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Band-in-a-Box 2012 has over 50 new features and enhancements!

Band-in-a-Box 2011 and 2011.5 delivered over 100 new features, and 202 new RealTracks – now Band-in-a-Box Version 2012 adds 101 more RealTracks and over 50 exciting new features!

BB screenshot

“VST synth” support so you can have multiple synths playing on your song.

VST Audio Plugins (reverb, delay etc.) on each track.

There are two types of tracks:

  • MIDI tracks, which have 4 slots. The first slot can take a synthesizer (e.g. Coyote GM, Garritan Aria, and HyperCanvas) the other 3 can take audio effects (e.g. reverb, compression etc.)
  • Audio tracks (RealTracks, Loops, or the Audio Track) which Tracks have 4 slots. There is no synthesizer slot, so they have 4 for audio effects (e.g. Reverb, compression, AmpliTube Amp simulation).

Guitar Amp Simulator Added (AmpliTube CS) and over 150 “Direct Input” Guitar based RealTracks.

Guitar Amp

You can customize over 150 of the Guitar based RealTracks using the new Guitar Amp Simulator that is included (AmpliTube CS). We include “Direct Input” Guitar recordings for these, so all of the added effects come from the Guitar Amp Simulator. There are a few ways that you can use the AmpliTube 3 CS Plugin in Band-in-a-Box.

1. Load a BB song that is set to use it. These will be found in the c:\bb\Tutorial BB2012 Folder. Just load a demo song with “AmpliTube” in the name, and press play.

2. Load a BB Style that is set to use AmpliTube. To find these, open the StylePicker, and type the word “AmpliTube” in the search filter to find these styles.

3. Add it yourself to any song - select a Guitar RealTracks that has Direct Input Guitar available.

We’ve added “Loops” support, so you can add your own or 3rd party loops to any Band-in-a-Box track.
Loops are audio files (WAV, wma, m4a, mp4, mp3) that reside in the Loops folder of the RealTracks folder. You can add your own files to this folder.

We’ve added a Simpler RealTracks setting – a checkbox that makes the RealTracks play a less busy or embellished arrangement.

Styles can also be made to use Simple Arrangements.

You can add MIDITracks individually now, simply select your favorite MIDITrack from any style to any track of your current song. For example, let’s say you want to add a “MIDI Strings” track to the strings track. Right-click on strings part at the top, and choose “Select a Custom MIDI style for this track.” You then see the “Custom MIDI Style” dialog.

The “BB Remote” app for iPhone, iPad, Android has been updated with new features. (New release pending approval in the Apple store.)
(New release pending approval in the Apple store.)

  • Double Click (to play from bar x).
  • Easier changing of screens.
  • File Save.
  • Red/Green “connected” status button.
  • Automatic connection.

We’ve added a huge number of new RealTracks (101), with great new Jazz, Pop, and Country Styles.

Jazz RealTracks

30 New Jazz RealTracks! Including…

  • Dixieland. Rhythm Section w/ Banjo, Guitar, Tuba, Piano, Drums
  • Dixieland Soloists: Clarinet, Trombone, Trumpet
  • Jazz-Funk Breezy 75. 7 styles. Bass (Alex Al), Guitar (2) (Michael Thompson), Piano (Jeff Lorber) (2), Sax Solo (Eric Marienthal), Drums (Ricky Lawson)
  • Jazz Guitar Fusion Soloing (Carlos Arellano)
  • Mike LeDonne Bossa Piano, Organ RH only, Organ RH+LH bass).
Rock RealTracks

40 New Pop/Rock/Folk RealTracks! Including…

  • John Jarvis Rockin’ Piano. (John is a Country Music Association (CMA) Award winner for Pianist of the Year.
  • 60’s Soul. Full band with Bass/ Guitar/ Piano/ Drums.
  • Folkie 16ths band Banjo, Bass, Guitar
  • Texas Blues Shuffle. With Blues Masters Sol Philcox and Brent Mason
  • Pop16ths ballad (65) – Full Band. 10 instruments. Guitar (5), Bass, Fiddle, Mandolin, Piano, Drums
  • Pop 16ths Medium (110). Full Band, 8 instruments. Bass, Fiddle, Guitar (3), Piano, Drums, Mandolin
Country RealTracks

31 New Country RealTracks! Including…

  • Pedal Steel Soloing. 3 styles with Paul Franklin (CMA award winner, Pedal Steel player of the year).
  • Fancy Fingerpicking by Brent Mason (CMA winner). These fingerpicking parts are intended as the “second part” to accompany an existing fingerpicking RealTracks, with different voicings, and passing tones.
  • Praise and Worship: Styles: “Promise” - 8 RealTracks (Piano, Guitar(5), Drums).
  • Brent Mason Country Guitar Soloing (4 styles). Swing 65. Swing 165. Even 85. Even 165.
  • Country Drivin’ 8ths. Full Band. 5 RealTracks. Bass(2), Fiddle, Guitar, Pedal Steel

StylePicker Filter has been enhanced.

There is an easy search feature on the main StylePicker filter window. You can type a search term, press Enter, and the styles are filtered. This includes, in addition to typing any text, special terms like Ev (shown only Even feel styles), Sw (Swing styles), 8 (8th note styles), 16 (16ths note styles), 140 (find styles that work at tempo 140), 140! (list only styles where the original tempo is 140), Real (list only real styles), MIDI (list only MIDI styles), “Oliver” (list only styles including Artist=Oliver), “Duo/Trio/Quartet” (# instruments) and more.

The StylePicker Advanced Filter has been enhanced, with new options to:

  • Include/exclude styles with soloists
  • Only include styles matching the tempo exactly
  • List of RealTracks Artists includes instrument names (“Oliver Gannon: Jazz Guitar" instead of “Oliver Gannon”)
  • Individual genres listed (e.g. show Country and Pop styles only)
  • Faster (single click) selection of options (radio buttons instead of drop down combo) for most commonly used settings.
  • StylePicker filter added for time signatures 4/4, 3/4 waltz, 5/4, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, others

StylePicker memo enhanced

  • Lists *** includes Soloist *** for styles with Soloists.
  • Shows N/A for missing RealTracks.
  • More elaborate drum names, you now see CountryPopEv16^01 a:Sidestick, Hihat b:Snare, HiHat instead of CountryPopEv16^01-SSCldHt,SnrCH.
  • Expanded size so more of memo shows.

“Band” button added to main screen, allowing you to quickly choose the most commonly used styles for Jazz, Pop, and Country.

For example, in the Jazz section, you’ll see a style for Jazz Swing, Jazz Waltz, Bossa, Gypsy, and Smooth Jazz. Note that the Jazz Swing style works for a wide tempo range, from slow ballads (tempo=50) to fast bebop (tempo=300). This is because of the tempo swap feature that automatically chooses the best RealTracks, so that you hear ballad playing at the slow tempo, and bebop playing at 300.

Yellow Hint Messages can now be clicked on to perform the action.

Questions asked when songs loaded (requiring a response) are now changed to yellow flash messages, that don't require a response but can be clicked on if you want to do the function:

  • Style is even feel. OK to change melody to swing. (And vice versa.)
  • Style is 16ths notes, reduce chord duration? (And “Style is 8th notes, expand chord duration?”)
  • Style is 3/4 waltz, transform the melody to waltz? (And vice versa.)

Styles can now contain extra information, such as:

  • Custom Panning: If set, you can enter panning values, which will apply to the style. Note that if you press “save style” in the RealTracks Picker, panning will now get saved with the style, which can be edited here.
  • Reverb: If set, enter custom reverb values for the style
  • Tone Control: If set, enter custom Tone (bass/treble) values for the style
  • Use Simple Version: This will only be enabled if a simple version of the RealTracks currently selected is available
  • Use Direct Input: This will only be enabled on styles that have Direct Input available. If set, the style will use a DirectInput guitar sound (clean). If you set this, you should also choose a Plugin like AmpliTube.
  • Plugin Name: If set, you can choose a Plugin to use (.tgs file in \DX Settings folder)
  • Use Loop: If set, you can choose a Loop to use

RealDrums names have been improved, so instead of cryptic names like:


You see:

CountryPopEv16^01 a:Sidestick, Hihat b:Snare, HiHat
a:Sidestick, HiHat : Kick on 1 and 3 with the sidestick on beat 4. The hihat is playing a 16th note pattern,
b:Snare, HiHat : Kick on 1 and 3 with the snare on beat 4. The hihat plays 16th notes throughout and is sometimes opened slightly

EZ selection of “DrumGrooves” has been added, which are different grooves within drum styles. RealDrums styles with a caret (^) at the end of the name have several “DrumGrooves” available. Now there is an easy way to select the different grooves within the song. Simply right-click on a bar number, and you see a menu of the DrumGrooves within the style. So, for example, you could easily switch from the “side stick/hihat” groove, to “snare/hihat” to “snare/Ride.”

List of RealTracks now includes [half-time] [double-time], [triple-time], [Direct Input guitar] and [Bluesy]

The RealTracks – Demos folder names are improved, and list the names of the RealTracks set. (e.g. Instead of “RealTracks Set 42” it says “RealTracks Set 42 Boogie n’ Texas Rock.

RealDrums arrangements have been improved, playing less busy playing on odd bar numbers.

The Same But Different feature is improved, and finds more varied playing.

Rests now apply to the Melody and Soloist tracks (if they have RealTracks, Loops, or MIDITracks on them). Note that for purposes of excluding the tracks from the rests, the Melody and Soloist tracks use the same setting as the Strings track.

Bar Settings Dialog (F5) improvements: asterisk (*) is shown on F5 dialog on caption when any non default information is set. Also on each chorus number in the choruses drop down list, so you can see if there is any custom information set, and what choruses are set.

N/A is added to the RealTracks and RealDrums name on the Main Screen, Mixer, and Song memo when styles are not found.

RealTracks arrangements are enhanced.

Band-in-a-Box handles major triads more intelligently, considering their function in the key of the song.

Better playing over 2 beat chords (sometimes would piece together two one beat riffs for a chord lasting 2 beats.)

Soloists can now be made to play differently in ‘a’ and ‘b’ substyle. Some of the Dixieland soloists are examples of this, and they play ‘background’ soloing during the ‘a’ section and full-out soloing in the ‘b’ section.

Notation Enhancements.

On notation, note names are now shown when transposing for instrument and displaying relative note numbers.

In Editable Notation mode, notes entered with the mouse now take the notation offset into account. So if a note is clicked on the beat 1:1:0 will get entered at 1:1:7 if the notation offset is -7. This gives a more human feel to the arrangement.

On Mixer and top-of-screen Instrument radio buttons:

  • Easy way to disable/enable a track, including as the song is playing. To disable a track, right-click on the track name (at top of the screen or on the mixer), and select enable/disable the track.
  • When a track is disabled, the color is now dark gray on the main screen and on the mixer.
  • When a track is MIDI, and will be used in the style, or has MIDI data, color is yellow
  • Patch names now say "not used" for unused MIDI tracks, and "empty" for blank melody tracks

Ability to assign an individual track as “simple” (not embellished). This is done by right-clicking on the part name at the top of the screen, and selecting the menu item, or choosing the option in the RealTracks Picker.

  • You can now choose MIDI Tracks from this dialog
  • Can choose Loops from the dialog, so this dialog can be used to choose all types: RealTracks, RealDrums, MIDI Tracks, and Loops.
  • New columns have been added for “Direct Input” Guitars available, and “Simpler” version available.

Woodshed Tempo feature added.

When practicing (or “woodshedding”) a tune, it is useful for the tempo to speed up every time the section loops or the song restarts from the beginning.

For example, in Preferences [Arrange], if you set the “Woodshed tempo” value to 5, then the tempo will speed up by 5 each time the song loops to the beginning (or a highlighted section loops).

The idea is that you start off with a slow tempo, playing the part perfectly, and keep this up as the song tempo increases. When you press Stop the tempo reverts to the original tempo.

There are 3 modes to the woodshed tempo field. They are only active when you set a woodshed tempo value other than 0.

  1. "Up only," which is getting faster each loop "forever," well until tempo=500 which is BB's maximum tempo.
  2. An "up then down" mode that goes up by [a settable increment] up to a [settable maximum] and then starts going down by the increment back to the original where it restarts. For example, a song with a tempo of 140, if you set the tempo to increase by 5, to a maximum increase of 100, the song will go from 140,145,150 etc to 240, then go to 235,230… back to 140 and cycle again.
  3. An "Up then Reset" mode, that goes up in increments up to the settable maximum, then resets to the original and starts again. For example, a song with a tempo of 140, if you set the tempo to increase by 5, to a maximum increase of 100, the song will go from 140,145,150 etc to 240, then go to 140 and start again.

Modes 2 and 3 are analogous to a "treadmill workout," with programmed changes in speed.