Yesterday I was hanging out with a professional studio owner. We started talking about mixing, and asked a few pointers.

One of the most interesting point he mentioned was the following :

He hexa - tracked guitars using 3 mics. Basically, it's a double tracking procedure, with each take taking up 3 mics, therefore 3 different tracks, panned respectively 25, 75, 100, 3 on the left, and 3 on the right.

He also used 3 tracks for the bass panned in the center.

What do you guys think about that ? This shocked me a little bit, since it was hard enough to control the sound with quad tracking.
The symphonizer
i used 3 mics as well for recording + one DI track for guitars also doubletracking. same for leads so you have 9 - 18 tracks whether the leads are harmonizing or not.
its not that unusual

but 3 mics for bass...i dunno.
i use DI signal with a bass plugin
so you get to have 6 tracks for lead guitars ?

How does this stand in your mix ?

For the Op. Yes this is a very common method used by those who have experience. If recorded properly, mixes shouldn't be that difficult to handle.

N.B : I proceed in the same way. However I don't mic. I use Poulin LeCab, and use 3 lots for impulses, and record twice.
Last edited by brain-hammer at Aug 18, 2011,
That's not 'hexa-tracking' though, think about it. That's just double tracking, but using three mics each track. Hexa-tracking, if you want to call it that, would be recording 6 takes of something - 6 separate takes.

I don't consider it 'quad-tracking' when I use two mics on a cab and double track, and I'm pretty sure noone else does. The three mics are just blended together to get a thicker tone, utilising the qualities of each mic (if the engineer knows what he's doing), but as they're the same take you aren't going to notice it like 6 different takes.

Also, I frequently have 3 tracks on bass, sometimes four. You can use separate tracks to process different elements of the tracks separately and all sorts. For instance, I'll have a track dedicated just to working on the very low end in a metal mix, i.e HPF at around 30-40Hz and LPF at no higher than 150-200Hz, the original track, a distorted track low in the mix to gel with guitars better, and then (for example of four tracks) I might have a super-compressed version of the original take, to use for parallel compression against the other clean tracks to keep the volume more consistent without too many compression artifacts showing through.

Oh, and I could easily justify 6 guitar tracks by adding a DI to the two mics I'd normally use, as someone above appears to have mentioned. It's only hard to 'control the sound' in quad-tracking if the player has poor timing, and/or the quality of the tracks (i.e signal chain, mic position, amp setup, room etc.) are poor.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Aug 18, 2011,
Yes Disarm, it makes perfect sense. What a strategy. You'd get the best sound of each band of frequency. That is not bad at all !
The symphonizer
Quote by Sympho
Yes Disarm, it makes perfect sense. What a strategy. You'd get the best sound of each band of frequency. That is not bad at all !

Glad you agree Main reason for me is to balance the low end of the bass with the presence of the bass, in a way that doesn't have a negative impact on smaller speakers... plus you can then compress the living hell out of the sub-100Hz and notch EQ boomy resonances out, to make sure you get a balanced low-end punch, which suits how I mix because unlike what seems to be most people I know, I prefer to have the bass as the lowest element in the mix, then the kick drum, instead of the other way round (mainly because anything below 60Hz on the kick drum in a metal mix just turns to mush when there's fast double-kicks anywhere).
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Sound absolutely like a fantastic idea.

Does this work with amp sims using impulses ?
The symphonizer
Quote by Sympho
Sound absolutely like a fantastic idea.

Does this work with amp sims using impulses ?

Assuming you mean the tracking bit I was on about earlier, yes as long as you use the same DI 'track' for each part (i.e one DI of left guitar, copied to two more tracks and then a different sim/IR on each track. You would also be able to experimet with minor delays (like 3-5ms) to simulate mics being different distances (and thus slightly out of phase) from each other, but don't overdo it as anything above 10ms will probably start to sound more like reverb/delay .
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
I've done it, but I almost always use two microphones when recording a guitar track if its an option, three certainly works.

I've recorded two bass tracks, a DI and then an AKG D112 on the cabinet, actually yielded amazing results, the best bass sound i've ever recorded. Never tried three though.

Multiple microphones on any signal can be cool, but i've seen a lot of people use it in lieu of experimenting and taking time to find the best microphone position, it does mean you have to take the time to find the best position of three mic's instead of 1.