BIAB review

Posted by: raymb1

BIAB review - 08/31/13 04:08 PM

http://wheatwilliams.com/wordpress/2013/...1/#comment-2380

Here's a review of BIAB from someone outside of the regular users. A few things are debatable and a few things are worth consideration. Plus you can leave comments. Later, Ray
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: BIAB review - 08/31/13 04:48 PM

Ouch, but heck, I love BIAB anyway simply because nothing else on the market does what it does.
Posted by: seeker

Re: BIAB review - 08/31/13 05:56 PM

A lot of you BIAB Ole timers know this, but.

There are so many "hidden" things built into this music system
over the years I agree with Dan 300%.
In a good way, sometimes wonder if the BIAB folks know about
most of them.

However you use the piece of software, it just keep on giving.
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: BIAB review - 08/31/13 06:49 PM

It's good to get an outside perspective. A lot of what he says has been complained about here for years but he's also way off base on a few things too simply because he doesn't understand the program. Who knows, since there's no mid year release this summer perhaps some of these fundamental things are being addressed.

Bob
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: BIAB review - 08/31/13 06:54 PM

Keep in mind as you read a couple of his complaints that he was using the Mac version of Band-in-a-Box. He later revised his post to make that more clear.
Posted by: Noel96

Re: BIAB review - 08/31/13 07:11 PM

I've noticed that many of the writer's criticisms have popped up on these forums over the years. As Ray says, some bear thinking about. To my mind, others seem to show that the writer does not fully appreciate just how inherently complex Music is.

I've reflected on the above complexity many times since first buying BIAB in 2007 and I believe that PG Music have managed to cater to both professional and novice with their programs. BIAB engages users on many levels. I cannot see how it's possible to simplify BIAB without losing functionality simply because music is such a complex thing. The fact that there is no other program on the market that does what BIAB/RB does as comprehensively as what BIAB/RB does is worth noting. I suspect that the really big names have thought about it but have found it too hard to accomplish what PG Music has at a reasonable price.

Just my tuppence worth!
Noel
Posted by: PhillyJazz

Re: BIAB review - 08/31/13 07:27 PM

"It would be totally amazing if a company like those of the developers of Finale or Sibelius could buy out or license the BiaB technology and put it right into their modern music creation and notation environments."

PLEASE NO !!!!!!! Not AVID !!! PLEASE !!!!!
Posted by: raymb1

Re: BIAB review - 08/31/13 11:58 PM

Noel, you always hit the nail on the head. There probably is no way to pare down BIAB without losing something. Later, Ray
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 12:06 AM

Originally Posted By: PhillyJazz
"It would be totally amazing if a company like those of the developers of Finale or Sibelius could buy out or license the BiaB technology and put it right into their modern music creation and notation environments."

PLEASE NO !!!!!!! Not AVID !!! PLEASE !!!!!

If I understand the news correctly, Avid owns Sibelius, but not the "developers". The founders (the Finn brothers) had already sold the company, and then the remaining developers were fired. However, most of them are back together and are now working on a new notation software program in a different company.
Posted by: Cerio

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 01:55 AM

Originally Posted By: Noel96
I cannot see how it's possible to simplify BIAB without losing functionality simply because music is such a complex thing.
Noel

Originally Posted By: raymb1
Noel, you always hit the nail on the head. There probably is no way to pare down BIAB without losing something. Later, Ray


I totally disagree. This thread, for example:

http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=177712#Post177712

is full of great ideas about redesigning / simplifying the program's interface, which seems to be the main focus of criticism in this, and other reviews.

While most long time users in this forum seems to be happy with BIAB's interface, most of first time users (at least in my experience) find it a little bit daunting / confusing, and many potential users just refuse giving BIAB a try simply because they perceive it as a too much complex or outdated program, given it's interface.

In my opinion, the review does a great job identifying some of the reasons that helps understanding why many newcomers see BIAB this way, and giving some specific examples that needs urgent attention from PG Music.

Anyway, I suspect that Peter and his team are already working in a serious redesign for BIAB 2014. If I'm right, that would be (at least to me) the best new "feature" in the program's history since the introduction of Realdrums and Realtracks smile
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 03:44 AM

Without going into a whole litany of issues, simply making the colors and texture look modern would go a long way. I posted in that other thread some screen shots of other DAW programs and plugins. Just look at the cool "luxury car" black and silver colors, instrument textures like wood,chrome and brass on various instruments pictured in plugs, stuff like that. I'm no where close to being a programmer but I suspect that this sort of thing isn't possible with the current code.

PG has no problem bringing in world class musicians to do the RT's so bring in some world class graphics people for this project. Maybe bring in some young genius interns who worked on Avatar or something. Then give it to the beta testers and let the fun begin.

My big worry for the company's future is this forum. It's like an old folks home around here. Ok, I'll say mostly, I know there's a few regulars who are under 50 but not many. What must a 30 year old who happens to find this place who knows nothing about the program think when most of the threads are about 50 year old tunes and people talking about nursing home gigs? I fear PG won't survive in the long run if they don't modernize for the younger crowd and it starts with the look.

I personally enjoy some of these threads because I'm one of the old farts here but speaking from a business perspective things need to change. Boomers are not the market movers we used to be.

Bob
Posted by: jcspro40

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 03:47 AM

Have you folks seen this site?

http://biabunderglass.blogspot.com/
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 09:23 AM

Seems to be a rash of these blogs building. Aging musicians with too much time on there hands, No disrespect intended, heck, I fit half of that description and look forward to the day when I become a full time member of the retired musicians club. smirk

There is a simple solution to this, - 50 new features and a bunch of new Real Track bundles. That will keep us busy making new music instead of blogging. grin
Posted by: Tony Wright

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 11:58 AM

The most telling thing the reviewer said was

"if the BiaB developers tried to modernize anything, the old user base would howl in protest."

I am part of the "old user base" having used the program for over 15 years and I am also 70 years old. I have long thought that this forum, helpful though it has been, is PG's worst enemy. I sincerely hope that PG are not listening only to this forum when deciding how to bring BIAB into the 21st century. Ironically, many long time forum members are the least qualified to advise PG.

Tony
Posted by: seeker

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 12:34 PM

I view these forums as an integral part of my own learning process.
Have listened to posted music, read hundreds of postings on varied
subjects.

Personal view only, "without these forums, I feel PG Music would
lose a great deal."


Biggest problem I see is you(users) need have some amount of music background, and also computer/technical savy. Also a strong desire to dig, try, read, listen and pursue what PG Music has presented to us.
Posted by: av84fun

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 01:30 PM

Originally Posted By: Cerio
Originally Posted By: Noel96
I cannot see how it's possible to simplify BIAB without losing functionality simply because music is such a complex thing.
Noel

Originally Posted By: raymb1
Noel, you always hit the nail on the head. There probably is no way to pare down BIAB without losing something. Later, Ray


I totally disagree. This thread, for example:

http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=177712#Post177712

is full of great ideas about redesigning / simplifying the program's interface, which seems to be the main focus of criticism in this, and other reviews.

While most long time users in this forum seems to be happy with BIAB's interface, most of first time users (at least in my experience) find it a little bit daunting / confusing, and many potential users just refuse giving BIAB a try simply because they perceive it as a too much complex or outdated program, given it's interface.

In my opinion, the review does a great job identifying some of the reasons that helps understanding why many newcomers see BIAB this way, and giving some specific examples that needs urgent attention from PG Music.

Anyway, I suspect that Peter and his team are already working in a serious redesign for BIAB 2014. If I'm right, that would be (at least to me) the best new "feature" in the program's history since the introduction of Realdrums and Realtracks smile





I hear what you're saying (along with others) but I don't think the issue is that the software is too complex and therefore, ought to be "dumbed down." Rather the criticism is...which I share...is that the DOCUMENTATION needs a radical...."fresh start" redesign because it is quite obvious that the FEATURES imbedded in the software have TOTALLY overwhelmed the documentation.

Were it not for PG's UNSURPASSED tech support and the existence of THIS forum I think that the frustration level among BIAB users would skyrocket.

If PG announced that they were suspending ALL feature upgrades for the next YEAR in favor of devoting all their efforts to rationalizing their documentation...dramatically improving search relevance...updating video tutorials and working to bring to the surface functionality that we must "drill down"...often WAY down...to access, then the perceived value of the software would increase by orders of magnitude vis a vis any raw feature enhancements.

Best,

Jim
Posted by: lingyai

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 01:49 PM

I'm a newcomer to BAIB, and I guess a relative whippersnapper at the sprightly young age of 48. At the risk of repeating some of the things in my thread of last week, asking about good introductory tutorials...

-- I agree with the reviewer -- "love/hate" describes my relationship with BIAB so far. I can't bring myself to dismiss it because it can do some truly amazing things. But...

-- for me the main thing is the lack of accessible, consolidated and bang-up-to-date documentation.

My main impression of it so far is just long, long, eye-glazing lists of features using specialised in-house jargon, without much in the way of a guided tours which quickly show you the cool things you can do with them. In my brief time here I've read several comments from long-time users who say that they still only know about / how to use only a small fraction of available features. My guess is that this is so because the program is so opaque. If the vets/ aficionados are in the dark, how many newcomers can be expected?

Yes, the interface is not attractive; it is also somewhat labyrinthine, but that partially reflects the many features of the program. But I could deal with these issues if proper documentation were in place. It is do-able. I think PG's own people are just too close to the software to be able to look at it through a newbie's eyes. First-rate outsiders should be brought in for this.

-- I very much disagree that this forum is a liability. Without you guys I'd be lost and probably would not even bother. Don't go anywhere!
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 02:26 PM

Check this out.

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=127655

Reaper just released version 4.5 (free update by the way) this guy is responsible for updating the user manual which was release with the update.

"...Great software needs good documentation, and I hope the latest upgrade to the User Guide will deliver this."

As best I can tell he is a volunteer who has taken on the task of not only writting the manual but also keeping it up to date. This manual is awesome.

So anyone want to step up to the plate and take on the task? I would but, ... I have day job. grin
Posted by: sixchannel

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 02:58 PM

Sorry but if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Are you seriously advocating that we make it all pretty just so the Kiddies can play with it and think its another Shoot 'Em Up game?
The moment that happens I will freeze my BIAB and buy no more upgrades.
I pay good money for BIAB cos I LIKE it this way.
Bah Humbug
Posted by: ZeroZero

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Tony Wright
The most telling thing the reviewer said was

"if the BiaB developers tried to modernize anything, the old user base would howl in protest."

I am part of the "old user base" having used the program for over 15 years and I am also 70 years old. I have long thought that this forum, helpful though it has been, is PG's worst enemy. I sincerely hope that PG are not listening only to this forum when deciding how to bring BIAB into the 21st century. Ironically, many long time forum members are the least qualified to advise PG.

Tony



I definitely see your point Tony, though I would say this forum is great in many ways too. It studiously helps you wqith any technical issue, but there is a lobby of hard core users that don't like radical suggestions. I stopped posting ideas because of this.

I find its a wonderful incredibly buggy and antiquated application. I use it in a very limited way simply because I got fed up with the crashing. I open the program, pick my song, but use my piano outside of the application. I never record anything with BIAB. I find favorites hard to use and I agree with the comment that user songs should be in my documents (by default) rather than in the application folder. I never got realband to work at all and I cannot see why we have two apps instead of one integrated one (I got flamed for saying this). Being a Cubase user, I don't really have a need for RB but I would like many of its features in BIAB.

However, I do think (guess) that PG are working on a new, perhaps radically redesigned BIAB for the modern 64 bit world (all my VSTs are 64 bit). I guess that's why things are so quiet on the update front - nothing for months now.

BIAB is a MIDI application with a loop based (Real tracks) interface grafted onto it. IMO the Real tracks feature is such a hit that its even more important than the original MIDI application (perhaps with the exception of Super Tracks).

I could not manage without it but really would like a proper full rethink of the application. I think its on its way...
Posted by: rharv

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 03:19 PM

I saw a couple comments in this thread that bothered me;

Since when is 50 old? I hit that marker last year, but still.
I'm trying to not be old, does that count?

I'm on the >50 side, yet I want a redesign, so how do I vote?

Also,
Can our graphics department do the redesign? (that would be cool)
Posted by: Bob_B

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 04:18 PM

+1 on a redesign of the GUI _and_ unification of the main programs: BIAB and RealBand. I think adobe got it right with its unification of Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. At least when you go into those programs, you know where to find something. With BIAB and RB, it's always a treasure hunt. The latter can often be fun and lead to new discoveries, but sometimes I just want to get the danged project finished and start the music.

FWIW, I'm older than rharv, not that it matters.

Bob aka jazzwombat aka Dr. Fills Jazz
Posted by: raymb1

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 05:35 PM

At least, 2013.5 is tabled for a few minutes. Later, Ray
Posted by: MarioD

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 06:55 PM

I am all for a GUI redesign but I am totally against the unification of BiaB and RealBand. A good number of BiaB users use a different DAW for various reasons.

I vote to keep BiaB and RB separate.
Posted by: Bob_B

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 07:24 PM

Originally Posted By: MarioD
I am all for a GUI redesign but I am totally against the unification of BiaB and RealBand. A good number of BiaB users use a different DAW for various reasons.

I vote to keep BiaB and RB separate.


Hi Mario,

Just to clarify: what I was suggesting was a unification of GUIs (menus especially), so options/preferences would be in the same place, as they are not in the current iterations of the programs. I too would not want to see BIAB and RB combined, if I read your post correctly.

L8r, Bob
Posted by: MarioD

Re: BIAB review - 09/01/13 08:08 PM

Originally Posted By: jazzwombat
Originally Posted By: MarioD
I am all for a GUI redesign but I am totally against the unification of BiaB and RealBand. A good number of BiaB users use a different DAW for various reasons.

I vote to keep BiaB and RB separate.


Hi Mario,

Just to clarify: what I was suggesting was a unification of GUIs (menus especially), so options/preferences would be in the same place, as they are not in the current iterations of the programs. I too would not want to see BIAB and RB combined, if I read your post correctly.

L8r, Bob


Sorry Bob, my bad. I miss read your post to say you wanted to combined BiaB and RB. Sorry for the confusion, we are on the same page. That is do not combined BiaB with RB.
Posted by: JohnJohnJohn

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 01:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Tony Wright
I have long thought that this forum, helpful though it has been, is PG's worst enemy. I sincerely hope that PG are not listening only to this forum when deciding how to bring BIAB into the 21st century. Ironically, many long time forum members are the least qualified to advise PG.

although that is a hard pill to swallow, I agree 100%, Tony!

Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
My big worry for the company's future is this forum. It's like an old folks home around here. Ok, I'll say mostly, I know there's a few regulars who are under 50 but not many. What must a 30 year old who happens to find this place who knows nothing about the program think when most of the threads are about 50 year old tunes and people talking about nursing home gigs? I fear PG won't survive in the long run if they don't modernize for the younger crowd and it starts with the look.

I am in the 50+ club too but as a software developer for 35 years I appreciate good-looking as well as high-functioning software! I have several 30-something friends who are great musicians and songwriters and they LOVE modern DAW software and tools like GarageBand...when I show them BIAB or this forum they find it to be "ugly", "old", "outdated" and so on.

and maybe it is their loss but it is also PG Music's loss too!

and to anyone who dismisses great GUI as just fluff you are sorely mistaken! great GUI makes for a better, more efficient workflow. saves you time and effort. lets you finish your project quicker. and when it is a joy to use you smile more during production and that always helps too!
Posted by: joden

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 02:52 AM

TBH, I don't give a "rats" how it looks, how it works is the only thing that matters.
Posted by: JohnJohnJohn

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 03:20 AM

Originally Posted By: joden
TBH, I don't give a "rats" how it looks, how it works is the only thing that matters.

I doubt that is entirely true! if they reverted to a DOS command line you'd probably be unhappy with it even though it would still "work"! to many people, especially younger artists, that is what BIAB looks like!
Posted by: raymb1

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 08:57 AM

I tend to agree with you, Joden. Once I hit the space bar for play, how BIAB looks is irrelevant. Space bar is also set to stop the song. BIAB can change the interface to look more modern, as long as the functionality remains the same. Later, Ray
Posted by: MusicStudent

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 09:41 AM

Here is my preferences for any software application:

First, stability! I don't want buggy and crashes. Based on my experience with BIAB I give it a B+ rating on this criteria, and that ain't bad.

Second, features! It has to do what it claims to do and is the reason I bought it. Here BAIB gets an A. Let me add, absolutely nothing on the market comes close to doing what this program does.

Third, Cost! I have to be able to afford it. This is a tough one to rate as it is hard to put a value on this, other than to compare to other software I purchase. Given that it is generally at the upper end of my pain threshold for computer software I would give it a C for a first time purchase. However, since I get each upgrade and the cost is much less I would give it a B.

Finally, appearance and workflow. I think the entire discussion to date is related to what I consider the least important criteria. So I will generally agree with the masses and give a rating of C-. A spiffy GUI would increase the rating greatly. And workflow is extremely important when comparing one application to another, however given that there is no other application to compare this to, it becomes a moot point.

So overall a strong B. So until someone can beat that I continue to purchase the yearly upgrades.
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 01:59 PM

1) despite years of predictions that BIAB can't continue to exist with its current look & feel... it continues to exist (by popular demand)

2) complex feature set justifies the learning curve

3) if you can't find an answer in the docs, post a question to the forum. Somebody somewhere in the world will be online and answer the question. This holds true even if the answer *IS* in the docs and you're too lazy to look for it. BIAB users delight in helping one another.

4) best overview of features is the video series of "new features" for each version, found here: http://www.pgmusic.com/videos.bbwin.htm

5) not conforming to a standard (ie. not being like everybody else) is characteristic of free-thinking innovation. If you let innovation drive the product, you can always clean up the docs or interface later. But in the past few years the innovation has come so fast and so rich that I can't imagine there's been time to deal with the other issues.

6) Every product has a life expectancy. Life expectancy is based on how well it serves its purpose. We've all seen programs with fancy interfaces outlive their usefulness. PGMusic products stand almost alone in their devotion to music theory. Theory is here to stay, whereas programs whose only claim to fame is a slick way to do something that's popular today.. those programs will pass away

7) if it's too old fashioned or loathesome to learn... don't buy it! Problem solved! But you'll buy it anyway like all the rest of us, because nothing else does what PGMusic products do.

8) PGMusic will undoubtedly update the docs and interface at some point. But it remains to be seen whether other music software will continue to differentiate themselves through innovation.
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 04:57 PM

C'mon Joden and Ray, you're kidding right? Looks don't matter, just functionality?? Really?

How about this then. Lexus could easily put all their high tech goodies into a car that looks like a 1962 Russian Volga. Remember Men In Black? Agent K picks up Will Smith in what looks like a 1985 Ford Crown Vic. What does Will say? "All the technology in the universe and you drive around in this Ford pos."

Looks matter. A lot. You have to grab their attention first before you can start to sell them on the product. I seem to remember in the long ago distant past that that applies to chasing chicks too.<grin>

RHarv, my only point is 50 is old to a 28 year old and that's who PG needs to start marketing to.

Bob
Posted by: joden

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 05:08 PM

Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
C'mon Joden and Ray, you're kidding right? Looks don't matter, just functionality?? Really?

How about this then. Lexus could easily put all their high tech goodies into a car that looks like a 1962 Russian Volga. Remember Men In Black? Agent K picks up Will Smith in what looks like a 1985 Ford Crown Vic. What does Will say? "All the technology in the universe and you drive around in this Ford pos."

Looks matter. A lot. You have to grab their attention first before you can start to sell them on the product. I seem to remember in the long ago distant past that that applies to chasing chicks too.<grin>

RHarv, my only point is 50 is old to a 28 year old and that's who PG needs to start marketing to.

Bob


Yep REALLY!!! smile

Should see the old van I drive around in. I don't care how it looks just how it works. Gets me from A to B and in the manner it needs to.

This seemingly modern obsession with looks even spills over into how successful a muso can be these days - if one does not have great looks, then forget about getting contracts, recognition, any sort of recording deals or concerts, no matter how good or talented a person is.

Nope, not for me smile for me it is function over form any day!
Posted by: raymb1

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 05:45 PM

I bought BIAB for what it could do, not what it looked like. I'm not looking at BIAB while I'm playing, neither is anyone else. All your comparisons don't mean a thing. BIAB's looks don't have a thing to do with the sound that's coming out of my PA. All the places that I play are concerned with the sound and quality of my music, not what my PC screen looks like. Later, Ray
Posted by: lingyai

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 05:55 PM

I think it is a mistake to frame this as a matter of form "versus" functionality, because they actually complement one another.

I am not talking about a slick GUI for it's own sake; I don't care if the font and colors hearken back to Windows 3.1.

Rather, the problem with the GUI is that it is so perplexing. Things take so much figuring out that it's coitus interruptus left right and center; the moments of artistic "high" are there, but punctuated by lots and lots of head-scratching, manual consultation, forum queries, etc.

Really good software is designed so that as much as possible it becomes "invisible" i.e. you spend much more time concentrating on what you are doing with it, as opposed to puzzling over how you do it.

If you think this is just an unavoidable fact of life, due to BIAB's deep feature set, try downloading free demos of Melodyne or Studio One. Both -- especially Melodyne -- are not only extremely innovative (Melodyne recently won a technical Grammy)but are also simply a joy to use, because they are quite intuitive, despite being very sophisticated, powerful and feature-packed.

Whereas BIAB hides its gifts to the world behind a mind-numbing GUI. I know many of y'all have been using it for years and have reconciled yourselves to it. I for one am trying to love it, but it is just such a labor.

If it could be made more accessible -- again, not "purdy" as such, but accessible -- it would be catapulted from being the favorite of a tight-knit niche to being something the computer-based music-making world would flock to.

Ok, try not to beat me up, I'm new.
Posted by: Ryszard

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 06:29 PM

Lingyai,

Not to worry. Your thoughtful questions and comments are welcome and appreciated. I for one hope to see you as a regular here.

Richard
Posted by: raymb1

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 07:26 PM

Welcome to BIAB and the forums. Like I said before, no one is looking at my GUI. What really matters is what's coming out of the PA. Once you've become more familiar with BIAB, you'll see how easy it is to do most things. There's plenty of help here in the forums. Out of all those dozens of icons, you can just choose which ones you want showing and hide all the rest. By the way, I've been using BIAB for live gigs for many years and love the program. There's no other program that does what BIAB does. If there were another program that does what BIAB does and looks better, then you could say "why not do it like ???? program?". Later, Ray
Posted by: lingyai

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 07:44 PM

Well, thanks y'all. You will get questions, rest assured!
Posted by: J. Larry

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 08:24 PM

I like Ray's thinkin' on this issue. For me, it's the results of live play. I know how to arrange tunes, create intros and endings with BIAB, then go play live gigs. For my purposes, that's all I need/want to do. All that other stuff is fluff.
Posted by: JohnJohnJohn

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 08:31 PM

Ray, we're not talking about showing BIAB to your listeners! We're talking about making it easier for people like you to use so you can create even more, even better. It is a fact that improvements in the GUI of the software can improve your workflow.

All these comments of "It is fine like it is" and "we don't need no fancy GUI" must sound very much like the the cries of the last buggy builders after Henry Ford came along! smile

Bottom line is if you are happy with the status quo then good for you! I am happy for you! But the rest of us would love to see the BIAB GUI move into the 21st century!
Posted by: Rafa T

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 08:37 PM

Realtracks, realtracks & realtracks... For me, this is the most valuable "technology" avalaible at this moment for music creation.
I work with Biab & Cubase since the Atari times, only midi, and was a great tool for the composers. But, in my opinion, with Realtracks, Biab is now the most sophisticated software to create real music with the unvaluable human touch from so many great musicians.

Realtracks, realtracks & realtracks... is what I need to be happy with Biab.
Posted by: raymb1

Re: BIAB review - 09/02/13 08:43 PM

I still don't care what it looks like as long as I get the results I want. I have no problems entering songs into BIAB for accompaniment. I have hundreds of tunes in my folders and add more each week. The GUI can change to whatever you want, I just need to know that I can still hit the start bar to play and stop. I can load my sets into jukebox, hit the start bar and close the lid of my laptop. For my purposes, whether the GUI is changed or not doesn't matter to me. Later, Ray
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 12:58 AM

Guys, I actually agree with you for my purposes. What I'm talking about here is pure business. Looks sells, end of story. Do you want 2015 or whenever it is to be the last version of Biab? No? Then PG needs to start getting with iPad style and graphics otherwise when us old timers finally stop buying the upgrades, it's all over.

Somebody in the past suggested there should be two versions of Biab and I think I agree with that. There's could be a Biab Classic for us and a brand new Biab Awesome for the younger crowd. Probably dump all the educational stuff because so many young so called "musicians" could care less about that, make no mention at all about classic jazz, old rock and roll, old country, old latin, well you get it. Anything old. All the styles and RT's with the cute references to real artists only reference people who made it big in the last oh 10-15 years at the most. Ok, go back 20 years since Public Enemy made it into the HOF last year. Pop quiz, anybody reading this who've listened to PE raise their hands. Hall of Fame folks and most here have no clue. Do I like PE? Heck no but it's not about me or anybody else over 45 or so. I'm just talking about reality. Time marches on, music marches on with or without us.

Start with a clean slate, 64 bit, looking like a cross between Studio One and the new Starship Enterprise. If all the old timers go "what the hell is this?" that means they got it right.

Bob
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 01:09 AM

Bob, I can certainly agree with at least one of your points. I had no idea who Public Enemy is. And now, after looking them up, I can safely say I have never heard their music.
Posted by: av84fun

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 01:21 AM

Gotta chime in on your "great looks required for popularity" thesis.

Having spent a LOT of years in the major music industry...on the publishing side, I can say that while "looks" generally don't hurt they are not now nor ever have been a "must have" feature for recording artists.

The examples are legion but I just put into evidence Momma Cass...Janis Joplin and even Striesand back in the day...or K.D Lange...or more recently Amy Weingarten or Adele (who MIGHT be a "classic beauty" minus 85 lbs but certainly not now...no disrespect intended).

Raw talent has always in the past and always will in the future trump raw looks.

Pretty much the same for the men. Sammy Davis and Tony Bennett probably couldn't have gotten Prom dates if they couldn't sing so fantastically well...and Neil Sedaka probably never went to a Prom that he didn't play at!!!

(-:

Best,

Jim
Posted by: ZeroZero

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 03:25 AM

For me BIAB's interface looks poor, in two ways - artistically its old fashioned, but more importantly it permanently shows stuff you don't ever need like LSB. Also guitars become violins and banjos - that's not even logical.

Throwing something else into the mix, programs like Melodyne (I think) and Cubase, can show an audio stream as notes on a stave. I am wondering/hoping, that the Scoring functions of BIAB new might do this. It would not work with say a wailing harmonica, but it could work for a lot of instruments. the notation page is at the moment pretty buggy, but it would be good for readers to see scores for individual instruments, where possible
Posted by: JohnJohnJohn

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 04:31 AM

Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
Guys, I actually agree with you for my purposes. What I'm talking about here is pure business. Looks sells, end of story. Do you want 2015 or whenever it is to be the last version of Biab? No? Then PG needs to start getting with iPad style and graphics otherwise when us old timers finally stop buying the upgrades, it's all over.

Somebody in the past suggested there should be two versions of Biab and I think I agree with that. There's could be a Biab Classic for us and a brand new Biab Awesome for the younger crowd. Probably dump all the educational stuff because so many young so called "musicians" could care less about that, make no mention at all about classic jazz, old rock and roll, old country, old latin, well you get it. Anything old. All the styles and RT's with the cute references to real artists only reference people who made it big in the last oh 10-15 years at the most. Ok, go back 20 years since Public Enemy made it into the HOF last year. Pop quiz, anybody reading this who've listened to PE raise their hands. Hall of Fame folks and most here have no clue. Do I like PE? Heck no but it's not about me or anybody else over 45 or so. I'm just talking about reality. Time marches on, music marches on with or without us.

Start with a clean slate, 64 bit, looking like a cross between Studio One and the new Starship Enterprise. If all the old timers go "what the hell is this?" that means they got it right.

Bob

Bob, you are dead on! PG should hire you as a marketing/Product Development consultant! Most companies are busy working on porting their sophisticated 2013 Win/Mac GUIs to mobile while BIAB is still sporting its 1992 era Windows 3.1 interface! And you are right about the approach...putting lipstick on this, er, GUI just won't cut it!

With the technology PG has under the hood, which is nothing short of AMAZING, can you imagine how a new sleek 64-bit version with an improved modern GUI would be received by the industry? It would blow everything else away and assure PG of being the leader in this arena indefinitely!
Posted by: alan S.

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 08:37 AM

My guess is that BIAB's medium to long term future will depend on how the iRealb market develops as that app and others like it become more sophisticated and fully featured.

Already it has the advantage of low cost and while it's nowhere near on the level of BIAB as a production tool for live gigging, as a practice tool it's certainly looking as if it will eventually cut deeply into the potential market for BIAB in the future especially among younger buyers.

The Android/Apple mobile app phenomenon is a problem for BIAB. Its decision to link its own phone app to the desktop version linked by server rather than have a stand-alone version shows the need to protect its existing desktop market investment at all costs. How BIAB copes with these developments is anyone's guess but BIAB for Android as it currently stands isn't going to do it any favours.

Regards

Alan
Posted by: Cerio

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 04:04 PM

Originally Posted By: alan S.
My guess is that BIAB's medium to long term future will depend on how the iRealb market develops as that app and others like it become more sophisticated and fully featured.

Already it has the advantage of low cost and while it's nowhere near on the level of BIAB as a production tool for live gigging, as a practice tool it's certainly looking as if it will eventually cut deeply into the potential market for BIAB in the future especially among younger buyers.

The Android/Apple mobile app phenomenon is a problem for BIAB. Its decision to link its own phone app to the desktop version linked by server rather than have a stand-alone version shows the need to protect its existing desktop market investment at all costs. How BIAB copes with these developments is anyone's guess but BIAB for Android as it currently stands isn't going to do it any favours.


100% agree
Posted by: av84fun

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 04:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Cerio
Originally Posted By: alan S.
My guess is that BIAB's medium to long term future will depend on how the iRealb market develops as that app and others like it become more sophisticated and fully featured.

Already it has the advantage of low cost and while it's nowhere near on the level of BIAB as a production tool for live gigging, as a practice tool it's certainly looking as if it will eventually cut deeply into the potential market for BIAB in the future especially among younger buyers.

The Android/Apple mobile app phenomenon is a problem for BIAB. Its decision to link its own phone app to the desktop version linked by server rather than have a stand-alone version shows the need to protect its existing desktop market investment at all costs. How BIAB copes with these developments is anyone's guess but BIAB for Android as it currently stands isn't going to do it any favours.


100% agree


+100000

We can only hope that the "six sigma event" of PG not releasing a mid-year version* results from their agreement and action with respect to the above.

*PG CAN release a 2013.5 version but they cannot release a mid-year version by definition.

(-:

Jim
Posted by: cubanpete

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 05:58 PM

Originally Posted By: seeker
Biggest problem I see is you(users) need have some amount of music background, and also computer/technical savy. Also a strong desire to dig, try, read, listen and pursue what PG Music has presented to us.


Agree with FrankB, and let me point out that as my avatar say, I'm no expert here and do not pretend to be one, but I'm not sure what the obsession with "modernizing" the interface is. Heck, there are certain software interfaces that are not really intuitive at all, and yet they may be perceived to be very "modern". Some music software out there are far more expensive than BIB for what they offer on their "upgrades or updates" which often times are not free or discounted at all. I think that BIB is very vast on what it does and takes a lot of time to fully comprehend (if that is possible with any piece of software). I often times see people in this forum whom are labeled as experts' veterans and so on (nothing wrong with that) which from time to time seem to "discover" stuff that BIB is able to do, that makes me feel real good indeed because I realize then that "I'm not the only one". I for once, prefer the money to go onto new features, RT's, and thing like that. That's where BIB really shines!

Mike B.
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 07:51 PM

Great Mike but one question. How do you sell it to a 28 year old who lives with his $600 smartphone and $600 iPad and that graphics style is all he knows? And that's all his friends know. And he thinks you and me are dinosaurs who are brain dead when it comes to high tech.

They're good kids, don't get me wrong, they're respectful and all but when it comes to this stuff they treat you and me like old Aunt Hattie who barely knows how to dial a rotary phone and who never did figure out how to program her VCR which she still uses if the mechanism hasn't died.

Are you active on Facebook?

Are you active on Twitter?

Do you do several hundred texts a day?

Are you constantly video'ing virtually your entire life from your phone in 15 minute chunks and emailing the vids to all your friends like 10 times a day?

Do you know all about Kickstarter, Dropbox, cloud storage?

How about spoofing phone numbers just for laughs?

Do you know about the 2013 Looper awards? Do you know what Looping is and how big it is?

Can you name the national winner of the 2013 Beatboxing contest? Do you know what Beatboxing is?

How about specifically buying your iPad so you can stream live TV from your house to it from anywhere because it's so important to you you and all your friends you just can't live without it?

It doesn't matter if you and I think what the hell use is all of that? This is how the kids are living their lives and any company hoping to sell to them has to understand that.

Unless you know about these things to the point you can talk about them with a 19 year old and not get laughed out of the room as "stupid grandpa" I'll respectfully say you're not really the best one to advise PG. That's why I suggested earlier PG could easily keep a Biab Classic version for all of us who wouldn't want the new "Awesome Cool Dude" Hip Hop, Miley Cyrus, Electronic Dance, Beatboxing 2013 Billboard Awards version that is capable of ReWiring to Abelton Live and any other DAW.

Oh yeah, do you know what Rewire is? Do you know about Ableton Live and why it's an important piece of software to a 25 year old wannabe music producer?

Again, I'm not talking about all these things because I would use them. I'm an old fart too and I may or may not like or use a new version of Biab like I've been talking about. This is simply me coughing up some marketing ideas to bring PG into the future which (shhh, don't look now) is already here.

Bob
Posted by: joden

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 09:05 PM

Actually Bob - good post smile very valid arguments! I can agree with all of that (personal needs aside)

Dennis
Posted by: cubanpete

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 09:10 PM

Ok Bob, to your surprise, my answer to most of your questions is YES, I'm active and familiar with most of the stuff you assume I don't know about. I just don't waste my time with the phone on my ear 24-7 and can't afford an IPhone, and believe me, age have nothing to do with it. Another thing is that none of that make great musicians however popular and hip they may be. In order for BIB to appeal or accommodate the crowd you just mentioned would have to change way more than just a new GUI. Have you looked lately at the sounds, styles, melody generator and all that in BIB (rhetorical question)? If BIB were to change its objective and purpose to do what you recommend, it would be BIB no more IMHO. And another thing, I'm not arrogant enough to think that I am the appropriate person to guide BIB on what to do, I wouldn't know how. But as a user I think I have the right to my opinion like everybody else.

Later

Mike B.
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: BIAB review - 09/03/13 11:13 PM

I am of social security age but can pass most of Bob's awareness and usage tests. I would very much like to try the "Awesome Cool Dude" interface. But please just let me keep the jazz styles and RealTracks to use within it.
Posted by: J. Larry

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 12:16 AM

Count me in with the classic group of users---those mainly using traditional styles and real tracks. I'd love to delete the majority of styles in my 2013 BIAB---to streamline what I have to wade through. However, I'm sure with deletions, I'd mess something up. It's working so well, now. I always want the latest improvements to the basic operation of the program, horse-power and all that; but, only a select, narrow group of styles for the market I play. And, at my age, that's not going to change, for sure.
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 12:31 AM

Hey Larry, since I have the insurance of having all the BIAB files on the supplied external drive, I frequently experiment. I have deleted many RealTracks from my internal hard drive to save space. The RealTracks are so much larger that you can realize meaningful savings [keep in mind, I'm using the larger (by a factor of ten) audiophile version]. The RealDrums come with a few I don't use, also. After that, though, it hardly seems worth the effort to try to streamline further. Style files (and song files) are so much smaller by comparison. Together, all of them are probably smaller than a few RealTracks.

Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 01:41 AM

Hey Mike, no offense, I was starting to ramble on a bit.

I see most of us are familiar with all this stuff, the difference is we don't give a crap about it.

Biab Awesome Cool Dude. Started as a joke but it's kinda growing on me...

Bob
Posted by: JohnJohnJohn

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 04:24 AM

I really hope PG's earlier requests for GUI inputs, their current silence and the lack of a 2013.5 all point to something awesome for Christmas! smile
Posted by: cubanpete

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 08:44 AM

Bob, none taken, actually it takes a lot to offend me. But you're right, I personally don't care about these other stuff; while they are cool I have no use for them.
Take care

Mike B.
Posted by: Steve Young

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 12:41 PM

I would love to comment on this but I am too frustrated. I was having some issues with some other software the other day, but when I called Tech Support, I couldn't get through because I couldn't punch "4" on my rotary phone!
Posted by: raymb1

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 12:57 PM

BIAB for android is something I would vote for before a GUI cosmetic change. BIAB takes up about 60 GBs on my laptop, 45 GBs of that are Real Tracks. Given how much memory you can use on tablets, (capacity keeps going up), BIAB plus a few favorite Real Tracks would be great for tablet users. Later, Ray
Posted by: GDaddy

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 04:05 PM

I've loved my BIAB for centuries, now...

but since I've Got my new Magic Jack, I just waana call people all over the world...

so I might as well ask Peter to be an international phone rep....just plug Magic Jack in to compose a new grammy winner!?
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 08:58 PM

Originally Posted By: GDaddy

but since I've Got my new Magic Jack, I just waana call people all over the world...



Hey GDaddy... Today I paid up front for 5 YEARS of Magic Jack.. it cost $99 !! FOR 5 YEARS!!

When I had BellSouth I paid more than that in a MONTH, And long distance cost extra !

plus I got to keep my old Bellsouth phone number
Posted by: jazzmammal

Re: BIAB review - 09/04/13 09:09 PM

Here's a great quote from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon who bought the Washington Post recently for 250 mil. It was valued a few years ago at about 1.3 billion. This was his first meeting today with the Post's editors and staff:

“All businesses need to be young forever. If your customer base ages with you, you’re Woolworth’s,” added Bezos, who created the world’s leading online retailer. “The number one rule has to be: Don’t be boring.”

The words of a giant. Can't say it any better than that.

Bob
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: BIAB review - 09/05/13 06:11 PM

Desktop computers and 32 bit operating systems are becoming extinct.

Computer hardware is diverging into two hardware groups, notebooks with desktop computing power and inexpensive tablet\smartphone with little computing power and specialized, but limited, non-standard operating systems, Android and IOS.

New desktop and notebook computers running Microsoft are shipping predominately with the 64 bit version of Windows 8 (soon to be 8.1) operating system. I suspect the same is true in the Mac camp.

This hardware and operating system evolution ultimately will force a complete overall of all PG Music products.

The overhaul may not show up in 2013 or 2014 but I would consider it a safe bet to assume that by 2015 BIAB and RealBand will be vastly different products than we know now. Not just new features and RealTracks but a complete overhaul of the programs.
Posted by: joden

Re: BIAB review - 09/05/13 06:17 PM

Originally Posted By: raymb1
BIAB for android is something I would vote for before a GUI cosmetic change. BIAB takes up about 60 GBs on my laptop, 45 GBs of that are Real Tracks. Given how much memory you can use on tablets, (capacity keeps going up), BIAB plus a few favorite Real Tracks would be great for tablet users. Later, Ray


Problem (HUGE) with Android Ray, is the audio latencies for music apps is terrible, and it STILL has no core midi support. It is really a pretty useless platform for music (apart from straight playback or pre-recorded audio).

Dennis

edit - PS: I have removed quite a few of the RealTracks data (no need for drums it is only about 4 gig) that I never use, like pianos, brass, strings etc. I have the total space used by RealTracks down to approx 20 Gig. It all still works fine. All you get is a yellow message saying a part cannot be loaded. But the other parts all generate and play fine.
Posted by: raymb1

Re: BIAB review - 09/05/13 08:39 PM

IRealb, which is an accompaniment app, plays perfectly on android. Granted, iRealb is not as sophisticated as BIAB but usable nonetheless. I use it on short gigs where I'm playing background music. Where would a latency problem come in with BIAB? My accompaniment would be straight playback. Later, Ray
P.S. My use of BIAB is for live performance only, probably a little different than your purposes. Ray
Posted by: joden

Re: BIAB review - 09/05/13 08:46 PM

Originally Posted By: raymb1
IRealb, which is an accompaniment app, plays perfectly on android. Granted, iRealb is not as sophisticated as BIAB but usable nonetheless. I use it on short gigs where I'm playing background music. Where would a latency problem come in with BIAB? My accompaniment would be straight playback. Later, Ray


As I wrote Ray wink - there are no problems simply playing back recorded music on an Android device (which is about the pinnacle for Android)

It is for the operations that serious DAW users need - you know, sequencing, using instrument samples audio recording or even simply audio mixing and eq'ing..it is in these areas Android collapses. That's all I am going to write as it is a BIAB forum, but these Android issues are well known and very well documented. And I am speaking from personal experience as well.
Posted by: raymb1

Re: BIAB review - 09/05/13 08:58 PM

You posted your reply before I got my edit in:
P.S. My use of BIAB is for live performance only, probably a little different than your purposes. Ray