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  • What do you want in your background tracks?

    We're trying to make the best backing tracks available for professional working musicians from solo all the way up to band. My question for those of you who use tracks is what do you want?

    Our idea is to make them available as Stems so you can can mute the parts you want or don't want. You could play them back live as stems with the ability to mix individual tracks as some bands would want or you could mix down the elements you need and use it that way. We will also offer the songs in stereo tracks and several different key options as well as custom versions that the customer will pay extra for. (Extreme key changes, etc..)

    We're trying to make the songs and the parts as close to the original recording as possible because that's how WE like to hear them and we also believe that the crowd would rather hear that than someone elses parts. Hence the popularity of DJ's We don't plan to record lead vocals because..well what's the point right? I will be laying a lead guitar track however even though I'm pretty sure most people using these tracks would play the lead themselves..Maybe not the keys guys...However, all the fills, leads, etc will all be available to mute

    Anyway, I'd like to get some feedback as to what you guys want, how you'll be playing them back most likely and any feedback you might have as we get into this. We've gridded out about 100 tunes in Abelton which is very flexible and easy to use for these purposes. Lots of older tunes weren't recorded to a click so it was necessary to straighten them out a but so we could build the tracks and once warped, we have the ability to change keys etc, within reason. Live has the best algorithms for this. So..Feedback will be most welcome! Thanks.


  • #2

    These would be .mogg files or ?

    Comment


    • sventvkg
      sventvkg commented
      Editing a comment

      RoadRanger wrote:

      These would be .mogg files or ?



      They could be. They could also be sold in a LIVE session or any other DAW format. I'd rather they not be compressed as that's the way I would want them.

      Could someone point me to a more heavily participated forum so I may ask questions there as well? Again, all I have to go on now is how I would want them.

       


  • #3

    As I have stated in the past, my current track configuration is as minimal as possible. I have bass and drums and sometimes keyboards that are close to inaudible. But that's because my tracks are there to accompany me. Some people like to accompany their tracks, and those are the people that would probably give you the most relevant answers.

    FWIW, I'm primarily interested in midi, but if I did buy audio tracks as a back-up, I would only want bass and drums, and hopefully some way to have control over the kick, snare and then the "overhead mic" part of the drums. I just can't stand to hear hats and cymbals extra loud, or even at the normal volume that a drummer plays at - when it comes to tracks anyway.

    I just had a friend comment that they went to see someone in a lounge, and the performance was ruined by the overbearing hi-hats. That's my pet peeve.

    Comment


    • Potts
      Potts commented
      Editing a comment

      Shaster wrote:

       I just can't stand to hear hats and cymbals extra loud, or even at the normal volume that a drummer plays at - when it comes to tracks anyway.

      I just had a friend comment that they went to see someone in a lounge, and the performance was ruined by the overbearing hi-hats. That's my pet peeve.


       

      yup


    • sventvkg
      sventvkg commented
      Editing a comment

      Shaster wrote:

      As I have stated in the past, my current track configuration is as minimal as possible. I have bass and drums and sometimes keyboards that are close to inaudible. But that's because my tracks are there to accompany me. Some people like to accompany their tracks, and those are the people that would probably give you the most relevant answers.

      FWIW, I'm primarily interested in midi, but if I did buy audio tracks as a back-up, I would only want bass and drums, and hopefully some way to have control over the kick, snare and then the "overhead mic" part of the drums. I just can't stand to hear hats and cymbals extra loud, or even at the normal volume that a drummer plays at - when it comes to tracks anyway.

      I just had a friend comment that they went to see someone in a lounge, and the performance was ruined by the overbearing hi-hats. That's my pet peeve.


      yea well with hi hats you have to be careful. I hate them mixed loud and cymbals as well but with our tracks you'll have the option of drums or no drums and they will be mixed right..

      We are NOT doing MIDI by the way. We're interested in getting the best quality, as close to the original sounds as possible and certainly better than any Midi sound set. 


  • #4
    Norton, how much would you pay for a track with that much flexibility and customization?

    Comment


    • Potts
      Potts commented
      Editing a comment

      You know what I want Sven? You to finish a bunch soon and send them to me!  


  • #5

    sventvkg wrote:

    We're trying to make the best backing tracks available for professional working musicians from solo all the way up to band. My question for those of you who use tracks is what do you want?

    Our idea is to make them available as Stems so you can can mute the parts you want or don't want. You could play them back live as stems with the ability to mix individual tracks as some bands would want or you could mix down the elements you need and use it that way. We will also offer the songs in stereo tracks and several different key options as well as custom versions that the customer will pay extra for. (Extreme key changes, etc..)

    We're trying to make the songs and the parts as close to the original recording as possible because that's how WE like to hear them and we also believe that the crowd would rather hear that than someone elses parts. Hence the popularity of DJ's We don't plan to record lead vocals because..well what's the point right? I will be laying a lead guitar track however even though I'm pretty sure most people using these tracks would play the lead themselves..Maybe not the keys guys...However, all the fills, leads, etc will all be available to mute

    Anyway, I'd like to get some feedback as to what you guys want, how you'll be playing them back most likely and any feedback you might have as we get into this. We've gridded out about 100 tunes in Abelton which is very flexible and easy to use for these purposes. Lots of older tunes weren't recorded to a click so it was necessary to straighten them out a but so we could build the tracks and once warped, we have the ability to change keys etc, within reason. Live has the best algorithms for this. So..Feedback will be most welcome! Thanks.


     

    I would guess most guys just roll their own backing tracks.    Its not like the equipment to do it is all that expensive.   They are gonna run it on 300 dollar show or less in the vast majority of time.   It doesnt have to be the best quality on the planet , its has to turn a bar gig.   I think i would approach it from that angle rather than try to be the cutting edge.  No one cares about the cutting edge.    Web base it.  have down loads of all the low hanging fruit tracks.. and let them click with the mouse if they want  to play their own solos.    Your market is the guys thats rolling his own.   Rather spend the money,    than spend the time.   dont try to make it rocket science , cheap , and EASY is the key.   The places that hire track acts do it because its cheaper than a band.   

    "you mess with him and you mess with the whole trailer park"

    Comment


    • Potts
      Potts commented
      Editing a comment

      TIMKEYS wrote:

      sventvkg wrote:

      We're trying to make the best backing tracks available for professional working musicians from solo all the way up to band. My question for those of you who use tracks is what do you want?

      Our idea is to make them available as Stems so you can can mute the parts you want or don't want. You could play them back live as stems with the ability to mix individual tracks as some bands would want or you could mix down the elements you need and use it that way. We will also offer the songs in stereo tracks and several different key options as well as custom versions that the customer will pay extra for. (Extreme key changes, etc..)

      We're trying to make the songs and the parts as close to the original recording as possible because that's how WE like to hear them and we also believe that the crowd would rather hear that than someone elses parts. Hence the popularity of DJ's We don't plan to record lead vocals because..well what's the point right? I will be laying a lead guitar track however even though I'm pretty sure most people using these tracks would play the lead themselves..Maybe not the keys guys...However, all the fills, leads, etc will all be available to mute

      Anyway, I'd like to get some feedback as to what you guys want, how you'll be playing them back most likely and any feedback you might have as we get into this. We've gridded out about 100 tunes in Abelton which is very flexible and easy to use for these purposes. Lots of older tunes weren't recorded to a click so it was necessary to straighten them out a but so we could build the tracks and once warped, we have the ability to change keys etc, within reason. Live has the best algorithms for this. So..Feedback will be most welcome! Thanks.


       

      I would guess most guys just roll their own backing tracks.    Its not like the equipment to do it is all that expensive.   They are gonna run it on 300 dollar show or less in the vast majority of time.   It doesnt have to be the best quality on the planet , its has to turn a bar gig.   I think i would approach it from that angle rather than try to be the cutting edge.  No one cares about the cutting edge.    Web base it.  have down loads of all the low hanging fruit tracks.. and let them click with the mouse if they want  to play their own solos.    Your market is the guys thats rolling his own.   Rather spend the money,    than spend the time.   dont try to make it rocket science , cheap , and EASY is the key.   The places that hire track acts do it because its cheaper than a band.   


       

      Seriously Tim... EVERY single thing that you said in this comment is the complete opposite of what we do as solo performers and what the venues expect from us. Just to be clear... EVERYTHING. Have you read the original post? Do you know what he's actually doing? Have you read the responses?

       

       

       


  • #6
    Yea Tim. I believe there's a HUGE potential market for the very finest quality that you can get. We are doing them for our own show to start but since I couldn't find any that met my standards nor have I heard any, we figured why don't we sell them to other performers who want that quality but don't have the time or ability to make them We have some killer ideas about integrating them into song packs that can be purchased within an app like onsong as well as Live Packs for Abletons Live and other DAWs already set up and ready to go..cool stuff

    We expect this to be a several year project but believe it will be worth it and really believe the performer community will benefit greatly. As long as everyone's cool and doesn't pirate all the tracks we'll continue to do it.

    Mark and I just spent a lot of cash getting new amps, drums set up to record, new keyboards etc..Mark has been sound designing the perfect sounds, gridding the original tunes in Live so we can dissect the parts ad lay out own tracks..the few we've started on already are stunning!! Can't wait to share some snippets. As soon as I have some Ill let ya know and I'll be looking for some feedback as usual. I appreciate the responses so far!! Thanks.

    Comment


    • #7

      Tim, I don't blame you for doubting me. I'm sure most do on here. No one here knows me, no one has been in bands with me or Mark, and seen what we do with covers so I get it. But to publicly call me out shows a lack of class bro.

      Here's a few bits of info.

      First of all you seem to have no idea of the studio scene here, what these guys do, or the amount of effort it takes to go into songs and perform Audio forensics to get all the parts, the sounds, the effect and vibe correct..If you think the average Nashville studio guy is going to sit there and dissect these tunes for hours and hours, much less perform all the parts in one take you are flat out insane...Not gonna happen. These guys do what they do..1 or 2 takes of stock licks over stock progressions off charts. I can do that too and have done so many times...that AIN'T this!!

      FYI.the reason I can't get a band together is because the real musicians I know don't want to be in a band. They are free agents. Only ****************bags are available to slog it out in the **** paying crappy bars on the fringes around here. That said, Rather than post videos of us playing yes, kansas, Genesis, and other stuff perfectly in our old band, Mark and I will let our work speak for itself.


      As for the Band..We are starting out a duo with a hired bassist to work the show out, get the kinks out of the system etc.l After we get the whole show together, worked out with tracks, running lights, visuals, video we're going to hold auditions for REAL musicians who I know by the way, but expect to be paid, and get the band rolling. When the see the product and understand the income potential it won't be a problem getting a few deep on each instrument to sign on which is what we want. Several different people for each position who know the show. That won't be an issue...However, my band issues aren't pertinent to this discussion are they?

      Now as to your assertion that we're only going to be able to service the uber high end market with our tracks. That's ridiculous man!! Our tracks won't cost much more than everything else that's out there! Why would we price ourselves out??? The goal here is the bring the standard up. I want them to be exactly what we all want as performing musicians and wish were available both quality-wise and feature-wise to the most reasonable degree. That's why I'm asking for feedback here and again, if there another forum I should go to, please point me there. 

      Tim, we're not going to put out **** tracks. We're not going to put out crappy general MIDI garbage with fake drums and no feel. We're NOT going to charge and arm and a leg. We're not going to have tracks in only one key! We ARE going to offer customization for a very fair nominal fee. We ARE trying to make the most flexible, closest to the record-sounding tracks in existence. I know ya doubt me and that's fine. Why don't ya try to give us the benefit of the doubt here for a while and help me out, offer some insight if you have any. If not, keep and eye out and I'll send ya some example when we get them done side by side with the real tune. Then you can slag me if they suck.

      Comment


      • #8
        Thanks Notes things are a lot easier these days with Harry Fox as it's all online. I would wager most I the tunes I want to do are in their catalog but I have lot of experience with publishing so it's going to be fairly straight forward to get the rest. Good advice all around!

        Comment


        • #9

          If you factor in gear, time and so on, there's probably not much if any profit here, but that might be beside the point. If there's fun and satisfaction involved, then that might warrant forging ahead.

          I do think Notes advice about copyright is absolutely critical and crucial. There's really no point moving forward without resolving that issue. Kind of like building a house next to city hall without permits.

          I also think that a turn key package could be the most profitable. Something that included charts, lyrics and so on. I believe there was mention of this earlier. I believe that there might be a market for aspiring musicians who dream of gigging, I can imagine a package that gives them everything they need (except the requisite talent) to perform as a solo.

          Come to think of it, I don't want those guys competing with me. Sventvkg, how much money would it take for you to not do this project

          Comment


          • sventvkg
            sventvkg commented
            Editing a comment

            Thanks Shaster and yes, I know all about licensing. I wen tto school for music business, took publishing classes since i've been here in Nashville. It's VERY serious business! 

            That said, I should mention that the reason you see most of the backing track companies in UK, EU, AU etc is because it's fairly straight forward and easy to obtain licensing in those countries. It's a very convoluted process in the US and expensive because you have to pay for the license upfront. In contrast, in EU and UK, you get the license and the copyright holders recieve a percentage of the income from that song which in my view, makes it a WHOLE lot easier to get a business up and running. For our first $100 songs it's going to cost us about $10K in license fees up front before we can sell any. It's daunting so you just don't see too many people doing it in the US.

            We've been through over 100 backing track companies so far and man...There's NOTHING good out there..Most of is is REALLY BADLY done on Midi work stations with no feel drums, sterile..As I said, we're going for the dead on perfect version with dead on effects, sounds etc. As close as you can get for the discerning musician. We firmly believe once people hear ours they will buy them, period.

            Shaster, we are absolutely going to offer gig packs because our focus is on the gigging musician or at least the wannabe. Also the guy who has no one to jam with and wants to jam to the best possible tracks that make him think that he's in a real band! Again, we'll offer a vast array of configurations and several key options for each song as well as custom versions. All of our songs will feature multitrack stems and stereo mixes and our song packs will come embedded within a session of a choice of several different DAW's. And, yes Shaster we want to basically have everything a performer needs such as the OnSong app (or one of our own eventually ) with the songs, lyrics, charts, set lists and everything ready to go. I'd like to develop the ultimate one many band app that basically takes one of the iPad apps like OnSong, mixes it with something like IK Media Amplitibe Studio/iRig Keys, (or the Line 6 Sonic Port with the Jammit software) so you have a complete gigging solution! I believe the power to run stems and GTR/Key's Soft-instrument, plus Lyrics, charts etc all together in one app is about here or will be here very soon. You could also have a host that runs say, the Tracks, Virtual Instrument Mixer on your ipad and say your Sound source on your iphone but running USB into a link box..There's a lot of possibilities but I see it absolutely going this way for more and more performers in the coming years. I don't want to give too much away but we're really using Steven Slate as a model and the tracks are just the beginning. I know what I would want as a solo performer and it doesn't exist. I know that sounds overly ambitious but I'd like see a total solution happen whether people have the option of using my tracks with it, or not. This is where I see things going for the local performer for better or worse and most big corporate bands as well as major artists are using tracks so it's going to become more and more the norm. IMHO that is.


            Shaster wrote:

            If you factor in gear, time and so on, there's probably not much if any profit here, but that might be beside the point. If there's fun and satisfaction involved, then that might warrant forging ahead.

            I do think Notes advice about copyright is absolutely critical and crucial. There's really no point moving forward without resolving that issue. Kind of like building a house next to city hall without permits.

            I also think that a turn key package could be the most profitable. Something that included charts, lyrics and so on. I believe there was mention of this earlier. I believe that there might be a market for aspiring musicians who dream of gigging, I can imagine a package that gives them everything they need (except the requisite talent) to perform as a solo.

            Come to think of it, I don't want those guys competing with me. Sventvkg, how much money would it take for you to not do this project





        • #10
          My partner is playing the parts or programming them. If the original had programmed drums. Authentically with the correct sounds, effects and parts dead on. No **** Midi. That's the entire aim of this project. The worlds best backing tracks for the pro musician.

          Comment


          • fingerpicker
            fingerpicker commented
            Editing a comment

            Because you don't use tracks or don't value them?

             

            Neither Potts. It's because I can find good tracks for that price or less, and so can you.


        • #11

          Fingerpicker. Could you provide a link to good tracks Because we've spent days going through pages and pages on Google looking for something of quality and we haven't found anything we consider good enough to use. Not even remotely. When people hear our tracks they will pay, but we won't ask any more than anyone else is selling multitrack stems for.

          Comment


          • #12

            As far as I'm concerned, I don't care how many drummers are on the track, or if the drummer had 10 arms -- I just care about how it sounds, and little technical things won't get in the way - not that my way is the only right way to do it.

            When I played drums I often wished I could stay on the ride cymbal while doing drum fills that requred both hands or the same for the sock cymbal. There were times when I wished I had two bass drums but I didn't and if I did, there would be times when I wouldn't want to take my foot off the sock to use the second one.

            As a drummer you make those decisions until they become automatic. Of course with today's multi-track recording tools, the drummer can (and some do) go back and record an overdub.

            But what any one person likes isn't the only way to do it, and I never want to give the impression that what I like is the definitive answer.

            I had a fellow wind synth player show me his new sample-modeling software. He was impressed that on the trombone patch, the slide would only bend on the notes where the phsical trombone could. So if the note played requred the slide to be in the full extended position, you couldn't use the 'reed' of the wind controller to bend up to that note. I consider that a limitation. With my physical-modeling software I can bend to any note. It will do a few things a real trombonist can't do, but might want to do.

            Different strokes for different folks (to quote Sly Stone)

            Notes

            Bob "Notes" Norton
            Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
            Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box and add on styles for Microsoft SongSmith
            The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

            Comment


            • miden
              miden commented
              Editing a comment

              Absolutely agree Bob (with doing something in one's own way) - sorry if I  gave the impression otherwise, didn't mean to. 


          • #13
            I was just about to ask if this wasn't the same premise as karaoke-version.com, and not in a condescending manner. But what are you guys gonna provide me that they can't, short of .wav or higher quality than downloadable individual tracks? I only deal with the country tracks, Potts, but once I take out the horrid backing vocals I find them excellent for practice and serviceable for performance.

            For my solo/acoustic performance I remove all 'electric' instruments, excluding bass and rhythym acoustic (only durimg solos and detailed parts where I can't play two separate lead lines simultaneously, which is rare) and re-sing the backing vocals.

            For my full band (power trio and up), I take out the acoustic instruments and only leave electrified tracks as needed. Loops, Pads, Organ Swells and Rhythm Electric or, as stated above, Lead lines where 2 or more things are occurring. In which case, I always try to play the busier part and really sell the performance so people don't even notice the other thing they're hearing.

            In both cases, I try and hide or remove entirely instruments that are obviously not on stage..... Fiddle, Steel, Piano, etc.

            With a touch of studio magic and a solid limiter, for track leveling, I make those karaoke-version.com mp3's work for me.

            So, my question for Sean is..... For less than $2.99 per song , can you offer me a catalog that vast, that also performs better?

            If so, I'll gladly spend my dollars stateside rather than in France!

            Comment


            • sventvkg
              sventvkg commented
              Editing a comment

              When we're done with some tracks and have them licensed we'll do some comparisons of the original song to our track and then ours to Karaoke Version. When you hear it you'll buy ours. Well, most pros I know would. Mine won't be $2.99 a tune unless someone buys a song pack but again, they will be .Wav format, Multitrack, available in song packs as well as already set up as sessions in a bunch of different DAW's for easy editing, multiple keys, different tempo's, and the ability to customize. 

              We're aiming for the professional musician so we'll be doing all the songs that most people want to play live. That said, we'll take requests and do pre-orders and record the requests as long as enough people want them to be able to cover the $100 license.

              I can't wait for you to hear what we've done so far! I'm CONFIDENT you'll hear it and get it right away. Everything from the tones, specific effects on the tracks and vibe are there. NO ONE else is even close. Mark is sound designing his keys sounds so they are PERFECT. We're hunting down through interviews, videos etc, the exact boards, and effects used. I'm using the same guitars and as close to the amp set up;'s and guitar FX that I can. It's that level.


          • #14

            I was just wondering about copywrite issues and royalty payments when you produce tracks that replicate the parts on the original recordings. Anyone know?

            Comment


            • Bob Dey
              Bob Dey commented
              Editing a comment

              All I know is the proper spelling: Copyright and copyrighted.

              Copywriting is writing copy (text) for the purpose of advertising or marketing.


            • Notes_Norton
              Notes_Norton commented
              Editing a comment

              MartinC wrote:
              Oops, posting from my phone. I was just wondering about copywrite issues and royalty payments when you produce tracks that replicate the parts on the original recordings. Anyone know?

              I know that if you go into it without consulting a lawyer versed in copyright law, you are walking on thin ice.

              Also, the Harry Fox agency represents licensing for the majority of publishers, so that's a good place to start.


            • daddymack
              daddymack commented
              Editing a comment

              if there is a form SR filed [which, for any 'hit', is a high probability], then yeah, you need to license the song, and yes, the HFA is the place to go first. Stop in at the Music Biz forum, where we have a very detailed thread regarding copyright and licensing.


              A basic copyright covers the lyrics and melody [not progressions or arrangements], a SR copyright [Sound Recording] will cover the actual recording, which includes the arrangement. If there is no SR filed, and the tracks being sold do not include the melody or lyrics, the case can be made that there is no infringement, but it is a slippery slope.


               



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