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Guitar in a power trio
Old 2nd December 2002
  #1
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Guitar in a power trio

If you've got a band with one guitar and the player doesn't want to double his part or it's live to 2-track what do you normally do? I've never really come up with something I'm happy with. I've tried the Van Halen thing, panning the guitar and bass to 10 & 2, two mics on the amp hard panned and that's all I can think of. Well, I can leave it the middle but that sounds small and boring plus it usually stomps all over the vocal. Give me some ideas. What works for you?
Old 2nd December 2002
  #2
Gear Nut
 
plexi's Avatar
 

I have struggled with this quite a few times, and I have gotten the best results panning the guitar to one side and having some sort of ambience on the other. Usually a short delay(not always) and a plate reverb. Depends on the song....


Amund
Old 2nd December 2002
  #3
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XHipHop's Avatar
Great question! I have to deal with this coming up this week!

The last time this came up, i convinced the band to track TONS of percussion (they were sort of a neo-60's sounding rock band kind of like the white stripes or strokes) and i used that to fill up the soundscape. I used lots of tamborines, sleigh bells, hmm..can't remember what else off the top of my head. But it sounded AWESOME panned real wide.

I ended up panning the guitar about 40% to one side and it worked for that particular band.

This time, i'd like to come up with a different solution... i'll brainstorm and see if anything realistic comes up.

I just don't get why these guitar players are so stubborn.
Old 2nd December 2002
  #4
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
If you've got a band with one guitar and the player doesn't want to double his part or it's live to 2-track what do you normally do? I've never really come up with something I'm happy with. I've tried the Van Halen thing, panning the guitar and bass to 10 & 2, two mics on the amp hard panned and that's all I can think of. Well, I can leave it the middle but that sounds small and boring plus it usually stomps all over the vocal. Give me some ideas. What works for you?
A very very short delay (10 milli-seconds or so), the dry signal panned to one side and the delay signal panned to the other.

Or use the two-mic method, with a delay on one of the mics, and record just the delay signal.

Either that, or send the guitar signal through a stereo delay/modulation effect.
Old 2nd December 2002
  #5
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Fibes's Avatar
 

the 10 and 2 thing can work if you have an amp and DI sound on the bass. I'll dirty one up and create a dirty bass side and a guitar side. The bass isn't hard panned but the mids in the grit can help the balance audibly and psychologically.

A little bit of Haas effect can work but usually does better hard panned.
Old 3rd December 2002
  #6
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There's a few diferrent techniques i use for this; all old hat...

- The first thing I do, is to try to get multiple amps happening. This can happen during the actual tracking, or via a reamplification later on. On any session, I like to record a d.i of the guitar. Lot's of times I'll use a combination of the amp signal, and then run the d.i. through an amp modeler, and combine the signals- sometimes I delay one of 'em, sometimes not.

- The other thing I will do is to just run a lot of different mics around- close dynamic and condenser mic, room dynamic and condenser mic, cheap crystal element mics- whatever. I don't hardly EVER use more than two of the tracks at any given time- but I will use different tracks during different sections, for sonic variation.

And I'm big on sticking some mics in other rooms, if that's a possibility.

I've resorted to just about every other technique mentioned as well- whatever works for the song.

But you know what else- just ****ing overdub more guitars- you're making a damn album!!! It's NEVER going to be the same as a live performance, so why limit yourself? You don't have to take it to the point of the the band not being able to play a reasonable version of the song live. You can just blend in the overdubs very very very lightly, to give it all a little more spread.

For example, take Led Zep- their music never really suffered live, but in the studio it was an overdub fest.
Old 3rd December 2002
  #7
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Whoops, missed the live to two track part- You're screwed!!!
Old 3rd December 2002
  #8
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Fibes's Avatar
 

Either way you're screwed on 2track. In the future multiple amps, mics or a bit of a haas effect would be my take on things. Stereo can be better, it can also be much worse.
Old 3rd December 2002
  #9
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

two mics on the cabinet. panned hard, one up close.. the other 10 feet back [if you got the room]/

or run a send to a verb and pan it opposite. or a delay. or two amps panned. or just stick it @ 3 oclock on one side or the other.

or set the band up live like on stage and run a stereo room mic...
Old 3rd December 2002
  #10
Moderator emeritus
 

One of my all time favorite live records is Bugs Henderson Live at The Armadillo - a Texas Blues trio. (recorded, by the way, by Hank Alrich).

Is it against the rules to simply keep the guitar, bass and voice pretty much in the middle? I don't have a problem with mono records...
Old 3rd December 2002
  #11
s2n
Gear Nut
 

I'd record a DI signal as well as the amped signal and reamp him onto a new track when he wasn't around. Or, I'd dump the guitar rhythm track into a DAW and comp another guitar rhythm track with the original. Verse 2 to verse 1. Chorus 2 to chorus 1...etc. Instant doubled rhythm guitars.
Old 3rd December 2002
  #12
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
posted by s2n:
I'd dump the guitar rhythm track into a DAW and comp another guitar rhythm track with the original. Verse 2 to verse 1. Chorus 2 to chorus 1...etc. Instant doubled rhythm guitars.
(Slapping palm to forehead)...what a f&cking great idea!

I never thought of that. One could do that with vocals too, but for choruses (duh!).

I knew there was a reason I lurk here...thanks!
Old 3rd December 2002
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
A/B box and two amps. Or, dry on one side some effect on the other. Or, MONO

rollz
Old 3rd December 2002
  #14
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XHipHop's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Drumsound
Or, MONO

rollz [/B]
Mono? Some kid i knew in highschool had that once. Lucky bastard got to stay home. Anyway, we're talking about guitars here, man!
Old 3rd December 2002
  #15
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Tim L's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Drumsound
... Or, dry on one side some effect on the other.
This is the one that usually works for me... very short doubling kinda delays mostly.
Old 3rd December 2002
  #16
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
A very very short delay (10 milli-seconds or so), the dry signal panned to one side and the delay signal panned to the other.
Ehhh, that can get you in deep trouble if your not careful. Depending on the amount of delay and the phase relationship you might manage to cancel the guitar when the mix is summed to mono.

Anyway, sometimes the reverb on one side (I call the Van Halen) thing doesn't work for fast music like punk and hardcore, which, is where I usually run into this problem. Those players usually want to "keep it real" and are against doing a second guitar. I don't have a problem with leaving everything in the center but it's kind of boring. It's never a real issue for roots rock bands or blues or anything like that. I'll put a slap or reverb on the other side and they dig it.

Keep in mind I run tape. Using a DAW isn't an option most of the time even though I have one here. Also, unless the band cuts to a click the tempo varies enough that I can't take the second verse and put it back over the first verse. Though, that could be interesting. Besides, how the hell could I do that if we're going live to 2-track?!?
Old 3rd December 2002
  #17
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
posted by Jay Kahrs:
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
A very very short delay (10 milli-seconds or so), the dry signal panned to one side and the delay signal panned to the other.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ehhh, that can get you in deep trouble if your not careful. Depending on the amount of delay and the phase relationship you might manage to cancel the guitar when the mix is summed to mono.
Jay,

That's why you have to be very careful.
Old 3rd December 2002
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Well it goes w/o saying if the guitar player's tone sucks ass you are screwed already. I grew up in the 80s playing guitar so getting good guitar sounds are pretty important to me when tracking.

We do a lot of "rock" bands, here are some of the techniques I use ( these may be old hat to some of you, but I will post them anyway)

1. Traditional 57 on the best speaker, move around w/ headphones on until you find that sweetpot. Put up a 421 directly on top of it don't point it at the speaker as the 57 is but turn it 30 to 45 degree off axis. put these in mono make sure they are in phase now pan them hard left and right in stereo.

2. My partner came up with this one. Take the 57 in #1. Leave it alone. Take a medium diaphram condenser, mic another speaker about 4 to six inches away. We use a Microtech Geffel u71 I think.
check phase. Split these hard left and right.

3. A little more difficult. Take 2 412 cabs pushed by the same head. Orient the cabs so that the speakers are 90degrees apart, basically they form 1/2 of a box or an L shape. Close mic one speaker from each cabinet with a 57 or 421. Then put a large diaphram condenser about 3 feet in front of the cabs on the floor, set to omni. pan close mic hard left and right. blend condenser to taste.

4. Last but not least is take the back of the cab. Traditional mic the front, mic the back with something you would mic a bass amp with. Obviously flip polarilty on the back mic. try left and right pan.

As Fletcher would say YMMV
Good luck

RDS
Old 4th December 2002
  #19
Gear Addict
 
mdbeh's Avatar
 

I've multed it, run it through a pedal, and brought it back into the boards using a Little Labs PCP. It works pretty well sometimes, though the phase can get weird. I think you could do this live to 2 track if you had enough time to get it set up beforehand.

Or you could go 60's-style 3 channel mono, with drums L, guitar R, and Bass C. I've always wanted to do this, but haven't had the guts. (And I imagine it would be a hard sell to the band.)
Old 4th December 2002
  #20
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by mdbeh
Or you could go 60's-style 3 channel mono, with drums L, guitar R, and Bass C. I've always wanted to do this, but haven't had the guts. (And I imagine it would be a hard sell to the band.)
Now that's the kinda **** I'm talking about. I actually mixed a project like that once. The band had recorded it themselves on a 1/4" 8 track and it was anything but clean. I ended up lots of spring reverb on it and it was pretty cool in the end.
Old 4th December 2002
  #21
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Re: Guitar in a power trio

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
If you've got a band with one guitar and the player doesn't want to double his part or it's live to 2-track what do you normally do? I've never really come up with something I'm happy with. I've tried the Van Halen thing, panning the guitar and bass to 10 & 2, two mics on the amp hard panned and that's all I can think of. Well, I can leave it the middle but that sounds small and boring plus it usually stomps all over the vocal. Give me some ideas. What works for you?
Multiple mics & cabinets are key elements when mixing a power trio. You want plenty of options. The 10 & 2 thing has worked well for me in the past. I also may add alternate instrument sounds and/or delay in the opposite side of the mix to taste. It can open up or widen the sound nicely. Even the 9 & 3 position can work well when you spread the drums just right. In the mix, I sometimes like to place the kick opposite of the bass and the snare opposite of the guitar. It's different and can work very well for you.

I like to check and adjust my balances in mono when splitting the bass & guitar.
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