" Humanising " the groove

A real musician ( with cred :sunglasses: :wink: ) demonstrates pushing and pulling the beat without a silicon chip :open_mouth:

12min 36sec in ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaa1axJ63Qg&list=FLf8G3GyjRaby9-yPhptUDLA&index=22&feature=plpp_video

Part2 ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sy_JdE_KVy8&list=FLf8G3GyjRaby9-yPhptUDLA&index=21&feature=plpp_video

Cool. Sound’s a bit sucky.

Caught this on the same page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzXgL9V8Qm0&feature=related :laughing:

:laughing: :laughing:

So no comments on the device he mentions where you can get an extra lift in the chorus by slightly dragging in the the verses and slightly pushing in the chorus . :neutral_face: Oh well , …

Yes I’m completely with you Steve . It is human to leave the mistakes in . ( Sorry if that sounds sarcastic , I have Aspergers :wink: ) When you say elivator do you mean lift ?
It confuses me when Texans talk about a flat tire groove , I get the first impression of something exhausted and laid-back . :laughing:

The one-spot, just behind the beat “feel” or “groove” is a MYTH. There’s much more to it than that. Ask to go see an orchestra rehearsal one time. You might see them discussing the feel for a couple of days.

Stress or accenting is a much easier and more effective approach. Get a midi drummer (because the signal is easier to see) to record some song parts and you’ll see that the (leaving the timing or groove out of it for now) accents and changes in volume, aside from being rather less than you’d think, are rather less extreme than you might think. You’ll find it’s more to do with the “clustering” and the odd spike of notes that makes all the difference.

I wonder if we could persuade surfer’s neighbour to comment on this, he was there ; http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/paul_simon/ace_in_the_hole.html

"Some people say music that’s their ace in
the hole
Just your ordinary rhythm and blues
Your basic rock and roll
You can sit on the top of the beat
You can lean on the side of the beat
You can hang from the bottom of the beat
But you gotta admit that the music is sweet "


  • Just tryin’ to get a discussion going :slight_smile:

In the UK, elevators are called “lifts”. :wink:

NorthWoodMediaWorks -

In the UK, elevators are called “lifts”

…and aren’t “lifts” shoes in the US? George Bernard Shaw was right - “two nations divided by a common language” :slight_smile:

There is an example of a real drummer demonstrating the myth at 4:20 in this video ;
( Section 3 , advanced technique :slight_smile: )

I think this drummer shows things the best.


:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

No, he’s not. He’s playing a drum excercise to a CLICK. When you play MUSIC you don’t do this ALONE. The whole band does it. “FEEL” is a GROUP working together.
Don’t watch a guy playing (excellently though he does) excercises. Go see an orchestra take quite some time to work it out at rehearsals (some orchestras do allow paid audiences at rehearsals). It’s nothing that you can do in 5 minutes on a computer.
I’ve played drums a Loooooong time. I know what I’m on about. I can get a good feel even using Cubase but it takes time to do but I don’t have to jump thru those “push the beat pull the beat” nonsense hoops. Yes, the ODD beat may move but the practised musician does the right one in the right place, maybe only once in the whole song, can make it feel like all the way thru and the “movement” if there is any is way more subtle than that video.
Accenting the right places is easier and much more effective and you don’t have to move any beats around the time.

THIS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJZHWMD6N3k&feature=related is “feel”. Enjoy.

Aloha and right on Conman.

I totally agree.
And IMHO this is true for all styles music.

Anyway if you do end up pushing and pulling the beat around someone like me will come along and straighten it all out anyway :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:


But of course if recording a band from the ground up, then over dubbing is best achieved with an in time drum track.
I’m talking real drums by the way, which even with the best efforts of modern production will always contain some slack between the components.

On the other hand if recording a band performance as a “unit” then the “tightness” or otherwise between the musicians is of major importance and a drift of a few BPM can be tolerated as long as everyone is together.

At the end of the day it’s the listener/audience that decides whether they like it or not!

Humanizing is achieved through practicing and rehearsal? :confused:

Yep! :sunglasses:

re: The last four posts or so. About right. You can do the “feel” job in Cubase and it can take a lot of time and knowhow while some jobs take minimal adjustment. Sometimes that depends on the skill of the arrangement. I know from my own composing that the feel of the whole song can depends on the positioning of one chord and / or it’s variation.

Too much Q and you can sound too mechanical and too much pushing and pulling can lead to too many lumps in the mash. What I mean is don’t get too precious and “scientific” about it pulling stuff around. Try it on just the problem sections. If it sounds like the whole song is too mechanical then maybe you need to look at the song.

Also, another point. It’s much easier to move the guitars or keys around the drums as they are much more forgiving of movement than drums which can’t slide around too easily. So a small guitar time-stretch at the drumfills can do wonders for the feel. Don’t forget to correct your timing back to the basic bpm just after.

I always say, once the drums and Bass are solid then the guitarists can w _ _ _ (wibble) all over them and it’ll still sound good. :mrgreen:

Yep. Always put the carpet down BEFORE the furniture.

This can happen with “live” loops as well. Even with a live drummer you need the right performance. Sometimes a midi loop even can be the right performance for the material or even certain material on a certain day. There are days when the rulebook goes right out of the window and even the best performers and stars just don’t know and couldn’t predict what is right and what is wrong.
Humanising the groove takes deep knowledge of whatever material you work with whether machine or live players. On a live gig you can have, and I’ve tried it, the drummer play that “behind the beat” style and some players love it and some just “Yeugh! What’s that?” You do have to play the song, which is the point here deep down, I think.
It’s a long discussion among drummers about using technique because you can (to entertain basically) or play to enhance the song. There’s purists for both approaches. The end point for longevity of recorded material is that it has to serve the song. Because when you commit that song to posterity you have to listen to it for life and if one thing is wrong you’ll wince every time you hear it. Doesn’t matter if you programmed a machine or played it.
Saying that there’s a lot of stuff in between both camps from machined dance grooves to early rough Atlantic and Motown productions which, though full of imperfections, still make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

And that pushing and pulling the beat. You have to know when to do it not just how which is another art.