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Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

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Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby T.M.A. » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:32 am

Hey y'all! Back again!

I'm mapping out several songs and I'm finding myself bringing certain parts up or down 0.5 bpm or 1 bpm here and there... I mean, the song can work with just one bpm straight through, but I'm kind of digging the results right now...

Anybody get down like this??

Let me know!

Thanks!

-T
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:27 am

Yeah, I've done this a few times. It can be very effective, but do bear in mind that people are quite sensitive to tempo changes even if they don't realise it so I tend to ramp tempo changes in over time rather than abruptly change them.

The track "Power Play" (performed by Eddie and the Tide) on the soundtrack to "The Lost Boys" has a noticeable tempo increase on some editions of the CD in a couple of places (either to energise the chorus or for some mastering reason I guess).

I say 'some' because it's not as evident on the youtube version as it is on my copy here. It's particularly noticeable in the outro roundabout the 3:33 mark and sounds rather odd to me even though I love the album.

Whether by accident or design I wish whoever did it, hadn't!

That said, I wrote a track once that had a switch to a new theme which divides the bar in a different way and sounds (at least to some people, though not to me) as if it's sped up even though the tempo is constant (it's at the 6:06 mark here if you're interested). There is a deliberate abrupt tempo change in that track between 2:49 and 2:50 as well, at the juncture between the synthesizer and 'orchestral' sections.
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby Folderol » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:46 am

It's a useful skill to develop when you are trying to match a MIDI file to pre-recorded audio from someone who played live without a click track!
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:51 am

Folderol wrote:It's a useful skill to develop when you are trying to match a MIDI file to pre-recorded audio from someone who played live without a click track!

Ha, indeed. I have something akin to that problem right now actually. I've been meaning to create the sheet music for the track Martin but it was played 'live with feeling', has a constantly varying tempo and although I have the MIDI file for it it's an incomprehensible mess when auto-converted to sheet music.

I'm going to replay it from scratch with identical notes but rigid timing just to get a quantised version I can generate a score from because in my case that's the fastest way of achieving the objective :shh:
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby T.M.A. » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:01 am

Eddy Deegan wrote:It can be very effective, but do bear in mind that people are quite sensitive to tempo changes even if they don't realise it so I tend to ramp tempo changes in over time rather than abruptly change them...

Dude, I'll say that again! Crazy how much even .5 bpm makes! Even when you get into the higher numbers...

Definitely ramping things up slowly for sure... And, of course, going by what feels best for the vocals... I'm singing, so I'm just recording things over and over... haha! Of course debated just doing tempo adjustments post, but I'd like to get it right from the start...
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Mon Jan 27, 2020 3:04 am

T.M.A. wrote:
Eddy Deegan wrote:It can be very effective, but do bear in mind that people are quite sensitive to tempo changes even if they don't realise it so I tend to ramp tempo changes in over time rather than abruptly change them...

Dude, I'll say that again! Crazy how much even .5 bpm makes! Even when you get into the higher numbers...

Definitely ramping things up slowly for sure... And, of course, going by what feels best for the vocals... I'm singing, so I'm just recording things over and over... haha! Of course debated just doing tempo adjustments post, but I'd like to get it right from the start...

If you're recording vocals, it's definitely best to get it right from the start. I do a little bit of EDM now and again and I quantise the heck out of it, but for my usual stuff I push and pull a lot against the beat to avoid sounding monotonous and robotic .

Then again, I'm primarily a pianist so in my book it's all about the 'feel', man :tongue:
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby T.M.A. » Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:31 am

[/quote]
If you're recording vocals, it's definitely best to get it right from the start. I do a little bit of EDM now and again and I quantise the heck out of it, but for my usual stuff I push and pull a lot against the beat to avoid sounding monotonous and robotic .[/quote]

Dude, yeah. I'm noticing the more time I spend singing these songs that there is A LOT one can do just playing off of the same BPM. Very easy to over do it with the incremental changes click-wise...
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:48 pm

Live it's common to push the tempo up a little during choruses to general more excitement. Errol Brown used to sing slightly sharp to achieve a similar effect (which I hated at the time).
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby T.M.A. » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:21 am

Sam Spoons wrote:Live it's common to push the tempo up a little during choruses to general more excitement. Errol Brown used to sing slightly sharp to achieve a similar effect (which I hated at the time).

Yeah, for sure. I'm definitely finding that one can over-do it with the click, however. Trying to control/ program every little 0.1 etc...

I'm discovering that I actually like my music a little "blocky" if that makes any sense. Like, I'm good with large sections of the same bpm. Only change it when necessary, really...
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby shufflebeat » Wed Jan 29, 2020 2:24 am

Semi related:

I'm doing some rough rehearsal recordings for some gigs coming up. My MO is to record the music (Irish trad dance music) without a click then tempo map the result to develop the arrangement.

What I'm finding is that the two other people I'm working with have an uncanny tempo awareness. "Freehand" recordings tend to fall on significant numbers (90bpm and 105bpm are common) and they stay pretty much spot on for a whole 3-4min piece.

I've known people with perfect pitch but this is perfect tempo awareness which is quite freaky to observe.
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby paul tha other » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:36 pm

i dont mind when the tempo goes up...when the tempo goes down ,it actually makes me feel sick..it reminds me of sea sickness
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Re: Incremental bpm changes when recording...?

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:29 am

A few years back a got off of recording with a click and learned instead how to record the live rythm section.

Then I make a tempo map from the drummer and create a tick-based session in Protools using that human generated tempo as the 'click'. I'll add a wood block on a groove, like a clave to generate a musical 'click' for a guide.

Now I can add MIDI parts and bring in audio from other sources and align it with the flexible tempo grid.

I don't know how to do this outside of Protools, but I end up with a tick based, meter based groove that sort of gives me this elastic tempo grid to lock onto.

Took me a long time to get good at this so I can do it quickly and lay down real jazz that way. It feels natural and real to me. Especially if the drummer is GOOD!

I never use a rigid click any more. Unless I want that mechanical feel which is sometimes cool.
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