The Band-in-a-Box 2012 UltraPlusPAK from PG Music is a software package that ships on its own 160GB USB hard drive, and is centered around Band-in-a-Box 2012, the intelligent auto-accompaniment application for Windows that creates complete song arrangements in as little as a few seconds. Simply enter in the chords to a song using standard chord symbols (Em7, D7, etc.), choose a style of music, and the software does the rest—generating a full-band arrangement that includes bass, piano, drums, guitar, strings, and more.
Each instrument part is generated as a MIDI track, played by either the GM sound set built into Windows, or the included (and better quality) Coyote Wave Table DXi. You can also direct the software to create a track as a RealTrack, which is a type of audio file generated by Band-in-a-Box that uses recordings of real studio musicians as source material. Band-in-a-Box intelligently generates a RealTrack part that's compatible with your song and the instrument, based on the style and the chords you entered. You can also switch a MIDI track to be a RealTrack and vice versa, at any time.
The Band-in-a-Box 2012 UltraPlusPAK comes with a collection of over 800 RealTracks. You also get over 200 RealDrums tracks for your drum parts. Like RealTracks, RealDrums tracks are derived from recordings of actual players. Each is 1 to 8 measures in length, and provides the authentic sound and feel of a live drummer.
Band-in-a-Box 2012 lets you listen to, or play along with, songs in hundreds of musical styles. As the music plays, the music notation is displayed in a lead sheet window. When you're satisfied with the arrangement, you can export your MIDI tracks or RealTracks to your DAW. You can even do so by dragging and dropping.
There are many ways to use Band in a Box: It's a powerful and creative music composition tool for exploring and developing musical ideas with near-instantaneous feedback. It's also an excellent educational tool, used by professional musicians to sharpen their skills, and as a learning aid by people with little or no musical background. In addition, it's an essential program for practicing your instrument in a full-band setting—you play your part while Band-in-a-Box takes the place of the other band members.
The Soloist, Melodist, and Audio Chord Wizard are examples of the software's intelligent features—the Soloist generates professional quality solos over any chord progression; the Melodist can create entire songs from scratch with Chords, Melodies, Intros, and Solos (even a Title); the Medley Maker can combine songs to create interesting medleys; and the Audio Chord Wizard can figure out the chords in any audio file (WAV files, MP3, WMA, etc.).
Band-in-a-Box encompasses a diverse range of musical genres including pop, rock, Latin, country, classical, world, blues, bluegrass, new age, techno, metal, and more. A huge library of styles is currently available, and more styles are always being developed (both in MIDI and RealTrack format), many based directly on customer requests. Because each style is comprised of a large database of musical patterns and ideas, the song arrangements will always be fresh, never sounding exactly the same each time.
There are over 50 new features in Band-in-a-Box 2012, including 101 more available RealTracks, support for 3rd party loops, a setting to simplify RealTrack parts, direct (DI) versions of the guitar RealTracks, a Guitar Amp Simulator (AmpliTube CS), the ability to add individual MIDI tracks, support for VST synths and audio plug-ins on tracks, and many more.
Also included with the Band-in-a-Box 2012 UltraPlusPAK are all 77 Style sets, Soloist sets 1-11 and 16-20, Melodist sets 1-8, and Loops Set 1. You also get the RealBand application, which is a separate multitrack audio and MIDI recording program that has a subset of Band in the Box's song-generation features.