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Old 01-21-2013, 09:44 PM   #1
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Question What's the most common way to typically arrange your mix for a song?

First off, I'm recording songs that are......I guess a mix of Metalcore and Hardcore I suppose, just to generalize it for everyone

How many guitar tracks?
Which side of the spectrum does the "lead" (usually the one with edgier tone) guitar typically go on? Hard Left? Hard Right? Up the Middle?
Are all drums 100% up the middle?
Should the bass always be up the middle no matter what?

Just a couple common questions (I think) before I start to get really deep into recording my personal songs.

My rhythm guitar is slightly off center of the speaker cone, so it has a bassier sound. While my lead cuts a little more because it's much closer to the cone.

I guess I'll explain more depending how much feedback I get
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:47 PM   #2
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Okay, let me see if I can break this down...

How many guitar tracks? Up to you.
Which side? Up to you.
Drums up the middle? No.
Bass up the middle? Can be.
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I'm a recording engineer. If you have questions or you want some work done, message me.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:12 PM   #3
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Listen to music you like and pay attention to what they're doing.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:30 PM   #4
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Its good to layer your guitars but using too many layer tracks will get messy. Only layer it as much as necessary and keep clarity a priority.

The lead, vocal, kick drum, bass, and anything else essential to the mix should be most present in the center. Everything else can be panned around to create a proper stereo field of sound and to keep from smothering the already busy center. Layering pretty much anything isn't a bad idea, just make sure that you don't layer things in such a way that it's readily apparent and obnoxious.

With drums just remember that only the kick drum needs to be in the middle, everything else can be panned around a bit. Panning things around to make them sound as if you have an actual drum set in front of you should be good. Quite a few drum plugins have that panning set up right from the start.

Panning hard left and hard right should be done sparingly. The majority of the time when something is panned to the left or the right in a mix its not actually a full pan to one speaker or the other. If hard panning is done improperly it will screw around with your stereo signal and throw off the sound stage you're trying to create. If you layer two tracks that are essentially the same hard left and hard right then they are actually perceived in the center of the mix, so effectively that means you haven't panned at all. Be subtle with your panning.

Another key with mixing a good sounding track is to subtract more than you add during the mixing process. Rather than increasing the level of something, go ahead and decrease the level of something else to accomplish the same task but without adding any dirt to it. When you apply the mastering compression after the mixing process you want your track to be as clean as possible as any imperfections are going to shine after all that compression hits it. Turning things up louder initially makes things sound better but avoid it, volume can be accomplished after you have a nice clean shiny mix.

There are no actual rules in producing and mixing music as long as it sounds good. I am only telling you some basic guidelines on how to capture a typical mix. Experimentation is king and will get you farther with music than anything else, so don't be afraid to break the rules as necessary. Listen to the music that you're into and pay good attention to what they are doing with the sound. All of the secrets are revealed for free if you are ready to pay attention. Just consider what will make your mix sound better and go for it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:35 PM   #5
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Tyvm for your advice and not being a snobby douche when suggesting something
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