layering guitars and panning? spectrum stuff

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Typo Szar
Member Since: Jul 04, 2002

So i know hte rule is to layer guitars, and we did like two rhythm trax and they sound great.. but i guess i missed it in the tutorial or something but i overlooked.. do i pan both of those same trax left adn right? or do i treat them as one adn pan them the same?
anyhow.. weve gotten down to the mixing of a new song and the thing i have to be honest i couldnt be happier with our source files, all of them are clear adn powerful, loud and great performances, i barely want to touch them. But ofcourse being me, the second i just pan this here adn there and adjust some of the off levels it just felt like the whole hting came tumbling down!
Anyhow, i have to say that i htink my skills pertaining to get all the pre stuff, like source tracks and preliminary work is in lock and i can eq and get a great sound out of all the pieces but i noticed most of everyone here and the real kind of "pros" talk about mixing as making everything fit in the spectrum. Now im think that is like an art that im missing from the machine like quality of my engineering.
I have more to ask but this has become quite a lengthy post.. so any ideas on any of the stuff and tips guys?

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Since: Sep 09, 2004

Dec 19, 2005 10:31 am

Crux - You're halfway home, bro. What you'll want to do is pan one track left and the other pan right. Then, EQ each track differently. More low end on one track, then more high end on the other. Then, (this is where it gets really good) offset the two tracks just a tadbit. Right now, you have both tracks lined up evenly. Zoom in as far as you can and move one of the tracks slightly ahead of the other one so they are "offset" (not lined up evenly on top of one another). If you offset it too much you'll get a phase effect, but you can offset it slightly and it will make them sound BIG. Try that, let me know how it comes out.

Typo Szar
Since: Jul 04, 2002

Dec 19, 2005 11:35 am

Cool thanx.. didnt know that one

Since: Nov 28, 2005

Dec 19, 2005 12:50 pm

I agree with the stereo pan, but if you have actually tracked the same part twice( which I think sounds better), there will be enough timing, dynamic, and pitch variation that I would not manually nudge the waveform.

Nudging is usually reserved for trying to make one track sound like two, but generally yields more like a chorus effect.

Since: Apr 27, 2002

Dec 19, 2005 12:56 pm

i can verify that this little "nudge" technic does wonders...i used it frequently but not all the time, and about that whole "having everything fit into the spectrum", thats just a guideline to help the newbies as far as im concerned, ive read tons of articles where a "Pro" said some of his best mixes were the ones that he just plugged in, made some minor adjustments and that was it...there are no hard and fast rules for mixing, if it sounds good to you and your band has no complaints, then consider it mixed...ya catch my drift??? and about that whole pan thing? you can always do something along the line of what metallica does and i have done plenty of times with TONS of success...

if you have two extra tracks left...try this...take your first rhythm track that you already have and pan ALL THE WAY LEFT, take the second rhythm track you did and pan it slightly to the left, not all the way, but about half way to the left and then adjust the volumes of each accordingly...then do that little "nudge" thing that BJT mentioned...and heres where the magic sets in...either re-record the rhythm track two more times, or copy and paste the first two into TWO new tracks...and do the same thing you did with the first two...NOW you have a HUGE WALL OF GUITARS...and i do this ALL THE TIME, just EQ them all differently, nothing crazy, roll them all off below below 80-150Hz, maybe roll of the mids (240-400Hz) out of some of them, slightly boost some of the highs (maybe one at 2kHz, another at 3kHz, another at 4kHz..etc..etc...just all different) this gives the impression of a HUGE guitar sound...

my two cents....good luck bro

Since: Apr 27, 2002

Dec 19, 2005 12:58 pm

i totally agree with netstat...if you can ALWAYS re-track the rhythm tracks if possible it sounds a whole lot better than copy and paste...

Since: Jan 18, 2003

Dec 19, 2005 03:23 pm

wontdie, your post was confusing. i assume you forgot to mention that you do this on the right side as well? so you end up with this:


right? if thats left to right panned in the phones, and if g means guitar plus the number of the take, and if lowercase indicates slightly less volume...

or do you mean something like...


i dunno. i cant understand your placement or the number of takes. can you elaborate?

Typo Szar
Since: Jul 04, 2002

Dec 20, 2005 01:11 am

Yeah im thinking go G1g1 on the left and then G2g2 on the right eh?

Faze 2 Studios
Since: Aug 15, 2005

Dec 20, 2005 02:27 am

sorry, but what does re-track mean? haha, like, record again playing along with the already recorded? or re-recrod it all?


Since: Jan 12, 2004

Dec 20, 2005 08:09 am

Hey Crux

First off - there is no stedfast rules to follow my friend...experiment and I would suggest most songs will need different panning/spacing and EQ.

For what its worth, I tend to pan only 2 guitars (I never double track em any more) so I might play:

Rhythm 1
Rhythm 2

I tend to pan Rhythm 1 at perhaps 70-75% left.
I then pan Rhythm 2 at perhaps 70-75% right and
Lead usually, straight down the middle.

I generally RARELY eq my guitars at all. I use different amps/guitars which gives enough tonal variation for my liking...EQ on the amp is all I use.

Now, when you introduce other instrumetns into the mix i.e. bass, piano, synth maybe drums etc etc THEN, your panning might change but you only want to make a "space" in the spectrum for everything so it may not always be as simple as 70% left one guitar and 70% right depends on waht else ye have bud.

Rule of thumb: If you can hear it ALL, evenly, and good - then its a good mix!!!

Good luck bud


Since: Apr 27, 2002

Dec 23, 2005 12:28 pm

i meant it like this....

G1..g1 (center) g2...G2

and by re-track, or re-record i mean, actually record the rhythm guitar tracks again...instead of just copying and pasting...for example, if your chord progression is a simple little C-D-E...then you will actually RECORD FOUR (4) rhythm tracks playing that chord progression and pan as i re-track means...ACTUALLY RECORD THE TRACKS and dont copy and paste...

Since: Apr 27, 2002

Dec 23, 2005 12:31 pm

so in essence, you would have recorded 4 rhythm tracks, and yes i did forget to mention that you have to do this on the right as well...this is a trick i picked up from bob rock...and i use it all the sounds awesome...

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