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SYNC : Why templates should have a count in clic

posted on #1
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Collaborating online is very fun and opens so many doors ! A whole new world so to speak :) ... Now this collaboration has to be made easy in every way right ?

Aligning tracks to a perfect sync is one of those touchy subject that has to be addressed by anyone willing to collect stems (separate solo tracks) and mix them all for a nice and cool result ;) ... and believe me it can be this kind of nightmare if you don't have a reference to sync to ! It could even be the "impossible" thing to do :/ which is pretty much frustrating to say the least !

Including a count in clic in a template is a convenient way to deal with this sync issue ! Now let's see why ;)

This clic (ideally an electronic generated clic) not only indicates the tempo (which is already a nice thing) but also can be used as a sync ref for any stem addition that might include the clic as well ! The idea is to include the count in clic in the stem of course !! It is quite easy to do and is probably your best bet that your track will be aligned exactly where you meant it to be when you recorded, be it vocals or any instrument !

Because online collaboration involve so many different hardware, software platforms and working habitudes, there's no way to describe how to do this properly ... The idea is to bounce (render) your solo track with the count in clic still playing too. It needs to be strictly identical to what is embedded in the template you downloaded, and i don't mean the sound only ! As a time sync reference it absolutely needs to be exact as for its position : that means don't move it manually ;)

A way to handle this could be : duplicate the template's track in your software and crop it so only the count in remains ... once you're ready to bounce your addition mute the template's track and leave the duplicated track on : your addition will be rendered and the count in clic will also play ! Your solo addition can now be included as an HD file in your remix and you won't have to worry about the sync ! ;)

Playing an instrument or singing has so many personal elements : it's very complex ! The timing is a major component of a musician personality ... Positioning a stem in the right place easily is not only a way to avoid sync'ing nightmares, it's also RESPECTING musicians : their playing, their efforts, their personality !
Edited by OliVBee on 27-04-2016 16:06
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #2
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Excellent advice Oli. I'm guilty of not adding a click to a template which doesn't already have one! Plus I've done a few where I've forgotten the click track hoping that everyone knows it'll line up correctly in their DAW!

99% of my recordings involve taking the download(s) and getting the tempo, etc., all set correctly in my DAW and then the stems lined up with it. As you say, if there is a click present, it makes this a *lot* easier. Many templates don't line up 'from bar 1' and I have to shuffle the waveforms about until they line up with the metronome. Remembering to drag everything over to bar one after I'm happy with the mix so my upload aligns with the others is something I don't always remember how to do! I will try to!
Edited by mpointon on 27-04-2016 15:25
posted on #3
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Thanks for this post OliVBee... whenever I upload a naked a vocal I will surely take your advise with me.. Thumbs up!
"You'll Stumble In My Footsteps" - Depeche Mode
"I always listen to what people are not saying"
posted on #4
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Very cool elaboration and tips ... gracias!
posted on #5
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I encountered those nightmare moments a few times!
I always do the workarround you mentioned from that time on!

Thanks OliVBee!
posted on #6
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Very good advice Oli. Something I will try to heed to in future HD adds.
posted on #7
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This is one feature on Cubase 8 that I miss (or could not find), I can't add a short clicktrack like I did on Audacity. Therefore I am adding some rimshots or drums, but a simple click would have been nice. Unless someone here knows how to do it on cubase??
posted on #8
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what Ive done on GB is record a click with a high hat hit, using a MIDI patch. I can adjust the tempo, time etc... I just use it over and over...
rp3 (Raymond)
posted on #9
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a hi-hat hit or a rim is better than nothing for sure but you can't beat the accuracy of an electronic generated sound ! mostly because of its sinusoidal wave shape ! once your hi-hat sound has been encoded in a format whatever it is you can't be sure that its wave shape will remain the same and that's almost always the case : it will change !! hard to recognize and align *very accurately* with your original shape ...

I'd like to add a little work around here ... in case you're adding to a template that doesn't have a clic or a sync ref of some kind ... don't worry that doesn't mean your addition will have to be aligned empirically ! (phew !). Unless your add starts right on the start of the template you could always consider the template itself as a sync ref and do the exact same routine with a part of the sound of the template just like if it was a clic ... way not ideal but believe me its so much better than nothing !!!
If your add starts right on the first bar then maybe there's a chance you have a blank space somewhere ? be it in the middle of the song or at the end or anywhere ? use it to include a time sync to the template ;)
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #10
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i have some MusicMaker-sync probs these days, when dragging a jam.mp3 into a new project. milliseconds of noise right at the beginning, additional. so i need to figure out positions manually, but still don't know if it's correct and why it happens anyway. seems random. most of mp3's and wav's are good, only Wikijams go crazy and some of my own adds
____
a nonsync & bpmless jam is not easy to handle, but allows more interpretations sometimes. if it's about Metal, solo guitars + bass f.ex. and allows surprising additions, if you play drums in a different way than expected
when i add software-drum ideas i break out of obvious synch sometimes, to share different vibes at once. i don't know if listeners feel the same rhythm like i do, if they have a far different interpretation of what i am trying to share, but off-sync adds can be fun compliments. or waste :D

OliVBee wrote:
Positioning a stem in the right place easily is not only a way to avoid sync'ing nightmares, it's also RESPECTING musicians : their playing, their efforts, their personality !


sharing an addition with acceptable volumes is more important, to me, difficult. to play along and not to dominate, i have to listen many times before sharing. but yes, a clicstart is very helpful, i move the tracks very often to a new bar to be in sync & bpm, or to figure one out lol, and moving back to original when done
posted on #11
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kompoz has a set of sync tones you can download for free: [url=http://www.kompoz.com/music/helpcenter/sync-tone]http://www.kompoz.com/music/helpcenter/sync-tone[/url]
posted on #12
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Can someone maybe put into different words what I would need to do here? I'm having trouble understanding the issue a bit. When I download files, I drag them to the far left in my DAW. Then when I record alongside that, and save the single file, it will line up for other people if they download both, as long as they drag both files all the way to the left.

What would cause my file and the stem above me to not be synched? I don't understand where the problem occurs. Could someone explain further? I'd be happy to add clicks if it helps other people. I do want to understand better though because i've never had any issues getting things to line up from single file downloads
Edited by Girard on 30-05-2016 10:31
posted on #13
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I grabbed one. You can [url=https://www.dropbox.com/s/uxlnhfjxbj6ahcu/SyncTone-raf-Classic_Sync_Tone.wav?dl=0]download it[/url] from my dropbox.
posted on #14
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parity bits is the very first reason why a solo track could eventually not be in perfect sync even if aligned on the left (from the project start in your DAW) ... and then again the starting export point from the template author might not be the first beat of the first bar ? or maybe the contributor of a solo track might have left blank bars at the start because that's the way he/she is used to work ? or maybe just because of different software ... there are so many reasons it's just not possible to go through all of them ...
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #15
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So all I have to do is put a click track in there ahead of a drum track which I want to add to, then add the click to my bass only track as well before I start recording??? Or put it at the end? Maybe like this?

1>Put Click track at end of template I want to add to if it doesn't have a click track

2>record my addition

3>put click track at end of my addition, lining it up to the click I append to the template?

is that correct?

Or should I use the click at beginning? If I use click at beginning, i'll want to use a "3rd track lane" in the DAW so I don't record over it. It will still appear in the mixdown though. In other words when I record I like to move template over to the right about 4 seconds, giving me time to click record, and get ready to play.

Or do I just put a click track at beginning of template and my "recording lane", then move template over from click track about 4 seconds for more lead in time? That would create a click track followed by another 4 second pause.

My click track would get recorded over at that time unless I put it on a 3rd "lane" in the DAW, but the mixdown would still capture it. Does that sound right?
Edited by Girard on 01-06-2016 00:18
posted on #16
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use 4/4 clicstart, mute it for mixdown, and leave a note in description?
i worked on many projects, where the jam has a straight nonsync. sometimes very weird and hard to find matching rhythms. i thought about to fix all of them with a 4/4 mute intro, but went back to original
posted on #17
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it doesnt really make sense to try to add a sync when a template doesn't have one ! use a part of the template you're not playing on as a sync tone (intro fill or anywhere your own add would be tacet) ... and don't move it manually !
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #18
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Finally the question was open. The sync is critical in registration that makes the difference between a good recording and poor. In this situation of course it is very complex to manage, too many different types of audio exports and import too many different programs, not to mention the use of audio formats that degrade both the sound and the time line. years ago I raised the issue of the importance of using a good quality audio, MP3 or other, tired ears and makes us not improve or grow. For this I was accused of being too critical of Wikiloop platform ... simply because I knew that every audio format conversion would bring inevitable timing problems. I personally recommend the manager to Wikiloop to use only for the recordings of the "good" a single standard audio resolution Wav Wave Aif 48KHz or 44.1KHz 16 or 24 bits with the option to add in addition to the sound alone time track same resolution. This will not solve every detail , because if we do not possess type-specific programs audio import, when we import the track inevitably create timing errors , surely we have created the procedure to improve in the online recording sessions . Best Regards
posted on #19
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I like OliVbee latest comment in this thread. A lot of times I don't play to any click track
so if I was to put a click in front of what I played it really wouldn't be a good preparation for adding Your track. Here is what I thought OliV was saying.

MAKE two tracks of the file you have downloaded. Move one further down the timeline---far enough down that you think you could start getting the "feel" of what you'll play.
Then trim the furthest left track to end where the other track(you moved in the timeline to the right) "playing' BEGINS. You should be able to play when it starts with some confidence.

Of Course you'll need to pick the original track, select the loop function of that track, and render file, and if you'll want to solo, mute the original track, yet keep it on loop function, then render out your solo track. It will line up every time.
Edited by GemmyF on 02-09-2016 17:59
posted on #20
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good info here enjoyed reading it. Has enlightened me on the importance of beginning a track with a click of some sort. Thanks Oli for the info
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