In those halcyon, pre-COVID days when gigs were not aplenty, but they did however exist on a regular basis, it was very easy to look at pre-records and backing tracks as taking work away from jobbing musicians. There are some circumstances in which I might agree with this argument. For instance a venue that has the budget for a full band but opts to employ a single musician with tracks at a fraction of the cost, is damaging and takes much-needed money out of the industry.
This is a much broader question though. Generally, in my experience a soloist performing with tracks is operating in a different market. There are also cases where this brings live music into venues that otherwise, could not consider it.
Along with affordability, the key factor surely has to be (as with anything else of value) quality. Many of the critics of performers using tracks equate it to karaoke. With the performers that I have worked with to create tracks, nothing could be farther from the truth. These are artists across broad genres (classical, jazz, crossover, musical theatre, pop, rock) that want every element of their performance to be as good as it can be.
Granted, pre-programmed performance tracks do not give the same scope for spontaneity as a live accompaniment. However you can still achieve an individual performance with the ebb and flow of tempo, dynamics, arrangement, and all of the other important factors in a beautiful performance. They can also be completely tailored to how you want it.
And now we live in a very different time. Restrictions on live performances are sending us all online – for now this is our only outlet. Our YouTube channels and Facebook pages provide the venues for our performances. This can feel like a daunting change… but it needn’t be.
If you want to look at having some fully customised performance tracks created to spruce up your social media, live streams or remote recording projects, please do get in touch with me. I can help!