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Author Topic: Using mini disk for backing tracks??  (Read 5094 times)

Tom Brown21

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Using mini disk for backing tracks??
« on: July 23, 2012, 04:50:16 am »

Hi,

I am currently working on a project and want to try using some backing tracks during the live performance. I am looking for any advice/help to see if I can implement this without breaking the bank.

The project is a 4 piece band (guitar, bass, drums and vox) and the backing tracks will be used during the live performance. The backing tracks will consist of some additional drumming (electronic loops) and some additional synth sounds. The drummer will also need a click track as the backing may not be present all the time. I am able to sequence the tracks in cubase.

So the question is how can I introduce the backing tracks without spending a fortune? I have thought of one idea but havent tried it yet. I wonder what people think or if anybody has anyother ideas

My idea is to make use of a minidisk player/recorded. These are usually quite reliable compared with laptops/PC/CD.

I could sequence the backing tracks in cubase, pan the audio content hard one way with an embedded click track panned the opposite way. The audio out from the mini disk could then be split via a splitter cable:

(http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=audio+splitter&hl=en&gbv=2&prmd=ivns&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=14533357305496369445#)

allowing the drummer to monitor the click/audio in headphones and allowig the other o/p to be sent to the desk for front of house.

I realise this would only give mono playback for the backing track and may loose some quality in the signal chain but would it be a cheap way of using backing tracks whilst also providing a click track for the drummer?

Any thoughts or suggestions welcome
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John Livings

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Re: Using mini disk for backing tracks??
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 10:31:51 am »

Hi Tom,

Maybe not what you want to hear;

1- iPod or iPhone (very small and easy for me to make mistakes using)

2- Laptop, EZ to see and you can see the whole playlist for a show on a single screen.

3- use something you already have.

Regards,  John
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Lev Raber

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Re: Using mini disk for backing tracks??
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 10:45:18 am »

Tom,
MDs make very good sounding and reliable source of playback, even if you're using only 1 channel for music material. The only problem is they're mostly discontinued. It's hard to find nowdays a good used Sony, Denon or Tascam professional MD player/recorder. Consumer models are fragile and require very careful handling.
That say you'll be better off with solid state recorder/player and there are many good devices from different manufacturers available now.
Just record the music in WAVE format and your playbacks will sound as good as (if not better) MD player.
Another advantage of SS recorder/players is some of them will give you more that 2 tracks of recording, so you can have a click for the drummer without losing your stereo playback.
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Tom Duffy

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Re: Using mini disk for backing tracks??
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2012, 12:51:08 pm »

Tom,
MDs make very good sounding and reliable source of playback, even if you're using only 1 channel for music material. The only problem is they're mostly discontinued. It's hard to find nowdays a good used Sony, Denon or Tascam professional MD player/recorder. Consumer models are fragile and require very careful handling.
That say you'll be better off with solid state recorder/player and there are many good devices from different manufacturers available now.
Just record the music in WAVE format and your playbacks will sound as good as (if not better) MD player.
Another advantage of SS recorder/players is some of them will give you more that 2 tracks of recording, so you can have a click for the drummer without losing your stereo playback.

We (TASCAM) still manufacture MD players new. See the MD-CD1mkIII
http://tascam.com/product/md-cd1mk3/   Radio stations in South America still use a MD media.
That said, I agree that a Solid state based unit will be more useful to the OP.

Tom Duffy.
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magnus söderman

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Re: Using mini disk for backing tracks??
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 05:43:18 pm »

Hi,

I am currently working on a project and want to try using some backing tracks during the live performance. I am looking for any advice/help to see if I can implement this without breaking the bank.

The project is a 4 piece band (guitar, bass, drums and vox) and the backing tracks will be used during the live performance. The backing tracks will consist of some additional drumming (electronic loops) and some additional synth sounds. The drummer will also need a click track as the backing may not be present all the time. I am able to sequence the tracks in cubase.

So the question is how can I introduce the backing tracks without spending a fortune? I have thought of one idea but havent tried it yet. I wonder what people think or if anybody has anyother ideas

My idea is to make use of a minidisk player/recorded. These are usually quite reliable compared with laptops/PC/CD.

I could sequence the backing tracks in cubase, pan the audio content hard one way with an embedded click track panned the opposite way. The audio out from the mini disk could then be split via a splitter cable:

(http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?q=audio+splitter&hl=en&gbv=2&prmd=ivns&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=14533357305496369445#)

allowing the drummer to monitor the click/audio in headphones and allowig the other o/p to be sent to the desk for front of house.

I realise this would only give mono playback for the backing track and may loose some quality in the signal chain but would it be a cheap way of using backing tracks whilst also providing a click track for the drummer?

Any thoughts or suggestions welcome

1. An ipad with with camera connection kit , a powered USB hub and a simple external USB soundcard ?
    (if you dont want to use the built in 3,5 mm output)

2. iPad + dockconnector --> XLR adapter (i made one to get live level without EQ or volume :-)

3. iPad + Alesis iO dock

// magnus
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gordonmcgregor

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Re: Using mini disk for backing tracks??
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 06:31:19 am »

Tom buy a Zoom recorder H4 or the like they're reliable wil playbak roerly you can edit all your tracks on a pc and save them onto a card for the machine, ten when you are done with the shows you have a handy device for recording/songwriting etc.
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Mark McFarlane

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Re: Using mini disk for backing tracks??
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 09:46:20 am »

Hi Tom,

Maybe not what you want to hear;

1- iPod or iPhone (very small and easy for me to make mistakes using)

2- Laptop, EZ to see and you can see the whole playlist for a show on a single screen.

3- use something you already have.

Regards,  John

I agree, laptop as your primary, iPod as a backup.  All you need is a class-compliant USB interface (Peavey) to get +4 balanced out of both systems, and the camera connector kit and power USB hub for the iPod, or just wire up a simple cable for the iPod since it is the backup...
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brian maddox

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Re: Using mini disk for backing tracks??
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 12:12:47 pm »

I agree, laptop as your primary, iPod as a backup.  All you need is a class-compliant USB interface (Peavey) to get +4 balanced out of both systems, and the camera connector kit and power USB hub for the iPod, or just wire up a simple cable for the iPod since it is the backup...

the 'stereo playback device used to separate mono tracks and click' is a technique that is well established and works well.  stereo backing tracks are lost on nearly all the audience anyway so this is a very sensible compromise and opens up the playback device possibilities substantially.

as to the device to use...  i'd steer clear of things that have mechanical parts.  so that includes minidisk.  i'd use something that preferably played back from a solid state memory source.

iPods are actually great for this, but can be hinky to operate on stage.  just about anything inexpensive and small is going to have this issue.

a laptop works fine, but introduces it's own issues since it's hard drive based [probably] and you need a mount for it and something to trigger it with and and and...

personally, i'd go iPad.  you can get a used iPad 2 [or maybe even an iPad 1] for fairly cheap.  mounts for these are easy to come by.  and there are several apps to do exactly what you want to do.  i use one called 'Soundboard' from ambrosia software that essentially mimics an instant replay machine.  lots of easy to hit buttons that instantly trigger sound files.  and you can trigger it via midi, which i do using a few spare pedals on my guitar effects system.
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Re: Using mini disk for backing tracks??
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 12:12:47 pm »


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