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crying in your beer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for the weird thread-titel, but i really dont know the proper english translation for the second method, where you just record 1 guitar-track, but record with a few different microphones, and then just "correct" the phases, so you have (f.e.) 4 tracks, which in the end (imho) are not REALLY different.

We are discussing this at the moment, as recording starts, and f.e. our second gutiarists opinion is, that we should (as last time) just record one track each person, and multi-mic/phase-correct it. I, having done both already, said, that i reallyreally would prefer - altough a shitload more work - double-tracking (if not even quad-tracking), as it just sounds "better" to my ears. Fuller, fatter...the human imperfections provides the "wall of sound".

Sure, on the other hand - how many people of the listeners are going to hear the difference? And is the "wall of sound" really usefull for some parts, which are extremely technical and filigrane? But you could still reduce the tracks on these parts...

I would be interested in your opinons/experiences!
 

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El Kabong
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The difference in sound between the two methods isn't about the number of mics so much as the number of performances. Two performances recorded with one mic each will sound different from one performance recorded with the same two mics. The very slight variations in the different performances make it sound bigger, because it's two guitars instead of one. Imagine a choir compared to a solo vocal. It's the same basic idea (though there's probably a better analogy). Double tracking is pretty standard in modern metal recordings.
 

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crying in your beer
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, thats what i understand, and of course prefer - the other method i meant, was, what i know that some sound-engineers are also doing, to record the same track with different mics etc., and then manually move the track a few miliseconds and/or correct the phase, so they kinda "simulate" a second guitar-track recorded.
 

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Yes, thats what i understand, and of course prefer - the other method i meant, was, what i know that some sound-engineers are also doing, to record the same track with different mics etc., and then manually move the track a few miliseconds and/or correct the phase, so they kinda "simulate" a second guitar-track recorded.
Why simulate when you can just record two different guitar tracks and get the full rich glorious "real thing"?
 

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crying in your beer
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the arguments are mostly, to save time and money, and that its a lot tighter than you could ever play - and actuallly THAT imho is not an advantage.
 

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I think it's an artistic choice, neither is "better". To my ears one performance left and right (regardless of the number of mics) is going to be more aggressive, as none of the transients are smoothed out by multiple performances. Two performances left and right (aka double tracking) will sound fuller and smoother, and is a lot, lot more work.

For years Andy Sneap championed the quad tracking method, and I believe because his forum is so popular that many people have assumed that double tracking is the standard in modern metal. Recently though, Mr. Sneap has been saying that he just uses two tracks (one left, one right) and "turns them each up louder".

If the band is a thrash/death/black style band I would do one track on each side since those styles will benefit from a more aggressive rhythm guitar sound. They will also take the longest to double. If the band is a doom or power style I'd double them up. If the band is progressive, I'd probably only do one on each side since you need to leave room for the keys in the mix. If the band is traditional/nwobhm/retro I'd do one on each side to get a more retro feel to the recording.
 

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Mr. Negative Pants, ,
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Wirelessly posted (Dethphone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7E18 Safari/528.16)

I find multi-tracked and densely layered guitars to sound too slick and "over-produced". Fewer tracks makes it fell more lively and "real" to my ears.
 

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I think it's an artistic choice, neither is "better". To my ears one performance left and right (regardless of the number of mics) is going to be more aggressive, as none of the transients are smoothed out by multiple performances. Two performances left and right (aka double tracking) will sound fuller and smoother, and is a lot, lot more work.

For years Andy Sneap championed the quad tracking method, and I believe because his forum is so popular that many people have assumed that double tracking is the standard in modern metal. Recently though, Mr. Sneap has been saying that he just uses two tracks (one left, one right) and "turns them each up louder".

If the band is a thrash/death/black style band I would do one track on each side since those styles will benefit from a more aggressive rhythm guitar sound. They will also take the longest to double. If the band is a doom or power style I'd double them up. If the band is progressive, I'd probably only do one on each side since you need to leave room for the keys in the mix. If the band is traditional/nwobhm/retro I'd do one on each side to get a more retro feel to the recording.
I've read in more than one place that this is now preferred.
 

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I find multi-tracked and densely layered guitars to sound too slick and "over-produced". Fewer tracks makes it fell more lively and "real" to my ears.
I think a lot of this is due to the "perfection" that is required to multi-track. Any small "imperfections" get lost, and a good deal of the character of the performance is lost. A confident single tracked performance will be preferable to lifeless multi-tracked performances.

To me, music is about making an emotional connection, not perfection. The little nuances that get lost in double tracking, grid editing and egregious auto tuning can quickly lead to a perfect, but soulless, recording.

The other option not described is to do three rhythm guitar tracks, one left, right and centre. This is the method Metallica used for Master and it seems to be a good compromise between the fullness of double tracking and the character of single tracking. It does require some forethought though, because you have to decide which part gets played in the middle (assuming that a) you don't have three guitarists, and b) the two guitar parts are sometimes different).
 

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To me, music is about making an emotional connection, not perfection. The little nuances that get lost in double tracking, grid editing and egregious auto tuning can quickly lead to a perfect, but soulless, recording.
I agree. That's why that one post a few weeks ago about the individual note editing of modern metal made my skin crawl.
 

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Matt, just to clarify some nomenclature, when you're referring to "a single track on each side" vs "double tracking on each side", really what you're saying is "two separate performances, one per side" versus "two performances on one side, and another two performances on the other", right?

For me, I think a distorted rhythm guitar doesn't really sound "real" unless you're using at least two tracks. Someone on another board I read theorized it really has something to do with how our ears "hear" a guitar - when you're playing a guitar in the room, you're not hearing it from a single source right in front of the amp but rather coming from the front AND sides, at slightly different times and with slightly different frequencies emphasized depending on how close you are to the walls and how reflective or absorptive they are. Using multiple tracks of multiple performances simulates this sound better than a single track can.

Also, copying one performance, panning it left and right, and adding a slight delay or chorus or something just sounds like shit. It's not worth the (little) time it takes to do unless you're dealing with a player where there's no way in hell they can double the first track.
 

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Matt, just to clarify some nomenclature, when you're referring to "a single track on each side" vs "double tracking on each side", really what you're saying is "two separate performances, one per side" versus "two performances on one side, and another two performances on the other", right?
:agreed:

For me, I think a distorted rhythm guitar doesn't really sound "real" unless you're using at least two tracks. Someone on another board I read theorized it really has something to do with how our ears "hear" a guitar - when you're playing a guitar in the room, you're not hearing it from a single source right in front of the amp but rather coming from the front AND sides, at slightly different times and with slightly different frequencies emphasized depending on how close you are to the walls and how reflective or absorptive they are. Using multiple tracks of multiple performances simulates this sound better than a single track can.
I don't know about the physics behind it (don't care actually :lol:) I just know that for metal :metal: you need at least one different performance on each side. :hsquid:

Also, copying one performance, panning it left and right, and adding a slight delay or chorus or something just sounds like shit. It's not worth the (little) time it takes to do unless you're dealing with a player where there's no way in hell they can double the first track.
There are a lot of hard rock albums from the 80s and early 90s that will say otherwise (See: Van Halen, Sykes, J.E. Lee, etc.). Though they were just playing one performance and sending it to a stereo effect of some sort, not cut/paste. For metal, though, I agree with you.
 

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I don't know about the physics behind it (don't care actually :lol:)
I actually think it's interesting as hell. :lol:

And yeah, good call on Van Halen et al. I wasn't thinking. :D

I've kind of found myself at the same mindset as you when it comes to quad-tracking (or more) - I'm an instrumental guitarist. Yeah, my rhythm guitars would probably sound bigger if I quad tracked them, but considering I'll be playing a guitar melody over the top, most likely with the same amp, that's not necessarily something I want. It seems easier to mix if I just record two tracks and leave more space for the lead guitar, for the music and arrangements I write.
 

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multi micing is a better way to get a tone, multi tracking will get you a different feel.

Also the reason those old recordings like van halen and such sound huge is because not only did they have cream of the crop producers but the guitar tracks were also full of things like delay and phasers and such to help make them feel huge. This wouldn't work for non buttrock arena bands IMO.
 

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I actually think it's interesting as hell. :lol:

And yeah, good call on Van Halen et al. I wasn't thinking. :D

I've kind of found myself at the same mindset as you when it comes to quad-tracking (or more) - I'm an instrumental guitarist. Yeah, my rhythm guitars would probably sound bigger if I quad tracked them, but considering I'll be playing a guitar melody over the top, most likely with the same amp, that's not necessarily something I want. It seems easier to mix if I just record two tracks and leave more space for the lead guitar, for the music and arrangements I write.
one thing you may want to try when mixing is creating mix busses. In reaper all you need to do is put an empty track above the tracks you want to mix together. so say you have 4 guitar tracks..

bus track, change this track to a folder track.
>guit1
>guit2 mix these 4 how you want them to sound
>guit3 and use the bus to make all of the guitars
>guit4 quieter or louder.

this really opens up nice mixes and mixing options. Because now you can add compression or effects or whatever to the entire buss. guitars in general a little lacking in high end? throw a tad of eq on the entire buss. boosh!
 

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one thing you may want to try when mixing is creating mix busses. <snip>
I'm a BIG fan of bussing. :yesway: It's just a fuck of a lot easier to work with, really - once I get the relative balance down between, say, two or four tracks of rhythm guitar, I rarely want to change that while mixing, but I'll often want to change the balance of the guitars relative to the rest of the mix. This way I can do it all with a single slider.

It's not such a big deal if you just have two tracks of guitar, but if you've got a drum mix with seven or eight individual parts, then it's way easier to just grab a single slider if you decide the drums are a little too hot for the mix than it is to drop eight tracks by -1db a piece.
 

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I've read in more than one place that this is now preferred.
Quad-tracking with 2 performances is actually really great. When I recorded my last album last summer, we got this huge guitar sound with only two performances using 2 mics each, so it wound up being 4 tracks.

So there was a Left and a Right performance, and we had picked up each with a Royer ribbon mic and a SM57. So there were in essence 4 tracks.

We used the Royer recorded performances as the baseline and brought the SM57 up to taste behind the Royer tracks. The SM57 tracks added midrange punch when we needed it, but the Royer had by far the better overall sound.

So recording two performances is very important IMO as you are making a stereo record, and getting the EQ right either through post mix or through using multiple mics is really beneficial :yesway:
 

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I just wish I could afford a Royer. :/ I don't think I've heard a single person who DOESN'T love them on guitar amps.
 
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