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3rdstone 26th April 2019 11:11 PM

Rock/Metal Guitar Width & Depth
 
Hello Andrew, big fan of your work, and even more so, your unique approach to overcoming challenges within a mix.

The biggest challenge I'm having is getting distorted guitars (real amps & sims) to not sound 'flat' and 'lifeless'. (the first POD units come to mind here).

I'm tracking through 1073s, decent mics, and a good cab loaded with greenbacks/V30s, but nothing I do in the mix process seems to get me any further ahead ..still not satisfied.

The sounds you, and folks like Mr Barresi, have an almost '3D' sonic image in my opinion.
Any advice on how to make the guitars sound wide, alive, with good depth?

Thanks for any advice you may have regarding this matter.

Cheers,
-Steve A

AScheps 30th April 2019 09:28 AM

For me the biggest key to excitement on electric guitars is the rear buss. Having them share parallel compression with the rest of the elements in the mix really makes them come to life. Also, low end on certain tracks (Omnichannel thump or something like that) can sound like cabinet thump in the room and help give some weight. It can also make them take up too much space.

While treating the individual tracks, here are some general thoughts:
1) I often add midrange around 1.4kHz, because this is where the notes live. This will make it easier to hear the actual parts and not just the distortion.
2) Sometimes cleaning up the tone will give you more life. The more distorted, by definition, the more compressed.
3) Not doubling can also give you a much more heavy sound. The instinct is that the more guitars there are the heavier it will be, but sometimes all it does is smear the performance and turn them into a slab of guitar with no definition.
4) Lastly, and I know this is obvious but you can never say it enough, don't work on the guitars in solo to make them sound 'great'. What sounds great in solo has nothing to do with what will work with the rest of the band.