Metal Guitarist Forums banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,588 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys, I have started a new band with the intention of mixing a few genres of music i really dig. I was thinking of an instrumental - jazz / djent / psychill (electronic) / prog metal fusion; i know it sounds out there but i think we can pull it off without sounding forced.

I have a couple of songs written already, and have the line up off the band pretty much squared away minus the drummer.

Now in the past most drummers i have worked with have had either a problem playing to a click track or were unable to keep up with tempo changes and meter changes.

All of us have come to the conclusion that for this project we would rather just use drum samples (have been playing around with superior drummer 2) to record and hopefully play live with.

Now since i haven't really ever seen a band do this; are there any draw backs to playing live with a backing track of drums / synths?

As an audience member would you look down upon it,is it too out of place in the metal world?

Really would love to hear your opinions :metal:
 

·
NICE BLACKMACHINE YO
Joined
·
7,276 Posts
Hey guys, I have started a new band with the intention of mixing a few genres of music i really dig. I was thinking of an instrumental - jazz / djent / psychill (electronic) / prog metal fusion; i know it sounds out there but i think we can pull it off without sounding forced.

I have a couple of songs written already, and have the line up off the band pretty much squared away minus the drummer.

Now in the past most drummers i have worked with have had either a problem playing to a click track or were unable to keep up with tempo changes and meter changes.

All of us have come to the conclusion that for this project we would rather just use drum samples (have been playing around with superior drummer 2) to record and hopefully play live with.

Now since i haven't really ever seen a band do this; are there any draw backs to playing live with a backing track of drums / synths?

As an audience member would you look down upon it,is it too out of place in the metal world?

Really would love to hear your opinions :metal:
I'm always a bit miffed when I see bands that rely on pre recorded instruments. A wee sample here and there is fine, but if a band played an entire set with an overdubbed vocal or drums or trumpet or whatever, I'd be a bit miffed.

My only advice would be make sure you know whatever system you use inside out, as I've seen countless bands with laptops crash and burn on stage when it crashes. Know what goes where and how EVERYTHING works, and take a spare if you can at all.
 

·
ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹɐln&#38
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
I was planning on doing this in the past but it was just me on guitar and I had a bassist. We practiced often at a rehearsal space and it was really easy to do, very convenient.

Definitely have a backup though. I used my laptop through the PA but I had an iPod shuffle just in case.

Oh yeah and you don't have to practice as loud, another plus.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,428 Posts
Wirelessly posted (A Destroyer of short people: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

I'm excited to hear the product, post it up when you finish/start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
617 Posts
I've seen a band play metal with recorded drums. To be honest, it didn't work too well, there was very little energy on stage and the performance seemed really lacking. If you are very active on stage you could probably make up for it though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,428 Posts
Get a drummer. They add a TON of energy to a live act. You can get away with midi keys or horns, but if I were at a venue with a few stages, I'd completely pass up the group without a drummer.

My advice: use programmed drums to practice to until you can find a drummer who is talented enough to pull it all off :yesway:
 

·
Prague Owlmighty
Joined
·
1,770 Posts
Get a drummer. They add a TON of energy to a live act. You can get away with midi keys or horns, but if I were at a venue with a few stages, I'd completely pass up the group without a drummer.

My advice: use programmed drums to practice to until you can find a drummer who is talented enough to pull it all off :yesway:
This
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
3 Posts
Get a drummer. They add a TON of energy to a live act. You can get away with midi keys or horns, but if I were at a venue with a few stages, I'd completely pass up the group without a drummer.

My advice: use programmed drums to practice to until you can find a drummer who is talented enough to pull it all off :yesway:
This.

I've seen it done, and it's not pretty.
 

·
BT
Joined
·
68 Posts
I guy I used to be in a band with had a side gig where he'd play covers on an acoustic and sing to backing tracks. It was pretty simple stuff. One thing for sure is if you get out of time it can turn into a really disaster. Drum machines wait for no one.
 

·
...
Joined
·
18,790 Posts
I've seen it done where it was pretty cool, a couple of times, but in both cases they were also very sample heavy, had great stage presence, and were at least partly industrial influenced.

That said, I've seen both of those bands since, and they now have drummers, and are way better :lol:
 

·
Mod Britannia
Joined
·
7,233 Posts
My friend and myself were looking at doing this for our old project before I had to move up North (which we'll hopefully be resurrecting now I'm back home). That wasn't because we didn't want a drummer, it was because we could only find drummer's that fell into two camps:

1. Awesome as fuck, totally unreliable
2. 150% reliable, but crap

Our plan was to put the mp3's of the set onto an mp3 player or iPod with a track of a few seconds of silence in between so we had time to start and get ready to play or stop to interact with the crowd etc. The hope was that we'd play a few gigs like that and someone would offer to be our drummer. We'd thought about bringing a powered monitor to runs some drum sound on stage so we didn't have to rely on a FOH monitored mix having enough drums for us to hear, plus not every venue here has monitors.

Ultimately we wanted to find a live drummer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
As I guy who has played in more than a couple of band without drummers, I say go for it. The advice I have to offer is the following (some of these you mentioned already)...

A. Try, as much as possible, to run your drum samples through an amp system that plays onstage with you, at a volume that a real drummer would play. Guitar amps will not work for this, however powered pa wedges, bass amp with horns, keyboard amps, or bose towers will work swimmingly. Like a real drummer, these speakers should go behind you and face the audience. Done correctly, this will negate about 80% of the "lack of real drummer energy" feel people complain about.

B. Unless you have you own soundguy, send them a mono (or two tracks tops) di of your sampled drums. Expect soundguys to complain and scratch their heads, this is normal for this circumstance.

c. If you can find someone to start and stop samples for you, this is much better then having one long song with spaces for you to speak to the audience. It also gives you a convenient way to shorten your set if need be.

D. Make comedy. I've seen bands that will bring a stuffed animal, put sticks its hands, and put them on a throne behind the speakers. Comedy is your ally here, and will go along to help people "get over" the fact that you don't have a "real drummer".

E. If it's two of you (plus sampler) your stage presence should be enough to make up for a missing member.

F. If you're running samples from the computer, you might want to consider running some synced video as well. It's way easier with sequenced drums then live drums, and it gives people something else to focus on other then "where's the drummer".

Hope this helps. Good luck.


Edit:

Reading back I wanted to touch base on this "As an audience member would you look down upon it,is it too out of place in the metal world? "

IMO, it's depends. The last I personally saw a band do this was Necropolis when MOLD played Memphis last year. Their tunes where killer, they put on a great show, and no one seemed to care. That said, in the metal world, variance isn't tolerated very well, but it also depends on the subgenre. Things are changing but a general rule of thumb I've found is the older your audience is (or old school) the less tolerant they tend to be. Again, comedy, and/or your ability to have a rapport with your audience, is going to be your friend here, as well as the quality of your tunes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,968 Posts
Ive seen a bunch of bands where its one guy or two guys playing along to a DAT recorder or iPod or whatever. And they all sucked.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,428 Posts
The energy isn't about the sound, it's about watching some guy banging away at a kit, keeping time with the other guys, and generally exuding percussive talent.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,428 Posts
Reading back I wanted to touch base on this "As an audience member would you look down upon it,is it too out of place in the metal world? "
It's out of place in the musician world. When I go to shows, I want to see musicianship, and a LIVE performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts

I rest my case. Just sayin'.

....and yes I realize they have a live "percussionist" (ie...guy who runs their samples and hit the occasional cymbal or tom), but can you see him?

Better example:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,428 Posts
YouTube - Samael live at Mostovna I 06-02-09

I rest my case. Just sayin'.

....and yes I realize they have a live "percussionist" (ie...guy who runs their samples and hit the occasional cymbal or tom), but can you see him?

Better example:
Samael - The Ones Who Came Before Live In Tilburg 2009
It's a personal opinion thing. And besides, you aren't going to convince someone who loves seeing live music that live music without a drummer is still exciting with a youtube video. Just say'n :D
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top