How To Use Backing Tracks With BiasFX?

  • I'm a relative newbie with the types of applications that Positive Grid offers. I have purchased both the Mac and iOs versions of BiasFX and I really love the beautiful sounds that can be created. However, there is one question that is giving me a lot of frustration because I can't find the answer after several hours of searching... How can I play backing tracks which I can also improvise over using BiasFX? I have iReal Pro for Mac and iOS and would love to be able to use both applications together for practising and later for live performances. I'd also like to similarly use mp3 backing tracks with BiasFX. I would really appreciate a step by step method how to do this. Thank you.

  • If we talk about iOS, for practice you must simply open the mp3 with another app that is able to play mp3. Any player will work, for example Anytune, even file managers like Documents or the File app from iOS it self. Dropbox works too. I do that all the time. I prefer to use Documents, because I manage with it some folders with audio files, but you can use any other. If you have the mp3 app opened and BFX in background, you must activate “background audio mode” in BFX to be able to hear your instrument. The other way around, if you have BFX opened and the mp3 app in background, you don’t need to activate “background audio mode”.

    With iReal is the same thing. You can run both apps simultaneously and play and hear. Nothing special must be done to work this way, aside from the “background audio mode” if BFX runs in background.

    One last comment: for live performance I would prefer though to play the backing track from another device into another amplification system. If you do as said above you will have the sound of your instrument and the backing track through you instrument amp and I am afraid that will not sound very well.

  • @korkenknopfus Thank you very much for your detailed reply. This info is exactly what I was looking for. 😀 👍

  • I would say Youtube is your friend here. You‘ll find tutorials about using BFX (iPad version) on stage for example.

    Regarding practicing maybe also get familiar with Garageband, which you have free on both macOS and iOS. It allows you to form a virtual band with drums, bass, etc.. Once you got familiar with it, you can check out, what a real DAW like Logic, Reaper, Cubase, Studio One, etc. can do ... because that‘s the final way to go ;-)

    I‘d recommend to start with Reaper, because it not only has a free demo, but also a very powerful community.

  • @aymara Thank you very much for the info.

  • @kensmi to the list of iPad options I would also suggest Quantiloop - this will let you play along with backing tracks and other apps as well as create all kinds of ways to have fun. It is a very comprehensive app with good documentation available and lots of great features. Once you learn your way around the app you will be pretty impressed with what it can do.

  • @tafkad Wow, it is a very interesting app to practice and to try ideas, even to perform. And if it can be linked with BFX it is perfect. I will try it and maybe I change my old way.

  • @korkenknopfus I like to use Gadget for the rhythm track that way I can set it up with a drum loop, some synth and even a recorded guitar with it's amp sim and trigger it from QL - then can use QL for another couple guitar loops and all the while use BFX loaded on the QL input and jam it live. All great fun indeed.

  • @tafkad Thanks for the recommendation. I'll definitely check it out.

  • @tafkad Hello: with Gadget do you mean Korg Gadget?

  • @korkenknopfus indeed, I was actually surprised when they added the amp sim on an update a while back. It's no Bias but it does have that korg tone of old. Pretty flexible tool for use in the rhythm slot of quantiloop.

  • @tafkad Thank you. I am trying now QL (it is very nice) but do not own Korg Gadget. I am trying to figure out how do you trigger KG from QL. Or do you mean you generate an audio in KG and then call this audio from a track in QL? I have Cubasis, so I can generate some rhythms and guitar or bass tracks.

    Edit: I guess now that you use KG in the rhythm section of QL, replacing the metronome with an app. I have tried with DrumPerfect, that has only drum pieces, but maybe with KG you can have your drums and a couple of instruments, acting as the rhythm section in QL.

  • @korkenknopfus here is some screenshots that kind of show how it is set up (the red circles note important settings):
    Bias FX is set up on input #1 for live play
    Gadget is set up on the Rhythm slot for looped play and is triggered when I hit the "Stop/Start" button
    Gadget is set to External midi control and the green "Loop" feature engaged

    I'm sure there is other variations of apps to use in the Rhythm slot to get the same desired result which in this case is a simple drum loop a Synth loop and a Guitar loop I recorded.
    I also recorded a guitar loop in QL on track #2 with Bias FX (Track #1 on QL is blank and was used just to set the 8 bar loop length)

    This allows me to play along with just the drums (mute all other tracks where ever they are)
    Play with drums and synth
    and play with 1 or 2 guitar tracks
    all in any combination I choose allowing me multiple ways to get some practice in

    Fun stuff - cheers