Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs

Posted by: jford

Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 09/18/18 08:00 PM

The offerings from PGMusic sometimes cause a little confusion.

First of all, the basic BIAB program is exactly the same in every PAK you buy; it's not like some programs where they remove programmatic features based on the level you buy. The difference is in the number of MIDI styles, RealStyle, RealTracks, RealDrums, and SuperMIDI Tracks you get.

The entry level version of BIAB is the ProPAK. A number of folks on the forum have been after PGMusic to rename this, as Pro tends to imply "top of the line". The ProPAK is actually the entry level version of BIAB. It gives you just enough content to create some songs, understand how the program works, and get comfortable with it. For people that like BIAB, most will upgrade it to one of the other PAKs after working with the ProPAK for a short period of time. The ProPAK gives you about 300 RealTracks (grouped as RealStyles, or Bands), a handful of SuperMIDI tracks, and some of the MIDI Styles. This is the lowest cost package.

Next is the MegaPAK. This gives you more content. You get about 500 RealTracks, also grouped as RealStyles (Bands), a few more SuperMIDI Tracks, but you do get ALL the MIDI styles.

The UltraPAK is next. This basically gives you most everything (but not everything). You get all the RealTracks and RealDrums (except a few that are offered with special PAKs), all the SuperMIDI Tracks, and all the MIDI Styles.

The Audiophile edition is basically the same as the UltraPAK, except that the RealTracks are uncompressed WAV files instead of compressed WMA files.

The PlusPAK is a special case. It really only applies when you already have the previous UltraPAK. What it does is takes the previous UltraPAK and gives you everything new to bring you up to date as if you had the new UltraPAK, without buying the UltraPAK upgrade. It assumes you have all the previous content. The web site is pretty clear that the PlusPAK requires the previous installation of the UltraPAK (or previously also the EverythingPAK).

If you currently have only the ProPAK, and you can afford it, I would upgrade to the UltraPAK, and then when the new version comes out, upgrade using the PlusPAK.

However, the downside of doing PlusPAK upgrades over the years is that if you ever have to re-install, you have to first install the first base UltraPAK version you own, and then apply each PlusPAK in turn until you are up-to-date. If you do an UltraPAK to UltraPAK upgrade (which costs more, but is fully self-contained), you pretty much have everything already in that new UltraPAK

Hope this made sense:

+++ HERE +++ is the link to the various Windows packages offered.

+++ HERE +++ is the link to the various Mac packages offered.
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 09/18/18 09:39 PM

John, this is great. Once again we can point confused forum users to a central helpful thread.

I have two comments, and then I’ll delete this post so it doesn’t muck up the good intent.

1) perhaps define the Everything Pak, since it was referred to; it was (I think) a discontinued package with almost everything, similar to what is now called UltraPak.

2) I’m wondering if the latest PlusPak would be sufficient (cumulative) to update an UltraPak that is more than one year old. Do we know for sure each year’s PlusPak must be applied?
Posted by: jford

Re: Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 09/19/18 11:34 AM

Matt -

#1 - I think you just did (yes, it was discontinued so as to avoid the fact that it in fact wasn't "everything").

#2 - As I understand it, if for example, you upgraded BIAB UltraPak 2016 to 2017 with the PlusPak, that PlusPak only contains the new content (the difference between UltraPak 2016 and UltraPak 2017). Then if you upgrade to 2018 using the new PlusPak, you will only get the difference between UltraPak 2017 and UltraPak 2018, which effectively brings you up to date with UltraPak 2018.

However, if you have to reinstall (new computer, computer crash, whatever), you need to start by installing UltraPak 2016 (and any 25-Pak or 49-Pak or whatever), then install PlusPak 2017 (and any 25-Pak or 49-Pak you received at the same time), and then install PlusPak 2018 (and any 25-Pak or 49-Pak you received) to fully bring you back up to date.

If you, however, upgraded UltraPak to UltraPak, you just need to install the most recent UltraPak (and any additional content you may have received).

Of course, if you start with 2016, you will have to make sure you run the file structure cleanup routine after installing the 2018 content, or things just won't work correctly in 2018.

I would keep your post in the thread, as it does help clarify.
Posted by: Matt Finley

Re: Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 09/19/18 01:08 PM

Thanks, John. Of course it won’t hurt to do each install in correct succession. What you say makes perfect sense; I was just wondering about a shortcut. For example, what would happen to an installation where someone skipped a year of PlusPak upgrade? It seems to me things could get confusing with messages about things missing.

And yes, many of us spent time on these Forums explaining tactfully how the Everything package didn’t quite contain ‘everything’. Abandoning that name was a positive step.

Thanks again for a clear description of the offerings.

— should be a sticky —
Posted by: Noel96

Re: Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 09/23/18 02:10 PM


This is a great article. Thanks for taking time to write it. The conversation between you and Matt also provides very valuable information. I have no doubt at all that I'll be referring people to this thread regularly.

Posted by: Dave

Re: Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 03/09/21 12:10 PM

I haven't seen it mentioned, but can I just buy the updated BIAB program? I really don't need any new tracks or styles, but I might find the new program useful.
Posted by: Callie - PG Music

Re: Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 03/09/21 12:37 PM

In that case, you can just purchase a Pro Upgrade.
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 03/09/21 06:52 PM


As Callie noted, now the minimum choice is the ProPAK.

However, in the past PG Music has offered the program by itself. But the program alone choice has been available only during the release sale.

Will they do that for 2022? Who knows.
Posted by: Gordon Scott

Re: Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 05/24/21 05:22 AM

I have to say that I still find it very confusing working out which Add-Ons are, or are not, included with the various somethingPAK bundles.

There's usually a red text somewhere saying if one needs already to have more than a ProPAK, but it isn't always easy to be sure.
Posted by: mrgeeze

Re: Understanding the Different Band-in-a-Box PAKs - 05/30/21 09:05 AM