Friday, August 19, 2011

Making Music "Fast" with Band-in-a-Box

Several years ago my longtime friend, Larry Smith, introduced me to an intelligent automatic accompaniment program called Band-in-a-Box (BIAB). He had been experimenting with this creative music composition tool for some time, and has since converted me to become a loyal user.

Band-in-a-Box is a fascinating, versatile music composition program that can be used in many ways. It is a great tool for quickly creating original music, and allows you to explore and develop music ideas with near-instantaneous results.

I simply type in the chords of a new song that I am working own, choose a style that I’d like to try out, and let Band-in-a-Box automatically generate a backing track. By using optional live audio tracks, I can create professional-quality accompaniment tracks. Click here to check out a backing track (in progress) of the old hymn, "All In Him", that I have been working on in my home recording studio.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Free Rhyme Dictionary with VersePerfect

Sometime ago while “googling” for a rhyme dictionary, I ran across a free software version of the McGill English Dictionary of Rhyme that included VersePerfect, a cutting-edge verse editor. Soon after downloading it, I discovered this electronic reference is a useful tool that can quickly become a songwriter’s friend. The software is versatile, easy to use, and can be run from a USB thumb/jump drive making it highly portable for anyone on the go.

Dedicated by American poet, Bryant H McGill to “fellow poets everywhere,” The McGill English Dictionary of Rhyme with VersePerfect is available for free from various download sites (google it) or from McGill’s own website. It is considered to be the most extensive rhyming reference ever created, and has many applications beyond songwriting. I enjoy using it, and encourage fellow songwriters to visit McGill’s website and discover it’s possibilities for themselves.