Backing vocals from tape - yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by Matt Ress, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. Matt Ress

    Matt Ress SS.org Regular

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    How do you view backing vocals played from tape (well a sampler) during live shows? They do thicken the lead vocal nicely and make things a bit more interesting.
     
  2. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Use sparingly. I'm all for backing tracks and support tracks, but vocals are the one thing where it looks/feels "fake" if its over-done. I personally prefer it when bands stick just using the verb/delay wet tracks as support on parts the have FX as "part of the song" full-on harmonized vocals through a whole set off the tape are going to make it seem like NOBODY on stage is playing. IMO, of course.
     
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  3. Matt Ress

    Matt Ress SS.org Regular

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    I agree having backing vocals throughout the whole song might be an overkill, but what if it's just harmonies and other bits in choruses? Kind of like using whammy harmony in guitar solos.
     
  4. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    That's what Hamerfall does actually. It was weird when they got to choruses and there were 6 vocal lines behind the singer with noone else on the mic.
    If your drummer can lock to a click track and manage to keep it together I guess it might be worth a try. Michael Kiske managed to even lip sync to recorded vocals for the first half of the Helloween reunion tour with noone getting any wiser.
     
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  5. Mprinsje

    Mprinsje st. anger ain't bad!

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    I wouldn't do it if i were you, especially if you're in a smaller band playing clubs with a sound guy that doesn't know how to handle it.
     
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  6. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    I think it's kind of the opposite :) If the sound engineer/PA isn't great, pre-mixed backingtracks are a way to even the odds and sound decent anyway. My band has 4 vocalists live, and on small stages they often don't cut through, sometimes the engineer mutes them entirely to fight mic bleed or feedback, and sometimes the venue can't even produce 4 mic stands in the first place (even when it's in our stage plot, that they obviously didn't read).

    So yeah, we're starting to experiment with backing tracked vocals as a failsafe. We spent all that time writing them and rehearsing them for a reason so it sucks to face a new audience and not have them. This way we have 3 harmony vocals at least, and 6 at best :) Why not.
     
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  7. Smoked Porter

    Smoked Porter SS.org Regular

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    Edit: nevermind. Didn't see the date here.
     
  8. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Does the song really NEED backing tracks to hold together?

    There are very few times when I've seen a band piping in backing track vocals where I haven't found myself wishing they just did without. About the only time I can think of is Steven Wilson using Ninet Tayeb's vocals on Pariah live when she wasn't touring with him, superimposing her close-up face from the video where she's singing the part, and even then it's more because it's such a staggeringly good song and performance and Wilson had to do SOMETHING to play it without her. :lol:
     
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  9. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    We've played a show with a band once that had some additional vocals coming from the backing track and it sounded pretty cool. Make sure you don't overuse it and be as subtle as possible.
     
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