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#263394 - 09/25/14 09:01 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades?
Dan45 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 117
Loc: Upstate NY
I just recently got a new(er) PC and it came with 2GB RAM upgradeable to 8MB. I've noticed that some of the processes are real memory hogs-
-Regenerating
-DAW drag-and-drop
-also for some reason when I start a song in BiaB and then open it in RB it takes a lonnnnng time to generate the 1st time. Much much longer than in BiaB. But that's a separate issue.

I'm thinking of just getting two more 1GB sticks and putting them in to see what happens, or possibly even two 2GB sticks if I get a lot of encouragement here on the Forums.

I know there are other caveats that will affect speed/performance but adding memory is the low hanging fruit.
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#263398 - 09/25/14 09:36 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17515
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
If I recall correctly, 32-bit Windows will only address 4 GB, and of that, some is taken up by the operating system giving you about 3.2 to work with. Thus the two 1 GB sticks would be the maximum RAM without wasting any.

However, if you have a 64-bit processor and a 64-bit Windows, it can address gads more. The problem is that a 32-bit program such as BIAB cannot.

Bottom line, until BIAB releases a 64-bit version, I believe 4 GB RAM is all you will be able to use for that one program. Same applies to RealBand.

ps Your subject line is funny, because in the Forum List, on my screen anyway, it is shortened to "Anybody disappointed in me..."


Edited by Matt Finley (09/25/14 09:41 AM)
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BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#263400 - 09/25/14 10:38 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
VideoTrack Offline
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 8302
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Matt's comments are spot on, and especially relating to 32-bit applications.

In my view, RAM is often more important than processing power and this is often overlooked. If your system is hard paging (using the disk swap file) you will see a significant degradation in performance. Only more RAM can cure that, not faster CPU's or anything else. More RAM can also reduce any paging from occurring.

I'm interested how you actually determined that Regenerating and DAW drag-and-drop are real memory hogs? How was that memory usage measured?

For RealBand, after you first import and generate, save the file as a native real band sequence file (.SEQ) and load that next time, it will be almost instantaneous.

RAM nowadays is cheap, very cheap actually. 2Gb is also pretty light on. Go for it, don't hold back. More is always better.

Cheers

Trevor

PS: you mentioned: "...it came with 2GB RAM upgradeable to 8MB." Should be 8GB
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#263401 - 09/25/14 10:41 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Matt Finley]
Dan45 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 117
Loc: Upstate NY
Thanks Matt, glad I could give you a chuckle. I'm pretty sure the version of W7 OS I am running wants to stay at 32 bit too, but I'll have to check when I get home. Either way no point in putting in more than I need.

BTW, I purchased your Brazilian Wish CD a couple years ago- I still listen to it all the time. Is there a follow up in the offing?
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#263402 - 09/25/14 10:44 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: VideoTrack]
Dan45 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 117
Loc: Upstate NY
Trevor, I am just assuming based on the wait time that memory is the bottleneck. When I see the little icon spinning around that's what I think. Or if the bar in the upper rh of the screen turns red and shows the percentage done slowly creeping up for each track as it comes in.

Next time I'll open up the task manager and see if that sheds any more light.
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Roland GR-20+GK-3 Guitar Synthesizer System
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#263405 - 09/25/14 10:59 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
VideoTrack Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 8302
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Dan45
Trevor, I am just assuming based on the wait time that memory is the bottleneck. When I see the little icon spinning around that's what I think. Or if the bar in the upper rh of the screen turns red and shows the percentage done slowly creeping up for each track as it comes in.

Next time I'll open up the task manager and see if that sheds any more light.


In that case it might not be RAM at all. I suspect that this is CPU processing time, that's why I asked.

Start Resource Monitor (easiest way is from button on Performance tab of Windows Task Manager), click on BBW.exe and then monitor Memory usage (or CPU etc)


Attachments
2014-09-26_00-53-12.jpg

2014-09-26_01-00-17.jpg


_________________________

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#263408 - 09/25/14 11:51 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17515
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Dan, thanks for the kind comment about my CD. I haven't (yet) made another. Maybe someday, but I've been busy doing horn and woodwinds arrangements and playing on CDs of others. As you know, my CD is Brazilian jazz-oriented. However, if you also like Latin jazz, you might enjoy a CD by my percussionist, Tomas Martin Lopez, called On the Beat Path. I wrote 8 of the 11 tunes and performed on the CD. I hope it's OK to say all that because I composed all 8 tunes in BIAB, just as I did the 9 tunes on my CD.

I, too wondered how you came to the conclusion RAM was the bottleneck. Do what Trevor says above. Perhaps you could also tell us more about your computer system. I find it odd that it could be a newish system with only 2 GB of RAM. Also, if you go to Control Panel, System and Security, System in Windows 7, you will see what kind of CPU you have and whether your version of Windows is 32 or 64-bit.

And, to confuse you even more, the single greatest change I made to speed up BIAB on my system was to install a SSD boot drive and run BIAB from that.
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BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#263409 - 09/25/14 11:53 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 4021
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
You compared the regeneration time between BiaB and RealBand while mentioning the RealBand regeneration is way long.

In some older posts (prior to the 2014 release I'm sure) somebody stated the way BiaB and RealBand handles regeneration differs greatly. I can summarize the explanation as: RealBand generates everything one time then plays while BiaB generates the beginning then plays with the rest of the generation happening during play. After the initial generation BiaB generates the whole song again while RealBand only generates when it's told to and what it's told to.

In my opinion, the different ways the two programs handle generation and regeneration is the most compeling reason for having two programs.

I'm following discussion with great interest because, sooner or later, I know I'm going to have to bite the bullet and upgrade.

I know most off-the-shelf entry or mid level computers ship with motherboards that can take 8 Gig of memory and Win 8.1 (64 bit) with Bing. The bottom line seems to be 2 Gig with a 500 GB drive and the level above that 4 Gig with a 1 TB drive. So called desktop computers are getting scarce on retail shelves as all-in-ones and laptops are more popular and available within the same price ranges.

In some ways, now is a great time to buy a computer as $240 to $300 entry computers are plentiful and a little increase in money gets you a pretty good increase in ram or storage. Once you get above that price level though it quickly can get expensive..

For instance I can get a computer with 2Gig of ram and 500 GB hard drive for $238 or same model with 4Gig of ram and 1 TB hard drive for $258. However, to purchase an upgrade from 4 to 8 Gig of ram is $89.

Sorry for getting off track but I can easily relate to starting with a 2GB ram computer and trying to figure out the most cost effective way to upgrade it.


Edited by JimFogle (09/25/14 12:24 PM)
Edit Reason: added final comment.
_________________________
Jim Fogle
2018 BiaB (520) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
Cakewalk by Bandlab - Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB SSD
Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#263410 - 09/25/14 11:59 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17515
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Jim is correct. One clarification if I may.

The ability of BIAB to start playing soon after starting to regenerate a song is now switchable as of a few versions ago. If you have a slower PC and experience audio dropouts, you can turn off the checkbox for "Speed up generation of RealTracks" in the Options, RealTracks. My home-built PC is going on six years old (a Core Duo) and turning off that checkbox helps me. Of course, that also means I will wait longer to hear anything after regenerating.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#263432 - 09/25/14 06:09 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
BarryKJ Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 493
Another 'low hanging fruit' is to kill any unnecessary background programs / processes, to include closing BIAB before firing up RB, if your work method allows. That frees ram (mostly) so the net effect is similar to adding ram (you could get some freeware program(s) to free up ram left unavailable by ill behaved programs - some work better than others).
Good luck.

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#263443 - 09/25/14 06:45 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
solidrock Offline
Expert

Registered: 08/13/11
Posts: 1827
Where are your RealTracks ? on internal, external USB 2.0 USB 3.0 ?

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#263456 - 09/25/14 08:46 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
rharv Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 18953
Loc: Marysville, Mi. USA
2 Gig RAM is easily occupied. Doubling that should yield a noticeable difference (going to 4 gig).

Going to 6 or 8 (preferably 8 for specific reasons) would likely top out the memory performance. Unless it's a server of some sort. If DDR2 that could be costly, but DDR3 pricing should be reasonable.

As solidrock mentioned, the drive you are generating from can make a big difference too.
Here a 4 gig machine generating from an internal SATA drive is much faster than the same machine using an external USB drive. But I think RAM will yield more bang for buck first as it affects system performance for all programs.

Then there's the drive being used to assemble the generated parts (temp audio directory) .. multiple drives can be very beneficial for BiaB/RB if used correctly.


Edited by rharv (09/25/14 08:48 PM)
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#263462 - 09/25/14 10:48 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: rharv]
Dan45 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 117
Loc: Upstate NY
Thanks again for all the responses, it took me a while to go through everything and follow down all the leads. First a little background: My old DAW started life in 2001 or so and around 2006 I upgraded the mobo, chip, memory, and power supply. A while later the hard drive died and I was pressed for time so I took it somewhere and had them throw a new one in for me. I knew it was ancient and was a little glitchy but I was happy with it, at least until XP fell out of favor.

A while back I got the idea to look online at buying Windows 7 and soon found I could get a refurbished office PC with the OS already installed for not much more money so I did that ($119).

Here's some info on it:
Dell Optiplex 745
Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1
Intel Pentium D 3.40 Ghz
2GB RAM
32 bit system

Windows Experience Index base score 3.3,
(however I expect that score to go up when my new graphics card arrives and I can go back to dual monitors. All my other scores are in the 5's.)

I turned on Resource Monitor and ran through all the sluggish processes I already described, again, and observed and took notes. With BiaB in DAW mode, it uses a lot of CPU power to drag into Sonar, then drops off once it is loading in there.

When I open a BiaB song in RB it takes two to three times as long to regenerate and again it is the CPU that is maxed out. At no time did it seem like memory was the problem. The system seems to idle at around 765 Mb , BiaB uses about 90 MB additional and RB uses about 140 MB additional just idling. During hard usage, I never saw memory go up more than a couple hundred more, or 60% of available memory, at any time.

I did remember to uncheck the "speed up generation of real tracks" and it made a tiny difference but not too noticeable. Then again my songs are pretty basic, three or four straight chords repeating over and over.

Now the best part: when I installed the software, I did the minimum install and continued to run BiaB and RB off the external hard drive supplied by PG Music. On the old box I had more HD space so I installed it there. But now it's USB 2.0, the cable they supplied splits into two and goes into 2 USB ports on the back of the box.

So there you have it. I think once I get back to dual monitors I'll be a happy camper. Here's a little info from Dell that might help explore different hard drive options. My current one is only 70GB. Guess I should have looked harder at that. Now I wonder exactly what was in the old box....maybe I can slap that in the new one. I'll go dig it out. I think it was a lot bigger.

Thanks again everybody!

HARD DRIVE OPTIONS

Supported Types Serial ATA or Serial ATA 3.0

Available Drives 7200RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s: 80GB, 160GB, 250GB4 7200RPM

10K RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s: 80GB

SMART Technology SMART III

Burst Transfer Rate 300 Mbit/s

Partition Support MS Windows XP Professional SP2: Support both FAT16 and FAT32. FAT32 will be the default configuration

MS Windows XP Home SP2: Support both FAT16 a
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Roland GR-20+GK-3 Guitar Synthesizer System
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#263507 - 09/26/14 11:52 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6555
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Don't want to burst your bubble but that system won't cut it for digital audio production. Will it work, yes will it work well, no. A used machine you picked up for a hundred bucks? Digital audio is nothing like running spreadsheets or other Office programs in a business. Digital audio requires serious power.

There's been lots of threads about problems people have with Biab/RB and invariably when they finally post their system specs it's something like this box. You can tweak it, you can max out the ram, change hard drives, all of that and what do you have? An antique computer.

Forget those Windows performance numbers run Geekbench. It's here http://www.primatelabs.com/geekbench/

Just run the free version and I'll bet the score is down in the 2,000 range. My system is 7,423 and a new Intel i7 is over 11,000.

In todays world a score of 2,000 barely gets you up in the morning.

Bob
_________________________
Biab/RB latest build, Win 10 64 bit, Intel 4770, 256 Gig SSD, 16 Gigs Ram, Roland Sonic Cell, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg PA1XPro, Garritan JABB, Hypercanvas, Sampletank 3, more.

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#263522 - 09/26/14 12:40 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: jazzmammal]
Dan45 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 117
Loc: Upstate NY
Whoa! Reality check! I guess I'm just happy it works at all. I'm not ready to spring big bucks for a better system so from here on out I'll just focus on the nuts and bolts of the program and getting it to work its magic for me.

Thanks for the wake up call. People on this forum are very helpful and I certainly did not want to waste anybody's time or mislead people in any way. I guess now I know I fall way down towards the Luddite end of the continuum.
_________________________
BiaB/RB 2014 OmniPak
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#263575 - 09/26/14 05:36 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
jazzmammal Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6555
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
No problem. Like I said that box will work you just need to have patience while it does it's thing. Yes, max out the ram, that will help some but still, it will be sloooow...my machine is a mid range PC (Geekbench 7K vs 12K) and I can render 6 or 7 RT's in about 8-10 seconds depending on the tune. It cost me $600 to have it custom made almost 3 years ago. A decent i7 will be at least twice that depending.

I also completely understand some folks are strapped for cash so in your situation if $400-600 is big bucks for a computer that will further your music, so be it. Still, I like to use other worthwhile hobby's people get into for comparison, how much do folks spend on boating, going out to dinner and a movie, camping, model airplanes, golf, woodworking, anything? It's usually a heckuvalot more than a hundred bucks for a PC and a few hundred for some software. Realistically to set up a little PC based home studio that you will be happy with including a decent monitoring system will start at $1,500 and the sky's the limit from there. There's people on this forum that have 10k sitting in their bedroom. A really good studio monitoring system is 2-3K by itself.

To clarify one point you might be missing, RB is slower than Biab because it's not Biab. It's a completely separate program that is based on Power Tracks Pro Audio. PT has been PG's in house DAW for years now. Somebody got the brilliant idea to somehow graft some Biab functions into it and it's killer but still, it's not Biab but it also does things Biab can't. It's pretty decent, great for noob's because it's relatively easy to learn but it's not Sonar or Cubase either but then those programs cost more than a $400 computer and they can't generate Biab tracks. Once you figure all this out you'll realize you can get your best results by using both programs.

Seriously though, plan on donating that PC sometime in the future.

Bob
_________________________
Biab/RB latest build, Win 10 64 bit, Intel 4770, 256 Gig SSD, 16 Gigs Ram, Roland Sonic Cell, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg PA1XPro, Garritan JABB, Hypercanvas, Sampletank 3, more.

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#263583 - 09/26/14 06:53 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Jim Fogle]
Dan45 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 117
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: JimFogle

In some ways, now is a great time to buy a computer as $240 to $300 entry computers are plentiful and a little increase in money gets you a pretty good increase in ram or storage. Once you get above that price level though it quickly can get expensive..

For instance I can get a computer with 2Gig of ram and 500 GB hard drive for $238 or same model with 4Gig of ram and 1 TB hard drive for $258. However, to purchase an upgrade from 4 to 8 Gig of ram is $89.


Okay, Jim, can you point me to a specific PC that has 8GB RAM and 1TB HD for around $350? Is this something I can just go to Staples and pull one off the shelf?
_________________________
BiaB/RB 2014 OmniPak
Juno-Gi Mobile Synth
Roland GR-20+GK-3 Guitar Synthesizer System
Godin Nylon String Synth Access Guitar

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#263584 - 09/26/14 06:53 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: jazzmammal]
Jim Fogle Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 4021
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
For What It's Worth,

My box is an older Dell Optiplex 745 also. While your cpu is faster than my cpu, otherwise our boxes are similar in that I am running 2GB of ram and have an 80 GB hard drive. I'm still running XP while your operating system is Win 7.

In my opinion the 80 Gig hard drive is your biggest issue. At the very least you'll find you need to defrag and optimize often. Once the free drive space is 50% or less you'll find it takes FOREVER to defrag and it won't help to restore performance as much as it did when the drive was new and almost empty.

The time to buy DDR2 memory has passed. Your motherboard may hold 8 GB (4 2 GB memory sticks) but the 32 bit Win 7 will only use 4 GB. DDR-2 memory costs about twice as much as current generation DDR-3 memory. All memory prices will rise around November as DDR-4 production ramps up.

A 500 GB hard drive is about $60 while a 1 TB hard drive is between $70 to $90. 500 GB hard drive prices have stabilized, 1 TB drive prices have almost bottomed out while 2 TB and higher capacity drive prices continue to drop.

I suggest either replacing the 80 GB drive with a 500 GB or 1 TB drive, adding a second hard drive or both.

If you upgrade the primary drive the computer will have more free space to work with so it won't have to work as hard performing background housekeeping tasks. The bad news is you will have to clone your old drive to the upgraded drive. We can advise on that or you can pay to have it done.

If you add a second drive you can shift a lot of stuff from the primary drive to the secondary drive so the primary drive doesn't get used as much or fill up as fast. BiaB will also load a little faster from an internal drive than through a usb port plus you can open up two usb spaces.

Hope this gives you food for thought. My projects are small so my computer doesn't have to work too hard over extended periods.
_________________________
Jim Fogle
2018 BiaB (520) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
Cakewalk by Bandlab - Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB SSD
Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#263594 - 09/26/14 08:22 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Jim Fogle]
Dan45 Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/26/11
Posts: 117
Loc: Upstate NY
I might go with a 2nd hard drive. Still mulling things over.

I'm trying to get myself more familiar with the different Real Tracks that are in my collection... I have sets 40 through 121. So far I have managed to sift out about 20 or so that I think I will use a lot.

I'm going to try pasting all the names in a spreadsheet so I can scan through them quicker and get to know which is which.

That's the hardest thing right now, is waiting for each style to load.
_________________________
BiaB/RB 2014 OmniPak
Juno-Gi Mobile Synth
Roland GR-20+GK-3 Guitar Synthesizer System
Godin Nylon String Synth Access Guitar

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#263614 - 09/27/14 02:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Anybody disappointed in memory upgrades? [Re: Dan45]
ZeroZero Offline
Expert

Registered: 07/15/07
Posts: 1632
Loc: Bynar
People are using 64 bit now even with budget machines, its BIAB that is behind in this respect, as people have said BIAB cant access more than just under 4 gig of RAM.

As soon as you can I would recommend getting a faster machine, especially if you do other things on it, however, if you need to stick with your machine at present, adding RAM is probably the best thing you can do, up to a max of 4 gig for 32 bit. I did rthis with a dell inspire netbook and it really improved everything BIG time.

Its not hard to do open the box find the slot, click and your done.

Z
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Every Day I use BIAB and love it

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The PDF manuals for version 2017 and 2018 are available now. Plus, we're adding online versions of these manuals too! The Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Windows User's Guide is complete, and the Mac User's Guide will be coming very soon. We're even adding a search feature to make it even easier for you to find features that you are looking for - stay tuned!

You Could Win $150 PG Bucks with our Xtra Styles PAK 5 Song Contest!

Want to WIN $150 PG Bucks? Join the entries already submitted into our Xtra Styles PAK 5 Song Contest! When the contest closes on September 30th, we will be picking 4 winners (1 per genre)!

What you need:
-Band-in-a-Box® 2018 UltraPAK or Audiophile Edition
-Xtra Styles PAK 5 Windows | Mac
-a song written using one of the 160+ fully-mixed Styles included in your Xtra Styles PAK 5 purchase.

Complete contest rules list here.

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