Re: New Project Questions

Bob 'Notes' Norton <norton@...>

First of all, this is all my opinion. But I have been playing in the same duo with backing tracks since 1985 and we have worked steadily since. It's what I do for a living and we've done cruise ships, 5 star hotels, casinos and just about anything else a duo can gig at. I've paid off the mortgage, take a vacation every year either the Americas or overseas (Europe, Asia, Africa). We work more and get paid more than all the other duos in our town.

On 6/5/2018 5:43 PM, 'Larry-Ohio Time Corp' Larry@... [Band-in-a-Box] wrote:

My plan is to make backing tracks from the down load songs till I learn how to make my own (that could take years), grab my saxophone and start playing. I have all the hardware (horns, amps, studio gear, ect) and now software to do this with Real Band and not MIDI.

I think you are making a mistake to omit MIDI. MIDI is thousands of times more editable than audio that any lack of tone can be much more than made up for by editing. You can change instrument voices (say a strat guitar instead of a les paul), add song specific licks, change dynamics, add expressive elements, fix the endings, add a real intro, and son on. see:

Get a decent MIDI sound module and the voices will be 90-95% as good as the Real Track and you will be able to edit. I would start with a Ketron SD2 as they have one of the all-around best General MIDI sound sets.

We musicians care about tone, but as long as the tone is in the ball-park for the genre of music you are playing, the public doesn't care. I like Stan Getz's tone better than 'Trane's and they are very different, but both were quite successful in the jazz field.

Pop is even looser. Singers like Dr. John, Stevie Nicks, and so many others with bad voices sell zillions of records. Why? The public responds more to expression than tone. That's another reason why MIDI. With tweaking you can be more expressive for any particular song with MIDI than you can with a pre-recorded audio loop.
I would be interested in talking to other saxophonist who are doing this and any local NE Ohio users. Please send me a message.
This is how I make and use backing tracks with BiaB and a DAW.
IMHO BiaB makes a decent backing track, but it's not ready for prime time. I have over 550 sequences and I would guess 3 of them are straight 'out of the box' without extensive editing.

1) I have never made backing tracks to be used other than for rehearsals. Will I be able to do everything in BiaB/ Real Band or will I need to bring it into Pro Tools? (My one hour of play around in it did not find an EQ.)

2) I have always mixed with an assortment of nearfield monitors for CD/MP3 products. Having the amp and speakers that I will use on stage should I do my mixing on them?

Definitely 'yes' and at soft volumes at first, then check them at gig volumes.

This is your voice. Hours spent on a backing track to make them as good as you can will be paid back. First of all, you will play better if you like the track, and secondly, you will sound better than your competition.

Insights and incites by Notes
Bob "Notes" Norton
Norton Music -
The Sophisticats -

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