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So, I record stuff and I feel like I'm right in time but playing back I always sound like I'm dragging slightly


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I'm not a drummer myself, but I've been engineering drum recordings for a number of years.

If you're dragging consistently throughout the entire recording then most likely its a latency issue. Latency can be a combination of delay in both the output (monitoring) and the input (recording). This can easily fixed using time shift in editing and is a legitimate reason to do so.

If the song has a slow tempo, its actually more difficult to have precise timing, because the gap between beats is wider so any timing issues with be more noticeable.

Are you recording along with a click track? It should help with timing. If you are, then make sure the click track is loud enough so its not drowned out by the track or masked by your own drum hits.

 

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You should develop the habit of subdividing of course. If it's a slow ballad you can tick away in 16ths if necessary. There are personal latency issues that aren't easily addressed though. Your technique  - even on easy grooves, has to be developed so the strokes land in time. Arms can be in transit constantly and for hundreds of feet during a typical tune. The notes themselves are functionally instantaneous but all mechanical impetus has to be in between the percussion.  Even with competent technique players can have listening latency. That is they wait till they hear it before they do it. This is a major drumming no no. The drummer by and large has to appear to generate the time; more so if the drumming is added after the fact.

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