Recommendations for an mp3 backing track rig?

gilgongo

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Hi - those who play live with click and backing tracks - what do you use?

Right now, I'm taking the stage with my trusty mobile phone, plugging a y-splitter cable into that, and using (gulp) Google Drive's audio player to play mp3s that have a backing track on one side and a click on the other. Splitter sends backing track to PA, and click to my earpiece. Job done, raputous applause. Groupies and after party.

HOWEVER. Using a phone connected to PA (nobody's actually called me on stage yet)... Google player, seems... flaky. So far, it's worked, but it's tricky. BTW I can't use normal music player becuase they all want to play the next track after. And I've not found a metronome that can trigger mp3s.

There must be a better way...? Maybe it's called "A Lap Top". But I'd rather not lug one of those about.
 

bpaluzzi

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
1,872
Location
SF Bay Area
I’ve used a laptop, a TM-6, and SPD-SX, and an old iPod Touch for these. They’ve all been relatively painless, but the iPod touch is definitely the simplest IF I’m not using any triggers/samples, and not needing to run a full Ableton set. Imagine your phone would work the same. Do you have the ability to charge while doing playback, and do you put it into airplane mode beforehand? If so, that should be relatively bulletproof.
 

gilgongo

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
YEah I charge it with an external battery. Forgot about airplane mode - good call.

iPod touch - that's interesting. Might be able to pick one up on eBay for next to nothing and try it out. Can the player play one "song" and then stop though? The last thing I want is for it to start running to the next track while the bassist is still tuning up or something.
 

gilgongo

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
> Forgot about airplane mode - good call.

Just been reminded of the radio interference thing in Spinal Tap.
 

drums1225

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
278
Reaction score
472
Location
New York, USA
Until recently, my 90's rock - current pop cover band used a Digitech JamMan Stereo loop pedal, with tracks loaded onto an SD card. We would arrange the tracks in order of the set list, and I would start (and if necessary stop), and advance the tracks by stepping on the foot switches. The software is buggy (at least on Mac, where my bassist created and loaded the tracks) and no longer supported, so we're looking for a new solution. In the interim, on our only post-Covid gig, our bassist used the Setlists app on his iPad to run tracks. It went fine, but I prefer to have control over the tracks.

I would strongly caution you against trusting the Google Drive player, as I frequently get errors and interruptions on playback when listening to shared tracks or test mixes remotely.
 

bpaluzzi

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
1,872
Location
SF Bay Area
YEah I charge it with an external battery. Forgot about airplane mode - good call.

iPod touch - that's interesting. Might be able to pick one up on eBay for next to nothing and try it out. Can the player play one "song" and then stop though? The last thing I want is for it to start running to the next track while the bassist is still tuning up or something.
When I use the iPod, I have a 60-minute track of just silence that I insert in between every song in the set. Gives me a buffer if I'm held up. It does mean that you have to manually advance each song though, which can be a pain.
 

gilgongo

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Puting silence on the end is a good tip. I'll try maybe getting an old iPod then. It would be lighter (I put my phone in a bracket on the HH stand and wth the y-plitter in it's a bit bulky) and the player maybe better than Google Drive. Also might be able to contol it from headphone cable perhaps.
 

Alpine

Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2010
Messages
31
Reaction score
12
Location
Earth
Hi - those who play live with click and backing tracks - what do you use?

Right now, I'm taking the stage with my trusty mobile phone, plugging a y-splitter cable into that, and using (gulp) Google Drive's audio player to play mp3s that have a backing track on one side and a click on the other. Splitter sends backing track to PA, and click to my earpiece. Job done, raputous applause. Groupies and after party.

HOWEVER. Using a phone connected to PA (nobody's actually called me on stage yet)... Google player, seems... flaky. So far, it's worked, but it's tricky. BTW I can't use normal music player becuase they all want to play the next track after. And I've not found a metronome that can trigger mp3s.

There must be a better way...? Maybe it's called "A Lap Top". But I'd rather not lug one of those about.
Great option:
 


Top