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

Chapter 2: Summary of New Features

We’ve added over 50 new features to Band-in-a-Box 2020, including...

Feature Browser
Clicking on the [?] button on the main screen or pressing the / Enter keys on the Chord Sheet opens the Feature Browser.  This dialog lists many features in Band-in-a-Box and allows you to browse them, find the feature by text filter, read descriptions about the feature, find how to launch the feature, access to the online information or video about the feature, and do more.  
This dialog helps in the following situations.

  • You know about a feature but don’t know how to find it.  Just type a part of the feature name and you’ll see the hotkeys, menu, and toolbar info on how to launch it.  For example, if you want to launch the Chord Builder but don’t know how to do it, type “builder” in the text filter, and you will quickly find the Chord Builder.
  • You are exploring available features for Band-in-a-Box.  For example, if you are a guitar player, type the word “guitar” and you’ll see what’s available.
  • You prefer “one-stop-shopping” and would like to launch features from the same dialog.
  • You are learning the program and like to browse or watch videos about topics you’re interested in.
  • You can’t remember hotkeys and want to review them.

“Find-a-Sub” RealTracks
Musicians with bands are familiar with the need to “find a sub” when you’re looking for a replacement.  In Band-in-a-Box, “Find-a-Sub” means to find a different RealTracks that is the most similar in sound (genre, feel, tempo, and time signature).  This helps to “freshen up” or vary the sound of an arrangement and allows you to explore different sounds for the band.

MultiRiffs is a popular feature that has been available in RealBand and the Band-in-a-Box DAW Plugin.  Now it is available in Band-in-a-Box.  It allows you to quickly generate 7 variations of riffs from the same RealTracks for either a portion of the song or the whole song.

RealTracks Thickening and Panning
When you select multiple RealTracks on the same track and have them play simultaneously, the followings are possible.
- The RealTracks can be the same but will play differently on each sub-track.
- You can set the stereo panning (-64 to +64) for each sub-track.

Panning added for Multiple RealTracks on a Track for Songs, Styles, and RealTracks
Some demo songs, styles, and RealTracks have multiple RealTracks on the same track with the stereo panning set for each sub-track.

Left-Handed and Student View Guitar Window
The Guitar window has been remade and now supports the left-handed (in addition to right-handed) guitar and student view.  The student view is the view a student (or YouTube video watcher) would have of the (right-handed) guitar facing him with the head at the right and low notes at the top.  There’s also a left-handed student view, so all 4 possible views are supported.

Equalize Audio Tempo
If you have an audio file that wasn’t recorded at a fixed tempo, you can change so that the tempos in the audio are all at the same.  We call this an “equalization” of the tempos.

Built-in Audio Chord Wizard Enhancements
The built-in Audio Chord Wizard is now accessible from the [Audio Chord Wizard] button.
- The Audio Edit window now displays chords and tempos for each bar.  They are shown when the Audio Chord Wizard mode is active so that you can see the tempo for each bar as you set the bar lines.
- When you start entering bar lines, the program automatically sets the tempo of the song to the tempo of the first bar of the audio.
- Once the tempo of the first bar is set, the program automatically moves the location of the first bar of audio over so that the visual space of the count-in bars is visible.
- After you've added the bar lines, IF you adjust the first or second bar and the tempo of the first bar changes accordingly, the program automatically changes the tempo of the song to match
- Multi-window display.  This gives the Audio Chord Wizard a multi-window view so that you can see and edit both the Audio Edit window and the Chords Sheet at the same time.  This display is best viewed with a small toolbar mode.  This allows you to see the chords as they are being interpreted by the wizard.
- The Audio Chord Wizard can send the transcribed MIDI notes to the Soloist track for further analysis by the user (via Piano Roll or Notation window).  Note that this is a “snapshot” view every 8th note of the pitches present, not an attempt at polyphonic transcription.  To use this feature, enable the “MIDI to Soloist” check box.

Selectable Render Bit Depth and Sample Rate
The Render to Audio File dialog now has settings for bit depth (16, 24, 32 bit) and sample rate (44.1, 48, 96 kHz).
- The settings are also accessible from the Drop Station via dragging and dropping to the [+] button.

Drag and Drop from Mixer
You can now drag track labels from the Mixer and drop them to the Drop Station to render audio or MIDI files.

Drag & Drop Files to Band-in-a-Box
You can drop many file types onto the Band-in-a-Box screen and they will be loaded into the program, either as a new file or added to the current song.  File types include Band-in-a-Box songs (.SGU/.MGU), MIDI (.MID), and audio (.WAV/.M4A/.MP3).  Simply drag the file and drop it anywhere on the Band-in-a-Box screen, including various windows.

SongPicker Enhancements
The SongPicker now builds faster for large song lists (>30K and up to 60,000 songs).
The [Song] button (or the [Open] button) now has 3 additional menu items to launch the SongPicker.
- Open SongPicker in Current Folder: This opens the SongPicker in the current folder of the last loaded song.
- Open SongPicker in Home Folder: This opens the SongPicker in the home folder, which is C:\bb\Songs or as set in the SongPicker.
- Open SongPicker in Favorite Folder: This launches the Favorite Folder dialog which allows you to choose any previously used folder where a song was loaded from, and then open the SongPicker in that folder.

In the SongPicker, there is a new “Open in Home” option.  If this is enabled, the SongPicker will always open in the home folder instead of the current folder when you press the default [Song] button to open the SongPicker.
Searching for songs matching a chord progression or melody has been enhanced.  There are three new checkboxes: “Key must match exactly,” “Chord Extension must match exactly”, and “Time Signature must match.”

Bass/Drums or Drums only Auto-Intros
When you automatically generate an intro for a song, you can now specify if you want the “whole band” or “drums only” or “bass and drums only” to play.

Custom style settings don’t interfere with song settings
If you have customized track settings of a song (e.g. by overriding the settings in a style and putting a different RealTracks), the program will now ignore the settings in the style that might affect the sound (such as custom panning, reverb, double-time, etc.).

Tracks that have been customized are indicated by an ‘=’ in the track name.

Select “Best” RealTracks Dialog Enhancements
The dialog can now change its list based on the type without leaving the dialog.
- RealTracks “subs” filter is available.
- Three filters have been added for Instrument, Instrument Family, and Custom Instrument Range.  (These are present in all RealTracks selection dialogs.)
- There is a new [Artist Bio] button.  Pressing this button will open the Artist Browser, which shows more info for RealTracks artists.

Drums Quicklist Dialog Enhancements
The dialog is now resizable.  You can change the size by dragging the dialog border.
- An [Artist Bio] button has been added.  Pressing this button will open the Artist Browser, which shows more info for RealDrums artists.

Artist Browser
Clicking on the artist bio in the RealTracks/RealDrums Picker or the [Artist Bio] button in other RealTracks/RealDrums selection dialogs will open the new Artist Browser dialog.
- It lists all artists and the instruments they play.
- It shows the total number of artists.
- You can read the biography of the artist.
- A text filter if available.
- The [More Info] button will launch the PG Music web page.
- The [OK - Show Artist RealTracks] button will go back to the RealTracks/RealDrums selection dialog and list all the RealTracks/RealDrums that the selected artist plays.

Auto-updating for new content at bootup
When new contents (styles, RealTracks, or RealDrums) have been added to your Band-in-a-Box, it will detect this at bootup and display a message.  If you respond YES, the StylePicker will open and rebuild the list of the styles, RealTracks, and RealDrums.

Enhanced stretching and Audio Harmonies
The latest version 3.3.0 of Elastique and 1.04 of Harmony from are included.

Song Titles Browser has 3,400 more titles
We’ve added 3,400 more song titles including requests from users, so there are now 14,000 titles.

Auto-set key signature option and reminder

New songs start out in the key of C.  If you have typed chords in Ab, for example, but forget to set the key signature when you try to save the song, a green message will appear on the bottom right of the screen, offering to correct the key signature to Ab.  If you click on it, the key signature will be set.  This feature is also available with the key signature button on the toolbar.

Notation Enhancements
The “N” mode (keystroke notation entry) now has “M” to enter an additional note a third above and “R” to enter a rest.
- The Section Text and Bar Lyrics layer display on the Lead Sheet and printout when the Fake Sheet mode is on.

MusicXML Enhancements
- Additional file types are supported, such as .mxl (a compressed format) and .musicxml, in addition to the existing .xml support.
- When you load a MusicXML file, if the source track is drums, the track type of the destination track (Melody or Soloist) will be automatically set to Drums.
- Hammer-on/pull-off are now saved to MusicXML.

Improved note overlap removal, with option to specify channel match
This feature is accessed from main menu Melody | Edit Melody Track | Quantize, Time Adjust | Eliminate Note Overlap.  In the dialog that appears, you’ll see a new option to treat each channel as a separate track for purposes of eliminating note overlap.  So, for example, a MIDI guitar file with 6 different channels will have note overlapped on a string by string basis.

…and more!

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