I have heard many times from many people (friends ,students , musicians) that they don’t use metronome to their recordings ,because they can’t play along with the metronome when they practice ,so it’s worthless to use it in their recordings. I have also heard that metronome doesn’t help you to focus on your performance ,because you are trying to focus on the metronome.
All these are correct but I want to tell you the main reasons why you should metronome in your recordings and getting better results. First of all I’d like to explain what is a metronome? Metronome is a tool ,with a very steady sound and a specific speed . This speed is measured in bpm(beats per minute) .You can use metronome while practicing on your instrument to develop your stability on your performance. The same happens in recordings. I will share with you two main reasons why you should use metronome in every single recording
Let’s say for example that you have recorded on your mobile phone or any other device an idea for a new song. You want to start recording it in your DAW. The first thing you can do is to start recording an instrument just having something like a guide track ,so you can continue with your instrumentation. Metronome will help you define the exact tempo ,the exact speed for recording your song. What do I mean by that? Let’s say you have recorded your song at 70bpm but you feel that is something missing. You feel that if you raise the speed 5-10 bpm , you will succeed better performance and your song will get more energy.
You can’t do this ,if you record your guide track without using a metronome .because you can’t simply compare the speed difference. The same thing happens while you practice or you perform live. If you can record yourself while playing without having a metronome (in this case a drummer) ,you will notice that the song’s tempo will be a little bit slower in some parts and faster in some other parts. That’s why I suggest you play and record with a metronome.
The second reason is we live in a digital domain and overdubbing is the most usual way of recording. If you record an instrument and have 4-5 takes from beginning till the end of the song ,then you can cut a part of the first take and paste it on the third take ,which is the best performance and you are going to use it for your final mix. You can both take a guitar part from the first verse and paste it to the second verse. All this process can’t be done if you don’t record with a metronome ,because some parts of your recordings will be slightly faster or slower.This is a time saver for your projects.
So if you are thinking how difficult is to play along with a metronome ,you’d better start today practicing on your songs and especially in recordings. Open a new project in your DAW and start recording with only one instrument. In Cubase all you have to do is to activate the metronome on the transport panel. You can also define the tempo of your song. If you are a Pro Tolls user ,then you have to create a click track.
Leave your comments below and tell me if you are using a metronome in your recordings and if this post was helpful.