A guy who analysed music to look for click track use

There isn’t really a thread in this but we don’t have a Music thread for random stuff I suppose.

I actually found this while trying to delete through old Gmails I didn’t need - I’d sent it to a mate back in 2010.

Still quite interesting. Will interest @ma0sm I reckon. Not sure about anyone else. Maybe @thewarn


I found that interesting, thanks for posting.


The steady downward slope shows shorter beat durations over the course of the song (meaning a faster song). That’s something you just can’t do with a click track. Update – as a number of commenters have pointed out, yes you can do this with a click track.

This kind of undermines what’s getting said doesn’t it

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But most of the time you wouldn’t use a click in a song that did that, maybe?

This is really interesting. I wonder if there was a change when artists stopped recording to tape so much, too. I do a lot of recording with an analogue drum machine recorded to 4-track tape, to essentially get as organic an electronic drum beat as possible. Would love to run my tracks through his code to see if it’s closer to human than click.

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sometimes it’s better to use a click/have the song going against a metronome

sometimes it’s better to not

like literally every other debate relating to music and technology


yeah, i totally agree with that too


tend to use a click for bits that need to be really tight and not for bits that need to be loose :man_shrugging:

sorry theo, but *depends*

If I’m learning a new drum thing then I like to practise with a click track to get the timing right.

If I’m performing I like to not have a click track so there’s a bit more scope for flexibility in performance.

obviously there’s a reliance on click/tight/perfect everything nowadays which makes everything kinda robotic and shitty and strips all the personality out of some types of music, but that goes for everything innit


I always thought a lot of big rock albums now just sampled the drums and essentially programmed the rhythms as tightly as possible (like a drum machine, ala what MBV did to compensate for Colm knackering his arm). Not necessarily slagging that off as a practice (it definitely has its place), but it seems a bit point-missing to do that with rock bands who are ostensibly probably aspiring towards a more “live” sort of sound

I have used a click track in tracks that have tempo and swing changes and fake mistakes etc

So I don’t doubt his analysis is generally true but it isn’t 100% watertight

I’m fine with click tracks. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, getting a decent drum sound is always going to take up most of that. It’s so much more efficient to be able to drop in and out of takes, or just c+p a good bar over a bad one to fix something, rather than re-record the whole thing when the rest of the take was good.

I’d also argue against the idea that it’s less ‘natural’ to use a click. If you’re in a studio doing a drum take it’s (in my experience) pretty stressful and trying to do a whole song flawlessly isn’t going to feel very natural at all. Best to be able to relax with takes knowing that you can fix the odd fluff here and there.

Yeah they were doing this as far back as Def Leppard and co in the 80s (sampling all the drums into a Fairlight I think)

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really? well you could’ve fooled me! perfectly natural drum sound imo.

also think with a lot of those big 80s ballads they would re-record the snare by itself or re-amp snares so they could get that big badooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooof sound.

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I like that thing about the iconic gated reverb big snares having their origins in some accident that happened when Peter Gabriel was recording

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Yeah I’m obviously not against clicks I’m just into the technical nature of his investigation

I detest playing to a click. Firm believer that a big part of what makes a good drummer is their internal clock, and letting the music breathe.

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I guess live but I can’t imagine tracking anything without a click.

My timekeeping sucks massively though.