So the new forum is a challenge for me to navigate so I have not posted in a while. For those who use the BB for one press songs I have discovered a new work flow that does not require the actual BB but uses the IPAD instead. BB still has a place on my board because nothing beats it for awesome drum beats and fills etc… However, I have discovered an IOS app named Prime that is free and plays backing multi tracks that are fully midi controllable. Let me explain…
Here is my work flow. I download a midi file (or an MP3 if it has multi tracks where the BPM is not varied so it aligns easily with my DAW grid). I open the file in my Daw on my computer- I use Logic but GarageBand works for this too. For my midi files, I edit them in midi (by assigning better sounding instruments to the tracks as compared to the cheesy ones they come with and I rearrange parts to fit my style and change keys etc…). In the end I export all the tracks I want as separate MP3 or WAV track files on my computer. I zip the tracks files into a folder. From my computer, I upload the zipped file to loopcommunity.com website free of charge - who owns the free Prime IOS app. I open the Prime IOS app and import my zip file. Boom- all the tracks are there and each track is fully midi controllable meaning I can turn any of the instrument tracks on/off. I can also control volume of each instrument track if I want with my expression pedal. It even has a click and cue track that goes too my in ear monitor that only I can hear but the main mix does not- So if you are playing with others send this click track out from your board to other players and you are all in sync . The best part to me is the loop feature that the Prime app offers. Yes you can loop/repeat any part of the song by mapping all of the song parts into regions in the prime app. Then I can assign any part to loop/repeat or I can even jump from intro to chorus back to intro etc… all with my midi foot controller. I have even gotten pretty good at mixing and aligning backing vocal MP3 tracks with the midi instrument tracks and I export them all (BU vocals was something I could not do on BB so this is new to me for my Ops and it sounds great having some BU vocals every now and then). Of course starting and stopping the song can be mapped in Prime via midi too. Also a work flow that is easy to implement is: foot-controller changes the song in onsong song and changes to the correct song in the Prime and the tempo message from Onsong is sent to my Helix/effects guitar board for BPM. It also changes my preset on my Helix to match the song I am playing. The only thing missing from Prime app is BPM sync. I wish it had that so I could use quantiloop in some way with it. But with the repeat/loop feature in the prime app I am finding I do not need a looper within a OP song.
My go to for midi files are all the free midi sites that all of us BB OP people know about and mostly for the back up vocals or straight up multi track MP3’s I am buying them for 3 bucks from https://www.karaoke-version.com and mixing the multi track MP3 the way I want it.
So I think my BB OP days may be behind me once I redo all my BB songs in this manner. I think the work flow is easier than having to realign all the midi notes to specific BB notes so the Bass and instruments will be recognized. Of course I have an IPAD and a midi controller that makes this work flow possible.
Just thought you might like to know there are other ways to do OP songs. Once again, I love my BB and I will continue to use that for many other songs I play etc… and to use it with a looper.
I’m trying to follow what you’re doing here…
- what’s the purpose of Prime?
- I can’t find it.
In the App Store for IOS it shows up when you search for prime. I would read up on it and watch some you tube videos to see if is for you. The app looks like it originated in the worship and praise sector because they sell praise songs that are ready to import into the prime app. However, the app is open for any song to upload for free.
Thanks for posting such a thorough guide! I especially like the idea of adding BU vocals.
I’m definitely going to check this out! This is what I was trying to achieve with the autoplay. I’ve always thought that OP songs suck… why not just play a backing mp3 if you can’t interact with it?
Thanks for the heads up! I’ll bet I have about 200 songs ready, or close to ready, for this process, if it works like I think it does.
So Far I have been successful with about 7 songs and they sound good over my PA. I have also had success controlling the songs with my Ikmultimedia blueboard and 2 x ev5 volume pedals attached to the blueboard. (for midi note mode - I must start this controller by pushing B down and then in the IOS finding it as a bluetooth device - I use midi flow for this). This allows me to turn the loop region on/off when I want and unmute the rhythm guitar track when I solo. I also control the master volume with one of the ev5s. Any midi controller will work but strangely only midi note commands will work to control the toggles but cc commands for sliders.
Some other things to note. The flies are big when uploaded with all the tracks - upwards to 1 gb. So if this works out I am not sure how or where to share songs since I love this about the BB community site in how we all share op songs.
hye have you videos of this ???
I just downloaded the app. Do you know if there is a demo song available…so I could load it in an try the functionality with my setup?
There are 2 free demo songs on their site but you have too really look for them. Their site loopcommunity.com that is.
It does not show the loop feature but this video shows the work flow.
Thanks for the info. I haven’t had any luck finding a demo track so far but I’ll keep looking. Supposedly, there should be a track already in the Prime App upon initial app download, but I don’t seem to have one.
Withorwithout u Multi Track ZIP in “C”
Wow, emacnevin! Thank you so much! Can’t wait to jump on this when I get home from work!
One more video for those who have a deeper interest.
Here’s the thing… changing any wav or mp3 to midi hardly ever works well. Even studios have trouble with it. It’s easier to get a midi keyboard and put down the bass track yourself… that’s the direction I’m heading.
Ok so whatever it is worth I am about 15 converted songs in and the sound of the wav files or mp3s are superior to midi instruments and the backing vocals and synths with the “trails” are much more realistic. So I am a BB fan for many reasons but I am having good success with Prime.
The only real downside I see is the file size. You could easily use it in a worship setting where you have a relatively small set list each week, and can manage the set during the week. But, given the relatively limited memory size of most iPads, you couldn’t store anywhere near the size of a collection that you can store on a BB SD card. Android devices give you access to outboard storage, so that’s an option. But, yeah, the idea of Prime with backing track sections and midi section switching is a nice option.
Yes that has crossed my mind several times. Thanks for the thoughts. I am watching my IPAD space carefully to see if that is a deal breaker. Also I am not sure I like my songs to be stored in their cloud for free only to wonder if at anytime they will charge for storage.