Hi, I am looking for a DAW to replace the RealBand product the comes free with Band In A Box.
The reason I want to replace it is their Volume Automation feature (which involves using the line and drag-able nodes under the sound wave form) and (which works within RealBand to adjust the volume) for some reason (for me at least) does not write out the volume changes to a .wav file when I use the “Save As”. Regarding this problem I attached a png picture file of a test I developed to be sure RealBand was not working. The picture can be used to be clear about what I am looking for and also I can use it to test the replacement product. It is a very (fast, simple, easy, good-enough) test. The picture with the volume automation image is hard to read so I included a blowup of the instructions part.
I realize Audacity is free but if someone suggests a product that is not free, it needs to have a feature full trial version that I can use to see if it has the volume automation feature and if it works on my main desktop (a Windows-7 machine). Other features I want are listed below but probably pretty standard.
Ability to record and overdub without a metronome playing
—((ability to shut the metronome off and memorize this setting).
Ability to drag 2 to 12 .wav files from a windows directory onto the tracks window of the DAW.
it should retain the file names that were used in the windows folder).
Ability to delete bars from within the tracks window.
Ability highlight a portion of a track and cut it.
Ability to delete/remove 1 or more tracks from within the tracks window.
Ability to insert markers in the tracks window and step through them back and forth.
Ability to give the marker a name.
Ability to write directly to mp3 would be nice (if you have the software for this even better).
Ability to save date/time stamp copies of your work just in case the product aborts.
Ability to save a track as an acid loop (allowing key changes and speed changes).
Audacity has “Envelopes”: Envelope Tool - Audacity Manual
Audacity does not have a metronome, but you can create a “click track” and then delete it later: Rhythm Track - Audacity Manual
Audacity supports dragging and dropping multiple audio files into a project window. Each imported file appears as a new track. The maximum number of tracks is limited only by the capabilities of the hardware. The track name is the name of the imported file.
Audacity does not know what “bars” are. You can select and delete any arbitrary section of a track.
Audacity has “Labels”: Label Tracks - Audacity Manual
Audacity can export as MP3 if you also install LAME for Audacity: FAQ:Installation, Startup and Plugins - Audacity Manual
In Audacity you would do that manually, by either saving backup copies of the project, or exporting the tracks (whichever fits best with your workflow.
Audacity does not support Acid loops. The Acid format is owned by Sony.
Thanks Steve, sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I guess I should review my forum email notification settings.
I have had a very old version of Audacity on my machine for a very long time and I use it now and then for special things. I tried to upgrade once but it aborted so I went back. I downloaded the latest version and installed it. It is interesting to know it can do so much and your response probably provides a nice list for a lot of potential other users and myself who only need the basics. I just realized adding reverb to a track is one basic I could use.
The PGmusic RealBand forum threat I started to try and resolve the RealBand issue finally had a surprise post. It turns out RealBand has not only gain nodes for Volume Automation but hidden away it also has volume nodes which seem to essentially do the same thing. Why it has both I don’t know. Gain Nodes had bugs I guess in 2016 (My version) which were later resolved. Volume nodes work fine and that of course means they can “File, Save As” their adjustments to .wav. I attached a picture. Volume nodes resolve the issue for me.
I use Band In A Box for my “Jazz Jams Club” jams roughly once a month and use RealBand to mix down the recording of the jam. It is good to know there are two options for mixing down the recording and passing it on to jam participants for their listening. I would like to know Audacity better so I am going to try using both of them so I do not loose my RealBand skills.
See: Reverb - Audacity Manual
Audacity also supports a wide range of 3rd party plug-ins (see: Customization - Audacity Manual)
A nice, free VST Reverb for Windows is “Anwida DX Reverb Lite” http://www.anwida.com/product.asp?pid=7
That can be fun - I used to frequently use both Audacity and Cool Edit Pro. After you have been using one for a while, you start trying (and failing) to use the same shortcuts on the other program Eventually you will probably gravitate to one or the other.
Thanks Steve, I will check into these things. John
Hi, after mixing 3 of 14 songs from our last jam with RealBand 2016 (not the latest version which is 2019) and experiencing a lot of aborts I decided to switch to Audacity. That solved all my frustration.
I was able to learn everything I needed to know listed above within 4 hours mostly via Youtube videos (my preferred way generally since I find a picture is worth a 1,000 words and a good video is worth a billion words). I was able to complete all the remaining songs without any aborts at all and it was great. I even put some reverb on one song. I really like the way Audacity clips the front and back of the song and how zooming and getting to full song view is so fast with the ctrl+whatever short cut keys.
For my simple requirements I think Audacity is all I need. The only thing I was not sure about was increasing volume with the envelopes. I noticed there were two nodes created (one below/above the other). I kind of assumed the lower one was to be raised up to increase volume. It did not increase volume that much if at all (I think it increased it). This may be the one item I was using that RealBand did better but I am not real sure if I was doing it properly in Audacity. On one song I raised the bass at the start then immediately dropped its node volume to mix properly then during the solo I raised its node volume. I don’t really remember if it worked better that way.
Thanks for the feedback, and pleased to hear that you enjoy using Audacity.
The dots closer to the centre of the track, when using the envelope tool, is simply so that there is a visible drag point when the envelope level goes above 0dB. The maximum amount of gain (amplification) provided by the envelope tool is x2 (double the original waveform height). If you find that is not enough, then perhaps you need to use the Amplification effect.
Is BIAB worth it? I found a similar thing that is a lot cheaper, so I’m kind of torn https://bandora.com/
What does this have to do with volume automation in Audacity?
Please stay on topic.
Please note that advertising is not permitted on this forum.
OP mentioned that they were looking to replace what comes free with Band in a Box. I’ve been trying to decide if I should get BIAB, and wanted to know if anyone thought it was worth it or not, especially since the RealBand product isn’t cutting it for OP.
Band in a Box have their own support channel here: PG Music - Support
and a forum here: PG Music Forums - Forums powered by UBB.threads
They also offer a 30 day money back guarantee: PG Music - Sales FAQ - Band-in-a-Box and RealBand for Windows
Please refer future queries about products that are not Audacity, to their support channels. This forum is for Audacity.