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After posting an idea to fix the dreaded "255 bar limit" in the BiaB forum, jazzmammal (Bob) informed me that this limit does not exist in Real Band. And when I also discovered that RB also can open .XML files and generate arrangements like BiaB does, I decided to try it with a 9-minute song I wrote in January 2013 that consists of 325 bars. In the process, I discovered a weird glitch that keeps occurring between bar 240 and 241. But before I elaborate on this glitch, I'll explain the process I went through before I discovered it.

The first problem I encountered after I opened my .XML file is that RB truncated the song at around bar 220. So, I tried to resolve this by copying and pasting about 100 bars of chords from a previous section in my song into the section that got truncated and then manually entered the rest of the chords at the end of the song. While this did indeed result in the complete restoration of all the chords and bars in my song, I wanted to understand why RB had truncated my song in the first place and went back to MuseScore (the music notation software I use to create my lead sheets and .XML files) to study what was occurring around bar 220. The only thing I could find that I suspected as the culprit was the word "INTERLUDE" that I had entered at that location. However, I had also entered the word "INTERLUDE" at bar 105 because the interlude in this song occurs between the first and second verse and between the second and third verse. To be safe, I deleted both occurrences of this word and created a new .XML file that I then opened in RB. Sure enough, RB did not truncate the song at bar 220 like it had done before.

Then I switched to the Tracks window and clicked on the Generate button so that RB would generate a full arrangement of my song using the style I had selected. Because I had previously clicked on the "start from beginning" button in the Chords window, the first 50 bars were visible in the Tracks window as the arrangement was being generated. But before RB started to generate the drums track (the last track to generate), the Tracks window shifted to show a later set of 50 bars that has bar 240 at the midpoint of the window. So, I clicked the Play button and listened to the arrangement from that point onward. Sure enough, a weird glitch and chord change that I had heard previously (before I had removed the INTERLUDE words from within MuseScore and after I had tried the copy/past operation to correct RB's truncation of my song) was present again at the 240-241 bar transition. But when I switched to the Chords window to check the chords at this location, I saw that a chord change doesn't occur until bar 244 (an Am chord) with the most recent chord change occurring at bar 238 (a Dm chord). To make sure that a chord change was indeed occurring at the 240-241 transition, I muted every instrument except for one of the acoustic guitars and played the section again. Then I switched to the other acoustic guitar and did the same thing. Both times I could hear a chord change occurring where there wasn't supposed to be one at bars 240-241.

My next idea was to insert a Dm chord into bar 241 so that a chord change wouldn't occur in the arrangement when RB generated it. But instead of just regenerating a few bars on both sides of this transition for each instrument, I had RB re-generate the entire song from scratch. While this did prevent the chord change from occurring, RB still tried to briefly make this change and ended up creating a weird glitch at the transition between these two bars. I don't know what is going on at this location in the song, but this shouldn't be happening. Does anyone know what it could be? The next thing I'm going to do is insert a Dm chord into bar 240 to see if the glitch goes away completely, even though I shouldn't have to do this for either bar 240 or 241. In the meantime, perhaps someone can give me an explanation of what's going on at this location along with some other suggestions to resolve this issue.

Last edited by muzikluver; 06/07/19 04:36 PM. Reason: changed "tracks" to "bars" in third paragraph

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I have some more info on this issue and a possible explanation of what's happening. After I entered a Dm chord into bar 240, reset the view to the beginning of the song, and then had RB re-generate the entire song from scratch, RB moved the "Play" start position to the beginning of bar 241 immediately before it began to generate the drum track (as it had done before). But I also noticed that RB was generating every other instrument track in two stages. The first stage was from bar 1 to bar 240, and the second stage was from bar 241 to the end of the song (bar 327). However, RB didn't do this for the drum track (as far as I could tell). So, does this mean that RB can only generate 240 bars at a time of each instrument in an arrangement? If so, why?


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Well,
You got me confused.

"the first 50 tracks were visible in the Tracks window as the arrangement was being generated. "
then ..
"the Tracks window shifted to show a later set of 50 tracks that has track 240 at the midpoint of the window."
Your Tracks window shows 50 tracks? RB only has 48.

What was the source file? Did you open a BiaB file?
Wondering if the 255 bar issue somehow is carrying over inside the file format of a BiaB file and causing these issues.
Maybe try making all BB tracks Regular tracks (as mentioned in the other thread) so RB stops trying to behave like BiaB.
Then Save As a SEQ file.
This may make the song start honoring the RB standards (instead of RB trying to honor the BiaB format)
Once saved as SEQ file;
Then highlight the desired tracks from measure 241 forward and regenerate those .. or maybe highlight the desired tracks and regenerate the whole song.

If you opened a BiaB file and never saved it to SEQ format, maybe RB is still dealing with the 255 limit while trying to work with a file in the BiaB format.
Just a thought

If I open a BiaB file in RB I always immediately 'make all BB tracks regular tracks' and save as a SEQ file so RB behaves as expected .

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Last edited by rharv; 06/07/19 03:28 PM.

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Originally Posted By: rharv
Well,
You got me confused.

"the first 50 tracks were visible in the Tracks window as the arrangement was being generated. "
then ..
"the Tracks window shifted to show a later set of 50 tracks that has track 240 at the midpoint of the window."
Your Tracks window shows 50 tracks? RB only has 48.


Sorry for using the wrong term. I meant to say "the first 50 bars were visible in the Tracks window . . ."

Quote:

What was the source file? Did you open a BiaB file?


The source file was a .XML file that I had created in MuseScore.

Quote:

Wondering if the 255 bar issue somehow is carrying over inside the file format of a BiaB file and causing these issues.


No because I didn't use a BiaB file. BiaB can't handle more than 255 bars. That's why I'm using RB and opening a .XML file with 325 bars directly into RB.

Quote:

Maybe try making all BB tracks Regular tracks (as mentioned in the other thread) so RB stops trying to behave like BiaB.
Then Save As a SEQ file.
This may make the song start honoring the RB standards (instead of RB trying to honor the BiaB format)
Once saved as SEQ file;
Then highlight the desired tracks from measure 241 forward and regenerate those .. or maybe highlight the desired tracks and regenerate the whole song.


Um, I'm not sure how to do this because I've never used RB before, but I'll try to figure it out. I also don't know what a "SEQ file" is. Is that just one of the formats that RB can save the file in?

Quote:

If you opened a BiaB file and never saved it to SEQ format, maybe RB is still dealing with the 255 limit while trying to work with a file in the BiaB format.
Just a thought

If I open a BiaB file in RB I always immediately 'make all BB tracks regular tracks' and save as a SEQ file so RB behaves as expected .


Like I said above, I opened a .XML file, not a BiaB file. All I did after I opened the file is click on Generate and then select "Generate all BB tracks" because there is no option to generate RB tracks. There is only one track visible, and that is the midi track of the melody that was in the .XML file.


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Originally Posted By: rharv
Maybe try making all BB tracks Regular tracks (as mentioned in the other thread) so RB stops trying to behave like BiaB.
Then Save As a SEQ file.
This may make the song start honoring the RB standards (instead of RB trying to honor the BiaB format)
Once saved as SEQ file;
Then highlight the desired tracks from measure 241 forward and regenerate those .. or maybe highlight the desired tracks and regenerate the whole song.

If you opened a BiaB file and never saved it to SEQ format, maybe RB is still dealing with the 255 limit while trying to work with a file in the BiaB format.
Just a thought

If I open a BiaB file in RB I always immediately 'make all BB tracks regular tracks' and save as a SEQ file so RB behaves as expected .


rharv, the screen shot in your previous comment does not apply because there is no "make all BB tracks regular tracks" item on that menu under Audio Effects. IOW, there are no BB tracks in the song, only the midi track of the melody. I could save the file as a SEQ file and reopen it, but it still won't have any tracks but the midi track, so doing this may not be of help.


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Originally Posted By: rharv

Maybe try making all BB tracks Regular tracks (as mentioned in the other thread) so RB stops trying to behave like BiaB.
Then Save As a SEQ file.
This may make the song start honoring the RB standards (instead of RB trying to honor the BiaB format)
Once saved as SEQ file;
Then highlight the desired tracks from measure 241 forward and regenerate those .. or maybe highlight the desired tracks and regenerate the whole song.

If you opened a BiaB file and never saved it to SEQ format, maybe RB is still dealing with the 255 limit while trying to work with a file in the BiaB format.
Just a thought

If I open a BiaB file in RB I always immediately 'make all BB tracks regular tracks' and save as a SEQ file so RB behaves as expected .


Well, I figured out how to convert BB tracks to RB tracks. This command is actually on the "Edit->Track" submenu rather than on the "Audio Effects" submenu. Anyway, before I did that, I cut out one entire section of the song (Interlude, verse, and chorus) to reduce the number of bars to 223 and then generated the five BB tracks. After doing that, I saved the file as a SEQ file and then reopened it in RB. Then I converted all the BB tracks to RB tracks and replaced all those bars (102 of them) for that entire section that I had deleted before so that I would have my complete song back again in RB format with the entire arrangement (RB copied the audio for each track as well). Then I saved the song again under a different filename. Next, I tried to re-generate all the tracks again as RB tracks, but RB said that "there are no previously generated tracks found to re-generate." So, it looks like the arrangement generation of tracks is strictly a BiaB function that is limited to 255 (or 240) bars, which means that RB does not resolve the 255 bar limit in BiaB without also abandoning its automatic arrangement generation capabilities. That is, unless I'm missing something or didn't do something right.


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Maybe check the Bar settings in the Generate section(?)
I haven't tried it using your described workflow .. just trying to help.

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Originally Posted By: rharv
Maybe check the Bar settings in the Generate section(?)
I haven't tried it using your described workflow .. just trying to help.


Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try that and see if that makes any difference.


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Originally Posted By: rharv
Maybe check the Bar settings in the Generate section(?)
I haven't tried it using your described workflow .. just trying to help.


That setting just defines the length of the song. I always change that number immediately after I open my .XML file because the Chord window still shows the default 32 bars in yellow, and the number in that box is still at 32 as well. I've tried changing that number before opening my file, but it automatically reverts back to 32 after opening it.


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<<< Well, I figured out how to convert BB tracks to RB tracks. >>> and <<< Next, I tried to re-generate all the tracks again as RB tracks, but RB said that "there are no previously generated tracks found to re-generate." >>> plus

You are correct that generation of tracks is a BIAB function within RealBand. The message you saw is telling you there are no BIAB designated tracks to generate which is true since you previously changed the first 8 BIAB designated tracks to regular Tracks.

RealBand does not have that 255 bar limitation other than it will only generate the 8 tracks designated to BIAB. "I opened a .XML file, not a BiaB file." is why I think you did not generate any tracks. You need to select a BIAB Style or BIAB tracks to generate.

As a test, I generated 16 bars of BIAB tracks to a chord progression and loaded _STEPUP.STY. I changed these 16 bars of BIAB generated style to Regular Tracks.

I reset the 8 tracks to BIAB Tracks.

Then I set my song start to end markers 1 - 276 which set my song stop limit at end of bar 276 - according to the from -through selection that is 276.4.119. I added a chord about every 16 bars and regenerated and RealBand rendered the full 276 bars of the track of the BIAB tracks and did nothing to the 5 tracks I'd converted to Regular Tracks. All tracks used were all RealTracks.


I removed the RealTracks and Style and loaded an All Midi Style - 60spop16.sty and repeated the test and it also generated tracks beyond the 255 limit.

In this simple test,RealBand did generate tracks beyond the 255 bar limitation.

Hope this helps you out.


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Thanks Charlie, I can't seem to replicate the issue either.
I haven't tinkered much with XML files though, so I don't know if that could be part of the issue.
I suppose if the XML file had some directive happening at measure 240 it could get inherited/interpreted by RB as a stop point, causing the issue.
FWIW I don't see how an issue at measure 240/241 equates to the BiaB 255 measure limit.
Those numbers are quite different, and as shown in my previous image, generating 296 measures was successful here .. thus eliminating the 255 limit.
I suppose I could have done 800 measures, but thought 296 was enough for proof of concept.

Last edited by rharv; 06/08/19 06:23 AM.

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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
"I opened a .XML file, not a BiaB file." is why I think you did not generate any tracks. You need to select a BIAB Style or BIAB tracks to generate.


Thanks for your reply and test-run efforts. As I mentioned in previous posts, I did select a BiaB Style and was able to generate five BiaB tracks. But (as I also explained further in my previous posts), RB generated each of those BiaB tracks in two consecutive stages. First it generated bars 1-240, and then it generated bars 241 to 327 before it moved on to the next track and repeated this process. It did not do this two-stage process for the drum track, however. Because of the two-stage generation process, a glitch and erroneous chord change occurs in bar 241.


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Originally Posted By: rharv
Thanks Charlie, I can't seem to replicate the issue either.
I haven't tinkered much with XML files though, so I don't know if that could be part of the issue.
I suppose if the XML file had some directive happening at measure 240 it could get inherited/interpreted by RB as a stop point, causing the issue.

I looked closely at measure 240 in MuseScore but didn't see anything there that could be causing this to happen. I tried to attach a screen shot of this section in MuseScore but couldn't figure out how.

Quote:
FWIW I don't see how an issue at measure 240/241 equates to the BiaB 255 measure limit.
Those numbers are quite different, and as shown in my previous image, generating 296 measures was successful here .. thus eliminating the 255 limit.
I suppose I could have done 800 measures, but thought 296 was enough for proof of concept.

I agree with you, but there does appear to be some correlation between the two even though 240 doesn't equal 255.


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If you know what a rest, shot or hold is as known to BIAB/RB any of those will cause a gap in generation as will having the 'two bar ending' checked. Both of those conditions caused gaps in generating the tracks in some of my testing. In the RealTracks Style test, this occurred at bar 16 and again at bar 273 because I had input a hold ( G... ) at bar 16 and RB automatically generated the 2 bar ending after what I designated as the last bar of my song.

You can test your system by replicating my test. Create a new file, be sure there's a BIAB style picked, (this should be done default) and just any a chord every 1-15 bars and set the length of your song somewhere above the 255 bar. If you enter a rest, shot or hold, you must enter another chord after that after a number of bars to cancel the rest, shot or hold command. The test should separate your issue between a system or program setting and your imported file.


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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
If you know what a rest, shot or hold is as known to BIAB/RB any of those will cause a gap in generation as will having the 'two bar ending' checked. Both of those conditions caused gaps in generating the tracks in some of my testing. In the RealTracks Style test, this occurred at bar 16 and again at bar 273 because I had input a hold ( G... ) at bar 16 and RB automatically generated the 2 bar ending after what I designated as the last bar of my song.

You can test your system by replicating my test. Create a new file, be sure there's a BIAB style picked, (this should be done default) and just any a chord every 1-15 bars and set the length of your song somewhere above the 255 bar. If you enter a rest, shot or hold, you must enter another chord after that after a number of bars to cancel the rest, shot or hold command. The test should separate your issue between a system or program setting and your imported file.


I don't know what any of those are because I don't do any production type stuff with BiaB or RB. I only use it to find suitable styles for my songs than to use those styles to generate arrangements, which I then save as .WAV files to use in other programs. Before I try your test, Charlie, I'm going to open a .XML file of another song I wrote that has more than 255 bars to see if the same thing happens with that song. If it does, then I'll try your test. Depending on what happens next, I could always give you a copy of my .XML file for you to open and see if the same thing happens on your computer. But one step at a time.


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Charlie, the same thing happened with the .XML file of my second song with more than 255 bars in it. Also, what I said previously about RB generating each track in two consecutive stages is not correct. RB generates the first 240 bars of each track (except for the drums) first and then starts the process all over again with the remaining bars for the first track and does the same with the remaining tracks before it finishes by generating the entire drum track.

Before I try your test, I'd like you to regenerate all of your tracks if you still have your test file in RB or on disk. But this time, I'd like you to watch the text info in the white bar at the top of the RB window. That text info will start by saying "Generating RealTracks Instructions." Then it will start to generate the first 240 bars of each track for each instrument that is included in the BiaB style except for the drums. This means that if you have four instruments (bass, piano. electric guitar, and acoustic guitar), RB will generate the first 240 bars four times (once for each instrument) before it starts over by saying "Generating RealTracks Instructions" again prior to generating the remaining bars for each instrument. When it is done generating the entire track for each instrument, then the Tracks window will shift all the tracks to the left so that bars 240 and 241 are visible with a dark line (the play tarting point) on the boundary between these two bars. This happens at the same time that the dialog box for generating the drum track appears.


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At this point I wouldn't worry about doing my test. The results you've gotten, Rharv's testing and mine indicate to me there's no problem with a 255 bar limit. Importing XML files is a fairly new feature with BIAB and RB and I have no experience or knowledge working with them, within or outside of BIAB/RB.

I think there's a command from the XML file that is either being misinterpreted by RB or something along those lines. There are several here on the forum that are familiar with XML files that can help you sort that out and you can clear up this issue with little trouble and begin to enjoy your music.


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Originally Posted By: Charlie Fogle
At this point I wouldn't worry about doing my test. The results you've gotten, Rharv's testing and mine indicate to me there's no problem with a 255 bar limit. Importing XML files is a fairly new feature with BIAB and RB and I have no experience or knowledge working with them, within or outside of BIAB/RB.

I think there's a command from the XML file that is either being misinterpreted by RB or something along those lines. There are several here on the forum that are familiar with XML files that can help you sort that out and you can clear up this issue with little trouble and begin to enjoy your music.


Charlie, I have to disagree with you about the XML file being the problem, and here's why. I created my own test by entering some basic chords into bars 1-41 (see my image below) and then copied those chords repeatedly until I reached the end of the song, which I had previously defined to contain 320 bars. Then I switched to the Tracks view and tried to load the _SETUP.STY file that you had mentioned in a previous post but couldn't find that file in my Styles folder. So, I just used the one that I had used previously, which was a modified version of _MELWALZ.STY that I had created by substituting a couple of the instruments. When i generated the BiaB tracks this time, RB did the same two-stage generation process as before except that all four of the BiaB instrument tracks (excluding the drums) faded out to silence at bar 182 and then started again at bar 241 to the end of the song. Because there was no sound at bar 240, I couldn't start playing the song a few bars before bar 241 to listen for a chord change and the glitch that occurred other times. (see my image below)

Why did the sound fade at bar 182? The reason I think this happened is that the style I had chosen had a default time signature of 3/4, but the song I had created had a time signature of 4/4. What this means is that RB ran out of beats with its arrangement by the time it got to bar 182, as in these equations: 182 x 4 = 728 and 728 / 3 = 242.6666 IOW, 242.6666 (less the .6666) is the exact same number of bars that RB generated tracks for in my other two songs because I had two lead in bars in addition to the 240 bars where the track generation ended and started again.

My next thought is that perhaps I need to try this again using a different style that I didn't modify and that had the same default time signature as my test song. So, that's what I did. This time, RB did the same two-stage generation process for each track as before. However, because my test song had a chord entered at bar 241, I didn't notice a glitch when I listened to that section of the song. Of course, I did notice the chord change, which I should have.

Then I decided to open one of my .XML files again so that I could test RB's track generation process using a style that I hadn't modified but that had the same time signature as my song (3/4) so that I could eliminate the style itself as the source of this problem. Unfortunately, because my song didn't have a chord at bar 241, an erroneous chord change occurred there as had occurred at other times. But to make sure that this erroneous chord change was not caused by something in the .XML file, I decided to do one more test.

My final test involved my second test file that I had created from scratch by entering chords manually and replicating those chords to the end of the song. This test file had a chord entered at bar 241. After I opened it from my hard disk, I moved the chord at bar 241 to bar 238 and left bar 241 blank. However, when I re-generated all the tracks, RB changed the chord at bar 241 anyway, as it had done every other time I did this procedure. This means that the problem is with RB's track generation process using the BiaB engine.

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bars 1-41 chords.png (160.18 KB, 141 downloads)

Tom Levan (pronounced La-VAN)
BiaB 2024 Win UltraPAK Build 1109, Xtra Style PAKs 1-11, RB 2024, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Intel Q9650 3 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD & 2 TB HDD, Tracktion 6 & 7 (freebies), Cakewalk, Audacity, MuseScore 2.1 & 3.4, Synthesizer V
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I opened RealBand 2019 build 3. It had a RealTracks style left over from my last project. I created a 300 bar chord chart with a mixture of whole chords, rests, shots and holds. I placed "A" and "B" markers at random throughout the chord chart.

When I generated audio tracks it took quite some time but the resulting waveforms looked like I expected.

I then modified the chord chart by changing all rests, shots and holds to whole chords and generated audio tracks. Again it took quite some time but the results did not look like I expected. There is a one bar gap at bar 248 and the bass track has a one bar gap at bar 272.

I was monitoring taskmanager while the RealTracks were generated and formulated a theory of why there are gaps.

My theory is a background task is interfering with RealTrack generation and RealBand is not correctly handling the break in focus.

+++ HERE +++ is a link to the RealBand SEQ file if anyone wants to play with it. Note that the file size is about 450 MB.

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Clipboard01.jpg (309.28 KB, 140 downloads)
One bar gap at bar 248.
Clipboard02.jpg (313.7 KB, 138 downloads)
Gap in bass track at bar 272

Jim Fogle - 2024 BiaB (1111) RB (5) Ultra+ PAK
DAWs: Cakewalk by BandLab (CbB) - Standalone: Zoom MRS-8
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Originally Posted By: Jim Fogle
I opened RealBand 2019 build 3. It had a RealTracks style left over from my last project. I created a 300 bar chord chart with a mixture of whole chords, rests, shots and holds. I placed "A" and "B" markers at random throughout the chord chart.

When I generated audio tracks it took quite some time but the resulting waveforms looked like I expected.

I then modified the chord chart by changing all rests, shots and holds to whole chords and generated audio tracks. Again it took quite some time but the results did not look like I expected. There is a one bar gap at bar 248 and the bass track has a one bar gap at bar 272.

I was monitoring taskmanager while the RealTracks were generated and formulated a theory of why there are gaps.

My theory is a background task is interfering with RealTrack generation and RealBand is not correctly handling the break in focus.

Did you listen to either arrangement for several bars before and after the 240 bar mark to determine if there's an erroneous chord change at bar 241? Also, do either one of your test files have a chord at bar 241? If so, this would override any erroneous chord change for bar 241.


Tom Levan (pronounced La-VAN)
BiaB 2024 Win UltraPAK Build 1109, Xtra Style PAKs 1-11, RB 2024, Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, Intel Q9650 3 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD & 2 TB HDD, Tracktion 6 & 7 (freebies), Cakewalk, Audacity, MuseScore 2.1 & 3.4, Synthesizer V
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