How You Can Get the Best from Using Backing Tracks

Today’s live music is no longer what it used to be and that is quite evident to most people who have listened to music over the decades. Only 20 odd years ago, bands were strictly limited to the sounds which their instruments and vocals could make, whereas today’s performers can bring about practically any kind of sound combination to the stage via the use of backing tracks.

But, simply adding more rhythm, samples and textures of sound to a live performance can indeed be the way to go, but not forgetting that a poorly put together backing track, can possibly go on to ruin an entire performance. Knowing where to find professional backing tracks online is a must.

So, let’s see what can be done to make it all more professional:

1 – Making the Right Entrance

Great backing tracks can add a brand new dimension to any live performance, but the timing of all entrances is beyond a doubt vitally important, otherwise it is more than likely to be ruined. The main concern of using this technology is that any pre-recorded beats and sounds that are pumped through backing tracks cannot recognise and remedy any mistakes like we humans can.

  • Any backing tracks with loose, ambient sounds are a lot simpler to work with than those with specific percussion sections, bass lines and any other instrumentation with timed entrances.

When using this type of backing tracks, you must create a separate metronome track which only goes to your headphones.

2 – Take Your Time

Before you think about a live setting, it’s important for you to take some time to create a strong, clear mix of every track first. Any track where major parts of the instrumentation are too loud or soft will not sound clear, or maybe overpowering coming through a venue’s sound system, and this will then detract from the live performance.

3 – Less can be more

Modern backing track technology provides limitless access to textures of sounds during any live performance, but adding too many layers of sound, can complicate and spoil your performance. As in song writing, it’s normally more effective to use somewhat limited instrumentation in any backing tracks, instead of pumping an overload of sound into your performance.

4 – Rely on Backing Tracks, But Don’t let Them Overwhelm You

When people go to a live gig, most of them wish to see something raw and wonderful happen right there in front of them and in the moment. Depending on one’s performance setup, it’s a good idea that the audience is fully unaware that some of the sound that they’re hearing live, isn’t being created there in front of them.

This is why minimalism can often be a good idea when it comes to backing tracks. Try keeping it simple by only using the parts you need for your backing tracks and all should go just fine.