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  1. #1

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    I'm interested to know if any of you (or you have heard others) use Band-in-a-Box tracks on solo gigs - perhaps just drum and bass accompaniment. Like many others, I've used it for years for practice. However, the Real Tracks and Style Picker features just keeps getting better and better sounding. It doesn't take any time at all to create a nice sounding stereo background track by importing individual tracks into Pro Tools, cleaning them up a bit with EQ and some basic effects, and doing a quick mixdown. I've never thought about using these tracks for a restaurant, hotel lobby, or vineyard background music gig until recently. What are others doing? Thanks much.

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  3. #2

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    Personally as a listener and musician, I'm not interested in listening to someone play to tracks in a live setting. If it's just to get the gig done and make some bread I don't hold it against anyone. I just don't think it's compelling musically. I'd rather hear what you have to say as a solo instrument.

  4. #3

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    Apparently there are a lot of solo musicians using backing tracks these days (takes me back to the 80’s when drum machines we’re getting more and more advanced).

    I know what you mean about it sounding better and better. I haven’t set that up yet, I just use a looping pedal during a verse to record, and play solos over that. But, I can see it as an option.

    Did see an older country singer/guitarist use BiaB at a gig though. I find it cheesy - but I’m not a typical audience member.

    Go hang out listening to people play where your going to be playing and see what the norm is for your area. If they use tracks then BiaB is a great option.

  5. #4

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    I could be very entertained by a great player and a good backing track.


    PS, many live pop/rock acts are basically doing just that. They roll in a pro tools system, put in their in ears, and when they hear the click it’s time to play.

  6. #5

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    About 15 years I subbed a couple of gigs in a guitar/clarinet/trumpet trio w/BIAB backing tracks. It felt stiff and unnatural to me, and I wondered if the audience realized that the three of us could leave without things sounding much different.

    That being said, they seemed to enjoy it, but I never did it again--I really hated it!

    Danny W.

  7. #6

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    Nope, not for me, ever. Never.

    But of course, ask me how often I get to gig versus guys who do.

    Like at the restaurant I once played...the owner:

    " hey, I like you sounds...but guy who plays tuesday night...he has the recordings, you know? The 1 2, 1 2 3 4? It's like whole band for price of one musician! Maybe you get recordings?"

  8. #7

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    Some guys gotta do what they gotta do to get work as a "musician".

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipBurz
    I'm interested to know if any of you (or you have heard others) use Band-in-a-Box tracks on solo gigs - perhaps just drum and bass accompaniment. Like many others, I've used it for years for practice. However, the Real Tracks and Style Picker features just keeps getting better and better sounding. It doesn't take any time at all to create a nice sounding stereo background track by importing individual tracks into Pro Tools, cleaning them up a bit with EQ and some basic effects, and doing a quick mixdown. I've never thought about using these tracks for a restaurant, hotel lobby, or vineyard background music gig until recently. What are others doing? Thanks much.
    If you have an hour or so of time, search some of the old threads and you will find some very spirited discussion on the topic of using backing tracks. I am not sure if BIAB was a part of the conversation.

    I think a person name "Sandro" had a really long thread.

    (Yep, here it is, I found it: Backing Tracks for live gigs)

  10. #9

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    Just had this surreal encounter yesterday with a Keyboarder. He has a "Ketron" keyboard that thwarts BiaB like nothing. And he's doing it in real-time - meaning - he plays and that darn thing puts a whole band behind him.

    Absolutely impressing ...

    Forget BiaB if you really want to go out in the wild with something like that, get yourself a Ketron.

    But ... Jazz not it is... guess you already know that don't you?

  11. #10

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    I've only done backing tracks on a few cheesy and well paying events where they wanted that.

    I've even played a Russian wedding once with a huge band, 6-8 singers and players from all over Europe, where we were supposed to play pop and variety stuff, but there were no rehearsals, no charts, no soundcheck!, no stress from anyone about it! I go onstage and discover that all music is backing tracks that the musical director had written and was controlling while playing, and he only had players for solos that you'd play by ear every now and then, and afterwards he'd turn you off again. Surreal gig, payed a months rent.

    But I use Loopers often, I find it to be a thing that does work live.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    .... ear every now and then, and afterwards he'd turn you off again. Surreal gig, payed a months rent.
    Don't want to hijack thread, but tempted to open a "surreal encounters on the bandstand" thread... Could provide some anecdotes...



    EDIT: I did it: Surreal Stories From The Bandstand Collection Thread
    Last edited by DonEsteban; 10-04-2019 at 06:26 AM.

  13. #12

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    Just another form of Karaoke.

  14. #13

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    I want to get a gig mimicking along to Wes cds with my unplugged guitar. It's only jazz, who knows? Who cares?

  15. #14

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    All I see this week are videos from NAMM with dudes essentially doing this very thing ...band in a box might sound a bit rigid, but if you cultivated a big collection of backing tracks with live instruments, that could shave off a fair amount of cheese. I had considered hiring some cats and doing a day in the studio to create 10-15 of my own tracks but I get more interest in my solo and duo gigs I do with a looper.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkipBurz
    I'm interested to know if any of you (or you have heard others) use Band-in-a-Box tracks on solo gigs - perhaps just drum and bass accompaniment...
    I have played a number of gigs in the past two years using the Digitech TRIO+ for bass and drums, and its integrated looper for comping melodies and solos. (You may or may not know that the TRIO+ is a joint-development effort between Digitech and Band in a Box.)

    I run the TRIO+ through a Harbinger PA system, and the guitar through a Quilter amp. When I'm looping a guitar track, it is channeled through the amp, too. I get great feedback from folks in the room about tune selection, and from other musicians who stop by to remark about the tone. I have seen people walk in off the street at a coffee house I'm playing and start dancing... probably the result of the drums and bass behind me. It's a great feeling.

    That said, I've been inviting my bass player buddy to every one of the gigs I have landed as a solo artist in the past six months. Not only is it impetus to become a better guitarist, I think the crowd finds it more interesting, too. He's not always available, so it's nice to have the TRIO+ to fall back on.

  17. #16

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    I'm the original poster. I'm glad you guys revived this thread. I'll check out the TRIO+. I just upgraded my main Mac to Catalina, which means my older version of Band in the Box no longer works. Before, I rush in and purchase the update, I want to check out some other options. I can still play my old BitB files on an older laptop.

    There are a few small restaurant/tavern gigs in town that don't always want to give up the space for a full combo, and I can only play so many solo chord melody pieces. (I'm no Joe Pass!) We also have a real shortage of bass players in my area. I'm exploring some good sounding background options for these smaller gigs that don't sound "cheesy," as "basscadet" says.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdwaverider
    I have played a number of gigs in the past two years using the Digitech TRIO+ for bass and drums, and its integrated looper for comping melodies and solos. (You may or may not know that the TRIO+ is a joint-development effort between Digitech and Band in a Box.)

    I run the TRIO+ through a Harbinger PA system, and the guitar through a Quilter amp. When I'm looping a guitar track, it is channeled through the amp, too. I get great feedback from folks in the room about tune selection, and from other musicians who stop by to remark about the tone. I have seen people walk in off the street at a coffee house I'm playing and start dancing... probably the result of the drums and bass behind me. It's a great feeling.

    That said, I've been inviting my bass player buddy to every one of the gigs I have landed as a solo artist in the past six months. Not only is it impetus to become a better guitarist, I think the crowd finds it more interesting, too. He's not always available, so it's nice to have the TRIO+ to fall back on.
    The TRIO+ is an interesting piece
    of gear...would love to hear it in action in a jazz setting. There are some YT's but it sounds kind of stiff to me....but I guess so does BiAB