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Old 8th November 2019
Lives for gear

A couple of general hints, probably not worth anything more than you've paid to get them: when compared to a traditional studio recording, backing tracks generally should have less (probably substantially less) reverb, as you'll be getting more or less natural--or possibly artificial--reverbation in a live venue. The music arrangement itself often works best if it's simplified down somewhat; subtle nuanced bits often tend to get lost but still contribute to overall muddiness. Creating a stereo mix is okay, but make sure it collapses to mono without problems and be aware that few if indeed anyone in the audience is going to get anything resembling a good stereo image (most people will be significantly closer to one speaker than the other, quite possibly to the point where they can really only hear one of the two channels). That implies that hard pans are generally not useful in this use.

Traditionally, it's not uncommon to make a backing track with one channel a click track and the other a mono backing track. The need for a click track obviously depends a great deal on the makeup of the group and the content of the backing track; if you have sections where the backing track is silent or has long held chords/pads, and so need to stay synchronized without an obvious beat, a click track is well nigh essential. On the other hand, if the backing track has a steady drum beat throughout, that can frequently serve the same purpose (possibly excepting a count-in).