Jump to content
Starise

BandLab Questions/Experiences

Recommended Posts

I haven't got the invitation. Anyway it's bed time where i am so I'll check again in the morning. 

For this why don't you be band leader and choose a song to make a cover. I can do keyboards, cello, flute and midi instruments but lets not make it too complex. Its to "learn" BL or see what can be done with/in BL. If you prefer i can choose a song and get started with a click track. 

Wei Liang 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What style are you most interested in?  I'll make whatever you want.

I sent the invitation to my second account. Sorry about that. I didn't intend to have two accounts. You should get it now.

Thanks!

Edited by Starise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own "experience" with Bandlab was when I first heard of it after taking over Cakewalk/Sonar.  I created and account and looked around the system in hopes of finding options for online collaboration.  What I found instead was a lot of "rap" that was Not Good.  It isn't a genre issue for me - it's that it just wasn't done well at all.  Getting a loop and talking over it doesn't make rap or hip hop or anything else.  There is plenty of quality music out there that I don't like, but at least can recognise the quality.  In the case of nearly everything I heard on Bandlab, I was left shaking my head.

What I was hoping for was something more like the old collaboration forums I used to participate in, which were well organized, showing what people needed for their tunes, selecting musicians, exchanging mixes and parts, and assembling songs from ideas.  What I found instead was what has been described in this thread: a bunch of people posting their music for others to listen to and others copping it and laying stuff on top of it that didn't seem to have any reason to be combined with it.

Maybe I didn't give it a chance.

That all said, I am always interested in participating in other people's music.  I play drums and can lay down some quality sounding pop/rock/some progressive tracks if anyone happens to need that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blades, would you consider a Transiberian Orchestra, prog rock kind of thing ?  I still haven't had the time to put something up for my "band".  This whole process will be slow for me since I'm a part time musician and make my own music on the side with a FT job in between. I'm willing to give it a shot though. I mean what the heck are these DAWS for anyways ??😉 I have one guy who wants me to work with a track he played through an echo -pedal on guitar. I promised him I would download and work with it. I can free up some time somewhere though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Starise sure.. Transiberian orch prog could work for me.  I'm not a super fast player and I can hand with a time signature change here and again.

I too have a full time job. In fact I own a business that just expanded to a second location (business managed IT services, web development and internet marketing) so my time is pretty fractured, but I get around to it while the wife plays video games! 

Let me know how you want to do it and er will see what we can come up with. 

I do play to a click, by the way! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok sounds like you're a busy guy too. I'll invite you to my band and try to get something rolling from there. I play keys and can  play prog. I'm on a break at work now so not at liberty to be doing all of that. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lei Wiang I began a prog rock song last evening. It sounds all old and dated like well....prog rock sounds. I like that sometimes though. I thought it might make more sense to see what genre you like and maybe I'll look at that too. What do you like to sing?

I seen you joined up on my band. I am a little slow to get moving but I'll be around. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Starise said:

Lei Wiang I began a prog rock song last evening. It sounds all old and dated like well....prog rock sounds. I like that sometimes though. I thought it might make more sense to see what genre you like and maybe I'll look at that too. What do you like to sing?

I seen you joined up on my band. I am a little slow to get moving but I'll be around. 

I can't really sing.  What do you think about an instrumental version of Scarborough Fair?  I have an arrangement in mind.  If I manage the time, I'll put down a piano backing track, and "band members" can fill in the parts.

No worries about speed of progress - like you and many others here, I have a non-music day time job, so this is something to fit in-between work and family time.

I'm sure I could play along your prog rock song too.

There are many ways for online collaboration - to me this exercise is to understand how Bandlab can be used as the collaboration tool.

 

The other day I was playing around with CbB's new Export To Bandlab function : it uploaded it to Bandlab as a 'published' version - in other words - public.  If I could have a feature request - I would want the choice of whether the upload should be Private, or Published. As for example after making a Backing Track on CbB for "our" band - I would then want to export it to CbB privately only to the Band page first - as obviously it would not be in a form that is ready for the public yet.

 

Wei Liang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is educational for me too Wei Liang  no worries. I always liked that song. If that's what you want to do go for it. I have my own reasons for not directly exporting files to music sites. Sometimes I master in another program. 

I agree concerning the ability to choose private or public. If I were to send to a part of something unfinished I would not want it to be a public track yet. Bands need to work on material before the material is released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can uploaded material be made private after is was made public?   

If not, can it be deleted so that it's gone for good, and then upload again privately without using the export feature of CbB?

I do not know (yet) the logistics of BandLab collaboration - it's ins and outs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK some feedback so far.

I tried to export via the toolbar in CbB.  For some reason it didn't work, but after that, subsequent attempts at exporting would not work - BandLab Assistant would report "No project changes detected".  Even if I tweaked the volumes, added a track, etc.

In fact what seemed to have happened was that a previously deleted project became undeleted!

So I went on to make a project using the BandLab Mix Editor, and manually imported the audio tracks from my Cakewalk project.  This works, but - playback with this Mix Editor is not quite right.  As the play progresses, there seems to be some subtle skips - not sure if it is something to do with audio buffers, or it trying to shift time, or whatever.  [ For the record : I have no problems with this with Sonar/CbB - but this seems to be an audible issue in BL's Mix Editor ]  The song sounds fine when played through the BandLab player.

@ToddskinsDespite what the BandLab Help Center says - I could not find the supposed "Unpublish" button.  What worked was deleting, then restoring - when restoring it became Private.  I think to subsequently publish it, one has to open Mix Editor and then press Publish from there.

So far my impressions of the technical process of exporting haven't been good.  But lets see how the collaboration concepts work.  Over to you now @Starise to add/delete/change anything you like.   So far this has been uploading a pre-recorded WAV file.  I haven't yet tried recording directly into Mix Editor.

(Oh BTW Mix Editor does not seem to accept 12/8 time signatures.  It will accept 6/8)

Wei Liang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Toddskins said:

Can uploaded material be made private after is was made public?   

If not, can it be deleted so that it's gone for good, and then upload again privately without using the export feature of CbB?

I do not know (yet) the logistics of BandLab collaboration - it's ins and outs.

@Wie Liang, Thank you for that info and for working with me on this. Also I noticed the skips in audio played in Mix Editor. I think this is in fact a buffer issue, since the track plays fine for me outside of the Mix Editor.

@ToddskinsI'm not sure about that one. The project me and Wei Liang are working on is a private band project. I like that a project can be made private. Not sure about the other way around.

I will keep what I find out on this thread since it might help someone else. I also have a few questions. Wie Liang I had you figured to be an experienced user of Bandlab. You seem to know your way around it pretty well.

Last evening Wie Liang uploaded a nice piano version of Scarborough Fair. He suggested electric guitar and bass as additional tracks. I did my best to comply. I used my ESP rock bass and real electric guitar. His track was locked in pretty tight to an addictive drums loop. @Wie Liang,  I'm sure that my tracks tracks would only be placeholders or ideas for me to make better tracks at this point. I didn't attempt to stretch any audio. The electric guitar track could be better.

I'll share some of my experiences so far- For some reason there were three copies of the same tune up. It would appear that my clicking more than once on something made multiple copies  of it. I'm not sure how I did it, so I'm not sure how to correct it.

I imported Wie Liang's piano and drum tracks into CbB and that's how I recorded my tracks in time to his tracks which I then exported as separate tracks to go to the BL mix editor app. I find the Mix Editor to be functional but I wasn't comfortable enough with it to record directly into it. I was more comfortable doing it the way I did it. Once tracks are in the BL Mix Editor you don't have nearly as much flexibility as a DAW. Not sure how a master would sound from it, though BL offers to master it for free. Since there is no reverb bus I'm not sure how you would add reverb in a balanced way.

 

 

Edited by Starise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, yapweiliang said:

Despite what the BandLab Help Center says - I could not find the supposed "Unpublish" button.  What worked was deleting, then restoring - when restoring it became Private.  I think to subsequently publish it, one has to open Mix Editor and then press Publish from there.

So far my impressions of the technical process of exporting haven't been good. 

I've uploaded a few short, simple things just to get a feel for it  - http://bandlab.com/brundlefly .  The first few projects posted using the Export to Bandlab function in CbB had to be explicitly published after the fact, but the last couple have been published automatically, and I have not yet found and 'unpublish' option.

I would be interested in a simple collab to get a feel for the process. My forte is improvising chord progressions, rhythmic hooks and 'grooves' on keys. I can write a good melody, but I'm not an accomplished solo/lead player, so I would mostly be looking for collaborators to add solos/harmonies/vocals/bass/percussion/etc. to established instrumental song structures. I don't spend a lot of time on mixing and mastering, either, so anyone who's really into that part of the process would be welcome as well.

Regarding what happens when you make things forkable, my first impression is that there's too big a gap in control between collaborating with known, invited people in a 'band'  with a fixed endpoint, and just letting anybody do anything forever into the future.  I might try it at some point, but it would have to be something that I consider a 'throwaway' piece. One thought I had about the problem of people throwing obnoxious lyrics on things would be for Bandlab to add  a 'No Lyrics' option with some analytical capability to recognize when uploaded content includes language elements. My stuff is all instrumental, and I would most often want to keep it that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Tim. My next plan when i next get some time is to record something against the existing mix. But by using my smartphone and/or Mix Editor. The key question is how well these would synchronise (ie latency corrections). 

I am wanting to explore how easy it is to do this without "professional" equipment. Of course there will be a difference in technical quality using a phone microphone. But on the other hand i hope i could engage other musicians more easily (specifically musicians who do not have the DAW equipment) 

The next question is how easily it would be to import the bandlab project into CbB to mix and do additional tweaks and tracks. 

So the usage scenario that i am hoping to achieve is :

1. Simple backing track made. Export to BandLab. 

2. My nieces and nephews in various parts of the world record their parts (using BandLab) 

2.b.  How easy is it to manage takes?

3. I put everything back into CbB. Mix. Edit. AutoTune. Etc and then give them the completed song.  

People like @michaelhanson will not need this process as they already have much better procedures in place as well as band members with the skills and equipment to do so. 

Wei Liang 

Edited by yapweiliang
Additional comments

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, David Baay said:

One thought I had about the problem of people throwing obnoxious lyrics on things would be for Bandlab to add  a 'No Lyrics' option with some analytical capability to recognize when uploaded content includes language elements. My stuff is all instrumental, and I would most often want to keep it that way.

@David Baay 

I like this idea David. Due to the nature of BL it seems unlikely that they could keep all of it out, maybe I'm wrong here. I think I seen a place to add explanations to tracks. I'm thinking we could add what we prefer and what we don't prefer there? Not sure how helpful it would be. If BL is both a closed tracks area and/or bands private area, I'm ok with that. Like you, I wouldn't put anything put onto the other areas that I cared much about. It might be a good way to pick up band members who might compliment what you do though. It looks like we are similar or I would invite. We probably make each other redundant 😉

21 hours ago, yapweiliang said:

My next plan when i next get some time is to record something against the existing mix. But by using my smartphone and/or Mix Editor. The key question is how well these would synchronise (ie latency corrections). 

@yapweiliang 

 I didn't notice the latency when playing  from the main BL stream. On my end it wasn't really like latency, more like a slight distortion in sound quality. I have a fairly fast connection and still experienced some slight issues when playing back  the Mix Editor. My guess is that this is likely a price we pay to mix from the BL server. It wasn't bad enough to keep me from hearing it or making basic mix decisions. That might not be true for everyone. We might have a new member!! A drummer. Not sure if he is interested yet.

Here is another thought  for those who are accustomed to  composing multiple parts. Most composers are always thinking of new parts to add. I am finding when using BL that I need to back off some. I think I over did the bass part. It can be difficult to think like this, but we need to leave holes. It's actually less work because it isn't up to you to do it all. If I get a fairly busy part  adding counter point might not really be beneficial. I think you kind of need to feel it out to see where things can fit and be thinking minimalist in most cases. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Starise said:

Most composers are always thinking of new parts to add. I am finding when using BL that I need to back off some. I think I over did the bass part. It can be difficult to think like this, but we need to leave holes. It's actually less work because it isn't up to you to do it all. If I get a fairly busy part  adding counter point might not really be beneficial. I think you kind of need to feel it out to see where things can fit and be thinking minimalist in most cases. 

I agree. Since I spent so many years playing solo piano before I got into recording, my stuff tends to have 'built-in' bass and melody lines, making it difficult to add/replace those parts with other instruments. And just removing the 'offending' lines (by the magic of MIDI) doesn't often yield a coherent keyboard part. Playing as a member of a band, even just a duo, requires a totally different approach.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK in regards Publishing / Unpublishing : today by chance I discovered that these Buttons do actually exist! - but most of the time they are not visible.  See attached picture.  I have flagged this up in the BandLAb "Submit a Request" page.  Although I am not sure which/where is the best place for reporting what seems like a bug on their website.  If there are any passing BandLab techs - any information in this?

bandlab buttons.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, David Baay said:

I agree. Since I spent so many years playing solo piano before I got into recording, my stuff tends to have 'built-in' bass and melody lines, making it difficult to add/replace those parts with other instruments. And just removing the 'offending' lines (by the magic of MIDI) doesn't often yield a coherent keyboard part. Playing as a member of a band, even just a duo, requires a totally different approach.

Absolutely.

I think in this exercise it is primarily to figure out the usage of BL for collaboration.  But for collaboration in general - and even playing live in a band - one does need to leave "space" for other instruments/vocalists otherwise it sounds very crowded.  I learnt a huge amount musically after playing a second instrument as part of an orchestra, and playing as part of a band.  Prior to that, it was solo piano.

One way to approach a collaborative project like this is to use the initial track as a "guide" - so for example I have put in a piano part and I have also (as a non-drummer) put in a drum part to suggest a style - that eventually a proper drummer might replace with their performance (or replace with a completely different style 🙂 ), and eventually other band members could add their parts until the initial guide track is no-longer necessary.

Wei Liang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=Mixing.57.html 

I found this - it explains the intended functioning (including that exports are private by default).  So there must be a bug somewhere.  I have uninstalled and reinstalled BL Assistant, so will see if the problem persists.  (I was already on the latest version of BL Assistant).

Wei Liang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/17/2019 at 4:07 PM, yapweiliang said:

One way to approach a collaborative project like this is to use the initial track as a "guide" - so for example I have put in a piano part and I have also (as a non-drummer) put in a drum part to suggest a style - that eventually a proper drummer might replace with their performance (or replace with a completely different style 🙂 ), and eventually other band members could add their parts until the initial guide track is no-longer necessary.

Blades is looking into this now. Sounds like a plan! I told Blades he could delete anything of mine that might be throwing him off. I haven't had time to get back to it yet. FYI, you guys can  comment on BL messages too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...