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#1419946 - 09/24/15 05:40 AM midi backing (guide) track creation suggestions ?
reddog Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 154
Loc: London, England
Hi all,

Sorry about the length of post!

I'm a guitarist, songwriter and long time VS2000CD user.

Normally I play guitar, sing into my VS20000CD, add extra vocals or guitar / bass / mandolin etc until it feels good.

But sometimes I write songs that need a "backing band" or just drums, so I sync up the VS2000 as the midi master clock and control my external 'song' sequencer eg my old Yamaha qy100 (small screen and tricky to edit) or Roland PMA (great sounds).

These are great for creating backing tracks as they both have a chord track that drives the other instruments eg bass, piano, drums - but they are a pain to program!

I've found "Chord Pulse" http://www.chordpulse.com, which is driven from a chord track and is really easy to use - but it only allows one 'style' per song and has no drum fills, intros etc. It also has no way to import midi styles etc. It can save the song as a midi file which can then be loaded into Sonar etc for final volume, pan and instrumentation adjustments.

I've looked at "band in the box" but its interface is so confusing and complex that I gave up on it!

So my question to those who sometimes use midi backing track software - what do you use ?

Must have chord track, styles (drum, bass, instrument vamps etc).
I don't want to program drums (I've tried and failed!).
I don't want a DAW (I want to use VS2000cd).

Thanks in advance,

woof.

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#1420072 - 09/24/15 05:18 PM Re: midi backing (guide) track creation suggestions ? [Re: reddog]
Slabraton Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/16/12
Posts: 15046
Loc: California
Chord Pulse is limited but I like the drum grooves. Alternative auto-accompaniment software are Harmony Assistant and One Man Band.

These days, I am creating MIDI maps of my songs instead of simply recording them. It's a challenge and tedious as hell, but what is done is done (RIP Yogi).

I use Sonar, Finale, and, yes, Band In A Box.


BIAB is an old program and kind of ugly but it is the most versatile music program I've ever seen. Most users find a few things they like but fail to take advantage of all the program has to offer. Using BIAB, you could actually get away without a DAW (especially if you have a VS machine).

Since you are primarily interested in MIDI, an older version of BIAB would suffice. The manufacturer has gone into more "real instrument" tracks which take up a lot of space on your hard drive. You don't need that. Either start with a premade MIDI file or just create a chord chart in BIAB and try different styles. Like a pickup band, the more information you give the program, the better it will work for you. The tracks it gives you will still need serious editing (otherwise the "ok" tracks will eventually drive you insane).

The biggest problem with Band In A Box is using it efficiently enough that you don't lose your inspiration. Most good programs are going to have a learning curve and this is no exception. The tracks it gives you are going to need serious editing..

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#1420073 - 09/24/15 05:47 PM Re: midi backing (guide) track creation suggestions ? [Re: Slabraton]
uptildawn Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 8427
Loc: Iowa
From my own perspective and having used older versions of BITB, I'd have to say that the newer and more real instrument versions are worth the extra hard drive space required. I'm much more inspired by the end results than I was with the older versions.

I also think that it's one of the more simple programs to get something quick and useful from and probably well worth giving it another effort. As Slabraton says, the learning curve in more complex/sophisticated programs is much steeper (in my opinion).
_________________________
uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1420146 - 09/25/15 09:02 AM Re: midi backing (guide) track creation suggestions ? [Re: uptildawn]
reddog Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 154
Loc: London, England
Thanks for the replies Slabraton and uptildawn.

I have BIAB 2008 but find it difficult to use. I only 'need' midi as my recordings will only ever be 'rough mixes' ie in order to get the basic song structure and vocal melody down.

If only chordpulse had style 'sections' it would be perfect for what I need.

Still looking ...

woof.

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#1420435 - 09/26/15 12:06 PM Re: midi backing (guide) track creation suggestions ? [Re: reddog]
Slabraton Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 12/16/12
Posts: 15046
Loc: California
Another advantage to BIAB is the huge online community.

Let's compare BIAB to Microsoft Office: there are so many things you can do with office but all I've ever really needed was Word and Excel.

It's the same with BIAB. It has a million uses but if you focus on what your particular needs are, you won't have much difficulty.

It is a frustrating program, and there have been times where after auditioning dozens of "styles", I've ended up using just the drum track. But at least it gives you something to build on.

I love making MIDI maps instead of recording (as I did for decades). I can put something away and come back to it months later and start where I left off. When I was recording in the traditional way, invariably I would want to just start from scratch.

It's amazing how much you can get done in just the MIDI file, once you get up to speed. My goal is to create MIDI maps as close to performance as possible and then print the music and have a session the old fashioned way.

I like real musicians. Except for bagpipers, of course.

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#1420439 - 09/26/15 12:41 PM Re: midi backing (guide) track creation suggestions ? [Re: Slabraton]
reddog Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 04/10/07
Posts: 154
Loc: London, England
OMG, not the midi bagpipes ...

Fired up BIAB again ... but how do... what... no ...

Fired up chordpulse again ... it just works, so for now I will stick with that as it exports midi.

thanks all,

woof

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