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How do you guys get a full stereo sound micing only 1 guitar amp?
Old 22nd January 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
How do you guys get a full stereo sound micing only 1 guitar amp?

Most bands I record have 2 guitarists, so panning them out left and right works fine.
But when a rock band has only 1 guitar player, and they don't want to add an extra track, how do you spread a mono source without using a noticeable delay or reverb to do it?
Do you guys normally use 2 close mics on different speakers, and spread them?
Any phase problem considerations?
I was thinking of micing the same 4-12" cabinet with 2 different close mics (57 and a 421) on different speakers, or possibly an X-Y with 57's on the same speaker?
I will try a few different ways, but I want to try and keep experimentation time down to a minimum when getting sounds for a client.
Thanks in advance.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Goliath|Audio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
13 ms delay and/or usually a cabinet model on izotope trash or guitar rig.
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
alessio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I force the guitar player to play exactly the same part twice. possibly with another guit and another preamp. It really works.


Alessio
www.spazisonori.com
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
s0nguy's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Double the part... Doesnt haveto be perfect... in fact. Sometimes its cooler when they arent

-S0nguy
'
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
knorr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I was wondering this exact same thing. I have been working with a band with 1 guitarist and we have been doing the recording of the heavy parts where he plays it two times. I then duplicated each of those tracks and pan 2 left and the other 2 right or in other words...the first take is the left speaker and the second is the right. This seems to really make it a thick sound, however, if the guitarist isn't quite on in some parts you can definitely tell that it was tracked twice. Also the phase sometimes is a problem when I have done this when the tracks are dead on.

If you recorded a different amp and or preamp, would you then just duplicate the first and second take L and R and basically blend the two sounds? I have tried just panning takes like that L and R and blending sounds but it always sounds like the guitar is back in the mix. Could I compress them more to bring it forward?

I'm going for a modern rock sound like that of say Breaking Benjamin, Nickelback, that type of thing. All of those guitars sounds very thick and nice, but you can never tell that it was double tracked and it doesn't seem like one take is left and the next take is right.

Any help?
Old 22nd January 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yetti ➑️
Most bands I record have 2 guitarists, so panning them out left and right works fine.
But when a rock band has only 1 guitar player, and they don't want to add an extra track, how do you spread a mono source without using a noticeable delay or reverb to do it?
Do you guys normally use 2 close mics on different speakers, and spread them?
Any phase problem considerations?
I was thinking of micing the same 4-12" cabinet with 2 different close mics (57 and a 421) on different speakers, or possibly an X-Y with 57's on the same speaker?
I will try a few different ways, but I want to try and keep experimentation time down to a minimum when getting sounds for a client.
Thanks in advance.

After he's done with the track tell him you want him to play it again so that you can use the better of the two, if you fights you, insist. Then, be completely dishonest and use both tracks. Guitars, especially distorted, sound worlds better when doubled up and panned. Sometimes you just gotta fib a little, just keep in mind it's for the band's sake even if they don't think so.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Well, you say they don't want to record the extra track, so there goes that option.. Using a click? If they do multiple takes the whole way through, you can alway pull a track off of another take. If it's just one take, do some parts repeat? You could always cut and paste to double
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
  #8
Han
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
A very old trick: copy the guitar track and move it between 20 and 40 milisec. or give the original track a 20-40 milisec delay.

Pan the guitar track hard left and the copy or delay hard right.

Of course a second guitar part sounds more realistic.
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Those old Lexicons with the big knob are KILLER for this. What's the model number? 92? They're amazing for slight delaying on guitar and vocals. It's instant 70s rock.

m
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
xmostynx's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey guys! Just to throw in my 2 cents! What I usually do when I'm looking for hard guitar sounds like todays modern rock is a few things...


First remember if someone in the studio doesn't want to have a little fun trying new things..they are hindering the process.. Offer them some kind of free time if they are worried about money!

My tricks... Always double track guitars... I make guitar players play their parts atleast ten times.. I always want more and you find out people will peak out on take 4 threw 7.. It is never the same tho.. Anyways.. You can always then have plenty of parts to edit together and make solid tracks.. Once you have two on each side.. Compress them to death.. Exp. For todays modern rock. You want them to just sit there and be melted together..

I usually look around 4:1 or 10:1 and just smash them.. Listen to bands like nickelback breaking Benny..those guitars don't have much freedom in the mix..they are thick and stay still.. Listen to bands like silvertide and the guitars have more freedom..

You will be very happy with your results.. Maybe!

Pan 9 and 3 and you have a nice hard guitar bed.

Always use a few mics on the cab.. The 421 and 57 combo is pretty standard.. You can't go to wrong.. Just remember that if you use two mics in the same take and then you pan them your phase problems will be very noticeable.. When you use two mics its smart to just process the two tracks into one to save CPU power and free up tracks.. Experiment with compression on just the 57 and let the 421 be.. Vice versa then process them when you have a nice sound... Its all fun and nobody really has the 'right' way..!!!!


Just have fun doing it.


Forgot to mention how much the bass guitar plays a huge role in making the guitars sound like nickel back and breaking.. Its not only following very tight drums but its for the most part playing the same notes as the chords the guitars are jamin on.. This adds a huge ass end to already big guitars.. And your whole mix moves together and as one.. Just ideas
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
  #11
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dreamsongs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, you have a few options here...

1) Copy the track and delay (the less glamorous way)

2) Double the track by playing it twice (the thickest option, but harder to get right) Use 2 mics and delay one signal or 2 Cabs.

3) Use an FX Processor or Harmonizer ( the easiest and most polished way)

I have done it all possible ways. I am now using the Eventide H8000 for this purpose. I can unison the same track, I can add a 3rd, a 4th, a 5th, a 6th, a 7th etc.. I then pan and delay the signal.

This way, you won't have phase problems and track will sound like those records you like. Almost every time, when you hear doubling and but perfectly layered thick guitars, there's an Eventide Harmonizer at work. Same thing with vocals.

You can also have as much separation as you like between the original guitar and the harmonized one. If you repeat this process a few times it can get as thick as you'll ever want.

It's one of the main reasons I got that piece of gear, also the reverbs are quite nice. If you can't afford something like that, which is quite expensive, then the other two options are viable as well...
Old 22nd January 2007 | Show parent
  #12
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djui5's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
5 solutions:

2 or more mics

2 or more passes of the same part (can be used in combo with 2 mics for much flavor)

2 or more cabinets tracked at the same time

re-amp

faking it, with either a harmonizer or copied track or delay, etc.
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Head
 
knorr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
do the majority of people here pan the first track to one side and the doubled track to the other then?
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #14
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xmostynx's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Every time I tried harmonizers I never liked what I got... I will try tho... Any good plugs? Instead of outboard?
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #15
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djui5's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Eventide
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 ➑️
After he's done with the track tell him you want him to play it again so that you can use the better of the two, if you fights you, insist. Then, be completely dishonest and use both tracks. Guitars, especially distorted, sound worlds better when doubled up and panned. Sometimes you just gotta fib a little, just keep in mind it's for the band's sake even if they don't think so.
HAHA!
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
The way I see it, it all depends on the arrangements.
There's nothing wrong with having just one guitar on a track, and pan it a bit (or a lot). If you have other arrangements in the song that can counterplay or complement the guitar (very dense guitar <--> Hammond organ // funky guitar <--> some percussion // open rhythm <--> piano // ....) you can use them to fill the whole on the other side of the stereo.
I find it easier to mix to the arrangement, than to the style.
If there's just drums, bass and 1 guitar, then you have all the choices in the world and the freedom to make it your way. Try panning the guitar half left, and then send it to a reverb with a tasty predelay, and pan the stereo reverb return C R.

Try making it stereo by making the information of L and R channels different. Not stereo expander will beat that!! (and this is somebody else's advice, that I am glad to have learnt!!)

Cheers!
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #18
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
A second track shouldn't be recorded just to make stereo.
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Han ➑️
A very old trick: copy the guitar track and move it between 20 and 40 milisec. or give the original track a 20-40 milisec delay.

Pan the guitar track hard left and the copy or delay hard right.

Of course a second guitar part sounds more realistic.
I have done that before, and it does work very well to spread and thicken, but...
The downside was that "slapback" kind of doubling effect.
I was hoping to try and get a thicker, fuller tone using multiple mics for this project, and avoid phase problems.
Thanks for the input!
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #20
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numrologst's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
my approach:

Take 1: panned 45 left elec guitar 1 amp 1
Take 2: panned 45 right elec guitar 1 amp 1
Take 3: panned 80 left elec guitar 1/2 amp 2
Take 4: panned 80 right elec guitar 1/2 amp 2

If needed:

Take 5 and 6 guitar 2/3 amp 2/3 then heavily compressed w. distressor I like to pan these hard and have them low in the mix.

Sometimes all you need is 2 takes with 2 amps, panend 45/45...

I don't like hard panning elec guitars, sounds too fake to me. If they are tight they can be panned 45/45... Sometimes I will pan acoustic guitar hard left/right when there is other guitar tracks going...But if it is acoustic by itself i still like 45/45
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier ➑️
A second track shouldn't be recorded just to make stereo.



It isn't just to make stereo, recording the tracks twice really adds something to the overall guitar sound. I tried everyway I could think to make one recorded track sound like double tracking and it never sounds nearly as full.
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #22
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uptheoctave's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Essentially double/triple/quad tracking a guitar is the way to go.

The stuff I did when I was living in Europe often called for what I call a 'big soft rock' guitar tone.
One that is quite full but also back in the mix.

I'd do up to 20 tracks of guitar with the same part- that is then all compressed through the same bus, usually with a pair of LA4's or Summit DCL200 and a bit of Eventide 3000 on another send.
It sounds pretty huge without being too intrusive to the vocal.

An important question here is 'why go stereo?'
Does the part need it?
Does it support the vocal?
If it is/does then I always multi-track, rather than multi mic.
At most I'd put a close mic on the cab and then a U47 on the room.
Always a GT Vipre for the pre.

The slight varience in playing increases the 'size' of the downbeat and if played with restraint it will make the guitars sound fuller and more professional.

Just my 2c.
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
DeathMonkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My standard way of doing guitars is this : plug into two complimentary amps at the same time, each miked twice, usually one condenser, one dynamic (a 57 or i5 and one of my Avlex condensers usually), to get 4 tracks. Do as many takes as necessary, edit, all that jazz. If you are careful, you can edit them all as one big track, since it is all one performance.

Then I mix depending on what sounds better. On some stuff, I will put the two tracks of amp 1 on the same side, sometimes I mix em up. Sometimes I put Amp 1 Mike 1 at 100% left, Amp 2 Mike 2 50% Left, and so forth. I basically screw around until it sounds good to me.

The key to this, IMHO, is to mix amps well. I love to put a huge, saturated amp tone (that generally disappears when other instruments appear) under a tight, focussed, dry crunch - Say a Framus Cobra under a VHT Deliverance (one of my new fav combos), or a Peavey XXX under a Bogner Uberschall or Soldano Avenger. The Mesa Recto/ Peavey 5150 is the standard for this.

I am also thinking about throwing up some PZMs for an omni room sound to use to help blend the tracks together in terms of space.

My personal feeling is that one performance through a bunch of amps is going to be tighter and more "realistic" than a bunch of takes, and I am willing to put up with a bit of bleed between amps to do so. IMHO, the one track than benefits from a more gritty recording style is dirty guitars - adds aggression and nuts as long as it's not crazy.

But also, this way you get the feeling of one guitarist, one pass, as you would hear live from a band with only one guitarist, but you have plenty of stereo options.
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
dtucker's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
As already posted there are many answers to this question. But, if you really want a stereo sound from one guitar take the only real solution (other than delays, verbs, etc) is to record the cab with a close mic and then set up two mics about five or six feet back in your choice of L/R setup. Could be M-S, X/Y, whatever.

I've done this before and it works great. It once gave a live vibe to a bluesy rock track.

This works just fine assuming the guitar is only instrument in the room. If it's a "whole band in the room" setup then the room mics would get too much bleed from the other instruments. It might still work to a certain degree but you'd most definitely have to deal with leakage from the other sources.

that's my .02Β’...fwiw.
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtucker ➑️
As already posted there are many answers to this question. But, if you really want a stereo sound from one guitar take the only real solution (other than delays, verbs, etc) is to record the cab with a close mic and then set up two mics about five or six feet back in your choice of L/R setup. Could be M-S, X/Y, whatever.

I've done this before and it works great. It once gave a live vibe to a bluesy rock track.

This works just fine assuming the guitar is only instrument in the room. If it's a "whole band in the room" setup then the room mics would get too much bleed from the other instruments. It might still work to a certain degree but you'd most definitely have to deal with leakage from the other sources.

that's my .02¢...fwiw.
I actually do isolate the guitar amp(s) during tracking in a 12' x 14' room, so your suggestion of an X-Y about 6 feet back in addition to a close mic may be the ticket.
I may need to try that X-Y with 57's, as my condensor pair of sm81's will be used for the drum overheads.
If the 57's sounds crappy 6 feet away, I may just buy a new pair of condensors.

When micing 2 guitar amps, I normally have both amps about 8 feet apart with baffles between, and close miced each with a 57.
I then throw up a 441 or 421 about 7 feet back as a room mic for both amps.
I usually have the guitarists take turns hitting the same power chord, and adjusting the amp volumes until they are the same level in the room mic. I normally use a wide spread reverb on only the room mic, and leave the close mics dry.....very happy with those results!
The cords run under the door, and the musicians use headphones to track in the live room with the drummer.

Thanks dtucker, and everyone else for the input!
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #26
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you put up a room mic, and you aim it to the side instead of the amp, then that mic gets no direct sound from the amp, and you get no phase problems when you blend it into the mix. Figure 8 pattern works great for this, because there is more rejection at the null point. If the player is into the purity of a trio, with no doubletracking, this would be a good way to go.
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #27
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Henchman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Instead of just playing the same part, I'll usually have the guitar player play the same parts, but with a variation of the chord. So, same chords, differnt position.
I find it adds much more to the harmonic content.
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #28
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max cooper's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier ➑️
A second track shouldn't be recorded just to make stereo.
Hey! I agree with you for once! How about really f-in them up and putting a MONO mix out on a stereo CD? I was listening to something the other day abd *boom* all of a sudden one track was totally mono. It was nice.

But there are other options.

I put up a thread a while back about how to mix with one guitar track. I like doing it now, but then it was new to me.

Assymetrical mixes.

I mean without doubling, or any kind of delaying and panning. Just. One. Guitar.

Someone find that thread.
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
6 guitar tracks of the same part? TWENTY?

sheesh. no wonder i can't stand modern rock....
Old 23rd January 2007 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
BlueRadio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
PLEASE do not delay a copied signal...just....no....

Track it twice. Force the guitar player to do it. But....

Change amps...change guitars...change room/location...change pickups if it suits you...change ANYTHING that you can. It will sound a million times better than a copied, delayed, phasey-when-mono signal.
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