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Live bands playing along to karaoke tracks - Moral Issue?

Jeries

Power User
I opened for Vai one time. I saw that stuff too. I was pretty let down and disappointed. Really shocking to me that even pros these days are using tracks and charging for it. More surprising than anything else I guess, but Phillip Bynoe is an awesome bass player regardless, and it's pretty hard to be critical of Steve Vai. Bands like the Eagles never did that crap, and they were fantastic. They probably do nowadays, though. Lots of local bands are doing it here, too. I was playing a gig filling in with my buddies band, and we were getting ready to play that wagon wheel song. It has an acoustic guitar intro. My buddy who fronts the band plays acoustic guitar, and actually plays it pretty well. To my dismay I heard the intro, looked over, and he wasnt playing. I hung my head in shame that night. Super embarrassing to me. Fiddle and guitar, with nobody behind the wheel. Luckily, some of the more high profile venues here, though not many of them, wont hire bands that run tracks. Good for me, bad for a lot of bands that have come to rely on them for their performance.

That was the only time I've ever seen him do it- generation axe, new band.
Otherwise he might have a sampler for certain sound effects triggered by ususally whoever the bass player is Phil or Bryan and everything else is 10000% live
 

unix-guy

Legend!
That was the only time I've ever seen him do it- generation axe, new band.
Maybe a "temporary" band? Philip Bynoe, Jeremy Colson and Dave Wiener have been his "core" band for some time.

At Vai Academy last year Philip said he'd been Vai's bassist for something like 16 years.
 

chris

Legend!
Here’s some text I got today about a gig:

“When you are performing keep it as LIVE as possible. Cut back on loopers, drum machines, backing tracks… anything that is not actually produced on stage.”

So it really depends what the venue wants.
 

muttonhead

Inspired
When I lived/played in Denver,CO(1976-1993), the band I was with,, played a club that had a solo act for happy hour
on Fridays. The guy that Friday sang to cassettes, it's the early 90's. So he's singing a few when we get to the club and then announces that he's going to do an instrumental! Puts the tape in and stands there while the song plays. My sides hurt from laughing from seeing that.
 

Jeries

Power User
Maybe a "temporary" band? Philip Bynoe, Jeremy Colson and Dave Wiener have been his "core" band for some time.

At Vai Academy last year Philip said he'd been Vai's bassist for something like 16 years.

Yeah Gen Axe tour they used- like, yngwie's keyboardist, Pete Griffin (ZPZ band bassist), and I'm not sure who's drummer

Tosin's set they were super sloppy and all over the place- murdering his solo material/AAL set

wasn't that early on the tour either but needed work- big time.
 

Patzag

Fractal Fanatic
This thread is awesome!
I play in different configurations. From a 13 piece band to solo act. We use tracks occasionally to flesh out orchestral parts or electronic loop stuff when needed. The musicians I play with are awesome and we don’t “need” to play with tracks. But on occasion it helps to create the impact of the song. No issues.
 

Project Mayhem

Experienced
Saw a band last night (bass drums guitar and female singer) that used tracks for every song they played. Guitarist was using AX8. Not my kind of music (dance), but the crowd was into it and the dance floor was full all night, so I imagine the bar owner was pleased.
 

reclavea

Power User
I finally caved in after decades of avoiding any kind of sequencing and backing track type usage.

1 guitar in a duo or up to 3 singers on stage with mp3 backing tracks.

I painstakingly edit every tune (stems, isolated tracks and even add recorded tracks I do myself).

We do practically everything! Dance, Rock, blues and a boatload of instrumentals ...ie...Santana, Moore, Satch, Peter White, Benson, L. Carlton...etc

GnR, EWF, B. Idol, Chicago, Journey, ZZTop, AC/DC, Bee Gees, Michael Jackson, W. Snake, Kool n Gang, GQ, Wild Cherry, Texas Tornados, Chic, Carpenters, 38 Special....the whole gamut!!

The audience loves it!

I also juggle 2 other bands, a 6 piece party band and a stage band (female musicians)!
 
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sskkmm

Power User
My police / sting tribute used a few tracks - extra percussion or synths when needed. Sometimes just intro like on Synchronicity II. I created them in Logic and loaded up on iPad to trigger as needed. Really helped capture some of those tunes - esp gigs when we were a three piece.
 

ChristThePhone

Fractal Fanatic
We do you use samples played from my DigiTech JamMan. Very useful for songs like Clawfinger's 'Do what I say' if no British 10-year old boy is part of your family ;)
 

skunc

Experienced
I've heard Rush and Toto do that. So I'm cool with it if it's just adding parts you can't do with the live musician's.
Of course, a lot is riding on the drummer being able to play in time with it. Most drummer's I've worked with have a hard time.
you did not hear Rush do 'that'
 

skunc

Experienced
this is the trickle down from all the top selling/touring acts. From the 100% mime down to the "just the click".....
 

ElectricPhase

Power User
I'm struggling with this right now. I'm planning a new band which would require a minimum of seven people on stage...possibly more. It's just not practical, so rather than dumb down the music, I'm thinking of using backing. I don't really have a 'moral' objection, but I do see lots of opportunities for train wrecks!
 

jimfist

Fractal Fanatic
I'm struggling with this right now. I'm planning a new band which would require a minimum of seven people on stage...possibly more. It's just not practical, so rather than dumb down the music, I'm thinking of using backing. I don't really have a 'moral' objection, but I do see lots of opportunities for train wrecks!

Oh yeah. EPIC trainwrecks!! Way back in the days of the Atari 1040ST, we'd use it running sequencer software with a rack of MIDI modules. On more than one occasion, the mouse would vibrate due to the loud volume, and run the arrow off the screen which would force the sequence to a dead STOP in the middle of a tune. Had to learn to flip the mouse over after starting the sequence. Solved that problem. But mistakes and poor monitoring would sometimes lead to the OOPS! You'd just have to try to adjust and get back on track best you could. Sometimes I'd kill the sequence if it was going off the rails and not terribly critical.

At one point, though, we figured that our pre-determined sets would be simpler to manage live if done on a 4 track cassette, and it did work well except for certain gigs when using generator power. Seems like those 4 track decks didn't like seeing low, erratic voltage, and would screw the pooch in bizarre ways.

We wound up ditching all of that in favor of 100% performance as a 4 piece band, realizing that we didn't really need that backup tracks, and were MORE entertaining once the chains were off of us. Backing tracks were never an excuse to cover up lacking musicianship, but only to add spice to our sound. Sometimes it's worth it. Sometimes it most definitely AIN'T.
 

iaresee

Administrator
Moderator
Are you making music on store bought instruments ? Pffffft. Real music can't be made on anything less than something you lovingly handcrafted from materials gathered in the wild and assembled yourself with only tools that were also self-assembled. If you buy your instruments pre-manufactured it's just a crutch and you need to let it go to truly be free. /sarcasm
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Are you making music on store bought instruments ? Pffffft. Real music can't be made on anything less than something you lovingly handcrafted from materials gathered in the wild and assembled yourself with only tools that were also self-assembled. If you buy your instruments pre-manufactured it's just a crutch and you need to let it go to truly be free. /sarcasm

Brian May agrees with you....
 
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