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wide stereo distorted guitar tips...i am so pissed
Old 29th July 2005
  #1
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aetucker1's Avatar
 

wide stereo distorted guitar tips...i am so pissed

I cant find an answer to this question that has given me good results so I will try here because I am crazy obsessed with it and getting bummed. I am recording heavy distorted guitars with a Mesa head that has sweet freakin' tone...for example Chevelle new album tone. I am looking for descriptions of what you all do to get a wide stereo effect that will still translate to mono without hearing phase. This is what I do and I dont like it...well i like it in stereo but not in mono because of phase.

Mesa head to a 4x12 cab. I mic that 4x12 cabinet with 2 sm57s. one placed a little off center of the cone directly pointing at it and the second at around 45 degrees at the speaker...pretty much parallel with the speaker. I take each one of those signals, EQ them and then pan one hard left and one hard right. then i take a delay and put it on the right track and delay it 100% at around 8-12ms. With this solution i get really wide guitars in stereo that sound bad ass, but in mono i get all this phase that is really ugly. go here for example of the stereo image i want...I know it has bad guitar tone on this one.
http://www.theboilerroomstudios.com/...amer-Nevar.mp3

I am looking for something that basically sounds exactly like the new Chevelle album because it is so tight but still has a really good stereo image. Let me know what you all do and I will be in forever debt to the slutz because I am about to go crazy thinking about possible solutions. I try them all and they all suck. haha. thanks in advance.
Old 29th July 2005
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Double track. Super tight. Then triple track.
Old 29th July 2005
  #3
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aetucker1's Avatar
 

oh ya

i forgot to mention that i dont want to double track because i think that it makes the tone of the guitar dirty. If you listen to Chevelle, you can hear the tube breaking up in their amps. I WANT THAT!!!
Old 29th July 2005
  #4
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Brandino221's Avatar
 

dude, you gotta double track atleast twice on eachside. + changing the amp head or tone for the each double. Try a few differnt things. You gotta find the right speaker on the cab as well. but if you want that "fat Chevelle sound" you are going to have to layer the tracks by playing them not fake dubs or track delay. Oh and another thing, let your tubs warm up for a good 30 mins or more. hope that helps!
Old 29th July 2005
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
aetucker1's Avatar
 

maybe

i understand the double track thing, but i just feel that adding a waveform that is different in the mixes multiple times is going to muddy up the sound. Once there are two or three tracks in there i feel like all definition has gone out the window. is there some secret that the big boys use that we dont know about. that chevelle tone is crazy clean....i can freakin hear the tubes!!! i just dont get that result when double/tripple tracking. maybe i am an idiot. haha...or not.
Old 29th July 2005
  #6
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robmix's Avatar
Unfortunately, the secret is well played double tracking panned left and right as the other guys mentioned. You'll hear it when you play it right. Other than that you could try a true stereo source instead of faking it. One guitar split to two heads, two cabinets, etc., etc.
Old 29th July 2005
  #7
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Brandino221's Avatar
 

As we all said you still got to layer. So to add to that, the trick is playing it tight! It may take a while. They don't get these things done in 5 mins. It takes time. You might need to do a little editing to clean it up. Cleaning up all the spots where you are not playing and adding fade files on the begining/end of the edits. You got to be careful! you can used a gate but you might spend lot's of time trying to get the gate to sound right. Another thing...don't EQ all your guitars the same! Thats a big thing. each track needs it's own sparkle. Levels are important too! in the mix you got to know how to make each track breathe and when to bring them up and down/ in/out or how ever you want to do it . You got to track them right. You don't have to track all the guitar parts on each track. You might have some riffs on one the other on another just for the verse. You have to plan you tracking very smart. The onlything I can say is "Preproduction"! Thats the key. Hope that helps.
Old 30th July 2005
  #8
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DC11's Avatar
 

Here's my trick:

First off, voice the cabs. You'll get a better sound from the start doing that. With the boogie (or any rectifier, I prefer a VHT) that you're using, scoop it. The heavier the sound, the more scooped the mids. Get a marshall head (JCM 800 or 900) and boost the mids. I'd use for the boogie: Bass = 6, Mids = 2-3 and Treble = 5-6. On the Marshall: Bass =4, Mids = 6 and Treble = 3-4. Those are kind of general, so tweek to your taste. If possible, run both at the same time. If not, the one track on each and see if that works. If not, tweek the placement or amp eq. If it works, double it on each. Try not to use much gain. I play in a pretty heavy band, and I only run the gain on about 3-4 tops. I prefer the clarity in using less distortion. If you have a DI box, run a seperate track of that, and re-amp or use an amp-farm style plug-in with a very, very subtle gain and creep it in there to thicken it up.

On my bands album I tracked both 1/2 stacks with close mics, a 57 and a 421 on each cab. I had the cabs sitting about 2 feet away from each other side by side. Then I put up a few room mics to grab each cab and a few to grab the combination. I picked the ones I liked and got rid of the ones I didn't. I ended up with 4 tracks for each take (5 if you include the DI track) 1 track was the marshall close, 1 track was the rectifier close, 1 track was 2 of the rooms, 1 was the other 2 rooms. So far, I don't know if I'll need all the rooms mics for the mix, but I have them if I want them for certain parts. The close mics combined sound amazing. The rooms sound great too, they might not have a place in the mix though. Tracking both at the same time made it tight as hell. Doubling those made it thick as hell. If I use choose to use the rooms, then I'll have the thickest guitar sound ever in heavy music but it may bury everything else. So we'll see.

Last edited by DC11; 30th July 2005 at 08:12 PM.. Reason: mis-spelled a word
Old 1st August 2005
  #9
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I've always layered guitars to get 'em to sound big, but lately I've gone back to using delay tricks. I wanted to have my mixes sound a bit more open, so I've been trying to get as big a sound as possible with just one guitar track. I pan hard right and left and delay one track just a hair; like between 5 or 10 ms. Then you can tweak the delay time and the amount of panning (link the pan if you're in a computer) until you hear something you like.

Also, don't be afraid of reverb. You don't have to be aware of it. In fact, for heavy guitars you shouldn't be able to actually hear it; you should only really notice it when you bypass it. I like a gated 'verb because it makes some ambience but it's a bit less muddy since it cuts of quickly instead of having a long taper on the tail.

Lastly, how about a tad of harmonizer? Just a pinch...
Old 1st August 2005
  #10
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DeeDrive's Avatar
 

Definetly agree with layering everything, or mic up two amps to get "real" stereo. Whenever I do the stereo-delay trick, I using go a little more than 8-12ms, more like 30ms usually, that tends to get rid of the phase problem somewhat.
Old 1st August 2005
  #11
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rainsinvelvet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC11
Here's my trick:

First off, voice the cabs. You'll get a better sound from the start doing that. With the boogie (or any rectifier, I prefer a VHT) that you're using, scoop it. The heavier the sound, the more scooped the mids. Get a marshall head (JCM 800 or 900) and boost the mids. I'd use for the boogie: Bass = 6, Mids = 2-3 and Treble = 5-6. On the Marshall: Bass =4, Mids = 6 and Treble = 3-4. Those are kind of general, so tweek to your taste. If possible, run both at the same time. If not, the one track on each and see if that works. If not, tweek the placement or amp eq. If it works, double it on each. Try not to use much gain. I play in a pretty heavy band, and I only run the gain on about 3-4 tops. I prefer the clarity in using less distortion. If you have a DI box, run a seperate track of that, and re-amp or use an amp-farm style plug-in with a very, very subtle gain and creep it in there to thicken it up.

On my bands album I tracked both 1/2 stacks with close mics, a 57 and a 421 on each cab. I had the cabs sitting about 2 feet away from each other side by side. Then I put up a few room mics to grab each cab and a few to grab the combination. I picked the ones I liked and got rid of the ones I didn't. I ended up with 4 tracks for each take (5 if you include the DI track) 1 track was the marshall close, 1 track was the rectifier close, 1 track was 2 of the rooms, 1 was the other 2 rooms. So far, I don't know if I'll need all the rooms mics for the mix, but I have them if I want them for certain parts. The close mics combined sound amazing. The rooms sound great too, they might not have a place in the mix though. Tracking both at the same time made it tight as hell. Doubling those made it thick as hell. If I use choose to use the rooms, then I'll have the thickest guitar sound ever in heavy music but it may bury everything else. So we'll see.
Yep, this sounds about right. I just got done with an album that has similar tones to the new Chevelle record. I find that adding a JCM800 in with those triple rec's gives everything a hugeness that just the mesa's can't get alone.

Good luck.
ERic
Old 1st August 2005
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
aetucker1's Avatar
 

OMG

seriously guys, thanks so much for the help. I have been in a funk about this for a while...but now i have so many things to try it will take me weeks to try them all. Thanks again.

Allen
Old 1st August 2005
  #13
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DC11's Avatar
 

WERD
Old 5th October 2005
  #14
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Here's another trick that you can almost do in digital or on a DAW.
It is best on an analog deck because the speed is not perfect and constant like digital stuff.

Use whatever amps/mic'ing you want, but when you track the GTRs use tiny bit of varispeed.

When you do the OD part(s) speed the tape up .1% which is about the same as having the readout on a H110 Harmonizer flashing between 0 and 1. The Harmonizer version was an old trick used on vocals like Greg Rollie on's early Journey LPs whe he sang lead.
Obviously, you want to have maybe every other track recored this way.

An analog tape deck's constantly changing speed makes the effect even better.
It is an effect that you can't get any other way although I can get close by de-tuning the double track(s) in a DAW by maybe .1%.

I can't really describe the sound, but it puts a really cool grind and grunt into the tracks.
Dime used it a lot (especially in the early Pantera days) and I can hear it on late '70s Billy Gibbons GTR parts to a slight degree.

It really sounds good on "heavy" GTR parts.
It makes them scarey sounding!

I always thought that it made the GTRs sound likea roadgrader or a diesel engine revving up!
It is very addicting!

It's easy to do!

How do you guys get three tracks to work?
Where do you pan the third track?
If it's up the middle then it's in the way of other stuff.
If it's off to one side then things are un-balanced.
I'd have only two before I'd have three.

BTW... I have only used the varispeed trick on double tracked GTRs, so I'm not sure how to do it with more than two. Experiment?

Also, I used to record a lot of orchestral production music.
We would use a string section (2 violins, 2 violas, cello, and bass) and track them four times to get an "orchestra" track.
The first pass sounded ****ty, the second pass made it like a mariachi band's strings, the third made it sound lie a high school orchestra and the fourth pass made it sound like a really good orchestra. this even held true with high dollar Dallas Symphony Orchestra players! The interesting thing was that a fifth pass didn't add anythng! We'd be cooking along and I'd say, "Do one more pass," but I'd never use it!

The reason I bring this up is because things get too thick pretty quick when double tracking. The whole conceot is like an orchestra. In otherwords... I find that two GTRs works pretty good if they are both a nice thick sounds. A third is hard to deal with in panning and a fourth pass makes things un-defined unless the part is big WANGING chords. The picking/strumming gets muddy no matter what. Maybe quad tracking in places, but it sounds like a really distorted Hammond organ playing after a while.

Two tracks with the varispeed is pretty tough sounding!

Danny Brown
Old 6th October 2005
  #15
2 words:

Andy Wallace.

Listen to his mixes of other groups.

He has this sound packed down.

He gets that huge wide sound on distorted guitars on all his mixes.
Old 15th October 2005
  #16
Lives for gear
 

He wants to know how to do it... not hear an example of what it sounds like!

Good PLAYER
Good Guitars
Good Amps
GOOD TUNING

these count A LOT!!!!

DB
Old 15th October 2005
  #17
Gear Addict
 
rlnyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by aetucker1
seriously guys, thanks so much for the help. I have been in a funk about this for a while...but now i have so many things to try it will take me weeks to try them all. Thanks again.

Allen
i don't understand how you could have "so many things to try" when everybody has suggested the same exact thing to you. multitrack the guitars - tightly played.

huh? what are all the "different" things to try?

regards,
rlnyc
Old 15th October 2005
  #18
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DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC11
Here's my trick:

First off, voice the cabs. You'll get a better sound from the start doing that. With the boogie (or any rectifier, I prefer a VHT) that you're using, scoop it. The heavier the sound, the more scooped the mids. Get a marshall head (JCM 800 or 900) and boost the mids. I'd use for the boogie: Bass = 6, Mids = 2-3 and Treble = 5-6. On the Marshall: Bass =4, Mids = 6 and Treble = 3-4. Those are kind of general, so tweek to your taste. If possible, run both at the same time. If not, the one track on each and see if that works. If not, tweek the placement or amp eq. If it works, double it on each. Try not to use much gain. I play in a pretty heavy band, and I only run the gain on about 3-4 tops. I prefer the clarity in using less distortion. If you have a DI box, run a seperate track of that, and re-amp or use an amp-farm style plug-in with a very, very subtle gain and creep it in there to thicken it up.

On my bands album I tracked both 1/2 stacks with close mics, a 57 and a 421 on each cab. I had the cabs sitting about 2 feet away from each other side by side. Then I put up a few room mics to grab each cab and a few to grab the combination. I picked the ones I liked and got rid of the ones I didn't. I ended up with 4 tracks for each take (5 if you include the DI track) 1 track was the marshall close, 1 track was the rectifier close, 1 track was 2 of the rooms, 1 was the other 2 rooms. So far, I don't know if I'll need all the rooms mics for the mix, but I have them if I want them for certain parts. The close mics combined sound amazing. The rooms sound great too, they might not have a place in the mix though. Tracking both at the same time made it tight as hell. Doubling those made it thick as hell. If I use choose to use the rooms, then I'll have the thickest guitar sound ever in heavy music but it may bury everything else. So we'll see.
Not to be insulting, but the guitar tone from the songs on your myspace page make would probably make most people hesitant to copy your amp settings. I know these are mp3s, but there are definitely some low end issues with these mixes. When you listen to Andy Wallace mixes like Chevelle, LP, etc, you can definitely hear the unison of the Guitar and Bass forming together to make once voice without the lows becoming [over-]explosive-- I belive this is where the secret lies. I think it's pointless to track a boat-load of guitar tracks if you can't manage them all. I know for a fact that this technique was used by Andy on the latest Chevelle disc, but I think we can agree it takes a real genuis to be able to combine that many tracks in a way that's pleasing to the ear.
Old 15th October 2005
  #19
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DC11's Avatar
 

Those are just unity fader bounces, not actual mixes. No eq, no fader adjusment or automation, very little panning if any, no compression, no nothing. Just unity gain faders and BTD for the purpose of posting them quick. I know what I'm doing.
Old 16th October 2005
  #20
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DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DC11
I know what I'm doing.
I see.

I mean this in the nicest of ways-- I guess my point was:
If you're going to post settings for others to use, having a crappy example of your work probably isn't going to convince people to use them.
Old 17th October 2005
  #21
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DC11's Avatar
 

If you don't like them, don't use them. The guys asked what other so, I told him what I did. You didn't even offer a hint. Don't be an asshole and insult my ****.
Old 17th October 2005
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
aetucker1's Avatar
 

HUH...this post is pretty old and for some reason has been resurrected. Thanks to all that helped on this post, but let it die...there is nothing more I need to hear about this problem.
Old 17th October 2005
  #23
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Jason Poulin's Avatar
 

1. Record to tape. This is something I will never ever do without when doing this type of guitars

2. The sound coming out of your amp is the sound you want. It's not going to magically appear while mixing.

3. Get a ribbon mic. If not, you'll really have to sweep your cone for the sweetest tone with your 57.

4. Use only 57 and something else. 421?

5. You can't just thow two mic on a cab and expect them to be in phase. Place your 57 on your cab... the spot that sounds best (get an assistant to move it around for you while you listen) Once you've found that spot, unplug your guitar and place the tip of the patch chord on something that will make your amp buzz and produce a constant noise. Take the other mic (57?) (first flip the phase on the preamp of the second mic) and go into the tracking room with a pair of headphones and move the mice around. This will produce a wishy washy phasy type sound until you can zero in on the spot where it has almost disappeared. You are now completely out of phase with the other mic. Played together in Mono this will sound like ass you'll probably want to rip your hair out but once you flip the phase button on your preamp again you'll want to do nothing but record a perfect take.

So find the null spot and re-flip your phase and voila. but first, make sure your amp is tweaked because judging by your MP3, you don't have it setup right. I own a Mesa and it's more badass than that... so keep trying and keep your mind open. Sometimes less is more.

1 mic placed correctly recorded 2 times or 4 times will produce a sick sound. I usually go 4 times for hardcore.


Good Luck

Jason
Old 17th October 2005
  #24
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Jason Poulin's Avatar
 

also....


you can use multiple amps at the same time if you've got a signal splitter.. A lot bands that have that big one guitar tone is a combo of amps tweaked together.

Combined with multiple micing, you don't have to double track.

Double tracking is great but has it's own effect. Look at Tool (1 guitar take but HUGE and you can really hear it break up)

Jason
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