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  #1  
Old 11-25-2012, 10:27 AM
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Default What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Hi all. I know this is sort of gear-related but it's not really drum gear so I thought I'd put it here for want of a more appropriate place.

Basically, one of the bands I'm in is going to begin playing live some time next year and I need to sort out a good means for sending backing tracks to front of house and a click track to my headphones or in-ears. There's a number of ways to approach this so I wanted to know what you thought were the best options.
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2012, 04:32 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Simplest method is to use an iPod or CD player, you get one channel, house gets the other. Works fine, assuming you or the house don't need a stereo feed. :)

Next step up would be a software solution, such as a laptop with audio interface & multiple outs, and a program. Many users like Ableton Live. There are now sophisticated programs and breakout boxes for the iPad/iPhone.

But unless you need stereo feeds, I'd keep it simple, cheap, and easy for anyone to operate as needed. Even an iPod sounds great in a concert situation.

Bermuda
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  #3  
Old 11-26-2012, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Yeah, I have actually done that once before. I'd since heard that there can be a problem with crosstalk between the left and right channels of a stereo minijack output, which seems plausible, but I take it that isn't an issue in your experience?
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2012, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PQleyR View Post
Yeah, I have actually done that once before. I'd since heard that there can be a problem with crosstalk between the left and right channels of a stereo minijack output, which seems plausible, but I take it that isn't an issue in your experience?
I don't know for sure, I would have assumed each channel would be clean. But, I haven't used an iPod for that, my tracks/clicks come from a Mac video server with 4 audio channels. :)

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  #5  
Old 11-26-2012, 06:35 AM
jornthedrummer jornthedrummer is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

I do not like the stability of the iPhone/iPad headphone socket.
I use an Alesis IODock with my iPad that also keeps it charged.

This way I at least get •2 x 1/4" Balanced TRS Mains out.

There are people that makes iPhone docking stations/DI boxes. I think SM Pro Audio is one of them.

thx

jorn

Last edited by jornthedrummer; 11-26-2012 at 02:50 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2012, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?



http://www.rolandconnect.com/product...9.php?p=spd-sx
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  #7  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:12 AM
Chris Perra Chris Perra is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Over the Years I've used 4 to 16 track track Roland units, Mini Disk players and Ipods.

If you use something that is mini jack or Rca outs make sure you have great shielded cables.

When using an Ipod I like to take the music side and run it through my mixer, then send the p.a. an aux from my mixer, So I can get the music in my headphones as well as the click..

If you are doing this and have a cheap mixer.. Separating the channels like click in 1 and music in 4 or 5 can help with crossbleed that sometimes occurs...

The best audio by far is a multi track unit.. The most I've used is a 18 track vss1880 with 8 outs..
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:32 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PQleyR View Post
Yeah, I have actually done that once before. I'd since heard that there can be a problem with crosstalk between the left and right channels of a stereo minijack output, which seems plausible, but I take it that isn't an issue in your experience?
I've experienced crosstalk on Roland SPD-S units (which is extremely disappointing, considering they're made for live use), but never on iPods and other similar units.
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2012, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

The Roland SPD-SX certainly has enough ram (2gb) to deliver plenty of stereo sample material, and it can be configured to send a 2nd stereo sample from additional stereo outs by linking pads, so that's potentially 4 channels of audio. And the advantages for the drummer being able to cue a track right on time, or on the fly while playing, make it better suited than trying to cue another playback device. (If nec, sample playback can be stopped with a single button.)

But, $800 is a lot to spend just to playback tracks!

Bermuda
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2012, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
I need to sort out a good means for sending backing tracks to front of house and a click track to my headphones or in-ears.
If you are playing with backing tracks, wouldn't a click is be redundant? (unless there is no clear rhythm in the tracks).





Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
But, $800 is a lot to spend just to playback tracks!

Bermuda
It's cheaper and more reliable than a keyboard/horn/ player :)

For what I/we do, it's the best money I've spent.
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  #11  
Old 11-26-2012, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Zoom R16 would excel here as well. You can hard pan what you want L & R out the 1/4" stereo outputs, and you'd be in direct control of at least 8-tracks at once. Everything is coming off of a SD card.
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2012, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
>> $800 is a lot to spend just to playback tracks!

It's cheaper and more reliable than a keyboard/horn/ player :)
Well, that's another kettle of fish.

There are still a number of artists/bands that bring all the necessary percussionists, vocalists, and horns & strings for their performances, for a 100% live show. But they're in the minority as far as touring acts go, and it is quite expensive to carry extra people. Obviously there's the salaries, but there's also hotels, transportation, per diems, wardrobe, extra crew people and their salaries & transportation, etc.

A backing track may replace a lot more than just a couple of players, so in that respect, assuming the band is in a position to even consider hiring extra people, the Roland at$800 is a steal!

But, for basic playback without the need for stereo feeds to both foh and the drummer, there are far less expensive solutions.

Bermuda
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2012, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Are in ear click tracks all that common with live drummers out of interest?
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  #14  
Old 11-27-2012, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

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Originally Posted by Souljacker View Post
Are in ear click tracks all that common with live drummers out of interest?
Depends at what level the band is at.

In bars, almost never, and in clubs, only the most ambitious bands employ much technology. But for touring acts in larger venues (theaters and up) I'd say at least half the drummers are on a click and/or use tracks for some or all of their performance.

Bermuda

Last edited by bermuda; 11-27-2012 at 02:06 AM.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2012, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

I always play to a click live.

I'm looking to get into this backing track with click thing too but I just can't get my head round it at all.
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  #16  
Old 11-27-2012, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Thanks for your responses, everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
If you are playing with backing tracks, wouldn't a click is be redundant? (unless there is no clear rhythm in the tracks).
I'm talking full orchestral parts here, including tempo changes and gaps where no rhythm is discernible. And I've also got to count the song in at the right tempo. No click would be the sort of experience best reserved for nightmares.
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  #17  
Old 11-28-2012, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PQleyR View Post
Thanks for your responses, everyone.



I'm talking full orchestral parts here, including tempo changes and gaps where no rhythm is discernible. And I've also got to count the song in at the right tempo. No click would be the sort of experience best reserved for nightmares.
Gotcha. The SPD has a click built in but I'm not sure if it can be routed only to your monitor.
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  #18  
Old 11-28-2012, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
Gotcha. The SPD has a click built in but I'm not sure if it can be routed only to your monitor.
Don't know about the newer units, but the built-in click on the SPD-S can only be used when recording samples; not when playing something back.
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  #19  
Old 11-28-2012, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

SPD-SX click can be run while tirggering, not sure about the routing options.

Bermuda
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  #20  
Old 04-19-2013, 06:20 PM
bellicapelli bellicapelli is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

I wanted to point out a link which can be useful :
SyncInside - Backing tracks advanced player
www.syncinside.net

[EDIT]

Camera Connection Kit and a Class compliant USB sound card are required to exploit the multitrack features.

[/EDIT]

Last edited by bellicapelli; 04-19-2013 at 07:52 PM.
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  #21  
Old 04-19-2013, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

I play to a click track live because we use backing tracks. I bought a small percussion table that attaches to my hi hat stand. I keep my iPad on it along with a splitter on it.. I split off the backing tracks to go through the PA and the click to my headphones. I just stop and start the songs on my Ipad during the set.
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  #22  
Old 05-27-2013, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Hi. I'm John from Hit Trax

Before I provide a reply I want to state upfront that Hit Trax is exclusively a licensed backing tracks and backing track player web site. That said, everyone that works here is a musician and we are experienced in support for backing tracks and MIDI File mp3 backing track players. My reply is relevant to the question. I don't believe we should be excluded from offering our experience and knowledge in this forum on the sole basis that I have job in a related business.

We have the MERISH PLUS backing track player available that might resolve the performing with backing tracks issue. Click here for full details and demo sound files. Please ignore the link if you do not require the information.

One of the great features about the MERISH PLUS is the click track send to drummers. This function also sends a count in (MIDI File backing tracks). The six General MIDI instrument group sliders on the front panel allow the band to 'slide ou' the drums, leaving this job to a real drummer. The sliding out of instruments is non destructive to the MIDI File backing track.

Same can be done for bass, guitars, horn sections, keyboards and string sections. Easily change key, tempo, create play lists (up to 9999 playlists) and so on. There PDF user manual is available online (click here to download) and our friendly support team is on hand to answer any questions you might have about this topic or about the Hit Trax MIDI Files. Feel free to request more support for this and similar forum posts. Remember, our support team are happy to answer any questions regarding this topic without any expectation of visiting our web store.

NOTE - this is our first post on this forum. Our position is we want to help and offer our advice for free. We know people are smart enough to distinguish genuine advice from a sales pitch and this is why we state our position up front. We hope forum readers will respect our honesty and help us provide free advice to other forum members.

Cheers, John
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  #23  
Old 08-22-2013, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Simplest method is to use an iPod...
So about using an Ipod for a click (possibly also with backing tracks):

One annoying thing about the way Ipods play songs is that there doesnít seem to be a play-1-song-and-then-stop option. So to prevent the next song from starting, you have to panic at the end of every song and grab the pod, turn on the screen, swipe to unlock, then hit stop. Thatís none too handy in a live situation.

The obvious workaround would be to have only one song per playlist. The problem with that, of course, is that you have to go through the menus to call up the next playlist for every song. Again, rather inconvenient.

And then thereís the volume-adjustment situation. If youíre running a click on the right channel and tracks are going to FOH from the left channel, you canít really use the Ipodís volume adjustment to change the click volume, so then you need another method for that.

Does all that make sense? Am I missing/misunderstanding things?

Is there a better way to use an Ipod for live clickage?
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  #24  
Old 08-22-2013, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anduin View Post
So about using an Ipod for a click (possibly also with backing tracks):

One annoying thing about the way Ipods play songs is that there doesnít seem to be a play-1-song-and-then-stop option. So to prevent the next song from starting, you have to panic at the end of every song and grab the pod, turn on the screen, swipe to unlock, then hit stop. Thatís none too handy in a live situation.

The obvious workaround would be to have only one song per playlist. The problem with that, of course, is that you have to go through the menus to call up the next playlist for every song. Again, rather inconvenient.

And then thereís the volume-adjustment situation. If youíre running a click on the right channel and tracks are going to FOH from the left channel, you canít really use the Ipodís volume adjustment to change the click volume, so then you need another method for that.

Does all that make sense? Am I missing/misunderstanding things?

Is there a better way to use an Ipod for live clickage?
I use an App called "BackTrax" on my iPad when I play live with a symphonic metal act. Same deal - click on one side, tracks on the other.

This app is made just for what you are asking: it plays the song and ends and best of all it's free. You can load a playlist into the app or make your own "set list" in the app and just hit play when you need to. never worry about another song starting and the UI is nice and large. Works on iPhone and iPod as well.
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  #25  
Old 08-22-2013, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

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I use an App called "BackTrax" ...
Ah, I see:

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/back...345007170?mt=8

Looks pretty good from the description. No longer free though; it's 6 whole dollars now.

The description page is a big vague about some things. Does it just play regular mp3ís as found in the normal music library, or do you have to do something special for each song you want to use it with?
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  #26  
Old 10-10-2013, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

I did some searching and found this great thread. I'm interested in adding some pre-recorded tracks to our live set and was wondering if instead of hitting a button I could have a drum pad to start a sample that is stored on my ipad or ipod. So from my tiny knowledge of this subject, I think I'd need some type of midi int. and an app to make it happen. yes? Anyone using this type of setup? thanks for the info.
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  #27  
Old 10-10-2013, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

http://createdigitalmusic.com/2011/0...deo-resources/

This article has a number of different solutions for doing so. For the record, MIDI percussion usually runs on channel 10. You'd need a pad, a MIDI module (brain), perhaps a MIDI-USB converter, the iPad connector kit and one of the software options. If a MIDI keyboard can do it, so can a drum pad.
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  #28  
Old 10-10-2013, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Generally when I play to backing tracks live, I have a number of things up with me.

First, I have a laptop with an interface that sends channels left and right.
Secondly, I have a mixer with both a main out and an fx out.
Lastly, I've got my in-ears.

So what I do, is in the computer, I have the click and the track panned hard left and right and have that sent out to my mixer, in channels 1 and 2.

For the headphone mix, I have both channels set to their desired levels.

Finally, with the backing track, I turn up the FX mix up, and send that out through the FX send to the mains. That way, you get both click and backing track in your in-ears (I like click right and track left) and the sound guy gets just the backing track, and you can control how loud you want each in your in-ears. It's a lot of gear to bring, but it works.
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  #29  
Old 10-11-2013, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JD7 View Post
I did some searching and found this great thread. I'm interested in adding some pre-recorded tracks to our live set and was wondering if instead of hitting a button I could have a drum pad to start a sample that is stored on my ipad or ipod. So from my tiny knowledge of this subject, I think I'd need some type of midi int. and an app to make it happen. yes? Anyone using this type of setup? thanks for the info.
From your Ipad/pod would require some doing but the SPD SX (pictured on the left) is designed to do exactly what you are trying to do. I use the four right side pads to trigger the SPD.




The SPD has 9 pads built in and you can use 4 external pads and 2 foot switches to trigger the samples. You just need to write the samples, convert them to WAV files and load them via USB cable onto the SPD.
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Old 10-11-2013, 03:44 AM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anduin View Post
So about using an Ipod for a click (possibly also with backing tracks):

One annoying thing about the way Ipods play songs is that there doesnít seem to be a play-1-song-and-then-stop option. So to prevent the next song from starting, you have to panic at the end of every song and grab the pod, turn on the screen, swipe to unlock, then hit stop. Thatís none too handy in a live situation.

The obvious workaround would be to have only one song per playlist. The problem with that, of course, is that you have to go through the menus to call up the next playlist for every song. Again, rather inconvenient.

And then thereís the volume-adjustment situation. If youíre running a click on the right channel and tracks are going to FOH from the left channel, you canít really use the Ipodís volume adjustment to change the click volume, so then you need another method for that.

Does all that make sense? Am I missing/misunderstanding things?

Is there a better way to use an Ipod for live clickage?
Someone made the excellent suggestion that you just add a minute or so of silence at the end of each backing track, giving you a lot more breathing space to press pause or simply to skip to the next one.
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  #31  
Old 10-11-2013, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Would this work for the pad aspect?
http://www.amazon.com/Alesis-Control...=cm_cr_pr_pb_t

It seems like they only mention it being used for drum sounds, but I'd like to have 1 longer sample assigned to each pad. Thanks to everyone for the help too!
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  #32  
Old 10-19-2013, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Hi All,
SyncInside 1.1 is now available!!! This version is completely compatible with iOS7.
Thank you for your patience waiting and many thanks to all the betatester for your precious collaboration!
Francesco Montrone Ė www.syncinside.net
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  #33  
Old 10-22-2013, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

I play in a covers band and the best bit of kit we have found is a foot controlled Mp3 player ... www.baktrakpedal.co.uk
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  #34  
Old 01-28-2016, 04:57 PM
93civEJ1 93civEJ1 is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Bump on this discussion. Looking for more info on people running backing tracks live.
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  #35  
Old 01-28-2016, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

I run a Zoom R8 portable recorder. It has 8 tracks, and I can set one of them to be the click track and route it only through the headphone out. That means I can have stereo backing tracks!

Pretty inexpensive, and also doubles as a portable recorder and/or an audio interface for a computer if we want to tape a rehearsal or something. Very nice unit, and compact enough to go into a small shoulder bag.

Link:
https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/mult...roller-sampler

Pic:
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  #36  
Old 01-28-2016, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Simplest method is to use an iPod or CD player, you get one channel, house gets the other. Works fine, assuming you or the house don't need a stereo feed. :)

Next step up would be a software solution, such as a laptop with audio interface & multiple outs, and a program. Many users like Ableton Live. There are now sophisticated programs and breakout boxes for the iPad/iPhone.

But unless you need stereo feeds, I'd keep it simple, cheap, and easy for anyone to operate as needed. Even an iPod sounds great in a concert situation.

Bermuda
THIS.

My current setup looks like this:



I use Ableton live, and I send the audio out of an interface on 3 channels - 1 for the click and 2 for the Playback (Playback usually comes out stereo unless we are forced to go Mono, but depending on some of the bands I play with, I might separate the tracks by Hi-Mid-Lows to make it easier for the sound guy). The click NEVER goes to anyone else but to my little mixer where I have full control over it. That's about it.
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  #37  
Old 01-28-2016, 07:56 PM
93civEJ1 93civEJ1 is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

So at home...I have 2 interfaces. I have a tascam 1800 at home, that i use for recording drums at home. I run cubase as the DAW.

I also have a small Alesis io2 usb interface as well.


Could i use something say like the laptop, and the io2 interface if i wanted?

http://www.alesis.com/products/view/io2-express


My first thought was creating my backing tracks (or learning how first), put those on an ipad / mp3 player or something, and run mixer / di boxes from that.


If i wanted to go the laptop route, do I have any options with what I have available for interfaces? I mean I know i could run laptop as well straight from the 1/8 headphone jack if i wanted, but whats the benefit of using a USB interface instead?
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  #38  
Old 04-29-2016, 03:13 PM
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halley halley is offline
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Location: Sheffield - UK
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

I play on a wedding band and started by using the iOS app TEMPO, a simple metronome, but you can save your setlist and on gig mode, just skip to the next one, without having to remember what the tempo was etc...

Since last year, we started using samples on some songs, which I create myself. We record multi track using reaper and then mix it as a .wav file. The playback live is done by an SPD-SX. However, I still use the TEMPO app on my iPhone.
The reason why is because the SPD-SX has 9 pads, and some songs only have one or two different samples. So, one KIT can have 3 or 4 songs at different bpm's.

To overcome this my setup consists the iPhone AND SPD-SX(phones output) AND a monitor feed from the venue/mixer, all go into a small 6 channel mixer I have. where I can blend how much of the SPD monitor I get, how much, of click(iphone) and the rest of the band.

Some songs actually use the whole 9 pads of triggers (like Uptown Funk and Livin' on a Prayer), so for those I have set the bpm on the SPD-sx click tempo, so I can control it from the SPD, instead of the phone (even though it's still there)

I hope this helps

Halley
www.rockandsoulmachine.co.uk
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:38 AM
Sebbman Sebbman is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

I recently released a new iPad App named "Multitracker", designed especially for playing backing tracks on stage. It's a multichannel player which supports all outputs of USB Audio interfaces compatible with iPad. So you can send a Click Track on one channel and any number of tracks on any number of other output-channels. You can make playlists which stop after each song and start with Midi-Pedals or any other Midi-Controllers - e.g. pads.
Perhaps worth a try?
www.multitracker.eu
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:04 PM
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GrimmReefer GrimmReefer is offline
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Default Re: What's the best way to play backing tracks live?

The Roland SPD-SX in my opinion is the best option. You can designate which output the built in click is sent to (example: headphone out only). You can even designate individual pads to specific outputs.

What that allows you to do and what I currently use is send your Roland SPD-SX headphone out to a small mixer and the Main output to the front of house so the soundguy wont get any click track. For custom click tracks including time changes etc you can create your own click using built in sounds or through another program and import it as a wav file. Treat it as its own sequence and apply it to Pad 1 for example. Route pad 1 to your headphone only output and you're good to go. Send all other sequences to "all outputs".

You could simply use headphones directly into the sampler but I use the mixer because I use channel 2 for my vocals (split to my mixer and then to FOH) and channel 3 for a monitor mix from FOH.

This set up allows me to have full volume control over my click track, sequences, samples etc as well as my vocals and a generic mix of the rest of the band. So far it works great.
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