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jahmagic
KVRist
 
33 posts since 13 Oct, 2009, from Netherlands

Postby jahmagic; Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:14 am Rapid Composer versus Band in a Box

I am curious to hear from any Rapid Composer owners who also own Band in a Box.

I watched Chris's excellent videos on RC and have been taking a look at RC's options. However,the music I hear in Chris's tutorial is something I can create very quickly in BIAB (including Real Tracks & Real Band) and Soundtrek's Jammer Professional 6 which I also own. Is there a link available to songs created with RC?

Both Jammer Pro and BIAB, IMHO, are excellent tools for not only composing songs but generating and modifying them by tweaking the built in styles, chord progressions, key changes, and other options in many ways.

Clearly, RC fills an important need but I am not sure that it is price competitive with BIAB for song composition and arrangement. This opinion is not meant to detract in any way from the user friendly and sophisticated options RC has or its capabilities. I just wonder what extra features it has to offer those who already own BIAB or similar software for generating rapid ideas for their musical compositions.
"I function as a channel through which music emerges from the chaos of noise." Vangelis
themixtape
KVRist
 
204 posts since 13 May, 2004

Postby themixtape; Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:51 am

I have BIAB, and I like it for a lot of reasons, and also hate it for just as many.

"RealTracks" are sweet. Definitely useful. But, since they are all time-stretched and pitch-shifted, you can hear aliasing throughout all RealTracks... they're like "swishy" in places, if you know what I mean. They sound good, but not clear/real enough for actual released recordings. But they are a LOT of fun, for messing around and learning new techniques (such as country styles with acoustic guitars and pedal steel). I like to solo the tracks and learn the stuff by ear, to improve my technique in other genres. Some RealTracks also offer tab, which is really cool, and useful (and technologically impressive... I wonder how they do that with audio).

I think BIAB is extremely useful, but also there's just TOO much stuff in it. It feels extremely bloated, to me.

Pros:
- it's insanely powerful
- RealTracks (absolutely essential)
- make a one-page lead sheet/"fakebook" style chord chart (and print it)
- for shredders/solo people, and bassists (and pianists)... excellent to practice your solos over, or your basslines, underneath acoustic guitars and piano stuff... superb for education in this way
- importing MIDI files, and being able to edit them/the chords to your liking... and even substitute RealTracks on these, if available...
- can host DXi and VST instruments, but it's confusing as crap setting them up at times

Cons:
- too many files/folders/short filenames... impossible to tell what's what, inside the folders
- every chord progression generated by styles or the Melodist uses TOO MANY jazz chords... I wish there was an option to generate ONLY majors, minors, sus chords, and that's it!! I don't need all that jazz crap when I'm working on ideas... I like pop and folk stuff
- the sheet music is often inaccurate on piano tracks and guitar tabs
- Melodist is AWESOME for generating chords/arrangements in certain styles (but again, it's just too damn jazzy often), but the melody function within is garbage, and often useless (and hella cheesy)
- too confusing, figuring out how styles match each other in the Melodist... it's a big Pandora's Box of absolute confusion
- the styles are largely "cheesy"... and useless. It's great for jazz/contemporary pop people/soft music... but it doesn't really give you good, useful "newer" music style options... like indie, indie folk, singer-songwriter pop, etc. It's all old country, old jazz, ragtime, and rock stuff (generic rock stuff).
- can't be used as a VST (it's just too big/involved)
- the interface is primitive/awful-looking. But luckily, it can be customized with fonts you like and certain colors, etc.
- everything always generates an "intro", "part A", "part B" and an "ending"-- you can customize this to NOT be an arrangement like this, but again, it's confusing... most songs in pop/alternative/folk styles do not do the whole Intro/ABABAB/ending form... I just hate how it's so.... I dunno, jazz-based.


As far as RapidComposer goes...I definitely think it fills a need, without a doubt. It's different from Jammer and BIAB.... but considering the price of BIAB with all RealStyles ($400 on a hard drive), it's competitively-priced.

RC can do a LOT of stuff that BIAB cannot... specifically the melody generator (which no one except me and Attila have used/seen). You can input manual rhythms for your melody generators and it can constantly generate new melodies over chords you specify.... I think it's really powerful and fun to use.

RC is great for generating phrases... BIAB doesn't work in this way. I mean, it does... but it's mainly songs and arrangements... and jazz-oriented.

I dunno, they both have their strengths. Do I think RC should be cheaper? Yes, I do. I feel that the lite version should be no more than $59, and the full version no more than $149. Mainly because the program has been largely unstable since its release. But, here's some great news--

Since I am SO active in my communication with him, I've found that every new release he uploads for me (bug fixes etc)... I have found the program to not crash at all since 2.3 Build 5 (we're on Build 10 right now). No crashes AT ALL, in VST mode, or in standalone. And I push the program to its limits, believe me. So that's good news.

Still, it should be a little cheaper. It's not a full-blown DAW, and largely only works with MIDI phrases (it can import audio, but as the manual says, audio implementation is VERY basic... it's just a waveform on a track.... and ideally, if you want to use audio, you need to make sure it is tempo-based or noted... such as a drum loop). That's where the VST has its strength.... but yeah, I think $149 for full is a fair price, and $59 for light is MORE than fair (especially with Melody Generator).

I don't think Attila is aware of the economic state in the USA, or worldwide... no one wants to pay for anything anymore, except $3 apps for their smart devices. So things have changed a great deal over the last few years.

But, Attila has put a ton of work and filled a void and created something truly groundbreaking. It's got a steep learning curve, sure... but so does BIAB.... and Ableton Live (if you don't know what you're doing)... so maybe the price point is fair.

Someone really needs to make a "pro" tutorial series on RC... but I feel that a lot of people don't want to spend the time learning the ins and outs of the program. I'm STILL learning it and I got it a year and a half ago.... and I know I'm no expert with my tutos but I try to describe the functions in the ways I most use the program.

I think Attila should run more sales on the program, half-off, to generate interest and promoting the program... and offer some sort of refund difference if a user buys the program a couple weeks before a sale (if they don't know about the sale), etc...

I dunno.... I guess to summarize... everything's useful. I've never used Jammer Pro but from what I hear, it is more useful than BIAB for rock and pop music.
dsan@mail.com
KVRAF
 
3081 posts since 29 Sep, 2005

Postby dsan@mail.com; Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:55 pm

themixtape wrote:Someone really needs to make a "pro" tutorial series on RC....


:hihi: Someone like themixtape perhaps? Your tuts are great! :tu:

Please give us more!

I'd like you to do one on MMC when you get the chance. :hihi:

And Attila puts it in. :) (Hint Hint)

Happy Musiking!
dsan
themixtape
KVRist
 
204 posts since 13 May, 2004

Postby themixtape; Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:36 pm

MMC? You mean transport control? Yeah, that would be nice, for sure...

I'll let him know... it would be great to have.

Thanks for the compliments about the tutos. Sometimes I get sidetracked/hyper during these things but I always try to get the point across in some way or another... I really appreciate you guys' compliments, though.
jahmagic
KVRist
 
33 posts since 13 Oct, 2009, from Netherlands

Postby jahmagic; Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:05 pm

themixtape wrote:

I think BIAB is extremely useful, but also there's just TOO much stuff in it. It feels extremely bloated, to me.


As far as RapidComposer goes...I definitely think it fills a need, without a doubt. It's different from Jammer and BIAB.... but considering the price of BIAB with all RealStyles ($400 on a hard drive), it's competitively-priced.


I dunno, they both have their strengths. Do I think RC should be cheaper? Yes, I do. I feel that the lite version should be no more than $59, and the full version no more than $149.....



Thanks for your comprehensive reply.

Re the BIAB price you were probably referring to the UltraPlusPAK which is $469.
I'm not sure if you bought that as it is indeed a lot of stuff and would definitely tend to engender that sense you have that there is just too much in the program. BIAB Pro sells for $129 with 300 styles plus other features and purchasers are then free to choose which of the additional 77 styles and/or Realtracks and Realdrums they want (pop & country only for example if that's what they're into) to get later on. So purchasers of Pro might feel much less overwhelmed than you do by the many folders etc you refer to than those who get the UltraPlusPak.

I've been able to get lots of non jazz focused material from some of the 77 available BIAB's styles and some very good jazz and other styles from Jammer Pro. But midi software has its limitations. None of them are going to do jazz like Pat Metheny or Michel Camilo. I often use these programs in 'subversive' ways. What I mean by that is I might take, for example, a rock or techno style that triggers my creative juices and cut the tempo by 50-70% and eliminate the guitars etc and change some of the chords and run the tracks through various VST instruments and effects so that by the time I'm finished tweaking I have a great (to me...LOL) sounding ambient/new age/chill out song that's only taken less than an hour or so to get 70-90% done.

If we come back to BIAB's actual entry price as distinct from its UltraPlusPak price with lots of styles and features that many buyers may not be interested in you make a very good point about Rapid Composer's price. I'm not sure how many software developers are aware of sales and marketing strategies and you do suggest some viable ones for RC particularly since it is up and coming and does not have widespread brand recognition.

Its possible to generate a lot more income from 1000 units sold x $149 or $100 than from 200 units sold x $249. BIAB sales seems to realize this by offering BIAB at $129 all the way up to $569 (Everything Pak...or $669 audiophile Pak). JammerPro is only $59 and the addons are relatively cheap. I've been using it since the early 90s so I have good grasp of what it can do. I know film and commercials composers who have used it to get ideas flowing.

Ultimately, I agree with you that each program is going to have its pros and cons for each customer and I really appreciate your taking the time to state what you think are BIAB's pros and cons and where you think RC is at now in terms of stability etc. You are really unto something re the price as it clearly doesn't seem to be targeting Synfire's niche market.

The additional tutorials sound like a great idea and you seem to be an excellent person for that contribution.
"I function as a channel through which music emerges from the chaos of noise." Vangelis
dsan@mail.com
KVRAF
 
3081 posts since 29 Sep, 2005

Postby dsan@mail.com; Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:11 pm

themixtape wrote:MMC? You mean transport control? Yeah, that would be nice, for sure...

I'll let him know... it would be great to have.

Thanks for the compliments about the tutos. Sometimes I get sidetracked/hyper during these things but I always try to get the point across in some way or another... I really appreciate you guys' compliments, though.


Hey - accolades when deserved you know. :) You are doing us users a great service and we want you to know you are appreciated! :)

Anyway on topic; Well, I think I mean transport control but I could have used the wrong terminology.

What I would like to see implemented is the ability to record from RC to (say) Live, where Live is standing by waiting a signal from RC to start the recording. I thought it is MMC but it could be labeld MTC (midi time code). Now I'm not sure and too tired to look it up :hihi:

Thanks man!

Happy Musiking!
dsan
jerrypettit
KVRer
 
26 posts since 27 Nov, 2004

Postby jerrypettit; Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:18 am

I'm a big BIAB fan.

I've also been watching RapidComposer from the beginning and it LOOKS like it could be a terrific tool--possibly in conjunction with BIAB. The problem was, RC is too complex and until the recent videos were put up, it languished in a dark corner of my hard drive.

I would have paid decent money to have Attila put up a couple hours of raw video of him just noodling around with the program--no editing, no rehearsed commentary, just something along the lines of "Here's what happens when you do this. I put this in here, so a person could do something along the lines of this..." Ugly and unprofessional would have been BEAUTIFUL to me.

Loving the videos so far.
peppy197
KVRian
 
688 posts since 17 Jan, 2004, from Vesta, Earth, Moon, Titan, Enceladus and Gliese 581d

Postby peppy197; Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:26 pm

In the case of Jammer is it so that you can only output to a MIDI device and NOT to an audio ASIO via VST addons as you can in BIAB and RC?
Heinrich Heine wrote: "Nothing is more futile than theorizing about music."
Me write: "I have no talent and regularly prove it in the Music Cafe contests"
dsan@mail.com
KVRAF
 
3081 posts since 29 Sep, 2005

Postby dsan@mail.com; Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:35 am

It has been a while since I have used Jammer Pro but it seems to me it does not have VST support inside. I believe they offered another product that made that possible.

However, via midi you could send the notes to a stand alone VST (same as you can in RC and BIAB) or to another DAW.

A unique feature Jammer has (if memory serves correctly) is the ability to send and receive midi start/stop messages. (BIAB can also do this; unfortunately, at this time RC cannot.) With this ability you can easily record into your DAW what Jammer, or the others, are sending.

HTH

Happy Musiking!
dsan
VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
 
6704 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Postby VariKusBrainZ; Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:18 am

http://www.jasminemusic.com/products.htm

check their stuff out, in particular JMT Orchestrator, its in VST and MFX format. A little old but cheap and still works fine on Win8 32bit.

Its kind of a cutdown version of the standalone Onyx Arranger, which is free!
Onyx some neat features including realtime midifx that can be chained, intelligent harmony generation and style morphing.

You may come across this stuff marketed as Ntonyx who are strangley still charging for Onyx?!
The future is yesterday
dsan@mail.com
KVRAF
 
3081 posts since 29 Sep, 2005

Postby dsan@mail.com; Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:27 am

VariKusBrainZ wrote:http://www.jasminemusic.com/products.htm

check their stuff out, in particular JMT Orchestrator, its in VST and MFX format. A little old but cheap and still works fine on Win8 32bit.

Its kind of a cutdown version of the standalone Onyx Arranger, which is free!
Onyx some neat features including realtime midifx that can be chained, intelligent harmony generation and style morphing.

You may come across this stuff marketed as Ntonyx who are strangley still charging for Onyx?!


This is a program that got very mixed reviews. I loved it and miss working in it. One of these days I'm going to have to load it on my DAW computer again.

I think those that did not like it just didn't understand how to use it. I understood it and got a lot of things done with it. It was great how you could take a midi file and make backing styles from it.

I don't think though that it will host vst's. I do remember sending midi data to a DAW though via midi start/stop and hosting vst's in the DAW. Been a while though so could be wrong.

Good you brought this one to the table VariKusBrainZ!

Happy Musiking!
dsan
VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
 
6704 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Postby VariKusBrainZ; Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:34 am

dsan@mail.com wrote:
VariKusBrainZ wrote:http://www.jasminemusic.com/products.htm

check their stuff out, in particular JMT Orchestrator, its in VST and MFX format. A little old but cheap and still works fine on Win8 32bit.

Its kind of a cutdown version of the standalone Onyx Arranger, which is free!
Onyx some neat features including realtime midifx that can be chained, intelligent harmony generation and style morphing.

You may come across this stuff marketed as Ntonyx who are strangley still charging for Onyx?!


This is a program that got very mixed reviews. I loved it and miss working in it. One of these days I'm going to have to load it on my DAW computer again.

I think those that did not like it just didn't understand how to use it. I understood it and got a lot of things done with it. It was great how you could take a midi file and make backing styles from it.

I don't think though that it will host vst's. I do remember sending midi data to a DAW though via midi start/stop and hosting vst's in the DAW. Been a while though so could be wrong.

Good you brought this one to the table VariKusBrainZ!

Happy Musiking!
dsan


Yeah, none of these host plugins but Orchestrator is a VST plugin.
They are pretty complex and require some learning!
como baila
KVRian
 
620 posts since 15 Oct, 2003, from 'SoCal' California

Postby como baila; Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:02 pm

I've used BIAB off and on for years. I have no use for it's VSTi hosting features. Who is possibly going to try to make a releasable track using VSTi hosted in BIAB outputting to a stereo track?

The strength of all these programs is their midi generating capabilities. If you go to the yahoo BIAB forum you'll find that almost all gigging musicians who use BIAB backing tracks convert them to audio for that purpose ... almost never do you hear of someone confident enough of the reliability of BIAB to risk running it for a performance. And as a backing track is it's intended purpose!

However, picking a style suitable to your purpose in BIAB, setting the tempo, 'flattening' it out so you are not stuck with the verse/ chorus/ ending structure it 'prefers,' setting your chords and then exporting your midi to your DAW, gives you a bare bone skeleton where ... depending on your musical and midi tweaking skills and your hardware and soft modules palettes ... you can create some pretty realistic tracks.

In my opinion, the BIAB soloist and melodist suck ... they couldn't get a gig doing elevator muzak.

The playing is near robotic, the dynamics near non-existent, and there are many other niggles I could name. But ... it still provides a decent, genre 'in the ballpark' skeleton to work on a song.

On one level, I wish that BIAB and RC could get married. I would love to be able to apply the level of parameter customization inherent in RC to BIAB as it was cycling through. In a sense, this is possible by importing your BIAB generated midi file into RC for further tweaking prior to import to your DAW.

The 'phrase' conceptualization in RC is a different approach to the canned styles in BIAB (to be fair, that can with great effort be tweaked themselves). The harmonic palette in RC is vastly superior with respect to types of chords recognized by the program and the chord suggestion algorithm is much superior.

I think these programs are excellent companions, but if I only had one I would have to ask myself what was more important to me: a wide range of 'fair to decent' quick batch songs, i.e., BIAB, or deep ability to create unique musical compositions, i.e., RC.
Help! I've fallen up and can't get down!

Win7 x64 Dual Dualcore Xeon 3.0 Ghz 16 GB Ram. Cubase 6, RapidComposer, BIAB, Abelton 6, Acid Pro 6,Roland XV5080 & Super JD, E-Mu CS PX7, Korg Radias R and MI-EX R, ASR-X Turbo, UAD 2 Quads, stuff.
angelonyc
KVRist
 
37 posts since 23 Apr, 2004

Postby angelonyc; Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:37 pm

I've been using Band in a box since the early 90's.. Still use it.. I often use it to generate a song, and built from there. I will often generate the songs in several different styles, and import individual instrument parts, use as is, re-edit, or use as a template for me to play myself.. The melody generator can come up with some great ideas.. Although if you use it enough and use the same style for a melody, you'll recognize similarities.. Other times the melodies can be so-so.. But if you idea stuck, this tool is very valuable.

The interface is a HUGE mess.. It definitely looks like it started with 1980's code and just kept tacking more stuff on..

I personally have no use for the audio it generates, but that's just my opinion, (I bought the mp3 quality not full AIF files- xtra money).. others love it.. Creating solo's with it ranges from 'not good' to occasionally excellent.. It doesn't help that they have 800 melody styles that are just a number and an equal amount of solo generator styles that are just #'s
I write the style into the file name and save a both as a song and midi file..

One thing with BIAB is that their technical help is generally excellent.. They have free help phone lines, long hours and 95% of the tech people really know their stuff.. I've never been left with a 'I don't know"

It of course is a tool in itself, and complements rather than replaces other software..

(but I never leave home without it). Again I think its excellent to quickly generate a ton of 'idea material'.. I've learned a lot more about music from having worked with it so long..

When I first used it, I had to come up with 16 completed (fairly full arrangements) of children's fairy tale songs, complete with lead and background vocals all in different styles. Within a 3 week period. The work load was impossible. But I did it BIAB, and the results were well received.. I was also doing instrumentals for a music library..

Imagine my surprise when I started to hear BIAB elements in TV and radio commercials.. Yes it is a lot of people's
'secret weapon' they keep in the closet..

Just recently they have come up with 'super midi' parts, which have much more character and detail, then any of their previous parts.. There is not a lot of them, yet..

So I would say it's not a either/or thing, when comparing it with other self-generating music software.. It's in addition too..

I hate their sales marketing strategy, it's almost impossible to figure out, the packages, the add-ons, the extras software packages you can use with it It's like a crowded open air market in some 3rd world country.. About every several years I just buy the new fullest package, and they give decent almost full credit to upgrade from what you previously bought..

MarkStyles
crossovercable
KVRist
 
232 posts since 26 May, 2014

Postby crossovercable; Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:39 am Re: Rapid Composer versus Band in a Box

I know this is an old post but still relative.
Rapid Composer versus Band in a Box, more like Rapid Composer with Band in a Box.
RapidComposerVST expands the midi capabilities of Biab enormously.
Attila has added so many features to RC that allows it to work with Biab.

Right click Open in New Tab:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/k7q8ikg7e3pgx ... s.mp4?dl=0
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