chrisamiller.com

Exploring the intersection of science, culture, and technology

Linkdump for March 5th through March 8th


Comments

Written by Justin -

In search of the click track - Using math to detect drummers who cheat_ Although it is an interesting article, I don't agree that all drummers are cheaters. A habit that has adapted today even with the most experienced, robotic drummers is to use a click track during live shows as well. This doesn't mean their cheaters per say. With everything taken into effect that you can't do at a studio_ No stopping and redoing a track, you're working with 4-5 other guys simultaneously while jumping around, singning, the adrenaline rush, etc. In order to get the best quality of a live performance (which doesn't include improvisation for showmanship during a performance which is often done without a click) a band's quality is usually measured on how accurate they are live in comparison to what their record sounds like. The reason symphonies and orchestras are able to accomplish this feat with a large scale of members as well as various time signature changes during one song is direction from their conductor. But people don't want to see a conductor and 5 dudes sitting down following his orders during a rock show. The drummer becomes the conductor. Just the adrenaline rush alone can change a song 10 beats per minute faster or more. 10 beats per minute may not seem like a lot, but tell that to the lead guitarist who is already shredding 64th notes at a 180bpm tempo as fast as he can, and ask him to do it faster. It's a huge difference. it can change a whole mood of a song even if it's 5 bpm faster/slower Even with click tracks we are but human and are never robotic enough to be as accurate as a click track, but with the drummer conducting an idea of the tempo, it allows everyone to remain on the same page, not lose their place, and preform with 4 other guys and all sound good. Based on the fluctuations however minuscule they may be, there would be no fluctuations if they were using a drum machine, or sequencers during the recordings. There's a huge difference to recording to a click track, and programming the drums and quantizing them to be exact. I don't frown on anyone who uses a click track to play a show or record an album. It still takes talent to get up in front of thousands of people and play the things musicians play. I do frown on live performances that use the "backtracking" techniques which are basically prerecorded/quantized/computerized sounds that leave no room for fucking up a fill, or solo, or forgetting there is another chorus before you go back into the verse. Finally, using the Beatles (Ringo Star) as an example in a theory such as this brings a pretty lame argument. All the Beatles' music is pretty freaking easy. Ask Paul McCartney to whip out some of the solos from bands like Metalica, Avenge Sevenfold, etc., and have him do it in reasonably accurate time with 4 other guys while doing backflips off the stage. He should be following his drummer's lead which is mandatory in a situation like that for everyone to be on time. Plus Ringo is arguably one of the worst drummers ever. To say he's better because he didn't play to a click track and "cheat" like the others, is a pretty bold/poor statement. So once again drummers live or recorded in my opinion aren't cheaters for playing to a click track. They're conductors. The real cheaters are just about any rap/r&b "artist". Any one with rhythm can dress up like a pimp and yell out some lyrics to a fake band playing through the PA behind you. One of the reasons I can't stand the music.

Written by Justin -

What I was trying to say I guess is that one shouldn't have less respect for a drummer for using a click track over a drummer who does not. It very much depends on the type of music, difficulty, etc. A drummer can do some incredible stuff with incredible coordination, but could make the band as a whole sound like shit. In my opinion, a click track is just another invention that can be compared to the electric guitar. Something that can help improve or make music unique. Plus it's easier than watching an old fashioned metronome while trying to play. You're not better if you don't use a click...it's not humanly possible to be that robotic.

comments powered by Disqus