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BPMs for recording...Singers? Taking songs faster or slower...

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Re: BPMs for recording...Singers? Taking songs faster or slower...

Postby Wonks » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:07 pm

Maybe just try programming up some basic drum rhythms first and then sing along to those. You may find it easier than just using a click. If you are using a tempo map for the song, then you may find the tempo changes easier with drums rather than a click.
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Re: BPMs for recording...Singers? Taking songs faster or slower...

Postby T.M.A. » Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:05 pm

Wonks wrote:Maybe just try programming up some basic drum rhythms first and then sing along to those. You may find it easier than just using a click. If you are using a tempo map for the song, then you may find the tempo changes easier with drums rather than a click.

Yep, yep -That is definitely a frist class suggestion! Really am noticing how much I go off of the drums as a vocalist recently. They almost fill in parts of the vocals in way -So you don't have to work so hard as a vocalist... The bass too. You really notice when they're not there...

I've never programmed drums before and have always struggled with the technological side of recording music. I actually hired a guy and programmed nice midi drums to the whole album, but they were done at the wrong tempos, so my aim was to get these songs at the right tempos first, then tell the person I was working working with the correct tempos and then he could send the me the midi drums with the right tempos...

Open to suggestions for easy ways to program drums myself. I really suck at this kind of stuff... My rig is just roland quad capture with an sm57 straight into Audacity. Which is actually very functional for me... I like Audacity a lot and am familiar with it...

The songs are getting a lot easier to pin down the more time I spend with them. The next thing that I'm going to try is bumping up certain parts of the songs 1-2 bpms. I suspect this will make a huge difference in the feel of things. I've read a lot of producers do this (speed up the chorus just a hair or whatever...) and I'm noticing that certain parts of the song I like at one tempo and certain parts I like just a notch faster or slower. I'm recording each song at 3 or 4 different tempos and we'll see what I don't discover with a little cutting and splicing...

Thank you to all!

-T
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Re: BPMs for recording...Singers? Taking songs faster or slower...

Postby JohnGrind » Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:45 am

This is why I always wait to record my vocals after the full foundation has been laid. Guitar and drums at least, preferably bass too. I like to get most of the instrumentation done and then do the vocal track. It is much easier (to me) than doing vocals first before even the drums (which are what really create the movement of the song) and then having to ask fuss with it.

Get at least a basic template for the song down with guitar and drums or keyboard and drums, whatever you are using, and then do a vocal scratch track over the whole thing in one take. You'll very quickly get a feel for what it should sound like. Then you can go back and edit it, sing parts over, etc. But having the instruments all done first will make your job much easier. Thats why the vocalist is usually the last person to come in to the studio to lay down his part.
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Re: BPMs for recording...Singers? Taking songs faster or slower...

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:47 am

James Perrett wrote:Record it without a click to start with and then try matching the tempo to the recording. You can then either re-record with the click or just work to the original recording.

This is my favourite way to decide. There is one lady I play with who is very fussy about tempo and, to be fair, once she's decided on the right one I can almost set the click to whatever she's doing and it won't need tweaking for about 16-24 bars. I'm sure i's common for great players but to me it's a superpower. I tempo map it anyway just to make navigating and editing more streamlined.

For the rest of us mortals it takes a few runs through to find the proper bounce and, as CS70 says, it will usually develop with familiarity although in my experience it's as often to slow down rather than speed up. That could be genre dependent but probably more likely an age thing.
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Re: BPMs for recording...Singers? Taking songs faster or slower...

Postby anna-marie music » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:51 pm

CS70 wrote:Keep in mind a few things:

1. What is comfortable now is gonna be too slow later. Especially with singing, muscle memory applies to breathing, throat, pronounciation and mouth shape and it'll get easier with time. If you can, wait until you have the entire song well rehearsed to decide the tempo of the recording.

Incidentally, that's why many times when you go to a live show the songs are faster than the recordings. :)

2. Keep in mind that timing depends also on the room you're singing/playing. Especially if it's a reverberant space, the "right" feel depends on when the sound gets back to your ears (even more so if you're talking a few BPM of difference). Especially for drums this is a big factor - drummers adapt to the room reflections without even thinking, so try to practice in the same room where you'll record.

3. If you can't/don't want to rehearse the song so much that it becomes natural before recording it (it is a strategy, even if often is employed when the material is written by others than the singer), you may record the various parts in bits and pieces. I'm not a big fan of the technique but it can be useful at times.

4. Finally, don't sweat it too much. Variations of a few BPMs among different performances are normal for the reasons above - and even within a song it's usually cool to accelerate a little for the more exciting parts - the good bands are the ones which get back down to the original tempo for the verses!

The reason for which it feels it makes a big difference now is most likely because you don't yet have the song pinned down.

I completely agree with everything mentioned here :)
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Re: BPMs for recording...Singers? Taking songs faster or slower...

Postby T.M.A. » Wed Oct 28, 2020 4:19 pm

Hey everyone. It's been a while and I just wanted to come back with my experience...

So far, what has actually worked is to take the songs a good bit slower than i would live. Maybe this is because I have not incorporated the drums yet, but really, making sure that the songs have enough room to breathe has come to matter to me a lot as the listener -especially, I suppose, because the album is intended to be listened to as a whole...

A big thing that pushed me towards taking things slower was getting the bass involved.

I first played the songs all live without a click and then beat mapped those exact tempos, but that was just way too fast for the recording. Not sure why that phenomenon is -Playing things significantly faster when live, but it just is...

Almost done with this process. Thank the Lord.

I just hope that I won't want to take things faster once the drums get involved. Ha! that would suck... i take a lot of cues from the drums as a vocalist and even if the drums are going fast, somehow they kind of fill in the words, so i can adapt, but I think what I finding out works better for the songs as a whole, is for the music to kind of "come to the vocals" rather than trying to chase the song with the vocals. Your mileage may vary. I dunno...

The biggest difference in some areas is around 5-7%. Mostly it's around 2% difference...

Thanks!

-T
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Re: BPMs for recording...Singers? Taking songs faster or slower...

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Oct 28, 2020 5:11 pm

Most live players are well aware of the phenomena and accept that songs are usually faster live. I guess it's down to the excitement of live performance and, maybe, the more stripped back arrangements?
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Re: BPMs for recording...Singers? Taking songs faster or slower...

Postby T.M.A. » Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:24 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Most live players are well aware of the phenomena and accept that songs are usually faster live. I guess it's down to the excitement of live performance and, maybe, the more stripped back arrangements?

Yeah, man... I' not sure! Haha!

Interesting that when I sang over the guitar track played live it felt fine, but then I tried to record it to a click track at that same tempo and no way... too fast!

What I'm actually finding is that I'll record at a certain tempo and I'll be like "Oh, no. This is way too slow..." But then when I add vocals and listen back it's fine! Especially when you add bass and a little bit of compression... I always think it's gonna be to slow, but it's fine...

Definitely trending towards taking record songs slower. Definitely...

Very interesting phenomena!

-T
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