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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: 13051
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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Posts: 2049
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 Offline
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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
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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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#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: 5483
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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"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
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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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#352883 - 06/05/16 12:53 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: StyleMaker Question [Re: Jim Fogle]
Lee Batchelor Offline
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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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"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: 3718
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 (516) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
Cakewalk by Bandlab - 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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"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 Offline
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 8052
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: 5483
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.

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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: 689
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
New! Video RealTracks for Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac!

NEW with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac - Video RealTracks Sets!

Video RealTracks allow you to see the RealTracks artist playing that track - you can use them just like any other RealTrack, and you can generate a video which will display the musician playing your song exactly as you hear it. You can also include a chord sheet or notation in the video.

We've added Video RealTracks Set 1: Pop Ballad Band to our Free Bonus PAK included in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac packages during our release special (which ends May 31st!).
Video RealTracks Set 2: Country TrainBeat Band is included in the 2018 49-PAK, along with 40 Bonus UNRELEASED RealTracks, 22 MIDI SuperTracks, 101 Instrumental Studies, and Artist Performance Set 8: Traditional Songs Sung by Béatrix Méthé.

SPECIAL OFFER: During our Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac release special, purchase our "Video RealTracks Set 3-6 Special Bundle Offer" to complete your purchase with the remaining Video RealTracks Sets for the low price of just $49! http://www.pgmusic.com/bbmac.videorealtracks.htm

Learn more about the new Video RealTracks and see them in action: http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=fzkX6jO_hW4

Video - 202 NEW RealTracks for Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac!

With the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac we also released 202 NEW RealTracks (in Sets 278-300)!

Listen to all the individual demos here: www.pgmusic.com/bbmac.202newrealtracks.htm, or watch our Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac - 202 New RealTracks Overview Video: http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=7ZrfGSqjaOU

Get all 202 new RealTracks when you purchase any Band-in-a-Box® 2018 UltraPAK, Audiophile Edition, or the PlusPAK upgrade - on sale until May 31st!

Holiday Hours - Monday, May 21st

We're celebrating Victoria Day on Monday, May 21st. Our hours for the long weekend will be:

Customer Service:
Saturday, May 19: 7:00am - 5:00pm PST
Sunday, May 20: 8:00am - 4:00pm PST
Monday, May 21: 8:00am - 4:00pm PST

Technical Support:
Closed (will re-open Tues, May 22 at 10am PST)

Video - The Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac boasts over 50 new features and enhancements... including the Build-in Audio Chord Wizard!

The Audio Chord Wizard has been redesigned and is now built into Band-in-a-Box®. Previously, the Audio Chord Wizard was a separate app and not tightly integrated into Band-in-a-Box®. This app is still available from the [Audio Chord Wizard] toolbar button, but the improved built-in Audio Chord Wizard can be accessed from the Audio Edit window.

Watch our latest video to learn more: Video link - Audio Chord Wizard in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac

Video - Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac - Everything You Need to Know in Under 5 Minutes!

Want to quickly see the new features included in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac in action?

Check out this video, Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac® ! Everything you need to know in under 5 minutes*: http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=XSSQpijRyxk

*The video includes an extra 2 minutes for the 49-PAK! The first 5 minutes show you all of the great new features and content available with Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac®, and it's followed by additional video showing off the 2018 49-PAK for Mac.

Xtra Styles PAKs are ON SALE until May 31st!

Xtra Styles PAK 4 was initially released with our Windows version of Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows, and with the release of our Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac, we're having a sale!

Xtra Styles PAK 4 has over 150 RealStyles for Rock-Pop, Jazz, Country, and 'Folk and Beyond' styles, which work with the RealTracks included in any Band-in-a-Box® version 2017 or higher UltraPAK/UltraPlusPAK, EverythingPAK, or Audiophile Edition!

We've put all of our Xtra Styles PAKs on SALE until May 31st! Purchase any Xtra Styles PAK (1 - 4) for just $29 each! (reg. $49) http://www.pgmusic.com/xtrastyles.php?os=mac

Listen to all the demos of these new Xtra Styles here, or check out this video: http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=Zl_wr47d2V0

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac - 45 Requests Fulfilled!

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac is here, and there's more than 80 new features! We've answered some user requests with this release, including:

Q. I am learning guitar. The RealTracks are very helpful in that I can hear great guitar players, and most of the tracks have tab and notation as well. But there is much more to guitar, could you include some videos of some of the RealTracks Artists? Because I would learn much more from seeing a guitarist than just hearing them.

A. We have a major new feature called "Video RealTracks." These work and sound like RealTracks, but you get to see a video of the Guitarist (or whatever instrument) playing as well. The amazing thing is that this works with any chord progression you type in. So, if you want to learn to play like the great guitarist Brent Mason, for example, you can type in chords to any progression you are interested in, and then hear and see a video of Brent soloing over your progression. Now you can learn much quicker, as it helps to see how a musician is performing, as well as to hear.

Q. I use the feature to make a video of the chord sheet from a Band-in-a-Box song. I use it to make backing tracks and upload them to YouTube. But these don't include any notation for the melody and lyrics of my songs. My viewers would like to see the melody and lyrics too. Is there a way you can include the melody in the video? I've tried recording this with screen capture programs, but it's time consuming, recording in real time, and the audio quality and sync are not that good.

A. Yes, Band-in-a-Box 2018 can do this now. You can save your song as a video of the notation track. So that includes the notation, guitar tab, and lyrics. And saving the whole video and audio just takes a few seconds, much faster than real time recording. Just load in your song with chords, melody, lyrics, and/or guitar tab, and press Save-As Notation Video. Your song will be up on YouTube in no time!

Q. I am songwriter and uses Band-in-a-Box to make backing tracks for my productions. I'm starting to make videos and upload them to YouTube. Can Band-in-a-Box help with my production videos?

A. Band-in-a-Box 2018 can now make videos with Video RealTracks, of the musicians performing the RealTracks. And they are playing along to your song's chord progression. You can include these videos in your own song performance, which adds a nice visual element.

Q. I use the Audio Harmonies in Band-in-a-Box. But I find the harmonies simplistic, in that they are mainly using chord tones. The Band-in-a-Box MIDI harmonies are more sophisticated, using passing tones. Why can't my Audio Harmonies work like that?

A. We've added support for new types of Audio Harmonies in the Audio Edit Window. These do allow you to choose any Band-in-a-Box MIDI harmony that has passing tones or sophisticated jazz voicings (adding 4 parts to make a 5-part jazz voicing for example). Band-in-a-Box automatically figures out the MIDI version of your melody so it uses this to create the harmonies.

Q. The new toolbar is nice, but needs more color options. Too much grey! How about skins?

A. We've added support for skins, and you can choose color or grey scale options for toolbar, mixer etc.

And more!!!

All of the new features in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Mac can be reviewed at http://www.pgmusic.com/bbmac.new.htm

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