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Screen 8: The SoundTrack generator can make music in an instant with little user input, and can produce music with a specified duration to fit needs for background or voiceover work. The Soundtrack generator is the simplest method of creating a song, and with just a few user inputs can create music suitable for backgrounds in video productions, soundbites or maybe elevator music! There is no dedicated button to access this tool, which is accessed from the Melody menu. Screen 8 shows the Soundtrack window, with the Genre selection and Style Variation windows in the upper left, and below, a Generate button.
Below this area are controls for a unique function of the Soundtrack tool: the ability to define the playing time of the song. Select two factors from tempo, number of bars and time, and this will calculate the third factor and use the data to play exactly as long as you select. There is no input for key signature, tempo or chord progression: BIAB chooses a key and generates a chord progression it deems suitable for the musical style chosen. Using this mode also creates a new melody part each time you generate a song. Every song it comes up with is unique, and they are more varied than the results you get using Generate and Play in the main window.
The songs created in this mode may be used for any purpose, personal or commercial. A different way to get started is to load an existing Soundtrack song. You can close the Soundtrack window while it is playing and the song will continue as the program returns to the main window where you can edit chords, add a new melody or solo as you wish. You can try songs from the other existing song categories, as well as Soundtracks: some include solos as well as melodies. Note that these existing songs are copyrighted and should not be used for any commercial purposes without obtaining permission from PG Music.
You can further develop these songs by adding your own melodies and solo parts, or by using the Melodist or Soloist see box.
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Very useful for developing melody and harmony ideas! It can create full songs, including even chord progressions and solos, for any of a couple of hundred musical styles. The Melodist will even automatically create a song title — just tick the Auto-Titles box. You can expand the adjectives and nouns used for titles if the original plus words are not enough for you!
Note the Melodist can write to either the Melody or Soloist track, and will overwrite the selected track with no warning, even if it is frozen. All tracks are MIDI. The Chord Sheet, seen back in Screen 1, is where you enter chords or have BIAB enter chords for you with the Melodist and see the progression laid out in a linear fashion. However, there are actually a couple of different formats for the Chord Sheet. A linear mode shows all the chords from the first bar to the ending bars in one long presentation, and an alternative mode shows repeats and alternate endings folded into a fakebook format.
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Once chords are entered onto the Chord Sheet, there are several ways to edit both the chords themselves, and how tracks play when they encounter chord changes from bar to bar. You can add bars or delete bars, click and drag to highlight a range of chords, cut them, copy them, and if desired, paste them elsewhere in the Chord Sheet.
These can all be accessed from other menus and tool buttons, but 90 percent of what you need is available by right-clicking on the Chord Sheet — see Screen Screen The Chord Sheet right-click menu opens a small window shown on the left, which can access all the important tools for composition and performance factors, several of which are shown in this composite image. The Bar Settings menu lets you change the number of beats per measure, tempo, key signature, or instrument at any bar, and mute any instrument until you unmute it again, which is often easier than using traditional rests.
You can also change volume level suddenly, or fade any track in or out over several bars. I use some of these controls on every BIAB song. Chord Settings likewise can be used to change chords at any bar and beat, set up pushes, rests, shot, and holds, and to enable pedal bass performances, while Song Settings let you enter a song title, key signature, tempo, length, type of endings, and specify a number of other overall song structure and performance factors. The Display Options let you set font and colours for chords, lyrics, part markers and so on, set the number of columns bars and rows visible at once, and select different notation styles: normal letters, Nashville notation, Roman numeral, Solfeggio and Fixed Do.
You can save a display scheme for quickly setting up views for particular styles of working. And while talking about displays, there are display layers available to enter lyrics, and alternate notation styles that can be viewed dynamically on screen and printed out on lead sheets. One great feature of BIAB is that you can quickly compose and listen to a given chord progression using many different styles.
And once you have a progression and style selected, each time you generate and play the song, it will be slightly different. And for a surprise sometimes even a good one you can try a totally different genre from your original concept.
STY, a RealTracks style. A RealTracks soloist using a pedal steel guitar was added. There are many more functions and techniques available in BIAB, but no more time this month! This tool is dependent on having a song already composed, usually with a melody part although it is possible to make a solo with only the backing parts composed, or with only a chord progression. However, you can sometimes find a very fine solo by mismatching some of these parameters — part of the joy of this program is that it lets you easily explore musical ideas you might never have tried otherwise.click here
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There is a filter window at the top that enables you to see only solos using piano, bass, sax and so forth. And there is a Timebase selection where you can choose Normal, Half, Double or Triple Time so that the soloist plays normally, leisurely or energetically! There are over total Soloist RealTracks, and depending on the music you are working with, the Best RealTracks may show none of these, or there may be over This Soloist mode adds a RealTrack solo to the Soloist track and does not affect any of the backing tracks or the Melody track. You can run the Soloist multiple times to hear the soloist jam new riffs.
Again, because these are RealTracks, they are created based only on the style and chord progression.
The Soloist Dialog window provides a different approach, with multiple choices generating endless soloing possibilities. All these types of soloists can be influenced by the music on the Melody track. If the All Genres box at the top is ticked, you will see a long list of styles. Again, this is a topic for another day! To the right centre of the second screen shown here you can see a section named Solo Mode, which can control how and when solos will be played.
These can all modify solo performances in degrees ranging from the subtle to the extreme. The Edit button opens the Soloist Maker, mentioned above, enabling you to edit soloist styles to create your own. This Soloist mode will change backing tracks that are not frozen, even RealTracks. Performance Tracks always are frozen by their nature.
In spite of all these options, the Soloist can be run without delving into all the extra features and will yield fascinating and musical results, especially using RealTracks. While this means that more experienced musicians may find it lacking in editing aspects, overall Band-in-a-Box is a solid free product offering lots of educational and experimental potential especially with the music and tab notations. A wide range of additional free add-ons are also available for download, offering instrument sounds and more to the budding composer. Band-in-a-Box is a fun to use program with a surprising amount of depth for a free product.
Anyone with an interest in improving their music, instrument or understanding will find a lot to like here. Those used to using more complicated software may find themselves frustrated by the lack of advanced options, however. Dreaming of an ad-free web? Browse with Brave.
Learn more. Mac Multimedia Band in a Box Free music creation and learning software Band-in-a-Box is a free piece of software used to create music. View full description.