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NO double tracking
Old 27th September 2012
Lives for gear
K. Osborne's Avatar
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Oh I just meant that like once people (engineers, artists, whatever) hear how doubling "can" make something sound fuller, they want to do it all the time. Just like when people realize that plugins are easy to use it becomes an addiction to just use them all over the place, same with compression - it's like "man that's amazing it makes my guitar so upfront!" Well then you add compression to everything, make everything sounds dense and controlled, and then everything just sounds small when you listen in the context of a mix. Same goes with double (or triple...or quadruple) tracking. Initially it's like "wow that sounds huge" but in the mix it's like...oh...perhaps quadruple tracked shakers was a bit much.

I use double tracking, and of course I use plugins and compressors, I guess I worded that funny. Point being, it's easy to overdo anything. It's just that process of learning and then sort of going to the extreme then dialing it back once you get more experience. Happens to all of us, happens to engineers, mixers, guitarists, drummers.

Reminds me of a phrase used by a drummer friend of mine...when drummers are in "middle school" they just want to keep a groove. In "high school" they just want to play as fast as possible and have a huge kit. In "college" they want to tone everything way back and play like Steve Jordan, and with as few pieces as possible - they're also all convinced that jazz is the best form of art ever created. Once they graduate and get in the real world, they actually learn to adapt to what needs to be done for the song, whether that's fast, complex, minimal, dense, simple, or just keeping a groove.
Old 28th September 2012
Gear Nut
🎧 5 years
Thanks for the mid-side idea- very cool!

Question for those of us that double our parts very tightly but w. two different tones to combine them into the best overall tone that we can achieve. Are there any rules of thumb when you go this route as far as pans etc? Thanks just a new recording school student here.
Old 28th September 2012 | Show parent
Lives for gear
K. Osborne's Avatar
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
It's almost always hard panned for me, 100L and 100R, but then again I almost mix exclusively LCR. Sometimes if that's all there is I may put the guitars like 75/75 for the verses and automate them to hard pans in the choruses, just to give some growth to the size of the song.

I guess in general I put doubled Parts in reciprocal pan spots. 50/50, 100/100, if it's backing vox it could be 25/25 or full wide
Old 28th September 2012
Lives for gear
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I'm all about single/double tracking with stereo pairs for lead/rhythm. IMO if you've got 8 mics on 4 rigs and adding .3-.5ms delay to get them cohesive you're wasting time.

I believe tracking thick guitars is a relatively simple process that all starts with the source like anything else... main tone followed by mic selection. If you want super thick guitars, use mics that give the thickness and clarity you're going for. The rest is up to the guitarist.
Old 28th September 2012
Gear Head
🎧 5 years
Originally Posted by Devon8822 ➡️
What do you guys think about not double tracking guitars for heavy stuff? I really like having the stereo image being able to pick out each instrument somewhere,
I have found that guitars can sound so much "heavier" when they are double tracked and panned wide, vs a mono track. But I don't think that wide panned guitars have to threaten your ability to locate and focus other instruments in the stereo panorama (which seemed to be your main concern). You can achieve a great deal of separation and focus by coordinating your sounds so that they occupy different areas of the frequency spectrum, different fundamentals. You can do this by carefully planning what notes you're playing, what octave you're playing in, how you got the tone knobs on your guitar and amp set, how you're micing the guitar, and all the same factors for all the other instruments you are recording.

I think reverbs will play a pretty big role in focus and separation too.

Also be sure your listening environment is set up right, so you are getting crystal clear stereo imaging.
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