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#187550 - 12/31/12 11:20 PM [Off-Topic] MP3 player for live performance
Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 287
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Gale Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 287
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Hi,

I have been burning accompaniment tracks (wav files) to CD for music sets and that works well but it's not very flexible. I would like to try using an MP3 player but I am having a difficult time finding one that allows searching and pausing on a song by song basis.

Does anyone have a suggestion?

Gale
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#187551 - 01/01/13 12:20 AM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Gale]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7579
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7579
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
I've been thinking about borrowing an idea from the DJs..

there is software available that will let you Queue a list of songs (Or pick on the fly from a list, like you want to do)

But the really cool thing about most DJ software is that it tempo adjusts the next song, and fades it in as it fades the other song out, so the same beat continues, and if people are dancing they won't leave the dance floor while you start the next song

Such software definitely exists for notebooks and Ipads,

if it exists for Ipads, then it probably exists for Ipods too

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#187552 - 01/01/13 03:57 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Gale]
Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 272
Loc: Hibbing, MN
multitracker Offline
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Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 272
Loc: Hibbing, MN
Gale,

I've tried many different mp3 players and like this one the best:

http://www.jetaudio.com/products/jetaudio/

Has a lot of features that you will probably not need, but one of the features I like is the lyrics window. You can customize the size and position of the lyrics window. You can embed lyrics into an individual mp3 and they will open automatically when you hit play.

Available for multiple platforms. The "basic" version is free, and is full-featured.

Terry
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#187553 - 01/01/13 04:17 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Gale]
Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 6494
Loc: South Louisiana
Danny C. Offline
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Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 6494
Loc: South Louisiana
Gale,

While some here do just that I would add that your individual level of success will be determined by the type of show/performance you will do. For instance if you are just doing vocals and do not have to perform a large number of tunes the MP3 should do fine. But for me personally with a bank of 900 or so tunes from which to prepare a 35-40 tune play-list for an hour's show at which I play guitar on every tune it just does not do the job.

Of course I will be the first to admit that I have become dependent on the laptop screen for chords, keys and lyrics more and more.

As stated I am sure you will get many varying opinions here but the laptop is the magic charm for me on live gigs.

Later,
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#187554 - 01/01/13 05:28 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Danny C.]
Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 287
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Gale Offline
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Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 287
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Thank you for the quick response… especially on a holiday 

Good luck Pat with the DJ software. Automatic tempo changes are not something I need but I can see why a DJ would want that functionality. I hope it works well for you.

Thank you Terry, the software you are suggesting looks great. I think I still want a hardware MP3 player but I already have a lap top I could use. So your suggestion may be what I decide to use. It’s way more versatile than the hardware MP3 players I have researched.

Hi Danny, I was hoping you would respond. I have read many of your posts over the years and I know you have a one man show and you are very experienced in what I am doing. Most of the time I just sing and/or lead the singing but sometimes I play guitar or mandolin along with the tracks. My sets are short… usually 4 to 6 songs so that’s why I thought a hardware MP3 player might be a good backup for the CDs. I will be involved in a memorial service this Saturday and I don’t know what material the Church can handle. I will find out tomorrow but I was thinking that a portable MP3 player would allow me to just hand it to the sound person and not worry about burning CDs. I could also make last minute set changes if requested.

But I do understand what you are saying about using a laptop. Terry was suggesting the same thing and that may be the best way to go. Although I would be a little more hesitant to hand the laptop to the sound person… maybe I would ask for a mixer feed and keep the laptop with me…. I’ll have to think about that some more. BTW… having lyrics and chords visible are required for me all of the time. I’m used to hard copies (master book) but I have seen people use laptops for this and it seemed to work very well. At least the fan didn’t blow their lead sheet on the floor or turn the page mid song <LOL>. So what software are you using?

Thanks again guys… I will consider all you have said and make a decision soon 

Gale
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#187555 - 01/01/13 05:44 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Gale]
Registered: 03/09/07
Posts: 1336
Loc: Friesland, The Netherlands
Mike sings Offline
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Registered: 03/09/07
Posts: 1336
Loc: Friesland, The Netherlands
If you have a laptop; use it! No need to purchase any programs either. I use a laptop on my gigs using nothing but Windows media player. With the file explorer open I can drag any song into my playlist whenever the situation calls for it. My iPhone acts as a back-up should my laptop crash. In the 8 years I'm using laptops I never had a problem with them.
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#187556 - 01/01/13 11:15 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Mike sings]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
Hi Gale. We started out with playing cd's on a boom box. Then went on to an archos player and then to a Tascam mv-pt1 voice trainer. We wanted to be able to start and stop songs so that we could talk to the audience between songs. I preferred for the controls to be on the outside. With windows upgrades, etc. , we finally started using our ASUS netbook and a free flash mp3 player program called AIMP3 (You can setup as many playlists as you want and I just drag songs to any order I want on the playlists). We are also using an ASUS Xonar3 plugged into the usb port with an output from the xonar to the speaker monitor, either Roland micro cube or cm-30. We also have a Diamond brand cable to transfer data between the desktop and netbook. I held out for a long time before using the netbook, but I'm glad that I finally started using it. Just my 4 cents worth.

Stan
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#187557 - 01/01/13 11:31 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Gale]
Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 385
Loc: Los Angeles, CA.
Brallan Offline
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Registered: 01/18/07
Posts: 385
Loc: Los Angeles, CA.
Seems like a newly-emerging configuration should bring the best of all worlds: Windows 8 Pro on a new touchscreen tablet computer (MS Surface?... but I don't want to start any rants about MS).

It should run full BB/RB and any other DAW or music software, and at the same time, should be able to use lots of different MP3/WMA software players for setlists, however you want. And it should be able to move files, etc. painlessly in the cloud, so we can keep our big screen home desktop with all the had drives.

And, best of all, unlike a regular laptop or netbook, should sit nicely on a music stand or keyboard "desk."

I bet some of you are already going this way...if so, keep us posted. Is there any flaw in the above thinking?
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#187558 - 01/02/13 10:05 AM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Brallan]
Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4476
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4476
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
I've tried a few different ways and ended up with a laptop and Windows Media Player.

Complete details on how I use it on stage can be read here:
http://www.nortonmusic.com/backing_tracks.html

Take what you want and leave the rest.

Insights and incites by Notes
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#187559 - 01/02/13 12:14 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2384
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2384
Loc: South Africa
I had an interesting and potential disastrous situation with my laptop! Quite funny actually. I have all my lyrics and chords programmed into karaoke files so when I play an mp3, the lyrics and chords automatically come up and scroll in perfect time (similar to BIAB scrolling lyrics) . It did take quite a lot of work to set these all up but once done they are fantastic for gigging UNTIL I did a gig at an outdoor venue and I could read zilch on the computer screen because of the glare. I was a bit stuffed at the time cause I didn’t have a back up and I really relied in those lyrics and chords! Now I am learning not to rely on those, I just have some “crib” notes in a flip file and I do find it works much better..you are forced to learn the song and you can make eye contact with the audience.

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#187560 - 01/02/13 01:47 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 3900
Loc: Kennesaw (Atlanta) GA
Ryszard Offline
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Registered: 09/28/07
Posts: 3900
Loc: Kennesaw (Atlanta) GA
IMO you always want to keep direct control of your player, i.e., keep it or your laptop on stage with you. Murphy's Law applies here in full measure. If something goes wrong you will be able to see what it is and make the best adjustment possible. Not so much if the thing is back at the sound board. Good luck, and let us know your eventual solution.

R.
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#187561 - 01/02/13 02:07 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: JoanneCooper]
Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4476
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4476
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Quote:

I had an interesting and potential disastrous situation with my laptop!<...>




I don't need the laptop for lyrics, just as an mp3 player (although music and lyrics are convenient, especially if someone comes up in the middle of a song to request the song you played 3 tunes ago).

And a good laptop is reliable...

I've been doing one-nighters since 2002 with ThinkPad laptops and have had only 2 problems (1) the hard drive started making noise so I replaced it the next day (2) the CMOS battery died on a 7 year old laptop so I replaced it with a $5 Radio Shack battery.

I do one-nighers for a living, so they get very rough treatment. The laptops I use do not go on the Internet, have no bloatware on them (I order them direct from Lenovo - before that IBM), and are much more reliable than any mp3 player I've ever owned.

However, I do bring a spare, because I'm a "the show must go on" kind of a guy.

Of course YMMV

If you ask a dozen musicians, you'll get at least 10 different answers. What is best for me may not be best for you.

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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#187562 - 01/02/13 04:59 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Also a very good idea to invest in a Kensington laptop locking cable and lash the thing to something very heavy on the stage, like the Grand Piano.

And don't think that the places you play in are "above" gear pinchers.

Some of the poshest places are where the gear disappears...


--Mac
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#187563 - 01/03/13 11:54 AM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Brallan]
Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
Shastastan Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 1252
Loc: CA
I don't know of any flaw, Brad, but I've never seen an MS Surface tablet up close either. I have used a manhasset music stand for our netbook though. I forgot to mention that our netbook, with 365gb hd, cost $275 at Best Buy. That was probably not a bargain, but still a lot cheaper than the 10" tablets. My eyes are not good enough to use an ipod of iphone for gigs.

Stan
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Cornet Curmudgeon

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#187564 - 01/03/13 01:14 PM [Off-Topic] Re: MP3 player for live performance [Re: Shastastan]
Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 287
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Gale Offline
Apprentice

Registered: 10/11/05
Posts: 287
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Thank you all for the excellent comments. I see a very strong preference for latops rather than hardware MP3 players. I am convinced... a laptop is the way to go. I looked at some MP3 players and found it difficult to read most of them. I'm an old guy... turning 62 in a couple of weeks so my eyes are a little tired.

I realy appreciate the suggestions and advice... I'll start working on the laptop tonight.


Gale
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Mr. G

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