View Full Version : Have a new tool/toy - Band-in-a-box

11-04-2011, 01:52 PM
I ordered and received Band-in-a-Box this week, the most complete version. So far I love it. It is great to jam with. Just put in your chords, pick a style (of which there are many) and play along. The sound is outstanding. The learning curve is very steep. It has the most buttons of any software I've ever used and what they all do is not obvious. It reminds me of when I bought my first version of Photoshop or Final Cut Pro. I'm working on my first video using it, which I will post here in the next couple of days (if things continue to go well). I've already learned how much improvement I need on my timing!

11-12-2011, 06:29 AM
I have it too, and it is teaching me transposition in pictures and sounds rather than words which works a lot better for my head. I love the thing, but I got it for free when my dad bought the new version- I am assuming it is pretty expensive? As for all the buttons and options- yes, I will probably never figure it all out.

11-12-2011, 07:19 AM
I bought it so I would have something to jam with and use for making my videos, but have found it to be a great learning tool. My timing has not been good, but BIAB is helping me with that. Also, when I am working on a new song I can try some different chords before landing one the final one. The version I have includes a hard drive, so it is a bit expensive. There are enough styles and choices in music that I will not be needing to add more. I am slowly figuring out the buttons.

08-22-2016, 07:50 AM
I have been using BIAB for several years, mainly with the melodica. It would be the rare dude who understands and is able to use all, or even a high percentage of its functions. It's like learning to play an instrument. I currently have UltraPlusPak 2016 with the hard drive. The most delightful thing about BIAB is the Real Tracks, tracks laid down for chord progressions, etc. by professional musicians -- real instruments. So you can be accompanied by Ron Carter on bass, for example, and Kenny Barron on piano. You only get a sampling of the available Real Tracks with the basic versions and have to pay $500-600 to get them all (for example in the UltraPlusPak), but you can start with the basic version and then upgrade.

garywj is right that BIAB can do wonders for your timing. You can work on timing with the melody track (midi) and then mute the melody track (or any instrument tracks you wish within a particular style. Working with just one accompaniment track can also help your timing -- obviously with the drum and/or bass track, but also with, say, another track for that style (piano, guitar, whatever) that requires you to keep the rhythm straight rather than just following a rhythm track.

I have figured out how to use the (minimal) ukulele tracks and to show the uke chords on the lead sheet, though I have trouble with the latter muting parts of other instrument tracks. There's also a problem mentioned in another thread for playing with a low G string. The uke chords are shown for re-entrant tuning. But I'm a beginner on the ukulele, trying to play Jazz, and the available BIAB Jazz files and lead sheets for BIAB show no mercy for ukulele players.

I love BIAB and use it every day. In actuality, it's a terrific bargain at $500. It requires a steep price in time and energy as well as in dollars, but the time is spent learning and making music.

08-22-2016, 09:30 AM
It's good to see other folks discovering and using BIAB.

I have been a BIAB user since back in 1992 when it ran in MS-DOS and I had a Roland MPU-401 Midi interface driving an external Roland MT-32 sound module, and kept upgrading this program when all the Windows versions came out over the 13 years, and in 2005 when I switched to the Mac, it was the first program suite I purchased in the cross-grade/upgrade to the UltraMegaPlusPak mac version or whatever it was called and came on 15 DVDs at the time.

I think I am only on the UltraMega version of 2015 flavor.

I admit that the program is quite a beast nowadays with all the features and I still only use a very small fraction of them still, but I find this program a VERY important tool for songwriting, as well as learning new songs.

If you are on a Mac, and also have Garageband, you can EXPORT your masterpiece to a standard MIDI file, and then IMPORT that into Garageband, as well as use BIAB as a plug-in for virtual instruments within Garageband. This lets you assign Garageband instruments to the MIDI tracks and use all the other tools within Garageband to polish your song, which I find are easier to use than the ones built-in to BIAB.

Also, if you have an iPad or other iOS device there is a similar app called iReal Pro (which ALSO has a Mac version, you find it in the MacOSX app store) and for iOS is very similar to BIAB.

PG Music is a company that puts out great products, and back in 1992 when I ordered this program and called them on the phone in Canada, Peter Gannon (the PG in PG Music) actually answered the phone and took my order. back then I received 4 3.5" Floppy disks in the mail that had the program and ALL the 'style packs' that were available at the time.

08-23-2016, 12:21 AM
is there a trial software for this.

08-23-2016, 01:44 AM
is there a trial software for this.

I dunno, check their web site:


08-23-2016, 01:46 AM
For those folks who dont know about BIAB, check out this video:



Jim Hanks
08-23-2016, 06:50 AM
I still use BIAB but only the MIDI aspects. I don't update it very often since the focus switched to RealTracks, RealBand, etc. a few years ago.