Multichannel Backing Track Player

US JoeCo launches BandMate 24-channel backing track player for live performance playback      23/01/24

Multichannel Backing Track Player

JoeCo has launched BandMate, a 24-channel backing track player for live performance playback. Aimed at gigging musicians, the 1U system can replay multichannel audio material alongside MIDI data for the control and update of MIDI equipment such as effects pedals and lighting controllers. The new hardware is supported by a pair of apps for user-friendly operation.

JoeCo Managing Director, Joe Bull, told us, "There is a definite requirement from musicians for a live assist playback device that they can trust more than a laptop. We created BandMate to be a flexible solution that will give musicians a robust device they can rely on gig after gig, which is simple to use and easy to control."

Here's more details direct from the company...

BandMate uses a setlist to organise the playback for a gig. This playlist automatically loads up the next song so musicians can focus on their performance rather than the technology. Playback can be controlled and triggered via the front panel, a footswitch, MIDI command or the Remote app. Audio and MIDI data as well as playlists are stored on a local USB memory stick.

As well as the 24 individual balanced outputs to drive a stage box or mixing console, BandMate can also send outputs 23 and 24 to an unbalanced stereo TRS jack. This provides a mixed output from the box to work with small, individual PA systems. The outputs include protection circuitry against inadvertent phantom power damaging the electronics while an earth lift switch separates the system chassis ground from the signal output screen ground to help with eliminating earth loops. Each channel has a front panel LED display to show that an audio track is present and indicate when there is signal present.

The front of the device features a large LCD display which shows the playlist, the current song name and playback time and the next song. The playlist and song can be selected using the multifunction rotary control which also accesses the menus for setup and configuration.

Supporting BandMate via Bluetooth is the BandMate Remote app. Available for iOS and Android devices, it can be used on the road to create, edit, save and load playlists. In addition to this, the app can select a song, start playback, pause, false start, skip songs and alter the output levels or mix. The app has been designed to work in either landscape or portrait mode and while control is only through one device, it will allow other band members with the app on their device to view BandMate Remote.

The BandMate Loader app runs on MacOS and Windows machines. This features two core elements to ensure a gig runs smoothly – Track Loader makes it easy to organise the source files you need for each song, whilst Playlist Editor organises the prepared songs into setlists for the gig. BandMate Loader will copy the source wav files onto a USB stick in an organised filing structure and create the files that BandMate requires to output the correct sound on each channel for that song.

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