A preacher and his wife I know use a laptop running Pro Tools and a 16x2 board for their singing ministry. The laptop has the actual Pro Tools multitracks running when they do this. They also play various live instruments, too.
The problem is that the set up was, uh, set up by his son, who is off doing his own thing now, so the Dad has no clue how to run everything. So typically there’s a wait of a minute or more between songs as he locates the right song and loads it.
Tonight I’m supposed to get with him and come up with a better solution. One I already told him about was getting a keyboard that allowed you to load your mixes into it… a friend of mine suggested just playing along with the mixes loaded into an iPod.
The iPod sounds like a good idea. Set up a playlist with the songs in order … or call them up on the fly if the performance needs to change at the last minute. Individual files will be ready to playback about as fast as you can dial them up. Playlists can be set up to cycle through the tunes with as much pause between as you want (if you don’t mind getting creative).
Alternatively, some Yamaha (and other makes) keyboards have a slot for USB memory sticks holding MP3 files arranged in playlists that could be used rather than the iPod.
Sure. But who wants to perform live, and simultaneously mix multiple tracks, in front of a congregation? And if there is no need to mix/adjust individual tracks on-the-fly, why have that laptop-sequencer-interface-baggage in tow that can go horribly wrong?
I know what this guy’s son is going to say: “iPod sound quality isn’t good enough.” Which I don’t agree with at all.
I don’t know Pro Tools, but I was looking at his screen the other night and on the left side was a drop-down list of all the songs they had recorded… so I;m guessing he was loading each project one at a time from that list… they were all just wav files, so it didn’t take long to load any of them, but he was having trouble finding the right songs – that’s why I thought an iPod was a goo idea, so you could set up your playlist beforehand, like swamptone said
That Cantabile looks like an interesting solution. It occurred to me that if he mixed his tracks down, he could store them in iTunes, and then before each service make a playlist of the tunes he wanted to do. I believe iTunes will accommodate wav files
Cantabile looks interesting although I didn’t read far enough to know whether or not it could be operated on OSX (as it did seem to have a ‘pc only’ look about it).
I had mentioned earlier in this thread that this discussion looked interesting because I was hoping to read about how others pursue live performances with backing tracks, be it with one or two software sequencers, a dedicated hard-drive digital stand alone sequencer, an onboard keyboard workstation sequencer, i-tunes…
… or a combination of all of the above. Any working musicians out there who actually use multiple playback systems? How automated should one be and what advantages/disadvantages would there be to have a multiple set of playback capabilities?
If Mac, seriously look into Mainstage. It can do backing tracks really well, and you can add live keys as Audio Units, or passthrough other keyboards.
I used it to control the entire set recently, for the fully live tracks, and the one sequenced backing we used, I had a combo of AU instruments and my Fantom.
Otherwise for the PC there is Brainspawn Forte, which I’ve also used, and is rather good.
But if all they need is a stereo backing track with no integration of instruments, then the iPod is a good solution (and you don’t need to use compressed data, it’ll play WAVs in 16 bit, and I believe 24 bit formats)