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Best gear to play a lot of backing track live? Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 3rd March 2018
Here for the gear

Best gear to play a lot of backing track live?

We have a lot of stereo backing tracks without clicks, since we don't have a drummer, just 2 singers a keyboard player and a guitar player. We play a lot, so there are no prewritten setlist, we need play what feel the actual audience present will like, and we need to be able to sometimes just stop between songs (that's the easy part) but a lot of the times quickly go from one song to the next one.
Some problem I see with stuff I've found already for backing tracks.

Octapad: Very slow to look for the next song, usually small track selection buttons, small digital display, but it's very nice that you can use loops and other triggers too.

Laptop: Fidgeting with a mouse looks bad on stage and is a bit unreliable, starting stopping songs is the same. So only works if I can find a really good software and some controller that makes this very easy.

Traditional backing track players: they not too much space, very expensive, same problem with slow, uncomfortable track selection

Tablet: I don't know any software that would make this easy on a tablet or ipad, but maybe it would be a good solution with the right software.

Any other options? Or which one of the above options would work the best, and with what kind of software, hardware?

Oh and maybe which one is the most cost effective?

Old 4th March 2018
Deleted User
Duplicate response from your other post about this subject:

I provide audio for different types of musical performances and I really like the $14.99 Sound Cue app for iPad, which lets you load up to 125 music files and assign each to a pad that is nice and large and easy to trigger with a simple finger tap.

Here is a link: SoundCue

PS: There is a "lite" version for a few dollars that stores around 25 files, if you want to test it out before splurging for the $15 version.
Old 5th March 2018
Lives for gear
the1Hub's Avatar

Figure 53 | QLab

can be controlled by midi or iPad. track linking multiple audio output support. video support. control other applications and hardware units with midi. you can even control lighting systems. rock solid performance.
Old 6th March 2018
Deleted User
I gathered that he/she was looking for something much more simple than the QLab piece you mentioned above. It doesn't seem to matter, though, as it appears the OP has already abandoned this thread.

If you ever need something simple and reliable for just sound cues, check out SoundCue, as described above.
Old 7th March 2018
Gear Nut
Originally Posted by giorgioblues View Post
Any other options?
I highly recommend the Roland SPD-SX. In our band we have tried many different solutions and this has been by far the best and most consistent. It has the ability to trigger two stereo wav files simultaneously, so we have one for a stereo backing track and one for mono click. Since we all have IEMs, the audience is not aware of the click and it allows us to augment some songs with additional parts. It is a bit pricey, but from a stand alone device that is rock solid I would have to suggest you consider it.
Old 7th March 2018
Deleted User
Originally Posted by grimaila View Post
I highly recommend the Roland SPD-SX.
That looks pretty cool, but it only has nine trigger pads. If the OP would get back to this thread, we might be able to find out how many tracks he/she needs to trigger.
Old 9th March 2018
Gear Nut
Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
That looks pretty cool, but it only has nine trigger pads. If the OP would get back to this thread, we might be able to find out how many tracks he/she needs to trigger.
There are 100 different kits and each has nine pads. We use one kit per song and name it. Since we use MIDI to send program changes to out lighting controller, I do the same to the SPD-SX so its ready to trigger the correct song. You can have up to 180 minutes of stereo wav files (it does not handle MP3s), but we only have about 10 songs that we use backing tracks. What I liked about the SPD-SX is the reliability at gigs when compared to all of the other solutions we tried over the years. We do have a drummer, so when we are not using it for backing tracks he uses it to augment his drum set.
Old 1st December 2018
Here for the gear

I'm actually working on designing some audio hardware to try solve this sort of problem. I'm trying to collect info from musicians to find out what would be useful for them. If you get a chance can you please fill one of these surveys (it's quite short) and also pass the link on to any other musicians who might use backing tracks / visuals / synced lights or midi controlled devices etc in their live show? Thanks!

The survey is here: Audio Hardware Survey
Old 22nd January 2019
Here for the gear

For iPad there is an app called "Multitracker" especially made for this purpose. It can play multitrack playbacks and can send your stems to different outputs if you own a multichannel USB audio interface. It can also generate clicks and can play MIDI files - all at the same time. Very easy to use and absolutely stable!

Multitracker - the ultimative solution for playing backing tracks - Home
Old 25th February 2019
Here for the gear

Backing Track Player

Hi there. I'm using Digitech JamMan Stereo (It Plays wave/24 bit) as a backing track player. It has this outs for Live Backing track Player

- Left Out
- R Out
- Rhythm Out (build in Click and Mixed mono signal from L/R)
- Headphones Stereo Out
Would Be Nice if someone built something with this outs:

- Left Out 1/4
- R Out 1/4"
- XLR Stereo Out
- Mixed mono OUT signal from L/R)
- Built in Click out
- MIDI i/o
- SMPTE Time code
- Headphones Stereo Out

For the live gigs I prepare the tracks with 2/4 intros where everyone hears Hi Hat going : 1 - 2 and Song starts. And for the songs that do not have a drums in the track (when you have a live drummer) the Hi hat keeps going on 2 and 4 of the bar/beat. That way everyone hears the time. ANd hi hat gets lost in the mix.
In your DAW, where you create your tracks (I use Sonar) you have to make sure that your track sits in the BPM exact!
Next Step:
On the JamMan Stereo Computer Software/interface you have to indicate the BPM of the song and that's it. Your drummer will have the Click from Rhythm out and everyone else Stereo out from you JamMan pedal.
I take the L/R Signal from JamMan with 1/4 Mogami 2964 Cables into Radial ProDi2 stereo DI box and send it to PA/FOH with Mogami 2791 XLR cables. And from splitter of the Radial ProDI DI box I send the signal with Mogami 2524 to drummers in Ear Mixer/Analog Mixer so he can have total control of the Backing tracks and the click. So far this is the best way to play Backing tracks without a computer (I Hate having computer on stage) and I have done tons of big shows with it. Biggest benefit having JamMan on stage that no one can see where is music coming from. So far so good...
Old 28th March 2019
Here for the gear

In my band we are just deciding what to use as an hardware to play backtracks (in our case with clicktrack).
This are the tools on the table and on the market, both arroud 250€/275€ (what is not expensive for how thakes this professionaly):

- Zoom R8: 1 stereo master out + headphone out - routeble clicktrack
- Cymatic Audio Live Player: 16 outputs !! + headphone out

Check this 2 products guys and compare them. There are some videos and rewiews about both.
See whats best for your band and let us know your feedback, if you get to use one of these.

Old 29th March 2019
Lives for gear

Not my area of expertise, but Ableton Live is highly configurable on the fly via MIDI. I've known drummers who could get it to vamp on a bar while the vocalist rants to the audience, then resume the song once the rant was over. Don't even have to hit it on tempo, a shot anywhere in the bar sets up the change at the current tempo and time signature etc. Whoever is responsible for the tracks could operate it by footpedal with the laptop within view.

For outputs the Peavey USB-P is a great simple dedicated device for the purpose, transformer isolated, ground-liftable, stereo/mono switch.
Old 29th March 2019
Lives for gear
DJRAZZ's Avatar

Recording on a DAW, convert to a midi file, and then use a midi file player like an arranger.
Old 31st March 2019
Lives for gear

I work with a Digigrid/Waves LV1 setup and a studio one 3.5 DAW. I am currently assembling a dozen multitrack/video recordings @FP32/96K. The ability to build a support system of selected tracks to support my solo gigs has been relatively easy and lots of fun. It is a simple process of assigning a modified version (mute my recorded Guitar/vocals & leave the front end count off) of the individual tracks in the "Song folder" to a custom project that can be recalled on my touch screen. I am working on integrating some of the the video clips that are available but unfortunately this possibility is much more difficult to integrate seamlessly. I would like to use the video footage,when appropriate, to highlight the outstanding musicians, that are also old friends, that are helping me assemble the recording project.
Old 1st April 2019
Lives for gear
I'll throw out an iPad option that's only $3 - Stop&Go+ Music Player. What makes it nice is you can choose modes like continuous or "stop & go", which will stop after the track is over. You can also quickly change the order of your setlist on the fly. And all of these functions are on one screen. It's a slick, simple program that may not be all the functionality you're after, but at $3 might be worth a try. It's also a nice DJ helper for weddings, and corporate events. It can cross-fade for break music and the Stop after current track is great for when someone wants to make an announcement or when the band is coming back from break as you don't have to babysit the player and manually stop the tune.

Stop&Go+ Music Player on the App Store
Old 4th April 2019
Gear Maniac

Is it just a stereo playback, og multitrack?

I've seen a band use Allen & Heath ICE-16 for multitrack playback.
ICE-16 - Allen & Heath

For Stereo playback I'd say an iPad with SoundCue is the easiest solution, but iPads aren't necessarily the most reliable device, and I'd want to avoid using a 3.5mm MiniJack for the foundation of my show.

The Cymatic Audio LP-16 player is also designed exactly for multitrack live playback:
LP-16 Live Player – 16 Track Backing Track System | Cymatic Audio
Old 3 weeks ago
Here for the gear

came across this thread as i’m also looking for an alternative to my laptop for backing tracks live

i was using mainstage but i was also playing soft synths. now that i’m switching to a hardware synth the laptop seems like overkill

I would like to mimic my MainStage setup which was simply mixing 2-6 tracks of wav files per song to two outputs

I would also like to find something inexpensive since I don't see the point in spending more than the $400 I spent on the used macbook in the first place

i was thinking what that an older fostex or zoom digital recorder or something along those lines might work for me

just wondering what sort of problems I might not be anticipating sound quality or reliability wise (other than possibly archaic file transfer methods)

thanks in advance for any wisdom/advice
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