Over the weekend I spent money I should not have been spending on music software. Band in a Box (BIAB) is a software which creates background music according to chord progressions that the user provides.
Up to this weekend, I have been using a mac app called iReal to get some practice in. It works kind of like Band in a Box except it doesn’t have as many features. It provides the background you need to practice, but it is the bare minimum, and it sometimes sounds computerized or un-natural. I didn’t notice it so much until I got Band in a Box.
There is a huge difference. I haven’t learned anything about the program yet, though it is easy enough to add chord progressions and play right out of the box. And the difference is amazing. BIAB has what it calls real instruments and players and styles that can be utilized in playback. The bottom line is it doesn’t sound so stale like iReal. Again, iReal is a pretty good app to use in practice. However, Band in a Box sounds good enough to create background track to use on gigs if you are maybe a solo act.
That’s exactly what I plan to use it for, solo gigs. That is, once I feel like I sound good enough to be playing in public. Already, BIAB feels so different that I’m already playing differently. At times it feels like I’m playing with a rhythm section, which makes me want to play even more.
The embellishments sound so real from the rhythm instruments. Also, I think you can even put in notations and have an instrument play a harmony or in unison with you on the melody lines.
I am very excited to have this app and am looking forward to learning all that it can do. I am also planning to purchase a small PA system as soon as I am able. If you’re thinking of doing some solo work with just you I think this would be a great way to go. The backgrounds that you create can be exported as audio files. So you don’t have to carry your computer to gigs.
I would recommend this program to anyone wanting to learn and practice new tunes, or even use it on gigs as a solo artist, or augmenting your small group. Band in a Box has been around for 27 years and has become quite advanced. It is well worth the money (not a lot). This is a great product.