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Correcting Tempo and Beat Issues

Discussion in 'Recording' started by amicopaulo, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. amicopaulo

    amicopaulo Guest

    Hey, looking for some guidance on how to correct tracks in a song so that every note or hit falls perfectly on beat with all the other tracks.

    Example: I have a song with very little instrumentation - Acoustic guitar, bass, a kick drum played with a mallet, shaker, tamb, cymbals and bells, stick clicks, and some VP. Naturally, not every hit of the kick, or shake of the shaker, or...blahzeblah...is dead on beat (they are great...but I know that songs that make it on the radio have immense beat correction...). I have worked with some quantization on the more straightforward tracks such as the stick clicks to some success. However, with the automated audio quantization I get some popping in the audio. With these simple tracks (the kick, sticks, tamb) I can manually adjust each hit in a sample editor so that they fall on the beat but I was wondering if this is the standard/best way to do this?

    Furthermore, I have found it tremendously more difficult to adjust the shaker, the cymbals, and the bass to the beat without creating obvious breaks and the "this was obviously edited" effect. These tracks have continuous waves. So how is it done? How does Nigel Godrich do it?

    Shoot, lets go even deeper. Lets say I have a midi beat that I have quantized with a...60% swing. How would I record a live kick and then quantize it (or adjust it some other way) so that it matched the beat and swing of the midi track?

  2. lemonentry1

    lemonentry1 Active Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    tamworth, staffs, uk
    is it really that bad? a bit of feel left in is always better to me.
    you could try messing about with something like protools elastic audio, it can do a decent job.
    or re track everything in time
    but theres nothing wrong with a bit of feel left in your track, in my opinion it makes it better, just dont obsess about timing, listen to the track.
  3. amicopaulo

    amicopaulo Guest

    Oh no doubt, keeping the feel of the song, the groove, the swing is absolutely necessary. I'm not talking about making the song sterile by making every hit directly on the beat every time. Not at all.

    And no the songs I'm working on sound great. The musicians are solid as are the songs themselves. They sound fine by themselves. However, just as any professionally recorded song you hear on the radio has some amount of pitch correction at some point to some level somewhere in the song (I don't care how good of a singer you are are how perfectly in tune you think your cello is...), these songs also have beat mapping, beat correction, and quantization to some degree.

    The goal is not have every note from every instrument hit directly on the beat, because you are right, that kills any feel and groove. But, while staying with the groove, every hit from every instrument should fall dead in line with the rest of the instruments. And regardless, again, of how proficient the musicians are, they will NEVER hit EVERY note perfectly in line with the other instruments, there is ALWAYS some correction. See where I'm goin' here. Just lookin' for someone who knows the ropes of beat mapping, beat correction, audio quantization, groove engines...the likes.
  4. shurkin18

    shurkin18 Guest

    I was simply editing the recordings on the track to fit the exact bmp/grid (if you know what I mean :)). In places where it would sound like "it was obviously edited" I would duplicate the track and try to fake the wave to continue by fitting and duplicating the pieces, in another words manually stretching it out... It is a bit long and painful process, but it worked!

    However, I totally agree with lemonentry1 to leave it a bit off is better and sounds more "alive". Even though, it still depends... if it is Rock I wouldn't want it to be mathematically perfect ;)
  5. amicopaulo

    amicopaulo Guest

    For sure. I totally get the idea of keeping the groove, the "life" of the song.

    I've been simply using sample editors to beat by beat correct the timing (after mapping the track that I wanted to use as the beat template). It is just a painstakingly long and tedious process and was hoping there was a better faster way. Gotta learn audio quantization a little further I guess.

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