Re: BIAB 2017 - Natural Arrangements?

D F Tweedie

Thanks David and Clifton ...

I was of course hoping that somehow these substitutions would be revealed for teaching composition and increasing the palette of chords one might use.

But it appears more likely this is an new iteration of the 'never play  the same way twice' feature of the program.

One can ever hope.


From: "Clifton Davis clifdavis@... [Band-in-a-Box]"
To: Band-in-a-Box
Sent: Thursday, December 8, 2016 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Band-in-a-Box] BIAB 2017 - Natural Arrangements?

I would assume that if the tracks are frozen with Natural Arangements then they wouldn't change.
Display on the chord display, I doubt it.  It's more of a function of BiaB ignoring the actual chord in the service of musicality.
It's buried down in the new features blurb.  Quoting...
Natural Arrangements option has been added. If you give a pro musician, a complicated chord progression, with fancy extensions like C7b9b13 or Gm11, the musician may reinterpret these rather than playing them exactly as written. This can achieve a much better sounding arrangement because the musician has freedom to choose from similar chord extensions. Now you can get Band-in-a-Box® to do the same thing; you can set this on a global basis (all songs, all tracks), song basis (current song, all tracks), or individual tracks (current song, specific track(s)). For example, you can make a single global setting and all arrangements will allow this.
And from the customer comments section:
"Natural Arrangements Feature: Whatever magic this does, I'm hearing better voice leading in the guitar and piano on my Bossa Nova song with advanced extensions. I'm really liking this!"
On Dec 8, 2016 11:26 AM, "D F Tweedie bienpegaito@... [Band-in-a-Box]" <Band-in-a-Box@...> wrote:
> 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]" <Band-in-a-Box@...>
>> To: Band-in-a-Box <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.
>>> ------------------------------ ------
>>> Posted by: "David H. Bailey" <dhbailey52@...>
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