Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

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vvv
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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by vvv » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:21 pm

So mebbe if I think of the click as just another player, who is inflexible, can't swing or handle drinking ...

... and won't help with load-out or costs.

Why, another lead singer - I got it! :twisted:
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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:54 pm

For me, a way better solution when tracking bands is to give a reference tempo at the top of each take and then kill it once they start playing. They’ll tend to speed up and slow down the same way in the same spots.
I usually edit full band takes rather then punching in to make fixes and this method has served me well 99% of the time.

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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by drumsound » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:05 pm

vvv wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:21 pm
So mebbe if I think of the click as just another player, who is inflexible, can't swing or handle drinking ...

... and won't help with load-out or costs.

Why, another lead singer - I got it! :twisted:
precisely
A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:54 pm
For me, a way better solution when tracking bands is to give a reference tempo at the top of each take and then kill it once they start playing. They’ll tend to speed up and slow down the same way in the same spots.
I usually edit full band takes rather then punching in to make fixes and this method has served me well 99% of the time.
That's a good method. I kinda forgot about it, but have done it in the past.

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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by frans_13 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:21 am

If it HAS to be synced to a machine and only then you use click. If you do pre-production, let the band play through the song like they feel the song should be and check the bpm for every part of the arrangement and prepare a click track from that, it takes people who like to be in the illusion of control.. with a lot of spare time. Of course it makes editing easier, just in case you want "easy" in your life. Sadly, i'm not in it for easy as i'm too dumb. I'm in it for good songs. Feelings don't care for a click or a grid. If they happen to be in the song, a constant pulse could be there, or not.

Most clicks in DAW sound annoying. I have an empty song template that has a few homemade sounds (one for downbeat on one, one for other downbeats, one for off if anybody needs) Most times it's just for the first bars into the song and then fad out.
I try to explain that a click is a tempo and NOT a feel / rhythm. The band should play to a feel or rhytm. Only if the drummer has practiced to a click at home for a long time and feels fine with it, then he gets a click. Nobody else gets a click, apart from a drummer-free spot in the arrangement but I'd rather have them play free over it and drop in the whole band at the exact spot that feels right for everyone.

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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by roscoenyc » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:36 am

The tambourine patterns in EZ drummer make for a great click to play with.

You don't get to complain about the click until you can properly play with the click.

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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by Zacharia Matilda » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:29 am

Lots of great information here. Thank you to everyone who chimed in.

I've just been trying to find my way into a song recently have been having trouble with the click. I think in this particular case I need to try starting with a scratch rhythm guitar/guide vocal tracked while listening to a kick in the cans. Trying to do it with a click is not working.

I like the idea of running the click through a delay, as well.

Happy New Year everyone! Thanks again.
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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by wing » Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:31 am

As a drummer who plays to a click both live and in studio as a result of playing along with electronic elements such as synth arpeggiations or backing tracks, I'm pretty much used to it. Early on it would drive me a little crazy but what's weird is I've gotten so used to it that I kind of tune it out and don't notice it. I still follow it, but I don't really "hear" it so obnoxiously because I guess I've just heard it so much, and therefore it doesn't bother me anymore.

That said, to answer your question, I really think of the click as merely a guide or a reference point, but I don't stick to it 100% like a machine. If you're a drummer or developing your rhythm skills, you can learn to play with swing, in the pocket, behind or in front of the beat, triplets and odd timings over 4/4 base, etc. The click will still be there for me as the foundational reference, but I will largely ignore it and get creative.

Technically I kind of have to do it when I'm recording my own projects, because I play every instrument and because I'm human, I'm bound to have a slightly different tempo on each instrument I play. Sometimes, however, I will use a temp drum loop from a library to get the structure of a song going, and play guitar and keys to that instead of to a click, which just feels a lot more vibey and fun in the end, and then later I'll scrap the temp drums and re-record my own on the kit. With the exception of synth pads or open chords, I can typically follow another instrument that has rhythmic definition without turning the click back on, but sometimes I will turn the click on if I find myself getting off, and as mentioned above, I use it merely as a guide and still get creative around it.

When recording with a full band and no electronic elements, I will pretty much never use a click. Ultimately I don't love nor hate them... I just see them as a tool that has a place sometimes.

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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by I'm Painting Again » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:11 pm

my pal was just tellin me in the opera and new music orchestras he plays strings in around the world even the conductor has an in ear with a click

seems like a lot of the biggest commercial productions implement click - that's just going by doc footage I've seen - I think it makes things easier to change and rearrange when the producers want to try something different

all the records I've played on with my old collective were done with a click due to the complicated rhythms

I can see even experienced players not digging it if the metronome wasn't in the right time signature or tempo mapped properly or accurately though :hammer:

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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:54 am

I did a session a few years back for an Afro-Cuban rock band. It was an interesting combination. The guitars and bass were rock guys, the drummer and two percussionist came from the Afro-Cuban world. On top of that we’re a couple of singers and rappers.
I set them up and they tracked three or four songs live off the floor. Two hours in the session devolved into the three drummers and the rappers arguing about the click. The rappers and one of the percussionists wanted everything dead on the click at all times. The kit drummer (who was the oldest of the bunch)was trying to explain that the click didn’t matter if the band was locked in. It killed the vibe of the session dead and they left bummed out.
From where I was sitting in the control room (with no click in my mix) they sounded amazing. They got fixated and faked out by the click though. Total drag.

I guess it turned out alright in the end though. The record came out and was nominated for a bunch of awards.

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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by drumsound » Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:41 am

Dave touches on something I always do when using a click (when I'm not a player on the session). I never have the click playing in the control room. I think of the click like the lines on the road, they are wider than the cars, and there's a bit of leeway, but not so much that things get out of hand. If I hear a lot of wavering, even without hearing the click, then we address that. If I'm not picking up on it as a problem (because I don't have the reference of the click), we're golden.

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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by IanWalker » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:24 pm

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:54 pm
For me, a way better solution when tracking bands is to give a reference tempo at the top of each take and then kill it once they start playing. They’ll tend to speed up and slow down the same way in the same spots.
I usually edit full band takes rather then punching in to make fixes and this method has served me well 99% of the time.
I haven't done much of ANYTHING entirely to a click. But I HAVE used it to count the band off and roll with it at the top until it's rocking. My band did this on our record, and our drummer is somehow one of those guys who manages to not drift too far off that click unless we wanted to push or pull a bit in places. Not 100% obviously, but he was so consistent that flying fairly short phrases in from different takes was super easy.

I don't edit whole takes VERY often, but dropping in the entire bridge from another take or something like that is still pretty doable with the right drummer if you start from the same tempo.
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Re: Click tracks. Love them/Hate them.

Post by Studiodawg » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:10 am

I always get mad at the click when it's "off" timing wise. I swear my timing is perfect...was perfect? Was never perfect? Look an emoji of a click track :worthy: !!!

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