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  • Live sequence playback methods

    I'm a guitarist/singer who plays in a duo (another singer/guitarist)
    running sequenced tracks for the background.

    I sequence the songs on my pc and then export the midi files
    to a laptop for live playback. The gear we're using for the background is a JV1080 for the keyboard / bass sounds and an Alesis DM pro for the drums. Everything goes through a 16 channel mixer.

    Does anyone know if there are other methods of playback compared to what we're doing that are better and will sound great?

  • #2
    Some folks get the mix of sequenced tracks to their liking and bounce/render that to a CD/MP3. You can save alot of set-up time in just hooking a CD player to the mixer rather than hauling out a keyboard and drum module everytime. As far as sounding better....that will depend on the quality of your sequences and the synths (samples) involved. The DM5 has very nice drum sounds and the Roland synth you mentioned should have nice sounds too.
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    • #3
      Using what you have...

      1. Pull the bass guitar part out of the main mix on the 1080, re-route it to an individual out, and run it through a bass amp.

      2. Go through all your mixes and eliminate just about everything except the basics...bass, drums, and maybe horn stabs or a pad or two. The secret to effective backing tracks is to keep them simple, which allows you guys to do most of the playing.

      3. I don't know what you guys have, but a good club PA with subs is a must for the drums.

      Your method of playback is the same as mine, which I prefer to stereo audio files or MP3's because I can individually mix drums and run the bass separately. I put my SMF's in folders according to type, and run them using Windows Media Player...I have over 450 of them and can instantly go to any of them with a couple of clicks. Unless you're using fixed sets and a small PA I don't think there is anything better.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the info...
        We also take the bass out of a seperate output from the 1080
        into it's own input to the board. As far as the PA, we're using Community cabinets (3 way) with a crest power amp and an active Elite sub bass cabinet. The guitars are going to 2 GX 700's, where all patch changes are done via midi and the monitoring of the mix is done using earphones.
        Being that we're dependent on the tracks on the gigs, I've been thinking of getting some sort of backup system, whether it be putting the tracks to audio or mp3 format or actually buying another 1080 and drum unit. It's either spend the extra money or spend the extra time for the audio conversions. I'm not sure what's best .

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        • #5
          Actually, my biggest concern is not with my tone modules, but the computer going down. I've been using Roland tone modules for 15 years and nothing has ever happened to them. My backup to my laptop is a couple of floppies with my most played songs on them that I can run from the sequencer on my Roland XP-60 keyboard, but I haven't had to use them....yet...

          Anyway, if you can get hold of a bass amp, give it a try, you'll never gig without it. Yes, I hook up a bass amp on all but my smallest jobs, it really makes that big of a difference. Even when I bleed a little through the mains, the bass notes stay distinctive and separate from the kick, and it also makes the whole system kick ass.

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          • #6
            Do you use guitar amps along with the bass amp, or do you run the guitar directly into the mains?
            We use 2 gx700s directly, so we don't have any guitar cabinets.
            I'm going to try the bass amp thing to see how it sounds.
            For sequencial backup, we use a midi file player with about 5 disks.We did have to use it once after some guy accidently spilled his bear on my laptop...needless to say the screen went dead.
            Thank god for the backup.

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            • #7
              Actually, I play keyboards . I run 'em straight into the PA though. I also play in bands, and I wanted the same general feel of a bass player when doing my single, and when I tried a bass amp the first time on a sequence I couldn't believe the difference...then I was hooked. I also play key bass some, and use the amp for that as well...currently a Hartke 4000 top and one or two 15 cabs with Eminence Kappa Pros in them.

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              • #8
                What up guys! I am in a band (singer/guitarist) and plan using our laptop/Cubase Sx as the sequencer. I need a click going to the drummer and also stereo out for PA system. Also need to have some sort of midi connection as I want to play live along with band using an external controller.

                what sound card do I need for laptop and also how do I get just a click to the drummer and not in the PA?
                thanks

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                • #9
                  Actually, my biggest concern is not with my tone modules, but the computer going down. I've been using Roland tone modules for 15 years and nothing has ever happened to them. My backup to my laptop is a couple of floppies with my most played songs on them that I can run from the sequencer on my Roland XP-60 keyboard, but I haven't had to use them....yet...

                  I'd back it up with a good old mini disk or a CD. That way, if or when it goes down, you have a way out. It certainly can't hurt. An ounce of pevention is a pound of cure. Goofy things happen and what if it's the floppy and not the laptop itself?
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                  • #10
                    what sound card do I need for laptop and also how do I get just a click to the drummer and not in the PA?

                    Run the setup in mono. Example: Click out of the the right channel and the sequence out of the left. Run the sequenced channel to the board and the click to a headset via another small board or a headphone amp. We used to cheat and send the click to a channel and then isolate that channel only to the phones. Then we'd use the phone out to send the click to the drummer's headset. The BE had no phone jack to monitor with but it worked pretty well.
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                    • #11
                      We've had bad experiences with discman type o player bouncing all over the place
                      when the stage level starts to rise.
                      Actually we've had track skipping problems with the rackmount CD-player as well.

                      I'm currently looking for a MP3 ram player. I guess 20 songs need about 100K so a 128K should be enough ... or not ?
                      Can anyone suggest an inexpensive (of course) rackmount one ?
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                      • #12
                        Nothing is more EMBARRASSING than having you midi go down in the middle of a song...

                        I've gone the MP3 method with excellent results. In-ear monitors for key members help
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                        • #13
                          Those 4-track cassette studio dealies are pretty cheap used these days. And the sound quality is plenty good enough for live work.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JMS 2
                            We've had bad experiences with discman type o player bouncing all over the place
                            when the stage level starts to rise.
                            Actually we've had track skipping problems with the rackmount CD-player as well.

                            I'm currently looking for a MP3 ram player. I guess 20 songs need about 100K so a 128K should be enough ... or not ?
                            Can anyone suggest an inexpensive (of course) rackmount one ?


                            I don't think you'd want to limit yourself to 20 songs.

                            I do the duet thing sometimes too. I've used a Creative Nomad Jukebox II with no trouble other than the display is hard to see. It lets you program as many playlists as you like and holds thousands of songs. Costs around $200 I think.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tommy Tune

                              I'd back it up with a good old mini disk or a CD. That way, if or when it goes down, you have a way out. It certainly can't hurt. An ounce of pevention is a pound of cure. Goofy things happen and what if it's the floppy and not the laptop itself?


                              The sequences in the laptop are on the hard drive, but loaded into ram on powerup...all 450 of them (MIDI sequences are only 25-60 kbites each). Then I can play them in any order I want instantaneously by clicking on their names straight from the folders that contain them using Windows Media Player. It's the kind of flexability that you can't get from minidisks or cds. It's been a half year since this thread started, over 100 gigs later, and still no MIDI hangups or computer problems, but I'm thinking about picking up a used laptop for backup.

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