July 11, 2017

Organise & Play Your Backing Tracks


Backing Tracks Player Apps Comparison

Stage Traxx 


One Track 

In this post we look at two backing track player apps:

Stage Traxx - by Fiery Apps (US$9.99),

One Track - by Sean Bergin (around US$19.99)

Neither of these products have any affiliation with Jazzbacks. Both are available from the Apple Store.


Years Of Experience...

My years of experience using backing tracks for live gigs have led me to use my iphone or ipad to play my backing tracks at live performances. Until recently I set up playlists on itunes. I like to choose my next tune on the fly, rather than follow a set list. Itunes, while quite a useable choice, doesn't offer the performing artist/musician/singer some of the functions or features that other available player apps can deliver, not least, the ability to adjust the levels of individual tracks in your set, and do this on the fly, and find them as you left them the next time you perform. Or, to automatically stop play at the end of each song on a playlist.

Here, I take a look at two of the most professional and popular choices available and share my thoughts with you...


 Stage Traxx - by Fiery Apps (US$9.99)

I have used Stage Traxx on gigs and I found it easy to use. It has some nice features like the ability to have lyrics or song notes to yourself about each track. These can scroll also. Setting up the lyrics function requires some figuring out, manual reading, and technical savviness - so, it's not for everyone. Of course you don't need to add the lyrics - you can leave them out, but then you have a large area of wasted blank space on your iPad screen.

Screen shot of Stage Traxx on an iPad

It has a clock on it so you can easily see the time at any moment, something the working musician needs to know sooner or later.

Stage Traxx works well on my iPad, but it doesn't seem to be available for the iPhone, which is a shame, but then, there wouldn't really be enough room on the iPhone screen for the full display and inclusion of lyrics.


 One Track - by Sean Bergin (around US$19.99)

Though I have not personally used One Track on a gig, I have put it through the paces in my rehearsal studio and it performed solidly with a very clear screen interface. It works well with the iPad and is also available for the iPhone. I was very happy to find that after purchasing it and downloading it on my iPad, I was able to download it freely to my iPhone as well, where it works very well, I must say.

Screen shots of One Track on an iPhone

It doesn't have the option of including lyrics, and it doesn't tell the time, which isn't really a problem because your iPhone or iPad gives the time albeit in small print anyway. But it does the important things like stop play at the end of a track, let you choose and line up your next track or just follow the set list. And, yes, you can adjust the volume level of each individual track.

Despite the higher price, it's a contender because of it's simplicity, solid feel, and ease of use to set up.

In Conclusion...

In conclusion I would be happy to use either Stage Traxx or One Track, but I will probably invest my time in One Track mainly for it's ability to work well on my iPhone.

I hope this has been some help to you. If you know of other apps that do the same job well or better than One Track or Stage Traxx, please share your thoughts by commenting below.


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