What tracks to choose for backing tracks
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We just recorded in studio. Now we'd like to use some tracks live to beef up the sound since we are only drums, vox, bass and guitar.
Strictly for visual effect, my suggestion to the guitar player will be to have the lead guitar parts on the backing track so he can be swinging his arm for the full visual effect supporting the big sound of what the song is doing.
Am I over-thinking this?
Solo's live - rhythm tracks as backing.
I was mainly concerned about lead parts during the choruses and verses. They are more "interesting" to play.
We are a 3 piece and use tracks live on approx. 50% of our songs.
The guitar player basically plays the rhythm during verses and choruses and any fills are on the track. There are some exceptions to this when the fill is a key part of the bridge. When solos kick in the rhythm guitar switches to the track and the guitar player takes the solo.
what about backing vocals ? or keyboard pads to fill some sonic space...
Why not put the lead vocals on backing tracks so you can focus on harmonies? Because it would be totally lame.
To be brutally honest, I would feel the same for leads and solos. If I were to see a band where the solos were done via backing track, I would seriously doubt the talent level of the band as a whole and I'd wonder if the rest of the band is lip syncing as well. If you're more concerned about the stage show, just play everything on tracks and you can windmill all you want without worrying about the music.
Seriously bad idea. Seriously.
I tend to agree with Jive1.
Make your own sounds as much as possible. When adding prerecorded tracks, use them as sparingly and discretely as possible... i.e. make sure you look like you're performing the spotlight parts.
Ive never been a big fan of backing tracks, but there is a lot of good advice in this thread for anyone considering doing so.
If it is not electronic music then a general rule would be: Backing tracks are for pads not parts... exhaust all other options and/or consider sacrificing some parts for a live version.
Feel free to break this rule if you feel like, but you will likely lose more ground with your audience than what you think you are gaining with the backing tracks.
If anything in an electronic genre or hip hop then sampling is inherently part of the music so you can get away with a lot more.
... just my experience.
Well, so far, I don't see any rules to break, so I'll make my own. :)
Good ideas though.
The lead parts are pad-esque if I could describe in some way. Single notes. Kinda "ornimental" in nature. It's not like a chorus of guitars, horns, violas and opera singers or anything.
We've toyed with adding another guitarist, but we don't want to deal with the additional personnel.
You should definitely track some opera singers!
In studio, they just add so much texture, you start to be swayed toward the backing tracks...
Just feeling out the idea...
We're a 4-piece (weekend warrior) industrial rock band and use a lot of backing tracks, in just about every song to be exact.
In a live setting,
- vocalist also plays synth & guitar
- keys player plays synth #2, sometimes guitar
- I play bass and probably will be playing bass synth in a couple of electronic only -songs
- drummer plays, well, drums
Our backing tracks contain:
1. Additional backing synth orchestrations
2. vocal harmonies
- I'm semi-secretly working on my singing so we might be able to get rid of these some day
3. additional guitar
- more of an effect/loop/synth-feel vs. just a recorded part
4. bass synth/2nd synth
- usually played live, but since the keys guy lives 250km from us... this is mainly for practice use. Also handy if for some reason he can't make the gig etc.
5. effected electronic drum parts to compliment the live drums
- why not just get an e-drum kit? Because you can't get the sound we want from "one box".
The backing tracks are saved as projects in a Zoom R16, with the specific instruments/tracks in controllable (as in, volume, mute etc) channels. The Zoom is controlled by the drummer, for whom we've arranged headphone monitoring with the help of an additional mixer. Setup time can be a b*tch, but we manage since everyone knows what they're doing and everyone takes part.
While the backing tracks are in heavy use and we sound "huge" with them, the essentials are (naturally) being played live - technology _can and will fail_ at some point. So, if the Zoom craps out, we're still good to go. We just sound a lot more rock instead of eletronic.
Why don't we get more people?
1) Getting properly paid for originals is quite hard
2) Arranging timetables for 4 people with families/day jobs/jobs with shifts/lives is painstaking enough
3) Most available venues don't really have enough space for more than 4-5 band members
Why (practically) no pads?
1) We'd have to trigger quite a bunch of them -> more people -> bad.
2) Some loops/pre-parts are quite lengthy - makes no sense.
Would it be cool to perform everything live? Heck yes. Reasonable or realistic? Nope, nope, nope.
So, my opinion: Go with the backing tracks if you want to, make them as huge as you want. Just make sure that if the technology craps out, you are still able to give the audience a good performance. Also make sure that the tracks are well balanced and don't stick out too much.
I checked out your FB page and listened to the song you have on the Band Profile -tab, Forgive and Forget.
Personally, I'd just get a second guitar player for this type of music.
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