Tag Archives: Band-in-a-Box

Band in a Box 2015 for Mac

After much delay, PG Music released Band in a Box 2015 for Mac last week. Whoohoo! Here are some of the new features:

  1. Audio Recording
  2. 33 More Jazz RealTracks
  3. 36 New Pop/Rock Tracks
  4. Saving a song to video and upload it to YouTube
  5. Read/Write Support for Apple Loops

There were also some enhancements to the GUI, but if you were expecting a more Mac like overhaul, you are going to be sadly disappointed. When they say GUI enhancements, they mean that when you have a track that has a banjo, it shows you where the banjo is rather than lumping it in the string section. Useful, but it should have had this a while ago. Not sure how useful the saving a song to youtube is going to be. They also have a save to soundcloud feature but I’ve never used that.

Another great thing they finally added was that it can now check for updates on it’s own. Not that they need to push out updates to this rock solid piece of software. Still, it is a welcome addition.

Is it worth buying this update? Yes. The real tracks alone are worth it. Love the new real tracks, and wish there were like a 100 of them in each style rather than 33 or 36.

This is still probably the best piece of software a musician can own. Go get it.

Band in a Box 2014 for Windows

PG Music has been hard at work, and released Band in a Box 2014 for Windows yesterday. Notable features include:

  • 28 New Jazz Realtracks including tracks by Ron Carter, Kenny Barron, Lewis Nash, Gary Smulyan, Pat Martino and Phil Woods
  • 32 Country Realtracks (as you can see, I don’t care about those)
  • 41 Pop/Rock RealTracks including New Orleans Boogle styles, Horn Sections, and 70s grooves
  • 54 new MIDI SuperTracks (quite honestly, just started using these a lot and they are pretty cool)

One thing PG Music did was “overhaul” the interface. It’s really hard to tell exactly what they mean by this, as there are no screen shots I can find. Sort of looks Microsoft Office like I would say in it’s use of ribbon like things. They eem to have put a tab thing in the upper right where you can easily switch to the mixer and some other views (like Piano to see what notes are being played). A lot of this new UI stuff seems to come at the cost of seeing the actual chords on the screen. I hope there is a way to toggle back some of those Microsoft Office like ribbons. And then there is the “handwritten font” thing. I’m not a fan of that faux handwritten stuff anymore. It’s too 1990s for me.

So, should this be on your late Chanukah/Christmas list? Absolutely. Anyone who plays music should have this program. Are you working on solo changes? Working out a new chord progression for a song? Just want to explore what Giant Steps would sound like as a Country Bluegrass song? Then get this program. It’s a tool that you will use countless times.

Microsoft Enters The….Music Accompaniment Making Department

I’m not quite sure what to think of this. Though it does/can use Band in A Box, the demo video rather disturbs me. Visions of Sanjayas popping up all over the place is something even the late Charlton Heston would have a tough time conquering.

This software, from Microsoft, has great little sliders for Happiness and Jazz. No EMO slider? No rock? What?

Here is another article about this Microsoft “research”.

New Version of Band In A Box Starts Beta Testing

This was posted yesterday on PGMusic.com.

We’re looking for current users of Band-in-a-Box 2007 to help us test some of our latest features. In order to qualify as a beta tester, you must be:

  • A current user of Band-in-a-Box 2007 For Windows.

Seems the Macintosh version will languish another year without an update (yet again). Wonder what is going to be in the new version. Last year, they introduced RealDrums into the program. This year? I don’t know, but lets speculate a little.
Continue reading New Version of Band In A Box Starts Beta Testing

Band-in-a-Box 2007.5

The elves at PGMusic have been working away at yet another version of Band-in-a-Box, 2007.5. Not a lot of “new” features, but a lot of great REAL DRUM tracks. I think we are at nearly 9 gigabytes of drum sounds now. Lots of new styles as well. Couple the Real Drums with Garritan JazzBand and you have one awesome practice/performance tool. Check it out.

Running Band in A Box Under Parallels

Ok, so we all know that the latest Macs all run Intel processors. You might have heard of an Apple Beta program called Boot Camp where you can get your Mac to boot up as a *shutter* Windows XP computer. You might also have heard of a program Parallels that lets you mitigate Windows to just a Window. Well, if you take the two programs, and add in Band in a Box 2007 for PC, you get a very functional program that runs pretty flawlessly.

Yes, Virginia, it works fine….

Ok, so, first off, you need to download Boot Camp, and get Microsoft Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 2. Not Vista. Vista, as of right now, works fine in Boot Camp (IE: Dedicating the whole machine to it), but has a lot of issues with Parallels. Boot Camp is picky, and you need to have Service Pack 2.

Now, having Continue reading Running Band in A Box Under Parallels

Band In A Box 2007

There are a couple of programs I always update when a new version comes out. Finale, Digital Performer, anything from Apple, and, of course, Band in a Box. Yes campers, a new version of Band in a Box is out for PC. 2007. The Mac version, sadly, is still languishing in limbo at version 12. Though there was a message from PG Music about this in their forums and they said a new Mac version was “A high priority”. Yeah.

Moving on. Band in a Box (BinaB) is an incredible program and a great musical tool. It has been for years. The new 2007 version has some interesting features, and well, does leave me wondering about the future of the program…

First off, when you have a program such as BinaB, it has had just about everything one could want since, um, 2004’s version. Version 2007 is billed as having 50 new features. Let’s list them: Continue reading Band In A Box 2007

Band In A Box Mac

PG Music’s Band-in-a-Box is a great program. Sadly, it is languishing on the Mac side. After not updating it for about 4 years, the updated it to version 12 to add Mac OS X support. The Windows version was updated to 2004. We are now almost into 2006, and the Mac version is not going to be updated this year. Instead, PG Music did a maintenance release of the existing to allow the use of new styles. No new features, nada. You’d think PG Music would have been working on a new version to add support for Garageband. Or perhaps the ability to use Garageband software synths. Nope. Just new styles.

I really hope they get another Mac programmer there to get this program rolling. When you compare the PC version and the Mac version, there is a HUGE gap.

Band in A Box 2006

PG Music has released the latest, greatest update to it’s awesome Band in A Box program. Version 2006 includes these features:

  • Live looping and playback control (for people who perform live with BinaB. Though I don’t think I’ll be using it)
  • Enhanced TC-Helicon Audio Harmonies (???? ok….)
  • New notation symbols
  • (woohoo..lead sheets!)
  • ASIO Audio/Software synth driver support, VST synth/plug-in support, Three new DirectX plug-ins, PG Vinyl, PG RTA and PG Vocal Remover (*yawn….what?)
  • Direct open or import of WMA, MP3, and CD-Audio files, Half-speed (and slower) audio playback (Interesting feature to allow you to load an audio file in and transcribe it)
  • Support for different instruments (patches) for the “a” and “b” substyle (this is neat!)
  • Multi-channel Leadsheet display and specific channel recording, MIDI normalize option, Piano Roll improvements, Bar range for MIDI file creation (Um…..won’t ever use them)
  • Two new ear training games (Games? Someone say games?)
  • 11th chord support (FINALLY!)
  • Batch conversion from Band-in-a-Box songs to MIDI files (Could be interesting…)


You get Styles 58, which sounds damn good. If you opt for the MegaPak ($99 from a previous version), you get ALL the styles. Some of them are very nice, like Styles 53 to 57.

Sadly, the Macintosh version is now seriously lagging behind the PC version. The Mac version is 12, the PC is on 2006, and they have been through 12, 2004, 2005. So we are three version ahead. Sad. PG Music is promising some add-ins soon for the Macintosh version. We will see.

In all, if you don’t own Band in a Box, get it. It is the best practice tool out there. It beats Smartmusic with both it’s arms tied behind it’s back, both legs tied, blind-folded, and suffering from the flu. Yeah, no comparison. SmartMusic does not let you print anything from it. Band in a Box will let you print lead sheets, piano parts, drum parts, solos, EVERYTHING.

My former teacher, Guido, has put away his Vinyl (yes, he uses records…..poor guy….probably also has a leisure suit somewhere as well that he wears, but I digress…..) Aebersold LPs in favor of Band in a Box. This version does not add a lot of really NEW features, but it is worth it just for the styles.