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Click or No Click for Rock?
Old 16th December 2008
  #1
Click or No Click for Rock?

so for the first time in a while i recorded a band without a click as they didnt want to use one and to be honest it was a great idea! I just checked and some of the songs' last choruses are about 4 or 5 bpm faster, and as a resut the arrangements have life! Its all that extra energy and everything builds nicely.

So who doesnt bother with clicks here............the other plus point is it makes you not bother with thinking "ahhhh well i may as well beat detect this to make it a little tighter"
Old 16th December 2008
  #2
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no click! just get the band rocking and press record, do as many passes as everyone can stand...do a little creative editing and there's your foundation....I don't have a problem with click, but I also don't have a problem with no click...DO IT!

Nick
Old 16th December 2008
  #3
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Click. Absolutely.

I hardly ever work with musicians who prefer not to have a click.

The excellent session musicians around here can work with the click and still make it human.

Best of both worlds baby! Woo!


Its fun to do a no-click dirty rock n' roll record every once in awhile... but i strongly prefer working with the click for higher profile records.
Old 16th December 2008
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post
Click. Absolutely.

Its fun to do a no-click dirty rock n' roll record every once in awhile... but i strongly prefer working with the click for higher profile records.

why? im honestly starting to think with proper players theres no point. With rock its all about those little tempo fluctuations, a bpm here or there. Im convinced thats why im not getting bored listening to these drums and guides, its just so much life, lift and push to it. the whole arrangement drives! You can get the sense of a bunch of people in a room having fun making music and pushing the BPMs as they get into it..........it appeals to that part of us that made music bashing trees in the jungle...................oh and how many pre 70s records were made without clicks
Old 16th December 2008
  #5
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmmaster View Post
why? im honestly starting to think with proper players theres no point. With rock its all about those little tempo fluctuations, a bpm here or there. Im convinced thats why im not getting bored listening to these drums and guides, its just so much life, lift and push to it. the whole arrangement drives! You can get the sense of a bunch of people in a room having fun making music and pushing the BPMs as they get into it..........it appeals to that part of us that made music bashing trees in the jungle...................oh and how many pre 70s records were made without clicks
Because when hot-shot producer X is paying you large sum of money Y to slam 50 guitar layers, 27 key & synth tracks, 5 vocal layers and 30 BGV tracks into 2.5 minutes of the bands major label debut magnum opus you use a click track to keep your sanity.

Great musicians can drive the arrangement, keep the sense of fun and excitement, lift and push the beat, while still rocking to a click. Hire some A+ session musicians from LA, Nashville, or NY and you will see.


Oh and records made pre-70's suck... (ducks from the hail of bullets) .... Just kidding
Old 16th December 2008
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post
Because when hot-shot producer X is paying you large sum of money Y to slam 50 guitar layers, 27 key & synth tracks, 5 vocal layers and 30 BGV tracks into 2.5 minutes of the bands major label debut magnum opus you use a click track to keep your sanity.

Great musicians can drive the arrangement, keep the sense of fun and excitement, lift and push the beat, while still rocking to a click. Hire some A+ session musicians from LA, Nashville, or NY and you will see.
not convinced to be honest but each to their own ...........as i said how do you explain Revlover? oh and if you have that many tracks the song is **** and the public wont fall for it anyway ;-)
Old 16th December 2008
  #7
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Absolutely NO click!!!!!


T.
Old 16th December 2008
  #8
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ScumBum's Avatar
 

Whatever works best for the band ,

If its screwing up the drummer lose it ,

1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
Old 16th December 2008
  #9
i prefer click but tend to get better 'jams' with no click. the happy medium for me is building a custom loop more in sync with the groove of the song to play to, rather than just a straight metronome.
Old 16th December 2008
  #10
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there was an enormous thread about this a while back...
Drummers that don't play to clicks.

wonder if this one will be as feisty.

here's a great article as well
SOUNDING OFF


clicks suck imo. sterilizes the vibe. but i guess do what you gotta if the drummer stinks.
Old 16th December 2008
  #11
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmmaster View Post
not convinced to be honest but each to their own ...........as i said how do you explain Revlover?
Pick 99 out of 100 records on the Billboard top 100 right now. Some of them are probably very good.... some of them have class A+ session players on them.

All of them used a click track some where or another (probably every beat of every song).

Just the way it is.

Revolver = Mmm mmm ADT. Not exactly the 'purest' way to record ;-) but still makes a damn good record.

You cannot honestly tell me that the Beatles would not have taken advantage of Pro Tools, Auto-Tune, and click tracks if they had been readily available.

Record however makes you happy and I will do the same!
Old 16th December 2008
  #12
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmmaster View Post
oh and if you have that many tracks the song is **** and the public wont fall for it anyway ;-)
Welcome to the Black Parade anyone?
Old 16th December 2008
  #13
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I always ask the drummer. They usually say no. Doesn't matter to me at all. It depends on the band and what they are trying to accomplish, but I generally prefer the result of no click.
Old 16th December 2008
  #14
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BlueSprocket's Avatar
 

I'll have the band play with a click for a few bars and then turn it off. I try to spend as much time as is allowed with the rhythm component of a song and if you have good players, their feel is far more important than the absolute time.

A Click will make editing easier (But if you're in a DAW and have the ability to adjust tempo grids, I don't see the issue) but there is no replacement for a great groove and feel. And I've usually found you don't get that with a click track running.
Old 16th December 2008
  #15
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ScumBum's Avatar
 

As a drummer I actually love playing to a click .

It keeps the time for me so I don't have to think about it and I can focus on the song .
Old 16th December 2008
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post
All of them used a click track some where or another (probably every beat of every song).

Just the way it is.

You cannot honestly tell me that the Beatles would not have taken advantage of click tracks if they had been readily available.

Record however makes you happy and I will do the same!
coldplay's parachutes was largely unclicked, including i believe yellow. all of the pumpkins' zeitgeist was unclicked. queens of the stone age's lullabies album was also fully unclicked.

it happens.

and click tracks were available for the beatles. accurate metronomes go back over a century.
Old 16th December 2008
  #17
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Mike Brown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
coldplay's parachutes was largely unclicked, including i believe yellow. all of the pumpkins' zeitgeist was unclicked. qotsa's lullabies album was unclicked.

it happens.

and click tracks were available for the beatles. accurate metronomes go back over a century.
yep sorry... i meant click AND digital editing combined. :-)
Old 16th December 2008
  #18
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matt thomas's Avatar
It depends a lot on the music too, if the band is like led zeppelin for example then no click, if they're like linkin park, then a click would be almost mandatory.

If you have a good drummer then one of the biggest advantages of a click is being able to edit between takes that otherwise might vary slightly in tempo

narco
Old 16th December 2008
  #19
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JQ127's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorGlory View Post
I always ask the drummer. They usually say no. Doesn't matter to me at all. It depends on the band and what they are trying to accomplish, but I generally prefer the result of no click.
+1!!!
Old 16th December 2008
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorGlory View Post
I always ask the drummer. They usually say no. Doesn't matter to me at all. It depends on the band and what they are trying to accomplish, but I generally prefer the result of no click.

see this is the thing. I know people talk about top session players but no offence these are the guys who i think play with no soul........each session is a pay check to them so they'll suck producer x's penis regardless what he asks them to do.

Like you most bands with a real drummer will not want a click as its a leash round their neck-thats part of their role, to keep time!
Old 16th December 2008
  #21
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taturana's Avatar
i always prefer using clicks. 95% of the time.. or even better drum loops as reference...

in 5% of the time either the music does not allow it or the player is simply not up to playing with the click... then i scrap it. i will take time to get them to work with it though, and try loops, or record a small hand percussion loops and such when i am producing.. i am a bit of a click freak, especially because i mix most stuff i record...

and most songs i've written where i couldn't click myself, or thought the click was a hindrance... were better done later with a click track and a tempo map. takes time but works wonders...

as for my soundtracks... i sometimes record them without click, following the action on the video for rhythm... other times i use the click as a lose reference... (image still rules the timing but within fractions of the click)

yet i guess many of the hendrix recordings were done without click and they sound great.

on the other hand great players can swing a lot better with click sometimes... it frees them to just play.

to me it makes my work easier.. and all the players that play in my projects are required to be good with click tracks... great even...

the funny thing is just last week i finished a classical/contemporary dance soundtrack and we did not use click in any song. as the timing was supposed to be adapting to the part of the piece. as it's the norm in classical music.
Old 16th December 2008
  #22
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Newcleardaze's Avatar
 

Depends on the band's preference.

But I like to use one when I can... for drummers who have trouble with a click, I've recirded a rough of the guitarist following a click, let the drummer follow his rough track (this has usually worked). If the drummer gets off the rough a touch, it's no worry since the guitar will be rerecorded later.
Old 16th December 2008
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post
Because when hot-shot producer X is paying you large sum of money Y to slam 50 guitar layers, 27 key & synth tracks, 5 vocal layers and 30 BGV tracks into 2.5 minutes of the bands major label debut magnum opus you use a click track to keep your sanity.

Great musicians can drive the arrangement, keep the sense of fun and excitement, lift and push the beat, while still rocking to a click. Hire some A+ session musicians from LA, Nashville, or NY and you will see.


Oh and records made pre-70's suck... (ducks from the hail of bullets) .... Just kidding
I think the OP knows that good musician's can play around a click...you seem to be missing the point...working with high level musician's is always a treat of course....

....no click is a completely different set of recording priorities....more about getting things happening early than building/rebuilding (the foundation)as you go...

...good musician's can also play without a click. YOU should hire some of said musician's and tell them to just play the song (no click)...oh and make sure you press record during the "rehearsal".

Nick

PS obviously if a label is hiring a producer that wants things done a certain way, then you do it....I think this is more about when you have a choice.
Old 16th December 2008
  #24
Gear Nut
 

kinda depends on the song and the musicians doesn't it? I wouldn't want to track straight ahead jazz with a click, or muddy waters or the whole gamut of talented/untalented artists who just don't hear that way.
OTOH a straight ahead pop/country/rock/soul project it would probably be the right thing to do..
Old 16th December 2008
  #25
js1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post
You cannot honestly tell me that the Beatles would not have taken advantage of Pro Tools, Auto-Tune, and click tracks if they had been readily available.
Maybe, maybe not. Doubt that there would ever be a Beatles today. If the individuals involved were doing their first album today (indie - they never would be signed), you might be right. They would be a product of today's environment.

But they never would have had the same musical influences, never would have got the 1000s of hours of live playing in Hamburg, etc., They would more likely work with Timbaland than a George Martin. And more likely to produce Silver Side Up than Revolver.

Ringo said in an recent TV interview (done by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics) that he hates modern music production techniques, hates the feel of music played to a click, and hates when bands don't play bed tracks together. So the Ringo of today doesn't like clicks, FWIW (which isn't much...)

I know that you're right about the rampant use of clicks. Clicks not only make it more straightforward for editing, but also click accuracy helps when music is being exploited for other commercial applications.

The question to me is whether clicks make for better rock music. Personally, I'm not convinced.

js
Old 16th December 2008
  #26
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FireMoon's Avatar
Damn, i thought this thread was about do you actually like your Bass Drum to sound like a bass drum, or, do you like it to go click click brrrrrrrrrrrrrrap click click

I was working with an extreme/speed/up your ass metal band last week and the drummer's double bass drum track went so quick it created a time paradox and the whole damn song started playing in reverse...
Old 16th December 2008
  #27
Gear Guru
 

Yeah, what kind of "Rock"?

I think it really depends on what this "Rock" production is going to do NEXT after the basics are down.

Slap a vocal on and mix?

Or change the arrangement 6 times with copy and paste and layer 40 track of BUVs and guitars?

somewhere in between those two is the tipping point where having a click is necessary, as was said above, for the preservation of the engineer's sanity if nothing else.

It's so hard to generalize, unless you are saying something profound like: "it's so hard to generalize".
Old 16th December 2008
  #28
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post
You cannot honestly tell me that the Beatles would not have taken advantage of Pro Tools, Auto-Tune, and click tracks if they had been readily available.

true, but i can honestly tell you that any use of the above by the beatles would probably have been born of the pursuit of a vision rather than a stock, default mentality.

and there are artists doing that very thing today, but those aren't generally the artists we feel inclined to grumble about when we hear the autotune clamping down yet again.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 16th December 2008
  #29
Lives for gear
Haven't any of you people heard of "custom clicks" ? Get the band to do a live jam that captures all the vibe, then listen back to that and figure out where things speed up, slow down, change time sig. maybe -- and then use your sequencer to make a custom song click track that best matches what the live jam did.

Then re-record just the drums to that click, with the rest of the band playing along if the drummer needs it. This way you have the best of both worlds.

We do it all the time here! If you want to do some intricate layering and overdubbing later, you'll be cursing yourself for sure without that click!!!!
Old 16th December 2008
  #30
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Nine times out of ten the click isn't for the musicians benefit is it? It's for us lazy ass engineers.

The funny thing is, really good musicians don't need them but can play to them with no problems, but for your average player it's often a hindrance that can suck the feel from a performance.

It's still quite possible to edit and beat detective, etc etc a performance that wasn't recorded to a click. You just let the players dictate the tempo map rather than imposing one on them from the get go.

I guess it depends where your priorities as an engineer lay.
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