Clint last edited by
Packed light for a one month tour of Scandinavia – Sylphyo, Link, an RME Babyface, and a laptop (For everything from sound generation to live looping to effects). And then…
The laptop died. Yikes!
I never really had a Plan B and never explored the Sylphyo onboard sounds very much. Now, that’s all I had.
Quickly found some sounds that worked for me (SynthBrass turned out to be really useful, and Braveheart for an Irish air). Hooked into a DJ rig for one set. Then managed to get some backing tracks onto an iPod touch, and mix them through … The Link! The line-in mix capability worked pretty well. Later I got the RME running in class – compliant mode, and was able to do more controlled mixing.
Lessons learned: cozy up to the on-board sounds of the Sylphyo, and try out your Plan B set up before your gear fails.
... and maybe take a second laptop!
StevieK last edited by
Hi Clint, you mentioned that you use backing tracks for your gigs. Can you tell me something about your backing tracks? Do you have produced yourself or do you use other tracks? I use for learning and practice backing tracks from Elevated Jam Tracks and from the Schott Music Company (Germany), e.g. Jazz-, Rock- and Soul-Ballads. The I use Musescore, tonally and other software (e.g. tonestro).
Clint last edited by
@steviek I've been developing and collecting tracks for quite a while, and this has really enhanced my practice and performance.
For our primary community - Native American flute players - we've developed a series of commercial backing tracks projects (4 CDs and one USB thumb-drive product with 508 tracks) and I use some of those.
I often download YouTube videos where the music is under a Public Domain (PD) or Creative Commons (CC) license, extract the audio, edit it (Reaper is my current audio hacking tool for this) and curate it as described below.
There is an entire niche world of composers who develop volumes of CC-BY material, essentially for promotional purposes. Kevin MacLeod is prominent in this area (thousands of great tracks) as well as Alexander Nakarada, Michael Rizk, Scott Buckley, Scott Holmes, Serjo De Lua, Tim Beek, and many others. Check how many composer credits Kevin MacLeod in the IMDB database (!!). The payoff for these composers seems to be the custom work that they get hired to do as a result of the use of the CC licensed tracks.
I also maintain a few backing tracks with stories tied to them that I use in performance - things tied to my history: A cello ostinato I recorded by David Darling and similar pieces from other departed friends ...
** Curating Backing Tracks **
This has become a bit of a project for me. I play in a lot of different settings. We lead music workshops, as well as various sized gigs and jams.
I run tracks from iPods, from a PC, or backing videos that I play to. I also need to keep the usage rights straight: PD vs the various CC licenses vs Copyrighted. I can use copyrighted material in some settings (workshops under Fair Use statues or public venues that pay performance royalties to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC) and others where I can only use PD or CC material - and I have to credit the author for most CC tracks.
One gotcha has been the display provided for iPod devices: the cover art has to tell me the title and key that the track is in. I also have multiple lengths of some tracks (iPods are terrible at looping a song), so the cover also has to tell me length and usage rights. For this reason, I develop my own cover art in CorelDraw and change the ID-Tags of the MP3 files to use those cover images. A bit of work, but it pays off when playing live. I also change the title of the song to show these items in compact format.
When I play acoustic Native American flutes (more and more rare these days with the Sylphyo) one of the challanges is pitch-matching. If I have to play softly (e.g. a yoga session) I can easily be 50 cents flat. No way around it. I typically use PC-based backing tracks played by an excellent pitch-shifting player app called "The Amazing Slow Downer". It lets me adjust pitch in cents as well as tempo (independently of pitch) in micro-percents. This has been a real help.
StevieK last edited by
@clint Thank you very much for your detailed answer! Have a good time!