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#277154 - 12/30/14 08:57 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested)
Icelander Offline
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Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 2904
Loc: Iceland
There are presently very evident shortcomings & limitations to the UT concept as a whole, and we can only hope it's something they will continue to address and work to improve in future updates. I have found that making even the simplest patterns work smoothly without these cut-offs, pitch and 'bleeding' issues that have noted, has been an utter pain that require a LOT of tweaking and trials.
Among the primary shortcomings of this whole feature my experiments have revealed:

1. Timing is extremely sensitive, i.e. needs to be ridiculously precise, much more so than you'll get on the official RT's, and this goes for note lengths as well (no overlaps or lingering legato - and NO REVERB!). This becomes even more important with fixed-note instruments, such as pianos, vibes (just my luck) and so on, or else you get very weird pitch distortions on chord changes, particularly when it's a progression not used in the UT's creation template. On the flip side though, if your instrument is guitar or others where bending notes is a natural occurrence, you're more likely to 'get away' with the slight timing inaccuracies.
2. Any attempts of syncopated playing needs to be planned with great care, if not avoided altogether (this is especially true of swung patterns). Especially try avoid playing on the upbeat just before the next chord/bar, or else the engine's 'anticipation' feature kicks in and tries to treat it as a part of the following chord. Once I discovered this, I had to rework a lot of my playing and omit all those lovely 4th bar entries I had done, because of this issue.
3. And of course, the 1-minute template is rubbish if you hope to get any sort of decent results in terms of actual usage. For a glaring example, they don't account for any 2 chords-per-bar instances at all. So use it as a learning/practicing tool, then go make your own chord progressions (and lots of them!), that's my advice.

The best way then to reveal these issues in a UT on testing, is to make a song with chords that were not included in whatever template was used to base that UT on.

p.s. On a personal side note, I'm almost finished making ending templates for my vibes sets. Stay tuned! cool
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#277184 - 12/30/14 11:11 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3922
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There is a learning curve and improvements to be made with any new feature introduction. I think in a case like this it's difficult to imagine the many ways a feature maybe used until it is released.

The UserTracks feature still needs much improvement before it can move from the novelty column and into the gotta' have column. In my mind major improvements include:

(A) 3/4 waltz time compatability
(B) accomodate holds, shots & rests without using a work around
(C) accommodate eighth and sixteenth note pushes.
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#277189 - 12/30/14 11:46 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
seeker Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
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Loc: 80 Mi North of Sacramento CA
Quote:
There is a learning curve and improvements to be made with any new feature introduction. I think in a case like this it's difficult to imagine the many ways a feature maybe used until it is released.


+1
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#322850 - 12/03/15 05:37 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: seeker]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3922
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Bump
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#323200 - 12/05/15 10:43 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
PeterGannon Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 13456
Good tips and suggestions Icelander. Thanks. We plan on updating the Usertracks features in January, for a free latch, and hopefully those suggestions can be addressed then.
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#323205 - 12/05/15 10:55 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: PeterGannon]
Icelander Offline
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Loc: Iceland
Originally Posted By: PeterGannon
Good tips and suggestions Icelander. Thanks. We plan on updating the Usertracks features in January, for a free latch, and hopefully those suggestions can be addressed then.
That's great news, Master PG! I emailed the UT supervisor with much more detailed reports on this subject around the time we were beta testing for my platform last spring, which should be of further help.

And many thanks to Mr. Fogle for bumping this thread, which obviously resulted in catching PG's notice this time around, so a bump well "spent" smile
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#347597 - 04/28/16 01:07 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
rodipoet Offline
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Registered: 12/27/06
Posts: 309
Loc: Netherlands
Peter Gannon promised a patch for the shortcomings in the user tracks for january.
It is now almost may, four months late.................
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#347735 - 04/29/16 12:02 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: rodipoet]
Pipeline Offline
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Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 2552
There has currently a lot of post January beta testing of new features and fixes - that were put on hold for the 2016 Mac version that has been released early, coming closer to the features of the Win version and eventually the same release date maybe - so now they have a bit more time up their sleeve we could very well see these user track fixes in an update for both Mac & Win - but don't hold me to it.

Maybe they could release some decent professional templates to bring user tracks more inline with real tracks.
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#347744 - 04/29/16 02:39 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Usertracks [Re: Icelander]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
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Loc: Australia
I agree with Pipeline. Priorities change as circumstances demand and there's no doubting whatsoever that PG Music have been working really hard since before Christmas! The program has undergone huge changes for both Windows and Mac. I'm really glad to have this latest version!
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#347901 - 04/29/16 11:35 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Usertracks [Re: Icelander]
Jon Thomas Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 172
+1

I just wanna say that, in my personal opinion, the UT feature is absolutely crucial for Band in a Box. It's really a wonderful, fantastic feature, but still needs MANY improvements to be really usable with a quality comparable to the official real tracks. To me, this is so important that I would be perfectly happy to have NO other improvements at all for next year, but a perfectly working UT feature.
Please PG !! :-)
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#356556 - 07/07/16 03:29 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: PeterGannon]
Pipeline Offline
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Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 2552
Originally Posted By: PeterGannon
Good tips and suggestions Icelander. Thanks. We plan on updating the Usertracks features in January, for a free latch, and hopefully those suggestions can be addressed then.


Bump..Bump..Bump

So are these the fixes we are all still waiting on ? :

3/4 waltz
holds, shots, pushes & rests
Avoid Transpositions in UserTracks
Intro starts on this bar (2 or 3 bar intro/count-in/lead-in/pickup for bars -1 & 0,1)


Can anyone add to this ?
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#356586 - 07/07/16 11:28 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Pipeline]
balbuena Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/04/13
Posts: 56
Hello, yes that's true function UT and essential dan band in a box and still missing 3/4 waltz hold, shots, shoot and rests Avoid transpositions in UserTracks Intro begins on the bar (2 or 3 bar introduction / countdown
Yet Peter Gannon had announced in December 2015 that his team would ensure that the UT is resolved.
  It would be nice if Peter Gannon or Andrew could give us an explanation.
Balbuena thank you


Edited by balbuena (07/07/16 11:33 PM)

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#442283 - 12/03/17 06:34 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
Jon Thomas Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 172
I'm bumping this old thread just to ask if there's any improvement in the UT engine in BIAB 2018. I'm eagerly waiting for my BIAB 2018 hard drive, but it's gonna take some time - I live overaseas - and I couldn't find any info on possible UTs improvement in 2018. Anybody has any info about it?


Edited by Jon Thomas (12/03/17 06:35 AM)
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#442307 - 12/03/17 08:58 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 17418
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Jon, I haven't tried this feature, but I believe there was nothing announced during the testing of version 2018 that changed it.
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#442313 - 12/03/17 09:20 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Jon Thomas]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3922
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
According to some comments Andrew made some items were fixed. UserTracks now work with 3/4 waltz time signature and they worked on improving the endings.
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#442333 - 12/03/17 11:13 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
Icelander Offline
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Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 2904
Loc: Iceland
But that's also just about all they've done, and I've yet to check just how well the Waltz fixactually works (they keep presenting far better RT's for anything I'd been working on, grr).
The function still absolutely fails to detect anything from the Chord Settings, meaning no Shots/Holds/Pushes will work (all they did to 'fix' that was force all UT's to go silent during shots/holds, which obviously did not FIX anything!), the playback still randomly makes the instrument jump up/down an octave for absolutely no apparent reason (sometimes even during a single chord/bar!!), the function still randomly omits endings of the UT when it can't find a 100% match (ie. faulty pitch stretch), and don't even get me started on that massively strict timing requirements followed closely by even worse cross-fading mechanism (which I just can't wrap my head around considering how amazingly fantastic that same mechanism works on the RT's).
And the sad thing is, I've now reiterated yet one more time some of the main problems with this function but right now is "New version release + sales month", so absolutely NO ONE AT PG WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS!

Ok, minor rant over...I feel better now crazy
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#442349 - 12/03/17 12:25 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3922
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Well Eddie,

Your "minor rant" did a pretty good job of listing some of the UserTracka shortcomings that are still outstanding. Continue listing if you think of any more.

I think it is good for all known UserTracks shortcomings to be available for viewing in one message. That way anyone that attempts to create a UserTracks can have a good idea what to avoid while the PG Music software developers, testers and support staff can easily discover what the known UserTracks issues are.
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#442405 - 12/03/17 03:47 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
Icelander Offline
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Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 2904
Loc: Iceland
And here I was feeling all better! grin

But of course you have a point, and fortunately the above rant, plus other comments earlier on this thread, do address the bulk of it - or at least the most serious things.
You sometimes need to push the bigger stones away in order to discover the smaller grit anyway, you know.
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#442592 - 12/04/17 11:21 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
jford Offline
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Registered: 12/20/00
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I hope they will address this. I don't think the UT's we develop will ever fully compete with the ones they produce, so there is no major competition there. But I believe this feature should provide the same capabilities as RealTracks (as you have said, all supported time signatures, as well as shots, holds, and rests, as well as defined 2-bar endings).

It would seem to me that all those could be read from the template file to define those elements (i.e., if I have a hold chord in the template file, that automatically gets translated as a hold for the UT).
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#442613 - 12/04/17 12:29 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: jford]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3922
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Originally Posted By: jford
It would seem to me that all those could be read from the template file to define those elements (i.e., if I have a hold chord in the template file, that automatically gets translated as a hold for the UT).


Great idea! Why not put it on a wishlist?
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