Band in A Box—Part 3

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Copyright 2006




LGM Productions

Guitars at Musician's Friend

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   Dynamics 101




     The next step was to change the song structure so that it would go as follows : Intro—8 bars (A section), 2-8 bar verses (B section), an 8 bar chorus (C section), another verse and chorus (B and C section), an 8 bar bridge (D section) followed by another verse and chorus (B and C again) finally finishing up with another chorus (C section) and a 2-bar ending (E section). To accomplish this, I had to change the number of chorus’ (BiAB’s chorus’, not what you and I think of chorus) to 2. In order to insert the bridge, I had to go to the  2nd song settings selection under the edit menu. Click here to see what that looks like.


      Band in A Box uses what they call “tags” to jump from the main body of the song to another section by selecting where the tag begins, where it ends and where to jump to the tag from. I did the settings as you can see here and entered the chord progression for the bridge and copied the B and C sections to follow it and finish the song.


     Also in the 2nd song settings selection, is the “Add 2 bar ending” and “start ending 2 bars early” options. I only used the former rather than both because the extra 2 bars at the end really fits the style of the song.


     After listening to the bridge a bit, It just kind of sat there so I used the chord builder included in BiAB to add so some spice to the beginning of each 4 bar part of the bridge along with the last chord, which is kind of a turnaround. The chord builder allows you to choose the letter name of the chord, whether it’s major or minor, 7th, add 9, and just about any other extension. You can also play the chord before inserting it to see if it sounds like what you want. Click here to see what it looks like.


     After getting things just like I liked them, I saved the song as a midi file so I could import it into Sonar and use the VST instruments well as the effects like compression, chorus, etc. I’ll also be able to add live recorded instruments like guitar and bass, etc. Click here for a screen shot of Sonar. I’m starting of with just Sonar’s sample based synth to preview the sounds. Later I’ll get into other VST’s to dial in just the tones I’m looking for. Here’s what it’s sounding like now.


Next month—adding instruments and styles (really)







      I know I said that this month I would illustrate how to introduce more instruments and styles to “Swamp Thing” but the more I listened to it, the more I felt it needed a bridge to stretch it out a bit and add some variety to the song structure.


             I also felt the intro needed some interest so I used the chord substitution tool (check out last month’s article for details on how to do that). After substituting the chords, the intro felt busy so I deleted the second chord of each measure and I think it works just fine now.