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#352803 - 06/04/16 07:50 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: dga]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 12614
Loc: Australia
It's in the \bb folder and is called "Band-in-a-Box 2016 Manual.pdf"

In Window 7, there is a shortcut to the manual under the Start Menu and 'Band In A Box' folder.
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#352809 - 06/04/16 08:19 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: VideoTrack]
Larry Kehl Offline
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Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 2020
Loc: New Mexico
Are we stirring the pot a little early this year? wink

Larry
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#352815 - 06/04/16 09:03 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: Larry Kehl]
VideoTrack Online   content
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Registered: 06/05/12
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Originally Posted By: Larry Kehl
Are we stirring the pot a little early this year? wink

Larry

Well, no good waiting until December. Maybe I was a little too subtle? wink
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#352847 - 06/05/16 07:38 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: dga]
Lee Batchelor Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 145
I agree, DGA. There are two fundamental requirements of good documentation:

* The information must be usable (Written to the correct audience, understandable, and usable by all.)
* Retrievable (Can users find the information?)

Technical writing is probably the lowest priority in any company budget. It takes a lot of convincing to show management that their developers' time is better spent, well, "developing" not answering questions that a well written manual should address. I believe the philosophy is, "We have a computer and a word processor. We can write our own manuals." Nothing could be further from the truth. A computer and word processor are merely tools. If I own $50,000 in cabinet making tools, does it automatically mean can I build fine walnut furniture?

I'm drifting from the original topic, but there seems to be a legitimate concern about the documentation. I will finish by saying, when you let developers write the manuals, you have made a fundamental error--that is, the users' schemata (how they commonly process information) often doesn't match that of the developers'. To write programs and code takes an advanced and logical mind set. Most users do not come close to that type of schemata, hence, anything the developer documents is likely to be totally misunderstood. For the life of me, I can't find my way around LinkedIn and Facebook. My navigational schemata just won't permit it. What does this mean? The folks who built those sites think one way, and I think another. Are they wrong? No, just different. However, their developers have missed the mark. The younger generation usually have no issue with those two sites. I'm 63 years old, which means I was weaned with a slide rule, not a Pentium IV!

I'm not putting in a plug for my skills, however, if Peter is interested (and for the benefit of all) I would be more than happy to perform a usability analysis of the documentation, starting with the online PDF manual. Such a study involves a usability chart developed by my colleague at IBM. It provides a quantitative assessment of "how ready" the document is for release. It also points out specific areas that need to be fixed.
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"If everyone played a musical instrument, we wouldn't need police officers or armies." Lee B.

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#352848 - 06/05/16 08:19 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: Lee Batchelor]
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5472
Loc: Chicago
Originally Posted By: Lee Batchelor

I'm drifting from the original topic,

I'm 63 years old, which means I was weaned with a slide rule, not a Pentium IV!



OK with me to drift abit. This slide rule comment caught my attention.

You and me are the same age, but besides seeing my Dad with his Slide Rule I never actually used one. High School was a blur and I went to college in my mid 20's. But by then the first wave of calculators was becoming available and I quickly latched on. By my first year in Grad School I had a Commodore 64 which I was writing code to do linear regressions and charting. Can honestly say I have not seen a slide rule since it was in the hands of my Dad who is long passed away - by the way he was an IBM Service Engineer. I wonder what ever happened to that?

Ok, back to topic now. grin
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#352850 - 06/05/16 09:01 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: MusicStudent]
Lee Batchelor Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 145
Interesting stuff, Jazzmandan.

By the time I studied at Western (London, ON), I owned a four function calculator with AC adaptor, from Radio Shack. Price - $179.95. It nearly broke my parents. Today, the same unit is basically free.

Sorry about your dad. Mine is gone too (1994).
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Gear: Tyros 5, MOX8, SoundCraft EFX12 mixer, two Bose L1 Compacts, Yamaha HS-8 monitors, BIAB 2016 UltraPlusPAK, Cubase 8, Steinberg UR-44 interface.

"If everyone played a musical instrument, we wouldn't need police officers or armies." Lee B.

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#352870 - 06/05/16 11:27 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: Lee Batchelor]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3459
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Multiple forum members have technical writing experience. A few years ago a discussion began about how useful the Band-in-a-Box user manual is and the consensus was it could be much better. A few members volunteered to assist in revising the manual but PG Music never responded.
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2018 BiaB (512) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
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#352883 - 06/05/16 12:53 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: Jim Fogle]
Lee Batchelor Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 145
Good to know, Jim. I figured I couldn't be the only TW here smile.

I wonder why Peter and the team would turn down such a generous offer. Perhaps he would prefer to pay us each $65 per hour (LOL). I'm game...anyone else? I could use the folding money.
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Gear: Tyros 5, MOX8, SoundCraft EFX12 mixer, two Bose L1 Compacts, Yamaha HS-8 monitors, BIAB 2016 UltraPlusPAK, Cubase 8, Steinberg UR-44 interface.

"If everyone played a musical instrument, we wouldn't need police officers or armies." Lee B.

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#352915 - 06/05/16 06:47 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: Lee Batchelor]
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3459
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Perhaps PG Music has decided to concentrate on video tutorials more than written documentation. PG Music released many 3 to 5 minute tutorial videos over the last few years and they seem to be very popular.

Another thought is perhaps forum help would come too late. I've noticed PG Music updates both the help file and pdf documentation with almost every release.
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2018 BiaB (512) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB HDD
Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#352951 - 06/06/16 05:04 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: Jim Fogle]
Lee Batchelor Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 145
Good point about the video tutorials, Jim. I like them too, but as someone mentioned earlier, if the videos are shot with earlier BIAB versions, they may not be as effective. Updating the hardcopy manual and PDF manual doesn't quite wash with me when the same writing errors are made. For example:

* Writing in the future tense
* Misplaced modifiers that cause confusion
* Using condescending words such as simply or easily
* Lack of white space
* Ragged left margins
* No style guide used
* Lack of consistent terminology
* In the hardcopy manual, delete Chapter 3. It talks about all the new features of BIAB 2016. These need to be integrated with the manual in the correct places. Instead, to list all the new 2016 features, issue an online Release Manual, which I believe they did.
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Gear: Tyros 5, MOX8, SoundCraft EFX12 mixer, two Bose L1 Compacts, Yamaha HS-8 monitors, BIAB 2016 UltraPlusPAK, Cubase 8, Steinberg UR-44 interface.

"If everyone played a musical instrument, we wouldn't need police officers or armies." Lee B.

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#352953 - 06/06/16 05:29 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: Lee Batchelor]
VideoTrack Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 7745
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Lee Batchelor
Good point about the video tutorials, Jim. I like them too, but as someone mentioned earlier, if the videos are shot with earlier BIAB versions, they may not be as effective. Updating the hardcopy manual and PDF manual doesn't quite wash with me when the same writing errors are made. For example:

* Writing in the future tense
* Misplaced modifiers that cause confusion
* Using condescending words such as simply or easily
* Lack of white space
* Ragged left margins
* No style guide used
* Lack of consistent terminology
* In the hardcopy manual, delete Chapter 3. It talks about all the new features of BIAB 2016. These need to be integrated with the manual in the correct places. Instead, to list all the new 2016 features, issue an online Release Manual, which I believe they did.



All very valid points Lee.

Actually, I think the PGM team do an extraordinary job of producing all of the documentation, help files, videos, manuals and release notes. That's not to say that these could not be improved, but I understand that the effort that goes into these is very, very significant.

I can usually find what I need in the Help or PDF. Incidentally, when used properly, Windows Help is very very versatile. I know a Non-Linear Video Editing company that refused to update their integrated help, instead only developing a PDF manual. The search-ability became next to useless unless you knew exactly the term you were looking for, where Windows Help provides intelligent guesses on other forms of the selected search phrases.


Maybe you could offer your expert services for the 2017 release? It will require a major amendment to all of the User Interface displays....
(whoops, I did it again) whistle

Trevor
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#352956 - 06/06/16 05:45 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: dga]
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 5472
Loc: Chicago
Reminds me of a band I was once in - "Misplaced modifiers and the Dangling Participles".

Only played one gig, no one seemed to understand us. grin
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#352961 - 06/06/16 08:52 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: MusicStudent]
Lee Batchelor Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 145
Good one Jazzmandan!

Trevor, I agree. There was a lot of effort put into the help documentation. We're lucky Peter and his team spent the time to give us the information. A lot of companies just leave you to figure things out by inspection.

It's been my experience that documentation can always be improved, even when written by professionals. When I write a document, I leave it for a day or two, and then go back and review it. My first comment is invariably, "I need to thoroughly review this document for minor errors."

I'd be happy to collaborate with the other TWs in this forum when it's time to write the new PDF manual. The first priority is to develop a style guide. The Microsoft Manual of Style, Fourth Edition is a good reference when documenting the Graphical User Interface (GUI).

I'd even wager, we could reduce the hardcopy manual by several pages, just by changing the future tense to the present tense!


Edited by Lee Batchelor (06/06/16 08:55 AM)
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Gear: Tyros 5, MOX8, SoundCraft EFX12 mixer, two Bose L1 Compacts, Yamaha HS-8 monitors, BIAB 2016 UltraPlusPAK, Cubase 8, Steinberg UR-44 interface.

"If everyone played a musical instrument, we wouldn't need police officers or armies." Lee B.

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#352979 - 06/06/16 01:43 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: Lee Batchelor]
GHinCH Offline
Expert

Registered: 01/08/10
Posts: 1486
Loc: Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
The manual could be improved, yes, especially when the questions asked in this forum together with the forum members' solutions find the way into a new manual.
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#354545 - 06/20/16 04:39 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: dga]
DEddy Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/10/14
Posts: 683
Loc: Canada
I'm so fed up with the OUTDATED help menu. I've complained for years but it's still the same ... cluttered ...

The next time I upgrade BIAB is when a "new" "revised" Help menu is done.

Signed Frustrated.

DE
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PG Music News
Beginners Help - Muting the Melody Notation

Visit our Beginners Forum, and you'll notice our amazing Forum Community helping out new program users!

Like this recent post regarding Muting the Melody Notation: http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=458716 - Forum user Matt Finley did a great job of answering the new program user!

Our Beginners Forum really is a great resource for new program users!

Q: When I have entered chords and notation for a song, is it possible to mute the notation and just have the chords playing? This would be helpful for when I just want the chord backing track but want to read the notation.

A: There are several ways to do this. The easiest is probably to use the Mixer window and change the volume slider to zero for the Melody track. Or, hit the Mute icon on the Mixer for the Melody Track.

Another way, with more control rather than all or nothing, is to press F5 at the measure where you want to mute, and select mute or change the volume to zero. Later, press F5 and select Return to Normal, or change the volume back.

Introducing... RealTracks Artists David Wise & Shelly Justice!

For the first time ever Band-in-a-Box® can generate backing vocals with some amazing "oohs" and "aahs" vocal arrangements with RealTrack Set 278: Shiny Vocals Oohs and Aahs! Add male or female parts by renowned Nashville vocalists David Wise and Shelly Justice, and you'll LOVE the results!

David and Shelly have recorded with many different artists, including CeCe Winans, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Donnie McClurkin, Jeremy Camp, Lady Antebellum, OneRepublic, Steve Green, and more!

RealTrack Set 278: Shiny Vocals Oohs and Aahs includes a three-part, six-voice arrangement – which you can use all together in your song or individually for more delicate textures! Listen to the demos for RealTracks Set 278 here.

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.

Learn more about Dave & Shelly when you visit their RealTracks Artist Bio page:
David Wise: http://www.pgmusic.com/realtracks.artists.php?a=150
Shelly Justice: http://www.pgmusic.com/realtracks.artists.php?a=151

#TechTipTuesday - Band-in-a-Box® Patch Updates

If you're ever experiencing an issue with your Band-in-a-Box program, make sure you have the most recent patch update for your version - this can be done at http://www.pgmusic.com/support.updates.win.htm.

Patch updates are released frequently, and are created by our development team to fix any reported bugs, tweak existing features within the program, update demos and other files as needed, and more!

To find out which version of the program you have, visit Help | About Band-in-a-Box within the program. You will see the full version number listing as:
Band-in-a-Box® for Windows
Version 2018 (512)

The number in parentheses is the build number. As you can see, my Band-in-a-Box is up to date and will continue to stay that way because I've selected "Automatically check for updates every 7 days" within the Help | Check for Updates.... option (you can set the number of days to a different number). This window will also look to see if you're version is up to date, so you don't technically have to visit http://www.pgmusic.com/support.updates.win.htm if you didn't want to!

Once you've installed your patch update (make sure the program is closed when you're doing this), give it another try - if you are still experiencing the same issue you can report it by contacting us directly, or you can post your result to the Forum thread that also announces the patch update, like our recent Band-in-a-Box 2018 Build 512 Update (Feb 15) post.

YouTube Find - How To Play SLOW A7 BLUES Guitar Solo With 4 NOTES

Check out one of EricBlackmonGuitar's latest videos, How To Play SLOW A7 BLUES Guitar Solo With 4 NOTES and you'll hear a great Band-in-a-Box backing track!

http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=blJPIX-9YbE

...and you'll also learn how to play blues with just a few notes!

A Little Bit Of Me Music Video!

A great music video created by forum user Floyd Jane! https://youtu.be/qPrejgnwb4M?t=3600

This song was featured in a detailed "The Birth of a Song" video created by Floyd Jane - watch the complete video here:
http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=qPrejgnwb4M

RealBand 2018 Build 5 Update Available!

RealBand 2018 customers can download the latest free patch update here: http://www.pgmusic.com/support.realband.htm#2018_5

Summary of Changes for Build 5
Added: When generating the input file for saving as an MGU/SGU SongMode128= is saved to the input file.
Added: Localization support for 2018.
Added: flyby hints to new dialogs.
Fixed: Save As with a filename greater than 128 chars could cause an error 123 plus access violation.
Fixed: Rebooting RealBand after a filename with 128 chars was saved could cause an access violation.
Fixed: Pressing the Change button in the Event List Window could result in an access violation if an event was not a Note event.
Fixed: When running in Win 10, and using BBW or PT to generate audio harmonies, an error would occur saying that you need BB 2011 or PT 12 to generate audio harmonies.
Fixed: Midi Thru Method was not being saved to the .INI file. It always reverting to Track-Specific when booting up RealBand, even if the user manually changed the setting to Global in the Midi Thru Settings dialog.
Fixed: Delete All Notes on This Peg menu item in notation window right-click menu was missing.
Fixed: Potential crash on exit (having to do with the DLL attempting to free up a dynamic array that was passed to it).

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Build 512 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows customers can download the latest free patch update here: www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm#512

Summary of changes for Build 512 since 510 (Feb 15 2018):
Fixed: "Load SoundTrack Song" and "Load song with RealDrums Audio" buttons in the Sound Track dialog were not working.
Fixed: After returning Band-in-a-Box to factory settings the File Open dialog would default to the bb\Data\Lib directory.
Fixed: Choosing a custom chord sheet font would ignore any color choice made in the font selection dialog.
Fixed: Drum names were sometimes truncated in the RealDrums MultiDrums and Quicklist dialogs.
Fixed: Exporting a MIDI file might cause the error, "MIDIConv.exe no found".
Fixed: Mixer changes were not undoable, and would not cause user to be prompted to save their song when exiting.
Fixed: Static in RT2438 and other various RealTracks fixes.
Fixed: StylePicker database various updates. Some styles were displaying the wrong feel (swing/even) in notation. A few styles incorrectly showed missing Drums.
Fixed: The audio latency setting would increase every time leaving the Windows Audio Devices dialog.
Fixed: The Download Manager folder name defaulted to 2016 instead of 2018.
Updated: Help file.

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