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  • For bands that do NOT use tracks

    For bands that do NOT use tracks, do you promote that? Like do you make a big deal (or mention at all) that everything you do is live?

    Reason why I ask is because I was talking to a bar manager that said he wouldn't hire us if we played to tracks.  He was afraid that we did because it is just 3 of us and we have a lot of modern pop in our set list. I explained that we strip stuff down/ rework stuff so 3 guys can play it live. Then I pointed him to a few vids. He was OK then. 

     

    www.ostrichhat.com

  • #2
    Bar managers drive me crazy. Telling a band that they won't hire them if they use tracks before ever hearing them is ridiculous. I can only assume that the manager must have had a previous bad experience with a band that used tracks poorly, so the manager assumes it was the tracks that were the problem, instead of the lack of knowledge or talent of the band members.

    This would be like a manager telling a band they wouldn't be hired if the guitarist plays a Telecaster because he once hired a band that sucked and the guitarist played a Tele, so that must have been the problem.

    I don't use tracks when I perform, at least not yet, but I am definitely looking into that possibility. To me, it's all about the show and if using tracks makes the show better, then I'm all for it.
    Michael D. www.mdlmusic.webs.com "I'm tired of rock-and-rolling Let's get married, Honey, let's go bowling" --Martin Mull

    Comment


    • WynnD
      WynnD commented
      Editing a comment
      We're a 6 piece group, so backing tracks aren't even in the picture. (Though, I guess they could be.) I've been amazed when a 3 piece group doesn't go for the Power guitar trio sound. I personally find power guitar trios boring. They have a tendency to make all songs sound alike. One trio out here is amazing. Olachi is a trio with serious depth. I doubt they would ever bore me.

    • jeff42
      jeff42 commented
      Editing a comment

      MDLMUSIC wrote:
      Bar managers drive me crazy. Telling a band that they won't hire them if they use tracks before ever hearing them is ridiculous. I can only assume that the manager must have had a previous bad experience with a band that used tracks poorly, so the manager assumes it was the tracks that were the problem, instead of the lack of knowledge or talent of the band members.



       

      with out getting into a discussion about tracks vs. no tracks let me just say YES this guy has had a few bands use tracks badly. So bad he claims the crowd got pissed... I'm just asking if you don't use them, do you make it a point of saying WE ARE 100% live? or whatever.

       


  • #3

    jeff42 wrote:

    For bands that do NOT use tracks, do you promote that? Like do you make a big deal (or mention at all) that everything you do is live?

    Reason why I ask is because I was talking to a bar manager that said he wouldn't hire us if we played to tracks.  He was afraid that we did because it is just 3 of us and we have a lot of modern pop in our set list. I explained that we strip stuff down/ rework stuff so 3 guys can play it live. Then I pointed him to a few vids. He was OK then. 

     


    I've seen a few acts that use tracks that end up being so cheesy that they come off more like lounge acts, which tends to turn off anyone younger than 70+ years old.

     

    I'm guessing that the bar manager was victim of that and weary of repeats.  Just a guess

     

    (edit) and now as I read down further, I realize I should have read the entire thread before responding :P

    Epihpone LP and Dot.
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    • vablows
      vablows commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, it basically speaks for itself when you play to tracks.

      Crowds know if you are because it is too perfect- a real band should have some looseness to it in a bar or party setting.

      We are lucky because both guitarists in the band play keys and synths so we can cover everything possible pretty much .

      We have been accused of using tracks at a gig before, but I took it as a great compliment.

      Hire a DJ if you're gonna do that crap IMO unless you're playing arena's and are a major label act.

  • #4
    Unfairly though it might be, apparently to some clubs "100% Live" IS a selling point. So I say make a point of it. Although "we use pre-recorded tracks to get a full sound" could be a selling point to some club owners, I don't see many current successful acts relying on that pitch. The successful party bands that do use BT's seem to keep it hush hush, from what I see.
    Gear: a room full of really LOUD plastic crap

    Comment


    • RoadRanger
      RoadRanger commented
      Editing a comment

      Just curious what yous guys think of running a sequence from a Synth? Is it Live or is it Memorex  ? How about if it's just an intro, fill, or outro?


  • #5

    jeff42 wrote:

    For bands that do NOT use tracks, do you promote that? Like do you make a big deal (or mention at all) that everything you do is live?

     

     

     


    Well we have two keyboard players... and we also use tracks. But the answer is yes... we promote ourselves as a live band. And I do believe we are at an advantage over bands that rely on tracks to cover the songs we play... only in the respect that we have more control over the show we put on. The audience reacts to people performing. Now I could stand behind my keys and mimic playing parts. But the effect would be the same. We have guys on stage performing which adds a visual aspect that people connect with, especially in big rooms. However bar owners know we put on a tight show that we can change on a dime. They recognize that. The feedback we get from bands using tracks is it's wash, rinse and repeat. A few years back many bands discovered they could roll in as a four peice with an iPod stuffed with well produced karaokee tracks. 2-3 years later very few are still using them. It wasn't as much as a backlash as it was harder to manage than expected. I once saw a local band have an epic fail moment using tracks. They were cover a popular Evanescence song... the piano, the strings fill in the intro the singer starts singing... the track stops. 2nd attempt. Piano, strings... singer stops singing... stops again. 3rd attempt (I would have cut losses at that point) they start again but the singer is nervous and comes in late and the song is trainwreck. The drummer doesn't seem locked in and evil lazer glares are darting all over the stage. The end the set early due to technical difficulties. I'm sure that iPod ended smashed in the parking lot that night. 

     

    so over this signature BS!!!

    Comment


    • mstreck
      mstreck commented
      Editing a comment

      wheresgrant3 wrote:
      bands that rely on tracks to cover the songs

       

      ^ not a band


    • mr3lions
      mr3lions commented
      Editing a comment
      I was at an old fashioned English pub last night. They usually have 1 guy- 1 guitar. Last night there was a kid with a looper, backing tracks and an acoustic. It was a nightmare! He was playing and singing in a different key to the tracks, the guitar was inaudible most of the time and when he finally got the crowd singing with Piano Man he had to stop the tracks twice to catch up. Now Im positive this is more a case of user inexperience rather than the gear, Im pretty sure the owner is going back to his previous stripped down approach.

  • #6

    Interesting topic.  I used to get really worked up about tracks and make a point that we didn't use them.  I don't anymore.  We've taken a bit of a different approach.  We wail.  What do I mean...  well, our three instrumentalists are, not to brag, really really good.  Now that we have our drummer back (who is a monster on the drums), we all really can play.  So you know what, we do.  Yes we take pop songs and strip them down, but when the opportunity presents itself, we go for it.  

    Maybe it's regional, but down here, people really appreciate it.  Last weekend we got more "Man, you guys are fun AND y'all can really play".   Let the tracked bands to their identical every time arrangements of songs -  we'll extend stuff when it feels right, rearrange things on the fly, all the time keeping it interactive with the crowd and damn fun to play.

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

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

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

    Comment


    • Potts
      Potts commented
      Editing a comment
      Dude...why is your link dead?
      www.thetrickydickies.com

    • jeff42
      jeff42 commented
      Editing a comment

      TrickyBoy wrote:

      Interesting topic.  I used to get really worked up about tracks and make a point that we didn't use them.  I don't anymore.  We've taken a bit of a different approach.  We wail.  What do I mean...  well, our three instrumentalists are, not to brag, really really good.  Now that we have our drummer back (who is a monster on the drums), we all really can play.  So you know what, we do.  Yes we take pop songs and strip them down, but when the opportunity presents itself, we go for it.  

      Maybe it's regional, but down here, people really appreciate it.  Last weekend we got more "Man, you guys are fun AND y'all can really play".   


       

      We have got that too on occasion. Last weekend actually. These out of town guys went on and on about how fresh we were. It was nice! 

      and I will agree Tricky, as one who followed your posts and always enjoyed your 2 cents... You guys CAN play!


  • #7

    jeff42 wrote:

    For bands that do NOT use tracks, do you promote that? Like do you make a big deal (or mention at all) that everything you do is live?

    Only when people ask us, or if they comment how big we sound with just three guys (which is frequently), I always work in the "and we don't even use any backing tracks, either..." somehow.

    Reason why I ask is because I was talking to a bar manager that said he wouldn't hire us if we played to tracks.  He was afraid that we did because it is just 3 of us and we have a lot of modern pop in our set list. I explained that we strip stuff down/ rework stuff so 3 guys can play it live. Then I pointed him to a few vids. He was OK then. 

     

    Ultimately, the proof is in whether you make a good, full sound without them. Are you entertaining even with spare instrumentation? Then you will be fine. I've seen some of your vids and you guys definitely cover things appropriately as far as filling out arrangements. I don't hate tracks, I just think it's a lot cooler and freer when you don't have to use them. In Austin, almost every cover band that gigs regularly uses them extensively in their show, so to compete with their studio-esque performances of stuff, it can be difficult, especially as a power trio that doesn't employ any "help" (I even ditched my Digitech VL4 and now just rely on the actual harmonies from me, the drummer, and occasionally the guitarist). It helps a lot that I am an overly-busy bassist/singer, and that our guitarist is always able to find appropriate ways to fill things out without feeling the need to endlessly solo like many other power trio guitarists.

    Brian V.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." - Bertrand Russell

    Comment


    • #8
      As a 5 piece we don't use tracks. We don't illustrate the fact. Being chained to tracks limits you from adding another chorus if the song is killing that night or some trading off solos in the same instance.
      PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

      LightsMartin Minimac Profiles, Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duos, Blizzard 3NX, Fab5, Hotbox

      Comment


      • wesg
        wesg commented
        Editing a comment
        What do you think about triggered samples?

    • #9
      Like an intro? We've never tried it. Just another level of complexity.
      PA Unity15's over LS800p's. YX15's, YX12's IPR power, RM32AI

      LightsMartin Minimac Profiles, Chauvet Intimidator Spot Duos, Blizzard 3NX, Fab5, Hotbox

      Comment


      • wesg
        wesg commented
        Editing a comment
        I've always wondered if they might be a good way to do certain "sound effecty" things -- say, like the slide neeeeeown in Whole Lotta Love -- but have actually never tried doing this.

        Jeff's got the right idea for a user interface, I was thinking an AKAI MPC-2000XL might also work well (I have one...still in the box)... Triggering with a MIDI drum kit pedal might be an even better UI, although my feet are already pretty busy.












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