Originally Posted by niteshift
Hi Michael,

This is a great thread and thanks for your insight.

I've been thinking about BIAB as an extra tool, as I don't have much free time. To work things up from scratch is very time consuming just for formatting, and for this task I have been used to Sony Acid. I like it's grid system and can drag and drop samples in any place, then say, copy the format of a verse or chorus, very time saving. Also it accepts any loop, and sound grab, vocals, live instruments, and MIDI and the plugins are great and limitless per track. Want to edit any part ? Real easy, just move or fade what you like.

I have an almost limitless sound library, so for me, this method works. Just replace with live tracks as required.

As my computer crashed, I need to start over, so my question is, in work terms, would you find BIAB a suitable tool in this regard ?

Hi Geoff,

I hope I am misreading you and you had your programs and samples backed up on external drives and are just dreading having to get everything re-authorized which in and of itself is a big PITA.

Although BIAB ships with a workstation (Realband) I'd recommend sticking with a real DAW and using BIAB simply to generate raw tracks based on your chordal input, then inporting those tracks into your workstation.. Even Acid would work fine in tandem with BIAB.

You probably know enough about BIAB to know that it generates performances based on chordal input. I would not recommend it for folks looking to make Electronica, but for pop and jazz and country and everything in between those genres, it's fine. It's as fast to learn and as intuitive as Acid, and does one thing really well that neither Acid or any DAW can do, and that's to generate complete performances/tracks based on chordal input with literally hundreds of instruments and styles at your disposal. I forget the exact number, but the 2018 Audiophile Edition has 2,500 hours of performances to draw from, and these were real studio musicians, all pro, and some well known who were performing.

So if this ability to create instrumental tracks that conform to your chords and run the entire length of a song in any of several hundred styles is something that would be useful in your studio, maybe consider purchasing a BIAB license. You can also use it to generate loops, but generally it gets used to create entire song length performances with usually 4-5 band members performing in each song.

My work method is usually to export indivdual performance tracks into FL Studio my DAW and work with them in there where it's all nice and cozy, and there's dozens of ways you can tweak the BIAB performances to get even more mileage and individuality out of them, such as running the Melodyne VST in your DAW to re-pitch bits of the BIAB performances, or cross-fading between multiple performances of one instrumental and/or style.

Recently I used Melodyne to force a BIAB fiddle soloist to play exact notes I wanted (echoing the vocal melody) and I got great results.

BIAB still falls way short when it comes to chords that change on an upbeat--it does that in a really un-musical way. Sometimes the only working solution is to put two iterations of the same track in your DAW and cross fade between those two tracks, with one of them nudged an eighth note ahead acting as the syncopated part. There are workarounds involving doubling the song tempo so then there are no upbeat chord changes, but double the tempo might not work if the original tempo was already fast.

If you were to get BIAB you would want the Audiophile edition (shipped on its own drive) because you get 24 bit WAVS as opposed to 128-192kbps MP3s, and I think that would run between 5-7 hundred bucks depending on where or when you would buy it.

I find I use it a lot for rhythm section stuff, and the guitars are all really usable, as are the drum kits (not as good sounding as Drum Drops though) and basses. The pianos need to be mixed well and with something else happening on the downbeats as otherwise you can hear the break between samples most of the time, and any instrument recorded with vibrato becomes problematic with a large tempo disparity between the BIAB performances and the tempo of the piece in question. Otherwise, the "Elastique Engine" which is at the heart of what makes BIAB tick is in it's third iteration and vibrato-less performances can be tempo shifted to over double or half the original tempo without noticing a change in quality. So that makes a majority of the vibrato-less performances work in just about any tempo, though I wouldn't take a performance recorded at, say, 65 BPM and try to make it sound good at anything higher than say 150-160 BPM.. I'd say about 25-35% of the performances have some kind of vibrato, and though it's usually a fast give-away to hear a too fast or slow vibrato, usually the changes in vibrato speed are within acceptable perameters.

Whereas dropping loops into the Acid DAW tends to create Electronica sounding stuff, due to the repetition of the loops, BIAB performances always sound like real musicians playing, as part of the function of the BIAB engine is to make sure that no two identical musical phrases will be repeated anywhere near each other.

You would have a 90% grasp of the program within a day. I guess you would just need to figure if this is for you, given the price tag. If it's something you imagine you'd use in every session, then it would be worth the price, probably.



Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 01/19/18 09:11 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)