We’ve used BB on pretty much every song we’ve performed for the last 6 or 7 years. In many cases the drums, bass and keys when needed are adequate and the ability to extend solos on command are worth the trade-off. A number of contributors to the forum have crafted exceptional tracks for our trio to play over. Willin’ (Phil Flood), While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Persist) and Comfortably Numb (Phil Pingber) to mention a few.
However, there are songs where a richer piano or drum part or quality horns are beyond BB’s reach. We’ve started to experiment with .wav audio files rendered from REAPER triggered using an embedded transmogrify/player button on the iPad screen displaying the associated cheat sheet (UnRealBook software).
Having already broken the barrier of not having a drummer on stage, and gaining flexibility for a trio to play parts as needed if BB is used judiciously, fuller backing tracks should provide the audience an unexpected variety in a performance mix. As with all art its up to the performer to decide where the karaoke boundary is and not cross it ensuring the set retains vitality.
As an initial post-production experiment I matched an existing recorded performance of While My Guitar Gently Weeps – which used a stock beat - with Persist’s file (updated Dec ’20). After all using BB is like having a click track that ensures the tempo is correct. Oddly enough that’s the reason we got BB planning to only use it for rehearsal years ago. Worked so well we haven’t stopped using it on live performances.
On a ‘return to live’ performance recently for a small audience the full audio backing idea seems to work (The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down).
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
I recently recorded congas from BB (Phil Flood’s Santana kit) and layered them on another track (attached) for Dixie Chicken (transposed to G).
Dixie Chicken (If the Box link doesn’t trigger copy and paste into your browser)