Band in a box - worth it or alternatives?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by rainbownorth, Dec 16, 2012.


  1. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca
    I asked my teacher about BIAB, he said "forget it" and sent me some MP3's to practice to instead lol. I took it with a grain of salt as he's been working with sequencers since they were first introduced.
     
  2. I agree, but I'm not that well versed. All I have at present is audacity, and it'll do the trick. But I'm by no means a maestro. I've really only just figured how to slow tempo and use some of the EQ filters.

    Also, composition would be a little more difficult with just a DAW. So maybe the best option after all is BIAB.
     
  3. Kubicki440

    Kubicki440

    Feb 6, 2011
    I agree the styles are limited in iReal b out of the box and have to upgrade to get the other styles. However you can drag the iReal b midi files into Reaper. I use EzDrummer to convert the midi drums and often use the Free Presonus Studio One 2 as well for using the midi files on piano from iReal b.
     
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    This is another example of what you can get with BiaB. Everything but the bass is the program....

     
  5. boynamedsuse

    boynamedsuse Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Very nicely done. :cool:
     
  6. Kubicki440

    Kubicki440

    Feb 6, 2011
    Well Done!
     
  7. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    Tri-state
    If you're using it to play to covers, why not play to the original recording? If you're using it to write, why not use an actual keyboard? If you're using it to shed jazz tunes, why not just play to a metronome so that you REALLY have to make sure you're making the harmony clear?

    This coming from someone who used to use BiaB. I think it can be more of a hindrance than a help. Can make your brain lazy.
     
  8. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    After reading this thread I bought iRealB for my iPhone / iPad and laptop. What an awesome app! It has given my practice a renewed enthusiasm and challenge.
     
  9. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Thanks guys!
     
  10. Wonderful! I did the same thing with "Let's Stay Together". The soul style sets are quite good! The sad thing though is that the BIAB bassist is better than me! Well sort off. ;) The Real tracks are very good. I can definitely use them to 'steal licks' from, either on guitar, or bass, and my friend can steal piano licks from it too. The music performance quality (as well as the audio quality) is much better than it used to be. The Afro-Cuba pack is quite good.

    In September I upgraded my BIAB 12 (circa 2004), to BIAB 2012.5 and a month later upgraded again to the full set of Real Tracks. It works very well with Apple Garageband. It really is not that expensive for what one gets. It is cheaper than an ordinary electric bass amp.

    PG music is good with the upgrades, you don't really lose value. So if you want, buy the current "Pro" version and upgrade if you feel like it. The program does not change much with each version. It is the real instrument packs that are desirable, and once you have them, you have them
     
  11. This is true too. One has to be careful with tools like BIAB, or even simpler tools like electronic tuners, metronomes and fakebooks. Use with mindfulness of the goal at hand.
     
  12. That's tight pacman! I'm sold really, that sounds great. Beautiful tone you're getting there too.


    Snarf - I can see why you would say that. The fact is I've been using a metronome and getting distracted. I also do play covers, I have a more than ample digital music collection to pull from if needed, I just really want something that fills in the gaps with rhythm and composition so that I don't need a half dozen programs or a half dozen sets of wires going every friggin where at once. Once practice gets to the point where it's complex to set up, it gets hard to stick with. At least IMHO. I do see your point though, I think in any form of practice it's easy to get lazy and just go through the motions. You need dedication and focus to make it worthwhile.
     
  13. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca

    I use backing tracks comprised of just the chord changes and drums, no bass. Taking the bass out has helped force me to reinforce the harmony while I'm playing.
     
  14. On that issue: realistically, at the same time I learn to use BIAB, I'm going to be going back to school on theory and composition - I'm way down in those areas. My chops are ok, same with rhythm to some degree, no major problems there. But I need something that will make it easier for me to learn. With learning being the prime objective, instead of ignoring the lessons to be learnt. Ideally, I really need some literature to bone up on in those areas too, and I've started looking in general instruction for that. But if BIAB definitely won't help in this, then its not for me. If the only worry is dedication and focus, it's gonna be fine. Im pretty good with focus, and I'm willing to put in the hard yards to get what I want.
     
  15. plarry

    plarry Inactive

    Jan 15, 2011
    Yeah, iReal b is such a great app that it makes it worth buying a used (or even new) iOS or Android device! You'll find loads of used stuff after Christmas...

    For less than 100 bucks (device+app)!... Compare that to the price of backing tracks / play-alongs that are often crappy and even if they're decent or good, never nearly as easy to navigate as iReal b's ones. And this app does so much more!

    Definitely one of the very best music-related piece of software I've bought over the last few years. I don't beat myself up for having bought much less useful stuff though. For one I didn't know of iReal b at the time, and they make me appreciate this great tool even more...
     
  16. Ironically, I got given an itunes card the other day as a gift, and thought why not? I picked up irealb for about $10, and I must admit, it is an excellent tool. In order for it to be of any real use to me, I REALLY need to brush up on my theory, but otherwise it looks pretty excellent, at least for practicing. My two criticisms are that without buying a mac I would have trouble linking this to an audio interface (in my case line 6 pod studio ux1), and also that the vast majority of songs available are jazz or close to it - not a bad thing in its own right, I enjoy many jazz artists, but Ima need to woodshed plenty before I can play any of it. Still, it's an excellent app for a portable practice with an iphone.
     
  17. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    does anyone else think that the rhythms and chord voicings for jazz in i realb are extremely corny? from what ive heard playing with these things could totally kill your jazz feel. if i played with a piano player that sounded like that, well, that would be the last time i played with him.
    mabye this is just a bad example, but is it all this bad? is biab any better?
     
  18. Yeah it does seem a bit corny. I just think either way it's only a computer program, as long as it's decent for practice who really cares?

    As for BIAB I'm not 100% sure, but check out pacman's clip further up the page, sounds pretty good to me!
     
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    With BiaB, the comp rhythms are getting pretty sophisticated. Even more so if you spring for the RealTracks - the sounds you hear in my clips are done with that. Those are studio players (some of them known cats) and just sound fantastic.
     
  20. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    yeah, but pacman's stuff isnt a swing groove. i think computers can generate straight 8ths or 16th based music a little better than swing stuff. i guess one alternative is to practice every tune with a bossa groove. (im talking about practicing standards)
    as far as the comment "its only practice who cares?", well, i do! the way you practice is the way you will play. practice enough with a corny feel, and you will have a corny feel. bass players are supposed to be hip...(the voicings on the ireab clip i linked are really bad too, not just the groove) that irealb clip is so uninspiring.

    i use a sequencer and just put the chord on beat 1 with a voicing of my choosing (hopefully a hip one) and a click on 2 and 4. not much to go wrong like that. it does get monotonous with the chord on beat one all the time, but i think id prefer practicing like that than to a bad swing feel...
    i guess the less computer generated stuff in the track, the more potential for it to actually swing. if someone can link something to prove me wrong id love to hear it (although i guess that's what aebersolds are for...)
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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