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Help quick! Multiple time signatures + other troubles...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by hxckid88, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    May 9, 2005
    I'm recording my band, and we basically started off today with experimenting with microphones and placement trying to get the correct drum sound. I always messed around with some EQ and compressing, just to see what I can do with drums, since I've recorded before, but not with actual drums. I used two overheads which are actually tom mics but they sound okay with the right amount of work.

    Anywho, we got around to recording one of our songs, and our drummer was having tons of trouble with the metronome. He doesn't use simple backbeats, hes a fairly technical drummer, and yes, he plays well damn solid. He is just not used to using a metronome. He has trouble because sometimes he'll come in on beat 2, rather than one, but the guitar is basically in 4/4. The easiest way to count it is 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2... So he gets thrown off all the time.

    I use CUBASE LE, I know you can change the tempo/time sig using the tempo track, but that means I have to predict where there are going to be signature changes. I really wont know what beat it is going to be on until he records and screws up and says, "sorry, the metronome threw me off."

    Of course, there is that huge mental pressure when you are recording, you dont want to screw up, but that ends up making it worse and you ending screwing up.

    Are there any easier ways to do drums? Basically my question is, do you set the tempo, set the time sig to 4/4 (or 3/4 depending on the song...) and let the drummer play and hope he does okay till the end? And if he screws up do you start over? I've made corrections before on small things, but I'm expect the drums to be perfect, so when I lay down the bass, everything lines up, if I scoot the drums to correct something, then it screws up everything. Cutting and "Snapping" will be hard because the drums werent lined up...

    Should I record the drums in pieces? The only problem when I did that was, he came in a little late after the metronome, and he was a split second off (he tried to catch up with the metronome) but no one noticed it, until I played my bass to it and then tried correct the two pieces and run then together smoothly.

    Any help on the recording process of drums would be appreciated :)
  2. skinsincyn

    skinsincyn Guest

    Hey man, I'm a drummer who records - myself and other drummers. I think you've got two options (and it's probably a combo of both)...

    #1 - you're drummer NEEDS TO PRACTICE to the metronome! This is nothing against his abilities as a drummer. There's no way, anyone can practice a bunch of songs for weeks or months without a metronome and then walk into a studio, turn on the click and then go. Even if he feels real solid to you in rehearsals, if he's not playing to a click, he is speeding up and slowing down minute amounts in the same places EVERY SINGLE TIME. It just that it's such a small amount, and a good bass player will go right with him (or be the cause), that your band doesn't notice it. But put him against a click and...WHOA! Right?

    #2 - get 2 or 3 nearly perfect takes, pick the overall best one, then comp the mistakes from the other takes. This is a REAL pain in this with drums, because you have to edit every track and deal with the overheads. But I've done it, and it's worth the effort as long as the main take was slamming!

    My big question to you is: why are you even using a metronome? If your band never practices with one, you're not sequencing keys or samples, and you think your drummer's really solid, why ruin it with a click? Let it breath!

    Good luck!
  3. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    May 9, 2005
    See, I recorded our last demo, (when I did have all this new equipment) with this crappy computer mic, no metronome. All I did was let him play, then I played bass to it, and then our guitarists did that. It sounded fine. But there were parts where he did slow down a little noticeable. Being a bassist, I make sure we are TIGHT. We work VERY well together, so if he messed up or slows down or speeds up, (or if I do) we correct eachother, we'll never horribly mess up, its just little things sometimes.

    We're a post-hardcore/experimental band, we're going to layer effects and guitars, so I figured itll be easier for me when I lay down everything else, in case I need to cut, paste, etc. It's going to be SO much easier if I can just simply cut at bar 54-56 for example, and it's the riff I want, because a metronome was used, if not, I'm going to have to listen and find the exact beginning and end it was played... Ya know? I guess I should just have him do multiple takes. He does double bass also, not alot, but for like 3 of our 7 songs mainly, and he gets tired after like 7 takes of one song haha.
  4. Multani

    Multani Guest

    well, on cubase sx2 you can "map" out the metronome track with different time signatures and save it as the click track.

    my band uses loads of changes as well so this is useful. wh not do that? tho i am not sure if cubase LE has that function................

    just sit down and work out "right here we need 8 bars of 3/4 at 120 bpm" etc and then jsut map it out and youll be fine.
  5. hxckid88

    hxckid88 Active Member

    May 9, 2005
    Thats the thing you can map out the tempo, but I dont think you can change time signatures because I tried doing that and I couldnt figure it out.
  6. Multani

    Multani Guest

    na you can- just MAKE SURE YOU DO IT PRIOR to starting recording the song- otherwise it will mess eveything up.................this is from past experience!.

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