Paul Lamere, of the Music Machinery blog, has a most excellent post investigating the detectability of drummers who use a click track:
I’ve always been curious about which drummers use a click track and which don’t, so I thought it might be fun to try to build a click track detector using the Echo Nest remix SDK ( remix is a Python library that allows you to analyze and manipulate music). In my first attempt, I used remix to analyze a track and then I just printed out the duration of each beat in a song and used gnuplot to plot the data. The results weren’t so good – the plot was rather noisy. It turns out there’s quite a bit of variation from beat to beat. In my second attempt I averaged the beat durations over a short window, and the resulting plot was quite good.
From the post are these two graphs showing the tempo deviation of Green Day’s American Idiot and Enter Sandman by Metallica. Can you guess which band uses a click track?
Paul has posted the necessary Python code and a link to the Echo Nest API, for those of you who are now curious about your own music collection.