Pre-"grid" musicianship

notvinnie

Senior Member
Oh man.... Okay, let me be more specific: Most commercial music released by major and independent record labels (not self produced) is recorded WITH a click or digital rhythm track of some sort. Of the remaining recordings, whether they be folkloric, or indigenous, or whatever, many of those will have used a click as well (unless they are live performance recordings) if they were recorded post 1995 in a proper commercial recording studio.

As for the statement that "almost all jazz music is recorded without a click", I will only say perhaps that is true. I bet you more of it is recorded with a click than you think though. It all depends on circumstances and budget. It also depends on how you define jazz.

To say that this is factually correct or incorrect is pointless, since there are no actual statistics to reference. I was not present at every recording session worldwide over the last 30 years, nor were any of you. There is nothing wrong with recording with or without a click. The music that results from it is what matters. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, not in the cooking.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
A lot of us simply don't like the sound of most commercial music. most music fans don't have much use for it, and it actually represents a small portion of the music that's out there. It's music for non music fans
I guess that's why it gets listened to by more people and generates the most money, because most music fans have no use for it. Taste is subjective. Just because something is commercial doesn't mean it is bad. The Beatles sold a lot of music and were both commercial and popular. There are thousands of similar examples.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Oh man.... Okay, let me be more specific: Most commercial music released by major and independent record labels (not self produced) is recorded WITH a click or digital rhythm track of some sort. Of the remaining recordings, whether they be folkloric, or indigenous, or whatever, many of those will have used a click as well (unless they are live performance recordings) if they were recorded post 1995 in a proper commercial recording studio..

True, to a certain extent i can agree with that..

But what i was trying to say in my previous post, is that what we know as commercial music is only a very small part of all the music that is actually recorded worldwide..

If you think this statement is not true, then i guess you might want to expand your musical horizons a little..

The second part of what you wrote, that most of all that remaining (non commercial) music is also recorded with a click, can simply be proven not correct by just listening to the music and hearing the lack of any click..

Or you really think that all those musicians in South America, Africa and Asia (and all the other examples i gave in my previous post plus a loooot more) are busy with creating highly ingenious tempo-maps to mislead us like that..?
 
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TMe

Senior Member
The Beatles sold a lot of music and were both commercial and popular. There are thousands of similar examples.
As I said, "most" commercial music. (Not that I'm a Beatles fan, but I get your point.)

Aren't "commercial" and "popular" the same thing? If the best music is the music that's most popular and sells the most, than McDonald's must have the best food in the world.

Regardless, if you just look at the sheer volume of music that's recorded, oldskoolsoul's point stands. Most musicians aren't writing commercial jingles for top 40 radio. If you want to be a pro then, by all means, do that, but most musicians are pursuing something else.
 
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Mongrel

Silver Member
Welcome to The Brave New World....

Where the "unknown" kid in Ghana or Alabama recording to a utube channel without a click track is thrust into a discussion about grids and click tracks being used in commercial recordings made in major studios...

Because you know we're so pious and "woke" nowadays...that ANY recording made anywhere in the world has to be taken into consideration....

So, in summary-"more sounds are recorded to bits and bytes without using a click than are with a click..."

Yep, that should cover it.....

Lol
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Welcome to The Brave New World....

..Where the "unknown" kid in Ghana or Alabama recording to a utube channel without a click track is thrust into a discussion about grids and click tracks being used in commercial recordings made in major studios..

What makes you think i am talking about musicians like that..?

I am talking about music that is recorded and released on cassette, vinyl, CD or (nowadays) streaming services for people to buy or listen to..

Are those first 3 examples that Alex posted sounding to you like "the unknown kid recording to YT"..?

Because to me they are not..

I think you just have no clue about how much music (in all sorts of genres) is being released each year..:)

I will give you another example (because i am in a generous mood..lol), but are these people sounding to you like "the unknown kid recording to YT"..?

Because to me they certainly are not..:)

 

Mongrel

Silver Member
What makes you think i am talking about musicians like that..?

I am talking about music that is recorded and released on cassette, vinyl, CD or (nowadays) streaming services for people to buy or listen to..

Are those first 3 examples that Alex posted sounding to you like "the unknown kid recording to YT"..?

Because to me they are not..

I think you just have no clue about how much music (in all sorts of genres) is being released each year..:)

I will give you another example (because i am in a generous mood..lol), but are these people sounding to you like "the unknown kid recording to YT"..?

Because to me they certainly are not..:)

Who said I was talking to you?

😉
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Who said I was talking to you?..

Since i have been the only one in this thread mentioning Africa and US roots-related music and you wrote..:

"..the "unknown" kid in Ghana or Alabama recording to a utube channel without a click track is thrust into a discussion about grids and click tracks.."

Then exactly which part/post of the discussion are you referring to..?
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
what we know as commercial music is only a very small part of all the music that is actually recorded worldwide..
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

IFPI 2017 data
Music markets, with total retail value, and share of Physical, Digital records
RankingMarketRetail value
US $
(millions)
PhysicalDigitalPerformance RightsSynchronization
1United States5,916.1 15%75%7%3%
2Japan2,727.572%21%5%1%
3Germany1,323.1 43%36%20%1%
4United Kingdom1,310.7 30%50%18%2%
5France925.1 36%34%27%3%
6South Korea494.437%59%4%0%
7Canada 437.221%65%14%1%
8Australia412.9 19%68%11%2%
9Brazil295.8 5%60%34%0%
10China292.33%90%7%0%
11Netherlands269.522%50%27%0%
12Italy247.939%36%22%3%
13Spain205.826%49%24%2%
14Sweden199.510%72%17%1%
15Norway139.0 9%71%19%1%
16Denmark137.97%56%36%1%
17Switzerland137.827%52%21%0%
18Mexico137.015%79%4%1%
19India130.77%78%9%6%
20Argentina130.08%31%60%1%
Global total17,270n/an/an/an/a
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

IFPI 2017 data
Music markets, with total retail value, and share of Physical, Digital records
RankingMarketRetail value
US $
(millions)
PhysicalDigitalPerformance RightsSynchronization
1United States5,916.1 15%75%7%3%
2Japan2,727.572%21%5%1%
3Germany1,323.1 43%36%20%1%
4United Kingdom1,310.7 30%50%18%2%
5France925.1 36%34%27%3%
6South Korea494.437%59%4%0%
7Canada 437.221%65%14%1%
8Australia412.9 19%68%11%2%
9Brazil295.8 5%60%34%0%
10China292.33%90%7%0%
11Netherlands269.522%50%27%0%
12Italy247.939%36%22%3%
13Spain205.826%49%24%2%
14Sweden199.510%72%17%1%
15Norway139.0 9%71%19%1%
16Denmark137.97%56%36%1%
17Switzerland137.827%52%21%0%
18Mexico137.015%79%4%1%
19India130.77%78%9%6%
20Argentina130.08%31%60%1%
Global total17,270n/an/an/an/a

Nice numbers, but would you maybe also be kind enough to explain what all those numbers are actually saying about the discussion, click/no click etc, we have at the moment..?

As far as i remember you were first making a statement that most music is recorded with a click..

Then you changed that to most commercial music..

And now you show a graphic of retail numbers..lol..

If in your musical world only the most sold music has value or counts to talk about regarding click/no click, then ok, you are completely right..

But the tree that you are referring to still existed, no..?

Anyway, like Alex allready said, not important..

I heard Taylor Swift has a new record, check that one out..!:)
 
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TMe

Senior Member
Nice numbers, but would you maybe also be kind enough to explain what all those numbers are actually saying about the discussion, click/no click etc, we have at the moment..?
Actually, I was the one who pushed things off topic. Sorry about that.

Sticking to commercially successful music, I just watched Ken Burns' documentary about Country music. When Nashville got to the point that tunes were bloated, hugely over produced, glossy productions, Willie Nelson spent $600 in a demo studio and recorded The Red Headed Stranger, which became a huge success. That, I think, illustrates what the OP was talking about. So much music is overproduced these days (playing to a grid and using quantize are only part of that) and to people who've spent a lot of time listening to music, that over produced sound isn't very appealing.

But Bermuda also has a point when he says the guys who complain about a click the most are often the guys with poor time who can't play with a click to save their life, let alone lock into a grid when that's called for.

On the opposite side of the argument, some drummers lock into a grid and that's the only sound they have. They've never learned to swing or groove. Some really good drummers lock into a grid when it really doesn't suit the song at all, because that's what commercial producers demand these days. A lot of the drumming on commercial recordings sounds stiff and rigid, as if the drummer is imitating a drum machine. Older commercial music had more swing or groove to it.

That isn't restricted to commercial music, either. When I hear a lot of metal drumming all I can think is "Why, oh why, didn't they use a drum machine for that? It would have sounded so much better."
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Playing to a click, and quantizing a performance are two different things.

In simple terms, quantization is a production technique you can use to make your imperfect timing, perfectly in time. When you quantize a note, or a group of notes, it snaps the notes to the “grid” so all the notes land exactly on the beat and/or the subdivisions.
When music is recorded live in the studio, there may be a click to help guide the band, and when the song is edited it may be quantized if the band & producer want it done.

When music is recorded instrument by instrument, the drums is usually the first instrument to get recorded, and the click is always on for that performance. Subsequent instruments/performances may or may not use the click if the drums are adequate for that musician.

A couple years ago I recorded an album of original tunes for a local acoustic guitarist/singer. He came to my [photo] studio and simply played his old acoustic while he sang. He refused to play to a click ‘cuz it would “disrupt his feel”. His timing wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t spot-on either. No biggie. I simply ‘sussed out the tempo of each tune, copied his scratch tracks (guitar & vocal) into my DAW and quantized it to that tempo. After much rehearsal to the tunes, I recorded my drums. When he was satisfied with my performance, we recorded the bassist. Then we recorded a rhythm guitar to the tunes he wanted it on. Then any other instruments to add sonics (e.g., cello). Then last was the lead guitar.

All performances were quantized to a certain degree. Meaning, the tool I used has variable quantization, from 1% to 100%. It also has a variable “swing character” to allow for or provide a swing feel to the performance.

Getting four non-pro musicians to lock in on separate performances would not have been possible without a click or quantizing.
 

TMe

Senior Member
Playing to a click, and quantizing a performance are two different things.
When people talk about paying to a "grid", I think they're referring to a drummer who tries to play as though they were quantized down to a fine degree, like 16th or even 32nd notes. That's necessary for some technically demanding music, but can sound rather mechanical when used for a simple Rock song. It's entirely possible to set a metronome to quarter notes and swing like crazy without being locked into a tight "grid", and it's entirely possible to play with no click at all and still get a stiff "grid" feeling.

Getting four non-pro musicians to lock in on separate performances would not have been possible without a click or quantizing.
Exactly. I don't like the "grid" sound at all, but... all things in moderation. To record a bunch of garage rockers who aren't in the room at the same time, a click is an absolute necessity. I use quantize the same way as you, starting with a practice recording to use as a ghost track. There's also nothing wrong with using it to fix a few glitches. But if everything is so quantized it sounds like it was played by a robot, that's not a sound I can relate to.
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
Nice numbers, but would you maybe also be kind enough to explain what all those numbers are actually saying about the discussion, click/no click etc, we have at the moment..?
You said
what we know as commercial music is only a very small part of all the music that is actually recorded worldwide..
That chart merely indicates that your statement is incorrect, with ACTUAL DATA to back it up.
 

TMe

Senior Member
That chart merely indicates that your statement is incorrect, with ACTUAL DATA to back it up.
For every recording that becomes a commercial success, how many recordings do you think were made that were not successful? More to the point, how many recordings were made that were never intended for mass consumption?
 

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
Ha! Now the Country people will hunt you down. ;)

Today was the first time I heard that song.


Anyway i don´t understand how did he pay 600 dollars for one song if 8 years later, in Germany (1985) i did a demo in a studio, with a trio (never played before with those guys), recorded 3 songs and the price was 25 Marks (about 10 dollars then, I think). The rate of the studio was 5 marks the hour. (5 x 5 hours=25), most of the time was invested in puting cables, etc.

Now, you havent answered me why was so expensive, because I undertand you were mentioning it because it was very expensive, right?

So, some things that occured to me were: the drummer had a problem to play the 1 on the rim in that 3/4
Or the 2 and 3 (again in the rim) on the bridge....anyway I thought that some one could iluminate me...
 
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