Click Tracks - how do you manage gigs where PA supplied is a concern.

rob aylestone

Well-known member
We've always played totally live, but one of the band members has been ill recently and he really struggles with his hands. It's not going to get better, and will certainly get worse. At the moment we have enough songs for 2 x 60 mins, and a few extra's just in case. What I have done is take the problematic songs and use some of his pre-illness tracks from recordings of the band playing live and put a click to the song, and then, as we use in-ears, we've got click, and his note perfect tracks for the show. We use personal mixers normally with our own PA. The rehearsals with the clicks show the system will work, and he can play bits he feels able, but the twiddly bits he doesn't have to worry about. He still sings, and while the switch to IEMs for him will be tough, the guitarist is happy with the switch and me and the drummer have been IEM for years.

The problem we MAY have though is when we do festivals in the summer. No real sound check, probably a line check and a fiddle during the first song by the Foh person - who might be our sound man, but sometimes the PA people are a possessive and hate guest engineers.

Clearly we can provide them with click left and track right, but relying on them to get the click to our ears and the track to the audience just worries me. Without us hearing the click, it will be a mess.

Does anyone do this, and how problematic has it been. We don't have time to take even our mixer and kit and hand them a left/right. it's the usual festival thing - pretty well everything preset so just a ten minute changeover, and then a quick line check and go.
 

Toastedgoat

New member
We've always played totally live, but one of the band members has been ill recently and he really struggles with his hands. It's not going to get better, and will certainly get worse. At the moment we have enough songs for 2 x 60 mins, and a few extra's just in case. What I have done is take the problematic songs and use some of his pre-illness tracks from recordings of the band playing live and put a click to the song, and then, as we use in-ears, we've got click, and his note perfect tracks for the show. We use personal mixers normally with our own PA. The rehearsals with the clicks show the system will work, and he can play bits he feels able, but the twiddly bits he doesn't have to worry about. He still sings, and while the switch to IEMs for him will be tough, the guitarist is happy with the switch and me and the drummer have been IEM for years.

The problem we MAY have though is when we do festivals in the summer. No real sound check, probably a line check and a fiddle during the first song by the Foh person - who might be our sound man, but sometimes the PA people are a possessive and hate guest engineers.

Clearly we can provide them with click left and track right, but relying on them to get the click to our ears and the track to the audience just worries me. Without us hearing the click, it will be a mess.

Does anyone do this, and how problematic has it been. We don't have time to take even our mixer and kit and hand them a left/right. it's the usual festival thing - pretty well everything preset so just a ten minute changeover, and then a quick line check and go.

Are you able to send the festival, or sound company a stage plot. with all I/O needed ? That's usually the way to make sure the sound company is prepared up front. Send them a current stage plot. Most pro sound companies can accommodate your needs, if given advance notice.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
That works for the medium to big festivals, but for those with maybe 2000-3000 people capacity, they're usually run pretty oddly. The PA people are normally decent and efficient, but the organisers let time slots slide, so the half an hour set up time ends up squeezed to maybe 5 mins if there's an end curfew time, as there often is for small, one-off type events in the UK. Everyone slides by five minutes from noon, and by the end slot you either start late, or start with no prep time. We've had a think and what the current proposal is, is to add a Behringer X32 rack to our stage rack that has the IEM TX's in and the P16 distribution - we then run out mic cables just to 4 vocals, bass, keys and guitar, and have them with a Y split permanently stuck on the stage end. We then run out 7 cables, replug at the mic ends to give us our feed and pop out the P16s which can be wired while the previous band is on. The X32 just providing the feeds and the p16s will have the last balance and eq settings they had? Hand the PA a single cable for track and we're away??? It means putting our playback machine in the rack rather than at FOH, but we can live with that. Any thoughts?
 
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