The Challenge of Backing Tracks
When I was playing out with my last band, I would constantly see people using backing tracks, and on occasion in ear rigs as well. The latter is fairly complicated for most bands in the local circuit playing small clubs as the setup and teardown between bands is short (10-15 minutes).
Using in ears can be great but it is also costly to do it correctly and consistently. I can get into that setup in a future post so let’s stick to backing tracks for now.
Backing tracks can enhance the overall performance of a show to capture the audience’s attention and also add texture to your band’s performance. We’re not talking about Milli Vanilli here. We only want to “enhance” things but first and foremost get you playing with a click track, or at least your drummer and the rest of you follow his lead. Your performance will still be at the forefront of the show and you need to know how to play your instrument. 😉
Keep It Simple In the Beginning
Initially I dismissed the idea of backing track due to the complexity but when I started playing in my latest product with a local church, I started asking some questions on what they were using during their worship services.
They told me they were using a free app called Prime, by Loop Community, available on Mac and iOS, but are looking to move up to Ableton Live (most often referred as just “Live”) in the future. Ableton is a fully functioning DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and has been used for a long time in the professional community in all genres of music. It can automate click and backing tracks, lights, and lyrics, to name a few so it’s very powerful for live use.
Prime was developed primarily for the worship community and centers around loop community which sells backing tracks for worship. They have a subscription model as well as a “pay by the track” model. They also have a creator community that can create content to sell on their own (Worship music) which is an interesting way for people to get into selling their creative content.
Free but Powerful
Prime is a free download in the App Store. Once you create your free account you can start using the software immediately. The neat thing for my use is that I can create my own custom tracks in Logic, save them out as STEMS and upload to the cloud to use in the app so even if you aren’t into the whole praise and worship thing, you can still use the app as a basic click track as well as upload your own backing tracks.
I highly recommend giving the app a try!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you are using or if you have tried Prime out!