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Correct way to double a guitar?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by billymagnum, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. billymagnum

    billymagnum Active Member

    Hi. I want to know what is the correct way to have the same guitar on each channel (left/right)? Ive done one track, cloned it, put one left and one right. Then i offset one a bit so there's not phase issues but i cannot get the channels to sound tight. it just sounds like a crappy delay effect is on. Must i do a second track and get it exactly perfect to the first or is there other ways? I am newbie to intermediate in experience so any help is appreciated. thank you
  2. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Make sure you are not offsetting the copy too much.

    EQ the cloned track a little differently. This will help.

    There is more knowledge to be had on this topic, but, I don't have it.
  3. billymagnum

    billymagnum Active Member

    never thought to eq it differently. can someone tell me where there guitar should be cut and boosted to not step on the drums or bass?(heavy music)
  4. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    i would say yes and no. yes do another track with fairly precise timing, and no for perfect. the little differences and imperfections make it infinitely more interesting than cloning a track, and creates natural, subtle chorusing. also using different chord structures, guitars and amps is a good idea...
    and why would one not want to record two tracks? It's double the fun (unless the part sucks... then you shouldn't record it at all...)
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Well, by definition you can't line it up exactly. How many milliseconds have you offset it? If you perceive it as a delay then it is too much. You just want to nudge the track a bit.

    It's actually better to do things phrase-by-phrase than to nudge the whole track. Nudge some up, some back. If the guitarist is pretty consistent and played to a click you can switch around phrases in the cloned track rather than nudging them - say switching verse 1 and verse 2 in the cloned track. (Usually it has t be smaller bits than a whole verse.)
  6. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    For having a guitar track in each ear, it is better to make each of the tones unique. It makes the song more interesting and sounds more professional sounding. The left ear percieves high sounds better (melody) and the right ear percieves low sounds better (rhythm). If both tracks are playing the same part however, you need to give them different tones.

    Left: You can reduce the gain (if it is distorted guitar) and put an exciter on it to make it stand out more. You can roll off the bass frequencies at about 100-120Hz to make it more defined.

    Right: You can roll off the highs (not too much, or else it sounds stuffy and you lose headroom) And you can make an eq cut around 5-8KHz to make it sound more husky and ballsy. Not more than -3dB cut though, too much eq is never a good thing.

    EDIT: also, remember less is more. Making too many changes all at once is rarely productive.
  7. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    aaaahhhhhhhh!!!! i had my headphones on backwards!!!!!
  8. StephenMC

    StephenMC Member

    Were I you, I'd record a second take. I play a different style, I'm sure, but the anomalies in each guitar take add interest and colour to the track. Sometimes I'll use a different guitar for even more colour.

    They won't sound tight at first, even if you play it tightly, but that'll fix with the mix, too. Once you get the balance with the drums and bass and maybe add some compression and reverb, I think you'll prefer the guitar double-tracked rather than double-crapped.
  9. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    You really need to play the part twice. Certainly cloning and then altering eq and slightly delaying 1 track can give a quasi effect but a true double track is where the magic is.
  10. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Depends on what hand you use predominantly. Right handed people mostly the opposite way to what you describe, and as usual, lefties are all over the shop. According to this;

    This is news to me so anyone know anything more about this?

    By the way, I before E except after C. :p
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I agree with this, but most of the improvement comes from the guitarist practicing enough to be able to play the same part twice. Most can't, and that's where artificial double tracking comes in. (Don't be too ashamed. The technique was invented because John Lennon couldn't double his vocals.)
  12. FlyBass

    FlyBass Active Member

    I believe John Lennon didn't WANT to double track his vocals -- he lacked the motivation.

    In the arts, the definition of an artist is one having the ideas (creation), the skills (execution) and the ability to repeat a performance (style).

    I don't mean to wander off subject, but I thought it was worth noting.
  13. basilbowman

    basilbowman Guest

    I'm a big fan of slapping a capo around fret 7 or so on a rhythm guitar part and playing it up a fifth, and putting that on top somewhere - adds texture without mud

  14. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Here is another viable way to create a cool stereo guitar effect.

    Take your original guitar track, assuming it's a single track. Plug that guitar track into your guitar amp again. Set up a microphone, anywhere in your room near the amplifier. Record that to another track. Now change the settings on the guitar amplifier. Move the microphone to a different position but making sure it's still within the same distance from the amplifier albeit in a different position in the room. Record that to a new track. On mix down, put a short 5 to 10 ms delay effect modulated by a slow & not deep sinewave better known as a variable low-frequency oscillator or, "LFO". This will actually help keep the guitar from sounding too phasey while creating a great stereo spread of sound.

    Phasey engineer phasing out
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  15. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Good answers all around.
    My experiences say this:

    1. Actually double track it. Re-record it a second time.
    2. "Reamp" it as Remy described.
    3. If you HAVE to copy, anything that is different about version #2 helps.

    Really, any variance you can add helps.

    Just today I:
    1. Was mixing a song that had a duped track. But I triple-miked the amp.
    I had a 57, a 421, and a room mic (so, 3 duped tracks).
    On the left channel, I featured the 57. On the right, the 421. EQ'd them differently too. A few ms offset also helps (I didn't feel this was necessary in this case).
    2. Reamped a guitar part from a DI (pre-recorded). Same amp, different mics, slightly different placement.

    Both worked pretty well. #2 probably would have worked better had I thought to tweak the settings on the amp. Variance.
  16. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    So, I ask, would you double track this (and if so, how)?
  17. BDM

    BDM Active Member

    interesting link. i heard the example as if i were playing the keyboard, low left. (handedness, though is somehow subjective. i golf right, shoot hockey left, guitar left, drum... ummmm all over the place, and masturbate with both hands, waka waka waka) but while this may be relevant to very particular ascending/descending scales involving two parts, i somehow doubt that this has any relevance to a complicated composition with many parts interacting, especially to musicians/engineers who i would hope hear every sound equally well, regardless of panning or brain tricks. or am i being psycho-acoustically naive?
  18. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    actually I gave the simplistic answer previously...

    The left ear reports to the right side of the brain (creative, emotional side). Therefore the emotional impact of a melody is much more likely to affect the listener in a deeper more meaningful way. And the right ear reports to the left brain (logical, sense making side). And therefore is better for putting the rhythm parts there. So I doubt it has anything to do with handedness, but that's the anatomy of it.

    Haven't you ever heard that it's better to whisper in a girl's left ear? :D
  19. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "Haven't you ever heard that it's better to whisper in a girl's left ear?"

    With my patter, I'll stick to not whispering at all.
  20. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    I'm not ashamed of anything. I double rhythm guitar parts all the time and our vocalists double their parts routinely. I wasn't aware this was considered a particularly challenging thing. Learn something every day

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