2 Questions (Panning two guitars, EQing drums bass etc)

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by AlucardXXVII, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. AlucardXXVII

    AlucardXXVII Guest

    I have a couple questions for some gurus out there.

    First of all, what is the best way to mix two guitar tracks when they are both playing melodic lines (a la Killswitch Engage, Trivium etc)

    Should they be panned to the extreme left and right or maybe halfway, or between half and extreme?

    Also, how about when one guitar is getting ready to play a solo, what is the best way to bring this out, other than bringing down the fader on the rhythm? Is it common to bring the lead into Center position and bring the rhythm to center also? I keep thinking it sounds weird to have a lead sound coming into one ear and the rhythm coming into the other.

    And finally, is there a formula for EQing my drums, bass, and guitars so they they each sit well and are all audible, but each crisp and present?

    I am just working on trying to keep BIG guitars, with lots of riffing and melody, but also keep big drums. It seems like I can have big guitars and have them sound very good, but then have my kick drum and snare buried, or vice versa

    Can someone give me the EQ secret for this? Which frequencies to cut/boost?

    Thanks so much
  2. chrispick

    chrispick Guest

    This is an aesthetic decision really. No rule-of-thumb.

    Personally, I like to save hard L and R guitar pans for special moments in a song (e.g., a chorus).

    And, it sounds best to me when the L and R guitars sound distinctly different. At the least, this means different pick-up settings.

    Morevoer, arrangement plays a big part. For instane, if both guitar parts are playing two-finger barre chords in unison and in drop-D, then they're fighting for frequency space. It's worse if they're both playing full barre chord. Try inverting chords or varying the rhythm parts a little.

    In any case, always check this sort of thing in mono to ensure against phase cancellation, especially if you've tracked guitars with stereo sources. I've found that if you can get layered guitars to work well in mono, they fare even better in stereo.

    I'd say a general rule-of-thumb is to bring any soloing instrument, voice included, to thye middle. It's a rule you can break, sure (for special effect or to be a contrarian), but the listener expectation is for centered solos.

    Personally, I like to lean solos a little bit one direction or the other so they're not dead-middle. Just a taste thing though.

    I think the best way to do this is to cut EQ, by and large.

    For example, I usually roll off guitars to minimize frequency overlap with the bass guitar. Start at 150hz, sliding the rolloff point down -- probably no lower than 90hz. Sweet spot's usually between there.

    Then, I usually roll off the sub-lows on the bass guitar. I'm talking under 40-50 hz. You don't have to cut it out all together, just minimize.

    Then, I listen to what the kick is doing, find the place where it punches (not clicks or rumbles), then notch out as thin a space with the bass track as I can manage. I test by playing the bass and kick tracks together, popping the notch in and out. Experiment and you'll find a place where the kick comes through, but the bass doesn't sound hollowed.

    Usually, the rest of the kit comes through. I'll often EQ boost the snare a little. Compress a few things.

    Lastly, give everything its own frequency space to reside. It's all about compromise. For example, if you want toms big as hell, you're going to have to sacrifice those frequenceies in the guitar or keys. A good axiom to follow: If everything's loud, nothing is. To continue: If everything's bright, nothing is. If everything's phat, nothing is.

    It's all about limited space.
  3. AlucardXXVII

    AlucardXXVII Guest

    Ok, thanks for the input!

    One thing I really want to try first is the two guitars monitoring in mono to check for overlap.

    How does this work? Should I pan everything to the left side and listen intently?

    Thanks again!

    Rawk on
  4. chrispick

    chrispick Guest

    Listen through your master bus out.

    If you'll using a board, there's usually a mono switch. If you'll using a DAW, you may have to insert a plugin.

    When I mix at home using Digital Performer I throw a copy of Izotope Ozone on the master bus. It has a mono toggle. Also has an invert L-R which can be helpful in re-evaluating your mix (it flips the channels).

    BTW: Is it "Son of Dracula" where they used the name Alucard?
  5. AlucardXXVII

    AlucardXXVII Guest

    Thanks for that input

    I have so many guitar tracking questions but I can't really remember them all right now

    I got alucard from Castlevania Symphony of the Night for Playstation


    I'll ask again when another one comes to me

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