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Effective use of WSB/Tracks?


So I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I thought I'd give it a try. I used WSB (LOVE the program; wish I had it 15 years ago) twice now. The second time was more successful, but I think I stumbled into a fundamental problem with using backing tracks. So, it's not a WSB question, per-se, but is a usage question in general.

The problem I had is that I couldn't always hear the click track and guide well enough to stay on track. Literally. To pick one example, at the end of one chorus going into a bridge, I was a whole measure off. Yeeeeouch. Similar things happened in 3 of the 5 songs I did. Made for an uncomfortable Sunday for me. Part of it was that the congregation starting singing loud enough that the click track basically "faded" in my hearing. Maybe it was that the congregation actually sang loud enough, and I was surprised, and switched the "focus" of my hearing from the click track to the congregation for a moment. Whatever it was......it was also disastrous. Another time, the congregation starting clapping.....on their own tempo. With that going on, you have two "click tracks". ACK!!!!

I can think of a few things to do, like always make sure that there's a different click sound on beat 1. And make sure the guides always have a little extra hint, like instead of just "Bridge", they say "Bridge...2...3...4". Basically, there have to be ways for me to get back "on track" when I get off track. With real, live musicians, it just happens automatically (yeah, assuming they're good enough, and they watch your face for the scowl or something....). With backing tracks, basically, the track drives the live musicians. And if the live musicians are off, well, they better fix it or suffer the results of a train wreck. But with live musicians, the leader of the band drives everything, and the musicians follow.

So, fundamentally, using backing tracks is, shall I say, "fragile". The corrections that are there with live musicians (which we could say is both directions --- to and from the leader) are radically different in a tracks-driven song (where corrections can only be done by the live musicians, and the track is completely unforgiving).

So I'm curious, have others dealt with this problem, and if so, how did you "fix" this?
1 response Add Yours
    Replied by WSB Support on Tuesday, April 18 2017, 07:02 AM · Hide · #1
    I can think of some ideas to enhance the presentation, both audio and visually, it it would help.
    - As you mentioned, add count-ins or vary the click more
    - Add more options to the visual click (and maybe improve its timing using something like Ableton Link), to make the section timing more obvious, like a big counter at the section jumps, etc
    - Blue sky here, but maybe we could combine some other ideas from the forum to make something like a Karaoke hopping ball effect by adding a beat marker to the chord line (see attachment)

    The idea is that the + would signal a timing line, the slashes would fall on the beats and the bars on the measures. Since we know the time at any instant, coding a song up this way (which would take some time) could allow some kind of a bouncing ball or sliding background effect behind the chords/lyrics to help keep you in time. The bar/ball would slide along, varying its rate to get to the next beat at the right time. Maybe I'll play around with that idea sometime.


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