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Song tempos when mapping out a click track -Should i go faster or slower??
Old 8th August 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

Song tempos when mapping out a click track -Should i go faster or slower??

Hey guys!

So i'm mapping out some songs for an album I'm producing. Some of the songs have 5 or 6 click track changes -lots of tempo stuff... I've narrowed down each section to within 0.5 bpms of what i want, but i can't decide whether or not to swing some of these sections on the faster side or the slower side. Can anybody sympathize with this dilemma? It's very difficult when some of the songs are long and going in and out of these tempo changes. I'm listening to them over and over...

Let me know if you know what I'm talking about.

Thanks,

T
Old 12th August 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
s wave's Avatar
This is a good question... I do not worry about it if it works - but if you want to get real serious - maybe keep the doors open if someone wants to pick it up or cover the song... usually it is best to clean it up IMO because you can have sheet music ready with time signature or beat/meter stuff. I would make a decision THIS one is the critical one... What is the purpose of the song or the main THING about the song? Find that first. Then here comes the decision... what is the one component that the song can not live with out... the verse or bridge chorus. What 'epitomizes' what you are trying to convey? THEN take that as the base BPM for the song... Now you must sacrifice a bit - take the second choice (verse/chorus whatever) and try to get that on a beat with what you are using as the BPM. I am now doing a similar thing - I have a 120BPM song but need to set a second beat of the MAIN sound of the song a synth. I got it to an 80 BPM so the song works now... [for every 4 beats of the driving rhythm there is a secondary rhythm of 3 beats for every 4 of the song. This is an POLY-RHYTHMIC answer] Sometimes I will drop or increase a BPM to make it more obvious or 'doable' for someone else to do the song. (it is very difficult to go from 120 bpm to 117 bpm) it is much easier going from 120 to 90. If you clearly see this best path of decision making that is what is most important. Copy some parts onto a clean new project and experiment and work with them,,, something will come up and once in a while there is no compromise it becomes and UPGRADE. As far as increasing or decreasing I try both - and look for contrast or compliment - mainly distinct.
Old 14th August 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Yep, all too familiar with being down to the .5s when it comes to tempo and levels.

At that point its down to taste, not technical error. So just go with what feels best. Usually erring on the faster side turns out to be the better option for me.

I've remixed some projects done at like 169.2347 bpm so its not an uncommon struggle.
Old 14th August 2019
  #4
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s wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Yep, all too familiar with being down to the .5s when it comes to tempo and levels.

At that point its down to taste, not technical error. So just go with what feels best. Usually erring on the faster side turns out to be the better option for me.

I've remixed some projects done at like 169.2347 bpm so its not an uncommon struggle.
Its amazing - those little nuances make a HUGE difference! In fact that's artistic creation. Sometimes even if I make a little adjustment someplace - once in a while an area that was good before seems a tad of - (169.2347 can you be a little more precise; was that a lttle more toward the 169.23476 side or the 169.23475? - JJ I feel ya)
Old 14th August 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 

I think correct tempo is the single hardest thing to reliably predictively nail for production.
Old 18th August 2019
  #6
Gear Head
 

So relieved to hear that someone is going through the same struggle! haha! I've had so many engineers look at me like I'm crazy, and I'm like "uh... Naw man, I can definitely hear a difference..."

I've been going by what "feels" right, I suppose. It's a body feeling I get. Like, somehow if the song is too slow or too fast, my body just can't "rest" in the song. But, there are other times when you may want to mess with that sensation or "push" it. It's a real bitch when the song changes time signatures like 7 times... Haha!

Oh well... I've just concluded that you just have to put the time in and listen to it over and over and over again, until it feels right -Or it at least conveys what you want it to...

Thank you all. Nice to have some reassurance that I'm on the right track!!
Old 18th August 2019
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
At that point its down to taste, not technical error.
What do you mean by "technical error"?
Old 4th September 2019
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Faster.
I can say I've never slowed a song down post-production. I've sped up a lot of them. Better to record them from the get go at the faster speed, than tweak the finished product. Ballads may be an exception, maybe... My 2 cents.
Old 5th September 2019
  #9
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s wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwillms View Post
Faster.
I can say I've never slowed a song down post-production. I've sped up a lot of them. Better to record them from the get go at the faster speed, than tweak the finished product. Ballads may be an exception, maybe... My 2 cents.
I am just running across this again. I have the main drive/inspiration of the song roughed out - perfect tempo... then when I added a break into a half beat slower quasi verse - the important part sounds way to slow... Got to revamp it again... although I am going to zero in on the segue/drop down nine ways to Sunday first... to make sure that have of the song is pretty much etched into stone... tc
Old 17th September 2019
  #10
Gear Head
 

Okay, so i'm almost there on all the songs, but I've noticed something:

A few of the songs I have on the 0.5 (193.5) and a few of them I've put on just .0 (193.0). And, I've noticed that when I put a song on the 0.5, the song has more movement. it suddenly becomes more "flowy" and "psychedelic", whereas a song that is on the .0 has more of a sense of groundedness or stability. It's a little more blocky and it carries your attention span in a different way. Anyway...

I'm tempted to put all the songs on the record at 0.5...

Anybody got anything to say?

Thanks!
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