It has been almost 1 month since I bought BBB and still I can't get the software to run 100% smoothly.
Things people don't know:
1 - Samples
I start with what is the best and also the worst of this library, the samples themselves.
I mean they sound great but I am having an ever increasing list of samples where you hear the musicians / recording engineers talking in the background in the end of the sample. So forget about using certain notes with many of the instruments alone.
2 Examples (out of many more) of Recording Engineers talking in background:
The first one is:
Alto-Sax-1_Legato_Mic-4 Glide Down sample from BBB, note is C4
The second one I dont recall now, but I can give you details later on
Hear the samples loud because the voices are quite lower than the note itself.
This is clearly not acceptable for a 2500 USD product
2 - Working in a modern multi PC studio (the dreadful Performer Tool)
It is simply not possible. Or at least not possible maintaining a good latency / fluid workflow.
The problem is the Performer Tool (one of the worst programmed performers I ever seen). Besides not being user friendly / well designed it takes a huge amount of screen space AND, above all, it needs the dongle to run.
So if you want to run BBB in a server PC, as most modern composers do these days, you need to run the performer in the same PC as where the libraries are installed.
As you can see this requires you to send the midi by lan to the server PC into the Performer, bring it back to the DAW PC, then send again the resulting midi to the Halion Player and bring back the audio.
Well then I thought, if I separated the licenses (you get 3 licenses) into 2 dongles, maybe I could run the Performer in the DAW PC.
A genius head also thought about making this not work properly because the Performer also checks the dongle and only makes available the patches whose licenses are in the PC dongle. This means for example, if you used the DAW PC for the Drums and leave the reeds and Brasses in the server PC you still have to run a performer in he server PC to get the Performer Patches for the Reeds and Brasses.
All this back and forth midi makes the instrument become slowww..
Also the performer regularly checks for the dongle in the PC so forget about switching the dongles from PC to PC.
I asked the creator of this library why this is not possible and the answer he told me was: "I never thought about using this (100Gbs) Product in a multi PC studio".
3 - The Halion Player
Simply put, it sucks (no surprises here). Not only it is horrible looking / horribly designed, but also the performance is FAR away from the performance from Kontakt / Giga. On top of this, you know the stability issues you get when you have more than one Player type in the same PC.
So software-wise, you get a crappy Performer AND a crappy player.
4 - Working in a single PC - Midi Routing Issues
So after knowing that you can only work with BBB in a single PC problems dont stop yet.
Being a 2500USD product and instead of doing like the amazing EWQL Symphonic Choirs' Worldbuilder, a midi plugin to control the midi messages and letting the workflow become much more fluid/faster/more intuitive, when you load a new project you have to load the Performer 1st, then load the project in the performer and then load the project in the DAW.
For this to work, they base themselves in a free program called Maple Midi. There are 3 problems with this:
a) Maple Midi will not be free forever;
b) It is only 32bit (so if you are using XP / Vist 64bit you have to BUY a new virtual Midi Cable program)
c) If you are using Sonar (like me) Maple midi will simply crash Sonar (even if in a 32bit OS).
So you pay 2500 USD AND you still have to buy a Midi routing program.
5 - Working in a single PC - Working with BBB as VST
The developer even told me this wasn't the best way to use BBB, you should use BBB in Hybrid ReWire mode). As I would expect, it is not very stable, so expect crashes.
In fact BBB was the first thing in almost 2 years to crash my studio.
6 - Working in a single PC - Working with BBB as Hyrbid ReWire
It is only 32 bit compatible (Hybrid ReWire technology has no 64-bit compatibility yet) so if you have XP/Vista 64bit forget about this.
You are limited to 2Gbs of RAM allocation (remember it is a 100Gbs library) and you can't count in the Halion Player DFD for tons of instruments at the same time, not at least in the same way as you can count on Kontakt.
When you open a project you have to:
1 - Open the Performer / load the performer project
2 - Open the DAW / Load the project
3 - Load Halion Player / Load the Halion project
Same goes when you save (in this deadline driven composing world, this IS time consuming).
7 - Comparing to other libraries
Drums - Good drums but not the best. With Atelier Robin Natural Drums you get excellent brush drums and much more.
Double Bass - Good one but VSL's Upright Bass:
or even Trilogy are better.
Brass - In terms of trumpets, The Trumpet from SampleModdeling is way better.
Trombones - I can't find a good replacement for jazzy sound, BBB's one are quite nice.
Tubas - VSL / EWQLSO / SI orchestra are good as well
Reeds - You wont get better Reeds anywhere but in BBB. The saxes are amazing and the clarinet too.
I don't mean by any means to make any of you not buy BBB, but this post is something that the world really needs.