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Thread: Variable tempo within a song ??

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    Variable tempo within a song ??

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    I had this idea a whIle ago. Basically music with a real drummer likely shifts very slightly upward toward a chorus or some part with more dynamic . Anyway I have a song in 6/8 which seems suited to about 211bpm (using a drum pattern ). I decided to experiment and at the middle 8 I shift to 212bpm in case I start trying to push the beat with the guitar overdub. The outro is big sounding again and push it to 213bpm. It's very subtle and not really perceptible but seems natural enough overdubbing rhythm guitar part . Anyone else had this thought ??

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    I recently did this and ended up with 4 tempo changes. They were all at main changes in the song . The changes came from practicing lead guitar parts with "Nothing" else playing. But ... instead of just randomly picking a faster bpm , I matched the tempo to the speed I was "best at" when practicing. They ended up being fairly small changes , but were pretty noticeable giving a reel boost at the selected parts. The dynamics and energy just kept building up to the end . Very good effect . mark

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    We produce lots of click tracks, and often use the original music for the guide track and then we re-record it from the ground up. Music falls into two very distinct categories, and this is not just a modern thing. It will either be locked to a tempo, or not, and if not - it can vary. Loads slow down just before the chorus then speed up again, others gradually tail off, then suddenly go for it, and some have like mentioned, lots of different section at separate tempi.

    Changes in tempo can work really well. The funniest thing is the tracks we did for a band, and we used a live recording of them paying to use as the guide. we followed their tempo changes exactly, and then the drummer complained our track kept speeding up then slowing down! We said, but we just followed your drumming. Awkward silence.

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    Isn't there a difference between tempo and speed? It sounds like you're changing the speed, not the tempo.

    Anyhow, I can't see anything wrong with changing either one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Delmont View Post
    Isn't there a difference between tempo and speed? It sounds like you're changing the speed, not the tempo
    The tempo is the speed.

    Personally, I've long been a fan of changing tempi in a song. It adds an interesting contrast, rather like going from quiet to loud {or vice vesra} or sparse instrumentation {or voice[s]} to built up. By the same token, one can keep the tempo the same all the way through but make it appear that it changes just by different things you may do in the song.

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    Since I always work on a grid, this seems like it would be a lot of work for a pretty subtle effect.

    I'll stick to just adding more layers to hype parts up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by VomitHatSteve View Post
    Since I always work on a grid, this seems like it would be a lot of work for a pretty subtle effect.
    I suppose it is, but then, aren't many subtle things actually hard work, accents and the like ? I utilize a lot of sound effects in my recordings and sometimes, the lengths I've gone to for a two second snatch of something ! Back in July, in the school I work in, the year 6 kids were having their leaving disco the day before they left the school and the staff that were on duty were lounging around in the staff room before it began. I had my Zoom H1 in my back pocket and I sort of wiggled my way to where a group were talking and poited my backside in their general direction in the hope I'd get a random sentence that I could use. In the end, all I got that was usable was the sound of someone sort of yawn stretching. It barely lasts a second and I didn't even see who it was but in the piece of music I used it in, I thought it sounded fantastic. The subtle slowing down or speeding up can be a bit like that. I'd bet half the time it's not even consciously noticed ! I never used to notice disco songs all played at 120 BPM. I still don't !

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    That's true. I put a lot of time into some very silly and specific audio effects.

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