Using click tracks with Show Buddy

You want Show Buddy to feed click tracks to your drummer. But you need to use full songs to design your lightshows first. What’s the easiest way to manage this?

Use ‘dual-mono’ audio files

The simplest option is to use audio files containing the click track in the left channel, and a mono mix of your song in the right channel. Then, you can hear the music in Show Buddy (for designing lightshows) and at concert time you can feed the left channel only to the drummers headphones, and mute the right channel.

Replace mixes with click tracks by drag & drop

What if you need to output a stereo click track, or hear your full stereo mix while designing your lightshows? Show Buddy only supports one stereo output for each track, so you can’t load a stereo click and a stereo mix at the same time. However…

With the 1.1.0 release, it’s easy to overwrite old tracks with new tracks. This lets you upgrade your show with new mixes, without losing your lightshows. But with a little clever file management on your part, it can also switch Show Buddy between full mixes and click tracks.

Let’s assume you keep your audio in a Media folder on your desktop. First, create two identical folder structures – one containing your mixes, and another containing your click tracks…

  • Create folders called Media/FullMixes and Media/ClickTracks
  • Create identical category folders in both (FullMixes/Rock, FullMixes/Ballads etc)
  • Copy your full mixes to e.g. FullMixes/Rock/MySongA.mp3
  • Copy your click track to e.g. ClickTracks/Rock/MySongA.mp3

The important thing is that we end up with two identical file structures, one containing mixes and another containing click tracks.

Now, you can drag an audio file into Show Buddy from the FullMixes folder to design your lightshow. Later, you can drag in the file with the same name from the ClickTracks folder, to replace the mix with your click track.

Manually copy your click track files

The above technique might become tedious if you have a large number of tracks. A third option is to manually overwrite the audio files stored in Show Buddy’s Media Files folder as necessary. (See this article for an explanation of the Media Files folder). This will work fine as long as the replacement audio files have identical length – which you need anyway if your click tracks are to sync with the lightshow!