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Recording Equipment - The Metronome

When a band makes up it's collective mind to book studio time and record a "few songs", what is the most crucial decision you must make? Where to fit all the groupies in the stretch limo? Should I be seen with Lindsay Lohan at the cd-release party? Don't get too ahead of yourself. The question is - Should I convince my band to play to a metronome (click track)?

Playing to a click is crucial in todays commercial music market. Unless your name is Sun-Ra or you play to ten thousand deodorant-less hippies, you are gonna have a ton of time delay effects and audio edits. In order to keep these edits and effects consistent with the song, you have to have consistency in timing within the song. We as humans tend to speed up on loud sections of a song and slow down in the softer parts. These type of tempo changes wreak havoc on today's audio editors and engineers. If you want to stay consistent, play to a Metronome (click). There are many metronomes on the market and the best ones to use are built into simple drum machines like the Alesis SR-16 Stereo Drum Machine.

Program a simple beat at the tempo you desire and you can write or practice all you want with or without the drummer. When your riffs are ready to go and your drummer has practiced to this same "practice beat", you are ready to track in the recording studio. With everyone in the band playing to one specific pattern set at a specific BPM, there can be consistent timing within the recording enabling more complex production techniques to be utilized.

Pro Tools 9: Create a Click Track - Tempo Matching