Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,073 Member Since: 21/01/2011


Apr 25 15 10:29 AM

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I started a new song today, its going to be a mellow acoustic type song that when i play it live has parts that are free flowing finger picking parts,and then needs to be tempo mapped so i can put loops behind it and sync it up in other parts.

i was just wondering how you work on a song that has parts where the plkaying lends itself better to not following the tempo exaclty and then putting those together with parts that need to and sound correct tempo mapped?

right now i am just carving space out where the finger picking happens that give me enough room to play them. then i will turn the temp click back on for the verses and other parts where i want other instrumentation, loops etc. the hard part fo rme is then trying to align and splice them together so there isnt dead air or it sounding stragne?

have you ever run into a soing like this?

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Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,181 Member Since:23/10/2013

#1 [url]

Apr 25 15 11:00 AM

When the last bit of your "free flowing" part ends, think about where the "four and" would occur that leads into the new, consistent BPM. Imagine the pickup notes/beats right before the first beat of the metronomed section would occur. That can really help in figuring out what you're aiming for to begin with.

That tends to be implied in songs like you describe, so that you can almost feel where the new section is going to hit. Maybe imagine how an orchestra conductor will often do that - signal a couple beats of the new BPM while the symphony is holding on a note from a slower section.

As far as how to edit it into shape… it varies by software, but just keep listening and tweaking it, and don't give up until it feels 100% right.

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Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,401 Member Since:04/02/2011

#2 [url]

Apr 26 15 6:39 PM

I'd record a song like this in sections. I've done that before for songs that had out-of-time piano/vocal sections.

Doesn't matter which you do first, but you can kind of treat it like a film with different scenes. Shoot the "band" or "with loops" scenes first, shoot the "solo instrument/vocal" scenes later (or vice-versa), and then stitch together later.

Obviously, you don't get the emotional build of a single live performance that way, but a skilled performer can fake it pretty well.

brad allen williams

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Posts: 195 Member Since:29/07/2013

#3 [url]

Apr 26 15 9:21 PM

You kinda lost me at, "when i play it live has parts that are free flowing finger picking parts,and then needs to be tempo mapped so i can put loops behind it and sync it up in other parts."

Do you mean you want to put loops with the free flowing part after the fact?


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Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,073 Member Since:21/01/2011

#4 [url]

Apr 28 15 10:03 AM

Thanks All

You are both right in what i ended up doing. it had to be in sections and i also had to sort of judge that moment when the free flowing non tempo part stopped and the first verse kicked in.

so i recorded the intro parts (acoustic, strings, etc) with no click and then had the click for the remainder. i then just opted out of the original ending which would have coem back to the free flowing part since it now seems redundant.

it actually wasn't to bad, i thought it would sound disjointed but its pretty cool. however the problem i ran into was while i played to a click and was "on beat" trying to find a percussion loop to fit didnt work. so i ended up playing parts by hand on a keyboard! so now it sounds all a little off to me, i may simplify the percussion to literally a hi hat on the 4's or a kick or something

@ precisonfreak - the loops were behind the non free flowing parts, but the problem was even though i played to a click in those parts it was REALLY hard to find a loop that matched (normally i put a drum kit loop to play to so it ties in tight) so then i had to literally play conga's and stuff by hand in alot of places

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Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,181 Member Since:23/10/2013

#5 [url]

Apr 28 15 10:49 AM

If you record those percussion parts you played with keyboard as MIDI, maybe you can quantize them in your software later… there is usually some option for the level of quantization too, or adding some kind of groove/swing.

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Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,236 Member Since:07/07/2011

#6 [url]

May 13 15 12:44 PM

Over a decade ago before I knew how to deal with it I ran into this issue as well. I initially recorded a demo of a song (which is now on PRW) without a click and the tempo went everywhere. When it came time to record the song for real we decided to use a click and we realized quickly that it didn't work. It totally killed the feel of the song. Ultimately I thought the demo turned out better than the "correct" and rigid version (which is why I gave Terry the demo instead of the album version.)

Years later on another record it occurred to me, well tempo is tempo, even free flowing parts have a tempo which can be charted so why can't I create a recorded click track for it? I can and I did. The trick is to discover the tempo at each change and for how many bars and then create a tempo map around the song without destroying the feel. It works like a charm. I have had songs that implement multiple tempo changes, even sections where the band needs to speed up or slow down. It works great for playlists as well because the takes line up on top of each other allowing for seamless edits.

Just be prepared to have the click figured out before your session and leave extra time for the musicians to "get used to it".

Dusk Bennett
Los Angeles Ca
Award Winning Engineering

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Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,155 Member Since:24/04/2011

#7 [url]

May 19 15 10:35 PM

Here is one way you can do it in Reaper.. not sure what you use....

I would do this over the "free flow" area... If you change Meter too you will probably have to right click time line rule and insert marker for the IN and OUT... Like say 120 4/$ up to bar 48.. .then you go free float in 3/4 time. Drop a market at 48.. set to 3/4... do this on the free float part.. until let's say bar 64 drop another market back to 4/4 120..

That will give you 1 - 48 in 4/4 120 -- 49 through 64 in 3/4 free float tempo mapped, then back to 4/4 120.

Is that what you mean?

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