Recording/mixing one guitar

Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Freya, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Freya

    Freya Tele-Meister

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    Hey all, I'm in a band in which I'm the only guitarist and we're currently recording some tracks. We're recording through a PreSonus Firestudio using Garageband. My question is, how should I go about mixing the guitar track? I want a full sound. Garageband gives you the option to change how much a track goes through each speaker. So far I've just been recording one track and making it go through both speakers equally. Do you guys think it would be better if I were to record basically the same track twice and have them go through each speaker exclusively? I hope that makes sense. Any input is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. bigbandtele

    bigbandtele Tele-Holic

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    So, guitar panned to the middle is what you're currently doing, right?

    It's not a bad idea to sort of map out where you want each instrument in the soundfield, and pan to adjust their positions.

    Remember, if everything's in the middle...you're effectively in mono.
     
  3. Freya

    Freya Tele-Meister

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    True. Well, see there's only guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Very rarely is there a second guitar track added to the mix for a standout lead, so most of the time I want everything in balance. I'm wondering if it would sound better if I were to record the same guitar track twice and have one going through the left speaker/earphone while the other goes through the right.
     
  4. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes and no.
    When you double-track, there will always be a difference between the first and second track. So you have to play with no mistakes or, play the same mistakes on cue.

    You might be a candidate for using two mic's on your amp, recorded to separate tracks.
    I've gone waaaay over-board in this department and what I've learned is that its funner-n-hell to find out!!!
    If you have the tools, the talent and, the time, you owe it to yourself to find out.

    To my ears, panning hard left and hard right only works if you are sitting in the right place in front of the speakers you are mixing with or a pair of headphones.

    I like to pan at about 9 o'clock to the left and about 3 o'clock to the right.

    It helps when the drums are mixed in a stereo field.
    I don't know how much production you put in to your recordings, but dropping the 700z from the bass, 580z from the snare and the overheads really cleans it up for the guitar tracks.

    When you over-dub, there are so many ways to approach it.
    Use a different guitar for the second track, use a different pick-up if you don't have a second guitar, use a different mic, use a slightly different tone setting on your amp, use a different amp, move the mic....

    This is where Jimmy Page the Producer overshadowed Jimmy Page the Guitar Player.
    JP's guitar tracks have all these various tones going on. The guitar tracks build and build, but when Robert Plant sings, he doesn't have anything in his way.

    And above all, make sure what you are doing helps the song.
    The more you do it, the better you will get.

    Gotta keep your eye on the prize.

    ~ST
     
  5. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    try this...

    go to the menu tracks and select 'duplicate track' with the guitar track chosen..

    then, pan the tracks left and right...

    for some fun, change up the effects and amp and delay setting on the two tracks... maybe even use the aubandpass filter and 'mess one up'

    and watch how cool it sounds... I do it all the time.. set your panning for 7 and 5 at first then bring them to 10 and 2 when you finally have it right...
     
  6. T Prior

    T Prior Poster Extraordinaire

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    exactly what Getbent stated..many ways to skin this cat... Duplicate copy..or highlight the whole track and copy to another track ( digital, remember? ) This is where you take your player cap off and put the producer/engineer cap on... Keep one track as you really want it to be , pan it over to one side somewhat , to be determined later...take the copy track and add some effects, slight delays, verbs..compression, etc,, send it the other direction in the mix, listen to what you have and now it's time to decide how you want that 2nd track to sound, but remember it's going to be back in the distant from the 1st track, present, but not really out front...this 2nd track technique is used commonly for instruments and voices...have fun with it but don't overdo it, the 2nd track should be a slight add-on to the first track. It's these little things that make tracks stand out .

    Ever hear a track and say.."What was that " or "Listen to that "...? That's what you are striving for .

    t
     
  7. Telenator

    Telenator Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    All great suggestions. I love delay panning for a full sound.

    If I might add one suggestion. Don't go for the ultimate sound when the guitar is played back solo. You'll crowd the rest of the recording. If you've ever heard a great recording and then were able to take the guitar track out of context and solo it, you'd be hearing a somewhat thinner sound than you'd expect. That's because the guitar tone was skillfully crafted to sit in the mix properly.

    The right tone has a lot to do with mixing one guitar into the song.

    It's very similar to sitting at home spending hours getting your digital multi-effects unit to sound awesome, only to find that it now sounds horrible in the context of the band.
     
  8. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

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    I assume you are doing electric guitar. I like to record my ovation acoustic with a direct line in and simultaneously with a microphone on the sound hole getting two different tracks. I have not tried it, but if you have an amp with a line out, get a mix of the line out and a mike on the amp.
     
  9. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    If you are doing two guitar tracks. My trick is recording an acoustic guitar and mix it to blend with the high hat. Fattens the guitar track and drum.
     
  10. kman900

    kman900 Tele-Afflicted

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    Normally i go for recording 2 or three tracks and mix them together. Have tried the track copying thing but was'nt really satisfied. Maybe if i try again with modern equipment . .

    Anyway, even a single track sounds more 3D if you take it out of the center . . maybe 15 % to the left will make your sound more transparent or airy!

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif
     
  11. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    With the caveat that there really are no rules, and what sounds good is good - what he said.

    Especially the part about doing what serves the song. Actually, that one is a rule.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  12. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Meister

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    All good advice above. The only thing I would add is even if you are recording electric guit you can still add an acoustic to fill a spot. This can give a fuller sound and also adds to the rythm. Pan it to the opposite side, or duplicate and delay it, or add a tiny bit of chorus, just experiment a bit. Just make sure to pull a lot of the low end out, anywhere from 100hz down.
     
  13. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    I use two tracks to record, one close, the other in the room. The close mic I'll pan closer to center, the room mic further to one side and usually with more reverb. Adding a slight delay to the room mic track is my poor mans way fattening up.

    The only tracks I pan hard L/R are the drum overheads. I like to pan the way I see a band on stage. Vocals are usually in the middle and other instruments are shifted to one side or the other.
     
  14. Impulse

    Impulse Tele-Meister

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    Or use an ADT plugin, like this one.
     
  15. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    nice! I'm on this when I get home! thanks!:)
     
  16. ScatMan

    ScatMan Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks. I've been playing around with this on some 3 part harmony vocals. Originally I was going to double the parts, but it looks like this will work better.
     
  17. Freya

    Freya Tele-Meister

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    Wow, thanks for all of the replies! I'm very excited to try all of your suggestions.


    EDIT: I just tried copying the guitar track I recorded and panning each through separate speakers. My gosh. It already sounds so much better than having just having the one track. Thanks again, guys.
     
  18. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Geoff738
    Thanks.
     
  19. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity

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    Went to the ADT site.
    What its the deal with the zip file?
    Will this run on my SONAR 5?
     
  20. ScatMan

    ScatMan Friend of Leo's

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    Good luck!
     
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