View Poll Results: How many of you use BIAB or similar software for practice?

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76. You may not vote on this poll
  • I use BIAB or a similar tool all the time

    47 61.84%
  • I rarely use them but it is helpful

    20 26.32%
  • Nah I play along with my old records man

    9 11.84%
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Posts 51 to 86 of 86
  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by targuit View Post
    ... So, unless I'm misinformed, the BIAB Ultrapak Plus with good jazz Real Tracks and other styles would cost around $470 for first timers, right? I'm expecting a pretty good tax refund, but given the crappy AGI to begin with in this economy, I guarantee my wife would kill me! Gotta win the damn Lottery...

    Jay
    How many of you use BIAB or similar software for practice?-cdb11356ec83de6d8dc6b5cb411db6d7-jpg
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  3. #52

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    RE BIAB,

    I use only basic functions, no real tracks, no additional applications ..., it's very useful to punch in some chords and get instant drum track, bass line or key pad to export as MIDI into DAW of choice for editing and mix, saving yourself couple of hours with stupid songs from unrealistic and demanding, while not overly talented, wannabes who came to exploit your arranging and recording abilities at fixed all in rate, sounding like a flock of seagulls (not the band), while expecting you to turn it into Shania Twain, at least.

    In regard to learning and rehearsing (Jazz) guitar practice, I think it is OK for checking out ideas, but real work should be done with and without metronome. With to get into habit of playing in time, without to get into habit of playing in time without external reference. Playing over backing track is not too good, as everything tend to sound better than in real life.
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  4. #53

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    So many uses for BIAB. Some you may not have thought of:

    - put in just a song structure (no chords, but enter chords if you want), with where you want drum fills, change in drum pattern, etc. Use that with real track drummer and create a drum track. Then use that for your recording of a tune.

    - create a track with whatever instruments you want to be your scratch track for a recording. That is edited out by the end of the recording process.

    - Use the notation of a real track over a chord progression to learn an instrument. (I've done this for bass)
    Last edited by fep; 04-28-2018 at 09:56 AM.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    So many uses for BIAB. Some you may not have thought of:

    - put in just a song structure (no chords), with where you want drum fills, change in drum pattern, etc. Use that with real track drummer and create a drum track. Then use that for your recording of a tune.

    - create a track with whatever instruments you want to be your scratch track for a recording. That is edited out by the end of the recording process.

    - Use the notation of a real track over a chord progression to learn an instrument. (I've done this for bass)
    Can you expand on the last point please ?
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  6. #55

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    Hej fep, that was a cool idea, thanks for spreading it!

  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues View Post
    Can you expand on the last point please ?
    You enter a chord progression, and select a style that includes a real track bass player. Then you click the notation icon, select bass in the notation window, and you have the notation of the bass track which was originally played by a studio musician. Then you learn from the notation and play along. This has been eye opening for me when looking at walking bass lines... lots of chromatics, approach tones etc.

    I was surprised to see the real tracks notated.

    You can do the same for non real tracks too, I just haven't done that.

    I've learned the bass pretty much from BIAB. Pretty much all the bass lines and ideas (starting on the 2nd chorus) I play on this video where from learning with BIAB. (In addition, this is an example where all I used from BIAB for the recording was a BIAB drum track.)


    Last edited by fep; 04-24-2018 at 12:38 PM.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  8. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    You enter a chord progression, and select a style that includes a real track bass player. Then you click the notation icon, select bass in the notation window, and you have the notation of the bass track which was originally played by a studio musician. Then you learn from the notation and play along. This has been eye opening for me when looking at walking bass lines... lots of chromatics, approach tones etc.

    I was surprised to see the real tracks notated.

    You can do the same for non real tracks too, I just haven't done that.

    I've learned the bass pretty much from BIAB. Pretty much all the bass lines and ideas (starting on the 2nd chorus) I play on this video where from learning with BIAB. (In addition, this is an example where all used from BIAB for the recording was a BIAB drum track.)


    Super, thanks, good reason to upgrade when the new Mac version comes, mine does not sound good any more, need those real drum sounds.
    -----------------------------------

    "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though." Jim Hall

  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    You enter a chord progression, and select a style that includes a real track bass player. Then you click the notation icon, select bass in the notation window, and you have the notation of the bass track which was originally played by a studio musician. Then you learn from the notation and play along. This has been eye opening for me when looking at walking bass lines... lots of chromatics, approach tones etc.

    I was surprised to see the real tracks notated.

    You can do the same for non real tracks too, I just haven't done that.

    I've learned the bass pretty much from BIAB. Pretty much all the bass lines and ideas (starting on the 2nd chorus) I play on this video where from learning with BIAB. (In addition, this is an example where all I used from BIAB for the recording was a BIAB drum track.)
    I just love to see guys using their noggin' to get the most out of a situation.

    Bravo, fep!

  10. #59

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    Good job, fep and thanks for the tip!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A long journey starts with the first step...and although I have long forgotten about my destination I'm still enjoying the journey.

  11. #60

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    A handy feature is that you can export the track to WAV and simultaneously split the instruments into separate WAV files. Then drop them into your DAW or recording software as individual tracks. So you can re-mix the drums, bass, piano etc ‘after the fact’. Or remove the piano altogether in the final mix if you want.

    Also worth playing around with pan, tone and reverb settings in BIAB, this can make a surprising difference to the sound of the backing track. E.g. I was trying for a sort of ‘Wes and Mel Rhyne’ organ backing, it didn’t nail it until I boosted the treble and put the reverb way up on the organ, then it sounded much more like those Riverside organ trio recordings. Adding more reverb to the drums can sound good too.

  12. #61

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    I used to use Impro-Visor, which at the time I found to be somewhat helpful with learning changes, keeping time and getting some ideas out of it. Now I mostly use books, backing tracks and Musescore+VLC to transcribe tunes. Also, I am learning how to use this MMA software for creating custom backing tracks - the main reason I don't use Impro-Visor anymore is because it can't change time signature and tempo mid-song.

  13. #62

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    I use iRealPro. Great tool...

  14. #63

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    FYI The 2018 version of BIAB for Mac is out now.

  15. #64

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    IRealPro. I used BIAB before that. I have an older version of BIAB -- IRealPro sounded better (than my old version -- I don't know about new BIAB). Also IRealPro fits on my phone. OTOH, BIAB had melody.

    IRealPro made a big difference for me. I set it for 13 repeats and a key change every chorus around the cycle. Drilling myself in this way produced fairly rapid gains, as I identified chords I was weak on in specific parts of the neck. By rapid, I mean months, not years.

    It also helped with learning tunes -- and probably could even more if I disciplined myself to comp in all 12 keys without looking.

  16. #65

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    I see some complaints earlier in this thread (2014) that BIAB has a difficult user interface. Has it improved over the years? I'm not the most savvy when it comes to that kind of stuff.
    Jazz isn't dead. It just smells funny. FZ

  17. #66

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    I don't think it's difficult at all to put together basic tracks. There are some nuances that are a bit trickier to figure out how to do (such as 1st and 2nd endings, etc.) but generally I'd say the program is quite intuitive to use.

  18. #67

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    I am inclined to agree with jasaco above. I have used BIAB for years and I consider myself a novice, but also find that my needs slowly evolve and I am then into the manual. Not having a band to practice with at home this is a very good aid.

  19. #68

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    i use it every day...piano repetitions got on my nerves..so i bought the b4 Organ..right click the track and youll see your real tracks..dead simple to switch.....dont forget to turn off the Bass...Organ Bass pedals are heard..jam 24/7...what mores to be said...

  20. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by voxss View Post
    i use it every day...piano repetitions got on my nerves..so i bought the b4 Organ..right click the track and youll see your real tracks..dead simple to switch.....dont forget to turn off the Bass...Organ Bass pedals are heard..jam 24/7...what mores to be said...
    voxss,
    Unless you have something specifically against pianos, I suggest you go on their website and listen to the Mike LeDonne piano realtracks. I personally prefer piano to organ, and the Mike LeDonne realtrack set is about at good as it gets for me.

  21. #70

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    Just downloaded the Pro upgrade to 2019 from 2012 version. No problems and only $69 if you just do the download. I've used BIAB since it was on a little floppy DOS disk. You can do simple things easily but have to dig into the manual or go on the forum for some tricky stuff. Never found anything that I can't do, though. I use it for arranging and making backing tracks for my oldies duo - much better than karaoke tracks which are usually too busy.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    I don't think it's difficult at all to put together basic tracks. There are some nuances that are a bit trickier to figure out how to do (such as 1st and 2nd endings, etc.) but generally I'd say the program is quite intuitive to use.
    Agree on the basic functionalities in 4/4 time signature, i/e. entering chords and selecting a realtrack set, but as soon as one wants more .. it becomes harder, the preference and song parameter menus aren't that always clear, non 4/4 time signature realtracks aren't as good as the 4/4 ones, mixing time signatures is awful, the notation feature is painful to use, etc ..

    Put another way, much better than irealpro in terms of sound quality in 4/4 time and using realtracks, and simple to use for the same purpose. Pretty useful for bassist too, since one can easily mute the bass part as well as isolate it to analyse bass lines ... Beyond that effort is required which may not necessarily be succesfull
    Perfection is in the Details, but Perfection isn't a Detail (Leonardo da Vinci)

  23. #72
    Sometimes i use the Ireal app on the phone, but most of the time if a want a backing track i just use a looper pedal. Just play a bass line or basic joe pass style and i have the track in seconds..

  24. #73

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    appreciate the comment ALSO RAN....i just checked my real tracks .....Mike le DONNE is on organ..Miles Black on piano both top notch players...i was trying to get those early organ combo sounds ... pat martino joey franscesco...think i did make the wrong comment....maybe a midi track slipped in lol

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by voxss View Post
    appreciate the comment ALSO RAN....i just checked my real tracks .....Mike le DONNE is on organ..Miles Black on piano both top notch players...i was trying to get those early organ combo sounds ... pat martino joey franscesco...think i did make the wrong comment....maybe a midi track slipped in lol
    As a sidenote, I was trying to create a Sax solo ( I have the Sax solo on a couple of choruses while I practice my comping) on my original song and was fooled at first by the midi Sax. It sounded pretty good to my old damaged ears, almost like the realband.

    Midi has improved from the early days, IMHO.

    Good luck and enjoy your BIAB.

  26. #75

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    Also worth playing around with pan, tone and reverb settings in BIAB, this can make a surprising difference to the sound of the backing track. E.g. I was trying for a sort of ‘Wes and Mel Rhyne’ organ backing, it didn’t nail it until I boosted the treble and put the reverb way up on the organ, then it sounded much more like those Riverside organ trio recordings. Adding more reverb to the drums can sound good too.
    thanks Graham will try that

  27. #76

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    tried that on the 2 takes of Au Privave riverside recordings..wes in a box...worked a treat...ty

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    A handy feature is that you can export the track to WAV and simultaneously split the instruments into separate WAV files. Then drop them into your DAW or recording software as individual tracks. So you can re-mix the drums, bass, piano etc ‘after the fact’. Or remove the piano altogether in the final mix if you want.

    Also worth playing around with pan, tone and reverb settings in BIAB, this can make a surprising difference to the sound of the backing track. E.g. I was trying for a sort of ‘Wes and Mel Rhyne’ organ backing, it didn’t nail it until I boosted the treble and put the reverb way up on the organ, then it sounded much more like those Riverside organ trio recordings. Adding more reverb to the drums can sound good too.
    This was eye-catching in that I have been getting into recording a little more, and I am just beginning to realize the difference panning and treble/bass levels make in the sound of a recording. I will be down around a month from surgery and I hope to have a good enough attitude to "play" around with this program and maximize the sound.

    In fact, I bought a new laptop just for this so discovering your post was timely for me. But, the last time I had this surgery, it was a complete downer and I had no motivation or desire to do "guitar" things. Hopefully, this time I will be mentally ready and will not go through the depression that recovery visited upon me the first time. Thanks from me also for this tip!

  29. #78

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    I’m old and used BIB years ago on a Mac. I agree about the UI being clunky, but you can get used to it. I have Logic and often download midi files of various standards. Some are good, few are great and most are pretty cheesy. I will often edit some to taste, but my goal is to practice. You could do the same with GarageBand or any DAW on Mac or PC. If anyone can point to quality jazz midi files, free or even a couple bucks that would be great. It’s a mess out there!

  30. #79

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    There's a folder in your BIAB directory marked "BIAB Songs" - open and you'll see tunes listed alphabetically, 'a', 'b', etc. Some good tunes in there that you can,at least, use as a starting point. I also import midi files as a starting point to build usable tracks.

  31. #80

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    As a Jazz noob BIAB seems like a bit more hassle than its worth. It's very expense (I think) and the interface looks awful and counter intuitve based on the videos I've seen. Even loading songs seems to be a hassle.

    IReal Pro is my jam for now.

    Also, YouTube has a surprising quantity of good sounding backing tracks.

    I know pros and old-timers scoff at play-alongs in general. But they are a god-send to new players living in areas where it is not possible to play with others. Just my two cents.

  32. #81

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    Been using BIAB for years, much more intensively in years past than now but it's still an excellent tool for practice. There are so many ways to vary a tune you want to learn and the instruments are sounding very good these days.

    Playalongs are also a good idea but more limiting in that every time you start a track up you get the same thing every time. BIAB is extremely flexible as has been pointed out above.

    And, for those who scoff at the idea of using this tool, this is simply the digital extension of playing along to an LP which is how many/most/all [?] of the greats learned tunes.

  33. #82

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    I just purchased BIAB (Pro version, which is the basic version but still has enough goodies for me) through this site. It is a few dollars cheaper than directly from pgmusic.com. You get a serial number and then go over to pgmusic.com to download BIAB using the serial number you got from here. I hope that by doing that, the purchase helps support this site (?).

    Anyway, I also want to recommend Norton Music, Band-in-a-Box improvement products (tools and toys) and much more for their BIAB fakebook disks, now including the Real Book (Hal Leonard version) and they also have disks for all the Frank Mantooth fakebooks, as well as for the Sher books.

    Tony

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandChannel View Post
    I see some complaints earlier in this thread (2014) that BIAB has a difficult user interface. Has it improved over the years? I'm not the most savvy when it comes to that kind of stuff.
    I don't know what the interface used to be like, but IMO, BIAB 2019 is not too easy and is a huge time waster trying to do anything personally I would rather play my guitar than fiddle around with some damn software. I have applied for a refund.

  35. #84

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    When I write arrangements for solo fingerstyle guitar, I prefer to do it with paper and pencil because it is so much faster for me than computer software. I don't need software to transpose to a suitable key, because it is really easy to do as I arrange. If I want to distribute it to friends, I might use Tabledit for that (or just scan copies of my hand written arrangement), but it is after the fact and just mindlessly typing it in the way I suppose one would learn a TAB arrangement from somebody else. I think best when arranging with just my guitar, paper, and pencil.

    For me BIAB is a good learning tool and worth the time to learn to get around in it. For others, it may be the opposite, just as some people might cringe at the idea of using paper and pencil for arranging.

    I purchased the Norton download "disks" for the various fakebooks, which certainly saves time having to input the changes for any of the tunes covered, and there are hundreds on those disks. When I consider how much I get paid per hour working, and how long it would take to type in a whole fakebook of tunes, these disks are a bargain. That leaves me to focus on selecting what real track(s) I want to use and of those, which parts I want to see or focus on.

    My most used learning tool, though, is Transcribe!.

    Tony

  36. #85

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    Biab is a funny thing. On the one hand it can be really sophisticated, or easy to use, on the other hand simplistic or hard to use.

    my current setup is biab connected to Kontakt (sometimes sampletank) by way of loopbe (midi out in Biab, midi in @ kontakt). Guitar mostly just acoustic and listening to Biab on the speakers.

    so, a big 1+ for me.

  37. #86

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    My potential answer was not presented in the poll: I use Aebersold and Hal Leonard backing tracks. Maybe I am oversensitive the machine touch on the music, so I run out the room if I hear BIAB. To explain that a bit more: I can not listen midi music also, even they recorded by real musicians...