A backing track is an audio recording, sometimes purely a rhythmic pattern/accompaniment and other times including instrumental performances, that live musicians play or sing along with. Backing tracks are handy when you don't have anyone else to play live in a JamKazam session, so that you can still play along with some kind of accompaniment. Backing tracks can also be fun and useful even when you have multiple musicians live in a JamKazam session, as you can use backing tracks for rhythm or for a general foundation to help guide interplay among the live musicians. For example, you could use an audio recording of a piano playing 12-bar blues in the key of G, and have multiple live musicians in your JamKazam session take turns playing and soloing over this backing track.
If you don't have any backing tracks, you can search for backing tracks on the Internet. There are many sources of free backing tracks in different styles/genres and with different instrumental and rhythmic combinations. The JamKazam app currently supports the following audio file formats for using backing tracks in sessions:
If you have backing tracks already, or find ones you like on the Internet, but they are a different audio file format - like .mp3 - you can easily convert your backing tracks into one of the supported file formats above using a free online media file converter, like the one at https://www.media.io/.
Now that we've covered a little bit of information about what backing tracks are, let's see how you can use them in a JamKazam session. To open and use a backing track audio file in JamKazam, click the "Audio File" option in the "Recorded Audio" section of the session screen (see below with arrow).
A common File Open dialog box is displayed. Select the audio file you would like to use, and then click the Open button at the lower right corner of this dialog box.
The audio file you selected is opened into the JamKazam session. An audio track for the backing track audio file is displayed in the Recorded Audio section of the session screen (see below with arrow pointing up). To adjust the volume of the backing track audio, simply hover your mouse over the volume icon on this track, and pull the slider control up or down, just like any other audio track.
The player control for this backing track audio file is displayed in a small floating window. You can grab this player window by the title bar and move it around on your screen. Click the Play button to start playback of the backing track (see above with arrow pointing right). You can also pause playback, or stop playback, and you can grab the slider control to move playback to a specific place in the audio file. When you are doing using the backing track audio file, click the orange Close Audio File button in the player window, and the audio track and player window will disappear.
Another handy use of backing tracks is drum/rhythm loops. Here again, you can find free rhythm recordings that are designed to loop seamlessly/endlessly on the Internet, and then open/use these in JamKazam sessions - for example, if you don't have a drummer in your session.
To open and use a looped audio file in JamKazam, click the "Audio File" option in the "Recorded Audio" section of the session screen, just as we showed above in this help topic for any other backing track audio file. A common File Open dialog box is displayed. This time we'll select a drum loop audio file (see below with arrow), and then click the Open button at the lower right corner of this dialog box.
To use a backing track audio file that is designed for seamless looping, simply check the box labeled "Loop audio file playback" in the player window (see below with arrow), and then click the Play button in the player window. The audio will play/loop seamless until you click the pause or stop button in the player window.
That's about all you need to know about using backing track audio and the looping feature in JamKazam. Below is a video you can also watch to see more of backing tracks and loops in action. The user interface of the JamKazam app is outdated in this video, but it's still useful to see (and hear) how these features can be used.