Playing Backing Tracks Live Best Guide 2022

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Preparations and recordings are flawlessly quantized (time-aligned to a grid) in almost all popular recordings. Many musicians nevertheless try to fight against the grain to keep an experience of personal integrity.

The sizeable majority of other bands (your opposition) may be sacrificing this honesty to win inside the eyes of harmless concert-goers. If you and your band decide to influence the use of playing backing tracks down the street, it’s essential to recognize how to implement the sort of system and understand the related dangers.

What Is a Backing Track?

What Is Backing Tracks
What is backing track

Certainly positioned, backing tracks are pre-recorded pieces of tune that a band or artist performs along to in an overall stay performance, video, or just for a laugh at domestic.

Backing tracks are ubiquitous among today’s live artists for reinforcing performances. They’re effortless to integrate right into a show and are much greater less costly than hiring extra musicians. Backing tracks are exclusive from karaoke versions of songs or drumless tracks.

You could set up a backing tracks participant with only a laptop pc, digital audio workstation, cable snake, and an audio interface.

Backing Tracks Purpose and Benefits

Benefit Backing Tracks
Benefit backing tracks

Developing your playback machine for use stay has several wonderful blessings, in most cases related to the higher reception of your display.

  • Higher Sounding stay suggests

You may have extra vocals on your studio manufacturing. The use of tracks can beautify your show through “gambling again” these recordings while playing live.

  • Significant Pre-Programmed preparations

Live indicates they are intended to wow a target market; tracks provide you with the capability to do simply that. Your creativity is unlimited. With a playback machine, you can create something you can dream up.

Whether that be a narrated voice you have interaction with, a loopy advent, or attractive sound design all through the show, there are unlimited opportunities.

Backing Tracks Options

Backing Track Option
Backing track option

First, you need to resolve how you need to use tracks throughout your stay show:

  • As a guide instrument (rhythm guitar, bass guitar)
  • As a lead device (lead guitar, keyboard)
  • As a percussive device (drums, percussion)
  • For sound design (loops, samples, noises)
  • Vocals (harmonies, guide vocals)

Once you’ve got decided that, you need to determine how you need to deliver the tracks:

  • Live with a band (all devices are performed live, and tracks are used to supplement the sound)
  • Live with a laptop (tracks are triggered by way of a MIDI controller or laptop keyboard)
  • Pre-recorded (the entire show is recorded earlier, and playback during the live performance is synchronized with video)

Now that you know your options for using tracks in your live show let’s look at the different types of playback systems available.

  • MIDI Controllers

MIDI controllers come in all shapes and sizes, from simple drum pads to full-fledged keyboards. They’re used to trigger sounds from a computer, which can be anything from a drum sample to a backing track.

Most MIDI controllers will have some built-in display that shows you which sound is assigned to which button or pad. Some even have built-in speakers so you can hear the tracks without hooking up to a PA system.

MIDI controllers are usually very affordable, with some models costing less than $100.

  • Computers

Using a computer to play backing tracks is probably the most popular option, as it gives you the most flexibility. You can use a laptop, desktop, or even a tablet.

The main benefit of using a computer is that you can use any audio file you want, whether it’s an MP3, WAV, or even a MIDI file.

Another benefit is that you can use software to add effects to the tracks, such as reverb or delay. This can help to make the tracks sound more “live.”

One downside of using a computer is that it has an audio interface to connect it to the PA system. This can add to the cost of the setup.

  • Audio Interfaces

An audio interface is a device that allows you to connect your computer to a PA system. It converts the digital audio signals from your computer into an analog signal that can amplify.

Audio interfaces come in all different shapes and sizes, from simple USB adapters to full-fledged mixing consoles.

The main benefit of using an audio interface is that it allows you to control the volume of the tracks independently from the rest of the instruments. This can be helpful if you want to bring up the level of the tracks during a solo, for example.

Another benefit is that you can use the interface to add effects to the tracks, such as reverb or delay. This can help to make the tracks sound more “live.”

One downside of using an audio interface is that it can add to the setup cost.

  • Headphones

If you’re using a computer or audio interface to play tracks, you’ll need a pair of headphones so you can hear the tracks. This is important so you can stay on time with the music.

Headphones also come in handy if you want to hear the click track, a metronome that helps you keep time with the music.

Headphones are usually very affordable, with some models costing less than $100.

  • Cables

If you’re using an audio interface or MIDI controller, you’ll need some cables to connect it to the PA system. The cable you need will depend on the input/output ports your devices have.

The most common cable type is an XLR cable, which connects microphones and other audio devices to a PA system.

Another cable type is a 1/4″ TRS cable, which connects instruments such as electric guitars and keyboards.

  • Speakers

If you’re using a computer, audio interface, or MIDI controller to play tracks, you’ll need a PA system to amplify the sound. The type of PA system you need will depend on the size of the venue and the number of people you’re playing for.

If you’re playing for a small number of people, such as a house party or coffee shop gig, you can get away with using a small PA system. These systems are usually very affordable, with some models costing less than $200.

If you’re playing for a more significant number of people, such as a club gig or corporate event, you’ll need a more powerful PA system. These systems can be quite expensive, with some models costing several thousand dollars.

  • Microphones

You’ll need at least one microphone to amplify your voice or instrument using a PA system. The type of microphone you need will depend on the type of instrument you’re playing.

For example, if you’re playing acoustic guitar, you’ll need a different type of microphone than if you’re singing.

  • Instrument Cables

If you’re using a PA system, you’ll need cables to connect your instruments to the system. The cable you need will depend on the input/output ports your devices have.

The most common cable type is a 1/4″ TRS cable, which connects instruments such as electric guitars and keyboards.

The Best Backing Track Apps for Live Performances

App Backing Track
GarageBand

Those are some excellent iPhone & Android apps for performing on stage. Whether or not it’s for backing tracks, lyrics, or even recording, these apps will have you blanketed. A few even will let you create as well as playback your very own compositions of backing tracks.

  • GarageBand

If you want an incredible music introduction tool that has been utilized by some of the world’s most prominent artists, then that is it. Created in-house with the aid of Apple, GarageBand offers the possibility to create, share, and export tracks using tremendous software program devices or your own played immediately into the app.

We cannot overstate how excellent this app is. Whether or not you’ve been gambling for ten years or 10 minutes, making track has never been less complicated or more fantastic. The interface is intuitive and clean to learn, making you return repeatedly. What’s extra, you can edit your tracks and percentage with bandmates or collaborators and even export them without delay to the internet.

  • Setlist Helper

When your repertoire starts offevolved to develop, you’ll recognize the brilliance of organizational apps for the track. You’ll need somewhere to hold your information with many songs to remember and control. Setlist Helper has been designed to do precisely that. Features encompass an online account so you can sync across gadgets, which may be very useful.

There’s also Dropbox support for sharing, mp3 attachments, a seek feature, and Chord pro layout 7, so you can add musical notation if needed.

  • SoundCloud

If you are a budding musician and haven’t heard of SoundCloud, we urge you to download it immediately. SoundCloud is now considered a staple for each signed and unsigned artist, having been around for a reason since 2007.

SoundCloud is genuinely a vital song app. Amongst different matters, you could hold a watch on musical traits, add your tunes, fee other people, and typically bask in the brilliance of a track-minded community.

  • Reason Impact

Running as an accompaniment to the terrific computing device app, this mini-model of motive is still an excellent app for musicians on the move. You could use it to feed the computer app, or you may mess around with sounds and create perfect lead lines and melodies for songwriting.

The interface is straightforward. There are tutorials and, of course, that traditional motive sounds too. In case you are new to tune manufacturing, this is a perfect app to reduce your enamel and experience a number of the power that lurks behind one of the world’s favorite Digital Audio Workstations.

  • iReal Pro

At the sharper quit of the pricing scale for song apps, iReal Pro has, in reality, long past to fantastic lengths to justify the rate tag. This app can help you come to be a much better all-spherical musician. There are many backing tracks for singers; you can document and concentrate on returning.

For instrument players, there are chord diagrams, scales, and the ability to edit backing tracks to be healthy. Our favorite feature (amongst masses) is the option to view rankings based totally on chords. 

Different Approaches to Using Backing Tracks

Different Aproach Backing Track
Different Approaches to Using Backing Tracks

Now that we have looked at some of the best apps for backing tracks, it’s worth considering different ways you can use them in your live performances.

  • Backing Tracks as Lead Lines

One way to use backing tracks is to have them play a lead line or melody while you provide the chords and rhythm—this is a great way to add interest and texture to your live sound without overcomplicating things.

  • Backing Tracks as Fillers

If you have a section of your song where you want to add some atmosphere but don’t want to play anything too busy, backing tracks are a great solution. A simple pad sound or even some white noise can add to the mood of a song.

  • Backing Tracks as Transition Elements

If you have two songs that flow nicely, you can use a backing track to make the transition between them smoother. This is a great way to keep the energy up during your set.

Using Backing Tracks: Tips and Challenges

Tip And Challenge Backing Track
Tip and challenge backing tracks

Now that we’ve looked at some of the best apps for backing tracks and some different ways you can use them, it’s time to take a look at some tips and challenges you might face when using them.

  • Tip 1: Use a Click Track

If you want to ensure your backing tracks are on time with your live instruments, using a click track is a good idea. This will help you keep everything tight and sound professional.

  • Tip 2: Balance the Levels

You don’t want your backing tracks to be too loud or quiet. Spend some time sound-checking to make sure the levels are balanced.

  • Tip 3: Use High-Quality Tracks

The last thing you want is your backing tracks to sound low quality and muddy. Make sure you use high-quality tracks that are recorded well.

  • Challenge 1: Keeping Everything in Time

One challenge you might face when using backing tracks is keeping everything in time. It can easily get thrown off if you’re not used to playing with them. Just take your time and practice with them before your gig.

  • Challenge 2: Making Sure the Tracks Don’t overpower Your Playing

Another challenge is making sure the tracks don’t destroy your playing. You want your backing tracks to enhance your live sound, not drown it out. Again, this is something you can adjust during sound check.

  • Challenge 3: Dealing with Technical Difficulties

As with any technology, there’s always the potential for technical difficulties. Make sure you have a backup plan if your backing tracks don’t work.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Is it good to practice with backing tracks?

Practicing scales using backing tracks is a wonderful way to enhance your gambling. It is also plenty more amusing than working towards the simplest metronome! They may assist you in strengthening your scale expertise, approach, tone, and experience of rhythm.

Are backing tracks copyright free?

Sure, backing tracks are copyrighted. If you want to use a chunk of tune created by someone aside from yourself in one of your projects, you’ll want to acquire the rights to use it. This is a time-consuming method.

Why do bands play with backing tracks?

Backtracks decorate the band’s sound as stay indicates. Backing tracks are an alternative to hiring additional musicians for a small part of a single tune. Moreover, some components are too complex to play during stay performances.

Final Thought

Backing tracks can be a great addition to your live sound, but they have challenges. Just take your time and practice with them before using them in a live setting. With a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to use them seamlessly in your live performances.

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Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.
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