View Full Version : Using backing tracks -

10-02-2004, 01:47 PM
I think my next growth area will come with being able to improv over chord progressions I Write . That way I can take the music we play and practice the solo before taking it public. That means I need to lay down a track......

So far I'm just using a tape recorder, not the best. I would like to be able to hook into my computer and record the backing track this way. However, have no clue how to start. :confused:

I have a new Dell with Windows XP & Windows Media Player ...... HELP!


10-02-2004, 08:32 PM
Let me see if i can make this sound easy ... well it is actually ;)

I'll take it from scratch assuming nothing, so we miss nothing.

Obviously you need
1) A guitar which can be plugged in an amplifier.
2) A soundcard on your pc
3) A wire to connect your guitar to your sound card.

So first hurdle is to identify your line IN on your soundcard, this is usually indicated by a microphone or an ingoing arrow to some circle or something of the sort.

Once plugged if you're lucky you should hear the guitar through your computer speakers. You might need to set the volume of your devices by opening the volume program on you Windows under the sounds settings and modify the input/microphone volume.

That done you need some software which allows multitrack recordings. There are many Audacity is one with the basic features but free

To be honest i don't really thing you can record anything with Media Player. You might find that useful to playback stuff though.

This should give you some things to do for a while. Unfortunately it sounds and looks easy but with computers and the infinite number of configurations available some things might turn out worse. Anyway see how you go with these advice, if you meet further problems on the way post further and we'll see if we can help from there.

g'luck for now ;)

10-02-2004, 09:28 PM
having a multi effects pedal of some sort helps alot as well.

10-03-2004, 09:57 PM
Or if you're at all into playing jazz or blues...just pick up a few Aebersolds. Those work wonders even if he rarely uses the exact chord progressions. Plus you can take out the bass or piano tracks because they are recorded on seperate channels.

10-04-2004, 12:33 PM
I'm on the right track, have downloaded the programs you mentioned, however I'm having problems getting the sound into the computer ----- I know all thumbs, and I'll figure it out. :cool:

I'm on the right track and thanks. :)

10-04-2004, 12:51 PM
COOL glad to hear that ;)

i hope you won't have a lot of trouble hearing yourself through the soundcard ... cause that will be hell to troubleshoot online :(

but anyway we do still think of miracles in that case :D

10-04-2004, 04:35 PM
The easiest way to get sound into your computer is to buy a cheap mic. and plug it into the "line in" on your soundcard, then put the other end next to your amp.

If you want better tone you should invest in a guitarport or similar.

10-04-2004, 11:20 PM
What are Aebersolds? If i may ask. :)

10-04-2004, 11:26 PM
I guess I also need to know. What are Aebersolds, and what is a guitarport? :rolleyes:

10-05-2004, 03:17 AM
Jamey Aebersold is a guy who has made a living off of creating backing tracks for (mostly) jazz standards and a lot of blues and teaching materials in the form of backing tracks. There are well over 100 different ones out there. They come with a book of charts and a CD that will have a piano, bass and drums playing through the changes of each song in the book. You just sit down and improvise. Plus the piano and bass are on different tracks so you can take either of them out of the mix.

Most good music stores will have pretty much every one available. You should check them out even if you aren't into jazz...he has a few ones that are only blues which can certainly help everyone. There's also a few theory/scale ones like the scale syllabis and the diatonic 7th workout one that are pretty long and detailed. All around good stuff even if he does tend to use some funny changes now and then.

10-05-2004, 05:21 AM
This response is assuming that you are playing an electric guitar or somthing that has a "electric" style output. If you are wanting to record and still have a bit of money left over from buying that new Dell this is what I would suggest.

Get a Line 6 Pod XT it has a USB output that you can connect directly to your PC through the USB port. I think there are other similar devices, however, I own a Pod XT Pro and it is great. I think the Pod 2.0 has the same capability and I saw a used one for $126 at a Guitar Center near here ... so you can get them pretty cheap. The plus about the Pod as opposed to just a mike is that it simulates Effects, Amps, Cabinets, Speakers and mike placement so you do not have to try to mic your amp and you can get a really good sound.

The next thing you will need is some multi-track recording software. I use Sonar from Cakewalk. I think you can get a home studio version for $150. You could also use Audacity (suggested above)

And that is it - for less than $300 you have a fully functioning multi-track studio (because you already bought the computer).

As far as backing track recordings...There are also a bunch of "Stand-Alone" recording series that are similar to Aebersolds that have a variety of other styles and also come with the chord charts.