Single guitarist recording tracking

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Bentayuk, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    Single guitarist band members! How do you track your guitars? Do you prefer double tracking? Triple or quad tracking?

    When you track your guitars, do you use one amp for double tracking or two amps (one for each side)?

    Do you hard pan left+right? Or 80-90%?

    I’m interested in the single guitarist tracking approach.
     
  2. Blix

    Blix Member

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    That would depend on the style of music, but for my typical hard rock stuff I prefer double tracked hard panned and recorded using the same tone as a base. Triple and quad can be really cool too and that's were I would start dabbling with layering of different sounds.
     
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  3. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    Fair point. Mainly metal guitarists, but I always play anything from hard rock to post rock.
     
  4. D4V3?

    D4V3? Member

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    I'm the only guitarist in my band and I prefer to single-track my rhythm parts on the harder stuff, it's easier to mix and make sound massive, whereas when you triple-track a rhythm part, each track actually has to be "less" and it's more work to mix.

    I love to double my solos and pan them hard left & right. I almost can't not.
     
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  5. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    Two separate takes, amps mic'd a little different, or eq on amp changed some. Helps fill it out without needing as much eq in post. I seldom, record, copy that track and then pan. Always prefer 2 takes of the same guitar track.

    Lower gains because the tracks will be summed with others. High gain settings thin out the sound
     
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  6. Steinmetzify

    Steinmetzify Member

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    Double tracked. Using a Kemper, so usually I’ll use the same amp and then a different IR in the same family.

    Panned 80% L and R.

    Way less gain than I practice with.

    Quad track once in a while but I’m not as tight as I’d like to be and unless I know the parts super well it can get sloppy.
     
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  7. tibone

    tibone Member

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    Double track the rythms. I 'm not tight enough to quad track without creating a chorusing effect. So i usually double track. Different settings, but only slightly, and panned usually between 70% to 100%, depending on the track.
     
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  8. SymphonicDischord

    SymphonicDischord Member

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    On the album I did in my 3 piece hard rock/metal band, I double tracked all my rhythm guitars generally using different tones and guitars on each one (gotta love the Helix for that easy versatility). For the most part I was just doubling my parts but every once in a while I would also put some subtle playing differences between the two to help fill out the sound.

    If you’d like to hear, here is a link to the album:

    https://tectoniccanada.bandcamp.com/releases
     
  9. soundchaser59

    soundchaser59 Supporting Member

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    Double track. Same amp but different guitar, different pedals, maybe one DI and one mic'd. Pan them.
    But I play keys too, so I am very fond of doubling a single rhythm guitar track with a keyboard track.
    It's very difficult (for me) to get an adequate and full sound from a single guitar track. Depends on the song too, how many parts there are, how busy it is and how fast it is, etc.
     
  10. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    I recently did a live recording of my band. Slightly overdrive AC15. I used 2 different (e609 and a Fathead ribbon) mics on the cabinet, and then panned them hard left and right. I was blown away how good and wide it sounded with VERY minimal eq. (High pass eq, and a slight midrange lift).

    That was not plan when I set it up. Was going to blend the mics, but when separated, it worked amazingly well. I didn't need to add any artificial "spread" processing.
     
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  11. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    I generally record one guitar to two tracks and mix them left/right (so it sounds like mono - center). If I only have one guitar playing I can leave them combined and it's center, but if I want to create a harmony for one section I can just record over one of the tracks and the guitars automatically split into stereo. This works best for "lead" guitar playing where you have single lines between vocal lines, for example, but when the guitar solo comes along it is a stereo solo. The sound and mix stays mostly the same, but the mix changes for the solos.
     
  12. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the awesome replies. This is exactly the thread I wanted to start!

    What about tracking solo's? I've always single tracked my solos, but I've heard others double tracking them also...
     
  13. evanjackson

    evanjackson Supporting Member

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    Two rhythm tracks, one panned hard left, one hard right. Play it twice...slight difference will make it sound bigger. Solos overdubbed panned at 1:00, single tracked....occasionally double tracked and panned to same spot.

    Just the way I tend to do it.
     
  14. Tmidiman

    Tmidiman Member

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    I’m a single guitarist, I record a single track for rhythm. There, of course, is the very occasional electric track and acoustic track. I don’t always play with standard chords, so just one guitar is full enough.

    Single track solos too. Most times under a single trac rhythm part.
     
  15. bard2dbone

    bard2dbone Member

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    I'm a bass player who plays AT everything else. When I do home demos, I mostly use my Taylor acoustics to start. the 12 string is panned hard left, the six string, hard right, so they sound like one immensely huge guitar.

    Next track is scratch vocal, just to know where in the song we are. This one is not usually for keeping.

    Then I do the bass parts. mostly centered if I'm just doing one track. Occasionally I will do DI and mic'ed. When I do that, I'll mostly spread them a bit/ The cleaner bass goes left. The dirtier goes to the right.

    Then basic keyboards. Definitely not keepers, here. I'm a piss poor to mediocre keyboardist. But I typically have a Hammond sound on my Roland VK-7, and a Rhodes sound on my Alesis QS8.1. Againm,, those are spread to imply space. Organ left, Rhodes right. Not hugely far. But a bit, say a third to a half.

    Hand percussion (congas, conguitas, bongos, maracas, tambourine, whatever...) is center right, Drum kit is center left.

    I don't always get all of those down before I bring other humans into the process. But if I'd gone this far, it would be roughly like that. In more frequent real life, I get down acoustics, scratch vocals, and probably a track of bass before I show it to the guys in the band I play in, John is a much better lead guitarist than I'll ever be. So I have him do solos/ Randy is a better drummer than I am, but it's a pain to switch the kit to left handed. So sometimes I'll do it. Sometimes I'll call my daughter, Technically it's her kit.


    Starting over to answer the question I wandered off from: I tend to do a double track of acoustic guitar to sound like one huge guitar for rhythm tracks.
     
  16. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Same!
     
  17. D4V3?

    D4V3? Member

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    Ah. Recording solos.

    On some songs I gravitate towards playing the exact same solo each time. So if I'm recording a song like that I will almost always record multiple takes of the solo and mix the two best takes together, there by doubling the track.

    On other songs where the solo is totally improvised and never played the same way twice, you just hit record and it is what it is.
     
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  18. Mister Natural

    Mister Natural Member

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    . . . I use both double and single; depends on the track and context
     
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  19. Teal_66

    Teal_66 Member

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    Tracking guitars is like cooking - season to taste depending on the meal. I just tracked a lot of guitar takes prior to a studio date. Here are some pointers...
    1. If you're using amps and mics, watch for phase with 2 mics, and play with the positioning until it sounds best. Be patient here, don't just slap the mic in front of the amp wherever and hit 'record'. This is time well spent.
    2. For solos to 'cut' through everything, I tend to do a single mono track usually employing the bridge pickup, but that really depends on the song. This is just overall.
    3. If you track some rhythm guitar(s), it's a really nice idea to do two separate takes (don't just copy the first take and duplicate it in the DAW). Pan these to the left and right. Usually creates a nice width.
    4. If you track a guitar performance and it just sounds small and thin, or just isn't filling things well - here's a good time time to maybe add some chorus or slight distortion or something to add more to the sound.
    5. A good preamp does make a difference, and a better than average interface also makes a huge difference. These might seem like small little things, but when you start adding up all of the small little things, it becomes noticeable.
    6. Where you track/record does make a difference too in most circumstances, so try to track in a decent room with some sort of treatment, even if it's a mattress or blankets. (I've seen this)
    7. IMPORTANT: Try to record the guitar(s) exactly how you want them to sound. Don't record with the intent to fix in the DAW. Your goal should be to record the track, and not have to do anything to it. It should sound spot-on. (of course, by the end you'll probably EQ it, but you really shouldn't have to). When you approach tracking this way, everything else becomes much easier (mixing).

    Hope this helps.
     
  20. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Member

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    My approach, too. Composed solos will get doubled (with occasional branches into harmonies, but those are pretty rare). Improv solos might, at most, get two mics on the cab and I can either pick one or the other, or blend to taste. Composed and doubled solos will get panned 90° L/R, doubled mics might be closer to center, maybe 60°. I'll print most effects, but usually add delay on mixdown to ensure tight timing and appropriate sonic space.
     

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