Help me be a one man band
July 27, 2008 4:51 PM   Subscribe

I have been using JamStudio for a while now to quickly throw together backing tracks to practice guitar with. This website is great and highly recommended, but I now want something similar but which is more powerful/flexible, has better audio quality and variety, and which will integrate with my recording software (currently Cubase). Midi based would be perfect. I plan to use this mostly for practicing, but also for some recording.

What I want is to simply define a chord progression and choose for a list of rhythm patterns in a variety of styles (rock, jazz, blues, etc - I am not interested in techno type stuff). I don't want to mess around with writing actual basslines and drum patterns (although having the option to do this would be fine). Free is great, but I don't mind spending a bit. Threshold of pain is ~$100 (although if you have a suggestion thats perfect but more $, I'd still like to hear about it)

I have Cubase LE 4, which comes with a bunch of Midi plugins, but everything I've seen requires you to program each note individually, and really aren't geared for auto-generating backing tracks. I also have ezDrummer , so drums are covered, and I basically I want the same thing for guitar and bass (or at least just bass). I've seen this, but it seems way overkill, (used to) cost $286, and appears to be discontinued.
posted by jpdoane to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Hmm. First link should point here

Perhaps a mod can fix this for me
posted by jpdoane at 4:52 PM on July 27, 2008

Best answer:
I assume you've heard about Band-In-A-Box... It's pretty flexible and creates some very decent backing tracks, especially if you have some good sound modules/libraries. (I think the new version also has audio tracks in addition to MIDI -- so you gain some realism but perhaps lose some flexibility. Some of the expansion backs are very good. I don't think you can integrate it directly into Cubase but you can export its audio or MIDI output and then tweak it in Cubase.

Jamstix is currently just for drums but supposedly they're working on a bass as well.
posted by Alabaster at 7:36 PM on July 27, 2008

Oh, and there's Jammer--I played around with an earlier version several years ago and it was pretty cool, but I don't think it's as advanced or feature-rich as Band-in-a-Box. (I could be mistaken).

Also look into Rhythm and Chords and RealGuitar and some of the other offerings from Musiclab.
posted by Alabaster at 7:40 PM on July 27, 2008

Response by poster: I assume you've heard about Band-In-A-Box...

No, but it sounds like it does a lot of what I'm looking for. I'm downloading the demo now - thanks for the tip!
posted by jpdoane at 7:40 PM on July 27, 2008

The interface is a bit clunky, hasn't changed much since the 1990s, but it's very powerful if you can get past that.

In my experience, the expansion packs are much better than the stock kits.
posted by Alabaster at 7:54 PM on July 27, 2008

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