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just tried the quad gtr tracking method and......
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maskedman72
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25th December 2006
Old 25th December 2006
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just tried the quad gtr tracking method and......

the results were horrable. let me back up a bit. i have a good player with a good rig and a gtr that is intonated. the tone of the rig coming through the monitors is prefect.

here is what i tried to do, perhaps i am going about it the wrong way and someone can help.

i have a 57 and 421 on a marshall cab 1 inch off the grill. they are in perfect phase. we recorded 1 pass of a song with both mics togther, than we recorded a second pass with both mics through a different head so we now have a total of 4 gtr tracks going. what my plan was, was to track both gtr players (there are 2) 2 times through each song than pan each players 4 tracks hard left and right. so each player plays each song 2 times. well once i had the 1st player do 2 passes of the song i panned each pass hard L/R and it sounded great. than i put them in the middle to hear what they are going to sound like togther and it was that nasty chorusy effect and it made the tracks sound really bad. i was hoping that adding all of the layers would really thicken the sound up and give me that wall of gtr sound but to my dismay is wasnt there.

i have read so much about people getting huge tracks with this method, am i doing something wrong here?
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25th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maskedman72 View Post
the results were horrable. let me back up a bit. i have a good player with a good rig and a gtr that is intonated. the tone of the rig coming through the monitors is prefect.

here is what i tried to do, perhaps i am going about it the wrong way and someone can help.

i have a 57 and 421 on a marshall cab 1 inch off the grill. they are in perfect phase. we recorded 1 pass of a song with both mics togther, than we recorded a second pass with both mics through a different head so we now have a total of 4 gtr tracks going. what my plan was, was to track both gtr players (there are 2) 2 times through each song than pan each players 4 tracks hard left and right. so each player plays each song 2 times. well once i had the 1st player do 2 passes of the song i panned each pass hard L/R and it sounded great. than i put them in the middle to hear what they are going to sound like togther and it was that nasty chorusy effect and it made the tracks sound really bad. i was hoping that adding all of the layers would really thicken the sound up and give me that wall of gtr sound but to my dismay is wasnt there.

i have read so much about people getting huge tracks with this method, am i doing something wrong here?

Don't know what to tell you. I probably put much less effort into this method and get great results. Seems like the only differences between your technique and mine is the two mics, I only use one(sm57). Does it sound chorusy with only the one guitar players tracks or both players tracks together? Sometimes I find recording just the lead guitar player, meaning he does the rythym tracks as well, leads to much tighter tracks overall. Also, by "put them in the middle" do you mean you panned them back to center, and if so why? Just go with what sounds good.
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25th December 2006
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first off, i highly doubt that your two microphones are "perfectly" in phase. sorry. could be what you think sounds "chorusy"

second, can these dudes perfectly double track? could also be the culprit of the chorus effect.
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25th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaneldon View Post
second, can these dudes perfectly double track? could also be the culprit of the chorus effect.

This is what i would think.

Chorus is just a slight delay...measured in milliseconds. Unless this tracks are identical in timing they will have a slight chorus sound in mono. When the tracks have the same tone this will be even more obvious sounding.

Try doubling the tracks with a slightly different tone dialed in on one of them.
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25th December 2006
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Try this....Turn each doubled track per side down 3 db's. Pan the 1st 100 hard then the 2nd on the same side like 95 or 90. Do the same to the other side. Now put them all in the mix.
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25th December 2006
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yea when i double track my doubles are almost always a completely different amp/guitar/speaker/mic
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25th December 2006
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Zeuss, any more tips you can give for recording Guitars.. Love your work.. You alwys seeem to get a monstrous sound..!!!
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25th December 2006
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so is it like one 57 and 57 on the left and a 421 and a 421 on the right?
or are you mixing the mics in the channels? And, Is this ITB?

If it was OTB you may notice more drastic Phase issues when panning the tracks around like dissapearing freq ranges and level changes....so if it is OTB we prolly know the phase is OK...
SO assuming that the phase is OK - what were the two amps used?, does one (or both) have digital anything happeneing in the head? any reverb? was one dual rec road king? I once tracked down a guitar doubling phase issue to a guys effect loop being used on that amp...

In all honesty, I'd guess you may have better results with just 57's or just 421's - But Ive never done this particular tecnique? Sounds really interesting if it works out...also maybe try two cabs per pass and, one mic on each cab, that would prolly fix it too, acctualy, yeah, Thats my advise, two cabs, one mic per, not one cab, two mics per....

Edit: also, what two guitars are we using here?
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25th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coreybox View Post
This is what i would think.

Chorus is just a slight delay...measured in milliseconds. Unless this tracks are identical in timing they will have a slight chorus sound in mono. When the tracks have the same tone this will be even more obvious sounding.

Try doubling the tracks with a slightly different tone dialed in on one of them.
Chorus is not just delay, it's also pitch change. When in doubt simplify, try it with one mic, make sure the guitar player is reasonably precise. It's not neccesary to use different guitars and amps for the double. Especially if you're going to have other guitar parts in the track.
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25th December 2006
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Yeah, when doubling like that you should change something for the second layer, i.e. switch pickups on the guitar, change the presence on the amp or something, that should be enough to make the the whole sound greater than the sum rather than the chorusy cancelly thing you're getting now.
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25th December 2006
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it was the same guy that played all 4 tracks on the test run.

here is the chain;

left side take 1-esp viper/emg 81-jsx-marshall/75w celest gt12's-57/421 both into ltd1's into mytek stereo 96 into ptle.

left side take 2 we swap to a 5150 and the rest is same

right side-same gtr-5150-same cab-e609 silver/421 same pre/converter.

right side take 2 same as above except we swap to the jsx.

we have 2 5150's and we use one for the left side and the other for the right.

the sound dosent get chorusy/bad until you add a second track with it. when you play just 1 track it is fine.(when i say 1 track i mean both athe 57 and 421.)

perhaps it is the fact that i am using 2 mics at a time rather than only one.

or perhaps it is a panning issue like zeuss said (zeuss is god btw)

i will have to try using only 1 mic next time and see what happens.

im trying to go for that sneap type of thing here.
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25th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acko View Post
Yeah, when doubling like that you should change something for the second layer, i.e. switch pickups on the guitar, change the presence on the amp or something, that should be enough to make the the whole sound greater than the sum rather than the chorusy cancelly thing you're getting now.
we used a different head in this manner.

correct me if i am wrong but it is impossable for 2 things to be out of phase if they were tracked totally seperatly with 1 mic right?
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25th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maskedman72 View Post
we used a different head in this manner.

correct me if i am wrong but it is impossable for 2 things to be out of phase if they were tracked totally seperatly with 1 mic right?


Yeah but if the player's off you'll still get a chorusy effect, however most guys I've recorded, even the not so good ones, don't yield any kind of chorusy sound.
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25th December 2006
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not so much out of phase as much as the fact that if the tones are really similar there will be moments where they have that effect that you're getting. When I'm doubling stuff like that I tend to employ a bit of give and take between the tones I'm layering...One might bite more but have less lows, the other might punch more but have less highs, together they sound huge...but you said you where using a different head, that should help, but can you hear much of a difference when you change the head or is the tone still in the same ballpark, to be honest, when I'm immersed in this kind of exercise I don't think about much, I'm kind of on auto pilot, just hunting for what feels right and I never seem to have those problems, so I guess I'm not of much help when it comes to technical trouble shooting....But if I where you I'd just give it another go and change just a couple of things in your setup, try one mic, try doubling it with a different guitar...or as I said earlier, my lazy mans approach is to not change a thing but switch from the ''rhythm'' pickup to the ''lead'' pickup. You could also check that there is'nt any plugin latency smearing things. Good luck.
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25th December 2006
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thats wired !
did it sound that way when you recorded it as well, or is it a puter delay problem ?
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25th December 2006
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I do the quad tracking (sometimes more) all the time, but only with one SM57 on the cabinet.

It requires a bit of manipulation in the editing to get it perfect, but it does work quite well. I actually prefer this method to the multi-miced approach.

The real magic happens in the assemblage of the mix. Too many factors in a rock mix to expect instant gratification just during the guitar tracking process.
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25th December 2006
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If the sound is chorus type, not fixed comb filter sound type, there is probably a tuning issue. Either the guitar tuning is not exactly the same for each take, or (I,ve seen this sometimes) the guitar player is not playing in tune: pushing the strings too hard at some places or picking too hard will go sharp.

If on a single take the 2 mics sound chorus-like, I'd think you have a hardware problem...
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25th December 2006
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Your approach, by definition, is not exactly quadruple-tracking. You have effectively double-tracked an amp with a multi-mic set-up.

To be honest, when I do the mulit-mic thing, I usually prefer them panned hard, as well. Sort of defeats the purpose, but I like it.

I'm a major proponent of the single SM57 on a 4x12 cabinet for layering heavy guitars.

I've noticed that many people really struggle to discover the 'magic bullet', when sometimes the even the simplest method will yield the best result.
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25th December 2006
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IMO i think its PTools le that has the delay.
change the sample buffer to minimum.
Or even better zero latancy.
becouse the guitar player doubles over the original and don't notice'd the delay that PT has when you playback the recording the double is late becouse of the sample buffer delay.if you woud double on the double the 2th double would be 2x as late as the first 1.
had the same problem with a latin project. where the piano player notice'd the delay.
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[QUOTE=picksail;1033703]
I'm a major porponent of the single SM57on a 4x12 cabinet for layering heavy guitars.
[QUOTE]


AMEN.
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25th December 2006
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You might be closer than you think. Mono-out some CD's for comparison -- sometimes they do shrink a lot when mono'd.

Are you multi-tracking your mics or summing before they hit PT? Pick out a 2-bar section and post 57-take 1A, 421-take 1A, 57-take 2A, 421-take 2A, 57-take 3B, 421-take 3B, 57-take 4B, 421-take 4B.

...with A being player A and B being player B.

Even 3 seconds of audio (in separated files) would give us a clear picture of what you're up against.

I recently diagnosed a sub-10-sample error in a mic pair that was sent to me off Sonar by somebody who is a frequent GS'er. It turned out that if track 1 was shifted by (?) samples, it would phase near-perfectly with track 2. Apparently, Sonar doesn't zoom to the level that PT does. I think the sample error was 5 samples (0.1ms).

I'm not saying that this has anything to do whatsoever with your situation -- I'm just saying if you post even a little audio we can put our heads together to figure out what the heck is going on instead of blindly postulating about it (a valid thing, but this issue seems like it needs a more direct diagnosis).
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25th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilRanger View Post
If the sound is chorus type, not fixed comb filter sound type, there is probably a tuning issue. Either the guitar tuning is not exactly the same for each take, or (I,ve seen this sometimes) the guitar player is not playing in tune: pushing the strings too hard at some places or picking too hard will go sharp.

Yup, sounds like this is the culprit. Get a good tuner and make sure it's not the guitar, then you can narrow it down to the player.
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25th December 2006
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The first amps polarity could be reversed compared to the second, but that would probably only affect things if you were DI-ing the same track over and over(which is what you should probably try next) but could possibly come into play.
An abundance of gain will do this too when you start stacking tracks, turn the gain down about 2-3 lines and retrack. Tighten things up? It often does and still sounds as heavy.
The guitar players has to be TIGHT. Use a click. When Di-ing to reamp later, its easier to solo the tracks and hear how tight they really are when its dry straight DI. You might be surprised how sloppy some people can be.
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maskedman72
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i dont have any audio to post cause we had to make a desicison and move ahead(dam deadlines). anyhow from listening to your replys i am going to try it again and employ some of your advise when the next chance arises.

i will try just 1 57 next time.

i think that the player wasnt as tight as need be for this to work as well as perhaps possably a slight tuning issue.

cant wait to get back to it and figure this out!
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25th December 2006
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perhaps i am putting to much thought into this also.
is it possable to get the type of sound i am going for with 1 pass of each player on a dual mic'd cab?
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25th December 2006
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We expect you to keep the rock alive!!!!

It's your duty.

I'm really more into the keeping the morale and excitement up in the studio. Way more important to me than going in and checking the mic placement, phase alignment, etc. I can make the 'single 57' method work very well and it also, keeps everyone in great spirits. I mean when you're cutting heavy guitars, it's all about the rock-nothing should inhibit that, ever!!!!

Horns up!!!

You know being a totally neurotic producer/mixer as well as being responsible for performing a ton of guitars on many of these records, I have a few 'policies' that I enforce in these guitar tracking session.

1) Tune the instrument with a strobe tuner.
2) Ensure that you retune the guitar relative to the position on the guitar that you are playing i.e Playing A5 at the 5th and 7th frets of the E and A strings. Tune the guitar from this position.
3) DO NOT play some stupid little noodly lick immediately after you just tuned the goddamned thing (Everyone always, seems to be complled to do this. I still don't get it. If the guitarist does this, punch him in the f**king head and tell him that this isn't band rehearsal!!)
4) Play the first pass with a click
5) Retune the guitar
6) Check the first pass for alignment (edit this thing into place, because no one is perfect) Now, at least, all subsequent parts will have a foundation reference for the remainder of the sessions

These are just a few of the anal-retentive points that I employ. More or less just rudimentary principles that I follow.
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26th December 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picksail View Post
We expect you to keep the rock alive!!!!

It's your duty.

I'm really more into the keeping the morale and excitement up in the studio. Way more important to me than going in and checking the mic placement, phase alignment, etc. I can make the 'single 57' method work very well and it also, keeps everyone in great spirits. I mean when you're cutting heavy guitars, it's all about the rock-nothing should inhibit that, ever!!!!

Horns up!!!

You know being a totally neurotic producer/mixer as well as being responsible for performing a ton of guitars on many of these records, I have a few 'policies' that I enforce in these guitar tracking session.

1) Tune the instrument with a strobe tuner.
2) Ensure that you retune the guitar relative to the position on the guitar that you are playing i.e Playing A5 at the 5th and 7th frets of the E and A strings. Tune the guitar from this position.
3) DO NOT play some stupid little noodly lick immediately after you just tuned the goddamned thing (Everyone always, seems to be complled to do this. I still don't get it. If the guitarist does this, punch him in the f**king head and tell him that this isn't band rehearsal!!)
4) Play the first pass with a click
5) Retune the guitar
6) Check the first pass for alignment (edit this thing into place, because no one is perfect) Now, at least, all subsequent parts will have a foundation reference for the remainder of the sessions

These are just a few of the anal-retentive points that I employ. More or less just rudimentary principles that I follow.

horns up!!!!

i just though that i would step from my normal method and try something new this time around to see if i could outdo myself. i havent given up yet!

as far as the stupid "noodling lick" man, that is so true. drives me nuts sometimes.
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26th December 2006
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I think someone else may have touched on this earlier, but one thing to check is the polarity of each head, speaker cable, cabinet and speaker. It's not uncommon to have one thing in the chain to be reversed.

for example, some matchless heads are polarity-reversed in the normal position and some heads with fx loops go through two inversions before hitting the power amp tubes.. you never notice it unless you are trying to mix the tracks with another amp.

Same goes for everything the audio passes through - patchbays, pres, mics, etc.

but.... most likely if it's "chorus-y" it's tuning. if it's phase-y, it's either mic placement or polarity problems...



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26th December 2006
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one thing to check is the polarity of each head, speaker cable, cabinet and speaker. It's not uncommon to have one thing in the chain to be reversed.
thank god for SCV phase clickers...

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To me it sounds like the second set of guitars are out of tune..

If the 1st set play well together without the 2nd and


the second set play well without the first....

I would say it is the tuning..
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