Jump to content

Guest - Member Global Message

This is the Header Alert Global Message description. This message can be changed in your themes acp.

Hero
MyImageName

Banner 1 Title


MyImageName

Banner 2 Title


MyImageName

Banner 3 Title


Sign in to follow this  
veecharlie

Are click tracks overused?

Recommended Posts

Hey drummers,

I really want to know your thoughts. This question normally makes up a fight but I hope everybody can behave here and I'm curious about your opinion about click tracks being overused. I have seen this topic in another forum and there were some interesting answers.

I made a video instead.. so I can visually show what I mean with my opinion...

Remember is just opinion by the way... no hard feelings.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(tl;dr)

'Overused' is a very subjective term.These days, with the styles of music being played and the use of automated sequences, a click track for recording )and playing) has become somewhat ubiquitous. Also the recording process has changed and it is no longer always the case that a group of musicians will all gather in the studio to record a track. Musicians (and programmers) from disparate parts of the country, or indeed the world, may contribute tracks. Use of a click track becomes much more sensible. If you are playing a live gig with programmed sequences, you must be able to work with a click.

My personal feeling is, I like for a song to have room to breathe and that quite often means that the tempo might meander a little bit. Pull back a  little and the groove appears a little more laid back, play up front and you can increase the tension, etc.

The 'overuse' of the click is a fairly new phenomenon. One can only hope that it will find its balance and that artists will also continue to play and record without a click as well.

Regards,
Frodis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I just quote Frodis as my response?

I guess to add a little to what he said... Maybe it's not overused, but underdeveloped.  A click track is a track, not a metronome.  You can use it like one, but you should be able to have multiple time signatures in a track.  If a song would sound better with a slight speed up or slow down in certain parts, then why couldn't you adjust the acceleration in the click track?  (People might already do this.  I have no idea.  Just a thought.)  Every so often I hear songs where a change in verse/chorus/whatever feels like it's dragging or rushed, but it's the same tempo as the rest of the song, so I know they didn't screw up when recording.  I have heard songs where the parts do fall off tempo.  I haven't decided if that was intentional to keep the feel of the song, or the band is just really good at holding tempo without a click/metronome and can automatically adjust between sections of the songs.

At any rate, I used to hate them because they are inorganic and "emotionless" feeling.  I also had a hard time playing along with them.  I've recently convinced myself it's a fun game to play along perfectly with a click/metronome, but that's probably because it's easier to do than relearn how to play fast again.  So I'm really just procrastinating on what I want to be doing, but it's a beneficial procrastination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Frodis said:

(tl;dr)

'Overused' is a very subjective term.These days, with the styles of music being played and the use of automated sequences, a click track for recording )and playing) has become somewhat ubiquitous. Also the recording process has changed and it is no longer always the case that a group of musicians will all gather in the studio to record a track. Musicians (and programmers) from disparate parts of the country, or indeed the world, may contribute tracks. Use of a click track becomes much more sensible. If you are playing a live gig with programmed sequences, you must be able to work with a click.

My personal feeling is, I like for a song to have room to breathe and that quite often means that the tempo might meander a little bit. Pull back a  little and the groove appears a little more laid back, play up front and you can increase the tension, etc.

The 'overuse' of the click is a fairly new phenomenon. One can only hope that it will find its balance and that artists will also continue to play and record without a click as well.

Regards,
Frodis

I totally agree that the times change and to add to what you said about let it breathe, I think we have to, until a certain limit obviously when it starts to sound non-musical then we have a problem lol.

I record guitars without a click. I get confused... however I prefer to follow a click when drumming. I have had times in a gig (the first gigs) I would just turn off the click if we would play a too slow song because I am not good at slow tempos (something to improve he)

 

7 hours ago, SpeedNinja said:

Can I just quote Frodis as my response?

I guess to add a little to what he said... Maybe it's not overused, but underdeveloped.  A click track is a track, not a metronome.  You can use it like one, but you should be able to have multiple time signatures in a track.  If a song would sound better with a slight speed up or slow down in certain parts, then why couldn't you adjust the acceleration in the click track?  (People might already do this.  I have no idea.  Just a thought.)  Every so often I hear songs where a change in verse/chorus/whatever feels like it's dragging or rushed, but it's the same tempo as the rest of the song, so I know they didn't screw up when recording.  I have heard songs where the parts do fall off tempo.  I haven't decided if that was intentional to keep the feel of the song, or the band is just really good at holding tempo without a click/metronome and can automatically adjust between sections of the songs.

At any rate, I used to hate them because they are inorganic and "emotionless" feeling.  I also had a hard time playing along with them.  I've recently convinced myself it's a fun game to play along perfectly with a click/metronome, but that's probably because it's easier to do than relearn how to play fast again.  So I'm really just procrastinating on what I want to be doing, but it's a beneficial procrastination.

Interesting opinion. It's indeed nowadays underdeveloped, and that's what I talk on my vlog.. in a track you can have as multiple time signatures as slow down or hurry up the song as you want. Depends how you make a track, but you can really do anything you want if you know how. That's the great thing of Ableton for example.. you split your songs in parts, normally by sections of a certain song like chorus, interlude, instrumental, bridge, verse, etc. and you can even change the pitch separately. Ableton is really super advanced on such things, and I got really surprised by it. I have seen Anika Nilles at drumeo triggering her songs from Ableton and I'm sure Dream Theater has some kind of tracks like that. Playing such prog I hardly believe they are so perfect and knowing Petrucci is a metronome geek.

David Gilmour doesn't use click/metronome. Hear live in Gdanks (sorry is written wrong) and you will notice on the first song (clastellorizon) he doesn't use anything at all, still sounds awesome and gives me goose bumps everytime I hear it.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Logically, it depends on the musician, the band, their music, and what they want to achieve.  Generally, you are not going to hear jazz players using a click track - studio or live - because of the nature of the music and what it is as a concept. That said, if remote recording is going to take place the click track keeps everyone on the same page at the outset.

Which plays into the entire spectrum of genres and what is involved in the production of the music and how tight it has to be. "Modern" music, with all the electronics involved, especially live, needs an obvious reference point, especially when adrenaline is to be accounted for.

People with good inner clocks can play with or against a click at will and it does nothing to create deficits or enhance what they do. It's just there for a time reference.

A click track is just a loop, really, so anything can be used to create a time reference if it's necessary. I don't want to hear a single note cowbell through an entire song. Nor a tick or tock. It isn't musical. Every song is a collection of patterns so, create a loop(s) with something that is musical and that makes more sense to me. For others, that single tick, tick, tick, is what they want.

When you think about all the music played and recorded before click tracks you begin to wonder about the current status of inner clocks in humans and why clicks are necessary when no electronics are involved. 

Nobody walks with the same gate every step. Nobody talks with the same inflection every syllable. We are not robots. Why should music be so static and robotic? 

Scientific studies have been done on drummers and their sense of time keeping and almost all participants show they naturally play a little ahead or behind the actual beat. It's how drummers feel time. I don't know if classical conductors have ever been studied but, it's the same premise. That's what makes music alive. Otherwise, use machines. Which is where everything is headed, anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, veecharlie said:

Interesting opinion. It's indeed nowadays underdeveloped, and that's what I talk on my vlog.. in a track you can have as multiple time signatures as slow down or hurry up the song as you want. Depends how you make a track, but you can really do anything you want if you know how. That's the great thing of Ableton for example.. you split your songs in parts, normally by sections of a certain song like chorus, interlude, instrumental, bridge, verse, etc. and you can even change the pitch separately. Ableton is really super advanced on such things, and I got really surprised by it. I have seen Anika Nilles at drumeo triggering her songs from Ableton and I'm sure Dream Theater has some kind of tracks like that. Playing such prog I hardly believe they are so perfect and knowing Petrucci is a metronome geek.

 

I've not heard of Ableton.  I'll have to check that out.  Thanks!

 

2 hours ago, DiehardDIYer said:

Scientific studies have been done on drummers and their sense of time keeping and almost all participants show they naturally play a little ahead or behind the actual beat. It's how drummers feel time. I don't know if classical conductors have ever been studied but, it's the same premise. That's what makes music alive. Otherwise, use machines. Which is where everything is headed, anyway.

I've noticed my own hands will have a completely different feel if I switch from right to left playing, or play open handed.  My left hand tends to play further behind the beat on the snare.  I can't seem to "relax" that much with my right hand.  It really messes with my head because I am playing but it doesn't sound like me playing.  I'm sure I could adjust that if I forced myself to play lefty more.  Something more similar to what you're saying: It's not always the notes that you play and when you play them, but the space between them that give the music the feeling you're trying to convey.  I was just talking to my friend about this with the different styles of guitar he plays.  It takes a whole different mental focus to play different styles.  Creating slightly larger or smaller gaps between notes can build anticipation, or jolt some unexpected energy into a song.  The note is the same in both instances, but the gap between notes changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

MyImageName

Image Description 1


MyImageName

Image Description 2


MyImageName

Image Description 3


×