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#539225 - 06/02/19 07:18 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit"
Registered: 04/17/18
Posts: 208
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
muzikluver Offline
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Registered: 04/17/18
Posts: 208
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Since becoming a proud and grateful BiaB user in December 2018, I have hit the dreaded "255 bar limit" with several of my songs. And even though I've always been able to work around this limit, the amount of extra time I have to spend going through my workaround process has been very frustrating and disappointing. As a result, I've come to the conclusion that the "255 bar limit" is BiaB's biggest and most unfortunate handicap.

Recently, however, an idea occurred to me that could be a way to put an end to this limit and the need to work around it for songs that exceed it. So, I decided to share my idea here to see what all of you think about it and to find out whether or not it's feasible. But first I want to say that I'm not sure if this particular forum is the right place for me to post my idea. If it isn't, please let know which forum I should post it in so that I can obtain the proper feedback I'm seeking.

Before I share my idea with you, I need to mention how I use BiaB because of the role my process has played in the formation of my idea. Instead of manually entering the chords to my songs one at a time into the chord entry section of BiaB (as most of you probably do), I use BiaB to open a .XML file that I created with MuseScore, which is an open source music notation program. My .XML file contains the complete melody, lyrics, and chords to a song that I previously had entered into MuseScore. For those of you who have never heard of MuseScore, please read the following article on Wikipedia's website:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MuseScore

In the above article, MuseScore is compared to Finale and Sibelius, which are the two most well-known and most expensive music notation software programs available today. However, unlike Finale and Sibelius, MuseScore is free. In other words, until last year, the development of MuseScore since its infancy in 2002 has been made possible entirely by donations, and that's why it is 100% free. This brings me to my idea on how to put an end to the "255 bar limit" in BiaB, and this idea is based on the premise that the "255 bar limit" could be eliminated if BiaB's code was completely re-written with a 16-bit, 32-bit or even a 64-bit base. I'm sure there's a lot more to it than just re-writing BiaB's code, but I believe that this is the core issue. However, to accomplish this is going to cost a lot of money to pay for the necessary resources (software programmers) to get the job done. Here's my idea:

If PG Music is unwilling to set aside the money that is needed to pay the programmers to eliminate the "255 bar limit" (in spite of all the users that have asked them to do so) because of the possibility or even the probability that it will have to increase the price of BiaB to recoup that money, then perhaps the users of BiaB would be willing to donate the money if a fund was set up (KickStarter, perhaps) for this purpose. I don't know how much money it would take to accomplish this task, but if enough users expressed interest in participating in such an effort, I'm sure that PG Music would come up with a target amount that we would have to meet. So, that's my idea. What do all of you think of it? And what does PG Music think of it?

One final thought: If MuseScore can become such a powerful music notation program through the donations from its users so that it rivals both Finale and Sibelius, then surely BiaB's "255 bar limit" could be fixed through the donations from its users.
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#539233 - 06/03/19 12:46 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 06/05/12
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VideoTrack Offline
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Muzikluver, you've put a lot of thought and detail into your post. Thank you for that.

I seem to recall that such funding ideas have been suggested in the past, and that PG Music has not wished to entertain them.

While your efforts are worthy of consideration, the program simply should not still have this significant limitation. Only PG Music can correct that, and they need to be willing to undertake the task, something that has not occurred up until this point in time.
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#539245 - 06/03/19 04:14 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 01/15/01
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Loc: Springfield, MO
jcland Offline
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Can you imagine Microsoft Excel with a 255 cell limit or Microsoft Word with a 255 word limit in today's world?

As it stand now, even MuseScore v3 is capable of doing more then 255 bars in a score.



Edited by jcland (06/03/19 04:23 AM)

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#539247 - 06/03/19 04:59 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: jcland]
Registered: 12/27/03
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MarioD Offline
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Fixing the 255 measure limit is just one of the many areas that a complete rewrite of BiaB would eliminate. Things like opening all 16 MIDI channels for MIDI, RTs, RDs or any combination of them and the inclusion of time signatures like 5/4, 6/8, 7/4, etc, just to name a couple.
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#539250 - 06/03/19 05:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 07/06/00
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Notes Norton Offline
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Since I predominantly use MIDI, to overcome the 255 limit I do part of the song in BiaB, open a new BiaB project and do the rest of the song there. I export both as MIDI files and then splice them together in a MIDI sequencer or DAW. It's a work-around

On my BiaB wish list is enlarging the 255 limit, increasing the resolution to at least 240ppq and supporting real 6/8, 5/4 and other time signatures without having to do a 'work around' in the 1 through 4 beats per cell in the BiaB matrix.

I still love BiaB as it is, but for me these changes would make it better. Since I am on the outside looking in, I have no idea if these changes can be made with a good cost/benefit ratio or if the changes would ruin the back-compatibility that is so dear to the BiaB concept.

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#539258 - 06/03/19 06:15 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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That's a good starting list.

We can already increase the ppq resolution to 960, so do you mean it should be 240 minimum by default instead of 120?
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#539274 - 06/03/19 08:02 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 11/29/04
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Andy Ling Offline
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I wonder if part of the reason PG have not done this is backward compatibility of the file format. It has always been that case that pretty much any version of BIAB can open a file created by any other version. Even old version opening files created by newer versions.

Increasing the number of bars would probably break this. So PG would have to be sure it was worth it.

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#539279 - 06/03/19 08:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: VideoTrack]
Registered: 04/17/18
Posts: 208
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: VideoTrack
I seem to recall that such funding ideas have been suggested in the past, and that PG Music has not wished to entertain them.

While your efforts are worthy of consideration, the program simply should not still have this significant limitation. Only PG Music can correct that, and they need to be willing to undertake the task, something that has not occurred up until this point in time.


You may be right, VideoTrack, but I read through numerous discussions on this topic (after searching for it using Google) and couldn't find any suggestions of this nature anywhere. (If I had found one, I wouldn't have posted my suggestion.) However, during my most recent search for this topic (just a few minutes ago), I did find a discussion (from August 2016) I hadn't read before that contains a comment by jazzmammal in which he claims that addressing this limitation is "one of the primary reasons Real Band was created." IOW, RB is PG Music's suggested workaround, which is essentially the same as my workaround (except that I use Tracktion 6 because of its simpler GUI and minimal use of resources). This same discussion also touches on the Midi limitations that MarioD mentioned above. Here's a link to that discussion in case anyone is interested in reading through it:

https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=361295&page=1
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#539293 - 06/03/19 10:16 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 05/20/01
Posts: 1974
Lloyd S Offline
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Back in April, Alyssa of the PG Music Staff said this:

"Originally Posted By: VideoTrack
... An improvement would be to provide a warning that the track is truncated, and why.

(A better improvement would be to remove the 255 bar limit.)

Yes?

Alyssa:
Hello VideoTrack,

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions and thanks to all others for their +1s!
Your suggestion has been passed along to the developers."

************************************************
So of course they are aware of the users concern on this.
Perhaps we just need to get muzikluver to copy his request to the BIAB for Windows WISHLIST forum, and then get as many users as we can to give it a +1, so PG Music will, once again, see our concern.

Good luck!
LLOYD S

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#539303 - 06/03/19 11:07 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Lloyd S]
Registered: 04/17/18
Posts: 208
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Lloyd S
Back in April, Alyssa of the PG Music Staff said this:

"Originally Posted By: VideoTrack
... An improvement would be to provide a warning that the track is truncated, and why.

(A better improvement would be to remove the 255 bar limit.)

Yes?

Alyssa:
Hello VideoTrack,

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions and thanks to all others for their +1s!
Your suggestion has been passed along to the developers."

************************************************
So of course they are aware of the users concern on this.
Perhaps we just need to get muzikluver to copy his request to the BIAB for Windows WISHLIST forum, and then get as many users as we can to give it a +1, so PG Music will, once again, see our concern.

Good luck!
LLOYD S


Thanks, Lloyd, for your suggestion. I just posted it there as well.
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#539306 - 06/03/19 11:24 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Andy Ling]
Registered: 04/17/18
Posts: 208
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Andy Ling
I wonder if part of the reason PG have not done this is backward compatibility of the file format. It has always been that case that pretty much any version of BIAB can open a file created by any other version. Even old version opening files created by newer versions.

Increasing the number of bars would probably break this. So PG would have to be sure it was worth it.


Andy, I'm sure there are numerous issues (including backward compatibility of the file format) that have prevented PG Music from eliminating this problem along with other problems that stem from the original code base. But my thinking is that they should have made a decision to break free from the 8.3 filename limitations of DOS and all the other related issues back in the mid-90s just like Microsoft did when they introduced their NT line of operating systems for business users alongside of their Windows 3.1 non-NT OS for consumers, which paved the way for the eventual merging of both OS lines in Windows XP in 2001. Windows XP was Microsoft's first consumer-edition OS that was not based on DOS. Why can't PG Music do something similar with the intention of phasing out the current version of BiaB with all of its limitations in 3-5 years?
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#539316 - 06/03/19 12:02 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Matt Finley Offline
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It is remarkable how many BIAB files I have that date all the way back to the 1990s. Many thousands more exist from PG Music and from the Internet. But I would assume there could be a conversion utility that would make the file format readable on a newer BIAB version that did not have the 255 measure limit. This utility should handle other related issues such as DOS-length filenames.

Without such a utility, I can understand if some users entrenched in older formatted songs, particularly those used as backing tracks to make a living, might forego the update to a new version.

Having said that, I have long believed that BIAB should fix this limit, even if it breaks backward compatibility.
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#539336 - 06/03/19 01:31 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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jford Offline
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Quote:
This utility should handle other related issues such as DOS-length filenames.


BIAB will already do a batch rename of files using the song title as the new filename. Unfortunately, a lot of old internet downloaded files are titled "Untitled".
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#539340 - 06/03/19 03:28 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Pipeline Offline
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RealBand will go way over 255 limit.
But the funny thing is it's Biab that generates up the tracks for it (bbw2.exe) it will also generate up tracks with decimal point tempo maps (as Biab will round the tempos down 110.573 > 110 then have the next bar at 111).
This was 384 bars with 5 tracks 600meg so as Biab generates the tracks direct to RAM this would not be an issue.
The Biab plugin has the same problem and should be fixed soon with a new save format rather than .SGU just like ReaBand has .SEQ it will save more than 255 bars and will save decimal point tempo map.


Attachments
RB-Over-255.png


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#539362 - 06/03/19 05:22 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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jazzmammal Offline
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Well, 8 or so years ago when Real Band first came out a lot of talk was the reason for it's existence was to solve a lot of Biab problems including this one. It seemed easier to rewrite Power Tracks to generate Biab files than it was to rewrite Biab itself.

Then of course for years after there was all this talk that the two should be combined. A brand new FrankenBoxDAW...

Personally I still think this is PG's answer to this, just use RB. After my debacle with trying to get folks vicariously marching with virtual pitchforks and torches about the lack of notation/printing improvements (I got 4 or 5 agreements and that's after me begging and bumping the thread twice) it appears that since Musescore and others work so well it's just not worth it to improve these things.

I think it boils down to how many people are really, seriously bothered by the 255 bar limit? It's probably a few more than the number who agreed with me about the need for notation printing improvements but still, not enough to really matter.

Bob
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#539363 - 06/03/19 05:26 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Guitarhacker Offline
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Wile I do appreciate the comments and totally agree with removing the 255 bar limit....... I have never ever come close to that limit with any of my songs. I have a few that are 5+ minutes long and they are nowhere close to the limit.

just curious.... what kind and length songs do you write that exceeds the 255 bar limit?

I could see if you were doing a cover of Innagoddadavida or Yes's Relayer..... Maybe even Alice's Restaurant.
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#539370 - 06/03/19 06:18 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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MusicStudent Offline
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Never have bumped into this upper limit. And if I did, I am sure any number of work around would solve this for me. So I am going to save my +1's for the BIAB VST which needs a lot of love.
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#539397 - 06/03/19 07:55 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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fiddler2007 Offline
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I found a work around: somewhere before the max number is reached, lets say bar 220: re-address the styles in this bar's settings ...
I had to do it at bar 120 with a halftime RT filled songfile. F


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#539399 - 06/03/19 10:39 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Guitarhacker]
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Cerio Offline
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Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
Wile I do appreciate the comments and totally agree with removing the 255 bar limit....... I have never ever come close to that limit with any of my songs. I have a few that are 5+ minutes long and they are nowhere close to the limit.

just curious.... what kind and length songs do you write that exceeds the 255 bar limit?

I could see if you were doing a cover of Innagoddadavida or Yes's Relayer..... Maybe even Alice's Restaurant.


Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Never have bumped into this upper limit. And if I did, I am sure any number of work around would solve this for me.


Reaching the 255 bar is really easy if you're used to practice songs in all 12 keys, a standard exercise for a lot on jazz musicians.

This limit could be avoided using the "Each chorus that song is playing transpose by x semitones" function, but this feature has not worked for years:

https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=512608&page=1

So, such a simply thing like practicing a jazz standard in all 12 keys is something that can't be done in BIAB because the 255 bar limit, and because a bug that affects the basic functionality of the program and that has been reported for years has never been fixed.

It's crazy. crazy







Edited by Cerio (06/03/19 10:40 PM)
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#539409 - 06/04/19 12:20 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Cerio]
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VideoTrack Offline
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Reaching the 255 bar is also really easy if you use the double-time feature that PG Music introduced a couple of years back. When using that feature, you reach the 255 bar limit at 128 bars cry
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#539417 - 06/04/19 02:38 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 11/29/04
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Andy Ling Offline
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
It is remarkable how many BIAB files I have that date all the way back to the 1990s. Many thousands more exist from PG Music and from the Internet. But I would assume there could be a conversion utility that would make the file format readable on a newer BIAB version that did not have the 255 measure limit. This utility should handle other related issues such as DOS-length filenames.


The problem isn't reading old files with a new version of BIAB. It could have a converter built in. The problem would be old versions of BIAB reading a new file with more than 255 bars in it. Currently old versions of BIAB seem to be able to cope with files created by newer versions. They seem to be able to "ignore" new features and still play the file. This may not be possible if there were more than 255 bars. Old versions are unlikely to be able to retrospectively handle that many bars.

As I said, it depends how important PG think it is to be able to do this. Presumably it could be done such that songs with less than 255 bars could still be read by old versions. I do often give files to friends who are running older versions than me.

Andy


Edited by Andy Ling (06/04/19 02:39 AM)

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#539432 - 06/04/19 05:12 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 12/20/00
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jford Offline
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It happens with fast temp songs. Also 3/4 songs (and 2/4 songs that don't use the 2nd half of the bar), and I've run across the problem (not very often, but it happens) when I stitch multiple songs together as a medley.

Given that it's 255 tells me it's probably stored as a one byte value (important back in the DOS days). So it probably needs serious recoding just to go to 2 bytes (which gives you over 65,000, which is clearly overkill, unless you are using BIAB to score Wagner's "Ring of the Niebelung", which clocks in at 15 hours smile ). But who knows, now that we're at a 64-bit application, they can spare that extra byte and increase the bar count...oh, and also 8th note resolution while you're at it.
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#539451 - 06/04/19 06:12 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4819
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Notes Norton Offline
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I make aftermarket 'fake disks's' for BiaB. Each 'disk' can contain up to 1,000 songs.

I do these 'disks' based on off-the-shelf music books, so that the user can open the book, load my file and play along. Copyright restrictions prohibit me from putting melody and lyrics in the BiaB files and still keep the 'disks' affordable so the pair is a good idea.

For the old-fashioned 'head' fake books, there is no problem. But some of the 'real' type fake books have very intricate arrangements where it isn't just repeat the head until done. There are some books I cannot make a 'fake disk' for. Too many songs exceed the 255 measure limit.

I still call them fake disks, even though they are now instant download. When I started selling these they were on 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks. I've been calling them disks so long, I just don't know what else to call them.

But we still dial telephones even though there are no longer dials, and the phones still ring even though there is no bell anymore, so I guess I can still call them disks.

Back on topic. There are pop tunes I've done for my duo, again with elaborate arrangements. Perhaps one verse is longer than the other, there is a DS that doesn't go back to the beginning of a long section in a part that already been repeated, and so on. Since I sequence backing tracks for my duo http://www.s-cats.com and export everything to a sequencer or DAW anyway, I can do the songs in sections and paste them together.

Matt, when you write a style in BiaB, it is 120ppq unless you use one of my expanded styles. You can import it into a 960 or greater DAW/Sequencer, but the style itself is still 120ppq. I find the minimum resolution for a moderately slow tempo song to be 240ppq.

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#539471 - 06/04/19 08:49 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Matt Finley Offline
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Oh - style ppq. Thanks.

My comment was about Options, Preferences, MIDI file, Resolution for MIDI file. This defaults to 120 but now allows several choices including 240 all the way to 960.
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#539477 - 06/04/19 09:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 04/17/18
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Guitarhacker
Wile I do appreciate the comments and totally agree with removing the 255 bar limit....... I have never ever come close to that limit with any of my songs. I have a few that are 5+ minutes long and they are nowhere close to the limit.

just curious.... what kind and length songs do you write that exceeds the 255 bar limit?

I could see if you were doing a cover of Innagoddadavida or Yes's Relayer..... Maybe even Alice's Restaurant.


The very first song I tried to use with BiaB after I purchased the program back in December is a 9-minute long ballad that I wrote in January 2013. It consists of an intro, three 12-line verses, a 5-line chorus that is repeated three times, a short musical interlude after each chorus, and a 2-line tag at the end. All of these sections combined total 327 bars. After I opened the .XML file that I had created in MuseScore and started listening to a newly-created arrangement in BiaB, I discovered that all of the bars past the 255 mark were blacked out. That's when I first encountered this limit and had to do some research to find out more about it. So then I tried to figure out how to create repeats for the verses, chorus, and interlude to get around this limitation but eventually gave up because of the complications I kept running into. And as a brand new user of the program, I didn't want to get bogged down with such complications on my first attempt to use the program. So, I moved on to another song that didn't have more than 255 bars.

Then in February, I started to use BiaB for a 7+ minute acoustic/rock/symphonic ballad that will be the title track for an album that I'm working on with a local producer. Because I was already aware of this limitation and the challenges involved in setting up the repeat function (which I'm still not sure would prevent the 255 bar limit from being exceeded), I simply created a .XML file that only had one verse and one chorus before the bridge. Then I created a .WAV file of the arrangement, which I imported into Tracktion (a program I was already familiar with from using it in the past on other songs) where I constructed a full-length version of the song and exported that to a .WAV file.

If I just wanted to create a single demo of this song for myself or to share with others, I would have been mostly done at this point. But this wasn't the case because I intended to share this song with my producer as my next song for him to arrange and produce for me. Plus, this would be the first time that I used BiaB to create a fully-arranged demo of one of my songs before I shared it with him. In the past, I simply gave him a video of the lead sheet so that he could play the song on his guitar from the lead sheet as the melody was being played in the video on his computer. As has been the case with every song I've given him to produce, he always finds things in the song that need to be tweaked, changed, or even rewritten to make it fully ready for him to produce. The "pre-production preparation process" for this particular song lasted 5-6 weeks during which I went back and forth to his studio about ten times with new demo versions of the song that contained necessary and/or desired modifications---some of which I came up with on my own. And every one of these new demo versions required me to go through the same process I described above along with the additional step of importing the .WAV file of the full-length version of BiaB's arrangement of a new .XML file from MuseScore (that I pieced together in Traction) into another program (ActivePresenter) that I used to create a video of the lead sheet as the melody is being played in MuseScore.

But this doesn't even tell the full story of what I went through before I was able to create the final full-length demo version of this song for my producer. There was one week in particular during which I spent at least 30 hours repeating the above process numerous times because I wanted to provide my producer with several different options for him to consider (one with two different tempos, another with and without a key change for the final chorus, and another with and without a capo on the second fret). I also had to start over twice with the entire process for all of these options because I discovered when I was listening to the final demos that I needed another measure in one or two places in order to make sure that the down beat of the drum track didn't switch during a subsequent line. If I wouldn't have had to construct a full-length version of BiaB's arrangement for each of these options in Traction because of the "255 bar limit" I doubt that I would have spent more than ten or perhaps fifteen hours at the most creating these demo files during that week. It is primarily because of what I went through with this particular song that I felt motivated, or rather, compelled to post my idea to fix this limitation.
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#539489 - 06/04/19 11:14 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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jazzmammal Offline
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Have you even looked at Real Band?

Check it out, problem solved.

Bob
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#539491 - 06/04/19 11:40 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 04/17/18
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
Have you even looked at Real Band?

Check it out, problem solved.

Bob


Thanks for the suggestion, Bob. Yes, I did look at it back in March I believe but was too pressed for time back then to figure out how to use it because of the demos I had to create for my producer. My first impression of it when I opened it back then is that it's just another DAW except that it can import files directly from BiaB and perhaps do some things that other DAWs can't do or don't do the way that RB does them. But now that I'm done with those demos and do have the time, I will definitely dig into it more deeply to see if it will solve this problem for me, as you claim it will. However, because of the way that I use BiaB by opening .XML files that I create in MuseScore, I suspect that it may just be an alternative to the DAW that I have been using (Tracktion 6) as my workaround for this problem. Perhaps you could convince me otherwise now that you know a lot more about the details of my process.
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#539492 - 06/04/19 11:50 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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jford Offline
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RealBand 2019 also supports Music XML files. This, from the RealBand 2019 User Manual...

Quote:
Open MusicXML Files

RealBand supports MusicXML so you can easily import MusicXML files from your notation programs such as Finale, Sibelius, and Guitar Pro to RealBand.

If you select a MusicXML file in the Open dialog, the Load XML File dialog will open. In this dialog, select a track that you want to load. To select multiple tracks, hold down the CTRL key and click a track. If you want to change the destination track, right click on a track and select Destination Track. Then, select elements that you want to load from the XML file. Finally, press [OK], and the XML file will be loaded to RealBand.
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#539512 - 06/04/19 12:38 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: jford]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: jford
RealBand 2019 also supports Music XML files. This, from the RealBand 2019 User Manual...

Quote:
Open MusicXML Files

RealBand supports MusicXML so you can easily import MusicXML files from your notation programs such as Finale, Sibelius, and Guitar Pro to RealBand.

If you select a MusicXML file in the Open dialog, the Load XML File dialog will open. In this dialog, select a track that you want to load. To select multiple tracks, hold down the CTRL key and click a track. If you want to change the destination track, right click on a track and select Destination Track. Then, select elements that you want to load from the XML file. Finally, press [OK], and the XML file will be loaded to RealBand.



Thanks, jford, I didn't know that! I also didn't know that Real Band can automatically generate arrangements just like BiaB does using BiaB styles per the comparison chart for BiaB, RB, and Power Tracks on PG Music's FAQ page. So, if this limitation doesn't exist in RB, then why would anyone who has a song with more than 255 bars even use BiaB followed by a workaround to this limitation? And why do users keep asking whether or not this limitation has been removed in BiaB, as some did when PG Music announced the 64-bit version of BiaB 2019?
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#539522 - 06/04/19 01:18 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 12/08/02
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Loc: Chicago
MusicStudent Offline
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Registered: 12/08/02
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Quote:
So, if this limitation doesn't exist in RB, then why would anyone who has a song with more than 255 bars even use BiaB followed by a workaround to this limitation? And why do users keep asking whether or not this limitation has been removed in BiaB, as some did when PG Music announced the 64-bit version of BiaB 2019?


Because RB comes with its own baggage! Try it and you will see...

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#539524 - 06/04/19 01:31 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 06/08/05
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Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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Originally Posted By: muzikluver
So, if this limitation doesn't exist in RB, then why would anyone who has a song with more than 255 bars even use BiaB followed by a workaround to this limitation? And why do users keep asking whether or not this limitation has been removed in BiaB, as some did when PG Music announced the 64-bit version of BiaB 2019?


Who knows? Lazy, inertia, Biab is all they know, etc, etc. Speaking very generally now, most on this forum are fairly basic users. They download some Biab files or create some using basic song forms. AABA kind of stuff. They set it up for 3 chorus repeats hit Play and that's it, done. Once someone asks about more complex things it gets trickier. Yes, Biab can be made to do lots of things BUT...

I've been preaching the virtues of RB since it was created from Power Tracks years ago. The biggest knock is it's not as elegant or full featured as the other big name DAW's. But none of them can generate squat using Biab styles and Real Tracks.

Here's a very basic overview, and you should start haunting the RB forum. First, I don't think there's any bar limit other than your computer maybe and it has 48 tracks. Second it can open Biab files. Third you have a choice of it acting like Biab or a DAW. By that I mean if you leave it acting like Biab then when you open a Biab file the Biab tracks that show up in blue can all be generated at once like Biab will. BUT, if you check the box to make all Biab tracks act like regular RB tracks then it's no different than any other DAW. Each track stands on it's own.

With 48 tracks I'm sure you know about comp tracks? In RB you can arm a track, select a style MIDI or RT, change the chord grid if you want, pick an instrument and generate meaning you can create a bunch of comp tracks for each instrument using different styles for each, different RT's, different chords, whatever. Then start cutting/pasting the best parts of those tracks to create your final track. Do that for each instrument or vocal. In addition if you don't want an entire track to be filled with the same instrument/style just swipe the bars with your mouse to highlight just the bars you want to generate.

If later on in your work you decide to add a chorus or a additional 12 bars of solo, delete some bars, you have the Bars window. This is a basic grid layout of the whole song. Again swipe your mouse, highlighting the bars/tracks you want to move or delete and hit Enter. You get a window with choices, Copy/Paste/Delete. If you're copying bars to a new location, put the cursor on the bar you want to paste and voila! It's done. These functions are easily laid out in front of you like any other DAW. You can do this in Biab too but menus are hidden, functions are hidden, they work differently and most importantly you only have 7 instrument slots. Biab doesn't work or look like a DAW but if you dig deeply enough it does have some DAW functions. But why limit yourself when you have RB right there ready to go?

RB also handles all the VST's we all know and love including mastering suites. It's a pretty good MIDI editor and audio editor. You can also simply swipe some bars on a track and just delete the data so you can put something else in there or just leave it blank. You can draw in volume envelopes. This is all basic DAW stuff and RB does it just fine. The complaints come when people compare these functions to other DAW's. They may do it better or the function is expanded with more choices but still, RB has these functions and they do work.

That's enough to give you a taste of what RB can do. It can do a lot more than this.

I see someone just mentioned baggage implying RB is somehow broken, it doesn't work. It works fine. 99% of people who say that have not taken the time to learn it properly. There's a learning curve like any other audio/midi program. Some say it constantly crashes. Not so, it's simply user error. Sorry if I offended anybody but it's the simple truth. Some don't understand digital audio and all the little quirks that can crop up.

Bob


Edited by jazzmammal (06/04/19 01:40 PM)
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#539525 - 06/04/19 01:34 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: MusicStudent]
Registered: 04/17/18
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Quote:
So, if this limitation doesn't exist in RB, then why would anyone who has a song with more than 255 bars even use BiaB followed by a workaround to this limitation? And why do users keep asking whether or not this limitation has been removed in BiaB, as some did when PG Music announced the 64-bit version of BiaB 2019?


Because RB comes with its own baggage! Try it and you will see...


Oh my, the rabbit hole keeps getting deeper. (Sigh!) I know there's no such thing as a perfect software program, but your comment, MusicStudent, makes me wonder what "baggage" you're referring to and if you think that "baggage" would affect my use of the program to generate basic demo arrangements, as I've been doing with BiaB?
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#539528 - 06/04/19 01:44 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 10/31/08
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Loc: Australia
Noel96 Offline
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Registered: 10/31/08
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Quote:
So, if this limitation doesn't exist in RB, then why would anyone who has a song with more than 255 bars even use BiaB followed by a workaround to this limitation? And why do users keep asking whether or not this limitation has been removed in BiaB, as some did when PG Music announced the 64-bit version of BiaB 2019?

Mac operating system users do not have Realband as an option. This means the 255 bar limit is more restrictive for them as opposed to Windows users.
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#539531 - 06/04/19 01:51 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Noel96]
Registered: 04/17/18
Posts: 208
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
muzikluver Offline
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Registered: 04/17/18
Posts: 208
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Originally Posted By: Noel96
Quote:
So, if this limitation doesn't exist in RB, then why would anyone who has a song with more than 255 bars even use BiaB followed by a workaround to this limitation? And why do users keep asking whether or not this limitation has been removed in BiaB, as some did when PG Music announced the 64-bit version of BiaB 2019?

Mac operating system users do not have Realband as an option. This means the 255 bar limit is more restrictive for them as opposed to Windows users.


Yes, I am aware of that. But, of course, there aren't nearly as many Mac users of BiaB as there are PC users. Even so, this doesn't mean that they or this issue should be neglected or ignored.
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#539535 - 06/04/19 02:44 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: MusicStudent]
Registered: 04/17/18
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muzikluver Offline
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Loc: Albuquerque, NM
Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Originally Posted By: muzikluver
..your comment makes me wonder what "baggage" you're referring to and if you think that "baggage" would affect my use of the program to generate basic demo arrangements, as I've been doing with BiaB?


Well after that endorsement extolling the merits of RB that someone just mentioned. I hate to rain on the parade, but you deserve to hear the opinions of others. I am far less verbose, but I must be a 1%er since the claim that 99% of people who say it does not work have not taken the time to learn it properly. First, I never said it does not work and second, I have a very very long history with BIAB and RB so believe me when I say I have taken the time.

What I said was it has its baggage. By that I mean it is buggy. Will it affect your creative workflow? ..it did affect my creative work flow.

So use it and answer the question for yourself.


Thanks, for the clarification. I'll definitely keep your comments in mind.
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#539555 - 06/04/19 05:08 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 05/30/00
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rharv Offline
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I'll put in my usual 2 cents
You likely already have RB if you have a Windows version.
The 255 bar limit is non-existent in RB, as are some other restrictions in BiaB.
Nothing to lose for trying it; you can still move on to another DAW afterwards (and actually much easier; I sometimes just drag a couple dozen tracks from RB to Reaper and keep working in another DAW). So if you already have it, why not spend an hour seeing what it does?

In my experience it's a great tool to have in your arsenal and solves enough BiaB problems & has enough additional features to be well worth learning.

Is it going to replace your old faithful DAW .. not at first, for sure .. but still worth knowing and using. After a while you may realize it's a lot more powerful than many expect.
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#539556 - 06/04/19 05:21 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: MusicStudent]
Registered: 06/25/12
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Registered: 06/25/12
Posts: 2561
Originally Posted By: MusicStudent
Quote:
So, if this limitation doesn't exist in RB, then why would anyone who has a song with more than 255 bars even use BiaB followed by a workaround to this limitation? And why do users keep asking whether or not this limitation has been removed in BiaB, as some did when PG Music announced the 64-bit version of BiaB 2019?


Because RB comes with its own baggage! Try it and you will see...

You'll need a baggage cart! laugh

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#539563 - 06/04/19 06:27 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: rharv]
Registered: 04/17/18
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Loc: Albuquerque, NM
muzikluver Offline
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Registered: 04/17/18
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Originally Posted By: rharv
I'll put in my usual 2 cents
You likely already have RB if you have a Windows version.
The 255 bar limit is non-existent in RB, as are some other restrictions in BiaB.
Nothing to lose for trying it; you can still move on to another DAW afterwards (and actually much easier; I sometimes just drag a couple dozen tracks from RB to Reaper and keep working in another DAW). So if you already have it, why not spend an hour seeing what it does?

In my experience it's a great tool to have in your arsenal and solves enough BiaB problems & has enough additional features to be well worth learning.

Is it going to replace your old faithful DAW .. not at first, for sure .. but still worth knowing and using. After a while you may realize it's a lot more powerful than many expect.


I definitely intend to spend at least an hour seeing what it does. And it may interest you to know that I don't have a strong attachment to Tracktion 6. It was a free download that I decided to try out after reading about its ease of use and simple GUI. I also have the free version of PreSonus Studio One (which I installed but never used) and the free version of Cakewalk that BandLab released in February of last year (which I've haven't even installed yet). So, I'm sure that it won't take long for RB to become my preferred DAW if it meets my needs sufficiently. I should also say that I'm mostly a songwriter and a mediocre guitar player who prefers to have someone else arrange and produce my songs, so I don't have much of an interest in becoming a proficient DAW user---especially because I don't have the proper recording equipment that I would need to take advantage of all the features of such a program. But I'm definitely open to developing those skills over time as I continue to pursue my songwriting and music interests.
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#539583 - 06/04/19 11:27 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 06/08/05
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jazzmammal Offline
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RB is buggy, it crashes, I can't get my work done, blah, blah.

Here's a small list of issues people report:

1. RB locks up all the time, I have to do a Ctl-Alt-Del. Resolved, update your audio drivers, ASIO drivers, video drivers, whatever drivers. Or, a Windows Update changed something so you have to check all your settings to make sure they're correct.

2. A sub menu window you opened is still open behind the main screen view. Resolved, this can be a screen resolution issue or you need to hit Tab to bring that hidden window to the front then everything's good. Is that a bug? Don't know, some get this, some don't. I haven't seen it in a long time.

3. You can't see the controls for a sub window. Resolved, a screen resolution issue especially on laptops. Laptops have small screens but DAW's need high resolutions because there is so much stuff on the screen. But, but I can't read anything then, it's too small. Well, is that the software's problem? Buy bigger glasses or don't use laptops smaller than 19 inches or whatever.

4. Constant audio stutters and glitchy sound. This should have been number 1 but this is latency caused by audio buffer settings in your soundcard or what audio driver you're using.

5. No matter what I do I get audio/midi sync issues. Resolved, it's a different sample rate between what Windows is using and what RB is using.

6. The VST window has all this space on the top and I can't see the entire window so the bottom controls are hidden. This is an issue that has bothered many of us for years and should be fixed, still...Resolved, there is a scroll bar on the right, scroll down and the bottom of the window is now visible.

7. I can't get the time stretch feature to work, it's a POS. Resolved, it works fine. The Help files are not as clear as they should be but still it works fine.

8. RB will suddenly start doing weird, wonky things. Yes, that can happen especially if you're doing a lot of midi and audio editing and you're working with a lot of tracks. Sort of resolved, I've found I need to do regular saves and close RB down and reopen it every hour to hour and a half or so then there's no issues.

9. Now for the biggie, constant crashes. This one is only reported by a few people yet they insist they've tried everything including working with Support and it still crashes. I don't know what to say to them, if that was a real issue this whole forum would be filled with RB crash reports and they're just not there. I've asked a few of the people who report this to jump in and give us a complete detailed report like you would in a beta test to see if we can figure out what's causing it and so far nobody has gone that far.

Here's the bottom line: Digital audio is very tricky, you need a fairly powerful computer, you need to be that nerd in your family who helps everybody else out with their Windows problems not the guy who's constantly asking for help. You need to understand all this stuff I just mentioned, be methodical, don't get upset, work through things as they crop up and read forums like this one.

RB as a music software program is pretty good, not perfect by a long shot but pretty good. My number 8 could be the cause of some reporting weird bugs. It's true RB doesn't like to be worked too hard continually for hours. Save and reopen every hour or two and everything's fine. I figured this out myself because I understand Windows 101: Weird crap happens close and reboot. Most of the time you only need to close the program not your system.

All anybody has to do is go and read other forums dealing with Sonar, Reaper, Cubase, Pro Tools, Studio One and you'll see posts complaining about the exact same kind of stuff you'll see here. It's about people simply not digging deeply enough, not knowing enough, not paying attention to the details. In other words good ole User Error. I know this intimately because it's happened to me many times. Lots of DUH! moments.

Bob

_________________________
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#539649 - 06/05/19 02:11 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: jazzmammal]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
RB is buggy, it crashes, I can't get my work done, blah, blah.

Here's a small list of issues people report: . . .

.
.
.

Here's the bottom line: Digital audio is very tricky, you need a fairly powerful computer, you need to be that nerd in your family who helps everybody else out with their Windows problems not the guy who's constantly asking for help. You need to understand all this stuff I just mentioned, be methodical, don't get upset, work through things as they crop up and read forums like this one.

RB as a music software program is pretty good, not perfect by a long shot but pretty good. My number 8 could be the cause of some reporting weird bugs. It's true RB doesn't like to be worked too hard continually for hours. Save and reopen every hour or two and everything's fine. I figured this out myself because I understand Windows 101: Weird crap happens close and reboot. Most of the time you only need to close the program not your system.

All anybody has to do is go and read other forums dealing with Sonar, Reaper, Cubase, Pro Tools, Studio One and you'll see posts complaining about the exact same kind of stuff you'll see here. It's about people simply not digging deeply enough, not knowing enough, not paying attention to the details. In other words good ole User Error. I know this intimately because it's happened to me many times. Lots of DUH! moments.

Bob


Thanks, Bob, for your balanced perspective on RB. It makes a lot of sense and is consistent with the experience I've had using numerous other software programs over the last 30+ years. Considering my intended usage of RB and the likelihood that I won't become a "power user" of RB in the near future, I doubt that I'll encounter any of the issues you mentioned in your list. And even if I do, I'll simply "cross that bridge when I get there."

If RB does indeed meet my needs by resolving the "255 bar limit" that exists in BiaB (and I have no reason to doubt that it won't based on all the comments above), I would still like to see this limitation removed in BiaB someday, and I'm sure many other BiaB users would, too. Ultimately, however, PG Music must decide whether it's in their best interest to tackle this issue---with or without my suggestion that a fund be set up for BiaB users to financially assist with the costs involved in such an endeavor. So far, PG Music has not taken that step despite the large number of BiaB users who have asked them to. But who knows, perhaps the day will come when they will take that step. Regardless, I'm just thankful that I learned the things I've learned about RB from this discussion as a result of posting my suggestion, and I want to express my thanks and appreciation to everyone who has participated in it.
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#539660 - 06/05/19 03:35 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Just to be clear, RB is not 'just like BiaB' in how it works.

It was a DAW that PGMusic added some BiaB features to.
It will generate a whole song, like BiaB does using a BiaB song and style (if desired), however RB needs to generate the whole song before playing, so you may sit there a minute if you regenerate all tracks. BB generates a little of the song and starts playing while still generating in the background.
Why doesn't RB do this? Simple; the generate feature was added to RB (not native) and RB also has to account for dozens of other tracks, maybe tracks with lots of edits or FX, where BB doesn't have to do that. So the linear song needs to exist for RB to begin playback.

More info:
When you open a BB file in RB you get 8 BB tracks. Those 8 tracks are classed as BiaB tracks in order to have this BB style generating functionality. You can easily turn that off and work on one at a time by 'Making BB tracks regular tracks'. Then using Generate only affects the selected track or region.
Or you can leave them as BB tracks and regenerate the whole song when you hit Generate (like in BB). But again, RB will generate the whole song before starting playback. This makes BB much faster for some basic song structure/style experimentation tasks.

But anyway, you not only get more than 255 bars (it's pretty much limitless, depending on what your computer can handle).
You also are not limited to 8 tracks like BiaB. Got a song you like, and want to keep the full BB song and add even more tracks? No problem. Instead of 8 tracks you have 48. Each one can be Audio, MIDI, Realtracks, Realdrums, or whatever.

Looking forward to seeing you in the Realband forum soon. smile
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#539680 - 06/05/19 08:33 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: rharv]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: rharv
Just to be clear, RB is not 'just like BiaB' in how it works.

It was a DAW that PGMusic added some BiaB features to. . . .

Looking forward to seeing you in the Realband forum soon. smile


Sounds good. Thanks for the additional info!
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#540165 - 06/09/19 10:47 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: jazzmammal]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
Have you even looked at Real Band?

Check it out, problem solved.

Bob

Well, Bob, after spending the last two days using RB and trying to find out the cause of a track generation issue at the 240/241 bar boundary, I have to say that the "255 bar limit" is only partially solved in RB. The reason I say "only partially solved" is that while RB does indeed allow songs to have more than 255 bars, it will repeatedly "hiccup" at the 240/241 bar boundary during its generation of BiaB tracks by making an erroneous chord change to bar 241 (when there is no chord in bar 241) and sometimes creating a glitch on this boundary at the same time. I've been able to reproduce this issue using numerous scenarios and even saw it happen when I regenerated a section of a track that began a few bars before this boundary and continued on to the end of a 320 bar song. If you haven't done so already, you can read more about this issue over in the RB forums. You can also watch the following video that I created of this scenario and then uploaded to my Youtube channel:

https://youtu.be/khIKS_RAGHg
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#540188 - 06/09/19 03:18 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Pipeline Offline
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So it's joining the the 2 sections to go over 255.
I would say that's a bug they need to look into as it's not stitching it correctly.
I highlighted and selected all tracks and regenerate that section and it still generate 2 files per tack.
It should be fixable.


Attachments
RB-241-Join.png

RB-241-Join2.png

RB-241-Join3.png


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#540190 - 06/09/19 03:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
So it's joining the the 2 sections to go over 255.
I would say that's a bug they need to look into as it's not stitching it correctly.
I highlighted and selected all tracks and regenerate that section and it still generate 2 files per tack.
It should be fixable.

My thinking is also that it should be fixable. It did the same thing for me when I regenerated all the tracks at the same time in their entirety. I just wasn't able to regenerate a small section around the 240/241 bar boundary for all the tracks at the same time. I explained several of the scenarios I tried in order to understand the exact nature of this problem over in the RB forum if anyone is interested in reading them.
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#540191 - 06/09/19 03:30 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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Pipeline Offline
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What you can try is copying another section of track earlier or later with the same chords and paste and replace that section
or copy that section's chords to somewhere after the ending,
increase the number of bars to cover it,
select that new section of chords and all the tracks
then generate all selected track in section,
then cut and paste that into the bad section,
then set the number of bars back.
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#540193 - 06/09/19 03:41 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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Pipeline Offline
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If Biab has to do 240 at a go then stitches them for RealBand then this maybe the reason it's not been done in Biab, maybe it's too much of a job to fix ???
Maybe fixing this issue now for RealBand may let them work out a way of doing it in Biab ??
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#540195 - 06/09/19 03:53 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
What you can try is copying another section of track earlier or later with the same chords and paste and replace that section
or copy that section's chords to somewhere after the ending,
increase the number of bars to cover it,
select that new section of chords and all the tracks
then generate all selected track in section,
then cut and paste that into the bad section,
then set the number of bars back.

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I've done this already and found out that it's a relatively slow process compared to when I did a very similar process in Tracktion 6, which is my preferred DAW for this purpose because of its simple GUI and minimal use of resources (as I mentioned in a previous post). IOW, your suggestion is the same workaround that I've used in the past but with a different program. To me, this does not "resolve" the "255 bar limit" in BiaB. Tracktion allows more than 255 bars as well. It just doesn't generate tracks like BiaB does. So, it's much easier and quicker for me to save a shortened version of a BiaB generated arrangement of my song that I can then import into Tracktion, replicate, crop, and then piece together into one contiguous arrangement. Using either program is fine if I'm creating a single arrangement for only one song. But if I have to create multiple versions of an arrangement for that song because of mods, tweaks, and other enhancements, it can easily consume hours and hours of time. I know this from experience because I went through it a couple of months go. This is the main reason I shared my "idea" that started this discussion about a week ago.
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#540206 - 06/09/19 05:33 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Pipeline Offline
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I reported the this issue with RealBand in the beta testing forum.
You could run 2 instances of Biab,
save the first and second half the chord sheet in MuseScore,
load one xml into the first instance of Biab and the second half into the other,
you can then highlight the bars in each instance of Biab and drag export them into Tracktion so the second one will include the ending.

EDIT: I just hope they will give the plugin more than 255 bars also.


Edited by Pipeline (06/09/19 05:35 PM)
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#540208 - 06/09/19 05:56 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
I reported the this issue with RealBand in the beta testing forum.
You could run 2 instances of Biab,
save the first and second half the chord sheet in MuseScore,
load one xml into the first instance of Biab and the second half into the other,
you can then highlight the bars in each instance of Biab and drag export them into Tracktion so the second one will include the ending.

EDIT: I just hope they will give the plugin more than 255 bars also.

Creating two parts of the song in MuseScore is fairly easy and quick to do. But are you suggesting that I start BiaB twice---once for each instance? And is it possible to drag and drop a group of arrangement bars from BiaB directly into Tracktion 6? I've never tried that. Instead, I save the entire arrangement as a .WAV file from BiaB and then import the .WAV file into Tracktion. It gets imported as a self-contained long rectangular box that can be moved around and have its length adjusted in various ways. That's why Traction has been such a help with this issue. Also, which plugin are you referring to in your post?
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#540230 - 06/09/19 07:08 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Attachments
Biab-Drag-Master-Separate-Tracks.png

BiabMultiple-Instances.png


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#540234 - 06/09/19 07:12 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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Pipeline Offline
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You can do the same with 2 instances of the plugin in Tracktion.
You would need to import the xml to Biab and save as SGU then in the plugin open the SGU.
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#540243 - 06/09/19 07:41 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
You can do the same with 2 instances of the plugin in Tracktion.
You would need to import the xml to Biab and save as SGU then in the plugin open the SGU.

Wow, that's very interesting! Thanks, pipeline! Normally, when I import my .WAV file that I saved from BiaB, it just takes up one track. But as I ponder this, am I correct in thinking that the plugin will import each instrument from BiaB onto its own track? If so, I suspect that each instrument would be in its own rectangular box graphic that can be easily moved around and adjusted exactly like the .WAV file can be. I'll definitely watch the video and figure out how to do this. It could be a much better workaround than my original Traction workaround---especially until this bug gets fixed in RB (if that ever happens, of course).
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#540245 - 06/09/19 07:56 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Pipeline Offline
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You can drag the Master as a stereo mixdown of all the tracks into a stereo file or drag the Master as all separate tracks that lets you add FX and adjust levels of each instrument.
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#540248 - 06/09/19 09:00 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
You can drag the Master as a stereo mixdown of all the tracks into a stereo file or drag the Master as all separate tracks that lets you add FX and adjust levels of each instrument.

Cool! That's a very flexible plugin. I look forward to trying it out very soon.

Getting back to the "hiccup" in RB at the 240/241 bar boundary, I noticed in one of your previous posts that you were able to regenerate a 3-bar section of all the tracks in your test song. Why wasn't I able to do that when I tried it? (I should have probably included this failed step in my video.) I'm wondering if I had to select the drum track as well, which I didn't do. I guess I'll have to try this to find out if that was the reason nothing happened.
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#540260 - 06/10/19 01:07 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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Pipeline Offline
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I tried selecting the last 2 tracks and selected Generate All (selected regions)(selected tracks)
but it didn't work then I selected all and it worked.

241-242 plays C and it should be B

I would being trying Tacktion with 2 Biab Plugins.
In the first plugin that loads the first part of the chord sheet from MuseScore un-check Ending and the second un-check Leadin.
Drag the Master green square for stereo mix of all tracks or the Master blue square for all tracks.


Attachments
RB-BtoC.png

BiabVst-LeadIn-Ending-Check.png

BiabVst-Drag-Master.png




Edited by Pipeline (06/10/19 01:27 AM)
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#541820 - 06/19/19 01:25 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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muzikluver Offline
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Pipeline, I want you to know that I haven't forgotten about your suggestion to try out the BiaB VST plugin with Tracktion on one of my songs that exceeds the 255 bar limit in BiaB. I've just been very busy over for the last two weeks in the RB forum where I had started a closely related discussion on 6/7/19 about a couple of problems I ran into when I followed jazzmammal's suggestion to use RB on one of my long songs because of his assertion that this limit has been resolved in RB. As you may already know, that discussion has been somewhat overwhelming, complex, and even confusing at times because, for a while, the focus was switching back and forth between various workflow scenarios using RB, BiaB, or both RB and BiaB. So, I finally suggested that someone start a new discussion over in this forum about all the known workarounds to the 255 bar limit in BiaB and even suggested that some of the BiaB-focused posts in the RB forum be transferred to this new discussion.

Besides wanting to remove some of the confusion that had developed in the RB discussion, my main reason for making this suggestion was to create a central repository of all of those workarounds for newbies to be directed to in the future who weren't able to figure out their own workaround or who wanted to know about other workarounds besides their own. While I'm still in favor of such a discussion being started and would even be willing to participate in it myself, no one has expressed any interest in doing so. And because I'm not knowledgeable enough about BiaB and RB to make it happen and to make sure that all the pertinent issues are properly addressed (as in, the user's primary objective, workflow scenario, software skill level, and musical/songwriting expertise, etc.), I feel that it would be better if someone other than myself took on this task. Consequently, I decided to follow up on this discussion by sharing the same suggestion here with the hope that someone has enough interest in BiaB's 255 bar limit issue to initiate the discussion.
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#544103 - 07/04/19 02:56 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
You can do the same with 2 instances of the plugin in Tracktion.
You would need to import the xml to Biab and save as SGU then in the plugin open the SGU.

Pipeline, I have the BiaB plugin installed in Tracktion, and I also opened an XML file of a 204 bar section (the first 204 bars) of a 325 bar song in BiaB as my first step to try out this procedure. Unfortunately, I am not able to save this first section as a .SGU file or as a .MGU file from BiaB. The only option BiaB gives me is .MGX, but the BiaB plugin doesn't open .MGX files. It only opens .SGU or .MGU files. I also checked the manual but couldn't find anything there about this, and the video on using the BiaB plugin with Tracktion doesn't address it either. So, I've hit a dead end with this procedure and don't know what else to try. Got any suggestions?
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#544113 - 07/04/19 04:08 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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#544135 - 07/04/19 09:26 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
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I think I just renamed it MGX > MGU or SGU to open in the plugin, if it has a midi melody track just drag that in the DAW from Biab.
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#544195 - 07/05/19 09:11 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
I think I just renamed it MGX > MGU or SGU to open in the plugin, if it has a midi melody track just drag that in the DAW from Biab.

I found the answer to my question at the following links.

https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=314077&site_id=1

https://www.pgmusic.com/techfaq23.htm#85

The reason I can't save my BiaB file as an SGU or MGU file is that my song has an entire midi file on the melody track. This was created when I imported my XML file into BiaB. Because I don't use this track, I can just delete it so that I can create the right file type to work with in the plugin.
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#548797 - 08/09/19 10:34 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: Pipeline]
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muzikluver Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
You can do the same with 2 instances of the plugin in Tracktion.
You would need to import the xml to Biab and save as SGU then in the plugin open the SGU.

Pipeline, I finally had a chance to try this out with a new song I've been working on that unexpectedly ended up having more than 255 bars, so I thought I'd follow up on this thread and tell you about it.

Before I saved each section of my song from within BiaB (after I had split the song in to two sections in MuseScore and exported each section in its own XML file that I had imported into BiaB), I had changed the Bar settings at various places in each section of the song in order to turn individual instruments on and off so that my arrangement would be more interesting than just a standard "generic" arrangement. But when I opened each section of my XML file in the BiaB plugin that I had installed in Tracktion, these settings were no longer intact, and there was no way for me to restore them because this feature was not included in the plugin. So, I gave up on this idea and just exported a WAV file for each section of my song from BiaB and then imported those WAV files into Traction where I pieced them together into one continuous song. This preserved my Bar settings that I had created in BiaB for my custom arrangement.

However, in another post, you had mentioned opening two instances of BiaB in order to import a different section of a song into each instance of BiaB. I assume you're suggesting that I run two copies of BiaB side by side so that I can use each copy to work on a different section of my song that normally would exceed 255 bars if it wasn't split into two sections. If my assumption is correct, then this would be a better workaround to the 255 bar limit in BiaB than taking the song into RB because the Bar settings in RB doesn't seem to work the same as it does in BiaB. This only applies, of course, to custom arrangements in which certain instruments are turned on and off at different places in the song. For standard "generic" arrangements, it would be more efficient to use RB. Unless I'm missing something, this is the conclusion I've come to in the last couple of weeks.
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BiaB 2019 Win ProPak Build 628, RB 2019 V4, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (dual boot with Win 7 64-bit), Intel Q9650, 8 GB RAM, 256 & 120 GB HD, Tracktion 6 & 7 (freebies), MuseScore 2.1

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#548801 - 08/09/19 11:09 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: An idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" [Re: muzikluver]
Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 3957
Pipeline Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/05/15
Posts: 3957
Yes you can run more than one instance of Biab (set the in Preferences).
You can also run multiple plugins to give way more more variations than Biab Guide: Using Multiple Biab Plugins
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ReaTrak Integrate Biab & Plugin in Reaper
Free Biab & BiabVST Chord Picker Tool

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Fixed: In Chords Window, you could not enter held chords on Piano track.
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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.

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