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#427333 - 08/23/17 09:24 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments
cooltouch Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 186
Loc: Houston, Texas
This is really annoying, but if it isn't a bug, I'd like to know what I'm supposed to do to keep it from happening.

The problem has manifested itself in two different ways so far:

1, it just totally forgets the instrument and drops playback, so I'm getting no sound at all. This version also tends to be progressive. The longer I maintain a session when this begins to occur, the more instruments it forgets. If I exit the program and restart it, it will be back to normal . . . for a while. I've had it reappear as soon as a few minutes after restarting. I will say this, however -- I haven't had the problem recently. So maybe the latest patch I received fixed it. I hope.

2. This started happening today. I've never noticed it before because I've never used the function before today. When I use the Melodist to generate a tune -- everything -- chords, melody, the whole enchilada -- the melody instrument doesn't get played. Instead BiaB reverts to acoustic piano. What's curious is, the first couple of times I had it generate a tune, it played the correct instrument. But the last several times I've tried it, it only plays the piano for the melody instrument. It's not showing "piano" as the melody instrument, though. It shows the correct one, and the VU meter works like it's supposed to. Just piano sounds instead of guitar or sax or whatever. I even tried saving a few of these tunes, then loading them back in. Nope, still plays the piano -- even though it's showing a guitar or sax or whatever in the Mixer. I even tried shutting BiaB down, then rebooting it and reloading one of the tunes I saved. Nope, still the piano.

This is only mildly annoying, since this is the first time I've ever used the Melodist, and I honestly don't know how much of a habit I'll be making of using it. But still, it's clearly not doing what it's supposed to. So I thought I'd ask about it here and see if anyone else has run into this.

It just occurred to me to run one of my other tunes in BiaB, then try Melodist again, see if it might unstick things. But it has frozen up solid, and so far, not even Windows Task Manager will shut it down. Wonderful. I'm probably gonna have to shut my computer down with the power switch. Just blankety-blank wonderful.

UPDATE:
Well, I touched my wooden desk and powered down my PC, and sure enough, I had to shut it down using the power button. But I dodged the bullet this time. Everything came back up. First thing I did was boot BiaB and call up one of the tunes that is playing the piano instead of the correct instrument. And, sure enough, now the correct instrument is being played. Well, I dunno what put BiaB in such a foul mood, but I hope it doesn't happen again.




Edited by cooltouch (08/23/17 09:40 PM)
_________________________
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Michael

My Music:
https://soundcloud.com/michaelmcbroom/albums

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#427345 - 08/23/17 10:36 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
Matt Finley Online   content
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16857
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Step one, whenever BIAB starts doing something you know is wrong, is Options, Return to Factory Settings. Try that and see what happens.

Step two, if it keeps happening, tell us more. PC version, we assume. What are you using for a sound card? What is your single core Geekbench score? What has recently changed on your computer? What else have you tried?
_________________________
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#427380 - 08/24/17 07:30 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10598
Loc: Hamlin NY
In addition to Matt's excellent advise I would add step 1.5 and that would be to scan your computer for viruses and malware. If you don't have an anti-malware software get the free anti-malwarebytes:

https://www.malwarebytes.com/

good luck.
_________________________
Yesterday I walked into a room and remembered why I was there! It was the bathroom!

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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#427381 - 08/24/17 07:30 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
cooltouch Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 186
Loc: Houston, Texas
Before I do any of the steps you've outlined, I think I should also mention this. BiaB seems to be very sensitive to other things going on with this machine while it is active. There is another thread here about a sound anomaly a guy is having and somebody recommended a Belarc utility (Advisor?) to determine his system's layout. Well, I thought, I need one of those, so I followed the link provided and d/l'd the utility, installed it, and ran it. Interestingly enough, it hung at 66% analyzing my machine. It was while this was going on that BiaB began acting up. I suspect that the Belarc utility hanging was also why BiaB hung during its shutdown. I could get neither application to close, even using Window's Task Manager, so I had to do a cold boot.

After rebooting the machine, I was curious if the Belarc utility would finally complete its analysis, so I ran it again. And it hung again at 66%. I immediately tried shutting it down with the Task Manager, and this time I was able to get it to go away. I then uninstalled it. Sorry, Belarc.

After all that I rebooted BiaB and it functioned normally. Even the files I'd saved that previously were playing the piano instead of the correct instrument were now playing the correct instrument. But! It started reverting to piano again because -- I think! -- of another process that was happening while it was resident. I'm trying to think exactly what it was. I think it might have been that I had Notion (a notation based sequencer of sorts by Presonus) resident at the time and that I might have played an application I was working on? I don't recall specifically now. It was very late and I'd stayed up way past my bedtime, so events are a bit foggy to me this morning. If I recall more specifics later, I'll add to this.

Mario, I do have virus and malware software. I use MS's Security Essentials and, in fact, I have Malwarebytes installed on this machine. Security Essentials is always resident and does a system check periodically. The copy of Malwarebytes I have is the free version, so it doesn't monitor things. But I just ran a scan of the system a couple days ago. Maybe I should again. Here goes. We'll see if it catches anything. And . . . no threats. Good.


Edited by cooltouch (08/24/17 07:36 AM)
_________________________
Best,
Michael

My Music:
https://soundcloud.com/michaelmcbroom/albums

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#427386 - 08/24/17 08:10 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
jford Offline
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Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10186
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
Interesting, I run Belarc (but really to tell my my computer configuration and security posture), and in a decade of using it have never had it hang on me...it always finished, and then displays a web page with the result.

Clearly something is going on with your computer. Have you tried running either the Windows Task Manager or Process Explorer to see what might be taking up computer resources when you have problems? There could be something running in the background, or a flaky network connection, or a hard drive going bad, or a bad USB connection that hangs when it's polled, or any number of things.

Also, do you run BIAB as administrator? That has often helped with a number of problems.
_________________________
John

HP Win10Pro-64, 8GB
ASUS Win10Pro-64, 16GB
HP Win7Pro-64, 8GB

H/W-Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD, Casio Kbds
S/W-BB/RB2018/Sonar/Reaper/Studio One/Samplitude/MixBus/Notion/Finale/Noteworthy/NI Komplete/Halion/Garritan/IK
Web-http://www.sus4chord.com

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#427398 - 08/24/17 09:02 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
MarioD Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 10598
Loc: Hamlin NY
Originally Posted By: cooltouch
....................
Mario, I do have virus and malware software. I use MS's Security Essentials and, in fact, I have Malwarebytes installed on this machine. Security Essentials is always resident and does a system check periodically. The copy of Malwarebytes I have is the free version, so it doesn't monitor things. But I just ran a scan of the system a couple days ago. Maybe I should again. Here goes. We'll see if it catches anything. And . . . no threats. Good.


Excellent. I posted this as this is one of the first things I do if I have problems. Am glad that my post was unnecessary.
_________________________
Yesterday I walked into a room and remembered why I was there! It was the bathroom!

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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#427399 - 08/24/17 09:45 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
Matt Finley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16857
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
You can safely run Return to Factory Settings. It will ask you to save first (assuming you have 2016 or 2017).

Process Monitor as mentioned by John should reveal what program, service or utility is causing trouble. Again, this is harmless.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#427415 - 08/24/17 12:48 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 12628
Loc: Australia
I've never had Belarc play up on me and I've been using it for a few years too.

My impression is that this is probably a computer problem rather than one that's specific to BIAB.

I cannot recall accurately but a few years ago I used the free version of the Malwarebytes program and it did load some memory resident files that kept a watch on my system. This caused me some grief. Since then I stopped the program loading when Windows boots and just run it every few months.

If you have the antimalware program loading when Windows boots, I suggest that you try removing that and seeing what happens.

Also, have you tried right-clicking on the BIAB shortcut and selecting "Run as administrator" to see if that makes a difference?
_________________________
LINKS TO MY BIAB/RB SONGS


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#427450 - 08/24/17 10:20 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
cooltouch Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 186
Loc: Houston, Texas
Well, I went ahead and d/l'd Process Explorer. I dunno what I'm supposed to see when looking at it. To me, it just looks like an improved, colorized version of the Processes tab in Windows Task Manager.

I thought some about all that you guys posted. And I'm not really convinced it's a computer related problem. I should explain. This machine has only been up and running since December of last year, and it has gotten very little use in the intervening months. It suffered a catastrophic hard drive crash a while back, so I had to replace the disk and reinstall the OS -- which is 64-bit Win7 Ultimate with SP1 installed. I haven't installed much of anything on this machine so far. A few utilities, some music applications (in addition to BiaB and RealBand, I have Sonar, Notion, which is a notation-based sequencer of sorts, and Studio One 3), Corel's Paint Shop Pro, and Open Office. And that's pretty much it. Oh, well, I guess I have to include my browser also.

So the machine is almost a clean slate and that's why I don't think it's a computer related problem. I'm not having any issues with any of the other programs I'm running, and I suspect if it were hardware or the OS, the problem would be affecting other software packages I have installed.

No, I still suspect that BiaB is actually sensitive to other activities that are going on around it. I made mention of that in my last post. So what I did was this: I loaded up my browser with a tab open to Netflix and to a show on Netflix, which I paused. And I opened Notion up to a rather large project I'm working on (translating Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.3 over from the sheet music into a native Notion file -- it's 10 parts, 187 measures in length). I played through about half the concerto, then paused Notion. Then, deciding to try John's idea to run BiaB as administrator, I went ahead and booted BiaB that way. Not that I needed to. I'm the only one who uses this machine. I am God to this machine, so I had dang well better be its administrator! But yes, I've made the point of setting myself up as the Admin.

First thing I did was call up a few of the Melodist-created files I'd saved and see if they would play the instruments I selected or the piano. Hah! Piano! I then went ahead and had the Melodist generate several tunes, both chords and melody. Every single time, it played piano sounds, regardless of the type of instrument I selected. So then, I shut down everything, except this browser, but I did close the Netscape tab. I then rebooted BiaB -- but I didn't bother booting it as Admin -- pretty much for the reasons I'd outlined above. Then I had it generate tunes, both chords and melody. And it was back to behaving normally. I had it generate about a half-dozen different tunes, selecting various styles and instruments. Every time, the instrument I selected was the one that got played.

So this quick and dirty little bit of empiricism told me that, indeed, BiaB is sensitive to the behavior, wants, and needs of programs that it has to share CPU cycles -- and sound devices -- with.

You know, BiaB is sensitive to other things going on within my computers like no other program I've ever used. None of the other music production tools I own are anywhere nearly as sensitive as BiaB. I mean BiaB produces all sorts of pops and crackles and warbles if I just look at it funny. Okay that's an exaggeration, but not much of one, really. So anyway, given BiaB's sensitivity to its environment, I'm not surprised that, if there's a lot of stuff going on where other apps are having to duke it out over cpu cycles, BiaB gets left out, and the left-overs.

Knowing this is helpful, though. I've just got to be cognizant of the fact that BiaB pretty much wants to be the only app having anything at all to do with sound production when its resident. And I can live with that. It's the not knowing that makes me kinda crazy.
_________________________
Best,
Michael

My Music:
https://soundcloud.com/michaelmcbroom/albums

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#427452 - 08/24/17 10:43 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
Matt Finley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16857
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Originally Posted By: cooltouch
So the machine is almost a clean slate and that's why I don't think it's a computer related problem. I'm not having any issues with any of the other programs I'm running, and I suspect if it were hardware or the OS, the problem would be affecting other software packages I have installed.

Not necessarily.

Did you build this computer and load all the software yourself? If not, you may have a ton of junk software running. That's what Process Monitor would show. You should have 99% CPU free on Background before you load BIAB.

BIAB is one of the most computer-intensive programs you can buy. It demands much more than SONAR does on my machine, for example.
_________________________
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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#427455 - 08/25/17 12:23 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 12628
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: Cooltouch
Then, deciding to try John's idea to run BiaB as administrator, I went ahead and booted BiaB that way. Not that I needed to. I'm the only one who uses this machine. I am God to this machine, so I had dang well better be its administrator! But yes, I've made the point of setting myself up as the Admin.


Michael,

Even though you are the computer's administrator, full administrator privileges are not automatic with a standard log-in. That's why the "Run as administrator" option is there.... by selecting it, it opens other doors.

A user account that is not setup with administrator privileges can never use "Run as administrator". (That's how I understand it, at least.)

Regards,
Noel
_________________________
LINKS TO MY BIAB/RB SONGS


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#427500 - 08/25/17 07:32 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
jford Offline
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Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 10186
Loc: Pensacola, Florida
A couple of things. Being the administrator of the machine is different than running an application as administrator. BIAB often calls on other supporting programs and not running as administrator can sometimes affect/disallow that. It doesn't matter that YOU are the machine administrator; it's a matter of what the program itself is allows to do administratively.

You mentioned your hard drive crashed. One thing you might want to look at is whether you are running your new computer hard drive as IDE or AHCI mode. You get better performance in AHCI mode. You can switch without re-installing Windows, but you have to do it carefully. Click on the link for a how-to-guide.

And I assume you have done so, but look carefully at the "instrument" selection on the Melodist screen to make sure that a default instrument isn't what is messing you up. Just a thought.
_________________________
John

HP Win10Pro-64, 8GB
ASUS Win10Pro-64, 16GB
HP Win7Pro-64, 8GB

H/W-Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD, Casio Kbds
S/W-BB/RB2018/Sonar/Reaper/Studio One/Samplitude/MixBus/Notion/Finale/Noteworthy/NI Komplete/Halion/Garritan/IK
Web-http://www.sus4chord.com

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#427508 - 08/25/17 08:34 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
cooltouch Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 186
Loc: Houston, Texas
Matt, yes, I built the computer. I've been building my own computers since 1992. The only software that goes on this machine is software that I want to go on the machine. And that includes a few utilities that come with the motherboard.

You wrote, "BIAB is one of the most computer-intensive programs you can buy. It demands much more than SONAR does on my machine, for example."

Huh, I would have thought that Sonar was more intensive, considering its capabilities. But that does explain a lot.

Noel, honestly I don't recall if I've done it yet on this machine, but what I usually do after I've set myself up as admin, is to go into the privileges and make sure every box is checked for both myself and admin. Typically, there's one box that isn't checked. I make sure I have full and complete access, even to the point of being able to access hidden files and directories.

John, point taken. And yes, this is a new SATA drive and it is running in AHCI mode. When you state, " . . . look carefully at the "instrument" selection on the Melodist screen to make sure that a default instrument isn't what is messing you up," I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this. Sometimes I'll go with the default instrument, and sometimes I'll change it to one I prefer. I don't see an option for selecting the "good" midi instruments, though. This is another thing I've run into. Sometimes when I select a different instrument (from the mixer), it doesn't play that instrument and instead continues with the original one. I'll usually do this to select one of the "good" midi instruments instead of the default GM stuff.

One thing I forgot to mention: this machine is my DAW and it's always been my DAW, so I try not to load too much stuff on it that isn't directly related to music production. I'm also a writer, which is why I have Open Office on this machine. My writing is not at all intrusive, though, so I'm not too worried about having word processing software installed on this machine.

Some folks are real purists when it comes to their DAWs. Some won't even have their machines hooked up to the internet. In this day and age, though, I don't think that's practical. BiaB has notified me a few times, when I boot it, that a patch or update is available, which I can then install. I consider this sort of thing to be handy, and one reason why I prefer to have internet access. Also, when/if I get stuck with a piece of music software, it's so much easier to access helpful resources with this machine than having to go grab my laptop, just so I can access these resources.



Edited by cooltouch (08/25/17 08:49 AM)
_________________________
Best,
Michael

My Music:
https://soundcloud.com/michaelmcbroom/albums

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#427530 - 08/25/17 11:08 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Bug? BiaB 2017 Forgets Instruments [Re: cooltouch]
Matt Finley Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 16857
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Michael, thanks for this info. Sounds good. I've built all my own PCs since 1983, so welcome to that small club.

SONAR puts a pretty constant load on my CPU; exporting a mix down can shoot things up, and adding third party plugins wrong can send it into destruction. But BIAB puts an incredible brief stress on the hard drive loading RealTracks, then a high load on the CPU uncompressing the files and regenerating the song. It's over quickly, since playback is relatively low demand, but for a short time there, you need lots of power. There are a few speed-up options in Options, Preferences, RealTracks that I turn off even with my i7.

I think what you describe with some writing software and being connected to the Internet is normal. With Malwarebytes Pro and Windows Defender, I do the same without problems.

Just to be clear, John is correctly saying to go into Windows, show the list of files, and "run BBW.EXE as Administrator" and do the same for any other programs connected to running BIAB in your configuration (for example, Sampletank).
_________________________
BIAB 2018 PC Audiophile; [& 2017 Mac]. Software: Mixcraft, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb RAM; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & 6" monitors.

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