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#195712 - 02/24/13 04:25 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: Danny C.]
Joe V Offline
Expert

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 1000
Loc: NYC
Quote:

simplest, least expensive product to play back MP3s - with a decent sized screen




...quite often, you get what you pay for...

The advice for playing .wav over .mp3 for sound quality is good, sound (pun intended : ) advice.

But I think convenience is king, and carrying around the library in your pocket is really convenient. I would say your best bet for usability, quality, price, and small size would be the iPod touch - the more capacity the better (depending on your needs).

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_ipod/family/ipod_touch

But it is rather pricey - 299 to 399.

So - just for you, at no extra cost, I googled "best alternatives to iPod touch".

Here's one of the first hits:

http://www.t3.com/features/best-mp3-players-to-buy

There is plenty of advice on how to get a good mp3 player for less money.

As far as the best bang for the buck in the laptop or tablet world, I'm not sure, but would be interested in other peoples' hardware suggestions in that area.

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#195713 - 02/24/13 04:52 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: pooch]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
Quote:

Appreciate the responses, but I am looking for the simplest, least expensive product to play back MP3s - with a decent sized screen that I can actually read/scroll the song titles and obviously with decent quality... I am NOT interested in a phone... thanks.




You have a lot of ways to go. I'm using an ASUS netbook. I already had it when I could no longer use my mp3 player. The sound output was not good at all until I added an ASUS xonar which plugs into usb and is about the size of a flash drive. Now I've got great sound. I'm using a flash player program called AIMP3. I like it because I can set it for single play. I like using playlists with it, too. My desktop is not wifi so I bought a transfer cable that has it's own software built into the cable. It shows all the files on both the host and remote cpu's. I think we paid $275 for the netbook with 325gb. I did upgrade to Windows home premium for $30. We also use the netbook for trips. Our current setup just sort of osmosed over time, but I wish we had it earlier. YMMV.

Stan
_________________________
Cornet Curmudgeon

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#195714 - 02/24/13 04:55 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: Joe V]
Kevin Woolley Offline
Expert

Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 831
Loc: Pietersburg, South Africa
You can play wav files on Android - iPhone too I think.

Just that they obviously take up more space but if premium sound quality is needed then it's worth using more storage. That said most people could not tell the difference in a blindfold test between wav and 320kbps mp3's.

Kevin

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#195715 - 04/14/13 08:47 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: Kevin Woolley]
Rockman59 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/03/12
Posts: 9
Loc: La Quinta, CA
I use a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7" tablet primarly for backing tracks when doing my music gigs...but it has a lot of great features for other uses too. It will play mp.3, WAV files,etc, also has Wi-Fi, camera, etc. There is a great backing tracks app availble at the Google Store...the app lets you load up a master file of tunes on your Tab 2 then create your own set lists (or play lists.) You control the start of the tune...the music will play and then stop at the end of the tune....this is a great feature for playing live gigs as most mp.3 players will just continue from track to track on their own...not good for a live music act. The Tab 2 is selling for $179 at the big box stores. I have been using mine for over 6 months.....no problems.


Edited by Rockman59 (04/14/13 08:48 PM)

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#195716 - 04/15/13 09:38 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: Rockman59]
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4348
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
I use a laptop. Why? I don't do set lists, and going from song to song on a laptop is quick. While I'm playing a song, I can reach over and type a few letters on the laptop, and it's ready for the next song.

Why don't I do set lists? I'm not clairvoyant. I have no idea what will be best for them 10 minutes from now. While I'm playing a song, I'm observing the audience and using my experience to guess at what would be the best song to play next. If they are on the dance floor to a fast one, but their faces look like they are tired, another fast one won't do as I'll lose them. Conversely if they are full of energy a slow one wouldn't be appropriate next.

Music is a dialog between the musician and the audience, not a monologue. (side note - why aren't the endings of dialog and monologue spelled the same?) I can go instantly from song to song when needed, and I can change my mind during the last few moments of the song I'm currently playing and still get to the next song instantly.

When people come up and tell me, "Thanks for a wonderful evening" I know I paced the crowd well.

Of course, as always YMMV - there is more than one right way to do this.

Insights and incites by Notes
_________________________
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http://www.nortonmusic.com

100% MIDI Super-Styles recorded by live, pro, studio musicians for a live groove
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#195717 - 04/15/13 11:13 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: Notes Norton]
greg64 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/12
Posts: 42
I use a package called OnSong with my iPad2 which can also put out lyrics to the screen if you want; shows the chords and lyrics of course, and allows you to create "sets". You can also auto-pull back chords and lyrics from the web if you need a particular song. iTunes is useless.

This package was created mainly for people playing in churches I think, and so created specifically for playing your backing tracks.

It also always cues at 0 and and you have the option to stop and when it starts it starts automatically from 0 which is good.

Loads of other stuff.

The only thing I wish it included was EQ for individual songs, which would really polish it off, I've written to them about that.

Here is a link http://www.onsongapp.com/perform/

It also can be used with a foot pedal for starting and stopping songs which seems cool.

Cheers
Greg


Edited by greg64 (04/15/13 11:16 AM)

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#195718 - 04/24/13 04:11 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: pooch]
Douglas Kvandal Offline
Newbie

Registered: 09/08/09
Posts: 2
I've been using an iPad with the ForScore app for a couple of years now.
ForScore can display a fake book page with the audio file already attached. Two birds, one stone.

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#195719 - 04/26/13 01:16 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: Douglas Kvandal]
jazzmammal Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6477
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
iPads are very cool and all that but Pooh is talking about cheapest. $500-600 is not cheap. I keep looking at them, lots of friends have them and I think they are cool and pretty useful but every time I think about it I find something else more useful to me for that kind of money. $200 or so I would probably get one but not six.

Bob
_________________________
Biab/RB latest build, Win 10 64 bit, Intel 4770, 256 Gig SSD, 16 Gigs Ram, Roland Sonic Cell, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg PA1XPro, Garritan JABB, Hypercanvas, Sampletank 3, more.

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#195720 - 04/28/13 08:44 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: jazzmammal]
silvertones Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 7207
Just to give some perspective I'll describe my system that is on the other end of extreme.For me I not only want to sound like a band I want to feel like a band.
I use a laptop with RB. My tracks are then setup to go to an ESI Gigaport HD+ that is a USB 8 channel Playback interface. These 8 channels then go into a 16 channel Hardware mixer. I use a TC Helicon Harmony GXT for vocals into 2 more channels and finally play bass through a Tech 21 VT Bass pre into another channel.The output of the mixer then goes to a 31 band mono EQ. The output of the EQ to a BBE Sonic Maximiser.Then to an active xover. The Freq. above 100 Hz goes to a 1000 Watt Crown and out to a pair of 15"& horn tops. The freq below 100Hz goes to a 1500 watt Crown and out to a pair of 15" subs.
I have pre built everything so that setup is about 20 minutes.
I also have a pair of 10" subs and 10" + horn tops that I can use instead of the big speakers for smaller gigs. All else stays the same.
_________________________
John
ESI Gigaport HD+
Lenovo Turion II /4 Gig Ram/ Win7x64
15.6" Monitor
"The only Band is a Real Band"
http://wintertexaninfo.com/Bands/JohnnyD.html

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#195721 - 04/29/13 06:44 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: silvertones]
90 dB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 4612
Loc: Florida
John,

I believe that the TC Helicon Harmony GXT is designed to work from a guitar input. Does it work well with your bass signal for harmonies, or do you set the key manually?


Regards,


Bob
_________________________
Dyslectics Untie!


https://90dbband.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/90-db



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#195722 - 04/29/13 07:57 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: 90 dB]
silvertones Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 7207
Quote:

John,

I believe that the TC Helicon Harmony GXT is designed to work from a guitar input. Does it work well with your bass signal for harmonies, or do you set the key manually?


Regards,


Bob



I have built a style that is just piano playing chords in root position.I then convert this midi part into audio. This track is not routed through the ESI card but to the internal card in the lappy. The head phone out is fed to the GXT guitar in. Works real well.You never hear this part as I don't feed the guitar output of the GXT to anything.
_________________________
John
ESI Gigaport HD+
Lenovo Turion II /4 Gig Ram/ Win7x64
15.6" Monitor
"The only Band is a Real Band"
http://wintertexaninfo.com/Bands/JohnnyD.html

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#195723 - 04/29/13 08:17 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: silvertones]
90 dB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 4612
Loc: Florida
Interesting. Thanks.

I'm toying with the idea of using a GXT for my wife's harmony vocals, but she plays bass. Might work better for us to take my guitar output to feed the GXT.

And here I thought I had all the gear I would ever need!


Regards,


Bob
_________________________
Dyslectics Untie!


https://90dbband.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/90-db



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#201928 - 05/01/13 05:03 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: 90 dB]
Pat Marr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7497
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
In my opinion, using a laptop opens more possibilities than other systems that do nothing but play a track.

The Laptop lets you play from a sequencing program. Sequencing programs (Like Power Tracks, Real Band, Sonar etc) usually have the ability to work with both audio and midi, and also offer more routing possibilities. Routing options can let you do things like send the bass track to a bass amp, guitar track to a guitar amp etc


The MIDI can be used to control devices such as lights, volume, effects, patch changes etc all without having to stomp on pedals or distract you in any way.

Midi driven devices also include vocal processors, which can let one performer sound like many by providing harmonies in real-time.

A sequencer also lets you keep your songs divided into separate tracks... so if a friend wants to sit in for a few songs or the whole gig, you can must the instrument he plays. Or, if you use the tracks to flesh out the sound of a whole band, and the keyboard guy gets sick or quits before a gig, you can turn that track back on and never miss a beat.

And as Notes Norton said, it gives you enhanced ability to change songs on the fly

With a laptop You can play from chord charts and keep the lyrics on screen

and many sequencers include a "juke box" feature that lets you set up play lists, and then it plays the songs in order. There are also USB foot pedals available for not much money that let you control the flow of the songs hands-free

And these days laptops are often less expensive than "pads&pods"... its a case of supply and demand. Now is a very good time to buy a laptop... you can get a lot of functionality for not much money

Anyway, these are the reasons why I opt to use a laptop.

But, as stated earlier.. if I only wanted to play a backing track, I'd definitely use an MP3 player of some kind.

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#201929 - 05/01/13 05:05 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: pooch]
jcspro40 Offline
Expert

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 828
Loc: Ohio-USA
Quote:
I am looking for the simplest, least expensive product to play back MP3s - with a decent sized screen that I can actually read/scroll the song titles and obviously with decent quality... I am NOT interested in a phone... thanks.


Have Fun!
_________________________
Custom Core2Quad 3.2Ghz, 8gb memory, 1gb nVidia dual monitor card, 1tb OS HDD, 2 2gb Internal HDD, 8tb External HDD, dual LG 27" Monitors, Win7 x64 Ultimate, BiaB/RB 2017, Reaper 4.75, Mixbus 32C, IK Multimedia / iZotope / Plug & Mix VST-VSTi Collections

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#203444 - 05/16/13 06:00 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Gig playback options [Re: Pat Marr]
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
Pat, Notes and others make some excellent points for using a laptop. In fact in an earlier post,. I also extolled the laptop/netbook virtues. However, recently I've had problems with it. Initially, I thought it was the mp3 software player that I was using so I switched to Windows media player. It does the same thing with wmp also--sort of like some buffering process like when you send something to the printer.

The problem is this.....When I push play for the 1st song, it doesn't play and the little circle just keeps spinning. This only happens with the first song. I use playlists for the types of gigs we do. So far, the only way I've found to combat this is to get everything setup and then put the netbook to sleep. I wake it up when we get to the gig. I've had this happen twice and the last time was with an audience of a couple hundred people. Well, that's pretty embarrassing. I'm going to check and see if the same thing happens if I don't load up a player pgm and just double click on a tune in a folder instead. In the mean time, I've ordered a little Phillips mp3 player to use as a backup. There's really no time to futz with this kind of stuff in the middle of a church service. The sound quality is fine. I only use single play. My ears are wide open to suggestions. Oh yeah, I also have a Nexus 10 that I haven't tried for gigs since I'm not certain of it's reliability.

Stan
_________________________
Cornet Curmudgeon

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