So now that I'm on ADHD meds, I find I can actually concentrate and record things. (Though I still suck at programming drums, and these are really rough) Weirdly I have the patience to actually drag sliders around and shit, add compressors. I still suck at levels, but at least I try.
So I have a shit ton of questions. I'm doing like, the grimmest blackened speed glam thrash EP with spaghetti western guitar. The clip is missing bass (I'm hundreds of miles away from my bass unfortunately) and some additional harmony guitars. The guitar tracks were recorded at different input levels for different riffs too (oops). Nonetheless, it illustrates what I am talking about well enough.
-Do I bus the lead vocals to one bus and the gang vocals to another? Or do I bus all vocal tracks to the same bus? (I want to do the gang vocals clean, but just did them dirty on demo shit)
-How do I prevent the spaghetti western guitar from getting washed the fuck out? It's on the prechorus, where there are four tracks of vocals and thrash rhythm guitars. I'll probably switch the harmonies it's playing, since these ones ended up kind of jarring, and mess with the speed on the rotary speaker sims and shit. But what should I do in terms of compression/limiters? Does it make sense to double track shit with a rotary speaker, or should I just single track it? Should I hard pan them? It's more a texture than anything. Should I just do one track, or double track? If I double track, should I apply the rotary vst to each one, or bus them and do it on the bus so there is no weird phasey shit?
-Where do I use parallel compression?
-How much 'verb is acceptable to add to the main bus for that grimy old school garage demo feel? What kind? Plate? Spring? Room?
Man, Garrett, you're one of only a handful of guys here I don't feel I'm at all qualified to give recording advice to, because you're after SUCH a different sound than I am.
Where are the spaghetti western guitars? That lead-y thing at the start?
I'd say for now don't worry about parallel compression. It's often used on the drums to make them sound bigger, punchier, thicker, etc.... Which, I suspect, is the LAST thing you want for this mix.
For your bussing questions... My thought is I'll buss things into the same group if I think there's ever a situation where I'm going to want to edit them all together. If I want to apply the same EQ or the same volume adjustment to them all, then they go into the same bus. If not, separate. I'm guessing the gang vocals and the screamed vocals are going to go through different processing chains, so I'd probably bus them separately, but there's no reason you couldn't then send those busses into a combined "vocal" bus, if you wanted, to throw the same 'verb on them or allow you to turn up or down all the vocals at once. Whatever works best for your workflow, though.
For your reverb question... I don't generally put reverb on the master, but again, we're after different sounds. I'd GUESS you'd want a room verb, fairly short decay, and if you can EQ the verb separately making sure the low end is fairly well constrained would probably help. Normally I'd say don't put reverb on your master and instead run anything you want reverbed through a separate reverb send, possibly multiple reverb sends, and just get the reverb right in the mix, but again, if you're after a grimy, lo-fi, budget sound, throwing a reverb plugin on the master might actually be a great way to get there.
EDIT - also, this thrashes. But you knew that.