Recording 2 guitars

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Lhvr, May 7, 2013.

  1. Lhvr

    Lhvr Active Member

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    When you recording 2 guitars (one left, one right), what about the sound? How do you get a different sound from both guitars? Do you really want a different sound?
    1. Are you using for both guitar tracks the same guitar, amp and microphone?
    2. Do you get a different sound by using different guitars, but the same amp and micro position?
    3. or the same guitars but a different amp or sound?
    4. or just a different microphone?

    Until now I used version 2.
     
  2. Robus

    Robus Active Member

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    Unless I'm doubling a part, I always use a different guitar and amp and sometimes a different mic for each part. In my unscientific opinion, two part from the same guitar or amp seem to get in each other's way in the mix. I like to hear a clear separation.
     
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  3. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    I never record a 2nd guitar part unless it is different from the first guitar track and this is based on how the song in question is arranged.

    Panning the same guitar part and sound to each side does expand the sound field but I like using panning to separate 2 different sounding parts.

    It can be the same guitar with a different tone setting on the guitar, amp, different miking or a different guitar, whatever works for the song.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
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  4. Tobacco Worm

    Tobacco Worm Well-Known Member

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    There are times that I'll play a 3rd or maybe a 5th above a track that I've already done to harmonize. When using the same guitar, I'll change the tone of it enough to be able to know that there are two guitars playing and not just some pedal doing the stuff. It'll be panned well enough to know too, that there are two guitars going in the tune. If I want it to really stand out, then I'll go with two different guitars and amps for a radically different texture.

    Wade
     
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  5. Robus

    Robus Active Member

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    Panning the same guitar part and sound to each side just puts the part in the center wouldn't it?
     
  6. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    In theory yes, but I swear I hear a subtle difference between having a single track centered and 2 identical tracks panned wide. This is rare, though, mostly I use different guitar - or keyboard and guitar - parts panned wide.
     
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  7. Gemini75

    Gemini75 Active Member

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    A hard L/R pan of the same track sounds pretty flat. You really do need two separate guitar tracks to get them to sound full.

    Be careful though when using different amps, cabs, and mic combos on the second track, as you can run the risk of them sounding too different.

    Assuming you're recording digitally and have the option of using different IRs, this shouldn't be too big a problem. I usually just record two separate guitar tracks and then play "mix and match" with the IRs to find the optimal combination.

    One thing I have noticed though are that v30/sm57 combos tend to sound harsh/scratch/abrasive when used by themselves. Trying mixing a v30 with a t75 to get a better, fuller sounding tone.

    For mics, try adding an Audix I5 or D6 into your mixes, or maybe a Royer 121 to fatten it up a bit.
     
  8. SOILLSG

    SOILLSG New Member

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    I can tell you this about recording, you can probably do a better job finding that balance you are looking for by dual mic'ing a cabinet if you are recording a 2x12 or 4x12. By dual mic'ing you should use a microphone with a "Dark" characteristic, and a "Bright" characteristic... I use a ribbon (dark) and a condenser (bright) for this function. I think a lot of folks use the Cascades for low cost ribbon on guitars, ideally use a Royer, for a really excellent condenser use a Sony C48, or.... you could use a AT 4040 or 4050, AKG 414 or 451 maybe, AT 4033, or some of the other Chinese condensers with a better capsule put in or something, tube or no tube, whatever. If you want to use a dynamic instead in place of the ribbon maybe, an SM-7b or a Beyerdynamic M88 should be your go to guy, I know this because I interned at Electrical Audio in Chicago, not just my own project studio, and I took amazing notes! Here are two photos from a session I did at EA. Also, if you add a condenser to a bass recording, with a touch of dbx 160, heaven. Use this and I promise you much more successful recordings than the past, this information is available on forums and in the book "The Recording Engineer's Handbook" a must purchase.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. SOILLSG

    SOILLSG New Member

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    If this seems a bit bold, I am just tired of under qualified "tone lawyers" telling people an SM 57, sweet guitar, and an expensive guitar amp is all you will need. To improve your results you will need careful mic placement, panning, guitar selection, amp selection, and good ears to be an engineer. If you are missing parts of this equation consider going to a professional studio, if you need a hint on which one to pick I will help gladly. x2 since this is for recording two guitars.
     
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  10. Gemini75

    Gemini75 Active Member

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    1) Yes. I tend to use the same guitar, as it cuts down on tuning all the time.

    2) Amp mixing can be a real p.i.t.a., as you're always running the risk of having one tone overpower/overshadow the other. Mixing different cabs can be as equally troublesome, so it's usually easier to just change the mic position to get a slightly different tone.

    3) See above.

    4) See above.

    I'm just a "one trick pony" kind of metal guy, but I've found that just layering a track is usually more than enough to get a thick, full sounding tone. Follow the k.i.s.s. principle (keep it simple, stupid) and you won't have nearly so many headaches.
     
  11. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    That can be avoided with careful EQ, re-amping, etc. Even just sliding the two parts a fraction off-timing could work for the right track.

    You can buy all the gear you want.

    You have to learn to use anything you buy. Ownership does not impart ability.

    Great recordings can be made with minimal gear, common stuff, etc.

    However as you point out, you need a good engineer to get the right sounds into your DAWS.

    Personally I'm very happy with an SM57 and a guitar amp. But you can get a wide variety of sounds - appropriate and not so much - from this combination just by placement of the mic in the room. Some of these sounds will be wonderful. Some will suck. And sometimes the sucky tone is the one that sits best in the track.

    Check these articles out:

    Why Most People Will Never Be Good At Recording ยป The Recording Revolution

    http://forum.recordingreview.com/f8/why-your-recordings-will-always-suck-33527/
     
  12. Mass debate

    Mass debate Member

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    Whenever I record and I want to harmonize, I tend to use a different guitar with a bit low settings. Not to overpower the first guitar. But basically the same effects (if there's any).
     
  13. eS.G.

    eS.G. Well-Known Member

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    I NEVER record....I don't need proof I suck...........
     
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  14. flatrockmobile

    flatrockmobile Well-Known Member

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    Quite true.
    Most of the bands I've recorded with one guitar player, the rhythm guitar tracks would be at least double tracked. Metal would usually be 4 or more tracks. With 2, panned hard L&R. More, they would be spread L to R.
    There are enough subtle differences even with same axe, same amp, same settings, etc., that it will in fact sound very thick and full, or a wall of guitars ( if that's what you're going for) with 4 or more tracks.
    Try playing the tracks as perfectly as possible or it will be a mud pie when mixed!

    Recording with 2 guitar players playing together is a blast too. I always faced the amps towards each other from across the room so when the cabs are miked up, the BACK of the mics are facing each other. Even with high powered amps with 4-12 cabs, there is actually very little bleed.
     
  15. Gemini75

    Gemini75 Active Member

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    The one thing I've learned about DIY home digital guitar recording is this, you can not get one tone to do everything. A really good high-gain tone is the result of layering four or more medium gain tones on top of each other. Other littler things like adding a chorus or a tiny bit of delay on either the left or right panned track helps too.

    Only other advice I could give in regard to high-gain tones is learn how to stack your gain stages. Use a tube screamer to do a little pre preamp EQing.
     
  16. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, and even with a distorted stack of layered guitars it can help to have one clean one in the mix to add a bit of sharpness to the attack.
     
  17. alexander paul

    alexander paul Well-Known Member

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    loads of excellent advice & many scenarios seemed covered. a lot depends on the style/genre of music & how much space you need to fill.... i try to double up guitar tracks & change at least something, amp, mic, pickup, guitar etc...... i double mic if it's only 1 pass/take for whatever reason.... if the "talent" can't lock in i'll clone/double the track & slide one back a "smidgin".... if there's a "faux pa" in the/a double i'll copy & past the chord, word etc... & move/slide it.... [​IMG]
     
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  18. Gemini75

    Gemini75 Active Member

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    Another thing I've found that helps is to play with the volume/tone controls between the two tracks.
     
  19. WavMixer

    WavMixer Well-Known Member

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    I got your recording :naughty:
     
  20. Gemini75

    Gemini75 Active Member

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    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/17738100/3guitartonetest.mp3

    Well actually three guitar tracks, but you get the point.

    The amp settings (was using POD Farm for this) were all the same. The only differences were cab choices (used one bass cab sim and three guitar cab sims), effects (using an analog chorus on the left channel and a UVibe on the right), and two different mics (bass mic on the left channel and a 421 on the right).

    Admittedly, not the greatest sounding recording (I haven't had a chance to dial the tones in properly yet), but I think you can get a picture here of how you can build a deent enough sounding guitar tome by stacking takes and swapping out various mics and cabs to get a fuller sounding tone.
     

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