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Band-in-a-Box 2004 for Windows Released

Dec 2, 2003

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PG Music Inc. has released the 2004 Version of its Band-in-a-Box intelligent music software for Windows. With over fifty new features, Band-in-a-Box 2004 offers a major upgrade in features and functionality.

New features include

  • Complete rebuild with a 32-bit-clean engine
  • Enhanced graphical user interface with floating/dockable toolbars
  • DirectX synth support
  • New Audio Vocal Harmony routines
  • Aautomatic pitch correction for vocals
  • Ability to load and play a standard MIDI file with a single keystroke
  • Notation display and printout enhancements with the addition of repeats, first and second endings, DS/DC al Coda symbols and more
  • LyricView window for displaying a full screen of formatted lyrics
  • "Hybrid Styles" feature which allows the user to make a style with instruments from up to 5 different styles
  • Support and styles made for odd-time signatures, like 11/8, 13/16, etc.
  • "Strauss-in-a-Box" feature that converts any 4/4 song/melody to a Waltz, or any Waltz to a 4/4 song.

With the new 32-bit engine program operations are much faster, including up to 3 times faster notation redraws, song and soloing generation. Playback timing is improved with all versions of Windows including the newest XP and Media Center operating systems. Enhancements to the graphical user interface include floating/dockable toolbars.

Added support for DirectX synthesizers (DXi Instruments) allow the user to connect to new synths like the Edirol HyperCanvas, VSampler, or sound font players for playback or direct rendering. Connecting Band-in-a-Box 2004 to the software synth as a plug-in provides several advantages over the previous method of connecting as a MIDI driver, including the ability to merge/synch in any existing audio file (vocals, etc.) with the synth output. The user can also directly render any performance to a .WAV file using the DXi plug-in. Sampler-based synths allow the user to assemble a huge, customized library of instrument samples to use with Band-in-a-Box.

With the new Audio Vocal Harmony routines the user can apply a harmony to the audio part and automatically create up to 4-part vocal harmonies. Band-in-a-Box 2004 employs TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies engine to generate the harmonies. The user simply has to record a vocal part, choose a harmony, and Band-in-a-Box will generate the vocal harmony automatically.

Band-in-a-Box 2004 can also automatically "fix" vocals to the correct pitch with Melody Pitch Tracking. The user can set the low-high harmonies range to ensure that the root played will always be at least one octave from the melody note. This is useful for a cappella harmonies where the lowest voice is playing the bass roots. Users can now load any standard MIDI file into Band-in-a-Box with a single keystroke and the MIDI file will play with the chords intelligently interpreted on-screen. The on-screen piano shows channel numbers for all of the notes played, allowing the user to see which channel each instrument is playing on. By erasing all channels except the melody the user can change styles and hear the song played correctly in any style.

Band-in-a-Box 2004 now includes notation support for repeats, first and second endings, DS/DC al Coda symbols and more. Users can now add these repeats and endings so that the Lead Sheet window will display and printout with 1st/2nd endings. There's even a new Wizard that will add 1st/2nd endings automatically. Users can now view and convert current song collections to include 1st/2nd endings in lead sheet format.

There is a new LyricView window for displaying a full screen of fully-formatted lyrics and graphics so the user can easily copy and paste lyrics to and from any word processor. Lyrics can be quickly cut and pasted into Band-in-a-Box. Previously the user would need to retype them into Band-in-a-Box and would lose all formatting and graphics.

There is a new "Hybrid Styles" feature that allows the user to create and play a style made with instruments from up to 5 different styles. The user can, for example, play a song with a Reggae bass, Rock drums, Salsa piano, or any combination of up to 5 styles. Hybrid styles can then be saved with the song for future use.

Previous versions of Band-in-a-Box supported only X/4 time signatures, Band-in-a-Box 2004 now supports odd-time signatures like 9/8, 11/8, 13/16, 19/16, etc. The count-in and the style plays in the odd-time signature feel, and the user can change time signatures during the song.

With the new "Strauss-in-a-Box" feature, Band-in-a-Box automatically transforms any 4/4 song/melody to a Waltz 3/4 feel. Simply load in any 4/4 song and change the style to a Waltz style. The program will offer to transform the melody so that it works as a Waltz (or choose the added menu item Melody-Edit-Utilities-Transform to 3/4). This function is referred to as "Strauss" (in honor of Johann Strauss, the famous Waltz composer). Transform any "Waltz" Melody to 4/4 ("De-Strauss" the Melody). Songs with a 3/4 time signature can now be instantly played with a 4/4 feel. Simply load the Waltz song and change to a 4/4 style. Band-in-a-Box 2004 will prompt the user to transform the melody to a 4/4 feel and will then change the melody. Band-in-a-Box uses intelligent algorithms to transform the melody to the new time signature.

For more information, visit their web site at www.pgmusic.com.
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