User Reviews by KVR Members for Band-in-a-Box
Not sure who is updating this list, but Band-in-a-Box is now up to 2013 build 365b now. Many additions and real tracks are excellent.
The only person empowered to update a product description in KVR is the developer himself.
And yes, you're right... this product description of Band-In-A-Box is totally out-of-date. BIAB 2013 has many new improvements and new functions, and BIAB 2014 much more. Another good news is that the user interface begins to get simpler and easier... At last.
Anyway, BIAB (especially the MegaPack) is one of my three prefered tools for the step of the composition (with Sibelius 7 First... and Toontrack EZKeys for its awesome chordwheel absolutely unique which justify by itself the purchase how complete and how handy and practical it is, one of a kind, piece of jewelry!)
I am glad that I finally found a review on BIAB 2014 after browsing many sites. The biggest issue on the previous version BIAB 2013 seemed to be the non-intuitive UI screen, according to Amazon.com's reviews. And BlackWinny's phrase "the user interface begins to get simpler" makes me just nervous. It sounds like the UI of BIAB 2014 is better than before, but it hasn't reached the acceptable level yet. The biggest reason I consider buying BIAB 2014 is to cut my time to make all the tracks. I don't need something that "needs a real investment in time to learn" as BlackWinny wrote. So, how easy is BIAB 2014?
How easy is BIAB 2014? Nearly the same as BIAB 2013. There has been some improvements in the GUI, yes... but there are tons and tons and still tons to do to really have something which could be called "quite easy". We are still very far from that,and I doubt that it will be one day...
And know that you may consider BIAB if you are resolutely turned towards the jazz styles. It is almost 90% of the styles generated by BIAB ! And 90% of the RealTracks and SuperTracks provided with BIAB 2014 remains directly oriented jazz. Even the other styles (blues, classic, country, new age, rock, pop, ballads, etc.) are still very very very colored by the jazz rules in the results. Jazz is omnipresent in BIAB even in background in the other styles which are said to be different than jazz .
I really like BIAB... but it is BECAUSE I really like jazz and the jazz rules of compositions. For people who are not so attracted by the jazz, I don't recommend at all BIAB ! And also for people who have no time to loose in a labyrinthic help supposed to bring a support for a labyrinthic GUI and for people who are not feeling like spending a crazy (and sometimes insane) time in tries and tries and tries, for them also I don't recommend BIAB ! Even the reflection you must do to find your way back in the badly automatically affected channels is sometimes a mess as long as you are not totally immersed in this product.
Myself I've been using BIAB for years, and I still use BIAB... but ONLY, ONLY, ONLY when I want to compose pure jazz sheets or deeply colored jazz sheets. For that, yes it is by far the best tool. But I don't compose only in jazz style, by far... my preferred styles being essentially progressive rock, instrumental space rock, new age, and cool ballads (and far-eastern music but it is another story). So even if I really like BIAB for my jazz sheets... my two most used tools are Sibelius for the traditional notation and first and foremost it is now an amazing composition editor that I have discovered at the beginning of this year (just after my review of BIAB here above) and which is becoming practically my ONLY tool now : RapidComposer. It has born two years ago, is at its version 2.55 and still suffers of some minor bugs (and I'm very active as one of the beta testers here at its KVR forums) but it is an incredible tool with features absolutely awesome to compose in ALL the styles ! And the developer is very active here on his KVR forums to discuss with his users every day, to share ideas with them, to resolve the bugs as soon as they are discovered... and to continue to add always new and new and new features, some of them being absolutely incredible (and not even implemented in BIAB !) It is really the tool that I have always been dreaming .
Even musicians who love jazz and who play and compose jazz are very often stopped by this incredible GUI of BIAB (2014 like all the previous ones) which is a mess as never seen elsewhere...
You compose ONLY for jazz AND you are ok to spend a huge time of investment to understand a very hard tool made at 90% for jazz? (the other styles being purely anecdotal) Ok, so don't hesitate: go to BIAB, it is by far the best! But you must know that you'll need to contend with a GUI which is a huge mess even in its 2014 version.
You compose in all the styles you could imagine, and want a tool having a huge number of features (nearly as many as in BIAB !) and even diverse generators to help you to create a good mockup but that after you can transform and retouch as you want? So go to Sibelius (not the First, but the full version) or Finale if you compose in the traditional notation... or go without any hesitation to RapidComposer if you compose in piano-roll notation.
Nota : in BIAB many of the mockups you'll make with the generators are not retouchable as deeply as you want since the patterns of RealTracks are not retouchable at all... and one thing that you discover only after you have paid and begun to use is that the RealTracks are imposed by the generators in more than 75% of the cases and it is easy to understand why: it is them which justify the price of BIAB !!.
Thanks for descriptions of BIAB 2014's user interface usage. I didn't expect the product was still that difficult to use. But it's funny, your demoting descriptions of BIAB 2014 made me want to use the product, and I think I will buy one sometime soon to try the bad UI myself. When I encounter or bog down in a series of UI problems, I may come back here to get help. Thanks, man.
There is a link which is really missing in this page. The link to download the updates. The BIAB website is very confuse (like the software itself!). To download the updates, it is this link (to keep carefully in your favorites!):
Once you have chosen your update, it's not enough... you have still to click the blue arrow which will appear at the top right and you're at it! Phew...
Like you said, the BIAB's site is confusing. But thanks for the info.