Best way to run backing tracks Elements 9

New to Cubase, I would like to run tracks live from mac laptop. My idea is to use the arranger track to move from song to song. If there is a better way I am all ears! Thought I might add midi command to stop automatically after each song then start next song with another midi command. So arranger A would stop and then midi keyboard note would trigger arranger track B and so on. HELP!

I’ll assume that you mean backing tracks for a band or solo artist and not a DJ setup.
Do you have a drummer? If so you’ll probably need a click.
I’ve done live shows with bands and backing tracks for years. In general, a DAW may not be your best playback option, maybe Live.
The general approach used by most is dual mono, click on the left, music on the right. Most PAs are mono anyway, so stereo tracks don’t get you much.
My first setup was an iPod with a dock but the drummer kept accidentally turning it down. We moved up to a USB stick player which worked great. My last setup was ShowBuddy software running on a mac. The ShowBuddy setup let me sync the light show with the tracks, it worked really well (DMX is cool).
My workflow:
Build the track with all the elements including the parts that the band will play (drums, bass, guitar, etc).
Mix it down so everything sounds balanced, make sure it sounds good in mono.
Remove the parts that the band will play and bounce it to a mono track.
Import the mono track pan it hard right, add a click track (drummers love castanets, it’s a hard fast attack) and pan it hard left.
Bounce the track and copy it to your playback device, make sure the music content is bounced to a specific reference level (I used -6db).
You’ll want to rehearse with the backing track to make sure the levels work.
There’s a bit more to it than that, but…
Hope this helps.

Thanks. We are running stereo to FOH and we have 8 tracks running. Using in ear monitors each member will get a separate mix. So we USB from laptop running Cubase to X32 which will send the 8 tracks to FOH and monitors. One of the 8 is a click. FOH engineer can adjust the tracks separately and each member can adjust IEM’s to their liking.

The big questions is how do I set up Cubase tracks so each song is triggered via midi in Cubase. Probably just a 32 key midi keyboard with each of our 22 songs taking an individual key as a trigger. I want a midi note to stop the track at the end of each song and then start the next song by a key on the midi device.

It’s been a while but you should be able to do this by mapping midi events to commands. I believe it’s in the same area where you map keyboard commands.

I’m not on a computer with Cubase at the moment so I’m working from memory, but I once had a similar setup and also had a second computer set to automatically record. I had the second computer set to map a midi command to start recording.Worked like a charm.

For your setup, you can map the “next marker”, stop" and “play” commands. Play song one, trigger stop. Trigger next marker. Talk to the crowd. Trigger play.

There is a limitation to this approach. I believe Cubase only supports 10 explicit locate points, which by default are mapped to 0 - 9 on your numeric keyboard. That means you’d have to have your sets in a specific order so you could use Next Marker. I don’t know of any way to make it locate to a random marker greater than 9.

That said, if you have a FOH guy, your life would be much, much easier if you just had him handle this at the mix position. Give a guy on stage, maybe the drummer, a talkback mic that the sound guy can monitor but doesn’t go to the speakers. He can tell him which song to cue up, then with a nod from the front man he hits play. Just another suggestion if you want a way to call up songs without being tied to a set order.

I had both Dmxis and ultimately DPro, written by the same guy. While I never used ShowBuddy, his other software is great and their tech support is also excellent.

Just wanted to give a thumbs up to Dave Brown (the programmer) and his work. Nice guy, good solutions and very low cost.