Don't listen to anyone who says
you can't auto pause the iPod
Home users of the
iPod can simply plug in their earphones and their all set to
go. But us singers and musicians who use backing tracks on stage
know that there's much more to getting a good sound than simply
plugging the iPod in to a PA system and setting the volume!
My article on "Getting
a good sound" applies to the iPod in just the same way
it does to any other playback media you use on stage, and if you
haven't already read it, I suggest you do so now - it'll make
life much easier for you, believe me!
The iPod was designed
for personal listening, not for musicians and singers to play
backing tracks. Because it wasn't specifically designed for this
purpose, it's important that you set up your iPod in the best
way possible so that it can be used to it's maximum potential
when you're on stage.
Although not specifically designed for this purpose, the fact
is that neither are any other mp3 players and at least with the
iPod it is the most user-friendly player on the market...and,
if set up correctly, it actually works brilliantly on stage because
it responds quickly (essential in an onstage environment).
The auto pause (or lack of)
The first mistake people make when they consider an iPod for backing
tracks is that they consider the lack of an auto-pause function
to be a problem (especially if they've been using minidisc for
their backing tracks up till now).
I personally have an old creative mp3 player which, although it
doesn't have an auto-pause, it does play one song and then stops
(which in a way is the same thing as auto-pause). The problem
is, the creative player isn't very easy to use onstage (it's not
The iPod on the other hand is very easy to use on stage (it is
extrememly user-friendly), but doesn't have an auto-pause!
So, how do we fix this iPod "problem"?....easy!
Auto Pause Solution
Do you actually need an auto-pause? Minidiscs usually have to
be placed at the side of the stage but an iPod can be attached
to your music stand or microphone stand which makes it within
easy reach. Just hit the pause button at the end of the song.
But, if you do rely on an auto pause facility then
don't despair. There are other ways it can be done.
Auto Pause Solution 2
Put each backing track in your iPod in it's own playlist. That
way the iPod plays the song and then stops. Simple!
Auto Pause Solution 3
Use a "silent song" (ie a song which has no music, just
a couple of minutes of silence). Then when you make up your set
list with all the songs you want to sing in the order you want
to sing them, simply insert the "silent song" beteween
each backing track in your playlist. This way, when you've finished
singing each song, you don't need to hit pause - the iPod will
just move on to the next song (which is a few minutes of silence).
That should be long enough to do whatever you want to do, or say
whatever you want to say to your audience. If, after a few minutes
or even a few seconds, you want to play your next song, just hit
the >> button and the next song will start to play...
Don't know how to make up a "silent song"? Don't worry
- We've created some "silent songs" for use with the
iPod (1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes and 10 minutes
Them Out Here
Auto Pause Solution 4
You could buy the Apple Remote - a remote control accessory which
can be used with the Universal Dock and lets you control the iPod
from a distance. This may be the best option if auto pause is
a major issue to you.
Article Written by Kenny Campbell
(This article cannot be reproduced without express
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