I'm returning to guitar after decades away and mostly focused on just getting my playing abilities (such as they were) back. My focus in the 80's (and now) is fingerstyle arrangements intended to be played purely solo (I am or soon will be playing a Gibson ES-175D through a Line6 HD500X and FRFR). Win7 laptop, BTW - fairly high end w/8GB Ram and 8 cpu's.

While I have no intent to start producing stuff to be posted on Youtube (or whatever), I can imagine wanting to record my own backing tracks or using available backing tracks, adding a drum, and playing (for myself) with that stuff going. My original thought was that at some time I would add a DAW and probably some kind of low end drum thing. But for an anniversary gift my wife took the (possibly ill-advised - not sure) advice of a friend and gave me a copy of Band in a Box 2016 (which also includes RealBand, although I don't understand the difference).

And from playing with this for 30 minutes or so this would appear to be something that will most certainly handle my needs as described above. Until my HD500X arrives in a few days I don't even have the ability to try out the recording piece (no DI).

So am I missing something or will this 'fill my needs without a DAW'?

And to demonstrate the depth of my ignorance here, I have another question. I keep reading about plug-ins WRT DAW's. From what I can tell BIAB could run as a plug-in in Reaper or vice-versa. So my question is "what functionality do I get if I were to put some DAW plug-in into BIAB?". I am familiar with plugins conceptually in the context of (for example) browsers where a 'Flash' plug-in would allow you to see Flash content in a browser window.

So if I were to have a Reaper plug-in installed in BIAB, would I do that in order to be able to get to native Reaper files from within Reaper and maybe put them on a track in BIAB or RealBand? I am assuming that Reaper has 'native files' and I don't even know that - just guessing.

Yes - this question accurately reflects how little I know about this world.


Last edited by DaveLeeNC at May 13, 2016,
I doubt that Band in a Box will be robust enough to create anything but ideas, not that there's anything wrong with that.
There is a pedal out now called the Digitech Trio and Trio + that incorporates that technology and it is cool, works great for simple arrangements. Once you want to put in some complexity it doesn't do so well, especially the bass, the drums seem to do ok.

It will be a nice practice tool if nothing else and it could start some cool songs.