Creating original content in BandMaster is easy and requires little typing. A large library of song templates serves as starting point for most common song structures like various Blues forms, 32-bar AABA forms and hundreds of known standars are that available as supplemental content. Moving from a template or standard towards customization is a cinch with BandMaster's editing tools.
Most songforms use building blocks like the IIm7-V7 chord progression for example. BandMaster's macros use this fact to allow editing entire groups of beats or measures. Progressions are based on the root of the first chord in the selection. Employing the IIm7-V7 macro on a group of 4 measures Cmaj7 transforms it into Dm7 / G7 /. The same macro can also be applied to just one measure in 4/4 time with the result of 2 beats each in Dm7 and then G7.
The Analysis window in BandMaster displays relevant chord/scale information and automatically updates itself with the current selection in the chord grid when editing and during playback. Chords are displayed in closed root position in the notation display section of the window. Listed below are guide tones, chord tones, a selection of compatible pentatonic, hexatonic, heptatonic and octatocnic scales as well as upper structure triads where applicable. Like the large counter window the Analysis window is semi-transparent which is invaluable when displaying it on top of a maximized song window.
A unique feature in BandMaster are timeline sections. A timeline is the graphic representation of the allotted chorusses for a song and sections are simply contiguous areas in that timeline. There are the Time Scale section with 8 settings from half-time to double-time, the Transposition section and lastly the Trade Fours section. Sections can be applied independently over any group of chorusses. In our example we could now play the first chorus of bass at half-time, proceed with regular time once the other instruments come in and finally add a Trade Fours section just before the last chorus. Sounds like fun!
Loops are handled in a very unique fashion in BandMaster in order to accomodate the practicing musician. At the base is the songform which is looped quite simply by assigning a number of chorusses in the control strip. A secondary type of loop in BandMaster is called Form Loop. It allows the user to select a section of chords in a songform and just loop them. This is very handy when practicing transitions, turnarounds, etc. Yet another form of loop in BandMaster is called Chorus Loop. This is useful when employing sections in BandMaster (i.e. practicing transitions between choruses with different tempi).
BandMaster was created by musicians for musicians and offers a couple of key features in that regard. Most keyboard shortcuts needed to operate the application are centralized under the Controls menu and consist of only one key stroke like the space bar that toggles playback. The Analysis and Counter windows automatically reposition themselves next to the active song window and off to the bottom and side in case the song window has been maximized. Additionally the the chord grid's font can be scaled up to allow reading the computer screen from a distance.