This seems as good a place as any for this thread. So I play bass and keyboard in my band, and we've recently begun adding much more keyboard into our music. Playing shows is becoming a hassle, so we've been looking at backing tracks. How exactly would one have to go about using those? Like what all do we have to do to successfully use them?
well, first thing is you need to create a flawless back track. record it and make it an audio file that you can play from an ipod or something similar (some bands like my own have chosen to use higher quality files such as .wav and just hit the space bar on a laptop. either way, it doesnt make a difference). have a dedicated line for this track that will play through the PA when you tell it to.

now, here's the tricky part. how do you know when to start playing? is the track going to begin the song or is it coming in at some point? if its the first, awesome! hit play and run with it.

if its the second, you have some work to do. time it so that it starts at exactly the point you want it to start. you will need somebody with a dedicated headphone line out that will know when to start playing (first musician to start playing). set up a click track or something else that will count time out perfectly so you know your back track will come in at exactly the right time. this will require a master recording in your DAW btw. bus the click track and recording to your headphone line, and only the recording to your PA.

there you go. if anything is confusing, feel free to ask
Okay, first what's a DAW? How do you send the track from the iPod to the PA? And how do you send one channel to the headphones and one to the PA? Sorry for the bombardment of questions...
DAW - digital audio workstation (ex. reaper, fl studio, cubase, etc)

ipod to pa is very simple. get a cable with a 1/8 inch on one side (standard headphones) and a 1/4 inch jack on the other to plug into your mixer

if you dont know how to bus things in your DAW, i would suggest you stay away from this style of back tracks. its easy to set up, but the timing needs to be absolutely perfect or it all falls apart. stick to tracks that start your songs and play the whole way though
Yeah, the problem is that on several songs we have the keyboard coming in different sections of the song. So we need to have the click track go to the drummer. So the program I use to put everything together, Studio One, would be my DAW? I can figure out how to work things on that. My only concern now is how the headphones and everything work.
yeah, like i said, its fairly easy to set up the bus to do it. the problem is timing it all perfectly. and you have to have a fairly good laptop that wont run anywhere near its max cpu usage to avoid any crackling/pops. those will deafen your audience

what you could do i guess is record them all, set it up in itunes in a playlist in the exact order you want, and have the laptop set up in front of you just above to the side of your keyboard. when you hit a section that needs the track, hit the space bar at exactly the moment you want it. i would do one per song though to avoid another one playing by mistake (set each in its own playlist) but you would still need the rest of the band playing in the perfect tempo to have it in time. i guess you could pre-record the click track and send that to the drummer.