AB9IL.net

Backing Track Preparation Guide

Disclosure: AB9IL.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program such that this site earns advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com. If you make a qualifying purchase after clicking a link on this website, the associate affiliated with this site may earn a comission at no cost to you.


#Advert: Unleash your powers with a Razer laptop.

New Features: Global Quick Tune Internet SDR List Improve Your Radio Knowledge at "YouTube SDR School"
Article Index --- click here to unfold ---
Newest Pages NEW: Trumpists Kicking the Hornets Nest
NEW: Introduction to Catbird Linux
NEW: Skywave Linux Updated to ver 4.1
NEW: i3wm: Using i3-ipc to Float Windows
How to Record from WebSDR and OpenWebRX Sites
Programmatic RTL-SDR Frequency Claibration
Public KiwiSDR Lists
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Simply Mass Murder
The Anonymous Cathay Pacific Employee Letter to Hong Kong
For For Cathay Crews Crossing Borders With Electronics
Photo Gallery 9: The New Life Movement in China, 1944
E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One, Dammit
HFGCS Quick Tune SDR List
The Robert Mueller Iron Triangle Speech
A Rant About One Party Rule
Best OpenWebRX and WebSDR Servers
SDR School via YouTube
ADALM-PlutoSDR on Linux Systems
MOFO Linux: Defeating State Censorship and Surveillance
Linux: Distros, Code, and Nifty Software NEW: Introduction to Catbird Linux
NEW: Skywave Linux Updated to ver 4.1
NEW: i3wm: Using i3-ipc to Float Windows
Skywave Linux: HPSDR, WebSDR, and RTL-SDR ready to run.
Siduction Linux with the Cinnamon Desktop
Siduction Linux with the LXQT Desktop
Andy's Ham Radio Linux 15 and QtRadio
Booting Multiple Linux Disc Images with Grub2
Porteus Linux Hard Drive Installation
UPDATED: MOFO Linux - For Unrestricted Internet
Aptosid with LXDE
Asus EeePC 1215N with Linux
Autostart Tweaks for KDE3 and KDE4
Broadband Speed Tweaks For Linux
Fixing the Firefox 3 Rendering Bug
Linux on Solid State Drives
Linux Wireless Interface Driver Updates
Setting Polkit to Automount USB Devices
Sidux with LXDE
Fixing Skype Inverted Video
SLAX Remix - kernel upgrades
Flash Drive Linux - Introduction
Flash Drive Knoppix 5.3 - Part 1
Flash Drive Knoppix 5.3 - Part 2
Flash Drive Knoppix 6.0 - Part 1
Flash Drive Knoppix 6.0 - Part 2
Flash Drive SLAX - Part 1
Flash Drive SLAX - Part 2
Flash Drive Bluewhite64 - Part 1
Flash Drive Bluewhite64 - Part 2
Flash Drive Linux - Basic Customization
SLAX Customization - Part 1
SLAX Customization - Part 2
Bluewhite64 Customization - Part 1
Bluewhite64 Customization - Part 2
Long Range Wi-Fi Basics of Long Range Wireless Networking
Linear Focus Parabolic Wi Fi Antenna
High Gain Wi Fi Dish Antenna
High Gain Helical Wi Fi Antenna
High Gain Yagi Wi Fi Antenna
High Power Wireless Adapters
Wi Fi Extender Antenna for Routers
Belkin F5D7050 External Wi Fi Antenna
Linksys WUSB54GC External Antenna Mod
Compat Wireless Linux Drivers
Installing WPA_Supplicant for Wi-Fi Security
Linux Wireless Interface Driver Updates
Linux Wireless Interface Driver Support
NetworkManager and Consolekit
RT73 Wireless Drivers for Linux Kernel 2.6.27+
RT2860 Wireless Drivers for Linux Kernel 2.6.27+
Radio: Amateur Radio, Aero Radio, Shortwave, etc NEW: Programmatic RTL-SDR Frequency Claibration
NEW: Public KiwiSDR Lists
NEW: GHFS Quick Tune SDR List
UPDATED: Best OpenWebRX and WebSDR Servers
UPDATED: Skywave Linux: HPSDR, WebSDR, and RTL-SDR ready to run.
CubicSDR on Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint
Dump1090 for Linux Mint 17.1 and Siduction 2014.1
Software Defined Radio - An Introduction
QS1R Direct Sampling SDR
Chaining SDR Audio Interfaces
FLEX-6000 Direct Sampling SDR
UPDATED: RTL2832 Software Defined Radio
WebSDR Digimode Reception
Enabling FLASH in Jack Audio
Realtime Software Audio Processing
Liberation Technology MOFO Linux - For Unrestricted Internet
Veracrypt Encryption for Linux
Veracrypt Encryption for Windows
Using Google Within China
Popcorn Time and Flixtor for Uncensored Streaming Media
DNS Encryption using DNSCrypt
Galaxy Nexus Privacy and Robustness Enhancements
Galaxy SIII Privacy and Robustness Enhancements
Flash Drive Encryption for Linux
Flash Drive Encryption for Windows
Multihop VPN Connections for Strong Internet Privacy
Open and Free DNS Server List
OpenVPN Cloaking against Deep Packet Inspection The Serval Mesh Phone Project
Skype's Robust Security
Man in the Middle Wireless Security Risks
Wireless Security and Surveillance
Digital Audio Adjusting Audio Dynamics in VLC
Backing Track Prep Guide
Ipod Music Processing Guide
How To Record Record Live Music Performances
Realtime Software Audio Processing
Chaining SDR Audio Interfaces
Aerospace Radio, Aviation, Pontification, and Opinion NEW: Trumpists Kicking the Hornets Nest
NEW: The Anonymous Cathay Pacific Employee Letter to Hong Kong
NEW: For For Cathay Crews Crossing Borders With Electronics
NEW: E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One, Dammit
NEW: HFGCS Quick Tune SDR List
NEW: The Robert Mueller Iron Triangle Speech
NEW: A Rant About One Party Rule
Captains Authority Versus Autocratic Airline Management
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Simply Mass Murder
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 - A Media Circus
High Gain Air Band Antennas
Apollo Unified S Band Communications
Chinese Anti-Stealth VHF Radar
Oceanic Communications - Procedures, Equipment, Voice and HFDL
Boeing 737NG Radio Equipment
Boeing 767 Radio Equipment
NAOC-TACAMO Monitoring
My Flight on 9/11
Joshua Chamberlain's Leadership Tips
Special Operations Forces Truths
TWA 800: Just Give Me Some Truth
Photo Gallery Aviation Photo Gallery 1: Snapshots From My Journeys
Aviation Photo Gallery 2: On the Road With ATA Airlines
Aviation Photo Gallery 3: More ATA Airlines
Aviation Photo Gallery 4: Southwest Airlines is the Borg Empire
Aviation Photo Gallery 5: Starting Over, Moving On...
Aviation Photo Gallery 6: More Viva Macau
Aviation Photo Gallery 7: Mainland China Airline Flying
Aviation Photo Gallery 8: Chinese Smog and Fog
NEW: Photo Gallery 9: The New Life Movement in China, 1944
Broadcasting BBC Radio Blooper - Adolf Merckle
TV DXing the World Trade Center
New York TV after 9/11
Live Music Recording Adjusting Audio Dynamics in VLC
Backing Track Prep Guide
Ipod Music Processing Guide
How To Record Record Live Music Performances
Radio Poetry and Arts In Distress, by David Wagoner
Just A Radio Operator, by Robert A. Wallace
Radio Circuit Modifications ATS-909 Modifications
ATS-909 Manuals
ATS-909 Alignment Procedure
ATS-909 Alignment Spectrograms
Very Low Frequency (VLF) Radio Internet Based VLF Radio Listening
Windows Tips Windows Performance Enhancement Tips
A Faster Windows 7
Windows 7 SSD Setup

There are plenty of talented musicians and vocalists in the world who perform without a full live band. For example, Blackjack conducted numerous performances in Macau with one guitarist and a sound technician and no other performers. Its heavy metal guitar was augmented with bass and drum backing tracks stored on a laptop computer. Backing tracks can enhance a performance if they are properly processed beforehand.

The objective of backing track processing is to make all of the tracks consistent in audio qualities, thereby setting up a known and precicely crafted experience for the performer and audience. The steps below accomplish that quite well. Be sure to keep the original unedited tracks in a safe place, and save the working versions once editing is completed. New edits should always begin with originals and be saved as new working versions. Lossless audio file formats are best, but working versions may be saved as mp3 to save storage space. Avoid re-using mp3 files, as the editing and saving process degrades audio quality, and they can sound bad after just 2 or 3 generations.


Step By Step Backing Track Processing:


Note: Most audio workstations can do a batch job on multiple files. Steps 1, 3, 4, and 7 generally are enough for most backing tracks if you automate the process.

  1. Normalize the track. Some soundcards distort when peak levels approach zero dB, so set normalization to -6 dB.
  2. Listen on good earphones and use an equalizer if necessary to correct for too much bass, midrange, treble, etc. Try the "visual EQ" and finesse for good sound.
  3. Apply some amplitude compression, at least 2 to 1. The objective is to make the tracks uniform volume wise, and improve the audibility in loud venues (bars, taverns, amphitheaters, etc). Compression brings up quieter parts and reduces peaks in a split second time frame. Consider using the following parameters:
Attack time:   5 to 30 milliseconds
Release time:   200 to 300 milliseconds
Compression ratio:   2:1  to 3:1
Threshold:   -20 dB
Make-up gain:   +5 dB

Attack time should be set as fast as possible, and release time in the 200 to 300 millisecond range, to handle individual drum beats or syllables of speech. Most of the pertinent parts of a track are louder than -20 dB, so the threshold should be set no lower, to exclude background noise from the process.

  1. Normalize again to -6 dB.
  2. Listen and check for defects of any kind. The peaks should be around -6dB, while the average level (in between the peaks) should be about -9 dB to -11 dB.
  3. If the average level is too low, consider using a limiter. Apply enough input gain to make the average level stay between -9 dB to -11 dB, and set the limiter to act on peaks reaching -6 dB.
  4. Save the sound file if it is within the parameters and sounds good in earphones.
Backing racks raw, then as heard during live performances by Blackjack. (click to listen):
Van Halen:
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

MP3 Backing Track

Processed Backing Track

Live Performance by BLACKJACK

A sound check should be completed prior to each show. First, the live performer should play or sing short parts of the performance at full volume while the sound technician verifies the audio is at the desired level, free of distortion, and properly equalized. Next, the backing tracks should be transmitted and set to a level about 3 dB to 5 dB below the live performer. Verify sound quality and correct any deficiencies. Finally, the performer should do a few snippets accompanied by the backing tracks.

Always avoid overdriving any parts of the sound system! From the mixer inputs to the power amplifier, everything should be linear. The only distortion should be sound effects applied by the artist to his / her instruments.

Following the method given above should result in a high quality sound limited only by the creativity and skill of the live performers. Good luck out there, and remember to keep it loud and clear!



#Advert: Get your CPUs, GPUs, and Motherboards from GigaParts.


Tags: music editing, creationg backing tracks, music backing tracks

©2005 - 2020 AB9IL, All Rights Reserved.
About, Contact, Privacy Policy and Affiliate Disclosure, XML Sitemap.