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The issue of backing tracks

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Viper617, May 17, 2019.

  1. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If you're gonna get excited about tracks, we have to talk about delay pedals, 'cause that part of the music is not being played in real time. Or loopers - same thing.

    Tracks can be useful. They can also be abused. If you're going to play with tracks, it actually takes more discipline to do it well than playing without tracks. We do it in church, but in the churches I play in, we are all very well rehearsed.
    Mr_Moo, MDBass and twocargar like this.
  2. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009

    The Arcade Fire is a popular, acclaimed, Grammy winning band. With several people in the band, playing all sorts of instruments.

    Along with those many people and instruments, they also use drum machines and other programmed sounds.

    Do whatever you want.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  3. TreySonagras


    Aug 11, 2013
    To me, it's not like karaoke if the backing tracks/sequenced parts were recorded/programmed by the performers on stage. It's not like they downloaded someone else's tracks and were using them.
    Mr_Moo, whero and twocargar like this.
  4. Charlzm

    Charlzm Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Why not? If it's good, who cares?
  5. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia living la vida loca Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    For people who like that kind of thing, that's the kind of thing they like.

    It's not my cup of tea, but if you enjoy it and find an audience, more power to you!
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  6. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    The first time I ever saw it done was The Pretenders, about 1980 had a cuppla huge reel to reels for the track "Space Invader". Later that same year I saw Soft Cell ("Tainted Love") do it, also.

    Ah yes, "the mullet years"!
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  7. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    If it sounds good, it IS good. -Duke Ellington
    City, Mr_Moo and twocargar like this.
  8. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    We’re bass players we and then drummers are the first to go with backing tracks, so of course we hate them. They can work well in certain settings. I just saw a pic of a friend playing flugelhorn with his MacBook playing backing tracks. Mo money for him, he can even do the gig at a lower price than a full band and still make 3x as much as he would with a full band. And that works great for smaller more intimate settings where people are there to see him play. And the “band” will all show up on time. No last minute double bookings to deal with. Now, if he’s doing a festival or something like that, a band is expected.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  9. I really don't like it when people track or the bass is triggered by the bass drum. I heard Peter Frampton a few years ago. When the concert started the bass was hammering. Really sound a good. But after watching the bass player he was not playing. It was being synthesized or triggered by the kick.
  10. sing-modulator


    Nov 23, 2014
    St Vincent performs asa solo guitarist/singer with all backing tracks for the rest of the band. So there's that. Do whatever works to make your music possible!
  11. If I were hiring a band and found out they were using backing tracks when I advertised the event as " having live music" I would not be pleased. Next time I would just hire a DJ instead. Part of what the audience pays for is the musical interaction between the various band members during their songs. I can play recorded music at home for free.

    Thump on,

    Mr_Moo likes this.
  12. It’s two different things to me, but both equally valid and intriguing. One of my favorite gigs ever was sitting it with a livetronica band, the DJ and guitarist were both running abelton live. Guitarist would cue me when he wanted the bass to drop or drop out.

    I sure wouldn’t worry about what some old bassists and guitarists think. Make it good and play for your fans.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  13. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    You play for the paying audience, most of those people are not going to be offended musicians.
    Silthis89 likes this.
  14. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    A huge section of modern, live musical acts use backing tracks with clicks running into in-ears all the time. Many sell out huge venues. The crowds either don't know, or don't care. Many of these bands are still filled with incredible musicians.
    Mr_Moo and Silthis89 like this.
  15. I think it's an inherent part of the electronic genres that it is a mixture of live performance and backing tracks in which case I wouldn't worry about it too much other than trying to achieve as much live as is possible and only using the backing tracks when needed.

    I played in church bands where we used backing tracks to fill in the sound of the band, it can work really well to augment what the band is doing live and the audience won't necessarily realise there even are tracks unless they are musos themselves.
    Mr_Moo likes this.
  16. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    Get advice from Gene and Paul.
  17. I personally hate backing tracks however the general public doesn't seem to care. Heck, look at how many people will go to a festival to stand there and watch a DJ on stage with his laptop. That's no show, but people pay money for it.
  18. WebJunk


    Oct 19, 2015
    Musicians generally are not the audience. And it is the audience that matters.
    I personally do not like backing tracks, but they have become reality. Stage show has is now more important than music & musicianship for the general public. They usually do not know, believe or maybe just do not care if its played live. I know one band that the first bunch of dates of their tour only the drummer & lead guitarist actually played. The bass player, rhythm guitarist & keyboards are back tracks. One very popular metal band the bass player almost never plays, live or on records. He's a "pretty boy" and that is more important than his bass playing. Not directly to his fans but when I've talked to him he's pretty open about not being much of a bass player.
  19. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    Kriegs likes this.
  20. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    Timbuk 3’s boom box is in the rock and roll Hall of Fame.

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