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Old 2012-07-09, 00:26
MSkillz's Avatar
MSkillz MSkillz is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 15
Performing Live with Reason and Backing Track

Hi all. Sorry if this seems lengthy, this is all still new to me and any advice or experience would be appreciated. I'm trying to figure out what's the best way to perform using Reason and a backing track in a live show scenario.

1. Reason: I'm thinking of using Reason to provide the sounds for our MIDI keyboard controllers when we play a live show. We'll hook up a laptop with Reason to our MIDI controller(s). Would it be suggested to just open up the song, mute the track, and play that part live? Or is there another or better way of doing this, like just save several Combinators (titled for each song) saved in one song file? Then we could just click on a specific Combinator rather than having to open another file. Thoughts?

2.Backing Track: I've heard several say to play a backing track using an iPod. People say that iPods are more stable than a CD and computer. Thoughts on this? This backing track will be split to provide a click, is this done in Reason or other software?

3. Mixer: I have a Yamaha 16 channel mixer in our gig rack. We have guitars, bass and vocals that we will be running into it. I have a feeling that the house sound guy at our shows will want to run his own mix (with the backing track). I'm thinking we would need to split each instrument so that we get it going to our board, and to the house's board. What's the best way to do this?

4. In Ear Monitors: I have a Carvin In Ear Monitor system. It's not that great, but the price was right. It has up to 5 packs, so up to 5 people can get the same mix. I know the drummer needs this most importantly, to hear the click track. Would it be recommended that all band members have them to hear the backing track (with the click) or would wedge monitors suffice?

5. Vocals: Does anyone recommend any rackmount equipment to optimize the vocals?

I think this covers all of my questions. Sorry again for the length of this post, I just have a lot of questions. Thanks!
Old 2012-07-10, 00:37
ethday's Avatar
ethday ethday is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 393
My band has been using Reason live for the last 5 or 6 years. We have one laptop that has a project open with numerous patches/tracks for the different songs, each patch being labeled with the name of the corresponding song. Our keyboard player selects the patch to play and that's it, I don't think anything is muted or soloed. We used to play our tracks from the laptop, but we've switched to an ipod for a couple reasons:

1. It's easier on the keyboard player, as being in control of the tracks has been farmed out to the drummer - he presses play and since he's starting most songs, this makes our shows a bit tighter.

2. It's easier to back up - we have two ipods in case something happens to one. Computers can be fickle (we've had one crash in 5 years, but it sure hurt when it happened).

3. (just thought of this) For smaller gigs where we don't use keyboards, there's less setup.

And yes, we make the click and finalize everything in Reason.

In terms of in-ears and the mixer, our drummer uses in ears because he needs to hear the click, but we opt out. With three singers, keyboards, tracks and multiple instruments, we like to minimize our rig, and personally I like hearing the crowd and what I'm doing in the open air. I've used in ears many times and they make me feel like I'm somewhere else - all my opinion.

Yes, the sound guy will want to run his own mix because he's hearing things in the house that you aren't - whatever mixing you do onstage is for your ears only.

For vocals, I bring my own mic for consistency (I use a Shure Beta87), and I use a pedal board with a TC Helicon Create and Vocoder (EH V256). The idea of bringing a rack of stuff gives me a headache (I also carry the bass rig). The main thing is make sure your ears are guiding you; racks of gear look impressive (especially in a Reason session), but a great singer with an SM58 will smoke thousands of dollars worth of thin, overprocessed vocals.

There's no one way to do it - find what works.
Old 2012-07-10, 00:45
LastAlternative's Avatar
LastAlternative LastAlternative is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,048
I understand your seeking of advice but this forum is for posting music. Please use the other forums as this chat with no music to share is taking up very valued space. Thank you. Godspeed on your journey to perform live with Reason! I have no experience to help you with in that dept.
"Life is a movie, you're a star."
"Don't waste your talents."
"Give music life!"
Old 2012-07-10, 14:43
MSkillz's Avatar
MSkillz MSkillz is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 15
Thank you so much for the guidance, ethday. Great video performance you posted earlier!

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