We’re back with another wonderful FAQ Friday! Today’s featured question is: It seems like every producer records to a click track no matter what the genre of music. I feel like it hurts the song, like almost every song before has almost unintentional tempo changes that made the song more alive and more natural. What is your opinion and what would you advise to some bands whose producer wants them to do that?
The way I grew up making records – and hope to continue making records – especially with bands, is to get them all in the same room so they can perform with each other. Even if i do end up replaying certain parts, the point is that they’ve put the song down like they were playing it live, which does allow for fluctuations in tempo. Even if you are tracking to a click, there will be pushes and pulls between the instruments.
A trick that I have used, is to play the click for 2 or 4 bars, or even half of the first verse, just to set the tempo, and then mute it and let the band take it from there.
In the end though, it will depend on the band and the situation! Has the band been playing live together for a year or two, have you done a couple of weeks of pre-production where you nailed down the arrangements and made sure everything sounds exactly how it should? If yes, then you can probably get away without a click. If not, though, you may be better off recording to a click so you can make sure everything does sound right. Or, if the band is going to be using synth parts and programmed parts, the drummer will likely need to play to a click track.
The reality is, although it may seem like the ideal situation is to record without a click track, sometimes it is necessary to get the result you and the band are looking for!
Watch the full video below to learn about this and see the answers to some other great FAQ Friday questions!