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Semi OT: Backing tracks


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Happy holidays everyone-

I have mentioned before, that I have a side gig where I sing over backing tracks. We had our holiday show last Saturday, great evening.

Our next show is in February. There are some songs which I would love to cover, but they are too obscure for the commercial `karaoke download` sites. I know there is some software that can remove vocals from existing tracks, but I`m not sure how that fares with copyright protection. In this case, I`m so fired up to cover this band`s songs that I sent an inquiry to them about getting an authorized copy from them or their record company. They have an active website but, the group officially disbanded some years ago. I don`t know if they will reply.

Suggestions?

 

P.S. I have a studio session on the 22nd. I asked Mr. studio guy about it-he said it`s possible but there is a noticeable loss of quality.

 

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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I recall some processors and sampling devices that had various tricks to eliminate vocal tracks: some of them relied on notching out the frequency bands of the vocal line, which of course hacked all the rest of the track. Some had a "center-canceling" feature for stereo processing, as most often the vocals are panned to the center of a mix. I'm sure with digital encoding, and a LOT of effort, you could attempt a more surgical approach, but you're still cutting out wide swaths of audio.

 

Can't begin to address the copyright issues associated with the process? My highly uneducated, and unprofessional guess is that it would be akin to the laws regarding Digital Samples, as you're still lifting tracks from an existing, copyrighted product.

 

FWIW, I use a Looper for backing tracks, to perform a few of my own pieces where there are too many parts for any one human to manage, but it's all my own material. Could you find chord charts or transcriptions for the tunes you want to cover, play your own backing tracks into a Looper or Digital Recorder, and have that with you? Long way around, but it bypasses at least some of the copyright issues, and some of the tech issues as well. Best of luck, very curious to hear how you work this out.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

http://www.novparolo.com

 

https://thewinstonpsmithproject.bandcamp.com

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Assuming the venues where you perform already pay their annual fees to ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, you there are no copywrite considerations if it is a live performance and you aren't selling recorded copies.

 

Have a keyboard or studio session friend do the tracks from scratch for you. The vocal elimination software usually doesn't sound great, and you could spend more time trying to edit vocals out than just re-recording each part from scratch either multi track or in a MIDI sequence on a decent keyboard. Check for online MIDI files if you know somebody with a good multitimbral synth/workstation.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Perhaps you could hire a band for the day that can come to the studio and record a live backing track for the 4 or 5 songs you wish to cover. Bass, Drums, Keys, Guitar should do it. You sing the leads and then have studio guy make one version without your vocal track and one with...There should be a local band that would play for you and make as much as they would for a 3 hour gig. Just a thought. :cool:
Take care, Larryz
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Thanks guys-that would not work in this case. This band`s arrangements are complex and orchestral, and there are two singers. I would want to delete only the lead vocal and keep the harmonies. The lead singer was posting on FB for a while, we chatted briefly a few years ago when my account got hacked into. In any case, I`m pretty sure it would be cheaper to get a copy from the record company than to hire a band. If I don`t get a reply from the website I`ll try the company.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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I recall some processors and sampling devices that had various tricks to eliminate vocal tracks: some of them relied on notching out the frequency bands of the vocal line, which of course hacked all the rest of the track. Some had a "center-canceling" feature for stereo processing, as most often the vocals are panned to the center of a mix. I'm sure with digital encoding, and a LOT of effort, you could attempt a more surgical approach, but you're still cutting out wide swaths of audio.

 

Can't begin to address the copyright issues associated with the process? My highly uneducated, and unprofessional guess is that it would be akin to the laws regarding Digital Samples, as you're still lifting tracks from an existing, copyrighted product.

 

 

actually, its specialized software that makes a mostly weak attempt to isolate vocals.

 

Adobe creative cloud ( u have to buy it] and Audacity [freeware] .

 

About 3 yrs ago, I spent some months trying to isolate vocals .

 

Some artists[ I found only 3 'names'] or media co's almost encourage isolation by virtue of the actual studio track allowing it. Other than that, the isolation can't be done

for semi pro result, no matter what a software co 'claims'. IOW, the result is full of noise/low quality.

 

There is a site that makes a decent free effort on backing tracks - ogg file format.

I don't know whats 'legal ' or not so tread carefully thru copyright.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I've tried to remove vocals on a couple of tracks that my band recorded way back just for the hell of it using a DAW and following instructions.

 

Maybe because I'm not using a pro set-up in my basement - result was pretty much useless. Vocals were mostly gone but everything else was washed away also to some degree. Track itself became useless.

Been round the block but am not over the hill...

 

http://www.bandmix.ca/jamrocker/

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Thanks guys. I checked out this issue a few years ago as well. It sounds like things haven`t gotten much better.

*GregC I`ll have a look, thanks.

 

*DBM I checked that site-the band is not on there. coincidentally I see that Ocean Color Scene does have a few tracks. One of our performers was their keyboard player before the band went big time.

 

*Scott that would be great, if you have time I would like to know if it produces a decent result. I don`t mind paying for a useable track.

 

*Bartholomew that was pretty much the state of things the last time I looked into the situation. It`s either incomplete or ruins the track.

 

Well getting help from the band is probably not going to happen. Chances are they don`t own the copyrights anyway. I`ll give it a decent interval and then contact the company.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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There are some songs which I would love to cover, but they are too obscure for the commercial `karaoke download` sites. I know there is some software that can remove vocals from existing tracks...

I've never used any of those.

The rare occasions when anything like yer situation came up we always just recreated tracks. For one former band member such copying was a hobby, to test his skills.

You say there's some complexity to their music but that may not matter to an audience that perhaps is getting their 1st introduction to the material from yer perf...esp in a party-ish atmosphere.

... but I`m not sure how that fares with copyright protection. In this case, I`m so fired up to cover this band`s songs that I sent an inquiry to them about getting an authorized copy from them or their record company. They have an active website but, the group officially disbanded some years ago. I don`t know if they will reply.

Suggestions?

That's a truly laudable attitude, Skip,

but in today's world where stuff's being misappropriated on a massive scale (while also being left behind like flotsam on the Net),

I think yer unlikely to have a real legal hassle

nor that you'll likely hear from whomever was/is involved with the music on either a compositional © nor audio (P) angle.

[DISCLAIMER: halfnote is not an actual attorney :D ]

Have you heard from them yet ?

There is some legal standard applicable as a defense that applies when one makes an attempt to contact © owners but can't reach them...but I really doubt that'll ever be a prob.

 

P.S. I have a studio session on the 22nd. I asked Mr. studio guy about it-he said it`s possible but there is a noticeable loss of quality.

Redundancy Dept

Double chk w/Scott, et al, but I think most of those systems work on a EQ/phase-cancellation principle, as Winston & others mentioned...audio segments are "contained" in certain bandwidths then that bandwidth is cancelled by flipping the EQ.

As you read, all reports above suggest multitrack stuff has limited outcome potential.

 

 

d=halfnote
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... but I`m not sure how that fares with copyright protection. In this case, I`m so fired up to cover this band`s songs that I sent an inquiry to them about getting an authorized copy from them or their record company. They have an active website but, the group officially disbanded some years ago. I don`t know if they will reply.

Suggestions?

That's a truly laudable attitude, Skip,

but in today's world where stuff's being misappropriated on a massive scale (while also being left behind like flotsam on the Net),

 

I think yer unlikely to have a real legal hassle

nor that you'll likely hear from whomever was/is involved with the music on either a compositional © nor audio (P) angle.

[DISCLAIMER: halfnote is not an actual attorney :D ]

Have you heard from them yet ?

There is some legal standard applicable as a defense that applies when one makes an attempt to contact © owners but can't reach them...but I really doubt that'll ever be a prob.

 

 

I agree. The effort to get an ok is sufficient IMO.

 

Sometimes a publishing co holds the rights to originals from the 70's. And that co has long dissolved, gone bankrupt, and any copyright is twisting in the wind. Just an example

not giving a cop out.

 

But to blatantly copy an original from YouTube and run with it, is not cool. There is a lot

of this going. Realistically, and for example, US copyright cannot extend into certain countries. Its a practical manner.

Just the same, many of us old dawgs believe in Karma. Not tangible but there might be something to it.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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... and for example, US copyright cannot extend into certain countries. Its a practical manner.

Perhaps an impractical or "imp-rascal" matter. :D

© actually isn't international law as much as treaty agreements between signatories to treaties that themselves have been updated & altered (& will continue to be so) as new means of reproduction & distribution are created.

Even when one catches a culprit dead-to-rights (wrongs ?) any remuneration requires the ability to sue & then collect blood-from-a-turnip style.

No one's getting jailed for this.

 

https://www.stopfakes.gov/article?id=Is-My-Copyright-Good-in-Other-Countries

d=halfnote
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Thanks for the input guys.

Frankly, I`m not even thinking about infringement issues. If they want to get on a plane and slap me around, bring it. As a policy, I try to do new songs for every performance. It`s likely to be a one-off for any particular song-unless someone gets back to me and says I can have it-for a LOT of money. Then I`m going to sing it every chance I get. But basically I just want a performance-quality version I can use, that`s the main issue.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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