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Band-in-a-Box® 2023 for Windows® Upgrade Manual

Chapter 2: Summary of New Features

We’ve added over 70 new features to Band-in-a-Box 2023, including...

Partial Track Re-Generation
Now you can re-generate sections of RealTracks by simply highlighting the section and pressing Ctrl+F8. This generates a different part each time, so you can keep regenerating to find the best replacement. You can also re-generate using different RealTracks than the original. Normally, you would choose to replace the existing part but you can also set this to merge so you will hear both parts. This also works with different RealTracks than the original on the same track. There is an optional floating Regeneration window with settings (Alt+F8), which allows you to customize the re-generation.

Undo Available for Song Generation and Track Generation
When you generate (or re-generate) a full song or part/whole track, you can undo it to get back to the previous generation with the main menu Edit | Undo or Ctrl+Z.

Playable RealDrums
You can now customize the RealDrums performance by adding your own notes. You will then hear those notes using a MIDI sound created from the RealDrums recording. This means you can get the RealDrums to play the notes you want at key parts of the performance, either augmenting or replacing what the RealDrums is playing, for any sections in the song. This includes full drum kits in GM note number format. You can enter the notes in the Notation (using drum notation) or the Piano Roll window.

Playable MIDI Tracks and MIDI SuperTracks
You can now customize the MIDI generated tracks by adding your own notes (on the same track). This uses the same sound as the MIDI tracks. You can use this to replace or augment sections of the performance. You can re-generate the MIDI tracks, and your customizations will remain.

Master Volume Automation
This node-based volume automation allows fine volume control of the Master track. This allows easy creation of fades, crescendos, mutes, etc. This is in addition to the individual track volume automation.

RealTracks Stems
Some RealTracks have multiple track recordings, such as quartet vocals, string quartet, blues horns, crooner big band and more. Previously, you could only generate a single track with the entire group. Now, you can generate the “stems,” which are the individual tracks as recorded. So, for example, for a string quartet you would get 5 tracks - the full mix and 4 separate tracks for each of the instruments. This allows you to mix them as you’d like and also mute parts if you want to play along.

RealDrums Fills
RealDrums fills can be controlled, so you can get a drum fill at any bar (without needing a part marker section change). You can also get no drum fill on the bar before a part marker.

SynthMaster Player Synth Included
This award-winning synth by KV331 Audio has thousands of presets that are especially useful for modern, techno and arpeggiator sounds.
SynthMaster support built into Band-in-a-Box includes:
- MIDI SuperTracks that use sounds with arpeggiators
- Access to SynthMaster sounds using the “Load Plugin” from the track’s right-menu, to choose from thousands of SynthMaster sounds, or choose “Load Hi-Q patch “dialog, to choose from presets made by PG Music for some nice sounds available in SynthMaster just by picking a patch.
- SynthMaster comes with thousands of sounds, so you can simply choose Load-Plugin from the Plugin tab menu on the Mixer and choose SynthMaster, and then choose one of these sounds from the SynthMaster panel.
- Styles can be made that automatically play with SynthMaster sounds, without need to load it.
MIDI Styles Disk for SynthMaster Synth included, using a mix of SynthMaster sounds, MIDI SuperTracks with arpeggiators and RealTracks.

EZ-RealTracks/RealDrums Folder Location Dialog
When you rebuild a style list, you can confirm and set the correct locations of your RealTracks and RealDrums folders. Previously, setting these folders took time as they were set in different locations and not incorporated into the style rebuild. Now, there is a dialog that shows the current locations (e.g., C:\bb\RealTracks and C:\bb\Drums) and the number of RealTracks and RealDrums present in these locations. This allows you to confirm that you are using the correct locations as you see the expected numbers of RealTracks and RealDrums found in the folders. The dialog will display in the StylePicker when rebuilding the styles list, and also show once when you run or update the program. It is also accessible from the Track Settings and Actions dialog (F7).

“Different Riffs” Setting for Re-Generation
The Regeneration window (Alt+F8) and MultiRiff dialog (F8) have settings for “Different Riffs.” If the option is set to “always,” each generation will be different from previous ones. If it’s set to “start,” the first bar of the section generated will be different from previous ones. If it’s set to “none,” the generation might be similar to previous ones. For example, when you set it to always different and regenerate a few bars of a sax solo, you should hear different phrases each time.

Erase Range of RealTracks
You can now easily erase a selected region of RealTracks and related MIDI notation by highlighting a region and selecting a new track button menu.

Auto-Save Song
If you did not close Band-in-a-Box properly in the last session, when you restart it, you will see a message dialog that asks if you want to load the auto-saved song. This prevents losing your work if something crashes on your system.

Stereo VU Meters on the Mixer
In the Mixer window, the VU meters for the different tracks now show panning information.

Audio Input Monitoring
This is like “Audio Thru” and it routes incoming audio to Audio Out.

RealTracks Picker Enhancements
The “Stems” column is added to show you the number of individual instruments/voices available for the RealTrack.
There is a new menu item in the [#] filter button to find RealTracks with stems. 
A right-click menu is added with commonly used functions (e.g., clear filter, set or edit favorites, show similar RealTracks, etc.).
You can launch the StylePicker that will show only styles that use the selected RealTracks.
You can set favorites by using the right-click menu or clicking on the [*] (Set as Favorite) button.
The Choose RealTracks from Favorites and Recent dialog shows favorites followed by recently used RealTracks. The list can be filtered with text string. For example, type banjo to find the ones with banjo in the name.
There is a Favorite RealTracks Editor that allows you to re-arrange/add/remove your favorites and add comments, which are searchable in the filter.
A “Similar” button is added that will show RealTracks similar to the currently selected one.

RealDrums Picker Enhancements
A right-click menu is added with commonly used functions (e.g., clear filter, set or edit favorites, show similar or compatible RealDrums, etc.)
You can set favorites by using the right-click menu or clicking on the [*] column.
The Choose RealDrums from Favorites and Recent dialog shows favorites followed by recently used RealDrums. The list can be filtered with text string. For example, type fusion to find the ones with fusion in the name.
There is a Favorite RealDrums Editor that allows you to re-arrange/add/remove your favorites and add comments, which are searchable in the filter.
A “Similar” button is added that shows RealDrums that are similar to the currently selected one.
There is a new menu item in the [#] filter button to find RealDrums with stems. 

Copy Song to Text Enhancements
The feature that copies the song as a text to clipboard or .txt file has been enhanced with options to:
- Add lyrics as a [Lyrics] section
- Use Tab delimiter for Bars, so the text can be pasted into a spreadsheet with columns for each bar
- Use / for every beat, to see | C / / / | instead of | C |
- Add Bar Numbers to each bar

SongPicker Enhancements
The SongPicker auto-rebuilds for folders if there are less than a specified number of songs. This means the SongPicker will show all songs including new ones without needing to rebuild.
There is an option to include/exclude subfolders from the song list.
Message about rebuilding now is a question so that pressing YES saves the extra step of needing to rebuild it.

Chord Track Added
Chord track is added, for use with a VST (e.g., arpeggiators want a chord track) or for simple “pad” (held chords) tracks.
Chord track can be generated on any track. Specify note range required.
There is an option to always put a chord track on a specified track (e.g., Utility track #16).
Specific MIDI SuperTracks are added that generate a simple chord track (triads/7ths) or a chord track including 9ths/13ths. Adding these MIDI SuperTracks to your track will write a chord track in the range set, for use with arpeggiators or other VST’s wanting a chord track. With each play a new chord track is written. To do this, open the Select MIDI SuperTracks and choose one that has “Arpeggio” in the name.

Fit-to-Note-Range MIDI Transpose Added
This will take any MIDI track and transpose the octave of the notes so that they enter the note range specified. For example, if you have a bass MIDI track, and the notes are going too low for your MIDI patch, you can transpose to the instrument range, and notes will have the octave raised as needed. This function is in the track’s menu and also available for MIDI SuperTracks.

Yellow Messages Enhancements
The notification messages that appear at the bottom right of the screen are enhanced. They are smaller, occupying less of the screen.
The flash message colors can now be chosen in the Display Options dialog.
A handy function is added to easily see the flash message log. Type log <Enter>, and FlashMessageLog.txt will open.

Help for “Style Not Found”
If a style is not found when loading it, you will be given an option to open the StylePicker showing compatible styles that you do have. Also, it shows information about the missing style like instrumentation, genre, and audio demo so you get an idea of what replacement you need.

StylePicker Enhancements
A style chosen as a prototype always shows in the list, even with a filter applied
4-bar preview is now settable to 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28 or 32 bars.
Double-click on a style can be set to play the Chord Sheet chords instead of the pre-made demo.
A progress bar will show at the top of the StylePicker during style rebuild.
Style rebuild shows a dialog to confirm RealTracks/RealDrums folder locations.
The StylePicker launches when a style is not found and shows you replacement suggestions.
The Reset Dialog to Default menu item sets both the StylePicker main screen and StylePicker Options dialog to default.

Generate Intros Using Song Chords
An option is added to incorporate the chords in any section into the intro. For example, you can use the last 4 bars of the song as an intro.

More Items for Track’s Right-Click Menu
Menu items are added for copy/move tracks, transpose octave to note range, generate chord track, regenerate part of track (Ctrl+F8), and regenerate window (Alt+F8).
Find a Drums Sub for Style item is added to the Drums track. This will list RealDrums that would work for the current style.

Track Settings and Actions Dialog Enhancements
The dialog has a new button for various MIDI editing commands like transpose, generate chord track, transpose octave to note range, etc.
There is also a new button to copy/move tracks.

Summary Section Added to “What Add-ons do I have?” Dialog
This lists the Percent (%) of RealTracks, RealDrums, Styles and add-on styles with links to with more information.

Pre-made “Showcase” Audio Demos for Playable RealTracks and RealDrums
These show how the playable MIDI sound (sfz) compares to the audio RealTracks and RealDrums, by playing 4 bars of playable sound, then 4 bars of playable sound with a band, and then 4 bars of RealTracks with a band.

Playable Tracks Enhancement
You can now easily increase/decrease volume of the MIDI track (using velocity).

Chord display for Nashville Notation and Roman Numerals now shows minor keys as 1m
For example, Am in the key of Am would be 1m. This is settable if you prefer 6m.

Display Option of Red Lines in Bars on Chord Sheet
The Bar Settings (F5) dialog has an option to hide the “red lines” in bars that have changes. This can be done per song or global setting. You can toggle the setting back on when you want to see them again, but it gives the Chord Sheet a cleaner look when you are just playing songs.

Notation Enhancements
The Notation window (Editable or Staff Roll mode) has hotkeys (Ctrl+Alt+Arrow R/L) for changing note times left/right.
You can now highlight an area of non-editable notation.
Rests now transpose from treble to bass.
Lead Sheet can set number of staves to one per page in Options.
There is a new notation setting for note colors: black (a chord tone), green (not a chord tone) and orange (not a chord tone and not a scale tone).

Notation Printing Enhancements
There is a new File menu item Print Song in Lead Sheet Mode that prints the song using the Lead Sheet options (such as fake sheet). The hotkey is Ctrl+Shift+P. This is in addition to File | Print Song (Ctrl+P) that prints using the Notation window options.
When you do not include staff lines in printout, there is an option to show chords above instead of inside the bar.
Band-in-a-Box remembers all items in the Print Options dialog when returning and after reboot.
The Print Options dialog has hotkeys for “OK - Preview/Graphics” and others.
Print Range remembers last settings and uses that as default.

XML Enhancement
Importing a MusicXML file to Utility tracks is enhanced, so tracks don’t default to all going on the Melody track.

New Hotkeys
Ctrl+A selects all in the various windows like Chord Sheet, Notation, Audio Edit and Piano Roll.
Alt+Shift+Z solos the current track on the mixer.
L O G Enter opens the flash message log file (FlashMessageLog.txt).
(Audio Edit Window) Ctrl+Shift+V mix-pastes audio in the Audio Edit window.
(Audio Edit Window) Shift+Delete deletes a region of audio in the Audio Edit window.
(Piano Roll window) + (plus) increases velocities of the selected notes by 1.
(Piano Roll window) Shift++ (plus) increases velocities of the selected notes by 5.
(Piano Roll window) - (minus) decreases velocities of the selected notes by 1.
(Piano Roll window) Shift+- (minus) decreases velocities of the selected notes by 5.
(Piano Roll window) ~ (tilde) randomizes velocities of the selected notes (-1 to +1).
(Piano Roll window) Shift+~ (tilde) randomizes velocities of the selected notes (-5 to +5).

Search-and-Replace chords now sets to the selected area.
Songs loaded that previously had audio but no longer have audio files will remove the audio settings (tempo, transpose) from the track.
You can now drop VST plugins (.dll files) onto the plugin selector dialog to add them to the Band-in-a-Box plugin lists.
A song setting to allow chord variations in repeated sections is added.
The DAW button turns red to clearly indicate the DAW plugin mode is currently on.
The “Select Hi-Q MIDI Patch Plugin” menu item always shows in the track button menu.
MIDI tracks that use their own MIDI plugin display VU meters based on audio output rather than estimated MIDI events.
The color selection combo box in the Display Options dialog is now bigger.
Increase/decrease note velocity adjusting features are added to the Piano Roll window. These can be accessed from the right-click menu or hotkeys.

Many Accessibility Enhancements
See the list at

Feature Browser Enhancements
The Feature Browser (accessed from the / Enter keys) has been updated to include the latest 2023 features.
There is a new button to filter the list to show the latest 2023 features. You can add keywords to find new features for topics of interest.

… and more!

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