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Band-in-a-Box® 2021 for Windows® Upgrade Manual

Chapter 1: Introduction

Congratulations on your purchase of Band-in-a-Box® 2021 for Windows®!

This documentation covers the new features in Band-in-a-Box 2021.  The Help menu has a link to the full manual.

Band-in-a-Box 2021 for Windows is here!

We’ve been busy and added 80 new features and an amazing collection of new content, including 202 RealTracks, new RealStyles, MIDI SuperTracks, Instrumental Studies, Artist Performances, Bonus RealDrums “Singles,” RealDrums transcriptions, MultiStyles PAK 1, Xtra Styles PAK 10, and more!

We have Bonus PAKs with 40 RealTracks in addition to the 202 new RealTracks, as well as a set of 14 new “RealDrums Singles,” so in total an amazing 256 new RealTracks and RealDrums are available!  The Bonus PAKs also include 2 new Instrumental Studies Sets including Blues Shuffle Guitar Soloing featuring Nashville guitar legend Johnny Hiland, and a set focusing on soloing studies for minor jazz blues.  There is a new Artist Performance Set that adds new traditional Celtic tunes featuring flautist/whistle-player Geoff Kelly.  There are also 19 new MIDI SuperTracks, over 100 new RealDrums transcriptions, and new “Look Ma! More MIDI!” sets with 30 new MIDI styles.

In addition, there are over 300 new RealStyles that use the new RealTracks.  These include great Fusion, Smooth Jazz, and Blues with Nashville great Brent Mason, Modern Jazz & Electronic Funk with Jeff Lorber, and Slack Key guitar with Brent Mason.  There are beautiful World Music styles such as African Nanigo, Cuban Cascara, and Brazilian Partido Alto.  There are new classic guitar styles such as “Dublin Pop” and “90s Grunge”, Indie Folk-Rock guitar and 60s Coffeehouse with Quinn Bachand, which also includes a RealTracks first, Dulcimer!  There are new Reggae RealTracks, new “Nashville Radio” and Americana styles which include another RealTracks first, Acoustic Baritone Guitar!  There are Minor Jazz Blues Changes, New Age piano, Celtic styles with new guitars and jaw harp RealTracks, and another RealTracks first, Tin Whistle!  There is Lap Steel with Nashville great Eddy Dunlap, as well as Old Time Mandolins, Banjos & Fiddles, and a new Swinging Shuffle Gospel Vocals style!

Plus, we’ve made a new Xtra Styles PAK 10 with 200 Xtra Styles.  (Xtra styles are styles based on previously released RealTracks).  There is also a MultiStyles PAK which includes a total of 30 new MultiStyles, and includes a total of 150 individual styles.  And there is a new set of “Rediscovered” styles, which is a set of 64 new RealStyles that utilize 72 previously unused RealTracks, RealDrums, and MIDI SuperTracks.

Band-in-a-Box 2021 Features and Additions

There are over 80 new features in Band-in-a-Box 2021!  We’ve added 16 new editable Utility tracks, which can be used for audio and/or MIDI.  24-bit audio playback, recording, mixing, and rendering is now supported.  Auto-Fix “sour” notes - out-of-tune notes in RealTracks will be auto corrected to match chord tones.  4X’s faster audio DSP processing (using SIMD), allowing smoother playback & faster rendering for a larger number of tracks.  The Mixer has been improved with many customizable display options including the embedded window, track selection to display, automatic show/hide during playback, and more.  The Mute and Solo states are now saved/loaded with songs.  You can now view audio on any track, not just the Audio track, and copy regions of audio to Utility tracks.  Plugin control has been improved, with a direct access from the Mixer, the ability to send each MIDI track to output to another track, multiple plugins GUI windows display, WAVES plugins support, and more.  Audio harmonies can be generated onto individual tracks, so you can use control volume, panning, reverb, effects for each voice.  The Hi-Q tempo stretching setting for élastique is used for playback and rendering.  The Chord Sheet has been improved with new zoom buttons and time signature display on the part marker.  Chords can be copied as a simple text format and then be pasted into another song or a text.  7,000 more titles have been added to the Song Titles Browser.  Now, all RealDrums have RealCharts (with accurate Drum Notation and MIDI to trigger drum sounds).  Added support for third-party programs that split audio into separate tracks (stems).  There are new notation features, including cut time (e.g. Bluegrass 1/8 notes) display, GUI enhancements.  And more!

Additional New Content Available for Band-in-a-Box 2021

- 202 RealTracks
- 202 RealTracks
- 40 Unreleased RealTracks
- 19 MIDI SuperTracks
- 64 Rediscovered RealTracks Styles
- 30 All-MIDI Styles
- 10 Instrumental Studies
- 18 Artist Performances
- 14 Bonus RealDrums "Singles"
- RealCharts for all existing and new RealDrums
- MultiStyles PAK 1
- Xtra Styles PAK 10

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

Band-in-a-Box 2021 contains an amazing assortment of new RealTracks & RealDrums!  These include great Fusion, Smooth Jazz and Blues with Nashville great Brent Mason, Modern Jazz & Electronic Funk with Jeff Lorber, Slack Key guitar with Brent Mason.  There are beautiful World Music styles such as African Nanigo, Cuban Cascara, Brazilian Partido Alto.  There are new classic guitar styles such as “Dublin Pop” and “90s Grunge,” Indie Folk-Rock guitar and 60s Coffeehouse with Quinn Bachand, which also includes a RealTracks first, Dulcimer!  There are new Reggae RealTracks, new “Nashville Radio” and Americana styles which include another RealTracks first, Acoustic Baritone Guitar!  There are Minor Jazz Blues Changes, New Age piano, Celtic styles with new guitars and jaw harp RealTracks, and another RealTracks first, Tin Whistle!  There is Lap Steel with Nashville great Eddy Dunlap, as well as Old Time Mandolins, Banjos & Fiddles, and a new Swinging Shuffle Gospel Vocals style!

51 Jazz, Blues, Funk & Latin RealTracks (Sets 353-359)
The Jazz, Blues, Funk & Latin collection this year features a vast assortment of new RealTracks. We’ve added New Fusion Soloing and Lowdown Blues with Nashville legend Brent Mason (9) that features cool new guitar effects that have never previously been in Band-in-a-Box, such as a “rotary” effect that gives the guitar a sound similar to a vintage organ.  We’ve also expanded our jazz “essentials” RealTracks with a set focusing on RealTracks that work very well over Jazz Minor Blues progressions (8).  There are rhythm-section instruments as well as 5 soloists.  Like other RealTracks, they can play over ANY chord progression in ANY key, but are designed to work particularly well over jazz minor blues progressions.  There are Slack Key guitar styles from Brent Mason (6), which feature a distinctly Hawaiian sound.  There are new World Music styles such are “Partido Alto” (4) which is closely related to the Samba, African Nanigo (4), Cuban Cascara (2), Beguine (3) as well as new basses to go along with our previously released “Rumba Flamenca” styles (2).  There are New Age piano styles with Miles Black (5), which work well on their own, or in the context of an electronic trio.  Finally, there are new styles from Fusion legend Jeff Lorber, which include new funky synth basses (3), vintage electronic drums (3) and two new Modern Jazz piano styles (2).

80 Pop, Rock and World RealTracks (Sets 360-367)
We have some amazing new pop, rock, and world styles with Band-in-a-Box 2021. We’ve added to our collection of user-requested “Classic” rock guitar styles, with a set of “Dublin Pop” (9), which emulates the guitar sounds that came out of Ireland in the 80s & 90s, as well as a trip to Seattle with “90s Grunge” (12) which features multiple guitar styles over four basic grunge grooves, and includes both rhythm styles as well as soloists.  There are user-requested Reggae styles (7) which include a new slow 16ths groove very different from our existing Reggae styles, and also includes Steel Drum and Marimba Reggae RealTracks!  There are also classic Dancehall RealTracks (3) that are distinct from our existing modern electronic Dancehall styles.  There are also new Steel Drum and Marimba RealTracks (2) to go along with last year’s “Soca” styles.  There’s a huge assortment of new acoustic guitar styles from Quinn Bachand, including 90s & 2000s acoustic rock (13), Indie Folk-Rock (12), and 60s Coffeehouse (4).  Also included with the “Coffeehouse” set is a RealTracks first, Dulcimer (6)!  This is an instrument that has its roots in Appalachian music, but became very popular due to its use by famous folk legends.  There are new “Gospel Shout” (3) RealTracks, perfect for a rousing church service!  And finally, our extremely popular collection of “cinematic” electric guitar styles has now gotten bigger with new RealTracks (9) from Nashville stalwart Darin Favorite..

71 Country, Americana & Celtic RealTracks (Sets 368-375)
The Country, Americana, and Celtic collection this year has added a beautiful variety of RealTracks. We’ve added to our collection of vocal RealTracks with a set of “Swingin’ Shuffle” vocals (5).  This features a 6-voice choir singing over a swing 8ths groove, with an additional option for an improvised vocal part wailing over the whole thing!  We’ve added to our collection 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 in both a “Nashville Radio” category as well as an “Americana” category. This includes RealTracks from guitarists Danny Rader (2) winner of the CMA guitarist of the year award, drummers Miles McPherson (6) and Fred Eltrington (7) who have won CMA drummers of the year, as well as renown bassists Steve Mackey (2) and Jimmy Carter (4) who are some of the busiest first-call bassists in Nashville!  And of course, this also includes RealTracks favorite Brent Mason, who has won the CMA guitarist of the year award numerous times!  Brent has new guitars in the Americana category (3), as well as a set of “Pop Soul” guitars (7) both rhythm styles and soloists.  There is a new set of Old-Time Music, with “Bonfire” RealTracks (5) and “Sad Ballad” (5), featuring mandolins, fiddles, guitars, and “banjo guitars” or “ganjos.”  There are even MORE Americana styles with a RealTracks first, Baritone ACOUSTIC guitar with Quinn Bachand (10).  Quinn also features on more Celtic Guitar (3), Jaw Harp (5), and Bodhran (2).  Finally, there are exciting new Lap Steel styles with Nashville great Eddy Dunlap (5).

40 Unreleased RealTracks (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
There are 40 amazing bonus RealTracks available with our 2021 49-PAK!  This includes more great bluesy Americana baritone electric and modern-pop 12-string electric guitar styles from the amazing Brent Mason (7).  We have a RealTracks first, tin whistle (2) from Geoffrey Kelly, with Celtic-influenced RealTrack pop grooves!  There are exciting new New Orleans piano styles from Kevin McKendree (2), and another RealTracks first, pop vibes (2), whereas previously we only had jazz vibes RealTracks to choose from.  We have new Funk guitar styles (5) from Nashville guitarist Mike Durham, and “Vintage Pop & Rock n Roll” electric guitars (5) from Quinn Bachand.  There are new electronic RealTracks (7) featuring two groups: “ElecHipHopMinimal,” and “ElectroNeonFloor,” both with RealDrums as well as synth bass and synth pads RealTracks.  There are also new RealDrums from top Nashville studio musician Wes Little, with cajon styles (4) as well as another RealDrums first, mallets (4)!  These RealDrums are played on a typical drum kit, but with mallets instead of stick, to give it an understated “indie-rock” flavor, very common in modern rock, pop, and country.

MIDI SuperTracks Set 32: Jazz, New Age, and Gospel Keys
This collection of SuperTracks provides a tasteful array of keyboard playing, ranging from the flavor of New Orleans styles, to the crunchy voicings of modern jazz piano, to the more open and consonant sounds of New Age and Gospel style piano playing.  The range of these piano styles, coupled with the versatility and utility of SuperTracks, makes this set a must have for the keyboard enthusiast.

MIDI SuperTracks Set 33: More Bass (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
This collection of 9 bass MIDI SuperTracks never misses a beat, covering an extremely broad range of styles, such as Latin, Gospel, Funk, Nashville shuffle, and Reggae. The extremely tight syncopation on synth bass SuperTrack’s “FunkJeff” and “SmoothJazzCoolJeff” are irresistibly groovy, while “Raggae16th” and “DancehallClassic” lays back with an effortless sound. For something different, “PartidoAlto” gives you the fantastic Latin feel your bass repertoire may currently lack.

Rediscovered RealTracks Styles
With version 2021 of Band-in-a-Box, we’ve included 64 new styles that include 72 rediscovered RealTracks, MIDI SuperTracks, and RealDrums.  This will help ensure that there is a style and an SGU demo available for every RealTrack, RealDrum, and MIDI SuperTrack.  Of the 72 rediscovered instruments, 1 is a principal RealTrack, 11 of them are A- or B-only variation RealTracks, 4 are bluesy variation RealTracks, 19 are 1-track RealTracks (derived from multi-part RealTracks), 11 are either half-time or double-time variation RealTracks, 1 is a MIDI SuperTrack, 4 are thickened RealTracks, and 21 are RealDrums.

MIDI Styles Set “Look Ma! More MIDI 5” (15 styles)
This special collection of jazz MIDI styles cannot be missed!  In “Look Ma! More MIDI 5,” we’ve created a cornucopia of modern jazz sounds, including a modern jazz waltz, disco jazz fusion, jazz rock, rumba fusion, and much, much more!  We’ve also included some classics like a Dixieland quintet, multiple jazz blues styles, and fast jazz with trumpet.  Don’t let these original MIDI jazz arrangements go unnoticed!

MIDI Styles Set “Look Ma! More MIDI 6” (15 styles) (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
We’ve brought modern arrangements and yesterday’s favorites to the MIDI world with “Look Ma! More MIDI 6.”  This diverse collection will boost the sonic possibilities in your pop, rock, and country songs.  Dance-floor funk with a synthesizer solo, New Orleans boogie, ska punk, an Americana ballad - these are just some of the great new styles that await you.  Don't miss out!

Instrumental Studies 14: Country Rock Blues Shuffle Soloing (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
The techniques required to become proficient in minor blues guitar soloing can be found in this Instrumental Studies set.  With well-articulated and dynamic phrases, the minor blues guitar soloing can’t be beat.  Each track has high quality notation and tablature showing all of the slides, hammer on and pull offs and other techniques needed to learn this style of music.  There are 5 different minor blues progression in the keys of A, C, D, E and G, each one with a unique performance.  As each phrase flows fluently from one chord to the next, adjust the tempo up or down to suit your playing ability and learn at your own speed.  Learning minor blues guitar soloing has never been easier and it has never sounded this good.

Instrumental Studies 15: Minor Jazz Blues Guitar Soloing
With a prolific stock of howling guitar riffs, Instruments Studies 15 provides a chance to hear, see and play an amazing collection of Blues Shuffle Soloing.  The heavy guitar tone, which is saturated with gain, generates the power that is captured in each song in this set.  There are 5 songs in this set in the keys of A, C, D, E and G and each has its own unique performance. The solos have been analyzed and transcribed so you get all of the style and nuances visible in notation or in tablature.  You can also follow along with the playing on the guitar fretboard in the guitar window. The slides, bends, hammer on and pull offs and other techniques available in this Instrumental Studies are available for you now!

Artist Performance Set 10: More Celtic Flute with Geoff Kelly (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
Artist Performance Set 10 features more Celtic Flute from the wickedly talented Geoff Kelly.  Included in this set is a variety of instruments, featuring the Flute, Whistle, Fiddle, Banjo and Guitar.  Each song is a classic Celtic tune and is accompanied by Band-in-a-Box RealTracks, creating a unique rhythm section performance each time the song is generated.  Some songs have just a Flute or a Whistle, and others combine multiple instrumental performance tracks together to create a spellbinding sound that can only be heard here.  With each artist performance track. you also get notation showing exactly what is played and using Band-in-a-Box 2021 you can view 6/8 notation for tracks in that time signature.  The superb talent and quality of each artist performance, combined with the Band-in-a-Box rhythm section, makes each of these traditional, timeless tunes come alive for you to enjoy!

Bonus RealDrums “Singles” (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
With many of our previously released RealTracks, there are options for RealDrums that include a variety of percussion instruments mixed in.  For a selection of these RealDrums styles, you can now select RealDrums “singles,” individual percussion parts that made up those larger styles.  With the “multi-drums” feature in Band-in-a-Box, you can mix-and-match these RealDrums “singles” with any other RealDrums you like!  For example, you can take the Timbale Fills that are part of the “SkaSlowClassicWesPerc^” RealDrums style, but use it with a completely different RealDrums style, for example pairing it with “NashvilleEv8,”, to give your country-pop tune a Jamaican flair!  This collection comes with 14 never-before-available RealDrums singles, with percussion instruments such as “BrakeDrum,”, “Daf,” “Timbale,” “Djembe” and more!

Bonus Requested Half-time/Double-time Variation Styles
We’ve added 111 new RealStyles, including variations of existing 16th-based bluegrass, variations of existing Celtic and train beat styles, new styles with both 8th-based and 16th variations, and 16th-based samba variations.  We’ve also added 80 new half-time/double-time RealTracks variations and 27 new 8ths/16ths RealDrums variations.

RealCharts for all existing and new RealDrums
There are over 300 additional RealChart (transcriptions) for RealDrums with Drum Notation.  This means that now ALL RealDrums in Band-in-a-Box have accompanying RealCharts!  In addition, the MIDI that makes up these RealCharts can actually be used as the basis for MIDI drum parts.  In Band-in-a-Box, the MIDI that makes up the RealCharts can be copied to a Utility track, where it can trigger a MIDI drum patch.  In the DAW plugin version of Band-in-a-Box, the MIDI can be dragged right from the plugin into a track in the DAW, where you can then also apply a MIDI drum patch.

MultiSyles PAK 1 (30 MultiStyles containing 120 styles) (Included in Bonus 49-PAK)
Due to popular demand, we’ve made an entire collection of MultiStyles just for you!  Each MultiStyle has a total of 8 substyles for your nuanced arrangements!  These styles come in three different genre PAKs: country, rock/pop, and jazz.  Each genre PAK has 10 MultiStyles.  Plus, you also get their component styles.  This gives you many more song demos and allows you to easily view RealTracks/RealDrums lists for all substyles from the Style Picker.  Including the component styles, each genre PAK contains 50 styles. MultiStyles PAK 1 has a total of 30 new MultiStyles and 120 component styles.  That makes a grand total of 150 styles!  So, what exactly did we dream up this time?  Our jazz greats MultiStyle allows you to switch between piano and guitar comping, or select from two different solos.  Our Jamaican groove selecta allows you to switch from ska at one section to reggae, island groove, or reggae with sax solo at another.  A Tex-Mex country MultiStyle allows you to switch between a regular-time and double-time feel.  And that’s just the beginning.  There’s so much more in store!  Once you dive into these professionally-mixed MultiStyles, you’ll wonder how you ever made due with only two substyles per song!  Use one substyle for a softer intro, another one for a restrained breakdown, then throw in a different and energetic middle-eight, or change it up with a solo.  The possibilities are endless!

Xtra Styles PAK 10
Can you believe we’ve already made 10 Xtra Styles PAKs?  What a journey it’s been!  And to celebrate, we have some very special styles in store for you.  They’re divided into four categories: Rock-Pop 10, Jazz 10, Country 10, and Folk Celebration 1.  Each category has 50 styles, making a grand total of 200 styles – that’s over thirty more styles than we used to ship in our Xtra Style PAKs (1-8)!  So kick back, turn up your speakers, and check out some of these arrangements, like lo-fi acoustic guitar hip hop, triple-guitar garage rock, a barbecue boom-chick jam, slidin’ lazy country blues, bolero and bossa nova fusion, a Gypsy and stride ballad, praise break organ jazz fusion, surfin’ folk rock, barn dance old-time stomp ‘n’ clap, an acoustic folky blues jam, and so much more!  For the second time, we’ve also included a MultiStyle in every genre!  Don't miss out on Xtra Styles PAK 10 - a carefully-crafted celebration of music!

  • Rock-Pop 10: We’ve been busy studying the latest trends in music and finding new ways to fuse together genres.  The result is Rock and Pop Volume 10!  Retro-inspired disco pop, dirty dance rock, lo-fi hip-hop beats with acoustic guitar – they’re all at your fingertips.  There are also softer styles such as a retro 12/8 pop ballad and heavier styles like a triple-guitar garage rock band.  With a total of 50 styles, there’s something for everyone!  To top it all off, we’ve included a fantastic eight-substyle psychedelic funk MultiStyle!  There are so many modern music gems in this style collection just waiting for your progressions.  Don’t miss out
  • Jazz 10: The bold and adventurous jazz styles in Xtra Styles PAK 10 combine classic jazz sounds like Dixieland, Gypsy, bebop, and swing with other musical styles like Latin, folk, funk, and praise break!  The 50 styles in this volume include a melodic Gypsy son montuno, 3-3-2 Latin jazz fusion, funky half-time bebop, praise break organ jazz fusion, dreamy lounge funk, rock ‘n’ roll jazz swing, and many more!  There’s even an eight-part soul funk MultiStyle for you to enjoy!  Discover new and unconventional jazz sounds with this large collection of original jazz styles!
  • Country 10: We always take great joy in putting together a new batch of country styles and this round is no exception!  There is a total of 50 new country styles in this volume!  Get ready for lots of classic country sounds that are fused with other genres like folk and blues.  Fast country soul swing, slidin’ lazy country blues, a dramatic baritone ballad, a boom-chick barbeque jam with spoons - these are just some of the great styles that are in store!  And, for your advanced arrangements, we’ve carefully constructed an eight-part country folk waltz MultiStyle!  The sounds of Xtra Styles PAK 10: Country 10 will have all your friends dancing in their snake-skin boots!
  • Folk Celebration 10: This collection of folk styles celebrates coming together as a community to make music!  Some styles follow this theme closely, like an acoustic folky blues jam quartet and an old-time stomp ‘n’ clap barn dance!  Others celebrate it in spirit with cheerful arrangements, such as a jaw harp and cello slip jig, flowing songwriter folk, and a pond-ripple gentle folk pulse.  We’ve also included some inventive combinations like surf folk rock and bow-string movie folk.  And, for your advanced arrangements, we’ve created an eight-part modern folk funk MultiStyle that is a modern interpretation of a sixties/seventies jam band groove!  There are fifty ways to celebrate music in this amazing volume of folk styles!

Xtra Styles PAK 9 (Released May 2020) - 200 RealStyles for Jazz, Rock-Pop, Country, and Folk

Xtra Styles PAK 8 (Released December 2019) - 164 RealStyles for Jazz, Rock-Pop, Country, and Celtic

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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