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Layering tracks using buses

Discussion in 'Recording' started by singeryadig, May 21, 2011.

  1. singeryadig

    singeryadig Active Member

    Instead of creating new tracks and then copy/paste over the previous one--Could you just send the sound to multiple buses?

    So to layer "track A", say 3 times---you would just put in 3 sends and then it creates the same effect of 3 copied tracks playing simultaneously
  2. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta Active Member

    Yes, but all you're really doing is boosting the volume by 9dB, unless you plan on applying different effects to each. It's probably more taxing on your processor to do it this way as well.

    Cheers :)
  3. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    To just simply send the single track to a bus(es) might be a good idea as long as you can control the panning environment of each signal completely. Meaning it would be nice to pan each track in a different way... say track1 goes left, track 2 goes center and u see where we are going, right? Then at that stage you will need to adjust the volumes of each track independently to create a landscape sound, thus creating room in the stereo spectrum to allow each track not to be the same DB. To go further add some delay to each additional bus to push the waves from being identical to the original. If you can't do some or all of these techniques using the buses it might not be what your looking to achieve. Still, give it a shot and experiment until you like something or create the sound that is the one that your brain wants to hear.
  4. singeryadig

    singeryadig Active Member

    Yeah I see what your sayin--creating the exact same track w/o effects isnt gonna do much...Cause right now, on my main vocals I got 2 Identical segments--then one panning right/one left...and then two tracks that just help highlight certain parts of the vocals that needed it. I'll probly get rid of one of the 2 identical tracks so I'll just have 3 main ones then--each paned differently

    I havent dived into Reverb too much yet, as Ive been so focused on compression and EQ --maybe add another track for that effect--Theres so many possibilities and different combinations, its hard to get a grip on all of em :O
  5. Ripeart

    Ripeart Active Member

    I used to duplicate tracks however I've learned that creating an additional track and replaying the guitar part as close to the original as possible is so much better than duplicating and panning or delaying in most cases. I do have exceptions but for the most part I'll only duplicate a guitar track for the purposes of squashing it with about 20db of compression and mixing it back in. For me duplicating is appropriate in some cases, however it is a subjective matter.

    What I find myself doing lately is having the guitarist (or myself) play the part multiple times to multiple tracks, get all those panned to taste, and then route each of the tracks send bus to an aux stereo track with a reverb, comp, etc. insert (100% wet). The result is that the original recording is retained and I can kind of glue them all together or put them in a similar space with the aux send. I can also control the amount of reverb across all guitar tracks simultaneously by simply adjusting the fader. Taking this a step further I will also assign this collection of guitar tracks and aux sends to yet another aux track and further control the overall level of the guitars within the mix. This is what's known as a stem or sub mix, in case you didn't know that.

    You are correct, there are hundreds of ways to route signals, hopefully you can take what I outlined as a starting point and see how it fits your workflow.
  6. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    Oh I guess we neglected to ask what instrument(s) you were referencing in your questions. In this case above your applying this particular technique to the vocal track... In this regard be careful spreading the vocal parts too wide in the stereo spectrum since this will actually cause the vocal part to sound less focused. Now that might be what you are shooting for in production but I am not really sure. I guess in answering my first post I almost assumed you were creating duplicate tracks for, say, a guitar or something. I am not a great singer or anything at all, but once I sing one track that is basically "as good as it's getting" then I will attempt to sing that track again in unison to beef up the sound of my voice. Doubling that original first vocal track rarely does any good unless you delay or move the bused or copied wave a bit off the time line from the other. In other words it pays off singing the track over again to double it in a more natural tone. (Like Ripeart noted this really pays off on guitar too) I listen to my two vocal tracks mixed together and I will make one of them the dominate track. I don't usually pan vocals from Center very often but on occasions it is fun to experiment. I just usually will not spread the vocals out very wide in the mix. What I think is important is that when you get to the reverb of the vocals that you find a way to not make it sound muddy or lost in the mix. So maybe consider one dominant vocal track that has more dryness and other unison tracks carry a more wet sound. Adding harmony to the lead parts is a completely different conversation and I will just leave that to the more above average singers out there to give any advice on that matter.
  7. singeryadig

    singeryadig Active Member

    yeah i'm having 3 main vocals--each pan differently--which i think make sense upfront but theres so much i dont know about all this that i could very well be wrong. When you say "spread" your vocals--what do you mean by that?
  8. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    Are you creating three different vocal tracks or three copies of the same track...? When I use the word "spread", I am just referencing the panning of the tracks from left to right. I think what you are doing is have one track "center", another track "left" and the 3rd track panned "right"... And they are copies of the same thing...? right? With that said I would tend to make the "center" the focus for the main vocal part and have it be the loudest out of the three. I am trying to express simply that it is a good starting point to make the main vocal sit strongly in the center of the stereo spectrum.

    Also, I have no idea what type of song you are working on and am not sure if it is only vocals w/ no instruments. As you add music then it is really important to have the vocals cut through a mix. To me I have found that "spreading" the vocals hard left and right makes it really weak sounding and less dominant in a mixing situation. Although lets say you are recording a choir then this is not a normal mixing situation and that would rely more on mic placement to achieve a stereo spectrum. Since your probably just recording a mono mic w/ a single voice at a time it is much more difficult to "spread" the vocal across the entire stereo spectrum. So in your case you are trying to create a wider stereo array by using 3 total copies of the main vocal track. Thus that is spreading the main vocal away from the center and trying to create wider stereo spectrum for the vocals. When I use the word "spread" it is just the way my brain thinks about this concept of panning in the stereo field.

    But maybe you could explain more about your song and components or structure of your recording? Even upload a quick mix to hear as to get an idea of what it is your recording.

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