I’m thrilled to share a post by Flutist Aleah Fitzwater on the benefits of multi-tracking. Her expertise on this subject and contribution is greatly appreciate and sure to improve your playing.
The Benefits of Multi-tracking Tool
Multi-tracking replicates an ensemble where you perform all of the parts. The process of creating a multi-track performance has many benefits including highlighting areas for improvement in your playing. Multi-tracking makes the following inconsistencies obvious:
- Rhythmic micro-differences
Multi-tracking has taught me a surprisingly large amount about arranging and limits. Oftentimes, the arranger/composer in me wants it all: loud low notes, long spans of running eight notes with no breaths, and percussive beatboxing. Multi-tracking has taught me to be realistic with my expectations of performers.
This short cover of “Swing Swing” by the All American Rejects is an example of multi-tracking on a woodwind instrument using the Acapella App.
If you are working with digital instruments (such as an electronic drum-set or workstation piano) in order to create a backing track, I suggest recording the instrument with a USB to lightning cable. I record my piano accompaniments to GarageBand (via the lightning cable) because it limits latency problems like other programs. If you are using a USB-compatible instrument, try starting the track in GarageBand, and then transport it to a bigger DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), like Reason or Logic. If you aren’t a pianist it is easy to layer separate parts to create a convincing grand piano backing track for the instrument of your choice.
Once I am done recording digital instruments, I import the track to Reason. My setup allows me to record my flute play through a small microphone that is attached to my headjoint. This microphone runs through a mixer, pre-amp, and interface, which then sends the sound to my computer. While Reason is an expensive production program, its reverb and other FX are much better than those in the free DAWs like Garageband.
If you want to get fancy (fancier than me) and make higher quality multi-framed, multi-track videos, try DaVinci Resolve by Blackmagic Design. This is a free video-editing program that many musicians I know use to create their videos. https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/
Multi-tracking is not without challenges. As I mentioned earlier, I quickly discovered that my expectations were not always realistic and I learned my audience’s preferences. People seem to like the paired-down version of the multi-tracks I record, rather than complex cover projects that take hours upon hours to arrange. https://open.spotify.com/album/5fd3mlQrbyjlVfUZ1hO7sl
Multi-tracking is another great way to be creative with your instrument, especially if your local ensembles aren’t back in-person yet. Practicing with these multi-tracking tools has benefit me in more ways than I could have imagined. If you try it out for yourself, comment below and let me know how it goes!
Shawn-Thank you so much for the featured post!