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Getting people to play in time
#457131 01/25/02 10:43 AM
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What's the most interesting or most consistent way to yeild the results of someone playing in time with the song. I am having one of those nights where its driving me insane I had to pro tools so much today.

Re: Getting people to play in time
#457132 01/25/02 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CFS:
What's the most interesting or most consistent way to yeild the results of someone playing in time with the song. I am having one of those nights where its driving me insane I had to pro tools so much today.


The most consistent way is to have good musicians who can play in time. ;\) Do you use a click track? One thing I learned from a live stand point is that everything is more in time if everyone concentrates on timing, not just following/relying on the drummer (even though it's kind of their JOB). OR, maybe I misunderstood your question.


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Re: Getting people to play in time
#457133 01/28/02 07:21 AM
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..umm, try replacing the drummer with a machine...that's what we did and it made a world of difference. \:D
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Shiver


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Re: Getting people to play in time
#457134 01/28/02 05:49 PM
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Program a percussion loop and have the musicans play to it... you usually end up with a pretty good feeling track once the musicians lock with the percussion. I've found 'shakers' and 'cowbells' to work best, by YMMV.


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Re: Getting people to play in time
#457135 01/28/02 08:32 PM
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If your drummer isnt used to playing with a click track his performance will suffer if you try to get him to. The best thing is to program a 16th note tamborine or shaker and get him to play in the general feel of it. That way the timing will be sort of consistant, and shouldnt mess with his playing. The problem with playing with a quarter or eighth note click is once they start getting a little off, they either over compensate and completely change tempo in attempt to get back on, or just get confused and mess up completely. So just having a 16th note thing off in the background will help keep the timing somewhat on, without being too careful about staying dead on, which makes someone not used to using a click mess up.

Re: Getting people to play in time
#457136 01/28/02 08:50 PM
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Interesting how everyone blames the drummer right away if the musicians aren't in time. Sometimes the drummer is in time and the other musicians aren't, but everybody still blames the drummer. \:D

I suppose first of all I should ask what exactly you mean by "not in time"? Do you mean they aren't all locking together well or do you mean they're out of time with some objective standard like a click track? If the musicians simply are not in time with EACH OTHER that's a problem, and it's hard to say whose problem it really is.

If you mean that people aren't perfectly on with a click, or some such thing, but they are still grooving well together, then I'd have to ask why it's so important that they're "in time". A lot of younger engineers these days ASSUME that every kick and snare hit must be lined up to a tempo map and then everybody else has to line up with that. IMO, that doesn't allow the music to breathe. Most older records that we would consider very "tight" and groovin' when you listened to them, if you were to actually pull them up in Pro Tools you'd see that the tempo varies quite a bit within the song. If you were to try to make it line up perfectly, you'd succeed in nothing but squeezing the life out of the music, which is what most of the stuff on the radio sounds like these days - metronomic and lifeless.

Your mileage may vary of course - but just something to consider.

--Lee

Re: Getting people to play in time
#457137 01/28/02 09:02 PM
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Re: Getting people to play in time
#457138 01/28/02 09:20 PM
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in additon to what was mentioned above,
i've found that this often works on a pop tune that has little improv:

make sure the drummer only hears what is absolutely necessary to make it through the track's arrangement correctly. i.e. just the bass if possible. often singers or guitar players will play rushed and unfortunately that's what you hear the most of in the less than idea monitoring conditions of headphones. taking them out of the cans helps prevent the drummer from continually playing "catch up" and just lets her/him concentrate on the groove with the bass player.

-d. gauss

Re: Getting people to play in time
#457139 01/28/02 09:27 PM
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I have tried all sorts of different percussion sounds for a click track and have found my drummer prefers a simple bass and snare drum part. We try to find a tempo that moves the song and we try to stay within that tempo. Sometimes we vary off the beat and keep the take because it works. We did a tune on our last CD where our drummer was so locked with the click track I kept it on the final mix and it added quite a bit of drive to the song.

You should try recording live bluegrass bands if you really want to see tempo swings. And getting them to record to a click track in the studio is almost impossible since they never use drums and aren't used to hearing percussion. I can only hold my breath and hope for the best.


Mark G.
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Re: Getting people to play in time
#457140 01/28/02 09:34 PM
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I have a simple workaround: if the drummer can't keep time, hire a better drummer ...


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Re: Getting people to play in time
#457141 01/28/02 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lee Flier:
Interesting how everyone blames the drummer right away if the musicians aren't in time. Sometimes the drummer is in time and the other musicians aren't, but everybody still blames the drummer. \:D

--Lee


(Tammy Wynette..) STAND BY YOUR.. MANNNNNNN! \:D


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Re: Getting people to play in time
#457142 01/28/02 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GZsound@hotmail.com:
...You should try recording live bluegrass bands if you really want to see tempo swings. And getting them to record to a click track in the studio is almost impossible since they never use drums and aren't used to hearing percussion. I can only hold my breath and hope for the best...


Once again, musicians who play well don't exhibit this tendency.

The upright bass and rhythm acoustic guitar are the foundation of tempo in a bluegrass band. However, you'll see mandolin, banjo, and fiddle players keep time by adding muted, percussive chops when they're not playing melody.

If you're having problems with a bluegrass band, it's that band, not the genre. I find the bluegrass musicians I've worked with have impeccable time. They must. They can't depend on a kit drummer to hold the beat.


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Re: Getting people to play in time
CFS #3056704 08/01/20 06:56 AM
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Lots of "cart before the horse" above.
Songs are living, breathing works of art. The tempo adjusts as part of creating tension and release. Click track makes engineers less stressed out if musicians can play to it. Engineers and click tracks are the cart.
The cart will sit there and go nowhere without the horse (musicians). I will agree that some musicians have not done their homework. Some engineers could use a bit of study too, not pointing any fingers.

A click track does not always serve the song since it flatlines the tempo. Listen to Midnight Rambler off the Get Your Ya Ya's Out album and tell me the Stones could have done that with a click track.

Uhhh... no. And... it ROCKS.

The best possible thing is to have a band that has taken a song out into the trenches, has it down and is playing it live in the studio with no click track. That's real, really real.

I had a friend sell a song and he took a small cut and called me to get it recorded. I hired a great bassist and drummer. The engineers wanted to put the drummer in a large isolation room by himself and the bassist and I (guitar) would be running direct in the control room.

I said "NO" and we played together in the isolation room. All I had to do was listen AND watch the snare hand come down. We nailed it in 3 takes with zero practice as a group.
It had life to it, the client loved it. Yes, we added tracks later but it was easy because we caught a groove and made the song happen.

If you are an artist working by yourself then maybe that's what you are stuck with, otherwise clicks cause as many problems as they solve. Just MHO, Kuru


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Re: Getting people to play in time
CFS #3056880 08/02/20 04:35 PM
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I'm with you, Kuru.

As much as having thnings on a tight grid can facilitate editing and production, my favorite reciordings are the ones where we did basics live depending ont he drummer for the tempo. Much more organic groove under those circumstances, IMO...

dB

Re: Getting people to play in time
Dave Bryce #3056888 08/02/20 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
I'm with you, Kuru.

As much as having thnings on a tight grid can facilitate editing and production, my favorite reciordings are the ones where we did basics live depending ont he drummer for the tempo. Much more organic groove under those circumstances, IMO...

dB

In the above situation, one of the engineers said to me "There will be some bleed, what if somebody makes a mistake?" And I said "What if we don't?"
The only reason it took 3 takes is that we'd never played together before or played that song together. The first take was probably good enough, I don't recall hearing any "clangers".


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...

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