Topics

BIAB2021 -- Bailey's SECOND impressions


David H. Bailey
 

Dear fellow BIABers,

What follows is a much rosier, happier picture of 2021 than my first impressions of a couple of days ago! So don't hold off on buying the upgrade on account of that posting.

First off thank you to all who implied that the problem was with my computer. I do believe you were right!

With my first installation of 2021 I was amazed that the performance on the computer was so much different from when I had first run the program entirely from the hard drive it shipped on. From the external hard drive everything worked wonderfully, but from my internal hard drives it didn't work well at all.

Along the way I did discover that BIAB2020 works just fine with the new RealTracks, Drums and RealStyles.

What I did yesterday and this morning:
1) made sure all programs were shut down.
2) did ctrl-shift-esc to bring up TaskManager to see what was going on -- The CPU usage never got above 19% and the Memory never got above 32%
3) went through the Startup listing and disabled several things that I don't need to have running every time I reboot my computer.
4) shut the computer down and then rebooted it. I did not do "shutdown and restart" -- I did "Shutdown" and then waited a few minutes and then started it up again.
5) retested BIAB2021 from the external drive -- worked like a charm just as it had done previously.
6) did a total fresh install of BIAB2021 into its own folder, not on top of my 2020 isntallation, so now it's in BB2021 (and RealBand is in RealBand2021).
7) interestingly, because I don't have the audiophile version this installation of BIAB2021 took less time than the first installation but it still took just over 2.5 hours to install everything onto my hard drive. I even had it install the RealTracks and Drums folders under my BIAB2021 on the spinning-disk hard drive instead of installing them onto my C: SSD drive. I have tested BIAB2021 pointing the program to the RealTracks and Drums folders under E:\bb2021\ and also have tested it pointing the program to C:\bb\RealTracks and C:\bb\Drums and it works perfectly well with either location. I don't notice any significant speed improvement using them from my SSD C:\ drive so I'll keep the program reading the data from E:\bb2021\ and open up more space on my C:\ drive.
8) I ran the update so I've got the most current version of BAIB2021
9) I did a "fast" styles rebuild in the style picker. It was very fast, just over 30 seconds (as the program had suggested it would be). Everything worked great, compiling the songs, even for realstyles which included a soloist the time was very comparable to BIAB2020 and possibly even a tiny big faster!
10) I copied ALL my styles over from my BIAB2020 installation, telling Windows to skip the files that had the same name as already in the BIAB2021/Styles folder.
11) I then did a "slow" styles rebuild so that all my 3rd-party styles would be included. This went MUCH MUCH faster than yesterday, taking only about 4 minutes to completely find and list just over 9000 styles.
12) I have tested a number of songs, both with MIDI styles and with Real styles and I have to say that my "first impressions" of sluggishness and problematic operation of BIAB2021 were inaccurate.

So, now to get to my REAL first impressions of BIAB2021.

The new styles sound great! The new RealTracks and Drums that go with these new styles sound great.

The initial view I was presented with was a very minimal menu and tool bar and a huge amount of screen real-estate for chord entry. Over in the left hand edge beneath the word "Master" there is a box which lists various formats: WAV M4A WMA WMAL MP3 and MID. I'm not sure why that's there because clicking inside that box does absolutely nothing.

However, just beneath that box with those formats ia a tiny strip which has a box with highlights on each corner, a box without highlights and the word "DAW." The box with the highlights on each corner is the active one at first. Clicking on the box without the highlights brings the view I'm most comfortable working with, where the toolbars are clearly visible, the song title, settings, etc. are right there, but the space for entering chords is smaller. Click on the word "DAW" turns BIAB into a floating window.

That is all the same as it has been for the past few versions of BIAB.

In 2021 if you have the Mixer showing and change from the setup which has all the toolbars and icons showing to the minimal view, the mixer will take up the right side of the screen so it's still showing. This makes it easier to have a larger area to view more measures in for chord entry and song building and still have the mixer open for more precise adjustments to balance, etc. at the same time.

In 2020 and earlier hitting ctrl-shift-m would convert the mixer from being a fixed part of the screen to being a floating window. This could also be accomplished by clicking on the tiny icon of the two windows at the top right of the mixer portion of the screen. Once it becomes floating that tiny icon becomes an image of a single screen and clicking on it attaches the mixer back to where it was in the top right of the screen.

In 2021 hitting ctrl-shift-m hides or shows the mixer window but doesn't change it to a floating panel. The tiny icon in the upper right of the Mixwer panel still works the same way, though. If you turn the Mixer panel into a floating window and then change the screen to full-view/minimal-toolbars the Mixer will still float.

Except for the addition of the possibility of up to 24 tracks in the "improved" mixer I don't see much difference between BIAB2021 and BIAB2020.

As a matter of fact all the menus seem essentially the same as in previous versions of BIAB.

One VERY NICE thing about BIAB2021 is the rendering to audio function.

In the past if we wanted to do a quick render to an mp3 file we had to go through the DXi soft-synth. For a render using the RealTracks/Drums we had to go through a different menu, more steps. Finally in 2021 the "Quick Export Song As" function works using the RealTracks directly and doesn't require the use of the DXi synth. Very quick and efficient!

So my advice is that you should buy the 2021 upgrade if any of the following apply:
1) you always want the most selection of styles and realtracks/drums
2) you always want the newest edition of the styles and realtracks/drums (they do edit some of these from version to version)
3) you want to show PGMusic your support by buying the upgrade -- this will encourage them to keep making new versions and keep working to improve the program.
4) you want to be able to print music with a cut-time time signature, or the other new improvements to the notation aspect of the program. I never use that so I haven't investigated it yet.
5) you want to take advantage of all the "under the hood" improvements which don't get itemized in the "new features" list.

Do not buy the 2021 upgrade if any of the following apply:
1) you're perfectly happy with the version you currently have and don't the latest styles and RealTracks/Drums -- for many people having a few styles they use often is better than a few thousand many of which they will never use
2) you're hoping for major additions or improvements. Having the mixer expandable up to 24 tracks may seem significant, but after the tracks with the basic BIAB instruments and melody and soloist, I'm not sure what all the Utility #1, #2, #3, etc. tracks are useful for. BIAB isn't a DAW.

I have not gone through the extensive list of "50 new features and improvements" but one thing I notice is that one of the things they're listing as a new feature or improvment is the addition of a "Feel Filter" to the StylePicker that can filter by even or swing 8ths or 16ths. That was already there in BIAB2020, so that reduces the number of "new features and improvements." That's a picky little thing, but with all the positive good things BIAB has going for it I don't see that there's a need to pad the list of new things in 2021 with items which were there in 2020.

Someone posted yesterday that they feel the programming of BIAB is close to miraculous -- I've always felt that and second his thoughts. In my day-to-day computer usage BIAB is a program I use almost everyday. Browser, e-mail, WordPerfect and BIAB are constantly in use.

The bottom line is that I'm happy that I bought this upgrade

And very very very happy that the problems I had the past few days were not intrinsic to BIAB2021!

--
*****
David H. Bailey
dhbailey52@comcast.net
http://www.davidbaileymusicstudio.com


brucemcd
 

thank God it came out better, because my USB drive is being delivered today, and all the criticism was making me panic! Thanks, David et al.

Bruce McDermott

On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 10:37:09 AM EST, David H. Bailey <dhbailey52@...> wrote:


Dear fellow BIABers,

What follows is a much rosier, happier picture of 2021 than my first
impressions of a couple of days ago!  So don't hold off on buying the
upgrade on account of that posting.

First off thank you to all who implied that the problem was with my
computer.  I do believe you were right!

With my first installation of 2021 I was amazed that the performance on
the computer was so much different from when I had first run the program
entirely from the hard drive it shipped on.  From the external hard
drive everything worked wonderfully, but from my internal hard drives it
didn't work well at all.

Along the way I did discover that BIAB2020 works just fine with the new
RealTracks, Drums and RealStyles.

What I did yesterday and this morning:
1) made sure all programs were shut down.
2) did ctrl-shift-esc to bring up TaskManager to see what was going on
-- The CPU usage never got above 19% and the Memory never got above 32%
3) went through the Startup listing and disabled several things that I
don't need to have running every time I reboot my computer.
4) shut the computer down and then rebooted it.  I did not do "shutdown
and restart" -- I did "Shutdown" and then waited a few minutes and then
started it up again.
5) retested BIAB2021 from the external drive -- worked like a charm just
as it had done previously.
6) did a total fresh install of BIAB2021 into its own folder, not on top
of my 2020 isntallation, so now it's in BB2021 (and RealBand is in
RealBand2021).
7) interestingly, because I don't have the audiophile version this
installation of BIAB2021 took less time than the first installation but
it still took just over 2.5 hours to install everything onto my hard
drive.  I even had it install the RealTracks and Drums folders under my
BIAB2021 on the spinning-disk hard drive instead of installing them onto
my C: SSD drive.  I have tested BIAB2021 pointing the program to the
RealTracks and Drums folders under E:\bb2021\ and also have tested it
pointing the program to C:\bb\RealTracks and C:\bb\Drums and it works
perfectly well with either location.  I don't notice any significant
speed improvement using them from my SSD C:\ drive so I'll keep the
program reading the data from E:\bb2021\  and open up more space on my
C:\ drive.
8) I ran the update so I've got the most current version of BAIB2021
9) I did a "fast" styles rebuild in the style picker.  It was very fast,
just over 30 seconds (as the program had suggested it would be).
Everything worked great, compiling the songs, even for realstyles which
included a soloist the time was very comparable to BIAB2020 and possibly
even a tiny big faster!
10) I copied ALL my styles over from my BIAB2020 installation, telling
Windows to skip the files that had the same name as already in the
BIAB2021/Styles folder.
11) I then did a "slow" styles rebuild so that all my 3rd-party styles
would be included.  This went MUCH MUCH faster than yesterday, taking
only about 4 minutes to completely find and list just over 9000 styles.
12) I have tested a number of songs, both with MIDI styles and with Real
styles and I have to say that my "first impressions" of sluggishness and
problematic operation of BIAB2021 were inaccurate.

So, now to get to my REAL first impressions of BIAB2021.

The new styles sound great!  The new RealTracks and Drums that go with
these new styles sound great.

The initial view I was presented with was a very minimal menu and tool
bar and a huge amount of screen real-estate for chord entry.  Over in
the left hand edge beneath the word "Master" there is a box which lists
various formats: WAV M4A WMA WMAL MP3 and MID.  I'm not sure why that's
there because clicking inside that box does absolutely nothing.

However, just beneath that box with those formats ia a tiny strip which
has a box with highlights on each corner, a box without highlights and
the word "DAW."  The box with the highlights on each corner is the
active one at first.  Clicking on the box without the highlights brings
the view I'm most comfortable working with, where the toolbars are
clearly visible, the song title, settings, etc. are right there, but the
space for entering chords is smaller.  Click on the word "DAW" turns
BIAB into a floating window.

That is all the same as it has been for the past few versions of BIAB.

In 2021 if you have the Mixer showing and change from the setup which
has all the toolbars and icons showing to the minimal view, the mixer
will take up the right side of the screen so it's still showing.  This
makes it easier to have a larger area to view more measures in for chord
entry and song building and still have the mixer open for more precise
adjustments to balance, etc. at the same time.

In 2020 and earlier hitting ctrl-shift-m would convert the mixer from
being a fixed part of the screen to being a floating window.  This could
also be accomplished by clicking on the tiny icon of the two windows at
the top right of the mixer portion of the screen.  Once it becomes
floating that tiny icon becomes an image of a single screen and clicking
on it attaches the mixer back to where it was in the top right of the
screen.

In 2021 hitting ctrl-shift-m hides or shows the mixer window but doesn't
change it to a floating panel.  The tiny icon in the upper right of the
Mixwer panel still works the same way, though.  If you turn the Mixer
panel into a floating window and then change the screen to
full-view/minimal-toolbars the Mixer will still float.

Except for the addition of the possibility of up to 24 tracks in the
"improved" mixer I don't see much difference between BIAB2021 and BIAB2020.

As a matter of fact all the menus seem essentially the same as in
previous versions of BIAB.

One VERY NICE thing about BIAB2021 is the rendering to audio function.

In the past if we wanted to do a quick render to an mp3 file we had to
go through the DXi soft-synth.  For a render using the RealTracks/Drums
we had to go through a different menu, more steps.  Finally in 2021 the
"Quick Export Song As" function works using the RealTracks directly and
doesn't require the use of the DXi synth.  Very quick and efficient!

So my advice is that you should buy the 2021 upgrade if any of the
following apply:
1) you always want the most selection of styles and realtracks/drums
2) you always want the newest edition of the styles and realtracks/drums
(they do edit some of these from version to version)
3) you want to show PGMusic your support by buying the upgrade -- this
will encourage them to keep making new versions and keep working to
improve the program.
4) you want to be able to print music with a cut-time time signature, or
the other new improvements to the notation aspect of the program.  I
never use that so I haven't investigated it yet.
5) you want to take advantage of all the "under the hood" improvements
which don't get itemized in the "new features" list.

Do not buy the 2021 upgrade if any of the following apply:
1) you're perfectly happy with the version you currently have and don't
the latest styles and RealTracks/Drums -- for many people having a few
styles they use often is better than a few thousand many of which they
will never use
2) you're hoping for major additions or improvements.  Having the mixer
expandable up to 24 tracks may seem significant, but after the tracks
with the basic BIAB instruments and melody and soloist, I'm not sure
what all the Utility #1, #2, #3, etc. tracks are useful for.  BIAB isn't
a DAW.

I have not gone through the extensive list of "50 new features and
improvements" but one thing I notice is that one of the things they're
listing as a new feature or improvment is the addition of a "Feel
Filter" to the StylePicker that can filter by even or swing 8ths or
16ths.  That was already there in BIAB2020, so that reduces the number
of "new features and improvements."  That's a picky little thing, but
with all the positive good things BIAB has going for it I don't see that
there's a need to pad the list of new things in 2021 with items which
were there in 2020.

Someone posted yesterday that they feel the programming of BIAB is close
to miraculous -- I've always felt that and second his thoughts.  In my
day-to-day computer usage BIAB is a program I use almost everyday.
Browser, e-mail, WordPerfect and BIAB are constantly in use.

The bottom line is that I'm happy that I bought this upgrade

And very very very happy that the problems I had the past few days were
not intrinsic to BIAB2021!

--
*****
David H. Bailey






Hayward Martin
 

Thanks David!  

 

Great to see you’re installation is doing much better, and I agree that BIAB is quite a miraculous program.  

I have the 2021 version updated onto an OLD core i3 computer and it runs just fine speed wise.  

 

I’m still holding off installing or using 2021 on my main working computer do to a problem I keep having with the mixer.   It doesn’t always seen to save level changes that I make with the fader for some reason.   One case I’ve notices is if the track is initially muted and then brought “Back to Normal” in the bar settings.    Still investigating this.

 

I tried downloading and installing some of the new real track sets from my account on the wen and installing them on my 2020 computer and that went fine, after running the slow rebuild, in “styles”’

 

Will continue playing with 2021, but using 2020 for now.

 

Thanks again David, for all of your efforts!

 

Hayward

 

From: David H. Bailey
Sent: Wednesday, December 9, 2020 10:37 AM
To: main@Band-In-A-Box.groups.io
Subject: [Band-In-A-Box] BIAB2021 -- Bailey's SECOND impressions

 

Dear fellow BIABers,

What follows is a much rosier, happier picture of 2021 than my first
impressions of a couple of days ago!  So don't hold off on buying the
upgrade on account of that posting.

First off thank you to all who implied that the problem was with my
computer.  I do believe you were right!

With my first installation of 2021 I was amazed that the performance on
the computer was so much different from when I had first run the program
entirely from the hard drive it shipped on.  From the external hard
drive everything worked wonderfully, but from my internal hard drives it
didn't work well at all.

Along the way I did discover that BIAB2020 works just fine with the new
RealTracks, Drums and RealStyles.

What I did yesterday and this morning:
1) made sure all programs were shut down.
2) did ctrl-shift-esc to bring up TaskManager to see what was going on
-- The CPU usage never got above 19% and the Memory never got above 32%
3) went through the Startup listing and disabled several things that I
don't need to have running every time I reboot my computer.
4) shut the computer down and then rebooted it.  I did not do "shutdown
and restart" -- I did "Shutdown" and then waited a few minutes and then
started it up again.
5) retested BIAB2021 from the external drive -- worked like a charm just
as it had done previously.
6) did a total fresh install of BIAB2021 into its own folder, not on top
of my 2020 isntallation, so now it's in BB2021 (and RealBand is in
RealBand2021).
7) interestingly, because I don't have the audiophile version this
installation of BIAB2021 took less time than the first installation but
it still took just over 2.5 hours to install everything onto my hard
drive.  I even had it install the RealTracks and Drums folders under my
BIAB2021 on the spinning-disk hard drive instead of installing them onto
my C: SSD drive.  I have tested BIAB2021 pointing the program to the
RealTracks and Drums folders under E:\bb2021\ and also have tested it
pointing the program to C:\bb\RealTracks and C:\bb\Drums and it works
perfectly well with either location.  I don't notice any significant
speed improvement using them from my SSD C:\ drive so I'll keep the
program reading the data from E:\bb2021\  and open up more space on my
C:\ drive.
8) I ran the update so I've got the most current version of BAIB2021
9) I did a "fast" styles rebuild in the style picker.  It was very fast,
just over 30 seconds (as the program had suggested it would be).
Everything worked great, compiling the songs, even for realstyles which
included a soloist the time was very comparable to BIAB2020 and possibly
even a tiny big faster!
10) I copied ALL my styles over from my BIAB2020 installation, telling
Windows to skip the files that had the same name as already in the
BIAB2021/Styles folder.
11) I then did a "slow" styles rebuild so that all my 3rd-party styles
would be included.  This went MUCH MUCH faster than yesterday, taking
only about 4 minutes to completely find and list just over 9000 styles.
12) I have tested a number of songs, both with MIDI styles and with Real
styles and I have to say that my "first impressions" of sluggishness and
problematic operation of BIAB2021 were inaccurate.

So, now to get to my REAL first impressions of BIAB2021.

The new styles sound great!  The new RealTracks and Drums that go with
these new styles sound great.

The initial view I was presented with was a very minimal menu and tool
bar and a huge amount of screen real-estate for chord entry.  Over in
the left hand edge beneath the word "Master" there is a box which lists
various formats: WAV M4A WMA WMAL MP3 and MID.  I'm not sure why that's
there because clicking inside that box does absolutely nothing.

However, just beneath that box with those formats ia a tiny strip which
has a box with highlights on each corner, a box without highlights and
the word "DAW."  The box with the highlights on each corner is the
active one at first.  Clicking on the box without the highlights brings
the view I'm most comfortable working with, where the toolbars are
clearly visible, the song title, settings, etc. are right there, but the
space for entering chords is smaller.  Click on the word "DAW" turns
BIAB into a floating window.

That is all the same as it has been for the past few versions of BIAB.

In 2021 if you have the Mixer showing and change from the setup which
has all the toolbars and icons showing to the minimal view, the mixer
will take up the right side of the screen so it's still showing.  This
makes it easier to have a larger area to view more measures in for chord
entry and song building and still have the mixer open for more precise
adjustments to balance, etc. at the same time.

In 2020 and earlier hitting ctrl-shift-m would convert the mixer from
being a fixed part of the screen to being a floating window.  This could
also be accomplished by clicking on the tiny icon of the two windows at
the top right of the mixer portion of the screen.  Once it becomes
floating that tiny icon becomes an image of a single screen and clicking
on it attaches the mixer back to where it was in the top right of the
screen.

In 2021 hitting ctrl-shift-m hides or shows the mixer window but doesn't
change it to a floating panel.  The tiny icon in the upper right of the
Mixwer panel still works the same way, though.  If you turn the Mixer
panel into a floating window and then change the screen to
full-view/minimal-toolbars the Mixer will still float.

Except for the addition of the possibility of up to 24 tracks in the
"improved" mixer I don't see much difference between BIAB2021 and BIAB2020.

As a matter of fact all the menus seem essentially the same as in
previous versions of BIAB.

One VERY NICE thing about BIAB2021 is the rendering to audio function.

In the past if we wanted to do a quick render to an mp3 file we had to
go through the DXi soft-synth.  For a render using the RealTracks/Drums
we had to go through a different menu, more steps.  Finally in 2021 the
"Quick Export Song As" function works using the RealTracks directly and
doesn't require the use of the DXi synth.  Very quick and efficient!

So my advice is that you should buy the 2021 upgrade if any of the
following apply:
1) you always want the most selection of styles and realtracks/drums
2) you always want the newest edition of the styles and realtracks/drums
(they do edit some of these from version to version)
3) you want to show PGMusic your support by buying the upgrade -- this
will encourage them to keep making new versions and keep working to
improve the program.
4) you want to be able to print music with a cut-time time signature, or
the other new improvements to the notation aspect of the program.  I
never use that so I haven't investigated it yet.
5) you want to take advantage of all the "under the hood" improvements
which don't get itemized in the "new features" list.

Do not buy the 2021 upgrade if any of the following apply:
1) you're perfectly happy with the version you currently have and don't
the latest styles and RealTracks/Drums -- for many people having a few
styles they use often is better than a few thousand many of which they
will never use
2) you're hoping for major additions or improvements.  Having the mixer
expandable up to 24 tracks may seem significant, but after the tracks
with the basic BIAB instruments and melody and soloist, I'm not sure
what all the Utility #1, #2, #3, etc. tracks are useful for.  BIAB isn't
a DAW.

I have not gone through the extensive list of "50 new features and
improvements" but one thing I notice is that one of the things they're
listing as a new feature or improvment is the addition of a "Feel
Filter" to the StylePicker that can filter by even or swing 8ths or
16ths.  That was already there in BIAB2020, so that reduces the number
of "new features and improvements."  That's a picky little thing, but
with all the positive good things BIAB has going for it I don't see that
there's a need to pad the list of new things in 2021 with items which
were there in 2020.

Someone posted yesterday that they feel the programming of BIAB is close
to miraculous -- I've always felt that and second his thoughts.  In my
day-to-day computer usage BIAB is a program I use almost everyday.
Browser, e-mail, WordPerfect and BIAB are constantly in use.

The bottom line is that I'm happy that I bought this upgrade

And very very very happy that the problems I had the past few days were
not intrinsic to BIAB2021!

--
*****
David H. Bailey
dhbailey52@...
http://www.davidbaileymusicstudio.com




 


David H. Bailey
 

On 12/9/2020 10:47 AM, brucemcd wrote:
thank God it came out better, because my USB drive is being delivered today, and all the criticism was making me panic! Thanks, David et al.
[snip]

you and me both! I didn't want to think that PGMusic had screwed up that badly.

One word of advice -- just to be on the safe side, shut down all the other programs you might have running if you go to install it on your computer's internal hard drive.

Running BIAB2021 from the USB drive was never a problem -- but be sure to install the update (build 804) right after you install the program.

--
*****
David H. Bailey
dhbailey52@comcast.net
http://www.davidbaileymusicstudio.com


Bill Keilt
 

David,et. al...... thanks for the detailed update, and I'm glad you've overcome initial issues. Great to hear BIAB 2021 is in good shape. I'm just waiting to pull the trigger, but I'm sure I will before the deadline.........
Bill in Colorado.....

Bill Keilt
303-358-4907 cell
New Contemporary Guitar Jazz CD: Reflections Of Life
2019 Ambient Guitar CD: The Mass Extinctions


On Wed, Dec 9, 2020 at 8:37 AM David H. Bailey <dhbailey52@...> wrote:
Dear fellow BIABers,

What follows is a much rosier, happier picture of 2021 than my first
impressions of a couple of days ago!  So don't hold off on buying the
upgrade on account of that posting.

First off thank you to all who implied that the problem was with my
computer.  I do believe you were right!

With my first installation of 2021 I was amazed that the performance on
the computer was so much different from when I had first run the program
entirely from the hard drive it shipped on.  From the external hard
drive everything worked wonderfully, but from my internal hard drives it
didn't work well at all.

Along the way I did discover that BIAB2020 works just fine with the new
RealTracks, Drums and RealStyles.

What I did yesterday and this morning:
1) made sure all programs were shut down.
2) did ctrl-shift-esc to bring up TaskManager to see what was going on
-- The CPU usage never got above 19% and the Memory never got above 32%
3) went through the Startup listing and disabled several things that I
don't need to have running every time I reboot my computer.
4) shut the computer down and then rebooted it.  I did not do "shutdown
and restart" -- I did "Shutdown" and then waited a few minutes and then
started it up again.
5) retested BIAB2021 from the external drive -- worked like a charm just
as it had done previously.
6) did a total fresh install of BIAB2021 into its own folder, not on top
of my 2020 isntallation, so now it's in BB2021 (and RealBand is in
RealBand2021).
7) interestingly, because I don't have the audiophile version this
installation of BIAB2021 took less time than the first installation but
it still took just over 2.5 hours to install everything onto my hard
drive.  I even had it install the RealTracks and Drums folders under my
BIAB2021 on the spinning-disk hard drive instead of installing them onto
my C: SSD drive.  I have tested BIAB2021 pointing the program to the
RealTracks and Drums folders under E:\bb2021\ and also have tested it
pointing the program to C:\bb\RealTracks and C:\bb\Drums and it works
perfectly well with either location.  I don't notice any significant
speed improvement using them from my SSD C:\ drive so I'll keep the
program reading the data from E:\bb2021\  and open up more space on my
C:\ drive.
8) I ran the update so I've got the most current version of BAIB2021
9) I did a "fast" styles rebuild in the style picker.  It was very fast,
just over 30 seconds (as the program had suggested it would be).
Everything worked great, compiling the songs, even for realstyles which
included a soloist the time was very comparable to BIAB2020 and possibly
even a tiny big faster!
10) I copied ALL my styles over from my BIAB2020 installation, telling
Windows to skip the files that had the same name as already in the
BIAB2021/Styles folder.
11) I then did a "slow" styles rebuild so that all my 3rd-party styles
would be included.  This went MUCH MUCH faster than yesterday, taking
only about 4 minutes to completely find and list just over 9000 styles.
12) I have tested a number of songs, both with MIDI styles and with Real
styles and I have to say that my "first impressions" of sluggishness and
problematic operation of BIAB2021 were inaccurate.

So, now to get to my REAL first impressions of BIAB2021.

The new styles sound great!  The new RealTracks and Drums that go with
these new styles sound great.

The initial view I was presented with was a very minimal menu and tool
bar and a huge amount of screen real-estate for chord entry.  Over in
the left hand edge beneath the word "Master" there is a box which lists
various formats: WAV M4A WMA WMAL MP3 and MID.  I'm not sure why that's
there because clicking inside that box does absolutely nothing.

However, just beneath that box with those formats ia a tiny strip which
has a box with highlights on each corner, a box without highlights and
the word "DAW."  The box with the highlights on each corner is the
active one at first.  Clicking on the box without the highlights brings
the view I'm most comfortable working with, where the toolbars are
clearly visible, the song title, settings, etc. are right there, but the
space for entering chords is smaller.  Click on the word "DAW" turns
BIAB into a floating window.

That is all the same as it has been for the past few versions of BIAB.

In 2021 if you have the Mixer showing and change from the setup which
has all the toolbars and icons showing to the minimal view, the mixer
will take up the right side of the screen so it's still showing.  This
makes it easier to have a larger area to view more measures in for chord
entry and song building and still have the mixer open for more precise
adjustments to balance, etc. at the same time.

In 2020 and earlier hitting ctrl-shift-m would convert the mixer from
being a fixed part of the screen to being a floating window.  This could
also be accomplished by clicking on the tiny icon of the two windows at
the top right of the mixer portion of the screen.  Once it becomes
floating that tiny icon becomes an image of a single screen and clicking
on it attaches the mixer back to where it was in the top right of the
screen.

In 2021 hitting ctrl-shift-m hides or shows the mixer window but doesn't
change it to a floating panel.  The tiny icon in the upper right of the
Mixwer panel still works the same way, though.  If you turn the Mixer
panel into a floating window and then change the screen to
full-view/minimal-toolbars the Mixer will still float.

Except for the addition of the possibility of up to 24 tracks in the
"improved" mixer I don't see much difference between BIAB2021 and BIAB2020.

As a matter of fact all the menus seem essentially the same as in
previous versions of BIAB.

One VERY NICE thing about BIAB2021 is the rendering to audio function.

In the past if we wanted to do a quick render to an mp3 file we had to
go through the DXi soft-synth.  For a render using the RealTracks/Drums
we had to go through a different menu, more steps.  Finally in 2021 the
"Quick Export Song As" function works using the RealTracks directly and
doesn't require the use of the DXi synth.  Very quick and efficient!

So my advice is that you should buy the 2021 upgrade if any of the
following apply:
1) you always want the most selection of styles and realtracks/drums
2) you always want the newest edition of the styles and realtracks/drums
(they do edit some of these from version to version)
3) you want to show PGMusic your support by buying the upgrade -- this
will encourage them to keep making new versions and keep working to
improve the program.
4) you want to be able to print music with a cut-time time signature, or
the other new improvements to the notation aspect of the program.  I
never use that so I haven't investigated it yet.
5) you want to take advantage of all the "under the hood" improvements
which don't get itemized in the "new features" list.

Do not buy the 2021 upgrade if any of the following apply:
1) you're perfectly happy with the version you currently have and don't
the latest styles and RealTracks/Drums -- for many people having a few
styles they use often is better than a few thousand many of which they
will never use
2) you're hoping for major additions or improvements.  Having the mixer
expandable up to 24 tracks may seem significant, but after the tracks
with the basic BIAB instruments and melody and soloist, I'm not sure
what all the Utility #1, #2, #3, etc. tracks are useful for.  BIAB isn't
a DAW.

I have not gone through the extensive list of "50 new features and
improvements" but one thing I notice is that one of the things they're
listing as a new feature or improvment is the addition of a "Feel
Filter" to the StylePicker that can filter by even or swing 8ths or
16ths.  That was already there in BIAB2020, so that reduces the number
of "new features and improvements."  That's a picky little thing, but
with all the positive good things BIAB has going for it I don't see that
there's a need to pad the list of new things in 2021 with items which
were there in 2020.

Someone posted yesterday that they feel the programming of BIAB is close
to miraculous -- I've always felt that and second his thoughts.  In my
day-to-day computer usage BIAB is a program I use almost everyday.
Browser, e-mail, WordPerfect and BIAB are constantly in use.

The bottom line is that I'm happy that I bought this upgrade

And very very very happy that the problems I had the past few days were
not intrinsic to BIAB2021!

--
*****
David H. Bailey
dhbailey52@...
http://www.davidbaileymusicstudio.com






Alisdair MacRae Birch
 

David

I bit the bullet and upgraded and have the latest update. I am using the MS Windows x64 version and while I did not have any of the issues you initially wrote about, I am unfortunately finding it occasionally completely hangs or freezes. It appears to be when there are multiple BIAB windows open. Unfortunately because it completely freezes and the only way out is to use the taskmanager and kill the BIAB process, there is no BIAB error message or more. I took a look at the Windows Event Log and there are no errors recorded around that time (the terminating of the BIAB process is recorded) and also checked all the BB>Data>Logs eg. BBWERROR.LOG and again nothing recorded. So I'm at a loss as to what is causing it, nor where to point PG Music to solving it. I never had this problem, with BIAB 2020. Is anyone else experiencing BIAB 2021 Freezing?

-A


Alisdair MacRae Birch
 

PG Music has been responding very rapidly to any issues users of BIAB 2021 reported and issuing regular updates.

As of Dec 29, 2020: BIAB 2021 Update 813 is now available. The issues I initially had seem now to be solved.

So if you have an issue with BIAB 2021 install the latest update and see if that fixes it, and if not report it to PG Music.

-A