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  • Ends vs. Means (tracks content)

    Maybe it's just because this directly affects my market and I don't know how to compete against it, but I'm hearing about a local band of very excellent musicians "playing live" via their own pre-recorded tracks - instruments and even some vocals. They've secured some pretty good gigs in a very short amount of time. Venues don't care that they are tracked, audiences don't care that they are tracked - the registers are ringing and the audiences are having a good time because they are able to really put on a show.

    I'm not the best musician, and I understand wanting to get a leg up on the competition  - but this just seems wrong.

    What say you?

     

     

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    My cover band

    HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT DOESN'T WORK HARD

  • #2
    I don't have an easy answer for this. People want to be entertained. Most don't really care how they get there. People will pay $150 a head to see a Cirque de Soliel show in Vegas; virtually no one cares if the music is being played live or not.

    The problem with most live rock/pop music is that most acts aren't all that great musically to begin with. I don't think we're going to seeing a lot if jazz groups or symphony orchestras playing to tracks anytime soon because those audiences are there to be entertained by the musicianship itself. But with pop forms of music, the raw musicianship is, at most, just one of the factors the audience is interested in. And most aren't sophisticated enough to know if the keyboard parts are tracked of not anyway, so why would they care?

    So what does all this say for the future of live bands? I'm not sure. Just keep on making it the best you can make it be night In and night out. If it's good entertainment there will be an audience for it.
    _________________________________________________
    band websites:
    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

    Comment


    • Potts
      Potts commented
      Editing a comment
      If the band has SOLID musicianship I have no problem with it. If the players blow and they're using tracks I'd leave.

      I want to be blown away when I see a band or performer. If they want to use technology to supplement their show, go ahead.

    • jeff42
      jeff42 commented
      Editing a comment

      is it wrong? hmmmm... I agree no easy answer. I have seen bands that play to tracks that BLOW and some where it isn't noticable or enhances and they put on a decent show. 

      I personally don't want us to use them, Ostrich Hat is all about it being 3 guys re-working pop tunes our own way, live with no tracks and such but if tracks are not "the whole show" or help the show be even better who am I to say no. 

       


  • #3
    What Lee said; it's all in the how. The only time anybody is going to notice how "lame" your tracks, or schtick, or ball caps are is when you're not doing the job you're being hired to do. If that job is to sell drinks, then it's to sell drinks. If its make somebody's wedding day extra special then that's the job.

    How you get there is in the details that no one in the audience cares about really. I imagine there must be all sorts of people in the movie business who decry the use of CGI. That's not "real" movie making. That's not "real" acting. But if the movie is entertaining the audience will like it. Nobody really cares HOW they got there.
    _________________________________________________
    band websites:
    http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
    https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
    https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
    http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

    Comment


    • JailTime
      JailTime commented
      Editing a comment

      The thing is, very few people know when tracking is taking place - good or bad.  We here can spot it from a country mile.  So if they pull it off, keep the people and fill the registers, I say go ahead. 


      But - I have a very strong love for great music being made live by excellent musicians.  It's THE reason why I love live music - I want to see the players making the music.  I know I'm in the minority.  So shake your moneymaker if you want, but if I'm at that club, and there's a bunch of tracking going on, I'm going to tell as many people as I feel like exactly what they are doing and how they are doing it - factually.  Let them judge. 


      I have done this a few times before, and people are generally disappointed.  I don't mean to ruin it for the band or crowd, but people got a right to know when a singer can't hit a note and tracks it instead.


  • #4

    I've come to the conclusion in this day and age that tracks need to be treated no differently than any other instrument.  When used correctly they can enhance the sound of the band, when used incorrectly, they detract from it.  I regularly hear guitarists shoehorn guitar parts into electronic songs and the guitar actually detracts from the overall sound.  The band would be better served by having the guitarist sit that one out.  

    Similarly, track can become the majority of the sound of a band and the band loses that "live" sound, and I truly believe people notice.  However, when used correctly, to provide fullness and textures that can't be covered live, while still having the majority of the song being live musicians, I've seen them really enhance the sound of a band.  Also, when used correctly, it becomes really difficult to tell if the band is really tracking.

     

    ****************

    Jason
    My band: http://www.facebook.com/thetrickydickies

    "Do or do not. There is no try" - Yoda

    Comment


    • JailTime
      JailTime commented
      Editing a comment

      I know, my response was an eye-roller.  I'm OK with that - I'm given **************** all the time for ridiculous opinions on music and I deserve it.  Perhaps I just haven't seen any bands who use tracking all that well.  I'm not going to walk up to random people in the club and blurt out the band's trade secrets. 

      But amongst my friends and acquaintances, if there is any discussion about the band, I don't feel bad about giving a rundown of their sound, performance, etc.  From my anecdotal experience, people do give a **************** when a band is faking it.  When the tracks are enhancing the show - not as much.  This opinion is from a customer's perspective - I am the biggest supporter of local music in my town - I go to shows and music clubs when ever I can, I buy everyones' CD's, and listen to them, good or bad, and I actively promote those artists whom I respect for excellence in talent and performance. 

      This is really no different than expecting a band to be professional, dress themselves with some care, understand they are there to fill cash registers, yada, yada.  If tracks are used and: there's lip syncing and lyrics on a well hidden karaoke monitor, there's no requests because they have to follow a preset order for the tracks, and mysterious keyboard sounds when there's no keyboard player, yet the songs are familiar, and due to the tracks they sound a lot like the jukebox - is that any better than a band showing up in bro uniforms and playing terrible originals? 

      So I know it's up to the crowd, and I'm free to leave.  I know it's a snotty perspective of a musician, but are we not allowed to be paying customers, too?


    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      TrickyBoy wrote:

        Also, when used correctly, it becomes really difficult to tell if the band is really tracking.

       



      Yep.  It's all in the how.  My guess if you can't entertain people with a live show, you won't be able to do much better with tracks.  

      A few nights ago I was watching this concert on TV.  I spent the first 30 minutes or so trying to figure what was tracked and what was lip-synced---figuring that some of it MUST be, it can't all sound THIS good live----and then I just forgot about it and decided to just sit back and be entertained.   I really don't give a **************** if any of this is tracked or not.  It's just a damned good show.


  • #5
    we're not talking about SERIOUS music (this is not an authentic blues act, or bebop jazz combo correct ? ). Correct? You're talking about a sportsbar party band playing party music right to people trying to hook up? Correct? The primary goal is to entertain and sell alcohol. The secondary goal is to make good music. So I suppose another way to think about it is : Perhaps everything has shifted and if we're not using tracks and video and an aerialist and a monkey and midgets and (whatever) then we are all missing the mark. Playing good music while trying to entertain is now considered the old way . (?) Are these people in regular rotation? Do they have lots of alcoholic friends and relatives? Does their promo match their presentation? I don't understand why people don't know or care. They complain more about their food than they do their music.
    www.jpaulmusic.com
    www.facebook.com/jpaulmusic

    Comment


    • guido61
      guido61 commented
      Editing a comment

      J.Paul wrote:
      I don't understand why people don't know or care. They complain more about their food than they do their music.


      Everybody prepares food.  We all have at least some concept of how to cook, so there's a basis for understanding what goes into it.   For most people, playing music might as well be magic.   The reason so many people relate to the singer is because that's the one thing everyone can at least attempt to do.

      It really isn't too surprising most people have no real appreciation for our skills as musicians when they don't even understand the first thing about what we're doing. 


    • stratotastic
      stratotastic commented
      Editing a comment

      J.Paul wrote:
      we're not talking about SERIOUS music (this is not an authentic blues act, or bebop jazz combo correct ? ). Correct? You're talking about a sportsbar party band playing party music right to people trying to hook up? Correct? The primary goal is to entertain and sell alcohol. The secondary goal is to make good music. So I suppose another way to think about it is : Perhaps everything has shifted and if we're not using tracks and video and an aerialist and a monkey and midgets and (whatever) then we are all missing the mark. Playing good music while trying to entertain is now considered the old way . (?) Are these people in regular rotation? Do they have lots of alcoholic friends and relatives? Does their promo match their presentation? I don't understand why people don't know or care. They complain more about their food than they do their music.

      Exactly. This is what "party pop cover band" has become. The ante keeps getting upped, moving into areas peripheral to the music. Sounds like these guys have slick music coupled with a great stage show. Kudos to them for finding a way to stand out from the pack. That's the key to any successful business. If they're that good then that will be the standard everybody around them tries to catch up or be left behind (till someone else comes along with something even more dazzling).

      Of course you can dig in your heels and declare it's "wrong" and keep making music the "honest way," and if that's your goal and you're happy with where that leads you then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

      I just left the band I founded 5 years ago because of what the scene is becoming.


    • sventvkg
      sventvkg commented
      Editing a comment

      I agree with J Paul for the most part but I will state that certain gigs don't call for tracks and that's fine. For instance, the gigs I do in Europe are NO trax gigs and the people there don't want it for whatever reason. THey have DJ's that play for that vibe but they want a live acoustic guitar and vocalist for the gig I do but If I were back doing Sports bars etc for a "Band replacement" type gig, I would use tracks. Generallyi though, even when I was doing this full time, I stayed away from those gigs and did the ones that an Acoustic and vocal was fine and called for. I did band gigs with my band whether trio or 4 piece, depending on the $$....These days though, nothing wrong with tracks if the gig calls for it.


  • #6
    My OP is referring to a party/cover band - not someone trying to pass of tracks as "authentic" music.
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    My cover band

    HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT DOESN'T WORK HARD

    Comment


    • #7
      Doesn't matter to me. My band is too all over the place to do the same set list in a row. Also, we've added the odd extra solo or extra chorus. With tracks you have to be bang on. When it ends, it ends.
      NO SIGNATURE FOR YOU!!

      Comment


      • #8
        As a hardworking under employeed kybdst I say "shame on you" . Go out & get ye some keys

        Comment


        • jimiv
          jimiv commented
          Editing a comment

          I know,.................I didn't say I was perfect..png" alt=":smileytongue:" title="Smiley Tongue" />

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