Layering Guitar Parts


View Full Version : Layering Guitar Parts

01-06-2008, 01:33 AM
here is my question, what do you all feel on Guitar Part layering? rest of the band wants more punchiness and wants me to layer guitar parts for a demo, but of course unless we hunt down an egoless rhythm player its something we wouldnt be able to pull it off live. im very against the layering, but two other bandmates want it.

any of you against guitar layering? i basically feel if you cant pull it off live, to not do it at all.

second guitarist is out of the question for now.

01-06-2008, 01:36 AM
why not? i layer my guitar parts...

and layer my vocal parts a lot.

live isn't supposed to be JUST like ur studio/recording. it has to be different and with lots of energy. or just get a rhythm player.

01-06-2008, 01:40 AM
I dunno man...I see your point but what you hear in a live performance is more "punched" up than your recording, the guitar, bass and drums should be hammering the bodies in the crowd just from a volume standpoint. So if you layer some extra punch in your track its all good.

I was recently watching the making of the black album and James guitar work was layered 8 times!

If your live performance is up to par I dont see an issue.

Thin Mr. Jones
01-06-2008, 01:41 AM
If you can arrange whithout the rhythm guitar part it so that it sounds good live, then go ahead and do it. Or just don't perform that song live.

01-06-2008, 01:49 AM
thanks for the advice, i will try layering to see how it sounds.

01-06-2008, 01:50 AM
if you mic your stuff live and increase your bass or get an eq pedal for punched up bass and mids, then there is no issue, thats what i do and i have a rhythm player, we both layer our parts and it still sounds very punchy live

01-06-2008, 01:50 AM
or just get a rhythm player.

True but like the op said its hard to find a rhythm player thats happy playing rhythm.

01-06-2008, 10:31 AM
Recording, I always layer. Careful, though... too many layers and it starts sounding small again. Unless you really know what you're doing with both EQ, arranging, selecting complementary tones, etc.

Live, obviously you can't.

But!! When you record, especially for rock, you typically compress the living hell out of the master mix at some point in the mastering process. If you don't, everyone always asks "Why is your CD so much quieter than all my other professional CDs?" When you compress, even with judicious attack, ratio, and release settings, your still lose some punch. Think about it. You're taking all those sharp spikes in dynamics and pressing them down.

Live, basically nobody does that. You *want* the dynamic range. It is partly this dynamic range that gives live recordings some of their character. When you keep those dramatic spikes in dynamics, your music *will* be punchier than the recorded version anyways.

Whether to add a second guitarist or not should be based FIRST on "Do you need a second guitarist to create the sound you're looking for?" If the answer is no, then you're done. If it is yes, the next question is "What do we need in that second player?" Then see if your available players match your criteria. If they don't, put out an ad.

For me, I rarely see a one-guitar player band that somehow could have sounded bigger if they had a second player. Exceptions: Triumph, Goo Goo Dolls (early days), Rush. I'm sure there are others.


01-06-2008, 10:34 AM
True but like the op said its hard to find a rhythm player thats happy playing rhythm.
ahem. that was just an addition to my initial post.

01-06-2008, 11:49 AM
ya during rehearsals, with just me it has a major sound, the peavey classic on its own fills the room with enough punchy sounds. simple layering i think is the ticket.

01-06-2008, 07:16 PM
I layer when I record. Onstage, it's just me and my little brother (he plays trumpet) and I play a simpler version so I can sing.