Monday, May 23, 2011
I was producing a session recently in which we were recording the rhythm section. We were cutting in pro tools and whenever I'm cutting live musicians I like to cut to a click track. Now this seemed to be an issue for the other musicians because they complained that it got in their way. For those that don't know, a click track is simply a metronome for keeping time while recording. Traditionally people would use a cowbell or something high pitch playing straight quarter notes as the click but that can be somewhat restrictive and hard to play with in a relaxed manner. A lot of guys would concentrate so hard on staying with the cowbell that it made the groove sound uptight and stuffy instead of loose and funky. What I suggest is programming a percussion rhythm in the feel of the song so that it just feels like you are playing along with another percussionist. This helps keep the time solid and you can play relaxed as well. Why do we need a click? These days using pro tools or any other computer based software allows you immense editing capability. It's easy to cut and paste any part of the song but if the time is not consistent, this makes editing very difficult. Cutting with a click insures that the time will be consistent throughout the song therefore making editing a breeze. Now the click is not just for drummers. It is important for the entire rhythm section to lay DEEP in the pocket so the click is every body's friend. Don't let it intimidate you. The best thing to do is to practice with a click to get comfortable with it. Remember the click track is your friend. Now go have a great session!
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