mixing several tracks of one instrument?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by snyderman, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    I've tracked a guitar with 4 different mics as well as a DI line. I'm not sure how to mix this down to uses in a mix with other instruments.

    1. Do i do any panning of the 5 tracks as I mix them down?
    2. Not sure if I need all of the tracks? Any advice on deciding? I've got a mix of DI, dynamic, LD cardioid, wide cardioid, omni and they all have a different character. What to do?

    I've posted these links in another post but wasn't sure if I should start a new post for this question. I'm doing more tracking tomorrow and am still not sure about the quality of sound I'm getting, so any advice is helpful. Please forgive if I've overlapped topics.

    Melody DI http://cellocelli.com/samples/Mel_DI.mp3
    Melody SM57 http://cellocelli.com/samples/Mel_SM57.mp3
    Melody 414 http://cellocelli.com/samples/Mel_414.mp3
    Melody QTC30 http://cellocelli.com/samples/Mel_QTC30.mp3
    Melody m930 http://cellocelli.com/samples/Mel_m930.mp3

    As a classical musician I'm not used to this kind of recording and am not sure how to mix it.
  2. jg49

    jg49 Well-Known Member

    Well both from my experience being recorded and my limited experience recording let me say that no one has ever used 4 mics and a DI on anything I've been involved in. I think you are on overload here. I would choose no more than three to work with. My usual M.O. is a dynamic and a condenser blended panned slightly in the stereo field when it is a solo situation. Most of the recordings are band oriented stuff so it is blended into one track (subgroup.) I listened quickly on the computer but need to download and bring into the studio to give a decent listen but it sounds much better this time. I am sure that some of the more experienced mix hounds here will weigh in soon enough.
  3. apstrong

    apstrong Active Member

    There is no correct answer to the question. 5 is probably overkill, but it does give you plenty to choose from. You have a lot of options, and it all depends on how you want your guitar track(s) to sound. You can use just the best of the 5, you can blend two or three into a single sound, panned in the same place. You can blend two and pan them left and two panned right. Or just use two tracks, one left, one right. Or any combination thereof. If you are placing one or more (together) on the left and one or more (together) on the right, it's a good idea if they sound significantly different. No point putting the exact same or very similar sound in both the left and right channels, you might as well just put one in the center and drop the second set completely. Alternately, you can take the same one, two or three tracks you've blended together and duplicate them, then treat them differently (effects, eq, etc) and pan each set left and right.

    The only thing I wouldn't do is use all 5 panned across the stereo field as individual tracks. 2 should be more than enough, depending on what else is going on in the background. The DI is useful if you plan to reamp (hardware) the track or use amp modelling software to change it significantly. It's also a lot brighter than the mic'd tracks and can make a nice addition when blended with one of them to add some definition and clarity.

    Personally, I'd pick the mic'd track I like most and then blend the DI with it (to taste) and leave it at that. If the backing music is very sparse, or if I was just feeling adventurous, I might blend the DI with a second mic'd track and then take those two sets and pan one left and one right for a little more stereo spread. And I might eq and effect the left and right guitars a little differently as well so there's a noticeable difference.
  4. snyderman

    snyderman Active Member

    I totally agree that not all of these mics were needed. I was experimenting but would like to pair it down tomorrow. I was thinking that probably two plus the DI would be the way to go. I was thinking of picking the Earthworks omni (QTC30) and the m930 (Gefell) or the SM57 with the DI.

    As discussed in another thread, the amp we are using mics better with a bit of distance as it's bass fires out of the bottom.

    I was planning to blend to one. Is that the way to go if the other instruments are to be recorded in stereo?
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I'm really surprised with everybody here? There is a very simple answer to this mixing problem. It's called surroundsound. You know, 5.1 blah blah. So now the question might be why mix in surround? Yeah, that's it.

    I feel surrounded
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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