Production 101: How To Not Screw Up Electric Guitars in Pro Tools
In this one, I wanted to talk about doubling guitars. Specifically, electric guitars. Talk about some recording things, talk about some production things that all kind of add up to the mixing phase, and it’s basically if you get this stuff right, you’re just going to be setup for an awesome electric guitar track.
So let’s get into it. I have a track. It sounds like this.
Alright. So we’ve got two teles doubled. It sounds like this.
Right. Now the key to doing this in the tracking phase is going to be — like, I’m a big less is more kind of guy when it comes to micing electric guitar amps. Two thirds of the time, I pretty much just use a ribbon mic. I either use a Royer 121 or I’ll use my Cascade Fat Head II with a Lundahl transformer, which is a really great option if you’re on a budget, because you can get a pair of them for cheaper than one Royer microphone.
So check that out. But the key is a lot of times, you know, two thirds of the time, like I said, one microphone and I’ll kind of play with where I want to put that on the cone of the speaker between the edge and the center. Basically, things are going to get more harsh as you move to the center, and they’re going to get warmer as you go away.
Usually the middle somewhere may be a sweet spot. If I’m using a 57, the same thing applies. If all you have is a 57, use a 57, cut your guitars and move on with your life.
Don’t be one of these guys that uses fucking four microphones on his guitar amp, because if you send — if you’re one of those guys and you send me your song to mix, I’m going to end up deleting three of those tracks, and just using the ribbon mic, I swear to god, because most of the time it’s all out of phase, and if you want big guitars, like the key is to make sure it’s all in phase, right? Especially if you’re using multiple mics.
So two thirds of the time, one microphone, the other third I’ll use a ribbon and then I’ll blend a 57 in with it, and then if I have the option, I’ll just sum that to one track so I don’t have — so I’m not recording all of this audio in Pro Tools, because that’s always a hassle.
So that’s kind of the trick on the tracking into things. More of a production thing, which that also kind of ties into production, but don’t use the same setting for each side. So track one, pan it hard left, track another part, pan it hard right.
One of those, change something. Change the guitar, change the pickup, change the distortion pedal, use a different amp. Like, do something.
Most of the time, I just change pickups. So I’ll do one pass on the bridge pickup, second pass will be on the neck pickup, or middle pickup, or whatever the option may be, or if it’s got coil tapping, maybe I’ll do that and do a single coil thing.
That’s really a big key to getting them wide. That and make sure the parts are played really clean.
Now this one, I mean, there’s a little interplay between both parts that kind of bounce around a little bit.
Here’s the left one.
Right? So kind of scuffy. Not super distorted at all.
The right one is really not super distorted either.
Right? Palm mutey. Definitely beefier, chunkier, meaner sounding, but you know, you play them together…
That’s really all I wanted to talk about. If you can get those things right, that’s really going to help your mix a lot. Especially the whole changing something when you double it.
Change a pedal, change a pickup, something. Don’t do the exact same thing twice. Try it, you may like it.
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