Beyond the metronome and quantisation

wildschwein

Strat-Talk Member
Aug 2, 2009
43
Western Australia
A trick for Jazz players when practicing is to set the metrome to be on the 2 and the 4 -- that way you can practice getting the swing on the in-between. Instead of having a click on each beat of a bar you only have a click on the 2 and the 4 -- you then have to feel where the 1 and the 3 are. You need to set the metronome to half the tempo of the song so if it's 120 set it to 60. For drums you could play in the parts with MIDI keyboard/controller etc along with the metronome. Then afterwards you can possibly edit or soft quantize.

If you really want to take a leap of faith you can set the metronome only on the 4 and then set the tempo to a quarter -- so for 120 set to 30 and you then have to really feel where the other three beats of the bar are located.
 
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Scott Baxendale

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
4,793
Athens Ga
Sometimes, I just don't feel the groove where the DAW wants me to put the notes, so I vocalised what I wanted to hear against the metronome. Then I added bass and drum to the vocal. According to the piano roll grid, what I've done is a mess. But I'm using these two bars as the template for the rest of the song. My groove, not machine groove. :)


Whenever you are searching for the perfect tempo try going to the next closest BPM that is evenly divided by 12 and you will instantly feel the groove lock down better.
 

Scott Baxendale

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
4,793
Athens Ga
A trick for Jazz players when practicing is to set the metrome to be on the 2 and the 4 -- that way you can practice getting the swing on the in-between. Instead of having a click on each beat of a bar you only have a click on the 2 and the 4 -- you then have to feel where the 1 and the 3 are. You need to set the metronome to half the tempo of the song so if it's 120 set it to 60. For drums you could play in the parts with MIDI keyboard/controller etc along with the metronome. Then afterwards you can possibly edit or soft quantize.

If you really want to take a leap of faith you can set the metronome only on the 4 and then set the tempo to a quarter -- so for 120 set to 30 and you then have to really feel where the other three beats of the bar are located.
I usually practice to drum loops Rather than a metronome. This way I can get the swing and the feel.
 

simoncroft

Still playing. Still learning!
Silver Member
May 30, 2013
19,173
SE England
Whenever you are searching for the perfect tempo try going to the next closest BPM that is evenly divided by 12 and you will instantly feel the groove lock down better.
It took me a moment to grasp your point, but I get it now. So, 108 BPM is to be preferred over, say 106 BPM, because 108 is nine divisions (bars) of 12. Therefore, within the bar, you can divide 12 into 4/3 (triplets), as well as the usual down/up beats etc. And if you move a note fractionally, it probably still has meaningful value. Aside from the notational implications, it presumably gives the Swing algorithm an easier set of calculations.

Thank you for that @Scott Baxendale

The silly thing is, I've said for many years that we should have 11 mathematical symbols in our arithmetic system, not nine. That way, what we regard as '10' (ten things) would become 10 (twelve things but written as 10) under the new system. So if the counting system goes something like '1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6,7 8, 9, @, ^' the number after '^' is rendered as '10' and means 'twelve things', or '1 thing in the column that goes past the symbol ^' which we call eleven.

It would be great for musical instrument making, where Imperial measurements are still king, because taking 1/8 off the width of a guitar neck is 1/16 each side, whereas the digital equivalent is... ha ha ha! Not something you're going to work out in your head. Same with the fraction of 1/3. What could be simpler? Three equal parts. Except, in the current digital system, it's .333 'recurring', meaning those threes go on for ever-and-ever, as the sum can never be resolved.

But, after all these years, I'd never thought about the implications when it came to tempo. To quote Homer Simpson: "Doh!" :D
 

monte merrick

Most Honored Senior Member
this all reminds me of an article i read in Musician magazine back in the 80s when Miles was still breathing - he'd hired a drum programmer for the sessions for Youre Under Arrest i beleve, who was supposed to be one of the best, but MD was infuriated with the drum program he wrote and people were like but Miles he's the tops, and and MD was like well his drums speed up as the tune unfolds and the drummer was like yeah, that makes it sound like a real drummer and Miles said Ive got the phone numbers of the best real drummers on the planet, if i wanted it to speed up, i'd call one of them.
 

Scott Baxendale

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
4,793
Athens Ga
It took me a moment to grasp your point, but I get it now. So, 108 BPM is to be preferred over, say 106 BPM, because 108 is nine divisions (bars) of 12. Therefore, within the bar, you can divide 12 into 4/3 (triplets), as well as the usual down/up beats etc. And if you move a note fractionally, it probably still has meaningful value. Aside from the notational implications, it presumably gives the Swing algorithm an easier set of calculations.

Thank you for that @Scott Baxendale

The silly thing is, I've said for many years that we should have 11 mathematical symbols in our arithmetic system, not nine. That way, what we regard as '10' (ten things) would become 10 (twelve things but written as 10) under the new system. So if the counting system goes something like '1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6,7 8, 9, @, ^' the number after '^' is rendered as '10' and means 'twelve things', or '1 thing in the column that goes past the symbol ^' which we call eleven.

It would be great for musical instrument making, where Imperial measurements are still king, because taking 1/8 off the width of a guitar neck is 1/16 each side, whereas the digital equivalent is... ha ha ha! Not something you're going to work out in your head. Same with the fraction of 1/3. What could be simpler? Three equal parts. Except, in the current digital system, it's .333 'recurring', meaning those threes go on for ever-and-ever, as the sum can never be resolved.

But, after all these years, I'd never thought about the implications when it came to tempo. To quote Homer Simpson: "Doh!" :D
Correct, if you are playing a song at say 94bpm, if you change it to 96bpm the groove will be more solid. i think this is why 120bpm is the starting tempo point on all DAW’s. 108 is better than 106 or 110, etc. Ever since I stumbled on to this I use it religiously when tracking songs.


There are 12 notes in an octave, 12 hours in a day, 12 hours in a night, 12 months in a year, 12 bars in a verse, 12 tribes of Israel, etc,etc,..

If they would change the pitch of standard A to 432hz music would be even a bit better, I think.

Whenever anyone talks about guitars in millimeters I always ask them: “How many millimeters are there in an octave” and then I know the imperial system is much better for building guitars.
 

Scott Baxendale

Senior Stratmaster
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
4,793
Athens Ga
i find a lot of value, for me personally, not recommending it to anyone, in trying to make the metronome feel like it's swinging.
Totally! I agree. I just started using drum loops 15-20 years ago and that became the way I practice and record.

I still have a couple of mechanical metronomes but I haven’t used them in a while.
 


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