Getting leads to stand out in the mix.

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Thread: Getting leads to stand out in the mix.

  1. #1

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Getting leads to stand out in the mix.

    What's the secret?

    My lead tracks are getting buried behind my drums and rhythms. I've brought the mids up a bit, which seems to help, and added a little volume, but the doubletracked rhythm guitars still drown it out.

    Gimme some tips!

  2. #2

    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    take a a sweepable eq and find the points in your rhythm tracks that seems to overtake the leads the most and do a small cut until the leads pop out more. it will work every time and should allow the leads to be heard and the rhythms to actually pop out more as well.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Also, less chorus/reverb, and Crucified's "notch" is big in order to cut out some frequency space for the leads.
    Too much focus leads to tunnel vision
    Too much faith leads to religion
    Too much knowledge leads to confusion
    Too many guitar lessons lead to jazz-fusion

  4. #4

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    I do everything dry, including JJ's mom. The mid-notch definitely helps.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Aug 2009
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    I went through this for months. Are you using the same head/amp tone for your leads and rhythms and EQing them differently? I found that if you're using similar amp presets, lets say Mesa Triple Rect for both your lead and rhythm sound, you're bound to experience this. I modeled my presets with an ENGL type tone for the rhythm gits and a thick 6505+ sound for the leads. This really segregated the leads from the rhythms, not to mention blended beautifully.

    Don't be afraid to try a completely different amp. Might not sound so great on it's own, but in a mix it just may work

  6. #6

    Join Date: Jan 2009
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    As much as I personally hate the idea myself, it truly is first and foremost about getting a frequency balanced mix first before you dive into getting the leads to sound right, which is the idea Crucified was pointing at.
    Too much high mids (which is generally going to be the killer here) in the rhythm guitars is something that will totally destroy the ability of the leads to cut through (not to mention it also robs the vocals of breathing space).
    As much as you're a guitarist and feel tempted to want to boost the shit out of both the rhythm and leads, it just can't work that way.
    Boost both, and you make a mess of things.
    You simply gotta sacrifice a bit of that rhythm guitar sound for the leads, but it's for the betterment of the whole mix anyway, so it wont sound worse.

    Don't be afraid to compress, limit and use saturation if you have.
    Compression/limiting on leads can help stop those occasional notes that jump out annoyingly at you, and saturation can make it a little more mid focused (not in the same way as EQ of course, but it works).
    Multiband compression on rhythm guitars is another good one, for helping to give space to a mix for all the other elements.

  7. #7

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    Where are the guitars panned? If the rhythms are hard L/R, and the kick and snare are dead center, pan the lead about 20% left or right. Mids will help the lead cut through. Use a different amp/patch for the leads vs. the rhythm.

    ...welcome to mixing, nothing is easy

  8. #8

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    My lead is completely different from the rhythms, I mic the Roadster on Ch4 Vintage. (Rhythms are direct from the AFX)

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