Band-in-a-Box® for Windows DAW Plugin New Features
New Features in Version 5.0 (included with Band-in-a-Box® 2023)
New Features in Version 4.0 (included with Band-in-a-Box® 2022)
New Features in Version 3.0 (included with Band-in-a-Box® 2021)
New Features in Version 2.0 (included with Band-in-a-Box® 2020)
There are over 40 enhancements to the Band-in-a-Box® DAW Plugin, including Drum Stems (separate tracks from the different microphones used during the actual recording sessions), 4 color schemes to choose from, enhanced chord settings, improved undo/redo operation, "Rebuild StylePicker" notification whenever rebuild is required, EZ RealTracks/RealDrums Folder Locations dialog and much more!
60 Bonus Unreleased RealTracks
34 MIDI SuperTracks
30 All-MIDI Styles
12 Instrumental Studies
50 Artist Performances
50+ RealDrums Stems
10 Playable RealDrums, with Audio Demos
400+ Additional Audio Demos for Playable RealTracks
700+ Audio Demos for All New and Existing Playable RealTracks
SynthMaster Sounds and Styles, with Audio Demos
RealCombos Booster PAK
XPro Styles PAK 4
Xtra Styles PAK 14
Xtra Styles PAK 15
Drum stems are now available in the Plugin. Drum stems are separate tracks from the different microphones used during the actual recording sessions. You can find which RealDrums have drum stems if you look at the "Stems" column in the RealDrums Picker. It will tell you how many microphones were used for recording.
Color Schemes Available
There are 4 color schemes (skins) to choose from. Types include "Classic," "Flat," "Dark" and "Light" and can be changed in the General Settings of the Preferences dialog.
Chord Settings Enhancements
Deleting MicroChord in dialog immediately removes it from the overall chord.
All '7' chords are visible in Chord Theory tab.
Current bar display is larger and easier to read.
Bar, beat, and play buttons are moved under current bar display on the right.
Labels in the MicroChords tab only allow legal chord inputs.
The Chord Settings dialog now supports 3/4 time signatures.
Changing standalone preferences resizes the window.
The Preferences dialog no longer has a delay when being opened.
Spacing and layout margins are improved.
Undo Song Start includes Part Marker in transaction.
Changing Part Marker triggers "Generation Needed" icon.
Changing Song End triggers "Generation Needed" icon.
The "Rebuild StylePicker" notification displays whenever style rebuild is required.
Yellow Messages Enhanced
The notification messages that appear at the bottom right of the screen are enhanced. They are smaller, occupying less of the screen.
EZ RealTracks/RealDrums Folder Locations Dialog
When you rebuild a style list, you can confirm and set the correct locations of your RealTracks and RealDrums folders.
A style chosen as a prototype always shows in the list, even with a filter applied.
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 [Action] button - “Reset Dialog to Default” menu item sets both the StylePicker main screen and StylePicker Options dialog to default.
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.
RealTracks Picker Enhancements
The “Stems” column is added to show you the number of microphones used for recording.
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.
Other Enhancements and Fixes
Help is added to the File menu.
"Most Recent Style" is now saved for all plugin instances.
Band-in-a-Box status icon changes color when opening the StylePicker.
Slash chords now play with low root 8vb.
When loading a song with utility tracks, the track table scrolls to the first page.
Zoom in on the Chord Sheet now works properly.
Scrolling the Chord Sheet now moves one row at a time.
Changing selected beat in chord settings resets "beat" value.
Beat in the Chord Settings properly changes when you click on arrows.
DAW Plugin 4.0 New Features!
DAW Plugin 4.0
Chord Settings dialog with Chord Builder, Chord Theory, and MicroChords
There is a Chord Settings dialog which includes Chord Builder, Chord Theory, and MicroChords.
MicroChords (multiple chords per beat)
You can now enter up to 4 chords per beat, and the MicroChords in a SGU/MGU file will be written to the chord sheet.
Four pages on the track table
The track table now has 4 pages for a total of 32 tracks (8 style tracks, 16 utility tracks, and 8 multi-riff tracks) plus a Style Mix track.
Drag MIDI chords and markers from the plugin to DAW
- You can drag the [C7] button (above the chord sheet) to the DAW to export chords and markers in a MIDI file.
- "Save Chords to MIDI File" has been added to the File menu and the [C7] button right-click menu.
- "Load Chords from MIDI File" has been added to the File menu and the [C7] button right-click menu.
Volume sliders for each track
The new volume slides on each track allow you to control volume individually.
Save and Load chord progression
You can now save and load a chord progression using the new File menu commands ("Save chord progression" and "Load chord progression")
Drum stems are separate tracks from the different mics in the RealDrums recording. They can be loaded to separate tracks.
[VI] button above chord sheet for chord display options
The [VI] button has been added to above the chord sheet and clicking on it shows a menu with options for types of chord symbols to display.
[MicroChords] tab in Chord Settings dialog
Clicking on the new [MicroChords] button in the Chord Settings dialog allows you to enter MicroChords, rests, and motifs.
Hotkey to open MicroChords dialog
Typing M <Enter> on the chord sheet opens the MicroChords dialog.
Generate all pages
The [Generate] button now generates tracks in all pages, not just the pages displayed on the screen.
Output RealChart for RealTracks along with audio
Preferences-DAW Settings has a new "Send MIDI Data to DAW" setting with 3 options (Never, Only for MIDI Tracks, Always) and this allows to output RealCharts for RealTracks along with audio
Option to always disable audio when generating MIDI-only styles
The new option in Preference-Rendering allows you to always disable audio when generating MIDI-only styles.
Track label should reflect what region is generated if any
Previously, the track labels did not reflect what region is generated if any.
We've added convenient Undo and Redo buttons above the chord sheet.
Reset track volume slider to 0
You can shift-click on the volume slider to set the volume to 0 dB.
Load an audio file on any track
You can now load an audio file on any track.
Load a MIDI file on any track
You can now load a MIDI file on any track.
Changed "Extra" tracks to "Utility" tracks
Previously called "Extra" tracks are now called "Utility" tracks.
Exclude "Style Mix" from scrolling
When you scroll the track table, the "Style Mix" always shows at the top so it can be accessed from any page.
Style Mix [ALL] button now drags all style and utility tracks
Previously, when you dragged the Style Mix [ALL] button, only style tracks were dragged.
Black background for render options in Preferences dialog
The Preferences-Rendering dialog now has a black background.
Updated some preference settings to use a drop-down menu
Some settings in the Preferences dialog now have a drop-down menu instead of a checkbox.
Five menu options added for StylePicker
We've added following menu options to the StylePicker.
- Choose styles similar to current
- Band Styles (best RealStyles)
- Choose Style from Song Title Browser
- Recently Used Styles
- Favorite Styles
Sample rate/bit depth options in Preferences menu
Preferences-Rendering now have sample rate and bit depth options.
Have MIDI-only option for each track
The MIDI-only option for each track gives you the ability to specify if you want audio rendered from MIDI tracks. Previously, this was not possible for a single track and could only be applied to all tracks during a generation.
Pad/no pad partial renders
The new Preferences option allows you to add/remove bars of silence before a partial render. For instance, if you just render bar 4-5 of an 8-bar song and this option is checked, it will add 3 bars of silence before the 4th bar comes in.
StylePicker Picker Enhanced
- Additional row has been added to the mixer area for Utility tracks.
- The Other filter button has more menu items.
- The Set # column shows HalfDouble for Half-time/Double-time variation styles.
- We’ve added more user categories (e.g., Xtra12 All Styles, XPro Styles, Style Demos with Vocals, etc.)
Other features including features added since 2021 release
- Previously, the plugin would crash if you tried to run multiple instances because multiple apps are trying to call bbw4. Now, the plugin will check if there are multiple instances running and if so, it will close bbw4 after each call to prevent crashes. So, ultimately the plugin can now "somewhat support" multiple instances although it still isn't recommended.
- Now any "Recent" menu like Recent RealTracks, Recent MIDI SuperTracks, Recent Files, etc. (found in File, Select, and Generate menus) have an option at the bottom to "Clear" which will clear the list.
- The standalone version of the plugin now has the File->Quit menu command.
- You can now quickly preview N bars.
- There is now a right-click menu on the chord sheet that allows you to preview N bars.
- A message will show notifying you that the saved window size has completed.
- Bars will be highlighted during MIDI preview.
- The "Preview N Bars" option has been added to the Generate menu.
- A new button in Preferences-General makes the current plugin window size the default for all new instances.
- A new option in Preferences-Rendering automatically clears the render folder at startup.
- A new option in Preferences-Rendering always separates audio output channels for each track after generating.
- A notification will appear if the plugin cannot generate tracks because of missing media.
- The "Generation is complete!" message that shows after generating tracks has a [Play] button so you can start playback right after generating.
- "Play Current Chord" has been added to the right-click menu on the chord sheet. The hotkey for this function is Shift-Enter.
- The Preferences dialog is updated with tab menus.
- A new option in Preferences-General allows you to select a default chord type to display.
- You can use a dedicated MIDI synth for immediate MIDI playback of chord(s) and rendered MIDI files.
- The MIDI and audio channel buttons on the track table are now clickable and you can change a channel.
- You can set a folder path for saved tracks for that instance.
- You can preview chord progression as MIDI (Play/Stop button is above chord sheet).
- The top menu can be hidden to save space.
- A new button in Preferences-Rendering will display a plugin log of green/yellow messages.
- There is a new option in Preferences-General to let you select a chord font.
- A line is drawn between the Generate and Custom buttons to separate the two visually.
- The option to enable/disable style mix track is set by default.
- The Preferences-Rendering option to enable/disable style mix track is set by default.
- A new option in Preference-Rendering enables rendering with high-quality tempo stretching.
- Clicking a status message area brings any open Band-in-a-Box window to front.
DAW Plugin 3.0 New Features!
DAW Plugin 3.0
Audio Rendering Enhanced
Rendering is faster.
The default bit depth rendering is 24 bit.
The highest quality tempo stretching setting for élastique is used when rendering. You may be using a lower quality setting for playback in order to increase performance, but this is not necessary when rendering to an audio file.
Display two chord types
The Plugin can display two chord types in the chord sheet. Press the [Chord Display] button, go to Also show..., and select a chord type.
Set action for new session
You can now set the action to perform when starting a new session. [Preferences > General > Action for New Session]
Set default style
There is an option to set the default style to use when starting a new session or saving a song with no style. [Preferences > General > Set Default Style]
Save with default style
Saving song with no style will save with the selected default style.
Generate all ungenerated tracks
The Plugin can generate all ungenerated tracks. Press the [Custom...] button and select All Pages (Ungenerated tracks only).
Global bar offset for sync playback
There is a global bar offset for sync playback in the DAW. Press the [Sync] button and enter a value for Bar Offset.
Table view buttons
Table view buttons [Tracks + Chords] [Track Table] [Chord Sheet] have been added so you can switch to display both the track table and the chord sheet, the track table only, or the chord sheet only.
Change audio output channels
You can now change audio output channels for an audio track. To do this, press the [+] button on the track table and go to Set Audio Channel(s).
Select MIDI channel
You can now select a MIDI channel for a MIDI track. To do this, press the [+] button on the track table and go to Set MIDI Channel.
User friendly file names
There is an option for "User friendly file names" of rendered tracks. [Preferences > Rendering > Simplify File Names]
Import MIDI markers and tempo map
You can now import MIDI markers and tempo map to the chord sheet. Just drag a MIDI file onto the chord sheet.
Export chord markers as a MIDI file
You can now export chord markers as a MIDI file [Hold SHIFT while dragging from the chord sheet] with options to include a click track or block chords [Preferences > General > Chord Export Option]. Block chord voicings can be changed by editing bbpluginchords.txt.
Yellow flash for status messages
The Plugin will show a yellow flash for status messages to highlight actions.
Tempo and time signature info
Tempo and time signature info is now included in the fold/unfold feature.
Highlight bar during playback
The option is added in Preferences to highlight bar only during playback. [Preferences > Rendering > Highlight Bar From DAW]
Copy/Paste to/from Band-in-a-Box®
Plugin now supports copy/paste special to/from Band-in-a-Box®. Paste Special from Band-in-a-Box® to the Plugin using the "Paste Special" option in the chord sheet context menu or with Ctrl+Shift+V.
1. Copying from the Plugin to Band-in-a-Box®
- Highlight the bars of your song in the chord sheet and press Ctrl+C or right-click on the chord sheet and select Edit - Copy from the menu.
- In Band-in-a-Box®, go to Edit - Paste Special or press Ctrl+Shift+V to paste the contents from the Plugin into Band-in-a-Box®.
2. Copying from Band-in-a-Box® to the Plugin
- In Band-in-a-Box®, go to Edit - Copy Special - Copy Song(s) to Text on clipboard or File(s). Then, in the dialog that opens, press the [OK-Copy to Clipboard] button.
- In the Plugin, press Ctrl+Shift+V, or right-click on the chord sheet and select Edit - Paste Special from the menu.
Using Ctrl+V to paste will paste not only the chords but the entire song. If you want just the chords then you can use Ctrl+V.
High-quality tempo stretching option for rendering
There is now an option to use the high-quality tempo stretching for rendering tracks. [Preferences > Render > Use High-quality tempo stretching]
[C7] button for export/import chords
There is a [C7] button at the bottom right corner. You can drag the button to the DAW to export chords in a MIDI file. Right-clicking on the button allows you select items to include in the file. The menu also includes an option to load chords from a MIDI file.
Bring a Band-in-a-Box window to front
You can click the status message area to bring any open Band-in-a-Box window to front.
Option to enable/disable style mix track by default
There is now an option to enable/disable the style mix track by default. [Preferences > Render > Enable Style Mix for all new projects] Note that when the style mix track is disabled, it will be excluded from generation. You can enable/disable the style mix track by using the "+" button or right-clicking on the track.
- All part markers should start on new line.
- Solfege display doubled last letter of note.
- Cannot drag rendered files in some DAWs.
- “Generate Entire Song” does not work if bars are highlighted in the chord sheet.
- K command replaces 3 with #.
- Unfolding removes chords after ending bar.
- Visual transpose key resizing incorrectly.
- Muting track with count-in (master/drums) still includes first beat of count-in when playing.
- Clicking mute area of empty track triggers mute.
- Drag-from track table should temporarily disable drag-to.
- VST2 produces no audio in some cases.
- Pasting in new session, then starting new session doesn't prompt to save.
- Starting new plugin should start with "new" action (i.e.: default style should open zzjazz when opening a new plugin).
DAW Plugin 2.0 New Features!
DAW Plugin 2.0
DAW Plugin 2.0 - improvements to GUI, Sync to Host, and more!
DAW Plugin 2.8 and higher
The Plugin now displays Mono/Stereo indicators next to each audio track after generating.
Load wav file as Master
Now you can replace the original Master track with any audio file of your choice. This can be done by selecting a file from the “+” menu or by simply dragging a wav file over the master track.
Support for style track replacements
The Plugin now supports replacing style tracks just like Band-in-a-Box. You can customize your style or open a saved song with a customized style in it.
Generate Audio Harmony from wav
This great new feature allows you to generate an accompaniment harmony for any audio track in the Plugin.
Drag-n-Drop song files
The Plugin now supports drag-n-drop of song files (SGU, etc.) right onto the Plugin. This makes loading songs quick and easy.
The Plugin now supports up to 25 tracks (8 style tracks, 1 audio track, 9 special tracks, and 7 multi-riff tracks)!
Now you can load any pre-recorded audio file to the audio track by using the “+” menu or simply dragging the audio file over the Audio track (track 9).
The Plugin now launches the Band-in-a-Box Song Settings dialog so that global settings can be changed.
The Plugin now launches the Band-in-a-Box Bar Settings dialog and allows you to set bar specific settings.
+ button has been added next to each track as a context menu to select, generate, and set track settings.
The Plugin now supports visual transpose in the Chord sheet (this feature is in the key menu)
3 pages available
The Plugin has always had 3 pages (Style, Special, and MultiRiff) but now these 3 pages are visible and available all the time so that you can easily select and place tracks on whichever page you’d like.
Sync Tempo button
Now you can easily sync tempo with your DAW by simply clicking the small blue button next to the Plugin tempo. If it’s flashing it means that your Plugin tempo is out-of-sync with the DAW tempo.
Alternate chord chart display
The Plugin now supports alternate chord chart displays such as Roman Numeral, Nashville Notation, Solfege, and Fixed “DO.”
A spinning wheel has been added to the bottom left corner of the Plugin to visually indicate if the Plugin is in the middle of communication with bbw4.
Chord sheet shortcuts
The Plugin now supports all kinds of chord sheet shortcuts just like in Band-in-a-Box. Some of these are (j, f, h, s, d, l, n).
Message if user selects N/A style
Now the Plugin will display a message if a user tries to select a style that is not available.
Moving in chord sheet
You can now use TAB/ENTER to move forward or SHIFT-TAB/SHIFT-ENTER to move back a bar in the chord sheet.
Support for all BB File types
A user can now open all types of bb song files (sgu, mgu, sg1, etc.).
Right-click mute for tracks
Right-clicking on the track icon will mute that track from playback. Right-clicking again will unmute the track.
The blue icon in Master track will now sync all individual tracks with DAW when double clicked.
Auto generate songs
This feature in the Plugin Preferences dialog can now be turned on so that opening a song file in the Plugin will automatically generate it.
The chord sheet now shows repeat symbols if the number of choruses is greater than 1.
Song tags can now be added by using the Song settings dialog, or simply typing in shortcuts (TAGSTART, TAGJUMP, TAGEND) right into the chord sheet.
Scrolling status message
The status message at the bottom of the Plugin now scrolls for easier viewing of all the text.
The Plugin now has support for languages other than English. The language can be changed in the Preferences dialog.
The chord sheet now supports shortcuts (INSERT, REMOVE) to insert or remove a bar in the chord sheet. (Note: this only shifts the chords, and does not actually add or remove bars to the chord sheet.)
Now you can open or save the Plugin state as any file type (preferably xml) which can then be loaded by any instance of the Plugin.
The Plugin now supports selecting more then one track at a time. Multi-selected tracks can be played, dragged, generated or removed at the same time.
Master mix playback
Double clicking on the blue icon in the Master track will now play all the individual tracks together as a mix.
Double clicking on any track icon will turn that icon light blue which means that it can now be played back in sync with the DAW whenever the DAW is playing. (Sync playback option has been removed from Preferences dialog.)
The Plugin will now highlight the bar corresponding to the position in the DAW. This can help a user quickly understand where in their song they are by simply looking at which bar is highlighted in the Plugin. (The setting can be turned off in Preferences dialog.)
Updated track icon colours
RealChart icons in the Plugin are now orange midi icons.
StylePicker window size and position
The StylePicker window size and position is saved between sessions
Clicking on the RealTracks Picker or RealDrums Picker, or pressing the new [Artist Bio] button opens the Artist Browser. This dialog lists all artists and the instruments they play, shows the biography of the artist, and has an ability to list all the RealTracks that the selected artist plays.
More filter option in RealTracks Picker
Three filters have been added for Instrument (e.g. acoustic guitar), Instrument Family (e.g. any guitar), and Custom Instrument Range.
300 RealDrums Transcriptions
Now most RealDrums have RealCharts (transcriptions) with Drum Notation, which can be viewed by filtering “RealDrums with RealCharts” in the RealDrums Picker.
Latest version of Elastique and Harmony
The latest version 3.3.0 of Elastique and 1.04 of Harmony from zplane.de included.
RealTracks Thickening and Panning
When you select multiple RealTracks on the same track and have them play simultaneously, 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.
MultiRiff from this RealTrack
A menu item has been added to the track context menus to use the selected RealTrack as a MultiRiff.
The Plugin now supports undo (Ctrl+Z) and redo (Ctrl+Y or Ctrl+Shift+Z). This is currently only available for the chord sheet.