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Playing Live

Discussion in 'Recording' started by DavidMoore10, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. DavidMoore10

    DavidMoore10 Guest

    There are a few of my songs that I've recorded that require the delay to be synced with the song itself. Most delays you can manually adjust but it's very very difficult to get it perfect for the delay to be to the bpm of the song, when playing live. You almost need an ear-phone that has the click track to the song, that's built into the delay.

    I also want to cue up certain loops during a live performance, possibly something like a backing keyboard track. Which to play accurately to, I would need to be playing to a click track, I'm assuming.

    Does anyone have an experience in doing this or know any products that can help me out! I don't want to haul my computer to each gig.
  2. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    You need to know the BPM of these particular songs. This can be found through using any of a number of different software utilities, or hardware that has a tap-tempo feature.

    You can then set your delay accurately. 1000ms = 1 sec, blah. There are some charts for this on the net, but I don't have them handy right now.

    If you know the bpm of your songs, when you bring up your backing tracks, syncing would no longer be a major problem for you.
  3. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Here is one example:


    Use in Internet Explorer. Didn't work in Firefox (Mozilla) ;-(
  4. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Here is a free BPM analyzer:

  5. DavidMoore10

    DavidMoore10 Guest

    I guess what I'm trying to do is a little more accurate than just finding the bpm of the song. I've already recorded the song and I know the bpm that I recorded it to, I recorded it to a click track.

    If I recorded my song, say, 120 bpm, do you think I'll play that accurately during a live performance to no click track. I'll probably be all over the place. A little fast, a little slow, etc. That's why I maybe want to play to a click track during a live performance, so I can cue up a pre-recorded track in the background, and know it's going to be the same tempo as what I'm playing. On the right track, but just need something more professional.
  6. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member


    If you have rhythm problems, even a click track won't completely save you.

    Practice keeping the rhythm.
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    If you have an analog delay unit (or any unit where you can't set the delay in ms) then the delay unit IS your click track when playing live. Set it where you want it, damp the strings, hit a "scratch," and listen to the repeats. Pick up your count from that. Yes, you have to keep steady throughout the song, and it takes practice. But you have the delay to listen to and everyone in the band should be aware that the delay sets the tempo.
  8. DavidMoore10

    DavidMoore10 Guest

    I guess that's not what I really meant. I know the BPM of the song, I am excellent at playing to a click track and also to keeping the time (I'm formally a drummer) and that's not the problem.

    Although if I have a delay unit and I set the delay to say, 120 bpm, and I listen to how fast 120 bpm is. When I start playing and by the time I get to the chorus, there's no definate possibility that I will be at 120 bpm EXACTLY. And it will sound... well, not on time. And when I cue up my keyboard track in the background, (which is recorded at 120 bpm), and I'm playing at 121, it's going to be a little off and throw everyone else off.

    Thanks for the help anyways guys.
  9. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    i think i know what you mean. you have some recorded keyboard tracks you want to play to and you don't know how to combine this with a click. at least that's what i understood. please correct me if i'm wrong.

    the easiest way is using a mini-disc player. you can put the keys on the right track and the click on the left. the keys would be only mono but it's the cheapest way. be careful to put the player on a steady ground, so it won't be skipping all the time.

    the best way would be to use a multitrack recorder/player with a non-mechanical/non-optical reading device, like flash memory or memory card so you don't have to worry about drop outs in the playback.

    if you have a good click-steady drummer only he will need the click. otherwise you will have to use in-ear monitoring. but that's the best thing you can do anyway.

    i hope this did answer your question.
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    O.K., I get it now. The only group I know of that has done this around here has always incorporated some sort of midi percussion elements throughout the song to act as a click. Some songs they do a good job of it and vary the type and feel of the elements in various sections of the songs. They have a drummer and sometimes live percussion as well. Other midi elements come and go as needed.

    As to what you are doing directly - I remember reading something in Keyboard mag about (I think) Elton John's keyboard guy who triggered midi parts and then used one of his control wheels routed to the tempo to do time stretching and compression to match the live tempo.
  11. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    My drummer is the keyboard. If you are using a sequencer you can get a lot done in what you are asking.

    For instance, I have a song playing at 160 bpm. at measure 39.04.100, my sequencer sends a midi signal to my basspod and changes the sound. at measure 39.04.191 my backing sample comes in and delays with the sequencer and fades at 41.00.000. At 40.04.100 my sequencer changes my bass sound back to it's orignal sounds via midi. While all this is going on I have other midi switches kicking another keyboard into action, etc.

    Basically, it's like what you said about Ellton John. Difference is, there are only two members to the band and we don't worry about trying to warp anything into a time - we let the keyboards do there magic by programming them before hand.

    If you have a drummer - try the Rush trick. Have him work with the electronic drums. He doesn't have to have the entire set up on stage. he/she only needs the controller box and one drum. When he/she hit's that one drum, a midi message is sent to your sampler/sequencer and the part is triggered. If you are running a pod or any other midi capable guitar effect - that can be triggered as well :)

    Hope this helps
  12. DavidMoore10

    DavidMoore10 Guest

    Yes, that's perfect. A multi-track player would be what I need. Actually, I forgot to mention, at the moment, it's just me playing, no drummer, no one else. Occasionally someone will play guitar with me or I've got a bongo player at times. But my main concern was this...

    I've got a song that's acoustic guitar intro for about 4 measures. I'll be playing that live. Then a keyboard and drums kick in after the 4 measures. (I've got a $2000 keyboard that kicks ass that I bring along too). The only problem is allowing myself to start out at the right tempo, 120 bpm. I don't want to play the keyboard and drum track, listen for a few seconds, turn it off, and say, "Ok i'm ready". I would like to hit a foot switch, have a click track, after 4 count, come in, that way I know I'm playing to 120 bpm, and the keyboard and drums will kick in flawlessly.

    So I've got a lot of stuff I want to kick in throughout the song, but I can record all that, mix it down to the right volumes and have it just like a cd track, the only problem is I want a click track in an ear-bud possibily so I can start songs out just me, THEN have the other stuff kick in.

    So... a two or three track player would be exactly what I want. Thanks for your help
  13. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    Why not use your keyboard for a click track and to bring in samples of your guitar.

    I own the Triton Studio and Extreme and I can do all that without a seperate multi track recorder. I can record a click track (like one or 3 measures) and route just that track through any one of four individual outs. That can be routed to an ear bud and no one else has to hear it!!

    If you are going to spend money on a multi track recorder - do yourself a favor and sell the keyboard and buy a keyboard workstation. You will have sixteen tracks to record up to 199,000 events (about eight 5-7 minute long songs) and that's just for one set. Then you can load up the next eight song set and go to town!!!

    By recording your guitar directly into the keyboard, you can trigger it as a sample in your sequencer (one of your sixteen channels) right where you want it.

    If you want me to help you more with this (this what me and my wife do - we are the band and we write intensive industrial - sample driven - crazy music) ask away. I play live bass so, I know what your trying to do. I just don't think you need to have 'extra' equipment to worry about as a lone act.
  14. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

  15. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    even easier and cheaper would be to use your keyboard as the player. i guess you have a sequencer in this thing which plays all your backings. nowadays most keyboards have more than two outputs. you can route the click of the sequencer to another output and send it to your monitor. if it has only two outputs you could pan all the sounds of your sequence to one side and the click to the other.
    you wouldn't even need anything else. except when you want backing vocals or something like that.
  16. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    oh... i should read the other posts more carefully... :?


    but this should work with your keyboard, as well.
  17. DavidMoore10

    DavidMoore10 Guest

    I've got a, 'Yamaha S90es' Keyboard synthesizer. I checked the outputs and it has one set of 'assignable' outputs (left and right), and one normal output (left and right).

    I've got to read the manual the keyboard came with, but yea it seems to be able to do what I need it to. Not sure how I feel about the backing tracks being all in mono though! heh. Now all I need is a really nice delay unit that I can put in specifically how long I want the delay (120 bpm) for instance. Anyone know of any delay unit for vocals or guitar that I can adjust the delay accuratly. Everything that I've looked at was just a knob and was just approximate.
  18. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    when you use the normal outputs for your keyboard signal and the assignable for the click you'll have it in stereo.

    for delay you'd need one with a tap button. you only have to push the button a few times in the right tempo and there you go. but i can't tell you which ones have a tap function. just check the net or maybe somebody else around here knows one.
  19. Terr-orForm

    Terr-orForm Guest

    Seriously think about getting one of the newer keyboards if you can - if you can't, yours will work ok. The MOTIF and the Tritons are great keyboards. I have both the Triton Studio and the Triton Extreme. You can pick up an Extreme for about $1800. I have a Left and Right output and four individual outs. My sequencer is 16 tracks with 5 insert effects and 2 master effects - also comes with a tube as an added insert/master effect. You can usb it to your computer and it takes compact flash. It also has lightpipe spdif input and outputs for recording as well. You can set samples until you can't see straight on any or all of the sixteen channels on the sequencer.

    I'm not knocking what you have - I just think you would benefit better. You would be thoroughly surprised by what one of those keyboards can do when you play live (again, we are an industrial band and our sound is full and rich. We only need one keyboard but use two for comfort and more stability live :) )...

    ouzo - I can't count how many times I have repeated someone's post - 'tis cool, I am a master of other peoples redundancy :)

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