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Thread: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks?

  1. #1
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    Default Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks?

    Anyone here have experience with the apps and programs out there that will play a specified guitar chord progression? I want to set it up so I can play and record my singing and mando over the saved track for a little recording.

    I see Chordbot is offered, and a number of others.

    I don't want the guitar to sound cheesy and annoyingly artificial. But I wonder if any of them sound any good. I suppose, as with most things, you get what you pay for.

    But I'm sure an app can play guitar in tune and in tempo better than I can -- especially since the neighbor's guitar I just borrowed is barely tuneable and has mile-high action.

    Recommendations?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    For PC, Band in a Box works well, but pricey. Plus it is annoying as heck to figure out all the instruments in it, and the additional packs they offer for different genres. But once you get past all that, it is pretty easy to put chords in it.
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    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Does Band in a Box come with a decent acoustic guitar sound to begin with? Or do you have to get an add-on for it?
    Last edited by Gina Willis; Jan-24-2019 at 10:58pm.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Yes, there are a few bluegrass real tracks in the PRO version.

    Here is a bluegrass guitar rendered from Band in a Box song for John Reischman's Little Pine Siskin. This was my first go at Band in a Box, it took me several hours to learn how to do this. The main problem was adding in endings for parts, and me not wanting to read or watch youtube videos on how to use it. But once done, pretty easy to make them. This tune is in the form of AABCx2

    littlepinesiskin.mp3
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    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Excellent Gary -- thanks! That guitar sounds totally natural and is just what I'm looking for.

    "Real tracks" are actual fully arranged tunes, correct?

    I don't need those -- just need the ability to generate backup just the same way you did.

    The software may be a little more than I need right now, but I can see how useful it would be as I keep progressing and want to play along with other instruments on new tunes that don't have existing backing tracks on ArtistWorks. I think I will take the plunge.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Unfortunately, guitar is one of those things that just doesn't sound great as synths. Samples can be ok for certain types of playing, but mixed results here. You can use loops which is a real recording and sounds like a guitar should. You may be able to find them free somewhere. You would need to load them into a Daw (recording app) and arrange them.
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  8. #7

    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by callmegina View Post
    Excellent Gary -- thanks! That guitar sounds totally natural and is just what I'm looking for.

    "Real tracks" are actual fully arranged tunes, correct?

    I don't need those -- just need the ability to generate backup just the same way you did.

    The software may be a little more than I need right now, but I can see how useful it would be as I keep progressing and want to play along with other instruments on new tunes that don't have existing backing tracks on ArtistWorks. I think I will take the plunge.
    No, real tracks aren't fully arranged tunes.

    Real Tracks are what they call them, but they are basically samples that you use to play the progression you put in. I am not sure what the wizardry is that the use to get it to sound close to authentic. They record a library of progressions at a target tempo, and they say best results if used near that tempo.
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    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    I use strum machine daily, there's a large library of songs to choose from and you can easily create your own track for the more obscure songs or your own material. Changing tempos and keys is a breeze as well
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    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Leonard View Post
    No, real tracks aren't fully arranged tunes.

    Real Tracks are what they call them, but they are basically samples that you use to play the progression you put in. I am not sure what the wizardry is that the use to get it to sound close to authentic. They record a library of progressions at a target tempo, and they say best results if used near that tempo.
    Yes, I decided to go all in and get the base Band in a Box Pro plus the "Country 1" package of RealTracks. That has loads of tracks and quite a lot of bluegrass on it.

    It took me the better part of yesterday to get everything downloaded, find my way around the interface, and get my first song set up. But I'm totally amazed at the backing track I was able to make. I was even able to put a little fiddle fill in one spot, and a big smile came to my face as I was singing and a hot fiddle lick came on that C chord, in just the right spot. I feel like I've got my own bluegrass band waiting here at home to jam with me anytime I want (and they'll play a song over and over again while I learn it without ever getting impatient)!

    Big thanks to Gary for turning me on to this very cool bit of kit.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by callmegina View Post

    It took me the better part of yesterday to get everything downloaded, find my way around the interface, and get my first song set up. But I'm totally amazed at the backing track I was able to make. I was even able to put a little fiddle fill in one spot, and a big smile came to my face as I was singing and a hot fiddle lick came on that C chord, in just the right spot. I feel like I've got my own bluegrass band waiting here at home to jam with me anytime I want (and they'll play a song over and over again while I learn it without ever getting impatient)!

    Big thanks to Gary for turning me on to this very cool bit of kit.
    Nice! How much do you charge for lessons?
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    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Does anyone know how to find a simple boom-chuck-chuck 3/4 waltz RealStyle (i.e., real instruments, not MIDI) for Band in a Box?
    Or, alternatively, just a RealTrack of a real guitar playing that same simple strum in 3/4 time at somewhere around 105 BPM?

    Here's my problem:

    I've written an old timey waltz duet (think Louvin Brothers material).

    In the past, I found it easy to locate various RealStyles in 4/4 time and doctor them with RealTracks to make a good bluegrass backing track.

    But I'm finding the options with 3/4 time are far more limited in BiaB!

    If I load a RealStyle that's in 4/4 time, I can't change the time signature.
    So I look for a RealStyle in 3/4 time (say, 34BGSLOW, a bluegrass slow waltz).
    But that style -- and all the other suitable ones in 3/4 time -- are all MIDI format styles.

    OK, I think, I'll just load the MIDI style anyway to get the correct time signature. Then supposedly I can mute all the tracks in it except for bass and one guitar, swap in a RealTrack bass and a RealTrack rhythm guitar, and I should be good to go. Except...

    The RealTrack options for acoustic rhythm guitar in 3/4 time are nearly nonexistent -- the RealTracks in my packages (see my packages below) all seem to be either unsuitable time signatures or tempo, or they're so syncopated and modern and busy that they sound totally wrong in an old country waltz.

    The packages I have are:

    RealPAK: Country 1 (RPC1-I)
    FILE SIZE (MB) DOWNLOAD
    Country RealPAK Vol 1 RealDrums (Windows) 357 Download
    CountryPAK Vol 1 RealTracks (Windows) 484 Download
    RealTracks Set 2 (Windows) 300 Download
    RealTracks Set 3 (Windows) 295 Download
    RealTracks Set 4 (Windows) 206 Download
    RealTracks Set 8 (Windows) 200 Download
    RealTracks Set 9 (Windows) 198 Download
    RealTracks Sets 11-12 (Windows) 982 Download
    RealTracks Sets 33-34 (Windows) 1012 Download
    RealTracks Sets 35-39 (Windows) 942 Download

    Plus:
    Loops Set 2 and Held Chord Styles (Windows) 971 Download
    Pro RealTracks 1 (Windows) 2000 Download
    Pro RealTracks 2 (Windows) 2000 Download
    Pro RealTracks 3 (Windows) 2000 Download
    Pro RealTracks 4 (Windows) 2000 Download
    Pro RealTracks 5 (Windows) 2000 Download
    Pro RealTracks 6 (Windows) 1500 Download

  13. #12

    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Here's another option: https://strummachine.com/. The only downside is that it requires a $5 monthly subscription (which can be reduced somewhat by paying for a year in advance). I used it for a couple of years but let my subscription lapse (I wasn't using it as often). You can check out the sound quality with a few tunes that are outside of the pay wall. It's a fun little practice tool. NFI
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  15. #13

    Default Re: Best app for generating natural-sounding guitar rhythm tracks

    Chordbot is actually not so bad, it’s free and again it takes a bit to tweek it to play reasonable guitar-like chords and alternating bass. But you can get there, in the end.

    Another one is just searching YouTube for ‘backing tracks’. There are so many, but again difficult to search through them.
    What’s needed is a sort of database where you input the structure of the song that you’re looking for.
    Musescore.org might be going that way soon?

    I wondered if there’s a program from playing guitar using .abc files. That would be cool because we pretty much have the structure of loads of trad tunes already.

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