Downloading and installing Band-in-a-Box for Windows packages.

This tutorial contains some instructions and tips for downloading Band-in-a-Box packages with a lot of RealTracks. This is especially useful for people who purchased a 'download-only' (e-delivery) version of the UltraPAK for the first time, since there are over 100 GB of files to download and install.

Even though the UltraPAK is large, downloading should be straight forward if you take a few moments beforehand to prepare and understand the process, and assuming you have a reliable broadband internet connection. If you selected the download-only option during checkout and are having trouble getting your files, you could contact us to have a physical copy shipped.

Last updated:  Thursday, 08 October 2020

Where to download your order

After you place your order, click on the link on the confirmation page or email to go directly to your "My Products" page, where you can download the files. You can access the 'My Products' page at any time in the future by logging onto your account at www.pgmusic.com.

Account drop-down menu
Access your 'My Products' page.

The top section of this page shows you your serial number(s) for Band-in-a-Box, needed for activation. Below this, you'll see all of the downloads available. For a Band-in-a-Box order, there are multiple files to download. For large packages like the UltraPAK there are a lot of files, totalling over 100 GB.

Download and install the Band-in-a-Box program

There are a couple of different options for downloading all the content installer files (detailed below), but you should know that the most important file you need to download is the first one on the list - "Band-in-a-Box and RealBand 20xx".

Download Band-in-a-Box
Download the Band-in-a-Box Program.

This file is relatively small and contains everything you need to install and run the main Band-in-a-Box program. You can start using Band-in-a-Box right away, even without having downloaded all of the additional 'RealTracks' content etc. See Running Band-in-a-Box for the first time.

Preparing to Download the rest of the files

Prior to downloading, decide on a drive and location to store the downloaded files and make sure you have enough hard disk space there. The complete download size is listed at the top of the Size column on your download page. To keep organized, you should create a folder that's separate from your other downloads, e.g. C:\BBDownloads. Also, note that you will need an additional 1.3 times the download size for installation, which can be on the same or a different hard disk. For example, if the download was 100 GB, you'll need another 130 GB additional space for installation.

Hard disk properties
Check hard disk space.

The default install location for Band-in-a-Box is C:\bb, but it can also be installed and run from an external USB hard drive. The drive that you install Band-in-a-Box on should be NTFS formatted, which is normal for modern computers (FAT32 is sometimes used for flash drives and will not work for an UltraPAK install due to inherent file limits).

Downloading the Band-in-a-Box content

You can download individual files directly from your browser window, however if you are downloading a large package (e.g. UltraPAK) this will be tedious. You can use a download manager instead... there are two options: (A) Recommended - Use a third party download manager such as "HTTP Downloader" - this is fast and reliable. (B) Alternatively, use the Band-in-a-Box Download Manager - this could be more convenient for you as long as you have activated Band-in-a-Box online, but may be slower and require some extra setup.

Using a third party download manager (HTTP Downloader) to download the files (Option A)

  1. Currently, "HTTP Downloader" is one of the best options. This is a small, portable download manager that is easy to use. Use the stand-alone 64-bit version (not the browser extension).
  2. Run HTTP Downloader. First, go to Tools - Options - Advanced to set your download directory. Also, notice that prevent system standby should be checked.
    HTTP Downloader - settings dialog
    HTTP Downloader - Settings dialog
  3. Click on the "Copy links to clipboard" button on your 'My Products' page.
    Copy Links to Clipboard
    Click the Copy Links to Clipboard button
  4. Click the [+] button or File | Add URLs in HTTP Downloader, and press [Download]. Note - if you've already downloaded the Band-in-a-Box program as suggested above, you don't need to download this file again so you can skip it.
  5. HTTP Downloader - main screen
    HTTP Downloader - Download progress

The length of time the download takes depends mainly on how fast your internet connection is, so varies widely. If you are curious, there are lots of websites that will test your download speed - e.g. Google search "internet speed test". As a ballpark, 2-3 hours with a fairly fast connection (100 mbps). Remember that you can still use the Band-in-a-Box program while the content is downloading, or you can set it to download overnight.

Installing the downloaded files

When the download is complete, run the installer files. All of the files are .exe installers (e.g. realtracks346-352.exe) that are no more than about 2 GB each file. For an UltraPAK you'll notice there is a file Master RealTracks Content Installer (master_realtracks_installer_20xx.exe), that can be used to install all the RealTracks related content. It does not matter in what order you install the content.

Download folder
Run the Master RealTracks Installer.
  • Run the file master_realtracks_installer_20xx.exe from your download folder and it will install all of the real*.exe files. An install log saved in the same folder will keep track of which files were processed or if there were any problems. This will typically take a couple of hours for a full UltraPAK.
  • Depending on your order, you most likely have a few other non-RealTracks content installers, and you should run these manually (e.g. bonus material, songs and lessons, xtra styles).
    Download folder - other files
    Install files other than realtracks* (e.g.)

Alternative: Using the Band-in-a-Box Download Manager (Option B)

A Download Manager is included with Band-in-a-Box (2016 and higher). This is an alternative method for downloading and installing all of the RealTracks (real*.exe) files. Before you can use the Band-in-a-Box download manager, you need to install the Band-in-a-Box program and activate it online when prompted.

  1. Before running the download manager, you should change your PC's power settings temporarily to make sure that computer does not go to sleep or shut down components if the download manager is operating in the background. These settings are typically found in the Windows Settings/Control Panel | System | Power Options. If you have a laptop, you should plug it into AC power.
  2. Run the Download Manager from the Band-in-a-Box Help menu | Utilities | Run Download Manager.
  3. Verify the download folder, and the Band-in-a-Box install folder, and then click the large "Download/Install Selected Files" button at the top. The download manager by default will automatically install the files when they've been downloaded.
    Download Manager Main Screen
    Band-in-a-Box Download Manager main screen
  4. Depending on your order, you could have a few other non-RealTracks content installers, and you should run these manually (e.g. bonus material, songs and lessons, xtra styles). The download manager will not download and install these files automatically, it only downloads the realtracks*.exe and realdrums*.exe files. The other files are listed near the top of your download list on the My Products page.

We have more download manager help and troubleshooting tips.

Running Band-in-a-Box for the first time.

Here are a few useful pointers to get you started.

  • When you launch the program for the first time, you are prompted to activate. Use the serial number displayed in the top section of the My Products page, and paste it into the activation dialog. It is best to do online activation if possible.
  • Assuming this is your first time running the program, you will be prompted to rebuild the StylePicker. Open the StylePicker (hotkey s + <enter>) and click the Rebuild button ('fast' rebuild is OK; 'slow' rebuild will also search for third party and user styles). This allows the program to determine which PG Music styles and other content you have installed. If you are running the program prior to installing the RealTracks content, you will likely notice that there are many MIDI styles available, but no RealStyles. RealStyles use RealTracks instruments so they sound much more realistic than MIDI styles, and you can tell them apart because the style name starts with an underscore. You will have more RealStyles once you've installed the additional RealTracks content from your purchase. Double-click on any style in the StylePicker to hear a pre-made demo for it.
  • There are options under the "Other" button in the StylePicker to "Show only styles that are Found/Not Found (N/A)". Since the program knows about all available styles, you can use these options to determine if you are missing any styles, and see what Sets they are from.
  • Check the RealTracks Preferences and RealDrums Preferences dialogs to make sure that the folder locations are as you expect. If you have opted to store your RealTracks files on an external hard drive while the Band-in-a-Box program is installed on the C: drive for example, the RealTracks "Custom Location" setting will need to be set. Band-in-a-Box also tries to determine the best folders automatically, so it is a good idea to double-check the setting either way.
  • The RealTracks Picker is another window you will probably use frequently. One way to open is to right-cick on a track and Select RealTracks. If you have any RealTracks installed, you will be able to choose them from this window. Note that you can view available RealTracks even if you don't have them, by clicking the "Show N/A" button, and you can even double-click them to hear what they sound like. As with the StylePicker, Showing "N/A" RealTracks is a good way to determine if you are missing anything.
  • The information about the RealTracks Picker above also largely applies to the RealDrums Picker, except to open the RealDrums Picker, right-click on the Drums track specifically.
  • There are two different GUI (user interfaces) for you to choose from depending on your preference - one has a large toolbar with many buttons and Mixer window on the top half of the screen, then other has a minimal toolbar with a larger chord sheet. To toggle between them, you can press Ctrl+T or find the buttons at the top-left side of the toolbar.
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