Quantcast Ryan's Guitars: New Software!! PG Music's "Band-in-a Box"

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Software!! PG Music's "Band-in-a Box"

I found a great website recently called Free Jazz Guitar Lessons and noticed they referred to this software called "Band-in-a-Box" quite often. They even had some clips generated by the application, and it sounded pretty good! Naturally, I was intrigued since I do play a lot at home with backing tracks and loops. I am always on the lookout for backing tracks, loops or anything that can help me create them.

I decided to order the "Band-in-a-Box" 2010 MegaPak edition for Windows, which runs about $200. I opted for the discs and manual to be sent to me, but I was also able to instantly download everything if I wanted to, which I thought was really cool. So I went ahead and downloaded many gigabytes of audio and .exe files, which took a while. :) Only a few days later the package with all the discs and the manual arrived in the mail... nice, prompt shipping.

I still have much to learn about the software. One thing that is really impressive is the fact that instead of relying solely on MIDI sounds Band-in-a-Box is now using real sound sample triggering of actual musician performances for a super realistic and quality sound. It truly is amazing to hear random, computer generated compositions played on the fly with real instrument timbres and tones!

Once I learn more about the application I will post a more in-depth review. One thing I've noticed is that since this is an old application (dating back into the 1980's, I believe) there are some challenging interface issues that is so often the case with older applications like this one. There are tons of buttons and menus all over the place, making the whole UI fairly unintuitive and cumbersome to use. However, the power of this thing is well worth the learning curve and I plan to dig into it more when time permits.

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