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View Full Version : Making a drum track fit the grid?


Raoul23
12-03-2014, 01:28 PM
Last night I had a band into record, they played music that was all over the show time sig and tempo wise. The problem was the drummer couldn't play to a click track even if I had have set up a tempo map. Music like slipknot, I know needs to be to the grid for it to sound tight. I'm just wondering how you fellow DUC users would have dealt with this situation and any advice/tips you could share. I know there is a way where you can mark the 1st beat of every bar and create a tempo map from the the drum track. I tried this once but didn't have much luck at all it moved the drums all over the place and took for ages.

albee1952
12-03-2014, 01:47 PM
Some players and bands just can't(or don't want to) follow a click. Their music is best left to run "wild"(despite my own musical prefs, I often must bite my tongue and let the band do "what it do"). If they suck, then they suck. If they are close, I would listen and choose WHICH instrument seems to have the best pocket, and move the rest to that instrument (sorry GRID, but you can take a break for now:D). With drums, I would use Russ Hugh's(Pro-Tools-Expert.com or maybe found on youtube) Ninja Drum Editing video and dive in manually.

After all, unless the other instruments are solid to the grid(or ANY grid), then the best you can shoot for is to pull all the elements together:o

djmichaelwenz
12-23-2014, 11:23 AM
Use tab to transients on the kick track. Line up the kick hits with the arrangement tempo. Change the tempo manually for each tempo change CMD+I at the start of the tabbed to transient hit point.
This might help....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ORCJy2kRo4

Bill Denton
12-23-2014, 12:02 PM
Last night I had a band into record, they played music that was all over the show time sig and tempo wise. The problem was the drummer couldn't play to a click track even if I had have set up a tempo map. Music like slipknot, I know needs to be to the grid for it to sound tight. I'm just wondering how you fellow DUC users would have dealt with this situation and any advice/tips you could share. I know there is a way where you can mark the 1st beat of every bar and create a tempo map from the the drum track. I tried this once but didn't have much luck at all it moved the drums all over the place and took for ages.

You know, you really don't have to have it on a grid...

Heresy, I know, but if it's tight, it's tight whether it's on a grid or not.

When in doubt...let your ears trump...

Stig Eliassen
12-23-2014, 01:59 PM
I just faced this problem two days ago. Had to do a mix with an acoustic band with cajón, upright bass, acoustic guitar, dobro and vocals.
I listened to it, and heard that the bass was the worst offender, but the ac gtr was really solid. So, I used elastic audio to correct the bass up against the ac gtr, and that was enough.

BTW, it was recorded to a click, and this genre allows for things to be a little loose.

Michael Zull
12-31-2014, 08:22 PM
I've had to do this before, grudgingly. It wasn't hard to do at all, it was just time consuming. What I did was to pick a bar of the song that was most indicative of the desired tempo, then set the bpm to be that. Group the drums, enable EA on all of the tracks, and move the first downbeat to line up with the grid. From there it was just snapping the downbeats of each bar to the grid.

I wasn't present for the tracking session, and had to clean up the mess afterwards. Later I was told the drummer was quite intoxicated during the session, which made perfect sense! It actually turned out pretty good, as the performance was well played aside from the major tempo issues.

musicman691
01-01-2015, 04:38 AM
You know, when I read about people trying to line things up on a grid for drums I think about Charlie Watts. He never played on the beat; usually in back of the beat and every once in a while ahead of the beat. Yet if he played strictly on the beat the Stones's music would never sound as good as it does (if you like that genre).

Not everyone can play like Gene Hoglan (aka the Atomic Clock) in perfect time and not every piece of music would sound as good if the drummer was perfectly on time.

So like Bill Denton said - if the performance of the group overall is solid - who am I to judge?

PS: full disclosure - coming from a drummer as one of my many musical talents

Stig Eliassen
01-01-2015, 04:46 AM
That's true, Jack.

I tried to explain a similar aspect to music production to a female singer recently. We were recording backing vocals, and she said: "Ouch, I gotta do that again. I'm a little bit flat".

I said: "Yes, you are correct, but this is a harmony double, and if you were to sing it identical to the previous take, it wouldn't sound nearly as good in the mix as it does now".

Thankfully, she agreed. :D