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#1174372 - 02/28/21 01:28 PM BIAB Effects  
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Question for those folks who use Band In A Box. Do you add effects to tracks after exporting to your DAW and, if so, what? I have been in the habit of pretty much leaving them alone and placing all my effort on the vocals or other instruments I add. My assumption was that the BIAB instruments are professionally recorded and might even have some effects added already, but now I wonder if I should be approaching this differently.

#1174373 - 02/28/21 01:49 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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In reading this, please keep in mind that I am a passionate newbie at best to BIAB.

It has been my very limited experience that BIAB default settings, reverb in particular, lay into a mix pretty well without doing anything else to them in BIAB.
Then, in the DAW when the entire mix is there, they may sound fine or may need some adjustments...but I believe it is better to do it in the DAW...because then you arent compounding changes upon other changes made in the original program.

Regarding exporting...Use BIAB as a plug in so that you are in the DAW when you are using it. It is a lot easier and a lot more seamless and you can ear test then and there._

Side note...
Multi riffs is my favorite BIAB function. I read that it cant be done in the standalone, but if you plug BIAB into your DAW it is available. I highly recommend learning to use it. I am personally able to get better and more natural sounding piano solos using BIAB MULTI RIFFS than I am with EZ KEYS with little effort.


#1174374 - 02/28/21 02:05 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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I owned BIAB MANY years ago, before real tracks even. I got rid of it shortly after, i was never able to get good recordings, arrangements, i used to own tascam casette recorder, but at the end of the day, you still ended up with slightly better than live in your basement recordings. Im still rarely happy with my recordings, that may change as Im getting better with the tech.

But Gavins assumption is correct, those samples that are recorded, I believe many are recorded with a mic, in front of an amp, talking guitars anyway, so you are getting the room it was recorded in, along with anything you do, to it after it.

I found with toontracks stuff, that the settings that come as default are really really good to use as is. That's cause they know you are using it for recording, and know that many dont have the expertise to know ie, how loud the kick drum should be, how much verb the snare has, compression effects etc, i rarely fiddle with the settings, cause they know more than I do. They also have a really cool effect, where you can roll off the room. If you slide it to the left, less room actually all the way there is none. all the way to right your in the grand canyon.

But I rarely mess with the settings cause they are so good.

BIAB, i dont believe has the ability to roll off the room, and I do believe the room sound you are stuck with. It may have a dry setting where you take everything off it, and then add your own effects.

But if your not an engineer, stick with what they provide you.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 02/28/21 02:08 PM.
#1174375 - 02/28/21 02:28 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Check this out. this is what I mean,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dig4ilbB4BQ

#1174376 - 02/28/21 02:36 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Thanks Marty. I do always export everything over into my DAW before making any adjustments. One of the reasons that I updated my version of BIAB a while ago was to be able to use it in my DAW. Unfortunately it just crashes my DAW, so I had to go back to working in BIAB and then exporting, as before. Reverb is one effect that you can see and adjust in the BIAB mixer, although I don't do any of that there, but I was wondering about other effects like compression. I have noticed how dull my mixes sound on more basic playback devices compared to the pros. It's not just my vocals - I would expect that since I'm kind of responsible for that and I kinda suck LOL - but the whole thing. I realize that mastering is an important part of the equation, but thought I'd investigate the mixing angle too in case I'm missing something obvious.
I watched a video showing how to use the multiriff function inside BIAB, so it is possible. As I understand it, it provides a convenient way to generate a whole lot of alternative tracks to audition and choose the best. Is my understanding correct?

Thanks for the feedback FD. Looks like BIAB does have a similar ability to roll off the reverb, either increasing or decreasing the original setting it chooses for you on each instrument.

#1174377 - 02/28/21 02:47 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
I owned BIAB MANY years ago, before real tracks even. I got rid of it shortly after, i was never able to get good recordings, arrangements,


So did I and bought it again last year because of the results that MZ was getting with it. It has changed dramatically.

#1174378 - 02/28/21 02:51 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin

I did not load the BIAB instruments on to my hard drive because they are massive. I only loaded the exe. I attach the factory BIAB hard drive to my computer with USB and then set the path for the instrument tracks in the file path instructions. That might help.

I suggest that you do all your compressing and EQ in the daw when the entire mix is loaded in. I also highly recommend going to youtube and watch some videos on GAIN STAGING. Often people dont do that well enough and it makes a huge difference. The recommendations that I follow are....

Get every track in the mix done.
Delete all plug-ins and effects of any kind. Just raw dry tracks.
Gain stage every track to minus 10-12

and begin mixing from there.

#1174379 - 02/28/21 03:04 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Id like to have BIAB just as an idea generator. Im really only a guitar player, i think im a great air drummer, and i do well programming drums, but im not a piano player, not a bass player, not an arranger. be nice to get a harmonica or banjo, or violin or horns etc. it be nice to have it just to get an idea how a full band might handle my song then i could take it from there.

But these days the learning curve is so high, and that I dont want to be a professional BIAB user and spend the next year mastering it

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 02/28/21 03:05 PM.
#1174380 - 02/28/21 03:41 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Id like to have BIAB just as an idea generator. Im really only a guitar player, i think im a great air drummer, and i do well programming drums, but im not a piano player, not a bass player, not an arranger. be nice to get a harmonica or banjo, or violin or horns etc. it be nice to have it just to get an idea how a full band might handle my song then i could take it from there.

But these days the learning curve is so high, and that I dont want to be a professional BIAB user and spend the next year mastering it


I havent mastered BIAB or my DAW or EZ KEYS or EZ DRUMMER or EZ BASS or HOLLYWOOD STRINGS...But...the time that I am putting in learning these things is very enhancing to my hobby and very very worth it in terms of enhanced enjoyment. And I highly recommend it to anyone passionate about this.

If you "dont need none at that dayum book learnin' anyways"... fine for you...but I suggest not bragging about being desirous of continued ignorance. Never looks right to me.

#1174381 - 02/28/21 03:53 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin, I've always been rather impressed with the overall sound you're able to achieve. Perhaps you need to define what you mean by "dull"?

#1174384 - 02/28/21 04:22 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Or, is it ignorance believing that everything is taking care of because you own BIAB. Thats ignorance, and its a forced ignorance, anybody who buys now believes they are recording engineers, producers, artists, songwriters.

I dont think its ignorant saying id rather learn how to play harmonica in the next 6 months, than learn how to use a software that makes up harmonica parts. Always wanted to play harmonica, but like most things its time consuming and where is the demand for me playing harmonica.

Touche now?

#1174385 - 02/28/21 04:38 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Sunset Poet]  
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Originally Posted by Sunset Poet
Gavin

I did not load the BIAB instruments on to my hard drive because they are massive. I only loaded the exe. I attach the factory BIAB hard drive to my computer with USB and then set the path for the instrument tracks in the file path instructions. That might help.

I suggest that you do all your compressing and EQ in the daw when the entire mix is loaded in. I also highly recommend going to youtube and watch some videos on GAIN STAGING. Often people dont do that well enough and it makes a huge difference. The recommendations that I follow are....

Get every track in the mix done.
Delete all plug-ins and effects of any kind. Just raw dry tracks.
Gain stage every track to minus 10-12

and begin mixing from there.


That's where I keep all the BIAB stuff too. In fact I run the whole thing from there and it works fine. I will check out the videos on gain staging, thanks.

#1174386 - 02/28/21 04:44 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: JAPOV]  
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Originally Posted by JAPOV
Gavin, I've always been rather impressed with the overall sound you're able to achieve. Perhaps you need to define what you mean by "dull"?

Yes, it sounds OK to me through my headphones, but if I check it out through my TV, just playing from my YouTube channel, it just doesn't pop like the "real" productions do. It's very noticeable when you play one of those before or after my song. It's hard to describe really.
I realize that mastering has a lot to do with it too. I use Izotope Ozone elements and like what it does, especially with my limited technical ability.

#1174387 - 02/28/21 04:50 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Or, is it ignorance believing that everything is taking care of because you own BIAB. Thats ignorance, and its a forced ignorance, anybody who buys now believes they are recording engineers, producers, artists, songwriters.

I dont think its ignorant saying id rather learn how to play harmonica in the next 6 months, than learn how to use a software that makes up harmonica parts. Always wanted to play harmonica, but like most things its time consuming and where is the demand for me playing harmonica.

Touche now?

I don't believe that everything is taken care of by BIAB, but I kind of feel I have to be all of those things that you mention, so I try to do it to the best of my ability using the tools at my disposal. One day, I'll head over to Nashville and record a couple of songs properly and I'm sure the results will be far better. Also, and very importantly, I anticipate having a blast doing so. However, I can't afford to do that for many songs and BIAB helps give me an idea of which, if any, would be worth the treatment.

I actually play the harmonica LOL. For me, it isn't just a question of how well you play, but how good you are at capturing a recording. I'm not really set up to handle that part well and I'm pretty ignorant about it. One more thing to learn the technical aspects of.

#1174388 - 02/28/21 05:23 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Originally Posted by Gavin Sinclair
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Or, is it ignorance believing that everything is taking care of because you own BIAB. Thats ignorance, and its a forced ignorance, anybody who buys now believes they are recording engineers, producers, artists, songwriters.

I dont think its ignorant saying id rather learn how to play harmonica in the next 6 months, than learn how to use a software that makes up harmonica parts. Always wanted to play harmonica, but like most things its time consuming and where is the demand for me playing harmonica.

Touche now?

I don't believe that everything is taken care of by BIAB, but I kind of feel I have to be all of those things that you mention, so I try to do it to the best of my ability using the tools at my disposal. One day, I'll head over to Nashville and record a couple of songs properly and I'm sure the results will be far better. Also, and very importantly, I anticipate having a blast doing so. However, I can't afford to do that for many songs and BIAB helps give me an idea of which, if any, would be worth the treatment.

I actually play the harmonica LOL. For me, it isn't just a question of how well you play, but how good you are at capturing a recording. I'm not really set up to handle that part well and I'm pretty ignorant about it. One more thing to learn the technical aspects of.


A great deal is taken care of in BIAB in 2021. it is staggeringly amazing and becomes more amazing each year. Anyone who thinks not is depriving themselves of an extraordinary tool and a fun experience.

Gavin...even good headphones are not very good for listening to what a final mix will actually sound like. They are good for getting all of the parts in place, but then you need some good monitors to hear it clearly. From everything that I have read, the low end of good is the YAMAHA HS series. I got a pair of HS5s for $199 ea and love them. The best thing about them is that they are very good but not excellent and therefore more representative of a random car stereo etc.

#1174389 - 02/28/21 05:34 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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it certainly is a fun tool and experience, so is playing the guitar.

The reason i say it is a rough learning curve, because there are features on there, that you probably dont even use.

Everything ive asked about, somebody will say there is a feature,,,ie, if you want a chord to hit on an off beat, instead of straight up. there is a way to do that. There is a way to invert chords so that they are playing the chord the way you might have played it on your guitar. Voicings.

There are hundreds of little nuances that it has, but that would have to be learned. Every day they add something new to it, so its an ingoing tutorial. But some are content with just typing in the chords and letting it play, fine too.

#1174390 - 02/28/21 05:45 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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were only in febuary, and heres what theyve added for 2021

https://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.htm

#1174391 - 02/28/21 06:38 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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I just looked up an iZotope Ozone tutorial. Is that your DAW? From the tutorial, it seems you're just tweaking the sound of the overall mix instead of dealing with separate tracks... is that right?

#1174392 - 02/28/21 07:31 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
were only in febuary, and heres what theyve added for 2021

https://www.pgmusic.com/bbwin.htm



The magic is the algorithms that produce the various accompaniments and solos. I have spent hours trying to get a natural sounding piano solo from EZ KEYS. What I get is not as convincing as what comes from BIAB multi riffs in a single pass. You have to pick the right style but it is amazing. It is never perfectly what I want, but usually I cant cut and paste the riffs and be happy enough.

#1174394 - 02/28/21 07:42 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: JAPOV]  
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Originally Posted by JAPOV
I just looked up an iZotope Ozone tutorial. Is that your DAW? From the tutorial, it seems you're just tweaking the sound of the overall mix instead of dealing with separate tracks... is that right?

It's a plug-in for your DAW. You use it to master the track after you are happy with the mix. So yes, it affects the whole mix. There are people who do this for a living. Ozone does a lot of it automatically after analyzing the song. You can accept that or tweak it. For someone who isn't that great at this kind of stuff it's very useful. There is a more complex version for those who understand mastering better, but that would be wasted on me. Martin G turned me on to it back in the SW101 days.

#1174396 - 02/28/21 08:04 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Im not crazy about ez piano either. If you're good with midi editing, you can basicly draw your own part, but its hard editing midi, especially if piano is not your instrument. But drums, dont even try to compare BIAB to EZ drums or Superior drummer

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 02/28/21 08:05 PM.
#1174397 - 02/28/21 08:13 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Sunset Poet]  
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Originally Posted by Sunset Poet
Originally Posted by Gavin Sinclair
Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Or, is it ignorance believing that everything is taking care of because you own BIAB. Thats ignorance, and its a forced ignorance, anybody who buys now believes they are recording engineers, producers, artists, songwriters.

I dont think its ignorant saying id rather learn how to play harmonica in the next 6 months, than learn how to use a software that makes up harmonica parts. Always wanted to play harmonica, but like most things its time consuming and where is the demand for me playing harmonica.

Touche now?

I don't believe that everything is taken care of by BIAB, but I kind of feel I have to be all of those things that you mention, so I try to do it to the best of my ability using the tools at my disposal. One day, I'll head over to Nashville and record a couple of songs properly and I'm sure the results will be far better. Also, and very importantly, I anticipate having a blast doing so. However, I can't afford to do that for many songs and BIAB helps give me an idea of which, if any, would be worth the treatment.

I actually play the harmonica LOL. For me, it isn't just a question of how well you play, but how good you are at capturing a recording. I'm not really set up to handle that part well and I'm pretty ignorant about it. One more thing to learn the technical aspects of.


A great deal is taken care of in BIAB in 2021. it is staggeringly amazing and becomes more amazing each year. Anyone who thinks not is depriving themselves of an extraordinary tool and a fun experience.

Gavin...even good headphones are not very good for listening to what a final mix will actually sound like. They are good for getting all of the parts in place, but then you need some good monitors to hear it clearly. From everything that I have read, the low end of good is the YAMAHA HS series. I got a pair of HS5s for $199 ea and love them. The best thing about them is that they are very good but not excellent and therefore more representative of a random car stereo etc.

Thanks Marty. I had heard that I really should be using moirtors. Of course, headphones have the advantage that you can work without disturbing others. I did my homework and got the most neutral ones I could find (i.e. no bass boost as so many have).

#1174398 - 02/28/21 09:25 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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"""It's a plug-in for your DAW. You use it to master the track after you are happy with the mix...."""

Well, lol... I would say that's the problem.
Whatever plugin you use on your master track creates the "atmosphere" in which you have to make your "mix" sound good within. For example; There isn't a plugin that you can apply to your master track to beef up your drums that won't also effect the rest of the mix. If you're relying on your master track to make your mix sound good then, your approach is backwards. The only thing iZotope analyzes is overall Eq. If you want to beef up the drums then you have to beef up the "drum track". Of course, that also applies to all other tracks as well. Does that make any sense?

#1174401 - 02/28/21 11:14 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Tony, you have achieved the almost impossible and underestimated me. I know all that. You do your mixing so that you are happy with how beefed up your drums are and all the rest, then, when you are happy with your mix, move on to the mastering. Mastering has long been known as a bit of a black art, which is why I am happy to have as much as possible done "under the hood" by Ozone. During the mix I use a variety of stuff including another Izotope product, Neutron Elements, which provides a dummy friendly approach to EQ, compression, etc.
One good thing about Ozone is that it allows you easily to master for streaming or CD, mostly a matter of loudness, since the streaming services are set to a certain overall loudness.

#1174405 - 03/01/21 07:17 AM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin, lol... please believe me, if I underestimated you then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

You still haven't defined "dull", and "pop" just means hip-hop to me... Try to be specific, what exactly are you hearing in other recordings that you're not hearing in your own? Give us an example. If I'm lucky, I'll learn something here as well.

Here's an example... Gerry Cooper. He manages to create a really deep, rich, dynamic environment to work in that I haven't quite been able to achieve yet... Emphasis on "yet"! smile

#1174411 - 03/01/21 02:33 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Im not crazy about ez piano either. If you're good with midi editing, you can basicly draw your own part, but its hard editing midi, especially if piano is not your instrument. But drums, dont even try to compare BIAB to EZ drums or Superior drummer


The drums are clearly much more intensively editable and disect-able on EZD than BIAB. But if you get the right "feel/style" picked in BIAB and set your fill markers in good places, BIAB does a pretty good job of delivering a drum track on my stuff.

I use the midi keyboard with EZ BASS because my songs are real easy and the bass lines that I play on the midi are McCartney-ish melodies on their own. The important thing for me is the tone and EZB gets a real good tone.

#1174417 - 03/01/21 11:12 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Im actually considering getting BIAB, the whole set. One reason is im lazy, Im feeling the daunting pressure of having to record my next group of songs, and I kid you not I have 40-50 of them. Half of them ony have lyrics for the chorus, or have one verse, but I know they are really strong songs if I can ever get them done.

The other reason is the amount of stuff I want to record, in the sake of time, i assume it wold be much faster calling up instant arrangements.. Once done I can take my top 10 and re do them and maybe release my bucketlist CD

But I did want to ask the sons of BIABS here a few questions.

Assuming I had the whole set. How do you manage knowing where to find the right bit at the right time? With EZ drummer i have a folder of all the drum fills I like, or that feel believable, some of them are like somebody trying to win a drum competetion so i avoid those

But id imagine with all the styles, genres, youd have a hard time keeping track of what you deem usable or not.

So help me out sons of BIABS, whats your method?

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 03/01/21 11:14 PM.
#1174418 - 03/02/21 12:13 AM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Somebody at BIAB has gone to a lot of trouble grouping the tracks into styles, so that is what I usually start with rather than combing through the thousands of tracks individually. So to begin with you have a group of instruments that match the kind of sound you have in mind, playing in a suitable style. You can tell it to add fills or you can add others from a non BIAB source like EZ Drummer in your DAW of course.
Someone else can probably help you more because my songs are all melody and lyric. They don't rely very heavily on drum fills and the like.
I think your reasons for considering BIAB are spot on.

#1174419 - 03/02/21 12:30 AM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Ive been listening to some of the songs on their showcase forum. Almost always, the ones that sound best are the ones where the singer is good. So it means more that the singer makes it better. And usually if you sing, you are a musician too, usually at some level, others who dont sing, probably bought biab to do the heavy lifting. So you can defintly tell who knows what they're doing or not. Then again, its a software to help songwriters, its not for making them performers.

But I like how some of them samples sound. You dont get many doing straight rock or even pop on there so its hard to judge. Ive heard some Americana and Heartland rock that sound pretty good, but i have to be honest I hate the way the drums in BIAB sound. seems everybody uses the same slapish snare...Id defintly use ez drums.

Im not sure im taking the plunge. But im considering it. It may help me get started, i find im looking at a blank piece of paper...so to speak, but i have so many ideas and full songs I want to do.

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 03/02/21 12:33 AM.
#1174422 - 03/02/21 08:31 AM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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The styles are categorized by genre, tempo etc but there is a lot of sorting and listening to be done. Like the EZs, if you like something you can designate it a favorite for later recall and use. That is helpful.

And there is usually going to be a big difference in result between someone using it with no personal experience with a musical instrument versus someone who has some. Musical ability matters when you are making music no matter what the medium and tools.

Personally I dont start a song with software. I start with a rhythm guitar and rough vocal as the skeletal structure and make a scratch track to build around. After I get the accompaniment instruments in, I may or may not keep the original guitar.

#1174424 - 03/02/21 09:28 AM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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well, if you play guitar, it would stand to reason that when you choose your guitar samples, you're gonna be able to know what sounds reasonable, what sounds stupid. Some just trust whats there thinking nobody will know the difference. Goes for every instrument. Sometimes the solos are overblown, and the user doesnt know it, they think it sounds impressive.

Absolutely matters if you already play an instrument, and/or know music. As I said when you hear a good singer, you know the track is gonna be good, and vica versa

Even in some of the better ones, there are nuances that dont sound right, usually dynamics. When I use EZ drums I could work a whole complete day 24 hours putting in fills that seem authentic. Then when I replay and relisten i find im editing stuff. The Cymbals are always tricky

and Toontrack adverstises that their stuff is for songwriters, "meet your new cowriter" which is simply not true. Nobody is going to write good songs using their songwriting features, lol. You want the thing to write the chord progression, why not let it right the melody too?

My only fear is becoming reliant on it, i have 40-50 songs that were written away from ANYTHING, so I wouldnt be using BIAB to help me write songs. But down the road I dont want to be turning it on and saying ok, lets write a song,,,

#1174425 - 03/02/21 09:42 AM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio


My only fear is becoming reliant on it, i have 40-50 songs that were written away from ANYTHING, so I wouldnt be using BIAB to help me write songs. But down the road I dont want to be turning it on and saying ok, lets write a song,,,


That comes down to personal philosophy. As I've said, a "good song" by definition, must sound good. Whatever arrives at that is fine with me.
Though my lyrics and message may not seem anything special to anyone else, they are my primary focus. The sonics are a vehicle to carry them forward.

With lyrics and message as the primary concern, I may be less concerned than you, as to exactly how the rest of the song was technically determined and created.

#1174426 - 03/02/21 10:01 AM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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I agree with you, what is a song?...by defintion it's melody and lyric.

I mean you have to be recording SOMETHING, you're not recording NOTHING, at the end of the day your song is your melody and lyric.

BUT, arrangment, performance, production are all inexstricably linked . Imagine Stairway to heaven just strummed all the way through, none of that beautiful picking. Still be a nice song, but not the same. Imagine a halfway decent singer as opposed to Robert Plant. Still nice, but not the same...or ANY singer for that matter. Sometimes it seems there is only ONE singer to sing a song, you get so locked in on that.

And why is it that when people cover The Beatles, they NEVER sound better, even today.

#1174428 - 03/02/21 10:39 AM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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John Mayer said the same thing...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6VxBQnQkr0

#1174432 - 03/02/21 01:00 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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FD, if you are thinking of taking the plunge, your timing is a little off. There is usually a big sale around Christmas and New Year.

I don't think you have to worry about becoming lazy and trying to get BIAB to write the song. I have never done that. I always come to it with lyric and melody already in my head, worked out on the piano or whatever. BIAB provides the backing. It also provides some surprisingly good instrumental solos. I was wary of those at first, but now I give them a shot and if I'm not blown away by them, I do it myself with midi.

I think maybe this is why the Americana demos sound good to you. The emphasis on melody and lyrics in that genre allows BIAB tracks to do their job backing up the singer. Strangely perhaps, BIAB seems to have started out with a strong emphasis on jazz and there are more styles labeled jazz than anything else.

#1174433 - 03/02/21 01:03 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Interesting find for me.

I logged into my old cakewalk account, and much like toontracks account button, once you log in, it shows a list of products you own.Seems theyve merged with something called bandlab, which is a program that allows you to record and then publish online.

I just discovered I have cakewalks drummer and bass and piano plug ins. This I believe goes back before toontrack was even invented. The drums look very similar to ez drums where the drums appear in the interface, and the parts can be dragged from the software into the daw. The bass is all midi grooves, which sound terrible, but its another program I now own, that can be used, I guess its similar to buying a new sound pack for ezdrums. I mean they make so many, from 70's funk, to 80's metal, to classic rock, the bass would just be something i could maybe use as a sound, theres not much there to use as a bass sequencer. I could play it on a keyboard if I wanted, or again, just using it as a sound platform. Theres also keyboards. I vaguely remember using this, and it had to be before 2014, cause i had to create a new account since i hadnt since 2014. More like early 2000's if I recall.

But interesting, more toys. Im guessing at the time these little programs were all the rage. Probably where toontrack got the ideas from

Have a look, look familiar?
https://www.cakewalk.com/Products/Studio-Instruments/Drums
https://www.cakewalk.com/Products/Studio-Instruments/Bass
https://www.cakewalk.com/Products/Studio-Instruments/Electric-Piano

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 03/02/21 01:18 PM.
#1174435 - 03/02/21 02:23 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin looks like we posted same exact time, amazing how often that happens, never saw your post

Yeah it sarted out as a jam buddy. I think there used to be tapes called music minus one, and if you played piano, it would have no piano in it and youd play with the tape. Then it got more sophisticated, but I believe BIAB first started as a way to practice, cause blues and jazz music is all about being able to play with an accompaniment, not worrying so much about being playing with a creative band. Its about chops, so it worked very well in blues and jazz, cause youd be ready to step in with a band at a gig if you were well practiced.

I think its use as a songwriters tool was an afterthought, and once they realized people were using it for that, they geared their efforts into making that better as well.

One of the reasons I like the Americana was the guitar sound, some of the rhythmic strums on guitar sound like real guitars, acoustics sound a bit dull. I guess working with it and eqing might help, there is still a flatness of all the music you deal with, but it by no means sounds bad

The dynamics are a problem, if you are coming to an end of a passage or measure, you are naturally playing lower and lower up to that part, or louder and louder to that part, to reach a spot where the dyanmics are different

So one of the things Im hearing is that constantness, same volume all the way through the song, which is not how music is played

Again, not sounding bad, just not what a real band would sound like, and good for generating ideas

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 03/02/21 02:29 PM.
#1174436 - 03/02/21 02:37 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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The dynamics can be changed in your DAW with automated vol or gain changes (assuming your DAW can do that).
What BIAB can't do yet (as FD has brought up before) is play a solo based on melody although sometimes it can by accident.
Usually I stitch different parts of that together in my DAW to get the best I can.

Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.

http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/vicarnold2

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#1174437 - 03/02/21 02:51 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Yea Vic I was thinking of splitting the tracks up and putting them on different channels, so I can manually lower it live...like the days of tape, or just setting the volume lower on different channels, so when it gets to that part it will be forced to be lower cause it IS lower.

Ive done that with vocals before, sometimes you do a backing vocal and punch in, and for some reason one part is louder than the next, or might be louder in the second chorus than it is first. So splitting it worked. I guess you could also do all your splitting, and then ping pong it all onto one track so that all of it is consensed onto one track, all the volume fixes... of course subtle volume changes are cool.

So i guess there are ways around it, im just worried about having to do all this work, for something that shouldnt be that hard. Its extremely time consuming...recording in general. When lyricists ask for cowrites they have no idea how much work goes into it all

Last edited by Fdemetrio; 03/02/21 02:53 PM.
#1174438 - 03/02/21 03:15 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Vicarn]  
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Originally Posted by Vicarn
The dynamics can be changed in your DAW with automated vol or gain changes (assuming your DAW can do that).
What BIAB can't do yet (as FD has brought up before) is play a solo based on melody although sometimes it can by accident.
Usually I stitch different parts of that together in my DAW to get the best I can.

Vic



have you tried BIAB's "multi riff" function in your DAW?

#1174439 - 03/02/21 03:22 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Yea Vic I was thinking of splitting the tracks up and putting them on different channels, so I can manually lower it live...like the days of tape, or just setting the volume lower on different channels, so when it gets to that part it will be forced to be lower cause it IS lower.

Ive done that with vocals before, sometimes you do a backing vocal and punch in, and for some reason one part is louder than the next, or might be louder in the second chorus than it is first. So splitting it worked. I guess you could also do all your splitting, and then ping pong it all onto one track so that all of it is consensed onto one track, all the volume fixes... of course subtle volume changes are cool.

So i guess there are ways around it, im just worried about having to do all this work, for something that shouldnt be that hard. Its extremely time consuming...recording in general. When lyricists ask for cowrites they have no idea how much work goes into it all

All the tracks can (and should) be exported individually as .wav files into your DAW to process individually. No need to do all this stuff you are talking about.

#1174440 - 03/02/21 03:31 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Yes but each instrument has its own set of dynamics, and if youd like the muted guitar part to get gradually louder until it reaches the chorus, then the only way to do that is to make it louder in that part. One way would be splitting the track, and using different volumes on different channels, to give the illusion of the guitar changing volumes.

Id have to hear the tracks seperately to hear how they sound, it might be that some are a good fit without doing anything others, no. Same thing with ezdrums. I find that as longas you dont try to overkill it, it sounds pretty damn natrual. Then you can adjust your playing volume on the guitar or harmonica as you record.

Just trying to see how to do that with pre recorded instrument parts.

#1174441 - 03/02/21 03:40 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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I just heard this song, somebody had it on in their car while washing it...

Great pop song, listen to the volume changes, particularly right before the chorus, your trying to build to a power spot, and then back down

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ElORM9O-0U

#1174442 - 03/02/21 03:41 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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I suggest....

Go with default settings in BIAB. They are well set.
Work in your DAW and drag and drop BIAB wavs onto the DAW tracks
Once all your tracks are there and you are ready to mix, remove any plugins...and gain stage the tracks to a minus 10-12.
Then mix and add the plug-ins back (or re-engage them) keeping your meters around a minus 6 or a little higher as you go.

If you dont know what gain staging is...you are working in a messy environment that is often working against itself.
It will cost much less time to learn what gain staging is and use it , than clean up the messes.

#1174443 - 03/02/21 03:48 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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FD. I must be missing something. You have an instrument track in your DAW. You want it to grow louder in a certain part. You gradually increase the volume there and reduce it when you want it to be quieter. You don't need to split it into different channels to do that. The volume of a particular channel is not fixed.

#1174444 - 03/02/21 03:51 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio


Just trying to see how to do that with pre recorded instrument parts.


Basic stuff...automation.

Can do it graphically or ride faders.

#1174445 - 03/02/21 03:56 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin, yes but how are you doing the volume changing, Vic said there is an automated function the daw to do it. Ive never used it, I have played volume changes to best of my ability. But working with fixed volumes in BIAB might be challenging.

Obviously all the tracks have to be seperate, otherwise when you raise the guitar, the piano would go up too

Just mulling how well gradually changing the volume digitally will fare

#1174446 - 03/02/21 04:03 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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#1174447 - 03/02/21 04:07 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
automated function the daw to do it.

Just mulling how well gradually changing the volume digitally will fare


The automated function is basic. It is "automation."
search...automation and riding the faders.

#1174448 - 03/02/21 04:12 PM Re: BIAB Effects [Re: Fdemetrio]  
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Originally Posted by Fdemetrio
Gavin, yes but how are you doing the volume changing, Vic said there is an automated function the daw to do it. Ive never used it, I have played volume changes to best of my ability. But working with fixed volumes in BIAB might be challenging.

Obviously all the tracks have to be seperate, otherwise when you raise the guitar, the piano would go up too

Just mulling how well gradually changing the volume digitally will fare

In my DAW (Mixcraft), it is simply a question of clicking on the track where you want to change the volume. A little dot appears and you can move that dot up or down to increase or decrease volume by your desired number of dBs. I imagine it's pretty much the same in other DAWs.

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Jan 25th, 2020
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"That's just my opinion, I could be right" -Brian Austin Whitney
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ben willis (2021)
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