I use Logic and up until now all I've ever had to do was tell the (remote) drummer what the tempo is and send stems. But I'm currently working on a project that has a tempo map. I have a few questions & I'd be appreciative of any and all advice regarding how to make drummers happy and get the best results.
First, what's the best way to send/include tempo info? Assume the drummer is NOT using Logic. A MIDI file maybe?
Second, and this is more subjective style related question, but what are the more "standard" ways to accomplish a tempo change? Here's an example of one solution.. It's a rock/ballady thing going from from a verse to a chorus.
Notice that the scratch drummer fills into m34 ..where the chorus starts, but I have the tempo changing smoothly from m33 into m35. If I just slam into the new tempo at m34 it seems a bit too noticeable and abrupt. My thinking is that reaching the new tempo at 35 sounds like the drummer is "settling in" and has a bit more of a natural feel. What does an experienced pro drummer who's following a click want/prefer here?
Again, any additional suggestions and advice are appreciated.
I use the "Adapt" option when I create the tempo map. I am reasonably good with the tempo map functionality of Logic: I know how to create and use the tempo map as I put together the arrangement.
What I need help with is how to transfer the changing tempo information to a remote drummer who doesn't necessarily have Logic when I send stems. I.e. how does he put together a click track if there are tempo changes?
Hey M57, I’ve done this a lot, let me share what I’ve learned. First, click tracks are horrible to listen to. Try programming a simple beat instead. A real simple kick/snare/HH that the drummer can follow without it being in the way. A lot of times I’ll program a HH with just a kick on the down beats. Either way it’ll be infinitely easier to follow and much more pleasant to listen to. Export the drum track as an audio track. Make sure it’s exported from the start of the song, and that the locator point doesn’t change. This way the drummer will have a nice “click” track that follows all your tempo changes and isn’t dependent on his daw. Have him export his drums from the same start point as your click and it should all line up in your session.
So what you guys are saying is that there's no "standard" way to export a tempo map? I would think MIDI file would be the way to go. That way the drummer could assign sounds that are appropriate to the genre and to taste, etc.
There's no standard way, that I know of, to export tempo maps that will be cross platform and work on all DAW's. It's way easier to export the track as audio. A shaker, HH, kick sample etc are all usually easier ways for a drummer to hear a click.
Also, keep this in mind, if there is any click bleed from the headphones into a mic, it's much nicer if that bleed is a shaker or some other musical sound. The worst thing in the world is to have annoying "ping, ping, ping" sounds in the background during a quiet part of the song. Granted, this isnt usually a problem for drums, but for something quiet like an acoustic guitar it can be very problematic and can ruin takes.
Also, when you send the click tracks be sure to let the drummer know when to start...if he gives himself an 8 count lead in but you programmed your tempos referencing a 4 count lead in then nothing will match up.
For me, I always export everything as stems. So the drummer will get one track of just a "click", in my case a HH. Another that is a simple drum beat, just kicks on every down beat usually but sometimes more. And then another stem with all scratch tracks. That way he can line them all up in the DAW and use what he wants.
Oh, One more thing. Another reason I recommend using printed audio stems is that not all midi clocks are equal. For a variety of reasons you'll find that click tracks generated from two different sources drift from each other after a few minutes. So a click I have in cubase, might not match your click from PT, or from an MPC etc.