Garbage is using tracks now too.

Bammer77

Member
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190
Garbage has always had elements of electronica in their music. I'd guess they've been using backing tracks their entire career. I remember a Butch Vig interview back in the day saying most of the songs on their first album had well over 100 different tracks of synths, electronic drums, loops, as well as guitars. It's part of their sound.
 

Radspin

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1,482
Yes, times have changed, with the use of tracks having gone from completely unacceptable to mostly no one cares. Call me old school. When I go to see a band, I want to see a BAND, not people playing along to tracks. Exception: Kraftwerk, since they wrote the book on man-machine musical symbiosis.
 

DrewJD82

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1,500
There are certain contexts where I don’t mind it, but overall find the use of tracks in a rock/metal band to be disgusting. I wouldn’t consider Garbage to be rock/metal as the primary genre, but more electronic with some rock elements, so they get a pass from me.

Just knowing how I use VST’s in the studio, I have some stuff that would be literally impossible to recreate live. I stack so many things up in a use-once-and-destroy situation that there’s no way I could figure out what sound came from where even if I wanted to figure out how to perform it live. I’d need a ridiculous computer that could handle running about 60 VST’s because I use multiple sounds in each VST to create one electronic track.

Now some of the metal bands I’ve seen who have their guitars and bass on tracks; nope. Screw those guys.
 

jabromusic

Silver Supporting Member
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5,812
There's a HUGE difference between what Garbage is doing here (using tracks and loops to fill in backing vocals and extra synth/percussion sounds) and what Kiss is doing on their current tour (EVERYTHING that Paul Stanley is "singing" is a prerecorded track - lead and backing vocals). Garbage's sound has always been layered with extra electronic sounds and ambient noises so I don't have any problem with them filling out their sound with tracks live. I do agree that it would be much cooler if they had an extra keyboard player on stage who was triggering that stuff live.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
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44,762
I would like to announce to all of TGP that, in contrast to Garbage, I have NEVER used backing tracks live. :)

last-gig-with-Jim-Mc-Leod-JS-closeup.jpg
 

JPH118

Silver Supporting Member
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4,887
Then don’t ever go to see NIN… ever wonder how the songs keep going even when instruments were being destroyed? ;)

Pretty much all electronic or industrial type of music uses some form of backing tracks or synth loops, even if someone is triggering the sequencer manually by footpedal or whatever. ZZ was doing this in the 80s for Legs, etc.
 

To The Dawn

Member
Messages
179
Yes, times have changed, with the use of tracks having gone from completely unacceptable to mostly no one cares. Call me old school. When I go to see a band, I want to see a BAND, not people playing along to tracks. Exception: Kraftwerk, since they wrote the book on man-machine musical symbiosis.

I've seen Kraftwerk a few times. The only live element are the vocals. They are basically just remixing tracks in front of an audience. And I loved every second of it.
 

To The Dawn

Member
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179
Now some of the metal bands I’ve seen who have their guitars and bass on tracks; nope. Screw those guys.

Which bands? I remember Heaven and Hell live before Dio passed away and I don't think it was a backing track playing, I think it was Iommi's roadie playing rhythm guitar offstage for certain songs.
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,669
So, let me get this right.

You only want all the parts played live...no recordings, right?

So does that mean you'd never ever listen to "Hey Jude" by the Beatles since Paul played piano, organ and bass on the song (obvious one or more was played to a recording)? Or is it that you just demand all live bands be less musically complete than what they can accomplish in a studio since you're paying all that money to go see them?

And if a band happens to use an orchestra on one of their songs you want them to pay to bring an orchestra with them on tour to just play that ONE SONG, huh? I sure hope you like doling out about $1,000 for the tickets to such an event.

Bottom line is you don't want to listen to backing tracks in a performance, don't go. The band won't even notice you're missing because they're selling tickets like hotcakes since the general public couldn't care less and most touring bands are now using them in one way or another. There's always the local club featuring Slow Joe's Garage Band and you might get to dance with that 215 lbs ex high school cheerleader that's been drunk all night and has dried puke down the front of her shirt.
 

mtmartin71

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,299
Bottom line is you don't want to listen to backing tracks in a performance, don't go. The band won't even notice you're missing because they're selling tickets like hotcakes since the general public couldn't care less and most touring bands are now using them in one way or another. There's always the local club featuring Slow Joe's Garage Band and you might get to dance with that 215 lbs ex high school cheerleader that's been drunk all night and has dried puke down the front of her shirt.

This is true...sadly (to me). I think I've mentioned this before here but my first experience with backing tracks was seeing a local 80s cover band in Denver. Mid 2010s. They were playing a gig out in front of a nice bar on the walking street of downtown Denver. I happened to be around there and at one point, I heard bass but saw the hands of the bassist leave the instrument for a bit. At another point, I also saw the drummer have to catch up to the drum track that was playing. That was more egregious, but guess what...no one cared or noticed other than the folded-arm musician that was me! :D

I like backing tracks for vocals. Most bands can't reproduce tight harmony (or any harmony) live.
 

DrewJD82

Member
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1,500
Which bands? I remember Heaven and Hell live before Dio passed away and I don't think it was a backing track playing, I think it was Iommi's roadie playing rhythm guitar offstage for certain songs.

Modern metal bands, not the legends!

Fit For A King was the band I was specifically speaking of. I saw them, not knowing who they were, with some bands I’m a fan of. At one point the guitarist went for a pinch harmonic and I remember hearing it ringing out much longer than his hand stayed in that position, as I kept watching I realized the live guitar was mixed considerably lower in the mix than the backing track guitar. When I got home I looked online at some live vids of theirs and when I saw the bass player spinning in circles and clearly not hitting his strings in time with the song but could still hear the bass coming through, I realized their bass was on tracks as well.

It’s a big thing with modern tech-guitar stuff, there was a bunch of controversy over it and some guys miming their parts live about 2-3 years ago. If you Google Lucas Mann Miming it’ll probably pop up. These guys will double their guitars in the studio and “to thicken things up” they’ll pump studio tracks through the PA and play along with them. It’s BS, IMO.

I’ll make an exception for keyboard parts/choir/symphony/orchestra stuff because it’s not logical to take a symphony and a choir out for 1-2 songs, but guitars on backing tracks? Really?!
 

devicaster

Member
Messages
490
I give up. Garbage (Shirley) was the epitome of attitude in the 90s.

Hey, just announce on the tickets that "this band uses backing tracks"; spare me the walkout expense.



Nothing about the posted clip offends me.

Great band. They did an In store signing @ Tower in San Jose while promoting the 1st album. I was just stunned how pretty Shirley was in person. Saw them at the Fillmore I think a few days after that loved every minute! Still have my custom Matt Groening poster from that show.


1656698824392.png
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,669
This is true...sadly (to me). I think I've mentioned this before here but my first experience with backing tracks was seeing a local 80s cover band in Denver. Mid 2010s. They were playing a gig out in front of a nice bar on the walking street of downtown Denver. I happened to be around there and at one point, I heard bass but saw the hands of the bassist leave the instrument for a bit. At another point, I also saw the drummer have to catch up to the drum track that was playing. That was more egregious, but guess what...no one cared or noticed other than the folded-arm musician that was me! :D

I like backing tracks for vocals. Most bands can't reproduce tight harmony (or any harmony) live.
I'm kind of the exact opposite. I think I'm WAY more impressed with a band that doesn't have to depend on any vocal tracks (other than maybe a choir). To me the ideal backing track is just the additional instruments needed for a given song (maybe two or three at most) and everything else live. And you only use backing tracks if needed, and it's usually not needed on every song.

That's pretty much how my band does it. All vocals and vocal harmonies are always live as are our individual instruments. I personally play and create all our specific backing tracks in my studio and there are rarely more than just a couple of different instruments for fill.

The thing most people tend to not know about backing tracks, they're typically MUCH more than just instruments. An important component of our backing tracks and most backing track systems is they provide synchronized stage automation of all of our floorboards and lighting and can even configure certain vocal effects for some songs at the mixing board.

I think the biggest failure of backing tracks is the number of musicians that have no idea how sophisticated and advanced they really are and what they can add to a performance.
 

mtmartin71

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,299
I'm kind of the exact opposite. I think I'm WAY more impressed with a band that doesn't have to depend on any vocal tracks (other than maybe a choir). To me the ideal backing track is just the additional instruments needed for a given song (maybe two or three at most) and everything else live. And you only use backing tracks if needed, and it's usually not needed on every song.

That's pretty much how my band does it. All vocals and vocal harmonies are always live as are our individual instruments. I personally play and create all our specific backing tracks in my studio and there are rarely more than just a couple of different instruments for fill.

The thing most people tend to not know about backing tracks, they're typically MUCH more than just instruments. An important component of our backing tracks and most backing track systems is they provide synchronized stage automation of all of our floorboards and lighting and can even configure certain vocal effects for some songs at the mixing board.

I think the biggest failure of backing tracks is the number of musicians that have no idea how sophisticated and advanced they really are and what they can add to a performance.

Fair...and enlightening...points. I've never played with folks that have gone to that level but I can certainly respect that it takes a lot of showmanship and skill to pull off well.

I think it's pretty common though for a lot of the 80s acts that are still touring to do backing vocals in support of blending in the normal/harmony vocals, isn't it?
 

DunedinDragon

Member
Messages
1,669
Fair...and enlightening...points. I've never played with folks that have gone to that level but I can certainly respect that it takes a lot of showmanship and skill to pull off well.

I think it's pretty common though for a lot of the 80s acts that are still touring to do backing vocals in support of blending in the normal/harmony vocals, isn't it?
I think it varies with different bands. I know when I was playing in bands in the 80's we had to master all the harmonies ourselves. It was just part of playing Eagles, Little River Band or Journey and it was expected. I've seen a few 80's bands but mostly I've just noticed is if they don't have the singers they don't do the harmony parts more than anything else. But that may have changed now that the technology has advanced to the point it's so available to everyone.
 




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