Have you ever used Band in a Box?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I love the concept of this program, I think it is quite remarkable. but damn, I didn't know software could be so shoddy in reality. I have only used the demo, which isn't very limited, at least not enough to stop you from using the main features.



my gripes:

~The UI is quite possibly the single worst interface I have ever seen.

~It only runs in classic, apparently the newest version finally includes OS X support, but not very good support and PG music(makers) suggest you run in classic

~the interface! again grrr, it confuses the hell out of me, I don't know what they were thinking when they made this

~it's not all that fast





The sad thing is, no one else has attempted to make software like this before, or, no one has released software like this before, and so it's either BiaB or nothing.



Well, there is another alternative, that would be one of those BOSS rhythm machines, which you can program to play changes, but I really wish BiaB was usable, because it's cheaper, and computer based(big plus)



Also, it seems like PG music doesn't really care about the macintosh version that much, it lingers behind the PC version all the time, and OS X support just isn't there.



I think that PG deserves a lot of credit for realizing this application, but they seriously gotta overhaul it, I would buy it in a second even if it was double the price, if it only it was usable!



/rant

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Yeah, I've used it and you are right, the concept far outweighs the reality. I even got suckered into a couple of updates because again, the new version promised to be easier to use.



    I like the implementation of GarageBand and Soundtrack much more. Those are both on their first versions and BIAB is on its ninth or tenth.



    BIAB takes you back about 10 years as far as interface goes and each new version fo the program is all about a new feature (solos, etc) and yet the interface is still horrible.



    You want mine?
  • Reply 2 of 14
    mattjohndrowmattjohndrow Posts: 1,618member
    iwould like it, btw, welcome to AI
  • Reply 3 of 14
    mattjohndrowmattjohndrow Posts: 1,618member
    i like how you can import a midi, and change the style of it to another one-like, i could make a swing song into a, like, techno song really easy
  • Reply 4 of 14
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    no, it's not really easy, that's the whole point of my rant!



    okay, well actually, just changing styles is easy enough, that's a pulldown menu, I don't remember if they have a techno style though, as it's more geared towards jazz musicians working on their chops. at least, that's what it's best use is if you ask me.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    BIAB is the best music program I have ever used. I own the windows version. Like so many other programs, the Mac is shafted. Don't even waist your time on the Mac version. It is years behind the PC version. It is almost worth going out and buying a cheap PC to run it on if you don't already have one. Don't judge the program by the Mac version. Speech recognition, games, and MS word, (no matter what their marketing department says) is way ahead on the PC. BIAB is one of the reasons I keep a five year old PC around.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,063member
    Thanks for the info MacVoyer. I've had an affinity for BIAB, but always assumed the PC version was similar - in other words, I thought the Mac version was based on a bad port, hence the confusing interface.



    Just might have to bite the bullet and do Windows
  • Reply 7 of 14
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer

    BIAB is the best music program I have ever used. I own the windows version. Like so many other programs, the Mac is shafted. Don't even waist your time on the Mac version. It is years behind the PC version. It is almost worth going out and buying a cheap PC to run it on if you don't already have one. Don't judge the program by the Mac version. Speech recognition, games, and MS word, (no matter what their marketing department says) is way ahead on the PC. BIAB is one of the reasons I keep a five year old PC around.



    I assumed this might be the case.







    too bad though, I mean, we have a perfectly capable PC right here, but, I really want this program at school.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    AAAAAUGH!!!! My EYES!!!!!!!!! Is this what you mean by "Way ahead of the Mac version?" what, does the Mac version actually poke you with sharp sticks, too?



  • Reply 9 of 14
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    The sad thing is that the mac version is worse
  • Reply 10 of 14
    mattjohndrowmattjohndrow Posts: 1,618member
    i used it on the pc first, then i used it on the mac and i couldn't figure out how to do anything in it practically.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    AAAAAUGH!!!! My EYES!!!!!!!!! Is this what you mean by "Way ahead of the Mac version?" what, does the Mac version actually poke you with sharp sticks, too?







    You don't use it with that much crud going on at the same time. It is very easy to just plug in your chords and select your style. It you open every available window and option at the same time just to prove a point, you can make OS X look ugly but it would be a shame. I am a musician and I really like the functionality of that program. Too bad there is nothing equivalent on the Mac. For that matter, there is nothing equivalent on the PC side as far as I know.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    BiaB is one of the worst pieces of software ever written and a great program at the same time. Peter Gannon, who came up with the music generation AI is obviously very, very sharp, but he's also blind and has no idea what a good UI is.



    BiaB has so many dialogs, menus, buttons, hidden text fields that it's a wonder anyone has ever figured out how to use it. I don't know if the Windows version has always had those menus, but BiaB 8 has Menus like "M", "S", "Sty". When exploring it for the first time on my old Mac I chose a menu and got a couple hundred choices, which OS8 didn't like at all. Basically it's a complete mess.



    The internals don't seem to be any better. I was raising a fuss on their boards about the lack of an OSX version and their excuse was that they used Delphi on Windows, and Think Pascal on the Mac to code it. Think Pascal is so old and outdated I can't imagine what they're going through to port it.



    I've seen behind the scenes of some real nice cross platform music software. If you know what you're doing, and you're careful and organized, it can be quite easy to maintain and update a program for Windows and Mac simultaneously. I have to say that PGMusic does not know what they're doing.



    Personally, my dream is to write a BiaB killer. I can make an interface that would blow BiaB away now (who couldn't? a blind 5 year old?), but I couldn't do the AI. So I'm going back to school right now to get a Math degree and I'll also be studying AI and machine learning. It might take me five or ten years, but I'm sure BiaB will still suck come then.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    wrong robotwrong robot Posts: 3,907member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by spankalee

    BPersonally, my dream is to write a BiaB killer. I can make an interface that would blow BiaB away now (who couldn't? a blind 5 year old?), but I couldn't do the AI. So I'm going back to school right now to get a Math degree and I'll also be studying AI and machine learning. It might take me five or ten years, but I'm sure BiaB will still suck come then.



    I want to see a BiaB killer very much, I'm surprised there aren't other programs that at least, fake what BiaB does.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Wrong Robot

    I want to see a BiaB killer very much, I'm surprised there aren't other programs that at least, fake what BiaB does.



    It just goes to show how difficult it is to write a program that can play in practically any style, solo over hard changes, and create melodies.



    It's a shame really, that the program is so good at the hard stuff (playing music), and falls so incredibly short at the easier stuff (the interface).
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