How do bands record “live” on Skype (or zoom) with a delay? A lot of artists did “live” performances during lockdown last year, how the heck did they pull this off?

How do bands record “live” on Skype (or zoom) with a delay? A lot of artists did “live” performances during lockdown last year, how the heck did they pull this off?


I think some (or all?) of the performances are pre-recorded. It's common even in studio recordings, basically they record maybe the drums first, then the guitarist will record their track while listening to the drummer's track, and send both together to the bassist, who will play both tracks while recording the bass track, and then the singer listens to all of those while singing. Then it's formatted pretty and shared with an audience!


Ahh, that makes a lot of sense.


Our church’s process was this: - Music director (me) builds a foundation track with a strong click or percussion track. My track will include full instrumentation - albeit a keyboard can only simulate a guitar strum but so much, etc - provide a clap in a few measures prior (important if video is done). Audio is done in Logic, and video in FCP - Ensure MY build sufficiently captures the genre, feel, and fills - Record verbal cues within the foundation track clearly expression who does what where. e.g. runs, fills, entrances, breaks, outros, etc - review my foundation track extensively as if I were the one asked to play on it - send to other musicians - send musicians Dropbox file request link - INCLUDE deadline - assemble all audio in Logic and process - assemble all video in FCP. MUTE audio in FCP - insert bounced audio from Logic into FCP - LOOK for clap-in transients in FCP’s muted audio - align....and align again....


Quick reddit formatting tip: if you leave an empty line before and after your list, reddit will automatically itemize it for you. Your comment would be a lot easier to read if you edit in an empty line! This: text - A - B More text Becomes: > > text > > - A > - B > > More text




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If interested, I can send you link of one of our final products.


That’s pretty cool. We did it much more low rent. Leader did the base track (like me with a guitar or piano) and then we stacked from there. The only time we did a ghost track was when the leader didn’t play. I sent along a track and they sang, then sent back for me miming piano and singing along. We did all the audio in FC I believe.


God bless you for all your work. That is a great ministry for your people.


Usually drums then bass, if those two are not simultaneous. For some genres the pocket of the bass and drums is super crucial, so the best feel is attained if those are done together. They'd be recorded isolated, so you can punch in mistakes anyway. Guitar/keys would be after that. It helps to build the track upwards.


Absolutely correct in Gospel music. The real challenge is that the drummer plays off the bass player, and the bass player plays off the drummer. So it isn’t a perfect world in remote. The depth of the song will dictate how detailed I sequence the drums/bass. But in COVID times I think people allow for some subtle ‘un-locked’ moments.


Yeah, I think most folk/non-classical musical traditions would operate in this way, at least in the western world of music. I've never played gospel music, but in all the genres I've done, getting the bass and drums is the most crucial. As the guitarist/keys player I can have a little more wiggle room to fill out and decorate the song. I always feel that the drums are really the spine of the song, and the bass is the skeleton. The harmonic stuff is just the rest of the body. If your bones are wrong, then it doesn't matter what the rest is doing, it's just going to fit incorrectly. You are correct about subtle unlocking on bass and drums though. It can be ok in some contexts, and right now it seems more forgivable to me.


>I always feel that the drums are really the spine of the song, and the bass is the skeleton. That's good! I am gonna recycle this. I always tell our band this, "if a harmonic instrument is playing wrong chord/note during rehearsal, we can usually go on and fix it after the song is over, BUT if bassist is wrong or drummer off beat, it is an IMMEDIATE stop and fix"


Exactly this.


That makes sense, thank you for the insight!


My College uses this software called Jamulous, it allows performers to hear each other in real time. Very Nifty. We also use this software called Synchspace to see each other with minimal delay. After that it gets broadcasted to a live stream. All of that together is what the audience sees.


Yes, my band also uses jamulus on our own server. Within a 90km radius the delay is acceptable. In person we have wireless in-ear monitoring which also introduces some delay. Up to a point you can compensate and the band still sounds ok. Not as tight as some of the stuff I’ve seen in lockdown, so those are probably prerecorded.


We use Jamkazam which sounds like it's much the same as these others. Interesting that there's some alternatives now.


It’s all smoke and mirrors. They are simulating a live zoom session. They record each part separately.


Jacob Collier describes (in fascinating detail) how he approached the problem in episode 169 of the Switched On Pop podcast. They practiced to account for the latency. (Wild!) It’s not always smoke and mirrors. https://switchedonpop.com/episodes/what-it-means-to-make-music-in-2020-ricky-reed-john-robert-jacob-collier-dua-saleh


That is super cool. He doesn’t even know if it’s right until he hears it back. This is a whole new way of performing and timing. It’s sounds ridiculously hard but when Jacob explains it, actually sounds possible to do (with a lot of practice , for me obviously).


[There was a great video about this a while back.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj6Ij1Oxe1s)


Best one yet, thanks for sharing this


They record the parts separately, then assemble them.


I saw a band pull this off in 2008, on stage for a whole show between Berlin and Tokyo. As far as I know the guy in Berlin measured the delay at dial up and adjusted his performance to it, plus they were experienced and basically worked around it. Most of the electronic instruments were in Berlin, mostly voice in Tokyo. The singer was visible in Berlin live on screen so that made it even more impressive. I guess I don't actually know how it was done. I do remember asking how, and if it was something intricate or a dedicated setup I would have remembered it, I think.


I had some friends who had a three-piece band and were also big Second Life addicts, and their band played in Second Life a lot. How they told me they did it was, one location (I think it was their percussionist, possibly playing along to a recorded tape of the song) played and streamed to the other location, and the other location played along to their signal, and the end result went to Second Life. I don't know if there was software that did this for them or if they did it through a series of tubes or what.


I believe that's done with a can attached to a really long string yes


Either the parts were recorded separately and stitched together later to make it look like they were playing together, or the audio is separate from the video. For example, everyone could be on a conference call, routed through their headphones. That way they can hear everyone else live on the phone, and play along together, without all the delay/latency of trying to run all the audio and video processing through one system.


Most people play on a click track and they mix it later. However, my friend asked me to try [Jamulus](https://jamulus.io/) with him, it worked pretty well during quarantine. We only used it a couple of times but it matches up each person's latency.


There are alternatives to Skype that are made specifically for musicians playing remotely. Can't remember the names, but a proper google search should lead to it.


The software you are looking for is called [JackTrip](https://news.stanford.edu/2020/09/18/jacktrip-software-allows-musicians-sync-performances-online/). Though it seems to only be able to support low-latency collaboration if people are within 500 miles of each other.


Makes sense. After all, there's very little to be done about latency imposed by *the speed of light!*


wrong forum.


You sound like a good teacher.




I like /r/WeAreTheMusicMakers


Maybe an audio engineering forum.


I only know about Jacob colliers instagram live sessions, and basically he is the greatest musical and colorful genius of our time and he just keeps time even when the other part is super delayed for him. He predicts what’s gonna go with what the other part is doing. He’s magic.


Someone else here shared a podcast featuring Jacob Colliers. He explains how he did that very well. (Not sure why you got down voted for saying that, sorry)


People are jealous of Jacob’s abilities and so they don’t like it when people say nice things about him. Many people work like that. I do too sometimes.


Also, it might be a Reddit thing. If you don’t scroll through the comments to check someone else hasn’t said x & y, first, some people don’t like it. Although, I’m not sure why.


One of the podcasts I listen to recently invested in a zero-latency interface to eliminate the Skype ducking. I can't for the life of me remember what it's called.


Herman Li has a setup on twitch where he can play and jam with someone else. It works super well, and I don’t know how it’s set up. It’s definitely without a shadow live. It would be really neat to see how it’s set up and if any of my guesses are right.


Jamkazam is pretty good


We’ve done the opposite and decided to develop a whole new performance practice around latent playing: https://youtu.be/RKiD62cvl-A