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Do you supply backing tracks in MiniDisc format?

I'm afraid we no longer supply backing tracks in MiniDisc format. The primary reasons for this are that we can no longer source bulk quantities of blank media within the UK, and the parts for our high end MD recording equipment are no longer produced. We do however supply a guide showing the simple methodn of recording backing tracks from a CD onto your own consumer MD recorder, if required.

Why are backing tracks supplied at varying prices from different companies?

We would always advocate purchasing tracks based primarily on quality. Affordability makes this choice a little harder; however the backing track is a major influence in determining your success as a performer. The best PA system in the world cannot make a mediocre track sound good. A track may seem a bargain at only a few pennies, or even free off the internet, however, many others are probably also using that very same track, unaware of the large difference in quality vs the original. When we consider that a popular track may be used at least 50 times, it would be false economy to buy backing tracks based on price alone. A very old and wise saying often applies...'there is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little'. That saying often applies to the so called 'freebies' offf the internet.

We've heard many stories of people endlessly searching the internet (Youtube etc.) in an effort to find free tracks. The reality is that almost all tracks that you can download free from non-commercial internet websites have been copied or amended numerous times before they reach YouTube for download. The track info. may indicate that it was recorded at a bitrate of 256kps, however this is simply a label and doesn't mean it is genuinely a 256kbps track. It also doesn't tell us anything about the quality of the source material. Your downloaded track could actually be a 96kbps file - well below CD quality.

Please never consider converting an MP3 to a higher bitrate. This has the undesired effect of reducing the audio quality of your MP3. A track is compressed to MP3 format by a method which removes sounds that the human ear is perceived not able to hear. Our ears have a limited frequency range, hence the reason we can't hear noises and sounds that are quite clearly heard by dogs and other animals. By removing these unneeded sounds from a track, the file size can be made a lot smaller. The point to remember is that once a track is converted to MP3 format, the sound detail that was discarded in the process has gone forever. There is no magical process that can make an MP3 sound better by re-encoding and increasing the bitrate. Each time an MP3 is re-encoded (even to a higher bitrate) it loses more sound detail.

All our complete backing tracks are supplied at the high MP3 bitrate of 256kbps (comparable to CD quality). This provides what we believe to be the best quality vs. file size solution. We've done rigorous in-studio testing re 320kpbs vs. 256kbps, and have not yet come across anyone (including studio engineers) who can regularly identify one from the other at bitrates of 256kbps and above.

Online demos are uploaded at the lower bitrate of 128kbps, purely to allow for faster playback on mobile devices and slower Wi-Fi connections. At Steve's Trax we create backing tracks for the primary purpose of playing through a PA system, and produce these at a consistent volume/gain level. This allows the singer to concentrate on the singing rather than needing to adjust the mixer volume during their performance. If you're intention is to sing professionaly with a single speaker, we would strongy, and respectfully ask that you do source your music from elsewhere. We spend many, many hours panning instruments between stereo speakers, all of which is lost if your intention is to use a single speaker. 

How do I burn MP3 tracks to a CD using MS Windows?

1. Save the MP3 files If you;re  to your desktop or into a folder.

2. Open Windows Media Player and insert your blank CD.

3. Select 'Burn' from the top of the Windows Media Player screen.

4. Drag and drop the MP3 files into the right hand pane of Windows Media Player to create a burn list (it is easier if you reduce the size of the player to that you can view your files at the same time).

5. Select 'Start Burn', the system will now analyse and process the files and burn them to a CD. Wait for the burning to be complete before using your PC for other tasks.

Do you provide lyric sheets?

Comprehensive lyric sheets for all complete backing tracks are automatically supplied free of charge with your purchase. The lyrics are supplied error-free and follow the exact original artists recording (i.e. these are not simply downloaded from freely available lyric resource websites).

Is there a minimum quantity for backing tracks supplied on CD?

There is a minimum purchase quantity of 5 tracks for orders supplied on CD (UK orders). There is a minium puchase quantity of 10 tracks for international orders supplied on CD (these are delivered via Airmail with a subsidised shipping cost).



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