Live click track

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by apupped, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. apupped

    apupped Member

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    I saw a post on here awhile back explaining the process of creating a click track for the left channel and a mono mix of programming for right channel. My question is I have all songs mixed and complete in stereo. Do I really have to re-mix to mono to play back on the right channel and what is the benefit. I used to bring a laptop on stage and create a click out with midi for the drummer. This proved unreliable most times and look forward to trying another way this time around. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Guitarplayerdan

    Guitarplayerdan Member

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    I think if you had an audio interface and routed things you could get a stero loop/back track. And then have a click. The drummer I play with just does right click and left loops. The would be anoying though if you were the keyboarder.
     
  3. mwalker.rock

    mwalker.rock Member

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    the benefit of click left, loop right, is ease. you just run a chord out of your laptop (or ipod for that matter) that splits the signal left and right into 2 different DI's. if you really wanted to run stereo tracks, you would have to run pro tools, logic, or ableton and bring an interface. it's just more work, but in a lot of cases it's worth it.
     
  4. apupped

    apupped Member

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    Just so I understand, if I am in a DAW I would put an audio click on track 2 pan all left and music programming on Track 1 pan all the way to the right. Then I would burn down to audio track. If I played out from an Ipod I would then use a y cable, plug left into one channel of a mixer vise versa with right. I am confused. How does just the click go to the drummer? and then how would only the right channel be for the mains?

    Maybe I am making this to complicated?

    I use to use a laptop running Cubase on stage and have the midi out to a drum machine providing a click to the drummer. I then went audio stereo out into a lil mixer on stage that fed the main board. It worked well most times. This time around I am playing bass and didnt want the hassle of bringing a laptop.
     
  5. Guitarplayerdan

    Guitarplayerdan Member

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    man I wish my drummer friend was around, he would answer all your questions. I know he goes out his laptop into a small mixer and just pans the stuff.
     
  6. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    You're right.

    The one thing you missed is that you also need a small mixer and a DI Box.

    Come out of your Ipod's line output, and send the L (click) track to an input on your mixer.

    Come out of the R (track) output and got to a DI (which is sent to FOH) and then into another channel of the mixer.

    The drummer then plugs his phones into the mixer, and can adjust the balance however he likes.

    One thing that I've found helps - when you do the bounce, limit the track quite heavily, that way the soundman doesn't have to worry as much about riding levels on it.
     
  7. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Yes.
    Yes - a stereo interleaved audio track (like normal CD mixdown).
    Y cable comes out of iPod.

    Left (music) goes into, say, channel 1 of mixer. Right (click) goes into channel 2.

    You will assign Channel 1 to Mix. It will go out the mains.

    You will assign Channel 2 to nothing. It will not come out the mains.

    You will use the Aux 1 knob on each channel except 2 to send any instruments you want to come out of your on-stage monitors.

    You will use the Aux 2 knob on each channel, including 2, to sent to the drummer so they will get a mix of all instruments, PLUS the click (hopefully they're using in-ears).

    If you don't have two Auxes on your mixer, buy a better mixer. Otherwise, you might be able to use Subgroups - Assign all your channels except 2 (the click) to the main mix (Main, L/R, Main Mix, etc.) and channel 2 gets assigned to Subgroup 1 (or whatever number you choose). The ouptput from Subgroup 1 will go directly to your drummer's monitor (you can also assign the other channels to Subgroup 1 as well so the drummer gets a mix of everything).

    The advantage of using Auxes is that the knobs can be set to pre-fader meaning the drummer could have the click louder than anything else in their monitors - it doesn't have to "mirror" the main mix.

    The only downfall of doing this the way we're discussing is that the pre-recorded audio is in mono - that is, it's a stereo signal mixed down to one track (the left channel for example) and when it comes out the mains, you've got the same signal coming out of both mains. However, my personal experience has been that unless you're really doing something that demands stereo mains all the time, running in stereo isn't a necessity in most live situations.

    What you're running into is this basic problem: the click has to be "separatable" from the audio. Putting the audio on the left channel and the click on the right is a way to separate them because stereo audio has two discrete channels.

    If you wanted to have stereo audio out the mains, and then a click (as audio, rather than MIDI) you'd need THREE channels - 1 stereo track (or 2 mono tracks) for the music, and 1 track for the click. This means you'd need the ability to bring three separate streams of audio out of the playback device - that's something that most playback devices don't do. You'd need an audio interface from your computer that had assigneble outse for example (so you'd still have to bring your laptop).

    You said you "fed to the main board" - there's a more than decent chance that the FOH engineer took your stereo audio from your little mixer and ran it in mono anyways (assuming this is a typical gigging band situation in smallish venues). So again, unless there's some drastic necessity that your pre-recorded audio be in stereo, mixing it to mono is not going to cause any significant problems.

    Also, think about it this way - you pan the bass right - it's not as loud! Most live bands need everything to be as loud as it can be, throughout the space - so even in stereo systems most instruments are panned dead center anyways. It's only effects - and maybe drums (because they're always too loud anyways :) that are typically panned out.

    Steve
     
  8. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Hey, one thing I just thought of - why are you using this "lil mixer" in the first place?

    If you've got a main board - that's a real board, you send everything to it. Don't do any "pre-mixing" unless you've got to conserve channels (or have a persnickety drummer who likes to pre-mix).

    ???
    Steve
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    In ProTools you could do this one of two ways (any DAW should be able to do something similar)...

    Method one: make a duplicate of your mix session and rename it "Live panning" or something. Open that up, pan all the tracks to the right and the click to the left. Your original mix remains untouched.

    Method two:

    • Create a stereo aux channel with a stereo bus input and "Main" output.
    • Change the outputs on all the tracks to the stereo bus, but keep the panning exactly where it is.
    • Keep your click output as "Main."
    • Pan both sides of the AUX channel (not the individual tracks) hard right. Then pan your click all the way to the left.
    Anytime you want the stereo mix you just change all the track outputs back to "Main."

    That oughta do what you want, I think.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  10. apupped

    apupped Member

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    Loudboy thank you! It works perfect using your method with the DI and Ipod. I meant to post my thanks a while back but a tree hit our house and I had to tear everything down. First time getting everything back up and running.

    Stevel- I am trying your method, I have a yamaha EMX 5014 mixer that has two aux. The problem I am having is the only way I can hear audio out is by having the track assigned to mains. I am going Ipod out seperate channel 1 right music, channel two left click track. I assigned channel one aux 1 and channel two aux 2. If I dont man channel two click it has no sound coming out aux 2. I have plugged headphones into aux 1 and 2 respectively and they both have to be manned to main to hear. Any ideas? I must be missing something. Also the pan sliders are up on both aux tracks. I dont have the manual for this board since I bought it used.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  11. syxxstring

    syxxstring Member

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    Look at the new Alesis mixers with an IPOD dock built right in should simplify things quite a bit.
     

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