Advice on building a backing/click track for jamming/live use?

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Albake21, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Hey everyone! So me and a buddy have been jamming for a couple years now and have even written some stuff. Since it's only me and him (for now) we would like to make a backing track and run it through a DAW (Reaper is was I use). We are completely willing to invest in some equipment if needed. I know how to building a backing track within Reaper, I just don't know what equipment I need to wire it all up and let us hear it through in ear monitors.

    What I have now:
    - Laptop running Reaper
    - Scarlett 2i2 interface
    - PA system with 2 main speakers and 2 wedges
    - Behringer MicroAMP HA400 4-Ch Headphone Amplifier
    - Axe FX (which I do plan on making patch changes through midi which I already know how to do)

    I'm perfectly okay with doing a cheaper wired setup as this wouldn't be used for live for now, just for jamming and keeping us playing tighter with a full band sound. I figured I might need a mixer or a bigger interface with more outputs.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    EDIT: Quick question...

    I see the biggest method is doing the whole splitting the signals so click track is left and backing track is right in mono. Would it be possible to just use my Scarlett 2i2 with my laptop and plug my drummer to the left output and plug the right output straight into PA? No DI boxes or mixers needed?
     
  3. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    The simplest way would be:
    laptop > headphone out > 3.5mm to dual mono 1/4inch cable > 1 to headphone amp and other to PA (or DI box > PA).

    We run wired in-ears like this (2 of us have in-ears):
    old iphone > 3.5mm to dual mono 1/4inch cable > 1 DI > PA and > 2nd DI to Behringer MA400 Monitor Headphone Amplifier. I run an short xlr to the Behringer MA400 from the Click DI. The MA400 has a built-in amp and also a pass-through. I run an xlr out to my drummer who has a small mixer and can control his own click volume there.

    I found the HA400 micro amp to be noisy and of poor quality.

    Looks like only your drummer has the click, so that simplifies things. FYI my drummer uses the Behringer Q502USB to amplify his clicks. It sounds great, runs off usb power and gives tone shaping options.
     
  4. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Thanks for the info! I guess my biggest question is, why do I need DI's? What is the point of one and why can't I just go straight into my PA without one? Sorry I know these are simple questions, but a lot of this is new to me.
     
  5. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    If you only need to go a short distance, then you don't really need a DI. The DI converts it from 1/4 inch to XLR.
    Like if the laptop is sitting next to the mixer for the PA, then just plug direct in. If the drummer is controlling the laptop as well, then just go direct into the micro amp as mentioned above. No DIs needed.
    In our case I have to run a cable across the room to the Mixer and then another across the room to the drummer. The xlr signal is cleaner and can go much farther without degrading the sound.
     
  6. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Ah gotcha, well in our case we are in a very small room right next to everything. Thanks for your help.
     
  7. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    My pleasure. :hbang:
     
  8. indreku

    indreku SS.org Regular

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    Hey, get something like Xair16, you can get up to 4 stereo mixes out of it(you, your buddy and main L/R) and that is it....you will have 14 + 2 channels of sending stuff from the interface - if you do get a bigger interface, you can split different thing on their own channel. The xair 16 can be mixed from a ipad, so advantage.
     
  9. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    It looks nice, but I don't have $400 to spend on one plus no tablet to control it.
     
  10. indreku

    indreku SS.org Regular

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    can be controlled through a computer with ethernet as i recall, and used they are about 200
     
  11. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    That's good to know, but looking at current new and used prices, they seemed to be out of my budget and not worth the investment for just jamming purposes.
     
  12. indreku

    indreku SS.org Regular

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    this is good for both jamming with wired IEM and live....
    our band is using an andvanced version of this solution to always have all stuff coverd(thou we have an 32 channel option, since have full band with backing tracks, click tracks etc)
     
  13. Zombie13

    Zombie13 XIII

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    I've done many shows with just an iPod going into a PA, if you set up your tracks right, there's no need to have any other gear in the mix.
     
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  14. Djentlyman

    Djentlyman SS.org Regular

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    My new band is also toying around with the idea of having a drummer set up to a click with ambient music in between songs and additional layers coming in at the right parts of songs. @buriedoutback pretty much nailed it on the head. I found this diagram quite useful to visualise it. However I believe this will mean all backing tracks and ambient music will be in mono not stereo.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    That picture is a great representation of how to set it up. And yup, mono backing tracks.

     
  16. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    PS. We played a show with this setup 1.5 weeks ago and it absolutely killed. The Samples/Bass guitar/Bass drops sounded freaking huge. I actually grinned on stage every time a bass drop hit because I knew I got the backing tracks right.
     
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  17. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    That's awesome to hear! I tried it last week and ran into so many damn problem. First the bass weren't working (and never go it working until a couple days ago), then the click track wasn't loud enough for my drummer (which i think is just BS) and the whole process just fell apart :wallbash:
     
  18. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    That sucks man. In my experience, I was always making the bass drops too quiet. It sounded good in my studio, but couldn't hear them when jamming/live. I cranked them up and now they blow the roof off!
    I didn't have much trouble with the samples or other backing tracks, just compress the shit out of them so they are consistent.
    I had shitty luck with that Behringer MicroAMP HA400 4-Ch Headphone Amplifier. I found it noisy and too quiet as well, so I believe your drummer. The Behringer MA400 Monitor Headphone Amplifier is a few bucks more, and so far it's awesome (keep in mind my drummer runs a small mixer for himself as well).


     
  19. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Okay well the MA400 is only $25 on Amazon right now so I might just grab one. I'll most likely give it another shot this weekend, especially since I'll have the bass working this time. I was also using my laptop which was honestly a pain to setup a lug around with my already two guitars and axe fx. I might just export multiple versions of it on my phone and run it that way.
     
  20. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    I was bringing my laptop for a couple jams too and for me, it was super annoying. I now use an old iphone 4s and an app called Backtrax. Very simple app made for this kinda thing. It stops the tracks automatically and has a spot for lyrics too I think. Obviously any regular music player app will work too.

     

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