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Playback device for backing tracks


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Hi folks,


Just started using backing tracks again (after working with bands) and my trusty Minidisc has gone into retirement. As I have all my tracks on the PC in mp3 and wav format, I have been looking around for a device to replay them on stage.


Many people seem to think the ipod is the way to go but I am weary of the size of display and ease of control.


I have seen (here in Spain) an file player (looks like it is designed for dj´s) that plays mp3´s, wav´s etc



I like the look of the"fairly" large display and the jockey wheel control. It also says (sorry I know it´in Spanish!) that it can play playlists in FAT format (whatever that is?)


At 220 euros, I thought it OK, problem is, I have know idea how reliable it may be?


If anyone can give me any useful information on any such devices it would be very much appreciated.



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So you want to get away from minidisc?

There are always bargains on Ebay and such for used machines.


There are units like this around.

Maybe they will be in demand as solo acts on tracks slowly faze out the old Minidisc?



To Add.

A better price here.



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The gadget you linked to is great for DJs, but I suspect too clever for simple file playback. There are quite a few 1U SD card/usb stick playback machine around now, and these tend to be quite simple in basic operation - big chunky start buttons and nice simple displays. I've still got plenty of MD machines, but certainly won't be buying any more!
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You don't want to go down the PC-based playback route? We've been using Sound Cue System (now Show Cue System) for about five years now, including running backing tracks off it for three big musicals, and it's proved very reliable. You can either load the tracks up in the order you want to play them, or load them up with hot keys so each track has its own key to trigger it.
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Hi Clutter,


I used to use minidisc and decided to go digital and was sceptical.


I first went with a usb stick player that could operate a footswitch to start my track as it cues up after I finished last track but it was hard to read and tempramental, I think it was a cortex,,

I now have 2 twin,(1 for a back up or disco music) american dj sdji they use sd cards up to 4gb,(but not hd cards, I made that mistake and had to replace them)


I make a list on my pc of songs 001 through to 178 of my backing track and yuou can also make sets up

so set one would typicaly be













then set 2



015 etc

the machine will load them in numerical order so best to make yoru sets on pc first then load onto sd card and plug in and play

There is also a button to press, SGL which means it will play a single track then cue up the next track and you just press play,

It also has a dial you cna turn to easily go through the songs.

Hope that helps..

ps they are around £139 ish on google or ebay.



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Thanks to all for the kind replies and the explanation of the FAT system.


It wasn´t so much as I wanted to get away from MD, just that with so many people talking about using mp3 etc for playback, I thought I´d look into it. Also it was a pretty time consuming getting the tracks from the PC onto MD (even with the sony program).


I did try a using laptop a few years ago but I had a full time engineer back then who operated it offstage. I think now I am on my own I would probably end up spendin more time "pressing the wrong buttons" than concentrating on the audience! Will have a another look now at the products you have kindly suggested and "weigh up" the pro´s & con´s


Just thought of something else! but I´ll start a new post!


Thanks again.

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An iPod is a Personal music player, not a professional playback device. The clue is in the description - PERSONAL :unsure:

I REALLY wish bloomin' Apple lovers would STOP telling people iPods are suitable for anything else :rolleyes:


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That was my opinion - although there are many performers singing the praises of the ipod for use on stage.


I took part in a show last month which had a pro engineer - I always take my Minidisc player along with the tracks - just in case there isn´t one available. After the I had given my disc to the guy, another lady walked up and handed him an ipod (shuffle?) it was about 3x2 cm! with no visible controls with a clip on the side! She assured me she uses it for all her gigs. I don´t know howthe sound guy "came out" of it? presumably from an earphone socket? but her tracks sounded fine.


It was smaller than my lighter! I´d lose it in two minutes - and I like to be able to use my eyes as well as y ears to assure myself of the playlist!

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Ultimately, the key is simplicity! As you say, when your on stage with lights in your eyes and you hit the wrong button and potentially delete your cue list (software depending obviously as some wouldnt allow this) and you have to attempt to get it all sorted in a few seconds before you start to look like an idiot.


On top of that you have to consider the tempremental nature of PCs and I saw only on Friday night a DJ ending up a tizz when the wedding dance song decided to constatly repeat in a 5 second loop.




A concurrent post has been automatically merged from this point on.


In response to the Ipod debate, Ive actually seen some very good acts use an Ipod for their backing (not a shuffle mind!) but it wouldnt be my preference!!

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Your concern about spending most the time "pressing the wrong buttons" is unfounded. SCS is really simple to use, very powerful, and very user friendly. You simply press space bar to play the track and the arrow keys to skip through if needed. I strongly recommend it.
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