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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know about the rest of you guys, but when I play, and when I record, I get guitar ADD and improv little bits here and there. Even when I'm recording, I can't help myself but chuck some accents in if the mood strikes me. I think the little bullshit bits that I throw in are part of my guitar sound.

The problem is, that when I go to doubletrack an actual 7-ish minutes of music, I have a hard time recreating the accents, and halfway though decide that I want more accents. It's not really intentional, it's just how I play. The more I get into what I'm playing, the better I play and the more apt I am to do odd shit like harmonics, slides, bends, etc. If I sit in a chair and try to robotically recreate the first track's take, I inevitably play like shit, and recording becomes a lot less fun.

I know that overall, you really do need to layer rhythms and the real answer here is for me to just get over it, but for now I'm having a shitload more fun arranging stuff for my album and playing my face off without worrying about being spot-on perfect for the first rhythm guitar so that I can be spot-on perfect for the subsequent layers.

That said, what are the usual tips/tricks for getting a bigger sounding rhythm with just a single track? I think I could probably beat Drew and Vince to the punch in their little album bet if I don't spend hours and hours being Mr. Roboto with my playing and just let it rip. Since I'm arranging drums, writing basslines, and really re-learning how to properly record, I want to keep it fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's an example. I posted this in the mod forum but I'll throw it out here.

This arrangement is an absolute mess - I wasn't actually writing anything, I just randomly dragged a few DKFH tracks into Reaper and was sliding shit around more for time rather than measures and fills, so the drums are definitely not even remotely close to correctly aligned.

While I was dialing it in, I figured I'd just play some bullshit guitar track on top of it and improv it so that I could just get an idea of what my drum mix would sound like. So this improv is also sloppy, off-time and not entirely in tune. I also had to eyeball the actual track levels to see where the changes would be, and to make matters more of a sound-clusterfuck, I improved a bad bassline behind it that in no way, shape, or form matches 90% of what the guitar is doing. :lol:

Anyway.

http://www.metalguitarist.org/chris/MetalDrum-Layout1.mp3

I'll arrange this properly, and clean up the playing, but man, what a fun minute and a half of guitar playing. Most of it I can arrange close enough to doubletrack (it's not even a "song" per se, it's just whatever I felt like playing over the drums), but the little taps/hammers/harmonics, I think they add life to it and trying to DT all of them would end up with off-phase sounding crap.
 

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There's really no way to get one guitar track to sound doubled properly. You can copy the track and throw it out of phase, but that sounds terrible, or you can copy it and shift it a couple samples around so that they're a hair out of sync. I'm not a fan of either of these, personally.

The other option is to make it sound live-off-the-floor, and pan the guitar about halfway left, and the bass halfway right, and filling in the gaps with some room reverb.

My personal favourite option, though, is double it but let the little differences shine through, so it sounds like two guys jamming, rather than one guy doubled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There's really no way to get one guitar track to sound doubled properly. You can copy the track and throw it out of phase, but that sounds terrible, or you can copy it and shift it a couple samples around so that they're a hair out of sync. I'm not a fan of either of these, personally.
Yeah, I tried the copy/pan thing way back in the day when I was recording with Sonar, and it doesn't work at all.

The other option is to make it sound live-off-the-floor, and pan the guitar about halfway left, and the bass halfway right, and filling in the gaps with some room reverb.
:yesway: I'll give that a shot. :)
 

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i would do a right track and a left track, keep the bass centered. no contest. unless you've got a bass player dropping some serious science, keep it in the middle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i would do a right track and a left track, keep the bass centered. no contest. unless you've got a bass player dropping some serious science, keep it in the middle.
Well the AFX is stereo, so that's that I do anyway.
 

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no no, one track panned right one new track panned left. 2 different performances. they can be slightly different, that's what makes it sound good. now stop sucking at life and get some shit recorded. you're this close |--| to being drew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
no no, one track panned right one new track panned left. 2 different performances. they can be slightly different, that's what makes it sound good. now stop sucking at life and get some shit recorded. you're this close |--| to being drew.
:lol: The whole point of this thread is "I don't want to doubletrack". I'm not playing straight up songs man, I'm playing half-improv shred. The stuff that I write is quite a bit more technical, and harder to get perfect twice, than something like a hardcore band would play.
 

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i double track slower heavy parts, chordy parts, or parts i want to sound huge.
for the stuff i play, its usually tech deathy stuff, and i'l often do one take per side. i'd recommend grabbing a copy of izotope's ozone 4. i found it worked great for expanding single tracks
 

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I know you're trying to avoid doubletracking, but i found the best way to get rid of guitar ADD is to just record the riffs that you find really boring in short spurts, as not to get bored playing mechanically.

Even if you do little bits of improv, if you cut the recording where you're only playing the riff 1-2 or even 3-4 times, its easier to copy said improv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not really trying to avoid it, it's just that it takes 99% of the fun out of recording because I play a ton better when I'm not 100% focused on being uber-accurate. For metal shit that I plan to solo over, yeah, I'll doubletrack it. But for something like the clip I posted, I just don't think it'll work without sounding sterile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
quip about playing more than a single style of music, instrument and challenge to shred off.
Reminder that poster's nutsack was on said additional instrument, acceptance of shred-off. Plea for end of topic derail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I know. :( Recording is a frustrating endeavor if you're trying to do 500 things at once. A lot of the reason that I end up not-recording time and time again is that I spend more time fucking with tones, knobs and software than actually just playing guitar.
 

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if you have a real bass, record it with the axe and make a bone clean sound and a gritty mean and dirty sound to different tracks. this will beef up your single guitar track. I already talked to you about this in chat but it's a really great way to beef up the rhythm section.
 

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You know, listening to the example you posted again, it reminds me of some of the jam-ier Satch/Vai stuff, which is very rarely doubletracked:

The whole intro of this for example, and then when it simplifies to a riff behind the solo, he doubles it.

I don't think there's anything doubletracked in this entire song.

And I'm pretty sure the example clip you posted would sound strange with everything doubled. Beef/grit up the bass tone a bit, get a nice room tone on those drums, use a layered guitar sound (either 2 different amps, 2 different cabs, or 2 different mics, panned hard left/right) and the right reverb choice and level overall and you'll have a nice jam sounding track.

Or, hell, this track from my old band that we never finished vocals for (our singer sucked). That's just one take of my old half-stack with an SM57 panned left and a Sennheiser 421 panned right, and some delay added on the solo. I tried doubling it, and it lost the "live" feel.
http://soundcloud.com/aaronvsmusic/last-hero
(also, that was a black, basswood guitar with a Blaze in it :wub: )
 
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