Course outline: Getting the BIAB midi (melody and solo tracks) to sound real.
This entry is for motivational examples of just how realistic the hardware and software synths can make the BIAB melody and solist tracks. Before I get into the examples list, MarioD, Jim Fogle and others suggest entering new BIAB melody tracks with a keyboard controller. This leaves me with a few questions and assumptions that will be confirmed later such that I adjust this entry. I assume each controller/software writes the midi melody file to the downloads directory. Will the BIAB importing MIDI using advanced settings "continuous controlers & pitch bends" checkbox be checked? Will the use of a keyboard controller introduce a lot of extra BIAB notation editing work to clean up a simple melody such that is is actually faster to enter the melody directly from the BIAB notation window? What is the best synth to buy for getting realistic sounds for guitar, flute, sax, piano, vibes and organ? Several synth suggestions follow: Kontakt(soft), Dzjang, MardinB, Rustyspoon, Fiddler2007, MarioD, MusicStudent, MusicStudent, MarioD, Matt, Jim, VideoTrack,
Midi Basics #1 Midi in a nutshell.
Can the Fishman Triple play guitar controller feed into Band-In-A-Box? Can the Presonus Progression software that use to come with the Fishman Triple Play send midi data to Band-In-A-Box? 2020/July/02 Update: Presonus replaced the Progression software with a software called Notation. The sales person says "it can import and export MIDI files and can be used to clean up notation". Click for more Info. Click to download the manual to verify claims.
Getting melodies (created with a VST software such as this) into the BIAB Melody track. Jim Fogle's post touches on using VST plugins in Band-In-A-Box. This video "Using VST Plugins with Band-in-a-Box" is an older version of what Jim is showing in his post. When using the BIAB mixer's plug-in tab and choosing a plug in it is a good idea to click the help button (see my post).  Jim's post and the video suggest that I enter the melody directly in BIAB and just alter the sound with the plugin (hopefully to sound like a real instrument). I think I need to see a video of this process from start to finish to undertand this (create melody, install plug in or import melody, play result). Maybe OBS studio and Microsoft Movie Maker (both free) can be used to help create videos with example sounds. Maybe it should tie into the Dare-To-Compare page below.
Just for curiosity at some point I asked "How to these synths or VSTs capture the great sound of the instrument so that it is available to the midi instruction calls?". To find the answer I read this page and noticed they said "We meticulously sampled a warm, yet shimmering Martin D-18". My guess is "We Mediculously" means we sampled every note. So I did a bit of Google digging and I found out that the well known DAW "Ableton Live" can do sampling as this video shows. Some might want to dig deeper into this sub topic.
Funkifized has some questions as well. Is there a way to get those controllers and articulations in with BIAB? Do the MIDI sounds come preprogrammed with, say, vibrato on the end of the longer notes, etc.? How can one get this stuff using step entry methods? Like select a note and choose a crescendo for that one note, etc.? Can I step enter edit the notes of the MIDI file in the Inignus software, and then import the MIDI file into BIAB or Real Band?
Matt's comment: Most hardware synths will support GM and GM2. Some, like my Roland, add better sounds too. You get them in BIAB by using a Patch Map. Here is the help on this.
A warning for midi beginners. I made the error of clobbering my existing BIAB melody track so make sure you have your BIAB song files backed up when trying new things. On the melody track on the mixer when selecing a new track if you chose Midi Super Track or Custom Midi Style it will clobber your notes.
Question: Can I change the synth mid song by using the BIAB bar setting dialog box?
Question: Regardless of whether a note was entered into the BIAB melody track manually or by import from a VST (keyboard controller), will there be ways to edit synth characteristics of that note in the BIAB notation edit note dialog box? So lets say the particular synth that is active on this particular bar of the song has 10 things that can be done to a note (slides, hammer ons, pull offs, etc) will there be a way to go in from this note edit dialog box to get at and edit these characterists or is it locked at that point. Having asked that I doubt I personally will ever need this as my Anthemscore post shows. However others might. If not what do they do? Do they re-edit in their keyboard controller and import again?
Question: How do I change BIAB tracks 1 through 5 so they can revert from a real track to a midi track without being reset back to a real track? Matt suggests creating a new style for this. Here is the video for this. How to create your own real style from an existing style. So it might make sense to create a style from an all midi style then change select tracks to real tracks while leaving the ones you want as midi alone.
This is the Dare to Compare page which compares synths using the same BIAB song file but a series of them. As of 2020/June/28th it is out of date and I suggested it be updated to a database format with modifications such that it allows the user with simple button clicks to jump directly from liking a particular synth to pages on how to buy it, install it on your computer and link it into BIAB. Lastly a button could be included which indicates how this product can or can not assist with BIAB midi notation entry. Regarding this last idea see the next paragraph for details and three possible labels for this button (they show in orange).
Currently I use Anthemscore to help me transcribe record lifts directly into the BIAB melody track(s) using the BIAB notation window. I use AnthemScore because it gives you a spectogram with the louder notes showing in their correct octave. See my post for reasons I transcribe into the BIAB midi melody tracks rather than musescore. I will probably always use Anthemscore and for sure I will do something to improve the realistic sound of the BIAB midi melody tracks. As I almost always do for time/money expensive purchases, I will create an Excel decision grid for synth/VST selection (factors in rows and products in columns). Factors will include: (cost), (ability to impove the BIAB Midi sound of electric bass,  electric guitar, acoustic guitar, flute, sax, vibes, organ, piano) & (ability to get notes into BIAB faster than direct entry into BIAB). Regarding the last factor I kind of doubt it exists but I would love to see a video of someone creating a midi melody with a particular synth (such as this one) and their bringing that midi melody into BIAB (along with any notation timing corrections needed). It would be nice if the video demoed solo and non-solo playback. Maybe the new database version of the Dare to Compare page could have a button labeled "Faster BIAB Notation Entry" which brings up such a video. If the product can create notation but there is no video the label could be "Faster BIAB Notation Video unavailable". If the product definitely can not provide notation maybe its label could be "BIAB Notation Entry Course" (click on this and you are taken to a course of properly sequenced videos and web pages or a wiki entry). Maybe users can help with the video. OBS studio and MS Movie Maker are what I use (both free).  Movie maker is old and hard to find. I use it. Its great. I can provide it. However it looks like a  new MS-Movie Maker is out.
The rest of the information below simulates an improved database driven "Dare To Compare Page as discussed above.
sforzando SFZ Synth:
BIAB version and type that has it (BIAB 2017).
    Click this link for for price, system requirements and buying. (NA).
    Installing it on your computer. (Gets installed with BIAB 2017)
    Linking it to BIAB.
    Tips for use.
BIAB Notation Entry Course".
Coyote ForteDXi (1 of 2):
    BIAB version and type that has it (You need to buy it. Costs $40 US.).
        Dan said "The Coyte Forte GM software synth only runs on the old BIAB 32 bit".
       To determine if your version of BIAB is 32 bit or 64 bit refer to this page.
    Click this link for price, system requirements and buying.
    Installing it on your computer.
    Linking it to BIAB video.
BIAB Notation Entry Course".
Next product:
BIAB version and type that has it.
    Click this link for price, system requirements and buying.
    Installing it on your computer.
    Linking it to BIAB.
    One of the three orange buttons mentioned above.