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Chorus guitars

I have a song that I want the chorus to have power. Can someone help with technique to make this sound more powerful?

What I have now:
1 track with a Les Paul through the AC30 TB
1 track with a Telecaster through a Small Tweed

How do you double up guitars and make them sound smooth?



cfaalm Wed, 08/30/2006 - 05:32
I don't believe there is a set way to accomplish that.

Whether we're talking about a recording or a live session, a lot of the dynammics come from the chord changes, arrangement (not just the guitars) and sound changes (from clean to crunch, chorus on/off, also not just the guitars).

You already have a good start with two different guitars and amps.

This is what I do

Let's say we stick to just two guitars and we hit the chorus:

Do the parts that they play distinguish themselves enough from the verse?
Do the two guitars distinguish themselves enough from eachother or complement eachother in some fashion?

To emphasize the differences between the parts and the guitars you can:
1. have the guitars panned 50-75% left and right opposite of eachother.
2. switch on different FX on the guitars e.g. the LP goes from clean to crunch while the Tele goes from clean to clean w/ chorus + short delay.

Add one or two extra (acoustic) guitar parts if it's a recording.

As for doubling up: that is a way to have a fatter or wider sound.

There's handmade doubling i.e. you replay a part as accurate as you can. A little compression will keep the dynamics close on both tracks. It also helps to have that second part, even if you play it with the same guitar, to sound (a little) different. So switch amps, add a stomp box. Experiment & listen.
Then there's electronic doubling. You send the original guitar part to a delay and add some 20-40ms of delay (I am not sure about those numbers) and pan them out. It works best if they're not in the same place of the stereo image. Balance them out (they don't have to be equally loud). Again experiment & listen.

A lot of that stuff is done in 70's and 80's rock. I suggest you do a little research there too. Boston (first and second album), Rush (1 album up to 2112), Eagles (lots of acoustic layers as well), Joe Walsh (But Seriously, Folks), John Cougar Mellencamp (from 1984 self titled album to Uh huh). Probably also Led Zeppelin or any big rock band from that era.

Like I said, it's not just the guitars that make the chorus. A little backing vocals also help.

There might be more/better ways, so I hope there are more takers.

Hope this helps. Good luck.