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stormghost08
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:21 pm
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:37 pm 
 

Is it appropriate to use a backing track in symphonic gothic power metal? I'm both a guitarist and keyboardist and I write both parts for my band. For the last few practices I've been teaching a guitarist to play our songs but it's taking forever and I would like to start playing out as soon as possible.

I am thinking about playing guitar live and using a backing track for the keyboards. However, the band's singer is insisting that using playback for the keyboards would make the show look "fake" and it would be almost like playing guitar hero since the keyboards play a serious role in our music. To be fair, I can see where they're coming from. Keyboards are about 1/3 of the music. It's not just a simple sustained chord.

If I stay on keyboards and wait for the guitarist we might not be able to play gigs until December. However, if I play guitar and use a backing track we could do a show in a few weeks. Do you think backing tracks make bands of the genre we're playing look fake or do you think that they can be useful. I'm looking for serious, useful advice in regards to this situation.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 5023
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:07 pm 
 

Have your singer mention that you are holding auditions for a keyboard player or guitarist - don't directly apologize for it, but mention it and it'll be apparent that this is not your intended form. It is understandable that amateur bands may be missing a member from their lineup and unable to find a suitable fill-in. Expect some criticism to be directed at it, but if people like the music, they'll overlook it temporarily.

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Nightwisher1990
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:26 pm
Posts: 480
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:41 am 
 

Well, most of symphonic bands uses sampling and backing tracks in addition to keyboardist (Nightwish sometimes uses sampling more than Tuomas keyboards) , Now depending on what kinda music you're doing you can decide, If you've got the orchestration kinda keyboard (the classical kinda thing) orchestration/sampling might come a lot better than playing live keyboards, but If you do the shredding leads kinda thing in addition to those, then backing track would be kinda stupid since it's solos.
Anyway, you're the keyboardist, you can sample a part of the orchestra things (while playing guitar), and play piano intros as well as solos in addition to guitar in the gig.
But again If you don't have shredding and solos on keyboard then just leave the backing track it'll sound good. Tristania haven't used live keyboards since long time (and they've got a keyboardist who actually writes music and records as well as sampling many stuff).

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stormghost08
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:21 pm
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:42 pm 
 

Updates on this: last practice we talked to or guitarist and let him know he wasn't learning fast enough and we're going the backing track route considering we don't have any shredding synth leads or anything like Rush, Symphony X, Dream Theater, or early Nightwish. Most of its similar to the keyboards found on the Nightwish track Nemo or anything found in any of Sirenia's discography. I will play piano intros and segments live considering most of those do not have any guitar accompaniments. I'm going to track the orchestral sounding keyboards.

But I have a new problem. How do i set up the backing track so only the drummer hears the clicks and not the whole audience. They can play without the clicks but it would help keep everything a lot more solid if they had them.

The backing track is ran through a pc and it is connected to a mixer through a USB. The click is panned all the way to the right while the backing track is centered. How can I get the drummers headphones to only receive the right channel so he hears the backing track with clicks and how do I send the left channel to the PA so the audience only hears the backing track. I'm not very good with mixers so all advice is helpful.

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garthmargengi
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:16 am
Posts: 482
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:04 pm 
 

Does the mixer have separated outputs for left and right? Pan the backing track to the left, connect that output to the PA and leave the right channel for the metronome and headphones, it's as simple as it seems, unless I'm misunderstanding what your problem is.
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stormghost08
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:21 pm
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:06 pm 
 

Tried it and it's not working. I even split the signal from the laptop. But for some reason it keeps putting the two tracks together when they hit the mixer.

Anybody know where I can get a step by step walk through on how to set up a backing track with drum clicks that are only heard by the drummer. And if anyone can show my how to do this I'll give them my email.

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Pfuntner
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:33 pm
Posts: 1096
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:39 pm 
 

I realize that this might seem like I'm dodging your initial question, but what's the rush? Obviously playing shows is super fun and important to do for promoting your music, but unless you have an album/material to promote and you need to hit the road now while the iron is hot, it might benefit you guys more to take your time until you find band members who can play the material you've written at the level that you want to play at. If you think the live show will be better with all live performances, then it's better to wait until you can perform at your best rather than making excuses early on.
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stormghost08
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:21 pm
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:43 am 
 

Honestly, it's very hard to find musicians willing to play this style of music. This project was actually started by our vocalist and they keep telling me how lucky it was to find just the three of us. The main subgenre in the area I live in is mostly hardcore / metalcore type stuff. A lot of guitarists I've played with are really into it. Also, too many guitarists I've talked to want to add breakdowns. Me and my band mates aren't really fans of them.

I know it probably makes the four of us sound egotistical, but it just seems the surest way to go without compromising our sound.

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Pfuntner
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:33 pm
Posts: 1096
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:09 am 
 

That's a bummer. I'd say that if you find a guitarist that you like, you should sit them down and let them know that they might not be needed to contribute writing to the band. Usually if you aren't a dick about, good musicians won't really care that much about that.

Back to the original issue though, I'd say that what ever sounds best and allows you guys to perform at the top of your game is always the correct choice. I've seen bands with backing tracks that still totally bring it when it comes to live energy, and I've also seen bands that relied too heavily on backing tracks and came across as pretty dull as a result. I'd say give the backing track a shot for a few practices, and if it doesn't sound good/doesn't gel with the vibe your going for, then go back to the drawing board.
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