Starting Tunes w/ Click Track?


For those of you who use click tracks with a band, how do you start off the tune? We’re starting to use it for a few tunes, and I feel like I’m making this way too hard: I have a totally empty state for “START,” then I hit play to start the metronome routed to the drummer’s headphones. He counts us in, and I trigger the next state which is the actual beginning of the song. So the whole system rests on me hitting the downbeat as closely as possible. This also seems to drop out the first note of whatever sequence I have loaded up at the beginning. Baba just sounds weird without the first note of the arpeggio.

Drummer’s a total team player, so he’ll be game for however is best to cue stuff up. How do you structure the countoffs and starting the sequences?


All part of one song. Not sure why you do it the way you do??


I am not following - You should disconnect the tempo/metronome from state changes, I should think! See the check-boxes at the bottom left. I think it is when the state is selected that you get the option to un-check the tempo from being affected by the state. (Not at music machine at the moment to double check.)



Just checking: are you using MIDI sequences or audio tracks?

Overall, as @Derek wrote, click track, count-in and the actual song should be one integrated backing track, either MIDI or audio. The drummer just needs to know

  • how many clicks he’ll get before he’s expected to count you in or if there is a cue in the click track for the count-in
  • what count-in pattern he’s supposed to use for the song (1-2, 1-2-3-4 or simply 1-2-3-4, …)

So at the beginning of the song, you start playing the backing track, the drummer will start hearing the click part and start the count-in at the appropriate time. Then, the pre-programmed backing track will continue to run, without losing any first notes. So it’s all about giving the drummer the right preparatory clicks and a cue to start the count-in. In MIDI files, the cue can be four beats with a different sound; in audio click tracks, you could even do a voice-over “count-in in 4-3-2-1”.

If using MIDI, you’ll have the click track as part of the overall MIDI file, but simply routed to an instrument that only goes to the drummer. Using audio, you can either use multichannel wave files or two synchronized media players to have part of the audio for the audience and monitors, part of it exclusively for the drummer.

Hope this helps!




When we use tracks, we have Marsha . . . you know Marsha . . . she counts you in and tells you what section is coming up . . .

That saves any ambiguity on the count-in.


But that means everybody needs to be on in-ears and hear Marsha; not only the drummer…


Depends. If only the drummer can hear Marsha, then it falls to the drummer to be sure everyone starts together, but that’s the current situation anyway, so I’m not seeing the downside.


Thanks all. I’m considering running a long trigger over to the kit so that our drummer can start the count himself. Perhaps we’ll build more confidence with it, but it seems dangerous to not have him be in control of his own count-down.

@terrybritton- thanks for the clue on the state changes switch. I’ll double check that one.

@Torsten— we’re using MIDI, but it’s on my to-do list to render most of them as audio to cut down on the CPU load.


It’s not dangerous for them not to be in control, they just have to get used to it :slight_smile:

E.g. we have songs that start long before the drummer comes in, so he has to go with the click on the track. like the rest of us. It works.

There are options however to give the drummer control of the transport start. I’ve either used a foot switch or our last drummer had a MIDI drum pad which we set up as a trigger. That worked well.