Re: Any tips on organising styles ?

Bob 'Notes' Norton <norton@...>

>At 08:47 AM 1/22/01 +0000, "Alisdair MacRae Birch" <alisdair@...> wrote:
>Hi Bob
>Thanks for your comprehensive reply, very helpful. Would be very
>interested if you have some more info on building .ls3 files, to
>include in the FAQ.
>By the way many years back I bought some of your style disks and
>found them very good. They were nicely packaged and came with good
>notes - I must have used the Soca Style numerous times! Why not put a
>link to your site in the links section of the group ?

Hi Alisdair,

Thanks for the compliment on my styles. I just released my 10th style disk the latter part of last year, and the response has been great. I also released three new disks written by Roy Hawkesford, a jazz and music educator living in the UK.

The following is offered without warranty of any kind. Nether Bob "Notes" Norton nor Norton Music accepts any responsibility for the material below. Hopefully there are no typographical errors in it, but if you find one, please be kind enough to let me know. This list was comprised using instructional material provided by PG Music and it is embellished with lessons learned by experience while writing Norton Music aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box. (Please visit my web site at

Here is what I have learned about .ls3 files. I have used these successfully to organize the Norton and Hawkesford files so they show up in the STY window, and are not erased by adding new PG Music styles. Please note, if they do not show up automatically, re-boot Band-in-a-Box after adding the ls3 files and the first time you open BiaB's style picker window, click Re-Build. If you have all the PG Music styles, you might experience a style over-run problem, and they will not show up. Contact support@... to let them know (they are good about fixing bugs). If you have any other kind of trouble with either the Norton or Hawkesford styles, contact support@...

The ls3 file is a text file. You can make one with Window's Notepad or other word processor as long as you save it as a plain text file. If your word processor allows, save it with the .ls3 extension, if not change the extension after it is saved.

You can make as many .ls3 files as you want, but no file can exceed 65,000 (65K) bytes.

Both the .ls3 file and the user style must reside in the same folder as the bbw.exe (Band-in-a-Box) program. Unless you changed it that would be c:\bb

There are a couple of different ways to do this, but the one I found best and the one I use for my Norton Music styles contains two lines.

Line 1 includes the style description exactly as found in the bbw.lst -- do not modify the bbw.lst file, but use the guidelines for the bbw.lst as found in the BiaB user manual.

Line 2 includes the additional information.

Here is an example of the second line from a Norton Music style (16 beat ballad number 1), and I'll follow it with an explanation. {The explanation will be in the same style brackets this sentence is enclosed in}. You will substitute the values for your own styles according to the recommendation in the { } brackets.


what does this all mean?

;^@ {This must appear at the beginning of each line, for all other entries, use a comma to separate them}

#16bbal1.sty {this is the style name, exactly as it appears on your hard drive}

0 {this denotes which soloist to use (1-255) and 0=don't always use the same soloist

j16 {which soloist type to use -- * see SOLOIST TYPE list at the end of this post}

true {double time is OK -- use false if you don't want to allow double time soloist}

4 {base time signature -- use either 3 for 3/4 or 4 for 4/4 here}

EV {this entry designates whether the notes in the next entry are EV (even) or sw (swing)}

16 {this denotes which notes in the above entry are EV or sw -- use either 8 or 16}

66 {lowest recommended tempo}

100 {highest recommended tempo}

76 {typical tempo}

8 {style disk the style is found on -- PG Music has reserved 1-255 for their own use}

jz {melody patch to use. Either assign a patch number between 1-128 or use the **melody / soloist patch in the chart below}

jzs {soloist patch to use.  Either assign a patch number between 1-128 or use the **melody / soloist patch in the chart below}

In the melody patch and soloist patch I generally use the letters from the chart below for my Norton Music styles. I think this allows the end user more flexibility.

j3.......Jazz Swing - triplet feel 8th notes
j8.......Jazz - even 8th notes
j16......Jazz - even16th notes
w3.......Waltz - triplet feel
w8.......Waltz - even 8ths
c3.......Country - triplet feel 8th notes
c8.......Country - even 8ths
cw8......Country waltz - even 8ths
b3.......Blues - triplet feel 8ths
b8.......Blues - even 8ths
p16......Pop - even 16ths
p24......Pop - swing 16ths
class8...Classical - even 8ths
class16..Classical - even 16ths
tek16....Tecnno - even 16ths
funk16...Funk - even 16ths
ethnic16.Ethnic - even 16ths
ethnic3..Ethnic - triplet feel

** melody / soloist
1-128 to get a specific patch or ...
jz....Jazz melody patch
jzs...Jazz soloist patch
bl....Blues melody patch
bls...Blues soloist patch
bg....Bluegrass melody (patch)
bgs...Bluegrass soloist (patch)
la....Latin melody
las...Latin soloist
ct....Country melody
cts...Country soloist
po....Pop melody
pos...Pop soloist
rk....Rock melody
rks...Rock soloist
fu....Funk melody
fus...Funk soloist
cl....Classical melody
cls...Classical soloist
tk....Techno melody
tks...Techno soloist
et....Ethnic melody
ets...Ethnic soloist
fo....Folk melody
fos...Folk soloist
re....Reggae melody
res...Reggae soloist
af....African melody
afs...African soloist

Both lines combined for the Norton Music style look like this:
@#16bbal1.sty\16beat Ballad           • Norton^meter=4/4 ... •=LiveDrums ... Norton-SD#8 ... A 1970s - 2000s 16 Beat ballad*Every Time You Go Away
(Turn off the word wrap feature to view the properly)

The line that starts with@ is the bbw.lst style line
the line that starts with the ;^@ is the additional ls3 type line

The updated Norton Music and Roy Hawkesford ls3. files can always be found at:
and will probably be under the heading:
#1. For Windows Band-in-a-Box version 9.0b or higher (9.0c preferred)

If things change, I'll change the heading but the latest version for Windows will always be at the top. Mac people can find an updated bbw.lst file at the bottom of the page, and if PG Music ever supports ls3 files for the Mac, I'll put an update there for you, too.

If you have anything to add, or discover anything new that you find beneficial, please contact norton@...

This list was comprised using material from Band-in-a-Box and embellished with lessons learned by experience while writing Norton Music aftermarket styles for Band-in-a-Box. Please visit my web site

If anybody is interested in me keeping a library of .ls3 files on my Band-in-a-Box site, let me know. If there is enough demand, I'll do it.

Pretty lengthy post but I hope it will help.

Bob "Notes" Norton

Join to automatically receive all group messages.