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Writing without any real instrument

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  • Writing without any real instrument

    hi folks,

    i have to travel on business frequently and cannot bring a guitar with me. i am trying to figure out a way to lay down ideas using only my laptop while i am on the road.
    i am right now looking at the band in a box demo. i guess i will need something with more real sounds though.
    the style is pop-rock-blues, i'd need drums, guitar and keyboard or piano to register vocal melodies. bass would be nice too.
    i played around with acid some years ago - i'd just need to generate the separate parts and use acid to combine them.
    if it helps, i think i still have a free basic pro-tools that i downloaded once.
    can anyone give me some hints ?
    it must be only software - no physical gear at all.
    processing power at a first glance should not be an issue - 1.99ghz duo, 2GB RAM.

    thanks !

  • #2
    What do you mean by "real sound"? I don't think your sound quality depends on the program you use. Band-in-a-box (BIAB) uses your laptop's midi driver, so whatever wavetable you have on your laptop will produce the sound. If it doesn't sound real, it's not BIAB's problem, it's your laptop's problem.

    I would assume that no laptop out there has an acceptable set of wavetables. Their midi sound is pretty much useless. However, you can install software midi wavetables such as Roland Virtual Sound Canvas (VSC). I think it comes with BIAB from version 10, so check it out. Install VSC on your laptop and set up your windows midi sound preference to VSC, and you will be surprised how much better all midi files sound. Yes, VSC is not perfect, but I think you can live with it. The guitar sound is sub par, but all ther rest is decent.

    I've been using BIAB for a long time, and VSC has been good enough for most occasions. You can use it on the road and bring home your song and play it through a better tone generator to test it. I use Yamaha TG-100 when I work in my home studio, but VSC is what I use whenever I'm on the road.

    I hope it helps!


    • #3
      Theres some progs that let you take any tab and convert it to midi, and vice versa. Does the same with written notes. Once its a midi file you can change it to any instrument you want.


      • #4
        thanks, guys.
        in the meantime i discovered fruity loops. it seems to be what i was looking for.


        • #5
          I know you said you cannot take a guitar with you, but take a look at the Yamaha silent guitar that is very portable, good sounding, and runs on headphones! Users also say it looks and sounds pretty good on stage too.
          Hong Kong
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