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PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

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PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby L.P. » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:55 pm

Hi there folks! I'm wondering if someone here can help me with a bit of techie biz regarding backing tracks/samples in a live band situation. I have done a bit of homework on some forums before deciding how I would word this, so I hope it isn't too confusing.

Firstly I'm using using a MacBook and Logic 8 as my sequencer. (not the best choice I know but I know how to use it for what I need, which is simply a click track I've played in for the drummer and a simple sample/backing track for the band to play to. Usually a standard keyboard/synth sound or a simple drum track.

With this in mind it's very unlikely that I'll ever be using more then 3 tracks at a time (the click track, the sample track and rarely an extra percussion track).

So usually one Left, one right (hard panned) going from a splitter in the mac to the drummers headphones and our pa (or FOH in a live situation i believe?)

Is this a sensible way of doing it or will I encounter problems when transferring this rig we use for rehearsal, to a live gig situation (as the mixing desk and FOH setup will be different to ours?)

I've noticed there is a little bit of bleed in terms of the click track slightly coming through the PA monitors. Is there any thing I can do regarding this?

I should also mention at this point that I'm using the sequenced sounds within logic, meaning I haven't bounced them down to audio. From the homework I've done so far I'm guessing the first thing I should do is turn my sequenced tracks to audio, is this correct and is so what are the advantages to this?

As an alternative option to Logic I do I have a copy of: Ableton Live lite 6 - M-audio enhanced (6.0.1) that I got free with my M-audio KeyRig 49 usb MIDI keyboard. And again from what I've read using Ableton would make my life a whole lot easier but I don't have the foggiest on where to start with it and more importantly this is some kind of trial version so would it achieve what I can in Logic or beyond for that matter? It's not like I have any MIDI controllers or anything at this point. Is it simply easier to learn how to use this trial version or get a proper version of ableton?

From what I've read my alternative is to bounce my click and samples to audio tracks. Play these through an iPod or iTunes with a splitter? Connect phono lead and headphones to a separate small mixer (for drummer) & headphone amp. Then the FOH take feeds from this to play the sounds the band needs out of the wedges/monitors?

I've no doubt got something wrong or mixed up here but if not I'm guessing I won't find a cheaper alternative then this:

DRUMMER MIXERS:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_xenyx_502.htm (£29)

http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_xenyx_302_usb.htm (£34)

Any recommendations on which of these would also be useful as I don't know if USB would be less reliable?

H.PHONE AMP:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_ha400.htm (£16)


Thanks for reading and I hope I haven't over-complicated anything. I'll be happy to take any screenshots or further detail things if necessary. ANY help would be appreciated!

Thanks, Luke. http://www.thomann.de/gb/behringer_xenyx_502.htm Link 1 Link 2 Link 3
L.P.
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Re: PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby DGL. » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:23 am

One thing you could try is to use a usb or whatever sound card with at least 3 outputs (normally they come in groups of 2, not quite sure which one though as I do not ahve much experience in this area) then you can route the foh mix as a stereo feed from outs 1/2 to the foh then have the drummers click track routed to say out 3.

You could then use a device similar to this http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/MA400.aspx which allows you to mix 2 signals together (the use of a mic input for the click should not pose a problem as long as levels are properly attenuated on the click track output, and at the end of the day it's only a click track) which would be much simpler.

In regards to using logic live, people do it and these days it seems quite popular so it should not be a problem. The only advantage with using abelton is from what I have heard it is more flexible if you want to change things live whereas with logic your really stuck with making any changes beforehand.
Hope this helps.
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Re: PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby L.P. » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:15 am

DGL thanks for your reply

Do you have any suggestions or links to these USB sound cards? as I've no experience with these whatsoever unfortunately! Also what cable form are the outputs of such a device, and would I still need to use my phono lead from the Mac to the PA?

I kind of get the gist of what these pieces of gear would do independently but linking them up is where I get confused.

Any help in that area would be great!
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Re: PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby DGL. » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:41 am

For an audio interface just look around. Latency should not really be a problem as you are only using logic as a playback device.
The cheapest multi out usb devices go for around the £100 mark i.e. http://www.thomann.de/gb/emu_0204_usb.htm . Though some people have had problems with the E-mu drivers, if you have firewire then you could use something like this http://www.thomann.de/gb/infrasonic.html but I have no experience with their products. What would probably be the best option is something like this http://www.thomann.de/gb/maudio_fast_track_pro.htm a bit more expensive (not much though)and seems to get good reviews. And the advantage with using 1 sound card is that it is less likely for the click to become out od sync with the backing track.


As to connecting this all up most pro soundcards have TRS 6.5mm balanced outputs (standard jack cable) and all you would do is to send outs 1/2 to the PA (set that within logic) and then out 3 or whatever to the Drummers monitor amp (if using the product suggested you will need a cable that converts from the cable from the souncard to the XLR input on the monitor amp. This amp would also be fed with a mono mix from the PA giving the drummer the ability to independantly mix the click track with the sound coming from FOH.
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Re: PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby L.P. » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:10 pm

Thanks again for that information sounds like an ideal way to do. However I'm on a real tight budget at the moment and can't afford an audio interface at the minute which is why I originally asked about the idea above:

Mac -> feed into small mixer (heads out for drummer) -> feed into FOH Desk -> feed into monitors/PA.

Do you know if this would work smoothly? Hopefully as then I'll only have to spend around £30-45. I'm sure I read somewhere that you can do it this way?
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Re: PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby DGL. » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:34 pm

Yes the best way would be in this case to feed out you signal as usual but I would split the backing BEFORE going into the drummers mixer or use a mixer/headphone amp if it can provide the same functionality. If you pass everything through the mixer 1st then you may get everything out (including click) to FOH and if the drummer adjusts his levels it will affect the FOH mix.

You could use a USB mixer as stated and if logic will allow use it as a second output whilst using the laptops built in audio for the FOH this would howver mean that the drummer is getting click in one ear and FOH mix in the other which may be a problem. I think, however, option one would be best and then just use something like the behringer 802/502/302 (anything with at least 2 line inputs). (I have got an 802 lying around that seems quite good I may even be willing to sell it for £30 + delivery PM me if you want it)
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Re: PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby L.P. » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:06 pm

Cool I'll get back to you asap on that 802!

When you say split before the drummer's mixer do you mean:

Splitter from the Mac output / left split to drummers mixer (where he can have his headphones plugged in and individual level control) / right split to the PA/FOH for the sound guy to control the samples for onstage monitors ?

I hope this is what you mean otherwise apologies in advance!
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Re: PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby DGL. » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:28 pm

See Picture

Image

A splitter would be used like a midi thru box, 1 input signal gives you multiple identical outputs. One of these identical outs would go to the foh and one would go to the drummers mixer.
Hope it helps.
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Re: PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby L.P. » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:59 pm

Ah i think we may have different ideas in mind as the splitter I'm referring to is one of these:

http://www.wannabargain.com.au/product_images/d/splitter__87147.jpg

which comes out the ONLY mac output source splitting two ways immediately out to the drummers mixer and into FOH.

Are your referring to a different type of splitter by any chance?

If I'm correct what your image is suggesting is sending two INDIVIDUAL out signals from the Mac before even hitting a splitter. Which as it stands, is impossible for me as again, the Mac I'm using has only the one headphone quarter inch headphone jack.

I've kinda come to the conclusion that if I have the following, the sound guy must be able to sort it out from there:

1 X small Mixer (from drummer)
1 X headphones
1 X long phono lead
2 X jack to jack 1/4 inch (or one twin stereo)
1 X 3.5mm to 1/4 jack converter
1 X 1/4inch to 3.5mm jack coverter

Please let me know if theres anything I've missed on this list.

Hope I'm not boring you with this DGL, all help here is will appreciated and I'm sure it will sink in soon haha! Image
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Re: PLEASE HELP! playing to click track/live samples

Postby DGL. » Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:32 pm

I sees what you mean, Right what you need are 2 leads, One mad up so it goes from a 3.5mm jack (tip being left and ring (middle) being right) to a single jack socket/plug (wired so only the left comes out of it (for foh mix), the second lead (for the drummers mixer) would be similar but would have 2 jacks wired to the 3.5mm jack (left and right) therefor splitting the stereo output to seperate left and right. The second lead is easily available but you may have to make the first (or just yuse the left part of a standard 3.5mm to 2 jack lead i.e. http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_sssnake_ypk2050.htm (just get two cables like this and ignore the right output on the one going to the foh mixer.
Image

p.s. I will be away pretty mkuch all of the weekend if you wonder why I don't reply for ages (my lil sis has BGT auditions and iv'e been dragged along :-( )
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