PG Music PG Music Band-in-a-Box 2017 UltraPlusPAK - Backing Band / Accompaniment Software (Windows, Download)

PG Music Band-in-a-Box 2017 UltraPlusPAK - Backing Band / Accompaniment Software (Windows, Download)

PG Music Band-in-a-Box 2017 UltraPlusPAK - Backing Band / Accompaniment Software (Windows, Download)

B&H # PGBBE70758DL MFR # BBE70758DL
Electronic Download
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Product Highlights

  • Automatic Accompaniment Software
  • Samples of Real Studio Musicians
  • Solo Along or Accompany Generated Solos
  • Provides a Panoply of MIDI Loops
  • Record, Arrange, and Export Music
  • Print Sheet Music or Export Audio
  • Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 & 10
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Sugg Retail Price:  $379.00

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PG Music Ultra+ overview

  • 1Description

Available for download and designed primarily to aid in your practicing routine, eMedia's Band-in-a-Box 2017 UltraPlusPAK provides a virtual band to jam along with, allowing you to shed your solo chops or practice your accompaniment skills. This downloadable piece of software provides tracks of performances by actual musicians for this purpose, though you can also utilize a veritable cornucopia of MIDI loops and phrases to bolster your practice sessions. Also, in the 2017 version, a chord builder has been added; this helps you learn music theory and develop your knowledge of harmony as you listen and practice. You'll find the 12-key "woodshedding" RealTracks useful too, since they naturally transpose through all twelve keys, giving you accurate notation all the while. 

With its completely redesigned GUI (for more on this, see the features section), Band-in-a-Box is more than a means to accompany yourself in solo practice; third-party VST plug-ins, loops, Hi-Q MIDI instruments, a built-in sforzando SFZ soft-synth, an included VST Guitar Amp Simulator in the form of the well-regarded AmpliTube, and harmony generators allow you to fashion entire arrangements of your own design—arrangements that you can then render as audio or sheet music, should you desire to share them with the world at large. This software is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 & 10 in 32- and 64-bit. 

New to 2017 Version

Redesigned GUI
2017's Band in the Box has a redesigned GUI, including a smaller footprint, configurable toolbars, a tabbed interface, and more. The toolbar area has been reduced by 1/3 of its previous vertical height. All of the same buttons are available through the tabbed interface. You can select a toolbar on the tabs and the button you want to use, and also, re-order the buttons by drag and drop. Also, you can create your own toolbar by adding any buttons in any order. The mixer is floating, movable, and re-sizable. There are three modes for the toolbar: Configurable with tabbed interface, fixed on-screen mixer with taller toolbar, and DAW mode.
More Features of the Redesigned GUI
  • A Progress Bar has been added. This bar displays a timeline for the current song. Choruses are marked with outlines. Part markers are marked with smaller blue (“a” sub-style) or green (“b” sub-style) vertical lines. Double-click on the bar to start playback from that point.
  • The Drop Station now has an additional drop target: a labeled "+" button to allow a configurable rendering. When you drop to the "+", you are presented with a dialog, where you can choose a file format (WAV/WMA/M4A/MID), and other render options (acidize, normalize, and separate tracks).
  • The title area of the main screen has new display for feel (e.g. Ev16) and time signature (4/4).
  • In the small toolbar mode, the Custom tab lets you select and add buttons in the order that you want.
  • The Freeze and Simple buttons have been added to replace the single [Freeze/Simple] button.
  • The menu for the individual tracks, accessed from the track radio buttons or the mixer, has been reorganized into groups, allowing easier selection of track types: audio (RealTracks, UserTracks, Loops) or MIDI (MIDI SuperTracks, classic MIDI tracks), as well as track settings/actions.
  • There is now a media player volume control in various dialogues.
  • Song Titles Browser Window has been added, allowing you to browse and filter a list of popular, included song titles. You can filter by artist, and sort all the songs by tempo, key, feel, time signature, and more. Once you have found a song, pressing a button will take you to the StylePicker with the styles that best match the tempo, feel, and genre of the selected song title. For example, you can find popular songs that are waltzes in the Key of Eb, with a tempo slower than 100. This might be useful for making a medley or seeing a list of song titles that share the same key, tempo, and feel. 
Sforzando SFX Synth
Sforzando, a .sfz sample player made by Plogue, has been customized for Band-in-a-Box, and is used to play the HiQ Instrument sounds. Your existing Band-in-a-Box Hi-Q sounds will play using this synthesizer, so previous songs or styles you made will play with this new synth. This synth is installed with Band-in-a-Box, and is ready to play and does not require configuration.
Enhanced VST Capability
In the previous version, VST support was added. This support has been further enhanced with support for time signature and tempo changes. Many VSTs such as Addictive Drums or Rapid Composer need this tempo information to sync to Band-in-a-Box.
Enhanced Chord Builder with "Chord Theory" Section
The Chord Theory section displays and suggests chords that are most popular in the current key. The top row is diatonic chords. Other rows add additional chords that are part of the key, such as Dominant 7th chords, "slash" chords, parallel minor chords, diminished chords and more. This allows you to quickly enter chords by clicking on the most common chords in the key. For example, if you stick to the top row (diatonic), the chord progression will be a typical song progression. Choosing from an additional row will add variation and color to the progression. This is a fun, interactive way to enter and explore chord progressions, and learn music chord theory at the same time.
Enhanced RealTrack Features
  • RealTracks options (simple, helds, medley, and timebase) have been added to the "best" dialog.
  • RealTracks and RealDrums folder locations are now remembered (by a checkbox) even after you reset to factory settings, or erase the intrface.bbw configuration file. 
  • The RealTracks Picker window now opens up much faster, displaying all your RealTracks. 
  • The Tempo Swap feature for RealTracks occurs in a more intelligent manner. Since the tempo stretching has been improved, the tempo range has been widened before necessitating a swap to a new RealTrack.
  • Improved sound when stretching tempos or transposing using Elastique 3.
  • Natural Arrangement option.
  • 202 new RealTracks with version 2017 (63 Country, Folk, and World RealTracks; 61 Jazz, Funk, and Blues RealTracks; and 78 Rock and Pop RealTracks).
12-Key "Woodshedding" RealTracks
Band-in-a-Box 2017 provides a number of "12-Key" RealTracks that have been recorded in all 12 keys. In previous versions, you might decide to learn to play by studying the parts played by the RealTracks artists, and watch the notation to do so. Many people have found this a great way to learn, but it had its drawbacks:

  • Since RealTracks were based on only 5 keys, they were transposed much of the time, which would make the guitar part unplayable for a student in some cases.
  • The tab/notation was good for guitar, but lacked some precision and graphical representation of bends, pull-offs, hammer-ons, and pull-offs.

With Guitar RealTracks recorded in all 12 keys, you can see what a pro would play over any chord in any key with correct bend/hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides. Included Woodshedding styles include country guitar (Brent Mason), piano (Mike Rojas), and pedal steel (Eddy Dunlap).

Hi-Q Guitar RealCharts
With highly accurate and readable notation, these charts include new graphical markings for bends, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. Additionally, there are new RealTracks from Brent Mason, recorded in 12-keys with Hi-Q notation showing exactly what is being played. To see these in action, load in one of the 12-key Hi-Q notation RealTracks by Brent Mason. You can also enter your own guitar notation using these features. Just right click on a note to set its properties to include bends, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs.
RealDrums Enhancements
New features of RealDrums include a selectable timebase (half/double/triple), multiple drum/percussion/loop tracks, and more, such as:

  • Multi-Drums: This allows you to put multiple drum/percussion parts, drum loops, UserTracks drums, and even RealTracks on the same Drums track, with a volume mixer adjusting levels. For example, you can add single drums instruments (e.g. Tambourine and Shaker), a bass drum loop, and UserTracks drums to BossaBrushes Drums track. Multi-Drums can be stored with the song, style, or listed separately in the RealDrums Picker.
  • Single Drums: These are RealDrums that just have a single percussion instrument like a tambourine, a shaker, or a pair of bongos. You can easily add the single drums to Multi-Drums in the Create Multi-Drums dialog.
  • Half-time: An even-16ths Folk drums track at 90 BPM, half-timed, will play an even-8th feel with a style at tempo 180 BPM.
  • Double-time: An even-8th feel style at 180 BPM, double-timed, will play with an even-16th note feel at 90 BPM, giving you cut-time. 
  • Triple-time: A fast waltz at 150 BPM, triple-timed, will play in a slow, 4/4 style at 50 BPM, which will lend the song a triplet, 12/8 feel.
  • Timebase (normal/half/double/triple) can be stored with song, style, or RealDrums 
More RealDrums Features
RealDrums can now be added to any track, not just the Drums track, so you can have more than one drums track. When there are multiple percussion tracks in a song, they will be automatically called Drums 1, Drums 2 etc. RealDrums Shots/Pushes/Rests work with style changes and frozen Drums tracks. Previously, this was not supported. The RealDrums Picker window now opens up much faster, despite having more entries. Tempo pitch shifting and tempo stretching has been enhanced with the integration of Elastique 3 (previous version utilized version 2). This allows higher quality and sound retains timbre with extreme tempo changes or transpositions. There is nothing needed to configure this.
Improved UserTracks
  • UserTracks now support 3/4 waltz time signature. Just make a UserTracks as normal, and save the Band-in-a-Box song with your UserTracks in 3/4 (i.e. save using a waltz style).
  • Rests now work with UserTracks. Shots and Holds now also rest, instead of continuing to play. There are no changes to the UserTracks needed. Just add period(s) to chords and the existing UserTracks will follow them. (Note: There is no specific support for shots or holds by UserTracks, they will just rest when these are encountered.)
  • Timebase (Normal, Half-time, Double-time, or Triple-time) can be selected for any UserTracks from the UserTracks dialog, or the Tracks right-click menu.
  • UserTracks can be made and preset to a timebase by the user.
  • Options for no-transpose are now supported for UserTracks on any track.
  • Options for ignoring slash notes like the "B" on a G/B chord (i.e., just play a "G" chord) are now supported for any UserTrack.
  • Styles with UserTracks are now displayed in the StylePicker with the name of the UserTracks.
Improved Notation
  • In Guitar Notation, you can now enter/display bends, slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs with graphics indicating these elements. You can create all these in the note edit dialog, and import/export from/to XML files.
  • A rapid notation entry mode has been added for piano and guitar music, which is much faster than previous methods.
  • The notation timeline is much more visible while editing.
  • Entry of Forced Accidentals is quicker now, without the pull-down having been eliminated.
  • Band-in-a-Box now remembers previous width & height when saving notation as image.
  • Band-in-a-Box notation now has a checkbox to keep ratio the same when changing width or height in save image dialog.
  • All RealScore Chords fonts are now selectable on the Notation window fonts menu.
  • Music XML (notation export/import) has been improved, working closer with Finale, GuitarPro, and Sibelius to enhance features and compatibility with Music XML. 
Enhanced Chord Sheet & Layers
  • Right-clicking in a layer now gives you a menu with options to change height of the layer, close layer(s), copy/cut/paste, etc.
  • The "Concert Key" option has been added to display an additional chord readout; now you can see two layers, one with concert chords, and the other for Bb instruments.
  • Normal chord display can be shown on the additional chord display layer.
  • "Insert Bars" and "Delete Bars" have been added to the right click menu.
  • A clear and readable "BeStPlain" chord-symbols font has been added, with selectable options to use a triangle for major chords, a minus sign for minor, and a half or full circle for half/full diminished chords. 
  • Tab and Shift+Tab keys advance on the Chord Sheet, like R/L cursor keys.
  • The Repeats dialog has been improved.
  • Chords Preview works with Shift+Enter keys.
  • The Chord Sheet scheme button has been replaced by two buttons for easier loading/saving schemes.
New "Natural Arrangement" Option
If you give a seasoned musician a complicated chord progression—with fancy extensions like C7b9b13 or Gm11, for example—the pro may reinterpret these chords rather than playing them exactly as written. This can achieve a much better sounding arrangement because the musician has freedom to choose from similar chord extensions. Now, Band-in-a-Box can do the same thing; you can set this on a global basis (all songs, all tracks), song basis (current song, all tracks), or on an individual tracks basis (current song, specific tracks).
New Enhancements for Looping Features
  • Rests now work with Loops.
  • Loops can be set to a timebase (normal, half-time, double-time, or triple-time).
  • Loops can be combined with drums on the Drums track (Multi-Drums).
  • New looping command: An "L" command quickly sets a loop in four and eight bar increments. 
  • New Looping settings: People use looping to practice and learn as they listen. Now you can set the loop to mute at a time of your choosing (every fourth time, sixth time, etc.). In this manner, you can set up a pass of the phrase for you to play unaccompanied at a time of your choosing. You can also set the loop to auto-advance at a time of your choosing, so you can move through the piece. For example, you could set a loop to cycle through 4 bars, mute every 2nd time, and then advance by four bars after four loops. This can help automate your practicing routine.
StylePicker Improvements
  • You can quickly launch the StylePicker window by S+Enter shortcut keys.
  • An Action button to perform new functions has been added.
  • User Categories have been added.
  • Unlimited User Categories can be created by users or third parties, to list their styles in the StylePicker by choosing their category.
  • You can make your own User Category. Simply right-click on the StylePicker, choose a name for your category, and then right click to add/remove styles to/from it.
  • User Categories are analogous to playlists in a song player. You can create/edit them and choose to display only the styles from the category or all styles with the category styles highlighted with an asterisk.
  • Prototype style support has been added. Select a style as a prototype, and the StylePicker will sort and filter, from by best to worst, a match of the prototype’s tempo, feel, genre, time signature, and more.
  • You can add a custom memo to a style by right clicking on the style name.
  • Sorted display now says low to high or high to low.
  • The Fav button has been replaced by the Action button.
  • An instrument summary shows in the memo area.
  • Styles with Loops or UserTracks are now displayed in the StylePicker with the name of the Loops or UserTracks.
Additional New Features
Tap tempo has been enhanced. Now, when you tap more than 4 times, the accuracy will improve (through averaging) and you can continue to tap until the target tempo has been reached. Mixer has been enhanced with double-click option to set the mixer values to defaults. The Video Window has been enhanced with better playback of mp4 files. New track names are now listed instead of the old track names in some places. An alert confirmation shows before transposing the Audio track when the user has transposed the song. So you can choose to transpose the Audio track or not, and it is now more clear when you are doing so.

Key Features at a Glance

HiQ Instruments
These MIDI sounds have been programmed to make MIDI tracks—both regular and MIDI SuperTracks—sound better. You can audition and choose a HiQ patch for any track by holding down the control key and clicking on the track and choosing "Select HiQ MIDI Patch".
Plug-Ins Options Dialogue
This feature includes an option to scan for VST plug-ins on booting up, as well as options for how plug-in windows are opened, closed, and arranged on the screen. Plug-ins that are essential to Band-in-a-Box are scanned regardless of the "Scan for VST plug-ins on bootup" or "Scan for AU plug-ins on bootup" settings.
AmpliTube included
This well-renowned VST Guitar Amp Simulator can be used effectively with the Direct Input RealTracks.
Fake Sheet Mode
Fake Sheet mode allows display of repeats, 1st/2nd endings, DS/DC al Coda, and more. You can add your own repeats and endings by control-clicking on the Chord Sheet, Notation, or Lead Sheet window and selecting the Repeats/Codas/1st-2nd Endings option in the context menu. An auto-detect feature that analyzes the song and adds repeats and endings for you.
Intelligent Style Suggestion
Type a familiar song title, and the StylePicker will list styles whose genre, feel, and tempo are similar to that song.
Vocal Synth Generation
Band in the Box 2016 includes built-in support for the popular online vocal synth "Sinsy".
Music XML
You can open a MusicXML file from notation programs such as Finale, Sibelius, and Guitar Pro.
Guitar Capo Support
Guitar capo support allows you to set a capo value, and a capo gets drawn and guitar display reflects the capo setting. The tablature in the Notation Window will adjust the fret numbers based on the capo setting in the transpose menu.
Spreadsheet Compatibility
Lists in various dialogs can be copied to a spreadsheet. This includes the StylePicker, the RealTracks Picker, and the RealDrums Picker dialogs.
Melody Functions
You can increase legato of the notes in the Melody or the Soloist track by a selectable number of ticks, or avoid next note by degrees of ticks as well. Also, a Staccato Melody function has been added, reducing the length of notes by a selectable number of ticks, and preserving a minimum number of ticks for duration of notes.
Automatic Music Accompaniment
Type in the chords over you'd like to solo over, choose the genre of music you want to explore, and you're good to go for a realistic accompaniment experience in the comfort of your own private space.

Classic Features

Automatic Solo and Melody Generating
Further your accompaniment skills by automatically generating melodies and solos to which you may react in a chordal, harmonic fashion, thus improving your "comping" skills. You can also study these solos if you choose, seeing how a computer algorithm might handle rhythm changes and other assorted standards.
Real Recordings from Real Studio Pros
Utilizing Band-in-a-Box's RealTracks and RealDrums, you can import the actual, recorded playing of a multitude of studio musicians.
Scores of Suitable Styles for Soloing
Band-in-a-Box provides RealCombos—preset arrangements of RealTracks playing in a wide array of genres. You can select from jazz, blues, funk, rock, pop, country, folk, and more. Now you can get that samba to feel just right as you blast your trumpet, or you can swing along to the jazz comping of some serious hep-cats.
Hybrid Styles
In addition to utilizing preset RealCombos, you can mix and match instruments from up to five bands to create your own genre. Want to jam over some bluegrass jazz-metal? Why not! Go ahead and save the combo afterwards as your own preset to access at any time.
Automatic Vocal Harmonies
If you sport the ability to record your own vocals, simply import any such voice part, select this feature, choose a style of harmony, and Band-in-a-Box will create up to four harmonies in seconds flat utilizing the TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies engine. Furthermore, using the Melody Track feature, you can tune your original lead vocal part, should you be off-key for any reason.
Rendering and Export Options
Like what you recorded? Want to print it as sheet music for the band to play? Want to export your recording for other programs? You can go ahead and do that with Band-in-a-Box's rendering, printing, and exporting options. You can even export an audio track for internet purposes (posting on YouTube, for example). AIFF, M4A, and WAV audio formats are all supported.
Other Notable Features
  • User interface with time-saving features, including a display window for piano notation / guitar tablature
  • Import audio files and record audio tracks.
  • Over 2,200 RealTracks instruments, and over 60 different bands.
  • Over 2,000 styles of MIDI, as well as over 175 MIDI SuperTracks, allowing you to customize MIDI sounds, as well as edit individual MIDI notes.
  • Over 300 MIDI soloists.
  • Over 200 individual MIDI Melodists.
  • 21 Nature Sounds and Percussion Loops.
  • 145 different artist performances.
  • 1,000 dubstep, modern, and top 40 loops over which you can play.
Table of Contents
  • 1Description

PG Music Ultra+ specs

Windows System Requirements Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10 (32- or 64-bit)
1.0 GHz processor (2 GHz+ multicore recommended)
1 GB of free hard drive space for minimal install (15+ GB recommended)
1 GB RAM (2 GB or more recommended)
1024x768 screen resolution (1360x768+ recommended)
Sound card or MIDI module
Internet connection recommended for activation and updates

*90 GB is required for UltraPlusPAK RealCombos (and another 80 GB is required for the installaion files when downloading the UltraPlusPAK)

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