While Band in a Box is not a dedicated recording tool for PC's it is useful if you just want to record your bass (or any instrument for that matter) with a backing track. The recording is synchronized to the backing track so when you play the song back again you can listen to your bass line in context. It is however a separate wav file that you can play if you wnt to hear the bass line without the backing track. BiaB can also render the entire song including your bassline to a separate wav file so you can listen to it without BiaB.
All these features make BiaB a very useful, albeit speciallized, recording tool. So how do I use it?
Using BiaB to record.
Before you can use BiaB to record you need to establish a connection with your bass. Please read my ealier article 'Recording with your PC' for a step by step decription on how to do this, Once you have a connection the rest is easy.
Choose a song to use as your backing track. Click on the record audio button. A dialog will come up with a number of choices. Right now you want to click on the Set Recording Levels button. This will launch the windows recording mixer. Set your recording level by playing and watching the VU meter. You don't want any clipping so make sure you play as hard as you expect during the recording and make sure there is no red showing in the VU meter. Adjust the line in slider accordingly.
Once the recording level is set close the windows mixer and click Ok in the information dialog which opened when the mixer was launched.
You will be back at the Recording Options dialog. Choose to record the whole song or just a portion as you wish. There is an option to merge the take with a previous recording. This will let you add say vocals to your bass track. Ignore this for now. When you are ready click the record button.
The dialog will disappear and BiaB will start the count in. Get your groove on. When the song finishes a dialog will appear asking you whether to keep the take or re-do it. Assuming you were on your game you can accept the take.
You can stop BiaB anytime during the song by pressing the space bar. If you do this you will have the option to re-start the recording.
Playing your recording
After accepting a take you have a couple of options for playback. First you can simply start the song and your track will be played back in sync with the song. This is a cool option which you can repeat any time you play the song unless you deliberately delete the track.
You can play back just your track by muting all the instruments except the thru track. Now you will hear your bass line alone. You can also do this without BiaB running by starting the wav file from windows. It is in the same folder as the BiaB song and has the same name with a wav extension.
Finally, you can render the whole song to a wav file. This will include your track. In this form you can convert it to an mp3 if you wish.
Editing your Track
BiaB has some editing features. You will need to experiment with them. The simplest is a volume adjustment. I'm not going to discuss editing here. You can also edit the wav file in any program capable of importing and editing wav's.