Do any of you use "Band In A Box?"

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by jollygreen, Dec 5, 2009.


  1. jollygreen

    jollygreen Member

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    How do you like it?

    I've only been playing for a few years and don't have the option of playing with any musicians.

    What I'm looking for is, say, to create a facsimile of "Proud Mary" sans lead guitar. Then I practice the lead with that backing track.

    Is BIAB suitable for that?

    If yes, would you also have any advice for setup? Is the Windows player satisfactory or would I want to install something better?

    thanx
     
  2. jollygreen

    jollygreen Member

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    I also notice there are about a dozen versions. Recommendations?
     
  3. d l x r e v e r b

    d l x r e v e r b Member

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    I have been using "Guitar Pro" software and Jamey Abersold or Hal Leonard for play along cd's. Guitar Pro software has a much more authentic tone than my version of Band In A Box , is much more guitar oriented , and has thousands of free song downloads from 911tabs.com as well as the Guitar Pro website. Granted, my comments refer to an older version of Band In The Box.

    For instance in your case buy the Guitar Pro software then download "Proud Mary" for free from 911tabs.com.
    After downloading , click the "mute" icon to silence the lead guitar track then listen to the remaining instruments as a play along. Although a bare bones free version of Guitar Pro is available, the paid version has more features --- especially the "looping" for practicing a section repeatedly. Perhaps try the free version and download free "Proud Mary" then buy the software if you are happy with the demo. I ~think~ the free version includes the feature of muting the lead guitar and other tracks.

    Although the downloads often are impressive renditions of the songs, I notice some songs' bass and drum parts are sufficient though not authentic ---- as if a guitarist uploaded the file after programming a book's or magazine's guitar tabulature into the software , did not have bass tab and drum tab, so made up a bass and drum part to accompany the guitar parts. Remember, these downloads are free and created by the public, not a paid publisher. Many of the songs are remarkably well-done, though.

    Consider your needs then choose the most appropriate software for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  4. jollygreen

    jollygreen Member

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    Thanx guys. You're the best.
     
  5. cubado

    cubado Member

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    Some great tips & insights here!

    Thums up !
     
  6. KRosser

    KRosser Member

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    Never used it. I pretty much never practice to backing tracks
     
  7. jzucker

    jzucker Silver Supporting Member

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    it's cheesy no matter what synth you use with it.
     
  8. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Except for the new version with the "real instruments", I would agree about the cheeze factor. The newer (more $) version comes in it's own hard drive and is supposed to be quite change.

    I have always liked Aebersold's for the real musicians play on them, but being able to change keys and tempos with BIAB is a very nice feature.
     
  9. jzucker

    jzucker Silver Supporting Member

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    Even the version with the "real" instruments is cheesy and the rendering is extremely slow and there are time and tempo problems. You're better off with abersold and the transcribe software to change keys and tempos IMO...
     
  10. russ6100

    russ6100 Member

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    Exactly right. And the real shame is, the technology has long existed which would allow an application to do well all the things that BIAB "kind of" does half-assed.

    The "Real" stuff was a step in the right direction, but really, the whole thing needs to be re-done from the ground up IMO. Real drums would be a lot better if they didn't having the tempo / timing / lurchig issues.

    Aebersolds with no piano track are worlds better....
     
  11. rich2k4

    rich2k4 Supporting Member

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    it doesn't matter if it's cheesy or not. it's a practice tool developed to improve your improvisation. Aeborsold doesn't give you the ability to play over any progression you happen to come up with.
     
  12. jzucker

    jzucker Silver Supporting Member

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    You are what you eat...If you practice over cheesy backgrounds you will play with a cheesy feel. Get a looper for practicing progressions you come up with.
     
  13. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    You have test driven the new system Jack? I didn't read a review anywhere on it. Link?
     
  14. jzucker

    jzucker Silver Supporting Member

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    i reviewed it last year. No significant changes for the new version
     
  15. Crikey

    Crikey Member

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    I haven't used Band-in-a-Box, but have had it enthusaistically recommended to me by a friend who's a pretty killer gypsy-jazz/Django-style cat. He says he uses it all the time.

    I don't hear any cheesy coating on his playing.
     
  16. rich2k4

    rich2k4 Supporting Member

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    we'll just have to agree to disagree as i find that statement bullshit. but oh well
     
  17. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    I have it, but I stopped using it after I realized I was learning a lot more by recording my own backing parts. Tomo inspired me to do that. By recording my own backing parts, I worked on my chord vocabulary, my chord tones (via playing the bass line, not just chords), and time (more deeply than just jamming on top of backing parts).

    I also broke off my short-lived attempt to work with Aebersold materials for the same reason.

    However, I recently ordered the Wayne Shorter and Tom Jobim Aebersold playalongs, because of the glowing reports I've read about them, and of course the convenience of lead sheets to go along with the recordings. The rhythm section on the Shorter is Barron, Carter and Nussbaum! Also, the time it would take me to figure out all the parts, practice them, and record them, instead of getting the Aebersolds would be monumental.

    So my practice is evolving towards a happy balance between doing my own homework and using these tools.
     
  18. russ6100

    russ6100 Member

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    Dude - Jacks's right on the money with this one - BIAB maybe could be used to figure out what you can play over a given progression, but beyond that, using it to practice tunes with (especially swing ones) is not good - crappy time feel in BIAB begets crappy time-feel for the player / student.
     
  19. JimmyD

    JimmyD Member

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    If you can get an older version of BIAB for cheap I would say go ahead and get it.

    As the beginning jazzer wannabe I have found it invaluable over the years to punch in a real book tune and use it to help me shed the changes. That said I probably use it less then an hour or two a month.

    It is not an essential practice tool, but it is great to know that it is available. Since I'm not using it for live performance the midi sounds are more then adequate and I can overlook the "feel" problems mentioned above.

    It has saved my butt over the years and it has gotten me gigs by being prepared so I'm a believer.

    Jim
     
  20. Donbecker

    Donbecker Member

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    I've got BIAB, but I haven't used it much. There is a feature in there that will analyze an MP3 and do some basic charts for you, but I get lost trying to setup the song to sound decent with the correct style and instruments to use as a backing track to practice to.

    Does anyone know any good BIAB tutorials for something like that?
     

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