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BIAB incorrect chords?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Tom Lane, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Has anyone noticed that Band-in-a-Box plays the wrong chords sometimes? At least, I think that's what's happening. You tell me. Does it depend on the style selected? Have you noticed this before? I've been using the program for years and haven't noticed this issue before.
    Recently, I was using BIAB to learn to solo against Blue in Green the way Miles played it on Kind of Blue, where for each soloist the length of the chords decreases by a factor of two - Coltrane got 4 bars per chord and Evans gets one bar per chord.
    I noticed that I was having a hard time telling where I was in the form which surprised me because the harmony is NOT diatonic. I checked what the piano part is playing in BIAB and for the A7#9 it's playing C#-F-G-C#-F. No #9 - C natural. And then for the A7b13, it's A-G-B-C#-E, no b13, F natural.
    Am I misinterpreting this? Or is BIAB just out to lunch?
  2. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    Oooh... I never noticed that!

    It sounds to me that after Miles takes his solo chorus, they're playing double time but the ballad feel stays the same. The chords are going by twice as fast. You might be getting confused by some substitutions thrown in (or are they ****ups?).

    I don't haven't used BIAB for years so I can't tell if you saw a bug or something.
  3. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    ive noticed something far worse. let say for example i program in a Cminor/maj7 chord. thats C Eb G B. well, sometimes the piano player will be playing a B natural, and the guitar player will be playing a Bb, in the same measure. it sounds like crap (especially when the melody note is B) and its annoying because you have to go in and fix it manually each time. this happens on other chords with important color tones also, but the min/maj7 is the one that comes immediately to mind
  4. Chris Symer

    Chris Symer

    Dec 13, 2009
    This is probably the most realistic part of Band in a Box. They may not have quite gotten the feel right, but wrong chords and conflicts between piano and guitar are spot on.:D
  5. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    It's disappointing that the program allows you to specify extended chords but then doesn't render them correctly.
    I like the program and think they keep making it better, but I wish they'd fix the UI, allow true triplets against quarter notes, and use typical piano voicings for extended chords. Oh, and play the chords correctly, of course!
  6. Sometimes there are weird renders or chords. Usually for me, that is solved, by a new render (press PLAY, instead of REPLAY). With the Real Styles, which sound great IMO, the voicings, sounds are all coming from the session players used to record the styles. The old ZZ styles have more weirdness. And a instrument does not need all the extensions all the time, especially when there are other chord players in the ensemble. And real people make mistakes too... :)
  7. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    All good points. I usually take guitar or piano and not both. I'm wondering if it's the program's gen engine or the style that's at fault. In the case I cited, it consistently generated the wrong chords. I fixed it by eliminating the root and re-writing the chord. That works since I'm usually playing the bassline or, when I'm soloing, there's typically no bass.

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