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#654116 - 05/02/21 10:08 AM [Beginners Forum] Biab and VST-guitarist
Registered: 03/22/21
Posts: 5
Ape13 Offline
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Posts: 5
Hey,
I am a beginner and have owned about a month of Biab Pro. The program is, of course, versatile but quite cumbersome.

I’m interested in versatile guitar tracks, so I would have asked (or made sure) if I understood correctly how VST and “output midichords” work.

I’ve mostly admired NI’s Session Guitarist plugins, but there’s no trial version available for them to try.

But so: I get the song chords as a midi file in DAW (Mixcraft), after which I choose Session Guitarist for the track. So this program makes a track a guitar track and there are styles to choose from. So how does it work well?

What if I want to use, say, five guitar styles on the same track with that program? Do I have to cut the midi track to five different tracks and choose the desired Session Guitarist for each one? Or how does it work? (Contact 6 I have.)

Does Session Guitarist work great or are they better or just as good in the same price range or cheaper?

Thanks to potential respondents in advance!

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#654125 - 05/02/21 10:53 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
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rharv Offline
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If you want to get surgical with tracks (work on specific bits and pieces) I suggest trying Realband.
It comes free with BiaB (Windows only, Mac version doesn't have it)
This gives you 48 tracks to play with; much more flexible. Generate 8 or 10 guitars and then cut/paste a final end result.

As far as Session Guitar goes, I don't own that one, so can't comment.
You would have a ton of other guitar options by either simply having someone play the guitar parts, or upgrading to Ultrapak with more Realtack options (more guitar players).
I don't work for PG, nor am I trying to 'upsell' you, just speaking from experience using these programs.

Simply put; the more Realtracks you have available the better your experience and end result.
And using RB, you can generate lots of tracks and figure out what parts you want to use from each .. without losing your previous work.
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#654144 - 05/02/21 12:18 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: rharv]
Registered: 03/22/21
Posts: 5
Ape13 Offline
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Registered: 03/22/21
Posts: 5
Thanks for your answer, even though you didn't answer my question about the Session Guitarist plugin. All my free time has gone with Biab and Mixcraft, and I haven’t had time to get to know Realband at all. But certainly I should.

The videos from Session Guitarist (Picked and Strummed) have looked very clear, and that’s exactly what I would miss. If I'm having trouble with Biab's Pro, then it doesn't come to mind to get more "monsters" first. I will probably get an Ultrapak in the future, but its time is not yet.


Edited by Ape13 (05/02/21 12:32 PM)

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#654169 - 05/02/21 04:20 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
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Loc: Wauconda, Il.
MusicStudent Offline
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Lot of questions here. First, I am a big fan of Session Guitarist. I have both Picked Acoustic and Strummed Acoustic 2. I can tell you I find Strummed Acoustic 2 the better of the two packages. At least, I have made more music with this one than the other. I have used BIAB midi to drive these VSTs. But only in my DAW (Reaper). This goes back a number of years before BIAB handled Kontakt as well as it does today. So in the past you had to use your DAW.

You don't need specific guitar midi tracks from BIAB, the block chords work just fine. The VST reacts to the chord notes and the guitar sounds incredible. I have made several videos over the years using the trio of BIAB - Reaper - Session Guitars.

The real power of Session Guitars happens when you actually play the music via a midi controller. Then you have full control of timing and nuance. I can look for the old videos if you can't find them here in the forum going back about a decade.

Bottom line, BIAB-DAW-Session Guitarist is a great combination. Look for the sales on the Native Access Session Guitars. These are older packages so you should be able to find them at ~50USD.


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#654184 - 05/02/21 07:01 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
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Jim Fogle Offline
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Ape13,

First welcome to Band-in-a-Box and to the forum! Glad to have you in the forum.

You mentioned you have Band-in-a-Box, or BiaB for short, Pro. That is the same package I started with. While it may not have as much content (styles and RealTracks for example) as the other packages it does include the complete version of BiaB as well as enough of each type of content to learn how to use the program.

You also mentioned you like Native Instrument's Session Guitarist plugin but do not yet have it. May I suggest you try the free version of Amplesound's +++ acoustic guitar +++ or +++ Keolab's Spicy Guitar +++. Both are guitar plugins and, best of all, they are free.

Also. be aware the BiaB MIDI guitar patterns use MIDI channels 11 - 16 by default so each string is assigned a channel.
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#654198 - 05/02/21 11:40 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Jim Fogle]
Registered: 03/22/21
Posts: 5
Ape13 Offline
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Registered: 03/22/21
Posts: 5
Thanks for the reply MusicStudent. I’ve read your posts on Session Guitarist and watched a couple of videos. Thanks for those too. I tried to look for those older and cheaper versions of SG, but at least I didn’t find it right away.

This question may be stupid, but I still ask again: Can I use Session Guitarist on one track so that, for example, there is an X variation in the verse and a slightly modified Xb variation in the other verse? Or do these variations have to make their own tracks?

My intention is to make acoustic-based demos in which the songs themselves get their rights, either good or bad ...

Thank you too, Jim. I tried that free program on Amplesound, but it didn't really get anything out of Biab's mid guitar, so I removed the program. Probably the fault was in me. I’m also trying that Spicy Guitar yet. It seems to have "chords detection".

And Jim, that inconvenience of midi channels and channel numbers is one thing I should learn ...

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#654208 - 05/03/21 01:09 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 7644
Loc: Wauconda, Il.
MusicStudent Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ape13

This question may be stupid, but I still ask again: Can I use Session Guitarist on one track so that, for example, there is an X variation in the verse and a slightly modified Xb variation in the other verse? Or do these variations have to make their own tracks?


The answer is yes nd no.
Session Guitarist uses a technique called "key switching" to change what is being played on the fly in a single track. So you simply insert a specific midi note into the BIAB midi track, using the Piano Roll for example or your midi controller, and this will cause a change in the guitar from one patch (e.g., strum pattern) to another.
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"...My goal is not to create backing tracks for my music, but rather to get more of me in my music."

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#654240 - 05/03/21 08:35 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
Registered: 03/22/21
Posts: 5
Ape13 Offline
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Registered: 03/22/21
Posts: 5
Thank you for your reply! I have a small and old Akai LPK 25 that is suitable for mid-control.

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#654255 - 05/03/21 12:17 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 7644
Loc: Wauconda, Il.
MusicStudent Offline
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Originally Posted By: Ape13
I tried that free program on Amplesound, but it didn't really get anything out of Biab's mid guitar, so I removed the program. Probably the fault was in me. I’m also trying that Spicy Guitar yet. It seems to have "chords detection".


Amplesound is great, but this is an apple to orange comparison to Session Guitars. Ample is a sound library and SG is a performance library. Day and night.
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BIAB2021, Dell XPS 8920 Intel Core I7-7700 @ 3.60GHz 16GB RAM
"...My goal is not to create backing tracks for my music, but rather to get more of me in my music."

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#654260 - 05/03/21 12:56 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 7200
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Posts: 7200
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Dan, The term performance library is new to me. Do you mind explaining it in a little more detail?
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Jim Fogle - 2021 BiaB (833) RB (Build 5) Ultra+ PAK
Cakewalk - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
Desktop: i7 Win 10 build 2004, 12GB ram 256GB SSD, 4 TB HDD
Laptop: i3 64bit Win 10 build 2004, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
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#654269 - 05/03/21 01:29 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 7644
Loc: Wauconda, Il.
MusicStudent Offline
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It may be a bit tricky and I tried to keep it simple. But this is what I was trying to say.

In AmpleGuitar if I play a single C note I get a C note which decays like a string would, If I play a C triad I get a C triad which decays like a struck string would. This is what I call a sound library - it just plays the sound of the note from the instrument.

But not so in a performance set. In SG if I play a C I get an entire performance. As long as I hold it down it continues to play in the pattern of the patch selected. It is playing a loop! So that might be a better way of explaining it. When I hit a C triad I get a more fuller loop playing and this continues to play as long as I hold it down - again it plays a loop.

Does that make sense?

Now what I just described is Strummed Acoustic 2. It has both a 6 and a 12 string selection. Picked Acoustic has a performance option just like Strummed Acoustic but also has a "melody" option which plays the midi notes only (sound library like AmpleGuitar).
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BIAB2021, Dell XPS 8920 Intel Core I7-7700 @ 3.60GHz 16GB RAM
"...My goal is not to create backing tracks for my music, but rather to get more of me in my music."

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#654339 - 05/03/21 11:44 PM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: MusicStudent]
Registered: 03/22/21
Posts: 5
Ape13 Offline
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Registered: 03/22/21
Posts: 5
I bought SG Strummed 2 yesterday and even as a beginner I fully understood what MusicStudent meant when he described the program as "performance library". Seems like a really great program.

The Akai 25 worked right away and feeding the chords from the keys was great. When I tried the information chanted by Biab, there were a few inconveniences. At first, I wasn’t trying to get sound at all until I found the midi omni setting on SG.

Likewise, changing the style on the fly is tricky if I feed the chords live through the keyboard. And if a Biab chord track is ready, it seems that the Biab midi has to be copied to multiple tracks and snapped to different variations. The Kontakt Player also feels like an extra interface between the DAW and the SG, when the SG could work directly.

But overall it was a good purchase, therefore thanks to MusicStudent for the purchase incentive!

P.S. Before I got SG, I tried to try Spicy Guitar as well, but for some reason Firefox considered the download site insecure and I couldn’t get in.


Edited by Ape13 (05/03/21 11:45 PM)

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#654403 - 05/04/21 10:54 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 7644
Loc: Wauconda, Il.
MusicStudent Offline
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Quote:
Likewise, changing the style on the fly is tricky if I feed the chords live through the keyboard. And if a Biab chord track is ready, it seems that the Biab midi has to be copied to multiple tracks and snapped to different variations.


I am betting I could help with these things or I am sure you can figure it out if you give it the time. Very doable.
_________________________
Dan,
BIAB2021, Dell XPS 8920 Intel Core I7-7700 @ 3.60GHz 16GB RAM
"...My goal is not to create backing tracks for my music, but rather to get more of me in my music."

SoundCloud


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#654536 - Yesterday at 09:07 AM [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 7200
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Posts: 7200
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Loops versus samples makes sense to me. Loops playback patterns or phrases while samples plays notes.

Maybe I missed it in the Native Instruments product description, or more likely didn't understand what they were trying to say, but I don't remember seeing anything about loops for Session Guitarist 2.
_________________________
Jim Fogle - 2021 BiaB (833) RB (Build 5) Ultra+ PAK
Cakewalk - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
Desktop: i7 Win 10 build 2004, 12GB ram 256GB SSD, 4 TB HDD
Laptop: i3 64bit Win 10 build 2004, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
Music at: http://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#654630 - 20 minutes 33 seconds ago [Beginners Forum] Re: Biab and VST-guitarist [Re: Ape13]
Registered: 12/31/05
Posts: 13
Loc: Oslo, Norway
kovacs Online   content
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I believe what is meant by «loops» here is that when you hold a key, Session Guitarist plays a performance and will loop it until you release the key.
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