The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
I need to hear drums on the grid... Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 9th January 2011
  #181
Lives for gear
 
bigbone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tha]-[acksaw View Post
It's our job as producers to capture the magic, and make it come through as best we can with the tools we've been given. .
Can i ask you what's your latest production ?
Old 9th January 2011
  #182
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman View Post
What are the expected emotional options after reading this thread?
Don't panic. The situation is totally absurd and utterly hopeless, but it's also irrelevant.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 9th January 2011
  #183
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Don't panic. The situation is totally absurd and utterly hopeless, but it's also irrelevant.

Cheers,

Otto
Exactly.

It is truly confounding/amazing to see the "cure dandruff by decapitation" crowd spontaneously regurgitate uniformity as perfection OVER AND OVER AGAIN here on GS though.

Best regards,

SM.
Old 9th January 2011
  #184
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sim View Post
I think every post on this thread has had equally valid points.
No, one side has clearly lost their mind. How can music, dance, and, drumming, HAVE to be on the grid? Really? Or else it's wrong? That would mean that music, dance, and drumming have been wrong for thousands of years and only now is it done correctly.

Quote:
obviously Superstition is an excellent track despite having a wondering tempo and shoddy fills.
It's great BECAUSE of a "wondering tempo and shoddy fills"...among other things. Played by humans goes on the plus side, not the minus side! Every single being listening to the song will be processing it with a human brain and dancing along with human precision. Music should work with our biology.
Old 9th January 2011
  #185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheebs Goat View Post
No, one side has clearly lost their mind. How can music, dance, and, drumming, HAVE to be on the grid? Really? Or else it's wrong? That would mean that music, dance, and drumming have been wrong for thousands of years and only now is it done correctly.



It's great BECAUSE of a "wondering tempo and shoddy fills"...among other things. Played by humans goes on the plus side, not the minus side! Every single being listening to the song will be processing it with a human brain and dancing along with human precision. Music should work with our biology.

All I was trying to say is music can be good with or without being put on a grid. And that most music is put on a grid these days because it's just the norm for whatever reason you like.

All you've done is repeat what has been said already. Which is along the lines "I like to put drums on the grid" or "I don't like to put drums on the grid" and (insert feel, groove, timing etc related reason here). Or read the two post before yours
Old 9th January 2011
  #186
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tha]-[acksaw View Post
The Superstition song is a a perfect case in point. If you listen to the breakdown, right before Stevie sings "Superstition ain't the way", the song breaks down a small bit, with a drum fill and some clavi fills. A great example of lost magic is the clavi fills.....But it does dull the light on what could have been two amazing little clavi licks. ...instead, no one ever hears them. Two pieces of magic that were lost to anyone who doesn't have the original multi tracks. I just think its a shame....

Today we have more options and tools, and we have the ability to fix small stuff like that.... People harp on grid editing cause it's a visual art. But it's my ear that tells me it needs to be fixed. Not my eyes. My eyes just help in the fixing. At the end of the day, its all our jobs to do what sounds best to US. Everything else is just opinion.
It strikes me that we have been arguing in circles here, speaking in abstract terms about what 'would' or 'should' be done or left alone. Not just in this thread, but as an overarching debate across Gearslutz. Everyone is expressing their opinion - but only their opinion on what "might be"!

You have the ability to put an end to all that. To take the theoretical and make it real. I think Ben's suggestion to actually grid the stems of Superstition is fantastic, and should be done forthwith!

You have the stems of this clearly flawed song, as well as the modern production skills to identify and repair the various mistakes, errors and sloppy playing that Stevie and Company made back in the bad old days.

Don't just say you could do it. Do it.

Then simply apply the same basic mix to both sets of stems and we can all finally base our opinions on an actual example of the type of improvement you are talking about. You could even do a 3rd mix that featured the parts you thought were wrongly hidden. I think it would be a fun exercise for all of us, and would give you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and prove your point once and for all.

I would do it myself, except:
  1. I don't have the stems.
  2. My heart would not be in it, so my result would unfairly compromise the test. We need someone like you who sincerely believes he is improving it.
  3. I would probably throw up a little into my mouth while trying.
Old 9th January 2011
  #187
Quote:
Originally Posted by tha]-[acksaw View Post
For my money, I want all the magic to shine through. If making a small fix allows that to happen, then a fix is what I'm making.
But the magic shining through would be the magic of digital editing. I think that there's enough magin in that song to last it for a while still. And of course the problem is that it would never stop at that. Well, there's that drum fill that's off a bit there. And the background vocalist drifted a little there, and on and on. And, by the time it was done, you'd have a song in which you lost everything that made it great in the desparate effort to not have anything wrong in it.
Old 9th January 2011
  #188
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
And, by the time it was done, you'd have a song in which you lost everything that made it great in the desparate effort to not have anything wrong in it.
I'm with you, but I am forced to admit that this is only conjecture on our parts.

Hacksaw has the ability and the modern production skills to actually identify and remove all the mistakes, to put Superstition on the grid and then we can HEAR for a fact if fixing it ruins it.

I say give him a chance to prove his contention.
Old 10th January 2011
  #189
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by tha]-[acksaw View Post
Gotta love it when people take something from the middle of your post, then something from the end, quote the whole thing and fuse it together like it was all part of the same sentence, then begin to bash it up and down. That always makes for a great discussion. HAHA!
And you then go on to reiterate that what I was reacting to is exactly what you were saying.
I agree with joeq- go ahead and do it. Let's hear the sloppy mess that is Superstition "improved" and "corrected".
Then we'll all know.
Old 10th January 2011
  #190
Lives for gear
 
tha]-[acksaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbone View Post
Can i ask you what's your latest production ?
This is my most recent production, fresh off the press.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK6EITwgdCo
I'm recording a 6 song EP with this band right now, but we're still mixing. This mixdown from live multitrack is all I can offer at the moment.

If your looking for something with a studio approach, you can check out this song I wrote and produced called "A Little Bit Crazy".
Nick Hackleman - Official Artist Page on iLike - free music, pictures, videos
Old 10th January 2011
  #191
Lives for gear
 
tha]-[acksaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
You have the ability to put an end to all that. To take the theoretical and make it real. I think Ben's suggestion to actually grid the stems of Superstition is fantastic, and should be done forthwith!

You have the stems of this clearly flawed song, as well as the modern production skills to identify and repair the various mistakes, errors and sloppy playing that Stevie and Company made back in the bad old days.

In all honesty I really enjoyed the "forthwith". There's no point to a discussion like this is we all can't be a bit light hearted.

It's a fair enough task to present, and I'd be more then willing to do it, if people feel like it would be a positive benefit to this discussion. I just have several concerns on my end.

1). I don't wanna offend anyone by altering a song that many consider, including myself, to be more Epic the the Bible. It's not worth having someone come to my house and kill me. Kidding..... but only kinda.

2). I don't wanna offend any record companies either. We all know thats a BIG no no, and this isn't my material to distribute.

3). Everyone would have to understand that I won't be able to recreate the original mix, so what ever mix I did give the song would have to be removed from any opinion forming with regard to the correction of any timing errors. Which for most of us would be impossible, right?

4). Since the song wasn't played to a click track, there is no way to make a mathematical grid for this song. Therefore I would have two options. I could pick one single tempo for the song. Warp all the bars to that tempo. Which would leave me with enough artifacts, from time compression/expansion, to make the song not worth hearing. Or... I could start with the drums solo and go through correcting drum errors as I see it, then pocketing the instrumentation to that. Regardless, everyone would have to understand that the idea of putting this song to a single tempo grid is impossible, which might in turn make this whole demonstration against the true topic of this thread.

I have no problem entertaining any thoughts on the above subject. And apologies to the many people I appear to have offended by bringing this thread back to life.
Old 10th January 2011
  #192
Lives for gear
 
tha]-[acksaw's Avatar
 

On a side note, or rather to get back to the OP. I think most opinions in this thread go two ways.

1). One side of us are the producers who work at home, or in small studios. These producers are mostly people who write arrange and compose songs for various genres. These people are best off working with click based DAW sessions due to the ease of work flow and the need to record and arrange things one instrument at a time. If you work with click based music, most people would agree that the closer you get to the grid, the tighter the performance sounds. So most of us go this route.

2). The other side of us doesn't work with clicks often. Not cause they can't, but because they have the freedom not to. Most of them record in larger studio, who have necessary isolation required to capture a full band playing live and in the moment. These producers don't have the need for a click track or grid as long as the performance is solid.

I fall into the first group, therefor all my opinions are based around that style of production and the subsequent work flow. To the latter group, I commend you all. If I had the time, resources, available space, musicians and money, I would be doing the same. But I don't. So I follow the style and work flow that best suites my means.

All this bashing of opinions is really just style bashing. And it's just not necessary when trying to have a meaningful discussion. Opinions is what I came to GS for. I came here so someone else could explain their perspective, regardless of how distant it is from mine. I learn from difference, not from a lot of the same. Thanks to everyone for sharing their opinions.
Old 10th January 2011
  #193
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_allison View Post
A fill right on the grid can sound like a machine gun
And sometimes that sounds fantastic
Old 10th January 2011
  #194
Lives for gear
 
Salty James's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 View Post
Often a drum fill sounds plain wrong if it is bang on the grid... It often sounds better played ahead of the beat, for example.

Sometimes KIK and SN sound great on the grid but the "2 and 4" hi hats make it more groovy because they are a little late
yep, the casio drum fill..
Old 10th January 2011
  #195
Gear Addict
 

i think the problem with this debate is a fundamental misunderstanding of the logic behind what makes a great song.

i'm sure we all agree that snapping to grid is neither necessary nor sufficient for a great song.

therefore there's really no point in discussing it.

you could extend this to say that virtually nothing is necessary or sufficient to make a song great. so we shouldn't discuss any songs.

you would then be on to something.

however, i did just listen to superstition again, that was fun.
Old 10th January 2011
  #196
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tha]-[acksaw View Post
In all honesty I really enjoyed the "forthwith". There's no point to a discussion like this is we all can't be a bit light hearted.

It's a fair enough task to present, and I'd be more then willing to do it, if people feel like it would be a positive benefit to this discussion. I just have several concerns on my end.

1). I don't wanna offend anyone by altering a song that many consider, including myself, to be more Epic the the Bible. It's not worth having someone come to my house and kill me. Kidding..... but only kinda.
I think we can all agree this is not an artistic endeavor, but more like a "science experiment".

Quote:
2). I don't wanna offend any record companies either. We all know thats a BIG no no, and this isn't my material to distribute.
Maybe we could simply privately email the mixes among those interested people reading the thread.

Quote:
3). Everyone would have to understand that I won't be able to recreate the original mix, so what ever mix I did give the song would have to be removed from any opinion forming ...
We would not be comparing it against the Original mix, which has History on its side as well as everything else. I feel as long as the same mix was applied to both edited and unedited stems, we have a chance to make a fair comparison of the concept.

Quote:
4). Since the song wasn't played to a click track, there is no way to make a mathematical grid for this song... ...I could start with the drums solo and go through correcting drum errors as I see it, then pocketing the instrumentation to that. ...
Fair enough. I was hoping to literally hear a version of Superstition 'on a grid', but I don't think anyone is arguing in favor of time-stretching artifacts... The deeper philosophical disagreement is: whether or not the music benefits from interpreting 'imperfections' as 'mistakes' that need to be corrected. Also you have to be comfortable with what you are doing or it is an empty exercise.

Quote:
I have no problem entertaining any thoughts on the above subject. And apologies to the many people I appear to have offended by bringing this thread back to life.
I am excited to hear an actual version of the theoretical contrast we have been debating. Of course, I think my point of view will be vindicated. But you never know.
Old 10th January 2011
  #197
Gridding Superstition would be a neat experiment, as Joeq says.

What gets lost? What doesn't? Lot's of people have lots to say... but something someone can listen to and draw their own conclusions from is far more interesting.

We can't really compare "modern songs on the grid" to "old songs not on the grid" cause so many other things are different.
Old 10th January 2011
  #198
Lives for gear
 
tha]-[acksaw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
The deeper philosophical disagreement is: whether or not the music benefits from interpreting 'imperfections' as 'mistakes' that need to be corrected.
To me, this quote is the root of our current discussion. This might not be the root discussion of this thread, but to me, its the underlying issue thats been drug on for so many pages in this thread, and other. And it's also the root of what gets everyone so fired up... "To correct, or not to correct" in the "parlance of our times". That is the question.

With that said, I'm willing to take on the challenge knowing that I might fail miserably. There are so many factors working against me that the deck is pretty stacked. But regardless of that, I'm interested in the outcome, and if others are as well, then it's a good experiment to conduct. If anyone is offended by this idea, please let me know NOW. Otherwise I say we move forward with it. So let me address this one issue first...

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Maybe we could simply privately email the mixes among those interested people reading the thread.
Joeq is right. This is the best route. If people wanna be kept abreast of this experiment, send me a Private Message with you email. I'm not trying to spam anyone, but if you are worried about that kinda stuff go make an email address specific to this discussion on one of the 500 free email sites available these days. With in a few days, after I gather email of those interested, I will get everyone on an email thread and we can work out the details from there. Does that sound reasonable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Fair enough. I was hoping to literally hear a version of Superstition 'on a grid', but I don't think anyone is arguing in favor of time-stretching artifacts... Also you have to be comfortable with what you are doing or it is an empty exercise.
There are some good points here. With regard to being comfortable with the exercise, I feel like I'm able to give it my best shot. I learned production and editing in Nashville, so I've seen some amazing stuff and learned quite a lot in the process. I know damn well there are editors who would smoke me outright. But its something that I've worked hard at for a long while and that I believe I have a knack for. Beyond that, I can't say much else for myself. The words on this thread don't mean anything anyway. The proof is in the pudding.

In going through the session over the last few hours, there are a few complication that I'm gonna have to work around. With regard to a click and a perfect grid, it can't happen. I think everyone can understand that. So, after looking at the drums very close, its clear that the song has a constant and steady swing on the 16th notes.

To understand my tempo map, basically I found the down beat of each bar of the song using the kick drum track as a guide. So I've only tempo mapped the downbeats of each bar. From there, each beat aside from the 1 is pretty close to grid, if not right on it. The exception would be the 16th notes. It's obvious after looking, that the 16th notes have a swing feel to them. I'm not sure whats the best value to define swing. What I did was highlight from the tempo map gird of a 16th note, to a 16th note hit in the performance with the swing feel. The value I looked at in ProTools' time ruler was Samples (@ 44.1). So, in taking an average of several random bars of the song, the 16th notes swings between 1300 and 2100 samples off the grid. To my ear anything with in that range sound like its in time. Hope everyone is following me on this. If you don't edit, don't feel bad if you don't get it. So to me, anything within the pocket of 1300 to 2100 samples from grid, on the 16th notes mind you, is sounding like it needs no editing. I'd give anything on 1/4 or 8th notes a 300 sample grace period in either direction of the grid. This is what some people call, "the pocket". People on this thread have called it "the pulse". Keith Richards called it "a circle you have to land within". To each their own.

Again, in looking at the session laid out with the tempo map, I'd say about 80% of the drums are in "the pocket". Most of the errors occur during long sections where the same thing is played over and over and maybe the drummer got bored or something. And it gets a bit rough coming in and out of the fills and turn around. In looking, lots of the drum mistakes come from hitting two drums at the same time and having the timing be a good deal off. For instance, sometimes the drummer will play the kick and snare at the same time, and the kick will be way before grid while the snare comes down right on time. I can't really fix this kinda stuff. It's just drummer slop. Time compressing the kick toward the snare will create some nasty phasing issues as well as artifacts from the editing. Most editors would agree that this is one of the hardest errors to correct when editing drums.

I only mention this stuff just to make everyone interested very clear on what I mean by "the deck is stacked against me". I think most people who "believe" in the power of editing understand what kind of errors can be fixed without anyone taking note, and which kind can't. It's something that I pay attention in great detail during the initial tracking session with a client. I know what I can fix and what I can't. If I can't fix it, or I have doubts, we're retracking. I don't have those options with this session, so fellas, a little grace goes a long way. The errors in this song, while subtle might be to much for TC/E to handle without noticeable degrading the audio. And its important to notice that the errors are subtle. So picking out a noticeable difference might be another task all together.

Sorry for all the ranting. I just wanted to be clear. I will try and keep notes of what I did as I go along. And again, please let me know if this offends anyone. I'm not trying to make anyone angry.
Old 10th January 2011
  #199
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tha]-[acksaw View Post
I only mention this stuff just to make everyone interest very clear on what I mean by "the deck is stacked against me".
I certainly agree there! heh

regardless, kudos to you for having the courage of your convictions and giving it a try
Old 10th February 2011
  #200
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipperman View Post
Exactly.

It is truly confounding/amazing to see the "cure dandruff by decapitation" crowd spontaneously regurgitate uniformity as perfection OVER AND OVER AGAIN here on GS though.

Best regards,

SM.
Still making those Disney Pop records with less than 100% strength quantize???

You'll learn. heh

OK. I admit it. I'm trolling you.

Cya
Old 10th February 2011
  #201
Playing with with some Vdrums, and noticing some interesting things... with MIDI, you see exactly when the pad was struck, more or less. What I'm noticing is that, often I will be slightly ahead of the beat. Almost always.

But inevitably, the hits that are sounding off, are ones that are out of time with the surrounding notes, and the internal grid of the drum part. There's a little room for movement... but the amount of space for any kind of "pocket" is very, very small.

I'm sticking to my original observation that dynamics seem to matter more where feel is concerned. It's not everything, but I certainly think it can do more damage than timing issues (within reason).
Old 10th February 2011
  #202
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by dudeitsree View Post
Lock "Fool In The Rain" to the grid and see how the magic will disappear.
ahhah. funny, just for kicks the other night i programmed a purdie shuffle into reason just to see what it would sound like all mechanical. i even spent a bunch of time manually "humanizing" the velocities on the grace notes, (but not pushing stuff around on the grid).

it sounds wrong. just wrong.
Old 10th February 2011
  #203
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_allison View Post
I'm sticking to my original observation that dynamics seem to matter more where feel is concerned. It's not everything, but I certainly think it can do more damage than timing issues (within reason).
Not that dynamics aren't important, but "timing is everything" is a cliché for a reason -- it's true.

I think the grid has taught us that there is one perfect, correct spot where "the beat" is. This is pure folly for so many reasons. Most notably is that that "perfect spot" is is an infinitely short point in time. Any musical note, even the fastest of fast snare cracks has an ADSR envelope that is much longer than our theoretical "beat".

Then you start talking about stylistic placement of the beat -- listen to the meters, everyone is waaaay squirrely around the beat, but MAN that pulse is strong even tho not only are we lagging way behind the beat most of the time, many of the rhythmic figures go right across that barline (sometimes the kick is just playing "and+a" of four) yet it's so funky you can't help but headnod a straight 4.
Old 11th February 2011
  #204
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jruberto View Post
Not that dynamics aren't important, but "timing is everything" is a cliché for a reason -- it's true.

I think the grid has taught us that there is one perfect, correct spot where "the beat" is. This is pure folly for so many reasons. Most notably is that that "perfect spot" is is an infinitely short point in time. Any musical note, even the fastest of fast snare cracks has an ADSR envelope that is much longer than our theoretical "beat".

Then you start talking about stylistic placement of the beat -- listen to the meters, everyone is waaaay squirrely around the beat, but MAN that pulse is strong even tho not only are we lagging way behind the beat most of the time, many of the rhythmic figures go right across that barline (sometimes the kick is just playing "and+a" of four) yet it's so funky you can't help but headnod a straight 4.
I think it all matters and it will never be analyzed in a way that could ever be duplicated usefully.

Sure you could analyze one great beat and plot all it's points. But that will only work with that one beat on that one song. Pretty useless IMHO.

My method is simple. If the drummer is killing it and brings tears to my eyes in a good way, I will try to preserve what it is that he's laying down.

If he's lucky enough to get the part out on disk, I'm using 100% grid quantize. It always sounds better. There's no reason to preserve even a hint of a mediocre performance.

YMMV
Old 11th February 2011
  #205
Of course timing matters.

My point is that intuitively, and WITHOUT looking at the screen, when I "feel" things are off, it's because they need to move closer to the 1/2/3/4...

From where comes the idea that all of our internal clocks beat the same?
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
nept / So Much Gear, So Little Time
5
no drama / Music Computers
5
EngineEars / Rap + Hip Hop Engineering and Production
8
lwr / So Much Gear, So Little Time
4

Forum Jump
Forum Jump