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What is lost by locking to the grid Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 25th January 2018
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The ability to react to someone else's tempo variations is a superpower?

I think it's more like a human can do it and a click track can't.
Exactly, that was the point! We are in agreement.
Old 25th January 2018
  #32
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Lance Lawson's Avatar
 

I can make a crappy off tempo recording with or without a click track. Yeah it's a gift I know. Playing in ensemble is as much a visual connection as it is a sonic one. If you can see the other players you don't even need to hear them that well. But that's what the total feel of music is all about. But under headphones and the only person in the joint click track is going to give you a better foundation to screw up on..............opps I mean build on. Anything worth recording is worth giving it the best foundation possible. Not going through the drill of setting up a click track or nailing down the best tempo just seems lazy sometimes. But a great drummer can be as spot on as a click track. Since spot on is humanly possible why not incorporate something that is spot on in the foundation.
Old 25th January 2018
  #33
Here for the gear
I sometimes will program the click to gradually speed up as the song progresses. Usually as it changes from verse to chorus, or solo. Maybe just the outro. Makes it feel more like a band playing together to me.
Old 25th January 2018
  #34
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dc_r's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
That is not 'influencing' the first part, that is getting rid of the first part! The first part that you recorded remains exactly the same down to the sample level no matter what the tracks that you add later are like. It is set in stone and the influence is one-way. If you re-do the first part, the second and third parts do not change along with it. They may have been 'compensating' for something in the first part. That something is now gone and now they are 'overcompensating'. It never ends.

Sure, you could bootstrap and re-record everything 10 times and you might begin to approach the interaction that occurs instantly in the first run-through with the band warming up.

just as you can snip and nudge notes and phrases all over the track until you begin to approach the cohesiveness of having all the overdubbers follow a common time reference.

While I don't doubt it is possible to eventually get usable results from your methods, all the techniques you suggest also apply to improving the feel of overdubbing to a click. Having done it both ways many many times, there is really nothing you can say that would make me put overdubbing one-at-a-time with no timing reference out of the #4 slot. It belongs dead last to me.

It is IMO the worst of both worlds.
I think you misunderstood me slightly- I guess all I was trying to say is that you can leave a bit of space for other instruments or parts so laying all tracks on your own doesn't have to be that bad...
Old 25th January 2018
  #35
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

The biggest problem with clicks is that they are almost always at the wrong tempo for the vocals. An ensemble will correct this intuitively but they'll just fight the click if there is one. Quantization only turns train wrecks into muzak. Even then the beginning of a sample is often not the beginning of a note
Old 25th January 2018
  #36
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
The biggest problem with clicks is that they are almost always at the wrong tempo for the vocals.
It's an issue for sure. Whether it's my own stuff or someone else's, I like to start by printing the click I think is right and then laying down a guide track with a vocal. A verse or so into it, you know if the tempo is right. Sometimes it takes 4 or 5 tries.

Somewhere online, there's a great 2-track-always-rolling tape of Elvis and band cutting "Suspicious Minds," probably not to a click. You hear several false starts and breakdowns in a row with the tempo being not quite right. And then a countoff and bang, you immediately recognize it as the one we all know and love.
Old 25th January 2018
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The ability to react to someone else's tempo variations is a superpower?

I think it's more like a human can do it and a click track can't.
It may also have something to do with mirror neurons. From Wikipedia:

Quote:
A mirror neuron, or cubelli neuron, is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.
Old 25th January 2018
  #38
Gear Addict
 

When I record, I play my instruments to a click just to keep me in tempo, but I never quantize any of it to a grid in the DAW. That seems like insanity to me. I want to keep the natural tempo and swing I played. I do the same with drums programmed from my MPC or on the rare occasion I’m drawing MIDI notes in my DAW. Nothing hits right on the money, and it sound much better that way. I’ll even add the “groove” feature in Ableton to add some additional randomness.

Keep practicing until you can make your recording not sound sloppy but also not snapped to the grid.
Old 25th January 2018
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
When I record, I play my instruments to a click just to keep me in tempo, but I never quantize any of it to a grid in the DAW. .
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
Click fan here. Doesn't have to align perfectly or be quantized .
Exactly - you shouldn't even have to say it.

I suppose because of the "debate" format of forums like Gearslutz, but edited-to-death, perfectly quantized to the grid music is the strawman that people bring up any time the use of a steady timing reference is mentioned.

"we played to a click today"
"oh I hate that, when everything is micro-edited to the grid"

"I mowed my lawn today"
"oh I hate that, when people spray all those chemicals on their grass"
Old 25th January 2018
  #40
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Timothy Lawler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
But he Beatles played that song (She Loves You) together as a band. When several people play together they create a 'feel' in the space between them.
Yes. Some things can't be fully reproduced artificially.

Quote:
They summon an Angel.
What a great way of saying it.

I'll add that the Beatles, by the time they recorded She Loves You, were some of the most well-rehearsed performers ever.
Old 25th January 2018
  #41
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
How about a single musician tracking that first primary instrument to a click and then turning it of and overdubbing free form....with a bit of that hallway bounce going on?

That's often how I work doing multi-track on my own. I find it gives a good medium between too tight and too loose. I usually track something nice and rhythmic, like an acoustic guitar, to the click, then use the guitar as my timing reference. The acoustic will tend to reflect my sense of the song, and move up or down on the click in some parts

After I get a few tracks down, I ditch the acoustic . If I go back and examine the finished piece, its interesting to note how far some notes or hits are from the click, without my hearing apparent timing problems.
Old 25th January 2018
  #42
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Somewhere online, there's a great 2-track-always-rolling tape of Elvis and band cutting "Suspicious Minds," probably not to a click. You hear several false starts and breakdowns in a row with the tempo being not quite right. And then a countoff and bang, you immediately recognize it as the one we all know and love.
In the last year I ran my little studio , I did usually ask that the amateur bands work out the tempo of each song to a click.
The best way to do this was to have the singer sing against the click, and use the tempo they felt most comfortable with. This was usually a little slower than the tempo the band would choose


I'd start each take with four bars of click, and turn it a off a couple of bars after they started playing.

This saved a lot of time with takes wasted because they started way too slow or too fast or the drummer coming in a different tempo to the intro guitar. It also settled the ""I'm sure we played it faster/slower than that yesterday" argument without having to change ADAT tapes and find yesterday's performance.

Not saying this is a a way for pros to work, but helpful with amateurs.


PS Just noticed Bob O's comment about clicks usually being the wrong tempo for the vocalist. So true. Even if you ask the vocalist to set the click, they often set it at the wrong speed unless they are actually singing to it at the same time

Last edited by norfolk martin; 25th January 2018 at 10:39 PM.. Reason: PS added
Old 25th January 2018
  #43
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

My belief is that every player has a tendency to play a certain percentage behind or ahead of the beat. This is their natural musical personality. The collective make-up of several musicians playing together, creates the band's natural personality - which is why you can usually recognise (say) a song by the Kinks from the Stones within a few seconds and why a band never sounds the same after it's replaced a member. It's also why you can rarely tell who a song is by any more until someone starts singing.

In summary, click tracks have removed the personality from music.
Old 25th January 2018
  #44
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
Playing in ensemble is as much a visual connection as it is a sonic one.
Agreed. Its much easier to come in nice and tight if you can see the drummers hand start to move.

Did a recording for some local guys last year. Several takes died right where the drummer did a long un-accompanied fill ( the drummers timing was rough, and they all come back in slightly different spots.

I finally got a bit annoyed with all the whingeing about "how hard" to was to come back in the right place:

"The problem is that none of you are looking at him! Don't try and follow his timing in the roll - when he goes to hit the crash cymbal on your left, that's where you come in"

They nailed it on the next take.

Last edited by psycho_monkey; 26th January 2018 at 06:03 AM..
Old 25th January 2018
  #45
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I've heard some really good stuff that was locked to a grid....

Old 25th January 2018
  #46
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
The collective make-up of several musicians playing together, creates the band's natural personality - which is why you can usually recognise (say) a song by the Kinks from the Stones within a few seconds and why a band never sounds the same after it's replaced a member. It's also why you can rarely tell who a song is by any more until someone starts singing.

In summary, click tracks have removed the personality from music.
Kinda like the way guitar players used to tune by ear, often idiosyncratically. So you'd listen to the radio and hear the first few notes and go, "Yuck! The Dead!" Or "Ouch! Santana!" Or "Argh! The Airplane!" Or "Barf! Big Brother!" Now almost nobody tunes by ear anymore, and bigshots don't even tune their own guitars. I think I'm okay with a bit less of that kind of "personality."
Old 25th January 2018
  #47
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I think the exception that shows that music doesn't have to seem rigid or precise or lack personality or "rock n roll" are The Who songs done with a sequencer/click.
Old 25th January 2018
  #48
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
My belief is that every player has a tendency to play a certain percentage behind or ahead of the beat. This is their natural musical personality. The collective make-up of several musicians playing together, creates the band's natural personality - which is why you can usually recognise (say) a song by the Kinks from the Stones within a few seconds and why a band never sounds the same after it's replaced a member. It's also why you can rarely tell who a song is by any more until someone starts singing.

In summary, click tracks have removed the personality from music.
I'm not sure that a click has much to do with that, although quantization would have that effect. One can play in front or behind a click track as much as one can play in front or behind a drummer. My inherent tendency is to play slightly ahead of the click. I have friends who are always slightly behind


I moved from the UK to Tulsa and got a number of lectures on how my "UK timing" didn't fit the "Tulsa sound" and I need to play "behind the beat."

When I asked who I was supposed be playing behind ( drums, guitar etc) I got blank looks "just lay back a bit behind the beat man"

"Surely someone has to be on the beat before someone can play behind them?"

"No, we're all just behind the beat in out heads."

I later concluded that the "Tulsa sound" timing was mostly due to the effect of marijuana and whiskey on the brain.
Old 25th January 2018
  #49
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
I later concluded that the "Tulsa sound" timing was mostly due to the effect of marijuana and whiskey on the brain.
You might think that's what they were doing on that Don Williams record, but I doubt it was recorded in Tulsa.
Old 26th January 2018
  #50
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Personally I let the drummer and the guitar player play together over headphones while I was recording the drums.....then lock the drums to the grid and have the guitarists overdub over that.

Sure I lost some push-pull, but I gained total control.
Old 26th January 2018
  #51
Everything in between.
Old 26th January 2018
  #52
Gear Nut
 
_Bender_'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhamilton View Post
I think the exception that shows that music doesn't have to seem rigid or precise or lack personality or "rock n roll" are The Who songs done with a sequencer/click.
Yeah bro, but with the wow and flutter of tape and lack of a DAW to chop every drum beat to the grid this doesn't really apply though.
Old 26th January 2018
  #53
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Ain't Nobody's Avatar
 

It does depend some on the style of music, but there's really two issues at play. One is the macro issue about overall tempo flow. Just imagine "Come on Eileen" to a click track. The whole concept doesn't work. For most styles of music, that's the only real issue you need to be concerned with.

The other issue that people (well, people here) generally make too much fuss over is the micro timing within each measure. This is where groove mapping, swing functions and all the rest come in. In most cases, it's much ado about nothing.

I'll spare you the details, but I actually wrote my college thesis on perception of micro timing issues (groove quantization), and did hundreds of blind tests with participants who judged the various qualities of the exact same grooves played back with various degrees of both human and computer generated stylistic variance across multiple styles.

The takeaway is that for most (not all) styles of music, the micro (intra-measure) timing is one of the least important aspects to worry about. Most people simply cannot tell the difference on material that is not intentionally swung or otherwise shifted.

The real issue tends to be one in the minds of musicians. Some musicians just can't stand the idea of playing to a click... to the point where it affects their actual ability. I must say, though, that most musicians I've met who can't play to a click couldn't play to anything else any better. I used to work with a bass player who swore the metronome was the devil, and refused to play to it, so we'd lay down some drums, and he'd go on and on about how much more it breathed and ebbed and flowed with the track... I guess we forgot to tell him the drummer was playing to a click.

Anyway, bottom line is depending on your genre and intentions, there may be real reasons NOT to play to a click in the macro sense. If not, don't worry about the rest as there are often benefits to life on the grid depending on the type and level of production. Frankly, unless you're working with all top pros, if the song doesn't require a particular ebb and flow, then any timing issues introduced are likely to be detrimental.

If your song DOES require macro ebb and flow, sky's the limit on how weird you want to get to achieve that particular nirvana. I even had a friend who projected live oils onto a wall in varying colors to signify the shifting intensity of the song as it was being tracked. I'm too old for that *&^% now. I got things to do, but don't let me detract from anyone out there ready to embark on their epic rock opera with an army of didgeridoos.
Old 26th January 2018
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Bender_ View Post
Yeah bro, but with the wow and flutter of tape and lack of a DAW to chop every drum beat to the grid this doesn't really apply though.
I think it applies. The thread isn't about chopping to a grid, it's about playing to a click.
Old 26th January 2018
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
They summon an Angel.
I think the technical term is "egregore".
Old 26th January 2018
  #56
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
My belief is that every player has a tendency to play a certain percentage behind or ahead of the beat. This is their natural musical personality. The collective make-up of several musicians playing together, creates the band's natural personality - which is why you can usually recognise (say) a song by the Kinks from the Stones within a few seconds and why a band never sounds the same after it's replaced a member.
The classic Watts/Wyman push-pull. Wyman took at least half of it with him in '93.
Old 26th January 2018
  #57
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yummerz View Post
I think the technical term is "egregore".
????

" Egre"

Eger \E"ger\, Egre \E"gre\, a. [See Eager.]

Sharp; bitter; acid; sour.


"Gore:" VERB (2)

1. wound by piercing with a sharp or penetrating object or instrument
;


Vis: a sharp, bitter, acid wound made by piercing with a sharp or penetrating object or instrument.


I don't like the sound of it, and sod anyone who does that to me while I'm playing.
Old 26th January 2018
  #58
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
summon an angel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yummerz View Post
I think the technical term is "egregore".
exactly
egregore:
Quote:
a "thoughtform" or "collective group mind", an autonomous psychic entity made up of, and influencing, the thoughts of a group of people.
and by extension
egregore:
Quote:
the personality a group takes on independent of its members.
While people can debate the reality of angels and demons, the fact that this happens every single day in musical ensembles is indisputable.

The thing is, I have heard it happen when a group of musicians are playing together with a click (and obviously also without.) That to me is all the proof I need that the click itself (a steady common timing reference) is not the vibe-stealing boogeyman some people say it is.
Old 26th January 2018
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
The thing is, I have heard it happen when a group of musicians are playing together with a click (and obviously also without.) That to me is all the proof I need that the click itself (a steady common timing reference) is not the vibe-stealing boogeyman some people say it is.
But it can be vibe stealing though. It depends on the people and the vibe one is going for.
Old 27th January 2018
  #60
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dc_r's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ain't Nobody View Post
It does depend some on the style of music, but there's really two issues at play. One is the macro issue about overall tempo flow. Just imagine "Come on Eileen" to a click track. The whole concept doesn't work. For most styles of music, that's the only real issue you need to be concerned with.

The other issue that people (well, people here) generally make too much fuss over is the micro timing within each measure. This is where groove mapping, swing functions and all the rest come in. In most cases, it's much ado about nothing.

I'll spare you the details, but I actually wrote my college thesis on perception of micro timing issues (groove quantization), and did hundreds of blind tests with participants who judged the various qualities of the exact same grooves played back with various degrees of both human and computer generated stylistic variance across multiple styles.

The takeaway is that for most (not all) styles of music, the micro (intra-measure) timing is one of the least important aspects to worry about. Most people simply cannot tell the difference on material that is not intentionally swung or otherwise shifted.

The real issue tends to be one in the minds of musicians. Some musicians just can't stand the idea of playing to a click... to the point where it affects their actual ability. I must say, though, that most musicians I've met who can't play to a click couldn't play to anything else any better. I used to work with a bass player who swore the metronome was the devil, and refused to play to it, so we'd lay down some drums, and he'd go on and on about how much more it breathed and ebbed and flowed with the track... I guess we forgot to tell him the drummer was playing to a click.

Anyway, bottom line is depending on your genre and intentions, there may be real reasons NOT to play to a click in the macro sense. If not, don't worry about the rest as there are often benefits to life on the grid depending on the type and level of production. Frankly, unless you're working with all top pros, if the song doesn't require a particular ebb and flow, then any timing issues introduced are likely to be detrimental.

If your song DOES require macro ebb and flow, sky's the limit on how weird you want to get to achieve that particular nirvana. I even had a friend who projected live oils onto a wall in varying colors to signify the shifting intensity of the song as it was being tracked. I'm too old for that *&^% now. I got things to do, but don't let me detract from anyone out there ready to embark on their epic rock opera with an army of didgeridoos.
That's what I would understand the issue to be- the flow of tempo... A band will naturally slow down and get faster through the piece and that is something difficult to imitate if you play to a click that is constant throughout.

This is what I mean when I said you could perhaps record one strummed guitar part live without click and then have Logic's Drummer follow it, then add some sparser parts and build upon that...
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