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I'm going to start mixing a project next week where it's guitar, bass, vocals and drums. Out of 11 songs only 3 have doubled guitar tracks. How should I approach panning on the other 8 songs? I could do it Van-Halen style with guitar on the left and 'verb on the right but I don't really like that idea. In the past what I've done is put the guitar at 1 or 2 o'clock and the bass opposite and vocals up the middle but I'm not totally sold on that either. Doubling the guitars with a delay isn't an option, the guitar put his foot down on that. So, how do you pan a power trio? Give me some ideas, otherewise it's going to be a boring record to listen to.


anonymous Thu, 09/27/2001 - 19:25

You could always reamp the guitar and add an ambient mic track, 6 or 8 feet out in the room. You don't have to pan it and the close mic hard stereo, either- just enough to make it seem "3D". Not really delay, not really reverb (although it's both)- when it works it sounds natural, but "full". Plan on fucking with the distance until you get the sound you want and be sure to check it in mono for phase problems, though.

Good luck!


anonymous Thu, 09/27/2001 - 21:53

I've had beautiful results miking the amp with an MS technique placing the amp on any non-sucking room in a suitable stereo position relative to the mic and mix. The above technique works wonders too.
MS however, as it involves phase, is very dramatic.
On mixing, (as the subject of this board) you'll only have to pan hard left-right both channels, preferably with a pre recorded test-tone (unless you're in carefully recorded digital).
You may want to record undecoded and achieve your stereo separation by moving the level of your figure of 8 capsule. That will give you a pretty extreme control of your stereo image.

anonymous Thu, 09/27/2001 - 23:23

Jay, I guess I will be repeating this until I am blue in the face... You should listen to the last album of a band Tool, they are essentially a power trio, though the singer is a separate entity.

What amazes me the most is that they have in my opinion the heaviest sound I could imagine, and it's not the scooped muddy 'nu' thing that is so hip right now. All the mids are right there in the guitar and most of the guitar is tracked only once. And the guitar is panned dead center. Actually they use about three amps for the guitar, and pan them all around the stereo field so that the guitar isn't narrow in the center, but rather wide, but it is not a little bit to the left or a little bit to the right. It's dead center, and so are the vocals, snare, bass and kick. It sounds amazingly clear and heavy this way.

Mixerman also once described how he split the bass into two bands, low-s and hi-s and panned hi part of the bass, and left the low part of the bass in the center, and opposite panned the guitar... This might work also.


MadMoose Fri, 09/28/2001 - 09:28

I have the new Tool album about 2 feet from me. It sounds like some of the guitars are doubled, if that's just the multiple amp thing then I'm impressed.

Unfortunately it's too late to do anything like that now. I put two mics on the amp, just a 57 and a 421 and printed them to different tracks. I should've taken a DI to reamp later. I had the open tracks. Oh well, live and learn.

I would like to learn more about the splitting frequency's thing. I can sort of figure it out on my own but it would be nice to have something to start from. Is it somewhere in the back pages of this forum?

Attached files Image removed.

anonymous Fri, 09/28/2001 - 13:47

Well there also is another way of doing this and it involves splitting frequencies to a point
but take your guitars regular signal and split er left and right for the heavy parts for the clean shit this doesnt work . But if you keep the one sound thet is original and pretty to one side and do what you normally do to it then take the other signal and send it through a distortion box or a pod to get just a little edge to it. Then take the box sound and the split sound and combine those on a bus on the desk and Lo Pass the top en so it sounds a bit dull . You will have to lay with the phase on this but you have the normal sound on one side then a lo passed sound with a little edge thrown on it to get the mono thing right . It does work if you could have delayed it a few Milliseconds that would have been cool also. But you can also just run it through a box that sounds a bit dull also to get the sedired result thats why I always liked the Prime Times. You could also do a cool bus limiting thing if the first Idea doesnt suit you is to pan the guitar what ever way you like then send it over to a subgroup withe the effects in the subgroup compress the piss out of it and slide it in the mix underneath in mono. Its an old Jack douglass Aerosmith mixx trick but it does work.Those guitars are mono on the early albums but damn they sound pretty stereo. - Mark

Attached files Ghetto BoyV2.mp3 (11 MB) 

anonymous Tue, 10/09/2001 - 23:03

Originally posted by Jay Kahrs:
I have the new Tool album about 2 feet from me. It sounds like some of the guitars are doubled, if that's just the multiple amp thing then I'm impressed. Some of it is doubled clearly and panned hard left and right but most of it is a single guitar - even Tool's guitar player can't be 'that' precise to pull that off double tracking.

Adam Jones describes what he is doing among other things here: Do you layer guitar parts to get such a huge sound?

Not very much. There are a couple of songs on the album where I overdubbed a few layers, but for the most part, it's just one guitar. You see, I want to be able to pull off everything I do in the studio onstage. I usually do one pass routed through different amps, or two passes where I'm playing the exact same notes to make a part more powerful.

I plug into three amps at the same time -- even when I play live. For what I want, I don't think one amp would do the trick. One amp is for a solid-state sound, one for more of a non-master-volume tone, and the third fills in the bottom with a cardboard crunch. If you used the amps individually, you'd find that one doesn't have much low end, and one doesn't have enough high end. But they're really good together because you're getting three different things at once, and you can hear all of that in the sound. That's why it sounds so big.

What kinds of amps are they?

I use a modified non-master-volume Marshall bass head and a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier, which I swapped out with a Sunn Beta Lead for the recording. But my favorite amp is a Diezel, which is a four-channel tube amp from Germany. It's awesome.

I also guess that they submix the guitar to a bus and compress the shit out of it and then send one mono return back, and duck that guitar with a vocal just a little bit - it might be an illusion but it seems to me that every time when the singer opens his mouth the guitar seems to get a bit wider, or something from the center drops off.

anonymous Thu, 10/11/2001 - 04:00

last week I worked with a raw and powerful trio.
hard drums, saturated bass, distorted guitar (no doubling whatsoever), ala AtTheDriveIn.
We panned the guitar at 9 o'clock. and the bass at 3 o'clock.
that's it.
it worked for them, 'cause the bass was very saturated and it sounded like a baritone guitar, with nice melodic riffs and sometimes even chords.
maybe it'll work for you too.
BTW, they liked it 'cause it was very minimalist sounding.



Attached files Ghetto Boy V4.mp3 (11.4 MB)