Live Performance Vid - Using Backing Tracks

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Rawkmann, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    I'm starting to see more and more threads about using backing tracks live so I thought it might be helpful for people to see how we pull it off. I'm actually ok if people think it's 'lame' to use backing tracks, but it lets us get out there and play even when it's not possible to find a full time drummer and/or bass player. Plus the general audience doesn't seem to mind too much once we get going. It does help when the venue has a good system and competent sound guys.

     
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  2. Semi-pro

    Semi-pro SS.org Regular

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    I've got no problem for bands using a backing trak if they're using it to replace a musician :yesway:
    (Unless they're "replacing the 2nd guitarist" to double the rhythm tracks. That is lame and just an excuse masquerade the not-tight-enough playing - gtfo baby please! :lol: )
     
  3. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Man this is actually inspirational. My band are about to start doing this ourselves.
    There is 5 of us and no drummer. We have already started programming midi drums with the intention of getting them mixed/mastered and sent back as Wavs so we can mix our own drum sound live.

    Im hoping the pros of replacing a drummer in this way, massively outweigh the cons.

    from what I can gather

    Pros of real drummer:-
    Live drum sound is better
    More organic (could be a con if you want Fear Factory tightness)
    visually looks better live I guess (Although debatable imo)

    cons:-
    sets can get sloppy and go to shit, even if the drummer has a click in ear
    Drum Kits are massive and take up ALOT of stage room
    Setup time/pack down is increased to the point where your set length will be less because of it
    because of this /\, it tends to burden the whole band where everyone has to help pack down the Kit
    (I never remember a drummer helping me with my guitar setup)
    the drummers in my areas are unreliable and as people, complete dickheads


    so realistically I actually see the idea of backing track drums, way way more desirable than a human drummer based on my last 10 years of experiences. Drummes Ive worked with have always been THE main reason writing is going too slowly, or band practices get cancelled or become awkward because of their attitude. Live performances can be unbearable. Had 1 dude honor a show but intentionally played shit just to piss off the band he was exiting. (his last act of ego trip before leaving).

    Every stage feels bigger + more room for Scrims.
    Packup/setup is so quick, you gain extra time for more songs
    the set is as tight as your recordings and sounds completely consistent to the album every show
    not got to deal with conflict of personalities
    not holding the band up from gigging
    not holding the band up in writing (had one dude who after 3 months, still couldnt get the 1st track down...apparently basic song structures were confusing and he just wanted to blast beat over everything)
     
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  4. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Hey I think everyone should do what ever it takes to play live no matter what. Although the one instrument I'd have trouble playing without (by using a backing track) would be drums. It seems like it would feel lifeless playing without a drummer.
     
  5. zarg

    zarg guitar and computer nerd

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    I guess the feel of having actual drums is quite nice to have, but if you can't find anyone that it's a good solution. Sounds killer, loving the power metal vibes! \m/ the vocalist is really killing it.
     
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  6. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    Awesome, thanks! It's a struggle trying to do a power metal band where I live. Too heavy for the bar scene that just wants to hear 70s covers and not heavy enough for most of the core 'metal' audience around here.
     
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  7. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Metal is hard enough, but I'd have to imagine power metal is even harder now a days with the exact reasons you mentioned. What kind of venue as this shot at?
     
  8. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    This is about the most decent venue we have within 100 miles. It's a bar/pool hall with a pretty nice separate stage and band area. Every now and then someone like Steve Vai or John 5 will play there which is cool.
     
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  9. TNihil

    TNihil SS.org Regular

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    Imho there´s nothing wrong with using backing tracks live. Of course you´ll run into some people who totally despise this method. Some have a musical argument at hand, others don´t. And I won´t even dare to call them names because in this case it comes down to taste and preference. So what....
    Just stick to your plan and get on the stage and make the experience is what I´d highly suggest anyone asking about it. If that´s what you´re feeling comfortable with - great. You just found your niche.
     
  10. TNihil

    TNihil SS.org Regular

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    Wow, that´s cool dude. You just summed up what I´ve experienced in the last ten+ years and what shaped my core "belief system" in my own bands and projects.
     
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  11. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    seems it must be a common problem regardless of area in that case haha

    which means my long term aim of maybe finding a human drummer to replace our drum setup (more what the other dudes were planning than me) may go out the window haha.
     
  12. TNihil

    TNihil SS.org Regular

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    Yeah and I take it with a sense of humor cause the whole issue led me to discover cool and exciting bands and opened my ears so to speak. Good luck for your future projects with or without real drummers. ^^
     
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  13. mongey

    mongey SS.org Regular

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    There is one big pro that trumps all of that. Playing with a great drummer is fun as fuck .it pushes you and you communicate .it never feels the same with programmed/recorded drums to me. good drummers also understand the drums and their function .most guitarists program drums like a guitarist . me included


    sorry but everything you list is just dealing with a shit drummer.

    and yeah I have done the backing track thing live with 2 projects


    good stuff OP . all said , you need to do what you gotta do to get the job done . was rocking
     
  14. Zombie13

    Zombie13 XIII

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    Sounded awesome.
     
  15. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    We paid to have our drum tracks programmed. No one in the band done them to avoid that "programming them like a guitarist thing"

    Plus yeah shit drummers. There are no good drummer in my area period. We already wasted 7months trying to find/write with 2 different dudes. What are we supposed to then? Have a whoe set of songs and a full lineup bar drums, but never gig whilst we wait for the perfect guy?.

    Fuck that. We wana gig now. Wasted too much time on them.
    And the notion that its as fun or more fun than backing track drums is stupid. If everyone else throws the shit down hard and you have a light show plus full wireless so the band is roaming everywhere, then a drummer and his "pros" wont be missed a jot.
     
  16. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer Contributor

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    hahahahahahahaha

    jesus christ. you completely missed the point, and that's probably due to the fact you've never jammed with a great drummer. a light show and lack of cable is nothing compared to the feeling of playing with a great drummer.
     
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  17. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I guess you intentionally ignored paragraph 2 of my response then just to write "hahahaha"
     
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  18. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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    Came here to say this.


    Nothing beats an awesome drummer. Period.
     
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  19. Eptaceros

    Eptaceros Wayfarer Contributor

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    Nope, read everything just fine. I singled the last paragraph because of the ridiculous point you made that playing with a real drummer is not more fun, in fact it's apparently a "stupid" notion. Just because you haven't had the chance doesn't mean that it's false. I hope that one day you find a competent drummer and can experience that unparalleled experience.
     
  20. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    man you guys are completely missing my points.
    Dream land drummers may be awesome and jamming with a worlds best drummer standard drummer is probably great live. Great stuff.
    However, genuinely come and see my talent pool and watch a few gigs of bands from my area playing in my area and you will understand what im getting at. Literally like watching a group of hills have eyes looking band members, playing worst than if a bunch of dads got together and tried blagging a gig.

    I cant physically get blood out of a stone or magic a gandalf of drummers out of thin air and obviously, Im in no nationwide known position to entice drummers who may live 4/5 hours from me, to join the band etc.

    and yeah I still wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that playing your own songs through, super tight with programmed drums, mixed for live use, isnt as fun as if a dude was sitting there playing as tight as the backing track.

    I played Bloodstock festival with my last band. And our official review glossed over our drummer in half of sentence. The rest of our official review went into detail about how good the guitar work was (dual solos etc) and how the bassist kept up (by doing like over the neck double tapping rhythms etc).

    so basically we were good enough to play Bloodstock Festival (so the drummer must have been half decent right) yet he brought absolutely nothing to the table from a performance or importantly, visual perspective as per your argument suggests.

    We would have played/looked and sounded at LEAST the same if we had used programmed drums for that festival, than we did using a real human etc as per our official reviews and my feedback
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018

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