Recording with a click


New member
Just wanted to know your opinions on whether to record with a click track/metronome or not. Do you let the music breathe or keep it within the click?


New member
I insist on recording with a click. Some bands can get away with it, but I like a good pulse. I like to play around it at times so it's not too mechanical, by pushing, or pulling (Denny Carmassi does this), but your still on track. I generally request that I record my parts with just a guitarist for referrence, and the click, so I'm not fighting anyone elses "bad timing".

What's good for one doesn't always work for others, but this has worked best for me, and I never hear any complaints from the engineers.

I generally find that hardcore insulters of the click are ones who can't play with them very well (I was one at one time :wink: ), but once you continually rehearse with one, it's not an issue.


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I can go either way. Depends on the track I suppose. Some tracks you really need to have that "safety net" but others like to breathe.

I did a session where the tune had click but it just got in the way of the mood and feeling. You can hear that track here

Here's another track that the click would have taken away from the mood:

And finally, a track that had click running throughout- the click served to "shore up" the center point of the groove.

The secret to keeping great time I've found is to listen to the vocalist. If they can sing comfortably and breathe between phrases then your job is done. Play the song. The rest takes care of itself!

Jack Ruby

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I think when trying to determine whether or not to use a click can be decided on a couple of different things.
A. What style of music is it? If it's rock, or funk, or even country-western, I think the click is very important. When I record I like no other tracking done, or atleast in my mix for my headphones. Just me and the click. Other instrumentation is just a pain. There is no sense in being given a click, and then having to fight another musician who can't play on time. I just assume, go in there, record my tracks and be done. If I mess up, than it's my mistake and nothing else outside the realm of me, is slowing me down.
If it's Jazz, I think the click is almost unneccessary. Jazz needs a loose feel. It needs tempo changes. It needs those elements to create that specific mood.
B. Is this a "live" recording? When I say "live" I just mean, is everyone playing and recording at the same time? Is this necessary for the recording to work? If it is, I think that live feel is almost better, so long as the band play ands feels each other, and are pretty tight about it. Some great bands of the past have done this, and their records are amazing.


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Everybody should have big ears meaning listen! its ok to speed up and slow down as long as everyone follows together.


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i would have to say in my opinion...this really depends on the player.i personally find myself listening to the click more so than feeling the music like i want.
if the band is solid then the pulse of the song is implied so you can feel exactly where to lay in the pocket.i want the pocket of the song to feel as natural as possible.i'm not a fan of a click ....under a normal circumstance.


New member
I use a click pretty exclusivly, I think my band has one song we don't do with a click, mainly because it has an odd time that would need to be subdivided at a 16th note level @200 BPM and it gets really ridgid sounding. I am pretty good at pushing and pulling the beat when needed, but with the technical stuff we do it's best to be right on top of the beat.


New member
are there any pro studio situations these days that don't involve playing to a click? I thought it was pretty much standard practice now in the real world.

(other than the above-mentioned circumstances- I mean. Like when you want a really loose feel or something)


New member
when i recorded with the allmon brothers bass player working on his solo project a click was the last thing on their that level you are expected to have good time.
if you speed a groove up it changes the feel and vice versa.
the feel of the song is the most important thing there is no matter what the's still has to feel good to listen to.i've heard recordings where it sounds like the band was fighting to stay with the click and the feel was just not there.we don't hear the click on the radio.

now loops are used more and more even i use them on drum&bass stuff as well as dub-hip hop. the difference in that is that it is an actual piece of the music that helps the overall vibe in the feel of the song so it just feels more natural than a loud cowbell sound hacking away ,the loop has dynamics and changes. there is no right or wrong again i would have to say it's up to the band / musician.


New member
Playing to a click makes post production/adding in additional trakcs, fixing mistakes, a whole lot easier, especially when bands are on a small budget and cant take the time to replay the entire song to get one part right. Also, if parts are being recorded at different studios and married together, it makes the engineers life a lot easier as well.


New member
Record with a click. Everyone will love you.

Learn to record sans click, it will solve problems that arise.

You can do whatever you want, but in the cut throat world of studio gigs, I have never met a producer who didn't want a click underneath the track.

When I did a session for the LA Riot series, we recorded to several different click tempos. The CD produced then was organized by style and tempos. It was a tool for those who needed royalty-free drum tracks.

Learn to rock in both ways. Be a good jedi.


New member
As I said before,

NWCrusher":vfi97n98 said:
I generally find that hardcore insulters of the click are ones who can't play with them very well (I was one at one time :wink: )

The ol' excuse of the music being sterile is an excuse. If you know what your doing with a click in the studio, your in a win win situation. Once you've got the click down, you'll never want to go back to the "clicks suck" mentallity.


New member
quote "The ol' excuse of the music being sterile is an excuse. If you know what your doing with a click in the studio, your in a win win situation. Once you've got the click down, you'll never want to go back to the "clicks suck" mentallity."

i do agree with you on the win win situation.however if you have 3 guys with outstanding time and 2 lacking a little then the click is your knock. but some just don't want to hear it.don't need too.
thats not saying the reason they don't want to hear is because "they don't know what to do with it." ??????
that might have been your revelation but not for all.people are different different strokes for defferent folks what works for some don't work for others the day i accepted that i became open to a vast community of knowledge.the very people that drove me musically taught me more than my favorites.medicine taste like dung but makes you well.we were all taught differently learn differently.some could say that using a click is a a way their right but who's really right or wrong under the vast amount of circumstaces in the world of vast styles of just is what it is.
good or bad-but to whose ears? posted with respect to the one i quoted-no knock.


New member
I think click tracks are a must in most situations. I can think of some situations and styles where it may be too restrictive, However, in almost all instances they are necessary. Pro drummers use them all the time.
What I have done every time i have gone in the studio is have a Guitarist record a scratch track to the metronome and then I would record to that with a light metronome for reference.



New member
We always play to a click, whether we are recording or doing a gig. We use a sequencer live and so always have the click going. I love it and almost feel naked without it.