Seth Skoda

Mixing With Left And Right Panned Guitars?

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I want to make metal. I know the answer to my question likely can be found on the internet, but I'd rather hear it from someone who does it rather than some random online article.

SO I'd like to ask the members of the community here about their methods.

I must point out that I am without an amp, using amp simulation effect plugins. These seem pretty cool, actually. I've been making various types of electronic music for several years, so don't worry about confusing me with terminology. I know more than basic mixing/mastering techniques as far as that goes. But guitars and rock/metal is completely alien to me in terms of mixing/mastering.

So, my question:

What do you do to get both left and right panned guitars to ring out clearly, both in stereo and mono?

Edited by Seth Skoda
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Typically? A different rhythm guitar performance with different amp settings/amp model hard panned left and right. Lead guitar in the center. Pay attention to the bass and make it play nicely with the rhythms to give it depth and that typical low metal sound.

Optionally you could look into quad tracking, but essentially it’s a variation of the above.

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2 hours ago, Jorito said:

Typically? A different rhythm guitar performance with different amp settings/amp model hard panned left and right. Lead guitar in the center. Pay attention to the bass and make it play nicely with the rhythms to give it depth and that typical low metal sound.

Optionally you could look into quad tracking, but essentially it’s a variation of the above.

Thank you for the advice!

But really? That's all I gotta do?

Other things I was reading were saying use different EQ as well. Would that make the stereo effect seem wider? I think it would.

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Sure, you can EQ it too, but it’s pretty common to use different amps (or amp models) and settings for the rhythm guitars, and that, combined with 2 separate performances (one for left, one for right) make it sound full already.

If you use midi guitar, changing the part slightly between left and right (e.g. by changing some velocities and timings) will be a big help, rather than simply copy/pasting the part. Same for when you record from a guitar; I am assuming you are not a robot and that the parts will sound slightly different anyway.

I’d recommend to try this first; you can always make it more complex later (better to start simple IMO).

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14 hours ago, Seth Skoda said:

So, my question:

What do you do to get both left and right panned guitars to ring out clearly, both in stereo and mono?

Your question is too wide. There is a billions ways to make billions different sounds. It all deppends of what you need right now.

Mostly I use 2-4 rhythms at one time, hard panned and 2 amp with 2 cabinets. 

Left - amp1+cab1 

Left -  amp1+cab2

Right - amp2+cab1

Right - amp2+cab2

Also I use 3 rhythms. 2 hard panned and 1 at center. Some times I use 6-8 rhythms.. It's endless thing.

Using same amp+cab for each gtr make your guitar sounds more upfront and "clear", but you'll lose some character. 

EQ is a great thing, but me personaly use only hipass at 100 Hz and -2 db somewhere 400-800Hz. 

Use Exciter or tape recorder or even compressor... As I said, it's endless.

After all you'll understand that everything depends of drums and bass. 

 

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55 minutes ago, Mak Eightman said:

Your question is too wide. There is a billions ways to make billions different sounds. It all deppends of what you need right now.

Mostly I use 2-4 rhythms at one time, hard panned and 2 amp with 2 cabinets. 

Left - amp1+cab1 

Left -  amp1+cab2

Right - amp2+cab1

Right - amp2+cab2

Also I use 3 rhythms. 2 hard panned and 1 at center. Some times I use 6-8 rhythms.. It's endless thing.

Using same amp+cab for each gtr make your guitar sounds more upfront and "clear", but you'll lose some character. 

EQ is a great thing, but me personaly use only hipass at 100 Hz and -2 db somewhere 400-800Hz. 

Use Exciter or tape recorder or even compressor... As I said, it's endless.

After all you'll understand that everything depends of drums and bass. 

 

I really appreciate the detailed advice. Thank you very much!

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Ring out clearly? Just how clear are you talking anyway??

I love high gain rhythm guitars and if you are planning on picking up an actual guitar and playing the parts then you are going to need a decent DI box to get the more refined professional tone.  Rule of thumb: if you play with active pickups use a passive DI box and vice versa.  

If you are using midi guitars like Shreddage or Heavier7Strings you'll want to make sure you know how to correctly output your sampler to seperate faders loaded with the amp sims.  i.e. Left channel is one guitar and right channel is another.  You'll want to out those guitars to 2 mono faders panned left for the left guitar and right for the right guitar.  If you don't look into this step you may very well be panning the exact same guitar to the left AND right channels and even if you use different amps it will not sound nearly as wide as your vst is capable of. 

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This isn't specific to metal guitars.

The basic idea of it is to have different signals panned opposite to get that wide sound. To experiment with the effect, use a synth, duplicate it, hardpan them. Unless there's some randomization in it, it'll sound mono. Then if you even slightly alter one of their pitches, it'll go wide.

Changing other settings on the synth (eg waveform or filter) will give you a different frequency distribution left and right. This is probably not what you want for this effect, but it's good to try to hear what it does to the stereo image.

Because human hearing is better at picking out direction from higher frequencies than from lower, you can eq out the lows from your hardpanned sounds and have a copy (also similarly altered in pitch) panned mid. The mid synth will provide the low frequencies cut from the others, but they'll still contribute width. You can also experiment with track levels, have the mid synth louder or softer than the side ones.

Even if the signal is the same, you can modify it. With two synths sounding exactly the same, hardpanned, you can put a slow chorus on one of them to make it different. Many effects shift the waveform in interesting ways. While this isn't as good as multiple tight guitar performances, or even duplicated synths subtly pitched apart, it's still doing the same outcome: giving you a different signal left and right. Put different amp sims on the left and right signal and you'll have even more of a difference.

While working with virtual instruments, you can also subtly randomize note timing. This will (obviously) make the two tracks different. This might give you the Haas effect, where subtle timing differences in otherwise identical signals make you think the sound is coming from a particular direction. Not a bad thing necessarily, but I wouldn't use this trick alone. It's a nice addition to synth/sampler doubling though.

An inverted signal is the most different a signal you can get. This sounds like a good idea, but when the channels are summed (as might happen in some mono listening situations), the instrument just disappears. Positive copy completely negates and is negates by the negative copy. It's a good trick to be aware of, because together with the other tricks it might be useful. But it's a dangerous one to use on its own. Even if you distort the two signals differently, you'll likely have the lows and much of the mids completely gone if summed.

If the left and right signals are different, you can use the same amp settings and still get a wide sound. But differences in the amp sim make the signals more different, so it's good to use different settings there too.

In summary:

Different signals. Record multiple, if possible. Make different with plugins otherwise. Use duplicated samplers/synths with slightly different pitch otherwise. Pan opposite. Use other tricks if needed/wanted. Distort. Enjoy width.

Summary summarized: Hardpanning broadens differences.

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As always Rozo is the master!

Just want to clarify something.

Panning hard/soft/fantastic, record/write 2-100 different tracks, doesn't necessary makes your gtrs "ring out clearly". 

Actually you can make one single guitar track sound "ring out clearly".

Synth/samples stuff works in a different way, they sounds "ring out clearly" from the begining.

This makes sense if we remember the question: " both in stereo and mono?"

All you need is to focus at amp and cabinet settings, but don't forget about drums and bass. The trick is that the bass and drums make ~30% of your guitar sound.

In other words, if bass sounding doesn't fit the gtr, so as and drums, you'll have a disbalance in your soundscape. Buried gtrs/bass/drums or other unpleasant stuff.

Sorry for my english, if i said something wierd.

Edited by Mak Eightman

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On 10/20/2019 at 1:21 PM, Rozovian said:

With two synths sounding exactly the same, hardpanned, you can put a slow chorus on one of them to make it different. Many effects shift the waveform in interesting ways. While this isn't as good as multiple tight guitar performances, or even duplicated synths subtly pitched apart, it's still doing the same outcome: giving you a different signal left and right. Put different amp sims on the left and right signal and you'll have even more of a difference.

This is a great way to start experimenting with stereo guitars.

Alternatively, you could use a single synth, link it to two different channels, add a very subtle chorus (preferably before the distortion and/or amp), and tune slightly different their values (gain/tone/drive). That way you'll broaden the variables, thus reducing the chance of stereo nulling.

I don't know which DAW do you use, Seth, but you could try the free Boss SD-1 and JCM9000 sims from SimulAnalog. I use them just after a generic DAW chorus, with the exact same instrument I/O (linked to two different mixer channels), and I get great results - special for fast and/or very technical riffs.

Edited by Eidenlux

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