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#772125 07/26/23 11:47 PM
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buy BIAB today and you can jump straight into RTs. amazing real isntruments playing in wonderful styles.

i have every RT and every style so far, and i must admit i tend to use real styles almost automatically these days on new projects.

but i have midi when i need it. i have favourite midi parts i drop in - like a wonderful strings part i discovered years ago.

and for solos i often use midi - exactly the notes and timings i want and after hunting around for samples, exactly the instument sound i want.

but there have been a number of recent posts which suggest new users have no idea about midi. and given that RTs are so good they have no need to learn midi to create superb songs. but i can't help but feel they are missing out on a wonderful musical tool.

if their experience is the mickey mouse sounds of a bad midi player then no wonder they get put off. but a little extra work and investigation will open up a huge sonic arsenal that broadens their musical horizons.

what do other users think? is the excellence of RTs killing midi? and how do we sell the benefits to new users that make the learning curve worthwhile?

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Bob:

For me, your statement here -

"a little extra work and investigation will open up a huge sonic arsenal that broadens their musical horizons"

is a stumbling block for me. I don't use BIAB for recording, so there's no need for my musical horizon to be broadened and the little extra work (easy for you, difficult for me) isn't worth the bother.

I'm beginning to sound like a broken record on the Forums these days regarding Playable Real Tracks,
but wouldn't they give you much the same functionality and sound quality as a MIDI track and samples?
Couldn't you still get "exactly the notes and timing" you want without having to go "hunting around for samples"?

Just asking.
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Hi Lloyd If you don't use BIAB for recording what are you using it for? If it's backing tracks and you get everything you need that's fine.

as for playable RTs i note that no one has really responded saying playable RTs are as flexible and easy as midi for note for note creation of hooks or riffs.

and without considering midi you are missing the opportunity to use midi supertracks which are a great resource - recorded like RTs but on midi instruments.

admittedly you can spend a lifetime mastering midi but in this case by 'a little extra work' i just meant installing a good midi player - as posts have said you have a great one with vstsynthfont64. or read Peter Gannon's sticky post about a 'no brainer' and install the TTS1 GM sounds.

have you ever tried using a midi style instead of a real style? you might be surprised if you have decent midi player like the TTS1 installed. to hear the midi style demos just push the demo button.

if BIAB gives you what you want without considering midi fine but you are missing the opportunity to use hundreds of midi styles and a vast amount of midi supertracks.

so all i was saying was that midi would allow you to hear a huge amount of BIAB's musical armoury you haven't heard so far. who knows? you might find something you like.






Last edited by Bob Calver; 07/27/23 04:45 AM.
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> as for playable RTs i note that no one has really responded saying playable RTs are as flexible and easy as midi for note for note creation of hooks or riffs.

Bob,
yes, playable RT’s are as flexibility as any MIDI sound, and would be a good choice in many situations. They can be chosen just like a MIDI sound, by choosing a “Hi-Q” sound. The playable RT (and RealDrums) show up there.

realTracks have two things going for them.
1. - a real instrument
2. - an world-class musician expertly playing the instrument.

A good “middle ground” between older midi styles and realTracks are the “MIDI SuperTracks”. They have a MIDI sound, but have pro musicians playing parts, so sound very realistic. Especially for keyboards (piano etc.)

Someone who likes RealTracks but wants to explore MIDI, might want to start out with a MIDI SuperTracks of piano. It will likely sound almost as good as the RealTracks one. And then they can see the flexibility by changing the patch from acoustic piano (1) to electric piano (5). Then they can expiriment by editing the notes.


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Originally Posted By: Bob Calver

what do other users think? is the excellence of RTs killing midi? and how do we sell the benefits to new users that make the learning curve worthwhile?


Is the excellence of RT's killing midi? I think RTs are indeed excellent, and that they aren't "killing" midi. The expression "killing" sets up a "one or the other" question and I don't view it that way.

The forum is loaded with great conversations on RT versus midi. From what I've read and what I believe, selling the benefits of both in order to have complete and total control over what is played by instruments in a song is the answer to "How do we sell the benefits to new users question."

Sell the "total control with both" instead of "this ain't your father's BIAB midi."

That said, outside of BIAB it's a midi world. Real Tracks? The rest of the world doesn't get it.


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Hi Bob:

Yes, I use BIAB for backing tracks, among other things I use it for.
The thing is, they don't need to be "high quality" backing tracks, say for performing.
I DO use MIDI styles and have also used the Supertracks, and have followed Peter's advice about the TTS1
and have used that on occasion.

Sounds like between the two of us, we don't have a good handle on what the extent of the capabilities are
of the new Playable Real Tracks. As you mentioned, there are some amazing sounds there, recorded by
amazing musicians. If it's possible to tap into that, using a fairly easy, straight forward process,
seems to me it would be just as effective as diving into MIDI, synthfonts and the like.

We'll see if some of the other Forum members can shed some light on the differences and/or similarities
between using MIDI and using Playable RealTracks.

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never meant to knock playable RTS but...........here's an example that was dead easy with midi.

its an old music hall song i recorded for a friend as a joke. it's just the intro becasue the song starts almost immediately and its copyright

i needed the cheesy trombone and it took 30 secs to play in and record in midi. i did't even bother to try to find a better sound - its just the bog standard TTS1 GM trombone.

bear in mind this is a joke recording but midi was the ideal solution rather than choose a playable real track and edit

https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/8psa9dw9agemyaxzbfhkv/trombone-riff.mp3?rlkey=wbzn3s6a1kxrd00pz5cyjkxl1&dl=0

all the other tracks are RTs

i seem to have generated quite a bit of heat and aas far as i am concerned whatever works for you is fine but i have noticed that a few posts have shown some new users are missing out on midi capabilites

Last edited by Bob Calver; 07/27/23 07:33 AM.
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I see what you mean with the trombone sample.
I've used MIDI in similar ways where I just need (say) a quick bass run into the chorus.

And as Peter and SaxaBruce mentioned, using either or both seems to be a viable option.
So your heading "Are RealTracks Killing MIDI" are a great starting point for discussion.
Those who are newer BIAB users, and have ONLY used RTs, may get intrigued enough to
check out the possibilities of:

- seeing what MIDI is all about

and/or

- seeing what Playable RTs are all about.

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I think both tools, MIDI and RTs have their uses.

MIDI is a lot more editable. You can do hundreds of things with MIDI that you cannot do with the Real Tracks. If you have good MIDI modules, they can sound almost as good as the RTs and if you need to do that editing, using MIDI can be in your favor.

A lot of pros like MIDI for that reason.

On the other hand, if you like to type the chords in and play, and have no need or desire to change what you get, the RTs are wonderful.

I have a long-time customer from back in the 1990s who writes songs. He uses the RTs to send demos to Nashville. That works for him better than MIDI. But he is not an editor, he knows chords from rhythm guitar playing, and writes nice words and sings the melodies.

Me? I like having both MIDI and RTs in my musical tool box.

On the other hand, I think a lot of new, mostly amateur musicians don't have the desire or time to learn to use MIDI. So for that, I think you may be correct.

I still have people buying my MIDI styles, but I don't see a lot of growth in that department. It's just "steady as she goes", and that's OK with me.

My main living is playing live in front of an audience.

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The thing that originally attracted me to BB was in fact, the real tracks. I was growing weary of creating boring drum tracks by mousing then copy/paste. In addition the other instruments like steel guitar really had my attention.

That said.... Midi has come a long way from the cheesy sounding GM sounds of the 1990's to what we have today. I still find a purpose for using midi in some of my songs. Especially when I need a specific riff or part that there's no way a RT would ever create in a million tries.

With the modern sample libraries and synths available.... you can create some really amazing and realistic sounding parts with midi.


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Are RTs killing MIDI? Absolutely not!

Outside of the PG universe MIDI is alive and thriving. Even PGMusic has seen the importance of MIDI and have started including better MIDI sound sources.

It is not an either RT/RD or MIDI option:One can use both. As you all know I use mostly MIDI but I do also used RTs and RDs in some of my songs.

As been mentioned a lot of new BiaB users don't understand MIDI while a lot of us started on MIDI sequencers:I started in MIDI in 1985! I think PGMusic has done a good job of explaining how to get started on MIDI with their tutorials. All new users should start there.

The bottom line is that RTs and RDs are PGMusic specific while MIDI is universal.

There are no wrong options when using RTs, RDs, or MIDI.

YMMV


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One of the rather neat features of BIAB is it's ability to "quantise" notation whilst keeping the natural sound of real playing. Of course it will quantise the notes themselves if you ask it to. That said, I did spend rather too long a period trying to understand why BIAB wasn't honouring rests in the notation ... it hid them as part of that quantizing of notation. One can turn of the rest-suppression, but BIAB can then be overgenerous inserting them.

The great thing about RTs is that they make a pretty natural-sounding track with only modest effort.

MIDI tracks tend to need more effort, but then you can make nearly anything you want, with nearly any instrument you want, real or imagined.

I think that last sentence says why RTs will likely not kill off MIDI, or at least not anytime soon.


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I think it depends on the user and application.

For performance quality backing tracks BIAB and Real Tracks are hard to beat.

Over the years I've spent a lot of time with midi.
I have a massive (Massive) NI library of sounds.
I have concluded its just too much work for what I'm trying to do.

Using real Tracks I set up an arrangement in BIAB, select a Real Track style, stuff some utility tracks with extra Real Track players/performances. 3 bass players, a couple of drummers, the obligatory pedal steel and/or accordion. b3, rhodes, 2 grand pianos, a Glockenspiel (?). I can normally do that in an hour or so.

Export all the .wav into my DAW. Mix, eq, master etc. In a couple more hours I have a high quality backing track I can play at a gig. Tracks people comment on. Good comments.

No doubt some midi folks here will opine they can do the same thing midi in about the same time.
I hear you (cocked eyebrow). I hear you.
I'm sure its happened at least once.
If you can, you probably have logged many midi hours getting to that level.

For users new to BIAB Real Tracks offer an incredible out of the box jump start to building excellent backing tracks That makes more people want to use the software. Something we all want.

For me, Real Tracks provides me what I need to achieve my objective- a lot quicker and easier than midi.
With stellar results.
I no longer need midi to do the job. Its there if I want it. May it rest.... in peace.

Last edited by mrgeeze; 07/30/23 11:57 AM.

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Is the real question “What changes would you recommend for PG Music marketing strategies to ensure new users realize the value of MIDI and how it is implemented in BIAB”?


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Further to Matt's question, mine would be:

"Can you do an equally good job using Playable RealTracks as you can with MIDI and high quality samples"?

One of the benefits of MIDI is, you can make exact phrases and put exact notes where you want them in your song. That's just not logically possible with RTs but it may be easily doable with Playable RTs.

Does anyone have experience in using PRTs as a substitute for a part you would normally do with MIDI?
If so, then the PGMusic marketing folks could claim "you can now use Playable RealTracks as easily as you would MIDI". That may appeal to those who like the idea of being able to create specific musical phrases, but don't want to delve into MIDI, especially since BIAB already comes with included RTs.

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Plus one for Matt's post - that was the real reason I set up such a contentious topic. But Lloyd S, contrast this video on using playable RT's with the ease of plugging in a keyboard and recording a midi phrase

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dggX5xStv3A

if you play the trombone phrase in my post above - no generating, no silencing and no note for note editing in either piano roll or editable notation of what the RT originally generated. you just get a midi recording in seconds by plugging in your controller. to optimise RTs i personally find it easier to generate alternative takes and cut and paste in RB to get what i want. to get my trombone part was much easier with midi.

playable RTs are amazing and when a whole part is generated fixing individual note or short phrases is fine. another video here suggests that playable RTs are for just that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoptOS6ubmY

but i still contend that midi is the easiest and most effective way of playing in a specific short hook or phrase.

as Lloyd S asks after listening to my tromone clip would any of you really use editable RTs to get the fill i wanted?

in conclusion, whatever you find works for you is the best way forward but my original point of new users not exploring the benefits of midi still stands and the more positive message is the one Matt posted.

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Originally Posted By: Lloyd S
"Can you do an equally good job using Playable RealTracks as you can with MIDI and high quality samples"?

One of the things a number of MIDI instruments will do is map other sounds onto notes that are illogical(?) to use for the instrument.

I'm thinking here of a particular bass I use, where out-of-range notes do things like add percussive effects, add finger squeaks, slaps and coerce the hand position. And also of the SWAM instruments where the sounds are produced by modelling, not samples. These and others allow one to do things that are likely just not available in RTs, or possibly even deliberately avoided in RTs. Doing this stuff in MIDI, though, can be quite hard work and take quite some time. RTs are closer to instant.

I think one can do an equally good job with RTs and MIDI, but the meaning of "good" can be very different and for different reasons.

Putting that another way, RTs and MIDI are each only 'best' for particular circumstances.


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Hi Bob, yes I've seen that first video before, not the second, as it appears to be for the Mac people.
Adding in a Playable RealTrack part seems like a daunting task from the video,
but then again so do a lot of functions with BIAB (think ACW as an example).
I'm guessing that once you've done it a few times, it would become quite natural.

I wish I could speak from experience on PRTs, as I've only dabbled in them to see how they work.
For one thing, if I needed an exact phrase or lick, I don't have the luxury of

"contrast this video on using playable RT's with the ease of plugging in a keyboard and recording a midi phrase"

Don't have access to one, and couldn't play it if I did. Similarly a wind controller.
I would still like to hear someone's opinion on PRTs (that had previously used MIDI exclusively),
and had now a solid grasp of using them as part of their normal musical process.
That way we could get the pros and cons of each. Maybe PGMusic Support could do THAT video!

As for me, if I needed a specific part, I would have to use the staff roll, the piano roll or the QWERTY keyboard, similarly a daunting task at best.

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I wonder about this possibility. Say you want a signature lick from a cover song. There are a gazillion midi files on the net. I cool experiment would be to copy the midi lick into a playable RT and see what could be done that way.


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Originally Posted By: Rob Helms
I wonder about this possibility. Say you want a signature lick from a cover song. There are a gazillion midi files on the net. I cool experiment would be to copy the midi lick into a playable RT and see what could be done that way.

It may be worth reminding here that Playable Real Tracks (the "playable" bit, anyway) actually are MIDI. What I understand happens is that BIAB switches to using sforzando with samples from within the RT file to play the "playable" section, before switching back to normal RT mode after the section. It gives a good RealTrack-alike sound for the duration of the playable section. For just a lick, of course, that may well be exactly what's wanted and was undoubtedly part of the driver for PGM to do it.

Last edited by Gordon Scott; 07/29/23 05:12 AM. Reason: changed "needed" to "wanted"

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