Josh Dun – Twenty One Pilots

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  1. One of my first compelling thoughts about Twenty One Pilots was that I was so happy to see audiences so accepting of backing tracks in Live performances, other than by hip-hop artists. This is something I did with my band for a few years before we broke up. We were signed to tooth and nail. The drummer has to control everything, because the drummer has to play to a click track (metronome.)
    Needless to say, it would take a six+ person band to actually play all of the different sounds in their songs live…SO, essentially what you’re getting with TOP live are karaoke tracks, with the primary drum sections removed, as well as the primary vocals. However, all other sounds, vocals, and instruments are just being played back on a laptop. What JOSH is explaining IS NOT complicated. He’s just saying that he can control the playlist of these backing tracks by hitting an electronic pad with a stick, or using a foot pedal, instead of using a computer trackpad and clicking. Think of it like being able to move through your playlist on your phone, controlling the play button, pause button, next track, and previous track buttons, but with drum sticks. Because they’re using Ableton live, they can actually turn on/off individual tracks in the mix. For example, if Josh wants to get up and interact with the crowd, he can unmute his pre-recorded drums, so that The drums don’t just drop out while he’s away from the drum set, and then he can unmute them again when he’s back at the kit and take over with real live playing. Think of it like putting your performance on auto pilot and then taking control again when you’re back at the captains seat. Exact same situation for Tyler. All of his backing vocals and most of his piano parts are being played pre-recorded. if he wants to leave the kit/piano and interact with the crowd, they will still happen. He also doesn’t play a piano. It’s the Shell of an upright piano with the guts out, and a midi controller keyboard inside of it instead. People always mistakenly think he’s playing super intricate piano parts while he’s going crazy, but he also has an iPad there along with his midi controller, where he can just go on auto pilot and essentially pretend to play. Lots of cheating going on in-general 😉 But I’m good with it. I understand it. Less mouths to feed, and less band-member opinions to hear 🙂

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