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  #1  
Old 05-08-2013, 08:58 PM
Bad Tempered Clavier's Avatar
Bad Tempered Clavier Bad Tempered Clavier is offline
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Default Bizarre audition with backing track

Had an audition today with a group looking to get a function band going. They provided a video link on their advert and from what I could see it was a typical vocal/guitar/bass/piano/drums line up with a pair of very good lead singers. They asked me to prepare 2 songs from a list of 4 they sent and choose any song that I know well that wasn't on that list. We set a time and place to meet and everything was cool. That was 2 weeks ago.

When I turned up today the singers and guitarist were there but the piano player wasn't and it was at this point I found out they don't have a bass player. What they had been doing hitherto is rehearsing to backing tracks (that had bass and drums) and asked if I could play over those. It seems that this would not just be for the audition, but they intend to perform like this - i.e. 2 singers, guitar, keys, and a drummer playing over a backing track that already has drums on it.

I decided to ignore my first thought that this was the dumbest thing I'd ever heard of and play the audition. After all, it took me 45 minutes to drive down there and I'd already set up all my gear. It went okay but wasn't much fun for me. Playing to a click for a band that uses sequencing/sampling etc is one thing but playing to a pre-recorded backing track in a live situation just felt so flat and lifeless. If I'd known what their set-up was in advance I would have at least brought some headphones (which they didn't have) so I could hear the backing track properly. As it was - owing to their inadequate PA - I had to play much too softly than the songs demanded (Tina Turner, Van Morrison etc) just so I could hear the track and keep time with the bloody thing. Added to which they hadn't brought the right laptop/CD for one of the songs on their list so they had to scramble around for another track that I knew.

All in all a bizarre experience. To be fair, if it was a paying job I'd be prepared to put up with this kind of thing but they're still at the rehearsal stage and far off the point of making any money.

The whole thing just got me thinking: who in their right mind hires a drummer to play live over a backing track that already has drums on it? Is this a new thing I don't know about? Another funny thing was that the backing tracks also had piano and guitar on them so the guitarist who had shown up didn't have much to do either.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

Man...that sounds strange to me. Maybe they are trying to start a new trend? I would probably just approach them and honestly ask, "What are you guys going for? Because if you're going to let the drums from the track play through the PA, then I am of no use...", or something to that effect.

Weird.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:56 PM
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rstix rstix is offline
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

that's some 1980s isn right there -

ickkk! i dont like playing with drums unless im practiving a cover or something of that sort - but performing with that - eww
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

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Originally Posted by Bad Tempered Clavier View Post

The whole thing just got me thinking: who in their right mind hires a drummer to play live over a backing track that already has drums on it?
Not a new concept. It's been around.

I agree they should have told you first, and explained how the click worked, counts in and such, so you'd be prepared (not to mention having head phones).

But the concept itself I've seen many times going back to the 90's.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:26 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

I can understand the backing tracks but, didn't they possess the basic technology to mute the drums?

Hell, I just started recording and I know enough to separate tracks.

That's some special kind of stupid.



That said, bass tracks are probably the easiest thing to work with. They will hold a solid tempo and are often very repetitive.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:40 AM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

Take the money and shut up. :)
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:15 PM
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Bad Tempered Clavier Bad Tempered Clavier is offline
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Take the money and shut up. :)
Exactly right: if only there were any . . . hell, I'll play the spoons all night if someone paid good money. Unfortunately this would be a case of making a regular 60 mile round trip for several weeks in order to fully rehearse the set and then maybe there might be paying jobs at the end of it. That's if the band actually gets any gigs. I play with a couple of bands local to me that are in the same position and they have real bass players and no pre-recorded nonsense. I'm all for expanding my horizons but this gig generally comes across as a pain in the arse.

Besides, I was just pondering the larger question - i.e. why someone would choose to have live musicians play over a backing track rather than choose one over the other. Apparently this has been done before but it simply baffles me. One of the singers said they didn't have a bass player because they wanted as few members in the band as possible in order that each member have a larger share of the profits. I guess that makes sense but from what I can gather the only reason they chose a real drummer over a real bass player is that they felt it looks better on stage.

To be fair, I don't mind being eye candy for the audience - because, you know, I'm gorgeous and everything - but if that's all they want maybe it would just as well for someone to mime for them. In fact, they had someone (who was at the audition) who used to play e-drums for them and now just seemed to be the guy queuing up the backing tracks. The whole thing struck me as odd. Or, indeed, a "special kind of stupid".
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

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Originally Posted by Bad Tempered Clavier View Post
Exactly right: if only there were any . . . hell, I'll play the spoons all night if someone paid good money. Unfortunately this would be a case of making a regular 60 mile round trip for several weeks in order to fully rehearse the set and then maybe there might be paying jobs at the end of it. That's if the band actually gets any gigs. I play with a couple of bands local to me that are in the same position and they have real bass players and no pre-recorded nonsense. I'm all for expanding my horizons but this gig generally comes across as a pain in the arse.

Besides, I was just pondering the larger question - i.e. why someone would choose to have live musicians play over a backing track rather than choose one over the other. Apparently this has been done before but it simply baffles me. One of the singers said they didn't have a bass player because they wanted as few members in the band as possible in order that each member have a larger share of the profits. I guess that makes sense but from what I can gather the only reason they chose a real drummer over a real bass player is that they felt it looks better on stage.

To be fair, I don't mind being eye candy for the audience - because, you know, I'm gorgeous and everything - but if that's all they want maybe it would just as well for someone to mime for them. In fact, they had someone (who was at the audition) who used to play e-drums for them and now just seemed to be the guy queuing up the backing tracks. The whole thing struck me as odd. Or, indeed, a "special kind of stupid".
I'd be embarrassed to play a live set like that..
Really weird
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

(why don't you come over to my place) Bouncy bouncy bouncy....my hovercraft is full of eels!

Seriously, leave that stuff as quick as you can. I'm all for economics, hell I play in two three pieces, but I actually play the drums! Sounds like these folks have a dream, good luck to 'em
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:50 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Tempered Clavier View Post
"Take the money and shut up. :)"

Exactly right: if only there were any . . . hell, I'll play the spoons all night if someone paid good money. Unfortunately this would be a case of making a regular 60 mile round trip for several weeks in order to fully rehearse the set and then maybe there might be paying jobs at the end of it.
Yeah, doing it at your own expense - time and gas money - isn't worth it. If a gig/band/project satisfies you musically, that's one thing. Or if it pays well, that gets most 'artists' through the night. But this obviously doesn't fall into either category.

Also, believe it or not, I'm a union spoon player*, and there's not any money in it!

Bermuda


* Washboard too... even less money in that!
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Old 05-12-2013, 02:36 AM
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RockNGrohl RockNGrohl is offline
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Default Re: Bizarre audition with backing track

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Also, believe it or not, I'm a union spoon player*, and there's not any money in it!

Bermuda


* Washboard too... even less money in that!
You play with Weird Al so I don't know if you're kidding or not! ;)
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