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Any tips on organising styles ?


Alisdair MacRae Birch <alisdair@...>
 

Folks

Has anyone any tips on organising styles ? I would like to put
together an FAQ for newbies on styles.

My thoughts and understanding (please tell me if I'm wrong!)

1. All styles must be stored in the Band-in-a-Box root directory so
the program can find them (c:&#92;bb).

2. To incorporate new styles into Band-in-a-Box, edit the bbw.lst,
which also must be placed in the Band-in-a-Box root directory so the
program can find it (c:&#92;bb). To quote from PG Music's FAQ:

You may edit this file to change the information, add/remove styles
etc.

Any line beginning with a semicolon ";" is a comment
Lines beginning with ~ indicate a new category like jazz, country,
pop
Lines beginning with @ are a description of a style in the format
@a&#92;b^c*d
a=style file name eg. zzjazzsw.sty (max. 8 chars + .sty )
b= Long Style Name e.g. Jazz Swing Style (max. 32 chars)
c = memo
d= examples of songs that can be played in this style
c and d combined can be max. 255 chars, e.g. c could be 200 chars and
d could be 50.

Each style description must be on one-line, carriage returns are not
allowed in the middle of a style description.
Once made, you add the new information to the style picker by
choosing the re-build option inside the style picker. This rebuilds
the binary file bbw.lsb from this file bbw.lst.

You can list a style more than once, for example Pop Ballad might be
listed under Jazz and Pop Ballad.
You can make your own categories. Like My Favorite styles, and build
up a list.
Example excerpt from the BBW.LST file:

~Jazz
@ZZJazzSW.STY&#92;Jazz Swing Style^This is the "built-in jazz swing
style"using bass, drums and piano. Bass plays half notes in 'a'
section and walks in 'b' section.*Satin Doll, Sweet Georgia Brown
@A.STY&#92;This is A^ How about this A style Useful for A songs
@BluHill.sty&#92;Blueberry Hill Style^This is Blueberry Hill*Fats Domino
songs
@GARNER.STY&#92;Errol Garner Style^This is garner*I'll Remember april
@GARNER2.STY&#92;Errol Garner Style #2^This style is in 2 feel for a and
b*Sunny Side of The Street

3. There is a limit to the number of style files (255 ?) that can be
included.

4. PG Music make their latest BBW.LST available for download from:
Go to: http://www.pgmusic.com/support_miscellaneous.htm

5. Denis Laadouceur has a program called The Style Librarian
currently at version 1.5 and available from http://www.aei.ca/~denisl
which helps organise styles.

Has any one any comments, additions etc ?

---alisdair


Bob 'Notes' Norton <norton@...>
 

At 04:31 PM 1/21/01 +0000, you wrote:
Has anyone any tips on organising styles ? I would like to put
together an FAQ for newbies on styles.

My thoughts and understanding (please tell me if I'm wrong!)

1. All styles must be stored in the Band-in-a-Box root directory so
the program can find them (c:&#92;bb).
Most definitely. Although you can use styles from anywhere by using the
menu command and changing the folder, the style picker window (STY button)
will not find them unless they are in the root directory.

2. To incorporate new styles into Band-in-a-Box, edit the bbw.lst,
which also must be placed in the Band-in-a-Box root directory so the
program can find it (c:&#92;bb). To quote from PG Music's FAQ:
[SNIP]
There is a new way to organize styles in version 9.0c or higher of
Band-in-a-Box. You can use .ls3 files. The ls3 files are text files and
they allow the extra information like tempo, swing or even, to be displayed
in the STY window.

The beauty of the .ls3 file is that when PG Music releases a new disk and
therefore replaces the bbw.lst file, the new disk will not erase your extra
styles as it will not replace your ls3 file.

The bad part is that if you have the version 10 Mega Pack, or all the PG
Music styles, PG has exceeded the limit of files allowed in the style
picker window already. Neither my styles nor anybody else's will fit. I
have informed Peter Gannon and the tech department about this problem and
they are working on it. I suspect they will release a 10.* update on their
web site someday.

Somewhere I have some information about how to build an ls3 file. If there
is any interest, let me know and I'll be happy to post it.


Bob "Notes" Norton
owner, Norton Music
norton@...
http://www.nortonmusic.com

FREE Midi Files ... Band-in-a-Box improvement software ... links to MIDI
file search pages ... download and print sheet music directly from the web
... a few jokes to brighten your day ... and some way cool stuff of
interest to musicians!!!


Alisdair MacRae Birch <alisdair@...>
 

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 ?

---alisdair

--- In Band-in-a-Box@..., "Bob 'Notes' Norton" <norton@n...>
wrote:

Somewhere I have some information about how to build an ls3 file.
If there
is any interest, let me know and I'll be happy to post it.


Bob "Notes" Norton
owner, Norton Music
norton@n...
http://www.nortonmusic.com

FREE Midi Files ... Band-in-a-Box improvement software ... links to
MIDI
file search pages ... download and print sheet music directly from
the web
... a few jokes to brighten your day ... and some way cool stuff of
interest to musicians!!!


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 http://www.nortonmusic.com)

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.

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV,16,66,100,76,8,jz,jzs

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

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0
0 {this denotes which soloist to use (1-255) and 0=don't always use the same soloist

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16
j16 {which soloist type to use -- * see SOLOIST TYPE list at the end of this post}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true
true {double time is OK -- use false if you don't want to allow double time soloist}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4
4 {base time signature -- use either 3 for 3/4 or 4 for 4/4 here}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV
EV {this entry designates whether the notes in the next entry are EV (even) or sw (swing)}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV,16
16 {this denotes which notes in the above entry are EV or sw -- use either 8 or 16}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV,16,66
66 {lowest recommended tempo}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV,16,66,100
100 {highest recommended tempo}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV,16,66,100,76
76 {typical tempo}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV,16,66,100,76,8
8 {style disk the style is found on -- PG Music has reserved 1-255 for their own use}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV,16,66,100,76,8,jz
jz {melody patch to use. Either assign a patch number between 1-128 or use the **melody / soloist patch in the chart below}

;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV,16,66,100,76,8,jz,jzs
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.

* SOLOIST TYPE
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
;^@#16bbal1.sty,0,j16,true,4,EV,16,66,100,76,8,jz,jzs
(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:
http://www.nortonmusic.com/news.html
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 www.nortonmusic.com

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
norton@...
http://www.nortonmusic.com


Alisdair MacRae Birch <alisdair@...>
 

Hi Bob

Thanks for your great note on .ls3 files. I'm going to put all this
information together in a Styles.faq for inclusion in the Styles
folder.

BTW, great note on what this group could become. As we grow we could
become a great source of knowledge etc. Documenting "stuff" that PG
Music have not had the time or the inclination to do. As Bob says
it's up to us all to make this a great group!

---alisdair

--- In Band-in-a-Box@..., "Bob 'Notes' Norton" <norton@n...>
wrote:


Bob 'Notes' Norton <norton@...>
 

At 11:00 PM 1/23/01 +0000, "Alisdair MacRae Birch" wrote:
Thanks for your great note on .ls3 files.

You are welcome, my pleasure.

I'm going to put all this
information together in a Styles.faq for inclusion in the Styles
folder.

Thanks. Feel free to share it with anyone.

BTW, great note on what this group could become. As we grow we could
become a great source of knowledge etc. Documenting "stuff" that PG
Music have not had the time or the inclination to do.

It is nice having a group that is not under the control of PG Music. Not that PG ever abused its control in its forum, in fact they were very tolerant of criticism. But having them lead the group makes for a feeling of a company group (for loss of a better term). I don't know how to explain it. It just seems like we are looking to PG instead of each other for everything. Perhaps Parent/child might be a better term.

Of course that is not a negative, just different. And the PG Forum is a great thing when you find bugs in the program, or need the kind of help only PG can supply, because they can respond quickly.

But there is something about being independent of the program that should make this more of a peer to peer community.

This group should compliment, not replace that forum.

BTW, I do expect them to monitor this group. It would be in their best interests to do so.

As Bob says
it's up to us all to make this a great group!

Indeed. The first group I ever joined was a wind synth players group. I started out lurking, then participating. I received so much information from so many experts on the subject of wind synthesis, that I think I learn in one year what it would take ten to learn on my own. Plus I made some great friends.

I am hoping this becomes as rich and colorful as the wind synth group.




Bob "Notes" Norton
owner, Norton Music
norton@...

FREE Midi Files ... Band-in-a-Box improvement software ... links to MIDI file search pages ... download and print sheet music directly from the web ... a few jokes to brighten your day ... and some way cool stuff of interest to musicians!!!