WS on-line backing tracks and details

WS on line photo header

Wind Serenades on-line project

Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Gabrieli

Spring 2021


Backing tracks and details for participants

As you’ll hear, I’ve set up these backing tracks so you can hear the full ensemble sound as well as the click-track. The music you hear is the specific version you are playing. This is to create, as near as possible, the feeling of playing with a real ensemble, including the sense of dynamics, tuning, balance and expression.


The following details are really important for creating a good overall final ‘assembled’ performance:

Practice beforehand on your own!  Make yourself really familiar with your part before you attempt to play or record it with the backing track. You can listen to the piece (in real sampled sound) to absorb the style and general feel of the music, then practice your part along those same lines.

Accessing the backing track  You should be able to stream the backing track directly from this page, However, if you experience any problems with wifi or internet connections and it is not playing continuously or consistently, please send me a message via the CONTACT form and I will send you an MP3 file of the backing track, which will play easily and reliably on virtually all devices.

Practice with the backing track before recording  Make sure you feel comfortable and familiar playing to this backing track before you record your part. Doing this is really good practice for your live ensemble playing, because it makes you listen very closely.

Headphones or earpieces  It’s important that you can hear your own sound as well as the backing track, for tuning, dynamics, good tone and expressive purposes. Any headphones or earpieces should be loosely worn to allow you to hear your own playing. 

We only want to hear YOU on the recording!  Do not use a loudspeaker to play the backing track. Remember also that some earpieces or headphones emit quite high levels of sound. It’s important that the sound of the backing track does not feed into your recording. Please check this carefully before you record your part - do a sample and play it back before making a proper recording, check in particular the bars rest when you are not playing!

Pulse  The first thing you hear is two bars of the click track with no music. This is to set the speed accurately. The music begins immediately after this - you should hear it quite clearly. If you are not playing right at the beginning, you count your bars rest from this point, as in a conventional ensemble. From here onwards, it's vital that you play precisely to this click-track pulse. If you drift away from it at any point, your part will no longer fit with the others, and it may render your recording unusable. It’s as important to stay in time here as in a live ensemble! There are occasional speeds changes, clearly indicated in the music and on the backing track - these should be easy to follow.

Rehearsal letters  These are given as spoken prompts, as a confirmation that you are in the right place in your music. If you hear a prompt that does not match with where you think you are, you have probably miscounted, and you will need to start again.

Speed changes and re-starts  These are also indicated as voice prompts, as well as in the printed music.

Making the recording  Place your recording device reasonably near your instrument, in front of you at roughly head height (seated or standing, as you prefer). Do NOT put the recording device and/or microphone directly in front of the bell of the instrument!

Settings on the recording device  Remember that this is an audio recording, not a video! The file you are creating should be an MP3 or WAV file, though MP4 audio and M4a are also OK. The record level control (if there is one) should be set to ‘manual’ (thus avoiding compression, which ruins the dynamic range in your playing!) - set the manual level carefully by playing your loudest notes whilst watching the level indicator, which should read no higher than just under ‘maximum’ or -6dB (decibels) on those loudest notes (depending on the type of level meter you have). This allows a ‘margin-for-error’ headroom which avoids overload, whilst recording at a level which should create good sound.

Playing and recording  What is really important - apart from playing in time - is the expressive range in your performance. Dynamics are important, also good sound (especially when pianissimo or fortissimo) - and tuning is of course vital! Remember also that the mood and expression that you generate will make a huge difference when the parts are assembled. All these details are every bit as important as in live performance, and you will need to be especially aware of doing all this whilst wearing headphones.

Your completed recording  Once you have listened and are satisfied with your recording, please send the file via WeTransfer (a free service, click this blue link) to the email address used for application:
mail (at) laurenceperkins (dot) com
This is better than sending via email, which can be problematic when sending larger files. Please remember to include your name when sending the file(s). All recordings should be submitted on or 
before Wednesday 17th March at the latest - many thanks!

Your photograph  This is entirely optional, but if you would like your photograph as well as (and alongside) your name in the player credits on the final video, please send a .jpg photo in addition to your audio file (it’s very easy to send both together).



Mendelssohn: Overture ‘The Hebrides’

Here is your full backing track, with click track - click the PLAY arrow to stream this:

Here is the same recording without the click track, if you want to listen just to the music.


Bruckner: ‘Kyrie’ from Mass in E

Here is your full backing track, with click track - click the PLAY arrow to stream this:

Here is the same recording without the click track, if you want to listen just to the music.


Gabrieli: Sonata Pian e Forte

Here is your full backing track, with click track - click the PLAY arrow to stream this:

Here is the same recording without the click track, if you want to listen just to the music. The acoustic will sound different here from the click-track recording - this is a recreation of the spacious interior of St Mark's in Venice, with a special sound that partly inspired this music.


Please remember to send in your finished recording(s) no later than Wednesday 17th March - many thanks!


If you are having any problems…

Please contact me via the website CONTACT form - I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks for taking part in this - it’s certainly an adventure!