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#439746 - 11/22/17 09:49 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB
Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
cooltouch Offline
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Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
Uh-oh, I think I've posted this to the wrong sub-forum. I meant for it to go into the Recording, Mixing, Performance, etc. subforum. Moderator, if you think this should be moved, have at it.

Original Post follows:
======================
Well, the title sort of sez it all. The subject machine is my DAW. Right now my system is too easily sent into a frenzy of pops, clicks and crackles in my audio playback, and it's making it very difficult for me to generate decent quality audio files. I've even gone so far as making sure that no other program besides BiaB or RB is resident and that even unnecessary processes have been terminated (I use the Task Manager for this). Doing so helps some but not as much as I would have liked. All it takes is one click to ruin a recording. And I seldom get through an entire piece of music on this machine without at least one click being heard. So I'm kinda dead in the water right now if I want to use RB or BiaB going forward.

You know how RB has that little CPU Usage screen up in the top right corner. While a song is playing, the RB amount typically fluctuates between 17 and 20 %, while the Total number is usually only a couple of points higher. A similar readout in Cakewalk's Sonar delivers even lower numbers than these. I dunno about you, but to me these are quite low numbers and they seem to be indicating that my system still has plenty of reserve horsepower for this sort of work. So why all the noise? And why am I having such a noise problem with BiaB and RB when I don't with other DAW software like Sonar and Studio One 3?

My audio interface is an M-Audio Delta 66 PCI card, 24/96 capable, comes with an OMNI I/O unit that amounts to a compact mixer. It is a very quiet card. I'm running the M-Audio ASIO drivers. I've tried the MME drivers and they fare no better but the latency is worse. For MIDI, I'm using various synths for now, including Coyote and Sforzando.

My system is about five or six years old now. I don't recall exactly when I bought the MoBo and processor, but I do know that the MoBo is a really good one. As old as it is, it still supports recent processor technology. It is an AsRock 890 GX Pro 3 and takes AMD AM3 and AM3+ socket processors. Currently in the machine is an AM3 socket quad core AMD Phenom II X4 840 that's running at 3.44 GHz. So I'm thinking about upgrading to an AM3+ processor. The AsRock MoBo supports eight core processors, so whatever processor I do buy for it, it'll be an eight core. Prices range widely, from almost $300 to less than $100. I've got some homework to do before I make a decision.

Memory-wise, it's running 8 gigs of DDR3 SDRAM, and it has open slots for two more memory sticks. When I first upgraded my system to 8 gigs I thought that it would be a loooong time before I'd need more memory than that. Well, now, I'm not so sure anymore. I'm curious about what you folks think is adequate RAM for a DAW these days.

I just ran Geek Bench on it. I know some of you like to see these numbers, but I have no idea which numbers it is you like (although I'd like to), so how about them all? Here ya go:

Single-Core Performance

Single-Core Score 1879
Crypto Score 116
Integer Score 2218
Floating Point Score 1633
Memory Score 1928

AES 116
89.6 MB/sec

LZMA 2331
3.64 MB/sec

JPEG 2853
23.0 Mpixels/sec

Canny 1977
27.4 Mpixels/sec

Lua 2221
2.28 MB/sec

Dijkstra 2356
1.59 MTE/sec

SQLite 2262
62.7 Krows/sec

HTML5 Parse 2488
11.3 MB/sec

HTML5 DOM 952
862.7 KElements/sec

Histogram Equalization 1947
60.8 Mpixels/sec

PDF Rendering 2066
54.9 Mpixels/sec

LLVM 3586
246.6 functions/sec

Camera 2674
7.42 images/sec

SGEMM 558
11.8 Gflops

SFFT 1503
3.75 Gflops

N-Body Physics 1643
1.23 Mpairs/sec

Ray Tracing 1760
257.1 Kpixels/sec

Rigid Body Physics 2141
6267.9 FPS

HDR 2933
10.6 Mpixels/sec

Gaussian Blur 2048
35.9 Mpixels/sec

Speech Recognition 1493
12.8 Words/sec

Face Detection 1777
519.1 Ksubwindows/sec

Memory Copy 1105
3.06 GB/sec

Memory Latency 5828
74.3 ns

Memory Bandwidth 1113
5.95 GB/sec

Multi-Core Performance

Multi-Core Score 3192
Crypto Score 240
Integer Score 3995
Floating Point Score 3057
Memory Score 2324

AES 240
185.3 MB/sec

LZMA 4848
7.57 MB/sec

JPEG 4364
35.1 Mpixels/sec

Canny 3646
50.6 Mpixels/sec

Lua 3601
3.70 MB/sec

Dijkstra 4345
2.94 MTE/sec

SQLite 4301
119.3 Krows/sec

HTML5 Parse 4847
22.0 MB/sec

HTML5 DOM 2001
1.81 MElements/sec

Histogram Equalization 3726
116.4 Mpixels/sec

PDF Rendering 3338
88.7 Mpixels/sec

LLVM 6284
432.1 functions/sec

Camera 4207
11.7 images/sec

SGEMM 872
18.4 Gflops

SFFT 2343
5.84 Gflops

N-Body Physics 3325
2.48 Mpairs/sec

Ray Tracing 3179
464.3 Kpixels/sec

Rigid Body Physics 4485
13129.9 FPS

HDR 4892
17.7 Mpixels/sec

Gaussian Blur 4251
74.5 Mpixels/sec

Speech Recognition 2774
23.7 Words/sec

Face Detection 4176
1.22 Msubwindows/sec

Memory Copy 1514
4.20 GB/sec

Memory Latency 5495
78.8 ns

Memory Bandwidth 1510
8.07 GB/sec


Edited by cooltouch (11/22/17 09:53 PM)
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Michael

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https://soundcloud.com/michaelmcbroom/albums

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#439874 - 11/23/17 08:47 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5997
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5997
Generally when you have clicks, pops, and drops, the issue is most often related to the sound card and the drivers. Most computers, even old ones, are very capable of running modern audio recording software. In fact, all of mine are over 10 years old and run like champs. One is a duo-core laptop running Vista and the other is a custom build i5 Intel running XP pro 32. I run a Focusrite Saffire Firewire card on them (I can switch it as needed between the 2 machines) and they give me flawless recording and playback without glitches.

The PCI card format is a fairly old one. My first sound card was PCI. When the manufacturer refused to write updated drivers for the next MS operating system, it became totally useless and I was forced to purchase a new external interface.

Before you do any more upgrades to the computer itself, I'd buy a decent modern interface such as a Focusrite 2i2 USB external or something else similar. Be sure it supports native ASIO drivers and try that.

You might also want to see if there are updated ASIO drivers for your PCI card from the manufacturer and be sure you have the audio settings to 44.1k/16 or 44.1k/24. I looked this card up online and it shows it to have a 48k sampling rate. You need to switch it to 44.1k if you have that option. The other option is to convert everything else to 48k. You can NOT mix and match the sampling rates and expect to get good performance. There are reasons to use either but they're not compatible as far as I recall.

If it's not an option to switch the sampling to 44.1, buy an interface that does support 44.1k.


Edited by Guitarhacker (11/23/17 08:48 AM)
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#439999 - 11/23/17 01:46 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 1319
Kent - PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 1319
Hi Cooltouch,

It looks like your machine should have more than enough power to run Band-in-a-Box without issues. Which operating system are you using?

If you're using an ASIO audio driver, you might just need to increase its buffer size. In BIAB, go to Options - Preferences - Audio - Audio Drivers, then ASIO Driver's Control Panel, and look for a setting called "latency" or "buffer size". Then use trial and error to find the lowest settings that doesn't have pops and clicks.

Thanks
Kent
PG Music

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#440021 - 11/23/17 04:19 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 18047
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 18047
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Michael, BIAB makes more demands of your PC than SONAR, unless you have lots of plugins running in SONAR.

In BIAB you should look at Options, Preferences, RealTracks. There are a few options for slower computers. My production PC is more powerful than yours but I run with Fast Generation turned off.
_________________________
BIAB 2019 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Cakewalk, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#440100 - 11/23/17 09:45 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
cooltouch Offline
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Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
Matt, my machine had the fast generation checked, so I unchecked it.

Kent, glad to hear this machine has the hp to run the PG products. I've always thought it should. The OS is Win7 64bit.

I usually have the ASIO drivers enabled with this card (it has its own ASIO drivers). But for some strange reason when I took a look, MME was enabled. ??? So I switched it back over to ASIO. My card's buffers were set to 512. I upped them to 1024.

Guitarhacker, I have the latest drivers installed for my Delta 66 card. It automatically downgrades itself to 44.1k if that's what the software requires. Actually this card supports 24/96 -- as well as intermediate rates. I run it at 24/96 in Sonar and Studio One 3.

I have a Scarlett 2i4 that I originally bought for my iPad, but which I've also used with my laptop. Unfortunately, it's down with electrical problems right now. I also have another interface around here somewhere that's more or less equivalent to the 2i4. It's still packed up in a box somewhere (we've moved recently and I'm still unpacking boxes). But I don't really need them with this machine. That Delta 66 has historically handled audio chores with ease. It typically runs -- with ASIO drivers -- at somewhere around 8 to 12 msec of latency. I can live with those numbers.

Here's hoping the driver switch and increased buffer size is gonna take care of this problem. I'm listening to a tune in BiaB right now that's using one VSTi and a trio of RealTracks in addition to one midi track. So far no clicks or pops.


Edited by cooltouch (11/23/17 09:52 PM)
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My Music:
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#440191 - 11/24/17 07:00 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 5997
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
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Originally Posted By: cooltouch

Here's hoping the driver switch and increased buffer size is gonna take care of this problem. I'm listening to a tune in BiaB right now that's using one VSTi and a trio of RealTracks in addition to one midi track. So far no clicks or pops.


keeping fingers crossed.......
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#440205 - 11/24/17 07:43 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 18047
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
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Very good. Just a suggestion: change one thing at a time. That way you are more likely to learn which one made the difference.
_________________________
BIAB 2019 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Cakewalk, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#440243 - 11/24/17 10:23 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
cooltouch Offline
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Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
Matt, hehe, I've been down that road more than once. Didn't do that this time, though. Well, I tried it out with only the fast regeneration unchecked first. That seemed to have helped. But when I found that this machine was using the MME driver, I just had to get rid of it.

I just played back that same BiaB file that I was trying earlier. This time though I had a couple of CPU intensive tasks running in the background. No hiccups, pops or clicks. I see that as a good sign.
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My Music:
https://soundcloud.com/michaelmcbroom/albums

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#440253 - 11/24/17 11:34 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 18047
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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Very good! I ask only so I can answer a question (or you and others can) when this comes up again (and it will).

So if I understand your post correctly, the combination of these two changes worked, but the checkbox got you mostly there? That sounds right to me. MME gets a bad rap sometimes. It’s generally fine unless you are recording with a keyboard along with BIAB playing.
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BIAB 2019 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Cakewalk, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#440262 - 11/24/17 11:56 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 12/20/11
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Loc: Houston, Texas
cooltouch Offline
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Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
I'm not really sure just how much good unchecking fast generation helped. I suppose I could give things a listen with it checked, then unchecked, before I give it a critical evaluation.

I've had varying luck with MME. Sometimes it behaves well and other times it apparently misbehaves. The different nature is probably due to whatever else I have running in the background. For example, right now I'm listening to a tune that has five tracks, only one of which is a real track -- drums, plus a VSTi on the melody instrument. And I'm getting a fair amount of static. But I have one window open that's downloading a file, plus I've got my browser open and it currently has 15 tabs open. And windows explorer's file window is open so I can click on .wav files I'm generating to try with Windows Media Player, which is also open. So I reckon if I closed a few of these windows that might help things. Actually, right at this moment the song is sounding very clean. The one window that was d/l'ing a file has finished. That might have helped things. Heh. Otherwise, I haven't closed anything yet. So as you can see there's some variability with this whole pops/crackles/drops thing.
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#440939 - 11/27/17 07:02 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 04/03/09
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Guitarhacker Offline
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Originally Posted By: cooltouch



I've had varying luck with MME. Sometimes it behaves well and other times it apparently misbehaves. The different nature is probably due to whatever else I have running in the background. For example, right now I'm listening to a tune that has five tracks, only one of which is a real track -- drums, plus a VSTi on the melody instrument. And I'm getting a fair amount of static. ......... So as you can see there's some variability with this whole pops/crackles/drops thing.


it's been my experience working with DAWs and helping new people on the Cakewalk forums, that MME doesn't generally do well with synths. VST's and midi seem to cause problems. You can turn right around and load a totally 100% audio project and get flawless playback in the same session. It's when you have VST's running that problems tend to occur. Sometimes changing the buffers does the trick but often not, and only using ASIO drivers with the proper hardware makes the difference.
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#441424 - 11/28/17 09:18 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
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jazzmammal Offline
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Biab 2018 now uses the WASAPI driver called Windows Audio Session (WAS) and it's backwards compatible to Vista. On a decent system it's giving latency down to 25ms. Not quite as good as ASIO but plenty good enough for many.

Bob
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#442477 - 12/04/17 12:05 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
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cooltouch Offline
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Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
Yeah, I've read briefly about these new audio drivers. I still haven't made my mind up about whether I'll be upgrading to 2018 soon. The special PG has going on is tempting. I wonder if the 49 pack they're offering now is the same as what I bought with 2017. And the 2017 version I bought came with the "Everything Pack" so I'm wondering just how much new stuff will be included in 2018. I've noticed that 2018 is not being offered with an Everything Pack version. Have they renamed it perhaps?

So Bob, have you upgraded to 2018? I'm curious, does one install it over 2017, or does one install it into a new directory, preserving the older version? I'm inclined to do the latter, even though, from what I have learned, BiaB is typically installed into just a /bb subdirectory.

The most recent version prior to 2017 that I have is 2014 and I had installed it on a different machine than this on.


Edited by cooltouch (12/04/17 12:22 AM)
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#442480 - 12/04/17 12:55 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: cooltouch]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Matt Finley Offline
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Yes, they changed the package name this year.

Most users install new versions over the old. This saves space and preserves custom settings, user styles and Bonus Pak purchases.
_________________________
BIAB 2019 Win Audiophile; [& 2018 Mac UltraPak]. Software: Cakewalk, Adobe Audition, Ozone, Encore; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7, 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

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#442551 - 12/04/17 08:48 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Wondering if my System lacks the >>oomph<< and what I need for BiaB and RB [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
cooltouch Offline
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Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 225
Loc: Houston, Texas
Oh good. Over the years, I've bought various extras. I think I have all the styles that were available up to v2014, and then whatever new styles I got with the Everything Pack and 49 Pack this year. And they are all in my bb subdirectory. Plus I have hundreds of realbook-style tunes and hundreds of midi tunes, all which I located inside the bb directory, for better or worse. So I'd just as soon not have to move all that stuff.

I guess my only concern with 2018 will be bugs. BiaB has never been a bug-free environment for me and I'm concerned if I go for an early release of the next version, I'm gonna pick up another helping of fresh bugs.

I suppose I'm also concerned about system requirements. I feel like with this system, which is plenty fast enough for Sonar and Studio One 3 and Notion, it's at the ragged edge with both BiaB and RB. I plan to upgrade the system's RAM from 8 gigs to 16. I'm hoping that may put things off for a while. I can also buy a faster processor. The mobo takes AMD, either AM3 or AM3+ sockets. The processor I have now is a quad-core AM3, and it's possible to upgrade to an AM3+ eight-core. But I'll have to find a used one or NOS, since they've stopped making the ones that will work with my six-year-old mobo. Still it'll be faster than what I have now, just not a great deal faster.
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Among the great Add-ons included in the 49-PAK is our Artist Performance Set 9: Celtic Flute with Geoff Kelly, which includes 18 traditional Celtic tunes! You'll find beautifully performed songs like Boys of Bluehill, The Cliffs of Moher, Harvest Home, Rolling in the Rye Glass, and more!

The Celtic RealTracks backing up performances by Geoff Kelly sound amazing, and so do the duets with previous Artist Performance musician Daniel Lapp (on fiddle)! Listen to all the demos for these Artists Performances near the bottom of our Bonus PAKs page, here.

Here's a taste: Demo: Rolling in the Rye Grass

The Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows Bonus PAKs!

Purchase Band-in-a-Box® 2019 for Windows during our special (which ends December 31st), and you'll receive a FREE Bonus PAK overflowing with great Add-ons, including MIDI SuperTracks Set 28: Pop Basses with 6 MIDI SuperTracks, 21 RealDrums Transcriptions, 120 guitar licks and riffs in Instrumental Studies 7: Brent Mason 12-key CountryPop Guitar Licks, and 15 new MIDI Styles!

Or, upgrade it to the 49-PAK for just $49 and you'll add 40 UNRELEASED RealTracks, 10 "Low Man" & Re-amped "12-Key" Metal/Thrash Electric Guitar RealTracks, 6 more MIDI SuperTracks with Set 29: More Organ, Piano & Accordion, 120 more guitar licks and riffs with Instrumental Studies 8: Brent Mason 12-key Train-Beat Licks, 15 more MIDI Styles, and Artist Performance Set 9: Celtic Flute with Geoff Kelly!

Watch the video highlighting our 49-PAK here, or listen to demos and learn more here.

Free Bonus PAK Contents:
-Look Ma! More MIDI 1
-21 RealDrums Transcriptions
-MIDI SuperTracks Set 28: Pop Basses
-Instrumental Studies 7: Brent Mason 12-key CountryPop Guitar Licks

2019 49-PAK Contents:
-40 Bonus RealTracks!
-10 "Low Man" and Re-amped "12-Key" Metal/Thrash Electric Guitar RealTracks
-Artist Performance Set 9: Celtic Flute with Geoff Kelly
-Instrumental Studies 8: Brent Mason 12-key Train-Beat Licks
-Look Ma! More MIDI 2
-MIDI SuperTracks Set 29: More Organ, Piano & Accordion

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