You may be somewhat confused about the Loops-with-Style PAKs and their difference from just new styles. I was. After all, they are 50 new styles with 100 built-in loops that change at an A/B marker. Can’t you just do this yourself with Band-in-a-Box 2020?
Surprisingly, after that setup, the answer is “yes”. You could do that. If you had the new styles and newly remastered RealDrums and RealTracks that come with Loops-with-Style PAK2 and then made loops using this material! And if you wrote A and B parts that linked seamlessly, especially the drum tracks. And of course if you had mastered the use of A / B markers.
So let’s back up. The Loops-with-Style PAKs are “content add-on PAKs” for Band-in-a-Box that include 100 loops in .WAV format. Then there are 50 RealStyles to showcase the loops and give you a good idea of some things that you can do with them. And to be sure you get the most out of the PAK, there are 50 song demos to showcase the RealStyles.
Big thanks to Jareth Whitney of PG Music who gave me the following explanation:
“None of the contents of the Loops-with-Style PAKs include a new style technology – they use the existing features of Band-in-a-Box. The styles that are included are intended to showcase the loops and give the user a starting point. They are conventional RealStyles with embedded loops. The loops in the Loops-with-Style PAKs offer a simpler alternative to the complexity of RealDrums. This is a quality that is often useful for the production of several genres of music, including pop, R&B, hip hop, neo soul, EDM, etc. It may also be useful to someone who is practicing and wants accompaniment to be as simple as possible (with no drum fills).
We created these loops by carefully picking our favorite segments of existing RealTracks and RealDrums source audio. We then remixed, remastered, and combined these audio segments to make new and creative sounds. The result is a collection of loops that integrate intelligently into Band-in-a-Box and have a highly produced sound.“
This is a rather humble way of saying that these are production-ready loops that sound great, and are just waiting for your content. Note that this team of technical and musical brilliance chose their favourite segments from a huge array of excellent material, giving you a best-of-the-best result in both sound and style. The crucial part of this concept is that the drums match perfectly between A and B sections. In Band-in-a-Box these loops automatically switch between A and B at the part markers, with no more work required from you. This is very similar to how RealDrums work now, so this is nothing that couldn’t be done in BiaB already, but the Loops-with-Style are pre-formatted, designed to loop correctly for you without having to tinker around with them.
Not surprisingly, the main benefits are most useful in BiaB, but you can actually use them in any DAW as long as it support loops. However, in doing this you lose the benefit of intelligent part marker switching (which is built-in to BiaB). Still, all of the loops are “acidized” so that if your DAW supports this then it can automatically detect the tempo and key.
For those of you who are expert, and are willing to forego the new styles, go ahead. But I should warn you that the new styles are terrific, and are not taken from Xtra Styles PAK 9. Once again, they go deeper into certain genres, and they sound amazing. And for most of us, who might think we would dig into the A / B thing on our own, you know we won’t. At least not until our current project is finished. So here is a great gift to give a loop-based song or just a looped section of a song a step up, ready-to-go loops just waiting for your own chord progression, melody, tempo, etc. Once again there is a demo video to show you the breadth of these loops and give you an idea of which ones you want to start with. And for me at least, they are a real impetus to go further with the concepts of different sections with their own marker points. So don’t forget the online manuals here, which can also be downloaded as PDF files. I like the online manual because it can be corrected and updated immediately, but the PDF version is handy too, especially if the internet goes down or your computer has to be offline.
With money being tight for most musicians, this is a wonderful gift for those on a limited budget. At $29, it offers months and years of fun and experimentation, bringing many ideas to fruition as songs with enough variation so that your audience doesn’t jump to “aw, that’s a computer!” while still keeping the power of the software in your hands. (Yes, most people know that music is made on computers now, but there’s no need for it to sound like it was!)
Again, as long as the rent, utilities, and food are paid for, this is a great bargain for musicians. For parents of BiaB 2020 users, this is an ideal gift for graduation, birthday, or just any ol’ day. This goes for significant others and would-be significant others as well. Bravo to PG Music for keeping their styles fresh and helping their users to get professional-quality results with a minimum of effort, allowing us to concentrate on the music!