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drummer playing to click track

Discussion in 'Drums' started by shredz, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. shredz

    shredz Active Member

    Jun 8, 2005
    Home Page:
    in live performances, what are some of the pro ways for drummers to follow sequenced/taped tracks? Im talking about HOW they monitor and WHAT they listen to.
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    One of the guys I work with just uses some cheapo headphones that clip on to each ear. He takes the click source (be it drum machine, tape or some sort of MIDI rig) and runs that through a small Alesis heaphone amp and plug the headphones right into it.

    All the tracks have an 8 beat count in and he listens strictly to the click through the phones, no backing tracks or band members. Some places have a drum monitor and he'll get a portion of the band through that.
  3. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    We use a lexicon multi-track in-ear system. It is fairly complex, but a sequencer can be run into an individual input (then fed to each performer) or the drummer can insert the sequencer signal into just his individual mix. This system provides an individual mix station for each performer and can be used with earbuds (wired or wireless) or regular headphones.

  4. Shinyville

    Shinyville Guest

    My band does this elegantly with a pretty low-budget solution, but it sounds great for live shows.

    Put as easily as possible, the sequenced parts for live shows are mixed with the music in mono, and a click track in the left channel. Then we save the these sequences as 192 kbps mp3 files, which are organized into a variety of sets on an ipod.

    The ipod headphone signal gets split into a small mixer. The left channel side goes into a set of headphones the drummer wears. The right channel goes goes out of the mixer, through a DI, and to the mains.

    We do some live video stuff, too--we're debating running our live videos out of the ipod, too. The picture quality is much lower than the projections we've been using, but then again it might not make that much of a difference from 20 feet away in a smoky bar!
  5. shredz

    shredz Active Member

    Jun 8, 2005
    Home Page:
    we've done this crudely before, just giving the drummer a click track (actually it was a tom...hi hat or clicks couldnt get loud enough) but he always complained because he couldnt hear the band or his drums too well...
  6. Shinyville

    Shinyville Guest

    I think the key is a really good (that is, LOUD) set of headphones. You'll want a closed design. Our drummer's headphones are incredibly loud. He actually wears earplugs inside the phones. He had some problems hearing at shows until he went headphone shopping and found a really loud, closed pair. No troubles after that.

    Also worth mentioning is that for our situation, the drummer doesn't use any stage monitors--the mixes in the headphones are really all he hears. If your drummer still needs to hear live guitar or vocal tracks to stay in the right place, you're going to have to look at nice in-ear monitors, and the cost is going to go up considerably. But our drummer practices a lot with the sequences, so he doesn't really need to hear anything else. The rest of us have a little of the right channel non-click mix running through our monitors along with other (live) instruments.
  7. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    Sennheiser HD280's - great isolation, very flat, very loud.

  8. AltheGatman

    AltheGatman Active Member

    Jan 14, 2006
    We run a laptop with nuendo & a 4ch soundcard, 2ch is click & cues, 2ch is backing.
    The backing goes through a pair of DI's to FOH, and split back to a little Soundcraft Compact4 desk, where our drummer also gets the click and his drumfill. He can mix and match the click,backing and drumfill to suit him.

    Works real well for us, is flexible and we can change things pretty quick if we want to.

    BTW- our drummer uses these :http://www.buzzaudio.co.nz/extreme/extremeheadphones.htm
  9. djrr3k

    djrr3k Guest

    Guys, I'm going to set the record straight here. Take my advice if you would like, I'm not trying to start an arguement, but I think my knowledge would be helpful here. I'm an engineer, a drummer, and very hearing concious.

    First off, the drummer needs good in ears. Go to a place that does ear impressions, get custom plugs, and either get sleeves for universal in-ears or spend the money and get ultimate ears or sensaphonics. You shouldn't play your kit without hearing protection. Especially with the band.

    Secondly, DO NOT USE STANDARD HEADPHONES AND BLAST THE CLICK!!!! You are destroying your hearing faster than you know.

    Once you have in ears it's as simple as dialing in a mix off the monitor desk or an aux off of the recording console. I've done this many ways both live and in studio.

    If you need approximate tempo's Sabine has a click track that is really cheap, it doesn't get very loud though and it's mono so you need an adapter to hear it both ears.

    If you want to go the pro route, get the Boss Dr. Rhythm and either use a mixer at your kit to mix your monitor with your click, or chart your tempos and your songs and have your monitor guy do the switching for you. Or you can go the crazy route, I've done tours both US and Euro where I used a Pro Tools HD system to play back click tracks, backing tracks and stuff like that.

    In the studio, you should get your click track off of your recorder, it doesn't do you any good to play to a click if you don't record it because then no one else can use your timing reference.

    Feel free to ask more questions.

  10. Boltino

    Boltino Guest

    No, I think that is good advice. No argument started. In fact, my first post suggested in-ears. However, not everyone can afford molded in-ears and a separate mixer/Pro Tools HD. There is nothing wrong with multiple options. I agree that in-ears are best. But I would venture to guess that the majority of drummers (pro or otherwise) use headphones of some sort. A pair of headphones with good isolation do not have to be cranked.

  11. djrr3k

    djrr3k Guest

    Before I started using in ears, I had a pair of small headphones and wore gun mufflers. Worked alright
  12. 11miles

    11miles Guest

    We use MD 4 track!

    i recorded all 4 tracks, click i recorded from Cubase as a single track!

    Then the drummer takes the click to his own 4 channel behringer mixer and does his monitor sound there!

    He uses closed system headphones!
    However i woudl suggest you not going for some chep thigns, that is if you woudl liek to hear anythign else then a click in there!

    The problem starts with the click being so loud the drummer cant hear himself or anything else anymore!

    In-ears are a good solution for that! Isolating the ear canal makes the signal going in much quiter therefore your ears will live form many years!

    But the problem becomes, that the drummer needs his whole drums agian in the mix. because otherwise he cant hear himself play!
    The biggest concern hear should be kick, floor tom, where snare and OH, are pretty audible even with closed In-ear system!

    To hear the kick good, you need a good pair of headphones!
    In-ears cost a lot of money!

    So if you are not into spending, i woudl suggest buying a closed set of headphones but by allmeans not flat!!!!!!

    My drummer tested a lot of different products and in the end he decided that the best bass response gave the headphoens, not for studio work, but for DJ's!
    So the first thing you should consider is offcourse the money! How much are you willing to spend!

    On the other hand reliability and easy of use comes to question!
    For what i knwo we never head any problems. Neither with the MD, or the 50$ line mixer or the drummer not hearing himself good!
  13. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:
    11miles, we use an in ear monitoring setup close to what you describe for every individual in the band. We get a stereomix from our Yammy 01v96 into a Behringer UB-802. Everyone also gets their individual signals in there through splitting or from the mixer (more me).

    We all have Sennheiser IE3 earbuds with custom made molds for EUR 125 a pair. I don't think that's very expensive. Paid it with one gig. Of course there's better and more expensive stuff, but this works. You could have the Shure IE-3s instead of the Sennheiser, because they're a little sturdier and have a more direct sound. Also a little cheaper in the US than in Europe. The most expensive thing about IEM is the belt pack. If you don't plan on running around on stage, forget the beltpack, you don't need it.

    Our drummer had a hard time hearing his kit. Since we are not the most experienced users, we try a lot of things like attaching shakers to his drumseat to get more bassresponse. Our drummer was positive about that.

    We do not use sequencing yet, but all is in place to make the step, should we feel like we need to. Our keyboardplayer uses a computer to play all his VST instruments live with someting called Brainspawn. His setup actually begs to have sequences going on. :mrgreen:

    What I wondered was, what sound do you use for a click? I'd say it has to be something that really cuts through without being very loud like a woodblock or a cowbell, not that horrible run-off-the-mill tick. Our drummer has the ability to set the level himself. I think he should pick the sound himself eventually, but a suggestion to get started would be nice.

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