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#730608 - 09/05/22 09:58 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin?
Registered: 07/13/19
Posts: 23
ThomasS Offline
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Registered: 07/13/19
Posts: 23

At the moment I can’t get the DAW Plugin to run without crashing in Windows/Cubase. I should be able to figure out how to fix it, but looking at what the DAW Plugin does, I wonder if it is any better (or maybe worse) than the way I already work (using Drag & Drop and keeping open Cubase and multiple instances of BIAB.) This is what I am thinking:

1) The plugin needs to generate and then render and print track(s) inside the DAW, but this is slower than just generating it in BIAB standalone and dragging whatever tracks you want from the BIAB mixer to a track in the DAW, and I have the added flexibility to place a track at whatever bar I want.

2) If I want to vary the styles in a single song (quite often) I can have different parts of the song open in multiple instances of BIAB (enabled in preferences) – so the verse can be in one style and the bridge or chorus or intro in another. Of course, I can change styles within a single BIAB arrangement, but it is easier and more flexible to have different BIAB “songs” for each section of the whole song and assemble them by drag and drop into the right places in the DAW.

3) BIAB standalone has two ways to enter chords (type the chord name or play on a midi keyboard) but the plugin only has one way (type the name). While typing the name is perfect for transcribing an existing song from a chord sheet, midi-input is superior when composing for keyboard players who can play, say, F#m7b9 with one hand and Ctrl-Ent with the other, but typing takes 6 keystrokes + enter. Even better, you discover more interesting and creative chord changes when you can hear them on the midi keyboard before committing them to the chart, so you don’t have to imagine whether and Eb7+9 will better than, say, F#dim7, because you can play as many different changes as you like until one sounds good, and only hit Ctrl-Ent to add the chord when you like something. If typing the chord names, you would have to type the chord, then generate, then listen, then type another and regenerate and listen again and remember which you like, and if you want the first chord, type and generate again. With midi-input you can compare them instantly, even playing the previous chord to hear the transition until you like what you hear and hit Ctrl-Ent. For composer-keyboard players, the lack of this feature in the DAW Plugin is a deal breaker (at least for me.)

4) If I have the DAW and multiple instances of BIAB open, I can switch between them with more flexibility in size and location. They can all be open and sized to see in various locations, or if I want to work intensively on one or the other, I can maximize one for a time. The DAW plugin only has a few sizes it can handle, and always overlaps in the DAW.

5) Of course, the advantages of a DAW to tweak and improve BIAB tracks is discussed elsewhere, and if you like this advantage that’s really important (eg, cutting and pasting, altering notes of soloists with Melodyne or other plugins, adding other VST instruments to the BIAB tracks, more flexibility in adding recorded vocals and live instruments, etc.) These advantages are available using either the DAW plugin or the method I use (of Drag & Drop) but I still think it might be faster without the Plugin.

If you have experience with the DAW Plugin and have found things different to what I am thinking here, please let me know.

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#730612 - 09/05/22 11:19 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 06/05/12
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I don't know that I can offer much help, but it would be beneficial to know what version of BiaB you are running, and what build number (Help > About), and what version of the DAW plugin you are using.
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#730662 - 09/06/22 09:48 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 08/20/11
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Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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When you use the term "standalone" do you mean the main Band-in-a-Box program or the standalone version of the plugin?

Plugin track generation is slower than main program generation. That is because the plugin relies on the main program for track generation. A background app, BBW4, transmits commands from the plugin to the main program and transfers tracks from the main program to the plugin.

There are things the main program can do that the plugin does not recognize. One example is use of MultiStyles, the main program can use them and the plugin can not. For another example, you can set a Band-in-a-Box preference setting to allow multiple instances of the main program to be open at the same time. The plugin crashes when you try to open multiple instances.

The plugin is not meant to replace the main Band-in-a-Box program. Think of using the plugin to supplement a session musician during a recording session. You want to add an acoustic rhythm track for example.

Now for specifics:
Quote:
1) The plugin needs to generate and then render and print track(s) inside the DAW, but this is slower than just generating it in BIAB standalone and dragging whatever tracks you want from the BIAB mixer to a track in the DAW, and I have the added flexibility to place a track at whatever bar I want.
Very true. See my second paragraph for why.
Quote:
2) If I want to vary the styles in a single song (quite often) I can have different parts of the song open in multiple instances of BIAB (enabled in preferences) – so the verse can be in one style and the bridge or chorus or intro in another. Of course, I can change styles within a single BIAB arrangement, but it is easier and more flexible to have different BIAB “songs” for each section of the whole song and assemble them by drag and drop into the right places in the DAW.
As you mentioned, you can change styles within the main Band-in-a-Box program. I don't agree with your statement "it is easier and more flexible to have different BIAB "songs" for each section and assemble them ... in the DAW." The Melody Maker feature in BIAB exists so it is easy to assemble songs in Band-in-a-Box. I believe if you learned to use the Melody Maker feature you would discover it saves you time and effort.
Quote:
3) BIAB standalone has two ways to enter chords (type the chord name or play on a midi keyboard) but the plugin only has one way (type the name). While typing the name is perfect for transcribing an existing song from a chord sheet, midi-input is superior when composing for keyboard players who can play, say, F#m7b9 with one hand and Ctrl-Ent with the other, but typing takes 6 keystrokes + enter. Even better, you discover more interesting and creative chord changes when you can hear them on the midi keyboard before committing them to the chart, so you don’t have to imagine whether and Eb7+9 will better than, say, F#dim7, because you can play as many different changes as you like until one sounds good, and only hit Ctrl-Ent to add the chord when you like something. If typing the chord names, you would have to type the chord, then generate, then listen, then type another and regenerate and listen again and remember which you like, and if you want the first chord, type and generate again. With midi-input you can compare them instantly, even playing the previous chord to hear the transition until you like what you hear and hit Ctrl-Ent. For composer-keyboard players, the lack of this feature in the DAW Plugin is a deal breaker (at least for me.)
Great observation. Have you considered placing a wishlist request to add midi input to the VST/VST3 DAW plugins in the +++ Band-in-a-Box Wishlist +++ forum section?
Quote:
4) If I have the DAW and multiple instances of BIAB open, I can switch between them with more flexibility in size and location. They can all be open and sized to see in various locations, or if I want to work intensively on one or the other, I can maximize one for a time. The DAW plugin only has a few sizes it can handle, and always overlaps in the DAW.
True. Another reason the plugin should be considered as a Band-in-a-Box supplement and not a replacement.
Quote:
5) Of course, the advantages of a DAW to tweak and improve BIAB tracks is discussed elsewhere, and if you like this advantage that’s really important (eg, cutting and pasting, altering notes of soloists with Melodyne or other plugins, adding other VST instruments to the BIAB tracks, more flexibility in adding recorded vocals and live instruments, etc.) These advantages are available using either the DAW plugin or the method I use (of Drag & Drop) but I still think it might be faster without the Plugin.
Agree.
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Jim Fogle - 2022 BiaB (927) 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 21H2, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
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#730680 - 09/06/22 12:52 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Matt Finley Offline
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Jim’s response has far exceeded anything I could say, but I happily continue to use Drag ‘n Drop for some of the above reasons.
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#730686 - 09/06/22 01:08 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 12/27/03
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MarioD Offline
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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Jim’s response has far exceeded anything I could say, but I happily continue to use Drag ‘n Drop for some of the above reasons.


I also use Drag n Drop. I gave up on using the VST.
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#730700 - 09/06/22 02:43 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 06/25/12
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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I was an early quitter on the VST. It never reached a point of being complete/stable enough to justify it's use instead of simply using drag/drop or exporting audio tracks.

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#730717 - 09/06/22 04:54 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: Jim Fogle]
Registered: 07/13/19
Posts: 23
ThomasS Offline
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Registered: 07/13/19
Posts: 23
Thank you, Jim, for your detailed explanation. By "Standalone" I mean the main program, and I am using BIAB 2022 (923) along with Cubase 12 (286) - which are the current versions of both.

From your observations, as well as other comments, it seems that working with the BIAB main program and drag&drop into the DAW is best for my purposes.

If the DAW plugin had midi-entry (which you suggest could be added) I think I would occasionally pull it up in a Cubase session when I want a particular track or soloist in a song largely created by live recording or with other VST's. That would sometimes be faster than loading the main BIAB program for something small added to other work.

But when writing a song from scratch, relying on BIAB as a starting point, I like using BIAB and Cubase in tandem. I think of Cubase more as my playback and BIAB as the session musicians who record various takes on tracks at certain points in the song. I have other VST's (Kontakt, Play, Opus, etc.)and play things myself or record my own parts and they are easier to combine with BIAB in the DAW. (Sometimes I even make a temporary sub-mix of non BIAB material and import it into BIAB to hear things against it - so the drag & drop is in both directions)

In any case, you suggest that 'Melody Maker" could work for me instead of having several instances of BIAB for a song with different style changes. (I'm thinking perhaps you mean "Medley Maker?") I am aware of this feature, and have used it, but still find that different BIAB files within one song has the type of "flexibility" which I didn't explain very well. I realize there are different uses for BIAB, and one is to put down an arrangement of a song that already exists, or you know exactly what it is going to do, how many verses, choruses, bridges, intros, for example, and where, if any there might be style changes. I agree with you that Medley Maker is great for this.

But another usage is to experiment and write a song that I don't know where it is going yet, and want to try things out. In this case, I like BIAB to generate just one verse, or one chorus or one bridge or any other section and drag them into the DAW, and have the flexibility to cut and paste and move them around to make the arrangement by experiment. Cubase does this faster than BIAB - if I want an extra verse before the chorus, or delete something and bring everything back, etc. - of course I can do it in BIAB, but it is a slower process than a DAW, and I may want to play my own transition between two BIAB segments. Also, in Cubase (and any other DAW I imagine) I can name the sections with descriptive markers easily to navigate around the composition.

So even without style changes, I like to keep my song sections in separate BIAB files. Too much hassle to keep trying to arrange and re-arrange them in BIAB (different keys are sometimes necessary, as well as style changes, etc.) I should say that after deciding on the final arrangement in Cubase, I go back to BIAB and regenerate new versions of any section that repeats, so nothing is played exactly the same, and I particularly like Multi-Riff at that stage of the process.

BIAB is such a great tool for so many different purposes, so this is just the way I have found it useful for me.



Edited by ThomasS (09/06/22 05:03 PM)

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#730721 - 09/06/22 05:27 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Matt Finley Offline
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I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, multiriff came to the plug-in first. It caught my attention at that point, but as long as BIAB ‘regular’ has the features I need, it’s sufficient.
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#730789 - 09/07/22 11:46 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 08/20/11
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Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Quote:
(I'm thinking perhaps you mean "Medley Maker?")
Correct. My mistake, I apologize for using the wrong name.

Regarding exporting tracks to your DAW to move pieces around to try different arrangements. You may find Band-in-a-Box's "Song Form" feature useful. When you call up the song form dialog window you designate certain bars as A, others as B and so on. Then you rearrange the letters and Band-in-a-Box does the cutting and pasting for you.

For example, let's say you have four phrases you want to see how they work together. Designate bars 1 - 4 as A, 5- 8 as B, 9 - 12 as C and 13 - 16 as D. Then you can put A, B, C & D together any way you want.

Also note in the screen shot below you can also use a letter multiple times.


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Jim Fogle - 2022 BiaB (927) 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 21H2, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
Music at: https://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#730843 - 09/08/22 04:30 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: Jim Fogle]
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This is interesting Jim. Didn't know about this feature. Thanks for posting.

Jeff
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#730895 - 09/08/22 10:35 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 07/13/19
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ThomasS Offline
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Thank you, Jim, I never tried the Song Form feature, so at your suggestion I checked it out and it works as advertised. I’m definitely going to use it for some purposes, but it could be improved in my opinion (see below).

I have been comparing the advantages of dragging and assembling different sections of a song into a DAW. You point out that BIAB has two features (“Medley Maker” and “Song Form”) which can do some of this work staying within BIAB. I have experimented with both (and in combination) to see what they can do. I think both Medley Maker and Song Form are great, but still have problems dealing with how I like to assemble an arrangement quickly and flexibly by dragging parts into the DAW.

1) I sometimes like to add custom transitions between two sections or styles that BIAB cannot do as easily. In this case I use what BIAB gives me and write my own transitions if necessary, or sometimes just change something in one or two BIAB tracks to make the transition logical. Probably a lot of users don’t need this.

2) Song Form is a good starting point for experimentation. But it is best when you have just one style for all sections. At present when I have different styles for different sections (marked in Bar Settings) Song Form does not recognize these style differences. If A is in one style and B in another, the next A keeps the last style (B) when it comes back. It appears Song Form only copies and pastes chord names (not other things like style-change). If you mark a certain range of bars as a distinct letter, Song Form should know to copy all the attributes of that section – or better yet - to have a dialog to choose what attributes of Bar Settings to include or not.

3) A problem with Medley Maker (as well as the traditional style-change in Bar Settings) is that the mixer does not display the instruments of the new style. The mixer only displays the track information for the first style, so I can't see or tweak or substitute instruments for the other style, which I should be able to do. In fact, it keeps the name of the instrument of the first style but plays the new instrument on that channel.

4) I assume the architecture of the mixer has only room for one main bass/drums/keys/guitars/etc.- of the first style - so it is impractical for it to keep swapping between them on the fly. Of course, with all-tracks-equal, I can manually duplicate a style by separately loading each instrument into a utility track so that they can all be seen in the mixer, and then mute or silence all the bars of each style when the other is playing, but this would be quite cumbersome and laborious, and take a lot more time than just dragging two separate songs into a DAW.

5) I'm thinking this will be corrected in the future since Medley Maker is a great feature and, of course, different songs are often likely to have different styles. Perhaps you know a way this can be done at present?

6) I'm wondering if I can have two or more different styles in Medley Maker (or just style-change in bar-settings) and could there be an automatic button to print the tracks of the new style(s) into utility tracks (and appropriately mute both styles when the other is playing)? In that case I would definitely find it useful to stay within BIAB longer.

7) If the above suggestion (6) were implemented it would solve the problem of different instruments playing on the same track when you drag and drop a file to a DAW. At present, the bass or guitar or keys track just changes patch or player on the same channel, and you have no ability to separately tweak the volume or panning, etc, which would be easy if every style change made a new set of tracks in the mixer.

8) Yet another bug I’m sure people must have found in Medley Maker is that it does not include any other utility tracks that are saved in the file(s) that it references. I assume this will be fixed at some future date, as will some other bugs in the Medley Maker (strange transitions? etc.)

In any case, I am not complaining, because I use BIAB for what it does best (and great!) and I know it is not a DAW, but a great resource. Still, I am impressed with so many new features like Song Form and Medley Maker.

Thanks again for your expert advice.

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#730903 - 09/08/22 11:27 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 08/20/11
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Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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ThomasS,

Thanks for your comments after trying out the Medley Maker and Song Form Features. Once again you've made some great observations.
Quote:
6) I'm wondering if I can have two or more different styles in Medley Maker (or just style-change in bar-settings) and could there be an automatic button to print the tracks of the new style(s) into utility tracks (and appropriately mute both styles when the other is playing)? In that case I would definitely find it useful to stay within BIAB longer.
When you come up with ideas like this, it never hurts to post the ideas in the proper wishlist forum section. +++ HERE +++ is the forum section for posting ideas regarding the Band-in-a-Box program. Posting ideas in the proper wishlist gives other users the opportunity to discuss the suggestions and add their support if so inclined.
_________________________
Jim Fogle - 2022 BiaB (927) 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 21H2, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
Music at: https://fogle622.wix.com/fogle622-audio-home

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#730926 - 09/08/22 02:38 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 06/25/12
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JohnJohnJohn Offline
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Originally Posted By: ThomasS
Thank you, Jim, I never tried the Song Form feature, so at your suggestion I checked it out and it works as advertised. I’m definitely going to use it for some purposes, but it could be improved in my opinion (see below).

I have been comparing the advantages of dragging and assembling different sections of a song into a DAW. You point out that BIAB has two features (“Medley Maker” and “Song Form”) which can do some of this work staying within BIAB. I have experimented with both (and in combination) to see what they can do. I think both Medley Maker and Song Form are great, but still have problems dealing with how I like to assemble an arrangement quickly and flexibly by dragging parts into the DAW.

1) I sometimes like to add custom transitions between two sections or styles that BIAB cannot do as easily. In this case I use what BIAB gives me and write my own transitions if necessary, or sometimes just change something in one or two BIAB tracks to make the transition logical. Probably a lot of users don’t need this.

2) Song Form is a good starting point for experimentation. But it is best when you have just one style for all sections. At present when I have different styles for different sections (marked in Bar Settings) Song Form does not recognize these style differences. If A is in one style and B in another, the next A keeps the last style (B) when it comes back. It appears Song Form only copies and pastes chord names (not other things like style-change). If you mark a certain range of bars as a distinct letter, Song Form should know to copy all the attributes of that section – or better yet - to have a dialog to choose what attributes of Bar Settings to include or not.

3) A problem with Medley Maker (as well as the traditional style-change in Bar Settings) is that the mixer does not display the instruments of the new style. The mixer only displays the track information for the first style, so I can't see or tweak or substitute instruments for the other style, which I should be able to do. In fact, it keeps the name of the instrument of the first style but plays the new instrument on that channel.

4) I assume the architecture of the mixer has only room for one main bass/drums/keys/guitars/etc.- of the first style - so it is impractical for it to keep swapping between them on the fly. Of course, with all-tracks-equal, I can manually duplicate a style by separately loading each instrument into a utility track so that they can all be seen in the mixer, and then mute or silence all the bars of each style when the other is playing, but this would be quite cumbersome and laborious, and take a lot more time than just dragging two separate songs into a DAW.

5) I'm thinking this will be corrected in the future since Medley Maker is a great feature and, of course, different songs are often likely to have different styles. Perhaps you know a way this can be done at present?

6) I'm wondering if I can have two or more different styles in Medley Maker (or just style-change in bar-settings) and could there be an automatic button to print the tracks of the new style(s) into utility tracks (and appropriately mute both styles when the other is playing)? In that case I would definitely find it useful to stay within BIAB longer.

7) If the above suggestion (6) were implemented it would solve the problem of different instruments playing on the same track when you drag and drop a file to a DAW. At present, the bass or guitar or keys track just changes patch or player on the same channel, and you have no ability to separately tweak the volume or panning, etc, which would be easy if every style change made a new set of tracks in the mixer.

8) Yet another bug I’m sure people must have found in Medley Maker is that it does not include any other utility tracks that are saved in the file(s) that it references. I assume this will be fixed at some future date, as will some other bugs in the Medley Maker (strange transitions? etc.)

In any case, I am not complaining, because I use BIAB for what it does best (and great!) and I know it is not a DAW, but a great resource. Still, I am impressed with so many new features like Song Form and Medley Maker.

Thanks again for your expert advice.

Very well said and thorough!

One of my biggest complaints about BIAB is every time I try to explore some "advanced" feature like you did, I run into limitations and bugs that negate the benefit of it. I know I sound like a broken record but I find the best way to use BIAB is to get in and out as soon as possible. I like (and use) your approach of saving separate songs to combine later in my DAW. Too many times I have run into issues like multiple styles not working properly together or a style change not showing up in the mixer or a new feature like utility tracks not being full-featured (even though they still claim "All Tracks are Equal" in the marketing hype!)

I finally gave up on anything even the least bit advanced and just create my initial song and make copies of it for changing styles or adding tracks beyond the original track set. This approach is almost fail-proof and really doesn't take any longer than diving into (and climbing back out of) BIAB rabbit holes!

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#730962 - 09/08/22 08:28 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: JohnJohnJohn]
Registered: 07/13/19
Posts: 23
ThomasS Offline
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Originally Posted By: JohnJohnJohn

One of my biggest complaints about BIAB is every time I try to explore some "advanced" feature like you did, I run into limitations and bugs that negate the benefit of it. I know I sound like a broken record but I find the best way to use BIAB is to get in and out as soon as possible. I like (and use) your approach of saving separate songs to combine later in my DAW. Too many times I have run into issues like multiple styles not working properly together or a style change not showing up in the mixer or a new feature like utility tracks not being full-featured (even though they still claim "All Tracks are Equal" in the marketing hype!)

I finally gave up on anything even the least bit advanced and just create my initial song and make copies of it for changing styles or adding tracks beyond the original track set. This approach is almost fail-proof and really doesn't take any longer than diving into (and climbing back out of) BIAB rabbit holes!


I agree with JohnJohnJohn that many new BIAB features don't always work very well in the first few years after their introduction. Of course, there are some that I like already (like Multi-Riff and All-Tracks-Equal.)

But I admire PG-M for keeping up with exploring new advances, relying on us users to help improve them in a multi-year process. Any new feature is really just a beta version and forum users are the beta testers. I don't mind if they keep doing it, but take with a grain of salt the over-enthusiastic hype-advertising of new features, which are really just a way to keep people upgrading. But I guess this business model has worked well if you consider how far the program has evolved since its beginning.

For me BIAB is still mainly a resource for adding content to my DAW, and some things I really like are the ease of drag & drop, multi-riff part generation, 24 "all-equal" tracks, and, of course the great quantity and quality of the real-track players.

I'm hoping they can quickly fix style-changes not showing up in the mixer, and utility tracks not disappearing in songs after save, etc. and I assume this will happen in due time.

But at present nothing really beats just dragging things into a DAW and working on arranging little bits in an environment that is meant to do that better and faster. In this regard, I like being able to open multiple instances of BIAB in Windows, and use it always now - often each different instance called Verse or Chorus or Intro or A Section, etc. I love style changes in songs, which really make a track come alive - to build an arrangement, or break things down, and often just a very subtle new style-change is all that is needed to make a great arrangement.

Maybe users like Triple-John and me are in the minority, (who often drag & drop BIAB bits into a DAW) but if PG-M wants to cater to such users perhaps instead of trying to do everything inside BIAB they should embrace the fact that we use DAW's and continue to make the simultaneous use of both programs even easier. A few ideas would be to make it possible to drag & drop a selection of tracks in one grab to be allocated to separate tracks in the DAW (can this be done now? - apart from saving and re-importing?) Another would be to have a "bundle" approach to a group of BIAB song files so you could load up a set of sections, verse, choruses, solo's etc. all as separate BIAB instances, but bundled under one song name. At the moment I do this already, using the feature to have multiple BIAB's running (enabled in preferences)and carefully name files as main title and sub-section.

Maybe if they increase the capability, speed and efficiency of the DAW plugin to the point that it can do pretty much everything the main program does, this bundle approach could be accomplished by loading several instances of the plugin into a single DAW session. But to make it functional they would at least have to make the plugin window more flexible to size and float apart from the DAW to equal the ease of managing workspace, and improve the speed of generating and printing tracks so that is is close to the main program. The cumbersome nature of the DAW plugin is still too slow to use after one has experience with the main program.

Another - and I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere - is to fix up the Make-Your-Own-Realtracks function which showed great promise years ago, but is still not working (but that is on a different subject)


Edited by ThomasS (09/08/22 08:40 PM)

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#731048 - 09/09/22 05:58 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Is This Better Than the DAW Plugin? [Re: ThomasS]
Registered: 04/07/13
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Charlie Fogle Offline
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Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 7467
Loc: South Carolina
< 1) I sometimes like to add custom transitions between two sections or styles that BIAB cannot do as easily. In this case I use what BIAB gives me and write my own transitions if necessary, or sometimes just change something in one or two BIAB tracks to make the transition logical. Probably a lot of users don’t need this.>
The BIAB Song Form Medley Maker is a tool designed to specifically do this. It's possible to create transitions up to 16 bars. BIAB transitions are user modifiable.

< 2) Song Form is a good starting point for experimentation. But it is best when you have just one style for all sections. At present when I have different styles for different sections (marked in Bar Settings) Song Form does not recognize these style differences. If A is in one style and B in another, the next A keeps the last style (B) when it comes back. It appears Song Form only copies and pastes chord names (not other things like style-change). If you mark a certain range of bars as a distinct letter, Song Form should know to copy all the attributes of that section – or better yet - to have a dialog to choose what attributes of Bar Settings to include or not.>
I tested this scenario with the MultiStyle Demo of Style- Evolve - it's a MultiStyle with 4 style changes with each style having 2 substyles and the Song Form performed the task as expected.

< 3) A problem with Medley Maker (as well as the traditional style-change in Bar Settings) is that the mixer does not display the instruments of the new style. The mixer only displays the track information for the first style, so I can't see or tweak or substitute instruments for the other style, which I should be able to do. In fact, it keeps the name of the instrument of the first style but plays the new instrument on that channel. >
BIAB has two Medley Maker programs and it appears you are referring to the Song Form Medley Maker.
The Song Form Medley Maker is a Player and not an arranger dialog window. It's a performance dialog window that plays SGU files and is not an edit dialog window. If there's a need to "see or tweak or substitute instruments for the other style, it's done in the SGU file the Medley Maker is reading from.

< 4) I assume the architecture of the mixer has only room for one main bass/drums/keys/guitars/etc.- of the first style - so it is impractical for it to keep swapping between them on the fly. Of course, with all-tracks-equal, I can manually duplicate a style by separately loading each instrument into a utility track so that they can all be seen in the mixer, and then mute or silence all the bars of each style when the other is playing, but this would be quite cumbersome and laborious, and take a lot more time than just dragging two separate songs into a DAW. >

No. That's a wrong assumption. The original Legacy Tracks of the BIAB Mixer can have up to eleven RealTracks per track. The RealTrack instruments can be directed to play alternately or have all eleven instruments play simultaneously. They can be individually volume leveled and panned. The BIAB Mixer Legacy Tracks can generate and play 77 RealTracks simultaneously.

Second, instruments duplicated from another RealStyle loaded into Utility Tracks and generated are influenced by the current style loaded into the song project and not the other style. In order to have another style's instrument play on the Utility Track with a different style, those instruments have to be generated seperately and imported as WAV files the same as you do by dragging two seperate songs into a DAW.

< 6) I'm wondering if I can have two or more different styles in Medley Maker (or just style-change in bar-settings) and could there be an automatic button to print the tracks of the new style(s) into utility tracks (and appropriately mute both styles when the other is playing)? In that case I would definitely find it useful to stay within BIAB longer. >
Yes, there can be two or more different styles in the Medley Maker. As stated earlier, the Song Form Medley Maker is a performance read dialog window so it is not restricted by the Style of different SGU files it reads. There are some limitations but as a general rule, the Style doesn't matter.

Style changes made in Bar Settings are just that, made in Bar Settings which is separate from the BIAB Mixer. Bar settings are also initiated after the BIAB algorithm has read, selected and generated the track.

< 7) If the above suggestion (6) were implemented it would solve the problem of different instruments playing on the same track when you drag and drop a file to a DAW. At present, the bass or guitar or keys track just changes patch or player on the same channel, and you have no ability to separately tweak the volume or panning, etc, which would be easy if every style change made a new set of tracks in the mixer. >

Medley Maker is an older program design and it is not optimal for these tracks to be exported to a DAW but rather to assimilate and complete complex stereo arrangements for performance from within BIAB and eliminating the need to do such arrangements in DAW. These tracks work best imported into a DAW as stems rather than tracks.

BIAB has the RealTrack Medley Maker to control different instruments playing on the same track. It appears as a sub-mixer to the selected track with controls for volume level, panning, and settings to direct instruments changes.

< 8) Yet another bug I’m sure people must have found in Medley Maker is that it does not include any other utility tracks that are saved in the file(s) that it references. I assume this will be fixed at some future date, as will some other bugs in the Medley Maker (strange transitions? etc.) >

Both Medley Maker programs have existed for many years prior to the introduction of Utility Tracks and neither program is new or in a beta version. There's nothing broken. They are rock solid as far as I can tell. I agree there will likely be enhancements and upgrades forthcoming. They have been improved in past releases.
_________________________
BIAB Ultra Pak+ 2022:RB 2022, Latest builds: Dell Optiplex 7040 Desktop; Windows-10-64 bit, Intel Core i7-6700 3.4GHz CPU and 16 GB Ram Memory.

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