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John Bowles

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  1. Thanks Mark. Yes I am aware of it. My understanding is below. Reaper is $60 US for a personal licence. You can go indefinitely ignoring the 5 second warning which they want you to ignore for only 60 days. They have decided on that policy apparently. Assuming what one video said is correct, paying the $60 gives you 2 years of free updates and support stops after 2 years. I am not sure if the 5 second popup warning restarts after 2 years. I doubt it because I bought a web site builder software for $40 and its support ran out after about a year but I get to use it without annoyance forever. What am I going to do? I am likely going to pay the $60.00 because that is so cheap for such a good program. Another reason is Reaper still supports users using XP (assuming they pay). So I assume I am less likely to get nasty surprises with my Win7 use. I also like the program's old style boring interface. Having said that the final decision will be during the next week after I process the next member song with Reaper (give it a reality run). So far it is all videos, help pages notes with lots of video jumps for review and a few experiments hear and there. Although Cakewalk and Reaper are both great programs realistically trying to use the best of both is unnecessary for me, too time consuming and also far too mind consuming :-) Continuing to use Audacity because members use it is doable.
  2. I made some significant update to the above post.
  3. As the attached picture shows someone on the "Band In A Box" forum suggested I might want to try the Reaper DAW because he is using a BIAB VST plugin that can create a DAW midi track in Reaper that contains the chords that I punch into BIAB song file to be used to create the Jazz Jams Club backing tracks. Later I watched this 2021 BIAB VST plugin video and it says this plugin works with Cakewalk and any other DAW that accepts VST plugins. This plugin can also create a count in or a full click track on that same midi track . So I can move the Midi track up and down and its count in is built right in (I like to record my guitar tracks at the bottom). The person who turned me on to this 2021 BIAB VST is a more advanced programmer than I (a C-Language programmer I think). He gave me some scripts I can use with an MS-Access program I will write to get chord labels and section labels into Audacity which I may still use and some of my Jazz Jams Club members use. These Club members may not have the time to learn a new more complex program. I am in the process of creating a MS-Word document of Reaper notes which will directly parallel my Cakewalk MS-Word document notes. This will help me decide which to go with. So far it is looking like I will go with Reaper but maybe I will use both.
  4. Interesting and somewhat useful. It appears Google search "What is Audacity" returns "Digital Audio Editor" so it agrees with you :-) I guess it is a DAE. I am still processing everyone's wonderful and helpful tips and putting them in my notes. Thanks so much!!!!! For me both Cakewalk and Audacity are great and both keepers. Audacity is a keeper because I run the Jazz Jams Club and my members use Audacity and I send them the two label tracks (see attached format) and a click track along with the Band In A Box Backing tracks . My guitar solos, melody and rhythm parts will be recorded in Cakewalk and song participant tracks will come into Cakewalk and I will do the final mix in Cakewalk. I will use Cakewalk Audio Snap a fair bit and its Volume Automation, its reverb, compression, chorus, etc. You can hear our shared recording music here and our last live jam here. You can hear my guitar playing when I was 22 years old and teaching guitar and practicing 6 to 12 hours a day here. I think Audacity may be the only program I have use that literally has never crapped out on me and it is free. My Multicharts trading program that cost me $600 in 2007 for a life time license and now costs $1497 USD (although not recently) has crapped out many times. But it has over 5 million lines of code so I guess that explains it. The brokers also throw it new unexpected curves which does not help. Its the best programmable TA trading platform IMHO (it won a competition several years in a row). MS-Access craps out on me every so often. I use it and its VBA programming language a lot. It cost me $100 USD. So we musical folk are getting some nice breaks here. I can't complain so I doubt I will ever complain about Audacity or Cakewalk. Labels_Chords.txt
  5. Thanks Mark Morgon-Shaw. I will read it closer now and see if I can try some stuff. I will scan this whole thread and start entries in my notes with markers that will help me find what I have not completed yet (maybe two pipe characters. Specially ||). I am currently preparing to write an MS-Access program to process the "Band In A Box" abc file export and convert it into a label file that Audacity can read in. I was under the impression that Audacity uses the standard for label files for DAWs. Now I am not so sure? Anyway the club members I am working with mostly use Audacity and I think they are importing the Label files I give them into Audacity. The two latest files are attached. They are txt files and show the simple format. Labels_Chords.txt Labels_Sections.txt
  6. Regarding "I forgot to mention that as a newcomer, you don't know what you don't know." Yes. I agree. I say this often about a lot of things. It is something that applies to all humans in many areas.
  7. Thanks bdickens. I checked out those video links. They look really good. Yes what you say is true. And sometimes the video quality is not very good or they just don't explain things well or get side tracked easy, etc. I usually move on pretty quick if it seems like a bad video. When reading help pages I like to use a text to speech reader at times especially if I am tired. I highlight a chunk of text and press control C and have it read to me. as I read it myself as well.
  8. Its all about speed (fast versus slow). Not that I have anything against TOC and indexes. I use them at times. Everyone gets use to learning a certain way. I can guarantee you, I found what I wanted to find a lot faster using that Google search. If you use that method a lot you catch on to the fact that it can work really well if you design your key word search strings properly. Takes practice.
  9. Thanks Guys. Some of your comments I have to get back to. I have not been able to find the process button to find Process > Gain .... So what I did do was read that web page I found. Did a YouTube search and watched a basic video on Aux tracks and Buses. I created an Aux track and set it to record an audio track. So I pocked around and found ProChannel on the console, found the Compressor there and did the same thing with that compressor and it worked. I had trouble getting this to work on the Sonitus compressor at first but later found a video on it and got it to work as well. I also found the ? button to the Sonitus compressor help. So now the loudest wave form was compressed down to the smallest wave form and the smallest wave form did not shrink at all. This is what I am use to seeing in Audacity. When I listen I can clearly hear that the sudden excessively loud parts are much quieter. I almost always use this for drums and for my guitar playing as well. I have to be a bit careful here. I tend to get right into new stuff (carried a way is what I am saying). Now that I have found the wonderful Cakewalk Audio Snap feature I really should get back to finishing my guitar part on a song we are working on. "Sister Sadie". I don't want the bass player and drummer to get too impatient :-)
  10. Regarding my experiment my first string search is "Cakewalk compressing showing in the wave form". My first try was google and it seems the answer is probably in the first hit at the very top which shows immediately below. I have read a bit and it sure seems like the answer is here. I will see if I can get that to work. My second try was Youtube. I found some maybe videos. Video titles sometimes hint as a possible place to find the answer but you have to watch them to know. My Third try is the Cakewalk manual. No search box. My Third try is the Cakewalk Forum. In this case I removed the keyword "Cakewalk". No luck at all. So it appears the winner is Google. This result matches my teaching myself web programming after about 27 years of programming in other languages. Most of the learning came from Google as their search algorithms are amazing. Next was YouTube but often google was used to come up with a good YouTube search string. Last was forums at 1% usage only if I got really stuck. I prefer not to ask unless I am really stuck.
  11. Thanks guys. I am 67. I might be dead in 20 years...lol. Oh I forgot. I plan on living to 150. I am already forgetting my old jokes :-) I usually add in that I will go on tour as the only 150 year old who can chug a beer in 1 minute and I will be so famous for this amazing accomplishment I will get rich (as if I would be able to use all that money at age 150). Actually I need to change that joke now as I don't drink at all now in the hopes I reach maybe 100 :-) https://www.livingto100.com/ predicts I will reach 92. I have work to do or I ain't going to make it :-) I do this for fun guys :-) So yeah. Your comments are helpful for sure. Maybe the Cakewalk manual is better than most. My experience is I can find stuff I need much faster by doing google and You-tube string searches. That can be tricky early on since you need to know enough to create good key words. So I will do an experiment today which will be to create a string search for each of the features I listed and I will then dump my string search into (Google then YouTube then Cakewalk-help). The string search will start with cakewalk and it will exclude any mention of Audacity. I will post back the results as to which I find the most helpful for finding these features. The developers might find the results interesting. If I find how cakewalk can do these features I will investigate farther and do an amount of time it takes test. The developers will likely also find that interesting. By the way, I was a guitar instructor then a computer programmer then I added market trading to my mix. I still do a lot of all of these. I do a lot of programming to help me with these activities. Just can't sit still :-) I am more likely to reach 150 it I keep busy, eat well and exercise well :-) I recently programmed some stuff to help with making sure I do some exercises every 30 minutes as I sit a lot and my feet have swollen up. The new exercise bike routine caused one foot's swelling to go down completely and also the left arm pains to stop completely. The doctor and I are still working on the left foot swelling. The car can go farther if you take care of it properly :-) John
  12. Hi, After using Audacity to mix recordings for my Jazz Jams Club for maybe 2 or so years now and all of a sudden wanting to be able to quantize I went searching for programs that could do this and discovered Cakewalk. I got all excited about learning it. So I just spent a whole week almost 14/7 learning the basics and testing on Win 7. Its features I tested all seem to work. Great. Its extensive features are amazing. Great. However I have decided to mostly use Audacity and use the Cakewalk Audio Snap with a slight possibility I might do the final mix in Cakewalk or at least try it because its Automation is better than Audacity. So why am I not going all in? Here are the reasons. Audacity labels are far better. I attached a picture of the setup I like to use with the section label track then the chords label track then the click track. The new track recordings I am doing are at the bottom (shift+R automatically creates a new track to record on). I create the labels for my club members when I prepare the backing tracks I send them so they can create their part (a covid safe activity). So the ability to export and import standard label format is critical. Cakewalk not having this is a killer for me. It should be noted that Band In A Box which I use for live jams and for creating backing tracks can create a label track of chords now. It creates it the standard way that is standard for DAWs. I need to upgrade BIAB for this and it is something I really should do like now. In the mean time I cut and paste to speed the process up. When I fix a recording error or add a count in at the start of a track to export to members,I press shift+R and record then set levels then highlight the tracks to mix and hit a few clicks and it is done. Cakewalk is too slow and complex for me. A big one is when compressing not being able to see the actual adjustments in the big volume spikes flattened in the track wave. The visual gives me a greater warm and fuzz feeling I guess :-) Maybe I don't trust my ear :-) In Audacity there is an Amplify effect. I highlight the note and apply the effect with a percentage and I see the note that is too quiet have its wave increase in size to match the other notes. I know it is the same volume just by looking at it. I play it and it gets confirmed. Fast, easy. Creating a click track in Audacity is far simpler. Audacity is free. I recommend getting it and seeing for yourself. Creating a click track in Cakewalk is slower than creating it in Audacity and importing it into Cakewalk. Cakewalk could use a button to maximize the track window to full screen size (toggle it in and out). I like seeing the larger size. Audacity has a feature where I can highlight a section of a track and when I resize the density of the view (zoom in and zoom out) that highlighted section is forced to center always and is kept there. This is great. I play it and it stops at the end. This is great. It is great for recording. I was doing a manual quantize. It was great for that. Cakewalk keeps running the section I am working with off the screen which is annoying and the screen real-estate is very limited in Cakewalk (no full screen view as mentioned above). So maybe your loop button needs to be an option group (loop, stop, off). My use would be stop. Audacity having the volume on the track itself on the left is nice. Cakewalk has room. I can compare volumes at a glance in Audacity, In Cakewalk I have to expose more console and loose track window real-estate. Cakewalk needs a toggle in and out for the console and remember its last setting. Put these features in Cakewalk and I will stop using Audacity. For now as stated above I will use Cakewalk for these items at the very end (Audio Snap, maybe Automation and maybe Chorus as well and maybe reverb (Audacity reverb is limited but pretty good). By the way, I use Audio Snap by setting threshold to 100% so it places zero vertical lines then I place them all myself. I find that much faster. It does a poor job of finding the start of the notes I find. But is is for sure at least twice as fast as trying to quantize in Audacity and better too. So it is Cakewalk's star feature in my mind. Thanks, John
  13. Hi, I could not find an Cakewalk import for Audacity Labels (see attached picture of Audacity Labels - two label tracks). They are very useful and my understanding is that the latest Band In A Box can create the chord labels for you. Maybe in time BIAB will also create section labels to import into a DAW. Even if this is not available Copy and paste works for Audacity labels so it is not as hard as one would think to create chord labels manually. It amazes me that a program as powerful and feature rich as Cakewalk can't do this. Cakewalk's approach is not so great (can't drag the labels up and down to different positions). Is there something I missed. Is there a trick to importing labels. Thanks, John
  14. So I skipped quickly through a better video which did not do exactly what I wanted but it showed me he was selecting buses so I combined what scook wrote and the video and got it to work. My instructions are below.
  15. Thanks scook. I have a video for this. Not the greatest. I will find another. In Audacity I didn't need a video. Tried it, worked first time. No brainer.
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