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Synching samples live

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Rockgurl, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. Rockgurl


    Dec 17, 2004
    CT, USA
    My band is desperately seeking a keyboard player that never seems to surface, so we're thinking about playing to backing tracks. The music we play is fairly keyboard heavy and most of it is intros which is pretty easy to play to, however, some songs have keyboard interludes in the middle of the song and so any samples will need to be synched to the drums. How we can we make this happen? For recording I use Cubase as my sequencing software, and I don't own a laptop, so what kind of hardware do we need to synch our backing tracks to our live drummer? What kind of hardware/software can create a linked click track that our drummer can play to? Thanks for your help.
  2. hunta


    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    I've been looking into a way to do this kind of thing too. You need a click track going into earphone monitors for the drummer at least, and then you need some kind of MIDI trigger to start your sample. Maybe a pedal or a drum pad. If your sample is recorded to a click, you should be able to use any source for the click track to the drummer as long as it's at the same BPM. The "sync" would be manual, ie you have to hit the pedal or pad at the right time. Something like this http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SPDS/ looks like it would work. I think?
  3. Rockgurl


    Dec 17, 2004
    CT, USA
    Hey thanks. That's really helpful. It would be sweet to be able to have the drummer control it. I like that!
  4. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would seriously consider getting a laptop with a small midi controller and interface so you can output parts and click into PA and monitors. Face it as some point that is what you will be doing, so why spend money on short term solutions. To me spending on short term solutions just increase the price of the long term solution.
  5. This is how I do it.
    I record a click track to my cubase session of the song, I mute all the instruments that are not going to be in the sequence, then I send the click track hard to the left, and keep the keyboards and sequences I want to play live centered and export it as a wav file. You'll have to leave some clicks before the song starts, so the drummer can match the time and tell you when to start. You'll just need a cd player, and a stereo channel splitter, you'll send the left channel (click + track) to drummer's headphones and the right channel (track) to the mixer.
  6. hunta


    Dec 2, 2004
    Washington, DC
    I agree to an extent. Personally, I do have a suitable laptop, interface, and all that jazz, but something like that drumpad sampler piques my curiosity anyway. I've seen/heard what happens when a laptop crashes during a live show, it ain't pretty. High pitched squeals of doom through the PA. Dedicated outboard sampler/triggers don't have that problem.

    Not to mention that my laptop/interface/etc cost a hell of a lot more than that sampler does. Someone almost spilled a beer on it the first time I brought it out to record a show. I still get nervous taking it out. All it takes is one careless/drunken band member (or yourself) to trip over the myriad of cables you have hooked up to the thing and there goes a few thousand dollars.

    The laptop thing is cool but don't be scared of outboard hardware for the right purpose. Everything is a short term solution with this music tech stuff these days. It either breaks or it's obsolete in 6 months. Or it costs several thousand dollars.
  7. XtreO


    Jan 2, 2008
    So if there is a split second ****-up you'll alle look like like real idiots for not being timed with what comes out of the speakers.
  8. ILiYo


    Dec 25, 2007
    Heres what i do....as previously stated and twisted a bit. I record my click and pan hard left. I then take my tracks and place them all hard right. Output a wav file and what you have is the song with click left and keys/samples/tracks right. I put them on my ipod, and use a 3.5 mm headphone jack to a left/right rca split. I run two channels to the board via two direct boxes. Im then able to control the click from stage, level of the click, level of the tracks, and everyone else on stage can have a mix of it......that simple....that cheap....I place the songs in order of the set and make a playlist. Sometimes when we do a whole show with samples I just make one huge wav file for the whole set and place an indicator i.e. my voice or a different sound sample for the click before the start of each song.
  9. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I had to use a sampler but didn't want no clicks.

    So I use Mach5II as my main sampler ( available for PC Also )
    You can triger the samples with a midi device , personaly , I use a Roland FC300.

    The magic with mach5 is that you can tap the tempo "live" without changing the pitch with "loop slice"

    So , whatever tempo your at , one mesure before you tap the tempo then start the sample.

    You can manualy adjust the Beats , just like a .rex file
    You can also assign a MIDI controller to the tempo , that way , you're able to adjust speed on the fly.
  10. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Take a look at band-in-a-box. I use it for practice and it can play all the keyboard parts.

    You don't really need a laptop. You can pick up a cheap, fairly small, regular computer at the local computer surplus stores. It doesn't need to be the latest and greatest. If you tune the OS it would only take 30-60 seconds to boot. About as much time as most modern keyboards. You only need two channel sound card, one for the drum/click and one for the keyboard parts.

    Drummers usually like it better to actually listen to drum parts and play along than to just clicks.
  11. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    A cheap programmable drum pad could trigger some samples. Dub Trio does it live. The drummer simply has this cheap little programmable 8 section drum pad thing that he hits to trigger samples and loops. You can see him tapping tempos into it too.
  12. Questor


    Apr 5, 2008
    Great Neck, NY

    In the band I play with, I'm the keyboardist (I sub'd for the bassist the very first time they played but when he came back I had to switch to something, and they had two guitarists already [my primary instrument]). When I pushed to play more complicated songs, it required an "assisted solution" because I'm not that good of a keyboardist and I only have so many hands in the first place.

    The solution? I wrote my own software in C#. My laptop is connected to a MOTU MIDI Patch Bay via USB (giving me 8 in and 8 out ports). The software allows me to trigger MIDI sequences - which are played through any of my MIDI devices connected to the patch bay - and Wave samples - played via DirectX and output through the headphone jack which is connected to the "Tape In" on the PA - live (in addition to a bunch of other, really cool stuff).

    The software isn't yet ready for prime time, but I will eventually be looking to sell it. I guess I'll upgrade to the sponsored account at that time. By the way (and my apologies because I don't mean to hijack the thread), do I need to upgrade to find beta testers? I'm not selling anything at that point so technically I'm not breaking the Terms of Service. :D :D :D

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