How do YOU set your tempo?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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H20nly
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How do YOU set your tempo?

Post by H20nly » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:39 am

... when your song starts with an actual instrument... i.e. guitar, bass, flute, cowbell, whatever... not MIDI.

a large percentage of our tracks start out on the guitar or bass (not counting lyrics since they're infinitely more adjustable). Sometimes its preordained other times its on a whim but the one thing that constantly breaks our momentum is setting the tempo.

What we usually do is create a tempo track with a kick, snare or both and play to that and adjust as needed. Then, finally we can record... This is okay but we often get a false positive if we don't nail it fast enough because we're playing the track (to this weak beat) out of context.

Its a real problem coming up with something on the fly because if we adjust the tempo after any audio is recorded we end up warping it... this is a double whammy since you have to save the set to save the audio, so ideas can be lost or have to be revisited later and ironed out.

So any tips, thoughts, suggestions or questions along the lines of "why don't you just..." would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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LeifonMars
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Re: How do YOU set your tempo?

Post by LeifonMars » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:13 am

I'm not sure do I understand your problem, but I use the TAP all the time when jamming with band. Sure sync gets lost from time to time without click, but it's closer than +/- 10bpm.
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myxomat0515
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Re: How do YOU set your tempo?

Post by myxomat0515 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:44 pm

for recording purposes, send a click track to your musician. for live playback, listen to the click track yourself. you should have a rough idea of what the tempo of the track is, so start there, and use the time you have before launching your first clip to use the nudge buttons for precision.

3phase
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Re: How do YOU set your tempo?

Post by 3phase » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:47 pm

just play.. the idea has to be taken fresh..

afterwards you have a lot of work to do the warping.. than you can rerecord the instruments...

you also can avoid warping by inserting tempo changes at the wright points.

other daw´s as logic are better suited for that.. ..

however.. ist an old problem..aslong you dont have a syncdevice on your drummer that uses drumtriggers to generate a midi clock you cant avoid the extra work..

in my experiances its allways better to just record.. ideas are too fragile to surrive too much computer action...

so you have split session.. first just jamming..than the anylysis of the material.. deciding for one go ...arranging it with tempo changes and warps..
having a final production session on top of that..
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Moody
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Re: How do YOU set your tempo?

Post by Moody » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:45 pm

There's a tempo setting? :P

,or what 3phase said. Collaboration is often about the moment, the rest is all that music recording business stuff.
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Khazul
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Re: How do YOU set your tempo?

Post by Khazul » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:10 pm

I just record what Im playing, no click etc, often a piano, sometimes a synth and see what comes out.

What I often find (wierdly) is Ill record something and be thinking yeh nice house riff - then start having a look at the recorded tempo etc and find the tempo is absolutely nowhere near house tempos then wonder what the hell to do with it :)

The plus side is I think I am far more musically creative witthout a click or a beat to play with, but it a bit hit and miss being able to actually do something with it in my usual genres.
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H20nly
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Re: How do YOU set your tempo?

Post by H20nly » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:42 pm

3phase wrote:just play.. the idea has to be taken fresh..

........

in my experiances its allways better to just record.. ideas are too fragile to surrive too much computer action...
Moody wrote:Collaboration is often about the moment, the rest is all that music recording business stuff.
Khazul wrote:I just record what Im playing, no click etc, often a piano, sometimes a synth and see what comes out.
agreed - all 3

the problem is what to do after the idea is plucked out of our minds and the thin air in the room...
first we record a guitar riff... now we want to make a drum beat... hard to do that if the tempo is off and we're trying to use sequenced drums. hence the question.

with Live we have a place to capture our recording, but if I adjust the tempo afterward then the guitar riff goes to shit. We get bored with this and inspiration/motivation is lost... So I'm thinking I'm overlooking something simple... maybe turning warping off... :? is there more than one place to do this? I need Live to adjust but my audio to remain as is.

funken wrote:I just do everything at 128 bpm.
or we could try this :D

kinda cramps our style though. :(


our current method is working, its just kinda lame. it takes too long and leaves us with less than we're capable of. we've gotten pretty fast once we get over this timing hump but its technical monkey motion. problem is... MIDI drum patterns aren't as accommodating as a drummer. I have an MDP 24 so theoretically I could play the beat :| but I'm a vocalist. I use it as a sketch pad. It works great when I start a beat/track/song with drums... not so much with guitar.


we played 6 new arrangements, live with just a guitar and the 2 of us singing, last night to a room full of happy drunk girls. They all blah blahed about how they want a copy of the songs etc. which is great, but trying to get everything lined up on the technical end is... tedious. we're going to have a recording session tonight. the songs are written and arranged in our heads, all with just guitar, singing and rapping. It would be soooooo nice, for once, to hit record, let the guitar player play the guitar, and perform the songs in the mic. save, repeat, save, repeat,..., then go back and adjust the tempo settings, add the drums and bass, and finally get to the actual work that is the beast called mixing.

I know I'm just doing it the hard way...

thank for your replies!
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

H20nly
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Re: How do YOU set your tempo?

Post by H20nly » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:13 pm

LeifonMars wrote:I'm not sure do I understand your problem, but I use the TAP all the time when jamming with band. Sure sync gets lost from time to time without click, but it's closer than +/- 10bpm.
we tried the click last session but it became just as big of an exercise. at least with the kick snare method we're a third of the way to a finished drum pattern.

I'm going to try to go through the preferences tonight before the guitar player arrives. surely i can adjust Live's tempo without altering the audio...
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

H20nly
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Re: How do YOU set your tempo?

Post by H20nly » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:00 pm

:oops: ok gents... it was warping on the recorded audio.

i really should try session view. arrangement has my mind... locked in.


Anyway I figured I'd eat my shoe and share in case anyone was either ridiculously funkin confused by this question even being asked or perhaps in the same boat.

After recording, Warp can be turned off on the sample and Live and everything else with it can be adjusted in the background.

Sad thing is, I figured this out on Friday before our recording session and didn't even get to use it really. We had a new cat stop by to have a go at playing bass with us... turned in to an audition instead. its always tomorrow...

anyway, thanks again for your replies

Peace,
g
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

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