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The Band-in-a-Box Accompaniment Software MegaPAK 2013 from PG Music for Mac includes the Band-in-a-Box software, RealBand 2013, Mega RealCombos, MIDI Styles Sets 0 to 77, MIDI Soloist Sets 1 to 11 and 16 to 20, MIDI Melodist Sets 1 to 8, Loops Set 1, Artist Performance Set 1 to 3, and MIDI SuperTracks Sets 1 to 6. It allows you to type chord names and create song arrangements in a wide variety of tempos and styles with the included MIDI and audio performance files.
The 2013 version of Band-in-a-Box also features the SampleTank MIDI synth software as well as integration with both SoundCloud and DropBox, allowing you to upload files to those services directly from the Band-in-a-Box software. The built-in TC Helicon Vocal Harmonizer allows you to tune and pitch your vocal tracks in addition to creating vocal harmonies. You can also save your arrangements as PDF files, allowing you to share them with band members and collaborators.
Please note! This software is an upgrade and crossgrade and requires a licensed version of Band-in-a-Box 2011 or earlier.
Just type in the chords for any song using standard chord symbols (like C or Fm7), choose the style you'd like, and Band-in-a-Box does the rest, automatically generating a complete arrangement of piano, bass, drums, guitar, and strings or horns in a wide variety of popular styles plus optional live audio tracks with RealDrums and RealTracks
The MegaPAK version includes:
Mega RealCombos: Over 160 RealTracks instruments in 36 bands and RealDrums sets 1 to 6
MIDI Styles Sets 0 to 77: All MIDI Styles Sets, over 1500 MIDI styles total
MIDI Soloists Sets 1 to 11 & 16 to 20: Over 300 soloists
MIDI Melodist 1 to 8: Over 200 melodists
Loops Set 1: Nature sounds and percussion loops
Artist Performance Set 1 to 3
MIDI SuperTracks Set 1 to 6: 75 MIDI styles total
50 Artist Performances
20 guitar performances by Oliver Gannon (Jazz songs - melodies and 2 choruses of soloing for each song)
20 sax, clarinet, flute performances by Jack Stafford (Jazz songs - melodies and 2 choruses of soloing for each song)
10 Celtic fiddle tunes - performances by acclaimed fiddler Daniel Lapp
All performance tracks include audio (stretchable to any tempo), notation, on-screen guitar, and guitar tab
Re-sizeable Leadsheet window
Notation and Lyrics
16-Channel MIDI Multitracks
Live Performance Conductor Window
Auto Chord Wizard
Selectable Soloist RealTracks
This dialog shows you the soloists that best match the genre, tempo, and feel of your song, listed from best to worst. For example, if you have a Jazz Ballad style loaded (tempo 60), the list will show jazz Soloists that will work well at a tempo of 60 at the top of the list, and something like a fast, Heavy Metal Guitar Soloist at the bottom of the list
Submenus have been added for various genre subcategories. For example, the Jazz Styles list has submenus for subgenres Bossa, Gypsy Jazz, Jazz Swing, Smooth Jazz, and Jazz Styles with Soloists.
Save a Track as Performance
This takes "freezing" a track one step further, and saves the audio itself. So you can send your Band-in-a-Box song to your friend, who will be able to play that track without needing to have the RealTrack installed
Wave Button Menu
Pressing the WAV button shows a menu that allows you to quickly save the song as WAV, WMA, MP3, MP4, or M4A. This has options for saving audio (WAV, WMA, M4A, MP4, MP3) as well as sending to SoundCloud
Links for Web Demos
Every style has a Web Demo available. Click on the Web Demo button in the StylePicker to hear the demo
You can copy any channels from any track to any other track
For MIDI bass patterns, an intelligent algorithm determines where to play the bass part
SoundCloud & DropBox Integration
You can upload your compositions easily to the SoundCloud service. If you use the Drop Box service, you can easily drag/drop files from Band-in-a-Box directly to your Drop Box folder, or save audio to DropBox, without leaving the main Band-in-a-Box screen
Soloing over Double Time
Soloists with 'double time" feel now have better timing and better feel, so are useful in more circumstances
he Drop station is the [Drop] button at the top left of the screen, where you drop a track after dragging it to get an audio or MIDI version of the track.
A right-click menu allows you to copy the resulting file to a favorite folder, open the favorite folder, start/stop the DAW Plug-in mode, upload to SoundCloud and more
The Song Form feature allows you to define sections of a song (A, B, C etc.), and then rearrange the song by simply typing the form you want (e.g. AABABAACA). You can re-visit this dialog, to re-order the sections. Or change a chord in the "A" section, and propagate the changes through all of the "A" sections
Rests, Shots, & Holds Keyboard Shortcuts
When entering chords on the chordsheet, there are now shortcuts available for entering rests over a range of bars
Soloist Dialog & Button
The Soloist button shows a menu where you can either choose a best real tracks to add to the whole soloist track, or launch the Soloist dialog to customize the type of solo that you want (trade 4's and more). You can now choose (in the Soloist dialog) from the list of "Best RealTracks." RealTracks Soloists will always show in the list, when you first visit the dialog
Enharmonic Display for Transposed Instruments
In some key signatures, a Db was showing up on an A7 chord for example, and this is improved so that C# would be shown
Bar Settings Summary
This report lists all settings in the song that have been made in the song
StyleMaker "Delete Instrument"
This function is handy if you need to remove an instrument from a style. After selecting the instrument that you want to delete, from the StyleMaker, choose the menu option Style- Delete Instrument
RealTracks Simpler Option
When you set the Simpler option, the RealTracks play a simple unembellished arrangement
RealBand combines features from PG Music's PowerTracks Pro Audio and Band-in-a-Box programs into an all-in-one sequencing program with automatic accompaniment.
With RealBand you can create an arrangement with Band-in-a-Box tracks; type in the chords, add RealTracks and RealDrums that follow the chord changes, add your own tracks, and then edit and produce the finished song without ever leaving the program! RealBand is loaded with features that make it easy to produce your own song arrangements as if you were in the recording studio with session musicians
Non-Concert Transpose: shows a menu to quickly transpose to/from concert to other instruments like Alto, Tenor, Trumpet
Song Form: launches the song form dialog
Save As Style: Saves a style with the current instruments
F5 Bar Settings: Launches the F5 Bar Settings dialog
Woodshed Tempo: Launches the dialog to set woodshed tempo (increase tempo with every loop of playback, for practicing)
Undo: Undo button
Redo: Redo button
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Mac OS X 10.4 or later Intel Processor RAM: 512 MB (minimum) Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 or higher Hard Disk Space: 400 MB (minimum) for Band-in-a-Box and RealBand programs, 100 to 400 MB per set for RealTracks & RealDrums, 4 GB for Pro RealCombos, 11 GB for MegaPAL RealCombos DVD Drive
PG Music Band-in-a-Box Accompaniment Software MegaPAK 2013 (Upgrade/Crossgrade, Mac) Review