Professional Studio Engineers- Need Advice

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by KLINKDETROIT, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. KLINKDETROIT

    KLINKDETROIT Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Professional Studio Engineers- Need Advice

    I am seeking the input of an experienced engineer with regard to cutting rhythm guitar tracks for a heavy alternative rock record.

    We know that it always sounds best to cut 2 identical guitar tracks and pan hard left and right. More often than not this is typical practice for such an application resulting in the best stereo spread and big sound. The guitar player on this project is a very seasoned and "artistic" player. Unfortunately the flip side is that it has been very difficult for him to play 2 identical tracks with the precision timing it takes to really justify such an application.

    That said, we also know that there have been hard rock projects that sound very good, have the desired bigness and stereo spread we hope to achieve-However we also know that this has been achieved in 1 performance.

    We have attempted multiple mics and rigs simultaneously in order to differentiate left and right. We have also tried cutting 1 track and bussing to stereo aux bus-then panning. In both of these applications, it still just didn't sound near as cool as 2 independent performances.

    Hoping that someone out there can provide us the necessary feedback that will allow us to be successful in overcoming such challenges.

    We have 4 stellar rigs, 10+ tip top Les Pauls with boutique pickups, and every possible pro studio mic, mic pre and y/splitter box imaginable.

    Any assistance would be very much appreciated.

    Thank You.
     
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell Member

    Messages:
    545
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    Memphis
    Well, it doesn't *always* sound best to double things. You can get phase issues, flamming, and a sloppy sound that way.

    But my real advice is you would be better off hiring a good engineer/producer, based on work they've already done. Better one Les Paul and a good engineer than 10 Les Pauls and trying to learn how to engineer as you go.
     
  3. scottlr

    scottlr Member

    Messages:
    22,681
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Born & raised in Texas; stranded in Iowa
    If you really want/have to get that doubled sound, without having to do a 2nd track, dupe the track, and offset it (if you are recording digital) or a very slight delay. Then it'll perfectly match the 1st one, but will open up quite a bit. I use this every now and then on rhythm tracks. But only when it seems to fit, and is really needed.
     
  4. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,011
    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    NoVA
    What Lyle said.

    The other option, if you must track one performance multiple times, would be to delay one of the tracks by a miniscule amount of time (10ms for instance).

    The bottom line, is that if this gent is a technical player that embellishes his performances with each pass, you might be doing more harm than good by trying to double track it. Try a couple of passes and just let him do his thing. The variation in the performances could provide some interesting motion in the track. If he's not that good and just over-thinking it...TRYING to make it seem like two players playing two different parts, that is a whole other issue...and more a matter of Studio Psychology than Engineering chops.

    Listen to the Audioslave stuff...proof that you don't need a wall of guiatrs to make a hard hitting rock track these days. :BEER

    Good luck.
     
  5. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    12,356
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    western ma
    A "seasoned" guitar player that can't double up a heavy crunch part is someone who needs to get his sh*t together and do his homework. No amount of time/pitch shifting will get you to the same place as a competently played double track.

    Is the part really that complex, or is the cat a scrub?
     
  6. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

    Messages:
    1,207
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Suggestion,

    Assuming you're wroking on a DAW here...(well you can do it with other mediums but its just more work).

    1)Double track the part
    2)Listen to both tracks together, pan hard L and R
    3)On the double tracked part, mute the bits that don't sound right
    4) Make a 3rd track thats a copy of the original guitar, delayed slightly (10-20 ms), and pitch shifted up slightly (2-3 cents). Pan this track to the same spot you panned the double tracked guitar.
    5) Wherever you muted the double tracked guitar, un-mute the copied track from step 4. And, wherever the double tracked guitar is un-muted, mute the copied guitar.
    6)A/B Compare against a single tracked guitar...maybe even crossfade the above results with the single tracked guitar so you can have a single fader that controls the 'width' of your guitar sound.

    Just a thought...

    Cheers,

    Kris
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,478
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    I deleted all the silly crap I just wrote. Screw it, Basso's right.

    The fact is, if he can't play the same thing twice you ain't gonna get the same thing twice. I don't know the part, I don't know the guy, but the way to do it is to do it or find someone who can.

    If it's really that difficult a part (and let's say it is), then you duplicate the track and play with different ways to make them sound different.
     
  8. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,622
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Have you thought about running through two amps and then panning the amps left and right? The differences could get you a big sound - just make sure everything is in phase.

    Bryan
     
  9. clothwiring

    clothwiring Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,719
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Central NY
    I run two amps in stereo. On my album, Marshall Jubilee and Princeton Reverb with Chandler Tube Driver, worked great.
     
  10. E-Rock

    E-Rock Member

    Messages:
    701
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle
    I have to disagree with alot of the responses. Delay/offset of dublicate tracks can KILL a sound. Proof- take your mix and sum to mono. Duplicate tracks that have been delayed like that will turn to phase shifted, comb filtered mush. This is NOT how to make a big guitar sound.
    The 2 performances panned L/R can sound really big, but only if played right. Although, I don't really like it that much anymore.

    I think you can get bigger sounds with just one "take" but maybe through 2 amps, maybe close mic the 2 amps, then add a couple of room/ambient mics.

    There is a lot of ways to get big git sounds. I've had great luck with a combo of ribbon mics and either a dynamic or condenser.

    Also, sometimes the biggest tone comes from the smallest amps. Huge ass Marshalls don't always sound that huge.

    Anyway, good luck. Remember, move mics until it sounds right!
    -peace
    -e
     
  11. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,458
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MD
    Multi-amp/ Multi-mic setups can sound great. There's no substitute for actually playing the part twice though. It's the key to this type of sound.

    All the same, here's my unorthodox suggestion. Send the track through an old reel to reel. If it has a weak motor or flattened pinch roller, even better. If you're feeling adventurous, grab the reels to speed it up and slow it down. Maybe it'll work, maybe it'll sound like crap. :crazy
     
  12. Cody McLain

    Cody McLain Member

    Messages:
    1,328
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2002
    Location:
    Austin
    This can be so true- I've been amazed at what can be done with certain small amps, especially when mixed with a big amp. Don't discount this thought...
     
  13. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

    Messages:
    1,207
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Yeah, delay/pitch tricks can wreck mono compatability...but that's not necessarily a problem. Sometimes this is a great way to put a little hole in the center of a mix to leave a spot for center panned tracks (e.g. vocals or solos) to stand out. You can also monitor in mono and choose your delay time so that the phase cancellation is least objectionable. These tricks never sound like double tracked gtrs either...but its a useful trick to have in your arsenal.

    A while back I experimented with Q-sound, and that was able to (again at the expense of mono compatability) pan gtrs out beyond the edges of the speakers, which was great for the odd part here and there.

    Close/ambient micing can make for wide sounds, but you give up the "in your face" effect for the added width.

    Multi-mics/multi-cabs can work too, but watch out for mono compatability (if it matters to you...depends on what the finished product is, maybe it doesn't matter for a CD, but for TV or radio commercial its pretty important).

    Cheers,

    Kris
     
  14. KLINKDETROIT

    KLINKDETROIT Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005

    That was an idea we were kicking around. Thanks
     
  15. Unburst

    Unburst Member

    Messages:
    4,221
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Basso+1

    If you have to go with one pass, try using a multi amp setup and spreading the amps across the stereo field.
     
  16. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

    Messages:
    6,478
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Location:
    Fort Mudge
    As long as we're on to the two amps discussion...

    If you can split the signal you can record one track direct, no amp at all. Then re-amp it any number of different ways and see what works best.

    There are several boxes that convert a line level signal to instrument level for exactly that purpose.
     
  17. justicetones

    justicetones Member

    Messages:
    641
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    So Cal.

    I have done this and it can work well. IMHO, It is still not the same as doubletracking but can be another cool big sound. I use the radial re-amp kit.

    Like the others stated a hard panned delay track will present a bigger sound but will suffer in mono. Also I have noticed that this trick also suffers on boom boxes where the speakers are close together (Kind of weird???).
     
  18. wooldl

    wooldl Member

    Messages:
    863
    Joined:
    May 23, 2003
    Location:
    NE 1/4 Section 35
    Reamp it. Run the track back thru another mic'd amp and record it too. Same part...new sound.
     
  19. elambo

    elambo Member

    Messages:
    2,360
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    If you want this to sound great, double track it. Triple track it. Quadruple track it. That's how it's done. Any shortcuts (offsetting, for instance - please DON'T do this. As mentioned already, it will not hold up in mono) will be a sacrifice. This sounds like an issue for the producer, not the engineer. Get the guitarist to learn his part and play it multiple times. If he's an "artist" he'll appreciate the results and find it well worth his effort in the end.
     
  20. KLINKDETROIT

    KLINKDETROIT Member

    Messages:
    491
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    Wow, lots of cool stuff. Keep it comin. Thanks
     

Share This Page