Tips for Layering Panned Guitars
As a mix engineer, I get tracks sent to me all the time where the guitar player has doubled, tripled, quadrupled the exact same guitar part.
Instead of layering the same exact part over and over or twice, I want to show you variations that you can add by switching that up. So, if you’re not a guitar player, still pay attention because this could work for you when you’re recording or producing guitars. Give them this example, say hey, instead of doubling that, do it further up the neck or with a different tone, a different pickup, and different guitar, a different amp, a different mic. Change it up. Something. Something should be changed when you double it to give it a different character.
I’m gonna double a guitar part. Just threw on a loop here I’m using Superior Drummer, got a Fender Strat, Got a UAD Apollo, and I’m going into an 11 rack SPDIF into the Apollo. If you’re curious, let’s see… we’ve got a guitar, very simple box tone, and I’m running it through the UAD 610B. And let me play it, this is worth showing you. And if I bypass it.
[playing electric guitar with and without UAD 610B plugin]
And with it. So you can see those settings. Check that out. Love that tone, love what UAD is doing with their gear. So, back to the task at hand. We’re gonna track a couple guitars, I’m gonna play a part, gonna make something up, then double it the best I can to show what that does. Then we’re gonna get rid of the doubled guitar and I’m gonna play a different part to help bring some life to this song.
So we’ve got some chords. We’ll go with the neck, let’s clean it up a little bit.
Let’s turn Low Latency Monitoring on. Excuse me, we’ve got a click track. Ok here we go. Let’s give it a shot and see what happens.
[recording electric guitar + drum loop in Pro Tools]
We’ve gonna move the next track to the right and we’re gonna do the best we can to double it and play the exact same thing.
[recording doubled electric guitar + drum loop in Pro Tools]
Now let’s get low latency monitoring off. And hear that in the track. Turn the click off and this is a doubled guitar.
[doubled electric guitar + drum loop in Pro Tools]
Got like the spacial thing, a bit of a chorusing effect. Makes it feel like the guitars are wide, but I’ve got a better idea. I’m gonna try to differentiate that doubled part. I’m gonna switch pickups. Nothing crazy, I’m not changing my amp, not changing the gain, just gonna switch my pickup to the neck position and I’m gonna play.
So let’s start from the top, get a little click. I turned the click off. Let’s unmute the click and rock out, actually I wanted the drums to come up quite a bit.
[recording doubled electric guitar]
So right now we’re gonna listen back to what we just did. Gonna mute the click. And let’s hear what we got.
Cool. Let’s listen. A/B it. This is the first thing we did.
And then back to the second. So this just a concept that I want you guys to take, whether you’re tracking guitars or producing. I’m gonna — maybe we’ll make a series out of this and we’ll add a couple other elements to it for tracking some guitars, but, that’s it for this video. Give you another way to look at it and we’ll catch you on the next one. So don’t forget: david[at]davidglennrecording.com. I’ve got a great series coming your way soon on my mix template. And I’m gonna walk you through A to Z how I’m doing my mixing whenever I import sessions tracks in, clean them up, split stereo files to mono, the bussing, the routing, the sidechain compression, the mix buss compression. Everything you could possibly imagine I’m gonna walk you though A to Z and it’s gonna be great. So stay tuned for that and emails to david[at]davidglenn.com and check out theproaudiofiles.com.