How to Create a Backing Track

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A backing track provides musical accompaniment for a vocalist when live musicians aren't available. Backing tracks are also used to fill out the sound of a live band and add ambiance to a live performance.

Things You'll Need

  • Drum Tracks Backing Vocals Guitar Parts Keyboard Sounds Audio Playback Device
  • Record your backing track with an audio tracking software program such as Pro Tools, which is the industry standard in its class, or use a stand alone recording device like a Fostex MR-16, which is a recorder and mixer built into the one device. Depending on your skill level, you can do this with your home computer or go to a professional studio and employ the services of an audio engineer. If all you need is a simple piano accompaniment for rehearsal, you could use a hand held tape recorder or an mp3 player with a built in microphone.

  • Create and record the drum tracks you wish to use for your backing track. You can use live drums, a drum machine or a keyboard that produces drum tracks. Add percussion sounds to the drums to create a fuller and more professional sound.

  • Record vocal harmonies. Many performers put harmonies and background vocals on their backing tracks to make the performance sound more professional or when background singers are not available.

  • Record guitar and bass guitar parts. Add sound samples, effects and keyboard parts. Many artists use sound effects and and additional harmonizing keyboard parts when a musician is not available to play in a live setting or to save money on hiring additional musicians.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the vocal harmonies on the backing track subtle. You do not want the audience to think you are lip-syncing.
  • Make sure to sound check your audio device before performing, to ensure the backing track sounds natural.

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