Mixing Electric Guitars: Waves VEQ3, UAD 1176, Soundtoys Echo Boy, Little Microshift, Oxford Reverb

What’s up, guys? I’ve got another video for you, and this week, I wanted to talk about guitars.

It’s the same track as in the previous video for the drum buss. Here’s a little taste of a verse going into a chorus.

[mix]

Right. Sounds like that. These verse guitars, this one right here, this is going out to a stem group. Basically, we’ve got a Waves VEQ 3, which is kind of like a 1073, and I’m also using an 1176 from UAD.

When it originally came to me, it sounded like this. It’s a stereo print that they had some effects on.

[electric guitars]

Right, so we’ve got some delay, obviously some spring reverb or something that they were running through.

Basic EQ. Just high passed to 80.

[electric guitars, before and after EQ]

You know, and you could even use 70 would work, too.

[electric guitars, before and after EQ]

Subject to taste. I went to 80. 80 is kind of my go to, especially with 1073s. Kind of a side note, when I EQ guitars, I sort of like to think in broad curves, much like a guitar amp. So you know, low mid, treble, you just kind of boost or cut. They’re really broad kind of brush strokes along the EQ curve. Nothing really surgical or anything like that.

So that’s kind of my philosophy when it comes to guitars.

So anyways, back to this, so we’ve got EQ on it, high passed to 80. It’s tracked really well. And then dumped a little compressor on it. Bring up some of the delay, bring up some of the reverb. Slowish attack. It’s all 1176, so it’s not really slow, but on the slow side. Quick release. Kind of want to bring out some of those transients. Two to one ratio, nothing really crazy.

[guitars]

Kind of makes the track — it gets a little bigger.

[guitars]

A little wider. Here it is in the track.

[mix]

Plus you just get that cool sheen from this 1176.

So that’s the verse. Next we’ve got these two distorted guitars, and they sound like this.

[distorted guitars]

Right. And they’re getting fed into this yellow buss down here, where I’ve got some — all of the distorted stuff grouped. So I’ll take off all of that stuff.

This is what they sound like when they came in.

[distorted guitars]

Super tubby. So used VEQ again. High passed to 80. Pull out a little bit of 220. Not a ton. Like, 3dB. Brought out a little — made it a little brighter. A little 1.2kHz.

[distorted guitars after EQ]

So that’s what’s going on EQ wise. Then I have some compression going on on the buss with this 1176 from UA.

[mix]

Right. So all the way left on the attack, all the way right on the release, eight to one, a little more aggressive.

[mix]

Really evening out all of these transients.

[mix]

Cool. I’ll solo these again, and then I’ll send them to a little room verb.

[distorted guitars]

Just kind of gives it a little bit of air to it. It gives it a little bit of space.

[distorted guitars]

Then I have these going to the EchoBoy delay setting, which is kind of — I’ve got it set to this EchoPlex kind of style.

[distorted guitars]

You can hear the delay until there. 400 milliseconds. Feedback, a decent amount. A little bit of hi-cut on it, which you can see those settings.

So I’ve got some delay, some reverb on it. That’s the main distorted guitars. Then you have this cool sort of third guitar part kind of filler down the center.

[guitar]

Right. And went with the VEQ again.

[guitar]

High passed to 80, boosted a little 1.2kHz.

[guitar]

Then I used this Little MicroShift from SoundToys. Kind of give it some width.

[guitar]

This thing is great. You can get really exaggerated with it.

[guitar]

Models an old Eventide box. Harmonizer, I believe.

This was free over Christmas break or so? Around New Years, I think? It’s a great little plug-in. Hopefully you got to pick it up. I think you can still buy it from their website, but this is super handy. I’ve been using it a lot lately. Any time I can kind of come up with an excuse to use it.

Then we have our outro guitar back here, which just kind of goes to a really dry, kind of up front sound. Same kind of EQ settings.

[mix]

Mono down the center.

[mix]

But that’s distorted electric guitars. Again, I like to use spring reverbs on them as well, sometimes bussing to the group is always a good trick for mixing, because you can always automate the individual tracks, but then you can sort of automate the overall levels too. As you can see, I’ve done a little bit of that here.

On the verses, I’ve sort of swelled these parts up and down some. Again, with the EQ curves, I think that’s kind of the most important thing. You can pretty much always high pass to 80 or 75 or so. I mean, you get a little subjective in there, just depending on what you want to do.

I went to 80. You can definitely get away with 70 or 75. A lot of times when I track guitars, if I’m going through a 1073 EQ, I’ll just dump the high pass filter around 80 and it’s going to get rid of — you really don’t need much under that.

Then sort of brightening in the mid-range. Sometimes you can kind of play around 700-800Hz. Like on a Pultec EQ or whatever, and get some cool sounds. Cool bitey kind of mid-rangey guitar sounds out of that.

But yeah, think real broad curves. Don’t get real surgical with it. I think that’s where guys get into trouble with it. They try to pull out just a sliver of 500 or 2kHz or whatever.

But yeah. And then room sounds, just kind of give them a little body. Eighth note delays, slapback delays are cool, lead lines, of course you can do quarter note delays, whatever you want just depending on the song.

But yeah, those are my guitars in this track. I thought I’d share that with you. I’ve got more videos coming next week, and as always, subscribe if you haven’t subscribed already, follow on Facebook, follow on Twitter, like me on Facebook, get at me on Instagram.

Anyways, I will see you guys in the next video. Have a good week. Later.

Mixnotes

Mixnotes

Mixnotes is a YouTube channel with tutorials on mixing, recording, business, plugins and more. We've partnered with them to feature some of their videos on The Pro Audio Files.
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