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Trying to decide how many tracks to record...

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by H-evolve, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Hi guys,

    I know there are a couple of threads about quad-tracking or not, etc. I hope you don't mind me starting a new thread on a similar topic, but my question, I think, is a bit more specific. I'll try to explain my question with as much details as possible, so I apologize if the post is rather long. Moreover, I'm a beginner, as you guys probably know by now... so I am sorry if this is perhaps a dumb problem I am having!

    First of all, I think I want to try Quad-Tracking. I think I read somewhere an interview by Andy Sneap saying that unless he is on a really tight schedule, he'll always quad track.

    That being said, I can't decide what to do for a song I want to record, here are my questions/problems... :

    First of all, we have a Mesa Dual Rectifier and an ENGL Invader, on a Mesa Oversized Cab. For the Quad Tracking, I was thinking of mixing 2 tracks of each amp. For dual-tracking leads, I had actually no idea how to do it...? Only the Mesa perhaps?

    Second of all, in the song, on the first riff, there is a guitar playing power chords on the lower register (B5 on a 7 strings, etc.), while there is a second guitar playing Mors Principum Estish harmony-melody, an octave higher (6th string, B register). My intent was to quad track the power chord guitar, and dual-track the melody. That makes any sense?

    The following riff, both guitars are playing in harmony, a fast picking melodic kind of riff. That is, there are no power chords. So, my intent was to dual track each guitar, maybe one guitar with the Mesa right/left and the other guitar with the ENGL right/left.

    My question is... isn't it going to sound a bit weird the way I intended to do it? I mean, on the first riff you'll basically have 6 tracks, while on the next one you'll drop to 4 tracks...

    Thanks for all your help once again!
     
  2. Another Guitar Dude

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    It's just a matter of taste, try and see what sounds better to you. I would probably have only 4 guitars in the first riff, two rhythm, and two harmony. Nevertheless, you can try and have 4 rhythm and 2 harmony. If you go for the 6 tracks version, then you'll have to use automation to adjust the levels through the song (between parts with 6 and 4 guitars).
     
  3. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    One more question about what you would do. If you would make 2 tracks of rythm and 2 of the harmony, I guess you'd only use one amp? Probaby the Mesa for all 4 tracks (I am aware of Mesa's popularity when it comes to recording ;) )?

    That being said thank you for mentioning the use of Automation. I'll use it when doing tests.
     
  4. J.L.BeelerMusic

    J.L.BeelerMusic Professionally Amateur

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    I typically double-track both guitarists (assuming there are two guitarists) which gives me a maximum of 4 rhythmic tracks at any given moment. As long as the playing is nice and tight I will do unique performances on different amps, that way I don't have to worry about phase issues. So, if a guitarist is playing a harmony that's rhythmic, it will get treated just the same. (Just automate your pans if you want it on one side or both)

    Now when it comes to traditional lead guitar solos, or extra tracks for atmospherics, I'll add as many tracks as it takes. (During solos I just have the rhythm guitarist double track with the same tone, one left, one right. This helps free up a little space for the solo to cut through)
     
  5. J.L.BeelerMusic

    J.L.BeelerMusic Professionally Amateur

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    I would still try to use both amps, unless the engl and mesa were dialed in completely differently. Doing it that way will also help your mix to sound wide. If it sounds too lop-sided then yeah I would just use the mesa. The only way to know is to experiment.
     
  6. Pharaoh's Curse

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    Just remember you have to be super wicked tight with your playing.
     
  7. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Ya I know.. :( I used to think I was somewhat playing tight until I started trying to record myself!

    Playing 4 perfect tracks is a challenge, especially when playing fast stuff...

    For example, how Starkill managed to do that on Virus of the Mind is beyond me... their playing is terribly fast, yet so tight.
     
  8. Keregioz

    Keregioz Kimon Zeliotis

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    I think you might be overthinking it. Everything you described sounds fine to me. Plus, can you just do a quick test demo with amp sims?

    Personally, I always quad track for my personal stuff. If you intend to quad track using 2 amps (2 tracks left-right for each) I would agree to quad track the power chords on the first riff so the rhythm guitar tone is consistent throughout the song.

    Again, this sounds fine, I've done it before. The way you describe you'll have both harmonies on both sides. If you want to hear each harmony separately left and right you'd be better recording each of them with both amps. So it will be harmony1:mesa left, engl left - harmony2: mesa right, engl right.
     
  9. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Do you mean trying, for example, recording the power chord rythmic guitar with Mesa on one side and ENGL on the other? For me it would not work, but perhaps worth trying.

    My initial guess was that you probably meant, Mesa for the Power Chords and ENGL for the Harmony.

    But then I thought I'd ask, in case somebody has already tried doing rythms with one amp on one side and another amp on another side (for simple power chords progression let's say).
     
  10. J.L.BeelerMusic

    J.L.BeelerMusic Professionally Amateur

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    That is exactly what I mean actually. But like I said, the tones would have to be relatively similar. If one is all mids and the other is completely scooped then it would be no bueno. That and they'd need to have similar amounts of gain.

    People get too caught up trying to have perfect consistency with everything and seem to forget that it's the subtle differences that keep the listener interested. Remember during this part of the song the listener will probably be more focused on the melody guitar part.

    It may work, it may not. If you're too terribly concerned about it you can run a test and consider it part of pre-production.:kickass:
     
  11. H-evolve

    H-evolve Member

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    Well, thanks for the advice, what you propose is interesting indeed. As you said, I was tempted to make things symetrical, but you're right, it's definetly worth trying making it asymetrical.

    Anyway so far, the plan is to record the 4 power chord tracks and the 2 melodic tracks. From there we'll just do some tests and we'll be able to try what you propose since we'll have all that is required to do so.

    The reason for my thread was to check if perhaps there was a certain unanimous rule where, for example, everybody tells me that they tried 6 tracks and most of the time it's too much.

    But since it seems that it's really a question of experimenting and that there is nothing special to absolutely "not do", then I'll try different things.

    I'll post the final product when I have it, for you guys to comment.

    Thanks again
     

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