Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Click Sound / Metronome to use with Loops

A few months ago, I made a video and posted it on YouTube that explained how I setup Ableton Live for use with a worship band. I've gotten a lot of great feedback about the video but one of the most common questions I've gotten is this:
Where did you get that click sound? Can I get a copy of it?
I know this probably sounds ridiculous to people who aren't familiar with using click tracks but a good click sound can really make the difference in being able to lock in with the tempo or not. When I first started using loops, I literally spent days looking for the perfect click sound. Out of hundreds of examples, I landed on using just 2 sounds.

The first one from the video is ClicksBeep.wav. I can't remember where I found this and I can't find it on the net now - so, if you created it and want me to take it down, let me know and I will. This click is a great basic sound that's easy to make stand out in the ear monitor mix.

When I need something more elaborate, I use Foundations from Loops In Worship. This is an awesome tool for creating great click tracks in Ableton Live (there is also a separate version available for Garageband. It is a fully functioning metronome incorporated into Live - you can adjust the subdivisions and accents. You can even use it to send one click sound to the vocalists and another to the drummer. Best of all, you can use your own click sound with it so feel free to drop ClicksBeep.wav right into it!

I posted another video about setting a 1-bar count-in on your click tracks that you use with sequenced loops. Check it out here if you haven't seen it yet.

Hope this helps - let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to hear what click sounds other people are using!


TrueTone said...

Hey man I saw your videos on youtube about using loops in your worship set. Thanks for posting those, you did a great job. I would like to start using loops in our sets too. We just started a contemporary service in our church two years ago and I would like to get my team playing with a click track and with some loops. Do you use any other software besides Ableton Live? Thanks again for all the info!

Serving Him,


TrueTone said...

Hey Jake,
I saw some of your videos on youtube about using loops in a worship service (great job). I would like to start implementing some loops in our service too! What interface do you use (Digidesign, Presonus, Or Something else?) Also do you always use Ableton Live to run your loops or do you use other software as well? I'm still in the learning process with all of this. Thanks again!

Serving Him,



Jake Sumner said...

I use Reason and Logic to create loops - mostly Reason for all the electronic/rhythmic/synthesized stuff and Logic when I need to actually record an instrument/vocal part (rarely!).

For the interface, I am really low-tech right now - I just use the headphone out on my Mac using a cable that is 1/8" headphone jack on one end and two 1/4" jacks on the other end. I plug the two 1/4" jacks into 2 direct boxes. 1 is left and 1 is right so I just pan all my clicks to the left and all my loops to the right. Unfortunately, this setup doesn't reproduce the loops in stereo but our sound system is mono so it doesn't really matter.

Whenever I play somewhere that does have stereo capabilities, I use an external interface (Digi 003 rack) and send out 3 channels (click-mono, Loop-Left, and Loop-Right).

I've seen people use the M-Audio interfaces a lot for this - they have either 4 or 6 channels I think - which is still more than you really need but a lot more portable than the Digi 003. I only use it because I already own it and use it as our recording interface and didn't want to purchase another interface just to use with loops! In general, most people prefer the firewire interfaces over the USB interfaces as they tend to be more reliable. The last thing you want during live performance is for your click/loops to glitch unexpectedly!