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Have you used "Swing" ever?

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Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby ManFromGlass » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:05 pm

Maybe it's the styles of music I write but I have never used the swing function once in my DAW or in a drum machine.
Have you?

I think it would be pretty bogus for Jazz unless one is doing jazz muzak or a parody. Where else would it be useful? Some new hybrid of EDM?

Just curious
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby desmond » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:00 pm

Sure, I’ve done tracks with swing feels.

I also used to loosen up tracks with multiple hi hats by having a straight set, and ones slightly swung (53-55% or so) to give a looser feel.

Swing is not a binary thing, you can in most DAWs slightly push into swing to get a nice feel without it being overdone...
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby proteus-ix » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:28 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:Maybe it's the styles of music I write but I have never used the swing function once in my DAW or in a drum machine.
Have you?

I think it would be pretty bogus for Jazz unless one is doing jazz muzak or a parody. Where else would it be useful? Some new hybrid of EDM?

Just curious

I and everyone I know uses some amount of swing on practically every track, including industrial. Unless you are writing the most militant, mechanical beat, NOT using swing is pretty dumb IMO. It's one of the things that humanizes your rhythms.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby BJG145 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:20 pm

I know what you mean, I'm a bit suspicious of it too, but as Desmond says, you can use it to subtly loosen things up a bit. Its big brother 'groove quantise' can also be useful. (I got the terminology from Sonar, but I imagine other DAWs offer the equivalent; different 'groove' presets which push and pull the timing of different parts of a kit, or take timing from one track and push it towards another.)
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby The Elf » Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:03 pm

Nope, not once.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:01 am

I always use it. As far as I know it is used on most of the pop tune and rap grooves you hear too. It is essential for making things sound real and not computer generated. Humans do not 'randomize' but they do swing very naturally.

Swing is not what most people think it is. It is not just for swing jazz. It is essential to every natural rythm.

The lack of swing in music imparts a different feel - a mechanical, machine-like rythm which may be what you want too instead.

If you study samba rythms you can find that the root of swing is in the natural effect of gravity. A downstroke on a drum, accelerates a bit due to gravity. Meanwhile an upstroke decelerates a bit. This causes a slight imbalance in the speed at which things go up vs down.

When a dancer 'swings' she interacts with gravity. The whole notion of swing implies that gravity is a factor, and gravity speeds down strokes while slowing up strokes. This is lost in digital online worlds where there is no gravity.

Think of a dot moving back and forth at constant speed ( nogravity)

1-------
---------2
3-------
--------4

Now suspend that dot from a string and let it swing back and forth. It goes fastest in the middle and slowest at the ends. It no longer travels in a constant speed. Gravity has given it an acceleration/deceleration.

Think of 'pong' on a computer screen vs a real tennis ball on a real court.

Now divide that interval into 1/16th notes and look at the space between the notes. If there is no gravity then the space is even.

1----1.25----1.5----1.75----2

But if there is gravity, and if we use as our feel for time, the velocity (which we can feel), then the time space between dots becomes uneven. They are more bunched up in the center and farther apart at the ends.

1-----1.25---1.5---1.5-----2

So if we just play the first three beats using velocity as our feel (rather than time) because we humans measure time by feel of how things are moving, as Einstein has explained time is an illusion - only motion is absolute.

We have

1----1.25----1.5 (no gravity)
1----1.25---1.5 (gravity)

That is swing.

Depending on the length of your pendulum, you will impart different amounts of swing naturally. Long pendulum have maximum 'swing' short ones have less.

Music without swing exist perpendicular to gravity and is therefore 2-dimensional. Music with swing is 3-dimensional.

Always add some swing if you want your music to sound like it was played by 3D humans in a 3D world. People will relate to it more. It is the natural way that we move and dance.

if you want to have machine-gun like precision and sound mechanical and 2-dimensional remove all swing for an unworldy, inhuman feel.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:18 am

Try to duplicate the feel of this tune in your DAW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M11SvDtPBhA

You will need to understand swing to do it right and get Miley to feel the groove with you. She instinctively understands gravity. Do you!!??
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby Frank Rideau » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:14 am

Swing is used all over in hip hop productions.

I just picked that example (Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest). Check out the opening beat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obLq6k3clHo
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby Frank Rideau » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:31 am

Actually, the result of using swing into hip hop beats was highly due to the way it was implemented into MPCs sampler and who's better than Mr Linn to explain it.

https://www.attackmagazine.com/features/interview/roger-linn-swing-groove-magic-mpc-timing/
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:36 am

No, but my drum machine "Chris" (AKA "Austen") does it automatically :D
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby ken long » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:19 am

proteus-ix wrote:
I and everyone I know uses some amount of swing on practically every track, including industrial. Unless you are writing the most militant, mechanical beat, NOT using swing is pretty dumb IMO. It's one of the things that humanizes your rhythms.

It's not dumb. You can humanize through programming. No need for lazy ass swing.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby ken long » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:21 am

DC-Choppah wrote: It is essential for making things sound real and not computer generated.

No, it is not essential. It works for you. But it isn't essential.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby ken long » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:22 am

Frank Rideau wrote:Check out the opening beat.


Programmed in 16 triplets. No swing necessary.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby The Korff » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:01 am

If you sample whole chunks of a beat, like they used to do (*shakes walking stick angrily*), you get the swing that was in that beat originally. No need for fancy DAW settings — just use quarter-, half-, or three-eighth-bar length chunks, or whatever, and rearrange to your heart's content. There's something I find really unsatisfying about the sound of breaks chopped up into individual 16th-note hits and then clicked into a piano-roll editor; you get all the sound but none of the humanity.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby Dave B » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:14 am

I did quite recently whilst helping a mate finish a song he was writing. At first I thought he wanted a triplet feel, but we realised that a good swing was needed. It wasn't jazz or anything, just a nice loose feel and it helped me tighten things up in Logic.

As with all things, it's a tool and it can be handy to have when it's needed.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby MarkyC » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:53 am

Yep use it all the time with a TR8 - not to "loosen things up" but to create completely new rhythms. If I'm using swing on the main beat I tend to stick with just full swing, if using standard then I'll use it on a fill just to give variation.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby ManFromGlass » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:45 pm

Well, well, well! Interesting thoughts for sure.
Except the one thing nobody using swing has addressed, excuse me if I misread any concepts, is that you are using one of the most precise timing machines on the planet (your computer) to introduce human feel?
Don't think so.
Not even the Humanize function in Logic can replicate that but it gets close. Inserting tons of slightly millisecond different tempo fluctuations gets close but you still have the feel of the machine.
(I'm assuming the use of midi tracks and loops here, not 100% real players as audio files)
So I can see the swing function as a tool to get you a 3 against 4 or cool variations like a 5 against 2 etc but obtaining the human vibe ?
Not gonna happen. Or did I miss something?
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:23 pm

At the end of the day, it's just a particular sound that's been around since the earliest days of drum machines, and has been used on countless hits. Eg, check out "Everybody Wants To Rule The World". Obviously it's not the same as machine-metronome or human-feel, but something else; the most primitive kind of 'humanize'.
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby desmond » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:33 pm

ManFromGlass wrote:Except the one thing nobody using swing has addressed, excuse me if I misread any concepts, is that you are using one of the most precise timing machines on the planet (your computer) to introduce human feel? Don't think so.

Not gonna happen. Or did I miss something?

I think it was a misinterpretation. I said I used it sometimes to get away from a straight 16ths feel - there is a world of "feels" between straight 16ths and hard swung 90s New jack Swing type feels (like an old drum machine swing mode, jumping straight to 75% swing, which I don't usually find that attractive a feel to work in).

Sometimes, a little bit of swing (like, a few percent) away from straight 16ths can feel nice and liven up a part, make it feel less hard-quantized sterile.

I never intended this to be interpreted as "turn your swing knob to sound instantly human".

One of the reasons that the drum loop thing took off in the late 80s/early 90s was that drums *didn't* sound so mechanical and straight 16ths drum machine like, which helped tracks distance themselves from the 80s drum machine past. Obviously there are other factors but there is a world of groove away from straight 16ths, even subtley, and our Precise Timing Machines offer a variety of tools to make it work for us, whether we're recording real playing, or synthesizing up something from scratch. :thumbup:
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Re: Have you used "Swing" ever?

Postby DC-Choppah » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:14 pm

When much of the popular music that people listen to already has swing being used all over the place, it is important to understand it then for making modern music.

It is not a matter of quantizing the whole track to a swing groove. It is instead the contrast of a slightly swung drum groove played against a straight part. Swing happens 'inside' the beat and implies a feel that dancers instinctively understand and makes them and listeners happy!

Once you lock onto it and understand it, and the only way to do that is to try and copy what you hear, you will find that you can instantly hear that a song has swung tracks or not. You can then hear that swing would have been nice to loosen up some songs, but perhaps the producer simply didn't know about how to use swing yet. Many don't.

Once you are aware of swing you can choose to add it or leave it out for its musical effect. But if you just leave it out automatically then you are missing an important part of modern popular music. If you are recording real musicians, it is 'built in' and you are using swing without realizing it. So if you try to lay over a MIDI groove on top of a real performance, you may need to set some swing on the MIDI groove to match what the real musicians played.

Playing with and varying the amount of swing is something I hear too and it makes the song breath and feel differently say from verse to chorus.
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