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> Guitar Mixing/layering
Bogdan Radovic
post Jun 3 2013, 10:06 PM
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Hi guys - I'm curious how you record and mix your guitars?
Do you record double takes for heavier sound and how do you pan those guitars?

I usually record each rhythm guitar twice and pan it relatively hard left and right and stack up the layers to make the song sound more reach, at the same time trying not to overdo it. I'll be recording some guitars in the near future so I'm curious how do you do it?


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pdf64
post Jun 3 2013, 11:34 PM
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I record live with the band, so to try and get a bigger tone I use a stereo pair of mics (old unidyne iii) close on different parts of the speaker cone; mid way along the cone and then closer to the cone center.
If using a 2x12 cab, then I like to use 2 different speakers and adjust the mic placement to best effect.
But because it's still a single source (ie just one guitar), even though the stereo tracks on their own have quite different tonality / frequency balance, when heard together in stereo it creates a cohesive whole.
The vocal mic picks up quite a lot of guitar, especially if any degree of compression is used on it, so that dilutes the effect somewhat but also adds room ambience / reverb.
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Socky42
post Jun 4 2013, 12:43 AM
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I do 3 takes,

Two panned hard L/R and one in the middle. The ones L/R are more trebly and the one in the middle is more of a bassy tone thats lower in the mix to fill it out a bit.



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SixStringSamurai
post Jun 4 2013, 01:56 AM
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Interesting, I will try that next time!

For heavy guitars I usually just double track and pan hard L/R. I'm pretty simple that way, haha.

I had friends who would quad track each side to try and get maximum heavy tones... but I feel that layering that many times kills the dynamics of the riffing.


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ConnorGilks
post Jun 4 2013, 07:32 AM
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Just one take on the left, and another on the right. It's all you need. The rest is about mixing it well to make it all sound huge with the drums and bass!

This post has been edited by ConnorGilks: Jun 4 2013, 07:32 AM


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Darius Wave
post Jun 4 2013, 02:46 PM
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I double the backing guitar but usually give about 80% L/R to avoid "disappearing" guitar part while someone plays the track in the pub/club and have a random speakers placement...Like...You have the L channel in one room and R in another...seems to be funny but pub owners do that o_O


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pdf64
post Jun 4 2013, 04:10 PM
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laugh.gif Yes that's worth mentioning; panning sources hard left / right is often not recommended, for that reason and because having done that, ambience fx, eg room reverb, have got nowhere left to go in terms of making the instrument's output expand to fill the sound stage.
With regard to methods of making a single guitar fill the sound stage, there's the old EVH thing of using a slight detune/delay. Pan the dry signal one side and the 100% wet signal to the other.
Another method I've tried with a single guitar take is to use different fx/amp chains panned left and right, checkout https://soundcloud.com/redwingrockgroup/drifting
I'm on vocal and bass on that.
The idea being that a single guitar will sound bigger, more dynamics (due to no micro timing discrepancies) in the mix.
Pete

This post has been edited by pdf64: Jun 4 2013, 04:13 PM


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Jun 4 2013, 04:33 PM
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QUOTE (pdf64 @ Jun 4 2013, 03:10 PM) *
laugh.gif Yes that's worth mentioning; panning sources hard left / right is often not recommended, for that reason and because having done that, ambience fx, eg room reverb, have got nowhere left to go in terms of making the instrument's output expand to fill the sound stage.


It's why its still so important to do a mono collapse check on a mix. Sadly fewer and fewer mix engineers seem to bother doing this nowadays. There tends to be a belief that we now always listen to music in stereo and this simply isn't true as most speakers are not set up to reproduce stereo - and not just in bars and pubs but pretty much everywhere.

Same as you should not make decisions about stereo soundstages using headphones as they do not present an accurate spatial image.

QUOTE
With regard to methods of making a single guitar fill the sound stage, there's the old EVH thing of using a slight detune/delay. Pan the dry signal one side and the 100% wet signal to the other.
Another method I've tried with a single guitar take is to use different fx/amp chains panned left and right, checkout https://soundcloud.com/redwingrockgroup/drifting
I'm on vocal and bass on that.
The idea being that a single guitar will sound bigger, more dynamics (due to no micro timing discrepancies) in the mix.
Pete


Yes -the EVH is based on the Haas effect. You can adjust the delay time anywhere from 5ms to 35 ms acording to what you want/need and it will help with panning, fatten up the guitar sound and also seem like a more realistic stereo.


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Mertay
post Jun 4 2013, 06:26 PM
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Tony nail'd it, usually its called being "mono compatible".

Its also not only about sounding decent on mono source, actually if you aren't sitting in a perfect spot (like forming a triangle with the speakers) you're listening music in "pseudo stereo". So even though the source is stereo, you hear music closer to mono...

It takes a bit more work but trust me mixing mono compatible is the best tip anyone can give to you. Mono compatible mixes tend to sound much wider and fuller too cause of better phase relationship inside the mix wink.gif


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Amp360
post Jun 4 2013, 06:29 PM
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I do a few different things, but it really depends on the situation and sound I'm going for.

The first thing I would suggest is when trying to record an overdriven/distorted track always use less gain then you think you should.

Instead of doubling a part I will try to build a big part. I do this by employing some/all of the following:

- using different combinations of amps and guitars. If you only have one amp/guitar try using different pickup positions and
settings on what you do have

- playing the part the same way (like you were doubling) but try using an open tuning, a capo or a baritone guitar

- once you have a bunch of parts down send them to a separate stereo buss. Then apply a good compressor (I usually use a
blue stripe 1176. There are some nice software compressors as well) across the stereo buss. Use the panning and faders on
the individual tracks to set the stereo mix. If your software has VCA grouping this works amazingly well and you can
automate mutes, panning and levels. Sometimes I will take a send from the stereo buss and use a little reverb or delay.

- If you only have one part and want it to sound bigger you can try using a stereo delay and setting one side to a very quick
delay time (3-5 ms) this sometimes adds some space.


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farview
post Jun 4 2013, 10:29 PM
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Normally, I do two identical rhythm tracks panned hard. Any other guitar parts will be a 3rd track up the center. The idea being to make the rhythm guitar a big wide bed for everything else to sit in. Of course there are exceptions...

If you want it to sound big, wide and in your face, without being overbearing, you have to go with a grainy distortion instead of a fuzzy one. Fuzz takes up a lot of space in the sound field and leaves little room for the other elements in the mix. It's also hard to hear exactly what you are playing, assuming you want to.


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 4 2013, 11:06 PM
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I usually pan guitar 10 and 2 oclock so that they sound bigger but as Mr. Miro Mentioned, going all the way hard pan can cause issues down the road on playback depending on the playback system.

Also, the trick of simply duplicating the track in your daw, and offsetting it by a few milliseconds is often handy for a quick and dirty way of making the rythm tracks feel bigger. smile.gif

The delay trick works as well smile.gif As he mentioned, just a smidge of delay will do the trick.

Since most of my recording is IN THE BOX (all in computer, no microphones) I have a lot of flexibility during the mix. I can't imagine going back to the old way of recording with the amp tone "baked in" to the signal. As a home recordists, I really appreciate the flexibility that recording direct provides.

It's taken me a couple of years to get my guitar tones in software to sound like I wanted them to sound. I'm finally at that point and now my "real world" rig seems underwhelming when I play it. It sounds fine at full volume creating reflections in the room, but I can get that sound in software without killing my neighbors.

Many folks get frustrated with guitar rig or amplitude and just give up. It's understandable since it's almost like learning to play guitar in that it's a huge time suck with rewards that come in small increments. It's a struggle to be sure but both journeys are worth taking smile.gif

Todd




QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Jun 3 2013, 05:06 PM) *
Hi guys - I'm curious how you record and mix your guitars?
Do you record double takes for heavier sound and how do you pan those guitars?

I usually record each rhythm guitar twice and pan it relatively hard left and right and stack up the layers to make the song sound more reach, at the same time trying not to overdo it. I'll be recording some guitars in the near future so I'm curious how do you do it?



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Darius Wave
post Jun 5 2013, 09:17 AM
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Yeah...mono mix is a must but gotta add some details. To get everything work well in phase it's best to compare track before adding and HPF on each instrument track. It will make work easier instead of turning those filters off once the mono mix shows something is wrong with the phases.


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Mertay
post Jun 5 2013, 10:35 AM
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autoalign

New generation tools that might help during mixing. The "delay" thats ment here are so short it actually means phase.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 6 2013, 12:48 PM
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QUOTE (SixStringSamurai @ Jun 4 2013, 12:56 AM) *
Interesting, I will try that next time!

For heavy guitars I usually just double track and pan hard L/R. I'm pretty simple that way, haha.

I had friends who would quad track each side to try and get maximum heavy tones... but I feel that layering that many times kills the dynamics of the riffing.


I have recently experimented with tracking quad channels - but the tones are different - one is boosted with the Suhr Shiba Drive and the other is a low gain one which will offer definition to the riff, as I tried to play as tight and exact as possible - so, two dryer tracks and two which are gainier and boosted. I recorded for the electro-metal guy so when he finishes the mix, I will post the track for you guys.


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