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What is lost by locking to the grid Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 27th January 2018
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
exactly
egregore:


and by extension
egregore:


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.
I think this depends on the piece but this is also where a good drummer (who has spent years practicing to a click) will take the job of being the click for the band...
Old 27th January 2018
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_r View Post

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

Is this something only Logic does? What do they call it?
Old 27th January 2018
  #63
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Ain't Nobody's Avatar
 

In the release notes for new Logic version 10.4, it says:

"Record audio without using a click or drag in an audio file and have the performance define your project tempo."

I haven't upgraded or used it yet, so not entirely clear what sort of fluidity that entails, but you could already do this manually.

Personally, I'm more excited about the announcement that you can now undo mixer and plugin actions. Can't count how many times that would have come in handy.
Old 27th January 2018
  #64
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
But he Beatles played that song together as a band. When several people play together they create a 'feel' in the space between them. They summon an Angel. It was not the 'absence of a metronome' that is the deciding factor, it's the absence of one-at-a-time overdubbing.

This is my personal hierarchy of groove:

1. live band with great drummer playing together with no click. Freedom.

2. live band with great drummer playing together with a click. IME, this can still swing LAMF with a good band. I have been there.

3. Single musician overdubbing to a click. Nowhere near as groovy, but remember, the click was already introduced above! So the click did not kill the feel, overdubbing one track at a time is what killed the feel Because the musician on the tape can 'influence' the next guy or gal, but he cannot be 'influenced' him/herself. The communication is one-way.

4. Single musician overdubbing with no click. The worst of both worlds, IMHO. No opportunity for influence and no common time reference for overcoming the communication gap. No interpersonal interactive magic, AND it's sloppy.



All I can say is that 99% time I have worked on something done in such a way, the inherent sloppiness of the result has rendered the project unacceptable to me. YMMV
Most informed post of 2018 so far'

Film scores have used a click for decades and they ebb and flow just fine. Jerry Goldsmith was asked if this limited him and he said he found it no problem, he could conduct the orchestra the way he wanted ...tightly or less so ...at any given point.
Old 27th January 2018
  #65
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

The reason for using a click track in film is that each scene lasts a specific length of time that needs to be precisely matched. It's not about maintaining an even tempo. Great musicians never play to a drummer. They play with a drummer along with everybody else in the ensemble!
Old 27th January 2018
  #66
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
The reason for using a click track in film is that each scene lasts a specific length of time that needs to be precisely matched.
And within a scene there will be specific "hits." Or used to be, when there was such a thing as a locked picture.
Old 27th January 2018
  #67
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Thanks, I know why films use click tracks

The point is the score often varies from being with the click to playing against it, so the fact that there is a click present doesn't mean you have to play to it precisely.

TH
Old 27th January 2018
  #68
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I will test the collective patience of participants on this thread pursuant to the relative importance of clearly defined meter and tempo from the beginning of a recording. I hate the sterility of a naked metronome click track however an appropriate drum loop is essential for most of todays layered segment projects. I now use EZ drummer (Nashville/Country bundle) loops that are carefully tailored to fit the vocalist's needs to sell the lyric. All rhythm section input needs to flow with the drum loop creating a collective well defined tempo that enables the leads, both vocal and instrumental, to "PULL AGAINST METER". This tension is where the real energy in music comes from however it is impossible with out a tightly defined rhythm section. This is the protocol I have worked with in Bluegrass and acoustic Americana for almost 50 years but this protocol is also obviously in use in many other genres: Frank Sinatra worked behind the beat and Willy Nelson likes to jump in front of it but in both cases the tension they create by pulling against a tightly defined meter provides much more energy than speed or excessive DBs ever will.
Hugh
Old 27th January 2018
  #69
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Click tracks have a tendency to show who the great musicians are..the much smaller numbers of folks who can groove and swing all over a tight beat..

those results can illuminate why a lot of folks say that a click track sounds rigid, dead, no feel, stuff like that..IMO it's usually a reflection of musicians that are waiting for the beat and then waiting for the beat..center of the beat, center of the beat, center of the beat...which isn't how you should play..there is a time period in a beat..you have choices there that can cause groove to occurr...IMO, that's so much a part of where a good musician's gift is..something that is very difficult to learn..many times it's something they just 'have'..

I love a swinging drummer....But I also love a super tight pocket drummer with great musicians who hang around different points in that tight beat and make the good thing happen.

Last edited by Pchicago; 27th January 2018 at 07:27 PM..
Old 27th January 2018
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
I hate the sterility of a naked metronome click track however an appropriate drum loop is essential for most of todays layered segment projects.
I think most people would say that philosophically at least, that is still a 'click track'. I think the drum loop makes it easier for people to relax and 'let go' - to 'just play' - but I know a number of studio musicians who seem to be able to turn it on at will - no matter how sterile the audio content of the timing reference.

Quote:
All rhythm section input needs to flow with the drum loop creating a collective well defined tempo that enables the leads, both vocal and instrumental, to "PULL AGAINST METER". This tension is where the real energy in music comes from however it is impossible with out a tightly defined rhythm section.
and many of us have seen this work very well, all the time

IMO it means that the consistent timing reference itself it not the culprit.
Old 27th January 2018
  #71
Old 27th January 2018
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Humanity
LOL..don't even start with that humanity stuff, Jim, it'll be 13 pages of a living hell.

(RE: THAT humanity thread in the guitar corner)

: )
Old 27th January 2018
  #73
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
Thanks, I know why films use click tracks

The point is the score often varies from being with the click to playing against it, so the fact that there is a click present doesn't mean you have to play to it precisely.

TH
I think this goes for every use of click. Maybe "around" it is a better word.

But any film score work I've done as a player always employed a tempo map, and that map tightly guided the band director through the scene job. Not like us players were wearing headphones and listening to a click. We were performing to human direction.
Old 27th January 2018
  #74
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oceantracks's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I think this goes for every use of click. Maybe "around" it is a better word.

But any film score work I've done as a player always employed a tempo map, and that map tightly guided the band director through the scene job. Not like us players were wearing headphones and listening to a click. We were performing to human direction.
Of course, which is why I pointed out what J Goldsmith had spoken about.

The click was a guide for him to conduct, either tightly or loosely.
Old 27th January 2018
  #75
Gear Addict
There are musicians who can play to a click and have a wonderful groove, and then there those who can't.
Really, I think that's all you can say about this topic.

Dan
Old 27th January 2018
  #76
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I think most people would say that philosophically at least, that is still a 'click track'. I think the drum loop makes it easier for people to relax and 'let go' - to 'just play' - but I know a number of studio musicians who seem to be able to turn it on at will - no matter how sterile the audio content of the timing reference.
Yeah, I think loops work great as guide clicks. Far better than standard click noises.

Nice article section from Terry Date in Jan/Feb Tape Op regarding Rob Zombie using Clouser loops as guide click, and then thinking of those loops as another band member, and re-designing and incorporating them into the final mix for Astro-Creep 2000. Very fluid and dynamic use of loops as click and beyond.
Old 27th January 2018
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shobud View Post
There are musicians who can play to a click and have a wonderful groove, and then there those who can't.
Really, I think that's all you can say about this topic.

Dan
I think also some can but don't want to or don't like to or don't need to.
Old 28th January 2018
  #78
I remember Dennis Davis touring with Stevie Wonder in 1983. He would lock to the Lin 9000 in about 3 beats.
Old 28th January 2018
  #79
Sense of accurate tempo is an individual skill that obviously varies wildly. I'm currently working on a Guy's 1st CD project. He had never recorded in a real studio, and by necessity, it would have to be put together track by track as well. Then, to make things worse, he refused to use a click track. I tried and tried to convince him that tempo would be a sloppy mess when we tried to add other instruments but he was adamant. Well we started with guitar/vocal recorded at the same time and unbelievably, his tempo was perfect. I mean you could set a metronome and this guy I don't think would veer from it by one click.
Old 29th January 2018
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
I tried and tried to convince him that tempo would be a sloppy mess when we tried to add other instruments but he was adamant.
I suppose for drum overdubbing it may be difficult seeing as the drums are usually the time keeper. (i guess Logic or Melodyne could help solve this).

But I'm not sure I get why other instruments would necessarily be a problem. People have been overdubbing on "imperfect" tracks for decades.
Old 29th January 2018
  #81
The issue I find is (and apologies if I’ve said this earlier in the thread) people sit on a click fine, then speed up into a fill, then slow back down. Which is all fine and natural, but THEN they’re ahead of the click (because they sped up), so they have to slow down BELOW the right tempo to lock back on to the click.

That’s what feels weird. Someone with good tempo not on click who speeds up and slows down around fills is fine.

Last edited by psycho_monkey; 29th January 2018 at 01:07 AM..
Old 29th January 2018
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post

That’s what feels weird. Someone with good tempo not on click who speeds up and slows down around fills is fine.
Yes, I think it's time for this question to reverse...for a long time now people have been fighting the grid or giving into the grid. I don't know that anyone originally wanted music on a grid. Maybe Kraftwerk.

Perhaps with this Melodyne innovation, people will start freeing themselves more. The thread will be "What is lost by not locking to a grid?". Answer...well it worked for hundreds and hundreds of years?

Last edited by psycho_monkey; 29th January 2018 at 01:07 AM..
Old 29th January 2018
  #83
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
The issue I find is (and apologies if I’ve said this earlier in the thread) people sit on a click fine, then speed up into a fill, then slow back down...
Yes. Dragging to get back even with the click is the world's worst thing, not counting politics which we can't talk about. With the ancient frames-per-beat Urei click generator you could, without it being noticeable, stop it and restart it in time with the drummer. When I was breaking in as a second and jingle drummers were Broadway guys who played way on top of the beat, this was very common. For a newbie second, having good time was job security.
Old 29th January 2018
  #84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Yes. Dragging to get back even with the click is the world's worst thing, not counting politics which we can't talk about. With the ancient frames-per-beat Urei click generator you could, without it being noticeable, stop it and restart it in time with the drummer. When I was breaking in as a second and jingle drummers were Broadway guys who played way on top of the beat, this was very common. For a newbie second, having good time was job security.
Yeah that's a good thought.

Realtime click started and stopped by footpedal maybe from SPD drum machine? could be a way to keep natural time and yet not stray too far.

I used to play in a band with a drummer who (at his insistence) played to a click, not with backing track. His time was fine alone, but he liked to be consistent starting songs at the right tempo. He had a footpedal immediately behind his hat pedal, so if we lost click for any reason or if for some reason the song needed to push or pull, we could drop it; some tracks had pre-programmed tempo changes too.

Might sound a bit unmusical but in practice it worked really well - we weren't a "jam" band, and it meant rarely did a song drag in performance. Plus I'm sure it helped me play better from a feel perspective - my guitar technique isn't great but my timing is pretty good.
Old 29th January 2018
  #85
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shobud View Post
There are musicians who can play to a click and have a wonderful groove, and then there those who can't.
Really, I think that's all you can say about this topic.

Dan

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhamilton View Post
I think also some can but don't want to or don't like to or don't need to.
And, to be blunt, many who say they "don't want to " can't.

One thing I've leaned over the years is that if I suggest a click track because of tempo problems, and the drummer immediately objects that it kills the feel and ruins the groove, there's a 50% chance that the guy cannot stay on a click track to save his life.

Whether a drummer should play to a click track is an artistic decision. But if you can't, IMO you're not a drummer.
Old 29th January 2018
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
The issue I find is (and apologies if I’ve said this earlier in the thread) people sit on a click fine, then speed up into a fill, then slow back down. Which is all fine and natural, but THEN they’re ahead of the click (because they sped up), so they have to slow down BELOW the right tempo to lock back on to the click.

That’s what feels weird. Someone with good tempo not on click who speeds up and slows down around fills is fine.
Personal pet peeve... sped up fills. Makes my brain ache in a band situation. I've often asked a drummer to keep fills in tempo, only to be told that I'm wrong. Put a click on them, and every time, they are ahead of the groove by the end of the fill.

Usually, practicing with a click for a few hours, just playing time and fill, time and fill, time and fill... clears this up easily.
Old 29th January 2018
  #87
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
Sense of accurate tempo is an individual skill that obviously varies wildly. I'm currently working on a Guy's 1st CD project. He had never recorded in a real studio, and by necessity, it would have to be put together track by track as well. Then, to make things worse, he refused to use a click track. I tried and tried to convince him that tempo would be a sloppy mess when we tried to add other instruments but he was adamant. Well we started with guitar/vocal recorded at the same time and unbelievably, his tempo was perfect. I mean you could set a metronome and this guy I don't think would veer from it by one click.
Also had this experience with a drummer, first time in studio. He wanted no click, and everything was going to be overdubbed, just drums for passes. Guy had an atomic clock built into his head. You could pull something from the beginning of any song, and slip it into the end, and it would fit perfectly. Kind of rare, though.
Old 29th January 2018
  #88
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Personal pet peeve... sped up fills. Makes my brain ache in a band situation. I've often asked a drummer to keep fills in tempo, only to be told that I'm wrong. Put a click on them, and every time, they are ahead of the groove by the end of the fill.

Usually, practicing with a click for a few hours, just playing time and fill, time and fill, time and fill... clears this up easily.
I agree. Although much is made of drummers pulling the tempo up and down for effect, it is my experience that drummers noticeably changing the tempo in a fill or chorus ( usually rushing it) does not make for a better groove in the mind of the listener, and upsets the rest of the band's sense of time.

Often in my local function, the best advice I can give in a session is "don't play that long fill - it kills the groove"
Old 30th January 2018
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post

Whether a drummer should play to a click track is an artistic decision. But if you can't, IMO you're not a drummer.
I suppose most good drummers can play to click, especially these days, since it practically goes without saying.

But many famous drummers do not like it and have said so.

I mentioned The Who, who I think showed that a click can still be rock and roll. But I'm pretty sure for the most part they didn't use a click, and when they did, they hated it (according to John Entwistle).

If people want to use a click, they should do whatever they want. If people don't want to, even if it's because they "can't", they shouldn't have to. Their music could still well be great and superior to a million drummers who can drum to a click.

I think it's weird, when you google around on this topic, that it has become not just the norm, but practically a demand.
Old 30th January 2018
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Personal pet peeve... sped up fills. Makes my brain ache in a band situation. I've often asked a drummer to keep fills in tempo, only to be told that I'm wrong. Put a click on them, and every time, they are ahead of the groove by the end of the fill.

Usually, practicing with a click for a few hours, just playing time and fill, time and fill, time and fill... clears this up easily.
Ringo sped up fills. I was just reading an interview with Stewart Copeland and his notoriously sped up fills.

I agree with the OP, that the click is part of the homogenization of music.
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