Band in a Box - Can I create jam tracks w/ no additional software?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by littlegreendots, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. I need some software to create simple back tracks of basic rock, metal and blues tracks. Band in a Box for PC looks like a good solution. I can't locate a demo version and have never used such software. Does the program come with any sound loops I'd need, or do I have to buy that separately? I'm not looking for anything fancy, just some basic background for students to try their fingers at soloing.

    I'm talking about the version that lists for about $130.
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    The last version of that that I tried was stiff, unimaginative jazz, lite rock, country and weak blues oriented riffs, with very little in the way of hard rock or metal styles. It's mainly a MIDI composition program that, when I used it, stuffed in a LOT of useless garbage instead of concentrating on lively, dynamic music generation. You'll likely pay for a small set of mixed styles, and would have to buy more mixed styles to get anything remotely like anywhere near to what you can painstakingly manage to tweak things to sound sort of like something that you can put into a real sequencing program to tweak to make it sound...kind of OK. The quality of MIDI sounds depends on the quality of whatever MIDI sound generator you have, be it hardware or software. If you are just running it through onboard MIDI sounds, you'll likely be disappointed with the sounds, as well as the performances. If it can now play samples and loops, then you may have to do more work to find those, anyway, or buy them anyway.

    They used to have a Demo version available at their website, but I don't know if they still do. If you were to search for MIDI files of popular tunes, you can find some that are very obviously generated by BIAB (at least I can tell).

    You may think about just getting a free or inexpensive sequencing program, download some MIDI files, and deleting/muting certain tracks you don't need, and assigning/mixing the wanted tracks to sound as good as your MIDI playback capabilities will allow.

    If you want "looping" you'll have to get a sequencing program that handles both audio, and has relatively easy looping capabilities.

    MIDI and looping are not the same thing, though you can copy and paste MIDI bars to create loops. Looping is more like taking recorded audio phrases to play over and over. MIDI is instructions to tell something what to play when, and how loud, how long, at what pan position...etc.

    For the best example of what comes out of the "Box", search for "Don Carroll MIDI", and you'll see what I mean. Not trying to be mean, but it IS pretty much what you can expect to hear. Maybe the program has actually gotten better at its main purpose, but I'd bet all they've done is add more useless stuff to clog up your computer, as that has been their trajectory for some time.


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