I apologize if this has been addressed, I cant find an answer upon search.

Im new to recording in DAW, I dont know if im doing this right at all. Im a newb so please bear with me.

I have an acoustic guitar part, i record it once, with a single microphone, and pan it left, I record it again with same microphone, different take, pan it left, then record same part, pan it right, record same part different take, pan it right. and that is what stereo recording is?

So basicly 2 tracks left, 2 tracks right for the same riff/part ?

Then the song breaks into a distortion guitar part, so i record once, pan it left record it again pain it right?

im so confused, thanks to all who reply
There's a couple of different ways to look at stereo in a mix as there is a big difference between a mix in stereo and something recorded in stereo

For example, if you were recording an acoustic guitar with a single microphone and did two takes and put them hard left/right in your mix then it would be a stereo mix but recorded in mono (as the tracks were isolated single tracks)

If you however got a secondary microphone and pointed them (for arguments sake) on a 90 degree angle from the other so one was facing left and one was facing right, then recorded a single double track (one for each mic) acoustic guitar track, then this would be a stereo mix which was recorded in stereo

Both of your examples with the acoustic and the distorted guitars are still going to be part of a stereo mix, as you are obviously mixing for two speakers, the tracks themselves are still going to be mono unless they are recorded originally in stereo. This is a very very simple and general way of looking at it, if you had any other questions don't hesitate to ask, and hopefully i helped you more than confuse :P
What you're doing is double tracking (or multi-track recording, if you prefer)
You don't need to have two tracks each for left and right, but if that's what you want to do, it's absolutely fine and your choice.
I personally only multi-track rhythm guitars and only have 2 tracks; one 75% left, one 75% right.
Stereo recording is just where there are two "Channels". One left and one right, as opposed to "Monophonic" where there is only one channel which is usually centre panned.
If you need any more help, just fire away

EDIT: here's a link to a track I did with my panning technique LINK
Rhythm = 75% left and right - two tracks
Bass = Centre - single track
Drums = Panned according to kit - midi
Last edited by CorrosionMedia at Mar 31, 2014,
Think of stereo mixing like looking at a painting or picture of a band. Beatles producer Sir george Martin calls it "Painting with sound" and even gave that name to his auto biography. There are no hard and fast rules but generally if you want to hear the band in stereo you might start by placing the instruments where you might mentally imagine that instrument to be if you were watching a band or performer on a stage. Generally you want the bass and lead vocals right down the middle (again there are no set rules to follow). Moving the other instruments slightly away from one another helps give those instruments their own acoustic space and focus and opening the sound of the recording. Play with it. Step back from the speakers and see if the mix has balance on both sides. One rule of thumb that does work is to look at your speakers and imagine you are the third point in the triangle with the speakers at the same level as your head (sitting or standing).