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> Creating My Own Backing Tracks
mattacuk
post Mar 23 2009, 01:14 PM
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OK so I have been practicing seriously a while now, and I have a technique skill set and enough theory knowledge to work with both simple triad chords and extended chords alike in a given key.

I really enjoy practicing over GMC backing tracks but I would like to make my own backing tracks to aid my own compositions smile.gif

The backing tracks our instructors provide with the lessons are really cool, ranging from basic chord progressions with a simple drum beat, to epic instramental afairs complete with violins and the such.

My question is , how do you guys do it? And more to the point, how would a newbie go about making his own ? smile.gif

What software do you guys typically use? Is it easy enough to do? any advice most welcome ! smile.gif



regards
matt


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Emir Hot
post Mar 23 2009, 03:05 PM
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This has been asked several times smile.gif

I use Sonar 6 and 7 (producer edition). Many people here use Nuendo, Cubase, Reaper etc... All these programs do the same job on a very similar principle. It is just what you find the most comfortable to work with.

I have some cool plugins (software synthesizers with General Midi sounds). Cakwalk TTS-1, Hypersonic 2 and Bandstand are the ones I use the most. They have wide range of sounds, everything I need from strings, drums, basses, orcherstal sounds etc... I program midi notes in Sonar's midi editor and assign midi sound I need from these plugins.

After I have the "base" I add my audio guitar. This I record through Amplitube 2 (mostly) which is also a software amp modeler but you can use POD, or any other pedal you have. You need a decent soundcard for this so your audio is well syncrhonised without a latency during the recording. My soundcard is EMU-0404. I also have a little preamp to boost my signal during recording as this soundcard doesn't have Hi-z input.

When I have the whole thing recorded then I mix the track. I add some EQ to my guitar and make good volume balance between instruments and pan them as necessary. This EQ and other effects like reverb, delay... are also done using Sonar's plugins but you can install as many as you like from other great companies such as Waves. When all this is done then I export my stereo track and do some "mastering". This is where I apply one general EQ to the whole stereo exported track in case the track needs more bass or something else. Mastering is also important to make your volume level up to 0db and to make sure that nothing clips (goes to red over 0db) otherwise the sound will be distorted.

For my 1 min backing tracks I usualy spend 1 to 2 hours dependind on the complexity. When I first started doing it I remember it took 2 days for one smile.gif After a couple of months I really got faster and now it's really fun to do this job.

I hope this helped.


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Pedja Simovic
post Mar 23 2009, 03:09 PM
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I used to do just guitar bass and drums. Simple bass VST in Nuendo and EZdrumms in Nuendo.
Now I am doing backing tracks in Reason !
Reason has everything you need, from samples to ability to create your own combination of sounds. Everything is there. Reason recognizes it as plug in so you open the two and there you go its all set for recording.
I type my parts in Guitar pro then export them, assign instrument and then just record guitar over it !

Hope that helps smile.gif


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mattacuk
post Mar 23 2009, 04:58 PM
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thankyou Emir and Pedja for taking the time to explain these things to me, it is very usefull indeed smile.gif I am lucky enough to have a Pod X3 so no problem with needed a new sound card etc.

With regards to actually using the software I am still unsure as I have no experience with such things. I could almost do with some lessons on using such software. smile.gif


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Emir Hot
post Mar 23 2009, 09:08 PM
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QUOTE (mattacuk @ Mar 23 2009, 03:58 PM) *
thankyou Emir and Pedja for taking the time to explain these things to me, it is very usefull indeed smile.gif I am lucky enough to have a Pod X3 so no problem with needed a new sound card etc.

With regards to actually using the software I am still unsure as I have no experience with such things. I could almost do with some lessons on using such software. smile.gif


Reaper is free, try that you might like it smile.gif


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Tolek
post Mar 23 2009, 10:08 PM
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Here are some other tutorials from Juan M. Valero that could help you:

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Ivan Milenkovic
post Mar 24 2009, 01:44 AM
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You will need DAW (Digital audio workstation) software to produce music. Example of DAW is Reaper, Cubase, Nuendo, ProTools etc. Reaper is free and good for starters. You will need to manipulate with MIDI files. VST instruments that instructors use are playing what they read in the MIDI track of the DAW. For example if you have a C1 note on the MIDI track, and if you assign bass VST like Trilogy, it will play C1 on bass. If you assign drum VST, like EZDrummer, it will play kick. EZD has premade grooves (MIDI files) that you can drag&drop on the timeline in DAW, so you can stack premade loops together to form some basic loops for starters. I advise you to start with drum programming first. Download and install Reaper and EZDdrummer demo. Try to make a simple drum beat and play something over it. Then insert some bass VST, like Trilogy, and try to make some simple bass lines over your guitar track. You can tab the bass in Guitar Pro as well, export MIDI file from there, and import it to Reaper, and assign Trilogy to play it.

These are the basics, and the best way to get to know music production is to start using it, and read some manuals (it can save a lot of time!). Tell us how it went with installing, or anything else, we will be glad to help. smile.gif


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Pedja Simovic
post Mar 24 2009, 01:55 AM
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QUOTE (mattacuk @ Mar 23 2009, 04:58 PM) *
thankyou Emir and Pedja for taking the time to explain these things to me, it is very usefull indeed smile.gif I am lucky enough to have a Pod X3 so no problem with needed a new sound card etc.

With regards to actually using the software I am still unsure as I have no experience with such things. I could almost do with some lessons on using such software. smile.gif



You welcome Matt !

I have POD X3 live as well and use it as sound card in Nuendo smile.gif

I mainly use Guitar pro to type all my instruments in there , then I export MIDI file, open REASON , import that midi file there , and now I can choose what instrument(s) I want to play specific part(s).

Its just awesome.

My recommendation :

- Nuendo (as digital audio workstation )
- EZDrummer (as great source of drum grooves thats easy to use and apply to your own songs!)
- Reason (as awesome software that acts like digital audio workstation but also as a sequencer and has a massive library of VST sounds in it from drums all the way to orchestral things wink.gif
- Guitar Pro ( as a tool to tab your guitar parts but also to write all the other instruments in it !)

I don't have midi keyboard so I do all the work with guitar pro. Once you get into it you will see its not that difficult !

Let me know if you need any help !

Thanks Matt smile.gif


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Marc_Maiden
post Mar 24 2009, 02:09 AM
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thanks pedja and ivan, i never knew about using guitar pro as an midi intstrument....that makes EVERYTHING easier biggrin.gif


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