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#384156 12/16/16 01:51 AM
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Hi,

I only heard about BIAB a couple of months ago and thought I'd give it a try. After parting with the hard earned and downloading it, I find that I have BIAB and Realtracks. as well as some synth thing. Apart from the fact that Realtracks keeps locking up everytime I try to use it, I can't really see much difference from BIAB. What is the point of two similar programs?

Torq2 #384175 12/16/16 02:59 AM
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Howdy. You've come to the right place, but folks will need more info. Version? Operating System? Geekbench score? That would help a lot.


Regards,

Bob

Torq2 #384204 12/16/16 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted By: Torq2
Hi,

Realtracks keeps locking up everytime I try to use it, I can't really see much difference from BIAB. What is the point of two similar programs?


You have a bunch of terminology to learn. I assume you at talking about RealBand versus BIAB? Realtracks are simply the audio files which are used in both programs.

Biggest difference is in recording. BIAB can do only one recorded audio track with little to no editing permitted. While Realband is much more like a true DAW. It records multiple tracks with full editing ability.

Does that help?


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Torq2 #384323 12/16/16 01:53 PM
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BiaB is a song creation tool and auto-accompaniment software.
Meant to be fast, basic easy-to-use tool for generating backing tracks.

RealBand (RB) started as a MIDI sequencer (named PowerTracks), then added audio multitracking capabilities, more ports for audio and MIDI, then once the ability to generate tracks from the same files BiaB uses was added, it became RB.. to this day it is a combination of Powertracks and BiaB in my eyes.

Because of this it is much different.
Generation is meant to be an 'intentional' action in RB; it is slower when mass generating BiaB tracks but can be more flexible than BiaB.

It doesn't have the 'read ahead' capability that BiaB does, which makes it seems like BiaB is faster .. however when you consider BiaB is dealing with 9 tracks and RB can have 48, there is going to be a difference.

Also, RB is meant to act more like a DAW as far as how features are implemented. So another reason it doesn't do the auto-generate/look ahead thing is because in a DAW environment you usually don't want tracks to keep changing. You are working on sections or single tracks..

Another example is using multi-riff. Because RB has more available tracks you can generate (say) a sax solo 8 times (all different variations) in one pass, all to different tracks, and then pick through what you like.
BiaB can't do that.

They ARE different, it just takes a while to see the difference.
And because of the different history, both need to be set up individually to work most efficiently.

Two simple things I notice help RB performance during any setup:
Don't run it from the same drive as the OS if possible (or at least take advantage of Temp Directory setting if you can).

Test your Driver settings and take a minute to look at what is being used and what is available. Experiment.
Ask questions, like you are..

When exactly does RB lock up?


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rharv #384343 12/16/16 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted By: rharv

Two simple things I notice help RB performance during any setup:
Don't run it from the same drive as the OS if possible (or at least take advantage of Temp Directory setting if you can).

Test your Driver settings and take a minute to look at what is being used and what is available. Experiment.
Ask questions, like you are..




are you suggesting realband not be installed on the c: as is normal but a faster one internal or external if its available


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Torq2 #384470 12/17/16 04:13 AM
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rharv provided a good explanation of the differences.

My point of view.... Band In A Box (BB) is my writing tool. It's where I compose the song. I choose the key, the tempo, the style, the structure and work out the details for the finished song.

I save and close it then open Real Band (RB) and load that same file. I then add other parts that were not a part of the style in BB. For example a rock style fits well in today's country music but it doesn't have steel or fiddle or dobro. In RB I can easily add those and more to the song.

To me, they are similar but very different in how I use them. BB will not do what RB does and vice verse.


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pghboemike #384519 12/17/16 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: pghboemike


are you suggesting realband not be installed on the c: as is normal but a faster one internal or external if its available

It's just an executable program that can run from anywhere. What I like to do is install programs on my SSD drive because they load so much faster. Then I save the data on a regular hard drive.

You could put it on the drive with the most free space, or anywhere you want. If you are moving the files, just change the location of the desktop shortcut icon.


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pghboemike #384555 12/17/16 09:16 AM
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I'll try to explain the inner workings as *I* understand them, and seems to be verified by testing/use ..

When using RB, you of course have the main OS drive (usually C:)
This drive is reading/writing everything going on with the OS (program updates, antivirus, Windows actions etc) as well as the program itself (if installed on C:).
Now you can run RB from that same drive, and I do quite often without issue.
But consider this:

When RB is reading (during simple playback) it is streaming audio multitrack data from a hard drive.
Now, if you record at the same time RB is also trying to 'write' to the same drive while 'reading' streaming multitrack audio. You've increased the load on the drive significantly. It is trying to read and write while jumping around and trying to keep things all lined up. This is called thrashing in extreme cases.

Also if you regenerate a section of track(s) RB now is trying to create the new generation (while reading the original designated PGMusic file and writing the new section) and ALSO writing the backup (or UNDO) file scrap so you can use the undo function. Again the drive is the most likely point of slowness if it is all happening on the same drive.

I find that
A. Using a separate drive to run RB from (and read the Realtracks from) has little to no negative effect. Especially if a separate internal drive
B. Using a separate drive to 'write' to (for both incoming audio recording and the backup of a regeneration and/or edits) speeds things up and causes less error.
I use a separate 500 gig drive (internal) for the "Temp Audio Directory". This is where all the 'chunks' of data get stored while working, for both edits and recording in RB. I can watch this directory change as I make edits and regenerate, so I know this is true.
I also know every time you save a SEQ file RB 'interweaves' the data to be streamed to make it more efficient for the drive to read.
If you don't 'save' and these chunks are spread across your C: drive it makes sense they are causing that drive to work harder. So the first message is to save often, though this can cost you sometimes in the number of 'Undo' options.

Eventually, after a period of time in a single session RB can end up working with many small chunks of audio all over. If one drive has to find and handle all of them it can decrease performance, whereas if multiple drives are handling the load it is more efficient.

YMMV of course, just rharv's point of view

Mind you, this is not a knock on the software; they design it to work on every system, even if the only drive available is a cramped C: drive, so the defaults are set to work this way.
I just find these adjustments during setup make things more enjoyable here .. and on other systems I've worked on. And faster.
Like I said near the end of the quoted post; Experiment.




Last edited by rharv; 12/17/16 09:31 AM.

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Torq2 #384561 12/17/16 09:37 AM
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I concur with all that Rharv wrote.

Torq2, did all this help or have we overwhelmed you?


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Torq2 #384574 12/17/16 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Also if you regenerate a section of track(s) RB now is trying to create the new generation (while reading the original designated PGMusic file and writing the new section) and ALSO writing the backup (or UNDO) file scrap so you can use the undo function. Again the drive is the most likely point of slowness if it is all happening on the same drive.


The above is being re-quoted by myself to point out that Undo is available in RB consistently, while in BiaB I don't think it needs to write an Undo .. you get what you get every time you hit play and it regenerates the song.
So there are 2 big differences in how generation is handled;
In BiaB it is faster (but less Undo options) which allows it to regenerate and play at the same time.
RB has more Undo capabilities because it writes an Undo scrap in the Temp Audio Directory (and generates what you selected) before starting playback. Which takes longer for obvious reasons.

Temp Audio Directory is a setting in Audio Prefs for RB. I've said this many times; it is worth noting! If possible use a different drive with little load.
I've crashed Audition, Sonar, ProTools, Reaper .. pretty much all of them. With proper setup (and horsepower) I've also ran all of them successfully.

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Torq2 #384612 12/17/16 12:22 PM
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Thank you Rharv, That was very informative to a newcomer like myself.

I am actually running the entire program (utra-pak) on my Surface Pro. One TB SSD on this machine using all stock settings,cause I don't know any better. I have had zero issues running this program with the entire system on one drive. I am running 8GB of ram, so if the OP was running a machine with,say 2 or 4 GB, that could be a bottleneck??

I will say,I use RB very little as I am trying to pick up information from you guys on the forum here...but so far,so good with the Surface Pro. (I was skeptic)

I think I will take your advise and purchase another 1TB SSD and see if even I can get better performance.


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props2 #384623 12/17/16 01:13 PM
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A Surface Pro should be able to run RB just fine. Especially with 8 GB RAM.
I've used these for much more demanding tasks, and they are good machines.

In this setting an additional internal drive is not really an option, but you may see performance increase with an external USB ..
not sure I'd worry about it though if I were in your shoes; if it ain't broke don't fix it.


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Yes it has, thanks to everyone who replied. Sorry for the slow response I haven't been online lately. RB seems to be ok now, it was locking when i was trying to choose audio drivers. After setting up Biab successfully I have now manged to do the same for RB.

I must admit i am blown away by it, I can't believe that I hadn't come across it before. I always wanted a program that could just generate a reasonable backing track without me having to is for hours inputting all the notes. Part of the reason is because I have never liked computer based music software and have always used analogue hardware.

Once again thinks for taking the time to reply, it has been very helpful

Regards

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