1) First, I begin with a midi file and open in Sonar 4 Producer.
2) I edit the bass and drum tracks of the file to come as close as possible to the cover. I quantitize the hats and rides at about 6% (random) on the eighth notes using cakewalks quantitize effect. I also vary the volumes of hat and cymbal hits using the random velocity effect.
3) I then insert two VST plug-ins. [Virtual Bass and NUSofting DK+ Drum Synth] (**The wav samples that came with NUSofting DK+ were not what I was looking for so I recorded all my drums from the Pearl Drum site. I created a set there and recorded each hit. Same with the cymbals and hats, I recorded them from Zildjian and Sabian’s web site from their samples**)
4) After I get everything sounding right, I export the bass and drum tracks to a *.wav file and import those into Cakewalk Guitar Tracks Pro
3 and save them as a *.cwb file.
5) I now have my backing track ready for export out of Guitar Tracks. The tracks are then exported with the drums panned 100% left and the bass and synths 100% right. I then convert them to an mp3 file and burn then onto a DVD.
6) Now, my tracks are ready to use live. I use a DVD players outputs to send both the bass (right) and drum (left) channels to a separate input on the mixer. (We also use a 7-inch LCD monitor so we can see the mp3 menu of all the songs). All tracks that are used are unprocessed since I add reverb, compression, panning, widening, etc.. to the bass and the drum channels using rack mount processors. These channels are then mixed together and then out to our 4-speaker Fender Passport Deluxe 250 P.A. system. We use the P.A. for the backing tracks and vocals. The guitars are played through our stacks but 10% of the guitar outputs from the mixer are also sent through the PA. Speaker and stack positioning are key to an awesome sound.
***We currently are gigging with a 3-man band (2 guitarists and a singer), using these backing tracks. We play mostly small clubs and parties but we do have a decent following. We did the full band thing in the early 90’s but family, jobs, time…etc. keep us from going all out again (for now anyway). Nevertheless, we are having fun (and making beer money haha) so I guess that is all that matters.***
Click Here For A Few Samples