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View Poll Results: What do you think of that bands use clicktracks/backingtracks live?
I think it is cool, i like alot of technology in music! 8 13.33%
It dosnt bother me at all, i really dont care how they do it, as long as it sounds good. 32 53.33%
I dont like it, i like to see musicians jamming together live, without following a pre-made track. 20 33.33%
Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-08-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
Usernames sucks
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What is your tought of using clicktracks/backing tracks live?

Hi guys! We get more and more technology in this world, and its affecting the music scene too. What do you think of bands like Animals As Leaders, Veil of Maya, Periphery and alot of others that uses click tracks live, and has "backing tracks" for certan parts of of the songs (normaly keys and guitar effects that cant really be acomplished live). Lets take the band "Periphery" for example. They use a macbook live that has a clicktrack for the songs, it swithes the presets of the Axe FX2 (it is an amp simulator), it plays the remaining guitar parts that is on the album, even when they have 3 guitar players, and it controlls the lightning on stage. What do you tink of this? Does it bother you? For some reason it does it to me. I like the idea of a live show, where the musicians is jamming together and the music im hearing is created LIVE. I also like the tought of that anything could happen live (like extended parts, do cool stuff with the crowd, increase/decrease tempo). It annoys me that certan bands want everything live like in the studio, live is a completely different situation. Discuss! I would like to point out that i love all the bands i mentioned in this post, so this is no thate thread in any way. Also this question goes for just bands that allready uses instruments for making the music, not electronic musicians.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Playing to a click track to help with the use of tempo-based effects and LIVE loops is totally fine by me. For instance, if Iím playing guitar along with a drummer with a click track in his ear it makes it easier to play around with loops. Thatís using technology in a very LIVE sense though. Now, playing overdubs live is a different thing. Reminds me of the episode of Flight of the Conchords where Bret quits the band, and Jemaine continues on playing alongside a tape deck.

The live show should be an entirely different beast than the records.
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
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I voted the middle option. +1 to what Leybick said.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #4
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I can't vote because my position is somewhere inbetween the 2nd and 3rd options. For those who genuinely need it, I don't necessarly see a problem. However, I have a preference for the interactivity of a live band just using each other as their click track, and I think that headphones live in general has the potential to cut off a musician from the rest of the group (and the audience). And a "human feel" (which doesn't necessarily mean "messing up") is a good thing.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
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Sometimes it is essential...
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:27 PM   #6
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I have a problem with combining click tracks and backing tracks.

A click is an essential tool for some types of live performance. If you're using time-based effects, you simply don't have an option. You need a click or some other reference, and a click for the drummer is often the least obtrusive way to go.

Backing tracks are something else entirely. I've seen them used well (U2 uses some pre-recorded parts live, for example) which didn't bug me. However, somebody using what most guitarists talk about as "backing tracks" in live context sounds like an excuse for a whole bunch of wanking. No, thanks.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:40 PM   #7
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Some music doesn't lend itself to the spontaneity aspect of live performance. I don't know if they improvise during live shows, but it seems the music Periphery plays is very technically and not very friendly towards live improvisation.
Classical music uses a click track, in sense, with a conductor. Any orchestra wide artistic choices are done by him because, again, that music (and sheer number of players) doesn't lend itself to improvisation.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:16 PM   #8
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A scenario with a conductor doesn't strike me as all that analogous to having an actual click track - you're simply going by visual cues, just like you would in a rock or jazz performance without a click track. The main difference is that there is one person that everyone is looking at to cue them. But ultimately people in a classical orchestra are relying on their ears and natural abilities for timing, and the conductor is controling dynamics more than anything else.

I'm also not seeing any particular connection between improvization and not having a click track. The purpose of a click track is simply for steady timing - whether you're improvizing or not.
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:40 PM   #9
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I was thinking of improvisation as sort of varying the different aspects of the music like tempo, dynamics and notes that is very possible with smaller ensembles and relatively simpler music. But yeah, having a click track doesn't mean there can't be any improvising.

And the conductor thing was me seeing that the click track and the conductor both have the final word when it comes to tempo.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:56 PM   #10
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It's really gay.

Leave it in the practice room (that's what she said) and the studio.
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:22 AM   #11
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Ok thank you guys for sharing your toughts, keep them coming!
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:51 AM   #12
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I think they're almost required, live. Some bands are the exception, if you're a more fun, 'party' band, like if you're Indie, or Punk or something, you shouldn't go near one, and if you want to put across a 'wild' feel, they aren't recommended, if I remember correctly, 7 Sinners by Helloween was recorded without a click track, and that was one of the most intense albums I've heard. However, in Metal, which is the field I primarily work in, bands that don't use clicks are usually quite messy, especially in the unsigned scene, if you're planning on making something of yourself, you need a click nowadays. Personally, I'd rather see the band play the songs I loved on the record than improvising, and when I get on stage, I want everything prepared beforehand, to give the audience the show they paid for.
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:37 PM   #13
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I just don't get it. Musicians have performed live just fine for thousands of years without a click track, and I don't see older rock bands as inherently giving sloppy performances, nor do I see the vast majority of professional groups today relying on click tracks live. A good musician's sense of rythm and tempo should be good enough to generally be able to play with steady timing in an ensemble - especially a drummer, who basically functions as everyone else's click track.

This may sound harsh and elitist, but bands that absolutely have to rely on a click track to play smoothley with each other live, and not for any practical/technical reason due to the nature of the music, are probably made up of relatively amateur musicians or otherwise lacking in chemistry with each other. If you absolutely need to rely on techology to do something that should generally be par for the course of being a decent musician, something is clearly wrong.

You're a band - learn to play with each other in a room.

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Old 06-09-2012, 01:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainpolice2
I just don't get it. Musicians have performed live just fine for thousands of years without a click track, and I don't see older rock bands as inherently giving sloppy performances, nor do I see the vast majority of professional groups today relying on click tracks live. A good musician's sense of rythm and tempo should be good enough to generally be able to play with steady timing in an ensemble - especially a drummer, who basically functions as everyone else's click track.

This may sound harsh and elitist, but bands that absolutely have to rely on a click track to play smoothley with each other live, and not for any practical/technical reason due to the nature of the music, are probably made up of relatively amateur musicians or otherwise lacking in chemistry with each other. If you absolutely need to rely on techology to do something that should generally be par for the course of being a decent musician, something is clearly wrong.

You're a band - learn to play with each other in a room.


I'm inclined to agree, actually. I was always under the impression that the band is supposed to be playing to the drummer, not a click. If your drummer can't keep time, then maybe he needs to practice more before getting up in front of people.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:30 PM   #15
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Well, yeah - the drummer is pretty much the band's click.

But, again, the point of the click isn't to stop the drummer from drifting. It's to keep him in the right time to keep stuff like delays at the right setting. Stuff like dotted-eighth delays sound really sloppy if they're not perfectly in time.
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Old 06-09-2012, 01:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HotspurJr
Well, yeah - the drummer is pretty much the band's click.

But, again, the point of the click isn't to stop the drummer from drifting. It's to keep him in the right time to keep stuff like delays at the right setting. Stuff like dotted-eighth delays sound really sloppy if they're not perfectly in time.


That's a context that's covered in my qualifier (if it has some practical purpose to do with some special requirement of what you're doing). So I wouldn't put that usage down so much. However, the vast majority of time in which there is a live click track, it doesn't seem like something like this is the purpose.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainpolice2
That's a context that's covered in my qualifier (if it has some practical purpose to do with some special requirement of what you're doing). So I wouldn't put that usage down so much. However, the vast majority of time in which there is a live click track, it doesn't seem like something like this is the purpose.


I don't know dude - every time I've ever been required to have a click has been when there are midi samples and the like that we need to be in time with......
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:02 AM   #18
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My band uses programmed arpegio's and tempo based LFO in the keyboard sounds. Tap tempo functions seem to work. And my drummer has the keyboards up loud on his monitors. We often start off with programmed stuff so the drummer can catch the tempo.

Having said that, I can totally agree with backing tracks and/or clicktracks. To me the band in question is just rocking out to a song on the stero like we tend to do at home. I also find it pretty cool to see a band really nail it. I've played with backing track before and getting it as tight as a non-lenient stoic backing track is quite the skillset.

Though I do feel a backing track should not contain powerful hooks. The band should play those. I've seen a few local bands use backing track because they couldn't get their hands on a keyboard player. To bad for them their keys had very cool things going on, but the backing track was inaudbile. Making the live songs really really bland.
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:27 AM   #19
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Let's put it this way. I played in a band that used clicktracks and backing tracks live. I don't play with this band anymore. I don't even want to be associated with it.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:32 PM   #20
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Let's put it this way. I played in a band that used clicktracks and backing tracks live. I don't play with this band anymore. I don't even want to be associated with it.

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