VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Seattle_Ray
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VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by Seattle_Ray » Fri May 11, 2012 11:13 pm

How to run live backing tracks for your band with Ableton:

I just posted an article with Video on my blog http://www.TheGiggingMusician.com that shows how my band uses Ableton Live to run backing tracks for our live gigs. I've seen a lot of people asking about this over the years on this forum. There have been a number of great posts with various methods on how to integrate Ableton into a full band. I thought someone might find it useful to see the method my band uses as well.

Hopefully this helps ease the learning curve for anyone looking to add backing tracks with Ableton.

Here's the link to the Article: http://www.thegiggingmusician.com/2012/ ... h-ableton/

Thanks,
Ray
Check out my blog for live musicians at http://www.TheGiggingMusician.com

mech2161
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by mech2161 » Sun May 13, 2012 3:49 am

Nice, I like seeing how other people use Ableton. We don't do the loop stuff either. I wish Ableton would do more for the live musician or live band.

Jekblad
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by Jekblad » Sun May 13, 2012 1:42 pm

"Do more"? like what... it's all in how you use it.
2.4 ghz Macbook Pro 8gb RAM, SSD, Live 9 Suite, Puremagnetik, Minimal Talent

Seattle_Ray
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by Seattle_Ray » Mon May 14, 2012 3:32 pm

As for the "Do More" for the live musician that mech2161 referred to, there are a couple of things I'd love to see. Primarily I'd like to be able to insert a video track for each Scene. So that as I fired off the next song that a corresponding video would play. This would make it so much easier to integrate video into live shows. I can accomplish this kind of thing right now by adding Resolume and triggering it from Ableton, but it's not very simple or elegant. I had hopes that JAM2 would accomplish this goal, but it's a bit kludgy as well and seems to constantly be in beta. I need something reliable, simple and robust.

Another nice thing for some bands would be the ability to have lyrics/charts/notes associated with each scene, that could be displayed on a separate display (iPad?). The lyrics/charts could change as each song changes.

I don't really expect to see these features added, unless Ableton thinks its core users would have use for them. People that use Ableton for live backing tracks in the manner I do are not really the core users of Ableton. We're twisting it a bit to suit our own needs. But I have to say that Ableton is by far the best tool to use for live backing tracks that I've found. It would be nice to have an app that was purpose built for playing backing tracks, but so far everything else I've looked at falls short in comparison.
Check out my blog for live musicians at http://www.TheGiggingMusician.com

mech2161
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by mech2161 » Mon May 14, 2012 8:05 pm

Jekblad wrote:"Do more"? like what... it's all in how you use it.
No scenes, bigger faders with a number associated with the position of the fader. There are a lot of things. It's easy to through a bunch of sounds out there and call it music. Add a couple vocalists and some instruments together and see how easy it is. How about a number associated with the aux sends position on the dial?

distaudio
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by distaudio » Mon May 14, 2012 11:24 pm

Nice video. Similar type of setup I have for my band but with the addition of keyboard parts being triggered from Ableton Live along with Automation clips automating keyboard effects and modulation.

I've also utilised the same method for the click track rather than use Lives internal click. We have a few songs where there are tempo changes and weird polyrhythms in the backing track that kinda screw our drummer up on where to come in. We've employed a method of an actually "1,2,3,4" count in just before the drummer comes in as a queue. Then it drops back into the standard midi click.

Seattle_Ray
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by Seattle_Ray » Mon May 14, 2012 11:41 pm

@distaudio That's a good idea with the "1, 2, 3, 4..." count in. We've talked about doing something like that as well. In fact, there are all kinds of things you could do if everyone is using in ear monitors....things like a prompt for the singer to come in at a certain time or count down to the end of the song or even lyric reminds. Just make sure all those "hints" are going out on a channel that only the band can hear and the audience can't.
Check out my blog for live musicians at http://www.TheGiggingMusician.com

distaudio
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by distaudio » Mon May 14, 2012 11:53 pm

We are running a studio live 16.4.2 as a mixer for our in ear monitor mix. With 6 aux outputs all 3 members have access to a stereo output and tweak their monitor mix as they see fit. So the click and any other "band prompts" are feed straight into the in ears.

The lyric reminders sound like a great idea. I do recall seeing a M4L plugin that supports this type of feature. Not sure how well it would work for your needs but it might be worth investigating.

Jekblad
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by Jekblad » Tue May 15, 2012 1:50 am

i've actually wished for all these things in the past. Bouncing balls lyrics would be sick. Video would be a no brainer.

As far as the actual audio, I always have a 1,2,3,4 leading up to the intro and sometimes even the chorus. This is just a friendly reminder that everyone is N'SYNC.
2.4 ghz Macbook Pro 8gb RAM, SSD, Live 9 Suite, Puremagnetik, Minimal Talent

distaudio
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by distaudio » Tue May 15, 2012 1:55 am

Jekblad wrote: This is just a friendly reminder that everyone is N'SYNC.
My friendly reminder to everyone is telling the drummer to "wake the fuck up"

3dot...
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by 3dot... » Tue May 15, 2012 1:59 pm

Seattle_Ray wrote:As for the "Do More" for the live musician that mech2161 referred to, there are a couple of things I'd love to see. Primarily I'd like to be able to insert a video track for each Scene. So that as I fired off the next song that a corresponding video would play. This would make it so much easier to integrate video into live shows. I can accomplish this kind of thing right now by adding Resolume and triggering it from Ableton, but it's not very simple or elegant. I had hopes that JAM2 would accomplish this goal, but it's a bit kludgy as well and seems to constantly be in beta. I need something reliable, simple and robust.

Another nice thing for some bands would be the ability to have lyrics/charts/notes associated with each scene, that could be displayed on a separate display (iPad?). The lyrics/charts could change as each song changes.

I don't really expect to see these features added, unless Ableton thinks its core users would have use for them. People that use Ableton for live backing tracks in the manner I do are not really the core users of Ableton. We're twisting it a bit to suit our own needs. But I have to say that Ableton is by far the best tool to use for live backing tracks that I've found. It would be nice to have an app that was purpose built for playing backing tracks, but so far everything else I've looked at falls short in comparison.
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Ub373NNN
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by Ub373NNN » Tue May 15, 2012 8:07 pm

i go get excited to watch but it personality didnt help on me. nice efort thouh

jscering
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by jscering » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:01 pm

I know this is an old post but I was wondering if someone could shed a light on the io settings and routing for the click track and backing tracks. How do we set that up so that the band only here's the click track and the audience here's the backing tracks. And also, does the band also hear the backing tracks? Or are they just listening to the click?

paulmo101
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Re: VIDEO: How to run backing tracks for your band with Ableton

Post by paulmo101 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:55 pm

Hi

thanks for the most helpful video - I would really like a bit more info on how to make and setup the click track as I would like to use something like that.

Thanks again

Paul

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