PG Music just released an update to one of the best programs out for Apple using musicians….Band in a Box 2014 for Mac
What is new? Well, they are touting their “GUI has been redesigned” thing. Here is what it looks like: while it’s a little better than it was, it still has a LOT of issues. First, you can’t really get rid of any of the unnecessary buttons. Like say you never ever are going to use the Video Help. Or you never want to do StyleMaker. Or the Jukebox mode. You are stuck with them.
More RealTracks. Even some Phil Woods and Gary Smulyan….though the way Band in a Box “puts together” a Phil Woods solo, it sounds strange. Not very Phil like at all for me.
The other “big” thing is that you can start adding your own loops to chords and stuff. “And, if you add an Acid loop that is on a certain root (e.g. F), Band-in-a-Box will instantly allow you to use that as a complete style, by transposing that loop to the current chord of the song in Band-in-a-Box, so that the loop follows your chord progression.” Which is great news.
Gripes….yes, of COURSE there are gripes about the program.
First, besides the cutter and button problems from above, lets talk about their Yellow and Green boxes. Instead of using the Notification center like a good Mac OS X program, it uses these hack-y little green and yellow boxes. They are really addicted to them. So much so they even have a “FlashMessageLog.txt” feature they added to show you a log of the messages. Come on people, if you did it in Notification Center, you wouldn’t need to do that.
Second, serial numbers. For a long…..long time. Since the beginning……there has NEVER been a serial number to use Band in a Box. Ever. EVER. Even back on the Atari ST days……no serial numbers. Hello 2014……you get a serial number. Not sure if it actually goes anywhere and checks to see if you have used your allocated number of computers (which is generous, 3). But still……serial numbers? That is not going to stop anyone. Even Adobe’s creative cloud stuff is out there for download and fully operational with serial/auth hacks. I guess it is more the “between friends” sharing then? I dunno. Does it check in with something? I guess I will find out, since I technically have 4 macs which I can install this on….so yea….
Third, full screen. They say they have a Full Screen mode, but its not a Mac full screen. Its more a NO TOOLBAR clutter mode.
So, besides the little gripes I have, this is still…..BY FAR……one of the best programs for a musician. Anyone getting this NEEDS to have the FULL thing, with all the RealTracks (or at least the ones you are interested in). It’s yet another refinement of an excellent program. Lets hope next year’s version (2015) comes sporting a 10.10 style redesign.