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Losing the 'one' in tracks and knowing it


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I have this tendency of losing the first beat on more and more electronic tracks I listen to lately and it's bugging me. I know I'm off and sometimes I can get back on the 'one' or I just give up. Anyone else have this problem? Here are some prominent examples that have haunted me for years:

Aphex 'Acrid Avid Jam Shred' - The one should be when the first closed hihat kicks in, but I'm always counting the first open hihat as the first beat of the bar. I can't shake it off and I feel I've always listened to this track incorrectly:

http://youtu.be/YwZ_9V37KxA

Plastikman 'Plasticity' - It's simple enough with the 808 congas. But when the 303 fades in, I get stuck on that longer up slide as the beginning of the beat. Then the 808 kick comes in and then I'm fine again, but then I can switch back and forth from the kick and the 303 up slide being the one.



D'arcangelo 'Diagram XI (80's mix)' - It starts off with the chord stabs an eighth in so I automatically count that as the one. Once the 808 drums come in, I usually need to do some conscious mental gymnastics to get the kick become the beginning of the bar.



Recently, it has been Mu-Ziq 'Diala' - I always get caught on the snare becoming the one when I know it isn't. It's the 4 step portamento high melody that fucks me up every time since I keep hearing it as a descending melody bar when the beginning of the bar is the lowest note, not the highest note.




This will happen with my own tracks too when I'm working on them. It feels like a disability somehow.
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Hahaha, brilliant idea for a thread. This happens to me with Richie Hawtin quite often—agreed. There’s a whole long section of DE9: Transitions that I hear the wrong way, if I recall.

 

I also hear like the entirety of the first 4 or 5 tracks on Loudboxer wrong, which drives me fucking crazy, because I love that album.

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oh fuck ^ Theme From Ernest Borgnine took me so fucking long to hear correctly

 

 

this one for me, always:

always fucks me up when they shift a standard beat forward or backwards one beat or half-beat..

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I love it when this happens! Sometimes I can simulate it by skipping ahead in a track and coincidentally landing right on the second or third beat and it just keeps playing that way in my brain!

 

This track does it really well; I hear it a little differently every time:

 

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Metallica's Battery still throws me off the horse, even after having heard it for 25+ years, as well as nerding obsessively over Meshuggah's polymeters in the 90's.

 

The twin solo in Fight Fire with Fire is also pretty nifty meter-wise.

 

I love turning on the radio in the middle of a song sometimes and hearing this awesomely synchopated beat, until disappointment sets in when my ear finally recognizes the one and everything sounds dull and regular. That feeling of slight metric vertigo is lovely!

 

Also, step sequencers that allow you to shift the pattern to the left and right are great for writing riffs that escape the confines of standard phrasing.

 

Bla bla.

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Guest bitroast

Also, step sequencers that allow you to shift the pattern to the left and right are great for writing riffs that escape the confines of standard phrasing.

 

what referring to there?

 

I have a pretty minimal 'studio' set up (mostly just use laptop) but of the gear I do have, is the elektron machinedrum and sh-101. can sequence a melody in sh-101, and then trigger it using a specific drum channel from machinedrum. so if you have a melody sequenced in 101 with 4 notes and triggering it with md with a 3 note pattern, for example, the synth pattern will be out of phase with the timing of the track. ... (which is fun!!)

is this what you referring to ??

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@bitroast: You're describing a polymeter.

 

What I meant is this: Set your Machinedrum in pattern edit mode (ie press the record button). Set some triggers on for example the kick drum. Now hold the shift button and press the left arrow key. Notice how all the triggers shift to the left. The trigger on step 1 wraps around to the last step. Great fun!

Edited by psn
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Guest bitroast

@bitroast: You're describing a polymeter.

 

What I meant is this: Set your Machinedrum in pattern edit mode (ie press the record button). Set some triggers on for example the kick drum. Now hold the shift button and press the left arrow key. Notice how all the triggers shift to the left. The trigger on step 1 wraps around to the last step. Great fun!

 

oh!!!

i'll have to try this. :)

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I love turning on the radio in the middle of a song sometimes and hearing this awesomely synchopated beat, until disappointment sets in when my ear finally recognizes the one and everything sounds dull and regular. That feeling of slight metric vertigo is lovely!

Exactly, yes YES!

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Metallica's Battery still throws me off the horse, even after having heard it for 25+ years, as well as nerding obsessively over Meshuggah's polymeters in the 90's.

 

The twin solo in Fight Fire with Fire is also pretty nifty meter-wise.

Oh yeah, I still can't help but think the verses in Fight Fire With Fire start on the snare drum, rather than the snare being on the two like in other thrash songs. Some Offspring songs do that to me as well:

 

 

 

It came from not hearing thrash/hardcore before, and assuming they were just bashing the snare on the 1 and 3.. gah!

Edited by modey
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Guest nene multiple assgasms

yeah, I do this sometimes. it's usually only with really minimal tracks, especially when the intro is very minimal with rhythmic elements added later on.

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Guest Rulohead32

Happens to me with Little By Little by Radiohead. Actually it's simple cause it's a 4/4 but when the chorus starts the rhythm changes suddenly, actually the 2 and 4 times snares remain the same, but the dynamic of the rhythm is different and it always bugs me because I change to salsa/bossanova rhythm, and I don't place the snares in the 2 and 4 times in my mind. it's difficult to explain but keeping the snares at the same place in my mind at the chorus is too difficult for me.

 

(The chorus starts when Thom says "Little by little")

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfuXyRFMV4Y

Edited by Rulohead32
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The first time I encountered this technique, still love how there's nothing complex to it, just a simple little mindfuck to start you on your way!

 

 

Also a big fan of the intro on this classic, must've listened to it a thousand times and can still never get where the one of the verse lead is gonna drop after the double-time drum/bass:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGXE7AF_sK4

 

Edit: try punching in at right around 0:30, suddenly makes perfect sense!

Edited by Bob Dobalina
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Woah. 'Theme from Ernest Borgnine' is probably my most favorite electronic track. I don't know what would have happened if I got the beat messed up when I first heard it.

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Music is a stream of vibez, and music's intention it to transmit those vibez from one medium to another. The "musical grid" and any other such constructs were invented for purposes of abstraction and digitizing/simplifying an ancient concept which essentially has no segmented organization inherent to it. "Listening and feeling" are the main points, and "hearing off grid/beat" is a feeling based on assumption of an actual order. If there's room for such an "off" feeling, it is at the cost of conflicting with what is actually coming in through the music. Let go and be free, and just FEEL. That is the only important point with music. An artist might even state that there is a grid or beat or setting that the music should be listened in, but such sentiments are born from forgetting that the music does not belong to humans-- it is merely ours to share. Music reaches us at specific points in our lives, in specific contexts, because the vibez have traveled since impulse of consciousness and projection of reality, to reach us with accuracy that lies far beyond the scope of intention. The music will tell you what it is, if you stop judging it and just let it create through listening.

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Great thread, I had difficulty in explaining this to others but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one. It's almost disappointing when you finally lock into the actual rhythm, it's as though you can't hear the way you originally heard it any more.

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