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#145193 - 01/04/12 08:53 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare
PeterGannon Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 13450
It's easy to get MIDI samples that are as good (or better) than actual instruments.

And if you (magically) got Fats Waller over to your house, and he played your MIDI piano, it would sound fantastic, and blow away almost anyone else playing on an actual piano.
I read an article that Herbie Hancock plays most of the time on a software synth piano (hooked up to 2 Macs, just in case one goes down). So he plays a MIDI piano.

But the key ingredient in this theoretical example isn't "MIDI" vs actual instrument, it is the musician - Fats Waller in this example.

With our RealTracks styles, we have tried to also include the "musician" in the style, by actually recording fabulous musicians. This doesn't happen with our MIDI styles. With our MIDI styles, you just get C7 chord patterns by the keyboard player who made the style.

The term "RealTracks" means "Real Musician, playing on a Real Instrument"

Why try, in words, to debate which approach is better? Why not just listen to the results, compare them, and judge for yourself?

So let’s use are ears for awhile, and judge for yourself if you prefer Band-in-a-Box MIDI styles or RealTracks…

MIDI vs RealTracks (Band-in-a-Box styles)

For the RealTracks demos, all tracks (including the solos) are generated by Band-in-a-Box,
For the MIDI demos, all tracks except the melody are generated. the melody track is not generated, it is a composition played in.

The MIDI synths are the
1. Roland VSC Software (Virtual Sound Canvas), (similar to MS GS WaveTable and Coyote WT Wavetable)
2. Roland Hypercanvas (TTS-1) software (better than the Virtual Sound Canvas, and compatible with all Windwos versions. (32 and 64 bit)
3. Coyote Forte Softsynth
4. Roland SD-20 Hardware Sound Canvas (newer module)
5. Roland SC-155 Hardware Sound Canvas (older module)
6. Ketron SD2 Modules

The demos are of a RealTracks BIAB style, followed by a similar BIAB MIDI style with the 3 synths (1 software synth and a hardware one)
======== JAZZ =====================
RealTracks Jazz Swing http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/_J140_OS.wma
MIDI Software VSC Jazz Swing: VSC: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/J_DIZZY_Roland_VSC.wma
MIDI Software Coyote Forte: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/J_DIZZY_ForteDXi.wma
MIDI Software Roland Hypercanvas (aka Cakewalk TTS-1): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/J_DIZZY_TTS1.wma
MIDI Hardware Sound Canvas SD-20 Jazz Swing: Ketron SD2: MIDI Jazz Swing: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/J_DIZZY_Edirol_SD-20.wma
MIDI Hardware Ketron SD2: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/J_DIZZY_Ketron_SD2.wma
MIDI Hardware Roland Sound Canvas SC155 ("older model"): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/J_DIZZY_Roland_SC-155.wma

RealTracks Jazz Ballad: http://nn.pgmusic.com/pgfiles/jazzu/misc/slowbal2.wma
MIDI Software VSC Jazz Ballad: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/JAZZBAL1_Roland_VSC.wma
MIDI Software Coyote Forte: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/JAZZBAL1_ForteDXi.wma
MIDI Software Roland Hypercanvas (aka Cakewalk TTS-1): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/JAZZBAL1_TTS1.wma
MIDI Hardware Sound Canvas SD-20 http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/JAZZBAL1_Edirol_SD-20.wma
MIDI Hardware Ketron SD2: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/JAZZBAL1_Ketron_SD2.wma
MIDI Hardware Roland Sound Canvas SC155 ("older model"): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/JAZZBAL1_Roland_SC-155.wma

REalTracks Smooth Jazz (Breezy): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/allstyledemos/_jbrztss.wma
Another RealTracks, playing over same chord changes as the MIDI ones, with a soprano sax solo instead of the melody: http://nn.pgmusic.com/pgfiles/jazzu/misc/KGBALLAD_Realtracks.WMA
MIDI Software VSC Smooth Jazz: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/kgballad_Roland_VSC.wma
MIDI Software Coyote Forte: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/KGBALLAD_ForteDXi.wma
MIDI Software Roland Hypercanvas (aka Cakewalk TTS-1): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/KGBALLAD_TTS1.wma
MIDI Hardware Sound Canvas SD-20 http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/KGBALLAD_Edirol_SD-20.wma
MIDI Hardware Ketron SD2: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/KGBALLAD_Ketron_SD2.wma
MIDI Hardware Roland Sound Canvas SC155 ("older model"): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/KGBALLAD_Roland_SC-155.wma

RealTracks Slow Bossa : http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/allstyledemos/_bossany.wma
MIDI Software VSC Bossa: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/bosalite_Roland_VSC.wma
MIDI Software Coyote Forte: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BOSALITE_ForteDXi.wma
MIDI Software Roland Hypercanvas (aka Cakewalk TTS-1): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BOSALITE_TTS1.wma
MIDI Hardware Sound Canvas SD-20 http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BOSALITE_Edirol_SD-20.wma
MIDI Hardware Ketron SD2: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BOSALITE_Ketron_SD2.wma
MIDI Hardware Roland Sound Canvas SC155 ("older model"): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BOSALITE_Roland_SC-155.wma

========= ROCK, BLUES ==================
RealTracks Blues Shuffle : http://nn.pgmusic.com/pgfiles/jazzu/misc/BluesEPianoGuitar.WMA
MIDI Software VSC Blues Shuffle: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/bonnier_Roland_VSC.wma
MIDI Software Coyote Forte: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BONNIER_ForteDXi.wma
MIDI Software Roland Hypercanvas (aka Cakewalk TTS-1): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BONNIER_TTS1.wma
MIDI Hardware Sound Canvas SD-20 http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BONNIER_Edirol_SD-20.wma
MIDI Hardware Ketron SD2: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BONNIER_Ketron_SD2.wma
MIDI Hardware Roland Sound Canvas SC155 ("older model"): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/BONNIER_Roland_SC-155.wma

Rock Ballad: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/_BALBMS1.wma
MIDI Software VSC Rock Ballad: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/ROADHOG1_Roland_VSC.wma
MIDI Software Coyote Forte: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/ROADHOG1_ForteDXi.wma
MIDI Software Roland Hypercanvas (aka Cakewalk TTS-1): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/ROADHOG1_TTS1.wma
MIDI Hardware Sound Canvas SD-20 http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/ROADHOG1_Edirol_SD-20.wma
MIDI Hardware Ketron SD2: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/ROADHOG1_Ketron_SD2.wma
MIDI Hardware Roland Sound Canvas SC155 ("older model"): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/ROADHOG1_Roland_SC-155.wma

===== COUNTRY =======================
RealTracks Slow Country 12/8 : http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/_CRYSTAL.wma
MIDI Software VSC Country http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/C~CRYSTL_Roland_VSC.wma
MIDI Software Coyote Forte: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/C~CRYSTL_ForteDXi.wma
MIDI Software Roland Hypercanvas (aka Cakewalk TTS-1): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/C~CRYSTL_TTS1.wma
MIDI Hardware Sound Canvas SD-20 http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/C~CRYSTL_Edirol_SD-20.wma
MIDI Hardware Ketron SD2: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/C~CRYSTL_Ketron_SD2.wma
MIDI Hardware Roland Sound Canvas SC155 ("older model"): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/C~CRYSTL_Roland_SC-155.wma
=========== OTHER ===================
RealTracks Celtic Reel: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/_CELTJIG.wma
MIDI Software VSC Irish Jig: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/CELT_JIG_Roland_VSC.wma
MIDI Software Coyote Forte: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/CELT_JIG_ForteDXi.wma
MIDI Software Roland Hypercanvas (aka Cakewalk TTS-1): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/CELT_JIG_TTS1.wma
MIDI Hardware Sound Canvas SD-20 http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/CELT_JIG_Edirol_SD-20.wma
MIDI Hardware Ketron SD2: http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/CELT_JIG_Ketron_SD2.wma
MIDI Hardware Roland Sound Canvas SC155 ("older model"): http://demos.pgmusic.com/audio/daretocompare/CELT_JIG_Roland_SC-155.wma

Some points to remember:
- There are many more MIDI styles in Band-in-a-Box than RealTracks styles. So you might use a MIDI style because there isn't a RealTracks style available.
- Mixing MIDI and RealTracks styles can be done easily in Band-in-a-Box. You can get the best of both worlds by doing this, to get the style you're looking for.
- MIDI styles are more editable than RealTracks styles. If you plan on doing a huge amount of editing of the parts, to add in different specific segments, consider using a MIDI style. If you are happy with the results as is, or just need to do a few copy and paste edits, you can use RealTracks and edit them in a DAW like RealBand (or Sonar etc.)


Edited by Andrew - PG Music (04/01/15 02:10 PM)
Edit Reason: updated links
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#145194 - 01/05/12 08:39 AM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: PeterGannon]
Keebo Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 193
Good info, tips, and examples. Thanks Peter.

Another good reason to let the Realtrack session musicians record via MIDI controllers when creating new MIDI styles.

Thanks.
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#145195 - 01/05/12 12:03 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: Keebo]
Robh Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
Peter, my only thought about the comparison page is that VSC is a very bad example of midi tracks, even TTS would pale in comparison to RT in sound quality. To do a real solid comparison would it not be better to use the very best midi synth available? I mean maybe mixed down MP3s from the Ketron unit, or maybe a top flight softsynth like kontact or something similar?
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#145196 - 01/05/12 01:37 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: Robh]
PeterGannon Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 13450
Hi Rob,
Good suggestion.
Yes, we have just added links to MIDI demos for the MIDI Modules
1. Roland SD20 Sound Canvas (we sell the current one, which is the SD50 http://www.pgmusic.com/rolandsd50.win.htm

2. the Ketron SD2 http://www.pgmusic.com/ketronsd2.htm

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#145197 - 01/06/12 11:14 AM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: PeterGannon]
Rachael Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1616
Nice comparisons. Back a few years ago, I was sold on BIAB when RealDrums were introduced as Midi drums sounded too 'perfect'. The post is about RealTracks. I'm not asking for links to these demos using RealDrums but I would certainly notice a big difference. The hardware synths do sound nice for the most part.

R

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#145198 - 01/06/12 10:41 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: Rachael]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Excellent way to show the difference in quality between the various sound options. People deciding which MIDI route to take will benefit from the comparison. And I hope some people who were previously not interested in the real tracks will hear what they are missing.

thanks for posting!

I agree that it would be interesting to offer a version of each demo using Garritan or other high quality sound library.

I think members of the forum would also benefit from hearing the difference in the same song played through the same sound source..
1) played straight out of BIAB, no CC tweaks
2) the same song, same MIDI module, but fully tweaked out.

(I bet MIDI hard and soft synth sales would increase dramatically after that demo.)


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#145199 - 01/07/12 07:46 AM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: Pat Marr]
carkins Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 349
WOW!
What a difference to my ears between the Ketron and Roland examples and the VSC example.
Makes the VSC sound like something from Toys R Us!

Would there be that same difference if you were using the sound banks from a Casio or Yamaha midi keyboard if that's possible (new to midi)?

How about a midi keyboard, external synth, shoot out to determine which is the best value for a newbie (price vs sound quality) all playing the same song with the same or no effects?

Maybe as a separate Midi Forum defining the parameters.
I'm sure there would be lots of opinions and contributions from some of the the midi-philes out there.

Could be interesting and informative.
Carkins

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#145200 - 01/07/12 08:10 AM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: carkins]
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10965
Loc: Hamlin NY

Peter, thanx for adding the Sound Canvas SD-20 and the Ketron SD2 in your comparisons.

Quote:

WOW!
What a difference to my ears between the Ketron and Roland examples and the VSC example.
Makes the VSC sound like something from Toys R Us!






Carkins, this proves exactly what those of us who like MIDI have been saying all along; the more money you put into sound samples the better the output. There are hard and soft synths that can make both the Ketron and Sound Canvas sound like they were from Toys R Us, I just wish that I could afford them
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#145201 - 01/07/12 09:25 AM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: carkins]
Pat Marr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7508
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Quote:

WOW!
What a difference to my ears between the Ketron and Roland examples and the VSC example.
Makes the VSC sound like something from Toys R Us!

Carkins




when Roland VSC first came out, I loved it because it made MIDI sound so much better than what I was hearing when a MIDI file played on the web through my browser. I suppose a lot of people (maybe the majority) have never heard MIDI played EXCEPT through a web browser.

It would also be a good comparison to include that for at least the first demo. After one, I don't think anybody will click on the IE demo again. But it MIGHT make some people realize that there's more to MIDI than they THOUGHT.

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#145202 - 01/07/12 09:39 AM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: MarioD]
Kemmrich Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1815
Of course the realtracks versions don't have any of the "signature riffs" that seem to be present in the midi driven audio. If you have to have signature riffs, then you need midi or play them yourself. The realtracks shine (to me) when using instruments to support original numbers with additional "live instruments" and vocals on recordings.

I can't see why anyone needs to insist on midi-only or realtrack-only. They are compatible. However, I do see Note's point where he wants to play/compose everything from a "self-satisfaction" point and to get the backing tracks to do EXACTLY what he wants. I just want the end result to sound good. If I am playing live, I won't be using any backing tracks (but I am not pedantic about that point, either).
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#145203 - 01/07/12 12:03 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: Kemmrich]
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10965
Loc: Hamlin NY
Quote:

I can't see why anyone needs to insist on midi-only or realtrack-only. They are compatible.




EXACTLY

Both are different tools for us to use or not use as we see fit. Personally I use both but the majority of my music contains MIDI generated parts. I like midi for the exact same reasons as Notes does. However I have some clients who just need backing tracks for their songs, mostly copies of songs they want to have for their children/grandchildren and friends. For this purpose RTs are perfect. Fast with a great sound, i.e. I don’t have to put a lot of time into creating MIDI parts. My clients are very happy with the results, as I am.

Fighting over what’s better MIDI or RTs is like fighting over what’s better a Chevy or a Ford IMHO. There will never be an end to either battle!
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64 bit Win 10 Pro - the latest BiaB and RB - Roland Octa-Capture audio interface - a ton of software and some hardware.

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#145204 - 01/07/12 01:17 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: MarioD]
MitchC Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 581
DITTO THE "EXACTLY"

(from another post..)

I honestly just do not understand this whole MIDI vs RB/RT debate. There is no debate. They both do different things. It's not an 'either / or' situation.

To the point of this thread, to the OP, here is a tune I did string swells on... and it happens to incorporate BIAB, Real Band, using primarily Real Tracks. If there were Real String tracks I probably would use them. There are not, so I needed MIDI. Using Piano Roll, entered my string parts, renedered them with Garritan Personal Orchestra. And lastly, a live lap steel track. Every tool used was the right one for my particular need. Each element was necessary, and one does not negate the value of the others.

Not much on debates so this will be my last on the MIDI vs Real Tracks thing...

The tune, if interested:

http://soundcloud.com/mitchc-1/beyond-the-reef-hi-c6

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#145205 - 01/10/12 05:15 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: Kemmrich]
PeterGannon Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 13450
We added a few more synths....


Software Roland Hypercanvas (TTS-1)
- note: this is available as a purchase from us (you buy Cakewalk Music Creator ($39), and it includes this great synth. http://www.pgmusic.com/musiccreator.features.htm

Software Coyote Forte $40
http://www.pgmusic.com/coyotefortedxi.htm

Hardware (older) Roland Sound Canvas SC-155
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#145206 - 01/11/12 09:33 AM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: PeterGannon]
filkertom Offline
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Registered: 01/03/06
Posts: 2028
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
+1 on the Exactly. I love Real Tracks, I love MIDI, I use 'em together.
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#145207 - 01/25/12 07:57 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: filkertom]
Keith McIntyre Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/28/02
Posts: 40
Loc: San Diego
Really nice post. I appreciate hearing the various softsynth tracks.

To me midi vs realtracks comes down to application. RTs are much better at reproducing instruments that have a lot of humanistic nuance. Like the sax. So much of playing the sax is in the embrasure. Without spending a LOT of time tweaking midi controllers it is really hard to get a convincing sax.

Mallets hitting a metal bar are much easier to model. Velocity is pretty much all you need.

Midi works great for sequencing synths, where there really isn't a "standard" timbre to compare the timbre to.

BIAB midi styles are good, but they don't put the care into tweaking the specific midi instrument that is required to get realistic timbres on brass, woodwinds, and strings. Keyboards and percussion are more approachable from the vantage of timbre. It's the physics of the instrument...

But the premise that RTs and RDs possess more musicality comes into play with keyboards and percussion. They do have more human feel (imperfections and nuances that the human ear expects of a live musician).

IMO RT/RD is superior to midi styles regardless of which synth is used - with the caveat that there is a RealStyle that matches the style you want to play. Midi provides more flexibility to paint soundscapes using electronic instruments (synths).

I use BIAB for jazz accompaniment. I want live musicians playing acoustic instruments without paying for them. RealStyles are GREAT!

YMMV :-)

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#145208 - 06/07/12 12:50 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: MarioD]
Clif Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/18/11
Posts: 8
Quote:

Quote:

I can't see why anyone needs to insist on midi-only or realtrack-only. They are compatible.




EXACTLY

Both are different tools for us to use or not use as we see fit. Personally I use both but the majority of my music contains MIDI generated parts. I like midi for the exact same reasons as Notes does. However I have some clients who just need backing tracks for their songs, mostly copies of songs they want to have for their children/grandchildren and friends. For this purpose RTs are perfect. Fast with a great sound, i.e. I don’t have to put a lot of time into creating MIDI parts. My clients are very happy with the results, as I am.





I agree that midi and real-track are simply different tools that can work together as needed. When realtrack first appeared I thought it was simply a memory hog that I'd never use. But the support and implementation of realtrack has continually improved and I really value realtrack for those instruments that are very difficult to do well on midi. I'm also pleased that there is an option where someone new to the software won't listen to the default windows midi sound and close their mind to the program.

At the same time the midi capabilities are far more important to me than the real-track capabilities. There was a time when every annual upgrade there would be a ton of new midi styles and some new melodists as well. It was during those good times when I decided I was going to upgrade every year if at all possible.

Among some of the BiaB users who have been using the program far longer than I have, there is a feeling of abandonment, that PG music has left them behind to concentrate on realtracks. This is a point of view I can sympathize with, without particularly agreeing. For one thing PG music has made some very significant improvements in their midi related capabilities. But those improvements haven't been hyped like the real-stuff has been. Indeed some of them have been in place for a couple of years before I even realized they were there, and I'm a person that actually reads the manual.

I'm less affected by the lack of new midi styles than most because of taking the plunge into tweaking existing styles and even creating my own. But it's a moderately steep learning curve to do at all well. There are also other sources of styles, notably Bob Norton. I miss the annual gift of tons of new midi-styles, but I personally can survive just fine.

The lack of new melodists probably has more impact on me. I've come to abuse the melodiists in ways that probably weren't intended. Using the existing databases, I've tweaked my own melodists of course. But it's been quite a while since we've seen a new underlying set of data for the melodists. And of course there's no way for us to just create our own. I would trade a ton of real-styles for the ability to create a melodist that would use my own underlying melody patterns and translate them across chords. I've tried to do the same thing with a family of special purpose midi-styles that you apply one after the other, and you CAN -- it's just not a very efficient process. Painful in fact.

So no, I don't want no-real-track, I just want MORE midi. :-)

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#145209 - 06/08/12 12:40 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: Clif]
jcspro40 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 830
Loc: Ohio-USA
Tho I use both, and they each have their place, in real life for real folks that I play for RT win hands down for the creation of backing tracks.

I have listened over & over to the great creations & demos of Notes Norton, who a lot of folks feel are the best style & fake book files around for BiaB, and I still walk away disappointed. We have, for the last 2 days, listen & re-listen to the Sophisticats Video & Audio demos, and have to say it still sounds like karaoke to our ears...it is still stiff sounding. It is not just us tho, I have turned a LOT of folks on to BiaB & Norton's products and most say the same thing...

Is midi still usable? ABSOLUTELY! My comments do not take away from the fine musicianship Notes & others show on the forum, FAR FROM IT! And for our productions we still use midi for a track or two here & there......

But the bottom line to almost all my MUSICIAN friends is that midi does NOT compare to RT for live backing tracks. As for the general public, they don't really care from OUR experience, they just want to hear some music. Are the stupid or ignorant? FAR FROM IT, but in a world of machine music & mp3 files, the expectation of quality is severely low.....

Why do ya think DJ's rule the gig world instead of real live bands anymore?

Just a IMHO, YMMV, yada yada type of post....

(and for the English police out there, get over it! )
_________________________
Custom Core2Quad 3.2Ghz, 8gb memory, 1gb nVidia dual monitor card, 1tb OS HDD, 2 2gb Internal HDD, 8tb External HDD, dual LG 27" Monitors, Win7 x64 Ultimate, BiaB/RB 2017, Reaper 4.75, Mixbus 32C, IK Multimedia / iZotope / Plug & Mix VST-VSTi Collections

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#145210 - 06/12/12 03:55 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: jcspro40]
Clif Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/18/11
Posts: 8
Just as a point of clarification, do I understand you to be saying that midi music is necessarily stiff?

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#145211 - 06/24/12 06:02 PM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: carkins]
jazzmammal Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6486
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
Quote:

WOW!
What a difference to my ears between the Ketron and Roland examples and the VSC example.
Makes the VSC sound like something from Toys R Us!

Would there be that same difference if you were using the sound banks from a Casio or Yamaha midi keyboard if that's possible (new to midi)?

How about a midi keyboard, external synth, shoot out to determine which is the best value for a newbie (price vs sound quality) all playing the same song with the same or no effects?




Here's the thing about comparing other midi synths. Most of the best ones either don't have a GM soundbank or if they do it's no better than what we just heard. People forget or don't realize the difference between using GM and not using GM. I'm assuming all these Biab demo's are using the default GM patches. I know the Roland and Ketron hardware sound modules have non GM ie 'higher banks' sounds that sound much better than the GM sounds you just heard in most cases. The problem with that is it puts the onus on the user to set up each instrument track manually. You get much better sounds that way but it stops Biab from being simply "a pick and song and hit play" thing. At least it does until you've set up and saved each song. Once you've done that then yes all you do is pick one and hit play.

When you're asking for a keyboard comparison you have to specify are you asking simply for a test of each keyboards' GM soundbank only or do you want to hear the best each unit has to offer? If you want to hear the best and then consider buying one based on that, you have to know you will be setting up each individual Biab song differently.

My Kurzweil PC3 for example only has what sounds to me like a 20 year old GM soundbank that's about the same as the TTS-1 while the other 1,200 sounds are killer. They are some of the absolute best sounds available at any price. Those sounds are what the Kurz really sounds like not the crap GM bank. If you want a grand piano, I have like 10 of them (not GM) so which one do you want to hear for your test? That smooth jazz song Peter posted has a string pad. My Kurz has the orchestral soundblock with a whole bank of 128 string/synth pads. With that many choices it's impossible for me to post an example and then say this is what a Kurzweil sounds like. It's what it sounds like using that one patch only. You or someone else may very well think a string patch I didn't consider sounds perfect for that song. A couple of these songs use a fretless bass. A GM bank only has one fretless, one acoustic, one finger and one picked for bass. My Kurz probably has 20 of them in those four categories plus I have various sliders to control elements of the bass sound and performance. GM doesn't give you that control. That's the difference between using a keyboard with 1,200 sounds vs using one GM soundbank with a couple of patches for each instrument, because a GM bank only has 128 slots and 29 of those are taken up by sound effects like a gun shot, helicopter, door slam, etc. That means you only have 99 instrument patches to pick from while I have 1,200. The Ketron is the only hardware synth I'm aware of that really put some effort into their GM bank. Everybody else like Kurzweil could care less about GM because frankly pro players don't care about GM either and these pro level keyboards are designed for well, pro's. You can get very good GM sounds in the high end arranger keyboards like a Korg PA3XPro or a Yamaha Tyros 4 but you don't even want to know how much they cost (over 4K).

The point of my little rant is it's much more complex than you think when you ask about who has the best midi sounds. If you want the best, forget about GM and get used to rolling your own setups with your Biab songs. If you want the convenience of using GM that's fine I do too but understand you're severely compromising the sound quality. I don't bother setting up all my songs using my Kurz because I play it all the time anyway and a combination of the RT's and a few midi tracks using the Forte or TTS-1 is good enough for what I use Biab for.

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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#145212 - 06/26/12 11:24 AM [Post your own Tips and Tricks here] Re: RealTracks vs MIDI (Band-in-a-Box styles).... Compare [Re: jazzmammal]
PhillyJazz Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 479
Loc: Philly
Good point about GM. I use a Ketron SD4, and even the stock GM sounds are great. The higher banks, though, are really super, and relatively easy to get to with BIAB. As I occasionally gig with a WX7 I was forced to go with the more expensive SD-4 just for the on-board knobs to change patches. I used to HAVE to go the clumsy route of modifying them via BIAB.

I guess I posed this before, but I am hoping (after the Win 8 release) to purchase a tablet with enough gusto to run both BIAB and a killer soft-synth (sample player.) It seems Kontakt is a leading option, but its interface seems way over-kill to me (who just wants to load a bank of samples I could select from) and change melody instruments (as I'd used Real Tracks) for any rhythm sections.

Any thoughts? I realize GM was a nice standard in its time, and still useful for run-of-the-mill stuff. I would like to see a compromise for those if us who are not audio engineers to just load and play a killer bank or two.
_________________________
Jan - Quad Core Intel Core i7 4.0 (clocked to 4.4)
32GB DDR4
Win 10 64-bit
Samsung m.2 SSD Boot drive,other internal and USB drives.
XENXY 802 analog mixer
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PG Music News
Tutorials - How to Install Your Band-in-a-Box® for Mac Hard Drive

When you have your Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac UltraPAK shipped to you on a portable hard drive, there are a few different options for installation. We go over these 3 options with our latest video series:

Option 1: Run Band-in-a-Box® directly from the USB drive only: click here to view.

Option 2: Install Band-in-a-Box® on your computer hard drive, but leave the RealTracks & RealDrums on the USB hard drive: click here to view.

Option 3: Install Band-in-a-Box® and the RealTracks & RealDrums on your computer hard drive: click here to view.

Check out all our Band-in-a-Box for Mac videos here.

Video - Downloading and Installing RealTracks Sets for Band-in-a-Box® for Mac

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Well, we've created just the tutorial video you're looking for! Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac® - Downloading and Installing RealTracks Sets.

Video link:
www.pgmusic.com/?vid=QndXu8H_IwM

Thoughts on Band-in-a-Box® 2017 - Mac Power Users Discussion

David Sparks and Katie Floyd discuss a variety of topics in their recent episide of Mac Power Users: https://www.relay.fm/mpu/432 - listen all the way through (and laugh along with them - it was a very entertaining episode!), or jump to 1:37:40 where David shares his thoughts on Band-in-a-Box® 2017 for Mac!

Thank you David and Katie!

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We hope all our Polish Band-in-a-Box users find this video helpful - thank you Sound Station!

YouTube Find - Love it (with Band-in-a-Box 2018)

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Click here to watch.

Get to Know the 202 NEW RealTracks Released with Band-in-a-Box® 2018!

We released 202 NEW RealTracks with Band-in-a-Box® 2018! Learn more about these new RealTracks when you watch our video, Band-in-a-Box® 2018 - 202 NEW RealTracks.

These new RealTracks (in Sets 278-300) are included in every Band-in-a-Box® 2018 UltraPAK, Audiophile Edition, or the PlusPAK upgrade - the Mac packages are on sale until June 30th!

Learn even more about the new RealTracks and listen to demos here.

Vocal "Oohs" and "Aahs" RealTracks Tutorial Video for Mac

With Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac®, we've introduced Vocal "Oohs" and "Aahs" RealTracks. This video shows you the different ways you can use these versatile new RealTracks.

Video link: www.pgmusic.com/?vid=zkO-AtAPv4g

You can also listen to demos of RealTracks Set 278: Shiny Vocal Oohs & Aahs here.

This RealTracks Set is available for just $29, and is also included in RealPAK 14: Country, and the Band-in-a-Box® UltraPAK, Audiophile, or 2018 PlusPAK Upgrade.

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