You are here

Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

For performing musicians and engineers: stagecraft, engineering and gear.

Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

Postby JonaWilder » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:16 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm a solo artist and have a couple questions regarding live backing tracks.

I'm going to be playing shows with me singing / playing guitar and a laptop playing backing drum tracks that sound like a drum machine. I'm going to play the tracks from iTunes and am connecting my laptop to the venue PA via an interface.

My question is: Is playing a pre-mixed drum track via laptop - interface - PA a viable option or would it be better to have an app / program with each individual drum track (kick, snare, etc).

Couple things I know will come up in the answers:

I am aware of Abelton, but it is also 800 bucks
I am also aware of physical drum machines, but most are rather pricey and aren't able to have pre-set songs or a start/stop controller
I know getting an actual drummer would be best, but hey sometimes there just ain't anyone around

Thanks, looking forward to getting your feedback!
JonaWilder
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:15 pm

Re: Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

Postby MarkPAman » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:26 pm

What’s your laptop?
MarkPAman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 757
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Somewhere between Portsmouth & Chichester

Re: Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:21 pm

Speaking personally, in that scenario I'd much rather have a pre-mixed kit - ie only two channels coming down the line - rather than be expected to mix a drum kit against a solo singing guitarist.
User avatar
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6154
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK

Re: Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

Postby artzmusic » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:58 pm

For simplicity, I prefer mp3 of my backing tracks played with a tablet. As a solo player, all I need to adjust is the volume and I'm good to go for the night.
User avatar
artzmusic
Regular
Posts: 348
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 12:00 am
Location: usa

Re: Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

Postby Bob Bickerton » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:45 am

Agreed the best solution is a tablet (iPad in my case) with a Bluetooth pedal playing back a pre-mixed stereo track. Lots of good apps to support this.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3651
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
http://www.bickerton.co.nz

Re: Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:32 am

A Boss RC-30/300 could also do the job and be completely foot operated. I'd go for the RC-30, you'd need an additional dual footswitch to switch tracks but it is a robust and relatively cheap solution (£160 in the UK but, apparently $300 t'other side of the pond :o ).
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8722
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

Postby JonaWilder » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:25 pm

Thanks everyone! Sounds like my Macbook running the backing track through iTunes into an interface into the PA is the way to go. Definitely will test the mix on my own PA speakers first though to get a grip on how it sounds.
JonaWilder
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:15 pm

Re: Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

Postby Janneman » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:35 pm

Try mainstage!
Janneman
Regular
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:00 am
Kind regards,   Jan van Duren

Re: Solo Artist - Backing Tracks

Postby MarkPAman » Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:35 pm

OK, if you have a MacBook, then download QLab. Free!
It is designed for just this type of job.

Without a licence, you can:

Playback any stereo track,
Adjust its speed, and/or pitch,
Adjust volumes and add fades,
Adjust start and end points,
Have it stop at the end, or continue to the next track (after a set amount of time),
Have a trac start while the previous on’s still fading out,
Change the order just by dragging stuff around,
Assign hot keys to the qwerty, or to a midi device,
Jump to anywhere in you set with one click,
See elapsde or remaining time.
Save as many versions of your show as you want.
Have it copy all the media you’ve used into one folder
....and probably some other useful things I’ve forgotten......

Also
Playback video and, with a sutable interface, control a few lights!

Got to be better than iTunes :D

https://figure53.com/qlab/
MarkPAman
Frequent Poster
Posts: 757
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Somewhere between Portsmouth & Chichester


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Luke W