BIAB 2017 - Natural Arrangements?


D F Tweedie
 

Clifton wrote: "The thing I'm most curious about is their Natural Arrangements that lets BiaB make related chord substitutions as it plays, either for the whole song or on a track by track basis. "
Does anyone know whether these chord substitions will be displayed in anyway ... and/ or both retained and retained in display if a song or track is frozen?

I watched the 2017 intro, but missed anything about this feature.

DF


From: "Clifton Davis clifdavis@... [Band-in-a-Box]"
To: Band-in-a-Box
Sent: Thursday, December 8, 2016 4:57 AM
Subject: Re: [Band-in-a-Box] BIAB 2017 - Quick First Impressions

 
Yeah, the new customization interface sounds nice.  It's nice to see a number of things supporting midi, chief among them the ability to use sfz instruments directly.  The thing I'm most curious about is their Natural Arrangements that lets BiaB make related chord substitutions as it plays, either for the whole song or on a track by track basis.  

2016 has been a heck of a year and I still haven't gotten around to everything I wanted to explore on the 2016 program.  Hoping for a more leisurely 2017 that goes more as planned.  Pretty sure that the feature of renaming the radio button track with the specific instrument is there in the 2016 version where it's caused me occasional disorientation recalling whether a particular instrument is really under piano, guitar or strings.   I've long known that the most cost effective approach to BiaB is to do an upgrade every other year during the year end Christmas special, but I just can't bring myself to wait that long for the new goodies. 

Thanks for this and all you do here David.


On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 4:35 AM, 'David H. Bailey' dhbailey52@... [Band-in-a-Box] <Band-in-a-Box@...> wrote:
I received my BIAB 2017 update yesterday, installed it, and have a few
first impressions to share.

The interface has changed.  Greatly.  Gone are the huge palettes with
tools we don't need to see all the time, so we see a much larger (i.e.
easier to read) chord-entry spreadsheet.  The tools have been nested
inside ribbons and the ribbons are all easily accessible on the top
right of the screen, labeled File, Views, Tools, Tracks, Custom, Mixer.
The File ribbon has the usual New, Open, Save, Prev, Next, Save, etc.,
functions relating to file manipulation.  This ribbon has the Midi
export, Wave export, preferences functions.  In short, PGMusic have
taken all the tools that were constantly on display in the variousl
panels we couldn't get rid of on the main screen and put them into these
small ribbons so we only see them when we choose to.  Several of the
functions in each of the ribbons have small downward-pointing triangles
which indicate that if we click on that icon there will be a drop-down
menu of further options.  The Custom ribbon is empty when the program is
installed but when we open the Custom ribbon there is a + sign (the plus
sign) at the right edge and if we click that we are presented with all
the possible icons we can choose to put in that Custom ribbon, so we can
consolidate all the functions we most commonly use into one location.

The appearance of the title bar has changed greatly also.  At the very
top of the window is the normal File/Edit/Options/Play etc. menus that
have been there since time immemorial.  Beneath that, spread out across
the entire screen are the radio buttons for each instrument in the
"ensemble": Master, Bass, Piano, Drums, Guitar, Strings, Melody,
Soloist, Thru, Audio.  I don't recall seeing the Audio button in 2016
and earlier, but then I may simply not have paid attention to it.  The
labels for each instrument change to whatever the instrument is in that
slot in the currently selected style.  I selected a fiddle-based country
style and instead of Piano the word Fiddle appeared.  This will take
away the need to guess which slot a particular instrument was placed in.
  Beneath that row of instrument buttons is a row which is new in 2017.
At the far left is a small array of four options around a plus sign.
This is where a person can drag tracks from the instrument list to
create wav, m4a, wma or mid copies of that track to copy to a DAW or the
clipboard.  Beneath this box is a small row of 3 icons -- the furthest
left is an icon of a box with what I guess are arrows around a box
indicating that clicking that will give this new appearance to show more
chord-entry grid.  The button in the middle is simply a box, and
clicking this gives us the same appearance as the previous versions of
BIAB, so that all the icons are onscreen all the time.  So PGMusic have
been very nice and presented us with the new interface people have been
clamoring for and also allowed those who are comfortable with the older
interface an option to have the old appearance.  Very nice of them!  The
third button of this row is labeled DAW and clicking on that simply
minimizes the BIAB screen so that whatever is open behind it (PGMusic
are guessing it would be a DAW -- this would facilitate the functions in
the top box so we could copy a track using those upper buttons and then
get this DAW view where we could quickly paste that track into our DAW.

Next to that nesting of buttons is a group of four File function
buttons: New, Open, Save, Save As.  So they are always visible, no
matter which interface we choose -- these are very small and
inconspicuous in the new interface.

Third from the left is a box with the play/record controls.  There are
icons for Play, Regenerate and Play, Pause, Stop, Play A Loop, Record.
Beneath this row of play/record controls is a graphical representation
of the song, with markers indicating the start of each new chorus and
the ending. Each measure is represented by a very narrow vertical bar --
clicking one of those moves the cursor to that measure and
double-clicking one of those vertical bars starts playback from that
measure in the chorus where we clicked.

Right in the middle of the screen is the Title bar with an icon of 2
8th-notes which when clicked gives us the File Open dialog.  Right
beside this icon is a drop-down triangle that opens a menu from which we
can choose what we want to open and also the option to set the default
behavior for what happens when we click on the 2-8th-notes icon.  Then
is the actual title of the song.  To the right of the song title is
where we set the bars for the chorus, the number of times to play the
chorus.  To the right of that is the icon for creating a memo for that
song and to its right is an icon with a gear which opens the Song
Settings dialog.

Beneath that row of title and icons, at the top-middle of the screen is
the bar which lists the current style and at the left edge of the
current style are the buttons to select a new style and the drop-down
indicator which opens up style-selection options including an option to
set the default behavior of what happens when we click on the style
selection icon.  To the right of the style is an indicator of what the
focus of the syle (swing/straight, 8ths/16ths) and options to set the
meter for the whole song or for a range of measures, the key and the
tempo.  As in BIAB2016, clicking the Key icon opens up the two listings
of possible key changes (the row on the left changes the key and
transposes the whole song and the row on the right simply changes the
key for display).

Immediately to the right of this Title/Style section is where the
ribbons I first mentioned appear.

The basic functions of BIAB are still great, creating excellent
accompaniments (either midi or "real") quickly (I think this version
might be faster than 2016 in generating accompaniments with real
instruments).  The sound is great, and the few new styles I have demoed
sound fantastic.

That's my first impressions -- I think the new interface should appeal
to those who have been complaining about how dated the old interface
looked, yet by leaving the option to keep the old interface PGMusic have
done a great service for those who didn't mind the old face and have
grown comfortable with using it.  And the menus are still there for
those who don't like ribbons.

Sound-wise I think BIAB is at least as good as it ever was, but my
initial trials indicate it might be even better.

I have not investigated yet the use of the Plogue sfz soft-synth nor the
included Hi-Q sounds for it.

Am I glad I ordered this upgrade immediately -- you betcha!  I sense
some great improvements "under the hood."

--
*****
David H. Bailey
dhbailey52@...
http://www. davidbaileymusicstudio.com


------------------------------ ------
Posted by: "David H. Bailey" <dhbailey52@...>
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