Making a single guitar recording stereo?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by soapfloats, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    I've been browsing, and gotten some decent ideas (some of which I've used before) on how to make this work, but there's something still wanting.

    Unfortunately, it's just not feasible to do any double tracking at this point.

    Virtually all of these songs have 4 tracks per guitar:
    1. Close mic 57
    2. Close mic 421
    3. Room mic (ribbon or condenser)
    4. DI

    Some have just #3 or #4.

    Typically I'll just balance the guitar w/ keys or another complementary instrument, but there isn't one in this case.
    I've tried using delay/verb send/etc on copied mono tracks before.

    What I'm wondering is, would panning the 57/421 L/R do the job?

    Obviously, for those songs that have a DI track, I can just re-amp that. Not quite the same, but at least I can take advantage of different amp/micing.
  2. natural

    natural Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    And you're trying to do what exactly?
    In the time it took to write the post, you could have simply did the pan 57/421 experiment and would have already known the answer. So I guess I'm missing something.
    You want to take the guitar which is not a stereo instrument and turn it into a stereo instrument, but verb doesn't do what you're looking for?
    Do you want to create the effect of 2 guitars with one guitar, but re-amping doesn't do what you're looking for?
    How would you say that the gtr should have been mic'd to get the correct result?
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Look, you really can take a single track and make it a stereo track. What you want to do is first make sure you're recorded track is good & solid sounding. Then you choose yourself a nice "plate" style reverb program. Set the delay time to zero. Set the decay time to (and you want to try numerous settings) shortest decay time's. So short that it is not perceived as reverb. It is perceived as an instrument in a stereo acoustic environment. You can mix in some of the original or not mix in any. This will make your boring centered sound now go wide. Use it as a pure signal without the original mixed in. Then try putting in some of the original? I do this with other instruments as well. As long as the reverb time's are so short that they don't sound like big gymnasiums or churches, you'll be good.

    I also don't mind taking dissimilar microphones and using them in a stereo capacity. There is no rules that say you have to use matched stereo microphones for stereo imaging. In fact, it's a good idea to throw in that kind of variable. It really contributes to the sonic image. What matters is how you balance it. You want to create a sonic menagerie of sound. So any kind of left & right play contributes to the interest. We're not talking about orchestral technique here. Common, workin' man rock, you can play with. So stay light on effects and heavy on the mix balance.

    Now let us hear what your made of?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    Natural - I've been home sick, and haven't made it to the studio - it's a church, and it's just been too cold here lately for me or my gear to operate.

    I'm not trying to make the guitar a stereo instrument, just make it enough like double tracking to pan them left and right and get a stereo mix in which something other than the drums is/are stereo.
    I don't have a DI for all the songs, just some of them - circumstances dictated I save the channel for something else.

    Ideally, I would have double tracked the guitar.

    Thanks for the tips Remy, that's exactly what I needed - a couple of ideas I can play around with next time I get a chance.

    I'll post a track in the Critique section soon.
  5. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    The methods suggested are good ones. Coping the tracks and applying different EQ, saturation, and compression settings works. Although my favorite is panning the two microphones to either side.

    I can tell you what not to do: Pan one hard left and add a delay to a copy and pan it hard right. It might sound full in headphones, but will sound bad on speakers, and if it ever gets collapsed to mono (in a club sound system or AM radio) It will sound even worse.
  6. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    One nice thing about digital is that you can non-destructively cut and paste to your hearts content and go back to the original at any time.

    If you did a continuous linear guitar track create a new guitar track and copy the guitar from verse one & put it in verse two, verse two in verse three, verse three in verse one, the same with choruses. The differences in the performances will give the effect of double tracking. Maybe re-amp or use a plug-in to change the sound a bit.
  7. 04Dimebag

    04Dimebag Guest

    That's actually a simple and great idea. I've got the same problem and I might be able to use that.

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