If you think of the past, making a backing track and using it for live performances, was considered a kind of ‘cheating’ for many artists. However, in the world of today, it is a very widely accepted, and even a very integral part of the live music experience of the modern days.
Bands which have always been known for traditional use of guitar-bass-drums, also use backing tracks behind or under the stage, in order to add to the effects to the live output. But how to create such a backing track in simple steps?
Whether you are planning to use the backing track for a karaoke night at the upcoming gathering or designing a unique promotion package using the track, you will want to know the details of how to do this without too much hassle.
You can also experiment and create blurred tracks which only you can comprehend and hence personalize. We are here to help you through some of the simple steps that can land you to your goals- creation of your desired backing track.
Step 1: Open the DAW software of your preference
It is expected that you know the techniques of using the DAW software (Digital Audio Workstation). Actually, you need to have a DAW before anything else. Some possible DAWs you can own include the Reason, Cubase, Garageband, Protools, Logic or any other of this sort. Let us base this guide on Cubase, which is one of the most common DAWs out there.
Sometimes, DAWs can be super expensive, and sometimes even free. Most of the times, with a high-end MacBook, you get a free ‘Garageband’. If you have no other option, opt for Audacity, which is completely free. Getting one, if you still do not have a DAW, is indeed the primary step before we talk about anything else.
Step 2: Take a good look at the VSTI’s that you own
As part of your DAW, you will have some Virtual Studio Technology Instruments (VSTIs). If not, you can download the ones you wish to have. VSTIs have developed over the past 2 decades and in the modern days; almost any DAW includes VSTIs which you can experiment with.
You can even expect VSTIs to sound close to real instruments, to the extent that you may not know the difference between them. When you play around and alter the VSTI of the tracks, they will end up sound extremely different- and that is fun, is it not?
Step 3: Time to get your Keyboard Controller
When it comes to using the VSTs, you must have a top-notch quality keyboard or rather, a keyboard controller. This is pretty essential because you have to be able to play the notes on the keyboard, translating those notes into the VSTI’s that you find easy.
You may also choose to use a virtual keyboard on your device. However, a controller is a great, and not too expensive, option as well. The controller can allow you to play notes that can connect to the computer by either an interface or an USB, and they can translate to whatever instrument you prefer.
Step 4: Line up your real instruments (such as the drums, guitar, bass, and so on)
It can be fun to try to combine both real and non-real (also referred to as the MIDI) instruments in order to come put with a track by together all of these together. Hence, at this point, gather all sorts of instruments you own, and get them ready to play.
For instance, if you have a cool guitar lying around which you think can fit well at this point, grab it and bring on your amplifier. Warm the instruments up to put together the track. You have complete freedom about which ones you want to choose.
You may even choose to use all the real guitars and keep the drums as MIDI instruments. You can also add orchestral instruments if you think it fit. You have the freedom to make up your mind about which real instruments to use and which to use as fake or MIDI instruments.
Step 5: Some other gears you may require
While you may add many small gears to the list, there are some gears which you will anyway need for a perfect back track creation. In our opinion, the pre-amplifier of some sort is indeed an important one to name.
This will allow you to connect your microphones with it. And hence, you need microphones as well, besides some instrument cables of course.
In order to smoothen the process of recording a back track, it is important to ensure you have the right gears at your reach.
Step 6: Create Riff, Loop or Sample. Fill out the song with all the instruments. Master the track.
This is indeed the simplest step. Now that you have all that you need, you only need to follow the basic steps to create the riff, loop or adding the sample. You can then choose your favorite song, fill it with all sorts of synths and the other instruments (real or fake).
You may pan the instruments to allow for more space for the other instruments you want to jam with. At the end, you simply master the track.
You can then choose to share it to iTunes or export it as an mp3 in the computer location of your preference.
You are now well-equipped with the knowledge regarding everything you need to make a backing track. While this will differ in different DAWs, the basics will stay the same. You first need to ensure you have the correct gears, correct surrounding and patience to create your back track which you can later flaunt. Check well before, which DAW is most compatible with operating system and your computer.