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  1. #1

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    I recently began performing live w/Biab accompaniment using the Jukebox feature. I put a 10 second pause between each song and didn't have to touch my PC at all while playing. This worked great until a week ago when Jukebox began freezing up after the 2nd song causing Biab to crash.

    I tried using different songs in the 2nd and 3rd song positions-Jukebox still freezes. I've talked to Biab techs, reloaded the program, etc. but problem hasnt been resolved.

    So i'd like to hear from any of you performing live w/Biab about the mechanics you use in playing your song list, pausing between songs, etc. i'm now using the Song feature but this requires a lot of interaction with my PC during the performance which i would like to avoid. thanks.

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  3. #2

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    I don't know the answer to your specific problem. However, as someone who gigs for a living, I think you are taking your musical life in your hands, gigging with a laptop (and probably not the most expensive laptop in the world). They are susceptable to crashes, glitches, power surges, sticky fingers, drunken louts-all those things.

    My advice to you is to render your songs to high quality wave files, using the best samples that you have.
    Then-buy a minidisk recorder. Record the wave files (either analog or digitally in) to minidisk. There's an autopause/ autocue on good minidisk players--it plays the song and stops at the end of it, cueing up to the start of the next song, ready for you just to hit play.

    As a backup, you could render the wave files to DVD or CD. You could then use something like WinAmp's jukebox feature to behave like BIAB's jukebox.

    Simply-using a computer program as a live tool is adding risk to your gig, and stopping and starting because of glitches not only looks unprofessional, but worries you, stopping you peerforming at your best.

  4. #3

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    How about using an mp3 player?

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by billkath
    I don't know the answer to your specific problem. However, as someone who gigs for a living, I think you are taking your musical life in your hands, gigging with a laptop (and probably not the most expensive laptop in the world). They are susceptable to crashes, glitches, power surges, sticky fingers, drunken louts-all those things.

    My advice to you is to render your songs to high quality wave files, using the best samples that you have.
    Then-buy a minidisk recorder. Record the wave files (either analog or digitally in) to minidisk. There's an autopause/ autocue on good minidisk players--it plays the song and stops at the end of it, cueing up to the start of the next song, ready for you just to hit play.

    As a backup, you could render the wave files to DVD or CD. You could then use something like WinAmp's jukebox feature to behave like BIAB's jukebox.

    Simply-using a computer program as a live tool is adding risk to your gig, and stopping and starting because of glitches not only looks unprofessional, but worries you, stopping you peerforming at your best.
    thanks for your suggestion-this may be a good option at this point.

  6. #5
    Not that i have to explain but......I live in a town of 22,000. There's not an abundance of jazz players here. With Biab, even as imperfect as it is, i've got a bass player, drummer, pianist and various soloists at my disposal. they practice and play when i want them to, work cheap and gladly play the songs i choose.

    I've played in a bunch of bands (not jazz) and i'm ready to do something different. My other option would be to play solo which doesn't appeal to me. I use Biab sparingly and most of the soloing is my own.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Norman
    Not that i have to explain but......I live in a town of 22,000. There's not an abundance of jazz players here. With Biab, even as imperfect as it is, i've got a bass player, drummer, pianist and various soloists at my disposal. they practice and play when i want them to, work cheap and gladly play the songs i choose.

    I've played in a bunch of bands (not jazz) and i'm ready to do something different. My other option would be to play solo which doesn't appeal to me. I use Biab sparingly and most of the soloing is my own.
    Yeah, but what the heck fun is that? No lateness to rehearsal and gigs, no girlfriend drama (except perhaps your own), and a serious lack of creative differences.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Norman
    Not that i have to explain but...
    As long as you're out there making music, just do your thing and don't worry about what others think (except the audience..) I often use pre-recorded material presented through a variety of devices: laptop with many software options; CD player through PA or my rig; & a looper. I've never had anyone complain, but I do get questions about the sounds (all recordings of my music or public domain sounds) and/or how they are integrated into the mix. I play solo guitar 75% of the time, but I like having these other options. If they fail, I just go back to solo guitar...

  9. #8

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    Your acually playing live with biab?????? What????

    And you charge? People pay to hear biab?

    You gotta have some serious talkinskills.

    I barely practice with biab, becouse I can't stand the sound of it. Is it really that hard to fint some instrumentalists in you'r town?

    Try recorded playalongs, like Jamey Aebersold.

    Seriously, I would be much to embarrised to play live with baib, I think you would be much better of using recorded material.

    Any instrument would be better allso. Find a rock-drummer an bass-player and convince him/her that playing jazz would be fun. Maby use a nother guitarist insted of a pianoplayer - be creative - just find somebodey to play with, thats what jazz is anyway, playing together.

    Or move to a new town?

  10. #9

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    I barely practice with biab, becouse I can't stand the sound of it.
    The sound of BIAB is ENTIRELY down to what midi device you are playing it through. If you are using Roland Sound Canvas or windows GM synth it's going to sound like crap. If you have good-even semi-professional softsynths it's going to sound MUCH better. If you are using even something like Garritans' Jazz and Big Band softsynths it's much better.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamreir

    I barely practice with biab, becouse I can't stand the sound of it. Is it really that hard to fint some instrumentalists in you'r town?

    Try recorded playalongs, like Jamey Aebersold.
    Guess you don't know about the real tracks in the 2009/2010 version do you?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatJeff
    Guess you don't know about the real tracks in the 2009/2010 version do you?
    Now, I don't

    Quote Originally Posted by billkath
    The sound of BIAB is ENTIRELY down to what midi device you are playing it through. If you are using Roland Sound Canvas or windows GM synth it's going to sound like crap. If you have good-even semi-professional softsynths it's going to sound MUCH better. If you are using even something like Garritans' Jazz and Big Band softsynths it's much better.
    Ok, better sound, I'm sure I't much better then what I'm using. I'll check it out,thanks for the tips (both of you)-.

    But seriously, biab live. It's programmed midi. Jazz? Live?

    What happen to playing together, or even the eutentic sound of a real comp. People playing instruments.

    I understand practicing with it, I understand playing for friends/Family with it, but for an audience. Jazz is about improvizing. Not programing.

    If it's the last shot, no other possibilities, ok, do it. But atlest check out Aebersold. It is world class musicians playing their instruments. playing dynamic music.

    And, please, try to find somebody if you are supposed to perform live. It's much better, and you'll probably learn a lot from it aswell

  13. #12

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    The 2009/2010 versions have allowed replacing the MIDI sounds with real recorded instruments. The difference is really quite amazing. I used to hate playing along with BiAB too, because I don't like the sound of MIDI, but the new real tracks really do sound great and I love playing with it now. And I would gig with it too for casual gigs (e.g. Sunday brunches, cheesy lounge happy hours, etc.) Remember that not all gigs pay enough to support 3 or more band members, and not all venues have room for more than a single person playing.

  14. #13

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    Wow, so it plays samples now? Thats great, gotta check it out.

    Ok. For Gigs that aren't serious, like playing at the lokal bookstore or anything. Where it really isn't space enough. Maby it's OK. Allthoug I'd rather just play a duet with somebody, or just solo.

    My piont is really that playing together, the musical relationship between the soloist, rest of the band and the audience is really a big part of the whole jazz-concept. having fellow musicians compliment you while you solo, follow you, letting the music go the direction you want it to go, practice together (4 heads really thinks better then one + computer), rescu u when your lost, someone to put you in rehab when your down and out etc.

    Playing with recorded / programmed material really limits the music. I mean, If you play with a machine / recording you have to follow the band, becouse the band won't follow you.

    The greate pleasure with good jazz is when you can hear a musical element travel from one instrument to another, band complimenting melody/solo, followin the soloist.

    Remember, the soloist is never the only person improvising, the whole band is improvising.

    If you want to play live with biab, OK. But serious, it sucks. It's a compromize a can never do, atleast not charge somebody for.

    It would be like playing on a guitar without strings. Ok, you can make it an perk. instrument, but it won't be playing guitar.

  15. #14

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    Just checked it out on youtube. And i agree, it doues sound great. But live?

    * Hey I'm playing a liveshow today, wanna come?... Wait, i use Band in abox, thats not live is it? Eeeem, I play a deadshow tonight, wanna come?

  16. #15

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    For those of you who have not experienced BIAB 2009/2010, giving your opinion on this subject is like criticizing a book you have never read. This type of argument does not work for me. Also, many of us do not live in or near a big enough city to have access to other musicians so if we want to play, we have to do the best we can with the assets we have for our circumstance. I would love to play with a 4, 5, or whatever size music group but I guarantee, especially in this difficult economy, I would not be able to work where I live. My wife and I often work duo and trio gigs but if the gig requires dance music, BIAB makes our music more danceable. On the rare occasions when a bass player or drummer comes into our small town (very rare here), we alway try to be totally "live" with our performance. We prefer to play with other musicians but can't always find them.

    wiz

  17. #16

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    I agree.
    Lads (and lassies)--I don't know what gigs are like where you are from, or perhaps you play because you love it and would play for next to nothing? People like myself, and I dare say quite a few here, make their money from gigging-it's their job.

    Even in the city, money is a problem for pubs, clubs and restaurants. There is a massive recession on, and customer numbers are down. They have budgets. They can only afford a certain amount of money for entertainment on "normal" nights.

    Now-those of us who do gig are not going to go out and play for ,say, 75 or 100 bucks. The clubs can only afford, say, 300-400 tops. I wouldn't get out of bed for less than 200-0 we all have bills. So-do you go in as a trio or duo? Some do (those that have day jobs as well), but with a good backing behind you, you can do the job, entertain the crowd and make the most money as a solo act. The pubs and clubs don't care, as long as you are a brilliant entertainer and the punters are happy. The punters, in general, are not caring what bloody mode you are playing in, or any of these technical things so many here seem so obsessed with. They just care about having a great night out, a few beers, some good music and good company. We're talking about gigs-not concerts. Where there is little or no cover charge on the door, where you stand up if you can't find a seat?

    Those who think "yeah-but it's too restricting, playing to backing" are just not experienced in live work. Yes, it might be, to amateurs. But to a professional-you write your backing to suit you. You write it in such a way as to make it sound live, with all the little pickups,tempo changes, medleys and bits and pieces a live band would do. You play as if you were live, and bounce off the crowd, not your bandmates. And you talk to the crowd. And you have a couple of hundred songs that you know backwards-you rehearse to make it as exciting as you can, and to make it appear live. It's your stagecraft that fools the audience. Lads-we are not talking about playing to standard midi files or boring arrangements here. It's hard work-your concentration levels and your musicianship have to be absolutely spot on-all night, every night.

    We can talk about "ideal" all day long-we'd all love to be playing in our perfect band. I'd love to be playing every night with a big band. But-we have to be practical. So- When the money is there (corporate gigs etc, where we are getting paid 3-4 grand) then we put together a 5 or 6 piece band. Smaller gigs (say 900-1200)-like parties-maybe a trio. Small clubs (budget of 350-400, plus drinks)- I do a sax and guitar duo to backing tracks. And for little pubs on a tight budget- solo- to tracks. And I have to sing all the songs and do all the solos as well!!

    There is only one thing that's important-that you entertain the crowd. If you don't, you are playing for yourself, and that's not a gig. It's practice, or showing off. And here, or in the UK, you'd not be asked back.

  18. #17

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    Very well stated, Bill. Your comments are the reality of many musician's approach to being a practical performer. Thank you! Also, being a musician is more than performance. IE, I must write ALL of the arrangements, intro's, endings, song selection, # of chorusus, tempo's, key centers, etc, etc...., for everything we do with BIAB. My trio does not use ANY midi tracks and the real tracks that we use are ONLY bass & drums for backup for each song. BIAB 2010 has over 7000 different styles to choose from so we have a lot of variety in our song choices. Usually, after the crowd thins out, we are free to play a more intimate approach to our music and we shut the computer off and just play for our own pleasure.

    wiz
    Last edited by wizard3739; 03-07-2010 at 11:53 AM.

  19. #18

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    I think of the issue as playing LIVE in real time in a SOLO setting, and configuring your set up accordingly. In a non-jazz setting, Robert Fripp has been the master of this with his "Frippertronics" and "Soundscapes".

    In a jazz setting, a world class trombonist recently noted that he has started using a loop pedal and laptop setup, and he is really excited by this.

    BIAB? Meh. Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy! You can do much better. There is some really cool stuff out there, in terms of rig configuration, that will allow you to play live, in real time, creatively, with enhanced sounds. I have a MacBook Pro and something called MainStage Live. Which takes some time to get used to and learn. I'm gonna try to master it as one of my goals for 2010.

    Not nearly as complicated as Fripp's setup, which includes MIDI pickups, the totality of which he calls "The Solar Voyager".

  20. #19

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    The way I use BIAB is-it lets you put in your basic chord progressions very easily, and gives you a head start. From there-I bring it into my sequencer (Sonar) and start adapting it-changing basslines, adding in drum fills and ghost notes, swapping in drum patterns etc. I then use really good samples of the instruments-great brush and jazz drums, upright basses and a really classy jazz upright piano, and mix down to a stereo wave. I then master the wave file, so that all backing tracks will have the same average volumes and the same EQ curve etc-so it sounds like it was all recorded by one band, in one room. That is SO much quicker than sequencing a backing track from scratch. When I'm doing a solo or duo (sax and guitar) gig I use Bass, Drums and piano as our backing. No strings, no solo pianos, brass bits or rhythm guitar etc-as simple as can be. That way, we stay true to ourselves, I feel-we're doing all the stuff that should be done by us.
    So-is it as good as a live band? No-of course not. But it is acceptable for around the pubs and clubs. We want people to go home saying-"What a good Sax or Guitarist" or "Jeez, I loved those songs- brought me right back", not even THINKING about what the backing tracks added.

    Of course-you'll always get the odd muso, asking about what you are using. If the tracks are good enough, they'll be looking to do it themselves, as they know what the score is. 99% of them say "Man-it really freed you up to play, didn't it?"
    Play with bad tracks, however, and they'll be telling you what you SHOULD be using. And that means you were crap.

  21. #20

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    Don't have time to read everything right now. So ok, it sound much better, but still it isn't "live", you'r not playing with real musicions. I agree, Karaoke is a good term for playing live with a recording or whatever: Jazzkaraoke.

    From a musical perspective it's like playing football in a weelchair.

    From a working 'I have to earn money' perspective, i gess its ok. You'r arguments for using biab box live are all about earning money,and not having anybody to play with. OK, but playing with biab is not good, what every you'r arguments are.

    Jazz is not about making money, Jazz is not about making the audiences dance (so that you can earn money). Jazz is about the music, improvisation, playing, playing together.

    Biab is not Jazz, it imitates jazz, nothing more.

    I agree, virtual jazz, that's is.

    Ok use it live, earn you'r money, I see you'r point. But musically, nono.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamreir
    Don't have time to read everything right now. So ok, it sound much better, but still it isn't "live", you'r not playing with real musicions. I agree, Karaoke is a good term for playing live with a recording or whatever: Jazzkaraoke.

    From a musical perspective it's like playing football in a weelchair.

    From a working 'I have to earn money' perspective, i gess its ok. You'r arguments for using biab box live are all about earning money,and not having anybody to play with. OK, but playing with biab is not good, what every you'r arguments are.

    Jazz is not about making money, Jazz is not about making the audiences dance (so that you can earn money). Jazz is about the music, improvisation, playing, playing together.

    Biab is not Jazz, it imitates jazz, nothing more.

    I agree, virtual jazz, that's is.

    Ok use it live, earn you'r money, I see you'r point. But musically, nono.
    Jazz is not about making money? Better tell that to the host of players and singers who are trying to make a living doing it. If you are a full time jazz muso, then it is about making money.

    The ideals of jazz are lofty, quite admirable, and worthy of pursuit, but you gotta eat.

  23. #22

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    Interesting posts...

    Some are being practical and are in favor of BIAB.

    Others are being idealistic and are against BIAB.

    It's easy to be idealistic if your a big name jazz performer in a good market.

    It's also easy to be idealistic if you don't gig at all or you make very little performing jazz and don't depend on the money.

    To those of you (CosmicGumbo, Adamrier) that are being idealistic and holding out for the art of jazz, how about posting some of your music so we can have a listen.
    Last edited by fep; 03-09-2010 at 02:25 PM.

  24. #23

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    Furthermore, if I only had two choices: (1) play jazz using BiaB for an audience; (2) don't play because I'm holding out to play with a group; I'd have to choose (1). I'd rather play than not play.

    Which action does more harm to the future of jazz? I'd rather get out there and let people hear jazz (in any context) rather than continue to let my beloved art form wither and die because it's no longer in the mindset of listeners.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Interesting posts...

    Some are being practical and are in favor of BIAB.

    Others are being idealistic and are against BIAB.

    It's easy to be idealistic if your a big name jazz performer in a good market.

    It's also easy to be idealistic if you don't gig at all or you make very little performing jazz and don't depend on the money.

    To those of you that are being idealistic and holding out for the art of jazz, how about posting some of your music/art so we can have a listen.
    An interesting challenge, and I'm curious to see if you have any takers.

    My main beef in this thread is with guys who post from their lofty silver thrones and claim that anything that doens't fit their narrowly defined criteria for "what is proper jazz" is to be cast aside without so much as a listen. What arrogance. Any musician who is making a living playing this kind of music - whether they're doing it solo, with some kind of accompanying system, or in a 17-piece big band - is to be commended. They're living it, instead of bashing it from the sidelines. And as long as their audiences are enjoying the fruits of their labor, isn't that kind of the whole point?

    I'll tell you what the point is not: it's not about pleasing the jazz purists with every song. 99% of the people who would go hear this particular kind of playing are eating their jazz brunches with their girlfriends and wives, getting faced on Ramos Fizzes...they don't give a rat's a$$ if the nice sounds coming from the stage are generated by machines, or recordings of real musicians, or actual musicians playing live. They just want to hear some melodic jazz, and then go home and take a nap.

    If you took this kind of logic to its extreme, one would expect that the same posters would decry the use of amplification for jazz guitars. Or any kind of effects processing, like chorus or reverb or pre-amp devices. Hey, that's not the sound of a REAL LIVE MUSICIAN! That's a Roland pedal doing all that!

    Anyway, BiAB is about as good as it gets for accompanying as far as I'm concerned. And this includes the Aebersold material, much of which is crap IMNSHO, as well as playing with actual so-so musicians. And just because you heard BiAB 3 years ago played through some crummy PC speakers doesn't mean that you know what it sounds like now. Once again I encourage those who dismiss BiAB to give it a listen with the RealTracks. They're really quite good.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by FatJeff
    An interesting challenge, and I'm curious to see if you have any takers.

    My main beef in this thread is with guys who post from their lofty silver thrones and claim that anything that doens't fit their narrowly defined criteria for "what is proper jazz" is to be cast aside without so much as a listen. What arrogance. Any musician who is making a living playing this kind of music - whether they're doing it solo, with some kind of accompanying system, or in a 17-piece big band - is to be commended. They're living it, instead of bashing it from the sidelines. And as long as their audiences are enjoying the fruits of their labor, isn't that kind of the whole point?

    I'll tell you what the point is not: it's not about pleasing the jazz purists with every song. 99% of the people who would go hear this particular kind of playing are eating their jazz brunches with their girlfriends and wives, getting faced on Ramos Fizzes...they don't give a rat's a$$ if the nice sounds coming from the stage are generated by machines, or recordings of real musicians, or actual musicians playing live. They just want to hear some melodic jazz, and then go home and take a nap.

    If you took this kind of logic to its extreme, one would expect that the same posters would decry the use of amplification for jazz guitars. Or any kind of effects processing, like chorus or reverb or pre-amp devices. Hey, that's not the sound of a REAL LIVE MUSICIAN! That's a Roland pedal doing all that!

    Anyway, BiAB is about as good as it gets for accompanying as far as I'm concerned. And this includes the Aebersold material, much of which is crap IMNSHO, as well as playing with actual so-so musicians. And just because you heard BiAB 3 years ago played through some crummy PC speakers doesn't mean that you know what it sounds like now. Once again I encourage those who dismiss BiAB to give it a listen with the RealTracks. They're really quite good.

    I agree wholeheartedly. I just retired and am looking to stay busy playing locally-restaurants mostly. I'm learnings tunes that for the most part will be at least somewhat familiar to the folks i play for. Hopefully, i'll be creative enough to make them good solid tunes that i enjoy also.

    The Aebersold tracks are fixed arrangements-with Biab i can determine length, key and add a RealTrack solo or 2 if i feel it's needed. Can also program in shots, rests, key changes, etc.

    Also, thanks to BillKath for suggesting i give up Biab for playback. I converted all my Biab backing tracks to WAV files and am using Window Media Player to play them. When you convert files to WAV files from Biab, it allows you to put a pause in the front and back of songs so i've got a 5 second space to catch a breath. So far, this setup is working fine. I tried to attach a couple of the backing tracks i created for the Biab haters to enjoy but this forum doesn't allow attaching WAV files.

    Thanks to everyone for your input.

  27. #26

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    Of course, you could always do what my personal guitar hero Bill Nelson does and play, produce and record all of your backing tracks yourself.

    A bit time consuming, not to mention the requirement of proficiency on several instruments, (In Bill's case, drums, keys, marimbas, horns, bass, guitars, etc...),but the effect is mesmerizing and always entertaining!

    It's just another way of getting your music out there when you don't have access to a real band. Which Bill has also done ever since leading Be Bop Deluxe back in the day, whenever he can afford to...

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squint
    Of course, you could always do what my personal guitar hero Bill Nelson does and play, produce and record all of your backing tracks yourself.

    A bit time consuming, not to mention the requirement of proficiency on several instruments, (In Bill's case, drums, keys, marimbas, horns, bass, guitars, etc...),but the effect is mesmerizing and always entertaining!

    It's just another way of getting your music out there when you don't have access to a real band. Which Bill has also done ever since leading Be Bop Deluxe back in the day, whenever he can afford to...
    It's a fine line, these days, recording. Most of the records in the charts for the last decade have all been "Pro Tooled" to some extent-timing of drums tightened with Beat Detective, keyboard players MIDI'd in and quantized or Humanized, Guitarists looped, sliced and diced etc. Is it live or is it Memorex.
    My view is that this is something that the producers WANT us Engineers to do-to get that "perfect" take, but with an eye on the clock. They know well what we are able to do.

    But-that's recording. Live work is different. Or was, till the 80's, when a huge number of bands started using sequenced stuff, blending in with their live stuff-the Who comes to mind. Nowadays, I'd venture that "most" of the top performers in the pop and country fields use sequences with their live stuff. The rationale is that people are paying a lot of money to see them and want/deserve to hear exactly what was on the record. Madness, eh? Of course-a lot of the Rock guys don't, but some do. For Jazz , Blues and Big Band? It's unheard of, of course. And it's nothing to do with being snobbish, it's because the Jazz culture is to play live, so they can go where they want to go, musically.
    You can't do that, to a large extent, with sequences. Sure, you can change your solos, but you can't modulate off the cuff, so to speak.

    However-I still believe it's a valid way to go, when money and musicians are tight.

  29. #28

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    Ok, just my two cents, I am probably just a purist, but I don't see Joe Pass using BIAB. Where do we draw the line as musicians? I have to agree with the notion it is glorified karaoke with a guitar. Use to be alot more place to play before that crap became acceptable. You are cutting your own throat. To the argument that someone wouldn't pay enough for a full band, it's because they know they don't have to. Just my opinion based on my observations from 40 years of playing live (with bands and solo).

  30. #29

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    If you're gonna play solo, play solo. Sure, you can augment your sound with a proper rig--look at the way Frisell, for example, uses loops, pedals and various effects. But it's all done live, to enhance his broad tonal palette. I've even thought of bringing other acoustic instruments, like a harmonium and various percussion pieces, playing them live, setting up loops, etc. All done live. But canned BIAB? C'mon, we can do better than this!!

    Do people tend to forget that the guitar is itself a miniature, self-contained orchestra?? What great possibilities in couterpoint we have on our instrument, how we can comp for ourselves, create our own bass lines as we blow, etc.

    However, the best way to avail of these possibilities is to fully develop a right hand without a pick, to really really develop the p-i-m-a thing.

  31. #30

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    couldn't agree more.

    people get so hung up on playing single notes, they forget what the guitar is capable of.

    but i also don't hold anything against folks who gig with backing tracks. the job is to be entertaining, and most people aren't going to care at all.
    Last edited by mr. beaumont; 03-10-2010 at 12:23 PM.

  32. #31

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    I don't want to appear contrary but I tend to the "no BIAB" viewpoint. If I went into a bar and heard a musician playing with backing tracks I would be irritated and think "why the smoke and mirrors, why can't (s)he play solo?" But as a guitar player I'm not the average customer I guess - I'm not interested in being entertained.

  33. #32

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    If you're going to play with backing tracks, then at least record your own for some claim of originality. But there is nothing more exciting than when a group of tight jazzers get into a groove and just play the crap out of their improvising little souls! You can't get that with backing tracks, but you can be entertaining like at a wedding, or such. What little I've learned about Jazz is that its improvisational fluidity is an integral part of the whole experience. While I can see both sides of the issue, I have to agree with the purists here that Jazz be kept as "real" as possible. BIAB might come in handy for your cousin's wedding, but it falls flat for that true Jazz experience. Now, for Pop or Country, I would have no problem with it at all. When I played live acoustic pop gigs I would do some numbers with a drum machine and would almost always do some improvisation with a rhythm pattern I had not used before, just to keep it interesting. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Either way, it kept people awake... but that was pop. I dont think most people would like canned Jazz, but if you're in a small town like I'm originally from, I guess you gotta do whatcha gotta do... just try to do it yourself when you can.

  34. #33

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    This discussion is getting way out of control, right now you're putting so many words in my moth I don't know where to begin. Chill out, some of us are trying to have a mature discussion, understanding that others have other opinion then themself....

    Actually, I'll start quoting myself:

    If it's the last shot, no other possibilities, ok, do it.
    Ok. For Gigs that aren't serious, like playing at the lokal bookstore or anything. Where it really isn't space enough. Maby it's OK. Allthoug I'd rather just play a duet with somebody, or just solo.
    From a working 'I have to earn money' perspective, i gess its ok. You'r arguments for using biab box live are all about earning money,and not having anybody to play with. OK,
    Ok use it live, earn you'r money, I see you'r point. But musically, nono.
    I Also got a bit chocked at first and posted stuff like:

    Your acually playing live with biab?????? What????
    From a musical perspective it's like playing football in a weelchair.
    I agree, Karaoke is a good term for playing live with a recording or whatever: Jazzkaraoke.
    Which is my opinion about playing with recorded/programmed matherial.

    I don't post over-sensitive out of topic posts like:

    Those who think "yeah-but it's too restricting, playing to backing" are just not experienced in live work. Yes, it might be, to amateurs.
    My main beef in this thread is with guys who post from their lofty silver thrones and claim that anything that doens't fit their narrowly defined criteria for "what is proper jazz" is to be cast aside without so much as a listen. What arrogance.
    I'll tell you what the point is not: it's not about pleasing the jazz purists with every song.
    If you took this kind of logic to its extreme, one would expect that the same posters would decry the use of amplification for jazz guitars. Or any kind of effects processing, like chorus or reverb or pre-amp devices. Hey, that's not the sound of a REAL LIVE MUSICIAN! That's a Roland pedal doing all that!
    (nobody said anything like that, you're totally missing the point)

    --------

    No, I'm not a very experienced live player, or jazz player at all.I've been playing jazz for like 4 years, and have never charged anybody for a live show (only some compozing stuff, not jazz).

    My point is that playing with real musicians (at an ok or higher level), is much better, becouse of the impulsive / improvisation point of view, and that you're arrangmets isn't limited to a series of presets / records. I think you should have changing soloist (unless you're a singer, then you don't need to).

    I have played with recorded (not live) and real life music, and playing wih other musucians is really a huge lift. What if you suddenly want to turn up the intensity, play really soft during a solo?

    Anybody ever heard about increasing the intensity during a solo?

    And, let me quote myself again, If BIAB is you're last option, do it. I'm not saying that you should go die if you do so, or that you're killing jazz or anything.

    What I AM saying is that there really isn't any musically reason to do this. The music gets wors with BIAB, becous your missing a imporatnt part of the improvizing part of jazz: The rest of the band.

    Remember how jazz was born? A bunch of instrumentalists improvizing together at the same time. New Orleans Jazz.

    -----

    99% of the people who would go hear this particular kind of playing are eating their jazz brunches with their girlfriends and wives, getting faced on Ramos Fizzes...
    Em,what I said was if you play at you're local book store or whatever, I guess it's OK. If you're playing for an audience who are actually listening to the music, I'd be surprised if you didn't get bood of stages.

    Anybody dissagreing that plaing with live musicians is better than playing with BIAB. It's a huuge compromise that just makes the music much worse.

    And jeah, playing with backing track and thinking that nobody cares after 2 hours would be naive.A guess i bunch of people would think (why is he using backing)

    Sorry, I mean this. Live with it. Please, no personal attacs. Lets have a grown up discussion.

  35. #34

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    No wonder people want to play with BiaB Live.If one takes a step back and looks at some of the arrorgance and attitude shown by fellow musicians to other musicians,At least BiaB doesnt get drunk,argue,throw a tantrum when all is not going well with there own playing.Plus it can play in time all day long with out missing a beat.The technology in music arguement can be used in a lot of other aspects of daily living,not just jazz.Some times we are all guilty of not being able to see the wood for the trees.At the end of the day music is enjoyable and if you dont enjoy it dont do it

    Cheers Tom

  36. #35

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    Instead of band-in-a-box, I'm learning how to cut my own rubber belts to program tunes to play with a Jack-in-a Box, because it's acoustic. So far I've got ones to play the acompaniment to Impressions and So What. I was thinking of putting a little Miles puppet to jump out of the lid, so I guess it's really a Miles-in-a-box. That's pure entertaining goodness.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Instead of band-in-a-box, I'm learning how to cut my own rubber belts to program tunes to play with a Jack-in-a Box, because it's acoustic. So far I've got ones to play the acompaniment to Impressions and So What. I was thinking of putting a little Miles puppet to jump out of the lid, so I guess it's really a Miles-in-a-box. That's pure entertaining goodness.
    You really need to look into Pat Metheny's new project Orchestrion. He is using servos with acoustic instruments. I think less maintenance and set up time with servos vs. rubber belts. However, the Miles popup puppet is a nice touch. YMMV

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Instead of band-in-a-box, I'm learning how to cut my own rubber belts to program tunes to play with a Jack-in-a Box, because it's acoustic. So far I've got ones to play the acompaniment to Impressions and So What. I was thinking of putting a little Miles puppet to jump out of the lid, so I guess it's really a Miles-in-a-box. That's pure entertaining goodness.
    WOW I almost fell out of my seat... that was good entertainment... cosmic gumbo... you have away with words, I appreciate your humor.
    The only point I would add is that we, as jazz performers are the public's educators as to what jazz is. There is very little patronage and there not going to get much from mass media. Doesn't create enough momentary interest which will translate into profit...yada yada. I have posted some of my live playing and will do so again. I don't use extra toys, besides my toy guitar and amp etc... and don't have any problems with those who do. I gig almost every night and try to evangelize jazz to as many as I'm able. I get feed back all the time from audiences... I'm not sure how they would react to myself and a box... anyway if you need a box, use it. Best Reg

  39. #38

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    tried squirrels in a box once, but they just couldn't keep a decent rhythm and they got real quiet and smelly after a few days, but GREAT squealing feedback!... LOL!

  40. #39

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    Hey Guys.

    How many of You use BIAB generated tracks on gigs (i.e. solo gigs)?
    Is this is a case:
    • do you generate tracks beforehand, and then just playback them from let say MP3 player,
    • or maybe You bring laptop with BIAB installed to the gig and connect it to PA?


    Has any of You used midi controller to control BIAB playback in real time?

    With new RealTracks i've just started to think about solo gigs with BIAB tracks, maybe any of You already did/do this?

    Thanks for any comments

  41. #40

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    I tried it once because the gig didn't pay enough for two real musicians, and decided to be a total money slut and just become a DJ. Now I make more money per gig than a jazz quartet.

  42. #41

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    I have used it with pretty good results. When I can't find other musicians (very small town here) to work with, I use my tablet computer and BIAB. The BIAB realtracks with just a bass and drum track will allow a pretty good trio sound. Actually, I prefer to work with live musicians for many other reasons having to do with "feel" and "communications" during a live performance.

    wiz

  43. #42

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    I've been doing it for the last six years. I put the tracks on a mini disc. I work as a single or as a duo with my female vocalist. I run everything through a Bose tower with two woofer cabinets. When the opportunity presents itself I use a real drummer and bass player but the majority of my gigs are dinner parties or restaurants and the pay is low. There are sound clips at this web press page if you want to hear what it sounds like during a performance.

    http://www.gigmasters.com/Jazz-Band/Midnite-Samba/

  44. #43

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    Hello John, I went to your website and was very impressed with what I saw and heard there. I enjoyed listening to your music and you and I have a lot in common in terms of music. You are doing (with BIAB) what my wife (jazz vocalist) and I do occasionally. We do casuals in a very small town in Arizona and often need to perform as a Duo because there are few drummers and bass players nearby. BTW, nice web page and welcome to the forum.

    wiz

  45. #44

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    I differentiate looping on the fly (live) using MIDI or real instruments, ie. experimentation with laptops, effects, et and integrating it with live guitar, but, in general, if you are just going use canned, horrible BIAB tracks, --why doesn't the restaurant owner just play the radio?? I ask this as a serious question.

    Also, we play a polyphonic instrument. There is nothing prettier than a single guitarist who knows how to integrate chords/intervals/bass lines/contrapuntal movement, contrary motion, oblique motion, parallel motion, etc. Without overdubs. Particularly cheesy ones. Now, a guitarist who can do this, that person should stick out like a sore thumb, vis-a-vis a single-note player.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    in general, if you are just going use canned, horrible BIAB tracks, --why doesn't the restaurant owner just play the radio?? I ask this as a serious question.
    Why would you use horrible BIAB tracks?

    Why not use really good BIAB tracks?

  47. #46

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    Also, we play a polyphonic instrument. There is nothing prettier than a single guitarist who knows how to integrate chords/intervals/bass lines/contrapuntal movement, contrary motion, oblique motion, parallel motion, etc. Without overdubs. Particularly cheesy ones. Now, a guitarist who can do this, that person should stick out like a sore thumb, vis-a-vis a single-note player.
    Spoken like a great musician, which you are. The problem is, I find, that the people we play for wouldn't REALLY always know that much about music. All they know is that they either like the sound of something or don't. Sure-some in the crowd will know and appreciate the things you've mentioned, but they are usually musicians and are you really playing to impress other musicians? A lot of them, though, just want to here "All of Me".

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ
    I differentiate looping on the fly (live) using MIDI or real instruments, ie. experimentation with laptops, effects, et and integrating it with live guitar, but, in general, if you are just going use canned, horrible BIAB tracks, --why doesn't the restaurant owner just play the radio?? I ask this as a serious question.
    You obviously are uneducated with the newer BIAB realtracks. They are definately not horrible canned tracks. The realtracks most of us here use are made with live musicians and many of them are famous for their musical abilities. They are Canadian musicians for the most part, Drummer Clark Terry as an example. BIAB now has several thousand different styles and the Realtracks and Realsdrums are awesome and very easy to learn to use. BIAB can be used at any tempo, any key and BIAB doesn't complain, exhibit an attitude or ask for more money when any tune is called for performance. Also, most of us definately prefer to work with live musicians over BIAB tracks for many reasons, lack of available good musicians, poor economic conditions, etc......

    wiz

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard3739
    You obviously are uneducated with the newer BIAB realtracks. They are definately not horrible canned tracks. The realtracks most of us here use are made with live musicians and many of them are famous for their musical abilities. They are Canadian musicians for the most part, Drummer Clark Terry as an example. BIAB now has several thousand different styles and the Realtracks and Realsdrums are awesome and very easy to learn to use. BIAB can be used at any tempo, any key and BIAB doesn't complain, exhibit an attitude or ask for more money when any tune is called for performance. Also, most of us definately prefer to work with live musicians over BIAB tracks for many reasons, lack of available good musicians, poor economic conditions, etc......

    wiz
    Interesting. Did not know. I have an older version of BIAB (for Mac-which lags very much the Windoze version, from what I remember) that stopped working when I upgraded to OSX Lion 10.7 because OSX no longer supports universal binary/Rosetta- era (switching from IBM PowerPC chips to Intex x86 era) programs. The backing chords on my version sound horrible!

    I didn't mind that OSX Lion killed my old version of BIAB, as I only used it as a practice tool, and I've found that I could replace that basic functionality on an iPad with iRealBook.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by billkath
    Spoken like a great musician, which you are. The problem is, I find, that the people we play for wouldn't REALLY always know that much about music. All they know is that they either like the sound of something or don't. Sure-some in the crowd will know and appreciate the things you've mentioned, but they are usually musicians and are you really playing to impress other musicians? A lot of them, though, just want to here "All of Me".
    Billy, thanks for the compliment, I'm just a student, but I'm starting to think about playing out.

    My idea of playing out involves solo guitar, though. I firmly believe that a well played solo guitar that utilizes polyphony and contrapuntal possibilities of the instrument will sound much nicer, prettier and melodious and lyrical than, say, a solo piano player. And thus be more captivating--in part because the guitar can, unlike a piano, truly emulate the richness of the human voice.--at least more so than the piano. Maybe people could be more captivated, due to the fact we DON"T EXPECT our guitarists to have such a command of the instrument that they can play such harmonically rich, intersecting lines. I think many audience members expect fast single note runs.

    For me, that gets old, real fast. And is not as expressive, musically, as someone who has a real command of the contrapuntal aspects of the instrument. That's my goal. As George van Eps said, it's a "lap piano". Cheers!

    (you also have to really know how to play finger style--a plectrum alone won't work, really).

  51. #50

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    hello again NSJ,

    I just bought an IPAD 1 to make things a little easier for the casual gigs I usually get. The good new is I no longer carry music with me because it is all on my IPAD and easy and quick to get to. Unfortunately I still have a lot to learn in terms of what the ipad is capable of but I am spending some time every on the IPAD to learn how to make good use of it.

    wiz