Single guitarist recording tracking

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Bentaycanada, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Bentaycanada

    Bentaycanada SS.org Regular

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    Single guitarist band members! How do you track your guitars? Do you prefer double tracking? Triple or quad tracking?

    When you track your guitars, do you use one amp for double tracking or two amps (one for each side)?

    Do you hard pan left+right? Or 80-90%?

    I’m interested in the single guitarist tracking approach.
     
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  2. zarg

    zarg guitar nerd

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    I use the same amp and same settings, double tracked. I pan them between 70%-80%. tried quad tracking but I don't see the benefit of it.
     
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  3. BearOnGuitar

    BearOnGuitar SS.org Regular

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    I always double track using the same guitar and amp setup. If you use different guitars and different amp setups the sound becomes wider but also imbalanced in a way, that I usually find myself trying to EQ them to have them sound quite similar to each other. It still works out fine though. Double tracking and hard panning leads to a more defined sound where as quad tracking leads to a more washy sound, depends also on how tight you play and where you pan the guitars to. If the mix is going to be very busy with different elements it's not worth it to quad track guitars imo.
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I may use slightly different tones from L to R, but generally the same guitar and amp, and maybe one side a little less saturated than the other, or a hair brighter, etc. If you're quad tracking, I think you have a little more room to get away with wildly different tones, say by layering a fairly (comparatively) clean, bright tone against a dark, saturated one, and putting a track of each hard L and R.

    That said, I usually stop at double tracking, with reasonably similar tones. For me, the main reason is I write instrumental guitar music, so I need to save plenty of space for my lead guitars, and a huge, wide, expansive, all-encompassing guitar tone may sound awesome on its own, but makes squeezing in a "big" lead guitar tone a challenge, and I'd rather err on the side of a thicker lead sound than rhythm sound.

    One thing I'll sometimes do, though, in an arrangement where there are not-insignificant sections where there is no lead, is triple-track my guitars, a primary tone hard L and R, and then my "lead" tone, sans delay or reverb, right down the center and mixed back till its barely audible. I'll then have it drop out when the leads come in. The idea here is to fill up a bit of the frequency space being reserved for the leads, so that when the lead drops out, the mix feels less "empty."
     
  5. jonsick

    jonsick SS.org Regular

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    Single tracked on both sides and I use different amps. I like the result.

    Solos are tracked on top
     
  6. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Mesa amp panned hard to one side, Marshall amp panned hard to the other side, then another British amp panned 50% toward the Mesa side and another American amp panned 50% toward the Marshall side, and finally, a DI track with a nice modelling VST right up the middle. Grab a DI box and get signal for the other 4 tracks, too, in case you decide to do reamping later. I like to use different guitars, too. The more little variations in tone, the bigger the end result seems to sound. For leads, sometimes I like to play a couple tracks an octave up or down, if it's possible.

    Some guys can just do one take and one track and it sounds great, but I haven't done a single track guitar recording since I was using a 4 track tape deck.
     
  7. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I use the same single amp, pan it left. Track another mono track with the same amp, pan it right, & I have two stock eq plugin presets that I use to slightly define them individually. 9 out of 10 times, each of these guitar parts are not identical performances as per the design of the arrangement. I borrow from the old British Wave of Heavy Metal 2 guitarist approach. Look at AC/DC's Back in Black album for an premium example of this approach.
    One of them is always dry. The other may have events with some modulation effects selectively placed on parts. I find that this aids in the separation, so long as the effect used supports the song.
     
  8. Santuzzo

    Santuzzo SS.org Regular

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    on my 1st EP I double tracked rhythm guitars and used two different sounds for both of them. I panned something like 85-85 I believe.
    I think for my next EP I might try hard L-R panning, not quite sure yet, though.
     
  9. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    This is an interesting thread since I'm about to do some guitar tracking/recording...

    Please enlighten me, when you say "tracking" you mean "recording", like 2 tracks hard pan L+R meaning that you have made 2 different recordings, one for track L and on for track R, or is it the same recording reamped/doubled/whatever?

    Personally, I'm yet to find my method. I mostly do stereo recording, though it barely can be called stereo. Most of the time it's Triaxis' record out (both channels) into the audio interface / DAW, sometimes I'll mic my cabs (not so often though, I live in an apartment) and have also experimented with recording the Triaxis out (no cab simulation) and add some IRs at the DAW... My last recording experiments had the Triaxis going direct into Reaper, then sending the signal out via RCA/SPDIF (digital audio signal) into the G-Force and back for a new track. Then I mixed those dry and wet signals... It came out quite nice...

    I'm not sure I'll use 2 or 3 different takes/recordings for each song part, but I'm sure I'll record 5 to 10 at least from which I'll choose/chop the better. I don't need, nor want, a wall of guitar sound. My bass player has some serious phrases so those need to be heard and if the guitar takes too much sound space (which is pretty easy), the bass lines simple disappear in the mix.

    About doubling tracks (2 or more takes on the same phrase/lick/whatever), since I record stereo, I guess there's no need for it.

    About the tone of the Triaxis' record out (cab simulated outputs), maybe it's me, but I find my Triaxis delivers a very convincing tone from both outs at the same time. I've heard another Triaxis going direct into audio interface with only one of these record outs and it sounded horrible.
     
  10. Bentaycanada

    Bentaycanada SS.org Regular

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    Yes, when I say tracking I mean recording guitar. So my usual way is to double track with two separate takes, hard L+R. Then the lead / solo on top, generally centre.

    On my last recording I used the same guitar + amp/cab, same settings for both tracks. But in the past I've also used different amps, cabs, guitars, pedals for different takes. I had a lot of success using my old JVM OD1 Orange for track 1 and OD1 Red for track 2. They blended well together, especially for harmonies.

    On a recording I did a few weeks back, I just used one profile from my KPA for both tracks. Since then I've been messing around with EZMix, as it takes all of the tone hunting / balance out of the recording equation, and I've found I get a hell of a lot done quicker as a result.
     
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  11. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    I used to quad track rhythms but I've been trying to avoid that of late. All the new music I've been writing or being involved in, has been instrumentally dense so I don't want huge guitars to swallow too much sonic space. It gives all the other instruments room to breathe.

    I also try not to use the same guitar and/or amp for each track. The last session I did I tracked one side with an Ibby 70s LP, and the other with an RG750. I can't remember which went into a 5150 or Recto profile though. Both tracks panned L/R respectively. I also sometimes add a Tele through a cranked medium gain amp (usually a Fender with and OD at the front) and put that in the middle. Though this is largely song dependent. Either that or double the part with a Hammond Organ sound or analog synth with a keyboard. Again largely situational depending on the song.

    Also I really add a lot of attention to the bass. I was in a metal band where our last album had the bass struggling to stay afloat over the crushing guitars and drums. It was fine at the time but I didn't want to do that again. So I try to incorporate the bass into the guitar tone as much as possible.

    Same boat here. I learned this the hard way with a few of my harder songs. Doesn't help when I add a ton of harmonies to most of my leads. I was pondering why my leads sounded so thin on these songs but better on others on the initial mix attempts.

    Even worse was when I added live taiko drums. :lol: Trying to mix them into the 36+ tracks I already tracked down; that was utter hell. Funny enough, I'm bringing the taiko drummers back in for an album again. :lol:
     
  12. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    I do 100% panned dry L&R, with all the effects chain (delays etc) sent to the other side at 90%.
     
  13. tender_insanity

    tender_insanity SS.org Regular

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    To me, double tracking means recording the same part twice as identical as you can. And quad-tracking four times. When recording more rock-ish style when two guitars are playing their own things, it's more about recording than tracking. You know, Guns 'n Roses for example where Slash and Izzy play same kind of stuff but still totally different things at hte same time.
     
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  14. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    Honestly, I'm increasingly coming to believe that the single best thing you can do to improve your mixes is to start by thinking about arrangement - not just what instruments are used, but what element are you hanging the song around, what fits in where, making sure two instruments aren't both trying to do the same thing in the same space, and, taking that one step farther, that every element of the mix has its own frequency area carved out for it to fit in nicely. Part of that, then, is making sure you're not trying to put a "big" rhythm tone and "big" lead tone into the same song, and deciding which you need to favor.

    All this is stuff that needs to happen before you even touch a fader, and will make or break your mix.
     
  15. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Plus 1.
    Steely Dan were masters at this, nobody in the same octave at the same time, not an overly "busy" arrangement, but instrumentalists "busy" individually at strategic moments, etc...
     
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  16. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    I like to use the same setup for hard left and right panning with a focus on high mids and treble (and high passed). Then use another complimentary amp/settings with a low mid emphasis panned 50-60% for certain sections. In general, I think think the more bass there is: the more centered it should sit. The more treble: the wider it should sit.

    Even with this though, there are only sections of a song that this would apply to, like a big fat chorus and maybe pre chorus. Versus might just be 2 guitars panned and the bass/drums can occupy the low spectrum.
     
  17. Ji Sung

    Ji Sung SS.org Regular

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    I use this thing called a tone knob. I have it all the way up when I record on one side and turn it down to 8 or so on the other.
     
  18. GatherTheArsenal

    GatherTheArsenal Metal Head Farmer

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    Couldn't agree more, especially when you're adding other instruments or effects into the mix like piano/keyboards/synths/pads etc. That being said it's worth mentioning here that whatever intended "sound" i'm going for, or genre in other words, is gonna strongly affect how I pan or "arrange" my mix.

    But as a default, with my first mix I always (9/10 times) start with double tracking hard pan L+R with leads and keyboards straight down the middle, then go from there figuring out if that's what I wanted to sound like.
     

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