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Backing track playback device

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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby TheBev » Sun May 13, 2012 12:07 pm

shufflebeat wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:I wanted to move from minidisc because of its inflexibility. Need to add to a set, you need to rerecord the disc, or at least add another track in real time.

I realise this has been obsolete for some time but there was a way to put songs on minidisc in a "drag and drop" kind of way over USB. It was a Sony music management system that was totally useless for a hundred other reasons but did keep one of my regular gig partners using minidisc while everyone else and their Granny had moved on to mp3 players.

I suppose it could still be found if one was masochistically inclined.


This wasn't Sonic Stage was it, I seem to remember this came with my earlier Sony mp3 players, maybe developed from the minidisc.. maybe not.
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby artzmusic » Sun May 13, 2012 5:00 pm

Since many acts are going totally wireless these days, (ours included) any suggestions on getting the iPad signal to the mixer sans wires?

The freedom this affords us in our presentation is vital these days.

Rick
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby shufflebeat » Sun May 13, 2012 5:35 pm

drargon wrote:
shufflebeat wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:I wanted to move from minidisc because of its inflexibility. Need to add to a set, you need to rerecord the disc, or at least add another track in real time.

I realise this has been obsolete for some time but there was a way to put songs on minidisc in a "drag and drop" kind of way over USB. It was a Sony music management system that was totally useless for a hundred other reasons but did keep one of my regular gig partners using minidisc while everyone else and their Granny had moved on to mp3 players.

I suppose it could still be found if one was masochistically inclined.


This wasn't Sonic Stage was it, I seem to remember this came with my earlier Sony mp3 players, maybe developed from the minidisc.. maybe not.

That sounds familiar. I remember it putting up a hell of a fight when I tried to replace it with something more adaptable.
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun May 13, 2012 8:03 pm

artzmusic wrote:Since many acts are going totally wireless these days, (ours included) any suggestions on getting the iPad signal to the mixer sans wires?

The freedom this affords us in our presentation is vital these days.

Rick

Now theres a thought.

I guess you could use Apple TV and take the optical audio out, but I've no idea what the quality would be like. If it was OK, then it would get around the issue of using the headphone out and potentially give you option to use better converters at the mixer end.

I wonder if anyone else could add to this?

Bob
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby seablade » Sun May 13, 2012 10:39 pm

shufflebeat wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:I wanted to move from minidisc because of its inflexibility. Need to add to a set, you need to rerecord the disc, or at least add another track in real time.

I realise this has been obsolete for some time but there was a way to put songs on minidisc in a "drag and drop" kind of way over USB. It was a Sony music management system that was totally useless for a hundred other reasons but did keep one of my regular gig partners using minidisc while everyone else and their Granny had moved on to mp3 players.

I suppose it could still be found if one was masochistically inclined.

While what you are referring to was a Sony specific solution, there was on many MD recorders of decent quality an ability to reorder tracks without needing to re-record the disc IIRC, and without hooking up via USB. It has been some time, but I am fairly sure I still have a couple of player/recorders with this functionality on them laying around.

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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby seablade » Sun May 13, 2012 10:41 pm

Bob Bickerton wrote:
Yep, in fact that's what I've been using until now, Sony MD, remote access by keypad and footswitch for start/stop has been rock solid, but having a large touchscreen attached to your microphone stand with 'named' key pad start buttons, easy scroll set lists, lyrics displayed on playback, well it simply doesn't compare. The only reason I was holding off on the change was because I wanted footswitch start/stop functionality, which is now available with the bluetooth air turn pedal.

For the record, while obviously it doesn't do lyrics, what I was referring to wasn't the standard keypad remote access, but literally a direct access playback mechanism, meaning you had a button per track/sound and you had them labeled and just punched the one you wanted.

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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby Bob Bickerton » Mon May 14, 2012 9:34 am

seablade wrote:
Bob Bickerton wrote:
Yep, in fact that's what I've been using until now, Sony MD, remote access by keypad and footswitch for start/stop has been rock solid, but having a large touchscreen attached to your microphone stand with 'named' key pad start buttons, easy scroll set lists, lyrics displayed on playback, well it simply doesn't compare. The only reason I was holding off on the change was because I wanted footswitch start/stop functionality, which is now available with the bluetooth air turn pedal.

For the record, while obviously it doesn't do lyrics, what I was referring to wasn't the standard keypad remote access, but literally a direct access playback mechanism, meaning you had a button per track/sound and you had them labeled and just punched the one you wanted.

Seablade

Thanks for clarifying that, I wasn't aware there was such a device.

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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon May 14, 2012 10:22 am

mick.n wrote:
Mike Stranks wrote:Have recently switched to PC laptop and Multiplay. Very happy with the result and it's easy to create and store set-lists.

Mike
Mike, i used the Multiplay software at a rehearsal a few weeks ago. While it did perform very well, i found it used a lot of CPU when it was running a track on my dual core laptop. Did you notice this? Good program though & free.
I have a bargain-basement laptop - "the finest that Woolworth's could sell" - and I've never experienced any problems issues. Obviously, when using Multiplay, I have no other apps running...
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby mick.n » Mon May 14, 2012 6:31 pm

Mike Stranks wrote:
I have a bargain-basement laptop - "the finest that Woolworth's could sell" - and I've never experienced any problems issues. Obviously, when using Multiplay, I have no other apps running...

Thank you for the info Mike. I also had nothing running (AV off, wireless disabled, etc, etc), but it still pulled around 35-45% cpu when playing a track. Although my I7 sandybridge desktop cpu barely moved running the same prog....but thats got a lot more grunt than my dual core Samsung laptop (Intel T2310 @1.47GHz).

May try it with a clean win 7 install & see what happens.

Thanks again for replying Mike. :)
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby Dave.jj » Mon May 14, 2012 7:05 pm

mick.n wrote:To the OP, i just switched to using the ipad 2 a few weeks ago for backing tracks & its perfect. Only done a dozen or so gigs with it but really impressed so far. I am using the rather delicate looking headphone jack at the moment but, as Bob says, if you are carefull not to trip over it (ROADIES!) or snag on it you'l be ok. Though i am considering the Alesis I\O dock as a more sturdy solution.

This is the app i use and cannot recommend it highly enough.

All i need now is an app that will control the lighting rig too. :)

We are looking into this now....if we have any money left after getting a mixer and new cab's that is :)
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Mon May 14, 2012 7:17 pm

Dave.jj wrote:The one drawback of the minidisc is having to change discs depending on the set we play or changing the order we play on the night.

Thanks again in advance
Dave

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Why on earth would anyone want to invest in a technology that has been dead for literally years is beyond me. I know people that still use MD, but that's because they see no need to upgrade, it works and so they're happy with it. However, if you're new to the backing track idea then I cannot see any reason why you wouldn't want to go for a laptop and software or an SSD recorder/player.

On that basis, if you use something like Ableton Live you can do all of the cueing that you need, pre-programmed pauses between songs, chain songs together into mini-sets, MIDI pedal to move to the next song in a set, etc, etc, etc. I've used it quite extensively, on a moderate spec laptop, and I've never had a moments trouble.
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby Dave.jj » Mon May 14, 2012 8:15 pm

TheChorltonWheelie wrote:Why on earth would anyone want to invest in a technology that has been dead for literally years is beyond me. I know people that still use MD, but that's because they see no need to upgrade, it works and so they're happy with it. However, if you're new to the backing track idea then I cannot see any reason why you wouldn't want to go for a laptop and software or an SSD recorder/player.

I think you must have misread or misunderstood my original post, as I said we have been using MD with no issues, we are maybe looking to change due to the amount of tracks that one disc holds.

As I said MD works fine, its just the fact of having to change discs depending one how we play a set. We have not just invested in MD we have had it for sometime.

Cheers
Dave
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby James Perrett » Tue May 15, 2012 10:15 am

artzmusic wrote:Since many acts are going totally wireless these days, (ours included) any suggestions on getting the iPad signal to the mixer sans wires?

You could try turning the problem round and have the iPad control a media player sitting next to the mixing desk.

James.
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby markjosefmusic » Tue May 15, 2012 1:17 pm

Like the majority of people out there, I used a Sony Mini-Disc for ages, although I do remember originally using CD..."skippety, skip". When I decided to get back into singing, I had a good Samsung NC10 netbook that wasn't getting used so decided to give it a go. I have around 750 backing tracks all in WAV format from full rate CD sources (about 26gb worth). My advice for what it is worth would be to firstly strip the laptop of all unnecessary programs that may hunt for an internet connection to update etc... and on that note turn off any windows update features and internet access. Once the netbook was running as lean as I could get it, I then installed a basic version of Winamp. I know that there are a lot of bells and whistles programs out there but be honest about what you actually want it to do and you should be fine. Windows Media Player used to be OK but it is now too resource hungry to be viable. Another good media player I considered was Foobar 2000 but I went for Winamp purely because it has been around for ever. I really like the simplicity of Winamp once you change the preferences to just show what you need. You can also increase font size of the song list view so that it can be easily seen at around 6 feet away. It also has a good colour pallet on the themes so that you can get a really clear view without it glaring too much on stage. Set list creation is a breeze with drag and drop and these can be saved for later reference. I have a USB footswitch that simply controls play/pause but Winamp lets you set up various "hot keys" on the laptop keyboard (I think "C" is play/pause). I can see where some people may be a bit nervous of laptop use on stage but I have never had a problem with it even only running Windows XP and only 1gb RAM. Just keep it simple, follow the rules about only using it as a music player and you should be fine.

Hope that helps………..Mark
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby Dave71 » Wed May 16, 2012 5:57 pm

Back to the laptop idea, ive been running my acer extensa for over 3 years with a stripped down install of XP and 1gb ram. Has done over 300 gigs + occasinal home use for playlist and other audio related tasks. Its been knocked had the occasion dowse in lager. in the same time frame i have gone through 3 mixers including two Denon units.

Not done any windows updates for 2 years as its not a web machine and use virtual DJ with external multi channel usb soundcards for better audio.

as long as you have a plan b just in case - my wife kicks off if i even try to take the ipad out so i dont even go there, not worth the aggro!
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby Dave.jj » Wed May 16, 2012 7:33 pm

Dave71 wrote:my wife kicks off if i even try to take the ipad out so i dont even go there, not worth the aggro!

:) :bouncy: :)
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby houseofpung » Thu May 31, 2012 3:32 am

I had a similar need to play single tracks from a playlist on my iPod/iPad, and I was unable to find an app that would do the job, so I created One Track Mind. It plays one track and then stops (or, optionally, loops that track indefinitely). It can also be set to automatically advance to the next track after it finishes playing. It uses the same playlists as the iPod music player, so you can manage your playlists the same way you are used to in iTunes or on the device. I've heard from several musicians who are using it to play backing tracks, so you may find it useful.
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby MarkPAman » Thu May 31, 2012 2:48 pm

Nice little app! I'll get that. Thanks.

For those wanting a bit more sophistication, PlayFadePause is a good little app. Designed as a simple theatre playback system & pretty easy to use.
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby GlynB » Thu May 31, 2012 3:22 pm

Dave.jj wrote:
TheChorltonWheelie wrote:Why on earth would anyone want to invest in a technology that has been dead for literally years is beyond me. I know people that still use MD, but that's because they see no need to upgrade, it works and so they're happy with it. However, if you're new to the backing track idea then I cannot see any reason why you wouldn't want to go for a laptop and software or an SSD recorder/player.

I think you must have misread or misunderstood my original post, as I said we have been using MD with no issues, we are maybe looking to change due to the amount of tracks that one disc holds.

As I said MD works fine, its just the fact of having to change discs depending one how we play a set. We have not just invested in MD we have had it for sometime.

Cheers
Dave

Curve ball....

For a time I used a Digitech Jamman footpedal for backing tracks. It takes SD cards. You can fit up to 99 songs on it. It's designed for looping, but works fine for this purpose too.

The main benefit, which was important to me at the time working solo, was that it's hands free, being a footpedal.

http://www.digitech.com/en-US/products/jamman

You do have to buy an additional add-on foot-pedal to move up through the 99 programs.
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Re: Backing track playback device

Postby Dave.jj » Thu May 31, 2012 8:03 pm

GlynB wrote:
Dave.jj wrote:
TheChorltonWheelie wrote:Why on earth would anyone want to invest in a technology that has been dead for literally years is beyond me. I know people that still use MD, but that's because they see no need to upgrade, it works and so they're happy with it. However, if you're new to the backing track idea then I cannot see any reason why you wouldn't want to go for a laptop and software or an SSD recorder/player.

I think you must have misread or misunderstood my original post, as I said we have been using MD with no issues, we are maybe looking to change due to the amount of tracks that one disc holds.

As I said MD works fine, its just the fact of having to change discs depending one how we play a set. We have not just invested in MD we have had it for sometime.

Cheers
Dave

Curve ball....

For a time I used a Digitech Jamman footpedal for backing tracks. It takes SD cards. You can fit up to 99 songs on it. It's designed for looping, but works fine for this purpose too.

The main benefit, which was important to me at the time working solo, was that it's hands free, being a footpedal.

http://www.digitech.com/en-US/products/jamman

You do have to buy an additional add-on foot-pedal to move up through the 99 programs.

Interesting... I might look into one of these :)
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