Band in a Box for iOS?

Is there anything close ? Session Bamd doesn’t really seem to cut it, plus it seems like abandonware . Perhaps GarageBand? I love the new BIAB , it’s tempting me to get a new laptop however it is ghastly looking . Looks like a real eye strain. I’d jump all over an iPad version though.

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  • McDMcD
    edited March 15

    The 3 closest Apps I have found are:

    1. iReal Pro - it recently added a Blues Style IAP - the internal sounds are not great but the Forum has a library of hundreds of chord charts - it can output MIDI files so you can render a chart using a better MIDI sound engine like Cubasis or a dozen others that will use IAA and AUv3 Apps for sound and FX

    2. I like the sound quality and controls of the SessionBand Apps and got them all on sale. They allow transposition, tempo variation and yet produce studio players to render the chord progressions. The number of musical styles covered is better than any other option.

    3. LUMBeats' iBassist can generate several tracks:

    (1) an automated Drum Track using any of the LUMBeats Drum Apps (SoftDrummer, Rock Drum Machine, etc)
    (2) A bass track using internal bass sounds as well as an external MIDI out so you can choose your favorite Bass playing App.
    (3-4) 2 rhythmic chord MIDI channels to drive keyboards, guitar, etc with "upbeats, off beats, riffs".

    There's a "One Man Band" thread here that shows some details and making an Arranger configuration from iBassist in combination with Navichord. Band in a Box stops short of being a realtime Arranger I think and many live keyboard acts have shifted to this style of adding a "Band in a Box" like sound to their live work.

    https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/31759/how-to-make-a-one-man-band-workstation-with-ios-apps

    I have no idea about GarageBand for this use case. It has frustrated me many times and I've never broken past the confusion to fully grasp it's reputed powers... especially the automatic drummers.

  • @Telstar5 said:
    Is there anything close ? Session Bamd doesn’t really seem to cut it, plus it seems like abandonware . Perhaps GarageBand? I love the new BIAB , it’s tempting me to get a new laptop however it is ghastly looking . Looks like a real eye strain. I’d jump all over an iPad version though.

    Band in a Box is a money pit. Be prepared to throw $ and $ chasing more sounds and styles at $79 a pop.
    You'll get the idea when you look at the Mege-Pak prices and still they will keep producing new add-ons. It can fill a hard drive with all the products available. Still, it has features no other application has.

  • @McD : Gee, there are responses and then there are RESPONSES! Don’t quite know how to thank you on that.. you’ve answered just about every question I had and then some . So I’ll start with this: Thank you sincerely , for your detailed response . And I didn’t know BIAB charged extra for the packs! That settles THAT!

  • SessionBand is excellent, at least Jazz editions.

  • @Janosax : Hasn’t been updated in a while though?

  • You could buy a Digitech Trio+

  • There is (or was) two apps from the makers of BIAB if I recall correctly. Both connected to BIAB on a PC via interweb or some such. One was mostly a set list file layer and the other allowed limited editing of existing BIAB projects. The apps are not on this 64 bit device so they may no longer be supported.

    I know this is not what you were looking for but thought I’d mention it in case anyone else may be interested.

  • @Telstar the answer you got was correct in regard to amount of cash, but there's a huge difference of BiaB soundsets (called Realtracks and Realdrums) in comparison to regular sample sets.

    These tracks are live studio recordings (length up to 10 Minutes) and are indexed (with extreme detail) in a way that you can turn a Swing performance into Reggae, Hardrock or whatever with 1 single mouseclick.
    During repeated playback of the same track the programm slightly alters it's performance like a human player would, and keeps the style according to genre/artist.
    The audio quality is flawless with 1:10 compression, the 'audiophile edition' is uncompressed.
    You can create own 'style descriptions' which includes to teach BiaB your personal musical style.

    With any midi soundgenerator/sampler the software can still apply all it's (midi) style 'knowledge' on any midi file.
    The Realtrack/Drum approach is very close to recording real people playing - it's close to impossible to achieve the same with traditional sample libraries, let alone within the same amount of time.

    BiaB in fact looks like a piece of shite on screen - and it definitely has a learning curve.
    It's only worth the effort if you consider sounds and styles fitting your ideas.
    In the Jazz or Country domain it's almost a no-brainer, but PG Music opened up to modern styles a lot in recent years.

    The entry version of BiaB is just that, an entry to check the software out.
    If it's your cup of tea, then the UltraPack (shipped on a harddisk) is what you want.
    (you may look for it on eBay, it's frequently sold for about half the price or less - depends on release date, 2 years back is ok, 5 is not so cool)

    BiaB is pretty unique, I don't no any other software with comparable features.
    (but of course there are backing tracks available for less cash)

  • The main reason I use BIAB is to get an arrangement for a song started. Intro/Verse/Chorus/break, etc. I get that all down in BIAB and then I put the tracks in my DAW and record my one tracks over them. Often I keep some of them, like the drums and bass, but not necessarily.

    Another money drain on the desktop is Toontrack's EZKeys series.

    For a quick arrangement (not for quality) on an iPad, you can't beat Chordbot. It has a surprising amount of chords to choose from and it outputs to MIDI, so you can easily replace its sounds. You'd be surprised how good some of its patterns can sound with good instruments. And of course you can edit the MIDI to taste.

    SessionBand can set up an arrangement, but it is not easy to use. Chordbot has a much easier user interface.

  • @Reid : Ok, that does it , I’m downloading Chord bot :
    And thanks for your informative response , @Telefunky . Nah if I was gonna plunk down my cash I’d just go for the current version.
    I can’t see using BITB on an actual record though.. to the best of my knowledge no one ever has as of yet .

  • No one will ever admit in public that he/she used Band in a Box on a track o:)
    You've certainly heard it's output in real life, though - it's doing the dirty part of the job for many professional arrangers in TV shows and the like...

  • Interesting.. You have a point ..

  • @Telefunky :So they do in fact have more modern EDM/trap styles?

  • I didn't follow their recent developement, just noticed more 'modern' stuff at least mentioned.
    They have that Jazz/Country/classic songwriting heritage, so the software drifts into cheezy tunes quickly. But of course they watch the market and have to adapt.
    My version is too old for the 'own style teaching trick', so I have no idea how difficult this is to setup. But it's fun to send the cheezy stuff through absurd midi sound generators :D

    And I never was able to figure out if the basic version is capable of 'own styles' at all.
    There is a different expression used in specs on their site regarding this topic.
    But they have at least example sounds of various style packages there.

  • I bought BIAB years ago but have used iReal Pro a hell of a lot more.

    iReal Pro isn't perfect but it's easy to use. Really don't have a good reason to go back to BIAB

  • @GovernorSilver said:
    I bought BIAB years ago but have used iReal Pro a hell of a lot more.

    iReal Pro isn't perfect but it's easy to use. Really don't have a good reason to go back to BIAB

    And now you can export the MIDI files into GarageBand to get rid of the rather horrible on-board sounds.

  • edited March 16

    Thanks again all... esp @Telefunky for the detailed response . I think I’ll export I real into something and stick w Stage light for now lol.

  • edited March 16

    @fprintf said:

    @GovernorSilver said:
    I bought BIAB years ago but have used iReal Pro a hell of a lot more.

    iReal Pro isn't perfect but it's easy to use. Really don't have a good reason to go back to BIAB

    And now you can export the MIDI files into GarageBand to get rid of the rather horrible on-board sounds.

    And "now"? iReal Pro has had MIDI export for several years, not just now

  • edited March 16

    @Telstar5 said:
    I can’t see using BITB on an actual record though.. to the best of my knowledge no one ever has as of yet .

    that's because it's designed as a practice tool for instrumentalists, not for making records. Well, at least not jazz records. This is a genre where you want to use real instruments and players as much as possible, it's not like techno. Jazz is all about the ongoing conversation between the drummer, bassist, etc. BIAB admittedly simulates this more effectively than iReal Pro, partly by using samples of real musicians, but it's still going to sound like a simulation rather than the real thing.

    I'm reminded of a conversation I had with this aspiring hip hop producer guy about HarmoGnome, another app created for practice, not making records - created in fact by a violin player for his personal practice. Hip hop dude was somehow convinced he could used HarmoGnome as a beat making tool or even a DAW. That app doesn't even have drum sounds. I guess the power of weed knows no bounds.

  • Apple Music memos? I mean that’s pretty much digitech trio for free

  • I have both and use mainly for improvisation practise. BIAB does give me a better sense of playing with a band (as far as that goes). You can build in variations. iReal Pro is a bit one-dimensional for me and after a while all sounds the same. Yes, I could export midi and edit in a DAW but time is short!

  • @GovernorSilver said:

    @fprintf said:

    And now you can export the MIDI files into GarageBand to get rid of the rather horrible on-board sounds.

    And "now"? iReal Pro has had MIDI export for several years, not just now

    Sorry, I should have said "And now you can IMPORT MIDI files into GarageBand". I thought it was a universal feature always there but in some testing it seems that earlier users of GB cannot get MIDI import to work whereas IOS 12+ can do it.

  • edited March 16

    @fprintf said:

    @GovernorSilver said:

    @fprintf said:

    And now you can export the MIDI files into GarageBand to get rid of the rather horrible on-board sounds.

    And "now"? iReal Pro has had MIDI export for several years, not just now

    Sorry, I should have said "And now you can IMPORT MIDI files into GarageBand". I thought it was a universal feature always there but in some testing it seems that earlier users of GB cannot get MIDI import to work whereas IOS 12+ can do it.

    That makes more sense.

    I exported iReal Pro charts into Notion with the intention of composing jazz etudes to practice on violin or guitar. I gave up the idea after a while because you have to jump through some hoops to get Notion to play back the bass, drums, and chords as separate parts like iReal Pro does.

    One weakness of iReal Pro is how it generated altered dominant chords. Sometimes the wrong tones in the chord are altered, which can make a big difference if one is trying to practice lines built on the altered (Super Locrian) scale. That said, I rely on iReal Pro quite a bit for violin practice. I don't rely on it for jazz guitar practice, as I've found it more productive to record guitar chords into a looper pedal instead, in time with a metronome, then work on lines while the looper plays.

  • @GovernorSilver said:
    I've found it more productive to record guitar chords into a looper pedal instead, in time with a metronome, then work on lines while the looper plays.

    A new AUv3 App called Enso reeled this week and it's perfect for this use case. You can set up a good guitar rig on an AUM or AB stream and rout it through Enso and record some number of preset measures and it drops into Play Loop mode to practice solos over. Hit trigger again and it overdubs the solo. The pitch doesn't change when you move the BPM in the DAW up or down. It get stretched or squashed to maintain a new tempo. (Probably good uses for that to transcribe fast solos too).

    Since it's an AUv3 you can have the backing loop running in one instance and open a second to record, listen and delete. It's fun to lay down a solo/melody and add a harmonic 2nd line to it.

    All Loops cab be saved and recorded.

    For extra fun the loops can be played in reverse which keeps the tonal sense going with attack release envelopes you just can't produce naturally. Of course the chord progression is backwards so resolutions aren't happening unless you plan for it.

    I like a complex guitar rig so having everything reachable from AUM makes it a productive session with Saved configs/loops ready to go in a few seconds.

    It also has an elegant MIDI Learn page to assign Bluetooth or MIDI pedals to App buttons like Trigger and Erase.

    It's probably wise to make some drum loops if you don't like AUM's metronome. Having the DAW running is a key to starting the loops on the next "One" in 4/4.

    Enso is getting a lot of praise for making weirdness with reverses and pitch shifting but it's a great basic looper for practing with yourself or any audio files imported for looping.

  • @McD Great tips on using Enso for practicing guitar etc... It's going to come in very handy as a learning tool for the "always a student" musician.

  • @McD said:

    @GovernorSilver said:
    I've found it more productive to record guitar chords into a looper pedal instead, in time with a metronome, then work on lines while the looper plays.

    A new AUv3 App called Enso reeled this week and it's perfect for this use case. You can set up a good guitar rig on an AUM or AB stream and rout it through Enso and record some number of preset measures and it drops into Play Loop mode to practice solos over. Hit trigger again and it overdubs the solo. The pitch doesn't change when you move the BPM in the DAW up or down. It get stretched or squashed to maintain a new tempo. (Probably good uses for that to transcribe fast solos too).

    >

    I bought Enso yesterday, but good to hear somebody else is already using it as a basic looper for guitar practice.

    I use an Akai Headrush for practice looping at the moment. The recording time so far has been adequate enough for looping, say, a ii-V-I chord progression, 4 bars per chord at 60 bpm. I suppose I'd be at greater risk of hitting the recording time limit at 40 bpm or something.

  • Is bandora a better option? https://bandora.com/

  • XMure can load MusicML format from iReal pro export. It uses similar real audio instruments approach like BIAB/Kentron Audya. It seems abandonware but has the chord recognition from hardware arrangers and some nice presets.
    Music memos as someone pointed is like Digitech trio which has implemented pattern creation from audio stream (is called learn mode on the pedal). Trio+ version has looper and 5 slots that could build a song structure (with song mode ensbled).
    Also you can use GTL as structured song looper and feed it with some of the mentioned apps for bass/drum creation or use them in junction with Link or directly audio. His developer had added over time nice features like drummer with complex patterns as metronome, load previous/next song from midi/key binding and version 2.0 is around the corner (universal and portrait mode).
    Also Prime app is build as audio based arranger. It hasn’t the BIAB algos to build parts but has all the other functions like Ketron so for backing tracks audio based is the best player I’ve found and it’s free (cloud based for managing tracks and you can purchase songs at their cloud store). It’s universal too.

    Maybe I forgot something but I have post for everything I told AFAIR...

  • @TheDubbyLabby said:
    XMure can load MusicML format from iReal pro export. It uses similar real audio instruments approach like BIAB/Kentron Audya. It seems abandonware but has the chord recognition from hardware arrangers and some nice presets.
    Music memos as someone pointed is like Digitech trio which has implemented pattern creation from audio stream (is called learn mode on the pedal). Trio+ version has looper and 5 slots that could build a song structure (with song mode ensbled).
    Also you can use GTL as structured song looper and feed it with some of the mentioned apps for bass/drum creation or use them in junction with Link or directly audio. His developer had added over time nice features like drummer with complex patterns as metronome, load previous/next song from midi/key binding and version 2.0 is around the corner (universal and portrait mode).
    Also Prime app is build as audio based arranger. It hasn’t the BIAB algos to build parts but has all the other functions like Ketron so for backing tracks audio based is the best player I’ve found and it’s free (cloud based for managing tracks and you can purchase songs at their cloud store). It’s universal too.

    Maybe I forgot something but I have post for everything I told AFAIR...

    Xmure still gets promoted by develloper Dexibell as part of their stage piano range,,
    I think its only a first step from dexibell to create a workstation/arranger format for ipad and their stage piano’s.

    But Dexibell being a small new hardware company can’t really do all those things at once, thats why Xmure seems to be at a temporary halt, as is, untill they deem it ready for further development..

  • @pianowillbebach said:
    Is bandora a better option? https://bandora.com/

    Could be, if there was any information on that website..
    Or even an ipad version...

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