Hi Mike,

I just stumbled across this since I just joined the forum. I am a pro user of Band-in-a-Box and actually started the beginner's forum over there.

Your article is great and certainly lays it all out clearly.

In its simplest terms I think a lot of folks misunderstand Band-in-a-Box. If you have the audiophile version you can essentially generate the kind of .wav file instrument tracks that would come out of a professional studio--with 5,000 + possibilities of "styles" at a bare minimum--5,000 x 5,000 if you experiment.

But in any studio, a bare track is a bare track. You still have to put those tracks in a real DAW (I use Sonar) and then go to work with your EQ-ing and mastering tools. (I have about 300 plug ins, many of which I got free from the Focusrite collective, but some of which I paid for from IK Multimedia and Izotope.) With those plug-ins I can do just about anything I want. I saw a video a few months ago and it looks like I have the same set-up more or less that U2 has. For about $300 bucks almost anyone can get close to what U2 has, unless they decide they really, really, really want to go into a studio and use that 64 track board and soak up a few suds.

I think some people expect BIAB to work miracles, but the pro users on the BIAB forum (of which I am a hyper active member) know the workflow. You find a good style in BIAB that is "close." I have found some 2017 styles that sound so close to 2017 John Mayer it is scary. Then you doctor them, add other parts. Then you either export them, or open them up in Real Band (the free BIAB DAW) and fiddle some more with track gain and so forth. Maybe add a few more tracks. I actually record all my audio in Real Band because it is so simple and is very easy to work with as an audio editing tool. Then I export.

Then I load those tracks into Sonar, turn on the amp, plug in the Tele, grab the Taylor, tune those puppies up and get down to work.

For that, BIAB is an absolute miracle and Godsend.

But, it does not mean you don't have to play producer. You do have to spend a year teaching yourself how to be an engineer. I think that's the part a lot of folks don't get.

Thanks for a great post.

As you mentioned, there are a gazillion tutorials and constant education on the tools at www.pgmusic.com for folks who want to sign up.

David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI