Click tracks have been an issue among musicians, producers and sound engineers quite controversial!
Should the songs be accurate as Math?
Are click tracks killing the music organics?
Do only really overproduced artists use them? Or, are they just like vegetables – really useful, healthy and important but totally bland?
If you’re new to this, a click track is an electronic metronome helping artists to keep time while recording their instruments. The click track lines up with the timing grid in your recording software. It helps you see very clearly if the musicians are playing on time.
Recording to a click track can be very helpful! It will help a lot the producer on the post-production editing and overdubbing. If you need to adjust the timing, a click track helps locate where the notes aren’t aligning together on the grid. Click tracks can rescue you from having to spend more time and money on re-recording tracks if you make a lot of mistakes.
Having said that, recording to a click track can seriously kill the mood and natural feeling on that “word” attack time. Nothing in life, art or music is perfect, so small deviations in tempo shouldn’t really cause you too much grief, or do they?
If you have good musicians who practice, listen to each other and generally make amazing music together, you won’t be relying on a click track to fix up timing mistakes later on! 🙂
Vocals can be painful to record to a click track and we see that sometimes so much is lost in inexperienced singers, like the natural release of that word that guides you beyond the precise and correct tempo, however we find even more loss while recording to a click track on guitars and drums.
As said, small deviations in tempo are natural to the human ear and feels good so many times. Sometimes while recording drums and guitars, we found the lack of natural feeling, enjoying that riff or splash attack entering on the wrong timing, which is so tiny, but feels so good to listen to.