Double tracking guitars and quad tracking guitars is 2 of the most famous ways to pan the guitars in your stereo field.
Many people argue about which is the best technique. I can tell you one thing. There’s no best technique. It really depends on the song and the sound that you want to achieve.
Let me tell you about a quad tracked technique that many people use.
Famous Quad Tracking Technique
When Quadtracking guitars you can use this famous technique:
- Record 2 takes with the same guitars and amp/cabinet settings and pan them 100% Left and Right.
- Record 2 extra takes with different amps and cabs and pan 75 or 80% Left and Right.
- Group the takes. (Group 1 – 100%, Group 2 – 75%).
- Play with the volume fader of the 2nd group. You can easily have an up to 6% volume difference between the groups.
- By playing with the faders you’ll create a new a sound. Experiment.
- Send these 2 guitar groups to a 3rd and final guitar group, for example:
Electric Guitars Final Sound
- Blend the final sound (groups) with the rest of the mix – drums, bass, vocals and possibly synths.
But Is Quad Tracking Always Better Than Double Tracking?
The answer is… No.
I know that you all love the thick, huge and fat Rammstein guitar sound. But quad tracking is not the only thing we need to do to have this powerful guitar sound.
You need the right combination of high quality amps and cabs and mostly… great recording takes.
Quad tracking is dangerous when the guitar player can’t play tight. I highly suggest to use 2 takes if your guitar player has a hard time recording.
And we should not forget the bass guitar. Many people think that quadtracking produces the fat guitar sound… No.
I am a guitar lover myself and I couldn’t admit that the bass guitar plays a huge role to the mix. Even a more important role than the 4 guitar takes!
So… Should I Use Quad Tracking or Double Tracking?
Start with double tracking and a great bass guitar sound.
90% of the time you won’t need anything else.
Many famous producers stopped using 4 takes cause of the issues they used to come across.
Most of them said that if you spend more time tweaking the cab settings and moving the microphone, it would be enough as long as you do the same for the bass guitar.
If you followed the above steps and you still feel that “something is missing” from your guitar sound then you can try recording 2 extra takes using different guitars, amps and cabs.
Never Duplicate Tracks – Always Record Each Take
I’ve also created a video tutorial for you.
There are a couple more tips that I haven’t included in the article above so make sure to watch it!
Here’s what you are going learn:
- What Dual Tracking is
- What Quad Tracking is
- Why we should not copy-paste (duplicate) the tracks
- A live audio example between duplicating and re-recording
Double Tracking Guitars and Quad Tracking Guitars –
Watch in 1080p!
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