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Deal with client who swears the click if off
Old 9th November 2012
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
guitargodmiles's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Deal with client who swears the click if off

So I'm recording a new group and their guitarist swears that the click track is off.....He says it keeps speeding up and slowing down and he can't keep time. I tried not be be a dick to him but he's really stubborn. (Lets all be honest here, the click doesn't lie!) We ended up not using one. I know the artist (or whomever hold the paycheck) is "always right" but ****....can't wait until I can pick who I get to work with..

Any tricks or tips about how to get around this in the future?
Old 9th November 2012
  #2
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
You could print the click to an audio track and play it back as audio which would verify that it doesn't change... but even so you'll still have the problem of the musician who doesn't like, or can't, play to the click.

Perwinkle
Old 9th November 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I've dealt with musicians who couldn't play to a click. Probably the most annoying thing ever. :-/ Sometimes a different sound helps though. instead of the ticking sound or beeping sound of a "normal" click track, try programming in a simple 1 bar loop of quarter notes playing a virtual drum kit. I've found a side stick or wood block sound can be a lot easier to follow. And if that doesn't work, maybe even try a full kick/snare/hi hat drum loop with a simple beat. If its acoustic guitar, just make sure it isn't bleeding into the mics from the headphones.
Old 9th November 2012
  #4
Gear Head
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Too funny. Tell him he needs to recalibrate his internal click!

If you are only tracking gtr....not a whole band.....it is often much better to build a simple drum loop to play along with. Unless you are an experienced session player....or you have spent a lot of time working with a click.... people tend to push, pull and chase it.
Using a drum loop can lead to a much more natural and comfortable performance for the artist.

I hope this help. Not to mention it is a hell of a lot more pleasant to listen to other than "beep boop boop boop"
Old 9th November 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
dualflip's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You are doomed, the mere fact that the guitar player says the click is off, indicates a lot about his personality...
Old 9th November 2012
  #6
Deleted User
Guest
Kick, Snare on 2 & 4, HH 1/8 notes. Bam. If he cant lock to that then he sucks and Id tell him he sucks. Music has tempo and meter. Tell him to start practicing with a click of some kind. I had a drummer once who told me the Alesis SR16 was off time. I told him hes off, its the most accurate drum machine made. If you cant play in time I suggest you find another hobby. Still insisted the SR16 was off, LOL. Brick heads
Old 9th November 2012 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualflip ➡️
You are doomed, the mere fact that the guitar player says the click is off, indicates a lot about his personality...
I agree, you can't "deal" with this. It's not like he going to go to another studio where they have a better click.
Old 9th November 2012
  #8
Gear Addict
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
If the drummer can't play with a click then turn it off, the band will probably sound better without it.
Old 9th November 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
DaveE's Avatar
I thought the same thing as Perwinkle. Render the click and show him the grid lines: "LOOK it's flawless- no more excuses now get it done!"
Old 9th November 2012 | Show parent
  #10
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fanriffic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualflip ➡️
You are doomed, the mere fact that the guitar player says the click is off, indicates a lot about his personality...
This.

Say/do what you want. You're dealing with a ******.
Trying to prove you're right (lining up it click on the grid etc) will only create more hostility.
Grit your teeth,smile..and bill them for the extra editing time.
Old 9th November 2012
  #11
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
In many music genres clicks often kill musicality. They also can lose clients.
Old 9th November 2012
  #12
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frans's Avatar
 
10 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
One time the guitar player, the drummer of a band and me prepared a song. After a few run-throughs we noticed that the chorus always felt slow. So I programmed a few tempo changes, intro and verse bpm 134, chorus 136. The second repetition of the chorus on the end of the song 137. Now THAT felt like a single constant speed, even if we knew it wasn't.
I don't know if your guy CAN play to a click or not, I'll leave that decision to you, but there are many ways how a song can flow and in more then 95% of music (even electronic stuff) a single constant speed isn't the optimum solution. I'd rather take a good drummer without click over anyone with a click. To qoute somebody else on the forum: "there are no emotions on a grid".
Old 9th November 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I once had a guy that wanted to record his his original song demo, and then get his buddy to program some other stuff around like drums etc. I dialled up a click, and he couldn't get to the end of his chorus without being way out. He kept saying that "he prefers not to use a click as he feels it doesn't let the music be what it wants to be"...i think by that he meant 'I never practise to a metronome"... I told him that if he is wanting his buddy to program around his track (this wasn't a 'guide'), that it has to be in time. We got to a point where I suggested that I wasn't the right guy to help him.

It was one of those favours for a friend of a friend... There was no way that I could waste my time though...
Old 9th November 2012
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
guitargodmiles's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks for all the feedback a lot of good advice here. I did grit my teeth because i need the clientele and duked it out with no click. In the future I'll deff try to try some loops or a woodblock and see if that helps. After quantizing audio and many edits, the group decided I make them sound better than when they play live! Who would have guessed?Their song flows more naturally too! :0

I feel bad for people years ago who never had to learn to play with a click...you mean they actually kept time on their own????? They recorded without a beep beep?????

Blasphemy! Wizardry!

KHAAAAAAN! - YouTube
Old 9th November 2012
  #15
Gear Addict
 
ButchVig's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargodmiles ➡️
So I'm recording a new group and their guitarist swears that the click track is off.....He says it keeps speeding up and slowing down and he can't keep time. I tried not be be a dick to him but he's really stubborn. (Lets all be honest here, the click doesn't lie!) We ended up not using one. I know the artist (or whomever hold the paycheck) is "always right" but ****....can't wait until I can pick who I get to work with..

Any tricks or tips about how to get around this in the future?
Damn click tracks!
a couple suggestions:
-spend some time and create a live one or two bar sample using real percussion. I have a one bar shaker/tambourine loop I use all the time (I also use it live with Garbage as a "click click click" is a vibecrusher). I recorded it at a couple different tempos, and can speed it up or down to match the tracking tempo.
- If you have the time in pre production, have the band play without a click and determine where the verses and choruses feel best. Sometimes they are all slightly different tempos, so you can create a beat map ahead of time. If the chorus speeds up, don't change the tempo on the downbeat, change it on the drum fill (if there is one) going into the chorus. It will feel more natural.
Hope this helps!
BV
Old 9th November 2012
  #16
Gear Addict
 
T.V. Eye's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Funny story that happened to me once when I played drums: I know I´m not the lords timekeeper and struggle with a click some times, but this one song was something else. I was quite comfortable with the tempo, it was a pretty straight groove, nothing to fancy or complicated, I had a great headphone mix, and still every few beats I lost the click and had to adjust.

I started questioning my playing, getting really mad about myself. After like 10-15 takes, the guitar player who played along a guide guitar for me thought, maybe his playing would irritate me, and that he should lay down a guide track straight on the click instead of playing to my drumming. But he started struggling with that song, too. Only then we took a closer look and the click track.
The click track was a looped midi file with a percussion groove that basically should end up on the song anyway - just overdubbed by a real percussionist once the drums where tracked. But every 8 bars there was a tiny gap between the midi files. So tiny, you couldn´t even see it in the arrangement window when not zooming in all the way, just a few milliseconds. Something must have gone wrong when arranging that midi track, when copying and pasting the clips, it didn´t snap to the pervious midi file.

Long story short, since than I double check the click track before recording. It maybe only one time out of a million, but I could be that it is the click that IS wrong...
Old 9th November 2012
  #17
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nickelironsteel's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
well musicians push and pull a song to make it feel good
a click can kill the mood of the song
i was often in the position where a metal band had 5-6 different tempi per song, thats how some people flow
Old 9th November 2012
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
catfishmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
To me, any "musician" who can't play to a click, with a good feel isn't a real musician.

To shut up the stubborn guitar player who swears the click is off....as mentioned, printing the click to an audio track for visual proof isn;t a bad idea......then have lame player scheduled for massive shock therapy.

When stuck with a lame player, you just gotta go with what will work best for tune as a whole....sometimes that means recording the band live, or without a click at all....

I'm glad I don't have to deal with that stuff anymore!!
Old 9th November 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
guitargodmiles's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I hear what your saying, in most previous versions of pt I've used, I've had to make my own loops with audio or midi but in ten you just go up to track, pull-down window and then select make click track. Boom, locked into tempo with no copy and pasting. No audio or midi on track, just a factory preset plugin so, if you try to delete or accidentally think you did, you can't...unless you delete the plugin



also....I wonder if mozart or hendrix could play to a click

hmmm
Old 9th November 2012 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
catfishmusic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargodmiles ➡️

also....I wonder if mozart or hendrix could play to a click

hmmm
Absolutely, positively guarantee both of them could!
Old 9th November 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Get a metronome and maybe an iphone metronone app and get him to try these- that way you can point out that he cant keep time to any metronome - not just the one in your DAW
Old 9th November 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Give him a drum pad or a MIDI keyboard and get him to record his own click track.
Old 9th November 2012
  #23
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dlmorley's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Honestly, these bloody musicians ruining things with their wish to play freely...fools.
Joking aside (well not joking) I would replace it with a simple beat.
Old 9th November 2012 | Show parent
  #24
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Giese ➡️
I've dealt with musicians who couldn't play to a click. Probably the most annoying thing ever. :-/ Sometimes a different sound helps though. instead of the ticking sound or beeping sound of a "normal" click track, try programming in a simple 1 bar loop of quarter notes playing a virtual drum kit. I've found a side stick or wood block sound can be a lot easier to follow. And if that doesn't work, maybe even try a full kick/snare/hi hat drum loop with a simple beat. If its acoustic guitar, just make sure it isn't bleeding into the mics from the headphones.
If its its just 1 player I usually build a short loop of a drumkit playing straight 1/4 notes if appropriate or adjusted to the groove of the song if necessary.
Old 9th November 2012 | Show parent
  #25
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickelironsteel ➡️
well musicians push and pull a song to make it feel good
a click can kill the mood of the song
i was often in the position where a metal band had 5-6 different tempi per song, thats how some people flow
Key word as you said is "musician". I heard a band a couple of month ago that did exactly as your saying, they were tight too. This is not the case apparently here

Kick on 1 & 3, Snare on 2 & 4 at quarter notes, HH doing 1/8ths works very well and doesnt get in the way of anything, even swing. I use Addictive or EZ for this. It allows the person playing to play around it and push/pull. You can program tempo changes in the midi track if you need them as well. Ill agree that a regular click is annoying and sometime not the best.

IF you cant get it, TELL them, " Im not going to be able to fix this later if you decide you want loops and other stuff going on, got to get it right now
Old 9th November 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
andsonic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
In a band situation, only the drummer gets the click. I've found, over time, that this gets the tightest takes. The guitarist only hears drums.

I would also second the drum loop thing.

Sent from my PC36100
Old 9th November 2012
  #27
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brill bedroom's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I think we all know that there are fabulous musicians who don't play well with a click, it's not always the way to go. That's a different thing than someone insisting that the click is changing. I mean, I guess I can understand the player being really frustrated and trying to blame it on something other than himself, but it's an awkward situation to lay the blame on the engineer. Proving the player wrong is unlikely to improve the vibe of the situation. That's the real deal: you gotta get the track laid down.
Old 9th November 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Be aware that some drum machines do have a push - pull effect or do actually deviate quite a bit. I noticed someone said the Alesis is the tightest drum machine ever made. I dont know if it is as I have never tested it and its not been tested by innerclock systems. For it to be the tightest drum machine ever made it would have to have less than 1 sample of deviation between 16th notes ( a minuscule amount). I have an MPC 4000 which has a deviation of between 1 and 3 samples depending if its being run on internal clock being sent sample accurate midi clock. But take the Machine drum for instance. It has a push pull effect of around 300 samples although its absolutely consistent within those parameters. That may not seem much, but some people will easily feel that - not so much hear it.

If you sent the Alesis midi clock from your daw it will be all over the place. Maybe not obvious to the ear but again if someone is acutely aware of tiny timing discrepancies they will feel it.

Im not defending the guitar player Im sure hes just one of those types. I just wanted to point this stuff out to some of you that the internal clocks of drum machines are not all good. Some are quite diabolical actually. If you want a sample accurate click do it from within a plugin in your Daw. If not using a Daw then make sure your using a drum machine can actually keep time.

OH, and some musicians just dont like a click track which is understandable and cool if they are good musicians. The really big problem of course is when they are not good musicians becasue even then editing their slop is very difficult. Put four bad musos together and its just a cluster f*** of mess.
Old 9th November 2012 | Show parent
  #29
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White Falcon's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceacademy ➡️
I dont know if it is as I have never tested it and its not been tested by innerclock systems.
And for those who don't know what this means:

Innerclock Systems - Precision Midi Clock Din Sync and Tempo Synchronisation Solutions

Very interesting stuff!
Old 9th November 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Turdadactyl's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Frankly, in this situation (assuming you can't afford to say, I don't want to deal with you, here's your deposit back) I would turn the click off, let the "musicians" play live based on their own internal clocks and tell them they'll need to play it until they get it right or punch all fixes since it'll potentially be a PITA to copy and paste. At least it lets them feel like they're playing in their comfort zone and you're not shoehorning them into something unnatural...even if it is for the best in your professional opinion.
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