April 14, 2024

Ok, so we all know that the latest Macs all run Intel processors. You might have heard of an Apple Beta program called Boot Camp where you can get your Mac to boot up as a *shutter* Windows XP computer. You might also have heard of a program Parallels that lets you mitigate Windows to just a Window. Well, if you take the two programs, and add in Band in a Box 2007 for PC, you get a very functional program that runs pretty flawlessly.

Yes, Virginia, it works fine….

Ok, so, first off, you need to download Boot Camp, and get Microsoft Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 2. Not Vista. Vista, as of right now, works fine in Boot Camp (IE: Dedicating the whole machine to it), but has a lot of issues with Parallels. Boot Camp is picky, and you need to have Service Pack 2.

Now, having a legit Windows XP copy, and Boot Camp, run Boot Camp. Right now, Boot camp needs to be on the internal drive (say on an iMac or a Laptop). You need to make a drivers CD (for use after Windows installs). Then, it ask you how much space you want to allocate. I gave mine 15 gigs as I plan on trying out some sampled instrument players as well. Remember the size, cause when Windows installs, it will ask you what drive you want to make a Windows NTFS drive. So, if you have an iMac with 160 gig drive, and allocate 15 gigs to Windows, then the 15 gig partition, which on mine showed up as C:, will be the drive you select.

Anyhow, its relatively painless to install Windows. It took about 40 minutes on my iMac. Then, when it boots into Windows, you put in the Drivers CD you made, and install all that. Reboot, and Windows looks pretty good (for Windows) on the iMac.

Next, you want to boot back into OS X. Go to the Start Menu, and Control Panels, and switch it to Classic view. There should be a Startup Disk in there. Select OS X. Reboot.

Now, back in OS X, go to Parallels. You need to create an account, and get a key. Now, don’t download the 1970 build. You want to go to beta testing to get the 3150 build (or later). This will allow you to have Parallels use the XP you installed via Boot Camp. Read the Manual, not the Quick one. Look for Boot Camp, it will tell you exactly how to get it to boot up.

Couple of things you should consider.

  • First, give it a lot of memory, especially if you use a sampled library (like Bandstand). I gave Parallels 800 megs of memory out of 2 gigs. Things worked fine.
  • Second, create a shared folder. You can drag things out of the NTFS partition (which your Windows should be installed under, you really don’t want to use FAT). But you can’t copy stuff to it from the Mac side. Parallels allows you to easily do this.
  • Disk Space. I’m not 100 percent sure if you can allocate more space to Windows if you need it. Probably not. Create a good sized main partition for Windows XP. At least 15gigs, if not more. You can add other disks to it, but for most Music stuff, I think 15 gigs would be easily enough, unless you own like Kontkat or something….

In a perfect world, PG Music would have an up-to-date version of Band in a Box for Mac. They don’t. They have hinted it is a priority for them, but….who knows. This isn’t the cheapest solution to get Band in a Box running on a Mac ($279 for XP, $79 for Parallels plus the cost of Band in a Box), but it works really well.

Update: 02/03 05:28 GMT by E :I tried using some sampled instruments, along with BinaB 2007’s Real drums. Works great. I haven’t, yet, tried to do a render of a song yet. I’m thinking it would be fine. I did notice that NI Bandstand does not want to work at all so far. I don’t know if it is because I haven’t registered it (debating, wanted to see it run under Parallels first before buying it).

Another thing, the Coherence mode is freaking insane. Only thing is that it seems not to support 2 monitors right now.

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