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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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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 Online   content
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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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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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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 Online   content
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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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2017 BiaB (470) UltraPlusPak RB 2017 (Build 8)
Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity
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Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#442688 - 12/04/17 11:26 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Jim Fogle]
Jon Thomas Offline
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Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 153
Originally Posted By: Jim Fogle

Why not put it on a wishlist?


That's a good idea - even though I'm sure that at PG they are well aware of the current issues with th UT features.
Anyway, here's my wishlist:

- allow more flexibility in the timing requirement, as Icelander already stated. I think this is really the most relevant problem, because it really, really limits the quality and the kind of "usable" UTs that we can make. Icelander explained the issue very well, I'm not going to repeat it here. But this is really crucial.

- limit the amount of key transposition. This is also a big issue. Right now you can avoid wild transpositions from the BIAB playback engine, but you have to create 12 keys UTs (and set the BIAB playback to avoid any transposition), which is an enormous waste of time, hard drive space etc (imagine creating 12 keys performances for ALL variations, chords, substyles etc). Instead, if you create, say, a 6 keys UT, the BIAB playback engine should transpose at most by 1 semitone, not more (which would just fine, you dont lose much quality at all if audio is transposed by 1 semitone or two). As far as I can see, this is not what happens now. You get wild transpositions, no matter what. So, the solution could be:
A. make sure that the BIAB playback engine transposes only for the minimum necessary amount of semitones, at any given chord
B. give the user the ability to set the maximum amount of transposition (as a global setting, or as a song setting)

- implement holds, stops etc

I'm still hopeful smile



Edited by Jon Thomas (12/04/17 11:28 PM)
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#442806 - 12/05/17 11:13 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Jon Thomas]
Jim Fogle Online   content
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Look at the POP style templates posted in 2014 shortly after the UserTracks feature was introduced. You will see that you must make 50 UserTracks to enable the UserTracks to work properly over every available tempo between 50 - 300 BPM. The default is enabled so Band-in-a-Box makes it easy to overlook just how many RealTracks are needed for a guitar part played at different tempos. Take something "common" and "standard" like the Hank series of acoustic guitar rhythm tracks. Look inside the folders and you'll see there are bunches of audio tracks. You'll also notice there are bunches of folders to accomodate tempo changes. There is a lot of audio for just that one series. Same with some of the piano RealTracks. I understand why it takes a lot of audio to create a UserTracks once I look at RealTracks more closely.

RealTracks has an option so RealTracks automatically substitute when tempos change. Is that true of UserTracks? Don't know. Do we still need 50 UserTracks to cover all available tempos since élastique Pro by zplane has been upgraded to V3.1.11? Don't know.

Truthfully, the main use I've found for UserTracks is to fulfill a musical arrangement need specific to a song project. For example you want a specific guitar riff to play. Within that constraint a UserTracks works fine but outside of that song many people likely will not find the UserTracks very useful.
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Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#442809 - 12/05/17 11:26 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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I think that, much like Bob Norton and his MIDI styles, were UserTracks to work mostly the same as RealTracks (and yes, it should take more than one minute and one take to create quality UserTracks) with holds and shots and ending and multiple chords and tempos, then that opens up a market for semi-pro players to create additional commercial-grade content for BIAB. But until all the issues are resolved, it's going to be perceived as a novelty and folks won't invest the time in creating that content.

The MIDI stylemaker (even with it's shortfalls) is pretty stable and mature and has a lot of capability for the average user to make really nice styles in the same quality as PGMusic provided styles. I think an overhaul to the StyleMaker user interface is in order, but it does work and it works well if you know what you're doing.

The same should be true of the UserTracks process.

My $0.02 worth.
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#442881 - 12/05/17 03:42 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
Jon Thomas Offline
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Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 153
Jim
it's true that if you want to create a good quality UT you need to record a lot of audio. That's out of the question. Also, tempo is not really the problem with UTs. The problem, as I see it, is that:

1) even if you create A LOT of audio, in many case the UT will still sound bad, when changing chords, because of the extreme timing precision requirement that Icelander was talking about. Now, for some UTs this is not too much of a problem (when you don't have legato between chords, for example - I did create some UTs that sound absolutely perfect!!). But for (many) other kinds of UTs this problem makes it almost impossible to have them sound good, no matter how much audio you record, no matter how precise you try to be. Anyway, on this issue Icelander is much more competent than me and I think he explained it already very well

2) the other problem is also not about the tempo, but about key transposition. If during playback you set the song so that key transposition is allowed, with UTs you get some weird transpositions that don't seem to make musical (or logical) sense. If I have a recorded audio with the C major chord, and BIAB needs to play a Db major chord, I would want BIAB to transpose my C chord by 1 semitone, which would be totally fine. Instead, what happens is that I hear transpositions of MANY semitones (so for example not from C to Db, but from G to Db, or so ... I'm just guessing here), which is not only sounds really bad, but it's also unnecessary, since BIAB can use my readily available C major to be transposed into Db!
So, at the moment, there's only one solution to this problem: to record a 12 keys UT, and forbid key transposition with the song setting parameter during playback. Which is ok, it does lead to good results, but it's VERY inefficient. Why not allow the user to control the maximum number of semitones that BIAB transposes during playback instead? It would be a much more efficient way to manage the issue. In this way, I could record audio not to (unnecessarily) cover all keys, but to make a better UT with more variations etc.

Jford,
I totally agree with you. I think that PG will address this, eventually. I don't see why not, really. But BIAB is a very complex program and I guess that UTs are not a top priority. I think it's understandable. Maybe many users don't care about UTs, I dont know. I guess time will tell.


Edited by Jon Thomas (12/05/17 03:44 PM)
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#443006 - 12/06/17 08:08 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Jim Fogle]
Icelander Offline
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Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 2191
Originally Posted By: Jim Fogle
Great idea! Why not put it on a wishlist?
The simple answer to this rhetorical question is: Because it's redundant, since what he was basically proposing falls under what the function is already supposed to be able to do!
And specifically requesting for a function to actually work is not something any of us should ever have to make around here, for any function smirk
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#443011 - 12/06/17 08:16 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: jford]
Icelander Offline
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Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 2191
Originally Posted By: jford
The MIDI stylemaker (even with it's shortfalls) is pretty stable and mature and has a lot of capability for the average user to make really nice styles in the same quality as PGMusic provided styles.===The same should be true of the UserTracks process.
I have to agree and I'd even argue that as things are right now, by using the Stylemaker approach coupled with some decent sound plugins, you're far more likely to get dependable results.
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#443012 - 12/06/17 08:27 AM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Jim Fogle]
Icelander Offline
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Registered: 11/11/12
Posts: 2191
Originally Posted By: Jim Fogle
RealTracks has an option so RealTracks automatically substitute when tempos change. Is that true of UserTracks?
I just spotted this in the midst of your li'l "essay" there and thought I'd clarify: The answer to that question is No.
See, the Tempo swapping RT's are all listed and clearly defined (e.g. at what tempo one should take over from another) in a specific file, for which there's no equivalent assigned to Usetracks (nor can we apply any of its very confusing 'UT settings' to define our own ourselves). As for the stretching engine, that one does work on Usetracks (as it does with any audio file used in the program), but you would still want to create specific UT for each given tempo range (like I've done with my EleFfred sets for example), if your goal is to be able to confidently use it over a very wide tempo spectrum.


Edited by Icelander (12/06/17 09:05 AM)
Edit Reason: Correcting mistakes
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#443144 - 12/06/17 06:58 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
Jim Fogle Online   content
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3196
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Eddie,

Thanks for the clarification.

I propose a good starting point is for PG Music would be to add an explanation for each setting in the UserTracks Development Settings screen. The explanation should be added to both the Band-in-a-Box and RealBand user manuals. I can't find it in either 2017 version.

That's been one of my annual wishlist requests since 2014.


Attachments
UserTracks Development Screen.jpg


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Jim Fogle
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Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity
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#443182 - 12/06/17 11:28 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
Jon Thomas Offline
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Registered: 12/18/15
Posts: 153
Mr Gannon,
thank you, that would be surely very useful.
However, I have a feeling that it wouldn't solve the problems that have been highlighted in this thread, but I could be wrong of course - for example, the "beat / bar markers" section in the settings is still "mysterious" to me smile so, I don't know .. maybe knowing how to use this setting would help in decreasing the artifacts that are heard when chords change in UTs with "legato-like" performances? I'm not sure. Anyway, explaining these settings would certainly be a very welcome help, and at least it would help us to have a better picture about what are the areas in which the "UT engine" needs improvements, and to clarify what users can and cannot do with UTs at the moment.
Thank you for listening!


Edited by Jon Thomas (12/06/17 11:29 PM)
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#443184 - 12/06/17 11:42 PM [UserTracks (and other add-ons)] Re: Plenty of issues & shortcomings still to fix (for staff & others interested) [Re: Icelander]
balbuena Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/04/13
Posts: 50
Hello to all please excuse me, I do not speak English so I use a translator.
Could Peter Gannon tell us if the usertrack problems mentioned above are likely to be solved in 2018, thanks for the response and good music to all.

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Moderator:  Andrew - PG Music, PeterGannon 
PG Music News
Band-in-a-Box® Version 2018 for Windows is a HIT!

Since the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows, we've received some great feedback!

"Oh wow. [The Audio Chord Wizard] has got to be the coolest enhancement to 2018 Band-in-a-Box. This is so-o-o powerful. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!"
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"Nice work, as usual!!"
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"Just tonight popped together a quick video using one of the new video styles. Must say the whole process worked without a hitch so this really does look like a great new feature. And what a great teaching aid this could be!"
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"THIS IS EXCITING!"
"This should be great for creating backing tracks for covers."
"I know what I'm getting for Christmas!"
"What a release!!!"
"The XTRA Styles are fantastic any future idle music-related minutes I may have had are now totally gone gonna find that perfect background rhythm on just about every one of my favorites!!!"
"Recent retirement and the 2018 version of BIAB is a perfect combination!!"
"it's educational utility and potential is awesome!!!"
"I must say, the new harmony options in particular have me champing at the bit!"
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"A musician must have."
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"Amazing!"

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Vocal "Oohs" and "Aahs" RealTracks Tutorial Video

Here's a video showing you the different ways you can use the Vocal "Oohs" and "Aahs" RealTracks, new with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows!

Video link - Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows, now with Vocal "Oohs" and "Aahs" RealTracks!

Plus, here are two audio demos, the full versions of two of the songs that appear in this video:

http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/allstyledemos2/_LAZYDAY_full_demo.m4a
http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/allstyledemos2/DownByTheSalleyGardens_with_VocalOohsAahs.m4a

Purchase RealTrack Set 278: Shiny Vocals Oohs and Aahs for just $29 here. It's also included in the Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows PlusPAK, UltraPAK, and Audiophile Edition.

Band-in-a-Box® Version 2018 Build 506 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows users can download the latest Build 506 at http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm#506

Summary of Changes since 2018 Build 205:
Added: "Export Song as Audio File..." menu item has been added to the Audio menu.
Added: BB2018 tutorials folder.
Added: New styles (STY files) for many of the new RealTracks in Sets 278-300 and MIDI SuperTracks sets 25-27.
Added: StylePicker User Categories updated for Xtra Styles PAK 4.
Updated: Styles database
Updated: Various improvements (including Db offset adjustments) to many of the new STY files and .SGU demos included with RealTracks Sets 278-300.
Fixed: "K3" did not work in the chord sheet for copying 3 bars (8 bars would be copied instead).
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box always opens with a maximized window briefly before resizing to the user's saved size.
Fixed: Band-in-a-Box will not open using the proper window size if the Mixer window was open while exiting.
Fixed: Deleting a region of chords would cause "Undo Delete Bars" to appear in the Edit menu, but do nothing unless chosen twice.
Fixed: Error "Input and output sample rates must match" might show when the devices do have matching sample rates.
Fixed: Flash messages were not being added to the flash message log.
Fixed: If Band-in-a-Box was in DAW Plugin mode while exiting, the window size was not restored the next time opening the program.
Fixed: Rendering .m4a or video files might fail and request that the user install QuickTime if using Windows 7. QuickTime should only be necessary for Windows Vista or XP.
Fixed: Some of the Oohs and Aahs (Vocal) RealTracks were not working correctly, and they have been greatly improved.
Fixed: Sometimes when deleting a note in the notation window, you will be asked "OK to delete chord".
Fixed: The "Show Flash Tips" setting did not have any effect when disabled.
Fixed: WashboardBluegrass drums.
Fixed: When exiting DAW Plugin mode, the window would not return to its previous size (it would become maximized).

Have Your Band-in-a-Box® Delivered In Time for Christmas!

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Band-in-a-Box® 2018 - Xtra Styles PAK Quick Start Tutorial Video

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We have put all of our Xtra Styles PAKs on SALE! Until December 31st, purchase any Xtra Styles PAK (1 - 4) for just $29 each! (reg. $49) www.pgmusic.com/xtrastyles.php?os=win

User Blog - How To Record a Cover Song Using Band-in-a-Box and RealBand

Joanne Cooper's final blog post for 2017, How to record a cover song using Band-in-a-Box and RealBand is a must-read!

Joanne summarizes the steps she took to produce her cover of "Old Lang Syne" - her final result was posted to the User Showcase Forum: Listen to Auld Lang Syne

https://www.joannecooper.co.za/blog/blog/how-to-record-a-cover-song-using-band-in-a-box-and-realband

Announcing…The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)

We are excited to announce the release of a new project: The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)

Songwriter Floyd Jane shows the songwriting process from inspiration to performance and publication: http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=IYMMZVvQdCw

The idea for this project came about when many members on this forum and elsewhere were asking questions about the song writing process. There are many aspects, and many parts of it necessary to create a song, get it arranged, performed, and then published on the internet. So we asked the great songwriter Floyd Jane, who is a regular member on this forum, if he could help. Floyd agreed and was even able to collaborate with other forum members, Janice and Bud. The result is this video we put together that you can see on YouTube or Facebook, called "The Birth of a Song (w/Floyd Jane)".

We hope this video helps other songwriters with their songwriting process, and also shows them tools that are available to them along the way. Also, we mention this User Showcase Forum, and hope to see many new aspiring or accomplished songwriters join this community :blush:

A big Thank You to Floyd for sharing your knowledge with the community and making this possible. And to Janice and Bud for your great collaboration!

Here is Floyd's original forum post for his song "A Little Bit Of Me": http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=433190

Check out Floyd / Janice & Bud’s music here:
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https://www.janiceandbud.com/

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