Band in a Box

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Steve Killingsworth, May 11, 2004.

  1. After spending some time with the free demo I have decided to get Band in a Box. The problem is that I am unsure of what add-ons (if any) are needed. The basic package can be had for from $65-90. Buying the full version with all the different styles and add-ons adds from $100-150 (depending on the place of purchase) to the price.

    As some of you know I am a bluegrasser and don't really expect be the next Edgar Meyer. However, I do want to take my playing as far beyond the basics as possible and see this software as a way of developing.

    So ultimately, the question for you B in a B users is--will the basic version do the trick or is the expanded version worth the money?
  2. Gufenov


    Jun 8, 2003
    I chose the basic version, since I'm not into all the various styles and songs available at extra cost. There are a lot of MIDI files available on the Internet, a Google search for the song title and "MIDI" often turns up several sources. These can be imported into Band in a Box and converted to .sgu files. Then you can transpose keys, add instruments, or even save the "style" and use it for other songs. I often visit "Virtual Bluegrass Band" at You can always purchase the additional style CDs, or download as needed from the Band in a Box site if you decide you need more.

    Good Luck.
  3. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    A large BiaB archive exists somewhere. Used to be easily downloadable. Styles are cosmetically interesting, but the main benefit of BiaB is to provide you with the chord changes + melody at the tempo and key that you want. You could join users groups and ask what they think. A music notation editor which can open and save midi files (such as Finale or Encore, etc..) is good companion for BiaB. Toggling between strait notation and swing feel is an important feature.
  4. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    check this:
  5. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
  7. I actually found a package deal from Elderly Instruments that included the '04 version and the bluegrass pack for a price a little less that the basic version from PG. The program is excellent (or at least will be when I figure out how to manipulate it). With regards to the solo pack--I agree with GALLOPOFF and SIR LAWRENCE that it is probably not needed. Unless part of a package, I doubt if it would be worth the extra money.
  8. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    You can always kill the melody in the middle of the tune but then it's handy to have the BiaB solo feature to comp with, it fills the otherwise dull blank. Then you learn to comp behind realy bad solos that you hate, so that's a plus. ;) I don't think the Miles or Jaco or Bill Monroe solo packs would bring much more, and of course, you get nowhere in terms of interactions between the musicians that is refered to in the TB Sampler threads. For this you need band in a room.
  9. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    I've been thinking about B-I-A-B.

    What are the better(or the ultimate)play-alongs that I should look at?

    Thanks a lot.
  10. Can anybody offer an alternative to BIAB for the purpose of generating lead sheets? I've been trying to find one for my students for some time now with no luck whatsoever.
  11. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
  12. rscconrad


    Apr 26, 2004
    I just recived the Band in in a Box 2005c version two days ago, also for bluegrass.

    I have not even opened it yet but I would love to hear your progress and what you think.

  13. It is not like playing with real folks or even a recording of real folks, but it does have its uses. Everyone may not agree but from my experience it is very good for learning chord progressions, practicing scales and arpeggios, and working on timing. To a lesser extent it can help you learn new tunes--provided you can find a decent version of the new tune.

    Speaking personally, it has been a good investment by allowing me to practice aspects of my playing that would be very hard to work on in a jam session.
  14. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA

    IMO, the comping is crappy but at least the drums are usable. Basically I just turn everything off except for the piano and the drummer and learn the changes that way.

    Somehow I hope that a tune burns into my brain after repeatedly playing changes 30 choruses at a time. I'm sure my downstairs neighbor has gone mad hearing my "Satin Doll" shedding for an hour straight for several days in a row. :p

    I wish I could interact more with the piano comping but like most things of that nature, it's a tool. It doesn't replace jamming iwth others. Anyhow, I figure if I can make that crappy piano comping swing for 50 choruses for a dozen tunes, I've probably got my money's worth back.