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A program to show timed information with a backing track?

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A program to show timed information with a backing track?

Postby The_BPP » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:18 pm

Is there a program which displays Lyrics/Chords/Prompts in sync with a backing track?

The guitarist in my band (who's lazy, to say the least), would like timed prompts for his chords. Although, considering our last couple of gigs, I suspect we could all use a couple of reminders.

Thanks in advance!

Andy
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Re: A program to show timed information with a backing track?

Postby JeffB » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:58 am

I think the best prompt to your guitarist would be "learn the f***ing songs or f**k off!"
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Re: A program to show timed information with a backing track?

Postby shufflebeat » Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:19 pm

More or less +1

That's not a gig, that's a rehearsal. Jazzy stuff that relies on improvisation on a structure and "real book" gigs, fair enough but your situation is just laziness.
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Re: A program to show timed information with a backing track?

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:36 pm

The_Big_Piano_Player wrote:Is there a program which displays Lyrics/Chords/Prompts in sync with a backing track?

You can use Powerpoint, timed slides, or something like Windows Movie Maker. There are also various "karaoke lyric" packages that you can use too.

I have something similar, to give information about the arrangements, lighting, marker cues etc, as well as lyrics and arrangements, and I'd ignore the comments about being too lazy etc, etc, etc. I play in few tributes that have some very big productions, with deps and stand-ins at every gig, and to fully rehearse them all would be impossible and so the prompting is invaluable.

I export the track from Pro Tools, with the click present too, and I make a note of the rough timings of each part, i.e. intro/verse/chorus. I then use movie editor to import the audio, add all of the cues/notes/lyrics, and I then save it as a standard windows movie. Within Pro Tools I can them play the movie, which will match the audio as I used the same audio to mark the movie, and I then show that window to my 2nd monitor.

It's all very slick, even down to the fact that my prompter is a converted wedge monitor with a 14" widescreen LCD in it, so from the audience view it looks like a standard monitor.

If I'm honest, most of the singers don't use the prompter as an excuse not to learn their stuff, it's there for comfort/back-up and it has saved quite a few shows.
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Re: A program to show timed information with a backing track?

Postby The_BPP » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:21 pm

TheChorltonWheelie wrote:
The_Big_Piano_Player wrote:Is there a program which displays Lyrics/Chords/Prompts in sync with a backing track?

You can use Powerpoint, timed slides, or something like Windows Movie Maker. There are also various "karaoke lyric" packages that you can use too.

I have something similar, to give information about the arrangements, lighting, marker cues etc, as well as lyrics and arrangements, and I'd ignore the comments about being too lazy etc, etc, etc. I play in few tributes that have some very big productions, with deps and stand-ins at every gig, and to fully rehearse them all would be impossible and so the prompting is invaluable.

I export the track from Pro Tools, with the click present too, and I make a note of the rough timings of each part, i.e. intro/verse/chorus. I then use movie editor to import the audio, add all of the cues/notes/lyrics, and I then save it as a standard windows movie. Within Pro Tools I can them play the movie, which will match the audio as I used the same audio to mark the movie, and I then show that window to my 2nd monitor.

It's all very slick, even down to the fact that my prompter is a converted wedge monitor with a 14" widescreen LCD in it, so from the audience view it looks like a standard monitor.

If I'm honest, most of the singers don't use the prompter as an excuse not to learn their stuff, it's there for comfort/back-up and it has saved quite a few shows.
Never thought of powerpoint. Like you, I guess it would be a safety net, more than anything else.

Thanks for your input.
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Re: A program to show timed information with a backing track?

Postby Steve A » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:05 pm

Although we don't need it now, we used Powerpoint as a lyrics safety net for a while when we were starting out, with a USB footpedal to advance the slides (it's the equivalent of a mouse click).
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Re: A program to show timed information with a backing track?

Postby Steve A » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:12 pm

I'm not so sure where the cut-off is for acceptability where it comes to stage prompters. Take the last two big arena shows I saw, Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode - both now use prompts for music and lyrics respectively. Chris Lowe from PSB makes no secret of the fact he needs sheet music in front of him. There is in fact a live DVD of them from a couple of years ago where you can see from around halfway through the set, his rig suddenly has a very impromtu LCD monitor gaffered to it. Apparently the prompter broke during the interval and they had to improvise with one of the screens liberated from the lighting console or else the show couldn't continue!
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Re: A program to show timed information with a backing track?

Postby Scramble » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:01 pm

Don't forget the old trick of painting eyes on eyelids for when he falls asleep.
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