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  #1  
Old 09-07-2012, 09:41 AM
Nealio1987 Nealio1987 is offline
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Default working with a click live

Hi all

I have an audition for a band that are using a click track live , I have never done this live , I have played with tracks in my studio with click etc and practiced rudiments with a click , any advice ? ... how does it work will I get four clicks then count the band in ?

its pretty daunting ?

any tips advice would be great.

Nealio
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: working with a click live

I play with click tracks live with both my bands. One band uses backing tracks (keyboard tracks and such, since we don't have a keyboard player live) while the other just uses a click to delegate the tempo to an external source that won't get carried away with adrenaline :-)

It works very well. It might take a little bit of time to get used to playing with a click in a band setting, so make sure you rehearse properly. This goes double if you are the only one hearing it, because that means that you are even more in charge of the tempo than if you weren't using a click track. In addition, you will need to be able to keep the tempo steady even when you're not playing (for example during a guitar intro), so get used to keeping a very steady tempo with your hihat foot. It probably took me 2-3 weeks to get really comfortable with it, but now I don't even notice that it's there anymore.

If you don't use backing tracks, you can count the band in whenever you're ready. However, if there's a backing track that starts, you'll have to be careful to count the band in at the right time. In our case, I will hear a full bar of clicks, then I count the band in for the next bar and then everything kicks in.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: working with a click live

Depends how they've set-up the track/click, you'll probably get some counts to set your tempo, then you count-in the song. Just ask them what you'll be getting so you can count it in correctly. As mentioned it's not such an issue with just a click, but a backing track must be in synch, so you need to know up front where the count starts.

Just ask.

Bermuda
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: working with a click live

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Originally Posted by Nealio1987 View Post
Hi all

I have an audition for a band that are using a click track live , I have never done this live , I have played with tracks in my studio with click etc and practiced rudiments with a click , any advice ? ... how does it work will I get four clicks then count the band in ?

its pretty daunting ?

any tips advice would be great.

Nealio
It is much more intimidating to play anything live for some reason. I have played live with a click for some songs that have difficult tempos. Like anything else, the more you do it by yourself, the better you will do it in public.
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2012, 03:14 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

It probably seems daunting now, but it's not that big a deal once you're used to it. The standard routine is to get 8 clicks in headphones. The first 4 clicks are for you to get the tempo, and you'll count off the band during the second 4 clicks.

You can (and should) practice this on your own. It might take some practice to latch onto a tempo after only 4 clicks. During your practice, count loud and proud, just like you would in rehearsal or on stage. Use your voice to count as well as hitting sticks together, so there is absolutely no doubt about when the band should come in. Don't be shy! Count like you're hiking a football, because you're count-in will often have to overcome crowd noise, feedback, or other on-stage mishaps.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:12 PM
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?uesto ?uesto is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

The more you do it, the easier it gets.

I was terrified to start trying it since it hadn't worked out in the past, until I just did it one day. It was tough to stay with the click and listen to the band, but I started to assume the role of leader, and as long as I was with the click, the band would be with me.

Just focus on keeping the time dead on, and they'll follow, (and hence, you will all sound good).

One thing I've found helps me personally is having a small subdivision like 16th or 32nd notes going on the click. Much easier to groove. Even turning off the whole note click (the one that would go on every "1") can help. You may stray a bit ahead of the initial starting click, but as long as you're playing in time with the 16th or 32nd note click, you're playing in time..
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: working with a click live

Nealio, I would recommend asking the band for a couple of the click tracks so you can practice the tunes as they play them. That will answer all your questions.

You'll need headphones. In our bands, the drummers use a small mixer, I use a four track. One channel for a whole band mix from the board, one for click, one for sequenced keys and one for sequenced horns.
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2012, 07:36 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

One thing that will help, whether using a click onstage or not, is simple confidence. This is not always as easy to do as it is to say. So much always feels like it's riding on the drummer's shoulders. But you need to approach the tempo and the start of the song like you know exactly what you're doing, you've played the song millions of times, and are ready to go. Playing other instruments in a band setting, I can absolutely tell the difference between a drummer who's confident and one who's nervous about screwing it up or getting off tempo. Beyond that, it's gonna be practice, practice, practice.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: working with a click live

Probably time for you to invest in your own in-ear monitors. I prefer those to enclosed over-the-ear headphones because the headphones still allow outside sounds to get in. In-ears help you to focus just on the click. I'm playing to a track with a click whenever I'm that mouse guy and I use the Shure SE315 in-ear, and those are awesome.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: working with a click live

The way I usually end up playing click track gigs is with one earphone in, and one out so I can clearly hear the band. I've always used cheap phones, since in the case of this band I'm monitoring all the midi stuff through them and they're not great things to listen to. I catch most of the band via stage volume, on small stages. Going fully in-ear with monitors requires a good monitor mix, which you often won't get on smallish gigs. Sound techs aren't as responsive to drummer's signals as they are to singers, and you don't exactly have a hand free to be pointing up and down to the sound guy.

Nealio, here is what I think you need to learn. Get a hold of the midi tracks or whatever format it is that they use for their sequences, and practice to them until you have the song cold. That's step one. I could send you a few of ours if you give me a list of what you will be playing at this audition, our library is huge, we may have something close to what you're doing.

Then, three more things you have to get used to. First, the players in the band will get off time, and, against your natural inclination to compromise for smoothness' sake, you have to firmly hold to the click track. This band is used to that, so they'll jump right back to you. Just hold firm to the click, and let the band come to you. It's oh so important during quiet breaks when it's just a guitar riff all alone or a singer doing a line or two over silence, that you provide hat clicks or stick clicks or whatever it takes to help them hold the time. Don't leave them out there alone to get all artistic, or they'll come back off the time.

Second, which is kind of hard, is getting back to the click when you're behind or ahead. What's important is to react instantly when the click starts to move away from you. Don't consider the other players, just line up with the click, because if you stay with the players and try to coax them back it won't work out well. Just force it back as soon as you hear that click start to edge ahead or behind. Because if you don't act instantly, you will have the ultimate sequencing nightmare, bringing us to item three:

When the band is a whole beat off the sequence because you didn't reign it in when it was still just a smidge off. This is ugly when it happens, instruments coming in a beat early or late, your band looking at you with panic in their eyes. That's the time to be authoritative. Figure out where you are, and do whatever you need to, which will be completely against the grain of what the band is playing. You'll certainly have to add a beat or subtract one mid-groove, and it helps to count out loud or sing what is supposed to be sung. Don't worry, the band will know the poop has hit the fan and will be looking to you for the way out. Just put it right out there, turn the beat around to rightness, count loud, sing the line, whatever it takes.

G/L! You'll love what playing to a sequence will do for your time playing.
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  #11  
Old 09-10-2012, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: working with a click live

Excellent post Spreggy! Well stated and right on.
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2012, 10:06 AM
Nealio1987 Nealio1987 is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

Thanks guys this has really helped me . unfortunately I have no time to get any midi files off the band , I have to go in and try and do my best , I've transcribed a few songs and have the music for a few off the others so this gives me a guide , wish me luck !
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:16 AM
Curtis E. Flush Curtis E. Flush is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

One thing about working with a click live for the first couple of times, your adrenaline will mess with your head. It will seem like the tempos are WAY too slow. You may find yourself thinking "Oh no...the click is at the wrong tempo...no WAY this song is this slow". You have to relax, shut everything out and OBEY the click. The more practice the better, even if you don't have the actual tracks/samples...just play various parts and transitions...get used to relinquishing control (especially during fills and intense parts of songs, choruses, etc) to the click.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: working with a click live

Its funny Bermuda and myself were talking about this about a month ago at soundcheck at the Weird Al gig. The one thing I will add is you can't use a click live unless everyone has the click. Not only the drummer, but everyone in the band needs to have it. You will find that if your the only one that has a click everything is cool because the band plays to you until it comes time for a break, or some hits and stops where everyone will feel the time different unless you all have the click.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: working with a click live

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Originally Posted by Joe Morris View Post
Its funny Bermuda and myself were talking about this about a month ago at soundcheck at the Weird Al gig. The one thing I will add is you can't use a click live unless everyone has the click. Not only the drummer, but everyone in the band needs to have it. You will find that if your the only one that has a click everything is cool because the band plays to you until it comes time for a break, or some hits and stops where everyone will feel the time different unless you all have the click.
In an ideal world, we'd love to sequence our clicks so that I have them as long as there's a drum part, and when there are no drums the other guys get it instead. However, that's a fairly complicated solution when we have to rely on spotty soundchecks and inexperienced sound guys, so we don't get to do that.

In one of my bands, my guitarist and I both hear the click, which is very nice for those guitar intros and breaks. In my other band, I'm the only one who hears it, which means that whenever there's not a drum part I will still have to keep the tempo by lightly stepping on my hihat or something to that effect.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:27 AM
Nealio1987 Nealio1987 is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

thanks all , just to know I followed the advice and kept 2 and four going during breaks and kept the band in time , I also got offered the gig , thanks y'all

nealio
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  #17  
Old 09-11-2012, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: working with a click live

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Morris View Post
Its funny Bermuda and myself were talking about this about a month ago at soundcheck at the Weird Al gig. The one thing I will add is you can't use a click live unless everyone has the click. Not only the drummer, but everyone in the band needs to have it. You will find that if your the only one that has a click everything is cool because the band plays to you until it comes time for a break, or some hits and stops where everyone will feel the time different unless you all have the click.
I agree it would be better, but I've played hundreds of gigs with just me having the click. Other things round out the exposed areas you mentioned, such as clicking your hats tactfully so that the necessary person hears it without being obtrusive. Often times the sequenced instruments will guide them along when everyone else is laying out. Sometimes it's a matter of allowing the soloist to go off a touch, hit when s/he is done so it doesn't sound poor, and then use the next two or three beats to pull everybody back to the click. The difference may be that you guys are big stage people, and I'm little stage people. It's all easier to manage when we're right on top of each other.

The most important thing I believe is that all the players know how to respond to drummers who are click-bound to a sequence. When everybody knows the rules, it goes well. When we bring in a new player, they catch on quickly enough but there will be a few times where they get left in the dust.
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:56 PM
Anthony Amodeo
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Default Re: working with a click live

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Morris View Post
Its funny Bermuda and myself were talking about this about a month ago at soundcheck at the Weird Al gig. The one thing I will add is you can't use a click live unless everyone has the click. Not only the drummer, but everyone in the band needs to have it. You will find that if your the only one that has a click everything is cool because the band plays to you until it comes time for a break, or some hits and stops where everyone will feel the time different unless you all have the click.

100% disagree

that is begging for a trainwreck

I have played hundreds of gigs ....with and without sequenced tracks.....with only me having the click

I have never in my life heard of the whole band wearing a click

I recently spoke to Peter Erskine, Steve Smith, and Keith Carlock about this very topic....they have all used clicks live extensively ....and when asked if they have ever been in a situation where the whole band wore a click they all looked at each other and agreed that they had never heard of such a situation other than occasionally in a recording studio

Last edited by Anthony Amodeo; 09-11-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:45 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

I've been intigued by this device ...wonder how well it would work to send click through it...

http://www.porteranddavies.co.uk/

"Born out of a combination of necessity and ingenuity, the BC2 by Porter & Davies is a small, highly portable and tough solution to an age-old problem: We all know the feeling of the bottom end thump when we see a band from out front. Who usually feels that the least in the whole room? The drummer. The answer is a device that you are in control of, that delivers the weight and power of the bass drum without the volume.

The BC2 allows you to feel and experience the bass drum like you never felt it before. It consists of our very own throne top with the finest Tactile Generator mounted internally (Patent Pending), coupled to a flightcased electronics "Engine" pack. The system delivers powerful and nuanced reproduction without sound, transmitted through bone conduction. "
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:00 PM
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Naigewron Naigewron is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
I've been intigued by this device ...wonder how well it would work to send click through it...

http://www.porteranddavies.co.uk/

"Born out of a combination of necessity and ingenuity, the BC2 by Porter & Davies is a small, highly portable and tough solution to an age-old problem: We all know the feeling of the bottom end thump when we see a band from out front. Who usually feels that the least in the whole room? The drummer. The answer is a device that you are in control of, that delivers the weight and power of the bass drum without the volume.

The BC2 allows you to feel and experience the bass drum like you never felt it before. It consists of our very own throne top with the finest Tactile Generator mounted internally (Patent Pending), coupled to a flightcased electronics "Engine" pack. The system delivers powerful and nuanced reproduction without sound, transmitted through bone conduction. "
I can't see that working as your click source. A click needs to have a very defined pulse, but to even feel a vibration from that thing you'd need to have a sound that lasts fairly long. You'd probably have to really focus hard to follow it, which is the opposite of what you want.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: working with a click live

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
I can't see that working as your click source. A click needs to have a very defined pulse, but to even feel a vibration from that thing you'd need to have a sound that lasts fairly long. You'd probably have to really focus hard to follow it, which is the opposite of what you want.
I agree. Besides, it's already kind of annoying having the click pounding away in my ear all night, the last thing I'm interested in is having it pounding away at my back side.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:38 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

I see your point about the sustain inherent in bass notes...and the devices focus on bass conduction.

I have also wondered about sending a click through a traditional bone induction 'phone' ( http://www.audioboneheadphones.com/ ).

Would actually have better high freq response than ear due to bone density...and wouldn't fatigue your eardrums.

I am sick of clicks in my ear...including the less obnoxious wood block ones...

Im thinking about ducking( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ducking ) the general input to a small mixer with a click...just to get frequency isolation so I can keep the amplitude of the click low...

A combination of both would seem ideal.
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  #23  
Old 09-12-2012, 11:47 PM
wilsonbangy wilsonbangy is offline
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Default Re: working with a click live

I've worked with clicks all my life and the only advice i can say is don't be scared if you can't hear it, this usually means you are bang on the button. Your natural sense of rhythm will help you too!


You'll be fine good luck
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: working with a click live

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Originally Posted by wilsonbangy View Post
...don't be scared if you can't hear it, this usually means you are bang on the button...
Good advice. I aspire to "bury" the click but panicked when I couldn't hear it. It takes some getting used to, but it's a great tool.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: working with a click live

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nealio1987 View Post
thanks all , just to know I followed the advice and kept 2 and four going during breaks and kept the band in time , I also got offered the gig , thanks y'all

nealio
Just saw this post, congrats!
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