Midi Backing Tracks a Quick Overview

As with many other issues midi-backing tracks are a question of how much time and money one wants to spend. I list some alternatives below.

1: Pre-recorded midi backing track: These can be usually downloaded from websites or purchased from pages such as tune1000. It all depends on who has sequenced the track. Those purchased from reputable websites are usually of good quality, but with those downloaded from personal or fan sites the quality can vary greatly from excellent music to absolute rubbish! Midi tracks normally conform to the General Midi (GM) standard and are playable on a variety of equipment from computers to GM compatible keyboards. The quality of the sounds will be directly related to the equipment used so therefore the same midi file will sound very different for example on a PC when compared to a high end keyboard such as Korg, Yamaha Roland, etc.

These tracks though are inexpensive way for vocalists or small bands to obtain reasonable quality backing tracks.

2: Self –made Midi track: As above but made by oneself. Pre-recorded tracks can also be modified and enhanced. This will require keyboard playing and sequencing skills.

3: Propriety Keyboard Formats: These are by far the best sounding tracks. For example a Korg Trinity keyboard can produce far superior sounds than any GM compatible synth (the Trinity is GM compatible as well). This will require keyboard playing and sequencing skills as well as an understanding of the keyboard in question.

However there is one downside – these tracks are only playable on the keyboard they are produced on as each has there own standard.

Another added option to all of the above is to record the tracks together with extra vocals instruments to a multitrack recorder whether dedicated or stand-alone. This can then be transferred to CDs, which the performer can use as backing tracks. This though can be time consuming.

Ernest H Slade