#1
So do you guys think the lead guitars in this would typically be hard panned (one all the way to the left speaker, the other to the right)? I didn't even know what panning was until after I already recorded this! So in this video, everything is panned to the center.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTpReLiwgko
#2
I generally record 2 rhythm tracks, pan one left one right 100% (some suggest against this because you lose the audio in the car but i haven't had that issue)
for leads I usually put them center with only one track. Whatever you do don't copy the same guitar track play them individually. Some of my recordings are on the original recording thread if you want to hear and see if you like the sound.
cool melodic stuff btw.
#3
that is usually how it goes when im recording rhythm guitar. record one track for the left side, and one for the right. solos usually go to the center if they have stereo effects, which is usually how i do it. if it is a solo with a dry lead and no effects or a dry fast alternate picking gauntlet with no effects, i also tend to keep it mono centered.

i may make it a stereo track and pan that mono sound to a certaom side by 10 or 15% to glue it into the mix, only if its a dry lead or rhythm sound
#5
Try it both ways and see what sound best. Usually lead harmonies will be panned 50-100% left and right, but there is no rule saying they must be that way. Play around with it and see what you like best. As for rhythm tracks, as others have said, record it at least twice and play with panning them left and right respectively. Try a third rhythm track panned center with a different tone, usually more low end. That's the "wall of guitars" sound you hear a lot on the black album. In total you will have four to five individually recorded tracks.
#6
I usually record one rhythm guitar about 50-70% left, and another 50-70% right. Then a lead down the middle.
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#7
You'll very rarely, if ever, come across a professional audio production that has 100% pans (for the full song at least). They'll typically allow some bleed into the other ear, so you'd have maybe a 60-80% pan. This level of pan helps create the illusion of the sound being bigger without having that dead space left in the middle (and the other ear). I also find that when a pan is 100% it can get very tiresome on the ears, having a bleeding pan leaves me feeling that the track is more well rounded. It is personal preference I guess but as a general rule you don't want 100% pans going on for the entire length of the track.

For your track I would:

- Have the main chord rhythm in the center (the bottom video)

- Have the two lead parts 60-70% panned, one to left, and one to the right.

This means that when the top right guitar helps out with the rhythm section it boosts the overall center and provides depth, rather than just cloning the center a second time.

For metal mixing:

- Let's say you have a rhythm track and you've recorded it twice (this is called double tracking). What you'll actually want to do is have one rhythm track with a specific tone, and then re-record/reamp that track again but with a slightly different tone.*

Then you'll want to split those guitar tracks into 60-80% pans or something like that, so you get one tone mostly in one ear, then another tone in the other ear. This helps widen the track out and gives it more roundness as a whole.**

- Your solo should not be massively louder than the other sections of the song. In most modern recordings they'll actually dip the rhythm sections down by half a db or maybe a db max just for the solo. This is done to not tire the listeners with a sudden increase of volume and high frequencies***. If you can't be assed doing that just boost the solo volume by half a db or one db over the rhythm tracks. It's cruder but it gets the job done.

- If you're having trouble making the solo 'pop out', try having a small amount of reverb or delay on it. This is often done because it widens the tone out, giving them more presence.

- Metal mixing often means distortion, which creates some nasty frequencies. You'll want to high and low pass pretty much all of the guitars that are distorted. This is done in the EQ, these days most EQ readouts just have that option as a toggle, often just named (LC or LP / HC or HP).


*Having two different guitar tones and performances (even if they're identical) prevents 'phasing' and other weird shit that can occur when you start copying and layering the same sound on top of another.

** If you're finding that it's not sitting right you can take one of those rhythm section recordings, duplicate it, have it with a centered pan, but then turn it quite a bit down. This will pad out the center and connect the other two rhythm sections.

*** This is called automation.

///

Other than all of that Good playing man! It's a good guitar tone, definitely have a play around with the panning ideas i've out lined above and see how it sounds to you. Just do a quick pan with what i've suggested above and then listen to it with headphones. Make sure you compare with your current version too. Then go and listen to the In Flames version, try and point the differences in your original, my suggestions, and In Flames'.

At the end of the day there are loose 'standards' but go with what sounds best to you, but keep in mind techniques that have developed and work them into your own projects. But other than keep going

If you want some reference on work i've done:

https://soundcloud.com/tornintegral/white-crane (jazz piece, there's a lot of panning late in the song, headphones real show it)

https://soundcloud.com/tornintegral/super-metal-audition-rob-scallon-cover (metal piece)
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#8
i generally double the rhythm guitar part and split it 80-90% both sides. harmonized leads are still split, but closer to the middle (~40%). actual solos go closer to the middle. if parts of the solo are harmonized, i might push the whole solo a bit more in one direction to compromise for the harmony coming in on the other side, as you never want them too close together.
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#9
Wow I definitely have a lot to play around with! Great suggestions everyone; I really appreciate you taking the time. I guess I had it backwards; I was thinking harmonizing leads should be panned way further from the center, while rhythm guitars stay in the center. So I'm glad I asked about this!

Anthony, all the stuff you laid out seems like it should be in a recording book or something. Several of your tips made me go "ah ha" as I was thinking about some past recordings. I'm definitely going to save that information and try all of it out. Thanks for the advice and the kind words!

*edit: By the way Anthony, those tracks sound great, especially the jazz piece. Also, this concerned me a bit: "Metal mixing often means distortion, which creates some nasty frequencies. You'll want to high and low pass pretty much all of the guitars that are distorted. This is done in the EQ, these days most EQ readouts just have that option as a toggle, often just named (LC or LP / HC or HP)."

The EQ I use in my software doesn't have this toggle (7 band EQ on the amp and in a pedal). So what exactly does a high and low pass do. And how would I do it with a 7-band? Thanks!
Last edited by bbzswa777 at May 31, 2016,
#10
Quote by bbzswa777
Wow I definitely have a lot to play around with! Great suggestions everyone; I really appreciate you taking the time. I guess I had it backwards; I was thinking harmonizing leads should be panned way further from the center, while rhythm guitars stay in the center. So I'm glad I asked about this!

Anthony, all the stuff you laid out seems like it should be in a recording book or something. Several of your tips made me go "ah ha" as I was thinking about some past recordings. I'm definitely going to save that information and try all of it out. Thanks for the advice and the kind words!

*edit: By the way Anthony, those tracks sound great, especially the jazz piece. Also, this concerned me a bit: "Metal mixing often means distortion, which creates some nasty frequencies. You'll want to high and low pass pretty much all of the guitars that are distorted. This is done in the EQ, these days most EQ readouts just have that option as a toggle, often just named (LC or LP / HC or HP)."

The EQ I use in my software doesn't have this toggle (7 band EQ on the amp and in a pedal). So what exactly does a high and low pass do. And how would I do it with a 7-band? Thanks!


Oh no worries man, I learned all of this from trial and error. Believe it or a lot of the things I laid out were things I actually did by mistake which caused my own 'ah-ha' moments! Mixing audio is definitely a whole other skill set to actually writing/playing music.

Yeah the Jazz piece i did literally last week, the metal song was something I did a few months back - the good thing about sharing those two is that you can hear the difference in quality in just that short amount of time. I learnt a hell of a lot doing that metal track for a competition! The jazz piece would be fuller if I owned a bass guitar... but I don't, so can't really do anything about that

So here's a picture of high and low pass in an EQ graphic:



On the far left (low pass) and far right (high pass) you'll see two very steep curves. On the bottom of the graph you'll see 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1K etc, on the left of the graph you'll see 0, +6 etc, these are decibels (volume).

A low pass means effectively cutting all of the kind slightly inaudible bass frequencies. As you can see in the image they've started to cut that frequency at maybe 150 and sloped it -24db (silent). What this does is cut out the flubby bass response of that track. Whilst this sounds like the wrong thing to do it actually dramatically makes the guitar sit a lot better in a mix. A bonus to doing this is that it also then gives additional room for the bass guitar and bass drum to sit. Another effect is that this makes the guitar sound a lot tighter and aggressive because it doesn't have flabbyness to it. The side effect of doing this is that sometimes the guitar by itself (solo) can sound a bit crappy - but that's because there isn't a bass guitar supporting it anymore. A lot of modern metal albums can be very aggressive on this low pass.

A high pass effectively means cutting all of the scratchy highs you get when distort an instrument. Imagine a high pass being that thing that takes out the buzz or that hiss that occurs when you stomp on a gain pedal. It's basically just taking that really annoying sound out of the mix, making the guitars sound cleaner and the overall sound less messy.

If you're doing metal you typically might want to 'scoop the mids', by which i mean pull the mids down a bit. In the image you can see in the center that they have done this. This is done to make a more aggressive and bitey tone without being too high. This is generally done in metal to give the cymbals additional space to splash around.

Now what you can do with your EQ pedal is actually just map the sliders to the image above! So you'd want the far left and far right EQ slider totally at their lowest setting. Then for all of the others just try and match the curve you see in the image. This includes pulling down the middle a bit. So you'll want like the top part of a heart shape represented on your 7 band EQ. Except maybe instead of having the dip bang in the middle, just move the dip to slider over and dip it there. It should have the reference numbers just like the image, making it even easier to do.

Using an EQ pedal in this fashion is probably one of the best things you can do if you're playing metal songs live. It'll give you a tight, aggressive tone that should sit well with the other instruments!
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#11
Thank you so much! I've been messing around with some old recordings the last couple days and doing a bit more research on my own. I'm definitely in a much better place than when I first posted my question, so thank for taking the time.

The last thing I'll point out is that my guitars definitely sit better in the mix after adjusting the EQ this way. But sometimes it actually seems like after adjusting the EQ, the guitar tone doesn't sound quite as good when that's all I'm playing (without any other instruments). In other words, the guitar tone that I like best in the mix isn't necessarily what I like best when just playing the guitar on its own. And I guess that makes sense because there's a big difference when you have a bass and drums filling out the rest of those lows and highs!
#12
Quote by Anthony1991
You'll very rarely, if ever, come across a professional audio production that has 100% pans (for the full song at least). They'll typically allow some bleed into the other ear, so you'd have maybe a 60-80% pan. This level of pan helps create the illusion of the sound being bigger without having that dead space left in the middle (and the other ear).


To some extent I agree with this, but I come across stuff that's hard panned a LOT. Like, most engineers I've found - Sneap, Bogren, Staub (who actually believe it or not uses a stereo widener on his hard panned guitars and is the only person I've EVER seen use one effectively), Sturgis, etc - will hard pan. The metal sound is usually hard panned (100% L/R) rhythm guitars.


Quote by Anthony1991

For your track I would:

- Have the main chord rhythm in the center (the bottom video)

- Have the two lead parts 60-70% panned, one to left, and one to the right.

This means that when the top right guitar helps out with the rhythm section it boosts the overall center and provides depth, rather than just cloning the center a second time.

I would probably agree with this mostly because of visuals. But at the same time - no reason to ignore conventional metal mixing techniques for a playthrough video.

Quote by Anthony1991


For metal mixing:

- Let's say you have a rhythm track and you've recorded it twice (this is called double tracking). What you'll actually want to do is have one rhythm track with a specific tone, and then re-record/reamp that track again but with a slightly different tone.*
Good idea. Do this. Hell, you can use different amps if you want too.

Then you'll want to split those guitar tracks into 60-80% pans or something like that, so you get one tone mostly in one ear, then another tone in the other ear. This helps widen the track out and gives it more roundness as a whole.**
I've already stated my opinion on this

- Your solo should not be massively louder than the other sections of the song. In most modern recordings they'll actually dip the rhythm sections down by half a db or maybe a db max just for the solo***. This is done to not tire the listeners with a sudden increase of volume and high frequencies. If you can't be assed doing that just boost the solo volume by half a db or one db over the rhythm tracks. It's cruder but it gets the job done.
Actually also true. I tend to leave more mids in the solo since it effectively takes the space of the vocals when it's going.

- If you're having trouble making the solo 'pop out', try having a small amount of reverb or delay on it. This is often done because it widens the tone out, giving them more presence.
I drop delay on lead guitars all the time. Keep it subtle though. Don't send too much signal to your guitar delay aux.

- Metal mixing often means distortion, which creates some nasty frequencies. You'll want to high and low pass pretty much all of the guitars that are distorted. This is done in the EQ, these days most EQ readouts just have that option as a toggle, often just named (LC or LP / HC or HP).
Among other things, yes. I find myself also cutting some low mids and sweeping and notching whistle tones between 2-4k.


*Having two different guitar tones and performances (even if they're identical) prevents 'phasing' and other weird shit that can occur when you start copying and layering the same sound on top of another.
This is not actually what happens with one performance copied and panned - that'll just cause a 6dB increase in the middle. As far as different tones, you don't have to but it doesn't hurt.

** If you're finding that it's not sitting right you can take one of those rhythm section recordings, duplicate it, have it with a centered pan, but then turn it quite a bit down. This will pad out the center and connect the other two rhythm sections.

Don't do this. It'll just twist your stereo image AND get in the way of any elements in the center like the kick/snare/bass/(most importantly) vocal. Guitars are hard panned in metal for a reason.

*** This is called automation.
Or, if done on an analog console, is just fader riding

///

Other than all of that Good playing man! It's a good guitar tone, definitely have a play around with the panning ideas i've out lined above and see how it sounds to you. Just do a quick pan with what i've suggested above and then listen to it with headphones. Make sure you compare with your current version too. Then go and listen to the In Flames version, try and point the differences in your original, my suggestions, and In Flames'.

At the end of the day there are loose 'standards' but go with what sounds best to you, but keep in mind techniques that have developed and work them into your own projects. But other than keep going

If you want some reference on work i've done:

https://soundcloud.com/tornintegral/white-crane (jazz piece, there's a lot of panning late in the song, headphones real show it)

https://soundcloud.com/tornintegral/super-metal-audition-rob-scallon-cover (metal piece)


See bolded responses.

As far as guitar tones I've gotten:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11901104/End%20Of%20Heartache%20Mix%202.mp3

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11901104/ToS%20Mix%201.mp3

I took some screenshots of my EQ settings for my first example by the way. The guitars in it are hard panned for rhythm, with leads sitting at about 75L/75R.

Each channel (it has four rhythm tracks - 2L 2R, with one pair of L/R sharing one tone and the other pair sharing another) had a channel strip (combination of filters, EQ, compressor and gate in one plugin) on it. Everything Anthony mentioned is there, plus a little more. Notice the cuts at roughly 250Hz and the steep notch at about 2KHz.

Notice I'm also running a little bit of compression - 5:1 ratio with 1ms attack time and 400ms release time, doing about 3dB of gain reduction.



Then on my rhythm guitar bus I pulled out some more in the 500 region because i found it sounded boxy.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Last edited by oneblackened at Jun 1, 2016,
#13
Quote by bbzswa777
Thank you so much! I've been messing around with some old recordings the last couple days and doing a bit more research on my own. I'm definitely in a much better place than when I first posted my question, so thank for taking the time.

The last thing I'll point out is that my guitars definitely sit better in the mix after adjusting the EQ this way. But sometimes it actually seems like after adjusting the EQ, the guitar tone doesn't sound quite as good when that's all I'm playing (without any other instruments). In other words, the guitar tone that I like best in the mix isn't necessarily what I like best when just playing the guitar on its own. And I guess that makes sense because there's a big difference when you have a bass and drums filling out the rest of those lows and highs!


Oh totally, and it can be a real nightmare in a band mix situation! Like people take their amps home and dial in a sweet setting that just makes them sound good, but in a band situation you can find that an instrument gets lost or just isn't punchy anymore. I did the same thing when i got my Marshall cab, I was like 'turn up the bass! this is sick!' and just watched the entire room reverberate in awesome power. But... the downside was I was just muddying the bassist's tone and I started to lose clarity, when i turned the bass down and pushed the treble slightly suddenly it was like hearing a different band.

It's crazy how just a bit of EQ can make such a massive difference. And I wish someone explained that to me a few years ago! What I like to do if I'm recording is have a guitar setting that I just plain like, but also record a clean direct input version. That way I can record with that feeling I want, then re-amp/VST amp the direct input version to sit better in the mix. It's pretty much common practice to do that these days.

To some extent I agree with this, but I come across stuff that's hard panned a LOT. Like, most engineers I've found - Sneap, Bogren, Staub (who actually believe it or not uses a stereo widener on his hard panned guitars and is the only person I've EVER seen use one effectively), Sturgis, etc - will hard pan. The metal sound is usually hard panned (100% L/R) rhythm guitars.


Honestly I think it's down to preference For me I like metal and I play it, but it's not the be all and end all to my playing/recording style. Hard panning 100% just doesn't sit right - to me at least. But then in audio production/mixing everyone has their own spin on things, I'd never say one way is more 'correct', I just have a preference.

Don't do this. It'll just twist your stereo image AND get in the way of any elements in the center like the kick/snare/bass/(most importantly) vocal. Guitars are hard panned in metal for a reason.


It's intended as a padding out when rhythm is hard panned and there's a drop in the middle (such as a breakdown etc). To be honest it's not a hard fix by any means, I used it once and it fixed a track I was struggling with
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#14

It's crazy how just a bit of EQ can make such a massive difference. And I wish someone explained that to me a few years ago! What I like to do if I'm recording is have a guitar setting that I just plain like, but also record a clean direct input version. That way I can record with that feeling I want, then re-amp/VST amp the direct input version to sit better in the mix. It's pretty much common practice to do that these days.


Yeah! EQ is pretty much the most powerful tool you've got outside of balance (volume). And taking a DI is incredibly useful. Makes editing much easier as well (I dunno if you've ever noticed but edited guitars are a thing, and it blows).


Honestly I think it's down to preference For me I like metal and I play it, but it's not the be all and end all to my playing/recording style. Hard panning 100% just doesn't sit right - to me at least. But then in audio production/mixing everyone has their own spin on things, I'd never say one way is more 'correct', I just have a preference.


Yeah it's not my be-all end-all recording style either. Barely work on it at this point, metal bands don't have money.

Just stylistic things for metal. Nothing wrong with hard panning, nothing wrong with not.


It's intended as a padding out when rhythm is hard panned and there's a drop in the middle (such as a breakdown etc). To be honest it's not a hard fix by any means, I used it once and it fixed a track I was struggling with


Yeah I can see it working in that kind of situation but IMO I'd just record another center take for that section.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#15
Quote by oneblackened
Yeah! EQ is pretty much the most powerful tool you've got outside of balance (volume). And taking a DI is incredibly useful. Makes editing much easier as well (I dunno if you've ever noticed but edited guitars are a thing, and it blows).

Yeah it's not my be-all end-all recording style either. Barely work on it at this point, metal bands don't have money.

Just stylistic things for metal. Nothing wrong with hard panning, nothing wrong with not.

Yeah I can see it working in that kind of situation but IMO I'd just record another center take for that section.


Yeah i've heard editing guitars is a thing but for me... I'd rather not It's the same as auto-tuning vocals, it's not really something i agree with.

Metal bands spend it all on tattoos ^^
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#16
You two feel free to go back and forth as much as you'd like! I'm down to learn as much as possible.

Thanks for adding all that oneblackened.

Looking at your first image, all that seems a lot more complicated than just having a graphic EQ to adjust. Your image kinda confuses me because it looks like you can set the highs, mid-highs, lows, etc., but you can only choose the db level for that setting? Like you have the HF set at 8, does that mean only the 8 frequences are going to be at 0 db? What if you wanted to set the 10 frequency at a higher db?
#17
oneblackened, you rule!

I am often so guilty of answering with "it depends" (which is often technically the correct answer, or at least one of them). When someone like you goes out of your way to post REALLY detailed specifics, it is a joy to behold
#18
Quote by bbzswa777
You two feel free to go back and forth as much as you'd like! I'm down to learn as much as possible.

Thanks for adding all that oneblackened.

Looking at your first image, all that seems a lot more complicated than just having a graphic EQ to adjust.

It's not, really. If anything it's simpler - you can't fool yourself with the UI. Makes you use your ears more.

Your image kinda confuses me because it looks like you can set the highs, mid-highs, lows, etc., but you can only choose the db level for that setting?


This channel strip is a digital model of one used in the Solid State Logic SL4000E console, so what we have here is an EQ with four bands, plus high pass and low pass filters.

The high and low frequency bands have center frequency and gain controls and are switchable between two different kinds of filters, but the bandwidth (the Q) is not adjustable.

The two mid range bands are fully parametric, meaning that the Q, center frequency, and gain are adjustable.

The HF/LF bands with the "bell" switch out are shelving filters, which means that they boost or cut a certain frequency and above it or below it respectively (high shelf filter above, low shelf below).

With the bell switch in, they are a fixed-bandwidth bell (or peak) filter (that is, it will create a bell curve in the frequency response).

Like you have the HF set at 8, does that mean only the 8 frequences are going to be at 0 db?


Nope! An EQ, if you aren't boosting or cutting, will not have any affect on your sound (at least, purely digital EQs like you're using won't. some stuff in analog or analog modeled plugins will because of introduced distortion).
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Last edited by oneblackened at Jun 2, 2016,
#19
Panning comes down to preference. However, I agree with a lot of the posts here. Pan your rhythm about 50% and the lead even less. HOWEVER again, this depends on preference and the type of song.
#20
for me it's 100% left and right for rhythm tracks, centred leads with stereo reverb and delay. eveything then sent to the same reverb bus to glue it all together. if i'm using software amps.

if i'm recording real amps in a room, i'll reamp through an ABY box into 2 amps with a mic on each, and will also run a room mic. i'll then hard pan the amps hard left and the room hard right for rhythm track 1, and vice versa for rhythm track 2. room mic volume gets dropped considerably lower than the close mics. then bus them all to a reverb. big and wide.
Terrible guitar player.
#21
Quote by lysdexia
for me it's 100% left and right for rhythm tracks, centred leads with stereo reverb and delay. eveything then sent to the same reverb bus to glue it all together. if i'm using software amps.


That's interesting. I was thinking about whether or not I should do this but haven't tried it yet. I figured that if each instrument has its own reverb (or at least the guitars and bass), that was what would sound best. But to run the one finished track through reverb again? What's the thought process behind that?

Now, what I already make sure to do is finish the track, export it, then run that one track through a compressor. I imagine everyone does that to a certain extent, right?
#22
Quote by bbzswa777
That's interesting. I was thinking about whether or not I should do this but haven't tried it yet. I figured that if each instrument has its own reverb (or at least the guitars and bass), that was what would sound best. But to run the one finished track through reverb again? What's the thought process behind that?

Now, what I already make sure to do is finish the track, export it, then run that one track through a compressor. I imagine everyone does that to a certain extent, right?

Generally it is, and not every element needs reverb. Worth noting.


As for the second part: that's some extremely rudimentary form of mastering.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#23
About the compressing, I kinda thought so. I always felt kinda lazy doing it. But I think it was more of a lack of knowledge of alternative methods. It's not like I wouldn't adjust the volume and compress individual tracks, it's just that I would also compress the whole thing together at the end.