The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Need help mixing elec. guitars!!
Old 22nd July 2005
  #1
Lives for gear
 
chrisrulesmore's Avatar
Need help mixing elec. guitars!!

Okay, please excuse the rudimentary nature of this question, but I'm desperately seeking help on mixing electric guitars.

In short, I have always double tracked guitars on separate mono tracks and hard panned them L/R for what I thought was a nice stereo effect. These are two separately recorded performances playing the exact same part, with the exception of some harmonized parts throughout the song.

However, in trying to pan the tracks closer inward, I notice that the sound implodes with phase cancellation as the frequencies start cancelling each other out!!??!!?? I have Waves PAZ analyzer, and oddly enough, it graphically shows less phase cancellation as I move inward, not outward as my ears are telling me.

Seeing as how many many recordings feature two guitarists and presumably at least two guitar tracks, how do you generally pan and how do you avoid the aforementioned phase cancellation?

Please help as I feel like I'm back to square one here!!!
Old 22nd July 2005
  #2
Gear Nut
 
kraftrourke's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisrulesmore
Okay, please excuse the rudimentary nature of this question, but I'm desperately seeking help on mixing electric guitars.

In short, I have always double tracked guitars on separate mono tracks and hard panned them L/R for what I thought was a nice stereo effect. These are two separately recorded performances playing the exact same part, with the exception of some harmonized parts throughout the song.

However, in trying to pan the tracks closer inward, I notice that the sound implodes with phase cancellation as the frequencies start cancelling each other out!!??!!?? I have Waves PAZ analyzer, and oddly enough, it graphically shows less phase cancellation as I move inward, not outward as my ears are telling me.

Seeing as how many many recordings feature two guitarists and presumably at least two guitar tracks, how do you generally pan and how do you avoid the aforementioned phase cancellation?

Please help as I feel like I'm back to square one here!!!
sometimes i try to mix the guitars while monitoring in mono and try to give each one a little different personality. especially if its tracked with the same gtr/amp/mics.

the closer the guitars are in sound, the weaker they sound in mono. at least thats what ive found. i might be wrong, but i think the analyzer shows less cancellation 'cause its a measurement of the phase coherence between the Left and Right. so if everthings in the middle there nothing out of phase between the two. but that doesnt mean the guitars arent masking and cancelling out frequencies...

maybe try some combo of different player/gtr/amp/cab/mic ?

others could probably help more. i still never completely love guitars i get down.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisrulesmore
Okay, please excuse the rudimentary nature of this question, but I'm desperately seeking help on mixing electric guitars.

In short, I have always double tracked guitars on separate mono tracks and hard panned them L/R for what I thought was a nice stereo effect. These are two separately recorded performances playing the exact same part, with the exception of some harmonized parts throughout the song.

However, in trying to pan the tracks closer inward, I notice that the sound implodes with phase cancellation as the frequencies start cancelling each other out!!??!!?? I have Waves PAZ analyzer, and oddly enough, it graphically shows less phase cancellation as I move inward, not outward as my ears are telling me.

Seeing as how many many recordings feature two guitarists and presumably at least two guitar tracks, how do you generally pan and how do you avoid the aforementioned phase cancellation?

Please help as I feel like I'm back to square one here!!!
Hmmm, normally a double tracked part panned to the same position does not lead to phase problems in my world. Theoretically, if you play the parts very much alike, there is a possibility to get phase cancellation, but frankly, I have not had the problem myself (and do quite some heavy doubled guitart tracking).

Interesting though....

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 22nd July 2005
  #4
Are you actually playing the two parts, or are you copying/pasting in the DAW? If the former, you should have no phase cancellation. If the latter, then yes you will run into that problem IME. I have everyone I record or produce play each part seperately. Usually they are mono tracks, and usually there are 4 of them (sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the style of music). Most of the time guitars don't get panned hard L/R. It makes things sound too wide. Usually I'll pan one part 9/3, then the others 10/2...it's plenty wide this way, but keeps the stereo field tight as well. Hope this helps.
Old 22nd July 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
mac black's Avatar
Different pickups help, also different eq on each one help ...sometimes I like to record two different guitars playing the same part .
Adding a slight stereo effect (different on each one is good) and panning 50-80% could do a world of good...
Balancing in mono as well as stereo is also very important .
Old 22nd July 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
chrisrulesmore's Avatar
Still perplexed...

For clarification, yes the two mono guitar tracks were separate performances. I have tried switching from a P90 equipped les paul to a humbucker equipped 335 and from an SM57 to a condenser on the second track, but the phenomenon is the same. Soloing the guitar tracks, hardpanned they sound normal, but as I pan them closer together they being to sound like they are badly cancelling each other. Nathan, you are correct though, looking at the Waves PAZ analyzer, it appears that I am getting antiphase spikes when hardpanned, but not if they are pulled in tight. However, my ears are telling me the inverse is true because it sounds terrible when the two tracks are panned in close, and 'normal' when they are hardpanned. In other words, if I take two mono tracks (recorded separately) and pan them straight up the middle, they sound like the source when one is muted, but when both faders are up it sounds like they are cancelling or out of phase.

Nathan, if you have 4 separate guitar performances, how do you set them up in your mix in Pro Tools? Do you mean to say you pan one set of 2 tracks at 9/3 and the other two at 10/2? Do you generally submix those four tracks to a stereo fader?
Old 22nd July 2005
  #7
Gear Guru
 

hate to have to ask this, but is this happening with anything other than these guitars?
Old 22nd July 2005
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisrulesmore

Nathan, if you have 4 separate guitar performances, how do you set them up in your mix in Pro Tools? Do you mean to say you pan one set of 2 tracks at 9/3 and the other two at 10/2?


Usually yes, 80% of the time. I think anything wider (except for a special effect) sounds a bit strange.



Quote:
Do you generally submix those four tracks to a stereo fader?

Usually they go through individual D/A's into an analog console, which of course sums everything down to stereo L/R.

Something else must be going on. Are you using identical signal paths when you track both guitars? Maybe a cable is wired pin 3 hot, or your patch bay, etc...? Is your studio completely balanced, or do you have some unbalanced pieces in your place?
Old 23rd July 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 
chrisrulesmore's Avatar
Yes, identical signal paths...and no, no problems with any other doubled sources like vocals.

Mic-->Great River ME-1NV-->Apogee Rosetta 200-->SPDIF to Mbox

Nothing is unbalanced with the exception of an RNC that is patched into my Great River. I'll check out your mp3's when I get home. Thanks,

-Chris
Old 23rd July 2005
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
GearGeek's Avatar
 

This might be a dumb question but how tight are the guitar parts? Are they both lock solid in the pocket or are there little variations? The closer you pan guitars together the more noticable little quirks become. I've recorded guitars that sound great when they are panned wide, but as you move them closer they start to sound sloppy. This might account for some of the no-so-nice sounds you are hearing. Just a thought.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump