#1
Hey fellow UGers who are pretty much awesome, my band Reset Red (check the myspace ) is focusing on songwriting right now and tightening up as a group like many bands who have been around for a little bit. I am the band leader and have mentioned that we should consider gigging with a click track for the drummer (since we have in ear monitors). Our drummer is opposed to it live saying it dosnt allow for the music to breathe. Of course, as a drummer also myself, I know why he says this but I think it would really help us stay tight. Not to mention the fact that we are about to start using studio backing tracks to fill in some of our space noises that we do live/ pads and general ambience and they would need to be synched to a click track.

I like the music to breathe too, i think it is very refreshing and personal that way but I would rather be tight first then play around with it. So, my question is, who here uses a metronome in a live situation, and who uses backing tracks with a full band, and what do you think about it?
#2
if you have in ear monitors would the metronome just be heard through them? because if so then do it, if not then don't, but you should be able to keep in time anyway if your drummers any good. i think he says that because he doesn't think he could stay in time with the click track
hello
#4
you may need one if you are using a backing track live (though I highly recommend against this and suggest a keyboard player or someone running a sampler instead)
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#5
at opc100: yes, the click would only be heard through the in-ears. And no matter how good a drummer is, they are still human and deviate from the time in an unpredictable way, even if it is a very small amount. Normally not a problem until you start using tracks or samples with a set BPM.

at woodsballplayer: yeah thats what I was thinking.

at Kid_Thorazine: Why would you suggest a keyboard player over a track? I have a sampler and use samples that are ambient so they dont need a set beat to them, but if we need specific triggers with a specific time and metered changes, what would you suggest?
#6
well a keyboardist can perform it in real time with the rest of the band, and would be able to improvise and whatnot, but if you have a sampler you could have it so someone in the band (maybe the drummer) or someone backstage (if you have someone who willing to do it) could trigger them in real time, this tends to feel a lot more natural since you aren't working within the time frame of an automated sampler.
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#7
this tends to feel a lot more natural since you aren't working within the time frame of an automated sampler.


Plus, with an automatic thing, if something goes wrong, it *really* goes wrong. If, say, the bassist messes up and goes into the chorus four bars too early, and the drummer decides to follow them to keep it flowing smoothly...the tape will keep running, and will be off with everything else.

It also means that solos and so on can't be improvised and of varying lengths if you want the tape to play after the solo, you can't do repeat choruses and so on at the end of a song without planning it in advance...

Plus it does take away to some extent the musicianship of the band, at least in people's perceptions. It's like having a drum machine instead of a drummer. Of course it'll be perfect...but it'll be perfect because it's a computer. There's no talent involved in that, just sitting down and programming it. Hell, why even bother playing your instruments, just stick on a recording?

I'd really advise getting either a keyboardist or someone to work the synthy sounds (surely there's someone who likes your band who's capable enough to start them and change them as you go?).
#9
yeah you also come across the problem that if the drummer gets just slightly ahead or behind of the metronome, as the song goes on it will get more and more out of time, either you'll all end up playing out of time with the metronome or the drummer will keep changing tempo trying to fit in time with the click.

Like Samzawadi said, if something goes wrong it goes REALLY wrong
#10
I hate to sound like an old fogey, since I'm only 30, but I sort of miss the days when drummers were the time keepers and practiced holding the time. Sure, they would deviate once in awhile, but ultimately, they knew what their primary role was. Then, as rock evolved, drummers like Bonham, Moon, Peart, etc (not to mention the original jazz drummers who really knew how to get in the groove yet still have chops and style) started to really start banging the skins, and over time drummers started focusing more on the style first, time keeping second.

I mean, look at Lars Ulrich for gods sake. How many early Metallica has these weird time signatures for a bar or two, mainly because he had no damn clue about time keeping when he first started? Sort of a bad example because he had guys around him that knew how to turn it in to a positive, but still. He readily admits to that problem.

Oh well, rant over. But honestly, I know of a few local bands who practically force their drummer to play with a click track live because they got tired of fluctuating rhythms in a song. But there are other solutions, as pointed out.

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#11
Well our drummer is perfectly capable of keeping time, and we are all experienced enough to play right on with him. I was mainly talking about the use of samples or triggers with the band, and/or if you thought a band playing with a metronome really helped tighten them up or made the music cold and impersonal?

Practicing with them and playing live are two different things, I know this. So does it not allow enough breathing room in the music to have a click running? After about a gillion shows, we dont have a problem playing on time or together, I guess I'm just looking for opinions on how it makes the music feel to you?
Last edited by Roxor_Mc0wnage at Jun 26, 2008,
#12
yeah IMO using a metronome gives it a more mechanical sound, which is cool if you do industrial music, but if you want to sound organic you really should just let the drummer flow with it instead of keeping rigid time.
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#13
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
yeah IMO using a metronome gives it a more mechanical sound, which is cool if you do industrial music, but if you want to sound organic you really should just let the drummer flow with it instead of keeping rigid time.


I guarantee you couldn't tell the difference between a professional band playing and them playing with a metronome.
#14
Quote by Crabs111
I guarantee you couldn't tell the difference between a professional band playing and them playing with a metronome.


See that's what I'm thinking. I've seen pro bands play many times and been on stage with them, and they are so tight its not even funny. Some of them use metronomes because they have triggers or tracks, but some of them dont use them at all and they are so tight it is crazy. So Im thinking maybe practicing with a metronome to where the band can get super tight is the way to go, then when you are in a live situation, you can have some liberty to improv or flow with whats happening but stay together.
#15
Quote by Crabs111
I guarantee you couldn't tell the difference between a professional band playing and them playing with a metronome.


depends on the band, some push and pull against the tempo more than others, even professional bands.
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#16
Go with the click. If you can stay together with the arrangements, and your drummer can stay with the click, the audience won't say you sounded mechanical. They'll comment on how tight you were and how perfect the timing was. Add your backing tracks - samples, maybe some backing vocal layers, synth pads for texture, and they'll also comment, "I can't believe how huge they sounded for just four guys."

Also.... easier way than loading up a sampler.... do it all in recording software - Cubase or ProTools or whatever. Export to mp3 with all your tracks on one side, and a click on the other. Click goes to the drummers monitor only, and drummer uses earphones. Everyone else (including the band) just hears the samples cueing at the right time.

Load it up into an mp3 player and have someone just hit play on the mp3 player. No heavy equipment, no futzing with wires and cables, no CD to skip by accidents. Just a line from mp3 player to the PA. So easy, and damned near idiot proof.

CT


CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#17
The click is fine only if the drummer can hear it

We are poor and have never had the oppotunity to use anything like that on stage, but we have just simply worked at our music enough, even if we sometimes play the songs at different tempos we usually keep to the tempo unless there is some sort of timing change. I think if you spend a long time just playing along with the backing tracks without a click with the drumming then you'll naturally learn to keep in time AND let the music breathe
#18
Quote by Symmetry4321
The click is fine only if the drummer can hear it



Yeah, I meant to emphasis this. The acts that see do it the drummer either has in-ears or even over ear cans to get a click track feed, or just a straight feed from a click track.

But in all honesty, if drummers would practice keeping tempo, it wouldn't be as much of a problem.

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VOLUME SWELLING OCTAVE MONGER σƒ τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ

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#19
I've used a metronome to start hysteria-muse. I have a hell of a time trying to get the beat correct soon enough for the audience not to get bored
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