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Anyone play in a group (with drummer) that uses sweetener tracks on a regular basis? Not a permanent install, but a gigging group. How do you monitor? What type of music? I'm debating doing this in a quartet so I can stop playing one-handed keyboard and focus just on reeds.
 

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My regular wedding band is 7 pieces on stage but also has extensive backing tracks to make sure things sound a certain way. We all use in-ear monitors and everyone has a separate mix from a Presonus Studio Live 24 channel board. They (Presonus) actually have apps that let you change your own monitor mix from an iPad or an iPhone/iPod Touch. This band does an incredible variety of music...the horn book has well over 500 charts in it (we use iPads to read music as well because the physical book is RIDICULOUS - it's like 6 inches thick) and there are even more tunes that don't have horns...the size of the book is another reason for the tracks by the way - it keeps us from having to constantly rehearse to get tunes that haven't been called in a long time under our fingers again. The book is incredibly diverse. Everything from the 40's to Lady Gaga and LMFAO.

The leader of the band spends an amazing amount of time and effort writing, arranging and recording all of the backing tracks but the end result is a very good product mainly because of his care, attention to detail, and talent. Just to be clear, all of the horn parts are live as are the drums, vocals, most guitars, sometimes bass (if he's not doubling keys), and most keys. The backing tracks help to fill things out but by no means are we just standing there faking our parts. My book actually calls for tenor, alto, flute, and EWI. I've subbed in similar bands that bought the tracks rather than create them and I didn't feel like the end result was nearly as strong so I would say you get out of it what you put into it. I should also add that at any given time there are upwards of four or more MacBook Pro laptops running on the stage including my virtual instrument EWI Rig/personal mixing software. I think at least one of them is purely for back up but we also use one that is hooked into the board so we can record live every night both for checking things as well as for making live mixes to post on the website.
Hope that helps,
-Barry
 

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Should be easy. Connect your laptop, iPod, CD player, or keyboard sequencer to any input on your sound console (one input if working in mono, two if in stereo), and route to the appropriate monitor channels and the main mix if you want it there.
 

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I play in a 6 piece band(drums, keys, bass, acoustic, electric, sax) with a click track on 80% of our show. We all use in-ear monitors. The Keyboard player, who also owns a recording studio(nice), programs tracks and then uses a USB keyboard/controller powered by a mac pro on stage. We have an audio engineer back of house for monitor mixes and track mixes. A 24-channel in-ear board on stage out to the main board for front of house sound. You do get the sound you want each time you play. The gig ends up being a show and not just a "jam session" very controlled for timed sets and contract requirements. Can you guess the type of music by my attire?@BarrySax6...Which Band? I'm in Baltimore also. PM me if you choose not to say but I have some ideas...
 

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BarrySax, what IS on the backing track? Is it midi or recorded? What are the pros/cons of sequencing each type of instrument? Does every tune you play use a backing track? Any recordings we can hear?
It's different on every song depending on what's needed but there are always instructions for the drummer so that he knows where the filles are and such. You can blend in the tracks and the vocal instructions separately along with all of the other instruments. Our MD records everything in his studio so the tracks are all audio...mixed down rather than trying to have all of the tracks playing live. As I said sometimes it's additional keys or bass or bari sax since I already bring enough stuff as it is. :) Sometimes it's strings or choirs or additional winds (some of his background orchestration is so intricate I almost lose myself listening to it instead of concentrating on what I'm supposed to be doing) or even just effects that would be too hard to trigger live since we mix from the stage. There are audio samples on the band's website http://www.newmonopoly.com/New_Monopoly/Home.html. I'm in the pictures but I don't know if I'm in many of the current audio selections. I've only been in the band for a little over a year even though they've been together for over 12 years in various forms. I might be playing EWI on some of the modern tune recordings though.

So just to make sure I answered your questions:
It's all recorded audio, no live midi sequences
The pros are it sounds excellent and we can keep a huge song list ready to go even if something doesn't get called for a year - we only rehearse during sound checks
The cons? Maybe that we are locked into the same arrangement and things can't be opened up...but it's not that kind of band necessarily.
There are tunes that we just play live like Rolling Stones songs or other things from 4 or 5 piece bands.

Hope that helps,
-Barry
 

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@BarrySax6...Which Band? I'm in Baltimore also. PM me if you choose not to say but I have some ideas...
The band in question is New Monopoly but I play with lots of different bands in Baltimore. Who are you playing with?
-Barry
 

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Oh you friended me on FB but I didn't know who you were. Have we met before? I imagine this should move to PM. :)
 

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It's different on every song depending on what's needed but there are always instructions for the drummer so that he knows where the filles are and such. You can blend in the tracks and the vocal instructions separately along with all of the other instruments. Our MD records everything in his studio so the tracks are all audio...mixed down rather than trying to have all of the tracks playing live. As I said sometimes it's additional keys or bass or bari sax since I already bring enough stuff as it is. :) Sometimes it's strings or choirs or additional winds (some of his background orchestration is so intricate I almost lose myself listening to it instead of concentrating on what I'm supposed to be doing) or even just effects that would be too hard to trigger live since we mix from the stage. There are audio samples on the band's website http://www.newmonopoly.com/New_Monopoly/Home.html. I'm in the pictures but I don't know if I'm in many of the current audio selections. I've only been in the band for a little over a year even though they've been together for over 12 years in various forms. I might be playing EWI on some of the modern tune recordings though.

So just to make sure I answered your questions:
It's all recorded audio, no live midi sequences
The pros are it sounds excellent and we can keep a huge song list ready to go even if something doesn't get called for a year - we only rehearse during sound checks
The cons? Maybe that we are locked into the same arrangement and things can't be opened up...but it's not that kind of band necessarily.
There are tunes that we just play live like Rolling Stones songs or other things from 4 or 5 piece bands.

Hope that helps,
-Barry
Thanks. The band sounds incredible to me, great vocals, very versatile is an understatement.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the responses. This band is a four piece, doing standards and smooth jazz. Don't plan on doing any rock/vocals. Backings would be on the smooth stuff because so much of that requires synth pads/keys. We would be mixing from stage, and I guess I would be doing all the tech stuff. Looks like I'd be trading one headache for another...

Maybe if I could get this keyboard player friend of mine to work for peanuts:)
 

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Thanks. The band sounds incredible to me, great vocals, very versatile is an understatement.
Thanks Dr. Will! It's a great bunch of people too so it's always a pleasure. :)
-Barry
 
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