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Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

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Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby summerson89 » Wed May 08, 2019 4:28 pm

So my band is live recording a demo EP, and we pretty much decided that we're just going to mic up the drums, run DI out of both my (bass) amp and the guitar amp, record, mix, then put out. We aren't shooting for super clarity or pro studio quality, we just want a raw EP. So with drums, bassist, single guitarist running single track and vocals, how would one mix such a setup? Duplicate the guitar track and pan out to the sides (I understand this is nowhere near the same as double tracking) or leaving the guitar track center and mixing in mono?
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby blinddrew » Wed May 08, 2019 4:37 pm

Bit of both? Leave it pretty central during the verse (when the focus is on the vocal) and then duplicate and stick out wide in the chorus to bring in some width and dynamics.
If you're recording to a click, and your song structure is the consistent (i.e. chorus 2 is the same as chorus 1) chop it up and use the different parts to simulate a double tracking?
I'd suggest recording with less distortion than you'd typically use for a live setting because it's fairly easy to add back in with an amp sim but not vice versa.
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby The Elf » Wed May 08, 2019 4:58 pm

I'd echo the above. With a bit of editing you effectively do have double-tracked guitars, picking out parts and moving them around. Do make sure that you record a clean DI of your guitars, not only to enable possible re-amping, but mainly to ease editing.

I most often actually prefer artificial DT with rock guitars!

The art of mixing is in choosing the right treatment to support the song; this isn't an 'always' answer. Sometimes leaving a single guitar panned out hard wide is just what the arrangement needs. Choose your techniques to suit what your ears tell you.
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby summerson89 » Wed May 08, 2019 5:00 pm

Well, I can think of a couple songs that are consistent in structure, but we aren't recording to a click. We are just recording the instruments with live takes and then adding vocals after.
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby summerson89 » Wed May 08, 2019 5:03 pm

Would it be possible to do a clean DI, reamp, then pan original left and reamped DI right? Or would that make everything weird and phasey?
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby The Elf » Wed May 08, 2019 5:32 pm

summerson89 wrote:Would it be possible to do a clean DI, reamp, then pan original left and reamped DI right? Or would that make everything weird and phasey?
I would add a bit of delay if you're doing that.
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby The Elf » Wed May 08, 2019 5:33 pm

summerson89 wrote:...we aren't recording to a click...
For 'metal' I'd often encourage playing to click, depending on style, but this is an artistic choice.

Using a click gives you options, though.
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby summerson89 » Wed May 08, 2019 6:05 pm

The Elf wrote:
summerson89 wrote:...we aren't recording to a click...
For 'metal' I'd often encourage playing to click, depending on style, but this is an artistic choice.

Using a click gives you options, though.

It does, and while I'd prefer to be able to at least record drums to a click when the time comes to individually track instruments, we have a couple songs with changing tempos and time signatures. Most were written before I joined so I'm not sure what process was followed during songwriting, or how many drugs were involved. That being said, I'm not really trying to make the guitar have the "wall of sound" that multi tracking gives, or even simulate it, I just want a rough idea of what kind of stereo panning settings to start with. Since it is single guitarist single bassist I've thought about running a DI box between my bass and my amp (I normally record off my amp's DI) and then using that for a heavily distorted bass track with an aggressive high pass filter, for duplicating and panning with the guitar track while using my amp's DI track in the center of the mix with the drums.
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed May 08, 2019 6:44 pm

Either....

Overdub a double track

Or...

Pan the guitar and the mid frequencies upwards of the bass to the sides. See what it sounds like.

Faked double tracks are generally grim at worst, average at best.
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby summerson89 » Wed May 08, 2019 6:49 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:Either....

Overdub a double track

Or...

Pan the guitar and the mid frequencies upwards of the bass to the sides. See what it sounds like.

Faked double tracks are generally grim at worst, average at best.
Not really trying to fake a double tracked guitar. Just asking suggestions for panning or whether it would be best to leave it a mono mix. Although panning a distorted bass track to the other side of the mix would be cool I think
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby The Elf » Wed May 08, 2019 6:59 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:Faked double tracks are generally grim at worst, average at best.
This is not my experience, They often work better. For the super-tight aesthetics of modern metal they can sound gorgeous, though it depends on the techniques used to generate the fakery.
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby Dave B » Thu May 09, 2019 11:20 am

If you are trying for a rawer, less polished sound, I would be tempted to do a good (mainly) mono mix and use a little stereo processing to 'widen' the guitar sound - so my favourite is a stereo pitch shift/delay (eventide, sound toys microshift, etc). If you usually have chorus on the guitar, I'd turn that off and use the stereo shift instead. Just be careful not to overcook it.
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby summerson89 » Fri May 10, 2019 9:36 am

Dave B wrote:If you are trying for a rawer, less polished sound, I would be tempted to do a good (mainly) mono mix and use a little stereo processing to 'widen' the guitar sound - so my favourite is a stereo pitch shift/delay (eventide, sound toys microshift, etc). If you usually have chorus on the guitar, I'd turn that off and use the stereo shift instead. Just be careful not to overcook it.
Now that's what I'm talking about! Yeah we are going for a raw sound with this EP. Do you have any links to anything explaining how to use such things?
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Re: Mixing single tracked metal guitar.

Postby feedthestudios » Fri May 17, 2019 11:26 pm

Do you have any links to anything explaining how to use such things?

Here's a basic one for the Soundtoys Plug-in:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmtmNQPreQA

I personally use Waves Doubler. It's all based on the concept of the Haas delay trick (ping-pong delays under 30ms sound almost as one source but can be panned hard left and hard right and be noticeable) and pitch shift up and down to increase vocal 'thickness' and enhance separation.
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