIDI SuperTracks, and includes Latin grooves, jazz fusion, blues, smooth jazz, R&B, and Gypsy jazz.  An essential collection for anyone who loves MIDI!

MIDI Styles Set “Look Ma! More MIDI 4” (15 styles) (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
An assortment of old and new folk, rock, country, and rockabilly awaits you in this amazing pack of MIDI styles.  “Look Ma! More MIDI 4” fuses MIDI SuperTracks with classic MIDI parts to bring you new and original arrangements.  Whether you’re looking for half-time reggae, Celtic jigs, or bent-note country, this collection of MIDI styles is an absolute must-have!

280 Additional RealCharts for RealDrums (301 Total)
Now most RealDrums have RealCharts (transcriptions) with Drum Notation, which can be viewed by filtering “RealDrums with RealCharts” in the RealDrums Picker.

We also have new products available as add-ons, and for use with Band-in-a-Box 2020.  Note: These items are sold separately and not included with Band-in-a-Box package or Bonus PAK.

Loops-with-Style PAK 1
Loops-with-Style PAK 1 gives you the chance to expand your loops collection with 100 new loops!  We took RealDrums and RealTracks source audio and remixed, remastered, and combined it to create these original loops.  We have all of your favorite genres covered, like jazz, funk, rock, pop, electronic, hip-hop, and more!  To show them in action, we created 50 new RealStyles that each include two of the loops.  And, if you use the loops in Band-in-a-Box, we’ve included intelligent versions of the loops that automatically switch at A and B part markers.  Each loop has a matching sister loop that works perfectly for another substyle!

Xtra Styles PAK 8 (Released December 2019)
We’ve added 164 fantastic new RealStyles in Xtra Styles PAK 8!  These are imaginative new combinations of our existing RealTracks library that fall into four categories: Rock-Pop 8, Jazz 8, Country 8, and Celtic 1.
These inventive new styles include fretless-bass indie rock, stormy electric-piano blues, an outer-space rock waltz, Hawaiian crooner jazz pop, a rumba flamenca big band, several simplified jazz practice styles, a bowed-bass 12/8 jazz ballad, dreamy fingerstyle-guitar country, an atmospheric pedal-steel soundtrack, chicken pickin’ western, Irish folk rock, a romantic Celtic air ballad, many new Celtic jigs and reels, and much much more!  We’ve also included two new MultiStyles that use up to eight substyles each.  Give these new styles a listen and I’m sure you’ll agree that they belong in your collection!

  • Rock-Pop 8: The latest chart-topping hits have served as inspiration for Xtra Styles PAK 8: Rock-Pop 8, but that’s not all that’s in store!  We’ve focused on some classic genres too, like R&B, blues, and soul.  You can look forward to styles like chillout R&B, Southern soul ballads, stormy electric-piano blues, funky dance pop, classic rock with baritone guitar licks, Northern folk rock, and more! Get introspective with gloomy indie pop or dramatic with a variety of pop ballads.  A cornucopia of rock and pop sounds is awaiting your chord progressions in Rock/Pop volume 8!
  • Jazz 8: We’ve included some very useful and modern jazz arrangements in the 43 styles that make up Xtra Styles PAK 8: Jazz 8! If you’re looking for some simple jazz swing and bossa nova styles for practicing then we’ve got you covered.  We’ve also taken inspiration from modern jazz music and included some great Latin grooves.  You can find anything from Hawaiian-style crooner jazz pop to jazz stride with vocal mmms, or even a chillout smooth jazz ballad.  An eight-part rumba flamenca MultiStyle ranges from the whisper of two acoustic guitars to an energetic arrangement with a trumpet solo.  Take your jazz composition and practice to a new level with Xtra Styles PAK 8: Jazz 8!
  • Country 8: You’ll find something that’s perfect for you in the eclectic mix of styles that’s included in Xtra Styles PAK 8: Country 8! Nostalgic favorites like country rock and western swing contrast modern styles like an atmospheric pedal-steel soundtrack and a bluesy country groove.  But that’s not all, you’ll also get a fantastic six-substyle country folk MultiStyle that ranges from quiet brushes and acoustic guitar to a full mix with a pedal steel soloist.  And we can’t forget chicken pickin’ guitar soloing - you’ll find that here too.  Find your country music happy place in Xtra Styles PAK 8: Country 8!
  • Celtic 1: For the first time ever, we’ve made an Xtra Styles collection that is dedicated to Celtic music! These are delivered in all of your favorite Celtic grooves like reels, jigs, hornpipes, slip jigs, and slide jigs.  You’ll find our latest Celtic instruments in these styles, like cello, harp, nylon guitar, DADGAD-tuned guitar, and more.  There are also some modern Celtic styles included, such as folk-swing jigs and dramatic Celtic air ballads.  You’ll even find some unexpected combinations like a baritone-guitar boom-chick reel or an Irish cello pop ballad.  Don’t miss out on our first ever collection of Celtic styles in Xtra Styles Pak 8: Celtic 1!

Xtra Styles PAK 7 (Released August 2019) - 164 RealStyles for Jazz, Rock-Pop, Country, Americana.

Xtra Styles PAK 6 (Released Dec 2018) - 162 RealStyles for Jazz, Rock-Pop, Country, and Trad Folk & Jazz.

Xtra Styles PAK 5 (Released July 2018) - 160 RealStyles for Jazz, Rock-Pop, Country, and MIDI Styles.

Xtra Styles PAK 4 (Released November 2017) - 150 RealStyles for Jazz, Rock-Pop, Country, and Folk & Beyond.

Xtra Styles PAK 3 (Released June 2017) - 160 RealStyles for Jazz, Rock-Pop, Country, and Americana.

Xtra Styles PAK 2 (Released December 2016) - 161 RealStyles for Jazz, Country, Rock-Pop, and Bluegrass & World.

Xtra Styles PAK 1 (Released August 2016) - 164 RealStyles for Jazz, Country, Rock-Pop, and Singer/Songwriter.


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