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The good ol' tips and tricks still used?

I'm recording quite a few songs for a band and I've got quite a few takes for each song.

Is using one GOOD take of the guitar, panning it to the left, taking a _different GOOD_ take and panning it to the right... still what people are doing? It makes the guitar sound big yes. But at times, a little sloppy if it's a very quick part. Is this something I should tend to do for the most part, or do it sparingly?

Also, the singer we have I think is a pretty good sounding singer. So doubling the vocals is usually spot on. But you can still tell if you listen closely that the vocals are doubled.

How often should I double the vocals. (Using two separate vocal takes and layering them)


Kapt.Krunch Sun, 05/20/2007 - 04:40
Experiment. Whatever sounds good is right. Whatever sounds bad, isn't.

Nothing you can do about two guitar parts that sound sloppy together, except maybe a bit of editing. You could always nuke one, copy the one you kept, apply different treatment to it and pan. At least it won't sound sloppy against itself in timing and notes.

Maybe the double-tracked vocal doesn't have to be continuously present? Maybe you could just bring it in during certain parts.

I made a ballad years back that had fairly mild drums until the chorus kicked in with a louder, snappy gated snare. (Yeah I know...dates that one). I had two vocals that were performed pretty closely the same. I started off with one panned down the middle for the first line, the second line got the second one brought up into the mix a bit under the first, again down the middle, dropped the second one on the third line, again brought it up a bit for the fourth. When the chorus kicked in, the new louder snare kind of took over the middle, so I thought..."hmmm....what can I do here?". Also, at that point, some strings playing slightly different movements left and right came in. I just adjusted both tracks of vocals up to the same level, and panned them left and right...I think they ended up between about 2-3 and 9-10 o'clock. I lowered the strings a bit, and panned them hard left and right.
Now it sounded like the vocals were bridging a gap between the center and the strings.

That sounded cool, but I wasn't done yet. I took each track and copied them to a new track. I applied some delay and reverb, and made them way wet. Then I panned them mostly opposite their original twins, and adjusted to taste, just enough to make the dry tracks appear to reverb themselves to the other side a bit.

It gave it kind of a light chorused effect for the chorus and got the vocals out of the way of the snare, and they still sat nicely between the middle and the strings, but it kind of APPEARED to moved them more to the middle since their reverbs were crossing over to the other sides. The snare HAD to stay there because it punctuated the frustration of the chorus lyrics.

When the snare disappeared for the next verse, I did the same thing I did for the first verse, and again for the chorus.

The last verse was the most wrenching, and I left both vocals down the middle for the entire four lines, one a bit lower than the other, to add some weight to it.

It was kind of a shifting soundscape for the vocals, but you couldn't tell it shifted a LOT unless you had headphones on...and when you listened through them, you could really tell everything widened out. Sitting in the sweet spot between speakers just kind of made them sound like they had spread out a bit with a bit more reverb, and since the snare now occupied that center spot, nothing was lost from the middle.

Kind of a cool effect. Kept the thing punchy and added some life. Basically, it took a somewhat narrowed soundstage in the verses and exploded them out in the choruses. There were stereo drums, but nothing was extreme far left or right. There was an electric piano left, a Hammond burbling away right... about 10 and 2 o'clock. A capo'ed acoustic guitar strummed down the middle, mostly for percussive effect.

Whatever it takes that YOU think sounds right.. Have fun.

Kapt.Krunch :wink: