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Intro clicks on backing tracks

October 6th, 2012 Articles

Thanks to Bill for bringing up this question about intro clicks at the beginning of backing tracks…

Kenny, I want to say “Thanks” for your response and the information provided. I am certain that it will be very useful. I started using customizable Backing Tracks exclusively for these arrangements and I really appreciate the quality and effort that is but into your company’s recordings.

For several reasons we began 3 months ago to downsize from a 5 piece band to 2 players… so, without having to burn up a lot of our time creating our own backing tracks and still cover tunes with a full sound, I was fortunate to find your company online.

Admittedly I am learning my way to make this work. The Audacity software has helped a great deal and I look forward to working with the recorder software you noted below. Intro click tracks and keys have been the biggest challange. Audacity has solved the key issue.

Some of your tracks have an intro click track while others don’t. I would love to see you have this available for ALL customizable song tracks… it would really be a benefit. 

The other piece I’m working through is mechanics; just physically manipulating the backing tracks onstage. I found some ideas and practices you put online and as a result have been working with an ipod. I am still searching for a cleaner, quicker, user friendly way to accomplish this.

Your newsletters are great, extremely informative, and of great value. Please keep them coming and as much information on “best practices” the better as far as I’m concerned.

Thanks again for your response and knowledge on intro’s. You truly have a wonderful company!

Regards

Bill

Hi Bill

Our off-the-shelf tracks are full instrumental backing tracks and are intended for solo singers – that’s why there are no count-ins on the songs. When a singer sings along to a backing track he usually doesn’t start singing until after the intro of the song, so the music guides him to where he needs to come in – he doesn’t need a count-in.

The only people who need count-ins are musicians who are intending to play along with the backing track and we produce custom tracks for them, made-to-measure to their specifications.

Depending on which instrument the musician plays, he may need to start playing on the very first note of the song, so he will need a custom track with a count-in. He tells us what instrument he wants to play live with the backing track and we create a custom track for him with his chosen instrument(s) removed and add a count-in.

Ideally there should be NO count-ins at all on any of our fully instrumental backing tracks because, not only do singers not require a count-in, the audience can usually hear the 2 bars of “ticks” in the count-in and it just doesn’t sound very professional at all. If you listen to an album of original recordings by any artist you’ll never hear a count-in before the song starts. Even on live recordings and in theatres, the musicians usually do their very best to disguise the count-in (or at least to make it as quiet as possible so that the audience can’t hear it).

With some backing tracks, the vocal comes in straight away so in cases such as these it’s necessary for the singer to have a bell note or chord to pitch himself and a count-in so that he can come straight in with the vocal. Unfortunately there’s no way around this as the singer is singing without a band so there’s nobody there on stage with him to count him in discreetly. So that’s why some of our backing tracks unfortunately need to have count-ins (there’s no other way around this problem).

However, rest assured we only put the count-in on the track if it’s really, really necessary. The last thing we want is a solo singer performing with one of our backing tracks to look amateurish. It looks really bad when an audience are looking at one single solitary singer alone on the stage with no band while hearing a “non-existant drummer” going click-click, click,click,click,click before every song starts.

If you listen to the off-the-shelf backing tracks we have which have count-ins at the beginning, you’ll notice that they are all songs where the vocal starts right away.

All our “without guitar” backing tracks have count-ins though because they have been created for guitar/vocalists…

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