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Add-ons and UserTracks for Band-in-a-Box
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 8,113
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Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 8,113
I spent several hours yesterday and today reviewing the User Tracks (and other add-ons) and UserTracks Wishlist Forums and also discussing UserTracks with Jim Fogle who has been an active supporter of UserTracks since their inception.

My first and most obvious observation is the overwhelming popularity of UserTracks above other add-ons like Styles, RealDrums, plugins, VST Plugins, Add-on songs/excercises, and particularly Artist Performances and Loops. The second observation is the disappointment and frustration of UserTrack enthusiasts that UserTracks remain broke and not completeley functional as they were originally advertised to be on a par with RealTracks.

Unfortunately for UserTrack proponents, neither BIAB users not PGMusic staff realized in 2008 the impact, acceptance and Company changing influence that RealTracks would have on BIAB users and PGMusic company. My thought is some of the void it was anticipated would be filled by UserTracks have been superseded by the tremendous success and the quality that RealTrack audio has produced.

My BIAB/RB package has in excess of 3,100 hours of studio quality audio recordings of greater than 2,900 instruments by more than 145 top session musicians. RealTracks may be the flagship product of PGMusic like the Iphone is to Apple. While the popularity and increased quality of RealTracks have not obsoleted UserTracks, I think it has reduced the footprint of the void it was expected and hoped to fill. PGMusic has made impressive improvements to the StyleMaker and RealTrack Picker modules that have enhanced search features to provide users greater access and success locating appropriate RT audio for their projects.

This past weekend I decided to examine the UserTrack section of the Forum again. What caught my attention is the almost exclusive focus by forum members for UserTracks and practically ignoring all of the other add-on products people can make for BIAB. The two most obvious and useful examples for me are Artist Performance Tracks and Loops. APT's and Loops share some similarities in use but my preference for adding the most bang for the buck is Artist Performance Tracks (APT's).

Here are some of the uses and benefits primarily of Artist Performance Tracks. Most also apply to Loops.

. APT's and Loops are not broken. They perform and operate as they should and were designed to.
. APT's and Loops fill a unique void unlike the duplication between RT's and UserTracks.
. APT's and Loops have a wide variety of uses in and out of BIAB.
. APT's are viable tracks across multi versions and multi years of BIAB releases.
. APT's work across both Mac and PC formats.
. APT's are easy to share.
. BIAB has built in features that make APT's easy to share User to User, and seller to client.
. APT's can be either WAV or WMA file types (or both) according to need.
. There is a lot of income potential within and out of BIAB with Performance Tracks.
. APT's and Loops are perfect for BIAB users collaborations.
. APT's can be made from any Midi or Supermidi patch.
. APT's can be made from any RealTrack, Rhythm or Soloist.
. APT's can be made from RealDrums and other Percussion instruments.
. APT's can be made from a single instrument or multiple instruments or a complete mix down.
. APT's can be made from any Style or combination of Styles, midi, Real and midi or RealStyle.
. APT's can be made from a live performance.
. APT's can be a complete Mono or Stereo Mix track.
. APT's are the secret sauce to use BIAB as a digital multi track recorder.
. APT's are very easy to convert between Audio and Performance Track and back again as needed.
. No external program is needed to fully create, develop,share, and transfer an APT.

As far as I know, APT's should work with any version and year of BIAB, MAC or PC that accepts audio tracks. For example, a user with 2020 Ultra + BIAB can provide a current RealTrack or Style from 2020 as an Artist Performance Track to a user with 2012 Windows Pro Pak. A user with high end Midi VST's and the skills and equipment to produce high quality Midi songs can provide any other user that may not have access to any other midi synth and instruments than Coyote WT or the skill to play a midi keyboard, a high quality render of that users SGU file. These type services and collaborations can be for free or for fees between private User to User. Artist Performance Tracks provide a legitimate way to share BIAB Styles, Instruments, Midi Patches, Supermidi Patches, SFZ's, RealTracks, Vocals, Backing Vocals and live performances between BIAB users, regardless of the particular BIAB year, version and package each have.

The way APT's reside within a BIAB SGU file and the ease of which BIAB provides email transfer of these files should encourage collaborations, work for hire, and the ability to provide BIAB tracks to users around the world who don't currently have access or the necessary skills that they can receive from custom APT's by other BIAB users willing to participate.
The UserTrack Wishlist forum is ready-made to place APT and Loop requests for specific Styles, RT, Supermidi, midi and song, whether it's an original or cover.

I think APT's are best suited for single song projects and individual tracks although it's no harder to produce an entire 20 track, 30 instrument mix than it is to provide a single track for an SGU file.
APT's are an excellent teaching and training tool. Note below what Andrew says about APT's containing notation and tab. Here's what Andrew stated in the initial post regarding the purpose of all User Tracks and specifically about;

Artist Performance Tracks:

"These are audio files, that you put on a track, that can also have the MIDI transcription of it. People hear the audio, and see the MIDI in notation/guitar tab etc. For example, if you are a great bluegrass fiddle player, you could put your songs in this format. People can listen to your real playing, see the notes on screen, slow them down etc. - all inside Band-in-a-Box where they can do other things like solo/mute other tracks, mix them etc." "If you’ve made some, and want to give them away (or sell them), tell the world about them here! "

I think it's a completely overlooked, untapped and potentially highly marketable income source for proficient BIAB artists and programmers. Conversely, it's an invaluable source for BIAB users that aren't proficient musicians or don't have access to expensive gear and software other BIAB users may have to contribute to an SGU file.

I'm looking forward to learn if there's any interest, questions, comments or discussion for this hidden jewel.

Last edited by Charlie Fogle; 02/26/20 03:43 PM.

BIAB Ultra Pak+ 2024:RB 2024, Latest builds: Dell Optiplex 7040 Desktop; Windows-10-64 bit, Intel Core i7-6700 3.4GHz CPU and 16 GB Ram Memory.
Add-ons and UserTracks for Band-in-a-Box
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 10,143
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 10,143

I'm glad you started this thread. It WILL be fun to read the thoughts, posts and dialog between all the forum members.

Jim Fogle - 2024 BiaB (1111) RB (5) Ultra+ PAK
DAWs: Cakewalk by BandLab (CbB) - Standalone: Zoom MRS-8
Laptop: i3 Win 10, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
Desktop: i7 Win 11, 12GB ram 256GB SSD, 4 TB HDD
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Add-ons and UserTracks for Band-in-a-Box
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 7,954
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 7,954
Don't forget Video APTs with .wmv .mp4 in newer versions.

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