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  #1  
Old 01-23-2014, 08:29 PM
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affenjunge affenjunge is offline
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Default Recording with a Metronome

We (3-piece kind of rock band) are planning to record some of our songs and we are now having the discussion how we should approach it.

We agreed that we are recording with a metronome but our opinions diverge when it comes to how we should do that. I'm strongly favoring that we all hear the metronome while the two other guys (very strongly) think that only I should have the click in the ear. They argue that since I'm the timekeeper it's my job to keep the time and they just follow me.

But experience tells me this is not as easy it sounds and I just end up abandoning the metronome.

So it is the case that I'm just lazy and have a poor time? Please give me your input.

(please excuse my english)
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2014, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

I've never seen that done. Everyone needs the same reference I think. Not to worry, though. I think everyone will figure out that it isn't that easy. Whatever you do, don't leave the click to follow them.

Another way to look at it: In this case, you're literally not the timekeeper of the band. The computer is. They should be following whatever is really keeping time steady, which wouldn't be you.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:58 PM
jgravato jgravato is offline
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

Hello fellow drummer. I am also in a three piece rock group and we do use a metronome. As a matter of fact, I run a click into my ear best of luck to ya!m my smartphone. I have a set of wired in-ear monitors that go directly into the headphone jack and run the click that way. We use this setup at our live shows and everything. I rehearse to the click and my guys follow me. Just by doing that, they have become tighter and less likely to deviate from the tempo. Every rehearsal and show is played the same so after some time, we could probably hold true without the click, but i enjoy it.

If your guys are more likely to get tripped up with it, just have the click sent to you and have them do their tracks to your drums. Best of luck to you guys!
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

Everyone should play to the click.
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2014, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgravato View Post
Every rehearsal and show is played the same so after some time
That seems counter-intuitive to me. It's good to be tight, but with no deviation, shows get boring to me. I love playing off the rest of the guys in my band.

As far as OP's question, when I produce recordings, everyone gets the click or nobody gets the click. There's no point in having a reference if everyone isn't listening and following that reference. Sometimes it's better not to use a click, but that's not usually the case. It sounds to me like the guitarist and bassist are either too lazy to practice with a click or have some subconscious aversion to it, like they don't think they'll play as well with the click in their ears. Shoot, if you're in the studio, those first sessions are for the drum tracks - if there's anything that's worth keeping, you keep it, but if not, nobody cares and you record it separately like most anyone would.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:52 PM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

no one forces other musicians to stay in time...a common interpretation of the idea "keeps time".

Everyone should hear the click and get used to it....especially since the drummer does not always play on the metronomic beat...sometimes I want to play ahead of it...or behind it.

...unless you are looking for a more organic non-symetric time feel, get everyone on a common click...and i suggest selecting one that is not ear piercing in volume and frequency.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2014, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

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Originally Posted by dwsabianguy View Post
As far as OP's question, when I produce recordings, everyone gets the click or nobody gets the click. There's no point in having a reference if everyone isn't listening and following that reference. Sometimes it's better not to use a click, but that's not usually the case. It sounds to me like the guitarist and bassist are either too lazy to practice with a click or have some subconscious aversion to it
Our lead singer / rhythm guitarist simply cannot play to a click to save his life. I have no idea why, but we eventually recorded without one, which worked out fairly well except you cannot go back and pick individual takes of the song for each instrument. If you can't find a take that is spot on for everyone throughout the whole song, well then you have to pick one that is the best take and live with it. There's one song where I made a tiny mistake (noticeable only to me) and every time I hear it I have to just go "oh well...".
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

I can not understand people who say they can not play to a click. There is nothing magical or supernatural about it. Think of it like a very simple pre-recorded percussion part, which is exactly what it is. Could they not play to a recording of your drums? Most recording software allows you to use whatever sound you want for a 'click'. What if you set it to a bass drum, or a clave (my fave)? Could they not play to a bass drum hit on every down beat? What kind of musician would make that claim? "I simply can not play to a recording of a bass drum keeping time." Really?

If you don't want to play to a click because you want your tempo to vary, that's a different thing altogether. That's an artistic choice, and everything is fair game for 'artistic choices'. But if you've decided that the song will have a constant tempo, why would you not use a click?
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2014, 12:47 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

I'm not understanding the question.

Are you recording live play, 3 pieces at a time?

You should be putting down one track at a time.

Sometimes the drums are tough to do first but you can just put down a simple beat and replace it later.


Quote:
So it is the case that I'm just lazy and have a poor time?
Most musicians are lazy. It's the number two motivating factor, right behind chicks. And, time is learned so, play with a click as much as you can and it will get easier.
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2014, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

I've done it a few different ways. Recently I recorded in my guitarist's home studio and he would lay down a basic rhythm guitar with a scratch vocal track that he played to a click. I then played along with that, with the click also running. Kinda like playing along with a record. We were able to do this cause he had the free time and the studio in his house. Otherwise I'd say everyone would need to have it in their ear.
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2014, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

If they think you're keep time for them, tell them to get a clue. Musicians should be expected to keep their own time and stop relying on the drummer.
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2014, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

Recently I took part in a recording session. I tracked my parts to a click and went for an energetic, ahead-of-the-beat feel for most parts. The rest of the instruments were tracked to my drums, and the end result was that the guitars and the bass were even more ahead, making my parts sound laid back -- and in some parts, downright lazy.

If everyone's not referencing the same tempo, you're not going to end up with the result you aim for.
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2014, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobrush View Post
I can not understand people who say they can not play to a click. There is nothing magical or supernatural about it. Think of it like a very simple pre-recorded percussion part, which is exactly what it is. Could they not play to a recording of your drums? Most recording software allows you to use whatever sound you want for a 'click'. What if you set it to a bass drum, or a clave (my fave)? Could they not play to a bass drum hit on every down beat? What kind of musician would make that claim? "I simply can not play to a recording of a bass drum keeping time." Really?

If you don't want to play to a click because you want your tempo to vary, that's a different thing altogether. That's an artistic choice, and everything is fair game for 'artistic choices'. But if you've decided that the song will have a constant tempo, why would you not use a click?
I can't understand it either. It's like he has a panic attack when the click comes on.
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  #14  
Old 01-25-2014, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

Many people who aren't used to it will "chase" a click. Mostly being late but occasionally realizing they are behind and rushing ahead of it only to noticeably fall back.

Years ago with I got my first PTLE set up and tried to do the 'recording all the parts' thing a great engineer/producer/musician I know suggested using a drum machine instead of a click. Having a full drum pattern is easier to follow than just this ticking noise on the quarters.

Back in the day, producers used to record the drummer (or a solid session cat) and then splice a loop of a bar or two to run on another machine and let the band play to that, including the drummer. This made splicing takes later on much simpler. With today's technology, this is simple.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
Recently I took part in a recording session. I tracked my parts to a click and went for an energetic, ahead-of-the-beat feel for most parts. The rest of the instruments were tracked to my drums, and the end result was that the guitars and the bass were even more ahead, making my parts sound laid back -- and in some parts, downright lazy.

If everyone's not referencing the same tempo, you're not going to end up with the result you aim for.
THIS! I can't agree more!
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  #16  
Old 01-26-2014, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

Man don't do it!! Don't do it!
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  #17  
Old 01-29-2014, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

SKRREEEEEETTTTCCCCHHHH........

Y'all know me.

Know how I earn a livin'.

I'll catch this bird for ya, but it ain't gonna be easy... Bad fish.
It's not like going down to pond chasin' blue gills or tommy cots.

This click - swallow ya hole.


Let's assume your recording into some kind of modern software, as is common practice.
If you want to play live with the band, track your drums with the click provided in the software. Have the Guitarist and Bassist play along with you, but not recorded. Just record your drums.

Then after your finished the other guys can go ahead and record the parts they want and will have your drum tracks & the click (lowered in the mix) as a reference.

If you don't regularly practice or perform with a click, take the time to rehearse for a while with the band using it. This will get everyone ready so they don't trip up all over the place when the click is introduced.
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  #18  
Old 01-29-2014, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

The question is "how do you want the music to feel?" Are you wanting to capture the band's essence, or rise to a standard? I would recommend using any device you can get your hands on to record everything you do from now on so that you may listen to and refine what it is that you are wanting to do.

Years ago, about 20 now there was a young drummer who called me to get in a lesson on how to play with a click track. He said that the label was going to replace him on the album if he didn't pass this test, so to speak. So we went into the rehearsal studio and I gave him these pointers-

1. Play with a click track clicking on 8th notes. It's much easier to grab that cadence and lock in.

2. Then as things get looser, switch to playing with a quarter note pulse, but on the upbeat (the &). By doing this it's far easier to "swing from above", as when one begins to deviate from the upbeat 8th the "swing" changes, so to speak.

3. Once you're comfortable playing with the solid 8ths, upbeat 8ths, it's far easier to play on the quarter note downbeats because at this point your brain will interpolate the upbeat 8ths on its own.

4. Beyond this is getting into the 16th note subdivisions, using the full 1e&a 2e&a etc., then playing with the e's and a's being clicked upon (which are merely 8th notes juxtaposed by 1/16th.)

So using those techniques his band went on to sell over 60 million + albums over the world. It's not important who it was, but it is important that the lesson worked for him. I sound like a salesman huh. Believe me, I'm not trying to sell you anything! :D

So all that aside, begin focusing on that whole "forward motion" thing. What "thing" is this? Well... "thing" is, we drummers don't just play beats, we move energy and create motion. So pay close attention to the motion you're creating.
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2014, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Recording with a Metronome

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillRayDrums View Post

1. Play with a click track clicking on 8th notes. It's much easier to grab that cadence and lock in.

+1 on this!

I always have my click set to 8ths, with the quarter note louder than the 8th.
ONE ..&.. TWO ..&..

It helps set that grid up, especially on slower tempo songs where you have so much space between quarters.

If I'm doing a shuffle I'll do the same for triplets.
ONE ..ti..ta.. TWO ..ti..ta

On faster tempos, say anything over 120, you probably don't need the 8th as much.
I keep it on mostly because I'm lazy or don't always have the time to turn it on and off in the middle of a gig.
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