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OldSchool Blacksmith
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think this is often a personal preference sort of question, but I know some folks like the two guitar bands with one guitar panned left and the other panned right. While others prefer one guitar more centered and the other more hard left/right. For initial recording & rough mixing it's easier for me to keep them separated to left and right, but sometimes it seems like they layer better in the mix if I pan 'em the other way.

What's your preference?
 

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Premium Member
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100% left and right

But then also room mic 100% left and right opposite sides.

Sometimes I keep it like that through the songs, and sometimes I only have the room mic audiable when one guitar plays alone in an intro or something.

Otherwise I sometimes automate guitar panning toy about 80% when playing alone, and then automate it 100% once both guitars goes on.
 

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Premium Member
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100% left, 100% right. Assuming we're talking about both guitars playing the same thing.

If we have one guitar doing rhythm and the other guitar doing lead, then 2 tracks of the rhythm guitarist with 100% left and 100% right with 1 track of the lead guitarist centered. Of course, you could also do 2 tracks of the lead guitarist, 100% left and 100% right, if they're playing a harmony or slight variations of the same lead part (i.e. slightly off time for a really cool effect).

I've never been a fan of 4 tracks of the same rhythm guitar of 6 tracks or 8 tracks or whatever else nonsense. But I have heard other people doing that technique where it sounded good.
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To clarify: I have two guitars playing mostly the same thing - but with two distinct tones. I've tried to have one guitar a little crispier/crunchier and the other a little thicker/heavier, then the heavily distorted bass. (And I'm the first to admit I'm no lead player so... there's that).

What I've normally done is pan GT1 right, GT2 left and the bass up the gut. But, I'd heard a few mixes lately where the deeper guitar is panned hard left and right, while the higher toned guitar is panned closer to center, then the bass in the middle. It had a nice layering effect to it, but since I've never done it that way and have always been taught to have a different pan position for each instrument, I figured I'd see what y'all do just for reference/further education.
 

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OldSchool Blacksmith
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2,866 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Who "taught" you that?
Multiple professional sound engineers, Omega Recording Studios School for the Recording Arts and just about every studio I've ever recorded in. Never put one instrument directly on top of another in a pan field. I.e. Snare drum dead center, Kick1 1-2 off left, Kick2 1-2 off right, etc etc. The cue of the fields can overlap, and should, but the dead center should be unique for each instrument. Just like each instrument should have it's own dead center in the EQ band, but can - and should - have overlapping cues.
 

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Hard left and hard right, for all guitar tracks, leads in mono down the center. If I'm doing something funky I might deviate from this a little - say, a supporting harmony part or a clean tone on top of distorted rhyhtm guitars, I might bring them in a little, but as a starting point that's where I begin.

Multiple professional sound engineers, Omega Recording Studios School for the Recording Arts and just about every studio I've ever recorded in. Never put one instrument directly on top of another in a pan field. I.e. Snare drum dead center, Kick1 1-2 off left, Kick2 1-2 off right, etc etc. The cue of the fields can overlap, and should, but the dead center should be unique for each instrument. Just like each instrument should have it's own dead center in the EQ band, but can - and should - have overlapping cues.
Think about this three dimensionally, though - you've got a spectrum from 100% left to 100% right, but you also have a spectrum from sub-lows to lows to mids to upper mids to presence to high end. As long as you don't try to put two tracks in the same frequency range in the same stereo space you're in the clear, so if you think through your arrangement carefully and then mix accordingly, you can absolutely have two tracks 100% right and get away with it. You can even generally have two tracks of rhythm guitar 100% right, though it helps if you use complimentary tones.
 
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