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BrutalizerUtilizerOfTheShadows
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:59 am
Posts: 708
Location: In the Cold Winds of Nowhere
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:57 pm 
 

I wanted to discuss some ways that other musicians use to find the BPM of a song. My band mostly writes by jamming, our guitarist comes up with the basic structure of a song and we all jam it out together and usually write that way, although we are doing more and more independent work as time goes on. We did not use a click-track for our first release, which was not a problem in the beginning, but made things exceedingly difficult as the project continued. We are getting ready to enter the studio again soon and will be using a click all the way through this time. I have already found the BPM of three of our songs using tempo tap, a website where you literally just tap the spacebar to the down-beat of a song and it calculates the tempo for you. This has worked for some of our more simple stuff with consistent tempos throughout the whole song, but for some of the longer songs that feature frequent tempo-changes, I'm not sure it's going to cut it.

What suggestions do you have, and what has worked for you?
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Element_man
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:37 am
Posts: 891
Location: Vancouver, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:09 pm 
 

Keep using the "TAP" feature. You can get apps on your phone for it. For mapping tempos, it would be worth transcribing the song in guitar pro and mapping out the tempo changes there. That way you'll know how many measures each section lasts for. When it comes time to give a tempo map to your engineer, you can export the guitar pro file as a midi file which will contain the tempo information.

As far as finding BPMs go, using the tap function and adjusting as needed is pretty much it. I use a metronome app on my phone that has the tap thing and I think it cost me like 3 bucks. I'm sure there's a free option out there too.
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thrashinbatman
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 848
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:36 pm 
 

Element_man wrote:
Keep using the "TAP" feature. You can get apps on your phone for it. For mapping tempos, it would be worth transcribing the song in guitar pro and mapping out the tempo changes there. That way you'll know how many measures each section lasts for. When it comes time to give a tempo map to your engineer, you can export the guitar pro file as a midi file which will contain the tempo information.

As far as finding BPMs go, using the tap function and adjusting as needed is pretty much it. I use a metronome app on my phone that has the tap thing and I think it cost me like 3 bucks. I'm sure there's a free option out there too.

^^^^^^^^^

I don't think there will ever be a day where I don't recommend bands map out songs in GuitarPro. It's immensely useful, and if you can't afford it, TuxGuitar is a great freeware alternative. Map it out, and whenever you think there's a tempo change, tap it out and input it into GP. It'll speed up your pre-production process by multitudes, and make you as well as your engineer happier.

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BrutalizerUtilizerOfTheShadows
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:59 am
Posts: 708
Location: In the Cold Winds of Nowhere
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:52 pm 
 

Thanks for the help guys. I'm pretty sure that my bassist uses guitar pro, or a similar program, so I will talk to him about the pre-mapping process. Seems like it will be way more efficient to do it this way instead of essentially going in blind.
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Element_man
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 2:37 am
Posts: 891
Location: Vancouver, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:38 pm 
 

As a follow-up to this, I would highly recommend that your band (or at least your drummer) practice the songs to a metronome or pre-made tempo map both at home and live in rehearsal so that you know exactly what the tempos will feel like when they are dialed in. You could pipe your laptop (or a phone with an audio file of the click track) through your PA system and have the whole band try to play along or you could take the guitar pro file or audio file of your click track and have your drummer play along using headphones. This is how my band does it. If you work on your songs for about 2 weeks in rehearsal before going to the studio then you'll be in good shape.
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BrutalizerUtilizerOfTheShadows
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:59 am
Posts: 708
Location: In the Cold Winds of Nowhere
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:59 pm 
 

Thanks for the advice. I am the drummer and that is exactly what I plan on doing. I have already been practicing the songs that I know the BPM for for some time on my practice pad to a metronome on my phone. Doing it through the PA at full volume with everyone else will be the next step, to make sure that everyone is comfortable with the tempos that I found, and we will adjust them as necessary. The track map in guitar pro will be even better for us to have, because it can be used for independent practice as well as by our producer. The first album we did was a hell of learning experience, and with my plans, I think we will go into it a lot more professional than last time. It will be more work but it will be so worth it in the long run.
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EzraBlumenfeld
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:50 pm
Posts: 152
Location: Land of No Return
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:59 pm 
 

Nowadays, many newer metronomes come with a "tap" feature built into them. This can be extremely useful, since metronomes can fit in a case or gig bag, whereas a laptop can be cumbersome to lug around with you. I would also recommend tabbing your songs on TuxGuitar (or GuitarPro if you can afford it) and uploading the songs to Songsterr, a tab website that your band could use to share the tabs online. The tabs are copyrighted, so you won't have your music stolen.
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Ebheron
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:28 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:38 pm 
 

You want to see an audio engineer get really happy? Give him the tempo map already exported in MIDI.

I'm doing the engineering for a 12 track instrumental guitar album and the guy gave me all the tempo maps with all the synths already exported and properly quantized, it saved myself so much time that I gave him a big discount!

So yeah do your tempo maps and good things might happen!
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EzraBlumenfeld
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:50 pm
Posts: 152
Location: Land of No Return
PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:25 am 
 

Ebheron wrote:
You want to see an audio engineer get really happy? Give him the tempo map already exported in MIDI.

I'm doing the engineering for a 12 track instrumental guitar album and the guy gave me all the tempo maps with all the synths already exported and properly quantized, it saved myself so much time that I gave him a big discount!

So yeah do your tempo maps and good things might happen!


This also applies to home recording. Making the maps yourself is an important part, unless you want your music to sound sloppy.
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MisanthropicEvil wrote:
This album reeled me in with it's eye-catching album cover but vomited a whole load of musical diarrhea in my face as soon as I started listening! I would not even use this album to wipe my butt.


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CloggedUrethra
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 4:30 am
Posts: 467
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:53 pm 
 

Recording without a click track doesn't necessarily mean it will sound sloppy. For the other band I'm in, we don't use a click track when we record or practice together and we're tight. We do tab out the songs in Power Tab, but we only use those files for practicing when we aren't together.

For finding the exact BPM of a song I drag the song into reaper, line it up with the time markers, and keep changing the tempo until the beats sync up (keeping in mind the exact tempo will vary if the song wasn't recorded with a click track).

The only thing I don't like about Guitar Pro (at least in gp5) is that it automatically adds the vertical bar lines at the end of a measure based on the time signature, so you have to keep counting out your riffs if you have a lot of timing changes. In Power Tab 1.7 (not the unofficial 2.0 version) you have to manually add the vertical bar lines, so what I do is just leave the time signature at 4/4 for the whole song and put the vertical bar lines wherever I want. The tab won't look correct, but it plays back correctly and takes less time to transcribe.
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