Backing Tracks - it's time...

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Gasp100, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    Giving it a shot. I have a rare rehearsal on Thursday night and we are going to be diaing in our IEM mixes. I figure now is as good a time as any to work on incorporating some light, tasteful backing tracks. I'm planning on using my iPhone 6 using the BackTrax app to start. I've tested my tracks (music on L, click on R) coming into the mixer and then only sending the click to everyone's aux mix (no mains) and of course sending the music to auxes and main mix.
    There was bleed through using the iPhone but NOT using the iPad when connected into my Mackie DL1608. Luckily I found a quick blurb that mentioned "sound check" enabled on the iPhone can cause bleed, so I disabled that on the iPhone and voila works and sounds great <just a PSA if anyone is having similar issues>
    It would be sweet to just use the iPad playback feature in the Mackie DL1608 but I would have to walk back to the mixer to hit PLAY and that could be dicey.
    Question is now that I'm heading down this road... should I track everything? or at least start bringing in CLICK for everything?

    And how to handle a gig where we are not doing sound? I had another thread about a splitter snake and general consensus was either forget it and don't use IEMS or try and trust the sound guy to provide IEM mix. We all use the PSM200 which allows us to bring in a second channel (in my case guitar) so I could have more me on the fly if needed).
    My "failsafe" is to have stripped versions of the songs we can play without tracks or possibly even a completely separate set list.
    So in general, what is your process live?
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  2. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    I can't help you, but I'm just curious which tunes you are going to be using the tracks on and what is going to be on the tracks?
     
  3. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

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    Don't forget to put your phone into airplane mode during the gig.
     
  4. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I was going to jump in with Uptown Funk but there is a LOT of space in that tune. I love the old school synth stabs and upon further listen the horns are pretty important. I started by doing a stripped down version (which I may still use) but want to give it a shot with trax.
    But I'm actually going back through old set lists and choosing tunes we do without trax and I'm going to build those as well. I figure if it's something we are already familiar with and have gigged extensively it will be easier to bring in click and some light tracks to embellish. IF that works then try new with Uptown Funk and they want to medley that with Thriller (both 115bpm) and similar groove so I want to turn that into something cool.
    I've seen no less than FIVE vids over the weekend of local bands playing Uptown Funk - all with tracks or keys or both lol... I have a decent skill with arranging and I've done a lot of engineering so I'm hoping to bring something cool to the table without taking away from the live feel of the band.
    We'll see what happens!
     
  5. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    We tried our first track on Friday's gig, second song in this mashup - definitely promising but need to use cowbell only as the click and raise that sucker up high. I also think for live I need to raise up the BPM of some of these tracks from record. The IEM's are getting dialed in, this is gonna be cool!

    Here is a quick video mashup I did of Friday night's gig using FW18. Keep in mind this is a small Zoom Q4 and I forgot to raise up the stereo mics (LIKE I ALWAYS DO!!! :( on the side of the floor that doesn't have the sub... oh, and auto compression so it's clamping down the entire mix the whole time. BUT, I still think it sounds pretty good! Looking to get some pro video / audio very soon!
     
  6. Holliman

    Holliman Triad Abuser

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    No matter how you spin it, backing tracks are artificial. Too little and it's pointless, too much and it's synthetic. Good luck with it! I'd definitely have a bailout button or switch to kill the track should ya'll get off the click. It's very hard to readjust if it happens and most times better to kill the track if the band even gets close to getting off.
     
  7. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    I see your point and appreciate your opinion.

    If light use of tracks will make us sound better (fuller, some cooler instrumentation, ability to add MORE live backing vocals, etc...) AND will make us tighter by playing to a click as a band live, I'm going to continue to pursue. We played 40 songs and tracked 1.
    I could see us getting to about 10-15 total.
    Most importantly, if that additional instrumentation/FX can get us into bigger/better rooms and better pay without adding a 5th member (which I have now decided is simply NOT an option) then I'm in and I'm sure my mates would agree. I haven't received any pushback from my bandmates, in fact they are all looking forward to it as a challenge and a way to enhance the overall sound.
     
  8. Holliman

    Holliman Triad Abuser

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    That's great. I wasn't trying to discourage you, just giving my POV. I play behind tracks 80% of the time weekly with one venue. Good luck!
     

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