We've started to use backing tracks when playing live as a band over the last couple of years.
Why Use Them?
There are some sounds and beats that work better produced in the studio/ on someone's laptop at home and used as a backing track rather than played live. Some intricate sounds and regular synth rhythms are easier to use when you know they are synched in with the rest of the instruments.
How Can I Use Them?
You band will need to be using in ear monitors rather than floor wedges and the track is split into left and right. The left channel is sent to the band's in ears and contains the backing track (synths, electronic drums etc), a click track to play along to and vocal cues (by a nice un-named American lady). The right channel is sent to the front of house so the congregation can hear the backing track but not a metronome and not the American Lady (although she is fantastic). Your band then plays along to the track.
Pros and Cons?
For more dance based songs and ambient songs backing tracks can really add sound and textures to the normal live band set up. A disadvantage is that the track will direct where you have to go to during the song. There are live loop systems like Ableton Live that let you direct the song though (I haven't used these yet.)
Here are two of my tracks that you can download for free! I would recommend having a live drummer, bassist, electric guitarist and singer to accompany the tracks.
My Treasure (F#)
The Stream (A)
If you have any questions on how to use them then do get in touch via the contact page!
Written on 09/09/15 by Olly Knight