Playing Live With EZdrummer Instead of Regular Drums

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by cronux, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. cronux

    cronux SS.org Regular

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    Hi guys,

    Haven't posted in a while but I just want to ask for some advice…

    I play guitar in a death metal band and after 2 years we still can't find a drummer. At rehearsals we play along to the drum track* that's blasting through the PA -> I know it sounds dumb but it works and we have gotten really tight, we wrote a lot of material like that.

    The thing is - we dropped a single this year and we got invited to do a couple of shows, not anything big but a gig's a gig. NOW, what to do? We said yes to one of those shows to see if we could do a gig without a real drummer… the gig is 2 months away, if it goes through ok we'll do other shows, if not we will be a studio band - not much choice :donnie:

    Do you have any tips/ideas?

    The main problem that's been bugging me is that we won't be able to hear the drums on stage.

    p.s. in ears are not an option because they are expensive right now and we are planning on recording and EP at the end of this year.

    Thanks in advance!


    * we write drums in guitar pro, export the midi, go into cubase, put that midi in ez drummer, put a limiter and maximizer on the track and export in .wav -> turn that .wav to mp3 and that's it
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    My band ENENRA was in the exact same boat. We played our first show with our EP programmed drums on our backing track. It went down very well and most people who were there I respect for their history and knowledge in the music industry, genuinely told me they didnt notice until at least 3 songs in.
    Funny thing too is we now have a drummer, who is amazing, and he saw us at that show and it encouraged him to then join etc.
    So its win/win imo. Gets your name out there and shows off what you are about, whilst also possibly helping you get a drummer (because you dont know who is watching)
     
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  3. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    How do you not notice that there's no drummer on stage....?

    If you can't get the drum tracks through the monitors (which you probably should be getting anyway), then it should be easy enough to just run your drum tracks off a laptop, send it to both the PA, and to a headphone amp or something. You won't win any awards for presentation, but it's cheap.
     
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  4. cronux

    cronux SS.org Regular

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    How did you you connect everything if you remember?

    We are thinking of connecting a laptop via a 3.5mm into a converter (3.5mm > regular jack) and somehow get that into the main mixing board… does that make sense?

    So in our stage monitors we should get the drums as load as we would like and our guitars, amps etc.
     
  5. crankyrayhanky

    crankyrayhanky SS.org Regular

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    Why not ditch the cpu & grab a cheap MP3 player?
     
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  6. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Laptop with DAW/backing track opened which included drums on it > Focusrite 2i2 interface > DI BOX > FOH
     
  7. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Well back then we had 2 vocalists so there was 5 of us out front all jumping around and throwing down to help as a distraction and we also own two 4 foot x 4 foot scrims which covered up where the drums would have been to further help.
    The drum mix was specifically left natural sounding to help be more realistic live.

    It worked
     
  8. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    We recently did a gig with this band:
    http://fiddlewitch.com/?page_id=123

    They had a vinyl skrim instead of a bass player (the cossack looking dude). Drummer played to a click with bass piped in, really tight.

    In your case - you should be able to do a playlist off of a phone or laptop, preferably professional .wav player, maybe even put on stand in front of whoever will control it. If you're at a professional venue, they should have a way to get your stage player thru the monitors and the FOH system.

    If you have audio interface with XLR outputs - then you can feed that to the stage breakout box which is usually XLR.

    Most stage systems have a XLR snake that feeds to the FOH mixer. So 1/4 and 1/8 inputs or converters are scarce, in most cases to be on the safe side bring your own stereo DI box as well as laptop/phone/musicplayer/tablet connectors.

    Here's a list of stage DI boxes just in case you want to be 100% sure they can cover you:
    https://www.sweetwater.com/c957--2-channel_Direct_Boxes

    I have this one, bought it for keyboards originally but has been used to pipe in stereo player. You need most likely 1/8 stereo to 2 1/4 mono cable for this. So it might be easier to go for RCA instead, like this box:
    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SAMCD2PRO--samson-mcd2-pro-2-channel-passive-a-v-direct-box

    1/8 stereo to 2x RCA mono cables are more prominent, you can probably pick these up in Walmart, Best Buy, Target, etc.

    Make sure your drum audio folds good in mono, or maybe mix your drums in mono. Might want to check that with venue as you don't want to lose cymbal hits, etc. by going stereo. If venue is mono, might as well go with single DI box which will be easier.

    Make sure your phone/tablet/etc. has enough power and doesn't go to sleep on you or start accepting calls mid-performance :)

    That's probably why I prefer to go with laptop or dedicated professional wav/mp3 player.
    Tascam DR-05X perhaps, or lots of options from Zoom, Roland, Sony, etc.

    Also - render the files in the highest quality you can so that you will have the best quality playback, go by whatever is supported on the device you'll play it on. 16bit/44.1 wav should be sufficient, but you can go up if you want.
     
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  9. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    Actually this guy also reminded me that you can use a small crappy mixer to do it, something by Behringer, or preferably more robust names like Allen and Heath, Mackie or Yamaha. Second hand the mixers are definitely cheaper. If you have iPhone, the new ones are neutered and have no output jacks, you need to buy an interface for that which is a bummer.

     
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  10. cronux

    cronux SS.org Regular

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    @Descent - thank you a BUNCH my man… that's a lot of good info :)

    We'll see what happens… I reached out to the sound guy of the venue to see what are our options.
    We don't have a DI, was thinking of running a laptop or tablet (it's smaller then a laptop) with .wav files…

    This is a good tip - stereo/mono... that would be a MAJOR bummer if I didn't know that :D
     
  11. Zombie13

    Zombie13 XIII

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    I always had a better set up when my set was on one mono track with breaks in between to re-tune/take a breather. I ran that pre-mixed file from either an iPod, computer or phone to the FOH using a 1/8" to XLR mono adapter. Just make sure you mix your tracks while practicing at a gigging volume so you get a balanced mix based on how you want to sound.

    My general experience/tips from playing Post?Black?Dreamy? Metal for a few years

    Tutorial I did on automating patches

    What all that sounds like live


    Hope this helps!
     
  12. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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  13. cronux

    cronux SS.org Regular

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  14. WhiteLightOfDeath

    WhiteLightOfDeath Hidden Sword

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    Not stupid at all
    Look at AAL

    Good question
    ....And also im in the same boat :D
     
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  15. Zombie13

    Zombie13 XIII

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    Sounds good!

    I have some tips, when you use your phone, set it to Airplane mode and make sure you are running the tracks from the phone itself and not dropbox or something similar, I learned both of those things the hard way.

    Also, a 3.5mm to XLR mono might be a better suggestion if you want to bypass bringing your own mixer, this way you can have everything mixed at the FOH.

    Post links when you guys perform!
     
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  16. cronux

    cronux SS.org Regular

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    ^ tnx, will do :)

    The gig is on the 28th of September
     
  17. cronux

    cronux SS.org Regular

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    Here it is, one clip from the show - the ez drummer combo really worked out in the end.

    Thank you everyone! :)

     
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  18. Zombie13

    Zombie13 XIII

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    That sounded great! How did you guys feel about it?
     
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  19. cronux

    cronux SS.org Regular

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    Well it was kinda weird, I mean this was a first for all of us (being in bands but never playing without a drummer) - and after the first song the crowd was like "....*silence for 10sec*… applause" (a death metal band fronting a punk evening - kinda knew it would go down like that)

    But all in all it's pretty cool, everything is in tempo (lol) and my guys really were happy with everything -> so I couldn't ask for more :dime:

    The only downside - on the day of the gig I got sick… flu or something, my throat was sore and my energy level was at about 10% -> you can hear how I miss some notes during the lead section, on the fourth song I made a couple of crucial mistakes because I couldn't control my playing, but the crowd was like "...whatever…" so there's that :french:

    All in all thank you all for your advices!!!
     
  20. op1e

    op1e Spirit Taker

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    We've practiced to EZ Drummer cause ours is working half the time. Did shows in an old band where our Singer/KB player was the drummer and pre recorded and played out with a tablet. Like others pointed out, tried to run stereo to the sound guy and he was scratching his head cause he only had one DI box lol. We had to finagle the plug halfway out of the jack so it kinda worked in mono and then played the show. Glad it worked out for you. Get out there and do things. So many times trying to put the whole project together you have to keep replacing people that drop off. Get after it with what you have and you'll find musicians live. Lately that's 3/4 of the people at shows in Akron. Bands and their GF's and people looking for bands.
     
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