Backing tracks created with a live band

A customer asked us about producing backing tracks using a live band…

hi-kenny if kenny when you remove the guitar sound from a backing track and some of the other sounds are sounding a bit mechanical could you ajust for me please so gives a live sound
many thanks for your work saver..

Hi Shaun

Yes, the mechanical nature of a backing track is one of the downsides of using backing tracks instead of a live band.

With a band everything is nice and loose as the different players each keep time with the singer. The “live feel” comes about because the band members are playing the song and following the singer but they are each using their own timing. These small, sometimes even just milliseconds variations in the individual timing of each player in a band is what gives a song that “live feel”.

But with a backing track, it’s the other way around. The backing track is pre-recorded, it’s not live, so it can’t keep time with the singer – the singer has to keep time with the backing track.

All the individual instruments that make up our off-the-shelf backing tracks are synced together, not just to keep all the instruments in time with each other so the singer can keep time to the tracks, but to also make the backing tracks easier and cheaper for you when you need us to edit them etc.

For example, we can edit backing tracks really quickly for customers and we don’t charge them much for this service.  The reason we can do work like this so cheaply is because all the instrument parts that make up our backing tracks have been carefully produced and synced together so editing them is a quick job for us to do and therefore cheaper for you, the customer.

But if the instruments in a track were out of time and coming in to different bars at different times (just as live musicians would play), it would take us longer to make edits and changes to a backing track so the customer would have to pay much more for our editing service.

So keeping things synced together reduces costs to you, the customer, and in an internet world where you are only a click away from your competitors pricing is important to the majority of customers.

If money is no object though, that’s a different story. Then we can do anything at all you want.

And the best way to get a real live feel on a backing track is to get a bunch of musicians in to the studio and get them to play your song while recording it live so that it has that live feel that you want. We can do this for you in our studio.

Of course it will take a good few hours of studio time to record all the instrument parts again live and in real time and there’s the expense of the live musicians on top of that too. Your track would probably take a full day in the studio plus the musicians wages so you’re probably looking to around £160 for the studio time and £150 each per session for the musicians. The total I would expect to be around £800 or thereabouts.

Let me know if you’re interested in this kind of live recording and I can certainly give you exact quotes for any songs you’re interested in…