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#2131922 - 08/12/13 05:03 PM Recordings with metronome?
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 813
Loc: New England, USA
Does anybody here ever use a metronome (silent) while recording? Some digital pianos don't record the built-in metronome beats during a recording session (my LX-15 for example). Metronome beats thru headphones would accomplish the same thing for those who are recording APs or DPs without this feature. I am curious to know what others are doing when they are recording their piano performances. In piano videos with pros in a studio setting I sometimes see that they have headphones while playing an AP. Is that for metronome sound?
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#2132195 - 08/13/13 09:42 AM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Amaruk]
wouter79 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 3623
I'm sometimes using visualmetronome
http://sourceforge.net/projects/visualmetronome/
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#2132198 - 08/13/13 09:57 AM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: wouter79]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 211
Loc: USA
my Fostex MR8 has a click track you can hear through the headphones. And hope it doesn't bleed through to the mike.
What I prefer, is a sacrificial rhythm track, if you're lucky enough to a have a multi-track recorder. They are getting less costly all the time.

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#2132212 - 08/13/13 10:35 AM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Amaruk]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
I use a clicktrack from Audacity. I use one earbud so that the sound doesn't bleed through into the recording. Then I delete the clicktrack at the end. I do multitrack recordings this way.
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#2132214 - 08/13/13 10:50 AM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: TimR]
scorpio Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/12
Posts: 561
Loc: Connecticut, USA
Originally Posted By: TimR
clicktrack from Audacity

Brilliant. I did not even know that existed. I guess I should start looking at those other tabs I never used before. Thank you!
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#2132250 - 08/13/13 12:13 PM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Amaruk]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3872
Loc: Northern England.
aLL dp`S HAVE `EM I reckon. Trouble is playing to it. So bloody relentless! Then you forget to switch it off when you record the (recorded) song . . . A separate rhythm track would be much better. Can`t do that on mine. Dammit . . .
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#2132304 - 08/13/13 02:03 PM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: peterws]
Farmerjones Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 211
Loc: USA
Lo-tech, but I've gone as far as to wear a single ear bud under a standard set of headphones. The ear bud, of course, plugged into an mp3 player. I don't think there's any sin for playing along with a band or orchestra rather than a click.

My Audacity experience was with an old slow computer. I'll bet it's improved immensely. It wasn't the applications fault, in fact I found Audacity quite powerful.

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#2132398 - 08/13/13 04:50 PM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Amaruk]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 813
Loc: New England, USA
Thanks for all your inputs!! Now I know that this is indeed a method used by others here. Great!

FarmerJones I have used your low-tech method of combining headphones just like that too. It works great! My Roland RD-700NX lacks line-in terminals so I use this method rather than an external mixer out of convenience.

Peter My RD-700NX can't play any rhythms (or metronome) while the internal (.wav) recorder is being used. These two functions are mutually exclusive by design. However, my LX-15 allows me to use the metronome while I am recording using the internal recorder (.wav). And to my big surprise, the metronome sound, which is mixed in with the piano sound in the speakers, is not recorded to the audio file! Thus, the piano must have the metronome sound on a separate channel which bypasses the recorder function. Neat!!!
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#2132636 - 08/14/13 05:15 AM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Amaruk]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 462
Loc: Bristol, UK
The trouble is that your playing will sound mechanical and boring.The metronome should be for short periods of practice only, especially once the notes have being learnt and the piece is starting to come together.
I have trouble keeping strict tempo like most people and it shows up badly in the more classical rep, but I'd much rather have those wince inducing unintentional tempo changes than not be able to add rubato and ritardandos where I deem it appropriate.Well executed tempo adjustments and pauses are one of the things that pianist have at their disposal in order to express themselves.


Edited by timmyab (08/14/13 06:23 AM)

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#2132648 - 08/14/13 05:55 AM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: timmyab]
adultpianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 540
I use a metronome to guage the right timing.

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#2132950 - 08/14/13 08:08 PM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: timmyab]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: timmyab
I have trouble keeping strict tempo like most people and it shows up badly in the more classical rep, but I'd much rather have those wince inducing unintentional tempo changes than not be able to add rubato and ritardandos where I deem it appropriate.


You are not alone, I'd guess this is the majority problem.

But not being able to keep a strict tempo really means that your rubato is accidental and not within the context of the music.

Rubato is a deliberate variation from strict tempo. Without the ability to keep strict tempo, there is no true rubato.

There must be somebody in the world who is boring because he keeps a strict tempo. I haven't found him though. Have heard lots of boring people, but not for that reason. I think it's a n urban legend.
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#2133409 - 08/15/13 02:49 PM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: TimR]
Brian Lucas Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 995
Depends on what you're playing. For solo piano, you have a little more freedom to ebb and flow tempo. But I still think it's always good to work on your sense of time. In a studio setting with a band, there is almost always a click going on in your ears. The trick for me is to turn that simple click into a rhythmic feel, so you're not playing so robotic. In recent years, a lot of my live playing in bands is also done to click. So hearing that click in your ears is becoming more common.

Originally Posted By: TimR
But not being able to keep a strict tempo really means that your rubato is accidental and not within the context of the music.
Such a true statement. One of the real benefits of working with a metronome is to figure out where your tempo fluctuates because of interpretation and where it changes because of the difficulty of the section.
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#2143939 - 09/04/13 09:51 AM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Amaruk]
Lost Woods Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 104
Loc: The Netherlands
Since I don't think these questions about my new little metronome have to be in a whole new topic I'll just ask it here:

- Is it normal in "free stance" the pendulum isn't right in the middle but a bit off (in the video case to the right).. as you can see on) 0:15 and 0:27?
- When do I have to wind it up?



Edited by Lost Woods (09/04/13 09:52 AM)

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#2145465 - 09/06/13 09:21 PM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Amaruk]
jaymes677 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/06/13
Posts: 24
Metronome? What's that? Just play the piece and call it rubato smile
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#2145475 - 09/06/13 09:48 PM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Lost Woods]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 813
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: Lost Woods

- Is it normal in "free stance" the pendulum isn't right in the middle but a bit off (in the video case to the right).. as you can see on) 0:15 and 0:27?
- When do I have to wind it up?


Refreshing to see a mechanical metronome in use!! I have not used mine in a long time but it looks strange that your pendulum is off center like that.

I think I used to wind mine up quite regularly just to make sure it had juice at all times.


Edited by Amaruk (09/06/13 09:50 PM)
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#2145476 - 09/06/13 09:49 PM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: jaymes677]
Amaruk Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/02/11
Posts: 813
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: jaymes677
Metronome? What's that? Just play the piece and call it rubato smile


Very true. smile
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#2145479 - 09/06/13 09:56 PM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Lost Woods]
Brian Lucas Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 995
Originally Posted By: Lost Woods
- Is it normal in "free stance" the pendulum isn't right in the middle but a bit off (in the video case to the right).. as you can see on) 0:15 and 0:27?
Are you sure the table is level?
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BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
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#2145604 - 09/07/13 04:47 AM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Amaruk]
de cajon Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/13
Posts: 190
Loc: London, UK
There's a story about a famous drummer - perhaps it was Ringo Starr - who on being pestered to put the headphones on and play to the click track, exclaimed, "I am the bloody click track."
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#2145615 - 09/07/13 05:59 AM Re: Recordings with metronome? [Re: Amaruk]
peekay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 184
Some drummers can't keep a steady time!! Sad, but true.

@jdeacon:

There's a similar story about U2's drummer, Larry Mullen, Jr.

While recording "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (1983), Mullen was asked to use a click track. He flatly refused! He is an excellent drummer and can keep time accurately.

Nevertheless, he was persuaded to use a click track for the rest of the songs in the album "War". It was Mullen's first time recording with a click track, and he found it quite difficult -- he had to really simplify his drumming in order to keep in sync with the click track.

In an interview, Mullen said working with a click track really helped him grow as a musician. It forced him to analyze his own playing, and through that process, helped him discover his own style. He became a firm believer in using a click track.

Fast forward 17 years. While recording "All That You Can't Leave Behind" (2000), Mullen began complaining about the click track to Brian Eno, U2's producer for the album. Mullen felt the click track was a bit slow.

How could that be? The rest of the band had recorded to that click track. But Mullen said he couldn't play to the click track, so Eno relented and slightly adjusted it to run faster. Mullen then complained that now it was slightly too fast. Eno adjusted it once more to Mullen's liking.

After the session was over, Eno analyzed the recordings. Mullen was right! The original click track was 6 milliseconds (!) too slow. Then when Eno adjusted it the first time, it became 2 milliseconds (!) too fast, just as Mullen had said.

That's just 1/500th of a second difference! It's incredible that Mullen can accurately detect such small variations in timekeeping. He's like a human chronometer.
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