Krist asks:

How do you work with a band or artist that can’t play to a click track? How do you edit if it’s not “on the grid”?

You probably don’t run into that too much at your level, but most of us are working with folks of much less skill.

It’s true. I do get to work with some killer musicians. But that ain’t always the case.

Sometimes people can’t play to a click (i.e. metronome), and the best thing for the song is to kill the click and just let ’em play.

Come editing time, though, you’re in a pickle.

There are parts where the drummer, guitarist, and bass player are all out of time with each other. But there’s no grid, no standard to measure them against.

So what do you do?

It’s simple.

Decide which instrument is going to be your rhythmic foundation, and pocket everything else to THAT.

For me, this is usually drums.

First, I’ll manually edit any drum parts that seem obviously out of time. (Without a click, I’ve got to do it by ear.)

After that, I treat the drums AS my click. Everything gets lined up to them.

It’s not always a perfect approach, but that’s one of the drawbacks of going click-less.

Things can still sound tight, but it takes a little “thinking outside the box.”

To sharpen your editing blade, you’ll want to go here: