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Forum Contributor 2010-2017
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I?m trying to spend more time working on just improvisation, for standards I tend to use iRealPro, I think it is brilliant but I find the quality of the backings lacking, no criticism it is fantastic for the price and what it does.

About ten years ago I purchased Band in the Pocket blues and I think those backing tracks are pretty good, and reasonably priced, however I can?t seem to find anywhere to purchase some of the other packs for download any more.

Just looking for suggestion of where I can get some decent backing tracks from for improvising over?

Thanks
 

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Forum Contributor 2010-2017
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Discussion Starter #3
I?m thinking more generic backings for improv rather than standards (although they can obviously be used too). Re YouTube, the place where I usually practice doesn?t have internet and has a very poor phone signal so can?t really use anything online. Thanks for the suggestion though
 

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Band In A Box is a great investment! The quality of the new "Real Tracks" is superb. There are literally hundreds of MGU files available on the internet that you can open in BIAB and tweak to your taste. There is a bit of a learning curve, but there are lots of folks on Cafe Saxophone who are willing to help. That is how I got started. If you would like, give me the name of a jazz or latin tune you want to improvise to and I will build you a backing track in about 5 minutes so you can hear the quality yourself.
 

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I?m thinking more generic backings for improv rather than standards (although they can obviously be used too). Re YouTube, the place where I usually practice doesn?t have internet and has a very poor phone signal so can?t really use anything online. Thanks for the suggestion though
If by chance you do want to practice with the Youtube standards tracks, you can download them and save them in your music library as mp3 or wav files. You can do this with an application like Youtube to MP3 Converter:

https://www.mediahuman.com/?mh_product=youtubetomp3&mh_version=3.9.8.15&mh_source=app-about
 

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I real pro

 

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Another vote for BIAB. I've lost count of the number of players I've met who use it for practice, some who solo at small clubs with it. And, as already mentioned, there are hundreds of tracks already created for it. (Yeah, there's a pile of cheezy Casio keyboard sounding stuff to filter through.)
 

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Band in a box is really great but beware to not stay too much time on creating or modifying tracks!
The software is very catchy and not difficult to use but the risk is that you play a lot less (my personal experience... :mrgreen: )
 

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Just bought the BIAB ultra pak 2018 edition on eBay (Sweetwater) and am downloading all the realtracks as I type. There's a 15% sitewide coupon on eBay today (max $100 discount) for those who are interested.
 

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I real pro gives me the advantage over BiaB that you can share things almost instantaneously with whataspp sharing or sending via email.

While rehearsing I often send charts to my co-players whom are readers I practice with the files (and even modify them) and they read the chords everyone is a winner.

I real pro has become the standard app in every jam session in the NL. People call a tune and you look it up, most of the times it is there.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010-2017
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the suggestions, I?ll take a look at BIAB, saxoclese pm sent re your kind offer of a demo. milandro I do use and like iReal Pro, but as I mentioned in my original post I?m just looking for some slightly nicer/more real sounding banking tracks.

Thanks all!
 

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Here is a quick track I made for Work Song. I simply opened the MGU file in BIAB, changed some midi tracks to Real Tracks. It is in rough form. If I were to use it myself I would save each track independently and mix and eq it using Audacity. Don't judge me---it is not my best work, just a demo to show how BiaB sounds.

https://soundcloud.com/jbtsax/work-song-with-intro
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for that, sounds great. Which version of BIAB was it? Are the sounds from the standard ‘Pro’ version or one of the upgrades PAKs?

Thanks!
 

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I have the 2018 version with all the "bells and whistles". If you are on a budget, you could buy the "Pro" version for $129 and then add Jazz Real Tracks $79 each as you go along. I'm not sure which the real tracks I used are from. You might want to check out the sale on Ebay.
 

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Is there a way to change the styles of full accompaniment tracks imported into BIAB without overlaying it with the presets in the program?
 

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Full disclosure: I sell aftermarket styles and songbook companions (including The Real Book) at http://www.nortonmusic.com. Although I sell aftermarket products, I make no money from Band-in-a-Box or PG Music directly.

OK, now that that's in the open.

I started out as a fan of BiaB, back in the Atari days. As a sax player gigging in a rock band for a living, and a regular sit-in with a very advanced jazz band where people like Ira Sullavan would sit in, I needed to refresh my theory and try things out at home. Improvising without the chords in the background gives you no clue. That's where BiaB comes in.

I found it to be the ultimate practice app. Virtually any song in any key and at any tempo. Sure the arrangements are rather generic, not slick like the Abersold disks, but the flexibility more than makes up for that.

Type in the chords (or load them from a fake disk), pick a style, pick a tempo, and go. You can slow it down, loop parts, mute different instruments, and even use substitution chords if you want. Wanna play "Waltz For Debby" in 4/4? In a couple of mouse clicks you are there. Wanna slow down "Confirmation" to get it under your fingers? In a couple of mouse clicks you are there too.

Later I moved to IBM/DOS which involved into Windows and Mac computers. I like BiaB on Windows better than Mac (it's not Mac's fault) and I write my aftermarket style disks and fakebook disks on the PC and import them to Mac. When I started they were on 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks, they aren't on disks anymore but direct download, but I don't know what else to call them.

Highly recommended by me.

Notes
 

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I've tried to write this post twice and accidentally deleted it. I hope 3rd times the charm

The screenshots below show the steps. #1 Telling biab to open the mgu file you want #2 how the file initially comes up with midi files giving you a choice to change to Real Tracks in the same style, and #3 shows the Real Tracks installed. All you do then is save it to a wav file if it is what you want.




Here is how it sounds: https://soundcloud.com/jbtsax/when-sunny-gets-blue-bossa
 

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Look at wikiloops.com

Over 100,000 original tracks that you can use for practice or record and re-post. Many of the players are pros, so there are lots of great tracks in all genres.

Get back to me with a PM if you need help. Also there are around 200 of these posted on Cafe Saxophone (also from wikiloops) that have the track with and without sax...all originals in many different genres.

P.S. These can be downloaded using a FREE membership (one per day I think), so you can then transfer and play on whatever device you have for practice in your area without internet. If you want to download more than one per day there are membership plans that give total access and also a ticket to buy (that's cheap) for multiple downloads. No matter what you can listen on line for free to find the sort of tracks you want. Search can be by genre and instrumentation and also searched as a "minus one" type track.
 
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