The latest version of Band in Box (2011) has just been introduced and it is awesome! Over the last few years they have been adding real instrument sounds and tracks to the product starting (of course) with traditional rock and blues. They have FINALLY added real gypsy jazz instruments and tracks!!! Go to this link for a demo: http://www.pgmusic.com/realtracks.audvid.win.htm
. Scroll down and listen to the demos for real tracks 109 (fast swing) and 110 (ballads). The instruments are played by our favorite guys, John Jorgenson, Gonzalo Bergarra, Simon Planting, and Tim Kliphuis. The full product has gotten to be so large that they now ship it on a disk drive. I had the full 2008 version and was offered a full 2011 upgrade with over 100 real track sets for $159 plus $15 for overnight shipping including the USB disk drive that has about 100 GB of extra space for adding in my older BIB songs. This is a "Christmas" special and it normally sells for almost $300. Though I have not yet received it, I understand that I can load in my older tunes, pick a real tracks style, and they are now played back with real instruments. Can't wait for this to arrive!!!
I'm always interested in jamming with experienced jazz and gypsy jazz players in the San Francisco - San Jose area. Drop me a line. Bass players welcome!
As an example, I took an old midi version of Autumn Leaves and 1) changed the style to the new Real Tracks gypsy rhythm section (at ~210 BPM) then 2) created a solo in the style of John Jorgenson with a few easy key strokes for 32 bars then 3) did the same on the next 32 bars - but changed soloists to Tim Kliphuis on violin. I then printed out the whole solo (John and TIm).
Not only can you study these very melodic lines at slower tempos - but you can also trade 4's (or 8's) with the "Real" players and have a ball and learn a LOT very quickly. You can also regenerate solos if you get bored with one and I think the options are endless. Very cool!
Possible con: the real instruments can not play the original melody - only solo lines - but since there are many other materials out there for learning the melodies (or you can record them in yourself!), this is a minor issue IMO given the very ample feature list of this new version.
I have just about every lesson book in this genre and rate this new BIAB as "5 Stars" in its ability to deliver a high quality learning experience. Highly recommended and FUN!!!
BTW, if you purchase the Ultimate Pak, there are MANY MANY other "Real" styles and soloists for other genres. Unbelievable value and endless hours of fun.
I don't think I would use most of the other styles, so I'm thinking of just getting the Pro version (i.e the basic version) plus RealTracks 109 and 110. With that, I presume I can set up backing tracks in the GJ style and have JJ, Gonzo or Tim play a solo if I ask for it.
Will the above do gypsy bossas, boleros and waltzes in RealTracks or just basic 4/4 pompe?
What can you do in the GJ style without the RealTracks?
Interesting! I was just exchanging emails with one of our group members about whether there is a Real Track swing waltz style. Have you tried outside of the GJ 109 & 110 sets? Sets 76 & 28 among others for instance. The descriptions make me think they may not fit GJ expectations, but curious If you had considered these.
Let us know how you make out. I don't personally know much about editing styles, let alone RT styles.
I went ahead and upgraded to the basic version 2011. Am holding off on Real Track packs until I get a better handle on it. The basic version (Pro) includes a few RealTracks just to entice and the _JAZMEDL style is a pretty good swing style if you mute the drums and adjust the instrument volumes.
The old mac version sounded really cheesy