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#213503 - 08/31/13 04:08 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] BIAB review
Registered: 05/24/05
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raymb1 Offline
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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


Edited by raymb1 (08/31/13 04:09 PM)
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#213504 - 08/31/13 04:48 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 12/08/02
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Loc: Wauconda
MusicStudent Offline
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Ouch, but heck, I love BIAB anyway simply because nothing else on the market does what it does.

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#213508 - 08/31/13 05:56 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 12/06/05
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Loc: 80 Mi North of Sacramento CA
seeker Offline
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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.


Edited by seeker (08/31/13 05:57 PM)
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#213510 - 08/31/13 06:49 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7632
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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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
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#213511 - 08/31/13 06:54 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 23450
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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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.
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#213514 - 08/31/13 07:11 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 17763
Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
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Loc: Australia
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
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#213516 - 08/31/13 07:27 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 12/02/03
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Loc: Philly
PhillyJazz Offline
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Loc: Philly
"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 !!!!!
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#213525 - 08/31/13 11:58 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2603
Loc: Sterling, Va
raymb1 Offline
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Noel, you always hit the nail on the head. There probably is no way to pare down BIAB without losing something. Later, Ray
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#213527 - 09/01/13 12:06 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: PhillyJazz]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 23450
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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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.
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#213528 - 09/01/13 01:55 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 1102
Loc: Spain
Cerio Offline
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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
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#213542 - 09/01/13 03:44 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: Cerio]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7632
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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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
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#213543 - 09/01/13 03:47 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 865
Loc: Ohio-USA
jcspro40 Offline
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Have you folks seen this site?

http://biabunderglass.blogspot.com/
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#213552 - 09/01/13 09:23 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 9255
Loc: Wauconda
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
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Loc: Wauconda
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

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#213563 - 09/01/13 11:58 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: MusicStudent]
Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 694
Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
Tony Wright Offline
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Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 694
Loc: Waterloo Ontario Canada
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

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#213565 - 09/01/13 12:34 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: Tony Wright]
Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 4047
Loc: 80 Mi North of Sacramento CA
seeker Offline
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Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 4047
Loc: 80 Mi North of Sacramento CA
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.


Edited by seeker (09/01/13 12:34 PM)
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#213567 - 09/01/13 01:30 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: Cerio]
Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 392
av84fun Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 09/08/04
Posts: 392
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

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#213573 - 09/01/13 01:49 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: av84fun]
Registered: 08/27/13
Posts: 143
lingyai Offline
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Registered: 08/27/13
Posts: 143
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!


Edited by lingyai (09/01/13 01:57 PM)
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#213577 - 09/01/13 02:26 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 9255
Loc: Wauconda
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 9255
Loc: Wauconda
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

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#213582 - 09/01/13 02:58 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: raymb1]
Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 2156
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
sixchannel Offline
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Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 2156
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
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


Edited by sixchannel (09/01/13 02:59 PM)
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#213583 - 09/01/13 03:14 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: BIAB review [Re: Tony Wright]
Registered: 07/15/07
Posts: 1713
Loc: Bynar
ZeroZero Offline
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Posts: 1713
Loc: Bynar
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...


Edited by ZeroZero (09/01/13 03:38 PM)
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