Backing track for gigs?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Axegrinder77, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Askwhy

    Askwhy Tele-Meister

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    It can get expensive as you can only use a relic'd guitar if you are using backing tracks and you have to spring for auto tune for the vocals as well. Fake music and fake mojo ain't cheap!

    Karaoke is fun, but it is not live music. All improvisation, spontaneity, interplay, etc. is lost. Only you can decide if you are good with that, i wouldn't be but i also don't make a living as a musician. We get paid, but it would be a very sad salary after expenses. I admit if i did, and it got me more gigs with less people to pay... I probably still wouldn't but i get it. Folks, we are the last group standing between true live music and computer everything. We are going to lose, but we can keep it alive as long as we can. There are some folks listening who do get it.
     
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  2. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    This discussion always ends up with the ideologues vs the entertainers it seems.

    My band refuses to even entertain the concept of a drum track, despite the fact that we have had the least reliable drummers you can imagine. We’ve rotated through three in the last 12 months.

    At this point, I’d try anything.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  3. teletail

    teletail Tele-Meister

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    Well said.

    I don't know where this whole "It needs to sound exactly like the record" thing came from anyway. I try to capture the essence of the original as closely as possible, but in a three piece band, you can only do so much. Are we making music or trying to be juke boxes?

    Hey, if you can convince a club owner to pay you to play karaoke, more power to you. There's a singer in my area that has a guitarist and she and the guitarist play to karaoke tracks. She's a better salesman than me!

    I don't know why some people are getting so wrapped around the axle about this. The OP asked for OPINIONS. Not sure why we can't disagree without being disagreeable.
     
  4. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Holic

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    The sweetener and guide tracks are more about locking down a roadmap, providing in ear cues to make sure the band hits the bridge/stops/extra chorus second time around all together, helping the singers remember lyrics to 200 songs (this becomes a problem), letting the band leader provide instruction to the band throughout the night, keeping the tempos locked with the click, and setting it up so that you can go from one song to the next, seamlessly.

    Once you have these handicaps, it's tough to go back to playing without. The only way to achieve an equal show is a s***ton of rehearsing, and yet with 200 songs, you'll still have memory lapses on the bridge, what key we do the song in, etc. Good luck getting pro musicians to rehearse more than once or twice unless you are paying for it.

    Remember when Mariah had that gaffe during the Christmas performace a few years ago? What happened is her in ears died, and she lost all of her cues coming through the in ears. Couldn't recall lyrics, didn't know where she was supposed to be on stage.

    It ruins live music and turns it into canned crap, but it works. I do appreciate Tiny Desk concerts more than ever, since it's one of the few places were there are no tracks.
     
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  5. Askwhy

    Askwhy Tele-Meister

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    Nonsense. There are plenty of good bands out there not using tracks and if you seek them out go out and support them, there will eventually be even more. Not direct to you Ian T, just commenting on the notion that "everyone is doing it" and reminding us all that we vote with our dollars and supply follows demand. :)
     
  6. fretWalkr

    fretWalkr Tele-Meister

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    Playing with tracks for a slick production falls in the category of show biz. Show biz is lucrative but doing it tends to be soul destroying. The Mariah incident where the tech failed and left her floundering made her look like a hack. Without the trickery she couldn't perform.

    On the other hand, making music, rather than product, is why most of us picked up the instrument in the first place. When you're making music you have these wonderful, transcendent moments, when it all comes together and there's magic. This is where music becomes art and is where the real artists can be found. An artist isn't likely to use the full on corporate tracks.

    But technology keeps moving and artists incorporate new things. Where is the line between the two? Is it playing a gig with recorded tracks? Making a studio recording using a drum loop on an original song? Is is using a looper that can store loops that you bring up during the gig?
     
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  7. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    you can play a transcendent set to a backing track or you can play a total **** set to a backing track.

    also if mariah carey couldn't hear the drums on stage when her in ear died i'm not surprised she got lost on stage - how many of you play well when you can't hear the drums?

    i've seen this band a bunch and their performance is always pretty solid.



    these folks too:



    this was hands down one of the best bands i saw last year:



    i like these guys a bunch too:



    also great live:



    one thing you start doing if you play to a backing track is to start checking out the quality of the pa system at local venues, so you can figure out if you need to bring your own if you play there.

    if you can't deliver a moving and passionate performance to a backing track, that's on you and your limitations as a musician and performer.

    oh and for the person who asked, here is what i do. these recordings are a little old and we're writing and recording for a full length right now.

    https://gizzards.bandcamp.com/album/purity-test-demos
     
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  8. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    making your own backing tracks is an art.
     
  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I can't be troubled to read the whole thread.

    :lol:

    But there is a third option:

    - get creative about what you leave out.
    - get creative about how you reproduce parts.

    I played in a successful New Wave cover band for about 5 years. No keyboards. We just had a guitar player figure out ways with very modest pedalboards to add really critical keyboard/synth parts. It worked great and became part of the schtick.

    We were mainly doing it for fun. But playing with humans was the draw for me. So we could stretch a song, play with tempo, take a second solo. Stretch an intro or outro if the hot mommy's were having fun and dancing. Click or sequencing would kill all that fun.

    And @cyclopean - I take your point. To me there is a difference between music built to incorporate those elements (even going back to "Echo" and the Bunnymen) vs. music where you are just adding a vocal track or instrument track that is normally played by a human that you don't want to bother to find. I grant it's not the most principled distinction.
     
  10. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    i mean, we could make someone stand next to a table with a sampler on it and press a button, but why?

    we had human drummers in the past. the drum machine suits our music better. we don't have a bassist, but we're both going to record bass guitar and synth bass for our album, and that's going to go on the backing track, because trying to get all your low end out of octave down fuzz guitar means making a lot of weird tonal compromises and it's probably going to make us less murky and muddy sounding live. we have some samples and some synths on there too. outside of an occasional sample of someone else talking, we roll all our own tracks.

    the stiffness of a step sequencer sounds pretty great when you push against it with noisy guitars.

    re: that new wave cover band: i've been seriously considering sitting down and learning electricity by omd because that synth part sounds like it would be a blast to play on guitar.
     
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