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These are some comments on the difference between the 'regular' and audiophile versions of BIAB for Windows. It is only my opinion. Sorry for the length. If anyone finds fault with what I've written, please explain and I'll make corrections and updates.

Originally written December 1, 2016. Last revised: December 13, 2023
To my knowledge, most of this information still applies with BIAB version 2024 but there are some important changes about Regeneration speed, and the type of supplied external drive. I have made a few clarifications based on improvements to BIAB in the last seven years since the original version of this post.

This topic comes up frequently and you should be able to find plenty of opinion in posts within the last few years, and those opinions will vary.

I've used the audiophile version of BIAB for Windows for many years and highly recommend it with the following understanding: you will need good equipment, a good listening environment, and good ears to hear the differences. In other words, if you listen to MP3s in a car and you have long lost your high-frequency hearing like some musicians, you will not be able to notice any difference.

The 'regular' Windows version uses .WMA files. The specs on these are often 128 Kbps, some less so. The sound seems to me to be comparable to a 198 Kbps MP3. The compression is about 11 to 1, so they are the same smaller size of a 128 Kbps MP3 but sound better than that.

Some instruments (such as acoustic guitar, acoustic grand piano, and cymbals) show compression artifacts more than others and thus are particularly better sounding in the audiophile version.

The audiophile version uses .WAV files of 44.1, 16-bit, or in other words CD quality. Because they are not compressed, the .WAV files will take up about 11 times more space than the corresponding .WMA files (and you still have the complete set of .WMA files taking up the same space they did before).

The audiophile Windows version runs slightly faster, which might not sound intuitive, but it does so because BIAB doesn't have to first uncompress the .WMA files. The way BIAB works is, if there are .WAV files available, it uses those; if there are none, it uses .WMA files, uncompresses them (which takes a bit of time and CPU power), then plays the song. This scheme makes it possible to have a combination of .WAV and .WMA files in your RealTracks and it works fine.

EDIT: While I believe the above explanation about speed is still true, a substantial improvement to regeneration speed has been made with BIAB 2024, and I doubt that there is any significant speed difference any longer.

Be aware, the annual upgrade price for the audiophile version will be more.

At this time, PG Music ships the audiophile version on a very nice external drive that uses USB 3.0. EDIT: Up until BIAB 2023, the supplied drive was a 2 TB Samsung drive. For BIAB 2024, the drive is now a somewhat thicker 4 TB drive by Seagate. There is enough content that the audiophile version, with all the new WAV files, will no longer fit on a 2 TB drive. Since not everyone will have space in their internal drives for over 2 TB of date, it is important that BIAB performs well using the external drive, and it does.

I have noticed that the difference in quality between the audiophile and regular versions seems to be getting less over the years. In the early days of RealTracks (2007), there were easily recognizable differences. I suspect improvements in the BIAB program using the Elastique algorithm have made this difference harder to detect, but that's just a guess. This year for BIAB 2017, PG Music has re-recorded a number of RealTracks for better sound. [EDIT: more updates were added this year (2023) and the last two years]

Regardless of whether you have the audiophile version or not, the farther you stray from a recommended tempo, and the harder the Elastique algorithm must work, the more you risk hearing artifacts. Also, try unchecking some of the speed-up options in Preferences, RealTracks. I have a fast i7 [EDIT: well, it was fast in 2017, ha ha] and I turn some options off to get the best quality I can for my final mix.

If you are producing commercial recordings, the audiophile version also makes a difference because noise in a mix is cumulative. If you have a little noise on each track, but add many tracks, you may notice it more. [EDIT: with the addition of many more tracks (Utility Tracks) this may be more of a consideration as of version 2022.] Therefore, my guideline is, if you are doing commercial work, you should get the audiophile version. For anyone else, it depends on how much you value having the best sound you can get. For me, as a composer, I get inspiration just from great sound, and that is reason enough to go audiophile.

If you have just purchased BIAB and like what you hear but want the best possible sound, call PG Music Sales and see if they can work something out to upgrade to the audiophile version.

If you have songs saved that were developed in the regular version, frozen or not, and you upgrade to the audiophile version, your songs will now use the WAV files.

All comments about RealTracks in BIAB also apply to RealBand, which uses the same RealTracks [EDIT: and also apply to the PlugIn version].

PG Music has not approved (nor so far, disapproved) of anything I have said here. As mentioned, I welcome and will make corrections. [EDIT: PG Music does approve, and decided to make this a sticky post. I can only edit this first post to keep it up to date.]

There is good information from other posts in the following comments.

Matt Finley
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Last edited by Matt Finley; 12/13/23 01:47 PM. Reason: updated to include new 4 TB drive in BIAB 2024, and faster regeneration speed.

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Excellent appraisal Matt, and I concur with all said.

PGM should consider to make this a sticky.

The subject is raised often (I certainly investigated it in detail too before upgrading to Audiophile), and it would be a valuable resource to users exploring the benefits and differences between versions.


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Thanks for that Matt.. good information...

and it validates my choice to skip the audiophile version because I'm certain that after years of working in loud industrial settings and playing in bands my impaired hearing could not discern the difference.

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Your thoughts are a great summary, Matt.

All I'll add is that should it turn out that a completed song is going to be compressed, and the quality of that final stage compression is important, then the Audiophile edition could be beneficial.

I'll explain.

Some more thoughts on audio quality...

When the original Realtrack and Realdrum wav files are converted to 128 kbps wma, there is some minor reduction in audio quality. Even though these wma files are reconstituted as wav files when BIAB plays, the quality losses from the initial conversion of wav to wma are still present.

The above means that when a final mix is assembled and then compressed as part of the final stage of presentation (for example, publishing on Soundcloud where Soundcloud automatically compresses everything uploaded), the Realtracks and Realdrums in the final mix will undergo the equivalent of a second compression. This could potentially reduce sound quality even more noticeably.

With the Audiophile edition, it's possible to work entirely with the original wav files without any loss of audio fidelity. Then, when the final mix is compressed, only a single compression is undergone.

  • With the previous thoughts in mind, when I upload a song to Soundcloud, I always create a final wav file mix and then upload that wav to Soundcloud. Because I use the Audiophile edition of the software, when Soundcloud compresses the uploaded wav, that's the only compression the Realtracks and Realdrums undergo. As a result, the audio quality of my streaming song on Soundcloud is the best that I can achieve using 16/44.1 original wav files.

  • Radio broadcasting is another area where music is compressed prior to being used. So if songs are likely to be played back by radio transmission, it's possible that the Audiophile edition will be useful in obtaining a better quality final sound.

The above thoughts stand outside of an individual user's ability to hear the high fidelity sound of Audiophile Realtracks and Realdrums. It is the overall hearing ability of the final audience that is considered.

Quote:
To test what compression does to an audio file, try the following.

1. Create a small song.

2. Save the final mix as:

  • (a) wav (at least 16 bit, 44.1 kHz);
  • (b) 128 kbps stereo mp3;
  • (c) 96 kbps stereo mp3.

3. Upload all three versions to Soundcloud (keep the tracks Private if you don't want the world to hear them).

4. Play the tracks back and compare.

During its preparation process, Soundcloud will compress each of the uploaded files. While some instruments survive this compression better than others, it's usually possible to hear audio artifacts creeping into to the published audio as a consequence of Soundcloud's compression.


Hope this makes sense.
Noel

December 3, 2016


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This is very solid information, Noel. Yes, it is critical to avoid compressing a compressed file. While I don't use SoundCloud, I have encountered severe artifacts on YouTube. My video guy would make the original file as large as YouTube allowed before it would employ a worse compression level.

Radio stations can really destroy the quality (and dynamic range) of a song also. I have learned not to try to out-think a radio station, because whatever they do will mangle the sound anyway. The only thing you can do is what you say, stay in a non-compressed mode as long as possible.


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I only use BIAB audiophile edition now a days because of the high quality audio tracks it provides and the fact I like being able to have every real track avalibe with out having to install all the tracks on to my Mac. The fact that they are only 16 bit 44.1k does not really bother me since most people can't tell the difference in aduio higher than 320k mp3. As someone who went to school for audio, it would be nice to have at least 24bit 44.1, as I use that a lot when mixing in my DAW, and I hope the 2017 BIAB for Mac will be able to have the RTs at 24 bit, but again, it's not that big of a deal to me.


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Very informative info. Thanks to all.

DE


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New to the Audiophile here.
I notice that the the Audiophile has both WAV & WMA (as mentioned earlier.
When installing to a HHD do you need both the WAV & WMA?
If not, do you go through a nd remove the WMA's?
If you don't remove the WMA's does BIAB just default to the WAV's?
If BIAB defaults to WAV can you, for example install WAV files to the Realtracks you use the most and leave WMA's for other instruments? (If you need to save space on your HDD)?

Last edited by Beachboy; 12/12/16 08:42 PM.

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When installing from the PG Music USB drive to a hard drive on your computer (which you don't have to do), yes, you will get both a .WMA and a .WAV of each sound but you just need one or the other to use that sound.

Yes, you could write a batch file to go through and remove all the .WMA files if you wanted, but I don't think it's worth the effort since they are only 1/11 the size of the .WAV files.

Likewise, to save space, you could delete some .WAV files of sounds you don't plan to use, but you would have to do that manually within each folder you choose, which would take quite some effort.

What I do instead is use a file manager and copy only the folders that are new each year that I know I want from the USB drive over to my hard drive. And I bought a hard drive just for RealTracks and RealDrums.


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One other tip. When an update for RealTracks is announced, wait until they also release the audiophile version of that same update.

Sometimes they come together and there is a different link in the announcement. Sometimes the audiophile update comes in another post a few days later.


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Thanks for the advice Matt.
Like you, I'm going to store the Realtracks & Drum WAV's on a backup drive.
So, if you leave botht he WAV & WMA's in their folders does BIAB just default to the WAV's?
Also, thanks for the headsup regarding the updates, I was wondering how that worked.
Yes, I think I'll do similar to you and satart be moving the WAV's I need as I need them to my HDD and then just add as new versions are released.
Col

Last edited by Beachboy; 12/13/16 01:09 AM.

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Yes, BIAB defaults to using the .WAV files. Go back and read my explanation of how that works in my first post. It's pretty cool how they do it. I explain that about six paragraphs down, the one that starts with "The audiophile version runs faster".


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Matt,
Yes, see it now.
Thanks for all the info.
Col


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It really is cool, how PG Music manages to do any of this.

There is a lot of info to take in here. I hope you found it clear and that this thread helped you.


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Yes Matt, all very helpful.
Thanks
Col


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Thank you for this great post Matt. Not only interseting but It has enabled me to make a wiser buying choice of the pak I need.


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One thing I have always wondered about: If I buy the audiophile version, and add to that what usually is offered as the "bonus-49 pack", will it also be in the uncompressed wav format, or wma-only?

All the best!

Antonio


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Originally Posted By: doctormidi
One thing I have always wondered about: If I buy the audiophile version, and add to that what usually is offered as the "bonus-49 pack", will it also be in the uncompressed wav format, or wma-only?

All the best!

Antonio

Hi Antonio,

When this question was asked a year or so ago, Callie said that it's necessary to mention that one would like the Audiophile edition of the bonus package at the time of purchase. The package will then be added to the Audiophile's USB drive prior to shipping.

Regards,
Noel


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This is a great breakdown, Matt. Definitely going to be sending new customers to this so they can get a veteran user's opinion in the future!


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Thanks, Will. I'm glad to have the opinion of a PG Music employee. I wrote this the day BIAB version 2017 was released for the PC. Potential customers always ask, and I had written parts of this info for many years, over and over. I'm pleased you find it helpful.


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I’m bumping this post for potential purchasers who consider the audiophile version.


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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
I’m bumping this post for potential purchasers who consider the audiophile version.


You need to be on PG Music's marketing team. They should pay you for advertisement like this.


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My take on this is really really simple.

I am using Real Tracks as a main component of work I am doing in my home studio for serious musical purposes in order to try and compete with people out there who have access to huge budgets and expensive studios and to try and sound as good or better than them.

For me, the audiophile choice is a no brainer and I can tell the difference instantly.

I am also an obsessive compulsive perfectionist, so when I hear audiophile's quality, I am stuck with it. I am blending the tracks with tracks I record myself with my own guitars and other instruments, and if I don't use audiophile, there is a noticeable difference between the tracks I record myself and the others. I want everything to sound thick, and rich and gorgeous like a bunch of musicians just left the room, so I am totally sold 100 percent on audiophile.

There is nothing else for me to say. My version is really short: audiophile.

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This is a great write-up that has turned into an even more informative thread - thank you so much!


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Thank you Callie, I appreciate that.

At the time I wrote this, you were just releasing BIAB 2017. Some readers suggested making this a sticky. Perhaps it would be helpful to reconsider doing that as you get closer to December and what we hope will be BIAB 2018.


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Is there a difference in the Audiophile files used in the Mac version and the PC version ?

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My understanding is the Mac version has MP4 lossy audio files and AIFF lossless audio files while the PC version has wma lossy files and WAV lossless audio files.

Both WAV and AIFF files contain the same uncompressed PCM audio content. The AIFF file format was created by Apple to also contain metadata like album cover graphics in iTunes whereas WAV files do not.


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Callie and Matt,

One thing that is bouncing around in different forums repetitively that I wish pro users could put to bed forever on some post or location somewhere on this board or website is whether Real Tracks (particularly audiophile) are like "recording" or "recording studio quality" or "can you have a million dollar recording studio" using Real Tracks.

The answer from me and many other pro users is YES, YES, YES, YES and YES, and one more time YES.

Plus, let's think about cost and the value of having the patience to learn how to really use Real Tracks and learn how to mix and master with them in a DAW.

The AVERAGE rate around here in the south for a reasonable "album" production song with a few studio musicians is about $2,000 PER SONG. I see artists shell out 20 grand for an album all the time--a few guitars, some vocals, drums, etc.

20 grand. Just like that.

I swear to heaven there are people on this forum who can take Real Tracks and Real Drums and add their own vocals and instrumentation and mixing and mastering skills in a good home studio and they sound better than stuff coming out of studios.

Because Real Tracks are just that: REAL TRACKS. Especially audiophile. Wav form tracks perfectly played. Pretty much what you would get in a studio after 8 hours if your people know how to play.

And YES, for the 100th time you can make an album with Band in a Box tracks.

Just wanted to see if I could point that out for the 101th time if Matt's post is going to become a sticky.

BIAB is not just a practice tool anymore.

YOU CAN MAKE AN ALBUM WITH IT AND IT DOES NOT COST 20 GRAND.

There, I can rest now.

smile

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David, I see you’re ASCAP. BMI here. Funny, I wrote a post along those lines just this morning; see if it speaks a little to what you are saying.

http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=433787#Post433787


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< YES, for the 100th time you can make an album with Band in a Box tracks. >

David, that is the exactly the point of question two < "can you have a million dollar recording studio" using Real Tracks? > in another thread of the forum I started.

I'm thinking use of RealTracks is more common in commercial releases today than most realize.

If I were to hire the session musician that performs on a RealTrack I select and use on an original composition, the track that same musician would generate 'live' in a studio for me for that same original song, would be very similar to the track generated by BIAB. If the RealTrack is an acoustic strumming rhythm guitar, the same player, playing the same song in the same key, tempo and chord progression should sound similar. But the setup to record the same player, playing the same song with the same instrument, mic, studio, studio equipment, mics, etc will come at a much greater cost that likely exceeds one's investment in buying any version of BIAB. I can't think of any circumstance other than pure chance where a complete drum kit can be recorded live in most home studios sounding better than a studio recorded Real Track by a top session drummer.

BIAB tracks are no less real than a MIDI track recorded in a multi million dollar studio. No less real than a comped lead vocal. No less real than an instrument recorded on the west coast and the track sent to a studio on the east cost project. A real track is no less real in any recording project than a sample or loop.

There is no break in the recording chain of a Realtrack from its initial recording through the song creation in BIAB to the point of rendering the track to audio. Perhaps the difference in quality of a $99 interface DAC and a $6,500 commercial DAC affects the rendered product but that would be taken into consideration if a Real Track was desired by a producer to be included in a mainstream commercial release.


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It's sticky now smile


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Not yet Callie, I am about to post my magnum opus on another thread and reference this. Then it will be sticky.

smile

And I will be done.

For the next ten minutes anyway.

Hey by the way, could you guys run a flash sale on Xtra Styles 2 for 1 day and let me know when that day will be.

I know someone who needs it.

smile


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To my knowledge, this thread still applies fully to the new BIAB 2018.


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Hello All,

I have been using Band in a Box since easily sometime in the last millennium, but it was only last December (2018) that I finally splurged and purchased the audiophile version.

And I have to say, it sounds amazing!

Or does it? While playing back some songs I had written early in the year, I noticed some apparent artifacts in the strummed guitars and one or two cymbal crashes. I am reluctant to re-render at this stage, as the tunes are just about where I want them to be in terms of arrangement.

Still, I am curious to know if the tracks I have currently rendered are truly using the audiophile .wav files. Is there a way to confirm?

Dunbar7376 / Tom Marvan



Last edited by dunbar7376; 08/28/18 01:52 PM.

Tom Marvan
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Hi Tom. If you have installed the audiophile version correctly over your old version, BIAB is unquestionably using the .WAV files. If nothing else, they load a bit faster. BIAB first looks for .WAV files and only when they are not found does it load and uncompress a compressed file.

What you are hearing is likely from another reason. For example, are you at a tempo considerably different from the recommended tempo for that RealTrack?

Did you try turning off Fast Generation for that song in Options, RealTracks?

Do you have a Mac or PC? What are the specs? Or, perhaps easier, is your single-core Geekbench score over around 1500?

It is true, those are two out of the three sounds most likely to show artifacts of stretching pitch or tempo (along with sustained acoustic piano). If you lower or raise the key by a half or whole step, do you still hear anything wrong?


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Hello Matt,

thank you for the kind reply.

"If you have installed the audiophile version correctly..." That's the $64,000 question!

In fact, in anticipation of the audiophile purchase, I bought a fresh new laptop last November and removed as much bloatware as possible, so that a fresh version of BinaBox could be installed.

My (then) new laptop was an HP Spectre X360 4K Ultra HD 15.6" touchscreen, with a core i7 8th CPU, 512GB solid state drive, 16GB RAM, Nvidia dedicated 2GB GDDR5 video, and Windows 10. At some point I plan to take advantage of the thunderbolt port for recording.

Typically I do select realtracks close to the tempo song (with some rare exceptions, with the few examples appearing to be bass instruments, not victims of artefacts, at least that my ear can hear).

I do have "speed up generation of real tracks" enabled. I will experiment and turn that off, but the specs of my machine should presumably be able to handle it. When I regenerate a song, the artefacts tend to go away on a new rendering, as they sometimes when I go up or down half a step.

I did a quick search in my bb directory and noticed that, under the realtracks directory, there are wma and BT1 files. There are absolutely no *.wav files anywhere on my computer (well, 3 or 4 songs ripped from a CD, but not in any bb directory).

I may owe someone $64,000. I don't think I did a full audiophile install. It was quite a process moving old files, getting the drivers to work etc., so I don't recall the install protocol I followed. I will dig out the shipped audiophile hard drive and compare the bb files there with those on my hard drive. I may have been reluctant to do a full install as my drive, although fast, is only 500GB new.

Thank you for your help!

Tom Marvan.


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Tom, in a correct installation there will be both a WMA file and a WAV file for each sound, in the same folder. So I think you’ve answered your own question. PG Music Support could help you sort it out, but it does make sense that you did not install the audiophile version files to your laptop. That internal drive is not big enough; the audiophile version takes up about three times the size of your one drive! On a laptop with less than a 2 TB drive (and that’s almost all of them), you have to do the minimal install of BIAB but then be sure the RealTracks and RealDrums point to the external drive supplied by PG Music (and keep that plugged in). This setting is found in Options, Preferences, RealTracks (and same for RealDrums) where you select a Custom Folder.


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Thank you, Matt. I think I have all that I need to step up to the next level of audio quality!

Well, with one clarification: it looks like I need to contact support to assist in a proper install. A simple redirect of the RealTracks and RealDrums to the external drive is not enough?

Tom.


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Yes, since the program was already installed, a simple redirect to the files on the external drive is all that's needed (in the two places mentioned). Try it.

And now you have an easy way to compare the two types of sound.


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Tom,

In addition to Matt's very thorough advice, have a look under "Options | Prefereneces | Realtracks" and you'll see a setting for "Tempo/Pitch stretching quality" in the right column of settings.... make sure that this is set to 'High' as shown on the image below. If I recall correctly, I think it sets to 'Medium' by default.

Regards,
Noel

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Thank you, Noel and Matt.

Indeed, the default was on medium and I have set it to high.

As far as Matt's very thorough advice, I know what I will be doing for the Labor Day holiday tomorrow!

Tom.


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nice info a bit of a shame the recording are not 24 bit audio instead of 16 as 24 bit is now the industry standard but to be honest as long as its cd quality i guess not a big deal :-) might get the new one once there is a sale i suspect this winter.

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If you like the idea of 24 bit Audiophile Edition RealTracks then please support my August 27, 2015 wishlist request by adding a +1 post to the thread.


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Hi all,
I understand the difference between WAV and WMA format. I'm interested to move to audiophile edition but is it possible to get from PGMusic 2 samples of a style -if possible jazz or bossa (one in WMA and one in WAV) to ear the difference ?

Thx

Patrick

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You could send an email to sales@pgmusic.com and ask.

An .MP3 posted here wouldn’t show any difference because the .MP3 would be compressed. And once we have the audiophile version, the program uses only the .WAV files.


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To my knowledge, the info in this thread is still applicable for BIAB 2019.


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Thank you Matt for this info.

Peter

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Glad it may have helped, Peter. Thank you.


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I wanted to send an appreciation to Joanne Cooper, performer and PG Music forums contributor, for republishing my article as this month's feature in her blog. Here's the current link: https://www.joannecooper.co.za/blog?p=1

Thank you, Joanne!


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What I find a little annoying about all this is that PG Music insists on delivering the Audiophile version on USB 3 drives. Between BIAB and Komplete, I have a shelf filling up with drives that I've used exactly once. My VIs and BAIB libraries are installed onto 2GB and 4GB SATA III SSDs as soon as I get them — far less clutter.

Is internet access on Vancouver Isle so slow that electronic delivery is not possible?

I'll admit that Native Instruments is a bit more puzzling. You can download Komplete and all upgrades but they send you the HDD anyway. What the???

And what's this ASCAP vs BMI nonsense anyway? The real enemy is someone else.


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You’re right, the mention of BMI and ASCAP was an aside that is not relevant.

Your first comment belongs with others in the Wishlist. There have been good discussions there about requesting another form of delivery, particularly for those in Europe who have to pay the VAT on the value of each drive. Find one of those and contribute your support.

Those are wonderfully large SSD drives you have. I would guess most users do not have them that large yet, especially that one poster in this thread with a laptop. But if you feel ‘the need - for speed’, check out PCie drives. That’s my next wish!


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Quote:
Those are wonderfully large SSD drives you have.

Prices have come way down... A 2TB MX500 is now $207 on Amazon and a 4TB 860 QVO is around $399. Plenty of 1TB drives under $100.

SATA III SSDs are just as fast over USB 3, 3.1, Thunderbolt 1/2/3, in a PCI card, SATA, eSATA... the SSD is the bottleneck. I get pushback whenever I post this but I've done the bench testing that proves this.
Quote:
But if you feel ‘the need - for speed’, check out PCie drives. That’s my next wish!

On the boot drive, oh yea. A fast 2TB 970 EVO is down to $479 while the slower 660p is now under $200. For external or additional internals, a waste of money for music production but, if doing video, heck yea.

Here's what they don't tell Mac owners: Over Thunderbolt 3, the maximum number of data lanes is 4. A single NVMe 3 x4 blade in a Samsung X5 is about as fast as a pair RAID 0 in a twin enclosure (the slots become x2) or a quad where the slots become x1. Fine for JBOD but not for speed.

If I needed PCIe storage, I'd order up a Mac Pro in a couple of months and sell my iMac Pro. I'll assume that your PC could take them now. With fast blades such as the 970 EVO, it'll scream. Even the slow, inexpensive blades such as the Intel 660p have way more than enough giddyup for audio. I installed a 660p into my daughter's mid-2015 MacBook Pro and that rocks over the AHCI that Apple installed.

SATA III externals are fine for anything I'm doing now and, if I needed faster, a 2TB X5 is $800—with 2 TB3 busses, I could connect a pair without a speed hit.


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Mike, you have some really good knowledge in this area. My knowledge is increasingly aging out. Since you are from a certain area of California, might you be connected with one of the fine companies there?


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The basic info in this thread about file types still applies to BIAB 2020.


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Matt,

and therefore (since all is the same), I will be installing the new audiophile 2020 tonight!

Tom.


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Tom, very good. Hope all went well.


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Vocals, Background GospelCoolHigh1 Sw16 075
Top WMA Compressed
Bottom WAV Uncompressed
Full Screen

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BB-Audiophile-Specs.png (21.54 KB, 178 downloads)
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Pipeline, very interesting. But an encoding rate that low (48 kbps) isn't all that normal. Perhaps if you showed .WMA files at 128 or 196, it would be more representative of how folks make their compressed files?


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Matt,

What Pipeline showed accurately represents all the compressed RealTracks.

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Right. But when I last checked, not all the WMA files are the same rate.


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The stereo ones are 128, I used Vocal as an example here's some others:

Flute Soloist Bossa Ev 140



Accordion, Rhythm OldWorldWaltz Ev 180

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It’s been four years since I wrote the first post in this thread. The basic info about file types still applies to BIAB 2021.

The reason for this thread is that each year at this time, when the new version is released, people may be considering purchasing or upgrading to the audiophile version. If so, I encourage you to go to the first post in the thread, page one, and read the first dozen or so posts.


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This is great info. I started with 2021 Pro on Jan. 3rd, upgraded to Ultra a few days later and I just ordered AE. I'm a saxophonist and I'm working on a Christmas album for a release later this year and it looks like I'm going to use 100% BIAB for my tracks.

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Thanks. I'm guessing you play Alto?


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I play alto on occasion but I play mostly tenor and soprano. I thought about doing one alto track for the project but I've decided against it this time. My moniker is a nickname from my college bandmates WAY back in the day.

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I had a Mark VI tenor but sold it; couldn’t hold it with arthritis. I still play poor soprano as a double.


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Thanks for your support. I have always been an audiophile and still have most of my hearing that it makes a difference. This despite a lifetime of playing in bands that should have finished me as having good ears.


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To my knowledge, the information in this thread still applies to BIAB 2022.


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I hope so:)

I'm installing the 2022 audiofile version today and just read through this thread - it's been a while.

I was trying to use the Installer's third Option to install everything on my pc hard drive, and then specify the external drive where the RealTracks and RealDrums files now reside on my system, but the Installer warned that for the audiofile version I need to select a different option and then 'Copy' the RT and RD files separately.

(If the PG Staff is monitoring, it might be a good idea to note that in the instructions. I didn't see it anywhere. It's only when the Installer is about to execute that the message appears and you can't go back. You have to cancel the installation after it starts. Also, I think the message says to select the first Option which is to Run BiaB directly from the USB drive. The second Option to install BiaB but leave the RT's and RD's on the USB seems more logical since you're already trying to install everything on your computer's hard drives.)

So in Windows I guess I'll do that and skip replacing any files already on my external USB. BiaB 2021 is up to date, so any of the RT and RD files I already have should be good. And btw, there are both WMA and WAV files on my external drive and on the audiofile USB, which is what brought me here in the first place. I didn't remember that BiaB automatically uses the WAV files unless they're not found.

So thanks again, Matt, for this thread!

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Thank you.

I copy most (but not all) of the new RealTrack files after sorting by date. [Because it’s a lot smaller, I copy all the new RealDrums]

My point is, I do not use the PG Music installer so I have not seen your warning message. Certainly it is possible to install the RealTracks to a different drive, so I’m not sure what your message means. I do understand you know what you want.


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If I'm rendering stems or other .wav files that will again be worked on within my DAW, say for faux mastering or to be imported by another program or DAW I ensure I select Dither Master & Noise Shape Master as stacked processing does introduce artefact in the higher frequencies. I assume, because the lossy formats converted/unpacked to PCM/DSD etc. have filled gaps with zeros before truncation, that the problem is somewhat greater.
Now, I render at 24bit if I need to move things or process further, as would most folk but processing by streamers etc. may introduce more.
I usually upload 16 to streamers as a 24bit upload strains my bandwidth/allowance.
Dan Worral explains it nicely & explains why it's not a problem and is a problem depending on one's needs.

Please excuse the rude title.
Note...the little trick with -0.1dB is cool.

The concise explanation is at 12.43 in the video.
At 15.59 he plays with MP3 in the same processing.
Pity he didn't do WMA as that's germane to the website.
Perhaps someone with the time & nous will try the process on one.

For my purposes, that is recording other "real" instruments at 24bit, the basic rules for me are :Dither/noise shape any time in 24bit. Dither Noise shape ONCE for 16 bit.

Given the relative cost of storage versus the time & expense of conversion, the higher cost for the "audiophile" version no longer seems justifiable to me other than marketing of course.

Last edited by rayc; 04/21/22 07:28 PM.

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For several years a few of us have been suggesting that PG Music should consider making a 24-bit audiophile version. That would eliminate conversion for folks who want to work in 24-bit in a DAW (as I do). Of course, that would need at least a 3 TB drive, maybe 4.


BIAB 2024 Win Audiophile. Software: Studio One 6.5 Pro, Swam horns, Acoustica-7, Notion 6; Win 11 Home. Hardware: Intel i9, 32 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Presonus Studio 192, Presonus Faderport 8, Royer 121, Adam Sub8 & Neumann 120 monitors
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24 bit is nice but are the sources 24 bit or better to start with?
Does PG Music have a server or five loaded with 24 bit, (or better), originals of all Real Tracks & Real Drums?
The slow "roll out" of drum "stems" suggests that there may not be many original tracks from a mutli track RealDrum session available for release.

Again, given the status of storage these days, the need for "audiophile", (& that is another of many PG Music misnomers), as a special product is redundant.


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We have been told that there are recordings made in 24-bit. I don’t think we know if that means all of them.


BIAB 2024 Win Audiophile. Software: Studio One 6.5 Pro, Swam horns, Acoustica-7, Notion 6; Win 11 Home. Hardware: Intel i9, 32 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Presonus Studio 192, Presonus Faderport 8, Royer 121, Adam Sub8 & Neumann 120 monitors
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We tested ultra vs audiophile pretty hard a few years ago.
Speakers ranging from $100 to $5000.
Lots of different listeners
Nobody consistently could tell


Maybe in the past it mattered.

Maybe.


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Who is "we."

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“We” is myself and some other friends.
Musicians.
Engineers
Regular people
My cat was disinterested in the entire effort and refused to take part.
More than 5, less than 10 people.

My comments are Not presented as a scientific analysis. Just a collective opinion.
It began as I was looking for a reason to give PG Music even more of my money every year and purchase the audiophile version.
I found no compelling reason to do so based on “our” little test.
That’s all.

I invite you do do it yourself.
We used the Same Real Track arrangement rendered with 2 versions of BIAB (ultra and audiophile).

See what you find.

Maybe you’ll find different results.

Maybe not.


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Here is a spectral view of a RT 3063 Vocal Aahs..
the top track is wma and the bottom is wav with the same sections, both are direct from the RT folder on the Audiophile drive without processing using Biab Track Injector that allows you to use any file type compatible with Reaper.

You can see the head space difference.

Zoom++

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typically i use biab/rb n' reaps in a song.

the thing i like in reaps is to record in compressed file format my vocs eg flac. maybe i'm stupid but i cant hear diff from recording in wav. frankly i'm sick of running tests lol for confirmation bias.

ive lost count how many traks ive recorded over the years in reaps useing flac. thousands...
thus a reason i posted a wish for bb n ' rb to do same...or use ogg or wavpak whatever.

imagine bb n' rb genning/recording/playback/mixing all useing a standard compressed format useing a m2 ssd.

wowser...speedy n' speedy.

loads of positives. sigh.

best

om


New Song "PRETTY GIRL" for my wife...Dec 2023
(my vocs....mixed for good earbuds.)
https://soundcloud.com/alfsongs/prettygirlrbfinalcalfsongsdec2023mp3
(and rock song THE STALLION and bluegrass song... BANKER MAN....90 songs useing bb/rb.)
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From the Reaper Community Forums regarding RECORDING TO FLAC:
From as far back as 2009...things have progressed but, I suspect, the ratios would remain similar:

"Using default Reaper settings. Recording eight stereo tracks with ASIO - 48khz, 10ms buffer):
Code:

- flac 24bit quality=8 -> ~70% cpu usage (~10% on playback)

- wavpack 24bit quality=very high -> ~30% cpu usage (~15% on playback)

- wav pcm 24bit -> ~5% cpu usage"

What one may save, these days unnecessarily, on storage one may lose in buffer size, CPU usage, glitches & VST restrictions.

Even in 2009 it was clear:
"Most algos are creating a file somewhere between 50% (theoretically) and 60% of the original file's size. Basically, a 10MB track will be 5.5MB in size (average)....
With 16/32GB USB memory sticks and HDs in the 100s of GBs (and the individual tracks often being smaller than 10MB), I myself am not seeing much use for it."

Last edited by rayc; 12/03/22 07:52 PM.

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ALL.

just did a test wav vs flac recording….reaper.

parameters for test.

1..sound device set to asio 4ms latency 256 samples. no glitches.
2..20 traks with fx playing back while recording 8 new traks 24 bit..flac test then wav test.
didnt see a big differnence tween flac vs wav cpu wise. up to 18 % max.

ive thrown loads of traks at this new pc with m2 and dont get it to 'puff out'. no matter trak count ymmv.
to be fair i only use low cpu useage plug ins.

maybe i'm missing something…but ive never had a prob with glitches here recording flac with loads of traks playing back even on an old machine. thats why i like flac..it works great for me. even on my old i5 refurb trying to make a glitch i never could make it glitch.
never even seen 30 % cpu useage.

i suggest people do their own wav vs flac tests as we all have different rig set ups. and what works for moi might
not for another user.

MERRY XMAS TO ALL.

om


Last edited by justanoldmuso; 12/04/22 04:59 AM.

New Song "PRETTY GIRL" for my wife...Dec 2023
(my vocs....mixed for good earbuds.)
https://soundcloud.com/alfsongs/prettygirlrbfinalcalfsongsdec2023mp3
(and rock song THE STALLION and bluegrass song... BANKER MAN....90 songs useing bb/rb.)
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Yes, your new machine is a spanker and is probably more than up to the task.
Your test results are, well, vague but I believe you.
In the end you're adding an "on the fly" conversion process to an already hungry process.
The question would be, given the circumstances, WHY? - and the answer, beyond "...because I always have..." would need to be a a good one for anyone else to adopt this as a useful "tip or trick".


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rayc
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I have been using the standard (non-audiofile) version for many years. (Originally had an Atari ST version if I recall correctly...)

Anyway, there are a handful of "go-to" styles that I always tend to gravitate toward. It would be great if there was an option to purchase a few audiophile styles. (At the moment, I'm primarily a hobbyist and the cost of the full Audiofile version with the full .wav library is somewhat prohibitive.)

More of a comment than a question, I suppose.


-- Dave R.
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Dave, welcome to the forum.

I see this as more of a Wish than a comment. Make a post in the Wishlist Forum, here: https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=9&page=1


BIAB 2024 Win Audiophile. Software: Studio One 6.5 Pro, Swam horns, Acoustica-7, Notion 6; Win 11 Home. Hardware: Intel i9, 32 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Presonus Studio 192, Presonus Faderport 8, Royer 121, Adam Sub8 & Neumann 120 monitors
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Yes, see it now.

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