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  1. #1
    xBTWATWDx's Avatar
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    Default make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    This is mostly a question for Brandon but advice from anyone would be great. I have often read Brandon suggestin that for a really heavy guitar sound, you can double the guitar tracks and pan them wide. Does this mean, have the guitarist record their part twice on two different tracks, or does this mean that the person doing the mixing can duplicate a single guitar track and pan the two identical recordings wide?

    My band, which I do most of my recording for, is known for only having one guitar where most bands in our genre usually have two and I want to perserve the sound of only one guitar playing at all times. As a result, I am hesitant to have my guitarist record his part twice.

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    I'm sure brandon has tons of advice to assist in your request for brutal guitars but to simply answer your question the doubling effect refers to recording a seperate guitar take to match as close as possible to the original take.
    Of course sticking up an extra mic during the recording process can help significantly in achieving massive tone during mixdown!
    Also to ease your mind If you put effort into matching every nuance in the first take you did when you attempt the double then it's just going to sound like one guitar to the audience.
    It'll only be percieved to be two guitars wailing if they stray from the original part too much or the tones are so DRAMTICALLY different your mom could notice (obviously if your mother is an audio connoisseur this statement is retracted).

    Toodles

    Brooke
    Last edited by punkemogeekrock; 06-14-2007 at 05:52 PM.

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    I'm kind of a beginner in recording but from what I have tried, simply doubling the track and panning them apart from each other will NOT make it sound like there are two guitarists. It'll just make the guitar stand out from the background a bit more. I'd say try it and see if you like that sound.

    I've noticed that it'll sound a bit thicker overall if you apply a slight delay to the duplicated track. I've used around 20 mSec or so and was happy with the result. I think that's a somewhat common device for adding thickness and a certain tonal characteristic to vocals. I like it for guitar leads also.

  4. #4
    Tony Ramone's Avatar
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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    What do you do with your doubled guitars when you want two separate guitar tracks: one on the left and one on the right?

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    You put each guitarist on their own side. And then you double their track on top of that. So John plays his part twice and you pan it right, and Bill tracks twice and you pan both left.

    Phat metal guitars are USUALLY 4 tracks total these days. Minimum. Metallica's Puppets was 8 tracks for most of the album. Back in 86. I was in year 1 back then.

    Just double it up, add a bit of chorus to one track, maybe some delay.... The most important thing to remember is that you REALLY need to keep one signal fairly dry to give that push to the sound.

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    String7th's Avatar
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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    Double and tripple and 4 stacked guitars can really only work if the guitarist is good enough to play it 4 times tight. If it's not tight, it sounds like a jumbled cluster-fuck of guitar noise. If you are a good player, you can make 4 tracks sound heavy AND tight.

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    If you can't play 4 tracks tightly, you can't call yourself a decent metal guitarist! How can you possibly play tight enough with your band through a nasty PA when you can't play 4 times to a drum track tightly? Might as well save the money on the recording and practice a bit more.

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    I haven't tried any doubling as of yet, but for now my Les Paul sounds really quite thick. And I introduce a little delay and EQ and the sound is quite heavy. Just one guitar.

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    ^^^ oh for sure, an LP WILL sound pretty heavy. But it will never sound "huge". Rock guitar (Jet, Blink182, etc) doesn't need to be ridiculously big. But metal does. Stupidly big. If you think your track sounds big, change your pickup and rerecord it. Keep repeating.

    I WISH I could get that sound with one guitar track. Or even two. But I've spent too much cash finding out that no matter how big you think your sound is, you need to get 4+ tracks coming out of your monitors before its reallly big.

  10. #10
    brandondrury's Avatar
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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    This is mostly a question for Brandon but advice from anyone would be great.
    I feel like an asshole because this one question was for me and I somehow overlooked the thread.

    I have often read Brandon suggestin that for a really heavy guitar sound, you can double the guitar tracks and pan them wide.
    I want to make it clear that doubling makes guitars big and wide. I don't think it makes them necessarily heavy. As you can hear in the Recording Gear Quiz - Vintech, Trident, Mytek, Royer, Shure, and Presonus these guitars are doubled but I would not call them heavy. They are bigger than they would be without doubling, but heaviness should be brutally obvious with just a single track. It'll just get bigger with 2.

    Does this mean, have the guitarist record their part twice on two different tracks, or does this mean that the person doing the mixing can duplicate a single guitar track and pan the two identical recordings wide?
    It's gotta be 2 separate performances. There is nothing on the recording end that comes close to adding so much size.

    My band, which I do most of my recording for, is known for only having one guitar where most bands in our genre usually have two and I want to perserve the sound of only one guitar playing at all times. As a result, I am hesitant to have my guitarist record his part twice.
    Good question /issue whatever! This one is going in the home recording book. Thanks!

    It depends mostly on the instrumentation and the music. For example, I'm producing a country song right now. I'm hesitant to double guitars and pan them. I think I'm going to organ and pan a little and pan the distorted guitar a little to the opposite side.

    If there is a big loud guitar on one side and nothing on the other, I think this sounds absolutely stupid personally. (I HATE the 60s recordings with drums on one side. It's distracting). I don't like to feel off balance when I listen.

    However, I HATE center panned high gain guitars. It takes up too much space and I find it distracting.

    This band (16 year olds, not exactly rock stars yet) told me they only wanted to record one track becuse of the exact reasons you have stated. They wanted the recording to be real. I conned them into doubling. See what you think The Parting Scene - Rock/Punk/Emo/Whatever In Cape Girardeau | Echo Echo Studios

    I think that sounds like one guitar player with a big guitar sound. It does not sound like 2 guitar players to me.

    Brandon

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    If you got a solid state(Laney Tube Fusion) amp where would be the best place to put your SM57 so that you get a **** thick sound?

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    Doubling is a matter of choice. There is no "has to". You can do whatever you want with recording.

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    brandondrury's Avatar
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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    If you got a solid state(Laney Tube Fusion) amp where would be the best place to put your SM57 so that you get a **** thick sound?
    I mean this statement in the most positive, big brother helping kind of way imaginable so don't take it the wrong way:

    Why didn't you just ask "Is there anything I can write on this forum that will actually get me out of having to get my hands together doing real experimenting with audio engineer?".

    The quoted question above is either a flaw of A) expecting there to be a magic mic placement that works every time (there isn't), B) thinking that this kind of question can really be answered on an internet forum (it really can't), or C) laziness (I hope this isn't the case).

    You've got to get down and dirty and experiment if you want to ever sound good. Start with the mic on the very edge of the inside circle. Go from there.

    I have an entire chapter on recording electric guitar in my upcoming home recording book.

    Doubling is a matter of choice. There is no "has to". You can do whatever you want with recording.
    Correct, but the only way to get the doubled sound is to double.

    Brandon

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    Although I haven't tried this, but a person could record his guitar track, then copy and paste it onto another track, then nudge the clone track a few milliseconds to the right to achieve a delay on the clone track. I've heard of that done also.

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    If the amp has more than 1 speaker start by choosing which of them sound the best/'most right'

    Work from there.

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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    Doubling gives a certain sound that for a lot of things is great, but another option is recording your amp with 2 or more different mics, therefore having a couple different sounds and spreading them out by panning them differently. Maybe one hard right, and one at 50 on the left. That to me makes it seem a little bigger than just one track of guitar with one mic, but at least preserves your desire to just have one track on the recording. I find that this sounds cooler than just copying the original take and shifting a few ms in time to sound like two different parts.

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    brandondrury's Avatar
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    Default Re: make that metal guitar sound so heavy

    Although I haven't tried this, but a person could record his guitar track, then copy and paste it onto another track, then nudge the clone track a few milliseconds to the right to achieve a delay on the clone track. I've heard of that done also.
    I can't say I'm into this one. It sounds too unnatural and too small for my tastes.

    Brandon

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