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#523875 - 02/11/19 11:15 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7112
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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I borrowed the thread title from a new forum poster, Greg Tango. It sums up my feelings about Biab's print function nicely.

Myself and others have been talking about this for years. I'm going to be the squeaky wheel about this just like Pipeline was for the VST. If PGM can create a brand new VST then they can fix all these print issues as well.

1.
Clean up and combine elements of the Notation Options window, the Print options window and the Lead Sheet Options window. They still after all these years confuse the heck out of me and I can just imagine others without my experience. Here's some examples.

You want to print a chart. Say you're in the Leadsheet window. That's a logical place to be for an experienced player used to reading charts. Also known as what? Leadsheets! Of course somebody might look there. There's an option box there so you make some changes. Does that affect printing? NO! Is there at least a popup saying if you want to print this you're in the wrong Options window? NO. Next point.

At first glance why does Notation Options change the printing but Leadsheet options doesn't? Does Notation Options indicate anywhere that these changes flow to Print? NO!. You finally figure that out, make some changes. Next point.

Now you go to Print Options and check Preview Graphics. If the preview shows the chords too close to the melody notes on the staff below you have to exit the Preview and you're back to Print options. Anything there about changing the chord spacing? NO! Why not? You're in Print Options, jeesh. You have to open Notation Options and reset the chord spacing there. Is this obvious anywhere? NO! You just have to grok it yourself or somebody explains it to you. You figure that out and reopen Print Options and see if that did it. If you don't like it then you have to do that routine again. Now, another thing...

In the Preview Graphics window that shows what the actual chart looks like, there is an OPT button in the top menu bar. You're not happy and need to make more changes. Does that OPT button go back to Print Options? NO! It opens a small pixel size window! What kind of logic is that? Next.

Every time you close/reopen the Print Options it doesn't remember what you did such as do you want to print the first chorus, last chorus or whole song. That goes away every time. Another bug that's been there as long as I can remember.

2. How 1st/2nd endings are displayed. You can change the chord spacing but can't do anything about those endings spacing. They're way too close to the staff and if there's a chord there it's impossible to read.

The problem with 1st/2nd endings could be fixed if the print function allowed individual spacing between the staves. As it is now, the whole song has to be equal spacing. The only control we have is how many staves on a page. If stave 4 is the one with the repeat endings, just allow us to put more space between staves 3 and 4 to allow the 1st ending number and the line that goes over it to be say twice as large and allow room for a chord to be placed above it. The rest of the stave spacing could stay the same if a user wanted.

There's a similar issue with the spacing between the song title and the top of the page as well as spacing between the song title and the first Stave. Many times I only need a few single line spaces somewhere to make one stave that carried over to page 2 fit on page 1. I don't want to be forced to create an equally spaced stave for that.

3. You have font size in Leadsheet Options and Notation options as percentages. Print Options has it as a default of 24. Why percentages in two of these and a simple number in one?

4. I can understand the Leetsheet is for folks who want to follow along on the screen while the song is playing so they may want a different font size or spacing from what is needed to print. Ok, when you open Leadsheet Options have it clearly say this is display only, not for printing. Notation Options would be the same. Notation Options should be for how the Notation looks when you're either looking at Notation or editing/creating Notation. Nothing to do with printing.

I just reviewed again the Print help window. No mention of these endings or codas. They are talked about extensively in the Notation Help window. When you click on the Print Preview link it does show an example of a chart. Old Folks At Home. A dead simple song with triad chords and nothing else. Yes, a song like that displays great because there's nothing beyond the most basic things in it! Try creating an example song with more complex chords like a Ebm 6/9 where the extensions are displayed vertically in parentheses that takes up more vertical space with 1st/2nd endings and a coda and show everybody what that looks like. Trust me, users won't like it.

The VST is being praised because it attracts a more professional level of user who may not have considered Biab in the past. Well, what kinds of songs will that level of user create? Old Folks At Home? C'mon guys use Biab's own song creation functions to come up with something complex and cool, and use that to demonstrate the print functions.

After it's been corrected and actually made useful of course.

Many users don't want to buy a dedicated, expensive and very complex notation program just to produce good charts for band use. They're not writing full musical scores. Biab is almost there guys, fix it and it will turn into a great feature.

Bob
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#523903 - 02/11/19 02:03 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 06/05/12
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VideoTrack Offline
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I tend to agree. It's so close but just doesn't have the edge. Probably not incredibly difficult to resolve these nuances.
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#523989 - 02/12/19 12:50 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 06/08/05
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Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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Yes and for 15 years we've been saying that. Over and over and over...

Bob
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#524022 - 02/12/19 06:29 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 499
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Dave Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 499
Loc: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
+1
I have just received a response from PGM to a problem going back to at least 2004. Using a DS al coda AND repeats still doesn't work properly. The sign is correct, the exit and entry marks to the coda are fine, but the DS al coda is lost under the repeat mark.

This is PGMs reply. It just confirms the problem.
"The DS al coda sign is there, it's just buried in the fakesheet of the 3x repeat - which is a limitation of the current programming. This means if you have the fakesheet enabled in either the chord sheet or the Leadsheet - you won't see your DS al coda."
Typically, PGM say "we have reported it to the developers as a feature to possibly redesign in the future"

Their excuse - "Repeats, codas, and endings have always been a difficult feature to program in Band-in-a-Box due to the algorithms used to generate the RealTracks " What has this to do with RealTracks? In fact, I think the problem predates RealTracks.

Peter even responded to one of my emails "Thanks for reporting it. We will look at that for sure."

For many of us, Notation is important, perhaps even more so than thousands of RealTracks and styles. Yet it still print control is really poor. Forum members have complained about the GUI being dated; Printing notation is archaic.
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#524032 - 02/12/19 07:07 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: Dave]
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MarioD Online   content
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I completely agree.

However this is a common problem when software tries to be all inclusive and that is something has to give. In PGMusic's case it is notation. Notation is not a high priority for PGMusic period.

BUT if a music program includes notation it should be done right and not half @ssed. If would be better not to include notation and depend on other software like the free Musescore then to include a broken version of notation.

I hold this opinion on a lot of software, i.e. quit trying to be all inclusive and concentrate on your specialty. YMMV
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#524034 - 02/12/19 07:10 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 05/20/01
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Lloyd S Offline
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+1 here.
Make it simpler.
Make it work.

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#524035 - 02/12/19 07:12 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 05/20/01
Posts: 1977
Lloyd S Offline
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Posts: 1977
+1 here.
Make it simpler.
Make it work.

Jazzmammal:
Don't suppose it would help to also post this on the WishList???

Good luck!
LLOYD S

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#524069 - 02/12/19 09:23 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 06/08/05
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Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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The thing that really frosts me is this has been an advertised feature for as long as I've used the program. Afaik, there has been only a few small additions over that time but nothing structural. They apparently created it as it is now and just left it. They must have thought that all anybody needed or wanted was basic simple charts like Old Folks At Home.

What gets me even more is back then Biab was heavily jazz oriented and jazz charts are not Old Folks At Home. Didn't the developers actually look at Real Book jazz charts? The Help file about that implies they did because it says you can create repeats, endings, codas and all that. Well look at the chart for something like Night in Tunisia and make the notation/print function recreate it. Not that stupid Old Folks At Home.

Biab is trying to modernize, attract new users, create newer, hipper Real Styles backed up by all these great new Real Tracks by new young players like the guys from Snarky Puppy. Those kids are skilled, schooled musicians. Think they know how to create good charts?

Ditch old crap like Old Folks At Home to be used as an example. Worried about copyright? A great feature of Biab is it has the ability to create brand new songs with melodies from scratch. So take this opportunity to both create a complex new song and show the chart to go with it.

Why do I have to be Captain Obvious about stuff like this? Ha, it just hit me, the way I've been writing in this thread I'm being a Snarky Puppy too. Whatever it takes.

Bob
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#524073 - 02/12/19 09:30 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 08/13/09
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Loc: Ireland
musiclover Offline
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#524122 - 02/12/19 03:31 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: Dave]
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VideoTrack Offline
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Quote:
Peter even responded to one of my emails "Thanks for reporting it. We will look at that for sure."

I'm sure I've seen that exact same line before...
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#524147 - 02/12/19 05:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 07/23/01
Posts: 820
Loc: REDLAND BAY, Qld., AUSTRALIA
Graham Martin Offline
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Hi Bob, I definitely agree with your list. My main use of BiaB is to write small jazz band arrangements and print Lead Sheets (normal definition) for the whole band.

Plus, using the one BiaB file, try printing out the lead sheets in Bass Clef for a trombonist (I'm one!) and there are even more problems. Bar-Based Section Letters for instance.

So close, yet so far. From one who uses BiaB just about every day - sometimes for many hours. Some of those hours are used up adding ink notes to the otherwise great print outs. My band members absolutely love the BiaB lead sheets! And those that have BiaB themselves are able to hear the arrangements and play-along with those great rhythm sections in their own practice room. So please marketing and programmers, remember when you are making changes for the solo strummers to use live, that we traditional users still want to use the program in the same way. We would also like some improvements to the program for our usage.
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#524157 - 02/12/19 05:45 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: musiclover]
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jazzmammal Offline
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Originally Posted By: musiclover


Blackface? Lovely, just effin lovely. I see you're in Ireland, you probably don't know the trouble the governor of Virginia is in right now over him doing some blackface skits when he was in med school.

Yeah, a great tune to use as an example of Biab's print function.

Bob
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#524162 - 02/12/19 06:02 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
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jazzmammal Offline
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As for posting this in the Wishlist, been there, done that. Many times.

Pipeline didn't keep his push for 64 bit and a VST in the Wishlist did he? I learned that lesson from him. I've been too polite, too apologetic thinking PGM knows what they're doing, if somethings been in the Wishlist for over ten years it probably means it truly cannot be done, etc, etc. Pipeline blew that thinking out of the water and good for him. The squeaky wheel does get the grease.

I'm going to push and keeping pushing this. And I don't want everybody to simply agree, I think my suggestions are fairly good but others could easily have better ones and I would like this thread to be the place to put them. Graham has a great one about non concert instruments.

Bob
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#524226 - 02/13/19 02:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
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Brille Offline
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+10.000 for simplifying and optimizing all those distributed print options!
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#524966 - 02/17/19 10:11 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
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jazzmammal Offline
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Hmmm, if there's only seven people on this forum including me who care about this issue, maybe this is the reason nothing has been done for 20 years? I guess most users are not musically adept enough to understand or care about notation and writing charts.

C'mon people, start posting comments, suggestions, whatever or this push will die on the vine.

Bob
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#524969 - 02/17/19 10:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
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VideoTrack Offline
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Bob,

It would be really great if PG Music stepped in with a comment of some sort. The wishlist is laden with requests for both bug fixes and improvements but we are of course not able to deliver those requests.

I agree that the suggested improvements / fixes would be extremely beneficial, but PGM ultimately decides.

PGM?
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#524980 - 02/17/19 11:01 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: musiclover]
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fiddler2007 Offline
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Originally Posted By: musiclover

I don't like Stephen Foster: also one of those so called 'composers' who actually stole a lot of existing un-registered trad and other material and claimed it to be his work and got away with it. BTW this video is sort of tragi-comedy, also makes me think of a kind of Andre Rieu type Freak show LoL.

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#524992 - 02/17/19 11:54 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
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Matt Finley Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
Hmmm, if there's only seven people on this forum including me who care about this issue, maybe this is the reason nothing has been done for 20 years? I guess most users are not musically adept enough to understand or care about notation and writing charts.

...
Bob

Because I am more than musically adept and I care about notation, I use other products. I do appreciate the effort PG Music has made to support importing and exporting Music XML.

And I agree with Mario that I wish music programs would stick with what they know best and not try to be all things to all users. For many years we have asked for either improvements to notation, or a solid integration with other dedicated notation programs. Since notation is advertised as a feature, it seems unlikely BIAB would remove it, but at least they have made efforts to integrate with other programs better.
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#525079 - 02/18/19 04:33 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 11/13/05
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Cerio Offline
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I agree. Using BIAB as a notation software would save me hours of work, believe me, but I completely gave up on that many years ago. It's a shame, but it just can't be used for that.
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#525124 - 02/18/19 11:48 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: PG Music comes so close to the printing function, then does not complete it [Re: Cerio]
Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 1585
fiddler2007 Offline
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Registered: 12/22/07
Posts: 1585
Originally Posted By: Cerio
I agree. Using BIAB as a notation software would save me hours of work, believe me, but I completely gave up on that many years ago. It's a shame, but it just can't be used for that.

I use BIAB for simple leadsheets; melody plus chords .... For serious printing however built into a DAW i'd use Cubase Pro.

PS Still have my spare license for sale; Retail Cubase pro v10.0.15, latest, with the dongle 425 USD, shipping insured 20 extra. You can download the 30days trial fom Steinberg to get started, includes Halion Sonic 3SE and Groove Agent 5SE. https://new.steinberg.net/cubase/compare-editions/

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PowerTracks Pro Audio 2019 Build 2 Update Available!

PowerTracks Pro Audio 2019 users can download the FREE Build 2 patch update here

Summary of Changes in Build 2:
Fixed: Sometimes the position of the VST/DX plugs window (even if not visible) would prevent a drop, such as into the drop station, from occurring.
Fixed: When batch converting files, the volume of some file types such as wav/mp3/wma/mp4, etc. would be too low.
Fixed: In Chords Window, you could not enter held chords on Piano track.
Fixed: LeadSheet might not display tied notes on the last bar of a track.
Fixed: Pressing "M" key in Editable Notation to insert a new note at the current time location on the Staff was inserting a duplicate note rather than inserting it above an existing note.
Fixed: Loading in a MusicXML file could result in MIDI notes of zero instead of the currect MIDI notes.
Fixed: Dragging a file into the tracks window didn't always result in the effects slot for the track being setup properly for the file type dragged in.
Fixed: When inserting hard rest, and answering Yes to question about removing notes for the peg, it would remove notes from both clefs instead of the clef that the rest was inserted on.
Fixed: Potential access violation when deleting a note in staff window.
Fixed: Potential jukebox access violation if there were songs with the entire path of the filename being 256 characters or greater loaded into jukebox.
Fixed: Jukebox not playing the playlist in correct order in certain situations involving stopping/restarting, etc.
Fixed: When loading in a MusicXML file that has a specific guitar fretboard defined that matches one of our fretboards, the guitar tablature type will now be set for the notation.
Fixed: Ability to load in .MXL (compresssed musicXML file) as well as ability to load normal noncompressed musicXML file with the new .musicxml extension instead of just .XML.
Fixed: Hammer ons, pull offs, and slides are now being saved to MusicXML files.
Fixed: Exceptionally jittery timing indicator in the notation window during playback compared to older versions of RealBand.
Fixed: If the start of a generated section of a song didn't have a chord entered at the beginning of the section, then it could default to a C major chord instead of the most recent chord prior to the section.
Fixed: Potential access violation if song has micro-pegs and multiple notes on a peg.
Fixed: Accidental element that specified whether a note was displayed as sharp/flat wasn't eing saved to XML, even though the correct pitch of the note itself was saved.

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