DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 04-17-2014, 12:43 AM
The Black Page Dude's Avatar
The Black Page Dude The Black Page Dude is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 237
Default First use of a click

Hey all .. a buddy of mine asked me a very interesting question that I have been obsessing about. When was the first click ever used (besides the use of a metronome) on stage or in a studio? Anyone have some insight?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-17-2014, 12:52 AM
Dr_Watso's Avatar
Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6,756
Default Re: First use of a click

? What's the difference between a "click" and a metronome? One is just digital, the other mechanical.

So in one manner of looking at it, as long as there have been pendulums, there have kinda been metronomes of sorts. Not sure when they started producing them for the purpose of "clicking" but most history stuff will say early 1800's.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-17-2014, 01:38 AM
bermuda's Avatar
bermuda bermuda is offline
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,127
Default Re: First use of a click

A click - or track - has become the term used to describe something that regulates a performance, but a metronome provides tempo for practice purposes (or in non-conducted recordings, a metronome would be recorded on a spare track, and it became the consistent click for the rhythm as well as overdubs.)

Hard to say for sure when clicks crept into recordings or performances. They were used for radio and tv ads to regulate their length in the '60s (and probably earlier than that via the use of a metronome and conductor, when there weren't spare tracks for the click.)

The first songs I recall that obviously used a click, both from 1971, were:

1) "Family Affair" by Sly & the Family Stone. It's a rhythm box that runs through the song, with live drums. It was obviously used for its retro but cool sound, and not to regulate tempo, or it wouldn't have appeared in the mix.

2) "Baba O'Riley" by the Who would also qualify, with the synth acting both as a melodic element, and tempo regulator for Keith (which I'm sure he loved!) But they may have been the first to use it live - the recorded synth part was also used in concert, and acted as a click (or more accurately, a track.)

But five years prior in 1966, the Beatles used a drum loop - 1 bar of Ringo's playing - in "Tomorrow Never Knows", which in effect, acted as both a click, and the drum part.

Seems like this was discussed before, and I don't remember if we ever got to the bottom of it. But by the late '70s, using clicks for tempo was more prevalent in studios, and today, I'd venture to say that 99% or recordings are made with a digital click of some sort. Hard to say what percentage of artists use it live, but I think 50% is a safe guess.

Bermuda
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-17-2014, 01:50 AM
Seafroggys's Avatar
Seafroggys Seafroggys is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Edge of Nowhere
Posts: 912
Default Re: First use of a click

You sure that the drums in Tomorrow Never Knows is a loop? Yes, it is consistent, but this is Ringo, even if you don't like it you have to give him props for his damn fine consistency. It would seem that back then to make a drum loop by razor cutting and be perfectly consistent without any hiccups for a whole song would be much harder than just Ringo sitting down and doing a single 3 minute take. Just my thought.

I know Disco is the first genre where clicks were prevalent.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-17-2014, 01:56 AM
bermuda's Avatar
bermuda bermuda is offline
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,127
Default Re: First use of a click

That Ringo loop is a well-documented fact. Besides, if you listen to just 6 or 8 bars, you can hear the repeating inflections that even Ringo couldn't keep up for a whole song.

Making a tape loop is really easy, and with tape running at 30 or even 15ips, there's plenty of real estate to make an accurate, seamless edit.

Bermuda

PS - I still have my 1/4" Editall aluminum block!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-17-2014, 03:36 PM
pmancuso's Avatar
pmancuso pmancuso is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: US of A
Posts: 133
Default Re: First use of a click

Another obvious example is the song All Right Now by Free released in 1970, the click is an audible part of the song. Does anybody know if that was intentional or a mistake that couldn't be fixed.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-17-2014, 03:47 PM
Mike_In_KC
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: First use of a click

Funny that All Right Now was mentioned - I just started learning that song... It is not a click in the song however - it is a clave.

MM
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-17-2014, 03:51 PM
T.Underhill's Avatar
T.Underhill T.Underhill is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: MD
Posts: 1,847
Default Re: First use of a click

You guys have to check out this site, they analyze tempo deviation.

http://musicmachinery.com/2009/03/02...e-click-track/
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-17-2014, 04:02 PM
opentune's Avatar
opentune opentune is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 6,213
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmancuso View Post
Another obvious example is the song All Right Now by Free released in 1970, the click is an audible part of the song. Does anybody know if that was intentional or a mistake that couldn't be fixed.
That is not a click but 'claves' - wood sticks hit together, just like a cowbell, intentionally.
__________________
Louis
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-17-2014, 04:16 PM
MrInsanePolack's Avatar
MrInsanePolack MrInsanePolack is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Arkansas, USA
Posts: 2,632
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune View Post
That is not a click but 'claves' - wood sticks hit together, just like a cowbell, intentionally.
And it clearly changes during the guitar solo, it goes from straight time to having doubles in spots.
__________________
Grease or The Bird, which is it? Someone please tell me, what is the d@mn word?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-17-2014, 06:19 PM
bermuda's Avatar
bermuda bermuda is offline
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,127
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmancuso View Post
Another obvious example is the song All Right Now by Free released in 1970, the click is an audible part of the song. Does anybody know if that was intentional or a mistake that couldn't be fixed.
As mentioned, that was indeed a clave. But, that brought to mind a song I hadn't considered before... "Blackbird" by the Beatles (1968) has a metronome clicking away through the whole song! Hard to know if drums were ever intended, or if McCartney simply wanted the 'nome be the beat or sound like a foot tapping. It doesn't sound like it was first recorded on a separate track to just act as timekeeper (as it slightly bleeds through the guitar feed on the opposite channel, indicating that it and Paul were all recorded at once) but if it was done separately, it managed to leak through the phones. In any case, it's part of the song as we know and love it, and therefore pre-dates the others I had mentioned.

So, the current favorite would be Blackbird. :)

Bermuda
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-17-2014, 07:08 PM
bermuda's Avatar
bermuda bermuda is offline
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,127
Default Re: First use of a click

Sheesh, now you've really got me thinking about this...

While not a click, this song does feature a drum loop: "They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Haaa" by Napoleon XIV (Jerry Samuels.) Jerry writes "The drummer was a friend of mine by the name of Howie Farber... Howie is not a very good drummer. He'll tell you that, couldn't keep time... I recorded ten seconds of him going "chink-a-chink-a-chink-a-chink--chink--chink," and we looped it."

That was released in July, 1966. I don't know which was recorded first, "Tomorrow Never Knows" was recorded in early April, 1966, but they were certainly neck-and-neck.

Still, not really a click, but a steady loop nonetheless.

Bermuda
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-17-2014, 07:18 PM
Mike_In_KC
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: First use of a click

I think this is one also that uses a click in the song...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSxBUp4dFEU

Had to ask Mr Google to find that one.... ah old westerns.

MM
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-17-2014, 07:21 PM
Anduin's Avatar
Anduin Anduin is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,144
Default Re: First use of a click

Apparently Carl Stalling invented the click track. He's the guy who wrote all that insanely complicated music for the great old Warner Bros cartoons (Bugs Bunny etc.)

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Stalling:

"Stalling is among the first music directors to extensively use the metronome to time film scores. He was one of three composers, along with Max Steiner and Scott Bradley, credited with the invention of the click track."
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-17-2014, 07:23 PM
bermuda's Avatar
bermuda bermuda is offline
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,127
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_In_KC View Post
I think this is one also that uses a click in the song...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSxBUp4dFEU
Those are temple blocks (to represent horse hooves) and most likely played, and therefore not a click. It's a safe bet that the orchestra was conducted though, so there was a timekeeper besides the percussionist(s).

Bermuda
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-17-2014, 07:42 PM
pmancuso's Avatar
pmancuso pmancuso is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: US of A
Posts: 133
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
And it clearly changes during the guitar solo, it goes from straight time to having doubles in spots.
I stand corrected, I never noticed the 16th notes. I think it speeds up a little also.

As far as the clave sound goes that means nothing since you can make the click sound like just about anything you want. I played to that exact clave sound for 3 years it was loud and probably why I don't hear so well.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-17-2014, 07:51 PM
opentune's Avatar
opentune opentune is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 6,213
Default Re: First use of a click

I prefer the 'clave' sounding click, to a 'click' sound. The wood sounds very 'organic' not computerized.
Come to think of it, somebody should invent the 'sledgehmamer' click, you know.... the sound of prisoners working on a train track.
__________________
Louis
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-17-2014, 08:03 PM
bermuda's Avatar
bermuda bermuda is offline
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,127
Default Re: First use of a click

I have a great sledgehammer (effected icebell) sample, but somehow I think 8ths of that pounding in my ears would not be a good thing. :)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-17-2014, 08:08 PM
philrudd's Avatar
philrudd philrudd is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 455
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune View Post
I prefer the 'clave' sounding click, to a 'click' sound. The wood sounds very 'organic' not computerized.
Come to think of it, somebody should invent the 'sledgehmamer' click, you know.... the sound of prisoners working on a train track.
My first time in a real studio, the producer introduced a click for one song.

Having never played along to a click, and less than confident in my ability to keep perfect time, I was justifiably terrified.

But they programmed the click to sound like a cowbell; after that, it was just like playing along to an accompanying percussionist (who happened to keep perfect time). It stopped being scary and started being FUN!

With that mindset, I got it in one take.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-17-2014, 11:16 PM
The Black Page Dude's Avatar
The Black Page Dude The Black Page Dude is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 237
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
A click - or track - has become the term used to describe something that regulates a performance, but a metronome provides tempo for practice purposes (or in non-conducted recordings, a metronome would be recorded on a spare track, and it became the consistent click for the rhythm as well as overdubs.)

Hard to say for sure when clicks crept into recordings or performances. They were used for radio and tv ads to regulate their length in the '60s (and probably earlier than that via the use of a metronome and conductor, when there weren't spare tracks for the click.)

The first songs I recall that obviously used a click, both from 1971, were:

1) "Family Affair" by Sly & the Family Stone. It's a rhythm box that runs through the song, with live drums. It was obviously used for its retro but cool sound, and not to regulate tempo, or it wouldn't have appeared in the mix.

2) "Baba O'Riley" by the Who would also qualify, with the synth acting both as a melodic element, and tempo regulator for Keith (which I'm sure he loved!) But they may have been the first to use it live - the recorded synth part was also used in concert, and acted as a click (or more accurately, a track.)

But five years prior in 1966, the Beatles used a drum loop - 1 bar of Ringo's playing - in "Tomorrow Never Knows", which in effect, acted as both a click, and the drum part.

Seems like this was discussed before, and I don't remember if we ever got to the bottom of it. But by the late '70s, using clicks for tempo was more prevalent in studios, and today, I'd venture to say that 99% or recordings are made with a digital click of some sort. Hard to say what percentage of artists use it live, but I think 50% is a safe guess.

Bermuda
Thanks Bermuda! This gives me some great leads to delve a little deeper down the rabbit hole. And yes I am sure Keith was uber excited to be playing to a machine ... the conservative pragmatic man he was lol!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-18-2014, 12:13 AM
Bobrush Bobrush is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 186
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
As mentioned, that was indeed a clave. But, that brought to mind a song I hadn't considered before... "Blackbird" by the Beatles (1968) has a metronome clicking away through the whole song! Hard to know if drums were ever intended, or if McCartney simply wanted the 'nome be the beat or sound like a foot tapping. It doesn't sound like it was first recorded on a separate track to just act as timekeeper (as it slightly bleeds through the guitar feed on the opposite channel, indicating that it and Paul were all recorded at once) but if it was done separately, it managed to leak through the phones. In any case, it's part of the song as we know and love it, and therefore pre-dates the others I had mentioned.

So, the current favorite would be Blackbird. :)

Bermuda
Not according to Wikipedia, which quotes from Geoffrey Emerick, the engineer on the track:

The tapping "has been incorrectly identified as a metronome in the past", according to engineer Geoff Emerick, who says it is actually the sound of Paul tapping his foot, which Emerick recalls as being mic'd up separately.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_%28song%29
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-18-2014, 01:00 AM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 9,446
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Black Page Dude View Post
Thanks Bermuda! This gives me some great leads to delve a little deeper down the rabbit hole. And yes I am sure Keith was uber excited to be playing to a machine ... the conservative pragmatic man he was lol!
I just always think it's funny the guy who's not known for his time keeping was the first guy to play to a sequencer on stage, that he did it well, and he did it not-quite 30 years before playing to backing tracks on stage became common.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-18-2014, 02:18 AM
bermuda's Avatar
bermuda bermuda is offline
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 9,127
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobrush View Post
Not according to Wikipedia, which quotes from Geoffrey Emerick, the engineer on the track:

The tapping "has been incorrectly identified as a metronome in the past", according to engineer Geoff Emerick, who says it is actually the sound of Paul tapping his foot, which Emerick recalls as being mic'd up separately.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_%28song%29
If that's true, then Paul has a pretty amazing foot! It's able to alternate high and low taps throughout the song, staying straight even through odd time changes!

But if Wikipedia is to be believed, I'll defer to Geoff. :)

Bermuda

FYI, in his book, Geoff doesn't mention the click at all.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04-18-2014, 08:15 PM
pmancuso's Avatar
pmancuso pmancuso is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: US of A
Posts: 133
Default Re: First use of a click

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
If that's true, then Paul has a pretty amazing foot! It's able to alternate high and low taps throughout the song, staying straight even through odd time changes!

But if Wikipedia is to be believed, I'll defer to Geoff. :)

Bermuda

FYI, in his book, Geoff doesn't mention the click at all.
The high low may be attributed to heel-toe.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com