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Are they are FREE alternatives to Band in a Box?
I'm looking for a software that allows me to create decent backing tracks (playalongs) by keying in a few chords and choosing a musical style....something like Band In a Box...and making simpler...and FREE.
 

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If you have a Mac, irealb (used to be called irealbook, but changed the name due to copyright concerns) is the Mac version of the program Kemtone referred to for the iPad/iPhone. It's not free, but only $19.99 US.
 

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Just had a look at Impro-Visor - looks quite interesting - plus it's cross-system (Java). I think they're onto something good there. Can't say if it's an alternative to BiaB, though - since I don't know the latter (I'm a GNU/Linux guy and do most of my notation using ABC...).

M.
 

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ireal B is a fantastic little program. Great library of tunes available at their forum too.
:-b
I totally agree. Downloaded it yesterday. Chords for 1200 jazz tunes with play-along where you can mute piano/guitar, bass and drums. Change key, make corrections to the chords. Backing tracks include in total 31 different backings divided into jazz, latin and pop. It may not sound as good as BiB and it has much less variations, but it is soooo much easier to work with that I deleted my BiB right away. So far only available for Mac (computer) (and for ipod/ipad/iphone). Anyone with a Mac and a need to practice with backing check it out at http://www.irealb.com/
 

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I used to think Band in a Box was really cool.
Until I heard folks were using it to gig with...
Band in a box/iRealB is an excellent tool (like play-a-longs) to work out ideas. It's like an interactive metronome. It's allowed me to work on harder tunes, at various different tempos, for as long as I want (without having a rhythm section falling over in exhaustion). It's also great for teaching improvisational concepts to my students so that we can repeat situations over and over, and isolate parts if need be. It's certainly no substitute for real musicians, but it was never intended to be.

From the perspective of a professional musician, it's a great tool, but sometimes you can never open a closed mind...
 

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I used to think Band in a Box was really cool.
Until I heard folks were using it to gig with...
Sometimes I think a lot of smoothjazz sounds like it was done with BIAB.... Or perhaps it is valid for busking?

But seriously, as a practice tool for home use BIAB (or iRealB on an android tablet) is invaluable. Almost everything you could get from an abersold play-along times a whole lot of flexibility.
 

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Works fine in Windows 7. The output is MIDI, and you have to get it to a midi player somehow. Mine is external, and I route it with a USB to midi converter.
 

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I was also looking recently for a free chord entry program like Band In A Box to work on my laptop until I figured out how to get the old BIAB 2005 to load on Windows 7 Home Premium and work correctly. GS oundfonts are much better sounding than GM or GM2 regardless of what app you decide to use. My old SONAR 2.2 sequencer program is also running correctly and is used for finer editing of MIDI files in 960 ppg instead of 120 ppg.
 

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Gonna purchase irealb today. Sounds like a smart, fun little prog!
 

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IRealB completely changed the way I practiced & made me 1000x more efficient. It pains me to think of where I'd be with my playing if I had it 10 years ago.
 

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Today i used it to practice soloing over the changes of I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor). Thats a great little progression to work work out on in every key. Its got the All the Things You Are at the beginning and then the half dim II V7 at the end. A great workout in 12 keys and FUN with different grooves. Next gonna have to do The progression from the RadioHead song CREEP in all 12 keys, to relate to another thread I recently started about becoming Fluent in all 12 keys
 
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