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#5553 - 06/03/08 05:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: Michael Khor]
guitarsonic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 34
Loc: Germany
>>umm, I think you missed my reference
>> ...I agree, there is significant room for improvement in the BIAB UI

yeah, right. sorry

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#5554 - 06/05/08 07:42 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: Michael Khor]
PeterGannon Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 13456
>>> one improvement could be greying out those options which are not possible in the current use case. i suspect that some crashes just result from not allowed operations.

For example?
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PG Music Inc.

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#5555 - 06/08/08 01:46 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: PeterGannon]
guitarsonic Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/10/08
Posts: 34
Loc: Germany
one which immediately comes into my mind is pressing the panic button during playback could lead to a crash.

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#5556 - 06/10/08 01:23 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: guitarsonic]
PeterGannon Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 13456
Greying out the panic button during playback??

That is when panic is used most, and it is definitely allowed during playback.
I have never seen the panic button crash BB or a PC. If it does, you deselect the menu option "Panic also resets DXi", because maybe your DXi/BB combination is crashing when reset.
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Peter Gannon
PG Music Inc.

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#5557 - 06/12/08 06:21 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: Michael Khor]
Robh Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
If they made no more upgrades for a while except more real tracks, a better way to enter notes, and lastly a 4 output midi port setup where you could use up to 4 synths, I would be happy a clam!
_________________________
Toshiba dual core Win 7 8 gig ram, BiaB, Realband, Studio one Professional, Melodyne, Gibson S-1, Carvin 980 Cobalt acoustic, Ovation legend 12 string, jazz bass clone, Fender Mustang III amp, Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL interface, TC Helicon voiceworks.

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#5558 - 01/01/09 02:31 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: Robh]
Scott Emery Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 30
Loc: Sandy, Oregon
To overcome the issue with so many different types of users, you generally spend a bit of time developing "user personas," which are generalized stand-ins for each type of user. "Jimmy Jukebox" uses the program differently than "Carl Composer," who is different than "Larry Longtime." You need to understand each user very well, and develop new functionality keeping each one in mind. Using this methodology, and a bit of lightweight usability testing, it is quite possible to develop a new user interface that meets user needs without alienating one segment or another.

The Development of RealBand is clearly designed to remove the "Carl Composer" from BiaB into a new area where this kind of user will be happier. That immensely simplifies the task of making BiaB work better for the rest of the users who aren't composers.

I still want to see that upgrade that Peter mentioned, the one where StylePicker gets a makeover. In my mind, StypePicker is the #1 issue with BiaB, and it will get more important as more Styles, RealTracks, and RealDrums are created.
_________________________
Scott Emery

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#5559 - 01/08/09 03:21 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: WienSam]
Chucko Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/08/09
Posts: 5
I tend to go in the other direction, which is to have floating windows, rather than everything inside the main window. I use Digital Performer on my mac, and it allows me both - tabbed and float. The only way to go (as far as I'm concerned) when using dual monitors.

Having said that, I think Bnb is functionally great as is. Anything that distracts the developers from "real" work, should be avoided. Spending time on UI candy should not take time from what Bnb is best known for.

Chuck


Edited by Chucko (01/08/09 04:48 PM)

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#5560 - 10/08/09 02:54 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: jford]
dementia13 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 17
Quote:

Quote:

what you don't need right now should not be visible




One of the problems with this is that many people use BIAB in different ways. So what you need right now is different that what I need right now. Someone who uses BIAB to compose will use a different set of tools than one who uses BIAB to gig live, which will be different from someone who is mainly into bringing in MIDI files to jam along to, which will be different from someone who uses BIAB as a somewhat limited, but useful recording studio. So what should be visible? If you polled folks, my guess is that the answer would be, well show me everything I (and that's I with a big capital letter) need. Might not be what you need.




Look at Photoshop. How many functions does that thing have? But its screen is not cluttered. They group related items into toolbars, which can be opened or closed at will either from a menu or by a key command. It's a very comfortable way to work. Logic Pro does many more things than BIAB does. It varies the screen so that you're not confronted with everything at once, but it still makes its numerous options quickly accessible. Hey, maybe some people do want everything visible- so allow customization. Like Photoshop, where you can dictate what toolbars are going to be open and where.

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#5561 - 10/30/09 09:49 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: dementia13]
CeeDee Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/29/08
Posts: 30
Loc: Weymouth, South Coast, England
I absolutely love all PG products and they are so reasonably priced. I suspect most of the money goes into improving the functionality of the product rather than the look.
I always have the feeling that BIAB is one of the musical world's best kept secrets and I think the GUI is partly responsible. Those who go for flashy looks may well be put off after just one glance and maybe longtime users like it that way, a bit like an old boys club.
However, I personally think it's time for a make-over, nothing too drastic, but something a little more sophisticated. Many softwares have user created 'skins' which are shared via the forums. Is BIAB not adaptable to that?
I hope so because I think that the wonderful contribution that the Gannon's have made to really authentic song-based music making needs to be known by all, right down to the hip-hoppers and the beat makers on the street, and these days - image counts!

Anyway, whatever happens with the GUI.... go you Gannon's, go!

CD
_________________________
Makin' it right, makin' it real!

http://www.reverbnation.com/chrisdavies

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#5562 - 11/02/09 04:37 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: CeeDee]
WienSam Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 4900
Loc: A corner of Vienna, Austria, t...
Quote:

BIAB is one of the musical world's best kept secrets




Shh! Didn't you know that already?
_________________________
Follow That Dream

Sam
Karaoke King

--------------------

Turning that corner again - I have to keep following that dream, no matter what

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#5563 - 11/06/09 12:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] very super low PC requirement [Re: WienSam]
Michael Khor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 60
Loc: Malaysia
One possible big reason for BIAB to keep its classic aka legacy looks could be the very super low PC requirement.
While BIAB web page mentioned a fairly up-to-date PC hardware required, the minimum OS preferred is Windows 98 on at least 256MB available RAM. This could limit the choice of programming tools to write BIAB.

IMHO there are hardly anyone still using 10 year old OS to run current new BIAB. Old CPU and bus speed would stutter just to play back melody.

I would suggest that for new release of BIAB, the minimum required is a 5 year old PC, i.e. XP and 512MB ( and the equivalent in Apple OS).

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#5564 - 11/06/09 08:08 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: guitarsonic]
DunedinDragon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 6
As a relatively new user of BIAB and as a retired Microsoft software development engineer and program manager, here's my $.02 on what BIAB needs to do.

The first problem goes deeper than the GUI and has been mentioned in several posts. BIAB is used for many different purposes. In many cases, like mine, it's used as a boot-up starter to get some tracks laid out and imported into a more advanced DAW where you can do what you need to with them and not have to deal with the inherent limitations of BIAB. Other people tend to use it as a learning tool, or as a back-up band for practicing...the list probably goes on.

In the world I come from we referred to these as 'user scenarios' and they can often be pretty diverse. I think I saw an earlier post that referred to different personalities, and I think that shows some promise. In other words, a way in which you could have presets (a term many recording musicians are familiar with) the arranges the interface so that the most used functions are easily available and arranged for quick use. Likewise, the ability to define these user interface presets would allow a user to customize the layout to their liking. The downside to this: Yet another level of complexity added to an already overly-complex program

That being said, I still have to say that BIAB's biggest issue is NOT the GUI, but it's inability to really define itself as a program so that it makes sense to the typical user. In trying to be everything to everybody it's become a jack of all trades and master of none. It doesn't help that BIAB uses it's own 'alien' vernacular that isn't even close to what musicians use in real life. Who refers to an entire song as a 'chorus?' We use the terms verse, chorus, bridge, intro, outtro or ending. In my opinion the most serious flaw in BIAB is not it's GUI, but it's SERIOUS deficiencies in arranging (in BIAB-speak = frame) a song. What makes this such a serious flaw is that arranging a song is the most important part of creating a song.

The only hope I see for this program to graduate into some form of professional tool is a serious reconstruction effort from the ground up. And for that, you have to start with a vision of what you want your end product to be. Is it a song construction program? Is it a live backup track player? Is it a learning tool? If you can't define the end game you can't get there.


Personally, I think BIAB needs to be a core set of functionality around song construction, with add-in elements that allow you to make it function specifically to your needs. The core set of functionality needs to be a simple, straight-forwared song-layout and arrangement product, that functions both in a stand-alone mode or as a VSTi plug-in to professional DAW's. That would be more consistent with the market they are in. In stand-alone mode they could allow for the other uses through personality presets or whatever. But ultimately they need to have a much stronger product definition, and a much stronger set of song construction and arrangment features that operate in the domain of the user and industry vernacular.

Sorry for being so long-winded on my first post, but I really had to get this out of my system.

DD

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#5565 - 11/06/09 10:02 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: DunedinDragon]
Mac Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Whether Jazz, Classical, Country or what have you, BIAB actually labels the Chorus correctly.

--Mac
_________________________
PGmusic FAQs, Tutorials and Updates! click here

You must be Audiominds.
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#5566 - 11/06/09 11:08 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: Mac]
DunedinDragon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 6
I'm sure that's a great consolation to the thousands of users and customers they confuse with it...

DD

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#5567 - 11/06/09 11:37 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: DunedinDragon]
Mac Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Confusion is solved by study and learning.
_________________________
PGmusic FAQs, Tutorials and Updates! click here

You must be Audiominds.
www.audiominds.com

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#5568 - 11/06/09 12:40 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: Mac]
DunedinDragon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 6
Quote:

Confusion is solved by study and learning.




Which I would strongly recommend for the BIAB product development team!!

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#5569 - 11/09/09 08:59 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: DunedinDragon]
Edward Buckley Offline
Expert

Registered: 03/27/06
Posts: 812
Loc: Guadalajara, Mexico
I've been asking for improved/updated GUI for years.

Although BIAB is a wonderful program, it get's dissed right from the start at major studios because of its cartoonish Windows 3.1 look!

First of all, there is WAY to much going on in the default screen.

Colors really don't make sense.

Why do we need rows of keys, 88 would be fine.

As Peter pointed out, it is important to have the OPTION to do things different ways. But my point is, why not make it an OPTION to have ONLY what you need on the screen?

PLEASE look at Garageband or Logic or Sibelius, they all have a very streamlined pro look.

While I'm on my soapbox, PLEASE update the notation! Yes, it does look good, but It would not take much more truly have a pro look. And the ability to enter notes as in Finale or Sibelius. The grid thing is just way too frustrating and time wasting.

Again, my comments are nitpicking, but thats what we need to keep BIAB on the cutting edge, and to get MORE pro studios and musicians to see its worth!!
Ed

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#5570 - 11/13/09 06:13 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: Edward Buckley]
manning1 Offline
Expert

Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 1992
Loc: Canada
DunedinDragon
i feel compelled to comment ..
(as also a seasoned retired puter bloke like your good self)..
on some of your comments.

application developers, as well you know,
are often limited by the underlying hardware technology at any point in time as well
as the development tools available and limitations of the OS itself.
so i'm gonna turn your comments around.
its not exactly easy developing music apps in the win environment imho.
ive looked at the win audio n midi programmer api's for example because once
years back i was getting frustrated with music software not doing what i wanted.
and i was at one point very seriously thinking bout putting a team together
of seasoned blokes to build a bonzo music app.
but when i looked at the those api's frankly i felt they were overly
complex and not easy to use.
which is why i laud the pg developers that they could bring to market and build a large
user base. initially around biab and then follow on products.
i'm sure Mr Gannon and team had many hair pulling moments n hair going grey dealing
with various technical issues.
its intersting to note in many respects biab is unique in the market.
i bet because seasoned developers would realise the technical challenges involved.

then i looked at the underlying OS.
its purpose originally was to be a general purpose OS..correct ??
ideally for music apps a proper real time OS imho should be de rigeur.
but that is not the case , so programmers of various daw software have had to
resort to various "tricks".
for example to create the "illusion" of things happening in real time playback
for example..
for the end user...
reading time slices for mixing into main memory before they are needed.
ie "look ahead" techniques.
seek time and limitations of disk drive technology
also play their part, as well as memory speed and various other factors.
for example one problem with high level api's is time to execute at the kernel level in the OS
itself. wouldnt you agree ??

in summary with all due respect you cant lay all the blame with
application developers like pg.
they are limited by forces outside their control often.
as well you know mate. a developer can only do so much and is often faced with
changeing OS versions, changeing api's, changes in underlying pc hardware architecture,
etc etc. this constant change of underlying platform plus trying
to keep a diverse user base happy represents a major challenge to even the
most seasoned "been round the block many times" developer.

now lets turn to the gui itself.
on this one imho pg are on a hiding to nothing imho.
ive used some of the flashy gui's in music daw software n fancy shmancy stuff.
as well you know, there is overhead with every bit of source code.
more features..result in more source code.
and frankly some of the new fancy gui's can be problematic on
earlier clunky pc's with old OS versions.
what i perceive is good old pg have tried to make it so the products will
not only work on the latest uber power pc's but also older pc's because
not everyone can afford a new i7 with all the bells n whistles.
the other problem is if pg redesign the gui..lots of long time users
might not like it cos they are used to it.
ah ah !! i hear some people say. so offer an option..new style and old style.
heck lets even let the user configure the gui anyway their hearts desire.
why not go the whole hog and include a gui generator just like one might find in
a programmers compiler.
BUT THAT POSES ANOTHER PROBLEM.
more source code and more bloat being but one problem.
and more maintenance of source code.
as i said pg are on a hiding to nothing.
this is one of the problems one encounters as a developer trying to keep
as many people in the world happy as possible.
ive been there done that with user bases myself many times in the past.
and the conclusion i came up with is ..
you can never keep everyone happy.

dont even get me started on programming on the pc mate, and the fact if one uses
cetain C++ compilers one has to deal with loverly big run times.
why werent the compilers designed to create stand alone executables ??
instead of needing big run times ??
(eg like purebasic.com with in line assembler).
someone can correct me if i'm wrong but its my understanding pg used
borland compilers in the past because with those no big run time
was needed. a logical choice imho at the time.

in summary your post is critical of certain pg aspects..
but in many respects dont you think many of those aspects
are a result of design and programmer tool decisions made way back in the development of win
itself ?? some people like the mac os. me i'm this way and that.
i like small elegant real time OS's like menuetos.org.
(give it a gander sometime.but no music software for it)
and feel that music software developers lives could have been made
a whole lot easier over the years with a proper elegant small OS
dedicated to the music creation vertical market with easy to use
development tools and of course most importantly a extremely fast low latency os kernel
relating to audio applications .

i just find it amusing your critiqueing a product that runs on the environment that you
once worked in. an environment itself that some might say is not perfect.
and which created lots of the tools devs work with on a daily basis.


just my 2 cents n wishing you only the best.
_________________________
retired puter engr....powertracks on amd......NICE !
"what is the black art of audio engineering ?"
my silly songs...motagator.com/bmanning
see my tips in the tips section.

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#5571 - 11/17/09 03:13 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: DunedinDragon]
jazzband Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 1826
Loc: Kent UK
Hi

One thing i like about BIAB is the Humour that it sparks of in musicians, keep it up Peter we need much more in this humourless world and if you change anything it will only sadden us BIAB fanatics, they say a good laugh a day is worth more then any pills and most days their is something to chuckel at(like my spelling and grammer)


regards Dave Hoskins
_________________________
I always play the right notes but not always in the right order

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#5572 - 11/23/09 06:55 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: band in a box GUI [Re: jazzband]
Robh Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 4166
Loc: California
GUI SCHME-UI, i just want to use the software to make music. It is not a graphic program, it is a music creation tool, I don't need my hammer to sparkle or shine just drive nails!!!

I don't need my music software to look like the console of a spaceship, i need it to make music. Every forum i go on people praddle on about GUI updates, i have seen it on PG, Cakewalk, Reaper, you name it, same old arguement. What difference does it make, just use the hammer. Everyone wants to change the program to meet there personal needs, one wants to build backing tracks, the other wants to practice songs, others want to do other things. Funny but last time i checked BIAB does all of these, and a ton of folks around the world use it as such.

Someone earlier said look at Sebilus, or Logic, or Freakin Garageband, heck those three combined do not do the things BIAB does, They are each one separate program, Sebilus is a notation software, logic a nice DAW, and Garageband os some sort of hybrid looping DAW, kind like a cheap version of AcidPro with built in loops. All do a nice job, BIAB does most of that, except the full on DAW recording, which can be done in PT or RB.

If you want added features or targeted refinement great, but why ask the programer to funnel the program just for you. If you do not like the program just because of the GUI use something else. Or get a sparkling hammer to driver your nails.
_________________________
Toshiba dual core Win 7 8 gig ram, BiaB, Realband, Studio one Professional, Melodyne, Gibson S-1, Carvin 980 Cobalt acoustic, Ovation legend 12 string, jazz bass clone, Fender Mustang III amp, Presonus Audiobox 1818VSL interface, TC Helicon voiceworks.

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