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  1. #1

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    Hey there!

    Anyone who uses the payed for versions of Band in a Box ?

    I´ve been trying out the demo version for a while now and have som thoughts about it:
    besides the graphics is kind of kids like and it´s some buggy, I really miss a prompt where you could type in the chords instead of this mouse clicking menu.
    It does´nt cover every chord either(major 11 for instance).
    The styles are very much the same grooves and limited as well.

    So is there a big difference with the "real" versions?
    If anyone has the energi to reply I´d be most thankful, or if you have suggestions on other similar applications.

    have a nice jazz night!

    chev

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I downloaded the demo version a few days ago. I started it up, took one look at the UI and shut it down again.
    I like the idea of easy auto accompaniment but there's no way I could live with (or pay for) an app that is so badly laid out! :-)

    I tried Chordmachine but that would only run fullscreen.

    So I think I'll just live with the midi editor and cut/copy/transpose in Cubase (which I can highly recommend - though it'd be overkill for just doing midi backing tracks - Cubase Sequel or Cockos Reaper perhaps?)

  4. #3

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    Not sure on the demo version, but the paid for one, the chords are typed directly on to the screen in any measure. It has recognized every chord I have ever put in. Personally I think it a very versatile and worthwhile program. It has hundreds and hundreds of styles depending on which ones you buy with it.

  5. #4

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    Chev,
    I suggest you look at the following site. Victor uses Band in the Box on almost all his of his songs. The songs with Jamey Ambersol recordings should be recognizable too. Band in The Box is a very usefull tool. I personally use this program to play out as a soloist. I just plug my laptop into my PA or KB 100. depending on the size of the Gig. And get paid just like any one else. When my son (who plays Bass) is with I just turn off the Bass in Band in The Box.

    YouTube - Kanaal van Jazzguts

  6. #5

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    I use it all the time (the paid for version), and am happy with it.
    I have never met with a situation where it hasn't performed even beyond my expectations.
    And I don't even consider the 'looks' of it, it works, it does what I need, so I'm satisfied with it.
    Peace
    Skei (the biab one)

  7. #6

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    Hi and thanks everyone for the action.
    Seems like those who have the paid versions are satisfied, so it might just be the demo that´s crappy.
    I need an easy application for composing material and practising(backing tracks) with a wide range of grooves within the styles(mostly jazz), - any tip on which version would be most suitable?

    darren - have a link for Cockos Reaper ?

    jazz my day...

  8. #7

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    Sure - it's here REAPER | About
    It's probably what I'd be using if I didn't already have Cubase.

  9. #8

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    I love band in a box. It's a great practicing and teaching tool. It's not a replacement for live playing, but it sure beats a metronome. The old versions were kind of campy, but the new ones come with pretty much all real instrument sounds, no midi.

    Definitely worth the 90$ or so that it costs.

    MW

  10. #9

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    Thanks a lot Darren!

    I´ve just downloaded the demo and will check it out.

  11. #10

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    Hi there again,
    I guess BIAB would do the works,tried Reaper and it´s probably a useful tool,not for me though as I already have a similar app.
    Thanks again guys for the support and if you have more suggestions my ears are wide open.

  12. #11

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    My Wife & I use BIAB (bass only) every time we do a Duo gig (The Senior Moments). Also, When our bass player doesnt show up, We very often use BIAB (just bass & drums) for "Colleen Brown & The Starlighters" to make our music more danceable. We have a shortage of Bass & drum musicians in our area and Biab is used by a lot of pro's (mostly Country/Rock). It really helps when payday rolls around.

    wiz
    Last edited by wizard3739; 03-04-2009 at 12:15 PM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by m78w
    I love band in a box. It's a great practicing and teaching tool. It's not a replacement for live playing, but it sure beats a metronome. The old versions were kind of campy, but the new ones come with pretty much all real instrument sounds, no midi.

    Definitely worth the 90$ or so that it costs.

    MW
    you must be a windows guy! I´m a Mac user and the Mac-Version is definitely NOT worth the price. It is a 4 years old SW with the most ugly interface i´ve seen on the Mac (totally Mac-unlike) which has no new features like "Real Drums", "Real xxx" etc.! The interface - even the newest version on PC - is totally overloaded, filenames are 8.3 like DOS, etcetc., it is really unbelievable!

    Quote Originally Posted by skei
    I use it all the time (the paid for version), and am happy with it.
    I have never met with a situation where it hasn't performed even beyond my expectations.
    And I don't even consider the 'looks' of it, it works, it does what I need, so I'm satisfied with it.
    Peace
    Skei (the biab one)
    I know you are also a Mac guy, but I don´t agree, that BIAB is working well: The sound is a real Problem for me! The reason is, that it uses the default Quicktime Midi Interface. A solution would be to export the MIDI and import it in GarageBand for example, but my Mac Demo Version does not support MIDI export and so I could not test that. And of course, with this workaround you will loose the "change a cord and replay instantly"-functionality...

    So i deleted my BIAB-version...

    ...and downloaded the Impro-Visor(but had not enough time yet for deeper testing) : http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~keller/jazz/improvisor/

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by boo



    I know you are also a Mac guy, but I don´t agree, that BIAB is working well: The sound is a real Problem for me! The reason is, that it uses the default Quicktime Midi Interface. A solution would be to export the MIDI and import it in GarageBand for example, but my Mac Demo Version does not support MIDI export and so I could not test that. And of course, with this workaround you will loose the "change a cord and replay instantly"-functionality...

    So i deleted my BIAB-version...

    ...and downloaded the Impro-Visor(but had not enough time yet for deeper testing) : http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~keller/jazz/improvisor/
    Boo;
    I tried impro-visor too, but it's too limited for me. Also, the full version of biab works fine, with export as midi, as you mentioned, and then it's just assign any sound in garageband, and there are loads of them about. The change a chord and try again thing you discuss is one thing, but I decide my chords in biab and then export, so it's really no prob at this point. But if you write your tunes on the app, and change things around, I can see it might be a chore.
    Well, it works for my purposes though, to make a band that backs me up, and that's all i need, and if ever I decide on a more expensive DAW it'll be ok enough for me.
    Peace
    Skei (the learner one)

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by skei
    Boo;
    I tried impro-visor too, but it's too limited for me.
    Hopefully not (for me)!

    Quote Originally Posted by skei
    Also, the full version of biab works fine, with export as midi, as you mentioned, and then it's just assign any sound in garageband, and there are loads of them about.
    If you are going that way, why not doing the full step: Making your backing track completely in GarageBand?

    I did that already, first I made a simple drum loop (or imported a MIDI), then I constructed a simple bass walking line (MIDI bass guitar) and as an optional third step I recorded (real audio track) me comping with my guitar. OK, that is much more work than simply importing from BIAB, but sounds much better and (important) you are learning much more about music!

    Quote Originally Posted by skei
    The change a chord and try again thing you discuss is one thing, but I decide my chords in biab and then export, so it's really no prob at this point. But if you write your tunes on the app, and change things around, I can see it might be a chore.
    What I´m dreaming of is a very lightweight BIAB-like App running on a iPhone (or iPod touch). I think that is possible because most of the functions in BIAB I never used and sound quality in this environment is not the most important point, because the generated MIDI can be later imported into a DAW.

    Sure, one can do that all on a big computer also, but I´m sitting most of my time in front of a screen (programming) and when playing guitar the computer should be off (for me).

  16. #15

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    I downloaded Impro-Visor last night and I think it's just what I've been looking for: easy chord entry, a few thousand jazz standards built in, a nice load of transposable jazz improv phrases and it's free.

    Kind of what I imagine BIAB could be if it were given a massive UI overhaul.

    The only gripe I have so far is that it sometimes seems slightly out of time - not sure if that's a built-in humanize going on or my CPU struggling to keep up :-)

    I tried using a MIDI loopback to route it to SampleTank for better quality sounds - it worked, but to be honest for practising it's not really worth the effort.

  17. #16

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    BIAB is a practice not a comping tool. I am fairly sure it even says so itself. For jazz musicians improvising is essential and BIAB allows you to input any chord progression and play over it untill you are done. It even has ear training and standards on it.
    Very complete practice tool for any level of musician.

  18. #17

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    I use BIAB on my Mac without any problems. I love it for when I just want to play over chords, or practice something. Certainly is worth the $$

  19. #18

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    I don't know about the DEMO but the MEGA-PAK is what I upgrade to every year and there aren't enough great things to say about it. The new REAL tracks are fantastic with more styles being added at a very fast level for the newness. It beats looping programs and I can enter chords for a piece quickly and change keys or styles easily. I'm using Windows XP. I have a Roland JV-1010 Synth Module for midi sounds although with the new features with BIAB I hardly use anything else.
    Let's say I want to work on "All The Things You Are", I input the chords and start experimenting with various styles. I can mix and match and the end results are pretty amazing for so little effort.
    The REAL BAND is an update for POWER TRACKS and I'm into Adobe Audition so I mess with it for awhile but when there is work to be done it is back to Adobe Audition. The audio multi-tracks are exported WAV files for each independent instrument from BIAB that I mix with various EQ, FX, etc. It is much easier than trying to schedule live musicians for sessions that are of such a fine skill level as BIAB offers and much cheaper in the long run. Yes, live musicians are better if they are truely fine players, but for me BIAB works. My iPod, Picoverb, Boss ME and a Shure Beta 58 and sound system and I'm ready anytime. The iPod stores more than enough tracks and you can save versions in all the keys as well. Edits I do on my PC before performing with the live audiences.


    Gary Hart - FIVE FORMS Guitar Method
    Last edited by Gary Hart; 03-05-2009 at 09:34 PM.

  20. #19

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    I have band in a box and don't use it nearly enough, I really need to sit down and learn how to use it (without just selecting 'jukebox' and playing over it). Never even thought to use it as backing for a live set. Although considering I'm still primarily a rhythm guitarist and have a singer, it may not be wholly appropriate for that.

    I think I'm in love with this website, keeps me very much jazz-minded in my long hours at work!!

  21. #20

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    BIAB does not have to be complicated, Strum your Guitar have a singer ? Just add chords,pick out a style, let BIAB play Bass and Drums for you. You'll get a fuller sound. You can mute all the rest of the instruments.

    Enjoy

    Pickguard.

  22. #21

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    Hi - how do you download Impro-Visor ?
    Tried the site but it redirects to some registering page at Yahoo.
    Do I have to register at Yahoo first - or
    Jazzaz all o u
    chev

  23. #22
    Stringbean Guest
    I tried the demo on my mac today....amazing, I really need to buy it.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    BIAB is not a tool for making good music.

    It is a quick and dirty way of making amazingly satisfying backing tracks. I can put a tune in in just a few seconds. Once it is in, with a couple of key presses, I can try hundreds of different styles and rhythmic variations. I can transpose from key to key with a single key press.

    I don't have to waste a lot of time preparing to play. It allows me to optimize my practice time and, at the same time, it generates surprisingly good accompanyment.

    I have the paid version and it include all kinds of poorly documented and unneccessarily complex bonus utilities. I ignore these.

    I love BIAB. It does exactly what I want in the most economic, timely way possible.

    Bill

  25. #24

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    @Chev

    Yes you have to register with the Yahoo group to get to the file download area (bit odd but it's not all bad because the group has a lot of helpful posts).
    The installation of Impro-Visor is not as easy as it should be (no installer and you have to get Java yourself if it's not already installed) but I've been using it for a few weeks now and I think it's excellent - the UI made far more sense to me than BIAB.

  26. #25

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    Hi Darren and thanks a lot for your help there!
    I will download and install Impro. Some apps don´t work on my system(win server),hope this one will though...
    I don´t like the interface of BIAB, even if it has real band and so,
    ( looks like something my grandkid could have for free at school)...

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dalton
    I wonder what about this topic inspired the placing of that add.
    Hi - yeah, maybe the advertiser has a auto respond to words starting with a V ?
    Or just hit the wrong forum... weird anyway.
    chev

  28. #27

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    I have the Mac version of BITB and also Garage band on my MacBook. Can someone explain how I export backing tracks from BITB to Garage Band so I can burn a CD for practice as well as performance? I'd also like to learn how to add a real guitar/sax/flute to the final mix of some Jazz standards. Do I add those instruments in Garage band or BITB? Trying to locate some tutorial on these subjects. I'm wanting to do it this way because I don't think you can easily add chords to GB like you can with BITB.

    Thanks,
    Michael

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    It's easy, you make the tune in biab, then 'export as midi' to your desktop or whatever. Then create a new project in Garageband, just give it the right name, don't bother with bpm and key and such, the midi takes care of that. Once you have it in Garageband, you can decide which kind of bass, drums, piano etc you want for each track. Just select the track (click once to the left, so it gets selected, then into the 'info' (down at the right hand corner) select 'software instrument' - if it isn't already chosen, which it probably is, there you have all the instruments etc. At the bottom of that menu there is 'details' click that and do anything you want, like adding reverb, chorus, compressor etc. When done with all the tracks, go back to the 'Info'menu (down right corner) once there, chose 'Mastertrack', do your overall mix, lots of things to chose from, don't limit yourself to the 'jazz' genre, there are huge amounts of readymade remixes, in all genres, just listen and select. Save. Go to 'Share' click 'send to iTunes'. When you have it there you can just burn your cd. You can create mp3 version if you want to. The possibilities are endless. If you want to work more on it, you can install 'Audacity' for example, and use the plugins to get your tune very pro sounding. Oh, and you might wanna try 'Reaper' another freeware app with lots of possibilities. But for the initial thing, do midi export, import into garage band(just drag the midi file to GB window) the export to iTunes.

    Good luck!
    Skei (the user of apps one)

  30. #29

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    Hey Skei thanks for all of the suggestions. This helps greatly.

  31. #30

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  32. #31

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    BIAB is fine tool for training solos in different key, different tempos and quick way to test alternative chords .I have older version. I loaded demo but i didnt like that messy gui.

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    I been using Finale Print music for nearly ten years now and its the full version not a dempo version. You are better of with the full version cause you get everything you want to do in it. Demo version i wouldnt even worry about downloading it and using it cause it doesnt have akll the functions that i need.

  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    I did the same..downloaded the demo of BIAB and found the UI a nightmare. It also has so many tabs to click on that I couldn't get my head around it. Esp. since hovering the cursor over a tab didn't bring up any text.

    All this stuff sounds so complicated I'm gonna take the easy route....I've bought a double bass, a snare and hi-hat and I'm on the transplant waiting list for four more arms(g)

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Downloaded "Impro-Visor" and for a freebie it is excellent.

    The UI is very good and easy to use.

    There are loads of midi tracks in the "fake book" and inputting chords to play over couldn't be easier.

    It took a few hours to wade through the tutorial but it all made sense and the ability to write melodies over chords and take suggested melody lines from the software is great.

    I'm very impressed.

    Thanks for the link

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    When is biab going to move into the 21st century and become rewire enabled? Perhaps then I would upgrade my 2002 version.
    It's just so 'last century'.

  37. #36

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by HNabRWdMR
    Are you talking to me?????

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    I have the full version. I'm having trouble recording my guitar on it.. it sounds like digital trash.. any tips? And when I try to save as an mp3 file, then import it into Audacity, the rhythm tracks are out of sync with themselves.. weird.. Any suggestion for either problem?

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    I first began using BIAB back at version 3.0 and upgraded over the years. The last upgrade I got was just before they started using RealDrums. I began playing a solo gig (eventuall a duo) and using BIAB for backing tracks. Originally I used a Roland SoundCanvas/SoundBrush set-up for live midi which gave me a lot of flexibility on the gig. Eventually I went to burning my own cd backing tracks and moved away from live midi (too much equipment to haul as I got older). Now I use an iPod - very cool. It is a great tool for gigging, practicing or teaching. In recent years I have moved away from BIAB only because Hal Leonard came out with a series of Playalong cd's with excellent backing tracks of live musicians. Since I mostly play light jazz these were excellent and just right for me. Better than the Aebersold tracks and more suited for gigging. Had this not come about I would still be using BIAB and I still do use some of my original BIAB track for the tunes I could not get through Hal Leonard.

    Ain't technology grand!!!!!

  40. #39

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    Anyone know when BIAB Mac version will have real drums?

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by boo
    I know you are also a Mac guy, but I don´t agree, that BIAB is working well: The sound is a real Problem for me! The reason is, that it uses the default Quicktime Midi Interface. A solution would be to export the MIDI and import it in GarageBand for example, but my Mac Demo Version does not support MIDI export and so I could not test that. And of course, with this workaround you will loose the "change a cord and replay instantly"-functionality...

    So i deleted my BIAB-version...

    ...and downloaded the Impro-Visor(but had not enough time yet for deeper testing) : http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~keller/jazz/improvisor/
    I'm working with the demo version of BIAB on an iMac G5. For 'instrument' sounds playback
    I use 'Bandstand' from native instruments. Not a 'free-be' software, cost is about 100 USDs,
    but I have a lot of project uses for the app. A nice substitute for Quicktime 'instruments.'

    NATIVE INSTRUMENTS : Products : Sampling Line : Bandstand

    Demo Movie
    Bandstand Tutorial Video

    Bandstand can work 'stand-a-lone' with BIAB, just set the midi out channels
    in BIAB to the IAC buses. Bandstand will receive midi input data on an IAC bus.
    You can simply 'disable' midi 'program changes' in Bandstand, assign
    whatever instruments you like to any midi channel and ignore the program
    change commands from BIAB. It also has a handy built-in mixer for setting
    instrument levels.

    Bandstand is flexible too from within a DAW sequencer as a vst plugin, Audio Units plugin,
    RTAS plugin (for the 'Pro Tools' users, my preferred DAW app), ASIO, DXi, and DirectSound.

    I also load midi files into my 'Finale' notation software for editing and score
    printing; bass parts etc. Finale has some ok sounding instruments.
    Better than Quicktime.

    -Kb
    -
    Last edited by kbgtr001; 04-10-2009 at 04:41 PM. Reason: fix type 'o' and include additional Bandstand plugin info

  42. #41

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    What are your favorite swing styles in BIAB (I have v9.0)? Dirk's bass player starts walking in the first chorus on his You Tube "There'll Never be..."; mine seems pretty boring at first.
    Last edited by mengstrom; 04-09-2009 at 07:31 PM.

  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    I'm new to BIAB and Garage Band, so forgive me a foolish question. Why do you guys use both? My newbie impression is that they do pretty much the same thing.

    I'm interested in a program that will assist my practice, especially developing more swing. Which would serve me better?

    Thanks,

    Kit

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    "I'm new to BIAB and Garage Band, so forgive me a foolish question. Why do you guys use both? My newbie impression is that they do pretty much the same thing.

    I'm interested in a program that will assist my practice, especially developing more swing. Which would serve me better?"

    They don't actually do the same thing, although there are overlaps. In a nutshell, BIAB generates backing tracks, and Garageband is sound recording software. Each has various other things they can do, but that's the main use of each.

    I make backing tracks with BIAB and export them as midi files; put the midi files into Garageband and from there the sound of each instrument can be doctored in various ways to improve the sound. Once that's been done, I then record my guitar (again, the sound of the guitar can be doctored) and mix a final version.

    BIAB will probably suit your purpose better - if you want backing tracks and aren't too fussy about recording yourself, it will do exactly what you want.

  45. #44

    User Info Menu

    Ok - I got a copy of the 2008 with mega pack from friend to try now. Seems to work better than the demo and has some real drums as well.
    It´s gonna take me a while to figure things out before I can say if it´s for me or not.
    For solo practise on standard tunes I think the "Master Jazz Guitar Solos" has a straight on UI and works cool.
    Jazz Bunny Rules Easter

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by kbgtr001
    I'm working with the demo version of BIAB on an iMac G5. For 'instrument' sounds playback
    I use 'Bandstand' from native instruments. Not a 'free-be' software, cost is about 100 USDs,
    but I have a lot of project uses for the app. A nice substitute for Quicktime 'instruments.' .......
    -
    Thanks for the info, sounds interesting! I will test it when the new BIAB for Mac is available.

    Peter Gannon of BIAB says: "We're working hard on BB Mac 09, and expect to ship in Q2.". Ok, they are saying that for more than a year, but perhaps it is true this time. I hope so...

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    I'm new to this site and to jazz guitar. I just bought biib 2009 and caught on to the software pretty quickly. I want to use my arrangements as accompaniment for playing out but had no luck burning them to a CD. any suggestions?

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    Hi David - welcome to the site.

    Here's how you solve your problem -

    1 Export your track from BIAB as a midi file

    2 Use file conversion software to convert the midi file into an mp3 file - there are various programmes available to do this, just google 'midi file to mp3 conversion' and you should find several to choose from. If your computer is a Mac, you can actually do this in iTunes - I don't know if the Windows version of iTunes has that facility or not, but in any case there are lots of cheap programmes for Windows that will do the job.

    3 Burn your mp3 on to a CD and that's the job done.

    Good luck.

  49. #48

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    OK. i'm pretty computer savvy but haven't dealt with midi stuff before. i'll have to do some homework. thanks for your help.

  50. #49

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    David,

    There's an icon that looks like a floppy disc with a microphone over it. It says .wav under the icon. In my band in the box it is the 6th icon from the left. Click that and band in the box will render the midi to a wav or mp3 file. In the render to audio file window it actually has a 'Burn to Audio CD' button so it looks like you can go directly to cd (I haven't tried that yet). Let me know if this works for you.
    Last edited by fep; 04-29-2009 at 12:08 PM.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Norman
    I'm new to this site and to jazz guitar. I just bought biib 2009 and caught on to the software pretty quickly. I want to use my arrangements as accompaniment for playing out but had no luck burning them to a CD. any suggestions?
    Download this Audio Recorder (it records from your computers sound card), play your BIAB arrangement and record it to a Folder for you songs. Anything coming through your soundcard cand be recorded to MP3. Then burn a disc of your song folder. GOOD LUCK!