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Starise

BandLab Questions/Experiences

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On 1/17/2019 at 8:52 PM, yapweiliang said:

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

 

OK So I have discovered that there are a number of buttons, such as PUBLISH, SHARE, DOWNLOAD, etc, etc that do not get shown unless my AdBlockPlus is disabled.  For now I have whitelisted the Bandlab.com website.

 

However DOWNLOAD does not appear to give the option of downloading in the .BLX format (BandLab Interchange) which seems to be what has now appeared in the Import menu of CbB.  (It does give the option of downloading the mix as MP3/WAV/etc).

EDIT : @Jesse Jost  https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.php?/topic/822-current-release-201901/&do=findComment&comment=6198 wrote that this was a preview feature.

Cross reference to post by  @Blades  https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.php?/topic/800-update-notes/&do=findComment&comment=6329

 

Wei Liang

 

Edited by yapweiliang
make web link;

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9 minutes ago, yapweiliang said:

@Jesse JostHi Jesse I cannot see the option to "Download Stems".  I am using BL Assistant 5.0.2 which I believe is the current (latest) version.

Same here - all I see is "Download Mix", even though my BandLab project has separate audio tracks.

EDIT:

I can see the "Download Stems" option on the BandLab editor (in the browser), which allows me to download each track as a separate m4a file.

There's no "Download Stems" option on the BandLab Assistant though, and I can't see anything to save as a blx file.

Edited by msmcleod

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I will check this tonight. I seen new tracks in the band. Had a brief listen. Will listen again. One thing that amazes me is how are you doing this using a smartphone? Are you hooking a midi keyboard to the phone or using bluetooth? Maybe I missed the obvious, you played it into the phone mic. The quality didn't quite seem to be there compared to a better sample library on the initial listen.

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It was literally find 5 spare minutes when kids are quiet. Take out cello. Plug headphones into phone. Ensure latency setting is correct (turns out it wasn't). Press record (bandlab app).  So you are listening to a mere mortal playing a cello in non-ideal recording room using the mic from the mobile phone. I suggest the weakest link is my cello playing rather than equipment. 

The flute part was similar process but using the bandlab web interface and using my usual sound interface (motu) and C1000 mic and whatever sound driver (not ASIO) that Windows uses for its connection to the motu. Doesn't give me a choice. This time latency was correct but there must be some buffering issue in the web interface as you can hear some clicks recorded in the flute part. 

Wei Liang 

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@Jesse Jost Thank you for this!

20 hours ago, yapweiliang said:

It was literally find 5 spare minutes when kids are quiet. Take out cello. Plug headphones into phone. Ensure latency setting is correct (turns out it wasn't). Press record (bandlab app).  So you are listening to a mere mortal playing a cello in non-ideal recording room using the mic from the mobile phone. I suggest the weakest link is my cello playing rather than equipment. 

The flute part was similar process but using the bandlab web interface and using my usual sound interface (motu) and C1000 mic and whatever sound driver (not ASIO) that Windows uses for its connection to the motu. Doesn't give me a choice. This time latency was correct but there must be some buffering issue in the web interface as you can hear some clicks recorded in the flute part. 

Wei Liang 

@yapweiliang No worries, this is supposed to be fun. After the second listen I hear the cello which is pretty good for a phone recording. May I play with the flute part some? The first thing that comes to mind is that a mic or interface for the phone would be monumental for a portable situation. IK makes a lot of that kind of thing. The latency is a concern and it seems tracks will need to be moved to line up unless the phone has a faster interface, like maybe iPhone using core audio/midi drivers. I use an android phone. Not sure what's out there that could reduce latency.

I think we should try something with just the cello and violin sometime since I play violin probably good enough for a decent try at it. In this track the cello is fighting the other tracks and should be brought up. Thank you for giving that a go. Difficult for a cello to do in this context. Since I don't rely on a smart phone entirely I haven't had the need to investigate this.

 

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7 hours ago, Jesse Jost said:

@yapweiliang @Starise @msmcleod BandLab Assistant has just been updated (5.0.3), you should now see the 'Download Stems' command in the project menu.

Do you have to have uploaded something to see this?
Maybe I'm just not looking in the right place or have not activated something.

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5 minutes ago, TheSteven said:

Do you have to have uploaded something to see this?
Maybe I'm just not looking in the right place or have not activated something.

Yep, you must have a project in BandLab in order for it to appear in BA's project list. It can be created in BL or exported to BL from CW. The UI looks like this:

image.png

More details here: https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=Cakewalk&language=3&help=NewFeatures.02.html

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I got a bit confused about this at first as I was expecting the stems to appear in my downloads folder.

It actually gets downloaded to your documents folder:  Documents\BandLab\Downloads

When you select File->Import->BandLab Project from within Cakewalk, it takes you directly to that directory.

Selecting the .blx project will import all the stems into your project.

It works a treat though, so thanks bakers :)

Edited by msmcleod
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5 hours ago, Starise said:

@Jesse Jost Thank you for this!

@yapweiliang No worries, this is supposed to be fun. After the second listen I hear the cello which is pretty good for a phone recording. May I play with the flute part some? The first thing that comes to mind is that a mic or interface for the phone would be monumental for a portable situation. IK makes a lot of that kind of thing. The latency is a concern and it seems tracks will need to be moved to line up unless the phone has a faster interface, like maybe iPhone using core audio/midi drivers. I use an android phone. Not sure what's out there that could reduce latency.

I think we should try something with just the cello and violin sometime since I play violin probably good enough for a decent try at it. In this track the cello is fighting the other tracks and should be brought up. Thank you for giving that a go. Difficult for a cello to do in this context. Since I don't rely on a smart phone entirely I haven't had the need to investigate this.

 

@StariseFeel free to add, delete, change, etc : this is about trying out BandLab as a collaboration tool.  Also, feel free to make the piece public, invite others in, etc.

 

In regards latency - so here is some feedback from my experience of trying Bandlab.  YMMV.  But before that - just to say that the actual latency does not matter as I am not using live monitoring or live effects.  So, even if the latency is 500ms, as long as it is correctly represented, it will all line up correctly.

So with the mobile phone (BandLab app) - at least for my phone (android) - it allows you to measure the latency - which is basically the app makes a number of frequency sweeps and records itself - and comes up with its own measurement.  I note that this latency is different, depending on whether I am using the headphones, or, the built-in speaker (by as much as about 20-30ms).  In the particular version (which was the latest version at the time I recorded) I think there may be a bug - in that after it measured the latency, it did not seem to apply it.  So in that particular recording, the cello was out of sync, and as I didn't feel like re-taking it, I just manually shifted it using the bandlab browser application - basically using the mouse, shift it a bit until it looks and sounds right.  I think the actual quality of the phone's mic is not too bad.

With the web browser BandLab interface a.k.a. Mix Editor - this also has its own process for measuring latency - which basically tells you to point your mic at the loudspeakers, and it makes some noises and measures its latency.  On my particular system (Chrome browser, Windows 10, USB motu interface) it was a relatively high latency.  But it was correctly measured (or near enough) and the recorded track was in sync.  Earlier in the 'experiment' we had noticed that the Mix Editor on play back appears to have some clicky noises - ?? due to buffering or other issue - but we disregarded it as, when the Project was 'mixed' and played back as a whole, outside the the Mix Editor - it sounded fine.  However with recording via the Mix Editor - I encountered the same problem - so the recorded Flute part does have some subtle noises which my guess (I am not an expert) are due to a buffering issue.  With the Mix Editor - it uses the default/active playback device (Windows 10) and allows you to choose an input device (as available/visible to W10) - and I believe these would be the safe/slow drivers (i.e. not the ASIO drivers) - the measured latency was 193ms (much more than the mobile phone's latency)

Now with the new 5.0.3 BLA feature of exporting the BandLab project as stems - firstly - this works quite effortlessly (thank you very much for this feature).  I would prefer that it notified you which folder it was saving it in, and also notified you that downloading has started in the background and when downloading was finished, rather than a 'done' type of message (as I was pretty sure my broadband speed - is fast, but not that fast!).  I imported the stems back into the same CbB project to see if the tracks lined up.  They more or less do, but not sample-perfect (i.e. the null test fails - most likely due to temporal alignment).  See picture - Track 13 is the original drum track, Track 16 is the re-imported track.   It is possible that myself, or Tim, have accidentally nudged or 'touched' the track in the Mix Editor version.  (I also assume that Addictive Drums 2 has not "re-recorded" itself with slightly different timings.  But I also tried the null cancellation with the piano (Audio) track, and it did not cancel out).

Anyway this is my own experience so far.  Time permitting - more experimentation will be done.

Wei Liang

bandlab cbb alignment.jpg

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 @yapweiliang ,  I added a sax part and an acoustic guitar. I did a little work on the existing flute and uploaded that track. The pne thing we haven't yet tried is midi . Probably isn't a bad idea to have those uploaded on non audio tracks. If I were making a serious mix I might go back and line things up a little better. Not bad though IMO so far.

As you have suggested I'll open this up to everyone else and see what comes of it. 

On 1/23/2019 at 5:28 PM, yapweiliang said:

Earlier in the 'experiment' we had noticed that the Mix Editor on play back appears to have some clicky noises - ?? due to buffering or other issue - but we disregarded it as, when the Project was 'mixed' and played back as a whole, outside the the Mix Editor - it sounded fine. 

Exactly. All of the noise seems to go away after the mix is saved.I haven't tried the stems download yet since I only needed one track I simply copy/pasted and then dragged the track back from Cakewalk to BL.

Here is the link which is now public-

https://www.bandlab.com/band/band6822440552126412/scarborough-fair-starise-2da66-2740a?revId=2eb7ee74-a722-e911-9f2a-00155d7803f0

Edited by Starise

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Thanks Tim.  I've tweaked the balance (mix) a bit, cut out half of my cello part, and muted the electric guitar part.  (nice sax BTW).

So in terms of your workflow when tweaking my flute part - seeing as the clip did not start at zero - did you have to do much to get the clip back in the correct position in the time-line?  (in other words did you have to manually align it, or, did it remember the correct place when you imported it back?)

So far - I foresee my usage of BandLab as a tool for collaborating with other musician(s) remotely, who do not have the equipment nor interest in using fully-fledged DAW - i.e. they just record their part in sync with a guide-track using the simplest of equipment (e.g. mobile phone +/- Link Analog).  But having said that I still have some latency issues to iron out before I would use for real.

I think if I were to collaborate with another known CbB user - I would probably use DropBox and ensure that only one band member was working on the file at one time.

But on the other hand, I would never have had the pleasure of working with you, Tim, if not for the Bandlab platform.

 

We may or may not lay down more tracks.  In terms of next phase(s) in production - perhaps the BandLab platform would work well for people to tweak the mix and comment.  For example "I" could adjust the mix as I thought fit, and other members would chip in and say there was too-much/too-little drums here or there, and that could be tweaked; and so on, until the band was more-or-less happy with the result.  

What would be interesting to see, is whether the integration between CbB and BandLab become more invisible - in other words - CbB potentially working directly on the BandLab tracks, without having to import/export

Wei Liang

 

 

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@yapweiliang I like what you did with it and thanks!

 It hasn't been difficult for me to move the parts around. I simply drag them to the right place. Having the other track was helpful because I could line up the visual wave forms. I added my real violin to this alongside the flute. I'm not sure if I would keep it like that. The idea was to pan the flute slight left and the violin slight right. I like the treatment to the flute since it opens it up and lets that track breathe more. The only issue with the flute is I am hearing clicks in that part even after mix down. Not sure why. The file doesn't seem to be a  low res file and I don't think the clicks were added during processing. Somehow that part seems to have picked up clicks that I can't explain. Initially I thought it was latency.  

I understand your intent is to use BL for those who have cell phones and I think it's good for that. I downloaded the app for my android yesterday. I was impressed that I could pull up our mix while sitting in my car and even edit tracks. Pretty cool stuff! The BL UI is well thought out for what it is and looks easy to use. I would never in a million years have thought to use my smart phone to mix, but now I can see a use there even if only basic. Not so sure about the recording end of it right now. Makes a great ideas thing. I could see myself putting in basic audio for ideas purposes on the smart phone. 

You may have noticed   the last Cakewalk update includes the ability to both import and export tracks to and from Cakewalk. This should make things a lot easier when using both programs.  One main advantage to this is the band can hear everything almost in real time. No need to wait for a track in dropbox. One member can have the same mix in Cakewalk or all can. Depending on the band environment this could be a huge advantage. I mean, it's a  group of people who got together to  make music and exchange ideas about that music. I think this is a great way to do that.

I liked the piano track you sent. Well done. Pleasure working with you too.I'll leave it up to you what you want to do in the future. I might send a track out to the "band" in the near future. If you like what it is and want to add parts feel free. If someone else wants to add a part feel free on this. If you have an idea send it over.

Tim,

 

Edited by Starise

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Yes the clicks in the flute track are from the recording process from the browser Bandlab (Mix Editor). It sounds similar to the clicks on the play back so i think it is an issue with the combination of W10. Chrome. Audio driver. 

(i have no issues with CbB btw. The above issue seems limited to BandLab's Mix Editor). 

Wei Liang 

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Posted (edited)

Nice marriage with Cakewalk :) .Still... in a half an hour I was not able to understand how can I download the online project back to Cakewalk, in a usable MIDI form. The downloaded steam can be interesting as an option, anyhow not for me,  but from a professional point of view I need my work to be accessible in a nondestructive manner: MIDI. How do I get my online project in a MIDI form? (I don't dare to ask now cackewalk.cwp/wrk file, but this will be the real tool for professional use). The round-trip to start from Cakewalk (with a quite complex project) to import it online, work on it on the road, then finalizing it again in Cakewalk. Mp3  or even wave conversion can be interesting, but for a composer this is the last thing he is interested of.

Edited by florinko

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@florinkoin my opinion : i do not think that Bandlab is the correct tool to edit a complex MIDI song 'on the road'. It may be better to bring your laptop with Cakewalk instead. 

As far as I know the MIDI sound module (virtual instruments) for Bandlab is different from the ones bundled with Cakewalk. 

Wei Liang

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