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Backing Tracks

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A backing track is an audio or MIDI recording that musicians play or sing along to in order to add parts to their music which would be impractical to perform live.

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Bands or solo musicians may use backing tracks to add extra instrumental or vocal tracks to a live performance, to enhance the sound (as in the employment of doubled backing vocals) or to replicate more closely the instrumentation on record (as in the use of additional recorded parts such as string sections.) A singer or vocal group performing without a band may sing along to pre-recorded music. A music track without lead vocals may also be called a karaoke, or minus-one track. Music backing tracks are also available for instrumental practice and jamming[3].

In electronic music, some parts which have been programmed are too fast or complex to be played by a musician. Backing tracks are also used when some or all members of a group are miming the playing of their instruments, lip-synching or using guide tracks.

Also, certain situations may dictate that a backing track must be used; many television programs require that acts perform only the vocals live to simplify the process of mixing the performance. The Eurovision Song Contest requires backing tracks as well; the thought there is a combination of the mixing issue and the need to switch between acts very quickly, which would be difficult if all acts were performing live music.

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