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Band-in-a-Box DAW Plugin for Windows FAQ
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Originally Posted By: jford
I don't think anyone can say no one cares. Just because someone doesn't participate in the forum doesn't mean they aren't interested.

If I judged by the number of posts in their forums both Arturia and Behringer should be out of business. wink

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Very good points guys.


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That's always the question, isn't it? Do the forums represent a valid cross section of the actual user base or not? Is the actual user base roughly over 60 years old or is it younger? Is the base truly mainly interested in 50 year old classic styles from the 50's to the 70's? Is the base generally not very computer savvy? It's just my opinion of course but I strongly suspect the answer is yes.

Therefore, my generalized use of the term "nobody cares" stands. Of course some care but is it enough to matter?

And Masi, you're comments about already being a DAW user so you never even gave Real Band a look is part of the problem. Not blaming you because that's a logical point of view on your part. You already have a DAW and don't need another one. What you're missing is Real Band is not a standard DAW, it does much more than any DAW can do. If you were proficient with it I think you would have a different view of the VST concept.

From what I've seen so far, RB beats the VST so badly it's not even in the conversation. Anything you want the VST to do in a DAW RB already does so to me RB should be the thing getting developed further but it never has.

How many comments are there on these forums saying PG should finish developing and fixing things in Biab or RB before moving on to something new? RB has all the standard DAW functions but I agree some do not work as elegantly as the bigger name DAWs so yes it could use more polishing but so can pretty much any other piece of music production software.

Anyway, I'll leave it up to you guys to boost the VST concept and good luck with it.

Bob


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Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
RB has all the standard DAW functions but I agree some do not work as elegantly as the bigger name DAWs so yes it could use more polishing but so can pretty much any other piece of music production software.

RB is so far from the modern DAWs available! You try to make it sound like it just needs a little polish when it is slow and clunky. It has one feature and that is the ability to use RealTracks. Without that single feature I cannot imagine anyone choosing it over any other DAW out there.

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RB can be used successfully I did over 100 projects in it and it work pretty well. But it is not as smooth and quick as one of the top DAWs and lacks polish. With out RTs it is just powertracks.

Bob, as far as no one cares regarding the plugin, that might be at least partially true. Yet I think that initially people did care, but it was not working properly, and interest waned quickly. Yes a lot of the demographic here is Surley old curmudgeons like you and me. But that could change if the plugin were working properly. There are some people here lurking to see if that changes. I can think of three people off the top of my head that are very influential on other DAW sites and would be very likely to suggest even promote the plugin to many potentially new users.

I think Bob, you make a good, but sad and painful observation when you say no one cares. Therein lies the problem. In my mind PGM is locked into a very old and debilitating cycle of release hell. Each year they add new features and new RTs to a program created in the early 90 patching over old legacy code. Stuck in a never ending cycle of 6 months of windows release and fix, and 6 months of Mac release and fix. No real time or resources to truly develop a modern version with modern code. Hence the plugin never getting the time it deserves to become a gateway to DAW users tool.

RB is no better, trapped in the old code of Powertracks from the old days. Yes a decent product but the GUI and feature set reminiscent of cakewalk music creator from 15 years ago.

We all pour our money into this product each year expecting the offered features to work properly, and many times they don’t. We shrug our shoulders and say “just the way it is”. This time I and several others are asking that this cycle be broken and the promised features be fixed.

This is only expecting what we paid for, and no more. Maybe there is little interest in the plugin at this time, but it was an advertised feature of the core program, and its unfinished.

Rather than argue and debate whether there is interest in a feature why not expect, no demand that products not be offered for sale unless they are sale worthy, that being actually working as advertised.

I’m not being mean or hard, I love PGM products. I have been a user for years. I expect for my loyalty, loyalty in return.

Last edited by Rob Helms; 03/08/20 04:14 AM.

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Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
................Yet I think that initially people did care, but it was not working properly, and interest waned quickly. ..................


Exactly

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms

.............. Therein lies the problem. In my mind PGM is locked into a very old and debilitating cycle of release hell. Each year they add new features and new RTs to a program created in the early 90 patching over old legacy code. Stuck in a never ending cycle of 6 months of windows release and fix, and 6 months of Mac release and fix. No real time or resources to truly develop a modern version with modern code. Hence the plugin never getting the time it deserves to become a gateway to DAW users tool.


I completely agree.


Originally Posted By: Rob Helms

RB is no better, trapped in the old code of Powertracks from the old days. Yes a decent product bu the GUI and feature set reminiscent of cakewalk music creator from 15 years ago.


Again I agree.

Originally Posted By: Rob Helms

We all pour our money into this product each year expecting the offered features to work properly, and many times they don’t. We shrug our shoulders and say “just the way it is”. This time I and several others are asking that this cycle be broken and the promised features be fixed.

This is only expecting what we paid for, and no more. Maybe there is little interest in the plugin at this time, but it was an advertised feature of the core program, and its unfinished.

Rather than argue and debate whether there is interest in a feature why not expect, no demand that products not be offered for sale unless they sale worthy that being actually working as advertised.

I’m not being mean or hard, I love PGM products. I have been a user for years. I expect for my loyalty, loyalty in return.


Very well stated.


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Ditto all that! cry


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One more thought, PGM can’t rely on the older generation forever we are slowly going away. Mr/Dr. Gannon is from our generation, and someday he too will pass this company on to family and friends. I want to see his legacy continue to shine in the light of new users and products. Imagine the “50” new features in BiaB 2030 or beyond.

This product as is will not hold up to the expectations of the younger generations. It’s time to do two very important things.

1. Get this plugin to where it will bring in Dollars (Canadian) from the vast field of young DAW users. Revenue for development.

2. Begin to rewrite BiaB in a totally new coding that allows simultaneous release of Mac and Win versions. Like many of the DAWs out there, I.e. reaper, studio one etc.

This may take some capital investment but will allow this product to survive into the next generation of DAW users.


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FWIW here is my idea of the perfect BiaB VSTi.

For the MIDI side I view the VSTi as an input device much like a MIDI controller. That is using it to drive data into your DAW. Thus you assign a VSTi in your DAW and each BiaB VSTi MIDI track would power each different DAW track. Again that is much like making zones on your keyboard controller. After you achieve the perfect BiaB VSTi track you would or could move it to your DAW. What you hear in the BiaB VSTi is exactly how it will sound in your DAW.

My reasoning for this is that GM is not used much outside of the PGMusic world. MIDI users usually would have much better sounding samples than what comes with GM so having to listen to a VSTi that only uses GM might be a major step backwards for them.

For the RT side the above isn't necessary. Just generate your RTs then move them to your DAW.

For styles with both RTs and MIDI a combination of the above ideas would come into play.

This is just my view and others may or may not agree.


There is a new wine for seniors. It's made from an anti-diuretic hybrid grape and reduces the number of trips to the bathroom. It's called Pino More!

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Very interesting idea! So If you drag or open a midi track inside the plugin VSTi it could be assigned to a DAW track with a synth VSTi and play insync with the plugin RTs and other DAW tracks right?


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+1 everything Rob said !

How many users have used more than one Biabvst in their DAW ??

That's why in the new GUI I showed midi channel choice so if you are using one instance you can set the channel of that midi track, so it will rechannel the midi tracks in the local folder to the selected channel so as it's sending to the DAW where you can route that channel to any track.
Guide: Using Multiple Biab Plugins
You can put a Biabvst on each track generating a midi track in each plugin with different virtual instrument after the Biabvst.
In Reaper I just set up the Biabvst on one track and load the chords,
now just duplicate the track as many time as you like,
set a virtual instrument on each track,
generate up a midi track in each Biabvst,
double click on each midi icon to set them to sync play
(in the new GUI you don't need to do this as it will play sync by default unless you click the mute button (yes a Mute button with an M that Mario will see no problem without having to distinguish colors) to mute tracks or hit the Host button to stop sync playback).
If track 4 don't sound right generate it up again or have a multiriff midi and use the S solo button in the new GUI to solo the riff you like.
Will that give you enough midi tracks now ??

The whole idea of the Biabvst is for this
Quote:
bowled over by 2020
Originally Posted By: justanoldmuso
now done several songs.
i couldnt do any better if i used a big studio ;like i used to.
wowser !!!!!!!

so to give those in the studio "Session Tracks Pro" vst not the old name "Band in a Box" that is associated with auto accompaniment from the 90's and a nightmare to workout and learn.
You can't tell a Studio using Mac to use RealBand !

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Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
Very interesting idea! So If you drag or open a midi track inside the plugin VSTi it could be assigned to a DAW track with a synth VSTi and play insync with the plugin RTs and other DAW tracks right?


YES


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It is my firm hope that as soon as Mac beta is completed, and Mac release begins that Peter and team will spend the time to fix the 11 promised features that don’t work, and bring this plugin product to where is needs to be, before any new ideas are implemented for 2021.

How cool that would be. If they do this let’s make a commitment in return to let everyone we know that dabbles in this area, that this is a great addition to their DAW creation process. Some might be on the fence due to the conversation around these part regarding the problems.


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Originally Posted By: Rustyspoon#

Ideally, I would want a single platform. For example like Halion Sonic (or Kontakt) You can use it as a standalone or as VST with almost identical interface and functions. With PG plugin it is another game that I have to learn. here)




A better example would be Native Instruments MASCHINE - available standalone or as a plugin. Or REASON by propellerheads.

Last edited by nonchai; 03/09/20 07:26 AM.

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Rob Helms, - and so many others here..

I'm so relieved and encouraged that there are others here who share - not only my enthusiasm with BIAB - *and* its idea - but also the huge potential the plugin *could* offer if implemented properly.

So I can only add a gazillion of +1's to this thread. My amens.

I'm a Mac plugin user but this thread clearly has more traction than the Mac equivalent.

I am of course the person who dared to raise the heresy of PG considering outside sources of funding - buyouts even - in order to break the same old cycle that has been so well - even graphically ( literally ) illustrated here.

I recall Pete Gannon even piped in at one stage to say or imply that there was no issue with any lack of funds to support any additional developer resource for plugins etc.

Seems to me that now many many months down the road - and how things have panned out that this isnt the case. Far as I can tell its a single developer - no doubt overworked - who codes both the windows and Mac plugin.

Now of course it isnt necessarily the case that simply throwing more developers. (and cash ) on a software problem resolves things - sometimes it makes things worse. But something just isnt right.

I was clearly in a minority of one to dare to suggest "teaming up" with the Y-word.... And in the end those posts actually got deleted on the FR forum.

I think I'm vindicated now and its still imo a good idea.

But hey - if. things work out with the plugin in the next year all the better.

I note that theres nothing in the 2020 plugin notes that mentions anything about speeding up generation though. Thats a biggie for me. Not seen much talk bout it here. Are people fine with the huge rendering times?

Last edited by nonchai; 03/10/20 02:47 PM.

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I remember well the conversation


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As for speeding up generation, considering that it generates useable tracks usually 4 or 5, in somewhere around a minute. I don’t feel that is too much of a wait time to crush creativity. I mean if you were having to program a drum track in EZDrummer, and then go program one in EZKeys, then piece together a bass track with another program, or loops, then add a guitar track from some guitar VSTi that might take hours not minutes. So 1 or 2 minutes is just not a big problem. I think sometimes we get sort of crazy with our expectations. If the plugin worked with all the feature list advertised would it be horrible if it even took 5 minutes to generate? Most likely not. So a couple minutes is really good.

I tried several files and most of my render times were around 90 seconds the longest was just under 120 seconds. Now these songs were 2 or 3 choruses and not real complicated, so if the song was super long it might take 3 to 5 minutes. Still not bad to get get a decent 4 or 5 part track base. We do have to take into consideration the speed and power of our personal computers. Some of the delay maybe on our end. I know my system is getting older and is not top of the line.


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Originally it took ages to generate but then it was changed to use the same render method as Biab so it is the same render speed now (see pic below same song in Biab and the Plugin).

Moving all the code to the Plugin will take another 10 years.
If there was also a simple version of the Plugin that just had the code in it to generate up single tracks one at a time without the need for bbw4 and all the complexities of Band in a Box would give DAW only non Biab users a very simple no brainer Plugin like EZKeys.

The Plugin should of been targeted more to DAW only users that know nothing about "Band in a Box", it should of had it's own name like "Quick Tracks Pro" "Studio Tracks Pro" "No Brainer Tracks Pro" etc.. but because of the old name was still used "Band in a Box Plugin" long time users of Band in a Box thought they were getting Band in a Box in a Plugin so everything has been driven in the plugin over the last year to be that for them, so there was not much done with the GUI so users are still trying to work it out, where as EZKeys, EZDrummer are still in version 1 because they worked the first time from being well thought out and designed.



That's why I suggested a simple vst/au that will send VstTimeInfo play/stop/loop/pos etc from the DAW to the main Biab app so it plays back in sync to the DAW. This is what FL Studio and RapidComposer use to sync them to the DAW (see pic below).

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Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
As for speeding up generation, considering that it generates useable tracks usually 4 or 5, in somewhere around a minute. I don’t feel that is too much of a wait time to crush creativity. ............


I'm afraid I simply disagree. I find the current generation waits in BIAB standalone acceptable but absolutely not the much greater time in the plugin. As we know this is because in standalone generation gets done via RAM whereas in the plugin there is an extra step after this - namely writing the result to disk.

For me the creativity element is killed this way. And im on a relatively fast I7 Mac.

The waits incurred might be acceptable if one has firmed up the arrangement and isn't likely to be changing chords much - but if one is in early stages and trying out different progression or arrangement ideas this just hampers workflow to a point that frankly make me unwilling to use the plugin for actual production or composition in a DAW. But our disagreements on this point might as I suggest be more down to our differing approaches to composing or production etc..


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Originally Posted By: Pipeline
Originally it took ages to generate but then it was changed to use the same render method as Biab so it is the same render speed now (see pic below same song in Biab and the Plugin).



hmmm - I'll be testing out this myself ( on Mac beta ) as I'll remain sceptical on your claim. But if true fantastic.


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