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Old 12-03-2017, 05:52 AM
where's one? where's one? is offline
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Default Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

I've had a few recent gigs in which we played at bars without wedges or FOH. Guitar, bass and vocals went through their respective amps and powered monitors, sending sound to band and public.

I feel these gigs would have been more solid if I had used a click to control the tempo. However I'm unsure how this setup would look like.

If I use my in-ears with my metronome, they will excessively dampen the sound of the band.

So what would be the solution?

I thought of these, but may be missing the mark:

[1] run the click through earphones that don't isolate as well as my in-ears

[2] set up an ambient mic to pick up the band, feed that signal and the click to a small mixer, send output to my in-ears.

Any better suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2017, 06:31 AM
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AzHeat AzHeat is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

One thing is for certain, if you are the only one hearing the click, prepare for a train wreck. Guitars and vocals will go off time and you’ll try and adjust, but click will be off. It’s an all or nothing deal. With regards to the mix, you do need to send the mix through, but you need some way to control their volumes independently. Some songs, the clip will be too loud and others not enough.
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Old 12-03-2017, 08:54 AM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

As AzHeat says, it's tricky if the other guys don't hear it and already have trouble staying together with you.

But, assuming you want to try, I'd get an app that plays rhythms at selected tempos, not just a straight metronome. It's not much fun playing to a literal 'click'. Find an earbud or budget in-ears with a decent seal, and use it in one ear, so that you can hear the rest of the band in the other. It will seem weird at first, but you'll get used to it. The crucial thing is, when you're hearing everyone, you must follow the click. You can't turn off half your brain, but you have to focus on the click side of things.

But again, if the guys don't have a decent sense of time, your using a click may not help matters.

Bermuda
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Old 12-03-2017, 10:44 AM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

This may (or may not) help, as an alternative.

My band has always relied on whoever is starting a song to set the tempo. We're a classic rock band, we do it for fun, playing 5-10 gigs a year, some bar gigs, some party gigs. Skill levels are fairly even, so there's no sense that any one player is carrying disproportionate weight, nor letting the side down.

Today, for the first time, I used my metronome to dial in the right starting tempo, and counted in every song, even those that other players started. Once we started, I didn't try and follow the metronome, but relied on the combo of time in the room and the fact that everybody knows what they are doing to keep songs on track.

It made a hyuge difference to how we felt the songs ran.

If I'd wanted to keep closer tabs on tempo, I would have run LiveBPM to check where were we wanted to be.

NB - none of this should be taken as dissing a click track or making excuses why not to use a click track. But if there aren't any sequenced elements (video, pyrotechnic or audio) to synch with I'm not sure that you need a click track, and I can imagine that trying to drag everybody to the click would be very hard to achieve.

ETA: No stage monitoring? If you can't hear what everybody else is doing, that may be the problem.
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:11 PM
Woolwich Woolwich is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

A click trick needs to be heard by the whole band and not just the drummer. If the other 3 or 4 guys get into a groove that's not "yours" then having a click going in your ear will be like playing 2 different songs at once.
If tempo is an issue then use the LiveBPM app, but instead of using it yourself set up an iPad or tablet in rehearsal so the whole band can see what's happening and which tempos work, then set it up on the floor where it can be seen when you're gigging.
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Old 12-03-2017, 03:32 PM
where's one? where's one? is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

Thanks for the input, I'm inexperienced at this, so all comments are helpful.

I agree that if only the drummer hears the click it could lead to a train wreck situation in which the band may get slightly off the click.

But I've read in several threads here at DW and elsewhere that it's common for only the drummer to listen to the click.

If it's a high risk option, why does it appear to be commonly used?
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:07 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

Quote:
Originally Posted by where's one? View Post
But I've read in several threads here at DW and elsewhere that it's common for only the drummer to listen to the click.

If it's a high risk option, why does it appear to be commonly used?
It's often a personal choice by each player. Some may want a click, some not. But success depends on their ability to play with a click in the first place. Some players just can't, although they can play to a steady drummer. And the players who can work with a click, normally don't need to. :)

When I'm recording and touring, I'm normally the only one with the click (except where another player starts a song or needs to play through a space with no drums.) That way, the inevitable slight pushing or pulling can be managed by me, rather than 3 or 4 other players also making micro adjustments in their own way when they suddenly hear the drums and click drift. If they're just listening to the drums, any drift on my part is almost imperceptible, and nobody has to adjust. So, no train wreck.

Again, it really depends on the other guys' ability to play to solid time. If they're shaky on that, it doesn't matter who's hearing the click.

Bermuda
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:34 PM
lildrumr lildrumr is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

With many of the bands I play in, we use click live. I'm allways the only one hearing the click. It is, however, very important that everyone understands and is aware that they must at all times listen to me and my tempo - I am the click/metronome for the band. I allways count the band in and/or set the tempo, and whenever there are parts without drums, I descreetly keep the time in the hi hat or with the sticks.
With regards to the listening part for you, the way I do it when there is no in ear monitoring, I'll have the click in one ear and keep the other ear "open" (with or without hearing protection - by far mostly with protection).
Playing to a click is something that needs to be rehearsed. Not only for the drummer, but for the whole band. We've made it a habit to rehearse with a click. Sometimes the click will be sendt through the PA system at the rehearsals for everyone to hear, and sometimes it's just me hearing it - especially before an upcoming gig.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:54 PM
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SYMBOLIC DEATH SYMBOLIC DEATH is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

In my band I'm the only one who hears the click, but my bandmates all can play to a click and have a good sense of time. If one of them rushes during a break, it's usually just a little, and I'm able to adjust back to the click over the next couple of measures and it's not noticeable.
I use SE 215`s so I can still hear the band over the click. If I had custom in ears, I don`t hat wouldn't be possible.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:51 PM
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AzHeat AzHeat is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

The drummer being the only one to hear the click will definitely work, so long as everyone else has a good sense of time and knows how to get back on.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:02 AM
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ineedaclutch ineedaclutch is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lildrumr View Post
I am the click/metronome for the band. I allways count the band in and/or set the tempo, and whenever there are parts without drums, I descreetly keep the time in the hi hat or with the sticks.
That's the way to do it. The band should have great time, but sometimes these fellas need to know someone is at the helm.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:20 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

If you play with players who are experienced in FOLLOWING, you will be alright most of the time. Some players (inadvertently?) want to lead the tempo and expect others to follow them.

That said, it is still very possible to slip a half click off and have to guess whether you are ahead or behind. If there are no backing tracks, it won't matter much and you can ease it back in to tempo.

I use a click in one IEM and I can hear the monitor mix perfectly with my other ear.
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:32 PM
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PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is online now
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Default Re: Need tips for playing live to a click (no FOH or wedges)

Most of all, it's going to take a big fat dose of humility from your band mates to realize that they have to follow YOU and if they aren't WITH you, they are WRONG.

One way you could start trying to do this would be to start at practice. First, run your metronome through your PA system (download a free metronome app on your phone). See if everyone can stay together to see how it works (one of my bands did this before we went into the studio).

Once your band gets used to this and wants to move forward, here's what I'd do: I'd buy a small mixing board and a set of IEM's (think Shure 215's). Run the headphone out to your head, have your metronome on a channel and either an ambient mic and/or a line out from the primary soundboard to your small mixer. It's going to take a while to tweak, but it can work.

We used this method at my church for a year or so before we got our Aviom system. The only weird parts were whenever there was a time where the drums weren't playing, I had to keep time on my hi-hats. In addition, fast changes between songs could be tricky too.

Be VERY, VERY careful about doing the "one in, one out" with IEM's. This can make you deaf in one ear if you do it long enough.

IMO, the benefits outweigh the cons in most cases. Best of luck!
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