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One guitar take, 2 tones. Condenser Microphones
Old 15th September 2011
  #1
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One guitar take, 2 tones.

I love it in a mix when a single guitar is located slightly left or slightly right, and then as a heavier part hits, whether it's a chorus or a riff, a second guitar appears on the opposite side, filling out the spectrum, and making the dynamic jump appear even greater, than if the single guitar just got louder itself.

I've had success doing this by doubling a part with a slightly different tone, however, sometimes doubling a part sounds cheesy or takes away from the performance of the first part; especially if it's a riff that has a lot of subtleties in it.

I normally record guitar with an SM57/421 combo up close to the grill, blended to taste, and recorded to a single track. Instead of doubling certain guitar parts, I was thinking of using a different combination of mics for a second track, placed somewhere else in the room (perhaps a Coles 4038 + AT Pro37). I would therefore be able to record 2 tracks of the same guitar performance, with different tones, so that when a more dynamic part hits, I can turn on the second track in the mix, panned to the other side to give it that stereo dynamic shift, and enough of a different tone to fill out the spectrum and give the part a greater impact.

Will this work? Any suggestions in terms of phase issues or placement of the second pair of mics? I was thinking that having them farther back to capture more of the room/ambience, might be the best way to get the impact I'm looking for, but I don't want to mess with the phase/integrity of the first tone.
Old 15th September 2011
  #2
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this is done all the time. any of Albini's work for instance. You are on the right track with your thinking concerning mic choices and phase issues. Just throw the mics up and see what you get. listen in mono to check for the phase issues.

if you are tracking in a smaller room and want a roomy sound, try pointing the null (facing it sideways) of the 4038 at the speaker cab. This works best when the amp is loud, filling the room with sound.

but most likely, using a figure-8 like the 4038 at a few feet back from the cab will be roomy enough.
Old 15th September 2011
  #3
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audiogeek's Avatar
 

Yup, a room sound would prove to be a good counterpoint to the close mics... but depending on the room, it could either end up sounding exactly like what you want, or just plain weird.

I know you don't want to double track the part, but for me I achieve exactly what you're talking about by doubling with a different guitar... usually a strat/les paul yin yang kind of deal, or even tele/les paul.

That's really what I'd recommend, but there's only one way to find out...
Old 15th September 2011
  #4
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The other thought would be to do a direct feed from the guitar and reamp the signal for the other side. Either use completely different amp/mic/pres or use Ampfarm or Revalver...
Old 15th September 2011
  #5
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I'll try it this weekend. Does the famous 3:1 rule apply here? I really like the Coles/AT combo about 12 inches from the grill, but is that too close to the 57/421 right up on the grill? I guess for this application, I would probably move it farther back anyway to get more room sound anyway...
Old 15th September 2011
  #6
Gear Nut
 

I absolutely love that sound in songs, I try to use it to an almost cliche amount. Like in Green Day's Whatshername when the 2nd guitar comes in.

The only suggestion I can give you is to play the riff tight, match the subtleties on take 1 and take 2. Re-amping, using another cab, etc, will only give a slightly thicker tone, not really noticeably wider. Using room mics will just give it space, like a good reverb. Both of these could be good if done noticeably enough, you'll be able to hear the guitar popping out more, but don't think it will come close to the impact of 2 different guitar takes.
Old 15th September 2011
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
bonnybilly's Avatar
 

Split the signal to two gtr amps with different sounds - then you have the same performance but different tones. Works a treat.
Old 15th September 2011
  #8
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnybilly View Post
Split the signal to two gtr amps with different sounds - then you have the same performance but different tones. Works a treat.
Yep.

You can even put different effects in front of each amp. Right now I'm set up with a Peavey C30 running clean and hot and a Pro Jr with distortion and delay in front of it.

Track on separate monos and have fun blending to taste.
Old 21st September 2011
  #9
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I experimented today; the main tone was an sm57/421 blended, both about half an inch off the grill. Then I had a Coles 4038/AT Pro37 a bit father back. I had them about 30" back from the grill (a bit less than 3" from the close mics, which would be the 3:1 rule). They were out of phase with the close mics, but flipping the polarity on the Coles/AT mics yielded a really nice compliment to the original tone.

Afterwards, I tried moving them back 36"(3 feet exactly) and the polarity switch didn't need to be flipped; however at that point i had already gotten the takes. Should I have moved them further back originally, or the fact that I flipped the polarity switch make it ok?

Worse comes to worse, I will just get rid of the Coles/AT track and just double the part with a different tone, so there's no risk of phase issues at all. thoughts?
Old 21st September 2011
  #10
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Most amps have a pre amp out you can run out of them like a DI and it still sends signal to the power amp and speakers. At least my twin does you could always try that route too.
Old 22nd September 2011
  #11
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audiogeek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
I experimented today; the main tone was an sm57/421 blended, both about half an inch off the grill. Then I had a Coles 4038/AT Pro37 a bit father back. I had them about 30" back from the grill (a bit less than 3" from the close mics, which would be the 3:1 rule). They were out of phase with the close mics, but flipping the polarity on the Coles/AT mics yielded a really nice compliment to the original tone.

Afterwards, I tried moving them back 36"(3 feet exactly) and the polarity switch didn't need to be flipped; however at that point i had already gotten the takes. Should I have moved them further back originally, or the fact that I flipped the polarity switch make it ok?

Worse comes to worse, I will just get rid of the Coles/AT track and just double the part with a different tone, so there's no risk of phase issues at all. thoughts?
I think you misunderstand the 3:1 rule. With mic A, mic B and sound source C, the distance of A to B must be three times the distance A and B are from C. Like an obtuse triangle, where the amp is at the wide angle, mics at the small angles.

So, the mics kind of have to be the same distance from the sound source (think of drum overheads). Doesn't really apply when your using a combination of spot mic and room mic.

At the end of the day, if it sounds good, go with it.

EDIT: For what it's worth, I've never really found this 'rule' very helpful... more of a starting point. It's something I keep in mind, but I don't get out the tape measure or anything. There's a very good thread right now devoted to the subject, so you can read through that for more (dis)information if you like...

Last edited by audiogeek; 22nd September 2011 at 01:00 AM.. Reason: disclaimer...
Old 22nd September 2011
  #12
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interesting. so no worries that the 2nd guitar track (further back) had to be phase reversed? i just wonder if I should have spent more time finding a positon that didn't need me to switch the polarity, but ultimately I choose this position because this is where the Coles/AT sounded best to me when isolated by itself, without the close mic'd track.
Old 22nd September 2011
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Rusted Vacuum's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiogeek View Post
I think you misunderstand the 3:1 rule. With mic A, mic B and sound source C, the distance of A to B must be three times the distance A and B are from C. Like an obtuse triangle, where the amp is at the wide angle, mics at the small angles.

So, the mics kind of have to be the same distance from the sound source (think of drum overheads). Doesn't really apply when your using a combination of spot mic and room mic.

At the end of the day, if it sounds good, go with it.
+1, i agree
Old 22nd September 2011
  #14
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audiogeek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
interesting. so no worries that the 2nd guitar track (further back) had to be phase reversed? i just wonder if I should have spent more time finding a positon that didn't need me to switch the polarity, but ultimately I choose this position because this is where the Coles/AT sounded best to me when isolated by itself, without the close mic'd track.
Well, yes and no. On one hand, that's exactly what the polarity switch is there for, so there's nothing wrong explicitly due to the fact that you had to use the polarity switch.

Now, if you checked the polarity and it still sounds like crap either way (if the signals are 90º/270º out of phase, for instance), you'd be well advised to move them around a bit more to get something that gels a bit more.

After all, ANY time you use more than one mic, at ANY distance, there are 'phase anomalies'... it's exactly these phase anomalies that are the bread and butter of stereophonic sound. It's just all a matter of what sounds good to you.

That's my two cents, I'll shuttup now.
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