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"Tempo Lock" plugin?


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Well, I work with acoustic guys who want to record but can't/won't play to a click and I'd like to record scratch tracks of their acoustic and vocal, then generate a click track from that and have the whole thing "locked" to an absolute tempo. We can them lay down drums etc and have them re-record their parts synced to that. So basically the "processed" scratch tracks don't need to sound perfect except in tempo. We have just recorded the whole band to get the drums right and re-recorded everything else - so I know they can redo their parts no prob.

 

The issue with the way we do it now is that the drummer has to follow the acoustic player so can't get their part perfect - and of course the song often changes tempo when the band comes in as most songs start with just the acoustic. Also "stops" tend to be a bit rough when we come back in.

 

I can't image this is an uncommon issue so hope youse guys can help - Thanks :) !

Edited by RoadRanger
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What I do in cases like that is learn to play the song with the talent. I then lay down an acoustic part myself - one that basically covers what they were doing - using a click.

 

Because my guitar track has the feel of the song the way they play (hopefully) it it is a lot easier for them to play along to it than it would be to a seemingly rigid click. During the stops I may lightly tap the top of the guitar or bring up the click a bit to keep time so everyone can come back in together.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by onelife
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Well, I work with acoustic guys who want to record but can't/won't play to a click and I'd like to record scratch tracks of their acoustic and vocal, then generate a click track from that and have the whole thing "locked" to an absolute tempo. We can them lay down drums etc and have them re-record their parts synced to that. So basically the "processed" scratch tracks don't need to sound perfect except in tempo. We have just recorded the whole band to get the drums right and re-recorded everything else - so I know they can redo their parts no prob.

 

The issue with the way we do it now is that the drummer has to follow the acoustic player so can't get their part perfect - and of course the song often changes tempo when the band comes in as most songs start with just the acoustic. Also "stops" tend to be a bit rough when we come back in.

 

I can't image this is an uncommon issue so hope youse guys can help - Thanks :) !

 

 

 

I know that exact guy.

 

His tempo is off, and he says the songs don't sound right with a click track. Now it a nightmare for everyone else to play there parts.

 

You can tap tempo the song, but it's still gonna be off. Have the guy come down and he can tap tempo his own songs. Make sure you charge him for your time too.

 

The best thing to do is re-record the parts with him singing and playing less guitar. Have someone else play a second guitar that can actually play to a click track.

 

Time is money, charge him double your rate for being a pain in the butt to work with. :D

 

Ray LaMontage didn't use a click track on his first album, but that's a rarity.I lobe the album, but at times it has a weird feeling. I'm sure RCA payed Ethan Johns well for his Trouble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bad tempo is not the same as someone who intentionally warps time. You have to be more then good at staying in sync too pull off a time warp and have it come back in correctly on time. Bad tempo musicians simply cant walk and chew gum at the same time. They often get wrapped up in their singing and forget they're playing and instrument. They cant keep a beat during breaks because they weren't keeping tempo when they were playing.

 

Many acoustic players can benefit dramatically by getting themselves a drum machine and playing along to it. It forces them to adapt to fitting their music to a beat instead of the other way around. Not all music will fit a fixed rhythm but even those will become drastically improved once the player is acclimated. A footswitch makes intros, endings and breaks which wind up or down in speed possible too.

 

Its not something allot of dedicated acoustic players want to deal with however. If you were to ask them, they'd swear up and down they have perfect tempo and its everyone else who has a tempo problem.

 

The only thing I can suggest is to get a set of calves or sticks and create your own click track to what has been recorded. (Save a backup of the tracks).

 

With a single tick on one track you can convert that click to midi and then quantize all the other tracks to that beat. After that you can record additional tracks to the fixed beat.

 

if you wanted to Un-quantanize the recording so it has the groove of the original player who had bad timing you'd then have to import the un-quantinized click and use it as a quantinization target.

 

I haven't tried this before but I'd think its should be theoretically possible. The original click that is manually tapped has to be dead on accurate to match the bad tempo too. You can easily expand the wave view and drag the clicks to match the players strum if you cant follow him very well live.

Its tedious work but its better to do it one time then try and manually align all the tracks through editing. Guitars don't edit all that well because breaks between strums aren't always cut and dry like drums are because of the string sustain.

 

I just don't know how good tracks recorded to a steady click will sound once they are converted to an unsteady tempo. Its probably better to quantize the worst offender who cant keep a beat and track the other parts to a fixed beat.

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Well, I think I'll go back to what I tried a few months ago - program a simple beat that matches the song in "Weird Metronome" that the guitarist is able to follow. That almost worked back then. I would like to find something as simple to program that could do the whole song out with rhythm changes, lead-ins and maybe breaks but don't want to spend my time programming a MIDI sequence. I've asked before on one of these forums about finding something like that but no joy. Most every song just needs four or five beats with some way to say "play #1 twice, then #2 four times, then #3 once, then number 2 four times" etc. I play bass and can pay over most nay beat or a simple click - maybe I can even record that first as a guide for the acoustic player / singer / song writer? Oy Vey! LOL

 

And that brings up another question, can any DAWs record the output of the sound card so's I can record the drum machine or whatever? I've not yet found that possible - in fact the DAWs I've tried kill the drum programs as they usually use MIDI out. I can just use a sound card ripper type program to get that into WAV and import that but that seems inelegant :/ .

Edited by RoadRanger
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Just some background - this one acoustic player is a special case in that his son is a "name" out on the west coast and internationally and has offered to have some of his peeps mix them down and master them if we can track it - so I'm looking to just use Waves Tracks Live if possible. I'll probably give it a go myself but my only experience is with live sound and that's quite different. In the end it'll just be a vanity CD so I'm not worried about needing the latest and greatest studio gear. We have the guitarist's Zoom HD16CD and a Personus 1818 available (if I can find the power supply that I've misplaced and can get the carpy drivers to work :( ).

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Sure. Most Drum machines output line level signals. I use them all the time for recording original music. You can even turn them on and off with a foot switch. Others give you pads and the ability to work a kick and high hat.

 

Some do have midi in's and outs too but nearly all have line level.

 

Something like the Zoom drum machines are so realistic sounding now you cant tell the difference between real drums. You can pick up a Zoom 123 for well under $50 and have 300 stock beats ore create 100 user beats.

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... that brings up another question' date=' can any DAWs record the output of the sound card so's I can record the drum machine or whatever? I've not yet found that possible - in fact the DAWs I've tried kill the drum programs as they usually use MIDI out. I can just use a sound card ripper type program to get that into WAV and import that but that seems inelegant :/ .[/quote']

 

What DAW, Sound Card and Operating System are you trying to do this with? Can you run your drum program as a plugin from within your DAW?

 

Sometimes I will run a Drum Program separate from my DAW. I'll send the output of the DAW to an MBox2 via USB and then to the monitors. I'll send the output of the Drum Program to the 1/8" Line out on my MacBook then back into the MacBook's Line In via a short cable. I set the input for the DAW to the MacBook's Line In and then record an audio track of drums.

 

The Drum Program can be synchronized to run from the MIDI clock in the DAW.

 

 

 

Edited by onelife
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  • 3 weeks later...
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I can see this thread has moved on from the initial issue -- but I'll just concur that, for many folks, it can be much easier to follow a skeletal kick, snare, hi-hat rhythm (or rhythms if the fundamental rhythmic cadence changes) from a drum machine rather than a straight metronome. For me, even a heavily accented downbeat on a metronome doesn't have the same lock-to-the-beat effect on me as I play as a kick, snare and 'hat rhythm(s) that fits the song I'm working on.

Edited by blue2blue
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