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ed swift

making the transition

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Hi....newby to bandlab

I am making the transition from X2 and have been using cakewalk/sonar since the very beginning.

I installed bandlab on my ageing win10 machine and it immediately messed about with some of my X2 settings so I uninstalled...I will redo the install shortly...In the meantime I have a couple of newby questions that I hope will move me forward.

Is session drummer 3 in bandlab?..I have found loads of references to things like splat and command centre, but no simple answer.

Is tts-1 in bandlab?

my echo layla 3g has just failed in the area of midi latency...can anybody recommend a reasonably priced replacement that will equal the echo latency figures?

the synth questions are not deal breakers but it would avoid me going back over 20+ years of projects in order to bounce midi tracks to audio before moving to bandlab....or retaining X2 for all the historic projects.

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If you already have those synths installed in x2 cakewalk by bandlab should pick them up unless they are installed somewhere bandlab doesn’t look.

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Plug-ins included with X2 are documented here

Plug-ins included with CbB are documented here

To take advantage of all the extra content bundled with SONAR, perform a full installation of  64bit X2, apply the X2a update then install CbB.

Installing CbB last insures all the shared files are up to date.

If CbB is already installed, it may be a good idea to uninstall it before running the X2 installer. 

Use BandLab Assistant to uninstall CbB then  run the X2 install and update.

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I sounds like you already have X2 installed. So when you install CbB it should ask you if you want to use the settings from a prior version. I don't understand when you say it messed with your X2 settings. There are both totally separate programs and that shouldn't happen. 

Scook has covered the questions about included VST's.

Be aware that Melodyne is just a 1 month free trial to use as a regional effect but it will still work for drag and drop audio to midi and tempo extraction. 

The bug fixes alone since X2 is a huge reason to update. Plus a lot of new features. The actual user interface has not really changed much other than we now use Workspaces to save our set ups. 


As far as audio interfaces go there are a lot of them and no point recommending unless we know what you need.

Here's my list of things to look for when comparing interfaces.


Shopping for an Audio Interface?

There is a lot of choices.

Make a list of your requirements first..

What kind of connectivity do you require? and how many of each. This is the most important determining factor. Most of us only need a few in/outs. It’s nice to not have to unplug and plug stuff in.

It’s false economy to short change yourself on this feature. You end up having to purchase a mixer as example.

These are some of the options:

XLR, 1/4",  Combi jacks,  RCA, ¼” line level, ¼” Instrument level ,MIDI, SPDIF, ADAT,MADI

How many ins and outs do you think you'll need now and in the future?

Are they accessible?  Front or rear panel?

Are all ¼” jacks Balanced?  Some have RCA jacks in Parallel with main outputs. 

Is there a true stereo input pair? Some don’t have a matched set of inputs which sucks for recording stereo devices like outboard synths and drum machines.


Are there peak level meters or just a little LED for each input? Do all inputs have a peak indicator?

Are there channel Insert jacks?

Are there separate controls for Monitor level and headphone level?

Is there a blend control for mixing Input Source with Computer ( DAW) ? A lot of cheaper interfaces are missing this important feature and only have a on/off toggle.


How many Headphone jacks? A level for each? This is also important if you work with other musicians.

Are the input pads or line / Instrument toggle switches on the front, back or software controlled?

Is it a metal box or cheap plastic? Is it light and portable or large and bulky, Rack mountable?

Does it have an on / off switch?

Does it use Buss power or a power supply?

 Buss power can have issues with noise and Phantom power and some need a dedicated USB 3 buss. Look for at least an optional power supply.  

Does it have DSP effects built in?

Does it use a GUI mixer? Having a software (GUI) mixer adds more options.

Can it be used as stand alone? Some interfaces are also handy as a small mixer.


Does it have a Loop back function. This is a newer feature that is real important if you do live steaming or screen captures.  If wish to record any playback from outside your DAW. Like using a stand alone VST.


What are the Round Trip Latency (RTL) specs? Do you really need low RTL for real time processing?

Low RTL is going to be at a higher price point. A $ 100- $600 interface will have hidden buffers etc. 

Zero Latency monitoring is not the same as RTL. All interfaces have some latency.

Zero latency is just marketing hype for monitoring directly from the interface.


And most important of all, Does it have top notch ASIO drivers for your OS. 

What is the word on support from the company? Visit the web site and try creating an Account before you purchase. Pretend you just bought the device and visit their web site. See if the drivers and manuals are easy to get at and kept up to date.

Does it come with free software, Example Focusrite interfaces seem to come with a lot of good stuff. This has added value to the purchase price.


Everyone will recommend the interface they have chosen, that doesn't mean it is the right one for you.


Make your list starting with the input /output specs. Example you determine you need a 4x4 interface. That just narrowed down the search by a lot! You might find only 10 models. Now compare those to get the most features needed. Use a site like Sweetwater to check pricing. But shop around and if possible buy from a local store where you can return it if it doesn't work out. 

Edited by John Vere

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thanks guys

the plug ins lists were very useful, although I obviously know whats in X2. It would seem that session drummer 3 is not in bandcamp.

It looks like the current bunch of interfaces are all usb so I think I'll have to do some digging around for usb3 offerings that have latency like the layla 3g.

I will get a new interface and continue with X2 for a while. I have never used anything in the last 8 years that has exposed any of the bugs so there is nothing urgent forcing an upgrade.

thanks again.

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