How do we get Width/spread from a single guitar performance?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by alanfc, Jan 3, 2005.


  1. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    How do we get Width/spread from a single guitar performance?

    hi, a bit frustrated here-

    my band is wanting a more "raw" sound from my guitar parts on this particular song (Lefthanded Woman Rough Mix 4
    http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/album.php?aid=2962&alid=1170). I re-recorded all the main rythym parts with a more "raw" tone, still using human doubles L/R panned 80% or so. (When I panned 100% L/R they got lost.) The band still think it sounds too perfect and not Raw enough. They keep talking about Jack White and Franz Ferdinand's guitars but =damm= I wanna sound like ME dammit ^(%*^%$ .
    I can still sound like =me= , I know. Just want One of me now, not 4.

    In the intro to this song I did =not= do human doubles but rather, clone copies on L100%/R100%/Center. I have the center copy turned way down, the Left copy I have a slight reverb on, and the right side copy I have eq'd hotter than the other 2. But I hear them as too upfront and too Mono sounding. Is my reverb on the left rather than the right, a step in the right direction? The customary reverb on the right sounds overprocessed no matter how light the reverb mix is.. I know that I can get it real gnarly and raw just cloning single performances. The question is how to make it wider and not so amateur sounding..when I put my guitars at 100% left and right, they get lost

    Must be an EQ thing?

    How can we spread wider than 100% ?

    BTW I tried an M/S widening setting on my multiband comp (DigitalFishphones' Endorphin) to try out, and it was really awful. But I do have that tool at my disposal to continue tweaking on if thats the answer.

    thanks
     
  2. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    I don't know how to address your problem, but I think you should stick with YOUR tone and try to keep your bandmates at bay. If you sound 'just like' another band you won't have much of a chance of standing out, eh?

    Just my opinion, though.

    On the occasions I've needed to double up a track, I either shifted the 2nd track back a few milliseconds or adjusted the tuning a few cents so it wasn't *exactly* like the first track. In my experience it lends fullness/lushness though, not 'rawness'.

    --chiba
     
  3. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Same.

    Because you're working with only one take it still sounds like mono, just a little more full.

    I'm not sure what you're asking... are you asking how to get a more raw sound, or are you complaining that a "raw" sound isn't full and lush enough?

    Try recording clean then re-amping to another track with distortion. Pan the two tracks dead center to start. Blend them till you have a sound you like for the verses, then when the song starts to build for the chorus, faded the clean channel down and the distorted channel up by the same amount. Drop them back to where they were for verse 2. Cut them out and use a different guitar/amp/pedal combo entirely for the bridge.

    When you have what you like in mono, then pan. Sometimes if you go too hard L & R it tends to sound like centered mono. When I have something I want to sound big across the stereo field, like a B3 or piano, the widest I usually go is about 80% each way. Try panning one track 3/4 left and keep the other track centered, just play around with it. Add a tap delay to each track, but different delay times. Pan each delay to the side opposite from its track.

    Just some suggestions to get you started in some new directions. The clean/dirty blend is used a lot. If you don't overuse the delays and keep them from sounding mucked up you might be able to keep a "raw" sound. You don't want to overdo it and sound like someone just gave you a DAW for Xmas. :)
     
  4. Kevin

    Kevin Member

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    There are a million ways to record guitars and it's all subjective.
    Disclaimer over.

    The way your singer sounds and the song sounds, if it were me trying to fit a guitar sound in the mix, I would do this.....

    Use a lot less gain on the rhythm guitar. I assume you're miking it.
    Turn it up and push some air. You probably won't even need eq if you do a good job miking it. You could play the part twice panning L/R 100%. The key will be using the right amount of compression and getting the volume up so it's in your face sounding. Using a lot less gain and turning it up will sound much bigger than a lot of compressed distortion which will sound muddy and dull . Stay away from reverb on that song, you don't need it. If you're trying to make it sound big, try using 2 different guitars, a single coil and a humbucker type for each take.

    Just some stuff to try. :dude
     
  5. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    thanks guys-

    basically what I've decided is to give the band 2 mixes, one with an Alan guitar approach (the current one in the link) and one with the Jack friggin White guitar approach with all new tracking and different mixing and using your ideas. I still want to sell them on =my= version. This'll be in a couple weeks when the singer finishes all his vocals. I'm not really that mad anymore.. I have, you might say, "high-quality problems", in other words, I'm just glad to have people to play with.

    thanks
     
  6. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Great attitude to have :D

    --chiba
     
  7. GaryNattrass

    GaryNattrass Member

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    For a wide spread I always record the same guitar piece twice either using two different guitars or two different amps.

    I then pan them about 3 and 9 o'clock left and right.

    Adding a third guitar in the centre will also fill out the spread and I use a Great British stereo spring reverb to thicken the tone.
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Dig it!!

    I have one from Germany. The best guitar effect I've ever used. Much richer than any amp.
     
  9. straticus

    straticus Member

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    I just recorded a 3 piece band. They wanted to keep that "raw" one guitar sound too. That's what these guys are all about.

    What I ended up doing was panning the guitar (Les Paul through a clean Fender amp) a little off center (whatever sounded right with the vocals) and then use a little wide stereo chorus set at a very slow rate or a stereo delay. Mix them in so they're barely audible. You don't really hear them. Just enough to get some width. Most of their music is very sparse so there's lot's of room to do stuff like this. Worked great, they like it and that's what counts. I like it too.:)
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    If you want a raw, gnarly, guitar sound it isn't about the spread.

    I wouldn't double-track it at all. Double tracking creates phasing and smoothness. You evidently want edge and cut and grit.

    Go to the source. Get your raw tone out of the amp. You might want to try a different amp instead of different other stuff. Try a different guitar. You can get really raw sound out of something with P-90s, BTW.

    Don't compress the signal. Set your input levels low if your preamp is clipping, because a compressor will also smooth out the signal.

    Then put the amp in a fairly large room, and don't close-mic the amp. Get a bit of the room sound happening, set up the mic a foot or two back, or even more. Try different mics. I'd actually pick a condenser for this, something I almost never do on my own tracks, because most dynamics will compress and smooth out a track.
     
  11. alanfc

    alanfc Member

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    thank for the notes guys...

    unfortunately I'm limited to an iso-box thing..
    my iso-box situation is due to my recording studio (apartment bedroom) and neighbors.
    I can get the Rivera up to power tube cook in that iso-box (using an extension 1x12 with an Eminence V30 clone in the box).. But outside of that thing the volume would be a major problem. This'll be a 55 watt with the master on 4+. Not good for my neighbor situation. A good attenuator is not in my budget right now...

    **Let me ask this though.... regarding speaker movement, "excursion", air movement: is the distance from the mic the key- that is, distance for waves to form? Or is the speaker pumpin going to be captured if I remove the grillcloth and get right close. I mean which of these will capture the sound of the "movin air" ?. My guess is the first, mic further away. Trouble is, is that the further I move the mic away in this iso-cab, the more nasal it sounds, I assume from more sounds bouncing around even though I have it dampened quite alot.

    thanks
     
  12. Pete2

    Pete2 Member

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    This is exactly what I was thinking as I scrolled down this thread, and then Les's post beat me to it. Distance miking with a condenser can give you a great raw sound when you get the natural reverb from the room going and you can feel the space. If you record in a dead room, you may want to experiment with a more live space like a bathroom. Remember that Zepp recorded Bonham's monstrous drums in Levee Breaks on Zepp IV by having him sit and play at one end of a long hallway in a mansion, and miking it halfway up the stairwell on the other end of the hall! And you can't get much rawer than that!

    Pete
     
  13. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    Les,

    I have a related question. I agree that a guitar with P-90s can give you a really raw sound. But P-90s are really noisy. How do you minimize the noise level when recording a guitar with P90s assuming that guitar is properly shielded? I do have a Boss NS-2 noise gate, which works Ok when playing live, but it's not a very good solution when recording.

    FVB
     
  14. therealting

    therealting Member

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    My lo-fi approach: switch off any fluorescent lighting, CRT computer monitors, televisions, etc. Then walk and turn around to find a spot that has no noise.

    Alternatively, buy some wood and chicken wire - and make a Faraday cage. :)
     
  15. bigroy

    bigroy Member

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    Double the guitar track on an acoustic. It's worked for the Rolling Stones for 40 years.
     
  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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    >>But P-90s are really noisy. How do you minimize the noise level when recording a guitar with P90s assuming that guitar is properly shielded?<<

    It depends on the room. My control room is dead quiet with P-90s, so I usually run the guitar in my control room, with the head in the control room, and the cab is miked up in the booth, using a long speaker cable run.

    My recording booth has some kind of thing where I have to face in a particular direction with single coils to avoid buzz, which makes playing in the control room a sensible option.

    You have to experiment.
     
  17. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Will Ray calls it "facing Mecca." I call it "facing Jerusalem." Which in my studio, coincidentally, is east.
     
  18. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Another suggestion, whatever you used to record the guitar with, double it, i.e., 2 57's on the amp instead of one.
     
  19. onemind

    onemind Member

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    Hey, I'm not sure from your original post but if you are truly doubling (playing the track) the lack of width might be due to phasing issues, check the tracks in mono to see if the level drops, then try flipping the phase on one track...(you can do this in software if you''re using a daw).

    Steve
     
  20. Impulse 101

    Impulse 101 Member

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    To "raw up" my tone I split my signal via a Tonebone Switchbone and Feed it to a cranked Fender Bassman head as well as my recto or Guytron. The Bassman is great because it never really compresses out, it just gets ruder and uglier as you feed it a hotter signal, very much like Ted Nugents early tones, just not as compressed.

    It mixes in very nicely with a heavy amp and really makes it sound raw.

    JT
     

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