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  • ryan_viera
    Posts: 1
    Joined: Aug 20th, 2020
    Backing Tracks and Live Vocals Through Ableton
    Hey everyone, I am new to this forum, as I have been seeking information on how to properly run my backing track rig, as well as live vocals through Ableton. I apologize in advance for my long winded post, but I want to try to give as much detail as possible so that little clarification is needed. I have been running backing tracks with my band for awhile by exporting my songs individually and running the WAV files from an iPad app into a personal mixer (so that my drummer could monitor through his in ears via the phones jack), using a splitter cable into that mixer (left side for Click & Cues, right for the Tracks), then sending that to the FOH via a DI box via 2 XLRs (using this EXACT set up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGRgkYFTR_k&t=477s). This has worked fine, but recently I started exploring the idea of running my vocals also through Ableton so that I can use automation throughout songs to control delay levels (mix, feedback, 1/2 note vs 1/4 note, etc) as well as reverb and a few others without thinking about it. The issue I am running into is getting together a straightforward process for setting this up. At first I tried using the headphone jack of my interface with my splitter cable to go into the main mixer, Click on one channel and Tracks on another, with my vocals going into that interface, on an armed channel in Ableton, but then realized that because my vocals were also hard panned right in the session, they were essentially stuck together with the tracks. Not ideal from a mixing perspective. Ultimately what I want is to be able to show up to a gig, and to have someone who knows nothing about Ableton be able to run sound from a traditional mixer, so I need to find a way to individually send 3 signals (Click, Tracks and Vocals) from Ableton, independently of each other to a FOH mixer so that I can say "Here sound man, this is my vocal feed, this is my click, please don't send to the main speakers but do send to my in ears, and here are the tracks." One other thing worth noting: I play both solo as well as with a band, so I am looking for a solution that can work both ways. With the band, I need my drummer to have in ear monitors (obviously), so in a full band setting, how can I route my outputs so that he hears the click and tracks coming from Ableton, but not my vocals? If I play solo, I want to be able to essentially have the same set up, just without my drummer needing a click or tracks, because obviously there is no drummer. I have been driving myself crazy for the last week trying to think about this. I am not the most savy when it comes to inputs and outputs and routing audio to various locations, so any help would be appreciated. I am 99% sure this is possible, I just need to know how to go about setting up my ins and outs in ableton, as well as my outputs of my interface so that I end up with 3 separate feeds that even if my mother needed to run sound, she could adjust monitor and mains volumes from the main board. Thanks so much! -Ryan
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1449
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Backing Tracks and Live Vocals Through Ableton
    Hi Ryan - It sounds like what you'll need is an interface that has more than just stereo outputs. You didn't mention the particular interface you're using, but unless the headphone out can carry a separate audio signal from the main outputs (not likely on a small interface) you may need to invest in a 4-in/4-out interface. Then in Ableton you should be able to output the Track (outputs 1-2, in stereo or mono), the vocals (output 3), and the Click (output 4) -- I don't know if you can directly route the Click to a separate output in Ableton, but if not then you could just record the Click as an audio track and route that to its own output. That would give you 3 or 4 dedicated connections to hand off to the sound guy. As for the drummer, you might need an extra little mini-mixer that takes a feed (split?) of just the tracks he needs to hear. The sound guy might be able to set that up, though you could also output the tracks in mono, and use the 4th out as a feed to the drummer, routing both the click and tracks to that dedicated output (without the vocals) within Ableton.
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