Topic: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog  (Read 2458 times)

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Offline Bill Bachman

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Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« on: August 06, 2013, 09:33 PM »
Hey guys, I thought many of you would be interested in this discussion and I'd love to hear more angles on it!

 ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPuRMdKfjEU#ws
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Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 10:51 AM »
If you've never worked with a metronome you won't know it.   ;)
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Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 11:36 AM »
Good stuff, Bill. I've had the appalling experience of laying down nice drum tracks, only to have the other guys overdub guitar and bass parts that were not in the same pocket. And those overdubs are invariably done when you're not around to point out the problem. The real bummer is that it makes it sound like the drummer is the one who is ruining the groove.

This is important stuff to pay attention to, for anybody who is doing any recording. Thanks for posting this!
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Re: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 11:42 AM »
Great stuff Bill. Dead on (so to speak).

Another, related, issue is coming back with overdubs ... fixes... hits... etc.... and trying to match other musicians who aren't in time.  Not so hard anymore with digital recording, but in the old days with analog (tape)... could be hard.

Anyway, love this discussion. Thanks!

Offline Bill Bachman

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Re: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 11:05 PM »
Mr. Acrolite, yes yes yes! I've had many things I played on ruined in that same way. It's a shame.

It's good to get feedback on these exact scenarios from guys who've been at it a lot longer than me. I learned all this stuff the hard way.

And Don, yes learning the pocket of pre-recorded stuff you need to match is a bear. It takes a while to learn where to rush & drag to match their human interp.
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Offline JeepnDrummer

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Re: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2013, 01:43 AM »
Thanks Bill, that was very informative.  I never heard the idea of all band members using a click or no one using a click instead of just the drummer.  What you said makes sense and I'd hate to find this out the hard way.

My band plans to use a sequencer on our gigs to add extra instruments to some of the songs we play.  The extra instruments are in certain parts of the songs, so the tempo and starting/stopping the sequencer is very important.  The idea is for me to play to the click with the two guitars and bass following me.  Our band leader will control the start/stop of the sequencer.  Since the entire band is going to IEMs, it makes sense that we're all playing to the click as well.  Any additional thoughts on this?  Thanks.

Offline Bill Bachman

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Re: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2013, 07:28 PM »
Hey JeepnDrummer, I'd say the same exact thing as the click scenario--get everyone hearing the track in their ears. Otherwise there will be timing fights unless they all have fantastic ears, awareness & focus on the lock.
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Online Bart Elliott

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Re: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 09:05 PM »
Hey JeepnDrummer, I'd say the same exact thing as the click scenario--get everyone hearing the track in their ears. Otherwise there will be timing fights unless they all have fantastic ears, awareness & focus on the lock.

My argument with that scenario is that everyone has different interpretations of where to place their notes in relation to the click, not to mention some people just don't play well with a click.

If everyone follows the person that is leading, which is typically the drummer, then the rest of the band doesn't need to hear the click. Only the drummer really needs to hear the click ... unless of course there are parts of the music where the drums are not being played.

The click track or metronome is not some sort of neural implant that forces individuals to lock in with it. They either have worked and developed their musical skill to play with the click, with other musicians ... or not. If they can play to a click, then they can play with the drummer with only the drummer hearing the click.

The drummer, however, is not always the leader. Whomever is playing the most subdivisions is essentially leading. Typically the drummer is the one who is doing this more than others ... which is why, by default, I suggest that the drummer is the one driving the bus.

I agree that the feel can change, and that the drummer, even when playing to a click, must listen to the melodic rhythm as well as the other parts being played, and blend. We can't just be drum machines or robots ... blindly following the click or metronome.

I've had dozens of sessions where other instrumentalists and/or vocals have ruined the track (in my opinion) and made it sound as though I was the one making the mistake. Having them cut their tracks to a metronome is different than them cutting to my drum track ... they still have to listen, groove and lock in with the pulse. In fact I'll go so far to say that having them groove with the drums is FAR more important because the click track isn't going to be in the final mix on the album ... at least let's hope not.

Offline Bill Bachman

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Re: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2013, 09:31 PM »
I think we actually meet in the middle here. I mentioned it'll work fine if they have fantastic ears and can lock in really well. The problem is that so many don't.

I've rarely ever encountered a singer/songwriter who for all intents and purposes knew what a metronome was or played (practiced?) along with a loop or something which required timing accountability. I usually found it best to go no click so that I can flex with them in order to keep the train on the tracks. Be it a click or drummer, their ability to lock and/or interpret the beat really doesn't change. It's just that one flexes and can forgive, and the other can't.

I can't tell you how many shows I saw in Nashville where the drummer sounded awful-like he was deaf and couldn't groove only to see that he was the only one clicked in and playing tempo police.

Seeing as how it the scenario here brings in sequenced backing tracks, there's a new level of "must be on" for the other musicians. Here we must lock into the click above all else or the sequenced parts will sound completely out of whack. The other musicians having the sequence relieves the burden of proof from the drummer and makes them more directly accountable for their time/lock. Recording and listening back to gigs will be a key to hear what's really going on and training to make it better.

And again, with some well trained players it really doesn't matter, but there's almost always a "that guy" to deal with. I'd rather "that guy" gets called out directly by the machine than by me so it's not personal or debatable. 
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Offline JeepnDrummer

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Re: Bill's ahead/behind the beat Blog
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2013, 01:44 AM »
Thanks guys.  Bill, you're absolutely correct that the sequencer will require us to be spot on.  Unfortunately, we also have a "that guy."  It's interesting that you mentioned timing accountability.  This is precisely what's been on my mind.  No doubt, the click and sequencer are going to expose more of "that guy's" shortcomings.

 

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