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#571846 - 12/21/19 05:02 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] My thoughts regarding the future
Registered: 08/08/06
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Rob Helms Offline
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I posted this inside another discussion but thought I would post it here for open dialog from users.

When discussions start about where RB/PTPA fit in the DAW landscape many of us have strongly defended it as a very powerful and feature rich DAW choice. Yes it has many great virtues. Features no other DAW has, those being the awesome BiaB capabilities. This DAW can do things a far more well know, and mainline program could never begin to do.

Yet the problem lies in that, while it is all that a a bag of chips, it still suffers from being fragmented as it is a wonderful marriage of BiaB and PTPA. That is both incredible and limiting in one moment.

I sent a note to the Peter, Andrew, and a couple others recently suggesting that future plans should include a lotta love for RB. BiaB is at a point where it either has to morph into something it was never intended to be, and I fear become a train wreck doing so, or slow down it development to a slow boil.

Imagine BiaB with no 50 new features next year instead 25 nagging bugs solved like the 255 limit. 202 new real tracks including ambient tones, breakbeat drums and a bunch of new current RTs and RDs. That addresses what many are clamoring for modernizing.

Next a complete and total update of RB. Modern mixer view something like studio one with inserts and sends, with excellent FX chains and new powerful plugins. Get rid of the 255 limit, updated and complete automation, not just volume and panning, not just fader moves. Build it into a DAW that rivals Studio one, Reaper, Cubase, Cakewalk, etc. but one that includes BiaB generation capabilities. Focusing on RB on allows it to be broken out from BiaB, allows it to become a paid product that generates revenue for PGM. This lets BiaB rest and catch up. It would still be a source of revenue with it becoming even more solid and a stable and many of its old bugs squashed for good. Lots of time and resources could be diverted into a wider more diverse RT development. Lots of resources diverted to RB so it can be one of the best, most advanced and stable DAWs around and used along side BIaB and a continuing to develop Biab plugin would be a lethal line up.

If RB is tethered to BiaB so tightly that it can’t be separated properly then develop a new DAW with all the features of a prime time DAW like Bandlab cake, but with the plugin integrated natively much like the integration of melody era into studio one a DAW that has all the riches of a program like studio one, or bandlab, but opens .sgu .mgu file natively, and features the plugin version 3.0 with many enhancements. PTPA is sitting there 75% of the way there, maybe it is the basis for this new product. A few years back 10 to be exact Presonus took a old underdeveloped DAW named Kristal audio and completely rewrote it to become Studio one. Maybe PGM takes a open source DAW like an ardour, and completes it, with the next generation BiaB plugin (3.0)as one of the core features. Add to that some awesome new effects like world class compressors, limiters, EQs, and more.


I would love to hear others thoughts on this.
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#571853 - 12/21/19 06:16 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Jim Fogle Online   happy
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It will easy for this discussion to dissolve into I wish this or I wish that; if so that's too bad because I don't think that is what the "My thoughts regarding the future" heading implies.

The future of PG Music is the DAW Plugin, Xtra Styles, RealTracks, midiSuperTracks and whatever additional content PG Music can dream up.

Over time the DAW plugin will draw in traditional DAW users including professional studios and audio/video production houses. The DAW plugin will develop into a plugin that does not have to rely on background tasks and helper apps. The plugin will continue to have a limited feature set as compared to the Band-in-a-Box program. The DAW plugin will continue to be part of the Band-in-a-Box packages. This is because it needs PG Music content to be very useful.

Two customer groups will vie for new content, hobbyists and studios. New content will be available for purchase throughout the year.

PowerTracks and RealBand will combine into one 64 bit DAW application and the legacy 32 bit applications will receive minimal updates until they are dropped. (There won't be too much maintenance required because both applications are pretty stable already) The new application will continue to support the use of PG Music content and include Band-in-a-Box like features. However the BiaB features will be built-in instead of add-on. The program will be available as a standalone product like PowerTracks Pro currently is.

The Band-in-a-Box program will continue to receive annual updates. The GUI will be updated and when it is updated MacIntosh and PC editions will be consolidated into one program. Legacy 32 bit Mac and PC programs will be available for people using 32 bit operating systems.
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#571856 - 12/21/19 07:23 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Rob Helms Offline
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I would support that direction, and that would be my first choice as I mentioned in my post to Peter, Jeff, and Andrew. I love RB, but it can be far better. With a lot of hard work and planning it could truly rival the big boys, but it has to be its own entity to accomplish this. I suspect plugin version 3.0 will be very interesting.


Edited by Rob Helms (12/21/19 07:24 PM)
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#571870 - 12/22/19 12:21 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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sixchannel Offline
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All and any of the above.
But please, please dont chase the 'studios' at the expense of the 'hobbyists'.
I use BB because I CAN. Give the Pros and bedroom Pros all their 'toys' and I for one,as a total Hobbyist will freeze my purchases at the last iteration that I could understand.
I have no intention of learning from scratch something that worked perfectly well before.
I just want to boot up the best music creating software in the world and Go.
Ian
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#571876 - 12/22/19 01:33 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
Registered: 12/26/11
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LtKojak Offline
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Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
where RB/PTPA fit in the DAW landscape

Rob, BIAB is NOT a DAW. Never has been, never will be.

The workflow that'll get you closest to that imaginary "DAW" is to use BIAB as a plug-in in a REAL DAW, like Cakewalk by Bandlab or Tracktion T7, which are both free while allowing the use of 3rd party plug-ins and VSTs.

RB's never going to be a full-fledge DAW with the same possibilities as their competition, for the simple fact that they'll be playing R&D catch-up to make for at least twenty years lost in the race... with no ROI? It just makes no sense at all.

It's never going to happen, so my advice is to make your peace with the idea, just like Mick Jagger sang: "No, You Can't Always Get What You Want". wink

The way of the future, as I see it, is to better develop BIAB as a plug-in, teaming up with Cakewalk by BandLab, Presonus Studio One and Reaper, maybe adding/developing features exclusive to each one's workflows of those three.

Presonus' Studio One would make more sense, as they already have the "Chord Track" feature, which could be developed further to blend with BIAB's Real Track and Styles features, turning it into the most advanced DAW/Composing/Songwriting combo on the market, in which BIAB VST could be offered as an paying add-on for the Prime (free) version, the Artist (limited)version and the Pro (full-fledged) version, making it compatible with their new add-on business model.

Food for thought, PG Music...? cool


Edited by LtKojak (12/22/19 02:08 AM)
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#571904 - 12/22/19 05:15 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Kojack, I haven’t tried Presonus Studio One in years. Does it pick up the chords from BIAB?
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#571911 - 12/22/19 05:48 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Matt Finley]
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MarioD Offline
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Kojack, I haven’t tried Presonus Studio One in years. Does it pick up the chords from BIAB?


Not to my knowledge. It determines the chords based on MIDI and/or audio tracks.
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#571913 - 12/22/19 05:54 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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MarioD Offline
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Every time I see a message asking RB to be like Studio Pro One, CuBase, or any other pro DAW I ask are you willing to pay that much for a DAW? I was and I chose Studio Pro One.

One question I have is what is wrong with RB now? It is free and some here use it like a pro DAW. It is not the DAW for me but there are other DAWs that are not for me either. YMMV
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It has been a joy being quarantined with my wife. We've caught up on all the things I have done wrong in our 53 years of marriage!

64 bit Win 10 Pro, the latest BiaB and RB, Roland Octa-Capture audio interface, a ton of software and some hardware.

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#571914 - 12/22/19 05:55 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Rob Helms Offline
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Pepe, you preaching to the choir on this one. I never said BiaB should be or is a DAW the quote was “RB/PTPA”

I have been a firm believer that BiaB should remain what it is auto accompaniment software. But while you are right that the RB/PTPA program need some catch up I don’t think it is a far off as you think.

As far as RB/PTPA being a full DAW, in my opinion they already are. There is very little that they can’t do. Yes some features are a bit old school or just plain simple, but there is far more than many realize.

My key point is that for the last few years users clamor for BiaB to develop into a DAW, bad idea I feel. Stop adding major piles of feature to BiaB and focus on content ie. RRs, RDs, Supermidi tracks etc. fix the long term bugs folks have mentioned. Maybe some modernization of the GUI. Small changes and stability enhancements.

To me the future here is the plugin, but it is not a revenue generator, but a free part of the package. I see RB/PTPA as a potential goldmine. Yes it needs some love, hard work, upgrading. It needs to be a separate program untethered from BiaB. Still able to generate tracks as is but brought forward as a stand-alone top flight DAW. I saw what Presonus did with Kristal audio a few years back. RB/PTPA Are way ahead of that program, it didn’t even have midi capabilities here we are 10 years later and it is mentioned in the same sentence as Cubase, Protools, Logic, etc. I have to believe RB/PTPA would not take that long to advance.

I have used Bandlab, RB, PT, Reaper, Sonar, MTS, Protools, and prefer Studio one to them all. RB/PTPA can be far more than it is, and if for some reason there are things we don’t know that would keep that from happening then the other route could be to develop an open source product along these lines.

While RB is deeply connected to BiaB, PTPA is not, it is a separate program that was used to create RB. What would prevent PGM from leaving RB as it is and giving PTPA the focus and bringing it into the future as a top DAW to compete with Studio one and the others. What have they got to lose? It is a $49 product. What if it was completely overhauled and became a $299 product with annual upgrade fee of $99 or $129 that more than doubles the annual take on that product, more importantly it could bring in some of the folks that use are BiaB users who then go to other DAW products. Keep some of those folks here.

With PTPA development the plugin could be integrated into its core. BiaB files could be the native format. With upgraded automation, more flexible routing and bussing capabilities, some updates to the midi engine, more features in the audio editing window, a new set of plugins with sidechaining, rewire to link directly with BiaB, ARA integration for things like Melodyne, Plugin 3.0 with deeper generation capabilities, a nice modern look. PTPA would be really attractive to a lot of people.
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#571917 - 12/22/19 05:59 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Matt Finley]
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Brian Hughes Offline
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Kojack, I haven’t tried Presonus Studio One in years. Does it pick up the chords from BIAB?


Hi Matt, it does not get the chords from BIAB. It works kind of like Audio Chord wizard. It can analyze MIDI and Audio tracks and determine the chords but it also can change the chords to something else. It does this even with Audio. It is quite impressive what you can do with it, but like anything else it is not perfect 100% at getting it right.
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#571925 - 12/22/19 06:24 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Rob Helms Offline
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Also there is a macro or script available to pull the chords from the BiaB plugin. That’s pretty cool.
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#571929 - 12/22/19 07:02 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Matt Finley Online   content
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Thanks, everyone. When we have a DAW that, like MuseScore, reads BIAB native files and actually reads the chords, then we'll have something.

But how about Music XML? If you Save Special a BIAB song as Music XML, will Studio One read those chords directly (not just 'interpret')? Will any other DAW you know do that? My question is prompted by learning Studio One has a separate chords track, which I would find valuable enough to learn another DAW for IF it reads the BIAB chords directly. Thanks.
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#571935 - 12/22/19 07:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Rustyspoon# Offline
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Rob,
"many of us have strongly defended it as a very powerful and feature rich DAW choice."

RB is not a good DAW choice. It is not popular and actually almost unknown to wide audience because mainly it is used by people who rely on niche features related specifically to RT/RD. To me it is useless. I rather use a 12 year old Cakewalk Sonar than RB as a DAW.

December 2018 (2019 edition) - I opened RB for 15 minutes, closed it.
December 2019 (2020 edition) I opened RB for 5 minutes, closed it.
It is ages behind leading DAWs.

To be fair, I respect your passion, and who knows, maybe one day RB will become something more. I think PG has to keep program patched and running to keep loyal base in check, but for most people I think preferred way would be BIAB + VST Plugin and their DAW of choice.
-------
How do I see the future of PG software....ideally
A standalone BIAB, with re-designed, modern, MoDuLaR GUI, clean-easy to understand menus.
With features that actually work out of the box as intended, WITHOUT user suggested workaround acrobatics.

and VST plugin, that would have at least 85% features of the BIAB standalone.
Right now, after a year, VST is still not stable, which is a shame, but hopefully it will build proper muscles. On the VST note: Dear developers, if nobody mentioned this to you, I will. The transport buttons on VST plugin are UGLY! smile

---------------------------
One last looong thought. I think one of the biggest issues with PG is that people who are responsible for design are not trained in this field or just do it "on the side". There was an issue raised recently and some folks voiced concern about "fresh" blood using PG products to keep it healthy...
I am "semi-fresh" member, probably upper 25% of the age group of users. I dumped the program about 10 years ago when I first tried it, because it was a scary looking beast... And almost dumped it couple of years back. I stayed only because of several dedicated key members of the forum helped me to cut through the fat....
There were touchscreen phones way before ip*ones. They used to be called Pocket PCs with modems. Steve Jops, stole the idea, calling it "revolutionary" by paying pennies to designer J. Ive to make old concept look like a candy. He is probably smiling in his grave now. Kindly stay focused it is a single thought, I am almost done.
What I am trying to say, looks sell. PG should hire (or consult!) somebody who is good with design. I believe new kids are just scared of one million menus of BIAB and mid 90s looks of some items. Me, I am old enough to remember black and white TVs and rotary phones - I will survive smile But to get things appealing to younger folks MAKE THE GUI AND WORKFLOW WORTH THE YEAR 2020! smile

More customers=healthy product, right?

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#571940 - 12/22/19 07:50 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Matt Finley Online   content
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I think you make a good point. We experienced users make the program work just fine, but to someone looking at the program for the first time (especially younger users), what do they think? Will they even give it your 5 minutes? Are they willing to overlook the appearance to find the extraordinary content and features in BIAB?

You are not the first to raise this issue. It goes back decades.

I'm almost 70 now, well within the estimate demographic discussed on another recent thread. I've performed professionally since age 12. But I spent a career teaching computer science to younger people, so I hope the aging disease was slowed a bit.

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#571948 - 12/22/19 08:08 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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TheMaartian Offline
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SONAR went through the GUI update (their Skylight UI). It took a LOT of time and updates before it became stable. Lots of peeps stayed on SONAR 8.5 while the X1/X2/X3 versions worked their way toward stability.

What you're asking for is an almost complete rewrite of BiaB. While I'd LOVE to have a modern UI, I don't want it devolving into a bug-ridden mess.

What might be more doable is putting a modern GUI in the VST. That, along with Studio One (or Reaper, or your DAW of choice), could become a great solution.
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#571950 - 12/22/19 08:26 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Rustyspoon# Offline
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TheMaartian, I am not asking for anything. I am voicing my thoughts smile
My opinion, It should not be the item to "ask for" It should be obvious as bright sunny day to developers and whoever manages marketing at PG that design and workflow is way outdated. If they do not see that, maybe they need to consult somebody who knows about the design.

"I don't want it devolving into a bug-ridden mess." If proper person/people are hired that would be a non-issue.

Kids will not fall for XX New Features thing, it has to at least look and feel clean to them.

Your "mentioning" of X1...We are talking about 9(Nine) year old software here, which is like 25 in "human years" smile Still I would use that instead of RB.


Edited by Rustyspoon# (12/22/19 08:52 AM)

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#571951 - 12/22/19 08:29 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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sixchannel Offline
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On a personal level I wouldnt mind BB and RB being SPLIT. Shock, Horror!!!
I know that RB has some whistles and bells to manipulate further the BB files but as a 'Hobbyist' I find it horrible to use.
So - give me a full house but cut price BB and I'll carry on using my ancient old DAW.
Develop RB as a Full Professional DAW that everyone whinges on about RB NOT being and let them pay for it.

Ian
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BB2020 Ultra,725, RB4, XP, Win7, Win10

ALL TRACKS - https://app.box.com/s/501rnzrbadng1elvi45hbf7y08kl5oxp

SOUNDCLOUD UPDATED - tracks that were made entirely using BIAB -
http://soundcloud.com/sixchannel

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#571962 - 12/22/19 08:53 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
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Charlie Fogle Offline
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My thought is rather than throw out the total uniqueness of BIAB/RB combo to downgrade it to fit into the framework of all the other audio DAW's, editors and accompaniment software programs, develop BIAB/RB combo on a path to maintain its uniqueness and strengths. Ascribing to a goal of being in the middle of the pack as an average DAW doesn't appear to be the greatest business model to me. The only factor to set a BIAB DAW apart from any other DAW is the presence of BIAB. We already have that. We can merge any and every conceivable arrangement of a BIAB audio render or midi file into any existing DAW today so what's the accomplishment? In addition, we now have the VST.

All the references to Studio One showcases some great examples to not travel this "to be just like" pathway. The latest S1-4.6 release obsoleted previous integration with Ampire as well as its own Channel Strip. Open projects from earlier versions won't work without 'workarounds' and Presonus's highly popular VSL software was obsoleted in earlier releases. Today, most of the Presonus early mixers are incompatible with the latest S1 release. There's a pattern of obsolescence not only with Studio One but with most other Software DAWs.

A logical growth path for BIAB would be to partner with a digital mixer manufacturer. There are many but I'll use Behringer as an example because their vast variety of x-series mixers that range from the $250 USD XR-12 to the full featured, full size X32 and all of these variations and models share the same OS platform allowing users to select devices for their personal needs and preferences.

Adding an HDMI and additional USB input to the hardware would allow for the software and OS development of connecting a BIAB External hard drive and running BIAB program integrated with the on board OS and without the need of a computer. Engineering RealBand to operate with midi control would allow BIAB/RB to operate from a X-touch and the artist/producer/arranger/live performer would have a completely self contained, in the box, Band in a Box.

Scaled versions (ie: small, unexpandable and built in DAW's) are hot sellers today and the market is rapidly expanding with Zoom, Tascam, Yamaha, Soundcraft, Mackie, and Behringer to name a few manufacturers producing units similar to the Tascam DP-24 multitrack, Tascam Model 24 digital Mixer, Zoom UI24 and L-12/20 digital mixers.

Presonus comes very close with its integration of StudioLive digital mixers DAW mode and also the tight integration between the Faderport 8 and 16 with the pre-amp audio interfaces like the Studio 192, Quatum and 1824/1810
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#571979 - 12/22/19 11:13 AM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
Registered: 03/07/18
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Rustyspoon# Offline
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Ok,
I must admit, I might sounded a bit harsh.
The GUI on full screen of BIAB is almost ok looking from first sight.

I do believe it still needs scaling / modular approach., where user can design and save the workspace (upper tool part) which includes the items to be displayed, their custom sizes, etc. I would allow for double the size for tools at full screen to be at user disposal.

Mixer is another story...I will mention only visual part of it. User Videotrack showed an idea of auto-hiding mixer some time ago. So far, I was not able to see or come up with a better idea. Sorry, I can not find the post...

Menus have to be groomed and sorted better. Seems like they are scattered everywhere. Some roundness in menu styles and less of 90s look would help visually.

These are very doable things and out of all complex items on the lists are probably the less time consuming.

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#572013 - 12/22/19 01:20 PM [Band-in-a-Box Wishlist] Re: My thoughts regarding the future [Re: Rob Helms]
Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 280
Loc: Milano, Italy
LtKojak Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 12/26/11
Posts: 280
Loc: Milano, Italy
Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
I never said BiaB should be or is a DAW the quote was “RB/PTPA”

You're asking PG to catch up ten years of DAW technology R&D in RB for no money. Also, BIAB actually IS BIAB+RB. So, the message it's IMPLIED.

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
you are right that the RB/PTPA program need some catch up I don’t think it is a far off as you think.

I completely disagree. Hell, RB 2020's not even 64bit, for pete's sake!

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
As far as RB/PTPA being a full DAW, in my opinion they already are.

Yes, but the competition is light years ahead and some are even free. You're asking PG to re-invent the wheel for no money. Not going to happen, not now, not ever.
Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
There is very little that they can’t do.

Then you either don't know what the competition can already do better, some even for free to boot, or your needs are way more simple and modest than the average DAW user.

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
I see RB/PTPA as a potential goldmine.

Based on what exactly? Explain it to me, as I don't see it AT ALL.

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
Yes it needs some love, hard work, upgrading.

Do you have any idea at all how much does it cost software development? Based on your statements, I'm pretty sure you have no idea whatsoever.

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
I saw what Presonus did with Kristal audio a few years back.

Fifteen years, to be precise.

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
RB/PTPA Are way ahead of that program

You're kidding, right? RIGHT?

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
I have to believe RB/PTPA would not take that long to advance.

Your heart certainly is the right place, Rob. The rest, not quite...

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
I have used Bandlab, RB, PT, Reaper, Sonar, MTS, Protools, and prefer Studio one to them all. RB/PTPA can be far more than it is, and if for some reason there are things we don’t know that would keep that from happening then the other route could be to develop an open source product along these lines.

While RB is deeply connected to BiaB, PTPA is not, it is a separate program that was used to create RB. What would prevent PGM from leaving RB as it is and giving PTPA the focus and bringing it into the future as a top DAW to compete with Studio one and the others. What have they got to lose? It is a $49 product. What if it was completely overhauled and became a $299 product with annual upgrade fee of $99 or $129 that more than doubles the annual take on that product, more importantly it could bring in some of the folks that use are BiaB users who then go to other DAW products. Keep some of those folks here.

With PTPA development the plugin could be integrated into its core. BiaB files could be the native format. With upgraded automation, more flexible routing and bussing capabilities, some updates to the midi engine, more features in the audio editing window, a new set of plugins with sidechaining, rewire to link directly with BiaB, ARA integration for things like Melodyne, Plugin 3.0 with deeper generation capabilities, a nice modern look. PTPA would be really attractive to a lot of people.

Rob, you're a romantic. Keep on dreaming!


Edited by LtKojak (12/22/19 01:29 PM)
_________________________
Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
Milano, Italy
https://soundcloud.com/theodore-kojak/tracks
Hy-Bro Test Sound Files

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