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advice on live click track

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Anonymous
September 28, 2004 1:09:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi all, I would like some advice about the use of click tracks in live
audio.

I am working with a band that is starting to introduce a lot of
sampled/pre-recorded material into their live music. Because many of the
sampled arrangements are rather complex and don't fall conveniently at the
beginning or end of a song the band will be playing along with a
sequencer/sampler that will be playing back the samples as the song plays,
necessitating a click track (many of the samples won't start until later on
in a partiocular song so the band will have to be right on tempo, and at the
same place in the song as the sequencer playing the samples, etc.).

Unfortunately I do not know the first thing about using a click track live,
so I was wondering if some of you might shed some light on this or point me
to some documentation. One point: the band uses in-ear monitors exclusively
so hearing the click through the stage monitors is a non-issue.

Does typically only the drummer hear the click track, and then everyone
follows him/her? What is most commonly used to generate the click track and
where is it connected in the signal chain? A sequencer application running
on a computer via MIDI, like the metronome in Cubase/Nuendo, etc? A
standalone piece of hardware dedicated to this purpose? Any real-world
application examples for bands that use samples a lot in their live
performances that you can share (Peter Gabriel, for exmple)?

TIA,
-Ben
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 10:22:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Ben Hanson" <transparency_76@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:4159644c$1@mustang.speedfactory.net...
> Hi all, I would like some advice about the use of click tracks in live
> audio.
>
> I am working with a band that is starting to introduce a lot of
> sampled/pre-recorded material into their live music. Because many of the
> sampled arrangements are rather complex and don't fall conveniently at the
> beginning or end of a song the band will be playing along with a
> sequencer/sampler that will be playing back the samples as the song plays,
> necessitating a click track (many of the samples won't start until later
> on
> in a partiocular song so the band will have to be right on tempo, and at
> the
> same place in the song as the sequencer playing the samples, etc.).
>
> Unfortunately I do not know the first thing about using a click track
> live,
> so I was wondering if some of you might shed some light on this or point
> me
> to some documentation. One point: the band uses in-ear monitors
> exclusively
> so hearing the click through the stage monitors is a non-issue.
>
> Does typically only the drummer hear the click track, and then everyone
> follows him/her? What is most commonly used to generate the click track
> and
> where is it connected in the signal chain? A sequencer application
> running
> on a computer via MIDI, like the metronome in Cubase/Nuendo, etc? A
> standalone piece of hardware dedicated to this purpose? Any real-world
> application examples for bands that use samples a lot in their live
> performances that you can share (Peter Gabriel, for exmple)?
>
> TIA,
> -Ben
>
>

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug03/articles/clicktra...
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 10:47:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< What is most commonly used to generate the click track and
where is it connected in the signal chain?>>

It should be an audio track on whatever playback format you settle on.

<< A sequencer application running
on a computer via MIDI, like the metronome in Cubase/Nuendo, etc? >>

If you do use the metronome in a sequencer, record its outptut to an audio
track running along with the samples.

<<Any real-world
application examples for bands that use samples a lot in their live
performances that you can share (Peter Gabriel, for exmple)?
>>

In my work, the Kronos Quartet does a lot of playback, both with & without
click tracks. We use either MiniDisc or Max running on a Mac PowerBook through
a MOTU 828. In either case the click is always an audio track, not the internal
metronome in a sequencer. Less to screw up that way.



Scott Fraser
Related resources
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 10:47:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi all
Been lurking here for a while and can't tell you how much Ive
learned... Thanks a lot everyone..!

Ben, I've played a few gigs where weve had lots of samples/used a
click, we've done it different ways, so I've just got a couple of
things to add:

Every time we did it, the drummer only had the click (we felt we
wanted the least click necessary). Bare (bear?!) in mind kit player
could easily find it tough playing to the click if the band is
changing tempo or if he/she (and everyone else) is not used to it -
might need more rehearsal time.

One band (even though the tunes were up to 60% samples) we just
chopped up/recycled the samples. Longer less rhythmical samples were
fine anyway, shorter samples were recycled + played by someone 16th
note (or whatever) at a time. We used an Akai CD3000XL (I think) and a
zip drive. This worked great - we didn't need a click at all.

I've used a laptop (g4 powerbook) running logic to generate a click,
but the audio/minidisc approach above is way way better. I have also
tried ditching the samples and running a couple of strips of audio out
of logic/powerbook > motu 828 and a click for the drummer only. We did
this at a well known festival here in England. The guy responsible for
controlling the laptop throughout the set only closed the arrange page
instead of the song file each time. The laptop got about 3/4 of the
way through the set before crashing... Alternate version of that tune
that night!

If I remember right (I/he may be wrong...), a friend who was involved
in a recent Peter Gabriel tour told me they had logic running a click
(possibly audio too) and each band member had a screen with a big
transport bar showing song position in bars/beats etc. There is no way
Peter Gabriels musicians need that: got to be for show only.
(Sorry for the long post)
Regards
Andy
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 12:46:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I'm an AE, touring about half the time, & some of my bands use clicks.
First, I can't overstate the importance of rehearsing a lot with a
click, especially before recording, but also before your dates.
Many bands find that a cowbell-on-the-downbeat approach to be less
than vibey, & use shakers on the offbeat or arpeggios as timekeepers.
Many bands also find that the drummer is really the only one who needs
the click, & leave the control over it back on the riser. Often, if
the drummer uses cans, or in ear monitors (IEMs), no one else need to
hear the click.
My favourite click story is the band Manitoba, who have double drum
kits and guitar live, and play to a DVD with a stereo mix of bass &
vocals for me at the board, visuals behind them onstage, and a click
on one of the other audio tracks from the DVD to a little headphone
mixer for the drummers. Seems to work well for them.
Cheers,
Nick
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 1:01:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<snip>
> In my work, the Kronos Quartet does a lot of playback, both with & without
> click tracks.
<snip>

LOOOOVE Kronos Quartet! Getting paid to listen live night after night
is a sweet gig!
September 29, 2004 3:31:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I'm not sure if this will work in your situation, but for me all I
have to do it is have someone on the "Tap Tempo" button and when I
play a sequence it's spot on every time.

If you have a sequencer that has tempo change capabilities then you
can make a click track (or 'tempo map') from a live take so that it is
much more natural. I've done this as well and sometimes it's the only
thing that works.
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 5:04:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <4159644c$1@mustang.speedfactory.net> transparency_76@hotmail.com writes:

> I am working with a band that is starting to introduce a lot of
> sampled/pre-recorded material into their live music. Because many of the
> sampled arrangements are rather complex and don't fall conveniently at the
> beginning or end of a song the band will be playing along with a
> sequencer/sampler that will be playing back the samples as the song plays

> Does typically only the drummer hear the click track, and then everyone
> follows him/her?

Do you trust the drummer to follow a click track? <g> My sense
(without hearing the procution) is that it would be better for
everyone to have the click track. At least on the average they'd start
and end at the right place. And with practice, they'd all stay right
in sync.

> What is most commonly used to generate the click track and
> where is it connected in the signal chain? A sequencer application running
> on a computer via MIDI, like the metronome in Cubase/Nuendo, etc? A
> standalone piece of hardware dedicated to this purpose?

I get nervous when I see computer hardware on stage. Unless there's
some compelling need for the stamples to be in stereo or a
multi-channel format, I'd record the "effects" on a CD or Minidisk,
using one track for the sample playback and the other channel for the
click. Just connect it to two inputs of your mixer. Send one track to
the house and the monitors, and the other track to the monitors only.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
September 29, 2004 5:52:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

If it is hard for the drummer to hear the click, has anybody ever
tried a click LIGHT or other type visual cue? Maybe time for someone
to invent a new gadget?

Mark
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 8:27:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< LOOOOVE Kronos Quartet! Getting paid to listen live night after night
is a sweet gig! >>



Yes it is, lots of interesting travel, great music, good venues, constant
challenges.

Scott Fraser
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 9:42:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mark <makolber@yahoo.com> wrote:
>If it is hard for the drummer to hear the click, has anybody ever
>tried a click LIGHT or other type visual cue? Maybe time for someone
>to invent a new gadget?

That's what the conductor does.

On film soundtrack gigs, a flashing light or banners across the projected film
image are used for the band to keep perfect time.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 29, 2004 11:03:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

IMHO drummer should be definitely starting the click.
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 12:42:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <3367f36e.0409291252.5d6394d7@posting.google.com> makolber@yahoo.com writes:

> If it is hard for the drummer to hear the click, has anybody ever
> tried a click LIGHT or other type visual cue? Maybe time for someone
> to invent a new gadget?

It's already been invented, and in fact I read here not too long ago
that it had re-emerged. There's a MIDI-controlled light box that
"plays" a pattern that moves like a conductor's baton. Can't think
of the name, but a creative Google search of this newsgroup will
probably dig it up.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
September 30, 2004 4:56:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

> makolber@yahoo.comedy writes:
>
> > If it is hard for the drummer to hear the click, has anybody ever
> > tried a click LIGHT or other type visual cue? Maybe time for someone
> > to invent a new gadget?

> It's already been invented, and in fact I read here not too long ago
> that it had re-emerged. There's a MIDI-controlled light box that
> "plays" a pattern that moves like a conductor's baton. Can't think
> of the name, but a creative Google search of this newsgroup will
> probably dig it up.

There's also the Beat Bug.

--
ha
Anonymous
October 2, 2004 9:54:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Two thoughts:

In most situations tempos below 90PBM should be doubled on the click.

In the studio I've found that the most popular click is a straight unaccented
"side stick" sound on a separate ("more me") headfone control which the talent
can control.
--------- on the upbeat --- Flash -- Flashpoint Recording -- Austin TX
flashpointrecording.com
Anonymous
October 6, 2004 10:47:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hey Andy, thanks for the response. You are right about the PG setup I think.
I thought, the first time I saw the LCD's all over the stage, that it may
have been something like Ableton Live. But it is Logic I am pretty sure,
with all the color bars. I just went back and watched the Growing Up tour
DVD again (PG's latest tour and DVD) and he has a laptop beside his keys
onstage. I wonder if that is where it is coming from? In one sense surpiring
to see such an important task delegated to a $2500 laptop, but on the other
hand, he is so into computer technology in music that if anyone would do it,
it would be him.

-Ben

"Andy Cormack" <andycormack465@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:f4b54d8a.0409290258.8e1612c@posting.google.com...
> Hi all
> Been lurking here for a while and can't tell you how much Ive
> learned... Thanks a lot everyone..!
>
> Ben, I've played a few gigs where weve had lots of samples/used a
> click, we've done it different ways, so I've just got a couple of
> things to add:
>
> Every time we did it, the drummer only had the click (we felt we
> wanted the least click necessary). Bare (bear?!) in mind kit player
> could easily find it tough playing to the click if the band is
> changing tempo or if he/she (and everyone else) is not used to it -
> might need more rehearsal time.
>
> One band (even though the tunes were up to 60% samples) we just
> chopped up/recycled the samples. Longer less rhythmical samples were
> fine anyway, shorter samples were recycled + played by someone 16th
> note (or whatever) at a time. We used an Akai CD3000XL (I think) and a
> zip drive. This worked great - we didn't need a click at all.
>
> I've used a laptop (g4 powerbook) running logic to generate a click,
> but the audio/minidisc approach above is way way better. I have also
> tried ditching the samples and running a couple of strips of audio out
> of logic/powerbook > motu 828 and a click for the drummer only. We did
> this at a well known festival here in England. The guy responsible for
> controlling the laptop throughout the set only closed the arrange page
> instead of the song file each time. The laptop got about 3/4 of the
> way through the set before crashing... Alternate version of that tune
> that night!
>
> If I remember right (I/he may be wrong...), a friend who was involved
> in a recent Peter Gabriel tour told me they had logic running a click
> (possibly audio too) and each band member had a screen with a big
> transport bar showing song position in bars/beats etc. There is no way
> Peter Gabriels musicians need that: got to be for show only.
> (Sorry for the long post)
> Regards
> Andy
October 7, 2004 3:46:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

esideflash@aol.com (ESideFlash) wrote in message news:<20041002135456.04530.00001726@mb-m02.aol.com>...
> Two thoughts:
>
> In most situations tempos below 90PBM should be doubled on the click.
>
> In the studio I've found that the most popular click is a straight unaccented
> "side stick" sound on a separate ("more me") headfone control which the talent
> can control.
> --------- on the upbeat --- Flash -- Flashpoint Recording -- Austin TX
> flashpointrecording.com

Good point about doubling the slow tempos. Even tho the point about
having and using audio track is well taken, I think that for some
types of music (punk comes to mind), an act may want to change the
tempo (without changing pitch) at the last minute. That's very hard
(or impossible) to do with many audio formats/devices.

IIRC, someone once made a (MIDI?) device that follows the drummer's
tempo and syncs the sequencer to that. Anyone remember this?

Mikey Wozniak
Nova Music Productioins
This sig is haiku
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 6:08:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Good point about doubling the slow tempos. Even tho the point about
> having and using audio track is well taken, I think that for some
> types of music (punk comes to mind), an act may want to change the
> tempo (without changing pitch) at the last minute. That's very hard
> (or impossible) to do with many audio formats/devices.
>
> IIRC, someone once made a (MIDI?) device that follows the drummer's
> tempo and syncs the sequencer to that. Anyone remember this?
>
> Mikey Wozniak
> Nova Music Productioins
> This sig is haiku

Yes, it was Kahler's "Human Clock". I'm thinking it was some other
company who originally invented & marketed the product, and then
Kahler bought them, but I could be thinking of something else...
Memory's a bit fuzzy on things I read once in Keyboard magazine back
in the late 80's... ;) 
-Pete
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 6:15:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <c6e45a4b.0410081308.4bc83333@posting.google.com>,
peteyyz@jetcity.com (Pete J) wrote:

> > Good point about doubling the slow tempos. Even tho the point about
> > having and using audio track is well taken, I think that for some
> > types of music (punk comes to mind), an act may want to change the
> > tempo (without changing pitch) at the last minute. That's very hard
> > (or impossible) to do with many audio formats/devices.
> >
> > IIRC, someone once made a (MIDI?) device that follows the drummer's
> > tempo and syncs the sequencer to that. Anyone remember this?
> >
> > Mikey Wozniak
> > Nova Music Productioins
> > This sig is haiku
>
> Yes, it was Kahler's "Human Clock". I'm thinking it was some other
> company who originally invented & marketed the product, and then
> Kahler bought them, but I could be thinking of something else...
> Memory's a bit fuzzy on things I read once in Keyboard magazine back
> in the late 80's... ;) 
> -Pete

Russian Dragon?

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
October 9, 2004 6:38:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jay Kadis <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote in message news:<jay-E310CF.14153108102004@news.stanford.edu>...
> In article <c6e45a4b.0410081308.4bc83333@posting.google.com>,
> peteyyz@jetcity.com (Pete J) wrote:
>
> > > Good point about doubling the slow tempos. Even tho the point about
> > > having and using audio track is well taken, I think that for some
> > > types of music (punk comes to mind), an act may want to change the
> > > tempo (without changing pitch) at the last minute. That's very hard
> > > (or impossible) to do with many audio formats/devices.
> > >
> > > IIRC, someone once made a (MIDI?) device that follows the drummer's
> > > tempo and syncs the sequencer to that. Anyone remember this?
> > >
> > > Mikey Wozniak
> > > Nova Music Productioins
> > > This sig is haiku
> >
> > Yes, it was Kahler's "Human Clock". I'm thinking it was some other
> > company who originally invented & marketed the product, and then
> > Kahler bought them, but I could be thinking of something else...
> > Memory's a bit fuzzy on things I read once in Keyboard magazine back
> > in the late 80's... ;) 
> > -Pete
>
> Russian Dragon?
>
> -Jay

I remember the Russian Dragon (Rushin'/Draggin') as the device that
measured whaether an input signal (drum hit) was ahead or behind a
(MIDI?) beat. IIRC, it was 1 RU with LED's to show off-tempo-ness.

Mikey Wozniak
Nova Music Productions
This sig is haiku
August 2, 2011 4:51:52 AM

Been trying to get a hold of you Mike Wozniak from Nova Music Productions!!
Find me on Facebook: StarDeSoul ~Star Squires

!